The Fortune Teller.

A brief adventure, because why not?

Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers.

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The Fortune Teller.

Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:30 pm

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65th Zi'da, 717
She was sitting on the floor in the street as they walked by. What it was which made her pick them out, she either did not or did not tell. But, that trial, it was them she called. "Please, wait!" Joelle said, her voice gentle and tinkling like a fairy rather than the biqaj she seemed to be. On the ground, on the street, in the middle of Zi'da and she wore an outfit which seemed to be mostly rags. Yet, she bore no brands of slavery and so the young girl ~ for such she was, maybe in her teens but probably not quite ~ did not seem to be cold. Her copper hair was well brushed and she looked clean, none of which added up.

Yet, still, was.

Lots of people walked and escaped her notice completely. Yet, on this trial, she saw them and she called out. They heard and they answered, or they did not, but it was them she wanted, needed to speak to. Her eyes looked up from the ground where she sat, surrounded by fortune telling cards and flickering candles, and those who gazed on her saw nothing but solid colour in her eyes. No iris or pupil, all white. She was blind, it seemed, although she appeared to be looking directly at them.

"Please, wait," she called again and she smiled, then pointed to the individual she spoke to and then, to the cards on the floor in front of her. "There's a message for you. Will you talk with me awhile?"
Off Topic
Ok, so it's just a quick and quirky thread. And it's open to the first TWO players who post. You can post at different times of the day, because you will be interacting only with the fortune teller. There are things to buy, things to learn, things to lose. After two people have posted, that's it - and no placeholders, please.
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Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:19 pm

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Once again Tio faced off against his greatest nemesis, the dreaded monster that haunted his steps, ready to stab him in the back when he least expected it. He had tangled with this enemy on many occasions, and although he had been able to evade it each time he'd never once been able to truly defeat it. It was a parasite, worming its way into his mind and driving him to madness.

And its name was boredom.

Perhaps it seemed rather petty, childish even, to get so melodramatic over something as seemingly harmless as being bored, but Tio really could not overstate just how hard boredom hit him. It was a curse born of his fickle nature that whenever he had nothing to keep himself occupied Tio became more and more restless to the point that he'd literally start hitting his head against the walls. And now that he was making so much more money from a few trials of work an unanticipated downside was that he had far to much free time on his hands, driving his need for a distraction to even greater heights. By the spirits something interesting had better happen soon! A giant monster attack or something! The tedium was driving him bananas!

Which was why when the odd looking lady sitting on the streets addressed him with such an cryptic opening Tio responded like a fish biting down on a juicy piece of bait. His eyes widened in delight, and with a spring in his step he bounded over to the Biqaj. "Really! What does it say! Tell me everything!"
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Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:23 pm

Almund was becoming the more frequented town of late. It seemed that the Dregs had their roots in the town of pirates and Roland had to investigate. Seedy shadows aplenty, but he knew he had to push on in order to find anything of use. The whole thing was starting to unfold and ripen like a springtime blossom. of course, no springtime to be found in the frigid and frozen streets of Almund. Roland wished he had kept a bottle of brandy on him, longing for the days when brutal winds and chilling cold were no longer the weather of the day. He walked along, thinking about how to approach the next step of his investigation, when his absentmindedness nearly made him trip over a person.

Looking down, he saw a girl in rags with white eyes calling out to him. She pointed down at cards of the fortune telling variety. he squatted down on his haunches and looked at the spread. it was amazing that the candles stayed lit, the cards didn't blow away and most of all, the girl did not seem in the least bothered by the freezing temperatures. Like so many other events in his life, he saw opportunity. A sign from the very Immortals that seemed to elude him for arcs. "A message? I'd love to hear what you have to say." He looked directly into the irisless eyes that gazed upon him, his mind open and clear. Something was clearly afoot. There was no way that this person just materialized and yet, it was even scarcely more believable that no one had noticed her but him. An opportunity passed was an opportunity squandered.
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:01 pm

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Tio
She looked at Tio, her milk-white eyes evidently watching him and she smiled at him as he bounded over. "It's rare to find someone so open to new things. Have you ever had a reading before?" It was a strange thing, but as she looked at him, Tio was aware that the young girl who spoke to him looked, really looked like the slave who had died in his arms on Immortals' Tongue.

It was, in fact, uncanny.
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She put the deck into his hands and, as she did he could feel that her hands were warm, not cold. "Shuffle them, as much as you like, then choose one." When he had done as she asked him to, she took the deck back and gestured. "Look at it." While he did she dropped the remaining cards down in front of her, face up, so that he could see each one was different. If she was being duplicitous, it wasn't like that.

"The Star," she said, though he hadn't shown her the card. "It signifies big plans in your life, big changes. The woman in the card, she represents you, and she is vulnerable and strong. The bowl she holds contains starlight and water, hopes and dreams" Her sightless eyes lifted to him. "The danger in this card is that your plans and dreams, each one a star in the sky, take you away from your true self. From who you really are. You seek to follow them, but be careful not to lose yourself." She looked at him and spoke in a quiet voice, as though worried that anyone else would hear. "Don't forget."

She didn't know what it was that he was supposed to not forget, but that didn't matter. With a child-like smile, the girl who seemed maybe to be a teenager, but was probably not quite asked, "does that sound like you?" She seemed very interested in that answer. "If it does, then we should do another. Bones, dice or runes?"
Roland
She smiled at him as he moved over to her, squatting down and she looked at him and smiled. There was no doubting it, she looked at him. Either her eyes worked, or she had some other means of seeing or sensing him. Whatever it was, his first assessment was right. She was young, maybe a teenager, but maybe not yet. She watched him and nodded when he said that he'd love to hear what she had to say.
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"The way it works is that you pull a card from the deck and I tell you what it means. Here" She shuffled the deck, her hands moving dexterously for someone who apparently couldn't see, and then she handed it to him. "Shuffle and then, if you would, pull a card?"

As he handed it back to her, she held it for a moment and then let the deck slide to the floor, so that he could see that there were lots of different cards. "Oh, look! It's the Wheel of Fortune!" she said, though she hadn't looked at it, even if she could see. "This is a card of change, of opportunity of fortune both good and bad"

She smiled at Roland. "Always, this card is opportunity. Sometimes, the opportunity is good, sometimes not so much. But it's always a catalyst of change" Shrugging slightly, she gestured to the card. "That's what I think, anyhow. Does that sound like you? Is it your message?" It might not be, of course, it wasn't always. But then, it might be too.

"If it is, then you should choose. Leaves, water or flame?"

Off Topic
So, thanks to Bumblebee for the inspiration for so doing. I randomly chose a tarot card for each of you. Pulled from a deck (only the major arcana, in fairness) - but I think it worked pretty well. :)
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:32 pm

No doubt about it, she was staring at him, white eyes or not. In a way, it felt more like staring into him. Roland maintained his look of amusement and composed a demeanor of genuine interest. Listening to the instructions, he watched with rapt attention to her hands and the cards. Her hands moved so rapidly and expertly that Roland felt her talents were wasted outside of a gambling hall.

When the cards were handed to him, he removed his gloves so that he could feel the tactile sensation of the cards against the flesh of his palm and fingers. He flipped the deck on its side, cutting it and cutting it thrice, he handed her back the deck. As she spilled the cards out before him, he watched and listened as he slid his gloves back on to protect his hands from the elements. The Wheel of Fortune. Could it have been any other card? While Roland didn't know what the others meant, he felt completely assured that this was indeed the message he sought. "You are absolutely spot on, dear. You have a real talent with this. I beg and plead to the forces of fortune on a daily basis...so, let's go with leaves." He didn't know what the choices meant, but he suspected it would be another oracle. The elements were too bold. Leaves represented a kind of stability to him, so that was the route he took.
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:54 pm

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Tio arched an eyebrow suggestively. "No, I've never had a reading before. But I do make a habit of trying almost anything at least once. I knew this girl once who had a collection of whips, chains and a banana tree, and every night she'd..." he trailed off as a naggling voice in the back of his mind told him that he was overlooking something, and his eyes drifted up past the cards laid out on the ground and the rags she wore to take a proper look at the fortune tellers face.

It was Kitty! But-... but how was that possible?! There was absolutely no doubt that she had died that day on the Immortal's Tongue; he'd watched her, held her in his arms as the final vestiges of her life drained away! What manner of miracle was this!

Abruptly Tio realised that he had been, quite rudely, staring at her in stunned silence for an awkwardly long time now. Catching himself, Tio faked a cough to buy himself a few seconds as his mind tried to reconcile what he was seeing with fact. Now that he thought about it this girl couldn't really be Kitty could she? The girl he'd known hadn't been blind for a start, nor had she been a biqaj like this fortune teller appeared to be. Was this just a cruel joke by fate after all then? Or his mind playing tricks on him?

"Erm-... sorry about that. Sore throat. Please continue." He lied, watching the fortune teller with renewed interest as she handed the cards to him and instructed him to shuffle. When she told him to draw a card he did, and was met by a picture of a woman staring up at a bright star in the sky, with a label at the bottom that read 'The Star'.

Without needing to see it the woman knew which card it was he'd picked, and began to explain what meaning it held for him. As she did, Tio couldn't deny that her words were hitting a little bit too close to home. Uncomfortably so even. He most certainly did have grand dreams of wealth, fame and power, as well as big plans on how to get them. But what did she mean about being taken away from his true self by them? He wasn't exactly weak of character, how was he in danger of loosing himself?

As if summoned by his question the memory of the vision he'd had during his magic initiations, the cocoon of bones with the humanoid silhouette floating in its centre, flashed across his mind, along with a feeling of dread that ran down his spine and set his hairs on end. The fortune tellers words, don't forget, seemed to resonate with the memory somehow. But the moment soon passed, leaving Tio with more questions than he had answers.

"Yes, that sounds like me. A little bit to well actually..." He replied, examining the card closely as if searching for some hidden trick to it. "How about we go for the bones next? The last time someone read those for me my future didn't seem to have a happy ending, I'd be interested to see what's changed. Oh, and would you mind if I hung on to this star card as a memento? I'd be happy to pay you for a new deck."

If she said yes, Tio would have over 100 gold nel in exchange for it. Perhaps this had been her plan all along, to make a quick bit of cash from a passing fool, but even that thought didn't stop Tio from doing it. He owed the person she shared a face with a debt he wasn't sure he could ever repay, and if a purse of gold could help relieve that debt even a little it would be worth it. Speaking of which...

"Sorry if this sounds like an odd question, but... do you have a sister by any chance? It's just that I used to know someone who looked like you, I mean really like you."
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Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:34 pm

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Roland
"You're very quiet," Joelle said, perhaps stating the obvious. "Are you normally so quiet?" She looked at him with a child's curiosity. Then, he picked his card and she told him what it meant. He was more than content with that and she nodded, pleased. "You keep the card. It's yours. It's you." From such a young face, her expression was one of a much older person. "There isn't another person who could have it." Her hands pointed down to the deck she had spread out on the floor. "Each card, it's for someone different. That's a lot of people, isn't it?" She didn't seem put out by that, instead she was rather excited by it. "And that one, well that one's for you. I'm glad it found you. Maybe it will bring you the fortune you seek"

When he made his choice, Joelle looked at him and nodded. "Leaves. Alright, you'll need to drink this. Here." Reaching behind her she got a cup, which was very shallow with a wide flat bottom, and she poured water into it. Then, she took a sip and smiled. "I do that for two reasons. To show you it isnt poison, and to join our energies in there." She handed him the cup and smiled encouragingly. "Drink. Drink it dry."

Assuming that he did that, she took the cup back when he was done. It was a bitter tasting drink, not pleasant but nor was it difficult to drink. Still, when he did there was no taste of tealeaves, though there were a lot of them left behind. She looked down at the cup, her face a mask of concentration. Then, she spoke. "You're in danger," she said, her voice soft and quiet so that only Roland could hear her, even if someone was trying to listen in. "There's darkness, real darkness. It's watching you."

She frowned more deeply and she looked down , then breathed in sharply. "I see stars in the Cylus sky" Her voice was suddenly very far away. "And flames flickering. The smiling man, he's not good, you should be careful of him. There's a golden ring on his finger, and it speaks of rivalry. It's soaked in blood. There's a book, too, lots of numbers all in lines. They're lies." Lifting her head to look at him, her voice was strong and sure. "There's a woman and a choice. It isn't how it seems, not at all. She's worth more than gold to you, if you just look harder" Shrugging slightly she gestured somewhat helplessly. "I don't know if that makes any sense?" She turned her white eyes to him and smiled.

"There's no charge for the reading, and the card is your to keep" She tilted her head slightly, and then asked almost shyly "I sell the candles and baskets I make. Would you like to see?"
Tio
"That sounds like something I'm probably not supposed to hear about" Joelle said and she smiled at him. "But I like your philosophy. Life is about living." She beamed a child like smile at him. Then, he picked his card and she told him what it meant. He seemed to be more than content with that, although he found it less than comfortable. When he offered her the money, she shook her head, waving it away. "You keep the card. It's yours. It's you." She seemed very sure as she said that. "There isn't another person who could have it." Turning her white eyes down to the deck she had spread out on the floor she gestured. "Each one is for someone specific. I have to give them all away." Her expression grew more serious as she gestured to the card itself."Keep it, it will bring you luck and shine on you. Stars are hope, after all"

When he made his choice, Joelle looked at him and nodded. "Bones are perfect for you. Here." Laying out a cloth on the ground, she took a jar and emptied the contents of it (which seemed to be earth) on to the cloth, covering it completely. Then, she reached back and took hold of a small black velvet bag.

She was about to cast the bones when he asked her a question and the girl in front of him gasped and looked up, frozen in place by his question. "A.. yes. I have an older sister, but she went missing when she was very small. I don't remember her but my father and mother have never stopped looking for her. Father travels the oceans, mother asks everyone, still. Who... how... please tell me?" She asked, the bag in her hands forgotten as milky eyes regarded him and she had an expression of hope on her face.
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Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:35 pm

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When the fortune teller told him the card was his to keep anyway, Tio nodded gratefully and slipped it into his jacket pocket. "Thank you, I'll take good care of it. Wouldn't do for my reminder to get damaged now would it? I hope you find all the people your cards are meant for." He paused for a second, a thoughtful look crossing his face. "You know I've bumped into quite a few interesting people in my time here, the kind who can't seem to cross the street without getting caught up in some kind of crazy adventure. If you'd like I'd be happy to send them your way, see if any of them are the meant for some of your other cards?"

Stars are hope huh? Well a little bit of hope was always a good thing in his book, so really what harm was there in keeping this card on him? It felt like a lucky charm of sorts.

But if it was supposed to be a hope charm, a few seconds later it certainly didn't seem to be doing its job properly. At the mention of a sister the fortune teller's face lit up, and she confirmed that she did in face have a sister who went missing arcs ago. She looked so hopeful, and yet Tio's guts twisted uncomfortably as he realized that all the hope was about to crumble away into despair. To have been searching for years only to find that they'd missed Kitty by a few seasons would be devastating to this girl and her family. Perhaps he should lie, tell them that he'd set her free and that she'd sailed away to start a happy new life for herself somewhere else? The thought was tempting in a way, but made him feel weirdly sick in his stomach. If he told that lie then her parents, who apparently still searched for her even now, would never find closure.

He sighed, and his gaze travelled down to the ground as a look of sorrow crossed his face. Suddenly his bones felt heavy, as if he'd doubled in age in the span of a few seconds. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I'm afraid I don't have good news for you." He paused, briefly thinking of how he could word what he needed to say as tactfully as he could. "I met her last Ymiden, during an expedition to find out why a group of archeologists on the Immortals Tongue had suddenly disappeared. When we reached the campsite we only found one survivor, a slave to one of the archaeologists. That was-... that was her. The archaeologists had been transformed into these moss-zombies by this strange artifact in the ruins, but by merit of her race she was immune, so we took her along with us."

A small sad, wry smile formed at the corners of his mouth as he remembered the journey through the ruins. It was a good thing we did too, as I doubt we'd have made it through that trial without her. I was the only other one immune to the moss-zombie infection you see, but I wasn't exactly the most trustworthy character in the group, so when I began to see things differently from the other members of our group they all assumed I was the one going crazy. But your sister saw what I saw, and we were able to find out about our comrades sickness and cure them before they transformed too. But the cure was guarded by the mossters, and one of them-... one of them..." His small smile morphed into a snarl. "One of them shot her through the chest with an arrow. I tried to help, but there was nothing I could do. She died."

He remained silent for a while, letting the fortune teller come to terms with what he had said. Eventually though he could not longer hold back a mirthless chuckle from echoing out of his throat. "Sorry, some star I turned out to be, huh? I guess the card must have been reversed or something. I buried her in Witchwood graveyard, next to a large oak tree near a rock shaped like a candle. I didn't know what symbol to give her I'm afraid, so I went with the standard snowflake. If-... If you don't mind me asking, what was her name? She said she didn't have a name, so my friends gave her the name Alaiwa, but I always wondered what her real name was."
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Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:46 am

When asked why he was so quiet, Roland took a moment to think and grinned. "I don't particularly care for idle chatter. I tend to say what I mean and mean what I say. Anything else is a waste." His eyebrows popped briefly as she handed him the card. He fingered at it and slid it into his coat pocket, near his heart. It was him, she had said. No one else could have it as it was meant for him.No greater message could have come, or so he had thought.

He watched as she took a sip of the drink and listened to her words. He didn't suspect poison, anyway. He felt that a special event from beyond was occurring for him and he meant to accept and absorb it. He turned back the cup and drank the bitter liquid inside. It wasn't something he would enjoy by the fire, but it was warm enough on a bleary and cold day. He handed it back to the oracle. He was in danger. His focus and attention sharpened to a razor's edge at the details of this danger. Darkness was watching him. Stars in the Cylus sky. That would give him a little time to prepare. Flames flickering, a smiling man to take caution of. A golden ring, soaked in blood. A book with lines, perhaps a ledger? A woman and a choice. She's worth more than gold if he just looked harder. And with that, the message was completed.

"Well, dear, I believe the idea is that it will help. And prior knowledge is what makes that wheel of fortune turn without a squeak. Of course, fortune begets fortune, so if you won't accept payment, I must at least peruse your wares."
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The Fortune Teller.

Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:20 pm

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Tio
When he offered to help her find the people for her cards, Joelle's face lit with pleasure. "Oh, yes please! I'd very much like that, thank you!" She certainly would appreciate the help and, more than that, she was pleased that he had offered. "You're a very kind man. Thank you." She had a happy smile on her face and she seemed pleased with how things were.

And then, of course, they spoke about her sister.

She listened, to all of it. Everything he had to say and then she moved forward, taking his hands. "Is it over? Is it really over?" She looked incredibly relieved as she asked that question. "All these arcs, not knowing. My parents have... it's been exhausting." Sitting there, her divination equipment forgotten, she listened to every word he said and, whilst she looked undoubtedly sad, the overwhelming expression was one of relief. "You were kind to her. Thank you, so much. My parents... they will want to meet you, would you meet them?"

Tilting her head to the side, the young woman answered his question. "Her name? It is.. it was Catherine, but we always just called her Cat."

Turning back, then, she frowned. "I need to.. the bones for you." Just before she did, she took hold of his hand and squeezed it. "Thank you. Again, and truly. Please, please come to meet my parents?" But then, she picked up the bag, small black velvet pouch containing the bones and she looked down at them then threw them on the ground. She looked down and then frowned, her milk-white eyes focusing entirely. "There's water, you're surrounded by water. I see someone approaching you, and you don't see them. There's blood, droplets of blood in the water and there's a key, a silver key. Someone is baking bread and you.. you mustn't trust the gift given to you. It won't save you."

Breathing in, she first gulped in air and then she sighed as she looked down at the bones. "Is it already too late for you?" She seemed to be genuinely just curious about that as a question, but saddened at the same time.

Roland
When he said that he would like to see the wares she sold, the girl smiled and pulled forward a crate. From it she pulled a number of things, lots of different basket-weave goods, bowls and boxes, beautiful and intricate ~ she was good at making basket weave things, it seemed. However, she was exceptional at making candles. There were a number of them ~ varying in size, colour and with some of them scented. She showed him candles which had swirling colours in them and all sorts.

If Roland spent any time perusing or appraising those wares, there were a lot of different things to find out. Of the baskets, whoever had made them was good at doing so. They were pretty, functional and sturdy ~ and thoughtfully made, considering the purpose of them in the design and construction. But the candles, they were exquisite ~ and seemed beyond normal candles. Roland was a Scalvoris native so he knew of the rainbow sand, but one of the candles, for example, had the same sort of effect, swirling through different colours. There were candles shaped into intricate designs, not all the usual "pillar" candle-type.

It seemed that Roland had met someone who had an astonishing ability to tell the future and, it seemed, to make candles. "Do you see anything you'd like?" she asked.
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