A Thesis on the Realm of Mortality (Kitti and Davion)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Davion, Jul 14, 2013.

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  1. The first night there was nothing. No sounds, no colors, only the dead. Night after night, as he became closer to the burned remnants of his house, the dreams became waking; filled with memories and twisted visions of things long past. But they moved, they thrived with life. With each passing night, miles closer to home, they all seemed more vivid and frequented his thoughts until it became almost unbearable. Darren knew all that he needed: nothing good remained in the Briarburn estate.

    - - - - -

    The leaves crackled under the heels of his leather boots, traveling cloaked flapping about his sides, held together by the Raven-brooch he wore at his left shoulder. It was not until he found the small village of Carlyle, a mere few miles from his home, that he felt he had pushed on enough and could allow himself to take a reprieve from the journey.

    In the old days Carlyle had been a small farming village, but now it appeared a prosperous version of its former self, streets bustling with travelers coming through the main thoroughfare; no doubt connected to the recently established Eastern Highway that now traversed this part of the kingdom. No doubt that the increased traffic also supplied a thick supply of victims for any evils that lurk within the woods. So many questions left unanswered, but truth would be won with hard work and temperance, as it always had.

    Thinking of the days to come, he came by a soothesayers booth, selling different elixirs or remedies, replenishing those he had used on his travel. The kindly old woman conducted his business on the side; despite her best attempts to show it, she was more interested in relating a formula to her other customer, something he only recognized bits and pieces of.
  2. Though the winter was fast approaching Carlyle with an urgency that many recognized as they began to line their houses with blankets and furs for warmth, this day could not be faulted with any chill. The sun from summer had chosen to show itself again and was beating down on the town with an oppressive heat that almost made them reconsider their stockpiles of heavily woven quilts. ​
    Not one to miss out on the opportunity provided by the weather, Cirra was out working today with full exuberance, slipping through the crowds of people who were too busy lamenting the heat and wiping their brows to notice the agile fingers of an innocent-looking girl. It was an added boon that the coinpurses of those out to purchase items or go along their daily business were all but crying to be cut away, dangling in the open from their loose and sweaty clothes. ​
    There was a time Cirra would not so much as consider traveling to the little town, a time that felt like a life ago. She had been privileged, then, without a thought in her head for coin. All things must end, however, and now Cirra was traveling to as many prosperous places as she could find, staying a few days to lift coin from heavy purses before moving on again to ensure that she did not catch any unwanted attention.​
    Having gathered several leather pouches since the onset of the day's heat, Cirra had decided that it was too warm out even for her to work. The breeze that seemed to filter in from the forest was cooling but not enough to dry her brow as she sat on a low stone wall near the edge of town to count the coin. A curious sight caught her eye, however, and she stopped her count to watch as a man made his way into Carlyle. A wealthy traveler? ​
    Creeping along the upper walls, Cirra followed the man closely, her interest piqued. If she'd been less focused, she might have remembered that the soothsayer had loosened several bricks in the wall to keep away the birds. Unfortunately, she was thinking more of what type of coin this stranger might have weighing his pockets down and toppled gracelessly behind where the soothsayer stood.​
  3. Though his reaction was one of mild appreciation, Darren was taken back by the immediate appearance of a falling body; something he was not accustomed to, he thought sarcastically. Looking over the booth to the bewildered Soothsayer and then the young woman on the ground, Darren wasn't sure if she was a thief, an eavesdropper, or merely someone having a bit too much fun. "Are you well, Miss?" he asked, the intent a bit broader than one might generally think.

    The soothsayer, on the other hand, had quite readily made up her mind and started calling for the guards; but Darren was quick to ask her to relax. "I'm sure the miss had her reasons, perhaps she was just overly enthralled by your recantation of the potion for... I'm sorry, what was it again?" He looked pleadingly at the group; he honestly had forgotten, his mind elsewhere and distracted by the ingredients.
  4. Leaping quickly to her feet at the old woman's mention of guards, Cirra brushed the man's question away with a shrug and was tensed to flee when he mentioned a potion. She halted, her lips thinning to a line and her muscles taut, still ready to clamber up the side of a building at the first provocation. Still, as much as she wanted to get as far away as possible from the potential for guards being called, she couldn't pretend that she wasn't interested by the mention of ingredients for a new potion. Was it one she'd heard of? Something new?​
    After sucking on her teeth for a moment, Cirra turned a little toward the man and put on her best expression for contrite apology and playing nice. She even brushed some of the dust off of her breezy clothing in order to do so with a fresh face and maiden appearance. She could run faster than anyone else she knew and if things got bad, she could always ferret away her things and be gone in a night, she reasoned. One did not get the opportunity to learn new recipes every day.​
    "Sorry, sorry, didn't mean to drop in like that. I was just chasing some birds, trying to catch one maybe" she beamed with her best oblivious smile and made sure that they could both see the gapped smile where her front teeth were a little too far apart. Someone had told her once that it made her look girlish and endearing, as well as perhaps a little dumb.​
  5. Watching her, Darren only caught the smallest hint that she was debating her action; but he dismissed the notion as a bit of embarassment at her situation. The soothsayer still regarded her coolly. "It was a potion for rendering yourself scentless for a small time, useful for our hunter friend here." she motioned at the other customer, a lanky man who was clearly in it for the trade. He was a bit standoffish, but nodded his agreement. "What in the world are you doing catching birds for?" she asked warily, turning her cold eye on Darren. Perhaps she thought he was in on whatever it was that she feared.

    "That does sound quite useful, I might want some of that myself..." Darren began, only to be cut off by the woman. "No need to continue, some of the ingredients are growing especially rare unless you plan on venturing north into the wolf dens. Maybell Mercy is coming quite rare from the plethura of travelers taking over." Changing the subject, and perhaps to reduce the tension in the air, he agreed: "Indeed miss, why the fascination with birds?"
  6. A potion to make oneself scentless, was it? That was certainly one that Cirra did not yet have, which meant that she couldn't possibly let this opportunity pass her by. The conversation wove in and out between questioning her and talking of the potion and for the entirety of it, she did not let her oblivious expression lapse. ​
    When it seemed, at last, that the conversation was turning fully to address her once more, she lifted her arm behind her head to brace it against the back of her head, laughing while she did so. ​
    "Seems I got a bit of a bump, yow. But, see, one of those little black birds... you know, the ones that like shiny things? It took something out of my pack and I was trying to hunt it down. Of course, I don't know where it went now, so I guess that's lost, huh?" ​
    If nothing else, she'd use the excuse of searching for a reason to stick around and perhaps listen in for a formula or two. She was curious now to know what the stranger had in his pockets, too. If he was getting potion recipes from the soothsayer, he probably practiced just as she did with the combination of materials and precise operations. What if he had rare, fine ingredients hidden away?​
  7. Darren took a deep but silent breath, obvious tension washing away within the soothsayer; though he doubted that she completely let go of the mistrust. She listened to the girls story, and nodded as if it wasn't unheard of enough to warrant hostility. Instead she began to focus on the recipe again, describing the application. "So our hunting friend here uses it incase he needs to move upwind from his prey, I see.", he smiled knowingly. It was for very similar reasons that he himself was contemplating a purchase, but he would rather see it made for himself than take the word of a keep in the town. Alchemy all too often proving a pit for gold on false potions and promises.

    "Maybell Mercy, huh? Grows close to rivers, likes the dark; if I'm not mistaken." The soothsayer nodded, bright eyes under her hair watching him curiously. "An alchemist?" He shook his head, "I dabble in the art, but no; not by any means do I consider myself a real alchemist or potionmaster for that matter." Only one item was of curious origin on his person, a shriveled human hand that hung inside of his cloak, wrapped in charms.

    With a smile, Darren turned his gaze back to the drop-in.
  8. Though she seemed to be shuffling awkwardly in the dirt now, edging a pebble along with her toe, Cirra was listening intently to what the old woman was saying, grateful that she had no yet been run off. Exchanging potion secrets in the open? She wondered if it were even going to work and what the man had paid for the information. Even if it didn't work, though, it was certainly worth a try and that was why Cirra was listening closely to the exchange.​
    A moment of silence followed when the woman seemed spent of her rambling and Cirra glanced up, noticing that the man was watching her almost as intently as she'd just been listening to him. She hopped on one foot, smiling with as goofy an expression as she could muster, her firm defense against his suspicion. "Well! Your plant talk has tuckered me out and made me hungry so I think I'm going to head off and try to get of those birds down for a little something to eat." She edged away from them, with no intention whatsoever of letting the man out of her sight. ​
    Instead, Cirra disappeared behind a building and clambered up the loose bricks to watch his movements from an elevated perch. As she scanned the dusty street, however, a frown crossed her face and she squinted, unable to locate where he'd gone. ​
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