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Caspian
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#1


the salt is on the briar rose,
the fog is in the fir trees.

It is early evening and Caspian has a full belly, a pleasantly fuzzy head and purple-stained feet. The young stallion has enjoyed both the first and final stages of sweet Terrastellan wine today, laughing and singing with others as they pressed grapes beneath their hooves, drinking last year’s bottles in between. 

Now he lays with his back to the cool grass, staring up at the emerging stars and giggling over no more than the whisper of the breeze. Lights are strung throughout the vineyard, criss-crossing the grapevines on their posts; they swim like fireflies at the corner of his vision. There’s a band playing somewhere across the green, a lively fiddle and a voice too distant to make out the words (or maybe that’s just his drunkenness, too, softening everything). 

Benvolio is fluttering somewhere above him; occasionally, in quiet moments, he can make out the small, high-pitched click of the bat’s radar. Horses drift by in clusters, some laughing or stumbling or both, but none down the paint’s row. His eyes are drifting closed when Ben says Someone’s coming, and sure enough Caspian squints up to see a silhouette approaching, to which he gives a lopsided grin. 

“Good evening,” he calls up to them, and giggles at the the slight slurring of his greeting. 



@any










Played by Offline Muirgen [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
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Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her]  |  6 [Year 500 Spring]  |  13.3 hh  |  Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 19  |    Active Magic: Halokinesis  |    Bonded: N/A
#2

and the wish was enough,

Saphira did not imbibe often. In part, it was her warrior’s raising; she was never to be too drunk to fight, only drunk enough to feign joy in the form of numbness. Now, she had no money for drink; while some pissed away their meager earnings to fund alcoholism, she chose sobriety. She had no plans for where life would take her over death, but she’d been given something of a second chance - shitty as it was - and she wasn’t about to die over a bottle. 

Today, the wine was free.

Summer had officially rendered her slick-black, the crimson of her undercoat only showing through as the first torches were lit. They may have staved off the evening darkness, but she was a shadow among the crowd, cutting through the wine-reds and festival-bright garb of Terrastella. Saphira dressed nicely for no one; as far as she was concerned, there was no one and nothing to dress for. 

She’d stamped about in the grapes, which bordered on a good-natured moment and tempted the few who recognized her to offer a bottle here and there. Her smile frightened more than it comforted, so she gave only a nod and her thanks. 

The deep blue-violet of sunset settled over the vineyard, and the black mare walked until the crowds settled to a murmur with it. She thought a nice spot to rest would be up ahead, but when she turned the corner, a familiar shape lay stretched out in the grass. She stopped for a moment and wondered if it’d be worth it; he was likely as drunk as her or more and he’d…been nice to her, in the end. 

”Good evening,” he slurred, giggling. Saphira huffed, a smile tugging at her lips. 

”I suppose it must be,” she replied, easing into the damp grass beside him. 

"Speaking."
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Caspian
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#3


the salt is on the briar rose,
the fog is in the fir trees.

Caspian is surprised but not displeased when the figure speaks, revealing herself to be the woman from the market, the one whose shell he still wears around his neck. It wasn’t just the drunkenness that made him slow to recognize her; of course she looks different upside down, but she is also much darker than he remembers, her hair a white halo like a ring around the moon.

Her eyes, when he shifts his head to meet them, are just as iceberg-blue, but they seem less glacial tonight. Though that could be the wine talking. The paint’s grin grows wider when she settles beside him, stirring up the scent of sweet autumn grass, and he snorts at her response.

“Still grumpy, I see,” he says with a laugh in his voice, watching the small silhouette of Benvolio swoop overhead, weaving a complicated pattern through the night in his hunt for mosquitos. When the stars begin to spin and the grass feels like it’s tilting beneath him, Caspian closes his eyes. “Setting aside for the moment that it is, in-dis-putably, what would make it a good one to you?” Almost at once he finds that the spinning is worse with no point to focus on; he cracks an eye open to fix on her.




@Saphira 










Played by Offline Muirgen [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her]  |  6 [Year 500 Spring]  |  13.3 hh  |  Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 19  |    Active Magic: Halokinesis  |    Bonded: N/A
#4

Saphira


He is just a boy, she thinks, when she looks at the way he drunkenly lolls his head, but she knows of course that even boys drink young, and when she looks on him she knows he is at the cusp of manhood. Little has changed since last they met, at least that she can see; that his frame is more filled in or that he is perhaps a bit taller are given, but not compared. She wouldn’t know. She hadn’t looked, last time. She was just a girl, when she was chosen for Orestes. Not a woman, capable of choice, but a girl, easily swayed and, anyway, the decision had never been hers to make. Not really.

So when he laughs at her foul mood, Saphira only huffs and looks away, only just returned to the moment. 

”...What would make it a good one to you?”

The night-black mare stares at him, piercing, icicle-blade, eternal tundra. Her eyes flick back to the grass and immediately a few blades collapse as salt. She almost felt it coming, that time. For a while, she watches the tiny grains fall down the hill of white, until all of them are still in death. She does not look back up at the boy. ”I don’t know,” she says. ”I’ve never been happy.” That isn’t what he asked, but it’s too late now, so she just closes her eyes and lays her head in the grass and salt.


there is only grief besides the emptiness, or, perhaps, that grief is the emptiness.


Speech, @Caspian



RAYOFLIGHT | DEEHLIA










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Caspian
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#5


the salt is on the briar rose,
the fog is in the fir trees.

He thinks, as she settles herself in the grass beside him, that she is not so old as she had seemed in the marketplace. Then she had looked grizzled, weathered like a stone on the shoreline to smooth, tired, grey edges. Now, it seems that she is not terribly much older than him, only a few years. It’s a strange realization, but one that he lets go of easily, with the help of the wine.

Her eyes are very cold on him, but he is very drunk; instead of her, or the little salt-piles where there was grass a moment before, he is back to watching the stars. It seems to him he can see them turning, wheeling, dizzying-fast; he has to shut his eyes tight for a moment, and focus on the feeling of the grass tickling his back, and the wine-taste sweet on his tongue, and the drifting smell of smoke and leaves. All of this disguises the prickle of his stare on her, except as soon as she speaks he meets it again, just in time to see her close her eyes. There is something absurd about it, the way they’re taking turns to look and not-look, but he is not nearly sober enough to consider it this way.

“Never?!” he says, and lifts his head with a snort. Now he considers her fully, and nothing is spinning yet, though he can only pick out her pale hair and the markings tattooed on her and the fine-boned edges of her, limned in starlight. “That’s a little dramatic. Haven’t you ever seen a rainbow, or watched a whale breach, or, or, won a bit of money in a game of dice?” Caspian shakes his head, though he stops quickly when the wine threatens to overcome him. “Clearly you didn’t stomp any grapes today."




@Saphira 










Played by Offline Muirgen [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
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Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her]  |  6 [Year 500 Spring]  |  13.3 hh  |  Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 19  |    Active Magic: Halokinesis  |    Bonded: N/A
#6

Saphira


Saphira is shocked out of her misery when he says, ”Never?! That’s a little dramatic.” Her mouth cracks into a smile then, as he goes on, talking of rainbows and whales and dice. ”Clearly you didn’t stomp any grapes today.” She laughs, harsh and short, like a bark, but the wine is in her, too, and her mean little laugh turns into a rash of hiccuping giggles. It goes on for a time, until her sides cramp and she’s only sucking in air. Eventually, she settles down, and finds her breath. She’s looking up at the stars when she murmurs, ”Thanks.” But they are lights in a dark, dark sea, and even those who are close together are never touching, always an arm’s length from another. ”I’ve been a breaching whale. That should make me the happiest woman alive, by your standards.” But she’s not anymore, and she never will be; all she can do now is turn little blades of grass into little piles of salt. 

”Are you happy?” and then, ”Perhaps we should’ve brought more wine.” 



Speech, @Caspian 



RAYOFLIGHT | DEEHLIA










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Caspian
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#7


the salt is on the briar rose,
the fog is in the fir trees.

He’s prepared to defend himself against that first dog-laugh, his mouth already opening for some clever retort, but the sound that follows catches him by surprise. Caspian snorts at her first hiccup, giggles at her second, and falls to full laughter along with her, though there was never any joke. He laughs until his sides heave and tears sting at his eyes and roll down his cheeks.

They catch themselves around the same time, and the paint rolls to a more upright position with a wheezing breath. He is very near to laughing again when she speaks at last, though later he’s very glad he managed not to. It’s just that her words catch him entirely by surprise; his blue eyes are round as stones when he looks at her. “You’ve been a whale??” His brow furrows, the soft skin of his nose wrinkling, though whether in doubt or because he’s fighting back a sneeze it’s hard to tell. “You’re pulling my leg.” If he could be a whale, he would never be anything else. Except maybe a shark, or a sea dragon, or, or, or.

Are you happy? There is no hesitation for him on this one. “Yes.” And he is - happy, though not satisfied. It’s never occurred to him to think he shouldn’t be, until now. For the first time, there is a little tremble of doubt. If she has been a whale and never happy, then what right does he have?

“I can get some,” he says, suddenly wanting something to do, though he doesn’t yet climb to his feet.







@Saphira 










Played by Offline Muirgen [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her]  |  6 [Year 500 Spring]  |  13.3 hh  |  Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 19  |    Active Magic: Halokinesis  |    Bonded: N/A
#8

Saphira

O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.


He laughs with her and it feels: good. She forgets everything for a moment. There is the high, and only the high, in happy companionship with his. And she is still grinning when he asks if she really has been a whale, and she says, ”Oh, yes,” and nothing more about it, lest she remember. She is trying very hard not to, so she tries very hard to smile when he tells her that he’s happy. ”That’s good,” she says, ”don’t let anyone take that from you.” The words surprise her; they’re the kind of things she doesn’t usually say out loud, but, there’s wine in her. So it is. 

”I can get some,” he offers, and she nods. ”Something will have to keep us afloat,” she says, and her expression is soft, softer than it has been in a long, long time. 

Speech, @Caspian


RAYOFLIGHT | DEEHLIA










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Caspian
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#9


the salt is on the briar rose,
the fog is in the fir trees.

He squints over at her when she affirms her claim, a semi-exaggerated search for honesty, as though he knows her well enough to read a lie on her face (or for that matter is in a state to try). It surprises him when he decides he believes her. Not only because he wants to - he has always loved the fables and stories of fantastic things, has always held a childish hope for more, more, more - but because she doesn’t want to talk about it. She doesn’t brag or even further elaborate, as he would. And though he wants to press her, something in him (or maybe it is only Ben, always listening) says don’t, and so he doesn’t.

But when he looks away again, back to the deep dark blue above, it is the sea he pictures and not the evening sky.

His mouth curls up in a smirk when she speaks again, though it is not quite mirth in his eyes. “No one takes anything from me,” he assures her, like a vow.

Then he snorts, and rolls to his feet, and shakes - abruptly and with pleasure, like a half-grown dog. “Be right back,” he tells her, and glances down at her with a quick and lopsided grin. “Don’t go anywhere, or - or change,” he says, a wink at whales, and trots back toward the torchlight and wine without a glance back, leaving the impression of his body on the cool grass.







@Saphira 










Played by Offline Muirgen [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Merchant
Female [she/her]  |  6 [Year 500 Spring]  |  13.3 hh  |  Hth: 7 — Atk: 13 — Exp: 19  |    Active Magic: Halokinesis  |    Bonded: N/A
#10

saphira

« Water is the oldest of ointments
rapid-foam of remedies
and the Lord of soothsayers
and God of healers.
»


S
he likes how certain he is. “No one takes anything from me.” As if - as if that could be guaranteed, and even now she wonders if anyone could keep their happiness from being stolen right out from between their ribs. You certainly cannot guarantee friendship, or life, or riches. Not even your own magic, your own soul is guaranteed to retain its shape. Saphira thinks that he is very, very lucky to have been born a horse, and nothing more.

“I won’t,” she says, smiling a little at his joke.  She watches him shrink into the horizon and disappear, and when he does, she rises, grains of salt falling from her coat with a soft shhh against the grass. Saphira disappears into the vineyard darkness, alone again. 

« r » | @caspian





"How do the lucky ones feel
and how do the blessed think
like water stirring
or a ripple on a trough.
But how do the luckless feel
and how do the caloos think?
This is how the luckless feel
how the caloos think
like hard snow under a ridge
like water in a deep well."






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