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Played by Offline Kezz [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 8
Signos: 5
Vagabond Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Medium // Bonded: N/A
#1



s a b i n e
you are a garden 
that will one day bloom


( Sabine, )

The parchment trembles between her telekinesis. She knows each tight coil of ink, every trace of all the letters that are carved like angels atop gravestones; she knows where the sentences lead and how the letter ends and yet -- each time she breaks her gaze across the paper, the girl cannot stop herself from hoping that this time the words will have realigned and her world will not be as broken as it is right now.

( My little bird )

These words have traversed universes to be here; in this moment; to be read by moon-wide eyes rubbed red. It carries traces of Her still; as the last thing she had touched before - 

( I do not have much time )

She treads slowly; each distracted, stilted movement bringing her closer to a warring city she no longer fears. Her once-lustrous ribbons of hair have spun into knotted spirals that quiver like nests of caramel against her dusty skin, and as the sunlight thickens with the thudding tide of midday, it burns bright enough to reveal a network of tear-stained pathways that beat down her cheeks.  

Only the glassy blue of her horns shines, still, beneath that devastating wash of gold swallowing the desert whole. 

( I need you to know that I am sorry )

Worst of all, is the smell of smoke etched into the parchment's delicate wrinkles. It leaches into her bonemarrow like a virus she cannot shake; infecting the small sacred memories she had kept safe for so long. Sweet, white flashes of an afternoon by the lake, when everything had been quieter and simpler and her mother had still been able to smile.

( I am sorry I was not the mother you needed me to be )

She cannot feel her lips, but she knows they are as cracked as the arid earth upon which she moves. She cannot feel her breath, but she knows it swings on like a pendulum between her lungs and the air, animating her body that feels a casket to carry all the shattered and jagged shards of her heart. 

( Please look after your father... he needs you more than you know )

Rhoswen's final words fall into the chasm that now exists in her place. There is nothing left to read. 

Sabine thinks of her father and sees a world painted by a brush dipped in blue. She sees the blade that cannot glint for the six feet of soil crushing it so. Echoes of laughter and godless love detonate violently like celestial grenades within her ribs and suddenly the capitol rises up from the sand like a great mythical beast. She sees the face of her mother in the brilliant, brutal walls that stare at her so viciously and the realisation brings her body to its knees beneath the unearthly weight of her all-consuming grief. 

---

When the first sentry reaches that blue-eyed girl standing like a wraith at the gates of Solterra, they will not see beyond the gaunt kiss of her too-sharp hips or the industrial virginity of her hollow gaze. They will not notice that dark, jaded parchment folded against her hip. She will tell them she has come to request an audience with the king, and they will bark a laugh that is cut short by the black bleakness of the child's stare. 

If death should be the price, Sabine was ready to pay.




art created by rhiaan

@Raum




[Image: dbnivdi-4dcf9461-8e04-49e8-966c-3f4599c0...KvnIBGQKn8]

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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 144 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Day Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 26 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: Legion (Basilisk)
#2

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
 

Few know Solterra’s king has a daughter. Or if they were told, they have now chalked it down to myth. Never has Solterra’s sovereign spoken of a child and never has one visited.
 
Until now.
 
She stands beyond the wall, silent as she is scoured by the mocking laughter of ignorant guards. Their laughter crashes like waves through the citadel, churning off each wall and rising, rising like floodwater. It reaches the throne room and a king that muses in the now shattered silence.
 
The laughter ebbs, as all floods do. It recedes as if they have been silenced, as if someone dares to challenge them. Their voices are now the murmurs of stagnant waters, a fetid stench and Raum moves silently toward an arched window.
 
Down and down his gaze falls, down to the citadel steps to where his guards goad and drive back the source of their laughter. There is nothing in the depths of his blue eyes, there are no lines nor shadows upon his face to whisper of a king’s thoughts, or to betray his inner thoughts. He counts how many guards he should dismiss, he observes their idiocy, he wonders how much more blood will stain the dust bowl of Solterra before the sun kisses the earth in sleep. He wonders and he remains as stone, unmoved, uncaring, untouchable. Until the guards shift. Until sunlight spills like fire down a horn of glass and across a slim, small frame.
 
That girl, or her mother, might be the only ones who would ever be able to see the spark within his gaze, the flare of eyes widening. The door behind the guards opens, its groan is stifled but enough to stop the guards’ laughter. From within he steps, out, out into the sunshine away from the citadel that still echoes with his descent. That still cries with the smashing of a vase, dropped by a startled servant he brushed by.
 
He leaves it all behind him. He dismisses the guards as he steps in front them and into the black bleakness of his child’s stare. When was the last time he has stood here, before her, held in this blue gaze so similar to his own? When did she grow up? She stands, slim and tall and bold and haunted.  Every inch of her is them.  Sabine is the sun and the moon, the slimness of Rhoswen, the slimness of him. Always have they been slim, eating away at each other’s joy, loving each other too terribly, too horrifically, too wrongly.
 
“Sabi,” He hums and his voice is dust and mercury. Midnight barely clings to the silver of him, he is drowned in sun, in everything Rhoswen is and oh it is eating him alive. Then, there is a smile upon lips that have so readily forgotten how to curve like they do. It is a Crow’s smile: the smile of a father bequeathing his daughter a dagger in Denocte’s markets. It is the smile of a father consoling his daughter as she aches over her mother’s distant nature. But in all the spaces his lips have forgotten how to smile, is a smile of a dictator king with blood on his skin and corpses at his feet.
 
“Come in my Sparrow.” He calls to his child, the girl bold enough to fly away, escaping the harsh, barren seasons of her parents’ relationship. He guides her in, up step after step, spiraling higher and higher to the ample stretch of a throne room gilded in gold.
 
Only there does he turn back to his daughter, her presence like salvation and joy. Raum’s lips reach to press a fleeting kiss to her temple. “I have missed you. What brings you here? Are you well?”


@Sabine Iamnotready .... Iamsosoready






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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Played by Offline Kezz [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 8
Signos: 5
Vagabond Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Medium // Bonded: N/A
#3



s a b i n e
you are a garden 
that will one day bloom


She stares at the guards with an expression so pensive, so troubled, she does not think they would recognise her even if they knew who she was. Sabi barely recognises herself. She thinks of the cool oasis waters and of the strange gaunt woman staring back; the panels of her face seemed to lean in too close, the line of her lips now pinched where once it had been soft. Only her horns stood changeless, drinking in the undulating light and painting it ultramarine.

She wonders what they would look like dipped in red.

The guard's laughter does not cease when their mouths sew shut; their hyena-bark clatters on like a broken siren in her skull, ricocheting violently.  It sounds like everything else screaming in her head: sick. How could the world beget laughter when her mother was--when her mother was--was? 

The letter feels like a dead thing against her skin and she is torn between love and hate for the last trace of a bygone era. For that is all she can see when she flicks back through the pages of her life: oil-canvasses and watercolours that could never quite capture the haunting essence of her childhood. How could art possibly portray the emptiness in a child's heart where a mother's love should be?

She doesn't realise, but she is shaking. Her skin ripples like cloth dancing in a summer wind. Her chest is full of time -- time lost and won; precious moments destroyed irretrievably by the actions of a man she loved more than anything else on this small, dark earth. Was it true? The tales that were occupying the homes of innocent men, women and children all across the land. Tales of murder, deceit, torture, tyranny. 

And then the guards part, recoiling like rats from a flame as Solterra's king enters their paradise. And her heart, impossibly, beats that little bit faster. No. No. She wants to run but her legs are anchored to the sand; she wants to scream but her throat is constricted by fear. She can't do this, not when her heart is still weeping from a dozen different holes; when her heart might never stop weeping from that one last hole. Too weak, too fragile, too small to make her parents to love each other they way parents should. Nausea shoots up her throat and with wild eyes she glances back toward the desert, hoping for salvation before --

"Sabi,"

There is a florid light flashing behind the sockets of her eyes, just out of reach. It thickens and twists in the dark space within her skull, contorting at the sound of Raum's voice and Sabine cannot bury the paralysing feeling that it is not of her own design. She feels the colour of it: red and gold and red again. She turns to look upon her father, but she sees only the intimate oscillation of gold-light eating away at the bones of a guilty man's face. She sees fire licking at his sclera and his teeth as he smiles at her the way a wolf might smile at a lamb, and the bright light at the back of her head does not dim -- it is trying to tell her something. Someone is trying to tell her something.

She is dreaming in a nightmare. 

He does not smell the same. His eyes, once musing, are now bleak winters boring into his cranium. His ribs are wider, or maybe his flesh is simply narrower. They had told Sabi she was going to meet a monster, and for the first time, she sees what they have seen. 

Silent, spectral, she follows him. Is that not all she knows? All she has ever done? Meek Sabine, mild Sabine.

And still that red flashing light sings on. 

They pass people in halls that shrink from Raum's shadow and she wonders what he has done here. Then she thinks again, she does not ever want to know what he has done here. 

They reach the throne room at last and he turns to her in the same way he always did; it catches her off-guard. The movement of his sterling-silver skin toward her makes her bones itch and she flinches intensely at the kiss, stepping out of reach; she knows it will hurt him, but for the first time, she does not care. Did he care when he slaughtered Acton? Did he care when Rhoswen died on the mountain, alone and burning? Did he care when he starved a city of innocents? The rumours mill like fish in a small pond, and she knows they do not sound like rumours anymore. 

“I have missed you. What brings you here? Are you well?”

Silence clangs like a band marching to the beat of her heart. How can he speak to her as though Denocte had risen up around them and the earth had rewound several suns? She stares at him as if she were trying to read a book written in a language she could not understand. And it dawns on her: he does not know. Sabine begins to tremble once more and that great light flares so suddenly and so brightly she thinks she might collapse from the heat of it -- something in it feels like Rhoswen, something strong and terrible.

"She's dead," the words come like a freight train. Loud. Violent. Breathless. "Rhoswen." Two breaths, stumbling over each other, "she killed herself." And the letter she has kept safe for more days than she cares to count tumbles into the space between them like a knife severing a thread already painfully bare.




art created by rhiaan

@Raum




[Image: dbnivdi-4dcf9461-8e04-49e8-966c-3f4599c0...KvnIBGQKn8]

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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 144 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Day Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 26 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: Legion (Basilisk)
#4

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
 


She trails in his shadow, his gaunt, dark daughter. If he looked closer, if he dared, he would see the darkness that lingers in the corners of her. It is darkness that makes her body out of furrows and lines, sharp angles and sharper joints. He has placed such darkness upon her and maybe he sees it, but he sees it on everyone his violence has touched. His reign is made of impoverished angles and fearful stares from wide, terrified eyes. Why would he ever notice one small girl in his sea of oppression?
 
Sabine is small in the grand chamber of his throne room. She is a struggling flower, wilting, parched beneath the golden sands and towering pillars of Solterra. He looks to her and knows that this is never where she was meant to be. Raum looks to her and knows why he has never spoken of her – to keep her safe, to keep her well. But she is here now and he is here and time has woven a long tapestry between them. It has painted them each in new, different colours, their backgrounds, their essences, nothing like they once were. Sabine is nothing like he remembers.
 
He looks to her limb. He looks for the blade he gave her, he looks for the fighting muscle he and Acton worked to put on her. But there is nothing, she is as sharp as a mountain range. His Sparrow is gone. Like the Magician, like…
 
She flinches, recoiling back, flitting away like a bird on the wind. His lips are poison and through blue eyes he watches her. Static hisses in that gaze, the warning echoes of the thousand souls he has sent to perdition. Sparks grip along her skin, as if the blue of him can hold her, as if the waters of his gaze are enough to rise and keep her. But the space between them aches, his gut twists and his skull tilts, corvid and wicked bright as he studies her.
 
“Don’t turn from me Sab-“ Raum goes to plead, to command, to reprimand her but she is speaking. No, she is bleating yet each word that comes from her lips is a shout, a strike, a stoning. No, they are sparks. Sparks that blaze and rage. Together they grow and catch the tinder of his heart. It is a fire she awakens, a wicked burn that melts the ice from his soul.
 
Rhoswen.
 
Dead.
 
Killed herself.
 
Over that girl’s death Raum would end the world and bring vengeance upon the one who took her. She was his, Rhoswen, that creature of fire and sun. She was his to destroy, his to keep. There is ash upon his tongue and in his heart. The world is suddenly empty, it echoes in fire and clatters with cold. In the winter of it, in this frigid, silent cold of Sabine’s revelation a letter falls. It smokes still – and likely would forever. The air smells of unearthly fire, dangerous magic that singes along the leaf of parchment.
 
The king snatches it up from where it floats like a lost soul. He reads and he reads and he reads.
 
There is nothing in him. He thought he was empty, he thought he was numb. But that was before Rhoswen, that was before she ripped herself from the space she made within his body. And now he is empty. Now he is cloven in two. He is ragged and hollowed and there is a yawning hole within him. Acton rattles like bones within it, but Rhoswen turns that cave into a chasm.
 
Sabine is breathing, she is echoing the freight train of her revelation. Her sides are heaving and oh, now he sees the darkness in her - that ink stain of his sin that mars everyone he meets. Has Rhoswen scrubbed herself clean now? Was her suicide enough for that? Now he looks upon their daughter and sees Rhoswen, only Rhoswen, forever Rhoswen.
 
The Ghost turns away, walks to the window and looks out across his lover’s court. He came to ruin her, to ruin them, to ruin everything that she loved. But she won, she won, she won. He is alone, a broken half of a whole. The place where she should be (every inch of him) is filling with hot, hot blood. And now he is hurting. Now those rent pieces of him are aching white hot and raw. It is a swelling, a building, a rising crescendo of desolate agony and no longer does he hear his daughter’s voice as ragged as the pieces of him. No longer does he see her, not when everything is black and raw. It is ash and blood and bitterness.
 
Raum turns from the window and twists suddenly, swiping a statue of Solis from its plinth. He throws it, and sunlight pours along its edges, drips down the length of its bent limbs, frozen in a rear, frozen in a glorious bend that arcs through the air into the window. The panes shatter in a juddering crash, enough to rattle him, enough to rattle his daughter too. The statue continues down, down, down obliterating upon the courtyard as white dust plumes up, up, up. A soul escaping, a magic released – is that how Rhoswen went too? Or is she ash upon the wind?
 
Shards rain in a curtain of glittering light upon the throne room floor. The glass is screaming, echoing off the pillars, following the statue down, down, down. The throne room resounds, trembling with a scream that goes on and on long after the glass has fallen silent, long after the splinters of stone have stopped skittering. The scream strangles into a cry, into a hot, harrowing sob.
 
One moment?
 
Two?
 
A day?
 
A year?
 
A millennia?
 
How long does he stand there? How long does that sob cling to the broken parts of a man falling apart?
 
He turns from the window but he does not see, not for the tears that stream, not for the blood that mingles with it, stinging in his eyes, gnawing in his heart. A thousand cuts litter the silver of his skin. Sabine thought he was a monster as she followed him into the throne room. She thought she saw fire in his eyes and darkness, darkness, darkness.
 
She thought.
 
She thought.
 
She thought.
 
Laughter comes, low and agonized. It claws its way along the walls between the king and his daughter. It crawls across his flesh and hers and writhes in the emptiness of him. Raum lifts his gaze from the parchment, smoked and now bloodstained. He looks to his daughter through terrible eyes, black as the deepest, heaviest ocean. His eyes are tar and they hold her tight as they bear down, crushing, wounding. His smile is nothing like it was. The edges Sabine made soft, are now a slash, finely cut and wicked as a blade. Darkness oozes over that black, black smile: bitter, fetid, furious. Grief becomes anger and oh her letter is a bellows to the flames of his ire. For all he burns he rages because no fire will ever be Rhoswen’s, no fire will ever be equal to hers.
 
He steps to his daughter a torturer, a murderer, a Villain King. That water is rising, rising within him. Where is his girl and her fire to balance him? There is no check upon him. Where is the sun to his night? He stalks to their daughter; the evidence of their love, the evidence of their failure. “And so, Sabine-” Raum begins, towering before her, haloed by the jagged, broken teeth of the window’s gaping maw. The Crow sees her trembling, trembling, he tastes their grief, the discordant song between them. It is the sound of a string pulled tight, tight, tight and made to sing. It is the sound of his heart breaking. It shudders in the space between them. He wilts, his tears, Rhoswen’s tears are dark tracks cutting through his silver skin. They split him open: his daughter, his lover, they break him…
 
Low, low, rubbed raw with a grief as coarse as sand, he asks, “- have you come to save me, or hate me?”
 
In all his grief, in all the weakened, broken parts of him, softened by Sabine and sorrow, violence stirs, slipping like gasoline in his veins, waiting for a spark, a spark, a spark.



@Sabine 






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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Played by Offline Kezz [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 8
Signos: 5
Vagabond Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Medium // Bonded: N/A
#5



s a b i n e
you are a garden 
that will one day bloom


When Raum snatches up Rhoswen's letter, desecrating the sacrosanct divinity with his wicked-black fingers, Sabine turns away. No matter his crimes, no matter the pain he has wrought, she cannot stand and watch as his soul smatters and cracks like a bough beneath an axe. Even standing this close to him is terrible enough; the seismic waves of his grief pound her small frame with devastating force -- she can feel the void in his chest widening, like a black hole that yawns and pulses with lurid greed.

An arrow of light shoots through one of the gargantuan lancet windows and Sabine clings to the simple beauty of its static dance. She stares at the marble floor that is drowning in gold, compelling herself not to look up, not to look at him as he shrinks and swells like an atom under measureless pressure. 

But when the sunlight is fractured by the shadows of beautiful broken glass that scream and tear, Sabine can look away no longer. The horror of love and hate comes barrelling into the hall, swallowing man and girl, slapping them with blood-water and irreparable change. 

For they are helpless to the tide of time that throws them first left and then right; Sabine realises, quite suddenly, that her father is just naive as she. He believed he could control the very nature of life and death -- that he could pass judgement like a God wild and unbridled --  and Sabine, as she stands shaking beside the broken glass and laughter, wonders if he still believes that now.

The crow-king swoops toward the girl, his grief burning over into rage. She is frozen in the hot-ice of his ire. It is a sickness, it is the end. She might have laughed for the likeness she sees in him (how much he looks like Rhoswen in this singing red light) but she does not laugh and she does not cry. She can only whisper, "I don't know," into the thick air and curse her elemental inability to lie.

-----

art created by rhiaan





[Image: dbnivdi-4dcf9461-8e04-49e8-966c-3f4599c0...KvnIBGQKn8]

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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 144 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Day Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 26 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: Legion (Basilisk)
#6

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
 



I don’t know. She says, after she has looked away from him like an angel averts its gaze from wickedness. For what is his daughter but the entire opposite of he and Rhoswen?
 
Every inch of this girl is soft and warm – though his gaze turns her into ice. He looks and looks and waits for the hoarfrost to come creeping. What is time when he waits like this? What is time when he expects his daughter to turn into a flower – a rose – immortalized in the frost of his rage?
 
Rhoswen was the fire within him. She was the rage that scolded and melted the ice around his heart. But where was she now? Had his heart already known she was dead? Was this why it turned numb and blue and so hard like rock?
 
I don’t know.
 
Her answer sits, unsatisfactory. It is a tick upon his flesh. It itches and poisons and sickens him. As if he was not already sick enough.
 
His ire is a furnace. It takes every drop of the ice that freezes her skin and sends it all to melt-water rivers. It burns out the poison of her answer and has him trembling. What god-monster is this, he might think, that lets such grief flow free.
 
Somewhere as basilisk calls and its cry is enough to rend Solterra’s sky in two. The south wind is howling as it sweeps for the window and cuts itself upon the broken glass blades. It is the only noise in this room with a tooth-filled maw for a window and a bent girl – little more than a wilted rose. Before her the king stands, not a tree nor a flower, but a weed that chokes as it reaches and deprives as it rises. He has not petals but daggers and he does not smile but stare. He looks to the sun, like all plants do, but nothing keeps him alive like she did… His time is already unraveling.
 
Death is already upon him. It laughs in silver and blue. Raum looks to his daughter – does she see it too? Rhoswen is always the victor and this time she is too. Did she know when she turned herself to ash and to dust, that she condemned him too?
 
Oh how he hates her!
 
And oh how he loves her!
 
And it is love, he knows, that ultimately kills.
 
Raum is already dead. Sabine’s words mean little at all.
 
I don’t know. His daughter had said.
 
Grief eats him. It swallows him whole. Yet he steps to her side, and drinks in the scent of her. She is sunlight and woodland, the dust is only a veil for his child is more than daylight and night. She is more than dust and midday heat. He reaches for her, not a king, not a crow but a father, a man drowning. Raum reaches to hold her to drown within the only love he has left. “I am sorry little bird.” He whispers and means everything. Sorry for him, for her mother, for all he has done and not done and for all he has yet to do.
 
He holds her like it is his last, for now he knows it is.
 
He will not survive Rhoswen. Not like Sabine will survive them both. Ah, their slim, slight, delicate child, so very much stronger than them both.



@Sabine 






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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Played by Offline Kezz [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 8
Signos: 5
Vagabond Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Medium // Bonded: N/A
#7



s a b i n e
you are a garden 
that will one day bloom


Her words sink into the heavy silence like bodies fastened to stone. She feels them drop, dragging her with them as, lazily, they meander down toward a watery grave. I don't know. 

She's never known much. Her childhood was a brume of unanswered questions and unfamiliar faces staring at her from behind dark windows. Denocte had never felt like home; her uncle (gold and ochre) had been too absent to police his people and they filled the hollow space he left behind with tongues that lashed and stung. Their whispers carried too far and too quick for her father to soften their sting and when she tried to sleep the sadness from her bones, their warbling outrage seemed to lift only higher. "Ungodly creation" "A brat of Solterra, here?" "Her treacherous mother should-" 

The disorientation, the loneliness, the unadulterated shame: that is what she remembers of Denocte. 

But her father! Oh, her father. 

He had been every glittering, dying star in her sky. He could not take away her suffering, but he could bury her in a love, so wide and so high, that she might know a place in her heart to escape from the pain. As a little girl, she had marvelled at the long lines of his face and thought to herself that he must have been a king in his past life. 

The irony is not lost on her now. 

For as they stand, locked in a ritual she could not bear, Sabine knows that the place he had created for her (the haven to which she ran when the monsters came hunting) was gone. 

He is at her side in a blink of an eye and she is drowning in the smell of his skin. It is a sickness in her senses, poisoning her lungs, for it is him and not him, all at once. The rich redolence of blood and death that lies on his flesh like a glutinous film is overwhelming -- suffocating, but it cannot conceal the woody, resinous trace that remind her of the pines standing guard at the base of the Arma. 

She wants to weep. There is a great animalistic sob beating at her chest, crying to be set free, and for a moment she almost turns the key. But when he pulls her close, she knows -- like she knows the simplest of truths -- that she cannot unravel now. 

For a moment, Sabine leans closer. Why? Muscle memory, loneliness, grief - love; does it really matter? It is feels like a photograph, a precious second captured; one that would live in the space beside her heart, where her father's sanctuary should have been. And for that single moment, nothing else exists; they are alone in their sins and together in their grief.

But it does not, cannot, last long. There is too much time between them; time that was replete with the souls he had stolen. And when she steps back, it is not to flee or to flinch from his touch. It is not to punish him like a child, or a murderer. It is to save him the only way she knows how. 

"Do not apologise to me, Papa." She is trembling, but her gaze stands ferociously steady. "You -" A pause. Pained, wounded. "You should apologise to Acton who lies dead beneath flowers. You should apologise to his daughter for denying her the love of a father," her voice cracks, but she does not stop, "You should apologise to Isra who bears the scars of your torment. To Seraphina for leaving her to die alone in the sand. To the people of Solterra for crucifying their love of a God who is not your own. To Rhoswen... for taking everything she was and destroying it because you were angry." She is breathless, she is burning,

"I do not think you will tell me why, and even if you did, it would never be enough. So let me ask you, Raum," she steps closer, so close that they are almost touching again, "was it all worth it?"





art created by rhiaan

@Raum




[Image: dbnivdi-4dcf9461-8e04-49e8-966c-3f4599c0...KvnIBGQKn8]

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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 144 — Threads: 16
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Day Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 26 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: Legion (Basilisk)
#8

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
 


Sabine leans into him and he holds her tighter. But Raum knows all things are fleeting and when she steps away, peeling herself from him (taking from him the pieces of her that have grown to help hold him together) he is raw where they touched. He is bleeding in his heart and unraveling at the seams. Their thread grows frayed and brittle as it loops loosely between them.
 
Never has she said so much as she does now when her lips part:
 
Apologies.
 
Apologies
 
Apologies.

 
Over and over she demands that he give them to those he has killed: Acton and Seraphina and Rhoswen and more, more, more. She names their ghosts and they come. Acton grins with his fire-starter smile, Rhoswen’s gaze is soft as ash, cruel as the raging inferno, he does not look for Seraphina’s – he does not care to.
 
Fire, fire, fire, Acton and Rhoswen and Sabine… that was what defined those he loved most. He was always destined to burn, wasn’t he?
 
Then there is Octavia, Bexley, Isra, Solterra, all those living whom his actions have wronged. He should apologise to each and every one of them. So Sabine demands as she stands, frail as a fledgling, but every baby bird is brave enough to spread their wings and fly. He watches the ferocity burn in his girl’s blue, blue eyes and wonders when her wings matured, ready for this moment.
 
She flies.
 
She flies.
 
She-
 
“No.” Raum says softly, and wonders if she plummets then, caught, as if in a strong gust. Does she shatter like the statue he threw from the window? (Still he hears them, people gathering, talking, wondering what enraged the king so. And others flee, frightened of what ire he might bring.) Darkness comes creeping. Raum can feel it. It is so much thicker than night, so much more cold than the farthest reaches of the stars, so much more broken than even death. It looms like a specter and maybe this was his choice, here and now? Will he crawl upon his knees and beg for clemency? Lay his apologies upon everyone like a madman made to see reason?
 
But Raum is not mad. He has never been mad.
 
“No,” he repeats. “My apology is only for you, Sabine.” He takes a breath, inhales this dusty air that has abraded his lungs too long. “The rest…” And he thinks of them as he looks to the assembled ghosts that he has killed. The king pictures the living – those who endured him and continue to do so. “I am not sorry for my actions toward them. I am not sorry for killing them. There are no other apologies to make.”
 
But Rhoswen… “I love her and hate her. I hate her for leaving us, again and again and again, Sabine.” His breath is tight in his chest, emotion gathers, strangling in his throat. Grief is killing him, that cloud of looming darkness is reaching. “I apologise that you no longer have a mother, I apologise that I cannot be the father you wanted or needed. But I will not apologise to any other. Acton grew weak and misguided, Seraphina stood in the way of Solterra, Isra I will sooner kill if I see her again…”
 
He trails off, staring at his daughter, dousing her in silver, wishing he could keep her like this forever, safe from him, from the world. “Maybe I would apologise to the children whose parents I have killed. Maybe them, Sabine, but the regret of making orphans will not stop me doing it again.”
 
Was it worth it?
 
He smiles, he laughs, the sound is alien and the grounds rattling with the shock of his laughter. It feels strange upon his tongue and rough like gravel. There is no joy in such a noise. Raum was not made for laughter.
 
“Depends.” He answers softly, knowing this is the most he has revealed to any, except Rhoswen, except Acton and they are both dead now. Sabine stands, his only confidant. “To see Solterra broken, its pride bruised and bleeding, yes it was worth it. But at the cost of your mother’s life?” He murmurs, low, rough and tortured, “No. It was not worth that.”
 
And now he laughs true, genuine and morose. It is a sound shattering, less a laugh and more a moan. His electric eyes close as his chin tips up. The Ghost takes a breath, “She won, Sabi.” He groans as if pained as if it had all been a game. “She has ended it all.”
 
And he is content to name Rhoswen the victor.


@Sabine 






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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Played by Offline Kezz [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 8
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Vagabond Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: Medium // Bonded: N/A
#9



s a b i n e
you are a garden 
that will one day bloom


The city drips like melting wax; too hot, too soft and it is formless against Raum's touch. 

Sabine bears the earliest memories of her mother's Solterran pride like medallions salvaged from bloodshed, but the shimmering dominion of Rhoswen's idyll does not match up to the reality of the pale pinched province that wails now where glory once roared. 

Her mother was many things, but a liar was not one of them.  

Solterra was choking, and her father was only tightening his grip. 

She thinks, quite unexpectedly then, of Abel. The wire-straight line of his mouth, how he didn't flinch when the flies bit at his neck, the way he looked at her as though her name was Eve and his Adam and they were walking wholly alone upon a newborn Earth.

She wonders if he is still here, in this place where lions looked like mice. If you had been starved and tormented by a man without blood, wouldn't you? Sabi hopes Abel is long gone. Anywhere but here. She hopes, she hopes, she hopes. 

But Raum is speaking, so softly she thought at first it was the glass singing still, and all thought of that blank-eyed boy runs clear of her mind. 

Sabine listens to his denial and how she longs to strike him, to reprimand him as though he were a fractious wayward child. Only a madman would look back upon the slaughter of so many good people without a care in the world. 

She doesn't. Of course she doesn't. She is not like him. But she had always wanted to be: brave like him, sharp like him, knotted and brilliant like him. Now, as he stands before her, collecting his demons in a small metal cage, Sabine wonders if instead he should have been the one wanting to be more like her. 

Raum's words spark and splutter like dying fireflies, reaching for that fading light one last time. She watches as they spiral earthward, tangling in the rapunzel sea-surf of her honeyed curls; defiling the last dregs of faith she had kept safe. He is not sorry for the crimes he had committed and it is a stake that he drives deeper into her mother's rotting memory. 

The girl can feel the soft burn his defiance leaves upon her skin. She longs to curl her knees up close to her chest, to bury her head into her arms and weep for the senselessness of it all -- for all the souls who had not survived his hatred. The people who would not live to feel the fever of the brittle-winter-wind, to know the chorus of wonder that rises like magic at the sight of their child's first smile. They would never see the animate painting of the glass-winged butterfly flying south at dawn. They would never love - loathe - cry - laugh - live.

Her father had taken everything from them. 

And he did not care. 

"I know why she left over and over again, Papa. It always felt like she was hoping, in each absence, that something would change. But it never did; it only got worse." She's staring at him now, searching for something that she wouldn't find, "I used to think it was my fault... That I had done something wrong," her heart thuds like a grenade, but now I know, it was you."

The girl closes her eyes, listening to the distant sound of wind braying against the Mors, "She didn't win... She's dead, Papa. Where's the victory in that?" When she opens those too-bright shards of blue, he looks different: older, wearier, as though he were an ancient soul trapped in the body of a mortal. 

"And you're going to die soon too." As the sunlight twists through the broken window, it sounds almost like a vow.

art created by rhiaan

@Raum




[Image: dbnivdi-4dcf9461-8e04-49e8-966c-3f4599c0...KvnIBGQKn8]

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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 144 — Threads: 16
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Day Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 26 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: Legion (Basilisk)
#10

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
 


She blames him.
 
Oh how she does.
 
His sins are many but he is not responsible for Rhoswen fleeing, over and over and over. He listens and smiles. It is a thing seldom few have seen. For some it will be a shock. But for his daughter of butterfly ice, it will be memories made dark and twisted. There is no joy in his smile, there is no delight in abounding love that he had once felt. There is just sadness and a twist of resentment bitter as lemon.
 
“No Sabine.” He says quietly, yet those two words are hard as granite. They hem her in around and above and below. They force her to listen, to understand. “Even if she did leave, hoping that things would get better, how would it ever? She would leave when things were right and return licking at her wounds.”
 
All of Raum is soft now. All of him is quiet. Yet he is audible, even above the winds that howl around this high tower that cradles them within its core. He has ripped it open and the Solterran dust billows in to its chest cavity.
 
She is dead… where is the victory in that?
 
He says nothing, though he turns toward the throne room’s open wound with its jagged glass edges. He looks down from it to the ground where already the statue is swept away and the crowds pushed back. The Royal Guard look up, concerned, watchful, keeping the citizens away from the Mad King.
 
That is what they whispered on the streets, that is what they believed of him. Madness, a dictator… he was one of those things, but he was not mad. And maybe that is the worst of all his sins. “She is at peace now, Sabine. How is that not victory?” He moves toward her, closer and closer until he is a breath from her, until to touch his daughter would be the smallest move. He longs to, he desires to. Already the memory of her skin is fading, he tries to grasp the girl he holds within him mind, but she is water between fingers. Gone.
 
Their relationship is already broken… how could anything be worse when his daughter could not stand to be touched by him any more? “I came here to ruin her,” He confesses softly. “I came here to take the Court she loved above me and  above you and turn it into ash. Solterra was never a home to me but I have spent the most time here after Denocte. I hate this place, its people, its sun. It has taken everything from us and so I came to make it reap the rewards of it ambition. I came to make Rhoswen suffer.” He stops every word spoken softly, carefully, thoughtfully. “But she killed herself and now she is at peace and that, Sabine, is victory.”
 
Each word washes upon his daughter in a terrible baptism. He knows she might always be changed. He sees the light in her eyes go out, the man she remembered incomparable to the man she knows now. Ah, his daughter, the last creature alive to ever see him as lovable. He sees the moment he becomes less, the moment he becomes a madman in her gaze.
 
 Rhoswen is resting and gods he is so tired too. As if she knows Sabine says with promise, with prophetic certainty, and you are going to die soon too. His head lowers and turns away from the desire to touch his daughter one last time. To hold her, to whisper that he loves her, to press a kiss to the curve of her jaw and feel all the ways she is alive and breathing and the product of a love that once was pure and good.
 
But he doesn’t and he aches with it.
 
Raum turns to face the window, that gaping, open wound: a silent cry. “You are right.” He agrees softly, welcoming death in, feeling the cold of her and how his ghosts wear such awful macabre smiles. “I think it is time you left, Sabine. The guards will see you out.” 

He dismisses his daughter as a king and does not turn to see her leave.


@Sabine 






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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