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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 383 — Threads: 40
Signos: 70
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 110 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#1

Isra who cannot catch the wind

“I don’t know if I can put it into words just yet, this feeling like something’s ending.”



 There has always been something religious about my castle. Even before it was mine, when I had roamed along the shadow of it like a mouse, there had been holiness in the scripture of stained-glass thin enough pull down the moon-glow. My heart breaks a little more, when I tilt my head back so far that my spine aches, to see the moon shining through all the colors now. Outside I know it'll be full and silver, but here in the entrance of my castle, it's blue, and gold, and red, and more colors than I know how to name. 

I wish the moon called to me like the sea does. I wish I could feel the pull of the waxing and waning and nothing of the tide. I wish. On a hundred falling stars, on the constellations that will lament their death, I wish

And I know I shouldn't because war has no place for wishes. 

War is for being cold, and cruel, and hungry as a lion full with only stones in her belly. So I must be the winter now. I must be the deep, black sea where there is no light and only evolution. I must evolve. Even as I trace my nose across the gemstones embedded in the oak doors of my old castle, I must evolve. The universe needs me to become, to be winter and wrath, to be everything that makes evil men tremble like leaves in the storm of me. 

“I am the storm.” Maybe if I whisper it to the quartz and the pearl I will believe it. Maybe if I say it over and over again until my blood howls it. Maybe if I just pull the moon down with a noose woven with the words it won't seem such an awful thing to be.

Maybe--

Antiope's steps break my focus. She sounds like a war-drum coming down the hall and it reminds me that I have no more time to linger in the golden and red moonlight and ache. I am out of time. Outside the bells are ringing and there is no time left for me to linger with my nose against stones old enough that my magic does not want to devour them. “Antiope” I say her name, because I don't know what else to say, because I don't know if there are any other words my voice will not trip on. 

The doors open before me, before us (the queens, for one final moment, the queens). Out here the moonlight is silver, and cold, and it makes me miss the gold and red. It makes me miss the holiness of my castle. But it's not mine, not anymore, and so I don't look back as my hooves start to move over the stones in a rhythm far steadier than my heartbeat. I hope I sound like a war too, like a drum, like thunder roaring across the horizon. 

I hope I sound as fearless as a bolt of lightning reaching for a distant tree. 

The sea sounds so close now, a dull roar in my ear, a whisper in my veins telling me that it's time to come home. I think that if Eik was not wanting for me on our ship that I might walk into the tide, and run along the ocean floor until I dissolved into salt, and brine, and sea-foam as pure as a star. My ears are still echoing with the call of the sea, when I brush my nose across Antiope's shoulder. “Promise me you will love her.” I do not say, more than I was able to, but the words live in the way my hair reaches only towards the docks when the winter wind whips at our backs. And maybe, maybe it's in the way my eyes are looking only forward, only onward, only to a shore that I will raze. 

For a moment, when the wind sings through my horn like a siren, I want to turn back and throw myself into the dark mountain forest, and the bottom of the lake, and dance around the fires until my legs become roots holding me here. For a moment I want to stay, I want to run back to my castle, and my children, and the fate I am too broken to hold on too. 

It's slipping past me. It's too fast to catch.

I walk on because it's the only thing I know how to make myself too. I walk on because I am a storm and storms only thunder into the wind and roar against the cliffs. But I pause, just long enough for my lungs to tremble and my magic to scream. I want to cry. I  inhale like I want to say something more but the words have slipped past me like fate has. 

I exhale. I exhale. I exhale because the wind is the only part of Denocte that can hold me now. 

And everything, every house and every brick below our hooves, turns to moonstone speckled with constellations of diamonds. The bells almost echo hollow of the beauty of it, my last gift to the city I could not love enough to stay. 




@Antiope



{ So I love you all, and this thread will eventually open up for everyone to join Isra on her walk towards the dock, and say their goodbyes. However I just need to get a few more posts between her and Antiope done first. <3 }










Played by Offline Kat [PM] Posts: 113 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Night Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 28 — Atk: 32 — Exp: 50 // Active Magic: Energy Transference // Bonded: N/A
#2

as you stand upon the edge, woven by a single thread

There is nothing of Denocte’s castle that reminds her of the world she once called home. Not Corellon, standing cold and pious on the ocean cliff—open to the rising sun—all white marble and looming columns and those damned statues of the gods. Antiope only remembers it bathed in red, red, red; burning, ending.

It doesn’t remind her of the jungle kingdom she had been sent to live in, to lead into war. There had been no castle, but humble, sturdy homes built high in the canopies like they were one with the trees. It was a wild place, an untamed place, full of shadow and dappled sunlight and equines fierce and devoted.

Denocte’s castle is a different creature, not unlike her. It is dark, with hidden corners and hallways draped in shadow, and burning, alive with the light of flickering flames. Every time she steps inside its stone walls there is a feeling of reverence, of mystery. Every echo, of her steps, of her breaths, are like prayers she doesn’t know how to speak.

If this castle is a church, Antiope is surely some fallen angel searching its walls for meaning.

She meets Isra by the doors, with the bells tolling over the streets like a keening cry. There is a burning inside her that is different from all the burning her skin has ever felt. It is settling in all the empty places inside her like brick and mortar, filling all the holes, growing, growing. Antiope looks into her eyes, and knows. “Isra,” I know, I know.

Antiope wants to tell her that the court will be strong, even in her absence, because she has made it stronger. With every flicker of magic, every tidal touch and iron stand Isra has built her people into something more, something other than what they were even when she first set foot on its shores.

The door opens to the courtyard and the streets and together the woman step out of the shadow of the castle’s gaping mouth. They are limned in white-silver light, it dances across their spines, marking them as the moon’s. Isra will always belong to the moon, even across the sea, even across the world. Antiope hopes she knows that. That she will leave a piece of her here, even after she has stepped off the docks and onto her ship and disappeared over the horizon.

There is a firmness to her skin when Isra’s nose brushes over her shoulder, like her determination lives not only in her eyes but in her every cell. There is a promise in her eyes, as she looks at Isra even though Isra looks forward. It is a promise that says both I already do, and, I will.

“Isra,” Antiope says her name again, and the sounds of their steps is like a feral, rising heartbeat. Growing, growing, growing. There is nothing to say, no words that can possibly give back to the other woman what she has given to Antiope. Their time is dwindling down, like a setting sun dipping below the skyline, and she is not sure if she will ever be ready.

Antiope has followed this warbeat drum that is calling to Isra, has let it carry her to a temple on a cliff and bathed it in fury and death. She does not regret her choice, could never regret the fight for the lives that had been stolen of the ones she loved. “You are not a godess, you are stronger,” Antiope cannot help but think that she is not a godess either, but she knows she has often looked like one, “You are a storm, bend them to their knees.”

The wind is pulling them along and the streets and the walls and all of Denocte is shifting under their sea-queen’s influence. It is shimmering like stars in the moonlight, but Antiope knows it can never be the last gift that Isra leaves them with. There is so much more, much deeper, in all of them, that will stay long after she is gone.

She doesn’t tell her not to go; she can’t. “We will listen for tales of your triumph on the wind.” Antiope doesn’t have to doubt her, she never could. If she has learned anything about Isra, she knows that she will not rest until the land her eyes see across the ocean is free. “I will care for them.” She wants to say so much more, but what else is there?

"Speaking."



@Isra





[Image: 13716916_Rc8f5hGvZkB3cYP.png]
a war is calling
the tides are turned








Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 383 — Threads: 40
Signos: 70
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 110 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#3

Isra who is made of brine

“a word with teeth sharp to bite through the string that ties past to the future.”



 Pieces of our city are starting to follow us. It starts with a child and their mother. I can hear the whispers of their voices, louder somehow than the bells that have still not gone silent. The words come and go between the drum-beat of our hooves on the moonstone and diamond. Each of them makes guilt spiral up my throat and bang at the backs of my teeth. I want to spit with all the guilt I feel, at their love for me. For me, the once queen who is leaving them to save a country far across the tide. They should hate me, I should be nothing to them. I feel like I am dust on the wind, smoke dissipating into the night from their fires, I am nothing, nothing nothing.

Even my hooves, drumming out a coming war, feel like phantom limbs beneath the weight of all the guilt I feel.

But I try not to let it show, or it let it control me. I try, try, try. And even though I have enough power to conquer this world  too, I have always been a creature (a monster) controlled by the thing beating in my chest and the soul wrapped around it, soft and fragile as butterfly wings. I am no good at being frost, and winter, and steel. The tear, the lonely tear, pooling in the corner of my eye gives me away. It is breaking me to leave this city, these people, my daughter.

“I will do more than bend them.” The rage comforts me, makes me feel less like a sorrowful ghost walking across the fresh dirt of her own grave. It makes me feel like a god, a hurricane, the wrath of the world. It makes me feel like a monster with sharp-cracked skin instead of scales. I am broken and every part between the pieces is full of rage.

I am broken and it's only broken things that go to war, that taste blood in-between their teeth and smile. So I tell myself that it's good that I am in pieces, and it's good that I can already taste iron and gore every time I swallow. I tell myself that storms are made to destroy and consume. Storms are not made to rule a city, or to love it. They are made to love what comes after the end of it, when all the slates are wiped clean. They are made to--

We make it to the sea, where my ship is waiting, and I forget all the ways in which I feel guilty. Fable is  waiting on the shore, his wings spread wide for the children playing in the shadows beneath them. The children are laughing when he sprays salt-water onto their heads like rain. The sight of it shatters something in me. I beg him again to stay, to remain a sea-creature full of love instead of hate. But before he answers, No, I already know that he will not leave me. He denies me almost nothing, only this. And perhaps I should remember there are worst things to have than a dragon's love, no matter how much it hurts.

The sea roars in my blood again, calling me home. This is the first time I have come to the sea with rage, and sorrow, and heartbreak since I let it kill me and remake me into this terrible thing I have become. It's a siren song ringing in my ears, and that lone tear, turns to salt that glitters like stardust when it falls from my aching cheek. I turn to Antiope and I know it's the sea she'll see in my eyes, sea and war and nothing but a memory of her friend in the ice castle. Beneath my skin my magic rages like a tempest and I wonder how long before I am not bones and flesh but smoke and magic rolling on the breeze like a dead-god. “You will be so much more to them than I could ever be.” I can see it in her, the way she puts down her weapons so easy, the way she smiles and races through the streets.

Everything in Antiope is saying stay, and everything in every inch of me is screaming go, go, go. I am helpless against the violence of the call, of the sea, of my wrath and vengeance and purpose. For a long time I have been more purpose than girl, more wrath than love.

Eik is waiting for me. The country across the sea is crying for me, for my war. Fable has turned from the children and waits for me half in the waves and half out. Avesta is already standing on the prow of my ship, her head tossed to the winds like she's more wind and kelpie than child. Aspara is-- oh I cannot think it because if I do I will not go.

And Antiope is waiting, like a beautiful knight, for me to hand over my city to her because she will love is so much more than I was ever able too. She will not leave for war with all the sorrow and peace rolling in her eyes the same way violence is rolling in mine.

“I promise that by the tide or death I will come back. Aspara is staying so I will come home. Will you guide her for me..” I swallow and it tastes like acid and iron and blood. “for us?” Because I am not the only one who will feel the loss of her like a knife. I know her sister will, but she's more like me than Eik, and she is more like the sea every hour. She cannot stay when the sea is calling. I understand of course, it breaks me but I understand. Maybe this have never been home for the two of us.

My blood has always been made for the bottom of the sea.

“And don't let Morrighan burn down the city.” My smile is more sorrowful than anything. I will miss her too, with her rage that echoes mine. She is the only one, in this entire city, who can see all the monstrous parts of me and find twins of them in herself. And perhaps she will hate me for this, but I know that more than anyone else she will understand. I love Denocte too much to destroy it.

But all this magic, all this rage in my soul, it all wants out in the worst way. I do not love the country on the horizon, and oh---

Oh they should be very afraid when they finally see me coming to their shores. They should tremble.




@Antiope











Played by Offline Kat [PM] Posts: 113 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Night Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 28 — Atk: 32 — Exp: 50 // Active Magic: Energy Transference // Bonded: N/A
#4

“train your soul to remember where the weapon and the world divide”
“Yes,” Antiope says, because she cannot possibly doubt Isra. And she does not, for all the things Isra has shown, she knows the iron strength and humming rage that waits underneath it all. Antiope knows because when she looks at Isra she can see that they are cut from the same stone.

The gods that made Antiope may not have made this woman walking next to her, but they could have for all the ways that they could be sisters.

The tigress steals a look to the march gathering at the sides, at their backs. These horses are here to see off their queen, who goes to war for a people who cannot free themselves. It is noble, and brave, and Antiope feels nothing but respect, when her eyes take in the shape of Isra’s silhouette against the city and the sky. If there are other things, she is not ready to assess them. She leaves them inside where they belong.

When they reach the sea and the ship and all the ones they will be made to miss, they stop. Antiope’s eyes are like the sea, today. Deep, and dark and fathomless. Even when Isra turns to her and tells her that she will be good for their people, her people. She doesn’t know how to disagree, can’t quite form the words to say, “There will always be a hole, from your heart.”

She has never been poetic, nor poignant. Today is not the day to start, today will not be the day a wild thing like her becomes something refined. “I have already had my retribution,” she tells Isra, as if it can be a promise, or a reminder. She does not fault the sea-woman hers.

There is nothing left for Antiope to seek revenge for, but there is plenty left for her to fight for here. Isra made sure of that, when she chose the striped woman for her Regent. There is so much here for her to cherish and shelter, to foster and grow. She will do her best to stand under these stars and give the court everything they need.

“I will do right by Aspara, as if she were my own,” it isn’t easy to say, perhaps in the way she pauses halfway between the words or the way she glances away afterwards to harden the thing inside her still carrying their names like a fragile flame.

But it is the only way she knows to say it, that will mean something to the both of them. Isra is the only one Antiope has told about them, and in that knowledge she can go, perhaps, a little easier. She can go, perhaps, with the knowing that there will be someone here to watch out for her daughter. To protect her at all costs.

She cannot help the smile that twists her lips at Isra’s next comment, though she sees the pain in her own. “Perhaps I will just have to fireproof the court,” Antiope says, “do you know of any good spellcasters I can reach out to?” The jest lives only a half-life upon her tongue, and she knows they are only delaying the inevitable. There is not much longer they can put it off.

There are lives waiting, across the sea. Soon, Isra will be across the sea.

Antiope wants to ask so many things, but they all sound like staying, and Isra cannot help but to go. So instead she reaches out and draws a circle upon the other woman’s shoulder with a gentle touch, “Go to your own sun,” she says. Burn, soar. Then, Antiope turns her head toward the ones who had followed them all the way to the ocean. Brothers, sisters, mothers, children, “They are here for you,” her eyes are the ocean, cradling them all.

“Speaking.”
| @Isra <3





[Image: 13716916_Rc8f5hGvZkB3cYP.png]
a war is calling
the tides are turned








Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 383 — Threads: 40
Signos: 70
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 110 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#5

Isra who is no longer herself 

'So why not carve you to be the god of war?'



 I wish I could take her words: I have had my retribution. If I could I would swallow them down like stones to whittle down the sharpness of my teeth. I wish, oh I wish, my lips (my throat, my lungs, my ragged roaring heart) would learn how to form the shape of them like one of my daughters' bedtime stories. But all I can do is smile and try to make it look less like a violent slash of teeth on my face, like I'm so happy she's not full of all the sharp glass bits that I am.

Like I'm grateful that there is this world full of stars, and hope, and love, that some of us can still see.

But I can't see it in moments longer than a blink of my eyes, or a stutter of my lungs. I can't see the stars without seeing them dripping blood, or the moon not haloed with the echo of a terrible sun. I cannot see a world without horror.

All I can see how, when I close my eyes to dream, or wonder, or catch my breath, is the way this universe is dying beneath the heel of evil hearts. All I can see is Eik's halberd glinting in the sun like a comet as he twirls it around, and around, and around like a planet orbiting the star of him. All I can see are my daughters looking at the scar across my hip and asking why?.

And all I can feel is the sea calling me home, and the holiness in by quartz blood, and the magic snarling in my veins like a trapped and rabid thing. My rage is not a quiet thing, it's not tamed, and oh, oh, oh--

“I'll do what I can do fireproof it.” This magic, this creation, is as easy as breathing. I hardly feel a feather in my chest when it races out of me to make every building in the harbor granite, and gemstone, and precious metal. It all glimmers in the corner of my eyes and dances in the moonlight like the entirety of the heavens have settled down upon my once-court. And maybe it's like the heavens came home, when I look at Antiope and say, “the rest will be up to you.”

Her skin is warm under my touch as I draw an answering circle upon her shoulder. “And you to your moon.” I can feel the words spreading out form my lips like roots growing across her skin, or maybe it's more like chains. Either way I can feel the way the horses behind us are all looking at their Regent, their new Queen, and wondering if she'll be the one to stay where I could not.

Like Caligo I cannot.

I brush my nose against her ear, even though I can hardly hear anything but the roaring sea in my own now. “Do not make my mistakes.” And I have made many. I had mercy when I should have destroyed. I had hate when I should have had peace. I have made so many mistakes in this land. But it was never my land, not really, not forever. It is hers.

The crowd seems to be like more stones, other bits of earth I wonder if I can change, or shape, or turn eternal. It seems like a shore so very far away even as my shadow stretches moon-silver across it for the last time as its Queen. The last time for me--

But the first for “Queen Antiope”, whose name rings like another bell in my voice when I say it to the crowd like a forgotten hallelujah. The crowd cheers, and if there is a sorrowfulness to it, a good-bye, I cannot hear it beyond the bellow of my dragon and the lulling song of the sea. My blood is pulling me into the tide, my magic echoing back another tune that sounds not like a warning, but like a hello between monsters with the same bone caught between their snarls.

So it's to the sea, and the ship I go, a god caught in a net of her own making.

And it is net. Oh! it's a net and noose--

Until.




@Antiope











Played by Offline Kat [PM] Posts: 113 — Threads: 16
Signos: 0
Night Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 28 — Atk: 32 — Exp: 50 // Active Magic: Energy Transference // Bonded: N/A
#6

“train your soul to remember where the weapon and the world divide”
Antiope looks at the Isra they are losing and wonders what the Isra they will get will look like, when she returns. She wonders how this war will change her, like wars have changed them all. She wonders if Isra will come back with less vengeance on her tongue or more? It is impossible to say, but she knows that this Isra is drowning in the blackness of things, in the sharpness of distant truths.

That had been her once. Sometimes, Antiope thinks it might still be. In the quiet of midnight, when she cannot, does not, sleep. When the lioness of her magic is prowling endlessly through her veins. But sometimes everything feels different. Sometimes she thinks that maybe she is not only the weapon she was made but more.

That is all she wants to be, for these people, for her people.

When Isra’s magic turns the harbor buildings to stone and quartz and metal, shining and glimmering in the dark, Antiope wants to say, “This is the thing you have always given us.” She wants nothing more than Isra to go knowing that she does not fault her, but she also wants Isra to go with all the violence she needs to save an entire world. She doesn’t know how to find the balance in time, and so the tigress does not say anything.

She only nods, when Isra says that the rest is up to her. She takes the weight upon her shoulders and bears it, like the sacks of grain and apples she had carried upon her back out of a burning building, once. Only her magic will not aid her in carrying this weight. It will not make her stronger in the ways she will need it to.

Isra’s touch is familiar, as the unicorn draws a circle upon her own shoulder. To her own moon she thinks, and glances up at the sky, eyes flashing like a gem caught in the light. She is still not so certain where her and the moon stand, but that is a matter for another day. For another night.

Not this night. This night is for goodbyes, and for beginnings.

She will make her own mistakes, that much is certain. Antiope has made them before, and she will make them again. But she promises to learn from them, and to do whatever is necessary to keep her people safe. That is one mistake which she gravely regretted making, and hopes to never make again.

And as she turns toward them crowd, toward the equines who she will be Queen of now, she’s not sure if there is anything else to say. Isra says her name, presents her to them, and she feels strangely like she is descending some marble staircase somewhere with four gods behind her. “What am I?” a faint voice rings in her head. It almost sounds like her. It could be her, before the anger, before the death. “And who am I?”

What will they think of her, now?

“Speaking.”
| @Isra





[Image: 13716916_Rc8f5hGvZkB3cYP.png]
a war is calling
the tides are turned








Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 192 — Threads: 26
Signos: 30
Night Court Regent
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 499 Fall] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 68 // Active Magic: Fire Manipulation // Bonded: Bram (Timber Wolf)
#7

we're climbing until we transcend
higher, higher to where the skies end

When the court bells ring, Morrighan almost doesn't get up. She knows what they mean and she's not ready to face it. Still, she knows she must go, even if she's still feeling upset towards Isra.

As she leaves her home, she's immediately greeted by a gust of wind. It calls to her with the smell of the sea and a need to head to the shore. Already others were beginning to gather by the doors of the castle to send off Isra and welcome Antiope as their new queen. Morrighan walks slowly as if to delay the inevitable, but she knows she'll need to catch up soon. The crowd is already turning towards the sea to follow the pair.

Morrighan's pace changes to a gallop as she passes the buildings and castle. It looms over them all, reflecting the moonlight shining down and almost giving it an ethereal glow. Some might say that Caligo is with them tonight too.

When she finally makes it to the crowd, she notices the buildings by the harbor shift from granite to stone and to metal so quickly. It's clearly Isra's doing. Maybe it's one last reminder of the way she changed Denocte and them all, just as she can do with the world around her. It's bittersweet, but Morrighan wishes the mare didn't have to go. If she were given the chance to go back to Ourania and fight their war again, she'd laugh in the face of whoever told her to do so. There's nothing left for her there, so she can't possibly understand what could be left in Isra's old world that is more important than her people. For this, she remains bitter and perhaps a part of her will always resent the woman for it.

As she watches Fable on the shore, she's not surprised that he is here too. He's always a step behind Isra, if not looking down from his place in the sky. Eik and Avesta are there too, with their daughter already on the ship and ready to embark on their journey. Morr will miss them all deeply and isn't sure she's prepared for such a big change.

At last, Isra makes her announcement and the crowd erupts in cheers. There are many who are crying, but Morrighan's expression remains serious to match her forever conflicted feelings. So when she decides to step forward out of the crowd and to the women, she quickly tries to form the words in her head. She so badly wants to kick and scream at their now former queen and ask her all the questions of why and how. How could she do this? Why is it so important? What could she possibly gain out of this that makes it worth it? Deep down she knows, but she doesn't want to admit it. She wants to consume it all with her fire until the screaming stops.

But she does none of these things. Instead, she faces the two of them and bows to Antiope out of respect. When she gets up, she turns to Isra and her heart breaks.

"Goodbye," she says, almost a whisper, and the word is nearly forced out of her mouth. Goodbyes are never easy and there are never any right ways to say it. "Don't forget about us," she grumbles, but really, it's her way of saying 'come back to us' and 'I'll miss you' because she's too stubborn to express her true feelings.

When she turns to Antiope then, there is the slightest hint of a smile towards her comrade. However, it's so brief that it will likely go unnoticed. "Congratulations," she says with a nod before turning back to the crowd. The wind is pushing against her, but she fights back. She has to leave Isra there. She has to let her go on her new journey. Morrighan only hopes the woman will truly come back and not leave herself behind in that other world.

@Antiope @Isra <3
"Speaking."
credits
credits






now the dark begins to rise
save your breath, it's far from over





Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 71 — Threads: 13
Signos: 335
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 22 // Active Magic: Psychometry // Bonded: Furfur (Wraith Wolf)
#8


A S P A R A


I woke before sunrise, feeling sick.

The night before, the Last Night, in our room I was weaving prayers (although, they were fashioned more like demands) into my sister’s hair. I wish I were generous enough to have prayed for victory and freedom and justice, but I did not. Mostly I just prayed come back to me.

I fell asleep with that singular thought on repeat. Come back to me. Come back to me. Come back to me.

I woke before sunrise, feeling sick, and the rest of the day passed in a haze. Like grease had been smeared over the glass of my eyes. There was no focus, no clarity, no sense of certainty-- just a blur at the edges of my vision. A watercolor sickness. I remember, to my shame, just wanting the goodbyes to be over with. Just wanting them to set sail already and be done with it already.

In many ways I already treated them as gone. I tried not to, but I couldn’t help it. In the days before they set sail, every precious moment with my sister had been tainted by the dread of her imminent departure. In mother’s stories I didn’t hear the words; I just felt the weight of them, hitting me like stones. And father’s company-- reassuringly calm, quiet, easy-- only reminded me of how unbalanced everything would be without him.

There was a huge crowd gathered at the docks. I’d wager the entire court was there, loud and tense and packed together like a huge and particularly cumbersome group of fish. Furfur and I were leery of crowds, the heat and smell and sound of them, and for a few minutes I stood at the back, blinking the sweat from my eyes, debating how much my mother would care if I didn’t see her off personally. It was all for show, anyway.

Just as I was thinking about that, about the show of it all, magic washed over the court like a wave. Buildings and roads turned to stone and metal with a sound not unlike a sigh. The crowd rippled with oohs and ahhs. I wanted to scream at how easy it was for her to just change everything. And then, I wanted to scream at how easy it was for all of them to leave me. To leave Novus, where my roots ran deep, deep, deep.

I wanted to turn away, but I noticed how a crack of violet unfolded at my feet. Smooth amethyst, running the length of the earth from me to her. A beckoning, a message, and I folded to it without thinking it over too much. She was my mother, and I loved her, and I might never see her again.

Small as I was, it was easy to slip through the cracks between people. Furfur padded at my heels, quiet but imposing. Shouts erupted around me and the crowd grew boisterous. “Queen Antiope” rang in the air like church bells. Reverent; In Queen We Trust. Celebratory. The need to scream grew and grew.

Mom.” I slipped free from the hot, writhing sea and then it was just the two of us. In my memory it was silent. I know it wasn’t but that’s just how I remember it: me and her and nothing else, not even the beating of my heart. I lowered my horn and pressed its spirals against her own and I had nothing to say. No, I had too many things to say. And like I fool I didn’t say any of the things I should have. Not I love you or I’m sorry or I changed me mind, take me with you, don’t leave me.

In the end I said: “Bring them home safe.

It was vaguely threatening, although we both knew that I could not back up those fighting words. Because whatever happened in that distant land, I would not be there.

"I--" As soon as I started to speak the crowd was among us, and then between us, all those farewells and congratulations and thank yous and I couldn't even finish whatever it was I meant to say, because I guess that's just the kind of person I am; easily swept away. Like dust on the floor.

Maybe it was better that way.


@Isra











Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 381 — Threads: 64
Signos: 745
Dawn Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 93 // Active Magic: Nature Spirit // Bonded: Rhoeas (Criost Deer)
#9

you are the poem wildflowers write to spring
There will always be a part of him that loves Denocte, in a way he will never be able to love Delumine.

He tries to tell himself that he would still love Denocte with a different queen, a different sovereign who doesn’t carry the sea in her heart. Even now when he looks back at the citadel he can see the mark of a different king, one with silver gypsy coins that laughed with the same wild abandon as his moonlit eyes. In a way, the city streets they crowded now were the same streets they had crowded the day they woke up to find their king had abandoned them. The people still held the same breathless anticipation in their lungs, the same rosemary-scented smoke still curled the air between street vendors’ stalls, the same kiss of ocean mist still washed his face like some holy communion.

And yet -

And yet it was not the same, because the faces of the people were more open now. They lived for more than the night now, when the darkness could hide their sins and their shame and their secrets. These people had had to fight for their freedom, and not only once; and it showed, in their eyes, in their way they stood, in the way they looked at their queen (for Isra would always be a queen, their queen, even when she was not their sovereign) as she walked that path to the sea.

He could only wonder if the Denocte he gazed upon tonight would be the same Denocte he woke up to in the morning.

Ipomoea presses in against the others, and as he feels their shoulders touching his he feels less like a king, and more like a worshipper at an altar. There’s a small part of him that whispers that he should not be here, the same voice he heard every time he abandoned his court for their’s, but it is not the first time he ignores it. And each time he pushes it away that voice grows smaller, and fainter, and he hates that Delumine’s pull is, for the moment, weaker than Denocte’s on him. 

But tonight isn’t a night for regrets, and he doesn’t want to think of all the things he could have done, or should be doing; not when tonight is her’s.

“May the stars watch over you,” he whispers the words against her shoulder as she passes. And for just a few paces he falls into step alongside her, just long enough to pluck a moonflower from the twining stem that had been wrapping its way up his leg, and to twine it instead through her mane. The vine curls itself against her skin like it never wanted to live apart from her, and he steps back with a smile as soft as the flower’s bleached petals.

“And may you bring a new story back to us one day.”



Then he fades away into the crowd once more. And he tries to not let the allure of that waiting ship and the worlds it promises to explore be stronger than Delumine’s hold on him.


@Isra “speech”










Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 383 — Threads: 40
Signos: 70
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 60 — Atk: 60 — Exp: 110 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#10

Isra and the sea

“I earned my place with the tidal waves.”



 I barely notice the bodies pressing in against me or their words and their anger. I'm so far gone from this mortal coil already.

I'm already gone.

There is nothing but the sea until Aspara finds me. There is nothing but my roaring soul and the salted sting of the sea wrapping itself around my heart and soul. I know that she is the only thing in the world that might break me loose from it now, the only bit of mortal flesh and bone that might be powerful enough to save me.

But there are three bits of my heart waiting on the ship and only one on the shore. And I know that there are thousands of innocents suffering that do not have the strength to rise up against their lash and chain cages. Maybe it makes me a terrible mother, maybe it makes me a terrible mortal, maybe--

Maybe I deserve to die in my war because even when Aspara touches our horns together like blades I can still hardly take my eyes from the sea. All I do is brush my nose to her ears, and breathe that hush, hush, hush song that I've sung to her every night the walls cannot stop talking.

It's all I do before I'm off to the sea, and the ship, and my black-oil rage.

Even the tears running into the cracks between my snarling, feral teeth taste like brine now. There is no moonlight left in them, no stardust in my blood. I'm all fire now, all wrath, all rage, all ocean ferocity. I am dissolving.

dissolving
disintegrating


There is only the sea as it rises up to press like roots seeking dirt at the scales dusting my stomach. I am salt, and brine, and sea-water breaching the gates. The tide wraps itself around my neck and clenches. It pours into my lungs like rain and my entire body screams a hallelujah like I've been suffocating for years and only just remembered the taste of air. For a moment I flicker between this body and the one beneath it as my soul and form try to realign themselves.

Wrong, I was so wrong. This isn't dissolving.

This is...

This is..

Rising.

Like I am the queen of it, shedding my night black crown for one of bone-white coral and seaweed, the tide rises with me.

Together we go towards our ship, with a dragon roaring a battle-cry above our heads. The sea and I mount the stairs we make into the side of our ship. Together we look at all the bits of our heart going to war with us.

Together we smile.

Together we snarl.

Together we will conquer and there will be blood in the water.




/out











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