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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 6 — Threads: 1
Signos: 55
Inactive Character
#1

o, the red rose is a falcon
and the white rose is a dove.


The world seems to be coming to a close; unsurprisingly, Katerina has chosen to wait out the end times at the library.

Delumine is quiet. Peaceful, even, the way she has always wanted things to be. But turmoil is waiting just past the gates, past the castle and the trees. There are whispers of that island out in the sea, of the black-glass bridge cracking, of skeletons floating down to line the sand. There is the sound of continents coming apart and of magic being torn asunder. There is the knowledge, crisis-inducing, that three of Novus’ courts are coming under new rule at the same time. 

So many changes at once. It cannot possibly be good. 

So Katerina, tragic, dramatic girl, opera-star with the blue eyes and dark lashes, wears her worry like a pendant and hides out in the one place that has not yet failed her. (She has always been good at hiding, especially in plain sight, and of all the places to be plain…) 

The leaves that form the ceiling overhead have turned beautiful shades of gold, red, and burnt amber; they are slowly floating down to line the hallways, crunching under Katerina’s feet as she drifts through each section of the library in random order, nonfiction, poetry, history, cooking. With pale, watchful eyes she notes the new titles, tries to commit to memory the titles embossed into their shiny-fresh spines. 

Many of the authors she does not recognize. Which is unusual. That word, that feeling, heightens her discomfort. Discomfort which is almost anxiety. Almost. But not quite. 

Katerina is a researcher, so she categorizes: this crippling-cold feeling is something closer to anticipation. It is the anxiety, not of what is to come, but of having to wait for it. 

With each stride the prickling of her skin seems to intensify a bit, the itching of her teeth becomes a little worse. This should be comforting. But it isn’t, nothing is comforting now. Shattering-glass bridge. Black magic making the water undrinkable. In the back of her mind she is ready for apocalypse, she is already preparing for deep sorrow. The familiar faces of the feline librarians and the patrons that she sees here so often are doing nothing to soothe her nerves. She only looks at them and wonders what kind of time they might all have left.

Suddenly she feels a little dizzy; oh no, Katerina thinks with desperation, not this—



“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

His eyes are blue; he and Katerina are in a garden, part marble, mostly greenery. And the sun is high overhead. Music plays faintly from somewhere far away. She feels herself walking, but it is all a little disconnected. The steps don’t align right. Her joints seem to have a hard time fitting together. It doesn’t bother him, though, he’s happy, he’s smiling, so she is smiling too. She can't not-smile. She would be concerned about that, if she could think straight, but right now it doesn't seem to matter.

She opens her mouth to ask him a question. She can’t remember, she realizes with a start she can’t even really see his coat, his build, anything what he looks like, besides those bright, bright blue eyes. What was the question? Oh. Right. Don’t forget. Stop forgetting, stupid girl. Right. She is opening her mouth to ask him what his name is. 

“Wh—"

Something is ringing in her left ear. All she can see is blue, blue flooding the green, blue flooding the ghoulish marble. The sky is bluer than it was and bluer than she's ever seen it. Her skin is blue, which can't be right, and her breath in the air, and the words that come from her lips.

“Who a—“

The ringing is louder, louder still; she can’t walk anymore, in fact, can’t move at all; everything is filmed in bright sea-blue; he is speaking to her but she can’t hear it, she can’t hear anything over the godawful ringing in her ear, and her head is starting to split with the shrill noise of it—


 
She wakes up with a start. And a migraine. Her cheek is pressed against the cool dirt, a bright ache is pulsating in her temples: when she does manage to scramble to sitting it floods her with a wave of nausea so strong her vision goes black, black, black.

There is a wind coming through the leaves overhead, and it makes a sound like the perfect whisper. Lanterns float dim and yellow against the trees. It's growing dark, and cold, and someone has come by to put a pillow under her head, but as far as she can see, the library has begun to empty out. The bookshelves are still and stoic as ever. There are no patrons, no librarians, either. She is alone. (Alone, alone, alone: it runs through her like a song or a liturgy or a prayer. I know you, darling Katerina, I know you far too well.)

Darling Katerina closes her eyes.

She does not see the dream coming toward her.

"Speaking."
credits










Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 14 — Threads: 3
Signos: 0
Inactive Character
#2

TELL ME LOSING EVERYTHING IS WHAT SAVED YOU, TELL ME YOU FINALLY TASTE FREEDOM. DON’T LIE. I SEE IT IN YOUR EYES. WOMEN DO NOT KNOW HOW TO USE THEIR OWN VOICES AND RESORT TO THINGS DEEPER; DON’T LIE TO ME. TELL ME YOU LOVED TO DESTROY. TELL ME YOU NEED ME, PLEASE. YOU ARE THE BONES OF MY SPINE. YOU ARE THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET. YOU ARE MADE OF DEEPER STUFF THAN EARTH CAN GIVE. 

I spend my days reading about Greek heroes. 

I study their tragedies. Icarus and his fall, Hercules as a widower, the Trojan Prince Hektor and his gruesome death, Jason and Medea, Perseus, Theseus, Orestes, Odysseus. Achilles.

For some reason, my interest does not hold on their legends. No, I think of Penelope. I find stories of Penelope; how she tricked suitors for years to keep them at bay until, at long last, Odysseus returned home. She waited all that time and I wonder why; it is a question there is no ration for. I love the quiet questioning; the way it fills me with a purpose, an incessant why, why, why? It is the first time for a very long time I have felt such direction and I read, into all hours of the day, with the weak autumn light filtering through the red-orange-gold leaves. They soften my footfalls as I pass from aisle to aisle, searching for an answer.

Why did she love him so

I keep seeing a girl; dark, intense, as if sketched out of coal and coloured in with red-brown clay. The colour of the earth when it is opened up like a wound. I go hours without seeing her at times, and something almost possess me to ask her when I do, Do you know why Penelope waited for him to come home? I am wandering toward where I begun in my search to answer the question, drifting as the leaves do from the canopy above... it is dark, and I am growing tired. 

But the next time I come across her she is on the dirt floor. I start, trotting in her direction. It is not something uncommon, to discover patrons napping between the aisles of books and beneath the autumn leaves. But something about this appears haphazard; it is not a typical alcove to find someone napping, and besides, there is no warmth left from the day. The chill of dusk is settling, rapidly, in. The nearer I become, the more familiar she appears; it must be because I have seen her in the Court, or even the library, in the past. It is an unsettling feeling, especially in the dim lantern-lit aisle. The wind is whispering, rustling, through the corridor; that, too, sounds old and familiar.  “Hello?” I ask, quietly. My voice cracks from disuse, and I flush with embarrassment. “Excuse me, miss… are you alright?" 

I never notice that I am standing in a row of books labeled Greek Tragedies

ADMIT IT; YOU ARE LOST WITHOUT THE WAITING. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE YOURSELF IN PARADISE? EVEN THE DAUGHTER OF GODS MUST KNOW LONELINESS, MUST SOMETIMES WANT NOTHING MORE THAN TO BE TRAPPED IN A HELL OF FOREVERS. THANK ME, YOU QUEEN. I’VE GIVEN YOU FOREVER. 


Art copyright Day Of Shadow at Deviantart.com










Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 6 — Threads: 1
Signos: 55
Inactive Character
#3

o, the red rose is a falcon
and the white rose is a dove.


Katerina blinks awake fast. Prey instinct. 

Winter is coming, quick and harsh. The dirt floor is cold against her cheek, then her shoulders, then her ribs, as she starts abruptly upright. With some effort she shifts to lay mostly straight-up. 

Her heart is pounding in her chest, almost too loud to hear over. Wind comes whistling through the bookshelves; it rustles the leaves on the trees; it rattles the branches overhead in the places they are intertwined, the boughs woven like fabric where the maples lean in to meet one another. Most of Dawn’s patrons have gone. The only creatures left are the librarians, which scurry near-silently around the piles of books.

And of course there is the man coming toward her, a vision of the kind she has come to dread.

Katerina licks her lips. She shakes her head, dislodging a collection of leaves and broken twigs. Something in her mouth tastes, somehow, wrong—dirty and metallic, coating her tongue and the back of her teeth. But there is nothing wrong. 

There is nothing wrong, she reminds herself. It even sounds true. Mostly.

The scholar clears her throat, finally begins climbing to her feet: she digs her hooves deep into the hard-packed dirt and surges upward, half-sighing with effort, though the sound of it is mostly contained: it rattles in her chest like some organ that has come loose.

“Mm,” she answers. “Yes.” Now they are on even standing, and close to one another, unbearably close. From here she can see the jagged lines that mark his coat, separating black from white; she can see the strange, soft curl of his ears, the sharp blue shine of his eyes, like sea-glass.

Something in her stops, and starts again. 

She clicks her teeth absent-mindedly. “Just a—spell.” A faint smile. A clean, bracing kind of expression. 

Then a beat. A moment of silence, which is a moment too long.

And finally, brows furrowed, Katerina asks, voice wavering: “Do we know each other?”

"Speaking."
credits










Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 14 — Threads: 3
Signos: 0
Inactive Character
#4

TELL ME LOSING EVERYTHING IS WHAT SAVED YOU, TELL ME YOU FINALLY TASTE FREEDOM. DON’T LIE. I SEE IT IN YOUR EYES. WOMEN DO NOT KNOW HOW TO USE THEIR OWN VOICES AND RESORT TO THINGS DEEPER; DON’T LIE TO ME. TELL ME YOU LOVED TO DESTROY. TELL ME YOU NEED ME, PLEASE. YOU ARE THE BONES OF MY SPINE. YOU ARE THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET. YOU ARE MADE OF DEEPER STUFF THAN EARTH CAN GIVE.


Mm. Yes. Just a—spell. Seeing her is like looking at a half-remembered dream; he knows he dreamt it, but when and where and how he does not know. He cannot remember the plot, the content, only that those tragic eyes remind him of something even more tragic and even more nameless. 

There is a pit opening up in Pravda; he feels gutted like a soft fruit, as if someone has cleaved from his body the seeds of the future and transformed him into a morsel, transient and overall insignificant. Pravda feels small, and dark, and full of melancholy. He clears his throat again and, taken aback, says, “Miss, allow me to take you to the doctor? Does this kind of thing happen often?” 

Pravda has brushed off his feeling of unease by this time; but when she asks, do we know each other, he is again taken aback. 

Do we?

It is impossible. They cannot know one another—unless, does she mean, within the Court? Pravda nearly laughs at his own foolishness. Of course she means within the Court. How could she possibly mean anything else?

Pravda smiles nervously. His tone wavers just as much as her own had. “I have seen you around the library before. I’ve never managed to work up the nerve to introduce myself, though.” 

It was a half-truth.

There is something dark, tortured, and achingly familiar about her. Pravda finds himself contemplating if another Priest has made their Second Journey and followed him to Novus—but, Pravda decides, it would not make any sense. He would recognise their physical form.

It leaves him wondering if this is a lesser form of reincarnation—and try as Pravda does to dismiss the idea, there is something that makes him hesitate. He turns his head, glancing shyly away, only to see the looming row of ornately bound plays. Antigone. Oedipus Rex. The Bacchae. Prometheus Bound. The Odyssey. 

Pravda glances back toward her; he realises it is her eyes. They seem too old for the rest of her body, like bits of collective memory trapped body too young to understand. Pravda strains to understand; there is something the universe is trying to tell him in this moment, and he cannot quite grasp it. At last, with all the painstaking awkwardness of the boy he still is with his own eyes that are too-old, he compliments her: "Your tattoos are beautiful. I'm sorry I haven't introduced myself yet... I'm Pravda." 

ADMIT IT; YOU ARE LOST WITHOUT THE WAITING. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE YOURSELF IN PARADISE? EVEN THE DAUGHTER OF GODS MUST KNOW LONELINESS, MUST SOMETIMES WANT NOTHING MORE THAN TO BE TRAPPED IN A HELL OF FOREVERS. THANK ME, YOU QUEEN. I’VE GIVEN YOU FOREVER.


Art copyright Day Of Shadow at Deviantart.com
 











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