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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 62 — Threads: 10
Signos: 0
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




TIGER TIGER BURNING BRIGHT, IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT; WHAT IMMORTAL HAND OR EYE, COULD FRAME THY FEARFUL SYMMETRY? IN WHAT DISTANT DEEPS OR SKIES, BURNT THE FIRE OF THINE EYES? ON WHAT WINGS DARE HE ASPIRE, WHAT THE HAND, DARE SEIZE THE FIRE? AND WHAT SHOULDER, AND WHAT ART, COULD TWIST THE SINEWS OF THY HEART? AND WHEN THY HEART BEGAN TO BEAT, WHAT DREAD HAND, AND WHAT DREAD FEET? 

There was a quiet routine to the dance, one that reminded her so very much of battle. She cleaned her skin, dampened her face—stared into a polished mirror in the readying room, where she could see the dark crimson of her eyes. Adrenaline coursed through her, nervous and knotting in her stomach, her throat, and it made her hyperaware. 

They painted her skin with metallic paints, just as her people had once done with gold—gold, always, for war. For the dances, they covered her face with it; they coated her white blaze in shades of gold, copper, silver. They lengthened her mane by braiding it with bright copper ribbons, ribbons, ribbons that would flutter and snap like guidons in the brisk sea-brought wind. 

Yes, the longer she stared, both the more and less she recognized herself. What was this flashy thing, she might have thought, with the ribbons dangling to one side, long and silken. Her face was bright and dark all at once, responsive to light but oppressive, somehow, of her face’s true shape. Her eyes stood out in stark relief—and they were all blood, blood, blood. 

Her people had danced. It was where she had learned. They had danced for Oreszi, their dark island god, the god of the land, the god that kept the sea at bay. They had danced for victory over the Khashran; for dominance over the sea; and their dances were dark, violent dances with children dressed as wolves, lions, and tigers. Dances not so different from battle; dances intended to teach the young how to fight with the intensive discipline dance could engrain. 

Her guide of gypsy-like performers stoked the fires by the stage; the hall filled with the odor of woodsmoke, and Boudika breathed it in as it wafted beneath the door, into the readying room. She had heard there was a dancer in Denocte that could devour fire—and a part of herself felt threatened by such a concept, because she could not devour flame… But each and every one of her dances was derived from some lifelike memory, a battle. Upon cliff-sides, upon the sea’s edge, on volcanic sand. 

The time passed—other dancers entered and existed the room, and the tribal, beating music began. Boudika closed her eyes and absorbed it—it was like a heartbeat, almost. The magic of art, she had learned, was how it possessed itself—haunting, perpetual, even if ephemeral. The heartbeat resounded in her hooves, up her legs, into her chest, into her blood—and by then she had become it, swaying, her mind brimming with a thousand conflicting thoughts. The sea, crashing against the cliff, bellowing beastly challenge toward the land—the first time she had seen a Khashran, as a foal, offered to it by her father—the second time, when she was much older, the horse far away on a beach, running more quickly and more beautifully than anything she had ever known, and now the beats of it hooves on the sand, sending up a misty spray of saltwater, those hoof-beats were now matching the music of the present, bam-ba—bam—ba

It was time for her to dance. Boudika stood, anointed in oils, covered in her metallic paints, looking not beautiful but fierce, the beauty of a tigress, the beauty of a blade. She passed a series of dancers as they exited the stage, but said nothing—the music, the music, it had changed, and the beat of it was primordial, the songs belonging to a distant land of primitive fear, before fire mastery, before stone masonry, when the world was even more unforgiving. This was the stage Boudika entered, a thing too elevated for such beastly melodies. 

Boudika kept her head down—and the ribbons fluttered and danced about her face, about her shoulder they streamed. The firelight danced against her dark body and every muscle stood out in stark relief. She was a corded, terrifying thing—a slick coat that glistened with paint and oil, she was all at once dissolving into the surrounding darkness and being lit, both consumed and insurmountable. 

The acoustic began, a violinist that weaved amidst the drums in a halting, rising, falling keen. The drums… the drums, suddenly much fiercer, much more frantic. 

Boudika began to dance. 

It was the only time in Denocte she felt more than a shadow, was on this fire-lit stage, was possessed by a music similar to that of her homeland, of all the things she loved and hated. The passion animated her decorated body so that it transcended her mortal sphere—the paint, the glistening oil, the flashing, spiralling, whiplike ribbons, they animated her beyond her war-torn mane, beyond her war-torn eyes, and her impassioned, fiery, violent dance brought such turbulent fancies back to life.

The first class she had had on killing, at the academy, had ended with the instructor chastising her for her too muchness. The other children did not wish to spar with her, because Boudika did simply practice through the moves. She lived them, as though with the intent to kill even then, in class, rolling and tumbling with colt-like inelegance. It was what had one day made her an excellent fighter; she was creative, ingenious, fearless, complete. Boudika did nothing halfway, nothing lazily—and this showed now, in her swirling, her violent rearing, the way the drums and violin screamed, contested, reached a fever pitch—

and ended with the abrupt finality of death. Boudika came crashing down from a leaping rear, ribbons flying, half her body in shadow and half in bright, inescapable light—her front hooves hit the stage with a definitive clamour, sharper than a gunshot, and her head bowed in a mess of streaming ribbons. 

The clapping began and Boudika, her flanks heaving in heavy breaths, bowed her head once again, and exited the stage. 

——

Later, the fervour had not left her. It was not often she visited the bar at the back of the dancing hall, but she did that night. The ribbons had been removed from her mane, leaving it short and Spartan. The paint, too, had been mostly removed—except for where it clung, stubbornly, in indiscriminate locations. Her cheek, beneath one eye, smearing her chin, the crook of her neck, a shoulder—there was no telling, where. 

The bartender was surprised to see her, and said as much, but he brought her a drink were she sat quietly in the corner. There were other performers entering and exiting the stage in a grand flurry of activity, a transiency marking each performance with both beauty and melancholy. This life was of such different severity for Boudika and, staring at the stage, her heart laid out there somewhere, she could not help the sardonic smile that briefly grazed her lips—oh, the liquor burned, and she felt alive.

But never as alive as she had felt with teeth at her throat, or the sea at her hooves. 

WHAT THE HAMMER, WHAT THE CHAIN, IN WHAT FURNACE WAS THY BRAIN? WHAT THE ANVIL? WHAT DEAD GRASP, DARE ITS DEADLY TERRORS CLASP! WHEN THE STARS THREW DOWN THEIR SPEARS AND WATER’D HEAVEN WITH THEIR TEARS: DID HE SMILE HIS WORK TO SEE? DID HE WHO MADE THE LAMB MAKE THEE? TIGER TIGER BURNING BRIGHT, IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT; WHAT IMMORTAL HAND OR EYE, DARE FRAME THY FEARFUL SYMMETRY? 


(image credits here)



@Minya





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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 23 — Threads: 3
Signos: 5
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 5 [Year 499 Summer] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 0 — Exp: 17 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#2

MINYA

take that look from off your face
you ain't gunna burn my heart out


She had watched the girl dance. The creature who looked and moved and danced like a tiger. There was no prey for her here, no deer or antelope she could strike beneath her javelin leaps and dagger lunges. Yet she stole the breath from the crowd. Her every move was sharp, dangerous, it was teeth closing about their throats. Ah, a hunter moved amongst them and they held her upon the stage, they pinned her with lights that made her skin gleam ever brighter, ever more glowing than the sunset orange that blazed angrily from her muscled sides.
 
Oh she made the crowd her prey and the fires burn in their lungs until they could not breath. Each of them watch her from where they hide like rabbits in the dark. Oh they watch her and think of how she is grace, how she is beauty and they pray that her eyes of glittering gold do not alight upon them.
 
Minya watches as alcohol burns in her veins and in her throat. Yes she is fire, yes she is the girl to swallow flames down into nothingness. She smiles the wicked glow of sparks that laugh as they leap for cloth and for skin. This lavish girl is a reckless creature, she strikes with her forked tongue and moves, not as a serpent, but as fire does, skipping, dancing hissing her way across the floor. She is sin and she is glory.
 
But Boudika stops, crashing down upon her stage in finale. She stays crouched as a hunter over her kill. Ribbons fall like blood, rippling down, down from the lights that turn them into rivers running red. They tangle and ooze upon the stage and Minya’s lips are a line of glass cut thin like diamonds, like rubies.
 
The Scarab girl moves, this creature of ash and steel… she moves like mercury spilled. She cuts with the glittering silver of her gaze. Slowly she casts it across the floor until, oh, it settles upon a hunter. The beat of drums are still resounding in the silk of her heart. It frays at her blood and her bones are percussion to its warrior cry.
 
Where are her ribbons? Where is the paint that smeared like the ravages of war across her face? Where is the creature that danced like death and enchanted with leonine grace? Boudika is the lion resting beneath the arms of a tree. Shade draws its shadows in and there, smudged like blood, like a phantom of her dark dance, is a bruise of paint darkening her eye.
 
Her ribbons she leaves behind, along with her hair but her wicked gaze she keeps and into it Minya steps. The fire girl is a flame that dares a lion. She is a torch made to fight back the night. Light falls upon the electric of her hair, it is poison pink, it is acid brighter than bright. It is a lustrous gown that paints her regal, but at night, at night, when even the Scarab moves to sleep, she steals away to feel sand upon her skin, stars in her eyes and set fire at her lips.
 
And oh that smile she gives Boudika now is the hiss of flame; it is the spark danger. Yet Minya is not made for weapons and fighting. She is silk and beauty and the endless lure of a fitful night. Liquor is gold in her glass and, listen close now, hear how even her glass still sings with a tribe’s hypnotic chant!
 
Beneath a wash of ebony lashes, Minya gazes at the girl and smiles like sin and the sweetest poison. Oh she may not fight, but her tongue is sharp, it is a weapon forged.
 
“That was a good performance.” She sings in flames and silk and ice cold lips. Each word is spun in moonlight beautiful, delicate, cold and deceptive.
 
Never has a girl so snide been so utterly beautiful.



@Boudika| "speaks" | notes: eee <3
rallidae





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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 62 — Threads: 10
Signos: 0
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




HERE ARE GIRLS LIKE LIONS. HERE ARE GIRLS LIKE HOWLING WOLVES. HERE ARE GIRLS WITH SUCH BIG TEETH! HERE ARE GIRLS WHO'LL PLAY TUG O' WAR WITH YOUR HEART OR YOUR WISHBONE OR YOUR THROAT, OH. OH, HERE ARE GIRLS WITH BRIGHT EYES AND CLAWS LIKE DRAGONS. HERE ARE GIRLS WHO CAN'T BREATHE AIR, ONLY FIRE.

The first thing Boudika noticed about the fire girl was the colour of her hair—electric, tantalising, and unreal. There was something about it that seemed to belong to a storybook, unique even for the strange standard of Novus. From that alone, Boudika identified her—the fire dancer, the dancer who Boudika had been told can swallow flame. The dancer with pink hair and scarlet horns, adorned in trinkets. Boudika, now plain, felt strangely out of place even in her own guild, at her own bar. Her flat was one floor above her, where she slept secluded in a small room. There was a smile on the other mare’s mouth, but Boudika did not match it—she simply observed, quietly, waiting for the moment the other woman chose to speak.

That was a good performance. Boudika had never heard a compliment sound so insulting and for a moment, just a moment, it disarmed her. “Thank you,” she replied, stiffly, and took a drink. The fever of her performance vanished abruptly. As it was, the fever she felt was a fickle elation that she rarely found the time or means to enjoy much longer than the initial performance. But the quick way it vanished, abruptly, so easily frightened… it left Boudika feeling more hollow than usual.

Again, her eyes were on the luxurious mane, the sparkling eyes. Boudika knew she was not beautiful in a conventional means but there, sitting at a bar, her mind became her own worst enemy. It was one thing to know it, and another to see it in comparison, next to someone who appeared so naturally to be a dancer, or performer. Boudika was fierce; she was graceful; she was muscular; she was commanding. But none of those things equated beauty in the natural sense; no. Boudika found her beauty made others want to conquer her, or squelch the fire in her eye, or skin her hide. Her beauty incited violence because it was not beauty: it was primal, as a mountain, or a forest. And what did people wish to do with those things? Those sentiments equated to violence, powerlessness, unpredictability; they wanted to climb, to cut, to understand that which could not be understood. Boudika wanted to leave the conversation there; she turned her face away, she took another drink.

But Boudika used to have very long hair, and she remembered this with a sudden sharpness. The memory had been suppressed for many years. It had been her one pride, her one distinguishing factor, and in a secret part of her heart, it had been because it was her only claim to femininity. It had been because, glorious and silken, she could imagine herself as unhidden… despite it being tightly braided and kept back for battles and training, despite the fact the other boys wore their manes similarly. Then, one day, her father heard a comment about his son with the long mane; he heard a comment about the femininity of it; and he called her home from the academy for the weekend, and cut it with savage austerity. “You do not get to be beautiful,” he had said, cold, clipped, as the brilliant copper locks fell in ringlets to the ground and Bondike stood, silent and disciplined. It was a matter of sacrifice, she had thought. It is a matter of privilege, she had thought. And her father said, softening only slightly, “You do not get to give them a reason to doubt you.”

Boudika sipped at the edge of her glass, suddenly feeling the fierceness renewed. Beautiful women had always unsettled her, perhaps because she had never had the opportunity to be one. She had never socialised with them. Before Novus, her society had kept her utterly segregated—and this came to her with sudden clarity. That, in a nd of itself, was a certain strength. Men were worse. Men would always be worse. She had heard them debase a woman to mere body parts; objectifying them into a state of completely vulnerability. She had seen what they were capable of, and snide words would never compare.

”You’re the fire dancer,” Boudika stated, turning more fully to address her. ”Impressive. How does one learn a skill, like that?” Boudika’s words were not sharp; simply candidly conversational. Her brow cocked, and internally her stomach writhed as though full of snakes. But she knew, she looked fierce. She knew she was no master of words, no master of social etiquette, but there was one thing the world had never taken from her, and Orestes had said it best:

She was a lion. And something, existing brightly within her crimson gaze, offered a sharp challenge.

HERE ARE GIRLS WHO CARRY KINDNESS AND KATANAS IN THEIR RUCKSACKS BECAUSE THEY NEVER KNOW WHICH THEY'LL NEED. HOW DO YOU TAME GIRLS WITH WILDFIRE LIMBS? HOW DO YOU HOLD DOWN GIRLS WITH HURRICANE HANDS? OH, YOU CAN'T. HUMBLE HUNGERER, YOU'VE JUST GOT TO HELP THEM RISE.


(image credits here)



@Minya





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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 23 — Threads: 3
Signos: 5
Night Court Entertainer
Female [She/her/hers] // 5 [Year 499 Summer] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 0 — Exp: 17 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4

MINYA

take that look from off your face
you ain't gunna burn my heart out


Gold. Within her glass, upon her lips it paints and gleams and chinks in chains that hang from her crimson antlers. Antlers that shine as silk and glitter like a crown studded with gems. Gold is the liquid that pours like an elixir down her throat. Gold is the drink that pools in her stomach and burns her throat.
 
Copper is the flesh that gleams upon the leonine girl that watches Minya drink. Ah, yes, Minya is the fire dancer. Still she feels the lick of flame across her skin, still she feels the edges of her cold heart soften, but never melt. All of her is soft and warm. Every inch of this girl is pliable silk beneath the lights and glittering gold of the White Scarab. All of her is warm sand and real smiles as she dances in bells and frayed cloth in the bottom of the dustbowl desert. In her ears are the rattle of carts, even as her gems chime their lavish overlay tune.
 
Her soul shudders with longing for day, yet she turns her gaze with a wicked smile upon the lioness. Claws are in her skin, they dig deep, they taunt her with pain and remind her of the lioness’ dance. From beneath her heaves lashes, dusted with gems, she stares the stranger down with lunar eyes, midnight cold.
 
“Of course.” She answers, shifting, the dim lights lighting upon her scarab tattoo. It gleams bright and lavish at the top of her thigh. Eyes are upon her, they lick like flames across her skin. Their heat warms her flesh, ghosting as this night’s fires had.
 
She takes a breath, incense and alcohol full. Her stone skin gleams, it ripples like lava. A smile curls at her lips and now she is the leonine one with a mouth as sharp as fangs and a tongue eager for first blood. “In Solterra.” The fire-girl muses. “Where flames are at their hottest.” Slowly she lifts her gaze, as if coy, but of when they settle upon Boudika’s red, it is only blood that flows between them. “I can show you one day if you would like?” Insincerity dances slow and toying between them. It laughs in the edges of Minya’s tightly drawn lips. It resonates in her bones that still resound with the tribal beat of a lioness’ music.
 
“It won’t burn, much.”



@Boudika| "speaks" | notes: eee <3
rallidae




@Boudika| "speaks" | notes: eee <3
rallidae





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