Closed Written in the Cards

Madeira has a favour to ask Dev'ania

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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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Written in the Cards

Postby Madeira Craven on March 13th, 2020, 6:05 pm

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4th of Spring, 520


Spring had hit Lhavit like a tidal wave, and now their strange winter felt as far away and intangible as last nights dream. Madeira followed the stairs leading to a small, familiar shop, pulling discreetly at the neck of her yellow silk dress to try and coax the thin mountain air underneath. On the step above her Spooks walked in her narrow shadow for his own little respite. Hanging over the door at the top of the stairs a sign creaked in the humid air: The Nine Lives, it read in clean, curling font.

"Do you think she remembers me?" the cat thing didn't look back as he spoke for the first time since leaving the house. It was hard to tell with the creature, but Madeira stared at the back of his plated head and wondered if she could detect a touch of hopefulness in his growly voice.

"You're kind of hard to forget", Madeira hummed, taking a tick to smooth back her hair and adjust the lay of the jewels on her throat and wrists before reaching for the handle of the plain wooden door. "Though I don't think you were capable of talking the last time. Try to stay out of the way, okay? We're not here to socialize."

No, today she had a special favour to ask of her friend. It was Sagallius, the mad god she met for a brief, terrifying chime at the end of fall, that had originally opened her eyes to the real part the Konti played in her life. Allister and Dev'ania, your bishops, the god had said, holding the corresponding chess piece in his bony hand, both vulnerable, but able to move in unpredictable ways.

Dev'ania had proved herself to be an invaluable partner as they hunted down the Magekiller together, and Madeira had never considered her beyond that. But the woman was also disarmingly gentle and mysteriously gifted, and there were many more creative ways to use her talents. Madeira ran her tongue over her teeth, sensing rather than feeling the blue Cordas mark slide across them. There were things she wanted, and she was sure if she played her cards right, she could convince the young Konti to help her get them.

The inside of the shop was plain, bordering on shabby, with small efforts to spruce the place up with trinkets. It really did feel like the Divanist had taken the aesthetic of her mentor, the murdered Crone, to heart. A starry tapestry dominated one wall, and the other was bisected by a low counter.

"Dev? Are you here?" Madeira called in greeting. Spooks vanished in a puff of soulmist, reappearing eagerly on the counter a moment later.
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Written in the Cards

Postby Dev'Ania on May 6th, 2020, 3:35 am

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4, Spring, 520 AV

An unusual silence hung in the air of the Nine Lives fortune-telling shop. On a normal day, the shop’s owner would be able to be heard singing or talking to herself, or to her cat, who would be heard purring and meowing as well. Yet, those sounds could not be heard today. To anyone who entered, they would probably think the shop was devoid of an owner.

If a newcomer was successful in snooping past the sleeping cat that rested on the counter in the main room and avoided alerting the focused Konti fortune-teller, further investigating would reveal the owner quietly kneeling on the hard, wooden floor in the back room of the building.

She enjoyed the silence. It allowed her to focus on the whirlwind of thoughts that flew around in her head. It was a perfect moment for her to reflect on these thoughts. Cala’s murder had been the only thought in her mind lately, the lurid images of her cold, dead body haunting her dreams. The thoughts always prompted her to question her faith in Divination, even though she understood what Cala did, and why she did it. Thus, questions of Avalis would ensue. The Koti pondered why the goddess would give such a powerful gift to people. She would soon conclude that it was of course because she trusted the receivers of her gift to use it for good. Avalis trusted Dev’Ania with the power of divination, right? Why else would she have it? It was time Dev talked to her goddess for answers. She was going to pray to her.

Dev’Ania breathed softly in through her button nose and out her pink lips, her chest rising and falling with each breath. Finally, the softness of her voice broke the silence as she began to whisper a prayer to Avalis.

“Avalis, Goddess of Visions and Divination, I call to You. I ask You for your guidance in my journey through grief. Help me in understanding. Help me as I struggle with my faith in the power to divine.” She began to slightly stammer over her words. “I- I do not mean I lack faith in You...I do...I j-just need some guidance in understanding Your gift.”

The young Konti was not used to praying. She, of course, remember the time she spent praying with her mother, but in her time in Lhavit, she hadn’t prayed to Avalis or any other god or goddess for that matter. It was as if it was new to her all over again.

She continued praying, her eyes now opening and looking up at the ceiling, as if she were looking right to Avalis, “I am thankful You have bestowed me with the power to enter the Chevena and seek the chavi of a person. It is an honor to be a creation of Yours and be blessed by You. I know my faith is not the strongest, but I still believe in You. I still feel Your love and protection through the hardships I face. May You always guide me. Dev’Ania.”

A breath of relief rushed through her lips and her head lowered and eyes shut again. The prayer seemed to ameliorate her feelings of anxiety and questioning. Her thoughts were relaxed. The silence was again returned to the shop, yet only for a few chimes before the sound of the door opening and a familiar voice caused Dev to stop her meditation.

“Oh, Madeira! One moment,” Dev called back out as she stood and picked up the folded cloak that cushioned her knees while she knelt.

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Written in the Cards

Postby Madeira Craven on May 8th, 2020, 11:00 pm

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Madeira walked around the counter to the back room where she heard Dev's voice, silently signing to Spooks to stay out as she pushed through the curtain.

The Konti was getting up off the floor where she had clearly been on her knees. It took the Spiritist a long moment before she realized it was because the woman had been praying. She couldn't remember the last time she had given devotion on her knees. Her own prayers tended to be soaked in drugs or wrist deep in death, depending on the deity. But it made sense that Dev'ania had a much different relationship with her gods.

"Dev. Sorry I'm interrupting, but I need help and you're the only one who can..." No, she couldn't push into the favour now. All her experience in persuasion had taught her that you don't jump into this kind of thing cold. Especially not when it would require the fortune teller to be... well, not wicked, but certainly dishonest.

It didn't take much for someone as pale as the Spiritist to blush. She chewed her lip and willed blood into her cheeks with a tick or two of held breath before changing track. "I've known you're a fortune teller for ages now, but I've never had the courage to ask for a reading. I need some insight into my love life, do you think you could help?"

The back room held only a small table and two chairs. Madeira pulled one out for herself and sat, smoothing her skirt over her thighs. She had a suspicion that the Konti was a romantic soul, ever since she stumbled upon a certain journal with a certain name outlined in hearts. That's how she'll segue into this, she decided. This was all in aid of a romantic plot, after all.

"You'll keep this between us, right?", she waited for a confirmation before continuing. "It's just, see, there's this woman... She's strong and beautiful, one of the smartest people I know. A real academic with a wild streak." She swept a hand down her face, sighing into her palm. "Gods, Dev, I'm in trouble. I love this woman. I love her and I want to be hers. Chiona Dusk", she said the name with a dreamy sigh, like the name itself was a prayer. "I want to be her lover, but there are... things in the way." Like bloodlines and politics and money, and secret affairs with rival Towers. But more than that, she couldn't get this woman to even look at her romantically. She knew it wasn't going to be easy when she set her sights on the Dusk heir, who sat leagues above her on the social ladder. Frankly she needed all the help she was going to get, which was why she was here.

"Can the cards give me some insight into this? I want to know if there will be a future for us."
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Written in the Cards

Postby Dev'Ania on July 24th, 2020, 4:40 am

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Dev stood up and adjusted her hair and clothing, making sure she was presentable before looking up to find Madeira stepping through the curtain of fabrics into the small room. “I could recognize that voice anywhere, Miss Madeira. And no, no, you are fine. I was just finishing.” Dev could see the change in color in the pale woman’s cheeks almost immediately, a bright red taking over. A slight smile began to spread on the Konti’s face as she listened to Madeira’s request. It was somewhat unexpected to hear that Madeira Craven wanted her fortune told. She was a woman that held herself up to high expectations, and Dev always thought she was the type of person who made their own fortunes. Especially when it came to her love life.

The fortune-teller quickly transitioned to sitting in her chair across from the guest. “Yes, of course. I always work in pure, strict confidence with my customers. Trust is a very important aspect of fortune-telling.” She swooped a strand of her long hair behind her ear to keep it out of her face.

Dev’s smile widened as Madeira spoke of the woman that she was interested in pursuing. Excitement radiated off of the Konti. Love spreads were her favorite reading to give, as she was quite the romantic soul. Despite her own romantic life being on hold, she always loved to help others with their own.

As Madeira continued to speak, Dev reached for the deck of tarot cards and began to shuffle them, the sound of shuffling cards cutting through the voice of the other woman.

“Wow...I would not have known you to be one to crush on someone,” she’d say with a smirk. “I can see it now. Madeira Craven and Chiona Dusk. Two powerful, strong women and lovers. Coming from an acquaintance of yours and not the fortune-teller side of me, the two of you together would be magnificent!” She giggled and sat the shuffled stack of tarot cards in front of her. She had heard many things about Chiona Dusk as she was one of the most influential people in Lhavit, yet she had never personally met the woman herself. From the times she had seen her, she had admired the woman’s natural beauty, which was no surprise that many in the city would want to pursue her. “Lucky for you, I have just made a new tarot spread for those who seek the same as you: advice on how to pursue someone they fancy. Now, I want you to place your hands over the stack of cards, think really hard about what you want from your love life, and then imagine all of that energy flowing into the deck. This will allow you to gain a stronger connection with the cards and prevent me from interfering with the energy.” She pushed the stack of cards closer to Mads. “Wouldn’t want the cards reading the fortune of my love life instead,” she jested.
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Written in the Cards

Postby Madeira Craven on August 13th, 2020, 8:44 pm

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Madeira watched Dev'ania shuffle the cards and tried not to let her discomfort show on her face. Divination in all its mystical and
magical forms had never sat well with the Spiritist, because it implied a certain level of fate ruled all their lives. If fate was
real, and destiny was something that could be read, then she wasn't as in control of her life as she thought she was. But at the same time, if it was a tangible force, then it might also be something she could shape with her hungry hands. Like djed, or magic.

Whatever the facts about that mysterious force, it was leagues out of her realm of understanding. But the knowledge seemed to fit quite neatly on the Konti. She smiled at Madeira's nervous request and lightly teased her.

The Spiritist laughed, appreciating the light tone. "Wow indeed. The great Madeira Craven is indeed human and occasionally develops ill advised crushes." She shook her head with a smile. "Honestly, Dev. Stay away from humans. We're a messy, emotional species."

She privately appreciated the vivid picture Dev painted of what a 'magnificent' couple her and Chiona would make, and silently agreed. But when the conversation flowed into the reading, Madeira made sure to pay attention. She had never gotten a reading before, and wasn't sure what to expect.

Dev wanted her to hold the cards in her hands and think hard about what she wanted from her love life The question threw her. She wanted... something, surely. But what? Madeira placed both hands, one over the other, on top of the cards. With her eyes closed and lip between her teeth, she focused on what she needed. Loyalty, advantage, happiness, she repeated in her head like a mantra, pressing down on the cards until the deck carved red lines under her gloves.

It was only as she pushed the cards back towards Dev that she realized that she hadn't asked for love. It seemed strange for a love reading that love should be such a low priority, but it barely registered for the Spiritist. She had to be more pragmatic than that. Other people could marry for love, she had to reach higher than that.

"Okay, that's everything I have to give. I don't think your love life will be interfering after that. Though since we're on the subject..." She glanced up at the Konti and smiled slyly. "We should go out more, see if we can find you a silly human crush too. I hate to see something so pretty go so unappreciated." She winked salaciously but backed off, laughing. "But seriously, I hardly see you out and about. At this rate I'll have to drag you out of the shop."
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