In the quiet river town of Aldenburg, magical creatures secretly live alongside humans. The masquerade has been successfully held for several years now, especially with a declining belief in the supernatural.
However, a new force appears that threatens this quiet peace. An evil witch has set up an antique store in town and is selling cursed items to unsuspecting humans.
It’s up to the townspeople to decide if they want to chase her out and protect their lifestyle, allow humans to learn about the secrets of magic, or harness these dark forces for themselves and remove all humans to create a magical paradise.
Once upon a time, fairytales and myths were all perfectly real. However, human greed is a universal constant, and magical beings were forced into hiding as human civilization became more brutal and bloodthirsty through their technology.
This brings us to modern day - specifically a certain, quiet riverside town where nothing much seems to happen, where no one seems to leave, and no one seems to get in.
Green and hilly in the summer, and a snowy murderous death trap in the winter. Aldenburg is usually a pretty uneventful place, its most notable feature is a big river bisecting the town – and the silent majority of non-human citizens. But shhhh, people aren’t supposed to know about that. After all, if everyone knows, then it's not a secret anymore! And then we'd have to kill you.
The financial and shopping district of Aldenburg. It reeks of forced development, subpar construction, and the desperate attempts of suburbia trying to be hip and cool. That might just be the essential oils, though. On the bright side, it has Starbucks. And Chipotle. Bringing avocados to the impoverished masses is important, right?
The one and only High River, that splits Aldenburg in two. It runs roughly north-south, resulting in the richer West Aldenburg, where downtown is, and the poorer, more residential East Aldenburg.
Miss Black's Antiques
A strange little shop that opened overnight on the east bank of the river, in what used to be an abandoned storefront. It’s owned and operated by Miss Black and her horde of cats. Although she mostly sells antiques, she also apparently dabbles in the occult. Strange things happen to people who go to her store.
Church of Saint Dimas
An old Catholic church in East Aldenburg. It's a house of the Lord, named for the Good Thief and patron saint of undertakers, but it also seems to be its own bubble of inexplicable events. The building always smells strongly of incense, and sometimes something…. Danker.
Saint Dimas' Cemetery
Behind the church is a small cemetery, protected by a stone wall and iron gates and filled with lush grass and artistic tombstones. Almost every ghost story from Aldenburg involves Saint Dimas's cemetery. Almost every zombie story, too.
Harmony High School
The only public high school in Aldenburg, it was built in the 70s to "bring together" the two halves of the town. Yes, it saved money. No, it did not magically stop people from bickering about who is from the "right" or the "wrong" side of the river. No, no one takes its name seriously. The high school mascot used to be an angel until the 90s, when it was changed to a dove to be more religiously inclusive. It's unfortunate that there's a lot of hawks in the surrounding woods.
A very pleasant and shaded park, full of old trees and wildflowers. It's a very popular place for long walks under the moonlight, if you catch the drift. Superstition says sharing your first kiss here will result in a long and happy relationship. Superstition also says that if you dump your girlfriend here, a nymph will rise out of the sewer grate and try to drown you, and also that said nymph is extremely fond of the third oak tree from the left of the municipal boat ramp.
A tiny liberal arts school where everyone has dated everyone else’s ex. It has a surprisingly wonderful computer lab, but that might be because the head of the IT department has a gaming addiction and never leaves the school basement. Unrelated, the pharmacy makes a killing in Vitamin D supplements.
Below is a (very small and not at all comprehensive) selection of races you can choose for your characters. I don’t need any sort of specific ratio, so don’t worry about an even cast! All I ask is that if you’re the kind of person to play multiple characters, to please consider making a human at some point. I have a suspicion they will be vastly outnumbered by the monsters!
Totally normal inhabitants of Earth, mostly. Some humans can sense magic energies, and an even smaller number can manipulate this, earning titles over history such as Witch, Shaman, Sorceress, Mage, etc. Some people believe that those who have magical abilities have supernatural breeding. That’s quite silly though, who even believes in this stuff?
The monsters and creatures of lore that you grew up with are real – and chances are, if they aren’t romping around on Earth, they are probably... actually still romping around on Earth, just with a bit more stealth. Can't have those hunters wiping out the last branches of the family, after all. Commonly thought-of “monsters” include fairies, werewolves, and sirens.
These eerie blank-eyed shadow-like creatures do exactly as their name says – they appear in areas with high concentrations of magical energy and feed on it. While (mostly) harmless to normal humans, they can be a huge nuisance to magical beings by draining entire areas of energy. No one is entirely sure where they come from – some theorize that they’re the will of some sort of universal regulator, keeping the magic and the mundane in balance. Others think that they’re mutant chimeras or something, which honestly sounds way cooler.
Need an idea of what your character's motive is? There's not really official factions, but here's some fine and upstanding people your character might want to consider aligning with.
Citizens of Aldenburg
Nothing strange happening over here! At least, not out in the open. These folks are just trying to live their lives in peace and quiet.
Witch hunters, monster hunters, demon hunters... The humans have a long standing tradition of seeing magic and deciding it is Bad, and Needs to Go. These people get hired to kill supernatural beings for a myriad of reasons, and it's not totally unheard of for someone to disappear in the night because some faraway businessman heard about some magical medicine to help keep his dick up.
International Regulatory Board of Magic
Picture the United Nations, but even more ineffectual. That's IRBM. These guys are supposed to be an international agency that helps protect supernatural beings from each other. Individual agents are fine, but the official boardroom is known as a pathetic proxy war between ancient pantheons. Last year's open forum is now known as simply "The Revenge of Carthage". Investigations are ongoing.
Look, the dead want to rest in peace. But noooo, these whippersnappers gotta go and stir the pot, mess with ancestral burial grounds, disrespect the dead - it's sacrilege! Simply put, UU is a club of undead beings who host conventions all over the globe on Halloween and complain about kids these days and how no one really respects death like they used to. They are unsure of what to make of atheists.
Be excellent to each other.
Message Caracal with any questions.
Post your profile in the Sign-Up thread, and I'll give you a shout when I approve your profile.
Try to post about once a week, a paragraph or two per post.
Join the OOC Discord server, we have a PVP bot, it's hilarious.
In the dead of night, there was a small explosion and reports of a blinding blue light. As of 7am, officials declared it to be a blown transformer – another victim of the withering infrastructure budget.
Shortly after, a high school student was taken to the hospital after having been found collapsed upon the bridge by an anonymous Samaritan. She doesn’t appear to have been wounded, however, there was a power outage at the hospital at the exact moment the nurse tried to remove the blue pendant from around the girl’s neck.
Officials stressed that all three incidents are completely unrelated, and it just happened to have been an unlucky weekend.
Breezy and cool, autumn has finally descended upon the town of Aldenburg. Miss Black looked down at the globe she was polishing, a decorative celestial globe made with hardwood and brass. There was nothing too special about it – it was made to show of wealth, each star being a small crystal. Some were missing, and would need to be replaced, like poor Pegasus missing his muzzle.
An orange tabby cat hopped up on the counter next to Miss Black and draped himself across the register. She set down the globe and picked up her pet, only to unceremoniously dump dear Tipsy on the floor.
"Knock over my coffee, see what happens," she threatened him. "I had to drive twenty minutes to get to that Starbucks, don't think i won't make a rug out of you." The coffee, of course, that was sitting forgotten in the cupholder of her car outside - a Mercedes parked in front of a fire hydrant, with a pink ticket tucked under the wipers.
Tipsy jumped back up onto the counter and meowed loudly. Tipsy was hungry, and was having none of this weird supernatural foreshadowing bullshit until there was food in his bowl.
Aine O’Brien ~early morning / late shift at the coffee shop~
Thick steam, like translucent tendrils seeking escape into the wider atmosphere. Fingers wrapped around the cup, Aine stared mindlessly, the twists of white distracting her aimless mind from the mostly untouched coffee. It wasn’t bad, per se; it was a good temperature, and whatever syrup they’d surprised her with today did offset the bitterness well enough. But it was too bitter, the yang to the yin that was sweet, sweet caffeine, and no amount of flavor was offsetting that. She raised the cup to her lips again, forcing down a drink.
A stone seemed to sit in Aine’s stomach. The lines of tears on her cheeks still stood in muted witness to the events of last night. Mr. Gordon. She’d miss him. Gentle and lovely, even in his advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. He treated her like she was his own granddaughter, bragging on the young nurse to the other residents at Ben Franklin’s incessantly. Never trouble, always easy, Mr. Gordon could always lift Aine’s spirits when they had fallen. But no more. The funeral home had come and gone, and as soon as her shift had ended, Aine had fled the nursing home, seeking some form of escape.
Which was why, even after a 10 hour graveyard shift, she sat in front of the local coffee shop, still in her scrubs and clutching a rapidly cooling cup of coffee. Bed had seemed unwelcome; she didn’t want nightmares. Absentmindedly, her mind drifted, seeking some form of solidity. So it went to the first form of comfort she’d ever known: the lilting lullabies that her mother had sung to her while she was young. Thought led to humming, and soon she was singing to herself quietly.
Fare thee well sweet Anna Liffey, I can no longer stay,
And watch the new glass cages, that spring up along the quay,
My mind's too full of memories, to old to hear new chimes,
I'm a part of what was Dublin, in the Rare Oul Times.
Ring a ring a rosie as the lights declines,
I remember Dublin city in the rare oul times.
A crow was perched on top of a lamp post, eyeing all those that passed him. The silver hue of its feathers glint against the sunligt, but many would mistake it for white. A white crow - a supposedly good omen for those who believed in the supernatural. It turned its head sharply from side to side, but its gaze stayed on certain children. Some would point at it, others would walk faster, but no one dared to pick up a stone and throw it at the lone crow. Of course, that would have been considered rude and a form of animal abuse that was frowned upon by human society.
However, the reasoning for it was quite different. When you see a silver bird, it is a well known fact to never disturb it as it watches. It was smarter than most and 'bad luck' was sure to follow. Sometimes, the same bird would swoop down and take whatever you were eating. Sometimes, it would drop something on you - whatever it was varied from time to time. The unluckiest one had poop dropped onto his head.
Sometimes, others would hear eerie laughing on the background.
The crow squawked upon spotting a man in a suit, staring at it with interest. It spread its wings and flew away, disappearing into an alley. A few minutes later, Jonathan Dolskry emerged. He ran a hand through his hair, slicking it back. The man in the suit approached him swiftly and extended his palm. Jonathan obliged and gave him a notepad in exchange for some money. "Pleasure doing business with you." The man nodded likewise and then left.
He counted the bills in his hand and then shoved it inside his pocket. Well, this should keep him well and alive for the next few weeks. He should really start bumping up prices for what he does, but it gets riskier the more money involved, and he'd rather not get involved into something he shouldn't get into. This would be more than enough. His feet took him out to wander, as you would had you not have a stable job. A shapeshifter never stayed in one place for an elongated amount of time. And the same was true for him, even if he didn't have the want to leave the city. It was much too boring to stay put in one place, after all, and he is still amazed at how those humans (and even supernaturals) could stay sane even after hours of staring at the same computer screen and scribbling notes or talking to strangers.
Ioana C. Ene The Loose Cannon @ The Cafe
There have been some bizarre happenings this early morning... or late night, depending on how you want to look at it. As it was, the dark still hadn't bid the citizens of Aldenburg farewell for the day. Unexpectedly, she had a client at the most unexpected of times. Ioana had been mopping the floors to welcome the usual clientele. Making some coffee was a welcome change.
Before returning to the floors, Ioana noticed the subtle breeze of a heartfelt melody. The woman whom the waitress made the coffee for was singing softly in solitude. It was very strange, but Ioana felt a wave of homesickness wash over her. She suddenly thought of her parents and a tear escaped her eye. Before it had the chance to be free, Ioana swiped it away. She then returned to the woman's table, haphazardly, before asking:
"Excuse me, could I get you anything else?" The waitress put on a smile, for effect. Red Thunder
"No, no, no! You can't just burn down his store right away- if we do that, how's he going to pay us?" Maria Delarosa shook her head at the stupidity of the two-bit ogre thug in front of her. "Brick the windows, and put a note on his windshield, but make sure he still has a way to get us our money." As the brute lumbered off, Maria rolled her eyes. Sure, organized crime beat the hell out of a nine-to-five, but the stresses of idiotic underlings were universal.
Poking her head out of the office for once, she decided to go for a walk to clear her thoughts. Other players were starting to poke around her little fiefdom, and the cops had made more busts than usual. The little fairy wrapped her glamour around her, hoping the fresh aim would enable her to come up with solutions to her problems.
"Ahhhhh, what a wonderful day~" Wearing a navy blue long sleeved t-shirt, light brown pants, brown shoes and his favourite Black montgomery coat, the youth spoke out loud in the street to no-one in particular. And who could blame him? After not having a job for a month and being at risk of failing to keep his end of the deal with his parents, a kind KIND man hired him as a part-timer! Saved him just in the nick of time! Hence the bag he is also carrying with yarn and many different knitting needles, if someone shows you kindness, show them some back! So Henrik came to the conclusion that knitting a scarf and gloves would make for a good thank you.
So in celebration, Henrik decided to splurge more money than usual by going to his favorite coffee shop in town instead of eating at home! An interesting place, known for both never having one single name for too long and being a high quality establishment. And the Owners were a peculiar but very nice bunch! They even threw a welcome party for him and a few newcomers to the town 2 years back, quite the nice event where he got to know other new people to Aldenburg but also the hosts of the celebration! Nowadays the young man is a friendly acquaintance of them, making a point of visiting, say hello and have a cup of joe at least once a week. Oh how he was looking forward to eating some of Cindy's hand baked goods~ Maybe some apple pie, or a croissant or or or LEMON PIE! One thing was for sure, today was looking to be a very pleasant day for the boy.
After a brief walk from his home , he excitedly arrives at the cafe, basically sprinting through the door with a huge smile on his face and exuding energy, and does the usual: A big hello and then ordering his breakfast! "Heyoooooo Cindy! Please get some lemon pie ready cause I'm hungry today~!" Right after basically shouting a greeting at his favourite person there, he went straight for the counter to actually order. What? Did you think he said that seriously? Ordering a nice cafe latte and lemon pie slice, he sits down at a nearby empty table and starts munching down while also finally finishing the gloves he had been knitting for his boss.
(OOC: AHHHHH i'm honestly very excited about this! If anyone wants to interact with Rik here, feel free to, i will try to respond accordingly)
Staring downwards, vision naturally blurry, Hakk'thur scratched at his throat. His thick black nails scraped away a thin layer of grime that had built up overnight. He readjusted his scarf to hide his 'neck wounds' before rising to his full height, stretching in a poor attempt at recovering from his poor sleeping position. He took three unsatisfied steps before letting out a hearty sigh, his right foot touching cold concrete. He needed a new pair of boots, but he'd have to wait on that. Supplies were a bit short, so he couldn't have one of his subordinates martyr themselves for some new footwear. Oh well, today was just starting off on the wrong foot. Wouldn't be the first day, wouldn't be the last. The least he could do is make sure that someone else would be starting off worse.
He walked down the sidewalk half-hunched, arms tucked into his chest. His large, glossy eyes lazily swayed back and forth, scanning the horizons, looking for... well, anyone. His 'home' was a bit of ways off from the more densely populated parts of town, and he didn't want to bother fighting his way inwards, as that would surely just lead to more confrontations with police and other sorts who spat upon transients like himself. He strayed clear of the notorious park where men drowned quite a bit. He'd heard many rumors about the source of the drownings, and had always wanted to investigate it himself, but wasn't quite ready to go yet, if it was something actually dangerous to him.
As he continued on his path to no specific location, one of his more trustworthy subordinates called out to him from down an alley. "Wouldn't believe what I just saw. A friggin white bird flies into an alley, man walks out. He talks with a suit for a second, didn't hear a word, don't know any details. Suit walks away, birdy pockets cash. Weirdest shit I've seen all day and it's not even noon." [Niles stared at Milo for a minute, before leaning forward and whispering, "You will forget everything you saw." Milo looked confused for a moment, mouth half-open, before nodding and slinking back into the alleys without a word. Niles picked up his pace, his mind set on a target, he was practically running.
This wasn't the first time someone had told him about a shapeshifting white bird. And it wasn't like Niles wanted to hurt him or kill him or anything. He was just curious about him, was all. It took a moment, but finally an individual came into view. His gut told Niles that this guy was the one. By the time the hobo caught up, Niles was confident the man had seen, or at least smelled, him approaching.
"So, rumor has it that an albino bird can turn into a man. I'm no expert, but that sounds pretty crazy to me." Niles didn't look at him directly. His hazed red eyes were locked forward. "There seem to be an awful lot of crazy things happening recently though, don'tcha think?"
Another day - and it's beautiful!Cindy twirled around the kitchen, humming and hopping about as she waved her hands gracefully in time with the various baking utensils that were flying around. Well. That was the idea in her head, at least. Really, she was rather comically flapping her arms about, but at least the twirling was graceful enough. Tripping in four-inch platform heels simply wasn't on today's menu. "Oh - sorry!" she cried as she nearly collided with a floating bowl full of green batter. It shook itself slightly, the whisk in the bowl rising slightly as if to wag a finger at her, before it flew past her to pour itself into a cupcake tray. "I said I'm sorry, c'mon! I'll stop being - oh no you don't," she scolded with a flick of her hand, the oven door snapping open. "You're waiting, outside, until all your brothers, sisters, and siblings are ready too. Now c'mere." She slipped on an oven mitt and pulled the tray back out. "Rosewater for you, lavender for you, star anise for you..." After sprinkling each herb and spice into their respective bowls, everything in the kitchen stilled briefly as she reached for the crystals on the windowsill. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale and draw all the energy out of the rose quartz, that lovely and uplifting breeze. Exhale and breathe that energy into the batter. Inhale, exhale. Repeat with the amethyst and the agate, otherwise they’re not really crystal cupcakes at all, are they? After taking a moment to set the crystals back in the patch of sunlight and fix her witch hat, she waved her hands (properly this time, not like a pelican at all), and the bowls poured themselves into their cupcake trays. A clap of the hands and all four trays sailed into the oven, the door snapping shut on its own. “See, you can be patient,” Cindy told the tray of green cupcakes-to-be. “Look at that. I’m so proud of you.”
“Heyoooooo Cindy! Please get some lemon pie ready cause I'm hungry today~!" A familar voice called out, and she grinned, stepping out of the kitchen and wiggling her fingers at the speaker. “Heya Rik! Someone’s in a real good mood today,” she replied, tapping his order into the register. “That’ll be $8.44, please. Nellie, you got the latte? Thank you!” She drummed her fingers on the counter, then snapped them. “Lemon pie, lemon pie, lemon pie,” she muttered to herself, disappearing into the kitchen for a moment before reemerging with a slice of that heavenly pie in her gloved hand. “You can never go wrong with the classics. So~ What’s the news?” She propped her elbows up on the counter and leaned close, narrowly avoiding the register.
@ the cafe with an ever changing name Well, Henrik was about to do all the previously mentioned stuff, but surprise surprise! Cindy actually took to the register after hearing his voice! Today really was looking to be a great day~ "Good mood indeed~ Ok, sounds good, that lemon pie and coffee are worth every cent if they are from here!" While the perky girl was procuring the items of his order, Rik thought to himself: "Man, she is quite good at her job isn't she? Well, if I ever want to be as good as Cindy is at a job, I got to do my best and try be better~!" While being amused as always by her exaggerated but graceful motions, the boy patiently waited for the baker to come back with his favorite snack from the back.
Once she was back with his desired food, a nice little casual chat ensued, all that was needed for the floodgates of speech to open for the enthusiastic young man. "Yep, some classics can never be beaten, they are just too good~ Oh, as to why I'm in a good mood? Glad you ask! I just got a new job after being unemployed for a month. I was super worried for a bit there, cause I cannot be without a job for longer than 2-3 months, otherwise I'll be made to come back home. So, that mysterious but nice man came just in the nick of time with an open position and now I'm in the green and safe again! That's why I'm celebrating and eating a nice breakfast today, and plan to come by at nighttime too for a good drink~"
Once started it seemed like there was no end to the verbal river, he was just that happy about everything right now! "Ah right! Almost forgot, I got something for you! Since I decided to knit a thank you gift for my new boss, I made one for you too! For being so dang nice to me all the time~ " Just as he was finished talking, the boy quickly searched in his knitting bag and pulled out a pink beanie and a pink pair of gloves. "Here, they are in what I assume is your favorite color, since you seem to be always wearing something with it! I hope you like them and that they keep you warm during this fall~" indiquilli
(OOC:AHHHH INTERACTIONS I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THISSSS ^_^)
Ioana C. Ene & Aine O'Brien Caracal hates collabs, the saga @The Cafe which has too much sugar on the regular.
”Excuse me, could I get you anything else?
Aine stopped, her song clipped short as she realized that she had an audience. The heat of the coffee seemed to travel up her arm to blossom in her cheeks.
“Er-“ She paused, fumbling for a response as she dragged out the time with a sip of her drink. “No, I’m fine. I’m- fine.”
Her voice was shaky, and she sniffed. ‘Fine’, she clearly wasn’t.
”Forgive me, ma’am, but you don’t look too fine.” Her somewhat harsh words were contrasted by a worried look. She held her little notebook tightly against her body and gave the woman her full attention. After a few instants of silence, she spoke again.
“My name’s Ioana, by the by. Nice to meet you!”
“And I’m Aine.” Shifting the drink to her left hand, she reached out a hand in expected handshake. Though it didn’t quite reach all the way into her eyes, a smile pulled at her lips, and she seemed to lose some amount of embarrassment. Ioana’s initial observation went unremarked upon. “I’ve seen you around Aldenburg before, I think. You been here a while, or you new to town?”
Ioana accepted the handshake, smiling, trying to dampen the blue mood. “I’ve been born and raised here. I’ve just recently come back from college. That might be why you didn't notice me around. I looked quite different before.” She chuckled briefly and asked: “Mind if I sit with you for a little while?”
Aine’s face finally brightened expansively.
“I’d love that! Here!” She scooted her own chair over, making room for Ioana to sit down in the seat beside her. “So! College girl, too, huh? You find yourself a bit in college? What’d you major in?”
There was a minor thunk as her elbow hit the table, and she rested her chin in her hand. Briefly, she wiped away the tear stains, brushing as she did a stray lock of white hair away from her cheek.
Ioana’s grip quickly loosened on the notebook, before she left it on the table.
“Yes, actually. I did a lot of experimenting and I uh… found I liked myself the way I was! I majored in arts, specifically illustration. Not the type of things to land you a lot of jobs, but I don’t regret it one bit.”
Jonathan had grabbed a soda can from the vending machine and was now gulping it with gusto. He'd probably have to go on a hunt later. Now, what did he want to eat? Actual meat, or just grains? Getting food from locals who just feed birds was simple enough, and it was actually quite filling if you really eat a lot. The local pidgeons didn't mind him waiting around to be fed with them. He's managed to reach an agreement with them after all. If someone managed to wrong one of them and they want revenge, they can easily go to him to ask him for a favor. It was a simple give and take, and honestly, he had fun along the way. That's what matters right?
He had been planning to simply go where the wind takes him, perhaps take flight once again to observe the children he was taking care of - or the adults he had taken care of. Jonathan has fond memories of them; and unlike many of his fellow supernaturals who were doing an excellent job on hiding themselves, he had already outted himself to children. Though, they either think that it's a clever trick or it's actual magic. But of course, their parents would never believe them. And when they grew older, they didn't think twice and just thought he was a really good costume designer and fake magician.
He raised his arm and threw the can into a nearby garbage can - smirking when it plopped right in. He stood there for a moment of pride before a scent had taken him by surprise.
It was something old. Someting you would often smell when you're frolicking down the graveyard. But... not, at the same time. But he was certain that it wasn't human. And certainly, it was dangerous too. However, Jonathan grew up sniffing around for other supernaturals. He made trips to St. Dimas' cemetery and often swam with nymphs - who he was pretty sure had already honed in on what he truly was and not simply a fish. He let the man get closer, his smell growing stronger and Jonathan committed it to memory.
"Hm?" So someone had seen him. Well, of course someone saw him. Any supernatural that was paying attention would know that he was a shifter. Humans pegged everything that wasn't natural as 'coincidences' unless they see it happen with their two eyes. But supernaturals, oh, they know what to look for. "Ha! Sounds delusional if you ask me." He said, jokingly keeping the facade of his own identity to someone who already knew it.
"This is Aldenburg we're talking about." Jonathan said with a knowing voice, hand reaching up to grip the opening of his jacket. "Weird shit's been happening here for years. I'm sure you would know that." He followed it up with a chuckle before finally looking at the man to examine him. And he was certain that his nose did not betray him. While he certainly wasn't one of the dead - zombies - he wasn't one of your typical supernaturals either. Well, it's not like he cared about it. "Why so interested in what goes bump under our noses?" He questioned in a curious drawl - eager to know why the man had approached him of all people, er, supernatural.
An ear-piercing high pitched ringing came to life, anouncing itself with the same pleasantness as scratching on a white board. At least, that's what it sounded like to the individual it was trying to awaken. Sean, clearly not having any of that, shot the freakish flip-phone a hateful glance and kept it, unmoving, until the device had finally shut up. Thank the heavens, or whatever. The young man turned around and went back to sleep, briefly, it hadn't taken long for the stupid alarm to come back to haunt him. With a regretful sigh, Seamus picked the device up, shutting the dreadful sound off once and for all.
Why, oh why, was this damn thing interrupting his sleep at fucking 7 AM?! Had he set up it like that? Was this ancient piece of crap going nuts? If the latter was, in fact, true and the device died he might be left without a phone soon enough. That would be bad. Well, an upgrade would be welcome, IF he could afford it, which was definitely out of question currently...
He let out a long yawn, watching his surroundings unamusedly, waiting for the haze of drowsiness to dissipate as his brain tried to make sense of the array of objects around the room. Cleaning. It was lacking on it, maybe he could take the trash outside when he left for lunch. Oh wait... What day even was it?
"...Son of a bitch!"
Beside a vintage television sat a calendar, and on said calendar laid a circle, actually multiple circles, signalling a single date. Today's date.
Sean was becoming late for his first day at his new job.
Jerking out of bed with the might of a hurricane, the young man found himself in a race against time. Pacing left and right across the place he had managed to look, somewhat, like a proper individual. An obedient cog in the disastrous, merciless machine that was society. Oh well, it could always be worse he supposed, could be living in the streets, or under a bridge. Life was mysterious like that, it sucked, yet, something about it was addicting. Addicting to the point one needed a courage (or perhaps a little stupidity?) to remove themselves from it. Pointless or not, everyone just keeps moving on regardless... Ironic and tragic, or courageous and inspiring? Eh, he could never decide it.
Philosophy aside, Seamus was still late. So late, in fact, that after gathering his things the young man could only briefly open his fridge, to grab something to eat on his way, before he had left. And there was his breakfast this morning: bread. Plain white french bread that was now cold from the refrigerator for some reason. He honestly couldn't recall when or why he had done such an atrocity. If there are been a reason for it, he supposed he needed a reminder and knowing how bad his luck was, the universe would not pass such an opportunity.
What was that saying again? All's well when it ends well? Tsk, story of his life alright.
Nibling mindlessly at his bland excuse for a meal, Sean walked through the streets of Alderburg aiming for a destination several blocks away. A faint breeze of the Autumn morning, an icy, loving ode to a Winter to come, graced his face ever so gently as he passed, mocking his lack of preparation and organization. A one-way trip to freezing land you say? Oh, Sure! It's not like he needed a jacket anyways. And he had definitely not forgotten it. No sir!
Opening the door of the establishment, a cheerful chime had marked the end of the self-loathing, for now. Still a little out of it with sleepiness, the young man had to actually take a step back and check the sign with the name of the shop again: 'Miss Black's Antiques'. Okay, good. He would have hated it if he had started addressing the owner of the wrong shop. God, he had no idea of what time it was currently...
"Uhhh, I'm looking for Miss, uhh, Rosaline? Or maybe, Rosalina Black?", the chime rang again as the young man had opened the door a little further, this time to actually step inside, closing the entrance behind him as he did so, "My name is Sean. We've exchanged a few e-mails and I was told to come by today? Sorry, the bus broke and we had to wait for the next one."
Seamus' behavior was kept unchanged as he embellished the lie he had just come up with, nonchalantly, uncaring, in the same carefree way one would be telling a joke to a friend:
"I have no idea of what happened there... Driver forced the engine too much, maybe? The smell of burning oil got really strong out of a sudden."
Eddie woke as he did most days; a half-roll out of a bed that needed replacing, and a curse toward the faint light sneaking through the curtain of a single bedroom window. It wasn't fully bright yet - despite his usual nightly habits, he was an early riser - but it was stinging to his bloodshot eyes just the same. He grumbled and sat on the edge of the bed for awhile, unplugging his cellphone and scrolling through this and that, checking emails about orders for the shop and invoices before finally dragging bones sore from a hangover toward the bathroom.
A hot shower later, and he dressed as the pot of coffee he'd started dripped audibly in the small kitchen; an echo that thudded in his ears as if it were a bass drum playing metronome. His head throbbed painfully, and he recounted his decision from the night before to go with a more 'bottom shelf' bourbon. Quantity over quality had been a poor choice.
After a couple of cups of coffee - black, like nature intended - and a couple of store-brand Aleve, he slid on a few items here and there in his usual pre-exit ritual. Rings, necklace, tie, shoes, and his jacket. The weather hadn't seemed to lean too far either way in hot or cold, but he liked having it on all the same. Plus, with fall mornings could come chilly wind, and in his state it would prevent too much extra annoyance on the walk to work.
He locked up - triple checking the door and pair of deadbolts - and headed down the steps, pausing to slip a pair of sunglasses over his face before he opened the last barrier before the outside world. It wasn't really bright enough for them just yet, but the collector's eyes were dry and sensitive. He could deal with the extra shade on them, for at least a little while.
The town was quiet, thankfully, just starting to take the first real breath in of life as he exited his apartment building. Of the few things he really enjoyed, this time of day was one of them, hangover or not. It was a hard choice between early dawn and the surreal calm of the wee hours, and he found himself lost for a few minutes in his own head, pondering over that fact as he passed by a few shops that were still dark. Peering in to catch a glimpse of life here and there, he kept on toward Ojancana's Eye, his home-away-from-home.
Passing by the cafe - a place he stopped at here and there because it was better (and closer) than Starbucks - he tapped a knuckle against the large glass pane on the front and nodded toward it, not sure if anyone in there was even looking and not stopping his stride to check. Instead, he lit a cigarette in a motion that was all too fluid and practiced... or would have been if he didn't stop to stare at the pack for a moment before sliding it back into his coat. The blue pack of L&M Lights was nearly empty, drawing a sigh from the male as it meant an extra trip to the gas station after work for another.
"That's addiction for you," he said dryly to the empty street, shuffling along on auto-pilot for a few more moments before he reached his shop. It took a few minutes extra to pull up the gates over the windows - someone had shoved gum in the locks again - but he finally made his way inside and started setting up a few things here and there and opening the old register. One of these days, he mused to himself as he shuffled around his office and started another pot of coffee, he'd need to upgrade to something digital... but it just didn't vibe well with the old feel of the building or the merchandise it housed.
When it was all said and done, he checked his phone for the time and nodded. 7:23 AM. Enough time to work on his hangover - with coffee and a stale granola bar from his desk - and text his new employee before the regulars started shuffling around the door at 8.
Not a bad start to another day. But he wondered, almost sourly, if it would last.
Maria kept walking until she got to a local bakery. She knew the place well, and swore that the owner used magic to cook her delicious treats- one of the reasons she didn't extort her. She didn't dare make other supernaturals the target of her crimes; there was no telling how powerful some of them were. Better to just make your fortune off the mortals.
The little fairy relaxed her glamour a bit- it would still fool normal humans, but any other supernaturals would be able to see her for what she really was. "Could I please have a slice of that strawberry cheesecake?"
Miss Black glanced up when her door opened, exposing young Seamus to the imminent threat of an orange tabby getting thrown through the doorway. Her brief look of panic iced over as soon as she realized it was just another human – and one she had invited, at that.
“Good morning Sean,” she purred, and closed the distance to shake his hand. Tipsy was being held in her other arm, aggressively coddled for the unthinkable crime of shedding cat hair all over still-tacky polish.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you in person. You seem like a reliable young man.” Her good eye narrowed slightly. “This is Tipsy. He’ll be your supervisor for the morning.”
“Ah, look, he likes you already. There’s a bag of kibble in the break room. Set your things down and feed your poor starving supervisor, won’t you? Who knows, if you do well here, you may have your own car by Christmas!”
Miss Black chuckled to herself – as if she paid that much! Well…. Alright, she did pay decent hourly wages. It’s just that few employees ever lived long enough to collect on more than a few years’ worth of wages.
Location: Miss Black's Antiques
Nearby: Miss Black Galgallin
, Seamus Loveless
The night prior had been quite the ordeal for Cain. While it would never register as one of his worst, the sheer annoyance of it had it between the night a particular pack of Werewolves discovered Moonshine, and the night his loving wife discovered Dancing with the Stars. And while both of those had the decency to have the elderly trying with desperation to be relevant again, last night was not so Thematically pleasing.
Whomever designed the layout of Aldenburg clearly had something against Cain and his efforts to keep the place from lighting itself on fire. Whether it be the wonky bridges, the near non-existent infrastructure, or just the fact the ONLY HOSPITAL IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN, nothing was built for convenience here. So to go from a crime scene on a bridge miles from the hospital, TO said hospital, and then on a wild goose chase, well, it was apparent that he wasn't go to see his bed for awhile…
Perhaps this train of thought is confusing to any beings perusing this man’s mind. That's healthy. But to clarify, Cain was stuck investigating a series of seeming random events for the past day. And while one of his partners was helping, the OTHER was still stuck in the precinct after sending a belligerent monster through a building. You can't just MAGIC a giant hole out of existence! Well, you can, BUT TELLING HIM THAT IS TANTAMOUNT TO SETTING EVERYTHING ON FIRE.
...Back to the matter at hand. The stupid pendant. His NOT BEING PUNISHED partner had gone to the trouble of confiscating not only it but the receipt from which it came from. Convenient, seeing as most people her age usually throw it out as soon as they get them. Take a wild guess the distance once again between the hospital and where it led.
The first thing he took note of was the lone car in front of the shop. While the parking attendant had already done their job, Cain felt that it was too lenient. And not just because of the parking. Perhaps what was causing the most annoyance for him was how he had spent the past hour driving around just trying to find this place. This wasn't here last week. This had been a condemned Bennigan’s for the past three months after the aforementioned Werewolf-Moonshine discovery. This all reeked of Steven King. Or Clive Barker. Or any other author that hits creepy tropes just to stay popular. 'Miss Black’s Antiques’, read the top of the receipt he had been given, along with the pendant wrapped in cloth. His partner felt the need to tell him over and over again the dangers of the little thing.
He walked to the door and peered inside. A young man, an adult woman, and a cat. Basic deduction led Cain to believe the one-eyed woman was Miss Black. With a sigh, he opened the door and looked around for a moment, taking in the 'Little Shop of Horrors' vibe, before looking to the woman.
Blinking away the last remains of his sleepyness, Seamus watched his new boss, ignorant of both her brief surge of panic or her intention to throw her cat out of the store. In fact, the young man had barely noticed the animal's presence until it had been addressed. Ms. Black seemed pleasant enough, wishing him good morning with a handshake that Sean had struggled to reciprocate properly, with his movements still sluggish and delayed. Incredibly formal of her. It had taken him off-guard. The teen had expected the folk from the contryside to be less restricted. Not that he had a problem with it, to be honest, this was a lot more preferable... He wouldn't have known how to respond to a more... 'in your face'...? Uhh, well, personality. That was not the type of person he was.
The big surprise had been the cat. 'Tipsy', as the furred creature had been introduced to him. Now, don't take this wrong. It's not like Sean hated animals, he could live with them satisfactorily... As long as they stayed out of his way. In the young man's experience, pets in the workplace were more trouble than they were worth. You couldn't just tell them to not do a thing and expect them to listen, because, well, 99% of the times they wouldn't. That gave him the extra task of making sure the ball of fur wasn't being naughty, which was basically doubling as a pet-sitter... A mental groan came to mind immediately as he thought of that. Nope, definitely not a good time.
...But on the other hand...
Had he just heard it right? The tabby was supposed to be his supervisor?
Thinking about it, pets couldn't talk, couldn't tattle, but even better was the fact they were incapable of marking people for stupid petty reasons and making their work-life hell. Oh yes, he had seen it so many times already, individuals that would choose a co-worker to importunate just because they could. 'They looked weird at me!' or 'They're not taking their job seriously!', excuses, excuses and more excuses. No one needed a reason to pick on a weaker party, they simply did it because they wanted to. Stick out too much, you're a target, blend in too well, congratulations you're also a target! Just a self-repeating circus of nonsense perpetuated by mindless idiots.
Yeah, he preferred to stick with the damn feline.
The cat meowed and in response, Sean had locked his unamused gaze upon it. A glare. The first of many. He doubted the lady's statement was even remotely true. Like him? The day an animal actually liked him would be the Armageddon. The teen would be more than content enough with Mr. Orange Furball there just dealing with its own business and letting him do his own thing... peaceful and uneventfully.
Now that would be true bliss.
"Look, Miss, if I can guarantee that I don't starve or freeze myself to death then I'll be in heaven already. 'Cause honestly, those sound like some pretty bad ways to go...", Seamus had cut the illusion of being able to buy a car right there, his mind listing out every single bill and upgrade he'd inevitably and eventually have to afford. His room didn't even have a goddamn heater yet! If he didn't make that item a priority, Aldenburg's Winter would make him its bitch and then also kill him... probably.
Before his boss could respond, however, a new figure had joined them. A well-dressed man with a beard and a stance that didn't seem all that friendly. Sean had locked gazes with the stranger briefly, secretly hoping the matter wasn't with him and soon enough gotten enormously relieved when the one called had been, in fact, the boss lady. Annnnnd there was his desired opening, it was now or never!
"Well I'm, uhh, I think I'm gonna get 'Lil Ol' Tipsy here his kibbles breakfast now so, yeah. It was nice to meet you both, Boss, Sir... Good luck!"
There was no time to oblige with the order of setting his things down as the young man, still wearing a satchel, pointed behind him and started slowly backing his way towards the back of the store. Whatever that man was here to talk about Sean was convinced that he did not want to be a part of it. Nu-uh, no way in hell and definitely not this early in the morning.
Come on, cat!! Cooperate just this once, will you?!
Cindy Winterbloom @Caffeynated (until the name changes)
Cindy rocked on her heels lightly (a feet when one is wearing heels, even if she was presently still leaning against the counter) as Henrik gave her the money for the coffee and pie and launched himself into talking about just what was putting a spring in his step this lovely fall morning. At the mention of his new employment, she grinned at his enthusiasm, though her forehead creased slightly when he mentioned his previous worry, especially at the mention of his parents. All things she didn't know about him despite being what she would consider a rather close friend ever since... well, the welcome party, really - Wait, no, I knew that the last place he was working at closed down, Amélie told me a few weeks ago, didn't she? But it would've been weird to just be like "hey, Henrik, you're looking for work, right?" without him talking about it first? Yeah, that is kinda weird, isn't it... This is what happens when I work all the time, I guess. Gotta talk to Aqua about that. Maybe. Maybe not. Probs not.
Her train of thought screeched to a halt when Henrik pulled a bright pink hand-knitted beanie and matching gloves out of his bag, and she pressed her hands to her cheeks. "Henriiiiiiiik," she squealed, "you didn't have to!" She took the beanie from him first and took off her witch hat to put it on, then took a step back and twirled around on one foot before striking a pose, giving the barista the counter space to hand Henrik his coffee and take the order of the next person in line. "Tadaaa~" she sang, then held up a finger as she stuck her head back into the kitchen. A snap of her fingers and a slice of strawberry cheesecake sailed towards her on a plate, which she grabbed and handed to the faerie who'd ordered it with a smile. "Thank you and have a nice day! Hope you enjoy it!" she greeted with a wave, then turned back to Henrik. "I love it, thank you so much." The black and teal striped fingerless gloves went into her apron pockets (not with animation magic, they didn't literally go there themselves, she put them there with her physical hands), and she replaced them with the gloves he held. "Omigosh, they're so warm and fuzzy and wonderful, thank you~" She rubbed her covered palms on her cheeks and giggled. "I'm so ready for winter and it's not even Halloween. Speaking of which," she clapped and pointed a finger at him with a grin, "I have. So many Halloween pastry ideas to tell you about later, you have no idea, it's gonna be so much fun to make - " She abruptly stopped talking and looked past Henrik to the front of the shop, where a man was walking by, hand reaching into his pocket. "... That, that was your boss that just passed by, right? Assuming I know the guy you're talking about, I think, I just saw him knock on the window." Realizing she was still holding her hat, she placed it on top of the beanie she was already wearing. "And assuming that today is your first day, uh..." She smiled sheepishly in lieu of finishing her sentence. "We can talk later, okay?"
Aine O’Brien ~ Caffeynated ~
•deep in conversation with Ioana•
“You have to pursue your interests, aye? Maybe it hasn’t led to work in that field so far, but that’s nae reason to not look for it!”
Aine smiles encouragingly, absentmindedly glancing generally toward the cafe in general. What had been a fairly unoccupied restaurant looked to be picking up patronage. Somewhat, at least: Cindy, Lord love that woman, was chatting up a young man about her own age. She was pretty sure he’d come in while she’d been talking with Ioana; he was probably here for- yep, he sure was. Cindy’s pie was excellent, and was always worth a trip. Her mouth watered a bit; it looked so good.
Instead, Aine took another sip of coffee. Still bitter, and definitely not an adequate substitution for a piece of pie, it went down somewhat more easily than it had before, much of the heat having drifted free with the steam. Had Cindy made it? Maybe it had been Ioana. Perhaps- no, she couldn’t think of anyone else who might work at the shop. Was she that busy with work and charity that she didn’t even know who it was that poured her coffee on a routine basis? A pang of guilt seemed to grow with the warmness in her belly that the coffee brought her. Had- had she actually met Ioana before, but had only now just actually spoke with her? Her cheeks flushed a bit.
“Oh! But don’t let me keep you from work, if you need tae get back! I don’t want tae get you into trouble for chatting with me.” A yawn cracked open her mouth, and she paused as she tried to regain control. “I should hit the sack anyhow. Working graveyard shift, and appropriately I feel like a zombie.”