Closed Broken Spirits (Anja)

Aster gets lost, and meets someone at the Drunken Fish.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Asterope on November 14th, 2018, 1:24 am

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70th/Autumn/518 AV

It was the first time that Alard had allowed Aster to wander into the city alone, and she was the happiest she'd been in a long while. To be able to walk without a constant gaze on her, not having to worry about sticking by her master's side and keeping her head down...she felt freer than she had in a long while, too.

Alard had locked a collar around her neck before she left, as he had put it, 'just to be sure', but she was still on her own, which was more than she'd had in some time. She'd attracted her fair share of glances, but she was careful to keep to the wide, more populated streets as she made her way through town.

Not that it really mattered; she knew the biggest deterrent that kept thugs from marking her as a target was the collar, which meant she had little to offer, and the sun burned into the back of her hand, which implied consequences. The latter was well on its way to healing, as well; the burn was puckered and pink, still tender, but no longer scabbing.

Aster had diligently been helping the wound along with its healing every day, which had helped tremendously, but she knew it would fade from her skin during the day once it had healed, and she was beginning to wonder if maybe she should have left it for as long as possible.

In any case, Aster had to wonder how far the protection she had went, and for how long it might last. The picture that Alard had painted of Sunberth had not been a pretty one, and she'd seen for herself the first day she arrived how ruthless the city could be. She wasn't keen to discover it for herself.

She'd been given a simple task, and Alard had admitted as much that it was a test of sorts. "Gotta make sure you're more than a pretty face," He'd said with a smirk. "You're no good to me if you can't survive a few bells in the city on your own."

And so off she'd been sent with a handful of silver and vague directions, told to pick up some bread and cheese at the bakery, with no further instructions except to be back before nightfall.

Despite the archaic nature of the city, Aster was pleasantly surprised to find it actually wasn't too difficult to navigate, though she still had no idea where she was going. She ignored side streets and alleys, of which there were plenty, and followed the main street down to the river; it wasn't difficult to see. A quick ferry across, and she was on her way to searching out the bakery. Unbeknownst to her, she was on the southern side of the river, while she should have been on the northern side.

Clueless, the Eth kept walking, skirting around the edge of a group of buildings right next to the river. Aster tried to not make it too obvious that she had no idea where she was going, but it was difficult to do so when she was constantly glancing at the faded signs of the buildings. Across the street, shouting suddenly broke out; Asterope flinched, head swiveling and her eyes wide as she watched a brawl break out in the mouth of an alley, two men mercilessly pummeling a third.

One of them glanced up and caught her eye, pausing mid-punch to sneer at her from across the street, blood staining his knuckles. "What the petch are you lookin' at, lady? You wanna be next?" He snarled, his partner pausing as well.

Aster stumbled back a step, giving a hard shake of her head and stammering out an apology; her heart was already pounding, and without checking, she whirled around and threw open the door to the nearest building, ducking inside.

She seemed to have entered some sort of tavern. Exhaling a shaky breath, she straightened up; most of the patrons had ignored her, but a few glances lingered on her curiously. Not wanting to attract more attention than she already had, Aster slipped over to the nearest corner, and took a seat at an empty table. The corner was emptier than the rest of the room, but not entirely; a man sat at one of the tables nearby, but Asterope paid him no mind other than a quick glance as she sat down.

She hoped she'd be left alone; she just wanted a few moments to catch her breath and let the scene outside finish up. Absently, she rubbed her fingers over the mark on the back of her other hand. If she was asked to order something she would probably be better off simply leaving; Alard had been, while not kind, not cruel to her so far, and she didn't want to risk changing that by spending his coin.

Thankfully, she was left alone, at least for the moment. Aster began to calm down, her pulse slowing as her golden gaze scanned the room curiously; the tavern was, while rough, well-kept. The atmosphere was smoky and loud, and eventually the looks that lingered on her were redirected elsewhere, to more entertaining things; still, Asterope felt uneasy.

After a moment, she glanced around the bar again, and caught the eye of a man sitting across the room who was still watching her intently. He stood up abruptly, and Aster dropped her gaze to the table in front of her, clasping her hands in her lap, hoping he wouldn't approach her, a slight grimace crossing her face when she heard footsteps approaching over the din of the tavern.

The chair across from her was pulled out, and she heard someone sit with a grunt, and risked glancing up. The man was sitting across from her, appraising her with dark eyes and something between a sneer and a smirk. "Well ain't you an interesting thing. Never seen somethin' like you before. Whataya say to a drink in exchange for some entertainment, huh?"

Aster pressed her lips together, and raised her scarred hand to adjust the collar around her neck, hoping he would get the message, but the man didn't bat an eye. "Thank you, but no," the Eth said carefully after a moment, lowering her hand again. "I'm waiting for my master." The word made her feel nauseous, and it was a bold-faced lie, but he didn't have to know that.

"Oh yeah?" He asked, and Aster tried to keep her expression neutral as she nodded, but she could feel her lips twitch nervously. "And where is this master of yours, huh?" He leaned over the table, his larger frame threatening. Aster glanced around nervously, desperately looking for some sort of out, her eyes briefly meeting those of the man who also occupied the same corner before returning to the threat across from her.

She was beginning to realize she was cornered, and nobody was going to come to her aid; she didn't have Navi to count on, or an illusion to hope for, or even the kindness of strangers. For the first time in her short life, Asterope was realizing that kindness did not exist everywhere, and was being faced with just how terrible people could be; it made her chest clench. She'd been lucky so far, and being shoved so abruptly into such a harsh reality was crushing.

"That's none of your concern," Aster exhaled, trying to sound braver than she felt, but she could feel the faint tremor in her voice. "You should leave." She clenched her jaw, squaring her shoulders as she stared at the man across from her, who threw back his head and laughed.

"Lookit you girly, trying to be all scary. Is that so, then?" His voice turned from amused to dangerous quickly, and Asterope swallowed hard as he stood, towering over her, realizing quickly that she'd made a mistake.
Last edited by Asterope on February 6th, 2019, 3:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on November 19th, 2018, 11:59 pm

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Anja's strained relationship with Jebidiah was beginning to take a toll on him. Now that he lived at the Midnight Gem, his daily reports to the Dust Bed were brief and to the point. Sometimes Jeb wouldn't even bother meeting with Anja, instead sending one of his assistants to give the Spiritist his job for the day. The fact that the nuit was always conspicuously absent during Anja's brief visits was the only thing that kept the Eiyon's civility towards his mentor from shattering into a thousand pieces. Anja wasn't sure how much longer he could keep up interactions with Jeb, with their relationships slow deterioration eating at the both of them. Something was going to give eventually and Anja would be prepared for it when it did. For now, things were holding together. But only just.

Anja's daily work took him to the Drunken Fish. The tavern was not far from the Midnight Gem, and the Drykas’ sour mood was lightened at the chance to build a friendly relationship with his neighbors. The innards of the tavern roiled with the sound of slurred song in fratva, the occasional word Anja recognized making him wrinkle his nose in a mixture of amusement and disgust. Maisa's ears twitched from the sounds, and without prompting from Anja she parked herself at a hitching post outside the tavern, that was populated only by two thin, sick looking steeds. Drykas rode without bridles so there was no need to tie Maisa up; it was for the best anyways, considering the fact that she could run if someone tried to make off with her. While Maisa made nice with her two dull companions, Anja dismounted and headed towards the door to the tavern. Almost immediately he was stopped by a high pitched, mournful wail. Anja looked towards Maisa's yvas with a sigh.

Strapped on either side of Maisa's yvas were a pair of saddlebag-like pouches from which two heads with eager eyes poked out of. The front half of Battle's body protruded from the bag, and she turned to glare at her brother, whose desperate wailing had foiled her escape.

“I'm fairly sure that dogs are not allowed inside,” Anja told the puppies. Sayeth whined desperately, wiggling from within the pouch. Anja walked back to Maisa's side to tuck the pups back into the pouches, and felt Maisa's teeth seize his sleeve. The expression on her face spoke volumes. It was something like 'I swear to Dira, if you leave me with these pups again, I will let them get into all the trouble they want to.’

“Perhaps they can make an exception,” Anja said. Battle and Sayeth wiggled with sheer glee as he removed them from their bags and deposited them in his pockets. Maisa sighed with relief as Anja walked back inside, and put her heads back with her neighbors to talk about whatever it was that horses talk about.

The puppies’ happy chatter was completely drowned out in the din inside the tavern. A wizened, silver haired man caught Anja's eye and waved him over towards the bar. “Anja, ain't it?” the man asked.

“You were expecting me?” Anja asked.

“Aye. Got a ghost problem for you to deal with.”

“Can you tell me the details?”

The man chewed his lip as he looked at Anja. “No real idea. Showed up uh...two days ago. Dunno who he is. We've got people who go round kicking the bucket all the time here. The lot here are sailors, most of em not even Berthers. Sure you can imagine how that goes if they mess with the wrong people, eh?”

“Yes,” Anja agreed. “Where have you seen it?”

“All around. Comes and goes. If you go poking, I'm sure you'll find it. Hey is that your dog?”

The abrupt change in subject made Anja's heart fly into his throat as he realized one of his pockets was entirely too light. “I'll be back in a moment!” Anja said, turning to look for Battle.

There were a great many things of interest in the tavern, but Battle had spent enough time living rough on the street before being adopted by Anja to know danger when she saw it. Thus, the pup had the sense to avoid the crowd of boisterous singing men, slip past the heavily armed mercenaries eyeballing each other, and make her way towards the only face in the room that was not coarse, brutish, and angry. The white and black spotted pup slipped underneath Aster's table and yapped a small greeting to her, pushing her cold nose against the woman's hand. By this time, Aster had already been approached by the rough stranger, and Anja had already spotted where Battle had skulked off to. Anja had just enough time to make it to the table to hear their conversation, and realize that Battle had just walked them into a high charged situation.

Anja was struck immediately by the woman's unnatural beauty. It didn't take the strange glass-like horns protruding from her head for Anja to realize he was looking at something that was not human. Her delicate, ethereal beauty did not seem to match the grim, grudginess of this tavern. She stuck out like a diamond in a bed of rocks. Anja eyes her collar for a fraction of a moment, followed by the brand on her hand.

Anja was not a hero. His skills were best employed just before or after death. But he was also not the sort of man to watch a woman get harassed, particularly not in his backyard. If he was to be completely selfish, he could say that he was avoiding conflict for the sake the ghost who resided here. Violence could affect it strangely, and keeping emotions calm was the easiest way to avoid unpredictability. But that was overcomplicating things. Anja simply didn't like seeing this woman harassed. But he did not have the skills for a flat out confrontation either. A plan flashed in his mind.

“There you are,” Anja said. “It looks like Battle found you.” Anja would find presumably two sets of startled eyes looking at him

“Your master sent me to come keep an eye on you,” Anja said. “He won't be able to make it for a while yet. You're to keep me company till he gets here. If he doesn't make it in time, I'll take you back.” Anja used a note of command that was unfamiliar for the Drykas. He had never owned a slave, but he knew how people spoke to them. He looked the woman in the eyes calmly, but he silently beseeched her: play along.

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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Asterope on February 6th, 2019, 4:32 am

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Aster was so distracted, her gaze not wavering from the man in front of her, that she didn't notice the puppy until it was under the table. The small yap was nearly drowned out in the boisterous noise of the tavern, but the cold, wet press of a nose caught Asterope's attention.

Blinking in surprise, she glanced down; her brows furrowed as she saw the small black and white pup staring up at her. Confusion followed by bemusement rose in her beneath her anxiety; where had the animal come from? Somewhere even further beneath it all, a sharp pang struck between her ribs, but she ignored it.

Reaching down beneath the table, Aster scooped the dog up, settling it on her lap, arms wrapped protectively around the animal as she looked back at the man, who seemed even more annoyed at the sudden disruption. The pup squirmed slightly in her arms, but otherwise seemed content to sit on her lap.

Before she could figure out what she was going to do, rescue came. Aster stared in shock as the man intervened, speaking smoothly and seemingly without even thinking. Battle? That must be the pup she was holding, then.

Closing her mouth, Asterope could only nod mutely, until finally her spinning thoughts caught up with her. The man was staring at the newcomer as well, suspiciously glancing between him and Aster. Alard hadn't told her anyone would be watching out for her, and she doubted he would have bothered; which meant even if the man with the bright blue eyes had any ulterior motives, he was her best bet for getting out of the situation.

Vaguely, she noted the authority in his voice; despite the fact that he was rescuing her, it still made Aster uncomfortable, and reminded her of the weight around her neck. She locked eyes with him for a long moment, and nodded again, more collected this time. She realized her fingers had tangled tightly in poor Battle's fur, and loosened them, absently smoothing down the small tufts she left behind.

"Yes, I understand." Aster spoke as demurely as possible, lowering her gaze and then glancing at the other man. "I did mention my master would be joining me soon."

His jaw clenched, and for a tense moment, Aster was sure there was going to be a fight; she held her breath, waiting, until finally the man took a step back, signalling that he was backing down. "Petching Sun's Birth," he spat at both Aster and her rescuer, before turning on his heel and stalking away, shouldering his way roughly through the crowd.

The Eth let out a long breath, a shudder running through her body as she finally relaxed, the tension leaking out of her shoulders. Once she was sure the man was gone, Aster looked up at the man standing by her. "Thank you," She said, her voice sincere, golden gaze focused intensely on her rescuer's face as she absentmindedly ran her fingers over the puppy's head. "That was...I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't showed up."

Perhaps Sunberth wasn't all bad, she mused. "And thank you too," she added after a moment, leaning her head down and ruffling Battle's ears, letting out a small, bright laugh when the puppy licked at her face. It sent another pang through her, causing the laugh to die slightly on her lips as she straightened up again, clearing her throat.

"My name is Asterope, by the way. Is there anything I could do to repay you?" She knew she might regret the question; she didn't exactly have much to give, and she still had no idea if the man had any sort of motives other than kindness for rescuing her from the situation; but she desperately wanted to hope that he didn't.

Something about him struck her as not quite belonging in the tavern, either; at least, he didn't seem drunk, nor did he have a glass with him. Ordering a drink was usually the first thing one did when entering a tavern; she supposed the both of them were odd ones out, in that case.

A cool wind swept by the table as introductions were exchanged; Aster glanced towards the door, but nobody new had entered the tavern. A slight frown tugged at her lips. How strange, she thought, the hairs on the back of her neck prickling slightly; the situation felt almost familiar, yet she couldn't quite place it.

OOC :
I'm so sorry for the wait on this! :( I hope it's enough to work with, and I hope it's okay that I took some small liberties with Battle.
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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on March 6th, 2019, 10:50 pm

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A tangible sigh of relief parted Anja's lips as the man made his retreat away from himself and the unearthly woman and into the swarming crowd of men filling the tavern. The Drykas ran a single hand through his hair, and gave the woman a wry glance, before sliding himself into the recently vacated chair. A whine rolled from Sayeth's mouth, and Anja gently pulled the pup from his pocket and settled him onto his lap.

“It was nothing,” Anja said. “And no repayment is necessary.” Anja's lips twitched in a smile as he saw the clear affection shining in the woman's eyes at the pup on her lap. It wasn't a tell-all, but frequently those who were fond of animals tended to be good people. Anja's head dipped in a polite acknowledgement as the woman spoke her name. “Miss Asterope. It's a pleasure. My name is Anja Nightwatcher. I am a Spiritist under the employment of the caretaker of Sunberth's graveyard. The young lady sitting with you is the ever indomitable Battle. This one's name is Sayeth.” Anja set a hand on the back of Sayeth's neck and felt the nervous pup settle slightly, though his keen eyes remained trained on the tavern around them.

Anja's eyes lingered for a moment on the collar at Asterope's throat before returning back to her eyes. “You're a slave then?” he asked delicately. “Owned by the Sun's Birth?” Anja was ever a compassionate man, but the familiarity of this situation made his heart twinge more than usual. Kelski, too, had been a slave to a member of the Sun's Birth and had suffered greatly during that time.

“I'm sorry,” he told her. “I have a friend who might be able to help you. She was in a situation similar to yours and was able to earn her freedom. If you are able, find your way to the Midnight Gem, and find Kelski and tell her your circumstances, I'm sure she can help you. She likes to aid those in need.”

Anja relaxed back into the chair and took a long, slow moment to scan to tavern. He had not had a spare moment to really observe it until now, and a twinge of disquiet pierced his chest. It was unusual for ghosts to show up in crowded places such as this. They usually preferred the quiet. It was unusual...and highly dangerous. There were far too many bodies in this room, far too many chances for something terrible to go horribly wrong. People had a tendency to be unpredictable, and if the ghost decided to show itself then they could have a panic on their hands. The Spiritist needed to start investigating before calamity struck, but he also had to keep an eye on Asterope as well, lest the man return.

“Let me be plain with you,” Anja said, eyes scanning the tavern. “I am currently investigating the presence of a ghost in this tavern and that needs to be my priority. I would prefer not to leave you alone, but it is your call. I suspect it is not going to be entirely safe here for much longer, so it might be in your best interest to leave. I can accompany you out of the tavern, and my Strider can take you somewhere safe.”

Anja was beginning to feel something tugging at the edge of his consciousness, more a whisper than a song but with just enough volume to it for Anja to take note. The ghost was definitely here; somewhere. Quiet for the moment, but it was hard to say how long it would remain so. Anja felt the hackles raise up on Sayeth's neck and felt the rumble of a silent growl hanging in his throat. Anja stroked the pup's head, but he remained alert, eyes trained in the corners of the tavern.
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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Asterope on March 8th, 2019, 1:51 am

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The man's casual and easy-going response put Aster at ease, and she relaxed fully, nodding at him. She smiled as Anja introduced himself and then the two pups. "A pleasure to meet you as well. And you too, Battle, Sayeth," she spoke sincerely to both puppies.

A spiritist; Aster was forcibly reminded of a thin blonde woman she had known in Alvadas. Madeira had been the only other spiritist she'd ever met, and it would be a lie to say the profession hadn't piqued her curiosity at all. Before she could say anything, however, Anja posed a question; Aster paused, glancing down. His voice was gentle, but the question blunt. Still, she could appreciate him getting to the heart of the matter.

"Unfortunately," she acknowledged; but as he spoke some more, Aster's eyes widened slightly. She nodded, repeating the names Anja had given her in her head. The Midnight Gem, Kelski. Midnight Gem, Kelski. Some level of apprehension prickled at the back of her mind; what if it was some sort of trap? But Aster stubbornly ignored it. That was more of an opportunity than she could have ever asked for.

"I'll figure out a way to get there," Asterope said, still idly stroking Battle; her voice had taken on a determined edge. "Thank you again, Anja." It was all she could do to thank him, but words couldn't express the gratitude she felt.

The chill was still lingering in the air, and Asterope watched, curious, as Anja seemed to scan the tavern for something, or perhaps someone. "Maybe I can help," Aster offered. "I don't know any spiritism myself, but in a city I lived in for some time, I knew a spiritist. I helped her with ghosts a few times. Or rather, she might have helped me. I won't get in the way, I promise."

The sudden chill in the air made sense as well; but before Aster could look around, Anja's next words caught her off-guard; Strider. He was a Drykas! Nostalgia and bittersweet homesickness filled her. It had been so long since she used the language, Aster had to spend a moment searching for the few simple words she knew; doubt made her hesitate briefly, that she might embarrass herself with her limited vocabulary and terrible accent, but she forged ahead anyway.

"You Drykas," Aster said in broken Pavi, the delight clear in her voice. "Please, let me help." She switched back to Common, now more than ever determined to help Anja with whatever was happening in the tavern. The breeze whipped through the tavern more forcefully, much colder suddenly.

"Who opened the petching door?!" Someone yelled, and there were shouts of annoyed agreement. Aster looked around; a flicker of something a few tables away caught her eye, a glimpse of transparent white. The next moment, a glass went flying off the table, shattering against the floor.

"There," Aster gently nudged Anja's foot beneath the table to catch his attention, pointing with her chin. "It's starting to get angry, I think." She remembered the last time a ghost had been unhappy, and what it had done to the poor girl it had possessed.

The men at the table were arguing about who had knocked the glass over, and as Aster watched, ready to do whatever Anja said, the glimpse of white flashed closer. Battle growled in her arms; the table between her and Anja rattled slightly, the candle nearby flickering out as Aster felt a wall of cold slam into her much more solidly than the breeze from before had.

Immediately, Battle squirmed in her arms, and Aster let them go limp so the pup could jump down and bound over to Anja. Had it always been so cold in the tavern? She blinked a few times, purposefully, but the motion felt strange, as if she wasn't quite doing it. Her mind felt fuzzy, her eyes vaguely glazed over as she looked over at Anja.

Get up, the words were whispered in her head, and Aster felt herself begin to push back from the table. She shook her head stubbornly at herself, digging her fingers into the edge of the table, trying to wrap her head around what was happening, but it was as if a heavy fog had settled in her head, making thinking much more difficult.

"Anja," she forced the man's name out, her voice slightly slurred, as if she'd been drinking; it was a question and a warning all at once. Aster suddenly realized she was standing, without even realizing she'd done so. Her gaze scanned back and forth over the nearby tables, her fingers twitching, but she wasn't entirely sure what she was looking for.

She felt anger rise in her as she forced her gaze back to the spiritist, but it wasn't her own; she recognized it, but it was distant, as if there was a glass pane between the feeling and her own emotions. It was strange. With the anger came whispered violent urges, but Aster grit her teeth, digging her nails into her palms as she refused, shaking her head once more.

It was as if she was playing tug-of-war with her own body, fighting to get it to do what she wanted to, fighting to ignore the urges coming from somewhere else. It was a strange and disconcerting feeling.
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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on March 28th, 2019, 7:18 pm

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The widening of Asterope's delicate golden eyes suggested to Anja that his invitation to meet with Kelski had left a tangible mark. Anja breathed a soft sigh of relief. This strange woman was surely new to Sunberth; she had not had a chance to become jaded to the shadows lingering here. She would learn to doubt others soon enough. Anja was just glad he had managed to reach her before then. Nothing in her mannerism suggested suspicion, and indeed, the words she spoke carried a strong note of conviction to them. Anja trusted that she would find her way to his kelvic friend, and Kelski would be more than capable of finding the exact way to help this woman.

Anja gave a simple nod and smile to Asterope's thanks. “It is nothing. This city is harsh and those of us trying to live decent lives need to help each other if we are to survive.”

Anja gave the woman an intrigued look as she mentioned having once helped a Spiritist before. It was not a common profession, and the Drykas had indeed only met a handful of practitioners of the art, including those few that he had personally taught himself. The Drykas had half a mind to ask about this Spiritist that Asterope had known, but after a moment's thought he decided against it. Just as Asterope was clearly not a woman of this city, Anja suspected that she had traveled quite far just as he himself had. The chances of connecting with a fellow Spiritist in a distant city were slim at best, much as Anja would love an opportunity to compare notes with a colleague. He hadn't enjoyed such a privilege since his grandmother had died. With a touch of melancholy, Anja cast the brief thought aside.

“If you feel you are capable I wouldn't mind an extra hand,” Anja said hesitantly. He was reluctant to get others involved, but the woman evidently had some experience in dealing with ghosts, and he would rather someone who had done this song and dance before than one fueled only by bravado. Asterope did not strike Anja as a foolhardy or impulsive individual, and that would serve well to their advantage.

Anja was startled further as the woman suddenly spoke a few broken words of Pavi, and he gave her a slow, mystified look. It was true that Drykas were found in many shapes and sizes, such as Anja had encountered this season, but Anja couldn't help but note the rather large difference between a man eating lioness and this celestial beauty. “Are you Drykas?” Anja asked in Pavi, adding a gesture of humor to his phrase.

“Yes.” The man returned to common as Asterope did. “Please help.”

Anja's words were interrupted by the slam of a door, and screams of outrage. Anja followed Aster's point, towards the shattered glass that found its way to the floor. The whisper was growing in strength to the might of a dirge. Soft still, but with the potential to soon be mighty. Anja felt the rush of cool wind, and felt the slam of white force against Asterope. The woman didn't have to warn him; Anja already knew what had happened, even before the one word warning parted from her lips. The Drykas stood quickly, then reached over, firmly taking Asterope's arms in his hands.

“You don't want to do that,” Anja said, his words intended for both parties involved. His voice was light, gentle, but firm. And the grip at which he held Asterope was tight enough to restrain, but not to hurt. “If something is troubling you, then we can talk about it,” Anja said in a low voice, barely beyond a whisper. “But this is not the time nor place. And the young lady you have is not involved in any of this.”
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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Asterope on April 7th, 2019, 12:03 am

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Aster smiled slightly at Anja's question, shaking her head; she didn't quite understand the hand gesture he added to the words. "No, not Drykas. But when I fell, they took me in. They let me stay with them...they were the closest thing to a family I've had." Her words were soft, full of bittersweet nostalgia and fond remembrance.

But as much as she would have loved to continue that conversation, they didn't have time to dwell on it; because the next thing she knew, Anja was agreeing to let her help, but then she was standing, controlled by something other than her own conscious thoughts.

Anja's hands were cool as he gripped her arms, not tightly enough to hurt or leave marks, but firmly enough to stop her from moving them very far. Aster frowned, looking down at where his skin met hers; she felt vague confusion, but the emotions on the other side of the glass wall were pure rage.

Young lady? Did Anja mean her? "There's nothing to talk about," Aster spoke slowly, as the other being forced her mouth to move through her confusion and protest. She could feel her mouth contorting into a grimace of anger and hatred, but the Eth tried to fight it as she realized what was happening.

She hadn't seen it so actively, but she remembered the consequences of possession; the poor girl who had glued her mouth shut, not of her own volition. Brief fear spiked through Aster, and the ghost took its chance, diving on it to twist it back around and press Asterope's consciousness back, sliding itself into the front seat of her mind.

Aster's body, for while she was the one doing it, it was not really her, snarled at Anja, trying desperately to jerk her arms away, shoving her weight into the spiritist to try and force him to let go.

Stop it, Aster screamed silently; she was on the other side of the glass now it seemed. She found the cold presence of the ghost inside of her, struggling with it, trying to force it away, to force it out, but it clung to her like a mist.

"Let me go," the ghost spat at Anja; even over the noise of the tavern, their struggle was beginning to be noticed. A few people watched, but nobody was bothered enough to get up and approach.

Aster railed internally at the ghost, fighting her way through the fog; she struggled with it, but managed to breach it momentarily, the snarl vanishing from her face as she blinked up at Anja.

She was terrified, but what she had experienced and what she understood, Anja had a better chance at that moment, because he had the ghost in front of him. She and Madeira had needed to track the ghost down before, and it had proved easier said than done.

"What do you need me to do?" Asterope managed to ask, her voice urgent, as she grappled with the cold fog in her mind.

Stop it! The ghost screeched furiously, echoing Aster's own words from mere moments ago, ramming its presence into Aster's mind. She struggled for a moment before letting go, allowing it to shove her aside and take control of her body once more. She could still hear and see; she would know what Anja told her, and she could work from there. She had a feeling she would need to save her energy, and she was already beginning to feel exhaustion creep over her from her battle with the ghost's presence.

It forced Aster's head around, eyes darting to the tables, searching for a weapon as the ghost reared back, attempting to smash Aster's head into Anja's nose.

Word Count: 623
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If there's a light at the end, it's just the sun in your eyes
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Asterope
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Broken Spirits (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on April 19th, 2019, 11:03 pm

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As much as Anja would have liked to have reminisced with Aster about the Drykas, fate seemed to have other ideas. Anja wasn't really sure what had drawn the ghost over here, but he didn't exactly have time to contemplate the issue. The Eiyon could hear the soundless wail singing from within Aster, and he kept tight hold of the girl's wrists as the ghost began to struggle and snarl at Anja. Damn it all, he didn't want to hurt the girl, but there was a thin line between restricting her movement and using enough force to cause pain. The ghost was not being particularly cooperative; no small surprise considering the trouble it had already been getting up to. Anja tried to readjust his grip on Aster to hold her tighter and spoke in a low soothing tone.

"I will let you go when you've calmed down," the Eiyon told the spirit. He tried to keep his voice smooth and unobtrusive. Behind Asterope's unearthly golden eyes, a battle was taking place. It was the Drykas' job to give this woman the upper hand in her battle. Anja had found a method to exorcise a spirit from within a person, but with both his hands occupied keeping the rogue spirit from unleashing its fury on the room, that method was beyond the man's reach. As the battle within Aster continued, Anja saw a flicker of change in the girl's eyes. "What do you need me to do?" Asterope asked in her moment of lucidity. Anja's mind whirred for a moment. What indeed? If she was a Spiritist then maybe, but as things were…

"Keep fighting it," Anja told her. "It can't keep up possession forever. We just need to wear it down."

In a flash, that lucidity was gone and replaced by rage, and the ghost's struggles in Anja's grip increased by twofold. Damn it, he really needed some soulmist right about now. Just as Anja was contemplating how to hold onto the possessed Asterope with one hand and uncork a bottle of soulmist with the other, the ghost reared back and cracked itself against Anja's head.

Anja cried out and reared back in pain as their head collided with an audible 'clunk'. Momentarily stunned, the Drykas released his grip on the woman. Naturally, the ghost took full advantage of the situation. Sayeth and Battle, who until this moment had only been baring their teeth and growling low, now broke out into loud barks. Anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the struggle now looked at Anja and the possessed Asterope with their full attention. Anja cursed loudly in Fratava, earning a laugh from his audience, and sprinted after the fleeing ghost. Ignoring the pounding in his head, Anja's hands were already working to retrieve a vial from his sash and uncork it even as his feet carried him forwards.
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Anja Nightwatcher
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