CLOSED SIGNUPS Aspects of the Gods IC

Absyinthe

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Aspects of the Gods IC

I. Unearthing a Prophecy Chapter

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The world of Castraia is home to a pantheon of deities who watch over the lands and people who inhabit them. They have been the prevailing rulers from the heavens for as long as anyone can remember. The deity Huran decides who rules on the land among the people; a monarch named Straxus Mcvoy is the current leader. He chooses the dukes that watch over the individual provinces, among which there are thirty-two of them. Overall the deities keep a watchful eye on everything as they always have.

* * *​

There are many temples and tombs located around the continent. Straxus has always been one for exploration and adventure; he has sent missions to scavenge ruins close to the Capital Province. Most of the time, they come back with minor totems and other old treasures. On one of these trips, his team found horrible figurines lining a tomb that led into the depths of the earth. At the end of the ruins, they found a chest filled with scrolls of pictures and one that held faded writing; this ancient text was an intriguing find. However, they would need to decipher the scrolls and began the arduous journey back home. This task would take several days as this particular group had traveled far across the continent to get to Straxus' informant. At least they had something to bring home.

* * *​

All across Castraia, people were worshipping the deities and going about their daily business. Many of the folks led entertaining lives and would do a variety of things across the country. The Duke of Malfist Province is a close friend to the monarch; he oversees the exploration groups at his discretion. His full name is Bayard Rhiveth, and he has three children who work closely with different aspects of the kingdom. The second son named, Vaughn, was assigned to work with the Duke on the Exploration Project. He wanted to make sure that his son was doing what he could to help out. Perhaps the monarch would see his dutiful work and bestow a prize upon him? The Duke worked tirelessly to ensure the groups would come back in one piece and with their cargo. The current group would be back in several days; he hoped their letter would arrive soon. For now, he would see how Vaughn was doing in the cartography room.

* * *​

The Malfist Province is closest to the Capital and has a more affluent connection to the monarch itself. The Duke's other children oversee the rest of the business for the area while he is away. The youngest child grew up sickly and was treated heavily in the Farran Hospital, one of the best. The Farran family is very connected to the nobility along Castraia's Eastern Coast. Among them is a talented individual by the name of Cassidia Farran. They hold the title of the best pharmacist. Even the god Aralin has turned a watchful eye towards this girl. Currently, an attendant to the monarch has entered the building she works in and wishes to speak with her directly. He is a stout fellow who often gets out of breath as he travels to and from the Capital Province and Malfist. It is the middle of the sunny season, and so the building was quiet. He found a seat and plopped down in it, dabbing his brow with a cloth. His voice was gruff when he spoke.
"Excuse me, may I have assistance, please?" he cleared his throat and took in the shop as he waited for a reply.

* * *​

Across Castraia in the Northwest, there is the Shadolas Province. Where the goddess Hadria is worshipped to the fullest. A pristine lake separates the province from a temple dedicated to her, a monument dedicated to all things Night, and a favorite inn resides in the area. All throughout the landscape is covered in dense forests of fir trees. This is the perfect cover for the local assassins to slip to and from the province and the Temple. One such purveyor of death named Pangari Dunn was a devout follower, and the elder temple workers could see her going far. Pangari's place of residence, The Spider Web Manor, sat close to the opposite side of the lake to Shadolas. The walk from the Temple to the Manor took about three and a half hours on foot. A priestess named Marie Firus sought out the Dunn Family to speak with them about their daughter's time spent at the Temple. The woman did not dabble directly in assassination as she preferred spending the time worshipping Hadria. The Daybreak Inn was the halfway point to the Manor. She would rest there before continuing on towards the house. Hopefully, Pangari would talk to her without trouble.

* * *​

Beasts of all shapes and sizes make their home across Castraia. These beasts each hold reverence for all the gods in their own right. However, one such god is the patron of all beasts regardless of what they are. Many hunters worship this deity and among them is Noelle Rhoshu, she respects the animals just as much as the god themselves. The Animas Province is home to many beasts, and the mountains of the north hold harsh winters and lush summers. Every year in the sunny season, there is a hunt to be had. The clans in the smaller provinces pray to Foaric for abundant animals to hunt. These small camps rely on natural food sources more than the handouts Animas gives the others. Their hope is to maintain the balance that they see Foaric set forth with the beasts. Back in the day, Noelle was a master of the hunt and earned a name across the clans. One nomad named Kirsch Harg use to live in the same area as her, and would watch in awe as she effortless took down animals. Kirsch trained endlessly to try and surpass her, and thus he plans to do everything he can to have an audience with the god himself, for surely that would boost his abilities. Whoever said that you had to be royal blood to meet a god? At the moment, he was in his make-shift camp, studying the forest around him. How would you go about finding a deity like them? Kirsch would start by praying loudly to the heavens,
"Oh, God of Beasts, I seek an audience with you!" His prayer was the only thing that rang out among the tall trees. Would this work at all? He had no idea; however, his noise did disturb another animal in his vicinity. It darted off to the left, and distracted Kirsch gave chase and knew he'd at least have dinner for the evening. Perhaps he would need help in talking to a god...

* * *​

Overall the world of Castraia is an intriguing place to live. Many things are unknown for now. How many secrets are waiting to be unearthed from the depths of the earth? It is up to the citizens to figure this out in time.


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ItariChan

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The day had started as a normal one. Cassidia had woken early, and tended to her small garden in her home before going to the pharmacy. It was a slow season, Cassidia had finished filling all the prescriptions well before lunch and spent most of the rest of the morning lounging lazily in a chair alternating between reading a book and napping behind the counter.

The bell above the door rang and Cassidia stood up from her chair to see a well dressed man enter. From the way he was dressed, he appeared to be a messenger from nobility. It was rare to get a new noble client. A messenger? Or here for something else? He was breathing heavily and wiping his forehead with a handkerchief. Maybe he was just here for heatstroke.
"How can I help you? Some water, maybe?"

 
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Mglo

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As long as the plot's good I'm in. That says nothing useful though... so I'll say: sci-fi, fantasy, I'm curious enough about horror to add it, aaaand action? yeah, ok, sure, action!
Bayard Rhiveth walked into the once spacious room. Two long tables had been brought in, their surface a clear sign the Cartography Room had recently been turned into a temporary workstation. An office of sorts. Messy though it was, the Duke felt relief to see the efforts of his second son in doing what was asked. Vaughn had always needed a firmer push as well as a tighter grip to balance him on the right path.

"It seems you have been busy," the Duke of Rhiveth surveyed the room while he spoke, "or perhaps, dare I say, merely disorganized?" His soft steps took him nearer the large blue satin settee that had been moved to face the wrong direction. Red tufts of hair spilled over the side and as the Duke walked around it, Vaughn's sleeping figure was slowly revealed. With the Duke's decisive knock on the wooden surface of a nearby shelf Vaughn awoke.

He squinted up at his father and soon after laid his head back down, "you startled me. I was just resting my eyes."

"Stayed up late last night perhaps." There was no doubt in the statement, but a layer of judgement and disapproval lingered after spoken.

Vaughn stifled a yawn and sat up while admitting that, "yes, but after coming home I did some work. This morning too."

The Duke pivoted on his heel, redirecting himself towards the mess on one of the long tables.

"That one's not finished. I got a little bored halfway through mapping routes."
 

Princess Rose

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Pangari Dunn prided herself in her family's more ethical approach to assassinations. The Dunn family had been worshipers of the Goddess Hadria and was one of the only families to make a vow of causation assassinations, meaning only those who had done something truly to deserve the blade of death would receive it. On this day Pangari was resting lakeside enjoying one of her very few days of being home. The lake was the place she enjoyed being apart from the temple. She still dedicated a portion of her time helping out the priestesses of the temple and helping the younger assassins. This was a break she deserved greatly after her last assignment that was handed out from her family, it was longer than she had expected.
Pangari knew that she would be expected to visit the temple after she rested a bit. She also missed the temple, it was like a second home to her and many of the priestesses treated her like family; often they were very happy to see her there. She reached her hand up to the trunk of the tree, Glimra, her blessed black widow scampered down and onto her hand. She lowered her hand down and smiled at her companion. "Do you think we need to go back to the manor?" Her voice was soft and Glimra tapped her two front legs down quickly in response. She sighed lightly and got up from her spot and headed back to her home.
 
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Absyinthe

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Aspects of the Gods IC

I. Unearthing a Prophecy Chapter

cxSxAp.png

The scroll weighed heavy as the exploration team trekked back to the Capital Province. Although they could not decipher what it said, they knew it felt ominous. Something about the treasure sent shivers down the group's spine as they did their best to quell their fears, however, knowing that the reward could be excellent. Their journey brought them past the Day Monument, a temple for the day, and the deities that sprung from Huran. It was a place of solace, and thus they tried to rest for the last leg of the journey. It was impertinent that they get the treasure to the Capital quickly. There would be two more bridges to cross before they had a straight shot to the castle. For now, they would guard their precious treasure and wait for the 'morrow.


* * *​

The Duke knew his son well enough but didn't push the issue before gesturing to all the routes.
"These are good enough for now, Vaughn. However, be more careful where you spend your time. We have an image to uphold, you know." He moved around to the end of a table in the middle of the space and leaned on it. At that very moment, the monarch came in and smiled at both of the gentlemen. Straxus Mcvoy commanded the room and clapped his hands together. He must have gotten word from the group.
"Hello, I have gotten a letter from the exploration team that went to the Tomb of Ends. They have uncovered a scroll with a prophecy written upon it. They can't decipher the language on it. I'm sure you can help them when they finally return. Let me know if you need extra hands when the time arrives. I suspect they will be back in the Capital in two nights. If you would rearrange the room for their arrival, the artifact stand is in the left closet." He gestured towards the closets on the back of the wall. The Duke of Malfist Province nodded and turned towards his son.
"Let us do that, then. Grab that end of the table, and we can move it aside." He grabbed the edge of the table and waited for his son to help him. Straxus smiled and turned heel, leaving them to their duties.


* * *​

When she mentioned water, the man perked up and nodded his head vigorously as a response. Water was the first thing he would need. However, that was not the only reason why he was here. The monarch enjoyed certain not well-known pharmaceuticals, perhaps even for the more common folk, one would say. The monarch himself would never get it himself, and he sent the plump man to pick up a variety of odds and ends. He would need to get a few mushrooms that the locals said this shop sold in abundance. He'd never been here before, and it seemed nice enough.
"My name is Charles, ma'am. I have heard good things about this establishment. Perhaps you can help me find some rare medicines?" He cleared his throat and hoped the water would come soon.


* * *​

The Daybreak Inn was a beautiful establishment. The bar and kitchen were in one building, while guests' rooms and common areas were in another. A bridge on the second story connects these two buildings. Marie had always loved the Inn as it was a wonderful place to stop before reaching the Shadolas Province on the other side of the lake. She had spent many nights here before becoming a devout priestess. For now, she would get a drink and rest her legs before making the last hour trek to the manor. Marie opened the bar and kitchen building door and drank in the sights, smells, and laughter inside. She smiled and stepped across the threshold and headed for the barkeep. The cloth towel he was using to scrub the counter grew grimy as he swept away the patron's leftovers.
"Argh, ye' could pick up after ye' feast, aye?" He griped at no one in particular, and Marie couldn't help but feel sympathy for the man. She cleared her throat to catch his attention and placed the number of coins for a glass of water. He smiled at her and blinked his teal eyes at the pennies.
"Oh, Miss Marie, ye' get water 'fer free!" He exclaimed before sweeping the coins back into her pouch. He clasped a glass and filled it with water from a barrel beneath the counter. He passed it down to her and nodded.
"Drink up, will ye'?" She shook her head but accepted the water all the same. It would quench her thirst. She slid into a seat nearby and rested her weary legs for the moment. The girl Pangari Dunn would be useful for the Temple if she accepted her offer. However, Marie was uncertain of the assassin's stance on leaving her usual affairs to govern at the Temple. The woman had a slight hunch that she would reject any offer sent her way and continue her craft. Yet, time would tell. She drank the last of her water and set one copper penny by the glass when the man wasn't looking. With a slight chuckle under her breath, she stretched out and walked towards the door. The priestess would continue towards the manor at a quick pace. It would only be thirty minutes before she arrived at the entrance. Would Pangari be inside or somewhere else?


* * *​

Traveling together in Castraia were the two companions Yu Hua and Xu Lan. They may not have known each other for decades, but their bond was strong still. Between the Shadolas and Judikus Provinces, there lay a swath of green forest rich in animals and plants of all varieties. It was as though the deities favored this land and allowed it to flourish. Because the ground was so welcoming, small villages cropped up between the more significant provinces as the folks utilized the wood from the trees to build huts. Although they held no real power in deciding things, the community was close and did enjoy gathering. The summer months would mean plenty of festivals would appear in the woods around the provinces. A woman named Garla Murer was searching for help with more demanding jobs that she could not accomplish. Perhaps if she found someone to help her, she would pay them handsomely. The first festival of the season would take place in two days. She needed to find some help.



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ItariChan

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Cassidia had already started getting a cup of water before the man had even answered. Her eyes narrowed slightly at the mention of rare medicines. Her business of selling psychedelics wasn't entirely legal and although many nobles secretly partook in the durgs, talking about such things so openly could get her slapped with a fine or even arrested.

"Here's your water." She said handing him the cup. "What are you trying to treat? If you have a diagnosis or can give me a general description of the symptoms I might be able to recommend you something. If not, I can help you make an appointment with one of the doctors here." She purposely avoided mentioning her side business. There was a possibility he was on an errand simply for some noble or rich merchant who wanted a "miracle cure" for his impotence or something. There were plenty of requests for things like that too.

"If you don't mind me asking, who are you buying for? It may help give me a better idea of what kind of medicine you're looking for." She had a good idea of who all the nobles who liked party drugs were. Knowing who he was representing would help her determine if he was actually looking for medicine, or looking for something else.
 
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blueblossomtea

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YOU WILL FOREVER
BE MY ALWAYS

A crisp, gentle breeze ruffled their silky locks, causing a whirlwind of brown and black before fluttering downward as if the breeze didn’t exist. Gooseflesh rose along Yingjie’s exposed skin as he leisurely walked beside his fiancé. Bright hues dancing around the luscious forest as the sound of snapping twigs and dried leaves echoed, leaving a sense of familiarity and dread. His thoughts flickering towards his past until a soft yet slender hand slipped into his own, creating a barrier against the chilly breeze.

Blinking, he lifted his head from staring at the ground to see Zhiqiang staring at him in concern. Eyebrows drawn together in a silent question of whether the other was alright, but Yingjie merely offered a bright, closed-eyed smile. He was fine… At least he hoped he was fine, but only time would tell.

Fingers interlocking, he leaned against Zhiqiang, who offered a small squeeze of their hands, which seemed to stabilize Yingjie’s darkening thoughts. ❝You don’t need to worry,❞ Yingjie hummed. Zhiqiang narrowed his gaze, shaking his head at Yingjie’s stubbornness.

Always?

Always.

Zhiqiang seemed to relax, head leaning forward to nuzzle into Yingjie’s neck before releasing his hand to grasp Yun, a pair of beautifully crafted swords that have never once left his side. Fingers brushing the blade handle before wrapping his slender hand around the two hilts, icy hues flickering over towards Yingjie, who remained rooted at his spot, fingers fiddling with the red tassel of his dizi.

Village nearby,❞ Zhiqiang spoke. A man of few words, but he could get his point across with little difficulty. Yingjie nodded, blinking back as he vanquished all thoughts of the past. Having finally returned to his senses, he crammed Mogul into his bosom, where his “vertical stick” remained hidden. He should really name his xiao but Yingjie was simply… terrible at names and nothing that was suggested sat very well with him. He’ll name it… in due time… or never.

The dark-headed male leaned downward to grasp his fallen blades which laid, collecting dirt which he seemed to be unconcerned, leaving Zhiqiang to scoff, muttering ‘idiot’ under his breath. He truly wondered if Yingjie would live as a beggar if Zhiqiang hadn’t been around back then or… Yingjie would have died. Before Zhiqiang could dwell on these darkening thoughts, he clenched the hilts of Yun to bash those unneeded thoughts. Yingjie was here… Yingjie was safe and sound until his dying breath.

Xu Lannn,❞ Yingjie whined as he bounced on the balls of his feet, his dull hues returning their joyful luster which made Zhiqiang’s stomach swarm with butterflies. ❝My feet hurt! Carry me gege!❞ Yingjie whined cutely with puffed cheeks and owlish hues, pulling at Zhiqiang’s heartstrings but thankfully his self-control was decent but the tips of his ears blazed read. ❝Shameless,❞ Zhiqiang forced out as he hurried away from the crackling individual he had proposed to.

Yingjie snickered, rubbing the tip of his nose with his thumb as he hurried after the sulking individual he adored to the moon and back. Fingers clenching onto the decorated hilts of Zhong and Zongshi as he caught up to the madly blushing Zhiqiang, whose ears have turned fully red. Lips curling into a Cheshire-grin at the disheveled Zhiqiang in triumph until his hues flashed with mischief, adding more fuel to the already blazing fire: ❝Do you think I’d look good in a qipao?

Yingjie!❞ Zhiqiang shouted. Icy hues widening in shock at how shameless this man can be but knew very well Yingjie enjoyed pulling a reaction out of his fiancé. Lips curling into an undisclosed scowl with twitching eyebrows while whipping around to face the worn-out road. Chest quivering with his pounding heartbeat that roared in his eardrums at the sudden question, bringing the usual elegant man into a chaotic mess. He wouldn’t mind seeing Yingjie in a qipao but he refused to admit that out loud, not while Yingjie was crackling like a madman.

Walking hurriedly between Shadolas and Judikus Province, the two hurried to find the small town made from trees that the luscious forest provided. Upon entering the tiny village, Yingjie couldn’t help but want to rush around like a child, exploring the unfamiliar territory, but before he could, Zhiqiang had clutched his hand. ❝Xu Lannn,❞ Yingjie whined as he thumped against Zhiqiang’s solid chest with a huff, lips jutting out in a childish pout to sway Zhiqiang but the lateral stood his ground, simply glaring at the other. ❝No money. Yingjie spent it all. Need money.❞ Zhiqiang simply stated without so much as a twitch of emotion.

Yingjie smiled sheepishly, hues crinkling at the sudden statement as he glanced around for potential ways to earn money, only to give up midway after getting bored. Dark hair cascading down his back as he leaned his body forward only to fall backward with a huff, head casually leaning against Zhiqiang’s shoulder who refused to look at him. ❝I could--,❞ Yingjie uttered only to have a hand clamp over his mouth before he could even finish his sentence.

No.

Well… that was off the table then. Yingjie hummed a rather eerie tune, causing a few village members to glance at the two oddly, only to return to what they were doing minutes later. ❝We can ask her?❞ Yingjie spoke, pointing an elegant finger at a woman ( Garla Murer ) who seemed to look for something unknown to the two travelers, but she could lead them in the right direction.

Ah! Miss!❞ Yingjie charmingly shouted at the woman, hurrying over towards her while Zhiqiang quickly followed with unhurried steps. ❝We’re in need of money. Could you point us toward where we could work?❞ Yingjie spoke rather bluntly, without as much as missing a beat when he scurried up to the da jie. Zhiqiang couldn’t help but subconsciously roll his eyes at his fiance’s bluntness, but remained standing beside the shorter male with elegance.





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Princess Rose

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Pangari hummed lightly as she made her way back to the manor. She wasn't too far away from her home now, maybe about a ten-minute leisurely walk. She wanted to take her time to get back to the manor and see her family. Most of her family were coming and going for various jobs and missions. And then there were visiting the priestesses and checking on the hopfuls. So much to do in her downtime like always.
 

Absyinthe

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Aspects of the Gods IC

I. Unearthing a Prophecy Chapter

cxSxAp.png

The 'morrow came and went as the exploration team carried their mysterious prize towards the Capital Province.The parchment scroll's aura was ominous and foreboding as they passed over the two bridges and land between them and the city. It seemed as though the fauna knew what was in their possession, shying away from their company, choosing to keep their distance. Their energy wained as they trekked forward to their goal. It wouldn't be long before they arrived at the Capital.

As they passed the tall pine trees that stood guard at the territory entrance, a slight sense of relief washed over the party. Hopefully, their leader could decipher the strange texts they uncovered in the Tomb of Ends, casting a light on the shadows that engulfed them. The gate to the province lay ahead with a battalion of soldiers waiting to meet their group. They called out to the exploration team, and they hurriedly met up with them.
"Hail! Welcome back, make way for the exploration group." A guard with a scruffy beard called out to them as they sighed in relief.
"Be wary men, the artifact we brought back has an enchantment of some kind." the leader of the exploration group called to the guards as they received them. The guard captain shook hands with the lead explorer and guided them towards the main castle through the raised iron gate. They had a lot to tell the Monarch, and perhaps a Duke could decipher the text on the scroll.


* * *​

Charles gladly accepted the water cup and gulped down the precious liquid; the hot day faded with every sip. When he had taken his fill, the man blinked up at the woman from his spot and pondered his choice of words. The Monarch didn't want the common folk knowing about his habits, so he would have to tell her a lie instead.
"I am curious about all the varieties of mushrooms that you can take, purely for myself, as I try to enlighten myself when I can." He sheepishly grinned and swallowed, hoping it didn't sound obvious. He set the cup down on the counter and stood up. The fragrant perfume of flowers and herbs wafted throughout the store, and Charles inhaled deeply. He clasped his hands together and tilted his head to the side, hoping she would divulge more information about the mushrooms.


* * *​

Garla Murer was excited that the two gentlemen came up to her. They seemed to be wanting to help her out with anything, yet she knew the festival would be needing hands; thus, she turned to face them and spoke sweetly.
"Dearies, what tell you about helping with the festival?" She circled them, sizing them up and debating what jobs they could do.
"The Risen Sun Festival is in two days, and we need to fix up the town to celebrate this occasion. If you complete these tasks, I will offer you a reward." She smiled and moved a lock of her auburn hair past her shoulder as she peered at them with hazel eyes. Garla had lived in the town for a long time, and she hadn't seen these two men often. She hoped they would be helpful and accept her offer as she waited for their response.


* * *​

The priestess was walking through the forest outside the manor when she spotted Pangari Dunn. Without trying to startle her, she called out to the girl.
"Miss! I am a Priestess from the temple. Can we speak for a few moments?" She cupped her mouth to yell louder across the clearing; hopefully, she would get her attention. The forest grew silent after her shout, and she peered into the branches of the thick trees and moved closer to where she had spotted the woman. Marie Firus breathed in the scent of pine sap and hoped it wasn't the wrong time to talk.


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ItariChan

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Genres
Horror, Scifi, Fantasy
Cassidia's frown deepened. Was this man an idiot? Did he think she was an idiot? He was lucky the shop was empty. The sale of these things was not legal and was not something to be discussed openly. Cassidia was always extremely careful. Although the richer clients did send servents to pick up their orders, she had never met one so bold to openly claim he was looking for hallucinogens. Most of the time she established a unique code word with each of her clients. Most new clients came from recommendations by old clients. If not, then Cassidia required them to invite her to their home first. Cassidia walked back behind the counter to the wall where herbs and other plants were kept in jars. "There are quite a few fungi with medicinal properties such as lion’s mane, reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and turkey tail. They're used to treat differet things though." She pulled the fungi out and brought them over to him to look at. "If you're looking for something else, then I'm afraid the use of those are either frowned upon or illegal and we do not sell sell them at this establishment. You should be careful about where you talk about things so openly. You could be reported." She gave him a stony glare. "Also tell your master I do not allow my clients to remain anonymous. Now get out."