Solo Ash and Dust

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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.

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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 11th, 2017, 3:14 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

In the basement of the Craven manor Madeira stood pressed against the far wall of a small stone room, trying and failing to keep her eyes off the little jar in the middle of the floor. Her eyes roamed the low ceiling, drifted over the bare walls scored with knicks from arrows and bladed weapons. Several plain wooden chairs and a long table were pushed up against the wall, where her small bracer crossbow and jade soulbeads glittered in the yellow light of the scones. Arranged in a wide circle around the middle of the room were centimetre wide holes, where one might slot ghostnails. But inevitably, inexplicably, her pale eyes would slide back to the jar.

It was a typical jam jar, made of clear but dusty glass. And inside was a handful of powder-fine ash. The sight made Madeira's gut roll, and her heart to give a painful jolt. But she couldn't seem to make herself look away.

The groan of the opening door sounded like the sweetest music after what seemed like an eternity of being alone with the jar. Madeira automatically stood a little straighter and smoothed the front of her blouse as Godric Craven stepped through. And as always she was hit with a douse of both envy and admiration at the sight of her cousin. The Craven heir stood in stark contrast to the waif of a ward. His strong body, thick chestnut hair and piercing blue eyes made her boney body, lank blonde hair and pale eyes all the more apparent. He radiated the ease of someone who knew their place in the world, and his reputation as a Spiritist confirmed it. He was going to lead the family some day, and Madeira knew he would be the greatest head they'd ever known.

"Good morning, Madeira", he smiled politely as he closed the door behind him. He had a basket in one arm and a two-handed crossbow in the other.

"Hello Godric." Madeira tried to emulate his easy cadence, but even she could hear the stress behind the words.

"Are you nervous?"

"No." she lied.
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Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 13th, 2017, 2:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Madeira Craven
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 1:55 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

Godric didn't press the issue further. He set the basket down on the table and from inside took out a bowl, a cup of flour, a slice of cheese, an egg and a knife. Without prompting Madeira pulled the bowl towards herself and began to make her soulmist. While Gideon, reaching once again into the basket, pulled out a bundle of thick metal nails. As she concentrated on the task in her hands, she could hear her cousin slotting the nails into the holes around the jar.

Once she had the raw ingredients mixed, Madeira pushed a portion into her mouth and began to chew. She dragged the edge of the knife unevenly over the flesh of her wrist with a shaking hand, and nursed at the wound.

"When was the last time you saw a dusting, Madeira?"

Madeira turned, still holding her wrist to her mouth, to see Godric watching her with his arms crossed and expression unreadable. It seemed to take a great deal of effort to swallow the slimy, bloody dough in her mouth then. His eyes followed the thick movement of her throat.

"Everard", she said, once her mouth was clear. She staunched her wrist with the skirt of her dress. "I was seventeen."

She spoke in monotone, her eyes focused but somehow vacant, as she concentrated on the soulmist in her belly. She felt for the edges of her soul and folded everything inward, letting the dough absorb the living soul like a sponge.

"Everard", he nodded as if that explained everything. "Then you must at least know the mechanics of dusting. Though we wont be trying Everard's more... Barbaric methods."
Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Madeira Craven
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Posts: 318
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 1:55 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

Her soul shuddered and her concentration slipped, but Madeira grasped onto the trailing edge of her effort and rallied herself back around the soulmist. She could feel the hard lump of dough dissolving, loosing its solidity and becoming something more ethereal. A coolness was spreading through her chest.

"Of course. Its- you cut open your palm, and hold it inside an incapacitated ghost-"

"And how do you incapacitate a ghost?"

"Souldarts. Maybe ghostnails if it's not too strong."

"Good, continue."

"And you concentrate on your goal. You pull energy out from the ghost and into you by the blood connection."

"Yes. It's a similar process to making soulmist, but in reverse. Instead of drawing energy from the power of your soul, you're drawing it from anothers. And once you have its energy, the ghost is inert.” He tapped the jar with the toe of his boot, and the clear sound sliced through Madeira like a knife. "You have removed it from the cycle of life and death. It can not cause more trouble, but it also cannot reincarnate. Do you understand?"

"I understand."

"Good. Are you ready?"

No. She wanted to scream. Every fibre of her being wanted to run and hide. Dusting was a heinous practise, something even the goddess of death found abhorrent. It was the last resort. The final decision. And she was not ready.

But she was also the good daughter, the obedient ward, and she always did as she was told.

Not trusting herself to answer, Madeira instead brought her cupped hands to her lips and gave a hard, hacking cough. When she pulled away there was a fistful of shining soulmist in her hands. Without a word she pulled her crossbow closer and began imbuing her arrows. Godric smiled.

"Good girl."
Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Madeira Craven
Completely Sane
 
Posts: 318
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 1:56 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

Once her arrows were completed, she set the bracer on her wrist and cocked the bow behind the loaded barrel. She gave the last of the soulmist to Gideon, which he let pool in his left hand.

"Remember", he began, as he opened the lid of the jar with the opposite hand. "Incapacitate. Then open the blood connection, and pull his energy into you. It's as easy as making soulmist."

Then without ceremony, or even a warning, Godric upended his other hand and let Madeira's soulmist fall into the jar.

There was a soundless explosion in the centre of the room. The dusty air popped and shivered as it contracted to fit the sudden drop in temperature. Godric backed out of the circle of ghostnails just as the ghost blinked into existence. He stood there, a small, old Vantha man with dark, withered cheeks and pale hair. His eyes rolled blindly over the small room, seeing nothing. His mouth was set in a curl that was halfway between a scream and a snarl.

Madeira's breaths were coming in quick, panting gasps as she brought her wrist up to shoulder level. She sighted down the barrel, forced to hold her arm steady with her opposing hand. Aiming for the thickest concentration of soulmist she flicked the trigger and fired.
Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Madeira Craven
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Posts: 318
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 1:57 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

The arrow didn't drag him out of the ghostnails as she wanted. It continued unimpeded into the wall behind him as he roared in agony. But the pain seemed to bring him back to his senses, and his venomous eyes found Madeira in their madness. She fumbled as she tried to notch the second arrow.

"What is this place? Why am I here? Did you bring me back just to torture me, you monsters!"

This time she held her breath as she brought the crossbow to shoulder height, but it didn't stop her fingers from shaking. She gripped her own wrist harder, found the trajectory of her arrow a second time, and fired.

The shot was wide, and hit the ghost in his less defined shoulder, rather than his torso. His roar of pain filled every inch of the room, until it felt like she was drowning in it. But he sill wasn't pinned.

"I'm dead!" he screamed, clawing at his face, his soulmist whirled chaotically through the circle of ghostnails, looking for a weakness. "I'm dead! What more do you wan't! My wife, my grandchildren, my people, all dead!"
Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Madeira Craven
Completely Sane
 
Posts: 318
Words: 251674
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 1:57 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

"Calm", Godric cautioned, his voice was the cool logic that seemed to slip underneath the ghost's screaming and settle directly in her ears. "Take your time, he can not get out.”

Madeira nodded. She couldn't look either of them in the eye. Her fingers were thick and clumsy as she tried to force the third bolt in the barrel. She pulled back the string, and tried to find herself in the sharp bite of it digging into her fingertips.

"Let me go! Let me go! You thieves! Murderers! I will rip you apart! I will make you cut your own throat! Where is my wife!? What did you do to my wife!?"

Sight, breath, steady, calm. Madeira repeated the mantra in her head as she struggled to find her trajectory. The feather-light bow was starting to weigh on her wrist. She looked for the thickest concentration of soulmist again, tried to ignore it's boiling, whipping currents, pulled the trigger and fired.

This one hit him straight in the chest. He screamed and seemed to be dragged backwards by several centimetres, but he did not leave the circle.
Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Madeira Craven
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Posts: 318
Words: 251674
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 1:58 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

I can do this, I can do this, oh gods, I can do this.

The forth bolt nearly slipped from her fingers. She jammed it into the barrel, and the willow bolt bent dangerously before snapping into place. The ghost’s screaming was caught in her chest and rattling her bones. The hot, sour smell of melting rubber emanated from his flickering form.

She raised the bow for the forth time. Steady breath, steady hand. She breathed evenly through her nose and tried to calm the pounding of her heart. She flicked the trigger and fired again. But this time the recoil was too much for her aching wrist. The bow shot back into her and her elbow bent, and the bolt shot high on the wall, missing the ghost completely.

"This is taking too long."

Godric grabbed his own souldarts off the table, stepped right up to the line of ghostnails and fired at the ghost at point-blank range. This time the old Vantha man was ripped out of the ghostnails at the point of the ten-inch bolt. The tone of his screaming changed completely, from angry and in pain to something almost animal; a bone-deep terror that made Madeira's pupils shrink and ears ring.

Godric's expression never changed from that polite, stone mask. He faced Madeira and extended an arm towards the pinned ghost as if to say, after you.
Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Madeira Craven
Completely Sane
 
Posts: 318
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 1:59 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

Yes, yes, of course.

She hardly felt the cut of the knife across her open palm. Her whole body felt numb, detached, like she was already possessed.

"No please. Please. Don't send me back. I want to go home. Where is my family?!”

The old man was barely visible anymore. He struggled against the bolt pinning him to the wall, and for the first time Madeira could see the chest wound that killed him. A knife or a dagger, slotted between the ribs. The front of his shirt was dark with blood. He must have died during the Vantha slaughter of the last winter. Someone killed him for the gold, and now he was a vengeful spirit trapped forever in the basement of the Craven manor.

Ruby red drops of blood trailed from her open palm as she approached him. Her mouth was a desert as she tried to speak, even though she didn't know what to say.

"I'm sorry", she whispered, as she plunged her hand into his chest.

The energy swam up her veins as she pull at the spirit with her blood, and she almost laughed. The effect was giddy and powerful, it settled into the lining of her brain as an electric effervescence. She could hardly hear the ghost sobbing in pain and terror, or hear his pleas for his home and family.

She was stealing the last living part of him, and it felt good.

But it was a struggle. The process went in stops and starts as she fought with the ghost for his soul. She was loosing more ground than she gained, her concentration centring around the pull of energy between them was sapping at her strength. Sweat beaded on her forehead and her eyes rolled as she leeched him through her blood.
Last edited by Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Madeira Craven
Completely Sane
 
Posts: 318
Words: 251674
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 12th, 2017, 2:00 am

Ash and Dust
79th of Summer
10th Bell

Suddenly, a breath ruffled the hairs at the top of her head. Madeira’s bloodshot eyes automatically flicked upward. And looming above her, eyes fixed on the ghost, was Godric. He was almost leaning over her, as if he couldn't get close enough. And for the first time, Madeira saw her cousin without his cool propriety. From beneath she could see the excited flare of his nostrils, the sharp scimitar curve of his smile, and his eyes. The dark blue eyes, an ocean of calm, were hungry. He was not looking at Madeira's hand in the ghost’s chest but at the terror on the ghost's face. There was an almost sexual excitement in the hot breath on the top of her head.

That shock was all it took to break her already losing battle. What little progress she had made was pulled out of her blood with a force that left her breathless. The absence of that power left her hollow, like there was suddenly too much space in her body. She teetered where she stood and fell back into her cousin, who caught her gingerly, as if afraid he might catch something from her.

The ghost sobbed with relief against the wall, and suddenly Madeira felt sick. The enormity of what just happened wove it's way into her cloudy mind and rolling stomach. She almost dusted a scared old man.

Godric took her firmly by the shoulders and set her aside. This time his own hand was shoved into the ghost's chest, and the fight started again. She wanted to smack his hand away, tell him that he didn’t deserve it, that they were hurting him, but she couldn't. A lifetime doing as she was told weighed down her tongue and choked her opinion. Unable to watch the old mans second death, she watched Godric. Warily eyes watched for that strange, consuming hunger. But it did not reappear. Did she just imagine it?

It was over in less than a chime. The old man was once again nothing but pearly ash on the floor. Madeira could only stare at the ground, caught somewhere between disappointment and horror. Godric spoke in his same cool tones as he fixed the collar of his shirt.

"Madara will hear about your progress", was all he said. But underneath she could hear that passive dismissiveness. Something she has only heard from her family when she has failed, like it was all they had expected.

He smiled a gentlemanly smile for her, and all she saw was the flash of teeth of his strange, hungry smile. Then the Craven heir turned and left, leaving Madeira alone with blood dripping into the ash at her feet, wiping away the tears on her cheeks she told herself weren’t there.
User avatar
Madeira Craven
Completely Sane
 
Posts: 318
Words: 251674
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 3
Featured Thread (1) Donor (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)

Ash and Dust

Postby Madeira Craven on August 29th, 2017, 5:28 pm

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Madeira

Skills
  • Spiritism: 2XP
  • Crossbow: 4XP
  • Meditation: 2XP
  • Endurance: 2XP

Lores
  • Location: Craven Manor basement
  • People: Godric Craven
  • Spiritism: the process of dusting
  • Godric Craven: a strange expression?
User avatar
Madeira Craven
Completely Sane
 
Posts: 318
Words: 251674
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 3
Featured Thread (1) Donor (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)


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