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Immie sat on the stone steps that led down to the docks.  The steps were wide and there was plenty of room for others to walk by her, if they wished.  She had a nice dress on that she didn't want to wrinkle or get dirty, but the steps looked clean enough and she'd been walking for a long time.  She didn't really know what she was doing here.  This was not what she imagined when she thought of going on a great adventure.  She assumed there would be excitement and stories to unfold, just like in the books she's read.  Instead it was overwhelming, and she was already tired at the beginning of the day.  

She'd arrived in Lo'Bre on an airship earlier this morning.  She'd been on many airships now, having traveled quite a ways from her elven home.  Every place she'd been to had its own feel to it.  Lo'Bre seemed to be full of life.  The docks were bustling with airships and workmen.  They were unloading the ships and different vehicles were used to take the products to the warehouses.  There was a market up the street, with open booths for those interested in cloth, jewelry, food, and other items.  She looked up to see an airship coming in the distance.  There was an open berth not too far in front of her for it to settle, and she watched as it slowly made its way between two other ships.  It was careful not to accidentally damage the other vessels, and it would be easy to do since the harbor was full of ships at the moment.  

Immie pulled some of the long, wavy, red strands of hair from her face, as the wind kicked up a little.  She could sit here all day, watching the activity.  There were so many people to watch, and so much going on.  There was shouting down at the far edge of the docks, and she saw a young boy running from a shop owner.  

"Come here you little shit!  I'll beat you black and blue!" the shop owner was yelling as he chased after the boy.  The boy was a lot smaller, and quicker than the round bellied man, and Immie secretly cheered him on as he ran away.  A couple of soldiers looked on curiously, waiting to see if there was any real danger to be had.  They did nothing though.  The shop owner stopped running and bent over with his hands upon his knees.  He was gasping for breath.  He looked at the soldiers and started waving his hands and complaining that they hadn't stopped the little "thief" who'd made off with merchandise.  They listened to the shop owner and calmed him down, clearly unwilling to spend their morning chasing after a streetwise urchin.  

The boy had gotten lost into the crush of the crowd in the market.  And there were a lot of people there.  Immie liked being around people.  They were so interesting and it always made her feel better when she was down or tired to be around people.  She got up off the steps, shaking her skirts to get rid of lingering grains of dirt.  She strolled casually to the market, her handbag held close to her body.  She had all her worldly possessions in the bag, and it'd be a shame to lose it.  She walked into the crowd of people, and it was as if she was swallowed whole by the colorful array of people milling about.  

@The Hummingbird @Aleksei

 

 

 

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It was a nice enough place, the Basic Blues Bar. Patrons of all sorts and stations of life sat at clean tables with carefully arranged chairs, or along the walls in booths carved from the oaken walls. Fresh smells of cooked meat, vegetables, and other types of food wafted from the kitchens behind a wooden counter stocked with wine and ale, filling the air the tavern and inciting the appetites of those who gathered here to bide their time. Floating about also was the soft, mournful tune of instruments of singing bards playing classic signature songs, the kind of music that gave the bar its name.

Sitting alone at one table, Rysorian stared down at the woodgrains running along the surface. He’d grown so tired of the world, all its trivialities and loathsome, if petty, sins. All the pathetic people, all the same; gluttonous, selfish fools who lied and cheated their way through life. From Genesaris to Renovatio, all the way through even the magical lands of Seinaru Forven – there was nothing to gain but the realization that everyone was damned to hell.

With a shy smile the waitress serving him dropped off his dinner, a plate of roasted lamb with a side of rice, seasonal vegetables and fruit, and a cup of plain ice water. It smelled and even looked delicious – the chef was an artist too – but Rysorian looked at it with no appreciation. He muttered a thanks, dismissing the disappointed waitress with nary a glance. Food was food, serving only one purpose; keeping the body alive.

It had been a month, perhaps two, since the search for the stupid queen who had gotten herself lost. Rysorian had benefited financially from the quest, but otherwise felt no satisfaction, no joy from it. He’d left that area soon afterwards, escaping the idiots there, only to find himself here, with new stupidity surrounding him in the form of gamblers, cheapskates, whores, and drunken fools.

Was there no end to any of it?

He picked up the leg of lamb and bit into it.

Much like life, it was tasteless.

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Marley's stall was rather quiet this eventful day, and he was satisfied with the current ticking of time. The last few days have kept the witch far more occupied than he truly cared to be. People did not come to the witch for his spells or his abundant knowledge of the otherworldly - no, they did not. Instead the folks of this bustling little market looked for someone who could assist in certain ailments, from an upset stomach to an irritated toe. Thousands of years it took him to cultivate his abilities, and is using it to heal superficial wounds.

Feeling frustrated, the young man slumped over the table of his little stall. Normally this would not be an issue, this constant repeating of the day-by-day dealings. If anything, he would have relished in the simplicity of the day; the predictability gave him comfort, as he did not have to guess what's going to happen next when he already knew. Then he had loved the way the sun slipped beautifully behind rolling hills; he was always enamored with the people's motions of tearing down their stalls at the end of the day. Was it so wrong to find such beauty in sameness?

"Tansy, I'm tired."

Marley rests his chin on the table, his clear blue eyes fixated on the toad familiar. Tansy had always been a quiet sort, preferring to keep his secrets to himself and enjoying the ride that is life. When Marley had awoken from his slumber, Tansy did as well in a form that was unfamiliar to the hedge witch. Once upon a time the toad had been a person, an unusual aspect for a familiar but an aspect nonetheless. He wasn't sure if this form fit Tansy or not, the memories of his life before were still trying to restructure themselves.

"I want honey-milk. I want taffy, and I want a soft pillow with lavender in it. I want ..." he paused to stand back up, "I want something different."

Different. He shuddered at the revelation. Tansy hopped across the table, his bulbous form slapping against the messy table top. The creature hopped in the open palms of the witch, giving him a reassuring croak when Marley kissed the warty head of his favorite companion. Things have changed and he's grateful to at least have one person in this strange world who understands his feelings.

"I guess we should get back to work," he said with a slight pout to his lips. His stall may be slow now, the day is still long and he knows the curious will be drawn here. The flowers, herbs, and crystals decorating his little stand makes it difficult for him to blend in with the rest.

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Immie strolled along looking at the wares for sell.  She'd thrown the strap of the handbag across her chest having her bag against one hip and the strap thrown over the opposite shoulder.  This made it less difficult for someone to steal her bag, though she was ready to fight if need be.  She knew she wouldn't win.  She had no special talents, except what she's learned for self defense from books.  She only had the power to change her visage for a short time, which was a neat trick if she was trying to hide who she was.  It wouldn't help her fight for her bag though.  

She felt it might be safer to stay close to the stalls of products than in the crowd of people milling in the middle of the walkway.  The people in the stalls were there just trying to make an honest living.  She saw some different colored cloth for sale and reached out to touch the fabric.  The saleswoman gave her the stink eye, which told Immie that she'd best be moving to the next stall.  

She finally ended up at a stall decorated with flowers, herbs, and magic crystals.  She gasped in delight.  "Oh!  Are those some of the magic crystals that Seinaru Forven are famous for?  They're so pretty."  She reached out to touch one, and made sure that the stall owner could see her hands the whole time.  "I read that they were used for magic spells, for powering people's homes and vehicles, and that some use it for communication devices."  There was wonder on her face, as she moved in to look closer.  As she did she could see the toad sitting in the stall owner's hand.  "That toad is very large.  Is he your pet?" she asked curiously.  Before he answered she was moving toward the herbs hanging up.  "I read something somewhere about an herb called Bellasorma, located in Seinaru Forven.  Do you have any Bellasorma?"  She stopped, closed her eyes and held her hand up in a clearing motion.  "Of course you don't!  It's illegal to have anywhere other than Karmathen."  She continued to poke her nose into the items in the stall.  

If the stall owner spoke she listened raptly, before interrupting with, "I'm hungry.  Is there a place close by for me to find a good meal?  Can you show me?"  She didn't know if there was anyone else there in the stall that could take over for the stall owner, but she didn't want to try to follow directions somewhere and end up lost.  If she had someone familiar with the area to show her, it would be a lot easier.  

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"Most, yes," came Marley's smooth reply, her interest igniting a small flame within himself. He liked curious individuals who openly share their enthusiasm; in his opinion, it makes people appear more honest when they're comfortable expressing themselves.

"That's true enough! Most of the crystals were used for mundane things; their origins were often forgotten by such. They are wonderful creations used by those blessed by the taint of magic."

His staff had a crystal perched upon it, but it was one he had made himself - or so he thinks. The importance of the crystal, how it came to be, and why it no longer glowed were all subjects he's still trying to outline. Tansy told him that it was unique and that one day it'll start to shine again, but Marley has to be patient for that to happen. Patience is a virtue, so they say. For him, it is slowly becoming a learned aspect of his life.

Tipping his head to the side, the stall owner gave a timid smile. Tansy was not a pet, and in reply, the toad gave a loud croak, though it could have been just him being a toad with great timing. "He is! His name is Tansy, and he is a big fan of snails and slugs."

Then this stranger decided to hit a little too close to home, her curiosity honing in on the stall owner with a great sense of direction. Thankfully she corrected herself, leaving him to thank whatever god or goddess he needs to for the aversion. He had gotten his hands on some Bellasorma some time ago, and now it's gone, no longer in his possession and no longer something he needs to think about. It was only after the fact that he had learned it was an illegal herb, and even after that revelation, he had no regrets for having it.

"Yes, there is. Allow Tansy and I to show you."

Quickly, he shut down his little stall to assist the lovely lady and guide her to the nearest hotspot. "It's a nice little spot called Basic Blues Bar. They've got a pretty great vibe and a menu that acclimates to anyone's taste." He held Tansy, who was happy to be carried around like the King he thinks himself to be. "Forgive me, lovely lady; my name is Marley. You are?"

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"My name is Immie.  Immie Gladstone," she said with pride.  Her name was given to her by her elven family, and she did love them dearly.  That did not stop her from being curious about where she really hailed from.  She was not elven, and she had an Incubus ring that was given to her at birth.  Her adoptive mother told her that she hadn't been given the ring until she was seven years old.  She was then told she shouldn't take it off.  She looked down at the ring for a moment.  It was large and clunky looking, and she felt it was ugly.  But no matter her vanity, her mother wouldn't allow her to take it off.  Out of respect for her mother she still wears it.  It was just another little mystery to unfurl.  

"I hope there is going to be some Blues music played at this bar," she said excitedly, then she looked around at the daylight.  "But I guess that would be less likely to happen in the day time.  I have read that Blues music is usually played after dark."  She clutched her bag against her, wishing it wasn't so heavy.  She spent the walk talking about the sights of the city, things she'd read about, and child-like jubilation over the croaks of Tansy.  Sometimes it seemed as if Tansy were responding to her questions, for the toad didn't croak until after she'd asked something.  

When she arrived at the bar, she entered gingerly.  She hadn't been to many bars, knowing the reputations they had for woman traveling alone.  She felt a little better that Marley and Tansy were with her.  The light was dimmer inside than the bright sun of outside.  It took a moment for her eyes to adjust.  She waited that moment so she wouldn't be blindly walking into something.  To others it may look as if she were posing at the door, waiting for everyone to look at her.  When she realized this she flushed, and clutched her bag with tight fists.  She was pleasantly surprised to hear the music in the background.  She shelved it away in her mind that the books had been wrong, and Blues was played at all hours at a Blues bar.  When she could see more in the room she observed that the tables and booths were full.  The place seemed to be popular.  The furnishings were nice and she also wondered if she had enough money to afford a meal here.  She usually tried to save as much money as she could in her travels, and sitting at a nice table to be served ordered meals seemed to be a luxury.  She made her mind up to do this anyway, because she wanted to experience the Basic Blues Bar in all its glory very badly.  

"I, uh... I don't think there is any place for us to be seated," she whispered to Marley.  There were only a few empty chairs at the tables, but the tables were already occupied my a party or two.  She looked into a corner and could see a particular empty table with only one male sitting there, eating his meal.  There were three chairs around him, but no one looked to be served at the table but him.  She elbowed Marley a little, and nodded over to the table with the man.  "I'm going to ask that gentleman if we can sit with him.  Even if he says no, it couldn't hurt to try."  She smiled at Marley, as she made her way to the male's table.

She boldly walked up to the table, expecting him to be as courteous to her as she would be to a stranger.  "Hello good sir.  Your meal looks lovely.  I'm new in town and was wondering if my friend and I could share the table with you?  I know it's a bold request, but I was hoping to hear some of your travel experiences in the area and see if there are any particular places that you could suggest I visit?"   She smiled at him her golden smile, reserved when she was trying to get her way with her family.  What might not be so obvious was that she was clutching her bag in a death grip, and her palms had gotten sweaty.  She was not very good with being social, though her mother seemed to know everyone in her village and was able to talk to them with ease.  Immie was used to standing to the side, or behind her mother.  Watching, but rarely participating.  She could see the top of his head when she first approached, but not much else.  Then he looked up and she could see his eyes.  They were a beautiful pale green.  One of her hands went to her chest, as if her breath had been hard to catch.  When she did this the bag she had been clutching became too heavy for her other hand, and it started to topple to the floor to her dismay.  

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Posted (edited)

Nothing spoils a waning appetite more than an inexperienced seductress. Already bored and disinterested, Rysorian cast her a contemptuous glance with eyes that seemed to glow against his black hair. Yet even as his eyes began to turn back towards his neglected meal, her scent washed over him, driven forward by the draft from the doorway. And what a strange odor it was.

All humans had their own unique scent, picked up from the many different lands they traveled, other people they dallied with, and the various things they attached to. But they all shared a certain odor; a human would smell like a human, just as an animal would smell like an animal, and a simple inanimate object would smell like an object. To Rysorian, the variance was easy to see – to smell, rather – and simple to pick up.

This woman, from her bright red hair down to her feet, wasn’t entirely the human she seemed to be. While she smelled almost human, the scent wasn’t completely that. It was a strange, uncommon smell he’d never encountered before, and it put him on edge.

He was about to tell her to get lost when her bag dropped.

By pure reflex rather than eager kindness, his hand snatched out and caught it before it touched the ground. It was heavy – what was in there, rocks? – but he was strong, and lifted it easily with the one hand even as he resisted the urge to give it a good kick across the tavern. His suspicion of her quickly evaporated then as he offered the bag back to her. Someone so clumsy and inept couldn’t possibly be any danger.

His eyes swiveled over to the other person, the man, the “friend.” He analyzed the air carefully, and found it about as engaging as the toad he held. Naturally the toad was more exciting.

“Sit if you please, but I’m not falling for that smile,” he said evenly. “The food tastes like shit, and as for your last request… yes, actually. Out the door.”

Edited by The Hummingbird

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Marley has always been an awkward kind of man, having spent most of his time locked away in libraries and kept away in high towers, human interaction had been limited. He can't really blame those he had surrounded himself with, but they are not without their faults. Taken from his parents at a young age, the gentleman had been raised in a cluster of others touched by magic. Raised by complete strangers, it leaves you little strained when it comes to socializing.

When they entered the bar, he did not take the lead nor did he slink into the shadows. Fighting against his mind and body, Marley stood next to Immie while Tansy sat atop Marley's shoulder. He disliked these kinds of places, they easily reminded him of the things he has missed in life and how difficult it is for him to acclimate to these kinds of surroundings.

"It would appear to be the case," came his reply. He was ready to kick rocks at that point, but the young lady was fast to suggest otherwise. Elbowed, he turned his attention towards the gentleman who appeared to be comfortable in his loneliness. The witch had his opinion about approaching random strangers while they're deep in their meal, not that it would matter any. Immie appeared to be the sort to act before thinking, and like a ship lost at sea, he was being tugged along by her tide.

He wasn't disappointed by this man, though. Rough around the edges, ready to speak his mind, and not at all falling for Immie's golden smile. Marley did not want to embarrass the lovely lady by snickering at her boldness; Tansy felt otherwise and had openly croaked and then flopped on his side, becoming nestled in the dip of Marley's neck.

"I suppose we can save that visit to the door when we are done with our meal!"

Excitedly, he pulled a chair out and helped Immie sit. When seated, Tansy plopped on the table in all his warty glory, and hopped over to Immie. He would lift his webbed hand up in a demanding manner telling her to pick him up.

"As a new resident here, allow me to treat you Immie. Any place serving shit and is still operating deserves our coin, and I'm more than happy to share this experience with you."

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Immie was shocked by the male's rudeness.  Yes, he'd caught her bag like a true gentleman, but soon after told her that he wasn't falling for 'that smile.'  Sure, her smile was fake, because she was nervous and having a look of anxiety usually wasn't received well by most company.  And his comment about the food made her huff.  He was purposely trying to be a sour puss and ruin her visit, which she guessed she deserved since she pushed herself  up to his table and into his vicinity.  But he could have been nicer.  She'd tried to be nice, and she was feeling regret about that now.  

Then Marley had broken the awkward moment with his enthusiasm.  He'd excitedly pulled her chair out, and seemed not bothered at all by the other male's hostility.  

On 7/3/2020 at 8:59 PM, Aleksei said:

"As a new resident here, allow me to treat you Immie. Any place serving shit and is still operating deserves our coin, and I'm more than happy to share this experience with you."

She truly smiled then, amused by the cheeky comment that rolled easily off Marley's tongue.  Not to be outdone, she shot back with, "Hmm, tastes like shit... how does one know what shit tastes like?  I have nothing to compare it to, since I've never had the pleasure to eat shit before."  The amusement on her face asked for those around to share in her amusement.  Her eyes twinkled bright blue.  Tansy caught her attention next, and she exclaimed as she held out her small hand for him to hop up into.  His plump toad body covered her whole hand, and she was delighted that the toad trusted her enough to allow her to hold him.  

A waiter came by, a blank look on his face.  "Sir, will your friends be ordering as well?" he said in a very professional tone.  Immie was unsure what to order, and had no menu.  She was nervous again, as she wondered what rude thing would be said by the green eyed handsome devil sitting at the table.  Then she frowned as she realized that she was thinking he was handsome.  Where did that come from?  She rubbed the toad's back gingerly as she peeped up to see the reaction of the irritated male.  

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