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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 56 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#1


"I think we deserve
a soft epilogue, my love.
we are good people
and we've suffered enough."

Voices on the wind. Ghosts in the fog. Everything feels like a bad dream. Michael goes to the mountain with his heart in his throat and he watches the market for days: as it packs up its celebratory materials, as it sheds its autumn skin. Each night the glow of the city dulls, and each day the visitors traveling back home slow from a river, to a creek, to a trickle. When he comes back down there is snow falling on the peak and it bites at his heels as he follows the deer tracks out of the woods.

Here on the brink of winter Denocte has let down her hair. The maze is gone and the ghosts are gone and when Michael reaches the gates of the city there is only the one guard at the border - one that nods at the gold horse as he passes then turns his attention back to the road carved through the prairie.

The market is not hushed - in fact, the sun is starting to bend low over the horizon and the Court is coming to life in the long evening shadows, the rising hum of industry that drones on long after he has ducked through the doorway of a pleasant but simple bar and pulled the scarf away from his face. It is stuffed floor to ceiling with plants and laughter and music - here, someone making a toast to the last of the festival-goers finally on their way back to their respective cities, and somewhere else a small but eager girl crooning away at a song about love and life.

Himself, Michael orders a drink with a tense but warm smile and tries to pretend he doesn't see the bartender's eyes linger a little too long on his own, but when he angles his head away, he is glad for the distraction: a shape out the window, red and black and graceful in spite of its heavy heart. 

"Moira!" he calls through the doorway, beckoning her inside. "Glad to see you're alive. What... happened? With the ghost, I mean. Was it a ghost? How are you?"

He pauses for a moment, as the bartender places his drink on the table.
"Do you... want one?"


@Moira





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Played by Offline e-cho [PM] Posts: 184 — Threads: 22
Signos: 2,160
Night Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: Light Forger // Bonded: Neerja (Malayan Tiger)
#2

 
 
   Moira Tonnerre
 
 
   i will burn and burn and burn again, and you will come home safely
 
 
 
   She does not know how much time passed, or if any passed at all aside from the night of the festival, after a corn maze, after the shrines, and after she entered a forest of fogs and screams. The phoenix braved the woods as she did her memories, cutting away ghosts like stalks of grain come harvest time, burying herself in the act of saving another, of helping another, of healing another rather than giving in to fits of despair and self loathing and pain. It is within that a tempest rages, that was only momentarily soothed as she thought of the future that Alyndra begged she think of, of the world as she wishes to make it.
'Think a happy though, Moira Tonnerre,' her mother would say to her when she'd come home and cry as a girl.

A happier thought lies within when there are no more cries to keep her awake in the dark. Part of the phoenix is still that little girl locked in a dark room with chains about her chest and silent screams rattling in her throat. There is a chance, perhaps, that part of her always will be.

The Emissary moves out of the woods much in the manner of everyone else: by the hands of a ghost, on the breath of the wind, and is left gently outside as the mists disappear. It is dark still, yet seems lighter than when she'd first entered. Brow furrows for but a moment, and then she dismisses the lost sense of time until she might investigate it further. No souls gather round as she might have expected, and the Tonnerre girl thinks all the better for it. She does not wish for them to see the crystal she's tucked within the strands of her mane; she does not want them to see herself pulled apart at the seams and sewing herself together again. Like a scarecrow that stuffs itself with hay over and over as it falls apart, she, too, must replenish all that she lost along the path.

Steady footfalls guide her back toward the markets where Morrighan patrols with a frown and her fire. Frost kisses her breath and tickles her nose, and she lets a wisp of lamplight bob along a snowflake as it floats so that magnificent colors dance and toy with the imagery about her. Denocte has always taken her breath away; it is a world fit for an artist. Color splashes the rooves, even those that still recover from so many storms they've weathered are bright and merry. Autumnal colors kiss doorways and wreaths are hung high. Festive lights are strung over walkways still, but even Moira can tell that the crowds have thinned considerably. It is with a pensive frown that Michael finds her, brows drawn together and quickly parting as he calls her near.

Turning with a smile, the Emissary speeds her walk to something quicker until she is at his side. Michael is not one she knows well enough yet to embrace, and so she does not. An unexpected delight sparks in her eyes as Neerja's fur brushes against her hind legs; the deep, pleasurable purr of her beloved tiger accompanies the surprise and she turns a warm look to Neerja as well. "Was I gone long?" she asks, turning back.
Can he tell how much lighter she seems after those dams were opened?

"I... It was someone who was lost long ago. Let us go in where we shan't catch out deaths, then I'll weave you a tale unlike those Isra tells us to keep our hearts light." With a nod, she implores her golden companion to lead the way, noting how eyes followed him through the bar. When the woman behind the counter stares too long, Moira clears her throat and offers a pretty smile, but it does not reach those honeyed eyes. Now, should Michael look, they seem quite frigid, ice creeping along the edges, lights dying inside, gobbled by some unknown monster. "A hot cider for me, if you'd please, and a bit of decency" she calls in those smoky tones, raising a brow. Soon, the drink is before her and she offers a much warmer look toward the entertainer.

"Come to a table over there, it seems quieter with fewer...wandering eyes." A sympathetic look passes between them, and the phoenix is off, letting Neerja clear the pathway as she moves them into a shadier spot, a quieter din despite the jubilation and drunken revelry of the other patrons. "How are you? I lost you in the fog - others were lifted up, but I did not know what happened to them."


@Michael | "moira" "neerja" | notes: c': accept this word vomit & my heart please
 






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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 56 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#3


"I think we deserve
a soft epilogue, my love.
we are good people
and we've suffered enough."

The sky is smeared in long red lines that cut across the dusky blue like roads laid out overhead. It filters through the window in muted orange and honey yellow and Michael thinks he might remember the shadow Moira and her tiger cast as they sweep through the open door for the rest of his life, played on repeat until he cannot remember anything except for the sun on the curve of her back. 

Another toast, to sunsents, to commerce, to good music and good friends.
Michael says "Hello Neerja," before answering.

Time is always strange in a fog. Time is always strange with ghosts. Michael walked out of the woods as if he had never been there at all and he hadn't stopped walking, not until he was high in the hills and the pines grew as wide as his hair was long. If he had suffered any pang of regret, any hard rock of duty in the pit of his stomach, it does not appear to slow him in his haste to go.

He had watched Isra rip the maze at the seams, had stood on a ridge as the crowd started to creep out en masse. He had felt like a beast at the tabernacle, praying with his mouth in the curve of the horizon and his knees on the hard stone. He wonders why watching Denocte turn feels like church. He wonders why he crawls, headfirst, onto its altar.

He knows. But he doesn't say.
"That's a good question," Michael says while plucking his drink from the table. It it something that smells like rum and vanilla and tastes about the same when he takes a thoughtful sip on his way to the table. "A while, I guess." Michael says over his shoulder. If he sees Moira's face as she orders her own drink, or hears what she says, he does not say so.

(He does see - watches as the phoenix whirls away, drink in her graceful grip, with the unmistakable undercurrent of enmity. When Michael meets the bartender's eyes again (a reflex) she looks away.)

Michael rounds the table and sets his drink down with an enthusiastic plunk. 
"I'm alright," he says, and does not mention the things he thinks on the trail up the mountain, does not even begin to hint and the endless suffering of being alive, or the sting of page after page of poetry written about the same four stars, the same shining wave, the same beast in the bottom of a deep, dark lake. "I got turned around, I'm sure. Which might be for the best, as ghosts and I don't often see eye to eye--speaking from experience." 

Now he leans over the table, sipping his drink conspiratorially, curved over the rim of its glass. "Tell me your story, then."


@Moira





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Played by Offline e-cho [PM] Posts: 184 — Threads: 22
Signos: 2,160
Night Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: Light Forger // Bonded: Neerja (Malayan Tiger)
#4

 
 
   Moira Tonnerre
 
 
   i will burn and burn and burn again, and you will come home safely
 
 
 
   That sun-fire smile is turned over the orange of her back, an imploring glance thrown to Michael as he watches her move into the tavern. When he follows her back to the bar, and then to the table, she cannot help but wonder why he shows such friendship, such loyalty. What has she - a girl of humble and cruel origins, of still life portraits and voodoo doll people, of half emotions and plentiful anger - has done to inspire such a gentle and true companion? If she seems softer for his presence or more pensive, who is to tell?

Aside from Isra and Eik and Asterion, who has she let bleed into her heart and been around enough to know the subtle changes in her breathing or the length it takes to blink and blink again?
No one, something whispers cold and true.

She does not ask these questions, now, instead she hums for a moment, lost in thought. Where to begin? What to do? Gold and black turns to the blue of Neerja's gaze, the tiger waiting expectantly. Pushed so long from the phoenix' mind, Neerja is crass and upset, but a faithful companion beside her strange winged cub nonetheless. They stare for what seems an eternity, emotions flickering back and forth, until at last the tiger's paw swipes the cider off the table, sending it flying over the floor and feet of the many who pass by. There seems to be a satisfied huff from the tiger who only flicks her tail with bared teeth before sitting haughtily beside their table.

The Tonnerre girl frowns, delicate mouth curving down with a sour look and an annoyed sigh. "I suppose I deserved that," reaching out with her hind leg, she pushes the tiger away but a an inch or two before clucking her tongue with a shake of her head. "Only alright?" she asks gently.

Lips purse and she nods at last. "I followed you in, I meant to stay by your side I suppose, but the fogs grew too thick. They descended like a pack of cackling hyenas, hunger wrapped in the mist as it ate away my vision and everything but the sounds." Here, she pauses, eyes as foggy as the woods that night, remembering the way the girl cowered when the creatures of white came to devour her, too. "When a girl screamed I reacted. Not because I wished to save her, but because I could not let her die of terror. What a sad way to go," and perhaps Cal had reminded Moira of a sad thing she'd been once. Even for a second. So she'd charged in without consideration of herself as she'd always done. "When the light struck, the girl was plucked up and they changed. I saw an old friend."

Eluoan. A mentor, her muse and guardian when even her parents had not kept her safe.

"They led me to a clearing that is no longer there. Katniss and I stood before a girl who was no longer a girl and were asked a question. Somehow, I was found worthy, and she spoke with me at length. When she disappeared, she shed no more tears and left me on the edges of the woods. It is from there which I have come, and now here we are." The phoenix stops, looks up to ask for something stronger than the cider Neerja spilled, before turning back. A small shrug is accompanied by "I suppose it wasn't much of a tale after all." Beside them, a server stops - clear of Neerja and her glowering eyes, her extended claws - and hands the Emissary a drink, quick to scuttle away from sharp words and condescending tones should any linger unwanted too long. Sipping it, she looks at him from beneath dark lashes, unsure what to say or do next, but letting him take charge of the meeting however he wished.


@Michael | "moira" "neerja" | notes: you inspire me so
 






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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 56 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:
#5


"I think we deserve
a soft epilogue, my love.
we are good people
and we've suffered enough."

Michael is watching her, over the rim of his glass, and he is wondering how she sees him.

If he knew, oh if he knew, he might tell her that she never had to do anything, never had to speak a word, or look his way, and he would still have sworn himself on the altar of her friendship. But Moira doesn't ask, and at this point it is well known that Michael doesn't say, wouldn't say.

When he looks at her he thinks of the big pocket left in the wake of Isra's kidnapping, of Moira who called Denocte back to its feet and urged them to move, to do, as the sun set over her back just as it does now. When Michael looks at her he sees her face at the festival, drawn and tense and miles below the surface of some water that he cannot see but its rhythm is the same as the one that thrums in his heart throughout the centuries.

It is a song of love, and loss, and it is keening and raw.
So Michael smiles patiently when Neerja knocks Moira's glass off the table and it shatters at their feet (me too, he jokes--privately) and still as the staff swoops through the bar with a broom and a dustpan and wishes them well.

"Just alright," he confirms. He is only ever "just alright."
Michael is a patient listener, gold in the ever-fading sunlight. When she finishes, he takes a moment to give his drink a gentle swirl before sipping.

"Can you die of terror?" he asks, and then, "Is that a good thing? Seeing an old friend?"

He lapses into silence, listening and thinking. Someone brings Moira another drink and hurries away from the table as fast as they can while still looking composed, and somewhere the singer has left her corner of the bar to mingle, so it is painfully, painfully quiet when Michael lifts his drink, downs the rest of it in one gulp, and after setting it carefully back down on the table, as one might a small bird, says: "Well, I think you're worthy."


@Moira





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Played by Offline e-cho [PM] Posts: 184 — Threads: 22
Signos: 2,160
Night Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: Light Forger // Bonded: Neerja (Malayan Tiger)
#6

Moira Tonnerre
i will burn and burn and burn again, and you will come home safely
His heart hums a tune hers is just beginning to learn, and together they are a pair of wistful and wizened and sorrowful things. Two birds whose voices were taken and scattered on the winds, only plucking at the lyre strings of their hearts in hopes that someone might hear. When no answers come, when there is only silence in the corridors, when laughter fades and light fades and smiles fade, what more is left but their thoughts, their memories, and a crushing wall of darkness?

It is a demon there to swallow her whole.

The shattered glass fades, the babbling voices fad, everything but that inner wall climbing higher and higher. Coldness creeps along her spine, somewhere, she feels herself shiver. Slowly, it ebbs out from her spine, it settles into her bones as a winter frost. Dark are those honeyed eyes, dark and shuttered like the ice at the edges of the window they sit nearest. Red light plays along red skin, crowning her in a halo of blood and gold.

Does he see a monster when he looks at the girl who is still figuring out how to stitch herself together again?
Somewhere along the way, she's stopped seeing a monster in every mirror that stares back at her.

"I think you'd be much lovelier if you smiled, Michael," she confides. With a creased brow, the Tonnerre girl scrutinizes him with the eyes of an artist. From the flaxen sheen of his coat to the silver and white strands of his hair, dancing over the scarf always about his throat (although the color changes so beautifully), to those blue, soulful eyes. She sees a man wanting. She sees a man trying.

Something in that dark wall cracks. A sliver of light wants to reach through so badly and hold him.
Moira has hardly ever wanted to hold another.

Ghostly hands trail along his brow, his spine. She spins small braids into the length of his hair under the table and threads a tendril of light into their midst. Within the hour it will die, burning out like she does over and over. But for now, candlelight flickers as a strand beneath them, a river of time reflected and shown along its short length.

At last, lips purse and then flatten, a breath drawn from her lungs on a sigh. Is he always meant to make her think so deeply? "One day, upon your golden brow I will put a wreath of starlight to match the light I'll find in your eyes." It is an intimate whisper, one she leans forward to give to him, a promise and a tentative smile. There is a blossom in her heart, and even Neerja cannot be annoyed enough to scratch at the barmaid's feet when she replaces the broken glass with something new, something stronger than before. Somewhere, she's found a trickling fountain of hope within her cub, and she will cling to that until their minds are as their hearts are: one once more.

"Mmm," the emissary hums at last, mulling over his recent questions. "If you are a rabbit, then even the slightest fright will send your heart beating too quick. So quickly that it will burst and you would die. Being that I do not believe you to be a rabbit," she muses, "I do not think you would die of terror. Seeing an old friend... It..." words halt, thoughts swirl, eddying in the churning dark waters. "It was," Moira Tonnerre says at last, something of a serene smile tipping her dark lips up, crinkling the corners of her eyes until even the gold is molten and warm. "I've missed him," she says, although she does not say who.

Patrons who are near would likely think that their Emissary thinks of the late Dusk King. A man of starlight who held her and made ephemeral promises in a forest that was always meant to be destroyed.

If only they knew of the twinkling heart miles and miles away. Of a northern light that taught her more than how to heal, that taught her how to survive and rise above. Eluoan, her heart whispers in thanks. One day, his soul would guide her just as the ghost in the woods had. There is a crystal in her hair that reminds her of this, that makes her smile a little broader with just the thought.

She is so caught up in the past that she almost doesn't hear the present. The silence that comes crashing down before soft words that fall like snowflakes. "Well, I think you're worthy."

And she wants to implore of what. Some part that is still fighting for recognition yearns to beg him to open his heart (his mouth) and pour honey down her throat until she knows what golden light he sees. Of course, neither of these things are done. Moira merely hides her eyes behind dark lashes, suddenly all too interested in the drinks and determined to ignore the blush she can feel creep over her cheeks, over her throat. The room is too warm and she is too full of questions.

Forward she presses her glass, offering a small nod of encouragement. "Try it first and tell me if it's good? Would you believe me if I told you I have very little experience in the art of alcohols?" Their eyes still do not meet, she looks instead to his lips, to his pink nose, to the way his throat bobs with every swallow. Anywhere but those honest, sweet blue eyes.


@Michael | "moira" "neerja" | notes: <3






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