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Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 740
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Empathy // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#1


It's always a matter, isn't it, of waiting for the world to come unraveled? When things hold together, it's always only temporary

T
here is another version of the story, one where Snow White knew exactly what she was doing when she bit into the apple—and she did it anyway. 

This is the story Elena lives, taken that poison, like that poisonous love that had burned like acid in her veins and eaten holes in her heart. It had felt like an easy love at first, like there had been nothing to question, all instinct and impulse and meant to be’s. But she never realized that the moment she had taken that first bite, she had fallen asleep.

Maybe now, she is just waking up.
And it is all pain and agony and sorrow, but she cannot close her eyes, no matter how hard she tries, that slumber she once loved no longer comes to her. It is as elusive as smoke after the fire has burnt itself out. 

She does not know why she’s here.

To be fair, on most days Elena does not why she is where she ends up. Her days remain disconnected and sporadic, and she is left walking the line of anger and rage and utter sorrow. She feels it in her bones—the loss, the confusion—and it scrapes her clean, leaves her empty and wanting.

“I’ll never let anything happen to you. I promise.” She had just told her daughter this morning. And now she stands at a bridge made of bones and Elena wonders how difficult that promise would be to keep if she is no longer there to hold it.

@Vercingtorix
Code by rallidae
picture by cannon




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star





Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 168 — Threads: 33
Signos: 50
Vagabond Soldier
Male [He/his/him] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 18 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Damascus (Tartarosian Dragon)
#2

vercingtorix

« no one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone »


W
hen he had pulled my head from the water, it had been the opposite of a baptism. 

Vercingtorix! My name had been the crack of a whip; the vicious slap of the waves against the rocks. My name had risen above all of it, raw and desperate. 

But I hadn’t felt anything.

I had stared up toward the cool, indifferent sky, gray as slate and as impassive as any other type of stone. Hard, and flat, and depthless. The light was weak and silvery; reflected from the water, from the black stone, from the turbulent too-dark sea. 

Then there was the red of his hair. 

And the red of his eyes.

And the way my name was a wound on his mouth. 

Vericngtorix, he’d whispered against white hospital sheets. It’s time to wake up. 

No, surviving the fall had not been my baptism. 

It should have been my funeral.


The memory--or dream, or both--has been haunting me more than the others. It brings with it the realization that so much of what I am, of what I have become, could have been avoided. I might have died a hero, had he not pulled me from the water, from the sea that sought to drown me. The memory makes me reckless; it makes me prone to the unpredictable. This is why my mouth tastes like day-old whiskey. This is why I burn, and burn, and burn when I go to the island, seeking.

I had once been the killer of monsters; the hunter of beasts. I had seen the worst monsters imaginable by a ink-black sea, teeming with innumerable shapes as they spun out of themselves into something other, into something else. When the rumor reaches me that there is a monster in the castle, I feel as if I must find it. Everywhere I go for information contradicts where I had last been. In Terrastella, a white mare tells me the monster is a griffin with a skull clenched in its beak. In Solterra, a rogue mercenary says the monster is a beast with many terrible heads that drools like a dog. In Denocte, they say the monster is black and shapeless as a cloud of ink in water. In Delumine, they say the monster is different to every who see it.

(And I have a fear I will go, and the monster will look at me with my own eyes). 

When I can no longer stand the rumors, when I must see for myself, I go to the edge of Novus--to the edge of my new world--and seek out the bridge. Damascus flies overhead with slow, steady beats of his wings. I feel like a harbringer. I bring my own monster. 

Perhaps I go to find a shadow of myself.

Perhaps I go to die.

Either way, I am surprised when my long journey across the bridge reveals Elena at the end. Whatever fantastical resolve I had formed shatters with the absoluteness of a glass at a party; I still, breathless and beyond myself. The drunkenness lingers from the night before; she seems less sharp; softer. I step passed her, a telltale snap of brittle rib underfoot, and continue toward the strange city. It burns; it burns like fire from a distance, vicious and bright and too far to feel the heat. It glows as if each room is occupied; as if each window of the castle is full of life. I swear I hear laughter; I swear I hear crying; I swear I hear screams, from this city of magic. 

“And why, Elena, are you here?” I inquire, glancing haphazardly over my shoulder. My smile is languid; my smile is the sap in which the fly is caught, the butterfly entombed. I did not mean to find her here.


But strangely, as my thoughts have begun to drown me, I am glad I am not alone. 

(And even so, I almost ask: 

do I look as if I belong before this burning city? This city that, even now, eyes me as a beast in the woods might?) 

« r » | @Vercingtorix









Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 740
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Empathy // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#3


It's always a matter, isn't it, of waiting for the world to come unraveled? When things hold together, it's always only temporary

S
he never heard the rumors. Maybe if she has she would not have come. Maybe she would have tucked Elliana closer to her and they would have settled before the window of her cottage, Nic beside them, and watched a spring rain begin to wash away the winter snow.

Maybe still—she would have come anyway.

Elena is not a girl who slays monsters—

She is a girl who loves them.

The ground rattles beneath her feet, and she would think the world was ending if she did not know that it still has misery to offer her before it dissolves in the nothingness that waits for all of them on the other side.

Lilli had urged her no more cliff dancing, to stay far, far away from those ledges that so enticed her.

But Lilli has told Elena no words of warning when it comes to rickety bridges and burning cities.

She hears nothing, no voice of reason, feels nothing, no soothing touch upon her back, she can only see the horned stallion as he comes towards her and she thinks she should have know, she should have known. Even when she is a good girl, even when she follows the path, the wolf, the lion, he always finds the lamb, the fawn. He told her once he was neither, but then again, she has been fooled by disguises before. (A monster with a smile and a touch, a shadow dressed in bonfire embers, the beauty of snowfall covering the deadly ice that waits.)

Elena thinks she could go to the ends of the world, the ends of time, and he would be there, smiling while the world blazed down into ashes, and time drowned in the sea.

“There was little choice once on the bridge,” she says flatly, blue eyes glancing towards him. “Forward or back,” and a roll of her shoulders. “You found your way here,” she says, not offering him a question, just a mild observation. And just in an instant her defenses are dropped and she looks at him with wide eyes, they are neither winter ice nor summer skies, but blue like her mother’s eyes when that Snow Prince tried to take her daughter. “I think—I am scared.” She says, and tries to breathe, but it catches in her chest. “And yet, I cant stop myself.”

And she steps towards the city, like Snow White reaching for the apple.

@Vercingtorix
Code by rallidae
picture by cannon




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star





Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 168 — Threads: 33
Signos: 50
Vagabond Soldier
Male [He/his/him] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 18 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Damascus (Tartarosian Dragon)
#4

vercingtorix

« perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. »


S
he answers me as coldly as I expect her to.

There is a moment where, briefly, I wonder what continues to draw us together. I have always heard that the broken find the broken; but we are not broken in the same ways. Her softness, her weakness, her femininity; these are all things that distress me. Just, as I imagine, my hardness distresses her. I do not answer immediately. Instead, I tip my head back to observe Damascus as he flies circles above. He is not so distant; each sweeping turn pummels us with gusts of wind from his wings. He cries, low and desolate, in his throat.

The sound makes me ache.

“I was not trying to find you, if that is what you are implying.” My answer is emotionless; an indifferent statement of fact. Damascus careens away again, that cry continuing to echo. 

Dragons, I think, are meant to sound ferocious.

Not like every heart that has ever broken, or every child abandoned, or the breaking bottles of alcoholics all over the world. Dragons, I think, are meant to sound terrifying. Not as if they are the only whale left to sing in the sea.

I think—I am scared. And yet, I can’t stop myself.

I am close enough to hear the way her breath catches in her chest.

I nearly say, fear is powerful.

Most animals react out of it. Fear, or need.

I wonder what this is, when we both step forward, at the same time.

We are shoulder to shoulder.

“Me too,” I admit, dropping my eyes to stare again at the city. I am looking hard for the glint of a creature at the top of the castle; I am looking for the monster. But it is Damascus who says, in my mind:

Some monsters are wrought small. Small enough to be a seed between your heart and soul. Small enough to rot you from within.

And that seed is the dormant memory of my hatred, and the way when provoked, it becomes as bright and terrible as a wildfire. 

I turn to look at her, at last. Damascus is flying overhead toward the city.

I say, “Why do you think we want the thing most likely to hurt us?” 

Why, Elena, do you think monsters exist?


I know why.

I know.
« r » | @Elena









Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 740
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Empathy // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#5


It's always a matter, isn't it, of waiting for the world to come unraveled? When things hold together, it's always only temporary

S
he can hear the creature flying above her, his creature. She wonders what ties them together, if it is power, compassion, loyalty, or if some combination. The breeze from his wings catches at her flaxen locks, rustles them, before they settle once more along the gold of her neck. But she does not look at the creature.

“No,” she says, almost empty. “I did not think you were,” she dares to glance upwards, before eyes look once more to the city at the end of the bridge. “Though I think you are looking for something,” the empath says, reading his emotions like a book, there are words for what he feels, but Elena cannot connect them. He cries there in his sky and Elena’s fragile heart rattles in her chest.

It is the ferocious of dragons, she thinks, that makes people want to slay them.

He stands close to her, but she is neither scared of him for being so nor angry with him for being so. And then, as if they were a single entity, they move forward together. You could believe them to be brother and sister in arms, ready to throw themselves into a war. But the war they fight is not anything they have before. Elena wonders if he has fought monsters before. She thinks she has, no, not fought, ran from, ran towards. 

“You are?” She asks him as her breath returns to her. His admission startles her, even as she can feel his own fear dancing with her own (dancing like the ocean in a rainstorm, Elena watches as if from a cliff side.) Blue eyes find the castle, something waits for her there. Small monsters. Large monsters. Monsters all the same.

She remembers picking roses for her mother, and the thorns had cut her. She returned, blood on her golden skin. Her mother coddled her asking why she would do such a thing. Sitting there though, it didn't hurt so bad, not when her mother was wrapped around her, holding her close. “Because we remember what it is like when there is no pain—and we go through hell to try to get it back.”

Why do monsters exist?

She doesn't know. Or she cannot remember why.

She presses close to him, staring up. “I cant do this alone,” she says, presses harder against him. She touches not with want, not with need, nor desire, but complete and utter terror. “And I cant go back either.”

@Vercingtorix
Code by rallidae
picture by cannon




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star





Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 168 — Threads: 33
Signos: 50
Vagabond Soldier
Male [He/his/him] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 18 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Damascus (Tartarosian Dragon)
#6

vercingtorix

« I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness »


T
hough I think you are looking for something.

I already know I will not find it, as we step toward the city that I do not trust to be real. Damascus’s cries change to something that reflects the complicated emotions within myself; his path of flight straightens, and his tremendous shadow envelops us as he flies directly overhead and then is gone.

No, I think. 

Whatever I am looking for I will not find. 

(This I accepted long ago, and still cannot explain why I search—)

I want to be sharp, or clever, to her disbelief. Everyone feels fear, the words form on my lips, but I do not speak them. Are things that live in fear not the most terrible of all? 

“What are you most afraid of?” He asks me, and beneath the question is an undercurrent of tension. I remember—I remember, now, that the night before Dagda and I had drank so much that we lost ourselves in each other’s bodies.

It was the way of things, back then, of our companions.

But I remember the fury that covered Bondike like a storm. 

 It is not often sunny where we live; but this afternoon it is. The dull thuds of practice swords resound in the training ground; cracks, and the hollow noise of wood-against-flesh. We are sparring, a tangle of bodies pressed closed and then pulled apart.

He had always been the more philosophical between the two of us. The first to speak. Bolder, more sure of the profoundness of words. Today, his words are electric; they are stinging.

I was so young. 

I was so, so young.

I laughed. “Nothing,” and my practice sword collided with his temple.

I remember he nearly retched. But when he regained his balance, he threw all of himself at me and we collided into a heap of limbs. 

My eye, afterward, was so swollen I could not see from it. And he had a concussion from my blow. We were both bloodied, and furious, and he spat at me: 

“I’m most afraid of losing you.”
 

Monsters exist, Elena, because men do. 

“Then let’s go.” My voice is harsh, but not because of her; it is because I am staring at something terrible, and I am afraid. She is warm again me, warm and both familiar and unfamiliar. I find I do not mind the contact, strangely—and unbidden, I think:

It would not have been so bad, to love a woman. 

I cannot think it. I cannot give that thought power. It would ruin me. And so I swallow it back, as one would a mouthful of vinegar. We begin to walk forward, step-by-step, across the remainder of the bridge. And then we are within the beginning of the city, risen up like earth that has decided it would like to be something more.

The city is eerily quiet. 

Her words come back to me, from only minutes ago.

Because we remember what it is like when there is no pain—and we go through hell to try and get it back. 

I cannot remember a time without pain; I nearly admit that, aloud. But instead I focus outwardly, on the darkness that is absolute aside from the strange, from-within type of glow that the stones around us emit. We walk among daggers; stalagmites and stalactites kiss all around us, and between them something ominous creeps. Neither of us look like ourselves in this place where there is no longer sky, but only earth, only the archaic silhouettes of buildings wrought of stone.

We are in the city proper by the time I decide to answer. 

“I think it is because we don’t know how to be without pain. Maybe we don’t feel alive.” I know it is a lie even as I say it; but the answer is the only one that seems right. 

And then: 

“What is the most monstrous thing you have ever done, Elena?” 

When I look at her, I know it is with the look of a man clinging to salvation. 


« r » | @Elena









Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 740
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Empathy // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#7


It's always a matter, isn't it, of waiting for the world to come unraveled? When things hold together, it's always only temporary

E
lena no longer knows what anything means anymore.

She has nightmares of being left alone. Of being lost forever.

In the end, it’s what it always comes back to.

That feeling of overwhelming darkness.

She had dreamt a different dream last night. One of flowers, bird song, warmth. It had felt good to remember a time of happiness, a time of peace, when she was with her family. She wants her life to be this bright again. And, in a way, it has gotten brighter. She can recall having to slow her steps in the snow, as her daughter followed behind her, and the way she delighted in how her feet would sink below the surface, out of sight. She walked next to her, and the sunlight grew stronger just for them (or so will she say until the end of forever).

Let’s go. Suddenly she is her mother’s daughter. Standing close to someone so many would shy from, but she does it not because she is bold, but because she cannot seem him as frightening, intimidating, but just as he is. Nothing more, nothing less.

She can almost feel the waves of his fear, fear for the same thing she feels, washing over her.

It is a disconnected thing—just the pressure of it, the sonic boom of it. It starts as an earthquake in him but it is nothing but a mere rumble when it reaches her shores.

She presses the sensation of calm into him—to whatever extent he will accept it. He can choose to let it, or reject it completely. She does not control emotions, only suggests them.

Elena is close to him, his warmth is comforting, the touch is easy, and suddenly she felt so very old, and he along with her. And they are not just two who do not make promises, but they have seen time pass and countless others break countless promises made, and they sit back and smile like secrets they have learned. She hugs tighter to him still.

Because no matter how she tries, she cannot shake the cold fear for him that wedges between her shoulders, the concern that snakes up her spine, the worry that now pulls her lips downward in thought. A chaos that leaves her ears ringing, her pulse racing.

Her daughter once told her that the shadows were breathing. Elena told her that shadows, objects, cannot breathe. She thinks, as she stares at the walls pressing in on them, that she may have been lying. And then they feel like shadows themselves, walking through the streets.

It was always shadows.

“Love does not hurt. It kills,” she suddenly says. “You hope that the pain will stop and it doesn’t. you wait in hope and it kills,” and she curses this place of making her say it, even as she practically falls to her knees at his feet to thank him for the same.

He says her name and suddenly her world becomes so very small. Elena is suddenly terrified that they are the only ones left. “I have neither killed nor destroyed,” she asserts, and it says so much about her that she feels she needs to admit this. Because the next thing she says, she knows makes her a cowardly monster, but a monster all the same. “I leave, Torrin,” she says with finality,  but she holds no guilt, though it may be just because she covers it with fight.

“Tell me something about you I don't know,” she says, and not for the first time, history kisses her lips, and they are no longer in the center. Elena keeps her blue eyes on his own, wiling herself to keep from looking at the castle that stands before her—the fortress she has tried so hard to build around her heart—before her.

@Vercingtorix
Code by rallidae
picture by cannon




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star





Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 168 — Threads: 33
Signos: 50
Vagabond Soldier
Male [He/his/him] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 18 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Damascus (Tartarosian Dragon)
#8

vercingtorix

« I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness »


T
he city is the world I understand, I know, turned inside out. It is my innermost fears manifested: it is monstrous and strange, as distorted as shapes beneath cloudy water. I feel as if the sights I witness, all around, belong to a man that is not me. The fear is a dream’s fear; a nightmare’s concern, for something I do not understand and cannot stand to face.

Love does not hurt. It kills. You hope that the pain will stop and it doesn’t, you wait in hope and it kills. I have neither killed nor destroyed. I leave.

Her confession is raw. It belongs to this nightmare world; this search for a beast. I close my eyes when Damascus begins to scream. The sound ought to evoke terror; but it never has, at least not in me. Damascus is the keening of whales beneath the sea as they are slaughtered. Damascus is the sound of sorrow, salt and iron, uncensored and lacking wholeness. Damascus is the sound of a well, echoing, when a wish is abandoned to its waters. 

The cry echoes, and echoes, and then is answered by the castle’s beast. Another type of keening. Another type of tragedy.

And yet, Elena’s answer leaves me dissatisfied; it is not as monstrous as I had hoped; it is not so monstrous that it justifies my own bad deeds or, at least, makes them less significant. The longer the answer sits—echoing, like Damascus’s cries—the more I become… nearly, thankful… for Elena’s chosen confession. 

I relate to it; as strangely as I relate to this nightmarish city, with surreal lights and eyes glancing wickedly from corners. 

It takes me very long to answer, but my fear has waned. It does not occur to me that she is responsible: simply that the only answer I have to these types of questions is forward, always, forward

Instead of finding something eloquent, I offer her a lesser kindness: “I also leave.” And then: “In some ways, it is a kindness to the alternatives. In some ways, leaving is another kind of death.” I know it is of no solace; I know it does not bring with it reassurance, only acknowledgment: Yes, leaving is terrible. But there are other options more terrible.

We stand at the gates of the castle. I am looking up at them, and the effect makes me feel boyish and not myself. That is where my confession comes, almost wryly.

“Well,” I admit, glancing at her sidelong. I should not find it all so humorous, but there is a juxtaposition between the severe and the less severe. This truth, in comparison to others, is laughable. “For starters, my name is actually Vercingtorix. I lied when we first met. I did not think we would meet again, and have it matter.” 

With that, I exhale sharply and push through the doors into darkness.

Several steps later, we remain in that darkness. The fear is gone, now, replaced by cool confidence that belongs to someone else. “I hate myself, Elena.” 

This echoes.

Above us, glass shatters; Damascus’s tremendous head is pushed through a lightless window. We are showered in fragments, and he breathes luminous yellow vapor into the dark. It dances, glowing, into the extraordinary hallways before us.
« r » | @Elena









Played by Offline Sam [PM] Posts: 297 — Threads: 48
Signos: 740
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Empathy // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: N/A
#9


It's always a matter, isn't it, of waiting for the world to come unraveled? When things hold together, it's always only temporary

H
e understands this world, but Elena does not. Throughout all the sorrow in her life, she has never been able to understand true cruelty, true torture, and true evil. She has only known the repercussions of it.

She can feel it racing through her—the grief that she has never known how to turn off. So many others around her seem so capable of becoming immune to it but as the years go along, she just fractures more and more. Perhaps she grew up too sheltered. Perhaps she never learned how to truly protect herself.

Maybe she was always made to feel the way that she does.

Forever broken by the world and then remade by it.

He keeps screaming, no, it sounds so much less than a scream to her, it sounds like a cry. Screaming, crying, tears and snarls, they are all very much the same when it comes to grief. That is when she realizes this place is not a city but a graveyard, of fragmented nightmares that never came to be in the real world. And they crossed that god forsaken bridge into it. They crossed it when they never should have.

They say if you touch the net of a dream catcher, all the nightmares will be set loose.

They walk together, long enough that she expects no answer from him, long enough that she does not mind the silence. She looks to him then when he speaks, almost forgetting what his voice sounds like, her blue eyes are somber. “There have been very few I have ever been happy to have leave me,” she says. Tunnel, Frostbane, she doesn't think of the rest. The fact that he lied about her name causes a note of laughter. It seems so relatively insignificant into what other territories they have crossed with one another after all this time. “We never promised to tell the truth, we never promised anything at all,” she comments, her words are like butterfly's wings. Wispy, pretty and fleeting. “Torrin,” she says, because that name feels right after all this time.

And into the darkness they go through doors he opens. I hate myself, Elena, he says and she turns to look at him, straining through the dark. And his startling confession is enough to break the glass and she turns her head into his shoulder, closing blue eyes. When she opens them there is a hallway lit up before her and she walks with him, down it, and she knows what she sees is not real, is not really there, because images of dragons (the very same dragons she and Lilli used to dream up) are before her. They cry and snarl, one holds back its head, nostrils flared. Elena pushes her golden head once more into his shoulder before the heat comes as she knows it would. She breathes into his skin, laughing and crying all at once. “Take me home, Torrin,” she says, buries the wish into his skin. “Take me home to my daughter.” And her world does not go black, instead, it is swallowed by dragon fire.

@Vercingtorix
Code by rallidae
picture by cannon

Elena went night-night because of smoke. She will wake up in her home away from the city :D but for the intentions of this thread, she is done.




[Image: ddvotwe-59302ba6-6a81-47bf-9846-30c5a5db...0iFb4PvyXE]

let's light this house on fire
we'll dance in the warmth of its blaze
pixel made by the amazing star





Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 168 — Threads: 33
Signos: 50
Vagabond Soldier
Male [He/his/him] // 9 [Year 496 Fall] // 18 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 31 // Active Magic: N/A // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Damascus (Tartarosian Dragon)
#10

vercingtorix

« my brother once showed me a piece of quartz that contained, he said, some trapped water older than all the seas in our world. he held it up to my ear. 'listen,' he said. 'life and no escape.' »


T
hrough the doors of the castle, I find myself searching for the monster rumored to inhabit it: like the island before, I half-expect to be met by a hall of mirrors rather than darkness, and to stare not at a beast but at tenfold my own reflection, my own eyes, my own scars.

I had asked Elena to share the most monstrous thing she had ever done; and in the darkness, the quiet that follows my reply, I later regret the question. I should have asked what do our mortal monstrosities become? My imagination is wild with the potential; but Damascus has already taught me the fearsome shape that our sins take, has already showed me more vividly than I could have imagined myself—

There have been very few I have ever been happy to have leave me— she says, and as she says it, I think of Bondike and his admission. Always, my thoughts return to that event. I recognize it as a catalyst; as the turning point of who I was and who I would become. I blame him—her—for that hidden truth, for the variable that I could never have prepared for.

We never promised to tell the truth, we never promised anything at all. Her words belong to a dream, almost. I cannot help the way I exhale, almost in relief—but after that everything moves too quickly. It is Damascus and his tremendous head; the glass that falls upon us like rain. I turn my head to shelter her beneath the arc of my neck and shoulder, and recognize the luminous vapor for what it is. For sleeping. For dreaming. Damascus had used it on me one night, when I had been unable to rest—

Take me home, Torrin— she says, as I breathe it in.

Take me home to my daughter— 

But all I see as Damascus barges through the window, swooping down to envelop us in claws and wings and glowing yellow vapor, is a black beach full of bones. 

(Before it all goes black, before there is nothing but the iridescence of Damascus' black scales, I think I see eyes: I think I see eyes the same color of my own down that endless black hallway; I think I hear a resonant cry, like a breaking, and will never realize that it had been my own). 

ooc: damascus takes them homeeee
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