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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 409 — Threads: 43
Signos: 2,548
Missing from Dusk Court
Male [He/Him/His] // Immortal [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 99 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#1











       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*




 

It feels strange to be back in the Dusk Court after so long away. 

Asterion isn’t sure how long he spent on the island - days? weeks? more? Time had a funny way of slipping, there, or freezing, he isn’t sure which - but he returns to a Terrastella transformed. The neutral whites, grays and browns of winter have given way to a green so rich it seems almost unlikely, a kind of alchemy only nature could produce. There is everywhere the heady, sweet scent of clover, and the soft drone of bees and hum of grasshoppers, and all of it melts into a chorus that only means home, home, home. 

And he is glad to be back. 

After the strangeness of the island, it is a comfort to walk along the cobblestone streets he knows more intimately than a lover, aware of each alley they fold into and each stream that meanders across their path. It is spring and nature has continued its boundless addition; baby rabbits play in the long grass, and a soft smile touches the king’s mouth at all the new foals he sees with their mothers in the city, baby-soft on legs as thin as reeds. 

He hopes that they will never know a Novus touched by fear and dread, by plagues of rain and fire. He thinks of his conversations with Eik, and Seraphina, and Isra, and the world that they might build together. He hopes the man he searches for might be a part of making it. 

Intuition and a few soft questions lead him away from the city, a little copse of forest beyond the sightline of the gates, where long grass gives way to cedar and oak. It is cool beneath the trees, a balm on a warm late-spring afternoon, and he does not mind the time he spends searching here below boughs that hang with moss like lace, and moths and butterflies drift between the trunks. 

But it doesn’t take too long to find the man he seeks, quiet beneath the canopy whose leaves sigh with the wind. Asterion approaches the bay quietly, and ducks his head in greeting. 

“Rhone,” he says, and his smile is as soft as the light that filters through the trees. He realizes then that he never properly thanked the man for his support at the meeting; it already feels so long ago. Something in him has changed, since that day. “I hope that you are well?” 










@Rhone <3






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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 5
Signos: 350
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 18 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#2



Spring had always been his favorite time of the year. The temperatures were no longer so cold it felt as though he was freezing well into his bones. It was also not smoldering hot just yet and a breeze was almost always present. Not only was the temperature near perfection, the clouds would bring crisp spring rain that would always lead to new growth of plants and flowers, something the earth-wielding stallion always took pleasure in. Nature had always kept him grounded and it would be nature that kept his mind sane.

But not only did all of these things provide physical warmth, but warmth filled the bay stallion knowing that spring also brought on new life. Even as he stood here beneath the shadow of an old oak tree, he could see a young fawn just barely making it upright on unstable legs. His mind wandered onto his own children and how he had witnessed each and every one of their births. He remembered the way they too struggled to stand. It filled his heart with joy to think of them, even if his relationship with each one of them had been unstable.

But there is something, no someone, that catches his attention and causes him to look away from the young fawn and his mother. Asterion approached him with a gentle nod of his head in greeting. Polite as always, Rhone does the same. "Good morning, Asterion." While it was indeed a perfect morning, Rhone knew that for some in Terrestella that was not having a great morning. He remembered his promise to Ard to help find Erd. Perhaps now would be a good time to bring it up to the king. Rhone could only hope that his request might come with a promise of return and a blessing.

Rhone heaves a heavy sigh, one that spoke of all the feelings he was feeling. Happiness to be home, worry regarding the whereabouts of Erd and Ard’s heartbreak, and fear of the unknown. The island seemed far too good to be true, something he knew deep down he should be weary of. "I am well, though I cannot say the same for some." He had no complaints. Life had been good to him here on Novus, a life that he hoped would continue to be fruitful. "I hope the same can be said of yourself." Hopefully life had been kind to Asterion. The stallion deserved happiness in this world. He was still youthful and had a good head upon his shoulders.

He turned a little, to fully face Asterion as he stood beneath the shade of his oak tree. Eyes rested softly on Asterion’s face, the gaze purposeful. "Have you been made aware that Erd has gone missing?" Rhone would have assumed that Marisol and Theodosia would have told their king of the missing member of Dusk Court. Then again, he didn’t know the two well enough to have any sort of opinion on if they would or would not bother him with such a thing.

@Asterion










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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 409 — Threads: 43
Signos: 2,548
Missing from Dusk Court
Male [He/Him/His] // Immortal [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 99 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#3











       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*




 

It isn’t until he watches Rhone’s attention shift to him that Asterion realizes they aren’t alone in the glade. As he meets Rhone’s greeting with a smile, the king’s gaze touches on the doe and its young, with a back still speckled with rows of white. Something about the two of them - the mother watchful but unafraid of the two stallions - makes him think of Florentine, and how she would soon have a child of her own. The thought makes him feel old, and glad in a way that is almost like sorrow.

At the sound of Rhone’s sigh he looks back to the man, his slender ears pricked forward, dark eyes soft. He doesn’t know the bay well enough to translate all the feeling in that sound, though Rhone feels like the kind of horse he might have known forever, steady and quiet and kind. Yet what he says has the king’s star-marked brow furrowing in concern. “It can be,” he replies, still wearing that faraway smile, but he is waiting for Rhone to elaborate on some.

Still, he doesn’t expect what the scholar says. It takes him a moment to process the words - to picture the twins, small enough to look boyish, never out of sight of one another. He has never met them properly, a rueful thought, but every time he sees them his heart goes taut with a strange kind of sadness. It is impossible then to forget that he is also a twin.

But missing - Asterion shakes his head, at once uneasy. Too many possibilities rise at once in his mind, hazy as shadows, waiting to be made real: Raum, and the island, and more tests from a vengeful goddess. Oh, trouble is never too far away, like wolves in winter.

“I’d not heard,” he says, and there is no straying of his gaze now. It is intent on Rhone. “What do you know, and when did it happen? Where is Ard now?” As he waits for answer, he reaches out through the bond he shares with Cirrus, needing only one word to snag her attention: Trouble.










@Rhone he is such a Good Boy






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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 5
Signos: 350
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 18 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#4



The morning is so beautiful, so peace, so quiet. Even in the stillness, Rhone knows that not everything about this morning is quiet and peaceful. Evil has always lurked just beyond the shadows, trapping those who wander to close. Erd had never deserved the fate that had come to him, just as poor Ard did not deserve to be separated from his own twin brother. While Rhone might not understand the bond of twins, he understood the bond of brotherhood and of friendship. It had already been decided that he would help Ard find his brother, with or without his king’s blessing. Something pressed this need on his heart, making him unable to think of anything except bringing Erd home safely.

He brings up the missing stallion, hoping that someone had told him already. After all, it had been Theodosia and Marisol that had offered to check within Dusk Court boarders. Those two had far more influence than he had and no doubt were closer to their king. He had assumed that they would have told Asterion about the missing stallion. He had assumed wrong.

He raises his gaze to look at the bay, careful to keep their eyes locked in order to show the seriousness of the issue. "I was made aware just the other day. Ard was in a panic, saying his brother had gone to the markets and hadn’t returned. He spoke to myself, Marisol, and Theodosia." The fact that Ard spoke at all had been quite the revelation. Rhone supposed he knew the man could talk, he just had not actually heard him speak. Perhaps that was what drew him to the small stallion’s plight. Someone must have gone horribly wrong if the quiet stallion was forced to speak.

He sighed softly as he thought about the conversation he had with Ard and the two mares. "Theodosia and Marisol seemed to think that he would simply return in time. I’m inclined to side with Ard regarding his fear that something horrible has happened." He wasn’t sure why he believed Ard, but he did. "Ard will be leaving today to go search for him. I intend on joining him until Erd can be found." He was no soldier, no Halcyon. He was just a lone stallion, a scholar who sought out truth. He hoped that Asterion might understand his need to join Ard.

He paused a moment, thinking about what might happen if Asterion should not give his greeting. He supposed that in the end, nothing but bringing Erd home mattered. Even if Asterion refused, he could not abandon Ard. "I hope I have your blessing." his eyes were soft as they rested on the bay stallion. He hoped Asterion understood his need to help. So many times he had tried to help and had made a fool of himself. This was his chance at redemption. This would not right all the wrongs he had done, but it would certainly be one hell of a first step in the right direction.

@Asterion










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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 409 — Threads: 43
Signos: 2,548
Missing from Dusk Court
Male [He/Him/His] // Immortal [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 99 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#5











       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*




 

He forgets the beauty of the day, the simple sunshine of spring. All the birds might as well have fallen asleep, all the insects to silence; there is only the doe and the fawn and the news that trouble has found them, again.

Asterion is learning that sorrow isn’t a thing he can outrun, or outfight, or outlast. It comes again and again, in waves, as certain as the tide. There is only to ride it out, and pick up the pieces when it is gone, and make the best of what days they have in the meantime.

It makes it no less bitter a thing to swallow.

He listens to Rhone with his brow furrowed, his mouth tucked into a frown, his eyes dark and serious. There is no need to conjure shadow-monsters; there are enough villains that such a disappearance is as likely as if the man had simply gone exploring. The king does not interrupt the other man; he only listens, and at last, at Rhone’s request, he nods. This decision, at least, comes easy. “You have it.”

Then he sighs, and looks away. For a moment he thinks of nothing (or tries; worries hound him like waves crowd the beach at high tide, covering everything), and watches as the branches of the tree wave in patterns, sketching shadows on the ground. When he turns back, when he speaks again, his tone is softer and his eyes are already asking a question.

“And when you return, I wonder if you will accept another task. I’ve noticed your humility, your quiet way of helping. There will be trees bearing fruit and shade because of you long after all of us are gone. Rhone, will you be Terrastella’s Champion of Wisdom?” After a pause, the space of a breath, Asterion pressed his muzzle against the other bay’s shoulder with the firmness of a hand, and when he withdraws his gaze is level but weary. “I’m sorry the circumstances aren’t more joyous.”










@Rhone






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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 5
Signos: 350
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 18 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#6



In the short time that Rhone had been in Novus, he had found that life within Terrastella had come easy. He felt into a routine and there was very little need to deviate from it. He awoke with the rising sun, watched the sunrise from atop the cliffs, then meandered into court in order to get to know his fellow Dusk Court citizens. In his time here, he had come to know so many of those that called this place home, and even called some of them friends. Erd and Ard were no exception. Even if Ard had been a little tougher to encourage to come around, it seemed that the quiet brother had finally come to realize that Rhone only meant friendship.

The news that Erd had gone missing had done nothing but shake Rhone to the core. He was having a hard time figuring out who would want to take the kind brother. And if no one had taken him, as Theodosia and Marisol had suggested, then why would he have left his brother alone without any word of when he would return? Something hadn’t felt right from the beginning. He believed Ard. Something must have happened to the stallion’s other half. As a friend to both, even if Ard might not consider him a friend, he felt compelled to help him look for his brother. And perhaps that friendship was what gave him confidence to ask his king for his blessing on their journey. Rhone would go with Ard, blessing or not. However, he felt as though the king’s blessing might make their journey an easy one.

Asterion’s blessing for his mission came with a sense of relief. He sighed softly, not realizing that he had been holding his breath while awaiting for his king’s verdict. At least now, he could help Ard without feeling guilty. Rhone had promised Ard they would find him, and he was not about to go back on his word. He just hoped it would not take them too long. After all, if someone had kidnapped Erd, there was no telling how long the stallion would remain alive in their care.  "Thank you. It means so much to myself…and to Ard." While Ard might not care much about Asterion’s opinion, Rhone did. And he wanted to think that it would make Ard happy to know that Asterion had giving Rhone his blessing to help look for his missing brother.

But when Asterion begins to speak again, Rhone cannot help but let his eyes raise to meet the king’s. He has no idea what Asterion will ask of him, but in his heart, he already knows that he will accept the task, even if the consequences are not what he might like. Rhone has already vowed to be at Asterion’s service, to obey him and guide him as best he can. In this place, he is no king, he is only a lone stallion in search of purpose and redemption.

So when Asterion asks him to be the Champion of Wisdom, it makes Rhone look at the other with a sort of softness that the other has never seen before. It’s a cross between surprise, uncertainty, but complete trust in the other. "Of course I will be your Champion of Wisdom…" He had come here not expecting to be in any seat of power. His leadership days were long gone but it seemed that the values his mother, his lovers, and his gods had instilled in him still carried on. Despite never wanting any power here in Novus, it seemed that someone or something else had better plans for him than even he understood. With this role came new responsibilities, new tasks to be charged with, and more paths to lead. He would do his best, he had to.

The brush of Asterion’s muzzle against his shoulder made the skin beneath the touch twitch as a feeling washed over him. At first he wasn’t sure what that feeling was, but as the time seemed to tick by, he began to understand that feeling was something along the lines of honor. Yes, Rhone was honored to be chosen. "I have learned in my many years that the circumstances are never right when someone must step up to the plate to help or to lead." He pauses just a moment as he looks back at Asterion with the softest of gazes. "Just as you had not chosen to be king, the court chose you because you are worthy. And as I had told myself to leave my days of leading behind, you have chosen me to be your champion." He looks up at the doe, still walking towards the tree line with her fawn. There is beauty in this moment and he cannot help but smile. "Sometimes we do not understand why our paths wind the way they do, but it is what we do along that path that is most important." Asterion would be a good king, even if he did not want the role. Clearly Dusk Court saw something in Asterion that perhaps he had not seen. Rhone would be a good champion, even if he didn’t understand why it was offered to him. Asterion clearly saw something in Rhone that perhaps even he had overlooked. They would both do their best and in the end, that would be worth everything.

@Asterion










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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 409 — Threads: 43
Signos: 2,548
Missing from Dusk Court
Male [He/Him/His] // Immortal [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 99 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#7











       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*




 

“Of course,” he says, and wonders if the other stallion had doubted his permission, even for a moment. More likely Rhone was only being obedient (more obedient, he thinks wryly, than some of the more headstrong members of his court) but even the notion that it might have been otherwise troubles him.

But those thoughts are gone (or if not gone, then settled like a stone in a pool) by the time he makes his own request. He holds the other bay’s gaze steady in his own, noting the unwavering expression there. It only reinforces his decision, and relief stirs within him. He does not know where their former champion has gone too; he wishes Euryale well wherever she is, even if his thoughts of her are complicated things, full of teeth and hungry sea beneath a full moon.

Rhone will be a different kind of champion, with a different kind of wisdom. And Terrastella is lucky to have him.

“Thank you,” he says softly, then his ears prick forward, listening as Rhone continues. He would blush, if he were able, at the word worthy - it isn’t one he’d associate with himself. It seems at once long ago and only yesterday that he was a dreamer of a boy, following nothing but his feet and his whim, looking for wonders everywhere and finding them. And now…oh, Rhone is more right than he knows. Asterion would never have guessed he’d fall into this path, and never would have picked it for himself; but there is nothing he would undo.

When the other man’s gaze lifts back to the doe, the king continues to regard his new champion. There is a smile curving along his own mouth, a mirror of Rhone’s; it’s almost a grin by the time the stallion falls silent again, and Asterion nods. “You have just proven again you’re the right man for this path,” he says, “though you may not even realize it.” And that, he thinks, is much of the reason Rhone will succeed. Power is not always safest in the hands of those who seek it.

“Keep me updated on your search for Erd. Any resources of the Court you need, you have. Good luck - and thank you again, Rhone.” For a moment longer he holds his gaze, and then he inclines his head and turns away, back into the sunlight of the late spring day.










@Rhone   hope it's ok I'm closing here - I'm trying to get all his current threads tied up <3 congrats Rhone!






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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 5
Signos: 350
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 18 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#8



It is in this moment that Rhone can only hope that he will prove Asterion right, that his choice to make Rhone champion was a good one. He had never asked for any of his roles, never asked to be king of the Rajputs or of the North. He never chose to be born into a leadership role, but he found that it came easy for him. Perhaps it was the right path and he just needed to have more faith in himself. Clearly Asterion saw something in him that even he was unaware of. He would try his best to be the stallion the title demanded. He hoped he would not let his court down.

It is Asterion’s words that bring him back to reality. He turns to regard the king, his head dipping into a nod. He intended to find Erd and bring him home. And if he could not bring him home, then perhaps he could at least unite the brothers once again. He hated seeing Ard so out of sorts. As his friend, he wanted nothing more than to see the man smile again. "No, thank you." His tone is soft, his eyes resting quietly on the king. He offers the man a nod and a smile, determined to keep his whits about him. No so much rode on his shoulders, he could not fail Ard and he could not fail his king.

He watches as Asterion leaves him in the quietness of the spring morning. He cannot help but turn his eyes to where the doe was once walking with her fawn, the pair having just passed beyond the tree line. He sighs softly, the weight of his new role heavy upon his shoulders. And with a deep breath, the bay begins his journey back through the court in order to find Ard. It was about time they headed out.

@Asterion - it’s quite alright with me <3









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