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Broken Mask

Chaotic beginnings

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Deep within the land amongst the hustle and bussle of a market towns in the remote floating isles. A hidden gem amongst those who kept their noses burried in their research only dream of, a black market for all of those not so easy to find articles that most shops wouldnt dare sell.  

Emmeline, made her way through the crowded market of the hidden city. She was in search of a black herb known of coal ivy said to grow where those of unatural life have been spawned. This toxic little plant made a kick to her explosive potions so that the undead would slowly fall apart after being hit with the potion of her perfected recipie. 

Though this was only one of the many rare finds she has on her shoping list. The chime of her potion bottle rang as she walked her cloak over her brightly purple hair. Her pale blue iris scanning over the stslls as she passed nothing struck yer fancy... yet.

Edited by Broken Mask

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Rondo hadn't been back in Athentha in a long while. He had been babysitting a high member of a cult known as the Black Heart Mirror Organization. But he needed to find the market stall and get a black herb. It was vital to creating the dust that went inside many black heart mirror cross necklaces and jewelry. 

It helped override the need to fight the transformation of the black heart mirror ore with in each piece. He sighed softly, the crystal elf not sure if he was in the right stall until...

Aha! He cried picking up the small bag of black herb and examined it for a minute or two. Found you my beautiful evil herb. Well, not evil but you know what I mean. Come to papa.

Rondo laughed to himself bouncing the small bag in his palm trying to guess the weight of the product. Athentha was an isle of many illegal items that produced curses and corruption. But this herb wasn't that kind of item. 

It was more special.

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Coming from the other side of the market. Emmeline stopped when she took in the scent of coal ivy it was close. The smell of other herbs clouded her nose until she caught it again it was there in that bag.  Seeing the merchant she motioned to him for the same he shook his head. " Sorry miss try again next time that man just picked up the last batch." The humans eyes widened in disbelief for s moment before her years of masterful fingers did their work. Attempting to snatch the bag out of the air as she pulled out a coin more than twice the herbs worth.

Edited by Broken Mask

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Rondo eyed the fingers trying to snatch his prize. He hung on to it for dear life. His eyes looking up to see someone else want this herb made him wary. 

You can't have it. I already paid for this dear lady. And I need it. I'm sure there is another batch in Lyonesse or Talia. G'day madam.

Rondo waved goodbye as he walked down the street with the herb. It puzzled him why someone would want this herb as much as he did. Was it rare? If so, the people he worked for, wouldn't be happy to know this. 

Carrying the herb, he looked back towards the woman. He wondered why a foreigner would want this treasure. It piqued his interest as he stopped walking. 

He sighed. I hate being compassionate. But she probably needs some of the herb. he said to himself out loud as he waited for the woman to catch up.

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 " Well bloody hell" emmeline muttered to herself as she watched the neon haired elf make his get away with her prize.  She huffed yes she was a foreigner but she came here for the quality.

" You know id take your advice if I didnt have to take twice the herb to make my toys..." She looked as she saw the man stop. " But my apologies if i had seen you pay for it i would have stopped... "

The woman gave a sweet smile almost heartwarming. She was no ordinary human. Her dedication to her work wouldnt simply take just one lifetime. Rondo could sense this coming from her she was a fellow artisan. Until her pale blue eyes lit up at a cluster of jet black ore that did the job of the herb five fold just two stalls down. 

Plans slresdy coming to mind of new plans for a shatter shot grenade made with pellets of that ore. "Mine!" Emmeline almost growled excitedly.

Hustling in thr crowd the purple haired maiden knew her raw materials.

Edited by Broken Mask

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Now, don't be so hasty. I'm sure we can share the herb. Seeing we both desire the prize.

Rondo replied eyeing the eagerness and desire of grabbing such a rare and delicate item. The coal ivy was native to Athentha, barely seen among the islanders that lived here. And not anyone looked for it unless you needed it. 

The elf poured half of the herb into a separate pouch and held it out to the woman. Though it wouldn't be as much as she thought it would be. Rondo was being a bit selfish. 

That should suffice hopefully. G'day madam. Hopefully Athentha doesn't swallow you whole. It tends to do that to your folk. If you need a place to sleep, try the Rusty Broadsword Inn.

Rondo waved as he carried the herb off with him. Maybe he wanted the beautiful lady to chase after him for more of the product. Or he was just being a brute.

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As Emmeline snatched up the ore the man handed her with a half full bag of the coal ivy. Her purple eyebrows arched in curosity. " Well I didnt expect that thank you sir?" Emmeline spoke in a questioning tone. She was alot older than she appeared. 

She heard him mention the tavern  packing the ore and herb into her bag. Chasing after him only her own rule mattered in this world and she needed to know this mans name. A fellow artisan was a hard thing to come by.  " Dont worry about the big bad world eating me mister?"

Her voice high and questioningly as she offered her hand her nails painted in a bright purple blue that matched the color of the crystal elfs eyes. Taking  in as she looked at him it wasn't often she met a man who looked just as out of place as she either.

 

Edited by Broken Mask

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Rondo didn't really look out of place among Athentha's citizens, but he did among the other islands. He eyed the woman's hand out, though in a while she'd be furious to see how little he gave in the herb. 

Tilting his head, he shook her own. Name's Rondo. You? And I don't worry. I just wanted to warn you about our little islands since you're not from here. 

Letting go of her hand, the elf shoved his own into the pockets of his coat and began walking again. He was late to getting back home and beginning his work.

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"You can call me Dru. "  emmeline only gave out her true name once in a blue moon. She may have been a woman of research but many nasty creatures of the magical sort had a nasty habit of using names against you if they heard them.

You dont hop realms and get yourself stuck a time or too without picking up a few things. The woman kept in step with the man rather curious of his own needing for the necromatic plant. 

" I see you have a goal in mind. Anything interesting...not many people where I come from know how to use it." As a scholar she was probing him. Even those with a evil tint to their nature often found it interesting to say the least when one came simply for the sake of knowledge.

She had come to learn many things often by strange aquantiences. Maybe the dice of fate were on her side today.

Edited by Broken Mask

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I have a goal. A job.

Rondo replied as he said nothing more for the moment as this woman, Dru, spoke. And she was wary for she didn't use her real name. It was a good plan since Athentha was full of demons trying to use you by your real name.

Though he didn't know why she was probing or following him. Their business was done and she had gotten the herb she desperately wanted. And not many were interested in learning about an elf like him. Nor were foreigners interested in the people he worked with most of the time. Only a few did.

Tell me Dru, why did you really come here for? Why continue to follow me when you have the herb. I mean if you're seeking more, they should have another shipment in a month or two.

Rondo too was being careful in that he did not tell her why he wanted the coal ivy. Not many could be trusted, accounted for. But Dru would continue to follow, amazed she kept step in step with him. It made him curious.

Why do you need the coal ivy so badly? No normal girl comes into a foreign land for a rare herb. And for no normal reason either.

Rondo wanted to see what she said before he diverged what he needed it for and if she could be trusted.

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"I'm just a traveler. What many would condider a traveling scholar. I just pay the bills accepting odd jobs I find along the way. I came here to get ingredents to replace my wares if you are so curious."  Seeing the look of fustraition and questioning on the elf's face.  Borderline paranoia .

Looks like the seeker of knowledge seemed to need to enlighten the male to something that most would have picked up on by now. " Also riddle me this Rondo when is it a crime for a like minded lady to ask a handsom man to join her in a meal?" Her peircing blue hues looked into his tryi g to show him it was more of a personal curiosity than a professional one.

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Rondo chuckled. Such a curious mind she had. And she called him handsome. Yeah, an elf with candy cotton hair longer than his shoulders and mixed coloured eyes was handsome.

He didn't believe it. He sighed. Rondo hadn't had much interaction with others because of his looks and job. But she was unlike the others who usually just gave him looks and then walked away. 

Not a crime at all dear. You can do what you want. However, doing such a thing with me makes me more curious than interested. Come then, I know of a quiant restuarant not too far from here.

Rondo waved her along. He continued walking towards the small restuarant on the left called the Ruby Jewel. It had a nice setting and most meetings held here could be held here without words being spilled to outside parties.

Sitting down at the table he eyed Dru as he was still suspicious of her. He did hold reservations because he was a man who didn't trust easily. Especially in his line of work. 

But I also still don't trust you. I don't know you so you could be planning anything. So, it's just how I am. I don't trust easily and much.

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The woman with the royal purple locks cut cleanly and pricely like one would see with a classic straight razor. Her body looks and felt to those with deep intuituion as many would see as a normal mortal woman. As she sat the light chime of few of her tools rustling about her bag. Her pale skin was a telli g factor that she had been a recluse for many years. The wsy her fingers were adept and un naturally still was the sign of a madman to their craft.

" And yet you knew the first plsce youd think Id enjoy off the top of your head... seems quiet in the best ways." The chaotic alchemist smiled he was eithee a private contractor like herself or he worked for a ruling interest in this city. The out of the way accomidations spoke volumes.  

"Gotta remember Mr. Rando I dont know you from anyone else Im just a stranger in a strange land who thinks she may have found  a friend and an intelligent man such as yourrself i would think relish the opportunity to speak to someone who uses the same ingrdients."

Sighing deeply as she took a monical out of her pocket placing it on her eye as it tranlated the text into one she could easily read."I maybe a foreigner but I think thats a scarce commodity on any land..."

Edited by Broken Mask

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Rondo laughed heartily. He did pick a secluded--almost secluded spot didn't he? Well the elf did like to treat others whether during a deal or not. 

He placed his hands on the table as he watched her for a moment or two. Not speaking, but intrigued. 

You may be but you also act just like a normal citizen. And usually the citizens here don't like the things they hear. So they don't talk to me. You're the first. 

Rondo shook his head as the waitress came by and placed the menus on the table before running off to fill another table's order. The elf looked down at the menu. 

Order what you like, I'm paying. But why so interested in me? I'm a weird looking elf that might have the same interests as me. And the coal ivy. I figured it help spread the effects my bosses want.

Rondo leaned back in his chair eyeing Dru. She was still a beauty whether she was Athenthian or not. He still wasn't all that trusting but he was starting to loosen up. 

I know. We are both strangers dealing in tainted herbs. It's quite nice to be honest.

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" I may not be a citizen of these beautiful lands but no matter where you are in the pathways of the infinite people still act the same." Drus answers were igmatic on design she had only neen in this part of the world for a few days.

She had been spending her time on another continent when she had learned of the substitution for her necrotic plants were the coal ivy that sprung up here.

She didnt speak of being from another world she had seen some of these places mention travel to other planes of exsistance such as the astral realm and the abyss but from what she had observed not many creatures or men knew of the exsistance of the multiverse.

With the exception of a few she has met in her travels across those thin tethers of what held the worlds together. This place this little blue ball with three major contents was a strange one that shd had not seemed to find a way out from. The silence they shared Dru calculated her words carefully. 

" Could you tell me what this is there doesn't seem to be a word for it in my records from what I gather this seems to be a hearty dish " Dru looked up to the man with a wonderious curiosity. She wasnt afraid to admit when she had needed a bit of help. Though she had many tonics on her person in case she encountered something that didnt agree with her.

 

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