Solo Letters from a Stranger pt2

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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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Letters from a Stranger pt2

Postby Madeira Craven on November 27th, 2018, 4:53 am

    timestamp
"We've got another letter!" Madeira announced loudly as she hip
checked the door of the Infinity Manor open.

The house answered her delight with a low, curt kind of
acknowledgement. Madeira got the distinct feeling that the house was
occupied and didn't appreciate the interruption. But she was too
caught up in the nervous excitement of the new correspondence to spare
too much thought about what the young Architectrix was up to.

"From Leavou", the Spiritist felt the need to reiterate, disappointed
by the lack of interest in the house. "The long lost friend from
Alvadas? Nothing?" She hung her cloak by the door and kicked off her
shoes. Raindrops had collected like pearls in in the tight coil of her
braided hair, but tucked underneath her arm the encased scroll was
nice and dry.

The house didn't deigned to answer. She felt its flickering
consciousness was congregated on the second floor, either deep in
thought or concentration, she couldn't quite tell. She patted down her
dark skirts of the few clinging drops of rain and headed for the
stairs. There was a writing desk in her master bedroom, and she was
eager to open the letter immediately. She suspected the reply to her
last letter would hold more information than the last, and she was
anxious to hear what had become of this girl she had called friend.

The stairs rattled as she climbed, creaking under her heavy
child-bearing weight. Yet as the tight spiral opened to the second
floor, the rattling stopped. Having not had the chance to fix the
stairs herself, she suspected the house was trying to keep her quiet.
And as she rose to the second floor she could see why.

Great, eye watering splashes of colour covered all six doors of the
hexagonal landing. Crude attempts at painting, she suspected. Though
there were no signs of actually paint anywhere. It seemed like the
house had conjured the colour from the very wood.

Whatever they had been paintings of she couldn't say. They were
really quite awful, with different bizarre, lumpy shapes on each door
outlined in a different primary colour. The effort of this new kind of
expression was sapping the Architectrix's strength. It couldn't seem
to finish its artwork, and was growing frustrated as it inched along.

"Its... How lovely, house. You've done a good job", she lied,
wondering if the landing would return to its original design whens it
was done. Still, she was glad it was trying to find a hobby since its
foray into gardening hadn't quite worked out like it had wanted. This
new sentience had to be raised properly, and that required
encouragement while it worked on new skills.

Putting her hand on the railing, she tried to summon dijed to feed the
structure like her Architectrix book had explained. A mages dijed
could feed a structure and give it more energy, rather like soulmist
for a ghost, and cause it to gain full sentience faster. Unfortunately
she had never been able to broach that barrier between herself and the
building, and after a silent chime of concentration still couldn't.
She flexed her fingers and sighed.

"Rest now. You can try again when you're stronger", she soothed as
best she could as she left the grumbling, voiceless sentience behind
and continued upwards to her room.

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Letters from a Stranger pt2

Postby Madeira Craven on November 27th, 2018, 4:54 am

The Architectrix infected was too spent to attend to the Spiritist
like it normally did. The drapes stayed closed and the hearth cold as
she pushed up under the trap door. It amused her how inconvenienced
she felt as she knelt awkwardly to light her own fire and opened the
drapes of each of the six windows herself. Was she really so spoiled?
Considering she was wearing velvet, silk and several types of precious
stone, perhaps she was.

Madeira sat once again at her writing desk, this time thankfully free
of spiders, and broke the scroll's wax seal. This time the deeply red
wax was embossed with a curling LS seal. A small, vain part of herself
wondered if she had gotten the new seal just because she had started
writing letters to her.

Reading the letter, Madeira smiled at the misunderstanding and the
congratulations, but smile slowly morphed to a frown at the sad news
of Ryse's passing and Leavou's (or Lani's, she had reminded herself of
her friends new moniker) hard few years. Travel was hard in this
world, and while she was proud that that spirited child had lived to
see what sounded like every city on the map, she wondered what kind of
toll it took on her In this letter was all the information Madeira had
hoped for about her childhood friend's new life, but she was saddened
that the news had not been sweeter.

I enjoy this new name, Lani Stranger. I feel like you wear it well.
I'm sorry to hear of your mothers passing. I'll offer a prayer to Dira
for her soul, and can only hope she finds peace in her next life.


The question of how she died remained unanswered, but for a
small note, strangely out of context: "Magic is a gift and a rare
disease; it takes a strong resolve to resist its effects, but not all
bear that strength." It sounded like something her frail, mad Uncle
Frode would mumble when he was on one of his tirades about the dangers
of personal magic. Did Ryse die of the complications of overgiving? An
experiment gone wrong? Unanswered questions circled her mind and down
into her pen, but something about the letter and the perfect curling
script told her not to pry into this painful memory. All she could do
was offer the platitudes that were just platitudes, sincere as they
may be.

The fact that Lani was in Zeltiva to be educated made Madeira hum in
satisfaction. So that's where the wild child learned to write so well.
Yet the fact that she considered the Spires home made her ache in some
undefinable way. She had hoped Lani missed Alvadas as much as Madeira
herself did. But maybe home was more complicated than simply where one
was raised.

You might not fit in in a place such as Wind Reach, but you were
never out of place in Alvadas. I have heard little about Wind Reach,
even though I live so close now. From what I understand they are a
private and proud people. When winter comes and goes, if it does at
all, and it is once again safe to travel, know you are welcome back in
Lhavit to continue this recuperation you find yourself in. I'll save a
place at my table and hearth for you, should you need a place to
stay.


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Letters from a Stranger pt2

Postby Madeira Craven on November 30th, 2018, 12:19 am

At the mention of honesty Madeira paused, and her hovering inkstick blotting the page as the red noise chuckled deep in the dark places of her heart. It seemed that even after all these years the tall, dark haired girl could still smell insincerity in the Spiritist. Madeira didn't lie to her, of course. The city was indeed the most beautiful she had ever seen, and within it she was treated well. Still that infernal noise howled and scratched and nested itself in her darkest thoughts. She did not want to add fuel to the rage she felt at being used, shunted away and abandoned. But if Lani wanted more honesty Madeira couldn't think of a reason to deny her. It was possible to air her heartache without wallowing in the rage the red noise so wanted from her. Perhaps this near stranger from her past would even understand .

I do miss home, more than I could ever say, she wrote. I fear some of that old Avalad madness has followed me halfway around the world. Even a year apart from my beloved city I have still not been able to navigate these static places, and it feels like all these people around me can can see into the future, like they all traded their adaptability for a sense of expectation. They say water never runs uphill, stones do not float and fire is not cold like they are unchangeable laws, when we ourselves have seen all these things and more. I do not understand these people, I do not understand these places and and I fear I will never truly belong here, as you do not belong in Wind Reach.

Thankfully my bondmate, Allister, has been a blessing in this quest to adjust to sanity. I found him in Alvadas, an ex slave washed ashore from the sunken ship that would have sold him in the Underground. He is broken and uniquely insane, but his heart is gold and he is devoted to me and our unborn child. With him these strange places and people are tolerable, and I feel safe.


Madeira's heart felt lighter to say it. It was not as hopeless and consuming as the red noise made it seem. With Allister holding her up she had a steady base upon which to rebuild. It started with this house, continued with her pact with the Nuit Savis Maren, and soon she will achieve better things. This city was not home and never would be, but perhaps with time it could be her kingdom.

As for Riverfall, I fear my honest reflection of the city will sour whatever fondness you have for the place that raised you to girlhood. Let me just say that the city is splendid, industrious and prizes beauty and prowess above all things. But there is a darker side to the city, and I fear I have had all I can stomach of that wretched place. If you would hear a story about Riverfall, I'm afraid the only one I have is about murder.

Perhaps it was biased, since Riverfall was her first dip into reality after the two decade drug trip that was her life before. But Riverfall had been an exhausting, loveless and terrifying place. From the city itself it was their endless pressure for perfection, which was present in their bodies and their architecture and their unnecessary control over the plant life that resided within the city. It was their overwhelming need for practicality that was crushing their already insipid creativity and paper thin levity. But on top of it all she had unknowingly arrived when the city was in crisis, stalked by an unknown invader that made even walking the streets a chancy game of life and death. Gathering herself, Madeira continued with her macabre story.

A year ago, in Alvadas, I was dispatched to deal with a haunting of the cargo ship The Golden Hand that docked from Riverfall. It was in there that I found Emma Chamelle, a little human girl, haunting this glorious and fearsome tiger pelt. The tiger was called Raj, and they were bondmates.

Who would do something so despicable as skin a Kelvic, and why, I had no answers for. The child was no help, as it seemed her death and the death of her beloved bondmate had broken her mind. To her Raj was still alive. She would not pass on and leave the pelt behind while she still thought he lived, so I resolved to travel and investigate his mysterious death in an effort to put the poor child to rest.

I left for Riverfall with my indentured ghost Jomi, Allister my bondmate, my then lover Ssanya, Emma and the pelt. After weeks of investigation, talking to Emma's parents and asking around the port and seedier places of the city, we came to some disturbing discoveries. Emma had not died of an illness, as her parents had thought. She had been poisoned by an ocarina she had meant to give Raj as a birthday gift. Somebody had tried to assassinate Raj, and had killed this little girl instead.

There is something sinister going on in that city, Lani. I believe it has to do with an illegal slave trade from a neighboring city, of which Raj was somehow a part of before he had bonded to Emma. Perhaps he was killed for desertion, or to assure his silence, and maybe his skin was sent to Alvadas as proof of his death or as a warning to some branch that is rooted in my home city. Sadly I cannot say for sure. I left for Lhavit before we could find Raj's killer. By that time there were these strange tainted shadows loose in the city. Ssanya disappeared, as did many locals. When my family had sent the summons and demanded I leave to fulfill this pact with the Dusk's, I had no choice but to take what was left of us and flee. To stay would have been suicide. I haven't seen Ssanya since. I fear she is dead, or worse, that I have abandoned her in that hateful place.

Emma lives with me now, until I can go back and exorcise her properly. No ghost is ever happy, but I like to think she is comfortable here with me. I have mounted Raj's head above my hearth to keep her company. They talk day and night.


The story, now an old scabbed wound, left a bitter taste in her mouth. Madeira moved on and let her ink stick write with words of hope.

It seems we both have new wounds from when last we met. I can only hope that the gods consent to smile on our futures. But already you have gone so far and seen things I never will. Tell me about your trek. What have you seen? What have you learned? Gods be good I'll never step foot out into the wilds again, so if you don't tell me of these wonders now I'll never know them! But you, are you healthy and hail? Do you have companions, children, or family? You said you were raised in Riverfall, but as I remember her Ryse always lived in Alvadas. Could it be you have another parent out there?

WC: 1236
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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