Closed Into the Tower

Ines and Adeliz investigate the tower in Bala's Bowl

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Into the Tower

Postby Ines on May 30th, 2020, 8:26 pm

wc: 529
Spring 3rd, 520 AV
Continuation of A Secret Garden

The door to the tower creaked open. Inside it was, much to the little bat's surprise, dimly lit by a few candles. She'd never seen anyone else in Bala's Bowl, but from the looks of the inside, someone - or something - had been maintaining this hidden tower. It was nice and cool inside. She didn't see any spiderwebs that might've pointed to abandonment or disuse, and everything seemed...clean. Had she just appeared in someone's home?

The architecture was unlike anything Ines had seen before. It wasn't Taloban, and it wasn't Sykan, either. She wasn't aware of any sort of Dhani architecture, but she thought they just lived in caves. As her eyes finished fully adjusting, she could see a lot more than she could her first glance. The inside seemed furnished, with tables lining the small walkway they stood in and a rug on the floor. Ines took a few steps further in, curiosity getting the best of her.

"Look at this place, Adeliz!" She whispered, the excitement clear in her voice. The feelings of wrongness that she'd gotten from this place melted away, replaced by the sensation that it was just different. As the bat wandered inside, she could see a flame burning in a hearth on the far wall. A table lay between the bat and the fire, with various fruits - just like the ones from the overgrown orchard - lying on it, some even cut in half. There was no sign of discoloration on the fruits. It was as if they had been just cut, and just as quickly abandoned once Ines made her presence known by opening the door. Ines was a bit confused, but with one turn of her head she noticed a flight of stairs that spiraled up on both sides of the hearth. It looked like they led tot he same thing - a second floor.

"I'm gonna go upstairs. I wonder what's up there!" She whispered again, the excitement growing in her voice. Despite the strange situation, she wasn't afraid at all. Before she started up the stairs, the little bat started to look through the cabinets and drawers. She didn't want to take anything, and she didn't touch anything or rifle through anything - she just wanted to see what kind of person even lived here. She found cooking utensils like spoons, and knives, but she also found plates and bowls made out of some sort of white material. It certainly wasn't wood, and they didn't look like they were made of metal, either. She surmised they were imported from a far-off city. Who knew what they ate off of in a place like Riverfall, let alone the rest of the world.

The next cabinet had drawers and containers of spices. The jungle was plentiful in spices, and Ines didn't recognize most of them by name, but she certainly recognized a lot of the smells that came from the cabinet. It overwhelmed the bat a bit, and she closed the door.

"What do you say we check out the upstairs, huh?" She asked, but it was rhetorical. The little bat was already climbing up the cold stone stairs.
Last edited by Ines on September 2nd, 2020, 10:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Into the Tower

Postby Adeliz on May 30th, 2020, 8:30 pm

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“So we’re going inside, right?”

Adeliz shook her head, but as with all things now that she was dead, she was ignored. Ines had asked the question just to ask it, a formality that was forgotten as quickly as Adeliz. Boldly, her sister strode forward and used the knocker three times, only to find the door opening on its own.

It wasn’t an invitation. Adeliz was about to say so when Ines walked right through the door. Drifting quickly forward, Adeliz made sure she was in reach of Ines. If something went wrong, Adeliz wanted to be there, not to say ‘I told you so.’ No. There’d be plenty of time for that after. Adeliz was wiser in the ways of death than her sister, and she wanted to spare Ines from that wisdom as long as she could.

Chaotic energies sparked off of Adeliz’ inconsequential soul. She was terrified, partly for herself but mostly for her sister. Whatever was in this house could do minimal harm to her, but Adeliz didn’t want Ines joining her in the realm of the dead. Though she wasn’t powerful enough to do much of anything, Adeliz had every strand of her soulmist at the ready, ready to harm anything that came for Ines. If she had the power, she would rip the thing limb from limb. As it was though, she was still young to her incorporeal existence, and she could probably manage no more than a puff of air.

Still, she was ready, and the air crackled, betraying her anxiety to Ines. Ines, though, was not paying attention.

“Look at this place, Adeliz!”

She was fascinated by it, by its beauty and its design, by the unknown it contained. Where Ines saw wonder and the opportunity for amazement, Adeliz saw only terror and the opportunity for harm. They had entered unbidden into a stranger’s home, and the stranger was still here, if the fresh cut fruit and the lit candles had anything to say.

Ines began opening everything- cabinets, drawers, anything that could contain anything, and Adeliz could only watch in terror, wondering what the inhabitants of the house would say if they caught her sister in the act. Ines was no thief. Hai, she hardly had the concept for physical possessions, and what most people found valuable, Ines probably didn’t care for. But that would be hard to explain with her face buried in one of their cabinets or her hands wrist-deep in their drawers.

Adeliz opened her mouth to say something, but Ines talked first. “What do you say we check out upstairs, huh?”

Once again, it wasn’t a question. Once again, Adeliz shake of the head was ignored.

And then it happened. The horror she was certain was coming came. It happened all at once, and Adeliz ony had time to react, not to process. A draft of air through the open door of the tower rustled something on the table with the fruit, and Adeliz was certain it spelled Ines’ doom. A shriek ripped from Adeliz, though it came more from her belly than her mouth. Cold and fast, a coiled tendril of soulmist lashed out from her body in the general direction of the thing and collided with a lit candle that thunked heavily on to its side before it was snuffed out by its own wax.

Adeliz froze and watched, as did Ines. Another draft rustled a piece of parchment on the table again.

Embarrassed but refusing to not be taken seriously, Adeliz met Ines’ eyes. “We’re not supposed to be here.”
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Into the Tower

Postby Ines on September 6th, 2020, 8:44 am

wc: 743


Ines jumped when she heard the shriek into the candle thump. She turned around to see Adeliz, soulmist blowing about. Her ghost sister looked quite terrifying like this. Ines looked around, a bit nervous as to what caused the reaction, and then continued to climb up the stairs. "It's fine, Ade. I hope we find who lives here. I want to know how long they've been hiding out in the jungle for."

The second floor was reached. It seemed to be some sort of living area. Cushions were strewn about the center of the room, and large sets of windows sat open on three sides. From the second story, there was still some light about, brighter than it had been at the bottom of the pit. The cushions and pillows and rugs were colorful, and again a fireplace sat in the center of the room. The witch walked over to the first window. It faced the waterfall on the opposite end. Tall trees grew carefully, almost methodically around the tower that obscured the sight of the tower from the outside. But between the leaves, Ines could see the waterfall pouring into the lake below. The Kelvic was amazed she hadn't been able to see it. Everything about its location seemed placed specifically to ensure that it wasn't found from just a cursory glance.

Ines could see the light finally disappearing over the trees above Bala's Bowl. Ines peeked her head out of it and looked down. Below them, she could see the still-open door. There was another light breeze, like the one that had scared Adeliz, and the door slammed shut with much more force than the Kelvic expected from the wind. She pulled her head back and went to another window. This window was mostly obscured by trees, but between the fronds she could see what looked like a garden. Instead of the overgrown gardens that covered the Bowl, though, Ines could see that this was carefully taken care of. She couldn't quite tell what was growing in the garden.

The third window showed the orchards and gardens, and the path winding through them before it stopped. Like the other two windows, strategically grown trees blocked the view of the tower from a cursory glance, but one could see between leaves for small glimpses of what lay beyond. Ines wondered if whoever lived here had watched her before she'd even known they existed. She wondered if Indigo had known about the tower when she stumbled across the Bowl.

Ines decided to start exploring the room itself, once again paying little heed to Adeliz's anxiety or warnings. She was hoping to meet the resident, after all, and Ines felt that if she was in enough trouble she could fly away. "Doesn't this look so comfortable, Ade? And the windows! The breeze is so nice, too..." Ines threw herself onto the pile of cushions. "Do you think they'd mind if I took a nap?" She asked Adeliz, but she knew what her ghost sister was going to say. Don't take a nap, Ines! It could be dangerous!

Ines rolled over in the pile and came face to face with a heavy tome. The Kelvic wasn't very good at reading, but she did like pictures, and she flipped the book open to a random page. It had pictures of plants, almost like a recipe book...but they seemed to be turned into medicines and salves instead. Ines turned another few pages to get another look when the book was tugged right from under her hands. Ines looked up. She had expected it to be Adeliz, but instead, the Kelvic looked right up into the scaled face of...a Kelvic? A scaled Kelvic? A very angry, very cute scaled Kelvic!

"Don't touch that!" She hissed. The book was clutched to her chest, her arms wrapped around it and her torso turned away. "Don't snoop around in other's things!" Her accent was different than anything Ines had heard in Syka. She was more in awe of the Kelvic's appearance than how angry she was that she'd found the book. Not like she could read the recipes very well, anyway. "You come into my home and start looking around, opening cabinets, and I don't bother you about it..."

Ines sat up. She had a feeling Adeliz was going to 'I-told-you-so' her into the dirt, but the bat only had one thing on her mind. "You are pretty. What your name?"
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Into the Tower

Postby Adeliz on September 8th, 2020, 4:10 am

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“It’s fine, Ade. I hope we find whoever lives here.” Ines tried to calm Adeliz, but it only made the ghost more irritated, the snap of her mist against the air more pronounced.

“I hope we don’t. You have no idea who lives here, and you entered in uninvited. They might be angry. You’re being stupid.”

But the last two sentences never reached her sister’s ears. Ines was already up on the second floor. Growling in frustration, some habit she’d picked up from who knows where, Adeliz made to follow, then decided she needed something more than her inconsequential self to protect her uncontrollable sister. Her eyes darted quickly about. She knew she didn’t have any time to waste, but she spotted something soon enough. There, laying between the sliced fruit, was a sharp-looking knife still wet with the fruit’s juices. Mist concentrated in her hand, and she projected it against the underside of the knife. It took most of her concentration to lift it and move it up the stairs, but soon, Adeliz found herself back with Ines.

Here, she saw what Ines saw. Everything surrounding the tower had been methodically and precisely placed to prevent anyone from the outside finding it. Whoever was here didn’t want them here. Whoever was here wanted to be left alone, and Ines couldn’t know how far this mysterious stranger would go to keep their peace and unanimity.

Downstairs, the once seemingly-inviting door slammed itself shut, and while Adeliz flinched, Ines seemed to think nothing of it. It was time that they should be going, but Ines was content to continue exploring. Ines’ attention turned to the room itself, and she flopped down into the middle of the pile of cushions. “Do you think they’d mind if I took a nap?”

Adeliz swore some of the things Ines said were just to get a rise out of her. Bait or not, she bit at it. “Don’t take a nap, Ines. It could be dangerous.”

The ghost swore her living sister smirked as she rolled over and found a tome between the piled cushions. Despite her building anxiety, Adeliz had to admit the book intrigued her, too, and she hovered over Ines to read what little bits of it she could. Occasionally, she would recognize a word, sometimes just a simple phrase or a name of a plant, but the pictures and the ideas inside seemed fascinating. Adeliz caught sight of a familiar looking plant and was about to point it out when the book was suddenly ripped out of Ines’ hands.

Adeliz started, then, seeing the newcomer, darted toward the knife that was sitting on a nearby pillow. Projected mist in her hand lifted it up, twisting it so the tip faced the oddly-beautiful, scaled woman.

“Don’t touch that! Don’t snoop around in other’s things!”

Stupidly, Adeliz thought that Ines would take this as a hint that they had overstayed any welcome they may have had. Hope and worry tended to rob people of their intelligence though. She should have known her sister better than that. Rather than try to leave, rather than try to apologize, Ines stared. And opened her mouth. What came out had Adeliz ready to burst in a combination of terror, anger, and disbelief.

“You are pretty. What your name?”

Pretty? Pretty?! That’s all she can think about?

But then Adeliz saw it. She had shared the same body and lived with their two minds interacting for a whole season. While she had been one half of their Akalak whole, Adeliz had watched Ines on their jungle outing with Indigo. Ines had watched the half-Myrian, really watched, and not just because she was there to learn survival skills. Ines was attracted to women. Adeliz had always known that, but this time, her sister was infatuated.

Adeliz placed herself between Ines and the other woman, her knife held out threatening to gut the stranger.

“We shouldn’t have come here, Ines. I told you so.” The words she spoke to her sister were in Myrian, but Adeliz shifted to her clumsy Common when she addressed the stranger. “If you think about hurt my sister, I hurt you.”

“You’re right. She shouldn’t have come.” The woman had stepped away, giving herself some space from the hostile ghost before her and the curious woman who seemed to want to do nothing more than be friends. “She shouldn’t touch other people’s things. It’s rude.”

“Well, you should no touch other people’s people. It rude, too.” Adeliz spoke over her shoulder to Ines again. “Come on, Ines. We’re leaving now.”

Stepping farther aside to allow them unimpeded access to the closest set of stairs, the woman gestured to the way out. “I won’t stop you.”

Adeliz drifted to the stairs and turned to see where Ines was, only to find her sister hadn’t moved.

Petch.

This was a bad day. Why did everyone have to ignore everything she said?
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