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Isaac enters The Outpost to find Xyna's Shrine. [Moritz]

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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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Postby Isaac Iceglaze on September 13th, 2021, 5:19 pm

1st of Fall, 521 AV
Early Morning


“Ya, it doesn’t thaw.”

Isaac made a face of disbelief, mixed with a sense of distaste. A stone that’s resistant to thawing but looks exactly the same color as Icestone? He touched the wall and remembered he could feel nothing. He couldn’t feel the beauty of this stone unless he materialized himself. Even then, the touch wouldn’t be the same.

Eyes closed, his arms stretched upwards, Isaac quietly listened to a snow pigeon fly higher until it disappeared out of sight within this building they called ‘The Northern Dovecote’.

“You’re going now, ya?”

The young ghost nodded, eyes still closed, scratching a phantom itch on his back. Force of habit. “I don’t know if I should though,” he answered, a smirk creeping up on his face. “Never really wanted to leave.”

“Oh don’t worry, you’re not leaving, The Outpost is like an extension of us, y’know?”

The voice he was listening to was of a fairly young woman who seemed to be the one in charge of caring for the birds. When he came in, he’d seen her leave out some food for them to eat, and went up to her, at first unsure of what to say. She watched him stare at the wall and stayed silent.

The silence was overbearing, so she broke it.

“I swear on Morwen, you’re really not leaving in the way that you would if you were going to another city in Mizahar. This place, The Outpost, it’s a gift. A blessing. Without Xyna’s place for trade, we would starve. It’s really easy to come back here too, because the way it works is that you can only leave the Outpost through the way you came in. It’s the same for everybody. I learned that there’s a city called ‘Ravok’ in the middle of a lake, and everyone there worships Rhysol, the God of Evil, and anyone who enters The Outpost from Ravok can’t come to Avanthal through the Outpost, see? They can only leave The Outpost by going back to Ravok. It’s designed that way, I think, to prevent war. Or at least, that’s what Xyna promised. No bounties, too. So ya, there’s nothing to worry about, okay?”

Isaac nodded, without a word. He couldn’t tell if she was infantilizing him or not, but the way she spoke about the place seemed to make sense for the most part.

“It’s funny that you swear on Morwen, and then speak so highly of this goddess named Xyna,” he said, looking at the floor. She clicked her teeth. His eyes cast over her form to look at the door he needed to open.

“If you ever get the honour of meeting Xyna, I would advise that you pay her your gratitude. You ever had soulmist? Many of the spirits that have stayed here are only able to thrive because of the food we get from The Outpost. After Morwen left—“

“And do you know why she left?” The ex-mason raised his voice at her, irked by her clear loss of faith.

She stayed silent.

“What’s your name?” He demanded.

“Selvenienne Frostfawn, granddaughter of Tovan,” she answered, softly, recognizing her insensitivity. “And you are?”

“Isaac Iceglaze, son of Lor’eno, alive and well.”

Brother of Marrick, thought the Frostfawn, recognizing the father’s name. Dire Polar Bear, was he?

Isaac narrowed his eyes at her, unsure of what she was thinking to herself before looking back at the door again.

“Nice to meet you, Selvenienne. And thanks, for telling me a bit about this place. Focus your efforts on finding our Queen, will you? It would help. We are a capable people, and our city has been self-sufficient for many years before this Outpost came along. Imagine if this place disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. What would you think of Xyna then?”

It wasn’t as if Isaac knew what he was talking about. A part of him hated having to talk about any of this in the first place, knowing that he’d let his emotions out on this woman. He didn’t care what she did, really. He knew that she was just doing her job.

“Oh, I don’t know,” answered Selvenienne. It dawned on her then, the kind of faith she was holding. “Fine yes, I agree. Morwen. We must help find her,” she answered with a frown, a guilt beginning to build, realizing that she was talking to a spirit instead of a living, breathing being. “Is that why you’re going to The Outpost? I don’t know if you’ll find her there,” her tone was higher, trying her best to gently let him know that others had been trying for years, with no luck.

Isaac nodded slowly, grunting affirmatively. He wasn’t going to tell her much of anything else. She was alive. He was dead.

She couldn’t possibly understand.

The ghost stared at the door. He focused on his form and began to pay attention to his body. Slowly but surely, the materiality began to form, replacing the flickering with more solid lines and color. Selvenienne pursed her lips and moved forward to open the door for him. Isaac put his hands in his pockets, another force of habit, watching her swing the door wide.

With a nod of thanks, he moved in.
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Isaac Iceglaze
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Postby Isaac Iceglaze on September 13th, 2021, 5:20 pm

Everything was elaborate.

Isaac took a moment to notice the sculpting, the curvatures, the craftsmanship in the way this side of the dovecote was fashioned.

A shock to see walls made of a different material. Browner tones. Was it a clay?

“Welcome, welcome, come right on in.” A bearded man with a grey-blue, charismatic gaze looked upon Isaac, greeting him with a practiced, friendly voice as soon as he’d blinked a few feet further inside the area. The ghost materialized a hand to shake and provided his name, while the man introduced himself as Paul Resan, outlined how the Dovecote works, invited him to visit the Bazaar, and went to hand him a map of the place.

“Can you tell me where Xyna’s Shrine is?” asked Isaac, before taking the piece of parchment.

Paul’s brows raised, and a grin formed, lighting up his face with crinkles. “Oh, you’re ready to be a devout one?” Zac simply smiled back as the caretaker pointed to the location and further explained that it was also the headquarters of The Keiss, Xyna’s marked followers.

“Just know that you can’t top Zed, our Champion. You’re welcome to try, though,” Paul laughed, imagining a ghost as a Champion.

“Thanks for the info, Paul,” responded Isaac, shaking his head with as polite a smile as possible, not quite sure of the joke.

With a careful touch, the ghost began to form the mist require to push the map up in front of him, to hold it in the air. There was a destination in sight and he knew he just needed to go. Isaac looked around himself one last time, noticing the forms of others walking in and out from the existing gateways. Paul had moved on to greet others.

A bit of fear gripped him as he stayed in place.

Scared of what he might learn, worried about his Goddess, and in a mode of panic, Isaac dropped the misted hold on his map.

“Shyke,” he whispered. The ghost wasn’t too skilled with moving things yet. He crouched down, touching the rolled parchment again, and allowed it to float upwards as he stood. He watched, imagined it unfurl, and it did.

Well, that’s neat, he thought.

Isaac studied the map further.
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Isaac Iceglaze
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Postby Moritz Craven on September 18th, 2021, 11:08 pm

1 Fall 521


While Moritz had never experienced a true winter, not counting the odd magical one that had occurred in Lhavit once when he was young, he had not truly experienced the cold. On the other hand he had experienced hot, and having lived in Lhavit without winter had not experienced much in his early life regarding heat.

And then he had come to the Outpost, and had experienced heat. Albeit a dry heat of the sun bearing done on someone, but a true heat. More recent than that he had moved to Syka and had experienced another kind of heat. That was more of a wet heat, a humid heat that seemed to sweep in upon him. Moritz was unsure which he preferred, or which was worse, but he had come to realize the value in being cool. Escaping the heat was an instinctive thing, even if it was done by lying in the shade, burrowing underground, or such. The more he experienced heat the more he understood this, and the more diverse of a concept he understood it to be.

He did not have much on him today, sandals he had purchased before on his feet, a pack on his back, some money inside, and a few odds and ends inside, but other than that and the bracelet permanently affixed to his wrist he was rather devoid of possessions. He had not even brought his weapons today, leaving them back at his home.

Walking once more into that dry heat bearing down on him Moritz held up a hand to ward his eyes and looked about the Outpost once more. As always there were plants. Water, found in the fountains. A respite from the heat was found in this. Just as escaping heat was instinctive, gathering around sources of water was also so for people. This place being full of water was further proof of this. Moritz considered this and knew that, logically speaking, if it was not so full of freely used water it would not exist.

Peering with his odd eyes, square pupil less goat like eyes from his Okomo nature which were further altered and made absurd by the markings and coloration of his Iraso sight. Even inactive they were quite distinct, the sunburst coloration marked Moritz as something other. And when in use, well then they were even ore startling, almost glowing with light and djed.

First thing upon arriving Moritz looked about to find the entrance man, Moritz had forgotten his name but knew he was a worshiper of Xyna, knew quite a bit about the place, handed out maps, and always seemed happy to talk and help facilitate trade. He had discussed things at length with the man before and found him an honest if focused person, but nice enough to discuss things with.

As his eyes found the man Moritz paused and began to squint, seeing the form out in the sun... And not seeing. Having seen a fair number of ghosts, and this one being out in the sun, he almost immediately knew him to be a ghost. It also helped that he seemed to be holding or floating a paper over his hand without actually touching it, quite an odd sight.

At least for a moment, before the paper fell. Moritz was also somewhat sure the paper had clipped through his insubstantial hand at one point, further proving the man was a ghost.

Heading over to the entrance man and the ghost who was having trouble holding his paper Moritz waved at the entrance man before turning to the ghost. When he spoke it was in a somewhat bored manner devoid of excitement. Neutral some might say. In truth Moritz was not bored. Of course neither was he excited... He just simply... Was.

"If you would like, I can hold that for you. I'm in no particular rush today, so would not mind assisting."

Moritz would give the ghost a few moments to respond, gazing at him to meet his eyes. In his head he silently counted, one, two, three... Ensuring the proper amount of eye contact he had learned, or at least once more attempting the appropriate amount which he was attempting to refine till he had mastered the practice. He saw it was a type of math, though rather than numbers he used social norms and interactions to form an equation and solve for his actions.

For a moment his mind wandered off on math, doing some sums mentally in preparation for negotiations, before returning his thoughts to the current interaction. Though it was rather quick and all happened while he held the ghosts gaze- or tried to.

Thirty four gold mizas plus seven makes.... Six makes forty, plus one, so forty one. Seven boxes times three gold mizas each... Seven plus three was ten, plus four more made fourteen... Plus six made twenty, plus one made.... Twenty one.

If the ghost accepted Moritz would take the offered map and hold it up for the spirits inspection, alleviating the need for them to waste their precious soul mist simply holding a piece of paper.

Whether said spirit accepted or not Moritz would nod once before introducing himself.

"Hello, I am Moritz Craven. And you? And I would assume you are a ghost, are you not?"

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Postby Isaac Iceglaze on September 24th, 2021, 7:43 pm

Isaac’s hands went up to rub his eyelids, as if he needed to clear something in his vision before looking at the source of the voice speaking to him. The vague memory of a habit completed, he noticed that he was still holding the map with a wispy tendril of mist from his being.

He wasn’t noticing that the effort was tiring him out, and instead worked to hold it steady as he looked upon a young lad with eyes he’d never seen before, and hair like it belonged to an old woman, seeing how pale and patchy it was. His eyes were unlike any other Vantha that Isaac had known. They were strangely shaped and bursting with contrasting colour. The ghost looked away towards the gate that was closest to the path that led to the shrine.

It was a kind offer, he admitted to himself.

“Thanks. Working on this for the first time, so,” the ghost paused, using his will to gently bring the map further out for the both of them to see, spread out. “I think I’m getting used to it.”

Feeling a bit more confident now, despite the growing fatigue, he gently introduced himself as well.

“Nice to meet you, Craven. I’m Isaac Iceglaze, entering from Avanthal,” he said, looking back at his gaze for a moment to give the lad a polite smile before focusing once more on his form. Isaac did not recognize the name, and guessed that it meant he was not Vantha. The ghost did his best to materialize some of himself and most of his hand as he offered a shake as a greeting.

Whether it was returned or not, Isaac would drop his smile and continue holding up the map. He hadn’t learned much about the mechanics of his present state as a ghost, so to hear someone ask him so bluntly about it felt achingly foreign.

“I guess it’s hard to hide,” he said grimly yet jokingly, aware of the slight sarcasm in his tone. ”Doesn’t matter what you assume, I’m still me. Came here to learn a thing or two from someone named Eliah at Xyna’s Shrine.” Isaac paused, checking to see if he could memorize the route. It didn’t seem obvious, and it looked like it would take time to get there.

“No rush, you said? Where are you from, Craven? With what purpose do you find yourself here in this place they call The Outpost?”

The questioning was slightly habitual, his tone void of terseness yet verging on intrigue, since he’d been a Kelvic guard for some seasons with the Watch. Isaac found it hard to be the kind of ‘social’ that most people would deem friendly. His demeanour had only gotten worse since death, though most who knew him never dared to bring up how much moodier he’d gotten. Bringing it up made it worse.

Any answer that the lad provided would be met with nods, and an occasional raise of a brow if it was something particularly surprising.

Chatter from behind encouraged visitors to keep moving and flowing through, and Isaac followed course. A ghost couldn't quite feel temperatures, and even the materialized form was just a denser version of a substance without the fullness of senses. To Isaac, the warmth of The Outpost was nothing more than a change of scenery. He felt no particular way about the change, and really only kept his thoughts to whatever the next step was. After a long time, he'd gathered the motivation to take action on the information Marus had given him. It took more than the average amount of effort to stay locked on finding out more about what he wanted to know.

Today, he was avoiding his usual, brooding existence in disassociated misery.
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Isaac Iceglaze
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Postby Moritz Craven on October 24th, 2021, 10:20 pm

While the question to an outward observer would seem quite obvious, Moritz knew that when meeting a ghost it was important to confirm. Not the answer itself, since he knew the answer.... But rather the answer the ghost gave. After all not all ghosts knew they were dead, and if the man instead of agreeing tried to correct him and explain things then that would tell him something about the ghost as well.

Regardless of the answer Moritz would learn something, and so had decided to ask that to the next ghost he met, way back a half a chime before he asked it.

If that question did not work, or even if it did, he would try to further refine his approach to talking with a ghost and garnering simple but important facts from it.

When the spirit denied his request Moritz was a bit surprised for a moment, after all the task was easy for him but constantly draining for a ghost. But once it was explained why he understood. After all he of all people understood training and such things. He was constantly training and practicing odd skills, even during his current conversation, and so a ghost doing so made sense to him.

Of course.... Moritz pondered... Without a body what all could a ghost practice? Voicing his train of thought Moritz spoke, as much to himself as to the ghost. Though if the spirit answered him he would be somewhat pleased.

"Hmmm.... I had not thought of a spirit doing such things to be honest. Though it does make sense to me. What sorts of things can you practice and train as you are? I would be interested to know... Its always good to have new data sets from a new source as well... As well as what limits there are on training such things. I suppose that would be the drain on soulmist... Have you noticed such limits hindering you before? Ah but then another reason why sometimes Spiritists offer soulmist to a ghost... Just as I train on making such things, the ghost would need it to replenish after training... Any thoughts?"

The name Avanthal vaguely sounded familiar to Moritz, but he could not recall where from. He half remembered hearing it, but it had not been a striking enough conversation, or perhaps had been too long ago and not said often enough, such that he could not recall. Isaac though was a name he thought in his head a few times, working to remember it. Names were important for placing people, and so he endeavored to recall this one. Isaac Iceglaze. The last name made Moritz think of some kind of cold pot covering but he imaged this train of thought was off.

Moritz took the proffered limb summoned into sudden fullness, or an approximation of it, and shook it. As usual it was quite odd interacting with a semi firm spectral limb, but he was used to such things growing up around ghosts. He kept his expression neutral as they shook, though his eyes wandered from the ghost, where their hands met, the map, and back to the ghost in short order.

At the ghosts replied question Moritz shrugged before responding.

"I'm from Lhavit originally, that is where I was raised. But today I have come from Syka. Its similar in some ways to this place, just as hot, but wetter. As for why I'm here, I suppose its the same as most of the people here. Shopping. Though nothing specific, just a general browsing. You don't now what you don't know until you know that you don't know it. The same goes for things. You don't know of the things being offered you would want until you see them. As for what I would look for... Well... Most likely weapons, I tend to check those when I visit more than anything else, but I've nothing specific I'm looking for."

While Moritz was many things close lipped was not one of them. He had yet to find a situation where he could not find ten words to fill the need of two, and so erred on the side of saying far too many things than too few. He would not often bring up unrelated topics by himself, though how he connected two things was often confusing to others, but once brought up he would answer honestly and wordily.

"That being how it is, if you needed some assistance or accompaniment I've nothing to stop me from doing so, nor any particular reason not to. Or to I suppose, but I find reasons to do things are easy to find than reasons not to."

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