thorn says

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“I shouldn’t have been surprised. Not when Rhysand liked to make a spectacle of everything. And found pissing off Tamlin to be an art form.
But there he was.
Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, now stood beside me, darkness leaking from him like ink in water.
He angled his head, his blue-black hair shifting with the movement. Those violet eyes sparkled in the golden faelight as they fixed on Tamlin, as he held up a hand to where Tamlin and Lucien and their sentries had their swords half-drawn, sizing up how to get me out of the way, how to bring him down—
But at the lift of that hand, they froze.
Ianthe, however, was backing away slowly, face drained of color.
“What a pretty little wedding,” Rhysand said, stuffing his hands into his pockets as those many swords remained in their sheaths. The remaining crowd was pressing back, some climbing over seats to get away.”

Story 215: Cultural Exchange

The human steps onto the station from her shuttle, and walks into the scanner.  It flashes - no weapons.  I pity her, though there’s nothing I can do for her.  By tomorrow she will be a slave the same as me; the Gaunvans collect ambassadors like trophies.
“Hello there!  Amanda Thorn, ambassador for the Empire of Humanity.  You’re a Ixian, correct?”
Mimicking human body language, I nod my head.  "That’s correct.  Ix Malasan.  It is an honor to meet you.“
She smiles, reminding me again that she has somehow modified herself to breathe atmosphere suited to the Gaunvans rather than wear a respirator like myself.  Other than that she appears to be a standard human, something I am led to believe is less and less common as they pursue the bizarre compulsion humans have to alter their bodies.  Changing hair color, adding pigments to their skins in patterns and pictures, growing long tails or ears that mimic other species from their planet.  No other known species tampers with their bodies like this.
“Not to be undiplomatic, she says, "but the Gaunvans enslaved your people.  Why are you here?”
“We… reached a mutually beneficial agreement.  We would have lost in combat and been eliminated, so we chose to preserve what we could of our culture.  The Gaunvans are not naturally skilled at diplomacy, so they bring me along to assist and to show that peace can be made.”
She nods.  "Understood.  I can respect that choice.  How much freedom do you have, personally?“
Smart of her, to start planning for her future. "A fair amount.  I have free reign on the ship when we are in transit.  At the homeworld I have reasonably comfortable quarters.”
“Have you ever met the Empress, or…?”
“Oh, no.  No, while on the homeworld I am confined to my chambers - but they’re quite spacious.”
“Shame.  Okay, plan ‘A’ then.  Let’s get this over with.”

Despite my attempt at encouraging diplomacy, the Gaunvan commander starts with threats.  I don’t know why I bother.  He looms over the human, chitinous plates almost black in the dim light.  His pod of six is posted around the room, for show more than for actual security since she followed orders and came alone and unarmed.  "Failure to surrender will bring the full wrath of our army upon you.  Humanity will be crushed, and wiped from the universe.“
To her credit, she looks very calm.  "We live in a post-scarcity society.  Bloody conquest just seems silly, doesn’t it?”
“It is for the glory of Gaun!”
“Well, I’m not prepared to get into a religious debate with you,” she says, “since I doubt there’s anything I can do to change your mind.  Since you’re committed to this course of action, what are you willing to offer if we surrender?”
Now he goes back on script.  Maybe I am getting through to him a little?  He talks about the benefits of being enslaved, mainly the protections for up to twelve designated culturally historical sites.  They’ve been mostly good on their word on my homeworld, though they did use the area just outside of the Hahhn Memorial as a waste dump.

She nods as she listens.  There was a part of me that was worried she would argue, because the humans are somewhat childlike.  They don’t understand the horrors of war.  Certainly they fought in the past, but the last time they had to battle was more than two of their generations ago, so these ones have all grown up coddled and soft.  They play games with each other instead, silly competitions.  They make art, and play pretend, and alter their bodies for fun.  They don’t have weapons anymore, and wouldn’t know how to use them if they did.
“Well then,” ambassador Thorn says, “this is about what I expected.  On behalf of humanity, I would like to formally reject this offer.”
Oh no.  Foolish humans.  The galaxy will miss your innocence.  The commander makes an excited clicking noise, looking forward to combat.  He reaches a blade-tipped hand towards ambassador Thorn, but hesitates as every device in the room bleats out an alert - we’ve all lost communications with the outside.

Like one of the dances humans do, she gracefully pivots around while taking his hand.  She ends up close to him and places her other arm against his thorax, then… oh gods. Gods, what… she’s ripped his arm off.  It’s not possible.  The commander is clearly thinking the same thing, staring in mute shock at his dripping limb.
“I’d like to extend a counter-offer,” she says, and flips the arm around before jamming the bladed end into his neck.  The warriors around the room are fidgeting, uncertain.  They haven’t been told to attack, and don’t want to dishonor their commander by intervening in a fight with such a small creature.  She’s still holding the commander’s severed arm in his neck, but she rotates and heaves, lifting him off the ground with it for a moment… and then his head pops off, landing squarely on the conference table.  She allows the corpse to slide to the ground, and straightens her clothes as if they aren’t covered in ichor.

I don’t understand.

The warriors, now with no orders at all, finally act.  She smiles as they come for her, I suppose because she has done her duty to send this powerful message of resistance.  She can die in peace.  Or… no… She’s killing them.  She’s smiling because this is fun for her.  Though they’re partly killing themselves; if there had been two of them, prepared, strategic, they might have prevailed.  Watching six panicked fighters get in each other’s way while trying to stop a smaller, faster, and somehow impossibly stronger foe is almost hypnotic.  At least one is killed by the stab of a friendly lance due to pure confusion.  It’s over faster than I would have thought possible, severed limbs strewn across the room.  I’ve got some fluids splashed across my clothing.  Only one yet lives, and he is retreating.  She seems to be allowing it.

She follows behind, holding a lance.  The wounded and scared warrior scurries down the hallway towards his ship, looking back behind him as he goes.  She’s just… walking.  Calm.  And for some reason I’m following.  The last Gaunvan reaches the airlock and the second he enters his code she throws the lance - throws it! - and spears him.
“Come on, we’re stealing their ship.”  She says it like this is the most normal thing in the world.
“There are thousands more on board!  Thousands!  Almost all warrior caste!”
She smiles again, and keeps walking.  I see errors on the screens that we pass, messages indicating communications have been lost.  They can’t tell anyone what is happening here.  Even the communicators within the ship are on nodes rather than being wired, so the warriors at one end of the vessel won’t be able to coordinate with the other end.  Do they even know they’ve been boarded?
“How?”

We enter the bridge after she kills a handful of other guards with ease.  They’re too shocked by her presence to act in time.  Once the door are sealed and she is working on the control systems she starts talking to me again.
“Well, you know, we do like to be prepared.”
“But you… you ripped his arm off.”
“Yeah, that was super satisfying.”  She looks at me appraisingly.  "Oh, come on.  Is it really that surprising?  You knew we were into changing ourselves, right?  Being strong enough to pop an overgrown bug’s forelimb off isn’t rocket science.“
"Your people are so peaceful…”
“Oh, sure, most of them.  But we did that, too.  Tweaked ourselves over the years to decrease aggression and some of our tribalistic tendencies, increase empathy… all stuff that can be undone if needed.  Though for a good cause even the nicest of us can squish a bug or two.”
“You bond with Ry'ling devourers!”
“Those are the big fuzzy guys that look like cats, yeah?  Those guys are adorable!  But… look, liking some things that could kill us doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and get enslaved.  We didn’t put up with it well when we enslaved each other, and we certainly aren’t going to go for it now that we’re… finally… on the same page about slavery being unacceptable.  It was, uh, a longer time than we like to admit before the last hold-outs were convinced of that one.”

I can feel the ship un-dock.  We’re moving.  "What about all the warriors on board?  They’ll break through the doors eventually!“
"Not according to this control panel here.  Take a look.”
It says there’s no atmosphere in the rest of the ship.  Life signs are negative on all but two of the warriors, presumably the only ones that got to their suits in time.  She disabled all the safety measures, somehow.  She just killed… I check the life signs readout again to confirm the number… three thousand, six hundred, and fourteen soldiers.  Wait, how is it tracking that unless… “Are communications back up?”
“Yeah, I’m calling some friends.  The military is right around the corner, so to speak.”
“But Earth doesn’t have a standing military.”
She laughs.  Not just a little bit.  She’s actually doubled over for a moment, unable to catch her breath.  "Sweet Jeebus, you guys actually fell for that?  No standing military.  Have you read about us at all?“

Three ships appear seemingly out of nowhere, and one docks with the Gaunvan vessel.  Once the atmosphere is restored we head to the airlock to meet them, and I’m surprised by an entire platoon of Gaunvan warriors.  Speaking English.
"Okay boys, send your last goodbyes!  This is in all likelihood a one way mission.  Commander Thorn!  It is an honor to see you again, and might I say you look exquisite drenched in the blood of your enemies!”
She bows to him, blushing, and then salutes the Gaunvans.  Or… humans?  Can they change themselves this drastically?
“You’ve got two holed up in here somewhere.  Bridge is clear, have the techs bring the new brain on board.”
“New brain?”
She looks at me like she’s forgotten that I’m here, and then turns back to the others.  "Men, this is our new friend Ix Malasan who has just been liberated from his captivity.  He’s going to be helping with our intel.  Malasan, yeah, a new brain for the ship.  Once this vessel is cleaned up and back in service with a new crew we’ll be able to take it over whenever we want even if all of our boys get killed.  We cooked up a really sadistic AI for it.“
"But how do you know the protocols?  This was your first contact with the Gaunvans, they’ve never lost a ship anywhere near here!”
“No?  There wasn’t a mining colony disaster two years ago?”
“But that was just an accident… and you weren’t even involved in the war yet… and…”

The faux-Gaunvans have finished boarding.  The one that was talking to them before puts a bladed claw on ambassador - commander - Thorn’s shoulder.  "You coming with?“
"Naw.  Orders said I could only come if they allow ambassadors near extremely high value targets.  Malasan here says they don’t, so I need to wait for my next mission back on Earth.”
“It would have been nice having you with us, Thorn.  Well, maybe we’ll see each other again.  Suicide mission or not, I think I’ve decided to live through it.”
“Bold choice,” she says, and kisses him next to his lower mandibles.
He nods at me, then turns back to his men. “Okay everyone, we are now officially on the job.  And what is that job?”
In unison, they start chanting.

“FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!”

For a moment I nearly feel pity for the Gaunvans.  Nearly.  Commander Thorn leads me off of the ship, and I start thinking about what useful information I can provide the ‘harmless’ humans.  Fuck shit up, indeed.

What the FOX really says:

That he’s sorry he didn’t help you when you were struggling with PTSD and needed to escape an abusive boyfriend. 

TOO DAMN LATE LUCIEN; YOU SHOULD’VE DONE SOMETHING.


ACOWAR IS YOUR CHANCE TO REDEEM YOURSELF. DON’T SCREW THIS UP. I HAVE FAITH IN YOU. 

(P.S: I don’t mean to discredit Lucien, he’s gone through a lot too, I’m just frustrated that he didn’t help Feyre when he had the chance to)

Did a sketch of an older Chibi Moon/Black Lady about a year ago, but I abandoned it. I literally only came back to it just so I could test more photoshop brushes I made (roses, thorns, gems). I think I went just a bit overboard…

Tools: Paint tool sai, Photoshop CS3
Time: 3 weeks on and off?

*sigh* there’s a lot more I wanted to do with this, but honestly? I’m tired of wasting time on it…

There is one recurring theme comes up in Cress’s short story “After Sunshine Passes By”, the novels (especially “Winter”) and “Wires and Nerve” in regard to Cress and Thorne and that’s the medal of courage and extraordinary heroism.

During Cress’s time in the lava tubes, she often escaped into her fantasy - in one of them she imagined to be an infantry soldier, earning herself a medal of courage:

At nine years old, Crescent Moon was the youngest infantry soldier in Luna’s great warrior army. She stood at perfect attention in the front line of her platoon—back straight as a pin and arms locked at her sides. She was proud of her service to the queen. Already she had been hailed for her bravery and even honored with a medal of courage from Commander-General Sybil Mira after the battle of—

“Crescent.” Mistress’s voice interrupted the fantasy, and Cress snapped a fist to her heart in salute. “Yes, Commander—um, I mean, Mistress?”

But at this point, the 9-year old, too scared to oppose Sybil, doesn’t think she deserves one:

[Sybil] stopped in front of Cress and turned to face her. Cress cowered, though she wished that she hadn’t. There would be no medal of bravery today.

Courage and bravery are a big part of Cress’s journey. Cress, as we know, likened herself to a damsel in distress, thinking that she would need a hero to save her. Cress always thought throughout “Cress” and “Winter” that she was too scared and helpless to be heroic, even though in dire circumstances she not only pulled through but was way braver and heroic than she gave herself credit for (as when she opened the gates of the hangar under ceasefire, so the others could escape or, similarly, when she stayed behind to help Winter and Scarlet, to just name a few instances). Cress had been a hero all along who only needed to realise it herself.

In “Winter”, the medal comes up again. This time, it’s Cress who assumes that maybe President Vargas granted Thorne a medal for his heroic deeds during the rebellion:

She considered. “He’s giving you a medal of honor for your bravery?

Thorne gets the Rampion instead but what’s important is that Cress fully believes that Thorne deserves a medal. And in “Wires and Nerves”? He actually gets one for “bravery and extraordinary heroism”, along with the title of honorary captain:

But what does that Thorne do when he reunites with Cress and she once again impresses him with her intelligence and courage and saves him rather than the other way around? He bestows his medal to her just as he said he would in his speech because she proved once again that she deserved it:

And I love that those two, who struggled so much to find their own courage and their own way of being heroic and who inspired each other to become braver than they could have been on their own, actually get their medal and share it.

Because they’re both heroes.

If only you knew how much you meant to me.
—  he’s the kind of art you’ll lose yourself in– the kind of silence you don’t need to call to ensure no fingers have been bent in the process of preserving leaves for a second chance at autumn, a second chance at learning how to say I love you without cutting a vein for a life line, a rewrite of home tucking you in at night when you know sleep is a thirteen hour flight detoured from your eyelids. I can write you a poem or I can look into your eyes and tell you what I see– an aging thought stewed long enough to handle with care, smile erased from pain prolonged to ebb a collection of can do’s when the rain weighs you down. The first time I heard your voice, I knew I was going to love you like this. You’re the one piece of happiness I’ll always have when the world spins faster than my thoughts, the hand I’ll tire of showing flowers how to stand tall. she’s the kind of moonlight that doesn’t require the night to be enjoyed. i can see you fine from a world away, you’ve got enough heart to heal the burning cities. you cry for the flowers and you laugh for the children, sometimes i confuse myself about our reality– if i died too soon, would you ever be mad at me? she places the stars into your scars, we rip away the ugly pieces of us– she’ll always kiss you goodnight, she’ll always kiss you goodnight. you can’t accept beauty without understanding the beast’s undying love. you can’t hand someone a rose without first explaining the thorns. you can’t say that love is a strong word unless you’ve been hurt before. she’s been hurt before. she’s been loved before. she’s been left before. run on home star child, water the flowers with more sunlight– we’re all abstract and aesthetics when it comes to heartache, there’s something so real about pain that we must paint it into fiction. there’s something so flawed about being human that it’s hard to accept ourselves. so i’ve been trying to write us down as more than star-crossed who never made it to the alter. prayers don’t mean a thing if we’re all sinners. drugs don’t do a thing when you’re a few months high. you’ve been alive, but dead this whole time. she’s the promise that stops time, we’re a little lost without a sense of direction. she keeps track of the days when you’ve been away because little details mean everything. she rocketships herself to your smile just to say her apologies. she keeps you under umbrellas because you believed that magic was real at some point. we used to love like it would never break us. we used to laugh like a broken funny bone. we used to smile like your first crush finally kissing you first. we used to dance like petals during open spring endless weeks of rain. we used to know who we were– but then we met people like you and realized the people that we had to become to love a little lighter, hold a little tighter, scream a little more poetry, die a little later, live a little longer than forever and we make promises to our insecurities because even if you don’t love me– i’ll always love myself enough to forget about how you couldn’t.
If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Sybil, Aimery, and Thorne… I would shoot Thorne twice.
—  Jacin Clay (at some point probably)

Holy stars this was complicated as hell. Sooo many textures though I’m pleased with how the mural turned out even if getting all the colours to work right was a nightmare.

Anyway a scene from ACOTAR this time, since I was rereading it, and this scene stuck in my set designer’s brain and had to paint. I can’t help but imagine how awesome this scene would look on screen <3

Also played around with the lighting, and hopefully I’ve managed to achieve that dusty atmosphere the scene invokes.

Feyre and Prythian belongs to @sjmaas

paint tool sai and wacom bamboo

I cursed the fuck out of somebody this morning

I woke up at 11pm. The text conversation between me and this other person was going left *quickly*. They were blatantly disrespecting me and dismissing me without accountability. One of my BIGGEST pet peeves are people who fuck up and are unapologetic.

Here’s where they fucked up, for real, though. Two Saturdays ago, they were chilling with me at my house. They left a piece of mail with their name and address on it as well as three smoked cigarettes. Something told me to keep them as tag locks…

SO, at 12:30 this morning, I took the mail, cut out their name and address, and found some thorns I’d been saving for an occasion like this. I found a black bag, some black string, and my black salt. I stabbed their name and address with the thorns saying my curse:

I curse you, [their full name]. I curse your name and your deeds. Everything you build will be destroyed. Everything you try to progress will regress. You will remember what you did to me, apologize profusely and beg for my forgiveness. I curse your name, your family, your friends, your love life and your job.

I folded that tag lock and placed it in the bag along with the cigarette butts with their saliva on them and topped them with black salt. I bound the pouch with the black string, saying the curse over and over again.

I was MAD, y'all!

Once finished, I buried the bag in some dirt I have in my kitchen and burned some Dragon’s Blood incense over the spot. I also anointed a candle I have with the black salt and burned it next to the pot for extra kick.

I’M NOT EVEN DONE!

I’m making some Flying Devil Oil tonight for more revenge. It won’t be ready for a week but that is. fine. with. me.

Originally posted by b1ttner

Originally posted by declaudemonet

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here’s cresswell in croptops after iko and scarlet! <3 this is actually my first time drawing thorne, and cress with short hair…
tell me in the tags/replies which character you’d like to see next, maybe? ;”)

ig: zeevkesley // lit blog: @orderofthepack

When EVERYONE’s theory on whose gonna die in ACOWAR is Azriel I die a little more inside. If he gets hurt or does end up dying … I will be done. I’ll quit.