Closed Leaving Sanity (Madeira, Jomi)

Roland's first steps into the City of Illusions leave him lost, panicked, and at the mercy of a stranger.

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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.

Leaving Sanity (Madeira, Jomi)

Postby Roland Eir on October 30th, 2017, 6:28 am

4th of Fall, 517

Roland left the Sanity Center. The woman inside made no sense. He could tell she was trying to be helpful, but her inability to give simple directions had driven Roland up the wall. After she told him to "just pick a direction", he brusquely thanked her and went on his way. As soon as he'd gone down one street he knew he'd made a mistake.

He turned the corner with a splash, muddy water spraying up his ragged traveling pants. In annoyance he shook it off and stepped around the puddle, then found himself in shock. The entire street was dotted with little pools of water, and rivulets ran down the windows of the buildings and dripped from the gutters. His head bobbed up and down, looking between the clear skies and the wet ground in disbelief. The cool sun of early autumn had been shining on him all morning without a drop of rain. Yet here was evidence of a torrential downpour! Alvads walked calmly up and down the road, stepping around the puddles without a care in the world. They payed no more attention to Roland's confusion than they did their impossible surroundings.

Roland trod gingerly up the street, avoiding the water as much as he could. The next turn brought him down a street that wound its way to the right and left like a river. The buildings leered out over him, stretching almost so that the roofs on one side collided with those on the other. The savory scent of pine meandered through the air, calling Roland down an alley that soon became a main thoroughfare. Dozens of people lined the streets welcoming the morning and discussing their lives, while others made their way about their business.

The people here had a peculiar way of moving. In his stays in Riverfall and Syliras, even in his home of Sunberth, Roland was used to seeing men and women stride with urgency down the roads. They walked with a clear sense of purpose and direction, knowing where they were going and knowing they were expected to be there. Here in Alvadas even the finest businessman strolled calmly along the street. To Roland, they looked like children with no curfew: nowhere to go, no one waiting on them, just making they're way on their own whims and desires. One such man dipped his hat at Roland on his way past, nearly brushing shoulders with him. Roland turned to excuse himself.

There was a wall. Where the man must have walked, just inches behind where Roland had stood, there was a wall. He put his hand against the smooth grey stone, his mouth ajar. A wall. But he had just... hadn't he walked from that way? He backed away. It was not possible.

Roland ran, half stumbling, around the corner. If he kept his bearings he should be able to find his way back--back to the winding road, and the street drenched with water, and eventually the Sanity center, a name that was only now beginning to make sense. He turned left, then left again, and found first a street paved in rolling grass, and then a road where the doors floated high above his head on the walls. Nothing was where it should have been. He finally came to a stop, heart pounding, in front of a row of gates built into a low wall. Past the gates he could see more roadways, but peeking over the wall showed only a maze of pristine hedges.

"Oh," he said aloud. He peered past the gates, then over the wall, then back again. Running a hand through his unkempt hair, he knew now why the lady at the Sanity Center had such a hard time giving him directions. This was the City of Illusions.

A mild panic took hold of him as he spun in a circle. There were familiar looking streets behind him, but for how long? And more importantly, could he ever find a way out?
Last edited by Roland Eir on November 4th, 2017, 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on October 31st, 2017, 3:28 am

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Madeira watched as a foreigner spun in circles in the middle of the street. You could always distinguish a foreigner in Alvadas. They all had that same expression of impending existential crisis. This one was tall,leggy, and shabbily dressed. His blue eyes were wide and round with mounting panic and his hair was artfully tousled by his nervous hands. He was looking up and down the street as if it mattered which way he went.

She knew the type. The over excitable kind that would lose concentration at a crucial moment and blunder into a pit of angry gelatine. Poor guy. Alvadas would eat him alive. She shifted her weight on her black cane and simply watched from underneath the awning of Matilda's Jewels, where she had stopped to rest. Despite the chill in the morning air she was sweating under her clothes and breathing in quiet, shallow gasps.

"You should talk to him." said a voice near her elbow. Madeira looked over to see Emma, her little ghostly charge, watching the foreigner from behind her skirts.

"It's none of our business, kitten. He'll be fine." she lied.

"But what if he's not?"

"Then he will have learned a valuable lesson."

The ghost was still watching him, hunkering behind her keeper’s skirt and bitting her scabbed lip with a complicated expression on her face. Madeira's looked from the ghost to the foreigner and back again. Her dry, cracked lips pressed into a hard line to keep the smile off her face.

"What?" the girl huffed, annoyed.

"You think he's cute, don't you?"

"No!" Emma squeaked in indignant alarm. "He's a boy!"

"Mh-hm", the young Spiritist hummed quellingly.

The mortified ghost had dematerialized until she was no more than a haze. Yet Madeira could still feel the chill rolling through her skirt, and knew the child was still watching him.

"I'm going to go talk to him." she decided aloud, watching the haze from the corner of her eye.

"No!"

"I thought you wanted me too?"

Silence. Emma was now hiding completely, leaving behind nothing but an unnatural cold and the smell of burnt citrus.

"I'll need your help. What if I fall?" she adjusted her dead left leg under her skirt to emphasize her point. Though if she did hurt herself some way, they wasn't much Emma could do. Her body was still weak in the aftermath of the plague.

"...Don't want too." the girl muttered.

"See if you can possess my left leg. If you practise really hard you might be able to move it" she lied again, swallowing the bitterness in her voice. "He won't even know you're there." she persuaded gently.

There was a pause.

"Promise?"

"Promise."

There was an uncomfortable numbing, invading sensation as Emma stepped into her body. Madeira had long ago gotten used to Emma's clumsy possessions. She did not use brute force like Jomi, nor did she slip in quietly like a disease like Renee. Her soulmist was probing and curious. Gently she wound her way through tissue, bone and soul, unconsciously looking for weak points with which to lever her spirit aside. Not that she needed to. The Spiritist peeled her astral body aside and let the invading spirit slip into the vacated space. Madeira easily dominated the graceful possession and let the girl work in vain to make her dead leg move. It was hopeless, of course. But the poor thing had been desperate to help since the start of the plague.

Once they were both settled comfortably in the shared body, Madeira smoothed down the high collar of her dress, pulled the sleeves over her wrists, and made her laborious way over to the panicked man.

"Sir?" she called gently as she made her way into earshot. “Easy there, sir. Are you ok?" She gave him her best professional smile, knowing she cut a less than impressive figure. Madeira had the air of someone desperate to keep up appearances. Her dress was clean and starched, but didn't quite cover the way it hung nearly empty from her boney shoulders. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a careful chignon, but it didn't distract from the sickly sallow colour of her skin or the blue shadows under her eyes. And no amount of long skirts would ever disguise her useless limb. Her posture was straight, with the help of her white knuckled grip on the head of her cane, but it could not be more obvious that she was seriously ill.

"Oh, watch out”, she exclaimed dispassionately, pushing him to the side with a hand sporting two elaborate silver rings. A massive school of jewel encrusted fish flashed over the cobblestone where he had just been standing, dipping in and out of the stone as if it were no more substantial than water. She lifted her skirt out of the way as they flowed over their boots, sparkling in brilliant colours in the weak Fall light. As the last fish disappeared, the enormous dorsal fin of the unseen creature they were running from cut a wide path down the street. Madeira waited until it was a healthy distance away before turning back to the foreigner, her expression gentle. "How about you stick with me until you get your bearings?"

In her body Emma gave a hopeful little stir.
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Roland Eir on October 31st, 2017, 8:46 am

It took a moment before Roland realized 'sir' meant him. A chill ran down his spine as he found a native Alvad approaching him. Her cane clicked on the cobblestones, drawing his eyes down to her feet; one of them seemed to drag behind her, though she stood straight. Straighter than him by any rate, though he still towered over her. Her forced airs and grace might not fool the average Alvad, but to Roland she looked the height of sophistication. Even if she was a bit pale. And her eyes a bit sunken. And her bones pressed against her skin…

"Fine. I'm alright." Are you? He kept that thought to himself. There was no returning smile on his face. His eyes darted to his flanks, suddenly aware that he was in a new city. Even if this city was morphing and changing all around him, some rules didn't change: You couldn't trust strangers. Especially friendly ones. As her hand reached out his muscled tensed, but before he could react he was stumbling back at her touch.

Shock made him stupid, and he stared at her dumbfounded. But her brilliant blue eyes were aimed down at their feet. "Shyke! Petching… fish?" The school glittered over the cobblestones, flashing red, blue, and emerald green in his eyes. Back in Sunberth, a crowd of desperate scavengers would have pounced on the illusory fish immediately, fingers tearing at the bejeweled scales. But here in Alvadas… people treated it as the falsehood they knew it was. Roland forced his mouth shut. The gems weren't real. The fish weren't real. Gods willing, whatever cut a path through the street after them wasn't real.

The last trace of the predator's fin sank into a road obscured by swirling fog. Roland swallowed, and decided to go against his better judgement. "Maybe that's not a bad idea," he responded to her suggestion. "I was trying to find an inn or a tavern. This town does have inns right? Or something close?" He hefted his pack on his shoulder. "Or even a place to pitch a tent." He would let her lead on, if that was her decision, but as often as he could spare them from his surroundings his eyes would watch her carefully.

There was something familiar about her. His mind was too dazed by his fantastic surroundings to focus on it, but the thought taunted him at the edge of his consciousness.

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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 2nd, 2017, 5:53 am

Image

Language”, she hissed as the man swore lustily at the passing illusion. There was a child present who was hanging on his every word.

He seemed to come to a decision as the fish and their predator passed. He conceded that maybe he should stick with her, and asked after any inns or taverns or comfortable bits of ground in Alvadas. But even as he said this, hitching his pack higher on his shoulder, he was looking at her like he was waiting for her to detonate. This one did not like strangers, she realized.

“Yes, we have inns. Theres one called the Cubacious Inn that I think you’ll find comfortable. Come with me, I’ll point it out to you.” She said as kindly as she could manage, doing her best to put him at ease for Emma’s sake. But as she caught his eye, she dug deep into her dijed and pulled it to her tongue. “You can trust me, ok?” she clumsily pushed the dijed out with the words, ham-handedly trying and probably failing to effect a subliminal message. Even that simple effort left her strangely exhausted.

She waved him forward, and the two started moving down the street.

“My name is Madeira.” she stated, as they made their slow way over the uneven cobbles. “Where are you from? Why have you come to Alvadas?”

Emma made to exit her body at that point, probably having found the courage to introduce herself now that the initial approach was over. Madeira seized her soul in a panic, struggling to trap the child before she could pop out of her torso and scare the already nervous man. With effort she locked her body down against the struggling soul, but that lapse of concentration caused her to stumble. She straightened herself and cleared her throat, embarrassed.

She was starting to see what Emma found so fascinating in the foreigner. Having never stepped outside Alvadas herself, she saw his stubble roughened face and torn clothing as something exotic and adventurous. He looked like he had stories to tell. She watched him from the corner of her eye, looking him up and down in an appraising sort of way. Emma watched from her eyes too, but the colour of her thoughts seemed to be turning towards how so very tall he was, how very blue his eyes were, and if maybe he was a pirate. Madeira left her to her daydreams.

Out of nowhere Madeira stopped and whipped him in the shins with her cane, stopping him from stepping on a curiously pulsating cobblestone before it was too late.

“Watch your step”, she smiled wryly. She prodded the thing with her cane, and a wide maw of pointed teeth opened at her touch and snapped at the air. Rolling her eyes at Ionu and his obvious trap, she hobbled around it and continued on her way.
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Roland Eir on November 2nd, 2017, 8:29 am

"Sorry," Roland muttered by way of an apology, his face lightly reddening from embarrassment. His coarse tongue was a bad habit, courtesy of his father, and one that he had been trying to give up for a while now. Easier said than done.

With her handicap it was easy for Roland to keep pace, even wary as he was. He listened intently to her description of an inn, though he had no idea what "Cubacious" meant. On a glance, her eyes locked with his. A peculiar feeling came over him as she spoke, asserting that he could trust her. "I do trust you." Wait, what? His eyes blinked rapidly as he looked away. That was strange. But he found that he did trust her, to an extent. Maybe it was that familiarity he felt. Maybe it was the cane and how frail she looked.

She led the way, picking up conversation as they went. "Roland, he gave in response to her own name. "I'm from... Sunberth." There was a time where he would have lied about that, but the farther he got from that petching city the less people seemed to care. "Honestly, when I heard about 'The City of Illusions' I couldn't stay away. It must be incredible to live here, with this magic all around you!" He ducked under a bit of timber that was floating from the doorpost of one house to another. "Can you tell me, are there reimancers around here or-"

His guide suddenly stumbled and Roland repressed his instinct to grab and steady her. Instead he pulled away until she had regained control. His ears burned with shame at letting a crippled woman struggle, but he couldn't help but remember a scam his father had run once. A cripple could become a deadly opponent the moment you let your guard down. He could feel her eyes on him now as they walked, and suddenly the city became a threatening place once more. Beneath his furrowed brows his eyes flicked away to search for hidden assailants in the shadows of the street where they walked. Looking away from her rewarded him with a sharp crack on his shins.

Acting on instinct, he ripped at his own djed. Power shot through his limbs like a geyser, flowing and rebounding with each beat of his heart. As quickly as it grew he forced it back down, capping the stream in his soul. She wasn't attacking him. She'd saved him from... from a petching cobblestone? He laughed out loud from embarrassment, fear, and the usual euphoria that accompanied his magic. "Thanks." It was the best he could manage. In awe, he bent down and shuffled closer to the strange being. The illusory creature snapped at his toes and he danced around it, rushing back in stride with Madeira.

Roland rolled his neck and shook off some of the excess energy. Already he felt supernaturally drained. He needed to be more careful, it was getting easier to activate the Flux every time. "So," he began, eager to move the conversation forward. "Is that sort of thing dangerous? I realize it's an illusion of some sort, but is it--are any of these--real? Like, could I have lost a toe back there?" His curiosity now overcame his previous wariness. "For that matter, why is the city like this? Are there just so many wizards here that their tricks run wild? Or maybe there's just one, extremely powerful mage controlling all of it?" That was a being Roland would want to meet.

The going was slow. His guide relied heavily on her cane to move, on account of what appeared to be a useless leg. Roland still wrestled with his doubts about her. So far she seemed kind enough, if distant. Indifferent, maybe. Which made him wonder why she was helping him at all.

The streets looked endless to Roland's foreign eyes. Every time they crossed an intersection he'd peek down the side roads to see what insanity was taking place. Lights, sounds, strange creatures, and everywhere people just going about their lives. They'd casually step around bottomless pits, or bop a floating orb out of the way, or just step through a stream of fabric. They were so ridiculously nonchalant about it all, it blew Roland's mind to see. If he stayed here ten years, would he feel the same way?

Word Count: 732
Last edited by Roland Eir on November 3rd, 2017, 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 2nd, 2017, 6:30 pm

Image

Sunberth, hmm? Madeira knew precious little about the city, besides the rumours that circled the name like carrion crows. It was said the place was lawless and brutal, a city of warlords fighting over scraps. She was just about to ask Roland if any of this was true, when the conversation took a turn she was not expecting. The word 'magic' dropped from his mouth with all the destructive force of a three ton weight.

"Can you tell me, are there Reimancers here or-"

Recovering from her stummble, Madeira feined deafness, though her heart had picked up a stuttering, staccato rhythm that had nothing to do with her near fall. The truth was she knew a Reimancer. She also knew a Maledicator, a Projectionist, and she herself practised Hypnotism besides her public magic proffesion. Magic was all over Alvadas. But you never, ever talked about it. Madeira looked over her shoulder like she might find a Listener watching from the bushes.

But if he knew of Reimancy, and he was foolish enough to ask complete strangers about it, did that mean he himself was a mage? Did she just stummble unknowingly on another magic user?

In the middle of her shock, he was asking about the illusions. She waved her hand absentmindedly, her thoughts a million miles away.

"Of course they're not real, but why does that make you think they won't hurt you?" she asked, once again baffled by the strange wayward logic of outsiders.

He continued to speak. Wizard, mage, words you never said and a healthy dose of blasphemy rolled off his tounge for good measure. He spoke these thing easily, looking around him in wonder with his eyes alight with curiosity. Madeira was having a hard breathing under the weight of it. She grabbed him by the elbow, halting their progress.

"Roland, you..." her lips worked soundlessly, her pale eyes overbright. "You can't. It's not... You cant say these things!"

As her composure slipped, so did her hold on Emma. The Spiritist's concentration faltered, and her iron hold on the child's soul slipped from her bones. Her own soul contracted, scrabbling uselessly at the retreating spirit. But the ghost was already lifting from her body like a dense, ethereal mist. At once condensing into a short, plump child with brown curls and dark, excited eyes. The wide smile on her face pulled at the scabs in the corners of her mouth.

"Hi." she said, her face half hidden in her shy hands. "My name's Emma. Are you a pirate?"

"Enough, Emma." Madeira gasped, not looking at her.

They needed a quiet place to talk. She had to explain the rules to him. How could he not know? Everybody knew! Did this mean he didn't know about the Speakers? About the trickster deity? She looked around them in a panic, and saw exactly what they needed. Bless Ionu, the fadded green door of the Unnayme was right behind her. The drug den was a quiet, shadowy place where they could speak privately, and the only place she knew of that sold the Newcomers Tonic. A drug which he desperately needed a dose of, if he was going to make it through this city with his sanity intact.

"Maddy knows magic!" Emma continued, trying to prove she had something to contribute to the adult's conversation. "She can-"

"ENOUGH!"

And the look on Madeira's face when she turned to the ghost was twisted and dark. For the first time, Emma saw her truely angry. The young spirit blinked away, but not before Madeira saw her brown eyes wide with fear and watery with shocked tears. At once she felt ashamed of herself.

"Come." she pulled Roland towards the Unnmayne, feeling sick with guilt and buzzing with equal parts questions and a low, thrumming worry. "I'll explain everything, but for the love of Ionu be quiet."

[b]word count: 646
Last edited by Madeira Craven on November 3rd, 2017, 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Roland Eir on November 3rd, 2017, 2:21 am

In mere moments Roland found himself falling to the cobblestones and scrambling back on his hands. The mist spiraling out of Madeira, and the creature it formed, filled Roland with revulsion and horror. As it spoke, he clapped a hand over his own mouth. Gods preserve me! Skin almost as pale as the ghost in front of him, eyes wide with fear and confusion, he barely heard her questions. "Am I... am I a what?"

While Madeira composed her thoughts, Roland came to his senses. This wasn't an illusion. From the woman's reaction, this spirit was real. And it could listen. Impossible... But it wasn't. The fear died as he took in the form of this creature. A small girl. She looked sweet, curious, innocent. Nothing like the malicious, soul-sucking entities that filled the ghost stories of his childhood. He pulled himself up to one knee, moving slowly so as not to startle the girl. With one hand outstretched he inched closer, and closer, to the entity. Then her comment made him pause, and Madeira's final reaction pulled him out of his reverie. The girl was gone.

"What does she mean by-" Before he could finish Madeira had his arm in a surprisingly strong grip. In a second's time she had pulled him up and off the street through a cracked green door.

All at once his head was swimming with the heady scent of smoke and incense. This place, wherever it was, must have been the most colorful room he'd ever seen. Even with the smoke and the dim lighting, his eyes were delighted by shimmering fabrics, ornate rugs, exotic plants, and everywhere the walls were painted with captivating scenes of nature and tranquility. And intermingling with all of this beauty were the scum of the earth.

It didn't take long to realize. This place may have been festively decorated and, well, cleaner than anything in Sunberth, but he recognized it for what it was. The cold grip of bitterness settled on his heart as he took in the people crashed out on pillows and in chairs. Those still conscious were talking in low, whining voices. They sucked smoke from the air out of festive pipes and delicate contraptions fashioned with metal and glass. Somewhere there was laughter. Suddenly Roland felt very, very tired. Not from the smoke, or even from his brief use of the Flux, but from the rush of emotions he'd been experiencing all day. Awe, confusion, caution, fear, elation, curiosity, panic, and now this. This city was draining him.

All he wanted to do now was ask Madeira his questions and go. He would let her lead him wherever she willed and sit across from her. Everything he wanted to ask bubbled under the surface, but all he said was "Who are you?" First and foremost of all his concerns, he wanted to know what sort of person could draw a spirit from within themselves and dispel it with a word. "You're a mage, right? A witch?" Reading the room he kept his voice low, but there was an urgency. He needed to know.

Word Count: 520
Last edited by Roland Eir on November 10th, 2017, 1:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 3rd, 2017, 6:52 am

Image

“Who are you”, he asked. “You’re a mage, right? A witch?”

Standing in the entrance of the Unnayme, Madeira regarded him through the low coiling cloud of incense. When she first saw him, he was just a foolish wanderer. Then she got closer, and saw him as something more interesting, a man seasoned and travelled. Now she looked at him and had no idea what to make of the man so obsessed with something so taboo.

“Yes I am”, she took his cue and spoke under the laughter around them. “I take it you are too.”

Madeira turned to the front counter, fully expecting to see the curly hair and vacant eyes of Silan, the ever present clerk she knew best. But it was the Dhani owner who greeted them with a slow, poisonous smile. Her heavy lidded eyes took in the hollow, pale Craven and the man who was looking around with a hard, bitter set to his mouth. She set her long arms on the lacquered wood and leaned forward languidly.

“My, my, my”, her velvet voice swept over the rattled pair. “And why can I do for you my dearsssss?”

“A newcomers tonic, please.” Madeira hobbled forward, her hand already deep in the pocket of her dress.

Sassche’s dark eyes flickered to Roland, and she let out a low, breathy chuckle.

“Of courssssse, my dear… That is ten goldssss.” she held out a long fingered hand, but Madeira had paused in the act of pulling out her coins.

“Do I look like a tourist?” she bristled, indignant.

“No, my dear”, and the Dhani’s dark smile widened. “You look desssperate.”

A muscle jumped in the Spiritist’s neck. But after a long moment, she reluctantly dragged out the required coin and dropped it into her hand.

“Let’s go”, she turned away from the self-satisfied Dhani and led Roland deeper into the drug den. A low chatter of those talking to others, talking to themselves, or talking to the empty chairs beside them washed around the pair like a tide. The single, curtained window let in the only light. The yellow glow pooled shadows in the hollows of Madeira’s cheeks and the corners of her eyes. She maneuvered around the scattering of pillows and revellers carefully, until she found private corner with a low table partially obscured by a large potted fern. She lowered herself gracelessly on a cushion on the floor and motioned that he should do the same. By moving her dead leg with her hands she managed to sit cross-legged and with some sense of propriety while they waited for Sassche to prepare the drugs.

“We should restart”, Madeira announced once they were both settled. She held out her hand to shake. “My name is Madeira Craven.” she began dryly. “I’m a Spiritist. I use magic to interact with the dead. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She folded her hands on the table between them, and her thin mouth curved into her first truly genuine smile since she laid eyes on him. “I want to know about you, and what you know about magic. But I assume you have some questions that are rather more important.”

Word Count: 530
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Roland Eir on November 3rd, 2017, 12:48 pm

Grimacing as they passed through the haze of the room, Roland followed the Spiritist into the corner. He appreciated the darkness. Even though he didn't know anyone in this city, he still didn't like the idea of being seen in... this kind of place. The transaction with the clerk puzzled him, but he put it to the side in favor of much more pressing matters. He took Madeira's hand when she offered it, giving a polite shake, and then pulling swiftly away when she mentioned her trade. "You use magic to... interact with them? Like that girl outside? She was ghost wasn't she? Oh, and my family name is Eir. You already know I'm Roland."

As she had apparently picked up on, he did have many, many questions. "To begin, when I started talking about magic you got... strange. Almost as though this city isn't obviously filled with magic, as if it's just as bad here as everywhere else?" That was the thought that troubled him most. If he'd made a mistake in coming here, if it wasn't a city of mages as he'd hoped, he wasn't sure what to do. He was running low on money, and could hardly hope to keep traveling around. But settling here if the secrets he wished to learn were outlawed? She'd assumed he was a mage himself, but truthfully he'd never thought of himself that way. In his eyes he was a traveler only taking his first steps on a very long road, with no idea of where it went.

"But Madeira--or Maddy, if that's what you prefer?" It's what her little friend had called her. "If there are no wizards here, what causes all of that?" He gestured toward the window and the outside world. "And how do you people live with it? I couldn't even find an inn on my own. That's supposed to be the easiest place for new people to find!" He sat back on the cushions with an exhausted look, unfolding and refolding his legs underneath him. "This place was supposed to solve my problems, but all I've found are new ones."

His eyes passed over the room, briefly making sure no one had taken an interest in their conversation, before settling back on his guide. She seemed... happy, despite the circumstances. Or maybe... excited? With effort he returned her smile. There was that feeling again. It was something about that look--her eyes, her hair, the curve of her smile--that he recognized from somewhere else. It made him. Clearing his throat, he looked away. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude or nothing. You said you had your own questions. Fire away."

Word Count: 450
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Roland Eir
The Reluctant Thief
 
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Leaving Sanity (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 3rd, 2017, 7:51 pm

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This was going to take time. Madeira breathed deep and rallied herself, only to take a hit of burning incense straight up her nose and nearly choke.

“Yes, yes, that girl outside was a ghost” she wheezed, eyes watering. “Her name is Emma Chamelle, she’s my…” Her what? Her servant? Her surrogate sister? “…She’s mine.” she finished lamely. “I have a big, powerful family, and we are all in this business of ghosts and magic. Spiritism is really the only magic that’s tolerated, because of it’s necessity. But that tolerance is just the film over an undercurrent of fear.”

She leaned forward, talking low and fast.

“You’re wrong, when you say this place is filled with magic. I think there are many more mages here than the rest like to believe, but that’s not what creates the illusions.” her eyes turned misty, her gaze unfocused. “Ionu does. The deity of illusion and trickery. This city is Ionu’s home. This city is Ionu. They create the illusions, and protect us. And magic, you have to understand, people here see magic as spitting in the eye of our deity. You’re taking the wonder and mystery of the world and making it mundane, giving cause to an effect, if you will.” she shifted uncomfortably, pulling her dead leg closer. “Not to mention that magic is dangerous, of course. They don’t trust it. So pile that onto this insult to Alvadas’ core beliefs and in the eyes of our people and our government you are nothing less contemptible than a criminal.”

She paused, and her expression softened for a moment. “Don’t lose hope though, Roland. Like I said, there are mages here, they’re just harder to find.”

Madeira suddenly sat back on her heels, as that moment Sassche picked her slow way over to their table. She placed a tiny dish with three black pellet-sized pills on the table between them, smiled her strange, poisonous smile, and walked away with a swing of her hips.

“And It’s Madeira, please.” The Spiritist continued, keeping her eyes warily on the Dhani’s retreating form. There were precious few people in this world she allowed to call her Maddy. “And what I wanted to ask you”, when she turned back to him, her eyes were alight with something ravenous. “Is everything you know. Why have you come seeking Reimancers? What kind of a mage are you, Roland?” Death and magic, in all it’s forms, were the only things that could put that spark in her pale eyes.

She pushed the little dish over to him. “Take these. It’ll help you make sense of Alvadas. It’ll help you-” she smiled wryly, “‘live with it’”

Word Count: 445
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Madeira Craven
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