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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



with sword
and salt






She and Israfel have never gotten along particularly well.

They are both sharp-edged, too loud, too brash; it is like slashing two swords together and expecting the sound of flutes. Marisol doesn’t mind her, per se, but they’ve always kept to their separate corners of the world, Commander and Warden, Halcyon and soldier. (Often she had wondered what kept Israfel from joining the unit. She had the most important thing, and experience on top of that; it would have been an easy transition. They could have used someone like her.)

Now avoidance is not an option.

Dawn with rosy fingers starts to claw at the sky, and Marisol slips from the barracks into the warm air. (She hasn’t moved into the citadel yet; she’s not sure she’ll ever feel ready.) Clouds are falling into wisps overhead, and the streetlights haven’t quite been blown out, still casting warm shadows onto the cobblestone.

Two cadets stand in the doorway and nod their dark heads at her as she passes. Their eyes are cast demurely low, their posture stiffer even than usual. Nausea rises in Mari’s stomach, pours acid into the back of her throat. As she passes them she is careful not to do or say anything at all, lest it be too royal, too brash, too… anything. She would never forgive herself for stumbling so early. She only blinks at them as they part ways, calm as she can manage, and slinks off into the streets.

Finally the air is starting to turn frosty. Summer is finally leaching away like so much water into the sewers. Marisol’s joints are stiff with cold, her gaze still bleary from sleep, and she grimaces as each step works a new knot from her muscles and each heavy stride brings her closer to the citadel. Bells are ringing now against the rising of the sun; Marisol’s head feels as clear as it does dark. 

She shakes the kinks gently out of her wings and keeps an eye out for her Warden.

credits





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

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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)
#2

A set of eyes had pinned him
Became his version of a kingdom
She's everything the devil can't be
When she's singing to me "Glory"

Israfel has never been a creature of habit. It simply wasn’t in her blood. Like the flames that burned beneath her skin the Sun Daughter was unpredictable on the best of days, virulent and dangerous, a creature without a set path other than the one she forged herself. Perhaps that was why she struggled under the monotony of her mantle.

It could be the same thing, over and over and over again. Mind numbing, dull, repetitive. It bored her, yet it was her job as Warden and at least she had pride in that. There were things that she would do to change everything up, of course; alter a path, change course, go on-foot one day and by the skies the next. Thankfully with the Halcyon in bloom - ’finally’, she thought with a sarcastic roll of the eyes, - she could entrust some of the patrolling to them, like chucking the next poor bastard into the swamp just so she wouldn’t have to go there again herself.

The morning started like any other as the citizens of Terrastella struggled to return to normality after their most recent shift. Israfel left Charlie and Indy to their own devices after ensuring that the two rapscallions were awake, not wanting her daughter to get into the dangerous habit of staying up late and waking up even later. Not that Charlie’s voracious appetite for exploration and the unknown would let her sleep in, but alas.

Letting out a heaving breath, mist curling about pale pink lips, Israfel wandered through the court at a leisurely pace. The crisp morning air prickled her skin, the unnatural warmth of her body providing plenty of protection against the incoming cold of autumn. Soon the full swing of the season would be upon them, followed by winter, and already the Warden detested the thought. Vermilion eyes scanned every street that she waltzed down, a frown upon her lips but ears forward, listening and watching.

Occasionally she would pass by a familiar face and offer them a nod of greeting, but no words. There weren’t any words to be shared, not that morning. Not when her emotions were so virulent, so finicky, so… Troubled.

Perhaps it was a fool’s errand that she hoped to just ignore what had happened, that Asterion was gone, along with Florentine and Lysander. Oh, but how her heart ached at the thought of losing Asterion, someone who she had considered one of her only friends in this fucking world, but she shut that pain away, boarding it up behind closed doors and multiple locks to be pondered privately over a few drinks at a later time. She had never handled loss well, and lately things were complicated.

Regardless, the changes had thrown all of her plans out of the window. Her plans to venture to Delumine with Charlie and visit Ulric had been tossed into the gutter when Marisol had announced that she had arisen to Sovereign in the wake of everything that had happened, leaving Terrastella, once again, without a council. The meeting had been another shit show, as they almost all were, and Israfel was just tired of it. While the Sun Daughter had no loyalty to Marisol, she did have loyalty to the Dusk Court, and so she put her plans of seeing Ulric aside and buckled down to focus on keeping the homefires burning.

That said, when she saw Marisol walking in her direction, the morning bells echoing through the crisp air, another deep sigh escaped her. ’Here we go…’ Halting in her tracks and tucking her wings close to her sides, Israfel watched as the former Commander drew closer, her piercing grey eyes rooted upon the Warden’s gold and ivory figure. Arching a brow once she was close enough, the Warden called out a gruff form of greeting.

“Commander. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

Having been patrolling from above as Israfel tended to the streets, Solaris glided down to roost upon her chosen child’s croup, knowingly watching the exchange with piercing lavender eyes.

"Speaking."
credits


@Marisol




Please Tag Israfel in all Replies!




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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)
#3



with sword
and salt







Israfel appears at the end of the street, warm as a lamp. The white-and-yellow of her feathers shines in the new light; she emits an aura of gold, a warm glow that bounces and flickers calmly off the cobblestone. Some part of Mari lights up in fear and another in relief. Despite their differences, Israfel is only semblance of normalcy in Mari’s life (or the Court’s, for that matter), and normal is exactly what they need right now.

Marisol’s steps slow. She carefully forces her shoulders to relax, slumping down until the muscles at least partially unwind. And as she draws closer to the Warden, she wonders—is this a mistake? Becoming Sovereign, or even part of the Council? Israfel has a child, perfect little Charlie, and a husband or something close to it in Dawn, and yet here she is walking the streets in the cold, alone but for the companion on her shoulder. Is that the life she wants? The life she deserves?  

She can’t imagine having a kid. Or a partner that she wouldn’t have to hide away. But if she did, it seems impossible that they would not overtake her duties, or at least make them more painful. What strength she must have, Marisol thinks, to live willingly a life split in such unclean halves.

“Warden,” greets Marisol. She blinks in a calm hello. (Warden must be the right name here—right?—more respectful than her name, more apt than simply soldier. And yet she is still not sure. She is not sure of anything at all, really, and though Israfel is perhaps the least of her worries she cannot help feeling a need to please the Warden.) Please, she thinks to herself, let’s make this easy. If not for me then for our country.

Her tail swishes softly against her hindquarters, and for a moment she is silent, cool eyes fixed upon Solaris’ fine feathers and bright eyes. Many a a time she has wished for a bond like that—something real, something unconditional. Her heart squeezes just a little. “Pleasure, I’m not so sure. Hard to find that recently.” A faint, sad movement crosses her lips and sinks into the planes of her face, but she steels herself again with a short breath. “I wanted to—check in. And ask if you would give your counsel on a few things, as I… trust your judgement. At your leisure. Obviously.”

credits





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

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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)
#4

A set of eyes had pinned him
Became his version of a kingdom
She's everything the devil can't be
When she's singing to me "Glory"

There was no point in pretending that she knew what Marisol was thinking. Oh, Israfel could recognize and sympathize with certain looks that crossed through the Commander’s pale grey eyes, could slot together the pieces of a very large, complex puzzle until they made sense, but to truly know what was spinning through that surely overwhelmed mind? Nah. That wasn’t Israfel’s forte. It never had been, but as the younger woman came to stand at full attention, every inch of her the pristine representation of the Halcyon Unit’s perfect little soldier, the Sun Daughter somehow knew to watch her tongue.

One wrong word, one wrong grin, one wrong well-meaning insult, and Marisol could topple over the proverbial edge. Israfel had done a lot in her lifetime, in both lifetimes, but she never desired to be a murderer, even by accident.

Rolling her shoulders, the pale demi-goddess lifted her chin and tipped an ear forward to listen. It was so easy to see the troubled pinched emotion upon Marisol’s face, staining the dark umber of her skin and crinkling the fawn hairs upon her muzzle with every shift of distress and uncertainty. More than it was easy to see, however, was it easy to hear.

Of all of the souls in Novus to come to for counsel. ’I trust your judgment.’ Rose-kissed lips parted in surprise for only a brief moment before pressing together in a small, contemplative frown, her brows furrowing. The honesty, humility, and vulnerability displayed before her calmed the volatile fire that so oftentimes burned within her breast, and the Warden nodded.

“I have all the time in the world, Commander.” Israfel paused, then quirked a sardonic smirk. “First, let me suggest that ’pleasure’ is a good means of forgetting your worries. You should try it sometime.” Aloof as she was, only a fool could miss the very obvious something that brewed between the now-Sovereign and Dusk’s Champion of Battle. If it helped Marisol and Theodosia calm the fuck down for awhile before they keeled over from stress, then so be it… And maybe, just maybe, Israfel wanted to help out a friend.

You owe me, Theo.

Before that tidbit of advice could be dwelled on for too long, the Warden turned to begin a casual stroll, hoping that Marisol would fall into step without question. Sometimes it was better to walk and talk. It helped to keep the mind steady, letting the body focus on the motions as the mind ran rampant.

Effortlessly she went on, letting the cool wind wash over them both, knowing it would only be a matter of time until the air grew sticky and humid. “I’ll be honest, Commander; I’m humbled that you came to me for counsel. We’ve never been particularly close, so I can’t help but feel curious as to why.” Israfel tilted her head with that same brow raised, her pretty face warped in genuine curiosity. “... But that isn’t important right now. What is important is what you need from me. What kind of counsel?”

"Speaking."
credits


@Marisol




Please Tag Israfel in all Replies!




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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)
#5



with sword
and salt








Marisol finds herself relieved as their conversation continues, much less tensely than she expected. No grating words or too-sharp gazes. Israfel is being surprisingly kind; if their positions were switched, Mari can’t imagine she would be so understanding, especially to a woman she hardly knows. As they talk she is careful not to let her surprise show, her expression, as always, neutral, but a slight smile is still pulling at the corners of her eyes.

And perhaps the smile deepens when she sees surprise part Israfel’s rosy lips, but, truly, it’s hard to tell. Marisol’s ear flicks at the quip about pleasure—she can’t help but wonder what, exactly, Israfel is suggesting, pretty Israfel with her own boyfriend and child—her nostrils flare is suppressed amusement, but she doesn’t acknowledge it, at least not explicitly. A coarse laugh escapes her. Instead her tail swishes against her hind legs and, when the Warden starts walking, she follows at an easy pace.

Israfel asks her, without really asking, why Mari would come to her. She doesn’t have the heart to be offended by it. Fair enough—she herself doesn’t quite know why, except that it’s the only thing she could think to do in a time like this. It feels a little stupid to say at loud. Her lips twist; for a moment she glances sideways at Isra, gauging the moment, wondering, wondering, wondering. Finally she forces the words out, sharp in her throat. “If Asterion trusted you, I have no reason to doubt his judgement. Or yours. And,” she admits, with some measure of reluctance, “I have little time to waste seeking out an untested advisor.”

Untested. Ard, End, Theodosia—she loves them, she trusts them, but they don’t have the same experience that Israfel has, the same political weight she and Mari bear on their shoulders alike. (And she bears traces of Asterion. The blessing of his judgement. The heart-soft of his particularly divine brand of friendship. Marisol sees him everywhere she looks—in the sea, on the cliffs, the glitter that binds the cobblestone together in the streets. In the beating of white bird-wings, the high song of an opaline flute. And it hurts. Gods it hurts.)

“I wonder,” she says, more carefully than she bothers to say most things, “What ideas you have for picking a regime. Or who, if you’re feeling generous. And—“ Marisol hides her grin, the briefest flash of white teeth. “I wonder what interest you have in helping me take care of our new stranger, from the meeting.”

The glitter in her eyes speaks of something more than duty. A personal interest, or even mischief. They have enough problems with a new nut job running around who doesn't have the common sense to address the Commander properly. She can't imagine Israfel won't find some joy in solving that.
credits





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

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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)
#6

A set of eyes had pinned him
Became his version of a kingdom
She's everything the devil can't be
When she's singing to me "Glory"

An ear flicks in Marisol’s direction as they fell into step, side by side. Israfel was mindful of her wings and kept them tucked tight against her sides, folded neatly in downy feathers of ivory and gilded design. Rose-kissed lips fell downwards in a thoughtful, muddled frown, clearly pondering the information that the newly named Sovereign had divulged.

Asterion. Florentine. Lysander. The Sun Daughter offered them only a pining thought before shoving them back into the recesses of her mind, in that deep, dark place where her father, mother, and all of her friends and loved ones of Helovia existed. It was a place of purgatory, a Pandora’s Box, and Israfel knew better than to open that box here.

‘Untested’. It took a good deal of control to not snort-laugh right then and there. You have no idea, Commander.

“You flatter me,” the Warden jested, grinning a sardonic flash of white teeth and rolling a shoulder back mid-step, lean and graceful and confident in every long-legged stride, “A girl might get the wrong idea.”

Still, she should at least act like this was a serious matter. It was a very serious debate they were having, after all, and flirting with your newly crowned Queen wasn’t exactly the right direction to take. Even moreso considering that she had basically told Marisol to go sleep with Theodosia only a few minutes before. Oops? Israfel could feel Solaris rolling her eyes. Sobering up, the Warden once more began to think.

There were many potential candidates that could possibly serve Terrastella well in her ranks, but could they be trusted? Marisol’s choice of word, ‘untested’, fit very well here. Who else was left? Who else had seen the dawn of the Dusk Court, held under the banner of the Winter Queen Rannveig? No one. No one but her. Israfel remembered the day she had sworn fealty to Rannveig, awed by her confidence and splendor and eloquence, smitten by the fierceness she had displayed in both politics and the battlefield. How bitterly ironic it had been then, that only days later the Winter Wolf had turned tail and fled, thrusting her kingdom onto the inexperienced shoulders of Florentine…

That single action had paved the way to this moment. Rannveig. Florentine. Asterion… Marisol. What a weigh the Commander must be carrying, daunting and heavy. Vermilion eyes narrowed slightly as she glanced to to the bay woman, brows furrowed quizzically. Daunting indeed.

Inhaling deeply, Israfel tasted the air for a few moments before giving her insight, allowing herself to stop just on the outskirts of the city. Turning to face Marisol, she went on. “If you could convince him, Rhone would make a fantastic Emissary. He’s personable enough and experienced in life, but his lack of self-confidence and sheer emotional baggage is worrisome. You do not want someone who isn’t confident in themselves to speak for your kingdom. An Emissary should be personable, yes, but a master of conversation with a silvered tongue. One has to work to pry that tongue out of Rhone… If he can move past that, I think he’d be made for it.”

“Theo’s proven herself a talented and trusted Champion of Battle. She’s fierce, cunning, and loyal. I’m hesitant to say she’d fit well for a Regent, as unpredictable as her behavior can be… But perhaps a Warden, if anything should ever happen to me.” There was nothing wrong with a contingency plan, right?

Immortal though she may be, destined to never age, Israfel knew she wasn’t immune to death. Abruptly she grinned, a quick, dark look as she remembered the day she had died, burned alive by her very own fires. Oh, no. She and Death were very good friends, but they could not trust each other. Confident as she was, she knew that one day Death would return for her hand, but like hell He would take her without a fight.

“As for Regent…” She trailed off, the pinched, troubled look remaining. A Regent defended their home fiercely, the final line should a Sovereign fall. Just as well, they were entrusted in supporting and backing their Sovereign, and helping to mandate the rules that said King or Queen put into place. In a way, it was the same as Warden, save for the higher title… They needed to be familiar with their home, experienced, and tested. Someone trusted, someone who had walked these lands for years and knew each dip, curve, and bend as well as they knew themselves.

Her heart sang for the chance. I want that. Oh, but she did. I want it. Yet she hated politics. Why use pretty words when she could get what she wanted with horn, tooth, and hoof? Didn’t Terrastella have enough strength in their folds? Yet Marisol, fierce, determined, headstrong Marisol would need someone just as capable to be her Enforcer, her ‘right-hand’.

There was no one else worthy enough, experienced enough, or capable enough. Not right now.

“As for Regent… I think you would look damn fine if I was standing next to you. You know I’m not one to say pretty words and phrases. I’d rather let my actions speak for me, and I know that’s something you can appreciate.” Ever so slowly did the Sun Daughter shift, a golden, cloven hoof drawing her closer into Marisol’s space, close enough to smell the woman’s sweat, the musk that clung to the Commander’s form. The unnatural heat that ran through Israfel’s body, a boon from the magic that protected her from the cold, warmed the air around them and she grinned, burning vermilion meeting pale, slate grey. The following words that left her lips were in a low, gentle purr.

“... But I’ll think about it. As for our little ’friend’ from the meeting? All you need to do is say the word and I’ll take care of her for you, Commander.”

"Speaking."
credits


@Marisol




Please Tag Israfel in all Replies!




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