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Private  - waiting for sundown

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Played by Offline Sparrow [PM] Posts: 182 — Threads: 31
Signos: 175
Dawn Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 9 [Year 495 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 44 // Active Magic: Blood Manipulation // Bonded: Alba (Barn Owl)
#1



No man was ever wise by chance.

The winter chill nipped at his skin as he landed, kicking up snow and ice as he did so, emerald eyes glancing about the frozen structures of Terrastella as he straightened. It had been a long, long time since he had last visited the Dusk Court, back when Florentine had been a newly ascended Queen and the working mechanisms within Novus had been so much simpler. The world had seemed to be less dark, then. Less foreboding. Less daunting... And then, like a dam far too full from runoff, the walls came crumbling down.

Madness descended upon them now. Perhaps that was why he was here. Alone, of course, for he had left Alba back in Delumine with his wife and children. It would be a good means of instant communication should anything transpire during his temporary absence.

Letting out a soft, measured breath, Somnus ventured onward. He could see the courtyard and the spire of Terrastella, the stonework glittering beneath a layer of frost and condensation in the early afternoon sunlight. It sparkled, warming him with memories and familiarity despite the perpetual chill, and he smiled. Beautiful as ever.

A nearby sentry seemed to straighten up as the Dawn King advanced into view, his steps light and graceful despite the steady, heavy crunch of snow beneath every footfall. Somnus’ gaze sought out theirs, and he nodded, an elegant dip of the head to show a mutual sign of respect. “I’ve come to request an audience with King Asterion, please. I apologize for the short notice.” The sentry seemed rather perplexed at his direct request, glancing back over their shoulder towards the stone keep and the civilization of Terrastella behind him.

’And you are?’ Somnus arched a brow at the inquiry, but the warmth did not release or seep from his face. His smile softened into something a bit more level, and he spoke gently in answer.

“Somnus.”

Short and simple, for there were no need for semantics or theatrics here. The sentry, Oriens bless them, seemed to at least know of him, for they motioned for him to follow and guided the dunalino into the heart of the court proper. Along the way they found a messenger, and Somnus watched the exchange of information between the two before the messenger tore away with a clatter of hooves to seek out Asterion.

It would be a wonderful welcome to speak to the Dusk King with vocalized words rather than written. The sentry turned to look at him once more and cleared their throat. ’King Asterion will be here shortly, should he not be otherwise occupied.’ Once more, the dunalino dipped his head in a nod.

“Certainly. I do not mind waiting.” From there, silence grew between them, the sentry standing rigid as they continued to look about but obviously they did not completely ignore their sudden guest. Somnus let his mind wander, head lifting to regard the upper balustrades of the Dusk citadel. His gaze paused momentarily upon the said balcony that he had once seen Florentine dive off of, descending down, down, down to greet him with a smile full of warmth and the fluttering of lilac petals. Turning his head, he admired the passing world around him with a particularly thoughtful expression. Individuals were hurrying about, tending to their duties or whatever business they had awaiting them. It was quiet, a distant murmur hardly disturbing the frozen winter silence, but he could not ignore the subtle ripple of tense energy that seemed to permeate the very air around him.

Interesting.


tag: @Asterion





"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."



Please tag Somnus in all replies!

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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 400 — Threads: 40
Signos: 2,503
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // Immortal [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 100 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#2











       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*




It is a fragile winter day, the kind where the sun touches the frost and turns it to spun sugar, where breath spills in great dragon-smoke and the air is cold and clear for miles. Asterion preferred these to the season’s other kind, gray skies and white snow and the gray sea rolling endlessly on, a world flat and still and colorless.

Regardless of the day, Asterion was not outside to enjoy it. It is a day of business, of gnawing worry, of going over lists of grain and goods for winter and wondering is there enough. (This year there is, but after the last winter - Vespera’s winter - he is not sure he will ever be content with enough again.)

The bay is trying to keep his attention from straying to the day outside the windows before a page thrust his muzzle into the meeting-room, his mild brown gaze seeking the king at once. “Yes, Briar?” Asterion prompted him, and already he can feel his heart stirring in his chest, giving a preliminary knock against his ribcage. Oh please, he thinks, let it be no more trouble, no more tragedy -

“King Somnus is here, m’lord. He requests an audience.” A breath catches, holds in Asterion’s throat; then he nods to the others in the room and departs at once, dismissing the page with thanks when Briar directs him to the courtyard. A hundred possibilities rush through his mind like dead leaves on a swift wind as he makes his ways through the sunlit halls, but he hopes it is nothing, he hopes it is good news about the king’s son. He hopes it is not death.

Then he is out in the sunlight and the cold, and he sees the dunalino at once. There, he thinks, is a king. Somnus has always looked the part, golden and proud, with his piercing green eyes and the curve of his horn and the powerful wings tucked to his side. The most Asterion can say for himself is that he no longer feels like he’s only pretending.

“King Somnus,” he greets the golden man, voice soft and solemn, and dips his dark muzzle in greeting. “Come away, out of the cold. We have - ah - something warm to drink, I’m sure.” Once he might have felt inadequate, not knowing how to properly host a visiting sovereign - but there is no time for it now. There are more important matters that courtly grace. He gestures with a tilt of his chin before he steps away again, up the few wide steps and back into the heart of the castle.

Only once they are inside, out of earshot of the curious passing through the courtyard, away from even the carrying wind, does he speak. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”  











@Somnus






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Played by Offline Sparrow [PM] Posts: 182 — Threads: 31
Signos: 175
Dawn Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 9 [Year 495 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 44 // Active Magic: Blood Manipulation // Bonded: Alba (Barn Owl)
#3



No man was ever wise by chance.
In the end, he truly did not need to wait out in the cold for long. The messenger had been beyond punctual in delivering news of his arrival, and soon enough, Somnus’ verdant eyes stopped on the figure that emerged from the court spire.

They had never truly known each other well, he and Asterion, but the dunalino desperately wanted to amend that. The man he saw now, emerging into the cold sunlight of an early winter’s day, seemed different than the man he had traded words with over ink and parchment. Asterion seemed far more bold, the rich bay of his body moving with an easy grace, a confident cadence. Somnus wondered if the man had finally come into himself as a king, as he himself had with the assistance of so many others.

It always took time.

The distance between them lessened, and it was Asterion to speak first, to break the silence that collected like snowfall around them. There was a seriousness to the bay’s face and features, a somber look in those earthen, mahogany eyes. When he nodded, Somnus did the same, dipping his muzzle forward and closing his eyes. Soft, respectful, always minding his manners.

“King Asterion,” he greeted formally in return, his eyes glittering in relief and gratefulness, of warmth and kindness. “Ah, yes. Thank you. I would quite enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. I loathe to arrive a burden.” The dunalino’s smile grew, his dark lips turning up at the edges, but as Asterion turned to lead the way back into the citadel and out of the cold, he followed without question.

Once they were inside, a golden ear turned to focus, his brows arching. “I know my arrival is a bit sudden. Apologies, I hope I haven’t interrupted your daily duties.” There was a momentary pause, a quick glance to see if any form of ire or irritation spread upon the bay’s handsome visage. Breathing in deep and chasing away the unease, the lingering anxieties of you’ll never be good enough Somnus, you pretender, the Dawn King continued. ”First, I came to thank you. My son, Regis. His health is improving, and his body is growing stronger with every day that passes. Without your assistance Asterion, without the group you sent to Delumine, I do not think he would have lasted into the winter. I owe you a debt that I can never repay, and I will never forget that.”

Somnus frowned, but only momentarily, thinking back to the somewhat rocky, unsteady greeting between the visiting party from Terrastella and his own visceral, dangerous reaction at seeing his older brother at the helm. “I must also apologize for my behavior upon receiving them. I believe that I acted uncouth towards your Champion of Healing… Atreus. He is my older brother, and our relations are not the best, but… I owe him a great service as well, as his knowledge and wit helped save the life of my dearest son.” Verdant eyes turned and focused upon Asterion, meeting his warm, honeyed gaze.

"So, my friend... Thank you. From this moment on, if there is anything that you need, you need only ask."


tag: @Asterion





"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."



Please tag Somnus in all replies!

Reply




Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 400 — Threads: 40
Signos: 2,503
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // Immortal [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 100 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#4











       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*





“We’ve had far heavier burdens than you,” he says with a smile, and he knows that Somnus could say the same. Maybe he shouldn’t be joking about the world Novus has been slouching toward, but humor feels like one of the last balms for grief.

Familiarity keeps his footsteps easy as they walk side by side down the cool pathway, toward a sitting room seldom used by the king. For all his contemplation, he can never be still for too long; like the sea he is always in motion, however calm. But today he is glad for the space, for the thought of a private, cozy room and a tea and coffee service.

They are nearly arrived when they begin to speak in earnest, golden king to bay. At once Asterion waves away the apology, a shake of his head that settles his tousled forelock over the small star that marks his brow. “I wish you had,” he says with a small, swift grin, and it is a strange, surprising relief he feels talking to another king - someone who could understand. Of course, he has Florentine, but she has been away so long, and anyway it has never been easy for her to be serious, even in meetings.

He finds he is glad Somnus has come, though still he is tense, clench-hearted, until the man speaks again.

At last he releases a sigh he hadn’t known he was holding, and the day seems lighter, warmer, when they step into the sitting room. He is relieved enough that at first only puzzlement crosses his expression like a cloud-shadow when the Dawn King continues. It takes him a moment to conjure an image of Atreus, and no part of him expects the word brother.

Asterion’s eyes gleam with questions, but he does not speak until he settles on a thickly woven rug and a server brings them a silver tray bearing a pot of coffee and hot water and all the makings of tea. Before he reaches for any of it, he regards the older man - though not by much, he thinks - and hopes his smile is near enough to a reassuring hand on the king’s shoulder.

“You needn’t apologize to me. I’m so grateful and glad to hear of Prince Regis’s improvement. I can’t imagine your worry. As for Atreus…I am glad to hear he was a help, but I heard no mention of any ill behavior on anyone’s part, or that you are brothers. I hope - ” here he falters, thinking first of Florentine but then of his long-separated twin, Talia. Of how he had grown beside her, heartbeat to heartbeat, and how the last time they’d met she had threatened to kill him if he went after her. It is a scar that sometimes still itches.

“Well,” he finishes instead, “I am glad all ended well, anyway.”

Only now does he reach for the coffee, though he has only lifted it halfway to his lips, rich steam curling up, before a thought strikes him and he sets the mug back down. “And how is your lovely wife? The wedding was beautiful.” And this time there is no sadness, no wryness, in the smile he wears - it is nothing but joy.












@Somnus






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