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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 125
Dawn Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 45 — Atk: 35 — Exp: 77 // Active Magic: Nature Spirit // Bonded: Odet (Stellar's Jay)
#1




you be the wind
i'll be the wildflower



Here in the greenhouse, it is always spring. Outside, piles of dead leaves are pushed up against the walls, their paper-thin skin dull and dry. Outside the trees are almost-bare, only a few ornaments remaining on their empty arms. It makes the whole courtyard feel empty, with so much space between each branch.

And all that emptiness harbors silence within it, a quiet so deep and profound even the wind seems to hold its breath in respect. It’s too much silence, too much nothingness - Ipomoea wants to run through the halls like a colt again, wants to beg everyone he sees to remember that the winter is not something to be mourned, that the death it brings is not permanent -

But instead his smile seems to freeze before it ever reaches his lips. And knowing that spring was only ever around the corner doesn’t make the cold any less cold.

So he goes to the greenhouse.

Inside the light is gold and green, and he can almost forget how the world outside has lost all of its color. Here the violets and the geraniums are blooming, and the ivy crawls across the floor to greet him when he crosses the threshold. There is life and warmth and goodness in this building, and a sweet, sweet innocence that knows nothing of short days and long nights.

For a moment all he does is stand there, drinking in the colors with his eyes. And then he grabs the nearest watering can and gets to work.

As he walks among the plants they all reach out to touch him, whispering a soft greeting of petals and leaves that are as soft as silk, and a joy that is bright as sunlight at seeing him. Ipomoea begins to hum to himself as he checks their stems and their soil, moving by instinct along the rows.

And he saves the roses for last, so that when they’ve been tended to he can linger beside them. He lowers his head down to their level, tracing their petals with a touch that is as soft as a kiss. His eyes flutter closed.

When the door opens behind him he doesn’t open his eyes. He stands there silently, breathing in roses, and lets the flowers speak for him.



@Messalina
there's no rush on this <3







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Played by Offline rallidae [PM] Posts: 56 — Threads: 8
Signos: 100
Dawn Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 496 Winter] // 15 hh // Hth: 16 — Atk: 4 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#2


TO SEEKING.
to finding.
There is a lump in her throat and when she swallows, it hardens into stone and sinks down to crush her heart.

She is late, and she does not like the feeling.

Her murmured "Where may I find-" (a pause, as she ponders how to address him and how her address of him will now be analyzed for threads of scandal) "- the king?" draws a bow and a silent nod towards the greenhouse from a young and curious chambermaid.

The lump that is now a stone sprouts claws and dons fangs as the muted light of the greenhouse grows first as a memory and then like a beacon that beckons ships home. Messalina runs her tongue over her teeth and sighs, whether in relief or anxiety even she cannot tell, when the taste of iron that precedes blood tastes of nothing instead.

She forgets to lift her hood from her head before she enters.

The perfume of flowers-in-spring floods her with a melancholy so strong her breath catches, and then her hooves. Love-in-the-mist. Love-in-idleness. The names come to her unbidden as she recognizes each flower by its petals, as if summoned from the pages of a grimoire calling for ingredients she barely recognizes, for a potion she has never needed. Blue star petals, petals like violet teardrops, peel off their stems and scatter in her path from an unfelt wind.

The meandering stone path winds and backtracks amongst vines of ivies, branches of willows, fields of light-drinking daylilies. She is late, but she does not hurry and instead lingers. Blossoms dip their heads to her and she watches them do so quietly, knowing that it is not her they swear their love to.

It is to him.

Finally, when the meandering path loses patience and rushes her to its finale, she finds him at the end of the greenhouse bent over a single rosebush.

The stone that is now a monster shivers and hides behind her hurting heart. The roses in her mane seem like drops of blood in snow compared to the eggyolk-and-summer-sun of the ones whispering secrets against his lips. (Her roses were found and stripped of their thorns. His were tended and kissed of their petals. Therein lies the difference, and it is, once noticed, startling.)

One consequence of Messalina's change is that she has learned to watch others so quietly they seldom catch her at it unless they are expecting to.

A single petal sheds from her hair as she moves her soundless hooves closer, and closer, and closer.

His back is to her, and she wonders if he has noticed her. She hopes he has and prays he has not and keeps looking forwards, towards the roses, because otherwise she would not be able to do what she is about to do.

The flowers remain her only witness as she steps up besides him and rests her head softly, hesitantly, against his back.

Her loosened curls pour like liquid moonlight over his shoulders and tumble silently to the floor. (In her lateness, she has forgotten to braid it.)

Her hood drowns her sight in shadow as she scours her mind for the right words and, unable to find them, whispers ones she hopes are enough: "Did you wait long?"



@Ipomoea //  the flavor of this post is roses and melancholy with a whole shot of longing?? who is she








I HAD SOMETHING IN PLACE OF THE SUN
maybe not as bright, but enough for me



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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 125
Dawn Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 45 — Atk: 35 — Exp: 77 // Active Magic: Nature Spirit // Bonded: Odet (Stellar's Jay)
#3




you be the wind
i'll be the wildflower



They tell him that she’s coming.

For the first time, he isn’t sure if he believes them.  But when she presses her head against his spine, and her touch is so familiar it hurts, he has no choice to. She is here, at last, after all these months of waiting and unanswered letters.

He lets his breath out in a sigh, tilting his head towards her’s without yet opening his eyes.

“The flowers have always made for good company while I wait.”

He does not whisper like she does. He’s learned to make himself heard, in all the months they’ve been apart. To not let his own words scare him into not speaking. Ipomoea learned how to be brave in all of the months that he was gone - a part of him, that selfish part of him that has filled him with unease ever since meeting his brother, wishes that she had been there to learn to be brave with him.

She should have been, that voice whispers silently. But she never came. Or answered his letters to tell him why.

Ipomoea learned how to be angry, too, when he crossed the world and found a war. When a king in another land had told him he would never belong there, and the desert had spit him out for the second time. When the world around him had shattered, and all that was left was broken magic filling the spaces between the palm trees, and Ipomoea had hunted for anything and everything to make himself feel whole again.

Somedays he thinks he might still be hunting, but for what he doesn’t know. There’s too many things he wants, and he knows he can’t have them all.

He wants to lean back against her, he wants to turn and drape his head over her back and tell her he’s glad she’s come back, that it’s better late than never. But when he opens his eyes at last he can’t bring himself to look at her, not directly. Instead he watches the flowers, and remembers the way she had promised to meet him in Denocte, but she hadn’t. He had waited, and he had had a rose waiting for her each day, and each day he had given the rose to a stranger instead, until one day he ran out of roses. And even then he had still thought she might come, up until the day that he had finally come home only to find that she was not here, either.

He had needed her. And he had missed her. And all of that had begun to feel more like a past tense with each day that separated them.

Her curls brush against his shoulder, her skin is warm against his. She smells like roses, and it suits her - he still remembers how she had looked in the garden that day, when he gave her a flower that was yellow instead of red. That was before either of them had left, before the thought had ever crossed their minds. That was in spring, when he was still to young to know all the ways that flowers could die.

And now there are a hundred questions on his tongue, begging to be asked. Ipomoea settles only for one.

“Where did you go?”



He already knows where she didn’t.





@Messalina







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Played by Offline rallidae [PM] Posts: 56 — Threads: 8
Signos: 100
Dawn Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 496 Winter] // 15 hh // Hth: 16 — Atk: 4 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4


A THOUSAND BUTTERFLY SKELETONS
sleep within my walls.
She had gotten his letters.

Not every one—she had moved around too often for the doves to track her with any accuracy, and sometimes (many times) she had not wanted to be found.

Other times, she'd wanted it so desperately she had almost screamed.

(She never did.)

She'd gotten lost a lot, too, in the beginning; when every dove that had found her had received a letter in return, along with a piece of bread if she had one and a rose if she had that too.

There had been that one time she'd lost her way, deep in the endless Viride. Days she'd wandered, swallowing red berries foraged from thorny bushes like pills, drinking half her body weight in water whenever she encountered her sole companion, the river. She had made herself sick from the berries. For one agonizing night, she had—seen things. Mother. A frozen tundra. Perfect yellow roses. Ipomoea.

When she thought back on it, Messalina knew that she had only found her way out of the forest—emerging breathless from a copse of sewn-together trees days later, sunlight piercing her eyes like millions of tiny daggers—because it hadn't been her time.

To die, that is.

Mother had always said there was a time for everything. A time for meals, a time for study, a time for sickness, a time for death. Time bound them all, she'd said, in an eternal dance of damnation.

Messalina had not died in the forest, because she was meant to die in the sea.

“The flowers have always made for good company while I wait.” She cannot decipher his voice. Ipomoea tilts his head to her but does not open his eyes, and she cannot decipher his voice. She used to think herself good at that, if it had been him. She had always thought—

"I... I am relieved to hear that," she says, flatly. Uncertainly. Uncertainty has always sounded cold from her lips; she is almost glad to find that that, at least, is not changed.

She looks down at the flowers, and wishes to rip them to shreds.

(The violence. It springs on her like a tidal wave, dragging her under until her eyes turn bloody red and her nostrils thin to slits and the feeling—of anger and anguish and fear and delight—drags a banshee's laugh past her sore lips.

But of course she had expected this. She had sacrificed blood at the altar, before daring to come. The wave releases her before she can change.)

"Where did you go?" he asks, and she stiffens. Slowly, as if the arteries of her neck are frozen, she draws back. Until she no longer touches him, not even her hair.

They had promised to meet in Denocte. She had not stopped him from going to Solterra, and she wonders, briefly, if he is angry because she had not stopped him. The thought is brushed away quickly; he is not like that, she tells herself.

Her mouth opens, then closes. She knows it is her fault.

I broke all my promises. She had stopped responding to his letters. She had not met him in Denocte. Instead, she had watched as he'd waited, and waited, and—

She hadn't thought he would wait so long. Her composure had almost broke; she had almost ran to him, almost crossed the market square in three quick strides, almost curtsied low and fleeting to say to him, breathlessly: 'I am sorry. Did you wait long?'

"I was—" What can she tell him? That before Denocte, weeks before Denocte, she had fallen into the sea and drowned? That every time she looked at anything with a heartbeat, she wished to sink her teeth into them and rip? That she had tailed him, like a coward, like a shadow, from Denocte to Delumine without him noticing?

That she had read all of his letters, then sealed them, then tossed them into her satchel before repeating to herself, in cold monotone. 'He cannot know. He cannot know before I learn to control it.' Because: what if he came? 

You must remember, Messalina, she had told herself, what you are capable of now.

"I went to Denocte," she says, slowly. "And then I came back, when I learned of your coronation." She does not look at him. Her eyes are fixed, a blank and dull blue, on the grass and the mocking flowers.

A red petal loosens from her mane and flutters to the ground, like a dead butterfly.

"Something happened, before I reached Denocte. But it is—of little consequence. I have learned to control it."

Her voice is almost lost before she reaches the end of her sentence. But she does not hurry to find it.

She has lost many things already.



@Ipomoea //  my heart








I HAD SOMETHING IN PLACE OF THE SUN
maybe not as bright, but enough for me



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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 125
Dawn Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 45 — Atk: 35 — Exp: 77 // Active Magic: Nature Spirit // Bonded: Odet (Stellar's Jay)
#5




you be the wind
i'll be the wildflower



There’s a vine curling around his ankle, wrapping itself around his fetlock like they’re tethering him to the greenhouse. Like they’re begging him to become a part of them, as much a part as they are of him. And for a moment, he wishes he could - that he might sink down into the petals of a flower that never withers, that the gardener might name him along with the rest of the roses and return the name Ipomoea to the morning glories.

It wouldn’t be so bad, he thinks, to be a flower or a tree or the grass in the meadows. Even the new spring shoots came back when a hoof or frost killed them.

People were not always so lucky.

The roses are a hundred different colors when he finally opens his eyes, and he doesn’t know where to look. He wants to think he imagines the flatness of her tone, the way she begins to pull away from him until empty space separates them. He wants to follow her, to press his shoulder back into her’s as much for his own comfort as for her’s. But he doesn’t.

Does she feel it, too? The way the very air around them seems to feel different now? It used to taste sweeter, when he was around her. Now as they stand next to each other without touching, hardly daring to look or speak or breathe, surrounding by a thousand flower that bring the life and colors of spring into the dead of winter - Ipomoea only feels alone. And the excited anticipation that used to fill the gaps in their conversations tastes stale now.

So he forces himself to turn, finally, away from the roses and look at her instead. First he settles for the  rose that sits behind her ear, and the consistency of it is both familiar and painful. As long as he had known her that rose had been there, stubborn in the way it shirked change. 



But it’s not alone anymore - a half crown of roses decorate her mane, petals trailing along the curve of her neck. Without thinking he reaches out to them, pressing his muzzle against her mane. Messalina’s skin is warm beneath his lips, and he lingers a moment longer than he intended. Until she starts to speak, and her words and broken and stuttered. As the red petal flutters to the ground, he pulls away.

His mouth opens, as if on its own to ask what happened?. But something in her gaze - fixed, empty, downcast - stops the words before they leave his lips, and nothing comes out.

Instead - ”You could have told me.” Because I waited for you, he doesn’t say. He doesn’t need to; the words are written all over the way he stands, stiffly, in the sharp arch of his neck and the hollowness in his eyes when he turns to seek out her gaze. ”I was worried about you, I would have-“ he struggles to find the right words, brow creasing, ”-helped you.” But has he ever been of any help? To her, to anyone?

Ipomoea swallows thickly, and leans in again.

”You’re wearing more flowers now,” he says softly, as if to make up for the accusation he didn’t speak. ”It’s… nice. They suit you.”



@Messalina







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Played by Offline Eris [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 11
Signos: 265
Dawn Court Scholar
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 499 Spring] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 12 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#6

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Caring and nurturing were two things that Llewelyn had little skill or interest in, though appreciating that which had been nurtured by another was somewhat of a hobby for the mare. The weather lately had been wretched, and so in order to quell the cabin fever rising within her breast, the scholar had taken to wandering the greenhouse gardens. The greenhouse itself with massive glass paneling and soaring ceiling was a testament to the learned craftsmen of Dawn; there was no excuse for shoddy workmanship when one has such a grand library to reference and glean from.

As the sun continued to rise, following its predetermined path across the curved dome of the sky, Llewelyn found herself absorbed in various levels of admiration. Firstly, for the beauty of the blossoms that cascaded from nearly every surface; secondly, for the intoxicating scent, soft and earthy and so unlike the cloying perfumes that lined her counters; and thirdly, for the purity and respect that laced Ipomoea and Messalina’s interactions.

The pair had been speaking softly to one another a few rows from Llewelyn for awhile now, and though their conversation had an air of melancholy, the care each felt for the other was nearly palpable. To the maiden, the flower-adorned pair and their not-so-secret exchange was just as intriguing as the greenhouse blossoms. At times, the murmuring dipped below the mare’s hearing and she had to strain against the urge to move closer lest she be discovered.

And so she set up shop, ears cocked and golden eyes shimmering as a love story unfolded amid spring blooms and winter snows.



@Ipomoea @Messalina sorry for this wait as well!




bgchl6.gif
“Honey, on your knees when you look at me.”

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