Closed Washed Ashore (Madeira)

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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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Washed Ashore (Madeira)

Postby Ari'Ellin on November 7th, 2020, 6:18 pm

22nd Fall, 520AV


It was fairly early in the day and Ari’Ellin had taken a walk to Zintia and had almost made back to her home already. It was raining lightly, and there was a slight chill in the air as a gentle breeze made it’s way through the mountainous city. The sky was clouded, and from the sky glass bridge, fog was obscuring the port and the beach.

Frowning to herself, Ari’Ellin pulled her coat closer around herself, heading back to her home quickly. She wasn’t usually one to listen in to the various conversations people held between themselves, but something about the two women in front of her had caught her attention and caused her to slow her pace slightly to remain behind them.

“Did you hear?”
“Hear what?”
“Down on the beach, by the port. Some poor whale washed up.”

Ari’Ellin couldn’t help but smile slightly at the thought while the conversation continued, delving into more gossip than Ari particularly cared for. All she was interested in now was heading down to the port to see if the gossip was true, and to see if there was anything that could be useful to her, and whether she’d be able to find a way to get at the supplies she wanted.

Hurriedly, she threw her front door open, almost ripping the backpack from her shoulders and tipping it’s contents out onto the floor. She needed to decide what she should take. It took a few moments of thinking through everything in her mind before she reached for her dagger, opting to take just that and her backpack. She needed her backpack to carry anything that she would gather up, and she could need the dagger to cut things away, depending on what state the possible whale was in.

Humming to herself, she was finally ready and she headed out of her home and towards the central peak where the trek down to the port would start.

Half a bell later, Ari’Ellin was finally on the stony beach that was mostly visible, save for a few lower patches of the beach still being engulfed by the water. She wasn’t too sure whether the tide was going out or coming in, but that didn’t particularly matter to her. She was a strong swimmer, and she had no doubts that she’d be able to swim back to the port should the tide rise too high.

For now she was just looking, eyes scanning both ways along the beach before they rested on a black and white shape that didn’t seem to fit into the surroundings.

Walking quickly turned into a jog, and then into a run as she got closer to the dead giant, marvelling at how incredible the beast was. It was somehow both bigger and smaller than she’d expected and looking at it’s head it seemed as though it could have just been sleeping.

It wasn’t until she looked towards what she assumed was once the belly than the grisly confirmation of the creatures death became visible, most of the giant creatures flesh having been ripped at and turn up. She wasn’t even certain if that had been the cause of it’s death or whether various animals had feasted on it after it had met it’s end.

Frowning softly to herself, she made her way back to the head of the creature, gently laying a hand between it’s eyes and closing her own, listening and paying attention to everything around her as a thought pulsated through her, telling her that the black and white whale creature had died naturally, either of sickness or of old age, or possibly even both.

A few more moments were spent in silence as she stared at the creature in amazement and silently prayed to Caiyha and Kihala, thanking them and asking for forgiveness for what she was about to do.

Then she set to work, gripping her dagger tightly as she decided to start with the creatures teeth, prying it’s mouth open with one hand, the other covering her nose and mouth as she looked over it’s teeth, trying to decide what she should do.

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Washed Ashore (Madeira)

Postby Madeira Craven on November 12th, 2020, 12:54 am

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    Madeira had braved the trek down from the Amaranthine Gates to Port Tranquil on the back of one of Hachia Koat's wild Okomo. As she clung to the saddle, swaying on the precipice with every alternate step, she had prayed to Dira to please, if her death must be today, let it have more dignity than tripping off a mountain. When they were finally on level ground she climbed down, wobbly legged and smelling strongly of goat, while the old man grinned toothily at her.

    "Not a natural rider, huh?"

    "This is the first time I've ridden in years", she admitted sourly.

    "That so?" Hachia carefully unloaded Madeira's heavy leather rucksack off her Okomo before unbuckling the saddle. "Must be important for you to come all the way to the port, then."

    She was just wondering that herself. An unsubstantiated rumor seemed like a terrible reason to pack up her supplies, corral Spooks, and make the treacherous decent to the Port. But the rumors had been so intriguing. A whale, washed up on the beach like a gift from the gods. When would she ever have the opportunity to collect whale bones again? This would be a fascinating dive into malediction.

    Madeira thanked the man for his guidance, and even gingerly patted the nose of the animal that carried her. Then she shouldered her pack and whistled for Spooks. The cat-beast materialized out of the bushes like a licorice scented nightmare and galloped after her. Behind them Hachia made an unintelligible burbling of noise.

    The good thing about hunting for dead whales was that they were easy to spot. It didn't take the pair long before they spotted the rounded shape rising from the stony shore. Sea birds were circling high above, crying with impatience, waiting for their turn to feast. Madeira adjusted her pack higher on her shoulders and picked up the pace. She hadn't been this excited in a long time. The thought of what she could find in that corpse was pulling her along like a fish on the line.

    Which was perhaps why she heard a snap like a guitar string when another shape rounded the front of the whale. Without thinking she ducked behind a nearby boulder.

    "What are you doing?" Spooks joined her at a frustratingly unhurried pace.

    He was right, of course. There was no reason why a woman and her pet couldn't be seen having a nice stroll along the beach. It would at least be easier to explain than if they were butchering a whale carcass.

    "What is she doing here?" Madeira hissed under her breath, frustrated to have come all this way just to be kept from the prize. She peeked around her hiding place. The shape had resolved itself into something particularly Konti-esque. There was a glint like the girl had a blade in her hand, but she couldn't make out much else.

    Madeira had never been able to read the cat-things expression, but as she turned back his magically gifted voice was unmistakably dripping in sarcasm. "What are you doing here?"

    Madeira's mouth fell open, to tell him off perhaps, but it snapped shut again as she realized his point. Of course. She was an idiot not to see it. She had kept this particular magic so close to her chest that she no longer recognized it in other people. This little Konti, as white as a bleached shell and about as fragile looking, was a maledictor.

    Madeira, ever the lady, rarely swore. But what she said next, the whispered words coloured with wonder, was enough to make the impassive cat-thing startle in his skin. Madeira didn't notice. It had been so long, so unbelievably long, since she had shared her passion for the obscure magic with anybody. Excitement was sparking in her pale eyes.

    "I'm going to talk to her."

    "Is that wise?"

    Of course it wasn't. If word got out that Madeira Craven dabbled in talismans and curses it would be a serious blow to the reputation she thrived on. But that concern flickered and died next to the blaze that was the mere chance of an equal in this taboo magic.

    "Come on", she waved Spooks forward. She was already moving out from behind the boulder. "Try not to freak her out, will you?"

    As she approached she saw the girl was wielding a dagger in one hand. She had the other over her mouth as she looked the creature over critically. She looked young, perhaps younger than Madeira, but that said nothing about how old the Konti actually was. The porcelain of her arms were interrupted with starry freckles and swirling galaxies of glittering scales. Her eyes, even narrowed in concentration, were a friendly shade of blue. The common clothes did nothing to muffle her distinctly Konti beauty.

    "Hello!", Madeira hailed her when she made it within earshot. She was dressed for a rare day of manual work in sturdy pants and a blouse that buttoned to her throat, her thin hair scrapped back into a practical knot. The hands she waved congenially over her head were covered in grey doeskin gloves. "Maybe I can help!"

    The smell was revolting. As she got closer the air became thick with the unmistakable smell of broken flesh and exposed organs. Seawater had rinsed the corpse clean of blood and animals had opened its bloated organs, but it wasn't rotted yet, which was a small mercy. That would make this job quicker and cleaner.

    She met the woman at the whales head, her glove trailing over the creatures rubbery skin. Spooks slunk around the other side, head low and sniffing curiously.

    "I'm Madeira", she offered, stooping to peer into the creatures mouth. "I'm here to collect a few of this creatures magnificent bones. Why don't we help each other? It'll make the work quicker." She faced the woman and smiled like a little girl. "I think we might be here for the same reason."
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    Washed Ashore (Madeira)

    Postby Ari'Ellin on November 12th, 2020, 1:31 pm

    She was too absorbed in the dead creature to even think that other people might come down to the beach and see her, hands on the creature and trying to work out exactly what she should take and how she could harvest the precious bones of the dead giant. Then again she didn’t have any sort of reputation in Lhavit. Most of the people she knew in Lhavit were just those that she worked with, and neither of them had ever questioned what she did outside of work or what she wanted to do in the future. None of them really knew much other than that she was a Konti from the city of Mura, and that she had worked as an herbalist since she came to the beautiful city.

    It wasn’t anything she’d chosen to keep such a way. Had an opportunity arisen she’d likely have welcomed the chance to get to someone on a deeper level, provided that they were happy to deal with her lack of fluency in the common language.

    Still when she heard a woman’s voice calling out to her, she found herself jolting slightly, eyes staring into the whales mouth before she finally turned to looked at the woman that had offered her a greeting.

    More than a few moments were spent looking the woman up and down, unsure of what to make of the woman. She was certainly dressed for a day on the beach in the cool, damp weather. It seemed that the other woman was a human, though with her pale skin and her blue eyes she could have been a Konti in another life.

    Her eyes were only briefly drawn away from the woman to the strange feline-like creature that accompanied her, it’s dark fur almost blending with the dark pebbles that made up the beach, while what looked almost like armour made from bone protruding from it and standing out against the dark surroundings. Something about the creature was slightly unsettling, growing more so as she chose to look away from the creature and instead keep her attention on the woman that it was accompanying.

    Ari’Ellin stayed mostly silent, still unsure of what to say to the woman as she approached, watching her as her glove passed over the creatures skin. She couldn’t help but notice the woman’s poise, and the sense of refinement that came from her. She was almost certain that if she looked at her with her mage sight she’d be able to see the refined nature practically dripping from her, though she didn’t quite wish to intrude in such a way to a stranger that she didn’t even know the name of.

    It was then that the woman gave her name and Ari’Ellin found a slight smile spreading across her face before she quickly pushed it away, aware that smiling so suddenly just at someone’s name could be considered a little bit odd. Especially considering how hard it would be to explain that she was only smiling because she was thinking of how rude it would be to use her auristics on someone she didn’t know the name of.

    “I Ari’Ellin... Ari.” she offered her own name in response to the woman, watching the woman named Madeira as she peered into the whales mouth and explained that she was here to collect it’s bones as well. It wasn’t long before the smile came back onto Ari’s face as she realised just how much she would have appreciated some company and help with the whale. After all the creature was big enough that there should be more than enough bones to share them, and it would be a shame to let such a magnificent beast go to waste.

    “If both take bones, no whale left to waste.” she said calmly, nodding at the woman as she kept looking her up and down. If this woman was a Maledictor, she would be only the second that Ari had ever met, the first having been her father before he betrayed his family and disappeared from Mura, leaving no hints as to where he could have traveled to. “Are you...” she paused as she tried to think of the word. “Are you bone witch?” she asked, aware that the words weren’t quite right, but she didn’t have the word she wanted in her vocabulary to ask the woman.

    She’d found that that was a problem that she had fairly often when it came to the common language. Many words she had been able to pick up from everyday conversation, and when reading she was often able to infer the meaning of words that she didn’t quite understand, but there were so many words that she had never heard in common. So many words that were too obscure for everyday conversation and were resigned to secret locations and events that she had never been privy.

    “Sorry, my common not so well.” she managed to say apologetically to the other woman before she turned her attention back to the whales mouth, pointing out it’s teeth and humming softly. “Did not think would have teeth. Think teeth sharks, not whales. Too big for shark, no?” she mused out loud, unsure of exactly what the creature was. She was only really aware of it’s size and that it was a rarity for such a being to wash ashore, especially in such good condition and missing so little.

    “I never try to... harvest bone before. They big bones I think.” she offered her thoughts to the woman again, wanting to try to keep some sort of conversation going. She was completely new to taking bones from a whole creature, almost all of the bones she’d used before having been bought from butchers, or having been given to her by her father. Although she was sure she could maybe try to get the bones out of a squirrel or a rabbit, her ideas that would likely consist of hacking at the creature and boiling it’s flesh away were massively limited when dealing with a giant of the oceans.

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    Washed Ashore (Madeira)

    Postby Madeira Craven on November 15th, 2020, 11:51 pm

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      Ari'Ellin. Her accent was thick, tripping over the hard constant sounds of the common language. A Mura transplant, she guessed. When she returned Madeira's smile the spiritist felt suddenly lighter.

      "Bone witch? You mean maledictor", she nodded eagerly. "Yes! I am. Your Common is just fine, Ari. It'll improve the longer you're here."

      As one their attention moved back to the creature. Ari motioned to its mouth with the tip of her dagger, tracing the shape of its single line of dull, knobby teeth. Madeira pursed her lips and crossed her arms, her eyes travelling along the unfamiliar lines of the creature. "I know what it is, at least. The Svefra call them Killer Whales, or Blackfish. With names like that I expected it to be more... I don't know. Menacing." She had only seen them from the decks of ships, their great bowed backs and bladed fin cresting way out to sea. Up close the mystery was shaved away and it looked almost goofy. It was all bubbly lines, chubby snout and pink tongue.

      "I've harvested bones before, but never anything this big, and never from the sea", she admitted. "But I'm willing to give it a try." She shrugged off her rucksack and dropped it at her feet. "Let's pray before we start."

      She didn't ask Ari's permission, but she also didn't insist the Konti join her. She didn't expect Malediction to mean the same thing to every person. She laid her right hand on the creature's head and closed her eyes. Her Eiyon gnosis stirred as she searched for the great beast's death, but her vision remained clear and unclouded. The creature must have died way out to sea and washed ashore after it had died. Its point of death was too far away for her to see its last moments.

      "Dira, beloved goddess, guardian of death, may this creature's passage be swift through your realm. We thank it for the bounty it has given us, flesh and bone and dijed. We honor you, Dira, and bless these bones in your name."

      Madeira sighed and removed her hand. Shaking the shivers out of her spine she bent and flipped open the top of her rucksack. Inside, protected by tight cloth wrappings, was a plethora of basic woodworking tools from her workshop. She pulled out a pair of old pliers, clearly a second or even third hand tool. She worked her rings off her fingers one at a time and stashed them away in her pockets in preparation for what was sure to be messy work.

      "Lets start with a few teeth, since they're right there. See if you can cut away the gum and leverage into the sockets with that dagger, and I'll try and pull them out." She fitted the teeth of the pliers around a tooth at the front of the mouth and give it a test wiggle. The flesh was still firm, and the tooth didn't budge. This was going to be difficult. Crouching down, she shoved a booted foot in its mouth to give herself something to brace with, making sure there was still room for the konti to get in there with her dagger.

      "You know, you're only the second Maledictor I've ever met", she continued, her tone light and conversational, as if they had met on the street, and weren't currently on their hands and knees pillaging a whale corpse. "The first was the woman that taught me, a Dhani from the south. I haven't seen her for years. Who taught you?"
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      Washed Ashore (Madeira)

      Postby Ari'Ellin on November 18th, 2020, 5:24 am

      As the woman spoke and asked if by bone witch she had meant maledictor, and instantly Ari nodded enthusiastically, letting the word repeat in her mind as she tried to commit the word to her memory, just hoping that she’d be able to remember it to use later, even if it wasn’t a word that she would use frequently.

      Then as the woman said that her common was fine, she couldn’t help but grin wider, glad that the woman seemed to be able to understand her easily enough.

      “Ah, thank you. I keep try.” she nodded at the other woman, hoping that what she said was true and that her common would get better if she stayed in the city for long enough. She just wanted to be able to speak with people without worrying whether or not they were able to piece together what she was trying to communicate.

      As the woman said that she knew what the creature was, Ari’Ellin looked to herself, blinking slightly, curious as to what the creature was. As the woman said it’s name, Ari nodded slowly, looking over the creature as she furrowed her brow slightly.

      “Killer Whale? So is whale... all dead look different. Maybe scarier when live.” she mused out loud as she looked over the creature again. It was true that the creature in front of them now didn’t seem to match the name that it had been given, although marine animals on land tended to look different compared to when they were in the water. “Also in water maybe scary. On land less float?” she suggested, looking back to the woman before she shrugged slightly, unsure if even being in the water would make it look any more fearsome.

      Ari’Ellin could barely keep her eyes off the creature as the woman said that she had some experience harvesting bones, but not from something like a Killer Whale. Then the woman suggested praying and Ari nodded. She had no clue how the woman would pray, but a prayer seemed an appropriate thing to do before taking what they needed from the creature.

      Silently she watched the woman as she touched the Killer Whale and closed her eyes. She kept watching her, curious as to what she was thinking and whether that was her prayer, before she followed suit, closing her eyes and keeping a hand on the giant, sensing it’s natural death gain before she heard the woman start speaking, thanking Dira and praying for the creatures afterlife.

      She focused on the woman’s words, listening carefully to her words and trying to commit them to memory. It seemed well thought out and respectful, and Ari realised that if she was to try to harvest from other creatures, she would be wise to give thanks to Dira each time.

      Once the woman had finished, Ari’Ellin opened her eyes, looking at the creature again and then nodding to Madeira. “Pray pretty. Good. Much thought.” she said softly, nodding her head again at the words, trying to be confident in her use of the language.

      Ari looked over the teeth, nodding at the woman’s words as she brought the dagger to the fleshy, pink toned gums of the creature, pushing the dagger into the gums and grimacing at the feeling of the flesh resisting the intrusion. Glancing at it again she used her dagger to down the gum at the front, trying to cut a line through the gum to see where the tooth ended so she could free the roots. Each cut she made exposed the darker, red muscle of the gums and Ari grimaced at the sight. She had no issues with using bones but she felt as though she was doing something wrong. Nervously she glanced back down the beach, making sure nobody else was around before she heard the woman’s voice and she calmed slightly.

      “Really?” Ari’Ellin hummed as she looked to the woman. She knew that any kind of mage was fairly rare, but something about the woman made her feel as though she had met many more than one other Maledictor. “So little Maledictors.” she mused out loud before hearing her speak more, the word Dhani causing Ari’Ellin to furrow her brow. “Dhani? What Dhani? And dad, he teach me before he leave Mura. No think other Maledictor in Mura.” she chuckled slightly as she spoke before she looked back at the tooth she was trying to loosen, seeing some of the gum had cut through to the tooth.

      “Looser? Maybe pull now?” she suggested as she looked to the woman. “Where from? You from Lhavit or... did travel to Lhavit like I?” she asked, curious to know a little more about the woman that she had found a rare shared interest with.

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      Washed Ashore (Madeira)

      Postby Madeira Craven on December 4th, 2020, 4:26 am

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        Ari was hesitant about cutting into the flesh. The dagger bit into the gums almost reluctantly, and her lips were pulled back in a grimace as the deeper, rawer flesh was exposed. But it was only through looking at her that Madeira realized that this visible discomfort was completely normal in this situation. It was her own comfort around death and corpses that was bizarre.

        "What are Dhani?" Madeira was shaken out of her thoughts. "Oh, they are a race of people. Very unusual people. They look human but they can turn into these snake-like creatures. People say they're dangerous, and they absolutely are, but Ssanya was... She was good, and kind." She gave the tooth a sharp twist and she felt something inside snap like a springy sapling. That must be a good sign.

        "If your dad taught you this must be a craft that runs in your family, hmm? Or-" she stopped herself, remembering that konti were all female. For some reason she never even considered what a konti family would even look like. Did fathers usually leave their daughters behind? "Sorry, I shouldn't pry", she corrected herself politely. "I'm not from Lhavit either. I come from the other side of Kalea, from Alvadas. I guess we're both immigrants."

        Ari seemed to hit the root of the tooth, and encouraged Madeira to pull. The Spiritist bit down on her lip and she tested her boot for leverage against the beast's mouth. Finally the bones of her skinny shoulders strained against her dress as she gave a mighty wrench. She felt the roots of the loosened tooth pop like overwound guitar strings before the thing slid out of its fleshy sheath. "Aha!" she barked with triumph, as excited as a child as she beheld their prize, still clamped in the pliers between them.

        The blunted tooth was half again as long as it had looked on the surface. The bottom half was slightly forked and had the slick, milky gleam of a baby tooth, with stringy bits of flesh still clinging stubbornly to the surface.

        "Wow, look at that!" she marveled, dropping it into her gloved hand. "You know what I would do with this? I would slice it into coins, something you could slip into a jacket pocket, and try and imbued it with some of the sea's tranquility." She could already see the circles she would use to make it. Suddenly she desperately wished she had her journal with her, to work out the ideas that were rocketing around her head. But slowly her expression sobered and she handed the tooth to Ari. "I suppose that would only work if the beast died peacefully. If it was eaten alive or something that would poison everything."

        She had learned her lesson the first time, when she acquired a ring made from a dog corpse that was meant to inspire loyalty. The maker didn't understand what they were working with, and the intentions of the circles were twisted by the bones of the bitch that had died violently in heat. In the end the wearer of the ring was cursed with insatiable lust. Bones were powerful but they could not be trusted.

        "Here, lets get another one." Madeira fitted her pliers around another tooth and planted her foot back in its mouth. "Do you have plans for the whale yet, Ari? Perhaps we could work on something together."
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        Washed Ashore (Madeira)

        Postby Ari'Ellin on February 9th, 2021, 7:33 am



        Ari couldn’t help but grimace slightly at Madeira’s seeming shock at her not knowing what Dhani were, although she understood, a least a little. She’d likely have the same response if someone didn’t know of something she assumed everyone knew of, and she was certain that there was a lot of things there. She was grateful as the other woman began to explain to her, describing the snake-like beings and how people thought they were dangerous, and she couldn’t help but nod slightly.

        “People see Dhani like see Sym… Symen… Pale thin climb people. I have friend who is that but he say everyone hate.” she tried to explain as best as she could, looking at the woman and nodding gently, trying to convey that she understood what she’d meant by that. “People are mean. They say some bad when not bad. Just… not known?” she said as she struggled to find the word before she shook her head. Then the conversation shifted away from that topic.

        “Mmm I not know. He never say he learn. Could be family, could be friend. I want to make it family though. It seem good, even if dark.” she explained before nodding. “I will teach anyone wanting. When I better though.” she chuckled softly before shaking her head at Madeira. “No sorry. I stop practicing for long because he go. I no care now. I start practice again. Get better, be good at Malediction. He regret leaving.” she explained again, finding a slight smile escape her as she realised how childish her reasoning was.

        “Alvadas? What like? Is pretty? Sound pretty.” she nodded as she spoke, trying to focus on the conversation rather than their work on the whale. She found that the conversation was a good distraction, making her feel less guilty about robbing the whale of it’s teeth. “It hard for you? Being far from old?” she questioned, tilting her head to the woman. “People not fully trust because you not here born?” she questioned again, trying to see how the other woman had found her time in Lhavit so far.

        Then as Madeira began to pull at the tooth, Ari watched closely, observing to see if the woman had any real technique to get the tooth out, or whether the woman seemed to just try to use strength. She watched where she put her foot to brace herself and nodded slightly, watching in anticipation until the tooth pulled free and Ari felt a grin take over her face.

        “It so long. I not know so long.” she tried to express her amazement at the tooth before she listened to Madeira detailing what she could do with it, nodding slowly before hearing the woman say that it would only work if the creature had died peacefully.

        “Oh, it not been killed by thing. It either old or sick. Not violent death. Died in sea naturally. I struggle to see either old or sick, but not violent. Definitely peaceful die.” she explained and nodded happily at the woman, Glad that she could offer some help. “I have gift, from Avalis. I tell some of how died.” she tried to explain, hoping that the woman didn’t think it was odd.

        Then she thought for a moment. “It is whale yes? Whales live long time and travel far. Also stay with family. I want something with that. Make charm for necklace. Maybe ring. Carve it to bless with fulfilling life.” she shrugged slightly as she spoke. “Not sure. I need think more. Research more.”

        She shook her head slightly, trying to cut away into the gums around another tooth. “Work together good. We can get lots. Make some together, make some alone. Help is good. Ideas too.” she chuckled as she spoke. “You have people to make for? Or want to sell? Or for you?”

        OOCI am so sorry for how long this took. Work got chaotic and then somehow I just never ended up looking her.
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        Washed Ashore (Madeira)

        Postby Madeira Craven on February 20th, 2021, 1:15 am

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          "Alvadas is pretty", Madeira confirmed, a smile in her voice. "It's Ionu's city, just like Lhavit belongs to Zintila. Do you know Ionu? They're the deity of illusions and trickery. They make their city wild, full of impossible things. I miss it very much. Lhavit is good, though, and the people kind. Strange, maybe, but kind."

          As if answering Madeira's musings, Ari began to explain how the creature died. Madeira's head snapped up so hard she nearly gave herself whiplash.

          "You can what?" The amazement was clear in her voice. She knew of the Konti fortune-teller goddess and had met people with her gnosis before, but she had no idea the gifts it granted could be so varied. She was shocked it could overlap with her own gnosis from a completely different goddess. "I have that gift too. Though mine is from Dira, the death goddess, and I think the mechanics are different."

          Pulling off her slightly blood-and-saliva sticky glove, she showed the Konti her eiyon gnosis. The hand it was on was warped and mangled, the skin a painful shade of bloodless pink, but branded in the center was a clean black scythe crisper than any tattoo.

          "I can know exactly how a person or creature died, but only if I'm near where it happened. I feel like yours works the other way. Your idea of how they died is vaguer, but you can sense it so unbelievably far from where they perished! Incredible." She shoved her hand back into her glove. What were the chances of finding not only another maledictor, but another person with a death sense?

          Ari's insight made both of their ideas of what they planned to do with the teeth make more sense. If it died naturally, Ari's plan to focus on bonding and Madeira on tranquility would both be possible.

          "What am I going to do with the charms?" she repeated the Konti's question, rolling it around in her mind. "I don't know. For me its more about making the charms than the charms themselves. I love the craft. I love to study it, twist it, see what I can do with it." She smiled big and wide as she ripped out the second tooth with Ari's help. She dropped it on the beach beside her. "How about you? Do you have plans for your creations?"

          The second tooth began to move in the socket, and slid out of the gum all at once. Madeira rocked back on her hips and nearly fell over, the tooth pinched triumphantly between the pliers. At that moment Spooks reappeared, carrying a sizable chunk of flesh. Dropping it on the rocks beside them, he sat on his haunches and began licking the blood and saltwater off his paws.

          "The backbone towards the tail is exposed, if you want it", he announced with practiced indifference. Madeira reached around to pet his plated head, but he ducked liquidly out of the way.

          "Thanks, sweetheart. Ari? This is my companion, Spooks. I'm not sure what he is. A cat, presumably. Spooks, this is Ari'Ellin. I'm learning she's a maledictor from Mura."

          "Greetings", he looked her over narrowly before settling down to his meal.
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          Madeira Craven
          long may she reign
           
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