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

 Year || 503
 Season || Winter
 Temp || -10℉ (-23℃) to 55℉ (12℃)
 Weather || Winter has left a blanket of pristine white snow in many parts of Novus. Only Solterra remains mostly untouched by the season's frosted hold, but even the desert may feel a cold breath of wind now and then. With Winter now settled across the continent, dreams of Spring dance in the minds of many.


Spotlight

Character of the Season
Seraphina

Member of the Season
E-cho

Thread of the Season
Coloring outside the lines

Pair of the Season
Moira and Asterion

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

see here for nominations


DISCORD

IC Event - Each One a Treasure
Aghavni — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 15
▶ Played by rallidae [PM] Posts: 6 — Threads: 1
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 10
▶ 3 [Year 500 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 14.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#31



and lord don't let me break this
let me hold it lightly


S

he presses an ear against the smooth grain of the door, listening for sounds of life. 

A loaf of bread wrapped in brown paper, still steaming, floats lazily at her shoulder. Spoils from August’s early morning excursion to the markets — Aghavni had snagged two from his basket when she’d passed, slipping off down the hall before he’d had the chance to protest.

A dull thump resounds from within the room, followed immediately by the clattering of vials on a shelf, like chattering teeth. Signs of life detected; though the girl still cannot decide if she should be relieved or not.

She wonders whether she should knock — not that it matters, when the warlock never seems to hear — before the bronze doorknob begins to turn of its own accord. Cursing, Aghavni peels herself off of the door and slips around the corner of the hall moments before a man as black as midnight comes bursting from the room. 

“Vik,” she calls, voice hovering between suspicion and confusion even before the wizard spins around to gape at her in alarm. “Where are you going?” 

He is not wearing his cloak nor his satchel, and his leatherbound book of spells — as permanent a fixture to Vikander as the piercing blue of his eyes — is nowhere in sight. 

In all her years of knowing him, Aghavni has never seen the man like this. He chokes out one word between lungfuls of breath: magic.

Yet it is enough; the pieces come together. Vikander has discovered something, and he needs it, now. She is no stranger to the caustic fire of desperation. It burns and burns, leaving nothing in its wake; she will not let him tame it alone.

Nodding once, Aghavni shoves the loaf towards him with a stern “Eat this,” before vanishing into an adjacent room and returning moments later with two woolen cloaks in tow. She tosses one to him, slipping the other over her shoulders and fastening the tie with a deft twist.

"There is no time to waste, is there?"


When she sees the field of flowers, swaying like ocean waves pulled by an invisible moon, she halts. 

No — these are not flowers. Flowers do not glimmer brighter than gemstones. Flowers do not sing sweeter than songbirds. Even to her untrained, bewildered eye, Aghavni knows that these — things — are creations of magic. 

A tingle of apprehension runs icy fingers down her spine. She has never been so far from the Scarab. Her fan rests against the jutting bone of her hip, though it is little comfort against a force the girl knows little, if anything, of. She is no longer even in Denocte, and the realization unnerves her more than anything else.

They are at the Bellum Steppe. She repeats the name to herself until it softens in her mouth, becomes more her than anything other. Bellum Steppe. (Where more blood has been shed than rain.) Bellum Steppe. (Where the Crow has killed Solterra’s girl-queen.)

Is her body rotting there, amongst the unnatural blooms? Do they feed upon her flesh like maggots?

Swallowing, she turns towards Vikander, no longer sure, no longer intrigued — she wishes to tell him to exercise caution, to not wander off (her confidence wavers even thinking about the possibility of him doing so), and above all, to not —

“It’s true. Aghavni, it’s true.”

But reflected in the warlock's blue, blue eyes is not apprehension — it is fascination. And before she can stop him, Vikander reaches down and plucks a glass-petaled not-flower from the bed of the wilting earth.

She holds her breath, waiting for retribution.





@Vikander @Random Events | notes: <33
rallidae

***STAFF EDIT
@Aghavni has rolled a 6! She has been awarded +150 Signos for interacting with the flowers.


WE WERE CHILDREN THRUST INTO A WAR
and when it ends, what will we become?

the white scarab


Reply
Mephisto — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 0
▶ Played by Firefly [PM] Posts: 19 — Threads: 2
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Warg
▶ 16.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#32

Mephisto
dusk court warrior


S
he came to the Steppe on a day when the sun was low and bright on the horizon.  Mephisto had only just begun to explore Novus as part of her scouting missions for the Halcyon, and already she was learning more than she realized about the world that was now her home.  She’d seen the deserts of Day Court, the forests of Dawn Court, the night markets in Denocte… but the common lands had remained a mystery to her until these days.  At first, she had begun to make her way back to the temple of Vespera, curious to see if the Goddess would show herself… but then, there is a distraction which draws her flight short.

Mephisto circles the Bellum Steppe, noting the battlegrounds with mild curiosity and smelling the acrid scent of blood on the air.  These were expected things where battlegrounds were concerned… but what wasn’t expected was the gemstone field that stretched along the eastern edge of the cliffs.  It was otherworldly, and immediately the Pegasus knew that there was a magic at play here.  She didn’t care to speculate if it was dark of kindly magic, but as she swooped low over the field and later settled among the emerald, ruby and sapphire blooms, she was careful not to damage or touch the blooms.

Where others would take a piece for themselves, Mephisto respects the magic too much.  Instead, she simply walks through the field with her mind filled with wonder and curiosity.  The warg always had a respectful approach to magic, knowing that it could turn on you in an instant (as it had with the Winter Court), but finding it impressive all the same.  It was a reminder of their own humanity and insignificance in the world, and she hadn’t felt as small as she did in this moment in Novus.  

She stays for only a few moments, drawing in her last vision of the field before taking to the sky again, abandoning her idea of visiting the Peak in favor of returning back to the Halcyon barracks, eager to share the strange phenomenon she’d witnessed with others, leaving the magic field behind her.




rallidae

***STAFF EDIT
@Mephisto has rolled a 2! He has been awarded +50 Signos for interacting with the flowers.


Reply
Sabine — Vagabond Youth Signos: 0
▶ Played by Kezz [PM] Posts: 22 — Threads: 4
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 15
▶ 1 [Year 502 Spring] Active Magic: Medium
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#33
the stars melt like sugar
The Steppe is a necropolis. 

A graveyard for her bruised memories.

The grass underfoot feeds from old and rotting blood, spilt long ago by sharp teeth and sharper swords. Sabine does not hate many things in this world, but she swears by the all stars coughing in the sky that she hates this land. It keeps the bones of young men and steals the hope from gold-plated knights; crush -- crunch -- crumble. 

Sabine does not see the honour in war; she does not uphold the ancient right of The Tooth and The Nail. For what use is glory when love is butchered into cuts of rib-eye, rump and sirloin? She has seen the truth of this black earth and it comes knocking, Victorian and wicked, as soon as she steps foot upon the country.

You should not be here.

But there is something hanging over the trees that she cannot ignore. It swings like a noose waiting for a neck. And though the kicking of her heart tells her to turn back, Sabi finds that she cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. Like a lamb among lions she gambols forward, fearful and fierce all at once, and reaches further into the grisly satchel of this dark, dangerous realm.

She is slick with sweat by the time the magic touches her gaze. 

There are spells in the air and bolts of lightning in the soil; the shadows of men, women and children melt into nullity as the flowers arrest her heart.

It is all she can do to keep her anguish from foaming up at her mouth as she stares and stares and --

turns. 

The girl with horns cut from glass disappears in a flicker of shifting light. Gone as soon as she came. 

She couldn't do it, not again, not so soon after Acton had stood before her eyes as though he had not been dead for three moons. 


"Speaking"





credits


@Random Events

***STAFF EDIT
@Sabine has rolled a 3! Perhaps she has decided to pick a flower to take home with her; however, bad luck will dog her heels for the next 1 RL month (half an IC season). You can decide what the details of his bad luck entail, pm @nestle or @sid if you want ideas!
[Image: dbnivdi-4dcf9461-8e04-49e8-966c-3f4599c0...KvnIBGQKn8]


Reply
Metaphor — Night Court Medic Signos: 0
▶ Played by Firefly [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 2
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 14
▶ 12 [Year 491 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#34
metaphor

So much had happened since he’d come to Novus – both good, and dark.  Metaphor had reunited with Katniss – that was the important thing.  Whatever else came, they would face it together.  Still, the red stallion has to wonder what it all means.  Darkness was upon them, whether caused by the magic, the gods, or something else entirely… and he had a nagging feeling that they would be powerless to stop the train that was heading their way.  His mind is troubled, each step a bit weary as he wonders about what would come.  True to his agreeable nature, Metaphor would certainly run with the punches as they came, but still his is anxious.

Tonight, he moves from Denocte with the intention of clearing his head.  Leaving a note for Katniss, he leaves their humble home in the same way she had only days before, needing to find solace in nature and drink in the chill of the night air.  Winter was touching down in Novus now, turning the world white with early snow and creating a thin mist that seemed to cover every path in the darkness.  He does not worry though, for Maaemo’s light bounces steadily beside him, reminding him that hope can be found in the darkest of times.

It lights his path, as he presses northward to a place where he had never been before.  Though the red stallion had no intention on stumbling into Bellum Steppe, he let his feet guide to whatever way they wished.  In the moonlight, his route seemed clear, and he followed the path of stardust as it led him to the gemstone field.  Whether by magic or simple intuition, he knew the way to go, stepping after several hours into the clearing as his breath catches in his throat to mask his gasp.

For here, in front of the stallion, there stood a field of delicate beauty.  The earth keeper in him knows that it is not natural, and he dare not disturb such a scene… for this type of environment could only be created by magic… and Metaphor did not yet trust the strange magic in this stranger world.  Instead of stepping into the field as so many before him had, the healer stays on the fringes, simply admiring the way the blossoms reflected the moonlight.  For several minutes, he stands in anticipation, before turning back home, leaving the beautiful world behind him as he once more seeks the comforts of home.

“Speaking.”
credits

@Random Events

***STAFF EDIT
@Metaphor has rolled a 2! He has been awarded +50 Signos for interacting with the flowers.



m e t a p h o r


Reply
Ard — Dusk Court Citizen Signos: 10
▶ Played by Sparrow [PM] Posts: 26 — Threads: 2
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 13
▶ 4 [Year 499 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 12.1 hh Bonded: N/A
#35
I can’t help but be wrong in the dark
'Cause I’m overcome in this war of hearts

The stick of charcoal in his grasp shook as his magic struggled to maintain its grip, so in awe as he was from the sight that they had stumbled upon. Stretching out before them, rising from blades of withered, sickly looking grass that should have been the primary source of confusion here, sat a field of blooming flowers. Every bloom glittered beneath the ample winter sunlight, reaching skyward with petals seemingly made of gemstones. It was breathtaking, and honestly quite unlike anything that he had seen before. There had been beauty within Luminous, but it paled in comparison to this.

Immediately upon arrival Ard had pulled out the sketchbook from inside of his cloak, flipping it open to reveal a blank canvas. Fervently he chewed on his lower lip, brows pinched just so, as he used his magic to pull a well-used stick of charcoal from the pockets of his cloak and put the worn tip to parchment. Never before had he lamented his lack of colored charcoals, and his heart sank in realization that he would never, ever be able to capture the mysterious beauty of this place, a place so stained with the blood of previous battles, on paper to be remembered for seasons to come. Black and white would have to do, but it would pale next to the grandeur displayed before their very beings.

Ard was aware of Erd at his side, his brother always close by, but his focus was honestly rooted on the swaying flowers and the familiar scratch of charcoal against parchment. Ever so slowly did the scene come together, but it did lack. The flowers themselves were lifelike from where they were sketched, petals curling towards the end as they branched ever skyward on crooked, bent stalks. A monochromatic field of mirrored images spread before the artist, gracing the paper of his sketchpad with a memory that would never be forgotten.

Eventually, he closed the book with a ’snap!’, tucking it away along with the remaining sliver of charcoal. He glanced towards his brother, a flick of turquoise eyes, and spotted Erd staring affectionately in his direction. Immediately he frowned, ears pinning back against curling, taupe locks. “What?” The younger warlock growled out, which caused Erd’s shit-eating grin to grow. Ard rolled his eyes. “I had to.” But the things he could have done with multi-colored sticks of charcoal, as opposed to just a plain black.

Oh well. There were many sights to be had on Novus, he was discovering, and surely more rarities would come popping up. It seemed to be the trend, anyway. Erd’s response soothed his mild ire, a statement of ’I know,’ accompanied with a warm grin.

Together, then, they approached the field of flowers. Erd seemed far more interested now that they were up close, but didn’t try to take one. Nonetheless, he seemed enraptured by them, curious and inquisitive as only a tinkerer’s mind could be. Much how his twin stared at him as he had madly sketched an image of the flowers did Ard watch Erd, smiling knowingly as Erd began to spout out nonsense about the whole thing. It really was adorable.

"Speaking."
art | bg


***STAFF EDIT
@Ard has rolled a 3! Perhaps he has decided to pick a flower to take home with him; however, bad luck will dog his heels for the next 1 RL month (half an IC season). You can decide what the details of his bad luck entail, pm @nestle or @sid if you want ideas!


Reply
Erd — Dusk Court Citizen Signos: 15
▶ Played by Sparrow [PM] Posts: 29 — Threads: 4
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 14
▶ 4 [Year 499 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 12.1 hh Bonded: N/A
#36
I can’t help but want oceans to part
'Cause I’m overcome in this war of hearts

Erd knew that he shouldn’t stare, but honestly he couldn’t help it. There was something fond and beautiful about that pinched look that came between Ard’s brows whenever he was focusing on a piece of particular interest, or the way he chewed on his bottom lip as though unaware. It was a bad habit, but one that the older warlock had given up on trying to break him of. He loomed close to his twin, watching the elegant, confident strokes of charcoal against parchment as the image of the strange flowers came to life upon the blank canvass.

Without color, one would just assume that the drawn picture was just a field of flowers, but Erd knew the truth. His gaze shifted, casting out across the field of glittering blooms, wondering of their origins with a both critical and concerned eye. Why were they here? How long had they been here? There were so many questions that needed answers, but he had a sinking suspicion that they would never be found.

With the snap of the sketchpad, Erd glanced back to his brother. Their eyes met and his grin only grew, pride and joy surging to the forefront of his chest. ’What?’ Ard grit out in that choked, raspy sort of way that he talked, his voice rough from disuse. ’I had to.’ If it was possible, the younger brother’s grin only widened.

“I know.” And he did.

Only when he was certain that his brother was ready did Erd move on, petite black hooves guiding him across the pock-marked land of the Bellum Steppe towards the field of curious flowers proper. Upon closer inspection, they seemed to be so much more. For a moment he could have sworn that he heard music in the air, melodic vocals of an invisible singer where the words were not words at all, but sounds. A small ear quirked forward, his eyes scanning around the area, but he saw nobody but the two of them. Frowning, Erd focused back on the flowers, taking in their strange shapes and appearances.

“... Do you feel it, Ard? I think it’s magic.” Or so he assumed. It had been awhile since magic had lived within their own veins, at least to the unfathomable and destructive degree that there had once been when they lived in Luminous, but not so long ago that he wasn’t unable to recognize the electric feel of it within the soil or the very air itself. He sighed. “I wish I brought my equipment with us… I could take so many tests. Here. Help me grab a few of these. I’d really like to take some back to mess around with.”

Ard only shrugged in response, but soon enough they had stepped into the field of flowers and began to collect only a few, not wanting to steal away all of the curious, daunting, beautiful sight from the otherwise war-scarred land of the Bellum Steppe.

"Speaking."
art | bg


***STAFF EDIT
@Erd has rolled a 3! Perhaps he has decided to pick a flower to take home with him; however, bad luck will dog his heels for the next 1 RL month (half an IC season). You can decide what the details of his bad luck entail, pm @nestle or @sid if you want ideas!


Reply
Manon — Vagabond Peddler Signos: 55
▶ Played by Avis [PM] Posts: 6 — Threads: 0
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 10
▶ 6 [Year 497 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#37
the girl with a dagger heart
The Steppe was one of her least favorite places. The vast spaces called to those who stood unabashed in the open, beneath the wild elements of nature and ready to face an opponent in battle; even in the night without the sun to illuminate their world in golden light, the moon was equally unobstructed and offered no secrecy beneath its watchful, waiting gaze. Shadows clung to the far-off outskirts in the arms of sparse trees and divots in mountain-sides, and it was only there that she could find herself at comfort. She was a creature of midnight darkness, closed off alleyways and chipped cobblestone--she didn't belong on a war field where others played by the rules. She followed none; she only ever listen to her own whims.

And that day, those whims told her to stop by the Steppe. A hum filled the air, rose the hairs on her copper-stained body, kissed the path down her spine and told her to go.

Her multi-colored eyes were set on Solterra as it was. Perhaps a slight detour would do her no harm...

What once were languid grasses were suddenly turned glistening crystals. They rivaled the beauty of her own upon her twig crown as the thin stalks bent in the hushed breeze of winter's breath. The sun smiled down on them and they turned face-up to welcome the warmth of the rays (for even though they became inanimate, solid things they still acted as any would), while her sharp-cut gaze soaked the scene in. It stretched the lengths of the territory and she moved amidst them as a gem among gems, rivaling the elegance they emanated.

But the atmosphere felt heavy there--while she hid in dark places and shielded herself from being found, whispers of the ex-Day Queen's body was said to have lain torn apart between all the dried blood from battles past. Her own silver-touched blood was spilled and as it sat to sink into the earth she was never seen again. Manon might have been a woman of rough edges and knives that cut through steel, but her heart still beat for the forsaken (a child version of her, lost in threatening marketplace streets, not allowed to return home without a prize for her efforts).

So she stood there with crystal-cut flowers brushing against slender legs, mind drawn taunt with some sense of loss for someone she didn't even know save by name, by biography.

The slight thrum in the atmosphere--magic, she knew--cradled her in the clearing, and she began to hum a somber, lamenting song she learned from one of the tavern-keepers as a girl.
Nights are numb, days are dead
Tried to fix you, broke myself instead
CREDITS

TO LIVE MY LIFE THE WAY I WANT
TO SAY AND DO WHATEVER I PLEASE
click for character page

(Please tag me in every post)


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Forseti — Dawn Court Scholar Signos: 35
▶ Played by Avis [PM] Posts: 8 — Threads: 3
▶ Female [She/Her/Her] Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10
▶ 5 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#38
There was much yet that she didn't know. The sprawling land she found herself in seemed endless, massive bird wings carrying her over the expanse; she watched all that passed below her and she couldn't help but compare it to all the places she visited before--every land had a similar system, she realized, a familiar structure set in place by those of a higher power. Gods. Courts. Sovereigns. Populace. It was all the same, and she wondered if she would find a place worthwhile to stay for a time. She knew much, has seen even more, and she wanted to be indulged. She wanted new, she craved a sense of having her curiosity sated. And so she traveled from land to land, across territories and continents, to find at least a sliver of something.

It might not be the area of old-time battle-strewn blood that she found what she was looking for, but it was there that her wings grew too tired to continue on for the moment. And so she allowed the air pressure to drift her down, gravity taking hold as wings softened to glide onto crystal flowers. She didn't know where she was, of course, so she couldn't understand the significance of where she stopped: to her, there were no battles that took place on supple grasses, no rumors of a silver-girl who lost her life, nothing noteworthy about the flowers that had bloomed with shimmering glass facets. She could feel the pull of the place, certainly, the tense murmur of magic that lingered around her as if someone had plucked a guitar string and let it vibrate endlessly. The wavelengths she inserted herself into--the seemingly invisible veil between natural and magical forces wavering with her body in between it all--it hung in the air like a welcomed plague, and she knew the feeling well. It was the power of a God, and for once she might have been surprised that such power lent itself to turning into something so beautiful. She could recognize the glamour, the finely-drawn allure of the spaces around her, and for a moment she might have felt something like... shock.

But at least she felt anything at all.

And so with golden eyes and a maroon cape that draped itself lavishly across blood-marked body, she spread wings wide and prepared to once again take flight. She had seen enough, had found the source of why she suddenly felt so drawn to land, and it was time to move on to other things. She had much to learn, and she was growing bored of the monotony of being disappointed.

Seconds before she pushed off, a single glass flower caught along the edge of her cape and stuck tight to the fabric.
Vultures circle overhead
people love to watch a wreck
CREDITS

AND JUST LIKE AN ARROW SHOT IN THE DARK
SHE WILL NEVER MISS
click for character page

(Please tag me in every post)


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