Completed Curiosities and Lost Things

She has one and is the other.

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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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Curiosities and Lost Things

Postby Autumn Rose on November 5th, 2019, 5:35 am

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Fall the 27th, 529 AV, the 23rd Bell
    A usually vacant room in the Red Lantern

Four days ago, Gweneveh had discovered Autumn’s little book of fairytales and, as she skimmed through its stories, the ghost’s silver necklace. Fear had filled Autumn as her unwitting roommate took the braided silver chain and slipped it over her head, admiring how it looked on her in the mirror. Even as envious and frightened as she was to lose it, Autumn had to admit that the prostitute wore it better than anyone before her. Maro had been her favorite person in the world, and despite how much she admired and loved him, he had never made the necklace look good. Gweneveh, for her part, seemed born to wear it. Jealously, Autumn realized she was born to wear anything. Or nothing. It didn’t matter. The woman made it all look good.

Four days ago, the living woman had discovered it but, knowing it wasn’t hers, had put it back, but Autumn was paranoid. It had already been stolen once before, and she had had to kill to get it back. She never wanted to have to do that again, especially not Gweneveh. Living with the woman, even for the three short weeks she had, she could understand why Noah admirer her so much, spoke so highly of her, and had fallen so madly in love with her. Autumn hated the living, but she couldn’t bring herself to hate Gweneveh.

Still, the necklace had to be hidden. It had to stay safe. Gweneveh was trustworthy, but Autumn couldn’t say that about the rest of the women working in the Lantern. In the short time she had lived in the brothel, Autumn had watched several of the newer workers enter Gweneveh’s room while she was entertaining someone downstairs. They generally “borrowed” articles of clothing or some of Autumn’s roommate’s fine perfume.

The jewelry was nothing impressive, and Autumn had no need for it, but neither of those was the point. Sentimentality drove her to protect the little piece. It had been a gift, and no ordinary gift either. Dira herself had personally given Autumn this gift. And even the giver wasn’t the whole of the gift’s importance. Back home, on Black Rock, the pendant that hang from the chain framed a single black Ashl, the island’s currency made from the souls of those Dira seemed unworthy of continuing in the cycle of life and death. This one contained the soul of Autumn’s killer. Away from Black Rock, the Ashl was missing. No Ashl ever left the island, Dira’s way of reassuring those souls never reentered the cycle.

Autumn was summoning all the mist should could, shaping it in to an odd hook that pushed upward and could hold the chain suspended while she searched for a place to hide it. Her early days in the Red Lantern had been spent examining all the rooms, mostly when they were vacant, and her memory guided her to the best place. There was one room she had never seen anyone use, and for that reason, she went there now. It sat down at the end of one hallway, sparsely finished as if it had just been forgotten.

No one had ever used it, but when she opened the door this day, there was evidence of an inhabitant. What little furniture the room had to offer had been pushed aside, and in its center sat a hand cart, the kind with doors that opened on its side so merchants could sell things from it. The doors were open, and even the sparsest of glances would tell someone that this was no ordinary trinket peddler.

Oddities that Autumn imagined no one ever wanting lines the many shelves and tiny drawers. It exuded a magnetic wonder, and Maro had taught Autumn curiosity well. Lining the shelves of the inner side of one door were all items living or once living. Insects writhed in jars, crawling over each other to get to food carefully selected for each of them, some for greenery, some for rancid pieces of meat, and some for other insects. In one jar, a large-bellied spider with a gleaming black body and a bright red mark seemed to eye Autumn hungrily before going back to feast on a similar yet smaller spider in the jar with her. Other bits were placed in deliberate order, mostly desiccated parts of once whole creatures though Autumn did spy several whole rodents sunken in on themselves. There were limbs too, severed rabbits’ feet and wings of bats and feathers of birds. Three whole shelves had been dedicated to bones, one of those being all teeth, some of which belonged to wicked predators judging by their size.

But living and dead bits weren’t all the little wagon cart had to offer. There was a shelf dedicated to spices; and another, to candles, ranging in every color wax Autumn could think of. There were books and vials, dirt and stones, and every single jar was labeled with tiny strip of paper lovingly scrawled in a steady but looping script.

Up at the top of the cart, a sign was painted in the same hand as the labels. Curiosities and Lost Things. Beneath that was a shelf with extra measures to protect its contents. The bottom was padded with several layers of thick, soft cloth, and a lip at the front prevented anything from tumbling outward where it could shatter on the ground. Each of these had a label too, perhaps more carefully and lovingly written than any of the others. These were obviously the pride of this merchant.

The first that caught Autumn’s eye was something she knew well and didn’t have to read the label to identify. Soul Mist. There was another that looked unremarkable, but with its place among the rest of these, it had to have some significance. Dirt from the grave of Wolkirk. The name meant nothing to her, but she’d have to ask the next time she was around a historian. Maybe someone would know. Maybe she should have been impressed. Another vial held dark clouds that roiled around each other, occasionally letting loose brilliant flashes of electric light. Lightning in a Bottle.

The one that caught her attention most though was an empty vial that sat in the center. Bottled Laughter. She smirked at the thought. Surely this was a hoax. But her mind returned to the other things housed on this shelf, and suddenly, it didn’t seem so ridiculous. Setting her necklace down, she drifted as close to the vial as she could without disturbing it. For a moment, there was nothing, and Autumn was sorely disappointed. Her hopes had been high that such a thing could exist. The living were terrible and would prey on those who believed wholeheartedly in the good things of the world. She began to drift away when the first inkling of it reached her ghostly ears. It was faint, so she stopped and concentrated and found that there was indeed sound emanating from the vial. The longer she listened, the more she could identify it as laughter, sometimes a singular person and sometimes a group, at least a dozen different ones. Wonder filled her again. Rhaus had to have a hand in this.
Last edited by Autumn Rose on January 2nd, 2020, 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Autumn Rose
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Curiosities and Lost Things

Postby Autumn Rose on November 5th, 2019, 5:37 am

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She listened intently for several chimes until she realized another sound was interrupting this one. It was a bubbling, and turning, Autumn found a cauldron sitting only a few feet away. Her mind had been so preoccupied with the cart that she had missed the heavy metal vessel and the creamy sky blue liquid that bubbles gently inside though there was no fire to make it do so. In the blink of an eye, Autumn ceased to exist next to the cart and came into existence next to the vat. Curiosity was what it was, and ghosts were often free of the dangers of the mortal world, so she dipped her hand into the brewing liquid, only to rip it back out immediately.

It had touched her.

She was not accustomed to objects of the physical world being able to interact so readily with her, but it did. It had reached out and touched her. Oddly, it hadn’t been unpleasant. Instead, it was gentle and curious and inviting. But Autumn had felt something else in it, a hunger; it was begging food. It felt like a spirit, and she knew exactly what it would be that she’d want to eat if it were her begging for food.

Blinking back over to the cart, she slipped the soulmist out of its place, and in a moment against her better judgment, swiped the bottled laughter too. With some of her own soulmist slathered on the bottom of each vial, she pushed it upward and made it to the cauldron’s side. Popping the soulmist open, she noticed in satisfaction as the liquid seemed to reach for it as the mist slipped out of its bottle to mix with the brew. She popped the cork on the second vial and decanted what she imagined was a single drop of laughter. As the top was removed, the laughter became louder, as if the people were in the room with them.

Autumn set the bottles down, then plunged herself into the pot, pushing her mist around to push away the brew. It was a relief to run into something that appreciated her and her view on life, but after several chimes of this, Autumn remembered she had come here for a reason. Hesitantly, the ghost slipped out of the tub and picked up the necklace again.

She had returned to the pot to say goodbye when the door to the room suddenly burst open. Autumn blinked down into the cauldron to avoid discovery before she remembered she was holding her necklace. With her no longer there to support it, it fell into the liquid with her with a plop. She half watched the people who had entered and half worried about her necklace, roiling with the blue fluid that seemed to reassure her that her jewelry would be fine.

One of the women brought the other to the cart, pulled out a pair of shears, and cut a lock of her hair. The one whose hair was cut seemed to expect more to happen, but the first dismissed her, paying her several kina as left. Leaving the necklace to the cauldron, Autumn wandered out to observe the merchant woman. The hair was already in a jar. She wrote something on a scrap of paper but didn’t like it. Hair of Whore (Auburn) was what it read before she crumpled it up and threw it away. She wrote another and seemed happier with it. Skyglass-touched Maiden’s Hair.

The peddler was about to put the hair away when she noticed the missing vials from her center shelf. Casting her eyes about, the woman found them where Autumn had left them by the cauldron. Not wanting to get caught, Autumn blinked back into the cauldron. So surrounded by the liquid, Autumn could only hear what the woman said but could not see what it was she was doing.

“What have you got mixed up here?” she asked the cauldron.

It bubbled cheerily in reply. A sudden hand dove down into the brew and pulled out what Autumn had dropped in.

“Hmm. We’ll have to let you dry. See what you are when the goo is gone.”

Patiently, Autumn waited until the woman left to get what she could only assume was Hair of Whore (Blonde) before she emerged from the bubbling, blue goo and looked to the table where the woman had set the object to dry that she had pulled from the cauldron.
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Autumn Rose
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Curiosities and Lost Things

Postby Autumn Rose on December 21st, 2019, 3:00 am

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Autumn emerged from the cauldron after the door closed, the goo still clinging to and dropping from her formless soul. Drifting effortlessly to the table, she took a hesitant look at her necklace, fearing the cauldron and its bubbling mixture had somehow melted or otherwise deformed it. Instead, she found the necklace unchanged or rather intact. While the three thin chains of silver that were braided around each other to make the necklace remained the same bright silver they were before, they had new additions. Spaced evenly around the chain were two dozen beads that put off an unnatural light, the light of soulmist, and it danced across the chains, casting light and shadow that highlighted their braided nature.

A soft smile, as gentle as the glow of the soulmist beads, lit her face, and Autumn reached for the necklace. Her eyes widened in wonder as the necklace shifted at her touch. She had projected no mist, but it had moved just the same. Wrapping materializing fingers around the chain, she lifted it effortlessly over her head and draped it around her neck. She caught her reflection in a mirror on the cart and smiled, not quite so gently this time. Not even Gweneveh had worn it this well.

There was an odd strength to the necklace. It made her powerful. She didn’t know how, but in the same way that it could touch her though she was formless, it made it so formless things could not touch her unless she allowed them to. Even materialized, she was a ghost to ghosts. If she chose, she was untouchable. Her hand drifted down her neck and grazed over a bead.

Something miraculous occurred. As her hand grazed across one bead, it reached for her. Not so much her, perhaps, but for something she had. The longer her fingers stayed on it, the clearer its call became. It wanted some from the very soul of her, from her mind. It wanted a memory and not just any memory. It asked for the one thing, perhaps, that she held most dear. Her happiness.

Death tended not to be kind on anyone who lived it, so these memories, for those of the dead who could hold such things precious, were invaluable. To let one go seemed a price too steep to ask, no matter what the necklace could offer in return, but even as it asked, the little bead offered her assurances, whispered to her soul that the memory would still be hers but would also be safely contained within its luminous glow.

Trusting the whispers of the necklace, Autumn searched her memories for the first one to place, and it didn’t take long for one to present itself. The memory leapt out of the depths of all her many memories, potent in that it was the first of her memories in which she found a purpose for her death. It was the day she had met Maro. As she pulled the memory to offer to the necklace, the most miraculous part of the necklace revealed itself. It pulled her into the memory.
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Autumn Rose
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Curiosities and Lost Things

Postby Autumn Rose on January 1st, 2020, 10:15 pm

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It was a usual night. The children, dead and otherwise, had headed home from The Little Dead Schoolhouse, leaving Autumn alone. Nights were the worst, not for the fact that the darkness brought on by Black Rock’s generally mildly overcast weather but because they left Autumn alone with herself.

Alone. This was when a person truly found out what they were made of, when one could discover how strong they were, or how weak. Autumn was strong, but enough time alone brought memories to mind that she didn’t want to relive, namely those of her last night alive.

But Autumn was strong, stronger than most. That was how she had managed to stick around these nearly fifty years. Life had not given her what she had wanted, what she had needed, though she still had no idea what it was that was supposed to be. It would have been easier to give up, to try again in the next life. Easier, but not right. Autumn was stubborn. This was her mystery to discover, and no one would take that from her.

But fifty years was a long time to wait, and not knowing what it was that she was missing made her purpose vague and intangible. There was no certain thing about it. Perhaps she was delusional. Perhaps there was nothing, and she would chase that nothing for eternity. But if that was so, it was
her nothing to chase, and she’d chase it for eternity, not knowing any different.

These thoughts brought doubt though. What if she was wrong? It made the idea of moving on more tempting, but Autumn was stronger than this. Temptation was for those weak of will and the easily distracted. Autumn had stayed, not for simple means of revenge or the horror of her death. That she had known was coming before it came. No, she had stayed for something more, for whatever it was that life hadn’t given her before her end came. She was still uncertain of what that was. All she knew was that something had been missing, there was something she hadn’t yet experienced it.

So she waited, alone with her thoughts, stolid and immovable. There were times when she was so buried in her thoughts that she became unaware of the world about her, and so it wasn’t until someone outside had knocked for the fourth or fifth time that she realized the schoolhouse had a guest.

She had a habit of presenting herself the way she had in life, so when she moved, she did so with materialized strides, though those didn’t always match the movement of her body. At the door, she lifted the simple latch. All latches were simple, in a way, just in the same way all doors were simple. They all were meaningless for her but presented obstacles for others. Usually, she would just breeze though the door, but she had someone requesting entrance. This necessitated her using the door the way a normal person would. Channeling her mist down one arm and into the palm of her hand, she pushed up against the little metal bar. It was a simple latch, inconsequential to most, but its weight was meaningful to her. For her, its use required considerable concentrated effort, and nearly a half chime passed while she pushed it up and free.

When she had, the weight of the door, imbalanced as it was on its hinges, swung it inward, and standing in the foggy streets of the Black Rock night was an Omen, one of the many protectors of the Isle and Dira’s choicest followers. Their identity was shrouded underneath heavy hooded cloaks and behind jackal masks. Identity was supposed to be unimportant. It mattered not in comparison to their dedication to the Queen of the Dead, and so they never spoke. Just another way to hide their identity, but if one watched closely, details of the one behind the mask could emerge. The delicate fingers on this one spoke of feminine qualities. She was a woman, and to Autumn, that gave the Omen an identity, something she could attach to, something to give the mysterious person a sense of familiarity.

The delicate hand gestured for her to come outside. An Omen was a servant of Dira, and so to refuse a summons from one was to refuse a summons from the Goddess of Death Herself. Autumn knew better. She stepped out of the building and closed the door behind her with more effort than should have been required before falling into step next to the lady Omen. It wasn’t until they had passed several buildings that Autumn noticed the Omen regarding her curiously. Autumn actually stepped while most ghost just drifted bodiless about. As comfortable as the Omen was with death and the creatures that dwelled in it, she found Autumn’s use of her legs disconcerting, off-putting, but also watched it curiously. That curiosity betrayed another part of who this woman had been in the life before she was an Eiyon, and Autumn prided herself on the noticing of it.

Soundlessly, the two moved through the empty streets, and Autumn marveled how little sound the lady Omen made for something living. Her footsteps were padded and almost nonexistent, and the rustle of the fabric of her cloak was gentler than the wind around them, hidden beneath the soft moan of the night sea breeze. Even the placement of the butt of her shepherd’s crook didn’t sound against the cobbled street.

After a half a bell of slow travel, the Omen suddenly stopped in front of a house and gestured toward its door.

Autumn regarded the door curiously, then turned back to walking friend. “I don’t understand. I don’t need a house.”

The Omen’s hand didn’t waver, just continued to point to the door of the house.

“Is someone waiting in there for me?”

As before, no change.

Autumn shrugged, then strode as she drifted toward the door. She paused at the threshold, then summoned mist to her knuckles, projecting it forward to strike the door as she gestured to knock. It was more a formality to let whoever was inside know someone was there and entering.

Passing through the door without opening it, Autumn froze at the scene waiting for her. The room inside was cozy with a fire burning in the hearth, a table against one wall, and a bed against the other. That was all insignificant though compared to the three creatures in the room. Sitting in a rocking chair in the center of the room was Dira Herself and either side of Her were Before and After, Her two jackal companions. Their ears flicked at Autumn’s arrival, but they showed no further signs of acknowledgment or annoyance. She simply existed, and that was neither good nor bad.

Autumn was about to address the Goddess when she saw motion at the Goddess’ feet. There were four living beings in the room. The last was a small jackal pup, and he was busy entertaining himself by chewing on the hem of the Goddess’ dress. Greedy puppy teeth had already torn a hole in one spot, and his nose slipped through, trapping his face in the fabric. Unconcerned by this new turn of events, the pup rolled on his back and chewed at the dress some more.

Dira watched the pup but addressed Autumn. “Autumn, I’m glad my Omen found you.”

Autumn bobbed a materialized curtsey. “My Lady, what can I do for you?”

At the sound of the new voice, the pup rolled over, leapt to his feet, and began to run toward it, only to be flipped over on his back as the dress still wrapped around his mouth pulled taut. He leapt back to his feet, extracted himself, and for a moment, forgot what he was doing. Then, that curious joy that only canine creatures seem to know burst across his pointed face as he remembered there was a newcomer. Scampering across the floor, nearly tripping over his inelegant puppy paws, the little jackal ran to his new acquaintance. Smiling at his exuberant puppy behavior, Autumn leaned down and held out one hand for the child to sniff. He plunged his nose into her hand, only to recoil and sneeze at the sudden cold. Rather than be put off by it though, he plunged his nose into the center palm over and over again, sneezing each time the sensitive lining of his nose met the chill of her soul.

Growling playfully, he nipped at the hand in front of him, tiny razor fangs gliding through her mist. Autumn smiled and laughed.

“You like him?” Dira’s voice had a calm to it, a calm mortal voices could not compare to. “Good. I need someone to watch over him, nurture him as he grows, raise him. Are you up to the task?”

Autumn stood, letting the pup gnaw at her materialized toes, and gestured to her nonexistent body. “I feel my current lack of a body might prevent me from providing him with the proper care he needs. How will I feed him?”

“Others will bring by food. That was not my question.”

Autumn’s eyes found the pup again, and a fondness blossomed in their bright blue. “I am up to the task. What significance does he hold?”

“He’s a mistake. But he’s a mistake I mean to make the most of.”

“Shall I keep him at the schoolhouse?”

The Goddess stood and began to walk to the door. “No. This home is yours now. Do what you will with it, but it is yours. And his.”

“What’s his name?”

“He came to me without one. If you are to raise him, I think it fitting that you be the one to give it to him.”

The conversation had been brief, but the Goddess had said everything She needed to and everything She intended to. In the matter of moments, Autumn was left alone with the pup. The bell was late, and it didn’t take him long to play himself to sleep. Painstakingly, his new ghost caretaker slid the rocking chair closer to the fire. Then, she summoned all of her mist into the palms of her hands and slid them through the floor beneath the jackal. His weight was not insignificant. It was perhaps the greatest weight she had ever bore, though she had lifted heavier things. It took nearly every bit of her spare mist to hoist him on to the seat of the chair, and she spent the last mist she had left to rock him back to sleep.

Autumn watched him for bells on end as his puppy legs twitched in excited dreams of play. Deep into the night, she kept watch over her boy, and she did not begrudge him a moment of that time. This was a reason for living, or at least for existing, and that thing she had been missing in life was forgotten in the joy and the weight of responsibility that he brought. She had a purpose now, one more specific than the vague nothingness of her previous one, and while that reason for staying remained, it took on a lesser role. Here was hope and joy and life, and Autumn would do everything to insure he would live a life that left him with no regrets. The fire dwindled, its light fading, but Autumn’s watch never wavered.



Autumn came to an awareness of the reality around her as her mind left the memory. Gazing fondly at the bead wrapped in her hand, she marveled at how the light seemed a little brighter for the memory it held. This necklace was a new hope for her, and now she could keep it safe, because she could always keep it with her. With a smile, she faded into the nothing that only spirits and air could occupy, the light fading from existence with her.
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Autumn Rose
Even weightless, I'm a burden.
 
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Curiosities and Lost Things

Postby Autumn Rose on January 2nd, 2020, 3:37 am

Grades!


Autumn

Skills
● Soulmist Projection +2

Lores
● Gweneveh: Makes anything look good
● Autumn's Necklace: She had to kill to get it back
● Autumn's Necklace: A gift from Dira
● Autumn's Necklace: The pendant holds an Ashl made from the soul of Autumn's killer
● Ashls: Black Rock's currency that never leaves the Isle
Curiosities and Lost Things: A handcart that sells oddities
Curiosities and Lost Things: Holds a vial of Bottled Laughter
Curiosities and Lost Things: Has an odd cauldron that changes the things put into it
● Autumn's Necklace: Has twenty-four soulmist beads that can each store a mirthful memory
● Autumn's Necklace: Can stay with her, materialized or not
● Autumn's Necklace: Can make her a ghost to ghosts
● Autumn's Necklace's First Memory: Meeting Maro

Comments

Hey! Good job, you. You done finished another thread. I like your stuff. Keep it up.
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Autumn Rose
Even weightless, I'm a burden.
 
Posts: 137
Words: 203856
Joined roleplay: July 20th, 2019, 12:12 am
Race: Ghost
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