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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 67 — Threads: 11
Signos: 50
Day Court Merchant
Male [He/His] // 4 [Year 501 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Dream Walking // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#1






D U N E


- ☾ -


D
une was not pretty enough to work “the party of the season,” but they needed the help- almost the entire low quarter would be working that evening- and to Dune’s fundamental problem there were... solutions. It started with a bath. The water (so much water, he almost cried) was doused excessively with rose oil and ran from his skin a shade of brown so dark it looked black. Next came the hair. Two mares braided his mane and tail as it was wet, only to take out the painstaking braids once it had dried. For texture, they said, smiling at Dune’s reaction to this latest insanity.

Then there was the paint. Made with flecks of real gold, if the rumors were true- and he had no reason to doubt they were. A man applied it in swirls and spirals all across the left side of the bay’s body, the patterns overlapping in such a way they formed different shapes depending on where you stood. You might see figures dancing from one angle, suns and shooting stars from another. The right side of his body was left bare, an empty canvas to which the painting could be compared and marvelled at, for who would think such beauty could take form from something so ordinary?!

Don’t sweat,” the painter said as he ushered Dune from the room with a heavy sigh.

You realize we live in a desert--” he was on the verge of commenting when the door was promptly shut in his face.

Fast forward to that evening- no, it’s night, definitely night, the boy has just been so focused that time has slipped away when he wasn’t looking. The party is crowded, the music loud (and decent), and Dune is inevitably beginning to sweat as he sweeps back and forth dispensing drinks and collecting empty glasses.

He’d say this is the worst job ever, but have you seen the poor fools who have to pretend to be statues? (gods, rich people are so weird) At least as a server he could move around at normal speed- in fact he moved quickly, because he wasn’t interested in conversations with most of these patrons. He had been instructed not just to serve but to entertain, to hold lovely and interesting conversations… but in front of anyone he didn’t like the look of, he pretended to be mute. 

He’s standing toward the periphery, scanning for anyone in need of his services, when he spots a young mare who looks like she just fell from the sky. He felt the same way, too, when he first entered the Ieshan estate. Except his expression back then was probably painted more with disgust than awe.

Dune steps forward and draws the stranger’s attention with a soft “ahem.” When he catches her gaze, he smiles. A working smile- the polite warmth of it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. She seems nice and all, but he’s very nearly to the end of his shift and dead on his feet. “A drink, miss? Looks like you could use one.” A small tray floats between them, on it a collection of paper-thin goblets each filled with a different-colored liquid.




we look almost happy out in the sun, while we bleed to death from wounds we don't
know about
« r » | @Nicnevin






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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 50 — Threads: 12
Signos: 65
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Fall] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#2



I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE IT, AND REMEMBER ON EARTH
I did not know how to touch it it was all so raw, / and if by chance there is no edge to the crowd / or anything else so that I am of it, / I will take the orange and toss it as high as I can.


Oh, goodness. I’ve never seen anything like this before.

First, there was the desert itself. I am newly-acquainted with the concept of sand; I discovered it a matter of weeks ago, when I arrived in Novus on the beach. I was shocked to discover that you can have sand independent of a beach, and that the sand in the “desert” was quite different from the sand on the beach, in both color and texture. And – in quantity. Mostly in quantity, in fact. The desert was almost entirely composed of sand, after I managed to escape the canyons at the entrance.

(I only escaped them by flying out of them, after spending hours lost in their red-gold depths – but that is beside the point.)

There were a few, gnarled trees, leafless and bleached like what I have heard described as “driftwood,” washed up on the coast. A few trees – a bird or two that I didn’t recognize – little lizards – a thing like a fox with too-big ears – a rabbit – a tortoise. I spent more time than I should have at the only spot in the desert I discovered with water, a lush green paradise nestled between big, sandy waves. The trees were unfamiliar; they would have looked out-of-place in a forest, even the scrubby ones, but they seemed to me to fit that little lake quite well. I saw plants with large spikes sticking out of their sides, and I was careful not to investigate them too closely.

I was told, too, that the desert was hot. I did not understand that the desert is hot until I was in it, sides heaving, sweating everywhere. I fanned myself with my wings as I walked, but I’m not sure that expending the energy was worth the rather pitiful reward.

(When I arrived in this land, which is, apparently, known as “Solterra,” I did not even understand what hot meant. I thought of the lukewarmth of my autumnal homeland; it was certainly hot compared to the fierce bite of winter, which seemed to be growing stronger each passing day in Terrastella. But this was different. This was what hot really was – it made you gasp and raked your lungs and tangled in your hair with sweat like sea-salt. It was laborious and heavy, where cold, I am finding, is airy and sharp.)

 I heard about the party from a new-friend-of-a-new-friend. Up close, it is not what I expected.

At home, parties were far simpler than this. We might have crafted some lanterns with fireflies or real fire (depending on the occasion) and strung them in the trees, and I suppose there might have been an obscure decoration here or there, but- this is gilded and brilliant, and, everywhere I look, there are carved stones in the figures of horses or things and there are strange dabs of color spread across paper-like frames (sometimes like a drawing; sometimes unlike anything I have ever seen), and there are glittering precious metals embedded into the walls, and there are flower arrangements with oh-so brilliant blooms that smell dizzyingly strong and sweet, and there are fine fabrics, and- oh, a million things I don’t even know the name of. And there are so many people! In the entryway, I struggled to so much as move through the crowds. (I have never been to a party indoors - none of the buildings at home were large enough. Here, save for the courtyard, everyone is maintained within the (sprawling) halls of the manor. I cannot tell if I am overwhelmed by it or enamored with all of the faces I can see at once.)

At home, there were lanterns – and there was dancing, though we had more space for it, and there were sugary pastries and sweet drinks, though none of them were fancy. I don’t even know what to call most of the foods that they are passing out, much less what they are made of. (I tried a few. Tentatively. The taste was strange, but sometimes wonderful; after my accident with saltwater, I am trying to curb my tendency to stick things in my mouth unthinkingly.) The music is different, too. I think that it is good; I think that it is hard to deny that it is good.

It doesn’t feel earthy – that’s how I might describe the music at home. Earthy, like it was composed from the babble of a brook or the movement of stones or the way the wind threads through leaves in the trees above. This feels completely detached from the world. I can almost forget the desert – and the sprawling city, which I have had no time to explore – outside.

It’s beautiful, but I – don’t know what to do with it.

I don’t even know the etiquette. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do, at this kind of party. It’s so much fancier than anything I’ve seen before, and everyone looks so fancy, even the people who seem to be working instead of enjoying the event – and, well, at least I brushed my hair and strung the gold leaves and charms into it, so I don’t look too much a mess, but I don’t know anyone here at all. I suppose I could find the hosts, and thank them, but I don’t know what they look like, and-

I am near the edges of the courtyard, looking at the artists brushing complicated designs onto the coats of passing equines, when my tangle of thoughts are abruptly interrupted by an ahem. I blink, and then I turn, and my eyes catch on a young stallion with a tray of drinks.

He is quite lovely, I think. A dark, rich shade of brown, with dark coils of hair – it reminds me of the tree trunks in my homeland. My attention is first captured by the elaborate designs on his side that seem to me like the night sky, or the day sky, or dancers (it takes me a moment to realize that they seem to shift with the light and angle), and then I realize that the other half of him as bare. (Perhaps it is some cultural tradition that I am unaware of.) He smiles, but it is a polite smile, not a real one, and he asks me if I’d like a drink.

(The other people inside of me notice a few other things: the sweat that beads on his brow, the labored cadence of his step.)

“Oh,” I say, smiling in a way that is probably more silly than it is bright or dazzling - smiling exuberantly, the kind that comes from the privilege of seeing this beautiful new world without knowing too much about it. “I think I could - that would be lovely, thank you.” I eye the refreshments thoughtfully, and settle on the amber one, with the red in it – it reminds me of home. (The ice is also appealing.) It occurs to me that it might have been wise to ask what they are made of only after I’ve taken a sip of it. It’s…minty, I think. It certainly smells like it.

I’m not entirely sure what to do, or what to say, so the first thing that pops out of my mouth is, “Why are you only painted on one side?” I blink, then, and it occurs to me that the question might sound – rude (at least I sounded curious, I hope, instead of accusatory), and I backtrack almost before I can think about it. “I- I mean- oh dear. Is that…appropriate to ask? I’m sorry if it isn’t.”

(This is why I normally keep my mouth shut.)





@Dune || hello my name is jeanne & I am enamored with dune || "kiss of the sun," mary ruefle

"Speech!" 




Note // Nic picked up drink 3 <3





EVERYTHING IS RISK, SHE WHISPERED.
if you doubt, it becomes sand trickling through skeletal fingers.


please tag Nic! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 67 — Threads: 11
Signos: 50
Day Court Merchant
Male [He/His] // 4 [Year 501 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Dream Walking // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#3






D U N E


- ☾ -


T
he girl is not from here, that much is obvious. She also doesn’t have the feel of a tourist. And there were a lot of tourists in Solterra, particularly this time of year. They had a certain kind of recklessness, a freedom that came with not knowing anyone. In some ways Dune could relate, for every night he was a tourist in the dreams of others. But, a dream is different from an island, which Novus indisputably was. There were consequences here, despite the suggestion at every corner of this party that there were not.

He watches her carefully taste the drink, taking just a sip instead of thirstily gulping away as he had seen others do increasingly with each passing hour. There is something refreshing about the way she considers it- and a strange charm in the way she says “lovely” like she’s someone’s grandmother. He notes the lilting accent of her voice, reaffirming her foreignness, and he’s about to ask where she’s from and how she likes the party when she breaks the silence first.

Why are you only painted on one side?” She asks, and before he can respond she backtracks with “I- I mean- oh dear. Is that…appropriate to ask? I’m sorry if it isn’t.

It was never acceptable to laugh at a guest, even if they were being wildly insane (or, in this case, sweetly naive). If she was not laughing, he was not allowed to, but he was at least able to smile. And at “oh dear” his smile finally melts into something warmer, something that struggles to contain the laughter bubbling in his chest. “Nothing’s inappropriate to say to the help here.” He takes a drink for himself, the gold one that smells like it’s spicy. He’s been sampling the drinks all night, though very carefully so that he never reached the point of inebriation. It was a simple job but he took his responsibilities seriously, and it was this level of care that ensured he could always find a job somewhere. Most employers didn’t recognize Dune, which he considered the highest praise and the greatest job security- it was the failures and screw-ups that made themselves remembered.

That being said, his shift was almost over, the night grown late, and he allowed himself to drink a little deeper of the golden beverage, scowling through the sweetness. “I think it's an artistic statement? Dunno for sure, it’s above my pay grade.” His smile grows sardonic and his eyes glance past her to the rest of the crowded room. This is the point where he should ask “anything else I can do for you?” And be on his way to the next thirsty-looking guest. But to be honest he just doesn’t want to. This girl is different, and kind, and quite pretty… also across the room an older mare is getting snippy with her gentleman friend and Dune really doesn’t want to be the one to break them up.

The server circles the pegasus, presenting the painted side of his body. The fight about to break out is conveniently at his back. He arches his neck and prances in place for a second, a pose to mirror those countless stupid statues. “Do you like it?” He quickly quits the prancing (feels too foolish) and straightens once again into the formal, precise posture the servers were expected to maintain at all times. There is a mischievous edge to his grin now, and something like a challenge in his expectant eyes.



we look almost happy out in the sun, while we bleed to death from wounds we don't
know about
« r » | @Nicnevin <3 <3 drink 1!






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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 50 — Threads: 12
Signos: 65
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Fall] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#4



I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE IT, AND REMEMBER ON EARTH
I did not know how to touch it it was all so raw, / and if by chance there is no edge to the crowd / or anything else so that I am of it, / I will take the orange and toss it as high as I can.


My sip goes down easily enough, though I very nearly gag on the aftertaste; most of it is wonderful, with a carbonated fizziness and a ice-borne chill that wipes away some measure of the desert heat that has plagued me since my arrival. It is sharp and minty and wonderfully crisp, but it leaves the lingering taste of something in my mouth. I don’t know what charcoal tastes like, but it tastes, faintly, like charcoal smells.

The clash of tastes is – bizarre, to say the least. It is all that I can do to remain composed, to not wrinkle my nose or grimace. (I sip at it again anyways. Maybe it’s an acquired taste?)

To my relief, in spite of my babbling, the man smiles at me. Gently, even. Warmly. I smile back, easily, relieved. Nothing is inappropriate to say to the help here, he says, and my smile threatens to falter by fractions at the edges; a hint of something like confusion threatens to work its way into my brow. That seems rude. And unusual. There are always things that are inappropriate to say to people, regardless of their occupation.

That is how it is at home, anyways. A farmer could have just as easily been the ruler of our kingdom in his past life. I have to remind myself, quickly, that outsiders do not necessarily think the same way.

(It makes the drink taste a bit more bitter on my tongue.)

He takes a drink himself, then informs me that the half-pattern is an artistic statement – or something. Above his pay grade, he says, and I nod, trying to figure out what sort of artistic statement could be intended by painting only half of the man. My mind draws a harsh blank. His coat is rich brown, but rather dark, and the paint is gold; perhaps it is because so many of the designs resemble celestial bodies, and, offsetting them against the dark of his coat makes their luminous qualities all the more obvious.

I am no artist – I have only ever trained with a blade. I don’t know what to make of it at all.

When he prances about in front of me, circling like a stalking cat, I have to smother the urge to giggle. It doesn’t much suit him, I think, the grandstanding – or maybe he just isn’t sure how to do it. I am not sure that he is the grandstanding type. He asks me, with a glint of mischief in his eyes, if I like the designs, and I dip my head, a thin veil of chestnut hair falling into my face; I brush it out of the way quickly.

“I do,” I say, watching the light glint off his coat and illuminate all of those strange, wonderful patterns, “although I’ll admit…I don’t know what all of the designs are supposed to be.” I tilt my head at him, still smiling broadly, and add, before I can think better of it, “I think the rest of you looks nice, too – you remind me of the trees, back in my homeland.” It’s certainly true; his coat is reminiscent of wood, shaved of bark, and of ancient trees, of the maples and the oaks, and, best of all, the sweet-scented black walnut.

I used to go and collect the fallen walnuts with my grandmother. The memory is faded, stained, blurred out-of-focus; but it still lingers, in the back of my mind.

Regardless – that is to say, there is a certain loveliness to it. A simple one. Maybe an unnoticeable one. (Maybe those are the most precious kind.)

My comment doesn’t quite strike me as odd until I’ve said it aloud; and, even then, I’m not sure that I could have kept it in. 
(It seems I’m having a rather difficult time keeping my mouth shut.)




@Dune || <3 <3 <3 || "kiss of the sun," mary ruefle

"Speech!" 









EVERYTHING IS RISK, SHE WHISPERED.
if you doubt, it becomes sand trickling through skeletal fingers.


please tag Nic! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply




Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 67 — Threads: 11
Signos: 50
Day Court Merchant
Male [He/His] // 4 [Year 501 Spring] // 15 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Dream Walking // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#5






D U N E


- ☾ -


I
t brings a small amount of satisfaction to see the stranger does not visibly enjoy her drink. It would be more satisfying, of course, if he didn’t find himself fond of her. Dune personally found the cocktails of this evening frivolous, and it brought him pleasure throughout the night whenever some gaudy guest scowled or grimaced at whatever they had drank. As if to spite him and his dour attitude, his own drink is decidedly not sitting well in his stomach. Too sweet, he thinks, and tells himself that it will pass. (it will, but not until the next day, and not before getting far worse.)

The prancing about in place does nothing to settle the foulness in his stomach. It’s just as well, for she’s definitely not looking at him with the coy interest he had vaguely hoped to spark. It's fine, this is fine- he mostly just wanted to ignore whatever soon-to-be-violent drama was unfolding behind him.

She then proceeds to be exceedingly complementary, which he treats at first with no small measure of skepticism. It was a basic strategy of self preservation, one learned after being duped one too many times by kindness. People were deceptive, and Dune was slow to trust those he had never Dreamed with. But she is so straightforward and speaks- even somehow moves- with pure genuity, he has a hard time staying on the defensive. “Have you ever in your life told a lie?” he wonders with laughter in his voice, for he doesn’t think he’s ever met anyone so seemingly lacking in guile.

(It was not necessarily a bad thing... but he found himself worrying on behalf of this stranger. Solterra could be a rough place.)

Dune doesn’t know much of trees, except the things he’s learned in dreams (which can’t really be trusted) but the tone in her voice makes him want to. He can sense her nostalgia, taking her to someplace far away. Nicer than here, assuredly; he wishes he could follow. All he can do is watch the expression on her face as she dips in and out of a memory.

He notices for the first time that her eyes are two different colors. His stomach begins to cramp. The two aren’t related, he thinks, but he could be wrong. He is beginning to sweat. He tries not to think about it.

Thank you,” he says finally. No one has ever told Dune he looked nice. “You look nice too,” he adds, not because he feels obligated to say so but because it’s true. “But like nothing I’ve seen before.” If he had experienced a greater range of foliage and landscape and seasons, real seasons, he would have named her autumnal. But he hadn’t, so she was just as strange to him as something out of a book. Of course, Dune had seen many foreigners and tourists, and so bits and pieces of her are familiar to him but not the whole picture: the ram horns, the wings, the pattern between her eyes he is not travelled enough to identify as an oak leaf. “What’s your name?

He's about to smile his most charming smile, but his stomach clenches again and the expression blurs into something uncertain and a little pained.



we look almost happy out in the sun, while we bleed to death from wounds we don't
know about
« r » | @Nicnevin is the cutest <3






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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 50 — Threads: 12
Signos: 65
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Fall] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#6



I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE IT, AND REMEMBER ON EARTH
I did not know how to touch it it was all so raw, / and if by chance there is no edge to the crowd / or anything else so that I am of it, / I will take the orange and toss it as high as I can.


Does he look a bit – strange? There is something to his movements, to his gestures that I surely didn’t see a moment ago. Perhaps it is simply fatigue. He has likely been working the entire evening, after all, like all the other uniformed people I’ve seen wandering the mansion during my - rather clumsy - exploration.

Have you ever in your life told a lie? There is a laugh in his voice, but I don’t mind it. I think that I’ve been a bit tactless, lately, and more open than I remember being in my past lifetimes – the shift seems to have happened when I came to Novus. I think that it’s a matter of reliance. Back home, I was almost entirely self-reliant; here, I find myself all the time relying on the kindness of strangers. It’s a bit uncomfortable, and I’m still not sure that I like it (I am always begging to be useful, not the one using), but I think that it’s been good to learn from outsiders, regardless.

I’m not usually this blunt, though.

“Well – yes,” I admit, nodding. I can’t think of many times that I’ve lied recently, but I know that I’ve lied before, though I like to hope that my lies were mostly good-intentioned. (Some of them were cruel anyways, I think. Reassurances before every patrol, before each battle – promises I couldn’t really make. They weren’t lies, exactly, not at the time, but they became them when I was dead.) I don’t recite as many lies as I can remember, though I feel the strange urge to do so. Instead, I add, “I’m feeling more honest than usual, though. Maybe it’s the alcohol?” I don’t think I’ve drunk enough for that, but, then, I haven’t drunk much with this body in general, and I don’t know what they’ve put in these drinks at all.

(The idea of the beverages being enchanted (or else mixed with some strange potions) doesn’t even cross my mind. Back home, only the priestesses and the current ruler could use magic – and none of their powers involved making unusual drinks.)

He takes my compliment, though only after an inordinately long stretch of silence; he doesn’t seem to know exactly what to do with it. It’s a bit endearing, and it nearly makes me laugh again, but I swallow it down. (I’m not sure that it would be polite- and, my, is his brow beginning to look sweaty? Perhaps it is the heat, and the lights, or perhaps I just didn’t notice it before.) He tells me that I look nice, too, and I flash him a soft, toothless smile.

“Thank you,” I say. He adds that I don’t look like anything he’s ever seen before, and I wonder what he means by it – though, to be honest, I didn’t much look like anything I’d ever seen before, either, when I looked into my reflection for the first time while knowing what I’d looked like in the past. I was so plain, in my other two lives. Now, I think I’m far from it. (It is probably because the priestesses pulled me back; it is probably because of the same destiny that marks my brow with an oak leaf, but that is beside the point.)

He asks me for my name.

“I’m Nicnevin,” I say, offering it up without a shred of hesitation, and begin to ask for his in kind. “What’s your-“ I am halfway through my question when his expression turns painful. I react on impulse, one wing snapping out to brush his shoulder to support him if he starts to fall. I eye him worriedly, my lips twisting into something of a nervous frown, and I change my question to, “Are you alright?”

(I hope that he is.)





@Dune || poor, poisoned dune ;~; || "kiss of the sun," mary ruefle

"Speech!" 









EVERYTHING IS RISK, SHE WHISPERED.
if you doubt, it becomes sand trickling through skeletal fingers.


please tag Nic! contact is encouraged, short of violence



Reply





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