Completed The Interview

Lani settles for her dreams

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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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The Interview

Postby Lani Stranger on December 4th, 2019, 2:41 am

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2nd of Winter, 519AV
Lani had not properly looked at herself in her mirror in ages. The long polished metal sheet that threw her own reflection back at her hung on the inner door of her wardrobe. She had been sick and tired for so long, that she had only glanced at herself enough to brush her hair or pick at her face. But today she was off to impress Tasa and the Twilight Tower in hopes of gaining employment. And so she scrutinized her reflection in her mirror, finishing the last few buttons on her shirt. It was when Lani attended to tucking the hem of the silk shirt into her trousers that she realized what felt different... she had gained weight. More accurately she had softened considerably, having not been on top of her training while she was sick. the hem of her pants still fit, although she did not need a belt as she usually did, and the creases behind her knees felt a little tighter than they should. She would have not batted an eye at the change in weight and appearance, Lani was not often one to ruminate on something that she couldn't immediately fix. However, due to the importance of the day, she began to panic.

"Do I have to buy new clothes?" She groaned to Infinity while sticking a finger in the waistband of her trousers and tugging, to see how much room the fabric had left in it. R'yse would have been happy, the Konti had always been trying to get Lani to put on weight, she just couldn't seem to keep it. Apparently whatever sickness had laid the half-Eypharian up for so many moons had helped with that problem. It didn't help that she was eating so much better in Lhavit than she had in Wind Reach. Here at least, her coins had value.

Of course, she received no reply. The halfbreed had quickly gotten used to talking to the house. She talked to herself while she was alone most of the time anyway, but now all her rhetorical questions to herself had the possibility of being answered, in whatever way the building chose to communicate with her. Only, Infinity didn't often reply to her. To be fair, she also only ever came home to sleep, and even then... only sometimes. They still had quite a bit of ice to break.

"Don't ever become an organic creature, Infinity. There is so much maintenance work to do with these bodies." She grumbled, nudging the door of her wardrobe closed and straightening her collar one more time. She felt like an overstuffed sausage, ready to split at the faintest sign of stress.

The window flew open, startling Spider who squawked irritably at the house that woke him. The rim of the window smacked into the wall. It didn't do any more damage, but Lani could see the dent in the wooden walls where the history of the window banging open showed, drawing her attention to it. Infinity never banged it's own windows like that, although she recognized that she had accidentally opened it too hard many times before. She always apologized, but the Infinity pointing out how her stay in it's room had affected it. Perhaps the house had some self-maintenance to do as well.

"Point proven." Lani nodded to the window, carefully closing and latching it again. Hesitantly she stroked the banged up section of wall. "I'll do better." She promised, but there was no reply. Lani interpreted it as irritation, but wasn't sure. Carefully, with her hand still on the wall, she focused her senses on her auristics. She was starting to get much better with the discipline than the chaotic readings when she was first able to focus her djed in that way. So far her auristics have been only used to sense the immediate emotions of someone or some creature she wanted to focus on. It was latent, but she still needed to waken and use it to get anything out of the tricky little magic. Now it was quicker for her to focus on what she wanted to read from the house, and as she did so, she noticed something else.

Through the movements that her fingertips could read, she could sense the house's emotions. Its true, it seemed slightly irritated, but it also seemed somewhat distracted, as if it was watching something else... or paying attention to someone else within it's many rooms. But as she focused on the various movements of emotions that she could read in the house's aura, she noticed something else. There was a raw chalky, almost paper-like, taste in her mouth, and immediately she spat her tongue out, as if something was on it. Only nothing gave way when she scraped the top of her tongue with her teeth, and just as soon as the strange taste had come, it had left. For a tick she was largely confused as to what the odd sensation was before she realized that the taste was... wood. It was the wood of the wall she was touching.

Weird. She would have to experiment with that.
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The Interview

Postby Lani Stranger on December 4th, 2019, 2:42 am

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"Okay, well I am off. I'm going to leave Spider in here, please don't let him out, he will get lost." She requested, sitting on her bed to slip into her silk slippers. They were little more than a layer of decorated silk over the top of her foot with a slightly more durable, but still very flexible, canvas beneath. She couldn't properly wear shoes, and simply didn't want to, so this was the next best solution. The humans didn't often take kindly to her walking around the city barefoot, a luxury she had gotten used to in Wind Reach. "If Spooks eats Spider, he deserves it." She grinned. The cat seemed to get along with most of the birds in the house, although Lani sometimes worried for Spider's wings.

She stood and opened her wardrobe one more time, examining herself in the mirror now that she was as ready as she would be. She wore a silk dress shirt with a black beetle embroidered into the collar and tassels instead of a tie as a man would wear. Her trousers were tight to her legs and made of a supple hide and died a deep black. Her slippers were simple black silk with a few matte red beads sewn into the seams. Objectively she was not overweight, but she was definitely a few kilos more than she had been this time last season, but she didn't think she looked as if she was wearing clothes that were too small for her, she just filled them out rather than them hanging on her willowy frame as they typically did. Regardless, her confidence had taken a huge hit when she realized her slightly toned stomach had been replaced with fluffy dough over the past moon.

She recognized that she was frowning at herself after a few ticks, and closed the wardrobe again. She stepped over to her desk and pulled her small coin purse from it, attaching the leather to her waist band, and then strapping her dagger to it as well. The fire opal heart was nestled over her shirt, hanging just below her collar bone, and her hair remained flat and still across her shoulders. She was as ready as she would ever be.


When Lani reached the entrance of the Twilight Tower, she was still waiting for the nerves. Although she had not yet come to the Tower since returning to Lhavit, everything felt as familiar as it ever had. The lack of winter had wrecked havoc on the gardens, but the landscapers had managed to make due with what was left. The evergreens stood tall and proud, but few other natural vegetation remained. The grass must've died and been removed a long time ago, which the landscapers had replaced with a small grain sand. Walking paths of flat stones had been laid out in intricate designs, making it easy to walk on, but also pleasing to the eye. Instead of massive bush sculptures, actual stone sculptures had been placed in the gardens, ringed with pots of various exotic plants, which also did not seem to be faring well. Having not lived in the southern regions much, she didn't recognize all of them, but she knew they weren't native to these mountains. They were odd little plants, low to the ground with thick rubbery leaves that were close to the stem. They were very odd to look at, and likely expensive. Despite the setbacks, the gardeners had performed a miracle on the dead gardens, keeping them pleasant to look at and be around, regardless of the lack of actual plants that were still surviving.

Lani had finally made her way through the gardens, reaching for the door with a movement that didn't feel new. Her fingers fell into the polished indents on the door handle easily enough, tracing the same path that thousands of fingers before her had worn into the handle.

She stepped into the main hall of the Twilight Tower, her onyx gaze immediately picking out the two grand halls at the end that would lead to the public and private wings. Her mind was already racing down the right hallway and up the stairs where she would find Tasa's office. But a icy silver gaze stared her down as she stepped into the reception, and so she knew she would have to speak with whoever this new receptionist was first.

"Hello, how can I help you?" The human-seeming woman spoke, perfectly pleasant, as soon as Lani was within a reasonable distance to speak at a normal volume. Lani waited until she was right up at the front of the desk to offer a warm smile and her hand.

"Good evening, I am here to see Tasa, I am an old friend." Trying to get more information on the situation, she let her auristics flow once again into the Chaktawe sensors in her finger tips as the woman reached for her hand to shake. Immediately Lani was able to recognize the kelvic vibrations in her aura, and the long wobbling dance of a bond in the various waves of aura that she was picking up. The woman shook Lani's hand firmly and then answered her.

"Excellent, did she write you a note with your appointment? Or are you unannounced?" the Kelvic asked, blue eyes glancing down her body in a quick curiosity. She felt a flicker of speculation in the kelvic's aura, and immediately probed the sensation with her djed, trying to understand it. Dread seeped into Lani's chest as her thoughts turned to her most recent insecurity... She was definitely too fat for her clothes...

Or maybe the kelvic was rating the wealth of her clothing and deciding if she was allowed to just walk back to Tasa's office. Or maybe the kelvic also had a preference for the feminine figure, which would have been Lani's reason. All that Lani could seem to read with auras were vague emotions, but only if they were active. Whatever speculation that the Kelvic had been feeling evaporated as her eyes settled on the expensive jewel around Lani's neck. If her expensive clothes didn't put it through, Madeira's gift was the confirmation she needed, Lani thought.
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The Interview

Postby Lani Stranger on December 4th, 2019, 2:43 am

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"Just stopping by to say hi, it has been years since we have seen each other last. I was in the Taldera and Sylira regions for a while." Long before you were born. She thought, assuming the Kelvic had the shortened lifespan of most of their kind, a trait that Lani had learned from living with the rapid growing twins and Allister.

"Excellent, well, let me walk you up there just to make sure we aren't interrupting her in any important duties." The Kelvic stood, weaving her hips around the desk and joining Lani on the other side, body angled towards the right hallway. Lani nodded, and followed the kelvic.

"My name is Lani by the way, what is yours?" She asked the Kelvic, trying to be as open and warm as possible. She wove her hands behind her back, a habit that she had noticed nervous people tended to take up. And nervousness implied submissiveness, as far as Lani was concerned, which was what she wanted to portray.

"Frost, Altelo's bondmate." She introduced herself, and Lani worked to keep her face smooth. The last time she had heard anything about the youngest Twilight brother, him and his wife, whose name Lani could not remember, where newly weds. She was curious as to what happened, but not curious enough to ask the wrong person. She wasn't sure how much Frost knew of his past wife, but if it was not a pleasant conversation, Lani didn't dare breach it. And given the odds... it wasn't. But her curiosity was eating her enough that she made a mental note to as Tasa about it. The immortal was honest and open, albeit sometimes harsh, if Lani recalled correctly.

"Pleasant to meet you." Lani gave a shallow bow as they walked, and then lapsed into silence until they reached Tasa's familiar door. Frost gave a quick tap to the door, pausing a tick, and then opening it a crack to shuffle slightly inside, leaving the one hand on the door and leaving it cracked. Lani stood respectfully back and waited patiently.

"Are you busy? I have a young lady saying she is an old friend and wants to say hi." Lani could faintly hear Frost's introduction, and although Frost paused long enough that Tasa must have been replying, Lani couldn't even hope to make out Tasa's words through the heavy wood door of her office. "Her name is Lani." Pause. "Yeah, one tick."

"What was your last name dear?"

"Yeah, um, tell her I am R'yse's daughter. My mother was Konti, so I do not have a last name. R'yse used to study under Tasa." Lani explained, just now realizing that Tasa would not recognize her new name, let alone a last name. Tasa definitely would recognize R'yse's name though. Frost furrowed her brows as Lani's causal explanation of her family. She was clearly confused by Lani's appearance, which would be the opposite of a Konti, if there was such a thing.

"Of course." Frost gave a slight bow and ducked back into the room, keeping it partially cracked again so that Lani could hear her side of the conversation.

"She does not have a last name, but she is the daughter of R'yse, a previous student of yours."

Lani waited for what she thought was Tasa's reply, but instead the door swung open, revealing a tall and immortal Tasa.

"Lords and Ladies in the Ukalas, you've grown." Tasa said, before Lani found herself in a tight embrace with the immortal. Lani returned the hug as best she could with her arms pinned to her sides, but it only lasted a tick before Tasa released her, keeping a casual hand on Lani's shoulder.

"I have." Lani remarked in Nari, unable to come up with anything more witty. She still had to adjust to the stunning beauty of the Ethaefal, having not seen her in years previous. Nothing had changed at all of course, except the hue of her hair and horns, but that was seasonal.

"And you speak Nari now! Where is your mother?" Tasa's eyebrows rose, and she replied in Nari, which made Lani grin.

"I am okay with Nari." Lani explained in the Inarta language, her accent was still terrible enough to make her point clear.

"I want to know how you learned it. Where is your mother?" Tasa grinned, and then repeated the second question that Lani had avoided. Few things escaped Tasa, it seemed.

"Um, do you have a few chimes?" Lani asked. Despite her social camouflaging, she was unable to mask the nervousness in her voice. It was a touchy subject, and she couldn't bring herself to pretend to be the most presentable version of herself for this conversation.

"Yes, come on in. Thank you Frost, Leavou is an old friend, I just didn't recognize her new name." Tasa grinned, dismissing the Kelvic and poking Lani in the ribs as she would have done to her when the halfbreed was a child. The Konti-raised woman flashed a smile and followed the woman into her office.

"Thank you, Frost." Lani remarked to the departing woman and gave another thankful bow before following Tasa into her office.

The office looked much like she remembered, although the couch was new and some shelves had been rearranged. The same rich dark wood desk centered in the room under the large skyglass window that looked out over the edge of Sartu Peak, the rippling ocean waves disappearing in the distance, instead portraying a calm grey ocean to Lani's eyes.

Tasa perched on her couch and motioned for Lani to join her on the other side, so she did. She carefully sat on the other side of the couch, crossing her legs at her ankles and holding her book with her work securely between two hands.
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The Interview

Postby Lani Stranger on December 4th, 2019, 2:44 am

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"So, do share why your mother has not yet come to see me?" Tasa asked, bluntly. She didn't care to evade something that might be difficult to talk about, clearly.

"She passed away. In Fall of 511 AV." Lani answered concisely and honestly, caught off guard by the immediate question, she was unable to pad the news correctly.

"That is terrible. Would you mind telling me how?"

"Well... she got sick. Very sick." Lani answered, glancing down at her fingers, realizing they were shaking slightly. It had been eight years since she had last seen her mother, passed out and slumped against the massive trunk of a Talderan tree. She had been the one to knock her out... she had been the one to kill her. A lump found its way to her throat and she swallowed it down, but it didn't budge. So she didn't say anything more. It had been so many years, and yet she still reacted this way at the mere thought?

Tasa seemed to recognize Lani's inability to talk about the events of her mother's death, and so moved on. Uncomfortable with the atmosphere, she shifted her position on the couch, and changed the subject.

"We don't have to dwell on it too much dear, you can tell me another time." You're not off the hook. Lani read Tasa's words for the truth. "But for now, I want to know why you are here?" Tasa asked. The immortal was not a fan of small talk and while she and Lani had always been on good terms, they were not friendly enough to catch up and chat, not like her mother and Tasa had been. Still, she was welcome, which was good.

"Two things, the first was to update you on my mother. I thought you should know." She said, emboldened by the Ethaefal's change of subject. She took the chance for what it was. "And the second was to show you my work." Lani answered, handing the book in her lap to Tasa.

The yellow haired woman took it with both hands and then flipped it over, looking at the cover work, which Lani had done herself. It was some of the best bindings she had done so far, but even still, it was a novice work at best. Tasa raised her eyebrows at it, and then began to untie the leather straps that held the book together. Gently she opened the first page of the book and begun to read, a note of confusion furrowing her brow after a few ticks.

"Kontinese, I assume?"

"Yes, it is a copy of the only Kontinese book I found in the Wind Reach library." Lani answered, eyeing Tasa's reaction carefully at what the information would mean to her.

"Wind Reach, is that so?" Tasa muttered, holding the book up and using her thumb to let the pages fan in front of her, getting a quick glance of the work she could not read. "Now I know why you know Nari."

"Mhmm." Once Tasa was done examining the book, she placed it on the coffee table beside them, evenly between the two women.

"So, I assume there is a reason you would like to show me your work?" Tasa asked, an excited glint in her eye. She was a very knowledgeable woman, and Lani gave a light smile as well, easily invited by Tasa's gaze.

"Ah yes, well, I have been in Wind Reach for the past few seasons. While I was there I managed to secure a job as a scribe in the Enclave. I was just copying. H-helping copy and restore books that the Inarta wanted to purchase. Because I spoke common and a little bit of Kontinese, I was often the one to help transcribe work in other languages." Lani answered. She was keeping her voice smooth and holding herself to keeping what she shared concise and necessary. "The stationary there also taught me a bit on book binding and scroll sealing. That book is copied and bound completely by myself. I know it does not look like much, although I went from not knowing anything about the book binding process to being able to create my own without supervision. I am dedicated."

"That you are." Tasa answered without missing a beat. Despite the quick switch from the topic of her mother's death to a clear plea for a job, Tasa was attentive to Lani's words. " Well, if you are asking to become a scribe, I already have one." Tasa sighed, glancing over at the scribe's desk in the corner of the massive office. It was elegant enough to blend in with the room well, but small and simple enough not to distract from the majesty of the office. There was a stack of papers and carelessly strewn supplies, indicating the person did not like cleaning up.

"Does Orath need one? Or perhaps any of the other scholars..." Lani asked, trying not to speak too fast so that no desperation sounded in her voice. "I bound the book too." Lani answered, realizing she had repeated herself only after speaking. Why on all of Mizahar was she so nervous right now? Pull it together, idiot.

"I do know that Orath's scribe is aging, although I am unsure when she will choose to retire from us. If you need a job anytime soon, I wouldn't wait for her." Lani's shoulder's dropped slightly. She didn't need a job financially, but she hated wasting away, sick in her bed, and unable to do much with the short time that she was awake. And, she had always dreamed of learning from the Twilight family. Although she was fairly certain they were unlikely to accept her as a pupil, she was determined to work there.

"I suppose there are no others within the tower in need of a scribe?" Lani asked, picking up the book on the coffee table and running her fingers lightly over the seam.
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The Interview

Postby Lani Stranger on December 4th, 2019, 2:44 am

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"Did I say that?" Tasa asked, a rhetorical question, and Lani looked up.

"What I do need is someone to keep the books and organize the family's files... well some of them. How are you with mathematics?" Tasa asked, absently running a hand through her hair as she spoke. Lani grinned.

"I'm okay, I learned the basics but I would have to study it a little more for anything too complicated." Lani answered honestly, and Tasa raised her eyebrows.

"Unfortunately I don't think that is enough to help. No bother, I have someone for the accounts. He is in need of a scribe, for he is a brilliant mathematician, but cannot write to save his life." Tasa muttered, waving away Lani's comment on her own math skills. The whole conversation felt a little curt and hastened, but Lani was beginning to remember that this is how Tasa talked. She was a warm woman, but she was very straightforward, rarely wasting time to get to the point.

"Would I be writing for him or copying his work for the records?" Lani asked. She had not actually been offered the job, but she was eager and wanted to understand what it entailed.

"A little bit of both, I suppose. What experience do you have with transcribing speech?" Tasa asked, sitting up from where she leaned into the couch as if preparing to stand.

"None, admittedly, although I could only benefit from the challenge, I imagine. I can always re-copy the notes so they will appear better organized."

"Oh you will most definitely have to edit Mac's words, he is a rambler." Tasa answered. The name felt almost familiar to Lani, but not nearly enough for her to place it from anywhere, or remember where she had heard it. It was such a simple and unique name, she felt as if she should recall where she heard it from if she had actually heard it before.

"That, I can do. I used to copy the field notes of an herb gatherer for the Enclave... he insisted on writing in common, although his grasp on the language was... not as high as someone who should insist on writing in common." Lani spoke carefully, and Tasa laughed.

"Okay hun, well, I'll tell you what. You work for the night, and then tell me if you can put up with Mac more than a few bells. If so, you're hired on the spot." Tasa chuckled. Lani pursed her lips at the laughter. She had wanted more than anything to learn from the towers as a child, and had settled for working for them as an adult. And even now she was not going to be Tasa's scribe, but some commoner mathematician? Who had apparently had issues keeping scribes in the past... excellent.

Lani only let the expression of disappointment settle on her face for a few ticks before her eyes crinkled and her cheeks dimpled with a warm smile that she hoped would appear somewhat eager. She brushed her hair behind her ears and nodded.

"Gladly." She accepted the offer. "I think I can handle a bit of rambling about math." She chuckled slightly, realizing it sounded more nervous than humored, so she stopped. "I assume I wil be unpaid for tonight's work?" She asked, okay with that option, as she would have to prove herself.

"Lea-Lani, dear. You will be officially employed by the Tower, a few gold for a nights work will hardly dent their budgets. Anyway, would be good to pay you so Mac can see how his terrible personality is affecting the Tower's finances. Ten gold, or whatever you should be paid, is hardly an issue for the family." Tasa laughed as if Lani had made a joke, then rubbed the half-Eypharian's knee and stood up. She motioned for Lani to follow, and the black eyed girl picked up her book and stood as well, stunned by the price that Tasa had said.

"I-I hardly think I will be paid ten gold, Tasa." The Ethaefal waved Lani's words away and began walking. Her lack of grasp on how much a scribe was actually paid seemed a bit off to Lani, but she supposed Tasa had lived in the height of luxury for most of her second life, the Towers were by far the wealthiest families in all of Lhavit, the odds of Tasa even seeing a topaz, let alone a jade, kina were incredibly low. Lani decided to drop it, and ask later. Whoever this Mac was, might be the one to talk to about her pay.

"Follow me to his office, I'll introduce you."
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Lani Stranger
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Posts: 649
Words: 697231
Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Mixed blood
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