Open Bits and pieces

Octanus takes a break from his errands at the Springwater Square.

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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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Bits and pieces

Postby Octarus on November 17th, 2019, 7:20 pm

19th of Fall, 519 A.V.

14th Bell


Octarus set down Layne's basket on the ground before leaning against the lip of the fountain. Looking around at the people milling about, he felt distinctly out of place. He was new to the city, and had not yet caught up with their mannerisms or dress. One thing in particular he was struggling with was trying to figure out why some women wore an excessive amount of ornamentation while occasionally others were exceedingly spare. To that end however, he didn't have the stomach to ask one of these women himself, so he indulged in keeping to himself while he relaxed by the fountain.

He watched as one man haggled with a passing tradesman who showed him some fine looking rings. The man extended a hand with more than a few rings on it already to examine the proffered silver band once more. Octarus looked to his own hand, devoid of ornamentation and nails getting fairly long. He would have to trim them soon, and maybe invest in some new clothes. His own seemed rather tawdry in comparison to the man's dress.

There was a noise at his side, the sound of the basket tipping over as some careless passerby glanced it. Little bundles of Ipdo tumbled out before he could catch it, so he knelt to set them back inside before placing the basket on the lip of the fountain beside him. Well, it was about time for him to get going, but a few more minutes of people watching wouldn't hurt anyone, would it?
Last edited by Octarus on November 29th, 2019, 4:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Bits and pieces

Postby Madeira Craven on November 17th, 2019, 10:38 pm

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    "We will stop for ten chimes, and that is all. Once the fountain's shadow reaches that pillar you'll meet me right here, and then we continue with our errands, understood?" Madeira snapped her fingers, and the ghost of Emma Chamelle jumped to attention.

    "Yes!" the little ghost announced, nodding firmly once, her expression a frown of utmost seriousness.

    The even in the unseasonable and searing midday heat the Springwater Square was alight with activity. Vendors hawked their wares from carts, gossipers roved in packs, tittering to themselves, and half naked children splashed about in the fountain. But most importantly to Emma, the square was packed with performers. Everything from buskers to pyromancers to illusionists were there to delight their crowds, and the chapping of the crowd's appreciation was a sharp punctuation to the constant babble of the square. Though the little ghost was trying her best to compose a serious demeanor, she was hopping from foot to foot with excitement.

    Madeira smiled, pretending to consider her thoughtfully, until the ghost started to squirm with impatience. "Okay, okay", the spiritist laughed. "Be good!"

    And just like that the ghost was gone, having blinked away into the crowed. Madeira was left alone to fill the time until they could leave.

    "The finest rings!" a vendor hawked near the fountain, his last customer (an older gentleman in fine Lhavitian robes) having made his purchase and wandered away. "How about you, young lady? May I introduce you to the finest Lhavit has to offer?"

    Well, she had nothing better to do. The skyglass floor made a light glassy sound as she stepped closer to see what he had to offer. Perhaps she could find something nice to be the base for her malediction creations.

    The vendor looked her up and down, making guesswork and assumptions like all good traders do. She was a small blonde woman, certainly not Lhavitian by the way she dressed, but with good breeding to be seen in the straight set of her shoulders. She was covered throat to floor in extravagant white lace even in the baking heat, and was girdled, collared and ringed with precious stones that flashed like drawn weapons. Meanwhile a much more real weapon was tucked under her sleeve, the edges of the black bracer just visible between her silver gloves and white sleeve. He smiled widely.

    "You are a lady of fine taste I see!" he glanced at her rings, all a mismatch of jewels, bone, copper, silver and human teeth, and worked to keep the smile on. "No, don't look at this rubbish. It's not worthy of you. Here, I only bring these out for very special customer." From under his cart he surfaced with a velvet lined box, inside of which were a dozen fine rings of gold and silver. "Please, try them on!"

    Madeira picked one that caught her eye, a plain gold band that she could possibly attach feathers or leather to. "How much would this go for?"

    "Ah, I was hoping you wouldn't pick my favorite. But to see it on a hand as fine as yours would be its own sort of reward. Sixty kina and I'd be willing to part with it", he nodded sadly.

    Madeira laughed, flicking the ring back into the box. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize Zintila herself crafted these out of stardust and virgin blood. I'll take my business elsewhere."

    "What? Perhaps the heat is making you confused. My lady, my special items are worth twenty times that! Wait, here's an honest looking gentleman. Perhaps he can help your heat addled eyes." The vendor waved to somebody by the fountain over her shoulder. "Hullo! You, young man! Perhaps you could come vouch for the quality of my goods!"

    Amused by the efforts of the vendor, Madeira turned to see who he was waving down. It was a man her own age leaning on the lip of the fountain, watching them. He had that thickly cut look of someone who spent a lot of time outdoors, and the tan to prove it. There was indeed a honest look to his brown eyes. Dressed as he was in plain linen, there was also something very salt of the earth about him. Inwardly Madeira admired the vendors choice of passerby. This man wouldn't have a clue about the value of precious metals, she wagered.

    Still, she was curious to see what he would do. She smiled, something mischievous flashing in her pale eyes, and motioned him over as well.

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    Bits and pieces

    Postby Octarus on November 18th, 2019, 2:48 am

    Octarus had only started looking around at the other vendors when the one he'd just been looking at called out to him. Surprised, he looked around before making eye contact with the man, registering that he was indeed being called over, and to appraise a ring no less. His brow crinkled in confusion as he walked towards them. He was far from keen on this task and something about the man prickled his skin. Perhaps he was just being sensitive, but being singled out for something you knew less than nothing about kinda irked him. That, and maybe he was still feeling a bit self conscious about his dress as he came to stand by the man and woman.

    "You called?" He asked after first bowing to the woman, and offering a shallow nod to the man. If the man was offended, he hid it well, as he might expect from a professional merchant trying to strike a bargain. The man simply nodded back, ever smiling before continuing his diatribe.

    "Yes sir, I was hoping your discerning eye could help settle something between this woman and myself. Surely you can help her to see the true value of a beautiful piece such as this." He said, presenting the gold band.

    Reflexively he clenched his jaw as he mulled over the man's words. Naturally, rebuking this man sounded mighty appealing in his head, but an angry tirade did not fit into his plans. So, he swallowed his pride, and went with plan B.

    Touching his chest, he widened his eyes comically. He was not good at this acting thing. "How did you know I was a jeweler?" He asked, his voice thick with sarcasm. "Was it my elegant looks?"

    To his credit the merchant kept his smile, and diplomatically replied. "What can I say, I've got a knack for picking people. So, what do you think of the ring, or better yet, how much would you pay for such a fine piece?"

    Octarus scratched his chin, obviously pretending to think about the question for a few moments before looking over at the woman, and whispering loudly. "You know, I saw a man a bell ago with much finer wares at an honest price. I bet if we hurry, we can catch him."

    Without waiting for a response, and possibly overselling the ruse, he took off around the curve of the fountain. Once he was out of sight, he stopped, turned around, and considered his options.
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    Postby Madeira Craven on November 18th, 2019, 7:50 pm

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      Madeira dipped into a shallow curtsy as the man from the well came over, looking less than pleased to be disturbed. Then she simply stood aside, ready for the show as he spoke shortly with the ever smiling vendor. There was a familiar tilt to the stranger's accent. Could he be an Avalad?

      The thought was interrupted as the honest-looking stranger whipped sarcasm out from nowhere, his hand on his chest and eyes wide like a scandalized debonair. Madeira coughed into her glove to cover the snort of laughter as the vendor's smile thinned sourly. Then after another chin scratching moment of deliberation the stranger leaned in close and stage whispered in her ear, saying there were other more honest salesmen elsewhere. Then without another word he promptly turned on his heel and left.

      Both Madeira and the vendor watched him go, the later looking rather windswept by the experience.

      "Goodness, that heat must really be something", Madeira clicked her tongue in concern. The stranger had left her a perfect opening with which to bargain, and though she found she wasn't interested in the wares anymore, she couldn't resist the lure of the game. "It must be affecting my ears as well as my eyes, too. Did I hear the price was thirty kina for that ring?"

      She picked up another ring and considered it carefully, this one gold and inscribed with the Lhavitian mountain scape. The vendor seemed to deflate as he watched her, as if his slowly disappearing smile was the larger part of his mass.

      "Yes, thirty kina", he grumbled.

      "But if you can go thirty you must be able to go fifteen?"

      "Are you trying to rob me?" the vendor fired up immediately. "I have children to feed!"

      "Well, these are nice products... Seventeen kina."

      "Twenty!"

      "Deal."

      Madeira reached over and shook the vendor's hand with a smile. Moments later she had handed over her kina and her ring was packed up and thrust into her hands. She thanked him politely and left the disgruntled man muttering mutinously about stingy foreigners behind her.

      She had rounded the fountain, barely leaving the vendor out of sight, when she saw the stranger again. He was standing there, considering the market around him. After a moment of hesitation she approached him, smiling brightly.

      "Your spoils, sir?" she laughed, handing him the newly purchased ring in its small cotton bag. "For you, as thanks. I haven't laughed like that in a long time. My name is Madeira, it's a pleasure to meet another Avalad so far from home", she held out her right hand to shake.

      On that same hand was a small brass ring cast into the shape of a pair of hands playing cats cradle. The ring would wake with the contact, and tell her if he had any relationships with specific religions, businesses or families, but only if he shook her hand.

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      Bits and pieces

      Postby Octarus on November 19th, 2019, 12:39 am

      Octarus smiled as he watched her come around the fountain, his mind focused once more. It look like she ended up getting something after all he thought, seeing the pouch in her hand. That was good, hopefully he hadn't bungled up things too much with his clumsy ploy. His nose crinkled, and his eyebrows raised in surprise when she handed the purchase to him, which he gratefully took, setting it between them on the lip of the fountain.

      "Octarus, I'm just as surprised to see another from that beautifully strange city" He replied, wiping the sweat off of his hand on his pants before shaking her hand. Unknown to him, this gesture imparted his images of Leth, and Eyris, of the Okomo Villa, of a woman and a man whom had been most close to him, the Matlians, as well as other fragile associations. "and please, this gift is too much for what I did. I simply extracted my self from the situation as quickly as I could."

      Still in the process of shaking her hand if she hadn't pulled it away immediately, he would turn it over to get a better look at the ring. "It seems you have adapted well to the culture here, better than I have at least" He'd add, favoring a half smile before stepping back to give her some space. In this heat, and after spending the morning working with the Okomos, he can't smell very pleasant. He almost thought of giving himself a little sniff, to check if he'd gone nose blind somewhere, but he remembered his manners in time.

      "Do you work nearby?" Octarus asked before remembering that they just talked about being being from Alvadas. What if she just got here? He chastised himself, quickly supplying: "I haven't been here long, but I was fortunate to find work with the Okomos." His eyes drifted down to his feet for a moment as considered that thought. He was indeed glad for the work but it hadn't really registered until this moment. Funny how things worked out that way sometimes. With any luck, it was a sign he was moving on, becoming a new him in this faraway place. He shook his head, focusing back on the woman, on replying to what she was saying. Straying towards that dark place would do him no good, not now, not ever.
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      Postby Madeira Craven on November 20th, 2019, 7:50 pm

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        A silver book, a crescent moon, a little cottage on a windy peak, of a woman and a man she had never met; all of these things flashed before Madeira's eyes as she shook Octarus' hand. A religious man, then. And while it did not seem like he was terribly important in the wide scheme of things, he was important to somebody. He turned her hand over as the images started to fade from her mind, and studied the many strange rings that dotted her knuckles.

        "Adapted well?" she laughed. "I suppose so. Their gods are strange, their cycle of rest is bizarre, their beautiful buildings stay firmly attached to the ground and they are a little too into their pastel goat antelope creatures, but you do get used to Lhavit after a while."

        After giving her back her hand and politely stepping back, he asked her if she worked nearby, only to backpedal and explain he was new too. He worked with Okomos? That was interesting. She wondered if he'd have any tips on how to tame her unruly Okomo son.

        "No, not nearby. I work on Zintia, at the Dusk Tower. I've been teaching Spiritism there for about a year now. Which means..." she closed the distance between them again, slipping her arm through his and turning about so they stood side by side. "I would be the perfect guide to this city, don't you think? I've had time to explore every nook and cranny, believe me." This close she became very aware he worked with animals- Octarus did not smell fresh. "Why don't I help you get more acquainted with the culture? Seeing as I'm already 'well adjusted'."

        "Maddy! Maddy!" At that moment Emma came bounding through the fountain, her nightdress and excited ribbons of soulmist streaming behind her, grinning in a way that cracked the weeping sores that crusted her lips and the corners of her eyes. She landed neatly in front of her master, radiating childish energy. "They're breathing fire over there, Maddy! Like-" she pantomimed the act, puffing out her cheeks and wriggling her finger outward in a big arch, as if something were exploding from her mouth. She seemed to think the appropriate sound effect for such a marvelous display was copious raspberry noises. "And then-!"

        Suddenly the girl caught sight of the stranger, and her enthusiasm sputtered and died. She tottered on her bare feet, her mouth working soundlessly and her gaze dropping to the floor. Her body became a touch more transparent as her shyness overcame her.

        "Octarus," Madeira smiled as she met his eye. "Meet the ghost of Emma Chamelle. She traveled with me all the way from Alvadas. Isn't that right, kitten?"

        The girl nodded, not looking up as she scuffed her feet on the skyglass floor.

        "Em", Madeira cooed gently to the embarrassed child. "This is Octarus. I'm going to need your help showing him around, okay?"

        "'Kay", she nodded again, eyes still downcast but beginning to look a bit more lively now that it looked like her expertise would be needed.

        "So," Madeira turned to the man beside her. "Where would you like to go?"

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        Postby Octarus on November 22nd, 2019, 5:14 am

        Octarus smiled at her response. "Of course, some things are easier to adapt to than others. You could say I came here for Leth, and stayed for the sleep cycles." It certainly made balancing the life of his mortal seeming a lot easier with the life he led as an Ethaefal at night.

        He hadn't expected her to be a spiritist, much less come forward to grab his arm but neither did he flinch away. It was nice to chat with someone from his distant home, and she seemed pleasant enough. In response to her question he gave her a sidelong glance and nodded, before he asked. "Perhaps you could show me where I -" He stiffened seeing the ghost of the girl coming through the fountain, unsure of how to react, so he kept his mouth shut and watched. Well she did say she was a spiritist but he hadn't quite expected her work to pop up this very moment. Or maybe the girl wasn't work as the two seemed quite familiar which was slightly comforting.

        Octarus hadn't much experience with ghosts, and in fact this was the closest he'd been to one. She seemed nice, but her presence made a chill run through him despite the heat of the day. He barely managed to take his eyes off the ghost to address Madeira's question.

        "I was thinking perhaps you could show me where I could pick up some paints, and if you have any other suggestions of where to go, I'd be happy to check them out. I don't get out of the Villa much" He said, looking from her back to the ghost. While it was true he had been contemplating trying his hand out at the craft of painting after seeing some of the people he worked with paint the Okomos' horns, he hadn't exactly decided on that till now. It was all he could think to do with his limited knowledge of the city. Speaking of things to do, he wondered if there was a public place to wash up so he wasn't traipsing about the city smelling like Okomo sweat.
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        Postby Madeira Craven on November 24th, 2019, 8:32 pm

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          Octarus was just as uncomfortable with Emma's presence as Emma was with his. She could feel him stiffen at her side even as she could see the agitated shiver of Emma's soulmist. That was to be expected. The grizzly reality of death, especially when it looked like a diseased, eternal child, was not something the living liked to be reminded of. As for the ghost, death had not made her any braver. Despite being indestructible in the conventional sense of the word, and literally the very creature that goes bump in the night, the child was as timid as they come.

          "Paints..." Madeira ruminated aloud, her gloved finger tracing absently at her lips. "You'll want to see Tain's Studio for those kinds of supplies. They're on... Zintila, is that right, kitten?"

          "Yah, that way", the ghost pointed helpfully.

          "But before that, I think there's something you need to see on this peak first", Madeira grinned up at him. Then kneeling down, she beckoned Emma to her. The girl hesitated before drifting towards them. Without bothering to walk her feet hung limp, and the tips of her toes disappeared into the ground.

          Madeira cupped her hand over her mouth and whispered into the little girl's ear. Her body, having trained so long in possession and soulmist production, no longer passed through such ghostly apparitions. Her touch was solid as she pulled away and ruffled the girl's hair, though that didn't stop of electric cold of the contact from running up her arm.

          "What do you think, can you find it, Em? I'm counting on you."

          Emma, smiling from behind her hair, nodded. Given a mission to focus on had brought her back from her nervousness and she was ready to go. Without a word she turned and bounded away across the square.

          "Ready?" Madeira stood and took Octarus's arm once again. "You'll love this, I promise. Quick, before we lose sight of her!"

          Towing Octarus by the arm, she followed the ghost from the square. The path they followed was mostly uphill, and soon between the heat of the day and her own lack of physical fitness Madeira was starting to weary. But though her breath was huffing from her lips her posture was as straight and tall as ever.

          "So, Octarus, I have to ask, why did you travel here all the way from Alvadas?" she asked as they walked. Travel was rare in the world. And travel from half way around the world was rarer still. She only knew of one other person who made the journey, and the bar owner of the Obsidian Club had been very ambiguous of the reason why. "I don't know of anyone who made the journey back, so I assume you're here to stay. I probably am, too. That was a very rough year voyage and there were some points where I wasn't sure we would make it here, much less back. And now I have my children and my life here to think about. But if I had had the choice I never would have left in the first place."

          He could be on a pilgrimage, she supposed. His connection to Leth was very, very strong. But one could worship Leth anywhere the light of the moon shone. Or perhaps he was interested in magic, which was outlawed in Alvadas but encouraged in Lhavit. Her left hand flexed in her glove, and the magic of the Dijed Stone supplemented her own shaky use of auristics. The sight bloomed in her eyes, and beside her Octarus was alight with a corona of colour that flickered upward like a candle flame. His pattern was beautiful, a pulse of blues and whites and silver. But looking deeper, reading the ebb and flow of it, she could not see any indication of the interruption of magic. She couldn't know for sure, but she could make the educated guess that he was not a mage. Was he a scholar, then? That thought was shut down fairly quickly. She thought of all the robed, manicured scholars she had seen buzzing around the Bahrani Library, and she couldn't remember ever catching one of them smelling like musky Okomos and sweat.

          Eventually, just as Madeira was starting to dab at her forehead, they finally reached their destination. Up on the highest tier overlooking the west of the city stood a large, pillared temple, it's skyglass exterior shimmering in pale blues and inky blacks. It didn't seem to reflect the sun but glowed with its own stranger, subtler light. It was nearly empty this time of day, with only two guards standing tall and armed outside and a few temple maidens moving about within. Emma stopped at the bottom steps and bounced in place, waiting for the adults to catch up.

          "This", Madeira gestured grandly, smiling, "Is the Temple of the Moon. Leth's temple in Lhavit."

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          Postby Octarus on November 29th, 2019, 12:55 am

          Whatever he had thought about ghosts before this moment was far from his thoughts now that there was one standing before him. Not that there was much he thought about them to begin with. Long ago, he'd decided he was distinctly uncomfortable with those who chose to remain in such a state instead of rejoining the cycle. When he'd encountered ghosts in the past they had thankfully been not focused on him and thus easily avoidable. This one however while not focused on him was very much here to stay given her apparent relationship to Madeira. Worse yet, it was hard to keep from staring, even while talking to the Spiritist.

          "Tain's studio.." He mumbled quietly to himself, falling hard into old habits while his mind was fixated on this ghost. His eyes darted to where the ethereal child pointed then to Madeira, and back to the girl. The name of the peak he thankfully repeated mentally, recalling associations he'd made during his brief time here. Music and hauntingly beautiful voices filled his minds eye while he focused on looking at the woman instead of gawking at the ghost.

          A grin warmed his features at her offer. He was always game to explore something new, even if that meant sharing company with a ghost. Besides, something about his reaction to this ghost was bothering him like an itch in the center of his back, and already the gears were turning to ferret out the truth behind these feelings that had bubbled up within him. In the meantime, exploring the city with Madeira would give him something pleasant to do while his mind worked in the background.

          "That sounds like an excellent idea, I would be happy to accompany you" Octarus said, barely getting the words out before her arm was through his again, and she was dragging him along. The way was long, hot, and steep, but that didn't bother him too much. He'd always been somewhat detached from the trials his mortal body was currently going through, much to his chagrin when he later had to deal with strained, sore muscles from over doing it. Still, even he was short of breath after keeping to Madeira's pace up the steep mountain path. Despite that, he made an effort to keep his voice even, and not over excited with exertion. An effort that exhausted him.

          "An old friend of mind talked of this place a lot. She'd never been mind you, but her husband had, as he was a sailor with a good deal of experience. When she.. " Octarus hesitated, chewing his lip as he wondered if he was telling this woman too much, too soon. He brought his initial impression of her to mind, open and honest, just like Emilia had been. This was someone he could trust he felt, even though he hadn't known her too long. Perhaps that gut feeling was because he had been traveling apart for so long, but whatever the case, he went with it, continuing his story. "Well, she passed, and there wasn't much left for me there. I'd abandoned my life in Riverfall to see her when she fell ill, and got there much too late." He dwelled on that for a moment.

          That train of thought brought a grimace that he hoped the woman would be too busy tracking the ghost to notice. There was much unfinished business left in Riverall that he regretted not seeing to, but at the time, the decision to come here had felt sound. However, what she said rang true. The journey here had been far more arduous than he'd expected, and etched in him a respect for the word of sailors. There would be no journey back, or at least, not for a very, very long time.

          Ahead a large, beautiful building loomed, and Octarus pushed those dour thoughts from his mind. It appeared they were at their destination although they hadn't stopped walking yet. He could see that because there didn't look to be a path stretching any higher than this. They were at the top of the- oh, what was that word these Lhatvian's so favored. Madeira's voice parted him from the moment his momentary distraction.

          "I.." and just like that the noise of his mind faded as he soaked in the buildings features. For this was a hallow place, and deserving of his full attention. Hard as it was to make something fitting for Leth on this mortal plane, Octarus mused that this temple did the job well. As breathtaking as the great domed building was under Syna's rays, he could only imagine how that must magnify in Leth's graceful light.

          "I'm afraid I'm at a loss for words" He said after a few moments to simply enjoy the sight. "I had not expected a fellow Alvadad to follow Leth as I do. How did you know?" Octarus asked, his eyes searching hers now. Of course, it might have been just a lucky guess given that other people in this city seemed to share his persuasion, or more likely there was a simpler reason that he was just overlooking. He suddenly wished he was better at reading people like sailors seemed naturally talented at. Perhaps this woman had picked up better on that skill than he had and read something in his demeanor that marked him for Leth or Ethaefal. Whatever it ended up being, he was curious to see what she would say.
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          Postby Madeira Craven on December 17th, 2019, 3:52 am

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            Madeira watched with satisfaction as Octarus' face dissolved from puzzlement to awe as he beheld one of the most striking and holy temples in Lhavit. He turned to her and exclaimed he didn't know she was also a follower of Leth, and asked how she recognized that he was.

            "Me? Follow Leth? No, no", she waved her gloved hand as if brushing the notion out of the air. "My heart belongs to Ionu and my soul to Dira, and I can't imagine where Leth would fit between them."

            She did not worship the moon god, but she had a healthy and fearful respect towards him. Though she had never met the deity personally, he once blessed (or perhaps cursed) her so that she would never die. In the days that followed she survived an assassination, a beheading, and more impossible things. And every time the light faded she was forced to reflect on her life and everything she was living for. Now mortal once again, what she learned under that harsh lesson of reflection and change she still carried with her.

            "And what do you mean, how did I know?" she laughed. "You told me so yourself! I came here for Leth, and stayed for the sleep cycles. Remember?" Of course, that could have been read as a joke. To most people it would have. But she didn't have to reveal just how deep she knew his worship ran.

            "Lets move on. The real treasure of this place can only be seen at night, and I for one don't appreciate company while I'm praying. Now that you know where it is you must come back. You can even see Ethaefal's here, from time to time. That's a sight to see in itself."

            She beckoned Emma back from the steps, and led the way back down the hill. The liquid darkness of the skyglass temple behind them seemed to move and shift as they walked away. Madeira could feel its presence on the back of her neck like Leth himself was watching her.

            "Next stop, Tain's Studio. Or..." she looked him up and down brazenly. "You might do with a new set of clothes. I know of a good seamstress business on that peak as well, if you'd like. And, well, don't take this the wrong way, but I'll make sure to point out the public baths as we pass by too."

            He could decide where they would go next later, as they actually had to get to Zintila first. And as they did Madeira revived the conversation. She wanted to know more about her countryman she found in this strange land.

            "I'm sorry to hear about your friend. May Dira see her safely to a better life", she began, touching her right palm briefly to her heart. "Tell me more about yourself. I've lived in Riverfall too, abet briefly. What did you do there?"
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            Madeira Craven
            long may she reign
             
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