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 6th, 2019, 7:03 am

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56th of Summer, 519 AV


Calla was so sick of weather. Not good weather or bad weather. She could deal with either of those. But both? That was the shyke she wasn’t a fan of. Lately, the weather seemed like it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be pleasant or not. This season started dry, and now it was raining. And we aren’t talking about a lazy day kind of rain--no. It was pouring.

Calla stood inside the threshold of Priskil’s Spire, watching the rain drop from the sky. She leaned against the doorway, her feet and arms crossed. Every now and again, a drop would stray and land on her nose. Those were exciting times.

”Calla, the doves won’t go out.” A scribe called from inside the lobby.

”So you want me to throw them or something?” Calla joked over her shoulder.

”What?” Calla heard the confusion in his voice. He obviously hadn’t heard her over the sound of the rain pounding against the spire.

”Nevermind. The birds aren't going?” Calla crossed the lobby and returned to a leaning position next to the scribe. Calla was almost always at a slant; the woman took every moment she could get off of one or both of her feet. The scribe shook his head.

”Besides, the package is too heavy for them to carry.” He added, spiking Calla’s annoyance. The scribe placed a box on the desk for her to take.

”Why would you lead with the dove thing then?” Calla’s jacket had previously been resting on the desk. It was way too warm for the weather, but it was all she had besides a petchin’ tent to keep her dry. She flung it on, then tucked the package underneath it.

”To give you hope.” The scribe motioned to the spire as a whole, smirking as he did so.

”Ha. Ha.” As Calla crossed backwards through the lobby, she called out to the scribe. ”So clever. So, so clever.” The scribe replied, but Calla was already in the rain and out of earshot.

She picked her pace up to a jog. The courier didn’t have to go too far--just to West Street. It was the same quarter, so Calla counted her blessings. Although, anything would have been preferable on a dull day like today. It was the days where she had few deliveries and nothing to do--days like this, that is--that made her mouth water for a popper,

Within a few chimes, the woman was at her destination: World’s End Grotto. She stepped inside and wasn’t surprised by the number of people seeking shelter in the inn. It was getting nastier out, and not everyone had to trudge through the rain for money. Bringing the package out from under her arm, Calla read the specifics on the label.

”Anja Nightwatcher.” Calla muttered. She liked to play a game with her deliveries: she’d read the name and guess what the person would look like. She scanned faces as she made her way to Anja’s room. Nobody looked like what she thought a Nightwatcher would look like. Tall, brooding, probably had dark hair. Definitely an axe kind of guy. Probably a two-handed, double-bladed axe kind of guy. Calla thought more on the kind of large, muscular man that would carry that kind of weapon as she tapped three times on the door. Please don’t be wearing a shirt.

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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 6th, 2019, 6:13 pm

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A rumble of thunder pierced the silence, making the walls shudder. Anja glanced out the window, head propped in his hands, elbows one the table and eyebrows knitted. The storm didn't seem like it was letting up. If anything it was getting worse. Battle and Sayeth were sitting on Anja's bed, staring out the window, their ears flattened in concern. Every so often, one of them would let out a soft whine. The pair had seen storms in Sunberth, but not to this magnitude. It was a new experience for them. Perhaps it was good; the more experienced they had the more well rounded they could be. They needed to be ready for anything. Homestead living was far from easy. Despite the rumbles of thunder, Morte seemed to be sleeping soundly. The skull crow was curled up on the table with his beak underneath his wing. Low, deep breaths confirmed the depth of his sleep. In a way, the weather was relaxing. Anja supposed he couldn't blame the crow even if his own mind was restless.

The Drykas leaned back against his chair and followed his dogs' gaze towards the window. His expression was pensive. The plan had been to return to the Empyreal Desemene tomorrow, but with the weather like this it would be impossible. Anja disliked the thought of being away from the Homestead when the weather was this bad and they might need help, but breaking his and Maisa's necks on the journey home wouldn't help anyone. Besides, Anja still hadn't completed the job he'd been assigned and he wanted to finish it before he left if possible. Hopefully the favor he had asked of the Envoyers would bear some kind of fruit. Hopefully they still remembered him from when he was last in Zeltiva.

Anja almost didn't hear the door what with the second boom of thunder that rattled the walls. If it hadn't been for Sayeth turning a meaningful look towards the door, Anja wouldn't have known. The Drykas ran a quick hand through his disheveled hair, and pushed the chair back before rising to his feet and making his way to the door. When he pulled the door open, Calla might be disappointed to see that he was, indeed, wearing a shirt. The Drykas was in his version of relaxation mode, however. Barefoot, with a sleeveless cream colored shirt untucked and simple, comfortable brown breeches. His left bare arm revealed a swirl of tribal tattoos that extended from his right shoulder and flowed down the entirety of his arm, ending at the bottom of his middle finger. The man's usual coat and gloves were hanging off of a chair and resting on top of the table, respectively. As relaxed and casual as the man's demeanor was, there was one feature about him that Calla might find striking. Within his dark blue eyes, a sunburst of orange color radiated out from around his pupil.

"Hello." Anja greeted the new arrival with the same friendly demeanor he used for everyone he was meeting for the first time. His voice was tinted with the remains of his Pavi accent. Anja could tell at a glance that the girl didn't work here. It wasn't so much the tattoos or her attire as it was the petulant, stubborn expression. She was not someone who waited on people day and night, that was for sure. Beside the fact Anja didn't recognize her from his stay here.

"Can I help you with something?" Anja asked. Battle hopped down from the bed and trotted over closer, laying down just by the Drykas' feet so she was just in sniffing range of the newcomer. 'Down' Anja gestured at the dog in Pavi, adding the Pavi word so that she would look at him. Battle flicked her ears, then followed the command. 'Stay,' Anja added with a gesture, before turning back to the new arrival. But he could see that Battle was still straining to get a sniff at her. Morte had woken up and was looking towards the door curiously, casually scratching under his skull mask with his foot.
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Calla Davin on July 6th, 2019, 8:34 pm

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As the door in front of her opened, Calla caught a glimpse of a bare arm. She wondered if she had willed it into being, or if she simply could see the future. But before she could decide between the two, the door swung the rest of the way and revealed a fully-clothed man. Calla sighed. It seemed she just couldn’t catch a break. Well, at least there aren’t any sleeves.

Stretching out from underneath the man’s shirt was a dark sleeve of tattoos. Calla ran her eyes up the tattooed arm, evaluating the geometric shapes as she went. Her own sleeves were similarly dark, though less solidly black. Eventually, her eyes came upon the man’s disheveled black hair. Again, it mimicked her own hair, which was black and thrown into a very messy (and soaking wet) bun. He was tall, muscular, and tattooed. They were, basically, twins.

”Evenin.” Calla nodded toward the package resting in her hands before looking up at the man’s face. He was almost a foot taller than her, so she really had to tilt her head to make eye contact. She was glad she went through the effort, though, because Anja had the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. Unlike her plain brown eyes, this man’s eyes had not one but two colors. Calla locked eyes with him and did not avert. ”Got a package for Anja Nightwatcher.”

As she answered his question, Calla was approached by medium-sized dog. It seemed to be well-trained, which was more than she could say of her only other canine experience: Woodruff. The tiny terrier had convinced Calla that she wasn’t an animal person. No sense in making friends with something so useless and potentially tasty. But this dog here might just be able to change her mind.

She didn’t recognize the language the man had spoken, but she assumed they were commands in his native tongue. Calla figured the man was from elsewhere, considering he was living in an inn and had an accent. She tried to keep the word he had just said in her mind so she could inquire further when she got back to the spire.

”Well, lookit you.” Calla smiled down at the dog, breaking eye contact with Anja for the first time. She bent over at the waist, offering her hand for the dog to sniff. As she did so, she could see further into the room. Two more animals resided within. ”Sure there’s room in there for this?” Calla straightened back up, offering the package to the man.

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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 6th, 2019, 9:58 pm

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The lilt in the girl's voice had an easy cadence to it, simple, informal, and to the point. It reminded him a little bit of Morte actually. As she spoke, Anja's eyes briefly studied her tattoos, but it took no more than a glance for Anja to confirm that the girl wasn't a Drykas. Anja knew that sailors sometimes had tattoos; he had certainly seen his share of them down by the docks on the arms and chests of Svefra and sailors. But though this girl's hands were worn in that way of those who worked to eat, she was far too polite to be a sailor. When their eyes met, Anja was also able to confirm she was not a Svefra. Not with brown eyes. Her gaze was a little intense. It was something he was starting to get used to with strangers.

Her words made her intentions clear, and Anja was unable to keep a smile from his face. "Ah, my package! Thank you." He was glad it had arrived in a timely manner. He had no way of knowing if the Envoyers would have been willing to indulge him or not, but it seems like he had at least caught their interest. Apparently the risk of him stealing their business wasn't enough for them to forget past debts.

He felt a touch of relief as she broke the stare, and a smile passed over Anja's face as she leaned forward to greet Battle. The dog was absolutely vibrating with excitement, her tail waving fans of sir behind her, but she was trying so hard to be good. She kept looking between Anja, back to the girl, then back to Anja, rapidly and increasing in speed. Anja counted to five slowly in his head.

"Okay, go ahead," Anja told her, though he quickly added 'Calm' as he saw the excitement flood into her features. Still vibrating with intensity, Battle delicately approached the girl and sniffed her palm.

"Her name is Battle," Anja provided, for the courier's benefit. He glanced behind him to look at Sayeth, still watching intensely from the bed with concentrated eye contact. "That's Sayeth." He turned towards Morte, who was watching the interaction with a tilted head from the table. "And Morte."

He chuckled at the girl's words. "As long as my horse doesn't decide to come stay up here, I think we'll be able to manage."

Anja took the package from the girl carefully, and tore open the top of it with one swift movement. He delicately reached inside of it and pulled out a vial, along with a handwritten note. The Drykas assessed the vial at a glance, but the storm outside meant the light in the room was dim.

"Morte, do you mind?" Anja asked, gesturing at the lantern. The bird clicked his beak together once, but moved over to the lanturn on the table. He grabbed onto the dial with his beak and turned it, giving the fire more oil and causing the light to flare up. Anja held the vial up to the light and examined it carefully. The blood in the vial had separated. The top half of it was a clear substance, plasma, while the bottom half was a dark and murky crimson. Anja placed his thumb over the cork and shook the vial up until the two substances mixed. The result looked the way one would normally imagine blood to look. Anja glanced at the handwritten note in the package as well. A favor for a favor, it said. The note was unsigned.

"Can't really blame starved ghosts for hanging around an inn," Anja murmured, audible but more for himself than for anyone present. A huge boom of thunder made the room shudder, and the pounding of rain against the roof grew near deafening. A glance out his window revealed that the storm clouds had burst and the rain was coming down in sheets. Anja made for his miza pouch, and pulled twenty gold mizas out, which he gave to the courier.

"Thank you," Anja said, having to speak up over the storm. "This was exactly what I was waiting for." He glanced out the window with a trace of worry. "It's probably not safe to travel in this," Anja told her. "You might want to stick to the inn until this blows over."
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Calla Davin on July 6th, 2019, 11:24 pm

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Calla was touched as the dog greeted her. It was so visibly excited to see her, even though they had never met. It made Calla reflect on the people that she had met, and the way they greeted her. Her parents had never greeted her like this. In fact, her parents often never even greeted her at all. She could've walked right into the room unnoticed. She was briefly upset. But then she remembered her own attitude towards her parents and called them even. You get what you give.

The dog--Battle--was ginger. She sniffed Calla's calloused palm, and Calla was pretty sure she felt Battle lick her. Calla gave the dog a soft little tap on the head, feeling the softness of Battle's fur under her hand. As the man introduced the rest of the herd, Calla gave a little greeting nod to each animal.

At the mention of a horse, Calla also chuckled. Although. she was sure it was for a different reason.
"Two dogs, a bird, and a horse. You must be rich." And as Anja raised the vial of deep red liquid out of the package: "Annnd blood. Definitely rich." Calla had bitten the dust on her nighttime escapades to know what blood looked like.

Now, Calla has seen some weird shyke come out of her deliveries. Once, she had to deliver nude portraits to a young teenager on the docks. He opened them right there for Syna and all the dockworkers to see. And then there was a package to the University that screamed the whole way there. And then another time where her father's mistress sent a letter to Calla's family home--which she, naturally, had to deliver.

But blood? That was exactly where the line fell for Calla. First, it would be blood--which is okay! There's nothing wrong with blood. But then what? A finger? A head? Next thing you know, Calla's wanted for the murder of John Whats-his-face from Sunberth. No thank you. She tightened her coat shut and prepared to leave.

Oh, and do not get her started on the bird. Nobody trains their bird that well unless they plan on doing something with it. Calla pursed her lips. The man muttered something, and Calla didn't even try to turn the noise into words. As the man handed her gold mizas, Calla pocketed them without counting them. Her hands remained in her coat pockets. The mizas felt heavy, though. Calla wondered if her thought he needed to pay, or if he was tipping extra for her silence. Either way, she muttered a
"No, thank you" back to the man.

"I sure hope so." She replied as the storm grew louder. "Otherwise I'd be outta a job." Calla could see that Anja--if that was even his real name--was concerned about the storm. The weather was the least of her concerns right now, though. "My business isn't bein inside. If the doves can't fly, then how are you supposed to get your dinner when it rains?" Calla nodded to the vial, unable to resist saying something.

"Have fun." Calla said pleasantly enough as she took a step back out of the doorway. She turned, fully intending on walking back out into that rain, and began to walk down the hallway.

Last edited by Calla Davin on July 8th, 2019, 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 8th, 2019, 5:35 pm

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Anja supposed he wasn't poor exactly, but he wasn't exactly giving off a vibe of a rich man what with his modest attire. His lips twitched with a smile at the courier's words, though the smile fell as unpleasant memories seized hold. "The animals are all adopted," Anja said. "--Well aside from Maisa, my horse. She adopted me, I suppose." A shadow crept across Anja's expression. "The place I came from before this wasn't kind to animals." Neither Morte nor the twins had a happy life before he had met them. They were survivors. The Drykas was just glad that he was able to give them some semblance of a normal life now.

The comment about the blood made him pause, and his eyebrows furrowed with confusion. "What about this blood makes you think I'm rich?" It was true that magic could make a man a pretty penny under the right circumstances, but something told Anja that wasn't what this girl was referring to. She looked suddenly nervous, and Anja felt he owed her an explanation so she wouldn't be frightened. He certainly didn't want to scare her out into the storm.

However, as the Spiritist opened his mouth to explain, Anja felt a sudden shift in the air around him. It was a song; dreamlike, playful, a wordless intonation of a nursery rhyme or lullaby. Calla wouldn't hear it (though she might notice a sudden inexplicable chill in the air), but Sayeth stiffened and stared at the door, a soft growl spilling from his throat. And Anja felt the scythe on his palm throb, just once, briefly. He brushed the mark with his fingertips briefly, and frowned. As Calla opened the door and turned to leave, both dogs suddenly surged towards the door, Battle first but then followed quickly by Sayeth. Both darted past her feet and into the hallway and glanced down the hallway path that lead towards the ground floor, tracking something invisible with their eyes.

Anja was already pulling on his boots. "Whatever you like, Miss," Anja told her with a gentle smile. "I have work of my own to do, if you don't mind. But if the weather is too troublesome, you'll find Miss Serra downstairs is very accommodating. Might be able to grab a bite to eat or something." Anja threw on his coat and gloves, and pulled his sash up off of the table. The materials inside made a gentle clinking noise. Anja carefully nestled the vial of blood beside the rest of his materials and headed towards the door. The only item he didn't bother taking was his bastard sword, which leaned conspicuously against the wall. Morte quickly alighted on his shoulder as Anja reached the door, and he brushed Calla and headed downstairs, his two dogs padding beside him as he walked.

Anja was about halfway down the stairs when he heard a loud shatter, followed by a shriek. A tick later, sobs and mutters began echoing from down below. Anja picked up his pace. The World's End Grotto Tavern was packed, even more so than it was on a usual day. The rain had driven people off of the streets and into the warmth inside. Therefore, it was a touch curious to see the wide circle of empty space surrounding the bar area. One of the bartenders, a teenage girl, was sobbing into her hands while the owner of the establishment, Serra Danelle, had an arm around her and whispered reassurances. A shattered bottle of kelp beer lay on the counter, along with three broken plates.

"It was h-h-horrible!" the girl cried, hiccuping through her tears. "All ghastly and white and gaunt like-like…"

Serra caught Anja's eye as the man made his way down the stairs. She gave the girl one more hug, whispered something to another bartender who moved forward to comfort the girl, then she strode towards Anja.

Serra had a presence about her. Where she walked, the crowds parted unthinkingly, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do. She fixed Anja with a stare as she approached. Her gaze was not friendly.

"Pray tell," she said, words venomous. "When exactly is this problem ghost going to be dealt with? It's scaring my clientele, and my employees! I do believe you assured me it would be taken care of three days ago!"

Dealing with ghosts in Zeltiva was different than in Sunberth. In Sunberth, Anja's clients had been happy to give him all the room he needed and leave him to his devices, however long the problem took. Jeb's influence had given him a lot of leeway, being how frightening many of the citizens found Jeb. Anja didn't have that kind of leverage now; he was on his own here.

"I just received a material that should make finding the ghost easier," Anja told the woman, his voice placating. "And for what it's worth, I don't believe this ghost to be dangerous. She's young; a child I think. She's trying to learn about her environment. She doesn't realize she's scaring anyone."

The woman's mouth tensed to a thin line. "Drykas, I do not care who or what the ghost is. I want it gone. Immediately."

Anja nodded. "Of course. I will get straight to work."
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Calla Davin on July 11th, 2019, 2:15 am

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“People with money do whatever they want to whoever they want.”
Calla replied to Anja’s question, nodding to the vial as she did so. ”And, in my experience, they’ve got some weird tastes.” Calla thought back on her time with Velvet. He was a scrawny rich boy with an appetite for the . . . unsavory. Calla shivered, shaking her debaucherous ex out of her mind.

The man went to respond, but he seemed to cut himself off. He clearly sensed something that she didn’t. In fact, it looked like everyone in the room knew something that Calla was apparently blissfully unaware of. The dogs tensed, and the man began to hastily get dressed. The dog that had previously been lounging on the bed now began to growl. As she prepared to exit, both dogs approached. When she exited the room, both dogs lunged forward and spilled into the hall. Calla jumped with fright then picked up her pace. Today was not the day she got eaten by orphan dogs.

”You look ridiculous.” Calla lightly laughed as the man brushed by her, farmstead in tow. ”They follow you everywhere?” Her mind immediately flashed through different circumstances where Anja and the gang would look silly together. At a fancy dinner party, dogs sitting atop their own chairs on either side of him. Out at sea, all five of them stacked on top of a small dingy. In the bedroom, four sets of eyes watching from the foot of the bed. Without her consent, her mind lingered on this thought for way too long. We need to get you a hobby, Calla. This is not--

A scream interrupted her inner monologue. Calla’s first thought was that there was a fight, but the woman couldn’t hear any of the other typical fighting noises--grunting, thudding, furniture breaking--downstairs. As she rounded the stairs, in fact, it was fairly silent. There was an invisible barrier around the bar, which Anja penetrated with no issue.

The woman behind the bar was bent over, crying bucketfuls into her palms. Calla watched her as her fellow bartender comforted her. She wondered what could possibly have been so terrifying, and came to the tentative conclusion that she got attacked. As Anja talked to the woman who was previously comforting the attacked woman, Calla approached the bar and sat. The servers gave her a momentary glance before returning to their friend. That was okay; Calla just wanted to sit and, maybe, eavesdrop.

Around her, people began to relax. A dull hum returned to the inn. Behind her, a slim woman with thick eyebrows was giving Anja the business. Anja seemed to be handling the woman's intensity well, at least. The woman reminded her of a cat, except she had a sharp tongue instead of claws. Calla smiled as the woman finished talking to Anja.


"I wanna be her when I grow up." It was directed at Anja despite the fact that their business with each other was over. This was for two reasons. The first was because he was the only one who she could make that perfect joke to. The second was a little bit more nosy: Anja clearly knew more about whatever was happening, and Calla wanted in.

It wasn't that she particularly cared about the whole ghost thing. Ghosts popped up a lot around here. People died, no big deal. They died--again, totally normal--and then turned into ghosts. And then those ghosts went to Satterthwitte's cemetery where they were never seen again. Where nobody was ever seen again. Not that interesting. Not that interesting at all.

Calla tried to figure out what was the appropriate amount of talking for this kind of situation. Outside, lightning flashed followed almost immediately by a booming crack of thunder.
"I thought my job was bad."
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 13th, 2019, 6:20 pm

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What with the girl's clear discomfort, Anja had expected her to retreat immediately. He certainly hadn't expected her to decide to follow him. This wasn't a case of them simply going in the same direction either. The action in this case seemed entirely deliberate.

"Do I look ridiculous?" Anja mused. The Drykas didn't particularly mind the girl's company. She seemed sharp, though that trait seemed to extend to both her mind and tongue. There were people who would find the girl's words offensive, but it was difficult to rattle Anja. A man who made a living interacting with the dead couldn't get very far in his career being unsettled by the marginally more stable living. "They don't come with me everywhere, just most places. They're hunting right now. You should see my horse. If it were possible, she would be up in my room with the rest of us." Anja's lips twitched at the thought. He would have to go check on Maisa once his work was done here. She should at the very least be dry in the stables, if annoyed at missing all the action.

Serra seemed to be somewhat placated after Anja had spoken to her. She turned and headed back to the bar, regal as a queen, and offered Calla a brief nod before returning her full attention to the still sniffling bartender. Anja sighed faintly and glanced around the room. It was packed.

"I really hope this blood works," Anja murmured. "If it doesn't, then we're out of options." From Anja's shoulder, Morte let out a quiet croak of agreement.

The courier's voice pierced the silence of the white noise surrounding them, and penetrated Anja's thoughts. The man's lips twitched, and he laughed.

"She certainly had a way about her, doesn't she?" Anja agreed. He had lived his life around strong, capable women. Even having grown up in a patriarchal society, Anja had come to respect the strength of women, especially considering that his own wife had been among the strongest of any of them. Anja approached the bar where the courier sat and settled into a stool beside her.

"I'm a Spiritist," Anja told the girl. "It's a type of mage. I use magic to work with ghosts. One of the main ingredients one uses when preparing materials to use the magic is blood. Usually my own, but sometimes others." A boom of thunder rattled the windows, and Anja waited a moment for the shaking of the glass to pass.

"There's a ghost of a little girl in this inn. I'm going to use the blood to try to find her, talk to her, see if I can find out what's keeping her here." Anja gave the courier a sideways glance from one eye. "You were in a hurry to leave earlier, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Do you want to help? I could use another set of hands."

The Eiyon sighed and turned to face the girl fully. Battle and Sayeth had settled down at Anja's feet and were looking towards the courier expectantly. "I don't think you've mentioned your name. You have me at a disadvantage."
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Calla Davin on July 15th, 2019, 10:17 pm

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Calla tapped her fingers against the bar rhythmically. The noise in the room had picked up to its normal level, which, when combined with the storm outside, made it hard for Calla to hear. She leaned closer as Anja spoke.


"She sure does." Calla nodded. Female role models didn't exist in Calla's world. Her mother was weak. She had no mental resolve. In a way, she guessed that gave her a negative role model--someone she knew she'd never become.

"Spiritist?" The man began to explain before she finished asking. He must get the question a lot. Though, with the commonality of ghosts, you'd think more people would know their counterparts. Calla was with him for the first half of his explanation; mages were everywhere in Zeltiva due to the University, and blood seemed like it made sense as a magical material. The second part of his explanation, however, made Calla furrow her brow.

"Your own blood?" The courier turned to face Anja, shaking her head while she smiled."Why would you do that? As in," Calla thought about her question before finishing. "What does that accomplish? Is your blood special?" She offered a shrug as she spun around on the bar stool, leaning her back against the bar. "Not that I really know what you even use blood for anyway. It'd probably go over my head."

A little girl? Calla frowned.
"That's too bad." Calla was sure she wasn't that far removed from the little girl's age group, and that brought her down. It's bizarre to think that this girl was so close to everything--having a job, her own home, freedom--but she just couldn't make it. Similarly, Calla could have been this girl. Who knows? Maybe Calla ate the last meal this girl could've eaten. It gave Calla the shivers.

"I was in a hurry...when I thought you drank shots of blood for fun." The woman tried to pull herself out of the melancholy with a joke, but the little girl's predicament lingered in her mind. "And if you think I'll help by donating some of my blood, you're mistaken buddy."

Calla wondered what exactly he would need another pair of hands for, and whether or not she wanted a piece of it. You couldn't grab a ghost, could you? She was sure she wouldn't have to be that hands on, regardless. As thunder cracked outside, Calla figured her workday was over anyway. Between waiting around for the rain to clear and keeping busy, Calla figured hunting ghosts was the better use of her time.

"I'll make you a deal." Calla turned to face the man fully. "I make it through this in one piece, you get my name.
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Calla Davin
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Dead in the Water (Anja)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 18th, 2019, 6:22 pm

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Anja's fingers drummed a slow rhythm against the top of the bar, one that matched the rhythm of the rain pounding against the roof. His voice took on a calm and methodical quality of a teacher, a trait that Anja was beginning to find that he had the patience and temperament for.

"Blood is the most important ingredient in Spiritism," Anja said. "As long as your other ingredients meet the right requirements, their type is mostly unimportant. The blood is what determines the quality of the material you produce. The more a person works with Spiritism and the better they get at it, the more...I suppose potent, their blood is. There are other qualities that can make blood more potent: supposedly the blood of pure creatures is supposed to work well. But it's simpler to use my own blood. It's a replenishable source and I don't have to worry about obtaining permission." Anja reached into his sash and pulled the vial of blood out of it, holding it in front of him against the light. It had already started to separate again, tiny little flecks of red filtering to the bottom of the vial as the upper half of it grew clear.

"This blood isn't for Spiritism, though. It's for something else." Anja set the vial of blood on the counter in front of them and turned back to the courier. A small smile played on his face. "Don't worry," Anja said. "I'm not going to ask you to donate your blood. Mine works just fine if I need it, and without experience yours wouldn't help much anyways. I said what I needed was a spare set of hands and I said what I meant."

Anja reached towards an object looped around his neck and tucked under his shirt and pulled it free, palming it in his hand. The object, to all appearances, seemed to be a simple metallic-looking rock, suspended on a leather thong. Anja pulled the object up and over his head and set it down on the counter beside the vial of blood.

"This is magical object," Anja explained. "It's called the Tracker's Lodestone. This is my first time using it, but I was told that if I clean the stone with water then place a drop of blood on it, then the Lodestone will be able to guide me to the source of the blood. I haven't been able to track the ghost by normal means, so I'm hoping that this will do the trick."

Morte let out a quiet caw, and Anja turned to look at the bird on his shoulder. As he did so, Morte fluttered down onto the counter between the Lodestone and the vial of blood. "I have another type of magic," Anja said. "It allows me to follow magical trails that people leave behind. Morte has it too. We can use it to follow ghosts as well, but this ghost in particular...she travels all around the Inn in a confusing pattern. The paths double up on themselves, swing back. It's hard to make sense of the trails and follow it to their source. And because I'm new to the magic, using it takes some concentration. So what I'd like for you to do, if you're willing, is to use the Lodestone while Morte and I use our magic to try to locate the trail the girl has left behind and the dogs try to sniff her out."

Anja's lips twitched at the girl's declaration. "Whatever you like, Miss Courier," the Eiyon said. He raised a hand towards one of the free bartenders. As the man leaned in towards Anja, the Spiritist whispered a few quick words to him. The bartender nodded, and a moment later Anja had been provided with a bowl of water and a small wash cloth. While Anja waited for the girl's response, he dampened the washcloth in the bowl of water and slowly began to scrub the Lodestone clean.
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Anja Nightwatcher
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