Through the Mirror

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by LunarLavendula, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Ramona Thumberly (open)

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      Ramona Thumberly • 18 Years old • Female • Photography Student

      Ramona stands between 5"8 and 5"9, with short dark hair that curls inwards towards her slender neck and tends to bob when she walks. Her almond shaped eyes are an even darker colour, with a depth to them that swallows up her thoughts. She tends to stick to muted or dark tones of clothing, and leans towards the comfy and practical, often wearing simple clothes like plain dresses, long tops, cropped shorts or simple skirts.

      Her usual dead-pan expression leaves little to the imagination; it is hard to place what she wonders about. She's quick to roll with the punches and despite appearances, has a rich imagination that seems to fill the spaces between the boredom and the mundane; not to mention a sharp wit. It often catches people by surprise - she has such a serious expression most of the time, it seems so out of place for her to be the rambunctious sort.

      Ramona loves adventure and is a bit of a thrill-seeker. She's had to dull it down as her parents don't look kindly on it, but when she gets a quiet moment, you can bet she'll cook up something fun to do. This strange juxtaposition of her personality has left her without much company; few really seem to know what she's about. This has led her to devouring books by the dozen, her addiction to literature not helped by the fact her father runs a little bookstore that has been in the family some generations.

      It isn't really a surprise she's an odd fit for her family, too. Her mother - a highly competitive woman who wanted the best for her daughter - doesn't seem to understand Ramona's dreamy though reckless nature. She is a well-organised woman with a tendency to overthink and worry a lot. Ramona always felt pressured to live up to expectations, but never quite managed to. Still, her father - a gentle and humorous man - certainly balances out the household tension. Not to mention Torrance, who joined the family four years ago. Ramona wasn't sure how she felt about having a younger sibling, but she has to admit he's grown on her. A light-hearted child as children often are, Torrance seems to have taken a shine to his sister. The two make good partners in crime. Ramona is already filling his head with reckless wanton ideas, like - why bother brushing your teeth? Or, wanna climb this tree with me?

      Ramona has a passion for photography. She can often be seen with a large, old camera around her neck, snapping shots that take her fancy. She prefers older form of photography to newer, digital varieties, but she'll take what she can get.


    A flash of dark teal and Ramona Thumberly whizzed around the corner, clutching her hat as her bicycle navigated the cobbles. The hill was steep with a wonderful view across the ocean, and down below, she could see the painted houses in all different colours along the port front.

    Seagulls cried gracelessly and the sounds of polite conversation drifted on the cold sea air. This quaint seaport was a strange flavour; a mix of sleepy elderly come to live a quiet life and burley fishermen who spent their time out at sea. Come Market day the town square was filled with the calls of traders trying to out-shout each other. It was lively days like that that made Ramona appreciated her home town.

    The rest of the time it was a drag. She grinned widely and lifted her feet off the pedals as she stared out across the sea. It was a clear summer day, and the sky and water bled into each other like a watercolour painting. Hitting the bottom of the hill, she screeched around the corner and slowed to a leisurely pace.

    Ramona hopped off her bike and pushed it down the backstreet. The buildings here were tall and the streets were narrow, casting cold dark shadows across the ground. Signs reached high above head, telling tales of little local businesses that lived here, hidden away in the dark. Her favourite jewellery store was nestled between two buildings among these roads somewhere, and many other places like it. It was remarkable they ever got business, but the locals knew all the nooks and crannies of this town, and tourists liked to get lost and stumble upon these hidden treasures. So did Ramona.

    It was some time before Ramona stepped out into the sunshine. The backstreets fell away to reveal a lovely cul-de-sac, with large gardens and trees that rustled in the breeze. She often liked to climb into those ancient branches - when she thought no one was looking - and take pictures from there, up high in the sky.

    Quietly, Ramona pushed her bike passed the backs of houses, gently opening the garden door.

    "Your mother is going to kill you." said a lithe gentleman with auburn hair and black rectangular glasses. He wore a simple tan sweater, the collar of a white shirt peaking up around his neck neatly, and black dress trousers and shoes. It seemed an odd ensemble to wear at the best of times, let alone in summer, let alone when carrying a squirming four year old.

    "Rammy!" cried the little boy as he freed himself from his father's grasp and ran over to greet his older sibling. He beamed up at her, chocolate smeared all around his mouth.

    "Hey, Torty." she kneeled down to give Torrance a big hug, sweeping him up in her arms to swing him around haphazardly. "Does she know?" Ramona asked, closing the door with her foot as Torrance reached up to tug at her hat.

    "Oh she knows." replied her father, quirking an eyebrow as if to say - are you serious? Ramona groaned, unhooking her bag from her bike and pulling it over one shoulder, trying to get it comfy. Torty had successfully claimed ownership of her hat and was now attempting to put it on.

    "Ramona Thumberly!” came a stern voice from the kitchen. "Have you been careering down that death trap again? You promised you wouldn't! Do you want to break your neck?"

    Ramona sighed, exchanging glances with Torty as her hat slipped down past his eyes. "Time to face the music. You'll be my human shield, right?" she asked, flicking up the rim of the hat and kissing him on the forehead.

  2. Tavar Bainard (open)

    Tavar Bainard || 25 Years Old || Male || Bard (with some assassinating on the side)

    Tavar is just over 6 feet tall with dirty blonde hair that gets in his face more often than not with its curly, unkempt ends. He's often unshaved, though he keeps his facial hair closely trimmed to his light skin. His eyes are a muted forest green, often holding an amused spark or the glint of something mischievous. His profession as a bard calls for clothes that don't draw the eye, as he prefers to speak to people through his music, not his appearance. He's often found wearing simple clothing of browns, blacks, and blues, though sometimes he appeals to the masses and wears a silly hat while he dances around.

    Tavar is always perpetually amused at something. Doesn't matter what it is. He's likely to make a joke out of anything with a clean smirk that makes the ladies swoon. He has a flair for the over-dramatic and prefers to make love and peace over war.

    He's a womanizer, through and through. He knows just the right words to make their knees weak, but he often likes to woo through his music. He plays the fiddle as well as the flute, but he has quite the voice on him, should he so decide to sing. Traveling as a bard leads to meeting some interesting people, some good and others bad. Tavar tries his best to bring the spirit of happiness wherever he goes. He's a firm believer that the world would be better off if people stopped fighting or felt the need to corrupt others.

    It's where his job as an assassin comes in. The stark opposite of happiness, Tavar works as an agent of death. He's employed by a lesser-known organization known as the Darkbloods, a place for the truly skilled. Tavar takes it upon himself to remove those he considers bad from the world. While he wants people to be happy and full of joy, he knows the importance of eradicating those who would see that happiness harmed.

    It's a tough life, but he lives it. With no blood family and only other assassins to confide in, Tavar finds himself rather alone. He's a master at hiding it.

    "Sing us another, bard!" the crowd bellowed. The blonde man with the fiddle was all too happy to oblige. He plucked the strings with a twang before he settled the gold-painted bow onto the fiddle. Immediately, the inn filled with smooth and sharp sounds, all in a melodic curve through the air. The bard stomped his foot and others clapped. A few girls jumped over the counter and twirled their skirts while they flung themselves around in a simple dance. Then, the bard opened his mouth, adding to the music a deep voice full of experience and a subtle hint of amusement. He sang about the escapades of the Fell King and the Empire War centuries ago and how remnants of dark magic still sat in pockets around the world, waiting to strike. But the song, like all of his music, ended happily with quick lyrics about living life and focusing on a better future.

    The bard bowed low, his arm rolling dramatically. "You've all been lovely hosts." He picked up a cup on a passing tray and drank half of its contents in one gulp. With a quick shake of his head, the froth collecting on his stubble cleared and he smirked, noticing eyes were on him. "I have music to share with others, but you've all been so, so lovely. Especially you." He winked at the serving girl holding the now empty tray, his smirk widening at her blush. Reaching behind him, he pulled up a piece of canvas, rolling the bow up. He did the same with the fiddle, taking care of the instrument as if it was a child.

    When he looked up, everyone had gone back to being loud and obnoxious, but this time, he wasn't providing background music. He nodded at the bartender, but the man motioned for him to step to the side. "Come back when ya can stay longer, 'ey Tavar?" The man flipped two gold coins at Tavar, who caught them with ease.

    "I know, I know." Tavar flipped a hand as he slid the coins into a small sack on his belt. "I'm sure you'll tell me if there's anyone who needs a private singing session," he added with a grin. The bartender returned the expression and clapped Tavar on the shoulder.

    "I'll get word t'ya, ya know that." They exchanged nods before Tavar slipped through the crowd. He dodged bellies full of ale and sidled between two particularly curvy serving wenches before he made it to the door. The fresh air was more than welcome and Tavar stopped to take a deep breath in, ridding his lungs of the scent of alcohol and joviality. A horse nickered nearby, but Tavar knew the sound before it even came.

    "Why hello, you old girl." He strode over and pet the horse on the nose before he tied his fiddle onto her worn, leather saddle. Tavar had owned the saddle for far too many years, but some might say the same about his horse. "Let's go, Miss Faithful." True to her name, the horse plodded alongside Tavar once they were on the move. He chatted up the animal, though she didn't overmuch care, for her large brown eyes drooped as she walked. She was old, but Tavar could give her credit for sticking by his side for as long as she did.

    "Do you ever get tired of killing people, Miss Faithful?" Tavar scratched her chin and she snorted. "I didn't think so, my dear. I don't either." Another snort was her answer. "Gods, I need something to wake you up. You're slackin' on me."
    #2 Saren, Jul 3, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  3. Dinner was going awkwardly.

    Ramona had changed into a comfy dark blue dress with black leggings to lounge about the house in. Torrance sat in his raised chair, seeming to be the only one enjoying his food. Though, his mother had to cast him a few warning glances when it looked like he might start playing with it.

    Speaking of glances, Ramona's parents were exchanging quite a few stern looking ones. Her father even looked a little... uncomfortable. Ramona took a forkful of mashed potato.

    It was her mother who finally broke the silence. "Is there any chance we can get that new mirror out her room before she notices?" she sighed, leaning back in her chair with her cutlery upright in her hands, fully aware Ramona could hear her.

    Ramona's eyes lit up. "mrew mirror?" she choked down the mashed potato, leaning foreward, the corners of her mouth curling up into a grin.

    "Bought it second hand from the old Baker's store. I think it belonged to that old lady who lived up on Berry Hill. The one that passed away recently. I think her daughter inherited the house and is modernising it.." explained her father, his beady green eyes looking over the rim of his glasses at her.

    "Oooh, it could be haunted."
    "You know me well."

    "Now before you start getting riled up young lady," said her mum with a frown. "You're not in my good books right now. I've asked you very politely many times to not go down that hill."

    "I'm telling you, Torty cut my breaks! He's out of control, I say!" Ramona replied, clenching a hand - fork included- to her heart as she gestured to her younger brother in mock drama. He turned towards her with a grin, sending his own chubby arms into the air in a flurry.

    "Even if your four year old younger brother managed to cut the breaks of your bicycle during your time at college while he was at home, that still doesn't explain how you ended up taking that turning."

    "He's a child prodigy. This was all a predetermined act. I'm being framed! I'm the victim here!"

    The women sighed, placing her cutlery down and resting a hand against her temples.

    "Look, Ramona. I am very concerned with your disregard of our rules. I worry about you, you know - you seem so lost in life - and I think this reckless behaviour is a symptom of that." She turned her head towards her daughter, genuine concern in her eyes.

    Ramona lowered her cutlery slowly, a suspicious expression on her face. "Is this about the photography thing? I know you want me to be an accountant or something but seriously, you should see me in maths class, I think it's a bad idea for the human race-"

    "Oh Ramona! No I'm glad you're doing something you're passionate about. I mean, I don't think theres much of a career in it - I mean, if it doesn't work out, I can always teach you the ropes of my trade - but I'm glad you're putting yourself out into the world a bit more."

    Ramona held her tongue. She'd love to start a conversation about photography being a very viable career path, or how the way she liked to put herself out in the world just happened to be zooming down big hills and climbing big old trees and occasionally jumping into the ocean from a fair height, but she thought better of it.

    Her plate was clear. She leaned back in her chair. "Soooo... mirror?"
    Her mother looked at her.
    Ramona looked back.

    "oh, go on then. But you're not off the hook one lady! One day we will have a proper, full length conversation about this."
    Ramona grinned, leaving her chair and kissing everyone on the forehead in turn, before running up the staircase at full speed.
    "I think that went well." said her father, helping Torrance down.
    "Don't break this one!" her mother called up the stairs.
    Ramona's room was in the attic. It was a dark little place, and small, with a single diamond shaped window casting light onto her bed. She sat down on it, closing the door with her foot to reveal the hidden mirror. It wasn't a great place to put it - for one, that contributed to how her last one got broken - but Ramona liked it where it was. She took a moment to really admire it.

    It was an old looking thing, full length too, with a large wooden frame. The frame itself was carved with strange pictures - not unlike things she'd seen illustrated in some of the fairytales or folktales she'd read. It certainly wasn't cutesy though, and some of the carvings seemed a little... spooky. Even the mirror itself seemed a little bit misty to her, but when she focused on it, the effect dissapeared. Were her eyes playing tricks on her?

    Ramona walked over to get a good look. Forest leaves and flowers curled ornatelly across the sides. She ran her hands over the woodwork.

    Looking closely, she realised her hand has brushed gently over some sort of circular indent in the wood work. Her eyes widened in surprise, and she reached up, her eyes searching the design.

    Now that she really searched, she realised the whole thing was covered in these tiny little buttons, all camoflauged ingeniusly into the very design itself.

    Click, Click Click Click Click Click. How many were there? She bit her lip in concerntration. Click Click Click Click Click....

    Ramona leaned back, pleased with her handywork. Now, what as this mechanism? Some sort of secret compartment on the base? She ran a hand under the mirror. No, nothing. Huh, well that had all been for nothi...

    A flash of brilliant blueish light. Ramona shielded her eyes.

    She was falling.

    Wind whistled past her ears and she was blasted by a wall of cold air. Below her stretched some sort of town or village, growing bigger and bigger by the minute.

    Perhaps she would of screamed, if she hadn't been utterly confused and in complete shock.
    The ground was fast approaching. Ramona's stomach was doing soumersalts. Was she really going to die?
    For once in her life, she screwed her eyes shut tight, afraid to see what might happen.
    And then...
  4. The night air was calm as Tavar walked, but a sneaking suspicion soon crept up on him. It was the same feeling he always got when he was going to get incredibly lucky. However, this time, there was nothing around him. Something was wrong. Miss Faithful whinnied and bobbed her long head, prompting Tavar to slow his step and glance around. "See somethin' that I don't?" he asked the horse.

    Like all other people, Tavar made the mistake of never looking up. After all, what could be falling from the sky in that dark hour?

    Under Ramona, who was falling rather quickly by anyone's standards, a wind began to push back against her. It glowed a soft golden, clearly made from the stuff of magic. It floated beneath her and lowered her down much more slowly than before. However, it was but a temporary cushion. It faded, but not before it whispered, "Welcome to Icadvia, keeper of the mirror." When the wind dissipated, Ramona fell again, but by this point, the wind had carried her to a distance where it was safe to fall. Still, it wasn't perfect, for magic had its flaws. The wind dropped Ramona onto a dark figure, who just so happened to be the poor, unsuspecting bard with his old horse.

    "Oof!" Tavar grunted as something heavy fell unceremoniously onto his back, knocking the air from his lungs with a great whoosh. The weight sent him sprawling to the ground on his stomach. The actions caused Miss Faithful to balk, but Tavar could only see the white socks on her legs as her hooves danced with a nervous jump. "The hell?" Tavar tried to maneuver himself from under the weight, but whatever had decided to perch on his back was going to stay there for a moment.

    Tavar could safely say it was the first time the sky had ever fallen and landed on him. He also realized that the lucky feeling was still with him. This was apparently Lady Luck's idea of a gift. Thanks, ya lucky bitch.
    #4 Saren, Jul 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  5. She tensed. Nothing. Huh, that was strange. Ramona wasn't dead yet, she was pretty sure. There was no bonecrunching impact that she expected, no unbearable pain followed by blackness. That was how she'd always assumed it went down, anyway. Instead, Ramona just felt... floaty.

    "Welcome to Icadvia, keeper of the mirror." The voice cut through her train of thought like a knife. She turned her head to the side and hesitantly opened an eye, in time enough to see a flash of gold an a dark shape just beneath her. It looked like a person.

    Wait, was she floating in the air right now? She flexed her fingers. OH, now this is way cooler then a haunted mirror. Ramona grinned.

    Thoom! The magic gave way. Her smile was quickly gone as she flailed wildly, as if somehow doing so would keep her in the air longer. No such luck. She fell on the unsuspecting victim beneath her with all the daintiness of a sack of potatoes.

    Dazed. She didn't trust her legs to hold her up if she stood. Her whole body was shaking with adrenaline. Ramona lay there for a minute, a dopey expression on her face.

    "The hell?" came a male voice from beneath her. It didn't quite click in her brain, but it brought her out of her adrenaline fuelled stupor enough to start processing... whatever had just happened.

    Ramona laughed aloud in giddy exhilaration, rolling off whatever uncomfortable thing had caught her and onto her back. Considering how far she'd fallen, she'd actually landed pretty ok. A bit shocked and out of it sure, but no pains or bruises. Heck, she felt better then ever, like the very air was alive and filling her with vigor. The same could perhaps not be said about the man beside her, who seemed less then pleased.

    Not that Ramona had noticed. She stared up into the sky, the stars unfamiliar to her, but it hardly seemed to matter. "I'm Alive!" she declared loudly to the world, flinging her hands up to the heavens as if to grab a star and hold it. She let them fall lazily about her head, taking the time to appreciate she was still breathing.

    Talking of breathing, she finally realized she wasn't alone. Ramona looked towards the dark disheveled heap of human beside her. Gee, she thought with a frown. Someone looks like he's had a bad day.

    "It's bad for your posture to lie like that, you know."
    #5 LunarLavendula, Jul 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  6. The thing from the sky just talked.

    ...The thing from the sky just talked!

    Tavar was momentarily, but entirely, confused. Someone had fallen from the sky. He didn't know how, but not only had they survived, but they'd landed on top of him. Well, he did know how the latter happened. Having an unnatural attraction to good luck, Tavar knew this was one of those times. The meeting was a gift in some way. He just had to figure out why it was.

    When the girl, for that was what she was, rolled from his back, Tavar groaned again. He decided to stay there for a second while the pain in his back subsided, but he flopped his blonde head over to glance at the newcomer. It was dark, so all he could see was her dark hair and dark eyes. She was probably pretty, but then again, Tavar found beauty in every girl. Somehow.

    "To be fair on myself, my dear lady, I don't often have women falling out of the sky. Sure, they fall for me, but not on me." He flashed his smirk, but it wasn't light enough to enjoy the view. Tavar shifted and sat up on his knees, noticing his horse had come back to sniff the young woman on the ground. "May I ask how you fell out of the sky? You may look like an angel, but I see no wings. Flying without wings is rather impressive, don't you think, Miss Faithful?" The horse ruffled Ramona's hair with her warm breath before trying to nibble on the puffy pocket on her dress.
    #6 Saren, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  7. "oh." said Ramona flatly as she stared across at the man, or the mass of dark and slightly lighter dark shapes that formed what she assumed was one, judging by the voice. The man was yattering on about ladies falling for him and angels without wings or something. Ramona understood completely. "You hit your head pretty hard when I fell on you, huh?" she asked sympathetically, propping herself up on her arms as a dark shadow came to visit. "You really sh-"

    "Ah-Hey!" she cried out for a moment, whipping around to realise that it was a friendly horse making itself known and not some sort of shadow monster. She laughed and placed her hands around it's long face, guiding it away from making a dinner out of her dress pockets. "Careful Lady, you might fall into them if you keep nosing around like that. Or steal my chewing gum. Either way, I need those." The girl patted the horse affectionately on the cheek, grinning widely.

    "Miss Faithful, huh? Well, Miss Faithful's human - funny story really - I was messing around with these wierd buttons on my new really old creepy-cool mirror, you know, as you do - and woosh! I was falling to my most certainly inevitable demise from a really great height." replied the girl as if addressing the horse more then the man. Miss Faithful guffawed as if listening along.

    Ramona jumped up onto her feet and dusted herself off, checking to make sure she hadn't lost any limbs. It'd be hard getting around without shoes, but honestly it was a convention Ramona wouldn't miss.

    "So you got a name there buddy or should we go get your head checked out first? I'm Ramona by the way. Also where are we? Like, france or something? I would say something about how I'm most definitely dreaming but yeah, no, the whole falling on you thing kind of convinced me otherwise."
    She cupped her hands around her eyes and peered off into the darkness on her tippytoes, as if her makeshift binnoculars might help her work out her location. Alas, they did not.

    "Also I tend to dream of monster stuff and I haven't been devoured by monsters yet or anything so that pretty much rules it out." Ramona added as an afterthought, lowering her inefficient binoculars and pulling a face at the dark. Darn.
  8. Tavar pushed himself onto his feet and shook his head. If anything, his back was smarting from her very specific point of impact. Meanwhile, the horse was thoroughly displeased with missing the tasty meal and snorted while her hoof stamped the ground. She certainly had the personality of a child, even if she was an old thing.

    Well, she's certainly a fast talker.
    Tavar had opened his mouth several times to answer her, but she picked up speed each time he barely got a sound out. As such, he let her end on her monster tangent, but all he could do by that point was chuckle. "Lovely to meet you, Miss Ramona. I am Tavar and my head is fine. If you can believe one thing, it's that I've been through worse circumstances. This, however, takes the cake on being the strangest. You said you... fell through a mirror?" He'd never heard anything quite like it. Magic existed in Icadvia, and his profession saw him through most cities populated by those skilled in magic. Still, he wasn't sure mirrors were enchanted so they could move people across the world. On top of that, she referenced a place he'd never thought of.

    "As for where you are, you're in Icadvia, the country with the greatest music, if I do say so myself. I assure you that you're not dead but you sound confused as to where you've landed." It wasn't getting any lighter so he couldn't ascertain her appearance, but he had a feeling she wasn't quite dressed in the proper way. "You should stay with me for the time being. I was just on my way to my abode when you so graciously fell on me. We can figure out what happened to you as well."
  9. Ramona stroked the horse's mane, curious if the old girl would hold a grudge or if she could perhaps bribe her friendship with apples later.

    "Hi Tavar. Nice to meet cha!" she exclaimed, wondering lazily at the unfamilliar nature of the sounds rolling off her tongue. Yep, she'd never met anyone called Tavar before. "it's kind of like Tapir, but not." she mused aloud, her face lighting up with an impish grin. Not that you could really tell, in the dark. Just a flash of bright against dark for a second.

    "Is Icadvia in Europe? I've never really heard of it but my geography is terrible. Is this like, mini transylvania? but it doesn't feel that cold. At least, I always imagined Transylvania was cold... I don't really know where that is either, though... I don't think it's near the equator."

    She trailed off and you could hear her brain whirring into action. Yes, she definitely felt like she'd missed something important.
    Then in clicked.

    "Wait a sec... Tavar!" Ramona exclained, skidding a few steps foreward towards him, eyes wide. "Did you just fall off a horse? did I land on you and you fell off your horse? Holy smokes! Forget my shoeless feet, maybe we should call you an ambulance or something." This wasn't the first time Ramona had hurt someone with her antics, but at least she could genuinely, truly without guilt say this was an accident. Really, how was she supposed to know her mirror was...

    What? a teleporter? some sort of futuristic plane? boobytrapped with hallucinagenic substances? if it was a plane, it was a terrible one. Planes weren't supposed to drop you out the sky, they were supposed to take you to safety. and what was that whole floating thing about....

    Ramona shook her head till the pesky thoughts fell away.

    Right. Concerntrate. Sure, it was super exciting to have plane-teleporter-hallucinagenic mirror magic, but this guy could of gotten seriously hurt because you landed on him. Landed on the poor guy! Ramona visibly cringed. Yeah, she didn't envy him that.

    "Where's your place? Can you walk? Maybe Lady Pocketnosher should carry you? It'd be just like in those old western movies when the guy gets wounded by a bullet and the horse hobbles into town and everyone cheers because he's alive! Just like you. You're alive. The antithesis of dead by falling girl. Although, I'm not a bullet. That I know of, anyway."
    #9 LunarLavendula, Oct 3, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  10. Ramona had an imagination, that was for sure. Tavar couldn't make sense of half of what she was saying. Europe was a place that didn't exist and he had no idea what an ambulance was. Confusion crossed his green-eyed gaze before he smiled. Better to take the situation with humor rather than anger over his lack of knowledge. He held up his hands in defeat, waiting for her mouth to close for even just a second.

    "Whoa now, take it easy there," he said carefully, taking his words slower so she would do the same. "I'm not goin' to worry about me. I'm fine. A little bump on the head, nothin' more. You, however, have no boots to speak of and your clothes won't do. Winter is on its way and with it comes nasty blizzards. You'll be safe with me. We'll figure out who you are and where you came from."

    Miss Faithful bobbed her head and nickered in agreement. Tavar took the reins and tugged forward so the horse was in between the two humans. "You have nothin' to cover your feet. You get to ride," he added with the hint of a smirk. He still couldn't quite figure out why the Lady of Luck had literally dropped Ramona on top of him. The one thing he did know was that she was important somehow, otherwise he wouldn't have gotten the privilege to take care of her.
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  11. Ramona had never ridden a horse before. Her port town home with it's winding, narrow cobbled streets didn't seem like the best place for them. Perhaps in the town square where there was more room to breathe, maybe, but the traffic on the main streets didn't lend itself to horses either.

    Had she had much experience with horses, maybe she would of done the Right Thing and declined so that Tavar could ride (she still wasn't entirely convinced he was okay after she, you know, fell on him from the sky) but as it was, Ramona really, really, really wanted to ride a horse.

    "Yes Captain Tavar! I will gladly ride this horse into battle. I mean, down the street." she grinned brightly at Old Faithful and gave her a good pat, who herself seemed dubious about this situation and turned her head away with a guffaw.

    "So how's this thing work? Where's the button to turn on the hidden stepladder?" Ramona asked, scrambling to heave herself up onto the old girl. It was not elegant. It was the antithesis of elegant. It was Ramona, slowly losing her grip like a cat down a curtain and falling to the ground on her rump.
  12. As she searched over Miss Faithful, Tavar realized what the problem was. The poor girl had no idea how to ride a horse. It wasn't uncommon to find children who had never ridden, but Ramona appeared to be a full grown adult. However, that didn't seem to change the way she acted childish in some ways. Like now, when she asked him where the button was to activate a ladder from her saddle. Or so he guessed, since it was definitely not how any sort of horse tack worked.

    Despite her strange inquiry, Tavar laughed. "It doesn't really work like that," he said, watching her try (and fail) to stay on Miss Faithful's back. The horse had godlike patience, only heaving a sigh as Ramona fell backwards in an ungraceful flop. Leaning down, the bard took Ramona's hands and hefted her to her feet. It was dark out, but he would get her on the horse before he went anywhere. It was improper of such a pretty lady to walk without shoes.

    "See this loopy thing here? It's called a stirrup." He tugged on the stirrup and held it out with one hand as he released her. "You put your foot inside, grab the saddle horn," Tavar placed his other hand on the tall nub sticking from the top of the saddle, "then you pull yourself and put your other foot in the second stirrup. Make sense?" Tavar stepped away and took a hold on the reins, just in case Miss Faithful decided to turn into Miss Runaway. He could always lift Ramona into the saddle, but then she wouldn't learn. Not knowing how to ride wasn't a punishable offense, but it was necessary to travel anywhere.

    That, and it was amusing to watch Ramona struggle. He had to find enjoyment somewhere, after all.
  13. "What, don't all animals come with built in additions for human convenience?" she grinned wryly, inwardly delighted that Tavar had taken her question seriously. She was used to people being unable to tell where her tall tales ended and her truths began, - given the strange nature of her humour and her usually blank expression - but it seemed all the more enjoyable considering the strangeness of this encounter.

    Now now, she thought, it was hardly right to get any ideas about messing with the guy who had been very good-natured about this whole situation. After all, even in the dark Ramona could tell that this quiet place was Somewhere Other Than Home. Translyvania was beginning to look unlikely (maybe mid Europe? Ramona really didn't know anything about mid Europe). It would be wrong to annoy the one person who was attempting to be helpful. Well, not wrong so much as very short sighted on her part.

    ""Stirrup, saddle horn, stirrup, you got it. Thanks." Ramona recounted, dusting herself off after he helped her get to her feet. Despite falling several times her enthusiasm hadn't been curbed, or maybe her brain just didn't have the button labelled 'This could potentially be painful, don't do that again.'

    Either way, she hoisted herself up with her usual goodhearted recklessness, and somehow miraculously stayed up this time. "Woah!" she said, sitting up straight and peering down the dark road. ""I feel really tall up here." Sitting on a horse was... odd. It'd take a bit of getting used to.

    She beamed at her accomplishment, and decided not to voice her natural impulse so see how fast Old Faithful could go. Mostly because Ramona reckoned it would be a disappointing discovery. There was also a small chance that successfully not-falling-off-a-horse for ten seconds wasn’t enough to prepare her for actually riding one properly, either.

    "So Mister Tavar, do you always like to spend your spare time giving out riding lessons and getting fell on by strangers? What about you Miss Faithful? I suspect you probably enjoy a few rounds of Sudoku with your coffee in the morning."
  14. Ramona was quite possibly the strangest person he'd ever met, and he wasn't even counting for her crude arrival into his life. Not that it seemed like she could have controlled such a thing given that she'd fallen on top of him. Still, her mannerisms and unusual words made for... interesting interactions. Tavar had known her for less than a half hour and he was already sure she was going to provide him with some much needed chuckles.

    As she managed to stay on top of Miss Faithful, Tavar tugged on the reins, causing the horse to step forward. "Hold onto the horn so you don't lose your balance," he explained as they started to plod along. Miss Faithful was remarkably slow; maybe she knew she had a first time rider on her back, or maybe she didn't really want to walk. The horse was just as moody as any human he'd ever met, so he no longer questioned the motives that horse brain of hers.

    At Ramona's question, he shook his head with a genuine smile. "Can't say that I do. And please, just Tavar. Titles and fancy names are better left to people like Miss Faithful," he said, patting the horse's neck. She snorted, but she kept moving. "As for her, she lazes about while I do my job. Sometimes, she'll go off and do as she pleases, and other times, she'll try to follow me." He paused as he twisted on his feet, taking a turn off the path and into the trees lining both sides. Miss Faithful picked her way over gnarly roots and broken branches, and Tavar looped her reins over her head so they wouldn't catch.

    "And what about you? Do you often make a habit of droppin' on top of people?"
  15. "Okay." she replied as Miss Faithful took a step forward, although some mischievous part of her wanted to deliberately not hold on just to see if she could do it. This time, the saner part of her prevailed.

    "I am sure she gets into all sorts of trouble while you're not around. She seems the type. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if she was robbing banks or seducing dangerous highwaymen while you're sleeping." Ramona suggested as they turned down a narrower path lined with trees. Her brow furrowed in concern for a moment. Perhaps her imagination was starting to get the better of her, or maybe the absurdity of her situation was starting to catch up. "I'm sure these roads are perfectly safe, but I wouldn't want to bump into any of your spurned lovers, Miss Faithful..." Ramona whispered to the old gal, leaning down as close as she dared to the horse's ear.

    "Me? I'm a photography student, and I'm sorely wishing I had the foresight to bring my camera with me. I'd love to take some pictures so I could tell tall tales to my younger brother when I get home." Perhaps, then, she'd just have to take up writing a journal or something to make up for it.

    "and what is your job, Just Tavar?"
  16. The more Ramona talked, the less Tavar had to say. It was like she spoke in a way that only made him want to ask questions rather than answer hers. He had no idea what photography was or what a camera could do, but she was from a different world. Perhaps those things were commonplace for her, but here, he couldn't say it was the same. Ramona didn't seem to realize she was somewhere else entirely. As an outside observer (and the pillow she'd landed on), Tavar could see she was different, but he didn't think anyone else would have trouble seeing that as well.

    And that made her special, but vulnerable. She was quick to trust Tavar and his moody horse, but what if someone else had found her? It was by sheer luck that Ramona had dropped on top of him instead of anyone else.

    Of course. I see your game, y'know, he thought with a wry, inward smile. Lady Luck had dipped her hand in this one. There was no mistaking that.

    "Hm? Oh, my job. I'm just a lowly bard," he answered, noting what she'd called him. She'd taken his suggestion seriously, something normal people didn't do. Ramona seemed far, far from normal. That was evident in the way she talked to Miss Faithful as if the horse could answer back. Even if she could, Tavar didn't think Miss Faithful would have anything nice to say. She was a crotchety, old horse after all.

    They reached a random section of trees where the lower branches had been hacked away in a crude fashion, making the lack of trees more apparent. "Well, here we are," he announced, as if he lived in the middle of nowhere. "We'll have to walk a little way. Miss Faithful doesn't like the close trees."
  17. "A bard?" Ramona exclaimed in delight, barely remembering to hold on. ""Not an entertainer, not a singer, but a bard? Where do you work? Is there an old castle or something around here you perform at?" Cogs whirring in her brain, Ramona turned her body to squint at him in the darkness, as if somehow this knowledge about his job would provide her with night vision and grant her the ability to see. Or, more accurately, by sheer force of will the universe would gran her this ability.
    No such luck.

    ""You have to sing a song, you know, it's the rules." she said very seriously, ""It is considered a grand faux par to deny a newcomer a song. Social suicide, really-”

    "Well, here we are."

    Her train of thought was cut off as she looked around, unimpressed. It was dark, but even she could see they had parked the horse in the middle of nowhere. She raised an eyebrow and scrunched up her mouth as if she’d just tasted sour lemon.

    " “I don’t mean to alarm or offend you, Tavar, but when you said abode I’d assumed there was at least a roof and four walls involved.” After a moment’s contemplation, Ramona hesitantly dismounted.
  18. Well, that was another one of Ramona's silly thoughts. A home didn't have to be above the ground, right? With a sly grin, Tavar patted Miss Faithful's rump, letting the horse trot away. She always knew to come back somehow, just as her name suggested. The horse was one of the brighter things in his life, that was for certain.

    Tavar strode to one tree in particular, running his hand up the bark, feeling for the small indent. He bent his finger into the indent, hearing the satisfying wooden click and whisper as a secret door opened beneath the tree. The hole was even darker than their surroundings, but Tavar knew straight where it went.

    "Hope you aren't afraid of the dark," Tavar stated with a quirky smirk. He stuck one foot out and pushed against the side of the wide hole, making sure the ladder hadn't rotted away while he was gone. Given that it was one of the more popular entrances to his home, he didn't think any of the others would allow it to go to waste.

    Stepping away, Tavar swung his arms in a grand fashion, presenting the dark drop to Ramona like she'd won a prize. "Ladies first," he said, as if it was the proper thing to do.
  19. Ramona was beginning to wonder if following a strange man in a strange country down a strange lane with a perfectly reasonable horse was a good idea. The girl had a feisty spirit, but if she was about to get robbed for the pack of gum and spare change in her pockets, she had to admit she probably hadn't been that wise. Still, she thought, casting a sideways glance at Tavar. He really didn't seem like the murdering type.

    Besides, Miss Faithful was a perfectly reasonable horse, and she seemed to trust him.

    "Hope you aren't afraid of the dark." he said,

    "Don't be silly,"she replied, "It's the monsters in the dark you should be afraid of." And that's when she realized.

    He'd just opened a secret door in that tree.

    There was a rush of air and a blur of blue and black as Ramona zipped past Tavar and through the secret doorway.

    ""Way ahead of you!" she called up to him, taking the rungs two at a time as she descended into the darkness. If her teeth glowed in the dark, Ramona could have lit the way - though no one could see, a big Cheshire cat grin was plastered across her face from ear to ear.
  20. Ramona shot forward so fast, he thought the wind from her departure might knock him from his feet. She dropped down into the pitch black hole, but he was quick to follow. If she was spotted before him, he wasn't sure what the rest of them would do. He jumped to the ground on the last few rungs, brushing past her in the narrow opening. Though darkness enveloped where they stood, a soft, glowing light floated beyond their position. There was, in fact, an end to the tunnel.

    "Stay close, alright?" he said, though he was already ahead of her. He walked slowly to ensure that she wouldn't lose track of him, even if it was a one way path. The light grew closer and with it, voices could be heard. Some laughed, others spoke of things he couldn't catch. The tunnel above their heads formed into smoother dirt, like someone had taken care of it recently. The ground felt more paved and easier to walk on the closer they got to the light.

    Finally, Tavar and Ramona exited the tunnel. He stopped at the end, not allowing Ramona to move forward and come inside without him going first. They were face to face with about ten other people sitting around a long table. They were all dressed in similar, dark colored clothing, and some wore hoods even while they were eating. They were quiet while they conversed, but just as before, some laughed at jokes. At Tavar's entrance, everyone perked up and several of them smiled.

    "Tavar! You're back!" one woman called. She had long, silky black hair and a soft, azure gaze. She was the first to speak, and it sparked more conversation from everyone else. Their voices overlapped to the point where Tavar chuckled and held up his hands in defeat.

    "C'mon now, I just got here. Gimme a second to breathe, would ya?" he asked, though the question was hardly serious. It was in that moment that a large, bald man with dark skin noticed the newcomer behind Tavar.

    "Well now, who's this you got with you, Tavar? A new recruit, perhaps?" The others nodded, excited at the prospect of someone new joining their ranks. However, the gazes dropped and turned away in what appeared to be shame as Tavar shook his head.

    "You know Aiden's not gonna be happy with you, right?" the woman from before said.

    "Is Aiden the Taker? No? Didn't think so. Don't worry about me." He smiled, much to the confusion of the others. Whoever Aiden was, Tavar didn't seem afraid of him in the slightest. "Navinta, would you take our guest and give her some boots? She rode all the way here without any. I'll go speak with him." Tavar finally acknowledged Ramona behind him, the carefree smile still plastered on his face. "I'll be back shortly. Navinta will take care of you." While Tavar had put up with Ramona's antics on the way to the tunnel, he had adopted an air of seriousness the second he'd stepped into the underground dining area. He didn't give Ramona the chance to argue or follow, stepping away and slipping through a different doorway.

    Navinta, who was the woman who initially spoke up, stood from the table and waved to Ramona. "I'll be honest, I don't know why Tavar brought someone here if you aren't going to join us, but I suppose we'll have to trust him. I'm Navinta. What's your name?"