• PM To Join • An Untouched Paradise (Max)

Qit goes to Almund to seek out part of her curse removal

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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Qit'ria
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Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:44 pm

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Timestamp: Zi'da 41st

"At the north, a gem raw, in a sea of sapphire, to be claimed."

Qit'ria remembered that phrase, uttered from the Curse Eater's lips. Qit'ria despised riddles, and had very little patience for them. She sat there on a stack of crates, her cloak tight about her, watching the thick fluffy bits of snow fall all around her. It was serene, picturesque, relaxing. She watched as merchants, dock workers, and sailors bustled up and down, getting to work in this early morning. The sun had risen a break ago, and with it, the woman had risen too. She hated having to be in this city, but these raw, painful curse marks on her chest needed to go. So she had to suck it up.

Mulling over this part of the riddle, she knew she was here in Almund because it was the 'at north'. She didn't know any area further north. But a gem raw? What did that mean? There were no mines, no mountains, no ground in which gems could be found. So it must be something... else.

Frustrated, hungry, Qit hopped off the crates, annoyed, stomped into town. She didn't have time to go hunting, not when removing this curse was most important.

"Obviously you need help. You're not good at this darling."

Qit looked down at the ghostly panther, annoyed at how right she was. She spoke to it, despite the fact that no one else could see or hear it, in her native tongue, "I don't know anyone here. We're alone in this."

The feline mozied up to a stall where an old woman was cooking fried fish. Kashehino sniffed at the fish, "I miss eating." Qit took in the scent of the fish, and her stomach grumbled loudly. Ever since she'd been on the chase for this curse removal, she'd barely eaten. She walked up to the stall, was greeted by the woman. Qit'ria was handed a paper cone of spicy, breaded, dripping of oil fish, and she gave coins in turn.

Plucking a piece of the golden fish, Qit took a large bite. The juices streamed down her chin, and she groaned at the heaven in her mouth. It was so good. Flaky, juicy, spicy, crunchy. Her panther sniffed at it, "Mmm... wonderful. We should visit Faith after we finish here. She cooks really well." Qit nodded, not realizing that the ghost panther hadn't ever actually met Faith.

Aloud, walking through the snowy streets, "Gem raw... in sea of sapphire..." She muttered it over and over, paying no mind to the passersby. Kashehino had fun darting between people, bounding around their legs playfully. Occasionally she miscalculated and dove through someone. But it mattered not, it seemed she was a ghost or spirit of some type, and no one even felt a thing. Qit chuckled a bit at the playful creature.
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Max
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Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:59 am

The season had only just begun, and yet recent events had already left the girl restless. It had gotten to a point where neither the comfort of her own bed or the familiar antics of the Buckle and Chain Tavern could soothe her. The simple antidote to trials like these, she believed, was whiskey. This trial wasn't one she felt like wasting...well...by being wasted. Instead she took to the streets. Perhaps, like an oyster, Almund had some hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.

With compass in hand, the foreigner moseyed along. If she was smart she would've traveled with paper and quill to draw herself a crude map as she went. Instead she was going to have to rely on pure memory as much as any street urchin did. Her trials as an orphan came rushing back at the very notion. Despite her circumstances, she still wasn't nostalgic for them. She must've wandered about the town for at least a full break when her steps slowed and brow furrowed. Through the crowd she took a double-take, but still found her eyes had not deceived her.

Strolling carelessly through the snowy walk and munching on what looked like fried fish, Qit'ria was unmistakable. Maxine had half a mind to believe the woman was in a crazed trance by the way she muttered to herself, and how her eyes seemed to occasionally follow something unseen through the feet of the crowd. Maxine had only recently been acquainted with the wild woman. The time spent at O'Rouke's had been...memorable to say the least. By all definitions the Rusalka still considered Qit'ria a stranger. After all, they'd only shared a drink among other new faces. She should've kept walking. In hindsight, Max would happily blame her decision to pause on boredom or curiosity rather than any sort of kindness.

"What's that you keep going on about?" Maxine inquired as she approached Qit, a single brow raised. ""Gem raw in a sea of sapphire?'" She slipped her compass into a pocket and crossed her arms about her body in an attempt to ward away the cold. "Are you playing some sort of game or genuinely looking for something?" A person with etiquette might've tagged on a polite "if you don't mind my asking" to the end of her banter. Pleasantries, Max found, often only make the journey from A to oh-so-obvious B that much longer. Off-putting as it was, the world would move so much faster if everyone just cut directly to the chase.
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Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:01 am

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Qit'ria started a bit, a true sign of her sleepless nights and focused attention as a half-familiar voice spoke to her. Looking toward the source, she saw the woman standing there. For a moment Qit'ria didn't recognize her. Then she saw the plump lips, and had her 'oh' moment. It was 'Fat Lips'. She'd shared her rum with Qit'ria at the place with all the pies. And mead. And that one fascinating Avriel. But what was 'Fat Lips' name?

"Mace?" Nailed it. Qit'ria then realized the woman had asked her some questions. As if any of this were her business. But these were desperate times for the huntress. She couldn't keep on like this. She needed to remove the curse. And if that meant relying on acquaintances, so be it. She could just disappear from their lives afterward. Just use them as a means to an end. Besides, she doubted someone with lips that fat could be of any use. How could she even talk with those things? They seemed so impractical.

"Is word maze. I need find 'Gem in sea of sapphire.' No know what mean. No is game?"

She cocked an eyebrow at the woman's suggestion that she was playing a game. She wasn't some sort of child playing hide and hunt or squirrel tag. She ate the last of her fish, before her tired eyes looked out over the ocean. "I know it high on island." Qit'ria pointed to the north to indicate that's what she meant, not knowing the common word for directions. "No know word maze good. Is hard. Is for book lickers."

"You say Common good. Give help me? I can pay. All city mucker want pay, yes?"?"

Qit'ria always had more money than she knew what to do with, because she simply had very little need for it. But she knew that money was evil, necessary in cities, but pure evil. So people who loved it must also be such evil. And only city dwellers seemed to love it. People like her, in the forests and wilderness areas had no such love for shiny rocks that all look the same. Gold didn't even make good weapons, as soft as it is. Pointless.
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Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:40 am

The thoughtful traveler seemed to just about jump when the Rusalka made her presence known. Maxine could hardly blame her. Qit'ria had appeared so consumed by whatever it was she was doing, it was no wonder she failed to notice another's direct approach. The Mixed Blood took a half step back if only to raise her palms briefly to provide assurance she meant no immediate harm despite her invasive questions. For a couple trills she wasn't even certain the strange girl had recognized her. That was, of course, until the butchery of her name suggested otherwise.

Mace? Whatever. Close enough.

Maxine's brow furrowed with blatant confusion when her once drinking acquaintance started to explain her ramblings. She'd never heard of a word maze. Perhaps it was some strange game people from wherever Qit'ria was from played. Of course that deduction might've made sense had the other woman explicitly stated that she was playing no game at all. She crossed her arms and followed the pointing finger north toward the chilly sea beyond the docks of Almund.

Gem in sea of sapphire. A word maze, apparently high on an island...that's for...book...lickers.

Maxine was honestly about to shake her head and just leave the odd forest-dweller in the dust when a thought struck her. Her expression relaxed and a pleasant, shocked laugh slipped out of her. "Not a word maze," Max corrected with a grin. "You mean a riddle." Now all the information Qit'ria had tried to convey was finally beginning to make some sense. She was following a riddle to an island to find some literal of metaphorical gem in a likewise sea of sapphire. While she had no idea what the familiar woman was after, the promise of reward wholly rekindled the Rusalka's interest. She'd let Qit'ria call her Mace or city mucker all day long so long as there was adequate coin involved. Max ultimately offered the woman a passive shrug. "I help you talk to people and you give me nel for it? You've got a deal."

If it was that mysterious island to the north Qit'ria was after, it was only sensible that they should set to finding a ship of some sort willing to leave the harbor to search for it. She gestured to the plethora of docked vessels and wandering crew members that almost solely made up the population of the pocket of Almund. "Pick your poison," Max invited the woman to take the lead. "I'll do all the talking you want, but if you lead me into some shit, I'm gonna be pissed." Walking into anything blind wasn't exactly up Max's alley when she was functioning with a clear head. Nonetheless, the possibility of running into a little unanticipated danger wasn't enough to quell the small voice of greed.
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Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:42 pm

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Qit'ria understood that the woman was agreeing to help her, to go and speak to others on her behalf. And yet she seemed to be indicating that Qit was to take the lead. Confusion flashed across her face. Was she not understanding? She looked to Kashehino, who gave the mental equivalent of a shrug. The huntress' eyes narrowed, and she walked toward the docks, looking suspiciously at the woman before turning fully away.

She trudged toward the men and women milling about, working with cargo, cleaning the ships, and other general docks work. She looked around for who to have Fat Lips talk to, before picking a group of men that were all rather large, with fierce glares, all looking to be rather hardened sailors. All of them stood a full head or more taller than Qit, and the group grew silent as she approached. The biggest of them stared down Qit, and she matched it with her own, refusing to back down from some man. She didn't have patience to be messed around with these days, not with a curse burning holes in her chest.

"Alright jeez lass, whatchya want?"

She snorted derisively at having won the staredown. She said nothing, since she was paying Fat Lips to do all the talking. Instead, she just pointed at the woman, then beckoned her over. The group of men all eyed her up and down, lust heavy in their eyes, most certainly not the way they'd looked at Qit. "And who might you be sweetheart? I do hope you're not one of them clam divers with this little thing here. A beauty like ya would do much better below decks with us. What can ol' CrackJack help ya with? Is your friend here one of them tongueless bitches? Cut out cuz she ain't know 'ow to use it? I bet you don't have that problem, lips like them ya's got."

They were all laughing at the lewd comments now, and one's hood slipped off, exposing his neck to Max, allowing her to see a tattoo of a sapphire upon his neck. Qit'ria had no idea what to make of the comments. She only understood half of it, but she didn't care for the jesting. It was clear that it was at their expense. Her first instinct was to reach for a weapon, but she was in a town. That would be foolish. Instead, she fought her anger down, cleaning her fists so tight they turned white, nails biting into her palms. She wanted nothing more than to bite this man's nose off. But Fat Lips was lead on this.
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Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:26 am

The wild thing she'd watched gleefully lead a red-eyed monstrosity onto the dance floor was ironically watching her with unease. It was enough to drive the Rusalka to roll her eyes behind her back before falling into step. The surrounding area was a ripe hunting ground for the types of people they were searching for. While sailors could be rough around the edges, she supposed that had to be one kind, empathetic soul willing to lend themselves to their cause. She only hoped finding said good samaritan wouldn't take all trial.

It was only natural that Qit'ria would choose a group that overall appeared rather uninviting. Looking around, one could quickly see there had been far more approachable options. The peculiar woman who had conscripted Maxine presented herself with no greeting or gesture of good will. Instead she was determined to stand there and stare at her quarry into submission. Max possessed no more ladylike quality than Qit'ria probably did, but watching the strange exchange that lacked any common social etiquette was painful. She arrived at the half-civilized woman's side with arms crossed by the time the stare down had reached its decisive conclusion. At first her expression had been a neutral one. Perhaps it came across as bored. The moment the sailor addressed her, however, there was a subtle change in her eyes.

"CrackJack, is it?" Max offered a small smile when the laughter died down, taking a couple steps forward to plant herself directly in front of him. The sailor's arrogant grin grew. His eyes seemed to look to his friends when she spoke his name, ensuring they all heard it themselves. Maybe even a glimmer of hope existed on their minds she'd be willing to dive below the decks with one of them after all. "There's a lot of things I don't have a problem doing," she purred. Her right hand drew up toward her face, lips gently puckering to plant a suggestive kiss upon her first knuckle...right before she plowed it directly into his face.

A subsequently chorus of oh's followed CrackJack's unceremonious fall to the ground. Surprise appeared to dominate more of their expressions than anger did, though CrackJack himself was clearly irate from where he'd been seated. The sailor sat up with a hand clutched over his gushing nose, cursing. If Qit'ria had hired Maxine on the pretense the Rusalka might be the more controlled member of their pairing, she'd probably been rightly disappointed.

"Anyways," Max transitioned with a restrained tone before the embarrassed sailor could get a word out. "My friend here is looking for something. Something on an island. Does a 'gem in a sea of sapphire' mean anything to anyone?" As the words left her lips, her eyes spotted a most ironic symbol. Distracted in looking among themselves, one sailor didn't notice Maxine's hand snapping forward until her fingers had gently seized his chin. She turned his face to the side to expose the gem tattoo upon his neck. She turned to eye Qit'ria meaningfully, gesturing toward the anomaly with her free hand. After a few trills the sailor shoved her hand away.

CrackJack spat blood upon the docks and pushed himself up to his feet. While the group pondered her words, Max shot the unruly sailor a challenging look. If he wanted to continue getting cute, she'd have no qualms about feeding him another fist or two. It would make her trial if nothing else.
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Tue May 15, 2018 8:24 pm

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Qit'ria watched as Max approached and spoke, seeming amenable to the idea of working with these men. Then she slugged one. Instantly Qit assumed the men had done something to deserve it and immediately leapt into attack mode. She hadn't realized that Max was limiting it to a single punch, as the huntress jumped upon the nearest man's back nimbly, wrapping an arm around his throat, her legs locking around his middrift. She began to squeeze, just like the time she'd choked out that hafrein deer, accompanying it with a bite onto the man's ear, eliciting a strangled howl from him. He began stumbling about, punching at her from awkward angles to try and shake the mad woman off, while she just squeezed more, and bit down deeper. As he turned back toward Max though, and Qit could see that she wasn't fighting any longer, she realized that it must've just been intimidation, or the men had cowered already. Likely the latter.

Qit hopped off the man, who was spluttering and coughing, and she kicked him in the rump so that he tripped over CrackJack. She walked over to Max, wiping the blood from her lips, as all eyes were now a bit wider and at attention on the pair of psychotic women. The man with the tattoo eventually relented after Max's question, "I were firs' mate on The Sapphire. Bu' she wen' down in the northern wa'ers ova a arc ago. Ah'm sorry lasses, bu' she gone. I lurved that beaut too. Bes' ship ever been on."

Qit'ria's face was scrunched in scrutiny trying to decipher this man's accents. Why was it that sailors could never speak properly like her? It was ridiculous. The man Qit had attacked had recouped enough that he stalked toward her, reaching out to grab her. Qit'ria met his hand in kind with her own, taking his fingers in her own, and began to squeeze, her arm flexing heavily as she wrenched the arm down, pulling him to her height. And continued to tighten her grip. She could feel that she was stronger than him, and he was trying to not show it. And she stared at him, her teeth bared, her eyes hungry. Deciding to take a leaf out of Max's book, Qit hurled her opposite hand back, and punched the man in the cheek. It was a sloppy hit, and shot pain through Qit'ria's hand.

She pulled it back, shaking out the pain and hissing at the man, for the gall of allowing her to hurt herself on his face. She slammed her forehead into his nose and shoved him away, letting out a variety of angry animal noises. Her patience long since passed, she grabbed the tattoo man by the ear, yanking him down to her height. "You take us. Now. We pay."

Letting him go, she waited on his response. Several of the other men had already taken their leave of the crazy women, leaving CrackJack, tattooed guy, and the guy Qit had assaulted. CrackJack spoke, "You bes' pay us good then. Can ya find 'er again Spez?" The tattooed man nodded, pointing at a nearby schooner, "Let's go befo'e ya bitches attract the guard. Stop cryin' Lenny, damn." The three men led the way up the gangplank of The Short and Curly, giving a wide berth for the women. Qit'ria picked a wall against the cabin to sit against.

Spez, "It's abou' two breaks from 'ere. Settle in. Try not to break anythin' else. Immortals above Lenny, ya still cryin'? Toughen up man."

Qit'ria nodded, and sat there, not bothering to try and get to know any of these men, knowing she had time to rest, and time to kill. One step closer to removing these damned curse wounds.
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Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:22 am

Max had sorely underestimated just how feral her newfound companion was. The Rusalka's exercise of intimidation upon the sailors had proven to be a trigger for Qit'ria. Just as soon as a bottom had hit the floor, the mad woman had attached herself to a sailor like a deadly backpack. Maxine's brow rose as the choking man's eyes bulged with panic, his yelp overshadowed entirely by the sight of teeth sinking into an earlobe. No one seemed prepared to do much more than cringe at the sight. The cowardly sailors had taken steps back rather than forward to try to peel the crazed woman off their friend's back. Maxine certainly had no intentions of intervening on the man's behalf. Instead she lingered in place, her expression of shock turning to one of mirthful appreciation.

"You boys should've been less worried about my friend can do with her tongue, and a bit more worried about what she can do with her teeth," she admonished the group, CrackJack and the one Qit had attacked in particular. Before long the wild woman had finally relinquished the sailor from her torment. Any dominate or at-ease attitudes had been strangled so shortly after the first exchange. Now only wary, fearful eyes gazed upon Max and Qit where they stood. At the very least their antics seemed to win over the tattooed man's willingness to help without delay.

The Sapphire?

"Hey, you," Max turned to Qit'ria, tapping the back of her knuckles benevolently against the woman's shoulder. She gestured toward the tattoo on the man's skin again. "A Sapphire. Isn't that a part of your little riddle?" The Rusalka pursed her lips. If this ship had anything to do with what they were looking for, this had turned out to be a lucky coincidence indeed. Fortune hadn't remained in their favor though. According to the former first mate, The Sapphire had fallen victim to the depths of the sea. One of the downed men had the audacity to try Qit'ria again a trill later. The Rusalka turned with her hand balled into a tight fist. She'd only taken one step in his direction between her companion proved, yet again, that she needed no one's help when it came to defending herself. After a finger lock, a well-aimed punched, and a headbutt, Qit'ria ended both the sailor and anyone else's thoughts of attacking again. Max folded her arms and shook her head at the man.

Men. They never do fucking learn, do they?

Qit'ria seemed to be in less need of a translator than she'd let on. She wasn't a woman that slowed down or stayed distracted from her goal for very long either. One moment she was beating a man into submission, and the next she was making demands of another. Maxine was pondering just where in Idalos this woman had come from when she heard the words "us" spoken. Her head snapped to eye Qit'ria, but memories of coin promised to be rendered in exchange for her services kept her from protesting the adventure.

"Trust me," the Rusalka reassured the tattooed fiend with a sigh. "If she doesn't pay well, you and I both will have words for her." Then, without further ado, Max fell in line beside Qit'ria up the gangplank of the sailors' ship. General distrust still filled the gazes of the sailors when their avoiding glances dared to settle on the women. While the Mixed Race preferred others to fall submissive to her, a camaraderie over shared humiliation was a threat she kept in the back of her mind. She found herself sitting in the corner on the same side of the cabin as Qit. Her companion was undoubtedly feral and unruly. Friendly wasn't a word Max would use to describe the woman either. Yet she was direct and blunt when she spoke her broken Common, and that made her less suspicious than the other characters filling the room.

"So," Max murmured, head leaning toward Qit'ria while her eyes flickered between the sailors setting to work. "What's with this wild chase? Sounds to me like you're either some sort of treasure hunter...or there's more to this puzzle than you've let on." Normally it wasn't in her interest to question the motives and desires of the person paying her. As long as she got what she was owed, little else mattered. Qit wasn't the usual type of client, assuming there is any real type wont to hire mercenaries. Curiosity overrode any sliver of professionalism Maxine might've ever had. "Just what are you expecting to find?"
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