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Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 400 — Threads: 81
Signos: 50
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: N/A // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#1

I'M NOT CRAZY,
but when the sun split / him wide, he left me this, look, / my body veined in soot.





Across from her, in the mirror, the viceroy is shaving off her hair.

She, a girl – not even a year old, if she had to guess – lies in a crumpled mass on a sandstone floor, slender chest heaving, sides slick with sweat and blood. She is swollen here and there with ugly bruising and veined red. There isn’t enough of it to pool. Sometimes, he insisted that he would not be so wasteful; that he was not so interested in wasting the healer’s time. She imagines that this was him on a good day, when he hadn’t lost his patience with her yet.

(He lost his patience often; and she was his favorite.)

He shaves right at the nape of her neck, and her fine white hair falls to the floor in clumps. Her legs twitch loosely, even limply, in the way that a butterfly twitches when it is caught in the mud. He nicks her more than once, shallowly, probably intentionally. It bleeds horribly. (Shallow cuts often do.) The girl has her back to her, so she cannot see her face, but she can imagine the kind of expression that she was wearing at the time.

Her magic twines around one coil of her forelock and twists it. When Viceroy died, she stopped cutting her hair. He always insisted on shaving it off entirely, down to the skin, and, as soon as it began to grow back, he would shave it again. He told her that it was useless in combat; it would be a burden on the battlefield. He crooned in a sickly-gentle voice that he was doing it because it was in her best interest. She had seen the reason in it, at the time, but now that she is older, she has a feeling that he mostly did it because he was maneless, and, when they met, he couldn’t stand the sight of her long, long hair.

She doesn’t remember their meeting, exactly – but she remembers Viceroy well, as though he’d only died yesterday, so she can imagine the curve of his lips at the edges when he saw something that he disliked.

She does not think of him often, anymore. (She has thought of him more often recently.)

Seraphina drifts by the image in the glass with a shake of her head. She might have been horrified by it, if it had happened to someone else; but it happened to her, so she feels almost nothing at all. At least the cruelties of her childhood were no fault of her own – at least she does not have to feel such the painful clench of guilt whenever she regards them.

She passes through rows and rows of shards; her image ripples alongside her, below her, ahead of her, behind her. No matter where she looks, she can only see her own face, which is condemnation enough; but she cannot see at all what she so desperately wants to find, which are features not unlike her own, but softer, less worn by exhaustion, less angular and thin in the cheeks. She cannot remember her face, anymore, and, though she knows that she was good, she cannot recall enough of her to follow her example.

She cannot even recall the name that she gave her. Perhaps that is what severed them the most; her daughter was not named Seraphina.

She stops, and she turns her head to the mirror at her side. She watches herself in the reflection, newly scarred, a thin line of blood dribbling from the gold on her cheek, cowl pulled over her shameful face. Her eyes are sunken and dark, and her lips make a frown so heavy that it seems perpetual, and, though her magic was still weak and ambling, at the time, she can see it tugging at the white tangles of her mane, threatening to make a medusa of her.

Seraphina continues walking – further and deeper, towards the core of this place.







@Tenebrae || <3 <3 <3 || rebecca dunham, "elegy for the eleven" ; title "Notname," Lyd Havens
Sera || Eresh





@







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








Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 180 — Threads: 23
Signos: 55
Inactive Character
#2


tagged
@Seraphina

credit
1 / 2
tenebrae
let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, just keep going, no feeling is final



He does not know what memory reaches out to her from the mirrors. Tenebrae cannot hear how it speaks with the sound of a razorblade slicing through silver-white hair that falls silent as snow upon the floor. If he did know of the dream, that unwinds itself from slumber within Seraphina’s mind, the monk might have felt some sliver of understanding. He too was raised young, groomed to fight, groomed to love a goddess whose hand  he had to thank for his very existence.


Yet Seraphina’s eyes reveal nothing of the memories that might stir behind her silvered gaze. Her shadow yawns  out from her feet, angular and pointed, as if her shadow can reveal the true nature of the thoughts that stir within. 


Her lips bow down like the curve of the earth. He wonders how she lets her anguish weigh her lips in such a manner. Darkness pools in the corners of her lips, it rises like floodwater and drenches her mouth in sorrow. She should be beautiful, the monk notices, but her eyes are pillowed with black shadows.


The monk studies her. He smells the heat of the sun, the dust of the desert. Yet sunken and hollow and riddled with shadows as she is, she is more a tortured creature of Denocte then Solterran light. Slowly the monk moves to her, feeling his own sullen shadows reaching out to her. Greedy for the sight of another, desperate to see and see and see before his sight is robbed from him, he watches her without shame. He studies the parts of her that are beautiful, those that are strange and lastly those full of aching emotions that lie complex and painful. He looks to her and knows he will remember anguish, but he does not want her to be the last thing he sees. He hopes she might smile, remind him what companionship is.


The monk is beside her, the mirrors whispering alternate truths. He looks to one, too slow to look away, and he sees Boudika and him an embrace, easy and loving. It steals his breath, oh it cuts him deep into the threads at the very core of his being. It frays them as readily as butter melting in the sun.  Agonised, distraught, swallowing down his perfect grief, he looks to the girl and she seems a walking portrayal of his own distress. “At first I found the temptation of seeing the ‘what ifs’ of other worlds enchanting… but now I am not sure if it is not just torture.’ The Disciple swallows and lifts his head from the mirrors. He should know better than to dwell upon things he should not have.











Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 400 — Threads: 81
Signos: 50
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: N/A // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#3

I'M NOT CRAZY,
but when the sun split / him wide, he left me this, look, / my body veined in soot.





He is grey as she is.

She has always thought that her coloration was better-suited to the night than realms of day. The man who emerges from the realm of mirrors seems proof enough of that notion; he is grey like the desaturated world beneath the light of a full moon, grey like a sky full of stars, grey touched with light. There is a crescent moon on his forehead, and on his shoulder, and he smells, ever so faintly, of Denocte – incense and night-blooming jasmine, a world altogether unlike her own.

She’d held a certain degree of fondness for it, once, and fear later. Now, at that subtle recognition, she feels nothing at all.

Seraphina catches his reflection in the mirror, held in the embrace of a lover whose features she cannot quite make out, and she is not prepared for the sudden strike of envy - bright and hot and sharp as a brand – that it presses up against her chest. She doesn’t think that she has ever been quite so lonely as she feels lately; she doesn’t think that she has ever longed for love in quite the same way. That is, pure delusion. She wants to love these children, and she wants to have wanted this. She wishes that she’d born them from someone she loved, not through the machinations of some fickle and silent god.

(The silence is the worst part of them all.)

It is useless to consider. She won’t ever have that, now; it doesn’t matter if she has been left wanting for it. Seraphina will simply have to press forward, if only because she has more than herself to worry over now.

When the man speaks, she feels a pang of something distinctly apologetic. The “lover” in the mirror must be a lost love; there is nothing enviable about that. She looks back at her own reflection, which seems almost the perfect, untainted mirror of her face, and she swallows a sigh, unsure of what to say to him. She hopes that he is not searching for some sort of comfort. She has never been much good at that.

“I am not looking for other possibilities,” she says, softly. “I am looking for something I have…forgotten.” That isn’t the right way of putting it, precisely – she is looking for something that was ripped out of her head by force. She is looking for something that was stolen. (But, then, it seems that most things in her life have been; her memories, her freedom, her crown, her own name.)

She’d rather not think of it, though. (There are so many things that she would rather not think of.)

“And you-“ There is the man instead; some stranger in this strange place, with miseries of his own to attend to. She’d rather think of them than her own. “What were you hoping to find, that you tortured yourself instead?”

(She can guess – but it would be better, she thinks, if he said it himself.)






@Tenebrae || <3 <3 <3 || rebecca dunham, "elegy for the eleven" ; title "Notname," Lyd Havens
Sera || Eresh





@







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








Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 180 — Threads: 23
Signos: 55
Inactive Character
#4


tagged
@Seraphina

credit
1 / 2
tenebrae
let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, just keep going, no feeling is final

Their bodies are as grey and silver as their moods. Even the sky above moves to hues of steel clouds hard and unrelenting in their morbidity. Below, the crystal city of mirrors reflects bleak stories up to the curious onlookers. 


The silver stranger looks to his mirror, to the embrace he shares with Boudika in another world, another time, another circumstance. Idly he wonders if his grief and shame is enough to hide it. But he is tired of lies and coverups. He was in love with Boudika, and even if he had cursed any hope for them in this world, he would no longer hide from his truth. 


“I wanted to find this.” The monk breathes, openly, honestly. “To know that somewhere in the world things were better than they are now.” But also, I wanted to see a worse world, a worse situation for myself, that I might be content to know that things can always be worse than they are now. That what is happening now is merely fleeting, that it can still go up and down.” Tenebrae turns, drawn by the picture of another man, a warrior, not in the embrace of a woman but faithful in his vow to Caligo. Assured in his faith and piety. “I also wanted to see him.” He says of himself - a better monk in another world. “To know that somewhere I am a better monk than I am here.”


Tenebrae looks up from the mirrors, up to where the stranger watches him with eyes as silver as his, her cheek cut through with golden scars. She has lived a life he wished for. If he knew how she had not loved, how love was a thing that evaded her grasp, he would be jealous of her as she is of the love he wishes he had not found. 


“I came to be jealous and relieved, angry and happy. But all those mixed emotions are torturous. It is terrible to want what you are not supposed to have.’ The monk does not look away from Seraphina, but holds her, in his honesty, in the pieces of him he has exposed.











Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 400 — Threads: 81
Signos: 50
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: N/A // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#5

I'M NOT CRAZY,
but when the sun split / him wide, he left me this, look, / my body veined in soot.





For what it is worth, Seraphina listens.

She has never been good. Worse, she has never been much good at being good; she has never known the right words to say, or the right moves to make, or the right way to make herself seem like someone who wants to be good. Still, when the man speaks, though she cannot understand him, and though she has a feeling that she is poorly-equipped to understand even the barest sentiment of what is troubling his heart, Seraphina listens. It is what her mother would do, she thinks, if she were here – and she came here seeking her, knowing that she would never be able to find her.

(The only place she can find her, she supposes, as she glances at her own reflection, is buried somewhere inside of her, in the sharp angles of her own face.)

So – Seraphina listens. She listens to him speak of what he hoped to find in these mirrors, and why he sought it, and, when he tells her that he hoped to see a reality where he was a good monk, she asks, “And what has made you a poor monk?” All she sees in his reflection is love – and, much as she struggles with it, she cannot think of it as anything to be ashamed of.

When he finishes speaking, he is looking at her.

She tilts her head at him ever so slowly, and she looks between the shadows drawn on his face and his reflection in the mirror, her lips creasing into a line that is not quite concerned. “Why aren’t you supposed to have those things that you desire?” Perhaps it is a naïve question – perhaps it is a question that could only come from such a sun-kissed creature. Seraphina knows nothing of his Night Order, nor of his devotion to Caligo; she does not know what it means to be forced to love a god so deeply that it becomes offense to love anyone else. The only religion she knows is the sun, and even then she has struggled with it. She is almost sure that she has seen more of Solis than any other person alive, but, even now, pregnant with two children that he blessed into existence, she has never been able to get any answers from him; she has never been loved by him, either. What she can say is that he listens – or she hopes that he does. That is all she has ever wanted from him.

In her mind, there is a god of fire and war and every bright thing.

In her mind, the idea of god is incompatible with the idea of love.






@Tenebrae || <3 <3 <3 || rebecca dunham, "elegy for the eleven" ; title "Notname," Lyd Havens
Sera || Eresh





@







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








Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 180 — Threads: 23
Signos: 55
Inactive Character
#6


tagged
@Seraphina

credit
1 / 2
tenebrae
let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, just keep going, no feeling is final

If Tenebrae knew Seraphina more he would long to be her. To be able to separate gods and love. Yet, for him, it all comes back to his genesis. His future was never his own. He was made to worship Caligo, to defend her, to fight against Solis’ light…


It would have been so much easier if he had not been made for love too. But love was at the core of every religion. Love of a god, love of each other. But he was only supposed to love his goddess and his brothers. It was simple: focus upon duty, focus your love upon Denocte and nothing else will ever matter. But maybe he did not love his land, his goddess enough? Now he has seen what lies beyond religion, what a love of women will get him. Pain, agonising pain, and yet a delirium upon which he drifts, high, like Icarus. 


The silvered woman asks the same questions as all the others have. None can seem to understand it, the duty, the love of goddess and court. Maybe that was him. Maybe he did not understand it himself enough to ever give himself over to it fully. Maybe he was always a bad monk, even before Boudika and Elena? “A number of things,” He says softly. “Things I could control, things I think I had no control over.” Tenebrae frowns, unsure of the truth of his last statement. Did he have control over who he was? What he was created to be: a son of a Stallion who Swallowed the Sun and through that, a Disciple of Caligo?


Slowly Tenebrae turns to the silver girl, so much like him. The pain across her face a painting he thinks he can name and understand, for he bears its mirror. But the paint is different, the artist different, the strokes different… but still, it was pain and hurt and its colours were similar. “Because as a monk I was not supposed to do the things I did. I fell in love and then I lost the one i love through my own mistakes.” The Disciple pauses, he wonders over revealing too much, but his punishment is tomorrow, tomorrow he will lose sight of everything. His transgressions will be out, their every terrible detail exposed. He sees no point in holding them in any longer. “I am supposed to love Caligo, she is supposed to be enough. I am not supposed to want a woman and love her so much that I come here searching for a world in which I am not a monk and I have not done foolish things. A world in which i get to keep her. But also, I want to find a world in which she was never there and I was never a monk…” He laughs lightly, but there is nothing easy or light about it. It is the sun melting the wax from Icarus’ feathers. “I want to see an easier world.” Then his smile grows softer at his naive admission. “But there is no such thing. No such world, is there?”


The monk looks up at her, up and away from the worlds where he has Boudika and those where he does not and those where she does not even exist. “But what brings you here? I don’t think i am the only one of us in pain.”











Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 400 — Threads: 81
Signos: 50
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: N/A // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#7

I'M NOT CRAZY,
but when the sun split / him wide, he left me this, look, / my body veined in soot.





Seraphina listens to his story in silence. It could almost be pitying, but it is not quite. (There is some part of her, the child who used to listen to romantic folktales by the fireside, who still wishes for the estranged, star-crossed lovers to find their way back to each other, and to happiness, in the end; but she knows well enough, in her age, that such things rarely happen in reality.) “And what of the woman you fell for?” She tilts her head, white hair falling between her eyes. “What happened to her?” She isn’t sure if she wants to know, because she is sure that it ends in heartache. Still, as she looks at the blurry image of the red-striped woman in the mirror, she can’t help but feel that there is something familiar about her, though she cannot imagine when or where she has seen her before.

She leaves other questions unsaid, ones like why does your goddess ask that of you, that love is no finite resource – she knows that it is probably useless to ask them. Besides, she cares little for Caligo, and for her laughing moon, and for her moonflowers, so, instead of dwelling on his words, when he finally says that there is no such easier world, she nods.

“No, there isn’t.” And here is where she closes her eyes, a soft sigh lighting on her lips. “Regretting the past is useless. All that we can do is keep pressing forward in spite of it.” That is what she tells herself, anyways. Her regret is almost insultingly useless. It will not bring back the dead – there will never be any consolation for the victims of her uselessness and failure. No amount of penance can undo a sin.

Regret implies, besides, that it was ever about her. (It wasn’t.) Most days, she finds herself longing to have died on the Steppe, so she might have died with her dignity intact, so that she would have died for her dead and her nation in the way that she should have, as a kind of atonement – but, instead, she was dragged back, a different kind of hell.

The man seems to put his own struggles aside, and he turns his gaze instead to hers. She studies his face, her lips falling half-open, and considers her words carefully. “I am looking for someone who I’ve for-“ And she pauses, cutting herself off, because that isn’t quite right, and she is trying to force herself to be honest, lately. “…I’m looking for someone whose memories were stolen from me.” She pauses again, her lips twitching into the raw and wry uptick of a not-quite-smile, and she looks at the silver monk ruefully. “I don’t think that I’ll find her here, or anywhere, ever again.” Did that matter? She wasn’t even sure, anymore. No matter how well you remembered your dead, they would stay in the ground, never to return to you.

(What she did not learn, she thinks, from her mother’s fireside fairytales was that sometimes love came crashing to a terrible end, met a sudden and knife-edged fate – and there was no closure for it, and there never would be.)







@Tenebrae || <3 <3 <3 || rebecca dunham, "elegy for the eleven" ; title "Notname," Lyd Havens
Sera || Eresh





@







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








Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 180 — Threads: 23
Signos: 55
Inactive Character
#8


tagged
@Seraphina

credit
1 / 2
tenebrae
let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, just keep going, no feeling is final


And the woman you fell for? What happened to her?


Tenebrae looks out, over the jagged silver faces of the mirrored rocks, out to where the sea cuts herself upon the beach and falls away in rivulets of salt-water blood. 


What happened to her?


“She belongs to the sea,” Tenebrae says and knows the weight of such a truth. He knows nothing of whether there is a chance of love for them, if forgiveness can ever work its way into their relationship again. Yet he knows the sea is nothing he can fight, she is it and it is she.


The monk does not know how close the silver woman came to death. He does not know how she lay, broken, upon the steppe and healed with a scar across her cheek, rich in gold. Slowly he lifts up his chin and watches her. She has spoken economically, never a word more than needed. Now she pauses, disjointed, quiet and careful. The Disciple listens and wonders how memories can be stolen. 


Ah, it is a naive thought from a man still young and foolish. In this world of strange and cruel magic, it should be no surprise to him that memories can be stolen as readily as pearls from a pocket. He tilts his head and studies her as she watches him, “If your memories were stolen, how do you know they were ever there to begin with?”


Tenebrae lowers his face to the mirrors, the different worlds and the stories they tell, “If you know that memories were stolen, a memory of the person must remain.”Why do you think you will never see them again?”












Played by Offline Jeanne [PM] Posts: 400 — Threads: 81
Signos: 50
Day Court Outcast
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 16 hh // Hth: 47 — Atk: 53 — Exp: 93 // Active Magic: Greater Telekinesis // Secondary Magic: N/A // Bonded: Ereshkigal (Demonic Vulture)
#9

I'M NOT CRAZY,
but when the sun split / him wide, he left me this, look, / my body veined in soot.





She belongs to the sea, the monk says, his gaze turning to the way that the water cuts a gash across the mirror, dark and tumultuous and stricken with storm; and Seraphina knows that there are many ways of belonging to something, and she dares not assume which one he means. She could be dead. Drowned. She could have become something beyond her imagination, a creature of tooth and scale - she could have simply chosen something over him, a sea in the place of the love of a man, as he chose his goddess. She nods, then, and she wishes, suddenly and harshly, that she knew what had happened to the people that she used to love.

(She is only just beginning to come to terms with that emotion – painful and bruise-tender and colored like a bloom behind a closed eye – as love. She wonders if there is any way of recognizing it that makes it hurt less, and she knows, too, that she has never been good enough for anyone that she has loved; least of all if they have loved her back. It might be what scares her the most, when she thinks of those twin lives inside of her. What if she doesn’t love them? What if she does? What if, worst of all, they love her, too? It is so hard to think that she could deserve it. It is so hard to think that she could treat love kindly, that she could keep it; that it could not run from her, and she could not run from it. She is terrified.)

When his gaze turns on her, she can see it in his eyes that he does not understand even before he asks his question – and, naïve as they are, a crooked and hopeless smile settles across her dark features. She looks back at the mirror, and she sees nothing but her own face. “Magic,” she says, her voice as simple and as clean as a sealed wound. “Magic, and death.”

She is not here. She will never be anywhere again; and she supposes that she must make her peace with that, however cruel it may be.

(In truth, she already has. But there are these moments – and this one among them – where the sentiment comes crawling up her throat again, and she longs for closure she knows that she will never be granted.)

There is no use in looking for her past, in these shards of mirror or anywhere - it is already gone. There is only her; and she will have to be enough.

She looks back at the silvered man, then, and she says, softly, “I hope that you find your way forward, monk.” Through the labyrinth or more abstractly – that is irrelevant.

She turns back the way she came without another word, or another glance tossed over her shoulder.

(For the briefest moment, she swears that her reflection has two golden eyes instead of one, that she is delicate in all the ways that Seraphina isn’t; but the image is gone before she blinks.)






@Tenebrae || <3 <3 <3 || rebecca dunham, "elegy for the eleven" ; title "Notname," Lyd Havens
Sera || Eresh





@







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








Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 180 — Threads: 23
Signos: 55
Inactive Character
#10


tagged
@Seraphina

credit
1 / 2
tenebrae
let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, just keep going, no feeling is final



She leaves, in the same way the moon rises. Silently, almost without you knowing. She is, simply, there one moment and gone the next. Tenebrae could almost forget her, but for the words she leaves with him. His thoughts do not allow her to leave him so easily. He is like the sea, caught in her pull. He flows toward her thoughts. Yet she is gone now and he falls away from her back to the mirrors and the stories they weave.


Tenebrae pours over them, moonstruck thoughts flowing, flowing, flowing. Magic and death, she has said. Enough to steal memories, enough to steal lives out of the minds of loved ones. For a long, long moment the monk cradles such a hope: to forget Boudika. It would be peace. His heart would no longer be shadowed and cursed. 


Yet that was no way to live at all. 


Tenebrae sighs and turns away, away from Seraphina, the woman as silver as him, yet struck through with gold. Maybe that is his only hope too - to be pulled back together, reforged in a gold as bright as Elena’s body.


His eyes flutter shut. He would find no rest in this island of hopes and fantasy worlds. He turns from it and will not return until it is changed.













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