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Dev'ania and Madeira's search for Penrose

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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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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on January 15th, 2020, 9:47 pm

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Paints, herbs, bandages... Madeira flipped through all of it, searching for anything. She could hear Dev'ania through the open bedroom door stalling for time, before it hurriedly snapped closed. Though she couldn't understand the words, she could hear the hissing torrent of incredulousness from Kesha being cut off and placated by the Konti's pleading tone.

Determined to make the most of Dev's efforts to help her, she dug deeper into the locked closet. Between the medicines she couldn't name and the typical household floatsam she found and unfurled a portrait that might have been done by Kesha herself. On it her and her sister were standing in front of two others she supposed were their parents. Deceased? Moved away? Whatever the case it seemed they were no longer here to look after the sisters. In a deep corner, dusty from age and disuse, was a sheathed sword. Thin enough to be a fencing sword, it sported an elaborate handle and T shaped guard. Nobody had moved that blade in a long time. Did it belong to one of the sisters, or was it an heirloom? Did they know some kind of sword combat?

Lastly there was a stack of journals, their edges dark and crinkled from use. Inside was cramped, complicated writing that clearly denoted magical notes of some kind. The Spiritist hesitated for half a tick before flicking though the topmost journals. Mages always tended to be secretive about their writings. And if her brief acquaintance with a glypher and her own first steps into malediction had taught her anything, it's that you don't stick your hands in anything unless you're prepared to lose them.

Most of the journals were Ponrose's, the inside of their covers all signed with cramped cursive. But a few deeper in, though they were not so religiously signed, obviously belonged to someone else. The writing had changed completely, the strokes and pressure neat and orderly. They must belong to Kesha. She did grudgingly admit to studying some form of magic.

The voices from the bedroom were simmering down. Someone was going to come through that door any moment. With her last few ticks Madeira bent over one of Kasha's notebooks, trying to decipher at least what kind of magic she was studying.

“Fine. This is you and your little friend’s last chance."

The oldest sister's angry tone came muffled but distinguishable through the closed door, and just like that Madeira was out of time. She threw the notebook back into the closet and stepped away, her body half turning as if studying the window closest to her when the bedroom door clicked open behind her. Kesha, looking completely fed up, swooped out, with Dev'ania close behind her.

"I think you two have disturbed us enough. I don't care who you are, I am tired and my sister is not well." Kasha, her dark eyes flashing cold and hard, stood in the middle of the room with her arms folded. She seemed to turn to stone as Madeira watched. "I do not care about the undead whatever and this magekiller symbol. Neither have anything to do with us. Ask your questions and go."

Madeira glanced at Dev, unsure of where to go from here. Sapphire told them to look into Ponrose. That was the only clue they had. But everything they had found within the house had been subjective at best. Madeira glanced at Ponrose's still open door. She could think of one option she had left, but it would require Kasha's cooperation. And that kind of help seemed unlikely. But the Spiritist had not spent her entire life persuading ghost's not to kill her just to back down because a woman was being closed off. Madeira changed tack, her unthreatening obliviousness burning away into something serious and urgent.

"Dev'ania will have a few last question for you. I will to speak to Ponrose."

"No you won't. She cant even answer you!"

"Then there'll be no harm", Madeira shrugged. "But I won't be able to say I've done everything I could without speaking to both people in this house." She was far from sure that Ponrose would speak to her, but at this point she was about willing to try anything. There was a technique in hypnotism called a trance, that made one more open and susceptible to suggestion. Her hypnotic power had grown stronger since moving to Lhavit so perhaps, if she played this just right, she could dig Ponrose out of the mental hole she had crawled into and get a coherent answer out of her.

But that involved subjecting Ponrose to magical meddling, which her sister would not agree with. She needed five chimes alone with that woman.

"I understand your situation with the Shinya is delicate. I want to do nothing to aggravate that. But if you don't let us do our jobs someone with more authority will have to do it for us. Give us just a few more chimes, just to make absolutely sure you two have nothing to add to our... undead investigation. Then by the grace of the gods you will never see us again."

She brought her hand to her cheek as if to swipe away an invisible hair off her cheek. But as the spider gloves skimmed her cheekbone they stirred, and a magic woven deep in their fabric shivered in the space between her and Kasha. Trust me, the hypnotic gloves sighed, sweet and coaxing. And before the eldest Rhui could formulate and objection or shake off the hypnotic suggestion Madeira had given Dev'ania a meaningful look and slipped away into Ponrose's room, the two of them essentially switching places.

"Ponrose?" Madeira poked her head around the door, ready to back away if the woman recognized her. But the youngest Rhui sister didn't even seem to recognize the room she was in. She was staring listlessly at the wall, but her eyes were unfocused and cloudy. "Ponrose. My name is Mads. I'm going to sit right here."

The bed sank slightly as Madeira sat beside the prone Ponrose, who's head rolled minutely with the movement. "I'm going to sing you a little song, and it's going to put you right to sleep. Once you're asleep, we're going to have a chat, like friends do. Okay?"

No response. Madeira cleared her throat, working her jaw, before she opened her mouth and began to sing.

Her voice was her preferred method of ferrying dijed. Her body did not have much presence, and her eyes were pale and tired rather than spellbinding, but her voice was another matter. It was not trained to sing or preform, to be sweet or pretty, but rather she had learnt to put weight behind it. It could fill a room and take up space in a persons mind, be hard and demanding or soft and coaxing in equal measure. And though the delivery was rough, the music itself had a gentle beat that leant itself to the lulling subtleties of hypnotism.

The song was some nonsense lullaby that she once sang to her children in the cradle, but it did the trick. Her dijed rose and twisted, siphoning from her soul and reverberating in the words as they left her lips. She had only put someone in a trance once before, and she struggled to again find that fine line between sleep and wakefulness she needed for it to work. The cadence behind the words rolled and dipped as she tried to fit into that sweet spot between the mind and the soul. Ponrose's eyelids drooped and her jaw relaxed as she sang, and Madeira could almost feel the dijed skating across her nerves and the damp surface of her eyes. Fearing the chance of overgiving, she let the dijed trail off slowly with the words, and until they trailed off too, and the song was nothing more than the ghost of an echo that hung unnaturally long in the closed room.

"Ponrose", Madeira spoke little over a whisper, taking care not to shock her into wakefulness. "Can you hear me? There is a killer in Lhavit, Ponrose. A mage killer." Gently, gently, she reminded herself, her voice softening and rounding at the edges. "What do you know about this killer, Ponrose?"
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on February 18th, 2020, 3:01 am


Dev’Ania followed behind the brunette woman into the main room to find Madeira there waiting for them. ‘Hopefully she found something of use,’ the Konti thought to herself. She tried her best to keep Kasha distracted for as long as she could, giving Mads time to investigate further. Whether it was enough time or not, she would find out once the pair left.

“I assure you, Ms. Kasha. My colleague and I are here with good intentions as she states. We only want to help you in avoiding any dispute with the Shinya.”

The Konti woman watched Madeira as she spoke, waiting for any queues from the other woman. In an instant, it came as Kasha seemingly calmed. Dev’s eyes followed Madeira as she disappeared into Ponrose’s room, perplexed as to how she got the Rhui sister to calm in just a tick. Whatever she had done, Dev had no idea how long the effect would last so she shifted her focus back to Kasha.

“Here, Miss, why don’t we take a seat and just chat. Ponrose is in good, gentle hands.” Dev’Ania took Kasha’s hand and led her to sit on the sofa centered in the room. She had to try something different than asking the same interrogative questions that would set her off and jeopardize Dev and Mads’ chance to find out more information that could be very well vital to the investigation.

She tried to recall anything she learned about the sisters and how it could be used to possibly connect them with the killings. “Okay, now. I can understand how stressful it could be to have strangers in your home during this difficult time, so I will allow you to relax for now and not talk so much about the undead. I would say that is a reasonable compromise, yes?” Dev’Ania smiled, holding Kasha’s hand in her own.

“Yes, I suppose so,” replied the sister.

“Well. I remember seeing painting supplies when I checked around for other pests. Are they yours?”

“Yes, they are. I thought painting would be a good distraction for Ponrose. I thought it would help us bond since I would be caring for her.”

“That sounds so nice. I have always thought all forms of art were beautiful. Can I see any of these paintings? You and your sister both look like very creative women who can make great works of art.”

“It’s none of your business, but if you must know, we sell them. We need to make an income somehow since I had to quit working at the Obsidian Club. The only one we kept was the one hanging in her room - the first one she made.”

“Oh...okay.” A strand of the Konti’s long pale blonde hair fell into her face, prompting her to tuck it behind her ear. She watched the unamused expression rest on Kasha’s face. In a tick of silence, the faint voice of Madeira could be heard from behind the closed door of Ponrose’s room. Dev let out a sigh before breaking the silence again. “Well, what did you do before the incident? Other than working at Obsidian?”

“That is none of your concern, Miss Dev’Ania.”

“Yes. Of course. I was just trying to make a pleasant conversation.”

Dev was clearly not getting anywhere with the miffed woman. Onto a different plan. Dev’Ania felt within her that something was suspicious about Kasha and she wanted to get all the information she could from her.

Abruptly, an idea popped into Dev’s mind. The thought partly scared her, but she knew it had the possibility to give her a deeper look into what she wanted to know. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. As she opened her eyes they became fixed on Kasha’s hand as she stared straight in front of her. Dev began to slowly inch her hand closer and closer to the woman’s.
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on March 3rd, 2020, 8:21 pm

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OOC :
Sorry! I had completely forgotten that it was my turn. :paranoid:


Some ghost of lucidity sparked in Ponrose's eyes. It was buried deep, some small part of the madwoman struggling to see past the chaos of her mind. Her eyelids fluttered and her jaw worked against the edge of sleep where Madeira's hypnotism had her balanced.

"A mage killer", she sighed. It was the first time Madeira had ever heard her speak in anything but a violent scream, and she was taken aback by just how soft and pretty it was.

"That's right", the Spiritist hummed. Carefully taking Ponrose's hand into her lap, she traced slow repetitive circles into her palm. "Do you know who the magekiller is?"

"Who..." the woman began to shift uncomfortably beneath the sheets. "I'm safe here. Kesha... doesn't want me to know. About the murders. I shouldn't have to know. I'm safe here."

"Yes, you're safe here", Madeira soothed, her voice whisper soft. A person under the influence didn't have enough consciousness to formulate a lie. Ponrose truly didn't know, or doesn't think she knows, about the murders. Damn it all, she should have known it wouldn't be that easy.

"Kesha is stressed. She doesn't think I can see, but I do. I can feel it." This time Ponrose would not be soothed. She was becoming more visually agitated as she spoke unprompted, like these thoughts were sitting too close to the surface and were spilling over. "She's gone. Always gone. Errands, shopping, alone in her room. Where is she. Where is my sister?"

She was getting louder, her eyes rolling madly in her head and her sweet voice acquiring a new sharp tang of panic. "Kesha is right here", Madeira's own voice never rose above a whisper, even as her tracing of Ponrose's hand became a little too forceful. "Hush, Ponrose, your sister is right here. Cant you see her?" Her dijed tapped its way along the consonants, feeding outward into Ponrose. This was a new, deeper thread of energy she was weaving from her own soul. Under a trance a person's mind was almost flayed open, and it was much easier to stitch it back together in new and interesting ways. Madeira wove an image of Kesha for Ponrose, a the skeleton of a hallucination the Spiritist constructed and the madwoman filled out herself.

She couldn't see exactly what Ponrose's mind was showing her, but she knew it was working as her eyes stopped rolling and her body relaxed by millimeters. "There now," Madeira fought to keep the pleasant cadence of her voice as her mouth suddenly grew dry and rough. "She's here, and you are safe. Isn't that so nice? Isn't this so calm?"

"Nice..." Ponrose repeated, that lucid spark disappearing back beneath the fog of her damaged mind. "It's nice."

"Aren't you so tired? Aren't your limbs so heavy? Sleep, Ponrose, you're safe here." It was an innocent little suggestion weaving between the meaning and the sound of her words, something she had done many times before. But this time she could feel the strain that thin bit of power was putting on her soul. She touched the back of her glove to her nose and saw a drop of red soak into the silvery lace.

Ponrose's head sunk deeper into the pillow, her glazed eyes lowered, and just like that, she was asleep. Madeira detangled herself from the woman's hand and tried not to jostle her bed as she stood. She tipped back her head to stifle the oncoming nosebleed, but just that little change in balance sent her spinning into vertigo. Her hand snapped out and she leaned against the wall until it passed, and in her mind the small part of her that sounded like her mad Uncle Frode was laughing. All the magic she needed just to get the sisters to talk to them had finally gotten to her. She had to get out of there before she did something truly stupid.

Still keeping one steadying hand on the wall she crossed the room and edged open the door. She took a mental inventory of what she had learned: Ponrose was not the killer, and her sister was stressed and distant and overprotective. They had no family to rely on. Kesha painted, and had plenty of red paint around. She was a magic user, specifically an aurist and hypnotist, plus others Madeira couldn't understand.

She was still running the facts over in her head as she entered the main room. Kesha and Dev'ania were talking, and nothing was amiss that she could see, but some prickling at the back of Madeira's mind was telling her there was something going on she was not to interrupt. Taking her hand off the wall she made her careful way across the room unsupported to stand behind the Konti. Swaying like a tree in the wind, Madeira had no idea how to subtly tell her partner that they had to go.
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on April 27th, 2020, 5:46 am


The Konti’s hand inched closer to the other woman’s as she spoke softly to her. “I really do feel for you, Kasha.” If only she could take Kasha’s hand into her own without upsetting the woman, then maybe it would be easier to look into her chavi and gain more information.

Small murmurs could be heard through the door as Mads was speaking to Ponrose in the other room, but Dev’Ania continued. “I...I, uhm... I can’t imagine what you must go through caring for your sister in the state she is in-”

Just as she finished her sentence she placed her hand on top of Kasha’s. Dev’Ania waited to be berated and kicked out by the woman, but while Kasha was still quite annoyed, she was also partly receptive to Dev’s touch.

The young Diviner took advantage of the few ticks of silence that lingered in the air. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. As she exhaled, all the muscles in her body relaxed. She hadn’t realized how tense she was until now. Was snooping around and investigating always so arduous?

Dev’Ania cleared her mind of thoughts and focused solely on Kasha. Soon she was in the Chavena among the tangled cords of flowing chavis. After a relative couple of ticks, she found Kasha’s own chavi. Her hand gently brushed against the illuminated line of light.

Flickers of Kasha’s memories played. While they did not reveal anything about the murders, the memories did reveal just how much Kasha really was stressed. Her pain was evident through everything Dev saw. Her memories showed Kasha brushing Ponrose’s hair and singing to her while looking deeply upset. They showed her yelling at Ponrose after she knocked over a jar of paint in frustration. They showed Kasha overcome with emotions and weeping while cooking. Kasha’s emotions were so strong that Dev’Ania could feel them. This entire time, she had been telling the woman how much she knew she was stressed, but she didn’t know the actual toll caring for Ponrose was taking on Kasha. Despite the hardships, Kasha still cared for her sister.

After receiving all the information she could, Dev’Ania returned from the Chavena. With a blink she was back in the main room of the Ruhi sisters’ small cottage. In the only few ticks Dev was in the Chavena, Madeira had finished talking with Ponrose and was now exiting her room. Kasha’s hand quickly pulled away as she stood up to meet Madeira.

“Well. Are you two finished?” The Ruhi sister asked with a scornful tone.

Dev looked to her investigation partner behind her. Something did not seem well with Madeira. A questioning expression fell on the Konti’s face. What was wrong with Madeira? What had happened in the room with Ponrose?

With a stutter, Dev spoke up to answer Kasha, “Y-yes. I, uhm, believe we are.” She turned towards the front door as Kasha walked over and held it open. “Thank you for allowing us to speak with you and Ponrose. If you… have anymore… incidents with the undead creatures...just, uhm, let us know.”
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on May 4th, 2020, 10:10 pm

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Madeira hung onto Dev'ania's arm as Kasha stalked past to open the door, the floor threatening to twist under her feet. The Konti turned to her, questions and concern written all over her face, but Madeira just shook her head minutely, and even that motion made the room pitch wildly. She dabbed quickly at her nose with her sleeve and when Kasha turned back to them Madeira was standing straight and tall, smiling her best, most practised smile.

She let Dev give their awkward closing, as they were forced to keep up the weak and poorly thought through ruse Madeira had locked them into. "Thank you for your time" Madeira intoned softly afterwards, aiming for the gravity that would mollify Kesha. Then with gentle pressure on the Konti's elbow she forced her forward, essentially using her as a crutch as they left together.

The eldest Rhui sister watched them go with dark, mistrustful eyes before slamming the door behind them as soon as they stepped through. The sound lanced through Madeira's head, and she flinched as a headache bloomed.

"Okay, that went... well, not perfectly, but as good as could be expected, under the circumstances", Madeira mused as they hobbled out of the small garden path and into the Okomo Estates proper. As they did she told Dev'ania what she had learned, that Ponrose barely understood what the magekiller was, that Kesha had been stressed these recent weeks, and often locked in her room or out on errands. The Rhui sisters were both mages, both knowing at least the basics of hypnotism and auristics, while Ponrose was a voider as well. Lastly she revealed that their parents were dead, and they had no extended family. Kesha worked as a barmaid at the Obsidian Club, but seemed she had quit, and Madeira wasn't sure what she did for work anymore.

"Sapphire seemed so sure that we would be able to find answers here, but it's seems so far fetched that Ponrose could do these things. Do you think Kesha is...?" Madeira could only remember the slim build and dark eyes she had seen in the Crone's last moments, and shivered. Kesha had to be involved somehow, but there was no way they were just face to face with a murderer, was there? Her head gave another vicious bang, and her eyes narrowed against the bright afternoon sun. Gods, she just wanted to go home.

"What did you learn?"
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on May 20th, 2020, 4:52 am


It was clear to Dev that something was wrong with Madeira. Her usual poise posture was now unstable and clumsy. Whatever happened in that room, must not have been...good. Despite her concern, she still maintained to keep an awkward smile on her face as the pair turned around and started back down the path away from the cottage.

From behind her, Dev heard the slam of the Rhui sisters’ cottage door. The sound pierced the peaceful quiet of the Okomo estates and caused Dev to flinch with a startle. A deep feeling of relief fell over her.

“Yeah...better than I anticipated, but still not great,” she nodded. “I am just glad it is done and over with finally. I was starting to get even more uncomfortable. I was afraid Kasha would get more angry the more I spoke to her, and eventually turn violent.” The Konti giggled softly with a hint of nervousness and concern. She clutched her bag close to her body as she walked along with Madeira, nodding at the information she was being given.

“Yes, ls while caring for her.” Dev’Ania paused and tucked loose strands of hair behind her ears. “You mean…Kasha...the killer? Maybe that is what Sapphire meant.” Dev’s jaw dropped open as her face took a questioning expression. “That makes more sense than Ponrose being the killer, I mean, the poor girl can barely speak. Kasha has been very stressed out. I saw how her temperament and patience was very...limited...when caring for Ponrose. I know she loves her sister greatly, but I sense the pressure she feels.”

Her attention focused on Madeira, watching her wobble down the path as they exited the Okomo estates. “You seem really ill, Mads. Are you okay?”
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on June 3rd, 2020, 12:34 am

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"I'm fine", Madeira waved her off, only for the blood in her throat to catch on the word, and she began to choke and cough at the same time. Strings of blood shot out of her mouth and into her gloved hand, and it was only thanks to Dev that she stayed upright as the violent loss of breath made her vision dim at the corners.

"Okay, not alright", she wheezed as she recovered, holding her bloodied hand to her now crusted nose and lips. "I- I tried to put Ponrose in a trance to get more information out of her. I'm a hypnotist", she admitted. "But I think I pushed things too hard. I'm overgiving."

Of anybody in her life, perhaps Dev was the one she was least concerned about knowing that ill kept secret. She had never once had to hypnotise the Konti. She was too pure and open hearted to need any kind of push like that. Or maybe this was just the supposed hard-hearted Spiritist being too trusting again.

"Overgiving is what happens when a mage uses too much of their own djed. Gods, this is why I hate personal magic", she spat sourly. "That's what happened to Ponrose, you know. Used to much djed, now she's a vegetable short one appendage. But you're right, she's definitely not a killer. We need to think hard about this. I don't know where we go from here."

Without any hard proof about anything, she couldn't see any way forward. Perhaps they needed to think things over and reconvene. Damn Sapphire and her cryptic clues! But first..

"If you could take me home, Dev, that would be great. I need to sleep for a thousand years."
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