Solo [The Catholicon] Civil Discourse

Velindor meets Dr. Alessia, and negotiates terms for his stay in Lhavit.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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[The Catholicon] Civil Discourse

Postby Velindor Calendula on June 29th, 2018, 4:51 am

3 Summer 518; 17th Bell

In the early evening, with Syna’s light fading to crimson on the western horizon, Velindor was struck bow how incredibly alive the city of Lhavit was. Even in the growing twilight, merchants hawking their wares mixed fluidly with the bawdy sounds spilling out of the taverns. While Alvadas had certainly had a life of its own, that city of illusions still very much had a definite rhythm of sleep and wakefulness. Such earthbound concepts seemed to hold no sway in this sparkling mountain jewel. Despite his natural desire to explore and familiarize himself with his new home (or at least, his prospective one), Velindor was keenly aware of his two Shinya escorts. Flanked on either side by armed men, the Symenestra was in no hurry to deviate from the path they led him on as they swung east from the Amaranthine Gate, meandering through the streets in as direct a way as possible.

This city is amazing, thought Velindor with more than a hint of awestruck admiration for the glittering glass structures rising all around him. Before long, the two Shinya had escorted him to the beginning of a majestic bridge made of the same glittering glass, spanning the ravenous chasm between mountain peaks. While Symenestra rarely feared heights, Velindor had to admit he felt just a tad uneasy as his escorts nudged him roughly onto the iridescent span. To and fro came denizens of various shapes and sizes, as if crossing a glass bridge suspended hundreds of meters above the ground were nothing at all. Not one to show fear or weakness, Velindor steeled himself for the first few, halting steps. After he was convinced the bridge was both solid and secure, the rest of the crossing was rather easy. Almost like the silk bridges of Kalinor, in a way he thought with wistful nostalgia.

After crossing the bridge onto Tenten peak, Velindor began to notice another, more familiar phenomenon. The stares. The whispers. Away from the majestic caverns of Kalinor, being Symenestra alone was enough to rouse suspicion. Being a male Symenestra was enough to warrant open hostility, particularly among the older demographics. It was a phenomenon Velindor had come to accept with droll dismissal. The lesser races would never understand what it was like to have their gene pool slowly but surely watered down until only drivel remained. Distasteful as they may find it, Velindor, and indeed, all true Symenestra, understood the necessity of the Harvest. Thankfully, his was an innovative and clever kind, developing the cover stories of Gleanings to mask their true purpose. Velindor had long ago resolved to never reveal his mission to outsiders; even some among his own race could hardly be trusted. The Gleaning was his ever-present cover, a benign mission of knowledge gathering and self improvement. Who could ever balk at that? And by all appearances, Lhavit had much to offer in the way of secret knowledge.

Velindor was broken from his reverie by the sudden halt of his escort. “We’re here,” came the brusque words of one of the Shinya guards. “You will present yourself to Alessia Amaryllis. Speak to no one else. We will know. Dr. Alessia will determine whether you are fit to stay. She tends to be a good judge of…your kind.” The last words were spoken with a disdainful sneer. Velindor did his best to pay it no mind as he gazed up at the magnificent domed structure before him. The graceful architecture rivaled even the elegant structures of his subterranean home! But beyond that, there was something...familiar about the name he’d been given. Amaryllis, Velindor played the name over and over in his mind as he stepped through the massive double doors leading into the masterfully designed building before him.
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[The Catholicon] Civil Discourse

Postby Velindor Calendula on June 29th, 2018, 4:52 am

The interior of the structure was no less impressive. The double doors opened into a narrow marble corridor, opening into a grand central chamber of similar elegant stone. In the center of the chamber was a grand glittering staircase that seemed to spiral up towards the Unalaska themselves! Just before this stairway to the heavens sat round desk staffed by a woman who had...two, four, six arms! Velindor had never seen such a majestic creature; she seemed to control each arm with complete independence as she shifted papers from one folder to the next, moving with fluid grace and trained precision. Diverting his gaze for a moment to take in the rest of the chamber, Velindor noted shelves upon shelves stocked with various vials, flasks, and jars. Velindor presumed these were medicinal supplies, considering that the Catholicon, as the Shinya at the gate had called it, a place of medicine and healing. And from the sound of it, the woman in charge was this Alessia Amaryllis. But where, in this vast glittering structure, would the good doctor be found?

Best to ask the woman who would know best, the Sym thought, forgetting the Shinya’s admonition against speaking to anyone else as he approached the Eypharian woman behind the desk. Brushing a strand of silver hair back from his face, Velindor opened his mouth to speak. “Excuse-”

“Yes?” The curt response cut off his greeting as the woman regarded him with an appraising stare. “Oh, you’re one of them. Here to see Doctor Amaryllis, yes?” Velindor scarcely had time to nod before she was scribbling directions on a small scrap of parchment. All the while her other hands never ceased moving, tucking other parchment files into various drawers and cabinets behind the desk. “Here,” the woman said brusquely as she practically shoved the scrap into his chest. Velindor grabbed it in both hands and looked down at the amazingly neat and precise script. “Follow those directions, they’ll take you to Alessia’s office. My advice? Be honest, and if you’ve any way with magical trickery, don’t even bother. The Doctor is a very busy woman, she has no time for such foolishness. Off you go now.” With that, Velindor was dismissed by the shooing motion of two hands at once. He had little choice but to comply.

Looking down at the precision script, Velindor was genuinely shocked, and mildly insulted at the simplicity of the directions. Stairs to 4th loft, third door to the right. Barely disguising his contempt with a veiled glare at the exotic receptionist, Velindor began ascending the marvelous staircase at the center of the room. It shone with the same iridescent quality as the bridge he had crossed earlier in the company of the Shinya. Velindor surmised this was a rather common material for Lhavit, whatever it was. Upon arriving at the top of the staircase, the Symenestra followed the doors to the right, coming to rest before the one indicated by the receptionist’s directions. Carved of fine mahogany wood, Velindor felt a vague sense of trepidation as he knocked once, then twice. As the echoes of his rapping faded to silence, he reflected on the Eypharian’s advice.
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[The Catholicon] Civil Discourse

Postby Velindor Calendula on June 29th, 2018, 5:09 am

Less than two ticks had passed before a deep but distinctly feminine voice echoed from the other side of the door. “Enter.” A single word, brusque and to the point. Easy to see where the receptionist got her manners, Velindor thought as he pushed open the exquisitely carved door into Doctor Alessia’s office. Much like the rest of the towering structure, this room was decorated in various shades of marble stone. However, this room had a distinctly darker feel than the open, airy antechamber from which a Velindor had come. The marble stone was darker, reflective of more shades of gray. From the walls hung elegant silk tapestries in various crimson tones, mirroring the myriad of velvety violet carpets scattered about the floor. The single window looked west toward Syna’s setting splendor, bathing the office in additional sprays of scarlet and tangerine hues.

But despite these magnificent visuals, Velindor found his gaze drawn inexorably the slim figure seated behind a surprisingly unassuming wooden desk, toward the owner of all this splendor. Of the feminine figure, seated with steepled fingers, he first saw the cascade of dark hair, followed by skin just a few shades lighter than the bronze of the common Lhavitian Velindor had observed on his trek to the Catholicon. The woman’s build was that of a slim, beautiful human woman. In fact, apart from her placement high on the tapestry, only one feature marked her as not entirely human, and confirmed the niggling suspicion that had been lurking in the back of Velindor’s mind since the name “Alessia Amaryllis” first reached his ears at the Amaranthine Gate: this woman had eyes colored a bright crimson, matching the fabrics strewn around her office.

Velindor struggled to keep his jaw from falling slack as his mind processed a tumult of thoughts and emotions. From her silent perch, he had no doubt that Alessia was processing much of the same feelings, albeit in reverse. This woman was clearly of Symenestra heritage, but she had too much of a human look about her to be full blooded. Which left only one conclusion.

Half-breed, the Symenestra male thought, only barely managing to suppress the sneer that came with the thought. It was bad enough that their gene pool be inevitably diluted over generations without certain…willful women choosing to dilute it even further by breeding with lesser males. The very thought made Velindor’s skin crawl. Only the reminder that this woman quite literally held his fate in her hands allowed him to summon his composure, swallow his pride, and offer the filthy halfling a refined bow.

“Doctor Alessia, I presume?” spoke the spider with all the civility he could muster. The woman offered only a curt nod, allowing Velindor to continue, “I am Velindor Calendula, a recent arrival to your fair-“

“Stop.” Alessia spoke with curt finality that came with experience in authority. “I don’t need your flattery. You’re here because you’re Symenestra, and a full blooded one to boot. And to top all of that off, you’re male. Of course the Shinya would send you to me immediately. My question to you, Velindor,” she spoke his name with just a touch of rhetorical venom, “is why should I allow you to stay? What is your purpose in Lhavit?”
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[The Catholicon] Civil Discourse

Postby Velindor Calendula on June 29th, 2018, 6:10 am

For a moment, it was all Velindor could do to keep his jaw from dropping in shock. How dare this woman, this half-breed speak to him in such a manner?! He wanted to explode, to put her in her proper place! Then, when that moment was up, cool and clear sanity washed back over him. Alessia’s place was as a well-respected doctor within Lhavit. And his place, as had been made clear by the treatment received by every sentient being thus far, with the sole exception of the old human that had guided him up the mountain, was as an outsider. A suspect. Potentially even a villain. Which meant that, as much as his Symenestra pride detested the face, it was he who owed this woman deference; not the other way around. Velindor did his best to keep his face calm and composed, though there was no doubt some of the cracks had shone through. If Alessia noticed his discomfort, she gave no outward sign of it.

“Apologies, Doctor. I am accustomed to making use of flowery language. Clearly, you understand why this is the case,” Velindor switched from Common to his more familiar Symenos, hoping dearly this woman was as educated in her mother’s culture as she was in medicine.

“Is it because you kidnap innocent women, rape them in a foreign land, and thereby condemn them to a grisly death?” Alessia’s command of Symenos was every bit as good as her Common, and she displayed little difficulty in switching languages.

Velindor frowned in the face of her verbal assault on his, and her, culture. Still, he had to remind himself that he needed her. And if that meant eating crow, then crow he would gladly devour.

“I understand, the practices of our brethren are often abhorrent,” the lie came easily to his lips this time, “however, you misunderstand my purpose here.” Pausing for a moment, Velindor continued when the woman offered only an arched eyebrow in response. “I am out from Kalinor on a Gleaning. My own skill is with medicinal herbs, though I also study poisons for the purpose of creating antidotes and curatives. I have no interest in the grisly Harvest.” That lie was more difficult, but Alessia seemed keen on his mention of creating antidotes.

“Poisons and herbs, you say? Interesting. Perhaps you can be useful after all.” Alessia’s voice trailed off as she tapped her chin, crimson eyes staring off into nowhere as she pondered whatever idea had floated into her head. Velindor waited with bated breath, rocking on his heels in slight impatience. With a snap of her fingers, the good doctor resumed speaking. “Tell me Velindor, have you ever had much occasion to study your own venom?”
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[The Catholicon] Civil Discourse

Postby Velindor Calendula on June 29th, 2018, 6:30 am

Velindor had to admit, the question had caught him off guard. Study his own venom? Of course, it was rather potent, and if harnessed could prove incredibly versatile and useful. “Well,” he began, “I must admit the thought has crossed my mind. But, as I’m sure you know, storing Symenestra venom is no easy feat….” Now it was his turn to trail off. Did she know? From the question itself he had assumed the woman had at least tried. However, it was a well known fact that half-breed venom was about as potent as vinegar, at least in comparison to the real thing. Velindor smiled inwardly, as he realized he may have inadvertent become his own bargaining chip.

“However,” he continued, “with a steady supply of fresh venom, from a full-blooded Symenestra, that could indeed prove an incredibly rich field of study!” Despite the slight barb thrown in, Velindor’s words were sincere, his curiosity piqued. “Pray tell, what sort of application have you in mind, Doctor Alessia?”

The woman smirked. “I’ll tell you what, prove to me you can be trusted, and I’ll tell you. Until then, I will allow you to stay. Under certain conditions, of course.” She had switched back to Common, though whether for clarity or comfort, Velindor was unsure. Swallowing his inherent pride once more, Velindor cleared his throat before asking the obvious question: “And what conditions are those, good doctor?”

Alessia swept passed him, pulling the large wooden door open and gesturing back out into the main chamber. Without options, Velindor complied, allowing her to lead him back to the head of the staircase. She spoke as they walked. “First, you will work for me, on a status of strict probation, for the season of summer. You will follow a strict diet, and permit me to harvest venom from you at my discretion. Following this season, you will earn partial wages as a fellow researcher, though you will continue to answer to me. And finally,” she stopped at the head of the glass staircase to lock her crimson gaze onto his own amethyst eyes, “You will not be seen with any woman of Lhavit alone, at any hour, for any reason. If these terms are unacceptable, you have my leave to remove your presence from this city unaccosted. If you stay, I believe I can arrange for a roof over your head, and you will have access to any and all supplies you need to support your study and practice of herbal remedies and curative. Do we have a deal, Velindor Calendula?”

Every condition rankled the proud Symenestra, but he was forced to admit that she had him against the proverbial wall. His last earnings had been spent merely getting to Lhavit. To leave now, with nothing but the clothes on his back, would mean certain death. In light of that reasoning, Velindor could assume this woman’s shackles. But not forever, the young Symenestra swore mentally even as he clasped the woman’s hand in his own. “Of course, Doctor. I serve at your pleasure.”
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[The Catholicon] Civil Discourse

Postby Luminescence on July 7th, 2018, 5:50 am

Image

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
YOUR GRADES HAVE BEEN GIFTED
ENJOY!
✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Velindor Calendula

Skills
✦Observation +3
✦Socialization +3
✦Investigation +1
✦Subterfuge +1
✦Negotiation +1
✦Intelligence +1


Lores
✦Lhavit: The city that never seems to sleep
✦Shinya: Lhavit's guards
✦Location: Amaranthine Gate
✦Velindor: Nervous about skyglass bridges
✦Location: Tenten Peak
✦Symenestra: Not welcome in Lhavit (especially males)
✦Velindor: Understands the necessity of the Harvest
✦Symenestra: A clever race
✦Gleanings: The perfect cover for Harvests
✦Alessia Amaryllis: Doctor at the Catholicon
✦Location: The Catholicon
✦Velindor: Has never met a six-armed person before
✦Doctor Amaryllis: A busy woman with no time for games
✦Eypharian: Six-armed people
✦Doctor Amaryllis: A half-breed Symenestra
✦Velindor: Disgusted by half-breeds
✦Doctor Amaryllis: Straight to the point
✦Doctor Amaryllis: Hates Symenestra and the Harvest
✦Subterfuge: Lying to get into someone's good books
✦Symenestra: Have potent venom with potential uses
✦Symenestra: Half-bloods have weak venom
✦Negotiation: Using whatever bargaining chips you have
✦Doctor Amaryllis: Giving Velindor a chance
✦Velindor: Has no choice but to agree to Alessia's terms


Notes
A very interesting little thread; I loved reading the interactions between Velindor and Alessia, and I can see this having a lot of potential. What a sneaky spider! (Also, now that this thread has been completed, I will add the details of your service to your SS thread. :))


As always, please don't forget to edit or delete your grading request in the queue! If you have any questions or concerns regarding your grades, don't hesitate to shoot me a PM; I'll do what I can to fix whatever the issue may be!


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