Shrubbery

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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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Shrubbery

Postby Eleutheria on November 10th, 2018, 1:53 am



44th Fall, 518

Eyes closed. Skin covered in soak. Vision soaked in sunlight, insistently piercing the ramshackle cloth cover dividing Elea from the world at large and her eye cover, mostly failing, still making a mark. Then, a cold sensation of liquid flowing through our protagonist, in the purifying ritual of standing in the garden and pouring water over oneself. Once the waters stopped flowing, Elea bowed down, eyes still closed and drew more into her bucket, the instrument of the whole ordeal. Rinse and repeat, until Elea’s skin was wet, without any soap or impurities. Now enter home and do the same to the feet. An annoying detail, something Elea was increasingly grumpy about, for some reason.

Most of the time, she’d be content to keep her lifestyle cheap. You had to pay for bathhouse and same could not be said about a creek nearby, for summer, and Kinelli springs, as well as water barrel at home, for other seasons. But for some strange reason, Elea found her own clumsy ordeal to be more and more burdensome. It made little sense: She was integrated into Lhavit well, was making acquaintances. But she was still angry. Or was it grumpy? Or just annoyed? Or tired? She’d be unable to tell you which one was it.

Everyday, for 30 minutes, a fairly harsh headache would manifest itself. Every single day, Elea’s sight of the world would suddenly increase in brightness and she’d be stumbling about, forcing her to lay down in cruel pain. After that, echoes. Strange, unreal echoes, always whispering, never revealing themselves. At first, Elea was trying to investigate. At first, she was soaked in delirious fear. At first, she though it would be the end of her.
Now she treated it the same as she treated the ambience of the birdsongs and city chatter. She deduced that echoes were in her head for some reason and it may have been connected to the headache that they followed. She found comfort in knowing the origin of the occurrence.

It’s the same old morning ritual now. Take the bread loaf, cut it, add some salad and tomato cuts, eat up. Simple and easy was the watchword of this meal. It was also nutritious and economic. There was no work today, so Elea could just do what she liked the best. Take her mother’s journal and finish reading it up under a spreading chestnut tree. Then she could say that she knew most of the tricks laid there. She’d still consult it, for convenience, but it always felt good to finish a book. She reached out for a place where it last was, only to find out that reaching out and taking it wasn’t the same thing. When Elea’s eye rested on the table near her bed where it was supposed to be, she found out that expecting it to be and actually seeing it there weren’t the same thing.
The table was empty. Where the hell was it?

Books were precious commodities, even ones that were small and written with amateurish calligraphy. Their value, both monetary and intellectual, made them more worthy than gold in Elea’s eyes, which made sense considering her streak of knowledge-craving. To lose a book, was something that took all the warmth from Elea’s chest and left her fearful, almost shaking in cold sweat. She never once lost a library book, or her own before.

But could it be that the thing was simply lost under a table? Or under the bed? Elea took a deep breath. Now was not the time to lay about and worry, now was the time to dive under her furniture. No shape of a book was seen, however.
Time to pull the bed out of its place to see again? Thankfully, it was quite light enough and Elea’s strength was nothing that failed her often. But, light casted upon the suspect area, revealed nothing.

It would seem Elea lost her mother’s journal, the only connection with Ravok that was tangible. That she was given it in the first place, that piece of somewhat silly calligraphy, spread upon the pieces of old, smelly paper, bundled together in an even older cover, a thing that her mother seemed so attached to, signified how much Elea’s mother valued her and that her motherhood was something she would not take lightly, even as Elea left her.

It was an heirloom. A symbol that her mother is okay with her and loves her as she always has. That all is well back home. That she’s missed, but not reviled for leaving. Finally, it was simply a bloody useful thing for a non-expert philterer. It’s searching time! Elea felt like her headache was about to set in as it has 3 hours ago, but she also felt that the longer she does not have the item, the worse she will feel.

Whole house has came under the scrutinizing eye. Furniture switching positions, each and every drawer searched, each piece of clothing searched, including those that did not had the pockets fitting the journal, the chest searched, the floor searched… good thing there was not that much furniture in the house. No sight of the book, though. Elea actually took to the garden, due to that. Then local privy. Then back home, to ascertain where to go.

Pacing her breath, clearing her thoughts, she attempted at laying down the plan for the search. If the book wasn’t found at home after the search that was as thorough as hers, it wasn’t there. Or was Elea so tired of her problems that she missed the spot? She spent the next half an hour shaking down the house again, to no avail.



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Shrubbery

Postby Eleutheria on November 11th, 2018, 1:20 am




Okay. It’s not home. What are the options for what happened to it? It could have been stolen, of course. Somehow. From under Elea’s nose, by a thief who’d regard the book as worthier theft than any of her other possessions.
Okay, another option. It was lost along the way. Elea walks, or runs her usual route. She accidently drops the book. Or, for that matter, leaves it somewhere where she went with it. Makes sense, no?

More than the thief option, for sure. If it was lost underway, however, chance is it was taken by someone already, though. Chance of retrieving it was then low.
The most likely option was that it was in Starry Chalice. It’s there where she used it, most of the time. And if her boss found it, or employees for that matter, there would be no trouble getting it back. Okay, maybe an employee would ask to borrow it. But still.

Nowhere else, did Elea took her book. Only to a spreading chestnut tree nearby, to read it. It was not taken to the shops, restaurants, bathhouses, hot springs, anywhere else Elea would have business in.
Time to backtrack her usual routes and search places it could be in, right? As the most likely option, the Chalice went in as first. Elea had no working hours today, but her boss should still be there.

She searched with eyes wide open all the same. The sun was gently falling down, as it was soon evening. Her condition gave her no rest, though, as she covered her wide-open eyes beneath her red hood. Today, the things she heard were not speaking of strange puzzles or weird questions. “Carry on the feast, with autumn leaves!” – they squealed. – “Come to chop hams, in your general direction!” – they squealed. But now, they only, badly, sung. Strong Elea goes on quest, to find her holy knowledge grail, to find the book that used to be hers, but now is read by a shrubbery, with eyes wide open and mind focused, brave Elea! – maybe they should try shutting up, as even Elea’s own mentally projected voices seemed to sing in a manner of a drunk Ravok muscle. No point to be buggered by such a thing.

“Hi, Elea! What are you doing here, you know that your work starts tomorrow” – Tyan, her boss, greeted her.
“Well, I wish I did not had to be here either, but alas I do. My notebook, with philtering notes, an item quite dear to me, I can’t seem to find it. I was wondering, perhaps you have found it somewhere perchance?”
“I haven’t. A small book, you say? I say stand by where you are, since I can’t let you in outside work, I’ll look around at the places you were at, give me ten minutes” – she said. And Elea, though eager to search for it herself, did not found it in her to contest the plan.

Ten minutes, Tyan gave herself to look, and ten minutes was sure passing like ten hours to Elea. Her headache was creeping in, her meditation attempts failed, her neck, for some strange reason, felt like it was on fire. Then Tyan returned.
“I looked over all your work space, your safety gear and few other spots. I found no book, I’m sorry. But I found this, which I believe is yours” – she then gave Elea her sweater. – “It laid in the changing room. Something lost, something else found, I guess” – Tyan finished, smiling.

Elea mustered a small smile back. “Thanks all the same” – she said. Since it was getting windy, after Tyan closed doors, Elea took off her cape and hood, put on the sweater over her red undershirt and donned the cape and hood back on. The black-red figure, of long cape and hood, marched on back, scrying the street in process. She was getting more and more desperate: Tyan found something of hers, but no book. It was weird that she forgot about her sweater, too. What did it said about her state of mind? Then she remembered the now-silent voices, talking about the book being read by a shrubbery. Increasingly desperate, she started to search down shrubberies along the road.

She did not ran, but she came home tired. Eyes reeling from searching everywhere. She went to the spreading chestnut tree right away.
On the road, all searched, nothing found. The musings of the voices resumed. The area around the chestnut tree was searched thoroughly. Nothing to be found. Except a few oak acorns, which Elea would take home. Something lost, something found.

Marching on like a breeze to the different places, takes a lot less time than scrying the same routes with special focus on shrubberies. By the time Elea finished her fruitless search, it was afternoon and the sun was low, albeit shining in a cloudless sky. Exhausted, horribly discouraged and less mentally composed than ever, Elea returned home, thanking herself that no one along the way seemed to have noticed her state of mind. Taking off her cape, hood and sweater, discarding those on the floor, she dropped herself at the bed, with nothing but ceiling in her sight.

She wondered how was she going to tell her mother that she lost her journal, no, if she was going to tell her. She wondered what did it meant for them. Elea wasn’t the one to be quick to fall to superstition, not even in the most magical and strange situations. Unless, she was distressed. And tired. And slightly schizophrenic due to a thing she had no idea about. She took one sight at a piece of paper, representing the skull she once upon a time witnessed. By now, it was probably unmade. That’s what Elea was told. Her headache spiked when she looked at it. Another superstitious sign? Could it be that Elea’s state of mind is connected to the skull?

No, no. Elea’s headache was probably as connected to the skull as her journal was to shrubberies. Another superstition. But when it seems that just when you seemed at the bottom, you dig yourself a new one, what else to grasp?
As Elea tried to guide her train of thought, and to convince herself she was indeed guiding it, sleepiness crept into her mind. It must have been rest hour already. How fast the time goes. But, for a small moment, Elea had a respite. From the voices, from the humiliation of losing her journal, from troubles of her mind. On to sleep. For a moment. Because then, her desire to find the journal burned anew.

1105 words


Last edited by Eleutheria on November 14th, 2018, 2:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Shrubbery

Postby Eleutheria on November 11th, 2018, 1:21 am




The feeling Elea had when she was drifting asleep was almost the same as if she had a fever. The rest and calm that was to follow and give her strength to find her prize was not there. Instead, her sense of urgency only intensified. Though for all intents and purposes she was supposed to be asleep, she still felt getting up, eyesight watching the same abode that she laid herself to bed in. She searched. Same places that she used to search today. She failed to find it. She went outside, again. The backtracking seemed to have taken her less and less time, with certain parts of it seeming to be skipped entirely, as if she was about to teleport between the spots. It wasn’t really so, it’s just how it felt.

It took her to the docks, where she searched on, with unwavering fervor, even though she never estimated it could be there. The docks were empty, or at least no one could be seen. Elea walked up to a pier, scrying it with her eyes. They revealed nothing. Then, when Elea’s mind was about to snap, an occurrence! The end of the pier was wet. Elea slipped upon it, letting the torch loose and gliding forth to the edge of the pier. Filling her lungs with air just in time for the cold waters to embrace her whole.

This was fine. Not the first time Elea ended up in deep water. She could certainly resurface to safety, albeit not without effort in the restless sea water. Her eyes opened, revealing the watery realm before her. Beautiful, green, but empty. A small school of fish moving about, studying the strange beige bundle of flesh, with red hair in free flow around her head, clad in black trousers and red undershirt. Or is it? An occurrence! Slightly below her, there was a book shape, as if it was hanged in there. Could it be what she was looking for?

There was no part of her that believed that it was either hers, or that it was in a readable state. Yet if she did not saw, she’d no doubt be scrying the whole city to no avail. Perhaps be reduced to insanity. She had a taste of it already.
Just as she could use her limbs to resurface, so she could use them to dive below and get the book. Grinding her teeth, steeling her nerves, she thrust her arms below and back up, her shape rotating, until she was fixated on her target. Arms flew forth, sideways and back, legs danced back and forth with a machine-like determination. The target seemed to almost float away from Elea, first down, then up. She remained fixed on it, however, her movement rather slow, but her mind never even grasped at an idea of going up and catching breath. Besides, it was almost there… and just as Elea grasped the book, something has grasped her, dragging her down. A thing? No. A flow, a force of nature? More likely.

This was bad. Elea wasn’t quite a Svefra in the water and even if she was, she’d be in trouble. Grasping the book, she tried to swim back up with renewed frequency of limb movement, but to no avail. As Elea’s breath was running out, she turned her determination to desperation, then, too soon, to panic, unprepared for this close an encounter with death. For some reason, the book opened up before her and she could make out the words.

“How to breathe underwater.”

Well isn’t this convenient. After all the streak of bad luck, Elea had no choice but to grasp that last thing that held even faintest promise of salvation. Her skin felt freezing, but her lungs seemed on fire and the surface was nowhere near close enough for comfort.

“Step 1: Obtain level two Oceanus gnosis”

Oh come on! How helpful! It’s something she knew from Ravok!

“Time required: More than what you have!” – followed by the laughing theater mask.

Panic has vanished like it was but a spell. In microinstant, Elea realized: There was nothing she could do anymore and the whole situation was a joke with her as punchline. What do you do when presented with a good joke? You laugh.
And she laughed, all underwater, clouds of bubbled air surrounding her face. For all intents and purposes, at least she was dying laughing.
But she kept laughing, as if her breath was never going to run out.
But her skin was dry. She wasn’t in the sea.

Elea was home, laughing in her bed, reeling from a nightmare turned dark comedy.

This was fine.

She was free to conclude one thing from her search: Yesterday, using her “echoes” as clues for search, has left her nothing but lack of luck. And in that dream, these echoes threatened to take her to oblivion. It was a warning. And it worked. Elea had her dance with death in watery stage once and once was enough for her. A laughing corpse is still a corpse.

So rather than resume searching, Elea tried to look composed and headed out to pay a visit in a bathing house. After all this, it was clear to her: She needed a good and warm bath. Not so much to get clean, as to soothe the nerves. The echoes followed her. Strong Elea, has given up. She picked her tail, she chickened out, she valiantly has buggered out, with eyes determined to the brim, she gave up on her search, Elea!

These voices, these mocking bards were not going to spoil Elea’s day any further, though. The trick was not to take them seriously. But what was the key in that trick? More often than not, she failed in it before. What’s the trick in the trick?

The trick was not to take oneself too seriously.



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Shrubbery

Postby Eleutheria on November 11th, 2018, 8:36 pm




Even as Elea’s war on her mental state was calming down with some losses to Elea’s sanity, but significant gains on how to deal with distress (something that might well offset the losses on the long run), Elea was bummed by one simple fact. Her notebook, was as gone as it used to be. She made one more sweep, on which she found some soap that stashed itself in a quite inconvenient location of the hole at the house corner, but no book. Everything Elea lost, she was finding again, except the notebook. Perhaps it was no longer to be considered a factor after all. It was a mother’s gift: not mother’s ashes or something comparably sacred. But, on the other hand, this was still a pity.

The mourning of the loss was there, even as it faded into the background. When in Elea’s home, a new meal was being prepared, as plain and unassuming as the last one, there was mourning. When the girl was looking out to the starry sky, she mourned. When she later marched on to her spreading chestnut tree, she mourned. It was always going to be there. Silent, unassuming. More and more vague and weaker. But still present.

Perhaps a same thing ought to be said about her other failures, of which there were some, several more humbling than others. These ones have also hurt when they transpired. These ones have also faded away. Even as sometimes Elea wished to changed them for the better, she could live with them. In the end.
She lost more than just a diary. She had a man in her life, and now she does not. And now is less than receptive towards suitors. The way she lost him was perhaps not the most humiliating way, or one where she was really at fault. In Elea’s mind, it didn’t matter: The girl, never shying away from taking responsibility, blamed herself and saw it as something embarrassing and bad.

Whether she’d find a man in Lhavit… she did not knew. It’s not like she had a clue about what’s expected of women in Lhavit and her natural appearance was a subject of a bit more debate than admiration. Yes, overhearing the boys discussing girls and their qualities was, while rude, quite an exhilarating activity. And while Ravok was filled with intrigue, you’d be hard pressed to find more innocent intrigue than that. But, that was in the past, forever behind her. Elea, though but nineteen, saw herself as a mature woman now and no amount of mature women gossiping about courting men was going to convince her to derive amusement from that. Pragmatically useful information, maybe… but no amusement.

The subject of romance and its train of thought was a fine distraction from Elea’s loss, but it meant reminiscing of the man Elea used to love. Which opened a whole new can of worms for her. The passion lost, the way it was lost, the general exhaustion of the day… all this have prompted the girl, in crescent moonlight, under the spreading chestnut tree, seemingly ennobled by long hair, cape and hood, compensating for her having trousers in place of dress, to drop tears.

For a moment, she thought that this was embarrassing, a bit, and thanked herself she wasn’t born a boy, thus wielding the privilege of sobbing without risking one’s prestige. It was a good thing, after all. Not only it cleaned her eyes, Elea remembered, it was plain and simply soothing to the mind, for reason unknown to her. Frankly, it was impressive that she broke down only now.
Even after she was done, though, she still had her heart caressed by the cold and uncaring hands of regret. How she wished that how she and the man separated have gone away. That it would have never transpired. Perhaps she’d find something else to worry about, but that was not the girl’s concern. The lesson there was so bitter, how she wished she did not learned it. But then it hit her.

Learning was Elea’s whole point of being, foremostly because learning is how you prevent mistakes. If she never have learned the lesson that the end of her romance gave her, what was to say she would have had to learn it here in Lhavit? One could say she could have prevented it by learning the right things from someone, but who’s to say that the lesson that was not experienced in practice, would be learned properly? Elea was a bookworm, devouring knowledge from scripts at will, but there was only so much she could remember from them. Her experiments, hands-on experiences, on the other hand…

Yes, Elea made mistakes. Yes, her past sometimes runs up to her and causes her to run. But as the girl rose up under the spreading chestnut tree and marched on, she had one key thing to conclude.

Elea lived short nineteen years, but she would not changed any of them. All of her life, is her. Failures too. To change them is to change her own self. And the girl in crimson hood and hair did found it a scary prospect.

Still having quite some time before the time for new sleep, Elea went out to do something, grabbing a Kina or two and heading out to the town. She had one last ace up her sleeve, even though it would be really, really far-fetched an attempt.
The moonlight-bathed streets of Lhavit were neither busy, nor empty, marking down the city’s lifestyle. The red-hooded figure among the populace was mostly an anonymous one, as in, few people knew who she was. But in a world full of fancy dresses, fine haircuts and expressive jewelry, the girl that covered most of her head with a hood and lots of her body with a cape, was an unique sight indeed. It stood out.

It stood out at the Cosmos Center too, where Elea made her one last attempt at salvaging her item.

“Hello. Well, this isn’t the best of news I come with. I was, searching the places I was in lately for quite some time, but there is still an item I cannot find and thus fear to be lost. A black-covered notebook, of modest thickness. Perhaps someone has returned it here as a lost item.


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Eleutheria
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Shrubbery

Postby Eleutheria on November 11th, 2018, 9:16 pm




“Hello. Could I perhaps buy an empty book? Nothing too large, just enough for a notebook. I’ll appreciate if you also have a quill and ink for sale” – started out Elea, talking to the shopkeeper.

“I’ll guide you to your requests and you can pick up what suits you. Thanks for your patronage in advance!” – the young shopkeeper replied, winking his hazel eyes at Elea, much to her cringe.

Still, she walked out with ink, quill and an empty book to write in. The Cosmos Center was of no help finding her possession, apparently, they did not even do that “lost and found” thing. If Elea was to ever come back to Mother without her notebook, she’d at least have a common decency to come back with her own, self-written notebook.

Back to the home it was with those new things. Something’s lost, something’s found, something’s made anew. And if one thing could be said about Elea, is that she won’t mind to find a way to countermeasure for a problem. In place of her mother’s notebook, she will write her own. That notebook will contain the notes and lessons of her own and, if done well, will surpass the mother’s gift. Then, she’ll give it to mother. Even as the original will be lost, if the successor notebook can surpass it, Elea would ask for little else.

Then was of course, actually getting to write it. Elea’s calligraphy, honed in the grammar school and the Institute, was getting rusty, so if she could not get anything else out of this night, she’d at least practice that. She got home, completing her usual jogging exercise of reaching home through the Okomo Estates, she took out a recently purchased standing torch for lightning, taking extra care not to escalate the fire hazard, sat down and got to writing. “Grab the quill” – the girl thought to herself, “dip it in ink bottle”... and find out that her calligraphy did indeed needed dusting off.

It was nothing too bad, it was just… not quite her. Elea tended to write good and clearly. Her writing right now was clear, but not quite good. Would take some practice to get back on level.

Elea proceeded to think of what to write first. She remembered quite a lot about the mother’s notebook: Not all, but not little either. She started out with a few notes on something seemingly non-scientific, yet very practical: Cleaning the equipment. Yes, she’d have to dedicate at least a chapter or two to it. It was not that obvious how to properly purify things like distillation coils, but one had to know that and Elea picked up a few useful realizations about that when working in Starry Chalice, as well as some tricks of her mother.

But, the begin of one chapter was all Elea was going to make for a time being. The headache kicked in. The powerful, vicious kind that Elea recently was getting every day for half an hour and tried to shake off with bathing and meditation, to no avail. The eyes went red. The eyesight became brighter, so unbearably brighter that Elea extinguished the torch. Her movement and consciousness were fleeting and her dexterity was slowly abandoning her, so of course, the torch fell and set fire to the chair. Barely conscious and panicked, Elea quickly took out the fire by pouring out some of the basket of water she kept in house over the floor, then over the chair.

Wet and distressed again, she went to sleep, trying to shake off the headache in bed.

45th Fall, 518

Rushing to eat breakfast, clean up herself and the house from the small mess she made (at least the worst of it was water on the floor), Elea was more or less scrambling to get going to work soon enough. She slept earlier and woke earlier than usual, so that helped. But was it enough? Between preparing and eating breakfast, trying to calm her ordeal of echoing voices, cleaning one’s house and taking a bath, one can spend a lot of time. And Elea’s streak of bad luck might as well make her show up late at work.

Not this time, though. One can stave off the bad luck through preparation and so, though Elea woke up earlier, she got to work right on time. Looking worse than usual, despite her more frequent baths and meditations, may have been disappointing. Especially since the most would not notice the source of Elea’s distress. Nonetheless, she changed to the philtering gear soon and got to work, hailing her boss in the meanwhile.

“Did you found your notebook?” – Tyan asked, with consideration.
“I.. I fear that I’ll have to make a new notebook” – answered Elea, disappointed, but seemingly calm.”

“Good for you. Really, consider: If there is one way to learn something better than through reading and learning, it is through writing and teaching” – Tyan continued.

Seems like she knows her employees well, as this sat well with Elea’s thought process. “Eh, it still feels bad” – she replied with honesty – “But thank you, you’re very kind”. The boss smiled and signaled Elea to get to work. She met with her colleagues, discussing the division of labor as always.

“There you are, Elea!” – one of the beckoned – “Here’s the journal I borrowed from you three days ago” – he started, giving Elea the small book with black cover, the item that Elea coveted and searched for, during the whole yesterday. If Elea’s mouth slightly open and eyes very wide open, she read the thing. It was it. It was her mother’s journal, one she sweated and nightmare over so much!
“I… eeh… thank you… Borrowed?” – she asked.

“Yes, you let me have it three days ago.” – he replied, equally startled. It was real interesting and useful, by the way, thanks! And, is everything all right? You seem startled like inferno, though when you were giving me that notebook, you looked and sounded almost sick and perhaps delirious, so maybe it has something to do with you now… are you sure you are all right?”

No, man. I’m pretty soddin’ far from all right – Elea wanted to say.

“I am okay, and, thanks for giving it back. Least I can do” – Elea said, with a kind smile and shift in demeanor as sudden as the rain surprising the summer wanderer.

It would seem Elea’s headaches were burning holes in her memory that made her forget what was happening at their duration.



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Eleutheria
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Shrubbery

Postby Madeira Craven on November 14th, 2018, 10:55 pm

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Eleutheria

Skills
  • Cleaning: 1xp
  • Cooking: 1xp
  • Logic: 2xp
  • Investigation: 4xp
  • Philosophy: 2xp
  • Planning: 2xp
  • Endurance: 3xp
  • Socialization: 3xp
  • Meditation: 1xp
  • Writing: 1xp

Lores
  • Lore of a morning ritual
  • Cooking: simple salad
  • Logic: deductive reasoning
  • Lore of the significance of Elea’s mother journal
  • Investigation: systematic elimination
  • Philosophy: ruminating on a sense of belonging
  • Endurance: bearing the pain
  • Investigation: looking for witnesses
  • Meditation: guided thoughts
  • Endurance: determination and grit
  • Cosmo Centre: does not have a lost-and-found
  • Philosophy: changing purpose

Awards & Retribution
+Inl, vial: -1gm
+Book, blank: -3gm
+Quill: -5cm

Notes
A mystery! My favorite kind of story. I'm glad everything turned out all right for our intrepid hero in the end!

Make sure you add your spiffy new writing tools to your ledger and deduct the expenses. Also, as a side note, keep an eye on your tenses! You sometimes switch from past to present tense mid sentence. ;)
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