Closed Dead in the Water (Anja)

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Calla Davin on July 29th, 2019, 11:54 pm

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"What exactly makes something pure?"
Calla tilted her head. The word "pure" seemed a bit like a pile of steaming hot garbage to her. Pure to who? Compared to what? There were a billion gods in this world and they all couldn't possibly have the same idea of purity. "We talkin' prays twice a day kinda pure, or doesn't cheat or steal kinda pure? Cause I'm sure everybody here'll say they're both of those." She knew she would say the same. Was she in either of those categories? Nope. Could anyone verify that? Probably not.

Anja placed the vial of blood from earlier on the counter. Calla chuckled. Immediately after convincing her that he didn't have nefarious purposes for the blood, Anja cryptically labelled this as "something else" blood.
"Something else? You're really not makin' a good case for yourself." Calla knew it was irrational, but as he responded she felt a twinge of insecurity. Her blood wasn't experienced enough, whatever that meant. Maybe I'll send it to the University. "Well, a set of hands, I do have."

As Anja took out his special rock, Calla realized that she didn't have very many tools of her trade. She had her feet and a bag. That was it, even on the trickiest of days. Morte called attention to himself, causing Calla to wonder about adopting her own herd to help her work. A horse would be great for obvious reasons, and she could probably learn to train some dogs to run letters up buildings. The creepy bird would be for aesthetic. Calla reached out a curious hand to the bird, poking out her finger at the skull on its head. She wasn't sure if birds needed to sniff or otherwise inspect things before you could touch them, so she waited to see what Morte would do.


"It's a little kid, right?" Calla looked around the bar absentmindedly. She was starting to get the jitters from being stationary too long, so she let her eyes do the exploring that her body couldn't do. "So it makes sense that the trail is all--" She briefly but frantically shook her hands and fingers, gesturing the word "jumbled." "Kids have a lotta energy. Run around a bunch. Wouldn't a ghost kid be the same?" The courier shrugged.

Calla hooked the bowl of water with two fingers and dragged it over to in front of her.
"Miss Courier is my mom. You can just call me C." Calla winked at the man and floated her hand, palm-up, in front of him. "Lemme do this. You have some sniffing to do."
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 9th, 2019, 8:04 pm

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Another rumble of thunder rattled the roof overhead, causing Anja's glaze to lift up towards the rafters of the ceiling. Battle and Sayeth's eyes were exploring the room fully, even as they kept themselves in place beneath the Drykas' feet. The nose of the dark colored twin twitched, and his ears shifted to follow something unseen skitter from one side of the room to the next. Anja followed Sayeth's gaze, briefly touching his Gnosis mark on his palm, but though he could sense the presence of a ghost somewhere, as usual it remained elusive. After a moment of concentration, Anja sighed and returned his gaze to the young courier.

"The way I understand it, purity has more to do with the concept of innocence and naivety," Anja said, resting his head in his hand with his elbows in the bar. "So young children would be considered pure. Murderers, cheaters and liars not so much. Another reason why I prefer to use my own blood. Unless you are lucky enough find someone old enough to understand what their offering and yet somehow hasn't become jaded by life's experiences, taking blood from an individual who can be considered pure can be unsavory. There are some Spiritist who would not be bothered by it, but I am not one of them."

When Calla called Anja out for being vague, the man dipped his head and ran has fingers over his reddened cheeks. "I suppose I was trying not to alarm you any more than I already have," Anja said. "The concept of mortality can be unsettling for some people. And magic often uses ingredients that make people unused to it uncomfortable. This blood was not taken from a living body. It was extracted from the girl's body after her death, by the Envoyers, at my request. I'm not even entirely sure if it's going to work, but at this point I'm a little desperate and willing to try anything."

Morte tilted his head under Calla's curious prodding and a noise rasped out of his beak that might be mistaken for a laugh. Under a closer observation, Calla might notice that hidden beneath the skull mask covering the crow's face, his gold eyes were tinted with a sunburst of blue. It was similar to Anja's eyes, excepting the hue. Morte didn't seem to mind the girl's touch, and simply cackled in a voice that seemed a little bit too close to human.

"She certainly seems to have a lot of energy," Anja agreed with a short nod as the two of them continued the conversation. "I'm not sure if it's because she has a child's energy or if it's because she wishes not to be found. If it's the second one, she's clever. Not something you see often in ghosts who die as young as her."

When Calla hooked her fingers into the bowl and yanked it over towards her, Anja raised an eyebrow but didn't protest. His lips twitched as she confirmed her name. "As you say, C," he smiled, handing the cloth over to her so she could wipe down the Lodestone. Anja spun on the stool away from Calla and turned to face the bulk of the room. Even in the short time he and the courier had spoken, the room had been filled to bursting as people fled from the rain. The low hum of muttered conversation had risen to a full roar, and with that and the rain most people had to shout in order to be heard.

Anja leaned back against the bar and he closed his eyes. With all the speed of molasses, those noises surrounding them filtered out, one after another. The thrum of voices, the pound of the rain against the roof. Soon, Anja filtered out the sound of his own breath until all that was left was the thud of his heart beating against his rib cage. Patient, methodical. Anja drained away the voices from around him and even his own voice inside of his head. The man's focus was so intense, he didn't even notice when Morte left the top of the bar and fluttered back to Anja's shoulder.

Honing his internal eye, Anja searched the darkness until he found a bright and shimmering well of light. The light bubbled, frothed and flickered like a glowing fountain, shining dozens of colors Anja knew and many that there were no names for, flickering and changing with each beat of his heart. The mage reached forward with an invisible hand and seized that light, feeling the familiar shudder of power as his djed reached out and seized him with the same fervor. Anja took hold of the djed, now pulsing with violet light, and guided it from his stomach towards his spine. Finding the familiar pathway it was growing used to, the magic crawled up his back and pooled in his skull. Anja pushed it forward a tiny bit more, and it gathered behind his eyes. Anja felt a satisfying internal click that signaled his magic had taken hold, and his Pathfinding was active. With a sigh of relief, Anja opened his eyes.

Almost immediately the mage groaned. "Ah, damn it," the Drykas muttered. Morte let out a croak of sympathetic agreement. The room was all but glowing with hundreds of bright colored trails. There was simply too many people packed in too tight of a space to make heads or tails of what path belonged to whom. It made the Drykas slightly nauseated to look at. Grimacing, Anja looked over at C.

"The room is packed with trails. I can't tell where one begins and the other ends. We're going to need that Lodestone if we're going to have any chance of making heads or tails of this."
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Calla Davin on September 20th, 2019, 6:41 pm

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Calla looked up at the ceiling, watching the boards tremble under the stress of another rumble. The courier was thankful for a little bit of a reprieve from her work, but she was beginning to worry. This storm seemed like it was dumping all at once the weather that should have been spread out over this ungodly hot season. She didn't know what repercussions that might have on the city, but if that really was what was happening...they would be trapped in this inn for days.

Returning her gaze to the man, Calla noticed a curved blade on the man's palm. He touched it, and it appeared to the woman like he was using it to meditate. She lightly ran her hand over her own tattoos, wondering if any of them could offer some of the same meditative properties. She shrugged the idea off soon after, though; these tattoos offered a different kind of calm. The hours spent patiently waiting for them to be finished, the effort that went into cleaning them, the energy it took to earn the mizas to get them...that was her meditation.

"So you're saying," Calla returned her attention to Anja. "That you think you're innocent and and naive?" If he used his own blood, logic would follow that it meant he was the same as a young child. His body certainly didn't give off that impression, and neither did his words. But perhaps he was more sheltered than she had originally perceived.

Calla rubbed her fingertips along Morte's feathers, affectionately scratching him just below his external skull. Calla had never seen such a bird before. She leaned in to look at him, noticing that the skull was on top of the bird's actual head. Previously, she had thought that his head was just the skull. She peered into the mask as the crow...laughed? What a weird thing. Calla thought as she took her fingers back. Who hurt you, little weirdo?

"Why wouldn't she want to be found?" Calla thought aloud. That wasn't something characteristic of children, usually. Most of the time, they wanted to be attached to their caregivers or friends. She continued to think on the subject as she began to clean the magic rock. Calla was no expert rock cleaner, so she figured that good little soak-n-scrub would do. She dropped the rock into the bowl, then turned her attention to the rag. She folded it in half then sloppily halved it again. Then, she took the rock in her left hand, wrapped the rag around her right pointer finger, and pressed hard against the rock. She'd scrub one side, then rotate to scrub another.

The Lodestone wasn't very big, so she felt like she had done a thorough enough job in a few ticks. But, as she looked over her shoulder, she noticed that Anja was still doing whatever it was he was doing. So she kept cleaning. Well, she made it look like she was still cleaning. Calla kept the rock and rag in her hands. dunking them into the bowl. Both hands now in the bowl, the courier gently made the obligatory cleaning motion.

As Anja cursed, Calla looked over her shoulder. "Well, lucky for you I've got one clean magic rock ripe for the pickin." She dropped the rag into the bowl and pushed the whole system closer to the inside of the bar. As she approached Anja, she suddenly put two and two together.

"Everybody has a trail, right?" Calla handed the Lodestone over to Anja. While they were sitting, she had forgotten how much taller he was than her. It made her frown a bit as she stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the ghost hunter, but her previous idea brightened her thoughts again. "Are they colorful? What's mine look like?" She took a step out and slowly spun in front of the man. "Is it like a tail? It follows me wherever I go? Or does it kinda pop up like waves behind me?" Calla was thoroughly entertained by the idea of having a colorful yet invisible tail.

"If there are too many tai--trails down here, maybe we should go upstairs first?" Calla suggested once she calmed down. She now stood in front of the man, a smirk on her face and her eyes directed towards the staircase. The courier figured it would be easier to check the less populated areas first, but she also had no idea what she was doing. Maybe he already knew she was down here. "Eliminate the easier to search places first...like, I don't know, the kitchen..." Calla returned her eyes to Anja, her smirk growing to a smile as she joked. "Work smarter, not harder, that's what I always say."
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