Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Savis and Madeira delve into the fruits of their previous labors.

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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Savis Maren on December 13th, 2018, 6:32 pm

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5th of Winter, 518 AV

Deep within the belly of Infinity Manor, Savis Maren shambled about in preparation for the next step in her study of Animation. She'd had the inkling throughout Autumn that her understanding had grown, that a new plateau of potential was hers for the taking. But until later in the season, she'd not had a proper vessel to carry her increasing talents. Later on in the Autumn, it was Madeira Craven, the Spiritist who shared her lavish home with the undead Animator that truly inspired Savis with an idea she'd not considered.

Using her discarded remains, carrying her vacated bones and transforming them from mundane, rotting units into a platform for the indulgence of not one, but two arcane talents... While Savis Maren was incapable of salivating, her very soul hungered for the prospect that the Spiritist imbued within her. Of course, it'd begun with the other woman's desire to indulge in Malediction, to use the discarded remains and warp them with circles of power. Madeira and Savis conversed to some extent about the discipline, but Savis continued to know very little about it. The extent of Malediction's power eluded her, and so, she concerned herself primarily with her own plans for the bones of the shell they'd brought with them.

The Nuit wasn't quite as familiar with the tools of Infinity Manor's basement as she liked, but with some difficulty she found a rather large black cauldron of an appropriate size for her to utilize. Next, she set the bones inside of it. She allowed the two femurs, tibia and fibula to create a row for the numerous bones of the arms to get situated on. The Nuit kept the more complicated sections, the hands and feet, out of the cauldron in the interest of keeping them safe at the top along with the skull. Savis set the skull above the rest, with the hands set aside as she, with great difficulty, moved the cauldron towards the sink's handpumps and began to pour water into the cauldron. After she did that, the Nuit searched for a large section of wood and a few tiny wheels that the Spiritist kept in her toolbox.

Savis found a number of screws and hinges as well, and brought them with her. Slowly, the undead built a sort of trolley for the cauldron, a flimsy plank of wood fitted with rudimentary wheels that she appended to the wood with screws and fixed them in place with basic hinges. The structure was weak and as she placed the cauldron, now filled with bones and water on top of it, it visibly compressed. The wheels creaked as she sought to cart it all along, and indeed, it collapsed with just a few metres to go between the two destinations. Water sloshed over the edge of the cauldron, spilling over the floor. The Nuit ignored the mess and proceeded with what needed to be done.

Frustration creased Savis' features and she hauled the cauldron the rest of the way, quite disheveled at the degree of manual labor she performed in the space of just a few moments. She did not tire, and her muscles did not protest, but the limited strength she possessed did not endear her to the process. That's what these bones are for, she assured herself, knowing that the automaton she'd create would possess a strength to it that neither Madeira Craven nor Savis Maren possessed. Indeed, if she played her cards right, it'd be far stronger than anything she'd built before it, a resource for the denizens of Infinity Manor to rely on. As the Nuit heaved the cauldron over the fireplace, she then set about to the task of igniting the wood beneath the cauldron. The flint and steel in her possession was so very rarely used, and her trembling hands failed to create a spark initially. She tried, again and again, striking the steel against the flint in an effort to create fire. To no avail. However, outside of the realm of her awareness, a presence stirred in that basement.

The illumination scones flared to life, as did the fireplace in front of the Nuit. Savis didn't expect the intervention, and was far too close to the flames when they ignited. Sparks burned holes into the sleeves of her shirt and along the torso of her shirt. However, she was far too surprised at the miracle at work to pay much mind to her own attire. A simple pat down expunged the sparks before they turned to flame, and she looked around in an effort to 'find' the presence that assisted her.

I've never bothered to try to understand you, 'Infinity', she thought, her silver eyes narrowed before she continued on, speaking aloud this time. "Thank you." With her task completed, it was up to the Nuit to wait for the water to begin its path to boiling. Once the bones were fully rid of the grime and partial decay that began, there was much work to accomplish. In the mean time, Savis Maren tookto the hands that she refused to put into the fireplace. She allowed djed to flourish within her, emerging from the depths of her soul and whirling about in equal measure between her hands and the sockets of her eyes. Silver orbs ignited with the spark of djed, and her hands combed over the bony digits of the skeletal ones as her Sight was willed into being. She began her study of the bones, and indeed, allowed her awareness to branch towards the water, as well. The auras of the inanimate objects did not manifest as billowing smoke, but instead a lazy, incandescence that failed to strike any sort of immediate understanding within Savis. She felt a burgeoning heat within the water, the temperature rising as time passed, and she left it at that. It was the bones that merited her attention, and she allowed her Sight to delve into them.


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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Madeira Craven on January 1st, 2019, 11:52 pm

The winter wind was a stinging cold in Lhavit. It whipped down the mountainside colder than in any of the costal cities of which Madeira had lived. The Spiritist was wrapped tight in her heavy fur cloak and shivering in her tall boots as she spoke to the builder in her back yard.

"I want the best you've got", she was warning the short, windburnt and thickly muscled woman. Sensibly dressed in the Lhavitian staple outdoor robes, the hired contractor hardly seemed to feel the cold. The woman spread her thickly calloused hands to indicate the space the two women were standing in; a small clearing ringed with beech trees and devoid of the wild splashes of wildflowers that infected the rest of the property.

"I'm offering no less, Miss Craven. There is ample space, and this is good ground to work on. A stone cottage would fit nicely here. And the eccentricities are nothing me and my boys cant handle."

That was a relief to hear. Madeira had tasked the Architectrix infected house with making a decent spot to put the private cottage they had promised Savis. But the Infinity Manor was showing off its new, capricious artists soul and had suggested they build first in a tall oak, then in the very centre of the yard, and was beginning to whisper ideas of a moat in her ears before the Spiritist had to finally put her foot down. They had finally compromised on a space well back on the acre property but still within sight of the main house, where they would task the workers to build with stone and mortar. In one concession to the house's whimsical nature she had agreed to ask that the cottage be
built as a tiny castle, complete with little turrets in all four corners.

"Sounds like we're all set, Ma'am. What would I owe you for such a cottage?"

"Five hundred kina is the base rate for these sorts of things, but the unusual construction and fine materials you're asking for, along with what you're furnishing it with... All totalled, it will cost you a thousand kina, and not a jade less."

Madeira smiled inwardly, finding fond feelings for this hard-working woman built like a fortress against the tides of flattery, deal making and bullshyke. Her honesty was refreshing. Yet Madeira’s first instinct was to test this woman’s defences, and see how high her walls were built against the flow of persuasion and magic. An honest woman makes for a good whetstone, and an even better measure of ability. But Madeira reined in her malignant curiosity. The price was fair, and to attempt to weasel more out of this woman would be greedy and cruel.

"That's reasonable”, Madeira admitted reluctantly. “I'll give you five hundred now, and the rest when the project is finished. Do you have an estimate of when that'll be?"

Crossing her arms over her broad chest, the woman first looked skyward, then dug at the ground with the toe of her boot, then watched the trees like she was expecting them to get up and dance. Whatever she was looking for Madeira waited patiently for her answer as she shivered in her cloak.

"Two weeks", she finally answered. "I would have held the building off until spring, but as it seems this will be another dry Morwen-forsaken winter there’s no reason to wait. We can start this afternoon, if you'd like."

"Excellent. I'll have that five hundred I owe you when you get back."

The two women shook hands, and Madeira had to bite her cheek to keep from hissing with pain when the labourer's calloused hands squeezed the life out of her dainty, bejeweled fingers. She shook out her aching fingers under her cloak as the woman took her leave. And as Madeira turned back towards the main house, an awareness lifted off the frosted ground and whispered to her.

Savis works in the basement.

The voice sent a shiver down Madeira’s spine. The house had begun to speak these days, something the Architectrix Compendium warned her would happen but came as a shock all the same. It’s voice was whisper soft and airy, its vocabulary broken but understandable. Stranger still, it seemed that besides herself, the ghosts were privy to this new leap of power too. The house could communicate only with the initiated and the etherial dead.

“I hope you’re taking care of her, then.” Madeira found speaking aloud easier than trying to organize verbal thought. “What is she doing?”

Bones and decay.

“Sounds about right. I’ll check on her.”

The back door opened for her, and Madeira stepped into the greatroom. She hung her coat by the door, beat out the hem of her plain green linen dress and descended the rattling curve of the iron staircase to the fortified magic lab below. Opening the heavy door with an iron key hung about her neck, she stepped into the gloomy light of the stifled fireplace and the huge black caldron.

The hunched blonde figure of Savis Maren was outlined in gold as she stared directly into the fire, her hands hanging limply at her sides. On the floor was the ruined remains of some sort of hastily constructed trolley.

“Savis, good morning”, the Spiritist announced herself, thought the aurist undoubtedly already knew she was there. The strange oily smell you only find when boiling bones was thick in the air, and only became stronger as Madeira stepped up beside her ally to see the dance and clatter of human remains in the heating caldron. “I’ve spoken to the contractor. They’re starting today, your cottage will be finished on the nineteenth.” Taking a poker from a stand beside the fireplace she stirred the fire into more voracious life, letting it leap higher and lick the blackened pot. “I have a few bells before they come back. May I help you with your old bones?”
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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Savis Maren on January 2nd, 2019, 2:18 am

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The bones that boiled within the cauldron were yellowed and wrought with vestiges of rotten flesh. Though Savis and Madeira both did their utmost to treat them before bringing them to Infinity Manor, it'd simply escaped their notice to do this sooner. Savis Maren's mind fixated on other projects, intent on not allowing her other interests and ideas to fall by the wayside in a single-minded pursuit of Animation. While the infamy that Savis Maren might acquire labeled her as an Animator, the talents she held were diverse, with the entirety of her time the past Autumn dedicated to broadening horizons. Personal magic flourished within Lhavit's safety, but more than that the Nuit experienced revelation. Now, things were different. The time was more scarce and in that scarcity, certain minute details fell by the wayside. Savis Maren considered the need to catch up on the more mundane of her pursuits as tiny strips seared flesh rose to the top, against the bubbling waters and floating around in the cauldron.

To be more vigilant, aware. Perhaps lists, or notes to oneself, indications of another means? It'd been decades since the Nuit applied herself so fervently and she relished in all of it. When the lock's tumber fell and the door pushed open, Savis Maren didn't turn. She registered the sound as it echoed down the staircase and knew that only one other had the means to enter without a struggle. As Madeira made her way down the steps, Savis shifted the focus of her Sight. The djed seeped from her eyes and she allowed it to wind outwards until it firmly grasped at the aura of that pile of bones sitting deep underneath the boiling water. She felt the heat sear into her that stripped the bones of filth. Absolution by fire, and the Nuit felt the breadth of its bite as she turned away to face the Spiritist.

The bones continued to linger within her mind, and she felt how the shifting bubbles scrubbed at the surface as the Spiritist offered a hand at the mundane tasks ahead of them. The Nuit had taken the first step, and perhaps did it in an inferior order. Or did I? How else would I take a filled cauldron to the fireplace? she wondered and simply left it at that. She'd attempt to create a more permanent structure to carry heavier objects around. Perhaps something with a Soulcore within it, something that wouldn't complain or hate herself in the midst of reflection for how difficult she made her own tasks. The more Savis thought to expand her other disciplines, she realized that in the core of it all, Animation was the discipline she possessed that had the greatest potential in helping her and her allies' day to day necessities.

"Good morning Madeira," the Nuit said when at last she faced her permanent host. The Spiritist then approached and Savis turned back towards the fireplace. Madeira seemed like she had something to say, and the Nuit didn't explain what she was doing in order to listen. My cottage? she thought, having forgotten the promise Madeira made to her weeks before. Solitude was a part of their initial understanding, an isolation even in the midst of company with a number of entities. She'd have her full privacy back on the 19th? She wondered to herself if it was even necessary, but it behooved Madeira's showings of altruism on Savis' behalf to simply brush off those questions. Most assuredly, the Spiritist wouldn't be talked out of it, and Savis figured the best course of action there was acceptance. Besides, the two mages had far more pressing matters to concern themselves with.

"I can feel the boiling water scrub the rancid flesh from the surface of those bones. If you'd care to, perhaps we can use a ladle to spoon the residual flesh as it's torn from the surface?" she delegated to the Spiritist. The flames grew taller and livelier with Madeira's coaxing, and Savis Maren took a step back as a result. The only branch of awareness the Aurist kept in perpetuity was her understanding of the bones. She let the djed siphon from her ears, deciding to purpose that which moved from her fingertips for a distinct purpose. The Aurist ceased the full breadth of her reading, feeling but the bristles of bubbles in the back of her mind as she swept djed through the length of her arm. She liberated her astral limb from her flesh, letting the limb propel outward and capture a single charcoal stick and her mundane notebook from the depths of her satchel. The magical tome she'd begun to compile had no business being laden with notes, after all.

"The hands and feet I'm hestitant to subject to the same treatment, out of fear of severing the cartilage and making the workings difficult to manage. I hardly expect a Maledicted automaton to last forever. But, being reckless and risking severely marring its capacity for longevity seems foolhardy." The Nuit, as she spoke, attached her astral limb to her physical arm, holding her notebook and charcoal stick in physical hands.


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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Madeira Craven on January 6th, 2019, 11:28 pm

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Greying flesh was rising to the surface of the water as the housemates exchanged pleasantries. The cooking rot was pungent but so was Savis and her heavily applied and omnipresent perfume. The pot rumbled as it began to boil in earnest, and though the Nuit was looking at her, she suspected her real attention was not with the Spiritist.

"I can feel the boiling water scrub the rancid flesh from the surface of those bones", Savis said, confirming her suspicions. The strange choice of words was the product of auristics, undoubtedly. The Nuit had admitted to the magic when they first met, and proved herself capable in it when they had chosen Laird as their footman. Madeira turned her attention towards the caldron and dipped into her own limited knowledge of the craft. Though in her case it required all of her focus, and little lines creased the space between her brows before the aura blossomed from the pot.

Human remains had a more complex aura than either the iron pot or the fire, she noted. Though even with all the power of her eyes focused on them she couldn't understand the colour and movement of the information within it. Flexing her left hand, she tapped into the power of the dijed stone imbedded in her palm. A sudden understanding of Auristics flooded through her, and the auras around the objects began to dance is ways she could never see unaided. And though even magically enhanced her powers could not compare to her ally's, she understood what she felt.

"Okay", she nodded, letting go of the magic with a blink and deferring to the leadership of the more accomplished embalmer. "I'll ladle the layer of oil off the water as it surfaces too. We don't want her bones to be yellow when we're done with them." It was an aesthetic concern, admittedly. But if they were going to do this she was going to do it properly. "I understand what you mean about the hands and feet, but we cannot leave the cartilage intact forever- it simply wont last. Perhaps wire and rubber would serve to replace it?"

She removed her gloves and rings and left them on a nearby table, returning with a ladle and a wide metal bowl she suspected was previously used in pilfering. Without her gloves the shiny black obsidian-like mark that covered the underside of her left hand was exposed. She flashed it to Savis with a brief explanation as the Nuit's arms fell limp to her side and a rummaging sound rattled from the satchel on the other side of the room.

"What do you think? It's gift from Aldgare Dusk; an artifact to help my studies in auristics by boosting my abilities. Seems they're frustrated by my slow progress", she laughed, ladling scoop after scoop of yellowish oil and scraps of flesh into the bowl. "I can only wear it on every second day though. It last twenty four bells at a time and takes another to reform."

She had been meaning to tell her ally of the few magical items at her disposal, and ask if the Nuit had any of her own, in an effort to further pool their resources. Not all of them, of course- the gloves for one she would keep to the grave. But the mouse cloak, the cursed ring, the starfire key? These were things she wanted her ally to know, and help make use of.

Dumping the foul contents of her bowl into the sink, Madeira's eyes followed the charcoal and a notebook as they came sailing to Savis' inert fingers.

"You're reaching farther with your projection, and faster", she noted aloud, her voice tinged with a strange kind of pride. "I wonder, have you ever tried to project something other than your hands? My bondmate has detached his tongue before, but I imagine you could use the same effect with your eyes, or even your ears."

Siezed by a sudden impish curiosity, Madeira reached into the neck of her blouse while her back was turned to the Nuit. Nestled on a long fine chain between her breasts she kept her rarely used house and basement keys, and a unique silver one threaded with starfire and a cluster of pearls in the shape of a human skull. Turning back to Savis she held the key behind her back, dangling on its silver string.

"With your projection, could you tell me what was behind my back?"
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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Savis Maren on January 7th, 2019, 12:49 am

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Savis Maren considered the magicks she was privy to as she felt the residual sensation of bubbles popping against the surface of her awareness. Though all magic required some knowledge of the soul, the numerous disciplines that the nuit demonstrated capacity for required more than most. She suspected the almighty Shielder, capable of obstructing hostiles from invading their sanctum, need not know the intricacies of the astral body. She suspected that the elementalist, wielding their strange and foreign magic, need not know of the Persona. Each of Savis Maren's disciplines worked with the layers of the soul, and her understanding of her own grew as a result. The limits of djed, the limits of her astral body, they were learned things that all served to teach Savis Maren of the nature that was she. However, it was the souls of other beings that intrigued her far more.

The Nuit allowed her understanding of the boiling water to dwindle as she captured the essence of djed. The strength of the soul burgeoned within her, coalescing within her awareness before manifesting as a lash that expanded outwards and towards Madeira Craven. In the Autumn, she'd seen swells of light overcome the Spiritist's aura, multiple presences of foreign magical qualities set upon her visage. Now, in the beginning of Winter, the forms manifested more readily. No longer did they obstruct her Sight, and the Nuit saw more of the silver-tongued Spiritist than she'd known before. There were tiny rings set firmly along her countenance, imprints that the undead mage attributed to the practice of the arcane. She knew that the woman was a practitioner, but moreso, a bearer of magic. It radiated from her presence, her gloves, and now... her hand glowed brilliantly with an incredible light.

When Madeira shifted to follow her instructions, her suggestions, questioning in nature, made a great deal of sense to her. Of course they'd want their skeletal servant to look its best, and her commentary about the hands and feet were based in fact. Savis considered her suggestion closely, the idea of implementing wire as a means of connecting the bones together was an intriguing one at that. But, there was more to consider as well. There were joints that needed replacing, or rather... reinforcement. She considered her answer as she unwound her usage of Auristics from Madeira's aura and left her study of the elusive Spiritist at that.

"The use of wire is a very solid point. I could connect the fingers to the remainder of the hand using wire. The same seems unnecessary for the foot, but I'll make that decision with more evidence to support my notion. I had this idea of using a drill and embedding metal into each of the points where natural joints exist along the body. Relying on the skeleton's natural resiliency seems a poor choice. If I lock the joints together and designate how they move..." she mused, then the Spiritist distracted Savis Maren from her thoughts by showing her the physical artifact she'd seen in the earlier study of the Spiritist's aura. A curious, obsidian mark embedded in Madeira's palm. She listened to Madeira as she told the tale of how she received it, and was quite intrigued to learn that Aldgare Dusk had the capacity to simply give such a powerful bauble away. The nuit knew very little about the specific heads of the influencial families of Lhavit, and couldn't by ordinary means figure who the man was. However, with the implementation of context, she reasoned that the man was one of Madeira's superiors in her job, and, of course a teacher to the young woman.

"You're studying Auristics, now? So much for not being a personal mage, hm?" she chided the woman. Of course, she sought to conceal the venom, the wretched resentment that built within Savis Maren as a result of discovering Madeira's deceit. She didn't reveal it, for there was so much more to be grateful for, to be sympathetic about... But the resentment existed nonetheless.

"I've never seen a bauble that can heighten a mage's understanding of magic. That's... interesting. Is it symbiotic? Embedded in the skin?" she asked, but the questions were fleeting at best. After all, the passing praise that the Spiritist bestowed on the undead brought a chuckle from her lips. Then, another thought-provoking question, intent perhaps on gauging her capacity? "I've never seen a reason to. My understanding of Projection has been to invoke it as a means of saving my ungraceful physical body the efforts and pitfalls of locomotion. The astral body does not twitch or tremble. My astral body grows more resilient with use, and it's become quite the useful tool. Besides, Auristics serves the purpose of expanding my awarenesss past the feeble reach of physical senses."

Savis wasn't sure if the Spiritist was listening, for she reached into her blouse and pulled from it a key. Savis, in her cursory gaze on the Spiritist earlier, noticed a brilliant light emanating there as well, but instead of revealing what she wanted the Nuit to see, she covered it with her hand and spun her arm until it was behind her back.

"With your projection, could you tell me what was behind my back?" While Savis was curious to discover that Madeira's bondmate practiced Projection as she did, she didn't pry to learn more about the fellow.

"Possibly? I could do the same with less effort and risk with Auristics, however," she reasoned. However, Madeira Craven seemed insistent on this point, and Savis wasn't going to back down from the challenge in the Spiritist's eyes. The Nuit, however, wasn't going to do so standing up. She pulled up a chair before sifting into the expanse of her djed. She willed the power of the soul to flow from her neck, and it was at the neck that she carefully pulled the astral visage of her head away. Immediately, Savis Maren's head tilted back, her entire body inert. Faintly, she could feel the twitch of her fingertips as she tested her capacity, but she could scarcely move. the Nuit willed her astral neck to stretch, giving Madeira a glance before she saw the key dangling behind her on a silver chain. Instead of waiting until she was fully back in her undead form, she willed her neck to raise her head up. She attempted to speak, working her astral lips. However, no sound emerged.

I guess not everything follows the astral body, she mused.

Disappointed by the revelation, the undead drew back her astral head, taking a moment to lock it into place before she mused,

"That was... interesting. Disorienting, even. But, there's a key behind your back."


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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Madeira Craven on January 7th, 2019, 2:35 am

Madeira lifted the key from behind her back to show the Nuit the proof she was right, and couldn't help but laugh.

"Gods, that was horrific, Savis. I can understand why you don't use that kind of technique. At least not often. But I can think of situations where that could be incredibly useful. A lookout that can spy, unseen, through walls and around corners? Someone who could sit in a bar, detach an ear, and listen to a conversation happening on the other side? Incredible."

It made sense that the Nuit was working to compensate for her ruined body with her much stronger soul. The explanation of her uses of auristics and projection fit together like pieces of a puzzle, and Madeira came to understand her a little better. It was much in the same way the Spiritist sought to make up for her own shortcomings. But while she relied on her influence of others, the Nuit seemed to be focusing on self reliance.

She threw the chain back around her throat, and hurried to scoop and dump another foul bowl of oil and flesh.

"I still don't have the disposition for personal magic. That's probably why the study is taking so long. But it is part of my responsibilities to learn, for the sake of the Dusk and Craven alliance that the powers that be insist I be in on." She glanced up at the Nuit, blue finding silver, and rolled her eyes with the easy smile of a practiced liar. "You can imagine how lucky I am to have such a competent practitioner under my roof to help me. You won't let me make a fool of myself in front of the Dusk's, will you? That would be a fast way to lose all our progress here."

Because they are my tenuous hold on Lhavit and its magic community, and my only source of income, was the wordless insinuation. The fact that Savis even mentioned Madeira told her she did not know personal magic made her think that the Nuit was the suspicious sort. That wasn't terribly surprising- most mages were. She would simply have to work harder to seem more trustworthy.

Tapping into her auristics once more, with the help of the stone, Madeira looked into the bubbling waters and checked for residue on the bones. This time it was taste she reached towards the auras, skimming across every bone. It was clean and disinfected, she surmised by the taint in the water that was not present in the bone.

"If you could put out the fire please, House", she asked politely. At once the high crackling hearth went out with a whoosh, the fire seemingly sucked straight back into the logs it was born from. Without the heat the pot soon deadened down to a simmer. That was good, they did not want to overcook the bones and make them brittle.

"Thank you."

Spooks means to destroy my furnishings. He must be stopped, the house replied in way of answering, its voice somehow tight and stressed. She could imagine the cat's vacant eyes staring up at the drapery in the sitting room even now, watching the breeze twitching them through the cracks in the sil. Madeira breathed hard through her nose, annoyed to be interrupted, but gathered her skirts to rescue the house regardless.

But first the Spiritist bit her lip in thought as she looked between the walls at the tools fanned out on the tables. "There must be a pair of tongs somewhere. Unless we can abuse your magic by fishing them out with projection. I've got to step out for a moment, but when I come back I'd like to show you something." the key gleamed with lines of starfire on her chest.
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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Savis Maren on January 7th, 2019, 3:58 am

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Savis Maren felt far more accomplished in the realm of Auristics than she did with Projection. Even with the burgeoning talents that rose with practice and careful application the trust was inherent. Auristics provided Savis Maren a means of contention, an edge in an arena that her kind was not often so inclined to fight in. The arena of intermingling with other races, of empathizing with the mortals that the undead pulled away from. Where others of her kind were content to remain aloof and disconnected, Savis Maren, particularly in recent endeavors, felt the exact opposite. She wished to remain grounded and aware, knowledge of the concerns of mortals providing her with the insight for how to bend them to her intentions.

Of course, in the political climate of Lhavit, where most likely every soul with some sort of stake in the game is a practiced Aurist, it won't matter much. But, that's Madeira's arena to fight in. The common folk of the city, those whose insights and knowledge can offer me windows into their needs... she trailed off on that thought, a chuckle escaping her lips as she sat in that chair. The nuit raised one leg over the other, taking to some measure of comfort as she listened to Madeira's assessment of what had happened. Yes, using Projection for such a thing was unnecessary, and as she listened to the Spiritist offer insights into what uses such a technique might offer she nodded in affirmation. Of course, the woman was right. One could use it to spy through walls and around corners, but then again...

"One could use Auristics to a similar effect, given a reasonable dedication to reaching that capacity. Even now, I've realized I no longer need to keep auras within my line of sight, as you surely saw earlier. If you're just starting to learn, Madeira, perhaps you should rely on me a bit more. I'd be happy to offer you some insights," she reasoned. Savis wanted a contemporary she could muse with about her magicks. Animation she hardly needed a fellow to discuss, but instead underlings from which to derive knowledge for as Sources. But the study of aura, the manipulation of the astral, and moreso than either of those, the designation of shields... These required assistance and collaboration to broaden the horizons of her own understanding.

"You won't let me make a fool out of myself in front of the Dusks, will you?" she heard the Spiritist ask, and the nuit let her lips part in easy laughter.

"You? Make a fool of yourself? I'll do my best to rein you in. You're an inept maniac, after all," she chided, a playful tone of banter arising within her words. Savis' earlier tone betrayed some of her resentment, and the nuit wanted to keep her cards close to home. Banter, discussion, an exchange of ideas, sanctuary. This was what she'd accepted Madeira's invitation for... a chance at a 'normal' life, even if it was as an undead monster among other deluded undead monsters in a sentient manor with a heavily pregnant practitioner of morbid magicks.

The nuit listened to Madeira request for the house to put out the flames, a command that was followed immediately with a precision that caught the undead off guard. Did the Manor understand speech? Intention? While her previous encounters with Madeira's use of Architectrix magic were underwhelming at best, it seemed that they'd paid off in their own right. The nuit would make sure to ask the Spiritist how that all worked, but before she could muster up the will to do so, Madeira ushered herself out of the basement with no mention of why she was doing so. With the promise of something interesting and an understanding that the bones needed to be removed from the cauldron as quickly as possible, the nuit raised herself from the chair and searched out those tongs.

After numerous displays of magic, I'd rather not test the limits of my djed. I'll allow myself some rest, and do this with my clumsy physical limbs, she reasoned. She found the tongs in a heap of tools, carefully plucking them out. She carefully pried each of the many, many bones out of the cauldron, leaving the oily, watery husk in its place. Later on, they'd empty it out and put everything away. For now, however, Savis focused on drying each of the pearly white bones she plucked out, ridding them of the last vestiges of oil and bits of skin before setting them out in a long row on the nearby table.


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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Madeira Craven on January 10th, 2019, 10:28 pm

"Spooks!" Madeira chided, scooping up the clumsy black tom just as it was about to make the leap for the living room drapery. The cat seemed indifferent about being handled as the Spiritist tucked him under her arm like a football. It could be difficult to deduce how the cat felt about anything, truth be told. She wouldn't be surprised if his possession weary head was full of cotton batting and fluff.

The manor sighed its wordless thanks, and the drapery held together of its own accord while Madeira tied it back one-handedly.

"Whatcha doing?"

Emma bounded into the room through the solid wall, a ghostly flicker of childish exuberance.

"Hello Em. Do me a favor and watch Spooks, will you?" Madeira dumped the cat through the ghost. And the cat, exuding none of the grace of his species, faceplanted in a tangle of black limbs.

The ghost shook her head, curls bouncing around her scabbed face. "I can't, I'm too tired. Can you make some mist?"

"Sorry baby, I don't have time. Just try-"

Both females paused as the house caught their wordless attention. It was pressing their focus to the window Madeira had just uncovered. Something very familiar was collecting on the glass like dew, little pearls of a substance that was neither liquid, gas or solid but somewhere in between. It was a novice attempt at soulmist. The very air around them seemed to shimmer as the manor puffed itself up with pride.

Madeira's mouth was fully agape. "Holy s-"

"Thanks house!"

Oblivious to the enormity of the situation, the child ran both hands greedy down the pane like she was wiping away the condensation. Her shroud thickened visibly with the intake of soulmist and she immediately began chasing after the cat, who had fled under the couch to throw off the hot pursuit. Madeira touched the smear that was left behind, and rubbed the substance between her fingers. That was soulmist. Bad soulmist, admittedly, but it was real. The house had watched the ritual hundreds of times since the Spiritist had brought it into being, and now it seemed her constant audience was beginning to learn.

Not quite able to find the words, Madeira pressed the praise and acknowledgment it was obviously looking for into the house's consciousness. Now it felt like her thoughts were rocketing around in cotton batting and fluff as she tottered away to look for the objects she had wanted Savis to see.

She returned to the basement a few chimes later, carrying a black mohair cloak and a purple velvet pouch. The bones from the caldron were laid carefully out on the table, each one dry and clean and steaming in the cool air, ready to be assembled. They would need to talk about how exactly they would go about constructing such a thing. Perhaps Savis's gadgeteer contact could be persuaded? She would have to ask.

"Savis, can I talk to you for a second? Through here." Pulling the silver key out from around her neck she held it before her, looking quite the fool for a long tick as she scowled in concentration. After a moment an archway grew from the point of the key until it was large enough to fit a human, the whole thing an impenetrable swath of silvery light. Taking the Nuit's cold hand, she pulled her through the light, and the arch closed behind them.

On the other side was a graveyard. A profoundly ancient thing with crumbling headstones of all different materials pillowed in soft grass, their names and dates washed away with time. The closest was an old, lichen spotted grave that looked to be made of bone, its markings clear but strangely unreadable. Beyond the lonely place were rolling hills dotted with trees. The scene was whisper quiet but for the soft song of the wind through the grass. Overhead Leth dominated the sky and shed his silvery light.

"I have no idea what this is", Madeira admitted distractedly. "But I'm pretty sure Leth gave this place to me. Remember when all those shooting stars were falling all through Fall? Yes, well... It's a crazy story, I'll make sure to tell it sometime. Anyway, this is not as big as it looks." only a few strides brought her to the edge, where she hit the invisible wall with the flat of her hand, to demonstrate the borders. "But it's private. Exceedingly so. Nobody can see us, or hear us, not even the house. If we should even want to talk truly privately we should do it here."

"Speaking of", she folded her legs underneath her and sat on the soft grass with all the grace her pregnant self could muster. "You know, of course, that the house is watching out for us, right? Well, it's come to my attention that it might be learning from us too. Specifically, magic." She laid her items out on her lap, the only two malediction items currently in her possession; a cloak with a mouse skull clasp, and a flowery bone ring. "Which is amazing, truly. It might be we'll have ourselves a protégé. But I thought it best to warn you, is all." She cleared her throat delicately.
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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Savis Maren on January 17th, 2019, 11:44 pm

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To assemble the skeleton is the easy part, the nuit thought to herself as she laid out the bones of her previous mortal coil along the surface of the table. She thought back to the conversation with Lucis she'd had in the Autumn, how she'd attempted to pry the relevant information from the gadgeteer without quite telling him what the information was for. She'd lost some respect for Lucis that day, for their first reunion with her 'new' body hd left a foul impression in her maw, a taste that soured the senses despite being nothing more than an Auristics born facsimile. The Nuit thought on the tools that might be needed, and was halfway across the room by the time she'd retrieved a crank drill from one of the several boxes full of unsorted tools that the Spiritist acquired for this workshop.

When the Spiritist returned from whatever called her attention in the manor proper, she returned with the same key from before held in her hand. She held it out, as if opening an imaginary door, a rather silly display for such a reasonable human being. But, there was magic here. Between Savis Maren and Madeira Craven there were secrets, items of power and the nuit didn't belittle Craven for her awkward display. Rightly so, it seemed, for an archway materialized within the air, growing larger and larger until either of them could fit together.

There was no fear with the dead. While some might draw back from the miraculous formation of a door, Savis Maren extended her hand out to the Spiritist and was pulled into the light. The pair vanished into nothingness, the archway closing behind them as some queer portal into another realm. Then, they appeared within a cemetery. Unremarkable at first sight, the place was dilapidated beyond recognition. The nearest gravestone, however, made of a chillingly familiar yellowish-white material, attracted the Nuit's attention. Wind buffeted the undead's clothing, and if it wasn't for Madeira's soft voice cutting through the ghastly silence Savis Maren might've been in eclipsed awe of the gravity of what had just transpired.

She turned a key, pulled me into a strange door... and now, we're somewhere else entirely, the Nuit assessed. She listened to the Spiritist as she provided some background information, referring to the shooting stars of the Autumn and the God, Leth. He'd gifted her with a realm of her own? Savis' mouth fell open for a brief moment as Madeira went on, emphasizing that no one could hear them, not even the sentience that lingered within Infinity Manor.

Very useful, she mused as she continued to listen to the Spiritist. There truly wasn't much for her to say here, as she watched the heavily pregnant Madeira Craven waddle herself into a seated position, Savis followed. She fell to the ground in front of her, carrying her satchel on her shoulders. The nuit sat on her knees, her legs folded neatly underneath her as she nodded in appreciation for the warnings that the woman issued.

"It's quite the asset, then, that Animation requires a Source to practice. The manor would be hard-pressed to understand that one," she said, a chuckle in her voice. It was hollow at best, for the idea of Infinity Manor practicing magic frightened her more than she could say. What was teaching her? Could it learn personal magicks without initiation? The nuit didn't know the limits of what she was dealing with and that more than the news itself brought a wariness about her that she couldn't ignore.

"I'll be careful with my exploits and explain to the Manor while I work that what I do requires a tremendous amount of caution to perform with any sort of success," she said, as if to assuage her own doubts as she answered Madeira's words. The Spiritist laid out some items on her lap, both made of bone and clearly some sort of Maledicted creations of her past. The nuit considered breaching into Auristics to assist her in her understanding, but she reconsidered, allowing instead the Spiritist's voice to do that work for her.

"You brought me here for a reason, I'd assume. Something more than just the showing of some Maledicted items. What's on your mind, Madeira?"


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Last edited by Savis Maren on January 21st, 2019, 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Savis Maren
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Musings no Longer (Madeira Craven)

Postby Madeira Craven on January 20th, 2019, 8:49 pm

Madeira had never before brought someone into this private sanctuary of hers. Yet having Savis in this personal space felt natural. The Nuit knelt in the plush grass, sitting primly without the mortal need for comfort, with her satchel hanging from her boney shoulder. She was attentive and patient, accepting the whirlwind of information in stride, her high intelligence allowing her to infer without burdening their time with unnecessary questions. When she did speak it was to reassure the Spiritist that their sentient, learning and magic-wielding house at least wouldn't be able to practice animation. Hopefully.

Madeira's mind danced away from her for a moment as she imagined waking up to find that their whimsical, artistic diva of a manor had animated the furniture. She shook the thought away.

"You brought me here for a reason, I'd assume." Savis continued, looking at her with those unsettling silver eyes. "Something more than just the showing of some Maledicted items. What's on your mind, Madeira?"

The Spiritist smiled crookedly. "Savis my dear, I think you might know me too well. Truthfully, I just wanted to update you on the manor away from the manor. I needed you to know that if there was anything we must speak of truly, completely privately, we have that option.

"But, since I have you to myself from a few more chimes..." She shrugged. "Is it so surprising that I'd like to know more about my ally and friend? And everything I'm showing you, telling you... What's mine is yours, including my secrets. I want to help you, and I hope you will do the same for me." The smile she flashed this time was one practiced and perfected throughout her career, though no less genuine because of it. It was the right curl of the lip and flash of teeth that she knew made her look approachable, unarmed. For a tick she looked like the young woman just out of adolescence that she truly was.

"I've acquired an inordinate amount of magical items, actually. Some of them you cannot use without me, like this room, or my spy sphere. Some I can teach you to use, like my ghostnails and dead hand crossbow. But these here are at your disposal, and hopefully I'll be able to make more soon. I'm getting better, Savis. I'm excited for what comes next."

She shook out the purple bag, and a pretty bone ring fell into her palm. She was holding it awkwardly away from herself, like she was expecting it to rear up and bite her. Leth's silvery light fell into the shadowy curve of it, and one could see etched into its surface a beautiful gardens worth of flowers.

"This is... Well, my malediction teacher once told me that the only failure is a fetish that doesn't do anything. So lets just say it's a cursed fetish. I puts an insatiable lust into a persons flesh, and makes them quite uncontrollable. I'd be interested to see if such a thing would work the same on dead flesh..." she eyed Savis with a thoughtful, hungry look. "If you'd be interested to see too, of course." She amended quickly, and put the ring down on the grass. Afterward she wiped her hand unconsciously across her skirt like it had dirtied her.

"I've given a charm to Allister, and I wear a third for Jomi's possessions, but this one is new." She unfolded the mohair cloak. It was black and exceedingly plain, without the usual flamboyance of her typical attire. A deep hood rested at the back and clasped in the front was a brooch made of the skull of a large deer mouse. In the empty eye sockets a chip of gem flashed between red and green as the angle changed.

"Excuse me", she muttered politely as she leaned forward and threw the cloak around the other woman's shoulders. Immediately the illusion of the endless rolling hills would be dulled as she became intrinsically aware of the ten-by-ten box they were truly in. As she would also be aware that the exit hung around Madeira's throat. "Tell it to 'hide', Savis." Madeira asked as she fastened the brooch under the Nuits chin. "And it will change colour and pattern to match what's around you."

With that done she had nothing left to show. Everything was laid bare, or everything she could allow to be, anyway.

"This is what I have, this is what I can do, and now we are both learning what the manor can do." she cracked her knuckles, and the sound was inordinately loud in the hush of the graveyard. "How about you, Savis? Before we go back, while we are alone, is there anything you'd like to say? Or perhaps I'm moving too fast. The bones are still waiting in the basement, if you want to return."
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