Closed Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Moritz and Alice meet among the Outpost

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Herein lies Xyna's Outpost, and her gift to Mizahar's people. It is a magical place full of potential and possibility where all can gather and exchange ideas and commerce.

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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 19th, 2020, 10:22 pm

31 Fall 520


Heading out from school, Moritz followed along after one of his classmates. He was a boy named Todas, who had spent a good bit of spare time in class bragging about a recent shopping trip with his parents to The Outpost.

Moritz had been curious about this place, and so had done the most logical thing. Ask the other boy how to get there, where it was, how it worked, what it was, what sorts of things were inside of it, who went there... And a large number of other questions that kept on until for some odd reason the boy offered to take Moritz there in exchange for his asking no further questions. Quite an odd offering, and Moritz was unsure why it had been offered, but regardless he had accepted.

And so after school let out for the day Moritz had met up with the boy and followed him along to the entrance of the place. It wasn't too far of a walk, in fact residing on the same peak as the academy there attended. When they arrived Moritz found himself at a somewhat secluded two story building. A stone building with single wooden door, and various birds all about and coming in and out of it. Otherwise it seemed normal enough, and Moritz was having trouble believing that entering it could lead to another place. But the boy had been insistent it was true, and it would be easy enough to test the veracity of the boys words.

"Okay Moritz, this is the place. All you have to do is go inside, close the door behind you, and then go back out the door. And you'll be in the Outpost. So, we good? Agreement completed."

Moritz simply shrugged, walking around the building. His interest in the boy had ended along with their agreement, and if his cost for being given directions was to lose access to any info from this person on the subject, well then so be it. Surely he could find others, or learn more once going there. Assuming it was all true... Which he would soon find out.

After walking around it a few times and making sure there was no secondary structure he had not seen at first, Moritz made his way back to the front of the building. As there was only the one door Moritz used that and headed inside. He kept it open for a few moments, looking back through the doorway. It appeared to still be Lhavit back outside the door. With a shrug Moritz closed the door, looking about inside the building as he did.

Inside the building was much nicer than outside, almost like it did not belong to the same building. But that was odd, not magical or extraordinary... Pausing a moment more Moritz went to the door, and opened it to find... Not Lhavit.

Taking a step out and shutting the door behind him Moritz found himself in a very different place. It was dry, hot, and clearly not atop a mountain peak. He glanced around, finding some greenery, and noticing the tinkle of water nearby. As he breathed in his senses were assaulted by a storm of conflicting things. Strong odors, sweat ones, pungent scents, sour, overpowering, tasty, disgusting, all mixed into one. There was also a large volume of talking, people walking about and crossing a courtyard all at once to complete their given task or go where they were going.

Definitely not home in Lhavit anymore. And here he was, nothing on him but his clothes, his pack, and a small number of kinas inside for purchases.

Tensing Moritz noticed someone coming near, not one of the loud voices or strong scents, but still setting him off by its suddenness. He was surprised to find himself facing a man who seemed nice enough. A smile on his face, and seeing Moritz tense in defense at his approach he had held up his empty hands to show them to Moritz. Identifying he was not coming at him with a weapon.

"Sorry, didn't mean to startle you. My name is Paul, Paul Resan. Whats yours?" Vocal as ever, Moritz answered with a single terse word while keeping his eyes on the man.

"Moritz."

Still smiling Paul looked at Moritz, inspecting him.

"I take it this is your first visit? I've seen it enough times, I know the look when I see it. Well let me be the first to welcome you to The Outpost! What do you know of the place?"

Moritz paused, considering how to answer, slowly un-tensing his shoulders. The man did not seem ready to attack, and also seemed nice enough... Trustworthy, at least initially.

"Nothing. I just heard it existed today, and decided to come check it out. Some kind of... Trade place? What is the Outpost exactly?"

With a smile, almost as if he had been waiting for this question, Paul gestured at the place around them.

"The Outpost. This place. It is a place of trade. A gift of sorts from our divine lady the Goddess Xyna. Surely you've heard of her, its her gift that makes Mizas."

Moritz frowned, unsure what the man meant.

"Xyna makes... Miza. Whats a Miza?"

This time Paul frowned, at a loss for words for a moment. He quickly recovered, catching on to the flow of the conversation.

"Miza. Its money. Most people use them. Ah, what money are you familiar with, that might be easier to start from there."

Moritz shrugged, reaching into his pack and pulling out a Kina.

"A Kina. Is there other kinds of money than that?"

Smiling once more Paul pulled something out from a pocket, showing a round stone or gem like thing.

"This is a Miza. The coin of Xyna, and used commonly in the Outpost and in many other places. If your from Lhavit and you have Kina, there are places to exchange your money for Mizas. And to exchange back if needed. Let me see... A jade Kina would be worth the same as a copper rimmed Miza. A Topaz Kina the same as a silver rimmed Miza, and a regular Kina the same as a gold rimmed Miza. So the exchange is pretty simple."

Reaching into another pocket Paul pulled out a piece of parchment, unrolling it and holding it out for Moritz to see.

"Here is a map of The Outpost, it should help. You can have it for free."

Once more Moritz frowned, considering the mans words.

"Free? You said this place was all about trade. So why give away something for free?"

"Ah, you are shrewd aren't you? Well your right it is odd. But while I give it away for nothing directly, indirectly I expect things. Trade. Giving you this map will facilitate trade, which means you will be able to get where you are going, find what you need, and buy and sell things. Understand? So think of it as an investment, I give this freely now to allow you to then spend money and make trade later. So somewhat self interested I suppose."

Moritz considered the mans words for a few moments before nodding, accepting his answer as truthful.

"Now, this map marks some of the key points in the Outpost. We are right here. And here is the Bazaar, where most of the trade happens. If you need help, ask a Keiss and they will likely help. "

"What is a Keiss? Or... Who?"

"The Keiss, they are... Well think of them as both administrators of the outpost, and the law enforcement. Peacekeepers. There are not many laws here, but those that do exist you had best keep to. Or you'll be meeting a Keiss who won't take too kindly to you disturbing the peace and trade."

"Mmm... Sounds like it. What laws are there here?"

"Well like I said, not many, but there are a few. Murder is against the law. Do not harm or harass the cats, they are treated as free beings the same as yourself and myself. No enslaving people here. You can bring slaves here, and take them out, but no enslaving people already here. And also no stealing. If you want something, fairly purchase or trade for it. Otherwise, there are no rules limiting trade. Ah and, well you are young so probably don't need to say this, but sex crimes are illegal. Sort of a grey area there with slaves if you have the owners permission, but otherwise it is illegal. Although I think in regards to that its illegal because it counts as stealing, not paying for in this case a service, to commit such a crime whether freed or a slave."

Moritz nodded, deep in thought as he worked through the rules in his mind. Repeating them over to imprint them into his memory.

No murder.

Leave cats be, do not treat them badly.

No enslaving free people...

No stealing.

And apparently under no stealing, no sexing without permission or against someones will... That seemed a bit odd, not in the rule but in that it fell under the no stealing rule.

Moritz nodded, meeting Paul's gaze again. Inspecting the map again Moritz quietly rolled it up and put it away in his pack.

"Thank you for the information. I shall go explore for now. But perhaps I will see you again when I leave."

With that Mortiz gave the man a nod, and then headed off into the open courtyard he found himself in.

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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Alice Weaver on November 20th, 2020, 2:17 am

The more time Alice spent within the colorful tents the more she realized that the Bazaar was its own living entity. It had its own heartbeat. Its chest rose and fell to the rhythm of the shoppers. It sang its tune in the form of merchants hawking their wares, each with better, more exaggerated deals than the next. One person stepped and the whole beast responded in a cascade-like effect. Everyone shifted just enough to make room. Those that did not shift with the beast got crushed beneath its rolling muscle. It was beautiful to watch from the outside, hell to be in.

Alice felt she couldn’t have been more out of tune with the Beast of the Bazaar. She didn’t feel its heartbeat. She was deaf to its song, and ignorant of its sinuous changes of the crowd. Hence the crowd being hell. Being smashed within the ripples of the beast's muscles seemed to be her lot in life. Thank the Gods her body was past the stage of being broken that simply.

Instead of working with the natural rhythm of the Bazaar she worked to her own rhythm and forced her way through. Flickering and dissolving to squeeze through a small gap between two shoppers or being here but there and blinking to an open location, taking a few moments to cast an eye around, looking for any landmark for where she should be going. Because as much as she loathed the city she resided in it wasn’t wise to leave her belonging in their little hole for too long. She didn’t have much need for the physical items but the coins still held value and she’d kick herself if she lost that. There was no telling when the next opportunity to get some funds would arise, especially to someone with her rather ethereal condition. So back to Sunberth she must go...if only she could remember how. That would be great. Sadly, Death has done nothing to improve her horrible homing sense.

“Was it that way? No. This way?” She floated back and forth in a relatively clear section of the Bazaar, trying to see a sign while letting out a defeated sigh. “I may as well live here because I don’t think I am ever going to get out…” As to almost punctuate her hopelessness soft music drifted over the hubbub of the crowd. “Amazing, the world is giving me a backing track- wait…!” She instantly turned towards the sound of the music, remembering the few musicians that played in the courtyard where one came out of the Dovecote. “Thank the Gods.”

Destination set she began to move from point A to point B only as a ghost could. Blinking through objects and moving through tight spaces without breaking her momentum. She was quickly leaving the heartbeat of the Beast of the Bazaar behind as the tents began to fade and thin, as a more solid structure came into view. Grand arches rising and a few apartments coming into view as she raced towards the center of the Outpost, towards the place that would take her home.

Rounding a final corner and leaving the last of the Bazaar behind she paused under the shadow of an arch as she took in the beauty of the plaza. Rising, stuccoed buildings detailed with swirling blue paint, and each one was punctuated by the arches that seem so common within the Outpost. A reflective pool sat in the center giving the place a serenity that was broken by the few musicians walking around busking. Some getting into a few squabbles with others of their kind for the best spot, akin to dogs vying for the best raw bone in the pile. When the territorial disputes got too rowdy all it took was a rap with the broom one of the Keiss acolytes was using, coupled with a stern look, for the two conflicting parties to break off and find a new area to patrol with their songs.

Alice took a moment to listen to the soothing mess songs before something caught her attention in the courtyard, a splash of color that didn’t belong. Her eyes first drawn to purple hair that was streaked with pastels of pink, the style giving her a slight pause. I haven’t been dead that long have I? She questioned herself, racking her brain if she’d ever seen something like that yet was drawing a blank. Her eyes kept moving down the splash of color and rested her eyes on a young, childlike face, admittedly it seemed to be thickened and more reinforced than a usual child’s head and their body a bit gangly but it was a child nonetheless.

Drifting forwards and angeling towards the colorful kid, she reached out from her core to her edges, grabbing at the threads that drifted around her before applying force to them, spinning them together and laying them over her body as the appearance of mass flowed down her arms, then torso, before billowing out to form a dress and brighten her red locks. She stepped the rest of the way out of the shadows, now walking on the ground to assist her incomplete illusion that left her edges looking like a smudged art piece. And after closing a bit of distance between her and Mortiz did she call out to them.

“Child. Where are your parents? Are you alone here?” She asked, while sweeping up next to him, concern in her voice as she gave him a once over. “You shouldn’t be here alone, those crowds can be dangerous. Here-” She offered a hand before she blinked and pulled it back, momentarily forgetting her condition. “I mean...uh. Are you ok?” She recovers, a kind smile tugging at her lips.
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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 20th, 2020, 3:50 am

Pushing off into the courtyard, Moritz looked about. He was unsure where to go first, but in truth was not really in a rush. He had time, and as long as he did not stay out too late and was home at some point no one would mind. In fact... He was unsure if anyone would notice, at least for a day or so, if he did stay out all night.

This was, Moritz thought at least, due to a combination of a more or less absent father and a mother focused on her work, along with his own sensibilities. In many regards he was more responsible and trustworthy than many of the adults in his house, certainly more honest in word than his mother, and so no one was surprised when he did not get into trouble. Or more trouble than he could handle... And so no one really worried when he went out and wandered about and things. This might have been a problem, Moritz supposed, if not for the fact he was actually a rather logical and sensible and responsible person.

As he looked about further Moritz noticed some more plants, and various fountains around the courtyard. Even one large one near the center which had plants and shade of its own. However as he walked he was distracted by some motion from his peripheral vision, not as good in his human form but still quite excellent in general due to his eye shape, motion coming towards him.

Pausing in his walking Moritz turned his head to face the new thing approaching, focusing his pair of square eyes which were quite clearly not human onto it. Outwardly he appeared somewhat young, perhaps ten or so years old if he were human, but in truth he was not quite two years old. He was also a bit on the large size for his age, likely to be quite big when full grown, which tended to make some people think he was older than he looked. Which, being a kelvic, was already far older than he truly was.

Narrowing his attention Moritz realized what the thing was, and almost instantly came to a conclusion. A ghost. The fact that it seemed to be emerging from dark waters as it approached, cloaking itself in firm flesh as it neared, was one factor. Also the odd vague twinge of cold he felt in some part of his mind. Not a cold one felt in the sense of cold skin and chilled flesh. But cold in the sense of... Someone seeing a red number four, and knowing it was that. He... Felt something off, a tiniest of tiny niggling thoughts in the back of his mind, perhaps as much spurred forward by the more visible signs of a ghost than by any actual sense of ghosts.

As the thing neared Mortiz noted it had red hair, was wearing a dress, and appeared to be female. A woman ghost perhaps? She seemed young though, at least for a ghost. Not even as old as his mother. Of course, Moritz admitted, his mother looked older than she was from... Well whatever had happened to her. He was unsure what all it had been, and she certainly did not feel the need to tell Mortiz, but he had gathered some things had happened in her past before he had been born and which had perhaps led her to moving to Lhavit. Away from her family in Alvadas, the Craven family, which she so often spoke of.

Perhaps if it had been darker out it would have been harder to tell, but as she neared and came into the light her appearance seemed even more false. The biggest bit was the edges. Perhaps, Moritz reasoned, outlines and edges were harder to maintain an illusion of than the core bits? It was all, he reasoned, mental for a ghost, and the thing they'd know the best would be the core not the little finicky bits at the edges. Though his understanding of how that worked was vague at best, just from hearing others speak in passing. No first hand knowledge from a primary source, a ghost who used the ability.

Moritz considered making the first move, saying something first, but before he had completed this thought the woman ghost spoke to him instead. And what she said did more to annoy him than it did anything else. Lowering his head a bit in a movement he did almost without thinking, Moritz showed his annoyance. Similar perhaps to how a goat or an Okomo would do before headbutting something. This body language however was a bit confusing to some people, since in a human the motion would be seen as conciliatory rather than aggressive. This did not occur to Moritz, who was simply acting on his own sensibilities and moving as his body dictated he should rather than as a means of communicating body language.

A greeting where the woman ghost called him a child, stated he should not be out without his parents, and that he was unsafe. He was unsure the rules on ghosts in the Outpost, but he felt pretty safe right then. He was about to bark a response, in as much as his ten year old throat could bark a harsh response, when the ghost fumbled with an odd gesture. She seemed to Moritz to be moving to offer him a hand, only to remember herself at the last second and reconsider. Her resulting final question of his state of being seemed to Moritz to be rather awkward and unsure.

Matching her odd smile with a blank expression of his own, albeit one with a bit of annoyance showing in the tilt of his head, the young kelvic faced off against the ghost. His odd square eyes perhaps helped with this, clearly not human on closer inspection, though the odd colored hair also perhaps gave some hint of that.

"I'm fine, and I can take care of myself just fine. I don't need my mother hovering about, and she has things to do of her own. Just because I'm young doesn't mean I need too be babied. Its kind of rude you assumed I did. Is that any way to start a conversation?"

"I'm Moritz by the way. Seeing as you didn't give me yours, I don't know what to call you. If you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly a baby, no one is going to step on me. And trust me, if I wanted to clear a pass I could do so easily. Just because you've seen half of a face, doesn't mean you know the whole person."

This of course to Moritz mind was a clear indication and explanation to the female ghost that he was a kelvic and had deeper depth of abilities and things than he at first seemed. To anyone else though, it was far less clear if that point would be clear.

"Besides, the map guy, Paul, just said murdering and stealing is illegal. And that they have all these Keiss people about to keep the peace. Seems I'm safe enough here with all that. Maybe not as safe as home, but safe enough."

Moritz, being an Okomo, was quite safe in Lhavit, likey as safe as the cats darting about which Paul had made a point of indicating should not be harmed. It would be a sacrilege to harm an Okomo in Lhavit, just as it seemed it would be to harm a cat here. Moritz found this comparison odd, but did not have a problem with accepting it as an odd custom.

"Your a ghost aren't you? Just curious, but you seem to be one. Though I've not had one try to offer me their hand before that I can remember. Out of curiosity, how long have you been dead? Seems like forgetting you can't touch someone freely or offer your hand is a bit of a... New ghost thing. Also, when you do that, fake being real, what does it feel like? Or what is it your doing? Just curious how it works, or why it doesn't, or only works somewhat."

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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Alice Weaver on November 21st, 2020, 12:34 am

“Oh…” The strange response gave the ghost pause. This was most definitely a child with his smaller size and naivé view of the world, yet he spoke with an air of pride and confidence that was shocking, unexpected, and a bit strange. They spoke with an annoyed tone yet dipped their head like they just had their hand caught within the cookie jar, it was all very conflicting. The strangeness of the encounter was also punctuated by the kid’s...no Mortiz’s squared eyes. Like a goat’s? Alice thought to herself, the pieces slowly clicking together. The more he talked the more she was sure of it.

“Ah. I appear to have made a mistake and meant not to be offensive or rude through my unbased claim. You are obviously an astute young man who can take care of himself.” She gave an apologetic curtsey, sliding her foot back and dipping her head before standing back up, having taken that moment to school her face to one of calm and warmth. “My name is Alice Weaver. It is lovely to meet you, Moritz.”

She bites at her lip for a second before addressing the one thing he said that bothered her. “You know...just because something is illegal doesn’t mean people won’t do it.” She let out a rueful chuckle. “I’m a living well...dead example of the fact that people break the law all the time.” The ghost unconsciously reached up to touch her throat before bringing the hand back down with a slight force of will on her part. “Just because things look safe doesn’t mean they are. The Keiss are not all-seeing and shouldn’t be thought of as such. A good shield, yes. Full proof, no.”

Moving on her piece said, Moritz would either take the information or ignore it and learn the hard way, she addressed the next few questions the curious Kelvic had. Was she a ghost, how long has she been dead, why did she try to touch him, and what did materialization feel like

“Well, to address your first question I am very dead but no need to worry, I won’t hurt you. I know what stories are told about vengeful specters and I am not like them. Next, I’ve been dead for six years and counting.” She held up six blurred fingers, as much for her own benefit as his, hammering home the length she has wandered this world. “And I reached out to you because it is a natural instinct coupled with the fact I just recently met with a woman I could actually touch. So it threw me off a bit and I forgot myself I will admit.” She shrugged. “Your next question...that's a bit harder to answer. I’ve never really thought about it to be honest.” She crossed her arms and drummed her fingers on her jaw for a few seconds, gathering her thoughts.

“How to put this into a way you could understand… Ah! I got it.” She snapped her fingers, though it made no sound as they passed through one another. “It feels akin to flexing a muscle that you don’t work often leading to it getting tired quickly but strengthening along the way. What I’m doing is--pardon if my explanation is rudimentary, I am trying to explain to you something that is a natural instinct-- is materializing? Yes, materializing. I am pulling my form into itself many times and layering it over one another until it takes the appearance of being solid. It’s a tad rough on my part because it’s uncomfortable to be compressed for a long period of time. It feels like I am a balloon ready to burst.” Alice gave a shrug as if to say that's it and looked to Moritz to see if any of that made sense. Before raising her hand with one finger wagging.

“You asked your questions so how about I ask you one of mine? Why are you here all alone? Even if you don’t need to be babied does someone at least know you are here, your mother perhaps? Whoever she may be?” She waited a heartbeat before adding, “And if you are alone I’d be more than glad to travel along with you, adventure is always more fun with friends.” She finished with a soft smile, truly wanting to get to know this strange, interesting boy. Alice was a ghost for many reasons but one of those was to not be bored and it seemed to her that Mortiz would not be boring in the slightest...
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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 21st, 2020, 2:37 am

Moritz waited patiently after he finished talking, giving the ghost time to respond in turn. He was somewhat unsure if she would just flit off, or if she would take the time to actually respond to what he said. Perhaps if he knew her better he would know how she would react, but he did not and so knew how little he knew of what she would do.

Of course, Moritz realized, she could also attack him. Grow violent. Try to possess him. Or maybe even start to chuck stuff at him. Though he was unsure about a few of those, based on the one ghostly skill she had shown which seemed a bit lacking he was unsure she would be too good at another. Or perhaps she had purposely downplayed her skills to mislead him... Or she was just really bad at that one ghostly ability and quite good at others. Who knew, and he did not. But all the same he was confident in his response. If she wanted to be rude and think lesser of him for his age, well then he would call her on it and make it clear he would have none of that.

When she finally did respond the spirit seemed a bit... Off put, to Moritz. Or perhaps it was better to say off balance from how she responded. Thrown off, Moritz finally settled on.

She seemed however to recover quickly enough, Moritz noted, and took on a much nicer tone. Though the sudden shift was just that, sudden, and left Moritz suspicious of the sudden about face. Was she just saying what Moritz wanted to hear, or what she thought he wanted to hear? Yet again he found he could not tell, which Moritz knew in truth had nothing to do with her being a ghost.

Moritz gave a slight nod in response to the ghost woman's curtsy, not feeling the need to respond vocally as she had not really asked a question. More made a statement of fact, Mortiz felt.

Alice Weaver was her name. One Moritz had not heard before that he could recall. And his memory was fairly good, so he felt certain she was unknown to him. Assuming of course that was her real name. Though Moritz was less certain on what the ghost woman would get out of such a lie. Unlikely then, logically speaking.

Shaking off her earlier conciliatory tone she spoke, somewhat uncertainly speaking, but in a tone that felt to Moritz more like her earlier one. Not quite the same, but more like it that her sweat tone. These words were not quite a question either, in truth another statement, but Moritz felt they did merit addressing.

"I never said they wouldn't, it just makes it less likely to happen. I simply said I was safe enough, with the laws and the Keiss to enforce them, not completely safe. A giant rock could come falling out of the sky and crush me as I leave my front door, that does not mean its likely to happen just because its possible. I prefer to consider all the things, and then spend the most time on stopping the most likely ones. Not the least. I still keep my wits about me, even within a relatively safe place, and take reasonable precautions. I mean I kept my guard up when you popped out of no where and made a beeline towards me, being all suspicious and whatnot, didn't I? And if you want to be completely safe, well then you'd end up never leaving home now wouldn't you? And that makes it kind of hard to go to school or do anything else. And it would not take me more than a moment to be ready to fight, which would probably scare most anyone off, if I got serious."

Moritz was of course referring to his Okomo form, a large and intimidating form compared to his current child body. As an Okomo he shared his current eyes and pelt, but otherwise was quite distinct. He was bigger, heavier, had horns coming in nicely, and could likely sit on anyone if need be when in that form. He was learning to fight in his human form, but in his Okomo form his size and strength were far greater and were usually overpowering to most threats.

At her comment on ghosts Mortiz broke a smile, waving his hand dismissively.

"I wasn't really afraid you would. I just wanted to confirm you were a ghost, since I was fairly certain you were. Better to confirm completely or close to it than to assume. And if stealing is illegal, I don't think the law would take too kindly to any ghostly shenanigans. Besides, I know all ghosts aren't the same. I've met enough to know that. No more than all people who are alive are. Some are good, some are bad, some are nice, some are not, and some just like to mess about and cause trouble. Not sure what type you are, but I have a feeling if you desired mischief you would have tried to sneak up on me rather than announcing your presence."

Six years, that fact surprised Moritz a bit. Perhaps she was simply not a very active ghost? Or had not done much since becoming one? She did not seem to be a very strong ghost to Moritz, at least from what he could see so far.

At hearing of a woman the ghost, Alice, had met, one whom she could touch, Moritz assumed they had been a spiritist like himself or more to the point his mother. She was much more skilled in all manners ghostly, and touching a ghost unexpectedly did not seem that odd.

"Well, any decent spiritist could do that, at least with preparation, from my understanding. From what I know that's one of the first things a spiritist learns how to do once they are decent. Before that, well no, but any decent or better could do that."

As the ghost spoke next Moritz listened closely and in detail, pondering at her words. As always he treated her words with suspicion but also acceptance, not fully believing everything but fully considering her words. Comparing them to what he already knew, cutting them apart, mixing them, reconsidering, reviewing, and overall assessing their meaning and truth.

Flexing a muscle, one she had not worked much... Or something akin to that... Doing so tired her out, but also over time strengthened the muscle. Moritz nodded in thought as she spoke, considering, listening, pondering.

Something she knew how to do naturally as a ghost, materializing her body, but needed to work on to get better at. Controlling her soulmist, creating layers and solidifying them, into the form of her body. Pushing and squeezing and compressing her soulmist into that form.

"Mmm... So is it hard then because you are new at it, or because the task itself is hard... Will it still be as such when you get better, or will it because easier. Will your technique remain the same, just more refined as you train the materialization muscle, or will you gain better more powerful techniques to make it more realistic and perhaps also easier.... And toss aside your current one... And as it is now, you press your soulmist, your form, into this form, but it wants to escape and return to its normal uncontrolled pattern..."

Moritz spoke this more to himself, but loud enough that Alice could easily hear. He was not trying to hide it by speaking quietly, more so just thinking to himself and ending up doing so out loud.

"So you are trying to materialize your whole body at once. And that is hard. Have you ever tried materializing just one part? Say a finger, or a hand? Do you think that would be easier, or that you would do better compared to when you try to materialize your entire body? Or is it an open and closed thing, and you either materialize all of yourself or none?"

After all of her own responses, the ghostly woman seemed to have a question for Moritz in turn. Moritz pondered her question, or in truth questions, considering before responding. When he did he spoke calmly enough, clearly in no rush to say anything, his head slowing tipping to the normal slant rather than his earlier slant in an offensive nature readying to attack or defend.

"Hmmm... I'm here all alone, because I wanted to explore the Outpost. I have not seen it before, this is my first time, and so I decided to come. I had a school mate show me how to get here, so I suppose if I did not return they would sort out where I had gone or gone missing at quickly enough. Not that I plan to stay that long. As long as I get home before too late no one will mind. So that is why I came, and why I am alone. I can take care of myself well enough if needed, though admittedly sitting on your wont do much seeing as you are a ghost. I am learning to be a spiritist, my mother is teaching me, though I am still pretty new at it. I've only learned a few very basic things. Not much really, but eventually I'll be passable and able to do more like touch ghosts and things you had said the other person could do."

At her offering of becoming his travel companion Moritz shrugged noncommittally.

"If you want to come along I won't stop you, I have no trouble with walking around with a ghost. Did you have anything you came here for? Or to do? The man here gave me a map, so I was considering to go to the Bazaar. Look around. Or do you have an idea of another place we should go to, or that I should see?"

Moritz would give Alice a chance to offer directions, to the Bazaar or another place, and follow her if she did. If not he would take a moment to get his bearings on the map and head towards the Bazaar to search around.

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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Alice Weaver on November 21st, 2020, 4:22 pm

She listened patiently to his response and even more questions, letting out a small laugh.

“You’re quite the curious type aren't you? Not one to mince words either.” She smiled at Moritz’s clear and precise statements about why he was here. “You do have a very fair point about taking risks, I suppose I was hasty in imposing my own personal experiences on another." She gave another quick look over Moritz at his statement that he can defend himself, he did seem tougher and bulkier than others of similar age but also seemed viscerally confident in himself. So she supposed she would just have to believe him because you know what assumptions do to people. They make an ass out of you and me!

Moritz spoke of ghosts and spiritists as if they were a common part of his life which struck her as strange. Were ghosts really that common in the place he came from and by extension their human counterpart in the form of Spiritists? If so...odd and she’d have to look more into it. More spiritist couldn’t be a bad thing for her per se. He then went on to question her ‘physical form’ and offered very good questions about partially materializing. Questions she wasn’t sure of the answer to…

“I wouldn’t know. I’ve never tried to be honest. It's just something I did and it felt right to do the whole body at once. What would be the point of having only a hand look like it has physicality? It still can not interact with the world and it would probably be more frightening to see a disembodied hand floating by.” She chuckled a bit at the mental image that conjured up.

She noted that when he started to respond to her own question, well questions to be honest they just kind of flooded out, his body language changed. Shifting to something that resembled more of a relaxed and standard pattern, still not quite human, but close enough that it registered to Alice as him getting just a tad more comfortable as he spoke his reason for being here.

People did, in fact, know that he was here which was good and that he came here to explore much for the same reasons Alice herself came, to escape for a moment and see what the world had to offer. The boy was also training to become a spiritist! They were just popping out of the woodwork lately it seemed. Were they truly that common or did it have to do with the fact that that Spiritist had some sort of built-in radar for ghosts? The latter seemed more likely as Madeira did say something about feeling Alice’s energy and seeking her out that way.

“I’m sure you will reach that level quickly. You seem quite determined and hardworking, Moritz.” She gave a smile as the fledgling spiritist. “I would be willing to help you with your training if you need it. It would be mutually beneficial to us both. As for where I think we should go doesn’t that defeat the purpose of you exploring? Where the fun in having a guide!” She laughed. “But the Bazaar is a great place to start I feel. It's just through those arches and is quite...wild. You can find just about anything there and get lost within the tents with just a few turns. The truest Outpost experience in my opinion. But I see you have your own map so go wherever your eyes catch. I will tag along if you aren’t opposed.”

She gave the young kelvic a chance to look over their map and see where they wished to go, it didn’t particularly matter to her. All that mattered was building a relationship with the fledgling spiritist so they could hopefully grow together, him learning more about ghosts and her learning more about spiritist along the way...It also helped he was less intimidating and had almost no aura compared to the spiritist she met just the day prior.
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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 22nd, 2020, 5:44 pm

Moritz puzzled over the ghosts words for a moment before responding, his confusion showing on his face, though slowly moving into something more serious.

"You say that like its bad. If you aren't curious, if you don't want to learn things, then whats the point? That sounds more like just going through the motions of living than anything else. I am curious. I want to learn, and grow, and understand new things, to become better and more able. There is always something new to learn of or about. As I said, that's why I'm here, to learn and explore. I learn something, I pick it apart, try to understand it, and once I do understand if better I move on to the next thing or to a deeper part of that thing. Questions, working things out, considering things, how else would you figure something out?"

"As for my words, I speak what I think. People like to say one thing and mean another too much. That's just pretty lying, which is still lying all the same and not all that pretty. I haven't heard a good lie, and most of the time people think they are saying one its really just them not thinking much of another person. They think someone wont understand, or it will hurt them, that its too much, but that's just the person speaking making it easy on themselves not the other person. Not even trying to explain, or to se if they will understand. Lies just mean you don't think enough of the person to tell them the truth. If you don't want to say something, then just don't say it. There is no need for lying and hiding and things. Better to speak the truth, or just not speak at all if you don't want to tell someone something."

At the ghosts reply on materializing her body Moritz was not surprised at her answer. Or at least parts of it. He tried to fully understand things if he could to test and puzzle and work things out, but not everyone did that. Which was something he had come to understand as normal even if not agreeing with. If normal was average, then on average most people had to be and think and work averagely as a normal person. There would be some outliers, but not among most people. He could not expect others to think and do and consider as he did, considering he was likely one of those outliers and not average. Though whether that meant he was above or below average, he was unsure. Even if he liked to think he was above average as a person.

"The point? Well for one, to see if you could do it. Also, maybe it would make it easier to practice if you focused on just one part rather than your entire body. And it might be less draining, which could mean you could do it for longer. Which would mean having more time to improve it and to train it. So logically speaking, it seems there are many reasons to try it just off the top of my head. If you want to get better at something, it seems pretty logical to try to understand what you can and cannot do with it. What its limits are, and such. Whether you would find a use for it beyond training, well that's hard to say, but perhaps once you understood it better, what you can and cannot do with it, then you would better be able to figure out what uses it has."

"Also, you say it like its all or nothing. But I mean, I've seen ghosts when they aren't trying to materialize. Emphasis on seen. They clearly are a ghost, but you can still see them. Sort of. So I don't think it would look like just a hand floating through the air, more like a clear hand attached to a ghostly body. Do ghosts turn completely invisible sometimes when they aren't materialized? I would say I haven't seen that, but seems that would kind of be the point... Or maybe its just harder for people who don't spend the time to look properly to see them. i mean it is harder when ghosts aren't trying to look alive, but in my experience its not impossible."

At the ghosts offer to help him in training, Moritz once more took on a serious expression. Or more so, his thinking expression as he worked through things in his head.

A ghost could be useful in his training. He could test soulmist if he made some... Or could have her possess him. See how well he could be possessed, or how well he could resist said possession. He did not think his abilities at finding ghosts were well tuned enough to do much with that, but other things did seem possible. Of course he would need to find things if he was to make soulmist. He knew a bit about it from his prior lesson, but was not totally sure he could manage that. Easier perhaps to let the ghost possess him? If she had wanted to do so against his will he felt she would already have done so, and did not seem malicious. So he did not see any issues with that. Assuming she was any good at possessing. If her ability to appear alive was anything to go by, she likely was not good at possessing.

He vaguely understood how being possessed worked, but allowing himself to be possessed... That was tricky, and he would need to work that out better.

"I will think on it. I don't think I'm good enough yet at making soulmist to do much with that, but maybe other things... Tell me, how are you at possessing someone? What all do you know of it, or what experience do you have in it? Like... In your experience, what sorts of possessions are easier? Does a smaller or bigger person make a difference? What exactly are you doing when you posses someone? Would an animal be easier than a person? Have you possessed an animal before? If I was the same, but suddenly bigger, would that be harder to possess? Or the same? I don't have much experience with being possessed... Or actually, have I been possessed before? I don't think I have, or at least I can't recall a time I have. But I know that is part of a spiritists training, learning to accept a possession rather than fight it. So perhaps we could do that in a bit."

Puzzling over things some more, Mortiz thought on being possessed. Just being possessed was one thing... But if Alice had something to do while possessing him, perhaps that would be better. Something to focus on, to mark as completed rather than just... Waking or something. Something active. Like...

"Maybe if I find something to buy, you could possess me, and you could try to use my body to buy it. That way you would get to pretend to be me, and actually do something, and I would be helping the possession and experiencing being possessed. Win win. And it would be something specific to do, something we could measure as succeeding or failing, rather than just walking around or something."

At Alice's response about exploring Moritz nodded, understanding in her reasoning and seeing she did not have anywhere specific to show him. He compared the spot on the ground where Alice said the Bazaar was, and then compared it to the map. A bit of very simple navigating, comparing her words to the map to ensure each were valid. If he was here on the map... And the bazaar was that way... Then that way on the ground was this way... Which did seem to be where Alice was pointing. At a base level that seemed to confirm Alice's directions, along with the maps. Once that was done Moritz nodded, rolled up his map and put it in his pack, and headed towards the arch which led to the Bazaar. He assumed from their prior words Alice would follow along, turning to speak to her after a moment while he was moving.

"Well I am exploring, but not for anything specific. Which means I would just be wandering about at random hoping to find something. If you knew of something specific, then I could go there and see it first and then wander about after. Better to see one known place and knock that out first, then go wander, than to just wander and hope to chance on something, or so it would seem to me."

After a few more steps Moritz and he assumed Alice would arrive at the arch. Passing inside the volume increased a bit, increasing more as he headed further inside the Bazaar proper. Sounds and smells, people talking, people moving about, there was quite a bit moving about and going on.

Looking around here Moritz noticed a few booths, tables with things on them, and drew closer to look. All of these seemed to be covered in.... Boots? Yes, boots. Not too different to the ones he was wearing. But glancing about, he also saw many people wearing other things. Like sandals, which covered ones feet much less and would likely be easier to take off. But covered the most important part well enough, the bottom.

"I need to find a place to exchange some money, I only have Kina. Thats what we use in Lhavit, but apparently here they use something called a Miza. Do you know where to do that? Or maybe we can ask one of those Keiss people the other man spoke of..."

If Alice offered some advice Moritz would likely follow it in exchanging money, otherwise if she did not or had nothing to offer he would try to find a Keiss to ask for information.

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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Alice Weaver on November 23rd, 2020, 3:49 am

Moritz made all good points about exploring. How curiosity is the driving force that made people grow and learn. It allowed them to become greater than they were before. And besides, what really was the risk in taking a stroll around the Outpost? Perhaps she was just being silly and letting some instinct overtake her. The boy just looked small and easily squashed but that was most definitely not the case. Lhavit must breed a different stock when compared to Syliras she supposed. Must have something to do with the freedom they have with magic in the mountain city wherein Syliras it was a bit frowned upon to explore things deemed dangerous.

The young kelvic also had a refreshingly straightforward view on conversations as well. That there was no reason to lie because all it did was create confusion and show a lack of trust. An amazing theory that fell apart in practice. Everyone Alice met had thrived on small lies, so small they didn’t even know they were lying. No mother that stew was very tasty. Yes, my wife, that dress is totally flattering on you. Yes sir knight it is no trouble that you’ve come into my house to rest from a trip and are eating my food, no issue at all. Lies just made communication all the smoother and simpler. White lies were embedded into society to avoid picking fights, else people would always be at each other’s throats and no one would get anything done.

“Some people can’t always handle the truth and sometimes it makes others upset. Somethings just are not worth getting into a fight over. I guess that is why people lie. Not because they think less of the person they are speaking to but because they think too highly of the person they are talking to. They don’t wish to bother their friends with their issues or don’t wish to hurt their feelings. Lying might be a cheap way out but it has its uses. Lying is just something people do without thinking too. We are all imperfect in our own way and it is a vice for many.” She responded with a wave of the hand. “However, being truthful is very admirable and people should strive to be like you, Moritz.”

Moritz then brought up some very good points about how by focusing her materialization she could increase her practice time as well as learn new ways to materialize. It was definitely something to file away and try later in a quieter place with fewer distractions. As Moritz continued his line of questioning she let out a laugh.

“I guess it is working then if you can’t see us. Why would I give away all our ghostly secrets Mr. Spiritist? Isn’t that your job to find out eh?” She said with a barely constrained laugh and elaborates no further.

The young kelvic seemed to then accept her offer to help him along with his training. They spoke about making soulmist before they seemed to hesitate before, in their usual fashion, asked a barrage of questions. This time the topic was on being possession.

“I would like to think I am quite competent at the art of possession. I have a good enough grasp that I don’t do it by accident anymore at least. And what possession do I find the easiest? Well, probably those that are drunk, on some type of drug, or tired. I have possessed a horse before, it's how I traveled to Sunberth mostly unnoticed, so it's definitely possible. As for if bigger is harder? No that is not the case I’ve found. It's all tied to the will of the person's soul to fight off the possession, I’ve had some very determined rats throw me out before. They were not at all willing to give up their meal! And I think you would remember if you were possessed before, it tends to be a bit...jarring.”

He then went on to almost casually ask if she would be willing to possess him and buy an item...just for fun? No. She assumed it would have to revolve around some type of training but it was a large extension of faith she felt to trust someone with your body after having met them for only a few chimes. It would, however, be a good time to build some goodwill and start a valued partnership if all went well.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to helping you and it would also be good practice for me but are you sure you are not being too hasty? Trusting someone you just met with your body seems like a large leap and not all that wise.” By this point, Moritz had begun to walk towards the Bazaar entrance and she walked along beside him to keep the conversation going. She glanced out and the Bazaar wasn’t as crazy on the outside edges so it was a simple matter to follow along and keep her form intact as she watched him glance around as the multitude of...boots? Laid out on the tables.

“As for exchanging your money I am certain they use any form of currency here but you could probably ask a merchant to exchange it for you? But I am not sure. I haven’t used money in ages to be frank… And where to go? The bazaar is constantly shifting and I’ve only been here a day or so. So your guess as to where anything is is as good as mine.”

And she strode along with the strange kelvic, wondering what next barrage of questions he would ask and if he truly thought going through with a possession was a good idea.
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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 24th, 2020, 1:21 am

Moritz frowned once more at Alice's response regarding lies, shaking his head. She clearly had the same or similar closely held assumptions to most people. Ones Moritz found based on no logic or reason, but just spouted from one person to another. He had heard it quite a few times, but refused to accept such a concept with no foundation on... Anything.

"Just because that's what people say, that doesn't make it true. I can say the sun is cold, but it doesn't make it true. Its trash is what it is, trash one person gave to another, and then they gave to another, till people just accepted it. But that's not thinking, its just listening to what other people tell you. If you think about it, logically, reason it out, what good reason for it is there?"

Pointing at the ghost Moritz emphasized his point further.

"There, that's exactly what I said. But just given a nicer name. People can't handle the truth. They might get upset. Well that's a giant heaping pile of nothing. And a lie in and of itself. That's just someone trying to make things easier for themselves, but without putting in the work. Or thinking little of people. Call it what you will, but that's what it is. Those exact reasons you gave, are the exact excuses I said people use. And it doesn't mean anything. If I made you some soup, and it burned your mouth, or tasted horrible, and you said it was great and tasted great what would I do? Keep doing the same thing. But if you told me it was too hot, or tasted bad, then I could do something about it. Do it different next time. Mistakes are what let you learn. All that being nice and lying does is stop you from learning, from getting better, from doing it right the next time."

"If someone can do something about it, can improve, then tell them! If I'm messing up, use a move wrong, spell a word wrong, my teachers tell me. So I can do better next time. They don't just pat my head and tell me I did a good job. If you did something wrong, something you can change, and someone tells you, why does it matter if you get upset? If it means you know what you did wrong, and can fix it for next time. That's just thinking too little of people. And its only being "nice" to you, not the other person. Rather than taking the time to help them be better, you just pretend it didn't happen and go on with things. Who is that helping? Lies don't help anyone."

"If something can't be changed, there is no point in bringing it up. You can choose to say nothing, that is not lying. But telling someone something untrue, lying, that is a choice. It's just lying for your own sake and stopping someone from bettering themselves. Maybe if people just told the truth more, more would get done and we'd all end up with better tasting soup."

Moritz shook his head again, as Alice spoke on ghosts and their abilities. Or more to the point, didn't talk about them. But then Moritz knew better than to wholly trust one source, and to always compare what one source said to another to confirm both. So having her not answer that one question was not such a big deal, it just meant another thing he would need to ponder on and use his own logic. A base of information he was constantly building up and refining, eliminating bits, corrections things, working over assumptions, and coming to understand better. A constantly changing thing from one day to the next.

On the other hand Alice's answer on possession made Moritz smile and shake his head in an entirely different manner. Her information though was interesting, not that he had much to compare it to. The mental strength of the being to be possessed, that was what mattered. So a bear or dog, if no more intelligent would be no or more less difficult to possess. Which also meant that if he shifted to his Okomo form he would be no better at defending a possession. No worse, but no better, as the same mind was in control regardless.

Also apparently, Moritz was learning, a weakened state of mind made if easier to be possessed. People with an addled mind, by drink or drugs, where easier to control. It made a logical sense now that Alice pointed it out, but it had not been something Moritz had considered before.

The will of the person, or animal, or whatever, that was being possessed. That was what was most important.

"Well think of it this way. If you wished me ill, you would have possessed me anyway. And perhaps by surprise, which I would think would make it harder to defend. Now though I will know it is coming, and wont be caught by surprise. And if you try to do something bad with my body I can try to stop you. But if you were powerful enough to overcome my defenses, then there really isn't a point in trying to stop you, is there? So either you planned to possess me all along, and letting you do it when I expect you to is to my advantage. Or at least not to my disadvantage if I had no hope of overcoming your possession. Or you weren't planning to possess me, in which case you are worthy of trust in letting you possess me. Either way, is there a reason for me to not let you? Seems either way I'm better off or no worth off. If that's the case, seems it makes sense to just do it."

At her words on money Moritz paused, not having considered before that the merchants might take other money. He had just assumed from his conversation with Paul that since they mainly used another form of currency then they would not accept his money. But he did not recall Paul saying that outright, so perhaps that had been a false assumption. He was not averse to reconsidering things and redoing his understanding when new information in. A test then, was the easiest way to figure that out.

"That is a good point, I had just assumed they only used the Miza... I guess I can just ask."

Turning to the nearest booth Moritz raised his hand to get the stallholders attention.

"Excuse me. The places here, in the Bazaar. Do they only take Miza's? Or will they accept other forms. All of my money is in Kina's."

The man, dressed Moritz felt a bit heavily for the warm weather, shrugged at Moritz.

"As long as its money, we'll take it. Miza, Kina, I've even taken a pinion before, those little glass tokens. Money is money as long as its proper good money, it all trades he same."

Moritz smiled, nodding to the man in response to his words.

"Thank you, that is of great help."

Not interested in the mans wares Moritz kept on walking, having only wasted a few moments of the mans time. Though as he was not currently busy, just standing behind his stall, he had not really lost anything...

The next stall was more boots, this time fur lined. The one after that large ones that came up to the knees. Nothing Moritz needed.

"How about some sandals? I wouldn't mind wearing something lighter on my feet. You see anywhere with one of those? We could try for a purchase of those if we find a decent pair."

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Two people walk into a Bazaar[Alice Weaver]

Postby Alice Weaver on November 25th, 2020, 2:33 am

Drifting along with the young kevlic and listening to his tirade on truth and his firm stance on it she realized she may have hit a sore spot or at least a point of contention within Moritz. She thought it best to keep silent on the issue, her own views obviously greatly differed from the okomo, and getting into a verbal spar with a potential partner was not something she had a great interest in doing today.

Besides, She reasoned to herself. He’ll learn eventually why people lie and smooth things over. Kids are always like that, honest to a fault. It bit us all in the ass once and it shall bite again. She thought sardonically, suppressing her slight grin.

Giving a slight shake of her head, she simply said, “You make all excellent points. Your conviction will serve you well in the end I feel and you will make a wonderful teacher. But I digress.”

Watching Moritz mull over her information on possessions, she felt as if it was being dissected from every angle, categorized, and verified against whatever common sense or prior information he had on this or similar topics.

I’m just being squeezed for information. She thought to herself glumly. Yet I have no one to blame but myself for that. I’m just about tripping over myself to answer him. I am my own worst enemy. Damn! I guess I’m more desperate for help than I thought…

The Okomo’s response to her very valid question on his trust was met with more cold, hard logic that was quickly becoming Moritz’s brand. He spoke about that if she wished him harm, she would not have shown herself and just essentially jumped him from the shadows, giving herself a better chance of success. Or the idea that if she wanted to possess him and was pulling a long con that doing it when he expected her to was to his advantage, or at least not to his disadvantage if Alice would be able to overcome his defenses anyways.

Actually... that brought up a good question. What are the chances that she would be able to possess him anyway? He seemed very straightforward and strong-willed type so it probably would not be easy and she might have to try something fancy. Such as using that straightforwardness to her advantage and direct him to where she wanted him, but she was reasonably confident she could at least tie him up for a few seconds. If not get control for a few moments and a few moments would be all she needed if for whatever reason something hostile happened. She waved the thoughts away, hostility seemed unlikely and it seemed she would find out soon enough if she could do it or not. Hey, it might be fun to try, who knows?

So, she mulled the thought over and tried to formulate a plan for a potential possession attempt and how to pull it back a tad so she didn’t stress him too awfully much as he asked about money in the Outpost. Quickly being told that the Outpost takes money from any source as long as it has value, which was a nice tidbit to know and was filed away for later.

“Sandals? Sure. I can find a vendor for you.” Alice confirmed with a nod of her head. “Just stay around here for a second.” As she took a step and with a slight flicker started down the streets defined by the multiple mercantile tents, flashing and blinking down the street like a heat distortion. Navigating the dense crowd as only a ghost could do. But, as with all crowds, collisions and brushing shoulders was inevitable, and she had to mutter a few “apologies” as those she touched had their hair stand up on end from the cold, having to brush a bit of frost from their clothes. Alice continued to blink down the street, glancing at the vendors she was passing and looking for someone who sold those prevalent sandals.

It only took a few more blinks to reach a colorful stall that had an assortment of sandals laid out. One of every size, make and color pridefully laid out on a woven carpet and tended by a greyed older man with wispy hair that seemed to have migrated to thick, caterpillar-like eyebrows that raised ever so slightly at her sudden appearance than prompt disappearance.

Blinking her way back to Moritz she popped back into existence about five paces away. “There is one just a bit further down the street. A bunch of them are laid out on a woven carpet with an older man sitting criss-cross behind them. I wasn’t aware sandals could be so varied…. Anyways, how do you want to do this? Because you spoke as if you wish to go through with your plan and I just want to make sure that you want to do this and are prepared. It’s quite jarring and not a fun experience.” She questioned the spiritist, giving his conviction a gentle prod, double-checking that this was a mutual event.
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