auspex_caelo: (Signs above)
Stratos Caelus ([personal profile] auspex_caelo) wrote2016-04-29 10:35 pm
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At Dawn (April Writing Prompt for [community profile] nexus_crossings)

Dawn finds Stratos brewing canis tea, invariably. By the time the sun’s rays have washed out the pinpricks of starlight from the sky above, it’s well past time to wake up and prepare for the day’s first briefings and missives.

On a good morning, he’s already been up for hours. Stratos is more willing than most officers to take night duties, trading the social opportunities his comrades enjoy for the opportunity to spend a few hours studying the night sky. It’s time for working on other projects, too, official or not, but he takes whatever chance he gets to track the slow arc of the constellations and the eight planets above.

He enjoys it less in Castle Dour - there are too many Thalmor inclined to take notes of habits, vices, vulnerabilities. He chooses to ‘indulge’ anyway. Let them know one of his practices. It’s a trade: a certain amount of visibility conceded to gain cover for occasional night-time excursions. In the garrison it’s more likely he’ll be required to take a day watch anyway.

Dawn, too, brings the murmur of chanting: Celann performing his morning devotions in the tent or room next door. Some are quieter than the others. Stratos knows his friend worships Azura right along with the Divines (including Talos, and Magnus, and any number of Redguard gods). He’s never yet dared to join his Breton friend.

He has often thought about it. Perhaps he’d have no need to scour the heavens if he called on the Prince of Twilight and begged for her visions. Celann doesn’t see his gods as incompatible. But Stratos doubts whether Azura feels the same way, or what help she’s truly inclined to give his cause.

And it feels especially disloyal to Talos somehow. He feels a little like a guilty child when he wonders what his god would think, but he has to contemplate the question seriously. He can hardly ask a priest.

For now he trusts, as Celann does, that the knight’s supplications will serve for both of them. He plays the part of the pious tribune, devoting his morning prayers to Stendarr and Julianos (and, softly, always, the ninth Divine).

He shares one thing with the worshipers of Azura. At dusk he acts, at dawn he prepares.

No daylight hours are enough to accomplish all he wants to do; to find out all he needs to know. He ends the day with countless unfinished matters weighing on him. Even with meditation, he’s never had much luck quieting his mind for sleep. It’s easier to step out into the cool air and lift his face to the silent stars, searching among them for the hints and truths his terrestrial resources can’t offer.

By dawn he seldom has the answers, but he knows where to begin the search anew.

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