Courts of Prythian
The Winter Court
“prythian is composed of seven separately ruled lands called “courts” consisting of 4 seasonal courts and 3 solar courts. it also borders the mortal lands to the south, with the only separation between them being the wall.”
The Seven Courts Of Prythian|| Winter Court
They were late and they weren’t the only ones. Moving with a small trickle of far from Arach and different court’s, Tatiana and her mate Cassia stepped into the Grand hall together, their hands linked and their eyes wide. It wasn’t difficult to tell why this party was considered such a big deal. The hall was massive, stretching along the entire length of the castle and filled with hundreds of people. The ceilings were high and filled with rolling storm clouds that glowed with different flashes of color as dozens of fairy dragons flew through them, releasing puffs of neon fire and electricity. The wall to their right was made entirely from ceiling high windows that overlooked the city of Hiraeth, the glass covered in small silver stars that flickered and faded before reappearing in a different place. To their left were tables and tables of food laid out for the guests, many of whom were currently enjoying what was provided. There was a large bar just further down, pulsing a soft blue and green with the beat of the music, and behind them were doorways that lead further into the castle, where many people would be headed after a night of drinking and dancing, some of them with someone on their arm. As Cassia and Tatiana walked further into the huge room, weaving around guests and servers, directly in front of them was a dance floor that was framed with tables. Fountains lit up with technicolor lights floating above the crowd and slowly moved above the sea of people. A azure blue mist curled and floated across the entire span of the hall, hiding their feet but giving an otherworldly feel. The band sat on one of the balconies overlooking the whole hall, and in the other was High Ladies Gusty and El.
It was a quarter to ten and the High Ladies stepped up to the edge of the balcony. A hush quickly spread across the room after El gestured for the band to cease playing.
High Lady Gusty lifted a hand and the room was thrown into darkness. No one said a word. The light returned, but this time is was blacklight. Everyone’s attention was still on the High Ladies.
“On behalf of my court and my people, I welcome you to the Tempest Ball - High Lords and Lady Of Summer, of Spring, of Autumn, of Winter, Day, Dawn, and of Night. It is an honor to have you here” Gusty’s voice rang clearly throughout the hall. El stepped forward now, lifting a slender hand, the clouds near the ceiling began to rain a glowing powder, that coated everyone in the room. Under the blacklight, it was a magnificent mess of color and laughter.
“The Tempest Ball has begun - Welcome to Temptation madness” The High Ladies called out in unison. And just like that, the music, the dancing, the Ball, continued with even stronger enthusiasm.
Cassia pulled Tatiana onto the dancefloor with a wicked grin. “Dance with me till the dawn. beautiful”
And they did, but deep in the ocean of bodies, was someone better at running than dancing.
“I can’t take this anymore” Marci growled in frustration, she grabbed a handful of her green skirt and Bon’s hand before making her way through the sea of dancing bodies, occasionally shoving someone when they didn’t move fast enough.
“What are you doing?!” Bon shouted over the loud music that rattled her bones.
“I have no idea!!”
“Well that’s a relief” Bon said, rolling her eyes before scanning the room. Unfortunately, she couldn’t see past a couple metres since there were too many people. Suddenly Marci stopped and shoved her out of the crowd and into a hallway. Before she could ask what the living hell she was doing Marci told her to stay put before leaving her alone in the empty hallway. Bon stood in shock for a moment before turning away from the thrum of the grand hall and walking in the opposite direction. It had been hours since the ball had started and she needed a break before she went mad. She had been paranoid all night even Marci was concerned, she needed to dial it back before Gusty picked up on her mood, if she hadn’t already. After she had gone far enough from the hall so that she could no longer hear the music or the loud chatter of the crowd, she leaned against the wall, the cold stone cooling her heated skin. Closing her eyes, she let her magic hover over her skin in electric blue coils around her limbs, relaxing her muscles.
“I don’t like the crowds either” said a deep voice coming from further down the hall. Bon’s eyes snapped open and she spun towards the direction of the voice but the hall was shrouded in shadow.
“Who are you?” she called out, squinting as she tried to see through the thick darkness. She cursed herself for not bringing any other weapons besides the dagger strapped to her thigh. There was the enchantment on everyone in the castle yes, but one could never be too careful.
“We’ve met. I thought you’d know who I was” answered the voice.
“I can’t tell if I know you if I can’t see you, genius,”
The shadows parted as Azriel the Shadowsinger for the High Lord of the Night court stepped towards her. In that moment Bon felt everything freeze. She was hyper alert and suddenly very warm. Azriel was clad in simple black pants and a traditional Night Court shirt, a deep navy blue with gold stitching. His hair was longer than when she last saw it and he looked happier. Cauldron boil her she was going to self-combust. She took a couple fractic steps back before gesturing with her thumb over her shoulder.
“I’m just going to-I’m gonna go uh-” Azriel jumped in before she could sprint in her five inch heels.
“Actually I wanted to…nevermind I’ll see you around then” he said, looking everywhere but at her. Nodding distractedly Bon continued to step backwards, regretting ever letting Marci leave her alone. Inhaling deeply, her nostrils flared slightly as she caught a scent. She went ridged, all the air rushing from her lungs as she slowly looked back to where Azriel stood. Or where he had stood seconds before. He was far closer now, almost two feet away. Bon stumbled back, tripping slightly in her heels. Azriel’s hand shot out, wrapping around her upper arm and steadying her. Her skin tingled where his met hers. Neither of them spoke but both were breathing heavily. Her head was reeling, she felt like she might puke.
Azriel looked equally as panicked, his usually calm expression morphed into one of disbelief and awe. He spoke first.
“Mate…we’re mates.” she finished for him. Just as something snapped into place inside her Azriel released her arm so fast she thought perhaps she’d hurt him in someway. He took a step back, then several. “I’m sorry- I didn’t know - I’m sorry” he said in a rushed, his shadows were moving in a frenzy. She was suddenly shaking with a numbing cold as he moved further away from her. Her eyes burned and her vision blurred. He was breathing raggedly, his scarred hands shook. They locked eyes for a brief, crushing moment before he winnowed, cauldron knows how far away from her. Bracing one hand on the wall she let the tears run rivers down her cheeks, carving their way through her makeup and dripping onto the floor in brightly colored droplets. After five minutes the throbbing in her chest lessened and so did her tears. Clutching her chest to somehow lessen the crushing pain she felt, she pushed off the wall. Hiccuping weakly and beginning to move towards the party once more. To find Marci and let her know she was leaving. The ball was still in full swing when she reentered. She spotted familiar faces among the crowd, El and Gusty dancing near Helion and Mor. Kallias stood off to the side talking to Veanna and Amren. Levi and Saers were throwing handfuls of glow-powder at Niq and Ella, all of them laughing like loons.
Then Bon saw Rhysand and Feyre locked in a close embrace near the center of the dancefloor. Feyre in a sparkling white and blue gown and Rhys in a fitted black and dark blue tunic and pants. They were beautiful together and seemed to be in their own secret world. They stared deep into each others eyes with so much love Bon felt something bitter stir in her chest but she forced it down and shoved her way deeper into the crowd of withering bodies.
The music was too loud. There were too many people. And none of them were the one she wanted to see. Trying to calm herself she made her way outside. Marci wouldn’t notice if she left early, she was probably off dancing with Caspian anyway. She’d hate to intervene and ruin their night with her sob story.
She made her way back towards the entry way, towards the large stair cases that lead up to her floor. Grabbing a handful of her large skirts in her hands she kicked off her heels and stretched her wings out. Walking would take too long and no one was around to tell her not to fly in the castle.
Practically hurtling up the stairs she made it to her room in a matter of minutes. Shoving open her door and quickly locking it behind her, she made her way to the washroom. She didn’t bother to look in the mirror, knowing she looked awful. Heartbreak will do that to you she thought angrily. Stepping out of her dress she kicked it to the side and dropped into the tub. It wasn’t even full yet but she didn’t care. Flicking on the faucet she relished in the feeling of the hot water on her sore feet.
She spent another hour in the tub. Washing off the makeup, the tears, crying, cursing. But by the time she did get out, she was spent. Bon collapsed into her bed not bothering to put on anything more than undergarments.
She was out almost instantly. But that night all she received from sleep was nightmares. The first she’d had in years.
The night was coming to an end and the guests that weren’t staying in the castle began to trickle out at the strike of three. Gusty herself had started to feel the pull of exhaustion after dancing with El for almost two straight hours. She’d been sitting at one of the tables with her friend Liala from the Summer Court and making pleasant conversation as El danced with their daughters. All but Brie that was. Gusty didn’t know where she had disappeared to. And now that she thought about it, Gusty didn’t know where Bon was either. Scanning the sufficiently smaller crowd on the dance floor and finding no one she knew but a slightly tipsy Alexa and Cahira in the midst of twirling each other wildly, Gusty excused herself from the conversation and set out in search of her First-in-Command.
Being the High Lady had it’s perks; like when maneuvering through a crowd, people usually made a path for you.
As she made her way to the other end of the grand hall, Gusty started to feel off. Her stomach was in knots and her palms began to sweat. Knowing instantly that something was wrong, she began to run. In the midst of her blind sprint, Gusty crashed right into another figure, shorter than her and just as frantic.
“Gusty, thank the cauldron I found you, have you seen Bon?! I left her in a hallway to catch her breath while I grabbed her water but when I got back she was gone” Marci blubbered, very clearly out of her element and worried. Her blonde hair was filled with strategically placed leaves and sticks and her dress was a soft brown covered in green moss and glowbugs. Her eyebrows were pinched together and her face was flushed from running. Gusty was immediately sure that the cause of her internal panic was linked to Bon.
“Have you checked everywhere?” she asked, taking Marci to the side and out of the way of the dancing guests.
Marci nodded quickly and rubbed her hands together in a nervous fashion.
“She was so excited about tonight but after a few hours she started acting odd”
“Odd? How so?” Gusty questioned, trying to keep her fears out of her thoughts. If something happened she needed to be able to think clearly. Suddenly an arm shot out and grabbed her shoulder. Gusty spun around, Marci shifted into a fighting stance.
“Calm down Marci, it’s just me.” Cahira said with a snort.
Marci relaxed and knocked Cahira lightly on the head with a playful frown.
“You know how I get in crowds.”
“Rya do you know where Bon is?” Gusty cut in, still preoccupied with her search for Bon her full attention wasn’t on them. Cahira nodded with a coy smile.
“I saw her earlier, talking with that Spymaster from the night court - tall, dark, and delicious I’ll say”
Gusty raised a brow, ignoring the last part of what Cahira said. Could Bon have snuck off with Azriel for the night? It was definitely possible. Now thinking about it, Bon had mentioned the Spymaster once or twice before. But he didn’t seem like the type to sleep with a woman he barely knew.
Meeting Marc’s equal perplexed gaze, she shrugged, not knowing what to make of the situation. Cahira spoke up again.
“I don’t know about you Marci, since you’ve got a mate, but the Tempest ball is the perfect time to let loose and relax; maybe with someone else’s help; even if you don’t know ’em well” she said with a sly grin and turned to Gusty, with a flourish of her glowing gown “I wouldn’t be too concerned - Bon would tell you if something was wrong Gusty, you know that better than anyone”
Cahira was right, the castle was absolutely choked with protection enchantments and spells to keep people safe. Gusty had faith in Erlanya’s magic and in Bon’s abilities. Tonight was something Bon had been looking forward to for months. She shouldn’t be worried.
“I suppose you’re right” she mumbled and turned to find Marci still frowning.
“I’m still going to keep an eye out for her but maybe…She is just off with someone doing unspeakable things in the corridors”
Gusty let out a bark of laughter, her mood lightening. The music changed suddenly, a slower song made the atmosphere change. The dancing paused for a moment before people started pairing off and swaying to the soft melody.
In the span of a twelve seconds, Caspian appeared and swept Marci onto the dancefloor, Cahira stepped away to find a drink. And Gusty was left alone for the first time that night.
El was having the most marvelous time. The ball had always one of her favorite things. But this year she was a High Lady instead of a citizen, she had her mate, she had children and friends. This year was spectacular. Olivia had somehow managed to outdo herself yet again; El was still in awe of the beauty she’d created in the castle hall. Stepping off the dance floor, tired but happy, she went to sit for a moment. Walking around full tables in search of somewhere to sit, she heard a voice call out from behind her.
“El! Over here!”
Looking over at the source of the voice, El came face to face with Feyre, High Lady of the Night Court and her sister, Elain the Seer.
Both were fair and beautiful. Elain was more delicate and Feyre had more of a wildness to her beauty. They smiled and gestured for her to join them at the table they occupied.
“Feyre, Elain it’s been too long! How are you two enjoying the party?” she inquired as she took a seat across from them.
“Your castle is breathtaking” Elain commented, glancing up at the high ceilings and fairy Dragons that still buzzed about energetically. She looked almost ethereal in a pastel pink dress with gold accents and bangles, styled in the traditional night court fashion.
“Come visit any time you’d like Elain, it’s always a pleasure to have your company,” El said with a bright smile. Feyre nodded, her hair glittering in the blue light and chimed in.
“We definitely will. I haven’t seen nearly enough of Arach yet; your city is truly beautiful El.” Feyre was a close friend to Gusty, having met under the mountain and maintaining good ties throughout the war, Feyre regularly had Gusty and El over for dinner or brunch in her home. Despite that, neither woman had seen much of Feyre’s home city of Verlairs. Though they have both been dying to explore it’s streets for years.
“Thank you. I don’t suppose you’d be interested in giving me and Gusty a tour of Velaris next time we visit? It’s so lovely”
Elain positively lit up with excitement and blurted “Wouldn’t that be wonderful? There’s so much to see - it might even take two days” she exclaimed.
Feyre smiled warmly at Elain - El was momentarily stunned by the bond between the two. Though she knew Nesta, the oldest sister, had remained the closest to Elain.
Opening her mouth to inquire if Nesta had even attended the ball “Feyre did Nesta-”
A very disgruntled and frantic Azriel appeared next to El. She let out a small shriek before she could stop herself. But she wasn’t the only one, Feyre seemed equally as surprised. Elain was the only one who didn’t seem like she was taken by surprise. Obviously El thought, she is a seer.
Feyre’s brows were furrowed with worry. “Az? What’s wrong? Did something happen?”
He shook his head before turning to El. She was slightly put off by how intense his eyes were, she squirmed uncomfortably before peaking through her lashes. “Hello Azriel, do you..um do you need something” she sputtered. He sighed deeply and nodded again.
“Where can I find Bon?”
Bon awoke to a pounding on her door. She blindly fumbled with her thoughts before turning the lamp by her bedside on with magic. Running a hand through her still damp and tangled hair she stood slowly. Wobbling slightly before shuffling towards the door. Her mood was still sour and more depressed than she’d like, so instead of opening the door right away she decided to shout instead.
“GO AWAY! I’m not in the mood for anything but food!”
There was silence for a moment before three more raps came from her door, this time more forceful. Bon groaned out loud. Couldn’t she be sad and alone for a bit? Was that too much to ask for?
But she realized she hadn’t told anyone she was leaving early. Maybe it was just El or Marci coming to check in on her.
Without further thought she turned the knob and pulled the heavy oak door open.
Buy it wasn’t El or Marci who stood in her doorway.
He was sufficiently more unkempt than when she had last saw him-his hair was a mess and his shirt had a rip in it, down the collar like he’d tugged on it too hard.
“Bon can we just talk…please?” came his soft voice. Bon felt her stomach turn to lead.
“About what, Az? How you find out we’re mates and just ran??” she asked, her voice cracking near the end. His face twisted with regret and he lifted an arm as if to touch her, she moved back a step and he let it drop back to his side.
“I hope you have more to say than that” She finished with a scowl.
“I-” He started but glanced down at her and turned a very deep shade of pink. Bon instantly remembered that she was in her undergarments and swore. Under regular circumstances she wouldn’t mind being so exposed to such an attractive man, but Az was different. She sprinted back into her room and snatched the closest pile of cloths before darting into the bathroom. Shuffling through the clothes she picked the most comfortable ones and walked back out. She went straight for her bed and face planted into the pillows with a grunt.
Azriel still stood in the doorway, looking rather awkward. Which wasn’t something the Shadowsinger usually looked like, since he rarely showed emotion to her. Bon sat up and crossed her legs under her.
“Aren’t you going to come in? You said you wanted to talk, well talk.”
Az didnt waste anytime accepting her olive-branch. He closed the door softly. As he approached, she scooted back a bit to give him enough room to sit. Her stomach was tight and she felt her heart thundering due to his close proximity. Putting aside her feeble anxieties, she straightened her spine and met his eyes.
“I’m sorry about before, I was just…surprised.”
“So was I.”
“Can we start over?”
“Start over as in, six decades ago when we first met? Or start again from when we found out we were mates?”
He made a frustrated noise and ran a hand through his hair roughly. He took a moment to think. Bon let him contemplate his next words. She knew this was new to him as well. Taking the silence as an opportunity, she studied his face in detail.
Bon had had many lovers over the years. All of them beautiful and unique to one another. But none of them were even close to Azriel. She couldn’t name what it was about him. Even before she found out they were mates, she found him alluring and mysterious.
His brilliant eyes were downcast and his hair was mussed in the cutest way. Bon had to concentrate quite hard to keep herself from running her hands through his thick locks.
Reminding herself that this wasn’t something you could rush, she renewed her resolve. She would let him set the boundaries for their relationship, if they even ended up in one.
Seeming to know what he wanted to say Azriel looked up again, his brown eyes filled with determination.
“Bon, I know I hurt you when I ran before and I’m sorry. I want to start again. And I wanted to talk about…us.” He struggled to maintain eye contact, cheeks dusted with a blush. Bon was sure hers were too. She nodded a little too eagerly before giving her response.
“That’s a good idea and I’m totally fine with taking things slow. I want to know you, Az.”
He paused. Bon thought he almost looked surprised, but his expression returned to neutral fast.
“Maybe when the situation is different, we could talk more?:
Stifling a yawn and rubbing her eyes with the heel of her hand she realized just how tired she way. Az seemed to pick up on it too.
“I think we should sleep first then talk things over”, Bon mumbled as she struggled to keep her eyes open. She knew she probably looked like an idiot but she was honestly too tired to care.
Azriel lifted a dark brow in surprise and maybe even confusion.
“We?” he asked with a soft - albeit slightly amused voice.
“Your room is on the other side of the palace, it’s easier to just sleep here. You can take the bed and I’ll sleep on the couch”, she said already lifting herself off the bed.
Az grabbed her wrist before she could move more than a foot away.
“No it’s alright, it is your room after all. I’ll take the couch.”
Bon grinned sleepily.
“We could always share the bed”, she jokingly said.
She was expecting more protests but was surprised when none came. Her smile grew more genuine when she noticed his eyes looking everywhere but her. He didn’t let go of her wrist.
“I won’t touch you if that’s what you’re worried about”, she said, gently removing his scarred hands and sliding under her wonderful covers that smelt of all the green tea and strawberry jam croissants she’d eaten in them.
He snorted, very unlike him, but a welcome change all the same.
“It’s not you I’m worried about”, he replied in an almost joking tone.
Bon’s heart fluttered. He now lay across from her, his back facing her wall. He hadn’t bothered to change or remove his clothes he’d worn to the ball, but Bon didn’t mind in the slightest.
She wound an arm under and around her pillow, pulling it closer to her face and turning it closer to her chest. With a small mental tug the lights went out, casting the room into darkness and firmly closing her door.
The only sounds in the room where their faint breaths mingling and the occasional rustle of the bed sheets.
Azriel whispered something, knocking Bon from her descent into sleep.
“Hmm?” she let out without opening her eyes, face half buried in her pillow.
“I haven’t seen the city yet and I thought maybe you could show me your favorite parts tomorrow?” he inquired into pitch black. She smiled again and answered before she could stop herself.
“Only if you’ll show me around Velaris next time I visit.”
“Then it’s both a deal and a date” she whispered in a satisfied tone.
Az didn’t respond for a second, long enough to have Bon regretting her choice of words. What if he wasn’t ready to call it that? What if he just wanted to be friends? Cauldron boil me, please - she pleaded to herself.
“Know anywhere good to eat? We can spar after breakfast and the loser buys lunch.”
Bon let out a bark of laughter before smothering her giggles into her pillow.
“Then I hope you brought enough money as I have quite the appetite.”
She didn’t need to see him to know he was grinning as well.
Tomorrow would be the start of something new and unfamiliar. But being the First-in-Command meant you could handle anything. Even a devilishly handsome and mysterious Shadowsinger.
Bon could best anyone, even fate.
High Ladies: @mayhemories and @aelin-and-feyre
Third: @fiery-feyre and her wonderful wife @darlingfireheart
Spies: @havilliardandgalathynius @cynical-minds-for-cynical-times @shinywhiteshoe @tarafitz124 @wingsofanillyrian @zacc-efronn
Executive Assistant: @queenoffantasy
Light Wielder: @destiny14444
Thunder Enforcer: @poisonbooknerd
Storm Whisperer: @kazgavejasonthecrowbar
Dragon Keeper: @bbyshadowbat
Emissary of Mortal Lands: @dreams-of-feysand
Healers: @rowanismybae and @lifelillysandmagicwands
Chief Strategist: @acomafxtog24-7
Commandress of Bloodshed: @rhysand-and-rowan
Captain of the Guard: @highqueenofmagic
Lightning Thief: @sugarcoated44
Lady in Waiting: @magic-madness-heavensin
Weapons Designer: @inejcalmarekaz
The Sassy friend who Wanders in when needed: @tntwme
Random Anonymous Cat: @insert-username-here712
Court Falconer: @m0ther0fdragons
Court Musician: @veinssaxonio
Cat Lady: @smokeydiamondstorm
Court Entertainer: @acourtofredqueens
Court Witch: @azuremirwae
Random Dragon: @searching-the-stars
Crazy Old Sage: @justanotherpaperheart
Story Keeper: @my-ships-will-never-be-sank
Art Shop Keeper: @skyl0rd5117
Soldiers: @aelin-rattlesthestars @the-girl-of-ticking-clocks (We are open for potential soldiers)
Record Keeper: @feyre-herondale03
Black Sheep Of The Family: @aroyalbluedragon-deactivated201
Every year, according to centuries old tradition, a costume ball is held in Hiraeth. It is one of the largest and grandest celebration of this court for all of the courts across Prythian are invited to form new alliances and to mingle. Everyone is invited, and each person wears a costume or disguise that embodies their court. Each attendee is bound by a magical oath to not initiate any fights or disruptions and keep everything civil. On this day, new friends are made, bridges are mended; everyone lets out their wild Fae side for the night and lets their true colors shine through putting aside all their worries for one night. (largely inspired by the post on Tumblr where the Fae are described as more wild looking)
aesthetics - the spring court
“It was veiled in roses and ivy, with patios and balconies and staircases sprouting from its alabaster sides. The grounds were encased by woods, but stretched so far that I could barely see the distant line of the forest. So much color, so much sunlight and movement and texture … I could hardly drink it in fast enough. To paint it would be useless, would never do it justice.”
aesthetics - the night court
aesthetic - the day court
the sun personified. powerful, lazy wth grace, capable of kindness and wrath.
C O U R T S O F P R Y T H I A N
Seasonal Courts- Spring Court, Autumn Court, Summer Court, and Winter Court
C O U R T S O F P R Y T H I A N
Solar Courts-Night Court, Day Court, Dawn Court
The Dawn Court
-A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J Maas
High Lord of The Winter Court → Kallias as Zeus
O Zeus, giver of all, shrouded in dark clouds and holding the vivid bright lightning, rescue men from painful ignorance.
“…the southernmost one a softer, redder palette, The Dawn Court…”
March 19 - March 25: favorite court
The six other courts of Prythian occupied a patchwork of territories. Autumn, Summer, and Winter were easy enough to pick out. Then above them, two glowing courts: the southernmost one a softer, redder palate, the Dawn Court; above, in bright gold and yellow and blue, the Day Court. And above that, perched in a frozen mountainous spread of darkness and stars, the sprawling, massive territory of the Night Court