For Safety's Sake

The false fortune teller is back!

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Devin
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Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:38 am

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71st of Ymiden, Arc 718

Something was going on. Devin had lived on the island long enough to realize that all of his favourite foods being out of stock was not normal. Everywhere he went, he watched the same scenes. The natives were busy stocking up on supplies. When he asked an old man who was dragging a cart filled with sacks of dried beans and flour why everybody was going crazy when the weather was so nice, he just stared at him as if he had lost his mind, pointed a finger at him and informed him in a very ominous tone, “Strange things will happen in Vhalar, young man. They always do. You’d better watch out!”

Devin looked at him for a moment, and then he grinned and exclaimed, “That’s awesome!” because he had already come up with about half a dozen ways to take advantage of the situation. This would be the perfect time to reprieve one of his most challenging and profitable roles. While the old man flipped him the bird and muttered something unintelligible, the thief raced back home, climbed up into the attic and removed a couple of large boxes from there, breathing heavily because it felt as if they weighed a ton. It took him a while to find the old tent, the folding table and his trusty and completely non-functional crystal ball. He hadn’t used those things for about two seasons.

The following morning he got up before sunrise, put on his black hooded robe (but not his pants or his shirt because it looked like it would be a hot trial, and he didn’t want to sweat to death), grabbed his backpack, tucked the folding table under his arm and made his way to Scalvoris’ town square – very slowly, because he was carrying a lot of stuff, and he was not a particularly strong person (the magical potion he had extorted from the alchemist had given him a perfect voice instead of a perfect body).

When he had finally reached the central fountain, he simply dumped his stuff on the ground and sat down on the edge of the fountain for a moment in order to rest before he erected his very colourful tent, furnished it and placed a cardboard sign that was covered with bright red letters in front of the entrance. It said, “Vhalar is almost upon us, but do not worry! I know exactly what the future will bring, and I can help you!” The letters looked a little sloppy because Devin was not the best when it came to writing, but it was the message that counted, wasn’t it?
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Rynata
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:22 pm

Rynata had always been an early riser. Being up before the sun touched the horizon came with her occupation. With her recently scrambled sleep schedule added to the mix, she had already been up and about by dawn. For a time she had puttered about her ship, getting everything ready for the day, but even by the time everything had been checked over, she found that the rest of the world still had a ways to go to catch up. Thinking to get some shopping done, she left her ship and trotted over to the square to see if some shop-keeps had managed to set out their wares.

At least keeping unholy hours was not without some benefit. Rynata secretly enjoyed when the city was still quiet, undecided as to whether it was going to start stirring now, or a few bits later. Being one of the few souls alert at this time was like having the whole world to herself. A precious moratorium before the day turned busy and was to be shared with others. Boots ringing softly against the pavement, she passed silent buildings until she eventually came upon the central open market.

Even in the morning light, the colors of the tent shone brightly. It drew her eye and Rynata wondered if it was a new addition to the place. She certainly hadn't spotted it before. A gaudy splash against the square now so familiar to her. Curiously approaching the structure, she scanned over the scrawled sign at the entrance. Vhalar is almost upon us, but do not worry! I know exactly what the future will bring, and I can help you! New years? Vhalar, the Biqaj time for ends and new beginnings was certainly an important season, but she couldn't imagine why there was much need to worry. The grandiose claim also made her smile at little. No doubt someone was exploiting a good business opportunity. Still, she couldn't exactly fault them, and she couldn't deny that she was curious about what they meant by knowing the future. There was no harm in taking a look, and besides, she could be the judge of whether this ruse was of the harmful sort.

Rynata stepped closer to the tent flap, and her shadow fell across the cloth. She wasn't sure how one knocked on a tent, so she uttered a soft excuse me before parting the entrance.
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Devin
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Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:25 pm

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As he heard somebody utter a soft excuse me Devin immediately sat up straighter because he wanted to make a good impression on his first client (or rather victim) of the trial, rubbed his hands together because he couldn’t stop thinking about all the money he would make and smiled all over his face. Said smile disappeared again abruptly when she entered his tent. For a moment all that Devin could do was stare at Rynata in shock. He hadn’t considered the possibility that somebody who knew him as Devin Thorn, the friendly naturalist, might stumble across his secret business. He had no idea what would happen if he was found out, but it probably wouldn’t be particularly pleasant.

He immediately pulled his hood deeper into his face. Maybe he would be able to deceive his temporary accomplice if she didn’t see his face, but just heard him. He had been mad at Peytr, the alchemist, before because he had given him a perfect voice potion rather than a potion that instantly gave him an impressive six-pack, but now he thanked the Fates and all the Immortals combined for it. Maybe he could still save the trial. Besides, he realized, this situation also represented a unique opportunity to cause a bit of mischief.

He extended an arm and gestured for her to take a seat opposite of him, and then he spoke, “Good trial, Miss …” He stopped for a moment and raised a hand. “No, don’t tell me your name. You are … Ren … no, I have it. Your name is Rynata, right? The Fates have foretold your arrival! They have also told me about the hardships that you had to face!” The voice that she could hear from under the hood was almost unnaturally beautiful and pleasant, as if it were … the voice of an Immortal. It was quite (but not totally!) different from the voice she had heard during their adventure with the magic tree, and Devin tried his hardest to make it sound deeper than it normally was to minimize the risk of her recognizing him even further.

“Do you want to know what they have planned for you?”
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Rynata
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:40 am

The fortune teller, because of course it was a fortune teller, shuffled a little as Rynata ducked into the tent. There was a slight pause between them, and she began to wonder if she shouldn’t have stepped in. However, the hooded figure indicated for her to take a seat and she readily obliged, plopping down opposite from them.

The voice that emanated from the mysterious man was deep and eerily beautiful. It weaved and curled commandingly through each syllable. She would have loved to hear him regale epics and haunting myths in those tones. In an afterthought, she realized that this was partly what fortune tellers did anyway. What gave her a good nudge of surprise was that he somehow knew her name. Drawing her brows together in confusion, Rynata tried to peer at his face which remained stubbornly obscured in the shadows thrown by his hood.

“Have we met?” she asked skeptically. She certainly never took any real pains to hide her identity, but she doubted she was memorable enough for complete strangers to take note. It had to be someone she knew, or else this fortune teller really could pluck and decipher the strands of fate. She wondered a little sadly if the Fates were truly paying enough attention as to foresee her arrival.

The man’s next few words struck chords within her as well. Hardships? Certainly. Rynata shifted unconsciously in her seat, eyes flicking down as recent events crossed her mind. His predictions were not wrong and they slowly lent credibility to his appearance as a fortune teller. Still, she wondered if those phrases were wide nets he threw to all his customers.

“What the Fates have planned for me?” Rynata quirked a wistful smile at the what she could see of the hooded figure, thoroughly intrigued as to what he would tell her. “I suppose it would be interesting to know. But not for free, I imagine? What’s your price, mister... Hm. I'm afraid I don't posses your skills." She wondered if he would give her a name, or would prefer to remain an enigma. What she wasn't about to let happen was for the man to scam her out of a literal fortune. That would be a less interesting turn of events.

"But tell me," she continued, feeling a little philosophical. "In your experience, can fate be changed? Or is it inconsequential because fate is what we would have chosen anyway? Why tell people their fortune if there's nothing to be done about it?"
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Devin
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Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:57 am

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“We might have met, a long time ago. You probably don’t remember it anymore though“, Devin replied in that new, deep and beautiful voice of his as Rynata asked if they had met. “Fate works in mysterious ways, my child”, he added after a couple of trills, as if he were a wise old man and not approximately the same age as the woman that sat opposite of him. He realized that it would probably be safer if he denied that they had ever met before, but saying “No, we don’t know each other!” just didn’t sound interesting and mysterious enough in his opinion, and the false fortune wanted to be interesting and mysterious.

“I would love to tell people’s fortune for free”, he replied with a hint of completely fake regret and let out an equally fake and very deep sigh. “I do what I do in order to help people and make Idalos a better place, but unfortunately I have to eat and pay for a roof over my head, just like everybody else in this city. Finding out what the Fates have planned for you, will cost you five silver nels. You are of course free to pay me more if you think I’m worth it”, he added and grinned under his hood.

“As for my name”, he continued. “Theophilus Acacius Acrisius, once of Viden in the far north, but now of Scalvoris and a lot of other places, at your service!” he introduced himself and bowed in a somewhat exaggerated fashion, hoping that the name he had made up sounded impressive enough. He wanted a name that sounded impressive for his false identity and not something boring and conventional like “John” or “Tom”.

He had expected Rynata to ask the same questions that every client that had come before her had asked. He had expected her to want to know if she would be rich one trial, when she would finally meet the man (or woman, if she swung that way) of her dreams – or what she could do to make it through Vhalar. When she asked him if fate could be changed instead, he just stared at her for a moment and blinked a couple of times.

He had wanted to cause a bit of mischief and tell her a bunch of lies so that she would fork over as many coins as possible, but now he found himself answering truthfully instead because this matter was much too close to his own heart and he had often asked himself the same question in the past. The tone of his voice was calm and very firm now.

“Yes, fate can be changed, even though the Faith and the people that are in charge want you to believe that it is not the case. You can free yourself from the chains that bind you. You don’t have to be what you are for the rest of your life if you aren’t happy with it. A slave can become a king – and a labourer’s son that has grown up in the worst part of Rynmere can become one of the richest men in the country”, he spoke.

He was talking about himself now, even if she would never know. He had been born poor, but he had decided that he didn’t want that kind of life at an early age. He had changed his name, left his home and decided to become a rich man instead of following in his parents’ footsteps, and so far he was right on track. He had already earned over one thousand nels with his false fortune telling business, and the wooden chest that stood in his bedroom was filled to the brim with treasure that he had found during his adventures.

As Rynata asked him her next question, he frowned under the hood and realized that his good heart had gotten him in trouble again. If he didn’t choose his answer carefully, she would see right through his lies and realize that he was a fraud, and then he would be in even greater trouble than if she had simply recognized him as Devin. “I’m only showing you the most probable future”, he informed her. “I can tell you when – and sometimes where – you will meet the love of your life for example, but it is up to you to take the final step. If you don’t want that kind of life for some reason, you can fight it - or try to turn away.”

“Do you know what I mean?”
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Rynata
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Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:25 am

Rynata carefully mulled over the fortune teller’s claim that they may have crossed paths a long time ago. She certainly didn’t remember such a meeting, but then again there was the hood to consider. She was almost certain that she had never heard the distinct voice before, but a face might have been able to jog her memory. Still, Rynata found herself believing his story slightly, if only because he was managing to be cryptic yet confident and convincing at the same time. They could have met. She just didn’t recall it. Little did she know that the statement couldn’t have been truer.

Laughing good-naturedly at the other’s poor effort at presenting his very noble purpose, Rynata deliberately placed a gold nel onto the table and slid it over to him. This was a game she didn’t mind playing. If it cost her a little gold, that was that. After all, under the mysterious posturing, he seemed to be quite candid as he answered her query. Being quite clear on the subject matter, the fortune teller went on to explain the details of life and choices. Anyone could challenge their so called fate. If there was any determined fate, it would be something people fought for themselves.

“Alright, Theophilus of Viden,” she smiled. “I think I understand. So, tell me about this love of my life. Or maybe you can give me advice for the future. I saw your sign outside. Something about Vhalar?”

Her family always joked that her one and only love would be the sea, but after twenty decades of no romantic involvement, those words had begun to sound like prophecy. Perhaps this was due to the lifestyle and close knit quality of her clan. Whatever outside interaction they had was when they anchored in one port or another. Even then, the stay was brief and too short, apparently for Rynata to find a person of interest. Though strangely enough, her brothers seemed to manage just fine. As one would expect, Korim managed to charm what was arguably more than his fair share of ladies throughout their travels. However, as he was yet to remain very faithful once the ship had left the shore, Rynata supposed this balanced things out. Ramsey had also gotten along quite well with a Biqaj woman sailing the southern seas. There had even been talk of engagement when she had left and she was on the look out for a letter notifying her of such events. As for Anton, he kept his business to himself, but inevitably, Rynata had once caught him writing letters to a certain someone.

So she wondered if the fortune teller would also confirm the current trend, or if he would suggest another prospect. She was also curious as to what could get people so worked up over Vhalar. It was a time of change so perhaps the symbolic nature of it was getting to everyone's heads.
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Devin
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Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:08 am

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As Ryanata placed a gold nel onto the table, Devin’s eyes lit up under the hood because he hadn’t expected to get that much, and then he quickly snatched the coin and let it disappear in a pocket of his wide robe lest she changed her mind. He briefly wondered how much more money he would get from her before their meeting was over (hopefully a lot!), and then he turned to answer her questions. He furrowed his brow as he wondered what kind of man he should pair her with. Should he just make somebody up – a prince or a dashing hero with a big sword that rode on a white horse, for example - or use a man that wasn’t a prince, but actually existed? He decided on the latter because it would lend his story so much more credibility and because it would be hilarious if they actually met. With that thought in mind he leaned slightly forward and demanded, “Give me your hand. It’s easier for me to see what’s in your future if I touch you.”

As he waited for her to do just that he wondered who should become the love of her life. Yorrick, the IA agent from Viden who had nearly broken his own heart? No, Devin decided, that would be cruel. He was a liar and a thief and a number of other really bad things, but he was rarely intentionally cruel. Nalin, the prostitute he had met in Almund? Nalin was nice and very, very good looking, but he could barely speak Common, so she’d probably get bored with him before long. Maybe he’d give her Hookor, the bloodthirsty doctor who had wanted to amputate his leg even though he had just sprained it, but then again, Hookor might decide to amputate Rynata’s leg as well. He wanted to have fun with this, and losing limbs was not funny. Ah yes, he had the perfect candidates – because there were two men that fit the description he was going to give her!

“You’ve actually already met him”, he revealed which was true. They had all been on a most exciting adventure together just recently. “You didn’t have the opportunity to really talk to each other back then though because you were both preoccupied. He’s about your own age, with blonde hair and eyes that are as blue as the sky above us. He has a great sense of humor and an adventurous spirit, he’s loyal to his friends, and …” he added in an ominous tone and broke off abruptly. “No, I cannot tell you that. That is for you to find out. As is his name. I’m afraid that my gift doesn’t provide me with names and such. It only allows me to see images!”

“As for Vhalar … that was your second question, wasn’t it?”
he asked even though he remembered quite well what she had said. “Do you remember what happened in the past two arcs? Two arcs ago the shadow beasts attacked, and a great battle took place on the frozen plains of Oscillus – in Vhalar. Last Vhalar King Cassander of Rynmere decided to burn people alive – for no other reason than because they were mages – and dozens of innocents were killed in the process - and in Scalvoris the menagerie was attacked. Those events probably seem completely unrelated at first glance, but they are all connected, I assure you, and they led up to one big catastrophe that is going to take place this Vhalar.”, he spoke confidently and looked at her before he claimed, “I saw it in my crystal ball and know something that might help you survive!” With that he fell silent again in order to increase the suspense - and because he wanted her to beg him to tell her how she would be able to protect herself - and what the big catastrophe entailed!
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Rynata
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Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:03 am

Thinking for a moment and then deciding that it would do no harm, Rynata held her hand out toward the fortune teller for him to take. Her palms were surprisingly calloused from her work but her fingers looked able and quick. There were also some fading scars from rope burns and other minor accidents along her skin. It took a short while for the hooded figure to come to his conclusion, but soon he announced his findings, still in that same cryptic manner.

Rynata furrowed her brow as she was given a description of her future romantic interest. If it could even be called an adequate description. In her work, she came across many people, and of those she remembered crossing paths with, the number of men with blond hair was probably in the high 50's. She couldn't recall exactly if they had had blue eyes or not, but the problem was the same. Theophilus' detailing of his personality was a basic lineup of admirable qualities, as well. Though he seemed to hint at an ominous secret, Rynata didn't think she knew of anyone's darkest mysteries. Still, despite everything, it was rather bold of the fortune teller to tell her that she had already met this person.

"That's rather vague, don't you think, Theophilus?" she said, a little teasingly. "I know plenty of men with blond hair and sapphire eyes. It could be anyone! Or maybe that's what you were aiming for. No visions of one sweeping the other off their feet? Preferably me doing the sweeping."

As the fortune teller listed off all the disasters that occurred on Vhalar, Rynata conceded that the superstitions of Scalvoris were not without cause. When he claimed that they were all connected, she straightened up in her seat, highly interested in his ideas. From the sound of it, this Vhalar was going to be the worst of them all.

"That might help me survive?" she asked. "You said you see the most probable future. If you're offering me advice, does that mean that in the most probable future I don't survive Vhalar?" Considering this grim news thoughtfully, Rynata looked up at Theophilus with a serious stare. "If you know all this about such a disastrous event, shouldn't you be informing the city? Not just me? I'm sure you'd make a decent living as adviser to the Council. It would help others avoid their most probable ends. That is, if what you say has merit."
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Devin
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Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:38 pm

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Date

“That’s only because I haven‘t told you everything yet!” Devin insisted and laughed, a laughter that was rather more musical than his laughters usually tended to be as Rynata complained that what he had told her was rather vague. He was in a good mood and felt rather emboldened by his success so far. “You’ve met the man you will fall in love with in the Sweetwine Woods. At least I think that what I saw in my vision were the Sweetwine Woods”, he murmured and furrowed his brow as if he weren’t completely sure. “Do you remember seeing any blonde men there?” he wanted to know and shook his head in amusement as she informed him that she’d like to sweep the man off his feet. She was quite an unconventional woman, he decided. He really liked that!

“Oh, the bloody rain won’t kill you if you pay heed to my advice”, he assured her because he wanted to prank her and not traumatize her. “Because that’s what will happen in Vhalar, among other things. It will rain blood red. If I were you, I’d buy something to protect myself against that. There is one man in particular that might be able to help, an alchemist that lives here, on this island – he can make a magic item for you - but ultimately the answer lies on Immortal’s Tongue, as it frequently does”, he informed her somewhat cryptically, recalling one of his recent adventures. He’d just made the bloody rain up because it sounded cool. Little did he know that it would really rain blood red!

As she asked him if he shouldn’t be informing the city, he froze for a moment and looked at her uncertainly from under his hood because he really didn’t want to do that. They’d want to know who he was, they’d probably ask him to show his face, and then he’d be in a whole lot of trouble – because a lot of people also know him as the new bard at Cally’s – unless he’d be able to convince them that he was a bard as well as a seer? He thought about that for a moment, and then he decided while it was possible that he would be able to pull it off – he was an accomplished liar – he really didn’t want to take any chances if he didn’t have to.

“I tried to talk to people about what I’ve seen”, he claimed and sighed, quite on purpose. “But most tend not to believe in the power of crystal balls and the art of palmistry. They want proof – proof that you can touch and not just the statement of a man who has seen something in front of his inner eye!” he complained and threw his hands up in frustration.
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Rynata
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Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:13 pm

As the man's laughter played through the air, Rynata raised a brow. He certainly sounded confident, and it seemed that he had all the right to be. The Sweetwine Woods was a terribly specific location to mention, considering her connection to it as well as all that had happened in that place. Then again, that matter hadn't exactly been private. The strange phenomenons were known all throughout the island courtesy of the widespread rumors. What was more, not a few volunteers had gathered in the woods that day and it was possible that word of her involvement had gotten out through them. Rynata cast another glance over the hooded fortune teller. She had thought this would be a charade, but even with that sliver of doubt, a lot of what was being said was eerily accurate of her. This was more than she had bargained for.

"The Sweetwine Woods?" she said slowly. "I suppose I've been there before. And you're right. Everyone had too much on their minds to consider chatting much."

Thinking back to the group of volunteers gathered in the entrance to the woods, Rynata tried recalling if anyone matched the description that Theophilus gave her. As expected, there was more than one individual with straw colored hair. Tio, of course, whom she had met much earlier in Cylus, and another. Roan? Rowan? She hadn't talked to him much, but remembered him as the young man who had suddenly lost his temper and lashed out at Amaris. That hadn't left a very good impression, and for the life of her, Rynata couldn't recall the hue of his eyes. They could have been blue, but that may as well be her mind filling in the blanks for her.

"I can think of two people, actually," she notified the fortune teller. "Not that we got along especially well. Oh, wait. You said 'met' as in for the first time? Then there's only the one, and I think you might have misinterpreted something." Rynata was skeptical that she would ever be romantically involved with Rowan. Still, stranger things happened, she thought, as she waved away a strand of mist that floated from her hair down over her eyes. Time would tell if the seer was actually right.

When Theophilus foretold of the sky raining blood, Rynata instinctively glanced up at the colorful canopy of the tent.

"Protect myself! What, with an umbrella?" she asked, both interested and nervous as her mind dashed to the disturbing circumstances in which that much blood could fall from the sky. "When you say that Immortal's Tongue is the key, is it because the Immortals are involved? Do you see any way we can prevent this catastrophe instead of suffering through it? If you have these visions, you could prove to people that your prediction and sight are accurate. We can try now if you like. If you can find something proof worthy in my past or close future, I think it's safe to say that's enough for the Council to at least take your experience into account. I don't think they've been having much success with managing things in recent times," she added a little quietly.
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