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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 146 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Day Court Outcast
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Shapeshifting // Bonded: Legion (Basilisk)
#1

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


“Did you think I wouldn’t find out?” Raum murmurs, his breath, warm and rich with whiskey as it pours like amber across Caine’s cheek. Shadows crawl, they clink like the chains that hang tight about the black’s canon bones. There is no noise in this place, no noise but the fading hum of Raum’s words and the coarse hiss of their breaths.
 
inhale.
 
 
exhale.
 
 
inhale.
 
Slowly Raum’s gaze moves over every inch of the stallion’s face, beside them a letter lies. It is bloodstained and littered in mud. The words are drowning in crimson that still glows wet and fresh.
 
“I have eyes, Caine.” The King continues, still close, his voice still little more than a murmur. The darkness breathes where they do not. It swells voluminous and clings to the damp of the small, fetid cell.
 
“More eyes than you could ever know. You are a fool to forget the might of the Crows. Once a Crow, always a Crow.” And the darkness breathes wings upon his spine. The glow ink bright and blue stained. His skull tilts, corvid and wicked. His eyes, usually blue, are black, black, black. Against the silver of him they are dark chasms reaching out to swallow down all that Caine is. Oh, Raum will destroy him, every piece, every tick of his heart and throb of his blood. Every piece of him will know the wrath of a Ghost.
 
It is cool here, in the darkness of Solterra’s bowels. But Raum does not feel the darkness, nor its cold. His is already scarred, already burnt beyond recognition, beyond feeling. Night is nothing to him, Day is the ruins he dances in and ash is in his mouth and tar is in his blood. Raum’s bones are bleached and his teeth full of sand and grit.
 
Slowly he blinks, slowly his eyes wander from Caine’s face to his wings, pierced and weighted down, down by iron. Down upon the cold damp stone they hang. Once, Raum might have wondered if it hurt, the feathers around the chains stripped, the bone driven through with an iron ring… but now he simply looks and does not care to know. There is no need – there is no pain that he can feel. His empathy is as ghostly as his title: Ghost. They haunt him, but how can one haunt what is now numb and does not feel?
 
But Raum is not completely numb. And that is why Caine stands before him, incarcerated, convicted, sentenced. “Fia.” He says softly, like a caress of a blade, of a mallet. “The leader of the Rebellion,” The King concludes. “You played a fool’s game and lost.”
 
And then a door is opening and torchlight shatters the dank silver darkness of their cell. Raum leans back, and the damp smell rises, cloying in their lungs. A guard moves slowly into the room. “It is time.” And a nod is all that is given as the guard reaches for the prisoner, to drag him out of the darkness and into the blinding light of above.
 
The small cell resounds with chinking metal. Was it death, rising up from Purgatory to seize them? Raum is a shadow in Caine’s wake, he is the moonshadow that Caine missed in his night within the cell. Did he look to the moon and think of a mad king? A Dictator King? A Savage King? A Ghost King? A Blood King? So many names! Raum is so many things, but now he is but a shadow. He is darkness breathing, a smothering black with eyes that know.
 
The guard moves before them, a procession of three, but then more guards join, filtering into the parade as they weave through the citadel halls. The grand doors spill open from the atrium and crowds are gathered here to watch, to mourn, to gloat, to enjoy, to fear, to embrace, to breed hatred.
 
How long is the walk to the central square? How many jibes are thrown, to Caine and to the king? How many grope for them in anger and spit and condemn them with tongues of wicked fire and eyes as hard as blades. They crave death, this crowd but is it Caine’s or is it Raum’s that will slake their thirst? The king is not a vain man, but this time he knows the crowd is baying for him. His blood is precious now, it burns like poison in his veins. Yet he does not flinch at their ire nor their joy. He does not move from their threats.
 
El Rey is waiting and light glints along the sharpened blade. The guards move to lead Caine to the central spot, to a platform black as obsidian. “Caine!” Raum says, loud enough for the crowd to hear. “You have committed a crime against Solterra’s king. You have worked against the Court you call home. You have endangered lives.” He speaks, with a voice like lead, with eyes like electricity. They vow, to kill ,to burn, to ruin all that Caine is.
 
Slowly he moves to the shackled man, careful to avoid the tethers that hold his wings down. “You could have endangered my daughter.” Raum murmurs now, for Caine’s ears alone. “You are lucky I will not take your life, your eyes, your tongue or your listening ears.” Slowly, slowly Raum studies him before turning away. “The punishment I have deemed for this convict is to have his wings removed!”
 
He gives a nod to the looming presence of El Rey before he steps away, off the platform, down into the crowd that screams in raucous disarray. They are animals here, grief-stricken, enraged, excited. They claw at the king as he passes, he sidesteps them and does not slow. As he walks he waits, for the dull thunk of metal upon Obsidian and the twin thuds of feathers and bones.



**IMPORTANT NOTE:** anyone is welcome to respond in this thread as if their character is in the crowd and have reactions and feelings to what is occurring, but please note that this is specifically a thread for El Rey and Caine and they will reply to each other but may or may not include your char in it according to their own discretion.** 
  
@el rey @Caine 






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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Played by Offline rallidae [PM] Posts: 66 — Threads: 6
Signos: 1,010
Day Court Scholar
Male [He/Him/His] // 6 [Year 498 Summer] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 20 // Active Magic: Dream Illusion // Bonded: N/A
#2

TW: Caine's disassociated response to pain, along with a brief, glossed-over mention of intercourse


After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?


The first to go is always time.

How much of it has passed, since he was caught and chained down with enough iron to equip a cavalry? The comparison, barely hyperbolic, drags a feverish smile from Caine's lips. How rich Solterra still is in its ore! Enough for an army twice the current one's size, filled with the puppets of ruined men they fed just enough to worship the benevolence of Loyalty.

Focusing his eyes, Caine lolls his head towards the slivered window, staked evenly through with iron bars, high above the damp stone walls of his cell. The blades of his withers ache from bearing the weight of his nailed down wings through the night(s). He flexes them every hour, or so, to keep them from stiffening. (If the guards had kindly granted his demands for a clock, "Can't you take one down from the kitchens when you bring my meals?" [a joke within a joke; they never brought him meals] "Saints knows the cook never heeds it," he could've kept to a precise schedule.)

Ah, he thinks, with wry affection. My wings. 

His dear, double devil wings have, since their nailing, settled into a needly numbness after trembling themselves mad under the spikes of pain emanating from the sections of crushed hollow bone. He finds their numbness deplorable. It leaves him with nothing to fight off. Sighing, he rests his head against the cool stone and gives himself back to the kingdom of sleep.

When he wakes, slouched against the bars of the cell with his left wing soaked in fresh blood from tearing open his wound, Raum is there. And his bloodless mouth is moving.

"Did you think I wouldn't find out?" Eventually, we are all found out. Time is always the enemy, King Crow. But Caine's lips remain contemptuously, laconically sealed.

"I have eyes, Caine." With the proof staring back at him, Caine simply nods. 

And as Raum speaks, and speaks, he fixates his eyes on the bridge of the man's muzzle, to make him believe he is listening. Then, when the facade is secured, Caine dives soundlessly into the depths of memory. 

Agenor had used chains in the beginning, when Caine—or simply, Boy, as  the silver eyed child hadn't yet encountered the book he'd use to choose a name that tasted right upon his tongue—hadn't yet nulled his reactions to pain. For his master's safety, as he maintained the web of interlocking spells around the Boy, his limbs were bound to prevent sudden movements that would undoubtedly wreck the warlock's concentration. As the Boy grew older and his bones lengthened as well as toughened, the chains were no longer necessary. Like all living creatures learned to do since the dawn of time, he acclimated. 

"Pain, as with all emotions, is merely a creation of the brain," stated a wrinkled journal he'd found stuffed beneath a floorboard in Agenor's study. "And as with all creations, it can be controlled. Over the years, the most effective method I have found is so simple it seems a farce. Here it is: take your brain away. (I do not mean physically, but perhaps it would help for you to think of it that way. Curiously, imagined actions often elicit the same effects as real ones.) Take it away, to the night you first bedded your beautiful wife. Focus on her face, how it morphs. Focus on your breath, how it catches. Inhale the scent of the roses she'd picked that morning, glazed with dew, and placed in a crystal vase by the silk canopy... For the more innocent among us, grasp upon another memory equally potent. Equally visceral. Distraction is a channel the Saints have blessed our minds with for precisely this use..." 

The Boy hadn't had a lover, so the description didn't move him and his cheeks remained bloodless. He didn't have memories he considered quite visceral enough, either, so after some experimentation, he made do with an alteration.

He imagined himself shut inside a metal box just big enough for all his limbs—and his two pairs of wings, later on—to fold up into, like a telescope. There was nothing around the box. No sound, no light, no life. But there was padding inside of it, black as cinders and softer than goosedown. He didn't need to breathe in the box, nor to eat or drink or relieve himself. Nothing outside knew of him inside, so nothing, you see, could hurt him. One by one, he discarded his sense of: Time (the first to go, always), Memory, and Self. The world had forgotten him; tucked inside the box, he would never be bothered. Inscribed into the side of the box was a single word, manifesting in steadily improving handwriting every time it was summoned: Mortem. Death.

When Caine opens his eyes again, it is to a blinding brightness. Tears stream from his eyes, rewetting the dried blood and giving him the appearance of crying it. He must've drifted off in the middle of Raum's speech. Keep a man from his food for day(s), he thinks, and you cannot expect him to play the role of both A. Starving Man and B. Responsive Listener.

The sudden exposure to sunlight disorientates Caine so much that it is not until the guards throw him onto the jutting platform, a slab of bone-white marble (to better show the blood, he'd realize later) that he notices the crowd. Faces—jeering, snarling, drooling, faces—surround him like a swarm of Bacchants, mouths twisting into hornet's stingers. 

Raum's voice once again cuts through the haze of his mind. 

“Caine!” he caws. The crowd roars in answer. “You have committed a crime against Solterra’s king. You have worked against the Court you call home. You have endangered lives... You could have endangered my daughter.” Caine's brows knit, the only expression he has managed to conjure thus far, when the king bends down to his ear and murmurs of Sabine. The little fairy.

“The punishment I have deemed for this convict is to have his wings removed!” Silence, before a howl of approval, or disappointment, or a savage mix of both, erupts from the stands. Had they expected more? A head, perhaps?

Blinking, Caine looks to his wings. Looks down at the bloody pulp of black feathers and exposed bone and the invisible net of black magic tying it all together. Disgusting, he muses, with a shred of savagery. He feels the sudden urge to laugh, then, and he wonders: Why shouldn't I? What more do I have to lose? (Your life, he imagines Fia saying. Ah. But I have never cherished that, he answers her, sadly.) When Raum turns to leave, the convicted, bloodstained spy laughs.

He turns the curve of his dark throat to the sun, lets the weight of his oily hair drag his head an extra notch backwards. He laughs, and he laughs, red mouth slit wide and convulsing, until he pushes it all out of him like expelling a parasite.

He closes his mouth, spits blood onto the pristine white marble platform, and screams: 

“Long live Seraphina!”


@El Rey @Raum
again, this is open for any character to reply to with their reactions!
rallidae








WE LIVE IN THE FLICKER
but darkness was here yesterday

♠︎ ♤ ♠︎

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Played by Offline Muirgen [PM] Posts: 26 — Threads: 4
Signos: 10
Night Court Outcast
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Summer] // 17.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3

TW for limbs being severed.

a king walks among us

It is God that has guided my hand, darkness that has borne me, light that has shunned me. For in this world I am an outcast, I am a soldier, I am a king, I am a bull. I have shed blood for glory and blood for pride. Blood for blood and blood for life and blood for death. I have ended lives simply because I could. I have ended lives because it was commanded of me; I have sown discord and agony into the remaining weeks or days or hours of those that dare rebel against my God, my king, my darkness.

I am crowned in golden gore.

It is today that I will do a great thing, a public thing, to show them what they wish to see, what my king wishes to show them. It is today that I will sever bone from flesh from feather from muscle from vein - it is today that fear will bleed down the white marble into the masses, so that they may lap up this lifeblood as water in the desert, as order in chaos, order which He has brought us. Suffer, rebel, suffer. There is no redemption for you here.

The man before me is familiar. Caine, he is called, a cursed name, I have learned. I am told he deserves this punishment and this I shall believe. Already he lays in a crumpled mass of blood and bone and feather and waste; some of this is of my own doing. What has been inflicted upon him is a result of his actions. 

He shouts.

”Long live Seraphina!”

In a swift motion my hooves have come down upon his wings like - like - like what they are. There is the breaking of bones and the clatter of hoof on marble. Blood squirts from open wounds. I see art, I see God. ”Blasphemer, you will suffer on this day,” are the words, the flat, cold words. They never sound like violence as I wish they would; they never sound like me. A feather escapes him and flutters against me, briefly, as Juniper’s, and for a moment I am with her, and then it is gone and so is she. 

I have been given an axe. It is lovely, really, curved as my own crown of horns and it shines almost as they do. 

”The sky will escape you. Never again shall its wind dance against your feathers. Never again will the sun welcome you, here or there. May its rays always bring the memory of what you once had. You have blasphemed, you have sinned, and for every wrongdoing, there is a price.”

I swing the axe.

The axe cuts the air. In this great swooping motion, I see it is not a part of me, magic tethers it to my mind but in this slow-moment I feel that some other force controls it, some other force has told me to do what I have always done and while I feel it is right it is a path from which I have never strayed a path to which I cling like the feathers of Her and the commands of Him and the blood of Them and I do not know if this is the path of my heart, knowing that She is with my heart and This, This is not-

Thunk.

Crimson splatters against my face, against the marble, against him but the two of us we are black and so it is the white white stone that shows us the true violence of this act. The wing is severed, bone stark white and something catches in my lungs. 

I smile. I raise the axe again. This is my mind, my doing. 

The axe falls, harder this time - perhaps it is more merciful, perhaps I should have offered less force, to only separate the tissues in part, to swing three, four, five times, but a thrill shivers through my being and I look at this which I have done. There are two more wings. I look to the crowd; there are cheers, there are screams, there is silence. I step back. Maybe it is enough. Maybe this - the having of a part, but not the whole, would be the true punishment. ”Never again,” I breathe, and it may be that only he can hear me, ”Never again.”


Who is your king now?


@Caine @Raum

”in blood the blade, to its golden hilt, I’ll drown,“

I pledge you now, to death they all are bound,






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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 65 — Threads: 8
Signos: 0
Day Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Fall] // 14.1 hh // Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Wind Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#4


it was meant to be simple
just one golden rule

I
t was the last day - though of course none of them knew that.

It was the end; but it had always felt like the end, since that first afternoon when silver Raum came wearing red blood and said the queen is dead. Elif had wanted to call him a liar then, but she did not think she would have been right.

Dread crawled up her throat and sat hunched in her mouth like a stone when she came into the city. It tasted bitter, acrid, like the ash that Solterra had tasted a dozen times before (she would strike anyone who ever again compared the Day Court to a phoenix). By now Elif was well-familiar with the taste of it, but on Raziel’s estate (Saudagar, but that still felt ridiculous on her tongue, like wearing silks and ribbons in her hair, like a home in a story-book) it at least had learned to wait in her stomach, biding its time like a viper in a lair.

But everything was out in the open now.

Elif didn’t know why the streets were in a ruckus; it almost felt like a festival atmosphere, except for the glossy shine of fear-or-madness in everyone’s eyes, and the jagged hip-bones, and the way the tension felt less like a surprise and more like a noose. Her whip was curled tight and tucked beneath a wing, little use that it was; it was comforting, like a lucky stone or a pet bird. She thought she might have to use it to get through the crowd, but she shouldered her way through instead, gritting her teeth, unafraid to shove. She followed the clamor to its source -

And stopped in her tracks when she saw who stood upon the bone-white dais.

Caine! She wanted to turn away - was suddenly dizzy with the need of it - but as soon as Raum cried out his name she knew she could not. Whatever this was - whatever he’d done - she would stay. Elif wanted to whip everyone in the crowd who jeered, who whistled, who watched like this was entertainment. She wanted to starve them like Raum had. She wanted to be dreaming. She wanted to wake.

The punishment I have deemed for this convict is to have his wings removed!

Elif gasped. What a dreadful sense of deja vu, to have that same cry wrung from her as she’d made when he announced Seraphina fallen. Worse, because she knew Caine, and she knew what it was to wear wings, what freedom it represented, and it was impossible not to imagine having her own cut from her. Trepidation anchored her as one monster left the platform and another, a hulking shadow large as a mountain, stepped nearer the pegasus. It was his laugh that shook her free, that chilled her to the bone, that sounded like a madman’s curse ringing and ringing over the crowd so that even they in their mix of horror and thirst fell silent.

She was pressing forward through the throng when the executioner brought his hooves down. She was near enough to see the blood color the pristine white with crimson and her heart clenched in her chest. When the next gaggle would not let her through she bit and kicked like a Davke until they stumbled aside, and she still she didn’t know what she was planning, only that it was something, something to put an end to this -

Too late. Too late, and her eyes were wide and spring-green as they watched the axe arc up and up then crash sickeningly down.

Elif might have screamed. She must have screamed, because afterward her voice was hoarse and raw, but all she heard was the ring of iron on stone and the crack of bones, and there was a blooming arc of blood (an image of the petals on the island flashed unbidden across her chaotic mind), there were his wings, flexing and fluttering like they were still trying to fly. Her own ached and ached, and her eyes stung, and her head was filled with a wasp’s-nest buzzing as she watched Caine sag on the marble and the man lean away and wildly, wildly she swung her gaze across the crowd looking for any sympathetic face. She prayed for O, for Eik, for Raziel, but their god was not attending.

Yet there - opal and marble, sunlight off the curve of horns, his face unreadable - Toro. The crowd was growing more unstable by the moment, though some were following the silver king, and some were weeping and turning home; but others wore bloodlust like the latest fashion from across the sea. They heaved like waves, pushing and receding, and she could not reach the horned man. Elif didn’t even know if he would help; their truce that long-ago day had been an uneasy one.

But desperation saw her calling to her magic even as she shouldered the rest of the way through the crowd, still heading for the black monster and the black man broken below him like his own shadow bleeding. The wind obeyed, swirling through the square, snapping and fluttering all the banners, kicking up the sand, finding El Toro.

As Elif climbed the steps of the platform the wind shoved at the alabaster man, then tugged at his hair and tails and the opal netting he wore, urging him toward her, begging his help. It would not ease until he obeyed.

He towered above her, this black giant, and this near the world smelled of bitterness and blood. She could not look at Caine, would not study too closely the mass of feathers and blood (was he even still alive? Could he be?). She raised her green eyes to the bull-crowned man with the axe, thought of the whip still coiled at her side, discarded the thought in the same moment.

Instead, for the second time in her life, she opened her mouth to beg for her people.

“Let me tend him,” she said, and sought any sign of pity in those beetle-black eyes. “You have carried out the sentence, let me make sure he survives it.”











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Played by Offline Muirgen [PM] Posts: 88 — Threads: 13
Signos: 40
Day Court Champion of Battle
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Summer] // 17.2 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Hajduk (Mythical Lion)
#5

CURSED BE THE HEART WHICH QUAKES WITHIN THE BREAST

He didn’t know why he’d come. There was a burning in him, a pull - a guiding hand pushing him through the streets of Solterra.

Oh, gods.

Raum, silver and terrible, stood over a black mass of blood and shit and feathers, so mangled that Toro didn’t recognize him right away, but, gods, that he recognized Caine at all was a stake in his heart. There was a brief and shivering moment where it did not matter that Caine was a pegasus, it only mattered that he Was (Is) and that Toro knew him as Being and that was enough to be an awful, awful thing.

And then there was the bull. Toro should’ve seen him first, but he didn’t. Behind the shining king he loomed like the shadow-self, not a true shadow, no, but the inner dark, the fear, the violence, the Truth that the conscious self beat back every day in the hope of maintaining Order. 

Raum spoke many words but only some of them mattered. Caine would live, but -“The punishment I have deemed for this convict is to have his wings removed!”

El Toro shivered. He thought of having his horns cut away, his legs snapped like tree branches, his eyes gouged - 

”Long live Seraphina!” The great black beast rises up and the white stallion cannot think of the sound breaking wings on thousand-pound hooves makes but it feels like throwing a wind chime against a gravestone. Blood sprays the pristine marble. Hajduk growls. We could stop him, he says, but Toro shakes his head. The sight of the black bull holds his heart like an iron fist. The arching nose, the broad shoulders, the bovine horns; it all rings familiar, so familiar. It is not right.

There is strange poetry in the brother monster’s words and that is all Toro can think of brother him as right now, because that is what his actions speak of, that is what he must be; not one of this race, not one possessing of humanity. Opal eyes and a thousand others follow the silvery arcing of the axe and he can feel the bile in his throat before Caine’s wing is severed, and it takes everything in his being not to heave or throw himself upon the ground or upon the executioner. Hajduk leans into his flank. The axe rises again and there, the spray of blood, black and white and red as the Fates but seeming more terrible than the truths of life and death and the time between. The black bull steps back. Toro’s heart hammers in his chest and he thinks - what if - what if I - what if today I did something good?

The thought of it only makes his heart race faster, his veins pumping, pumping so much blood and fear beneath his pale flesh and a harsh wind whips at him so fiercely he wonders if it has come to finally bring tears, but there is a girl running and Hajduk says Look and Toro does. 

Elif.

An accursed reunion if ever there was one.

She begs something of the black beast but Toro does not hear her, he only hears the words of his blood.

”Have I?” El Rey considers the scarlet blade. 

But then Toro is there, charging up the red and white steps, Hajduk beside, and there must have been some war cry tearing through his lungs but he thinks, Help her and Hajduk falls back to the girl who would beg at an executioner’s feet, carrying Caine if she requires it, prepared to fight off those who would stop her.

El Rey rears back but the axe is wrestled from him with a marble horn, glinting and decorated. Toro snaps fiercely with his teeth, his hooves clattering against the platform as he positions himself between El Rey and Elif. ”Stay back, beast,” he snarls. ”She is not meant for your block.”


@Elif @Caine
"What I say,"

What I think,

What Hajduk thinks,
credit





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