Solo Barter and Brush

The sincerest form of flattery. [Job Thread]

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

Barter and Brush

Postby Caspian on May 16th, 2019, 2:23 am

2 Spring 519

Committing the city to memory had not come without its misrememberings. Caspian had a fair excellence for the exercise, Sunberth having had its share of winding lanes, doorways only known by ducking, counterintuitively placed dead ends and industrial stopgaps in place of renovation. With time, he had in the course of his errant employments and middling meanderings wound through the lanes whenever they led, ducked and chucked past thresholds hung low and wide, seen the dead ends’ designs through to their intuitive intentions - or circumvented them entirely, because it takes a fool to find themselves in the crook of one in a pinch - and learned how best to pitch himself over crumbling walkways and canals alike. It had taken more than one ill-timed mistake to make apparent the errors in his recollection, Taalviel soaring to his aid more frequently than any self-respecting transplant Sunberthian has any room to admit. In Ravok, now, the stakes are considerably lower - one is less likely to find that some unsavory someone’s taken up decrepit residence in said such dead ends - and Caspian’s discovered a delight in the act of turning a corner and suddenly finding that his surroundings fail to meet any of his expectations.

The joy of it comes less in the backtracking - it’s an opportunity to learn something about the city, when he comes across paths that fork and twist in ways he hadn’t predicted, and observe himself, as if from some detached, third-person perspective, take it all in turn.

The surprise that meets him on the second day of spring is much along these lines. The self-instilled freedom he’s found in Ravok has him dressed in his cheery, cherry-red linen, a convenient shade for someone who partakes in wine and flowered liquors as often as he does - thought that had recently been a point of contention, because he and Thance had gotten fairly into it at the Silver Sliver the other night, rife with enough argumentative gesticulating to have knocked a goblet clean across his right sleeve, and it had been a hell of a third of a bell getting the subsequent stains out - but a bright blazon is what he is today, one who’s realizing that the bridge that leads directly to a certain milliner does not, in fact, rest just beyond the canal upon which he’s just turned.

Instead of the bridge, and regarding Caspian with the same type of scrutiny someone might lend to a bucket of scraps abandoned in a kitchen corner, is a scruffy man dressed in wrinkled swaths of fabric that might have once been beige, had they not been so covered in splatters of plaster and paint. From here - which, frankly, is quite close enough - it’s hard to tell what articles of clothing the man is wearing. All kinds, possibly, one ragged pair of slacks over a halved other, a tunic thrown atop a shredded blouse, with the barest remnants of a quilted cloak across his shoulders like a holy mantle- but also none, possibly, because it also looks quite like he’s wrapped a bedsheet across himself, tied the lot with a length of sailor’s rope, and let the whole of it rot until it molded into the divets and crevices of the form he sees now.

And Caspian’s the one getting eyeballed like he’s the hot mess?

“Good. You’re here,” the man says, with a clarity of tone greatly exceeding the alcohol-laced slur lined with a smoker’s rasp that Caspian had expected.

“Excuse me?” Caspian replies - and that’s the mistake, the point at which he ought to have known better, because idling is what starts things that one might not necessarily have the time or fortitude to lend, especially when strangers are involved. The second mistake is reciprocating eye contact; the third is losing the momentum he’d reserved for shoving his hands into his pockets and simply walking past.

“I’ve been waiting. All morning,” the man goes on, with such a steadiness and surety that for a split second Caspian does hesitate, and wonder if this is an appointment he had made and is by some chance keeping. “Tardy. You are. Infernally. Yes-“

His eyes have left Caspian’s, and he seems quite taken with the shade of his shirt. There’s a blotch of similar hue across his own heavily splattered tunic-shawl, robe... sack? of which he’s taken impeccable inventory, and finding it reflected on Caspian appears to bring him great satisfaction.

“Here now, though, aren’t I?” Caspian replies. If this were Sunberth he certainly wouldn’t entertain this any further - but it’s not, and he can afford a little frivolity, though he can imagine just what Taalviel might say if she saw him now, the absence of frivolity in her vocabulary and philosophies then you substituted for a designation less genial. “Better late than never, hmm?” he adds for good measure, his love for pursuing amusement making him curious to see where this might lead, and also, if things go south - it’s just a hop and a skip over a canal to safety for him, and he can’t picture this man in his ramshackle tatters doing very much about it, even if he tries.

This appears to mollify the stranger, who with a businesslike affectation - because, it seems, the two of them are in business? - produces a roll of canvas tied with twine from a satchel at his side, the fabric forming the satchel equally warped and stained, so as to have camouflaged against the rest of him.

Gingerly, unwilling to draw to any more intimate of a distance, Caspian accepts the canvas, eases off the twine binding, and unfurls at length what ends up being a modestly sized oil painting, depicting a sea against land, beneath an expanse of sky. Puzzled, Caspian looks back to the stranger, who has the gall now to look impatient and tap his foot with incensing rhythm.

“Well?” the man says, as if any of this should mean anything. “What are you waiting for?”

It’s not a bad painting. A little derivative in the subject matter, but handsome, as these things go -

“You must forgive me,” Caspian replies, “for deciding to give you the runaround. But I’m now quite certain you’ve got me mistaken for someone else.” He proffers the painting back, but the stranger only squints at it, up at the sunlight bearing down, then towards the crimson in which he’s draped.

“Mistake? No. A making-do.”

He hem and haws - and Caspian chooses, that moment and the next, to linger.

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Barter and Brush

Postby Caspian on May 17th, 2019, 2:28 am

The stranger’s name is Akvin, and for someone aesthetically embodying the grittier stages of molting, he speaks with a startling amount of lucidity. Had he not so readily articulated his objectives for the day and the roll of painted canvas, Caspian likely would have tossed the bundle back at him - or, not unlikely, taken off at a sprint with it still in hand? He doesn’t need it, but he’s past the age and time of stealing out of necessity, a right luxury - but okay, he might have probably passed it back or dropped it where he stands, in renewed pursuit of his original intentions for leaving home today, which were to find a new cravat, of a predetermined color approximating marigold, because he’s been irritated for a fortnight and it’s the second day of spring and he deserves a little sprucing.

At one point in his elucidation, Akvin emphatically grabs Caspian by the wrist, gripping him tightly and drawing him near. “You never saw me, you understand? We never met. You never heard my name.” He stronger than he looks, and releases him abruptly.

“Then my in with this group of strangers, grouped for reasons beyond my academic depth is what, exactly?” Caspian asks.

“Academic!” Akvin snorts. “He calls this ‘academics’!”

After the decision to mummify his body rather than putting on a regular set of clothing, orating to an invisible audience ranks a close second on Caspian’s list of hints that the stranger he’s taken up with may not be altogether there. But it’s too late now (not really, but, that’s what he’d shrug it off with to Taalviel) and with one last glance down the lane, the length of the immediate canal, and the innocuous ravosala rowing past bearing a driver who’s paying them no mind -

Under a shimmering spring sun, he sets off alone for a certain warehouse by the northwestern rim of the Docks as he’s bidden, Akvin’s painting in hand.

What a self-professed artist might or might not wear is up for debate; everything from the unmarked threshold claiming association to an address, to the mound of wax holding the front deskman’s moustache in permanent twirl, is fairly up for it.

“As you are!” Akvin had sworn is all the attire Caspian needs for this infiltration, and looking around at the range of the populace in the studio, it had been - again, debatably? - the right call. The bright reds of his beloved linen are a target in and of themselves, but they pale here in comparison to what the artists frowning and milling and harrying about have decided is appropriate attire. Someone in the far corner is a mass of trembling feathers and fur; a woman slipping past with a fistful of pastels has made it clear she will only address and be addressed by others wearing approximately as many ruffles; Caspian slides onto a stool beside a woman dressed entirely in black satin, wearing thick, towering heels, and of the lot of them she’s one of the tamest.

The front deskman hasn’t done much to screen him, afforded him the barest of abbreviated glances up and down, but the master of the studio’s taken a keener interest - good, someone really ought to, because if breaching some level of security isn’t involved this job is less spying and more of a polite inquiry - and he’s sidling past and through the space overly occupied by hopeful artists and equipment alike to peer down at Caspian through a double-rimmed, aquamarine-tinted pince-nez.

“Can I see some credentials?” he asks, and Caspian racks his brain for anything relevant, the name of another studio, a gallery he might have once wandered past, a noun or a name that one might point to on map that would be recognizable in Ravokian form, to validate his feigned interest -

But, coming up short, he uses what’s at hand.

With a flourishing flick of his wrist, he reveals the contents of the canvas roll, and silently holds it up for inspection.

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Barter and Brush

Postby Caspian on May 19th, 2019, 9:14 pm

With a tick of satisfaction - inorganic, surely, belonging to this character he’s currently employed to play, because this isn’t his world - Caspian notes he’s arrested the attentions of at least half the room. Someone who up until this point had been seated behind him even goes out of their way to feign needing to retrieve a certain brush from one of the bins up front, and takes their conspicuously sweet time to rummage. Whether anyone likes what they see, though, is beyond Caspian’s ken. It’s not that they’re the most complicated people he’s gotten tangled with, or with the most - or even the least - to lose. But they’ve all got this thing in common, aside from their curiously inspired wardrobes, where an expression finds some foothold, but forcefully arrests itself at a halfway point and twists itself to the contrary.

Intentional, these facades, at least on some of them, as willfully selected as so many of the other trappings in the studio.

The owner’s opinion, though, is what gainfully matters. Caspian looks him directly in the eyes, and wonders what his appropriate response ought to be, if he’s told the painting he’s holding actually has no merit.

“Needs more land,” the studio master harrumphs, “and a touch more sea.” With little regard for boundaries, he plucks a bound leather portfolio out of the hands of a nearby student, flicking swiftly through sketches and half-materialized revisions - all of which, Caspian realizes, are of a near-identical landscape to the very painting Akvin had packed him off with.

“Like this, you see?” The studio master jabs a meaty finger at one of the many renditions. To Caspian’s untrained eyes, there aren’t any overwhelming differences between this particular iteration and the previous dozen he’s been shown, or even necessarily to the painting he’s been sent to call his own.

“More land,” he decides to parrot. “Less sea.”

The studio master sighs under the weight of an eternal and unbridgeable dissatisfaction, despite Caspian’s potentially doing exactly what he’s asked for. The snide remark that Caspian might have made fortunately has no opportunity to make itself public, as the studio master waves him and the whole of it off, terrorizing the work on someone else’s easel suddenly more imminent on his agenda.

“I can stay, then? And I heard it’s a gold piece for each bit -?”

Another wave, as good and attentive an affirmation as he’s going to find.

He’s left alone, then, with his own easel and canvas, the terms of his labors here proving to be exactly as Akvin had described.

The issue at hand, as Akvin had duly employed him to undertake, is that this particular studio, devoted to creating art by mass, for the masses, and according to the masses’ desires, has landed on Akvin as their most recent trend of emulation. The landscape of sea, land and sky, to be specific - and though Caspian has his doubts as to whether any one being can lay claim to as celestial of entities as those -

Well, he supposed he isn’t hired for examination of motivation.

Only to watch, and wait, and see things through.

Idly, he draws a brush at random out of the splattered bunch at the easel’s side.

Sky’s blue, isn’t it?

Guess he’ll start there.

If it goes very poorly right off the bat, he’ll turn the thing on its head, and call it the sea.

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Barter and Brush

Postby Caspian on May 22nd, 2019, 12:42 pm

Arm poised in midair, prepared to dash forth with a dab of cerulean, Caspian hesitates, staring at the blank canvas.

It stares right back.

Who knew an expanse of - well, nothing, could be so imposing?

With a surreptitious glance to either side of him, Caspian examines his neighbors’ progress. To his dismay, the both of them are a flurry of dashes and strokes, with very little room for pause, that industrious self-assuredness reflected from the rest of the room.

Untangling the philosophy driving the scene playing out around him is not, thankfully, his mission. On that sunny, abandoned turn of a canal, Akvin had demanded but two objectives.

Firstly, he only needs to stake it out here long enough to glean the scale of the operation, when the studio master plans to roll out his fleet of counterfeits, and the extent to which he’s mimicking Akvin’s work point for hatch. Secondly, and not so separately from the firstly, but it helps him feel like he’s keeping his head above water if he parses and sects - the studio master has an old sketch of Akvin’s in his possession, of near identical laying out of its components of earth, land, and sea, but it’s the originator, as his newest employer’s put it, now in the hands of an intended proliferator, the consequences of which Caspian’s presence are the intended effective terminator.

It’s already stark, his being frozen while the painter to his right’s already shunted a completed landscape to the side to dry, and with scarcely space for a breath in between, has already started up anew.

Worse though, isn’t it, to hold still? But the permanence of it stays his hand, the sudden conception that if he were to blue and blacken the canvas, as yet pristine and looming like an Avanthal winter - were he to hack and slash with his complete lack of experience, it would stay precisely that way, without possibility of recall, for the scrutiny of all.

Why he feels ashamed and arrested at prospects that truthfully have nothing to do with him -

“- I like what you did to reflect light off the tides,” the woman with the high heels beside him says warmly.

Caspian jumps in his seat. Ah, right - she means the demonstration he’d gone out of his way to wave under everyone’s nose.

Nowhere to hide - and she’s still looking.

“... thank you. Took me a fortnight to figure out that trick,” Caspian lets his mouth run, hoping his mind runs a bit faster to reach something more convincing before he’s prompted to say it. He’s betting that a little self-deprecation, relatively speaking, can’t go wrong. This proves to be the acceptable tack to take, the woman following through with the conspiratorial half-smile of a fellow hopeful novice.

“Do you know how refreshing it is to hear someone say that?” Her body language flexes a fraction looser, ready to regard him as a comrade in arms. “So many people think there’s a mystique to this. To art as a whole, but especially in this medium.”

“Right,” he says, ready to affirm her whatever her biases and dispositions may be. “It’s absolutely not just waving your arms and summoning an invisible muse. Here’s what I think - “ And he’s leaving in, towards her and into his cobbled character of the hour. “The number of concepts is finite. Everything we might conceive, draft and redraft, take from the air and onto a page - it’s all been done before, an infinite number of times over. We’re bastards’ bastards, doomed to reconstitute the bastards that came before them.”

He’s picked up velocity by the end of it, with a good bit of volume, and realizes hotly that the woman in heels isn’t the only one listening.

Glances shift conspicuously back to easels when he glances pointedly in turn.

It seems that no matter the aesthetic outliers of the crowd one finds themselves in, if you loudly exclaim while wearing crimson, people are bound to stare.

She’s into it, though.

“That’s what I love about working here,” she tails him unabashedly. “Melvin, he actually gets that. It’s practice, and technique, and reinforcing what factors produce the results they do. It’s predictable, in that way - and it gives access to art for the masses. And it doesn’t make that art any less valuable than someone lofty and alone, slaving over a single piece for a season.”

Debatable, again, these philosophies that aren’t entirely foreign, but take up a frame that up until today hasn’t rung with any relevance to him.

She’s so in, though, as he’s noted - and so is he. “How long have you been working here?” he asks.

“Since last autumn.” She crosses one slim, heavy-heeled leg over the other, and absentmindedly - no, perfectly practiced and perfunctorily resumes curving her land against sea.

“Pay must be pretty decent, then?”

“As you said - gold miza a piece. After the trial month, that is. Between then and now he might throw you a few silvers, if you’re fast and any good.”

“Doesn’t he get bored, seeing the same scene a thousand times over?”

She shrugs. “When you’re in love, you’re in love.”

With mizas, maybe. The subject matter’s inoffensive enough to peddle forever, and though he might be biased to have some sympathy for Akvin, it’s not that he can’t take some stock in the business model.

“What inspired him?”

She swirls the suggestion of a gust of wind with a contoured stroke. “There’s an old sketch in the back office. He won it at a card game about a month ago.” She shrugs. “I’m all for it. Up until then our winter revolved around painting - petch, what was it? Baskets full of some sort of tropical fruit.”

Exotic fare to the daily Ravokian, it seems. Enough to purchase and hang on a wall.

He smiles at her, frowns internally at his still blank canvas, and steals a glance at the back office door.

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Barter and Brush

Postby Caspian on May 31st, 2019, 12:43 pm

“Don’t let me keep you!” Caspian’s neighbor says, and her words are warm enough, but it’s a disjointed and confusing statement until he remembers that he’s at this moment meant to be playing an alternate but admittedly not so drastically distant version of himself who’s here to make a living.

He glances at the yet untouched canvas, then back at her.

He’d just had to go and run off at the mouth, hadn’t he, and make sure that the people in his vicinity took notice. The satisfaction he’d gleaned from it had been paltry and fleeting as he had very much known it would be, and he had gone and done it all the same.

Melvin the studio master appears beside him suddenly, and a spy probably shouldn’t be startled if they can help it, and he’d sensed him approaching, though that knowledge doesn’t make this point of stalling any less nerve-wracking.

Time is money, and of Melvin, Caspian is burning both. Beating him to any punch he may have queued, Caspian swipes the acrylic glob of blue balanced on the end of his brush. The result is a startling slash against the blank expanse, and were he alone he would have hesitated, stepped back and regarded the effect from a distance, or - wouldn’t it be better, as a seamstress might, to lean in and peer close -? But he isn’t alone, and Melvin is breathing rather heavily through both nostrils and lingering in his blind spot - though that’s not something a decent spy ought to have either.

Mimicking what he’d seen since entering the studio, the flurry between dabbing at palette held by the less dextrous hand, and dashing at the canvas, Caspian performs the cycle as furiously as he can. It becomes apparent that the larger the stroke of his brush, the more ground he covers - but the less of the canvas there is, and subsequently more of a demand that he grow closer to creating images of respectable recognizability. Smaller strokes, then, to give off the impression of working, without having to commit to much -

“Wouldn’t have taken you for a pointillist,” Melvin harrumphs.

Caspian misses the blot of approximately-blue he’s been working with and adds an inadvertent splash of lime green to his intended sea.

Suppose that’s where the land portion’s just going to have to begin, then.

Melvin’s still appraising him.

Right. Because as an artist-aspirer, the terminology ought to be evoking something in him right now, bubbling identification or snotty rejection based on subjectively cultivated sensibilities. Any reaction would be better, certainly, than the blank stare he’s still not sure how to manipulate.

Context clues are key - and if he observes the root word of the term and compares it to what he may have inadvertently done to his canvas -

Ah. The dotting strokes.

“If you’d rather I -“ Caspian begins, but fortunately isn’t lended the space to finish a statement he hasn’t yet planned through, as Melvin’s moved on to someone in the vicinity who’s gone for a whole lot of sky and not much else.

Well. This has gone on long enough.

First order of business -

“How many are we meant to do?” he asks the high-heeled woman beside him. “Of this lot, I mean. And for how long, exactly?”

“Melvin wants fifty of this landscape from you by week’s end, a hundred by the fortnight. After that he’s packing them off to his distributor. If I were you, though,” she replies glancing curiously between his professed portfolio and fresh attempt, “I’d try for more than the daily average. It’s hell on your wrist after a while, and you get slower than you should.”

Right, fortnight. Done. And the second order of business -

A young man somehow more harried and frantic than Caspian is scampers by, arms full of acrylics and dirty brushes, a jug of murky water and further apparatuses he can’t name.

Better and far less risky ways to do this, he’s sure - but he glances back at the woman, gives her a wink, and without looking away, sticks his well-booted leg out and sends the young man tripping head over heels.

The burden goes scattering along with the young man’s wits, followed by the rest of the class. The flaying of paintbrushes and stained accoutrements had sent pigments splattering across other canvases in the room, completed and just-bloomed alike, marring the outfits and faces that had undergone equal toil that morning. Leaving the pack to furiously descend upon the innocent Caspian has decreed the day’s martyr, and noting that Melvin had gone straight to the center of the chaos, he slips round the mess and into the back room.

There’s a questionable number of bare mannequins in Melvin’s office, in one corner stacked as high as the ceiling, and half-birthed papier-mâché masks molded into busts and some of them have gone so far as to have mouths and eyes but not necessarily both at once - but time is of the essence and he hasn’t much of it, and if you were a scrap of a sketch won at a card game likely because the two players hadn’t much else of value to go on but that’s neither here nor there -

Ah. As predicted, it’s on the very top of the contents of the office desk drawer.

That being now in his possession, rolled tightly and slipped carefully into his right boot -

Out the way he came? No -

There’s a window in the office, a bit higher up than could be utilized for peering out of, half cracked and leading out onto the street. With one last glance back at the office door, he boosts himself up to the ledge with a lithe step from Melvin’s chair - finds that the ledge is narrower than he’d anticipated, and ends up steadying himself with the other hand firmly grasping a shoulder jutting out from the mannequin mountain. Stifling an internal shudder, he hoists himself up and out, the window giving way with a manageable amount of exertion.

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Barter and Brush

Postby Caspian on June 8th, 2019, 10:49 pm

Finding Akvin again happens quite by accident.

It feels accidental - it ought to be, because the converse implication is that Akvin had been waiting for him, as informed by premonitional powers conferred to him by something higher than them both.

Following his escape from the studio master’s office, Caspian had not promptly sought the safeties of his employer nor his own home. The stakes did not seem to particularly warrant them, as in the worst case scenario, his pursuers had most lethally at their disposal something that looked like a cake carver, and if one of them had decided to bundle up one of the easels and swing it like a bat, he supposed that would hurt and should be avoided. But there is nothing to avoid, no real reason to scamper, and if he were to move any quicker than his current strolling pace, that would prove to be the more suspicious of actions that he could commit.

Just as their initial meeting, Akvin is waiting just beyond a corner Caspian turns on his way to that very same milliner from which he’d been thwarted - because if he didn’t already deserve a shiny new frippery yesterday, he’s certainly earned it now.

Akvin looms towards him with menacing momentum, and in the growing dusk the suddenness of the visage has Caspian stumbling back, and were it not for a chain railing, sent him tipping backwards into the immediate canal.

“Is it done?” Akvin demands with a low hiss. ”Is it?”

Caspian haphazardly disentangles himself from the chains and cobbles that prevented him from worse circumstances, staggering back onto the safety of the pavement and pitting himself at a more tenable distance from the painter.

“The entire thing was such an operation. I’ll give you that much,” Caspian replies. “And yes, done as done can be. And they’re set to start distributing a tight fortnight from today -“ From out of his right boot, he’s fishing the rolled up tube of a sketch that he’d pilfered from Melvin’s desk, and the sheer joy that alights in Akvin’s eyes at the moment of his reunion is of baffling degree - but perhaps, then, all the reason Caspian had been sent to it in the first place.

What happens next, Caspian hasn’t the faculties to predict or avoid - but Akvin grabs him by the shoulders and plants a scratchy kiss to his forehead, of paternal and oddly saintly breadth.

“It’s yours now,” Akvin says, but already he’s no longer looking directly towards Caspian, but instead at something far down the lane, whenever he intends to whisk to next.

“Mine -?” Caspian echoes, but Akvin is fumbling and grumbling and waving himself off. The glint of decorative bells attached to a passing ravosalaman’s oar catches his eye, and when he glances and turns back, Akvin’s disappeared.

Home, then, finally?

But just as Caspian orients himself towards his arc of the Docks, a familiar face hurries towards him on strides that clock heavily across the cobblestones.

The woman in the high heels who’d sat beside him in the studio approaches, a sealed paper tube in her hand, and an expression of bemusement on her face.

“Hey, you,” she says.

“Hey.” Caspian recalls having paid her an exorbitant wink, exorbitantly unnecessary depending on the degree of consequence he’s bracing for.

She’s looking him up and down, not sure what to make of him, and after a moment of reflection, hands him the tube. “I don’t know what that was all about, but - you forgot this. Not sure if that kind of studio work is necessarily your area, but - I did like this one a lot. You should keep it.”

Caspian eases the cap off the tube, and the contents from its depths. A quick unfurling reveals it’s Akvin’s painting.

Ah. So that’s likely what the painter had meant about transfer of ownership.

“Huh,” the woman says, “I could have sworn the sky had a few more clouds. Borderline stormy. Wait, did I grab the wrong one -?”

Caspian studies the painting, and it’s a bit odd, the discrepancy of a slighter greater value than could be deemed just an oversight.

“It’s the one,” he says, because it’s easier. And there’s something so familiar otherwise about its depiction that he feels it must be the truth.

He stares pointedly at her, and she back at him. She gives him one last look up and down.

“Not exactly your type, am I?” she says.

He shrugs.

“Yet, you’re mine.”

“You’re very forward,” he replies. “It’s less to do with my type, and much more with my wondering whether you’re keen on seeing what I might barter to set myself free.”

“Set you?” She laughs. “I don’t keep you.”

But before he’s prompted to decide the fate of the rest of his afternoon, she laughs again and spins away, marvelously adroit on her towering heels.

“Suppose we’ll meet again, one way or another.”

It’s not impossible, and he’s not for it and not against it but still grasping the tube and the painting, he blurts out all the same, “My name’s Caspian.”

She whirls back around with a grin. “Beidra Grahn,” she replies with a wink, of such deliberation that he wonders for a moment if his hesitation wasn’t just some mistake -

Too late now.

Not a bad day, though?

Turning back to the painting, he notices now that it’s moving ever so slightly, the waves shifting and calming before his eyes, the sun’s rays gleaming brighter upon the blooming land below.

More than perfunctory, more than terrestrial, more than quotidian - how Akvin’s instilled it with its chameleonic properties, he’s sure he’ll never know. But as deemed by its creator, it’s his now.

On his way home, he decides it’s a handsome addition to the wall beside his dining room table.

WC: 979
Last edited by Caspian on July 25th, 2020, 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Barter and Brush

Postby Madeira Dusk on May 31st, 2020, 3:01 am

Grades Awarded!

Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request!


  • Observation: 5xp
  • Socialization: 5xp
  • Impersonation: 2xp
  • Painting: 2xp
  • Intelligence: 2xp
  • Acting: 2xp
  • Philosophy: 1xp
  • Rhetoric: 1xp
  • Logic: 1xp
  • Acrobatics: 1xp

  • Lore of the fundamental architectural differences between Ravok and Sunberth
  • Impersonation: Do I know you?
  • Lore of the absurd fashion of Ravokian artists
  • Impersonation: explaining away credentials
  • Intelligence: infiltration and observation
  • Lore of the conflicting philosophies of mass produced art
  • Logic: back engineering a word
  • Beidra Grahn: studio artist

Awards & Retribution

You need to put down some sort of ledger every time you acquire something in thread. What is that painting? Why is it moving? Is it magical, somehow? Divine? Did you win it during a challenge or does this need to come off your CS ledger? God knows. Write a ledger in this thread detailing what it is, and I can officially sign off that you've acquired it.

Another very interesting situation for Caspian to end up in! I don't think I've ever seen counterfeit and mass-produced art as a subject for any written piece of work, ever. It was really cool to consider this kind of thing happening in Ravok, and how it would run!

PS: I'm a little concerned Caspian is getting off too easy with his espionage escapades, seeing as he's a spy who's a novice in absolutely everything, and even broke ground on some brand new skills. He's a lucky boy, but make sure to keep an eye on that. ;)
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Madeira Dusk
long may she reign
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