Closed Diamonds in the Rough

Madeira has a commision for Innah

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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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Diamonds in the Rough

Postby Madeira Craven on September 3rd, 2020, 6:28 pm

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Madeira sat at her vanity, rolling diamonds between her fingers. She liked the feel of them in her hands. There were over a dozen of them, all smooth and uncut, egg shaped and big enough to fit comfortably in her palm. It seemed like something so hard should be brittle, but no matter how her nails worried at them she couldn't even scratch their perfect surfaces. She held them up to the mirror to check their shine and to the wall sconces to check their clarity. She had an appointment with Master Li in less than a bell, and she wanted perfection.

At her feet Spooks yawned, his back plates clicking as he stretched. She pet him with her foot, feeling the rumble of his purring vibrate up her leg. Around her the house was watching with lazy interest.

Why do you need more jewelry? It sighed in the corner of her mind. You have so many.

"Yes, I do. But these two new ones will be special", Madeira explained, dropping a chosen stone into a velvet pouch. "I'm not fluent in the language of stones, but rings", she held her hand up to the light streaming in the windows to showcase her gloved fingers, studded with copper and bone and silver, "they are symbolic. They have a very specific meaning."

What meaning?

"Promise, mostly. Wedding bands are exchanged to commit people to each other."

So they're both wedding bands?

Madeira laughed. "Well, I guess so, in a way. This diamond", she chose and carefully put aside another glass-clear stone, "will be a wedding band. I'm not sure what the actual significance of a diamond is... Anyway, it will be for Chiona. I'm going to ask her to marry me this season." It was her first time admitting it aloud. Even in her own house the words seemed heavy on her tongue. "This other one will be a similar sort of promise."

In their connection she could feel a shapeless kind of wonder.

"I know you don't like Autumn. I hope she'll change your opinion of her in time. But this one... It's a pretty blue diamond, isn't it? Very similar to her eyes. This one will be the kind of promise you find with a person and their pet. Take care of you, take care of me. A leash, if you will."

The wonder took on a sharper tone. She will never agree to that.

"No, she won't. That's why I have to sell it sweeter. Well fed dogs don't bite their masters and all that. I think we will work really well together, actually. She's an amazing force."

You're underestimating her.

"No, I'm very aware of how dangerous she is. They're all dangerous, all my allies, all in different ways. That's kind of the point."

Madeira stood, leaning towards the mirror to smooth the collar of her flamboyant blue dress and adjust the lay of the jewels on her throat and in her hair. All the pieces were Guancho Li's. She hoped it would make him recognize what a good and loyal customer she was, though to date she had never been able to negotiate prices with the man. At the very least it didn't hurt to have him look fondly on her with an ego boost.

Besides, she liked the attention her wild fashion brought her. She felt safer when she could been seen.

"Come on, lets not keep Master Li waiting." She prodded the cat-thing with the tip of her pointed boot as she pulled a feathered cloak off the back of her chair. Spooks groaned like a mountain turning over and climbed to his feet.

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The Shining Diamond sat well back from the peaks' beating center, on a narrow little street with only a weathered, nameless sign to show it was there. The Avalad in Madeira appreciated the deceptive facade. She followed Spooks to the grimy front door and turned the brass handle, letting them inside.

A bell tinkled above their heads to announce their presence as the Spiritist swept into the jeweler's shop. The place was low lit and dusty, the fireplace in the corner doing nothing but adding to the stuffiness. Long flickering shadows laid across the display cases, but that did nothing to detract from the fine and precious jewelry inside which seemed to emit a light of their own. Madeira stepped closer for a better look, her eyes sparkling with awe.

Spooks, not impressed by jewels or Madeira's fascination with them, immediately made for the one thing in the room of any interest to him. He collapsed in front of the fireplace close enough to singed his whiskers and promptly fell asleep.
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Diamonds in the Rough

Postby Innah on September 7th, 2020, 9:41 am

Innah was hunched over the counter in the main area of The Shining Diamond sketching some simple ring designs in her notebook. Master Li had given her permission to use some materials to practice crafting some basic rings all by herself, putting her newly acquired cabochon cutting skills to the test. She wanted to practice a few different settings for the gems, namely prong and bezel settings and so she was sketching out some rough ideas of what she wanted to make.

She was pleased that Master Li was trusting her to do more and more around the shop now. Her gem identification was coming along well, and she was even getting fairly confident with looking at clarity, colour and carat. Most of her practical work had so far been with metal or finished gems, but now that she could cut cabochons she felt like she was really starting to make progress.

The bell above the door tinkled, bright daylight spilling into the dim room as someone stepped through the entrance. Innah glanced up from her notebook, eyes falling on the woman in the doorway. Master Li was in the private room with another client, so Innah would need to see to this customer if she could. Standing up straight now, she took a moment to assess the stranger before she stepped round the counter.

The woman was slight, a few inches shorter than Innah and very pale, even in the warm light cast over her by the fireplace. Her vivid blue dress only enhanced her fairness, and she was laden with jewels that the apprentice suspected were all the work of her Master. She didn’t appear to see Innah behind the counter as she stepped over to one of the display cases with the air of someone who has complete confidence in who they are. She almost envied this stranger for that.

Innah made her way around the counter, green skirts rustling, pausing for a moment as her eyes fell on a second figure curled up in front of the shop fireplace. It was a cat, but also not a cat. It was a cat in that is was chat shaped, only it was quite large and appeared to have some sort of shell running over its head and down its back. She glanced at the woman again assuming the creature was her companion. Either way it seemed content in front of the flames so she would leave it be for now.

She stopped a few steps away from the woman and quietly cleared her throat before speaking.
“Welcome to the Shining Diamond. Can I help you with anything or would you like to browse for a while?”
Innah smiled pleasantly when the woman turned to her. She could see now that the gems were most definitely Master Li’s work, and likely to all be special commissions judging from some of the stones that glittered at her throat. She hadn’t been made aware of any further appointments with clients today, but Innah was sure that this woman was probably one of his regular commissioners and would want to see him. In the meantime though she could certainly make herself useful and take down any important details and assist the client however she could.
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Diamonds in the Rough

Postby Madeira Craven on October 3rd, 2020, 9:37 pm

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“Welcome to the Shining Diamond. Can I help you with anything or would you like to browse for a while?”

Startled out of her admiration, Madeira spun on her heel to see a woman her own age standing respectfully behind her. What struck the spiritist first, before noticing the woman's understated beauty or pleasant smile, was her eyes. They weren't especially beautiful -a complicated shade of hazel that was pleasing without being remarkable- but there was something so incredibly... mesmerizing about them. Lined with khol and ringed with dark lashes, there was a dark intensity there. Madeira had a feeling they saw much more than they let on.

"Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't see you there. Are you an apprentice?" Madeira recovered quickly, transfering the velvet pouch to her left hand and extended her right to introduce herself. "I'm Madeira Craven."

She could feel the ring on her index finger, a cheap-looking copper thing cast into a pair of hands playing cat's cradle, stir in anticipation of contact. The Affiliation Ring would tell Madeira the other woman's basic ties; anything from religion to family to employment. But only if she took her hand.

"I have an appointment with the Master but..." Madeira glanced at the dark oak door on the other side of the room and sighed, smiling in a resigned sort of way. "I see he's busy. I have a couple of commissions for rings I wanted done."

Her eyes flicked to the counter the woman had been standing behind. On top was a notebook who's open pages were dark with sketches. Curious, Madeira stepped closer for a better look. She turned the book to face her and realized they were endless designs for simple rings.

Madeira hummed appreciatively. She knew nothing about jewel crafting, but she had seen enough jewelry in her life to know that these were good.

"Actually, maybe you can help. Do you think you could sketch some concepts to give to the Master?" she spoke without looking up, smiling to herself as she flipped to another page. "I'd like to see what you'd come up with."
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