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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
Signos: 25
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15 // Active Magic: Empath // Bonded: Hāsta (American Crow)
#1

She could not get the sound of the heartbeat out of her head.

Lub-DUB, lub-DUB, lub-DUB.

It haunted Corr's mind and her dreams turned to nightmares that night. Her and Hāsta didn't spend much time exploring once the beating started. At first, it was almost like they could feel it inside their bodies and it was their own heart thudding in their chests. But then moments later, the heartbeat was much louder and it appeared to be from the berries somehow. Hāsta expressed her displeasure of the trip over and over and Corr finally agreed they needed to leave once this all started.

So, they had flown back, the sea creatures below churning in the water, waiting for their next meal. She saw them in her nightmare too - their fins and tentacles and sharp teeth. The whole place was like a portal to another world that seemed dreamlike and menacing at the same time. There was no way to explain it.

A couple days passed with the images and the sound continuing to haunt Corr's dreams. Finally, she rose one morning and headed back to the shore without a word. Hāsta didn't follow at first, but moments later, the crow joined the mare by her side with her usual grumbling. Someone had to look after the crazy witch, she had said to Corr.

Now the pair found themselves back on the island again, but it was vastly different. There was no sign of the ivy wall that covered the island and practically beckoned them to stay. The strange plants had all died and so had the berries. There were pearls littered across the bridge like pieces of lost treasure. The sand was white as snow and smooth-like with the waves calmly swaying back and forth over the shore.

Corr and Hāsta landed by the island's edge, taking in all the strange new sights. Birds flew overhead but they appeared to have unique mutations and abilities. Their song in itself was different and unlike anything either of them had ever heard before, even in Corr's homeland. She even had to turn back and make sure they hadn't entered another portal. It was hard to tell since there was just ocean and bridge, but at least everything out there looked the same.

"Well, you wanted to come back. Let's start exploring I suppose… but I don't like this one bit."
"I know, I know. I told you, we'll leave if it looks too suspicious, like we did last time."
"Yeah and look where it got us - right back at the same damn spot!"
"That's because I couldn't stop thinking about this place. There's a reason it appeared and I want to find out what that reason is."
"And it's going to get us killed."
"Not necessarily." Not if we're careful…

There was no telling what Corr had gotten them both into, but there was only one way to find out. The mare stepped forward, Hāsta perched on her shoulder.

Here goes.

"Speaking."
credits @Asterion - getting this thread up for when we're ready to branch off act III <3







(For reference of Corr's house, click here; doubles as a plot thread!)
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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 370 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,325
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#2








That thick, strange heartbeat had sounded for days, as surely as though it came from his own chest. But they were miles out to see, there at the end of that long strange bridge, and Asterion had no wings to bear him home. There was only to wait, and listen to that eerie rhythm, and hope it was not counting down their doom.

The king told himself it was no different than the breathing of the sea, but he and Cirrus both knew that was only pretend. The gull swept above her companion and all the other horses, an eye on the creatures of the deep and on the wall, but the magic kept its secrets close.

Until at last the world had opened.

Now Asterion stands upon the beach, Cirrus perched upon his withers. The king’s eyes are dark with wonder, and the gull’s are sharp with wariness - yet she does not stop him, as he takes a step nearer the verdant heart of the island. The sand gives soft beneath his feet like any other beach, but the colors are too bright, the birds too strange; not even Cirrus knows their names, and the tongues they sing in are all foreign, no matter how familiar the notes.

Still he pauses, there at the edge, caught between the turquoise water and white sand and the deep, breathing green of the trees. The bay can feel his own heartbeat in his chest and it is too much like those berries. When a flash of gray catches his eye, strangely muted on the bright beach, at first his heart stutters in his chest and he thinks Aislinn.

But it is not that long-gone girl of storms but another pegasus, half-familiar. Even a stranger is a comfort in this strange place (though there is some measure of guilt moving through him like muddy water, knowing she is of Dusk but having no name on his tongue), and he can feel Cirrus straighten with interest at the sight of the crow on her shoulder.

“May we join you?” he asks, once he is near enough to be heard above the waves and the sea-birds with their strange songs. “I’m not sure this place is safe at all - but surely it’s less dangerous alone.”




@Corrdelia

if you'll be my star*








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Played by Offline Staff [PM] Posts: 230 — Threads: 109
Signos: 994,835
Official Novus Account
#3


A Random Event Has Occurred!

The sand shakes finely against their hooves as if it is listening to the horse's words. It's afraid of the sea, of those monsters far from shore who are dragging their tails against the bottom of the ocean. Like a bird it ruffles each granule that makes it whole, as if it's not a shoreline but a set of massive wings that are dreaming of flight.

At first it starts with a quiver of sand, a tremble weak enough to be nothing more than the blood running through the horses. It shakes and it sounds like diamonds against the hard hooves of Asterion and Corrdelia. But then it starts to pull away like the horses are the shore and the sand is the sea.

The sand reforms itself into a small dragon. Each eye is a clam shell, smooth, and pale, and spinning. The dragon wears its scales made of kelp proudly. Even the childish curl of its boneless neck seems to say, am I not the loveliest shore you have ever seen?

When the dragon tries to find words, or any sound at all, only salt-water pours from its lips and makes the ground underneath its wings muddy and dark. It starts to look afraid then, as if it doesn't understand that the horses are the only real things on the island. The dragon doesn't know if it's magic, or mystery, or maybe nothing more than a salt-poison dream.

There is no heartbeat pulsing beneath its sandy, scaled chest.

It turns towards the jungle, pausing once to look at the two horses standing so closer. Something in the way those calm shell eyes pause seems to say, follow me. Then they rotate once and a kelp feathered wing brushes the muddy shore.

Follow me, the shore is not safe. The distant treeline swallows it whole.




@Corrdelia and @Asterion are not alone on the shore. The sand is only listening to them at first first, trembling like a startled bird. But then it pulls away from them and the sand becomes a small dragon. The creature tries to talk but only water comes out. It turns towards the treeline, but something in the way it lifts one wing seems to say, "follow me".

Will they go?

Each participant will be awarded +300 signos for encountering a Random Event! How you reply is up to you; feel free to NPC the dragon. The dragon might be posted again to move the thread along if it becomes necessary.

Enjoy!






To tag this account: @*'Random Events' without the asterisk.
Please be advised, tagging the Random Event account does not guarantee a response!
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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
Signos: 25
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15 // Active Magic: Empath // Bonded: Hāsta (American Crow)
#4

The pair were not alone for long and the voice of another shook Corr from her thoughts. It seemed it was easy to get lost in the beauty of this mysterious place and its uncertain danger lurking in the shadows.

For now, she did not sense danger but recognized the face of her Sovereign and his own feathered companion. They had not formally met, but she had seen him in passing. She noticed a faint violet aura glowing around the man, but it faded away within seconds.

"Why, of course! Asterion, is it? Corrdelia Maude, it's nice to officially meet you," she greeted warmly with a bow at the end. Next to her, Hāsta made a small disgruntled noise and Corr smiled. "And this is Hāsta, but don't mind her, it takes a lot to get on her good side." The crow ruffled her feathers and glared at the mare but Corr simply laughed and let her be.

"What do you suppose this place-" Corr began to ask, but was interrupted by a shifting in the sand. Her ears darted forward and she took a step back.

"I don't like this one bit!" she heard the crow mutter, but the mare did not hear her. She was too focused on what seemed to be emerging from the ground. Perhaps danger had found them after all?

Luckily, what surfaced from the sand was a mere dragon. Although he looked much different from the ones in the heart of Novus, he was something like a pgymy dragon with shells for eyes. When the poor thing tried to talk though, only water came out.

"Oh! You poor dear. Are you alright?" Corr asked concerned as if it could understand her. Not surprisingly, it looked absolutely terrified and began to scuttle away. Before disappearing into the jungle, it paused a moment to look back at them. Her head titled with curiosity; what an interesting creature this was.

"I think it wants us to follow them?" She guessed, turning to Asterion. "How do you feel about some adventure?" There was mischievousness in her eyes after she asked the question. It was as if she had gotten a rush of adrenaline then as her curiosity of the island grew stronger. There was still no telling what they would find here and if they would be able to make it back to the Court in one piece.

And yet, here this dragon was, innocently looking to see if they would follow. She knew Hāsta would not approve, but as always, the crow would still follow anyway because she didn't like to be alone. Before Corr took a step forward, she would wait for the man's response, just in case he might know more than she did.

"Speaking."
credits  @Asterion @Random Events







(For reference of Corr's house, click here; doubles as a plot thread!)
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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 370 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,325
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#5








Her bow reminds him what it is easy to forget - that he is still a king, here in a world that feels alien and far from the Terrastellan court, and still has a people under his care. It is too easy to forget, to revert back to the boy he had been before Novus, where all the world was excitement and danger and nobody ruled but magic and gods. He must remember that choices he makes here may have repercussions beyond himself.

He smiles at her introduction, glad for her ease and her company, and winks swiftly at the crow. “Corrdelia Maude,” he repeats, and dips his head before his gaze lifts back to hers. “The pleasure is mine. And extends to Hasta, too - this is Cirrus. It sounds like she is a similar kind of bird.” The gull makes her own rough-throated sound at that, but extends her wings in a kind of greeting, anyway - only to flap them in a fight to keep her balance when the sand shifts beneath their hooves.

Asterion, too, jumps back, hooves still seeming to reverberate from the movement of thousands of grains of shell and stone. It is difficult to watch the dragon being formed, like watching the universe take shape - too quick, too strange, each movement too fluid. His heartbeat is racing by the time the dragon stands before them, weeping saltwater, eerie eyes spinning.

But the king’s alarm does not yet become fear. Like his companion, he stands his ground, and feels more concern for the creature than for themselves - a reaction he hopes later is not a mistake. The dragon is small, and cute, and seemingly tries to communicate; Asterion can feel Cirrus leaning forward on his withers, as intent as he. He feels as disappointed as it looks when it fails to speak; his eyes do not leave it even after it is nearly vanished amid the trees.

“I think so,” he says slowly, and at last meets the mare’s gaze again. He reads no fear in her eyes - what he sees instead reinforces his own curiosity. “I’m always up for adventure,” he adds, and quiets the lingering brush of unease within him. Like Hasta, Cirrus is none too sure about the entire venture; the gull did not care at all for a bit of shoreline leaping up and running off, and the implications it left. She lets Asterion know as much with a nip of her beak at a dark lock of hair near his ear, but doesn’t yet abandon her perch on his back.

The bay sets his pace to his new companion’s, one ear turned to her as the rest of his senses focus on the forest. It’s cooler at once beneath the trees, the shadows of their deep leaves dappling their backs; there is a fleeting glimpse of the false dragon’s tail, and Asterion wonders how they will ever track it in the undergrowth. If it wants us to follow it, it will make sure we can, Cirrus says, low-voiced in his mind, and the king huffs a breath in reply.

For a moment he flicks his gaze to Corrdelia, noting the necklace she wears (one that reminds him of the Ilati), and the keen eye of the crow on her back. “Have you seen anything like this before? I know a few others from a world thick with this kind of magic. But I’ve never seen anything like it myself.”



@Corrdelia

if you'll be my star*








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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
Signos: 25
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15 // Active Magic: Empath // Bonded: Hāsta (American Crow)
#6

To her delight, the man accepted the challenge ahead of them and so, their adventure began. Their companions were both unhappy about the decision, but the birds reluctantly tagged along anyway. Shrouded in mystery, this island may very well be getting to their heads and this dragon was leading them all to danger. Well, there was only one way to find out.

Corr welcomed the cooler air as they entered the woods. The leaves of the trees hid most of the scorching sunlight and it was nice to have a break from the sinking sand beneath her hooves. The little dragon had gone mostly out of sight now, so she was not sure where they were expected to go. Just in case, she kept her ears alert for any suspicious activity. When she turned her head, it seemed Asterion was thinking the same.

An interesting feature of the forest that she noticed was all the fruit in the trees. They looked fat and ripe and so brightly colored that it was tempting to snatch one right off to eat. There was a disapproving gaze in Hāsta's eyes, but Corr did not bother to look over to see.

Asterion asked Corr if she had ever seen anything like this before. She took a moment to think and looked up at the sky through the trees. The mare could feel the magic all around them but it did not feel familiar.

"No, nothing like this," the crow witch replied, still in awe of everything. "It's almost... as if a portal to another world opened within Novus. Only, it's not the kind I went through and couldn't go back, this one is just always open."

Her thoughts briefly drifted back to the day she first arrived. Hāsta, who hadn't had the ability to speak telepathically yet, guided her on her journey here. She didn't know what she was getting into, just that she was being drawn to this place. Although, not a day went by where she didn't miss her sister and Astreas.

"An odd place indeed," she finally added, the memories fading from her mind. "What about you? Do you have any idea of its origins?"

@Asterion @Random Events

"Speaking."
credits







(For reference of Corr's house, click here; doubles as a plot thread!)
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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 370 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,325
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#7








Any trace of the little shore-dragon vanishes quickly beneath the trees. What footprints could such a creature make?- only shed grains of sand, only saltwater tears no different from sea-spray. How long, he wonders, before he thinks of it as nothing more than a dream?

Still, he is as glad as his companion to pass beneath the boughs and welcome the cool of shadows over his dusky skin. The king’s gaze meanders the forest floor, searching for kelp that might be a dragon’s wing, with the right kind of eyes. There is only the smell of saltwater thick over the island, mingling with rich loam.

When his gaze follows Corr’s up into the trees, where fruit hangs like bright globes (it makes him think, unbidden, of Denocte’s castle made strange and lovely for the midwinter party) he pauses. Florentine has told him stories of the riftlands - never enough, he is always eager for them - of fruit and flowers that, if consumed, could bless you or curse you. It is not a stretch to think the same might be true, here.

Corr speaks and he tips a dark ear toward her, smiling at the awe in her words. It’s the same thing he feels, a wonder that runs so deep it feels almost like sorrow. Oh, to be a boy again, all excitement and no concern.

But when she says portal, his gaze goes to her, his interest stolen away from the island. “It is,” he agrees, musing. “I’d wondered if the creatures here came through from somewhere else, or were here all along - or perhaps the island is only making them now, like that dragon.” For a moment the king falls silent, ducking beneath a fallen log. Cirrus flutters over it, ungainly in the forest with her webbed feet and long wings, but this time she keeps her thoughts to herself. “I came through such a portal, too,” he says, and his voice is hushed, as though they wander a cathedral and not a forest. “From a land called Ravos, where the magic was as wild as this - but there was nothing quite so strange.” Only the gods; always the gods, making trouble, pitting them against one another.

At her question, he glances back to her, considering for a moment before shaking his head. “It’s too much of a mystery than I can guess at. Maybe there are just places, even here, where magic pools thicker than elsewhere - like a tidepool. Maybe it is the gods, but…” he sighs before smiling, wry, at a king’s blasphemy. “I rather hope it isn’t.”

From somewhere ahead, a creature calls - but bird or frog or cicada or dragon, he cannot say.


@Corrdelia

if you'll be my star*








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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
Signos: 25
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15 // Active Magic: Empath // Bonded: Hāsta (American Crow)
#8

As their minds drifted to create theories, Corrdelia found herself feeling highly amused. The island surely was a mystery, but it had a purpose and these creatures were here somehow. It was an interesting concept if the land was fabricating its creatures on the spot, which really opened her thinking to even wilder possibilities. It might make some sense considering the dragon was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he only made his appearance to get them to enter the jungle. Was something bigger waiting for them here? Or was there simply something they were meant to find this way?

The pair ducked beneath a fallen log, though Corr nearly missed it being so lost in her head. On her shoulder, Hāsta shook her head and muttered a "watch where you're going!" through their telepathy. The mare just shrugged, thankful she had noticed it in time and avoided getting a bump on her head.

When Asterion explained where he had come from, the story intrigued her. Corr did not know her own leader came through a portal from another world as well. In fact, she couldn't recall anyone else with a similar origin besides her friend Reckitt. That encounter had already opened up the possibilities of alternate dimensions, which was a whole other concept that Corr had yet to fully think about.

The Dusk sovereign seemed distraught at the mention of the gods possibly being behind all this. He certainly had spent more time in Novus than she, so he must know a lot more about them and their habits. Apparently it could be more of a negative thing if the gods were behind it, but it might make more sense than the magic simply appearing. If there was anything Corr was sure of, it was her faith and customs. Back home, her ancestors and spiritual guides never failed her, and they did not do so even being in another world.

"I don't know about your gods, but I wouldn't jump to feeling wary if they were behind this. There is always a reason and a purpose and that doesn't always have to be bad," she began, looking to Asterion with a smile. "The energy is strong here, but I don't sense a dangerous presence… then again, my magic is not quite at the point that it used to. It seemed the portal weakened my abilities and removed some." The crow witch paused, her smile turning to more of a frown, but it didn't last long.

"Think of the possibilities," she went on, the playful expression returning as if a switch had been turned back on. "If you and I were both brought here through a portal, perhaps this island was as well. Not everyone who comes through a portal is bad, right? Unless… you have some hidden agenda we don't know about?"

She stared back up at the strange fruit then and reached up to pick one off a branch. In her mind was Hāsta pleas of not doing anything stupid, but as usual, Corr ignored her. Really, the crow just didn't know how to have fun. Corr took a single bite out of the fruit, the citrus flavors exploding in her mouth unlike anything she had ever tasted before. It seemed very much worth the risk so far.

"I suppose if the gods have a hidden agenda, we'll find out soon enough, eh?" Given Corr's history so far, she had faith in karma and the threefold law. If she could recall correctly, she hadn't wronged anyone in quite some time, so theoretically she should be the last on a list of targets.

"Tell me more about Ravos," she said, taking the last bite of the fruit and feeling eager for a story.

@Asterion I'm not entirely sure where this post was going, but here you are xD

"Speaking."
credits







(For reference of Corr's house, click here; doubles as a plot thread!)
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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 370 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,325
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#9








He can still sense Cirrus’s unease as they move further away from the shoreline and the sky begins to be closed out by the crowding green canopy. The hum of insects is overtaking the sigh of the waves against the shoreline and it is warm and close beneath the shadow of leaves and trunks. But worry is ebbing away from the bay king, helped in part by the clear ease of his companion.

Corr’s optimism and good humor is infectious - a way of looking at the island that Asterion hadn’t realized he desperately needed until now. Most of his other conversations had been fraught, taut with tension from the first bloom of smoke over the island. Worry was as constant as his heartbeat, to think of his people subject to any number of horrors, from the gods to Raum. But as he walks beside the dappled mare, his worry remakes itself into wonder with each strange, small glory they pass.

Not that he can fully let go his apprehension of the gods. “I hope that’s true,” he says, lightly enough, but he is remembering that fatal autumn, when the rains would not stop, when the ground gave beneath their feet, when their goddess said they failed a test she set with oversized gophers. He listens with more interest to her mention of her magic weakening, and pauses to return her smile with a nod and a shadow of his own. “It took mine, too, when I first arrived,” he says, and the magic that lives in him now ripples reflectively, a stone being thrown down into the deep of a well.

Her next words make him laugh, even as he shakes his head. “If I do, I’m doing a poor job of implementing it,” he says, and settles his weight back, watching her reach for the fruit. There is a part of him that wants to stop her, wants to caution don’t - but he holds his tongue, only holding his breath as she takes, as she eats. He only releases it when nothing happens save for the bright tang of it scenting the air, and the roll of juice down the fruit’s skin.

Now he eyes the branch, still heavy-laden, and not even he could say why he doesn’t reach for his own. Not yet.

“I suppose we will.” His gaze drops to her again, soft and curious, wondering at this woman he’s never had a moment to meet before. Confident, laughing, brave; though he knows nothing of her but what he’s gleaned in these minutes on the island, she makes him proud of Terrastella. Even if he cannot quite agree about the intent of the island, or who is behind it.

“Ravos,” he repeats like a sigh of wind through the ferns, and begins to walk again when he sees she is finished. Asterion is still looking for signs of the dragon (though what would they be? A piece of seaweed snagged and drying on a branch, a few grains of sand that were so recently scales?) but he lets his mind range further, back in the reaches of his memory. “I was only a boy then, though I didn’t see myself that way at the time. There were four kingdoms, divided by their branch of elemental magic, ruled by two gods: fire, water, earth, air. And then there was the rift - godless, wild magic. Nobody could control it, and it was growing.” How well he remembers seeing it for the first time - that long canyon, deep and quick as a river, lurid and living and strange. How all the hair on his body seemed to rise when he was near, how the air hummed and tasted burnt and bitter and rich. And how it felt at last, alone, to plunge into.

“As the power of the gods and their followers grew,” he continues, “so did conflict in all directions. Skirmishes broke out. Lands were burned. The horses who claimed no religion planned to rise up against the gods themselves. And all the while the rift was growing. Eventually horses began to…jump into it.” He had never found out how it began, but he is sure that Calliope was the first to leap. It was like her, to rush full-throated into the unknown. How long he had waited; how afraid he was of both going and staying.

Even Cirrus is silent and still on his back when he glances back at Corr. “When I braved it at last, it led me here.”

How strange it is, to wonder if Novus will ever be so distant a memory.




@Corrdelia I think she's good for him, haha.

if you'll be my star*








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