the Rift

The Flames Burn On

Nephele Posts: 82
Dragon's Throat Guardian atk: 4.5 | def: 8.5 | dam: 7.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 16.3 :: 7 HP: 64.0 | Buff: NOVICE
Atreus :: Lammergeier :: None Nova
can you hear the sabers rattling

"Brothers and sisters of the sun, I call to you." Her furious voice rang out across the sand, wings spread and forelimbs struck toward the sky. There is a fire within her she can no longer contain, she had bided her time patiently, painfully as she had carried her twins to term and as the seasons changed with a solemn hope the wind would change and herald in another golden age. She had waited since the day Gaucho's fire had run out, counted each listless hour in the sea of days. It had not changed, the tree's had shed their leaves and a turbulent autumn brought in a silent winter. It was time then, that someone spoke out and filled the silence, and took fate in both hooves. So she called with an inferno, beseeching her family to come to her now, hoped and prayed that they would answer her summons because they had gone too long without the winds carrying the heralded cry to their ears.

Locks of salt kissed obsidian and burned orange tangled and pillowed in the winds whipped and tunneled by the canyons and rocky faces she called home. They are her banners, emblazoned and dipped in the very colours they called home. She waited, with painted and tattooed neck arched and nostrils flared, tail raised and wings spread. She cared little for the repercussions of such an act, not when they had already suffered in the silence, not when there were creatures once more beyond their island home with light fingers and unknown motives. They had been deadly, they had been fierce and they had been beautiful. Where was that fire now? Had it died with the Wildfire that day? Was there not an ember left that they could stoke back into an inferno that soared in their wings as well as their hearts, that did not burn their mark into the grass as they strode forth?

"Too long silence has reigned in the wake of our Sultan." She stated, her dual toned eyes looking to any and all who had heard the summons and gathered. "There are thieves at our door, and there is a creature once more who lurks with unknown intentions beyond our borders. I have seen the wake and aftermath of the Rift Battles, and I was there when we drove back the Tiger Goddess with a thunderous cry. The land goes without our presence, and we are blind to the new dangers which come beyond the waters and the mainland. We are lacking, our knowledge limited, stunted by the lack of growth and lack of interactions with herds who dwell upon the mainland. Our warriors stagnate, I did not become a Guardian to sit listlessly by while the days roll on, we are without training and without patrols, our healer ranks are desolate and bare, our crafters do not have a vision of which to craft in iron. We linger waiting for that which does not show. I say no more." Nephele's head raised high with her last note, her hoof struck deep into the grains of sand beneath her.

"We are a proud people, we are strong, we are fierce and we are a sight to behold when we take flight, or when our hooves strike against the earth. We face an unknown horizon, a new dawn has come to us with the grace of our God. There are uncertainties we face, and it is an uncertainty that can be removed, a horizon we can run towards unafraid and heads held high." She stopped as she found herself pacing back and forth in front of her family, the feathers of her wings raised higher instead. "I ask you to place your faith, your fire within me. Let me be the fire to Sikeax's healing light, the storm which looms behind calm waters, the fight when peace is no longer an option. It is a new era for the Dragon's Throat, but it is not one where we must cast off all that we are and embrace all that we are not. I ask you to let me be the tradition which stands as the mountain does, while the water gradually, slowly, shapes and changes that what it touches." She paused for breath, the golden ring looped through her nostrils vibrated with each punctuated breath. "Our shadows will hang over the mainland once more, no land will go without feeling the gaze of our eyes, no more will the threshold be absent of our guiding hooves. I will see that when able, all that which has been taken from us will be returned." She ended her speech, her blood felt like liquid fire in her veins, threatening to consume her inside out as she awaited their judgement. Let them see the fire, the determination, the unwavering want and devotion which poured from her in bright waves.  

damned if i didn't
demand that they sing
Art Credit

for context;; Nephele is petitioning to fill the remaining leader slot, and revive activity within the throat once again!

“She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.” 

― Terry Pratchett
Please tag Neph in all replies!
Force & violence permitted with the exception of maiming & death

Jude Posts: 8
Dragon's Throat Colt
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 hh :: Two Seasons
so give me hope in the darkness and I will see the light

The world always surprised him with how big it was. From the first time light touched his eyes Jude wandered in a state of perpetual bafflement, pressed against the side of his mother or brother just to make sure they would not get swallowed up by the vastness of it. His first winter storms had been rendered all the more impressive because they were the only ones he had seen so far. The fury of the elements had made him tremble and hide away against Byron's steady shoulder, his tiny heart racing so fast that he was sure it would escape if he opened his mouth. But though he feared it, though he quailed in the face of the raging elements, there was a beauty to the violence that he both admired and detested, an allure in the presence of potential disaster that suggested how dangerous it would be to love it too deeply.

On unsteady legs he roamed the windswept sand in the wake of his family, listening and learning without really saying much. Words did not come easily to the young fawn, but his eyes spoke volumes of his impressions whenever they came across something new. Fear always came first, hesitancy in the face of the unknown that only gradually caved in to curiosity, once his brother had tested it out and proved it to be real, safe (well...) and alright. Only when the questions started to form did his tender heart reach out to it, enveloping in within fragile arms to love and explore...

But oh, how he loved the things once he learned to trust them.

This day was no different, but there was something new going on with Mama. There was a determination to her step as she lead them on that he had not seen before, and a flickering something in her eyes not entirely unlike the flashing lights of the storm, or perhaps the big fire that burned in the distance, illuminating the night from far away. As usual Jude said nothing when she stepped away from them and reared up, calling loud and clear for others to come (others? What others could there be, when the world consisted of the three of them...). He was quiet, but he watched her with wide eyes, absorbing every thing she said and did as though his life depended on what would come next.

And perhaps it did.  


please tag Jude in all posts
Force & Magic allowed short of permanent maiming & death

Ampere The Mother of Companions Posts: 719
Dragon's Throat Sultana atk: 9 | def: 11 | dam: 4.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 14 hh :: 6 years HP: 73 | Buff: DANCE
Kygo :: Green Cheek Conure :: None Blu

Burning on the E D G E of something beautiful

"Black calls," Kygo informed Ampere as they wandered morosely through the desert. He'd been more daring as of late with talking to her. For a while, int he wake of Gaucho's death, he'd fallen more silent, fearful of what exactly was happening to his bonded. He had seen her grieve, he had seen her lost, but this had been something else entirely. Yet the season spent in such a state had worn on the bird's patience, and much like he poked and prodded her while they'd been feral beyond Helovia, so he hoped to do the same again and return her to what she should be.

So again he said, "black calls," with just a touch of authority to his tone. At this Ampere's head inclined towards the bird that glided just above her head, her left eye holding him firm. "I heard you the first time, but that means nothing to me." Black? Black what for Sun God's sake? Kygo chirrups, unabashed, pressing the blue mare further. "HERD," he insists, smartly flying up a bit higher in case Ampere decided to get physical. "What does that mean!?" she snapped in response, halting as she narrowed her gaze to trace the bird.

The conure, exasperated at her thickheaded nature and his lack of language, attempted to have her follow him instead. Of course, asking her to follow him would make the mare walk int he opposite direction (as he'd learned before), so he had to toe the line of this argument, just enough to keep her salted, but not too much that she began ignoring him. All he needed was to turn her anyway, she could wander the rest of the way. So he tugged at her mane, pulling out a precious feather, which riled the mare and instigated a chase.

As they neared Kygo relinquished the feather and flew on ahead, knowing he ought to give Ampere space after a stunt like that. Meanwhile Ampere, grumbling as her electricity worked the feather back into her mane, ambled forward in half-hearted pursuit. She was tired. Even duking it out with Kygo wore on her. Though hardly noticeable under the winter coat, Ampere had grown thin and gaunt. She didn't train much any more, and she barely ate. She spent most of her days in the company of the Gaucho-golem, and though she didn't often cry anymore, she still felt caught in a murk of despair for his parting. The only thing that seemed to rouse her from her somber cocoon was rage, but anger is a fire that burns as quickly as it burns brilliant, and its energy quickly spent and returned her to ash. Searching for Tae's stolen good stoked her far longer than anything else so far, but as they continued to search without success, the logs of failure quickly smothered Ampere instead of igniting her.

It was why she had been apathetic to the call Nephele raised to begin with. Normally, Ampere would have been attentive, quick to arrive and discuss, but now, even as the black mare (it makes sense now), comes into view as Ampere moves forward - even as her words shudder down Ampere's ears as she sways to a halt - she is not roused. There is agreement within her; after all she knew better than some, having been personally affected by their lack of stealth protection, serving as a deadweight warrior (but no Gladiator has kicked her ass yet), and having to shuffle along in constant pain for the absence of healers they had (Megaera had given her a few long lasting injuries).

Though Ampere agreed, she wasn't sure Nephele was a good choice. She recognized the mare, she'd been a warrior for quite some time, yet Ampere couldn't say she knew the mare despite the years they had lived alongside each other. What had Nephele made of her name, of her rank, before? Nothing, Ampere thinks, remembering their unfinished fight and her hounding of her lazy warriors in seasons past. What good would it be to put a carbon copy of Sikeax into the other mantle? Yet Ampere can't seem to care enough to voice these things, can't find an anger to wake her from her sorrows, even if part of her recoils from the direction the herd is headed, not only for Gaucho's name, but for her own love of the place.

"Speak," Kygo demands in her mind from his perch in a tree. Ampere's head raises faintly, searching for the bird, but its halfhearted. "Speak!" he demands again, their soul-bound link pulsing with a magenta ire. Ampere snorts.

"Sohalia," she says, voice cracking somewhat, dried. "Sohalia would be better suited as lead," she says at least, meaning no ill will, only weighing the better options of the herd.

Go through the darkest of days | Heaven's a heartbreak away
It's been a hell of a ride | Driving the edge of a knife

Tag me only if starting a new thread.
Magic or force permitted any time, aside from death.

Sohalia the Transcended Posts: 477
Outcast atk: 4 | def: 9.5 | dam: 6.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 14.3 hh :: 10 (ages in Orangemoon) HP: 67 | Buff: NOVICE
Astraeus :: Common Zephyr :: Wakiya ChaoticMelodies
Sohalia was among the first to arrive in the wake of Nephele’s heated call, concern creasing her brow and worry quickening her steps.  In her mind, a warrior would call the entire herd together for one reason and one reason only:  they were under attack.  And so it was that she hurried forth, her heart hammering anxiously in her chest.  She was no warrior maiden, not like Nephele, or Ampere, or Megaera - if she had ever questioned it before, her recent fight with Cera had taught her that – but she would fight until her dying breath to protect those who gathered now.

Much to her surprise, the dark mare had summoned them not to warn them, but to scold them, and though the Transcended felt a profound relief that she would not be called to battle this day, she could not help the dismay bubbling in her breast.  Who was Nephele to take them to task for mourning their much-loved former Sultan?  Who was she to say that nothing had been done since his death, when if she would only open her eyes, she would see that progress was being made, albeit quietly?  It was not in the ivory dove’s way to argue with her family, but this… after having helped build the church and beginning to form an Academy upon these sands, this was almost personal.

But before Sohalia had a chance to speak, a dull, cracked voice sparked briefly to life nearby.  Ampere (gods, she looked terrible, she would have to seek out the blue later and remind her that life was still worth living), of all people, was voicing Sohalia’s name in place of Nephele’s.  Suddenly, everything within the dove was on fire once again, a new kind of adrenaline replacing the fear that had reigned in her prior to learning Nephele’s true motives for calling them together.  This was the kind of battle that the mare could take on with confidence.  Whatever else she might have lacked, diplomacy was not in short supply for Sohalia.

If they would give her a chance, she would prove to them that she was worthy of following her deceased mate into leadership once more.

And so she stepped forward, bolstered by the Mother of Companions, whose support made her heart swell with a grateful warmth.  A friendly smile lit her face as she moved to stand beside Nephele, facing those who had gathered.  She held no enmity toward the black mare, and in fact had great respect for what she had started here, even if she felt her speech a bit… misguided.  “Nephele’s passion should inspire us all,” she began, “for it is perhaps true that, in some areas, our herd has stagnated.”  She paused ever so slightly, ruffling her wings slightly to settle them into a more comfortable position.

“But I do not believe that our situation is quite as precarious as you proclaim, dear Guardian.  It is true that our sands have been quiet, but is it not fitting that we take this time to mourn our lost Sultan?  It has been only a bit more than a season since his passing.”  Her voice thickened at that, her mouth twisting into a saddened frown.  It was not easy even now to cope with their loss, not when it was so much more personal for her than for most of the others gathered.  But she pressed on, as much to honor Gaucho’s memory as to finish sharing her thoughts.  “Silence does not beget weakness by necessity, after all.  I ask you all:  have we not completed our church, led by our Diviner in one of the greatest displays of faith in all of Helovia?  Have I not worked to spread discussion about an Academy, aided by those such as Ampere and Maren, which would be the first center of academia in our land?  There is work to be done, to be sure; we are, after all, in dire need of a new Sun Physician, and our warrior ranks have, as Nephele says, declined.  But that does not leave us entirely lacking.

“Thieves may be at our door, but this has always been true.  Even at our highest points, we have not always been vigilant enough to escape all such actions.  But we have always overcome, we have always fought for what is ours, and we have always prevailed.  We are not blind, we are not complacent, and we are no less passionate than we were a week, or a season, or a year ago.  We can remain as great as we have been for the years we spent under Gaucho’s rule and all who came before him.  We are that herd still, even in this time of mourning and change.  And if we face these doubts from within –“
she glanced at Nephele, “- then perhaps it is time to show the world that our fires are still burning.”

"Talk talk talk."

I built this city just to bring it to its knees
Please tag Sohalia in all replies.
Use of force and/or magic (with the exception of death) is allowed at all times.

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Tae Posts: 133
Dragon's Throat Alchemist atk: 7.0 | def: 10 | dam: 4.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 15.2 :: 2 HP: 72.5 |
Mal :: Timber Wolf :: Terrorize & Hel :: Royal Hellhound :: Hellfire Odd

,eivom kcochctiH a fo dne eht m'I
gnivieced tol a dna krad elttil A

Tae listened to all of this, unbelievingly. Once upon a time, when she was a child, she would have listened without speaking. Would have gathered information alongside her twin and watched as the adults decided her fate. But Tae was a little girl no longer, and despite the fact that her Mother was already here, having already made her suggestion, Tae would not stay a silent ghost in the shadows any longer.

"You?" She called, her voice casually cold as she strode forward, two massive canines on either side of her. Tae might have lost the tiger pelt her Mother had recently given her, but she was still an imposing (if not petite) figure without her accessories. Frosty, white eyes looked at Nephele. The girl didn't necessarily dislike the mare, in truth, she'd never really interacted with her much in the past. But to campaign to be a leader?

Seriously? Nephele who was perhaps just as much of an absentee member of their herd as Sikeax was proving to be? What had Nephele done during her time on the sands, other than attend a few herd meetings and complete a patrol or two? What had she ever committed to them? What did she have to show for all of this fire that she professed to offer them?

"Tell me, Nephele. You say that you did not become a guardian to merely watch the days roll on, but what have you actually done? I have seen you give birth more times than you have sparred - and the one spar you have to your name, you failed to complete." Tae shot a pale gaze towards her Mother, who had been the other participant in said spar. "You say our crafters are without aim - have you not seen the magnificence that they have recently created?" A wolfish snarl had formed on the girl's lips as she spoke. Her eyes darted to Sohalia for a moment, lending her silent support to everything the pale mare had said of the exploits of the crafters as of late. "As for Sikeax's healing light, perhaps if you knew more about how this herd actually worked, you would know that her ability to heal was removed from her when she was raised to the position of Sultana."  Flat eyes regarded the mare. 

"It is true that Sikeax should not rule alone." Should not rule at all, she thought silently to herself. "We already have one Sultana who does not know what she's doing. It wouldn't be wise to add a second." 

Image Credits

Cera the Golden Prince Posts: 419
Outcast atk: 5.5 | def: 9.5 | dam: 4.5
Stallion :: Pegasus :: 16.3hh :: 6 Years HP: 65 | Buff: NOVICE
Ilaria :: Red Panda :: Heal Brit

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting till the war's won, and I don't care if heaven won't take me back

She needles and pulls with words she cannot fathom rolling her mouth. He comes because he is called, because he is obedient and ever-watchful. A guardian of the sands that has never left and will never leave even as the winds change the dunes into a land unrecognizable. Even as the earth cripples and drifts away, he will remain here. And so he comes when she calls, this mare with no real power who summons a herd devastated by loss. He comes and he hears her blasphemy and her assumptions, hears Ampere's croaking voice and sees the remnants of a battle he doesn't have to ask after - he knows she would have done to Megaera what she had done to him, all those seasons ago when he had been naught but a machine. Dead to the world around him. And their voices rise just as they did when Sikeax had called her meeting, and Cera feels the tremble of flames in the coals of his heart where passion might once have resided. Now it is simply ash and iron, and his eyes do not wander to Sohalia when she speaks. He has yet to see a healer - because they don't rightly have one - and though he can see murkily through his right eye, his face and body are still stained with dried black blood that he wears with neither pride nor shame. It is simply a fact that is.

There is no real reason for him to speak, except his soul commands it of him. He shudders like a machine jerking to life, jaw working and tongue unfurling to rumble his words among these women who either do not know him or despise him. 

"We must achieve balance with our leaders. Where Sikeax falters, so the other must excel if we are to interact with the whole of Helovia on behalf of our herd. If Tae speaks true, then you do not exemplify a dedicated warrior to parallel Sikeax's healing past. If you are so worried about the defense of our borders, then show us Nephele. Don't simply sit back on your haunches and complain about the state of things without working to fix it." The strength of his voice surprises him, but the Prince does not show it. How he has any spirit left for this drama is beyond him. He is exhausted by these petty squabbles, by the cotton stuffed willfully in the ears of his herdmates, those who will not hear his cries for peace and negotiations. The Diviner he used to be, the peace keeper, cringes to see how their herd shuffles through these displays of idiocy time and time again. A cycle they never seem to fully break. 

"Sohalia was a diplomat, Ampere was a warrior, both were Sultanas and had different vices and virtues. The consideration of the position cannot be one ruled by favoritism or emotion, nor greed on your own part Nephele. If you have no proof to show us that you can be a good Sultana, then don't even bother trying to fight your case." And with a lash of his tail, frustrated by all of this happening in the first place, Cera fell temporarily silent. Gathering his words until frustration shoved them from his mouth like fire.

"Do you all forget the leaders before Gaucho? Is his reign as far as your shallow eyes can see? What about the might of Kri, of my father Midas, of the founding ruler Ra? We are not weak simply because Gaucho is gone and we cannot hope to replace him. But Gaucho was not the same leader as Kri, or Midas, or Leander, or Africa now was he? Are we going to live beneath his shadow forever, or are we going to cast his memory in iron and build a new foundation on top of it?" The words boomed out from his voice with a frenzy, hating that they could not see beyond the scope of Gaucho's wide shoulders to the ones who had lifted the Wildfire up before. The ones who had been Gaucho's mentors and leaders. The Throat did not begin and end with the Wildfire, even if Cera's heart felt like it did most nights.

Please only tag starting posts, spars, and threads collecting dust!

Volterra the Indomitable Posts: 785
Dragon's Throat Sultan atk: 8.5 | def: 11.5 | dam: 8.5
Stallion :: Equine :: 17'2hh :: 3 HP: 80 | Buff: SENSE
Vérzés :: Common Red Dragon :: Frost Breath & Toxic Breath & Vadir :: Royal Gold Dragon :: Fire Breath & Shock Breath Snow

He is torn, his loyalties split like a seam.

On one side, there is his friendship with Sikeax. The woman under his skin, he cannot deny that. He enjoys her company, and knows her to be a good mother to his children in the absence of their own dams. He joined the herd for her, vowed to make it great for her.

And yet....where is she?

The herd is stagnant. Volterra is not experienced in these things, but even he knows that it is at a standstill. He does what he can - frequenting the Threshold, sparring whenever he can to further his quest for glory - but he has no claim over any other ranks. He can do nothing but watch idly by as things splinter in front of his eyes, leaving him frustrated and confused. What can he, mere Gladiator, do to piece together the shattered pieces of the life he thought he'd started here? What can he, with his brawn and little else, add to an already complex concoction of politics?

When the winged mare calls, the Gladiator comes. The dragons fly above him, flanking him like winged denizens; they sense his queer mood and feed off it, writhing and dashing through the sky as though they are gleaming bullets. He already finds quite a crowd gathered, and slows to a heavy halt with his dragons both fighting for position upon his broad back. The winged warrior - where has she been, he wonders - begins to speak, and for the most part Volterra agrees with her. He objects slightly when she speaks of the warriors stagnating, and his ears flicker backwards to show his annoyance. Stagnating would imply that he isn't busting his balls to recruit new members, and doesn't spend hours a day pondering how to defend a herd that he feels like he has no part in.

When she nominates herself for leader, the goliath's head twitches in surprise. If it's that easy to get a throne, why the hell hasn't he tried it? As expected, however, others arrive to object to the mare's frank proclamation; Volterra listens for a moment, trying to decide what to say. Despite himself, he is nervous. These are the sorts of situations that make him deeply uncomfortable, because there is no way of him simply throwing punches to claim victory. No amount of muscle or steel will earn him success here; this is a battleground of a whole new variety, and one that the Gladiator is far from familiar with. Wars of bodies he can handle - wars of words, he cannot.

"You are brave to make this call," he says, his voice an assertive boom that does not hint at the anxiety nipping at the back of his throat and tightening his lungs. "But I am a firm believer in the fact that actions speak louder than words. I have not seen you in the Threshold attempting to bolster our ranks, nor have I seen you on the battlefield honing your body." There is no venom in the leviathan's tones, simply a statement. The dragons finally find their positions upon his back, entwined together out of necessity rather than mutual like, and they cut a fearsome picture atop the battlescarred muscle of their bonded.

"I have faith in Sikeax, but I agree that she needs help. The herd stagnates, and this cannot continue." He takes a moment to glance around, keeping his face schooled into a mask of cold calm despite the fire of fear that bubbles inside. "I take full responsibility for any military failings within the herd. Our Sultana brought me into the Throat to aid her in keeping the wolves from our door, and whilst I have frequented the Threshold in an attempt to gain new warriors and have fought regularly to maintain my own condition, I will be the first to admit that it is not enough. That will change." It is a vow of determination from a man who, despite his size, presence and bravado, is still young at this sort of thing.

"My suggestion for how we resolve this issue is a simplistic one - trial by combat. We have our diplomatic leader in Sikeax, so her partner should be skilled on the battlefield to compliment what she offers us. It is quick and it is fair." He looks to Nephele and Sohalia, the only two nominated thus far. I could take either of them down, coos the little voice in his head. It could be me. But he bites that train of thought aside for now. As much as he craves the throne for himself, he knows how little trust his fellow Throatians have in him. There is zero chance of them accepting him as their leader.

It won't stop him giving it a go, however, if a fight is decided as the fairest method of choosing a Sultan. He would be a fool not to.


image credits

[ you can't stray from what you are, you're the closest thing to hell i've seen so far  ]
[ use of force/magic on him is permitted aside from death/maiming ]

Sikeax the Sea Soul Posts: 355
Outcast atk: 4 | def: 9 | dam: 6
Mare :: Hybrid :: 16 hh :: 5 years HP: 64.5 | Buff: NOVICE
Hobgoblin :: Common Rougarou :: Water & Seoul :: Plain White Dragon :: Toxic Breath Zuno
The Dragon’s Throat has no queen. It has no Sultana, no guiding, burning light that the Sun God might have imagined when it came to her ascension during her darkest time, as if it to do so that the herd could laugh upon her irony.
She was stupid. She was naive, and in return, had driven herself(and her herd) in the darkness with her.
The world is crashing down and Hobgoblin is the cold water that strikes her face and breathes life back into her when she is sleeping, letting it occur through dull eyes because she cannot do this, she doesn’t know how, and even the oddity of Volterra’s previous advice has done her no good.
But what actually has? What has recently broken some marble bone in her body, deemed by all something she could never destroy?
It brought life into her soul, urged a light into her darkness when she could no longer stand the ridicule of her herd, and at the worst of it, by a young mare who lacked any presence in the herd, thinking that she had entitlement, that her absence gave her a right to assault her when she had always been there.
Hobgoblin burns with a passion and she burns with him, twin fires in the night, rumbling the aging bones in their rib cages with thick breathes that make an attempt at suctioning in rage that she has no experience in controlling. She tries to teach herself how to move out from underneath the constant submission of her previous rank to what must become dominance in her new one with his assistance.
One can only know that this is not how things work.
Yes, she has hidden from them, ashamed by what she has done. She’s been assaulting herself with the encouragement to gather them up and apologize, to admit that she was wrong, but might flees her. Shame lingers because she has wounded a herd member out of rage, sentenced to bare battle wounds with them in unison.
Wouldn’t they be surprised to see her, walking in on a false mare that makes the heart in her chest ache with pain and anger, tarnished by the sea and aged by what she is becoming.
Every muscle pulls taunt. Hobgoblin’s gait is so set into silent aggression, burrowing into her like she is a cave steadily becoming a blue hole by an ocean’s rising strength that one could only compare to something akin to a snake, lithe black form slithering beside her.
Words roll in her throat like boulders tumbling off the side of a mountain. Things begging, pleading, screaming in her soul to be said at the rage she seethes at the sight of this mare, but her herd, her damn family, has things that they wish to stay, and she will not take their right away.
Had she not previously asked for their knowledge, wisdom, anything that they could offer her in her inexperience?
They offer it with all of their hearts, and as she had promised, it comes to use.
Stone cold, hateful eyes, mother’s soft voice. A purr rolling in the depths of Hobgoblin’s chest like thunder in the clouds. Frostfall’s cold air takes a bit of a nip on her skin because her time away has been spent in the sea, hiding, not spent on land where her body can acknowledge the coming of winter. Her winter coat is thin.
“You try to claim yourself as Sultana rightfully, stating that I have done nothing as Sultana, but what have you done as a warrior for this herd, Nephele? What is it that you have to prove to me, to the herd that you are supposed to consider family but show no aid to other than to achieve your own selfish wants? I gave out patrols last season, which I should also mention that you failed to perform. There are always seasonal tasks that are common knowledge with your ranks that you are aware are to be done, but have you ever done them? Do you have any proof that as a member of this herd that you have made yourself hold any worth other than producing children and lying about in the Sun, applauding yourself with the title of Guardian when you have done nothing to keep it?”
It comes to the point that Hobgoblin is howling, wailing out laughter through their bond, listening in with so much pleasure that it is near orgasmic to hear Sikeax strike down false lords. The passion and anger in her ears drowns him away.
Duty, of any sort, makes her turn to them, any of those who have gathered around to listen to Nephele bellow out whatever words she could use to gain what she didn’t deserve.
They’ve spoken, or at least some have.
“But if we are going to pick a second leader, combat won’t be useful if diplomacy is what we’re looking for.” The actual plunge is ice cold, running through her veins and not making it to her head quickly enough for her to fully accept what she is doing. “I'd much rather take up arms than work through the struggles of diplomacy. Healers were not made to be politicians and I never joined with the intention of it, ever.
Her gaze searches out Sohalia, looking for something, a connection, a passing glance that’ll give her sister in blood red sand an idea of what she’s searching for.
“So, it is with that I think Sohalia should take that task, and at the aid of my warriors that I would like to learn the ends and outs of combat.”
Hobgoblin burns, but she? She flickers and fades, flame steadily dying as her words sink in, more cold water as she drowns in the sea that she continues to deepen.

OOC: run down is that sikeax is an overall terrible looking mess and pretty run down and grouchy. the position of diplomatic sultana is offered to @Sohalia, BUT the herd has the option to vote her into it to secure her rank change.
sikeax will be taking up the militaristic sultana position

and last but not least, hobgoblin is in his serval form

sikeax the sea soul
i have buried you in every place i have been,
you keep ending up in my shaking hands

image | coding

you were angels,
so much more than everything

:: please tag me
:: minor force and power play allowed

Hector Posts: 262
Outcast atk: 7 | def: 9.5 | dam: 3.5
Stallion :: Hybrid :: 18.3hh :: 7 Years HP: 63 | Buff: ENDURE
Veci :: Plain Boggart :: Suffocate Dream
Look Around, Look Around
At How Lucky We are to be Alive Right Now.

The liver chestnut stallion was moping about, his head low and his wings hanging down. The impressively-sized stallion's hooves plodded along the sands of the Throat, leaving trails in the sand as he moved. His head jerked up at the sound of a furious voice ringing out across the Throat. This shoulder be interesting... The stallion thought as he began to move towards the source of the sound. It seemed the large stallion was late to the gathering, as it had not been Sikeax who had called the meeting. A soft snort left Hector as he viewed the gathering, the angry voices coming from all the horses of the Throat. His ears pinned back as he lifted his head.

"If I may put in my two cents... Perhaps we should ask our Patron God, the God of the Sun for his opinion on the matter. Rather than fighting amongst ourselves, which I'm sure Gaucho would be incredibly disappointed in what the Throat has become. Fighting amongst ourselves for the rank of Sultan and Sultana. Think of what the past Sultans and Sultanas of the Throat would think of us fighting amongst ourselves." The stallion's voice in creased in volume as he continued to speak. A hoof stomped on the ground as he looked amongst the group of horses gathered to speak on the matter. He wasn't one for fighting much anymore, not after the birth of his daughter and experiencing first hand his own daughter not knowing who he was merely because he hadn't been around enough due to his warrior status.

After letting his words sink in a bit, the stallion raised his head to the sky and let out a loud whinny. "Glorious God of the Sun! Honor us with your presence and your wisdom! We would like your opinion on the subject being discussed!" If the Sun God answered his call, then that would be grand. But if not, things would have to be settled diplomatically within the herd itself.
"blah blah"

art by i-mi

• Dragon's Throat Rank Experience: Fortify | Level 3
• Permission given for moderate power play, magical influence and damage at all times

Iskra Posts: 79
Dragon's Throat Colt
Colt :: Pegasus :: 17 :: 1 year
Castiel :: Royal Humpback Leviathan :: Tidal Wave Blu
He'd been plodding along behind Ampere. Far back, half asleep on his feet as he walked. She was too restless to stand still, and he was too tired to move. However he didn't think she'd stop if he did, so he compromised and crawled after her like a snail, nose bumping the sand with each stride, leaving curious little indents between his hoof prints.

Even her short tone with the bird didn't rouse his interest much - it was as normal as her grief to him - though he was aware enough to alter course with her, and at one point lifted his head and hurried some when he completely lost sight of her beyond a hill. As soon as he saw her again though he resumed his sleepy waltz.

Thusly Iskra arrived a bit later than Ampere, and the meeting was already underway. He was roused, head and ears perking up, as the cacophony of voices being slung back and forth like mud struck him. Gradually his eyes widened and his slumber peeled away, shuffled off like he was emerging from a sleeping bag. Given the last herd meeting he'd attended, he wondered if this was how they always worked. Mom said the herd was a family, but just because you were family didn't always mean you got along. Was it inevitable then, with so much family gathered in one spot, that they'd quarrel?

He missed the happier moments they shared when they were alone, laughing with just each other or grazing under the sunshine. He wanted the games and the kinship and the devotion he so often saw whent he groupings were smaller. Slanting his ears to the side against the angry noise, Iskra crept under Ampere's belly and hid/pouted.

Victory is in my veins
I will not negotiate
background texture credit to Stuart Rankin at

Tag me only if starting a new thread.
Magic or force permitted any time, aside from death.

Sunjata Posts: 69
Dragon's Throat Sleuth atk: 4.5 | def: 10 | dam: 6.5
Stallion :: Pegasus :: 16.1hh :: Four HP: 66 | Buff: NOVICE
Andikan :: Nile Crocodile :: Scream Skylark

The sands which had previously been so quiet, now erupted. The blue jay continued to wander the sands, still rarely encountering anyone. Perhaps it was poor timing for the man, but nevertheless, it made sense for a herd to be full of people (especially ones that lived on an island of all places), so he was surprised by the fact that he had spent at least almost a season here and still not met any leads of any sort – aside from the equine of course. Still, the Gladiator seemed to prove his worth to the Pegasus – proving that his racial angst was perhaps placed at the wrong beasts this whole time.

So when a commotion began on the sands, his oceanic gaze didn’t miss it. Steadily, his hooves carried him over the sand colored opposite of his pelt as creatures came into view – some had begun to prepare for fighting. And then some orange hybrid decided to fly into the sky calling for the gods help. He could barely refrain from rolling his eyes at the acts. He listened to what they had said from his approach, and despite all that, he allowed his gaze to land on the one that spoke as lead. A unicorn, rough and ragged, and perhaps it bothered him more seeing her in such a state. He remembered his father and mother, and how if anything else they’d rather be caught dead than speaking to the herd in such a state.

As he approached, he shook his head and took in everyone around him. “It appears you are in need of a second lead?” He began, making sure he was clarified as he glanced around those gathered – mainly Pegasi despite the few unicorns and equines present. “Why not your Gladiator?” He shifted his weight, wings folding loosely across his spine as he lifted his ink marked head. “As far as I know he’s the only one actually doing anything around here. I’ve nearly been here a season after he recruited me and the only faces I’ve seen since then have been his and a child. So what are you all doing about it either?” His tone was full of boredom, nothing sparked aggression and frustration. He was simply tired of being in a place that was vulnerable. He already witnessed enough with the invasion of his kind.

He paused, once again, surveying the group. “We’re all standing here bickering like children when we could be solving things easily. Who has been the most active, the forefront of the herd in getting things done? It should be them. Someone you can count on. As far as I know – granted I haven’t been here long – it appears as though Volterra is the one.” Then, before anyone could say anything, he remembered what Volterra said as he reached the sands of the Throat – of how the herd didn’t seem to take kindly to equines. “Don’t tell me that it’s because he’s not one of us. He lives among you, works for you, and how do you treat him? At least let the man try or something.” His voice was gruff, full of the foreign accent of Korofi as he stepped back to see what kind of reaction his words held.


image | bckg

tldr; Sunjata suggests Volterra for the second spot.

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Sohalia the Transcended Posts: 477
Outcast atk: 4 | def: 9.5 | dam: 6.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 14.3 hh :: 10 (ages in Orangemoon) HP: 67 | Buff: NOVICE
Astraeus :: Common Zephyr :: Wakiya ChaoticMelodies
The meeting rolled on, with some of them shouting down Nephele’s bravery in calling them together, some of them requesting the presence of the sun, and others still recommending a physical competition for the lead position. Sohalia listened to it all with a polite, neutral face. She had learned long ago that such a mask was important for anyone who hoped to be taken seriously. After all, would the her not discredit someone who raged and shouted just as much as they would someone who rolled over at the first sign of trouble?

And so she waited, listening as each new voice emerged from the crowd. She avoided Cera’s gaze without really meaning to. She could not stand the sight of him, not knowing that she was the one who had caused him such damage. His words, as always, were well-spoken, and she appreciated the intentions behind him even as he avoided declaring support for anyone in particular. The others, too, had valid points, and though she was loathe to enter into a battle arena with the dark warrior beside her, she would do so if that was the test that the herd wanted to see.

And then Sikeax came, her thing frame looking much the worse for wear. Inwardly, Sohalia sighed, for she disapproved of their Sultana’s actions – or lack thereof – thus far in her reign. Still, as their leader and the chosen one of the Sun, the mare deserved their respect. And so she kept her opinions to herself, offering merely a respectful nod as the former Physician descended on them all.

Much to her surprise, the Sultana’s voice was cold and cutting, full of ire that seemed to be directed entirely at Nephele. She said little of her own shortcomings, instead seeming to focus entirely on the darker mare’s. And then she turned to Sohalia, who gazed back stoically. Whatever Sikeax saw in her then seemed to confirm something within the Sultana, for the leader called for the Transcended to take up the mantle of diplomacy. And she might have moved to accept the former healer’s nomination – but other voices rose first.

And when they died down, Sohalia cleared her throat and tried to address the growing turmoil within the little group. “Peace, friends – please, let us consider all voices with respect. Now, I would be honored to return to the role of Sultana, if that is the wish of the herd. However, other names have been raised alongside mine, and it would not feel right to simply be appointed without the support of my family.” The mare glanced at Sikeax, something almost apologetic in her gaze.

“Nephele,” she continued, “had the courage to call us together and address the vacancy in our midst. The rank of Sultan – or Sultana – is not the only one that needs filling, but perhaps other roles will fall into place as a result. And though I do not agree that we have fallen into complacency, I must admire the bravery it took to call us together and pinpoint a perceived weakness. And you, sir,” she added, nodding to Sunjata, a new face to the dove, “have called for Volterra to ascend to stand beside Sikeax. You have a valid point, for Volterra is a capable warrior; but as our Gladiator, does he not have a responsibility for our lower warrior ranks? And if that is where we are lacking, then is this the right way to remedy it?

“I am not a warrior, but that does not mean that I do not contribute to the herd. Many of you have spoken of seeing little activity, but again I would ask you this: have your eyes been open to everything that has been going on upon our sands? Maren, our Diviner, has led our crafters in the construction of a church, a beautiful place to worship that is worthy of the Sun our God. Plenty of other things – albeit non-warrior things – have been happening. Just because you do not see progress does not mean it isn’t there.

“Whatever choice you make here today, I ask you all to consider the Sun’s words when He appointed Sikeax as our ruler. ‘I break the chain of warrior leads,’ He told us. If Sikeax is to take up the mantle of warrior Sultana, then we must have diplomacy to balance that role. Our god has decreed it so. I am a diplomat, and I have served in this role before.

"I would ask you now to consider my words. If there is more to be said, say it. But then, please, cast your vote. A leader is meant to serve the herd; it should be your choice, not ours.”

"Talk talk talk."

TL;DR Sohalia accepts position as second lead, provided she has support from the majority.

I built this city just to bring it to its knees
Please tag Sohalia in all replies.
Use of force and/or magic (with the exception of death) is allowed at all times.

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Tae Posts: 133
Dragon's Throat Alchemist atk: 7.0 | def: 10 | dam: 4.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 15.2 :: 2 HP: 72.5 |
Mal :: Timber Wolf :: Terrorize & Hel :: Royal Hellhound :: Hellfire Odd

,eivom kcochctiH a fo dne eht m'I
gnivieced tol a dna krad elttil A

Distrustfully, Tae's pale gaze turned towards Volterra. A trial by combat? She thought with a wolfish snarl. Please, tip the scales even more obviously in your favour. "You may be frequenting the Threshold for new warriors, but you have neglected your primary job here." Tae coldly uttered, looking up at the significantly larger stallion with an undaunted stare. "Nephele's failure as a warrior falls squarely onto your shoulders. And though you've been maintaining your condition, our herd is anything but safe. Thieves have been at our borders, and without a single political effort made by Sikeax, it wouldn't surprise me if this only continued. I bet you know the way to the Threshold even better than you know your way around these sands." She concluded darkly.

What was this, a grab for the open rank? 

And then, finally, for this comedy of errors couldn't possibly have gone on any longer, Sikeax finally made an appearance. Despite the acid on the mandible-marked mare's tongue, Tae kept silent until Sikeax was finished speaking. She had to restrain herself every second to ensure that she didn't lash out to argue what the amber champagne was saying, and by the end of it, she was glad she forced herself to remain silent. Sikeax had at least concluded with one thing she could get behind.

Maybe something the whole herd could get behind. It was the first logical thing the mare had done since being promoted. 

Eagerly Tae turned to see how Sohalia would respond. The mare was politically appropriate, but also to the point. It was refreshing to hear someone who seemed to have a clue what it was that they were talking about - and the fact that her own Mother had offered early support for the pale mare gave a lot of weight to what was becoming an easier and easier decision to make.

That, and Tae hadn't forgotten how Sohalia had treated her as a child, even when her own Mother hadn't been around. 

She could have said something about Sohalia had been a leader before, how the mare knew the sands - hell, how she'd personally known Gaucho and thus likely had a good insight into the workings of this herd, over and above that information she would have gathered herself. But none of that mattered, not really. Those assembled either knew that information, or they didn't. And if they didn't, they didn't deserve a vote.

This was a family matter. 

"I support Sohalia." Tae declared loudly, her two black canine companions growling in acknowledgement at her side. 

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Megaera the Sunspear Posts: 306
Absent Abyss atk: 6.5 | def: 10.5 | dam: 4.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 15 h :: 8 [Birdsong] HP: 70 | Buff: NOVICE
Gwaihir :: Golden Eagle :: None Laine
Take me to the end so I can see the start

Why do you not go? The eagle asked, watching his bonded through keen golden eyes. Though her knew her heart--her soul--as well as his own, still he was wary in a relapse in her resolve. She had been convinced to stay here, and he had Ampere to thank for that, but if Megaera became skittish the blue wasn't on hand to yank her back again. There had been too many changes in his Meg recently, to much heartbreak, too much doubt but at last she was where he knew she belonged. Megaera knew it too, but until she could rebuild herself it was up to Gwaihir to see she remembered that there was no place for them but the sands of Dragon's Throat. 

"Prisoners don't go to meetings." She muttered to him, somewhat absently. From her position on one of the higher dunes she was scanning the horizon, looking to be sure her youngest children had found their way home. Castor, of course, was romping around the arena but she still needed to be sure Vastra had come back too. 

Einarr hadn't come after her when she had failed to meet him at the Heart. Ampere had stopped her a little too forcefully. She tried not to think about her husband's reaction, tried not to think about how it had been he who had suggested she leave in the first place...

That is folly. Foolishness. You are here. You must be here. A year ago Meg might have smirked at the Eagle, teased him but now here gaze was steady, searching as she turned to him. She was only "prisoner" for a day, or so Ampere had said, but Meg wouldn't put it past her sand sister ti drag her sorry bay ass back again and again. Megaera would stay, by the Sun God, she would give her last breath to the Throat someday, but just because Ampere had didn't mean the rest would take her back into their fold. The former Sultana was resolved not to run from herself or her fears but that did not yet erase all she had done and failed to do. "They might not want me there." Your heart is made of this sand, anyone who says differently can shove their heads up their own asses.

And so she went.

Her pace was slow, each step jarring her supremely tender ribs--besides the bruising she was beginning to suspect that one of them had been cracked with Ampere's last kick. Her front legs were also far from healed, the skin scrapped away and now starting to scab over from here forearms down to her cannons. The shallow cut across her cheek had bled but turned out to be rather superficial; another scar to add with the rest and it would be a cherished one at that, like the four on her shoulder had become. The battered bay let herself fall in line beside Ampere and the eagle descended to land gingerly upon her hindquarters.

She did not thrust herself into the conversation as she might once have done (might have led the conversation if she had still been Sultana) but she listened. Her guilt compounded, though she was grateful and a little surprised that her name was not brought up in the placing of blame when it came to the herd's decline after Gaucho's passing. She should have been here, if Megaera had not been seeking her daughter when the Wildfire had passed, maybe she could have held on to the reins and kept them all together. It seemed to Meg that she'd been right in her thought that in the herd's eyes her power had been sourced from Gaucho's will and not held in her own right, but Meg could not bring herself to be angry at them for that feeling anymore.

The notion of appointing a second lead arose, and she focused in on Sohalia's passing description of her recent absentee demotion. "Break the chain of warrior leads..." because Megaera had been the weak link in that chain. She would have to throw herself at the Sun's mercy sooner or later for failing him thus. Her dark eyes fell carefully on Sikeax, and still could make no conclusion but a bubbling mistrust that Einarr had planted in her mind. The healer who didn't heal Gaucho Meg would happily replace her with Sohalia, but for now there was only one name that burned in her heart when she pictured someone worthy of being called Sultan.

"Cera. Cera should be Sultan. As our forger he has been dedicated, and hardworking, and who better to build the Throat up again, hone it to what it should be. He has never shirked his duty, has never wavered in love or loyalty. Again and again Helovia has faced darkness--the Throat has faced darkness and he has never run, never hidden from doing what is right. I know of none here who are more dedicated to the Sun, to this herd, than he. Cera should lead you. Lead us. " Every word she believed to be true; they were not formed from guilt or from hope of earning his forgiveness those both burned inside of her. Cera was the best of them. He was strong, and loyal and good. When she finally looked toward Cera she tried to say so much more to him. I am sorry, my friend, for the pain I have caused. I was wrong. I am here. I am sorry.

take me where the fire still owns its spark
there's only one way to mend a broken heart

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be brave and endure
:: permission given for use of magic and force :: please tag Megaera in all posts ::

Ampere The Mother of Companions Posts: 719
Dragon's Throat Sultana atk: 9 | def: 11 | dam: 4.5
Mare :: Pegasus :: 14 hh :: 6 years HP: 73 | Buff: DANCE
Kygo :: Green Cheek Conure :: None Blu

Burning on the E D G E of something beautiful

A fragile smile found its way upon Ampere's maw as the Transcended stepped forward to rebuke Nephele with an eloquent speech. She found herself nodding along with Sohalia's remarks, not for the first time impressed by the mare's surefootedness when dealing with others. Given everything they had gone through together, surely there was nothing Sohalia couldn't overcome.

That was why she put her stock in the pale mare. Though, true enough, she thought the Golden Prince would do a fine job leading too, his own words breaking across the group just a reminder of the dozens of other inspiring and heartfelt reminders he had delivered to this herd over the years. He was an expert crafter, who better to build the herd then?

Yet Ampere was content to stand and listen, her heart beating, but not blazing as it used to, not rousing her voice to shout and demand for the heat that burned unrelenting inside of her; it had grown cold since the fires went out around here.

So her ears flicked as Tae and Volterra spoke, her blue gaze sliding across each with a certain appraisal. Admittedly she was not opposed to the idea of combat to reach a decision, but quietly she wanted to reserve that fighting for denouncing the Sultana, not appointing the second. Why raise another horse up alongside a ghost?

Speak of the devil, Ampere thought curtly as the ragged mare, nearly matching herself in wear, appeared to trounce on Nephele. Was it guilt, or a lack of confidence that drove the sand-kissed queen to strike so ruthlessly at her own? It was if she was intimidated by Nephele's action, and rightfully so. Maybe Nephele herself wasn't the choice candidate, but the dark mare had a point in gathering them for this, and at the very least Ampere commended her bravery to do so.

Sikeax had some sense though, after all she must have for all the years she saved lives (except for a very important one...). Ampere wondered why that intelligence didn't show itself more often, then again Sikeax herself needed to show herself more often, stupid or smart.
That the Sultana was willing to consider Sohalia to lead alongside her, that she would hear the voice of the herd, swept Ampere by surprise. Gingerly her eyes widened, glancing at the rest of the gathered with an itching curiosity. Ignoring Hector's mindless calls for the God's input (he put them in this position int he first place), Ampere instead focused on Tae's 'vote' fro Sohalia and a stranger's poll for Volterra.

Unable to help herself Ampere glanced towards the Gladiator, wondering how he'd receive the nomination. Truthfully she had no ill will towards the brute. She thought he was a capable fighter and saw him a good deal more than most, but his priorities did seem questionable, and his hesitation to grip the reins, however much they bit him back for doing so, dissuaded her faith in him long term. A good fighter alone does not a good Gladiator make.

Then Ampere was posed with her choice, swayed by Sohalia's continued grace, but also the Sunspear's vouch for Cera. Both would make find leads she was sure, but in the end there was one horse she felt could truly lift them out of this fucked up hole.

"Sohalia," Ampere said simply, her vote cast.

Go through the darkest of days | Heaven's a heartbreak away
It's been a hell of a ride | Driving the edge of a knife

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Magic or force permitted any time, aside from death.

Maren the Crownless Posts: 264
Outcast atk: 5 | def: 9.5 | dam: 6
Mare :: Pegasus :: 15.0 :: 6 HP: 70 | Buff: NOVICE
Mr. Teatime :: Siberian Tiger :: Sing Yewrezz


Chess Pieces were falling like domino's. Is this what chaos looks like? Perhaps it was why she had mostly traveled alone in her younger years. Maren's eyes were sharp as they rolled past the dried blood on Cera's frame. Even Ampere, whose blue hide she would've thought able to camouflage any bruise, looked cracked and flawed more than usual. The lack of healers reflected in their stance as a herd, the lack of leadership in their words.

Not only that, but a whole season had passed and still the loss of Gaucho was a present-day reflection of their actions. Maren could only close her eyes to it. It had been just another part of life, yet it had set off the balance of the herd enormously, looked almost dire enough that they would need something dramatic like a flood to set them straight on their hooves again. Mr. Teatime came to sit beside her, pawing the dusty sand of the dune as he turned his head to her. Through all that Maren was, he felt her patience slip now more than ever. He looked at her through odd eyes: Watching a time bomb tick and tick, like a clockwork waiting for noon, so that it could finally slam its bong and pour the damn tea. However, it seemed that they had waited too long already as it was, and the tea had gotten cold.

More than ever Maren wondered what her call was in this repeating cycle of chaos, arrogance and the recurring everything-has-turned-to-poop-and-nobody-is-doing-their-damn-job policies (Sikeax had said the same, unrectified things after all).

She wasn’t even going to waste any more thoughts on it, just that they could both use some more speech skills. Lengthy, was Mr. Teatime’s comment on all the words falling from these ridiculously dramatic ponies. That too, she thought in agreement to the waste of words they could’ve used to fuel something possibly similar to an atomic bomb. Of course there were truths flying around as well, yet, it seemed they kept being buried by assumptions and opinions that she would think it hard for any regular mind to keep track of it all. The things that were said, well, it was only half true. Yes, they had been stolen from apparently. Yes, they had lost their healer - but hadn't they strived in crafting? Despite being casually late most of the time, had she not been here or something? I am used to being forgotten... But this... it was just a tad bit sadder than normal.

Maren’s eyes traveled to Sikeax as she appeared. She sighed, stretched out her right wing from behind her cheek to fan away the puff of fog that she had let slip out from her nose. They obviously are in dire need of some guidance, she pointed out to Mr.Teatime as she listened to Sikeax talk. She feels pressured, The diviner thought, and she is shattering underneath it all.

She was not surprised to find voiced prayers in her ears, asking for guidance, asking for Him to decide for them. For their Patron God to stray down from the heavens. Maren wandered over to him (@Hector), but was surprised to recognize him as the one who had once called her out for the way her wings looked so long ago. She huffed, but who knew, maybe he had grown up now.  She wasn’t interested in trying to reach the crowd, so the Diviner focused her words on the stallion rather than anyone else. Her tone was therefore not very loud, a volume that could perhaps be the right one for a possible voice of reason. “If we aren’t even able to decide on, and appoint, our own leader, and He would do so for us again, it would just show that we aren't capable of standing on our own hooves as a herd.” She sighed, a foggy sigh because her magic made it so. “Besides, as long as I am still here I am the only one who should be calling upon our Lord.” Otherwise my job would be pretty pointless, wouldn’t you think? “Have faith in me instead, to decide whether it is time to call down our God or not, okay?” her eyes were silent as always as they covered the stallion, yet she tried to smile at him —...but she failed, obviously and, if she had been trying to make it look reassuring, it only made her look less trustworthy.

Among all the doom and negativity, Sohalia becoming Sultana sounded like music in her ears, knowing that she was a stable mare — a mare she had gotten to know and respect. When Maren had first entered the Throat she had been Sultana, too, and she remembered those times as one of the best seasons the Throat had had since her arrival. Would she accept it, it would be ridiculous to not accept her as a leader.

You know why I don’t mix myself in these kind of discussions? Maren  mused to her faithful companion, who had remained just as silent as her. He purred against her leg, obviously did not know, until she let the thought stream towards him with memories. Because it’s not worth it. She released another puff of fog. If I started worrying about this kind of thing I would just end up severing my ties with this family, too. Doing that once was enough. And for the first time that she had her companion at her side she felt a rush of sadness flung at her — and, for that moment, she felt sad too. They were all just wasteful arguments and endless, tiring opinions. Even Maren’s own judgmental thoughts were tiring her.

But everything comes to an end at some point. And she very much supported that. “Cera is great and has proved himself stable in his craft, but he would be leaving yet another position open. Sohalia gets my vote. She was Sultana when I came to the herd and we were prosperous then. Be it as a warrior or a diplomat, I have faith she would be the stability we are lacking.”  

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@Hector Talking directly to him, and uh, other than that just a bit of rolling around, shrugging, sighing and talking to Mr.Teatime instead.
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Cera the Golden Prince Posts: 419
Outcast atk: 5.5 | def: 9.5 | dam: 4.5
Stallion :: Pegasus :: 16.3hh :: 6 Years HP: 65 | Buff: NOVICE
Ilaria :: Red Panda :: Heal Brit

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting till the war's won, and I don't care if heaven won't take me back

Tension swept along Cera's spine as Megaera and Hector came into the fold. He did not dare look at either of them for fear of anger consuming him entirely. He'd had enough of that unfamiliar feeling of rage, and he had asked Sohalia to help him after their battle for that exact reason. But as Megaera's voice rose, naming him as a candidate, the Prince could not help but turn his one working eye in shock towards her countenance. A touch of warmth wormed into his heart, but he did not focus upon it. Instead he sighed softly and listened to the others speaking, not feeling upset by Ampere still voting for Sohalia instead of for him - he hadn't expected it in the first place. But as Maren, his friend, spoke up, Cera could not help but do the same, his back teeth grinding in frustration.

"And if Volterra was nominated, we would lose a Gladiator. And we lost our Physician when Sikeax was made Sultana. What is the difference there?" he asked Maren, unable to help the small thread of bitterness in his voice after his conversation with Sohalia on this exact same fucking topic. Ilaria jerked violently on his ear, hissing through their bond to be more respectful lest he lost yet another friend in the wake of his ascension into a bitter, hateful person. Not that any friendships would last long with that development anyways he shot back at her. Ilaria went silent at that. 

"Sohalia has experience as a diplomatic lead, this is true. But she also left the Throat multiple times. She has my vote if the rest of the herd is willing to look beyond her shortcomings, for any potential lead - even myself - has them. We cannot go into this decision emotionally, and while I have my own reservations against Sohalia, she is a fit candidate. May the herd decide its future as a whole," he spoke solemnly and then turned and walked to the back of the group, purposefully ignoring the looks Megaera was sending him, prickled by Maren's words. She meant them innocently, and Cera knew that, but she had said them when he was already wounded regarding that particular topic. She could never understand how he felt regarding his loyal stay in the rank he'd been practically born and bred into. Nobody could. Because the denizens of the Throat had always left, always changed positions, always followed their own whimsical evanescent desires instead of thinking of the herd. Cera had forfeit a family, his father, his own happiness for the sake of the Throat. And nobody had ever asked him how it made him feel, to give and give and give for so many years. 

And he was tired of asking them to.

- - -

TLDR; Cera votes for Sohalia if she achieves majority vote.

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Najya Posts: 90
Dragon's Throat Alchemist atk: 7 | def: 10 | dam: 4
Mare :: Equine :: 15.1 :: 7 (Tallsun) HP: 67.5 | Buff: NOVICE
A'mal :: Plain White Dragon :: Shock Breath Kiki
The little mare had taken her time on her way back from the Blood Falls, stopping in various lands on the way and experimenting with plants unique to the area.  Her experiments had had...varying degrees of success. She’d succeeded in giving herself a horrible cramping stomach ache more than once, but had collected an assortment to investigate further, tucked away under the strap of her sword.  A strange aquatic iris from the Blood Falls, dandelions and feverfew she’d recognized as ingredients her mother favored in their dried form when they could be found - only she had fresh ones from the Thistle Meadow, and finally she’d found quite a few large aloe vera plants just over the bridge from the Throat. Just as she tucked two large pieces of aloe beneath the strap on her shoulder, A’mal drew her attention. 

Hurry. Herd together. Important.  The little mare lifted her head to look at the little dragon who was urgently circling near the pillar where the bridge to the Throat activated.  Concerned, Najya immediately made her way to the bridge, wondering if something was amiss back at home and mentally berating herself for not coming straight back home. Clearly her side trip had caused an issue. 

She hoped that she hadn’t missed Sikeax’s healers meeting she had mentioned at the conclusion of the last herd meeting. Perhaps that could help her sort out some of these herbs without more trial and error. No, meeting big. A’mal corrected immediately which did nothing to alleviate Najya’s anxiety.  Flames quickly enveloped the little mare and swept her over the sea, carrying her in a blur towards the gathering she was clearly tardy to.  She followed as her companion lead her to the others, saying little but listening closely as everyone spoke in turn. 

Najya bit her tongue and bided her time as words were exchanged. Her gaze flicked between Ampere, to the current Sultana, to the Sunspear, to Maren, to Cera, and finally to Sohalia herself. If diplomacy was what the throat needed in a leader, there was one that stood out among them, and it seemed that the Throat had already decided who best to lead them. “Sohalia has shown us all nothing but grace and leadership even in hardship. We all have our demons, but I trust her to lead us now.”

-- najya --

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Maren the Crownless Posts: 264
Outcast atk: 5 | def: 9.5 | dam: 6
Mare :: Pegasus :: 15.0 :: 6 HP: 70 | Buff: NOVICE
Mr. Teatime :: Siberian Tiger :: Sing Yewrezz


She was surprised to hear the bitterness of his tongue, the sharp edge of his gaze. She did not know, but she could throw a stray guess that there was something going on. Even Mr.Teatime seemed to have noticed it as his feline tail swept the dust of the dunes. He angry?Was he?

Was he angry at her?

Although that sort of thing was somehow more likely to happen to the diviner, more than anyone else; this time it was different. I didn’t do anything I swear — I think, did I? she thought, after Mr.Teatime shot her a questionable purr. But she knew all too well that she was an arrogant, old, bitter soul. There could easily have been something within her arsenal capable of upsetting the Golden Prince.

Even then... Still. Did he truly not see the importance of their stance within their ranks, within the herd? After all the years that they had both held their positions, was their ability, knowledge and experience nothing to him? Of all people, she had thought him as one of the few that would understand her point of view when it came to this, even when nobody else would. And now she was arrogant enough to jump to the assumption that, right now he, too must be caught inside the bubble of confusion along with the rest of them, if he could not see this truth. So her voice was calm, patient. Something she didn't per se feel.

"Leaders come and go, but they are nothing without the stability of the fundamental ranks below them," she said, biting her tongue and asking their God forgiveness for the raw honestly of her words and the bluntness of her ruthless opinion that may or not may stand on the fragile toes wanting the alpha-position. Don't you see that you and I are more important right now, Cera? She glared at him behind a silent gaze of burgundy shades, but couldn't predict whether he understood or not. Perhaps that was asking for too much from anyone, anyway. "You do not have to share my opinion" (—although I might not think of you that highly if you do) She scraped her throat, her gaze turning from Cera to quickly scan the rest of the herd in case she had fueled some emotions, before she returned her silent eyes back to the stallion. "— none of you — but I admit, I did not realize you wanted it that much, being Sultan." There was a honest confusion to her voice, mixed with, perhaps something like a string (though thin as a spider's web) of annoyance weaved through it, and doubt; from herself. She had believed before that Cera would make a good Sultan, had always somehow expected him to not wanting to be one. Had perhaps expected him to be more like her than he was. Perhaps, within her broadened view of the world, she had become ignorant and had now missed what was right in front of her al this time. I guess I was never a good friend. And she was a coward, a disciple of stability all the same. For things to stay as they were — for him to remain in the comfort of their own ranks together with her.

After that she watched him turn his winged frame of gold and white, the one she had started to care about as a friend. She clenched her teeth, feeling the irritation rise and huffed it out with a puff of fog, curling around her nose. She did not want him to go like this. It wasn't right. For some reason she needed to stop him, but didn't know how except by showing off her point. "You walking away shows as much," she whispered in a disappointed hiss as she watched him finish his turn.

Maren is an arrogant poop I couldn't help it q ^ q
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Cera the Golden Prince Posts: 419
Outcast atk: 5.5 | def: 9.5 | dam: 4.5
Stallion :: Pegasus :: 16.3hh :: 6 Years HP: 65 | Buff: NOVICE
Ilaria :: Red Panda :: Heal Brit

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting till the war's won, and I don't care if heaven won't take me back

Cera's jaw worked for a moment as Maren spoke, his flaring emotions fighting against his normally level-headed personality, cranium dipping in a prayer for peace. This wasn't him. This outburst of anger and hotheadedness wasn't him. So why couldn't he control it? Why did he feel like the tangled, fraying threads were slipping through his rope-burned fingers? Did he simply not have the power to keep holding on? After all this time he could hold his tongue no longer, and instead of merely standing up for himself, years and years of bitterness came lashing out like magma across his barbed tongue. 

His one good eye turned to Maren with more calm, after a deep breath and an ear cocked towards her words. She didn't deserve this. Megaera, Sohalia, Ampere...they may deserve the heat of his anger, his abandonment, but Maren had never done any such thing to him. She was as loyal, steadfast, and pious as the Prince. And he would work hard to ensure he didn't lose her like the others. Like everyone else. 

"I'm not disagreeing with you. But if what the Throat is asking for is a loyal and steadfast leader, as that is what they're finding to be at fault in Sikeax, then I think it's wrong to promote to Sultana a mare who has left repeatedly. Those who are loyal in our ranks, you and I and many other hard-working Throat citizens, why are they not considered instead? Is their loyalty only rewarded with being overlooked for another season?" It was far gentler this time than the sharp-edged sword his tongue had unintentionally been previously, and his volume had decreased as well, not caring if others listened but finding this to be a conversation only the two of them cared about. Understood. 

Head shook with a wry smile. "It was never something I considered, being Sultan. That is not why I object, why I am bitter about all of this. I don't long for the title, even though it would be an honor to be Sultan - why wouldn't it be? But if I was destined for the role, the voices crying here would be saying my name. And I am fine with the fact that they are not." Cera didn't have grand dreams and desires of filling the shoes of both his fatherly figures. Maybe someday. But the fact that they didn't even think of him, or even Maren becoming Sultana, was offensive in its own way. 

Her hissed offense however had a twisted frown marring his features as he turned slowly to face her, frustration starting to appear on his cherubic features. "I'm giving room for those to speak who desire the floor. I am no coward, and I will not be called such," he spoke with a deep tremor to his voice that was not often present. 

"I have served the Throat since I was a child. Fetching metals for every Forger that came and went like the passing of the tides - never staying, never loyal. Before I was even old enough to be granted a title for my efforts. I was born and raised here on these sands. I have seen mighty leaders rule for entire cycles of seasons or just one. I have been here since the dawn and I will be here until the end. I will serve this land in whatever capacity she asks of me, and in whatever station He asks of me. But I will stand no longer for the loyalty of myself and those around me - those in fundamental ranks as you claimed - to be overlooked and taken for granted. For our council to never be asked for, our names never considered for more simply because we are reliable." His passion swelled the longer he spoke, and the rest of the group faded away until he was staring, emerald eye burning with spirit as he gazed directly at Maren. These words were only for her, and he crafted them for her alone. Whether they had any impact on those around the pair didn't matter because he wanted her to understand.

"One of the reasons Nephele's desire for Sultana was met with resistance is because of her inconsistency. So why Maren? Why are the supposedly fundamental ranks overlooked? Why does Hector try and take over your rank and call down our Lord? Why is our only other Artisan trying to claim the throne when Ranjiri is already gone, and I am the only metalworker left beside you if she is to become Sultana?" His tone rang hard like the pounding of a hammer against an anvil, ringing forth with the hum of a thousand singing voices beneath the tenor of his lyrics. 

Emerald eye glinted with bitterness. 

"Because nobody else considers them fundamental. They take it for granted, and they grasp greedily for every scrap of fame they can achieve, completely unaware of the realities of the position of a lead. Any child of a Sultan or Sultana can tell you of its impact. But all they see is glory. They don't see us." The heads of the ranks. The citizens. The realities of leadership. All they saw was fame and power. And Cera couldn't forgive that. Not when he and Maren and Sikeax and all the others had toiled for years and years. Never stopping, never doubting, never running away. And every time they were overlooked. It was so much more than what Maren thought he was angry about - Cera would have proudly been Sultan if they had wanted him to be. Just because he hadn't ever thought about becoming one didn't matter to him. What bothered him was how invisible the rest of them were to those of better bloodline, better words, better physical ability. 

Loyalty was never an asset they considered in the race for power.

- - -

TLDR; Talks to Maren excessively lmao. You can hear him and comment on what he said if you want but it's mostly directed entirely at Maren

Please only tag starting posts, spars, and threads collecting dust!

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