Closed Nightterrors

Madeira and Lily meet under pretty unfortunate circumstances. Is it just a coincidence or had fate put the two women in each other's paths on this night?

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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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Nightterrors

Postby Lily Maier on June 23rd, 2020, 11:33 am

35th of Summer, 520AV

It was a house. One she had never seen before. Riddled with several stories of winding corridors and decadent rooms, each one different. Out of the windows she'd see gorgeous gardens attached to the property full of summer flowers, fruits and vegetables as far as the eye could see. And yet something had not felt right to Lily. The skies overhead were so very unnaturally grey.

Lily felt as if she lived here now. As if there was no way out. And who wouldn't love to live in such a grandiose mansion? Yet the people within it's walls all seemed distant somehow, their faces always turned away from her.

Lily had trouble sleeping for the past two or three days. And whenever slumber finally took her she'd wake up mere hours later feeling restless, tiered and anxious. But this night was different. No longer was this dream so vague that a single ray of sun peering through the window could wipe it all away. That night she tossed and turned alone in her bed.

She wasn't aware this was a dream. Her reality, however fictitious, was now that of a much younger, much more helpless version of herself as she wandered the hallways looking for a place to settle yet no matter where her feet took her, there was always somebody there already with their face turned away. Perhaps they'd be talking to another faceless person. Perhaps they'd be unwinding, drinking tea on a soft velvet sofa with a good book on their lap. Like a masterful painting they lived, yet were oh so very still, frozen in their various occupations. And Lily? Well she felt like the outsider with no place and no right to be in this splendid house. Even though nobody seemed to mind her presence, anxiety swelled in the pit of her stomach.

The more her mind began to search for an exit out of this dream, a grand front door, an open window she could climb out of, anything; the more her physical body followed suit. And follow it did, right out the front door of her own house, wearing nothing but a thin night gown, barefoot with eyes closed.

To any onlooker she'd seem mad. Ghostly pale in the cold midnight wind, hair undone, shuffling like a reanimated corpse with a soft pitter patter of bare toes on cobblestone streets. Blinded by sleep as she was, she didn't bump into any buildings. Her body had been so very used to this root which she took almost daily from her apartment to her work place at the Sunrise Nook. Seemingly the only place a lonely simple girl like her could feel some sense of purpose and belonging.

Perhaps for the better, perhaps for the worse, at this time in the night there would be few people out and about to see Lily sleepwalking.
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Nightterrors

Postby Madeira Craven on June 26th, 2020, 1:43 am




Madeira shivered, though the night was warm and balmy. She was not the same creature Lhavit usually saw during the day. Dressed only in simple blue cotton beneath a red cloak, bereft of cosmetics and jewels, she was that tired, anxious thing she usually kept so well hidden. A mug was clutched in her clawed, mismatched hands. She had forgotten her gloves at home.

"Where are we going?" an inky bit of blackness dogged her steps, imbedded with shining yellow eyes and oily bone plate. Spooks' inflection was its usual disinterested self, but the high, twitching tail and swiveling ears betrayed just how much her own anxiety was affecting him.

"Nowhere", Madeira replied smoothly, her clear voice at odds with her hectic appearance. "I'm just clearing my head. Why are you even here?"

"You're telling me you have another plan to get home?" Madeira's lack of special awareness was legendary. It was impossible for her to find her own house without help.

"I'll call Emma when I'm done."

"You aren't wearing your rings."

"Oh... I suppose you're right." she flexed her hands like she had just noticed them attached to her wrists. The inside of her left hand looked like it was made of black stone, the right looked to be partially melted. Her hollow summoning rings were notably absent. Gods, it felt like she was going mad.

She had woken in the middle of the night from a terrible nightmare. Unusual in itself, as Madeira wasn't prone to dreams at all. But this had been different. She had woken up, but her body hadn't.

Her heart had been beating, beating, beating and she had just laid there, tangled in her sheets, unable to move as consciousness moved liquidly around her. And the dream she had just escaped had latched on, following her roaring into the real world. She could smell ash and rot, could feel her lips and nose begin to blister as something horrifically familiar began to pull itself over the edge of her bed, hissing, whispering...

Her mind blanked before the memory could play out. She remembered the Infinity Manor reaching into her mind and trying to drag her up from her terror. She remembered dressing hastily in the dark and standing in her kitchen, wired and shaking, thankful to the Architectrix that surrounded her but also wishing desperately to be alone. In a rushed she had boiled water and mixed a grounding cure to carry in a mug with her, and left. She didn't know at what point Spooks joined her. He might have been there the whole time.

What was wrong with her? She hadn't had a dream in years, not since leaving Alvadas, and now suddenly this season she was besieged by oversaturated, vivid dreams and nightmares and paralysis. She clutched her mug and took a scalding sip. Sometimes she really hated this city.

Madeira looked up, blinking in the light of the oil fed streetlamps as a patter sounded from down the cobble street. Lhavit never really slept, but this had always been a quiet street between two busy neighborhoods. There was nobody else there, except for...

There was a woman her age shuffling down the street, barefoot and ghostly in the yellow glow of the streetlamps. Her eyes were open, but just barely. All Madeira could see was a line of reflective white between her eyelids. Spooks' fur immediately began to bristle.

"What the hai is up with her?" he hissed.

Madeira wasn't sure. They stood in the middle of the street and watched her approach, and then backed out of the way when it became clear the woman was prepared to walk right through them.

"I think... I think she might be asleep", she hissed back as the woman shuffled past. This close she could see that there was something terribly haunted about her expression. If she was indeed sleeping, it didn't seem like she was having a good dream.

"Don't touch her!"

Madeira, one hand raised to do exactly that, looked over in exasperation. "Why not?"

"I don't know. What if she's cursed?"

A valid point. They'd seen stranger these last few years.

"What's option two, leave a defenceless girl to wander around in the dark in her nightwear?"

"Don't pretend you don't sense something bigger going on in this city."

The two stared at each other.

"Just stay out of the way", Madeira hummed, raising one stiffly scarred had to undo the cloak tied at her throat. "You'll frighten her."

Catching up to the sleepwalker, Madeira threw the red cloak around the woman's shoulders and stood directly in her way. Seizing her shoulder she shook her gently.

"Wake up, now. Wake up. Easy, you're okay."
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Nightterrors

Postby Lily Maier on July 6th, 2020, 2:17 pm

With surprising accuracy she shuffled down the very centre of the narrow alleyways - they were heavily wallpapered walls before her eyes, taller than any she’d seen before, with painted faces of strangers in filigree frames looking straight through her. Strange how her subconscious remembered the layout of her home city with such accuracy as to guide her sleeping body without scraping past walls or walking head on into dead ends.

The next few moments would remain kind of fuzzy in her memory. Acute confusion slammed two realities together; her dream and everything outside of it. Hands reached from the darkness towards her and without much hesitation she’d sink into those hands, body and soul, closing her eyes and embracing the motherly darkness beyond them. It was only darkness who had finally acknowledged her existence.

The next thing she’d feel was the shoulder of another against her cheek, a narrow waist between her arms as she hugged her saviour. She’d feel a warm breath cut through the cold, midnight air and hot tears streaming down her cheeks. She’d feel her toes, white as snow, ache upon the cobbled street. For a moment she'd find comfort in this embrace. And then reality began to crash down upon her like a total wave.

Blinking rapidly Lily willed her hands to fall down by her sides, releasing the woman before her. Eyes, wide as two moons in full, stared, stunned. “I… er…. eh? Ummm…” she mumbled for a moment, looking around to see the mansion walls melt away and the skyglass of midnight Lhavit take their place. Thankfully nobody else but Madeira was here to witness the embarassment which fluttered like a wasp in the pit of Lily’s stomach. “I’m sorry… I …mhhhh.” She finally mumbled, burying her head in her hands. The cloak closed around her like an eagle’s wings, before she even realised this garment was not her own.

“Where am I? And… who-who are you?”
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Postby Madeira Craven on July 7th, 2020, 4:10 am




The woman seemed to come to, in a limited way. But Madeira had barely gotten past her sigh of relief before the stranger descended on her in a clingy, desperate hug. Arms snaked around her waist and her face was buried in blonde hair as the woman stooped to nuzzle her shoulder. The Spiritist stiffened like a statue, arms held out at her sides and her face screwed up like she was diving into cold water. Luckily the affection from this complete stranger didn't last. The woman pulled away and blinked blearily at her. Madeira brushed at the damp patch on her shoulder.

The woman seemed to take in her surroundings, her gaze becoming clearer and sharper by the second, until finally she buried her head in her hands. She wasn't making very coherent sounds, but it was clear she was embarrassed.

Madeira smiled her most charming smile, dipping her head to try and peer between the woman's fingers. "Hey there, it's okay. Lets get you somewhere warm, okay? Here", she pulled one hand away from the woman's face and thrust the steaming mug into it. "It's called Overture, and I've spiked it with Dew. It helps with grounding."

The mug smelled like an earthy green tea, the colour an odd but pleasant yellowish green. It was indeed what she drank when she was struggling to inhabit her body after possession fatigue or sleep paralysis. What she forgot to mention was that it was a mix of not a holistic herbal tea but two very potent drugs, a home remedy made to comfort someone who routinely has their soul brutalized by ghosts and missed nothing more than the madness of her home city.

Carefully putting her arm around the woman's shoulders, she steered her back the way she had come. "I think you were sleepwalking. My place is just around the corner here... somewhere. We can get you cleaned up. Gods, your feet are probably cut to ribbons."

She flapped her free hand behind her back, wordlessly shooing the slinking Spooks forward to lead them home. The creature hissed his displeasure with the situation, of not only interfering with the maybe-cursed girl but then bringing her to their house, but did as he was told. He scooted ahead, an enormous almost-cat leading the pair by the flicking of his anxious tail.

"My name is Madeira", she began carefully, squeezing the woman's shoulder reassuringly. As the drugs kicked in the beginnings of hallucinations began dancing at the edge of her vision, and she felt comfort in their presence. It felt like time was beginning to pool around them, more like a lake than a river, and Madeira could see herself skating on top of it like a skipped stone. Now that she had been given something to do (care for this woman) and something to focus on (what happened to her) she was feeling more in control and thus more like herself. This was where she liked to be, teetering on the edge of control and insanity. "Are you okay? Can you tell me what happened?"

Within chimes the Infinity Manor could be seen at the end of a street, sitting well back on its plot of land on the edge of a wealthy neighborhood. The wrought iron gate creaked open as they got closer, and Madeira could feel the manor ready to pounce on her with concern and questions the tick she got into range. The windows of the three story, hexagonal house were all dark, looking like looming, watchful eyes above them. The entire property, from the wildly landscaped lawn to the peeling paint on the flamboyant architecture, was stewing in neglected elegance. It looked incredibly haunted, which was entirely accurate.


Drug Details :
Dew: Often referred to as ‘Ionu’s Piss’, causes time to be experienced at a different rate than usual, as well as vivid hallucinations regarding common Alvadas illusions. Users report anything from tea parties with Ionu to conversations with illusions that had been floating around the city that season. Most hallucinations are topical, regarding recent city-wide events, celebrations, or major illusions of the season often with a personal spin depending on the state of the user’s mind. Non-addictive and the most popular of the hallucinogens due to relatively mild side-effects (residual hallucinations, disorientation).

Overture: The liquid itself has no effect, but the steam and vapours give the user a heady feeling of earthedness, making one feel particularly grounded and often making users feel particularly confident or strong. Near the end of the drink, users start to feel a strong connection to the people around them, and a feeling of pins and needles on the top of their head. The comedown is a pleasant rush of feeling and alertness, followed by a return to normal. The drug is not addictive and is considered quite mild.
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Nightterrors

Postby Lily Maier on July 11th, 2020, 1:04 pm

Blinded to the blonde woman’s discomfort, but the mind manner with which she spoke, Lily found comfort in her presence. Perhaps she was so desperate for a moment of comfort in that moment that just about anyone would do. Perhaps there was indeed something about Madeira that was oh so very comforting.

Unexpected kindness took over her like a charm and before long Lily gratefully sipped what she though was just an eccentrically named tea. The yellowish green hue sure did fool her, and so did the calming vapours which she breathed in without thinking twice about it. A pleasant brew that warmed up her face.

A little dazed still, Lily allowed herself to flow with the situation. Soon enough she came to know her saviour’s name and the embarrassment she felt gave way to gratitude. There was nothing she could do about it now. Turning back the clock lay far outside of her skill set, so why should she bother herself with such thoughts? Living in the here and the now suited Lily just fine and she unveiled her own identity. 

“You’re too kind.” She said softly. “I’m Lily. By the gods, I am so sorry for causing you all this trouble. But… well… thank you. If you hadn’t been there to catch me who knows what I might have walked into… or walked off of.” Safe beneath Madeira’s cloak, in her grip and calmed by her strange tea, Lilly spoke; half to herself and half to Mads. “I’ve never sleepwalked before. Truthfully, last thing I remember was going to bed and then… then I was here. With you.”

So confused by the thought was Lily that she barely noticed how odd it was for one to be walking their cat at night. Or how coincidental was for Madeira to be there in the first place. But she didn’t question it. The gods had their mysterious ways; isn’t that what her grandmother had always told her?

It was her feet that she began to forget first. And quite glad for it she was, for walking on pained cold stumps on bare ground was hardly pleasant. And even then Lily did not question a thing. Even as tine began to feel different she merely blamed it on side effects of sleep walking. It was the sight of the Infinity Manor that finally had lily stop in her tracks. A gasp filled her chest as her eyes beheld the grim splendour of the home.

Eyes flickered to Madeira once more, deeper taking in her tiered yet oddly refined visage, her rings, her very particular beauty. Like a dried rose, still beautiful and something about her made Lily a little uneasy.

“You live…. Here?” She whispered. The gate cracking open by itself almost made her jump. “Am I still dreaming?” A question fair in her circumstance. Quickly yelling to the drugged tea, reality slowly began to feel not quite so real.
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Nightterrors

Postby Madeira Craven on July 29th, 2020, 8:30 pm

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Madeira nodded at Lily's explanation of why she was there, her mouth pulled down in a thoughtful little frown. Sleepwalking. How peculiar.

"Have you ever wondered if dreams are contagious?" The transparent tone of voice belayed how completely serious the question was. "they seem to be afflicting a lot of people. Day dreams, nightmares... I've asked around with a friend, and it seems a lot of people are having strange experiences. Even I've caught it. I woke from a nightmare tonight completely paralyzed. Something strange is happening to this city, is my point." She smiled to soften the dire pronouncement. "You'd better lock your doors from now on. Wouldn't want you to escape again."

It was only as the pair stepped onto Infinity's property that the woman started to falter. A shallow gasp was inhaled, and she turned to look at Madeira like she was really seeing her for the first time. Madeira was suddenly uncomfortably aware of her state of disarray. Spooks, having completed his task of bringing them safely home, gave the pair one last loaded look before vanishing into the dark.

"Don't be rude, it's a fine old house", Madeira reprimanded Lily's whispered question with an equally quiet hiss. The last thing she needed was for the touchy Architrex to take offense to their new guest. "As for if you're dreaming, you can never quite be sure, can you? But if you are we can still make it a pleasant dream in any case."

The lights on the ground floor winked awake as Madeira steered Lily up the cobbled path. As she expected, Infinity was ready with a whirlwind of questions that bumped up against her mind like a lantern besieged by moths. Where had she been? Why did she leave so fast? Who was this stranger? Why was she here?

Madeira deflected them as best she could, soothing the house's ruffled edges with gentle thoughts. Her and Spooks were back, she was safe, and was sorry to have worried it. As for the stranger, she was a gentle thing and in their care. After a moment of silent back-and-forth Infinity tastes the flavor of her thoughts and asked if she was high.

Completely, she admitted, smiling to herself. You look beautiful in these new colours.

Despite not having eyes, Infinity could execute the mental effect of rolling them perfectly.

"We'll have to be quiet", Madeira hushed aloud to Lily as she shouldered open the double front door. "My children are sleeping upstairs. Hopefully they're having a better sleep than ours."

The interior was both grand and mismatched, with not a single matching chair or cohesive art piece. The floor was completely open, with a homely kitchen on the left, and a large living room on the right. In the center was a floating iron staircase. Madeira pulled a chair over to the fireplace situated on the far right wall, which was crackling merrily despite nobody being around to tend to it. With a gesture she invited Lily to sit.

"Come warm up. I'll get a bowl of clean water for your feet. Why don't you tell me about your dream. Do you remember anything?" Though her dip into investigating with Yvar turned up nothing on the dream plague, she couldn't help but ask one more time.
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