Solo Best Laid Plans

Malediction practise

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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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Best Laid Plans

Postby Madeira Craven on November 22nd, 2018, 8:37 pm

Image
76th of Fall, 518


In the workshop of the Invinity Manor, bent over a worktable and
squinting, Madeira was humming a sea song as she carefully, ever so
carefully, ran the tip of her skinning knife down the soft white belly
of a deer mouse.

"I'm the man before the mast
That ploughs the raging sea
And on this simple subject
Will you please enlighten me
Common sailors we are called
Come tell me the reason why
And on this simple subject I'll reply"

The little mouse was no larger than eight centimeters, with a pink
tail again as long. It's pink paws had been spread and stuck to her
skinning paper and the taxidermy block bellow with needles, it's
toothly little mouth tipped back so all she could see was the white
whiskers of its chin. The creature died of poisoning, leaving not a
mark on it's little body.

"Quite the catch too, wasn't it, house?" she murmured allowed,
following her train of thought she was already sharing with the
Architectrix through their silent, wordless communication. "Three
traps, but we got him in the end. About time, too. He was about to
chew straight through your baseboards."

The manor hummed its acknowledgment. It had been quite distressed to
have been invaded by the destructive little critter, and frustrated
that it couldn't tell its caretaker exactly what it was so distressed
about. The communication between them, which was mostly emotions at
this point, was a serious limitation. Though the manor was staring to
understand spoken words, Madeira couldn't claim the same for the
houses own, telepathic language. The tombe that granted the knowledge
of this long forgotten power, Architectrix: Compendium of Knowledge,
was adamant that full, complete communication from both parties
was possible, with time. It refused to say how much time.

Eventually, with several days of internal miming and pulling attention
towards the nibbled legs of furniture, Madeira eventually caught on to
the cause of its distress. A little deer mouse had made its home
beneath the stack of fire wood beside the kitchen stove and was
blazing a tiny path of destruction. Unfortunately these wee beasts
were supernaturally fast, incredible hiders, and could jump like their
namesakes. When Spooks, the resident cat, failed to catch the slippery
little bastard it was up to Madeira and the manor to set up several
pest traps and endless patience. They could do nothing but wait and
hope it would destroy itself before it destroyed her house.

Now, several days later, the mouse was dead and under her knife. Once
finally caught, how could she let this dastardly little monster go to
waste?

Bluish organs pushed through the slit she had made down its belly,
ropy intestines and a small liver dark with clotted blood. She
finished the cut with a Y slice to either side of the mouse's neck,
and pulled back the skin. Finding the tune with a hum she started her
song again.

WC: 500
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Madeira Craven
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Best Laid Plans

Postby Madeira Craven on November 22nd, 2018, 8:38 pm

Image
"Don't you call us common sailors anymore
Don't you call us common sailors anymore
Good things to you we bring
Don't you call us common men
We're as good as anybody that's on shore"

She was taking tiny scissors to cut around the skin along the back of
the neck when the Manor sent a simple inquiry and
curiosity echoing through the empty room.

"It's a song men sing on ships, called a shanty. I learned it from the
crew of the Belipotent on the way here. Would you like to know the
words?"

She didn't know whether the affirmation was a yes to her words, or
whether it liked her appalling singing. Clearing her throat, she
started singing again. Her voice was open and unashamed in her own
home, where only her house, pets and ghosts could hear her. Her clear,
feminine speaking voice couldn't help here, as her tone warbled
drunkenly from note to note.

"The young girls of this country
Their growing days we bless
We brings them silks and satins
Out of which they makes a dress
To gain the heart of some young man
As fancy dresses do
Don't never despise the sailor boys
That sails the ocean blue"

A crackling like dry kindling came from the little body as Madeira
tried to separate the skull from the spine. She winced and cursed
under her breath. Damn it all, how was it that Savis and Raeyn could
make these undressings look easy?

She lifted the head off the body and shook out the shattered remains
of the spine. She pushed the body and it's block away and ripped
another section of greased paper off the roll beside her. laying the
furry little head on top, she took a moment to crack her fingers and
blink the focus stress out of her eyes. She needed a magnifying glass
for projects this small. But she couldn't spare a hand to hold one
when she needed both hands for the project. She blew a flyaway hair
off her forehead and she set the knife very carefully between the
mouse's little black eyes. She would have to remember to ask Savis for
a solution. What use was having an Animator confidante if she can't
help me with minor inconveniences?
Madeira through wryly. A little
moving arm with a collection of different magnifications would be
welcome. Or perhaps a monocle with the same function?

"Don't you call us common sailors anymore
Don't you call us common sailors anymore"

Madeira sang, cutting a delicate line down the very center of the skull.

"Good things to you we bring
Don't you call us common men
We're as good as anybody that's on shore"

Picking up a needle thin pair of pliers she pulled back both halves of
skin, revealing the gleaming yellow bone beneath, still clinging to a
few threads of flesh.

WC: 501
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
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Best Laid Plans

Postby Madeira Craven on November 22nd, 2018, 8:38 pm

Image
A quick flush of brain and fluids with a pick and a rubber headed
stencil was all that was needed. In the end she had the skull and jaw
of a deer mouse in her fingers, the yellow light gleaming off the oily
bone.

"Our little capture will be a treasure", she told the house aloud,
getting stiffly to her feet and leading by her rounded belly as she
moved to the great room with the little bones in her palm. In the
kitchen a pot had been set over the fat bellied stove, the light of a
stoked fire flashing in the crack of the blackened door. She started the fire half a
bell ago but it had yet to burn out without her attention, and the pot
of water was still simmering merrily away. No doubt the house had something
to do with its maintenance. She gave it a wordless dose of
appreciative affection as she dropped the bones into the steaming pot.
They danced in the rolling steam on the surface, the meat already
cooking and turning grey on the skull. She would give it twenty chimes
before checking on it again.

"I have an idea for it", she explained, more to herself than the
house, moving back to the workshop and sitting at the writing desk.
She removed her red notebook from a pigeon hole and laid a blank page
out before her. "I have this mohair cloak that I found of the ship
that brought me here. The same ship I learned that song from."

A rumble of disquiet rose about her, and she blinked in surprise.

"Since when have you had a concept of morality? No, I didn't
steal it. Not really. the crew had taken it from the belly of a
drowned ship. The same one your seed was on, incidentally... It's a
long story, for another time. Anyway, the cloak has this property
where it will change colour and pattern to match any environment on
command. It's a miraculous thing. But what if I made it better?"

With charcoal she scribbled out the collar of the cloak, with the
silver clasp that met at the neck and the deep hood behind it.

"What if I replaced this clasp..." she erased the silver hook, and
replaced it with the mouse skull. An eerie brooch sitting resplendent
in the black folds. "Like this? That mouse was hard to find and
impossible to catch. What if I added to the stealthy element of the
cloak and add the characteristics of this mouse? It wouldn't affect
the actually cloak, of course, but the person beneath it. Perhaps we
can make them even harder to notice."

The house had completely lost the thread of what she was saying. It
danced bemused around the edges of her consciousness, but she was not
really talking to the Architectrix embedded in the walls anymore. It
was too young to really grip what she was talking about. Yet she found
speaking aloud helped her organize her thoughts. She soothed the house
with gentle feelings and left it to its own devices.

WC: 525
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1313
Words: 1105315
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Best Laid Plans

Postby Madeira Craven on November 22nd, 2018, 8:39 pm

Image
She drew a circle in the middle of the page, then proceeded to stare
at it for the next several chimes. Her charcoal tapped at her lip,
leaving a black smear across the soft pink skin.

"What if... What if it wasn't the physical attributes of quickness and concealment I pull from the bones, but instinct? I have the skull, with it's eyes and ears and sharp little mind. What is I pull evasiveness from it? Something unquantifiable that the mouse has by instinct, but humans have to learn?"

Hearing the praise in her voice for its little tormentor, the house seemed to huff. A gust of wind rattled down from the top floor and popped open the workshop door. Loose pieces of paper and open books skittered and rustled across the tables and floor. Madeira tucked a loose hair behind her ear and held her notebook open with her elbow as she scowled.

"I'll have no sass from you. Learn to recognize and appreciate these things! Even things you hate have value. Change the way you think and you can learn a lot."

The light outside was turning a dusky gold as Madeira put her charcoal to paper and began to sketch. Her attempts at Malediction had always been abstract. She worked with lines and obscure symbolism and pictures. At first she began with big curls of meandering lines deriving from a single point, but scrapped it almost as soon as it was done. The simple design would be too easily misconstrued. The second was a picture that included all the mouse's senses; small round ears, beady black eyes, long whiskers... But she considered the small surface area she had to work with, and rightly concluded that it was beyond her carving capabilities to attempt something so detailed. She tore out the page and threw it over her shoulder too.

She hummed as she worked, continuing the simple sea shanty tune. Why was it always easier to focus on one task only when you had set yourself another, mindless task? She didn't delve deep into the phycology of it, but let the scratch of charcoal and the hiss of the lit scones become the melody as she mumbled her way through the next verse.

The young gents of this country
They're sitting at their ease
Not thinking on the stormy nights
That we spent on the seas
We brings the leaves to make cigars
To decorate their face
They wouldn't call us common
If they were sometimes in our place

WC: 429
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1313
Words: 1105315
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Best Laid Plans

Postby Madeira Craven on November 22nd, 2018, 8:40 pm

Image
Half a bell later, a gentle tug at the edge of her thoughts brought the house back to her attention. She was ankle deep in half finished circles, with the beginnings of a focus headache prickling between her brows. The golden light of evening was fast fading, and the lamps were slowly burning brighter to combat the encroaching dark.

She acknowledged the house with a silent shift of attention, letting its presence take the lions share of her focus. That house took that attention and turned it towards the kitchen, prompting her thoughts to follow.

"Has it been that long already?" she pressed a palm to her lower back and stretched. The workshop stools did her pregnant body no good. "Thanks for the reminder. lets check on our little friend."

Madeira found Spooks sitting dangerously close to the lit stove, his large yellow eyes round and mesmerized by the pot and the little bones that danced within. His face was wet and twitching black nose burnt from the steam. She gently lifted the mad cat by the belly and deposited him on the floor. The bones themselves were clean, but had turned slightly yellow in the heat. She quickly removed the pot and set it aside on the counter. The fire in the stove vanished with a pop of disturbed air as the house did it's best to help.

"Don't you call us common sailors anymore
Don't you call us common sailors anymore"

Madeira switched between humming and singing as she fished out the bones and the finicky little teeth that had fallen out of their sockets

"Good things to you we bring
Don't you call us common men
We're as good as anybody that's on shore"

She delicately dried the bones on a tea towel, and spread them out for inspection. They were greasier than she would have liked, with a smell of boiled meat lingering about them. But they were clean and disinfected, which was the main goal, and not so cooked as to be brittle. All that was left was to bleach and preserve them. Then, once she had assembled the skull, jaw and teeth together and wired everything shut, she would be ready to start the malediction process.

From the pantry cupboard she retrieved a mug and a pinch of baking powder. She filled it with water from the hand pumped sink and left it on the counter as she padded her way downstairs to the basement. A heavy iron key opened the heavy oak door to the magic lab, and she began sifting through bottles in a tall wooden cabinet in the back of the room. Jars of blood, a leaking stopper of soulmist, a basket of precious stones, the odds and ends of several different kind of magic... and this. Madeira surfaced with a rather large tapered bottle of embalming acid. The same substance she had once used to preserve a Nuits new corpse. Holding the jar gingerly away from her body, she returned upstairs.

Opening the jar on the kitchen counter made everyone in the house with a working nose wrinkle them in pain. The stuff was powerful enough to cauterize flesh and make ones eyes sting with fumes. Madeira found her smallest teaspoon and scooped a few drops of the clear liquid off the top, then quickly closed the lid again. Of this she put only a single, smallest drop into the mug. The baking soda in the water started fizzing immediately, but died out after a moment of fervent chemical reaction. She dropped the bones and teeth in one by one, and they settled with a musical tinkle to the bottom of the clay mug.

"Listen, house", she called attention internally and externally until she was sure its attention was focus solely on her. "Nobody is to touch this, alright? Not Spooks, not Emma, not Savis and certainly not Jomi. I'm going top leave this in the workshop and trust you to look after it."

She waited for its wordless reply of affirmation before taking the mug and placing it on the highest shelf in the workshop that she could reach. It had to sit undisturbed for at least a day, top make sure the bones were tough enough to be handled and white enough to be pretty. In the mean time she would prefect her malediction design, and in a few days she would have a new charm to test. The thought made her unspeakably proud.

WC: 753
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1313
Words: 1105315
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Best Laid Plans

Postby Madeira Craven on December 14th, 2018, 8:16 am

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Grades Awarded!

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Madeira Craven

Skills
  • Singing: 4xp
  • Embalming: 4xp
  • Carving: 2xp
  • Architectrix: 5xp
  • Teaching: 3xp
  • Planning: 4xp
  • Malediction: 3xp
  • Drawing: 1xp

Lores
  • Embalming: deer mouse taxidermy
  • Architectrix: can feel distress
  • Architectrix: the frustrations of wordless communications
  • Architectrix: expanding sentience
  • Malediction: building a circle of meaning
  • Teaching: instilling morals
  • Malediction: discovering the limitations of the source material
  • Sea Shanty: “common sailors”
  • Embalming: basic bone soak

Awards & Retribution
+Item gained
+Trait recieved
-Injury
-Mizas spent

Notes
Notes here.
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1313
Words: 1105315
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 8
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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