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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.
 


The thunk came and if Caine cried out Raum did not hear it over the crowd. He had moved through the crowd, surrounded by guards, stepping over and through the detritus of things thrown at him. He still clutched Caine’s letter, Sabine’s name stained in blood and mud.
 
He took the letter to his room, he closed the door and sat. He sat until darkness bled into his room, until the sun was drowned by night and he was little more than a splash of moonlight in an ocean of black.
 
There he still sits, and her name is still repeating in his mind. Sabine, Sabine. But Rhoswen’s name echoes. Rhoswen’s death, the pyre, the pyre. He would have gone to find her ashes, to bring her home, had he known, had he known. But he did not know and she is lost to the wind, to the tumbling fall from Veneror’s jagged face. She lies in the pieces he made of her. She exists in smoke and wind. He hears her, he smells her, and by the gods he still hates her. But loves her.
 
Love. It is a whip across his spine.
 
Love. It is electricity blazing a shock through his body.
 
Love. It turns him to stone.
 
But Sabine. Sabine.
 
His girl who loves him too much, who will not stop loving him. Ah, she is foolish, she is salvation. His Little Bird is strong and bright and so utterly stupid.
 
I am sorry. He had said, for everything that he had done that brought her pain. She demanded apologies of him. She demanded he apologise to those he had wronged and he is no fool. There is no deed he regrets. Yet there is blood upon Raum’s tongue. It is metallic and sweet and he hopes that it is poison but he knows it is only Acton. There is the feel of Sera’s body beneath his paw, the crunch, the collision, the stinging ache she left after. There is Isra and the sting of a thousand hornets upon his skin.
 
His eyes are closed in the dark of his room. He has not stirred for hours.
 
He thinks, thinks, thinks.
 
He grieves, grieves, grieves.
 
He loves, loves, loves.
 
Had he not caught Caine, the Rebellion would know about Sabine. Ah, something twists, it clenches within him and steals his breath. Fia would know he had a daughter and how can he keep her quiet now? How can he protect her when all Solterra watched as the throne room window broke as the statue he threw fell through it and down, down, down to obliterate in the dust and dirt? They all know here – will she pay for his crimes too?
 
Did Rhoswen even care? Did she care when she took her life and asked Sabine to care for him. Did she care for their daughter at all? He came to ruin Rhoswen, he came to steal her court and choke it, make it suffer, grovel. It began with Denocte, it began with Reichenbach and a Crow in love with a Day girl. Love, love breaks them.
 
What is there now? His head lifts with the dawn, slowly, slowly. His eyes open and they are blue as water, deep as the ocean. He turns. He turns and leaves his room, calling Legion. The monster comes as the morning ebbs. Patience, patience. The king hears the monster’s cry clawing through Solterra’s streets. Slowly he steps out from the shade of the castle. The last he had done this was to the song of Caine’s chains. Now there is only silence, though a monster waits at the foot of the stair. It tilts its skull toward him, listening.
 
Raum sends the basilisk on ahead of him. Never had their pairing been like pairings should. Always Raum vowed the creature’s freedom and he murmurs to it now. “For the last time, and you are free.”
 
And how, Raum wonders, can he protect his daughter? What more is there to do in Solterra when his lover is dead and the Rebellion catches word of Sabine? Slowly he unravels the silk from the basilisk’s blood drop eyes. The great beast shudders as the silk floats away. Raum watches the scarf go, he remembers it about Rhoswen’s throat and suddenly he is too full, full full.
 
He is split and spitting. Ire is wild within him, it wars with grief, it swells like a bruise, it burns like gasoline. Rhoswen’s sun is laughing at the man he is, he has become. Rhoswen’s ghost is weeping and Acton stands beside her, bright as a spark, black as pitch. He does not look, he does not look but fury turns his gaze, desolation, solitude, loneliness has a scream clawing its way up his throat.
 
He does not have a statue, he does not have Sabine to cower from him, to soften the frayed edges of him. “Legion!” He hisses, a whisper, a command, a poisonous decree.
 
And the beast turns its gaze upon Solterra, the first civilian is changed, then the next and the next and the next. Over and over and over and yet more and more and more. They begin to run, but they turn back, they look, the fear for their lives and they look. The beasts tail thrashes, but Raum is far enough back. He moves like a Ghost, behind his monster. Screams are ahead of him but behind is silence, he steps through a quiet, stone world. Horses rear and gallop and thrash and cower. Some still stand in shock, they all look, though, they all look at the monster.
 
Don’t look” Raum murmurs, but he does not stop Legion. He follows deeper and deeper into Solterra’s city  they flee, they flee and all he can think, as he looks at the statues is if they can feel. Can they feel anything at all?
 
His lips part, to call Legion back, he looks upon the monster, he- he closes his lips and looks to the ground and walks to the sounds of anarchy and silence.


@Eik @Isra @Seraphina
This is the beginning of the end. Raum is going to be stopped in this thread. If you would like your char turned to stone, then reply to this! No char needs to be indefinitely turned. They will all be turned back (or those who want to be) and it is up to you whether your char carries any long term scarring if you chose to have them turned into stone. Basically, do as you wish friends!






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 319 — Threads: 55
Signos: 3,500
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 66 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#2

AND MY SPIRIT WITH ITS LOSS KNOWS THIS;
though small against the black, small against the formless rocks, hell must break before I am lost; before I am lost, hell must open like a red rose for the dead to pass.



When the girl is past the border, Seraphina watches her go. The sun silhouettes her small frame; the light is like a lick of flame along the curve of her spine.

She does not move from her position – statuesque, watchful – at the maw of the canyon until she has disappeared entirely, a fleck of pale red lost to the distant sprawl. And then she closes her eyes. Sighs deeply; drinks of the dry desert wind.

And then she turns – back towards the Mors.

--

It begins when she is cresting a dune.

The sand sprays behind her hooves. In the distance, she sees a teryr circling over what is likely a corpse. She sent Ereshkigal to scout ahead, and, as she tosses a languid stare to the sky, towards the teryr, she thinks that she should be in the city by now.

“Seraphina.” The demon never calls her by her name. She freezes, her hooves skidding in the sand. A cloud of dust swirls around her; she tastes it in the back of her throat when she breathes it in. “They’ve caught your spy."

She is not sure if the jolt in her stomach – a sudden, overwhelming wave of nausea that makes her stagger in place – is adrenaline or horror. “Is he still alive?” She gambles with lives. This would not be the first time that she loses one; she doubts that it will be the last, and she wonders if she will ever get used to the way that it feels like a trail of fire-hot chains coiling around her chest, snaking up to her throat, burning-

And her mind answers for her. Never, never, never.

Ereshkigal is silent. When she does not reply, Seraphina asks her again, voice full enough of urgency to snap. “Ereshkigal! Is he alive?” She cannot save the dead, but perhaps, if she is quick enough-

“For now.” The vulture’s voice comes, finally. It suggests that he might as well be dead. “They’ve tortured him. Publicly.”

She springs into movement, a shudder working the length of her coat – like she just touched something very, very cold. An instinctual flinch of skin. The capitol is a distant and blurry darkness on the horizon.

She runs. “Keep him alive.”

“I can’t.”

“Keep him alive,” she begs. She is so tired of death.

--

Before she can so much as pass the city’s gates, she is met with a cascade of stumbling bodies.

The sound of screams rise from the capitol like some terrible crescendo. All around her, like a swarm of insects, people are struggling to escape the city; they stumble over each other and fall to the sand, writhing like beetles who can’t flip themselves over again, once fallen. If they fall, they are crushed.

She watches, wide-eyed with horror, and stumbles into the mass of bodies.

--

She expects the inside of the city to be a squirming mass, full of struggling escapees. Clouds of dust coat the streets and linger like fog. The world is sepia.

But it is quiet.

It is only when she sees the first statue that she realizes what he has done. It is a child, encased in a thick layer of stone; his eyes are bulging, like they could have fallen out of his skull, and his mouth is open in a frozen scream. He is thin. So thin. Practically skeletal. His hair is short. A few strands of it had fallen into his eyes.

She draws forward, along the street.

Stone faces greet her every step of the way.

--

At some point, while she is walking, she realizes that they will not be able to burn them properly. He has robbed them of everything, even a proper death.

She grieves, she grieves, she wants to grieve – but no tears stain her face. Her eyes do not mourn with her, because it will do her no good now.

She has always been good at that – pressing the mourning out, like wrinkles in a silken sheet, and saving it for later. She does not mourn. She does not grieve. She sees the scattered ashes of everything that she has ever loved around her, and she does not weep for it. All that she feels is a frightful rush of inevitability, a raw and terrifying certainty.

And her magic, like a horrible second heart, which throbs against the walls of her chest.

--

As she steps through the haze, her scarf billowing in some dry and agitated wind, Seraphina thinks, for the first time in a while, of Zolin’s death.

Rather, she thinks of the capitol in the aftermath of his death. She thinks of screaming. The smell of burning flesh and woodsmoke. (It was the burning flesh that would linger, always.) She thinks of stumbling through a throng of bodies, half-blind and delirious and terribly uncertain. She thinks of herself, as a girl. Surrounded by smoke. In front of Viceroy’s dead body. Splashed with blood. There were burns on her sides. Legs. The curve of her throat. She was coughing in the smoke.

And where did she go? (She stumbled blind.) She didn’t know. She didn’t know, she didn’t know why she was living, or what for-

She was a child, then. What could she do?

(She was a child, then, when they collared her. And they brought her before the king, but she was a child, so what could she do? Bow. On wobbling knees. Skeletal, ribs jutting, bleak behind the eyes – she remembers what it felt like to be helpless, and she remembers standing in that throne room again, with the windows all shattered, the glass catching like sparks in the dying light, and there was the smell of smoke again, and there was a girl on the steps, and a spear between her ribs, and she knew her, once- but had she ever caught Avdotya, or made her Davke pay the consequence of their betrayal? And, of course, there she is, body bent double and broken, bleeding from the cheeks with moonflowers and moonlight kissing her sides, dying, dying, dying, and so terribly helpless-)

There is a story here, somewhere, about paying the consequences of one’s crimes. She drifts by statues. Brushes up against them. They watch her, a silent council, a monument to her failure, to her crime, for ever thinking that she could be anything more than that little girl bent down on her knees with a collar strung like a noose around her throat.

There is the fluttering of wings and a weight on her back, between her shoulders. Seraphina keeps her gaze trained on the street in front of her, and she meets the eyes of the dead, this time, unflinching.

She knows that she cannot save them. She knows that she cannot turn back time; she knows that she cannot pull back the stone like a cocoon and reveal the life frozen beneath. (Her magic is only good for one thing.)

She knows, too, that Solterra is like the sun – always rising.

Her magic burns in her blood; she feels it coil inside of her, a snake with fangs outstretched, ready to bite. She is not sure if it is fitting or tragic that her gifts are good for nothing but death – she is not sure if it is fitting or tragic that it so often seems her burden to bear. Oh, but she had wanted so desperately, so desperately, to make something beautiful of this land. She didn’t want to hurt. She didn’t want blood, or tears, or fire. She wanted something beautiful.

There is nothing beautiful here now. She can see the reside of her efforts, crushed beneath the weight of stone.

She knows what must be done.

“Ereshkigal,” she says, “where is he?”

She leaps from her back, and, for a moment, her wings – dark and outstretched, right across her shoulders – could have been Seraphina’s own.

--

She sees him first as a glimmer of silver. She has seen him so many times, in her nightmares – she has seen the blue of his eyes and the curl of his lips. She has seen his beast, too, with its terrible gaze and serpentine tail. They haunt her. She wonders if they will join the chorus of ghosts that – always – linger in the back of her mind, once she has killed them.

Even if they don’t, she will never be able to escape the scar.

Inside of her, her magic builds to a dizzying crescendo. The world is silent, silent, silent, but the space inside of her skull is so terribly loud. She tastes sand on her lips, and dust. It reminds her of ash. Her magic is a rhythmic beat, like a war drum, but sometimes it is a scream, and always it is a knife – and the dead are all around her, with their stone eyes, and they are her jury, and she is, perhaps, an executioner.

Ereshkigal rises from her shoulders with a flurry of wings that could have been her own. Her magic hums in her blood. It pulls her from the surface of the ground – strewn sandstone and displaced sand – and suspends her in mid-air. Her hood tumbles from her face and falls past her shoulders in a thick spool of gold. Her white tendrils of hair pull loose from their braids. They float with her, like a nest of snakes.

She is like a ghost. Her eyes are rimmed with red. Her ribs jut – her cheeks are gaunt. She is like a revenant, or a reanimated corpse. But her stare is cold and hard and unyielding, and it knows; she has no fear left, and no room for weeping.

He will die. He will die, because she is going to kill him.

“Raum,” she says.

And when she looks at him, she is not a dead woman but death.









@Raum || aAAAaaaaAAAAaaaA





@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence




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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 283 — Threads: 40
Signos: 860
Night Court Soldier
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Spring] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 27 — Atk: 33 — Exp: 72 // Active Magic: Telepathy // Bonded: N/A
#3

The scarred grey stallion is saying goodbye to his city.

He walks the Solterran streets for what feels like the last time. He’ll be back, surely, but they won’t be his anymore, will they? He won’t be Solterran, even though his tongue might sometimes slip into that accent; slurred yet exaggerated, musical yet harsh, a contradiction among so many other contradictions.

EIK is saying goodbye to his city when it happens. The first pebble falling that triggers the landslide. Soon enough there is a terrible dichotomy in the capitol. On one hand there is screaming and running, so much sound and motion. Madness. On the other there is silence, and stillness, and it almost seems eerily holy. It is most certainly wrong, but also... also it is a kind of peace. And they have not seen peace in what seems like a very long time.

Fable.” He reaches, farther than he ever has before, with his strange-slippery magic, to the dragon that is flying home. “I need Isra. Here. Now.” Urgency gives him the power to communicate the message, although an awful wave of nausea follows that nearly brings him to his knees. It would, if he were not so used to enduring pain.

And suddenly there is Seraphina. Terrible and wonderful, glowing with magic, suspended like a puppet– god holding the strings.

And suddenly there is Raum. Terrible and wonderful in his own right.

And Eik feels–

He feels immensely sad. Relieved, but sad. The emotions chafe like an old wound that refuses to be forgotten. The paradox tears him at the seams.

(Somewhere along the line, he realized there was no such thing as an end.  That's just how life was-- there was never a true ending, not like a story. It was just– endless beginnings. Endless-- Drama. Suffering. Life. Brilliant blooms of something good (love, peace, faith) in a dark, bottomless ocean of war, tyranny, pain.

It was all a long, slow march to one’s death, and he wondered sometimes if there was any point to it at all.)

Raum.” Eik’s call is an echo of Seraphina’s, although it remains in the intimacy between the two of them, the gift of his magic. Raum, Raum, Raum. How many times has that name passed through the grey’s weary mind? “Are you ready?

Are you ready for the end?

Eik was tired, so tired, even though he knew he had the world (and more!) to live for now. Even though justice was upon them. (Sometimes he just wanted to weep for everyone. For the merciless pain of life– and death.)

He thinks of his daughters, those two perfect little stars, and their mother, and the cave that collapsed, and retribution fills his chest the way pride never has.

(But…
Sometimes– maybe always?–
nothing is enough.


Not even justice.)


AND ONE DAY, WE WILL OPEN OUR EYES, WE WILL AGAIN LOVE,
OUR BODIES WILL NEVER AGAIN BE BROKEN AND WE WILL
STEP INTO THE DAWN WITH NOTHING IN OUR HANDS, WE WILL
LET OUR SCARS TURN INTO SMALL BIRDS.

@Raum @Seraphina @Isra and any/all, of course! <3
(I may have glazed over some details, I hope you all don't mind! I wanted to keep it short)





Time makes fools of us all

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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 344 — Threads: 36
Signos: 3,425
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#4

Isra who has learned a new song


What wakes her is this--

A weight on the air pressing down like stones, until even her lungs ache with how hard it is to breath. Smoke on her tongue days and weeks after the last plume of it has shed back itself from the moon. Her bow is glowing by the window and the light of it makes it feel like she's been blind for her entire life And she knows, oh with a terrible knowing, that there is a darkness in this world somewhere pressing closer and closer and closer against her world.

She does not pause to wonder if it's nothing more than the sense of a mother, of impending life, waking her so early. Isra only knows that something is coming and that it's easier to call it darkness than it is anything else. And Isra knows (or maybe it's only blind faith), that unlike the tide, this she can hold back. Darkness she can devour, and drown, and make all its bone to gold and ink to stain the walls of her castle. Isra has learned to make art of darkness, of suffering, off this rage blazing endless.

I am coming. Fable says and there are furious thoughts blazing through him. He is close enough that she knows to start running. Isra can taste Eik when Fable shares his message. I know. Isra replies and it's flavored with the winter, with wildness, with everything dangerous that lives in the black spaces of the ocean.

There is already a cage of gold around her when Fable arrives. Inside it Isra is waiting, and furious, and  whispering things like today to her magic that has been waiting forever for her to find the bottom of it. She does not look up at her dragon when he scoops her up, she does not look anywhere but out towards what lays beyond her mountains. Fable flies faster than he has ever flown, and his wings make great shadows in the places they pass.

Today I will be terrible; we will be terrible, she tells Fable. He only roars in response, because he is tried and sorrow still has not learned a way to sit on his shoulders. Isra does not tell him that she will love him anyway, no matter what monster she finds waiting deep in either of them.

Soon it's the desert stretching out below them. Soon she can her the screams in the places between the howling wind. Isra can hear the shrieking of the beast, a basilisk the rumors said. Her magic rises up in a furious tolling in her chest and it beats slow and steady, horribly steady. Before she had thought her heart already knew the beat of war. But she was wrong, so wrong. Only know is her heart learning that way to beat, to say in blood and cell, I am winter. I am calm. I am the reaper.

The two stars in her womb do nothing more than tangle their legs together and welcome that deadly magic into their hearts. The song of war lulls them to sleep.

The stone statues below are rising like clusters of soldiers in her vision. Each of their poses is stranger than the last. One is stretched up towards the sky like they are hoping for rain. Another is frozen in a belly-low run that never moves. With a sickening realization she knows, oh she knows, that this is no army. And they are more than stone-- or at least they were.

She does not scream, she is too cold, too furious, to calm. Isra is too ready to kill, to maim, to taste gore between her teeth to scream. So she only inhales when she spots Raum, and Seraphina, and Eik (Eik!). Fable flies over them all, he's looking at the beast with all the hate of the storm sea.

Isra does not care about the man, he is flesh, bone and weakness. She does not want him. Raum did not make the stone sentries. Eik and Seraphina can have Raum, she knows they want his death almost more than she does.

Isra wants the beast with the deadly eyes and his dripping fangs

She does not warn Eik, her mind is open enough now in rage, that she knows he can sense the determination running electric though her.

When Fable swoops low and places her cage in the path the beast is taking but has not reached Isra smiles. The  light of her bow, and her arrows makes her teeth shine like pearls, like fangs in the night, like hungry pits of stone between her cheeks. It makes her look as monstrous and she feels. Today, she tells that roiling pit of magic in her bones (and below that) today we will find the bottom of us. Her cage dissolves to seed and sand, and she walks out of it with nothing more than that terrible, awful smile to give away all the want moving like a snake through her.

“Basilisk,” the story-teller turned hero yells to the beast destroying the city by way of stone and snake-tail. She not care that it wont understand her, rage is universal and it needs a sound.“I know what you are. I know your death.” Isra draws and arrow and the desert around her turns to a small jungle for the survivors to run into. She watches them pass her with each step she takes towards that which they are running from. Fable flies over head and she can feel the ocean rising in him with all that fury, and sorrow, and wildness.

Do not look at the eyes, she tells Fable. All she gets in reply is the thought that a lion does not look into the eyes of a rabbit when it kills it and starts to strip fur from bone. It's terrible and awful, but Isra almost laughs at the thought.

Isra does not pass the edge of her jungle, but she watches the beast move, and wonders if it's brave enough to come find the story-teller in trees. She hopes it is, because like all good story-tellers and knights she knows the only way to kill a monster is to cut off the head.

And she loves a good story.



“Beware the dark pool at the bottom of our hearts. In its icy, black depths dwell strange and twisted creatures it is best not to disturb.”  



@Raum @Eik @Seraphina





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Played by Offline Gemini [PM] Posts: 1 — Threads: 0
Signos: 230
Day Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 8 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5

 What luck it was to survive the long journey to this land. It was an additional honor to be accepted as a citizen once the time came for him to settle in. As a citizen, he felt as if he had a duty to at least explore all portions of the land. Learning, through exploration or otherwise, was the key to knowledge; the key to strategic planning. Not that he had any use for planning now. A low man on the totem pole. 


Before leaving him in the Oasis, his former traveling companions left him with one thing, a map. An old, heavily etched on map, but a map. Some of the etchings Bastogne understood, while others seemed beyond the common tongue. It was a mystery he intended to solve at some point. He had only spent one night in the Oasis. Feeling refreshed and his thirst quenched, he decided he would venture off. His destination being the Court.

Maps were significant things. Pictorial references of knowledge. Secrets inked on the page. One of which happened to be the alley-ways of the city. Snaking through the city’s walls, he eyed the citizens. Starved and broken, weakness as he was brought up to understand. Yet, his former connection to the earth tempered his first thought. What ruler, no, what monster would leave a populous in such despair. No matter. This was a visit. A chance to see the sights. Not a diplomatic venture. He needn’t be pushing his nose into things now.

Reaching the main, the atmosphere changed. He breathes it in deep. Fear. Panic mattered not. A curious being, he rid himself of caution. His instinct was to identify and exterminate whatever the source of the terror. Unbeknownst to him, he was making a grave mistake. 

Bodies crashing into him were not strong enough to sway the man. He would...and there...there it was. Sound of something hissing. And? Eyes full of…

He saw no longer. Dark. Was air even reaching his lungs? No. His heart beating? Perhaps not. But his mind, oh his mind! His mind was processing the events. What had happened to him? He couldn’t move. Trapped. No. Jailed. Imprisoned in his own body. Without senses, his mind could only rotate his current knowledge over and over. True madness, he understood, was born of solitude like this. With all his might he needed to prevent that. Jailed as he was he could not allow it to take him over. He was many things but a monster was not one of them It would never be one of his flaws. Never.

The outsiders, ones not tainted by the beast, would see his head high, ears forward, left limb raised as if he were prancing. There is no expression of fear on his face. No indication he would turn away. A soldier in stone.

Would others ever come? Stumble upon the ruins of a bright city plagued by some, to him, unknown ruler? Best not to think of those things. Ideals that would only lead to madness. Considering time was the fastest path to insanity. Like staring at the clock waiting for a single minute to past. Sixty seconds becomes a full hour. Time is relative. When it is still there is no hope. 

Is this living? Probably not to most definitions of the word. Or perhaps, it could be. Life in stasis. The thing that bugs and small organisms do when their habitat is inhabitable. Do small organisms think? Does their mind allow them to dream? Is stasis like a coma? He pondered nature until it came full circle to memories. Do organisms recall their past? In general, he never considered his past. It was what it was and that was that. Yet, seems as if there was something there. A learning opportunity perhaps. A failed strategy that could be reworked in his dreams. Mind alight with the possibilities he pondered what his life would have been if there were no slave mares. Would the beatings be the same? 

In fact, did it even matter that his mother had stepped in? Philosophically, maybe. Emotions could not be rationalized. He would never understand her motivations. Allowing oneself to lose control. Or was it that she allowed the beatings to persist? Mares. Females. Biased as he was, he considered that his worldview was tainted. There had to be others like him. Biological sex be damned. 
Others like him. Others possibly in this stasis along with him. Would his body hold up? Winter soldier boy, always assumed to be the toughest around. Would he and his body withstand this? He had no control. It was odd. The sensation of nothing. His mind could fool him with a sort of phantom limb sensation. Pain near his face? It could be a hallucination. Not knowing increased his anxiety. No measurements here. No objective reality except for the ones in motion, if they existed. 

Considerations, memories, and his thirst for knowledge began to drive him mad. His promise echoed through his mind, this could not and would not happen. When he awakes, if that is possible, he will have his mind intact as it was before the beast appeared. No, before he sought out the beast that  froze him.

He put his mind to use. Originality was not his strong suit but he could be creative under pressure. If he controlled his  dreams, his anxiety would wane. Determined now, he used some of his memories of the magic forest. The way the earth vibrated. The forest had an orchestra. It would play joyful music, sad music, comforting sounds, and he loved them all dearly. The earth was alive and vibrant. Vibrations traveled from the roots of trees to their leaves. While others believed all rustling of leaves was due to the wind, he knew better. It was the trees singing with joy. Bark would rumble the news, groan in times of struggle. Dying trees would snap apart and lose their vibrant colors. If one were only to look beneath the dying branches, one could find live renewed in the form of a sprout. Seeds disposed of by animals would blossom. For little sprouts to live, sometimes an elder tree would need to pass. The sunlight would pour through the opening in the forest, granting precious energy for the infant. Protected by his forest, as always.



@Raum @Seraphina @Eik @Isra
(This was challenging and fun. Tagging ya'll for when the petrifaction wears off. I'll make a second post for that - hopefully closer to the end of the battle.)





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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 247 — Threads: 40
Signos: 225
Dawn Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 45 — Atk: 35 — Exp: 77 // Active Magic: Nature Spirit // Bonded: Odet (Stellar's Jay)
#6

IPOMOEA

let's be wildflowers
-- --


F
or seemingly endless days, he had waited.

Waited to see a change within the castle of sand and sandstone. Waited for the silver king to leave the safety of his walls. Waited for the desert to rise up like a wave and take back its home.

Waited for the statue that he had tucked within his pack to breathe again.

But the bird had yet to regain his color, had yet to take to the skies in triumph. And Ipomoea’s anger and sadness alike had yet to abate.

So he watched, and he waited, and he made a trail of flowers that crossed the Mors. Back and forth he went, circling the court until trails of wildflowers hemmed it in like a massive, many-tiered fairy ring. And it was those flowers that whispered to him, the closer he got to the city, of the tragedy that was taking place.

Senna had called him a fool for doing something when other’s wouldn’t; he had told him the food he’d brought to fill the empty stomachs of the starving wouldn’t make a difference. But Ipomoea knew something the red noble did not - only a man who had never gone hungry would think feeding the poor was useless. But Ipomoea knew that it made a difference to each foal that had walked away with a full belly.

Ipomoea had not left. The desert had welcomed him like its old friend, and there he had made the army Senna had mocked him for not having.

They followed within his shadow now, hyenas and coyotes snarling and baring their fangs, gazelles and antelopes and bighorns wielding their horns. Overhead an elder teryr soared, its wings a whisper on the wind. And when it opened its mouth and roared, its voice was Ipomoea’s, brandishing his anger for all the world to see.

A part of him trembled at the sound of it, and for a moment it seemed as likely for the beasts to turn their claws upon him as they were to turn upon the crow walking through the Court. But then the flowers reminded him to be brave, and Ipomoea lifted his head higher. So he walks, and the flowers grow in his wake, and the miles of sand disappear beneath his hooves until, at last, he stands before the city.

He steps past the sand-daubed walls, and through the arched gates. Into the dead and silent city where even the wind feel flat and all the world seemed to hold its breath. It was not long after that he saw the first statue, frozen in the street ahead of him.

Ipomoea hardly dared breathe as he approached it, did not allow himself to recognize it for what it was until he stopped and looked the old man in the eye. Looked into his grey and unseeing eyes. Each strand of hair on his beard was sharp and defined, as if a carver had paid careful attention to it. His eyelashes were short but equally detailed, and the delicate edge of his ear seemed impossibly thin. His head was cast back over his shoulder - and Ipomoea did not need to wonder about the last sight he had seen.

He stood and he stared at the stallion, at what was left of him, and for a moment he was not sure how to feel. He thought, for a second, that he too had been turned to stone - for his heart was nearly as still as the statue’s, and he felt nothing - and it was a struggle to turn his own head and gaze towards the center of the city.

When at last he did, he heard the screams and saw the trees beginning to rise over the tops of the buildings. His heart hardened, and he forced his legs to carry him forward.

Forces himself to remember the old man’s face, and the faces of each additional he passes that stand like sentries in the street, guiding his path. This way, they point with their eyes, each still cast back towards the heart. He forces a little of Bexley’s grim humor into his smile, and a bit of Isra’s cool determination into his stride. When he enters the jungle she’s made the trees embrace him like their old friend, leaning in towards him, draping their vines across his back, and he lets them. He lets them knot themselves into ropes and arrows and sharp, twisted hands, ready to let themselves loose at his command.

“You’ll have to turn me to stone, as well,” he calls out to the basilisk, when he sees the beast there beside the silver man. His voice is strangely calm, masking the sound of his rushing blood.

“Or else I’ll never stop.”


And he stays within the embrace of the jungle, daring the beasts - one of them, both of them - to come and find him.





@Raum @Seraphina @Eik @Isra @Bastogne | "speaks" | notes:







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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 146 — Threads: 16
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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)
#7

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.
 

Somewhere Raum’s scarf is flying, swirling and rippling, furling and unfurling as it floats by, little more than a sigh. It is caught by the hoof of a horse immortalised in a writing rear. Its limbs strike forward, even as it arches and twists away. Its head is swung back its eyes blown as wide as the Halloween moon. The scarf ripples like a victory flag.
 
But Raum’s walk is no victor’s walk. He moves sluggish and silent. He trails his monster. The beast that roars its ire all through the still-struck streets. Down the connection with his beast Raum feels ire as hot as a still glowing poker. It brands the Solterran King as more a monster than the creature that turns to stone all who look into its gaze. Though when does Raum ever flinch? Not when Legion cries like a dog fighting for its freedom, not when the basilisk’s tail switches and shatters a tortured statue into dust. He does not flinch when an orphan boy cowers from his shadow and presses himself tightly against the stone limbs of is parents.
 
He does not flinch at anything. He does not feel. This is the end, he knows. This is the end he has brought about. This is the point at which he feels nothing when he gazes at stone death and feels nothing for the orphans it makes.
 
All is quiet in Legion’s wake. Dust swirls lazily, beautifully. Raum watches as it catches in the sunlight, how it rises like smoke – prayers for the faithful ascending to their god’s supplicant ears. Where was his faith? Love is a broken thing. Raum is a desert, his love parched and ruined.
 
It is dying. It is dying. He knows Rhoswen is nothing but ash and shattered bone – for the bones are always left after the fire. Always. He might go to find her, he might, he might.
 
He doesn’t.
 
Seraphina arrives and she is moonlight barred. He might never have noticed, until now, how the shade of their silver skin is so similar. They were both made more for moonlight that the blaze of the Day Court sun. He might have noticed all these things if it were not for the mere sight of her alive.
 
Oh he stares. He drinks her in like an omen, like salvation. He remembers her twitching and broken upon the Steppe. He remembers her blood gathering outside of her. More and more and more. She twitched like a dead thing and gasped and gurgled and, she should be dead.
 
And maybe she has died. For she stands like a woman who has known death and returns like its Bringer. She stands, no longer the night than a blade. She is more finely sharpened than the daggers at his limbs. She is more perfectly made for destruction than any instrument he has ever known.
 
If she looks for shock, for any ounce that he is taken aback by her presence, then she will be disappointed. They are all disappointed, always. For this king is a man who watched death come reaping at his hands and does not blink nor twitch at its horror. He does not reveal a secret nor any twist of emotion. He is… blank, always.
 
So maybe Seraphina will see victory in the way he smiles, small and grim and full of despair. Maybe she will feel a frisson of delight in the way he laughs, soft and rich with frustration. His laughter is a beautiful thing, warm and soft though seldom heard. His eyes are closed, his throat open and exposed. He opens himself like a man offers his wrist for manacles.
 
Is this bliss or something darker? Something broken?
 
His eyes open and with his head still upturned he drinks in the sky and a dragon and a Night Queen.
 
Yes.
 
Yes.
 
Yes.
 
He watches her land, lowering his skull with her. All around him is dust and silence and a jolt of fear that quickens his heart. It is not his own fear, it is the despair of a monster seeking freedom. It is Legion beholding a dragon and demon and wondering if he might ever be free from his incarceration to a king whose monstrous nature was greater than his.
 
Freedom the basilisk was offered. Freedom after this and now he turns his skull upon Raum who sees him turn and looks away from that magic gaze so filled with desperation. Their bond begs, the tendrils of it ripple and strain and beg, beg, beg for freedom. But already Legion is wondering his master’s definition of freedom. Was it life, or was it death?
 
There was no love between Raum and his familiar. No joy in their binding. Maybe they were the only ones in the whole of Novus who were bound with convenience and demand, not fate or consent. Theirs was a bargain a means to an end. An exchange for freedom.
 
Unsettled by his master’s lack of empathy and answer the basilisk turns back to face the dragon and roars, bitter and broken, fearful. But Raum is moving, he is stepping around his basilisk to stand before the beast. He surveys the dragon and his Queen and Seraphina and the demon that perches upon her shoulders as a prisoner surveys his noose and finds only comfort in its silent-still hanging.
 
Raum.
 
Raum.
 
They name him.
 
Are you ready? Eik asks him.
 
Ready for death. Raum knows. He need not ask anything. Why do they think he invited them here? His ire is a wild thing that has since been freed. Desperation was a pit of writhing snakes that have all been plucked free. There is nothing. He apologized to Sabine for all that he had done and for all that he is yet to do and this is it, the last of him.
 
He is sorry Sabine.
 
He is sorry.
 
The dragon is ascending, it is rising into the sky to circle as monsters do. It circles the sky as the leviathan circles the deep. Its call is mournful whalesong. But its song is not for Raum or the desperate beast he keeps within the shackles of his plan.
 
Though Raum tastes the cold damp of death stinging his throat like rust, he can breathe enough to tell the monster, “run.” But his command, his final moment of goodness, comes as Isra hisses, I know your death. The basilisk cries and Raum has underestimated the instincts of a beast. Their bond was strong, but it is not love nor loyalty and the basilisk does not flee as commanded, not when the queen readies her bow and Legion tastes too the horrid taste of death.
 
Oh Legion, Raum thinks but does not speak, this is the fear that your prey watches you with. This is the clasp of death.
 
And with the same instinct with which the Solterran’s flee into Isra’s jungle, The basilisk throws himself toward the queen with a cry more anguish that hate or ire. In the jungle another voice rises and oh, what horror meets the fearful basilisk?
 
And Raum is left to turn his gaze upon Eik and Seraphina. They are a triad of ivory and moonlight, three points of gleaming light. “I am.” Raum murmurs to them in answer at last.
 
Are you Eik?
 
Are you Seraphina?
 
All around him bodies stand and writhe in statue form, their skin the silver of stone. He thinks he feels their eyes upon him. The monolith audience is great for this.
 
His dagger lifts from its holster and strikes the sand with a dull thunk. Raum stands, unguarded, unafraid – unlike the beast that lunges wild with fight and desperate for an unfettered life.
 
“Come,” He murmurs, soft as silk, warm as whiskey, “Do it.” And he lowers himself onto his knees and looks into the dirt and wonders how much blood is mingled here with the grains of sand.
 
He pauses, waiting, waiting, waiting. “DO IT!” He roars at them, suddenly his voice ripping through the Court, echoing and echoing and echoing off the statues that stand in immortalized fear of their king. Slowly he lowers his head as if to sleep. His brow rests upon the ground and his eyes close as he quietly begins to laugh: A sound so warm and sweet and lovely and violent and wicked and so very wrong.



@Eik @Isra @Seraphina @Ipomoea @Bastogne







[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 344 — Threads: 36
Signos: 3,425
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#8

Isra the new god



There is no moonlight and blade to count by. Nor is there blood falling metronome steady across her eyelids, lips and throat. Acton is not here to blaze golden as a sun and with his clever fox-eyes. Hedges are not wilting and rotting around her in walls. Her throat is dry with sand and rage instead of poison. Fable is not dreaming of the sea.

But still she counts beneath the jungle boughs and the sunlight dappling soft spots of heat along her spine.

One. Her heartbeat is steady beneath her ribs. It's a monstrous sound that could live in a dragon's heart, a mountain's heart. It's a god-song, a steady thrum of thunder rolling over the desert.

Two. Raum's scarf waves like a monument of decay around the stone leg of a stone horse wide-eyed in fear. The universe inside her blazes center-of-a-star hot. It smokes and smolders and streaks through all the glass sharp edges of sorrow holding her together. The edges refract the light, make it brighter. The universe, the one that has always wanted to devour Raum, explodes.

Three. The basilisk turns towards her and the sound it makes seems more like a understanding than a challenge. She can hear the sorrow in it, the rage of a broken-kneed deer when the wind carries with it the smell of a bear. The same wind howls trough her horn and answers back in storm-sound I do not care. . Green leaves fall across her back, wet with dawn dew. The sensations reminds her of blood-- blood and gold.

Four. If there is more to the word mercy than the way it tastes like spoiled wine on her tongue Isra has forgotten it. Her blood is salt-water, brine and wave after wave after wave of magic. The dawn is rose-gold and peach overhead. Fable looks almost black against all the tan and gold, black enough that his scales ripple like the bottom of the sea beneath the white-tipped waves. When she steps from the trees he steps with her. The ground shakes like it knows that the end of anything mortal has come to call.

Five. A queen and her dragon close their eyes. Their nostrils flare like wolves scenting the doe, like lions discovering a flock of broken-winged sparrows. Mercy starts to sound like death and vengeance and retribution. Soft things discover how it feels to want cruelty. They relish it.  Raum starts to laugh.

Six. Isra discovers how it feels to be a god.

I promise. She tells herself as she steps for the basilisk. Her bow lit by moon-fire is blinding even when her eyes are pressed tightly closed. I promise I will be the end. Lighting bolts are streaking through the black behind her eyes. Each bolt burns and stings. The ground is still shaking under her feet.

The sand is rubies. It's barbed wire roots shaped in ocean waves all around her. And it's quick-sand too. Somewhere in the jungle hornets are humming. The humming grows louder, and louder, and louder. Ipomoea is in the jungle too and she wonders if he's humming an ancient song too. Maybe they all are.

Maybe this is how worlds are made.

Fable is blotting out the sunlight with his wings. Sand is circling in small tornadoes beneath his wings as he lifts and lowers them over and over again in a warning only beasts understand. Isra understands it. The sand feels like sharp needles hitting her sides over and over again-- but she understands.

Salt-water is dripping from Fable's lips when he roars. Isra wonders if rainbows are streaking through the water in arrows made of rainbows. She almost wants to open her eyes to see. She resists even though her horn swings towards the sound of mud schelquing beneath hoof and talon like blood.

Her arrow sings and screams towards Raum's laughter. Fable swings his teeth, half open in a sea-roar, towards the basilisk's neck. Gods to not pause to wonder.

But in the space between, in the waiting, all the sand shifts to some strange mixture of diamond and ore.

Like it doesn't know what choice to make.


“mercy did not exist in the primordial life.”  



@Raum @Eik @Seraphina @Ipomoea @Bastogne





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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)
#9

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.
  


There is a song in Solterra this day.


It is the seraphic note of an arrow as it cuts hair in its drive toward Isra’s target. Raum hears nothing but that song, high above his laughter and louder than the dragon that roars and the basilisk that screams its answer.


He is bowed low as he listens to that arrow calling for his death. He hears it come beautiful and final, arcing her way through the sky toward his heart. Raum wants to welcome it. He wants to lift his chin and bear his chest and feel what death is like as it slips out along an arrow shaft and down the curve of his breast.


But this is no ordinary arrow. This is one loosed by the Night Court Queen who he is never meant to kill. And in this moment he decrees they are not meant to kill each other. In this moment of singing arrows and crying monsters Raum decrees that his death is for none but he.


Beside him Legion is watching a dragon swooping down upon him. The basilisk is watching how the dragon’s jaws part like the heavens and between them line teeth that each scream for his blood. His own jaws part, his tail switching this way and that. Stone statues shatter to dust upon its strike, but Legion has no concerns for the dead, not when adversity comes sweeping out of the sky.


His jaws part to meet his descending retribution, he squats ready and savage, a perfect match for a sea-dragon. But a call breaks through his defense. It is his name called fierce and loud and indomitably. He cannot resist, he cannot disobey, not with the ties that bind him to the Solterran king. Legion turns to his master, desperation bubbling in his blood for there is a monster descending with his death between its jaws and his master has just made him defenseless.


Crimson basilisk eyes meet the electric blue of a dictator king. Raum feels the weight of that red gaze, it is heavy upon his limbs his chest, his throat his neck. That heaviness builds like crushing stone, it seeps through his blood and renders him still, it reaches for his lips his teeth his nose his cheeks, all of them turn to stone and Raum has no breath to draw in through ribs and airways that are now just ridges and tunnels of stone. That weight, oh that weight seeps in toward his heart (for his heart is not the last thing to be turned into stone… no, not when he has still to remember all that he has done and all that he has lost).


And so he does. In that final moment where his heart is stone and blindness takes away the red of those monstrous eyes and the avenging look of a Queen with death on her agenda… in that final moment is only the fleeting, warming and completing, memory of the smile of a sun-drenched crimson girl at the birth of their daughter. And his daughter, oh his daughter with her ice blue eyes, wide and newborn, that have not yet learned of all the ways her father is a monster.


Legion lives on, for but a while. It is long enough to see his master turned to stone and stood as if tranquil, as if at peace with all he has done (was he ever not?). As Raum’s death comes swift and sudden and heavy as stone, Legion feels the ripping snap of their bond breaking. He feels the freedom, the return of his will. It is swift and it is blistering and it is enough to make him forget the dragon descending whose jaws latch about his throat. He tumbles to the floor with blood spilling in his beak. The basilisk snaps at the dragon, his fangs laced with poison and ire. His taloned feet draw under him to gouge out a dragon’s belly. Legion pushes and scrabbles himself clear but that electric breath of freedom has already gone for now he can taste how death is seeping through his body and it is not from a dragon’s bite across his throat. 


No, as the bond between Raum and his beast was ripped from them both, it pulled away like the sting from a bee. It left the basilisk mortally wounded. His wings flare and the beast screams at the dragon to stay down as it leaps into the air. It flies dipping and weaving as life seeps from him with every second. Legion flies low and weak, but high enough to escape the walls of Solterra, high enough to remember what freedom was like, high enough to taste the purer air...


And then he is sinking upon the horizon, as if one of Isra’s arrows has felled him there. Legion falls, free at last, into death.


@Isra, @Eik @Seraphina @Ipomoea @Bastogne






[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan

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