Closed Fateful Encounter

Two Eiyons meet for the first time.

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Fateful Encounter

Postby Madeira Craven on March 14th, 2020, 2:32 am

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16th of Spring, 520
"Why would I need soulmist? I already know how to make it myself. Besides, Blackrock is crawling with spiritists. I can get this anywhere", the vendor waved dismissively at the jar in his customer's gloved hand.

A soft, amused noise trickled from the Madeira's throat. "Oh sir, I promise you, you've never seen soulmist like mine."

The Open Sky Bazaar was packed and noisy, but this particular booth proving rather unpopular, and thus was a bubble of calm amid the shuffle of shoppers. It had no sign, consisting of only a few tables and a canopy of dark fabric to keep out the heat. The vendor himself was just as austere in his plain robes, which made his only customer stand out that much more. Madeira wore white lace from throat to floor, was gloved even in the heat, and the edges of a bracer crossbow poked from under her long sleeve. Several hundred mizas worth of colourful jewellery were wrapped around her waist, throat and wrist, and the severe braid wrapped around the back of her head was as hard and shiny as lacquered wood.

She had already bought a brick of dried leaves from the vendor, and paid the asking price for them. She had never seen wraith mint in person before and had eagerly jumped at the chance to purchase such a rare item from the Blackrock merchant regardless of the price. The semi-translucent leaves were already in her satchel before she noticed the other items the vendor had to sell. It wasn't much. A few religious tokens, some fine quality paper, and a single, strange vial of ink. When asked about the vial, the man had explained, in the heavy way merchants often do, all about its strange, mystical properties. Apparently the ink inside was completely invisible in the light, and glowed in the dark.

A strange idea, creating written work that could only be read in complete darkness. But regardless Madeira decided right then that she wanted it. She was a world mage, after all, and one who didn't know any glyphing or cryptography. This could be an effective way to keep her notes away from prying eyes. Ennisa and her nosiness came to mind.

But just because she wanted it didn't mean she was willing to pay for it, so she offered a trade; her master-level soulmist for his magic item.

Unfortunately the vendor was not terribly impressed with her offer. "Again, soulmist isn't exactly in high demand. But perhaps I can sell it. How long does it last?" he leaned against his rickety display table, arms folded in a rather theatrical display of dismissiveness.

Madeira's blue painted lips cracked into a smile. "Permanently."

That earned her half a centimetre of raised brow, but nothing else. Fine. With her shoulders back and her voice dripping in confidence, she pushed harder. 
 
“You don’t understand, there is nothing a ghost would not do for even a sniff of what's in this jar", she turned the thing in her hands, holding it in her shadow to enhance its ethereal glow. "It doesn't fade, it doesn't rot, it's barriers cannot be breached and every ghost who's touch it has begged me for more. It's been made from the blood of a unique, magically altered creature, and its traits will carry into the spirit who imbibes it. And if its mettle you want, then you'll be pleased to know its been tested against one of Uldr’s Desolate Ones. It shredded the creature like paper, and told it the sweetest Lies. Whatever kind of soulmist you have in Blackrock..." She placed the jar purposefully on the table between them, her blue eyes boring into his. "Mine is better."

Finally she had his attention. The vendor was squinting into her face, as if he would be able to see a lie rattling around inside. Madeira met it coolly, daring him to see more than her absolute confidence in her abilities. This was the one area where she was certain of her mastery.

The man finally looked away, his arms loosening as he sighed. "Those are some bold claims. If they're true there is probably someone who wants it. Blackrock has many ghosts."

"More ghosts than people who want to write notes in the dark, I assume", she pressed, fighting the curve of a smile.

"I suppose so. Fine, you have a deal.”

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


"Took you long enough."

Madeira had edged her way around a group of shoppers obscuring the front of the small stall and was tucking a vial of ink into her bag to join the brick of wraith mint when a voice echoed from the narrow alley between two partitioned stalls. From the dark slinked an enormous black feline, the bone plates along his back reflecting a greasy yellowish in the lamplight. He brought with him the powerful and unmistakable smell of liquorice. Madeira rolled her eyes.

"Don't even pretend you were waiting for me, Spooks. You know if whatever pass for Shinya here catch you killing their doves, they'll rip you apart."

"They will not. They practically worship cats."

"You're not a cat."

The two bickered in low voices as they wandered further into the Bazaar.

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+Wraith mint, 1kg: -5gm
+Glowing Ink**
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Fateful Encounter

Postby Baelin Holt on March 18th, 2020, 10:05 pm

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Baelin glared down at his map, as if staring menacingly at a simple sheet of parchment could somehow force it to make sense. He could have sworn he’d figured the stupid thing out. He had come in past the square, then took a left into the Bazaar, took a right, another left, and then...petch, this should be it. No matter how much he stared at the thing, he thought for sure this was the way he was supposed to go.

But despite his conviction to the contrary, the area of stalls he was currently among seemed to have little to no relevance to cooking. All he wanted was something a little less awful to work with versus the fare available back home. Not that Sunberth cuisine was awful...but...no, actually, it was awful.

Pushing a frustrated hiss through bared teeth, Baelin spun the map around, trying to look at it upside down to see if maybe that would miraculously fix it. But as he traced the line from where he thought the Dovecot let out, to where he could have sworn the Outpost local had said cooking supplies would be, Baelin was left with the firm confidence that he was right. It was straight, then a right, then a...wait.

Shyke.

He’d gone left.

Expression screwed in self-disgust, Baelin shoved the map back into the band of his pants and tried his best to rein in his desire to strangle something. Preferably himself. How petching difficult was it to read a stupid map? Incompetent, that was what this was. He only had so many bells to spend before he had to get back to reality, and here he was getting lost in a―

Baelin’s breath caught, thoughts halting to a stop at the exact moment he realized he could feel something. He’d only ever had this feeling once before; this kind of strange familiarity that couldn’t be explained.

An Eiyon. There was another Eiyon nearby.

Failed attempt to purchase cooking supplies forgotten, Baelin spun around on his heel, trying to find whoever it could be. But no matter how hard he looked, no one stood out from the crowd. It was just people. Everywhere. How the petch was he supposed to find―oh.

Strolling through the Bazaar was a cat. A cat with what Baelin could only describe as armor. A huge cat with armor that looked like bone. And it was a huge cat with bone armor that Baelin could swear was talking.

So… Okay. A talking, giant bone cat. Baelin would bet his mizas on that having at least some kind of passing connection to a potential Eiyon. And indeed, walking with the cat was a woman. Pale and petite, she was dressed with a sort of rigid elegance that seemed ill-fitting with the loose, breezy style of the Outpost. Baelin fell into step behind the pair―too far away to hear, but close enough to keep an eye on.

If he just...stayed back. Then maybe it’d be okay. Baelin had quite the history of petching things up the moment he met someone. Or―if not the very moment―then as soon as they learned just how tiresome he was to be around. Talking to Baelin was work. And a full conversation was an unnecessary burden that he couldn’t blame others for shirking. But that didn’t change the fact that he wanted to learn. And if there was another Eiyon here, then surely they knew more about being a good one than Baelin himself did. He simply couldn’t imagine anyone else being as rotten as him at the job.

And so Baelin trailed after the pair, trying his best to blend into the crowd. His attempts were only slightly undermined as people parted before him, perhaps sensing his dogged determination to follow his targets. One young woman even went so far as to apologize as she passed. What for, Baelin had no clue. It didn’t matter. Not so long as the poised woman and her unique feline remained unaware of their new tail.

Baelin thought he was doing pretty good with his attempt at following. He hadn’t made any incredibly loud noises, he hadn’t been shouted at by anyone, and so far he hadn’t lost sight of the two strangers. Plus, he still felt that sense of familiarity from being in the presence of another with his same gnosis. Surely that meant that he was following the right people. He had to think that―oh. Wait.

If he could sense her, then did that mean she could sense him?

Baelin’s steps faltered for a moment before he recovered. No, that couldn’t be right. She hadn’t turned around yet, had she? Wouldn’t she turn around, if she could sense another Eiyon? Or did she not care? Or had she turned around and Baelin had missed it? Uncertainty cloyed at Baelin, and―for the first time―he wondered if this was the best idea.
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Fateful Encounter

Postby Madeira Craven on March 21st, 2020, 3:16 am

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"You're being followed, you know." Spooks growled conversationally as they leisurely perused the stalls, his large yellow eyes glancing behind then and then up to her like he was looking for a reaction.

Madeira bit her lip but didn't answer. Truth was she could feel something, some small spark in her palm and the back of her neck, that was telling her there was something behind her. This wasn't the usual feeling of being watched, but a kind of stirring in her soul. As they walked she slowed down and pretended to take a casual interest in a stall selling large decorative plates and bowls.

There! In the reflection of a polished silver plate hanging on a rack she could see someone who's determined intent made people part before him like grass before the wind. He was a hard bitten looking man with a tanned complexion and a fringe of dark hair over his eyes. And he was big. Too big. Big enough for the sides of his shoulders and the top of his head to disappear around the rim of the plate. And even with just a glance she could see see the resolve in his long gait, and feel his eyes on the back of her head even from behind the black fringe that obscured them.

"Oh petch."

"My thoughts exactly. Though if he's a thief he's extraordinarily bad at it."

"That's not a thief." Madeira picked up the pace, her eyes flicking left and right, looking for an escape. "Might be a thug, though. Or worse. Gods, what is this feeling?"

"What feeling?" the cat thing matched her pace, his tail up and alert.

"I don't know. I can't explain it. I don't recognize him, but..." she flicked her hand in frustrated little gesture. "It's not important. Stick close, lets see if we can lose him."

Without warning she took a sharp left between two stalls, squeezing through the shortcut to the next row of vendors. The cat, realizing he'd been left behind, vanished in a puff of soulmist and reappeared at her side. They were at the very edge of the market now, with low sandstone buildings on their right side. Hurrying but not running, Madeira cracked her knuckles and held her closed fist to her mouth.

"Jomi!" she hissed under her breath, her soul reaching outward. But she felt... nothing. Jomi's soulmist was still in her hollow ring, she could feel it, but as she reached out with it she was hit with a bizarre sense that it was completely untethered from the ghost himself. Somehow, in this place, she couldn't summon her snarky protector. And she was so confident in her ability to summon the ghost that she didn't even think about bringing anyone with more constitution than a wafer biscuit to join her in exploring this new city.

"Oh petch."

"Now what?"

"Nothing. Quick, in here."

The two slipped into an alley between two buildings. Now what? She wasn't going to lose this guy in a crowed, since she had no idea where she was going and couldn't read a map to save her life. And what even did he want? Her right hand flexed in its glove, and she massaged the palm with her thumb. Okay, if she couldn't outrun him and couldn't sic one of her people on him, she would have to actually dig her heels in and bluff her way out of this herself.

She shook back her sleeve and raised her arm. The crossbow on her wrist woke with the intent and sparked excitedly, and in a tick her arm was consumed by sickly green flame that lit with a greedy whomph. The ghoulish fire seemed to suck away at the flesh beneath until it was a blackened, skeletal claw. The Dead Hand Crossbow had a wonderful sense of spectacle that Madeira found exciting and strangely useful, but she was also very aware that it was just an illusion. It was nothing more than a regular, tiny crossbow, made to fire bolts no larger than her fingers. She really had zero defensive capabilities, if the guy decided to push through there was nothing she could do to stop him.

Thankfully she was a decent actor. The next person to walk around the corner would find her with her fist outstretched and level with their chest in a lazy, almost casual threat. Her eyes were hooded and narrowed with anger, reflecting the green light of the flames. Her boney shoulders were pushed back and straining at the confines of her tight dress, her free hand sat at the jewelled belt around her waist, and her chin was tucked down to better glare up at the man who she assumed was at least a foot taller than her. She forcefully pushed out an image of relaxed and provoked with her body language, and even tried to rally her hypnotism to reinforce the illusion of unshakable calm with the power of personality. Behind her legs Spooks was arched in a very cat-like pose, his pupils round and completely black while he hissed like an angry teakettle.

"What the hai do you want?" she snarled to whoever rounded the corner, working to keep the squeak of fear out of her voice. Inside she was wondering just what level of petched she truly was.
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Fateful Encounter

Postby Baelin Holt on March 30th, 2020, 8:02 pm

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There were times in life when you had the luxury of a choice. You could either continue on your current, reckless path, or you could take a step back and reconsider.

Baelin tended to miss those moments. Entirely. And when he saw the woman suddenly disappear between stalls, he didn’t even think. He darted after her, only momentarily slowed when his hip caught the edge of a table. Spitting out a swear, he ignored the sharp throb and twisted to squeeze between the tight space. Someone shouted at him, but Baelin ignored that too. Task oriented to the end, he wasn’t about to quit just because she ducked between some stalls.

Once through, Baelin spun around and―for a moment―thought he’d lost her. But then he spotted the creature up ahead. Something about that bothered him―where had he last seen the cat? But Baelin brushed it off and pushed ahead. The two slipped into an alley, Baelin followed suit.

And immediately skidded back.

Pointing right at him was a crossbow. And grasping that crossbow was...was…

It was impossible. With her sleeve pushed back, Baelin could now see her blackened arm. It was the arm of a corpse, skeletal to the point that it had to have been dead, preserved in some horrifying fashion that set Baelin’s teeth on edge. But no, that didn’t make sense, she couldn’t be undead. She couldn’t be. Not if she really was an Eiyon.

What if she wasn’t? Baelin didn’t dare tear his focus away from the bolt aimed square at him or the arm that held it, but he could hear the creature behind her hissing. Perhaps he’d been wrong to assume the feline was tied to an Eiyon. If Baelin wasn’t hallucinating its bone-clad spine, then the thing was a creature of magic. And―for all he knew―it was just as dead as she was.

Baelin gritted his teeth, his lips curled back into a snarl. Perhaps there was another Eiyon nearby, and they’d been tracking this thing. What did he know about his gnosis anyways? He couldn’t be sure of what he felt.

And so when she demanded to know what he wanted, Baelin pushed a furious breath through his bared teeth and thrust his hand up for her to see. With his palm out and the bold lines of Dira’s scythe stark against his work-thickened skin, Baelin gave no pretense. He was an Eiyon. He had thought she was an Eiyon. And now―with her mummified arm on display―he had rethought that assumption.

His other hand shifting to his belt, Baelin wondered how realistic it would be to attack her before she attacked him. All he had on him was his hammer. He really ought to carry something else. Maybe he could throw the blacksmithing tool at her? No, he’d probably miss. And she’d still be able to shoot him even if he didn’t.

Baelin scowled. Fine. He’d get shot. Noah did tell him he should try new things. This would qualify.

“What,” he spat, “are you?”
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Fateful Encounter

Postby Madeira Craven on April 4th, 2020, 2:13 am

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What,” the man spat, “are you?”

He had thrust his hand out at her, causing her to reflexively take a step back. And while she did not miss his other hand wandering to the belt at his hip, her attention was consumed by what she saw on it.

It was the black scythe of Dira. Immediately she realized she had petched up, but not in the way she had expected. And as he stood in front of her she recognized that there was something about him, something that read as a much more physical reaction than the strange pull on her soul, that was both familiar and distant and dangerous. Whatever it was made something deep inside the Spiritist squeak like a frightened mouse.

Still, against her better judgment, she lowered her arm and shook it out until it reluctantly extinguished, leaving her arm and sleeve whole and undamaged. She sucked in a breath and spoke quickly and clearly, her eyes flicking between his two hands.

“I’m human. I’ve been human since I was born on the fourteenth of spring, four ninety eight. I met a goddess twenty years later.”

“What are you doing!” the beast behind her hissed. “Shoot him!”

“She was tall, with dark hair and cold eyes”, Madeira spoke over him, taking another step back as she held her bracer wrist to her chest and struggled with something there.

“There were… there were two jackals with her, one black and one white.” she struggled to remember details about that night, digging deep for something that would prove she was what she said she was. “The goddess was harsh and aloof, but she spoke with patience and kindness. And when everything was done, the goddess got down on her knees…” She finally managed to pull her long glove out from under the weapon and ripped it off. A handful of ugly rings bounced around the alley as she held out her right hand to mirror his. The ruined flesh was smooth and twisted like melted candle wax, the knobby fingers all pointing in slightly different directions. Buried in the centre was a mark that he would recognize. “The goddess got down on her knees and kissed my hand.”

“Pull your head out of your ass and look him in the eye you moron!”

She would have thought what his hands were doing would be their main concern, but she listened to Spooks and her eyes flicked to the strangers. At that moment the second shock of the day drained blood out of her face and down into her thundering heart.

His eyes were a dark, venomous green, bisected by an angrily slitted pupil. She knew eyes like those. Dhani, the human in her screamed. But the fear the evolutionary part of her shot down her spine got confused on the way down, turning into a thrill she recognized from feeling sheathed fangs pressed hard against her lips. She swallowed hard, hating herself for it.

“I see, he’s a Dhani.” she spoke to the beast behind her while never lifting her eyes from the stranger’s face. “And I’m a human. But before that we’re both Eiyon’s. He's my brother, and he wouldn’t hurt another of his kind.” She summoned a smile, her arms held up to her chest and turned inward in a pacifying gesture while she glanced pointedly at the hand on his belt. “Would he?”

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