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Played by Offline Kaiju [PM] Posts: 81 — Threads: 23
Signos: 70
Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her/hers] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1




ARAXES
TENDER HEART


Denocte is no longer her home, it feels just as foreign to her as many of the other places that she's passed by walking through the lands, her mint hooves returning to the lands she had run from those seasons ago.

Terrastella feels just as warm as it had that long time ago though, a settling sensation in her throat and chest, a warmth that curls in her chest and settles somewhere behind her ribs. It's a dusty feeling, something old, something akin to... hope, perhaps? She isn't sure what that feels like anymore, really, but she likes it, whatever this sensation is.

Araxes takes in a deep breath, and feels the shiver run down her slight frame, the delicate fourteen hands feeling so much smaller than she had been. Mint eyes flicker, and she lifts her head, long ears twitching, head swinging slightly to and fro, watching the denizens of the court meander here and there. It's a quiet night, one that makes her feel at ease, rather than the disaster she's felt like since she's stepped into the lands once more.

It still hurts, deep down, being back in Novus, and knowing she will no longer see any of her family. She can't face any of her children, or Tor. She knows she can't face him, and the thought brings those long ears down a moment, a stutter to her heart and a clench to her chest before she breathes through it and slowly walks forward.

The leather bag, with its fur and bulging contents, gently taps against her side, full of herbs and healing ingredients, things she holds close. The bag had been a gift, long ago, something she had kept from the old Crow King, but now it's merely a sentiment to her, something she keeps to hold all her healing items.

Araxes takes in a careful breath, and feels it sink into her bones, the weight of the world and the fact she's back, she's home in some sense, and her body shivers before her body pauses, and instead she shuffles toward the court itself, her hooves clicking on stone. A merchant now, instead of a healer, is what she's become. She sells her wares and her healing ability, and while it feels rather vile to do it, it has kept her alive this long, hasn't it? Kept her alive long enough to arrive in Novus once more, to feel her sorrows lap at her flanks and her insides, and she feels her legs buckle a moment before she straightens herself, clearing her throat and walking straighter instead, breathing harder as she does. No. She will not kneel here in her sorrows. The weight of the world can wait.

She's here to find Marisol, and perhaps some old faces... she hopes.


open to anyone!








please tag @Araxes in posts!


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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 242 — Threads: 26
Signos: 535
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#2



he who wants loses everything.


It’s near winter, and so cold now; colder than Marisol remembers it being last year, but maybe that’s just the grief, indomitably powerful even in the physical realm.

She shivers. Her wings are folded tightly over her back, and still the chill leaches through, carried on the wind and sharp as biting. Overhead the sky is tinged with strange, warm orange and pink as the sun sinks down over the horizon, and Marisol has only just left the barracks for her nightly patrol. For the first time since the events of the island, she feels normal. Ish. This, at least, is familiar: stepping from the hot, crowded barracks into the cool-dark wind, wearing the requisite stripes of shining white and red, knocking the weight of her spear into the space between her wings.

What isn’t yet familiar (but soon will be, she hopes) is the presence of Anselm at her feet. Long-legged and scrawny, he follows her at a happy trot; he weaves like a clingy lover in between her legs as she walks, his bright-white coat shimmering like a ghost in the dim lights of the lanterns on the streets. His pale eyes are doleful, unbelievably affectionate. The weight of that doting gaze almost makes her nervous.

I don’t deserve you, she thinks, and he breaks his toothy mouth into a kind of smile and says, yes, you do.

Down the streets they wander, Marisol stoic, Anselm prancing in excitement as he dashes around her and she pretends not to notice. What a game! he says to her, laughing, and she does not have the heart to tell him this is not a game at all.

They turn a corner, and the sovereign notes with muted interest the figure coming toward her. She is suspicious, as always, but at least not more than usual: whoever is approaching her is quite small, both in height and in bulk, and is not accompanied by anyone or any weapon, only a full-to-the-brim bag slung over her shoulders. “Hail Vespera,” calls Marisol; her voice carries through the air with the resonance of a church bell. The sky is dark now, navy verging on black. Stars prickle overhead.

Anselm slinks behind her, just a bit. He is somewhat less visible following the movement of her dark legs. 

Marisol is too tired (or too soft) to berate him for his cowardice now.

"Speaking."
credits





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

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Played by Offline Kaiju [PM] Posts: 81 — Threads: 23
Signos: 70
Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her/hers] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3




ARAXES
TENDER HEART


The sun sinks low and she feels the coolness of the autumn night brush at the nape of her neck, tickling her withers and stirring the stray strands of hair lazily as her bright eyes turn toward the heavens, if just for a moment. The skies are darkening, bringing about the night and the chill that comes with it, the nip of an upcoming winter once more. Another cold season to pass in this body that she will eventually have to accept as her own.

Araxes licks her lips just a little, and her long ears twitch, her tongue retreating so she doesn't look a fool when she hears steps. Clattering hooves, and soft padding thumps. There is more than one coming, and she attempts to look more presentable as her head lifts up, focusing on the shadow that rounds the corner. It is a familiar face, one she hasn't seen in a while, and the voice even more so.

The sky begins to light up with stars, and the moon casts a glow over them along with the lanterns of the court itself, and she feels herself more at ease than she's felt since coming back into the lands. It's some breath of courage, at least. It helps. "Hail... Marisol," she greets, and it is as always, the soft lulling tone like a songbird.

It's the same tone that comes from a healer and medic, a once spotted mare with wings behind her head and a thick flowing braid down her neck. What stands before the new sovereign is not the same looking mare, but she sounds the same, and her body language, her gentle movements... it is the same. "I --" She draws in a breath. "--am Araxes. I have come to join your court... as.. well, I suppose a merchant is what you would call me now."

Her ears fall along either side of the mohawk, and the scarf ruffles in a small rush of a breeze as she takes in a breath. Suddenly, the warmth of that courage has disappeared. Facing old acquaintances in this new body is still something she finds a bit nerve-wracking. Will she believe her? Will she welcome her? There had been plenty of scenarios to play about in her head, but many negative ones were those that seemed to bulldoze themselves to the front first.

Not exactly the most encouraging.






@Marisol || eee here we go ;o;









please tag @Araxes in posts!


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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 242 — Threads: 26
Signos: 535
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#4



he who wants loses everything.


When the stranger says her name, Marisol shivers unwittingly: something about it strikes a chord in her she wasn’t expecting. Her steps slow. Anselm notes her hesitance, and gently he presses his warm, silky cheek against her leg, as if to say go forward, go forward. The weight of his head feels something like a good luck charm, leaching warmth into her dark skin. Somewhat begrudgingly she does step closer and dips her head to the woman in greeting.

But that chord is stricken again as Marisol notes the stranger’s stance, the soft warmth of her eyes. It all looks and sounds like someone she’s met before—more than the usual sense of familiarity in running across another Novus native, something closer to creepiness, like Marisol has suddenly lost her memory but knows that the thing she needs is just, just out of reach.

With a rattling inhale her dark ears prick forward and she listens. The light from the stars and the moon is just faint enough that Terrastella’s streets look a little unreal, as if painted out of a children’s book or an old, old museum collection. I am Araxes, the woman says, and her ears fall back against her mane, and then, unbidden—

Marisol thinks of a Denoctian with a long, dark braid spotted like a Dalmation; she thinks of two small, fluttering wings against the twisted-color hair; she thinks of Solterra’s warden and the fear and suspicion that had broken out when it came to light that there would be a child from both the enemy courts.

“Araxes,” she repeats. The syllables and familiar and easily worn on her tongue. “Have—have we not met before? My apologies. I—“ Her dark brows furrow, half concern and half embarrassment. “I thought that you were someone else.”

Or perhaps she is someone else, and whatever parts of Araxes she sees in this woman are no more than mere coincidence, a strange overlapping of time and space reverting back to a situation that has already happened.

Either way, Marisol is holding her breath just a little.

"Speaking."
credits





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

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Played by Offline Kaiju [PM] Posts: 81 — Threads: 23
Signos: 70
Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her/hers] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5




ARAXES
TENDER HEART


Have we not met before? There's a sharp inhale, and Araxes' eyes widen. She didn't expect to be remembered in any shape or form, though that was the issue of her thinking so lowly of herself as of late, as if she had made no impact on anyone other than her family. All the same, it drags an ache through her chest, feeling tight and coiling, before it sputters a breath from her lungs as she feels the shudder down her spine and the burning in her eyes once more. Oh dear.

"No -- no, we... we have met. I just.. am not the same. It seems my spots were traded for.. for stripes, without my knowing." Araxes tries to make light of it, but it shows just how much she knew of the situation. How she had woken up one day to find herself in a body that was not her own, and how it had driven her to run out of fear of no one believing her. In the end, she had simply dug herself a hole to bury down into, it seemed, but that's something she has to face when it comes down to it. Her children will likely hate her, and Tor... well. The thought of him brings an ache along her chest, like an old sore around her heart.

"I was... hoping to find a home in Dusk. Denocte is... it can no longer be my home. Nothing feels like home, not after.. well." She looks down, one mint hoof scuffing the ground gently and pulling before she looks back up at the winged mare, those long ears still fallen against her head. "I've been so afraid no one would believe it was me," she admits, and her voice is nearly a whisper. "I've been away for so long and... I thought everyone would think I was some sort of impostor." As if someone would want to parade around as her in some way.

A silly thought, but one that had been on her mind all the while.

The striped mare swallows a lump in her throat, and blinks her burning eyes, pushing away the sensation and drawing in a shuddering breath, letting it out again and calming herself as best she can. "Sorry. I know this must be... strange." Though Novus has had its fair share of strange, hadn't it?






@Marisol ||









please tag @Araxes in posts!


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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 242 — Threads: 26
Signos: 535
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#6



he who wants loses everything.



 
It seems my spots were traded for stripes, Araxes says hesitantly, and Marisol tries not to let her eyes widen. She blinks once—twice—blows a short breath out of her flared nostrils and does her best to put herself in Araxes’ place, to really sympathize. The thought of waking up in another body is chilling. What would she do without the experience ingrained deep into her bones? What would she do without these weapons, the ropes of muscle and sharpened teeth?

It is impossible to imagine. She would be disadvantaged forever, missing the space she should inhabit, lacking the strength years of experience has lent her. Not that her body is without its own problems—absentmindedly Marisol runs her tongue over the edge of her shark-tooth smile—but, well. It’s done as much good for her as it has harm to other people. (Sometimes those are the same thing.)

Yet there are still so many things about Araxes that haven’t changed, things that make Mari’s heart hurt for her. The soft, graceful step. The warm and nervous eyes. The look on her face, demure to the point of sheepishness, as though she does not think she deserves any of the good things that she does. She has had a hard existence, Mari would guess. As hard as any of the rest of them.

“Oh.” Marisol forces her lips into an awkward half-smile. The movement is strained, that’s true, but its curve does not lack for warmth or surety; it is the mark of someone who knows her emotions, but not quite how to express them. “You owe no apology. This seems… beyond mortal control.” Stiffly she clears her throat. “And of course you will be welcomed here. Things have changed, but not that much.”

Anselm peers around her back leg with big, pale eyes, like moons or lakes against the dark of her skin. 

"Speaking."
credits





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

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Played by Offline Kaiju [PM] Posts: 81 — Threads: 23
Signos: 70
Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her/hers] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7




ARAXES
TENDER HEART


Beyond mortal control, certainly. She still doesn't know what she did to cause the ire of deities, what sins she committed. All she knows is she hurts in ways she cannot explain, and will not voice. She aches for her family, for her beloved. She knows they may no longer even want to be a part of her life, or that perhaps they will shun her. It will be well deserved, for running off as she had. If you love someone, you do not run. But she feels the cold prickle of loneliness in her gut, against her heart. It aches something fierce.

Shaking the thoughts off, her head lifts, and a small smile appears, just for the moment. "Thank you. I can't offer much.. maybe my wares? I've become more of a merchant.. but I still heal. I carry balms and ointments.. anything medical with me." She longs for the days where she was a healer, where she could do good. "I want to at least be a helping hand in this court." Not just idly stand by.

She inhales, only to let it out, one ear flicking before her eyes dart, fixing on the long legged canine at Marisol's back legs, and back to the woman herself, her eyes softening. She will not ask about things, she will learn them on her own. What has happened since she's been gone. She knows there's much she has missed. "I only hope everyone else is as accepting as you are, of how I've changed physically."







@Marisol ||









please tag @Araxes in posts!


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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 242 — Threads: 26
Signos: 535
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 26 — Atk: 34 — Exp: 52 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)
#8



he who wants loses everything.


Marisol is not one to doubt the gods.

Out of everyone she knows, even out of her sovereign predecessors, she is probably the most staunchly religious of them all. Since childhood she has borne Vespera’s symbol on her shoulder, prayed before sleeping, used Her name as a greeting. So there is no doubt in Mari’s mind that this bizarre predicament is part of some greater plan—or at least not an accident in and of itself. 

But even she can’t imagine what Vespera has to gain from this.

Perhaps the confusion shows on her face. Perhaps not. But Anselm feels it, as concrete as a weight laid over his shoulders, and asks Are you worried? His eyes flicker to hers. In the dim light, the strange, pale green-brown of his eyes seems as clear as glass, and Marisol can feel that he is far more suspicious than she is; the soft white hairs on the back of his scruff are beginning to stand up. No, Mari answers, only half paying attention. Remember that saying about the book and its cover?

That hardly counts, Anselm grumbles.

“Of course. We would be glad to have you, medic or otherwise.” Mari clears her throat. In the quiet half-dark of the court, it seems awkwardly loud. 

But what else is there to say? There is no use worrying Araxes with news of Asterion’s disappearance, or the hunt for Prudence, or the fact that, actually, their number of medics is lower than Mari could ever feel comfortable with. No use, Anselm repeats, and the Commander forces a faint smile. “I cannot promise they will be, but if there were ever a place to accept your change… it would be here.”

Warmth rises in her chest, mostly a flame of pride as she thinks of her people—their kindness, their soft hearts, their welcoming. 

Then, as always, she thinks of all the problems that could cause.

Marisol’s mouth twists. She lets out a brusque exhale and offers, in a tone attempting to be warm, “I have things to attend to, but Anselm will walk you to a room in the citadel. Stay there as long as you need.” 

With a brief smile and an equally brief nod, Marisol disappears into the streets. 

"Speaking."
credits





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

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