Solo Good Intentions

A benevolent practise of a malevolent art

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Good Intentions

Postby Madeira Craven on June 9th, 2018, 10:47 pm

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    15th of Summer, 518
Emma was chattering away to the severed head of her bondmate while Madeira sat on the bed of their cramped quarters. The Spiritist was singing to herself under her breath and the ghost's cheerful chatter. It was some half remembered sea shanty the sailors sang, something to pass the time as she dug the dull point of her eating knife against the grain of a discarded strip of wood from a broken crate. She was trying to carve a sixteen point star from the unyielding wood, and it was going poorly.

“Go down you blood red roses go down…”

She tipped the blade to shave the grain rather than slice, and worked it back and forth with gentle pressure from both ends. But one side broke through before the other, and the knife slipped. She narrowly missed cutting her fingers as the blade glanced off the divot on the other side. Though the blade was so dull she sourly wondered if it would have broken the skin at all.

She sighed through her nose and paused in her ineffectual carving to listen to Emma. The girl was kneeling on the floor, speaking to the dark space under her bed where Raj was stored. Animated hand gestures and a bubbling enthusiasm punctuated a story about the porpoise she saw off the bow last night. They had been on the ship for nearly five weeks and the girl could still find things to talk to Raj about.

"-and then it jumped out of the water and it was so big but not bigger than you of course and I wanted to tell you right away but Maddy and Ally were sleeping and Maddy gets grumpy when I wake her up and-"

It was a good thing ghosts didn't need to breath, or she might have passed out by now.

"-and I'd take you out to see them next time! And the birds. I know you don't like the birds, though. Remember when you tried to eat that meat pie on the pier back home? And the seagulls all swarmed you and me and Papa were laughing and I tried to pull you out? Yah, I know! But that was before-"

Madeira watched as the ghost seemed to physically stutter. Her form flickered as her mind ground to a halt on this little piece of knowledge. Because that was before Raj died. Her expression fell from girlish delight to confusion, and for one tick the Spiritist swore she saw a wing of horror flash across her face before her eyes took on a sudden blankness.

"It's ok, Em. You're ok." Madeira leaned forward and brushed her curly hair back from her forehead, feeling her ghost's shroud resist the pressure of her hand. "Why don't you tell Raj about that albatross that's been following us?'

The girl looked up at Madeira and then away, and she could almost see the girl's mind working to protect itself from the unwanted memories. Something inside the Spiritist broke to pieces to see the little girl defending herself against reality. She put her carving aside and reached out for her, beckoning her closer.

"Come here, kitten, it's ok. I promise you're ok.

She pulled dijed from the bed of her tongue, letting it flood her mouth and sit in the syllables of those words. Her brows contracted as she concentrated, doing everything she could to twist those words into a flash of assurance the words themselves couldn't inspire alone.
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Madeira Craven
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Good Intentions

Postby Madeira Craven on June 9th, 2018, 10:49 pm

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The ghost wobbled where she knelt for a moment, staring at the offered arms. It would be so much better if the girl could cry when she fell into one of these episodes. The emptiness was so much worse.

After a moment the ghost floated to her side, and the covers did not so much as ruffle as she pulled her knees to her chin and sat on the bed. But Madeira put an arm around her anyway, despite the uncomfortable cold of her agitated soulmist and the prickling energy that numbed her body.

"You know what? I just learned a great new song. But my voice is so terrible I feel embarrassed to sing it. I'd feel so much better if you'd sing with me."

The girl was looking at her knees, bunching the thin fabric of her nightdress between her fingers. After a moment she nodded slowly.

"Thanks, kitten. That makes me happy. Do you think Raj wants to sing too?"

She struggled with herself for a moment, torn between the calm that name inspired and the reality that was attacking her comfortable delusion. The ghost shrugged and sniffed mightily.

"Well, we'll start on our own and he can join in if he wants to. Is that ok?" Then she leaned forward to speak to the beheaded Kelvic that lived under the bed. "You can sing when you feel like it, Raj. I bet you're voice is way better than mine anyway!"

This earned a little smile from the spirits crusted lips, though the mirth didn't quite reach her eyes. Madeira leaned back with an arm around the child's tiny shoulders, and wracked her mind for a sea shanty that was appropriate for a six-year-old.

She moved the dijed, that energy of her soul so unlike soulmist, back to her throat. She held that invisible power there with an effort that made her palms sweat, and began to sing.

”In the Black Ball line I served my time
To me way-aye-aye, hurray-ah
And that's the line where you can shine
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line”


She struggled to convey the simple emotion of happiness through the magic. The concentration needed to maintain it made her trip over the words, but she soldiered through. She couldn't even tell if the magic was have any effect, but she held tight to that string of faith and hoped Emma would use it to pull herself out of the dark hole she
had found herself in.
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 908
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Good Intentions

Postby Madeira Craven on June 9th, 2018, 10:51 pm

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The spirit was silent for a moment, but then with a small, hesitant voice she joined her for the second verse.

” The Black Ball Ships are good and true
To me way-aye-aye, hurray-ah
They are the ships for me and you
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line’


Madeira smiled, and allowed her voice to grow louder. The walls were paper thin and surely they were giving their neighbours quite the concert, but she was so happy to simply see Emma recovering. She had to pull more dijed from her throat to keep up the subtle hypnotism, now sure it was working on the little ghost. Though she was equally
sure wasn't skill or performance that was making the sloppy hypnotism weave into the child's mind. Emma's mind was simply so weak, her soul utterly shattered under her paper thin delusion, that she had no mental defence against it. It worked because the girl wanted it to work.

So Madeira kept it up. Even as her mind started to stumble under the concentration and she missed more words than she hit, she made sure to push the dijed out with every word. Her silent demand of happiness filled the space between them, in the spark of energy where the ghost's shroud and the human's body met.

”For once there was a Black Ball Ship
To me way-aye-aye, hurray-ah
That fourteen knots an hour could clip
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line”


Madeira's throated started to ache, like the feeling you get just before a cold. Her voice started to get softer as if to protect itself, though she knew the cause wasn't physical. A pinprick of a headache, no larger than a grain of rice, bloomed behind her eyes.

Just one more verse, she told herself.
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 908
Words: 714453
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 4
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Good Intentions

Postby Madeira Craven on June 9th, 2018, 10:52 pm

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” They'll carry you along through frost and snow
And take you where the wind don't blow
You will surely find a rich gold mine
Just take a trip in the Black Ball Line”


Madeira's hands were starting to quake with the effort. The pain in her head was slowly growing, as if the dijed leeching out of her body was unearthing something underneath. Madeira shut her eyes, and ripped forward one last effort. Dijed rode out on her voice, and her mind bent itself to it's purpose. You're ok, please be happy.

The magic sizzled on her tongue like a physical thing, and she pushed it to settle in the ghost's mind. She willed it to stay there, a benevolent promise that just wanted the poor, broken girl to stay away from the dark waters of her madness.

"Maddy! Are you ok?"

Madeira was startled into opening her eyes. They had stopped singing. Emma was looking up at her with concern written in her doe eyes. Two fat drops of dark blood were sparkling in Madeira's lap. She brought a hand to her nose and pulled it away bloody.

"It's just a nosebleed, sweetie. I'm fine." she lied, even as her exhausted mind sent another stab of pain through her temple. "We were being so loud I didn't hear if Raj joined in."

The girl gave a shy little smile and nodded. The simple expression sent a wave of relief through the Spiritist. The pain she was in was felt inconsequential to the knowledge that Emma had regained her peace.

"There, see? I knew he couldn't resist showing off", she stage whispered in the child's ear, and was rewarded with a little bubble of girlish giggling. "Go gossip with him about how bad my singing is. But be very quiet, I think I'm going to have a little lay down before dinner."

She kissed the top of the ghost's head, and she could feel the lingering static of her soulmist long after the girl floated back to the floor. Emma laid on the floor, propping herself on her elbows as Madeira rolled top her side and laid her aching head on her pillow. The metallic taste of blood was in her throat, and her eyes watered with a headache, but the happy chattering of a cheerful ghost was in her ear like the sweetest lullaby. Within chimes she had drifted off to sleep.
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 908
Words: 714453
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 4
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)

Good Intentions

Postby Madeira Craven on June 10th, 2018, 12:52 am

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Grades Awarded!

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Madeira Craven

Skills
  • Singing: 4xp
    Carving: 1xp
    Caretaking: 3xp
    Hypnotism: 4xp

Lores
  • Lore of carving with inferior tools
    Carving: slipping against the grain
    Lore of preserving Emma’s delusion
    Hypnotism: emotional suggestion
    Hypnotism: combing hypnotism and singing
    Caretaking: soothing
    Lore of overgiving

Awards & Retribution

Notes
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 908
Words: 714453
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 4
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)


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