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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 306 — Threads: 34
Signos: 3,285
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#1

Isra and the golden apple


Learning to shoot an arrow is like realizing that she has forgotten how to breathe properly.

At first it seems simple-- inhale, pull back, exhale, aim straight and true, inhale, exhale, release. In her dreams it was always easy, like breathing or like loving Eik. She has read all the books she owns on the subject of weaponry. Stories of mares with fire in their eyes and arrows at their shoulders fill the space behind her eyes. Isra knows she has the fire in her eyes, blue and hot enough to singe. Her magic has made the weapon, forged it from the stones of her city blessed once (or so they say) by Caligo. 

The bow feels like moon-fire caught and barely tamed in the grip of her telekinesis. Each time she pulls back and shoots it feels like she should be aiming for the stars instead of the golden apples hanging strangely from a willow tree. Each wicked arrow looks like a shooting star leaving wishes in the black night around her. The moon-light catches on her quiver of arrows and never makes it further than that.

The ground is littered with more arrows than apples. But there are some apples in which an arrow is buried deep into the meaty, golden core.

Isra practices for hours, until her magic is weary of making arrows and her eyes burn like she's gone swimming in the salted sea. Sleep starts to call her name as the dawn starts to rise over the hills. The moon is a dim silver by the time she decides that she's practiced enough. Her arrows never pale, not until they sink to the ground or into an apple core. When she finally lowers her bow the field mice start to make their way across the snow towards the apples she managed to split down the center. Overhead an owl calls and circles.

Life is moving around her, although sometimes when she dreams it feels like life will never move again. Sometimes it feels like all there is now is death.

A sound breaks the silence, a whisper of hoof and snow. She's quick to raise her bow, and the white-fire flickers across the planes of her face like she's made of glass instead of flesh. Her lungs have remembered how breathing works by the time she realizes who has joined her. 

But it's not until she finishes saying, “Ipomoea”, that she lowers the tip of her arrow to the ground. The fire, glowing like the moon, winks out.
  



“She was like a bird for speed, an arrow for directness.” 


@Ipomoea





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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 200 — Threads: 36
Signos: 240
Dawn Court Regent
Male [He/Him/His] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 35 — Atk: 25 — Exp: 67 // Active Magic: Nature Spirit // Bonded: Odet (Stellar's Jay)
#2

IPOMOEA

somedays i am wild child
-- --


M
oonlight was still trickling in through the window when he rose, painting the floor in tones of silver and shadow, shaking the sleep from his body and drawing him into the darkness that awaits him outside. It won’t be long before the dawn chases the stars and moon away, he knew, but for now the night still reigns supreme.

For a long, unsteady moment, he simply stands there in the moonlight, the snow glinting around him like a thousand shattered diamonds. The night is still and cold and silent, and somehow that makes it all the more alive. Wonder and promise stretch in the spaces between heartbeats, tension stretching the air so thin he fears a single breath may snap it like a thread. And yet the wind still creeps in from the ocean, a dancer upon a tightrope who defies both gravity and death with a rhythm.

The grasses press in close around his fetlocks, straining to rise into the air despite the elements. Ipomoea shivers at their touch, but he doesn’t shy away like he once had. They twine about his legs in embrace, braiding their long stalks into ropes that anchor him to the ground, the dry rustling of their movement turning into whispers. A story, a memory, a guide; this way, they tell him, with the image of a sea-kissed unicorn with arrows at her side fresh in his mind. It wasn’t long ago.



He breaks from their grasp, following the trail the queen has left to the lake. When he arrives the sun is rising, its colors melting from the sky into the water’s reflection to frame her silhouette at the lakeside.

She’s quick to hear him, quick to line him up with another one of her arrows, and he wonders idly if she would not have hesitated to loose that quarrel had she not known him.

"Isra," he greets in turn, but he’s not looking at her. Ipomoea is watching the flames dance along the arrowhead that she holds, as she lowers the weapon to the ground. It takes only a second for the fire to extinguish itself, but he can still see its light when he blinks.

The morning seems darker then, without the moon to light the edges of their faces.

"How long has the night queen been practicing?" he asks quietly, stepping over gold and yellow apples. The field mice don’t flinch as he walks amongst them, and he weaves carefully around them. "One might think she’s training to become a soldier, ready to set aside her crown for a bow made of moonlight."

He stops beneath the willow then, picking up one of the discarded apples from the ground. Slowly, almost reverently, he turns the fruit around and around in his grasp, so it revolves in midair.

Then he holds it out towards the unicorn, inches away from his own flesh.




@Ipomoea | "speaks" | notes: <3







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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 306 — Threads: 34
Signos: 3,285
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#3

Isra and the law of love


There is something rising in her until it laps at each rib bone, and each pale tendon, in waves of some emotion she hasn't yet found a name for. When she sleeps it feels like bravery, as if her eyes are two blazing stars looking down at the world and promising never to fade or fall. Sometimes when she walks through her city, and all the horses look at her like she is hope, that rising tide feels like a current of lies ebbing and flowing through her veins where hot blood should be.

And sometimes, sometimes when men look at her and she looks back at them down the line of a glowing arrow--

Sometimes she feels like a god then, like a thing made to consume and consume until there is nothing left. But then she remembers that her heart is still beating with love-love-love more than it's beating with fury-fear-rage, and she softens that hard thing rising against her in waves of freezing salt-water. They say that love is higher than law and it's becoming a little harder each day Raum walks alive to remember that.

Because Isra doesn't want to be love all the time, once maybe but not now.

So she smiles at him, and it's not as shivering and gentle as the look she gave him once so long ago. This time she's not pretending to be anything less dangerous than she is, and she's not pretending that the shadow of massive wings passing over them doesn't make her feel reckless. Instead she's looking at him like a queen looking at another thing that makes her heart beat a little less coldly in her chest (and like she's not sure how that makes her feel). “Until it feels as easy as breathing.” This time when she draws the bow her magic is shaking off its weariness like dead skin. The bow doesn't shine with moon-fire but when the soft dawn sun glints off the tip of her arrow it stings her eyes a little. It makes her smile look brighter, like a slash of silver across a black sky.

“Don't you ever wonder if all crowns come with a little bit of violence?” She inhales and something cold in her eyes, an echo of that rising tidal sea in her chest, begs him not to flinch. With a look she begs him to be brave, to understand that she can still love so many things even when she's drawing an arrow back with precision.

Isra is begging him to understand that something in her is making her a monster, something she sometimes loves.

When she lets the arrow go it flies straight and true towards that apple hanging far too close to his skin. But the sound it makes when it hits still makes her flinch, and she steps back to hide the reaction her soft heart has not learned to hide.



“Here's what breaks us: Even though we know better, we still want everything to be all right.”  



@Ipomoea





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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 200 — Threads: 36
Signos: 240
Dawn Court Regent
Male [He/Him/His] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 35 — Atk: 25 — Exp: 67 // Active Magic: Nature Spirit // Bonded: Odet (Stellar's Jay)
#4

IPOMOEA

somedays i am wild child
-- --


T
he willow switches are dancing in a stray breeze all around, just inches away. They reach for him, their long and flexible fingers grabbing fistfuls of his mane, a tangle of leaves and hair. And then they begin to tighten their grasp, tugging at him as if to say come here, I’ll protect you, imploring him to step away from the apple and the danger Isra’s bow and magic promises.

But he doesn’t. And one by one, the branches slowly fall away, waving at him gently as if to say goodbye.

The arrowhead is sharp, anointed by the morning sun as she lifts it up and aims it for him. Ipomoea does not look at it, he does not let himself worry about how it might feel to have an arrow bury itself into his leg, his chest, his neck. He does not imagine blood trailing down his skin to soak the ground, the willow tree drinking deep of his life.

He looks only at the queen with scales dusting her belly, eyes the color of the sea. And when she inhales he does too, and he tells himself be brave, be brave, don’t look away, be brave…

The arrow strikes flesh with a twang and a mumble, burying itself through that golden core and carrying it away. He can feel the wind it sends across his skin as it flies past, and he shivers just a little. And it does not stop; not until the arrow buries itself within the trunk of the willow tree and stands on end there, quivering, the apple caught somewhere in the middle of it.

And only then does he let his breath out.

His heart is erratic inside of his chest, raging against his ribcage and screaming in his ears, but he pretends to not hear it. He looks down and blinks - once, twice, a third time - and tries not to let her see the relief that soothes the tension from his limbs. He hopes she doesn’t see that he was afraid, that he wasn’t ready for war yet, if only a little bit, if only for a moment.

”Maybe they do,” he says softly when he looks up again, and there’s a ghost of sadness in his gaze when he looks out across the lake. He did not want to believe it, but he was too old now to claim to be naive. He had seen too many things to continue living his life pretending his only worry was how much sun and water his garden got. ”Perhaps there’s a world out there, somewhere, a place where violence isn’t always the answer. If there is, I’d have hope that maybe, someday…”

His voice trails off as he watches a moorhen fly across the water, its reflection mirrored perfectly across the lake’s surface. Its feathers were limned in gold, framed by the dawn light. His own small wings open and close, reaching jealously for the sky, for the flight they would never know. A wan smile, woe and knowing, slips onto his face.

"But what do we fight for, if not for the hope of eventual peace? What do we do if peace is never an option?" he asks her, but he thinks he already knows the answer.




@Isra | "speaks" | notes: <3







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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 306 — Threads: 34
Signos: 3,285
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#5

Isra and the blade that will not rust


It is an easy thing to close the distance once the thud of apple, and arrow, and tree stops echoing in her head like a heartbeat. Isra's not shivering now when she moves close enough to see the way the grass, and the willow reach out like Ipomoea is more sun than horse. She smiles for the sight of it, the way that each blade of nature is content to be around him and nothing more. It makes her wonder, perhaps, if the things around her even want to become 'more'.

And maybe she's too much of the sea to wonder too much about it; because she brushes their shoulders together as she walks towards the arrow and the willow tree and the world around her is already changing. A stalk of rye brushes against her leg once before turning into fountain-grass as violet as the twilight sky. But when she pulls the arrow from the tree the willow stays nothing more than a willow.

Isra thinks that maybe it loves Ipomoea too much to become something else. She can understand the sentiment. Once the sea loved her (and maybe it still does).

“I think every world is the same. It's all violence and hope, like the two together will ever be anything but corrosive. There are few blades that rain will not rust.” Everything rusts, until Isra turns the arrow into a wooden blade. It's redwood and it shines like blood when the morning light catches in the grain. She pulls a switch of willow free from the mother. It becomes a vine when she wraps it around the redwood hilt.

Isra tells herself that the willow loves Ipomoea enough to be willingly remade (and to die).

She holds the blade between her teeth even though she doesn't have to. But it seems right, to feel the way it presses hard and hot against her tongue, before she drops it at the Regent's hooves. It hardly makes a sound when it hits the grass and meadow flowers. “In every world the violence will go on and on. They will call it peace when the smoke starts to clear even while the ashes are still burning. It will never end--” There is no woe in her smile when she pauses, only knowing, only ferocity.

“Until everyone like us learns to say that is enough.” She touches her nose to his and she can smell roses on his skin, roses and sunlight. There is no need for her to wonder what her pwn skills smells like. It's always been darkness and cobwebs, moonlight and brine. “And then we accept that we might die for it.” She inhales again just to remember for once last time the way spring should smell. 

“Will you say the words with me?”, she asks, even though she hopes she already knows his heart.

Fable dives into the lake, like the words are too much for him to hear. But Isra does not need to turn from Ipomoea's face to know that the ripples of water are rushing out over the shore like it is made of slate instead of bloom.


“And, most important, you are a fearsome thing to behold in your own right.”  



@Ipomoea





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