Personal Quest we'll be counting stars
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker / Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 25
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#1
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
From the top of the hill she watches the sunset, breath catching in reverence as the sky shifts from blue to radiant gold, swathes of maroon cutting the gilding, the blood of the heavens ignited, ablaze. For hours and days she has waited for this: a perfect place, a cloudless day, a sensation of readiness under her skin, stillness and peace upon her heart. Safrin deserves nothing less than all the girl can give: love and devotion, ardent respect, her body, her heart, her soul. To be charged in her healing, to grow starlight and silence, well...

Amalia can think of no greater honor, no task she would rather take upon herself.

Her choice in companions is a little selfish, a little thoughtful, a little astute. Ronin had been the obvious selection: son of Safrin, a chosen star, already marked for greatness and glory, as loving of the goddess as Amalia herself. Remi, a bright light in a darkened world, skilled and blessed despite his trials, stronger for each one.

Deimos, her own personal guiding star, her beacon in the darkest night, a reminder that life on earth is glorious, too.

And then there is the girl, still bemused, still lost, a starwhale companion and three infant celestials somehow caught in her orbit, flickering in her wake. To lead such a thing is monumental, entrancing, everything she has ever wanted and feared she would never achieve. Guilt still coils cold in her soul, misery at being the cause of disaster, at leading them all so horribly astray, but it is lessened, dulled by the memory of Vi, and by the presence of the men who join her tonight, to pay tribute and homage to the stars.

She has asked them all to bring simple things: a candle, a gift, and the willingness for song. Amalia herself provides the rest, and as the sunset deepens in color she brings from her bag the tools she has collected. Paper and pen (an owl-feather quill that Deimos will certainly recognize), seeds from the garden, a beautifully crafted loaf of cinnamon bread, wrought in the shape of a star, and an old, ornate lantern of silver and gold, an heirloom from her family passed down through the years.

In the fading light of the setting sun, the Shield of Safrin looks at her companions, a shy, hopeful smile on her expressive face. "Are you ready to heal a goddess?"



PQ to build a new shrine for Safrin!

1. Remi
2. Ronin
3. Deimos

No posting order this round
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Remi Abruzzo
Alchemist ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 20
ISLA - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Odd Offline
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#2
if everything we've got is slipping away
Having brought a blanket along, Remi lay with his hands intertwined beneath his curls as he gazed up at a sky awash in colour; if only he could see it. "And now?" He whispered softly to Ronin, offering his partner a sidelong glance as he, for probably the millionth time, asked the hunter to describe the colour of the sky to him.

In a bag at his feet, Remi had brought along an assortment of candles (some he had made, some he borrowed from Sam, others he bought from a merchant in his guild), and a gift for Safrin. For a long while he couldn't properly think of what to bring the goddess who had healed him of some of his more horrific scars, who had saved Aoife, and who had brought Ronin back to life. What gift could in any way communicate all that he was so very thankful to her for?

But all he could think was the one thing she already had in abundance: stars.

Creating quite a number of them (thinking to perhaps litter them about the shrine they intended to build so that there would always be light at night for those who came to pray), the alchemist could only hope that his meagre offering would, at the very least, not seem insulting.
i meant what i said when i said until my dying day

Coding base by Sky!
Speaks with an Italian accent. Looks visibly blind.


Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.
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Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#3
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

The hues blending before him were like dancing colors of the past: intertwining aurora hymns and columns, skimming over mountaintops and chilling winds, igniting a world otherwise untouched. It made him nostalgic for the first time in a while, inhaling sharply and expecting Siberian air to settle into his lungs: instead it was the dimming of the heavens, the plains of darkness coming down, down, down over the sun, where he belonged, back in the shadows. For he was no star, no shining, lustrous thing, but like the cosmos around it, the consuming black holes, the devouring eclipses, and the midnight décor.

It felt like irreverence to be there, amidst the pious and the holy, amidst the channels of combined forces hoping to regain a goddess fallen from her Elysium; unworthy, undeserving, abandoned, forsaken, desolate in the sweeping stretch of all the others who’d come before him, who had bowed, who had pleaded, who had been greeted. The deities simply never looked upon him: a speck of dust, a pebble, a stone, there on the earth, amidst the rabble, the rubble, the ruin.

He was only there for her.

His hands still held the torch he’d been keeping lit throughout the passing hours, in the drifting silence and the orchestrated, composed sunset, his gift in his satchel, not even remotely enough for the things, the souls, that have been lost. What did a goddess require? What would a goddess want? And did it matter, in the great scheme of the world, when an abandoned beast tried to pay homage to those who wished he didn’t exist?

The Reaper was spun into silence: nodding his assurances to Amalia, but his features were stoic, reticent, almost grim – he didn’t want to mar and blight the ceremony, the ritual, or the offerings - not enough a whisper in his ear. Zuriel was nearby, waiting in the darkness, but she had nothing to add – perhaps believing he would diminish the circumstances too. I should not be here he wanted to voice, he wanted to add, and yet, tucked it away in his chest, in his mind, as Remi approached. The monolith gave him a nod as well, utterly perplexed and muddled, struggling to come up with anything that would make him useful, purposeful; hushed, eyes lingering on the horizon.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Reply
Ronin Taliesin
Guildmaster / Monster Hunter ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 20
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Online
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#4

"And now the fire in the sunset is starting to cool down into streaks of purple and blue, and the first stars are waking up. Vanya is right above us," Ronin explained patiently to his partner, sitting beside him on the blanket and leaning back on his hands as he watched the sky for Remi.

As if he would say no to something like this. As if he could. His own contribution was a set of large glowstones - the largest in the Glade that he could find, in fact. Whilst they had lost their light now, the pale stone was smooth and a perfect canvas for Ronin's paint. Around the border of the shrine, the glowstone markers with their miniature portraits of constellations and moonlit dancers would suffice, he hoped.

ronin
begin again, as the storm
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Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker / Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 25
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 753
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#5
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
Sitting cross-legged next to Deimos, Amalia smiles at the trio of men, her dark eyes sparking with purpose and starlight as the daylight continues to wane. She slips her fingers against his as the sun continues to set, pointing out constellations, tracing stories in the sky. If asked a year ago where she expected to be the answer certainly would not be this: on a hill at nightfall looking into the sky, accompanied by a starwhale and a trio of Outlanders, getting ready to leave infant stars in a shrine to heal her ailing goddess.

It is mystifying and marvelous, and Amalia cannot think of anywhere she would rather be.

Exhaling, the girl looks up to the stars as Jyoti circles lazily overhead. "I don't have much of a plan yet," she murmurs. "The lantern - I don't know if there's a way to make sure it stays lit forever. Jyoti wanted to try filling it with her starlight, but we're not sure how long that'll last. Or we could just put a candle, but I thought it might make a nice centerpiece. Otherwise I'm not... not great at design. Ronin, maybe you could sketch up an idea? And Remi and Deimos could make the pieces we need?"

Chewing anxiously on her lip, Amalia glances between the men before rising and moving to her bag, collecting the lantern and bread. The bread she leaves for any to snack on; the lantern she carries to the middle of the area, opening it up for Jyoti to stars into and waiting to see if they will take.



Step one: construction! Ronin (and whoever else has input), sketch us up a plan. Remi and Deimos, make us some pieces. We'll all work together to put them in place.
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Ronin Taliesin
Guildmaster / Monster Hunter ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 20
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Online
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Posts: 555
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#6

Ronin listened carefully to Amalia as she explained her not-quite-plan, the hunter nodding as she asked for his contributions. "I'll see what I can do," he said, already shifting to his knees so he could steal some bread to snack on and grab up a roll of parchment and some charcoal they'd brought along for precisely that reason.

"I was thinking we could create something like this," he said, sketching out the rough design and taking care to explain it to Remi as he went. "In the centre, we could either keep a fire burning or use Jyoti's lantern as a focal point. What do you think? All it would need is a bit of digging and the right sort of stones - and whatever else might look good, of course."

ronin
begin again, as the storm
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Remi Abruzzo
Alchemist ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 20
ISLA - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Odd Offline
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Posts: 3,029
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#7
if everything we've got is slipping away
The alchemist nibbled the inside of his lip. Had he not bent to Zariah's demands, he could easily have made it so the lantern could retain the starwhale's light. Could probably have kept Ronin's glowstones lit as well. Sitting up and hugging his knees to his chest, Remi did his best to dispel the growing feeling of bitterness that was growing like a cancer inside of his stomach.

Briefly Remi thought to offer Ronin the item that had been dropped off to his guild the season prior, that turned drawings into 3D models—but with the ex-captain's artistic talents as they were, the rendering was fairly easy to parse without magical assistance. "I can do that." He said with a nod. Rather than relying on his creation magic, it was into the earth itself that Remi focused. Sitting cross-legged, the alchemist focused on Ronin's design, creating stone after stone after stone so that they would have the resources needed to build the structure.
i meant what i said when i said until my dying day

Coding base by Sky!
Speaks with an Italian accent. Looks visibly blind.


Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.
Reply
Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 483
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#8
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

The Reaper never thought there’d be a day where he was helping to construct a shrine.

But he calculated and listened, to the flow of Ronin’s plan, to Amalia’s musing thoughts, back and forth, watching, waiting, for his turn. He had to wonder if this was how many of the other temples and sanctums had been cultivated and orchestrated: inhabitants coming together, working, collaborating, on a structure, on a place, they could all hope to utilize and call upon their deities. He’d never considered it before – how over time nature had taken back some of their efforts, like the one in the Glade, shifting its earthen touches over the ridges and lines, over the circular patterns. Perhaps in another time, the heavens would flicker against this as well, and it’d be lost to the stars, to the constellations, to the galaxies; discovered again and again when people came to kneel at the twinkling sanctuary.

His gaze caught on to Remi’s endeavors, stones carved from the earth, rather than created solely by invocations: so as he raised them from the soil and the loam, the warrior took the portions and began making the small, arched wall, constructing it piece by piece, ensuring a strong base. Once he’d begun the foundation, circular, round, he started adding layers, building upon one another, sturdy and stalwart, enough to hold itself together, enough to hold dreams and prayers of the people.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Reply
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker / Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 25
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 753
MP:
#9
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
Amalia watches Ronin work, growing more and more excited as the sketch comes together, the design appearing like magic beneath his skilled hands. Every now and then she pauses to make a suggestion, but overall his idea is wonderful, and the girl is quietly pleased with herself for assigning him the task. "We could hang the lantern over it?" Pointing at the space around the center, she tries to explain the thought without smudging his drawing. "That way there's room for a fire below, but the light will stay up even if it goes out."

As Deimos and Remi begin construction, Amalia and Jyoti go to find wood, taking Ronin with them into a nearby copse of trees. By the time they return the altar is nearly complete, breathtakingly beautiful in white stone and delicate work. "Oh," the Shield exhales softly, her dark eyes damp with happiness and tears. "Oh, it's perfect." The smile she flashes each of the men is vibrant and grateful; affection and happiness well in her breast, and for the first time since Safrin's fall the girl begins to truly believe that all will be okay.

Depositing her kindling in the middle of the altar, Amalia begins to make a fire, drawing flint and steel from her bag. Once it is lit she sits back on the grass, enjoying the heat and light of it, the way the embers dance into the sky. For a few minutes she simply admires and chats, enjoying the beauty of the cloudless night, the peace which settles at last in her heart.

But there is more on her agenda. Grabbing up the paper she brought, Amalia passes it out among them, making sure each man has a piece. "So... I thought we might compose something for Safrin. It can be a song, or a drawing, or whatever you like. Then we'll burn the pages, so the smoke carries it up to her."



Draw/Write/Fold/whatever your paper into something Safrin might like! Doesn't have to be perfect, just something nice for her.
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Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 483
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#10
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

It’s perfect curled against his senses, looking back to find Amalia near tears – and he didn’t know what he was supposed to be feeling, except her smile made him smile, a little, a minute, scarce amount, even when he was staring straight into the unknown. He stood back then, watching as she worked her own magic, drawing kindling into the middle, sparking the flint until the wood caught flame, and then the void crackled on the edges of its tiny inferno, blistering pledges, rough appeals. He watched too – mostly the baker, the surroundings, uncertain of where he fit in.

Then there was more and he almost didn’t stifle the discomfort suddenly managing to sizzle against him, far more than the heat of the embers, composing something for Safrin. He’d been comfortable only after a lengthy period of singing with her and Jigano, but he didn’t know Ronin or Remi as well, and the air of nonchalance folded vividly right back over his face, apprehensive, unwilling to put himself out there.

What was he supposed to even say to those who discarded him? Who ignored him? And then in turn, he’d done the exact same thing, only kneeling when those he cared for were threatened, were in danger, like an idiot, like a fool, still cast aside on his pleading, on his begging, with only a hint of starlight, a reel of laughter.

Pettiness and spite nearly manifested its way through his core, twisting and turning, rampaging and distorting. It would be so easy for him to leave pieces of his rage on the parchment, an unrelenting letter asking why with all the bitterness of some fledgling child, some insipid, irreverent blade, some seditious speck of dust none of them had ever seen or bothered with, who had never come to them on his behalf, but for those around him, because he was useless –

He took the paper from Amalia’s grasp and looked at her – truly looked at her – with unreachable, unreadable fathoms, comprehending that he couldn’t do that to her, that he couldn’t erase all of her hard work, all of her losses, all of her perseverance on his contempt and wrath. This was her shrine, for her fallen goddess, for the broken bits and pieces of stars floating around them.

The beast clenched his jaw and took some charcoal, silent, quiet, hushed, faithless except for one thing. It took him a few moments to scrawl and write out the exchange, despite it being short, blunt, and to the point. There was little imagination to it, but enough of a declaration to spare everyone and everything any musings on meanings. The execution didn’t hold any flare either, just a neat, fine print, contemplating whether he would show the baker or hide it, tuck it away, wait until the embers swallowed and consumed it.

In the end, he raised it briefly to her eyes, holding it over his face.

Safrin,

Thank you for her
.

Then he folded it into various lines, and tossed it into the fire – the smallest of grins managing to appear on his lips, but utterly incapable of meeting Amalia’s gaze.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Reply
Remi Abruzzo
Alchemist ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 9 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 20
ISLA - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Odd Offline
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#11
if everything we've got is slipping away
The alchemist smiles brightly at Amalia's praise, not because he seeks the recognition, but only because the two men have somehow managed to capture her vision (or Ronin's, rather).

The next task makes Remi softly pause, head inclined to the side, wishing he had brought some of his paints along with him. Then again, this seems to be one of those instances where intentionality is more important that the outcome. Humming softly under his breath—one of the various and wordless travelling songs his mother used to sing to him as a boy—as he gathered a piece of parchment and a stick of charcoal, Remi begins to sketch.

Unlike Ronin, the true artist in the relationship, the alchemist can only recreate what he sees. There is little artistic expression in it, no underlying commentary about the world revealed through nature. There is some skill there though. On the page in quick and efficient strokes and then smudges of charcoal, Remi begins to map out the sky. He leaves bright untouched portions of the parchment free of charcoal and dust to make it seem as though certain stars are gleaming in the darkness. Given the alchemist's current low-contrast vision his work is perhaps not as refined as it might once have been. He takes special care to include Vanya's star, his heart both lifting and wilting as he darkens the area next to it. An area that Ronin's light once filled, but is now dark. With a whimsical and temporary sigh of grief as Remi regards the Vanya-star, Remi looks over his work as he continues to hum.
i meant what i said when i said until my dying day

Coding base by Sky!
Speaks with an Italian accent. Looks visibly blind.


Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.
Reply
Ronin Taliesin
Guildmaster / Monster Hunter ☆ Monster Hunters Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 19 - Dext: 20 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 20
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
Played by: Honey Online
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Posts: 555
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#12

More than happy to go and collect firewood with Amalia, Ronin was quietly pleased that his idea had met with such approval - and he of course agreed that the lantern would look best hanging over the firepit. He collected enough kindling to feed the fire for a long while after it was built, just in case they decided to stay for a while, before flopping down on the blankets before the shrine to hear the baker out.

"A fine idea," he murmured, already taking up a piece of parchment and a stick of charcoal. His sketch was rough and he had to shade it by firelight, but anyone glancing across would be able to see it for what it was. A mop of dark curls, round cheeks and a joyful smile, Aoife gazed up from the parchment with starlit eyes. Beneath, Ronin jotted a small and simple message - for Safrin and for the mother of his child.

She says hello.

Swallowing hard, he folded the paper once and let it join the rest in the flames.

ronin
begin again, as the storm
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Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker / Provost of the Loreseekers ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 25
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 753
MP:
#13
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
They take to her idea with surprising aplomb, though Deimos alone seems hesitant, something in the man closing off. Worry twists the girl's mouth; she fears perhaps she has made a mistake, pushed him too far, asked for too much. They do not often speak of the gods, but Amalia has gleaned enough to know that her lover's feelings on them are mild at best. Maybe it was wrong to force this on him, to make him serve a purpose he does not understand.

All she had wanted was to share with him the power of purpose which brings her joy.

Sighing a little, Amalia takes paper and quill, pulling her knees up to write. When she'd come up with this idea she thought she knew what she would say. A song from her grandmother, hymn of praise, a pretty and refined and perfect thing for Safrin to enjoy. Now, though, she is less sure. It feels like an empty gesture, ignoring the gravity of it all. How can she say that a is well when clearly it is not? How can she sing the songs of a world that is disappearing before her eyes?

How can she ever so enough to thank her, to apologize, to be enough?

Taking the quill between her fingers, Amalia writes a simple note.

Safrin,

Get well soon. You are our brightest star.


Folding the paper between her fingers, Amalia turns to check on Deimos, just in time to see him raise his own note for her eyes. A flash, an instant, it is all she gets: but it is enough to melt her heart, a brilliant smile curling her lips, relief and happiness and adoration painted plainly across her face. In that moment the world falls away, and all there is is them, him, painted before her in copper and onyx and the deepest, most radiant blues.

Then he throws the note in the flame without a word, and Amalia does the same, letting her hand press over his, leaning silently against his arm.

Dark eyes watch as the words are eaten, consumed by fire and turned to ash, embers and smoke carried up and up, caught and swirled on a surprising breeze. "She'll like that," she murmurs confidently, her face turned up to the sky. "I don't suppose anyone brought an instrument? Or knows how to play? I... I have a song we used to sing for her. It's pretty simple."

She passes to each man a page with the words, humming the tune for them to catch oh. Giving them a moment to decide how they will proceed - with instruments made, with voice or drums, or simply by listening - Amalia begins to sing as the celestials dance around her head, and Jyoti croons along.

"Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars
Hold me in the darkness
Let your light never  far.

In other words, hold my hand
In other words, Safrin, guide me.

Fill my heart with song
And let me sing for ever more
Praises to you, Safrin,
Who I worship and adore

In other words, keep me true,
In other words, I love you

Fill my heart with song
Let me sing for ever more
Praises to you, Safrin
All I worship and adore.

In other words, keep me true,
In other words
I love you."




Sing, play, dance, or simply listen to Safrin's song, and feel free to follow up with your own!
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Deimos Ignatius
Soldier / Mercenary ☆ Artisan's Guild
Age: 25 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 19 - Luck: 12
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 483
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#14
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

Even with his blunders, his ineffectual demeanor, his inability to ever communicate with any god, he’d still managed to please the baker – bright smiles and effervescent grins, and he lowered his eyes to the fire, his intentions clear and concise. He witnessed them flicker in the flames, sent to either a deity amongst the stars or nowhere at all; but it didn’t really matter, in the grand scheme of things, because it’d been for Amalia, each action on this evening entirely anointed and consecrated for her; hands pressed, fingers intertwined, until the next movement.

For there are songs again, and he can feel the walls creeping back up over him, just like the first disastrous notes at Jigano’s mini-concert and poem reading, and why won’t the earth open up and swallow him whole now –

This wasn’t his place. This wasn’t his tether, his line, his strands.

He glanced over at Remi, at Ronin, at Amalia; wondered how they could be so comfortable opening themselves up to celestial beings and songs, laughter, merriment – chest heaving on an inaudible sigh, hands going through his bag, searching for the drum he’d used only once before. It was all he could do: listening to Amalia’s sonnets and strains, attempting to come up with the right beat, the right reverberations. It wasn’t a military match, but something else altogether, sometimes miniscule, sometimes deep, lingering fathoms, trying to match a righteous pitch to the divine.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
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