Old July 15, 2015, 09:42 AM   #1 (permalink)

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[Medonia] Box Built Around the Sun [Maddyn]

The Second Half of XXII

A break from the usual, that was what Iseult sought as she unrolled the paper with the detailed request from months earlier. Too many months earlier--she had allowed herself to become far too ensconced in the work on Medonia that she had allowed this commission to slip. No good, Iseult.

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We require a gem of such impossible purity that it can neither be broken nor contaminated by the arcantrik contamination that so permeates our realm this brightening. Moreover, an additional, fully-enclosable amulet-cage is to be procured, with dimensions fitting the sizes outlined in the addendum below, of similar nature.
The glassblower considered it. She had let the commission go for a little while because she did not quite know how to perform the task required of her. Something that could not be contaminated... Iseult had had her fair share of bad run ins with arcanic contamination recently. Wouldn't it be nice if that wasn't a problem? She gave a small snort, believing the commission something of wishful thinking...but she'd agreed at least to attempt it. At the very least, the prince would have a very nice crystal to display around his neck. Unbreakable--she could do that, she already knew it (potential problem: that durable glass had been made with contaminated sand...!)--but maybe more fashionable than practical when it came to contamination.

Nonetheless, worth a try.

Iseult reached out and shifted open the pack she'd placed on the table, flicking aside the material to reveal the strange bones within. Bones were routinely used for coloring pigments, ground down to produce a fine white hue. These bones were odd, strange, colored and the half-breed quietly thought that white wasn't really the color it was likely to produce. Plus, they thrummed with a sort of energy...

Who knew what they would do to the glass when added...?

Well, she had to try somewhere and maybe this was one thing to consider trying. Aside from that, if she couldn't figure out how to defend the glass against contamination she might have to call in some help from other areas. Maybe Kristalena might know someone in New Coldmoon--there were odd people there with odd information (the bacon wasn't worth mentioning, was it?). Or Lily in Arconis might be able to speak to the mages there...

With one last tap of her fingers on the paper, Iseult gave a sigh and set herself to task! One probably-impossible amulet coming up...!

A couple of smaller bones were picked out from the pack to be ground down and Iseult set to firing up some glass...this glass without any of the contaminated sand from the Maeve commission. Time to see what the bones might do to the glass without the addition of anything else mucking it up.

[OOC Note: Bones Acquired in Rocks, Fire...What Else?]
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Old July 19, 2015, 08:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The glass glowed! While there was little by way of finding out whether or not the work Iseult was undertaking fit within the parameters of the commission, the results had value. Infused with the properties of the bones, the glass constructed thereof emitted a consistent soft light that didn’t appear to require any source of power to be maintained. The light was in direct proportion to how much of the ground bones were added to the mix, with a top end threshold that while allowing it to illuminate a room – would never really be applicable as an alternative to an alchemist’s ‘flashbomb’.

When it came to the specified parameters, Iseult had absolute understanding that the quest had a number of set backs. The first was that the glass, while easily as strong as bone – far hardier than most glasses the Half Elf had worked on – it could still be broken with a theft blow of a hammer or when dropped from a sufficient height. The second was that there were low levels of Arcane Contamination found within the glass.

Of the Arcane Contamination, there was no more than one might have expected in any other tool or object within Iseult’s workshop. Her hammer, the kiln or any other piece of glass (sans the Arakmatian Black Sand infused pieces), all contained harmless levels that were simply part of every day life. Constructing something that was completely bereft, a null-zone, was thus far elusive.
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Old July 24, 2015, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)

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As Iseult had anticipated, the job was proving to be incredibly difficult. Practically impossible was more the phrase she would have used to describe it. She sighed as she rolled the small chunk of glass in her hand that she had used to test the theory. Hard but not indestructible--that was going to have to be a compromise--and certainly rife with arcana, albeit not nearly as much of the contamination as in the sand she'd used in the past.

So now it was letter time.

She pulled out some parchment and jotted off something to send out to Kristalena and Valanyir to see if they could be helpful. Since Valanyir's shop had specialized in crystal prior to her acquiring the building, and Iseult did intend to work with crystal for the final product, maybe he'd have some suggestions in better strengthening the glass more than she already had. Included in her letter would be the glass she'd fashioned already.

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Valanyir and Kristalena,

Serale and good tidings to both of you. Rebuilding here in Medonia goes slowly but steadily--we make progress and we don't. I've taken a small break to handle a commission that's making me feel very doubtful of success. The client wants an unbreakable piece of crystal glass that repels arcanic contamination. Would either of you have any suggestions with your history of making crystal?

Do you know any mage scholars from the city that might be able to shed some insight on the possibilities of creating something that repels contamination rather than soaks it in? I've sent a sample of what I've made so far but as far as I can tell I don't have the means necessary to help with the contamination part of it.

I need to set aside some time to visit you in the near future, to check in on the shop and I promise that I will...perhaps sooner rather than later, particularly if you're able to help me with this.

Well wishes,
Iseult
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Old July 28, 2015, 06:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It took perhaps a couple brightenings longer than should have been the norm for a missive to be returned to Iseult. That Kristalena and Valanyir had mulled over the problem Iseult faced was likely, especially with travel proving to be quite safe now that the last of the Xet Alliance’s incursions had been pushed out of Enamoria and the Imperial Guard were better served in staving off banditry in the interim.

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“Serale Iseult,

I fear what your client wishes is akin to seeking a Firebird. Possible, but so unlikely that you could search for a lifetime and have nought for it. The Orodites in Coldmoon were quite helpful, as has the Al’lende Memorial Library in trying to track down a solution to your problem.

There is reputedly a form of magical wood that is extremely efficient at dampening Arcane Contamination in Mages, with the suggestion that ash combined in the glass may further reduce the absorption rate. From what Krista discovered, the sample you’ve sent truly doesn’t meet the criteria for ‘unbreakable’, and I can’t imagine anything holding such properties. The steward at the Orodite’s seemed to think that it was asking a lot, when even the God-Metal Aetherium can be smelted.

Do drop in, we’d both love to have you. Hoping that you’ve been well in these dire times and that you avoided the worst of it?

Salutations,
Val & Krista,
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Old July 31, 2015, 08:04 AM   #5 (permalink)

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Iseult mulled over the letter received for a couple of brightenings, her finger sliding over the words magic wood more than a few times. It was very non-specific. Magic wood. The only magical wood she could think of was the one said to be used when a mage made their staff...the sort of thing that Iseult had been avoiding for a little while now.

Thing was, Iseult didn't really know a whole lot about that magic wood. Was it the same thing? And if not, could there possibly be another type of magical wood?

Well, there was really only one way to find out.

She jotted off a quick note to Krista and Val, informing them that she'd be swinging by for a visit in a couple of brightenings. Matters in Medonia were discussed with Joscelin and Finn in regards to making sure things ran smoothly with her projects while she was gone, and Davin about making sure their investments were protected. She took a pair of the men with her to head north to New Coldmoon and the Dolwoods, striking out in the early morning, armed with her own sword and daggers.

She went to New Coldmoon first, figuring it was close enough to the Dolwoods that it made sense to check in with Kristalena and Val first, to maybe get more information from the people the two elves had spoken to for their information. It didn't hurt to see how Cascading Crystal was doing either. It had been a while, Iseult could admit that, but Krista had run her own shop in the past and Iseult had trusted that any issues that required Iseult would have been brought up, if need be.

She just hoped neither of them took her absence and distraction with Medonia personally.
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Old July 31, 2015, 07:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For all the troubles that Enamoria had been subjected to over the Era’s, Coldmoon, Iseult was to find, was largely unchanged. The Xet Alliance had not once moved towards the Dolwoods, almost as if in spite of the untold destruction they could cause - they feared the ancient woodland. Perhaps a few more people clustered in the town, refugee’s from the south and west, perhaps a few more tree’s had breached the north of Coldmoon as the Dolwoods were slowly reclaiming the territory and expanding its borders.

The Coldmoon Crystal Works, the newfound Cascading Crystal Glassworks, rather, was very much business as normal. It was almost as if the last two Era’s of war and destruction had completely bypassed the town. As Iseult returned, neither Val nor Krista were in the display room - and it was only there that some of the changes in how the business had fared in recent times were made evident.

Display pieces tended to be primarily trinkets and things of beauty, ornaments that had been collecting dust. The finer pieces, those that showcased the skill of Kristalena were utterly neglected and had been sitting there for quite some time. Val’s work too was subjected to the same absence of patronage. Where the ornaments and figurines were not selling, there was very little to be found when it came to the functional designs: work that they could do in regards to windows, bottles and jars. The practical goods? Either they’d stopped making them altogether, or they were in demand higher than the elderly pair’s ability to produce.
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Old August 3, 2015, 07:57 AM   #7 (permalink)

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It felt odd to be in a city untouched (largely) by the ravages of war. Having been so long in the battered and abandoned (though less now than it had been) Medonia, to see streets bustling with people, complete with businesses that were actually open… This was what she longed to see in Medonia once again. Maybe someday… Maybe eventually…

Stepping into the shop, Iseult did a casual turn around the room, checking over the merchandise, some of it a good deal dustier than the half-breed would have preferred. Fancier pieces sat long overlooked while there was very little by way of glasses and other such things. She supposed this was unsurprising. The economy of the region had changed and so, too, had the people living in it. With the war at the front door, trade was disrupted and people’s priorities had changed. They were less concerned with being fashionable as they were with being frugal. But that would change as the frustration of war eventually washed away and people longed to get back to normalcy. Sooner or later, people would want their elaborate vases and their glass chandeliers again.

Iseult and her cohorts would just have to wait them out.

Walking from the front shop, Iseult moved to the back where the work rooms were. If the pair were not in the front area, she could only assume they were in the back, working. ”Serale?” she called out, not wishing to startle anyone as she proceeded forward.
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Old August 8, 2015, 03:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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“Serale!” Krista’s voice;
Only for a rather more tired sounding, “Vedui’ from Valanynir that Iseult was able to catch the beginnings of a crotchety sounding grumble that seemed to stem from the notion of ‘Serale’ actually being Elven in origin and appropriated by Aelyrian society. Why Elves felt the need to have a second word that meant the same thing? It really was daft. Improved hearing that came with being part-Elf? Not always a positive thing.

Of the pair, Kristalena was the one less occupied. Her presence one more of observation and scrutiny, offering advice and being an extra set of hands should Valanynir need such as he undertook the core of the commission the pair were working upon. It was a large circular construct, where Krista and Val were working on a number of convex and concave lenses made from glass and pieces of crystal. At largest, the pieces of work were a metre in diameter with the smaller crystal pieces that Val was presently working on being no more than three inches.

“Iseult! I didn’t think we’d be seeing you till tomorrow, if I’d known…” Krista started, evidently embarrassed, having quite underestimated the travel distance between Medonia and Coldmoon when one wasn’t lugging around a wagon or dealing with the various ailments that caused detours and distractions when travelling Enamoria. “No matter! You had a safe trip?”

Val, quiet grumblings as he poured over the tiniest of the crystal lenses, “These idiots from the church, I really think we should have charged more, Krista…”
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Old August 9, 2015, 09:27 AM   #9 (permalink)

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"The weather held up better than expected," Iseult explained with a dismissive flap of her hand and a quick smile towards the elvish woman. Of anyone, it was Krista that the half-breed had the utmost respect and admiration for. It was this woman who had taught her everything, this woman who had been more like a mother figure than anything her own mother could have ever hoped to achieve. The need for perfection out of this business associate was unneeded, unwanted...regardless of whatever Krista thought.

Val on the other hand... Iseult respected him, admired him, understood his distance as she felt it often mirrored her own, but she still didn't quite know the elf, not well at any rate. That he had accepted Kristalena and opened his business to Iseult was enough to accept him as a good individual who she at least felt she could work comfortably with when the occasion demanded it.

"It was a good trip, sort of boring. A welcome change, I think, from a lot of other past trips..." She gave a shrug and stepped in close to admire the work that Val was doing. He was, if nothing else, an accomplished crystal worker. He could have been a grumpy mute for all that Iseult cared, so long as his work was decent. "This is for the church? What is it?" It had an interesting structure to it, one she couldn't place.
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Old August 16, 2015, 06:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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“I can only imagine, we’ve heard terrible stories of things that went on to the west, and Medonia, of course.” Krista started, underestimating the severity of the damages that the Xet Alliance had inflicted upon the south-west of Enamoria. Only that if there had been any of their friends hurt during the conflict, that Iseult surely would have mentioned such before now. As ever, Kristalena and Valanynir were taking the long view - it wasn’t as if they hadn’t survived far worse throughout their centuries of life given the general instability of the Imperium.

Valanynir, fussing over the work before him was proving to be going through a loop of what seemed to be procrastination. Concerned more with the tidiness and order of the area around the lens rather than finishing off the polishing of the edges so that they would match the precise specifications that the pair had been given.

“A looking glass. Or part of one, I’m not precisely sure what they’re used for normally.” Val replied, picking up one of the smaller components to present to Iseult. A convex lens that would fit into the palm of her hand. “The Orodites near the central square wanted them, he seemed to think that if you got enough of these put together and pointed them at someone, you could actually see the causes of madness and disease.” a roll of his eyes, the Elf’s expression very much a marker of one that didn’t much mind what he was being asked to make so long as the coin behind the project was solid.

Krista, “Was the help they suggested with the magic wood of any use by the way?”
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Old August 17, 2015, 10:58 AM   #11 (permalink)

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Privately, Iseult found it amazing the difference between the two cities. The distance, such as it was, wasn't insignificant...and yet it wasn't great either. Still, New Coldmoon wasn't completely unaffected either. The evidence was apparent in the front store room, if such was indeed the reason as to why the merchandise sitting still hadn't sold...and to say little of the larger crowd of people walking the city's streets. "Amazing, really, that the Xet didn't bother coming further inland from the coast here...but a lucky thing. Things could be much worse." Like still being occupied, for instance.

She kept a respectful distance from Valanynir as he worked, curious though she was to getting a closer look at what he was doing. Different, it was, and very careful work it appeared. She stepped forward as he presented a piece and turned it in her fingers, feeling the smooth surface of the glass. The curve was interesting, different for a mirror. Handing it back, she joined his eye roll with a snort of her own, needing no reminder about a local and his bacon. The people in this city were odd...Valanynir seemed to be an exception to the rule and Krista, being an outsider, was certainly removed from that...disease. "What will they think of next?"

People...they were always good for interesting commissions. Maybe 'good' wasn't the best word for it...

"'Magic wood' is a little vague. I came up in hopes of getting it a little bit more...clarified. Enchanted wood, you think? Either way, I was hoping to find someone that might act as a guide to some of this 'magic wood' they were talking about. Any recommendations?"
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Old August 27, 2015, 08:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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“9916…17?” Val started, looking at Krista in askance before shrugging. “A good while ago anyway. It was much the same I’m afraid Iseult. The Xet Alliance came, hit Medonia, and then there was very little to be said and done for it.” The elderly elf started. “Mind, the rebuild was rather ghastly compared to how it was when I was a child, but most of the villages around the Coldmoon Ruins were quite safe. The Dolwoods have always been a haven for all it’s own unique dangers,” For a given value of safe, when given the times, it’d been more dangerous to be an Elf in the Imperium in certain places than an Elf standing before one of the Xet monstrosities.

Times changed.

“It was just before the ruckus with the Church of the Faith and the Emperor… or maybe just after?” Krista decided, uncertain as to the exact Era, having a better grasp of events rather than the dates.

The elderly elf shrugged, “There’s always the Orodites, but well, I think they’re all a little mad. They pay well though. Mages often pass through when going to the Dolwoods, mostly youths on some quest, for all that they don’t tend to stay very long. A guide shouldn’t be too difficult to find, though separating the charlatans from the genuine article might be more of a challenge.”

“Two birds with one stone? Pracenda at one of the taverns?” Krista suggested,
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Old August 31, 2015, 03:05 PM   #13 (permalink)

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Iseult flickered looks between the two elves as they debated the year and events around the last Xetan Invasion. The glassblower herself was quiet, much aware of the age span that separated her from the pair of them but no less brought to a mental halt over the matter. The matter of age was a thing that pulled at Iseult, perhaps a reason why she had determinedly kept herself separate from her family--well...that and the fact that all too often they were oil and vinegar...or oil and fire: when put too close together, flames happened. In her forties, Iseult was already all too aware of how her age reflected off that of her siblings'. They aged, she did not. A simple matter but a heavy one.

Looking at the pair before her, Iseult knew she'd never see the timeline they had but hers would stretch well ahead of her, to be sure.

"Hm. Yes. Charlatans. There seem to be more of those around than anyone really wants," the half-breed noted dryly, lips curving into a wry smile. She gave a little shrug of one shoulder and that smile quipped into something gentler. "Pracenda sounds perfect." Particularly after road rations--food anyone could do without. "I'll let you both do what you need to do around here. I need to get settled in somewhere for the evening. We can meet up at a time that works best for you...?" She trailed off, looking between the pair. It seemed that Val was the one doing the work at present but she was just as certain that Krista wasn't exactly just standing there twiddling her thumbs either. At any rate, she was not about to impose herself upon either of them. She'd work at their schedule, not being in a particular rush right then and there.

It simply felt good to get away from Medonia for a bit.
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Old September 10, 2015, 08:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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“The Five Torches maybe? The food there is better, but we’re probably less likely to find Iseult her guide…” Val offered, only to add, “The Drunken Dwarf on the other hand, well you’re likely to get your guide, but the food there lives up to the establishment’s name. “ with a wry look cast at Krista and Iseult. “There should be a few inn’s though that might be serviceable, at least on the north-west of the town.”

For the main, Val had ceased his work with the lenses since Iseult’s arrival once he’d managed to bring the project to a point where he could safely stop. As to what Krista had been working on prior to Iseult’s arrival, there was no obvious signs of anything going on besides that the kiln was radiating warmth that implied it was either being prepared for use, or cooling down after a project from within the last candlemark or so.

“Perhaps meet up at the Torches, and find our way from there?” Krista offered by way of compromise, “Or meet up here later this eve?”
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Old October 6, 2015, 08:48 AM   #15 (permalink)

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"The Drunken Dwarf." The repeated name dripped with a tone of voice that very distinctly stated her opinion on the matter: no thank you. She had about as much of a problem as she did with katta, which is to say that she wasn't necessarily a big fan but that she wasn't advocating their removal either. It also didn't mean she was in a rush to spend an evening with a bunch of drunk dwarves either.

The Five Torches it is. I think we can meet there, no problem." She'd find her way. "If we can't find a guide there then I guess we'll go deal with the dwarves." Simple enough.

She bid the pair goodbye for the afternoon and let herself out of the shop. From there it was a simple matter of getting herself settled in an inn and changing out of her road-dusty clothing. There wasn't a whole lot for her to do otherwise until her meeting with the other two glassblowers so she spent it locating the Five Torches and then getting settled with a table ahead of time. So it was, she was waiting with them both with a drink in hand, reclining in a chair, by the time dinner rolled around. Not much of a drinker, she'd been nursing at the drink casually as she sat by. She made a small wave of her hand to get their attention.
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