Closed Lie to Me

Jomi and Mads teach a stubborn class how to Lie

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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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Lie to Me

Postby Madeira Craven on January 21st, 2019, 9:36 pm

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    20th of Winter, 518
"The Lie, in my humble opinion, is the greatest tool a Spiritist has. Who can tell me why?"

Madeira sat upon her desk in her classroom in the Dusk Tower, looking resplendent and less than humble in yellow satin and diamonds, her black cane across her knees. In the first two rows of student desks in front of her was her paltry class of aspiring teachers, both Dusk's and their alumni. Moonlight was filtering through the high windows, and lit scones blazed along the walls, so the strange mix of silver and gold light cut interesting shadows across the floor. In the second row a burly man with a proud twist of a mustachio raised a hand.

"Mister Royce?"

"I appreciate the refresher, Miss. But we have already learned this particular skill. Some of us over a decade ago. I think I speak for all of us when I say we'd appreciate something more challenging."

Madeira shifted in her seat, massaging the heel of her hand into her aching lower back as a chorus of nods followed his statement. She was starting to miss the bratty teenagers she used to instruct. They were disrespectful and full of piss and vinegar, but at least she didn't have to fight them tooth and nail for every inch of ground. This class full of distinguished and accomplished adults had forgotten what it means to follow someone else's lead.

"I understand, but I need to see how you handle the basics before I move you on to something more difficult."

"With all due respect, Aldgare Dusk himself taught us these basics."

"And sir Dusk will be right behind you demonstrating his abilities for me", she flared up, forgetting herself in her frustration. She cleared her throat and nodded to the quiet old man in the back row. "With your permission, sir."

Aldgare smiled his disarmingly friendly smile, eyes twinkling in amusement. "Of course, professor."

The rest of the class seemed less than willing, even with the support of the patriarch. If she plowed through with the lesson and ordered them to listen no doubt they would. But she would lose a little of the already thin respect she had fought from them in the process. Stupid, stubborn Aurists, she grumbled inwardly, looking down on a sea of impassive faces who clearly saw this all as a waste of time.

"Alright, how about this." she sighed, frustrated that she has to stoop to negotiating with her own class. "Since you all know the technique, how about we jump straight to the test. And if half of you pass we will skip this lesson entirely and move on to something else."

Hard lines softened and the low, contemptuous energy in the room began to perceptively lighten. Nods and verbal agreements peppered themselves among the students. "That's very reasonable, Miss", Royce spoke above the rest. "Thank you."

Don't thank me yet, Madeira sniped internally. You'll be first in line.

"This is a good time to demonstrate something I'll be teaching later in the year. Ghost Invocation is an advanced ability"

She slid from the desk, landing unsteadily on her feet. Twisting the handle of the cane she pulled out two centimeters of the blade within. Throwing back her puffy sleeve she found an ever narrowing patch of skin on her forearm not scabbed over or thatched with scars and made a thin vertical slice. Impatiently she shook some blood out on the nearest students desk, to their faint disgust.

"This glyph will become very, very important as you advance your skills" she explained, motioning those at the back to stand to see the sixteen point star she was scribbling on the desk in her own blood. "I've just recently discovered that it's called 'alahea', and in the old tongue it means to reach that which is unreachable.

"Now, I keep the offered soulmist in these hollow rings I wear", she flashed the gaudy jewels on her hands. "But any way you choose to store it is fine. You just place the mist in the middle" she placed her hand flat into the rapidly crusting star. "concentrate upon who you wish to summon, using the piece of them you own to call to the rest of them. Then, when you have them firmly in hand, you call them by name."

Bending her head, she breathed deep and called her servant.

"Jomi!"

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Last edited by Madeira Craven on April 11th, 2019, 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lie to Me

Postby Jomi on February 28th, 2019, 7:36 am

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The crackle of electricity filled the classroom along with an icy chill as the summoned ghost blinked into existence above the painted star. Jomi was crouched on his knees and had his hands held over his lap as if cradling something against his chest with a wide eyed, startled expression etched on his translucent face. No matter how many times he'd been summoned, the ghost never seemed to grow used to blinking against his will.

Shaking off the sudden interruption the ghost rose, peeved and indignant as he met Madeira's eyes.

"What the Hai was so important that you needed to interrupt my morning. Rosie is probably panicking because...of..."

The ghost fazed himself halfway through the table in order to meet the assembled students at eye level. The ghost pulled more effort into his materialization. He redirected the straying mists back toward his core, focusing his concentration and energy into the expression on his face. The deepening lines becoming more clear and lifelike as the ghost shot the classroom a sharp scythe smile.

"Are these your new students? They're so old." Jomi jeered "These pasty old hags look ready to keel over any day now."

Ghost were known for their inability to let go of grudges. Even going so far as to hold a grudge for centuries, long after the subject of the grudge had died. Which was why Jomi was so thrilled to get another chance to wreck Madeira's students after he had been subdued during her last 'real world possession training' class.

The students were all easily double their professors age, with a ridged posture and embroidered robes that spoke of the same upper-class breeding. Not one of them flinched when the ghost had been summoned and they seemed to look at him as if he were a spectacle rather than a threat. It was obvious that they were an advanced class and much more competent spiritists than the last batch of fresh faced novices. But Jomi was stronger too and eager to show off his new, more powerful, soulmist.

Jomi pulled a burst of energy up from his core and spread it into the edges of his etherial shroud. Saturating the thin dispersed ribbons of mist that danced around his body as he focused his mind in order to split his soulmist into eight separate ribbons. With a thought the ghost activated the soulmist and shot it towards the pile of books and notes that covered the professors desk. Using the raw kinetic energy to push against the pull of gravity and lift the heavy tomes from below and whip them towards the students.

"Think fast!"
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Lie to Me

Postby Madeira Craven on March 19th, 2019, 8:10 pm

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    There was a metallic scraping sound and a flash of reflected light, and a thin sword arced through the air and stabbed down through Jomi’s shin, foot, and half a centimetre of the wooden floor beneath.

    “That is not how you say hello you slimy little git.” Madeira, a pink tinge in her cheeks from the embarrassing display of her unruly ghost, held the empty half of her cane sword in one hand. The other rested on the handle of the thin imbued sword impaled in the ghost, and was tapping the blade impatiently.

    The air was alive with the fluttering of a hundred loose papers that drifted down like a snowstorm. The few books, all precious personal accounts and a hand written textbook, were crumbled at the far end of the room. The students themselves were shellshocked but recovering fast, straightening their collars and glasses as they recomposed themselves. Thankfully it looked like nobody was seriously hurt, though a man in the second row with mediocre reflexes was messaging the huge bump on his forehead.

    “This is Jomi.” Madeira explained cooly, trying to get back on track as fast as possible. If these people thought she couldn’t control her own servants she would just slip further out of their respect. “He’s been undead for many years and, as you can see, has picked up some very powerful skills and a bad attitude along the way. We will be testing your Lie’s together. Naturally, being alive, I cannot see your Lie. But through graceful possession, something we will practise next season, I can share a ghost’s senses and skills, and will be able to judge appropriately.”

    She wrenched her blade out of the floor, twisting it rather cruelly as it passed through the ghost, as she was still sour about Jomi’s disastrous introduction. She slammed the blade back into it’s sheath and lifted herself back onto the desk, rearranging her skirts around her belly.

    “Royce, since you seem to want this over as fast as possible, step forward. You can be first. If you prove yourself competent in your Lie, you pass.” She tapped the floor in front of her with the butt of her cane, indicating where she wanted him to stand. Sitting on the desk she was closer to eye level with the man. “Any question?”

    Royce stood, dusting off his collar. Though oozing confidence and a twinge of impatience for this dog-and-pony show, he still took pains to approach the desk with as much distance between himself and Jomi as possible. “None.”

    “Excellent. Jomi, join me. Rosie is fine, but if you skip class again you won’t be” The smile she flashed her ghost was venomous, dripping with a barely spoken threat. She long ago figured out that it would be impossible to tame Jomi, but experience taught her he could be cowed. No doubt the Kelvic wanted to air his ever simmering hatred of her, but she’d rather he did so in the privacy of her head.

    “Whenever you’re ready, Royce.”

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    Lie to Me

    Postby Jomi on March 22nd, 2019, 7:03 pm

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    A flash of silver caught in the corner of Jomi's eyes a second too late before the thin rapier blade sunk into the top of his foot. The soulmist enhanced blade tore out his mists before pining them into the floor. A sharp shooting pain shot up his leg as the ghost doubled over and let out a pained croak through pursed lips.

    “That is not how you say hello you slimy little git.”

    Jomi's kept a thin, pained smile on his face and met his masters eye even as his voice rose an entire octave higher. "I hope a bird shits on your face today, slave driver." The pain of torn soulmist was remarkably similar to being stabbed, and although the ghost was strong enough to remove the sword from the floor he was smart enough to not try his luck with a pissed spiritist. Instead the ghost's transparent brows knit together and his lips grew thin and taunt as the ghost pulled his soulmist into his centre. He focused on weaving the etherial substance as tightly as he could to create his idealized body of a young, virile man ten years younger than the body he died in. He wrangled the errant wisps as he solidified his body and added the definition and colour to become a passable imitation human.

    “This is Jomi.”

    "Charmed."

    With Madeira's attention elsewhere the ghost took the opportunity to give her class a more thorough once over. They were much older than any of the students he'd ever seen wandering the towers halls. Decked in their shining Lahvitian embroidered robes and tasteful jewels, many with long grey beards. Jomi felt the superiority roll off the ridged postures and in the intensity of their eye contact.

    Are these your masters Madeira?

    The ghosts face darkened and his eyes turned cruel. These were the people Madeira had to impress, and the ones that would be reporting their professor's skills back to the Craven's. The ghost reckoned his master would do anything to keep him on their good graces and he was already imagining ways to exploit that ambition.

    Jomi's mist reached out discreetly from the tips of his fingers and wound tight around the handle of the sword cane. Each strand woven tightly together around the ornate silver wolfs head before the ghost pulled the latent energy of his soulcore up and saturated it into the ends of his soulmist. Desperate for a respite from the pain, Jomi used the activated mists to pull up on the weapon. He rocked it subtly to release the pressure on his soulmist before his cruel master returned to wrenched her blade out of his foot.

    A long string of curses, both common and turkent, filled the warm, brightly lit room as the spiritist resheathed her blade.

    "Jomi, join me. Rosie is fine, but if you skip class again you won’t be”

    Jomi bared his sharp pointed canines and scowled at the spiritist before vanishing from sight and blinking into the small pregnant woman. The grasping fingers of his mist permeated through her body, filled her mouth and clouded the space behind her eyes. Jomi pushed himself into her muscles and bones and twist his soulmist aggressively to shape his soul around hers before finally settling into the space he'd carved out for himself.
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    Lie to Me

    Postby Madeira Craven on March 29th, 2019, 9:42 pm

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      Madeira moved aside for Jomi's possession with the practiced grace of someone who had done this many times before. Her body knew the feel of the foreign invader, knew his brutal brute force method of weaving through her bones and the taste of his decayed dijed as it filled her body. Her soul accommodated his, making space to share the body without giving one or the other complete control. He was getting better, she noticed. His possessions were seamless transitions, moving deftly through his host without the shaking and stuttering that would make the act obvious. It was over in less than a tick, and it would have taken a very well trained Spiritist to even tell she was possessed.

      Their shared body flexed its fingers around her cane and crossed their legs under her heavy yellow skirt. As Royce stepped in front of her she smiled invitingly, and he shivered. There was something in the bright spark in her familiar pale eyes and the sharp, unfamiliar curve of her smile that made it very obvious this wasn't just their teacher anymore.

      She offered him soulmist from the flask in her pocket, and he smeared it across his own face. Then, with a determined look of concentration, he began to change.

      It was weird seeing it from the other side. Madeira was seeing a Lie, in full, for the first time. She was aware that it was still Royce, since both the ghost and human soul were present and feeding off each other. But she blinked, and suddenly it simply... wasn't him anymore. It was hard to wrap her mind around. Especially with his choice of subject to Lie about.

      Madeira twisted her cane around her hands, squinting at Royce, who stared back as a perfect imitation of herself.

      Suddenly the sheathed cane whizzed in a wide arc and whipped Royce across the thigh. The Madeira mirage flickered and died on his face, and he was once again the rotund, dark haired man she knew him as. He stumbled, clutched his thigh and cursed as the Spiritist cackled.

      "What the petch was that for!?" her student roared.

      "What the petch was that for, professor", she corrected with a very Jomi like sneer. "Did you really think just being able to do the technique means you get to pass? What, do you plan for the ghost to politely put down its arms while you pull your Lie together? Ha! Not a chance. Prove to me you can hold it when you're bleeding and under pressure, exhausted and spent and facing down a dead murderer and then, maybe, you pass this class. Sit down, Royce, you've failed."

      The older man had composed himself and was standing straight again, his dark cheeks flushed and red and his pristine mustachios askew. Both Jomi and Madeira saw the dark flash in his even darker eyes and together the souls recognized what they were seeing. He cant stand to be humiliated, they realized together.

      "Give me one more shot, that was dirty."

      "Make sure you let the suffering souls know that they're suppose to be playing by gentleman's rules."

      "Give me another shot!" his form changed again, and in the space between breaths Royce was a foot shorter and much paler, staring back at Madeira with her own eyes. The real Madeira sniffed disdainfully. Using the image of a person right in front of you was cheap. It would take almost no effort to keep that person's name or image in ones mind.

      "Weak. Don't worry, if your classmates prove themselves more adept you may yet move on. Remember, only half of you need to pass before the whole class can. Now, sit down, if you please." the bone ring on her left hand, carved in the shape of a snarling wolf, felt like it was leeching into her hand. The malediction rumbled through her body, and her voice became a touch deeper, her body language a little more assertive, as it added its intimidation to hers. Royce stood there for a moment longer, wavering between his anger and embarrassment and reason. Finally, turning on his heel, he returned to his desk and sat.

      Madeira tapped her cane sharply against her desk. "Who's next?"

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      Lie to Me

      Postby Jomi on April 16th, 2019, 5:07 am

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      "Who's next?"

      After a tick Morgan Cade eased himself up from the low, hard student chairs and made the laborious trek to the front of the class to stand defiantly before his professor. The old greying face lined with deep wrinkles and liver spots framed the crystalline blue eyes of a much younger man. While missing the hot headed bravo of Master Royce, Cade was calm and composed as he loomed a full head over his possessed teacher and held out his hand to receive her soulmist.

      "Allow me to volunteer for the next test, professor."

      The two souls gave the old man a long and undisguised once-over. They took in his ridged posture and the way the veins in his temples pulsed in time with his heart. It was clear he was bracing himself for the pain she would inflict now that the element of surprise was gone. Madeira exhaled sharply as she stared him down. There weren't going to be any warnings or guidelines to follow in the field. She was going to have to push harder to simulate that same pressure and risk that would accompany a real, situational Lie.

      Without waiting for her answer, Cade plucked the flask of offered soulmist off the desk and spread a handful over his face. The pearly sheen dissipated from the lines in his face and in a tick that face was replaced with that of a young woman.

      Taking the cue Madeira gathered her skirts and slid off the smooth worn wood of the desk to confront the stranger before her. The spiritists eyes flashed as she looked the man over with cocky half grin tugging on the corner of her lips. This must be his daughter, or perhaps a granddaughter, both forms had the same clear blue eyes and wide cheekbones hinting at a relation. Still a cop out, they thought, the face of a loved one you had seen countless times was a beginners trick.

      The souls coiled around each other as the spiritist opened space in her body for the invading ghost. The ghost continued winding his soulmist into Madeira's bones, taking his time to cover the entirety of her body and to familiarize himself with its internal workings. The tendons in the spiritist feet and hands jumped and stretched as the unified pair flexed the muscles in both, taping the ebony cane in a staccato rhythm against the desk.

      "Do you think this Lie is good enough, Master Cade?" Madeira's grin turned cruel as she popped the canes silver head and began to draw the sword. Moving with an agonizing slowness allowing the hidden blade to sing as it slipped easily from its hiding place. "Remember, this bluff is the shield that separates you from the malevolent dead. A single slip of the mind, or a stray thought can break the illusion, and leave you with nothing."

      Madeira could see her student clench his fists at his sides as the eyes of the Lie followed the thin sword. His neck remained stiff and immovable as he followed the ark of the blade as it passed in front of his face. Watching as the point lower and settled on the inside of his ankle.

      "Yes." Cade answered evenly through thin lips in a musical feminine tone only they could hear. "Perhaps someone younger could be bullied by your performance. But I don't fear you."

      Madeira laughed darkly as she leaned into her students space, pressing the sharpened edge of the blade against the unprotected skin of his calf.

      "No, you don't fear your proffesser, but she's not here right now. Or did you forget?"

      Madeira tilted the sword upward and began to raise the hem of the nobleman's pristine robes. The blade jumped sporadicly on its journey as it caught on the wiry black hairs on the inside of his thigh. The old mans Lie remained neutral in expression, even as his body twitched and jumped in time with the sword.

      "Should we make a bet? Do you think Madeira can reassert herself before I do something she's really going to regret?"

      Without warning Madeira simultaneously lifted the sword and drew it back. A flash of silver glinted off the thin metal as Cade inhaled sharply and jumped back out of harms way. Eyes wide, startled and very much his own. The smooth porcelain skin vanished and was replaced with dusty grey lines as the Lie broke apart.

      "You failed. Sit down."
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      Lie to Me

      Postby Madeira Craven on April 17th, 2019, 10:52 pm

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        Perhaps some of Jomi's energy was mirroring in the Spiritist, like a kelvic bond the ghost was no longer capable of. Because as old man Cade sat back down, ashamed but accepting her verdict gracefully, she found she was angry. These were the people she wasn't able to win respect from, and they were proving themselves incapable. These were the best of the best, and they were so far below the level her family demanded of its members that it was almost laughable. How dare they look down on her. She was better than they were in every way that mattered.

        The thought was shared between the two souls in the Spiritist's pregnant body, her pride feeding his malice, and his discontent feeding her resentment. She was done beating the weak students. She just needed one more to fail the whole class, and she wasn't about to make them think she took the easy way out.

        "Aldgare Dusk, sir?" the human spoke sweetly, yet her smile was a little too wide, showing a little too much teeth. "Step forward please."

        The patriarch of the Tower nodded politely in acknowledgement and stood, showing absolutely none of the discomfort the rest of the class was marinating in. He walked himself to the front of the class to stand in front of his diminutive teacher, and on his mouth, just in the very corners, was that mysterious quirk in his lips that was half smile and half frown. It was the same expression he wore the first time they met, when he sat her down in the solar and flayed her open with Auristics to expose all her secrets for his scrutiny. Madeira and Jomi both feared him, in different, complicated ways. But they were the masters now, and even if he was the best this school had to offer he was nowhere near their level. Madeira offered him the battered holy flask with a sardonic little bow.

        "That is a remarkable Grace, professor", The old man chuckled, taking the offered soulmist and applying it liberally to his face. "Even if I'm about to be walloped It's a privilege to have it administered by such a powerful ghost and masterful Spiritist."

        Praise from someone both souls feared and respected elicited confused feelings, which quickly sparked into annoyance as they were made to doubt themselves.

        "Then I hope you feel honoured", she laughed prettily, and her sheathed cane swung overhand through the air.

        But suddenly it wasn't Aldgare in front of them anymore, it was Allister. The Lie was competently strung together, with none of the glaring inconsistencies of an amateur. Yet even knowing it was a Lie, and being intimately familiar with all aspects of the technique, it wasn't the mind that reacted in that moment. Only centimeters from Aldgare's shoulder that masterful Grace he praised them for shattered, as the Spiritist wrenched control from the ghost. The shared body stuttered with the sudden violent change and the cane dropped to the floor with a clatter. The two souls had such a different reaction to the sight of the ugly, ropy Kelvic hyena that the delicate balance of the Grace tipped completely to the more powerful of the two occupants. And that one was the one who cared if Allister got hurt.

        There was a moment of shocked silence as Madeira stood there empty handed in front of her class, blinking in confusion. What just happened?

        Spiritism was barely magic. That was the first thing she told her beginners class. It was only one magic technique, soulmist production, that was applied in creative ways. Even a novice could pull some amazing stunts if the novice was clever enough. If Aldgare had pulled the Lie too early she would have been able to process it for what it was and still would have been able to beat him bloody. But he waited until the very last moment, and let her give in to her gut reaction. No, more than that. He knew Allister meant a lot to her, but he must have known Jomi's feelings for him wouldn't be nearly as strong, if he had any at all. He chose Allister, and pulled it at the last moment, not just to veer her attack but to break her Grace. The novice broke her masterful grace, not because he was more powerful, but he knew how to use what little power he had.

        With effort she stuffed down the humiliation in her and Jomi, diffusing the heat in her cheeks. That was fair. He had beaten her and her little test. The arrogance was leaking out through the hole the man had torn into her pride.

        "You pass, sir. Return to your seat", she brightly colour Spiritist, armoured in yellow silk and diamonds, nodded humbly.

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        Lie to Me

        Postby Madeira Craven on April 28th, 2019, 10:36 pm

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        Madeira Craven

        Skills
        • Teaching: 3xp
        • Leadership: 2xp
        • Negotiation: 1xp
        • Weapon-Cane Sword: 3xp
        • Intimidation: 2xp
        • Spiritism: 1xp

        Lores
        • Leadership: obedience or respect?
        • Teaching: alumni are difficult students
        • Negotiation: meeting in the middle ground
        • Intimidation: threats for compliance
        • Teaching: issuing tests
        • Royce: a difficult student
        • Jomi: impossible to tame
        • Jomi: improving abilities
        • Spiritism: seeing a Lie from the other side
        • Cane Sword: sheathed whip
        • Teaching: tough love
        • Royce: cannot stand to be humiliated
        • Aldgare Dusk: a novice spiritist broke a master Grace

        Awards & Retribution


        Jomi

        Skills
        • Materialization: 2xp
        • Soulmist Projection: 2xp
        • Possession: 2xp
        • Observation: 1xp
        • Teaching: 1xp
        • Intimidation: 1xp

        Lores
        • Ghosts: epic grudge holders
        • Lore of Madeira’s new class
        • Soulmist projection: eight ribbon technique
        • Soulmist Projection: levering imbued weapons
        • Self Advice: never try your luck with a pissed spiritist
        • Lore of Madeira’s masters
        • Madeira: has exploitable ambition
        • Intimidation: wordless threats
        • Bullying: younger targets are easiest

        Awards & Retribution


        Notes
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