Solo Reflective Surfaces

They can show more than just your own reflection.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Reflective Surfaces

Postby Asterope on June 1st, 2021, 3:56 am

20th of spring, 521 AV

The crying drew her in. Aster had been heading for the Orphanage originally, wanting to check in on Imogen and to keep her promise to try and see the girl more; but the weeping caught her attention as she walked down the street, faint and distant, muffled, drifting out from between some buildings. Aster hesitated, torn for a moment; what if it was a trap? But it didn't matter; she couldn't say no to someone who might be hurt or in trouble.

Already, her feet moved seemingly on their own, carrying her forward, down the narrow alley that separated the two buildings and into a sort of courtyard. A fountain lay before her, ancient and fallen into disrepair, but beautiful all the same, and filled with shimmering, clear water.

Aster peered around for the source of the crying as she approached, but she didn't see anybody near the fountain, and as she looked around, she realized that the weeping had stopped. Unnerved and uneasy, Aster turned her head this way and that, frowning as she stepped closer to the fountain.

The water was shockingly clean, given the surrounding city; as Aster peered in, she noticed that she couldn't quite make out the bottom. Leaning over slightly, she was startled by a young boy's voice. "Careful miss. You wouldn't wanna fall in there." Aster whirled around, frowning at the young boy, fingers flexing cautiously.

"It's just a fountain," Aster said, glancing at it behind her again. The way the boy spoke was...ominous, and there was a grin playing at his mouth, a mischievous spark in his eyes.

"Oh no, not just a fountain. The Drowning Fountain. People fall in there, and they ain't never come back. Same with things, too. Here, watch." Aster stepped away from the fountain as the boy sauntered over, crouching to pick up a pebble and then flicking it into the fountain.

Aster peered in, watching the pebble sink, and sink, and sink...for a moment, she thought the water gleamed silvery in the depths somewhere, but it was hard to tell. Regardless, she couldn't see the pebble anymore. Either the fountain was much, much deeper than it appeared to be, which was unusual on its own, or there was something even more strange and sinister about it.

"I'll be sure to be careful, then," Aster said warily, glancing at the boy again. In the moonlight, his blonde hair seemed to glow white, and he grinned wolfishly at her. Abruptly changing the subject, Aster straightened up. "Did you hear a woman crying over here?"

The boy blinked at her, then laughed, and shook his head, turning to leave without another word. Aster frowned, but watched him go, shaking her own head. "Strange kid," she mumbled to herself, turning back to the strange fountain.

Crouching by the edge of it, Aster cautiously stuck a finger into the water. It was pleasantly cool and remarkably clean, but otherwise, seemed to be normal water. Aster leaned over closer, peering into the gleaming water; it was clear, yet no matter how far down she looked, Aster couldn't make out the bottom. It filled her with a sense of unease, and the more she looked, a deep sense of sorrow.
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Asterope
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Reflective Surfaces

Postby Asterope on June 1st, 2021, 3:57 am

As she stared into the water, Aster swore she saw something else; shattered, half-there images, translucent and gleaming in the water, of grasslands she had long left behind. A crystalline city perched on the edge of a mountain; some strange, misty forest, and then the images were gone, the water once again reflecting only her surprised face and the distant darkness of the night sky, speckled with the glowing lights of the stars.

The fountain, half-tucked away and partially hidden, was certainly strange. Aster could feel goosebumps rising on the back of her neck, a chill running down her spine. Something about it was just...not quite right. Was that why she felt so strange and unsettled? Or was she being watched, as well? She glanced around her somewhat nervously, half-expecting to see the strange boy from before again, but she seemed to be alone.

Turning back to the fountain, Aster plucked a pebble of her own from the ground, letting it drop with a small splash into the fountain; a few droplets of water hit her face, and she instinctively swiped her tongue over her lower lip. The water was refreshing, almost too sweet, yet salty at the same time, but it didn't make her want to retch the way ocean water did.

Strange indeed. Aster watched the pebble sink down into the fountain, the same way the one before had, and with a faint shimmering silver light, it seemed to fade from her vision. Aster wondered if people really had gone missing in the fountain, or if the boy had just been trying to scare her, using the strangeness of the fountain to his advantage.

Footsteps suddenly sounded from the alleyway she had come down; they seemed hurried and urgent, and without thinking, Aster dove into the nearest bush, curling her knees into her chest and peering out from the shadows. A young woman hurried into the courtyard; she was gripping something tightly in her hands. "I can't take it anymore," the woman sobbed, clearly too distressed and too focused on the object she held to look around for anyone else who might be hiding in the vicinity.

Aster watched, curiously, wondering if she should leave her hiding spot; the woman didn't seem to be a threat, if anything, she seemed distraught and in need of comfort. "Every time I say your name I see you, I see you but you're not here anymore!" The woman dropped to her knees in front of the fountain, clutching the object close to her chest. "It shouldn't be," Aster heard her whisper.

"It must be...some sort of, some sort of magic," the word left the woman's throat as if she was being strangled, breathy and tight. "It's wrong, it's some sort of temptation, trying to convince me you're still here. Just leave me alone! Let me move on! Yedra please, take this cursed thing away from me," the woman let out another sob, and flung whatever she was holding into the fountain with a resounding splash.
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Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
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Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
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Reflective Surfaces

Postby Asterope on June 1st, 2021, 3:57 am

She let out a pained sound, turning away from the fountain, forcing herself to her feet and stumbling away as if physically hurt. Perplexed, Aster crept out of her hiding spot, straightening up. "Miss?" She called after the woman, but her retreating figure was already gone, footsteps faded. Aster felt a pang of guilt; she hoped the woman was alright. Perhaps she should have helped her, but the moment had been so tense, so emotional, seemingly so private, she had frozen up in her hiding spot.

Curiosity mingled with guilt, and Aster approached the fountain with quick steps; she could see an object slowly floating down through the water, gleaming in the moonlight. Dropping to her knees, Aster leaned over, plunging her arm into the fountain. Her hand reached, grasping blindly, and then her fingers brushed something. Aster grasped onto the object, and sat back, pulling it out of the fountain, her arm wet and dripping.

In her hand, she held a hand mirror. It was slightly ornate, but seemingly entirely normal otherwise, beaded drops of clear water dripping off its surface. Aster gave it a slight shake as if to clear it, then turned it this way and that, frowning at her reflection. Why had the woman been so upset about a simple hand mirror? And what was up with this strange fountain?

"Maybe Imogen will know," Aster mumbled, then promptly nearly dropped the mirror she held. As soon as she spoke Imogen's name, the glass of the mirror shimmered, and a moment later rather than her own face reflected in it, Imogen's face stared back at her. The image was perfectly still, but it was as if Aster was staring at Imogen in-person; her honey-brown eyes were wide, mouth quirked in a grin, the pink in her hair more vibrant, as if she'd just refreshed it with her choice of dye.

Aster stared in shock for a long moment, and after some time, the image faded, leaving her staring at her own stunned reflection. So that was what the woman had been talking about; perhaps she had been seeing someone who had died in the mirror. Could it do that? Aster wasn't sure yet, and she was hesitant to try it. Standing up and shaking her arm dry as best as she could, Aster carefully tucked the mirror away inside her cloak. Perhaps she should return to her room and deposit it first before going to see Imogen; she wouldn't want to break it or get it stolen.
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The sun will rise, and we will try again
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Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
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Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
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