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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 72 — Threads: 6
Signos: 10
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#1



He hated to say it, but he missed Asterion. He had hoped the man would have stayed much longer than he had, leading his people in a way that Rhone valued. He had experience in the sovereign department and he felt as though Asterion was leading much like he would have led his own people. He was looking forward to seeing how Terrastella grew under his leadership. But now? Now all of that was gone and Rhone felt lost. He supposed he shouldn’t feel so a lone, but he couldn’t help but feel as though he was the only one here. With Erd missing and Ard out looking for him, Rhone had very few friends left in Dusk Court. It saddened the stallion, but he tried hard not to let that show.

Rhone had to tell himself that Marisol was the new queen and she would continue Asterion’s legacy. Unfortunately for the bay stallion, he didn’t know Marisol. The only interaction he had with her had left a sour taste in his mouth because he questioned her judgement. He knew he shouldn’t have, but he couldn’t help it. Now with that sour taste still lingering, could he trust Marisol as wholeheartedly as he trusted Asterion? He only hoped so.

The morning had started like all the others. The hour was early, far earlier than most cared to be awake. But this early morning, this dawn, was something he enjoyed. The colors of the sky as the sun began to slip above the horizon. As the sky turned pink, purple, orange, and even yellow, Rhone looked out over the cliffs and just stared in awe of his beauty.

Eyes looked to the oak tree that he had planted. It grew where no other trees could grow, it’s roots digging into the limestone cliffs and somehow holding on. Each time Rhone came to this cliff, he used his magic to grow it a little taller, a little wider, and with far more beauty. It was his job, he felt, to continue to make Terrestella beautiful again. Even though he would never watch the sunrise with Asterion again, he would still think about the stallion while he was up here. Surely life here would remain the same. Surely Marisol would do a good job. He had to have faith. He had to have hope that life really would go on and it would go on for the better.

Hope. It was something the stallion had been lacking recently, but it was something he was trying hard to have. He had always been the optimistic stallion and recently, he had found that he tended to be a little pessimistic. Rhone really was trying to be more hopeful, have a little more faith, and smile a little more. He was older than most and this was his place of retirement. Shouldn’t he be enjoying himself?

@Marisol - nothing like watching the sunrise!









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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 222 — Threads: 26
Signos: 435
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#2

hallelujah
I found
jesus when
i drowned
She hadn’t wanted to come here at all: it reminded her too much of him, of them. It stank of all the times she had raced along the cliff’s edge with Asterion or watched Cirrus turn cartwheels in the sky; even when she closed her eyes and pictured it, nothing close to the real thing, it made her ribs hurt. Her heart still smarted like an open cut. The salt from the wind off the ocean would not do anything, she was nearly sure, but tear at what little scab had begun to form.


But today she’d woken up before the sky was even blue. and started moving toward the sea before she could even think about it. Felt the tides tugging like a fist at the hook in her chest. It was as hardy and divine as an omen, with a refusal to be disobeyed, and not an uncommon thing for Marisol to wake up to nowadays. At this point the urge was often unignorable, no matter how early or late it was, how much she should have been doing: there was little to be done about it except listen and return home as quickly as possible, gods willing without missing anything.

Overhead the sky is turning pink, orange, purple as the sun crawls up, and despite herself Mari wants to smile as she watches. It is beautiful. And to be here, watching, is a bittersweet thing. I wish you were here, she thinks briefly, and falters in step as she moves closer to the sea. The air is bright and sharp with salt now, burning the insides of her nostrils, and clouds are falling away as the horizon glows brighter and brighter until the sky is clear and no stars are left.

Now that it’s light out she can see the shadow of someone standing against the backlit sea, and she does not even have the energy to be disappointed that she is not alone. 

“Good morning,” calls the Commander, and slows to a relaxed walk. She is equal parts surprised and relieved to see, as she comes closer, that the figure is Rhone: they don’t know each other well, but truly, he is the only member of Terrastella with a level head at the moment. They are all too young, too manic, and more than anything too distraught. Without a firm hand and a soft voice they will never make it through this. And Rhone has both those things in spades. 

“Speaking.”
credits





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

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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 72 — Threads: 6
Signos: 10
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#3



The little oak tree begins to grow, his magic coursing through the veins of the cliffs, feeding into the roots of the giant oak tree and helping it to gain another few inches in minutes. And when his magic begins to fade, Rhone looks at the tree and thinks about all the possibilities as to why this tree continue to grow, even when the limestone the roots are attached to pull away nutrients like salt in a wound. Perhaps it’s more than just magic that holds this tree in place. Perhaps the tree too feels hope and faith that it will continue to grow, despite the circumstances it has found itself in. And Rhone knows that with his help, this tree will flourish. He has to think that this oak tree is more than just a tree, it’s a tribute to legacy. Asterion had loved this tree when it was only but a sapling. Perhaps this tree would be a gentle reminder of Asterion, about how he believed in everything and every one. Yes, he had to believe that.

He smells her before he sees her, her scent floating on the wind like a leaf caught in a current. He does not look at her at first, choosing to look out at the open sea, at the sunrise, and at the dolphin breaking the surface below. He waits until she is closer and that is when he turns to look at her, his eyes soft and knowing.

He catches her greeting and offers her a soft nod of his head in return. "Aye, it is a good morning." It was a good and beautiful morning, more beautiful than many things. But despite its beauty, it was still a hard and painful morning. The day after Asterion is gone. It’s a day that aches deep in his chest, but it is a day that must continue on. They must continue on and complete the legacy that Asterion has left for them. If they do not, then what is it all for?

He waits until Marisol is closer, close enough that she can hear his voice even at a whisper above the roar of the sea below. He waits until he can see the dirt caked on her ankles, the way the salty air tangles her mane. And it is now that he turns to her with a smile. "Have you come here to remember him too?" Rhone doesn’t need to mention his name. Marisol will know exactly who Rhone is talking about and she too will know that this was a place he came often. Looking down, he lowers his head to the each and musters up the last ounces of his magic to sprout some beautiful lilies at the base of their feet, decorating the cliff side with beauty and an aroma that is unmatched. It was beautiful here, it truly was.

@Marisol









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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 222 — Threads: 26
Signos: 435
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#4

hallelujah
I found
jesus when
i drowned


Often Mari has wished for magic, and equally often has she realized she should be glad for being barren. To be so powerful is a burden as much as a blessing; she has seen the energy it saps, and the blood sacrifices it might require. And what would Vespera even see fit to give her? Mari has her wings, and her spear, and her wits. There is little more to ask for.

But this is something else. Something that gives, not takes. Something more beautiful than dangerous. Rhone’s magic seeps into the very earth and blossoms up, up, up, and with wide eyes Marisol watches as the oak teetering on the edge of the cliff rises and rises and rises up toward the bleeding sky, standing tall and proud against the dawn. Its leaves unfurl, and new bark splits open across the trunk; the scent of lilies floats through the air, and she looks down with surprise as a patch of white petals blossom at their feet, swaying in the stiff breeze. A breath of soft wonder escapes her like a sigh.

“That’s wonderful,” she says, warm and pleasantly surprised, and sifts a hoof carefully through the new grass as if searching for a four leaf clover. “And… yes. Of course. It’s hard not to, anyway.” She swallows hard against the lump in her throat, turns her eyes down to the thrashing edge of the sea so far below. Salt burns in her nostrils, and the corners of her gaze. Don’t cry, don’t cry. Mari blinks hard. Don’t cry. It’s the only thing she’s been able to think about coherently since she first heard—since the bird with the bright eyes let her know, in no uncertain terms, that they weren’t coming home.

No Florentine, no Lysander, no Asterion. Even though they belong here. Even though she is sure, no matter how hard she works, there is a better chance than not Terrastella will fall apart without them.

How can Rhone stand so strongly, so surely? She envies his strong stance, the perfect certainty of his hooves planted in the dirt—more than any of that, the soft warmth in his eyes, unwavering, unafraid. She can be sure her own expression is not so calm. Her pulse trembles in her chest, and her nerves pop and sizzle like so much fire. It feels as though she’ll never sleep again.


“Speaking.”
credits





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

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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 72 — Threads: 6
Signos: 10
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#5



Magic to Rhone means more than his own life. He has always been graced with magic, more magic than he really probably needed or wanted. He had been able to control the earth, fire, air, water, light, and all psychic ability. He had been more powerful than many and yet, he had been humbled with his gifts, only using them for good and not for personal gain. The gods and goddesses that he worshiped had blessed him. Brighton, Galadriel, Altus, Courant, Elyria, Paduan, and Tazewell. All these gods and goddesses had blessed Rhone, giving him their gifts so he might share them with the world. Rhone had always worshiped them and they had blessed him over and over again.

But here, here in Novus Rhone was not nearly as powerful as he had once been. Most of his gifts had been stripped from him and yet, the gift that had started it all had been restored to him. Brighton had followed him here, giving him the ability to bless the land. And ever since he had made his home in Terrastella, Rhone had made sure to leave this place a little better than he had found it. He would continue to do so until the day the gods felt so inclined to take his magic from him yet again.

He looks up at her, looking at her with a soft gaze. He could see the awe and wonder there and it made his heart happy. This was why he had his magic, to bring joy to others who might not have it. Her joy was the reason he kept planting trees and flowers. "I have been very blessed." He would never take his magic for granted, never use it for ill gain. This was his gift and he intended to keep on giving.

He asks if she has come here to remember Asterion too, knowing that this was the very place Asterion used to come and reflect. It hurt his heart to know that the bay stallion would never have a partner to watch the sunset with. And based on the expression in Marisol’s eyes, he had a feeling she felt the same. "I miss him terribly. He was a good friend when I first arrived." Granted, Rhone didn’t have very many friends at all, but Asterion had been one of the first to greet him, to welcome him home and make him feel like he belonged here. As he looked out over the cliffs, he said a silent prayer that wherever Asterion was, he had made it to his destination safely.

He turns back to Marisol, to look her in the eye with a purpose. He can see that she is unsure, that she is scared…even if she might not admit to it. It was a lot to take on, to take on a kingdom with no direction who had just lost their king. He had been in her shoes once… "You will be a fine queen, Marisol." He says it with confidence, although he is unsure. He does not know Marisol very well. He does not know if she has what it takes to be queen. But Asterion had elected her as his right hand man and that meant something to Rhone.

He took a step closer to her, moving around the giant oak tree and the lilies. His eyes were soft as they rested on her own, willing her to understand the genuine words he was about to speak. "I have not told many, but I think you deserve to know…" He let his voice trail off, giving her time to draw her full attention to him. "I have been in your shoes before, learning to lead a kingdom who had lost its king. The road is not easy, but know I am here to help in any way I can." Not many knew that he had once been a king. Not many knew much about his past at all. They didn’t know of his mistakes, of his bad choices, of his inability to be a good family man. He had kept most of that to himself. But right now, Marisol needed a vote of confidence. And if telling her that he would help her because of his past would help her lead, then he would do so with confidence.

@Marisol









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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 222 — Threads: 26
Signos: 435
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#6

hallelujah
I found
jesus when
i drowned

Marisol stares out at the sea as he talks. Rhone’s voice is kind and comfortingly deep, but it can’t soothe her nerves quite enough. Instead she tries to calm herself down by matching her breaths to crash and roll of the waves, slowing her pulse to the rhythm of the rising and falling flecks of foam. The smell of salt, too, is like a balm to the part of her that is wild-blooded.


But she would never admit it. Especially now that her confidante is gone. Now it is her burden to shoulder for ever and ever, a pain that she cannot put words to for the rest of her life. Flushed with embarrassment, she pulls her head down to her chest and frantically blinks the oncoming tears out of her eyes. “To me, too,” she whispers, and that is that.

Now the sky is turning perfect blue. Sun streams down around them, and another knot of tension slips out from her shoulders as the light and the wind and the sea-smell all wash over her. When he speaks again it brings the barest smile to her face, warm and sheepish and are you sure? Warmth tingles through her, a flood of relief mingled with satisfaction.

“I’m not so sure. But. She pauses, shakes the rough bristle of her mane as if trying to shake off the whole situation along with the salt that comes flying loose. Mari bites her lip in deep consideration at the next part of his speech; surprise and curiosity interlock in the looks that she gives him, upturned from a swath of dark eyelashes.

A king? She can see it, now that she’s looking: the way he holds himself, the seriousness in his face, the way he’s taken so easily to this whole situation. Calmness in the face of calamity. Marisol knows how to do that, but not without losing her kindness. She’s never been soft enough for democracy anyway.  

“I appreciate it,” Marisol responds slowly, and her voice holds the ultimate note of sincere. Demure, too, in the quietly embarrassed way she slips her gaze sideways to meet his. “What… how did you start? Helping people move forward, I mean, helping yourself too. I don’t even know where to begin repairing. This.”

“Speaking.”
credits





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

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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 72 — Threads: 6
Signos: 10
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#7



His past is what had brought Rhone to Novus. He had been fleeing a life that he had royally messed up. To truly understand Rhone, one must understand where he has come from. But that past, that past has for so long been locked away and never shared. He was not ashamed of his days as King of the Rajputs or King of the North. He loved each one of those places with all of his being (Terrastella is quickly gaining ground as well) and he will never regret leading them both with strength and integrity. But the decisions he has made, those decisions are what has brought him here. Some of those decisions he regrets. He regrets how he chose his kingdom over his lovers and his children. He has made many mistakes in life and he is determined not to repeat them. So when Asterion offered his kingship, Rhone did not apply. Novus was supposed to be a place of retirement and a place to make up for lost time. Rhone had come to Novus to live a peaceful life, loving those around him and hopefully righting some of the wrongs of his life. He never came here to lead.

He can see the look in Marisol’s eye when she realizes the truths he is telling her. He can see the way she thinks about his words, realizing that she can see the qualities of a king in him. He’s always been that way. Those qualities were not taught but they were there even in his infancy. Those would never fade away, even if he is determined not to make use of them here. But they are there, bubbling just below the surface and just waiting to be shown. Marisol is getting a glimpse of that now and he knows she is seeing the part of his past he has tried to keep secret.

She asks him how he started to rebuild what was lost. It was a loaded question, one that had no easy answer. He sighed. Asterion had done so much good for Terrastella. It would be hard for anyone to fill his shoes, even Marisol. But those shoes had to be filled and it would only take a little time for Marisol to grow into them. In time, things would get easier. But for now, things would be difficult and she would have to be willing to put in the work to make sure her reign was successful.

His silence lingers over the crashing of the ocean waves. His eyes looking out as blue sky erupts. After a few moments, he looks back to Marisol, surprised to see her looking back at him in an almost submissive way. "Don’t try to repair it. Trying to fix it makes it seem as if it was broken from the start." He pauses a moment, thinking carefully on how he wanted to word his replies. "Your people want to see that you are hurting too…that you feel the same loss they do. Don’t hide your feelings, even if you are trying to be tough. Letting them see that you are being real and vulnerable makes them feel as though their own feelings are validated." He remembered when his father stepped down and he took control. He remembered when he left the kingdom he was born for and into another for the sake of love. Both times, the regimes were in shambles and they looked to him for comfort. Letting them see that he too was hurting helped them respect him more. Sure, this might not work for those of the opinion that warriors cannot have feelings and feelings make them weak. Such was an old way of thinking that Rhone thought very unproductive.

He is silent a moment longer, thinking long and hard. He doesn’t know Marisol well enough to give her the advice that she needs to hear. He can only offer her what has worked for himself. It will be up to her to figure out what will work for her and her council. "Secondly, don’t be a dictator. Listen to your people and take their suggestions. I’m not saying that you have to say yes to everything they ask of you, but let them truly know that you have heard their grievances and that you will take their suggestions under consideration. Democracy works far better than dictatorship." If she started off her reign by telling them what to do and when to do it, they will push back and resist. But if she makes their opinion feel valued, they are more likely to stick to her side, even if she chooses not to implement their ideas.

He pauses a moment as he looks up at her, his eyes meeting her own. He wants her to know that he is being genuine, real. "But most importantly, be yourself and stick to what you believe in." Most people wanted genuine leaders, not leaders that told each person what they wanted to hear. Coming off as fake hurts everyone.

But end the end, this is her reign. She is queen now and ultimately it is her decision. What she chooses to do from this point onward will pave the way to the success or demise of her reign as Queen of Terrestella. "I am always here to guide you, Marisol, to council you if you need it. I do not need anything in return." He did not need riches, fancy titles, or words of affirmation. All he needed was to see that she was flourishing. He had never expected Asterion to appoint him Champion of Wisdom. He knows that he will not openly seek a formal position on her council. He doesn’t need that recognition. Perhaps as a younger stallion he did. But now, now Rhone was far older and wiser. Just seeing her success was enough for him.

@Marisol









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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 222 — Threads: 26
Signos: 435
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#8

hallelujah
I found
jesus when
i drowned

Marisol knows that whatever the answer is to her question, it will not be a pleasant one. It will not be black and white, or an easy thing to accomplish, or even anything that comes naturally to her; but she should know, she needs to know, and so as he begins to speak she listens with wide eyes and her ears swiveled forward, head high, posture belying the intensity of her attention.

Don’t try to repair it. How can she not? There is so much to repair—the hole left by their king’s disappearance, and the dust that coats their hospital, and the fact that alliances with other courts have not been made since the very beginning of her time here.

Listen to your people. But how can she possibly know who to listen to? Who to trust, just how suspicious to be. Where does the line cross from trusting to foolishness and from listening to being manipulated?

Be yourself. And this one, she knows, will be by far the most complex. For one, it must be possible, if not probably, that who she is is not the person they think she is or the person they need her to be. And even worse than that is that who she is is still unknowable even to her. The reflection in the blade of a sword or on the surface of the lake, her name and title, these are things she recognizes but does not know how to reconcile with, like a painting of something made in all the wrong colors.

“Thank you, Rhone.” Her voice feels numb in her throat, strange and cold like it belongs to someone else. The wind is starting to pick up and the salt is beginning to bite through her coat with needle-sharp stinging teeth. She gives him a quick, small smile. “I should be heading back now, I think. But—really. Thank you. If there is ever anything you need from me, just ask.”

And then with a huge swoosh of her wings she’s off and into the air again, tumultuous in the cold sea-breeze.

“Speaking.”
credits





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

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Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 72 — Threads: 6
Signos: 10
Dusk Court Champion of Wisdom
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 22 — Atk: 18 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Earth Manipulation // Bonded: N/A
#9



The issues Terrastella has regarding Asterion leaving and the hole it has left in their hearts as something that should be valued. If Marisol was to try and fix the issue, it would only mean that she sees their feelings and emotions as being invalid. To try and fix something implies that something was broken. Yes, their heart aches and yes there is a hole left there were Asterion once was, but their feelings were valid and each member of Terrastella deserved to know that it was alright to mourn his loss. It was just a part of the growing and changing that would inevitably come. It would not be easy or without pain, but it was just a bump in the road that they must each cross. If Marisol is to validate their feelings, then perhaps they might see her as human - something everyone deep down wants to know that their leaders are. People want to know that leaders make mistakes and that they hear the opinions of their subjects. Marisol would ultimately be fine and she would discover what her kingdom needs from her in time. But in order to figure all that out, she simply needed to be present.

Rhone has tried to impart on her some advice that he was given when he was much younger. At first he had disregarded it, but now he was starting to see that it had been sound advice, he had just been too young and too stubborn to take any stalk in it. He hoped Marisol would not make the same mistakes as he had. Perhaps her road in leadership would be far less bumpy than the road he had traveled on.

When Marisol offers her thanks, Rhone can hear it in her voice that he has given her much to think about. The advice he gives may not be what she wants to hear, but what she needs to hear. He has given her much to think about, much to self-reflect. But she would come to understand the words he has spoken of in time.

And when she begins to make her leave, he takes one step forward to show her that he has something else to say. "You will do fine, Marisol. I believe in you." He watches as she extends her wings, ready to leap from the cliffs. He offers her one final smile. "I am always here for you, you need only to ask." He will always be here for her, to help her and guide her on this new journey. It would be hard and it would be scary, but she would come out the other side a better person, even if she didn’t see it just yet.

@Marisol - just a closer <3









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