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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 399 — Threads: 81
Signos: 100
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers]  |  Immortal [Year 498 Spring]  |  16 hh  |  Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93  |    Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis & N/A  |    Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#1



WOULD THERE WERE A FESTIVAL FOR MY FEARS
a ritual / burning of what is coward in me, what is lost in me. Let the light in / before it is too late.


It is not too dark. Still: she feels that she is stumbling half-blind.

Ereshkigal has compared the caves to hell. That is hardly how she sees them, she said; they are far from the bloodiest place on Novus’s soil. The demon laughed, then, and she told her that it is all in the scent. Moist, cold soil and the persistent stench of decay, of hungry worms and growing fungi. The invasive, all-encompassing stink of the grave.

She pools out from a narrow passage and into a wide cavern encircling an underground lake, and she tries to think of anything but dying.

The walls are lined with torches, each lit by some unnatural flame. She has seen all colors of fire since she began her descent down, down, down, into the stomach of this dark labyrinth of caves. These are pale blue, darkest at the wick, and they paint the cavern the same shade of blue with their touch. In the presence of their light, the lake is a blue that seems depthless and strangely clear.

She walks to the edge of the water soundlessly and thoughtlessly, unworried by the slick stones that line the water; her hooves, propelled by magic, hover off the ground, and her hair is unbound by braids and swirling behind her in a great mass of white, and she barely notices either. (Her magic is a hungry maw, and she barely expends the effort to control it, anymore. Who is there to shield from it but herself? Ereshkigal welcomes the destruction, all the broken mirrors and stones, and, when she stumbles and cuts herself - if she stumbles and cuts herself – she can bandage the wounds on her own.) She leans over the edge, arching her neck, and she stares down into the clear, blue darkness of the water.

She can see the bottom. Dark, mottled stone, and eyeless things; their skin is the near-transparent, sickly white that covers most creatures that never see the sun. She feels that there is some twisted metaphor to the sight of them, some ugly symbolism about what comes from living in the dark, but Seraphina can’t find it in her to piece it together. Behind her, perched on a jagged outcropping of mineral-slick rock, Ereshkigal gives a rattling, verbal laugh that echoes and echoes through the caves like a roll of thunder. Seraphina hears her shift, her talons scratching against the rock; she hears the ruffle of her feathers. “You’re always looking for meaning in useless things,” the demon hisses, her voice scratching against the inside of her ears like ants. “Stupid girly. You won’t find it.”

Since her return from the grave, she has been searching – ravenously - for something that she cannot find a name for. She knows that she won’t find it among the axolotls and the salamanders, among the skeleton-fish. She knows that it probably doesn’t exist; but accepting that means that this has all been for nothing, all of this, that there was no greater meaning to all of the ways that she suffered and all of the ways that she allowed her people to suffer, and she is not sure if that is a cruelty or a kindness.

Regardless – if she accepts that it is true, she will really have nothing. She cannot live with that. (She is barely living as is.)

There is a sound from behind her – the click of hooves on stone - towards one of the many passages out. (Whether it leads somewhere deeper or towards the surface is hard to say; she is sure that it is not the one that she came through.) Her ear flicks back, but it takes her a moment to turn her head – her gold-scarred cheek turns to the approaching figure, glinting oddly in the flickering torchlight, and her multicolored gaze moves to light on someone she can almost recognize.





@Renwick || <3 ||

"Speech!" || "Ereshkigal!"





@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself.


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence




Reply




Played by Offline Mana [PM] Posts: 12 — Threads: 1
Signos: 1,090
Night Court Soldier
Male [he / him ]  |  10 [Year 496 Winter]  |  17 hh  |  Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 10  |    Active Magic: N/A  |    Bonded: N/A
#2


renwick

the last of our kind



Darkness is no stranger to him, Renwick had been born to it. A Kingdom of Night, of Darkness and Shadows. It has no sinister hold upon him, for he's learned to dance in the dark by kindled firelight and fireflies. Learned to speak the language of lost things, worn their armour and marched to war with the night as his witness. Against the dawn, against the sun, against the misconstruction of the dark and it's denizens.

He's returned from war with more shadows trailing after him than his own. Smiling with crooked teeth.

Down here, he's reminded of those shadows. He cannot see them, but they skitter and skirt the magefire burning blue and brilliant across the cavern walls. Laughter eerily similar to the sound of water dripping from ceiling to floor, hiding in plain sight. Renwick comes to the Caves to reflect, unbothered by sinister reputation and the laughing maws of skeletons long made. Eyeless sockets swallowing unnatural light, watching without seeing. Denoctian's keep strange companions, and the dead in the grandscheme of things are not so strange at all. He comes down here to think, to feel small rather than grand. Not a knight, but flesh and bone. No titles and no lords.

To exist without measures and expectations.

It's liberating. 

Rarely, one can find other souls down here. More often than not, they keep to themselves, Renwick turns a blind eye to those in cloaks, to those that walk on crooked legs. Whose patchwork smiles follow him long after  he's turned the corner, their vacant eyes seared into his skin. Standing over the bones of the other unfortunates who come to do business, trading coin and goods. Others eek out a quiet, somber living to keep nourishing their already thin frames, and none question a denoctian in the shadows. Renwick walks onward, down and down, away from the light whose tender warm embrace cannot reach. Flickering and winking out as stars overhead do, one at a time, unnoticed by both the dreamer and the restless. Silent, save for the ragged exhale of his breathing, in and out, in and out. A pendulum in a grandfather clock he can scarcely remember but knows his aging sire had once stood staring listlessly in front of. No doubt waiting until it stopped.

He's not expecting to run into a spectre of his past. Of something that had for a time, and still does, taken him and made him foolish. Made him a man instead of a soldier. Narrowing the world down to a single focal point. An ash rose in a garden of marigolds, brilliant, bold and beautiful.

Seraphina blooms before him, as gilt hooves caress wet stone and come to an abrupt, aborted stop. Struck, as if an archer had skewered him neatly upon a well aimed arrow to the heart.

Different. Remade.

But she looks as she always did.

Lovely, lethal and lonesome.

Most would take the latter as insult, and Renwick would call them fools bold as brass. Intensity burning in the churning pits of his molten eyes, one day away from spilling forth down the glass cut of his cheekbones, all mirth and fools gold. It comes forward reverently as any bell chime sweet prayer ever could. She's lonesome in the way grand temple statues are lonesome. Their silhouette commands the space, turning men to mice beneath their glory. Their vaunted faces hallowed and holy, a moment in time frozen. Giving glimpses into the heroes they're charged to forever emulate, allowing a fleeting moment of connection between the worshipful and divine. All the sorrow, all the wonder, all that solemn charge etched by master crafters into stone.

She may wear no crown upon her brow, but she inspires as the dawn does. It's the not the first time he's had such thoughts, yet it comes forth all the same. Up upon those windswept dunes with Solis' searing gaze as his witness, gazing at white flames and smoking ash. Seraphina looks like the divine come again, with the whorls of her white hair ablaze around her. Mismatched eyes the embodiment of the sun and the moon.

She whose silver hair burns brighter than the sun.

Here he is, weathering the passage as time as cliffs weather the capricious whims of the ocean. There she is, marble and gold. Will she recognise? Age has blessed him to be sure, he does not grey where others turn sheet white beneath time's ardent reclaimation of youth. Still, he's no southern lad fresh as spring grass to the joust, and he's no wretched thing on spindled legs and crooked of back. He's thickly corded muscle and scars, campaigns and regrets, weeping solterran gold in a shroud of denoctian night. He still wears those damned flowers in his hair, they have bloomed along with him. A calling card from the cradle, to the joust, to the battlefield and to the grave. From spring, to summer, to autumn. Through winter til the spring comes again. Now he wears Black Hellebores, Tuberoses and Amaryllis.

"Sera?"

Down here, there are no divine witnesses to their reunion, save for the unholy thing he spies with unblinking intensity, who must surely be cut from a similar cloth to those whom equines spend their lives longing to connect with. There is only the sickly things curling and coiling beneath clear pools. Sightless and longing still, for things they cannot know or comprehend. Driven by instinct, barely concealed hunger smiling between jagged, crooked teeth. What would they know of their significance. Of the moment unravelling above the surface of their Kingdom?

They know nothing, and thus this fated red string moment will go unrecorded. It will pass as all things do, experienced between the souls present and nothing more. Fondly remembered, pivotol in the dance but otherwise glossed over.

Caverns have strange connotations, and so do their inhabitants. They can be the death of a man, an apt metaphor for the state of mind if he was so inclined to halt upon his own state of being in this moment. Never ending searches for belonging and purpose, floors worn smooth by the equines who came before and come again, as flesh and wraith, ghoul and spectre. Once could wittle away their years down here, just as one can retreat into the long corridors of their mind and return sightless, empty, forgotten. Is Seraphina imitating heroes of old entering the labyrinth, slaying beasts she cannot see? Wandering the dark ways until she's lost, waiting for the wayfarer to point her way back home? Or has she come for solace, a reprieve from the ails of above?

So much rattles forth in his painted breast, yet he manages to wrangle them in his throat. Wrap the long tendrils of self-control around them and crumble them to dust, and what does not crumble, relents and scurries back the way it came. Leaving him speechless, a living statue himself among magefire and ancient stone. A spring fed squire, instead of the hardened veteran of a hundred battles.

A mouse encased within a temple.

But what a wonderful thing to be struck silent by.

« r » | @Seraphina




[Image: manaicon4.png]
your contempt will always taste of grief
wolf boy, rose haired
☽ ➴ 

Reply




Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 399 — Threads: 81
Signos: 100
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers]  |  Immortal [Year 498 Spring]  |  16 hh  |  Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93  |    Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis & N/A  |    Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#3



WOULD THERE WERE A FESTIVAL FOR MY FEARS
a ritual / burning of what is coward in me, what is lost in me. Let the light in / before it is too late.


Once, she might have been delighted – or something like it – to see him. Now, she doesn’t quite feel anything. Dull surprise, maybe, and a little bit of something that is not quite dredged-up hurt. When he disappeared, she didn’t ache for it, precisely. She hadn’t had time for that; and she didn’t know him well enough for it besides, though she didn’t think much of it at the time. She was young and lonely, burdened with a weight that was probably too heavy for her young shoulders, and she was oh-so (far too) easily enchanted by the notion of someone who might be able to understand her, ugly gnarls of a history and all. No one had ever sent her flowers before, or told her anything lovely or sweet, or written her gentle letters. She thinks that a part of her must have inherited her mother’s more foolish inclinations; she does not remember much of Angelie, now, but she knows that she was a woman who loved sweet fairy tales and fables, the ones with handsome princes and courteous knights in shining armor. Now that she was older, she could understand how she must have felt, though she knows just as well that it is foolish. When you are at your most hopeless, you long for someone – perhaps anyone - to save you. You imagine the handsome young gentleman, the one who can say pretty things, the one who seems to have stepped out of a picture book – the one who will save anyone, even you. You long for the flowers, to catch their eye from across a crowded ballroom, for soft words, an affectionate stare, perhaps even for the poetry. Most of all, you long for the happy ending.

She knows better. (The truth of the matter is that she probably always has.) It’s probably of no use to hope for endings at all.

There is the clack of her dark hooves on stone, and a faint, surprised twitch of her lips. Her eyes scan his frame thoughtfully, and she decides that he does, indeed, look quite different than she remembers. Regardless, he looks well, and she finds, for whatever it is worth, that she is glad for it; and the way that he says her name makes her feel something like relief, because she feels, most often, like the world has forgotten her, alongside everyone in it. It is still so strange to be greeted warmly.

(After all – she died unmourned, unburned, unburied, forgotten, but for two.)

Her gaze locks on his, odd eyes settling on his own.

“Renwick,” she says, in a voice that feels more polite than it does warm. Still, her tone is genuine when she asks, “How have you been?” Because she does wonder. (Because some part of her still wants some sort of explanation, which would be somewhat like closure.) Because, more than anything, she had thought of him as something like a friend, and that lingers – even if what accompanied it seems to be gone.

She’d far rather talk about him than herself, at least – about him, not the new scar on her cheek, or the tiredness carved into her skin in the form of near-perpetual dark circles, or the unhealthy slightness of her frame. And there is a part of her, though she might be glad to see that he still lives, that wishes that he could not see her in kind. There is a certain way that she is tired of feeling like a disappointment, a certain way that she is tired of straightening whenever she catches someone else’s eye; a certain way that she would like, more often than not, to be entirely alone, without anyone else to live up to.

(Of course – she never will be. Ereshkigal’s blood-eyed stare is trained on her, where she perches on a nearby rock, and, when she catches her gaze, the crooked tips of her beaked mouth curve up into a smirk that barely shows her razorblades of teeth. The demon is the one entity in her life that is perfectly inescapable; the sole creature that will not leave her and will not abide by being left.)

But she does not even acknowledge the demon, now. She simply regards Renwick, and she pretends, for a moment, the demon – and everything she signifies – does not exist.




@Renwick || <3 ||

"Speech!" || "Ereshkigal!"





@







I'M IN A ROOM MADE OUT OF MIRRORS
and there's no way to escape the violence of a girl against herself.


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence




Reply




Played by Offline Mana [PM] Posts: 12 — Threads: 1
Signos: 1,090
Night Court Soldier
Male [he / him ]  |  10 [Year 496 Winter]  |  17 hh  |  Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 10  |    Active Magic: N/A  |    Bonded: N/A
#4

renwick

« To anyone who’s ever stolen a piece of my poor heart »


H
ow he longs to tell her that he would do so again in a heart beat, if she only dared to voice it. To write her letters accompanied by seasonal flowers. Pale moon roses carefully blended with desert fire blooms, the colours of her eyes and her hair. He had such a romantics heart then, and truthfully, it lingers faithfully. Painfully. A mournful shade in an overgrown thicket, leaving invisible groves at the very edge of the boundry path. Unable to go forth and cannot go back. Tormented by it.

A slow waltz of respair on withering rose petals and black feathers.

Now there's a space between them, made more poignant by the cavernous expanse they now occupy. Renwick has sin stones like the rest of them, though his by far seem graver the more he thinks upon them. Heavier. The romantic in him has grown cruel, where he himself is the singular subject. There's no need to be gracious with oneselves when it comes to self-inflicted injuries. Simply apply caustic salve to the open wound and close ragged claws around tight. Until it weeps that terrible awful shade of green and sickly yellow, makes the strong pallid and the weak perish.

Would it satisfy the pieces of her, if she knew he felt. Would it ever be enough?

They have aged, surely as the seasons wax and wane, the very same way the moon gentles herself before returning to her resplendance. He looks at her, an oasis in a long desert. His former thoughts run a thousand miles an hour and ignite. Again and again, they replay. Turn the same old words over, he's no poet, but he is a lover, and they supposedly have a talent for words far beyond the ordinary pensmith.

She has aged far more gracefully than he ever could, on further observation, decides that she has not at all, and a semblance of relief blossoms there, in the core of him surrounded by gnarled bark roots rotting gold. Even with dark circles about her sun and moon eyes, one emphasised by the addition of gold swipes. She's still beautiful, and it's an old familiar ache. Celestial bodies had knocked their grinning arrow with intention the first time, as the Fates had crowded curiously closer. To rend a man so utterly low for the highest of highs, glass claws broken and chipped while they work across tender flesh.

He's no longer the boy with flowers in his hair and a tourney heart, or maybe he still is exactly how he used to be, but there's no varnish and rose tinted glasses of better tomorrows and happy endings. But she too, has changed, even if his eyes urge him to the contrary, along with the violent constricting in his lungs.

How has he been?

Terrible, sick for things he can and cannot comprehend. Guilt riddled as atoners taking the long walk, hooves chipped and eyes glazed with penitent poison. More often than not, his mind turns back to those unforgiving desert dunes, all those skeletal collared faces skittering across them. When he's present, his mind his an errant flicker of thoughts. A murder of crows, a man who is placed in an awkward point of painful growth. Maturing now into stone and gilt, bleeding out into the ground to make it one and the same.

Renwick wants to ask her instead, of all the things she has seen and done since last they met. Since the letters dried up and the flowers pressed between pages became brittle, frail things. She has new company now, and his gaze briefly turns toward the vulture-like creature in the darkest points of this intimate tableau. Wonders how she came to possess it, because it is hers, he imagines. Unless it is a creature with a penchant for soul watching, ravenous for the trials and tribulations of the mortal kind. In which case, he supposes, that it will have it's fill tonight. A fine pound of flesh, two for one.

She's polite, and genuine, and somehow it hurts all the more. Digs an artful dagger between his ribs and presses sweetly against where he lives. Reminds him of that one specific sinstone wrapped around his neck, heavier still in her presence. The thickly corded braid wrapped around his neck, weighted against the ostentatious collar. The moonstones there reflect the firelight, turn it pale in their homage.

"Better." He settles on. Testing how the word tastes on his tongue. Hoping that it conveys something that is both genuine and tired. He's sure if he returned the question, that he would receive a similar response. Weary and weighted. Seraphina isn't looking to talk about herself, and he knows better than to press. He's in no position to negotiate such a conversation — all that matters is that for one joyous moment their paths have crossed again.

Renwick is a fool who will take scraps for what they are and call it a banquet.

I'm sorry sits at the edge of his tongue, but he swallows it at the last moment. Turns his gaze upward, cranes his neck to emphasise the motion before he returns to watching her. Warm, repentent and fond. Wary and haunted.

"What are you doing so far down here?"
« r » | @Seraphina





[Image: manaicon4.png]
your contempt will always taste of grief
wolf boy, rose haired
☽ ➴ 

Reply




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