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Played by Offline Kay [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 11
Signos: 535
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 494 Summer] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 21 — Atk: 39 — Exp: 53 // Active Magic: Earth // Bonded: Feliks (Borzoi)
#1


There is a gentle whistle of hot, desert wind that twists and curls through Elatus Canyon - not so strong that the dust becomes unsettled in its place on the ground, but just enough to tousle the knotted hair of rotting bodies that lay slouched over sandstone. Avdotya pauses at each one, noting the similarities they all shared. Malnourished, sick, weak. She knows whose hand their deaths came from, she knows that Raum - the man she agreed to serve - is no better a king than the pompous boy who lay with his throat slit at her feet years ago. She knows he needs to die, for her own sake and the Davke’s. A crow’s promise never held much value to a snake, after all.

Eventually the bodies begin to blend in, just another piece to the canyon like the rock and sand. Feliks still pauses briefly at each one, sniffing them carefully for reasons only a dog would understand. Avdotya ignores him, if only to spare herself the irritation each time he realizes how far he has fallen behind and gallops over with excessive enthusiasm.

At least until the borzoi reaches the next carcass. His reaction is different; he breathes in, then turns sharply to look at Avdotya with an expression she knew to be grave. Bad, he says through their connection. Her eyes narrow. The markings are familiar, she recognizes those spiraling horns and that fiery orange mane. Sister. Feliks’ voice murmurs in her mind, quieter than when he last spoke. It does not take long to confirm that it is Makeda when she reaches the girl’s side, ribby and devoid of the spice it once harboured. She stares wordlessly for a moment, unsure of what emotion it was that she felt brewing in her chest; it is white hot, unlike any other Avdotya has felt. Though the sisters were never as close as other siblings may be, they were still family. Makeda was the last true familial connection she had in this life... and now she is gone.

The viper’s ears flatten against her neck.

And she remembers - she remembers that a snake’s promise would never hold value to a crow, either.

How true, she thinks.



@Toulouse i hope i tagged the right toulouse

image © pacificdash






You shall find that pretty rose vines are just as lovely
when they wrap tight around your limbs and shatter your bones.

Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 9
Signos: 10
Dawn Court Citizen
Male [he/him/his] // 8 [Year 496 Summer] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 22 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#2


the blood on my teeth
begins to taste like a poem

T
he only good thing about Solterra, he supposed, was how easy it was to become lost in it.

Toulouse could walk for days without seeing another soul, which made it the perfect place for certain meetings he had planned. As he walked beside the canyon walls, wandering along its deep gulch, there were few eyes present to witness his passing. And of those that were, most of them had long turned lifeless.

For a second he wonders if he’s truly looking at the dead, or the still-living. They all looked the same these days: gaunt and bloated, skin dull and manes raggedy. Their eyes were not much different, he thinks to himself as he steps around one of their corpses. They were glassy and wide, as if even if death they couldn’t look away from the tragedy that had befallen their Court.

There is no remorse in him, as he winds through the canyon. Only the weak or the stupid die like this. Did they not know better? They could have pledged their allegiance to the king, and in turn been fed and sheltered. Even if they disagreed with him, even if they wanted to kill him - after all, it was easier to dispose of someone when you were closer to them. They could have drank from his cup and bided their time, but instead they died without names, without stories, without anyone left to care.

The sun is hot against his back, the green scarves flowing against his sides providing little respite from it. Each step felt torturously slow; and when he looked ahead at the walls rising around him, it seems as if the canyon must go on forever, trapping him inside with the bodies of the forgotten. But he lifts his upper lip in a snarl, and lowers his head and continues on in defiance.

It’s only when he rounds a corner, stepping carefully around an outcropping of rock, that he sees her: bonded at her side, head bent over the bodies.

He could almost laugh. Toulouse recognizes her, although it’s been so long since he last saw her, standing outside a wall of trees built by the gods. She had not seemed then like the type to mourn the dead.

Perhaps there was still someone who cared.

“Did you know her?”

Do you know me?

There might have been a taunt in his voice, a hiss of violence hiding beneath all his layers of indifference. But if there was it was well hidden; his voice was sharp, but not unkind, not yet.

He sidles closer to the viper, and his green eyes look down, down to the mare’s orange mane, down to the dark slashes of markings across her face. And it is not lost on him the resemblance, and distantly he wonders if someday this mare, too, will join her sister in death.

@Avdotya | "speaks" | notes: was actually going to use the other toulouse but i like this one more
rallidae






i'm stuck in the sunshine, riptide

dancing all alone in the morning light
you came in like a wave when i was feeling alright

Reply




Played by Offline Kay [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 11
Signos: 535
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 494 Summer] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 21 — Atk: 39 — Exp: 53 // Active Magic: Earth // Bonded: Feliks (Borzoi)
#3

She hears Toulouse’s footsteps; every hollow echo of his hooves seem to buzz around her ears like a tiny, persistent gnat. Her agitation swells, but her stare keeps itself trained upon Makeda. Is she even Makeda anymore? Does this rotting body of flesh and bone truly bear a name now that it is no longer occupied by a once vibrant soul? Avdotya grits her teeth at the thought, for even though her sister has returned to their mother - and so many of the Davke that preceded them - she knows it was not yet her time. But life is not fair, the viper knows this. It does not cater to what should be, it simply gives and takes as it pleases without regard. She knows this, too, and yet the knowledge of that alone is not enough to sate her ire. She needs more than that.

Toulouse arrives just as she takes a step back from the body and she turns her neck just so, watching the stallion with his billowing silks and gleaming gold. She recalls their brief encounter during the Summit so long ago... and she spares only a moment to wonder what trouble he has found since then. Feliks bristles beside her, but does little more to convey the edge of emotion he feels from Avdotya. They are unwelcoming, to say the least, and still he speaks.

He does not get his answer right away. There is a silence, a long and pregnant pause that lingers between them while she debates on whether to indulge him. ”I did.” Her words are simple, confirmation but without detail. She needn’t share them with a man she knew so little about, whose motives she could not trust. Solterra is volatile - there isn’t a single soul she trusts given its soured political environment.

”It seems Raum has stolen the reaper’s crown now, hasn’t he.” She comments idly, taking hold of a nearby stone from the ground with her telepathy. Her spear unsheathes itself from its place on her leg and suddenly collides with the dusty rock, drawing sparks that jump so easily onto Makeda’s body. They are quick to eat up every brittle hair that exists within their reach and spread from a gentle flicker of fire into a blaze that consumes flesh with wild ease. Return to mother- find your place among Solis’ sun. It is not long until just her bones remain, and Avdotya knows she has done her duty for her sister.

She returns the spear to its holster and glances over to Toulouse, who she notices now stood much closer than she would ever desire. ”Here to admire the bodies?” Would you care to join them? She sought no rhyme nor reason to kill in this situation- her feral lust for blood was pulsing, pounding and it did not care for the face from which it stole from. Come closer, then, Toulouse.

@Toulouse
image © pacificdash






You shall find that pretty rose vines are just as lovely
when they wrap tight around your limbs and shatter your bones.

Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 9
Signos: 10
Dawn Court Citizen
Male [he/him/his] // 8 [Year 496 Summer] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 22 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4


the blood on my teeth
begins to taste like a poem

"I
did." Her words hang in the air between them, and the corner or his lips twitch. Something almost like amusement lingers there, subtle enough to be questionable, a shadow in the wrong place.

He lifts his head, baring his horns to the sky. "Pity." She offers nothing else, no further words to define her relationship with the deceased - but perhaps, she doesn’t need to. Toulouse is already filling in the blanks with his mind, in the way her gaze lingers over the body and how her jaw tightens, just slightly, when she speaks.

The dead girl is a Davke, that much is plain enough to see - all of the dead are. Starved and bloated, their decay is not enough to hide the scars and the paint and the feral edges to their teeth. The sand around them is disturbed, no doubt by the thrashing legs of a downed horse resisting their fate. Even on the brink of death, the Davke would fight until the end.

And she was one of them - but she was not with them.

"Is that really such a surprise?" he asks, and his voice is dangerously soft. "Did Raum ever come here for anything but death?" He leaves the words unspoken, but still they hang heavily between them in the silence. Toulouse does not react when she takes her spear and the rock, and flames leap to existence between the two. The dead girl is the first to be consumed by them, but it will not be long before they all feel the fire’s kiss.

Toulouse watches the flames, their orange glow reflected in his eyes. The wind sends smoke washed over them, and he knows the acrid smell of burning flesh will hover over him like a shroud. But he does not care.

It’s only when she turns to face him again that he shifts his gaze, first to the delicate edge of the spear’s blade as she returns it to her holster, then to the bright red of her eyes. The light of the fire plays shadows across her skin, highlighting each sharp edge of her face. He lets her question go unanswered for a second too long, holding her gaze evenly. But then his lips curl again, and he laughs quietly without joy.

"Just passing through," he tells her, and he’s sure she knows it isn’t the full truth. He holds her gaze for as long as he dares before looking away, keeping her in his periphery. Like she’s a snake, he will not be unprepared if she strikes. When she strikes.

When dealing with a snake, it was often better to be the first to strike. Just in case.

"Is he the first king to conquer the Davke so?" It’s a dangerous question to ask - but between the orange of the flames and the sharpness of her spearpoint, Toulouse is feeling something dangerous today.

@Avdotya | "speaks" | notes: on today’s episode of how long can it take sid to reply…
rallidae






i'm stuck in the sunshine, riptide

dancing all alone in the morning light
you came in like a wave when i was feeling alright

Reply




Played by Offline Kay [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 11
Signos: 535
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 494 Summer] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 21 — Atk: 39 — Exp: 53 // Active Magic: Earth // Bonded: Feliks (Borzoi)
#5

A pity, indeed - but she presumes there is little sincerity in the man’s expression. Toulouse does not strike her as a caring individual, a trait they both share; however, where he masks his indifference with gold and fine cloth, she bears her own like an open book. ”You waste your breath.” Her lips are upturned, a foul grimace lacing across her face. Sympathy (genuine or not) to Avdotya - and to the Davke - is what a speck of dust means to the wind: absolutely and profoundly nothing.

Only when the conversation drifts from Makeda’s body and he speaks of Raum does she find herself agreeing with him. Death and the pale king went hand-in-hand, something she knew since he stole the throne from beneath Seraphina’s feet. It was the reason she bargained with him so early on, and now it is the reason she desires his head mounted prettily atop a rusted pike.  Her heart dances at the thought, skipping to the feral pulse of bloodlust in her veins. ”Tyrants never last.” She finally comments, very plain, and even more so impatient.

What patience she does have grows even thinner with Toulouse so expertly pulling at every thread. His subtle laugh, his innocent words that really were not so innocent. He is better off saying he is here to watch Solterra crumbling to pieces.

And then he asks of the Davke- conquer, he says. The vipers eyes narrow and she flattens her ears, but her temper does not flare. Not yet. ”Zolin once believed he had conquered the Davke,” she replies sharply, ”what a terrible shame it was when he was found with his throat cut.” Avdotya steps closer to him as she speaks, a slow and precise step, fluid, even cat-like. She can recall that night, the way the boy king’s blood spewed so violently from his neck as he lay choking in the lavish comfort of his silken bed. She watched the light leave his awful eyes, she watched the panicked heaving of his breath wither into stillness, and she watched it all with a satisfied smile painted wildly across her lips.

Zolin was the last to ‘conquer’ the Davke. The fiery scene that lay behind Avdotya and Toulouse on this day was no conquering. ”There is no eradicating a people like us - leave one alive and the nation is still left vulnerable, friend.” Their conversation is much like a dance, she thinks, performed on a very fine line balancing the pair between civility and savagery.

What shall it be?



@Toulouse
image © pacificdash






You shall find that pretty rose vines are just as lovely
when they wrap tight around your limbs and shatter your bones.

Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 9
Signos: 10
Dawn Court Citizen
Male [he/him/his] // 8 [Year 496 Summer] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 22 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#6


the blood on my teeth
begins to taste like a poem

H
e smiles sweetly at her, but his teeth are bone white and sharp. “No matter,” he turns a rock over with one hoof, dust rising into the air like smoke. “They leave quite the impression, whether they rule for one year or one hundred.”



Raum was already leaving his mark on Solterra. And on Denocte, and across the ribs of all those starving children on the city streets. Toulouse knew he wouldn’t last, just like he knew he would not soon be forgotten. And that, to him, was about as close to immortality as any one man could get.

He loves seeing the effect his words have on her, the way her voice turns to venom and her ears flatten to outline her skull. She looks appropriately fierce when she takes that slow, dangerous step towards him - and Toulouse can’t help but wonder if this was how she looked in Zolin’s bedchambers, right before she slit the boy king’s throat. And if it was, he decided then and there that there were worse ways to die.

But of course, Toulouse would not be dying today.

“A shame,” he echoes, his eyes dancing with unspoken glee. “Is that regret I hear? Remorse? I did not know the desert viper was capable of such.”

This time, it’s his turn to step closer. Toulouse’s voice drops to a whisper, one that would have been inaudible had they not been so close.

“Isn’t it funny how all the rulers make the same mistake every time?” he asks her, and at last he drops the false sweetness from his tone. In its place is something feral, something loving - something that delights in the thought of anarchy, of a boy king being slaughtered by the object of his own fascination.

“Zolin, Maxence, Seraphina, Raum - really, you’d think at least one of them would learn from their predecessors.”



He bares his horns, the golden rings clinking against one another. And then -

“-But I must say. Solterra is far more interesting when they don’t.”


@Avdotya | "speaks" | notes: why is he enjoying this so much
rallidae






i'm stuck in the sunshine, riptide

dancing all alone in the morning light
you came in like a wave when i was feeling alright

Reply




Played by Offline Kay [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 11
Signos: 535
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 494 Summer] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 21 — Atk: 39 — Exp: 53 // Active Magic: Earth // Bonded: Feliks (Borzoi)
#7

She wants to pluck every pearly white tooth from his mouth when he smiles, if only for the sake of satisfying the swelling rage that sits inside her chest. With every pop of burning flesh, every smoky breath of air filling her lungs with death, Avdotya feels the need to seek justice for her fallen sister—for the rest of the Davke that lay enshrouded in flame behind them. How many times? she wonders in the midst of Toulouse speaking, how many times must they suffer at the hands of a monarchy before they are free of its reach. And what more can she do? She has snuffed out the life of a false king, diminished the capitol to ash and yet still she is sending her kin to their god at the crown’s hand.

The viper takes a hard breath.

She looks at Toulouse in time to hear him spinning her sarcasm into that of his own, a joke of sorts. Her expression remains flat and unamused; had the context of the situation been any different, he may have been able to stir a chuckle from the mare. ”The only regret I have is failing to burn that throne and all those who bow to it.”  She hisses lowly, watching him close the gap that barely exists between them. He seems to take pleasure in testing his fortune.

But Avdotya does not snap. She doesn’t slip away into the blind fury that nips so persistently at her heels. It would be wasted on a man like Toulouse. For that, she peels away from him and prowls through the maze of burning bodies, memorizing the last details of their faces before they wither into dust. ”Power is a dangerous thing,” she glances up at him through the flames, her face askew with radiant heat, ”it makes fools of men and then brings them to their knees. They all claim to be different until they’re not.” In the end, each and every one them taste the bitter flavour of failure upon their tongue.

On she strides, winding and weaving until she accidentally steps on the wooden handle of a spear that splinters beneath her weight. She lifts what remains of it, holding it just before her for but a few seconds while her mind wanders. Again she is wondering: how many spears—just like this one— lay in the Mors, half-buried in the sand and left for time to slowly push them further below the dunes... down until it is like they never existed at all.

”It must be very entertaining to see all of this, I’m sure.” She gestures to the skeletons that are slowly beginning to emerge, then finally smiles.

This is what happens when royals do not learn.



@Toulouse
image © pacificdash






You shall find that pretty rose vines are just as lovely
when they wrap tight around your limbs and shatter your bones.

Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 9
Signos: 10
Dawn Court Citizen
Male [he/him/his] // 8 [Year 496 Summer] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 22 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#8


the blood on my teeth
begins to taste like a poem

H
e watches her, as she peels away from him and prowls around the edge of the fire, and he wonders exactly what it would take for the Davke woman to snap. It’s a dangerous curiosity, one he’s far too willing, too eager, too reckless to give into. He had always lacked caution, or a sense of self preservation; one day, his twin was sure, it would be the end of them. But until then, it was far too fun to stop, and the horned man had always imagined he would go out in a blaze.

Toulouse follows after her as she paces, always a half-beat behind her. As they walk he watches the flames reach hungrily for both of them, like the burning sand can’t wait to add two more bodies to the pyre. He can feel the heat of the ash beneath his hooves, can smell the burning fur and still, he presses closer until he can feel the flames against his own skin.

A tassel on his scarf begins to fray and he watches with morbid fascination as it comes apart, shred by shred, a blackened line creeping closer to him. As the char begins to turn to flame, he extinguishes it with a shrug, and takes a half-step away.

"Why else would I be here?" He flicks off the charred piece of silk, casting it into the waiting fire. "Raum is not so immortal as he thinks, no one is. I’m here to see the fool he becomes, and which misguided man follows in his footsteps when he’s gone."

He can see her through the flames again, and he’s sidestepping past a body to cross her. Winding and weaving, wondering how long it would take to walk across the heart of the funeral pyre, and how long it would take for his skin to char and slough and his bones to break beneath his weight. He knows she wouldn’t step forward to meet him if he tried - but oh, his imagination plays the scene all the same in the back of his mind, two vipers baring their fangs at the fire and denying fate its prize.

Another tassel begins to burn, the acrid smell filling his lung.

"Is it really too late?" he asks her, lowering his horns at the flames. "The capitol, the throne, the people - why not burn them the same way you burn your family?"



He stops, with a wall of flames still separating them. It's spreading out into the canyon now, reaching for all the dry and brittle plants lining the sandstone walls. A cloud of smoke is rising into the air, like a signal to the city waiting for him in the dunes. And Toulouse smiles at it, like he is something more than tinder and kindling.

"Why are you still here, if not for vengeance?"




@Avdotya | "speaks" | notes: he has been so hard to write ahh
rallidae






i'm stuck in the sunshine, riptide

dancing all alone in the morning light
you came in like a wave when i was feeling alright

Reply





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