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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    bc56's Avatar

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    Default Eurus Hive Cluster

    Oh! It's beautiful! Sekhmet gently touches the dress and lets the silk run across her fingers. Someone help me try it on! She summons an unoccupied worker for that purpose and sheds her clothing to begin putting it on. She also has a little laugh at the blue dress. It looks like the Weaver went ahead and made the dress she imagined for Spike. She sends her friend a message. I, uh, see you had something made too. She's suppressing the telepathic equivalent of giggles.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Titan in the Playground
     
    WindStruck's Avatar

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    Default Trog's Second Floor

    Yes, Solstice was definitely a person. But her being was still very much Fae. Her very existence was bound to it, now. While breaking those childish rules was at least conceivable to her.. actually doing so would have grave physiological consequences. Thus, Solstice always felt a strong compulsion to obey them.

    The terms Zee offered did need a bit of clarification, however, and perhaps a slight change.

    "You mentioned 'rewarding' the thief's behaviour. And you would have me bring them to justice. What does that entail? I think at this point my own people would have no qualms with slaying the foul creature and putting her head on a spit as warning to others..." While at first Solstice's words were vague about the thief's identity, her eyes narrowed and suspicions showed clearly as she verbalized her intent.

    The down payment part was a little disconcerting, but again, what other choice did Solstice have? Well.. maybe that was just her inherent fear of debt bubbling up, but Solstice felt confident she could take on the thief. Either Solstice would succeed in this or.. at this rate, likely die trying.

    Solstice sighed and said, looking down, "Yes.. I will surely need to be better equipped to go to a place so inhospitable for me.. though I do think, perhaps a tunic and breeches do not quite suit me." Ah yes, still worried over fashion. But at least it was better to ask for something she wanted now, while they were negotiating, rather than get something else she wouldn't be happy with.

    It seemed Solstice's down payment, or perhaps her whole payment would simply be clothes.. just so she had a chance to catch Larza. Ugh, if she wasn't in such a bad position..! Well, she needed to be positive. And perhaps there was more she needed and could ask for yet.

    "In addition to suitable clothing, there are some other supplies I will need. Would you be willing to provide some other materials as well?"
    Summer Fashion Drow avatar drawn by linklele (and I may have made a few adjustments).

    Nexus character: Solstice

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathkeeper View Post
    [Fort Aegis]

    "Uh, well, if we're always going to be doing this together, there's no reason we can't be in a relationship. We don't need to like, shove it in people's faces or anything. But I don't mind if we keep that. Besides, it's not like we're going to be able to not look." he says, smirking at 'Ferdinand.'
    [Fort Aegis]

    "...this is true." Ferdinand would definitely struggle to avoid at least stealing the occasional glance at Kai for any long period of time.

    Or a short period of time.

    He's doing a very poor job of not staring right now, as it happens.

    "And that makes sense. A-and I'm glad to hear it."

    And then, presumably, they away to acquire clothes!
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Earl of Purple's Avatar

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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Prumathe's Flat

    "I won't leave you, Sekhmet. No matter what they are or how you got involved with them." And the Hive would have to kill him to keep him away, if they decided to try that, and Prumathe's determined not to let them get away with it so easily.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    The Mad Hatter's Avatar

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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    [June's place] (at the BDD)

    This was going monumentally poorly.

    Especially compared to how well his other parts were faring.

    Now there was a witness, which would simply not do. It could not cast on its own, however - it could merely exert its will over nearby creatures. So, it attempts to do just that. Removing its suggestion from Minerva's mind, it attempts to influence June.

    It's command is simple, "Sever this one's hand, and be quick about it."




    Abi's House

    Fortunately, the girl could hardly bite down now.

    Not with the wasps constantly flowing forth from within her stupid person guts.

    Some wasps are successfully drowned, but others are disgorged to replace them. It is a horrific cycle, one which will persist for the duration of the spell or until the tongue casts a second enchantment requiring its concentration. In her head, Abi will hear it mocking her. "You see," it gloats, "this is what happens to idiot children who do not listen."

    "I hope no one heard you scream."
    A condescending laugh will fill her skull. "For your sake."
    don't click this

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Prumathe's Flat

    "You, uh, know that's not what I, uh, meant." Sekhmet was worried the information would get Prumathe killed or converted. "You know they, uh, can choose to see and, uh, hear what I do whenever they want? That, uh, with effort, uh, some of them can control my body?" She wants him to be aware of what he's getting himself into. If the Hive should decide he's an obstacle to their plans, even Sekhmet will be dangerous to him.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Earl of Purple's Avatar

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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Prumathe's Flat

    "If they kill me, they'll really upset you and motivate you into getting out more. They have to know that. It's a risk, but one I'm willing to take, if it means I'm with you." It's a risk he's willing to take, and the idea of them converting him into one of them hasn't occurred. The Hive's known about him for a while, so they can't think he's interesting enough or whatever criteria they use, he doesn't meet them.

    It's a bit worrying that they can hijack her, but hardly a surprise. He's known they're a hive mind for a while, and Sekhmet did just admit she can do it to others.

    Abi's House

    Abi sobs and keeps spraying the wasps as they emerge from her throat, though she's been badly stung. It's lucky she isn't allergic, or she'd be in far worse state now. She also doesn't reply to the tongue; she's barely listening, far more interested in keeping the wasps away from her.

    There's a knocking at the bathroom door. "Abi? You OK in there? You woke me up. Should I fetch your mum, is it... that kind of an issue?" The voice is quite concerned, yet somehow cold. Also masculine; the tongue might assume it's Abi's dad, but Bryan is a step-father.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Prumathe's Flat

    Right. That's not a very positive thing to talk about. Luckily there is an upside to this business. Sekhmet continues, "On the, uh, bright side, I'm uh, a minor nobility among them. I, uh, can use some of their, uh, resources for myself, uh, control some, uh, lesser creatures, and, uh, some of them will, uh, protect me with their, uh, lives." Prumathe's met Sekhmet's "dog" right? It's basically her bodyguard.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rebonack's Avatar

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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Trog's Second Floor

    Hoo yeah.

    Solstice isn't terribly happy about the mistreatment Larza heaped on her.

    Which is understandable.

    But Zee feels like she should probably mention, "I don't think the goblin can be killed in a way that matters. I think a better solution would be to contain her so she can't visit malicious mischief on people."

    The talk of fashion manages to get a smile out of Zee. "What sort of clothing do you think would be better suited for this job?" she asks.

    A reasonable question. Something appropriate to the styles of Skyside would probably be wise. Attracting too much attention there wouldn't serve them well.

    And then Zee asks a reasonable question in return. "What sort of materials would you need? I'll require a list to approve before I can agree to those terms."

    After all, she's not going to agree to 'other supplies and other materials' unless she knows what those supplies and materials are.
    Warning! Random Encounter™ detected!
    The Eternal Game Nightmære Stuff
    It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, just how awesome you look doing it.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Trog's Second Floor

    Solstice raises an eyebrow at Zee's explanation. "She cannot be killed in a meaningful way? That is peculiar. And you mentioned that she may be.. 'some other type of Fae'?" Very peculiar indeed. Fae from another world? Solstice wonders what their culture and behavior entails. Though based upon her meeting with Larza, it was nothing good.

    "If that is the case, I may need to research how to contain her.. I have no idea if methods to contain my own people would work the same," Solstice says.

    "As for clothing. I also have no idea what people in the Skyside wear, but in any case, I meant clothing that would suit me, not necessarily the task. I think breeches and a tunic are more fitting of a male. I would prefer a dress, or a blouse and a skirt, or even perhaps some robes like I had before." Clearly Solstice was really aching for her appearance to be back to how it was.

    Solstice then addresses the materials. "As for materials, what I would like is some orange cloth, enough to fashion a doll. I would also like a small amount of blue dye and two red buttons. And of course, I need some sewing tools.. or at least thread. The needle cannot be made of iron, however..." Hopefully Zee understood what Solstice wanted to accomplish. It was the creation of a doll of Larza. The closer the resemblance, the better.

    "I think I may surely need other things if I am to contain the goblin for any significant length of time, but I do not know what..."
    Summer Fashion Drow avatar drawn by linklele (and I may have made a few adjustments).

    Nexus character: Solstice

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    [June's Place] (at the BDD)

    Minerva stops with the butter knife, and sets it down. He doesn't move otherwise.


    June pants a few moments, catching her breath, looks down at the hand and book on the floor, nods, and then walks over to that side of the room.
    She flips up the back of Minerva's dress, revealing...wow, that there was a knife hidden right there the whole time. A sharp one, too. June grabs it.

    June raises her foot, and then...
    stamps the heel down on the hand's fingers.
    Specifically, its fingers, trying to stop it from wiggling them and doing magic or however that's done. She's not sure. Magic is still weird.
    This influence from the hand isn't enough to overcome the vampiric influence already affecting June. This is exactly the reason she chose to drink the vampire blood in the first place, and is incredibly fortunate that Wanessa was there. She'll have to remember to thank her the next time they meet again. "You." She stamps again with her heel. "Complete." And again. "Idiot."

    Still not sure whether the mind control was coming from the hand or the book, June crouches down, reaches over, and flips open the book. "You colossal disappointment." She stabs the book, half-expecting it to bleed. "I am -"
    And then, with her free hand (her heel still on the hand's fingers) she reaches towards the mummified hand's thumb, and starts twisting and pulling, as if trying to dislocate or break it. "unbelievably disappointed with you." She echoes what the hand said to Minerva earlier.

    Then, still pulling and twisting the thumb, and twisting the knife in the book, she elaborates: "You were mind-controlling someone with no way to defend himself -" which just highlights why it's so important she keep on looking for more ways to stop mind control, for Minerva "and yet there wasn't a single moment where you weren't dancing to his fiddle like a marionette." Even though her muscles are still screaming at her, she yanks at the thumb even harder. "If you weren't already such worthless trash then you would have lost any respect I had for you."

    Gosh, that's cathartic. All this mind control stuff she's encountered over the short time she's been in the Nexus is disgusting. It feels amazing finally having some physical object to take that disgust out on. It's been building up ever since she came. Seriously? What kind of dumb hand tries to mind control someone into cutting their own hand off? At least ask for permission first!

    She stabs a few more times, and then leans back on her heel, putting all of her weight on it. She takes a deep breath, as she tries to decide whether she'd rather burn this thing or throw it in the ocean. "Ten seconds. You have. To decide what I do with you," she says through grit teeth.
    Favorite sports:
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    ALSO! Come roleplay FFRPG in the Nexus!
    Nexus Characters.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rebonack's Avatar

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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    [Trog's Second Floor]

    "Fae from my world at least," Zee clarifies. "When they're slain their body just sort of... unravels. Their soul returns to the Dreamheart and they're given a new persona to play. Fae are like actors with masks, each mask a different role. But the thing that underlies the mask is formless and faceless. It's why they trick humans into giving them their names. They covet identities so they can have a new face to wear."

    Then Zee offers a small smile.

    "I could tell right away that you were pretty unlike that. I don't think Larza works that way, exactly. I think there's a core person to her as well instead of a seething mass of primordial chaos wearing a mask. But I'm also getting the impression from her that killing her will just banish her back to whatever faerie realm she's from," Zee says, wrinkling her nose in consternation. "I dunno if that would make her come back as someone a little more well-adjusted. But I would rather not gamble on it without having more details about how fae like Larza work. What rules they follow."

    Zee gives a nod.

    "I think I can get you some clothing. Robes at least similar to the ones you were wearing. My sister-in-law is a seamstress. A pretty accomplished one, I think. She made my scarf," Zee says, touching the pretty green scarf she's wearing and nearly always wears. "I can give her your measurements and she can prepare some clothing for you. In the mean time, though, I can provide you with clothing that's a bit less fine as a temporary measure."

    Needle. Thread. Cloth. Buttons. Dye. No iron.

    "We can include those materials and the basic attire in the bargain since they're needed to complete the job. And a new, fine set of clothing as more proper payment for the job when it's completed?"
    Warning! Random Encounter™ detected!
    The Eternal Game Nightmære Stuff
    It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, just how awesome you look doing it.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Prumathe's Flat

    "Oh, so that's what Spike is, right?" That is quite good news, but comes with an unfortunate corollary as far as Prumathe's concerned. It means that, unless Sekhmet is the queen of the Hive- and she isn't- they'd expect her to give her life to protect whoever or whatever the actual queen is. "How's it determined, do you know? Which of them would die if you asked, and which wouldn't, I mean."
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  14. - Top - End - #44
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Prumathe's Flat

    "There's, uh, a hierarchy. Spike is like, a, uh, knight. She does a lot of, uh, different things for different nobles. I can, uh, command anything of, uh, her rank and lower. Mostly workers and craftsmen, but also a few warrior classes." Of course, Sekhmet never takes direct control of Spike, but she could. But it seems like a mean thing to do to one of her friends.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Recaiden's Avatar

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    Default

    [Prumathe's Flat]

    Sekhmet's got it. The hierarchy basically goes:
    1. The Queen
    2. Duke
    3. Marquess / Countess
    4. Stalker / Princess
    5. Strider / Archer / Mantis / Hound etc.
    6. Worker / Weaver / Cleaner / Tinker etc.

    There's also sub-hierarchies in between various hive-clusters, and when worker orders would conflict. There's special priorities for repositories are endangered, and when cut off from the greater hive, and so on.
    But those are probably not relevant to Prumathe.

    [Eurus Hive Cluster]

    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    Oh! It's beautiful! Sekhmet gently touches the dress and lets the silk run across her fingers. Someone help me try it on! She summons an unoccupied worker for that purpose and sheds her clothing to begin putting it on. She also has a little laugh at the blue dress. It looks like the Weaver went ahead and made the dress she imagined for Spike. She sends her friend a message. I, uh, see you had something made too. She's suppressing the telepathic equivalent of giggles.
    The weaver is pleased at Sekhmet's approval. A job well done!
    A worker comes as requested, folds its pincers shut and turns its tendrils to the manipulation of clasps and cloth. (Eurus's aesthetic, under the current queen, includes more manual dexterity for most creatures than the original designs had. You can still find a few old workers whose claws are made only for cutting and hauling.)
    Uh, yeah. You wanted me to, and we had the materials. Maybe I'll even have some other occasion to wear it. There could be assignments where appearing more obviously monstrous but also finely dressed could come in handy.
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2020-09-09 at 02:14 PM.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Trog's Second Floor

    Solstice thinks a bit as Zee explains the goblin's nature. "Hm. That does vaguely remind me of my own people, though certainly not all. But among my kind, there are some who 'wear' important 'mantles'. The mantle is somewhat of its own persona and has a unique purpose. When the bearer of that mantle dies, the mantle moves on to another who would best suit it."

    Though if Solstice died and her body unraveled, that would be it. No second chances, no rebirths as far as she was aware. There weren't even any mantles that might transfer over to anyone else.

    After a bit more pondering Solstice says, "If the goblin is slain, I do doubt something much worse will return... Hmm. Not even sure if they would retain their memories..."

    Well, there wasn't much point speculating. Now onto the discussion of payments!

    "I suppose that would be acceptable. Now that I am here in Nexus for.. some time.. it would be wise to have more than one set of clothing. Though maybe I should clarify: I was not initially asking for fine clothing; only stating that breeches and a tunic were not my preference." Of course fine clothing now would also be nice, but she shouldn't push it. Also, who knows? The nice clothes might get ruined anyway before the job was over.

    "But what else.. in addition to the other materials I mentioned, perhaps some twine and another small strip of fabric? Preferably white or at least not orange for that piece." Hm. Now what did Solstice want with those? More things for the doll?
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2020-09-09 at 02:59 PM.
    Summer Fashion Drow avatar drawn by linklele (and I may have made a few adjustments).

    Nexus character: Solstice

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Eurus Hive Cluster

    Sekhmet allows the worker to fasten the back of her dress. She ties the streamers onto her horns and puts on the veil. Then she twirls around in front of it, seeing what it looks like on her. Oh, I'm gorgeous! This is perfect! Sekhmet begins laughing for joy. This is so wonderful! Thank you so, so much! She sends to the weaver. She sends to Spike too. You, uh, didn't have to. But I'm, uh, glad you did. You'll look good in it.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Prumathe's Flat

    "Can... Can you be compelled, like that? By those higher up the hierarchy than you are?" And that's what's really worrying Prumathe about it. He's not sure, given the Hive's apparent ability at biotechnology, that it's possible to climb the hierarchy. Sekhmet got lucky with being so high up it, but even so she's not at the top.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Prumathe's Flat

    "Uh," Sekhmet hesitates a moment before answering. "Yes. Once. They, uh, stopped me from answering when Mother phoned me." She pauses again. "And, uh, whenever I go to where they, uh, live. They, uh, play with my emotions to try to make me, uh, feel at home there."
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Prumathe's Flat

    Well, it seems they stopped her doing something stupid, but... it was her choice to do something stupid, wasn't it? And making her feel at home is... a little creepy. Prumathe slowly nods and collects his thoughts. "Does... does it work?"
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Hmm. No one around here appreciates fine tailoring as much as Sekhmet does.
    And I imagine she makes a peculiar scene. Because probably no one here is as able to appreciate a fancy dress.

    There isn't much purpose in my looking good. But if you like it, I'll wear it.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    Prumathe's Flat

    "Uh, sometimes? It worked when they, uh, first converted me. I've, uh, gotten resistant. And I'm, uh, not well, uh, adapted to their, uh, home." The effect does a lot less when being underground makes your wings uncomfortable.

    Eurus Hive Cluster

    That means a lot to me, Spike. Thank you. Sekhmet begins commanding the worker to help her remove the wedding dress, then folds it up to take home. I'll, uh, see you soon?
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Home 26: Rooms to let, fifty cents

    [Trog's Second Floor]

    "Yeah that sounds like a mantle alright," Zee replies with a nod. Except the whole... persona bit. Passing the mantle is a pretty important idea. Usually from a master to a protege.

    Then Zee looks aghast for apparently no reason. Mostly because she's reacting to something that wasn't spoken, but rather an impression she read from Solstice's worldline.

    Death.

    If Solstice dies she's gone.

    Completely.

    Utterly.

    It takes a moment for Zee to find her composure again. She'll just need to make doubly sure that her new friend doesn't perish. Others of her kind would take this as the mark of Solstice's unrealness. That which is transient can't possibly be an actual thing. But to Zee...

    How fragile these people are.

    It just makes them all the more precious.

    "My sister's clothing is all pretty fine, if I do say so myself," Zee replies, a kind smile on her lips. "And I think nothing less would be a fitting reward for helping me bring such a noxious criminal to justice. So!"

    Zee claps her hands together.

    "Alright. Terms part two. I wish to hire you to help me recover the burglarized guest's belongings and bring the thief to justice, preferably incarceration rather than destruction. If the guest's belongings are ruined, destroyed, or otherwise unrecoverable then you will be released from that portion of the obligation. Since you're presently in a state of undress, I propose that as a down-payment for your service that I provide you with clothing suitable for traversing Skyside and safely navigating the hazards the city poses to fae. At minimum, sturdy gloves, gloves, and robes to your liking. You will also be provided with materials to fashion an effigy of the thief since that is within the purview of completing the job. Since you're without funds I will also provide transportation to and from the city. For further payment, I propose that you retain any valuables recovered from the thief as spoils, the stolen guest's belongings notwithstanding since those must be returned to her. In addition, you will be provided with a change of fine clothing."
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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Solstice nods as Zee recaps the agreement. "Alright, I accept your bargain." Zee might have felt a little chill up the back of her neck as Solstice's words somehow solidified into some kind of spiritual bond. Or not. But regardless, Solstice was now bound to this agreement.. assuming Zee fulfilled her end.

    The Fae puts a hand to her chin, looking down, and after a brief moment in thought says, "I suppose I will still need to enlist the aid of someone else to help make sure the goblin is incarcerated for a long time. Nothing for you to worry about. This shall be my responsibility now..."

    Of course, Zee didn't say how long Larza would need to be incarcerated for... But anyway! Considering what Solstice had been through already, she had no reason to do her best to ensure this was as long as possible.

    "I heard of an organization called Intersection. Do you think someone from Intersection would be able to aid me? Of course, not for free. I suppose I could offer some of that reward that I received yesterday..."
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2020-09-09 at 09:39 PM.
    Summer Fashion Drow avatar drawn by linklele (and I may have made a few adjustments).

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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    [Trog's Second Floor]

    Being without spirit, Zee is unable to sense such things.

    HOWEVER!

    She does realize that if she had been mortal she would have experienced something like that. Maybe the end result is the same. She knows something just happened.

    "Intersection organizes the various police forces, town guards, militias, sheriffs, and so forth that can be found Inside," Zee explains as she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a small green tree cone roughly the size of a large grape. She closes her fingers around it and the cosmos shifts. Then she bends down and places the cone on the floor before righting herself and continuing to speak. "They're paid through taxes collected around the City. You know, on buying and selling things. Owning property. Stuff like that. They're funded a little bit by everyone. So as soon as you do any business here Inside, then you've already done your part to pay them for their service."

    Zee's hoping that will count for the purpose of Solstice's rules. Otherwise that'll make public services a real bother.

    The cone, meanwhile, is growing.

    Rapidly.

    Its roots have already sort of merged into the wood of the floor and its sending up a little trunk covered in fibrous, rusty red bark. Branches twine around each other, green needles weaving into the gaps between the branches to create a little chrysalis at the top where the crown of a tree ought to be. Zee hums while she watches the pod grow thick and turgid until at last it splits open with a watery pop revealing-!

    Clothing.

    Gloves. Shoes. And a robe. Fairly similar in color to everything Solstice had been wearing and sized to fit. All made from plant materials and fibers. The clothing is sturdy enough and maybe not the most comfortable.

    "Sorry, it'll probably be a bit stiff until you break it in," Zee apologizes. "But I think this should be good enough until we can get you some quality clothing. It should at least fit! I'm pretty sure I got your measurements right."

    Well.

    If nothing else this should confirm that Zee probably isn't just a normal human barmaid. Maybe she's some kind of wizard?
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Solstice had noticed Zee's odd gasp out of nowhere. Strange. But otherwise the barmaid still seemed relatively normal.. She nodded as Zee explained Intersection and how it worked, though she objects, "I am vaguely familiar with the term 'taxation' and how mortals often use such liberally. I find their so-called democratic system of governance to be rather nebulous, sloppily-executed, and rife with dishonesty. Most of my people do not even bother with them." And why would they? The Fae had a pretty well-defined hierarchy and clear rules to follow. It was a system that had worked for millennia.

    "Unfortunately, I do not think I have partaken in any transaction which has been taxed, and regardless, I do not think I would have paid nearly enough to equal the value of imprisoning the goblin known as Larza for any significant length of time. This whole.. taxation system is utterly unaccountable. How is anyone supposed to determine the value of goods and services and bargain for them with dozens of potentially dishonest middlemen in the way?"

    Solstice was probably going to be driven crazy trying to figure out how much in taxes she has paid versus how much value she has received in real time.

    In any case, as Solstice pondered that, her thoughts were quickly sidetracked as she noticed a.. tree. Growing in her room... She is too busy staring with her mouth agape to really process Zee's apology.

    Solstice blinks, staring at the floor, the tree, the pod with clothing, and then at Zee. Such "magic" greatly overshadowed anything Solstice knew how to do. A plant, grown so quickly, to create things in a matter of seconds, here, in the real world. And if the clothes were all made of real materials, not even the Summer Queen could do this... Nor any of the greatest wizards she had ever heard of.

    "Zee..?" Solstice asked, as her entire face grew even paler. "Are you a wizard?"
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2020-09-09 at 10:56 PM.
    Summer Fashion Drow avatar drawn by linklele (and I may have made a few adjustments).

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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    [Trog's Tavern]

    Zee gives something of an apologetic shrug. "Finances in the Nexus are weird. It mostly works. Probably best not to think about it too much, it would only frustrate you."

    Then there's gaping.

    And several things Zee wasn't aware of!

    Apparently this sort of... well. We'll call it magic for now. This sort of thing really doesn't have president in Solstice's world? Honestly Zee hadn't really looked too deeply into that subject. A Googolplex search for 'sidehe can never give something away for free' pulled up a reality that sure sounded a lot like Solstice's. Or at least the fae sure did. Zee hadn't ever encountered a variety of fae that shrugged as hard as Atlas, so the whole deal thing really stuck out to her as a defining feature. She gained at least a little context, at least. Context is ALWAYS really helpful when talking to Nexus newcomers. Helps to put things in terms they're familiar with.

    So when Zee is asked if she's a wizard?

    She rubs the back of her neck awkwardly.

    "Ah, well, no. Not really. At least, if I understand the context of what 'wizard' means to you. A human with potent innate magical ability that's received formal wizard training. I'm definitely not that. Do you really want to know what I am? That information is still valuable. What information would you be willing to give me in return for it?"
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  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Come to think of it, Solstice had also recalled having the feeling like Zee could read her mind... Certainly she was no ordinary barmaid, though she may have looked the part.

    Breaking apart Zee's explanation, that could mean a few things. One, she wasn't really human. Two, she didn't have an innate magic ability somehow? Perhaps the magic was all in the tree cone? Or three, she hadn't received formal wizard training. Or, perhaps a number of those combined. Hmm...

    This information, about who or what Zee was, was indeed valuable. But she feared it was far too steep of a price to pay. Solstice shook her head and she spoke timidly. "I gather that you are a being who possess great power and knowledge, and you are benevolent. That.. that shall have to suffice for now." Solstice bowed her head with some respect.

    "If.. if you do not think this information has value, then.. what brings one such as yourself to be a serving woman at such a public establishment?" Solstice didn't know if she would get an answer or if she would have to bargain some other small bit of information for that, but regardless, she began to tentatively pick up and examine the robe that was formed from the pod of the tree.

    These clothes should belong to Solstice, now. After all, it was part of the agreement.
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2020-09-10 at 12:16 AM.
    Summer Fashion Drow avatar drawn by linklele (and I may have made a few adjustments).

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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    [Trog's Tavern]

    At the bowed head Zee inclines her torso and tilts her head so she maintains eye contact with Solstice. "You don't need to do that. Everything you said might be true, but I don't think it matters a great deal. I'm the sort of person who only wants friends."

    Solitude is, after all, a terrible burden. One which always must be carried alone.

    Solstice's answer is a smile.

    "Because I love people. I love the people who live here. And the people who are castaway here. My heart breaks for the people who won't ever seen their old home again. It's a pain I know well," she replies as Solstice picks up the robe.

    True to Zee's word it's a bit stiff, as if it had been starched recently. It probably won't be terribly comfortable at first, but it'll break in eventually. That will just require a little bit of perseverance on Solstice's part.

    It'll be hard, at first. But it'll get easier with time.

    "When someone has power lording over others is easy. But when you have power and you choose to be a servant? That takes a certain strength of will," Zee says, then adds with a laugh. "People like me are notorious for collecting things. But me? I favor collecting friends. And being a servant is a fine way to do that."
    Last edited by Rebonack; 2020-09-10 at 12:38 AM.
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  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Solstice gazed at Zee with head slightly tilting with curiosity, and a soft smile breaking upon her face. Yes, at this rate.. it seemed the two were quickly becoming friends indeed.

    In a way, Solstice felt a debt to Zee still. Way, way, deep down.. in her soul. Maybe Zee didn't believe in such things and maybe Fae weren't even supposed to have them, but Solstice did. Though all their transactions and bargains had been.. equivalently balanced, there was still something about them. Solstice could have been mercilessly taken advantage of and yet, this person clearly chose not to do so. It was a sort of behavior Sosltice would gladly reciprocate. Ah, maybe a building trust was simply how to explain it. Or maybe the debt she felt was still the obligation she still had to hunt down Larza and bring her to justice.

    But there was something really admirable about what Zee was doing. All that power and serving? Hmm. Solstice was not sure if she could even handle that... though she did not think herself to be a bully or a tyrant, she.. probably would be more indifferent to her "lessers" anyway. Hm. It was something to think about, regardless...

    Turning her attention back to the clothes, she says, "I do not mean to tarry, but.. so that the garments will not feel so stiff, perhaps I could soak them in some water, kneed them a bit, let them dry?" That would probably work... but getting clothes to dry would take up quite a bit of time.
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2020-09-10 at 01:10 AM.
    Summer Fashion Drow avatar drawn by linklele (and I may have made a few adjustments).

    Nexus character: Solstice

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