Open A Gift from God

Madeira discovers the Dovecot

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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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A Gift from God

Postby Madeira Craven on March 14th, 2020, 1:44 am

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14th of Spring, 520


Spring was struggling to make itself known across Lhavit. Green little buds could be seen on the city's few wind bent deciduous trees, and hardy mountain wildflowers were bursting in the sloping green spaces. Little birds chirped above and below the misty foxes and white hares ran wild and unseen in the grassy hills. This was a melancholy time of year for Madeira.

The Spiritist wove her way through Tenten, dressed in yellow silk and a bizarre cloak of feathers never quite managed to be quite the same colour twice. She was petting the shoulder of the cloak like a treasured pet, humming to herself. Studying the ground in front of her, she moved carefully down the cobble path as if avoiding some invisible obstacles. And anybody who got close enough to look her in the eye would know that was exactly the case; her pupils were blown almost completely black with the effects of the hallucinogens she took that morning. 
 
She was keeping to the edges of the city that bordered on the lush parks. Not out of any love of nature and hopeful spring, but to avoid the people. For once she wanted to be left alone.

Except that she was never, ever alone.

The Spiritist stopped in her tracks, wobbling where she stood between two black, growling holes in the cobblestones. Carefully bending at the waist she pick a pebble off the road; then with surprisingly sober accuracy she whipped around, flinging the stone behind her.

The darkness beneath a planter windowsill shivered. Then with a breath of mist a creature materialized on the path behind her, back arched and hissing furiously. It might have been a cat, but larger. His short fur was so black it seemed to soak up the light around it, interrupted only by plates of creamy bone plate. His extended claws dug dust from the stone beneath him, and his rough pink tongue flicked out from between teeth like a thalassophobics nightmare. He would indeed be a fearsome stalker, if he wasn’t so powerfully haunted by a smell like the ghost of an old lady’s sweets bowl.

"How do you expect to sneak up on anybody, Spooks? You reek like liquorice." Madeira turned away, hands out like she was balancing on a narrow ledge, and hopped her way around the cobbles.

"And you're drugged off your ass, do you see me mentioning it?" The cat thing padded along beside her, his tail flicking in irritation. He was as tall as her knee now, though still with a kind of kitten lankiness that didn't quite fill him out.

"Happy birthday", the cat thing continued tepidly as the silence stretched on. 

Madeira ignored him, going back to her humming. She was twenty two today, and this was the third anniversary since she had last attended an Alvadas Illusion Festival. The holy holiday was meant to be celebrated by an entire city with madness and art and love. But in this cold mountain city the best she could do was pray alone, with no shrine to honour her childhood god, and celebrate the deity with weak Wind Reach excuses for hallucinogens to replace the illusions she desperately missed.

They followed the cobblestone path
It was a building she had never seen in the city before. Two stories tall and peppered with glassless windows and dozens of perched birds. The building was changing size by the chime, like it was made of something malleable, like wet clay or molten metal. Madeira smiled, amused by the hallucination, but the smile dried up as a young woman with a broom pushed her way out of the building’s front door. She was Inarta doubtlessly, being small, freckled and red haired. But the woman had no ears. Instead small white wings sprouted all around her head, all moving independently. In that moment Madeira was hit with a sudden and immediate sense that something was amiss. But she could not trust herself, and could only squint at the woman, feeling like if she just looked hard enough she could see past the hallucinations. Wind Reach drugs never conjured more than ghostly visions and twisted perceptions. This looked more like an… illusion.

As they got closer Madeira turned to Spooks, feeling the need to describe what she was seeing. But the cat thing was watching the building too, or more accurately, the birds that made it their home.

“Spooks…” Madeira’s voice dropped in warning.

The cat’s stance lowered, his steps small and precise. His pupils were as big as hers.

“Don’t-”

Too late. With a dissolving trail of mist and a lingering smell of candy, the beast was gone.
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
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