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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 33 — Threads: 5
Signos: 370
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1

A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY





Abel had braced himself for the cold and the dark. For the rooms far below the castle, the ones he’d heard low whispers of when he’d been running with the band of orphans among the shadowed streets after the tidal wave battered his life like an old ship. It had been a reminder to themselves not to get caught, that talk of rats, of hunger, of damp cellars far from the sunlight. 

But the unicorn-queen’s prison is a paradise. 

Oh, it is still a cage - but Abel feels trapped less like a dog and more like a bird. The smell of burning still clings to his skin, and his eyes are still red-rimmed with smoke, but as the day dawns the air is filled with the scent of flowers unfurling, opening to the sun. Light streams through glass high above him, and though they are bars they are more trellis than cell, wound with ivy, blooming with trumpeter-vines. How strange to be caught and yet to feel safe. There is no one he can hurt here.

The boy does not slink like a tiger beneath the shadows of the bars. Instead he waits beneath the wide leaves of a flowering palm, and even his relief feels like an anchor. Abel wonders if smoke still hangs over the city from the previous night’s trespasses; he wonders if the golden stallion has already informed Raum of his capture. Though his body aches and his bones are bruised, though his throat is raw, though his fate is a question he can’t answer - 

Abel feels almost free. 





x | x






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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 with suffering instead of blood


There is only time, it seems, to feel like a lion in the tall-grass. Or maybe there is only time to feel like the sea, primordial and ever hateful towards the soft shore that pretends not to erode a little more each day. And maybe like the sea, Isra is only going on because she knows that each time she dissolves into brine and salt all the cruel things in the world are swallowing down a little bit more of her moonlit water.

When she dreams now it's dark and she's a riptide in the blackness-- pulling, and pulling, and pulling. Her teeth ache from pulling and each time she wakes it is upon a bed turns to iron and chain-mail. Today when she wakes she leaves the iron and heads towards Abel trapped in a garden.

Isra walks through the bars of the cage wrapped in blooming vines and each bit of steel turns to soft gold. It glitters like desert sand in the sun. She blinks and it turns to ash that whispers soft horrors when it falls towards the ground like charred food and dead dreams. Bits of the black cling to her and shine like caught space in the crease of her spine as she walks towards the boy with smoke clinging to his skin like remnants of a worried down noose.

Her horn makes a soft sigh when she points it in his direction. It waivers there, a needle trying so very, very hard to swing true north. A shadow passes over the sun and she does not need to wonder if it is cloud or wing. She always knows.

When she steps closer the garden does not change beneath her shadow. It stays nothing more than a garden, lovely and unaffected by the haze of soot still weighting down the air. She wonders which would terrify him more. “I can understand why you hate me.” Her horn  waivers again as she lies. Because she doesn't under, not really.

The shadow passes over the sun again; it's slower this time, almost lazy.

“But do you care nothing for anyone else living in this city?” Isra does not step closer again. The flowers blooming at her feet and the wide leaves spanning like crowns over their heads do not change. Nothing changes but the fire in her eyes that flickers to life. It's speaking in blue flame and the reflection of the soot still clinging to her face, and what it's saying is--you did not hurt me, only them, and for that you must pay.

Below that, deeper still, her magic starts to roar.


“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”  



@Abel





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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 33 — Threads: 5
Signos: 370
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3

A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY



Abel has been waiting for her.

He had hoped it would be she who came, and not the paint with her burning, kicking hooves or the mare of crimson-and-black with death in her eyes. He does not see - his eyes remain on waving branches, on light filtering through leaves, so much green he could live on it after the wastes of the desert, and the blue sky behind. He does not see but he hears when the steel bars sigh away to gold and melt to ash. And he wonders if it means he won’t be kept here, or if it means he won’t be leaving.


When he must, he turns to face her. Abel thinks of her body, carried on the back of his own. It seems impossible, now: she is taller than him but she is also more than him, so much more, heavy and rich as gold against his hollow bones and shadow-soul. The boy sways beneath the swing of her twisting horn like a blade of wheat shivers as it waits for the scythe.

Yet when she speaks the boy shakes his head. It does not feel brave to him, or like defying her - it feels urgent that he correct her. He does not like the feeling; it was so much easier not to care. And he still does not meet her eyes when he says, “I don’t hate you. I’m afraid of you. Of your magic and your dragon and all the things you could do.” When he swallows it’s like being back in the desert, no water anywhere, a new dune in his throat.

(But she had been in the desert, the unicorn girl with her horns like blue glass. Sabine, little sparrow - even the thought of her and her name makes his heart test its wings. But there, as always, are the bars.)

Because of that thought, because he is staring at a garden and thinking of a girl, her question makes him laugh. If some people laugh like gemstones and some like smoke, Abel’s laugh is like a small, mean piece of coal, cutting the sides of his raw throat. Now he does look at her, but the bay doesn’t see her at all. Maybe he sees a shoreline or a tsunami or a dragon far overhead, wonder and horror. Maybe he sees a mother.

“I love Denocte. But the city and her people and her god don’t love me, or the ones like me. We are chaff to burn first when the fire comes licking. We are rotting timber to feed the rising sea.” A Crow had seemed a fine, noble thing to be, from the point of view of an orphan boy - a crow, at least, had a flock to call family and the wits to thrive. Abel had been tired of being among the shadows where the rats hid, maybe a rat himself.

Now he is just tired. And if this is the end - if this is where his justice comes for him (perhaps he had only been eluding it when the sea came hungry and took his father, and the pass burned in dragon-fire and scorched his dam) than does he not deserve a confessional?

He shifts where he stands, casts down his gaze again (for her eyes are burning him up, all his sins reflected there in that ocean blue, and they are too much like another set of blue eyes he cannot now bear to face). “But I am sorry,” he says, still rough-voiced, “for the deaths. None of them were supposed to die.” Not that he knows - yet he wonders if that had been a lie. It seems a ridiculous thing to believe now, that Raum would spare anybody anything. He thinks of Solterra, of men and women turned to stone. He thinks of children starving the way he had starved and it feels like stones piling low in his belly; it feels like a grave being built.





x | x






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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 with nothing left to shed


When he says that he is afraid of her all the magic in her blood rises up. It begs her to lay her horn against the pulse below this throat. It begs her to trace shivering pathways down his his cheek until he can feel how hungry that hollow bone might be for tainted, evil blood. Each thought burns electric in her marrow. She burns with it. A flower turns sharp edged and silver at her hooves. .

Isra doesn't think about the sea when she steps closer. She's thinking about thunderbird's with hate between the cracks across their glass skin. Now she understands it-- how monsters look at hunters when all they want to do is survive and learn to love something else but meat. Once she was afraid too, of men with dragons and hate in their hearts. She's still afraid of it.

“Your fear makes a fool of you.” Her words are dull, dirty teeth still begging for skin. The sound her horn makes when she turns it away from that fluttering beat below his throat sounds like sorrow. Even that is tired. When she moves against it's only so that he might see the sheen of an old scar on her hip.

Some nights she still dreams about digging graves with her horn, and feeling bones scrape against her teeth. It's on those mornings that she wakes up in a pile of black dirt instead of chain-mail. The magic in her skin roars, and sobs, and howls at the memory.

Each flower crumbles down to dirt. Roots turn to bone that rise up from all that brown like worms. The bars of the cage are left bare. They glitter gold when each leaf of ivy turns to ash and starts to fall around them like snow. Isra trembles like a doe when the ash hits her even though magic is still running through her electric. “Do not talk to me about how everyone like you is the first to burn.” Beneath her lips her teeth are gnashing, aching and begging to pull at something (at anything). “I have starved on the streets of this city. I have slept with only rats and spiders to chase back the chill. I have fed the sea. You are not alone in that and neither am I.” Isra is careful not to step on any bones when she moves closer to him still. But she does not look at them; she does not need the sight to know how white they are against the dirt.

This time she does lay her horn against his cheek. This time the shadows moving over them two of them are not pretending to be clouds. The breeze blowing the ash into tornadoes around them does not smell like crisp, clean mountain air. It smells like brine.

“The world is suffering because there are fools like you that think their suffering is somehow greater than the rest. They take their pain and call it right when they etch it into the marrow of the world around them.” Isra lifts her horn from him and it sighs in the briny breeze when she shakes loose the ash clinging to it. Her eyes start to sting and ache just like her teeth. “And so queens are made with magic enough to shake loose the fools grown bloated with hate. Dragons are born without fire in their bellies and they learn to save instead of destroy.” She is howling even though her voice is as quiet as the sound dirt makes when it's piled over blackened bones.

“Should I do nothing because you are afraid? Because monsters like Raum are not afraid to let the world burn just so something else suffers in just the way that they have.” Isra bares her teeth at him, because if she is a lion it is only because the world has made one of her.

But it's not meat that fuels her. It's always been love.

Yet she still eats his apology like the empty thing it is.


“Poor moon was battered on all sides by these whistling winds, and she began to spin faster and faster.”  



@Abel





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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 33 — Threads: 5
Signos: 370
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5

A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY



He is watching the ground when she steps closer, and he sees a blossom become more like a weapon, petals turning to knives, all the life leaching out of it and leaving it more beautiful, more dangerous, more dead. Even now the boy wants to say See, see what you are doing, what things you leave behind you!

But she is a queen, and she is a unicorn, and she is speaking to him again and he cannot meet her gaze (so colored like the sea, which surprised him at first) without fear of drowning there. Or being turned to something not-himself, something dull and dead inside but beautiful, oh beautiful, and sharp.

Maybe it would not be such a bad change, to become the lovely dead.

And maybe his father now wears pearls for eyes (but no, he knows that isn’t true, he’d seen the body washed up with broken wood, slats of buildings that once sheltered families. No pearls, no pretty stones, only dead-rot, only saltwater bloat. His mother, now, her body is a mystery still. Ashes, or charred dinner for wolves?)

Part of him wants to laugh at her words, then. Instead he only drops his head further, tarnishes the silver flower with his breath. “Everything makes a fool of me,” he says to the dirt, to the roots, to whatever lies below. It is better than a desert, it is better than a cave, this prison he’s in. He could die here, he thinks, and be content.

He only lifts his head when she draws away the blade of her twisting dark horn. He only lifts his head when roots become bone and jut up from the ground, and memory fills his head with the sick low buzzing of a thousand hornets, mindless but wanting. He is afraid and he is a fool but he is too weary to care for either of those things; there is white shining around his eyes and his breath comes quicker even as he tries to drag it slow in the face of this magic. But he does not flinch beneath the ash that falls along the bars of his back. That, at least, feels right.

Her angry words, her angry mouth; he wants to back away every inch she closes between them, but he stays as though rooted by bone. Not alone, she says, but oh! he feels alone as she touches her horn against his cheek, and when his breath shudders out and his eyes settle closed he thinks of Sabine. Her clear eyes, her crystal horns, the steadiness they looked at each other with, orphans together, and there should have been hate between them (if she knew more of him, and he of her, she would hate him) but there wasn’t, only strange sorrow, only thirst.

Like a hare beneath the shadow of a hawk, like a boy with a blade to his throat, he doesn’t move - except for his throat and the wide curve of his nostrils, working to inhale the smells of ash and brine.

“Did you save that flower?” he asks, so softly it might only be another drift of ash upon the wind. “Did you save the bee that might have fed from its pollen? Can you feed a city on gemstones or drive out hate and fear with a dragon? Raum found me, fed me, gave me something to work for. He isn’t good, he isn’t right. But I’m not sure anything is.”

Now they are staring at one another, now he is breathing harder, now he, too, bears his teeth, and they are a lion and a cur and between them there is nothing but living roots that have become bone.

“Why ask me what you should do, queen? I am only a fool.” For a moment his bared teeth becomes a gallow-grin, like his throat’s already cut, like his eyes already see nothing - and then he shakes his head again, turns his face away. Out, beyond, to blue sky. And then, flatly: “You should kill me.”

And then there would be nothing left to be sorry for, and he would know they were the same.






x | x






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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 a glacier dragon


Isra wants to laugh at him for being a fool over and over again. She wonders if his skin would taste like scale. He could be that snake going around and around the world again chewing on his own tail for all the cleverness he shows. She wants to carve his eyes out too, with the hollow, wanting tip of her horn and let  the crows feast upon them. Do you see now, can you hear it, she would tell him, listen how they feast and pluck at the bits of you that are dead and bleeding. Even then, when his eyes can no longer be foolish bits of ignorance trapped in a globe, she does not think he will understand the ways of crows.

But Isra has known the ways of crows since the alley where she turned a blade into a daisy. There she had turned stones to apples, and rot to glory, and a ghost had stalked her and promised her that the world could not be saved. And then--

Then she knew, that she would do anything, become anything to change it all.

Maybe that is why she only looks at a sea with a cold knowing . Perhaps it's why she doesn't walk into the waves anymore. She runs. Never again, she tells the sea each time she's on the sands, never again will I be anything but mine. If nothing else it is the reason she does not stop showing her teeth until he looks away.

“No,” she says as low as a horizon bleeding out at the ocean, “I didn't save that flower nor the bee that will come looking for the pollen it could have shed.”  Isra inhales and it tastes like char, and brine, and blood when she bites her tongue to keep herself from attacking him. “Did you ever think what it might mean, that I can turn ants to bees and flowers to bone and leaves to gold? Were you ever clever enough to think of what else I might do? Or was it enough to listen to Raum when he told you I was terrible, and that your hunger was the only thing that mattered in the world? Did you ever think, even just for a moment, that there are things in this world that can create as much as they can destroy?” She steps away because she still wants to cut out his eyes and listen to the crows come calling a song.

And as she steps away the garden, the graveyard, the prison all changes again. Every pillar of bone becomes a young tree with small apples just starting to fall between the fat leaves. Every patch of dusted, charred dirt becomes wheat dancing in the breeze like small snakes trapped in the earth. The graveyard becomes a garden for more than beautiful flowers and foolish boys. It becomes food.

By Abel's feet a few stones have turned to bars of gold. They glint in the sunlight like blood glints in moonlight. “If I was Raum I would kill you.” Behind them Fable lands and his eyes look colder than Isra has ever seen them look. They are arctic. She wonders if Fable will agree with what she's about to do. It is the first time she has not known.

“But I'm not Raum.” Isra, for the first time, does not feel like this softness she cannot shed is good. “ Run far from here and do not look back. If you do, if you touch Denocte or Novus one more time with hate in your heart I kill you. So take the gold, start a new life, and learn to not be a fool.” Isra says nothing more, but her eyes start to turn as glacier cold as her dragons.

Fable lifts up his wings and stretches his neck towards the clouds. He roars and Isra says, “run.”, because she does not know if her dragon wants to be as soft as her. He is as tried of suffering as she is, only dragons do not feel sorrow in all the same ways as unicorns do.

Sorrow makes dragons feral and it makes unicorns become like the sea.

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my eyes and all is born again.”  



@Abel





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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 33 — Threads: 5
Signos: 370
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7

A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY



Abel was not made to talk morality with unicorn queens.

He is not a clever man; he can answer her questions no better than Job could answer God’s. He can only stand and shake and wish he was in his humble home with his kind mother and his foolish dreaming father and that they could all die together and not alone.

There are none of these things he can say. Her words sound like weapons drawn and sharp; Abel knows the tones a voice takes before a fist follows.

He was not made to look a dragon in the eye and he cannot do it now; amid all the other changes the garden undertakes the one that makes him shiver and shake is the shadow that falls over it from the mighty spread of wings. When the dragon lands behind its queen, so big he can feel its breath and hear each inhale he trembles like a leaf dying, like a leaf dead, like a leaf falling from the tree. He remembers another dragon flying over, and watching the smoke rise up from the pass like a black offering to every god, and in his head it seems he can hear his mother screaming as she burns.

Abel can’t believe in just monsters.

There is no part of him that isn’t expecting to die then. Even when she says “but I am not Raum he waits stiff-necked for her to remake him into something, to turn him to bones or dust or food for the beast behind her. His breaths sear his lungs with each inhale as though they know they are the last and they, too, are punishing him for it.

It isn’t until she says run that he opens his eyes. Around them is a garden, as beautiful as the first that was ever made; there are fat bees humming and the smell of ripe fruit. There is wheat that dances golden in the breeze. And there is the unicorn who he can barely stand to turn his gaze to and the dragon that he can’t. Abel listens and his heart is beating, thrashing, a caught bird in his chest that wants him to obey. What else is he good for, but running? But surviving? But slipping away like a rat into the next black alley that will have him?

When he nods it takes all the bravery he has.

Abel does not want to take her gold. It might burn him, it might melt into his skin and scald him and whisper sinner as it breaks him down to bones and teeth. But he needs lodging, and food, and passage on a ship, and there is gold or there is thievery, and both are unbearable.

As soon as he hefts it (so heavy, this gold-from-stones) the dragon roars and the trees shake the same way Abel does and it is like an earthquake, that sound, like a tsunami, like something that could break him apart into a hundred pieces like scattered shells upon a beach.

Abel runs but it still feels like dying.






x | x






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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 Fable and the Sea


She cannot watch him run away. Isra knows that if she does--

If she watches that boy run for the shore (that boy that burned her city and hurt her citizens), she will be unable to keep her magic from changing the ground beneath his hopeful hoofs to quicksand. She might change his skin to stone then, and watch as he inhaled all that wet dirt just like her city had inhaled the smoke and soot from his fires.

So she turns away and walks towards her dragon that is still watching him go with those frozen, furious  eyes. Fable looks so like the sea that she knows she should be a little afraid of the power of him, the might, the way he could devour any city she pointed him towards right now. But all she can see when she looks at him is love and something that can be just as full of hope or full of fury as her magic.

Isra lays her cheek across his foreleg. She whispers “shhh, shhh, shhh” to him. She whispers like the sea to his scale, all brine and barely controlled power. He settles just enough to stop that terrible roaring, kneeing he's making. Isra does not pull away until the blood beneath his scales throbs like a low stream instead of a rip current.

“The tide is low.” Isra taps her horn against his wing as he tucks them back to his sides. A reminder perhaps, or maybe nothing more than a promise between weapons that later there will be blood enough. Either way it makes Fable turn his gaze from the boy as he disappears into the horizon.

He follows his unicorn to the sea-- always to the sea.

“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps.”  



@Abel





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