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Private  - with ash in your mouth, you'll ask it to burn again;

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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)
#1

asterion*





It’s easy to lose track of time as his vigil continues on the shore. 

Especially now that the black cloud has swallowed up the sun, casting them all into a muted darkness. Even the sea is holding its breath; the tide has gone out and all is still, no sound but the waves. All the birds have flown away (and the crabs and the clams, too, thanks to Isra’s magic) and still Asterion waits, sure of nothing. 

At first there had been the shock of it, and the fierce surging of his heart and magic, so certain that he would fight, would overcome. But there is still nothing that he can do battle with. The mountain of ash, split occasionally by lightning, remains far out to sea, with only occasional flakes of gray alighting on the beach like snow lost and dark. Now the only movement is from the other horses, who come to bear witness with the same roil of feelings that churned like whitecaps in his own heart. For the most part they all keep the silence of a cathedral, as though the billowing of death is only another offering of incense and destruction for their gods. 

But there is one who comes, darker than even the soot-black sky, that Asterion turns to like a supplicant. 

After the secret she has bared to him, the king’s heart closes like a fist to see Leto upon the beach, where the waves reach for her but die away. It begs for her to flee, to leave her death behind on this silent beach, and yet something in him strengthens to see the shine of her moon-silver eyes, to hear her bells break the silence with their defiant ringing. He wonders what star she might call down from that black cloud of ash, and whether it could burn away the smoke; he wonders what else she might know, given by the whispering of bones and runes. 

And when the Ilati girl turns back inland, to the mangroves and the mire and the swamp, the bay stallion follows. 

It is a comfort, to at last turn away from that terrible horizon. Still the king takes a glance back over his shoulder before vanishing between the dark-leaved mangroves; it is a relief when they close behind him, whispering cool over his skin. As he winds further and further in and the scent of salt and brine gives way to leaf and earth, as the birdsong returns, he can almost pretend it is normal - save for the darkness that hangs overhead, muting the shadows, making a held breath of the world. 

When he catches up to her, at first he only finds her by the gleam of her eyes, the shine and sound of her bells. Though he knows she must be aware of him - despite his years in Terrastella he has yet to move graceful as a deer through her landscape - he says nothing, only watches her work, gathering up bones. He wonders if any of the runes carved deep into the bark of ancient trees tell tales of such horror as is now being born; he wonders if such stories would matter. For a moment he almost smiles, wry and strange, to think of how he once saw Novus as a fairytale world, all castles and kings. 

After a stretch of time (how much? he cannot say - it is as meaningless to him now as it must be to Florentine) he crosses to her, solemn, as though it is a temple floor and not a forest carpeted by leaf and moss and still, slow water. Asterion is careful not to touch, but his eyes are luminous even in the dim, a well of questions and wonders and fears. 

“Will you tell me what they say?” he asks at last, low. 






@Leto  










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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 36 — Threads: 2
Signos: 5
Dusk Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Starfire // Bonded: N/A
#2



This keening soul;


The world is wicked and wild and it laughs as she runs. The moon creeps out from behind the volcano’s smoke, and she is a wide-eyed doe before the glare of the encroaching sun.
 
Far, far below Leto is streaked in ash and shadow. Darkness and light are paint upon her flesh. They strip her and mark her as she flies beneath unending boughs of ancient trees. As if she were the sinner and they the jeering crowd, they whip her as she runs between them. They spill red upon her skin and shout faster! with their whip-crack voices.
 
Water sprays up the wild girl’s limbs, fine as sand. Then trickles down her legs as if she is cut more and her blood is mud-blood; Leto, the water declares, is not a creature of stars but earth and stone. The dank waters are raven black against the ebony of her skin. They glow blue but she is darker still. She is the black of nightmares where no light dares to go… Leto is blacker than black but her magic awakens and it is light that can. Oh, it is glowing bright, bright as illuminates the swamp, lighting up shadows drifting beneath the waters – catching eyes between cathedral trees.
 
The stars above are open mouths. They are endless teeth parted in a fearful, silent scream that rips urgently through dust and airless black. Eternity swallows their cry and in the earth-girl’s blood, that is where their ire surges. In her blood is where the bones of destiny clink and rattle. The sea is still laughing in her lungs. It froths across her tongue and yet she swallows it down, down. Upon her tongue is earth and ash. Across her skin is chalk and paint and wild light.
 
Silence is gone from the swamp she crashes through. Mud paints her, it throws itself up upon her skin as if it fears to remain upon the changing earth. Dark things are surging out at sea, crimson things that illuminate the sky it turned to smoky midnight. The earth is bleeding and the world is silent and fearful.
 
She reaches a place, a throbbing place – Tinea’s heart so filled with magic blood and straining trees. There the earth-girl dresses in bones feeling their dread cold. The body of a bird lies split and limp beside her. Some of its bones and most of its blood lie in a crimson pool at the base of a bowl.
 
How long has she looked at those bones and blood? Long enough for him to appear from the dark. Long enough for her sides to stop heaving, for the grove to stop rattling with her laboring breaths. She stands in blood and starlight, her skin lit from within, her sigils blazing as if they carve her with moonlight. They snarl at him, at her, at the volcano that dares to rage.
 
If she is ink and black, the king is too. Only the glitter of his mahogany gaze, only the slight shine of his white-star-skin reveals who he is. But she has been waiting for him since she felt his watching. He was there with her every stride, unwavering. He followed her, his lips as grim, his eyes as firm. She looks to see if the trees whipped him too. She looks to see if volcano’s glow in the corners of his wild-wood eyes.
 
He brings the sea he parted. She tastes the salt of it upon her tongue, as if his skin was between her lips. As if the water in her mouth was not saliva at all but an ocean.
 
Leto says nothing as her king steps forward. Silently she watches him, a tribal priestess ready for the start of her sacred ritual. This girl is blood and bones. She is starlight and starfire and all of the swamp waits for her verdict, even him. Her eyes silver and dread-full, lower to the divining bowl. “Has Novus not suffered enough?” She says, plaintive as a lambs bleat, defiant as a lion’s snarl. She is still looking at the bones and blood, but all around her are Terrastella’s scars. She knows he sees them too. Signs of flood and plague, fire and catastrophe are carved across their home and every other land.
 
She would turn herself into a goddess just to pull the Novus gods from their thrones and condemn their idleness and their games. The line of her lips is a savage black slash, her silver eyes a reckoning blade. “Have you renounced the gods yet, Asterion?” Leto asks him, each word a guillotine falling, weighted with her own renunciation.
 
But he asked her a question.
 
Her eyes look over the lying of the bones, the pooling, shadowing of the blood. She hears what they have to say and, “No help is coming. We face this alone, again.” She spits their answer like poison from her lips.


@Leto | "speaks" | notes: table 2/2!! this was super fun to make
rallidae | art






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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)
#3

asterion*





He has yet to be truly fearful, despite the way the world roils at the horizon, all that smoke and darkness. Here beneath the boughs of great trees it might only be another night, the dim-dark it always is beneath the canopy. The water and mud is cold against his legs but to the king it is only another charm to ward away weariness.

Oh, if he is afraid at all it is only when he looks at her, painted like a wild thing (not feral, never-caught) with a body beside her. Her sigils are bright, but dim compared to the magic that lights her from within; the blood in the bowl is so dark, so thick, it might only be swamp-water but for the smell. That old-penny scent of iron and salt could never belong to any thing else.

Asterion says nothing when first she speaks, and his mouth draws a grim, taut smile. It is not a question meant for answering; they both know there is no limit to the world’s suffering. Only at her second does something different glint in his eyes, something more savage than sad. “Long ago,” he says, and wonders if Calliope would be proud.

He does not watch the bones, nor the blood stirrings its dark cloud like ink. The king’s eyes are only on her, waiting, waiting -

and when the answer comes he is disappointed.

Not because of the words themselves, but for their inevitability; Asterion had already known they were alone. He knew it from the first trembling and groaning of the world beneath his hooves, knew it better as soon as his gaze touched upon the shadow out beyond the sea. Now that the reading is given his unconscious tension relaxes and he drops his head, draws a deep breath tinged with humid swamp air. The boy in him wants to demand But what is it we face? And how do we defeat it? The man he has become knows better.

“I’m relieved,” he says, and his mouth makes a crescent-moon smile in the darkness at his blasphemy. “I would hate for us to fail another test.”





@Leto  










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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 36 — Threads: 2
Signos: 5
Dusk Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Starfire // Bonded: N/A
#4



This keening soul;

Her paint is cold against the chill of the swamp. It is white upon the black of her. It blazes like gashes and as she moves it dances and whispers. Ancient magic cries out along her skin, it laughs in the dark corners of her torso. Where blood spatters, where mud clings to her, it ordains her an ungodly priestess.
 
Leto’s eyes draw along the line of his lips. She feels them like a shard of bone, drawn across the weakest part of her – oh, she did not know there was such weakness left in her. Not until the blood and bones drew painted their mocking art.
 
Long ago.
 
He steals the air from her lungs. She might believe he was drowning her, but for the hiss of breath between her lips. Where her teeth meet, her breath spills like serpents from her mouth. Fury becomes her, light shines, turning her flesh to endless pitch. The shadows of the swamp hungrily reach for her, the laugh as they scuttle like beetles and consume her. Star-light shines behind her eyes, it is wicked bright and oh she is laughing. Her voice is stars clashing and earth shattering. It is godless and endless. The dark of her skin swallows all but where the lancing of light maps her. Starlight illuminates her and Leto blazes hotter than the sun.
 
Desolation and fury are bedfellows within the chamber of her body. A star is pulling at her, it is rattling in its black, silk sky. Idly her magic reaches for it and it descends, vengeful and bright. From around the altar she steps, each stride of her slim limbs sheds another part of her faith. It rips and drifts from her like tattered vestments. Her heart is a rattle within her chest as her gaze settles upon Asterion.
 
Leto does not flinch as the falling star strikes within the center of the bowl. Blood and bone and divine magic bursts into white-hot flame. Greedily the fire licks along the edges of the bowl growing brighter, hotter, wilder. Oh she is hungry, desperate for the calm that softens his stature, that forms words upon his tongue.
 
Inside she is empty, empty. Inside her is a hollow space where a godhead sat. Now Leto is frayed edges, she is a rent soul. Her chin lifts and she drinks in the calm of her Sovereign, she feasts upon him and only finds herself ravenous. Silver eyes, once clawed, once soldered into the brown of him, pull away to drink in the swamp and its scars. “Really?” She breathes, hotter than the sun, her skin baptized in darkness and light. All of her is burning, starfire rips through her veins it burns wild in her heart. Soon she will be ash upon the wind. Lost religion has slipped her loose and she tumbles in abandoned disarray.
 
Water is a river beneath his skin. She tastes it and she reaches for him, desperate to drink it, craving every inch of water within him. Even as her hot lips press against his neck, desperate for his quenching magic, ire toward him, toward the gods, fans the flames of her own magic. “Will you leave us again, Asterion?” Leto challenges, her voice the smoldering embers of the starfire that still swallows the bowl. She looks at the scars of Tinea, she remembers finding her king wrapped up in lavish luxury. She remembers scrambling between flood water for food, loyal to the earth, to a vengeful goddess.
 
Mud squelches beneath her feet as she shifts. “I won’t come for you again if you do.” Sweat gleams across her skin, glittering where white hot light shines like lightning across the night sky of her body. She holds his gaze, moonlight upon earth, limning him in starlight. Bones chink in her mane that clings to the slick of her throat. She steams, smoldering. “Leaving us is the only test you can still fail.”
 
And she hates the small, small twist of selfishness that twinges in her core and longs to beg him not to leave her, above all.

@Asterion | "speaks" | notes: table 2/2!! this was super fun to make
rallidae | art






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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)
#5

asterion*






It was too easy for him, in the bespelled hallways of the Denoctian castle, to believe her only a woman. Even in the autumn, below the crimson canopy of Tinea as the wind began to rattle dry branches, his heart had not believed what it ought to have: that she is more, some changeling-child beyond his understanding. That the stars follow her bidding and her work is in mysteries.

Now, lightning splits below her skin like it spilled in seams from the island below that baleful cloud of ash. She is lit from within, a white-hot glow that is painted, too, across the trees and the loam and his own skin. Her laughter clashes against the sound of the bells in her hair and the king must turn his face away from her fury (he feels he might be struck blind to witness it, like a boy in a myth who hunts a hind and finds a goddess). Yet oh, what choice is there but to look when that star comes flaming through the limbs to catch like an ember in that bowl of dark blood?

It’s a wonder both black and bright, one that makes him want to hide his face, one that makes him want to pledge himself to her. To be not a king but an acolyte at the alter of the stars.

At least he has this answer - they have no need of the gods. All his pleas are swallowed up in that white-hot fire and he watches as it eats away the contents of the bowl, and the shine reflected in his eyes looks like madness.

Really? she asks, as though there might be some part of his heart that still believes Vespera will save them, that still believes in the order and judgement of the gods. His gaze lifts to her, then, even as she steps nearer, and though he gives voice to no answer one is clear in his eyes.

But there is anger in her voice when she speaks, even as her mouth presses hard and hot against his skin. Asterion flinches but does not lean away; he wonders what she tastes there, if it is only the salt of sweat and the sea or if magic might be written along his skin the way it is on hers. The bay stiffens at the implication, lifting his chin, even as he remembers his body pressed so near to hers by a crush of dancers, the music wailing in the night, the way he’d wanted to leave that room and listen only to the singing of her bells and the lullaby of her voice. When his eyes fall to the bowl (how long will it burn before it’s eaten up every drop of blood, before it fades to hollow black?) he thinks of the ash and the island and the crowd still gathered on the shore.

“If I go, it is for the good of Terrastella,” he says, and his voice is no less a challenge than hers. He feels like the bone in the bowl, burning up at her starfire touch, and yet he welcomes the heat. Within him is the depthless cold of the sea.

Leto’s gaze catches him, or perhaps his falls to her; either way they hold each other, such different constellations on their skin. He wants to count each mark upon her down to the last seed-pearl in her hair; he wants to caution her for her impudence, to speak to him of failing tests in words so similar to their errant goddess’s. “I remember the way home,” he says, and perhaps some piece of that fallen star has caught him, too, for at last he feels ready to burn.



@Leto  










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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 36 — Threads: 2
Signos: 5
Dusk Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Starfire // Bonded: N/A
#6



This keening soul;

Fury sings in her veins. It surges, visceral, splitting, energizing through her veins. It mixes with magic, a potent blend that has every particle of her being humming. There is no part of her not lit with rage. Asterion turns his gaze from her but she does not stop looking at him. Over his cheek, his lashes, the curve of his lips, every place her sight rests is hot with ire. She thinks she might burn him, if she did not torch herself first.
 
But there is something more in her wildfire gaze. There is something that sparks like electricity and soothes like whiskey. He makes her feel godly and more so when she makes her star fall. He looks and oh her starfire flares white in the dark of his eye. There is a part of her laughing, there is a part of her despairing. She should be on her knees before him – he is the king and she is no goddess, no matter his gaze. Yet if she were, Leto would bless him as an acolyte and awaken every star across his skin until he glows, glows, glows.
 
How fickle she is!
 
A shudder ripples through her torso. She is no goddess. Though, in his gaze, the taste of divinity is sweet. The bringing of vengeance upon the gods who abandoned them all consumes her, delights her. Her heart no longer thuds with the wet lub-dub of mortality but resounds like stars with each supernova beat. In her eyes galaxies twist and turn and widen, widen. She burns the pattern of them into the curve of his jaw, across the expanse of his eyelids pressed tightly shut – oh, can he see the galaxies she presses there? Can he count their stars like she does the ones across his body?
 
The king’s words awaken her. They rise from his tongue as hard as hers, as blank as hers. They push through the haze of her ire, her transcendence. But they do not quash her. He is a king and in his gaze she sees the pieces of him galvanized by his crown. Gone is the soft of his gaze, the way he watched her dance beneath a ceiling of stars and silk. With the magic burning in her veins she illuminates the king in white, white light. But she is a kingless girl and now a godless one too… Her beauty, black as a raven’s wing, bright as shattering stars, is the wild of the earth and the incomprehensible art of universes.  Across her body is earth in pearls and gilded leaves, bones and dirtied plaits, in her shed-star blood is starfire and in her soul is the eternal sway of the ocean.
 
Her mind is full of a kelpie’s smile. The silver of his skin, moonlight bright, the shiver of violence clinging to the corner of his lips. The draw of the ocean that had her stepping closer, closer, until the sound of his blood was the roar of the ocean in her ears.
 
Upon her tongue is the ocean. Salt-filled, star-filled, magic thrums through his skin, it burns upon her lips. His skin is still a ghost upon her lips – was she still a phantom upon his throat? They hold each other’s gaze in a sea of stars and light and water and divine bones. Her knees are aching for where she does not bend them and his gaze feels like a reprimand. She tips her chin up like a goddess, like a girl who has no god or king (no matter how close she longs to step to him, no matter how much his gaze brings a tremble with each sigil it studies) – she was wrong to ever think otherwise.
 
“Was it for the good of Terrastella when you left the first time – with only half of your people?” Her voice is bold and bright, unwavering in its challenge even as it comes like a whisper shouted between universes. Her bells chime as she tilts her head, still holding him tight, still tasting his magic upon her lips – oh because she is burning, burning. She wets her lips that glow white, white but it does not erase him.
 
Leto finds his final answer unsatisfying. Her nape arches, the curve of the sun made black. “So you will leave us again.” She breathes - though she smiles, hard like bark, loud like comets. “We survived here, loyal to the land, our home…” Scars, scars, poverty, rising floods and a land turning to waste – each is a whip upon her soul. “- whilst you danced in lavish halls.” And oh her eyes close to remember such a night. Her cheeks remember the touch of that white mask. She smiles as she trembles, as her limbs beg to remember the way they danced then, with him, beneath the banners and moonlight. Torn, torn, torn. Leto is not one thing, but many, many.
 
She is burning and trembling. Her magic wild, made divine by Asterion’s gaze. Ah, she rocks and realizes how he has not touched her, how she hoped for it, how she needed it. His magic, his magic, him, him, stars, kelpies, water – all glow in the smile that curves her lips, in the twist of pain that flickers like starlight in her gaze as she steps from him and down, down down into a pool that turns to steam as she sinks to her throat.
 
Was this how a goddess felt when she made the world burn? 

@Asterion | "speaks" | notes: table 2/2!! this was super fun to make
rallidae | art






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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)
#7

asterion*





She is impossible to look away from, even as he wonders what new horrors are unfolding on the horizon, out of sight beyond the trees. Here in the dark of gnarled roots, of last year and the year before’s rotting leaves, she shines like a madman’s vision, like a prophet’s dream. And oh, what will he make of her prophecy? He is learning his way around disaster, but the heart of his people - that is a wild wood, that is a maze ever changing from the inside.

But Asterion has learned, too, to bear their blame. He meets her boldness with his own, chin as high, eyes flashing dark where hers are bright. Little about him looks a boy-king now, a soft man surprised to find himself a leader. Scars are mixed in with the stars scattered on his skin and he knows more constellations will be added.

“It was,” he says, and thinks of their fields rent and ruined, their grasslands flooded. Little to eat, the threat of a sinkhole collapsing underfoot. How he’d agonized over that decision, how he’d waited for Marisol to flay him for it. The relief he’d felt at safety, and the shame at not being able to provide it himself. Still his head does not drop, still he does not step away from his half-wild girl. “Only half - because I gave them a choice to stay. I know how fiercely Terrastellans love our court. And I know how stubborn they can be, when you ask them to change.” His gaze is still holding hers, pointed, even as he thinks of Marisol and her devotion to Vespera, and the Ilati and their ancient traditions. Some loyalties led onto death, if you held on too tightly.

And he would do it again. He will do whatever is necessary to see his people live to make their own foolhardy choices.

Still she presses him, her tongue a lash. Asterion does not quite bare his teeth, though his ears flatten into the windswept tangle of his mane. But it is a laugh that escapes him then, rough as smoke, a wave crashing against the immoveable wall of her smile. “I seem to remember finding you dancing there, too.” He says it low, even as the memory stirs him as it does her; the way the light scattered over her mask, the heat between their dancing bodies, the wail of the violin as it urged them on. Leto could pretend she came for him alone - but the king would call it a lie. A season of woe, and a night of revelry to mark it done; would she hold such sins against him?

The king’s breathing is coming harder, now, as though he’s been running endless beneath the trees. Her eyes on him glance like the flat of a blade, like thorns to catch and cut. But Asterion did not come here to fight. Though tension still has him wound tight he drops his head, blows out a long breath. He remembers the wonder of standing with her below a tree with a trunk wider than his height, painted and carved with sigils older than the named Court. Slowly the bay reaches toward her, to touch his lips in a question to her cheek; he wonders if he will burn for such a transgression, if she will kill another star down to burn him hollow. Now his voice is soft, pliant, a murmur in her ear. “Perhaps the gods have cast us off. But Leto - have you no faith in me?”

It is not until the words leave him that he realizes that his earlier questions for her - for the bowl, for the blood and the bone - were meaningless in comparison to this. Here, now, is the only answer with the power to make him fall.



@Leto  










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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 36 — Threads: 2
Signos: 5
Dusk Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Starfire // Bonded: N/A
#8



This keening soul;

He stands tall before her, every part a king, rooted beneath his crown. Through those silver eyes she watches him, painting the sigils of her skin upon his, each one emblazed in silver. Each one is pressed with the starfire heat of her gaze, blistering as a brand. He will bear more scars, more, more and oh she wonders of the beauty of sigil scars, scattered across constellations.  She closes her eyes and thinks what it would be to paint them in starfire upon him. It is a childish dream that aches in her bones and wakes her fitful from such unreachable dreams. When had she last painted any Ilati but herself? They were few, few, few. Their paint was old upon the trees, the stories carved into bark were being swallowed by time and growth.
 
Loneliness breathes oxygen over her ire and oh how the flames fan and rise licking in silver tongues along the insides of her soul. Her Ilati were dying and she was a girl with eyes upon the sky and a mind full of dreams of the ocean. But there is nothing of the earth now. Not when she stands, illuminating the Terrastellan king, illuminating the temple trees that arch high into the that godless sky of stars and endless nothingness.
 
Her eyes close as her chin tips up, up, up until they open and she looks upon the stars as Asterion’s voice strikes her like a whip. Her throat, her throat, her chest, her heart. She smiles, oh how she smiles. Light gleams from the curve of her lips, it burns wild and hot but the darkness within is hollow, hollow. Her smile is anguish and ire, for yes, yes, of course they would stay but – “Divided we are weak, Asterion.” And still she looks upon the stars, held within the palm of the galaxy. Slowly she lowers her starborn gaze until she drowns him in the galaxies there. Sigils and stars and scars, oh she would make him so many things. Her breath rattles in her lungs and still that smile curves at her lips, wicked and dangerous and beautiful.
 
“Together we-“, She begins again but oh he is talking, pulling her out of the sinkholes and mud of her memories, dragging her back, back to that night where they danced and danced and – His gaze his heavy upon her. In his eyes the memories drift, as fluid as water, as sweet as an elixir. Does he remember that night like she? His voice is low across her skin melding with the ghost of his touch. Her chin lowers, the curve of her nape arching , sinking, lowering as in her ears that strange music still sweeps and swells. Leto was not made for many things, there is no part of her that belongs – not any more. She listens the that sighing of the sea, to that laughter of starlight and the crying of the lonely swamp. She smiles and there is nothing of starlight there. Nothing but a wild girl with tangles in her hair, bones and twigs and leaves wound in as tightly as proudly as any glittering gem. She smiles as a girl painted in sigils and adorned in mud that splatters up her limbs. Her heart thumps to the beat of a drum and her eyes light upon Asterion – suddenly present, suddenly more than just a goddess-girl of starfire.
 
She laughs and swallows back desire and the ache of a girl awash in a place of more than just tribal dance. “Of course I danced. How else would I have found you?” And there is no other truth she knows, despite he might never believe her. “I left after I asked you to come home.” She says, soft as a lullaby, her light-lit veins a melody of moonlight across his face.
 
That moment of softness, of lullaby confessions is lost as he steps close for, oh, the stars are keening, hissing as his lips press upon her cheek. She flinches at the warmth of his lips then up, up they move to the curve of her ear. His breath is a caress, heat blooming and oh she does not flinch fast enough, for already a tremble is rocking through her skin. Her heart storms within her chest and the stars burn bright, bright above. She glows like a flare, yet she turns, into his touch, until his lips are no longer at her cheek, her ear. Those galaxy eyes illuminate him, she trails the lines of his face in starlight and starfire. Her breath is the rub of universes pressing and oh as she stands so close  to him she thinks she might know just how that friction burns.
 
“Trust in you as Asterion or as Terrastella’s king?” She whispers as her breath reaches for his cheek. “In one I have too much and in the other too little.”

@Asterion
@Asterion | "speaks" | notes: table 2/2!! this was super fun to make
rallidae | art






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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)
#9

asterion*





Divided we are weak, she says, and he might have protested - might have told her how unity with another court need not come at the cost of their own - but now is not the time. Not when the branches overhead are whipped with wind and light, not when her star-fire scatters white light across their bodies and the dark liquid rippling in the bowl, not when fate waits for them across still water. How to speak to her of togetherness, this girl who stands alone and proud, holder of her people’s secrets? Together, she continues, but he can only think together we danced.

She might have found him anywhere, he wants to say; the great hall and the castle wrought with Isra’s magic had been the last place he’d gone, that night. A long evening had stretched before - the lake, the maze, the markets, all of them dripping in light and music and song. A great rejoicing, winter’s darkest hour passing in revelry, a song of survival.

Asterion will not apologize for that night. It had done too much to heal his aching soul (no matter the grief that came of it, with Raum, and Acton, and Isra. He cannot bear blame for all sins, he is only a man).

“And I am home,” he says, his voice a mirror of her own.

She flinches at his touch (must all girls, he wonders, who speak to him so passionately, who burn him with their gaze?) but she does not draw away; a part of him wishes he could take it back, a part of him is fiercely glad he can’t. Her whisper is hot on his cheek; it is close and dense in the forest, all the trees and the stars themselves leaning in to listen, pressing down on them with the weight of centuries.

In one I have too much and in the other too little. He is stung, too stung to do anything but laugh, and withdraw, and shake his head. That laugh (however ash-rough, or grief-low) breaks the tension that has been roiling down his spine, between his shoulders, around his heart; no longer does he feel like lightning might strike him at any moment. The forest is too warm, too thick. Asterion wants to return to the sea, where there are no more answers but at least room to think, to breathe.

“Then there’s nothing to worry about,” he says, and his smile is as stark as a bare branch. “Thank you, Leto.” He looks once more over his shoulder at her, long and well, and then the king is gone through the forest the same way he’d come and the wind sighs like a long-held breath at last let go.



@Leto | an ending for you <3










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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 36 — Threads: 2
Signos: 5
Dusk Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Starfire // Bonded: N/A
#10



This keening soul;

She feels his pain as she speaks for he is close enough to see the hurt spread out like poison from a bee sting. 
 
She listens as his laughter pushes the straining, listening trees back.
 
She feels a shudder at the sound of his laugh slip like ice through her veins. Oh it cools her. Oh it unsettles her.
 
Each nerve, lit by wild, wicked fire, grows numb at the touch of ice.
 
Through her eyes galaxies watch as he grows sharp and stark as winter. Where did that warmth go?
 
Were her words so cruel?
 
She expects more from him, but he is turning and leaving. As he always has with her, there for a moment and then gone, fleeting, like a dream. As he once did with Terrastella: leaving, leaving, leaving.  His leaving does not surprise her, though she watches as the stars map his departing.
 
Yet her hurt, like a needle-prick worrying at the layers of her heart, picking at her soul, does surprise her. Did he not care to challenge her? Had he no care for a subject with no faith in him? Were they not worth conversion? She looks to him and sees only a chasm between his court and the Ilati. Her sigil trees are mourning dark, watching the King as he leaves.
 
Did he care neither for the part of her that trusted too much? An emotion, sharp and desolate swells like a wave within her. It chokes, it chokes and disgust has her turning from him. Before he looks back she is stepping away through the wood, light as a doe. Twigs snap beneath her feet and with each step she severs herself from that aching within her. Vines trail along her sides like the ones she uses to strangle the hope within her. Never quite Ilati, never quite Shed-star, never quite a courtier, never quite a full part of any of them Leto has only ever been alone. So she pulls herself from the boy she trusts too much and too little. She solders the wounded parts of her in star-fire and blood and wanders deeper into the woodland, less a doe than a tiger whose solitude is her own.
 
The stars are weeping and the trees are shadowed but all she can hear is the breathing of the sea. She tastes salt upon her tongue and feels a kelpie’s gaze upon her skin.
 
And she is running, away, away, until the sounds of crashing woodland drown out the waves and his parting words, until her veins are the only light that reaches this deepest, darkest part of the swamp, until her starfire glances over increasingly ancient sigils and prehistoric bark… until she realizes there is no peace for her here. Bones jangle like death in her ears until at last she turns, with her heart aching and her soul yearning, toward the sea.

@Asterion
@Asterion | "speaks" | notes: table 2/2!! this was super fun to make
rallidae | art






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