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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 18
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 37 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1

marisol


THE ARCHIATER.

A bird and a letter, theoretically. 

Isra —

Isra, I — 

Hope you’re alright, and I miss you, like a wild thing; like how I’ve been missing my iron now and the smell of salt—

Isra, I’m in trouble for going to see you, and I almost don’t care, which worries me immensely— 

—like old yellow wine. Like a book I’ve read a million times.  Like how fish always know where to go home. Like flying. 

Of course none of them are sent. A bird and a letter, but only theoretically.



It’s hard to sleep. It’s always been hard for her to sleep. But now it’s worse.

She sees Ard’s face (which is Erd’s face)(which is basically a tragic mask) whenever she closes her eyes. If she doesn’t keep her jaw clenched her teeth fight to breathe outside her mouth. The smell of blood makes her drool, which is inconvenient, considering the Halcyon training schedule. When the night sets in the quiet does too, and so there is nothing to distract her, and so everything that hurts—her torn muscles, and her heart that begs to be let out, and the saltwater in her blood—hurts a hundred times more than in the day when the world is loud and bright and not so open to interpretation. 

It’s night. She should be sleeping. She wishes she were sleeping—her bones are heavy, and her drooping eyes. But now it seems impossible. 

The city is cool and dark. Spring is settling in, but not without a fight—the wind has sharp, cold teeth and dawn is still a phantom object. The moon is out of sight over the mountains, signaling the nearness of daybreak, but the sun has not quite kissed the sky yet. Instead the light that streams down is pale, watery yellow from lanterns fading out of their sconces, washing the cobblestone streets in faint webs of gold. Marisol feels like she’s been walking in circles for hours. Has it been hours? Who knows, who cares—

She wouldn’t be sleeping anyway.

There’s a bakery at the corner of two wide streets that Mari stops at. It’s small, tucked between two other shops, but feels homey; the lights inside have been turned on, as if somebody is already starting a batch of dough in preparation for the morning rush, but the store itself is perfectly still. Tables stacked. Displays empty. A vase with calla lilies sits on a lone shelf. Something about being witness to a scene so simple makes her heart hurt so bad she wants to cry.

Marisol feels like she’s floating. Her head hurts so badly it seems to have been thrown off-center from her neck. She remembers this bakery from when she was a kid, a real kid, a real little kid. Little enough o have been spending time with her parents. They had sold these pastries she scarfed down by the basket, braids of buttery dough studded with raisins and spices she’d always thought of as coming from Denocte. (Of course she had no evidence. Again—this was a kid thing. But it was a nice thought, that her Terrastellan family could eat Denoctian food without starting some kind of war.)

She can hear someone clattering around in the back. The door is unlocked, and a gust of warm wind comes flowing out, like someone has just turned on an oven. Marisol closes her eyes. She smells the spices.

She thinks of Denocte.

She thinks of the bird.

@Isra <3






[Image: ddg6quy-9d15dab5-339c-4b09-8b57-20a99fda...jvUop12efQ]

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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#2


Isra and the stepping song
“And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots”
I
sra is thinking about blood, about the way her's feels like a storm that never wants to be caught on the mountains again. Even now as she's wandering the streets of a city that does not belong to her, with cracks of electricity running down her spine with wants and needs she has no name for, her thoughts are tumbling over and over themselves like blood tumbling through the same four caverns of her heart. Over and over again it tumbles, and tumbles, and tumbles.

Sometimes, when the day is the brightest and the war in her chest feels like a holocaust, she just wants all the things tumbling inside her to stop---

like the way the flowers stop swaying in the wind with teeth when she walks by and turns them to blooms of ruby, and opal, and tourmaline.

There is that color again-- blood. It's in everything she touches now.

The course of it changes in her veins with Fable calls out from above, there. It slows, it coagulates, it turns to diamonds falling through those caves in her heart. It hurts, it aches, and it pulls her towards the smell of spices on the wolf-wind. Isra follows it as if there is a noose around her neck pulling her up towards some place she didn't know she needed to reach. Her hooves are moving across the stone and they are singing sounds she didn't know she needed to sing.

And maybe they sound a little like I- clip- am- clop- sorry. But Isra doesn't notice that either, the same way she doesn't notice that she's turning all the spring flowers around her to stone.

How could she notice anything when, suddenly (like the way she wants it to just suddenly stop hurting), Marisol is there ringed in soft lantern light? How could she notice anything but the way the light snags on the blood ringing the Commander's eyes like it's lines of opal cutting through a sea of liquid bone?

Isra does not think Marisol will think too terribly of the way she's changing the word and making it still as death in the places where she grips it by the throat.  Or at least she hopes, or maybe prays, not.

"Marisol.” She doesn't mean for it to come out like a sacrament, like a wish, like an echo of all the cracks running through her heart. But it does. It comes out like a smoke signal, spiraling out from her in patterns of heat that make the space between them look like winter. Isra hopes that Marisol will be able to read the patterns of the looping spirals of her own name, of the way it dissolves in the black and the golden-light-- the way it spreads out to touch everything.

When she moves closer the city around them is so silent (silent as stone) that the only sound is the echo of their breaths, and the heavy clang of sorrow that is throbbing through her. Of course Marisol can hear it, Isra thinks. They have never lied to each-other-- not with their bodies, or the way they come together like swords on a battle-field of corpses.

But still, when she touches her nose to the downy softness of a sooty wing, she can't help but wish that all the tumbling shards inside her would just---

stop.

@Marisol | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 18
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 37 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3

marisol


THE ARCHIATER.



The world is so silent. So, so silent. Marisol can hear the breath escaping her lips, and the crackle of oil-fire, faint inside the lanterns on the walls. She can hear her heartbeat inside her chest, a low, pulsing wave of blood and salt. She can hear the pretty blue-black of the sky, how the stars are hanging overhead, how the moonlight and the wind twist together to create the sound of cold whistling in her dark ears, sinking into her skin, the whole of Terrastella mute and still as if holding its breath in preparation, or in fear.

She watches through the golden windows. The bakery inside is still lifeless, pretty and inert as a dollhouse. Copper pots and pans hanging from the walls. Rows of rusty-red brick. Warm lemony light in soft circles on the ceiling. Cones of brightly colored spices, twine-bound circlets of cinnamon sticks, pallets packed with dried fruit. It feels like some kind of home, maybe, to someone who works there, or someone who loves it. 

Mari blinks furiously. Her heart squeezes so tight inside her chest it almost makes her dizzy. She exhales, a half-sob, and her warm breath crawls like so much frost over the windowpane. The world is so, so still.

And at first she thinks she’s dreaming, when she hears her name, in That Voice.

The near-black ears swivel back. The shoulder twitches. Her heart trembles in her chest, and her breath shakes when it floods out of her and when it comes back in. Her whole body goes hot and cold and hot. Marisol. This is not real. Light glints off the copper on the brick inside. Marisol’s gut twists, and she closes her eyes. Marisol. 

She turns. 

And Isra is already there, upon her, nose brushing her oil-dark feathers, smelling of rain and all that is right with the world. Clove and smoke. The warmth of her body burning like the brightest candle, the touch of her lips spreading heat like cinders. Marisol lets out a noise of surprise, something next to a gasp or moan—her heart drops deep into her stomach and electricity crackles with every beat of her pulse—the wind is knocked out of her, harsh as a punch with the butt of a spear, and finally she slumps and turns to press her cheek against Isra’s, eyes fluttering closed, blood churning in her head.

And still the world is silent. Just the heartbeats and the broken breathing. And Marisol’s mind begging to say I love you and being held back. She presses her cheek deeper against Isra’s, tucks part of her head under the Night queen’s throat and pushes down all the words she can, words upon words upon words, like her stories.

@Isra <3






[Image: ddg6quy-9d15dab5-339c-4b09-8b57-20a99fda...jvUop12efQ]

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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#4


Isra and the dark brine
“ts suffocating snow, as brightness, pouring itself out of you, ”
I
t becomes hard to remember that she is alone, and cold, and full of the taste of red, when Marisol presses their cheeks together. Isra thinks of the way her knees felt when she knelt before a thunder-bird and offered it a story instead of blood. It feels like a prayer that she knows she'll never regret, and one that her heart will keep singing like a storm even when her bones grow old, brittle and start to beg for dirt.

Marisol feels like a shadow against her, all owl wings in the dark night that are impossibly hard to feel. She feels like soot and smoke and things that Isra wants to swallow down until the taste of it crawls through the muscles in her lungs. Marisol, Marisol, Marisol-- she feels like suffocation, like drowning, like satin and silk.

She does not feel like sand and root pulled tight between teeth.

Isra looks up at the gold light glinting off copper and off brink. Her breath runs up the glass not like frost but like ivy made of dew drops instead of sunlight and seed. In it she can see patterns. But mostly she can only see the way it crawls over the frost Marisol left behind, and the way it consumes all of it until there is only glass and a reflection of heat. Is it fire Marisol feels against her throat, or a death made raw and waiting beneath a shroud of dirt-brown skin?

This embrace makes Isra feel a longing for something wild and untamed. She wants something that would take a crown between its teeth and chew, and chew, and chew until there was only smelted down gold left to spit on the ground. A shadow, Fable, passes over them and she starts to long for the sea (for the black, for the darkness that makes lying as easy as breathing).

Her voice is low, the cry of a barn owl on a foggy night as it finds a lone mouse. There is a hunger in it, a nameless and deep belly roar. “Tell me I am not alone in this.” In fire, in hunger, in feeling like a monster, in feeling like she should be buried in the dark. Isra doesn't know how to say the words but all she knows is that she feels terrible, and monstrous, and as horrible as a god.

Couldn't they be gods together-- if only for a little while?

The glass before her ripples and grows black as death, black as the endless night. It's black long enough for her to blink and tuck her head tighter against Marisol so that the Commander will not see. And then it is only glass again and her breath is painting more vines of fire over the clear surface. Isra is glad that all the fog of her fire blots out the reflection of them, of two bodies bending and breaking (but never being remade).

She can smell the brine on Marisol, the blackness of the salted deep. But Isra only thinks it's her own sorrow leaking through her skin like a beast that has forgotten how to be tame. Because all Isra can taste is her sorrow leaking through like a sea without a bottom.

It's enough to drown an entire city.

@Marisol | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 18
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 37 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5

marisol


THE ARCHIATER.




Oh, they are so fragile. Marisol doesn’t like to think about it, but she feels it. Every moment around Isra makes her weaker and weaker. When they are pressed together like this, when she can hear Isra’s heart beating, when she can feel the heat from the night queen’s skin—that is when she is the most delicate. It is the moment where her training all falls away in an onslaught of warmth and awful emotions, the moment her body breaks its borders with the strength of its begging, and she is powerless against that and the way her heart breaks against her chest. 

Isra smells like surrendering, and Marisol doesn’t even care. Surrender it is, then, in the face of her desire. The Commander breathes deep and in Isra’s skin there is a whole world—fresh rain and sweet dirt and all the things that Marisol’s position keeps her away from, like love and sleep. Her eyes drift closed; the world is still wonderfully silent, except for their matching pulses, and Marisol is already nostalgic for the end of the moment that she knows is coming far too soon. (Time heals all wounds, she thinks somberly, but creates most wounds, too.)

The beating of wings overhead. Marisol flinches and her eyes turn up—overhead a shadow of claws and wings flits against the black-blue of the sky, low rumbling like a thunderstorm, and she breathes in sharply. She has never met a dragon. When the old king ruled Denocte and they closed the gates with mouth-fire she had been but a child; the story had come all the way across the mountains only to go in one ear and out the other, she had never concerned herself much with the affairs of the east. It had sounded like a fable, anyway, something they said to move scrutinious eyes away from the regime.

But this has been a year of beliefs overturned, and after a breath she is hardly concerned with the scaly whip of a tail twisting overhead.

“Of course you are not alone,” says Marisol softly. Guilt builds in her chest, sharp as an arrowhead, and her dark eyes are huge and soft as she looks up at Isra and gently bumps their muzzles together. How could you think that, she wants to ask, when I went to the desert for you, when I gave up my kingdom’s respect for you? and even in her head it is a little embittered, but the Commander has always been too sharp for her own good. “If you think you are, then I have not done my job, Isra—“

She pauses sharply. What would Asterion say, if he knew? Job has always been a sacred word to her, but little is left sacred now.

“If I can help you by life or by death then I will.”

Marisol cleanly  says nothing of the fact that she has already died.

@Isra <3






[Image: ddg6quy-9d15dab5-339c-4b09-8b57-20a99fda...jvUop12efQ]

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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#6


Isra and the silent words
“Its soul--a twisted wreckage of despair and pain
And the spiders inside are just praying for rain”
H
er heartbeat is telling her a story when it stutters and reshapes itself to Marisol. It's a tangled web of sea-great sorrow, and fury, and rotten fruit that tastes so sweet when shared in a kiss. Each word of it inks red and hot against the inside of her muscles, and the hollow places of her heart that have known the sea. The words run together like tides and the shore. Isra does not think that the marrow of her bones has ever heard a sweeter, more violent song.

It is a lullaby she will sing her children someday, when she tells him of all the ways a heart works to crack open things like bones, and bodies, or mortality.

“Do not pretend to misunderstand, Marisol.” Isra almost wants to pull away from the brush of a soft muzzle (too soft to smell like sun, sand, and root). She almost wants to catch a ray of moonlight on her horn and turn it into a double tipped sword with one point at each of their throats. She almost, almost, almost-- there are a hundred almost wants running broken and  jagged through her storytelling blood. But in all the end all that comes out is another touch of their muzzles together.

Isra thinks that they touch like weeds by the sea, salted, bent and full of seeds that will never grow honeysuckle and pears. She inhales the moment, the sea, the sorrow, the want. She drags it on, because she knows what's about to come out, what words her blood-story is going to say. The kiss she gives to Marisol's ear is a whisper of skin, hair, and something else.

“It's not your help that I want.” Maybe once, she wants to say, maybe once she would have wanted nothing more than help or love. But now there is a terrible magic, and an awful hate running along with the blood-story. Now her heart has learned to beat in just that same way as Marisol's. Her touch has learned about the way Marisol smells just like the sea, even though when they touch it can feel impossibly hot. “It was never only help that I wanted.” Isra inhales, but nothing more than another kiss of nose to ear comes out.

I wanted a friend. She wants to say but the words never form.

I wanted someone who knew how to ache like me. I wanted something fierce and wild against my skin. Those words do not form either, nothing does. She feels terrible, and sick, and like a monster. The glass turns pitch black again and her eyes sting a little without the shine of copper.

Isra pulls away, because she knows that she should (even though she still doesn't want to). “I'm going to be a mother.” Later she won't know where the words came from or why she said them at all. They are not the words her heart or her story wanted to say. She doesn't want it to cut the way it does and her heart stutters with the sound the words make echoing against her teeth. It starts to beat it's own song (and Isra starts to hate it for the melody).

Isra inhales all the salt and the pitch in the window.

I want--

 forgiveness.


But those words don't come out either. Her teeth hurt with the effort to hold them back, and the knowing that she cannot go back now. She can never go back. Didn't she tell Eik once, forward until the end of the world? A part of her is saying to turn away, to go back, to do anything but stare at Marisol like she will tell her the secret to holding in all these awful, rotten pieces of herself.

Marisol is not the one who did not do her job. She never was.

It's always been Isra.

@Marisol | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 18
Signos: 200
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 37 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7

marisol


THE ARCHIATER.

If things were different—

(They are not, and Marisol tries very hard to remember this; things are not different, and there is no use in wishing that they were. Isra is a queen of a country far, far away, over so many mountains Mari can’t begin to cross, queen of a country baptized in dragon-fire and flooded by the sea. She can’t pack up and leave home, can’t follow her heart away from the scene of the murder. And Marisol is Commander of warriors who don’t like to be kept on short leashes fighting for a nation whose only play is to keep its belly up: she can’t quite afford to let them loose while she goes gallivanting around drinking the spoils of love.)


And anyway, why is Isra here? In the empty streets of a court that is not hers when the sun has barely touched the sky? Of course Marisol is pleased to see her—too pleased, really—but now hardly seems like the time to. Be leaving home. Their continent is in shambles, Isra looks like she hasn’t slept in days. Her cheek is cold to the touch and when Fable circles overhead, it is with all the pleasant continuity of a river, a bloodstream, an ouroboros threatening from deep in the sky. There is very little that is right about Marisol’s life right now, and for a brief moment she lives in gladness that this is one of those few good things, come to kiss her on the cheek.


And then Isra’s mouth moves. 


I’m going to be a mother.


The thing that flashes over Marisol’s face is ungodly. Bright as a candle, curled like a golem. For less than a second the stone of her eyes melts from pure stone into soft, bloody red, and the smell of saltwater seems to pour from her skin, and her head snaps back like she’s flinching in fear. I’m going to be a mother. Mari thinks she might throw up. Her stomach clenches like a fist, and every nerve feels like it’s fraying at once. She searches Isra’s expression for—something. Desperation rises in her like an awful-white fire, and her eyes are still searching, searching, searching. For anything that says there is a way out. Anything that says nothing will change or I still love you.


And she cannot find it. Not a word of humor, not a blink of shame. Just a too-pure seriousness that makes Marisol feel like she’s falling so fast and so hard she’ll never stop.


Her body tenses like so many tight strings, like plucked wires, like running water—somehow she is taut and melting at the same time, falling through her own cracks, struggling to stand up straight. “A mother,” she says, and almost does not realize she is talking, for the hoarseness of her voice and the way it seems to come from the other end of the alley, too far away to comprehend. “Who?”


She does not think about whether it will help or hurt, knowing who it might be, who has become her replacement. There is not enough left in her to fight against that most base of all urges—to ask why, and who, and couldn’t it have been me?

@Isra <3







[Image: ddg6quy-9d15dab5-339c-4b09-8b57-20a99fda...jvUop12efQ]

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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#8


Isra and the goodbye ache
“So it’s true, when all is said and done,
grief is the price we pay for love.”
T
here are times when she remembers what it feels like to be made of sorrow, and rain, and misery instead of flesh or bone. It had a weight, all that heaviness, like stones piling up in her soul and bits of earth pulling her down into the rot, and the blackness. She remembers the salt of it, the brine, the way seaweed could form itself into chains thicker and sharper than steel.

But now, beneath that, Isra knows what it is to feel like magic, like danger, like a wildcat.

And when Marisol shifts, for a moment no more than a beat of her heart, Isra remembers. Perhaps if she were not used to watching for the cracks that bloom so lovely, so perfectly across the planes of Marisol she would not have seen it. But it's there like a solar flare reflected across the surface of the sea. It looks like rage, and sorrow, and heartbreak. It looks like it wants to devour her in the same way the sea has ever wanted to.

Her own magic and sea-touched wildness answers back. It's a flash of dark blue tide, of monsters lurking beneath the pearl-white crest of a wave. When the thing in Marisol that leaks brine and weed instead of sorrow looks at it the thing in Isra curls its lip back and flashes sharp shark teeth. There is sorrow in her, always, but now it's tainted and poisoned by war, and suffering, and hunger.

And then they are heartbreak again, god-girls looking at each other with a different kind of hunger and violence. Isra does not step closer when the rusty pain of Marisol's voice makes her shiver like a touch instead of sound. In her chest, beneath all the cracks and scars and salt-water, her heart is screaming to beg forgiveness, to say I loved him first and I was lost.

Even if she could take it back (she doesn't want to) she would never give up the two fierce sea-stars thriving inside her. So she only lifts her head, like there is something more than a bone sword hanging from her brown, and says with all the coarse of a storm-sea (and all the violence), “Eik”. She says nothing else.

Isra knows she cannot share here all the ways in which she loves-- likes pieces of a puzzle that fit closer than any root has ever fit in the dirt. Nor can she say, I loved him by the snow-light and you by the sea-torn land. She knows with a terrible knowing, the same way she knew that she had become a waiting weapon, that there is nothing more to say.

They are too fierce, too wild, too full of gnawing grinding teeth for words, words, words. “I'm sorry.” Her heart quivers like a dying thing at the feel of the words slamming against her teeth. All the cracks of her yawn open like beasts, like lions, like chasms at the bottom of the sea.

“I'll always be sorry.” When she walks away, and her dragon howls out a sorrowful dirge as he flies home, Isra cannot help but look back one time. In that look there is nothing of good-bye. There is only a wanting she fears will never die, never fade, never stop hurting.



@Marisol | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






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