Old October 3, 2010, 10:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Event] Some Like It Hot (open)

14th of Tempris, Autumn XVII

It was a morbid thing they were all doing, wasn't it? Waiting to see flames rise up from who-knew-what building in the middle of the night... Waiting until the match had already been struck, until it would almost certainly be too late for those inside and upstairs. Well, what else could you do? The arsonists, whoever they were, seemed to be striking random targets with no aim whatsoever than to see the Red Island in flames.

Those who wanted to catch the firestarters lingered on the streets during the darkenings, weapons ready to be drawn on anyone who so much as lit up a cigarette. But the way Qiara figured it, why chase around the living when you could just ask the dead? Many people had been lucky and quick enough to escape the burning buildings, but some hadn't... And it was them that Qiara wanted to talk to.

Hence the cloak pulled up to hide her face and the dark tunic and leggings she wore as she set out to find one of the latest torched buildings. With her adjurator's tome under one arm and jars of supplies rattling around in her bag, she meant to conjure up some ghosts to see if they'd have more answers to give than the hysterical living populace.

When she reached one of the soot-covered remains of a recent target, she would carefully and quietly step inside and look around her. If I were in here while it was on fire... Where would I have gone to die?

Oh, it was a very morbid business indeed.
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Old October 4, 2010, 11:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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"Yes. Yes indeed."
The man turned to Qiara, away from the mantlepiece he had been leaning on. His lips curled into a smile, apparently answering a question that had never been asked. He was the spitting image of Prince Milo L'evienne. The was absolutely no reason this man should be standing here, leaning so - contently- against the mantlepiece.
"But I never really enjoyed the idea of dying by fire. It's a little overironic for my taste. When your skin burns off, you go completely cold- and actually feel yourself freezing to death first! No, I've always planned to die falling. Preferably strapped with an explosive of some sort, so I can vaporise into the ether."
"In any case. The name is Alex. Alexandros Dimitrios Timon. Druid if you must need a label. Alcoholic is you need a second one. Downside with being a druid and an alcoholic is it takes thirty seconds to brew up whatever you want. Upside is that the fragility of magic means it evaporates in your bloodstream, so you never get a hangover. Take a carrot. I've been told on good authority they're good for you. In the meantime, I'm sure we've got work to do. The cultists who set this up.. worshippers of a living flame. Hmm."
He turned back to the mantlepiece, the eyes boring into the wall. Reaching into his belt, he extended his hand to show a carrot- healthy, orange and glowing with perfection.
"Strange how this world seems to consist of people speaking in monologues so often. I never realised before. Your turn to speak, I think."
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Old October 11, 2010, 04:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The building was little more than a burnt out husk. Its wooden walls scorched and blackened by soot, burnt entirely away in some places so that the night air flowed in freely. Here and there, parts of the walls and many of the ceiling planks had collapsed entirely, leaving piles of burnt wreckage. There were also large stacks of singed crates, a few having been salvaged and emptied, but most melted away by fire, leaving the former contents a neat little pile of fine ash in each crate.

Here in the Neos Megalis, such smuggling warehouses were common. Evidently the owners had attempted to rescue their valuable cargo... probably drugs of one kind or another... with very little success. The room contained one large human skeleton, all its features save the underlying bone having been consumed by flames, lying in a tormented tangle on the floor near a particularly blackened heap of crates.

The floor itself had been savaged by the fire, with many planks collapsed or so weakened by fire that stepping on them would've been foolish. Near the center of the large room, the remnants of a trapdoor, now merely a pit leading into the ground, showed that a cellar had been built. Whatever lay within said cellar would remain a mystery, however, until the two explorers decided to brave the still, inky blackness of the lower level.

OOCHello! I will take this!
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Old October 18, 2010, 01:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Qiara jumped at the motion in the darkness, crossing her arms over herself in lieu of reaching for the weapon which was not at her belt. She struggled for words as her eyes adjusted to the dimness of her surroudings and she realized she was speaking to Prince Milo L'Evienne.

Her gape turned into a relaxed smile as she felt a sense of familiarity settle over her. She had spoken to the prince before; had been summoned, in fact, by Milo and Nell to a private island in the middle of winter for the sole purpose of having a chat. However hard that was to believe, it had happened, and so had a previous encounter with this man who had Milo's face but a rather peculiar way of keeping carrots about his person.

While his name was still unknown to her, Qiara had met the fellow often enough to remember that he was less of a threat and more of a puzzle, and she was intrigued to find him here. "Thank you, Alex. I'm Qiara." She smiled and took the carrot from his hand, raising it in a little toast to the druid before taking a healthy bite from the end.

"No hangovers, huh? That's something I've got to try," she said with a wry smile. Secyclion had changed the girl who'd once been the purest little angel in Port Alyxandrya. Most darkenings, after the raucous parties at the Mouse and the Masque, she felt like she was wandering around with sea legs.

She took another bite of the carrot as her eyes wandered over to what was apparently a human skeleton in the middle of the floor. She knelt as close to the blackened husk as was safe, eying the fellow's remains curiously. The poppy seeds and goat's blood, in their little jars in her satchel, made little sloshing and swooshing noises as she moved.

"You really think he felt cold as he died?" she asked the druid. Regardless of his answer, she'd start meandering carefully towards the gaping pit beyond the skeleton, curious to see what the darkness held for them.
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Old October 21, 2010, 10:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"Almost definitely. Although at a certain temperature, hot and cold gets confused. Ever put your hand in a very hot bath? Or touched iron that had been warmed too long? There's a crossover point there. The body economises against unlikely circumstances. It's to do with the receptor setups. Works the same all over the body. A tiny tweak here and there, and the entire sensorium is haywire. It what we do when people are dying in pain. Better than any medicine we have. Just make their pain pleasure, and watch them drift away." The eyes closed for a moment as he contemplated before snapped open abruptly.

"I think that the forces of narrative compel us to investigate the cellar." he smiled, turning his head away in a clear effort to distract himself from the last topic. "The sheer... mysteriousness of it. Catches the imagination. Drives the story. Pushes us to excel. To define ourselves beyond two dimensional cutouts. I love cellars. Never know what you're going to get. Is it wine, or is it monsters?" There was a madcapness to his speech now, a glint to his eyes and a bound to his step. And then a pause, as he listened to the slosh-swoosh. A spin on his heel to face Qiara, his body animated by a manic energy. The gaze locked firmly on the equipment as he began to narrate, paying particular attention to the goat's blood.

"Hmm. Goat. My uncle had a goat, bless his soul. Used it to talk to dead people. Only folk who would listen to his stories. Except for me, of course. I listened.. all..the.. time." Emphasis hanging heavy on the syllables. "Except, one day, it turned out the ghosts had stopped listening to his stories. He'd started listening to theirs. So he jumped off a cliff, a perfect swandive. Not the type of thing you'd expect from such a portly fellow."

A deep sigh, and yet another shake of the head. It was sometimes difficult to tell if the druid was serious, or simply making things up.
"Anyway. The moral is, you're an adjurator. Goats blood, poppy seeds. Absence of the tongue thing means lower level. Good to know this type of thing. Salt circles and such. Lets be exploring."
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Old November 11, 2010, 11:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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OOCSUPER APOLOGIES for the delay >__<

Investigate the cellar? Well, sometimes the forces of 'narrative' or the gods -- take your pick -- weren't even THAT subtle.

As the two stood about the gloom and conversed, or rambled as the case may be, some creaking and shuffling noises arose from the cellar. They were not alone. At last a girl's voice squeaked hesitantly up... perhaps western mainland, judging from the accented common.

"S... serale. You two don't sound like... like them. I-I can't get up from here, the suh-suh-stairs burned. Please, could you help?"

Directly under the hole where the trapdoor had been, the child -- human, frail, half-starved, covered in soot and ash and hugging her knees... would be staring up with glassy, shell-shocked eyes. Around her, the shrivelled black remnants of a limb here, with a scorched iron shackle still attached... there, the hollow-eyed burnt crisp that had once been a skull. A typical slave hold used by the smugglers and runners who oft dabbled in the flesh trade, which was so prominent in Secyclion of late.

In any case, this girl appeared to be the only survivor... moreover, her flesh didn't bear a single burn. Strange.
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Old December 4, 2010, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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oocNow it's my turn to apologize for the posting delay! I hope to be fairly consistent from here on out, guys. Let's get rolling. :)

Qiara raised a finger to gently hush Z'kron as she became aware of a soft voice adding to theirs. The young girl's voice sounded like a mainlander's, not a Secyclion local's, and it appeared to be coming from the trapdoor in the floor. Qiara raised an eyebrow and peered down into the dark abyss to see the stunned-looking girl staring back up at her from the basement.

She glanced at the druid and whispered, "I don't have rope or anything like that. Don't suppose you could summon a magic carpet made of carrots, now?"

And to the girl, she called down, "We'll do what we can, sweetheart. How did you get down there, and who do you mean by them?" She thought it odd that the girl didn't seem to be burnt or scarred at all, especially when she was surrounded by charred limbs, but they'd figure that out once they got her out of the cellar, right?
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