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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 8 — Threads: 2
Signos: 245
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // 3 [Year 501 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1



“Someday, the stars will reach back.”

Warset, when she awakens, does not remember how she found herself tucked away in the tropical fronds of the oasis. Nor does she recall listening to the bubbling crash of the waterfall like a siren's call last night. And there is on her lips a slash of blood, metallic and bitter, when she tries to wipe the sleep and sand from between them. She tries not to think of the source but when she rises the press of her collar makes her pulse feel like a war drum instead of the beating of her lonely heart. 

Each of her bones feels like steel and rust beneath her skin and her feathers shake from themselves a deluge of sand that sounds a little like diamond-dust burying itself back into the earth. The sound only makes her think of dying here in the dirt, so far below her cosmic sisters and their beds woven out of comet tails. Warset turns towards the waterfall, closing her eyes against the molten sting of tears and the roiling nausea of a half-asleep wildcat dreaming between the fibers of her marrow. She lets the ache, and the grinding feeling of sand and fore caught between her teeth, lead her.  

And if the grass whispering against her movement looks tempting, her body has no hunger to drive her to lower her nose like a horse instead of a star trapped in an impossible form. Her belly is full of gore and the last remnants of stardust (like a forgotten religion trapped in the form of a girl...just a girl). 

The water almost takes her by surprise as it slips beneath her feathers and washes away the last of the blood from her form. The collar around her neck casts reflections between the sun and the water, painting her in a kaleidoscope of color that is reminiscent of a comet's glory crashing through the night. If Warset had looked down to see it she would have sobbed instead of walking underneath the waterfall. She does not look down. 

Against her back the water feels like the pulse of the earth pressing into her skin hungry for the last of the starstuff racing through her veins. Warset, as she closes her eyes and starts to slip away into her own thoughts, does not try very hard to keep it from the water. And in the blackness she prays she will not meet the thing dreaming between her marrow. 





@Dune





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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 1
Signos: 240
Day Court Merchant
Male [He/His] // 4 [Year 501 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Dream Walking // Bonded: N/A
#2

Noon. The city hot and crowded, stinking of sweat and shit and hot flesh. He huffs, sides heaving, eyes rolling at the thought:

There’s no place like home.

Dune was hauling goods from the docks to some noble’s house. His shoulders sweaty beneath the yoke. Flecked with white salt like seaside cliffs. It was good money. Hard money. Tough & dumb money too. Naturally, his mind began to wander.

Dune always liked to imagine Solterra from above. Take the oasis, the way a bird would see it; pale blue seed with a halo of green, bobbing in a golden sea. The sunlight today would be slick and opalescent, like seen from underwater or through a haze.

Even in hindsight, it isn’t clear when the daydreaming begins. Dreams are like that, fuzzy at the edges. Slippery. In the moment itself, he is oblivious to the shift in reality: one minute he’s thinking of the oasis, plodding along on solid ground, picturing palms swaying in the warm breeze; the next he’s flying over the on massive black wings that gleam emerald-blue in the sun.

He lands on a rocky outcrop and fluffs his feathers. It does not occur to him that he doesn’t have feathers, he’s not a bird, the sun doesn’t really have that grainy, shifting quality. He tilts his head, narrows his sharp vision on the shifting creature in the water. He can’t tell what exactly it is. Sometimes it looks equine, sometimes feline, sometimes just a chaotic, pulsing blur of light, brighter than the sun.

He thinks it might be a woman.

Dune lifts those large black wings, shakes them, makes himself look as big and imposing as he can. “This place is mine.” Oh but it wasn’t, and he didn’t have the slightest idea! This was hers, all hers, and he was just passing through. At least he was not feeling particularly threatened, not yet.

The bird taps his beak on the rocks. One-- two-- three times. Sharp eyes inquisitive but wary. He does not blink. He does not need to blink, here.

The question in the tilt of his head is clear: “Who are you?


@Warset <3





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 8 — Threads: 2
Signos: 245
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // 3 [Year 501 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3



“Someday, the stars will reach back.”

The stardust in her blood pulls itself into the new-world first. It starts with a bit of light, a flare of moonlight, a shift of silver though the shadows, a coolness where before there had only been molten heat. From her form it rises into the strange place, shifting and watching like a constellation does: all memory and little thought. It has an impression of him first, black on black, silence on a sharp beak.

And then the child of war wakes up. She pulls herself from the moonlight and into the new-strange-world. Feather by feather she moves from the waterfall and the humming of the deserts heartbeat. The sand is strange beneath her feet when she steps onto it: pearl, and stardust. Or is it pearl and dried blood dust? The shoreline changes so quickly she cannot grab an impression of it. Without the constellation she is so much slower to see the world, it's all too close, too full of feeling. It feels like burning even now in the new-strange-world when she presses into the sharp, brittle edges of a frond.

tap, tap, tap.

The child of war turns to look at the bird who does not blink. Something about the tilt of his head suggests language, and something in the flare of his feathers suggests a promise of violence.

That's what wakes up the predator, the knock of violence against a stone and a penetrating black stare that does not waiver. She pulls herself out of the fronds by way of claw and tooth. The shoreline looks like sand, just sand, and sun, and the shadow of a bird on a rock. Nothing looks out of place to her, or hazy, or anything that suggests she is not the ruler of this world.

Somewhere Warset has forgotten that this is the thing she did not want to meet, the thing she did not want to become.

But the predator is ruler here, in the place where horseflesh is not a cage but a conduit. She's devoured most of the star already. Only the child of war is left, the girl who cannot stop saying why over and over again like a wish.

The dark predator ridges the hair on her back. She growls. She steps closer to the bird on the rock and she does not blink. Hungry things never blink. “You are right to be wary,” the flick of her tail says with the hardness of her gaze. She steps closer still, the heartbeat of the waterfall and the desert forgotten (the girl and the stardust with it).
 





@Dune





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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 1
Signos: 240
Day Court Merchant
Male [He/His] // 4 [Year 501 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Dream Walking // Bonded: N/A
#4

A shifting, a changing. The world distorts, winding and unwinding all while staying the same. A dry breeze blows; he feels every feather on his body lean into it. A trick of the light, a twist of the mind, and she comes into sharp, sharp focus. The ridge of her back, scruff thick enough to burrow in, and the narrowing of her beautiful eyes. Every brushstroke of her posture, every gesture suggests violence. She flicks her tail like drawing a sword and he smiles suddenly.

There You Are.

But crows aren’t supposed to smile. Hundreds of teeth are shoved monstrously in his beak, long and thin as fishbones. Absolutely grotesque. Worthless in a fight, especially here, especially with her-- he’s just showing off, playing games, crows just wanna have fun. And if further evidence was needed, he hops backward, with a ruffle of feathers, the instant she steps forward. She’s a cat, he’s a bird… the math isn’t hard and he's proud to consider himself a clever boy.

(Oh, he’s died before in dreams. This landscape is not always friendly to intruders. But dying’s not something he ever got used to. Didn’t ever want to “get used to”; most tastes were better left unacquired.)

But he isn't afraid, not really. Just cautious. When you’re on the ground and someone kicks you, you break or you get smart. Dune got smart. Smart enough to live this long, at least. It doesn’t mean as much, though, in front of someone like her. Someone who’s obviously never been kicked, never been down, never had to look in the mirror to practice the baring of teeth, the look in the eye, the illusion, the mask…

Someone like her just has to be, and the universe folds itself around her-- or that’s the thought that comes to mind when he meets her gaze and her tail flicks again, a serpentine warning.

It must be the bird in him that looks at her in all her wild rampant glory and thinks mine mine mine. It must be the dream carrying him away, dark nirvana. He’s an addict for this-- in his body, a slurred smile rises stupid on his face. He plods along, surrounded by scents he long ago stopped smelling, yoke so familiar a burden it becomes an extension of the body. And he lets the dream sweep him down and out to where life is just a speck, a mote at the edge of vision; blink and its gone gone nothing left but the too-still oasis and the wings on his back that ache to sail through galaxies.

He squawks at her, something tender, something urgent, sweet nothings, and flutters down to the sand where her carves with his beak:

DREAM BIGGER



@Warset <3





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 8 — Threads: 2
Signos: 245
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // 3 [Year 501 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5



“Someday, the stars will reach back.”

She is counting the teeth in his beakish smile the moment she can see them. Each is a tally against him, a mark on a list that only a cat can have (sins perhaps, maybe reasons for death, maybe reasons for salvation). The number is upwards to the stars by the time the crow starts to move. She only watches him, a growl swallowed into silence like silence in her throat and a hunger hardly stemmed in her stomach.

Until he starts to write words on the sand like a civilized thing, instead of a black omen of death. And then the child of war sheds the wildcat skin in a rush of shaking skin, bone and gore.

Warset shakes out her feathers and looks down at the words etched in the earth like scars. Her first feeling is rage. Stars are not things to be told to dream. They are the dreaming things. There is a hint of fury in the toss of her head, and the rattle of her feathers sighing like a death knell. It lives in the step she takes towards him and the way she drags a feather across the words to smear them like blood on a battlefield, a line to divide one side from the other.

And as their lines are drawn the oasis dissolves.

It starts with a rush of stardust around them and a comet's tail wrapping around their necks like rope. The comet rope tugs her forward, him with it. It drags them into the freezing blackness between stardust and rainbow, where the light dissolves quick as a current on the river into nothing more than pinpricks of lights. Frosted blackness draws in around her, caresses the curl of her belly, the hollow of her hock, the fragile bones of her wings. It steals the breath from her lungs that don't inhale and exhale as they should here.

She steps forward and it's onto the curl of a planet. A sea pillow her hooves and an atmosphere crowns her brow with teardrops of water and air. A mountain kisses the bottom of her muzzle and a forest brushes against her ankles like meadow-grass. Somewhere a drum starts to bang, and echo, and rattle all the pieces of her still pretending to be a girl loose. Warset looks at the crow and still knows the number of this teeth without seeing him.

Part of her asks why.

Part of her only smiles, with teeth, and walks further across the world kissing the bottom of her wings and doesn't look back again. Because ahead of the universe spans further than any horizon and it is the first time she has felt like herself. Warset starts to sing to that drumming beat of a distant stardust war.

And even when the comet wraps tighter and tighter about her throat she does not stop.
 





@Dune





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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 7 — Threads: 1
Signos: 240
Day Court Merchant
Male [He/His] // 4 [Year 501 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Dream Walking // Bonded: N/A
#6

When the comet tightens its noose around his neck, he only stares at her. Because the dreamer is the only way through this. Because he doesn’t want to die another dream-death. He doesn’t want to return to the yoke on his neck, the heat, the smell of sweat. He isn’t ready to leave.

He wants to stay here, wherever they are, wherever they might go, for as long as he can. The dreaming was always better than its opposite.

So he stares at her, the calm serious in his eyes asking-- careful not to beg-- mercy and magic,

mercy and magic,

… And from the vacuous darkness between stars, there is form and color and sound. Atmosphere blooms around him, fills his lungs with blue. He can see now how the forests sway far below at the crook of her hocks, and the cresting of alien waves on an alien shore.

When she sings-- when she sings the universe responds. Dune begins to change. His wings spread longer and longer, and his claws lengthen, and from his shoulders burst two dark brown legs, almost black.

All the while his mind is caught on a memory, or something he thinks is a memory. His mother, humming. Backlit by the sun so he can’t see her face, but he can just place the outline of a tired smile. It was probably made up. A false memory, spun up by an orphan with time to kill, wondering what his mother’s voice sounded like.

It wouldn’t sound like this. Like war drums, like breaking bones. Like the swirling heart of the universe. Oblivion, in song.

Her wings brush against his. He remembers how earlier they brushed against the oasis floor, cutting a line in the sand. what side are you on. But her feathers against him only feel like feathers. Not a blade. Not a finality. It might be the softest part of each of them. And then with a grin the stallion touches ground with four hooves. He liked these wings. He was keeping them.

He does not stay grounded for long. With a soft grunt he swings his legs into a buck. Clouds scatter at his heels. The itch to move, once scratched, only grows, and with a bouncy lope he careens toward her endless horizon. Testing the bounds of his cosmic leash. A few lengths ahead of the dreamer, with a soft snort, he glances back to see if she would follow. Something like a dare in the jut of his chin. He was not sure how far he could get by himself.


@Warset he's such a nerd





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