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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 November 12th, 2019, 6:54 pm

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49th of Fall, 519

"Nine lives..." Madeira mumbled to herself, squinting through the glow of the prismatic sky bridge to the Shinyama Peak beyond. "Are you sure this is where it is, Em?"

"This is where the lady said it would be", the ghost chirped, skipping ahead. The secretaries at the Cosmo Center had seemed rather taken aback when Madeira asked them to tell the ghost child the directions, rather than having them explained to herself. But the fact was Madeira's life in Alvadas had detonated her perception of special awareness, and she couldn't even find her own home without help. Emma was her faithful seeing eye ghost in this enormous city.

People about their business passed them by, giving a wide berth to the ghost, and after a few steps past them those same people erupted into squeaks of fright. A faint smell of licorice seemed to dog the Spiritist's steps. She walked faster. And when the ghost began to slow down and glance furtively behind them Madeira tutted loudly

"Don't encourage him, Emma. Eyes forward."

The Nine Lives was a fairly new fortune telling shop, she had been told, run by a young Konti. Madeira wasn't interested in getting her fortune told, it was the Konti she wanted to see. Dev'ania had been there to investigate the marks on the doors with her this last spring, and was there when Sapphire had revealed herself earlier this fall. She really had been there with her investigating this mystery since the beginning, and now that the mystery had changed and evolved she wanted Dev to join her again for this next chapter. They were going to find Penrose and get some answers before any more mages were killed.

The shop they were looking for proved to be easy to find, visible right from the bridge. Madeira and high tailed it up the short hill to the plain wooden door and its small painted sign. She opened without knocking, spun around and slammed the door behind her without waiting for the little ghost. Then she sighed in relief, until she realized the sigh tasted like licorice.

Emma passed through the closed door just as Madeira spun on her heels.

"Spooks! For gods sake", she growled. Well, she still called him Spooks, but that was certainly not the same creature she bought several years ago. A kitten-like thing was in the shop behind her, staring at her with big yellow eyes. It meowed plaintively, plodded over and headbutted her airy blue cotton dress hard enough to leave a bruise. She wasn't entirely sure how her regular black tom cat turned into this enormous kitten, if kittens came with horrifying teeth and dagger claws and bone armor. She vaguely remembered a mysteriously bubbling cauldron in her basement, but the memory was incomplete and fuzzy. Not that this new Spooks was would have been much of a problem. Stranger things have happened and she still loved her cat, only...

Not finding the attention he craved, the cat vanished and reappeared a moment later directly in her arms. Madeira grunted and stumbled with the unexpected weight. Now that the cat could suddenly teleport she had not had a moment of peace. The cat followed her everywhere, and doors, walls and all the tricks of her magic house could not keep him contained. The smell of licorice haunted her every step.

Madeira opened her arms and dumped him inelegantly on the floor. She didn't have time to spend with this greedy demon cat. She was here to drag poor Dev'ania on a quest to find a murderer, starting with their only lead; which meant tracking down a certain dangerous overgiving mage and ask her what she knows.

"Dev, are you there?" Madeira straightened her rings and gloves and the rope of diamonds around her throat. On her wrist her bracer crossbow sparked excitedly, as if reacting to her determination.

Emma, upon noticing the much cuter and much more normal black kitten snoozing in the nearby counter, squealed in girlish delight and rushed over to say hello.

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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on November 14th, 2019, 4:18 am

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49th Fall, 519 AV


Dev’Ania entered the small shop, somewhat ready for the start of her day there. She was excited to readings today, but at the same time, she was quite tired from barely getting sleep the night before. Instead of being restless from the thoughts that flowed through her mind like a rapid river, she was kept up by a restless kitten. Last night, Ember seemed to want more attention than usual - despite spending the entire day with Dev at the shop. So she decided to keep the kitten at home for the day.

She placed the candles in the same spot they went every day. On the counter, and on the round table. Syna shone its bright rays through the skyglass windows of the shop, not need the candles to be lit so early. To keep the comfy mood of the environment, Dev would only light the candles on the round table. She brought a fresh incense from the storage room and placed it on the counter. As she lit it, the end of it burned in flame for a few ticks before becoming a flow of streaming, floral-scented smoke.

Everything was set and ready for the day. Now, the part she sometimes hated - waiting. Hopefully, one curious soul would be led to the establishment in hopes of having their curiosity quenched.

To pass time, Dev sat down behind the counter and took out her journal and quill and ink. She fully intended on adding to her list of things to do, but she was altogether uninterested. Instead, she turned to a blank page and title the top, ‘WHAT I WANT.’ It was a new list - this one of all the things she wanted in life, not what she needed to do now.

The first thing she wrote on her list, ‘1. I want to meet the love of my life.’ Next to the sentence, she drew an arrow off to a note reading, ‘Zach?’ with a heart. She loved Zach and whether he felt the same, she didn’t know.

Interrupting her writing, was the opening and slamming of the front door. “Spooks…” Dev’Ania recognized the voice immediately. But who was Spooks? The Konti excitedly rose to greet Madeira.

“Madeira! Welcome to my small shop. How are you? And...who is Spooks?” Dev’Ania dusted off the dress she wore. She stopped mid-swipe at the sight of the ghost in her shop. Surprisingly, she was calm and not worried about seeing a ghost. A ghost in the same room as Madeira Craven - not surprising at all. She directed her attention to the ghost girl in front of her. “Well hello there, little one. Her name is Ember and I am Dev’Ania. But you can call me Dev. What is your name?”
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on November 14th, 2019, 7:18 pm

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"Dev'ania!" Madeira smiled to see the Konti standing from behind the desk where she had been partially hidden. She wasn't sure how she didn't notice her, the iridescent beauty was hard to miss. Looking closer, Madeira was amused to see there was a rather dazed look in the woman's ocean eyes. Her loud entrance must have interrupted her in the middle of a thought, or a daydream.

"I'm very well, thank you. Sorry to drop by unannounced with this menagerie. That's Spooks." She pointed to the cat sized kitten-thing that was cautiously approaching the wooden cat statue that guarded the back room with his ears flat. "And that is Emma." she motioned to the diseased little girl, who glanced at Dev with a shy smile. "Actually I believe you two have met, all be it briefly, that day our investigation led us to the Crone. May her soul find peace." Madeira briefly touched her gnosis to her heart as she approached the counter.

"Actually, that's why I'm calling on you so suddenly..." Madeira trailed off as she glanced at the open notebook, and read upside down what the Konti had been writing before she barged in. I want to meet the love of my life, it said, with a little heart around a familiar name.

Oh. Oh. She remembered how familiar Dev'ania and Zach had seemed at the midnight meeting earlier that season, and the pieces clicked in her head. So it was like that, then? She looked away quickly, clearing her throat to cover her smile, and pretended to not have seen anything.

"...I want to take up the investigation again, with you. The trail went cold back then, but now we have that mysterious Sapphire. She told us to seek Penrose, and that's what I mean to do. Will you come with me? A Divinest who can see the past will be an enormous help, especially since Penrose might not be coherent enough to tell us herself."

Also, the last time Madeira met Penrose face to face the crazed mage tried to kill her, and she wasn't sure if that psychosis would flare up upon seeing her again. At the very least the calm, gentle, and supremely unthreatening Konti might be just the kind of balm to offset whatever emotions her presence would kick up.

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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on November 16th, 2019, 2:02 am

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Madeira pointed out the black cat approaching the decorative cat statue. “Aww, he looks like a nice cat! It seems that he is a bit curious about my statue friend over there.” Dev’Ania gave a chuckle. “Don’t worry, Spooks, he won’t hurt you. He isn’t real after all.” The sight of the silly cat made Dev’Ania laugh.

“And yes, I do remember you, Miss Emma! How can anyone forget such a beautiful, young face!” She smiled at the young ghost girl. There was something about children that Dev’Ania just loved. They made her heart warm and brought joy to her eyes. Even the ghost children made her motherly side come out.

Madeira mentioned Cala. The young Konti’s mentor had fallen victim to the horrible mage killer that was on the loose. Looking back at Madeira, Dev’s expression had changed from excited to slightly sad. The thought of the Crone’s death saddened her. She looked down at the notebook laid still open in her hands. After a couple of ticks, she quickly closed it and placed it on the cloth-covered counter.

“Yes,” she blurted the word out after a moment of pondering it over. “I will help you in finding the petched bastard who is committing these horrendous crimes. Even if it is the last thing I do.” Dev’Ania’s blood boiled like water over a fire. Usually, she did a good job of concealing her temper and keeping calm, but not this time. She already felt a sense of being controlled by the killer. Whoever it was consumed Dev’s thoughts everyday and she could no longer push them away, so she would have to just confront them instead. She couldn’t stand the thought of not helping find the murderer. She had to do something about it. So, she would help Madeira.

“I think Ponrose has some explaining to do. She has to know something. Anything. And like you said, if she cannot tell us anything, then I can just divine into her past and see for myself. It will be difficult, but not impossible. I can do it.” By now, Dev’Ania was pacing the floor of the Nine Lives. The Konti grabbed her bag and placed her writing utensils and book into it. She went back behind the counter and grabbed something from inside it, placing it in her bag as well. It was her suvai - in case any danger lied ahead during their mission.

Slinging the leather bag on her bag, she walked toward the door of the shop. For a few ticks, she stood there. She took a deep breath letting the incense-scented air fill through her nostrils and blowing out the air through her poked lips. She was ready. She had calmed herself down, remembering the presence of her guest and the ghost child. During her short bit of anger, she might have blocked out the presence of her guests.

“Oh. Are you ready, Madeira? You did mean to go now, right?”
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on November 16th, 2019, 4:23 am

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“Aww, he looks like a nice cat!" Dev'ania gushed as she caught sight of the bone armored, dagger clawed demon cat-thing that stalked her statue.

"...Sure", Madeira hummed, bemused. The Konti even gave the Emma a delighted second introduction once her memory was jogged, and exclaimed that she could never forget such a 'beautiful, young face'. Now Madeira wasn't sure if Dev lived in their reality at all. Or perhaps she really was that warm hearted. Regardless both Spooks and Emma responded to the praise and the gentle sound of her voice; the former purring like gravel under a steel toe boot while the latter hid shyly behind her scabbed fingers and blushed with delight.

But that motherly nature of Dev'ania's burned away quickly as the reason for Madeira's visit became clear. She agreed quickly and suddenly the Konti was all fiery determination and boiling rage as she buzzed around the shop packing her bag. Madeira wisely moved to the side and out of her way as she did. The Spiritist was shocked to hear the soft spoken Konti swear in front of her for the first time, and was even more shocked to see her pull a wicked looking blade out from under the counter. Who was this woman?!

In the end Dev'ania was standing in front of the door, breathing deep and steady, before looking back over her shoulder at her windswept guests

“Oh. Are you ready, Madeira? You did mean to go now, right?”

"You're going to give me whiplash, Dev", Madeira laughed, buoyed by her fiery spirit. "We're right behind you. Come on, guys."

Spooks, sensing they were leaving, vanished in a puff of licorice scented soulmist. A moment later they could hear him meowing from the other side of the door, evidently ready to start the adventure. But Emma held back, fidgeting with the skirt of her nightdress.

"I'll stay and watch the kitty", the ghost nodded sharply, frowning so Madeira could tell how serious she was going to take the task.

Madeira drummed her fingers against her thigh. She would typically say no, as she needed Emma to get around. But since they had no set directions, and she had Dev'ania with her anyway, she couldn't think of a reason to say no.

"Only if Dev says its okay, otherwise you need to head home", she waived the decision to leave the ghost in the shop onto the Konti, and blew the dead girl a kiss as she opened the door. "Either way, be good!"

Outside the sun was still baking down onto the streets below. Madeira pulled at the high neck of her blue cotton gown and sighed. While on the stoop she quickly patted herself down, to make sure she had all her items with her. Her crossbow was still hidden under her sleeve, and her starfire key was still hidden down the front of her gown on a long necklace. She still had her magic rings on her fingers and her holy flask in her pocket. She was ready.

Once Dev'ania joined her they wound their way through the streets of Shinyama peak, trying to find their way to Shari and the Okomo Estates. Spooks followed behind, sometimes disappearing for lengths of time as he investigated interesting smells or delicious birds, but he always came back to dog the women's heels.

"Sapphire said that Penrose was sequestered in one of the cottages on the outskirts of the estates, with her sister looking after her. Their cottage has a blue chimney and snowdrops in the garden", Madeira reiterated for both their sakes as they walked. "Sapphire doesn't seem to think Penrose could have committed the murders and frankly I agree, but she must know something. Or I hope she does. She's the only lead we have."

There were very few people out and about on Lhavit's more high end peak. She could blame the heat, but the tension in the air and the number of white Shinya robe about told her that wasn't the whole story. The Crone's murder not a week before had been a wake up call. Everybody thought that old bat was untouchable. If the stories were true had been living in the Lonely Shack for hundreds of years, and had mysterious magics that protected her from prying eyes. For her to not only be murdered, but marked...

People were getting antsy. Sapphire was right when she predicted that blame would be thrown around. It was Penrose now, but it could just as easily be deflected onto any visible mage in the city. If thing kept going like this there could be lynch mobs, and then the murderer would be just as dangerous as the citizens. Madeira shivered.

Soon the Shinyama peak gave way to the softer rolling Okomo pastures of Shari, dotted with sparkling greenhouses and swaths of agricultural fields crisping in the sun. After a time walking in silence Madeira leaned over and bumped Dev'ania's shoulder.

"So, Zach, huh? You could do worse I suppose", she teased, feeling the need for levity before they dove into what awaited them on this peak. "How did you two meet? How has, you know, everything been going for you?"

In time the two women and the strange cat made it through most of the Okomo village, and the cottages began getting further and further apart. Finally, right at the edge of the estate, Madeira caught sight of a tall blue chimney thrust into the sky. Underneath was a quaint little cottage with pretty white flowers in the window box. It looked like this was the place.

Madeira stopped Dev'ania with a hand on her arm. "Dev, if you don't know, I was one of the women who subdued Penrose when she overgave last year. And we... we hurt her really bad to do so." Madeira shook of the memory of Penrose's leg disappearing into the portal, severing it at the knee. "If she remembers me she will not be thrilled to see me. It would probably be best if you go first." She opened the garden gate and motioned the Konti up the short path to the front door. "I'll be right behind you."

WC: 1034

OOC :
Sorry if I'm moving too fast. I'm trying to burn though the travel and get to the meat of this investigation. ;)
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on November 19th, 2019, 12:25 am

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Dev’Ania stood by the door waiting for Madeira and Emma. The black cat, Spooks, disappeared into thin air, leaving the smell of licorice in the air. A look of disbelief set on the Konti’s face but disappeared after a few ticks. It was Mad’s cat, so she couldn’t be too shocked at the sight. What did surprise the Konti is when the cat’s meow could be heard on the other side of the door. It...teleported. Madeira’s cat just teleported. All Dev’Ania could do was stare at the black cat through the door’s window.

"I'll stay and watch the kitty,” said the ghostly girl.

Dev smiled at Emma. “Of course you can, little Emma. Ember needs someone to keep her company, and she does seem to be taking a liking to you already. Make sure she doesn’t get into any trouble, okay? Have fun, little one!” Dev opened the door, letting Madeira walk out before closing it behind them. Hopefully, no one would require her services today. If they did, they would be lovely surprised by the ghost child they would find in the shop instead of Dev’Ania.

The Konti was ready to go. Once again, she found herself with Madeira Craven out investigating the same mystery. Hopefully, this one wouldn’t leave them at a dead-end. The pair made their way through Shinyama Peak to Sharai. Soon they were walking through the rolling green fields of the Okomo Estates with okomo occasionally bumping into the side of the Konti.

The estates seemed the same as they were the last time the Konti had visited them to see Gemma. The colorful, sacred animals scattered the pastures, munching on the sweet grass Dev remembered they liked. The estates were quiet and peaceful except for the occasional meows by Spooks. Breaking the silence, Madeira initiated a conversation about Zach.

“Ho- How did you know about that?” Dev’Ania smiled, red flushing her cheeks. She had never told the woman about Zach, so she was unsure about how she knew about them. Maybe he mentioned something about Dev to Madeira and she caught on? A look a realization fell over Dev’s face. That’s how she knows! She thought back to when they had been inside the shop. The Konti had been holding the notebook wide open for all to see as she went on her angry spat.

“You saw my notebook, didn’t you,” she asked with a chuckle. “Well, if you insist on knowing, the hunter defended me from a drunken old man when I worked at the tavern on Zintia Peak. Afterward, we just walked around together and got to know each other. He really is a nice man. I guess I...kinda...love him. I mean, he makes me feel really special whenever we are together. I just don’t know if he feels the same way.”

After a couple of chimes of walking and conversing, the pair spotted the tall blue chimney, making Ponrose’s residence. "Dev, if you don't know, I was one of the women who subdued Ponrose when she overgave last year…” Madeira stopped Dev before they entered the small cottage. Right. Dev’Ania was still fairly new to Lhavit when that incident had happened. She was lucky enough to not have seen it, but she did hear about everything that happened from the townsfolk.

“Okay. I will be okay.” The Konti’s heart thudded against her chest at the speed of a racing animal. She was nervous now. The confidence she showed only a chime ago had dissipated and all she felt was an unsettling feeling as she approached the door of the cottage. She looked behind to look at Madeira for reassurance before the gave a light knock at the door’s surface.

No one answered the door and there was no reply from within the cottage so Dev knocked again. This time she knocked louder. Still, she heard no reply so she turned the knob of the door and entered.

“Hello, is there anyone here? Sorry to just walk in, but my name is Dev’Ania and I’m here to speak with Ponrose. I just have a few questions.” Dev called into the cottage before as she stepped through the door. She was met by a large empty room, a fire lit in the hearth to keep the room warm. The doors to two rooms were located at the back of the room. Dev’Ania waved, hinting that it was clear for Madeira to enter after her.

Dev’Ania walked towards one of the doors which had been closed. Suddenly a person emerged from the door, a look of confusion stained on her face.

“Who are you and what are you doing in my house!” Dev assumed it must have been Ponrose’s sister as Ponrose was not likely to be walking with one leg.

“Oh, I am Dev’Ania and this is, uhm, Mads. We are here to visit Ponrose.” The Konti stopped in her tracks and looked at Madeira for reassurance. She wasn’t sure if she should have exposed her name or not, so she stuck with just ‘Mads’.

OOC :
No worries! I was going to do the same thing. Let me know if there is anything I need to revise.
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on November 19th, 2019, 2:44 am

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Madeira followed Dev'ania inside as the Konti waved her forward, having announced herself to a seemingly empty house. But no sooner had Madeira stepped over the threshold than a woman burst out one of the two back rooms. Madeira jumped, startled to see familiar long brown hair, pale skin and livid brown eyes. Her wrist was halfway raised before she realized the woman had two legs. It wasn't Ponrose. This must be her sister. The two looked remarkably similar.

“Who are you and what are you doing in my house!”, she demanded, rightly. And without the two of them having prepared a decent answer to this inevitable question, Dev'ania could do nothing but introduce themselves.

“Oh, I am Dev’Ania and this is, uhm, Mads. We're here to visit Ponrose."

"Pleasure", Madeira dipped into a shallow curtsy, smiling beatifically. Dev was probably right to alter her name, even if it was just a bit.

"And that gives you the right to barge into our home?" the sister advanced, trying to corral them out of her house. She appeared to darken in her anger like an approaching thunderstorm. "My sister is unwell! Get out!"

Thinking quickly, Madeira stepped neatly in front of Dev, directly into the path of the angry woman. "If we could just have a moment of your time..."

"No! Out!"

"We hate to disturb your peace, but did you hear about the incident with the Undead a week ago? It happened not far from here." As she spoke Madeira's posture became looser, her expression rearranging into something serious and unruffled. There was a steady confidence in her voice as she called on all her expertise in Lying to ghosts and lying to the living. She was a decent actor, when it came down to it. The sister stopped sort.

"What, that old lady who was poisoning kids?" the woman's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "I thought she was dead. Someone from the Towers killed her."

"They did", Madeira nodded solemnly. The spiritist knew she was dead, because she was the one who killed her. Mrs Jook was an Unchained in disguise, and was responsible for the death of at least one child, and probably many more. Afterwards Madeira made sure to tell the Shinya what had happened, and she had assumed the residents of the Okomo estates were informed of the situation. She was just glad her assumption was true. She cleared her throat and continued.

"That Undead had been in Lhavit for a long time now, and there has been some concern about..."

About what? She hit a snag in her desperate improvisation. But just as she was searching for something to dig her out of this hole, a poof of whirling soulmist dissipated in the air and Spooks appeared. The kitten had finally caught up, and guessing by the blood on his dagger like claws he had been chasing rats out of somebody's garden. The Ruhi sister screamed in fright to see the bone covered cat thing, and Madeira, hit by a sudden spark of inspiration, snatched him off the floor.

"Ah, I suspected so. Miss, it seems your house is infested. You know of course that the Undead all have a mark of their patron deity? Yes? Well, unlike most gnosis, these things can use their mark to spread their curse, twisting the nature of things." She held the cat away from herself while it tried to twist around to try and chew on her rings. "Please, do not touch it without gloves! But if there is one here there might be others. Rats, bugs, mice, cats, anything could potentially carry the curse, even people. Please, we need to search your home."

The sister, flabbergasted, watched the cat squirm in Madeira's hands. "What? I've never heard of such a thing, and what does this have to do with Ponrose? Who do you two even work for?"

"The Towers, of course", Madeira hummed absently, aware neither her nor Dev could pass for a Shinya. "The Shinya asked for our help, as Spiritism is a helpful tool in tracking those touched by the Transference. The Transference is a little known ability of the Undead. They are rare as it is, and in some places it is taboo to speak of them. Their abilities are more ghost story than fact these days." Spooks, finally fed up with being manhandled, vanished again.

The Ruhi sister stood her ground, but her eyes widened in alarm. "Where did it go?"

"Don't worry, Dev'ania here will find it."

Madeira turned to the Konti, her eyes bright. With her back to the startled Ruhi she risked giving Dev a wink, willing her to play along. "Take one of the back rooms, I'll stay here with this lady and ask some questions."

"Wait, what do you think-"

Madeira turned back to her, her hand held palm out to the taller woman. She put every ounce of authority she had behind the controlled measure of her voice. "Miss, I will answer any questions you might have, and ask some of my own. But right now we need to make sure your home is safe. Please, Dev'ania will be delicate with your sister."

WC: 839
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on December 1st, 2019, 4:46 am

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Dev stood behind Madeira patiently as the Spiritist tried to dissuade the sister from forcing the pair out of the Okomo cottage. For a chime, Dev was confused by the excuse Madeira gave the woman, but it did not take her long to catch on to the story. If Madeira was going to act, so would Dev. She had picked up some things as a fortune-teller.

She listened, keeping a serious look on her face and nodding her head in approval of everything Madeira said. She had remembered hearing of a similar incident while walking about the city streets, so she figured Madeira was talking about the same incident since the sister seemed to also know.

The sudden appearance of the spooky cat startled the Konti, but not as much as it did the Ruhi sister. A look of seriousness stayed painted on her face. “Don’t worry, Dev’Ania here will find it,” Madeira said. Madeira instructed her to check one of the back rooms. It was the perfect excuse to search the house. She could have just gone into the room with Ponrose, but she wanted to use the perfect opportunity to search the house for any clues that might help in the investigation.

The fortune-teller gave Madeira a look of approbation. “Yes, this is of an urgent matter.” The Konti paused and sniffed the air, smelling the pungent licorice smell left by the cat. “As suspected, I can smell it in the air. We need to catch them all before it is too late.”

Dev’Ania started for the room next to the one Kasha had come out of. The room was clean and kept neat by the looks of it. The bed was neatly made and everything was tucked into its own spot. It had to be the sister’s room. She walked into the room and looked around, pretending to frantically look around for something that might give her the smallest clue. From inside the room, she could hear Madeira talking to Ponrose’s sister.

“Wait, what do you think-” The Ruhi sister was ready to go after Dev, but without hesitation she was calmed by Madeira’s words. It was as if she put some type of spell on her. Dev exited the room having not uncovered anything out of the ordinary.

“Nothing concerning in there. Thank the gods. I will check the next room now. I promise to be the gentlest with your sister, Miss. Don’t worry.” The Konti slowly entered the other room. Ponrose laid on the bed and looked up at the Konti as she entered the room. Dev closed the door behind herself, leaving it open just enough to peek through just in case she needed help, or Madeira did. Hopefully she wouldn’t.

“Ponrose? Hello my name is Dev’Ania. I’m...uhm...I’m with the Towers. I just had a couple of questions for you.” Dev’Ania approached the woman, observing her. She could see the blank look in the young woman’s eyes. It didn't look like Dev would get anything out of her, but she still had to try. “Do you know anything about the recent murders? I know you went through something really traumatic, but we are trying our best to find who is responsible for these murders.” The Konti got closer to the woman, her eyes still staring in blankness. It was as if she couldn’t understand a word coming out of Dev’s mouth. “If you can understand me, please just say something or give me some kind of sign. This is of the utmost importance! I lost someone very close to me because of the murderer on the loose!”

Dev’Ania could feel herself getting worked up so she took a deep breath and tried to calm down. She pulled over a chair that was in a corner of the room to sit next to Ponrose’s bed. “Okay. I’m sorry.” The fortune-teller tried to think of any way to communicate with the young, apathetic woman. She took out her journal from her bag and flipped through until she found the drawing of the mage-killer symbol. “Do you know this symbol? A woman named Sapphire marked the doors of mages with it, but she insists that it is someone else who is marking on the victims being killed. Do you anything about this?”

Dev’Ania stared back into Ponrose’s eyes. She had a slight change in her expression and she had sat up more. Dev had got her attention now. They were one step closer to getting more information. “Madeira! I think Ponrose has some information on the… pests for us!”
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Madeira Craven on December 6th, 2019, 7:54 pm

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Kasha watched the Konti slip away, every line of her agitated body radiating mistrust, but she let her go. These strangers were in her house now, and it was clear they wouldn't leave. She crossed her arms and her cold eyes fell on Madeira.

"Mads, was it?"

"Yes. Sorry, I didn't catch your first name..."

"I didn't give it."

"Right then", Madeira smiled, showing how little the deeply unwelcoming vibes from the Rhui sister were affecting her. "Shall we get started?"

The woman hovered over Madeira as the spiritist poked around the room. She wasn't sure what she was looking for, so she looked for everything. She tested her weight on the floorboards, feeling for a hollow spot or a loose board to hide things under. She looked in the chimney and under furniture, opened kitchen cupboards and every box. What could be a clue? Surely the magekiller wasn't going to leave a bloody weapon in their home. And the thief ring her and Jomi found seasons ago were probably the only people stupid enough to leave a manifesto in full view in their basement clubhouse. So what were her and Dev looking for?

Dev'ania left the older sister's room, leaving the door ajar as she slipped into the second bedroom. Through the crack Madeira could see a simple neat room, with herbs and books lined up on the shelves. And on a desk, next to a blank canvas, was a little pot of brushes and paints. Blue, purple, and red. Madeira shivered. Dev was the one who discovered that the bloody marks on the doors were really paint. Sapphire had already admitted to being the one who had drawn the symbols, but seeing that colour in Penrose's home was disconcerting. Madeira turned away and continued her search.

"You know, it's not my place to say this, but I really admire what you're doing for your sister." Madeira said in a low voice, not looking up at the figure she could feel standing over her. "This cant be easy, taking care of her like this."

Rhui didn't answer, but Madeira could hear the creak of the floorboards as her weight shifted.

"Do you two have family to help you out?" Madeira probed deeper, her voice low and soft and concerned.

"...No, we are our only family."

It wasn't much, but it was a start. Madeira latched on to the admission to try and open a rapport.

"I'm sorry. You're an incredibly strong woman to do this all by yourself. But I guess you didn't have a choice... family is family."

"You have a sister, then?"

"No, but I have children. I work hard to take care of them, but with everything that's going on between mages, I'm terrified something could happen to me and there won't be anyone to take care of them... Are you a mage too?"

Madeira turned on her knees and looked behind her. Rhui was staring down at her, and the stiff set of her mouth revealed how little she liked the question.

"...I've dabbled, but I never pursued it."

"That's probably for the best. What do you do then?"

Her posture became more relaxed as they moved away from the loaded subject of magic. "I was a barmaid at the Obsidian Club."

But not anymore, her phasing seemed to say. How long was Rhui going to be able to take care of her sister like this before her money ran out? Especially if she had no family around to help. There was no way she could leave her mentally unstable sister alone while she was at work.

As Madeira was thinking, she reached for a door that lead off from the small living room. The handle rattled in her hand, but didn't open. It was locked.

"What's this?" Madeira asked innocently, looking over her shoulder.

"A closet." Rhui raised her dark brow.

"Then you won't mind if we look inside?"

"Why? It's a linen closet."

Then why is it locked? Madeira wondered privately. Outwardly she showed a pained face. "Locked doors won't keep those creatures out. You saw what it can do. We'll close everything nice and tight afterwards."

Rhui looked at her long and hard before relenting, pulling a small silver key from her pocket. "If it'll get you to leave faster..."

Inside, it really did look like what Rhui had said it would be: a linen closet. Full of random household flotsam, but she noticed it was had even more herb jars tucked away along with bandages.

"Are you a healer, Miss Rhui?"

"Kasha. I've dabbled in medicine too. Are you satisfied?" She reached around Madeira to close the door. At that moment Dev's voice could be heard from the other room.

"Madeira! I think Ponrose has some information on the… pests for us!”

Kasha raised her brow. "Is it Madeira, or Mads?"

Damnit. Madeira's eyes flicked to hers, looking for any spark of recognition in there. "Mads is my nickname, it's what everyone calls me", she shrugged, unable to retract the lie. "Excuse me a moment..."

But Kasha didn't let her by, instead brushed past her and into Ponrose's room. As soon as she stepped inside she saw Dev'ania standing by the bed, with a notebook open to the magekiller's symbol. Her face blanched instantly, and she reached out as if to push Dev'ania's hands away.

"What do you think you're doing?" Her voice came out in a hiss with her effort not to raise her voice in front of Ponrose. "Put that away! I'm doing everything I can to keep magic out of our lives and abide by the Shinya's rules. How dare you waltz in and bring that thing here!"

Kasha, so absorbed with what was going on in the other room, did not seem to notice that Madeira didn't follow. The Spiritist wavered for a tick, torn between helping Dev and snooping further. Ponrose wasn't going to be useful though, especially not with her sister in the room. In fact Madeira was sure Kasha was the one hiding something. With a last glance at the bedroom door she turned her back and swung open the closet again, left unlocked in Kasha's haste.

More herbs, bandages... She opened the jars and sniffed, and reached towards the back of the shelves for more hidden objects. She pushed on the back of the closet, and felt the floor beneath it with her toe, looking for secret spaces or attic doors, wondering exactly why this was the only locked door in the house.
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Farthest on the Estate

Postby Dev'Ania on December 23rd, 2019, 2:22 am

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Dev’Ania jumped to her feet as Kasha bust into the room. She could see the anger in her expression as she caught sight of the book in Dev’s hands. “Oh, Miss, I apologize I didn’t mean any harm, really.” Dev’Ania closed the book and quickly shoved it into her bag. Kasha pushed past Dev and stood next to her sister’s side. “I completely understand that you want to abide by the Shinya’s rule after what happened. We just thought the Undead might have some connection with the mark…”

Kasha sat on the bed next to her sister. She grasped one of her sister’s hands in her own as she looked into her eyes.

“I don’t believe you, “ said Kasha accusingly, “you two women just waltz yourselves into my private residence claiming to be with the Towers. What about the other cottages on the Estates? Did you just walk into their homes?”

“No, bu-”

“I didn’t think so. I think you and Miss Mads or Madeira, whoever you two are, have overstayed your welcome and may find yourselves towards the exit. The audacity you two have. As if you were accusing my own sister of the killings despite her current state.”

The Konti looked behind herself and out into the main room of the cottage. Kasha had gotten so worked up, she didn’t realize Madeira hadn’t followed. Dev saw the closet door open and the bottom of Madeira’s dress peeking out from behind the door. Dev’Ania assumed Madeira had discovered searching the closet was useful in their investigation. The Konti had to keep the woman distracted.

Dev quickly closed the door with her, Kasha, and Ponrose all inside. “Ma’am, please! You must believe my intentions were none of the sorts. One would be foolish to assume such a thing about your sister.” Of course, Dev didn’t think Ponrose was the murderer. That would be preposterous to even think of. In her state, she was barely capable of caring for herself in her own home. So how would she be capable of killing multiple people?

But was it too far fetched to look at her worrisome sister as a possible suspect? The thought ran through the fortune-teller’s mind. Now she needed more information on the matter. Dev could see how much Kasha cared for her sister by the anger that fumed in her eyes. It was like she would do anything to protect her. Perhaps she would do anything, at any cost.

The more Dev’Ania thought about it, the more it began to seem plausible. If Kasha was so keen on keeping the thing that almost killed her sister away, why wouldn’t she do that by killing the ones who bring it forth? Judging by her temper, it seemed like a decent chance that the Ruhi sister would be capable of such. On the other hand, maybe it was Dev’Ania just looking for someone to blame for the murder of someone she loved. Regardless of her intentions, the Konti woman was going to dig for more information. Hopefully, Madeira would find something useful for the investigation.

“Ms. Ruhi-”

“Kasha.”

“Kasha…I am completely understanding of the circumstances you are under as you care for your sister. All we would like to do is guarantee the safety of you and your sister from the pests of the Undead-”

“Miss Dev’Ania, I promise you we will be fine. Now if you would please leave. I have nothing left to say on the matter and I must care for my sister. You have spent enough time here and have disturbed our peace.”

“Please Kasha if you would just listen to what I and Mads have to say. If you would feel better, we could discuss this away from your sister. Please, miss.” Dev was determined to cajole Kasha into revealing some information that could be of use.

The disgruntled sister huffing as she stood up. She walked up to Dev’Ania becoming face-to-face with her. The Konti became slightly uncomfortable but tried her best not to show it. “Fine. This is you and your little friend’s last chance,” warned the brunette woman before she opened the door and entered back into the main room.
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