Open Getting Lost While Standing Still

(Ambrosia Alar) Alvadas sets a trap for a group of strangers in the Stallions Rear tavern.

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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.

Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Madeira Craven on July 7th, 2017, 5:19 am

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50th of Summer, 517
19th Bell


Madeira sat in the Stallions Rear with her one hand wrapped around the stem of her wineglass and her perpetually tired eyes miffed under thin blonde brows. Her other hand was raised above her head, trying in vain to shoo away the bees that circled her head like a bizarre halo. The young Craven exuded an almost physical barrier of wary suspicion that seemed to leak from the tight, neat bun at the back of her head and the stiff set of her shoulders under her high necked dress.

She was alone at the bar, despite the Stallion being a notoriously social tavern with very limited seating. And it was only partly because her clothing was crawling with stray bees. The tavern was nearly empty, barring two humans at the table by the door who spoke in low voices, and the pretty blonde barmaid. The Spiritist had never seen the place so quiet, and frankly it was making her nervous. The city had not been kind today, and she was beginning to suspect it had ulterior motives beyond its usual shenanigans.

"I'm telling you", Madeira was gesticulating at the barmaid with her wineglass while spuriously checking her hair for more fuzzy intruders. "Bees. As soon as I step outside my clothing just dissolves into bees. And then what? I'm just standing there, naked, and covered in bees. But as soon as I'm inside, poof! My clothing is back. It feels like I’m being herded here, for whatever reason.”

She went to take a sip of the sweet red, only to pause with a sigh and push it away. There was a bee drowning in her wine.

With a scrape of chairs against the floor the two humans by the door got up to leave. They waved a 'thank you' to the barmaid and slipped out into the dusk. The golden light cut a swath out of the dark walls, and made the air dance with tiny motes of glittering dust for just a moment. Madeira looked to the ceiling and admired the dusty pink sunset that shone through the shattered mosaic of the few illusionary tiles left. Maybe it was time for her to try and leave too. Surely the city wouldn't wait forever for her to exit the tavern just so it could attack her with more bees.

“What about you?” she asked the girl, giving up her fight with the buzzing insects and crossing her arms against the counter. “Has anything weird happened tonight? I can’t be the only one.”
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Ambrosia Alar on July 8th, 2017, 8:33 pm

Ambrosia wasn’t someone prone to finding joy in other people’s hardships, but something about the beautiful, young woman at the bar and the ridiculous illusion hovering about her made Ambrosia smile. This customer had an air of refinement. Whether it was the straight-backed, perfect posture or the tight bun her blonde hair was pulled into or the high-necked dress that told her, Ambrosia couldn’t tell, but propriety seemed to be second nature to her which only made the illusion seem all the more amusing. Despite the woman’s knack for appearances, the bees floating around her head were doing a damn convincing job of painting her as some prestigious saint of beekeepers. The whole scene was a little too much, and a hint of her smile crept over Ambrosia’s face.

At the moment, the woman was complaining about the bees that had been haunting her for the better part of the day as several of the creatures in question lazily milled around on her clothing as if they might find some nectar there. “As soon as I step outside, my clothing just dissolves into bees. And then what? I’m just standing there, naked, and covered in bees.”

Ambrosia imagined there had been plenty of men who were hoping the bees would fly away. At the very least, their imaginations would have been sparked. This customer was a particular type of pretty that couldn’t go unnoticed, even behind the rigid sense of propriety. But there was more to the woman than that. There was an exhaustion in her eyes, and it carried with it such a weight that Ambrosia couldn’t help but feel that whatever caused the fatigue must have been important. There were people who put on an air of importance just because they thought they deserved it, but this was different. This came from actual accomplishment and effort.

“It feels like I’m being herded here, for whatever reason,” the customer finished and made to take a drink of her wine until she found one of the aforementioned bees floundering in her glass. Thinking it had found an unending source of nectar, the little insect had drunk too deeply and was now literally drowning itself in alcohol. The poor fool had accomplished what Ambrosia had seen so many of the Rear’s patrons try to do over the years. The young woman pushed her glass away.

Ambrosia took the glass with a smile, dipping her fingers in to retrieve the helpless drone. “The Rear’s one of best places you could possibly hope to find yourself in unexpectedly.” She sipped the abandoned wine. “The drink’s good; and the company,” she gestured to herself, “even better.”

The two men by the door stood and waved a quick goodbye to Ambrosia. She called out at their backs as they stepped through the door. “You’d better be back, Eli. It’s still way too early for you to be calling it a night.”

“I’ll be back,” the man called over his shoulder. The promise sounded empty.

“Bring friends with you.” The door closed behind them, muffling her last demand, but if Eli returned, he was sure to bring drinking buddies with him. That was a guarantee.

Ambrosia’s only remaining customer spoke up again. “What about you? Has anything weird happened tonight? I can’t be the only one.”

Ambrosia’s smile brightened. “‘Has anything weird happened?’ This is Alvadas, love. Weird is what we do. But I get what you mean. Anything more weird than normal?” She thought about it a moment. “Not really. Everything I’ve run into today has been pretty benign. A rain cloud followed me here today. That actually made the walk more pleasant. There were constellations, night skies, in the wine earlier. Too bad you missed that one. Ionu or Alvadas or whoever is in charge of the illusions has always been pretty kind to me. The weirdest thing that’s happened today was Eli leaving this early. Well, and there’s you and this.”

Ambrosia gestured to the bees crawling over the other woman’s clothes. The half-dead, half-drunk bee in Ambrosia’s hand buzzed to test its wings and, deciding it could fly, attempted to do exactly that. With the dull thud of nearly weightless chitin striking wood, it fell to the bar. Buzzing its wings again, it took a moment to gather itself, then wandered about the bar top until it found the young woman’s arm and joined its cohorts.

Pouring a fresh glass of wine, Ambrosia placed a coaster on top to keep any curious bees out before sliding the new glass in front of her patron. “That one’s on the house, as an apology for your bee problem.” As the swirling wine slowed and came to a rest, the liquid darkened, first to a purple before finally deepening to a purple so dark it was almost black. Slowly, little dots of light appeared and spread throughout the entire glass, making familiar constellations. Ambrosia smiled. “Oh, look at that. The night skies are back.”

She took another drink of her boring wine and set it on the counter. “So, it almost sounds like you think the city’s out to get you?”
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Madeira Craven on July 13th, 2017, 5:37 am

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Madeira had always considered herself a social person. Part of it was her surprisingly social profession, and the rest was ingrained from growing up in an affluent household. As a result she could hold her own in most social situations, and was comfortable in crowds. But very rarely did she find herself actively enjoying someone else's company. Her one and only friend was a Dhani maledictor, for gods sake, she was aware that her tastes were a bit bizarre. But there was something easy about the barmaids smile, and the comfortable way she talked, that had Madeira banting and complaining like they were already friends.

Madeira stared into the barmaids confiscated wine, watching the little yellow balls of pollen float in tiny vortexes from her last sip, as she called a friendly goodbye to the two men. The woman bled sunshine and sweat charisma, the Spiritist secretly decided. A creature simply meant to be alive.

When the woman turned back to her now only customer, she went on a brief description of her daily dose of illusions and concluded that nothing too extraordinary had happened. Madeira nodded thoughtfully. She had the sneaking suspicion that Eli leaving early meant more than she supposed. But she didn't speak, fearing the woman would peg her as the paranoid type she was clearly becoming. Instead she watched the drunk, waterlogged bee struggle to right itself. And finally with a subtle roll of her eyes Madeira laid her arm out beside the delirious, fuzzy creature and let it crawl back into place.

The expression was replaced with an appreciative smile, however, when a fresh glass of red wine was placed before her. And the smile quickly morphed with a charmed kind of wonder when the crimson liquid faded to an inky black, and a faithful creation of a starlit night bloomed in her glass.

"Thank you", Madeira took the glass and tipped it politely towards the barmaid before taking a sip. The cosmos tasted of oak and apricot.

The woman took a sip of her own wine before asking her question: did she think the city was out to get her?

Madeira swept her tongue over her chapped lips as she considered her answer. "Well, yes... and no." she paused. When she spoke again, she spoke in the slow, measured tones of someone trying very hard to make sense.

"You know how the city has moods? How it can be snarky or vindictive or helpful, depending on the day? Well, it also has preferences. I didn't think it did, I thought we were all subjected to it's whims. Until"- she poked the air as if to mark the word- "I walked the streets with Madara Craven, and I swear to gods the city moved out of her way. It signals her out and lets her go about her business unimpeded most days. And now I think we might have been briefly singled out too, in a completely different way. I don’t necessarily think the city is out to get me, but I am almost positive it wants the two of us to be here. I think it’s signalling us out for… I don’t quite know what for.”

The suspicious set of her shoulders came back as she sat straight in her stool. A few bees jostled by the movement took wing and joined her buzzing halo. The Spiritist lifted her shimmering night sky glass and offered it to the barmaid to toast with a resigned smile. "My name is Madeira Craven, by the way. Lets toast to a quiet Alvadas tonight."
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Jomi on July 16th, 2017, 4:02 am

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The Alvadas streets seemed to shine that night. A bright summer moon peaked over the horizon, reflecting off the prism paved streets to create an shifting kaleidoscope over every surface that caused even veteran Alvads to pause in their hurried steps to admire. But Jomi was too preoccupied with his staring contest with a building to notice. He stood, fully materialized and defiant, in front of The Stallions Rear, which had been stalking the frustrated ghost around the city the entire afternoon. It had loomed over him at every turn only to reappear in front of him every time he turned away, it was now wedged precariously inside a narrow alley between stalls in the market. The space should have been too small for an entire building to squeeze inside but the laws of physics appeared to be just annoying details in the city of illusions.

Now Jomi, a seasoned Alvad, knew better than to follow where the city lead him, especially when it was being so pushy. But now facing an entire night of blocked roads and sudden detours Jomi considered the merit of just going along with the city’s whims. There was not much the world could do to someone like him. Once you were dead there was not much left to be afraid of.

Coming to a snap decision, Jomi closed his eyes and focused his mind on the errant wisps of soul mist that swirled around his form. He struggled to control the loose threads and curl them back towards his core, giving his form more substance and seeming slightly more opague. Then, puffing out his chest as if taking a deep breath, the suspicious ghost gingerly crept through the wall and into the tavern.

And was greeted by soft, warm light inside a surprisingly calm and empty room.

And Jomi’s suspicion meter jumped to eleven.

He could see two young women chatting amicably at the bar. A barmaid leaned against the counter with a soft wistful smile and seemed to radiate calm. But something about the second woman made the badger in him want to raise it’s hackles and hiss. He squinted his eyes and crept closer as he tried to remember what it was about the woman with the skinny frame, the severe bun and tired, red rimmed eyes…

“…Nope.”

Jomi spun on his heels and marched right back through taverns door and out into…the tavern.

Somehow, the Kelvic ghost had exited the front door, only to loop in through the back door. Jomi stood at the back of the tavern for a long, bemused moment.


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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Velindor Calendula on July 16th, 2017, 6:46 pm

As soon as he turned the key to lock his front door behind him, Velindor had a certain feeling about tonight. Having only been in Alvadas for a season now, he was still getting acclimated to the city’s wild and unpredictable nature. Thankfully, however, most of the shock had worn off, leaving mystery and enchantment behind where panic and paranoia had once reigned. That didn’t prevent him from gagging by reflex as the stench of rancid fish left to ferment in the sun wafted across his nostrils. Reflexively, the Symenestra threw up an arm to bury his nose in his sleeve in defense against the foul odor as he fled his doorstep. By the time the air smelled clean again, he was already two blocks away. Doing his level best to regain his composure, Velindor paused to take a deep breath, allowing his facial muscles to relax before resuming his usual polite visage, ashen lips curled into a sardonic grin beneath his golden eyes. A simple exercise, but an important one to practice, nevertheless.

Offensive odor now forgotten, the young herbalist continued walking the streets of Alvadas. He didn’t have particular destination in mind, having come to accept that trying to get anywhere on purpose in this city may as well be a futile effort. I swear this city has a mind of its own at times, Velindor thought as he swept his gaze from one side of the crowded street to the other. All around him were beings of various shapes and sizes living their lives in a single moment. As he weaved his thin figure through the throng of bodies in a manner not dissimilar to the silk weavers of his native Kalinor weaved their threads, the young Symenestra allowed the sights and sounds to wash over his senses. Moving to turn the next corner, Velindor found the crowd suddenly crushing him out, away from that direction and back towards the open street. A wry chuckle escaped his lips. So they aren’t all real, he mused as he continued down the avenue, vaguely aware of the crowd closing up behind him.

Velindor allowed himself to be corralled in this manner, not that one truly ‘allowed’ the city anything, until he came face to face with an altogether pleasant sight. Breathing a sigh of relief, the Symenestra adjusted his silken cloak and, more out of habit than caution, double-checked the leather bracer on his left wrist, ensuring the two tiny vials stashed in underside pockets were still present before making his way through the door of the Stallion’s Rear. There are certainly worse places I could’ve ended up, he thought to himself as he stepped casually towards the bar, where he observed two fairly attractive human women chatting. One appeared to be the barmaid, while the other had several bees buzzing about her head. Intrigued, Velindor took a seat just down from the woman with the blonde bun, sparing her a casual but intentional glance as he focused his gaze on the barmaid.

Brushing his silver mane back from his ears as he raised his hand to grab her attention, Velindor spoke in a polite, measured tone, “Excuse me,” he waited for her attention before continuing, “could I please have a mug of your house red?” Placing the five silver mizas on the bar in front of him, Velindor took the opportunity of his wait to turn his eyes towards the other patrons of the bar. Few seemed to be of much interest, mostly what one would expect in the average tavern, though of course with Alvadas’ own twist.

"You know how the city has moods?”

That line overheard piqued his interest, and Velindor was not exactly surprised to see it was the blonde-bun woman speaking of the matter. He listened as she continued to speak to the barmaid, and pondered on his own experience in arriving at the Rear.

“You know,” he spoke up once he had received his wine, “I was herded here by a crowd of people and a sack of rotting fish. Do you think that’s got something to do with these ‘moods’ of yours?” Velindor smiled and bowed his head before continuing in a self-depreciating tone, “My apologies, I couldn’t help but overhear, and it is an interesting idea. Velindor Calendula, at your service.”
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Ambrosia Alar on July 31st, 2017, 1:43 pm

As she was pouring Madeira’s drink, Ambrosia noticed something odd. A newcomer stepped through the front door of the Rear. Literally, through the front door. The familiar creak of hinges against wood never came. Instead, a body simply appeared where there had not been one before. It only took Ambrosia a moment to recognize the imperfections in the figure- the hazy edges, the way its steps didn’t match its movement, the way light seemed to half forget to make a shadow of it- that marked it as a ghost.

The figure, a young man with a lithe, powerful build and long, straight black hair, took notice of the two and began to wander toward them. There was caution in the set of his shoulders as he watched Madeira and paced slowly closer. Recognition, and not the pleasant kind, swept over his face, and the ghost performed a quick about-face and headed for the door. As before, he only used the door out of the convenience that it reminded him there was an exit to the place he wanted to be out of. Without a sound, he disappeared through the front door. And reappeared at the back of the Rear.

Ambrosia had heard of ghosts’ ability to blink from her amateur spiritist sister Bethany. But blinking backward? That seemed off. Ghosts weren’t bound by many of the rules that the living were, but they seemed to adhere to most of them out of habit. Moving backward wasn’t a regular thing or, at least, not to Ambrosia. By the way the ghost stopped in confusion at the back of the bar, he didn’t think it was normal either.

She didn’t have any time to address the ghost though, because as he walked through the back door, another man walked in through the front door and up to the bar. He was a curious figure with wavy, silver hair, golden eyes, and skin paler than any Ambrosia had ever seen. Ordering a drink, the man scanned the bar and took interest in what Madeira was saying.

Ambrosia poured the man a glass of wine while responding to Madeira’s quip about the city, its preferences, and Madeira’s own heritage. “I’ll toast to anything but a quiet night. Quiet’s bad for business.” She slid the man his glass and held up her own. “But I’ll drink to a pleasant night with good company.” She tipped her glass to the two people whose black wine sparkled with little dots of starlight that emanated from within the drink itself and not the torches and lamps that lit the room. “I’m Ambrosia. Just Ambrosia. My last name carries no weight, but I recognize yours, Madeira.”

The truth was Ambrosia never heard the end of what the Craven family had done. Her sister Bethany talked incessantly about everything she had watched the Craven spiritists do. Truthfully, Bethany’s behavior bordered that of a stalker, but Ambrosia would never speak ill of her big sister. The Cravens, from what Ambrosia had heard, knew their craft well. She said so. “The spiritists from your family hold a great deal of respect from the people of Alvadas. Are you a spiritist? If so, it looks like you brought your work here with you.”

Ambrosia flicked her head in the direction of the ghost who was still waiting at the back of the bar. She edged her voice with a touch of caution. “He didn’t exactly seem pleased to see you.”

The newcomer interjected with his own comment about the moods of the city and introduced himself as Velindor Calendula. Any opportunity to find out more about Madeira was lost at that point, but Ambrosia couldn’t gripe. It wasn’t her job to meet new people and make friends of all of them. It wasn’t her job to sate her curiosity, as powerful as that drive was. Her job was to keep people happy and keep them buying drinks. If they struck up conversation of their own, it would be rude of her to interrupt. Besides, good conversation generally dwindled drinks more rapidly.

Instead, she excused herself. “Welcome to the Rear, Velindor. Please excuse me. I’m going to go see to our new friend the ghost. Wish me luck.”

Crossing the bar, Ambrosia was painfully aware that there was little she could do if the ghost decided hostility was the best course of action, but she figured, with the ghost’s reaction to Madeira, that it was best if it was somebody the ghost didn’t know who broke the ice. Though Ambrosia lacked any knowledge of spiritism, she was a pleasant person with a genuine smile and a drive to solve problems. Giving the ghost her best smile, she chose her words carefully. Word selection could make all the difference in an encounter that was already tense to begin with, an encounter such as this one. “Hello, friend.” She used the title of friend rather than her usual catchall title of love. Ghosts needed a reason to stay, and love, more often than not, played some role in that. There was no sense in drudging up those feelings if she didn’t have to. “I’m Ambrosia. I’d offer you a drink or a seat, but that seems like it’d be rude. Is there some other way I can help you?”
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Madeira Craven on August 2nd, 2017, 12:58 am

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By the end of her explanation, another patron found his way into the empty tavern and sat at the bar. The barmaid poured him a fresh glass of the illusioned wine and the three introduced themselves and toasted together, but for different things. Madeira asked for quiet, Ambrosia wished for good company, and Velindor toasted to their introduction.

Madeira looked sideways at the newcomer as she sipped her cosmos wine. He was a Symenestra, certainly, but he was the antonym of the only other Symenstra she knew. While Dexius was a black-haired creature with blue-amethyst eyes, Velindor had snowy white hair and piercing golden irises. He was also polite and sociable, where her introduction to Dex had been rude to say the least. She smiled for him around her sip of
wine, hoping she might be able to start their acquaintance on more affable footing.

As Ambrosia went on, Madeira was not in the least surprised that she knew her surname. Craven was notorious, though Madeira was not. She asked about her profession and made a leading comment about bringing her work home.

"I'm a Spiritist, yes. What..." She turned on her barstool, brushing several bees from her line of sight as she followed Ambrosia’s nod. On the other side of the tavern, looking somehow both angry and confused, was Jomi. The first time she met the Kelvic ghost he had attacked her as a possessed dog. Their relationship had improved since then; from hated to hated-but-also-tenuously-allied. Madeira turned away and drank the rest of her wine with two fast pulls.

Ambrosia excused herself in that moment to go see to the ghost, and Madeira immediately opened her mouth to protest. The man was a rabid, snarky bastard with no qualms about hurting the living, after all. But she thought better of it. If anybody was going to get Jomi to be civil it would be the woman that radiated friendliness and sunshine. Madeira’s presence would just make things worse.

"His name is Jomi", she supplied instead. "Careful, he bites."

Madeira kept a wary eye on whatever might be going on at the back of the tavern as she turned to the Symenestra. It seemed the man might have been led there too, and now she wanted to know why.

"You're not from here", she guessed, her eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "Your accent gives it away. But more than that, the city definitely has moods. Everyone who has lived here for any length of time knows that. I think this might be more, though. You said you were herded by rotting fish? But notice that you were the only one herded, otherwise there would be more people here in your same situation." she spread her arms to indicate the tavern, empty now except for the two of them, the barmaid and the ghost. And the bees, of course. She pursed her lips and blew a stream of breath towards her nose, dislodging the fuzzy intruder tickling her face.

"Well, I may just be paranoid. I'm going to step outside quickly. If my clothing turns into bees, then I'm still being picked on. But maybe Ionu has moved on to more interesting prey by now." She held up a finger as if to pause the conversation.

With a sweep of skirts and a buzzing of bees Madeira slid off the stool and made her determined way to the front door. The tick she felt her clothing star dissolving again, she was going to slam the door behind her and sleep at the bar tonight, she vowed. There was only so much she could take.

She turned the brass knob, opened the door and stepped out of the Stallion’s Rear.

And stepped into the Stallion’s Rear from the back door.

She was magically on the other side of the tavern, behind Jomi and Ambrosia. Madeira blinked slowly, before her expression set on fierce determination. She whirled around, flung open the door behind her, and tried again.

And stepped into the tavern through the front door.

The Spiritist sighed hard through her nose with her eyes screwed shut and her hands on her narrow hips. She gathered herself like a thunderstorm, and let the frustration and embarrassment that had plagued her all rise in her chest. Then throwing her head back, she exploded at her treasured deity:

“Ionu, you wicked little shyke!”
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Velindor Calendula on August 3rd, 2017, 9:12 pm

“I’ll toast to anything but a quiet night. Quiet’s bad for business,” the bartender spoke as she slid the glass of deep red wine towards Velindor. His golden eyes transfixed by the movement, an amazed grin parted his lips as he witnessed the crimson wine darken to a deep black, speckled with tiny specks of light, as though the night sky had poured itself into his glass. This city is truly marvellous, he thought to himself as he held the glass aloft. His semi-trance was broken when the bartender gave her name. “Ambrosia,” Velindor spoke it aloud, as if savoring each syllable, “a wonderful name, it suits you.” He gave a slight inclination of his head coupled with a coy smile, only partially masked by taking a sip of his wine. He normally shunned alcohol, but he’d had a trying week thus far, and the summer’s heat was not doing his herbalism trade any favors. And that was not even mentioning the ordeal he’d been through the night prior! So tonight, Velindor would drink, and if he could enjoy the company of others as he drank, then that was all the better in his eyes. “Pleasant company,” he smiled, “indeed.”

As Ambrosia addressed the blonde woman, she inadvertently provided Velindor with the other patron’s name. Madeira, Velindor played the name through his head. It seemed familiar, though he couldn’t quite place why. He’d only been in Alvadas since the previous season, and while he had heard rumors of hauntings and a family of spiritists, Velindor had never witnessed such an event firsthand. As Ambrosia indicated a confused looking young man at the back of the bar, she mentioned that the spiritist had ‘brought her work with her.’ Confused, Velindor took a closer look. The man did seem fainter, less there than Velindor supposed, but he was hardly an expert in ghosts. Ambrosia, it seemed, was far more comfortable, as she welcomed Velindor to the Rear before heading off to address the ghostly patron, leaving him alone at the bar with Madeira.

Madeira, for her part, apparently had a closer relationship with this particular ghost, as she offered his name and a warning to Ambrosia as the bartender tended to her duty. Velindor crinkled his brow in confusion. “If you don’t mind my asking,” he began, “how exactly does a ghost bite? Or do much of anything beyond float around?” The very idea was perplexing to him, though he tried not to let it bother him too much. Still, the thought that spirits of the dead could harm the living? Well, it’s no less disturbing, I suppose, than a person that can use magic to influence thoughts and feelings, he thought to himself with a silent chuckle. Once Madeira had offered her advice, she turned to face Velindor fully.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” She asked, and Velindor couldn’t help but chuckle aloud this time. While Velindor actually had a human mother, he bore very little resemblance to his maternal race, like most “pure” Symenestra. After his travels with his cousin to several of the major cities of the world, he’d nearly grown accustomed to the distrusting stares and anxious mutterings. But a candid question such as Madeira’s, that was something novel to Velindor. “No, I am not,” he said in his practiced, polite tone of Common. “My accent, you say?” his grin widened just enough to show his fangs, “I shall have to work on that, then.” Of course, there was clearly much to set him apart than just the way his mouth formed Common, but Velindor found the omission of these obvious differences in favor of his accent as humorous, so he would play along.

As Madeira continued to speak, it became clear that she was incredulous about his story of being herded to the Stallion’s Rear. And Velindor had to admit, as she indicated the now essentially-empty tavern, that perhaps she was right. Before he could respond, the spiritist had stood, announcing her intention to get a breath of fresh air. Velindor gave a tight smile to mask a long, but controlled exhale through his nose. Human women tended to have one of two reactions to his kind, and this was hardly the first time he’d been left sitting at a bar by himself. As Madeira exited the tavern, however, something very peculiar occurred. If walking right back in, through the back door near where the ghostly patron and Ambrosia now stood. When she tried the same process again in reverse, Velindor simply chuckled and took another long sip from his star speckled wine as she took the moment to curse the god of Illusion.

“Well, Madeira,” he called from the bar, “it would appear that there are more people here in my situation. Or, perhaps, our situation.” A look of friendly compassion overtook his delicate facial features as Velindor set the wine glass on the bar and gathered his lanky frame up to stand. Walking casually over to Madeira, he moved to touch her upper arm and guide her back to the bar. “Come,” he said, “let’s have a drink, you can regale us of your adventures with ghosts while we wait for the city’s mood to change. Hm?”

Retrieving his wine, Velindor took another sip. “At any rate,” he continued, “I doubt cursing Ionu will very much incline him to let us leave, wouldn’t you agree?” While he remained calm on the exterior, inwardly Velindor was trying not to let the gnawing anxiety in the back of his brain get the better of him. There were worse places than the Stallion’s Rear, to be sure, but to be trapped anywhere in a city like Alvadas? It was an unsettling prospect.
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Azuridae on August 5th, 2017, 4:06 pm

Azuridae didn't have much to do in her home but spend what she could pass as peace and quiet meditating. She would inhale in, and exhale out, leaned against a wall sitting comfortably, and breathing at a slow even pace. Occasionally she would find herself distracted by small noises as things just appeared in her home. Azuridae peeked an eye open and glanced around as still as she could. Her face tightened in to a hilarious and almost deliberate grimace. Her home was filling slowly with teapots, breathing deeply, and exhaling long, she shut her eyes again. Determined to not let her concentration be broken so easily. It was as if they knew she was ignoring them and began to steam real loud, it was a caccophonous screech.

"Shush!" Azuridae whispered annoyedly and covered her ears with her hands, they had gotten her attention. The Ethaefal's heart almost stopped beating. Her entire home was filled to the brim with steaming tea pots and while tea was a welcomed sight for the Ethaefal it was when the pots began to cover every square inch of space, all of them steaming, all of them hot, some small, some not would make it difficult to walk about freely. "Oh no, no" she began, jumping up to try and address the problem now that she saw that it just wasn't going to dissappear on its own. One burned her hand as she grabbed it, trying to shove it out of her home. "Now look here! This is my home, I don't need tricks coming to invade my personal space!" Azuridae pleaded with the illusions.

The tea pots if they had any semblance of sentience ignored her woeful pleas, some even began to pour tea onto the ground. The liquid splashed into dust upon impact that rose with star like sparkles. Not quite sure what to do then Azuridae did what any sane person would and exited the building with a quick turn of the knob. With something of a relieved sigh, she straightened her clothes and winced at the burn that was still very much there. Azuridae could tell something was immediately off about her location though, floorboards, wood walls. She turned around after locking her door. This wasn't a street but a tavern! It wasn't a very crowded tavern as there were only a few people, a girl covered in bees, a being that Azuridae had to do a double take on because he was kind of there and kind of not, a barmaid, and a symenastra. She had walked in next to bee girl after her outburst.

"Well, I wasn't expecting to visit a tavern tonight.." Azuridae lingered on the statement glancing between the figures. Her confusion ebbed into her near statuesque composure.
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Getting Lost While Standing Still

Postby Jomi on August 9th, 2017, 5:56 am

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Jomi stopped in his tracks and stared for a long, uncomfortable chime with his mouth gaping like a fish. He had never had someone living show thought for his comfort before. Especially not from a barmaid. Taverns were social settings where one was expected to partake in the establishments food and wine for the privilege of taking up space. And since he couldn’t Jomi was either chased out or the staff would pretend he wasn’t there. But now this walking ray of sunshine was asking him what she could do for him and he had no idea how to respond.

Just as he was about to ask for the sunshine-girls hand in marriage, Madeira emerged from the front of the tavern across from the silver hair spider and gave the gods a piece of her mind. The prim and proper lady Jomi knew would never allow herself an outburst like that. So naturally he had to find a way to shine a spotlight on that impropriety as he gave a slow, mocking, soundless clap.

"Way to go, Titless, I’m sure Ionu is fleeing in terror as we speak. Mommy and Daddy must be so proud.”

Jomi regarded the barmaid again, and awkwardly worked his mouth for a few tick as the silvery opalescence of his soulmist collected in his cheeks. Making his embarrassment flush through his fading opaqueness as he failed to find the words once again before finnaly giving up and slipping out from behind the barmaid and into the wall. And instead of speaking to her he went distractedly about investigating the parts of the tavern the others couldn’t. Letting his shape disintegrate into a formless, hazy blob he raced through every wall panel and floorboard as a barely visible blur only to be shot back through the opposite side of the room every time. But as he heard an unfamiliar voice he came to an abrupt stop in the centre of the room and worked to pull the fine wisps of soul mist back to his core and form his proper shape as he regard the taverns newest guest.

She seemed to cast her own light as she stepped inside. An unearthly creature with jade horns that she wore like crown over silk hair and glowing skin. It had been a decade since Jomi had last seen an Eth, and it had been a magical experience he would never forget. Now he had been blessed by another sighting and he didn’t even have the energy or patience to properly appreciate it.

“Welcome to the party, Sparkles. Pull up a chair, looks like we're stuck here for the long haul. Or perhaps…”

Jomi turned on his heels to address all four partons

“Ionu likes puzzles. Maybe thats what this is, a puzzle, like a locked room game where you piece together clues to find a key and unlock the door. It’s a long shot, even by Alvad standards, however, it seems like everyone in this tavern was either led or chased here. It makes no sense that Alvadas would go through all that effort just so it could watch complete strangers force idle
chit-chat on each other. Maybe it wants us to play the game and find a way out.”




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One more day would have been nice
 
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