Completed Like Taking Candy from a Baby

The easiest targets are the ones that can’t fight back

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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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Like Taking Candy from a Baby

Postby Autumn Rose on November 10th, 2019, 5:39 pm


Like Taking Candy from a Baby


Fall the 33rd, 519 AV


This was, without a doubt, the cruelest of her endeavors, but desperate times. Madeira Craven was a dangerous woman to make an enemy of, and though Autumn couldn’t be sure if the woman saw her that way, she had put herself in the spiritist’s path. One thing Autumn did know was she was no match for the spiritist. This woman was nothing like the woman she had encountered on that beach two years back. Though she had been an ample force then, the spiritist she was now made the one then look fledgling at best. Soulmist practically exuded from her unbidden. Autumn could almost taste and smell it. Many of the spiritists in Black Rock were not as potent as Madeira felt to Autumn.

In her existence in death, Autumn had not strived to use the powers available to her. There had never been a need for them. In Black Rock, as long as she wasn’t trouble, the Omens and Cicerones kept her safe, and even when they had left the island, she had still had Maro. He was not the wisest or the bravest or the the most skilled spiritist, but he had always been there for her.

Until he wasn’t. Maro was gone now. As much as she hated to admit it, he would never be a part of her life again. It was time for her to move on. That was partly why she had left. That, and she had made herself unwelcome with the Cravens there, at least if they had figured out that she had been behind a few occurrences. She had left to move on, but the moving on hadn’t happened. The heart and the mind and the soul have a way of not letting one let go of the past, and Autumn had found it difficult. But now, threatened as she was or perhaps only as she felt, there was a need for her to learn. There was no one to protect her now.

And that was how she found herself at the Catholicon. She meant to practice possession, but for one as unseasoned in it as she was, an easier mark was needed. The sick and the weak would be the easiest. Those fighting severe illness, those fighting for their lives, often but not always, had less will to resist. Their spirits were already broken. And if she could find someone like that, all she had to do was break them a little more.

Finding a person this far gone though wasn’t as easy as Autumn had thought it would be. For one, the population of Lhavit was not astounding, so locating a person on the brink of death or severely debilitated among them was unlikely. Secondly, the physicians at the Catholicon knew their jobs well, and if anyone was sick or wounded, they often had them feeling better in little time at all.

So she had sat unnoticed except for the slight relief of the cool she brought in the stifling autumn heat, waiting for the ideal patient to arrive. Ten unproductive bells went by with nothing more than a few cuts and minor maladies. Autumn was beginning to doubt her choice and was wondering if she would have been better off staying at the Lantern and targeting someone distracted and exhausted in the aftermath of making love.

Syna was beginning her descent; and Autumn, preparing to leave, when a couple making their entrance caught her eye. In the lead was a woman, worry heavy in her eyes as she clutched a bundle close to her breast. She was young, but the weight of anxiety made her appear much older, an age she still seemed to wear well. Closing the door behind them was the man Autumn could only assume was her husband, and his tired eyes said that worry had kept him up many long hours as well.

Rasika, the Eypherian who seemed to keep everything running smoothly for the doctors, spotted them and drew them to her with a wave of one hand. The wife covered the distance in a surprisingly quick time considering her short legs.

Before Rasika could ask what had brought them to the Catholicon, the woman was already answering the question. “Something’s wrong with Candace. She’s not crying like she usually does.” Unwrapping the bundle, the woman revealed a small child with a shock of dark, black hair that matched her mother’s. “Can the doctor see her? Please, I know my baby. Something’s not right.”

“Of course. Let me get you set up, and then I’ll fetch Alessia for you right away.”

A baby! Autumn wasn’t sure why she hadn’t thought of that. Curious and greedy, she drifted up behind the family and followed them up the first flight of stairs to the first of the many lofts Autumn had already investigated that day until they stepped into a partitioned room and waited for Rasika to return.

Fortune was smiling on Autumn. This was the easiest prey she could ask for, though a small twinge of guilt hit her as she watched the face swaddled by blankets. It reminded her of a memory from long ago, seven full years ago. The child, weak and defenseless waiting beneath her as she hovered near the ceiling, reminded her of Maro when he had first been brought to the shores of Black Rock. Suddenly, her mark didn’t seem so insignificant; this task, so easy to accomplish. Despite her best to distance herself from this stranger and its family, she was reminded again of the cruelty of what she was doing, that on the other end of this ordeal was an innocent living being who had done nothing to deserve this.

It was difficult to separate herself from the reality of what she was doing. Difficult but not impossible. She had left Alvadas to move on, move on because the living had stolen from her the only good thing in her existence, the only thing that mattered. With that thought, her resolve became steely; her soul, a little colder.

This thing would be done.
Last edited by Autumn Rose on December 5th, 2019, 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Autumn Rose
Even weightless, I'm a burden.
 
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Like Taking Candy from a Baby

Postby Autumn Rose on November 30th, 2019, 1:20 pm


Autumn was long practiced with patience. It was her most consistent companion. Ghosts who lived driven by the cheaper emotions of hate and rage ran the risk of snuffing themselves of existence or, worse yet, going completely mad and losing all sense of self. These ghosts lived a truly sad existence. When those ghosts held on, they were no more than empty shells of what they had been. But a ghost who made patience their greatest ally and their most potent weapon could outlast everyone and everything but themselves.

Existence for Autumn had been one long wait after another interrupted here and there by shorter waits, but Candace’s parents weren’t accustomed to it. The time they had to wait for Rasika to return with Alessia wasn’t long, but by their building anxiety, Autumn could tell it felt too long for them. As soon as the Catholicon’s lead physician was through the door, Candace’s mother was by her side, pushing the child into Alessia’s arms.

Alessia had little bedside manner to speak of but was a damned fine physician, both things which the people of Lhavit seemed to know, the former of which they overlooked for the benefits of the latter. After examining Candace and finding her completely healthy, it took Alessia several chimes to get the child’s parents understand this, and only when Alessia suggested they stay the night so the child could be routinely monitored did the couple truly settle down.

Their waiting done, they settled in and kept vigil over their child, and Autumn was content to wait once, settling herself into a secluded corner. The day was wearing on, and even Lhavitians with their warped sense of time and sleep needed some sleep at night. She noticed too that stress and worry had taken its toll on the parents. It didn’t matter what their normal sleep schedule was. Right now, their lids were heavy; their postures, exhausted. It wouldn’t be long, but even in it was half a day, Autumn had time to wait. She had all the time in the world. Eventually, exhaustion, worry, and the general need of the body to sleep took hold of both parents, she crashing out on the cot, he draped over the arm of a chair, and Candace gurgling inanities at the empty ceiling above, and Autumn’s patience was rewarded with undisturbed time with the child.

If she had wanted to, Autumn could have just drifted into the child, beginning her possession unannounced, but something about Candance, something about the way she reminded Autumn of her time with Maro, made her take a different route. Drawing on the wisps of mists that coiled invisibly about her soul, Autumn willed them into form.

Most of herself she kept in minimal detail, letting the lines and curves of her body fade into the hazy whirl of mist beneath her shoulders, but her face she was certain to pay extra attention to. Babies needed certain features to recognize a face, and Autumn didn’t want to frighten the girl. Stranger were strangers though, and it was possible that despite Autumn’s best efforts the child would be scared by the appearance of someone she didn’t know.

Hesitantly, Autumn peered over the edge of the crib where the child pondered the ceiling devising observations that would never be revealed to the world and talked nonsense to it in childish high hopes that her utterings could change her world. It took her several ticks to realize Autumn’s arrival, and when she did, her gurglings subsided into silence as her green eyes got big.

Unsure if that was a sign that Candace was about to cry, Autumn hushed the child, smiling brightly and whispering so she wouldn’t wake her new friend’s parents. “Hi, Candace. You don’t know me yet, but we’re gonna be good friends.”

Candace’s wide eyes crinkled, and a smile burst across her face as she voices what could only be taken as a question.

Autumn nodded. “Mm-hm. Maybe even best friends, if you’re lucky.”

Autumn doubted that, but it sounded like a nice thing to say. This child was a means to an end, but that end was a long way away. If Autumn had the child’s cooperation, it would make her practice more potent, her training that much more effective. When she was ready, she could move on to unwilling hosts, but that wouldn’t be any time soon. Still, she had to begin somewhere. Before she ran the race, she had to learn how to walk. Baby steps.

Autumn was patient. She could weather anything until she had the strength to face it. Whatever insignificant obstacle lay before her, she could surmount it, but some obstacles were not insignificant. Madeira was one of those, perhaps. Autumn couldn’t be sure if the spiritist was an obstacle, if she opposed Autumn at all. More than likely, the woman only saw Autumn as a minor hindrance, if she even took the time to concern herself with Autumn whatsoever. She wasn’t the only obstacle thought. There was the Red Lantern’s mistress, Madame Belladonna. She hadn’t been pleased when she had learned of Autumn’s presence and checked in often to Gweneveh’s room to assure herself the ghost was gone.

Gweneveh was perhaps the only ally Autumn had. Her and maybe the baby lying in front of her. Summoning enough mist into her arm to make it recognizable as such, Autumn reached down into the crib but stopped with her hand hovering just over the child’s head. A deep green, Candace’s eyes stared at the hand and its many details, much more intricate than the ceiling above them both. There was a pause when neither moved and neither spoke, but Autumn was patient. Candace broke and giggled another inane chortle, then reached for Autumn’s materialized hand.

Pulling her hand out of Candace’s reach, Autumn shook her head. “You are curious.”

When the child’s hands dropped down, Autumn reached down again and pulled the mist back into the materialized core of her arm. In this way, when her hand brushed Candace’s cheek, there wasn’t the unpleasant tingle that a materialization as potent as hers could bring. Instead, there would just be an icy chill, a familiar cold that somehow warmed the heart. It was in this same way Autumn had left kisses on Maro’s cheek most days before he went out to work.

Many people were put off by such a touch, recoiled from the cold, but Candace was special. Or crazy. Or broken. Maybe just a baby. Autumn couldn’t decide which. At Autumn’s touch, Candace winced, the screwed her face up tight as if she were about to scream, then smiled, then yawned, then back again until she herself was so confused she forgot what it was she doing or what was being done to her and how she felt about it. Her baby eyes went somewhere else for a moment, then came back to the present and a smile came to her face. She giggled once more.

As slowly as she could manage, Autumn gathered her mist and flooded it from the rest of her down through her arm, where it pooled in her hand and trickled slowly out into the child. Entry, Autumn had found, was one of the most difficult parts of possession. Too bold, too brash, and the host would reject the ghost immediately. There had to be a certain amount of subtlety. Most ghost, except those well-practiced in the form, couldn’t win in an outright confrontation, a battle of the wills. The souls that inhabited bodes were comfortable in them, more familiar in them that any invaders would be.

Mist traveled into Candace, strand by strand, so slowly she knew nothing of it. This way of entering another was in equal ways intimate and conniving. Despite it sense of dishonest secrecy, the ghost had to be aware enough of its host’s response to its entry to gauge how quickly it should go. This was perhaps the most jarring transition for Autumn. The fading from one existence into another. As more of her mist emptied out of the world and into Candace, Autumn became less aware of the way she saw the world around her and more aware of the body she was inhabiting and the way that body saw the world. The more of this awareness she gained, the more she faded from her materialized existence., details slipping away one by one until ever the blue of her eyes went out. Candace was about to open her mouth in question, only to realize it wasn’t hers to open anymore.
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Autumn Rose
Even weightless, I'm a burden.
 
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Like Taking Candy from a Baby

Postby Autumn Rose on December 2nd, 2019, 4:09 am


As soon as she was in in her entirety, Autumn scrambled. There was no need to panic, but her possessions were weak and easily thrown. She didn’t understand what it was, but every time she possessed a body, she felt that there were certain parts of the body that called for souls, almost as if they were meant to be anchor points. She didn’t understand, but the head and the spine seemed to beg for her more. There were other points throughout the body as well, and connecting them all were lines that she could almost feel herself flow along when she attached to them. Leylines, so to speak. Leylines of djed. Leylines for the soul. If she could understand them, she was sure she could grasp possession a little better. While she had limited control of where her soul went once it was in a body, she strived to grasp on to these anchors, slide along those lines.

She felt some of them now as she filled the child out, running into the boundaries of the body with her soul. Early on, Autumn had learned to be gentle about that. If she was too haphazard with where she sent her soul and if she crashed into the edges of the body too fast and too fiercely, she ran the risk of bursting out of the body and being no closer to accomplishing her goals. But in a possession, at least in hers, some speed was necessary if she wanted to wrestle control of the body from the host.

In this case, her haste and her scramble were unnecessary. Candace was a baby, and babies had little concern with what was happening in their world as long as their basic needs were met. There was some willpower to work against, but it was raw and unfocused and easily usurped by even a ghost as untalented as herself. Autumn locked herself to Candace’s spine, then spread upward and outward into her head and limbs. Miraculously, she found herself in control as she observed the world through Candace’s eyes.

It was perhaps the first time Autumn had been in complete control during a possession excepting only the once when Maro had willingly allowed her inside him. It had been intimate in a way she couldn’t describe, and little snippets of thought and scraps of emotion had caressed her soul in ways her body had never been satisfied. It was intimate, and she loved every moment, every memory, every detail she was able to experience from his perspective. In a way, experiencing those memories and sensations was the closest she had ever come to feeling alive since she had died, as through him she reexperienced tastes and textures. It was beautiful in a way the living would never understand, but it was Maro’s way to give, especially when it came to her. He had let her in willingly, and he had been happy to share his memories.

Autumn’s soul swelled inside Candace as she remembered her time with Maro, but then a darker thought crossed her mind. There was one thought he seemed to be protecting, guarding from her prying and curious soul, and when she strayed too close to it, Maro panicked. She had left him at his request, but her prying had frightened him. And that she had frightened him, that she had caused him some alarm or harm or wound of the soul had hurt her just as deeply. He had forgiven her immediately, and she was glad for that.

What she was not glad for the fact that he held a thought that he thought he couldn’t trust her to know. What secret could be so terrible that she could not forgive him for knowing it, for thinking it, for feeling it? It was an answer she would never know, the same way she would never know what it was he had experienced that day with Djamila on the beach. Secrets hurt. But she forgave him for any little wound he had ever given her in his life, because none of them hurt her the way his death did. None of them hurt her the way being left alone did.

But she wasn’t alone, not right now. She and Candace shared a body, and for only the second time in Autumn’s existence, she was the one in control. Pressing her essence out into the limbs, she made to move them, to roll over and stand. Nothing happened. Coiling herself and every extra particle of mist she could muster into Candace’s right arm, she tried to hold it up, spread the fingers wide, and inspect what her new body looked like. The arm didn’t listen, not in the way Autumn was used to a body moving. Instead, it extended a little from her body, and the little fist pulsed as if it were going to open but closed again.

Autumn’s frustration was about to reach a peak when she finally realized what was wrong. Nothing. It was nothing. Nothing was wrong. She wasn’t doing anything in the wrong way. Neither was Candace. The simple fact was that Candace was a baby, and even she didn’t know how to operate her body yet. Even she, the master of herself, didn’t know how to coordinate her body to make it do what she wished.

Autumn laughed, but it came out of their shared mouth as a mixture of what a baby would do and what an adult could do. It was an odd gurgle choke, but the soul tucked in close to hers seemed to agree with the mirth it carried. Even the voice was not elegant yet. There were many muscles to be trained, and Autumn couldn’t expect to control them if the child had not trained them to respond yet.

This was going to be something the two would have to be in together for the long haul. Rather than trying to demand elegant actions from the unready body, Autumn worked with what she had. Small flabby muscles flexed, one at a time, so Autumn could know the extent of their strength, the gracelessness of their coordination. Once she knew, Autumn pulled an arm close slowly, only demanding from it what it could give. Then she pushed it away. She repeated this again and again, testing the limb and its associated joints until she was satisfied she knew how well it worked. This process she repeated again with each limb until after ten or so chimes, she felt her grip on the anchor points of the body slipping away. With each effort, the muscles became less responsive, and eventually, she slipped free from the body completely.

Possession for her was exhausting, and even as she materialized to say farewell to the child, her details were faint. She tried to summon some effort but could bring nothing more forward. That was when she realized her host wore the same look of exhaustion. A spasm of care for the child, maybe even a hint of love, caused her gray eyes to flare blue, and Candace smiled as Autumn whispered goodnight.

She rested well that night and, the following morning, followed the couple home, so she would know where to find the child again.
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Autumn Rose
Even weightless, I'm a burden.
 
Posts: 137
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Like Taking Candy from a Baby

Postby Madeira Craven on January 13th, 2020, 7:31 pm

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Autumn Rose

Skills
  • Materialization: 2xp
  • Soulmist Projection: 1xp
  • Possession: 2xp

Lores
  • Madeira: dangerous enemy
  • Maro: beloved protector
  • Possession: gauging resistance
  • Possession: weak will makes for easy prey
  • Location: Catholicon
  • People: Cadence
  • Ghosts: the difference between those propelled by rage and patience
  • Possession: theory of soul anchor points
  • Possession: an intimate exchange
  • Possession: controlled entry
  • Location: Candence's home

Awards & Retribution


Notes
This was a great window into Autumn's inner thoughts and a tasty hint about her past. I feel like I understand her as a character a little more. A+ character building. I can't wait to see where this goes. <3

One last thing; make sure you cut up your posts! You could have easily gotten more possession xp if you'd kept your posts to 500-600 words apiece. And as always, contact me if you have questions or concerns about the grade :thumbsup:
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