Novus
Hello, Guest! Register

Private  - to hear you call me companion

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)



Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 77 — Threads: 12
Signos: 175
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 8 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1

WERE I IF I COULD, I WOULD ERASE YOUR ARMOUR RIGHT WHERE YOU STAND, BURNISHED HEAD TO HEEL BY SUN, A VERITABLE GOD. I WOULD TAKE THE SPEAR AND RETURN THE LYRE, but i can only stare at your golden back as you march off to the dance of war--

Boudika was angry, but it more; much more, than just anger. It was the kind of rage that closely resembled both desperation and grief and changed colour like a chameleon, blending one moment to one sentiment and then the next to the other. It was a rage that struck her to the core, wordless and strange. It was a rage that altered her very disposition, transforming her from sullen and brooding into a hurricane, a creature with flushed skin, disheveled hair, blood-shot and exhausted eyes. Oh, how she wished to be a force of nature; the very sort of think that wrecked indiscriminately, a force of fate and fight, unrestricted by the confines of mortal space or morality. Boudika wanted to be a storm and then, like a storm, she wanted to dissolve.

The injustice of this was the world did not reflect her tumultuous state. Instead, a placid serenity covered Denocte. Snow, an expansive blanket of white, encompassed the breadth of the territory. It was silent, aside the resolute crunching of her hooves as they broke through the crusted surface of the snow. It was at least a foot deep in most places, as a storm had covered the land the night before—a blizzard, even, that dusted the few trees in snow and ice. Last night, during her restless slumber and unfavored dreams, Denocte decided to refer her later mood of fury.  Perhaps there was irony there; perhaps something she could discern, had she the mind to do it. Perhaps. But there was no reason to discover that irony, when she was awake and furious. Her run had been hindered to the point it had become a walk. Thus she trudged, resolutely and with simmering rage, toward the mountain range.

It had been weeks, or months, since she had arrived on Novus—beaten by the sea, bruised and chaffed by salt and iron bonds. She had awoken somewhere on the Solterra coast and wandered until she met the old stallion, telling her of courts. Solterra had been too similar to her homeland; too brazen; too harsh. Boudika shunned those ideals, now, despite her boiling blood. So she chose, instead, to become a dancer.

That thought came tinged with bitterness. A dancer, chimed her thoughts. As though you have any right to be a dancer. She knew what blood tasted like. How it looked at it congealed, sanguine and dark, on a battle-torn beach. 

But those were not even her dreams, as of late. Her dreams were of Vercingetorix, with his dark head and alabaster body, dappled in glimmering, semi-translucent gold. She thought of him with his smile, with his soft whispers, with the way he had called her brother in a way more intimate than the word had any right becoming. You are my brother, he had said during the long days and nights when Bondike—not Boudika—had tended him. 

Brother, brother, brother. 

And then, when his feelings kindled for her--or him, as Boudika had been then, disguised always as Bondike--then, he was companion, and the word Vercingetorix used was full of love, a synonym, even, for a warrior who could not bring himself to say the sentiment. 

Boudika fumed. Boudika hated. She was so much a companion he betrayed her when her love came to light and, with it, her identity. Vercingetorix had shunned her—sudden vinegar and salt, a cruelty Boudika had always believed belonged only to enemies. 

Those were her thoughts as she climbed the mountains. Those were her thoughts as her muscles strained and her breath fogged the air and the frost froze to the winter-long fur on her chest and legs. Boudika was partaking on an odyssey. She thought, if only she could get far enough from the sea… if only she could surmount some obstacle, greater than she had ever known… then she would be free of him and his heavy ghost, all that it represented. He was in the back of her mind as an oppressive, vindictive shadow. He loomed like her island's devil, a cruel pagan thing, which whispered her transgressions. You were a woman among men. You pretended to be something you were not. You pretended to be good enough. And the cruelty, there, was that she had been. She had captured the Prince of a Thousand Tides. She had bound him for Oresziah--and they had banished her, sentenced her to death, sworn her away as an enemy against them.

All because of something she could not change. All because she was a general's daughter, rather than a son. 

The hours passed and the sun grew warm on her back, but did not melt the snow, nor Vercingetorix's shadow. She climbed the treacherous mountains until she found a cliffside and could see the whole of Denocte and then, and only then, did she begin to scream her rage. 

“Speaking.”
credits






Reply




Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 158 — Threads: 24
Signos: 315
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 37 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#2



live by the sword
die by the sword





The outer darkness turns to light. Marisol does not follow suit.

Against the bright snow and the piercing blue, it is wonderfully impossible for her to be unseen. She is umber and coal, perfectly dark, woefully strong, and the bristle of her close-cropped hair makes a kind of smile against the cloudless sky; lean and toughly built, it is not with trepidation or fear that she picks her way across the slopes but a hard, overwhelming determination, even as the wind scrapes its blunt teeth over her skin. It is a relief to feel the sharp aliveness of brittle-cold breeze building in her lungs.

She could not be sure, until now, that the past few weeks were even real.

In her head, all the tumultuous recent past is one soft, steel-colored blur, marked in some places by blood, or deep night, or loving bites; even then the waypoints rush past and slip through her memory like water; but here the air is clear and bright and cold, and it stings in her nostrils just enough to shake her to wakefulness, and for the first time in a long time the world is dreadfully, beautifully silent but for the crunch of Marisol’s narrow hooves in the crystal snow and the high, sweet song of birds overhead.

They dip and twist in the air without a worry. Their little wings flutter against the clouds with furious speed until it is impossible to tell where they are trying to go,  only that they are cavorting not in fear, but in joy. Head tilted to the sky, throat-open, Marisol watches and envies. The jealous crashing in her chest is not a stranger. Her own wings itch and shudder, as if asking to be let free - but she is no more than a body made of wings, terrifying at best, crippled at worst, and to let them go would be to die.

Or to fail. They are equally enticing. Which is to say, not at all.

This particular cliffside is unfamiliar to her. Marisol does not much leave Terrastella, and when she does it is with some amount of trepidation, but she is not stupid enough to leave Denocte unwatched in a time like this. Her years of clambering across the cliffs in Prastigia give her a little bit of confidence, at least. It is with long, nimble legs and weight balanced with aching carefulness over her hips that she climbs and climbs and climbs the cliffside, testing little crags and drop-offs against her weight, sloughing through the still-damp snow and the howling breeze.

It is the breeze, then, that alerts her to the stranger’s presence.

At first Marisol thinks it is a trick of the wind or the winter, that the snow is trying to turn her away from the very top of the mountain. She thinks that her brain has finally deceived her. That it has cracked under the unwholesome pressure of crisis. But no, the scream continues. It even grows louder as the Commander forces her stride to continue, and it is as she passes the hurdle of a particularly obtrusive boulder that she realizes the sound is not a what but a who. 

She slows, then stops.

Her skin shudders unconsciously against the cold that sets in as her blood starts to slow.

The girl on the cliff is howling with rage. It is a feral sound that makes the already-sharp bristle of Marisol’s mane stand up straighter, a rabid, snarling kind of scream so perfect and so pure she wonders if it will ever learn how to stop. She is so startled by it she does not even have the good sense to ready the spear at her side. But something - something more than surprise, even - holds her in place a few yards away, utterly still and totally in awe.

Marisol is hearing the scream she has held in for years.

credits





[Image: ddg6quy-9d15dab5-339c-4b09-8b57-20a99fda...jvUop12efQ]

Reply




Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 77 — Threads: 12
Signos: 175
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 8 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3

WERE I IF I COULD, I WOULD ERASE YOUR ARMOUR RIGHT WHERE YOU STAND, BURNISHED HEAD TO HEEL BY SUN, A VERITABLE GOD. I WOULD TAKE THE SPEAR AND RETURN THE LYRE, but i can only stare at your golden back as you march off to the dance of war--

There were no birds to scatter, no leaves to fall. The might of her guttural scream—oh, it was as sweet as it was caustic—was not enough to alter the world around her. That, in and of itself, seemed like a beautiful metaphor for the incomprehensible, tyrannical, colossal feeling of her life. It simply fuelled her fury. Here was Boudika’s everything. Here, in Boudika’s rising, lonely howl, was her everything; every effort of her years reaching a feverish pitch, summiting the summit, more raw than flesh.

Here was her dejected walk through the cobbled road of Oresziah during the storm, as she was sentenced to death. The crowd, jeering. The names, oh, the names. They stripped her of everything she had ever been, of every title she had ever held—and called her, worst of all, girl. No longer the general’s son. No longer the defeater of the Prince of Tides. No longer the cadet, the lieutenant, the brother, the companion. No. The girl.

The scream was a roar.

Here was her year of imprisonment, with the most lovely creature she had ever met, whom in meeting she had condemned.

Teetering, rising, higher, higher—

Here was her father’s death, leaving her utterly alone in the world.

And dropping, deep, guttural.

Here, more than anything, was Vercingtorix.

The scream tapered—grew coarse—and ended.

This was the wound that did not bleed, the wound that existed forever within her, as abysmal as the sea. It was hopeless and profound; but more deeply intrinsic than any other aspect of her soul. If she were iron, she had been smelted and reformed to a new shape. The content remained the same, the very ore of her being, but everything else… was different. More than anything, she wanted to reverse everything—she wanted to take her declaration of love back, she wanted to save it—

She breathed in, preparing to continue, but her eyes caught the sea.

Even from here, she could see it. And Boudika knew she could not escape it. None of it.

There was no summit that would end the torture; no odyssey that would rewrite her history. At this distance, Terminus Sea was hazy, made indistinct by ozone and atmosphere. Blue, blue, blue—the type of blue that one could be lost in. From this distance, there was nothing savage or brutal about it, and Boudika would have laughed at the sheer audacity of the sea. She had never known something so beautiful and so horrific; and she thought of the water horse she had met here, his promise. I could Make you, the words that haunted her. Would it be possible, she wondered, to slough off her former life and choose the shape she must now exist in?

Boudika sighed, deeply, exhausted—and she turned her head. In doing so, she caught a flash of brown that did not belong to the rest of the scenery, and she started. Until that point, she had been utterly unaware of Marisol’s presence. Not knowing how long the other mare had been present, Boudika felt a rush of both rage and embarrassment. The moment had been private. Boudika’s crimson eyes narrowed, and a muscle in her face twitched with the rage renewed—directed, dangerously, at this observing stranger.

Rather than act on it, she exhaled through her nostrils in a sharp snort. “I hope this isn’t your go-to, hell-bent screaming spot, and I’ve imposed.” Her father’s voice, unbidden, came to her—reminding that, in times of anger, to breathe. Boudika focused on three deep inhalations and exhalations, reeling in her emotions. They had scattered, more ambivalent than a herd of many anxious deer. “If you would like to give it a try, it’s very therapeutic.” She could not quite contain her sarcasm, but even that had sense of authenticity.

“Speaking.”
credits






Reply




Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 158 — Threads: 24
Signos: 315
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 37 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#4



live by the sword
die by the sword






The girl on the cliff is something strange and terrifying that Marisol recognizes intimately — the personification of the rage that builds in her like bloodlust. For a brief moment, she is totally caught off-guard. The scream still rings in her ears. The wind howls past them, cold and brusque, and the combination of the fear and the breeze nearly knocks her off her feet. But she is nothing if not stubborn, and so instead of turning away, Mari raises her head against the chill and watches the stranger with cool, dark eyes, both careful and curious to a fault.

They are… opposites, almost. Where the Commander is nothing more than dark and plain, this stranger is burnished in deep red and perfect white; two long, thin horns spiral from her forehead, and her tail is that of a unicorn’s; she is made for attack and Marisol is made for strategy, the wings on her back a genetic neon warning for I could run. The stranger is pretty in the way of all feral things, her beauty innately tied to the bright burning in her eyes that calls for blood. Respectable. More than that, understandable. In a perfect mirror Marisol might look almost the same. 

She doesn’t miss the way that Boudika’s face twitches in aggravation (though from here it is only a millisecond of movement). But what is there to apologize for? How could Marisol have known that this particularly barren plot of land would be hosting the human embodiment of rage? (Is that how her cadets feel about her?) The Commander pulls her shoulders back, a little defensive. She blows a plume of warm white air from her nostrils, more a huff than an exhale, and tries to reel in the desperate desire to ask the first question.

Far behind them, the ocean roils in a gauzy curtain of deep and smoky blue. Marisol misses it like she misses her old name, like she misses the old taste of blood, the watchdog inside of her that snarls and tears at her heart. It’s been a long time — far too long, eons too long — since Marisol has gotten into a proper fight. The desire gnaws at her with dull, insistent teeth from a place deep under her skin. Like a bug simply hellbent on itching her to madness. If you’d like to  give it a try, the stranger says, and Marisol almost, almost smiles.

Oh, if only she knew. 

She fishes briefly for an answer. Trust me, comes the begrudging response, I know. She blinks serenely. There is a momentary flicker of humor in the Commander’s tone and the sharp lines of her face. And it’s not. I don’t come here often. It seems like you do?
credits





[Image: ddg6quy-9d15dab5-339c-4b09-8b57-20a99fda...jvUop12efQ]

Reply




Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 77 — Threads: 12
Signos: 175
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 8 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5

WERE I IF I COULD, I WOULD ERASE YOUR ARMOUR RIGHT WHERE YOU STAND, BURNISHED HEAD TO HEEL BY SUN, A VERITABLE GOD. I WOULD TAKE THE SPEAR AND RETURN THE LYRE, but i can only stare at your golden back as you march off to the dance of war--


If the conditions were different, Boudika would recognise the other woman for what she was much more quickly. Despite all the unfamiliarity of Novus, one thing remains unerringly the same: the military is the military is the military. Irregardless of branch or sect, Day Court or Night Court, Dawn or Dusk, a rigid discipline and soldierly aura occupies members of “soldiering class”. It is more apparent in this pegasus than many others, even as Boudika whirls on her with all the fury of a tigress cornered. The air steams out of their nostrils, creating small clouds. Perhaps they are little more than atmosphere, this high in the mountains. Those semi-opaque clouds drift and disappear between them, and Boudika’s hot fury is met by a cool, weapon-sharp and weapon-grey gaze. Marisol is made of mountain crags. She is wings and dark, dark, dark earth with blooming red hips, lips, and those wings again. 

Boudika takes a few long moments to assess her new companion. The answers are there in the close-cropped mane and the hard-lined physique that suggest not just toil, but years of disciplined physical training. Boudika knows this, because her frame reflects similar discipline. It is there in the sharpness of their faces, the tautness of their brows, the confident set of their shoulders and necks. Boudika’s eyes narrow and her anger simmers into embarrassment. Of course. Out of all of Novus’ occupants, the one that finds her screaming atop a mountain had to be a soldier. Her throat burns. Boudika recognises the tears as they swell, but do not fall. She recognises the sting it takes to hold them back. Because what had she always been taught? What had been the basis of her education? Discipline. And here she was, loosing it, and it was to easy for her to list the long sum of men she had just disappointed in her expressive weakness. Thank the gods, Boudika thinks, with a tinge of seething bitterness. That they are all dead or as good as dead.

“No,” Boudika’s answer is curt and immediate. “This is my first time here.”  

Then she lets the silence grow, and drag. Heavy between them. Her eyes are hard, and there is a part of her that echos Marisol’s unspoken sentiment: yes, she would love a fight. She would love a physical entity to vent her frustrations on. She would like the dig her teeth into flesh and forget everything but copper and iron. But too quickly her mind fills with the repercussions of such a vice: and there are bodies, and there is Orestes, and there is the pit-fall wrongness of what have I done

So the silence stays silence, until she speaks again. 

“What court are you?” 

Boudika wonders if she really cares. She wonders if it means anything. Really, it doesn’t, to her. But she asks it anyway, hoping that by playing a part of Courts with Kings and Queens it will make her feel a little more grounded, a little more belonging. She turns from the cliffside, from the edge, and in the back of her mind her scream continues to resound. You pretended to be good enough and now she is a hollow thing, full of that scream, afraid of her own thoughts of violence. “You’re a soldier.” It is not a question, and she does not know why she says it, only that she does. And her eyes are almost accusatory. They do not betray her earlier pinprick of tears. They do not betray the yawning chasm of her heart that beats like a hollow drum and aches, aches, aches to scream again, to scream I used to be one, too.

But now she is only a dancer, who dances to war-songs. 

Now she is only… only… what? 

And she cannot finish the sentence. In the absence of an answer, she feels the winter's cold for the first time. 


“Speaking.”
credits






Reply





Forum Jump: