ALWAYS OPEN Little Blackbird | IC


Minor Being of Mayhem
Original poster
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  1. Look for groups
  2. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. Multiple posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Give-No-Fucks
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, and Horror
Chapter One.
The Day of the Rose

On a quiet road leading nowhere rests the town of Arkley. It is not a particularly notable town - nestled too deeply in the embrace of nature for any to care about it for long. Most days here are quiet and lethargic with townsfolk offering each other soft greetings and friendly smiles. The soft ringing of shop door bells fill the early morning. Most days are almost idyllic.

Today is not one of those days. The streets and alleyways are littered with flowers and small altars where people can place offerings for those who have passed on. Booths and stalls line the street sides with merchandise and goods from far away places while local shops prop their doors open for any to see their goods. Walking vendors carry beautifully handcrafted masks and lanterns. Performers dance and sing and place instruments all across the town for tips and fame. These once quiet streets are filled with strangers and citizens alike.

Today is the Day of the Rose - the first of three days in the Festival of Spirits meant to honor the dead and the founding of Arkley. Today shall be a day of getting to know the town and it's people despite the looming clouds and possibility of rain on the horizon. There are many things to do and many people to see. You can hop over to the Silver Hart for some tea, walk the town square and browse the stalls and watch the performers, go shopping at the Whit Pigment or Bloodstone Vial, maybe even visit the impressive estates of one of the founding families.

Late Morning
Waxing Gibbous

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Myron Whitmore
The Silver Hart | Character Sheet

Pale blue eyes narrowed in concentration as they watched the patrons move about the inn from atop a balcony. There were more here this year than he had first thought and his teahouse was not the only place for travelers to board for the next several nights. It was for the best, Myron knew, but it didn't stop the shiver of discomfort from traveling up his spine as he viewed those around him. In just a few days time, there would be a few less faces in this crowd.

It could be anyone - one of the laughing older ladies tucked away by an open window with scones and empty tea cups. It could be the doting father of those three rambunctious children that somehow got into the kitchen and the biscuits last night. It might even be one of the many young men and women that came to this town to make money or a name. Nine people will just be gone… Their lives forgotten in this small, peculiar town.

And Myron would be a part of it. He would actively lead people to their demise for his family's sake - for his own sake. He would do the same as he always had even as it tore him apart. He doesn't know how much longer he can do this. He does know, however, that his family won't simply let him stop… especially not after Artemas. His aunt Minerva had that look again in her eyes today with the anniversary of his death only days away.

He blinked harshly, trying to expel the thoughts haunting him. There was nothing to be done, he told himself. Nothing he should do, he thought as he turned away from the balcony and turned towards the cluttered desk lit only by the window that lay beyond it. To save someone is to lose those he loves, Myron reminded himself as he trailed his fingers along the spine of a worn out book.

"And that is simply not acceptable," He whispered under his breath in a soft, mournful tone. His gaze flickered back to the balcony where he could still hear the chatter of his morning patrons. Myron knew he would repeat this mantra again tomorrow just as he had last night and last year and the year before that. It was supposed to make this all easier to accept.

It never did.

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Majna Whitmore flicked her wrist a few times, splattering paint against a nearly complete canvas. Her creation depicted the silhouette of a person with three heads, split apart like puzzle pieces and colored in vibrant colors. Much of Majna's art had this same air of abstractness to it; like one was delving into the very chaos of a mind split apart.

With a relieved sigh, Majna determined her work to be done. Majna placed the paintbrush on her palette and set that to the side. She waved her legs side to side as she sat on her stool and admired her art...and found herself increasingly confused as to how such art came before her. The memory of her painting such a piece had faded away. Her own work felt like a stranger to her now even though she knew that, logically, she must have created it.

Majna grimaced and rubbed her temples. Today was a "fuzzy" day for her. Blips in her memory assaulted her with consistency, and she knew it wasn't because her two headmates had taken the front. No, when she switched, the feeling was entirely different. This was dissociation at its finest.

Majna scooted off the stool and carefully pulled the painted canvas off of the easel. She chose a smaller size this time, to accommodate for her short stature. Hopefully she would have a growth spurt soon for Herman's sake. The poor boy wanted to be as tall as their big brother: Armand, which was impossible, but at least a growth spurt would bring him a step closer.

When the painting was firmly within her embrace, Majna scuttled out of the backrooms of Whit Pigments: her brother's shop. Majna unfortunately had no frame to further decorate her work, but someone could possibly take what she had made back to their home this very day, what with all the travelers out and about on The Day of Rose.

Majna didn't think about the festival of spirits. She intentionally avoided thinking about it as much as possible. Majna knew what was going on about a year into her assimilation within the Whitmore family. She knew by experience; the disappearance of the travelers mimicked the way the Marque Noire, the criminal organization Majna came from, would have certain troublesome kids "disappear".

As bad as she felt for these travelers, Majna still didn't want to dwell on the matter. She was just glad she wasn't going to disappear herself.

...Anyways, regardless of which travelers would live and which would die: they could buy their own frame for Majna's painting; all that Majna needed to do was hang her art on a blank spot on the display wall and list the names of the pigments she used to advertise the shop's wares.

...Ah what were the pigments Majna used again? She scrambled for the notebook attached to the hip of her dress, flipping through the densely written pages until she came upon the last page she wrote in. Sure enough, there was a list of the pigments she had used for her most recent art piece. She must have written them down before she started painting.

Majna tore out a blank piece of paper from her notebook, and copied the pigment names on that blank paper. Then she used adhesive tape to stick the list to the corner of the canvas, and hung it up on the display wall. She nearly forgot to place a price tag too, but she quickly fixed that.

The price was...0€. Majna never considered her art actually marketable. She doubted that anyone would take something that she made home if it wasn't free.

Finally finished with all of that, Majna scanned her surroundings. Armand, was nowhere to be seen. He must have gone outside on an errand, or maybe he had grabbed the broom and was sweeping the front of the shop. Or maybe something else had happened. Majna remembered Armand was tending to the shop before her memory blipped to where she was now. She didn't remember if Armand had told her where he was going and how long he would be gone.

Regardless, if Armand was gone, that meant that it was up to Majna to assume the role of Whit Pigment's shopkeeper. She strolled to the front door and pushed through; she wished to check if the sign for the shop was facing the closed side or the open side. If the former, Majna would simply flip it to the open side before heading back inside the shop. Then she would stand behind the counter and wait for the next customer.


A man adorned in a bright white suit sauntered inside The Silver Hart with one hand on his hip. He surveyed his surroundings, and whistled at what his eyes were greeted with. He must of clearly enjoyed the environment of the teahouse.

Jamil De Bosque had come from a long ways away, and he was not disappointed by his latest tourist stop. Arkley had a unique, ethereal charm to it that Jamil found enticing. Sure, he wasn't too thrilled by the cemetery; he hoped he will never have to step foot in there, yuck, but everything else about Arkley? Splendid, simply splendid.

Jamil already had the perfect performance in mind for such a quaint location. First however, he had to scout out a venue for such a performance, and who better to aid him on such a quest than the owner of this fine establishment?

The clicking of Jamil's heels were almost obnoxiously loud to some. He made his way to the front of the desk, scanning the blonde man behind it from head to toe. Cute, Jamil thought to himself. He did not dare exclaim such thoughts out loud. He didn't want to overwhelm the poor man, although that in itself would be adorable to witness.

A bit of teasing could come later. Jamil believed this very man belonged to one of the well known families of the town. Something...Whitmore? Jamil never got a first name.

"Nice to meet you, dear. I'm Jamil, Jamil De Bosque. You might know me by a different name? Does "Faye-Boulous" ring a bell?" If the owner of The Silver Hart didn't know who Jamil was, he would soon know in the upcoming days. "It's OK if you don't. Anyways, your name is...?" Jamil rubbed his red-stained nails with his thumb. He decided some idle chat would be good for him before he got too busy with setting his stage up.
Rivka Fleming
Location | Citizen's House | Silver Hart

Rivka didn't often do house calls, but for newborns, she always made an exception. She knew the young couple from some of the services that she held but never thought of them as that spiritual, however, that didn't matter to her. If they wanted her blessing she would give it to them.

It made sense, many people would want their little ones blessed when they turned a month old. Besides, all a parent can ask for is for their child to live a long and happy life.

The small house was quiet except for the rhythmic chanting of the young vampire. The father of the baby looked on anxiously from the doorway of the living room and held the incense burned in one hand and a mixed bundle of herbs in the other. Rivka assured him that he was holding that correctly but nonetheless, he still seemed flustered. The mother of the baby lounged restlessly on the sofa next to the, watching the Priestess and her baby.

While Rivka performed her blessings with oils, herbs, chants, and hymns as the little girl slept in her crib. She whispered the traditional chants as she marked the baby's forehead with Time's symbol.

"May the hands of Time cradle you in moments of joy,
and may its gentle touch nurture the growth of wisdom within your heart.
May the tick of each second be a reminder of the precious gift that is your existence."​

The orthodox prayers she learned in the temple were easy on her tongue, but not personal, as a last final wish she leaned closer to the baby to say in her ear, "I hope Time blesses you with abundance. May you never fear of running out of it. I hope one day you will become very old. Aging is a beautiful thing. I hope I see you with gray hair one day," she gives the baby a caress on the head and leans back satisfied of her work. She turns to the parents with a soft smile, "She did wonderfully, I know Time will favor her greatly," at this the father seemed to lose the tension he was holding in his shoulders and gave a pleased smile.
"Thank you," he said.

"Anytime! Is there anything else I can help you with?" she asked.

The young mother looked at her sheepishly, "I don't want to be a bother… I know she's sleeping now but she wakes up all the time. I can hardly do any errands now. I have this sleeping tea that I've been meaning to pick up but I cannot do it,"

Rivka waved her hand, "Oh that wouldn't be a problem at all, I can get that for you," she said. Once she got the name of the tea from the woman and exchanged goodbyes, the Fleming was off.

She looked up at the overcast sky, she loved days like this when the sun wasn't out and she could walk around without having to cover everything head to toe. Besides, it was the Day of the Roses and the town looked beautiful for the festival. She had a feeling that this year would be special. The vampire entered into the cozy Silver Hart- she didn't go often but when she did she always loved the tea shop. Inside she saw that there was a stranger in a white suit at the front of the counter. 'Must be a traveler' she thought. Rivka walked up and stood behind the newcomer in line. 'His suit is really nice,' she thought and then thought of her cousin who would have loved to see such a fine piece of fabric, and smiled to herself.

Amir Bijan-

Location- The Achaemenes

The Achaemenes, like its owner Amir, stood somewhat apart from the rest of the city of Arkley, with its deep rooted familiar relations where one could run into relatives anywhere. It really was a place where everyone knew everyone's name and story. That may have made the enigmatic Amir the odd man out, Still the Achaemenes was nestled at the heart of the city. Unmistakable from any other establishment on the square, with its exotic Persian masonry and mosaics mixed effortlessly with deep Victorian woodwork. Its design and location reflected the way it and its owner acclimated to the local culture yet still held fast to the heritage that brought them into being and how they had both grown into inherently intrinsic pieces of the city.

With a room full of cushions nestled on elaborate carpets and silken curtains and tapestries fit for the Shaw lining the walls it was hard to imagine it just a door away from rooms of towering bookcases with fine chairs and tables with crystal decanters fit for any high born nobleman's home and a fully stocked Eastern tea room. The Achaemenes was hard to describe to anyone except simply as a refuge for the spirit built on the idea of transporting one to places around the world, far from the woes of the world outside its walls. It wasn't uncommon to see strangers and friends at the Achaemenes at any hour of the day. Thanks in part to the fact that Amir ran a twenty four hour kitchen, one could generally find him in the midst of a warm hearted conversation with a customer from behind the mahogany bar stocked with rare and exotic liquors or with an arm full of food fresh from the kitchens. That is except for in the morning, when he disappeared to perform his morning prayers. While none had ever witnessed the man in prayer, the deeply melodic, almost mournful passages of old Arameic and Persian that he sang could faintly be heard from within the heart of the Achaemenes gave testament to the deep devotion Amir held to his faith. Though what that faith was, no one could be sure.

Today was no exception, regardless of it being the day of the Rose, and as the early morning sunrise overtook the sky in its march towards its lofty perch. Amir would return to the Achaemenes, with a warm hearted smile that reached his light gray eyes, and a head of freshly combed brown hair. He would dawn his teal silk and brown leather apron over his white whirling skirt and head off for the day. As he went to check the kitchen to ensure he had made enough Baklava and other sweets for his guests and friends in the city, he reminded himself that he needed to prepare the lamb for tonight. Though all thoughts of later died as he opened the doors to the kitchen and was met with a wall of smells from roasted pistachios and cashews that filled the Baklava and the warm spices of stews, and breads. The smells overtook and dominated the Achaemenes refusing each morning to be contained and today it carried hints of berries and chocolate into the square, inviting all to take a step into its halls.

The sound of those enchanting chimes that sang whenever someone entered or left the Achaemenes always brought a smile to Amir’s heart. Regardless of who it was Amir was always eager to meet them in the morning with a fresh plate of warm baked goods and a smile. He came out of the kitchen just in time to greet the young Oliver Skidd at the large open landing of the pub.

‘’Ah Jujeh, have you come for your morning dose of Baklava and Koloocheh?’’ Amir teased playfully before offering the lad a laugh and a chance to snag a treat from the tray as he patted his head. Without so much as a second glance he set the tray down on a table by the double doors and gave the lad a knowing wink as he caught him eyeing the finely assorted tray of Baklava, some with pistachio or almonds, while others held a mix of the two and others still contained chocolate and hazelnut or mixed berries. ‘’You may have them, just do me a favor and bring those boxes in the kitchen to the nearby shops eh? Please Aziz?’’ He added with a joking beg to his voice as he gave the lad his best puppy dog eyes. Only to laugh when he saw the lad roll his eyes and chuckle at him before heading towards the kitchen to do as he was asked.

‘’Come back before the rush starts hmm? We will have Kebab and Pirashki.’’ Amir called out, as Oliver left with his arms full of large pastry boxes of Persian sweets that included today's special of rose baklava but various other warm sweets from his homeland. The warmth and genuine joy that radiated off the man and into his cooking gave him the air of a doting grandmother, or maybe it was the apron he wore while working
Nerina Mulvahil

The Silver Hart
Gladiolus ( @Ai-in Ayan )

Nerina sat in her favorite spot within the Silver Hart. She lightly sipped her tea as she made her observations of those around her. Her deep green eyes trailing around. She smirked as she heard the single sentence from Myron. She had long since knew his objections to the festivities or at least how they ended. Nerina on the other hand was starting to get more excited as the day approached. Her eyes flickered towards the newcomer, and she subtly licked her lips behind her cup so that no one might see. She visibly flinched as the click of heels echoed within the establishment. She listened to the odd man's spiel and rolled her eyes.
Nerina sat her cup of tea down just as a familiar face entered the Silver Hart. The Priestess was definitely one that she was familiar with but not one that she conversed with regularly. Her eyes drifted back to her companion. "Bit of an odd one that has rolled in." Nerina commented with hint of amusement to her voice. She smiled at her slightly older cousin, Gladiolus. ''It is definitely something we haven't seen in the past." She leaned forward attempting to get a better gauge on who the new person was.
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The streets of the sleepy town were filled with citizens and travelers alike, mingling with each other or exchanging greetings. It had always been bustling when Arkley celebrated, quite lively and heartening.

Gladiolus walked through them, bowing and greeting those who looked her way. She was about to head to Fleming Household to bother the two heirs but quickly changed her mind. They might have be busy with their preparations for the day. For now, prior to meeting her fiery cousin at Silver Heart, might as well check on the citizens and if they needed any help on their own preparations.

Glad was amused by her cousin's choice of rendezvous. Nerina was not very fond of visitors and yet she chose the Silver Heart, of all places, to meet? Teasing Myron was one thing. They could always do that in the privacy of a cafe. Her smile grew mischievous. She would have to confront her cousin about that.

Weaving through the central square towards the Achaemenes, she noticed the adopted Whitmore was behind the glass door of Whit Pigments. Waving at the youngest Whitmore, Glad gave a twirl and laughed, giving an apology to the person who she almost crashed into with her reckless action. "Apologies, dear heart. Enjoy the celebration!"

First off was their local pub. She let Oliver pass her as he was set to deliver those delicious pastries, smiling and waving before entering. Her smile grew into a grin upon entering. "Oh, my dear Lord Amir," she greeted with a well practiced curtsey. "The aroma of your treats and your handsome smile would always make this day worthwhile," she giggled. "Are you finally free of your work to finally accept my invitation for a date?" To those who have yet to meet the dame, it was like a love-sick puppy begging for attention. To those familiar with her, she was merely inviting Amir for a walk around the town.

Her eyes then landed on those delicious pastries before huffing out a giggle. "I should buy a batch," she stated with a smile. "I think the guests from afar would like a taste of what you make." Knowing she will be declined with her invitation, she gave another nod to Amir before waving at him and exiting. "Please do send one to Silver Heart! Thank you so much."

Silver Heart was quite packed that day. Glad could not help but smile. Seeing the fiery head of her cousin, she grinned. Nerina was observing and judging.

Seeing the priestess of time, she smirked at the comment of her blood relative. "No, we have seen too much," she replied before sitting across Nerina. "And may I ask what got under your dress to come here, of all places?" she mused. "Want to see little Myron suffer?"

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Mina Delagney
Arkley Jailhouse | Interactions: Onne (@The Lotus Archives)

Her nails repeatedly tapped against the hardwood table in a pattern - four dull clacks and a pause before it began again. She wouldn’t dare admit it, but she was terribly bored. The jail only currently held two people - her being one and the other being a man in a cell not far from her. She could make out the laughing voices and stumbling feet of crowds outside. She could practically hear their heartbeats too - a dull thudding beat that she unconsciously followed with her tapping fingers.

Mina blinked and jolted lightly in her seat, coming back to herself - her fangs ached. She would have to feed soon, but so long as she was trapped watching the prisoner she would go hungry. Her mouth pinched in frustration and her red gaze slid over to the jail cell that held the - frankly giant - man. He hadn’t spoken a word to her since he was brought in late last night after she found him ransacking a shop during her patrol.

Morwenna hadn’t been there, thankfully, and no one had been hurt. In fact, as far as the vampire could tell, nothing had even been stolen. It confused her in all honesty, but she figured Morwenna had taken something from the man. That woman had a habit of stealing things and making enemies.

The tapping stopped as she brought her legs down from where they had rested on the table and dropped them to the ground with a thud. Mina hadn’t gotten any information from the man the night prior and the sooner she had what she needed to know, the sooner she could deal with him. Frankly, if Morwenna had stolen an item of his, she would likely let him go and assist him in retrieving it from that mad woman.

Mina never really liked the eccentric shop keeper.

The constable rose smoothly to her feet and made her way toward the cell that held the prisoner that she hadn’t gotten the name of. She lightly rested her shoulder on the bars of the jail cell and gazed at the man behind them. “What’s your name?” Her voice was almost harsh and unfriendly.

“My name is Constable Mina Delagney, and the sooner you answer my questions, the sooner we can solve this and both go on our way.”

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living defeated is dying daily

Location: Whit Pigments || Interaction: Majna (@StarlightStarbright )

It was beginning again. No matter how many times that Armand tried to escape it in mind, his body felt caged here in Arkley, and thus he stuck with the thought that he would have to do it again...and again...and again. One would think that he was used to the feeling by now, but no. The feeling of dread when the Day of the Rose began always felt fresh, as if he had not felt it last year and the year before that. It was because with each year, there was always a new face that he would come to know, ingrained in his mind because that face had become one of the Fallen. And as if his body knew that that is what he would be feeling, it was like it pressed itself firmly into his bed, making it harder for him to awaken.

Eventually, he did because, well...he had to. He couldn't leave the art shoppe unattended for too long, though he figured his little helper Majna would hold down the fort as much as possible. His first drink of the morning was a two shots of whiskey, a ritual of his since he resigned to the fact that this "celebration" was annual and inevitable. After he had gotten ready, he scurried on to the shoppe.

Just as he was getting there, he noticed that Majna was there, turning sign from closed to open, and he gave a small smile. Amongst the hell that he felt inside, he did often feel a more positive type of warmth when he was with his younger sibling, Majna. He tried to hide from Majna his defeated attitude, protect her and her headmates from the reality that is being a Whitmore. The things he had done and would do...he would never them.

"There is my protégé. You've begun without me?" Armand had a bag on his shoulder of his own art supplies. He had already received custom orders for those damn masks the people were to wear, and he had to finish them off. "We have some pigments to crush for restocking and some paints to make."

✦ Bahiyya
Interaction @MissyMay

Oh to dream, a dream of a life full of peace and woe beside you. This had been all I desired and yet you were taken from me by a cruel twist of fate and so I slept and prayed for your return, my love.

How long had I slumbered beside my departed love? How many ages had passed since I had felt the soft caress of the sun or tasted the sweetness of your kiss. How many sunsets had watched time march past us, turning once living trees into a vaulted ceiling of entwined stone, as forests turned to lands of snow and ice. I had chosen to entomb us far from the reach of man. So why was I awakened? Why did I find myself alone with only the fearful scratchings of halflings as the realization of my presence dawned upon them. Why did they scream when I asked where my lover was? So they had read my warnings, and had chosen to break the seals upon our crypt. Their screams and pleading sobs were short lived before I severed their heads from their necks and silenced their voices forever. How many weeks had passed since then, how long since I had left the forest to hunt the trail of those who stole from the one I love? How many lives had been snuffed out by my wrath when they refused to return him or his effects to me?? Too many across too many lands and still I find myself no closer to finding him or his belongings. It was in that moment right before I had lost faith that I heard the fading whispers of a dying man speak to me, the words bubbling up through the blood in his throat. ‘’nn Arkley..its in Arkley.’’ He had chosen to deny my request of information, he had chosen to fight why? Why was he now telling me what I wanted to know? ‘’Why?’’ I asked, confusion and anger lingering in my vocal cords as a guttural growl reverberating from my esophagus. ‘’Why tell me now? Only as you are lying here dying after refusing? Why halfling?’’ The words rang out bouncing off the walls and back to me but nothing else came from the man. His eyes locked onto me as the light faded from them, I did not feel remorse for my actions, so why…why was I so sad at being left alone in that room.

I am unsure of how long I traveled through this world after I encountered that man. Arkley, the word was clearly the name of a place, but where this place was I was unsure. Through my daze I remember seeing the string of crimson that bound me to my love once again before me, beckoning me forth like a master with a leash, and I the ever faithful dog followed along. Then there was nothing for some time before I found myself stumbling from a forest and into a town made by the halflings that seemed to have dominated the planet since I was last awake. Their small straw huts were replaced in the centuries I slept by large boxes made of stone and wood. Still they held no interest for me, all were meaningless except for the one wrapped in the crimson string. Then there was nothingness before I awoke to find myself confronted by one of the halflings. She held no trace of his magic upon her and so I spared her life and allowed her to speak and found myself amused as she proclaimed me her prisoner. These halflings were audacious through and through, though the idea of slaughter crossed my mind it was not the way of the one I loved and so to honor him. I followed the tiny female to a building of iron and stone. Their tiny boxes were not built to accommodate one of my find, and so I decided to give her 24 hours to amuse me before I would leave this box. I am unsure how long I sat in the small box of stone and iron, my amusement growing into annoyance by the time she returned and spoke once again.

‘’Constable? That explains your sense of authority and this box. Though I care not for your questions or your manners, amuse me some more and I will oblige you with answers, for in them I will find my own.’’

I held no anger towards this halfling, if she like I was simply doing her job then all would be explained in time. Mina Delagney, names to my kind were like gold to the children under the mountains. So why did she share hers so openly? Had the Fae left this realm behind while I slept? Perhaps much more had changed in the time I slept than I had thought.

''Where am I?''
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Nikolas Fleming
The Wild Rose ➽ Silver Heart | Character Sheet

"Niko, dear boy, you do know I have other customers, yes? I can't sell my entire stock for only the Day of the Rose." A middle-aged woman stood with her hands on her hips, olive skin just beginning to show age despite the thick locks of graying hair that slicked away from her face.

A younger man stood before her, adorned in fanciful clothes too drab for the interior of the bright florist shop the pair stood in. Gloved hands were in faux prayer in front of his face, shoulders slouched somewhat as if to appear younger and smaller. If she could see him, Rivka ( @cowboyclown ) would dispair. "Please, Katherine, just a few roses. I'll pay double the fee." He had forgotten to buy extra to give out during the morning when he'd placed the order. Now, he needed Katherine to both have additional roses on the Day of the Rose and be willing to part with them.

"Some things aren't about money, Niko," she sighed, eyes rolling out of either exasperation or fondness before she turned on her heel. The dark-haired vampire straightened his shoulders back out as he watched the woman huff and patter around the shop. To some, the two's actions might reveal a relationship forged on lordling money and a craftsman's need to sell for a living, but it was much more than that. This song and dance had been played between the two of them longer than either of them wished to recall.

"Here, now, get," Katherine laughed, pushing a small, wrapped bundle of blood-red roses into Nikolas's hands. "Don't want to see you again until after the festival is over." Still, there was a bright smile on her features, and she shooed him away good-naturedly with a sweep of her hand. While the two looked nothing alike, there was a familiar relationship between them that beckoned easy laughter and teasing.

Another customer entered the store, a small bell tinkling at their arrival, and Niko quickly pulled a flower from his bouquet to hand it to them. "The Fleming Family thanks you on this Day of the Rose," he said, with more sincerity than sarcasm, though, both could be found. The individual smiled and thanked Niko, which meant that he could properly take his leave. The small warmth of happiness that the young heir felt whenever he was with Katherine or her... daughter, drifted away as soon as he left the flower shop.

Yet, there was no time to dwell on the ice that traveled through him as the performativity of the Fleming name weighed on his shoulders once more. Being a part of the Fleming name was difficult to uphold on any given day, but especially on the Day of the Rose. Niko sighed, rolling out his shoulders before taking a look up the street. The Silver Hart's sign wasn't too far off, and he still had time to kill before preparations for the releasing of that lanturns...

Nikolas walked the short distance from the Wild Rose to the Silver Hart, handing out another two roses in the same fashion before entering the establishment. Flemings either receiving or giving Roses was traditional, and Niko preferred to give. Might as well ask Myron ( @MissyMay ) for tea and offer a few roses about the teahouse in the meantime. However, his gaze hit the dual red-haired Mulvahil heirs before he could spot the Whitmore tea master.

"Excuse me," he said to the pair of them, extending a rose to the longer-haired woman and then to the shorter-haired. "The Fleming Family thanks you on this Day of the Rose," he said, tipping his head slightly. After a moment he stood straight, offering them an easy smile as he ran his fingers through his hair in mock sheepishness. "Gladiolus ( @Ai-in Ayan ), Nerina ( @Princess Rose ), nice to see you both. How does the morning find you?"

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Laverne Wycliffe
The Silver Hart | Interactions: N/A

She flips through the worn down journal slowly, taking in page after page with quiet satisfaction. Some pages were stained with blots of coffee and tea, somewhere filled to the brim with scribbles and scratches she couldn’t read and some were blatantly ripped out and placed in different areas. She paused to adjust the pressed daisy that threatened to slide out of one page before finally flipping closer to the end. A blank page lay before her, one of the last few she had left.

Her fingers picked up the little silver fountain pen and wrote down the date at the top corner of the page. She had nothing of note to write yet, no events to record, and nothing to reminder herself of. She would fill the page up as she explored Arkley today, hopefully. She wanted to describe it as best she could for the readers. She could likely start writing now from what little she'd seen, but something in her stopped her from putting ink to the page.

Laverne glanced around the dimly lit teahouse from where she sat in a corner by herself. The teahouse was far more packed than she had thought possible for such a small town, even with a festival ongoing. It appeared that people from all over Europe - and maybe even the world - came to celebrate alongside the townsfolk.

Truthfully, she didn’t see the appeal. Carmichael had taken her to so many festivals over the course of her apprenticeship with him that this one didn’t seem interesting. Perhaps that was why he sent her alone - it was easy and familiar. Just interview some people, ask about the events, attend the important bits, and write an article. She’d done it a hundred times by this point.

So, why did she feel so unsettled by this place? She already guessed that the town is hiding a secret but what small town in the countryside isn't. Typically it involves some scandal they don’t want getting out - an affair or a bastard child or something completely mundane. She had nothing to worry about. But she supposes it wouldn’t hurt to find out what they’re hiding, would it? It'd probably make a better story than another article about another festival in some no where town.

She placed her pen to the page and began to make notes of everything odd she had noticed so far.

Felix Fletcher
The Town Square | Interactions: N/A

There was something off about this town if you asked him. The whole place seemed to carry the stench of something he couldn’t quite define - something that reminded him of someplace he doesn’t remember. Whatever - or whoever - it was left his skin feeling itchy just from lingering too long. The itch was bearable, he could tolerate it but… Some places where he could see flowers wilted and metal turned to rust left his skin burning. It was as if he donned iron chainmail.

If it wasn’t for that lingering presence it would have been a cute little town in his opinion. Maybe Felix would have liked to make this place his home. The people seemed friendly and he could see that nearly every citizen that lived here had a presence of something otherworldly - it was like it was a town of those just like him. He might not even be an outcast here but he refused to linger.

Felix stopped his long stride through the busy streets only to gather his bearings. A woman brushed by him and his fingers twitched. Crowds like this made his ‘job’ so much easier, but he couldn’t risk it. He only stayed in this place because of that damn deal he made with Morwenna. He had done the hard part already, now he just needed to wait. Once he got his money, he would be gone.

His gaze fell onto a few wilted roses that rested against a pile of its perfectly healthy brethren. Felix felt his lips curl as he made a noise of disgust. He turned sharply on his heels, unsure of where to go but wishing to be anywhere but here. He heard of several places to spend his time - a teahouse, a pub, or maybe he could simply walk around the town.

He scratched at his wrist, glancing back but couldn’t see the flowers that sat at the steps of the doctors office through the crowd anymore.

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Amarantha Whitmore
Whitmore Mausoleum ➽ The Town Square | Interactions: N/A

Within the deathly quiescent labyrinthine stone halls of the underground crypt resounded the unnatural click-clack of heels as a tall woman of Whitmore lineage traversed the underground part of her family's mausoleum. Despite the incongruous sound of her sharp steps – did she not consider the clattering of her shoes inappropriate? Disrespectful? – the lady in mourning was one who was deeply in tune with the dead.

Within a private room bearing hefty magical protections lay a beautifully polished oak casket. Candles and flowers around the body's resting place were the standard decoration, of course. However, there were many other oddities placed within the chamber: a writing desk with pens, papers, and other nick-nacks on it; various maps were spread on one wall, another was covered with photographs and posters, yet another sported hunting trophies and a rifle; there was even a small bookcase in one corner, and a cozy armchair next to it.

It almost looked lived in.


Because despite the various furniture and items, which were clearly well taken care of, there was the sense that no one truly used this room.

For one, the casket was a dead giveaway.

Amarantha cracked a small smile at the inside joke – it was the kind Art would make.

For another, there simply were no signs of a living presence, hers notwithstanding. Everything was simply too neat, too orderly; despite some clutter, the items all evoked the feeling that they had been put there, only to be left there, on display. The cleaners always placed each thing exactly where it'd been, too. Nothing was being used here; all the books were neatly arranged, there were no stray ink stains or fresh coffee rings, certainly no food or beverage anywhere, nor was there any particular scent (besides the burning candles) nor sound.

It was akin to a museum, really, only the collection here was dedicated solely to the life and history of a singular person. Perhaps it would not be amiss to term it an altar too, as the deceased was evidently cherished.

Ignoring the other seats available, Amarantha delicately perched upon the casket itself. Rather than having to lift up the lid, there was a small window built into it. After sliding a wooden panel to the side, the glass underneath was revealed – and so was the lifeless inhabitant laying quiescent within the casket itself.

"Hello, brother," Amarantha greeted quietly. She lay her palm on the cool glass surface, wishing she could touch his face. However, it was far more important not to disrupt the preservation and rejuvenation enchantments within. Closing her eyes, she felt out the otherworldly connection.

It was so familiar, she could contact him with barely a thought. Especially this time of the year, when the boundaries between the living and the dead were far feebler.

She felt him then, and turned to the spirit with a grin. "Art!" she exclaimed happily. His visage was barely there; a wavering ghost who could only remain for a limited time.

"Hello…Amy." His voice was faint, and not-quite right, as if he were speaking from a great distance. Well, he certainly was, what with his soul residing wherever Decay had taken it.

"That…time…of the year…again?" he asked, and Amarantha smiled.

"Yes. Is there anything you would like?" Artemas' spirit shook his head in the negative. Despite his claims, she always brought him whatever seemed interesting from the festival, and she though he seemed to enjoy it – as much as he could in his form. "Alright. I'll pick what I like, then."

He floated there, gazing towards her. Locking eyes with a spirit was a far call from looking at a living person; the dead weren't quite there, no matter the strength of their bond nor the power of her magic. His being was elsewhere, after all, and this was almost like a hazy mirror image.

"Try…to have fun," he told her gently. Her soft smile was tinged with heavy sorrow. Even now, his first consideration was of others rather than himself.

"I will." She didn't say 'for the both of us'. "I may be able to let you experience some of it through myself," she offered.

"We…can try," he affirmed hesitantly. His form and presence wavered.

"Artemas." Her expression became entirely solemn. "I can feel that it will be soon. This year…It feels special. I–" she swallowed heavily, tears suddenly threatening to emerge. "I promise, I will bring you back."

As a parting gesture, she stood up to envelop him in a hug. It was like jumping into the sea mid-winter; frigid, and shocking, and likely to sap all your life force if you did it for too long. She had no idea what it was like for Artemas, but he disappeared soon after.

Amarantha sighed. In part, she could understand why her mother didn't want to do this. It was nothing like talking to a living person, and each moment spent with the spirit, each of his words, each gesture, all served to remind you of what you lost. However, the young lady was determined that she would make his death only temporary in nature. With so much magic in the world, so many beings who defied death one way or another, it was only a matter of time, effort, and circumstances. Add a pinch of luck, and they'd be set.

Done with her ritual, she closed the little window on the casket, and exited the crypt. Above it was the mausoleum, which on special occasions could be accessed by outsiders – under supervision. The cemetery was rather serene; however, it was time to rejoin the world of the living.

She meandered towards the town square. It was promisingly active. So many people came to see their festivals, came to peddle their foreign wares. Amarantha enjoyed browsing the stalls. Year in and year out, people showed up, yet each time, there was someone and something new to see. A curious trinket here, a strange book there, a beautiful painting, an unfathomable contraption, fascinating ingredients, intriguing travelers…It was lovely, truly. In the background, many eager performers and street artists were showcasing their skill, adding to the atmosphere.

They would all have their fun, become a part of Arkley if just for a little while. And when the time came, some of them would be sent to the otherworld, on their next little adventure. It was the Festival of Spirits, after all. The living and the dead intermingled; some of the former would join the latter, and if all went well, one of the latter would rejoin the former.

Oleander Valcourt
The Town Square | Character Sheet

Already, the town of Arkley was in full swing in hosting the annual Festival of Spirits. A time in which the small population numbers swelled in size, travelers and merchants alike being beckoned by the dark call of Arkley. Even with the Day of the Rose in full effect with beautiful bursts of blood-red lining the town square, there was still a drab feeling in the air. Blame it on the cloudy morning, but there was more at play than overcast weather. The merchants who called out to sell their refinery and the travelers who heeded their call knew nothing of the secrets that Arkley kept closely hidden.

Well, it wasn't as if Oleander knew of those secrets, either. He was full of opinions, and assumptions, but Arkley had no ties to his name. His blood did not run through the foundations of mansions or shops as so many others did. The Faerie was merely here for his own violation, without the ties to the Festival of Spirits that weighed heavy on the shoulders of older families. There were so many young Fleming, Mulvahil, and Whitmore heirs, it was interesting to watch them prance about toward a destiny that most of them never seem to question.

Regardless, his duties as the town's school teacher were on hold for the next few days. The Festival took up too much time and effort to not allow the children a reprieve from traditional learning. If needed, he would still corral them at their parents' behest, but even he was looking forward to spending ample time at the Festival instead of teaching. His students were fine, intelligent even, but often Oleander wondered when the rest of the town had trusted him enough to teach the next Arkley generation their lessons. Majna Whitmore ( @StarlightStarbright ) was especially bright, but the Fae often wondered if the Whitmores shoved the young woman off onto people like himself and Armand ( @Bahiyya ) so that they did not personally have to deal with her oddities.

Whitmore business wasn't any of his business, however, and he spotted another of his students, Oliver, coming out of The Achaemenes whilst carrying appetizing boxes of pastries. Oleander would need to visit Amir ( @The Lotus Archives ) to request some pastries or treats of his own. The mysterious pub owner always had the most amazing food options... First, he wanted to run and see about the merchants in town, then he'd swing back by the Achaemenes to tease Amir and ask for Baklava.

While not typically an unobservant person, Oleander miscalculated the stride of a young red-haired man ( @MissyMay ) who walked from a nearby building into his path. The school teacher bumped into the taller man from behind, reaching out a hand to place it on his shoulder to steady him. "Pardon me," he said, with a good-natured laugh. However, it was a bit strange that the man had stopped where he did, and there was a clear sour look on his features. It was easy to spot one of his own kind, and he cocked his head in the red-head's direction. It wasn't as if Faerie were uncommon amongst Arkley, but surely, Ollie would have remembered seeing such a prickly person before. "Town is a bit confusing to navigate at first, innit?" he asked, letting his hand fall away from the other's shoulder. "Looking for anything specific? I can probably point you in the right direction." A bright white smile enveloped his face, but it was a bit too sharp to be considered completely friendly.

Out of the corner of his eye, Oleander also spotted one of the many young Whitmores who were no doubt getting ready for their own rituals in a few short days. Amarantha ( @SilverPaw ) was not someone he had spoken to often, as she had just finished schooling by the time he took over teaching, but she was enigmatic. The complexities of Whitmore's lineage meant next to nothing to Oleander, but, he had always viewed the silver-haired woman as someone severe enough to take over the head role should she need to. Perhaps Armand, but even he understood the issues with electing a bastard son as the head of household.

"Excuse me, once again," he said to the red-haired fae, turning slightly to extend an arm upward to wave at Amarantha. "Amarantha! Lovely to see you. Are you lost as well? I believe I have a weary traveler here that could use your assistance." While Oleander could probably help someone out, it was better to just ask someone who had more influence than his own. Even if the other man was merely looking for the pub or teahouse, Amarantha Whitmore pointing the way would enhance his time at the Festival of Spirits much more than if he would.

But once Amarantha was greeted, Oleander turned his sharp grin back toward the Fae. For one reason or another, he wanted to hear what this man was in town for.

Majna Whitmore (Location: Whit Pigments)
[Fronting: Majna]

Majna waved back at Gladiolus ( @Ai-in Ayan ) with just as much enthusiasm. Gladiolus was a beautiful woman that Majna greatly admired. She was confident in her mannerisms and thrilling in her conversational exploits. She was everything that Majna wished she herself could be, one day.

...She really hopes she doesn't split and make a new headmate based off of Gladiolus. Having to juggle her body between Herman and Faris was taxing enough.

When she heard the all too familiar voice of Armand ( @Bahiyya ), Majna spun around with the brightest smile on her face. Herman's affection for his older brother bled into Majna's, mixing into an intense joy upon seeing Armand in the flesh.

"Mandy!" Majna exclaimed, clapping her hands together. "There you are!" She could smell alcohol on him. Armand must have had his whiskey; Majna should have guessed.

She readily accepted Armand's work demands with a nod, but then she tugged at Armand's sleeve with two fingers. "Oh…there's a new painting on the art display section." Majna alerted Armand of this fact shyly. "You should look at it before we start." Majna didn't directly say that the painting was of her own creation, but Armand would likely know what Majna was implying, and if he didn't he would know the 0€ painting was Majna's by both the style and the price tag.

Majna waltzed back into the shop with a skip in her step. Whit Pigments had two separate areas for paint production: a smaller station on the floor where Armand and Majna could pay attention to their customers, and a larger station in the backrooms that was utilized outside of the shop's regular hours. Majna suspected that either her or Armand were going to have to make trips between the two stations to both grab things they might need as well as put things back where they belong.

Majna decided to adjust the counter display a bit before she aided Armand with the paint production. At that moment, Whit Pigment's first customer entered the establishment: a white-haired man clad in black with a calculative gait (Mathias Penn). He raised an eyebrow at Majna's latest painting. He looked interested in it.
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Hyacinth Adventurine
He had woken up early for the first day of celebration. Hyacinth knew he was ordered to get a day off but that did not mean he could not be near his ward... or wards (@Princess Rose). Knocking on the door, he sighed. "Lady, breakfast," he called out before opening the door. "We need to take you and the lady Nerina for fitting later on your new dresses."

He was only met by an empty room and an open window. Great, she just climbed out of the large mansion. Calmly placing the wooden tray on the table, Hyacinth closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. "We have a door," he murmured patiently. Licking his lips, he combed his hair back and started his search for either of the third generation Mulvahil.

"Master Benedict," he called out, walking purposefully to where the man was, in the gardens of the mansion. The husband of their matriarch was meditating and the fae could only stand there and wait. When it did end, Hyacinth bowed. "Sir, your grand daughters..."

"Hopefully they did not end up in the jailhouse again," he chuckled jovially. "You are relieved of your position for the time being, young one. You do not have to be there waiting on them."

Hyacinth did not say anything about it. He wanted to, but he really never lied. "I will be heading out now, master," he stated with his easy smile.

Hyacinth's first destination was the police station. Too many times was he tasked to get his ward and her cousin from there. He hated being there as the amount of iron and steel made him nauseous. Last time he was there, he had a burn on his wrist. "Morning, Officer Delagney (@MissyMay)," he greeted first before entering, knowing that the vampire would be there. He was correct. Ever the hardworking constable. "I just~!"

"Where am I?"

Hyacinth looked up before nodding. He was not supposed to be there. He did a quick look over to the large man and blinked once more. He was definitely going to ask the lady after this whole ordeal is over. Bowing in apology to the lady Mina, Hyacinth got out. Walking through the streets, he saw one of the Whitmores - the lady Amarantha (@SilverPaw), and the popular mister Oleander (@cry). Placing his facade, he got closer. He did not come too close as it looked like they were busy. But, in case they saw him, he gave a bow in greeting with his friendly smile before heading to where Miss Gladiolus might be hiding.

The Achaemenes loomed over him and he was starting to lose his facade. The ever cheerful owner was not Hyacinth's cup of tea. The man was hiding something, but he was not quite sure. "Lord Bijan (@The Lotus Archives)," he finally greeted, giving him a bow much like everyone he met. "Have you seen where the Lady Gladiolus or the Lady Nerina might be?" he asked. "I could have sworn either of the two would be here during the celebration."
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Myron Whitmore
The Silver Hart | Interactions: Jamil(@StarlightStarbright)

It was the steady clacking of heels against the stone floor that brought him out of his darkened thoughts. Someone - likely a patron if he had to guess - had approached him from the side while he was lost in his mind. It wasn’t at all uncommon for him to have constant company in the mornings as people woke up and sought shelter within his inn. Taking a deep breath, Myron turned his gaze to the side and prepared to act the part of doting host when his voice caught in his throat before he could even open his mouth.

He met the eyes of someone who was quite assuredly not one of his many guests. The man before him had an undeniable aura of confidence and wore a suit made entirely of white fabric. He had seen some daring fashion choices this year, but his stood out quite a bit more than the others. He ducked his head, his veil he elected to wear over a mask for today shifting with the movement, as he realized he was being rude. Myron knew better than to just stare at someone when they were trying to make conversation.

It’s lovely to meet you, but I’m afraid that doesn’t ring a bell.” He offered Jamil a bashful smile, “I don’t really get out much - too much of a homebody, really.

His gaze wandered for a moment to check on those under his roof, always wanting to keep an eye out for those that may need help. His eyes swept from the doors to linger for a moment on Nikolas as he walked through the establishment. He was likely here to offer flowers as he usually does. He followed the Fleming's path and found the Mulvahil cousins sitting together. Myron couldn’t help but furrow his eyebrows at that, wondering how he had missed those two entering. He offered the three a subtle wave before his eyes finally fell on the other Fleming in the room. Rivka was partially hidden behind the taller man, but Myron still offered her a smile before turning back to Jamil in front of him.

He offered his hand out to shake with a grin, “I’m Myron Whitmore, the owner of the Silver Hart.” He gestures vaguely to their surroundings, leaning his hip against the desk beside him. “Now, what can I help you with? I still have a few rooms available if you need a place to stay.

Mina Delagney
Arkley Jailhouse | Interactions: Onne (@The Lotus Archives)

Her right eye twitched as she held back the urge to bare her fangs and hiss at the man in front of her. The blatant disrespect put her on edge and she was tempted to leave him in this cell to rot. Still, she needed him out of here so she could go back to her normal duties and maybe get to enjoy the festival and a nice meal. She crossed her arms and repressed the urge to huff. I am not some child that will throw a tantrum no matter how annoyed I am, Mina reminded herself. She was a grown woman - she could handle some pretentious man.

The door of the jailhouse swung open and a familiar face walked in. She hadn’t arrested either of the Mulvahil girls… yet. Mina imagines they had run off without him yet again as they seemed prone to do. Her lips twitched as she held back a smile as Hyacinth seemed to decide he should leave… or perhaps decided that this was not his problem. She almost wished he had stayed, staring where he had left through the door on a minute after he had entered.

Yes, constable. Which means I have the authority to keep you in this box or kick you out of town. Perhaps you should play nice.” She nearly hissed the last word. Mina doubted he cared about consequences though, since he seemed unconcerned with her jurisdiction. She took a deep breath like mother taught her despite not needing to breathe, and released it.

She met his eyes again after taking a moment and answered his question. “You are in Arkley’s jailhouse, charged with breaking and entering into Morwenna’s shop.” Her face scrunched up just a bit when mentioning that woman. “Seeing as how you didn’t steal anything nor harm anyone, this should be rather simple. I just need to know what to call you, why you broke in, and maybe we can resolve this before noon.

She hoped they could at least. Mina felt the thirst creep up on her once again and her fangs itched. Maybe she should send someone to fetch her some blood or perhaps to find her a replacement for just a moment… No, she could deal with a bit of hunger for a short while. This couldn’t take any longer than a few hours at most. It was a simple break in. Maybe he was just drunk and thought that was the inn?

Probably not, but it would make her life easier.

Felix Fletcher
The Town Square | Interactions: Oleander (@cry) and Amarantha (@SilverPaw)

His thoughts were interrupted as someone bumped into him from behind and a hand reached out to prevent his fall. He swiftly turned around with an apology on his lips since he had been the one to stop right in the middle of a busy road without warning. He paused when he took in the man's appearance - he seemed familiar in a way. Every citizen he has seen had given him the sense of something other, but the stranger in front of him felt almost like Felix himself. Was he like him? A fae?

Felix was almost tempted to ask right then and there. He had never met one of his own kind before and he had so many questions. Yet, he said nothing; what if he was wrong? What if the man in front of him was just some human with particularly strong magic. He couldn’t risk bringing any attention to himself.

Apologies, got lost in my thoughts there and forgot I was in the middle of the street.” He offered the stranger a charming smile. He was just about to answer the man's questions when the stranger seemed to spot another person. Felix waited and listened as he called over a severe looking woman that was called Amarantha. His head tilted as he observed their interaction. He could recognize someone important easily enough - likely a noblewoman of the town if he had to guess from the quality of the fabric she wore. People like her held an aura of importance and regality that only birth could bestow upon them. At least, that is what Felix noticed a lot when he targeted the wealthy elite of London.

He felt eyes on him again, and turned his gaze to the stranger. Felix rubbed at his wrist as it began to ache again from the itching. “It does seem rather confusing, yes.” He offered in response, hiding his disdain for the place. “I’m afraid I’m not looking for anything in particular, just wandering I suppose. This is the first festival I’ve ever been to and I’m not sure where to begin.” That seemed like a normal reason for being in town, he hoped.

Besides, if he was going to be stuck in this town that made his skin itch - he was going to enjoy it. The locals would know best how to spend his time and maybe he could make a few connections while here. His contact list was growing short as they stopped calling on him for jobs. He’d rather not go back to only doing petty theft.

Amir & Horace
Achaemenes | Interactions: Glad & Hyacinth (@Ai-in Ayan)

Amir’s bright gray eyes lingered on Oliver as the young lad left the shop with his arms full. Their cool slate surface flashing to a warm amber as he cast a silent blessing on the boy. All though Amir was sure the boy wouldn't come into danger in the city. These daily blessings had grown into a habit of the mildly protective Amir over the few years he had known the boy. With the influx of visitors one could never be too safe, it attracted all kinds to the little village, he often told himself. ‘’What will fate bring us this time.’’ He asked aloud in the old tongue of Persia. His mind left his godson only when he heard the chimes call his attention back to greeting his guests. His gentle grin turned into a bright toothy smile as he heard Glad’s flirtatious remarks as she walked in. Always the man of class he immediately turned to Glad and gave her a wink before he spoke in that warm tone of his.

‘’Oh Yaram Aziz, flattery will get you many things in this world, but not me.’’ He began, his eyes darting over to the plat of treats as his gaze followed her eyes. ‘’Take a few before you go..’’ He added, pointing to the rows of Baklava as his free hand grabbed his notepad from his aprons pocket. He was lost to his world as he took stock of what he would need to buy at the markets later and what boxes had yet to be delivered. If she had said more to him it would have fallen on deaf ears as the man wrote a few notes. It was the chiming of the bells that told him Gald had left. Though any thoughts he had were whisked away as heard someone come down the grand staircase and into the landing that divided the Achaemenes from his home and the archive.

‘’Good morning!’’ He began his warm eyes darting over to the stairs only to chuckle as he caught a glimpse of Horace in his fine black suit and leather overcoat with matching gloves and boots. ‘’Oh going out are we Aziz?’’ He mused, happy to see the lad had finally chosen to go outside. ‘’No, I hadn't planned on leaving the Achaemenes.’’ Horace flatly responded, his monotone voice and the look on his face of disgust from the idea hit Amir like a house. Though Amir could feel his heart break he was never one to sit in the mud and with a devious smile planted on his face. He watched the cool unreadable young man stiffen as he saw the smile on Amir’s face and then apprehensively take a step back towards the stairs. Whatever the strange immortal was planning, Horace wanted no part in it. It always ended with him feeling foolish.

’Oh Kalaagh! Since you are heading towards the kitchen would you kindly bring a box of Baklava to your Fâxta hmm habibi?’’ Amir asked, the warmth of his words and the happiness of his demeanor were weapons Amir would use against anyone if he wanted to. With a deep sigh and a drop of his shoulder Horace would only raise one hand as he wondered who Amir was talking about. He had learned some of the man's native tongue mainly because Amir would use it to give everyone pet names and refer to them when he forgot their names. His name was Kalaagh or Raven. It was due to his melancholic nature Amir had told him. However the word Fâxta was new to him, but Amir had said your Fâxta which implies Horace owned it but it was a person. It took Horace a second and as the confusion began to creep into his features. It clicked and he took in a breath before he spoke cautiously.

‘’Fâxta? Do you mean Āho?’’

‘’Yes, Aziz you will take the box to Āho for me no?’’ Amir replied with that warm smile of his, and while normally Horace would find some comfort in the man's smile. It was the chaotic glint in his eyes that told Horace that the immortal Amir was up to no good.

‘’Why did you call him Fâxta?’’

The question slipped from Horace without his consent and left him wondering if he had asked the wrong question as he watched the immortal's smile grow wider and his eyes squint to a faint line.

‘’What is the moghabel of a Kalaagh, hmm?’’

Amir began before his head turned to the doors and the chaotic glint vanished, replaced by his ever welcoming expression and grace.

‘’Welcome dear, oh Sonbol my azizi. Hmm, Yaram you say? You just missed her. Though since you are here and going the same way will you take Kalaagh to the inn? She should be there by now and this one has a delivery to make and you a job, no? Three birds one shoe, yes?’’ Amir spoke with such certainty and confidence that Horace only shook his head and sighed.

‘“I didn't say I would take them from you did I?’’

‘’But you will, because it offers a chance to do something else you want, no? Now enough talk, go grab the treats. Fâxta is waiting for you. Sonbol please help yourself to some Baklava while you wait,hmm?’’

Horace stood silently stunned for a second as he was forced to accept his defeat. Amir had a way of knowing people's wishes and desires that made Horace nervous. Often he had been left wondering if the man was perhaps a telepath or psychic. Without a sound Horace turned and stepped into the kitchen leaving Amir and Hyacinth for only a second before he saw the box Amir had spoken of. He couldn't tell where or even how Amir found the time to do all this but as he grabbed the box and returned to the landing he couldn't help but smile as the realization of what was to come dawned on him. Though he tried to hide it, the wink he received from Amir told him the man knew.

‘’Come on let's get this over with, we're heading to the Hart.'’ Horace said to Hyacinth, his thoughts and feelings hidden behind the flat monotone mask he always wore. He didn't dare look at Amir's Cheshire like grin. ''Thank you Habaibis.'' Amir mused as Horace made his way to leave to Achaemenes.

Jail house | Interactions: Mina (@MissyMay)
She spoke with such conviction I couldn't help but smirk at the halfling called Mina. Nice? Whatever did she mean I pondered as my gaze turned. The confusion clearly written on my face for a moment before a low chuckle rumbled from the core of my being. This child had jokes it seemed. My playing along with this farce was me being nice. Though she could not have known this I found it amusing and slightly insulting, perhaps a plague would change her tone. Though all thoughts of disciplining children left the moment I heard her say the name of the city.

’Arkley you say?’’

Finally, after all this time I had arrived. Finally I would get my revenge and reclaim what was mine. However, first I would need to leave this jail as she called it, the only question became how did I want to leave said jail. Magic, sheer force or guile…each tempted my mind for a moment before I made my choice.

‘’Nice is an illusion I will no longer grant you, my being here is my playing nice. Honesty is all I will offer you now. Power is hollow, if I wanted to leave this box I would. If I wanted to play rough I would. If I wanted, I would not have followed you so peacefully. Do you see how the power you are counting on is in itself a jest, your position only grants you power over me if I allow it. The city has no walls after all so how would you hold me out, magic? Think you have enough to hold against a siege?’’

I held no anger towards this halfling. She was amusing and had answered me questions so I felt inclined to return the favour. But she needed to understand that before anything, one must understand their position.

‘’Ah, my reasons are simple. That place obviously has something that doesn't belong there. It is mine and I will reclaim it or I will have the soul of this Morwenna. Just like I have taken the souls of the others who stole from me. You can not stop this, it is contractual obligations and they did seal the contract when they entered my tomb. Since you have amused me and I have a thing against killing children. I will warn you now Mina, do not hinder my search or I will find you complicit in their crimes and guilty of the same punishment.’’ I liked the audaciousness sometimes, and had decided that she should should at least be warned. Whatever she did after was her own choices.

‘’How long have I been in this box?''

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Amarantha Whitmore
The Town Square | Interactions: @cry Oleander, @MissyMay Felix

Amarantha was examining the booth of a weapon's seller, her focus on the collection of revolvers and pistols kept safely behind a display case. "How lovely…" she murmured. As beautiful as they were lethal. She had taken up learning marksmanship after the incident, and was a decent enough shot. She'd developed an admiration for handguns, which were compact, yet rather efficient. Moreover, some designs were so sleek and elegant. If it came with smooth handling, it would be perfect. However, she was still not entirely convinced about this provider. Perhaps, she should try out one of them…?

Her pondering were interrupted by a call, and she turned to see Oleander nearby. "Hm…Excuse me, madame," she gave the proprietor a polite smile. "Would you mind reserving that item for me?" she pointed at the article in question. "If it is possible, I would like to try it out before buying later. Here," she handed over some money. "I believe this should be sufficient for you to fulfill my request?" It was formed as a question, though it wasn't quite one. The lady nodded, and Amarantha waved her goodbye.

"What is the occasion, Oleander?" she questioned as she approached, clearly curious. However, her gaze was reserved almost solely for the foreign traveler. Had the Fae found someone interesting? Or did the teacher find himself out of his depth? "Lost?" she laughed, a clear ringing sound. "Oh, what a jokester you are," she waved her hand as if to shoo away the silly idea. "I was merely exploring the festival. Such a lovely time of the year, wouldn't you agree?" she questioned rhetorically.

She nodded at Oleander's request. So, this was about the traveler. The teacher did seem quite drawn to the other man. Well, she wasn't one to turn down an opportunity, so she agreed. "Of course." The odd scratching motion of the stranger did not go unnoticed by her. He didn't seem the shy type. "I suppose it would be confusing for a foreigner, but it is a small town, truly." She decided to simply address her suspicions. "…Is something bothering you?" she frowned, adopting a concerned expression.

She wasn't expecting much of an answer, so addressed his indirect inquiry. "Well, it all depends on what you are looking for. If you seek plentiful company," her gaze roamed the streets leading to her cousin's establishment, "The Silver Hart seems to be the hot spot. If you would prefer something quieter, The Achaemenes could be the better locale." She sighed as she considered Amir. "However, the latter one does have a rather…relentlessly kind proprietor." She meant nosy, but the man could interpret her words as he wished. "Though, if you have some sort of a rash, paying a visit to The Bloodstone Vial would not be amiss."

She glanced at Oleander then, subtle mischief playing within her eyes. "Oh, but Oleander, if you are intrigued about the man, why not invite him somewhere you favour?" She didn't explicitly say it should be a date, but thought it amusing if that is what came out of it.

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Olenn Jordenson
Character Sheet | Achaemenes | Interactions: Open, @The Lotus Archives @Ai-in Ayan

Olenn was already hating the morning, feeling much like a soulless husk as he wandered out away from the Silver Hart Inn where he and several other travelers had bunked down for the evening before the festivals were to begin. He clutched his jacket close to his frame despite the sun hiding behind the clouds. He always seemed to feel more hollow and cold with every passing day. There was no heat to warm him anymore, or at least that's what his troubled mind always told him. He was alone in the world, and it was a sad and barren existence.

He slowly made his way toward the pub, a usual route he took ever since he arrived a week prior. Wake up, get out of bed, resist the urge to hang himself with his curtains, and then go to the pub to drink himself into a stupor. The first three steps were passed, and now the liquor awaited him. He always held a grim look on his face now, as if it was a permanent fixture, a mask he could never remove ever since the murder of his wife and unborn sons. Part of him wanted to admit to the crime simply to end it all, but he knew his own sense of righteousness would never allow. It would be a cowardly way to quit. A way that his wife would've never wanted for him.

He raised his eyes as he entered the pub, seeing that he wasn't the first one through the bell-hung door. He saw the fiery red hair of Gladiolus first, watching her with dark and tired eyes as she pranced around the pub owner with an upbeat smile. How could anyone be happy on such a cloudy day? Perhaps it was a trait of that pompous Mulvahil family, he thought. The well dressed suit of Hycinth stood out to him as well. These people always seemed so put together, as if nothing could disrupt their perfect lives. "...How perfect." Did he speak out loud? At this point, he didn't care. He just wanted a drink.

Baron 'Doc' Grady
Character Sheet | Arkley Cemetary | Interactions: Open

Clouds covering the sun made his day a bit easier, at least in terms of getting around. The shadows of the trees and buildings allowed Doc Grady to move nearly three times the speed of him walking around, and for that he was grateful. He didn't feel in the mood to speak to many today, even if it was a celebration. Yes, the flowers were beautiful. But to the shadow man, nothing could be more beautiful than studying the remains of a corpse. He held a sack over his shoulder as he wandered about the grave stones. No, he wasn't looking to rob any graves... at least not today. No, he was after smaller quarry.

The day before, he had noticed a pack of dogs had dug up a rabbit's nest. Perhaps there would be kits left over for collection. He had yet to map out the entire anatomy of a week old bunny. It was a challenge he was more than happy to attempt. After all, the more he can learn about other creatures and their bodily operations, the better he could serve his clients. That's the small white lie he always told to them when they came in with a broken femur or a strained tendon. If he was lucky, there may even be blood to drain into packets for the Flemings. He never outride stated his loyalties to any of the three families, but he made it clear to them that he would be happy to get his hands dirty should the duty call.

Ah yes. There it was. A young doe rabbit splayed out beneath a birch exactly where he had left her. Despite the hours passing, she was still relatively warm to the touch. Rigor mortis had not yet stiffened her joints, and her eyes had just started to glaze over. Grady smiled and opened his bag, carefully tucking her inside, being extra cautious not to bend her delicate ears as he positioned her amongst the soft fabrics inside.

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