Closed Everything is falling apart according to plan

Madeira and Jomi learn how frail loyalty is

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Jomi on July 8th, 2019, 6:19 pm

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89th Summer, 519 AV
"Speech"


Infinity's consciousness hummed in peaceful contentment in the dull light of the mid day block. Its wooden walls creaked and popped with every stiff breeze as they bloomed with colour. Becoming a deep purple before the manor changed its mind midway through the paint job and transitioned it to a sky blue. An electric chill preceded the ghosts arrival as Jomi blinked into existence in the manors uppermost tower and pivoted around the vast openness of his Masters bedroom.

"Good morning, Infinity." The ghost said distractedly, his focus firmly on his ears as they strained for any sound of creaking floorboards or door hinges. "Is everyone out for the day?"

The ghost knew the house was empty save for the cat and birds. He'd long ago memorized the schedules of the manors residents. Everyone had somewhere to be or job to do, even the twins would be out with their father. The thought of Alister suffering under the attentions of the two toddlers brought a cruel smile to the ghosts face. But the the chance of Jomi being wrong about the rest of the families whereabouts would be catastrophic.

The manor poked at the ghosts conscious quizzically as Jomi took a tick to gather himself. The ghost concentrated on the veritable storm cloud his soulmist had become. He pushed out his consciousness to find the edges of his mists and folded them inward. Packing them down loosely to give himself semblance of solidity rather than fully materializing.

"I'm planning a surprise. So you need to keep quiet, or else you'll ruin the surprise, understand?"

As the spirit moved closer to the wardrobe he pulled energy up from his core, infusing the soulmist in his hands with kinetic energy. His soulmist moved erratically as it wrapped around the edge of the dresser drawer and pushed against the worn wood.

Even it the shaded darkness of the empty room the jewels sparkled. An entire drawer had been dedicated to the various jewelry Madeira had commissioned, all wrapped protectively in cloth and laid out to prevent scratching. A sack tucked in the corner housed the still uncut jewel eggs. All of them produced by Jomi's pet hen.

The ghost had been disinterested in the shining rocks his hen laid when they had been first discovered out at sea. But now that Edith was back in his life, Jomi was starting to appreciate their value.

His bonded was well off now, she had a large home, fine clothes and jewels. But nothing she owned came close to the obnoxiously gaudy pieces that adorned Madeira at all times. A twinge of guilt crawled up the ghosts back and was squashed just as quickly. Edith deserved the best and this was it. It wasn't like the spiritist would miss one or two of the plethora of rocks. Besides they came from his hen, so wouldn't these technically belong to him?

Jomi's soulmist snaked out and coiled around the cloth sack, pulling it open and rummaging through the egg shaped jewels.

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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Madeira Craven on July 13th, 2019, 7:41 pm

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"Hey, Infinity, if you were created, at least in part, by Kihala's gnosis like this book says, why do you think you can speak to all ghosts but not all living people?"

Madeira carefully turned the page of the old, brittle Architechtrix tombe in her lap. She had taken off her gloves to read it, a sin she was sure the Seekers at the library would happily chop for hands off for, but it was exquisite to feel the history under them. The tip of her finger traced under small, impossibly uniform words to mark her progress. Her thumb brushed across pictures so impossibly realistic it was like someone had taken a moment out of time and embossed it on the page. She had read this text half a hundred times since she and Jomi fished it out of that mysterious shipwreck, but it never failed to astonish her each time.

Something in them still lives, the house touch her mind. She could feel Infinity all around her where she sat at her worktable in
the basement. It was a living, sentient being, brought to life by herself and the mysterious structure that came before it. You could
argue that she was a mother long before her Kelvic children where even born.

"Do you think you could continue as a ghost, if you were to die?"

The presence in her mind shivered, as between them they relived the memories of the first day of Spring, when both of them didn't expect to see the next sunrise.

I do not know.

She turned the page, her rings flashing gaudily in the light of the wall scones. There was a connection here, between Architechtrix and the ghosts. Most of these buildings were haunted, or so the book proclaimed. They had a certain affinity for the undead that went directly against their divine origins. Then again, the other half of their origins were rooted in world magic. Perhaps, in marrying the two influences together, the creator of the first Architechtrix building managed to create a soul?

It made sense. Infinity could use magic, something only possible by manipulating dijed, which she had only seen living people do. It could be collecting dijed from the environment, but that didn't account for the massive changes it was capable of. Plus, if it was a soul grown within the inorganic building, it made sense that it could communicate with the bodiless spirits it was tangentially related to.

Or perhaps it was all wishful thinking. She glanced up at the shelves on the wall over her head, choked with jars of congealing blood and soulmist and bits of bodily remains. It felt like the only things she truly understood were the things that were dead.

Or at least she used to.

"What do you think of Jomi, house?"

In the silence she was met with complicated knot of wariness. In the Architechtrix's infancy it had pulled a harmless trick on the ghost, hiding his velvet necklace. In response Jomi had smashed the greatroom to pieces. His rage had scared the young Infinity so badly that the house had tiptoed around the ghost ever since.

"Mmm, I understand. But he's not so bad once you know how to handle him", she flexed her right hand, feeling the stiffness of the scar tissue across the knuckles and joints. "He's kept me out of danger in Alvadas, protected me in Falyndar. He was almost kind once, when I had that physiological break in Riverfall. There have to have been a hundred situations over the years that we got through only because we were together. Give him another chance. He barks and he bites and he needs a firm hand, but point is he was there."

Then where is he now?

The house plucked at the question so it reverberated between like a guitar string. It didn't know Jomi back then, and what it knew of him now didn't add up to what Madeira described. It replayed its own memories, little bites of life from around the manor. In them the
kelvic was standoffish, keeping everyone at arms reach. He was almost never home, constantly having to be summoned to find him. Even Rosie, his beloved pet, was getting none of his attention. He was being short with everyone, and his occasional cruelties had a strange, mocking edge. But with the Spiritist he was almost meek, doing everything she asked and nothing more, disappearing the moment the task was done.

Madeira closed the book with a snap and leaned back in her chair. The house was right, that was not the same spirit from the one it knew. Her worries about Jomi had only grown over time, festering like a wound. She felt like it started just after the children were born, but that wasn't quite true. It seemed like the moment they landed on Lhavit the ghost had changed in small, subtle ways. It was just not until after the children were born that the first real red flag was raised, when she realize the ghost had not asked about Edith in weeks.

It disturbed her. For years he had been obsessed as only a ghost could be. But then, almost right after that Desolate One attack, it
was like a switch had flipped, and he suddenly didn't care. This new Jomi was not the same one she met in Alvadas, and something about it disturbed her more than she was willing to admit.

Was there really something wrong with Jomi?

"It's been a stressful few seasons", she rationalized weakly. "And none of us were okay after the priest attacked. Ghosts are fragile
creatures, but he'll come back around."

A sudden presence slipped silently into the grounds.

He is home.

"I know." Even inert Madeira's Eiyon mark sensed that familiar presence. As far as she was aware this was the first time he'd been
home this week. She stretched her aching arms over her head. "What is he doing?"

Theft.

"What?"

He takes your jewelry from your drawer.

With a screech of wood on stone Madeira pushed back her chair and stood. Why? That made no sense. What could a ghost possibly want with gold and gems? After everything the house and her were speaking of this just set off more red flags. Something was wrong here.

"I'm going to speak with him."

The house hummed its assent and opened the basement door. Leaving her gloves and book behind, Madeira headed for the stairs. Her slippered feet whispered against her long blue cotton dress as she distractedly smoothed down the sever bun at the back of her head. Four stories of tightly spiralling stairs later she pushed up at the trapdoor that lead to her spacious room at the top of the manor.

And there was Jomi, right where the house said he would be. Standing in front of her drawers, he looked incredibly real with the early afternoon light spilling across his broad back. In his hands was the velvet bag full of gemstones. With a flash of irritation she pushed her way completely inside, letting the trapdoor fall open with a bang.

"You haven't been home in days and the first thing you do when you return is steal from me? What the hai are you doing, Jomi? Where have you been?"
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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Jomi on August 28th, 2019, 5:28 pm

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"Speech"


The room rattled as the trap door was throw open. The sound echoed off the walls startling the ghost and causing his projection to slip. The stone eggs rolled across the floor as the spiritist climbed up the hatch and into her room, her face taunt with anger, etching new lines into her face that made her appear older.

“You haven’t been home in days and the first thing you do when you return is steal from me? What the hai are you doing Jomi? Where have you been?”

Damn you, Infinity.

Jomi hissed cruelly into the manors psychic link as his eyes dropped to the floor. He tried his hardest to look contrite but inside he was enraged. Gods, did he hate her face. That fake concern. She didn’t care where he’s been, she’s just keeping tags on her pet. His hands moved subconsciously to worry the sleeves of his coat. He pulled at the rough materialized fabric nervously. The fact that it was made of his soulmist still caused a disturbed shiver throughout his shroud. The simple minded Kelvic was a shyke liar at the best of times, but put on the spot like this was enough to scramble his thoughts into an incoherent mess.

“No, it’s not- I was just…

-I was just taking whats mine you arrogant cunt”


Jomi started as his words, the words he really wanted to say, materialized unbidden from his mouth.

His head snapped up in shock, his posture straightened and his eyes became unfocused as he stared into oblivion. Why did he say that? Why was he doing this? A wash of anger spilled over his soul as Jomi replayed everything leading up to this point. Edith, Rothsam, the riot. The emotions began to build and Jomi struggled to remain calm in the face of the person that continued to callously toy with his soul. He had waited so long, playing house with this greedy, malicious liar while his real family waited for him back on Satu.

A long pregnant pause stretched out between servant and Master. In that time the ghost’s presence began to shift; his eyes became sharper and his arms fell to his sides.

“You want to know where I was? I was with Edith.” A sharp barking laughter erupted from the ghost. His final secret, the reason he’d betrayed Madeira, was finally exposed. There was no turning back now. “While you were off kissing the ass of everyone in this city with more power than you I found my bondmate, the one thing I’ve been searching for. I didn’t need you! I was never the weak helpless spirit you thought I was, I searched every city, I made allies and connections. I learned magic. Without you.”

The cruel mocking laughter trailed off, and Jomi once again snarled at his former Master. “I even found a spiritist, someone who would teach me and make me stronger, someone who values me as more than a servant.”

Jomi regarded Madeira cooly, he was done with the charade, now he needed answers. “…What do you think of Emma?”

The ghost continued on waving off any attempt at an answer. “She loves you, but you already knew that. In fact, thats exactly why you keep her around.”

The ghost moved towards the spiritist. As his posture squared with hers it struck him once again how tiny and frail she looked. The girl with spindly bones and translucent skin looked more apt to sit on a shelf with a collection of porcelain dolls than she did commanding others. The ghost drew his soulmist closer to his core. Directing his anger at the spiritist into a newfound zeal that aided the ghost as he zeroed in and concentrated of the outer edges of his etherial shroud. Folding the straying ribbons of mist inward and adding colour and definition to his form. He built himself up with the help of the red stone that shone brightly in his hand, moving far past what a ghost was capable of. In the span of a couple ticks the ghost was a perfect imitation of a flesh and blood human body.

“She’s suffering. Every day her delusions get worse and one day she’ll snap. Maybe she’ll remember her death, maybe something will happen to that stuffed tiger head hanging over the mantle and what little shred of sanity she has left will be torn apart. That ghost will spend the rest of eternity as a manifestation of Emma Chamelle’s agony and grief all because her surrogate mother decided that her obligations were more important than putting her soul to rest!

A storm cloud of soulmist whipped across the room, filling the plush bedchamber with an icy chill. A torrent of repressed thoughts and emotions tore through the ghost. The number of things he thought of saying all at once nearly suffocated him.

“Do you think she knows? Do you think she realizes how petching close we were to finding Raj’s killer before your handlers sent that letter? You didn’t hesitate to petch off to the other side of the world, did you! And Sansa, your lover, remember her? Remember when she left one day and never came back? You never even petching looked for her. She could have been captured and sold as one of the blue monsters breeding stock, or maybe she died alone and scared in some ditch somewhere, I guess we’ll never know. But hey, at least she served as some inspiration for that lovely tattoo.”

The ghost’s form flickered, partially obscured by the raging soulmist as his outburst reached a crescendo. He watched what was left of their relationship burn to ashes with every venom soaked word spat from his bared teeth. And it felt good.

“But I guess thats just what you are. You’re a true Craven alright, all pride and arrogance, you toy with those that rely on you and discard them one their usefulness has been served. I’ll bet thats why you stopped looking for Edith too. You never gave a shyke about me, about any of us. As long as we relied on you, as long as you had leverage we would be your loyal dogs.”

Jomi paused then, his ranting trailed off as he looked wistfully in the middle distance. His smile widened, showing rows of sharp glistening canines as his Edith’s face and smile danced in his minds eye. He’d do anything for that smile. He would burn this house and everyone in it to the ground if she asked…

“But I’m not your dog anymore, I’m strong now, stronger than you. I have my bondmate, I have a spiritist, you are just dead weight who serves no purpose anymore.”

The chaotic mist reached out to one of the decorative posts supporting the canopy above the four post bed. Jomi pulled up the latent power in his core and spread it out to the corners of his unrefined shroud, activating the mists in his hands as he twisted the dark wood. The mist explored the decorative base of the post where the wood was thinnest, winding around it and twisting as hard as he could until the wood splintered in his grasp. Jomi's form, fuelled by rage and regular offerings of master soulmist, shivered in pain as he pushed his soulmist past its limits and hoisted the pole up over his cloud of soulmist.

“I think its your turn to be discarded.”

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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Madeira Craven on August 28th, 2019, 10:09 pm

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"-I was just taking what's mine you arrogant cunt”

White noise blew through Madeira's soul as her mind stumbled on the words. It wasn't that Jomi was insulting her- he took the chance whenever he thought he could get away with it. But there was something in the way he said it, directly in her face, with a caustic force behind it, that made all the latent fears she had shared with the house drop deep into her stomach. This was wrong. Something had gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Gems rolled around the floor between them, catching the light and throwing a kaleidoscope of stars across the room. Jomi too was sharpening in the light, his border defining itself into crisp edges and lines as he blew her world apart one word at a time. Every pressurized emotion left to fester for years came exploding out of him, aimed squarely for the weakest parts of her: Ssanya, Emma, her family, her need for control, her inability to disobey.

He betrayed her. The thought surfaced through the noise, clean and sharp and true. Edith, his disappearance, his baffling use of magic, and Rothsam. How did the other Spiritist always know where she would be? How did he know about the hypnotism, the priest? Jomi sold her out, pawned her trust like currency, to buy favours from her enemy.

Traitor. He's a traitor. It had been too long, she got too comfortable, put too much trust in her oldest spirit. How could she have made that mistake? How could she have been so blind?

She remembered the first and last time they fought on opposing sides. It was when they had just met on the streets of Alvadas. It was years ago, when she was still half a child and he was some angry, aimless puff of air. They were so weak back then, they couldn't do more than slap each other around. It was almost funny to think about now. But eventually, both of them exhausted and unable to go on, sprawled out in some garden somewhere, they had made a deal: "I will be helpful to you, if you can be useful to me". And with that, they had been each other's first allies.

Jomi was getting closer, looming over her, looking as solid and real as any flesh and blood person she had ever met. Her scared, empty hand flexed, looking for a bracer that wasn't there. Blood was rushing through her ears, drowning out Jomi's hateful words. How could he. How dare he. Traitor. Betrayer. Snake. He meant to burn her castle to the ground from the inside. He meant to turn and bite the master that made him.

The bed she shared with Allister crackled and groaned as the masterful ghost put enough pressure into his ethereal shroud to destroy a solid piece of furniture. A half meter piece of wood came away in his hands, splintered and jagged and wielded by the strongest ghost she had ever seen- a ghost she helped build. Her heel turned towards the door.

They were older now. Stronger. They knew each other to the very bone, had spent years travelling together, fighting together. It won't be a little slap fight this time. If this was going to happen, if this was really going to happen, one of them wasn't going to survive.

"I think its your turn to be discarded.”

She did not wait to see the wind up swing. She dashed towards the open trapdoor and threw herself down the stairs.

"Open!" She screamed, crashing onto the second floor. Jomi would be hindered if he meant to bring a solid weapon with him, but even so he was still faster than her. She wouldn't make it to her darts in time. As every door in the landing blew open Madeira threw herself into the nearest one and listened to it slam shut behind her.

She found herself in Moritz bedroom, a strangely orderly place for a supposed three year old. There was a cot in the corner and toys in their bins, and trippy geometric designs on the walls, courtesy of the Infinity's idea of interior decorating. The walls were humming with stress, the young building reeling from what had just happened.

Slamming her hand against the door she tore dijed from her soul and rocketed it through the catatonic house, her arms trembling with the strain of passing that much raw energy through the contact.

"House, protect me!"

Snapping back to itself, the house turned inward for a moment. And then, pearling in the wallpaper like cloudy drops of rain, soulmist began excreting from the walls. It would stop Jomi from passing through the solid wood, but it wouldn't keep him from breaking down the door. At least it gave Madeira room to think. She shook out her hands and ran through her options. She had no prepared soulmist, and all her tools and weapons were downstairs. She was trapped.

No. No, this was Jomi. Her abrasive, asshole of a ghost. Her predictable, snarky Jomi. They went through the Otani gauntlet together, met Death together, survived the Riverfall shadow plague. This was Jomi.

"Why don't you tell me how you really feel", she snipped through the door, her voice ringing with hollow laughter. "I'm getting the impression that you're mad at me."

He never could resist a cutting verbal snide. She had to keep him talking. Sweat bloomed on her forehead as she tore through the baby room full of plush toys looking for something, anything, she could defend herself with.

"You know, it's funny... you're right that I've been out there kissing ass instead of holding your hand. Oh, but you were happy to sit back and reap all the benefits, weren't you? My influence kept you safe, my skills kept you fed, built your abilities, and my protection is the only reason you are here to turn on me. Whatever happened to that Alvadas merchant, eh?"

As she tore her way around the room, her knuckles hit something solid. It was a wooden play sword, blunted and hollow, about as long as her forearm. She tested its heft against her opposite hand.

"I made you. Never forget that. If it wasn't for me you'd still be possessing dogs in Alvadas. Or maybe you'd be another nice little collection of dust in Everard's room. I made you strong, because I needed you strong. You knew from the start this deal was never about charity. I honed you like a weapon and gave you direction, a purpose, an outlet, a home. You didn't need Edith anymore. I was your new Edith!"

The soulmist from the walls was a thousand times weaker than hers, but it would do the job. Smearing her hand across the wall she collected enough of the substance to coat the play sword. Her mind spun with plans, tactics. Jomi was a simple, brutal creature. He would come straight for her with everything he had. And within that simple bit of knowledge she had a plan.

Trembling with fury and no little amount of fear, she stood in the middle of the room and faced the door.
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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Jomi on September 3rd, 2019, 12:44 am

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"Speech"


The floor vibrated as the hatch was thrown closed behind the diminutive spiritist. Just in time for Jomi's club like weapon to come crashing down and send a cloud of loose splinters into the air.

"That's right, run away little mouse! Run away like you always do!"

Jomi hooked his soulmist around the handle and threw it open. The broken post banged rhythmically on the metal staircase as the ghost descended. Sending vibrations through the entire floor as Jomi dragged the dark wood behind him to the second floor of Infinity manor. Just in time to see a flash of blonde turn and disappear behind a open door that quickly slammed shut behind her.

"Never could fight your own battles could you. No, that was always someone else job." The ghost could feel a manic energy rattle his soul to its very core as the last of their relationship burned to ash. His first ally, the first human to offer themselves to the hurt and angry new ghost, was now standing in the way of his eternal happiness with the woman he loved. Every good memory and positive thought he'd had of their time together grew dark and tainted as all the repressed emotions spilled into the open.

Jomi didn't try to blink into the room, instead he approached it slowly, his soulmist dematerializing with every step to conserve his energy. Madeira was too far from her weapons and she didn't have soulmist with her. But she was smart and resourceful, and most of all, she was a manipulator. Jomi opened his mind to prod at Infinities psychic link and found it disturbingly silent. He figured the Manor would have chosen to side with its Master over him. The baby Architectrix was still a naive and simple creature, a perfectly mouldable being for Madeira to shield herself with. Jomi's weapon scraped along the floor as he came up to the door the spiritist had barricaded herself behind and placed a ribbon of mist gingerly against the wood and was unsurprised when his soulmist pressed up against a solid barrier.

"Why don't you tell me how you really feel" Madeira's humourless laughter filtered through the cracks in the door. "I'm getting the impression that you're mad at me."

"You really are disgusting. Hiding away while Infinity stands in the line of fire to protect you. How do the gods allow something so weak to exist." Jomi sneered. Moritz bedroom door wasn't sealed, there were gaps between the door and the frame that the dematerialized ghost could squeeze through. But he'd have to leave his makeshift weapon behind, and that wasn't going to be a option. Jomi knew the intricacies of spiritism first hand, and he knew Madeira was a master at subduing ghost. Her body had taken on the property of soulmist after decades of producing it and she could trap him inside her body if he wasn't carful. Even unarmed she was still dangerous, he needed to keep his distance and avoid touching her directly.

"You always thought you could coast through life on the backs of others. That your pretty words would be enough to keep you out of danger. How is that working out for you now? Master."

Jomi's mists condensed around his heavy club. The etherial energies converging onto the centre of the pole in order to hoist it up vertically against the pull of gravity and let the head drop onto the shiny brass doorknob. The weight of the club rattled the entire door violently as Infinity braced itself, but the locking mechanism held steady.

"I made you. Never forget that." Madeira snapped. "If it wasn't for me you'd still be possessing dogs in Alvadas. Or maybe you'd be another nice little collection of dust in Everard's room. I made you strong, because I needed you strong."

"You didn't make me anything but a whipped dog!" The ghost roared. His chaotic soulmist whipped around his body in time with the steady pounding of the club against the metal knob as it grew with increasing force. The sound filled the empty space with a horrible screech of twisting metal and popping wood. Cracks of splintered wood around the doorknob grew steadily, Jomi could feel Infinities distress leak through the physic link as he continued to tear a hole through its body. "I grew stronger, despite your best efforts. Keeping me under your heel, away from anything that threatened the power you had over me. Thats over now! I have something worth fighting for, I'm everything you feared I'd become!"

"You knew from the start this deal was never about charity. I honed you like a weapon and gave you direction, a purpose, an outlet, a home. You didn't need Edith anymore. I was your new Edith!"

"Don't you dare speak that name!"

The ghost tore at the cracks he'd made with a frantic rage before the entire lock came loose from the door with one last deafening crash. Jomi pushed his eager soulmist up against the wood and forced his way in with the bedpost held up over his shoulder like a bat. With one final roar the ghosts hard cruel eyes locked on the skinny blonde in the centre of the room as he swung the club directly at her head.

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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Madeira Craven on September 11th, 2019, 9:51 pm

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In the edges of her mind she could hear the house vibrating with panic and confusion. It was completely on her side, as she knew it would be. Jomi never seemed to get the point of endearing himself to people. Not even the people and things he lived with. Perhaps that was why this betrayal came out of nowhere- she never expected he would find someone else capable of keeping him.

"It's okay, it's okay", she soothed the house aloud, her voice whispering under the sound of the doorknob being smashed to pieces. "Let him break in, I'll be fine."

He will kill you, the house roared back, the words fluttering chaotically over her consciousness like dancing moths. He means it. He really means it. His mind is black and his heart has fled.

"I mean it too", she turned her toy sword over and over in her sweating hands, watching the splintering door. "If he thinks he can take me, let him try." She wasn't weak. She wasn't. Weakness didn't snare him, build this house or buy her allies. He was a fool to say it, and a bigger fool to test it.

The doorknob finally gave way with a crash, and the door slammed open. Jomi was standing there, eyes black and hard and the broken bedpost high over his shoulder. With nowhere for her to run, and armed only with the toy sword, he saw his opportunity. With a roar he stepped inside, the makeshift club swinging directly for her head.

"Jomi!", Madeira shrieked.

But it wasn't Madeira anymore, it was Edith. The Lie supported itself with the soulmist permanently imbued in her face, while behind it her dijed had sparked on her tongue. Holding the world magic of the Lie in one hand and the personal magic of hypnotism in the other was getting easier. And with Jomi, who knew all her tricks, she didn't have to waste time with subtleties.

A surge of emotion crashed down on him, all her will arming the dijed into that single word. Shock smashed into his senses, twisting around the image of his bondmate, alone and scared in front of him.

The assault only lasted a single tick. The hypnotism fizzled out with that one word and she lunged forward with her toy sword in front of her, slipping under the arm that he had paused mid-swing.

Madeira was frail by human standards, she knew. There weren't many people who could be toppled by her weight. But Jomi wasn't human. With the rounded point of the sword she hit him in the gut and rode him to the ground. Under the illusion of flesh and blood he weighed less than a bag of feathers.

She was a Spiritist, the strongest he would ever see. She was not weak.

Holding him down with a body that had long ago learned how to touch the ethereal, still wearing the Lie of his most beloved person, she screamed as she dragged the toy up through his chest and out through his neck. A piece of his shroud rip away and dissipated in the air at the movement, and she slammed the toy into his chest again and again. Fury took hold of her as she struggled and tore, trying to rip apart this thing that used to be her most precious ally.
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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Jomi on September 13th, 2019, 7:24 pm

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"Speech"



"Jomi!"

The ghost's resolved crumbled and he reeled in shock as Madeira vanished in front of his eyes and Edith materialized in her place. Her dark green eyes flashed fearfully behind a curtain of messy auburn locks as Jomi fought desperately to reverse the broken bedpost's momentum.

The hypnotic assault fizzled out before the ghost could identify the magic. Just in time for the visage of the person he loved most in the world to drive her inbued weapon into his chest.

Jomi, still immobilized by shock, could do nothing but watch as Edith drove him into the floor. The ghosts makeshift weapon slid from his grip and bounced across the room as the wooden toy pulled viscously at his soul. The ghost howled in pain as pieces of his soul were torn from his body and dissipated into the air. The weak, dead part of his mind that wanted to believe the Lie writhed beneath Edith in shock and confusion. His bondmates face twisted into a horrific parody of itself as she repeatedly dragged the toy through his torso, oblivious to the pleas of her bondmate.

"Edith stop, please! We need to get you out of here, it's not safe!" Jomi pleaded, he pulled the thin dispersed ribbons of soulmist that danced around his body. With a thought the ghost activated the soulmist and shot them towards the toy sword as it made another pass through his shoulder. He used the raw kinetic energy to push against the toys movement in a desperate attempt to halt its attack. "Where is Madeira! ...Madeira...she is..."

The ghosts eyes grew unfocused and clouded as the peices began to fall together. The Lie was a wonderfully cruel tool in the spiritists arsenal. A trick that took little finesse or preparedness on the casters part, just a name and a thought, and the victim would fill in the rest for them. Even though the ghost knew of the Lie and what it could do, it took everything he had to not be consumed by it. So many times had he witnessed this same tactic during exorcisms and classes. He knew what the Lie looked like, and he knew Madeira wasn't above using his bondmate to subdue him.

"Madeira is here."

Jomi struggled to channel his rising temper and concentrate on pulling his soulmist closer to his core. He wound the etherial mists together and packed them down. The ghost then brought forward the latent power up from his core and wove it into the soulmist that condensed around his form. His face twisted in intense concentration as he made sure to spread the raw energy out over his entire body. The ghosts materialized body lurched suddenly, a sudden intesnse burst of raw energy exploded from beneath the small woman as Jomi forced her body off him and back through the destroyed door.

Jomi vanished in a puff of disturbed air and blinked over the spiritists body as she began to rise, clutching the railing for support. Pure unadulterated hate seeped into the brewing cloud of soulmist that lifted off his body. She had used his love for his bondmate against him, she had forced him to hurt Edith. Even if the image of his bondmate was imaginary, what she had done was unforgivable. The ghost struggled to think of something to say to his former master. But there were no more words to be said.

With his eyes affixed firmly on the spiritists feet to avoid another Lie, the ghost hooked a materialized arm behind her knee. The ghosts soulmist strained painfully as he tipped the smaller woman over the edge of the railing and sent her plummeting to the ground floor.

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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Madeira Craven on September 13th, 2019, 9:34 pm

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She had the toy sword deep in Jomi's chest when the spirit underneath her reached up and touched her soul.

The push was hard and deliberate, the contact sinking right through her body to make direct contact with something much more delicate. Madeira always thought her own soul, having been brutalized a thousand times in a hundred different ways, was tough enough to handle any materialization. But it was not enough. Jomi's touch ripped through her soul like it was paper as he lifted her off her knees and threw her hard into the railing.

The debilitating touch didn't kill her, which put her ahead of most, she supposed, struggling to pull herself up. With the railing in her left hand and the toy sword in her right, she struggled to regain control of her battered astral body. Perhaps she had honed him too well, she thought deliriously .

Suddenly Jomi was in front of her, his shroud a storm of agitated soulmist. The hate in his eyes was so complete, so consuming, that her damaged soul quivered. She had seen glimpses of this hate before, always veiled behind snark or indifference. Sometimes it was directed at her, most times she had him aim it at someone else, but never had she seen the urge to destroy burn so hot in his black eyes.

"Get away from me!" she screamed, slashing at his hips and torso. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you like I should have done three years ago! GET AWAY FROM ME!"

Already unsteady on her feet, it was a simple matter for the ghost to catch her behind the knee and lift her. The railing was pressed into the small of her back, then her hips, then her thighs, and something in her gut lurched as she tipped and started to fall.

The spiral metal stairs clanged and rattled, her view flipping between the ceiling, the floor and Jomi's snarling face before she smashed into the first floor. Lights popped behind her eyes, and her head was full of ringing. There didn't seem to be enough air in the room. Retching, she rolled to her knees and lurched towards the kitchen in a half run, half crawl.

One thought burned brighter than the rest, propelling her forward: she needed a weapon.

The toy had been lost on the way down. But her souldarts and two bows were on the kitchen table, laid out for cleaning. As she got near the table it tipped over seemingly under its own power, as the Architectrix wordlessly urging her along. Scooping up a handful of arrows she slammed one into the barrel of the light crossbow, and sitting on the floor she pushed her foot into the stirrup and cranked the mechanism back, arming the bow.

Come on, Madeira, think! She fought through the fog of her rattled mind as she crouched behind the overturned table, steadying the crossbow on the edge. This wasn't good. She could feel a wetness on the back of her head that could only be blood. She had a concussion, for sure. Her whole side was bruised, and the joint in her shoulder ached fiercely. Jomi knew she was physically weak, so that's what he was going for. Her soul was too strong, so he was going to try and destroy her frail body.

What did she have? Ten bolts for each bow. Her sword was sheathed in a hollow cane out of reach by the front door. Her ghostnails were in the basement. What did he have? She looked around, and noted everything that was not nailed down.

No, this wasn't good.

Holding her breath to keep her hands from shaking, she sighted down the barrel, ready to fire the moment Jomi showed himself. It didn't matter how strong he was. She would nail him to the wall and watch him squeal as he turned to dust. She was his master, and this dog of hers dared to bite her, so she would put him down.

"Madeira is here, you petching snake!", she roared over the ringing in her ears.
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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Jomi on September 19th, 2019, 5:47 pm

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"Speech"



The rapid developing frost announced Jomi's presence. The battered black metal stairs developed a crust of frozen prisms that shone brilliantly in the morning light. As the sheer force of the ghosts materialization froze the air around him. His soulmist condensed rapidly as he blinked to the foot of the staircase. The pearly smoke was thinner than before, the light wisps that lifted off his materialized edges seized sporadically, betraying the ghosts injuries. He was hurt badly after their first close quarters battle, his soulmist was damaged and radiated a burning pain throughout his form. But he learned from his mistakes. His eyes were cast down and focused on the floor and Madeira's feet to avoid another lie. And with the overturned kitchen table between them he had a barrier to prevent another slashing attack. As the last of his soulmist pulled together he spoke, his voice was strong and seethed with the blackness that had filled every corner of his soul.

"It doesn't matter how far you run, I'll always be faster. Why don't you make it easier on yourself and just lay down and die."

He wasn't subtle of scheming, multiple ribbons of soulmist reached out and seized whatever wasn't tied down and began to pelt the frail girl with a hail of kitchenware. The spiritists trained senses would immediately alert her to his presence, supplemented by the mark of death on her hand. There was no use being clever, or planning to catch her unawares, she would always know where he was. But he had brute force, a etherial body and a strength the thin girl just out of childhood couldn't hope to match.

The projectiles ached overhead, battering the wooden table. Flashes of colours reflected off the ices surface as the frost spread, followed by a blast of cold air that filled the open floor. The ghost superseded accuracy in favour of sheer volume. He needed to keep her pinned and on the defensive until one of the objects hit their mark.

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Everything is falling apart according to plan

Postby Madeira Craven on September 19th, 2019, 7:10 pm

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"Safe and sound at home again
Let the waters roar, Jack
Safe and sound at home again
Let the waters roar, Jack"

Madeira was doubled up behind the overturned table, hands over her head as porcelain and pieces of battled furniture rained around her. With her cheek pressed to the ground and her eyes closed tight she was singing for all she was worth. Her loaded crossbow was tucked in beside her, useless against the hail of much heavier objects.

"Long we've tossed on the rolling main
Now we're safe ashore, Jack
Don't forget your old shipmate
Fal dee ral dee ral dee rye eye doe!"

Jomi would recognize the song, it was one of the handful that the sailors of the Bellipotent would sing as they worked. He would also recognize the first trailing hints of dijed that reverberated through the words. They cut crystal clear through the crashing of plates and furniture, pushed forward not with sound but with a will that was mutilating itself to be heard.

"Since we sailed from Suvan Sound
Four years gone, or nigh, Jack
Was there ever chummies, now
Such as you and I, Jack?"

The house was bubbling with panic and a lick of pain as its interior was uprooted and weaponized. I wanted to help, but didn't know how. From beneath her Madeira could feel the wooden boards pulling apart, dropping away to the basement below. Did it mean to hide her away in the cellar, like she hid from the Priest?

Stop, she commanded, putting her weight onto her elbows and knees to keep herself off the weakening boards. She was not going to squirrel herself away again. That's not how she was going to win. No, she had to get away from the house. She needed open space, with nothing to throw. She needed to force Jomi to face her head on.

"Oftentimes have we laid out
toil nor danger fearing,
Tugging out the flapping sail
to the weather bearing"

The dijed came slow, the magic feeling thick and clumsy in her mouth. It was heavy, so heavy, battering against the mind the wanted to destroy her. The hypnotism was reverberating in the air between them, and even the house was affected just by being near. She could feel it shrinking away from her crumbled form, moving to the edges of her awareness to escape the ripples of magic.

"When the middle watch was on
And the time went slow, boy
Who could choose a rousing stave
Who like Jack or Joe, boy?"

The obsession ate away at her dijed, burning through her power faster than she would have believed, but it was working. The battering slowed and then stopped, and Madeira risked a look over the edge of the table. Then finally, slowly, she stood. She could barely hear but for the ringing in her ears. There was a dark, coppery taste in her mouth. She wiped the back of her hand across her lips and it came away dark with blood.

Lay down and die, the obsession burned into him. Flaying open his mind with the words of her jaunty little shanty. She raised her bow, squinting past the double vision that was cutting Jomi into a whole crowed of traitors. She laid her index finger across the trigger.

"But the best of friends must part
Fair or foul the weather
Don't forget your old shipmate, Jack
Fal dee ral dee ral dee rye eye doe!"

With a twang the black bolt shot across the room, burying itself in the ghost and several centimeters of floor beneath him. The house itself seemed to part the

The magic died on Madeira lips as she turned away, and a wash of nausea came with it. She stumbled to the door on unsteady legs, pursued by whispers that filled her head with their noise. She had to get away. Far away. Away from people, from things he could sue as weapons... She had to meet Jomi in the open. The forest? No, too dangerous. The park? Yes, yes, one of Lhavit's well tended, landscaped parks. She would find a medow and wait for him.

She retched into the bushes beside the porch, and blood splattered at her feet. Part of her, the part that sounded like uncle Frode, scolded her. She overgave. She overgave hard. She couldn't use magic again if she wanted to keep her sanity.

Snatching her cane from beside the door she headed out into the night, her eyes trained on the treetops of the Ahleas Park only a few blocks away.
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