Enigma (Peregrine x Ragamoofin)

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.

The desert air wavered.

The blinding heat of the sun beat down on the sand, unforgiving and merciless, while not a trace of cloud marred the brilliant blue sky. The endless wind howled through the open space, tugging at the scraggly branches of small shrubs, and tugging the faint particles of sand into the pattern of waves. Or perhaps the sand was smooth, and it was simply the distortion of heat in the air that caused the ground to look bent and wavy.

In the endless heat of the desert, the faint outlines of a figure could be seen in the distance, standing at the edge of a massive, sandstone cliff. Trapped in the endless distortion of the rising heat, it was impossible to pick out any details on the silhouette.

However, even with the wavering, indistinct outline, it was possible to tell that the person was watching something. The ground tumbled away endlessly down the cliff, before spilling out to reach for the horizon. In the distance, all but lost in the shimmer of sunlight, the pale tracks of a road could be seen.

A black dot moved along that distant road, crawling forward slowly but persistently. Like everything else that surrounded it, the little black dot wavered and trembled, like a candle flame that might be extinguished at any second. However, the person standing at the edge of the cliff watched this rolling dot attentively, as though it held the answers to some important question.

For the first time, the figure moved, tongue touching dry lips. A moment later, and a crisp, clean, melodious whistle reverberated through the air, echoing across the endless openness of the desert.

In the sky, the sharp cry of a hawk rang out, as though in response.

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The creaking of wagon wheels had continued unabated for hours on end, to the point that Linyah had already grown numb to the sound. Occasionally, the persistent sound of wood grinding against dirt would be interrupted by the crunch of loose sand, as it rolled over a patch of the ever-present grit. The wind had already carried pieces of sand into the wagon, and it had stacked up into the corner where Linyah sat.

She ran in through her fingers through that pile of sand almost incessantly, studying the way the little grains would fall through her fingers to land back among their fellows below her. It was the only way she had to occupy herself as the time passed. After all, the man driving the wagon didn’t seem much for idle chatter, and Linyah was more one to remain silent as well, unless she had something to say.

That wasn’t to imply she wasn’t grateful to the man. She truly was. There weren’t many people who would offer a ride to a skinny young girl of unknown origins walking alone through the deserts of Jasid. That was a good way to get yourself attacked by bandits, lured into a trap, or otherwise end up in some sort of catastrophe. After all, even the Mercenary Kings couldn’t guarantee full safety, even if you were traveling along their protected roads. There were simply too many desperate people out there, who would snatch any opportunity that presented itself, regardless of the risks.

Perhaps she’d met one of the few kind people who traveled these roads. Or, perhaps it was simply that Linyah looked too harmless to be involved in anything shady. She’d always been small for her age, and the continued hardships she endured left her even smaller and skinnier. She could easily wrap her own fingers around her forearm, and knew that even short men stood half a head taller than her. There were many people who still mistook her for a child, even though she would be turning twenty five next autumn. She’d found a silken niqab veil at the edges of Jasim, and donned it for most of the trip. It left none of her pale skin exposed, except for right around her milky eyes.

Oh, that, and she was completely blind. Perhaps he simply figured that a blind girl could only get into so much trouble.

You’ve arrived.

“We’re here, lass,” a husky male voice said a second later, unaware it was echoing a far more divine voice, which resounded in Linyah’s ears alone.

“Thank you,” Linyah replied softly, her fingers reaching out slightly to tap against the wall of the wagon until she managed to find the corner. “I really do appreciate your willingness to give me a lift.”

As she worked her way out of the carriage, careful not to bang an elbow or shin against any of the wood, she could hear the noise of Al-Yaazdim. The City of Mercenaries was never silent. Even at the gate alone, she could already hear the hawking cries of merchants, the chatter of passing people, the clatter of metal as guards in heavy armor moved about. It was the kind of place you could find just about anything, if you knew the right places to go and the right people to ask. If you didn’t, you’d probably just end up stabbed in a back alley.

In a way, Linyah was here to look for something as well. Unfortunately, her trip would be nowhere near so easy. After all, not only did she not know the right places to go or the right people to ask, she didn’t even know what she was looking for right now.

Hurry up, child. I’ve already had to wait too long for you to get here.

Linyah nodded almost invisibly, before orienting herself to the sounds around her. At least it would be simple to make her way over to the gate, as she simply needed to follow the sound of the guards’ armor. However, she wasn’t looking forward to trying to walk her way through the crowded city with nothing but her ears and a few voices to guide her.

Just as she was about to walk away, the same deep male voice spoke again. “Are you sure you’ll be able to make it into the city by yourself? It’s not exactly a safe place for a little girl to be wandering around.”

HAHAHAHA.

Behind the cover of her veil, Linyah’s lips folded into a thin frown. This was one voice she wanted nothing more than to simply ignore, but it was far too loud for that to be possible.

look at this fool. so CONCERNED about a stranger. so IGNORANT that the beloved wife he works so hard for is lying unconscious on the floor, ALONE and DYING.

“I’ll be fine,” Linyah said softly, neither slowing down nor turning around. “You should hurry home. Your wife really needs you right now.”

Linyah heard a muffled grunt from the man behind her, but she didn’t pay it any attention, instead hurrying towards the city walls, and the guarded gate that waited there.

“How much is the fee for outsiders to get in?” she asked the air softly.

two copper

Five copper.

“Thank you.”

You’re going the wrong way, idiot. The end of the line is more to your right.

Silently course correcting, Linyah managed to make her way to the end of the line without running into anyone or anything. With the press of bodies around her, it was much easier for her to stay on course, and it wasn’t long before she made it to the front of the line.

“Take off your veil,” came a thick, male voice.

He looks like he wants to eeeat your ffface offfff.

Linyah silently extended her hand, depositing five copper when she felt her fingers brush against someone’s skin. Her other hand, meanwhile, untangled the veil from around her face, revealing her rather plain features, which were covered in a layer of dirt.

“You may go,” the guard said, suddenly bored.

LInyah nodded, hurrying into the city. Behind her, she just caught the muffled voices of the guards.

“Was she pretty?”

“Just some shitty brat.”

Hurry up.
 
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Ragamoofin

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I'm here whenever you need me, my dude.
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Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
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No Preferences
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Uh, let's see. Fantasy, magical, drama, fluff. The usual.
The shuffle of bodies around her were all too soft for her liking - pliable skin and her...condition didn't go together. Busia kept her arms laid at her sides, gently wading through the pool of traffic, the cloth wrapped around her fingers tightening; her knuckles didn't feel the tear of the wrapping, her grip only relenting when she could feel the smoothness of her palm, grinding against her fingertips.

Busia's back went stiff, her hand immediately slipping under the hem of her cloak. Her head tipped forward, letting the ample length of her hood fall further over her features; she studied the ground as she kept walking, letting the sounds of the bustle guide her.

The gates were open, and that meant business, and business meant people by the drove. Busia's jade eyes caught the light of the sun, her head tipping up just enough to scan over the crowd - part of her detested how much she stood above most of the travelers, save for the occasional guard that spared her a passing scrutiny. Intentionally, Busia let her back crane even more, nearly hunching, pulling her arms and cloak in close as she fell into the crowd.

It was best not to draw any unneeded attention to herself, not when the presence of the authorities were so close. She hadn't come out looking for trouble...not in the malicious sense, anyway. Busia was keeping an eye out, watching how the crowd moved, and even closer, how certain people acted within the bustle. She was glad she didn't have anything she couldn't replace on her person, with how grifters moved through the crowds, she'd be likely to lose it.

She'd lost many a coin to fast mouth and faster hands in her line of work, her belongings misplaced when she went to check them - found later on the bruised person of the caught thief. The memory...stung. Busia's free hand tightened beneath her cloak, tipping her head up in the direction of the gate, walking past the stands of vendors as her eyes flicked from one face in the crowd to the next.

Wrinkling, deep lines in the forehead of a robust man, his hand leading a donkey by it's weaved muzzle, a cart of jostling boxes pulled behind him. Busia's yes fell off him, to a woman who carried a basket of fruit at her side, veil hiding all but her eyes. Busia's attention was trained to her basket, an odd hunger sparking and fading.

If only.

A sigh passed over the hard ridge of her mouth, Busia using her wrapped hand to tug her hood farther down. The bustle was typical, nothing even giving her an inkling of concern. She wasn't needed here, and she'd bet the gold if she had it that the stationed guards didn't need to linger, either. Busia adjusted the course through the crowd, moving towards the entrance of a familiar street-

Milky eyes, an uneasy expression, a frail form under dingy garments.

Vulnerable.

Lost?

It...wasn't a sight that sat well with her, regardless of her attempt to look away, her eyes only followed the young woman ambling her way through the dense crowd. Busia watched her go, her thin back lost to the rapid shift of fabric and people. It wasn't any of her business, yes, however...

Busia tucked her head, hunch in her back as she walked through the crowd, finding the woman with relative ease. She was a slight figure, but once she'd found her, it was easy enough to keep her within her sights. The woman had no belongings she could see, so she'd likely not be a target for theft, but the common thief wasn't all there was to worry about within the city.

Busia would follow her, only to set her fears at ease.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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SECURITY DEPARTMENT
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Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Linyah didn’t like walking in crowded areas.

That fact was, perhaps, inevitable, given her inability to see anything that was going on around her. Even with the voices of various gods giving her directions, people tended to move far too quickly for her to react in time, and her attempts to avoid one person could easily cause her to stumble into someone else.

In the end, Linyah had long since realized that her best bet was to attempt to rely on the fact that people generally didn’t like colliding with others. She lowered her head slightly, hunched her shoulders protectively, and then simply began walking in the correct direction in a slow, cautious shuffle most reminiscent of an elderly woman. For those few people who were absolutely determined that she had to get out of their way, well, that generally gave her enough time to side step or twist before they actually collided.

Worst case scenario, she’d get knocked over and shouted at a bit. Either from the person involved in the incident, or whatever god happened to be watching her faux pas. Or both.

Fortunately, the crowds in Al-Yaazdim didn’t seem quite that self-absorbed. Oh, they were occupied, roaming through the numerous booths that had been set up in the entryway, searching for items, haggling for prices.

Despite their divinity, the gods that spoke to LInyah often seemed to like marketplaces. They spoke often, trying to draw her attention to particularly good deals, laughing at people who got ripped off, or even speaking nostalgically of their own trips through similar locations in the past. When she’d first begun to understand more about the voices she was hearing, Linyah had felt her mental image of divinities shattering. Now, however, she was simply numb to it.

You walk so slowly.

“I’m sorry,” Linyah apologized. She knew that this mysterious, sharp-voiced goddess had something that she wanted Linyah to do, or there was no way she would have gone to the effort to get a blind girl to travel this far south. She shuffled her feet forward a little faster, hoping she wouldn’t suddenly run into something.

Child, wait a minute.

Linyah didn’t stop moving, or give any passing indication that she’d heard the voice. Far too many gods spoke to Linyah, although few took more than a moment’s notice of her. However, just because they took notice of her didn’t mean they meant her well. Even though the husky, feminine speaker sounded relatively trustworthy, she didn’t dare listen until she’d gotten some sense for the voice’s intentions.

One of mine is following you. I believe I know why you are here. She will be of assistance in this trial.

That was news to Linyah, who still didn’t have the foggiest why she’d been brought this far south. “Why am I here?”

But it wasn’t the husky voice that answered her.

I already told you. You’re going to help me with a matter I find troublesome. Hurry up.

Ominous, Linyah decided. But she’d already come this far on no information.

Judging by the change in the voices around her, she was reaching the edge of the market area. The sharp goddess was still giving her regular directions, and Linyah slowly moved her way deeper into the mercenary city.

Her name is Busia. She’s behind you right now. Say something.

Linyah licked her lips unconsciously, before pausing, turning around. “Are you… here to help?” she asked, uncertain if she was even speaking in the correct direction. Or if there was even anyone there. Maybe that husky voice full of so much vicissitude would suddenly turn cruel, laughing at her gullibility. Maybe not.

Linyah could do naught but wait and see.
 
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Ragamoofin

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Uh, let's see. Fantasy, magical, drama, fluff. The usual.
Admittedly, Busia knew her ability to sneak about had been impacted by her condition, but she couldn't remember the last time she'd felt so at odds within a crowd. For each of her long strides, there had to be at least two different kinds of merchants in her way, more than eager to leer up their muttering frustrations at her covered face.

Busia felt their stares, ignored them all the same; she wouldn't let her gaze fall from the woman all but crashing her way through the deeper bustle of the city.

Busia felt a worm of concern in her chest, an unwelcome sense of unease quickly muddling through her thoughts. Generosity was among the rarest commodities of the city, and if this woman had been helped along her path, just what had gotten her this far eluded Busia's guesses.

Shoulders squared, more or less carving her path through the crowd, she kept on the heels of the woman - she'd done something along the same vein years ago, in her early patrols; she knew to keep her distance, but the woman's slight frame made her all to easy to lose in the crowd. Busia tucked her cloak tighter, dared to go closer-

The woman turned, an grimace of resigned unease on her lips.

“Are you… here to help?”

Ah, too close. Busia's surprise was hidden by her cloak, although the shift in her stance, from mid-stride to standing tall. Busia's words stuck behind the dense ridge of her teeth, finding her courage to speak up. "If you're in need, yes," she gritted out, the rough and crackling tone of her voice betraying her words; she hardly sounded human, more a hollow noise from within her body. Busia stepped closer to the woman, her back to the crowd, forced to break around her stalwart figure. "Forgive my trailing, I...had a suspicion you were-" Busia stared closer at the young woman's face, her brow creaking at the milky quality to them. "Nevermind what I thought. How can I help?"
 
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Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
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1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The voice that greeted her caused Linyah to momentarily tremble with surprise. If it wasn't for the fact that she'd long since grown adept at distinguishing between the sound of a real voice and one of the gods in her head, the young woman might have almost imagined that it was one of the gods that was speaking to her. After all, the voice didn't sound quite... human.

Raspy and grating, it almost reminded Linyah of the sound of the desert sand rubbing under the wheels of the carriage that had carried her to Al-Yaazdim. It sounded even more dry and pained than the desperate croaks of someone who'd gone for a day without water under the heat of the sun. Linyah could only imagine how much it would hurt her throat to have to speak like that. She hoped that wasn't the case for this woman. Busia, the weary goddess had called her.

However cracked her voice might have emerged, it didn't get in the way of Linyah's ability to understand her. Tilting her head up, and up, and up a bit more, she lined her eyes with where she remembered the voice had come from. Her milky eyes swayed somewhat through the air. "I don't know yet," she replied, honest to a fault. "I'm still trying to figure that out myself. But if you are willing to help despite the lack of information, I would appreciate it. I'm unfamiliar with the city, and while I've grown used to traveling alone, a friendly presence would be welcome."

Presumably friendly. There was still a chance this was all some grand conspiracy of that goddess, but Linyah doubted it. On the one hand, she hadn't gotten a bad feeling from the tired-sounding goddess. And while a god's voice was not always a good representation of their character, Linyah also trusted in her own experience. She would have faced even greater hardship than she'd already born if she couldn't make a quick determination of a god's reliability.

Second, the sarcastic god who loved reveling in the misery of others was as of yet silent. Many gods came and went from Linyah's ears, but the god of misfortune was one that seemed to gain great pleasure from following her around. If Busia meant her harm, Linyah had the nagging impression that god would not have been able to remain silent at the chance to taunt her for her ignorance and mock her naivety.

My patience is not endless, child.

"Sorry," Linyah muttered, almost reflexively. Cautiously, she extended her hand in the direction of Busia's voice.

"Would you guide me?"
 
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Ragamoofin

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Uh, let's see. Fantasy, magical, drama, fluff. The usual.
As the young woman turned her eyes towards Busia's face, the sentinel took the chance to take in her features; the milky quality of her eyes, as well as the way they moved about, the young woman's head tilting minutely- likely to catch the sound of her voice, a task that seemed doubly hard, considering the bustle of the crowd around them.

The hard ridge of Busia's brow rose at the strange answer, her throat gave an affirming hum a moment later. "If you are in need, then I shall aid you. Perhaps we shall find wherever it is you're meant to be on our way."

Busia gave a fleeting scoff at the remark of her character. "Then consider us companions," she repeated, her hood nudging in a curt nod. Friendly, hm? It'd been quite some time since she'd been seen as friendly- severe, by her old master's words, stoic by most. Rarely, if ever, friendly.

The hand offered to her was - not immediately accepted, Busia's clothed hand still at her side. Slowly, she rose her arm, taking the small hand in her glassy one- warmed under the sunlight, but Busia knew it couldn't had felt organic. While she awaited the woman's response, Busia nodded again. "Of course, it would be-" Busia's words stuck behind her teeth, a second's hesitation before she spoke again. "My duty."

Busia's hand left the blinded woman's own, coming to rest on her bony shoulder, the shifting crack of Busia's bulk sliding alongside her. "This city is vast, although it's not impossible to navigate once you know how." Busia took a step foward, urging her companion along as she did. "I've been here long enough to know a few places you could take refuge. It's a long walk from here, but you wouldn't have to worry about finding a place to sleep."

There was no telling how long the woman had been out on the desert, if she'd only just arrived. The trip would take the wind out of anyone, Busia could only imagine how weary she felt.

"I can spare a few gold, so don't worry about paying me back." Busia said shortly, leaving little room for arguement there. "I am Busia, could I know the name of my companion?"
 
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Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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SECURITY DEPARTMENT
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Looking for partners
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1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
A soft and warm smile spread across Linyah's face at the sound of Busia's agreement. The young woman had been told before that her smile only heightened her inherently childlike appearance, but at the moment it was mostly covered up by the niqab, which left only her eyes exposed. All the same, she felt the smile cause her eyes to narrow slightly, tilting up in a subtle expression of joy.

Perhaps it was overly trusting of her, to assume friendly intentions from such a strange stranger, but Linyah did trust Busia. She saw no other reason why someone would be willing to accompany a ratty, dirty girl who didn’t even know what she was supposed to be doing. Even slavers didn’t want to bother with Linyah, something she’d long since confronted.

look how HAPPY you are, you little fool. you’re going to SUFFER so much for your decisions.

Ah, yes. There was the voice, cruel and amused, that always came to interfere in her life. Yet, if anything, his appearance and lack of specificity in the suffering she would be subjected to only served to reassure Linyah further.

Still reaching forward carefully, Linyah’s fingers probed gently through the air, seeking out contact with anything. However, as her hand moved forward, another voice reached her. Soft and admiring, it spoke like many of the gods Linyah listened to, seeming unaware that some insignificant little mortal could hear its words.

How remarkable. Jade and emerald, with hints of alexandrite blended in? Such large gemstones, yet so magnificently carved. It must have been the work of a true master, to sculpt such a lifelike sculpture.

Linyah’s brow wrinkled slightly, wondering why that voice was suddenly so interested in speaking about a gemstone sculpture. However, when her fingertips suddenly met cold stone, some of her bewilderment was answered. Of course, she still couldn’t figure out why someone was now handing her a sculpture, but she still unconsciously began to study it assiduously, running her fingers up and down the cold stone.

Child, Busia is—

The weary goddess did not need to speak any further, as Linyah had already identified that the hard piece of stone she was touching was shaped like a hand. And, as she gently pressed on a finger joint, it yielded slightly, bending in a way that stone never would. Yes, Linyah was holding a hand. A stone hand. A living stone hand.

a little bit different. Her magic and my presence blended to save her life in a desperate moment, but the results were not kind. I request you choose your words carefully, should you wish to use them.

Linyah did not feel the need to say anything. The weary goddess was not one of those who had traveled with Linyah over a period of time, and therefore had no way of knowing that she had encountered far more strange circumstances than any normal person should ever encounter. There were more results of magic out there than most people could guess at. She did not find Busia’s condition all that abnormal.

Taking a few more moments, Linyah finished meticulously studying Busia’s hand, before she used its length and angle to tuck herself in towards Busia’s side, furrowing into the space under her elbow. Compared to Busia, Linyah was so short that her entire body could fit below the woman’s outstretched arm. She doubted the top of her head was that much above the other woman’s waist.

As Busia’s heavy hand came to rest on her shoulder, Linyah lifted her own hands up to clasp carefully around the other woman’s wrist, returning the connection that the other woman’s firm palm had created. Like this, they would be able to respond to each other’s movements, through the give and take of Busia’s arm.

Hearing Busia’s second set of words, Linyah’s head shook slightly. “I can’t look for a place to stay. Not yet,” she said, her eyes turning to stare in the direction she’d been walking before she’d turned to call out to Busia. That was the way she needed to go. Frankly, at this point it would be much easier if the firm goddess could just tell Linyah exactly where she was going. Linyah personally would have found it more wearying to give directions as she walked, but it seemed that was either beneath the god’s dignity, or simply wasn’t satisfactory. Either way, she had no choice but to follow along.

“Come on. Busia. I’m Linyah. We’re going this way.”
 
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Ragamoofin

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Uh, let's see. Fantasy, magical, drama, fluff. The usual.
Busia wouldn't pretend to not feel some tightening, familiarly anxious pit open up inside her chest as her company extended a hand, feeling along her own for just a moment; Busia watched the woman's expression as well as she could, the swaying, aimless gaze of the woman not giving her much to read off. Busia remained as she was, relaxing her inspected limb, the faceted cut of her fingers bending at the joint as they were prodded.

"I'm-"
Busia's voice sounded clipped, tight. Unsure. "I hope that-" She began, and promptly stopped, words stealing out of her throat.

The yawning pit was quickly staunched, Busia's nerves shoving away out of the surprise that ran like a crackle up her form- carefully, even in her momentary shock, Busia rose her arm over her company's slight shoulder, allowing her cloak to sweep over and all but hide the smaller woman. "Ah." Busia said, very brightly. "Pleased to meet you, Linyah."

It wasn't like her to be caught off-guard, and yet, here she was. Linyah had...not questioned her appearance, not balked at her touch. It was very...unexpected, yet not unwelcome. Busia was swift to pay no more attention to that thought, pushing it to the back of her mind, her duty drawing her back to the moment.

To Linyah's denial of lodging, Busia only committed a nod, allowing herself to be led by the woman. "As you wish," Busia said lowly, speaking solely to the woman beneath her cloak. "I must insist we find a place for you before nightfall," Busia said, a firmer tone creeping into her voice. "I can spare the funds, so you won't have to worry about that- or paying me back." It's not like Busia had much use for currency, an unforeseen impact of her condition; hunger, thirst, even the need for air had left her. It allowed her to save quite a bit, considering how she no longer needed anything to survive. She did, however, enjoy a rest every now and then.

Her company's energy was appreciated, although Busia had to wonder just how long Linyah had been traveling. Busia's strides were wide, easily twice the breadth of Linyah's. Busia consciously brought down her pace, keeping steady with Linyah, allowing for the woman to fade neatly beneath the folds of her cloak.

It didn't draw as much attention as Busia had imagined, the silent benefit of her appearance causing most merchants, travelers and salesmen to avoid her carved path- Busia felt the eyes begin to linger longer, as the buildings began to change, a different style of architecture lining the streets.

Busia cocked a brow at the changing scenery, stealing a subtle glance downward, her thumb gently nudging along Linyah's shoulder. "Forgive me, I should've asked earlier, but-" Busia stared out ahead, narrowing her eyes, sunlight glinting off the high edge of her cheeks. "Is there something you would like me to keep a watch for?" Busia waited a moment, listening for the crowd, still thick, but the smothering density had begun to ebb. "We've left the marketplace, are we close to where you are going?"
 
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Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
“I understand,” Linyah’s soft voice agreed from her half-hidden position under Busia’s large cloak. She had no intention to resist, hearing how insistent Busia was about finding her a place to rest. Of course, she was far too used to sleeping wherever she happened to be when she grew tired. That behavior was more normal to her than finding somewhere specific to rest. Should any dangers approach, she’d be stirred to wakefulness by the voice of a god, and then she’d move on.

But she was also obedient, used to being hustled from place to place by demanding voices. Long experience had taught her it was far easier to comply than resist when someone used that tone of voice. “If I do not have a place to stay before nightfall, I will stay wherever you wish to lodge me.”

Worst case scenario, she’d simply do what she always did, and leave if the place suddenly became dangerous or otherwise unendurable.

She felt Busia begin to walk forward, and quickly stepped out herself. She’d already known it would be impossible to match her stride to Busia’s but without having to worry about suddenly running into a wagon or a wall or a person, she was confident in her ability to keep up.

Gradually, the sounds of the market got further and further behind her. However, Al-Yaazdim was a bustling city, and even though the crowds were no longer quite as dense as they had been moments before, that didn’t mean the streets were empty. Linyah continued to cling to Busia’s wrist, her fingers occasionally unconsciously tapping against the other’s stone flesh. The god who had first spoken of gemstones had not left yet, and continued to ramble in Linyah’s ear about Busia’s beauty and elegance. It was to the point that she might have missed Busia’s voice, had the sound of it not been so distinct.

Her head shook slightly, causing the cloak to briefly slip off her, catching on her shoulder. Linyah reached up with one hand to tug it back into place as she spoke. “You don’t need to watch for anything. I’m not in any danger, I don’t think. Just where we’re walking. If that changes, I’ll let you know.”

Despite her soft spoken manner, there was a trace of awkwardness in Linyah’s voice as she continued to speak. “As for if we’re close… I’m sorry. I don’t know. I don’t actually know where I’m going, only which direction I need to go.” She laughed slightly, although there wasn’t actually much humor in her voice. “I must seem incredibly suspicious, no?”

Turn left.

“We need to go left here.”
 
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Ragamoofin

Candle Goblin
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Uh, let's see. Fantasy, magical, drama, fluff. The usual.
It didn't give her any satisfaction hearing the all but immediate and submitting agreement out of Linyah; consider it her quick judge of character, but just as obedience had been trained into Busia, she could almost pick up on the same quality within the younger woman. Just how was beyond her. It was intriguing, but she had little room for ungrounded suspicions. For the time they walked, Busia mulled over her words, her tone- had she been harsh? The thought of rooting a fear in her traveler gnawed at her jaded heart.

"It'll be for your safety, I assure you," Busia said once the imagined tension had reached the forefront of her mind. "The dark hides the worst of the city, I'm afraid. I know of an inn, you'll- we'll both be able to stay without incident." Busia nodded ahead, voice still kept low, even as the crowds around her began to thin even more- buildings, cobblestone, the clientele, all shifting as they went deeper into the city. None of the city was truly new to Busia, some places she could navigate without the use of torchlight, but some remained elusive to her ironclad memory; she'd passed through this area more than once, Busia would commit as much as she could to memory while the sunlight was allowing.

Busia's shoulders unwound at the mention of there being no danger, to Linyah's understanding. It was a comforting thought, but it wasn't enough to get her to drop her guard completely. 'If that changes.' Busia considered it something of a vague warning, one she appreciated; if she was expecting trouble, she could at least prepare for it. "A relief, nonetheless," Busia drawled, her eyes falling half-hooded, staring over the buildings lining the street- glass panes and more expensive wares behind the doors.

Busia's breath blew from her nose, too quiet to be a laugh, but it was as amused as the woman had sounded since their meeting. "You underestimate the strange characters this city harbors," Busia's words were laced with a subdued mirth. "Compared to them, your honesty is a welcomed change." Busia's eyes peered to the left per Linyah's sudden instruction. "Alright," she answered, changing the direction of her stride, still keeping the smaller one of her company in mind.

A hum came rumbling from Busia's chest, up out her throat, caged behind her teeth. "For someone who doesn't know where she's going, you sure do have a knack for navigating." Busia dared to joke, something she hadn't done in quite a few- weeks? "Perhaps I'm not the only one with something...different about me, hm?"
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
"I believe you," Linyah replied, her fingers tightening briefly against Busia's stone flesh in a reassuring squeeze. Or, at least, what she hoped was a reassuring squeeze. She knew nothing about how the other perceived the world. It might have been a useless endeavor, but Linyah did it anyways.

She was already coming to appreciate Busia’s steadiness, even though they’d only been together for a very short period of time. There were as many nice people in the world, people who were willing to help a blind girl find her way forward, as there were cruel people. People like the man in the wagon, who had given her a ride to Al-Yaazdim from Al-Baqahra, or the conductor who had allowed her to slip into the servants quarters of the zeppelin so that she could reach the country of Jasid without having to walk for months.

There were few things she could do to repay the kindness of such people. She could often only return it through small, momentary gestures.

“I’m not always honest,” Linyah replied, fully aware of the irony of such a sentence. “There are many things I likely won’t tell you about.” Her foot caught on something on the ground, causing her to stumble forward slightly. Familiar with her footing falling away from under her, Linyah managed to catch herself before Busia’s grip would have forcibly stabilized her.

HaHaYouTripped

“For instance, I’m not going to tell you how I’m able to navigate, even though I don’t know where I’m going, have never been to this city before, and am completely blind. Does that bother you?”
 

Ragamoofin

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Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week, One post per week
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Uh, let's see. Fantasy, magical, drama, fluff. The usual.
Beneath the wrap of her scarves, Busia let out a huff of amusement at the particular irony of Linyah's words. "That doesn't exactly prove you to be a good liar," she muttered, a stray comment going quiet enough to hear the woman list reasons that should've seeded suspicion. Call her cracked, but it simply made her companion sound all the more interesting.

"I suppose it bothers me as much as you're fully comfortable having the seven-foot tall gemstone lady lead you through said unfamiliar city, who was also following you." Busia said as flatly as she could, despite the absurdity of it all. "Strangeness attracts strangeness, it seems."

She sighed, a hollow noise for the smaller woman. "Your secrets are your own, as are mine." Busia's voice warmed again, a small reassurance. "But, no matter. You seem far too determined to let yourself be hindered by needless lies, so..."

Busia's fingers minutely adjusted over Linyah's shoulder, feeling her feet slip from under her. A fall averted through Linyah's own quick-footedness, though Busia still slowed her pace. "I'll just have to trust you on this, right?" A sudden unease stabbed into her heart, but the words were said, and Busia could only wait. Trust, the rarest commodity in the city. It was asking a lot of someone, but she'd agreed to aid Linyah, and she was nothing if not a woman of her word.

"Such beautiful work in this district," Busia mused distantly, a pang of sympathy rattling in her ribs. "The places of worship here are magnificent, but..." Busia chuffed into the wind, fingers drumming gently up Linyah's shoulder. "Are you a religious woman, Linyah?"
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Busia's gravelly voice was pitched low enough that it devolved into near static, but Linyah was still able to pick out her words. It was primarily due to her well practiced listening ability, the only tool she normally had to navigate her dark world, but it could just as easily be attributed to the fact that she was used to listening to strange, potentially garbled voices.

Whatever the reason, Busia’s words caused Linyah’s lips to twitch in amusement.

If she’d felt like pursuing the matter, she likely would have pointed out that she’d never said anything about lying, only about honesty. But, it was far from the most important matter at the moment. Linyah saw no reason not to let Busia think whatever she pleased, just so long as it wouldn’t get in the way of Linyah’s duty.

Whatever that would turn out to be.

“You aren’t the strangest I’ve met,” Linyah instead replied casually, her thoughts momentarily roving back over her journeys.

The world was full of a host of bizarre and impossible creatures, and the servants of the gods came in even more varied shapes and sizes. She was probably lucky she was blind, and had nothing to remember them by but their strange feels and smells.

“It is best to trust or not trust based on your own judgement of the situation. It’s your right as a living, thinking being.”

Linyah still lacked even the foggiest notion of why she was here, and there was no telling whether or not her eventual goal might run counter to Busia’s own interests. The only thing she had to base it on was the words of an unfamiliar goddess. “But I appreciate your accompaniment as far as you are willing to join me, and I’ll do my best to remain transparent about the information I’m able to give. I think you can trust that.”

It was the best she could offer.

In the air, Linyah could pick out the faint scent of burning sage and sumac. Her head bobbed slightly in response. It wasn’t that big of a surprise that she was heading to the temple district. There were few places gods found it easier to communicate than within their own holy sanctuary, though Linyah doubted that would be the location of whatever it was she was supposed to be doing.

“That’s a complicated question.” The young woman let her fingers wander across Busia’s stone skin absentmindedly. “I am nothing if not a loyal servant of the gods. Yet, I am not a part of any order or denomination, and offer my devotion to none. Merely my services.”

Linyah had speculated before that the reason she lacked the heart that many of the faithful showed to their gods was because she was too close to the source. It was hard to offer unswerving faithfulness when you could hear their thoughtless responses. The gods were still far more mortal than most people gave them credit for.

That, and she wasn’t sure what would happen to her if she ever dared offer true devotion to only one god, when so many were passing through her life. It could be dangerous.

“And you, Busia? Are you still faithful?”
 
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Ragamoofin

Candle Goblin
Invitation Status
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Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week, One post per week
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I'm here whenever you need me, my dude.
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Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
No Preferences
Genres
Uh, let's see. Fantasy, magical, drama, fluff. The usual.
“Not the strangest?” Busia chuffed, the ridges of her face grinding as she raised a brow. “I’m tempted to take that as a compliment,” she said with a humored drawl to her word, another long drag of air through her teeth. Busia fell quiet as Linyah explained herself- to an extent. True to the traveler’s prior words, Busia could sense a deeper truth behind Linyah’s explanation. She wasn’t so bold as to openly pry into just what it was; when it came to accompany those who would accept her help, she seldom asked for more than what aid they required.

Yet, she was already beyond that with this strange woman, blind to the world yet she was far from unaware. Call her intrigued, all too so. The nagging curiosity rising in her mind about just what this girl was caught up in was beginning to be a problem.

Busia gave a nod, the mention of trust hanging on her thoughts. “Yes...I believe so.”

Against her hip, Busia could feel the rapid breaths of Linyah, as if she was sniffing the air. At once, Busia narrowed her gaze about the new stretch of the streets. Her hand gave a pat to Linyah’s back, a silent warning before stepping on. “Smell something? I’ll be no help there,” she lamented, a grunt like a clash of stones escaping her throat. “My nose is nothing more than decorative.”

A loyal servant...Linyah looked the part, and for all her actions, and stated reasons, it must’ve been the truth. Busia couldn’t fathom how else she’d made it so far in her journey if a higher power wasn’t intervening on her behalf.

If that wasn’t the most far-fetched part of her story, that is, but Busia would dare to believe it anyway. After all, her own circumstances weren't all that usual. Again, Linyah's redirected question felt all too piercing. An uncomfortable memory rose to the forefront of her mind, teeth sliding over in a pondering grind.

Her fingers fell over Linyah's shoulder, easing the weight of her palm almost unconsciously as she guided the younger woman. "I am, Linyah. Despite….everything, I am."

The temples were a standout against the street, among the elegant architecture. Busia cocked a brow, a gritty hum in her chest. "Hm, that explains the smell," she muttered. "It's the temples, fragrant as ever, I see." Busia lingered a moment longer, her head craning to Linyah's impression against her cloak.

"Care for a quick visit before we move on? Sneaking you in shouldn't be hard, though I doubt I'll be able to follow."
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
At the sound of Busia’s strained voice, Linyah’s fingers reached up to the weight on her shoulder. Her small hand rested against the cool stone, fingers gently stroking against the back of the golem woman’s hand. “I know it must have been hard. Must be so, very hard. But…”

Her trial has not gone unnoticed.

“Your trial has not gone unnoticed,” Linyah repeated dutifully, before offering a slight smile and adding something of her own. “And I’m sure you shall be rewarded for it.”

Linyah could only hope that her words would offer her new companion some small comfort. After all, they could just as easily be treated as nonsense coming from the mouth of a stranger.

The temple district was quiet, especially in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the gate marketplace. Of course, she could still pick up the sounds of people. Muffled footsteps, the rustle of fabric. Faint, rhythmic breathing, and the sound of prayers obscured through distance and the temple walls. Linyah unconsciously closed her eyes, the action more one of self-comfort than something intended to have any actual effect.

Most cities had a temple quarter, and Linyah generally went out of her way to avoid it unless necessary. The gods were already able to have a close impact on her life, and putting herself in close proximity to their holy domains often made things more uncomfortable and intense than they could already be.

Of course, right now she was following the directions of the sharp-voiced goddess, so going a different route wasn’t really an option. She was bracing herself for a wave of voices, calling to her, tempting her, offering her guidance and promises, true or not.

Yet… the inside of her mind remained unexpectedly quiet.

Linyah almost came to a surprised halt, but Busia’s firm hand on her shoulder kept her moving. All the same, she found herself growing more and more anxious as the silence persisted. Something was very, very strange. It was almost like the gods weren't even here.

It took her a moment to realize that Busia had asked her a question. “Sorry,” she muttered, almost unconsciously, before trying to recall exactly what the other woman had asked. “There’s no need. I’m afraid I’m not one for visiting temples directly. But I appreciate the offer.”

Without any other directions to divert her path, Linyah continued forward. However, before much longer, she was abruptly commanded to take a turn to the right. The sharp voice of the goddess was almost a relief for Linyah, as she acknowledged that she, at least, hadn't been forcibly severed from her connections with the higher powers. Pulling Busia in that direction, they turned down a new road.

It was, of course, impossible for her to tell what was around them, but from the distant echoes of their footsteps, and the deepening smell of sage, Linyah had to presume they were moving deeper into the temple district, towards the larger and grander temples that were the core of this city’s godly pantheon. She sighed slightly to herself.

“By any chance, is there anything significant on the other side of the temple district?” she asked, already fearing the answer would be ‘no’.
 
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