Closed The Encounter (Madeira)

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Martini Elwood on January 19th, 2019, 12:49 am

35th Of Winter, 518

The morning was not kind to Martini considering her fathers untimely return. She’d been running herself into the ground trying to get him out of the easel again. She had so many questions and things she wanted to know and say… Yet nothing in the span of five days had brought the ghost back into existence - she had begun to think it was her imagination, would have if not for the moving painting that detailed his death.

She shook herself free of her thoughts - shivering even though the room wasn’t cold as she poured some of her waterskin into the Hyacinth plants she’d gotten. They were blooming a bit - and she briefly let anger seep into her. The whole reason she had purchased the god forsaken plant was to be a symbol of her moving on. She closed the waterskin and turned away. They symbolized grief she had supposedly moved past.

Her father coming back had opened doors she’d wanted locked - and new ones she hadn’t even seen or considered passing through. Some things were best closed off. Martini was learning this as a harsh reality. She didn’t think she’d slept much. She could tell the bags under her eyes were becoming dark once more - but sleeping was almost a bad as being awake, she couldn’t tell which was worse but her body leaned towards sleep.

More importantly she had places to be - Tain’s to be exact. He’d caught her on the streets and told her to come in today a few days back. He hadn’t told her anything specific like he had with her first much to her annoyance. Though she supposed she was more irritated due to the current turn of events in her life. She dressed quietly - a plain shirt and simple pants. Her shoes needed a little shine but she supposed if it was business it was better than going in boots. She pulled her hair back and wrapped it into a messy bun before grabbing her bag - her supplies were already in it. She looked back inside her apartment once more and when nothing greeted her she exhaled and closed the door behind her.

****


She shuffled inside the studio slowly. She could only imagine that people would sense saddened mood - they’d ask questions probably, something she didn’t… no, something she couldn’t deal with now. So she forced a smile as she waved at Nat and walked to a table further from the door. As she took a seat, she realized she’d left her portfolio at the apartment. Tain had recommended the item to her for future jobs…

She sighed but didn’t move - she was already here so there was no point in going back. She could use the older examples that remained in her sketchbook if it was needed. She rummaged through her bag, careful not to crinkle or bend any of the loose sheets of paper inside before removing her sketchbook and flipping through the pages. Her oldest sketchbook had definitely seen better days. Some of the sheets were trying to rip off with the drawings still on them.

Thinking back, she realized it had been at least a one year old. She smiled softly as she gently flipped through the pages. There were sketches in this book she’d forgotten! Looking back on them, she could identify more flaws than when she was just starting out. She was still learning to draw - she was still growing. She flipped through more pages until she hit blanks. Just as she closed the books Tain’s voice startled her ears.

“Hello, Martini. Oh, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

Martini shook her head and assured him it was fine. She had lost herself to her thoughts - perhaps she hadn’t changed too much. She always done this in the past. She smiled back at Tain and urged him to continue. He paused for a moment as he looked at her face, and she realized he was looking at her bags and she let out a stiff laugh.

“I’ve been overworking, I’m just a bit tired.”

“Not too tired to take a client I hope?”

“Of course not,” She snorted playfully. Tain inclined his head and let her know that he had a client lined up for her. Martini listened carefully and nodded as Tain moved away. They’d be here some time today to give her the details, he’d said. She wondered what kind of person she’d be paired with this time. Hinma had been such a pleasure to work with despite their rocky start - she’d been willing to indulge Martini’s curiosity as well. She couldn’t deny it put unwanted thoughts out of mind and excited her.


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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on February 7th, 2019, 9:16 pm

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Emma was, as always, equal parts Madeira's map and blind-mans cane as they found their way to Tain's Studio. Even a year out of Alvadas, and two seasons after overcoming her brief lapse into reality-induced schizophrenia, this was the one part of life outside the city of illusions she could not get past. She had a blind spot to predictability and spacial awareness that made it impossible to find anything in this city on her own. Even attempting to wrap her mind around the concept of a city permanently rooted to the ground, unchanging outside her field of view, could cause flickers of that old Avalad madness. So she didn't.

So her youngest ghost was bobbed along ahead of her, from the manor, out past the Plaza, and into the farthest corner of Zintia Peak. Emma hummed as she walked, completely confident in her navigation of this world her master was blind to, and content in her roll as seeing-eye dog. She kept an easy pace that Madeira could match, even as overburdened with pregnancy as she was. When the beautiful two story studio came into view, perched like some great bird on the edge of a cliff that oversaw the bay, the ghost pointed triumphantly.

"There it is!"

"Thanks, kitten", Madeira ruffled the girl's bouncy, semi translucent hair and found resistance under her soulmist imbued hand. "Did you want to stay and watch or go explore?"

The girl thought for a moment, weighing her options. The sores at the corners of her ruined lips broke and leaked bloody fluid as she frowned in concentration.

"Can I help with the drawings?"

"What if I give you your own paper so you can draw something yourself?"

More intense concentration as the ghost weighed her options, her eyebrows slowly migrating to meet in the middle of her wrinkled brow.

"Can I draw with your hands?"

"Sure, kitten."

"'Kay, I'll stay."

Thus mollified, the ghost and Spiritist reached the front door of the tall studio wrought with skyglass, and Madeira pushed their way inside.

The interior smelt of paint and wet clay. Half finished works were propped on easels and on shelves, and a handful of artists sat in quiet contemplation or creative fervor. The whole back of the building was skyglass, and sunlight poured in through the uninterrupted view. Madeira breathed in the atmosphere and sighed wistfully, regretting she that was never raised to be artistic.

"Madeira Craven, welcome back."

Tarin, who was hovering over the artists closest to the door, looked up from his musings as his concentration was broken by the strange woman and her comapnion. And it was no wonder. Wearing an elaborate silk dress in an eye watering shade of yellow, complete with sparkling lace gloves, heavy rings, strange black bracelets and a gold collar dripping with green diamonds, Madeira immediately stood out from typical Lhavitian fare. And ghosts themselves were not the plague here that they were in Alvadas, mostly keeping to the abandoned buildings and outskirts. Emma would have been an unusual sight in the light of day, even without the gruesome state of her shroud.

"You'll be looking for Elwood", Tain blinked, recovering himself. "She's in the back, let me introduce you." As the owner and namesake of the studio, he had listened to Madeira's commission when she'd come by a few days prior and immediately suggested the artist to her. A young an rising talent, he had told her, selling her service with pride.

He led the way to Martini's table, and Madeira had a first glimpse of the woman she'd be working with. She was of an age with herself, though with a much more womanly shape. Caramel skin and simple clothes gave her a salt-of-the-earth look that was rare to see in artists. She was hunched over a rough and beaten book, thick brown hair pulled back into a working woman's bun, and beneath its fraying edges her eyes were the bruised purple of the permanently exhausted. And even before she had spoken to the woman, the startled spiritist thought she knew why.

They stopped in front of the table, Tain announcing the pair with a cough.

"Martini, this is Madeira Craven, your new client. Madeira, this is our rising artist."

Madeira tore her gaze away from the traces of fading soulmist, invisible to all but her, that was smoothed across the top of Martini's head. A sign of contact left by a ghost. Instead she looked her in her tired eyes and smiled.

"Pleasure to meet you", she extended her hand and bit her tongue. Are you haunted, Martini?
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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Martini Elwood on February 11th, 2019, 5:44 am

Drawing her attention to the new arrival Martini tired to hide her realization and surprise with a tight lipped smile as she bit the inside of her cheek to calm down. After all, there was a ghost next to this woman and whether or not she knew it existed had martini partially fearful. Martini forced her voice pass her lips - though it indeed sounded strained, she coughed and cleared her throat in an attempt to hide the crack.

Martini wasn't sure if she could do this now. She'd been thrilled to have another client from Tain, but the sudden reminder of what waited her at home was... a bit more than what she could handle. She tried her best to keep her eyes off the apparition - she refused to break down in front of strangers anymore than her shaken appearance could show.

"T-the pleasure is mine Miss Craven," she said as she took the hand offered to her. A firm but gentle shake before she released Madeira's hand. Should she have stood? This woman had an air of power that the brunette couldn't quite place. She gestured to the table, ripping her eyes away from the ghost that stood energetically beside her. "Please, have a seat. I'd love to hear what you'd like to get."

She promptly focused her eyes into Madeira's and took in what she could without staring. Blond hair and blue eyes, she couldn't be much older than Martini. Pale, porcelain skin and a slim figure which was adorned by jewels. The brunette was unsure if she was qualified for whatever this person wanted - they could obviously afford what they wanted though if looks were a good judge, so she wasn't complaining.

Closing the sketchbook in front of her she dug around quickly for her notebook before pulling it along with a quill followed by an ink vial. She turned back to the other woman as Tain bid them good luck and turned back to tend to the others. She opened the vial and rested the quill tip inside before speaking again.

“I’ll be writing down some notes on what you want as we go over the project,” She gestured to the notebook and dipped quill with her hand before continuing, gaze traveling between the apparition and her client. “I’ll let you look over them after wards and we can correct anything I didn’t get quite right if that seems agreeable?”


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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on February 11th, 2019, 7:29 pm

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Madeira smiled and returned the handshake, sitting in the offered chair as gracefully as her swollen body would allow as the artist fumbled with her supplies. Martini's voice was just as stressed as her body, and what might have been dulcet tones were wrung dry and fissured like battered eggshells. Brown eyes were staring determinedly into her blue, and Madeira could see her composure fraying at the edges.

The source of the impending meltdown was undoubtedly Emma. The ghost was hovering by Madeira's chair, oblivious to the sudden change of atmosphere as she maintained a shy kind of enthusiasm. The Spiritist could forget that the girl was gruesome and unsettling to everyone else, as she had long since seen her to be the nervous, goofy kid she truly was. Her eyes flickered again to the caress of soulmist that lingered in the artists brown hair and realized she probably had more reasons to fear her than just her appearance.

"This is Emma", Madeira began gently. She summoned her dijed from deep in her soul and let it sit heavy on her tongue. Lathering magic into her words, she pressed calm into Martini's mind. "You don't have to worry about her, she's harmless", she purred. "And a sweet girl besides. It's okay."

Madeira snapped her fingers to get Emma's attention and invited her inside with a crook of her finger. And with a pop of disturbed air and a sudden chill the little girl giggled and vanished. The possession was hilariously weak as it hit the Spiritist, and non hostile besides. The girl lingered patiently in Madeira's bones, though she showed no sign of it.

Martini was organizing her workspace with practiced efficiency. The sketchbook was closed and set aside, a notebook similar to Madeira's own materialized from underneath the table, and an inkwell and quill were set beside it. She wondered what was in the notebook. Or the sketchbook for that matter. Client notes? Musings? Ideas? What did she like to draw?

Martini explained that she would be taking notes before they start, and that Madeira would have the chance to look it over when she was done.

"How professional of you", Madeira smiled, impressed. "That sounds good. Shall I explain the commission?" She cleared her throat, organized her thoughts, and explained herself.

"I need concept art for tattoos. Drawings that I can take to a tattoo artist so they know exactly what I want. I'd like three; the head of a tiger, centered here", she made a circle with her hands to highlight the space on her ribs just below her breasts. "A snake, curled here" she indicated something being wrapped around her upper thigh. "And a badger skull, with rosemary growing through it, here", she placed her glover over her upper arm. "These would all be recreations of people and things I have known and loved, so you must forgive me if I get nitpicky about the details." She sat back in her chair again, feeling the fussy movement of the baby in her belly and the bubbling anticipation of the ghost watching from behind her eyes. "How much will that cost me?"

Even as she spoke her eyes flicked again to the gentle glowing caress on the woman's head, and she discreetly checked the artist's exposed arms and neck for bruises or other signs of violence. There were none, thank gods. But the exhausted eyes told her that if this woman was in contact with a spirit it could be hurting her in different, more psychological ways. It wasn't Madeira's business, she knew. If this woman had not yet contacted a Spiritist it was on her. But at the same time she wanted to help, if she could.

But now was not the time. She bit her tongue and waited for an opening to ask the personal questions.


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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Martini Elwood on February 19th, 2019, 8:49 pm

Martini sucked in a quick breath and her nerves seemed to go into overdrive. Madeira can see her, she can see her and so can everyone else. I'm not imagining things, their common, oh my gods their- She paused. The ghost had a name. And it didn't seem to be harmful, just as Madeira suggested. She blinked and exhaled slowly, It's fine,. With that Madeira snapped and the little ghost, no, Emma seemed to fade away.

It seemed as if all her worries had thinned - perhaps her work ethic was pushing down her fear? Out of sight, think of it no longer. She inclined her for Madeira to continue as she started to scribble her notes in fresh page with a familiar format. When was the last time she had done tattoo concepts? She smiled softly as she recalled her time in Riverfall and continued her notes.

Client: Madeira Craven
Date Taken: 35th of Winter, 518AV
Means: Charcoal sketches with Possible Inking
What: Tattoo Concepts
1.) A Tiger head centered on the ribs under the breast.
- open jawed?
- maybe paws on either side of the head


Adding some ideas after the notes seemed like a good idea, so she jotted down a few imagery details just so she'd have them. Leaving a bit of space under for corrections Martini continued. And a snake tattoo, she thought amused. It was always exciting to be able to reuse old ideas - it was a chance to make the better after all.

2.) Snake wrap around the thigh
- some snakes have neck flaps
- scales with color?
- tongue displayed?


She hummed thoughtfully to herself as she displayed her thoughts on the paper. Charcoal sketches would definitely need to be inked for clear lines and detail. Perhaps some different shades here and there? Once again she paused her writing to look at Madeira as she indicated what area the final tattoo would be located in.

3.) Badger skull growing Rosemary on the upper arm
- add color to petals if blooming? lighter than the tattoo itself?
- roots inside the skull
- flowering mouth?


Briefly Martini wondered if these were people Madeira had lost - recreations as a means of permanent reminder and memory. She wouldn't ask of course, but she understood the importance of detail in such things. They held significance and wanting perfection was normal. She smiled and bobbed her head.

Signed and dated Martini considered her pricing. The snake tattoo shouldn't be too hard in terms of effort and time, so the fee shouldn't be hefty. She hadn't seen many tigers or badgers though, perhaps there was a library somewhere she could look into them. Skulls were easy enough by comparison to fleshing out and actual face...

"Hm, I'd like to think I can do the snake wrap easily so I think ten kina is fair." She offered as she slid her notes across the table eagerly. There was a hint of childish excitement from her every time she got work. There was always a chance to do something new or revisit older works to see if she could make them better. "Here are my notes, I've listed a few ideas below each tattoo for you to check if they fit with your vision."


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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on February 26th, 2019, 12:57 am

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Martini made her notes and turned the notebook around, sliding it across the table to Madeira. The artist had recovered from her nervousness and was glowing with a childish exuberance that suited her. It cleared the dark circles on her face and lit her brown eyes with that determinedly creative spark particular to artists. She was eager to get to work, it was written all over her face. She pondered on the price as Madeira began to look over the notes, and settled on ten kina.

That old habit of haggling popped immediately to Madeira's lips, though Martini was right- it was a fair price, and cheaper than the tattoo artist would have asked. Still, it was a good game to play... She smiled. "I'll double the asking price if you can deliver all three pieces, inked and to my specifications, tomorrow."

Madeira hummed as she picked over what Martini had wrote, making notes where they were needed and speaking aloud as she worked. There was an opportunity here, she felt, as she was going over the particularities of the representation of these people who have died, to broach the subject of Martini's haunting. Or at least she hoped to make one.

"Raj doesn't have paws anymore, but his mouth was open in a fearsome snarl", she explained, making a note in borrowed charcoal. "As for Ssanya, her scales were not brightly colored, but rather were that gold, brown and black of the desert. Also she did not have a hood." Another note. "The idea of colouring Rosemary's flowers is a lovely idea, as is the idea of the blooms bursting from the badgers mouth. It's strangely poetic."

She handed the battered book back with her modifications, resisting the urge to poke through the other pages.

"Sorry again for being so particular. These represent people who have all passed away, and I wish to do them justice." She paused a moment, searching for a tactful way to broach the subject. "Not that all of them are gone. Emma is Raj's bondmate, the tiger I want you to draw. The badger is a kelvic I call Jomi, who is still searching for his Rosemary. All dead, of course... but they linger." Her eyes were searching Martini's, looking for any sign of recognition. "Do you know anyone like that? Someone who lingered?"

As she spoke her gloved hand reached up to her face, to travel lightly across her cheekbone to tuck away a stray hair that wasn't there. The magic woven in the gloves activated with the movement, and a simple hypnotic suggestion of trust me was ferried across the table to the artist.
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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Martini Elwood on April 4th, 2019, 6:59 am

As if the little push of a challenge would be let to slide. Martini smiled - genuine, playful, and responded to the test in kind. "I'd have your coin prepared in that case." She was more at ease with work clouding her thoughts - it was how she coped with a lot of things. She nodded along to Madeira's outward thoughts and took the notebook back with a bit more excitement than she'd meant to share.

She inclined her head silently as she took in the words of her client. She felt her chest tighten at the question, someone who lingered? Could she openly admit to something like that? Would Madeira judge her? Then again, the other woman had been kind... She was nice, Madeira was, and she seemed understanding and trustworthy. She had somewhat of a knowing looking about her, Martini realized.

Dead but lingering. Martini knew that all too well. She could still feel the cold, numb feel of lips on her forehead. She could still see it clear as day. And even touching the spot where ghastly lips had landed on her forehead did nothing to alleviate the nervous and fearful jitters that plagued her mind. Looking at her client though, Martini had seen not an once of her own jumbled feelings on Madeira.

She was visibly deflating as her mood dropped. She was confused, hurt, scared… But most of all she was apprehensive. She didn’t fancy spilling her life story, but for some reason she couldn’t stop herself from speaking. It’ll be okay, just take it slow, she thought. Madeira hadn’t done anything to prove untrustworthy. If anything she’d been easing Martini’s chaotic mind.

Inhale, exhale, speak.

"W-well I... might?" Martini looked down at her lap for a brief moment, anything to avoid the eyes of those around her. She laughed humorlessly but didn't look up again until she finally spoke. "It feels surreal - almost like a dream... and then I realize it isn't," Martini mumbled. "You've seen them though, you know them. Why aren't you - how are you not bothered by them?”

How? How was she so calm? Unbothered? She rubbed her arm at the sudden jump of goosebumps on her skin. The calm exterior... was Madeira hiding her emotions? Perhaps her calm was a façade? She exuded confidence and power, she exuded control. Where things such as those so easily faked? No, they weren't. Martini would know, she faked a lot of things. Control was not one of them.

Thinking back, Madeira’s ghost - Emma, if she thought hard enough - had disappeared. Could she still be there in the studio? Was she.. Was she hiding? Martini moved her eyes around, but found nothing. Had she recognized Martini was afraid? Millions of questions and yet, not one answer. Her paranoia was mostly unfounded! What could a ghost do to harm? And yet she couldn’t shake the fear and the hesitation. The dread and the anticipation. Gazing back at Madeira though, it seemed like she had far more power in matters than was available to Martini.

She couldn’t place the actuality - she just knew there was something about Madeira to be respected.


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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on April 11th, 2019, 7:52 pm

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"W-well I... might?"

Martini's composure was breaking, and something scared and confused was showing in the cracks. This girl uses art as a shield, Madeira realized. When she was drawing and taking notes her nervousness seemed to vanish. But without her creative focus to hide behind, all it took was a simple pointed question for her to tremble. Something was wrong, and she did not want to talk about it. She said it all felt so surreal, and she wanted to know how Madeira could be so unbothered by all of it.

"I'm a Spiritist", Madeira explained quietly. "It's a sort of... medium, for ghosts. An exorcist. I only teach the craft now, but I know how to handle the dead and I know the signs of a haunting." She glanced pointedly at Martini's forehead, where the woman had seemingly unconsciously touched the lingering trace of soulmist on her skin. "I know something is wrong, Martini, and I know I can help. So please... tell me what's happened." Her voice lowered and she leaned forward on her chair, to try and place a gloved hand gently over the artist's. Her pale eyes were beseeching. "You can trust me, I promise."

Why did she care, she wondered. She had just met this woman, and altruism was not in her repertoire. If something were truly wrong this woman would have contacted Rothsam by now anyway. But at the same time she couldn't let it go. Perhaps it was for the ghost's sake, for it was her duty to exorcise every ghost she meets, so matter how long it takes. But some smaller, yet more determined part of her was looking into the woman's doe brown eyes and wanted no more than to help her. She was so earnest and playful and had the sweetest smile, yet the exhaustion in her face went bone deep. She wanted to do some small part in wiping it away.

Madeira suddenly pushed away from the table and rose heavily to her feet, the heel of her hand pressed to the small of her back for support. She smiled cheerfully for the artist, aware that they were in a very public space and this was a delicate matter to discuss. "This is an awfully busy place, and these tattoos are meant to be private", she was back to her normal speaking voice, as she put on a show for the other artists and clients in the studio. "Could we perhaps continue this somewhere else? Your place, perhaps?"
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The Encounter (Madeira)

Postby Martini Elwood on April 22nd, 2019, 9:59 pm

A numerous amount of questions branched out from Madeira’s words. A medium for ghosts? And exorcist as she’s explained. For some reason the thought chilled her skin - there was so much to unpack in that word. Exorcist. It wasn’t like the ghost of her troubles was causing her physical pain - not directly anyway. The ghost, despite being unnatural and very concerning was the last thing she had of her father… Suddenly she was panicking at the thought of him going away - would she be able to handle the loss again?

“I…” She couldn’t say she wanted her fathers ghost to stick around either. It was giving her more emotional and mental turmoil, baggage she thought long sealed. Martini turned her tired gaze to Madeira whose own gaze seemed to plead with her. Was something wrong? Of course there was. But did she… did she want to fix it? What if her father was there for a reason? But the gloved hand laid so gently over hers didn’t seem to mean any harm.

Martini would normally jump at such a chance - to be rid of something so stressful. But that stressful thing was her father, and whether or not she wanted him to go was causing conflict inside her. But the other woman pulled away and stood from the table, supporting her back with a hand and a smile of relative ease on her features. Her words brought Martini back into the present. Tain’s studio was not the best place to discuss such things - prying eyes and ears were everywhere after all.

Martini forced a smile on to her face, and put her things neatly into her backpack and slung it over her shoulder and nodded despite the stiffness she felt. Would her father appear with another person in her home? How would he react? “Yes, of course… Will you be alright to walk to the Solar Winds?”

OOCIf you want to do a quick timeskip that’s fine, unless you want to write out their walk. :D


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