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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 85 — Threads: 10
Signos: 145
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 6 [Year 499 Fall] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 21 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1




the great object of life is sensation -
to feel that we exist, even though in pain


♠︎ ♠︎




It becomes quickly apparent that neither he nor his new companion are familiar with the city’s layout. 

The main marketplace stretches a half-mile down a wide corridor, draped with colored silk canopies and paper lanterns, each dead-end alleyway stuffed with more goods. Their shadows slim and lengthen, the crowds begin to thin, and still there is no sign of their quarry. August tries not to be irritated at the near-miss, but he keeps remembering the way the stallion had turned back to look, the gold of his eye catching in the light - he would recognize August if he’d seen him, he is sure. And if he had it’s possible they are not the only ones doing the hunting, and at a disadvantage. 

If he were home he would have no trouble asking merchants and shoppers alike for help. Here he trusts none of them, and from the slide of their eyes as the pair passes it is mutual. Anyway, he doesn’t know what he’s looking for. 

Now they stand at the southeastern edge of the city, near enough the docks and the shoreline to hear the clamoring gulls, near enough the desert to see how the light has turned to rose gold over the dunes. The path before them forks, the left into shadow and the right in sun. August’s patience for this task is frayed; he watches a scrawny cat leap after fat pigeons and turns to Warset with a shake of his head.  Something about the look in her eyes, the set of her mouth, makes him feel like more of a disappointment. He’d rather have her teeth on his hip again. “Care to pick a path?” 





@Warset | <3






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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 20 — Threads: 3
Signos: 305
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // 3 [Year 501 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#2



“Someday, the stars will reach back.”

Warset notices a hundred almost details. The canopies are a blur of different colors, and to her they seem more suggestion of flight than anything else in this copse of sand and worn wood. Each pair of eyes sliding over their forms as they move through the court are nothing more than pale stars on the outskirts of their orbit. Everything here is a suggestion of something else, even the gravity making each step though the dust heavier than the last. It all races by her like a comet too bright, too fast, too full of fire and stone, to dream of holding on to.

So she lets it all sweep her away into the current of this world. And if her ruby and diamond color is tapping against her neck like another heartbeat she pretends not to hear the way it is whispering soon, soon, soon.   The sound of her wings, the market, and their hooves on the sand is not loud enough to drown it out, no wholly.

Ahead, when she lifts her eyes up from the curl of his neck, she can see the sun brushing against the dune and the rose-gold promise of a dead day. Warset trembles against him as her heart races in butterfly wings of hope beneath her chest. She looks towards the sun and towards the shadows with her wings fluttering softly against her sides.

The wildcat in her bones is straining for the shadows, for the dark hallways promising an end to their hunt. But the girl in her, that mortal star, is straining towards the light. They are hunting, she reminds herself, they are hunting a thing of flesh, and bone, and not star-blood. A curse is better for this than a star.

The wildcat lifts up one of her wings in the direction of the dark. Warset's eyes flash, a quicksilver glare that has nothing to do with the screaming gulls and the soft hush of the sea. “To the shadows.” She turns without waiting for him, lifting up her wings to hide the fine trembling of her form as the beast inside starts to wake up.  
 





@August





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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 85 — Threads: 10
Signos: 145
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 6 [Year 499 Fall] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 21 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3




the great object of life is sensation -
to feel that we exist, even though in pain


♠︎ ♠︎




What a mystery she is, this girl of few words who offers her help but no information of herself. Her silence allows August to fill in the gaps for her - who she is, where she came from, why she’s bothering to help a stranger track a stranger. But the palomino’s imagination is proving as fickle as the rest of him, lately, always changing the story. She wears that collar of diamond and ruby because she is high-born, or because she is a thief. She is helping him because she is a spy, or entranced by the determination in his eye and the careful pattern of dapples on his golden skin. She will threaten him at the end of this - she has a secret of her own.

Of course he has no idea how close this last guess is. He lets the whole game go, anyway, just watching her decide with the evening light stretching her shadow longer behind her, making her seem to glow like a star. When he feels her tremble he presses more firmly against her, and then withdraws.

“Good choice,” he says, if only to break the quiet. His expression doesn’t change as she steps ahead of him; it is smooth as a windless lake. When he follows, it isn’t Warset he watches but the huddled structures around them, homes with the shutters closed and interiors dark. It isn’t hard to wonder how many of them are empty, or have lost members to starvation or stone, victims of the rule of the previous king. It isn’t hard to wonder how many of them might feel skeptical of the current rule. August wonders what keeps them in the desert with nothing between their teeth but the grit of sand.

It is cooler in the dark. August keeps close to the pegasus as they leave half-moons in the dust, and when he catches her eye it gleams like a cat’s. “Where do you come from, Warset?” he asks, just to keep the silence at bay.






@Warset | <3






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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 20 — Threads: 3
Signos: 305
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // 3 [Year 501 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4



“Someday, the stars will reach back.”

If there are signs in the darkness between the stone walls leading her steps, Warset does not know what they are. There is only the instinct to lift her head into the wind and flare her wings wide as a sun as they leave their half-moons in the sand. Here the air smells stale as dust and almost metallic with the tang of old blood. It smells like slumbering violence.

Warset remembers the great cosmic snake. She remembers the sweet bitterness of his breath as he woke his children upon the blood soaked war-lands. The press of his body against her settles the humming song rising in her throat like bile as the memories dig and etch themselves behind her eyes.

The darkness grows thicker as they walk, layers of layers piled onto each other until the walls turn inky and ominous. Behind them rose-gold starts to turn to shades of twilight. Warset trembles against the coming weight of night as much as her bones rattle and rejoice. Soon, too soon, it will not a star with which August hunts. She drapes a wing across his spine, trying to use the heat rising from his form as a noose.

She tries to hold on.

When he breaks up the silence, Warset lowers her nose from the air and her wing from his spine. She steps close enough that her half-moons start to swallow his. The north star whispers down to them as it rises from the twilight. She presses her nose to the bottom of his cheek and pushes his head up, up, up towards the rising stars and moon. And if the gesture seems like a kiss it is only one borne of desperation. “I am from there.” Beneath her skin her scarred up heart trembles and starts to crack around the edges. Her eyelashes whisper against his cheek as she blinks and pulls away. The distance feels like the first cut of her curse as her bones start to crack.

Her ruby pulses blood-red.

Beyond their shadows, in the alley a door slams, and the stallion who pauses in the faint starlight makes something leap in her predator heart. Her bones sound like stones falling in the brief silence. Her feathers tremble as if in a storm as the stallion turns his head to look at them like a wolf. Warset steps closer at the same time the gold-eyed stallion does. And when she lunges towards him it is a fallen star that spreads her wings and jumps into the air--

But it is a leopard black-as-pitch that lands and snarls at the stallion who is starting to flee.  
 





@August





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Played by Offline griffin [PM] Posts: 85 — Threads: 10
Signos: 145
Night Court Entertainer
Male [He/Him/His] // 6 [Year 499 Fall] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 21 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5




the great object of life is sensation -
to feel that we exist, even though in pain


♠︎ ♠︎




For August touch has always been a kind of tool - something only rarely used without calculation or motive. Even among his friends (and those friends were as good as family) they were all guarded in some way, spending gestures like nose-to-cheek like currency. Even when he’d broken from the Scarab, when he sought the press or teeth of another for pleasure and not payment, he knew the impulse was a selfish one.

So it is strange, to be touched by Warset so carelessly. He wonders what she wants, and why she’d agreed so quickly to help him. He welcomes the warmth when her wing spreads over his back, like a mother; he tells himself he won’t miss it when it’s gone. August knew, intellectually, that the desert got cold at night (how quickly Solis turns his face away), but he is still surprised by the chill. The walls, the sand, they all try to hold the heat in as long as they can, but the sun is gone now.

When she stops he does too; his heart skips quicker at the touch of her nose. August wants to look at her but lets her guide head up, where the sky is a deepening lake, and the stars are emerging. It takes him a moment, staring at that distant point of light, to understand what she’s saying. Then he does look at her, surprised, but all her strangeness starts to make sense because -

“You’re one of the shed-stars,” he says, his voice soft and round with wonder, and if he is wrong there is no time for her to correct him.

The sharp slap of the door draws both their attention, and when the stallion steps out August stiffens like an eager hound. He recognizes that silhouette, or at least wants too badly enough that it doesn’t matter. There is something familiar about the rage that flickers between them when the tiger’s-eyes meet his own, just for a moment. He swears he sees the man sneer -

Things happen very quickly, then. There is a flurry of movement that makes August shiver and shy like a racehorse at the gate, but what he sees, smudged by shadow, makes no sense to his adrenaline-surging mind. Warset is gone; there is a jungle-cat in her place, a deeper black than the rest of the night, and their quarry is running, a sudden drumbeat that echoes in his bloodstream.

August’s instincts tell him to flee, too, from that snarling predator, and have not quite accepted that the girl has become the beast; still, when his mind grasps for other explanations it comes up empty. And there is no time. So he just gnashes his teeth together and cries ”catch him”, then gathers his hindquarters and launches after the other stallion. As he plunges into the darkness, he only hopes not to feel claws sink into his own flesh.






@Warset | <3






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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 20 — Threads: 3
Signos: 305
Night Court Citizen
Female [she/her/hers] // 3 [Year 501 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#6


“We were just holes, after all, holes filled up with light,
and deep in our secret hearts we worried that we were an accident,”


In another form Warset might have rejoiced at being understood, or perhaps she would have pressed her lips to his and whispered instead of kissed. Is that what I am?, she might have asked. Or maybe she would have only snapped out her wings like a bird of prey and painted the words, I am not shed. I am torn out like scars instead of this mortal, fragile language.

But now, with the thing in her bones snarling mine, and kill, kill, kill there is no space for language in the small spaces between hunger, and want, and running.

Already she has forgotten the golden boy with her silver eyes that made her wish for comets and stardust. There is only the sand pillowing her paws as she runs. And there is only the darkness brushing cool as saltwater against her hide. Her tail lifts behind her, almost playful in the chase now that her thoughts are full of only violence and confidence. Almost she is lost to the pure joy of streaking through the alley,  in the knowing that she's the only one of her kind that has hunted through these hollow, limestone walls. Almost--

She does not stop to think about the wrongness of the want or the way that somewhere in the soul she's praying for music, and sisterhood, and the sweetness of moon-water on her tongue. She does not stop to think about anything at all when she lunges for the stallion's nose as he tries to leap around a broken cart. All her veins are singing as she soars through the darkness like the tiger-eyed stallion is nothing more than another mountain rising out from the dream-water begging for her to land.

There is not thought for the after or the longing, or the way her soul is lamenting the loss of his skin against her lips.

But there is a moment, with her claw bared and her lips peeled back in a feral roar, that she wonders if she's still shed like a old, rotten flower in a garden. The wondering goes on, even as her weight catches the stallion in mid-flight and sends him tumbling to the ground.

And so, unlike a real beast, she turns her head to August and waits before laying her teeth against fallen stallion's jugular.



art credit

@August





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