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Old January 3, 2016, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Medonia] Fire in the Soul, A Surface Cool as Ice

Wintera Era XXIII

The half elf wiped at a smudge of blood on her face. Her mouth was dry, her chest light from the adrenaline that had coursed through her for many brightenings, her memories still fresh with the glimmer of swords in the sunlight as they were raised against her.

Such was a grim reminder of the struggles Medonia yet faced in proving itself safe for inhabitants and travelers alike. Bandits still lurked thick as flies on the roads without, and it was a wonder that so many refugees had managed their way to the city so far. She wondered, eyes empty at the thought, of how many had failed their journey here.

She dismounted her horse with a sweep of her leg, keeping the reins wound posessively in her hand. She tightened her shoulders at any offer to stable the beast, knowing that it was a costly prize for the desperate and the hungry.

Instead, she offered a copper sword to the first who approached her, asking if they might know the whereabouts of one Iseult Fleursdotter, a glassblower often spoken about in the heralds when the printing press still ran. Rhystlin's last travels through Maeve had revealed that the famous craftswoman had journeyed here, she explained, and she would like to discuss business if it was welcome enough.
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Old January 3, 2016, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)

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As things would prove themselves, Iseult wasn't terribly hard to find regardless of the size of the broken city of Medonia. In this place, where vines bolstered the northeastern walls of the city and many of the buildings and bridges there, and some of the buildings sat in piles of ruin, it was only a matter of navigating the streets to find the one that Rhystlin had come looking for. The main streets weren't teeming with people the way that they once had but there was a larger stream of people now than there had been some time ago. Larger but not large enough (at least for the glassblower's liking). The city was still coming together and still had far to come in the months, eras, decades ahead of them.

The first individual she had come across was, luckily for her, a worker in the city endeavoring to help in the rebuild. He blinked at her at first but the glint of money was enough for him to quickly straighten up and become super helpful. He directed her deep down into the city, past the great crater in the city's heart--used to be the plaza, don't you know?--and onward to the docks. There was a warehouse there, looked a lot like the rest of the warehouses, but the plumes of smoke from the glassworks would be easy enough to find.

The warehouse had been commandeered by the glassblower from the beginning, a great space that had been modified with furnaces and chimneys that puffed the aforementioned smoke out into the sky, darkening the edges of the bay with its necessary presence. Here, there were a number of people that were coming or going, two of them dressed in white tunic uniforms (unforgivably dirty around the edges) with a green gem emblazoned in miniature over the left breast on the front and what looked to be a blue river curling around the gem--the glassblower hadn't been afraid to attire her hired mercenaries in clothing that marked them as hers. The two that Rhystlin spotted were armed and had the look of battered veterans, some of them with maimed injuries that spoke to hard times.

No one stopped Rhystlin, though a few glanced at her and noted her passage.

The inside of the building was largely gutted save for two great furnaces situated on the wall opposite the large doorway. These blazed with bright orange heat and workers plied their crafts around the glory holes with long metal pipes and globs of molten glass taking shape at their ends. Of the glassworkers there were a handful: a muscular and tall man, scarred on one side of his face, his hair shaved close to his skull working in tandem with a young woman with her dark brown hair drawn up off shoulders; a red-headed young man standing with a sheaf of papers in his hands, overlooking a spindly and rather tall half-elvish woman who worked a pipe of her own, thrusting it into the furnace and rotating it to reheat the glass at its end. She worked with the assistance of a fellow half-elf, dark of hair and tan of skin, who assisted her in manipulating the furnace doors and handling shaping instruments as she worked.

It was hot in the glassworks, hot and humid despite the winter--which was generally mild in Medonia anyway, prone more to wet and the occasional frosty chill than snow and frigid climates. The heat was reflected in the sweat on the workers' clothing and the way their shirts were rolled up past their elbows.

"Hey. Hey!" A faery darted abruptly in front of Rhystlin, a flash of red--red hair, red wings, red attire--that blurred only to settle, fluttering, before the half-elf. The fae had her hands on her hips as her wings danced at her shoulders and she was, of a surety, giving Rhystlin the stink-eye. "Don't know you! Who are you? What're you doing here? What do you need?" she demanded, her voice high-pitched and squeaky.
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Old January 3, 2016, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Armored as she was from the perilous journey to Medonia, the half elf could feel the sweat immediately beading at her brow as she entered the workers' building. She wiped at her temples with a dirty gloved hand, shivering momentarily as her insides caught up with the heat against her skin. She pulled back slightly at the flash of red that greeted her, half fearful that a fire had started in such a scorching place. Realizing what the source of the flicker was did not remove her unease; the fae's anger seemed just as likely to burn as a genuine fire could be.

"You wouldn't," was her clipped response as she pulled at the fingers of one glove. "My name is Rhystlin Farsteel. A particularly strange glass has come into my possession and I am in search of one who might identify it."

Her gaze shifted pointedly to the workers beyond. "I understand that your work here is important. But I knew of no one else with the capability to help me, and many directed me here. I am hoping it won't take too much of your time."
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Old January 4, 2016, 09:05 PM   #4 (permalink)

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The little red faery eyed her, flittered this way and that as if getting a better look at her. Her hands remained on her hips, balled up, her expression doubtful. "Strange glass? What strange glass? Let me see! Quick, quick!" Her hands popped away from her his then, gesturing towards Rhystlin in a 'gimme gimme' sort of manner. "We are very busy but we can help with glass. We're very good with glass." The look on her face now challenged Rhystlin to argue that point.

Some attention was being drawn there way now, a few curious glances from the workers at the furnaces...most pointedly the redheaded youth who looked a little pained as he witnessed the exchange. The spindly blonde looked vaguely amused but was otherwise distracted as she sat down at the gaffer's bench, rotating the pipe along the metal arms and picking at the molten material with a set of rather large tweezers. She manipulated the glass with a somewhat careless ease, drawing out a shape with the comfort and familiarity of someone who knew how to work the glass just so to get what she wanted. She murmured something to the redhead and tossed her head towards Rhystlin.

That was when the redhead came over. He'd lost the gangly awkwardness of his teenage years and looked to have found his stride in his early twenties. His head was a thick mess of bright red curls but he was lucky--his freckles had begun to fade away. His teeth were a little gape-toothed in the front, maybe that was why his smile was a little tentative as he greeted her. He looked at Teya then at Rhystlin, cleared his throat. "Teya, Iseult could use a little help with the heat of the glass. Maybe...?"

The Elemeni huffed, her chest puffing out as if she were about to argue. No, that little face expressed such a confidence all of a sudden, an archness as she glanced back towards the blonde half-elf. "Very well. You can help the customers." Clearly, a mundane job in comparison.

So she zipped off, twisting towards the gaffer's bench to lend a hand the best way an Elemeni fae can.

"I'm sorry, she's not very good with manning the door. My name's Finn." He had a bit of an accent to him, drawn from the lowlands of the Khardran Mountains near Arconis, however familiar she might be with it or not. It gave his words a bit of a rolling lilt. "I didn't quite hear what you wanted but I caught something of it. You...have a piece of glasswork...?" He looked uncertain, not really sure what a place that made glassworks could do for someone that already owned a piece of glasswork. The work was done and generally, after that, they weren't needed any more.
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Old January 5, 2016, 11:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Rhystlin could feel her lips tighten in response to the faery, not accustomed to the race's whirlwind nature. It was obvious the mercenary was at a loss, and the redhead who approached to save her would likely notice the relief in her expression as she turned to him.

"A pleasure, Finn, I assure you." She shook her head at his assumptions, reaching into the pockets of a pouch she had brought in with her from the horse's saddlebags. She reached in, retrieving a few small reddish black shards.

"I have a number of these, all of which were retrieved on the island of Terramarique. I have seen nothing of its like before, and it seems that I'm not the only one. Many others have failed to identify it or its capabilities, which brings my search to you."

Her gaze on Finn was a hopeful one, and he was free to take one of the shards if he wished to. She was hesitant to hand them to just anyone, but she realized he might not be able to tell her much without a closer look.
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Old January 7, 2016, 04:31 PM   #6 (permalink)

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"Ah. Small pieces, not a whole piece." The redhead reached out and took one from her, rolling it about in his hand. He frowned, turning slightly and looking towards the half-elvish blonde, who was looking back at him. When she tipped her cheek, he nodded and gave his attention in full once again to Rhystlin. "It's not something I've seen before. Not something that we'e seen here. Do you mind if I...?" He gestured to Iseult. "Miss Fluersdotter will have a look at it."

Once that was answered, he strode with the singular piece of glass over to Iseult, who had called over one of her fellow glassworkers to take the pipe from her. From there, she spoke with Finn, who gestured once he'd handed over the shard. The glassblower turned it over in her hands, shook her head but the furrow of her brow was thoughtful rather than overly concerned. She spun on her heel, striding back over to Rhystlin.

"Finn's told me about your glass." She held it up, shifted it over to her left hand so that she could extend the right, offering to shake Rhystlin's hand in greeting. "From Terramanique, he said, that no one else can identify." She extended it back towards Rhystlin. "The thing with glass is that you can't necessarily look at it and know what you're seeing. Once shaped, there it is. Now, I could play with it a little, dive into it a little, melt it down, reshape it, see what I can draw out of the glass, but I can't promise that it'll come out the same once it cools again. I could improve it, it could stay the same...I could ruin it. It depends what exactly you're hoping to get out of...this." She pointed at the pieces Rhystlin had revealed.
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Old January 8, 2016, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The half elf waited patiently as the two conversed over her glass in the distance. She couldn't help but wonder if she had brought them a stone in her ignorance, something they didn't recognize because it was not what they dealt with. Maybe it was useless and she was wasting her time. Their expressions did little to give away what they were saying.

When Miss Fluersdotter returned, the half elf considered the woman's words. She nodded her head. "I understand. I suppose it isn't much use to me as it is now, so if you ruin it in an attempt to figure it out, I haven't lost very much as is." Of course, she knew there was a risk in letting the woman melt it down when it was possible someone else might be able to determine its worth otherwise. At this point, however, Rhystlin lacked the time to travel the Empire seeking opinions when she had other work to do.

As far as what she hoped to get out of it? It was difficult for her to say, especially given that she was not sure what could result from the amount she had collected. Did the glass have properties that would make a figurine more useful to her than it would in mundane form? Even a vase, while useless to herself, would likely sell for quite a bit when made by someone like Iseult. It might make a beautiful piece of jewelry, an adornment for a sword hilt perhaps.

"I admit I am at a loss. If you can determine more about it while working with it, I would give you creative license to shape it into what you feel is most fitting. The problem now becomes whether I can afford to pay you for your time and skill, knowing that you're busy here with far more important work. I don't have much in the way of coin, but perhaps the service of a mercenary company may be of use to you somehow?"

Her time spent waiting, after all, was best spent not twiddling her thumbs as an entire city was being built around her.
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Old January 11, 2016, 09:05 AM   #8 (permalink)

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"Well. If I ruin anything, hopefully it'll only be one piece of it and not all of them." Iseult intended to be methodical about the glass, not haphazard. One piece at a time, see what came of it. She was already designing a plan of attack as she eyed the small shards. This would not require the traditional glasswork that Iseult typically worked but rather the delicate process of lamp work that she reserved for very small pieces. With this it would (potentially) pay to be slow and methodical. "I've worked with many odd pieces of glass before. I figure it's safe enough with me."

She did give Rhystlin a better look over as she began to get into the topic of payment. Of course, from the looks of her, Iseult hadn't anticipated deep pockets. Then again, she'd met deep-pocketed individuals who looked worse for the wear than this one. The half-breed turned the shard over between her fingers, getting a feel for its edges. Her curiosity was peaked and she might have done the work for peanuts as a result but business was business. An exchange of some sort was necessary.

"I have my own mercs," Iseult acknowledged in a dismissive fashion. "But they're a small number and we've plenty of issues enough that more would be appreciated. Mostly, it's the problems outside of the walls that we could use some help with. War's made people poor...and desperate. I'll get word to Davin and he can help direct you whereI'll send you the link for the other thread we talked about :D we need you. But if you'd like to help crack down on some of the bandits outside of town on your own, it would go a long way."

oocI figure there's the one thread I'm sending you but if you want to have Rhystlin chase bandits in this thread while Iseult works on the glass that would give you plenty of mercenary company things to do!
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Old January 12, 2016, 01:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The mercenary nodded her head to the woman, grateful for an alternate choice when it came to payment. Being unable to afford the glassblower's services was one of her largest concerns when determining if the trip to Medonia would be worth it. She offered the remainder of the shards to Iseult, a small pouch of what she had collected in Terramarique.

She then nodded her head. "I'll see what my men and I can do for you, then," she said. If Davin ran out of things for her to do, then she was certain she could find ways to make the city's perimeter safer for its inhabitants.

After escaping the heat of the building, she'd do her best to get settled and see about addressing some of Medonia's concerns.

oocIf Stray wants to throw some tasks/bandits/etc at me in this thread, I'm game. :)
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Old January 12, 2016, 05:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So Iseult got the glass. And Rhystlin was tasked to kick some ass.

What's the worst that could happen?

OOCIseult, you may use your NPC Davin to give Rhystlin specific tasks if you wish. Otherwise, I will boot my Bandit Generator and see where this takes us.

With the sample of fire glass in Iseult's possession, the glassblower was free to do her thang.

Last edited by Crimson; January 12, 2016 at 06:36 PM.
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Old January 13, 2016, 09:54 AM   #11 (permalink)

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Iseult bounced the pouch of glass shards in her hand and gave the woman a nod. "I'll have him get in touch with you. You shouldn't have to wait long." With that, she bid the woman goodbye. As with Davin, Iseult would get in touch with Rhystlin now and again when answers--or lack thereof--where apparent.

It was that Iseult was intrigued enough about the glass shards, that she excused herself from her earlier work--leaving it to the others--and removed herself to a backroom that had been serving as her office. She wanted to get a better look at the shards first. She sat herself down at the small table in the room and upended the pouch on the table, smoothing them out with her hand so that they were not piled one onto the other. She mentally documented their appearance, the way they felt in her hands, against her fingertips. She picked up her jeweler's glass and set it close to her eye, bringing the fire glass close to the lens for an up-close look.

As for Davin, the man that appeared where Rhystlin had settled herself was an obvious veteran, his face scarred from past encounters. He had dirty-blonde hair combed out neatly but worn long and a short blonde beard as bristly as a hedgehog's spines. The men that accompanied him were of the battered variety, veterans all of them. once they'd looked like street bums, hauled off the closest corner, but they were neatly attired now and all of them wearing white with the Emerald River emblem embroidered over the left breast.

"Serale, ma'am. Iseult told us you'd be helping us." There was a wariness to his tone, an uncertainty of the other he'd been sent to meet. "Of course, we can always use the help..." Mostly, the mercenaries had been hired to serve and protect Iseult's caravans and personal trade routes but now, with Iseult busy with the city, they helped out around the city, largely trying to keep out from underfoot whatever official forces the interim governor had at her disposal. Largely, they took care of what the local guards couldn't--or wouldn't--touch. Outside of the city was mostly their stomping ground, trying to fix up the nearby roads, but sometimes they helped inside, too.

There would truly be no shortage of work for Rhystlin and the mercenaries.

oocNo specific tasks--just the usual stuff surrounding a city that's getting back on its feet; crimes and what have you. Problems with bandits on the roads! Whatever else you want to come up with as the mod!
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Old January 13, 2016, 11:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Davin looked a familiar type - much like her beloved father, in fact. Those with him reminded her of his old friends who had filtered in and out of her home over the eras, a steely solemnity behind their eyes but a gruff humor in their gravely voices. It was possible these mercenaries were nothing like those memories, of course, but they seemed hardened by battle and familiar with action. There was always some measure of respect to be given for that alone.

"You must be Davin. Rhystlin Farsteel." She offered her hand, noting the wariness in his voice. He was right to be suspicious, and he'd be stupid if he wasn't. Mercenaries could be pack animals, but many of them ran a find line between honest work and banditry. Sometimes survival blurred those choices even more.

She then dipped her head, gesturing to those settled around her as she introduced them. Vincent, his solemn face scarred at the nose, his brown hair in need of a cut and a beard beginning to form along the jawline. Freydis, a large blonde vagaran woman, more muscular than all her companions. Jerik, the rough-looking one with a scowl, his hair somewhat greasy and unkempt, beard mottled with a slight bit of gray. A final figure with a crossbow, youngish human by the looks of him, stood off towards the corner minding his own. His name was Jon.

"We're here to help, yes," was her final response. "Where would you like us to be?"
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Old January 13, 2016, 06:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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[top]"So this is, like, what you do for fun?"


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Studying and feeling weird glass shards? That was a normal brightening for a grandmaster glassblower. But the fire glass was definitely unusual. First of all, that wasn't its actual name. That was mostly what the other mercenaries and soldiers who survived the Terramarique prison escape called the substance. Most of the crimson shards were collected by trophy hunters after the initial siege of Freeport. The glass-like substance was found in the craters created by the famous Titan of Aslan during his fiery duels with Terra's worst criminals.

Iseult noticed that it was a lot like magma or molten rock. The glass had definitely been exposed to an extremely high heat ...and something else. It was not magic. She would know, being an elementalist and all that. No, this was a different kind of energy altogether. A separate essence that was neither Astral or Material. Very faint but evident enough for the grandmaster to notice in the sample she worked with.

The grandmaster also determined that working on the material would require a very, very high temperature. Something that her kilns might need to be modified for to be possible. The texture and properties of the fire glass was also very unique. She could sense that it might be malleable if she was careful. Her technique was basically perfect, so that wouldn't be an issue. But there was no way to determine if her tools would be up to the task. This would be closer to metalworking than glassblowing, gauging by the temperatures it might take to get things moving.

Rhystlin

The mercenary made introductions with the other sellswords.

Davin made it clear that he had his orders. But that didn't mean Rhystlin and her crew could just chillax. If she was here to help, then there were definitely tasks she could be assigned to.

Outside the city, laborers have been getting harassed by bandits which was making local guards antsy. This was dampening the repairs made for roads in the area surrounding Medonia. If Rhystlin and her crew were interested in hunting down some bad guys, that would be great.
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Old January 15, 2016, 10:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The mercenary was all too happy to deal with bandits who felt the need to harass the laborers only out to do their job. Her company was doing the same type of work in Mileswick, so it wasn't something entirely new. She'd lead her group out of Medonia and do a patrol of the perimeter, see if they could catch any causing problems.
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Old January 19, 2016, 10:06 AM   #15 (permalink)

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The glassblower ranged out her lamp working equipment, ignoring the larger furnaces for smaller desk work. It allowed her to sit over the small pieces before her and a little more control over where exactly she applied the heat to the glass. It was small and certainly packed less heat than the furnaces but she was an elementalism and heat was her speciality--modifications to equipment? She hadn't the energy or time to spare with that.

So instead the glassblower conjured a flame over some metal on her table and picked up one of the rods meant for working over the lamp. She held the glass to the flame, bolstering that flame with Flame Control, a spell imparted to her by a phoenix that allowed her to control both the heat projected by the flame and the size of the flame. She kept the flame tight and controlled, small, while strengthening the heat within it. Doing so, she focused on getting the flame to a point where she could soften a small portion of the glass and adhere one of her rods to the softened glass, allowing her other hand to let go of the glass piece. From there, she could play with the glass, manipulate the soft, sinking part of it with another tool.

She toyed with it more than anything, watching how the glass moved and worked once softened.
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