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Lacernella Rubra

Mother Gaia's Home for the Lost.

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In Dougton, there was once an orphanage. It was capable of housing 24 children - quite the feat for a single headmistress. It was a gorgeous home with an inviting layout. 

Spoiler
On 8/8/2012 at 2:24 PM, Rounini said:

The first floor contains a set of common living spaces-- all of which house a homey, but humble, decor--; a foyer; a living room, complete with seating and a hearth; a study, walls lined with books and its center peppered with a dozen or so schooldesks of varying size; a decently sized kitchen that can hold two busy cooks, as well as their messes; and a large dining room centered around a table built to accomodate the full population of the house (and maybe a couple guests). Wooden floors, white walls, and windows that allow plenty of natural light in during the day serve as a theme found in every room.

The second floor can be reached via the foyer's staircase. At the top of the stairs, in the entrance to the upper hall, a door to the Matron's personal room lies. Given its central location, the room can be reached within a minute from almost any point in the orphanage. Along either side of the hall are bedrooms, divided into two rooms of six beds, and three rooms of four. Each metal-framed bed is lined perpendicular to the wall, leaving a path in the middle of the room, and enough space between the beds for two small bedside tables. A lamp rests upon every alternate table. At the foot of each bed, a chest for personal belongings.

 


Though it's headmistress had long ago disappeared, and various schemes had been planned behind it's walls, it had finally been given hope once more. Rebirth through the war, an opportunity to help. Those children displaced by the current civil war are most welcomed, with open (though slightly green) arms. The orphanage runs off of self-sustainability, a small farmyard behind the house, and lanterns to light their way. Children who come to this place are taught all the basic skills, as well as how to defend themselves to some minor degree. This is to hope that they will never become victims to tyranny, or will choose to stand against what they know is wrong. A strong sense of moral Justice is offered to those willing to learn it. 

For the moment, the orphanage only houses several children.  While scared and distrustful, they have come to think of the orphanage as a second home where they will be protected and safe. Dhizzandra watches over them with pleased determination. The Dryad is simply happy to have a place to belong in this world - and she is pleased to help others, as well. 

Children

5

Adults

18

Completion of necessary buildings

35%

Important threads/children acquisition: Home of the Brave. 

Children currently available for adoption: 

Blairville children: 

 Peter – Age 12 – Blonde and amber eyed. He is a cautious, but brave young man who dislikes bullying.

 Lucy – Age 8 – Shy and slow to trust, a little bit bossy, as well. Lucy is definitely a kid who requires patience.

 Ruby – Age 6. Sweet and all too trusting, she’s got a sweet tooth like no other, however. Adopted by Rabbit.

Izral Children: 

Susan – Age 14 – An older, jaded girl who was rescued by Jericho from a brothel in Izral. She doesn’t have much hope for the world, but she’s learning that not everyone is bad.  Adopted by Danzilla3

Brinley – Age 8 – Young and cheerful, she takes joy in simple things.

Jessica – Age 6 – Another young and cheerful child. She likes butterflies and flowers, but we aren’t into the flavor red this week.

William – age 4. – This young boy loves to run in mud puddles and play with worms, as young boys tend to do.

Caitlyn – 6 months – Often influenced by William regarding bugs and mud. She particularly dislikes nap-time.

Derrick – Age 10 – Idolizes Peter and wants to protect the others from ever being treated poorly again. He’s often defensive on first meetings.

Jonathan – Age 1 – Babbles with attitude. Hates diapers.

Andromeda – Age 6 months – Sleeps a lot, when not screaming.

Daniella – Age 10 – Sullen and moody, prone to dramatics.

Kendra – Age 12 – Preteen. No more need be said. Adopted by Rabbit.

 

 

Edited by Lacernella Rubra

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Two weeks has passed since the opening of the orphanage, and Dhizzandra was overwhelmed to find twenty-eight people sent to her with only a note from Jericho. He had apparently cleaned up a brothel of ill repute, and had sent the people to a ‘safe’ location. Well, Dhizzandra has never been one to turn away from either a challenge or those in need. She welcomes them in with open arms, though a few of them are wary of her outward appearance. To placate them, she takes on a temporary appearance of a human, though the growing flowers in her vibrant sunset hair would attest differently.

So, all twenty eight of them settled in, somehow, in rooms not meant for sleeping. Desks were moved, books were moved, and blankets were shared. Some of the younger children managed to crowd into a single bed, though there were complaints the next morning about sleeping positions. Dhizzandra happily gave up the Matron’s room to accommodate her newest guests, the large-ish bed able to accommodate a few more. Blankets were thin, however. Fortunately, the building seemed to keep warm through the night, though Dhizzandra would never fully divulge the reasonings why. She simply inferred that it must have been an enchantment set by the previous owners.

Once full and lazy, the rules were laid out. They were simple, if you stayed, you helped. Whether it be teaching the children, or helping add to the building that would eventually house them all before they found their way out into the world to provide themselves with purpose. It seemed, many of them found this preferable to their prior living conditions, and had little qualm with it.

For now, however, there were steps to recovery.

Avery, one of the younger women with the group (though barely more than a child) seemed most eager to be helpful.

“Are you sure I can’t help put the kids to bed?” She asks, and Dhizzandra offers her a gentle smile.

“If you wish, I will not turn down the help. In the morning, we can make pancakes with jam.” The dryad offers, tucking an errant strand behind the young woman’s ear. The hesitant pleasure that lights in Avery’s eyes is more than enough reward.

 

 

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“Is that a real hand?” A young girl, quizzical.

“Is that a — what does that even mean?”

“I dunno, kid, seemed real clear to me. Isseither real’er’fake, right?” Older, spiteful; this from the teen leaning against the doorframe. “Ain’tcha gonna answer nothing?”

“Did you just call me kid? Either way, fake hands don’t even exis — ”

“Nuh-huh! Don’t you know, they invented fake hands, made of wood and stuff?” Piped up a boy who’d outgrown the baby blue clothes he wore.

“It’s unfair for the people who don’t have hands.” Another, who hadn’t.

“Oh don’t be stupid, William. Everyone’s got hands.” The girl who hadn’t turned her head to look spat from beside the fireplace.

“That plain isn’t true.” Another girl, hands cocked on her hips.

“What?!” The whole damn gallery.

“No, really.” Authoritatively: “My ol’ ma used to tell me that in the old days when they caught liars, they would cut off their hands and paint them real bright hot red and stitch them back on, so you always knew who was a real filthy pants-on-fire lyin’ skunk.”

“Hey. Miss Dizzy said no cussin’,” a boy complained.

“Shove off, Derrick.”

“Is it true, Kendra?”

“How’s I supposed to know? Ma ain’t around for me to ask, is she?”

“Well,” observed the oldest boy. “We got the mister here, don’t we?”

“I already said it’s a real hand.

A snort. “Ever considered he might be lying?”

“Well, mister, are you lying?”

“I have better things to do with my time than lie to kids.”

“Sure you do.”

“Well, I don’t know what to say. If you take a real close look, you’ll notice that it’s not wood. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of wood, isn’t it? Very fleshy, isn’t it?”

“Looks mighty red to me, Peter.”

“But he’s right, it ain’t wood.”

“Well, what do you reckon?”

“I don’t know, you come here and take a closer —”

Sudden chaos. The boy shoots out of his chair. “SUSAN LOOK OUT —” “The banana peel —!”

“Huh? Wha-AHH — ” The girl flies. The pot hits the ground with a wet gong. Footsteps; the oldest boy catches her in both arms. They look at each other for a little. He then sets her down shyly.

 “—I was gonna EAT that stew later, Susan!” Fire-place girl whines.

“Who — WHO left that banana peel there?” Red and fuming; the former, perhaps not for the same reasons as the latter.

A guilty raising of a hand.

“Derrick, I am going to strangle you — “

Speaking of hands, the oldest boy regards the stew pensively. After a little thought, he bends down and, with the tip of the bread knife clutched in his hand, tries to fish a rather large piece of thing out of the milky mess.

“…Sorry about that. I believe you, I think. But I guess you wish it was fake now, huh?” He holds the limp, sticky thing out with two fingers, wrinkling his nose. “Here’s your hand if you want it back.”

Hawke stares up blankly from the floor beneath the chair, where the suspicious children have had him tied for the better part of half an hour. His left hand splatters, palm-down, onto his face.

He sighs.

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After the gruesome events of the dismembering of their last visitor (sorry about that.), the children were much better behaved once they had a good hide chewing from the dryad. The orphanage, or so it had become called, was less of an orphanage and more of a community. A beacon of hope - a refuge for lost souls where they could find their way. Of course, many of them found their way right into service of the Dryad, or the mysterious benefactors of the place...but work was work and few of them were willing to give up the opportunity of coin. 

The children had learned their skills and trade, though a few of them perhaps left a bit more full of questioning morals, considering the source. Despite that, they were fed, clothed, and cared for. Few of them could ask for more than that. Loyalty was built with ties like these - loyalty so faultless that it would, and likely could, bring disaster, war, and pain to any who questioned it. 

"So, who is cooking dinner?" Hands on hips, the woman that was not a woman at all questioned. The bark-like flesh that covered her body was green in hue, matching the willow switches in her hair looking more vibrant than before. Flowers twined through, peeking above the boughs as a brow rose as she peered at the children. 

"Me, Ma." Susan answers quickly and is rewarded with a smile. 

"Good, good. And the boys are going to help with repairs and building, yes?" She was met with a chorus of dull groans. "That's it, get on with ye." She shooed affectionately as small and large bodies clamored to their tasks. 

"The rest of you, it's time to do laundry and clean." Another chorus of groans as the little ones shuffled off dejectedly. 

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Daniella pouts, her bare feet swaying back and forth off the porch as though hoping to run through a field of grass. Alas, her only view is the construction going on around them. William and Caitlyn were busy amusing themselves with some creepy crawly in the garden, while Susan painstakingly picked out weeds and tried to desperately work around them all while producing exasperated sighs.

Lucy and Ruby were in the kitchen, preparing Gaia knew what for dinner. Meanwhile, Dhizzandra watched them out in the garden with a kind smile.

It was good to be able to give a better life to children who might not have known it, and even while Jericho and the others thought to put them to use for their cause, that cause was noble and in itself better than the life that they had previously been lead down.

“Susan! Be careful you don’t pull the carrots.”  She reminds carefully.

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Pigtails, curls, ribbons and bows – all of these things are carefully arranged in preparation of visitors. Whether or not they come will not matter, but the children are all having fun, and their smiles and laughter are more music and pleasure than any other. Susan assists in getting the younger girls ready, while Peter manages to wrangle the boys into something more fitting for company than mud-stained trousers and ill-fitted shirts.

Looking upon them with satisfaction, Dhizzandra could not help but to smile. It was in her matronly nature, no, her desire, to see them well fed, and sent to loving homes. Alas, it was unlikely that they would all go. Peter, for instance, while strong and noble in thought, had attached himself to the home he now had. Dhizzandra feared the older children might not be fit to be adopted, perhaps they would not adjust as quickly as the others….but she had been wrong in the past, and gladly would be so again if it meant more pleasant lives for them.

Grasping a long, vined tendril of her hair, she plucks from it exactly seven white lilies, each one placed lovingly in the tresses of the young girls.

“There, the final touch.” The dryad smiles, “Now, I would like it very much if you were on your best behavior, all of you. Let’s not have another incident like we had with our last visitor.” Who sadly had gone home, lesser one hand.

“Please remember your manners, yes misses and yes sirs.” She quotes, and Susan gives her a shy smile.

“Yes, ma.” Susan states as Peter grumbles something below his breath, though his gaze lingers on Susan’s shy smile.

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It was a busy day, the day of adoptions. Not only did they receive many visitors, several of the children found new homes. Brinely, Jonathan, William, Andromeda, and Peter all found themselves in the arms of their new families by the end of the event. Peter would go to a farmer, to help tend to the crops and learn agriculture, while Brinely would go to a nice older couple who only had a desire to spoil her rotten. Andromeda and William went to the same couple, a younger pair who could not have their own.

All in all, it had been a good day and Dhizzandra was quite pleased with the turnout. Those that remained were somber, perhaps a tad melancholy at not being chosen. Despite that, tended to their chores and duties. Susan ushers the younger children inside to bathe and supper after the long day, and the dryad assists as best she can, though she’s still confused as to why humans submerge themselves so deeply to get clean.

A gentle hum is heard as she washes Caitlyn’s hair, the young toddler gibbering and jabbering this and that, met with affirmations of her words. Carefully, she is lifted and dried before dressed in sleep robes.

It is a good day that the children have had, despite their heartache. Dhizzandra knows it will fade, eventually, though the children might disagree.

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It is once the children have gone to bed that Dhizzandra is left with the worries of the day. The orphanage is self-contained for the most part, as they can grow most of their own foods, and trade what they have for meats and other various necessities. The worry mostly lie in the war that has fractured the lands, and Dhizzandra’s concern for the children growing in such a climate. Still, she supposed they were safer with her, than wherever they were found.

The Dryad pauses in her musings to peer across the darkened land. She hopes that someday the world will know peace, but she has lived long enough to know that it is unlikely. Humans thrived in chaos, for whatever reason, and they seemed built for war. It is these thoughts that plague the Dryad – who would never fully comprehend human mannerisms, or perhaps even those of greater beings. She was of a simpler mind. Protect one another. IT was a simple enough edict to live by, her maternal instinct making it easy to follow – but it often turned fate against her as well. Cruelty did not belong only to monsters.

For now, she peers into the darkness, seeming to wait.

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Rufus had arrived late, well past the appointed hour. Sadly there was nothing to be done about it, as he could not control the weather that delayed his journey to the orphanage. Not that he had minded being waylaid for a few hours. He still wasn't sure what he was doing here. Ignis tradition called for their Head to adopt a child to serve as their heir if they had no such progeny themselves; but he was hesitant to actually do it. 

What kind of parent could he possibly be? True, many of his predecessors had simply adopted some child and then mostly ignored them once the had fulfilled the tradition. But that wasn't the way he did things. There was no way he was going to pull some orphan out of one crappy situation into another.

Once he arrived at the location he hesitated for a moment. Then he adjusted the lapels of his suit, and knocked on the door.

Edited by danzilla3

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Vito and Jestaira walked across the open field, conversing with each other about what the jester was not allowed to do or say whilst there. The two masked figures looked around, surprised at what they saw. Unlike most other orphanages which Vito had seen, this one putting them to shame, it was pleasent to be around. Even tho he'd only just arrived on sight, he couldn't help but noticed it carried the feeling of 'home'. Walking to the front door and knocking, waiting for a response.

'Never pictured you to be one to adopt.'

'I was adopted, now I will adopt.'

'That's a weird circle of actions.'

"Hello? My name is Vito, I sent a letter requesting permission to adopt two of your resident orphans."

 

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The children had supped and were now dreaming of sugarplums and other such sweets. The older children, however, remained awake. Susan peered from the window, curtain swaying slightly with her movement.

“We have visitors, ma’am.” She offers, gaze narrowing in suspicion. “Awful late for visitors.”

“Nownow, we don’t know their intentions just yet, so allow them to come, yes?” Dhizzandra smiles softly at the girl. While Susan has come a long way in terms of trust – she is still wary of strangers and quick to judgement. From the window, a gentle wafting of cinnamon and clove would arrive firstly on the wind. The knocks upon the door, however, bring the dryads full attention as Susan lets out a low hissing noise between her teeth. The young woman is easily on edge, her hands itching to grasp the nearest knife – but Dhizzandra stills her with a hand on her shoulder.

“Be at ease.” She offers, before moving to answer the door. She is surprised by not only one visitor, but three! The Dryad opens the door with exuberance, her figure dressed in boughs of flowers and bark

To Rufus, she offers a warm smile, which then is extended to Vito and Jestaira.

“Please do come in.” She offers, opening the door wide and motioning with a slender, emerald arm. Just inside the sitting room is a series of chairs – handmade with love and care – of sturdy oak huddled about a fireplace. It is a large room, with toys strewn about it in various places. A stuffed rabbit here, a wooden toy train there. A box of such is stashed neatly in the corner. 

“Ah, yes, of course I received your letter. Can I safely assume you are here to adopt as well?” She questions Rufus. “Can I get you anything to drink, perhaps?”

Susan peers at the trio with equal parts suspicion and curiosity.

Edited by Lacernella Rubra

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There was moment of little chaos before a calm feminine voice seemed to quiet them down, obviously the kids making a ruckus because of their new guests. The door swung open, revealing the rumored dryad mother and her children. Vito and Jestaira gave a quick nod to the other guest, then walked inside. The dryad dressed in what appeared to be nature itself, the children peeking from behind the flowers. Vito took a seat, whilst Jestaira stood beside him. He glanced over at the various wooden and stuffed toys, his eyes peering over to the rabbit.

'Cute.'

9 hours ago, Lacernella Rubra said:

“Can I get you anything to drink, perhaps?”

"No, thank you." Vito looked over to his companion, who simply let out a small giggle. "That means she'll take one tea, thank you kindly." There was a brief pause, the raider trying to remember something. "Ahh yes, how rude. Of course, we come bringing gifts. Jestaira, if you would!" She let another small giggle, before pulling out a large basket of chocolates from behind her back and handing them over to the dryad. "Freshly made buy our chefs, hope someone round here has a sweet tooth."

"Hope you enjoy!" The jester said, her voice high enough to rival the childrens.

"Anyway, shall we get down to business?"

 

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The large basket of chocolates was lusted after by the children, desire and hunger in their eager little gazes as they gasp collectively. They have never seen a WHOLE basket full of chocolates before! Treats were rare – as they were expensive. Ruby watches the basket with a particularly avid gaze – following it all the way into the kitchen as she trailed after as though beckoned by the sweet call of chocolate. Dhizzandra merely chuckles, watching the young girl go for a moment.

“Thank you, truly, the children seem to be most pleased. Ruby especially.” She laughs.

Kendra, a girl no older than twelve approaches with Jestaira’s tea. Milk and cream on the side so that it could be prepared however she desired. “Here ya go.” She offers, her dark brown hair contrasting with her pale skin as she peers at Jestaira in curiosity before shuffling back to the other kids.

“Ah yes, business.” Dhizzandra’s tongue is thick and perhaps a tad bitter with the word. Children weren’t business, they were to be loved and cared for – but she understood the man meant no harm with his wording and mentally chides herself for being negative.

“Did you have any particular child in mind when you wrote the letter, or did you want to be introduced to each? Or perhaps were you looking for a specific age group?” Dhizzandra knows that some humans prefer certain ages over others. Some preferred infants, while others preferred older, more independent children. She smiles at the trio, awaiting responses.

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"I'm glad to see they're enjoying it." Vito watched the kids gathered round the basket, their little hands grabbing what they could. It reminded him of the kids in his own settlement, who'd always raid the bakers for free leftovers. A young girl walked over, presenting Vito's companion with her drink.

"What do you say?"

"Thank you!" Jestaira said, before drinking each beverage separately.

'You really need to work on her table manners.'

'I tried, I accepted defeat after ten minutes.'

Turning his attention to the dryad mother, he continued. "I'll be adopting two, whilst there are children at my town I'd feel more comfortable with them settling in knowing a familiar face. Age is irrelevant to me, as the time will pass regardless." Vito's words were honest, knowing that age was small factor when time would make short work of it.

"I do have one in particular, a girl named Kendra. I've been informed by friends in town that she'd make a good apprentice, she's apparently showed early signs of a good craftsman. I'm currently a summoner, wishing to pass on the knowledge of my craft. As long as she's happy to join me, I'll take her in. As for the second, would it be a good idea to allow Kendra to have a say in the matter if she does decide to join me?"

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Dhizzandra could sense no deceit from Vito’s words. However, her gaze flickered to Kendra, the very young woman that had brought Jestaira the tea. The girls gaze went wide before she managed to squeak out a gentle.

“Me?” Kendra asks, pointing to herself as if in disbelief. It was true that Kendra had the beginning foundations of being a fabulous craftsman – her skill was not one that was currently being tended to. IT would do her well to explore her talents with an outside source. Dhizzandra contemplates for a moment as little Ruby grasps ahold of Kendras skirt and peers around her curiously, chocolate covering her cute little face.

“If…I go, I want to go with Ruby.” Kendra offers after a long moment before she peers curiously at Vito.

“What exactly do you want me to do?” Her curiosity is piqued, at the very least. Dhizzandra gives a soft smile and gently touches the young girls arm.

“There is no rush, Kendra, you can weigh your options, but do remember the whole point of you being here is for you to find a family to call your own.”

Ruby gasps at this, peering at Vito. Her too-large eyes seem to widen further as she puts two and two together – realizing that he had been the most benevolent one who had brought the chocolate.

“He has chocolate. We can go.” Ruby says definitively. Dhizzandra laughs at that while Kendra offers a soft smile as well.

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