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 Year || 503
 Season || Winter
 Temp || -10℉ (-23℃) to 55℉ (12℃)
 Weather || Winter has left a blanket of pristine white snow in many parts of Novus. Only Solterra remains mostly untouched by the season's frosted hold, but even the desert may feel a cold breath of wind now and then. With Winter now settled across the continent, dreams of Spring dance in the minds of many.

Member: E-cho

Character: Seraphina

Pair: Moira & Asterion

Thread: Coloring outside the lines

Quote: "There is something to be said for how soothing habit could be, when one was trying to avoid words they shouldn’t say." Theodosia, Cinderblock gardens
see here for nominations

Private - with ash in your mouth, you'll ask it to burn again;
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,435
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 328 — Threads: 34
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 87
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)

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 — Dusk Court Citizen Signos: 5
▶ Played by Obsidian [PM] Posts: 17 — Threads: 2
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Starfire
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A

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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