[Featured thread] The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Upon exploring an abandoned house, Ssanya discovered a skeleton corpse and something else besides.

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Considered one of the most mysterious cities in Mizahar, Alvadas is called The City of Illusions. It is the home of Ionu and the notorious Inverted. This city sits on one of the main crossroads through The Region of Kalea.

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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Allassanachassanya on October 31st, 2016, 10:51 pm

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21st Fall, 516 AV,
Mid afternoon


Ssanya was occasionally a practical woman, a woman who enjoyed making plans, a woman who erred on the side of caution. Yet the city of Alvadas stripped away all that, leaving her at the mercy of her younger self, her bright-eyed, curious and reckless self. It was because of this, as she was just getting used to the new illusionary patterns that shaded each wall and building into colourful, loftily tall constructions, that she found herself inside one of them.

She had been exploring the streets, testing the city to see where her feet lead her. It was mightily hard to get her bearings, and so she started to use different landmarks as a way of anchoring herself. If Alvadas were ever to have a map, she wouldn't be able to make head nor tail of it, and it soon became clear as she walked that nothing remained stationary. The only things that didn't change that often were the buildings themselves. Or, at least, how they were made and their appearance.

There was one building in particular that caught her eye every time she happened upon it. She had passed it at about the 10th bell, and again at the 13th- a house with a grim, broken-down appearance that screamed with an eagerness to be explored.

Ssanya was still cautious though, even with this new-found excitement. Each time she passed it she mentally noted down little factors of it's appearance. The bottom window with the broken pane. The front door, cracked and warped with age and with a rusting door handle. The sad-looking, broken roof with half of it's tiles slipping off, even if they were currently illusioned to look like a rainbow.

By the time she passed it for the third time, she had made up her mind. A house that passed her by this often simply wanted her to enter. With a resolute step, Ssanya headed for the front door. She was doubtful as to whether it would open, but it didn't hurt to try. She grabbed the door handle, and twisted. Of course, no luck. In it's rusted state, the handle simply snapped clean off in her hand, leaving her feeling slightly like a guilty thief.
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Allassanachassanya on October 31st, 2016, 10:52 pm

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She placed the handle carefully on the floor, and considered the house again. Ssanya was glad that she appeared to be alone on the street, as she would most certainly look suspicious. Yet she was almost certain the house was long abandoned, and if it was occupied she would simply apologise and leave again. Little did she know how wrong she was, on both accounts.

The next venue of operation was the window. Ssanya looked surreptitiously this way and that in case anyone was watching her, and as quickly as she could she made her way to the window. She was in luck. Whatever had broken the window pane had managed to pull the window off the latch, and the window was easy to swing open. It was a narrow one, and the windowsill was covered in broken glass, but Ssanya grabbed the ‘sill anyway and climbed in. She tucked her frame awkwardly onto the ‘sill before jumping down heavily, miraculously avoiding the pile of glass that lay shattered on the ground.

The interior of the house was much the same as the outside, but Ssanya shivered at the chill in the air. She was very sensitive to the cold, and dug around for her scarf to pull it closer over her face. Now though, she was almost certain that the place was abandoned. The room she had alighted in was full of old furniture, a lush sofa made ugly with age, a small table which upon closer inspection was riddled through with wood worm.

Ssanya rooted around quietly inside the room, but couldn’t find anything of interest. It was almost too dark in some places to see, anyway, and she wanted to see what was through the next room. Avoiding the suspicious patches of damp on the floor, the woman wound her way towards the door that gaped open. Without truly wanting to, she was starting to get that creeping feeling on the back of her neck, like someone or something were there with her. She tried desperately to convince herself otherwise, yet the feeling persisted.

Nevertheless, she gently took hold of the edge of the door and swung it open. She almost jumped as the door produced a louder squeak than she could have thought a door would be able to make, but then actually did jump as she took a proper look around the room.

The heavily decayed, stinking, rotting remains of a body lay in a pile in the centre of the room. Surrounding it was a pile of now ruined books. A chair lay, toppled to one side. A rope was tied to the beams, the floor of upstairs half collapsed into the room below. And most shocking and worrying of all was the ghost.
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 3rd, 2016, 6:36 am

The Darkest Corners
21st of Fall, 516
12th bell

“How long has your wife been haunting you, sir?" Madeira asked politely, holding an inkstick poised over the notebook laid neatly across the lap of her blue dress. Her rucksack was hanging off the back of the high backed chair, the leather heavy and lumpy with Spiritualist tools.
 
"Ex wife. It's been several months." Lester Harman explained curtly as he adjusted his tall frame on the velvet settee. Velvet seemed to be a running theme in his parlour. The tall windows were draped in it, the sofa's upholstered in it, even the man's smoking jacket was velvet. And Madeira was prepared to swear on her life that his small dog was secretly a velvet footstool. So much textured material was already making the room stuffy even before Lester lit his pipe and put down several bowls of incense. She was fighting the urge to rub her eyes raw.
 
"Ex wife, ok. How did she die?"
 
"Suicide"
 
"Do you know why she committed suicide?"
 
At that Lester began to look visibly uncomfortable. Madeira looked up from her book and noted the long pause.
 
"That is a very personal question, girl."
 
She ignored the colloquialism. "Sir, if I'm going to exorcise her properly I need to know why she stayed. I'm aware it wasn't for a very happy reason."
 
Truth be told, it seemed to Madeira that suicide ghosts were very rare. Which made a little sense when you thought about it. If you intentionally took your own life, why would you turn around and come back? This woman must have been full of spite. Or it wasn't a suicide. 
 
Lester took a drag on his pipe, adding another cloud to the haze that hung low in the high ceilinged room.
 
"Of course," Madeira pushed reluctantly, swallowing the urge to cough. "what you say will not leave this room."
 
Finally, Lester began to talk. Madeira jotted down the relevant information in her book.
 
"My ex wife, Catharine, killed herself because I left her. She'd never been the most... stable of women. By the time I found her she's been dead for days, maybe weeks." The man began fingering his pipe nervously. "And... And I think the city was trying to consume her house. There was ivy all over it, and the front gate was rusted through. Rats had been eating the furniture, and the wood had gone to rot. Gods know what it looks like now. I haven't been back since."
 
Madeira's fingers were flying on the page, and slowly a cohesive narrative was being born.
 
Cathrine Harman
 
Human female
Age (life)- Middling
Age (death)- 2-3 months.
Cause- Suicide
 
Ex husband believes wife killed herself over losing him. Highly speculative, but not impossible. Claims she is unstable. There might be Ionu trickery about.

 
"Anything else you'd like to tell me, sir? Any bit of information might help." the young Spiritualist adapted a benign smile, but her cold eyes edged him for an answer.
 
"Nothing relevant", Lester replied almost immediately. His nervousness was gone as quickly as it came. He leaned back into his chair and met her gaze.
 
They stared at each other for a quiet second before Madeira was satisfied that he would give her no more answers. "Then I will take my leave.” She stood, folded up her book and tucked it into her bag. "My family will contact you when Catharine has been put to rest."

Wasting no time, Madeira pulled out a glass jar from her bag in which three sticky black dough balls sat heavy in the bottom. She fingered out two of the three and pushed them to the back of her throat, which she then swallowed whole. Lester watched with bafflement, but Madeira was not about to explain what the dough of rye, cheese, egg and blood was for.

She tucked the jar away and slung the rucksack over her back. "Have a good day, sir."
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 3rd, 2016, 6:38 am

The Darkest Corners
21st of Fall, 516
12th bell

The walk to the Catharine’s haunt was almost worryingly easy. As was her custom, Madeira took an immediate left out of Lester Harman's door. Her mind was focused on the soulmist brewing in her belly, but her eyes were looking for the cities customary illusions and tricks. Even so, the street was almost strangely quiet. Such easy passage through the city was almost unheard of. When she came to the corner she took another left, and stopped dead in her tracks. Directly across the street stood the tall manor house. It had taken her less than five chimes to find it.
 
She looked over her shoulder spuriously, like she might find Ionu laughing at some secret joke in the bushes. However, the deity was not to be found, and Madeira had no choice but to take this suspicious gift.
 
The spiritualist sat on the sagging steps to the front door and laid out the tools she'd need: the remaining empty jar, a small black crossbow and four of her ten bolts. She held the jar between her knees and bent over it. A spasm rolled up her back, and with a wet retching sound, what was once dough rolled out of her mouth as soulmist. The substance collected in the bottom of the jar, neither liquid or gas but something in between. It swirled lazily, emitting a soft white glow. She immediately poured a small amount into her hand and rubbed it into each of her arrows one at a time. The substance leeched slowly into the arrowheads, leaving no trace of the pearly glow. They were to be her second line of defence, and she hoped she wouldn’t have to use them. With luck, she could bluff her way to a clean exorcism. Madeira scooped a second handful of soul mist from the jar and smeared it across her face. The unnatural cold made her shiver, but soon that too leeched into her skin without a trace. The last of it she licked from her palm, and the icy feeling collected in her throat before diffusing.

Much like making soulmist itself, giving a Lie took concentration. Madeira brought Lester Harman’s face to mind. She made herself remember the burnt colour of his skin, his tall, lanky build, and the rumbling, hollow sound to his voice. When she stood up she was no longer Madeira Craven, the skinny, pale runt of a woman. Now she was Lester Harman, the forty year old man with chocolate skin and a perchance for breaking hearts. The living would still see Madeira for what she was, but it wasn’t the living she was trying to fool.  
 
The door was warped into its frame, so Madeira made for the window instead. She left her rucksack on the porch, just tucking the four arrows down the back of her dress. To her surprise, the window was already wide open. It was probably some animal’s lair now. Making use of this second gift, Madeira fumbled her way gracelessly through the narrow window.

Catharine’s house was just as Lester described it. The structure was much too far gone for only having been abandoned for a couple months. The grandeur had been left to the rot, woodlice and the rats she could hear in the walls. The Spiritualist paused to adjust the skirts of her dress and roll up her sleeves, but otherwise didn’t take the time to explore. She knew what she was after.

And it seemed the house knew what she was after, too. A sudden shriek of rusted metal gave her a start, and the Lester visage flickered in surprise. Was that the ghost? Did she already know she was here?

“Catherine, darling? Are you there?”
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Allassanachassanya on November 3rd, 2016, 10:27 pm

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The woman stepped, nervously, slowly, as quietly as she could back towards the door she had just stepped through, her hand reaching and fumbling for the door as she walked backwards. It was to no avail though, and as she didn't want to turn her head and take her eyes off the ghostly woman it appeared she was stuck for the momen..-

In the adjacent room, a thud vibrated the floor. Her heart, already in an agitated state, flew like the beating wings of a dove into her mouth. Then a soft voice spoke out through the relative stillness of the decaying house.

"Catherine, darling? Are you there?"

Ssanya was in two minds, suddenly. Either this was some woman who had no idea of this poor lady's fate, or it was someone who wanted to cause some harm. The voice wasn't friendly, as such. Perhaps it was cautious, or wary. Not malicious, at least not to Ssanya's ears. But then, even murderers could have the softest voices, and the kindest people the voice of darkest thunder.

Either way, Ssanya was caught in the middle, not knowing what to do. So far, the ghost had remained silent. Perhaps that was to do with the horrible, gut-churning state her ethereal body was in, wounds that didn't match the chair and the dangling rope. Not that Ssanya picked this up, too focussed on her own safety in what was rapidly spiralling into a bad idea.

Then without warning the ghostly woman spoke, her eyes directed to Ssanya warily but her attentions on the other room. "Is that... you? Lester?" Her voice was pale and weary-sounding, like faded, sunbleached paper or the thinnest mist. Yet her voice, tired as it was, stood in direct comparison to her movements, which had suddenly become agitated and fidgety. Her body swirled with a kind of light, and she paced the room with silent footsteps as Ssanya watched on.

She listened intently for a few ticks, but then before the stranger could reply to the ghost, Ssanya bit her lip and braved herself. "I... Catherine issn't alone." As soon as she spoke, she regretted it. Perhaps Lester (strange name for a woman) was here to finish what she had started, not realising the woman was already dead. Perhaps they were a thief, or a family friend who wanted to seek revenge and perhaps they would see Ssanya as a threat.

"Ssiku help me." Her muttered prayer for her goddess would undoubtedly go unheard, but it helped to calm her nerves somewhat as she considered her options. And all the while, it hadn't occurred to her to figure out the ghost's movements, or what the ghost- what Catherine- was thinking.
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 5th, 2016, 2:23 am

Title
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"Is that... you? Lester?"


Oh thank Dira. The voice was coming from the next room, and it was definitely the ghost. Only Catherine would know to call her 'Lester'. The voice was agitated, but not hostile. Madeira relaxed her grip on her bow, tucking it slightly behind her body.


"I... Catherine isssn't alone,


Suddenly the small black bow was whipped up to chest height, even though it wasn't even loaded. Her heart gave a hard pang and stopped for a long moment, as if it too was listening for the intruder. Shit... Shit shit shit. What now? That was either a person (with a very bizarre speech impediment), or another ghost. And at that moment Madeira could figure out which would be worse.


At least now she knew why Ionu made such quick time in letting her find this house. It wouldn't have been much fun to watch if the two women and the ghost missed each other. Madeira didn't know whether to laugh or cry.


The spiritualist reached behind her and drew out an arrow from the nape of her neck. Placing the nose of the bow quietly on the floor, she stood on the stirrup and pulled back the string. The arrow made a small snap when loaded into the barrel. She was a lousy shot, she knew. But if this new creature is armed she wanted to be too.


She brought the bow to hip height and carefully made her way to the door the voices were behind. She edged it open with a slippered foot, keeping both hands on her bow. The door made a horrible screech as the room came into view by centimeters. The smell hit her first. The sickly sweet, pungent scent of decay. There was a noose on the ceiling, and a body crumpled beneath it. The rope and the rot seemed to have separated the head from the body. The two were several feet apart. Catherine paced in the center of the room, wringing her hands in agitation. Her soulmist was a swirl of chaos that made Madeira uneasy. And a few feet in front of the door, directly in the path of her arrow, was what looked like a human woman. A human woman with empty hands, thank gods. The two women looked to be of similar height and age, but the similarities stopped abruptly there. Madeira lowered her crossbow slightly, but didn't put it away.


The ghost looked up at the noise. Her eyes were wide and dark, her hair hung thin and limp to her shoulders. Most worryingly were the wounds. A her nightgown was punctured with slices from sternum to pelvis, as if from a knife. Silvery blood soaked her hands and torso, and a rope burn circled her neck. Madeira noted that the corpse on the floor was wearing a dress made for the outdoors, a confection of silk and lace that was rotted to her body, while the ghost was wearing sleeping clothes.


"Oh, Lester! You... You should have written. I haven't cleaned... I'm not decent." The ghost looked around in a panic, hands fluttering over her chest. She crouched over her own rotting head, and made as if to fix its hair.


The sight of the nervous woman filled Madeira with pity. The crossbow suddenly felt very heavy in her hands. "No, Catherine, you look lovely. Ah...", she looked to the strange, dark-haired woman, and stared hard at her until they made eye contact. "Excuse me, sweetheart. I need to speak with my wife. Alone." Both the voice Catherine and Ssanya heard would have been careful and casual, but Madeira's eyes blazed with the unspoken. This woman had better get out now. She prayed silently to whichever god was listening that she did not ask why this skinny teenager was addressing a dead woman twice her age like a lover.


Catherine looked up from her corpse like a sleeper waking from a dream. Her eyes focused on the woman at the door, and her Lester that was giving her such and intense stare. Madeira saw the sudden spasm in the chaotoic whirl of her soulmist a second too late. The ghost blinked behind the two woman, and suddenly she was standing between them and the door. Her nervous eyes suddenly blazed with fury.


"Who is this!?" She screeched inches from her face. Madeira put her empty hand up in a pacifying gesture, and elbowed Ssanya hard with her loaded arm in an attempt to force her to back up and move behind her.


"No one, dear. She was just leaving. Come with me. Lets have a little chat." The cold took a dramatic drop as the ghost grew angry, but Madeira still felt the beads of sweat collect on her brow.


"This is one of your little sluts, isn't it!" the ghosts eyes were rolling in her head, and she was clutching the front of her gown almost protectively.


"No! That's not... She's" Madeira stumbled over her words, suddenly very aware of how hard it was to think of a good lie while trying to maintain concentration on the other Lie.


But it was too late. With an unearthly screech the ghost blinked behind them again, and slipped into the dark-haired woman's body to possess her.
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Allassanachassanya on November 6th, 2016, 6:12 pm

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It was all happening so suddenly. The door opened, and in stepped a blonde-haired woman with a crossbow, her voice laden with something that Ssanya couldn't quite comprehend. Although the timbre of her voice was curious, it was her words that threw Ssanya the most.

"I need to speak with my wife. Alone." So, the two were lovers. Yet it seemed unlikely, as Ssanya frowned and opened her mouth to speak. Even more unlikely as the stranger didn't appear to understand, bizarrely, that her lover was dead, a fact that screamed that everything was not right with this situation.

Ssanya started to speak, confusion on her lips, "I...", but the ghostly woman was behaving erratically, and the chill in the air was strong. She felt fearful, as the ghost started to accuse her of things she didn't even understand. She would break in, interrupt the scene and plead her innocence in the matter, yet... Little slut? Wife? Before she could take a step, and before she could even think of phrasing a question, Catherine's ethereal form jumped and flickered...

Like a frozen, frost-bitten finger creeping up her spine, the spirit of the ghost entered her body. Catherine slipped in through the back of her neck, or that's what it felt like, a cold pressure at the nape of her neck that seeped into her body like pus from a wound. Ssanya shuddered at the presence inside her, a feeling so unusual and uncomfortable that she felt like retching. In the shock of it all, Ssanya didn't even realise that she could force the ghost out for a few chimes.

Catherine's spirit took a few, juddering steps with Ssanya's body, that gained in strength as she grew used to the body she inhabited. Her hands reached out to slap the blonde woman's face with a force that shocked both her and the ghost. She could feel nothing but a sort of simmering unhappiness and frustration, tinged all over with a sheen of the unnatural. She didn't say anything, finding it too difficult to make Ssanya's lips move, but she reared backwards to hit the woman in a messy punch.

Yet Ssanya's will was screaming inside, and with a sudden realisation, she pushed the ghost from her body just as the punch landed. Ssanya folded in two, and the punch that was aimed at the woman's belly lost all force, so that she ended up collapsing at the stranger's feet. All the energy she had was drained from her, and her forehead burned with a cold sweat that she shakily brushed with her fingers.

Behind Ssanya, Catherine stood calmly, her soulmist in disarray as she appeared to be resting too. Yet she spoke, her voice spiked with malice, "Perhaps you think me a FOOL?" Her voice felt like pins and needles to the prone woman, a voice that had just ticks previously been inside her own head. She began to get out of the way, her hands scrabbling in the dirt of the floor to push herself up, her knees weak and her head still spinning with tiredness. Soon enough, she had managed to find the wall of the room, and lay against it waiting for her body to recover so that she could follow the stranger's original request: To get the petch out of here.

Yet, her eyes drifted without realising to the pile of bones. The temptation was there, the motive not quite formed. But if there was some way she could get anything out of this situation, then she would grasp it.
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 7th, 2016, 11:45 pm

The Darkest Corners
21st of Fall, 516
12th Bell

The ghost slipped into the dark-haired woman, and Madeira cursed loudly. Damn Lester Harman. Damn him straight to Dira. This angry, jealous, frantic woman didn't commit suicide. Either he knew, and never thought to divulge that information, or he was truly blind. His negligence didn't just leave her unprepared, it left a stranger she didn't even know in the line of fire of a ghost seeking some sort of vengeance.

The woman's fingers and eyes twitched as the ghost fought for it's cumbersome control. Madeira was very aware of how traumatic possession could be. It was the most intimate form of rape, to have someone else in your mind. She snapped her fingers in front of the woman's face as she took her first, shambling steps forward.

"Hey. Hey. Don't panic. You are being possessed. Try-"

Suddenly the woman's hand reeled back and slapped her open-palm across the mouth. Madeira's head snapped to the side with the force of it. The Lie flickered across her face once again with shock. This woman wasn't much bigger than herself! Where did that strength come from? She instinctively brought a hand to the red welt rising on her cheek. But the ghost was already winding up for another attack. Without the time to jump out of the way Madeira clenched her feeble muscles to try and brace herself. But the blow never came. A fist grazed her belly, and the woman collapsed at her feet.

"Perhaps you think me a FOOL."

The freshly evicted ghost stood there, radiating anger. While her soulmist still whirled chaotically, it seemed to be moving slower than before. Catherine was only a few months into her new un-life, Madeira realized. She wasn't strong. Even so, the Spiritualist was unprepared for a murdered soul. Who killed her and why was so important to knowing why she stayed. And without knowing her purpose, Madeira couldn't exorcize her.

With a sigh of defeat Madeira let go of the Lie. As Lester Harman's face fading from her mind, so did he to the ghosts eyes. It was a relief to rid herself of the consuming concentration.

"No." She addressed the ghost sadly with her own voice. "I think you're angry and hurt and in love. I'm so sorry Catherine. I'm going to come back for you. But... but right now I need you to hold still. I'm so sorry."

Madeira brought the crossbow to her shoulder and fired.

The bolt ripped though the ghost standing several feet away and continue unimpeded into the peeling wallpaper on the other side of the room. The arrow, imbued with soulmist, seemed to drag something out of the ghost's ethereal body. And with that the last of her energy left her. Catherine screamed once, her face twisted in confusion and pain, before vanishing. But even though she could no longer be seen, Madeira knew she was still there, still in pain, and still angry.

She ran a hand over her throbbing face. That was a horrible deed she just did. But if she needed to search the house, and see if she could find out who killed Catherine Harman. Once she had a better narrative of her final hours, she would revive the ghost and make sure she was exorcized properly.

Finally, the blonde woman turned to the stranger laying propped up against the wall. And for the first time, she was able to look at her clearly. She had the warm colouring of the southern regions, and the dark hair to match. Her face was not one that would stand out in a crowed, but her piercing eyes held something dark and captivating in them. A thin sheen of cold sweat was blooming on her brow and her breath was ragged. Madeira was reminded of the first time she was possessed. She was sure she had the same wide eyed stare then, too. Mind you, if this woman was able to repel her first ever possession, she must be very strong of will.

Madeira held out a hand to help her to her feet. Perhaps she could offer some incentive to get this woman to help her unravel this mystery.

"I'm not about to say my name. We still have an audience, you just cant see her. But you can call me... Maddy, I suppose. I'm here because I'm a Spiritualist, and this is my job. Why are you here."
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Allassanachassanya on November 11th, 2016, 5:43 pm

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Ssanya smiled, tiredly. Only in a city of illusions could a day be so confusing. The woman's outstretched hand didn't seem dangerous, so she took it and hauled herself up using her arm as a rope, taking a short glance at the crossbow previously unregistered in the other woman's hand. Her eyes ran up to her face, dark eyes lingering on the unreadable expression on the other woman's pale features, her blonde hair fine and gently waving.

"Sspiritualisst, that iss, dealing with ghossts?" An obvious question, but Ssanya wanted to be sure nonetheless. It appeared she at least knew that Ssanya hadn't actually been able to control herself when she had flew forwards and slapped her, when Catherine had been inside her. That was a relief. She wouldn't have wanted to explain it, in fact she wasn't even sure that she could explain something like that.

Her sudden exhaustion seemed abated, for now at least. She stood and looked around the room, at the collapsed ceiling and at the crossbow bolt that lay embedded in the wall. The room still felt cool, and the spiral of dust and spores in the air from the bolt that had disrupted the wallpaper caught in her breath. She tasted mould on her tongue, and pulled a face of disgust. "Sshould ghossst not know namess? Becausse, then you call me Chassa. And I'm here becausse curiossity killed the cat." She grinned again, a smile laced with exhaustion as she bent her palm up to wipe away the cold sweat on her brow.

"Sso. She'ss still here? What happened here?" It was the woman's job, after all, even if she didn't know exactly what that job entailed. Hopefully, Ssanya hadn't caused too much of a problem being here, and she doubted again whether breaking in had been such a good idea. Yet what was done, was done. There wasn't anything she could do about it now except go along with it.

It seemed that the ghost was trapped, somehow. Now that it was a little safer, she took a few cautious steps towards the woman's dead body. The smell was foul, and she covered her mouth with her scarf as she trod gingerly closer, feet pressing carefully against ground which felt fragile. She was lying on a much-faded carpet, her body mangled in an unnaturally slumped way, as if someone had repositioned her bones. Ssanya got as close as she could, and reached her hand forwards to hesitantly touch the dead woman's face. She moved as if she were approaching a young animal, afraid to spook it but wanting to touch it and give it comfort.
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Allassanachassanya
Meaning through death
 
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The Darkest Corners (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 14th, 2016, 5:30 am

The Darkest Corners
21st of Fall, 516
12th Bell

“Chassa it is then. Spiritualism is a… magical avocation”, she said hesitantly. Magic has always been taboo in Alvadas, though her particular branch was tolerated. “It’s my job to exorcise troublesome ghosts.”

Madeira watched the woman’s tongue slip between her teeth with every sibilant sound. It sounded like a mix between a heavy accent and a severe speech impediment. Her voice was not unpleasant, but it made the hairs on the back of Madeira’s neck prickle. She wasn’t quite sure why. Her hand drifted to her face unconsciously, where her powerful slap had imprinted the woman's hand across her mouth.

“Ah, yes, she’s still here. Gods, I don’t know what happened.” Her rage at Victor Harman came flooding back. “My client said this woman committed suicide. She’s been harassing him, and I was dispatched to deal with her. But this wasn’t suicide.” She pushed her fingers through her hair in frustration. “I suppose you found all this just the way it was, right?” her voice hardened. She didn’t suspect Chassa had anything to do with Catherine’s death, otherwise the woman would have recognized her. But if this woman was some sort of thief and had nicked something important it would not help the situation.

Madeira watched with curiosity as Chassa stepped towards the body, wading through the stench of decay and stepping delicately on the rotting floors. What could she possibly be doing? When she reached forward to touch the body’s withered cheeks the spiritualist almost protested. But she was touching her with such delicacy… Like she was offering it comfort.

Madeira watched in stunned silence for a moment, before remembering herself. She strode past Chassa and the corpse, stirring up dust with the hem of her skirt. Out of the far wall she extracted her crossbow bolt. She could hear panicked rats skittering in the wall.

“Chassa, if you help me figure out who killed this woman, I can reward you. Think of it as an investigative job. There must be clues somewhere…” a diary or letters perhaps, detailing some grudge against Catherine. Maybe the killer left something behind him or herself. The possibilities were extensive and exhausting. An extra pair of eyes would be invaluable. “I have gold, if that’s what you want. Or if you can successfully help me exorcize Catherine, I’ll look the other way if you want to help yourself to anything in this house.”

Typically, she was against thrift or grave robbing of any kind. But she was done looking out for Mr.Harman’s interests. Besides, Catherine wouldn’t need her things where she was going. There might be some truly valuable things in this crumbling manor.
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Madeira Craven
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