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Old April 21, 2018, 08:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[PA] Truth Searches for No one, It Waits to be Found

Timestamp: Spring, Era XXV Post Fractum


In amongst the chaos that had become his life over the past few cycles, it would have been easy for things to be forgotten or cast aside. But there was one thing...one particular thing that Calanon had been unable to ignore. Tucked securely into the top drawer of a tall mahogany dresser in the bedroom he shared with his beloved was a piece of parchment. Folded, unfolded, studied numerous times since it had come into his possession, it had not strayed from his thoughts for longer than a couple of days, only there had been so much going on he had done little more than pick it up and stare at it each time his fingers had sought it out.

Not today.

Today he plucked it out from where it lay folded and stashed it in the breast pocket of his tunic, trying to ignore the brief flutter of nerves it conjured.For it was not what was on the list that was important, but more what potential information he could glean from finding them. The promise of it picked at already frayed nerves and he knew without doubt that he couldn’t just ignore it any longer.

He’d talked to Kailin about it..for it had kept him awake into the darkening -the last thing in rather a long list to do so - and she had been cautiously supportive of his plans. She knew how it had nagged at him, but knew too the insubstantial promise that he chased. And perhaps it was easier for her to acknowledge that it might all be a ruse that it was for him.

Still he told himself. Even if what the Professor said came to nothing,it was not as if any financial gains would be sniffed at. Not with their current position. And so it was that the Sylrosian elf left his home and followed the loose directions his beloved had given him, walking briskly in the salt swathed air as he made his way toward the Queen’s Athenaeum and Library. It seemed as good a place as any to start trying to identify the things scrawled on this shopping list he had been given.

And when the elf stepped inside the building, felt the embrace of the polished wooden walls, he breathed in the smell of paper and ink and leather that was altogether ‘library’. It transported him momentarily back to another time, another library, one where he had sat and whiled away hours of his childhood. For a moment, Calanon stopped, knocked off kilter by the sudden remembering, made all the more poignant by what motivated him to be there. But it was the same thing that allowed him to move on, into the reception area, where candlelight lent a more tranquil illumination that the brighter burn of the suns outside.

Ahead lay double doors that would lead to the knowledge he sought, the information that might guide his next steps`and unless interrupted, he intended to make a start right away. It was a long list, after all.
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Old April 24, 2018, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Through the double doors lay the room which housed almost any book a person could want. The room was large and airy, though it smelled heavily of worn parchment and ink. Large windows allowed the suns light to stream through, illuminating the space, though the darkness of the wood in the room muted it easily. Dust specks floated around in the air, only made visible by the sunbeams. In the darker spaced there were large candelabras to light the area.

There was a long hallway off of which were 6 corridors that spread the width of the room within which books could be found. Bookshelves lined the walls on two levels from floor to ceiling, small staircases leading up to the second-floor balconies. There were ladders every few meters to allow a person to reach the books on the higher shelves. There were tall stacks of books piled sporadically throughout the place, which only made one wonder what might happen if a book someone needed was at the bottom of one of the tall stacks. They were also piled on tables with chairs that were scattered around the room. There were also couches to be found for reading and book easels upon which open books lay. An employee of the library emerged from one of the corridors and reached for a pile of books. It seemed there was at least one person who was endeavouring to return the books to their rightful homes on the shelves.

The Library wasn’t empty, either. There were a few scholars doing research or studying by candlelight. A woman was up a ladder reaching for a book while it’s hopeful recipient stood below holding the ladder securely for her. There was what looked like a couple of priests chatting in hushed tones about something indistinct and three older men having what looked like an argument. One was jabbing an open book with his They weren’t loud, but they were loud enough to distract from the general quiet ambience of the space.

Where to start? Find someone who looked like they might work there and get some guidance or attempt to find what he was looking for on his own?

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Old April 25, 2018, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Right. Faced with the rather overwhelming volume of tomes, it did not take the elf long to decide that he might need a little assistance in finding what he was looking for, lest he spend the rest of his long life in this very place searching through the stacks of books. So as he spotted a person who looked to be an employee of the library, the Sylrosian approached, drawing out his list as he did so.

"Vedui....forgive my interruption but I was wondering if you might be able to point me in the direction of where I might find some writings on..." the elf paused and scanned down the list in front of him. "....Dire Lynx..or Basilisk. Fantastic beasts and where to find them I suppose…” He offered the list toward the staff member and shrugged. Really, he had no idea what some of the things on the list were, but those he did recognise seemed to fit into that description.

 

Heads:
Night Drake
Dire Lynx
Basilisk
Nightraven
Gamayun
Siren
Crocotta

Entire body:
Shadowstray
Naiad
Great Salamander

Sundry:
A trapped Myst
Alicorn horn
Globe Sponge
Cloak of a Swan Maiden


 


If he could find the right books, then the elf’s plan was to try and glean as much knowledge as he could on the different items the Professor had requested and therefore identify which would be the easiest to try and track down. He could not really afford to go haring off on wild goose chases at the moment, so would be looking for opportunities that would not take him too far from home or for too long. And, you know, those creatures that presented minimal chance of death upon encounter would be a boon. So perhaps he could discount Drakes and Basilisks come to think of it. Either way, he waited expectantly to be led in the right direction so he could begin to make some plans.
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Old April 30, 2018, 08:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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An older female Medonian elf with small half-moon glasses and her white hair pulled severely up into a neat bun was pushing a trolly with books piled high upon it, stopping every so often to pick up a book off the pile and place it on a shelf. She seemed to be humming to herself, lost in her own thoughts as she went about her task of re-shelving the books. Calanon startled her and she jolted, the stacks of books on the trolly teetering and coming perilously close to toppling over.

The stern look she gave the taller elf softened as she listened to his request. Taking the list from his hand, the elder elfess adjusted her glasses on her nose and peered through them at the list. “Ah, I see,” she said, her blue eyes moving from the paper to Calanon’s green ones. “This is quite the list.”

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a good start. You might also want to try this one,” she said, her auburn skirts swishing as she walked swiftly towards a shelf a little down the hallway and to the right. Plucking an older, well worn book from the shelf she placed it in Calanon’s hands. "Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures,” she said before moving a few shelves down and heaving the heavy tome that was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and placing that on top of the other book in Calanon’s hands.

“Also…..”
she said bending down and walking a few steps before pulling a book off that shimmered teal and yellow and green. It looked as though it was covered in mermaid scales. “…. Mermaids and Dolphins and Magical Creatures of the Seas. And then likely Alicat to Xet, Beasts of the Aelyrian Empire and Beyond as well,” she finished, pulling a fourth burgundy leather-bound volume and putting it on top of the small pile in the Sylrosian’s arms.

“If you still can’t find what you are looking for or need further reading on one of the topics, let me know and I will see what else we cannot all dig out for you.” She gave him a tight-lipped smile and then turned on her heal and walked back towards her trolly of books.
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Old May 1, 2018, 07:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The elf gave an apologetic smile as the elder elf jumped, and he had put out a hand to steady the stack of books that wavered as a result of his interruption. His kinswoman was quick to recover though, taking the list from his hands, and soon Calanon was in charge of his own stack of books, slightly more numerous and substantial than he would have hoped. He was reminded all of a sudden of those tiresome hours he had spent combing through tomes for the Sorcerer in Jaedaxia, and reminded himself that this was not the same. This was for a purpose all his own.

“Diolla lle” The thanks given were offered with a small smile of his own before the Sylrosian cast his eyes about for a table he might set his ‘light reading’ down upon. The books landed with a soft thump, still loud in the relative quiet of the library, and Calanon took more care as he shed the pack from his pack, reaching down to retrieve the quill, ink and parchment Kailin had pressed on him earlier. Whatever fanciful ideas he’d had of just skimming through a couple of pages and memorising what he needed had been extinguished with a damp fizzle of dismay. It was no small task he had set himself.

With a suppressed sigh, the elf folded himself into the chair that accompanied the table he’d chosen, and spread the stack of books out in front of him, letting his fingers run over the covers as he tried to decide where to start. Logic dictated he should move through the list top to bottom, but he was not always the most logical of beings, and his attention had been caught by the shimmer of scales on one of the tomes that had been pressed upon him. And so Calanon picked up the book, opening it and letting his gaze scan over the first few pages, looking for anything that might be relevant to his undertaking.

Then it would be the somewhat tedious process of noting down any salient points, and moving through the rest of the books the elven woman had so kindly directed him to. Time to narrow down that list.
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Old May 5, 2018, 09:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As Calanon thumbed through the scaled book a page caught his eye. Opening the book and flipping back a few pages he saw one of the names on his list.




Flip the page.....

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Old May 6, 2018, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It did not take long, thumbing through the book, to come across one of the creatures named on the list. The elf had heard of Sirens, that they were some fabled beauties that lured sailors to their deaths, but as he scanned down the page, his face twisted in revulsion.

Not beauties, then.

In fact, if the description in the book was accurate, rather quite the opposite. He wondered if it were some form of mysticism that they wove into their song that would beguile men so. Perhaps if he created a shield it might deflect the magic? Or maybe it would be simpler to stuff his ears with cotton wool? And then what....pretend to be under the influence of their song long enough to get close enough to separate a head from the body. He cringed at the thought, though whether it was the decapitation or imagining seeing a siren up close, he wasn't certain.

Calanon scribbled down the information he could, slanting elegant script only eating up the page. If he were wander down the coast some little way, maybe he could cross one item off his list without having to travel to far at all? Rereading the pages to ensure he had not missed anything important, the Sylrosian paid particular heed to anything that might suggest weaknesses that he could use against the creatures.

Then it was back to combing through the rest of the book, and the others, to see if he could find anything on the rest of the Professor's list.
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Old May 11, 2018, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The next thing that was on Calanon’s list that was found in the scaled book was an entry on Swan Maiden’s. A quick skim of the page found that with a little cunning and stealth, it could be relatively easily done. However, stealing the cloak of the Swan Maiden made her your wife. He would have to decide if that was something he would want.


There was also the Naiad.





Hmmmm. Was it worth it?

oocCredit goes to Hh'esthesia
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Old May 14, 2018, 05:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Swan Maidens had seemed a fairly non threatening option at first, after all, how scary was a Swan really? Until the point that the elf read on regarding the rather important caveat that whomever stole one of their cloaks would then have to take said maiden as a wife. The quill, where it had been scribbling down the detail, paused a moment before scratching a very definitive line through all his notes on Swan Maidens. That was not a complication he needed, and he rapidly turned the page, trying not to imagine Kailin’s face if he had returned bearing a wife as well as the prizes he sought on his quest. Possibly not.

Heaving a sigh of relief that he had at least read enough to ensure he never picked up some discarded feathery cloak, the elf scanned over the next pages. Naiad. He read with some interest about the nymphs, but knew already it was not something he would be pursuing. Nymphs were creatures of magic, close to his Lord surely, and he still remembered the rock Nymphs he and Adyn had met. No. That would not do.

So it was back to the books then, searching out what information he could find and making notes, dark inked words filling up the pale parchment, ticking them off the list as he went through. It was an absorbing task, and the elf realised quite how ignorant he was about the creatures of Telath as he looked up some of the things on the list that he did not recognise at all. Still, he was looking in particular for those that he might be able to find in close proximity to Port Alyxandrya, and that would not devour him in one bite.
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Old May 16, 2018, 11:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, he was in a city by the sea, so anything found near there would be reasonably easy to get to. So that meant Sirens and the globe sponge. There was also fresh water pretty close, so that meant the Naiad, Swan Maiden’s Cloak (both of which he had already crossed off his list), and the great salamander. There was forest near by as well, as he well knew, so he could probably find the dire lynx, night drake, shadow stray, myst or crocotta. That being said, none of them would be easy, especially when it came to the animals. Everything else would require some travel.


None of the options were going to be easy. It really all came down to what Calanon felt he could handle.
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Old May 20, 2018, 07:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Calanon had sifted through the tomes, made notes until his hand cramped, and dismissed more than a few more of the things demanded by the Professor's list. His stomach had begun protesting some time ago about his apparent neglect of eating anything, and he was beginning to squint by the time he finally set down the quill and surveyed his work.

Tracing a finger absently over an ink smudge on his hand, he scanned the pages laid out before him. There were things here that seemed creatures of nightmares, or those that seemed so impractical as to almost be impossible.
And matters were further complicated by his need not to stray too far from home just now.

The elf's gaze flickered back to the first page of notes he had made, and he picked it up and read over it again. Sirens. Coastal, so he might be lucky in finding them nearby. And he had scribbled a thought down as he had transcribed from the book, about the possibility of plugging his ears, or perhaps shielding himself with magic to prevent the illusion taking hold. It bore further consideration, and for now at least, was one of the forerunners.
It was as he was folding that sheet away into his pack that a realisation hit him and he gave a huff of dismay. How the feth was he going to get a severed head to Jaedaxia without it rotting into a putrid mess before he got there? Not that the thought of presenting such a thing to the red haired human wasnt tempting. No, he would need to attempt to retrieve the thing up there. Which meant his efforts not to travel were thwarted.

Calanon grimaced at the thought of imparting that bit of news to his beloved, but what choice did he have? How could he leave such a question unanswered? He would have to deal with he fallout the best he could. And if he did have to go, then he should do it sooner rather than later, with Niven drawing closer to her time with every passing day.

With a sigh of frustration, the elf gathered the rest of his papers and packed them away. He would study them again later. Before he left, Calanon neatly stacked the books and returned them to the desk, being sure to thank whoever received them, even if he were a little preoccupied by the new development to his plans.

***

As it turned out, it was some long weeks before his attention could turn once again to his task, for much had happened in the meantime that claimed his focus. Not until Calanon found himself on the edges of the Loremark forest in early summer could the elf once again consider what he needed to do. Given his recent undertakings to help his friend seek out some remnants of family, it had naturally shifted the elf’s thoughts back to his own. And with the new shifting his world so utterly, it served to make the absence of the old only more prominent.

And so it was that he had struck out on his own, determined to get this thing done and quiet the hopeful voice in his head that would not let him forget. He had stopped long enough to reprovision in a small village, had poured over those now crumpled pieces of parchment that bore his research, as it was, and the morning had seen him set off early, foregoing even his usual practice and meditation. It was difficult knowing he was placing greater distance between himself and Port Alyxandrya,and all that was there, but he did not intend to tarry. Having hired himself a mount- a rather bad-tempered black beast that he had summarily monikered AlasseJoy - he intended to ride hard and fast towards the North Easterly reaches, stopping only if he thought he might stand a chance of locating one of the creatures he had earmarked as a possibility.
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Old May 24, 2018, 11:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The weather previously had been almost unbearably hot during his trip with Moss. As he rode away from the Loremark forest and towards the Republic of Northumbria it was as if the gods had decided to grant him some relief as it was overcast with a fresh breeze. All the same, Calanon would have to be careful to keep his horse at a steady pace versus a gruelling one in order to not have it worn out before he got to a place that he could exchange it for a fresh one, even though he was eager to complete his task and return home to his family. This would take time, especially now that he was tacking it on to a trip that already took him far away from his offspring and his love

Over the next cycle and a half, Calanon would make many stops in obscure villages and hamlets on his journey, changing horses and restocking provisions in cities like Letoris, Kaliaport, Abestat, Macria, and finally Fersoun before he reached the interior of the Trysvale Silvae.

The wood was dense and somewhat reminiscent of the Sylrosian Forest before it had been destroyed. There was the obvious lack of Elvish architecture, but the sounds of birds singing and the rustle of leaves on the trees as the wind blew through them along with the lush green, highlighted in areas where the suns light trickled through the treetops would make Calanon feel very much at home.

The forest was peaceful and everything felt calm and serene. Calanon slowed his horse to a walk and slowly sauntered through the wood, though always keeping a watchful eye for anything that might be on his list. There were a few forest dwelling creatures he had researched. It was a gamble, though, which of them he might come across and if he felt prepared enough to combat and capture or slay as needed.

It wasn’t until Calanon’s emerald eyes caught sight of a bit of frost on some plants to his left that he felt he might have found something. Considering that it was summer, frost was completely out of place. As he looked further, it seemed that there was a trail of frosty plants slowly thawing in the warmth.
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Old May 28, 2018, 07:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Indeed, it was a test of Calanon’s patience, a virtue he had never claimed to be blessed with in spite of his long eras. He wanted to be home, quickly. And he wanted the tools to be able to prise free the information he sought regarding his family. That which had been dangled before him in Jaedaxia, igniting hope again where it had burned out.

And so it was with frustration that he measured his pace, preserved the energy of first the obstinate black horse, and then the others that followed. Every mile was one further from his home, but perhaps one closer to the answers he sought.

Not that there was not much be done before he could look for them. By night, squinting in the light of the fire when he dared light one, Calanon all but memorised the information he had transcribed from the library, determined not to miss an opportunity to catch one of the bounties he had been tasked with. It meant that he was ever watchful in the daylight hours too, looking for signs that would indicate the presence of any of those creatures named upon the list.

The travelling took its toll too, and by the time he had reached the at least somewhat familiar woods of Trysvale, the elf welcomed the quiet path through the forest. For once, he did not resent slowing his pace, instead content to just the restorative sights and sounds of a familiar wooded landscape offer what comfort they could. It was a double take then, as the Sylrosian marked the strange frost like pattern on the greenery he passed, and he reined his horse- a docile bay mare this time- to a halt, sliding to the ground to reach out and touch the iced foliage. He felt his stomach give a little a twist of discomfort even as his heart gave a hopeful leap. Could this be a sign, the first he had come across that he might follow?. Even as his fingers drew away from the frost burned leaves, his eyes shifted to track the path of such unseasonal signs through the forest.

Myst. With a prickle of anticipation, and a not insubstantial sense of dread, Calanon surveyed the area, led the horse off of the track a little way and with a reassuring pat to the creatures neck, looped the mare’s reins around a branch “ Don't you be worried now” he murmured as he loosened the girth and left the animal with a nosebag. “ With any luck I’ll not be too long”

Unsure if he was convincing himself or the horse, the elf rummaged through his saddlebags to locate a couple of things. To his sword belt, he secured a couple of glass vials, within which resided a strange putty coloured goop. ThatCalanon decided[/i] had been a stroke of genius. The rudimentary smoke bombs he had created with Sliucha had been safely stashed away in a cupboard back in Port Alyxandrya, but foresight - and his research- had seen the Sylrosian look them out before he left. They were his ‘if things go badly wrong’ plan. An empty vial too, corked, in case he were successful in his endeavours. And then his sword and dagger, and the ring that contained the healing spells upon his finger. The rest of his stuff he hid in the undergrowth, marking it crudely with a oddly forked twig so he would find it again, and then Calanon set off cautiously, following the path of frozen leaves.
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Old June 1, 2018, 11:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The trail of frosted plants led deeper into the forest. The further Calanon walked, the denser the foliage became, blocking out more and more of the suns light until it was fairly dark. The temperature also shifted as he walked, an unseasonable chill getting cooler and cooler the longer he walked. The lack of sunslight was responsible for some of it, but certainly not as cold as it was getting. Gooseflesh was starting to appear on the Sylrosian’s arms and he started to be able to see his breath. He must be close.

Then the fog started.

The cold turned damp, which made the cold seep right through his clothes and chilled Calanon to the bone. The frost on the plants was no longer in a trail, but more an entire area below the fog.

In the darkest area of them all, Calanon came upon a small pond which had frozen over due to the intense cold. Just on the other side was a more dense patch of fog. But it seemed to move, hover, really, above the opposite bank of the pond. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone.

As Calanon’s eyes searched for the patch of cloud, a chill ran down his spine as the Myst came at him from behind, it’s tendrils only slightly disturbing Calanon’s dark hair as it was reaching for the elf’s nostrils.
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Old June 4, 2018, 10:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The elf was on his guard as he made his way carefully through the woods. And as he walked, he tried to recall all he had read of the thing he suspected responsible for the unseasonal chill.

There was the skittish sort of feeling borne of nervous energy, and Calanon paused a moment to weave a shield over himself, close to his skin so it might protect him, in case his suspicions proved to be true. One hand rested upon the vial containing the rudimentary smoke bomb, the other hung loosely by his side, for he knew there was no merit in drawing his blade, it would not serve him well here.

And as he walked on, the warmth seemed to leach from the day, until he shivered in his light tunic and his breath hung cold in the air. And then the visibility dropped, and even had the damp of the air not chilled him, the very sight of Fog was enough to spike discomfort in the Sylrosian, though he knew it was not the same. Not the same.

He pushed the prickle of unease away, shivering slightly, for all of this gave him hope that he had indeed found what what he was looking for. And as the frost patterned leaves became a feature of the area beneath the fog and he paused a way off from a small pond, Calanon got his first glimpse of what he believed to be the Myst.

And it was just that, a glimpse, before the insubstantial form had disappeared and the elf was left scanning the surrounding area to no avail. It was the stroke of icy fingers down his spine and the breath of cold against his neck that alerted him to the presence of the thing behind him, and the Sylrosian dropped and rolled, an instinctive action in an attempt to evade the insidious chill that would fill his lungs and see him breathe his last if it could. From the ground, the sorcerer gathered the force essence from around him and threw a blast of it in the direction he thought the Myst was, trying to buy himself a little time.

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Attempted 1 x Journeyman Shield Spell
1 x Initiate Force Bolt

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Grim & Your Mum :Cal can't possibly be all that prissy, seeing as he's going around propositioning people :<
Cal: ONE TIME
Hoskuld & Walt:...and he was drunk.
charybdis >> grim :And crying.
Hoskuld & Walt :...and it was a weird time.
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