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Private  - we travel, some of us forever [midwinter festival]

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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 16
Signos: 5
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:

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

It's easy to forget that people are so fond of celebration - sometimes the fog of time blurs things that he wanted to keep clear, like fresh snowfall or the faces of loved ones or the moment one's heart sings winter is here in the almost-day glow of a city blanketed in snow and lit by yellow lanterns. It's easy to forget almost anything, if you live long enough.

But still his heart sings winter is here year in and year out, and if it is always done with an undercurrent of time to go, that's his business--and he does go, but not across the continent until the faces he meet no longer know the word Novus, not on some ship that rocks across the ocean, and, hopefully, not for so long that summer is long past its prime when he returns. When Michael goes, as Michael does, he goes to Terrastella, to bury himself in the heart of their festival and hope that the keen of his heart dies down.

Isra had said, will you stay?
And Michael will. He had not thought it would be so hard, back then, but he will nonetheless.

This brings us to today, and Michael walks to the city with the steady rhythm of a beast in motion, and he is thinking, I have never seen so much snow. He has -- of course he has because Isra's city on the hill is just that, and it is closer than the star-freckled sky than he has ever been -- but it is another one of those things that he thinks because he cannot taste anything but the frigid, wet air and he cannot hear anything but the crunch of his hooves and, somewhere, the bustle of community. The wet sheet of his mane, tied up haphazardly with the scarf that usually hangs around his neck, is dripping cold water all down his back and chest.

Michael remembers, now, why he runs away every winter.
He and winter do not see eye to eye.

The gold horse, chilled but still enchanted, sweeps into the city as if he had been there all along, taking his place among the throng. Perhaps he has grown too used to the hum of a crowd. Perhaps it is just more comfortable, crushed against other bodies, where the bite of the season doesn't quite touch his skin. "This is a beautiful celebration," he says to someone, anyone. As long as it is louder than his voice bouncing around in his chest.



Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 187 — Threads: 26
Signos: 460
Dusk Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 6 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 42 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anselm (Ibizian Hound)

it was lovely
it was awful
it was that
kind of feeling.

This is Terrastella at its finest. At its strangest, too—but with every minute Marisol spends in the festival she finds herself more and more comfortable, more and more entranced, more and more in love. The city has never been so loud. Kids scream-laugh, and lovers whisper, and music sings out over the hills from pushed keys and plucked strings; somewhere there is a huge bonfire crackling, and drinks being poured, and bells being rung.

The Commander watches silently. It almost looks like brooding—the aimless way she walks the streets and simply studies her people. It is the warm, concerned gaze of a mother. And yet also  the sharply critical eye of a predator.

Peace is not a word or even a state of being which Mari knows well. It is not in her blood, this kind of frivolity. And so like any good guard dog, she will stand watch, and make sure that they are all safe, that no villain will come for them while they are drunk with their backs turned to dance; she will make sure that they do not turn out like her, who worries every celebration is simply a distraction from some other evil.

It is with this watchful eye she catches sight of the golden stranger in the corner. He looks… well. He looks cold. 

Sympathy rocks Mari’s body like the vibrations of a bell, rushes into her so hard it makes her heart hurt.

You are growing soft, Anselm murmurs from somewhere far away, and the Queen says nothing because she knows it is true. She knows it will become a weakness. But she cannot stop looking, and aching—at the sodden sheets of white hair and the slipping blue knot, the way frigid water sparkles on his skin, how he stands so kindly and oh, so alone, in the middle of this crowd. 

Perhaps it is only the philanthropy of the season, but Marisol thinks she might die if she does not take it upon herself to become his friend.

Anselm pads far behind her as she sweeps up to him. “You look cold,”  the queen says, almost plaintive. In the dim light her eyes glint with the reflection of fire; they are wide and warm with something that might be eagerness, or concern, or both. Mari tries to brush some of the water off him with the tip of one wing and is not sure whether it is at all successful. “Come on—“ This time she tries to make her voice lighter, a little more mischievous. “We’ll get a hot drink.” 

Without waiting for an answer, she tugs him toward the market stalls.

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


Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 16
Signos: 5
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 497 Summer] // 15 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: // Bonded:

Michael is walking, stiff and wet and trying so hard to be whole and right and happy. In a city full of laughter, full of floating light and the music of bliss, Michael has never felt so alone. The full-body shiver that wracks its way through him is not from the cold.

Snow has bunched up against the city walls but he can barely feel the cold anymore - it has become some far-off numbness in the base of his neck, a distant ache through his whole body that follows him toward cluster of shops on the outskirts that are thick with the scent of cinnamon-sugar and pine. The river of festival-goers flows through and left in its wake is only Michael, soaked and somber, carefully picking up little wooden carvings painted in gold and white and green, admiring each intricate edge.

(He does not see the shopkeep staring at him with some vague look of concern, or distrust, or maybe even sympathy. He also does not see that same shoopkeep when her eyes are drawn over toward the Commander and that look smoothes into one of half-hearted relief.)

When Marisol finds him it is like every god at once reaches down their long arms and pulls him from the dirt, sifting through to find the bits that have gone astray, cast out over the street as if someone was scattering birdseed. He is not sure his expression properly conveys his gratitude, and especially when he turns to see her and she is full of this deep-seated longing to protect him and Michael's heart says like Isra, but then the rest of his heart says, but without the big hungry thing in her.

He remembers the harvest festival, and Isra perched on the wall like a gargoyle, hungry and volatile. Breathtaking. He wonders if she will find peace. He thinks he knows she doesn't really want to.

You look cold, Queen Marisol says.
"I'm very cold, Michael agrees. As she tries, in vain, to wick him dry, fat drops tumble off the sopping mass of his knotted mane and land on the plane of her wing. He smiles apologetically at her.

She says, we'll get a hot drink (and he sees her mouth curve into a mischevious smile, one that makes him grin) but before he can even think she is tugging him away, and he has to toss the carving back on the shopkeep's counter to return it. "I have literally never needed a hot drink so badly in my life." he says as they're already in motion, diving into a crowd that calls to her at every corner, laughing and raising their drinks and all those general, vague celebratory sounds that large crowds of rowdy party-goers are wont to produce. Michael has not stopped grinning.

He isn't even looking at the shops as he passes by.
"I take it you're queen Marisol?" he says when they've slowed enough for him to breathe again.
"Tell me how all this, 
and love too, will ruin us."



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