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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 99 — Threads: 13
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Dusk Court Warden
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Storm Calling // Bonded: N/A
#1


let our eyes show the 
fire in our hearts tonight

When she exits the barracks that night, Vespera is beginning to streak purple and blue across the sky, the barest glimmer of stars beginning to appear behind the clouds, and in the moonlight she can see the Halcyon cadets assigned to the night patrol beginning to gather in the barrack’s courtyard before they head out. Thankfully, those cadets who Marisol trusts with the night patrol are also those disciplined enough not to question when she seeks out the cadet assigned to have been Mari’s partner that night -- a few raised eyebrows, sure -- they’re not dumb (or brave) enough to question something that seemed like an order Marisol would give.

She was a cadet, sure, but the fact that she was Champion was enough for the more doubtful cadets to defer to her, something she generally took great care not to abuse for fear of overstepping some boundary between her two roles. Tonight, though -- tonight, Marisol needed rest, and relaxation, and privacy to grieve in the comfort of her own bedroom, rather than the burden of remaining strong and aloof in front of the cadets.

(She recognizes the irony in the fact that she is ignoring her own advice, pressing on despite the fact she cannot remember the last time she had settled down for more than an hour or two of stolen sleep, despite the fact she has not stopped long enough to let loose the grief howling in her heart. There will be time to rest later, she tells herself, and she knows that she is lying.)

When she returns to the barracks, the dawn is painted across the sky in shades of rose and lilac, and the bruises beneath her eyes have deepened -- but the night’s patrol had been calm, and quiet, and she’s sure that with the recent unrest, Terrastella’s citizens had been comforted to see the Halcyon unit out prowling along the borders and through the streets to make sure they remained safe. Perhaps even more so that the Champion had been among them, that she had pulled some of her ground soldiers into the patrols ever since Night’s market had burned in Raum’s wake -- she liked to think, at least, that Terrastella would be comforted by the fact that they would be safe while they slept.

(She will not allow any other alternative. Terrastella has suffered so much already -- she can not just stand by when there are ways to prevent her court from harm.)

When she is sure that no one is watching, she muffles a yawn into her wing, but even so her steps turn towards the training grounds rather than her own room, passing through the empty halls like a ghost.

She would rest later. Always later.

credits


@Marisol set the morning after i know this whole damn city thinks it needs you





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

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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 221 — Threads: 26
Signos: 330
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

i wish i could say everything i've done and still be loved.
It’s a joke, that anyone thinks she could sleep tonight.

Her whole body is in pain. It’s worse than being beaten in a fight, it’s worse than the weight of ill-fitting armor. The pulsating sore that is her heart feels like a ball of concrete in her chest; if she could, today would be the best of all days to be rid of it.

But somehow Mari gets the sense it would be impossible now more than ever.

Her body hurts and her heart hurts and her brain hurts and the only way to get rid of it is to focus on something else. She knows this. You don’t fix a wound by picking at the scab. So instead of wallowing, as tempting as it is—instead of relegating herself to the bedroom that still hosts letters from Asterion and flowers from Florentine and the smell of a reign that has passed as suddenly as the scythe of death—she forces herself out of the barracks and into the cool night.

Overhead are the insistent pinpricks of stars, and a little sliver of moon shining in the darkness, stubborn to the end. Mari shivers against the new fall breeze as it bites through her short hair. Seasons are changing, she realizes, and everything with it—her heart, her friends, her regime—

Suddenly her chest squeezes in a spasm of pain so intense she stops moving for a second as it rises and then ebbs away, and by the time it disappears completely she’s out of breath, teeth grit and eyes teary.

For a moment the world is quiet, and there could be absolutely nothing worse.

With a grimace she moves towards the arena, and is disappointed (though not surprised) to see Theodosia’s silhouette outlined by the silver light that sweeps down from above like a kiss. A little movement rushes through her—a shudder, or maybe just a cramp—but either way it slows her step, and by the time she emerges into the light her face is calm and still as ever.

Underneath it something cold and vicious roils, and she is fighting hard not to let out her new set of teeth in frustration.

“Go to bed,” Marisol says; how can a voice be so compassionate and so harsh at once? 

@Theodosia

"Speaking."


queen marisol
credits





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

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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 99 — Threads: 13
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Warden
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Storm Calling // Bonded: N/A
#3


let our eyes show the 
fire in our hearts tonight
In the early Dusk, there is little but the sound of her own heartbeat drumming in her ears, the sound of her hooves against the dirt and striking against the straw-stuffed dummies that adorn the training grounds -- at least until the Commander appears from the darkness. She lifts her head to look towards Marisol, and for a moment there is something feral in her eyes, a spark that spoke of the storm that raged beneath her skin; and then it softened, like the clouds parting to a beam of sunlight, a raging storm turned to the pattering drops in the span of a few moments. “I thought I had asked the same of you,” She understands, however -- how could they sleep, when there is so much changing around them, when Asterion’s ghost hangs heavy over the entire court, when the thought of her empty, cold bed sends a pang through her chest?

There is no bite to her words -- she feels as though her teeth have been dulled down by exhaustion and the tides of grief that she keeps pushing away as if to postpone them. If she kept moving, kept fighting, kept avoiding sleep, then she could pretend that the grief wasn’t chasing her, nipping at her heels like an eager hound, ready to overtake her. “I didn’t think I would be able to sleep… not with everything that’s happened. Not when sleeping is already hard.” It had always been difficult for her, even as a child, to get her brain to settle down enough to allow her to rest -- the issue has only gotten worse since she had come here to Terrastella, since her responsibilities had grown in a way she had never quite expected even knowing what she did of the rank she had been given.

New responsibilities had brought about new things to worry about, and her time asleep had grown even shorter.

The moonlight gleams down on Marisol, offers glimpses of her face through the shadows -- the sharp curve of her cheek, the dark shadow of her eyes, the close-cropped bristle of her dark mane tipped in silver light -- and she exhales a soft sigh, closing her eyes for a moment to collect her scattered thoughts.

(She could, perhaps, stare at Marisol all night, at the way she seems like a statue in the darkness, like a masterpiece carved by the most loving of hands -- and the way the sight of her never failed to make her heart skip a minor beat.)

When her eyes open, there is something thoughtful within them, something soft and vulnerable that she would only trust Marisol with. “I sleep better when I’m with you,” She admits, and oh, isn’t that the truth -- she slept like a babe when Marisol was pressed against her, when she could hear the commander’s soft breathing and match hers to it instead of focusing on all of the racing thoughts in her mind.

She swallows her pride and extends her wing like an invitation, lets the exhaustion creep into her voice because she hopes that Marisol won’t judge her for it, won’t judge her for still being part-mortal, for the idea that she couldn’t juggle everything without resting sometimes.

“Will you come to bed with me?”
credits


@Marisol





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

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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 221 — Threads: 26
Signos: 330
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

i wish i could say everything i've done and still be loved.
I thought I had asked the same of you.

Marisol bristles. Something inside her goes dark like a snuffed candle. Her chest lights up with a thorny, righteous kind of burning, her muscles tense into stone,  and perhaps if she were less awake, or less her—stoicshe would snap. But she doesn’t. I am not led, she wants to say, I lead. I am the Commander, goddamn it. I cannot be told what to do.

But she doesn’t say any of that. She only grits her sharp teeth and tries not to glower.

The night is cool and dark, burnished by wind and prickling stars, and Marisol cannot simply wait and listen. It has never been her strong suit, this kind of quiet diplomacy; even a minute of standstill is eery and unnerving, and it makes her itch to the teeth and the bones. 

With a shake of her head she starts to pace the training grounds. Her ears tip back toward Theodosia’s voice as it rings through the air, but her relentless stride continues, turning circles over the hard-packed dirt, watching her hooves drive crescents into the ground; every so often she has to suppress a shiver when a gust comes in and gnaws at her skin, when her mind unwittingly turns to Asterion, or when her heartbeat picks up speed and practically becomes airborne. There is no movement that will make her feel better, but any movement is better than none. There are no words, but she cannot sit in silence, either.

Will you come to bed with me? 

Marisol cannot—does not—stop her frantic pacing. Her heartbeat bangs against her teeth like a misguided electric pulse. The wind keeps howling, battering her legs and tossing the short bristles of her mane, and she knows she should say something but can’t; the words are stuck in her throat worse than the thorns on a rosebush, part grating and part painful. She walks a diagonal line across the dirt, right past Theodosia, then back. It feels repetitive. Mechanical. A cross-stitch she’s worked many times before.

What would Asterion think? And what will her people say, when they find out? They have too much to work on already, too much to worry about without a queen whose trysts will surely be her downfall. The castle is not private, and neither of the barracks; whoever goes to the other’s room is sure to be found out, and what will the guards and cadets think then?

“Perhaps.” Marisol draws to a stop and lobs one of the lightweight practice spears at a dummy in the distance, watching as it quivers in the hard-packed straw. When she turns her head it is slow and unsteady, and her eyes meet Theodosia’s shyly, carefully, unsure. She noses the edge of the cadet’s outstretched wing but does not lean into it, though her expression says she might like to. “Do you ever think about becoming Vicarius?”

With an invisible hand she tugs the spear from the dummy.

@Theodosia

"Speaking."


queen marisol
credits





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

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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 99 — Threads: 13
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Warden
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Storm Calling // Bonded: N/A
#5


let our eyes show the 
fire in our hearts tonight
She watches the way Marisol paces -- mechanical, calculated, deliberate -- with pale eyes, still as a statue except for the way her muscles quiver and her hair tosses each time the wind rakes at her with ice-tipped claws. The rose quartz gems tucked into her hair chime against each other, their chains threatening to tangle together, and yet she does not step forward, does not move to stop the frantic movement. How could she, when she understands that need to keep moving, the desire to avoid standing still in a world that seemed to move too fast around her?

“Sometimes.” Often, if she were truthful, from the moment she had joined the Halcyon and learned that Marisol’s lack of Vicarius had been a break from tradition. At first it had been the desperate desire to prove herself in this strange new land, to rise above her motley origins and create something new of herself. She had spent countless nights after training with a candle burning, studying every book and scroll she could get her hands on that concerned the Halcyon, learning everything that she could to give herself an edge over the other cadets. As the time passed, however, it had become something more -- the desire to serve the Halcyon that had given her a home, the wish to be trusted as Marisol’s right hand, to help take some of the weight off the Commander’s shoulders.

She had also begun to view it as a foolish dream, something that would never come to pass, the further she had researched into the previous leadership of the Halcyon. “Both commander and vicarius have traditionally been of Terrastellan birth, though -- and even those who were not, were at least born in these lands. I always figured you would choose someone who was born here, as you were, should you have want of a Vicarius -- not the bastard child of a foreign god.” Terrastella was her home now, embedded so deeply in her heart she didn’t think she’d ever be able to leave -- but it wasn’t part of her very bones like it was for some of the cadets. Even the few demigods and immortals that showed up among the roster had been Terrastellan born, or at least born among the Solar courts.

Instead of pursuing the rabbithole that her thoughts were leading her down, she shifts so that she can shake away the static clinging to her wing feathers before she drapes it across Marisol’s back. She knows there are always eyes watching, always voices willing to gossip, and she’s angled herself just far enough away from the Commander’s side that the touch could easily be seen as support and dismissed rather than the embrace it was.

“Why do you ask?”

credits


@Marisol





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

Reply




Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 221 — Threads: 26
Signos: 330
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

i wish i could say everything i've done and still be loved.


Marisol is not particularly worried about what Theodosia will answer. After so long training, it would be bizarre if she hadn’t—Mari herself began to think about climbing the ranks from the moment she’d enrolled in the Unit, under the singular impression she would be the one to save it, and they are too much alike for Theo not to have had a similar reservation. 

So she listens intently, of course, but mostly without anxiety—eyes steady, ears pricked forward, resting her weight away from one hoof. The world around them is oh-so-quiet. The dark stillness of the night is interrupted only by the sound of breathing, their gentle voices, the sound of crystals clinking against one another as the breeze moves Theodosia’s hair. 

Sometimes, comes her answer, and Marisol smiles in a way that reaches her eyes but not her lips. Her eyes gleam dark. The shine of them is somewhere between amused and approving, and she purses her lips in thought as Theodosia begins to talk.

She makes good points at first. Marisol spent her formative years poring over the Halcyon records, taking notes on every Commander-Vicarius pair, memorizing every piece of recorded history, and Theo is right that the vast majority of them—perhaps even all of them, if her memory serves her—have been of Terrastellan origin. But she has forgotten, it seems, that Mari’s tenure is less than traditional. Her avowment came far younger than most; she is the only one to be sworn in without a pre-chosen second in command. What is one more bending of the rules?

But the last thing she says catches Marisol off-guard.

That is a feat of its own, which Theodosia must know. Mari blinks, a processing fee, and, when she realizes the admission is serious, arches a brow in clear, sharp surprise. The bastard child of a foreign god? Before she can ask questions (of which she has many), she is briefly distracted by the warm weight of the wing Theo drapes across her back.

And for that brief moment all the world is right again. Mari leans hesitantly into the embrace, resting the weight of her head against Theo’s neck, and lets out a long, strained exhale. Muscle by muscle, some of the tension falls away. Now the world is dark, and Mari’s longs are filled with the familiar smell of lavender, body-warmth, the sweet dust of the arena dirt under their feet.

“The bastard child of a foreign god,” she repeats. The voice doesn’t sound like hers—it’s not composed enough, far too bemused. “That’s... surprising.” Understatement of the year.

@Theodosia

"Speaking."


queen marisol
credits





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

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Played by Offline bruiser [PM] Posts: 99 — Threads: 13
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Warden
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 499 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Storm Calling // Bonded: N/A
#7


let our eyes show the 
fire in our hearts tonight
It isn’t often that she manages to catch the commander off-guard, but then, she supposes Marisol probably wasn’t expecting such an answer in return. For a few moments, instead of addressing the questions in Marisol’s raised brow, she instead busies herself with the small minutiae of the small embrace they have found themselves in -- of adjusting her wing so that it rests comfortably over Marisol’s withers, of the warm weight of Marisol’s cheek against her neck, of the way Marisol smells like sea salt and home to her.

The peace can only last so long, however, and before long the commander’s voice breaks the silence between them with the implication of a question that she has avoided answering for a very long time now. “It often is. It’s going to be a bit of a story, so I hope you’re comfortable.” Her wing wraps a little tighter around Marisol, an almost unconscious movement -- would she get to keep this, when her story is over? Would this be the last time she would stand ready to bare her heart and soul to this woman, the straw that breaks the camel’s back, the thing that makes Marisol reconsider their relationship for what it might do to her and her reputation?

There is nothing to do but dive in, now, and she does so with a sigh that sends steam curling from her muzzle.

“Where I was born, there were many Gods -- a handful of major gods that aligned with the seasons rather than Time itself, and often avoided mortal affairs, much as those here do. There were, however, countless minor gods, who walked among the mortals as though they themselves were such.” Her sire had been one of them, endlessly delighted by meddling in the affairs of the mortals to stave off the boredom of an immortal life. Even just the thought of him threatened to send sparks shooting across her feathers, and she found herself having to stretch her free wing out until it touched the dirt of the arena so that it grounded her and kept the sparks away from the woman in her embrace.

With anyone else, she might have simply left it at that, let her audience draw their own conclusions -- the strange story of her parentage and birth is one she has kept buried deep since she had come to this new land, determined to leave her past behind her. Only Florentine had known, and now she is gone, along with Asterion -- for a moment, the grief swells once again, and she has to swallow hard to keep her voice steady when she continues, dipping her nose down into the short-cropped curls of Marisol’s mane until it passed.

She wants Marisol to know, if only to have all the pieces of the puzzle laid out before her. She wants Marisol to know, because a demigod is not the same as a mortal, is not the same as a true god; caught between two worlds and never entirely of either of them. A foreign-born Vicarius was simply not done, at least according to the recorded history she had found. Marisol’s tenure was unusual, certainly, but to ask her to abandon tradition so thoroughly -- she needed to know who she was asking, at the very least, and decide if she could trust a demigod born not of Vespera, not of Terrastella, but who had pledged her heart and her life to them despite that.

She wanted Marisol to know, because some part of her will always be touched by her father’s curse, by the awful way she had been brought into being.

“My…. sire. He was a minor god of storms, often associated with opium and more… hedonistic traditions. My mother met my sire as a young man, a refugee to those lands -- my sire promised him safety, and brought my dam to work for him. Instead, my sire gained his trust, and used it to convince him to try opium so that he could take advantage of my dam.” Already, she knows, this story must sound like some bizarre fantasy, and she cannot help but glance towards Marisol’s face, trying to gauge her reaction before she continues into the far stranger part of the story.

”Somehow, the magic of those lands made it so that I was conceived from this, but it was a wild and strange magic, and while it allowed for my dam to carry me, it did not give him a way to safely give birth. He and I both very nearly died in the process, and were it not for a clever midwife, we would not have survived.” There was so much more she could tell her -- about how her sire had turned up his nose at his only demigod child, about growing up knowing that she was the product of lust and trickery, about learning how everything about her was unnatural when she was still stumbling around with oversized wings and knobby knees -- but she is bare already, scraped down to the bone and offering up the worst of her secrets on a silver platter.

It could be easy to love a cadet, a champion, a warrior, a mortal girl with lightning in her wings.

Could Marisol still love the demigod daughter, the product of catastrophe and rotten magic, with her sire’s storms embedded into her ribs like prickly thorns, a constant reminder of where she had come from?

She wonders if Vespera had known, when She had given her back this magic, what She had done.

Sometimes, she wonders if She cared.

She doesn’t know, and she doesn’t know if Marisol will be able to process the information she has given her, the secrets she has never shared in such depth, and she doesn’t know how Marisol will respond, and she cannot help but be terrified for what her future might hold in the next few moments.

credits


@Marisol





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

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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 221 — Threads: 26
Signos: 330
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

i wish i could say everything i've done and still be loved.

There is so much to be done, and even more to worry about; it all lingers in the back of her mind like a bad dream, with the permanence and painfulness of a bone-deep bruise. Everywhere she looks, there is another criminal to be caught, another problem to be solved. Even here—in the dark, in the silence, away from the world—she finds it hard to turn her thoughts away from all the papers she’s left unsigned in her office in order to be standing here now.

But this… this is nice. With each second passing, a new knot unfurls from Marisol’s muscles, and with every breath she relaxes more, degree by degree. Tensions slowly leaks away. Eventually her weight is leaned comfortably against Theodosia’s, and she doesn’t protest or even flinch when a pale purple wing comes down to rest against her ribs. Instead she presses her nose to the soldier’s shoulder and breathes gently in. There is the smell she has come to recognize: dust and roses, leather and sweat. A home-smell.

Theodosia speaks, and Marisol listens.

It is a strange inversion of what she has come to expect of her life. At first it feels awkward, to stand in silence and bite back the urgent responses, to listen and pretend she isn’t shocked, or perturbed, or whatever that feeling is. She is so used to being the instigator, the actor, that to stand here and act as the audience feels so strange it’s nearly breath-stealing. I do not belong here, she thinks to herself, bitter. Talking about feelings. Dredging up the past.

But the minutes pass, and pass, and pass. And Marisol is not combusting. Every successful heartbeat feels like a miracle. She listens to her breath—a soft, animal-simple thing—and to the sound of Theodosia’s voice, rumbling like the threat of a storm, as it says things she has to think hard about to even begin to understand: 

He was a minor god of storms. Used it to convince him to try opium so he could take advantage. It was a wild and strange magic. He and I both very nearly died in the process.

He and I both very nearly died in the process. That part sticks. That part ricochets, loud as an echo, bouncing around inside her skull. For a brief moment it rings louder than a bell; for a brief moment she feels crippled by the sheer noise of it, high and thin and unending. 

And then it stops. 

Mari’s brows knit as she listens. Her ears are pricked forward, and she rolls her lip between her teeth as she listens, lost in thought. Of all the things Theodosia has said, the idea of her dying is the most unbelievable. How can someone like this—so strong and so stoic, so unrelated to death at all—die? How is a warrior expected to go out, besides kicking and screaming, having sprung from a head fully-formed? What kind of world would it be where she did not make it even to her first battlefield?

Finally she measures an inhale, an exhale. With sleepy gray eyes, the Commander watches as her breath stirs the whorls of fine, pale hair on Theodosia’s neck, and murmurs: “Well.” Then a short laugh. It makes a sound that is brittle in the cold, but not tense or afraid. “I wasn’t… expecting… that. But you understand it changes nothing.” Now her voice is tinged with genuine confusion; she glances up at the cadet with a look that speaks of incredulity, if not of Theodosia’s story then of the idea that it is supposed to be reflective of her. Mari knows as well as anyone how little those circumstances matter.

@Theodosia

"Speaking."


queen marisol
credits





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

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