our terrible story of survival
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 268
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#1
HOTARU
How she ends up on the doorstep of the Ignatius household is questionable at best. It has been a turbulent two days since her graceless entrance to Caido, one filled with far too much emotion for the normally reserved woman. Quite similar to a marathon, really. There is only one person left on her list, one soul that seeks reclamation in her mind. She refuses to falter or doubt, to procrastinate, dawdle, dally her way to this last reunion. Though she doesn't regret seeking out Kiada in the morning after being found by Rexanna, a part of her does regret having missed out on seeing the man who had shaped so much of her life.

It brings her here, in a fresh gown and with her eyes dry and face cleansed of old tears. There is a strength to her spine that had been missing the previous days, a sureness to her step and the set of her shoulders. She knows her place here now, no matter how tremulous, how tentative or ephemeral. Though her crown was absent and her goals wiped clean from the slate, Hotaru had family to return to here. A sister, a niece, a...

A friend? A mentor? A leader, a father, a brother-in-arms?

Deimos had been all that and more to the young girl she had been when first she had fallen beneath his shadow, his keen and patriarchal gaze. Little more than a babe, with bitter heart and sharp tongue, quicksilver gaze and aspiration guiding every step. Mischief-maker, negotiator, shadow-walker. She had risen at his heels, chasing his limelight, until at last she had stood equal to him. In title and name perhaps, and yet even at his side she looked to him for guidance, for self-assurance, for support. In a different manner as an adult perhaps, but he had been a beacon for her nonetheless until the day he died.

And it had been a death that rocked her, that left her bereft, a solitary queen over her domain. Reluctant to lift anyone up from the masses to rule beside her, for nobody could fill the void of his presence. Nobody could pace the resonating echo of his steps. Hotaru had not felt so young and lost in many a years by that time, secure in her ruling and her power, and yet his death had brought out the child in her.

To find out he was here and whole, alive, was like a shotgun blast of rocksalt to the gut. Reuniting with her sister and niece was different, because they had at least been alive the last time she had seen them. But Deimos? He had been ripped from her long before the destruction of their home. Hotaru had never in a million years expected to have him back, to be able to physically touch him, to speak to him in more than her dreams.

So though she is scared: of him turning her away, of not recognizing or remembering her, of his dismissal, disappointment, disenchantment...

The Valkyrie, the deposed Lady of the Basin, the displaced traveler of realms -

She lifts her hand and knocks.
you are the sun
you heal and
you burn
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,618
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#2

Deimos the Reaper

master of nothing place, of recoil and grace

For all his walls and fortifications, his savage steps and minatory intentions, the beast had never believed he’d shaped anyone’s lives. He had been an existence on a corporeal, tangible plain, a weapon on the horizon, a set of munitions along mountains, and then nothing at all – dust and air, cinders and ash. Kingly commands or imploring another to recognize their talents, their regards, were naught much – perceptions and ambitions, coiling someone else’s aspirations to blend, to lend, them into the Aurora Basin’s threshold, to inspire and invoke them towards icy causes and rime avarice. Otherwise, he’d been a monster, a brutal, ominous, intimidating force, ensuring safety and protection. Never enough to warrant christened livelihoods. Never enough to embody a beacon. Never enough to be an enticing, alluring figure, leading them down the road to iniquity, to sin, to stoked, feral fires.

Nothing. You are nothing.

And thereafter, on battlefields, on crusades to glory, he’d been one of many amongst the mass, a multitude of mayhem bristling and harking for their makers – howling along streets, hastening across daises of war, seething triumph with their bare hands. Then, after failures and defeats, he’d simply been one of the few left.

Out of habit and routine, a safe structure orchestrated for himself, Deimos settled amidst his targets, hastened to the many blades in his stockpiling. Snow had blanketed a portion of his makeshift field, but the cold didn’t bother him. It was a part of his essence. It was a portion of his existence. He was winter, feral and blistering, chilling and stark, made of desolation and stone. His calloused hands wrapped around the wooden, training sword, heavier than his steel or iron forgings, swinging it upon an effigy, instigating the undulation of muscles and brawn, relishing, savoring, the feeling of power striking into the still, statue. It would’ve been even better had it been something he could truly assault – but plants and blight had no foothold except in his friends – so the pummeling continued, something he could ascertain to conquest while the rest of the world wreaked havoc and devastated their efforts.

There was a distant knocking sound, and were he not distracted he might’ve presumed it was his door being hastened upon. Zuriel, watching from afar, was the greeter instead, ambling around the back of the house where she’d been witnessing (making unsaid commentary), to the front, to the aperture, peeking and poking along the entrance. Her head tilted with mild, benign curiosity, glancing at the unfamiliar blonde, hardened gaze swinging back and forth from her bonded and back to the stranger. If she were capable of smirking, she would’ve; a pride, superior smug look took over instead, and she ambled forward, quiet, a thing of silent forests and groves, attempting to sneak behind the woman and then loosened a draconic sounding snort.

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Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
MP:
#3
HOTARU
In some ways, her heart is eased when no immediate reply is hastened to the door. She is a coward, fearful of meeting the man who had changed her life in so many ways. Terrified of standing bereft before him and coming up short. The ferocity of his judgment had never turned its eye upon her, but she had felt its sting secondhand at his side. Seen the ways he could destroy, demolish, decimate those around him. Those who stood against him. And though Hotaru would follow Deimos at his side, at his back, until the fires of Hell licked at their skin, it was not always her choice. He could just as well cast her away, deem her unimportant -

A snort startles her from her thoughts, and she jumps a mile high even as she fiercely kills any noise of surprise where it rises in her throat. Spinning on her nimble feet, she stares incredulously at the creature before her, until laughter bubbles up from inside like golden bubbles. She had certainly been had, and the intelligence in the creature's eyes only reflects that knowledge. Though she feels an odd sort of envy for the companion's form, one lost to her now, she can't help but appreciate the disruption. Hotaru certainly wasn't one to get maudlin, and today was not the day to start.

"You certainly got me good," she grins playfully at the unicorn. "Are you bonded to Deimos? Can you help me find the big lug?" Of course he would make her search for him, what an inconvenience. What did she expect from the notorious hermit? Hotaru wouldn't be surprised if Deimos had set up traps to dissuade people from bothering him in his little hole.

Before she can rely upon the companion taking her onward, Hotaru's ears catch the sound of impact. It's not far - just past the house if these useless human ears are to be trusted. Hoping the unicorn won't impale her for trespassing, she wanders around the edge of the house, stepping nimbly through the snow as she has her entire life. There is a hulking form just beyond, perhaps too thinly garbed for the cold, but if he is who she thinks he is it does not bother him just as it does not bother her.

Her fingers tremble, but she keeps them tucked away as she crosses her arms and moves closer. "Deimos?" She calls hesitantly, though the clarity of sound carries across the disturbed snow. Please, remember me.
you are the sun
you heal and
you burn
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,618
MP:
#4

Deimos the Reaper

master of nothing place, of recoil and grace

If unicorns could wear smirks and snickers, she might’ve embodied it perfectly – instead, the assemblage of her features were rendered in smug, pompous outlooks, haughty, a little patronizing and condescending, as the stranger jumped. Her head tilted, a slashing emblem along the depths of her brow, pondering if she’d have to utilize it, have to maul, have to maim; a creature of the forest, noble and proud and sometimes not wholly dignified. The laughter caused her eyes to narrow, as if irritated there weren’t any further ministrations, a leap, a launch, into suspicions or dangerous declarations, if her powers of repose had shambled off somewhere as the Reaper’s, the Sword’s caustic, acrimonious sentiments curled into hers. Zuriel snorted again, less derisive this time, not sinking into the grin, and meandered along and around the corner, a slow shuffle of her hooves towards the man this stranger intended to see. Why? was a strung-along inquiry, and out of rooted curiosity, she followed, the woman’s form racing to the backyard, along the tell-tale signs of weaponry smashing into effigies and a figure upholding icy precision, frigid prowess.

And the beast, for all his purposes, maneuvered just as he once had: intimidating and unattainable, an unreachable force biding his time or alluring danger, his slashing wake winding, twisting, slinking in the bows of meticulous, raptorial eaves, sinuous machinations, a silken thread of predacious grandeur and decadence. He placed his hatred, his frustrations, into the insurrection, an unholy sedition he hadn’t been permitted or allowed to release in the breadth of ire and condemnation, layered and lacquered abhorrence for his inadequacies, penetrating, piercing, searing, seizing fervor. His arms maneuvered in brushstrokes of argent domination, macabre melancholy, treacherous considerations he would’ve liked to have released onto the spreading blight or the unknown’s arcane, primordial discord; instead, he managed to remain in the depths of carnage, in the fathoms of taut, minute failure, strung along with the rest as they stayed in the ineffectual ranges. Minatory enticement bound from his motions and leapt from his calloused palms, purposefully overwhelming upon something that couldn’t seethe and simmer back. He altered his pace, glacial mayhem in its antagonistic elations, puffs and plumes of air, like iron, like steel, forged from his mouth, from his chest, and bound into the target, until he stepped back, glanced upon the beaten figurine, neither satisfied or content.

Except all the enmity and guard cracked: a voice pricked against his edges, his senses, and he turned towards the sound of his name - the vocals familiar, a sketch, a detail, an unwinding motion fanning from the flames, from archaic mountains and serrated decisions. It billowed and pushed, rattled and clawed, something tearing along his ribs. His head swung, lifted, while his gaze sharpened, narrowed, then widened again, as if trying to figure out why memories conformed, why there was one more before him, a call to the past, disbelief shuddering from his mouth. “Hotaru?”

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Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
MP:
#5
HOTARU
The expressiveness of Deimos' companion is almost laughable. Of course they were a perfect pair: the mountainous stoneman and the tempestuous unicorn. She was probably the most forthright reflection of the man's innermost thoughts, and even then her independence made her an unreliable source. It shouldn't be so deeply amusing to Hotaru, but she couldn't help but indulge in it, letting the emotion buoy her above the raging sea of convoluted emotions as she leads the unicorn around the house. She wouldn't call it a mission, what she's on. There are so few words within her grasp, just a senseless white noise of sensation, emotion, memories that haunt and strangle her. He is the beacon of light contrasting his personality, the one that guides her to harbor as she searches desperately for familiar land. He is the shore she seeks to wash herself upon, the steadiness of gravity and the cycle of the earth. For so long before his death, he had been godlike to her, even as she stood at his side as an equal. Untouchable, immovable, as eternal as the bedrock beneath her feet or the sky above her.

And then she had lost him, adrift on that same sea, with no lighthouse to guide her back home. Perhaps that had been the start, the fall. The denouement of her story. Losing the only soul she could ever see herself leading with. No other had ever compared, always falling short in her esteem. For who could best the Reaper? He was as magnificent in death as he had been in life.

The sight of his broad shoulders, a form unfamiliar to her but a soul like a long lost friend, brings a noise from her throat that she can't describe. Strangled, relieved, some variation of a sob all rolled into one. She wants so badly to be strong, because he makes her feel strong. He always has. Simply being accepted at his shoulder made her feel as if the world was at her feet, where it belonged. But she is also frail from too many days of emotional reunions, and as his head rises at the sound of her voice, face turning to finally gaze upon her, she can't help the sting of her eyes even as a wobbly smile lifts to her lips.

And finally, there, harkening to her ears across the snow and space between them, his voice rolls like thunder singing out the syllables of her name. Recognition. Remembrance. Reunion. It is a familiar sound to her, a voice she has heard more than any other, perhaps more than her own family with how they had aged together side by side even when all others fell away. With a wet laugh she lets her arms drop, striding across the snow with a certainty she hasn't been able to feel since that rainy day when she had lost him. He is Icarus returned to her, and she the fervent engineer that will never again let him leave the ground without her.

Though she wants nothing more than to forcefully throw her arms around his neck, he is much too tall, and half as accepting of physicality. Instead, in her boldness and her surety of how he has always sighed and entertained her nonsense, she reaches for him with her pink-tinged fingers. Seeking anywhere to land, his shoulder, his forearm, a scruffy cheek. And though her eyes are wet, her smile is sharp, wicked, powerful. He is here, and the world is right. He is here, and they have never been more powerful than together. And that power sustains her, keeps her back straight and her knees locked.

"I found you," she declares on a misted breath, eyes bright. It is more than an explanation for her presence on his doorstep. She has found him, across death's doorstep, across realms, across lifetimes. But even still she can't help her teasing smirk, a familiar teasing rising in her breast to chase away the riot of emotion that still lives there. Relief. Joy. Loss. Security. Gratitude. "You just had to go and be just as tall and handsome here, huh? You're making me look bad Reaper," Hotaru purrs, a little wink tossed his way even as her hands refuse to leave wherever she can touch. She will drag him down to her height in time, force him into her embrace, but for now she just...stands there. Revels. Feeling the axis of her world righting itself with Deimos there before her. Lord and Lady, displaced, but reunited.
you are the sun
you heal and
you burn
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#6

Deimos the Reaper

master of nothing place, of recoil and grace

The unicorn was ignored, and so she merely meandered along the sidelines, tending to protection, if it was required, a witness to reunions that had little to do with her. He, on the other hand, was a disbelieving quandary, eyes widening in shock, in awe, of things returning back to him, in measures and motions he didn’t deserve, couldn’t have ever warranted, wouldn’t have ever dreamed. Maybe these were delusions, hallucinations, diabolical schemes crafted from his overwhelmed brain, caught in the renegade cycles of aspirations and ambitions never to be concocted again. Maybe the foolishness of his life had caught up to him, barreling into his chest and ribs, clattering in the sanction of stars and monoliths, of auroras and basins, of mountains stretching into the skyline, scorching heavens he’d never dreamt of seeing. She drifted closer and closer, movement, light, and sound, and he stood there, the blade long since dropped into the snow, watching it all as one would a ghost – disbelieving, intrigued, waiting for reality to sink into his limbs and curse his soul - this is not for you the world might echo, constantly amused in how it could bombard and assault him. And the Reaper, the Sword, would take it all, because he thought he deserved each and every siege plunged into his flesh and bone.

Why had the void chosen Hotaru as a malediction to him now? She’d been light along the surface of the earth, presiding in her wiles, in her factions, in her power, while he’d roamed and circled the darkness, sinking and simmering, seething and seizing, both taking careful measures to ascertain dominance and supremacy in a realm full of intricate secrets and duplicitous webs. It’d been teamwork, he the munitions, the fortress, and she the heart, the soul, and he assumed thereafter, when his breath had fizzled and ceased, when his eyes closed, when rain drowned and burned. Perhaps he’d been too greedy, too avaricious, taking and taking and taking and presently the earth thought to ruin his days with more overbearing voids - remember? - they could call in furies and ferocity, kicking him when he was down like he’d done to so many others.

But her tangible presence was unmistakable when she floated above the snow, born to its rime, to its midst, blending into the elements, when sounds broke over the silence, when she was suddenly before him, a touch, a fringe of movement and motion. Then he realized her tangibility, corporeal, not wraith or phantom, not a scheme of tactical punishment, but real and whole and there, and the depths of his chest widened on a lengthy exhale, breathing in relief and agony and heartache. He absorbed her soused eyes and sharp smile; memories of old gliding over him like an ancient recoil, primordial days spent ensuring their kingdom was strong and mighty while they threatened to fall apart. He thought he might here too, except he leaned down – had she ever been so small and so strong and so stalwart all at once? – plucking her off of the ground and into his presence. Too lithe, too tiny, too minute; this incarnation represented little of what he could recall of her, or perhaps she’d always filled the room with other things, a presence larger than life. “You found me,” he honored and endeavored, something wet at the back of his throat, in his gasp, in the motion behind his eyes, where she couldn’t see, where she couldn’t tease and mock.

He swallowed down the machinations, the press of regrets and rues, the shocking sensation of worlds colliding back into him. “Sorry,” was a musing bout, a raw chuckle, a quaking, shuddering breath released from him, clutching her carefully. “You could never look bad.” He joked again, uncertain of what he’d done to earn these moments all over again.

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Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
MP:
#7
HOTARU
The space between them echoes hollow and vast, the final steps like an endless void that she can't hope to traverse. Yet her feet draw her forward inexorably, her legs strong and adamant in keeping her upright, skimming over the snow like a wraith of the North. He draws her like a magnet, and in mere moments that nonetheless feel like years, the space that had once gutted her is nonexistent. He is there before her, imposing, grandiose, overwhelming in his physicality. He is there. Warm and alive beneath her hand, erasing all fears of an aberration, a hallucination, a mirage that will shatter and embed its mocking glass deep into her skin.

He is the shadow to her light, the bedrock that keeps her flowering fields rooted steady. She could no sooner stop herself from going to him as she could cease her own breaths. His face is so much more expressive in this form, and her heart aches to see the lines at his eyes, the disbelief painted upon his rugged visage. For as long as she has known him, he has been so reluctant to believe that he was worthy of anything, much less anything positive. For all he has given them, sacrificed, forsaken in his loyal years, the Valkyrie believes he deserves the world.

He bends town to her space, the mighty giant crouching to her own pitiful stature, and she lets herself be embraced readily. Her arms fling around his neck, fearless as he pulls her from the earth. Though wings had never given her the gift of flight, it is a sensation that does not inspire fear in her heart. Deimos would never let her fall. She knows this as she knows the sun's cycle and the moon's waxing and waning. It is a fact of life, a heavenly decree, an immovable principle. There are few places safer in the world that encased in his arms, face pressed into the crook of his neck and his powerful shoulder, breathing in his scent and concealing the sharp sting of her tears. They wet her cheeks and subsequently his clothing, and she does not mock him for his own choked words. Not here, not to him. For all Hotaru's habitual teasing, her heart still feels as if it's quaking, rabbiting in her chest so hard she's certain he can feel it through her dress. Pounding out a rhythm, Morse code, telling him with every beat I have missed you, I love you, you mean so very much to me, I will never let you leave me again.

Deimos' apology brings a tremulous smile to her face, and she turns to chastely kiss his cheek, refusing to withdraw further to gaze upon him. It is a distance she can't bear in this moment. "You flatterer," she hiccups, but the joy beneath her teary voice is real, euphoric. The final piece finally at home in the place it deserves. She can feel her little trio of loved ones like shields surrounding her, bolstering her and chasing away the shades and nightmares that haunt and harass no matter how far she runs. "I have missed you so much," she allows herself to say, perhaps a tad too broken to maintain her control but awash in sincerity. Thumps a useless, weak hand against his shoulderblades only to hug him all the tighter. "Don't you ever leave me again," she orders, though her dramatic imperious tone wobbles. A silent plea she is sure he will hear, one that begs him to never leave her alone again. She'd scarcely survived it the first time. "I don't make a habit out of chasing men you know."

It is a lie, and she knows it. He is perhaps the one man she would chase endlessly, traversing the planes of life and death, pursuing his shadow across the infinite realms, if only to stand by his side once more.
you are the sun
you heal and
you burn
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#8

Deimos the Reaper

master of nothing place, of recoil and grace

His anthem had always been a staccato of the unworthy, a banner emblazoned across nonchalance and reticent, dormant sentiments tucked away, into the crux and folds of his irreverence and decay. It was the same no matter which world he inhabited, familiar and resolute in the tarnished sway of his own beliefs – paying homage and tribute to others who scorched and embodied, placing himself in front of their frames to defend, to honor, to protect, to shield, because they were better, they were righteous, they were deserved flames and he was the coal, the cinders, the ice. Then he built his walls of might and malice, instigated and agitated, invoked and instigated, kindled the notion of home in the lives of others – the snow, the mountains, the frigid, chilling winds, eternal winter bound to his skin, to his sanction, one of the few sanctuaries he’d ever known. It reminded him of his measures, of his merits, of the nothingness laced and lanced in the columns, in the fibers of his being, of his essence. Habitual and routine – to run himself straight into the ground, to sear and simmer against boundaries, to ensure everyone in his threshold was alive and well even if he wasn’t – perpetuity in his bones, until the end, incapable of seeing it any other way, of living in a differing spectacle. He’d breathed into the peaks, into the valleys, at one with death and massacres, a piece of stone and rubble as faces passed and pierced, as figures moved on, as more subjects reigned, as cycles persisted, as the world ached and burned, as those who claimed to be by his side glided off into the ether.

Then there was the Valkyrie, light and enigmatic, roses and thorns, distinct, wily infernos across smiles and sunshine brows – more potent than poison, more lethal than the sun, at his side while they persisted, while they preyed, while they ensured the Aurora Basin remained firm, distinct, against the skyline, against opponents and adversaries, against the grating world. The Reaper hadn’t meant to leave her, any of them, but had been called for his own scythe, swinging amongst the pits and pendulums, threads cut and extinguished. He made no mention of it in this strange reality, in the clutching of souls, in the re-gathering of family, in the retying of lines; he simply couldn’t fathom or understand what he’d done to earn their return. It wasn’t about him, not really, but he still kept the notions tucked against the edges of his thawing heart, beside all the shambled pieces and broken shards, sticking and stitching them back together again with each and every being who accepted, who tolerated, his ridiculous presence.

His chest thundered with the din of triumph instead – arms grasping, ensuring she remained, no escape for either of them in the crossfire and haze of alternate worlds. The beast, the warrior, the fool, said naught at the feeling of tears against his neck, laughed them away when they threatened to fall from his cheeks, the uncertainty never quite a match for Hotaru. He didn’t deserve it, never ever, no matter how Safrin had told him to look inside himself and see something; it was a difficult interval to snap, to fragment, to fissure, when he’d spent lifetimes glancing on the outside, striving to be better, to be brutal, to be barbaric. She had always been better – a hand in wisdom and sagacity he’d never quite immersed himself within, too easily swayed by Machiavellian properties and coldblooded calculations, to glance beyond – he’d been a force, but she’d been an impact, compassionate and beholden, a powerful, potent tide when the Basin had needed it most, when he couldn’t provide those angles, those methods, those means.

But they were all together again, and maybe that was all that mattered.

Here to conquer and devastate and unravel again – stronger for it.

So he allowed himself to be surrounded by her, by the warmth, by the memories, plunging his soul into those regions again and wondering how they’d ever been so contained. He chuckled at her hiccup, at her platonic caresses, at the way shields and swords and blades and knives all unfolded once more. Missed me, whatever for? the once-king wanted to say – burning on his tongue, simmering on his teeth. He exhaled instead, incapable of promising on the never leaving, never departing, when he’d already faced death on numerous occasions just here, placing himself in harm’s way day after day. “I will try not to,” was all he could surmise, just as he tried not to leave Amalia, Kiada, Rexanna, or any more of his accumulated kin and brethren (how was a formidable question – how had he gained so many to devote and cherish?). At her last statement, he snorted, a billowing inhale and exhale ravaged by the cold, like yesteryears, like days only reignited in dreams. Instead of bending into the potential insults, he surmised a warm smile she likely couldn’t see, the way she was tucked into his shoulders, the way they’d re-forged ancient assurances and alliances. “I missed you too.”

image credits
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
MP:
#9
HOTARU
There is nowhere safer, more solid, than here in his arms. She is wretchedly reminded of the story Ashamin had told her what seems like lifetimes ago. A beautiful snowy bird, struck from the sky, falling into the arms of the mountain below. How he had promised to always catch her, how her beauty had blinded him and her love had brought him to tears. In the end, it had meant nothing. Merely empty words that had not kept her warm when he had abandoned her, womb full of his child and a kingdom to lead. Perhaps she had been considering the story wrong this entire time.

Romantic love had led her astray so many times before. Never for lack of trying on her part; they had found their way past the barricades and blockades of her heart, and she had rewarded them with hidden tenderness, unfailing devotion, support, love. Every time, they wrapped their hands around the softest parts of her and squeezed until she was left a wreck of shattered hopes.

But Deimos had always been there. Her King, her Lord, her companion in all the trials they faced side by side. She had never even considered romantic feelings for the man that holds her now, so firmly and yet so gently. Even here in this new land, she can't conceive it. He is far too precious to her, a brother more than anything. But unlike those ephemeral loves, he has always been her mountain. Her bedrock, her summer sky, her support and her freedom. He was far more fit to cradle her body when it was struck from the sky, and he was as unmoving as the name implied.

All this time he had been beside her, and she had been blind to the one person she could trust with anything. Her heart is weary, broken by lovers who never stayed, but here is the key to a love that is pure and platonic. It washes over her endlessly, and her tears flow faster even as relief drains tension from her shoulders. There is nowhere safer to be than here. He cradles her as she has always needed, and in that way, she finds her wings once more.

His promise is understandable, and she accepts it for what it is, nodding frail and breakable against his mighty shoulder. Deimos never wavers as he holds her close, Hotaru still weightless in his bearlike grasp. She hangs there, uncaring of when he deigns to release her, content to simply cling to him like a particularly stubborn koala. Trusting he will keep his arms firmly around her, she leans back and cups his face in her small hands, unashamed of her tear-stained cheeks. "Your eyes are still the same," she whispers, overcome by gratitude that at least this is the same. Runs a thumb gently across his grizzled cheek and lifts herself just enough to place a kiss upon his stalwart brow.

"I never got to say goodbye," she grieves as she pulls away, eyes tight with pain at the reminder of that rainy day. I was afraid I'd never see you again. I'm so glad you're back. Things she wants to say but finds they don't convey the magnitude of her emotion. But she lets them linger in the air, unspoken. Sure he will understand. Instead, she gently tugs his face to and fro in her hands, smiling beatifically. "And here you are. Twice as handsome! Have you been well?" Hotaru's teasing subsides here, voice soft as she asks it, hoping for his sincerity and honesty. Had he found peace? Joy? Love, perhaps? He deserves all of it and more, and she prays he is happier than Kiada, that his tale will not break her heart any further.
you are the sun
you heal and
you burn
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#10

Deimos the Reaper

master of nothing place, of recoil and grace

The Sword was no stranger to family: he’d had them before, in the press of moonlit waves and the stretch of sea-salt air, fire bursting from the hands of a boisterous father who would stop at nothing to receive what he craved, wanted, and desired, the quiet, contemplative efforts of his mother’s water, stern and stubborn and wiser than the entire lot of them. His life had been full of precious memories and vibrant lessons of racing down beaches with the wind in his hair and the sensation of freedom clustered into his bones, his blood, his youthful vigor, long before he’d ever picked up his first wooden training blade. Then too, he had kinship; brethren and brothers in arms, fighting for glory, for triumph, for devastation of their enemies with wild spirits and pledged hearts. They all flickered apart, one by one by one, in a steady march and drumbeat, in a vicious, unwinding haze, felled and scattered and bludgeoned, until his time amidst fields of war extended into digging graves and makeshift catacombs. He grew cold. He grew distant. He grew apart from everyone and everything, a hardened faction, a meticulous, silent piece of the backdrop, waiting for his turn to waste away.

Helovia hadn’t been much different: an appeal of family long after they lost the Edge, when they were clustered and cluttered together along the Steppes, learning to live on edges of the devil’s backbone. They hated one another and they hated the world and they hated the rawness, the bitterness, of defeat, bringing them into bonds of kingdoms and sovereigns, refugees scraping along ice and rime until they limped into mountainous regions and remembered what it was like to have something to call home. In those hollowed, hallowed halls, he sacrificed and rose, he toppled and destroyed, he made a name for himself on blades and death, helping them all to reach into their devilish inclinations and spread the ferocity, the forbearance, to drench the world in their malice, in their regrets, in their spite. Their vitriol had been like its own pestilence, and he’d savored every tiny, miniscule victory, until, until, until the crown was upon his head and the summits were suddenly on his shoulders; cold and stark and barren again. He lost there too, in the stretch of rain, the chilling, warped panels of their imminent demolitions. He disappointed Ophelia and he forgot Psyche and Huyana cascaded away, until he was illustrious for simply being a shell, a weapon, a machine meant to murder, meant to protect, meant to abolish.

Then there was Rexanna, Kiada, and Hotaru, faces that didn’t flicker away from him when he marched by, strong, enduring, capable people that didn’t shake, didn’t shudder, didn’t flee when he scorched, when he lanced, when he broke. When they failed to waver, so did he; and they were rapacious intervals of strength and dominion again, beasts with purpose, with precision, with capabilities far beyond their rivals. They’d been warriors and thieves, kings and queens, and none of it had really mattered in the end, no singular title, no tilted crowns, no glacial thrones: bonds forged in sieges, in certainties, in assurances.

He held Hotaru within one now, didn’t drop, didn’t plummet, didn’t falter while she maneuvered, while he closed his eyes and wondered what he’d done to deserve, to earn, them all back. It was love and devotion – not the ardor and bliss of Amalia’s sun – but the reaches of protection and promises, vows he’d only shattered when he’d taken his last breath. They’d all had one another’s backs once, upon summits and crags, amidst secrets and storms. This world wouldn’t be any different.

She leaned into his grasp, and his gaze conformed to hers, going back and forth along the different colored hues, green and grey, life and death amongst mountain valleys, his breath a shuddering inhale as he strived to keep himself composed. If his eyes were the same, perhaps the rest of him was too – just as flawed, just as chaotic, just as stupid and ineffectual and damned, but better here, because they all had one another and suddenly the weight of the world wasn’t too much, wasn’t too harsh, wasn’t too overbearing. The Sword snorted as she leaned into his brow, shaking his head thereafter, instantly wistful and torn. Her next set of words were enough of a blow anyway, billowing over the surface of his flesh like a hot knife, and he closed his eyes for a moment to ward off the onset of something behind them. “Neither did I,” the soldier whispered – incapable of doing anything else but falling apart beneath the rain, heart and lungs shuddering one last interval, no chance, no opportunity, to unravel thoughts and commitments and murmurs. It’d only been him, the shadows, and the ghosts, calling him home.

But she tugged on his face, a hold on his cheeks and beard, not allowing him to dissipate into some otherworldly ether, the string of phantoms pulsing in his skull. The smile was winsome and genuine and he tilted his head into its good graces, a sigh billowing through his chest. “I am glad you are here.” A truth, simple, keen, and honest, as most of his confessions had been. He slowly released her back to the ground, bestowing a soft landing into powder and snow, turning his head at her inquiries, trying to hide the bizarre rush of tears threatening to run down his face. When he’d brushed them aside, a choked sort of laugh caught in his throat, and he motioned for her to follow, back along the entrance to his home. “Most of the time,” he answered; a shrug to his shoulders – not daring to get into the details of the harder experiences here, how many times he’d almost died (again), how many times he’d failed, how many times he’d simply thought about sinking into the mire and letting the void take him. There were too many grand things now, and they could varnish and lacquer over the melancholy; he refused to spoil this moment. “Have you seen Rexanna and Kiada?” He glanced back over his shoulder, holding her gaze in his. They were all intertwined in their triumphs, in their defeats, in their victories – before they reached his door, and he opened it wide, arm extending to invite her inside.

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Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 268
MP:
#11
HOTARU
There is much that Hotaru has lost over the years. When the Rift had opened and her world had ended in every other way but physically, she had been sure in ways she never has before that her life was over. That there was no way to rebuild, to forgive, to move on. Not from the death of a child. The death of a world, of a place that had raised her from cradle to kingdom. Over time, as she was separated from her other living children and her lover, as she was thrust again and again into worlds that were not her own with faces that crumpled with pity and distrust, she had begun to heal.

No, heal was not the proper word. The gaping wound had scarred over time. Numbed and knotted, so grotesquely visible and unavoidable that it brought ghostlike pains whenever it was brushed over, even though the nerves were long severed. But when she had finally made it here, when she had looked up and seen Rexanna's soul reflecting outward in her familiar eyes, something had settled. The scorched earth of a forest leads to new growth, and as she runs her hands across Deimos' face, smiling like the world has given her the greatest gift for all her suffering, she can feel the first leaves of new life emerging from the ruin of her soul. Here is the foundation she needs. Here is the strength, the core, the bedrock that she needs to lean on in order to build once more.

His whisper brings her back. The deep rasp of his voice different with these new vocals, but just as familiar to her as the sound of snowfall in the spring. Both eyes are damp with recollection of that fateful night, and Hotaru cannot even hope to understand what dying had been like for him. What revival was like. "Then we'll make the best of our hellos," she vows in her trembling, wavering voice, summoning a smile past her tears. There will not be a day that goes by where she does not cherish him for his life, for the simplicity of his continued existence. Perhaps in that way, if the time comes again where goodbyes cannot be said, it will be easier to grieve. To know that he was aware of her unquestionable love for him to the end. It's not a thought she revels in, the idea of him leaving her again, but they are both realists. It is why he does not promise what he cannot rightfully keep.

He lowers her delicately to the ground, her feet finding powder and ice once more, where they belong. She follows him like he is the North Star and she a lost and faithful wanderer. Coming home to him, to wherever he will guide her. Hotaru places a hand upon his arm in silent understanding of his answer to her inquiry, knowing they will not receive something as glorious as a break no matter where they go. There is only the current moment, and she follow him through the opening of his door, huffing an amused laugh as her eyes adjust to the light inside and spot the weapons strewn upon the walls. Typical of the man, and amusing for its predictability.

Fellow names, kin and family, fall from his lips. She turns and smiles beatifically at him, a warmth to her eyes that has been missing for so long. "Rexanna was the one that found me cursing and lost at the Spire," she admits with a laugh. "I sought out Kiada yesterday. I..." here her voice breaks, lip quivering with a pain she had not been able to show her niece, a brokenness that a child does not deserve to shoulder. "She told me about Ru'in," is admitted softly, strained and broken, and she lifts a hand to her face to conceal her ragged breath inward, forcing back the tears before turning a more subdued smile back to Deimos. "But it's a gift enough to have you all here." Far more than she felt she would ever deserve again.
you are the sun
you heal and
you burn
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#12

Deimos the Reaper

master of nothing place, of recoil and grace

Loss had shaped them, framed them, and resculpted them – carved them out what little victories they’d managed to hold onto for small, insignificant moments, the fall always the hardest, the plummet always the deepest. Their fathoms had been whittled and brutalized into toxins and unholy measures, the stars no longer so bright, the horizons no longer so inspiring. Day after day they had strived, and for what? For the death of friends? For the denizens of failure? For the plagues to coil around their eyes, for the darkness to come in the corners of their eyes? For the destruction of worlds, for the miring of other kingdoms, for the desecration of ghosts that haunted every step of the way? They rose and they fell and they still fought on, racing to pick up the pieces before the rest of the mountains saw, before flaws could become fissures. They weren’t allowed to flicker apart, they weren’t permitted to break, they weren’t sanctioned to sink. So they stood, stalwart and demanding, forgetting collapses, forgoing the weight of terror, treachery, and the whole of a dominion across their backs, the icy expanse of a throne behind their spines, the things no one was meant to overcome alone.

And here, here, were they meant to recover? Find themselves again, reborn and renewed? Resurrection had been a puzzle he’d yet to fully unravel, uncertain, unware, of just how or why he was chosen to mark this damned earth again – why he fettered his way through the same patterns, the same designs, wound his fate into shattering glances and molten devastation, why now, after lifetimes of ensuring his unholy intentions were met on fields of battle, on torrential, tempestuous plains, he was liberated and free. It was new and he feared it was fleeting too, like so many other wondrous, sublime things, meant to be savored for an instant before disappearing into ruins and ash. It was why he held, grasped, and consumed; afraid, afraid, afraid, that it would be lost to him forever. The best of hellos indeed, with his throat swallowing down the bile cloaking over his vocals, with the range of revival still in his stony wares, taking and taking and taking like a rapacious, greedy cretin, wondering at his fortunes all over again. The Reaper, the Sword, the fool, could only nod at her again, no words comparable to those already granted and given.

Deimos didn’t miss the laughter strung along at her first look into his house – the weapons adorning the walls was simply habitual, routine, and normal, more so now that he was capable of creating his own. He arched a brow, daring her to say something about them, but instead, he turned back to her and saw beatific smiles and warmth, extending his in return with a shake of his beastly cranium again, forgoing fragmenting once more, listening to her. She’d already seen Rexanna and Kiada – he’d been last on the list (and probably rightfully so), but didn’t bear ill will or judgment on being concluding measure.

But his eyes narrowed as her voice broke, and then his head reared back in understanding, opting to keep himself busy with maneuvering the latest dagger off his table, gesturing for her to sit if she wished. Then he meandered closer to the hearth, supplying the bristling fire with more wood, before glancing back at her. Ru’in, lost during Long Night, one of her children, and Deimos likely would never understand the notions behind the loss of a child; especially with the number of times it had occurred. It was like a loop, a noose, a coil, a cycle of events and tragedies, sputtering and stirring. “I am sorry,” he admitted; that the door hadn’t been opened for the boy, that there’d been a note, a gift, a proposal for the Harpy and nothing more – that naught could be done but either wallow in its barren grief or let time knit over the scars. His eyes shifted back to the flames, studying, examining, a procession of apprehension notching its way into his bones again, missing her subdued smile, but not the proffered tunes. At that, the warrior reeled back from the blaze, his eyes glancing upon her again and again. More than I deserve crossed over his mind, but he couldn’t say it, couldn’t slash against the benedictions in their entities. “Yes,” his vocals curled in agreement, simple and just and matter of fact. He would hold onto those gifts tightly, for as long as he possibly could.

Curiosity segmented him, rummaging past her again and into his kitchen, motioning over whatever wares and food he had available. “Are you hungry?” It was another offer, a bestowal, before leaning against the counter, examining and scrutinizing, inquiry getting the best of him. “What are you going to be up to now?” What schemes and tactics would they immerse themselves within?

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Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
MP:
#13
HOTARU
His silence, his stoicism, has never bothered her. The tremulous nod of his head is all she needs, a language she has painstakingly learned over years at his side. One that is communicated not by sound or syllable, but through gesture and physicality. She merely clings tighter, squeezing around whatever she can reach, determined to seal this new vow of theirs into their very skin. No more goodbyes for them. Only "see you soon". Because clearly, even death was not enough to keep them apart. It would have been a romantic notion for anyone else, but the woman knows it is only deep, platonic love and trust that binds them. Earned over the years, fought for, striven towards. Even in their worst times.

She feels colder than the air can possibly be responsible for alone when he settles her down upon the earth. But her heart is warm, and it will be enough to sustain her as they venture inside. As tears and uncertainty fade into reunion and comfort. His arched brow only encourages her mutinous smile, the mischief in her bi-colored gaze. Deimos' smile is far more handsome in this form, and mischief melts into a soft adoring expression, overcome with her own pastel-smeared emotions. He is beautiful, and healthy, and she prays he is happy too. 'Most of the time' was good enough for her at least. Even if he deserved far more in her eyes.

The tone darkens momentarily, the woman sitting a little unsteadily at the table he gestures towards. A small break in composure, swallowing hard against a grief she had not expected to have ever been renewed. Gazes at something nobody can see, and let's the colors of the fire smear and smudge like a kaleidoscope of orange hued distraction. The soft apology reminds Hotaru to start breathing again, blinking and settling her hands on the table to force composure upon herself once more. "I'm just grateful he received a second chance. No matter how brief." Spoken softly, aware there is not much for him to say, no condolences that will ease this particular pain.

Food, however, is a bridge that connects them from grief to fellowship. Hotaru smiles, cannot seem to stop with him before her, and arranged herself like an expectant child in the chair. "I would never turn down a good meal," she chirps, unashamed of this minor addiction she has formed since developing such advanced taste buds. Allows him to gather whatever he may need while she ponders his next question, fingers idly trailing against the grain of the wood that is the base for the table.

"No distinct plans yet. Ruling is very different in this land, these forms. But a tiger can't change it's stripes, I must say I'm already far too curious about the little secrets everyone seems to hide." A sly grin, a playful wink, knowing he is aware of her shadowed nature and ensnaring ways. Knowing he will not judge her, will steer her true through the murky waters of this new realm. "Settling down was never the plan, but...perhaps it would be nice." She had almost had it, right before their entire world was destroyed. Had handed off her crown, birthed beautiful twins, was discovering what love and family meant without an empire to preside over. "What of your own goals, Deimos? Any beautiful companion or toddling children I should know about?" He certainly would never be lacking in suitors for that department, and Hotaru fully intends on teasing him about it until the end of days.
you are the sun
you heal and
you burn
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#14

Deimos the Reaper

master of nothing place, of recoil and grace

Second chances; something they’d all been given, and he didn’t want to squander it, to waste it, to allow it to flicker apart into nothing. There had to be more than hatred, than war, than abhorrence, but sometimes it was all he knew, how to grasp, how to hold, how to clench. Familiar and routine, to seethe and reassemble his efforts into wrath, to part the seas with his dedication to violence, but his eyes lingered on hers, the way things altered, maneuvered, and strained. Ru’in never had any of those opportunities. Perhaps she will live for him too, shards not forgotten, children not entirely absconded, if he was still tucked away in her memories, if there were still fragments existing in Kiada’s munitions and Hotaru’s mind. Like all of his ghosts; letting go of none of them, granting them unbidden access to his skull, to his senses, when they loitered along the corner of his eyes, in the stanzas of poignant songs, upon the fringes of defining moments. Sometimes it was the only way they continued to exist – the rain and the storms, the fire and the water, comrade after comrade, soldier after soldier, and the mountains themselves, the ice, the rime, the snow. He nodded again, thoughts an imperceptible ambition, incapable of uttering any of those nuances collected behind his furrowed brow, the darker threads maneuvering and coiling in pieces, in shells, in glaciers.

Food, however, was something shared without preambles or preludes to disaster or sedition. He smiled at her acceptance, turning towards the counter, puttering around and gathering what was available. He listened while he worked, adapting a vague smile along his lips as she discussed leading, the press, the need, the way in which titles swarmed to her shoulders and lined her collar bone; crowns made to sit upon her head, thrones furnished for her essence. “You would have enjoyed the latest chaos of ruler roulette.” He shook his head, nearly snorting; Basin politics aside, he wasn’t sure if he’d ever seen or heard anything so ridiculous, instigating rebellion amongst all the others when they battered against the seams of Zariah’s reign. Thereafter was a following, flickering debacle on both sides, tyrannical seams unfurling, and then more dramatics brimming, brewing, quelling, and several fallouts in between. It might’ve played like Aurora theater, with all the stages and monologues represented.

Deimos acquired a few still warm lavender-infused scones saved from Amalia’s latest batch, turning from the counter, placing them on a plate in the middle of the table. He tilted his head vaguely at the notion of settling down; mostly because Hotaru hadn’t seemed the type in the time he’d known her, though not to the extent of Rexanna’s ploys and antics. “Worth a try,” the beast smirked, nearly winked, before meandering back to the food stores, searching, drifting, for something else, not diving into the subject entirely. He wasn’t falling into that particular snare –

Oh, there it was.

He made sure not to round back towards her on the second inquiry. From behind, where she sat, the monolith might have appeared reticent and stoic all the more, broad back and form, despite his features ambling into widened eyes, a rosy hue across his cheeks, and a stumbling about, pretending to look for mugs in case Hotaru wanted tea. He’d be damned if she caught him blushing, so he settled, breathed, waited for the ax to fall from his own mouth. “I met someone. Amalia.” It was a simple statement – coasting over the shores, a lock barely turned, barely indicative of the devotion and ardor underneath. No current goals except survival, and no toddling children, keeping track of Kiada’s antics were enough currently, and the way they ran around nearly dying half the time, in either the Spire or some other unknown faction, that was probably for the best. He didn’t shrug the statement or cast it off though; Amalia deserved far more than that – he just wasn’t certain about where to begin. By the time he’d turned around, he’d rendered some sensation of composure again, but there was a light smile resting on his lips, content. “She made these,” indicating the scones, as he pilfered one and broke off a piece, waiting for the inevitable inquiries.

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