• Closed • The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note.

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Sephira
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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:44 pm

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The 22nd of Cylus, Arc 718
Sephira finished buttoning up the white cotton shirt she had purchased a couple trials earlier. It paired very simply and well with a pair of black pants and boots, along with her similarly dyed cloak. The mage wanted to dress in a respectful manner, avoiding the use of one her more flamboyant but signature red coats. Her saber lay sheathed on her bed and she was having trouble debating whether or not to bring it. Perhaps this was some ruse, for all she knew the man who had hunted down her master was still on Faldrass and the Baron was conspiring with him. With that in mind she buckled a collapsible, spring-loaded dagger onto her wrist where it would be hidden by her clothing. She often wore the small blade while on duty but thankfully she had not been forced to use it yet. Sephira would take her saber but if it was removed from her person she would at least still be armed. Buckling on Wyvern, the brass basket hilt gleamed beautifully in the light of the flickering hearth that illuminated the room. The mage always felt more comfortable when she felt that familiar weight on her hip.

Stepping toward the modest fireplace she took a moment to stifle the flame until it went out before she left her home. At that moment heavy but familiar wing-beats boomed overhead. As an Element, Sephira had spent a fair bit of time around Enormowls. They were terribly clever creatures that sported beautiful white plumage. The Elements often used them, especially the Air Troops, although the Enormowl that landed in front of her home was decked out in a far richer saddle and tack than the ones utilized by the military. It was less of a saddle and more of an augmented carriage that was draped in fabric awnings to shelter any passengers from the wind. The shadowy form of the rider and presumably the pilot sat in a seat near the head of the bird. He was wrapped in thick furs and scarves to help contend with the bitter cold of Cylus.

“Hello?” Sephira said as she emerged out into the snow, closing the door of her home behind her. There was no answer save for a small wave, indicating that she was to get aboard. Wrapping her cloak around her body , the mage climbed up into the well protected carriage, the wind being substantially cut off as she slid inside.

Almost as soon as she was seated the Enormowl gave a great flap of its massive wings and they were airborne. It was amazing how quickly the breadth of Scalvoris Town disappeared beneath them as the winged beast pushed toward Faldrass.

It seemed like less than a break before they began their decent into a remote corner of the island. Sephira’s stomach seemed to always leap into her throat when landing with an Enormowl. Finally they touched down in front of an imposing manor. The mage quickly let herself out, being somewhat familiar with out to correctly get off the back of an Enormowl. The pilot gave her another wave as she headed toward the impressive oaken doors that led inside.

The door seemed to open on it's own as soon as she approached, at first startling the Element before she realized that a well-dressed butler had been the culprit. His slicked back hair and sharply tailored coat cut an imposing silhouette.

May I take your cloak?” he asked as she entered the entrance to the estate, the butler giving a faint bow as she handed over the garment without complaint. The Rupturer in Sephira quickly took account of the area around her, noting the distance to the stairs and the size of the chamber. Once she was satisfied with her relative safety she waited patiently to be directed further.


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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:50 pm

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"Welcome, mi'lady. Baron von Smooglenuff is delighted to welcome you to his home. I am Winston," said the butler and he clicked his heels together and gave a bow, passing her cloak to the maid who stepped out beside him. She took said item of clothing and Winston led Sephira to where she was expected. "Would you follow me, please?"

The journey, brief as it was, to the drawing room where she would meet the Baron showed her a house which was once wondrous and grand and yet now which was owned by someone with slightly more subdued taste. All the windows were covered by heavy drapes, blocking out the darkness, it seemed. Even with a more subtle taste, the amount of money in this building, the furnishings and the ornaments, was very evident.

Winston led her into a well appointed and comfortable drawing room off to the side where was waiting, seated in an armchair, the Baron. He stood as she walked into the room and Sephira would see that there was a low table in front of his chair with tea, small cakes and other treats. The Baron gave a smile and gestured to one of the other chairs placed around the table. "Welcome to my humble home. I am Rodrigues von Smooglenuff. Please, call me Rodrigues. Please, have a seat."
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He was tall with white hair, painfully thin and his complexion was nearly pure white. He had the walking stick with him which was black and had a silver wolf-head handle. As he stood, it was obvious that he was leaning heavily on the cane itself and relying on it to rise. He looked at her and a wide smile appeared on his face and he opened his arms in a welcoming gesture. "It is a delight to meet you more personally. Thank you so much for coming." He did not sit till she did, but it was obvious that remaining standing caused him pain and in no small amount. He also wore gloves, which he did not remove.

"I trust that the journey here was not too onerous?" He smiled at her."I must beg your forgiveness for the apparently clandestine nature of my invitation. I assure you I have nothing but positive intentions and I believe I might be a vital contact to you here on Faldrass." Although, of course, a serial killer would say that, too. "Why don't I pour the tea and you can tell me how you are?" He gave a slight smile, then, his eyes watching her carefully. "And tell me, how is your mother?"

He knew that it was a significant question, that much was obvious as he watched her. Yet there was no feeling of threat from him. He seemed, as he was, interested in her and her well being.

Just... why was the question.
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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:12 pm

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The old manor home was a blend of warm crackling fireplaces and dark foreboding drapery. The contrast between the light and the darkness spoke to the eccentric nature of the manor’s owner. Everything about the home oozed wealth but there was an age to the place that made the hair on the back of the mage’s neck prickle.

Sephira nervously crossed her arms as she was escorted by Winston through the manor, her footsteps echoing throughout the massive yawning hall. She kept her eyes down, focusing on the butler's feet as she quietly followed in his wake. The weight of her saber at her hip was a welcome comfort to the mage. Even if this was some trap, she was armed and she could always use her magic to escape. Sephira was about as ready as she could be for the strange encounter when Winston escorted her into a comfortable and well-appointed drawing room. Paintings lined the walls and a beautiful stone fireplace crackled warmly in the corner of the room. A gleaming oaken coffee table sat at the center of the room, surrounded by arm chairs and a couch. Tiny cakes and other confectionaries sat on the table along with a steaming pot of tea.

The baron was immediately visible; the man instantly rose to his feet as she entered. Now that she could get a good look at him Sephira was aware that he was not as old and feeble as he appeared at the graduation ceremony. Obviously the man was plagued with some sort of taxing physical condition, but he not as elderly as she had presumed.

When the baron rose and introduced himself, Sephira stood there mutely, her eyes swirling with a mixture of colors as she took in the room. Every inch of the space was analyzed, looking for points of entry and exit. It was second nature to the Rupturer to ensure she had a fairly reliable mental map of her surround area, especially in the case of a room she had never seen before. Taking a seat in the nearest armchair she waited patiently for the baron to speak, he had invited her here after all. When Rodrigues inquired about the nature of her journey and the mage glanced up at him finally, seeming to roll words around on her tongue for a split trill before speaking.

As he mentioned the nature of his invitation a spark of suspicious flickered in Sephira’s eyes.

“It was rather strange...a man I’ve never met before, showing up at an obscure Elements graduation.” There was a dangerous undertone to her words. Sephira could not be sure if he was friend or foe, surely if he was as wealthy and well connected as she guessed then he would know of what she was. Her master’s words of caution surfaced in her mind. The moment someone knew you were a mage then you could never assume their intentions were pure.

Her fists sat clenched in her lap before she forced her hands to relax. Maybe the baron was genuine, maybe he was doing this because of a sincere interest in her. She was from Faldrass after all.

The baron continued, asking about her before rather directly inquiring about her mother.

Sephira bristled, her blood seeming to grow heated beneath her skin. Her control was shattered and her hands clenched into tight fists once again. The mage’s eyes flared as she turned to meet her host’s own gaze.

“My mother...” she said, her words frosty yet subdued. There was regret there, and a wariness that would be evident to anyone in the room. The woman had not seen her mother in nearly two seasons since she had left the island after Elias had be found dying in his mountainside home.
“Why do you ask...? The sentence was asked through clenched teeth. Sephira hoped for both their sakes that Rodrigues could quickly convince her of his good intentions.

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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:10 pm

"I ask," Rodrigues von Smooglenuff said with a slight smile, apparently approving of her caution, "Because I am Baron of this Isle" He gave a slight gesture, as though to encompass the whole of the island. But he didn't stop there, because that was not the real reason. "And mostly I ask because your mother is, or was once, my friend." His expression was nostalgic as he spoke and he seemed to be almost not looking at her. "When we were children," he explained, "before this illness took me. She is still my friend." His shoulders lifted in a slight shrug. "She has visited here, but I am ashamed to say that in more recent arcs I have had her turned away." He looked back at Sephira then and seemed to almost come back to where they were, to this moment.

He looked at her and said nothing for a brief interlude, while he picked up his cup and took a sip. It seemed like he was composing himself, gathering himself emotionally. Then, putting down the tea he had sipped, he spoke again. "I know many things about what happens on this island. It is my job to, my duty and my privilege as a von Smooglenuff" It must surely take generations of living with that name to be able to say it without a snortle of amusement, yet he did it.

"Including the death of a man you had been spending time with," the Baron said and he looked at Sephira with a calm gaze. "A man I also once knew, and who I respected even if I can not tell you I liked him." He sat and opened his hands out, palm upwards, almost in a sign of surrender. "That is why I ask, out of concern for you and your mother and respect for Elias." Then, he shrugged and sat back, sighing slightly as though in relief. The pain he was in was etched on his face every time he moved.

"And now, I imagine you have questions. Ask away," he said with a slight smile. If he seemed concerned that she might be about to harm him, he certainly hid it well.
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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:25 pm

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Sephira’s eyes lit up, a cold flame burning at their core when the baron mentioned Elias. The woman had buried herself in her work these past two seasons, taking extra shifts and training during her free time to distract her from the reason she had led Faldrass in the first place. Elias was dead; not only that but he had been killed by some stranger she had never met nor whom she could locate. Her master had been a very private man, scorning the company of the residents of the island. Strange that he had become familiar with Baron Smooglenuff. Perhaps his pupil knew less about him than she realized.

There was a pregnant pause as Sephira reached to pour herself a cup of tea; the steaming liquid filling the tiny porcelain cup before she brought it to her lips to take a small sip. The cup was set back upon the table with a light chime as it was rested back in its saucer. The mage’s eyes swirled with a mixture of colors, marking the chaotic storm of emotions that had taken root in her mind. How much did the baron know about Elias, was he aware of his identity as a mage? She could only assume so as the man seemed rather proud of the fact that he was well informed about the daily comings and goings of the island.

Finally the silence was broken as Sephira spoke, a guarded expression in her eyes as she gazed at the man seated across from her.

“You knew Elias.” This was a statement not a question.

Her voice wavered faintly before she continued, “I’m guessing you know what he was, and what he taught me.” In demonstration she slowly waved her right hand through the air in front of her, tugging at the ether within the room just enough to cause a distortion in space that caused the fabric of reality around her hand and arm to twist and contort. A subtle rumbling filled the room as the fabric of space began to warp. A soft glow of scarlet light ignited within her pupils before almost immediately dissipating. Sephira released her hold on the ether and the laws of physics reasserted themselves.

There was a moment of uncomfortable silence as she rested her hands in her lap. “I was there the night he died, he was killed...I think by another mage...a Defier. “ Sephira seemed lost in the recollection for a few trills before her eyes sharpened and returned to her host.

“Elias never wanted to speak about his past to me, he was a private man.”

Sephira sighed visibly. “You say you knew him, do you know anything about who he was before he came here. Anything that would tell my why he was attacked...and who might have done it.”

Her search into Elias’s killer had been met with dead ends, but perhaps the baron could point her in the right direction.

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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:21 pm

"Yes," he said, in response to her statement and her questions. "I had assumed your relationship with him was one of master and student. I did not know for sure that he taught you his magics until you just confirmed it" But he had assumed it, he said.

When she was quiet, he didn't push her or insist on talking. He didn't ask questions, just let her come to her own conclusions and tell him what, if anything, she chose to. When she did, he listened and nodded with her words, although he did not speak until it was time to respond to her question. "I believe that he was deeply regretful of events in his past." It probably wasn't a surprise to her, that there were aspect of his past which had haunted him, but Rodrigues went no further than that. "I believe that he always thought he was in danger," he explained, "There are those who would seek retribution for the past, he told me once, long ago" His shoulders lifted in the same slight shrug she had already seen.

"There are groups, organisations, on Scalvoris and throughout Idalos, where Mages work together. Maybe the fact that it was a Defier is relevant" but maybe he wasn't. He wasn't entirely sure just how much to tell the young woman in front of him and he frowned throughtfully. "You must be a remarkable young woman, for him to have passed on the Spark to you" He was utterly frustrating as a person and Rodrigues couldn't say he liked the man, but Elias' death disturbed him. That it had been at the hands of a Defier even more so. Tell me," the Baron said and he looked at Sephira with curiosity in his gaze. "Have you gone back through any of his things? Did he leave any clues behind at all?" If she had not, that certainly seemed like a place to start.
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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:48 pm

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The woman glanced at the baron with a bemused expression when he mentioned that her master had been regretful of his past. “Regretful and afraid, why else would he hide alone in an uninhabited corner of the island?” It was less of question and more of a statement. When the baron continued, commenting that perhaps the murderer had been from one of the various mage organizations on the island Sephira gave a light shrug of her shoulders.

“Perhaps you are right. Since joining the Elements I’ve barely had a spare trill to search for answers. At least it’s a place to start. ” She conceded as she lightly touched the hilt of Wyvern. She had coveted her master’s sword for years during her training. However she desperately wished that she had acquired by some other means, rather than on the occasion of his death. The saber’s brass basket hilt gleamed brightly in the light of the nearby fireplace. The hilt spooled around the grip into the shape of a winged drake.

The mage smirked at Rodriques comment on Elias choosing her as his apprentice. From her perspective she had run into her late teacher purely by chance. As a young girl she had spent time climbing the slopes of the volcano with her childhood friends. Eventually she had literally bumped into Elias, then she had visited from that trial forward until she discovered his identity as a mage.

“I doubt I deserve that much credit, I was just a bratty kid who didn’t know when to quit.” She laughed softly at the memory. Those arcs had been fun, visiting him every moment she could. Eventually Sephira had even managed to coax Elias into visiting with her mother and some of the other inhabitants of Faldrass. In a way they had each given the other a piece of their worlds. Sephira had brought him begrudgingly back to enjoying the company of others and he had escorted her into the world of magic.

Sephira’s eyes fell to her hands, an expression of guilt falling over her features at the idea of investigating the things that her master had left behind. Elias had begged his pupil to leave the island just before his death, for fear that his killer would seek to find her. His apprentice had done just that, even enlisting in the Elements to gain the protection and resources they offered. Her life had become so hectic she had not dared return to Faldrass since that trial.

“Elias made me swear I would leave the island just before he died. He was so worried that whoever attacked him would come back for me.” The woman straightened her shoulders as she glanced at the saber sheathed at her hip. Things had changed in the past two seasons. In joining the Elements, Sephira had gained knowledge and training, she was something to be reckoned with. When she had fled from Faldrass she had been a fledgling, with no real-world experience. Now things were different.
“Maybe it’s time I returned to find out what really happened, I’m not the helpless apprentice I was when I left.”

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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:53 pm

"Indeed you are not," he replied to Sephira's assertion that she was no longer a helpless apprentice. "I would say far from it, in fact." He gave a slight smile and he sat back in his chair.

Putting his hands together, Rodrigues looked at her and he seemed to consider what he said, very carefully. "I would suggest that, since it has been this long, maybe it would be sensible to wait until the weather clears a little?" It was no fun travelling on Scalvoris, even on Faldrass, in this weather and he was probably right that her job would be made that much more difficult by the environment at the moment. "Whatever you decide, I support you," he explained, "and I think it is important that you understand just what I mean by that." His eyes watched hers, carefully, gauging her reaction.

"This is a safe place for you, for your mother" Rodrigues von Smooglenuff did not offer his home to people easily, although that might not be apparent to her it was very true. "And what resources I have, are yours. I believe that Elias' death was probably not the end game for whoever did it" He had no wish to be pushy or patronising, he assured her, but the motives of those who had carried this out could not be assumed. "Therefore," the Baron said with a friendly gaze. "My home is open to you and yours. Should you wish or need it" He would not push, though, that was not his style at all.
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I think one more reply from you and then we're done here and can go to the next season if you'd like? Up to you!
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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:40 pm

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Sephira took another sip of tea, gently cradling the cup on the saucer in her hands as she listened to Rodrigues words. There was something very familiar about the baron, something comforting that reminded her of Elias. It had been so long since someone had put their faith in her. Sephira’s master had always trusted in her stubborn spirit, never allowing her to admit defeat when she failed at something, be it magic or otherwise.

The Element nodded gently as she set the cup of tea on the table once more and set her hands in her lap. His offer of aid seemed genuine and for a trill Sephira was ashamed that she had been suspicious of the man. He was willing to provide her with resources and a safe haven, all for a young women that he barely knew. Perhaps he was familiar with his mother along with her late master, but Sephira worried if his trust in her was misplaced. Until the last couple of cycles she had been a silly child that shirked responsibility and spent her days doing as she pleased. Her life had changed drastically. Fear was perhaps the most transformative emotion. Anger could change an individual for the length of, breaks, trials or perhaps even arcs but fear could reach down into your soul and alter the course of who you are in an instant.

Finally the woman spoke, her eyes a flurry of hues as she leveled her gaze at him.

“Thank you, your words and your offer mean a great deal to me.”

It was good to know that someone from Faldrass, from her home was behind her. The woman came to her feet and gave the Baron a faint bow as a gesture of respect.

“My apologies if I appeared impolite earlier, I could not be certain of your intentions when I arrived. I hope to speak with you again in the future...Rodrigues.”

Once they both bade each other farewell, Sephira was escorted back to the entrance to be flown back to Scalvoris Town. Perhaps when the weather cleared she would have the opportunity to continue the investigation and discover more clues that would explain Elias’s past.
With any amount of luck her workload as an Element would begin to lighten near the end of the season.

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Sure! Not sure if you have anything in mind for Seph's hunt for master's past in Ashan. She's going to be super busy with the Elements and I've yet to run a solo for her detailing the events after her mother is attacked. Let me know if you think of anything fun! Thanks fot the thread, I really enjoyed meeting the baron!
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The Case of the Curious Invitation (Pegasus)

Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:13 pm

Sephira

Overview

I hope you enjoyed this thread as much as I did - it was great fun and I really loved getting to know Sephira a bit better again. She's such an interesting character, I love how much she thinks things through. Great fun and a lot of lovely moments in there. Looking forward to the next one!

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Renown: 10 (Associating with Baron von Smooglenuff)

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Knowledge

Cosmetology: Consider how you look before you leave
Detection: Noticing the ambience of a house
Detection: Noticing the difference between elderly and ill
Discipline: Not showing shock
Discipline: Hearing him out
Discipline: Wait to see what the answer to a question will be.
Discipline: Don't show your emotions
Discipline: Hide your grief
Etiquette: Wait for your host to speak
Etiquette: A bow
Etiquette: Say thank you where it's due
Medicine: Visual diagnosis starts with skintone
Mount (Winged): Cold air is exacerbated by air travel
Mount (Winged): Hold on tight!
Psychology: Guilt is a powerful motivator
Tactics: Whether or not to carry a weapon is an important consideration
Tactics: Find the exits, secure your place
Tactics: Sometimes the best thing to do is to share information.

Location: Smooglenuff Manor
NPC: Baron Rodrigues von Smooglenuff
NPC: Winston. Butler of the Baron
word count: 226
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