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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 14 — Threads: 5
Signos: 100
Day Court Sovereign
Male [he/his/him] // 4 [Year 500 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 15 // Active Magic: Solar Transformation // Bonded: N/A


Do you know what shapes a monster can take?

Yes, some have teeth and claws.

Basilisks, dragons, creatures as simple as a killer whale 



tossing a seal, again and again, to play.

Do you know wild dogs will eat their prey alive, its innards ripped out, still struggling? They do. It is monstrous. 

Orestes knows what shapes a monster takes. He has wielded fangs and claws and tremendous, terrifying power. He has been a kraken from the deep, a dragon that roars from the parapets of black cliff-rocks, a sperm whale that reaches depths so deep and so dark there are no words for them. But a monster, to Orestes, is a man with a smile like a blade and words like so much honey. The people who killed them best were always veiled with good intent, peace treaties and promises. They wore their most decorated uniforms to parade and systematic genocide. It was Vercingtorix who offered the olive branch and threw a thin gold net upon Orestes so that he could not escape. Vercingtorix said, first, “We want to end this war between us.” 

Orestes has thought of that quite often, and he thinks of it now, as he wanders the streets of a foreign city and knows that it is now his. His responsibility. The people are his to protect, to guide, to serve. He wonders at the things Raum had said before committing atrocities as he scours the virtually deserted streets. He wonders what all bad men say before doing bad deeds and wonders why there are not more teeth to meet them, why he hadn’t been quite quick enough.

He wonders if he could have saved them. 

But those thoughts are a quick way toward madness and so he stops at the only vendor open in the otherwise empty market to distract them. His hooves echo, step by step, against the sandstone. He is met by a shrewd, dark woman with kohl-lined eyes. She has a tired face and seems surprised, but not displeased, to see him.

“Are those prickly pears?” he asks conversationally, and as she affirms, he asks to buy several. The fruit has their spines meticulously removed, and the flesh of the fruit is a brilliant, nearly override red. “I would also love several loaves of bread, please. And a jar of the prickly pear jam.” The vendor bags them for him lethargically. Orestes cannot blame her. The sun is hot even in midmorning. 

“What is your name, madam?” 


Orestes smiles again. “Thank you, Friza. I was wondering—how long have you been here?” 

She says, “Several years. I’ve worked here since I was a girl.” 

Orestes asks that she share her experiences, and she goes on to share her father’s story of a market before Zolin that had been bustling with life. It centred, she informed him—although Orestes already knew, from reading more history books than he could stomach easily—on the proficient blacksmiths and Solterran steel, that resident’s of Novus travelled from far reaches to obtain. Then, there was the crash of the market and the rise of a proficient black market it in’s place, one that made business difficult. Not to mention the drought. As she continued to speak, Orestes’ brows furrowed further and further. “Thank you for your time, Friza.” Another smile, this time a little sadder: “I will be back tomorrow.” It is a promise.

He leaves the vendor and the empty market, increasingly distraught to discover the abandoned vendors in disrepair and a fountain that no longer contains water. What little exists is stagnant. There is movement in his peripheral, and Orestes discovers a young boy standing in an alleyway. The boy starts to have Orestes’ eyes upon him, and begins to turn away. “Wait a moment, please.” 

The colt does as told, but there is distinct distrust in his eyes. Orestes asks, “Do you work in the market?” As he asks, he thinks that the colt is not truly a colt, but a very young stallion—nearly a yearling, but not quite. “No. I—I. I’m just here.” 

Orestes’ cocks his head. “Are you hungry?” 

The yearling refuses to look directly at Orestes now. His mouth begins to form the shape of a denial, but then he changes his mind. “Yes.” 

Orestes sets down the sack of bread and jam. “Here, allow me.” He prepares a loaf with the jam and hands it to the young stallion, who takes it first with appreciation and then with a bit of hurriedness, as though believing Orestes will retake his offering. “You can take more. Go ahead and share it, if you can.” 

Then Orestes is walking again and his mind is 




over the image in his head of a the dark young stallion with showing ribs, the skeletal market, the empty fountain. It distresses him greatly. He wonders—where did the blacksmiths go? Where did the steel go? He stops for a moment beneath a banner hung between two pueblo-style buildings, silken, with images of the sun. 

Why, Solis? he wonders, gazing at the symbols. Orestes does not expect an answer, but the hollow reverberation of the thought within him brings to mind a stone dropped in water, sinking, sinking. 

Orestes knew many pains, but never the pain of going hungry. He pauses for a moment and discovers an abandoned wooden table beneath the shaded overhand that looked as though, once, it had been some form of bakery. It is empty now, but Orestes removes the bread and jam one more time. He prepares one for himself, but hesitates when he hears movement in the alleyway beside him. From the angle he rests, he cannot see within, but he calls out— “Would you like to join me?” 

Pimrsi @ deviant


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