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Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 98 — Threads: 24
Signos: 2,095
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Empathy // Bonded: N/A
#1

every day it feels like I’m holding back an ocean


Her family had always encouraged Elena to explore the world around her, but maybe, not to this extent. She is once again in a place she doesn't know, a place that is different. Not for the first time she wants her crimson cousin with the brilliant glacial gaze that Elena now shares. Gifted from the ancient magic of Windskeep so when she looks into her own reflection she sees Lilli’s eyes staring back at her. Lilli, she whispers, I need you, be my light in the dark. Lilliana who was warm and beautiful and graceful. Who could find humor in everything and could turn the ugliest of days sunny. 

Winter. It was always winter. 

It feels almost familiar now as those icy eyes look around this strange place, she had arrived in Beqanna at the same time of the year, in the middle of a snowstorm desperate to find her red haired cousin. But, this time, there is no promise of finding Lilli to warm her against the cold. 

For now, she is a ship sent a adrift without any stars to guide her and it is not just because the sun shines bright overhead. She drifts mindlessly, there is no breeze to push her sail, though it hardly makes a difference. Elena would not know which direction to point it anyway, but she knows she cannot go back, to any of it. The emptiness continued to weigh on her even as she served Kensa, it went back before Beqanna, before Tunnel, before leaving Lilli, before Valerio disappeared, before Aerwir and her broke it apart, before Marcelo and Ori left her behind. It was the same hollowness she felt when she suddenly found herself alone in the world, parentless all those years ago. The day she left Lilli behind, something died inside Elena, the fire that burned inside her started to diminish. 

Here is the part of the story where Elena tells herself it was for the best, that Lilli would be fine without her cousin weighing her down. 
Little girl, little girl, you dirty liar. 

Terrastella. She thinks here and now because she is suddenly all too aware that she is no longer in Hyaline and it scares her. 

The blonde picks a leisurely stroll, even if within the confines of her golden chest her heart waltzes and tangos. This shouldn't be anything out of the ordinary, Elena was well acquainted with these feelings of “being the new kid.” But why does she have butterflies as she stands there holding her lunch tray in the cafeteria, terrified the cool kids wont ask her to sit with them. 

She thinks about sending out a searchlight. This little golden ship in this big, wide ocean, but her coast guard dressed in crimson with a matching gaze f silver blue is too far from her now to see the light she sends out across the waters. So Elena settles herself into her life raft, less than content to drift mindlessly further and further away from shore. The open sea was no place for a girl like her. So maybe it is best that she finds herself shipwrecked in the land of Novus.  

Elena arrives in the capital, she has carried little with her, just her past and her grief, but she is here all the same. And she is there as the sun edges towards the end of its day, though it still lets its rays touch against her golden coat, as Elena stands there as bright as ever, she is truly a child of summer. 



* e l e n a
in the dark I’ll pray for the return of the light
the sunflower daughter of benjamin and beylani
of dusk.






[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star

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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 86 — Threads: 13
Signos: 785
Dusk Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // 4 [Year 500 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 14 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anouk (Water Elemental)
#2


The girl smells like the ocean.

Anandi’s attention (wide, roving, wild thing) narrows into a thin line of focus as she wonders: what are you, to smell like something the sea gave back.

The emissary had stopped in her tracks without realizing it. That smell hit her hard in someplace deep and feral. That smell was safe, and wild, and home. It was her scent, and it shocked her to smell it on another.

Hey,” Andi calls across the courtyard, the kind of girl comfortable with raising her voice to get someone’s attention instead of just walking up to them first. The kind of girl that will ask you to sit with her, if you look lost, in part to be kind but mostly to have your gratitude. It was a sort of currency, of an emotional nature. Moments of gratitude, shame, even joy could be collected and some day, when the time was right, repaid.

And Anandi was very good at keeping track of what she was owed.

She draws closer to the sun-kissed stranger, but to her disappointment the girl is just a girl. Not a siren, or a kelpie, or something the sea gave back. Shipwrecked or stranded, yet seemingly not lost. Ah, well. She could still be interesting, even if she wasn’t dangerous. “You hungry?” The kelpie’s gaze skims the stranger’s salt-tangled mane, lingers for a pointed moment on the hungry crook of her golden hips.

Thirsty? Tired? Come on, I’ll show you around.” She beckons her head and begins to walk further into the court. Every movement graceful, precise, and something precariously balanced between dangerous and generous.


Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.

art


@Elena




some say the loving and the devouring are all the same thing

Reply




Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 98 — Threads: 24
Signos: 2,095
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Empathy // Bonded: N/A
#3

every day it feels like I’m holding back an ocean


Bold, daring Elena, they had all said. The little girl that had faced down the Snow Prince with unwavering courage. The little girl that had grown a little older that had looked to the undead Underworld and called him not a monster, but something else. Fire and Elena had gone hand in hand once upon a time.

But there is something still in her, it smolders and flickers, but she no longer burns so bright. It is burrowed beneath her golden skin and Elena is unsure how to coax it from its hiding place.

Elena still thinks of Murmuring Rivers after all these years, after the homes she has lived in, after the things she has seen. She wonders if this is what happens, that you still think back to that place of your childhood, no matter how much time has passed. She feels guilty, that she should think of the small of lavender and aspens rather than the mist of Windskeep’s waterfall. Murmuring Rivers was where Elena found herself when she thought she would be lost forever.

Her attention is turned when someone calls out to her. There is something about her that is different than what Elena is accustomed to seeing. And, after both beyond and Beqanna, Elena has seen sun horses, monsters, wielders of ice, and shapeshifter. Regardless, Elena thinks her beautiful. She blinks glacial blue eyes and looks out to the girl. “I think I am alright,” she says. In truth, she was hungry, but the ball of anxiety that has settled in her stomach is greedy and wishes to remain alone.

Those eyes blink again, how quickly to go from no one to someone. Elena looks carefully at the woman before smiling towards her. How naive. She thinks it is like Hyaline, that just because she has chosen Dusk as her court, she assumes all those residing inside it would be safe, her comrades. “Okay,” she says before stepping forwards to follow the girl. “I am Elena by the way,” she offers her name, the common courtesy the sunflower child has grown up with. “So you must be a member of Dusk? Or am I severely lost?” She asks with a smile. How quickly Elena goes from saddened to teasing, but the guilt and grief she has buried beneath her skin still itches from time to time, even with someone to distract her. “So, where to first?”



* e l e n a
in the dark I’ll pray for the return of the light
the sunflower daughter of benjamin and beylani
medic of dusk.



@Anandi




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star

Reply




Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 86 — Threads: 13
Signos: 785
Dusk Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // 4 [Year 500 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 14 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anouk (Water Elemental)
#4


Don’t look back. You can't. That is the cost of moving forward.

This is what Anandi tells herself when she starts to feel trapped in her private study. When she glances up to see the ocean, steely grey and wanting. The ocean, so close, and yet-- a world away from her maps and letters, her rank and station, her wine and candles and all the other extravagances of the surface world.

To her benefit she has a lifetime of training in suppressing her urges, denying her instincts, swallow her desires. As much as she misses home, she doesn’t have time to be homesick. She doesn’t have energy to look behind her. And, maybe, she doesn’t want to see the trail she’s left behind on her way here, the way she carved bloody and sunken into the soft earth. Maybe she doesn’t want to think of Leto, and Lucinda, and all the other terrible, wonderful things she’s done, and the weight of all the decisions she’s made.

So Anandi looks forward, to the girl that stands before her. “I think I am alright.” she says, and an entertained smile lights up Anandi’s girlish face. She did not have much patience for those without self-assurance, but she seemed to constantly make exceptions for anyone with a pretty face. As violent and cruel and predatory as the kelpie could be, she did like to be liked, particularly by the beautiful. So she kept her teeth hidden and her eyes demure, and although there was just something about her which made you uneasy, it struck you that this wasn’t entirely a bad thing.

I’m Anandi. And yes, this,” she gives a shrug-like gesture to their surroundings, “ is the one and only Dusk Court.

Where to? Anandi eyes her companion again. Salt-flecked and a little ragged. And-- by the jut of her hips, she could use something to eat. “The gardens.” She announces. “We’ll find you something to eat there. And you can wash up in the fountains.” They were quite spectacular, at least Anandi had thought so the first time she saw them-- which was just about a year ago now. My, how time flew by on the surface world.

The emissary leads the way to the gardens on the South side of the court proper. Along the way she points out places of interest- The Lazy Whirlpool (one of the court’s nicer inns), a spattering of pubs, the markets. Finally they reach the terraced slope facing the sea. Rows of fruit trees and vegetables line the lower levels. The vegetation becomes less practical and more decorative with each tier; the top row is a bounty of fragrant roses, jasmine, lilies. Their scent is swept by the ocean breeze up to the towers of the court.

Anandi glances to the window she knows leads to Marisol’s study. And she wonders, for a brief selfless second, what her sovereign is up to. If she can smell the roses and the sweet salt breeze. If she too ever wants to slip beneath the sea and just be.

But the emissary is here and now and sweet Elena is standing by with those bright blue eyes. Anandi steps forward, through the rows of the garden and toward its heart. There lies a giant fountain, built over a natural spring. Two children splash in the knee-deep water, squealing as they splash each other. On the way she picks an apple and floats it with her telepathy toward Elena. "Eat," she says gently, and although her voice is not unkind there is a certain tenseness to her. Like the word was a test.

Or maybe she was always like this; electric.


Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.

art


@Elena




some say the loving and the devouring are all the same thing

Reply




Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 98 — Threads: 24
Signos: 2,095
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Empathy // Bonded: N/A
#5

every day it feels like I’m holding back an ocean


“Are you looking for someone?”
“No.”

He had been ragged: dirty skin, angry edges, violent shine to his eyes. Of course, she had seen worse, had seen so much worse, yet she hadn't been able to shake the feeling of discomfort that found her, tucked beneath that golden skin when he looked at her, saying the very nickname her own parents ad given to her when she had been so small on stumbling, uncoordinated legs.

And there she had stood, clawing at his chest to let her into his heart until her fingernails were ragged and bloody. Even after Frostbane, after Underworld, after Ostere, Elena had never learned to keep the door closed to the monsters that crept at night. She would pull back the covers and invite them into her bed if it meant she didn't have to sleep alone under the stars.

“Not everyone can be expected to smile so prettily all the time. Some of us are content to be more sedate.” 

Did I make the right choice?
She wants to ask not for the first time in her life. But she holds back.

“It seems like a lovely place,” Elena settles on instead, words that are meant to be small talk, a cover for the questions that quiver beneath blue eyes. She cannot be so quick to let go of her secrets, her thoughts. Elena has made this mistake time and time again. She likes to think that maybe now, maybe, she has learned her lesson.

“The gardens,” she says with something of a breath of fresh air. “That sounds lovely,” she exhales. Elena is still sometimes that little filly made of golden sunshine staring out at the tulips that surround her feet with her mother beside her. Or the little girl that picked flowers with her red haired cousin and decorated the manes and tails of all the residents of Paraiso. She is silly hoping she could do the same here, although the little girl inside her wriggles with excitement and eagerness. “Thank you, Anandi,” Elena says as she follows the mare down the dusk court path.

As they stroll through the court, Elena’s blue eyes rove left and right, taking keen interest in the areas the other mare points out to her. And then that familiar scent of florals and color reaches her nares and Elena’s knees nearly shudder with memories and hope. She hardly knows where to look first, and with a stuttered beat of her heart, she thinks of Lilli again for only an instant, and how much the butterfly child would love this garden and if she ever felt just as satisfied with the taigan trees.

An apple strays before her, a command on its red skin. Elena is hardly in a place to disobey, either the mare or her own stomach. In a few bites, the apple is gone and Elena’s glacial gaze is now locked onto the mare. “Thank you,” she repeats, and there is something more to it. “How long have you called Dusk home?” She asks. “Were you born here?”



* e l e n a
in the dark I’ll pray for the return of the light
the sunflower daughter of benjamin and beylani
medic of dusk.


@Anandi




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star

Reply




Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 86 — Threads: 13
Signos: 785
Dusk Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // 4 [Year 500 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 14 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anouk (Water Elemental)
#6


It was hard to get a read on the other mare. Sometimes she seemed barely held together; spun sugar, gold where the sun shone through. Eggshell blue eyes, begging to be cracked, longing to ooze sunny yellow yolk. Other times she seemed… Like the ocean. Depths unknown until you were in them, and even then what you saw was just a promise, or maybe just a suggestion, of something even deeper.

Anandi didn’t like it. She did not like anything that might be out of her control. So she made it a note to keep the girl close. At least until she could figure her out more, gauge her usefulness.

Thank you, Anandi,” she says, and the kelpie glows. They walk to the gardens, Elena takes the apple, and again the words “thank you” fill her sails. She smiles, magnanimous. Sharp teeth carefully hidden. “You’re welcome,” she says. “Any Terrastellan would have done the same.” She blinks coyly.

But none as sweetly as me, as gracefully, as easily

Oh, no.” She laughs at the thought. How… undesirable… to be born in the dirt, the grass, the mud. “I was born far from here.” She brushes it off casually. It was not a well-kept secret that the Dusk court emissary came from beneath the sea. It was something she even flaunted, when she thought it could get her something-- or when she was just feeling reckless. But this is a card she keeps close, to play later. “I’ve only been a member of the court for a year or so. It feels like longer, though,” the admission is given with a smile that is almost shy, as though divulging a secret.

What about you? Where are you from?” She reaches for an apple herself, sinks her teeth in. It was nowhere near as satisfying as fresh meat, but she makes a show of enjoying it anyway.


Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.

art


@Elena




some say the loving and the devouring are all the same thing

Reply




Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 98 — Threads: 24
Signos: 2,095
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Empathy // Bonded: N/A
#7

every day it feels like I’m holding back an ocean


There is a part of her that looks at death like it could be a lover.

How else could she look upon it? For grief wells in her like blood, filling every vein and organ. Grief has even drowned the fear inside her, so she walks now, instead of runs.

She should be used to losing them, everyone. She knows the pattern, the cycle she has crafted for herself over the years. Leaving, returning, leaving returning. Always coming back.

She is tired still, though she has swam and since dried off, she still feels liquefied. Like her limbs are loose and strange, ghost-things attached to her and moving on their own accord. She feels like a ghost, herself, disassociated and not-there. Her throat aches, like she’s spent days screaming. And maybe she has. She doesn’t know how much time may have passed, it has not been that long since Elena was trapped in the dark behind her eyes.

The apple is sweet, delicious, it rolls against her tongue and Elena cannot remember the last time she had something quite so sweet between her lips.

(Perhaps it was that stolen kiss.)
(Or the heartfelt ‘I love you’ that he didn't give back to her.)

“But you were the one who did,” Elena says, so resistant to let her gratitude simply be brushed off, toppling from her shoulder of where Elena had so carefully planted it. She was not born here, the golden sunflower is comfort by the thought that she too was once a stranger, a castaway. “And where were you born?” Elena, bold Elena as Lilli so often said, she is curious and asks. “Was it a place of magic?” She adds. Elena had been born in ancient lands where magic hummed beneath the surface and yelled in the thundering falls, and whispered through the breeze of the meadows.

She is quiet for a moment. “Did you make the right choice? Choosing Dusk?” She hates the way the question hangs from her lips, doubt dripping from its edges. But she asks the question all the same. Elena had learned to stop trusting in her own choices, so she does what she so often does. She lets herself leap blindly, faithfully, on the words and promises of strangers.

“Everywhere,” she laughs with her simple answer. “Most recently, a land called Beqanna. Though, I was born in the ancient land of my ancestors.” The ones who wielded the wind, but then why does her blood burn like flames hot against her nerves?



* e l e n a
in the dark I’ll pray for the return of the light
the sunflower daughter of benjamin and beylani
medic of dusk.


@Anandi




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star

Reply




Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 86 — Threads: 13
Signos: 785
Dusk Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // 4 [Year 500 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 7 — Atk: 14 — Exp: 23 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: Anouk (Water Elemental)
#8


Anandi remembers in vivid detail her first cat. It was so very beautiful; sleek and spotted, with subtle stripes at the heel. Its sharp yellow eyes inquisitive and calculating, before the fire of life behind them was snuffed out. Anandi had cried as its bones broke between her teeth. Her muzzle still red from the kill, she mourned the loss of that beautiful life with a wail of grief.

For too long after her introduction to the surface, Anandi was haunted by her violent needs. She wept for her kills but did not stop-- could not stop-- (did not want to, not at her core.)

So Anandi became well acquainted with grief. It could become such a heavy thing. It slowed one down; muddied the mind, entangled the limbs. She grieved for every life she took, and she grieved for her family still down there in the darkness of the deep sea, and she grieved for herself and the principles she felt crumbling like ash.

And one day-- just a normal day, nothing remarkable about it-- when she rose from the ocean and stepped forward onto the sand, she shed her grief like an animal skin. It was a weakness she could not afford and a burden she was too tired to carry any further. She told herself it was for her sisters, whom she wanted to lead with certainty to this bright new world.

The kelpie princess did not allow herself to think of what she might have lost with her grief. onward. sharklike. if you do not swim you will drown. Now, if she could only shed her loneliness-- and she sensed she could, soon; she felt it growing and growing in her like a cancer and when it was big enough she would cut it down at the root and be all the stronger for it.

I was born beneath the sea,” she says, a note of irritation pinching her words just slightly. Elena just had to ask, didn’t she? Anandi smiles demurely. “It was only a place of magic if you consider breathing underwater to be magical.” It was all relative. As a child, she considered walking on land, breathing air to be a kind of magic. She had no idea that equines flew until she saw it for herself.

Oh yes,” she practically purrs. “Dusk was certainly the right choice for me. It’s just so lovely here.” She had chosen it for its access to the sea; Terrastella, of the four kingdoms, had the most coastline. But it quickly became clear that Dusk was a wise choice for other, strategic reasons. Her kohl-rimmed eyes are laughing at something she wouldn’t say out loud-- It was child’s play, securing a regime position. Terrastellans are so woefully lacking in ambition, nobody batted an eye at a foreigner being appointed their emissary.

Truth be told, it was a little boring, and a bored kelpie could be very, very dangerous.

Beqanna,” she muses, bites into the apple, chews thoughtfully. It is crisp, and unusually juicy for this time of year. She is not fond of its overt sweetness. “Never heard of it.” It was not necessarily the end of the conversation, but the emissary is clearly ready to drop the topic for now. Valleys, beaches, mountains, forests, swamps… you see one, you see them all. It was people that interested her, culture, and she wanted Elena fed and rested before they dove into that. Anandi, once she began the questioning, was tireless and highly detailed. For that conversation they would need at least two bottles of wine and a much more comfortable place to lounge than the gardens-- Anandi preferred such conversations to be comfortable and giggly.

Her attention returns to the present, Elena standing soft and timid as a golden mouse. Anandi smiles, benevolent. “You must be tired. Come along, we’ll find you a place to stay.” The guest quarters in the court would suffice for now; they were quite comfortable, and close enough that Anandi could keep an eye on her new friend.

The kelpie leads the way with an overtly confident sway of the hips, as though she owned the place.


Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.

art


@Elena <3 I might close it here for Anandi? if I reply again it's only because I love Elena so much




some say the loving and the devouring are all the same thing

Reply




Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 98 — Threads: 24
Signos: 2,095
Dusk Court Medic
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 7 [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Empathy // Bonded: N/A
#9


take this burden away from me
and bury it before it buries me


“Winter’s grip is tightening its hold, the war is not going well.”  Alvaro’s voice had spoken, deep and ominous. Elena had watched from the shadows as her older cousin and her father spoke to one another. “Take Elena,” he had said. And the little golden filly had to muffle her gasp. “Go to Murmuring Rivers, she will be safe there with the ones who remained behind.” After that Elena hardly heard what was being said. Something about her father not wanting to abandon the efforts, something about her safety, sworn protection, a snow prince. It was all muted and muffled that she might as well have been under water in the lake and trying to hear them. She did understand one thing that had been spoken though—she was going to be leaving Windskeep.

And since then, Elena has felt like she been leaving ever since.
There is a prayer inside her chest that hopes this is the end.

Of course she had to ask, she wouldn't be Elena if she didn’t. “That’s incredible,” she says, unable to help herself. She had as a little girl often swam in the lake of Windskeep and wondered what it would be like to breathe beneath the surface. “I’ve never lived near the ocean before,” she says, despite the fact that the sea is where her parents had fallen in love with one another.

“It is a land of very strange magic,” she says, thinking of the creatures she encountered. Elena finishes the apple that had been offered, enjoying Anandi’s company more than anything after such a time alone.

She follows Anandi then to the guest quarters, shifting slightly uncomfortably in the new place. “I will have to find you again, Anandi,” she says with that same beautiful smile she had arrived with. She then turns to enter, hoping, perhaps tonight would bring her a dreamless sleep for once. Although, as she turns to look back at Dusk Court and the fading image of Anandi, she highly doubted it would be such a slumber.

so take away this apathy
bury it before it buries me



@Anandi - short and sweet <3 love these girls!




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star

Reply





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