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Private  - four of the roses were on fire

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Played by Offline REDANDBLACK [PM] Posts: 237 — Threads: 28
Signos: 130
Day Court Regent
Female [she/her/hers] // 7 [Year 497 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: Light Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#1

THEY STOOD UP STRAIGHT AND PURE ON THE STALK, GRIPPING THE DARK LIKE PROPHETS
AND HOWLING COLOSSAL INTIMACIES
FROM THE BACK OF THEIR FUSED THROATS
Bexley is not quite sure what brings her to the island except that there is nothing left to do. She has watched the sky in Denocte turn from blue to pink to purple what feels like millions of times; still her dreams are these horrible, violent things that drain her more than they let her rest, and no manner of drugs or therapy has fixed her yet. The dreams would be incredible if they weren’t so terrifying — resplendent with pools of blue blood and incandescent fire, tattooed with the memory of death. Even when awake, they follow her as a hungry dog would: snarling, growling, slobbering as it trails a few steps behind, never tiring, never fading. There is never a moment where it does not haunt her.

His name has faded from her brain a little. Only because she forces it to - because she is tired of crying more than she is tired of not seeing him. There is some power in the strength of her will. Far and away the only power she has left.

She had seen the initial explosion from a high room in Denocte’s citadel. Over the ocean a blossom of black fire had risen high in the sky before flaring outwards, and she had watched it with huge, watery eyes, the acrid scent of the smoke clawing at her lungs even from miles away. Her heart had stopped completely in her chest, and she had gone flying down the steps like a bat out of hell. The citizens in the Denoctian market had been still as statues when she pushed through them, their heads turned to the sky, eyes like glass marbles reflecting the explosion. Totally catatonic. Not a single one had talked or moved. They were frozen perfectly still like the victims of Medusa — it was a ghost town, a Greek garden. But there had been no time. No time to stop, no time to ask. Just the terrible non-beat of her pulse dragging her toward the catastrophe like a dog on a leash.

She only vaguely remembers the journey there. By the time she reached the island the wall of ivy had already fallen apart, the bridge stretching openly over the ocean in a simple invitation, come. And she did. Come she did, and so had hundreds of others, swarming the leg of black lava like bugs on bad fruit. Murmurs passed through the crowd in ripples as they poured from every corner of Novus into the water and the white sand beaches. And though Bexley wasn’t sure what she’d expected, it wasn’t this — not Paradise — because the people of Novus didn’t deserve it.

Not when one of their own had killed Acton. Not when they stood silently and let Raum drain the life from Solterra. Not when each one of them, clawing their way toward the isles, was hiding the same horrible, self-centered sickness in their hearts, a sickness with teeth and claws and a lust for blood.

Anyway.

It could be summer, though she knows it isn’t. It’s hot. The sun casts its white shadow from overhead and bleaches the sand like a perfectly cleaned bone. Heat simmers over the bright-blue water and makes a mirage on the flat planes of the island; Bexley is boiling hot by the time she shoulders her way from the beach into the cool shelter of the jungle, the warmth coating her in a wild, incandescent glimmer. She is a shining bauble in the warm dark of the forest. Overhead, birds twitter and sing brightly. The howl of something feline that Bexley does not recognize caterwauls from various places deep in the trees. Fruits she has never has seen, never even heard of, hang ripe and dark from the bent boughs of trees. And though it is beautiful — the songs, the bright light, the lush green leaves — something deep in her chest still begs to be listened to when it says turn around, turn around.

Bexley does not listen. She never does.

CREDITS





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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 15 — Threads: 2
Signos: 290
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 4 [Year 499 Fall] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#2




the great object of life is sensation -
to feel that we exist, even though in pain


♠︎ ♠︎



It’s a strange group of feelings, as he explores the island - a mingling of excitement and fear, like betting at a high-stakes table and not knowing the next card that’s about to turn over. One that could just as easily kill you as win you everything.

August is not used to not knowing. Knowledge is his favorite currency, secrets his favorite coin; when they’d all stood on the bridge together, a little city of horses in a line, for every one he recognized he rolled their hidden wants and sins through his mind like a litany. It was a balm, in a way, a game to occupy his mind instead of working at this mystery like clumsy fingers at a knot.

He doesn’t trust this paradise. That’s the easiest thing about the situation, the distrust - why believe a hand that’s already seized you by the throat more than once, no matter how nicely it offers a gift? But he is still a boy who dreams of adventure (that is his own secret, never shared) and it doesn’t feel like fear, the way his heart races at each new discovery. Even the birds are strange, and not just their stones-for-eyes, their trailing fire, the way they must be a portent of something, some other world bleeding into Novus. No, it’s their singing that sticks with him, new and lovely, and it at last soothes away the sound of that dread heartbeat, a hundred thousand berries pounding and dying and dead.

He isn’t sure at what point he became alone. When the silence descended (at least, it felt like silence, though the wind blew and the waves licked up on the shore, and so on and so forth, a veritable chorus of noise) it had seemed to touch the horses, too, and many had wandered away in small groups, in pairs, and singly. At some point Minya had been beside him, and not long ago he had seen Boudika, and he knows this island is thick with those he knows - yet it might be deserted but for him, here in the thick jungle. The shadows are cool over his golden skin, and the pale skein of his hair is crusted with salt. August is usually beautiful, and intentionally so, but after days of waiting and milling and wondering he is near filthy now. It doesn’t bother him; it’s only for the Scarab he takes that kind of care.

Through the trees there is a flash of gold (darker and more burnished than his own) and pale hair. As he picks his way nearer - graceful and near-silent by nature, and not specific intent - his mind begins to place her, to catalogue her as he does everyone he comes across, because one day they may be useful. But before he quite can (before he can make out the scar, old but still livid down her cheek, or the wild-empty look in her eyes) something else catches his eye. A flock of birds, small and still and intent on the stranger. August doesn’t yet look too closely; he knows whatever he sees will make him uneasy with wonder.

Instead he clears his throat, steps forward through the tangling vines and caressing leaves. “You’re being watched,” he says easily, and his silver eyes move from the watchers to Bexley Briar.


@Bexley | I have missed her so





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Played by Offline REDANDBLACK [PM] Posts: 237 — Threads: 28
Signos: 130
Day Court Regent
Female [she/her/hers] // 7 [Year 497 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: Light Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#3

THEY STOOD UP STRAIGHT AND PURE ON THE STALK, GRIPPING THE DARK LIKE PROPHETS
AND HOWLING COLOSSAL INTIMACIES
FROM THE BACK OF THEIR FUSED THROATS

She hears him. Sort of. Not enough to tell what or who it is, but enough to know it is not the work of the island, for the sound and weight of his footsteps is the only natural thing in this cacophony of shrill singing birds and the murmur of rushing water. All the rest of it is overwhelming compared to the mild fear of a stranger. Her ears almost ring as she tries to absorb it. Everywhere she looks there is something new and captivating to the point that Bexley feels it buzzing in her head like a a swarm of honeybees, feels wonder bright and sugary in her throat as she watches the island with wide eyes.

And as she watches the island, it watches her.

A swarm of tiny dark birds crouch among the trees and weigh down the boughs. Their eyes — little jewels of fire opal and cool, bright titanium — swivel in their delicate heads. And they chirp high-pitched, unsettling melodies that shatter the humid air like glass from their roosts high in the jungle, as if they are trying to draw her in. It almost works. Bexley’s bone-white head lifts toward their noise, as if she is going to seek them out, as if she is about to question; her step slows and she wavers for a moment, debating a turn from her path toward them, then turns back. Focus, focus, focus.

But where is she supposed to focus, what path is she supposed to follow?

And before she can think about it too hard or get too wrapped up in her own misery the stranger clears his throat from a dark place behind her, and Bexley closes her eyes for a brief moment — focus, focus — before turning to face him, hooves slipping in the soft dirt.

She smiles briefly when she sees him. They could be mirror images, one of each other from parallel lines of existence; each burnished in gold and white, the stranger is sooty where she is clean, dark where she is perfectly bright. The silver of his eyes is unnervingly clean. It reminds her a little of the skin of the moon. Her eyes drop, and Bexley notes the set of pure white socks that adorn each one of his feet with a wry look. Cute.

“Yeah,” she responds. ”By you, apparently.” Her voice is rough, maybe from disuse or the salt in the air, and somehow a little amused. In the dappled light she glows faintly, incandescence shimmering over her skin like a glittering veil. She could be a goddess — only of vengeance, though, only of the most painful kind of love. Ethereal but not as in heavenly.

And then she offers dryly, “Cute piercing, fighter bull.”

CREDITS





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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 15 — Threads: 2
Signos: 290
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 4 [Year 499 Fall] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4




the great object of life is sensation -
to feel that we exist, even though in pain


♠︎ ♠︎



The birds’ melodies sound more like something that might drift and tremble high on the bonfire-smoke of Denocte, aimless and vivid as a thrown spark, and all at once fall back to silence. More than that, constant as the now-dead heartbeat of the wall, is a livewire hum that he seems to catch only on the backs of his teeth or the cords of his throat. It is magic, it must be, but the boy in him is surprised to find it is no pleasant feeling. No fairy tale described this, the way dread mingles with beauty. 

He should be less naive, by now. 

Her smile catches him the same way, beauty and dread, because he recognizes her as soon as she turns. Bexley Briar, exiled Regent of Solterra, lover of a dead man. August hadn’t known Acton, but like most of Denocte he’d known of him - he’d eaten up stories of the Crows’ exploits like bread, as a boy. Them and their roguish king, back in the brief glory days when the stars might just have been another set of diamonds for the stealing. How darkly their story had ended. And here before him the last remnant of it, save for the killer himself. Finding her feels like its own treasure, though the thought sinks and settles in his belly heavy as sin. 

“By me,” he allows, with a little dip of his chin. “Alas, I am far less interesting, and likely less dangerous, than everything else on this island.” All the while he watches her, eyes as silver as the backs of mirrors, as cool as his skin beneath shadows. But not you, that gaze says, and try as he might the boy can’t feel guilty for his sharp curiosity. Knowledge is one of the few things he allows himself to both want and have. 

He wants to grin at her comment, her easy wryness, but at first he only lifts a brow. “I’m told it makes me look more dashing,” he answers, and the line of his mouth curls somewhere between demure and impish. It is no lie - he had been told that, once, and had pretended to be well-pleased instead of rolling his eyes - but in truth the piercing had been the result of too many drinks and a dare in the back rooms of the Scarab one evening, years ago. “Though it’s got nothing on that scar of yours.” For a moment his breath catches, holds, a fluttering thing behind his teeth as he wonders whether her expression will turn sour or sad or angry, and he is surprised by how much he hopes it doesn’t.

Then August steps forward through the undergrowth, ferns brushing soft against his belly and legs, into the orbit of her unearthly glow. 



@Bexley | <3 





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Played by Offline REDANDBLACK [PM] Posts: 237 — Threads: 28
Signos: 130
Day Court Regent
Female [she/her/hers] // 7 [Year 497 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: Light Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#5

THEY STOOD UP STRAIGHT AND PURE ON THE STALK, GRIPPING THE DARK LIKE PROPHETS
AND HOWLING COLOSSAL INTIMACIES
FROM THE BACK OF THEIR FUSED THROATS

Oh, he knows her. Sometimes Bexley forgets that she is someone here — that she has made a name for herself, that more often than not, her introductions are useless, for even strangers know her.

Or think they know her. Pretty regent, girl with the scar. Solterra’s golden girl. (Not anymore!) Anyway, that doesn’t matter; they see only the celebrity side of her that goes smiling from court to court, singing the praises of Solis and acting as though everything is fine, dead girl glowing while she walks, doing what she’s supposed to do. But Bexley is not any of that. Not anymore. Solterra’s golden girl does not belong in Solterra anymore, and she is no regent, only a disaster. Everything has changed.

Except her scar, the defining marker of a life well lived. And that is all they would ever need to recognize her.

She cannot know that August belongs in Denocte or knows of Acton. Perhaps it is better that way — perhaps, if she knew, she would want to ask questions. She would want to know. (Did you see him, before he died? Did you talk to him? Who took his things, and his body, I want them back —) Oh, if she knew this would all be so different, she would not see him at all, simply an open doorway in the shape of him. But she does not know. Cannot know. And so when she looks at him she only smiles, heart caught on the silver-blonde of his hair and the ring in his nose.

“Don’t discredit yourself,” she drawls. “I’m sure you can find a way to be interesting.” Her eyes are unmoving from his. He is interesting already, but then he knows that, they both do. He is only playing coy (which she can appreciate). It is nothing that can be denied. They have set a game in motion, and oh, Bexley does not like to lose.

She snorts at his next quip, somewhat irritated, mostly amused. The ferns split around him. (She tries not to read too much into the way he moves toward her — soft and slick like some strange, pretty snake.) Bexley watches and watches and watches: the dull shine of his skin in the sun against the green of the island, the waves of his hair, and — huh — the dark burnish of a tattoo saddling the muscle of his shoulder. Her eyes narrow as she focuses in on it. A cross? A set of scales? No, a beetle.

Strange.

No matter. Bexley tilts her head to the side, and a shower of golden sparks sloughs from her mane. “You have no idea how much I hear that.” A little smirk pulls at her lips. For a moment she stands quietly, looking over him, as if she is not quite sure what to say — but Bexley has never gone speechless for long, and today will be no different. “Do I get your name, or do I have to ask the birds for it?”

Still they twitter overhead, but Bexley can almost block them out now.

CREDITS





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