Matters of Business (Caelum)

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Matters of Business (Caelum)

Postby Ignotus Everto on June 7th, 2015, 2:17 am

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56th of Summer, 515AV

Even twenty five hundred miles from his native Zeltiva, Ignotus thought with a smile, he still sought his fortune by the sea. The wet wood of the third level's "street" creaked under the Nuit's feet as he searched for the address given to him. It had taken several bells of inquiry to discover where to find Caelum, and the setting sun tinged the sky violet. A band of warm orange hugged the horizon as Syna started to sink below it.

Eventually the wizard found himself in front of the cherry doors of Alements. Ignotus had to give it to Evalin's employer, the man had a sense of taste. The patio was relatively quiet, a small handful people seated at the tables. A couple of them turned their heads to look at the unnaturally pale fellow with an elegant cane and fine clothes. One of them, a young dark-haired woman in a fine dress and apron made a beeline for him, an intrigued glint in her eyes as she surveyed her clearly wealthy guest.

The purple brocade vest, sapphire blue silk shirt and black pants of the same material were certainly handsome enough, but it was the clasp of his dark fur cloak that caught her attention. It was an ornate, glittering badge rife with Zeltivan motifs, and if the style left any doubt of the stranger's origin, his accent did not.
"Why, hello." said Ignotus with a gentle smile. "You work here?"
"Yes." she replied softly, still looking mostly at the badge. "Would you like a table, Mister..?"
"Everto. Ignotus Everto." the Nuit said silkily, his smile widening slightly at the flaring of the woman's eyes. "And no; I'd like to see Caelum, please. I've come quite a ways for him, and I do believe he will be happy to see me."
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Matters of Business (Caelum)

Postby Caelum on June 7th, 2015, 11:15 pm

The doctor was fresh from an autopsy. It was not every day that such a procedure was requested of Caelum, for what autopsies were desired most often were performed via the Gilia Medical Center. It was run by Akalak and that was the generally preferred state of affairs for the Akalak city. Yet Laone Viharus, a nearly blind instructor at the Tuvya Sasarin, had come calling on Caelum specifically that morning when he had learned that his great aunt had died in the night. Laone and his light brother had spent time during the more vibrant days of spring teaching Aoren Skycrown some of the finer points of combat in the dark. Having heard of the Drykas seer's misfortune, Laone had the ulterior motive of checking up on his former student and personally accessing the quality of his care.


Caelum had suffered the interview with grace. To be honest he was touched by the Akalak's concern and by the time Laone was satisfied with Caelum's merits as a healer and caretaker, he was ready to entrust the ethaefal with the body of his beloved aunt as well. Marynia had been an aging konti, made frail in the winter of her life, and so her death was not entirely unexpected. The reason Laone was seeking an autopsy was because his aunt had complained of excruciating migraines in the final months of her life that came and went every ten to twelve days and would render her completely helpless for their duration. Laone's nephew, an otherwise strapping young Akalak with ambitions to the Kuvay'nas, had begun of recent to complain of headaches himself. Laone wanted to be certain it was not something explainable and preventable, a connection that could be sliced with a scalpel to assure that his brother's son did not tragically follow his grandmother to the grave.


The body was laid on Caelum's surgery table at the far end of his infirmary, where the light was the best from the window. Lanterns glowed against the pale grey walls and reflected off a large array of glass vials and containers that lined the shelves. It was stripped and washed and prepared for his examination, a beautiful collection of skin and bones without so much as an ounce of soul remaining. Bypassing the torso and trunk entirely, Caelum used a long, heavy handled scalpel to slice through the skin and tissue of the skull from the knob behind the corpse's right ear straight back around to the knob behind its left ear. A second incision was made, also down to the bone, to curve up along the brow line and connect the two points. There was little to no blood, what stray drops forms caught easily by the bucket placed beneath the table. Without a beating heart, a body simply did not actively bleed.


Before the physician could remove the scalp and examine the bone beneath, Elise arrived at the infirmary door in a flurry and fluster.


"Caelum, there's someone here to see you."


"I'm a bit occupied, darling," Caelum murmured, eyes not rising from the corpse.


"You're always occupied," Elise pointed out. "And this is someone new. Someone different."


"Pray tell." Caelum muttered distractedly, grimacing when he realized he had taken down the correct surgical saw.


"It's Everto, the dead man from Zeltiva."


Golden eyes blinked up. "What?"


Elise released an exasperated sigh. "The Lord of Council himself. You really should come." She hesitated. "What are you doing that he's here? Caelum, you know that all of this slight of hand business has been worrying me since Aoren fell and I really do think --"


"Let's talk about it later," Caelum interjected, stepping back from the body to perform a hasty washing of his hands at the basin. Catching the bar towel on her apron strings, he flashed his employee and friend a charming and perfectly distracting grin before slipping right by her. He strode down the short hall, past the private stairwell and the kitchen door, only to pause in the entranceway to Alements mains as the sun was finally swallowed by the Suvan Sea. His timing was terrible for a man who generally preferred to be outside of the public eyes when undergoing his transformations from one skin to the next. A minor explosion of bright day flurried over him, taking golden skin and glowing horns and even a good few inches of his height with it to leave the windmarks and dark countenance of a dead man behind.


Death was decidedly the day's theme.


Fresh heeled as a Drykas, Caelum cross the short distance to where the unmistakably foreign dignitary waited on him. He was still drying his hands on Elise bar towel when he introduced himself with an extraordinarily winning smile. "You are the last person I expected to come calling on me tonight, sir. Welcome to Riverfall, and to Alements. I'm Caelum. Can I interest you in a drink?"
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Matters of Business (Caelum)

Postby Ignotus Everto on June 8th, 2015, 4:03 am

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“Thank you. It’s an extraordinary city, with extraordinary people.” replied the Lord of Council warmly, his eyebrows twitching slightly at Caelum’s transformation. Even away from his seat of power, authority still clung to the Nuit like a second skin. A cursory Auristic examination would reveal this was not just due to confidence and good posture. A hand gloved in white silk extended immediately towards Caelum, the Hypnotist keeping his teeth together when he spoke. “I thought you might appreciate a pleasant surprise. I might have a nice surprise as well, if you have a drink that will dispose of itself without a working stomach. If not, I’m afraid I must decline your offer.”

With a soft tilt of his head, the wizard signaled he wished to move inside. A tick later, he did so. “Quite a place you have here, Caelum.” said the wizard, his cane thudding against the floor as he walked to the bar. “I can see what drew Evalin to you. While I would love to say she told me all about you, the truth is she was quite brief.”

Leaning back onto the counter and resting his hands on his cane, the Nuit gently breathed out more of his magic. A faint sense of comfort, coupled with the subconscious suggestion that it was best to be open. “So if you’d humor me, dear Caelum, tell me a little about yourself. What do you do? What brought you and Evalin together? How did you two meet? What are your aspirations- and, if I may be a touch selfish.” he said wryly, “What motivated you to seek me out?”
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Matters of Business (Caelum)

Postby Caelum on July 1st, 2015, 12:13 am

If he hesitated before taking Everto's hand, then it was hardly noticeable. The white glove his caller wore provided a barrier that helped to muffle some of the keener qualities of dark Nikali's power. Nonetheless, ranuri's red chains rattled inside of Caelum as he shook Everto's hand and he could not help but hear their song. The desires they spoke of created a curious but easily navigated map toward Everto's soul. He wanted, above all, power. While not an uncommon want, it was one that rarely came with such an overwhelming degree of need accompanying it. It was not power for power's sake, he soon realized, but power for the security it could provide.


A matter of moments had passed as he sorted through Everto's desires, an odd silence though not an unnaturally long one.


"I'm afraid I don't have such a drink, though there might be some wine of fine enough quality to be worth tasting even if you have to spit it out," he confessed. There were a few such bottles tucked in the cool, dark recesses of his cellar and he raised an eyebrow in silent inquiry. He meant what he said. He would be willing to waste it.


The smile he wore relaxed at its corners as he filled a pewter pitcher with fresh water from the sink basin behind the bar and listened to what his guest had to say. Elise watched them between seeing to their other customers, her curiosity a bright spangle of hope quivering familiarly against his senses. A few herb tins were selected from the wide array tucked under the marble lip of the bar and he placed these along with the pitcher onto a tray.


An abrupt and unsettling desire jolted through Caelum, snapping his eyes from the tray to Everto. It had undoubtedly come from him. It had his flavor, already learned in the song about power, but it was unnaturally strong. It was so loud, in fact, that it caused the ethaefal to believe Everto desperate. He became a little bit more suspicious. What was so important that the Lord of Council in Zeltiva, half a world away, had traveled to see him? He wanted Caelum to be open and comfortable badly. Of course, Caelum grew a little more inclined to be so. He did not know that Everto had just used the usually subtle magic of hypnotism. Caelum did not know there was such a magic and he certainly had no idea it was meant to be subtle. What he did know, however, is that some desires were a great deal more jarring and potent than others.


"Evalin --" He used the White Witch's more common name, though in private he called her by the name she had disclosed to him: Evangeline. "Came to me last autumn shortly after her arrival here in Riverfall. Her servant was ill, struggling with some distasteful allergies from the abrupt climate change, and she was hoping for a cure. I'm a doctor, Everto. I heal the bodies of men, and I strive very often to heal somewhat of their hearts and souls as well. As for my interest in you, it's simple. There was a time I called Zeltiva home, and I have a deep interest in her welfare." A quick, brilliant smile. "Not to mention an abiding curiosity in what goes on there and just about everywhere."


The last half was somewhat low, a deeply personal thing to offer to a stranger, and that in an of itself was uncharacteristic of Alements proprietor. For all the warmth and hospitality, concern and caring he offered out to patrons and patients, he was still a deeply private and very guarded man.


A few other items, mostly glass bottles and vials filled with liquids of different colors, were added as well before he lifted the tray with the ease of long practice and tilted his head in invitation and led the way past the kitchen and stairwell doors to the infirmary. Marynia's corpse was covered by a light sheet at the far end of the room, beneath the window where the light was best.


"We'll have privacy in here," Caelum explained, and he did not apologize for the corpse. He was a physician. Corpses were part of, well, life; and, besides, he was already comfortable around Everto who he had already identified as being a Nuit. "Tell me, what in the world brings you so far from home? And to my doorstep?"
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Matters of Business (Caelum)

Postby Ignotus Everto on July 2nd, 2015, 4:09 pm

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The wizard noted the curious delay between taking his hand and speaking, though to Caelum's benefit it still merely intrigued him, and did not indicate anything specific. He waved the offer of wine away. "Oh, no. I couldn't possibly let you waste such precious wine on someone like myself."

Though he didn't stop speaking when Caelum's gaze suddenly jolted to him, a faint furrow came to his brows. Did he suspect? Possible, though presumably he'd look away if he thought he was being manipulated.

An eyebrow raised at mention of a follower, and the corners of Ignotus' mouth twitched upward at Caelum's little hobby. Once they were in the infirmary with naught but the corpse for company, the wizard spoke.

"Picture this if you would Caelum. A dear old friend you haven't seen in years and suspected had left the region appears wishing to see you, and comes with very peculiar invitations, one of them from someone with whom she identifies as her assistant." The Hypnotist's mouth twisted into an amused smile at that, a flash of mottled black appearing between his teeth as he continued, "Now, you may not have known Evalin for very long, but anyone who she would willingly submit to must be very special indeed, and I have certain business across the Suvan that someone as exceptional as you yourself doubtlessly are could be extremely helpful in."

Ignotus' smile faded somewhat as he leaned forward onto his cane. "I too like to be informed. I need someone found in Alvadas, and I need to know what Evalin's been gathering followers for. Can you do this?" As he made his request, he wove a little more into the words. A faint suggestion whispering to Caelum's subconscious that Ignotus could help him, and that such knowledge was worth imparting. With luck, it would push the Ethaefal to provide him with what he wished.
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Matters of Business (Caelum)

Postby Caelum on July 9th, 2015, 9:17 pm

Hypnotism cannot make a victim do what they don’t want to, but its greatest power lies in changing what a person thinks they want. It had little chance of convincing a man who has spent every day for the past two and a half years learning how to identify, juggle, and defend himself from the endless flow of other people’s ambitions. Caelum did not know that Everto was attempting to use hypnotism on him. Instead, ranuri translated it into a desperate, driving desire of the nuit's that had the ethaefal frowning thoughtfully down at his tray.


An absent kick was given his desk chair, scooting it out at an angle so that with an eloquent gesture Caelum could wordlessly invite Everto to sit. He slumped to a comfortable perch on the edge of his desk and lifted a tin of pale pink powder to tap out a measurement into the bottom of a shining glass.


"Have you asked her?" He spoke finally. The question was direct and accompanied by a brief glance before he focused on stirring a dollop of sugar water into the glass with the powder. "Asked Evalin what she's collecting followers for, that is. And what does that even mean? Followers. Is she starting some sort of cult? There are plenty of strange folk who seem to enjoy hanging around her for one reason or another. Most of them are troubled." Caelum, of course, was not one of them. The interesting part might have been why.


"And who is this person you want to find in Alvadas? And why do you need to? I'm going to be honest with you, Ignotus." Wasn't he always? Plenty imagined him to be. A pinch of dried hyssop petals was added to his elixir and he gave it a final stir, clockwise three times with a long handled spoon. "Regardless of whether or not I'm special or how special I may be, there is very little I'm willing to do without full disclosure. Especially when the business includes potentially traveling across the Suvan to a city ruled by the trickster god."


A smile spread over his face, closed lipped and compelling as Nikali could possible make it. Many had spilled their secrets to that smile. "Can I? That's a different matter entirely. I won't know without more information. Talk to me, Ignotus. It may be that we can help each other, be of assistance as equals and friends, but I'm not in the least bit interested in working for anyone. I suspect that is something you understand."
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Matters of Business (Caelum)

Postby Ignotus Everto on July 10th, 2015, 6:44 pm

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The wizard's lips pursed as he sank into the seat. It appeared that Hypnotism distressed him. Perhaps he did suspect something, or he reacted poorly to the magic. There would be time to test later; for now, it was best to stop aggravating the man. He listened to the doctor intently, unblinking gaze occasionally focusing past Caelum as Ignotus attempted to pull some sort of profit out of Evalin's actions. She appeared to be going after people who were easily controlled- that or she had grown touched since they had last parted and like attracted like.

"That is what I was hoping to find out." the Nuit finally said at length, pushing himself back in his seat. "The immortals tend to clutch their secrets to their chests. No doubt even if I pried I would only get a half-truth, and I don't deal in scraps."

Ignotus chuckled softly at Caelum's smile and statement after. "Yes, I believe I can understand. Apologies; I suppose age and politics are starting to get to me." The wizard looked down at hands for a couple ticks before speaking again, somewhat tightly.

"I'm on a divine mission." he said simply. "From who, I'm not at liberty to say, though I can assure you it is not Rhysol, Vayt, or their ilk. I have been tasked with locating an Andyn Issidia, native of Zeltiva, resident of Alvadas, and stealing a trinket from him without his knowledge. This trinket he keeps on his person at all times, and serves as a reminder of his time in Zeltiva for him."

"I'd rather like to know who's been visiting our dear Evalin as well." he added with a faint smile as he looked back up at Caelum. "In exchange; I am a door to Zeltiva's nervous system. If you need something from someone in power, I am confident I can procure it."

'I hope this is more to your liking. Perhaps with a bit of time, we could, as you suggested, come to see each other as friends as well as partners." Persuasion without Hypnotism was not a skill he was exceptionally practiced in, but he wasn't lost without his magic either, and he was perfectly willing to work with the Ethaefal as a peer at the moment. So far, he showed no signs of skullduggery.
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A thousand thanks to Phoenix for the gorgeous blue frame, and a thousand more to Edreina for her beautiful magic-themed one!

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Ignotus Everto
Only Mostly Mad
 
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Joined roleplay: May 6th, 2012, 5:57 pm
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