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Kalmuli

The Pendulum III: Potions and Pleasantries

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The Pendulum: Potions and Pleasantries

"Turn back the clock on pain and poor health."

Toward the edge of town, settled at the end of a row of homes and other shops lies The Pendulum. Looking like a standard Orisia-style building, the only thing that sets it apart is the lingering smells of potions brewing and a short line of people sitting on the outside of the building on scavenged wooden chairs. There was a set time on the door, hours that the owner of the establishment preferred to keep. 

The sign reads:

6AM to 6PM All Week

Other Emergencies Ring Backdoor Bell

Fortune Telling BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

How strange a place that does healing and other health benefits (much like a clinic) had set hours. The owner preferred it this way considering her own schedule. Upon entering, there was a single wooden counter top painted with a dark stain. All around the entry way were small thin shelves containing example bottles of what was provided...which seemed to be in the hundreds. Tinctures for bad knees, crows feet, warts...the list went on in alphabetical order along the walls of the tiny bottles. As your gaze wanders around, there was yet another sign that read off a list of other services. Massages, Chiropractic Care and Advanced Healing.

Below the largest sign however, was a small, ornately painted sign.

Fortune Telling--Appointments Only

You have to wonder why a seemingly above average healing clinic was offering Fortune Telling services. Maybe it was for the superstitious? After all, the only cure for the wary is to dismiss their woes right? The doorbell rings and an older man enters, coming up to a small metal bell and giving it a small ring. From around the back, there was the sound of shuffling papers and tiny feet. Instead of a grown person, a child approached the counter and stepped up onto a platform that was hidden behind the counter so they could stand. It was a human child, a small girl with straight brown hair and a seemingly mature dress adorning her. The attire of a Mage's apprentice. Considering what was in the shop, it would be no surprise that people would send their children to apprentice under the mysterious fortune teller. "Ah, Mr. Quail...Right on time. She'll see you shortly once her other client is finished."The child spoke eloquently. Heads turned as shoes started to meet wood and the heavy sigh of a young man came down the stairs holding his head with his hand around a small object. The child went to the bottom of the stairs to greet them and lead them out the door before they could change their mind. The small child would return to the older man, waving for him to come behind the counter and up to a small flight of stairs that lead up to the mysterious second floor. It could only be assumed that this was where they performed the fortune telling but it seemed like that it was enough to wear even a healthy young man out. Or maybe that was the massage parlor?

Who knew. Not even you yet.

The child would return to counter to write down a time on a ledger next to the name of 'Morgan Quail', closing the book and putting it under the counter. The bell would ring again and another customer would come, complaining of pain somewhere and the small child would go about the business of retreating a slightly larger bottle as well as a small pamphlet to go with it with instructions. "Just remember to read it."The child informed elderly woman in front of her. "Don't drink it, just mix it into your bath. That will help with your back pain."

The child received the payment, pocketing it into a pouch around her lithe waist that jingled with more coins inside, giving her the right change in return. "Have a nice day."She could chime, flashing a customer service smile and watching the old woman walk out the door with tincture in hand. This was the daily routine. The selling of tinctures, the keeping of appointments...one had to wonder if the cures along the walls and the mysterious owner had any real merit. When the old man returned from upstairs, the child would do the same and lead him out to the door. There was a second set of foot steps descending the stairs, sounding more like heels than flat work shoes. An elf with white hair descended from upstairs, clad in black and wearing an exhausted smile on her face. The child would frown, approaching the woman.

"You've exhausted yourself again with all of these appointments."

"Shush...I know Pineapple. They have me working harder than usual. I do have quotas to meet."She spoke, yawning and rubbing the back of her neck.

"It's Plana."

"When you are with me, it's Pineapple. Just like your siblings Red Velvet, Devil's Food and German Chocolate in other areas are. Easier to remember. So many apprentices, so little time to remember names."The elf shrugged. Her attention turns to you who have been standing there, watching the whole exchange of coin and conversation. "Well now...Welcome to The Pendulum...How can I help you?"

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There was no look of civility, no etching of kindness in the features.

Raven watched Kalmuli and Pineapple as though they were vipers to be wary of, "Hello." She replied curtly. Raven did not readily move, had no readily spoken. It took every ounce of self restraint not to burn the building to the ground. Intensity radiated from every fiber of her being just then. Something about this place unnerved her, left her on edge and uncomfortable. Something had happened, but she couldn't tell what it was.

It had been a month's time since the sacking of the Beast King, and Raven rose from noble Countess to its Queen Regnant; her Shadow King ruled the city from the darkest parts in her absence. Raven had come because she had been careless. She came because someone else needed her to be here more than she herself wanted to be. She respected Rowan's distance and silence. It pained her to realize she had upset him so deeply. Every welt and scar etched in her back had been a blow to him as much as it had been a blow to her. Somehow in the grand scheme of things it was less about who paid him and more about whom he had come to want to protect of his own volition. She was no longer his paycheck, and that was the startling realization that led her to where she stood.

Raven's stomach twisted, feeling the heaviness--the sheer awkwardness of being here weighing down on her. Drakiss was foreign to her, but Orisia was not. It was a beautiful city--one that she felt a sense of familiarity with--but somehow, standing in this shop her intuition was telling her a different story. Something tugged on her consciousness.

"I'm looking for a salve," She let the last word hang in the air before realizing she would probably need to explain further, "I have a lot of scarring on my back. I'd like to see if I can eliminate the scarring as much as possible."

This was not a typical conversation to have.

Hello my name is Raveena. I had this stupid idea that worked brilliantly against all odds to liberate a kingdom from tyranny and turn it into an army, but I got myself flogged pretty badly in the process. This upset my bodyguard so badly he stopped speaking to me. I think I might have feelings for him and want to make it right! Help?!

She would have felt better if she knew she could burn the building to the ground.

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Kalmuli raised an eyebrow to the woman in front of her. Raven huh? It had been some time since they had spoken. The last she had seen of the Regent was when she had come into her shop, asking for a solution to her hopes and dreams. Kalmuli still had the thread safely tucked away for use later since her schedule kept her busy. Raven was lucky that Kalmuli was in Orisia at all but she had wanted some time to work with her pupil. "Good to see you again, Raven."She smiled though it seemed like the psionic warrior was...anxious. Like something set her on edge.

Kalmuli raised an eyebrow, leaning a bit to try sneak any glimpse of scaring on her back but she would need to inspect it to give Raven any form of medicine. "Salves I have. Depending on the scarring, I can help reduce them to practically nothing. I'll have to take a look though to give you the right strength."She said, stepping off to the side and gesturing for Raven to follow her to the healing rooms behind the counter. "Come along. It will take only a few minutes. If it's bad, then I have a procedure but if it's mild then I can give you a salve that you can take home."

Kalmuli would turn heel, heading toward the back rooms, reaching to remove her black mage coat so she didn't get it dirty.

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Raveena visibly recoiled.

"We've met before?" She strained--was this a mistake? Her body was screaming to bolt. There were insurmountable levels of anxiety coursing through her just then. Her fingers twitched, and she wondered just how closely Rowan was watching. Something was not right, somewhere. She knew of Kalmuli's association with Red, but had been wary enough to steer clear of the woman since her return. Her streak among Gods and Goddesses had been less to her advantage.

Still, she willed herself to follow the woman, chewing on her bottom lip briefly before nodding distractedly, "My body can only heal so much. I would be content as I am, but I am not doing this for me. Therefore, I am not content." These words seemed foreign coming from her own lips, hearing them from her own voice.

"Stop doing foolhardy things. Stop acting like your life matters little compared to others. Become a goddamn woman."

Raveena swallowed and lifted her chin. His words had cut through like a knife that night. It seemed so insulting in that moment, but it was stupidity on her part--and it had taken nearly losing her life and him caving to his animosity to protect her to realize that. He was there to protect her from outside threats, yet she had presented herself as the biggest threat to him. Placing herself in such careless, reckless danger had deeply upset him.

"I was flogged for interfering with capital punishment." Strings were being untied, and Raven was already hitching up the linen blouse she wore, preparing to bare her back to the healer. "For a week. My body strained itself staving off the infection. And the sickness that comes with the wet and cold, that was a thrill." The more she listened to herself, the more understandable Rowan's unbridled fury became. Just because her body was capable of handling such limits didn't not mean she should have tested them by any stretch of the means. "I survived," She said--though the inflection suggested she was defending her stance from an unknown assailant--one particular British man whose scoldings from months ago when they first met still haunted her, "And here I am."

She owed Rowan that much, and more.

"I have wronged the person whose job is to protect me by endangering my own life without consideration. I need your help to do whatever I can to make it right."

It was not that Raveena was immodest. In truth, she was most comfortable hidden under layers of armor. She pulled the shirt over her head, leaving only the banding of her bra on. Her back tingled from the exposure to air as she followed Kalmuli, the flexing of her arms as she moved. Her back was gnarled and red, healing welts and scarring crisscrossed from her shoulder blades to the small of her back. The inking of her spelled tattoos were barely visible, the loveliness of her pale skin marred and hideous. While Raven wore her scars proudly, this particular one shamed her--if only because Rowan's visceral reaction had broken her of that pride. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. It was enough to make her forget the discomfort she felt of being there. Nothing was more uncomfortable than Rowan's silence.

"Starting with these."

Edited by Deus Ex Aizen

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Kalmuli raised an eyebrow...ah...yes. If she recalled, something had happened to her memories. Not of her own doing, but perhaps of someone else's influence. "Once before yes...you asked a favor of me and I obliged. It must have been so long ago now."She said...though in reality for her is must have been what? Months? She never kept track of these things. Kalmuli would lead Raven to the back room where there were rows of beds that were empty. The elf would stop by the door where there was a small cart of supplies, wheeling it over to where Raven would sit.

She rummaged around, pouring a substance on her hands that sanitized them and protected them by putting a coating over them like a second skin. Pulling up a small stool, Kalmuli would sit and take a look at Raven's wounds. They were hideous. Crisscrossing and overlapping from the lashes. Raven's story hit a little home. "Considering the punishment your received for doing a kind act as to stop someone else from being hurt...Well...It was enough to piss someone off."She said as she brought her hands up to gently tap and run her fingers over the red and swollen welts all over the woman's back.

Her tattoos were gnarled and warped...if she wanted the salve, then it would heal over the artist's work who had painted her skin with needles and patience. She furrowed her brow, sitting back. "Just a potent salve won't be enough...It'll heal your tattoos too and you'll just be a blank canvas again."She said, looking concerned. Some of them looked like they were just at the tail end of recovering from an infection. "I'll tell you what...if you have the time today and the pain tolerance, I can have them healed by tonight but the procedure itself is a little painful to begin with. It'll heal the skin without damaging your artwork you've got there. If you need the ink fixed, I've got a friend who does mine."She said, gesturing to the swirling green spirals on her shoulders that wrapped around her bicep as it wound down. Kalmuli would rub her hands together, the coating all over them rolling and flaking off like chunks of wax, Kal tossing the pieces into a scrap bucket on the bottom of the cart. 

"It's up to you...These were pretty deep wounds. You've still got some inflammation leftover...but I can treat that now and we can get started on getting you patched up and smooth again."She said, reaching for her cart and pulling out a small jar, pulling off the lid. The strong smell of antiseptic and flowers wafted between them, Kalmuli using her fingers to stir the contents of the jar. "Remove your bra and lay on your stomach. Try to relax...this stuff has a number in it so you won't feel too much of the burning and will help so you won't feel so much of the pain for the procedure. I'll talk you through what I'm going to do."

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A blank canvas...

Raveena felt her anxiety double as she trembled. "These tattoos are seals. I--." She hesitated. What she wanted to say was, I can't risk that danger. But she recalled seeing Rowan lose control. She had made the decision to force the binding for Ai'a on her Gatekeeper's tattoo. It overwrote the series of spells that bound her to Andrew, and subsequently freed him from serving her. It was the only way to save herself and keep her sanity long enough to keep Rowan from slaughtering everyone.

It was the beginning of letting go.

"I'll do it. I can endure whatever pain. Blank canvas, whatever it takes. It--it needs to be done."

Her eyes were darting around the room, focusing on something--anything--to keep her from losing her edge. She was afraid to ask--afraid to dabble in the business of a Goddess. But she couldn't stop herself, and the words came out quiet like, "You knew me from before, didn't you? I...I have a hard time remembering what happened. I know you work with Red, I just...try to avoid my history with Predator's Keep. It's too much to take in, even for me..."

She pulled the band off and over her head, and stretched herself out to rest on her stomach. It was both sterile and comfortable--something that reminded her of taking her first breath in the cold OXY lab when she had been reborn. Her back was still tingling, and it was a strange and uncomfortable feeling to know her back had been whipped raw, just for interrupting another flogging.

"You've the potential to be quite impressive... But you'll do nothing if you do not get your head on straight or learn how to protect and preserve yourself."

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"Relax...Should anything happen, I'm here. I'm going to try to keep as much of the tattoo intact as possible." Kalmuli would continue to stir the jar of salve with her fingers, smiling reassuringly. She waited for when Raven was comfortable on the bed, scooting closer to the bed and slowly starting to brush her fingers against her back, covering each scar with a healthy coating of the salve. The initial feeling was burning, but it slowly faded into a gentle numbing. She kept applying until Raven's back was completely covered. "I did. You came to me for help with a personal part of your life but after I haven't seen you since. I hope what I did helped...but it's always a monkey's paw effect. Who knows what happened afterward?"She shrugged. Kalmuli would run her hand over Raven's back, rubbing the salve in a little bit more to make sure all the scarring and the skin around it was thoroughly numbed. 

Kalmuli would move off again, wiping her hands with a clean wet towel then turned to her student who had been nearby to learn about the procedure itself. She was taking notes when Kal cleared her throat. "I need you to go get a handful of clean acupuncture needles and the undiluted scaring salve...Crank up the gramophone too. The blue record should be fine."She instructed, Pineapple nodding and rushing off to do as she was told.

After a couple of minutes while Pineapple was gathering and doing what she was told, Kalmuli went to her cart. "Now that you should be comfortably numbed, I'm going to take a scalpel and cut into some of the scarring. The salve draws all the infections to the surface into pockets so it can be drained so we have healthy skin to work with."She said, rummaging into her cart. She pulled out a package wrapped in paper and a plastic sheath, peeling it open to reveal the scalpel she would use. "Once Pineapple comes back, I'm going to fill the openings of the scars I've made with an undiluted scarring salve coated on the needles. I can't just inject it in chunks because it could cause them to revert down to the muscle under the skin. Using smaller coated needles will help preserve your tattoo as much as possible and focus more on the scar tissue."

Pineapple came back with a metal tray full of needles and a bottle of a viscus, pink fluid that had a heavy duty cork in the top to keep it from spilling. She set the equipment on the cart, then went to crank up the gramophone that Kalmuli had requested. It looked like a huge trumpet with a wooden box that played flat, ridged discs. Pineapple removed the original disc and replaced it with a black disc with a blue center, using a hand crank to wind up the strange device. Moving a small arm with a needle, she set it down. There was a few seconds of silence and crackling before a few keys of a piano started to play through the trumpet.

"And some music that will help make it not feel so long and to help you relax."She spoke soothingly, grabbing some gauze from the cart before she slowly brought the scalpel to the first gnarled bump. 

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Arranging herself, Raveena rest her chin on her right forearm, in case she needed to bury her face in the crook of her elbow. Her fingers were curled around the flat metal tags. She could feel the raised bumps that spelled out his name. She had memorized the grooves, she could identify those tags with her eyes closed. He was with her—even when he wasn’t.

The salve was cool to the touch at first, and then warm—uncomfortably warm and prickling. She felt the burning, and it made her want to reach back and scratch at the itching. But soon numbness took over, spreading along her back until the prickliness subsided. “I don’t remember,” She admitted, distracted by Kalmuli’s voice, “I don’t remember anything up until waking up.” She knew that made very little sense to anyone but herself. Still, she wondered, drifting off into a comfortable silence...

She was still trembling. She didn’t know how safe this was—not for Kalmuli, but for herself. Though she had transferred the spells to another and broken the Gatekeeper’s seal, she could only hope there would be no backlash--no spell gone awry. It had never been done before, and she was not entirely certain if all would go well.

For a moment, she thought the faint scent of Jasmine teased her senses—but no. As Raven buried her lips into the crook of her elbow, she could smell it now. The palm of her hand was tingling, and she could feel the light-headedness settling in. She knew what was about to happen, but fought to cling to the edges of reality before she’d be plunged into empathetic stasis.

She would not let go of those tags. The thin edges would dig into her palm as she clutched them tighter, her already pale knuckles ghostly white. She was scared. Scared to be there. Scared of what she was doing. Scared of what motivated her to do it. She feared Rowan and what he had done. She feared what it all meant because it was damning.

Raveena felt another pain. An otherworldly pain. It tore through her body, as if her limbs wanted to be torn apart. A great searing agony plagued her, but she refused to scream. She knew this was his pain. The pain of his mutations. The pain of being used and betrayed. The pain of becoming a monster. The fear of realizing you were losing your will, the numbness of succumbing. Her heart was pounding in her chest, painfully so. No one would ever take that pain from her. No one would ever take that memory from her. She wanted it branded to her memory, so she would never forget what he had done to elevate her to where she was.

Raven could feel the prickling of numbness subsiding—and she knew it was only from the unique nature of her body’s regeneration. She was not even sure how much time had passed in those moments she was lost in the throes of Rowan’s memories. She had seen things. Heard things. Smelled them, touched them. She could taste his blood as she had chewed her own cheek. A cold sweat left her pale and clammy, but she could endure it.

She would endure it. Her palm bled as the edges of those tags pricked skin. Red stained metal, filling those grooves with a thin layer that dried from the heat of palm. For all the ruthlessness that Rowan possessed—and she had witnessed it—here in her moment, he was with her. Gently so, he was with her. And in those darkest moments where he was reborn as the monster he proclaimed himself to be, she was with him—deeply so.

Raven had to make it through this last trial. She would do this for Rowan because she wanted to lift that darkness. To her, he was no more a monster than she was—but she knew there was more to him that the monstrosity. He had proved it to her. Though he’d refuse to listen and see reason, she would work her way through that darkness in him. She would become the woman he demanded of her the first night they had met, if only to show she had listened.

She had always valued her scars as stories, triumphs, deeds and trophies. This had been more loss, and she was all too happy to have Kalmuli slice them away. The new pain she was beginning to feel did not unnerve her, nor bother her. In truth, she wanted to feel that tissue being removed. She wanted to undo the harm she had done to herself and to those who valued her life. She was a Queen now. Her time for selflessness was over. She could no longer afford to risk her life, or put her life in danger. Others would want her dead, but she was not a weapon or a tool to be sacrificed.

Cut it away, she told the woman. Cut it away from me, and let me become something greater.

Raven released her strained grip on Rowan’s tags. She felt reality slipping away as she plunged into the darkness that was Rowan fully. She wanted the icy darkness to envelop and immerse her fully. She wanted to sink into the abyss and understand. Through every difficult challenge that she faced, he had been there. Now, now she would sit with him through his darkest moment. She would never forget it. No force in the universe could take it from her.

She wouldn’t allow it.

 

I’m with you, she promised silently. Through his madness, through every painful step of the transformation.

 

If you don’t become who you are, you will never inspire me to be who I must so that I can help you become the man you want to be.

 

Raveena blinked her eyes open, squinting and registering where she was. It was always that way, when she’d black out or fall asleep. It seemed like a second, but she knew better. The gentle sound of the piano was soothing. She reflexively tightened her grip on Rowan’s tags and sighed quietly. Words seemed to bubble up, she could feel her lips trembling. She wanted to cry, truthfully. A terrible, ugly cry. She wanted to cry it all out, but knew better.

Maybe when she saw him again, where he’d frown as he does—and find some witty way to insult her as he did. She managed a ghost of a smile.

“I wonder if there’s a cure for men.” She cracked the random joke after a long moment of silence.

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Kalmuli would wait until Raven was ready and comfortably numb before starting the procedure. It was meticulous and precise, having to cut the scars open and let the softened tissue and infection drain out onto a pad of gauze, adding to a pile of used, bloody gauze that promptly went into a waste basket lined with plastic. As she squeezed out what her salve loosened, she would stick acupuncture needles coated in her undiluted scarring salve that she slipped under the skin and on top of the skin to encourage the healing process.

Hours passed, the record being played over and over again until Raven's back was full of needles, creating a spine of needles that arched and crisscrossed over each lash mark. Kalmuli would hum along with the record, pleased with her work. Raven was well and thoroughly conked out for awhile until Kalmuli jumped at hearing her voice. She chuckled, leaning over to look at her while she lay on her stomach. "There is...and it's just not to have them. Though then having more children would be hard to have without them...I'm afraid that may be the only use for them."She chuckled, reaching over and brushing a bit of Raven's hair away from her face.

Kalmuli would move away, inspecting her work as the needles and solution worked their charm. Already there were signs of fading. It started with the thinner, narrower areas, fading into nothing until the point she could remove a needle and put it on a different try for cleaning later. "It'll be a few more hours...but it's looking better already. So far so good on your tattoo. There might be a few gaps here and there but that can be fixed easily."She explained, moving another needle out when the scar faded into normal, smooth skin. "Your back will be as smooth as silk when it's all finished. Just relax for a little while longer."

 

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"Thank you." She replied quietly, and she meant it. "I swallowed my pride at first to come here. But I know better, I am grateful I came." She thought about children once. She had been so pleased to know she was with child, that she could have a chance at something that didn't get her killed on a battlefield. She had reasoned that she could have a life that didn't put her in such harrowing danger--but then, she knew childbearing in of itself was dangerous.

But the reality was that Raveena was meant for more.

"I can stomach this," She decided, her head nodding a little. "I have to. I...underestimated someone close to me. His friendship and support is more important to me than my pride and my fatalist outlook on life." And then she laughed pitifully, resting her cheek once more and sighing. it was foreign to hear her own perspective spoken out loud. Fatalist and Destined didn't seem to align properly. She was fighting against her place in the great game of life--and likely had all the years she had endured. The outlook on life needed to change, immediately. Suddenly Rowan's anger seemed entirely justified, "I can inspire courage in peasants and incite revolutions. I can slay gods and fend realms against darkness, but I can't win battles of the heart. Do you have family?"

It was genuine curiosity now that conquered most of her nerves. Despite the prickling of anxiety, she was helpless against the calming atmosphere Kalmuli had designed to soothe her through the process. She wondered, what was it that had triggered such a feeling? But as time had gone on, she wondered less about the anxiety and more about the woman who seemed to be the source of it. Through all the reading of her notes, through the inquisitiveness in Xartia, she couldn't readily recall.

 

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Kalmuli smiled, continuing her work of removing needles and smoothing the skin as her salves did their work, adding more gauze to the pile and more needles to the pan. "Warriors are my toughest patients...Not only are they prideful, but they can take as much poking and prodding as I can give them. Except the ones who are squeamish against needles and can't handle a vaccine."She shook her head with a chuckle. "And then those warriors become children."

Kalmuli would ease back a little to relax. She didn't need to do much for right now other than let her salves do their thing and keep track of how her skin was healing with the tattooing. There was a spell she could do to restore it, but she wanted to wait until the healing was finished first. "I think feeling a sense of doom and destiny is normal...but excessiveness is what can cause others to feel like it's a false prophecy. People want the best for their loved ones."She sighed, reaching over to her cart and pulling out another container. This just had a sanitizing liquid and she cleansed her hand, filling the air with the smell of citrus and alcohol. Rubbing her hands together briefly, she only stopped when Raven mentioned family.

A look of loss crossed Kalmuli's face but then slipped away like a thought. "I did...I rather large one...and then I lost everyone. Everyone but my dear friend Byrn who visits now and then...and I have a Ward I treat as both my student and daughter...She'll be my heir one day as will be her son."She said, idly massaging her palms and fingers with the sanitizing liquid. "But as far as blood family...no...there is no one who calls me friend or mother or sister..."

Kalmuli shook her head, clearing her throat. It wasn't a good memory. She reached over and pulled out another needle, cleaning what came of it and tossing it in the trash. Her student had gone off to take care things around the shop, her little notebook already filled with what she could. Kalmuli sighed but slathered on a smile. "I'm not terribly troubled by it though...My losses have brought me gains I would not have achieved with family around."

 

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Sneaking in from the rain outside, the elf brushed off the rain from his hooded cloak. He had been outside in the downpour looking for his mentor for the last hour, that and avoiding guards. When he started speaking in elvin to the locals he was confused at first until they pointed him to the Pendulum. Once he saw the sign his eyes caught the words he needed to see, Fortune Telling, the rest he did not care for. Once he saw the coast was clear of guards whom he did not feel like speaking with, he snuck in behind an elderly man.

Once inside he threw his hood back his eyes fixated upon the person at the counter, "I hear someone hear specializes in fortune telling. How would I get around to see them about it?" Aldorto's sense in this place gave him a strange vibe, almost like he was back in Salvine's abode. The feeling of intense magic was in the air and he felt very uneasy. His hand was over the top of his hilt underneath his cloak. His werewolf blood was boiling for some reason and he was trying his damnedest to hold it at bay. His eyes however conveyed the guise of the wolf, a show that he was loosing the battle to hold his werewolf inside. 

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"It's hard to believe I am a mother." It was the first time Raveena acknowledged her son Sebastien since her amensia. "I've not met him...well, I suppose I have. I just don't recall. We are not on good terms, I suppose." And then she chuckled at a thought, "Perhaps I should send him to you to get straightened out! Xartia tells me he has quite the temper on him like his father." Her laughter died to a smile, and she was thoughtful for a while, "You do well for yourself, I don't understand my anxiety. I am only sometimes frustrated that I cannot remember things. But then like you, I think my losses have also brought me gains."

Rowan, Efrideet, Kirena and Zeke came to mind. They served her so loyally and valiantly it was impossible not to be forever indebted to their services. They formed the Ar'el, and Raveena knew she would not be here if not for them, among others. "I owe a great deal to you for this."

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Kalmuli's smiled, pulling out a few more needles and cleaning up the aftermath. "Believe me I know...someone from my family is in Predator's Keep...but I can never tell him I'm here in Valucre."She said, reaching over as she grabbed another salve that was a mix of a healing potion and a smoothing salve. She rubbed it together so it melted into an oil, rubbing it along the areas that she had pulled the needles out. There was a soft hiss as the external scarring started to fade leaving soft, supple skin. 

Kalmuli would raise an eyebrow but shrugged. "Probably a little bit of embarrassment. You did come to me for a skin issue. I find women, no matter their place in society, have a shyness about showing something marring their skin. I'm a healer. This is what I do."She said, returning to the needle pulling and wiping. The bell of her shop door chimed, her head raising when she heard it.

Her apprentice would be the first to approach. Plana would smile in greeting. "Fortune tellings are appointments only."She would tell him. "However, I can see if she can sneak you in. She's with a patient right now."
 

Plana would move away from the counter, Kalmuli nodding her head in approval. She could see the man. "Please come take care of Lady Raven. Just do as I've shown you."She said, Plana nodding and trading places with her on the stool while Kalmuli went to greet the man at the counter, gesturing for him to follow her to a small flight of stairs that lead to the second level. "We'll discuss how to pay upstairs."

@Fennis Ursai @Deus Ex Aizen

Edited by Kalmuli

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Aldorto looked from the counter to the apprentice, watching her walk away to a separate client. 

"Apologies I did not mean to pull you away from someone else." The elf held onto his head and tried to conceal a growl from slipping from his lips. Why was it so difficult to hold his beast inside here. Strange...

"Thank you for seeing me on short notice. If it's any condolences I can pay up extra for interrupting your client." Aldorto sniffed, smelling potions and the like. "I see you posses a skilled alchemist. I've been told that's not easy to find back home." The wolf was attempting to close one eye to focus on holding back his beast, he was nearly certain this place was the cause. It reminded him of Salvine's shop so much, yet there is the difference was he had felt more at ease.

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