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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 172 — Threads: 24
Signos: 385
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 39 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#1

this time i'll
follow you all
the way down.


He must have known.

He must have known, when he asked her. The timing was too perfect. 

He must have known that he was going to—die, disappear, fall away from the world. She had hardly been regent for a a fortnight when they went missing. He must have known that he wanted to leave, or that some God was calling for his blood. Must have known that time was closing in on him like a big dark wing. Must have known the day was soon that Terrastella would wake up and find its king and ex-queen gone in a single quiet breath like the whoosh of wind as it rises up from the ocean.

He must have known. And oh, she would hate him for it—for leaving her alone with her teeth and her missing armor and her new title like a noose around her neck—if she didn’t miss him so much already.

When she had woken up to find him gone, her whole body had gone cold. Each nerve turned to perfect ice. The pit of her stomach clenched like a punching fist. The knock she banged against his door had grown louder and louder, until she was sure he could not simply be sleeping, and when she had finally (stiffly) pushed her way into the room, it had been as still and quiet as a grave. Still and quiet in the way of all wrong, dead things. 

Deserted. Silent. The windows closed and the blankets undisturbed. The candles burnt down to stubs. The whole castle was quiet—as if it knew, as if it was holding its breath. No impression of life at all. Not now, not recently. She’d figured, just by looking, that he hadn’t been back since going to explore the island, and that had been… long ago.

Too long ago for any comfort.

And Florentine’s room had been empty too, and Lysander’s, and by the time Marisol came plunging from the door of the castle she could not breathe, could not blink, could not cry. It was barely dawn; the sky was still mostly black, and colored light only just washed over the horizon. Sbe’d been frozen with panic. The world was spinning at ten times the normal speed, and even the cobblestones below her feet were starting to warp with the inertia. Breathe. She could not. Every heartbeat was less subtle and more painful than the last, now almost growing claws. The streets were empty, completely empty, and Marisol would have been thankful for it if she had the capacity to think about anything but he’s gone and I’m alone.

I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone.

The wind had picked up speed. Salt burned in the lining of her nostrils and down into her chest, teeth grew sharp against the inside of her mouth, tears burned hot against her eyelashes and streamed into the curve of her mouth. They were gone, gone, gone, her king, her queen, her best friend, and wherever they had gone, it was a place she could not reach.

Commander and Queen. She sank to her knees, hard against the cobblestone, and was briefly, painfully grateful that no one had come to save her yet. Her forehead came down to rest against one knee. Overhead, the sky had turned to foamy pink.

___

Now, Marisol bears no indication of any of this.

Her eyes are clear, her coat brushed, spear high against her ribs. Hair newly trimmed and chin tilted up as if in a dare. It is a hot, clear day with no semblance of a breeze, and as the Commander stands and raises one wing to call her people to the center of the field, she can hardly find the air to breathe.

Each heartbeat still throbs like a punishment; her head is still dry from so much agonizing. (They had not found her. Ever. By the time she had pulled herself up to her feet, the streets were still empty, the citizens still sleeping. Not a single soul had seen her shed her tears. And thank God for that. It would have been a less-than-subpar start to her rule.) She blinks hard against the streaming sunlight, and her breath rattles in her chest, like it doesn’t quite know where to go.

But when she speaks, it is calm, and cool, and measured. It does not shake at all.

“Asterion is missing,” she starts (with a wince), “As well as Florentine and Lysander. From what I understand, they were last seen on the island, and have not been back since. I…”

Guilt flashes oh-so-briefly in her eyes.

“I have no intention of disrupting the legacy that Athey left for us. Until Asterion returns—“ Her breath catches. “Or in the event that he does not, he has chosen me to stand in his place as sovereign. Everyone else will retain their current positions. I promise on my own blade that I will do everything I can to serve you, my people, and that even in grief we will not be broken. If you have any questions, or any requests, I would hear them now.”

Her throat hurts from the words; she blinks, and only barely manages to keep her lip from trembling.

There is no podium to step down from, no pride to relinquish. She only steps closer to the crowd.

“Speaking.”
credits





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

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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 52 — Threads: 9
Signos: 5
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 21 // Active Magic: Empath // Bonded: Hāsta (American Crow)
#2

STRANGENESS AND CHARM

She had received the owl whose letter was brief, but spoke of a meeting in the Court's keep today. It was not often that these meetings were held, so it had made Corr's eyes widen. Something must have happened and she prayed that it might be good news. They all needed good news lately with the darkness of Raum's regime hanging over Novus this past year.

--

It's not often that she travels to the Court either as she typically stays in the swamp. It's not so much that she's a hermit, she just enjoys being with herself and Hāsta to really clear her mind. Being within a crowd for too long is too exhausting with all the emotions she can feel in her chest. After a while, they start to muddle together and she isn't able to tell her own feelings from others. It's something that will surely take her time to perfect.

So today she makes her way to the Court since she knows it's important. Despite the discomfort she'll feel once the crowd finishes gathering, she stays strong for them. Apparently, it's very much needed as she watches Marisol stand in front of them instead of Asterion. Oddly, it seems they are a few short today. Corr presses her lips together, her own anxiety mixing with everyone else's. Hāsta takes her perch on Corr's shoulder and, for once, the bird is silent but comforting.

Asterion is missing.

It felt like just yesterday that the mare had spent time with the man on the island. He was wary of something - suspicious even - and she convinced him to look in a different lens. Had that been his downfall?

"No - don't think like that," she hears Hāsta say through their telepathy. Although she knows her companion is right, it's hard to feel differently at the moment. Asterion seemed to cheer up at their encounter and their tea afterwards, but some were good at hiding their true feelings. Perhaps she would never truly know what happened.

As Marisol continues to speak, Corr admires the mare's strength. It is something that Asterion surely saw when he chose her for this position. Though from the way she puts it, it almost seems as if the man had planned this all along. She thinks back to his story and how he left his family in Ravos… had he found a way to go back to them? There is a hint of a grin on her lips and she sends a silent prayer to the Spirits to guide Asterion and the others to safety, wherever they may be.

Marisol opens it up to the crowd to speak, if anyone has anything to say. Corr does not hesitate as it's in her nature to want to help to the best of her ability. "I appreciate your strength, Marisol, and I am here to help in whatever way you need me," she says, stepping forward and offering the woman a warm smile. "I'm here to help you all," she adds, turning to the crowd. She still feels all the emotions rising up and hitting her like a wave, but she too must remain strong. "I'm sure you all are scared and sad. I am too, but we must stick together. I'm afraid I can't offer much, but like many of you, I was trained in the ways of a healer where I'm from, though we call it shamanism. If there is any healing or support I can offer you all, please let me know. My door at the swamp is always open."

When she is done speaking, she turns back to Marisol one last time and leans closer. "You'll do great," she whispers before bowing and walking back into the crowd. Maybe the woman isn't afraid of her new position, but the least she could do is show her support and maybe it'll help in some way.
"Speaking." ; <3
Art by RB; Table code by Nettlebird; Modified by Layla







(For reference of Corr's house, click here; doubles as a plot thread!)

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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 63 — Threads: 6
Signos: 440
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 26 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#3



Like Marisol, he should have known that Asterion was planning some great escape. Was it planned? Or was it simply coincidence. He had come to ask Asterion for permission to seek out Erd with the help of Ard. He had wanted his king’s blessing, in the event that their journey would take them to places neither one of them knew…that it might take them away from their court for some undisclosed amount of time. It had been just a short time ago that Asterion had named him Champion of Wisdom. He hadn’t understood Asterion’s reasons at the time, but perhaps he was finally beginning to see. Asterion had known that something would happen to him and he wanted Rhone there to support Marisol. His intentions may not have been said in so many words, but Rhone knew them to be true.

So when Marisol begins to speak, Rhone cannot help the way his body sighs. He already misses the bay stallion, so plain as he was. He misses the smile, the way he met his king upon the cliffs. So many stories and memories shared that would be cherished. It doesn’t help the ache he feels in his chest, but he knows he must be strong. He must be strong so others can grieve.

Corrdelia is the first of the group to speak and he listens silently. He can see strength in the mare and he knows her words to be true. She would be there to support her new queen, just as he would. The fact that she has medicinal knowledge is good. He doesn’t have much, but he is always willing to learn. He offers the mare a tender smile, one that showed quiet thanks.

He turns to look back at Marisol, intent to lock eyes with her so she knows he is being genuine and truthful. "I have lived many years, seen many kings and queens come and go…" He does not tell her that he was once a king of two mighty kingdoms. He does not tell her that he was born to lead, that it is where his heart has always lay. "…perhaps I can serve you as an advisor, as Asterion had appointed me to do. I hope my wealth of knowledge and experience can be of use to you." He knows that he has a lot to offer the mare, but he is unsure if she will want it. He has to admit that he does not know Marisol well, and his first impression had not been the greatest. Perhaps there was more to her than he understood. If Asterion trusted her, he should to.

Like Corrdelia, he turns to the crowd and he hopes that his voice will carry. He is of small stature, so reaching above the taller citizens might be hard. But he would try, he would always try. "And for anyone that just needs to talk, I am always here for any of you, young or old…big or small." He hopes that they can see a friend in him, someone that they can talk to and trust. Hopefully he could show them just how much Terastella means to him.









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Played by Offline Katherine [PM] Posts: 52 — Threads: 6
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 9 [Year 495 Fall] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 27 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4









everyone smiles in the same language



It is a whisper, passing from lips to ears, all through the streets.

“Commander Marisol has called a meeting.”

Fiona is in the midst of an arrangement, stems surrounding her with blooms of warm golds, deep violets, white and various shades of greenery. She’s not expecting the hushed tones that go rippling through the crowds like a wave. Something, the Champion’s gut tells her, is not right.

Something is wrong.

She pushes past the door of the small shop, lavender eyes watching equines moving toward a singular, share destination, and so too the painted girl steps into the flow of bodies and goes. Her heart is already racing far too quickly, beating frantically against her ribcage like a trapped bird. That feeling in her stomach is like stones, heavy and unsettling. It is a voice in the back of her mind, repeating again and again, wrong, wrong, wrong. Why else would Marisol be calling a meeting instead of Asterion?

Where is Asterion?

When she reaches the meeting place and sees the Commander standing there, alone—alone—Fiona wonders it again. Where is Asterion? She looks at Marisol, with her spear and her storm and steel eyes, with one wing raised toward the sky. The air is hot and heavy and Fiona’s heart it runs like it is being chased.

And then—

It stops. It skips, and trips, and stumbles, and struggles to get back up again. “Asterion is missing,” Marisol says, and her lips are moving but there doesn’t seem to be any sound coming out.

Fiona looks at Marisol but she sees Asterion, standing at her door in the rain, without a single drop upon him.

She sees the look on his face when the woman greets him, with real words. Not written.

“Have I told you before how wonderful you are?”

Fiona sees him at her counter, lifting a freshly baked cinnamon roll from the tray.

“Have I told you before...?”

The teas and spices he had brought her are still sitting on her kitchen counter, waiting to be put away. Untouched, while she considers the best recipes to use them in. He had just been there, in her home. Standing on her doorstep, smiling at her, sharing in her joy.

“Have I...?”

~~~

Fiona realizes that others are speaking. She looks up and Marisol has stepped closer to the gathered horses, and Corrdelia is there, and Rhone. And she looks around and remembers that once, Florentine had entrusted her to represent these equines. To act in their best interest; to be their voice and their heart.

Asterion had trusted her to continue that work. He had done so many kind things for her, for them all. He had always put his court and his people first.

Fiona breathes, and it is unsure and unsteady and she is both of those things, she knows, but there are also so many other things she must be as well. She looks at Marisol and, after a moment, takes a step forward, away from the crowd. And then another, and more, until she is before the Regent, their new Sovereign.

Her lavender eyes look into the other woman’s, sharp and grey, and then she closes the distance between them until their shoulders are pressed together and she can lay her head over Marisol’s withers in a tight embrace.

Fiona closes her eyes, and the first of her tears slips down her painted cheeks.

Somehow, she finds it in herself to smile anyway. It is a fleeting, wistful thing, but it reminds her that none of them are ever alone, and in this they don’t have to be alone either.

“Perhaps we can hold a vigil, on the beach, in their memory,” Fiona says when she finally steps back. The suggestion is a gentle knocking, passed across their thoughts. “Asterion did so love the sea.” She smiles again, this time for everyone.

They are stronger together, and she knows that together they can get through this.
<3 | "thought-casting"
rallidae | argenticide




[Image: 13772706_D0f7QJjLtyXb1qw.png]
with the lovely
flowers in her hair




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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 8 — Threads: 2
Signos: 0
Inactive Character
#5








TUCSON
because regret drives you as crazy
as the taste of swallowed words


T
here is a meeting, and he goes, because he doesn’t know what else to do. He’d been at a tavern most of the morning and he still smells like whiskey, or bourbon, or both. The taste of it sticks on his tongue. The remnants of it burn in his belly, and he knows, he knows, he shouldn’t go. He doesn’t belong. He isn’t one of these city folk, these do-gooders. But… what else is he going to do? He steps outside, blinking away the sunlight with bloodshot eyes, and the simple act propels him toward the field where Marisol is waiting for them. He is bustled along in a small crowd, most of whom he doesn’t recognise. 

Everything is clean, and crisp, and summer. Except for him. Except for him. He feels the late night sticking to his body, making his joints creak. He feels better suited for the wilds than this sort of setting, surrounded by shopkeepers and soldiers and citizens. Citizens. The word itself is heavy enough to make the cowboy cringe.

Dusk Court as he finds a place at the back of the crowd. He finds it, however, a little hard to see there… But he can still hear Marisol’s voice rise above them, and see one wing silhouetted against the sky like an offering. She speaks of a king gone missing, an ex-queen, and a once-god. He doesn’t know any of this, though. He doesn’t know the woman could tear apart the very fibres between times and dimensions, or that Asterion could control the sea, or that Lysander was a god-man bound to a more magic less form—and if he had been told, Tucson would have laughed outright. That’s a damn fairytale. The tragedy of the whole affair was lost on him and, a little drunk, Tucson prowls along the back of the gathering crowd. The woman doing the speaking is striking and winged, and something about her says Commander in his mind. 

He wonders if he should feel sorry for them. 

He doesn’t. 

There is something almost cathartic about it; seeing the shock, the sorrow. There’s something that reminds him it could always be worse and a small, cruel part of him wants to speak above the shock silences and affirmative words of Marisol’s friends and confidants. And a part of him does, under his breath: “That’s life.” Everyone leaves, or dies, or doesn’t come home. Don’t they know that, by now? He wants to accuse them; he wants to resent them. They’re jus’ damn soft but thinking it, much less saying it, feels unfair. 

He doesn’t know why he thinks, for a moment, of how long it has been since he cried. 

He doesn’t know why the fact he can’t remember bothers him, a little. 


@Dusk Court | "speaks" | notes: oops... here's a sourpuss.
rallidae | art






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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 95 — Threads: 12
Signos: 10
Dusk Court Champion of Battle
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 27 // Active Magic: Storm Calling // Bonded: N/A
#6


let our eyes show the 
fire in our hearts tonight

When she hears the call, she does not think of an action other than responding, and when she hears Marisol’s words, she can feel her heart sinking deep into her chest.

This is not the same sort of missing as Erd, the kind where there had still been hope that he would be found and returned safely to them. This is hollow, and aching, and vicious as a riptide; the sort of lost where there was a very good chance that the three of them were far, far away from here, wherever Florentine’s dagger may have led them. It is the only reason she can think of, that they have been called here to be informed of the shift in power instead of forming up search parties, instead of tearing the island apart for their lost king, for their lost queen, for her consort; that deep in her heart, Marisol already knows they are the sort of lost that cannot be found until they willed it.

Her heart is a drumbeat within her chest, knocking against her ribs hard enough that she feels as though one might break under the pressure. “I’m afraid we must answer our own prayers now.” Asterion in the training yard, morning after morning, the handles of their spears clashing together as he had honed his ability to wield the weapon. She had come to look forward to their training sessions, to a time where she knew without a doubt she was doing something useful, had even begun to look forward to the king’s gentle rebukes when she went for too long without any sort of rest.

“We are never made for just one thing. We never see ourselves as others do.” Florentine had known, even before she had, where her heart would lead her, where she would find her peace. Terrastella was her home, through heartbreak and through tragedy, through celebration and love. The Champion steps forward to join the crowd as her wings fold along her sides, her steps pausing only briefly in surprise as Fiona’s ‘voice’ casts across her mind. “Yes, in their memory, and in the hopes that wherever they are, their paths will lead them to where they need to be.”

Whether or not it would lead them back would be a mystery -- Tempus only knew,  she supposed, and he wasn't about to share His plans with mere mortals. Or perhaps it was the strange gods of where they had come from, calling them home? They might never know. "I would be honored to remain Terrastella's Champion in these trying times." Her eyes catch Marisol's for just a brief moment, saying everything that she cannot say in front of the crowd -- I am here if you need me, I will go where you send me, I love you as Sovereign and Commander and nothing at all -- before she turns her gaze to the crowd, instead, and a commotion beginning to stir as a bedraggled buckskin lands amongst them.

credits


@Marisol @Fiona





she wasn't looking for a knight,
she was looking for a sword.

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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 4 — Threads: 3
Signos: 45
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 9 [Year 495 Spring] // 14.2 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7

GIRL WITH AN ACCENT OF BLOOD
She awakes as she has always lived; suddenly, violently, surging to her feet like a coming storm. Her wife is not beside her -- had Cleopatra awaken first? -- but the gold band is still secure around her leg, strangely tarnished though it may be. She doesn't remember how they had come to be there -- only that they had been seeking, and that there had been a heavy drowsiness that had stolen over her and washed away her anger, and now, she had awoken amongst the trees of her birthplace.

Cleopatra had likely returned home to report back and to regroup.

There are still dead leaves tangled in her wild curls, even chopped short as they are, and moss still clings to the linen wraps around her legs, but the white paint clinging to her wings is fresh, gleaming ivory against the sun as she approaches the gathering, her verdant eyes seeking out any familiar faces -- and yet, strangely, she found none. There was, however, a stranger bedecked in the same stripes of the commander as she was, and her eyes narrow in distaste even as a 'hmph' leaves her lips.

"I bet Cicero thinks this is some sort of a joke, doesn't he? Dressing a cadet up like a commander -- you, cadet, who are you? I don't recognize you." Perhaps one of the newer recruits, although she had thought she had met them all, and as she glances around she realizes that there are few Halcyon to be found here. In fact, the cadet had seemed to be addressing the crowd, something about a lost king and how she had become sovereign… except King Desmond had been fine, when they had set out the night before.

Something is very wrong here. Something felt out of place, as though this was not the Terrastella she had always known, had sworn her life to protect, as though something foul had danced across her spine in the swamp and left traces upon her very being even when none could be found. "I don't know what you're playing at, cadet -- where is Cicero? What foolishness beneath Vespera is this, that you claim both Commander and Sovereign for yourself?" Perhaps they had been asleep for longer than they had thought -- long enough to be assumed missing, and for Cicero to have taken over?

But then, who was this?

Her eyes narrowed at the bay mare with the spear at her side, itching to reach for the Ilati-gifted dagger strapped to her leg. "Has something happened to Cicero? And if, as you so claim, you were appointed Commander instead of Cicero, where is your Vicarius? Where is Seneca? He should have assumed the role, even if Cicero were incapacitated. It would be unorthodox, yes, but a Commander must have their Vicarius, and he would be best for the position."

Her tail snaps against her haunches, hard enough to sting, and she can't help but to glance around at the unfamiliar faces once more. Where were the cadets she knew, the citizens she had sworn to protect -- where was her wife, and her apprentice, and her Halcyon?

@Marisol rip mari's patience





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Played by Offline Katherine [PM] Posts: 42 — Threads: 7
Signos: 25
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 496 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 14 — Atk: 6 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Alaunus (Caladrius)
#8

take an angel by the wings, beg her now for anything, beg her now for one more day

There is something to be said about a world that is not yours, that becomes yours so completely, so wholly. A world whose people are not your people but become them, so easily, so simply, that one day you wake up and stop question when it happened, or why. It just is.

There is something to be said about a world that was never yours, even when you were born into it.

Sometimes where you are is not where you are meant to be, and the things that happen to you are putting you in the way of the things, of the people, that are meant to happen to you. That are putting you in the place where you belong.

Samaira feels that way about Novus, about Terrastella. She feels that way about the doctors and medics and patients at the hosptial, about the equines she has met here, and grown closer to. About Alaunus, who she never would have met—never would have needed—if it hadn’t been for the things that have happened to her.

And there are so many grateful songs in her heart, so many hopeful stars in her moon-bright eyes. Every sunrise is a new beginning, a new opportunity. A new chance to do something magical, to search for the thing her heart is aching for. To smile, to laugh, to dance. To heal.

When the meeting is called, Samaira goes to the court with Alaunus at her side and enters the throng of equines pressing toward Marisol. That’s when the pegasus realizes she hasn’t spoken to the other woman since the night Marisol had found her in the swamp. How long ago now had that been? How much had they changed, had everything around them changed, since then she wonders.

Unlike the others, she doesn’t know what is wrong here. She doesn’t look upon Marisol standing alone before a crowd and see the spaces around her that should be filled with, perhaps, others. She doesn’t think about the fact that Asterion, who wants nothing more than to be seen as a man and not a king, isn’t standing there addressing his people instead of her.

Until the first words are spoken, and something inside her bends, and sways and groans. It moans, and cracks and bursts open like wood beneath the pressure of a pounding wave. Her heart is no longer a dam but a flood plain, awash in water filled with debris like hurts and sorrows.

Florentine, who had come to her in search of aid for her broken wing. What of her, and the lives she had been carrying? Her, golden and flowered, whose friendship she had grown to cherish and whose smile she had looked forward to seeing each session the woman had returned to the hospital. What light had Samaira led her into, only for her to be lost to the world?

Most of all she thinks of Asterion, dancing with her on the streets when she had been nothing more than a complete stranger, and down on the beach sharing truths, even if they weren’t the ones their hearts had really wanted them to say. How had she known him, that she would never know him again? How had she wanted to know him, that she still did not fully understand?

But she had wanted to know him, certainly.

Oh, there is something to be said about a world that is never yours, and people who are not yours, but who take your breath away and who you open you heart to anyway.

Her heart ratchets inside her chest, an unsteady, thrumming, drumming, stumbling thing. And her moon-silver eyes are wide and bright and wet with liquid silver stars that want to rain down to land upon the soft earth of her skin. And she can feel Alaunus pressed close against her side, but there are so many things that her wonderful bird can heal, and this is not one of them.

Samaira does not stay to listen, she cannot listen. She cannot hear them speak of strength and healing and memory. Terrastella had been her healing, had been her salvation and sanctuary.

When she turns to go, she does not fly. She does not disappear into the sky, fast and far and distant and wide. Samaira pushes out of the crowd, but though she doesn’t know where to go, she walks.

She had told Asterion that once, love had almost cost her her wings.

She cannot find it within her to fly now.

"Speaking."
credits





[Image: 13481303_KpOIcOG7drxHK9U.png?1556314753]
we'll fulfill our dreams
and we'll be free

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Played by Offline Sparrow [PM] Posts: 91 — Threads: 15
Signos: 135
Dusk Court Warden
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 496 Summer] // 16.1 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: Pyromancy // Bonded: Solaris (Phoenix)
#9

So you wanna start a war
In the age of icons
So you wanna be immortal
With a loaded gun

When the meeting was called, Israfel answered.

She arrived early but stood in the back, just as she always did, her posture relaxed but tall. Vermilion eyes scanned the crowd of gathering citizens, watching as familiar faces mingled with strangers. There was a buzz of curiosity that ran like electricity through the air, causing her hair to stand on end, but nothing could have prepared her for the reasons behind why this meeting was called.

Marisol addressed them, and while they had never been close in any sense of the word, the Warden found she appreciated the Commander’s blunt and straightforward handling of this abrupt situation. It made it no easier to hear, however, that Asterion was gone, along with Florentine and Lysander, stolen away by some nefarious means upon the island, far too abruptly and far too soon.

What? Why?

A dangerous ache grasped her heart, causing her breath to hitch and escape between parted, rose-kissed lips. It felt as though she had been kicked in the gut, air unable to be drawn back into gasping lungs even as she stood stock still, a pillar against the battalion of emotions that threatened to cripple her. Vermilion eyes narrowed as she stared hard at Marisol, hoping that by the sheer intensity of her stare she could force out more answers from the Halcyon Commander. Nothing came. It seemed that Marisol was just as perplexed, just as lost as the rest of them.

Murmurs graced the air; some of shock, some in outrage, some of sorrow. It was only natural that the people would react differently, Israfel surmised. Everyone grieved in their own way.

Still she did not wrench her bold, accusing stare from Marisol’s bay shoulders which were surely heavy from the mantle of her new title. A dark, twisted little voice in the back of the Warden’s head wondered just how long the Commander-turned-Sovereign would last. How many sovereigns had she seen, now? How many people had come and go?

Rannveig, Florentine, Asterion, and now? Marisol. It would only be a matter of time.

As the shock of the announcement began to wane, the people found their voices. They spoke, offering their words of support, their promise to continue on in this legacy left behind by so many others set before them, their comments of indifference. Israfel didn’t care, and so she listened, letting the others speak their pretty little promises and words of devotion while she listened with half an ear, waiting and watching, listening and learning. A lot could be learned by remaining silent. That was a lesson she had discovered the hard way, that fools spoke the loudest. Perhaps it was why the loudest of them all, a shrill screech of demanding nonsense that filled the air from a citizen that Israfel had never seen before, urged her to finally break away from her silent sentry.

The Warden strode forward with pinned ears lost amidst gilded strands of hair, the heavy weight of Solaris upon her back boosting her with confidence as she stalked through the crowd, letting her words carry without doubt, without the pointless need to shout and bellow. “By Solis’ left fucking testicle, shut up,” Israfel growled once she was just a few paces away, burning vermilion eyes narrowed at the prissy, obnoxious tawny creature who howled and hounded Marisol like an irate child-thing, “Whatever the hell you’re screeching about can wait.”

Almost violently the Sun Daughter tore her eyes away from the petite dappled buckskin to Marisol, her gaze still burning, smoldering in its intensity. Oh, but she had been here before, staring into the eyes of a new Sovereign. Marisol was just another in her long history. Neutral as she tried to be, the Warden could read her like an open book.

She grinned, rueful and soft. The words that escaped her lips lacked the vehement aggression that they held towards the petite, obnoxious buckskin, but while they also lacked respect for someone so newly ascended, the words were full of understanding. “I’ve seen that look in your eyes twice over, Commander. You can’t hide that from me.” She arched a brow, unabashedly holding Marisol’s slate grey eyes in an unrelenting stare. “Build your council, focus on the people. Seems like you’ve already got that in order. I’ll support where I can, and if you need me to take care of any annoying vermin, I’ll do it.”

Her gaze shifted, glancing momentarily sidelong towards the winged buckskin, before focusing on the former Halcyon Commander. Or was she the current? Did it matter?

“But remember my loyalty lies with the Court, for now.”

Sovereigns came and went, but Terrastella would always remain.

"Speaking."
credits





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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 172 — Threads: 24
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Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 39 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#10

this time i'll
follow you all
the way down.


I wish I had something good to tell you, thinks Marisol desperately as she looks at her people. They are full of heartache. So is she. Her homeland is one that loves to cry; they are sensitive and beautiful and oh so easily broken. In their eyes there is sorrow, and fear, too, the kind that can’t be shaken with anything but the passage of time. If she weren’t so good at steeling her face, she’s sure she would look the same. And if she were alone, she knows she would be crying. Full sobs flooding from an oft-broken heart. Even now tears are brimming in her eyes—her set jaw and rapid blinks are only just managing to hold back the burning flood.

With each passing second Marisol grows less and less sure of herself. She sees Israfel’s indignant rosy eyes, the distrust in Rhone’s dark gaze. How Samaira cannot even bear to hold herself still in this place that still bears so many of Asterion’s marks. And her heart hurts, and what can she tell them? That they’ll come back? That everything will be okay? Marisol is a woman of logic, and she has no business lying to her people. There is no evidence that they are not dead. There is no evidence, even, that Terrastella will survive without them. 

Marisol bites her lip; a dark trickle of blood blossoms over her tongue, and she swallows without thinking.

When Fiona steps up to her, she is expecting the worst. A question she can’t answer. A frown that says disappointment. A blow. She braces herself, tenses her shoulders, lowers her eyes. There is nothing to say. There is nothing, at least in this moment, to do. Marisol owes everything to her people, and she must give it unquestioningly—her body, her spirit, her words. Whatever Fiona asks she must do.

And yet Fiona doesn’t ask for anything. Instead she reaches out, smelling a little like cinnamon, soft as a butterfly wing, and before the Commander can even flinch she is wrapped in Fiona’s warm embrace, cheek to cheek, tears running a warm track from purple skin to sable. Shock runs through her, then relief, sharp as an arrow. Her eyes squeeze closed and the tension sloughs from her shoulders, warmth courses through her muscles; by the time Fiona pulls away Marisol is sniffling with the effort of holding back her tears, but she manages. 

“A vigil,” she repeats softly, and a kind of smile breaks over her lips. Sorrowful, tired, but a smile nonetheless. “That is a wonderful idea. Thank you, Fiona.” Mari raises her head, and her eyes fall upon Corrdelia, then Rhone: “Thank you,” she tells them too, loud enough to carry, and in her eyes shines relief bright enough to start a fire. Her heart pounds in her chest, and heat flushes her cheeks. Thank you, she wants to say again, thank you thank you thank you, but it would never be enough. Terrastella and Her people have given Marisol everything. Life and love and success and in time, she’s sure, even death. There is no gratitude deep as that.

For a brief moment she feels like, even without evidence, things might be okay. They might be able to pull themselves together. A vigil, a painting—life will go on, with a little more sadness, but it will go on nonetheless, and with time it will go more and more smoothly. They will not forget. They will remember, at least, how to love.

And then the brief moment passes, and a stranger’s voice rings out through the air, and Marisol hardly remembers to breathe when she hears what the buckskin is saying.

Now is not the time to be angry. Now is not the time to be angry—and yet in her chest something is burning and twisting and rising, and she might cry in frustration, if she could cry, at the sheer disrespect in this woman’s tone. But when the Commander steps forward her eyes are cold and calm, and when she speaks it is in a low, pacific voice that does not break or tremble or imply anything but be very, very careful, girl.

“Speak not his name in a time of trouble; Vespera has cursed him, he has caused enough damage already. Furthermore,” she says, and her voice hardens to a brittle sword, “Your beloved Judas Cicero has not been seen in sixty years, and thank Vespera for that. Wherever you think you are, whenever you think this is—you know us not. I was Commander and Regent appointed by Asterion, and now in his untimely death, Vespera bless him, I stand Commander and Sovereign. As you said—“

Her tone softens, just a little. Now is not the time to be angry. The grey of her eyes is less like slate and more like storm, now, swirling against the darkness of her skin. “Certain things simply must be done, even if unorthodoxly.” A sad, sad ghost-smile pulls at her mouth. Or maybe it’s a frown—? God only knows. 

And then her expression steels again, and she says to the buckskin in a voice so calm it could break a stone, “Say what you will, Vespera blessed us all with our own mouth. But do not ever—ever—address me as ‘cadet’ again.”

She watches the stranger for another long moment, cool, her burning frustration buried, then turns her gaze upon Israfel. Though they don’t know each other well, she is pleased (surprised) to see the Warden here; she has been loyal to Terrastella since the beginning, and that is at least one thing they see eye to eye on. “Many thanks, Israfel,” and when she hears that the Warden’s loyalty lies with Terrastella, for now, she smiles truly. “Terrastella remains, Sovereign or not; you are right to recognize it so. Loyalty to Her above all.”

Exhaustion is taking over, and Marisol wishes desperately for her bed—a book—a kiss. Instead she stands unsteadily and watches the crowd with soft, dark eyes. “My first priority is reinstating our council and working with Fiona to conduct the vigil. Anyone who wants to help is welcome. Until then—be safe. You can ask your questions or voice your concerns here or in my office at any time. I am here simply to serve you.”

She raises her voice, clear as a bell—“Blessed be the fight”and steps into the crowd.

“Speaking.”
credits





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

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