Solo Moving Up in the World

Madeira recieves more challenging students

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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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Moving Up in the World

Postby Madeira Craven on January 8th, 2019, 2:34 am

Moving Up in the World
10th of Winter
19th Bell

It was like a bomb had gone off on the top floor of the Infinity manor. But a bomb with silk shrapnel, in a crater of velvet and a rubble of jewels. Madeira stood in the middle of the chaos in her underwear, fingers massaging away at her temples and the seed of a headache that was tucked away inside. Emma Chamelle sat on the bed, blissfully oblivious to her masters frustration as she tried to summon her projection to pick up a rope of diamonds.

"Too revealing..." Madeira muttered, turning away from the dark blue dress with the pencil-thin plunging neckline laid out on the floor. "Too formal", she said of the tall black velvet and its embroidered stars. The poofy yellow dress was too loud, the green linen too casual, and she couldn't fit into her trousers and blouses anymore. Damnit, now what?

The house was watching this strange dance. It was always watching. But now it chanced to speak.

Why? It asked of the ghost and human alike, the word rising from the walls with a kind of formless, bewildered curiosity.

"Maddy is dressing for class. Isn't that right, Maddy?" Emma piped up, trying and failing to hang the diamonds around her insubstantial throat.

Madeira nodded, not looking up from the floor where her meager options were spread out.

"But this is a special class, and I must look my best", she explained further, snatching the yellow silk off the floor and holding it experimentally to her shoulders in the face of the tall mirror on the wall.

"Ooo, choose that one. You look pretty in that one!"

Madeira laughed as the house also voiced its approval of the outlandish dress. She dropped it to the floor regardless and surveyed her other options.

"It's not about being pretty, you two. Let me explain..." she pulled the green linen off the arm of the low couch and held it to the front of her body, pirouetting so her audience could see. "Imagine you met me on the street wearing this. What would you assume about me?"

"... That you're pretty?" the ghost ventured tentatively. Thankfully the house had a better grasping of the impromptu lesson.

Common, it spoke. Modest, unassuming.

"That's exactly right", she praised the walls and painted ceiling. "There is a tick before a word is ever spoken between two people, where they will take what they see before them and assume things about their character. This is the most important tick of the interaction, for it will decide the tone of everything that follows. Do you understand?"

It took a chime as the two internalized her words. Determined to hear praise as well, Emma was again the first to speak.

"So you want people to think good things about you before you talk to them?"

"Very good, kitten. Yes. I need them to think specific things about me, and its hard to choose what will convey what I want best." She bundled up the linen dress and threw it towards the open and gutted closet. Being labeled as 'common' would be disastrous. "Like I said, this is a special class. I've been teaching novices, fresh new students, most of them teenagers or my age. But I'll be responsible the Tower's most advanced Spiritism class now. They're still weak spiritits by the Craven standard, but they're more powerful people. These will be students who've been studying in the tower for years, and have consumed all Dusk has to offer in their other classes. They will be older than me, have other, more advanced disciplines, and will have been born and raised and been integrated into Lhavit and its magical community while I'm still half a stranger."


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Madeira Craven
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Moving Up in the World

Postby Madeira Craven on January 8th, 2019, 2:37 am





Mature?, the question floated through the air. Capable, powerful?

Madeira nodded wordlessly. "I need all that and more. If I'm going to teach people more experienced than I am I need to earn their respect from the second I walk into the room."

She shouldn't put so much thought into this. She wouldn't, normally. She would have dressed as maturely as she could manage and win them over with her powers of bullshyke. But Aldgare Dusk would be in that classroom. Not as a teacher, or even as an aide, but as a student. They expected her to instruct the man who verbally destroyed her the first time they met. The kind, gentle, eager man that just happened to know every dirty secret she had ever kept, who she was convinced could read her mind, and ran the wealthiest Tower in Lhavit. Just thinking about it made her stomach drop like it was full of lead.

Shaking herself out of it, she turned back to the ghost and mentally reached for the awareness of the house. She might as well test her impromptu students in the persuasive art of presentation.

"So, knowing all that, what do you suggest I wear?"

Predictably, both had very different opinions.

"The black one!" suggested the little girl, who had crawled to the edge of the bed to point down at the elegant velvet dress. "So you look smart and grown-up."

Yellow, the house breathed, showing its newly developed artists soul by picking the most flashy option. Command their attention.

"Those are good options, but I think this will be best", she scooped up the dark blue beaded dress. "It's more revealing than I'd like, but mature with it. The dark colour is classy, the cut fine, and since it's nothing like the Lhavitian fashion it will stand out even without the flamboyance. Worn with the diamond rope and the silver comb I will even look wealthy." She smiled for them as she slipped under the skirt and pulled the dress over her head. Her growing belly distorted the clean silhouette of it, but by fussing for a moment with the neck and shoulders she was able to drape it over the protuberance in a semi-flattering way. She worked a chignon behind her head and slide the bejeweled silver comb inside to hold it in place, and took the diamonds from Emma to fasten around her own throat.

"There, how do I look?"

"Like a queen!"

Like a mage.

Madeira smiled knowing it was true.

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Madeira Craven
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Posts: 1309
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Moving Up in the World

Postby Madeira Craven on January 11th, 2019, 12:13 am






Half a bell later Madeira stood in front of the oaken door of her classroom, one hand wrapped around the brass handle. She wasn't entirely sure how long she had been standing there. A couple ticks? Chimes? Time was running through her fingers as she stood there, summoning her nerve. It was easy to be brave in her own home, surrounded by those that looked up to her, but the Tower was a different place. Here she was just a guest among her betters. This is just another class, she told herself again, willing herself to turn the handle. You will be the most talented person in the room.

Most talented Spiritist, sure. But Aurist? Teacher? Speaker? These people will outclass her in all of it. And Aldgare... Gods have mercy, that man was terrifying. Friendly, mercurial, and terrifying. Perhaps not in the way people expect, but certainly in the only way it matters.

Madeira bounced on her toes, grimacing with frustration. She summoned a breath like she was about to dive into the ocean.

One...

Two...

"Can I help you with the door, Madeira?"

All the air left the Spiritist with an undignified squeak. Aldgare was waiting patiently behind her, his arms full of books. The man was nearing fifty and it showed in his thin grey hair and the dark spots on his hands, though there was no sign of it in his posture or clear, deep voice. New bags hung beneath his eyes that had yet to fully erase after the night the Shinya took his daughter into custody. But if he was bitter towards one of the women who had witnessed her crime it never showed. His smile towards her was only sympathetic as he looked between her and the door.

"My apologies, I didn't mean to startle you. It's not seemly for a student to be late on his first day of class, is all. It's be nigh twenty years since I've last attended, and one tends to forget these things. I hope the professor is the forgiving sort", his blue eyes twinkled merrily.

She hated the way he could diffuse her like that. A small ripple of mirth passed through her and suddenly she felt better. The fact that he knew exactly what she needed to hear, that she was in control, coupled with a clever stab of humour to ease her stress, was mind blowing. This man could play her like a fiddle. Could play everybody like a fiddle. And even knowing this she couldn't help but like the man.

"I'm sure she will overlook it just this once." She opened the door for the patriarch and followed him inside.

The class was absurdly small. Six people sat in the first two rows of desks. Aldgare was perhaps the oldest, but the youngest couldn't have been less than his early thirties. As a guest teacher Madeira did not choose her students as the family did, so she had no insights as to why they would give her only a handful of students. Never mind. She swept across the front of the room with her head high and a welcoming smile on her face. No doubt every single one of them could read the nerves that still danced on the edge of her aura, but she wasn't about to let that stop her from putting on a good show.

"Good evening. I'm Miss Madeira Craven, and I'll be your professor."

She made sure to look every one of them in the eye, acknowledging each of them in turn. There were three men and three women, all of them showing the courtesy, attention and restraint she had never seen in the teenagers she had been teaching before. She would get no sass from these people, she judged. That was a relief.

"Given that this is such a small class, I'd be pleased if you would all introduce yourselves before we get started." She nodded to a gentleman on the left to rise and speak. This was the youngest man in the room, dark, handsome and well dressed in traditional indoor robes.

"I'm Ignas Dusk, Miss. It's a pleasure to meet you." He gave a small polite bow and sat. As the second, a woman, got to her feet and announced herself as Bianca Bisset, Madeira realized they weren't introducing themselves to the class but to her. Those that sat were hardly paying attention. They already knew each other. Of course they did. She should have talked to them all privately, she realized belatedly. These are likely people with a reputation anybody but a foreigner like herself should know. And here she was making them introduce themselves to their peers like new schoolchildren.

When Aldgare stood to give his own introduction she had the fight the need to blush with shame. Damnit all. Now she's making the head of the petching Dusk Tower make nice. But instead of introducing himself, the man perhaps saw the simmer of shame in her aura and filled in the ever expansive gap in her knowledge.

"Miss Craven, now that you have met let me present to you our Alumni. We bring you the best and brightest out Tower has to offer. These men and women were chosen especially for their outsanding academic record. A few you now know are our own ilk, I'm proud to say. But there is always more to learn. Please, carry on."

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Madeira Craven
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Posts: 1309
Words: 1100445
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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Moving Up in the World

Postby Madeira Craven on January 28th, 2019, 8:14 pm



"Thank you, sir. And it's a pleasure to make your acquaintances", Madeira nodded gratefully. Saved once again by Aldgare Dusk.

"Excuse me, Miss Madeira", the Bisset woman spoke as Madeira was turning towards the empty chalkboard. "I'd be interested to know what kind of education you have. Where are you from?"

"I hail from Alvadas, where I learned the practice of Spiritism from my legacy family." she began, the tap of the chalk punctuating her explanation as she wrote. "The Dusk family and my own have agreed to an alliance, to exchange knowledge of our respective magics and make both of us stronger. I'm here to fulfill that promise", she smiled modestly. "Now..." She underlined the word SPIRITISM she had written in tall letters across the top of the board. "I'd like to get a handle on what your capable of so I can judge where to start. Ignas, could you fill me in?"

"About Alvadas", the man shifted uncomfortably in his small seat made for much younger men. "Was that where you had your formal education?"

"Formal..." Madeira squinted at him, confused by the interruption and unsure what 'formal education' even meant.

"...Education." He finished, and by his clipped tone she knew she had made another mistake by not knowing their terminology.

"What school did you study in, dear", Bisset explained kindly, smiling a motherly smile in the front row. "And perhaps you can demonstrate some techniques for us?"

Gods above, these people don't trust me, Madeira realized. Or else they did not respect her. And why should they? She was half their age, a bizarre foreigner in jewel and fancy dress, from a famous family they had never met and a place they had never been. This had happened before with her first class. But the teenagers there had brashly called her out on it and she was equally brutal in correcting them. She was about to summon the force of Hypnotism again to change the opinions of the adults as well but stopped herself with a curse. Aldgare was in the room. He knew she was a hypnotist and would recognize it in her aura the moment it happened. Damn it all, she would half to convince them the old fashioned way.

"Thank you ma'am. And its Miss, not dear", Madeira corrected Bisset. "Now, let me reiterate for all of you", she turned fully towards the class, her shoulders back and straight, her hands folded primly at her waist. "I was invited here, from half a continent away, not because I am good at what I do, but because that I am the best at what I do. Some of you may have been practicing for thirty or forty years but rest assured you do not even scratch the surface of what my family has been passing down for generations. The Craven family has given you the very epitome what over five hundred years of blood, study and ability have produced, and that is me."

Oh boy, she had their attention now. Every face read shock at being address such. To their eyes she was a little girl dressed like a princess spouting just how great she is. But that didn't matter, the shock did. It kept them in the seats and unable to interject, but more than that, it made them unsteady. Now that their wall of dismissiveness was down she had a straight shot to being heard for exactly what she was saying.

"Now", her voice softened perceptively, her arms folded more casually behind her back. "I'm not going to disrespect you by giving you some flashy magic show to awe you like children. Neither do I have a pretty piece of paper I can brandish saying I am acceptable by some institutions standards. Spiritism does not work like that. I do not work like that. But I can tell you how I outwitted a murderous spirit by pretending to be a soulless puppet, or how I Lied so hard I convinced a ghost I was Dira out to get her, or how I got a dead Akalak his citizenship papers by beating the shit out of another eight-foot Akalak while possessed.

Even better, I can teach you how. I can teach you to kill with only your words, show you how to circumvent madness, channel rage, how to stop a murderer in its tracks with a smile. I'll have you Lying your way out of any situation, turning your bodies into unbreakable prisons, handling possession with seamless grace, invoking from anywhere on this green earth and give you that last, unforgivable technique of Dusting." Now her voice hardened again, filling every corner of the room with the unshakable force of it. "But we will never get that far if you keep questioning everything I do. Now hands down, because we are starting and I'm done with stupid questions."

"So", she tapped the board hard with her chalk, glaring around the room. "Who is going to fill me in?"

This time nobody raised objections.

WC: 862
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1309
Words: 1100445
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 8
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
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Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Moving Up in the World

Postby Madeira Craven on February 25th, 2019, 2:11 am

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Madeira Craven

Skills
  • Cosmetology: 2xp
  • Teaching: 4xp
  • Architectrix: 2xp
  • Politics: 2xp
  • Rhetoric: 1xp
  • Intimidation: 1xp

Lores
  • Cosmetology: dressing for success
  • Politics: showing status
  • Teaching: giving examples
  • Aldgare: a clever speaker
  • Teaching: getting to know ones students

Awards & Retribution

Notes
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User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1309
Words: 1100445
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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