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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

All Welcome - I've seen my fortune written in the leaves;
August — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 235
▶ Played by griffin [pm] Posts: 2 — Threads: 1
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10
▶ 4 [Year 499 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#1



and darling never settle
chasing down the devil


♠︎ ♠︎



He wakes early, earlier than anyone gives him credit for. 

The sky is still dark as he slips from the Scarab, and the air has a midwinter bite. But this near to the bay it is as temperate as anywhere in Denocte; tangible on the air is the sharp clean smell of pine and the almost metallic scent of a winter sea. 

There is a fresh quilt of snow across the cobblestones and August relishes being the first to lay his tracks across it, though a pair of crows scolds him from a beech. He laughs back at them, then dips down an alley with a flick of his tail. His route is familiar as an alley-cats' when it steals from its mistress’s house, and his eyes are as keen; if there were any onlookers but birds it would be clear to them he knows where he’s headed. 

As always August pauses when the narrow path spits him out into a wide street at the crest of a hill; it is not just the sea-breeze that suddenly whips at him that makes him catch his breath. No - it is the sight of the dock, all those jutting masts, a proud forest that rose and fell like breathing. His lungs fill like billowing sails, his eyes shine bright as the sun as it crests the horizon. 

He might have stood there forever if a little jewel-bright dragon hadn’t darted up, snapping at his heels. 

“Rude, Templeton,” he says, but he is grinning when the creature snorts a curl of smoke and leaps up to rest between his withers. With his passenger he walks on, down the hill between the buildings like a drop of sunlight until he stands amid the market stalls. 

He is still one of the few on the streets; Denocte is a city of late nights and therefor late mornings, especially in this part of town. But the sellers are beginning to set out their wares, and another handful of dragons have joined him, multicolored jewels in the morning, following him like ducks follow a man with bread. 

And it is bread he buys a moment later, exchanging a bright coin for a few loaves still warm from their clay oven. He might have spoken longer to Talan, the baker, if it hadn’t been for the clamor of the little dragons. “You’re worse than hens,” he tells them, but he crosses to a breeze-blocking tree and tears the first loaf into chunks, careful to be sure each dragon gets one. 

August knows he is far from the only soft-hearted patron to feed the resident dragons - they do not know what hunger is - but he can’t begrudge them for it. He is a survivor, too, and anyway they make him laugh, they way they snarl and hiss like cats and lounge like tiny lions. 

The city is starting to wake up, now, and the gulls and horses are all gabbering away, sharing the morning’s news, when he begins to wind back toward the Scarab with his basket of fresh bread. Each stride possesses the easy carelessness of a man well-comfortable in his place (and his body), and so when he freezes and swiftly turns his head it is almost startling, like a buck breaking for the treeline. 

He thought he’d heard his name. That alone is not strange - August knows half the Night Court, and has his whole life - but it had sounded like his mother who’d said it. 

And that, of course, is impossible. 


@open | first post who dis


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Boudika — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 250
▶ Played by Syndicate [PM] Posts: 13 — Threads: 4
▶ Female [She/her/hers] Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10
▶ 8 [Year 495 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#2



I SEE NOTHING. WE MAY SINK AND SETTLE ON THE WAVES. THE SEA WILL DRUM IN MY EARS. THE WHITE PETALS WILL BE DARKENED WITH SEA WATER. THEY WILL FLOAT FOR A MOMENT AND THEN SINK.

His eyes were quicksilver grey in her dreams, and they danced with all the changing colours and scenes of a mirror, not quite sea, storm, stone, scalding brass, nor seething flame, but all, and none, and then quicksilver grey. In her dreams, they reflected her own face, the white blaze, the brilliant chestnut—and her mind was seduced by it, as she saw herself, in his eyes, as she wished to be seen. She wore the armour of her people, light chainmail, gleaming copper helmet, horns adorned in glittering gold paint.

But in the dream, they were being wed, and her reflection in his eyes changed—the armour became the white pelt of a fierce sea-bear, draped across her back in a cloak clasped by Khashran fangs. The teeth, sharp as a razor-edge or whetted blade, bit at her flesh and darkened the edges of the cloak to red, red, red. And then his eyes were red, the true crimson of her people, and Boudika could not see herself. The fact filled Boudika was panic and crashing anxiety—but it appeared as though she were the only one gathered who saw.

The wedding alter, decorated with white petals, became a sacrificial stone beneath her hooves. The stone of the old Oresziah, when they were half-the-sea, when they had battled for a foot on land from the Khashran. Vercingetorix was keening his apology in a Khashran song, and the waves somewhere were beating the cliff, and her blood was dripping upon the black stones—the song was a fever pitch, louder, louder—she was sinking, sinking—


Boudika awoke, her head throbbing with the music of her last performance, her last dance. Her mouth tasted like bitter salt and she discovered, in her slumber, she had bitten the flesh of her cheek. How long had it been? For how many hours? Boudika knew her night had been repeated, like all her other nights; to fall into tumultuous slumber and then be awoken to tumultuous reality, with a chaotic and savage dream to keep her occupied in-between.

This was the first time, however, Vercingetorix had visited here. It was the first time she had really, concretely, thought of him. Boudika had sworn away thinking of him; Boudika forbade it, in fact. And abruptly all of her walls had been ripped in her subconscious, and she spat the blood from her mouth onto the stoned floor, seeing only that sacrificial alter. He might as well have been there with her, on the other side of the darkness, and Boudika could not bear to face how suddenly small her room felt. He was there with her, in all of his beauty and confidence and cunning, quick wit. He was there with her, his eyes blood-red, his lips hinting at a smile like they did, without every really smiling. He was there with her, dark and enticing, smelling like a home she had always imagined but already forsaken.

Wasn’t that just fucked? That the person who betrayed her was the only one that sounded safe? The memory of his scent was strong in her nostrils; and it told her body, security security security even as her mind and heart reeled, stung and hurt.

Enough!. Boudika rose, and repeated her every day habit, storing away the dream to some place she could forget it. It did not matter she was trembling. It did not matter her eyes were gummy with not-enough sleep. It did not matter her throat ached. She rose, swished her teeth with water, and left to run.

——

Her routes had become longer and more winding, and only recently had they begun to incorporate the Night Court itself—particularly, the marketplace, where she could annoying dash between early-morning vendors and the odd patron. The run began somber and Boudika could only hope that it would distract her from the dream—ultimately, it did, once she had looped outside of the Court and then returned, unreasonably drawn to the docks and the sea. She could see the crest of masts in the near-but-far distance as she ran, swiftly, toward it. It was too early for the market to be massed with a crowd, and she only saw the odd footprint marring the snow, here or there. Not enough to be concerned with—Boudika may as well have been alone.

She increased her speed, her breath coming short and quick and heavy all at once, her heart jumping with the joy of it, the sheer challenge of pushing past her limits—this was farther than the day before, and the day before that—its as the farthest she had gone since arriving at Novus! Boudika took a corner sharply, her hooves skidding on a slick batch of cobblestone, and then before she knew it she was throwing all of her weight back to her haunches, trying to skid to a stop, but it was too late—

Bam, directly into a brilliant palomino. Words bubbled, but failed—instead she only made a distressed whiny, and could only hope she hadn’t done too much damage. Boudika attempted to scramble away—but a limb was there, and then there, and oh, why did she have to have horns? She suddenly decided the best option was to stay utterly still.

”I am extremely apologetic,” and embarrassed. ”Are you hurt?”


ROLLING OVER THE WAVES WILL SHOULDER ME UNDER. EVERYTHING FALLS IN A TREMENDOUS SHOWER, DISSOLVING ME.


(image credits here)



@August


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August — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 235
▶ Played by griffin [pm] Posts: 2 — Threads: 1
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10
▶ 4 [Year 499 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#3



and darling never settle
chasing down the devil


♠︎ ♠︎






In a way the collision is a relief. At the moment of impact all thoughts of his mother - all thoughts of anything - rush from his head in the same manner that his breath is forced from his lungs.

Alas, it is not such a beneficial thing for his knees and ribs and basket of bread.

He had been frozen, head up, ears forward, searching searching searching, and had hardly heard the clatter of her hooves or the rush of her breathing over the intensity of his concentration. August is only just aware of a presence coming very quickly toward him before they meet, and then it is all a blur of hooves knocking against hocks and something hard and sharp glancing across the skin of his neck and a bright, muscular, warm body rather violently and intimately entangled with his own.

August is hardly aware of his squeal, except to be grateful later that nobody from the Scarab was within earshot. Only his years of training keep him upright, but it is a narrow thing, and when at last the world is still again but for their breath pouring quick and silver from their mouths he runs a quick inventory - nothing broken, nothing sprained, minor scraping, a little blood on his coat and a lot of bread on the snow. His body eases in relief.

“Not mortally,” he says with a laugh bit between his teeth like a silver coin, and finishes the careful work of disentangling himself from her. Then, at last, he is able to look her in the face.

He finds a stranger - a striking one, one that he’d remember having seen before. She smells a little of the salt of sweat and the sea-breeze, and the look in her crimson eyes is genuine concern (and mortification). August feels a grin crease his cheek. “Usually when I’m attacked it’s intentional. Are you alright?” With a practiced eye he sweeps his silver-eyed gaze across her, looking for the same injuries he’d searched himself for. Satisfied when he finds nothing serious, he meets her eye again, for the moment leaving his belongings where they lay in the scuffed-up snow.

Whatever he’d been about to say is lost when a crow peals a throaty laugh, and he remembers the reason for his distraction. His name, spoken so clearly he would swear it wasn’t said in his imagination alone.

Well, he may as well ask, even as he shares a piece of her embarrassment in the doing. “Do you - ah - know me?”


@Boudika | I love her So Much


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Boudika — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 250
▶ Played by Syndicate [PM] Posts: 13 — Threads: 4
▶ Female [She/her/hers] Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10
▶ 8 [Year 495 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#4



I SEE NOTHING. WE MAY SINK AND SETTLE ON THE WAVES. THE SEA WILL DRUM IN MY EARS. THE WHITE PETALS WILL BE DARKENED WITH SEA WATER. THEY WILL FLOAT FOR A MOMENT AND THEN SINK.

The collision was too much a memory of the cavalry’s call—too much a memory of bodies colliding in knee-deep surf, the undertow snapping at their hooves as their enemies twisted shapes and became something more solid, or less solid, just as teeth or knives or arrows closed in. The harsh press of chest-against-chest, the sharp exhale of impact, a release of intensity that sometimes, somehow, reminded her of a lover’s sigh.

Then there was the matter of the bread strewn across the snow and the bit of blood she smelt in the air. Dazed, Boudika unentangled herself and observed him or injuries as he observed her. No, there was nothing broken or stinging too badly, although she was fairly certain she’d scuffed a haunch on the cobblestones and bruised a good bit of her shoulder. Minor concerns, however, as Boudika mentally scrambled to discern a way which would allow her to maintain her dignity. The more she thought, the more difficult it became, until she finally affirmed the fact she would be unable to do any such thing. Boudika offered an abashed smile. “I can assure you this wasn’t intentional. I’m fine… Are you?” It was the second time she had asked, but Boudika looked at him incredulously, as if she had not believed him.

He was handsome, in the way that one was when they were well-bred. The gold of his skin reminded Boudika of her people’s war colours and the way they painted their horns and faces with the very hue of his coat. Boudika quickly diverted her attention, again, to the spilled bread. “It does appear as though we have at least one casualty.” Her tone, somber and dry, did not convey it as a joke despite her meaning it as one.

Boudika started at the crow’s call, her head tossed skyward as she searched for it with a crimson eye—and then, back to August, gathering herself. Her hair was disheveled and her skin sweat-streaked from her run. In the cool morning air, it was chilling fast. His question caught her off guard and immediately made Boudika question if she should know him. Frankly, she was uninvolved enough in the court that she did not know many people, even those who were important. And so she said, ”No.” And added, ”Should I?” Some five seconds too late Boudika realised how rude it may have sounded to ask in such a sharp way and, abashed for, probably, the third or fourth time… she amended herself. “I mean, do you know me? If you don’t, you do now. I’m Boudika. I’m an entertainer in the Court. I dance.”

The introduction felt awkward on her tongue, too heavy and too light all at once. In her homeland, she would have said, “I am Bondike,” and they would have known her as the general's son, and they would have complimented her on her father’s strategic maneuvers against the Khashran at the battle of Bashide Cliff. Here, she was a dark presence, a dancer without a name who performed on a firelight stage.

Boudika moved, a little more seamlessly, into the next line of thought. ”I’m, uh, I’m sorry about your bread. I’ll gladly buy you some more.”

ROLLING OVER THE WAVES WILL SHOULDER ME UNDER. EVERYTHING FALLS IN A TREMENDOUS SHOWER, DISSOLVING ME.


(image credits here)



@August


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