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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Martini Elwood
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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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Martini Elwood
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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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Madeira Craven
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