Solo Hidden Talents

Aster proves she can be more than just a pretty face.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Hidden Talents

Postby Asterope on February 25th, 2019, 3:32 pm

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52nd of winter, 518 AV

She supposed, as far as jobs for slaves went, that cleaning wasn't the worst. Aster wiped down the old, creaky table with a damp cloth, wrinkling her nose as dust drifted into the air.

She was still waiting for Alard to demand more base uses of her, to make use of her rather than one of the many whorehouses she assumed the city had to offer. So far, he had kept his hands off her; she wasn't sure if there was a reason for it, but she counted it as a small blessing.

Still...dusting and tidying the small apartment hardly made Aster feel productive. Finishing wiping down the table, Asterope turned to dunk the cloth in the small bucket of water, mindful not to dip her injured hand in the dirty water.

Wringing the cloth out and lost in her own thoughts, she startled when the door suddenly slammed open. Aster whipped around, her heart in her throat, but calmed slightly when she saw Alard. He was a familiar evil, at the very least.

The man looked thunderous, his face set in a deep scowl as he stormed into the room, one hand clutching his other bicep. The sleeve of his shirt, Aster noticed, was wet with blood.

The Eth stood back as Alard stormed across the room, swearing and muttering angrily. She watched him sit on the edge of the bed, hissing in pain as he pulled his shirt off roughly. It gave her some measure of satisfaction.

Of course, now she had a dilemma. Did she go against her very nature, the deep instinct that drove her, and let him suffer? It wouldn't be lying to say a dark part of her would enjoy it. Or did she do what she knew was right, and offer to help?

As she watched, torn between her options, Alard reached up to prod at the cut on his bicep, and her decision was made for her when she spoke automatically, her tone slightly chiding. "Don't touch it, your hands are dirty. You could get an infection."

Keeping things clean was the first and most important thing she had ever learned; Nara had continued to stress it well into their time together. Infection is more dangerous than any wound, the familiar phrase came to Aster's mind. She could hear Nara's voice perfectly, as if she was right there beside her.

Alard looked up, narrowing his eyes at Asterope suspiciously. "Oh yeah? And how would you know that, sunshine?" He challenged, and Aster realized the corner she'd backed herself into.

"I worked with herbs and medicine. Before." Aster avoided Alard's gaze, his mouth curled into a sneer that faded as he arched a brow at her. It felt strange and uncomfortable to discuss her old life with one of those who was directly responsible for ripping her away from it.

"Is that so?" Alard drawled, thoughtfully, narrowing his gaze at her. Aster gave a curt, silent nod. After a moment, Alard grunted. "Come here, then."
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Asterope
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Hidden Talents

Postby Asterope on March 27th, 2020, 4:02 pm

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Aster hesitated, then walked over to where Alard sat. Her fingers itched to reach up and look over the wound, and she shoved the urge down. She shouldn't care if he was hurt. She would do worse to him if she could, given the chance.

"What happened?" She finally asked, as the silence stretched on. Alard grunted.

"Some asshole who thought he was better than me," Alard muttered, sneering again. "Thought he could shove on by and disrespect me. Petcher pulled a knife on me when I clocked him one."

Aster was silent; she didn't know what else he had expected to happen, in a city like this. He had probably been hoping for a fight. Either way he almost definitely deserved it. Aster was surprised he hadn't come away with worse injuries, to be honest. And perhaps slightly disappointed.

"So," Alard interrupted her thoughts. "What can you do about this?" He motioned to the slice across his bicep, and Aster took that as permission, gently prodding around the edges of the wound. Her hands were still dirty from cleaning, so she was extra mindful not to touch it directly.

"I don't think it's so deep it needs stitches. There's not a huge amount I can do without any proper supplies," she said, glancing at Alard. He grunted again, rubbing his hand over his jaw.

"I might have some shit left over from the last time I took a nasty slice to the leg. It would be in the drawers over there if there's anything," he motioned to the dresser across the room. Aster turned, walking over and rummaging around in the drawer he had pointed to.

There wasn't much. A roll of bandages, the outer layer dirty and yellowed from age, rolled towards her as she opened the drawer, and a small jar slid along as well. Aster picked it up, turning it over in her hands. It was mostly empty; what remained was a paste of some sort, beginning to dry up. The faded lettering on the label read 'krolar'. That she knew; she'd made and used it herself more than once. She wasn't sure how effective it would be, given the state it was in, but it was better than nothing.

Gathering up the meager supplies, Aster scrounged around until she found a mostly empty bottle of clear spirits as well; that part was easier said than done, since Alard went through his booze like a fish did water. "What's that for?" He grunted, as he watched Aster fish the bottle out from beside the dresser.

"To clean it," she said, as she grabbed a clean rag and walked back over to Alard, who was watching with what seemed to be genuine curiosity. She paused briefly to rinse her hands as best she could in the basin of cleaner water in the corner.

"Who'd have thought you knew something useful, sunshine," Alard chuckled. "Specially something like petching medicine. You been holding out on me? You more than just a pretty face? Got some smarts between those petchin' antlers of yours, maybe?" His words became more mocking as he went on, and Aster gritted her teeth together, ignoring him as she set her supplies down on the bed beside Alard.

They're horns, not antlers, the sulky thought surfaced in her mind as she unstopped the bottle of alcohol, pouring some onto the rag. "This is going to sting," she said, before wiping the wound with the alcohol-soaked rag. And if she was a bit rougher than necessary with her ministrations, then, well...it's not like Alard knew any better.

He swore loudly, grimacing. "Petchin gods above, woman, be gentle," he snapped. Okay, so maybe he did notice. Biting her tongue, Aster gentled her wiping motions slightly so that she was no longer practically scrubbing the wound.

"I don't know if this is even going to do anything," she said, as she set the now bloody rag aside. "This is ancient." She picked the small jar up, opening it and scraping off the top layer of drying paste as best as she could.

"S'fine," Alard shrugged. "Anything is better than going to that damned doctor. 'Sides, it's not like I'm gonna die or anything from this. Just a petching scratch, really."

Aster made a noncommital noise as she scooped up as much of the paste as she could onto her fingers, beginning to carefully spread it over the wound. "What doctor?" She asked, and Alard let out a dark laugh.

"Oh darling, but the one and only good doctor of Sunberth, of course." Alard's voice was tight and grim. Whoever this doctor was, clearly his reputation preceded him.

"Why do you say it like that?" She pressed; she was treading near dangerous territory with her questions, but her curiosity was piqued. What sort of doctor prompted such a grim tone and such words of sarcastic dread?
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Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
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Hidden Talents

Postby Asterope on April 13th, 2021, 10:36 pm

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Alard was silent for a long moment as Aster spread the paste over his wound, peeking at him nervously from the corner of her eyes every so often. Had she pissed him off? Was he waiting for her to finish treating his wound before he backhanded her across the room? Was he leaving her to sit in the silence, building her anxiety, on purpose?

He finally snorted out a breath, and Aster released her own; she hadn't even realized she'd been holding it. Alard gave a slight shake of his head. "The north end of the city is called the Den. You think what you see in the streets around here's bad? The Den is the bloodiest damn place this side of the petching Suvan. Not even any of the gangs have control up there."

Aster listened silently; it was difficult to imagine a place within the city that was somehow even worse than the rest of it. She put the lid back on the jar, setting it aside, and wiped her fingers clean on the cloth she'd used to clean Alard's wound.

"The mad bastard calls himself Doctor Petricious, but I'd be hard-pressed to say he knows a damn proper thing about actual medicine. He deals with the Den, crazy enough as he is, and if you go to him for help you're just as likely to come out with your scraped arm bandaged up and the other one chopped clean off." Alard continued, and Aster frowned deeply to herself. That hardly sounded like a man of medicine or healing.

Alard's voice dropped low as he put some theatrics into his explanation, seeming to take some measure of delight in Aster's discomfort at what she was being told. "Some people say, on a quiet night, if you take a walk near the Den, you can hear his victims screaming all the way from his shack where he tortures and experiments on them. And if you stop and linger to listen for too long...you might just be next," Alard hissed the last word, and lunged forward with his good arm to pinch Aster in the waist.

Despite herself, she flinched, clamping her teeth down hard on a yelp of surprise, but a muffled sound still left her throat anyway. The pinch was hard enough to leave her skin aching, and she knew she would have a bruise. She scowled at Alard, who was busy howling with laughter, head thrown back and hand over his stomach. "Very funny," she muttered, unrolling the old bandages and tearing off the length where the outside had been exposed to the dirty, dusty drawer.

"Aw c'mon sunshine, lighten up," Alard chuckled, wiping an invisible tear from his eyes. "You shoulda seen the look on your face. It was too good an opportunity to pass up." He grinned at her, but she ignored him, winding the bandage around his arm and tying it in place.

"Shyke, not so tight," Alard swore, and she gave another yank on the knot out of pure spite. She hadn't always known herself to be so petty, but now, she was taking her hits where she could get them.

Alard narrowed his eyes at her, but she smoothed the bandage out and then began gathering up the medical supplies to put away. "Well," Aster finally spoke, "I suppose you don't have to worry about going to see him and getting your arm chopped off anymore, then, since you have me now." Her tone was half matter-of-fact, half bitter.

"And ain't I lucky for that," Alard crooned behind her, as she put away the meager supplies. Aster bit her tongue, her thoughts wandering to the supposed crazed doctor, wondering what sort of person would use healing as a front for what sounded like horrible torture, if Alard was to be believed.

But then again, perhaps she was putting too much faith in his word.
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Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
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Hidden Talents

Postby Asterope on April 13th, 2021, 10:46 pm

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Here are your bright, shiny grades...
Enjoy!


Asterope

Skills

☀Cleaning +1
☀Medicine +1


Lores

☀Aster: Doesn't feel productive cleaning
☀Alard: A familiar evil
☀Aster: Tempted to let Alard suffer
☀Medicine: Infection is more dangerous than a wound
☀Aster: Helps even when she doesn't want to
☀The Den: The worst part of Sunberth
☀Doctor Petricious: Crazed doctor who works in the Den
☀Doctor Petricious: Tortures and experiments on patients
☀Alard: Enjoys Aster's discomfort
☀Aster: Capable of being petty when she wants to be


Thank you for your patience! As always, please don't forget to delete or edit your grading request in the queue. Otherwise, if you have any questions or concerns about your grades, then just PM me and let me know!
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The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


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