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Played by Offline rallidae [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 12
Signos: 105
Day Court Scholar
Male [he/him/his] // 7 [Year 498 Fall] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 4 — Atk: 16 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#1

« maybe i'm sick of sleeping longer nights with lesser feelings »


M
y curling signature inks the end of many invitations, yet I recall only three of them at any given time.

The first, to Pilate's Warden of Delumine. The second, to the famed dancer of the Benevolent. The third—to a man I know neither title nor allegiance yet only a name. My eyes slit in momentary discouragement; the possibility of him showing is low, anyway. Abbadon might not have even found him. It was a difficult mission from the start and I had refrained from going to the owlery to check.

Nonetheless, all three are my guests. I will go out of my way to show them every princely courtesy, if they do me the honour of showing. 

I pull my father's cloak tighter around my throat when I am jostled by a girl giggling into the ear of her companion. I smile down at her, and she blushes her apology. In the chaos of the first rush of guests, I have lost Miriam, and after searching in vain for a head of brightly braided red, I have ended up, somehow, near the oaken doors of the dining hall. My tongue presses to the ridge of my mouth. Pilate is just past those doors mixing up an entire catalog of drinks. I have resolved to stay as far from his orbit tonight as I can manage.

The party began an hour ago yet so far I have escorted no one, and therefore, my facade is still hours from being bulletproofed. To speak civilly with him, I must be accompanied. By Miriam, by Ruth, by—

A pegasus clad all in black slides past me and my smile is a white, white gleam. 

By the Warden himself. His appearance is a stroke of fate.

He moves slow enough for me to lengthen my strides and join easily into step besides him, my breath keeping even and slow. Before leaving my rooms I had shot down a vial of bitter medicine the new Terrastellan doctor had left for me, and so far, it is holding. I am barely coughing; the shadows beneath my eyes are nearly in remission. 

I keep smoothly besides him for a few steps yet I don't think Andras has noticed me. The hall is crowded, and I am not particularly striking when I am not trying to be. I wonder where he is headed. If it is Pilate he seeks, then he is moving farther from him the longer he strides.

This fails to concern me. My good humour remains well intact.

"Andras. I am pleased to see you," I say at last, raising my voice to be heard over the crowd. My words carry, bright and warm. 

In my smile is an echo of my brother’s.


@Andras speaks








BRIGHT SPLASH OF BLOOD ON THE FLOOR. ASTONISHING RED.
(All that brightness inside me?)

♦︎♔♦︎

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Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 118 — Threads: 21
Signos: 0
Dawn Court Warden
Male [He/Him/His] // 5 [Year 500 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 25 — Exp: 27 // Active Magic: Arc Flash // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#2




AND I KNOW THAT ROME WASN'T BURNT IN A DAY
BUT IT COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE THAN A WEEK


A
ndras does not often tell the truth, or at least all of it. He is blunt, yes, and mean, certainly, but he is more prone to lie by omission than most people he's met. The fact that, now, he cannot, is distressing in several titanic ways.

Adonai addresses Andras by his name, not 'Warden,' like his people (or Pilate) would, and he is catapulted headfirst out of his stupor and into the hall full of well-dressed debutantes and desert princes with gauzy robes and thick, heavy jewelry that swings in time with the music, and their bodies, moving in turn. Andras, himself, is chewing the inside of his cheek until he feels it as a dull sting through the haze of his intoxication, still wishing he were anywhere else-- which is easier, now that he is not trying to think it while staring at a prince with thin, sloping shoulders and a cloak so soft it makes his teeth ache to think of it.

He is watching the people, trying to see them as an Ieshan might see them, or at least a particular Ieshan: the overly zealous desire to both stand out and fit in, the loud voices and louder laughter, the girl that looks his way, sees the sharp angle of his brow bent low over his eyes, then turns away...

Until, of course, he isn't. It is not long enough to find any real answers, except for the obvious: he does not want to be here.

I am so pleased to see you, Adonai finishes. Andras turns to look at him, a full-bodied angling as he gives the man a tight-lipped, closed-eyed smile. "Adonai! I'm glad you are." The eyes open, a muddled, drunk gray against the black rock of his face. 'I would not have come if you had not invited me,' Andras then says, which comes out of his mouth as: "I was going to make an appearance, anyway, but I'm so happy you thought of me."

Andras goes cold, shockingly cold, so cold he almost cannot stand it, and turns away. 
If he has ever actually hated Pilate, he thinks that it's now, after he's had the drink pushed his way, and downed it, and then been set loose on the estate.
"How are you?" Andras asks, weakly.
@Adonai | speaks

ANDRAS, WARDEN OF DELUMINE






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Played by Offline rallidae [PM] Posts: 40 — Threads: 12
Signos: 105
Day Court Scholar
Male [he/him/his] // 7 [Year 498 Fall] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 4 — Atk: 16 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#3

« you've been locked in here forever and you just can't say goodbye »


I
think—that the Warden of Delumine is drunk.

There is nothing subtle to the tell. Though I have met Andras only once before, it was a memorable enough meeting for me to grasp that I had ended up leaving half—less than half—of the impression on him than my brother, supposedly, has.

To put it less euphemistically: I had not been particularly convinced that I'd been liked.

Perhaps, however, this is due more to my own paranoia-tinged sensitivity than to any fault of the Warden's; the longer I stand besides him in struck silence, the longer I grow more certain of my own misjudgement.

Quickly enough, I polish my smile back to the brightness I had approached him with.

"I was going to make an appearance, anyway, but I'm so happy you thought of me."

The roar of the crowd is maddening; I bring my head close to his, to ensure that I am being heard. "Ah—of course!" My chin tilts as I nod amicably; I bite back a smile when I pick up the cloying scent of liquor on his breath. "You are friends with Pilate, after all. I think he'd wanted me to invite you. My brother," I sigh, "is rather cold with his affections."

I am speaking, again, in euphemisms. I wonder if the Warden will be able to tell; I wonder if he already boasts first-hand experience. Smiling, I readjust the ruff of my cloak.

There is a decidedly deadly thrill, I think, to Andras. Is it because he is drunk that he is utterly unpredictable, or is it because he is drunk that he becomes predictable?

It must be this thrill—his unpredictability in either case—that has attracted the attention of Pilate. Even in childhood, Pilate's fancies had been quick to arrive and quicker to flee. I was fickle because I shunned attachment (and rejection); Pilate was fickle because he was as easily bored as a cat.

Slyly, I peer into Andras' pale, dilated eyes. "You have seen him already, I gather?" It is an innocent enough question. I have no idea how he is going to take it. 

It is a little like pulling a pin.

"How are you?" 

The jostling size of the crowd forces me to keep close proximity with him, or risk being swept away. I cough mildly into my wing, waving down a server and plucking off a shot glass carved all of crystal, before turning to find him again. 

My shrug is loose and noncommittal. "Fantastic. Better than I have felt in a while." I drain the glass; place it with brevity back on the silver serving tray. There is nothing like acid in my tone. Only a hesitantly flippant musing. 

Both of those things are true. Like an addict, I recognise the peak of euphoria as much as I know that it will not—cannot—last. That the crash, when it comes, will be horrific. 

Yet what can I say to him except that I am feeling fantastic? I am. I won't be, later, but right now—I am.

Brightly, I ask, "Are you hungry?"

The drink sears down my throat. 


@Andras speaks








BRIGHT SPLASH OF BLOOD ON THE FLOOR. ASTONISHING RED.
(All that brightness inside me?)

♦︎♔♦︎

Reply




Played by Offline Cannon [PM] Posts: 118 — Threads: 21
Signos: 0
Dawn Court Warden
Male [He/Him/His] // 5 [Year 500 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 25 — Exp: 27 // Active Magic: Arc Flash // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#4




AND I KNOW THAT ROME WASN'T BURNT IN A DAY
BUT IT COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE THAN A WEEK


T
he words fall out of him; Andras has no choice but to watch them go. In some capacity, he feels his mouth form them, feels his throat push them out, but they do not seem like his words. To anyone else, perhaps they would have been easy to see: this is the self, opened like a palm full of petals, and each petal is another true thing crushed into the mill of the crowd.

–But Andras has never known himself, not really, and if he has he does not know what it looks like, except the sharp pulse in him when Adonai says Pilate’s name. (That, he would recognize if he were deaf and he felt the words through the floor. It is involuntary, and violent, and his mouth trembles with the effort of holding it in.)

‘I’m so happy you thought of me,’ Andras hears and feels himself say, and still feels more than he sees the brief flash of disbelief, the uncanny stillness with which Adonai meets his statement. Andras feels it, also, only twofold.

Ah, of course, Adonai says, leaning close in a motion that has Andras reeling with the quickness of it, the closeness that’s left in its wake. This close he can see the blue strings of Adonai’s eyes, the light cast off the spear of his horn. The warmth, tucked underneath the thick fur of his cloak and trying its best to escape, is an almost palpable sensation.

’My brother is rather cold with his affections.’ “I’ve noticed,” Andras smiles weakly. “I don’t think he means to be.”

“Well, he obviously means it, but– anyway.

Andras frowns, as fondly as he can. Across what must be an ocean, against the grating sound of a violin from the side of the room, through waves of voices that seem to pulse in and out of being, Adonai is wondering about him – what his brother sees in the cut of Andras’ cheekbone, in the white of his lip against the white of his teeth that makes each smile look too wide to be entirely real. Andras often wonders, himself, when he can bear to.

So far he has not come up with any good answers.

You’ve seen him already, I gather? Adonai asks, then looks at him like he’s waiting, and the Warden looks back at him, dulled and thoughtful, with a smile that does not hold an ounce of mirth. He nods, and the moment passes, almost as if it had not happened at all.

–except that Andras is watching Adonai when he coughs, not very hard but enough that it shakes the fur of his cloak and unsettles the pair of white-gold wings laid over his back. Andras watches with purposely dulled concern, turning his head to look out at the crowd, louder now that he’s focused on them. The sway of them is dizzying.

Adonai asks if he’s hungry. Andras grimaces without looking back. He should eat something, to soak up the drink and end this nightmare even one second sooner than it will end itself, but he looks at the thick oaken doors he had walked away from, and the prince wrapped in his fur, and he feels something like fear, but not quite, worm its way down his throat and into his stomach.

“No,” Andras says, which, because Pilate stands at the bar, handing drinks to–whatever he is–that peel back the ramshackle walls he’s constructed, leaves him as, “Starving.”
@Adonai | speaks

ANDRAS, WARDEN OF DELUMINE





they made you into a weapon
and told you to find peace.

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