[Event] Benediction of Storms

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Jonathan Burr
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[Event] Benediction of Storms

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Saun 3rd, Arc 718

3rd of Saun
Saun had arrived. It brought with it drought and heat, unbearable stuffy weather that made men slaver for well water and cold beer. It was a cloying stickiness that made clothes suction to the skin, sweat prickle the forehead, and dehydration a far more deadly enemy than any bandit. There seemed to be no relief from the burning orb in the sky. It dried up everything, even the moisture in a man's nostrils that made him snort blood like a wounded animal. The heat even robbed a man of his sleep, turning blankets into wet cloths that suffocated the skin. Most animals fled to the trees and rivers. Some of them fled to the coast, where soothing air softened the sun's blow.

All of them avoided one particular area of coastline.

Nothing grew in this strange patch, though it wasn't due to the sun's merciless claws. Zinc was so heavy in the soil here it stained the ground a sickly white, and poisoned anything that dared grow in it. There were no shrubs or trees, and even the stubborn beachgrass that dotted many a soil-less rock further down the coast was absent here. The only things that dotted the landscape outside of Volta were strange towers. They were vast constructions of steel and copper wire, artfully spiraling up five times the height of a man into the sky. At first glance, one might see them as strange art installations or guard towers. Then again, there were no platforms for a man to stand on. Only copper wire. The next thought that had sprung to the mind of many a bandit was nel. Here it was, free for the taking, standing out in the open, a mile from the city with no guards in sight! Only touching the tower or drawing too near would reveal a fatal error.

The towers were the things that most benefited from Saun. Warm air agitated the zinc in the soil, mixed with the cool salt water air blowing in from the sea. Add a little copper, and the mixture was electrifying. Lightning would rush toward anything near the invisible cloud of electrons and crackling energy, and the only warning was subtle. Hairs rising on a man's skin, and a distinct feeling of discomfort. Volta protected its own, and a few blackened corpses littering the landscape made that warning clear. If that wasn't enough, a cheerful sign was posted along the road. It was large, artfully carved from cedar and painted bright red to catch the attention of unwary travellers and caravans. It stood on two posts, right at eye level for the average human, and placed just so next to the road that a caravener would take note of it for his driving.

'Greetings!' The sign proclaimed in large, friendly letters.

'Ilaren protects and blesses this city. Please wrap all metal in cotton or natural fibers. If you are unable to do so, please do the following:

1. Turn back to your nearest city and ask for the Conductivity Ambassador to aid you in safely traveling to Volta.
2. Put all metal objects in a sack and drag it behind you at a safe distance (The Volta Office of Conductivity recommends ~20 yards)
3. Proceed at your own risk.

If you are illiterate, we apologize to the person assigned to collect your corpse.
No hard feelings.

--- The Volta Office of Conductivity'


If one was foolish enough to disregard the sign, he himself would turn into his own personal lightning rod. A distinct pressure would build upon him, as energy attracted itself to metal weaponry, armor, buttons, clasps, or trade goods. Proceeding further still, headaches and dizziness would result. If the unwary explorer was stubborn enough to resist all this, a blinding flash would encompass him from one of the nearest towers, and the problem would solve itself. It was safe to say for the prepared traveller that the men calmly watching atop the walls of Volta were not in fact guards, but those assigned to carry away corpses. It wasn't a good look, after all, to have blackened men frozen in various poses wearing the armor that killed them. These corpse-fetchers were paid a decent wage to dart out from the gates of the city (dressed safely in soft leather with wooden toggles) and drag away the unfortunate. The risk for them came with what had killed the men before them. Metal had to be safely grounded with pen-thin steel rods, then swiftly wrapped in cotton.

In that way, Volta was a rather dutiful if not deadly place to travel.

The city itself was a welcoming cavalcade of color. Without the landscape to add flowers or trees to Volta's streets, colored cloth had to suffice. Men and women dressed in dazzling colors of all arrays. It appeared as if a large troupe of circus performers had decided to set up shop in a white desert and, uncomfortable with the idea of buildings, had stretched as much color across the streets as possible. In times of celebration such as Saun, this went double. Every street was shaded in chartreuse, tangerine, crimson, teal and fuchsia. The size of the cloths ranged from small triangles shading the doorway of a house, to gigantic sheets fit for the bed of a king that crisscrossed the town square and stained it rainbow. The city was a loud one, and not just in color. The Volta Office of Conductivity boasted a gigantic teal sign that proclaimed to safely store metal and conductive objects for visitors. People chatted endlessly, filling the air with a cacophony of sales pitches, fevered discussions on electroalchemy, and song.

Volta's Benediction of Storms consumed the diamond-shaped main square. Food was one of the main attractions for tourists, and not just due to taste. Volta's electrifying air produced a strange phenomenon; a little of their soil dissolved in water, and given a salt of the opposite charge, could suspend a small bolt of lightning between raised metal tines. Street vendors suspended spiced meats and vegetables between these tines, letting the electricity swath over and cook the food. Others took a different route, using the same lightning to heat large pans of oil to fry dough and meats.

The Sugarcane, Volta's own confectionary, had its own stall. Painted in white and teal stripes, Julie Mul herself was hand stretching a Volta specialty on a wooden hook; saltwater taffy. Tourists and locals alike were mesmerized by the small, bubbly blonde heaving over brightly colored lumps of sugar, butter, salt, and molasses to stretch them into the sticky treat. Mrs. Mul was shockingly strong, hauling ten or twenty pounds of the kneaded dough onto the hook and using every bit of her strength to stretch out a rope, loop it over the hook, and repeat the process. Colors and flavors of all sorts were added, then the dough was divided up, wrapped in wax paper, and sold. During the heighth of the storm season of Saun, white, blue, and electric yellow were the favored colors.

Not to be left out, Volta's major industry was on its feet. Salt sailors were the city's bread and butter. They were specialists in gathering seawater, and using the sun to evaporate out and purify the salt. It was then ground up, and sold both to the public and sent to Rharne. Their greatest achievement was in uniting with the Ellunes. With the Ellunes' speciality being ice, and the salt sailors' being salt, they had discovered an alarming concoction. An ice and salt slurry could keep itself cold for trials upon trials. It would keep Rharne beer frosty and cold, even through caravan travel, as long as the barrels were double-walled. After the cask was delivered, even the most curious of bartenders could puncture the outer barrel wall to find....only plain salt water leaked out.

Volta was indeed a city of innovation, on the absolute cusp of modern technology. It was hardly surprising that one of their greatest prides was Ilaren's Cradle, a gigantic vestibulary of alchemical knowledge. They were represented in the celebration as well, trying to drum up interest in Alchemical research. Admittedly, their dry subjects paled next to the ice-cold beer served by the salt sailors or the talents of Julie Mul...but they were there for the academics and academics alone would be interested in them.

Overseeing all of this madness was a single woman. Emelia Bram was the Mayor of Volta. She was rail-thin, tall, and imposing. Her silver hair was drawn in a tight bun behind her head, giving the spotlight to her elegantly arched eyebrows and sweeping cheekbones. A sea pearl the size of a man's thumbnail dotted each ear, with a matching string around her throat. Her clothing might have been considered outrageous for the current sunny weather; a high collar, long sleeves, and a long dress. Leather boots, tailored to be light and comfortable, peeked out from underneath her plum-colored ensemble. Her claw-like fingernails drummed against one arm as she watched the festivities. Her eyes raked over the sailors with a weary tolerance, and rolled at the giggling figure of Julie Mul handing out sweets.

At her side was another eminent figure. This one advanced even Emelia in age. Long white hair held at bay by a ruddy headband joined a long beard in drowning out the majority of the old man's features. Even though wrinkles disfigured most of his face, and his hands were scarred and gnarled, his eyes were a bright and twinkling blue. His mustache wriggled as he sucked on a little of Julie's lemon taffy, his eyes crinkled in a smile. Nikolai Ohm was the legendary alchemist responsible for the inventions around Volta. He had built the towers that kept them safe, provided the lightning rods that guided Ilaren's light into the ground rather than the citizenry, and had harnessed it to cook food. He hummed a little tune to himself in time with a band that was setting up, content to ignore the sour politician next to him.

"Stop it." Emelia said. Her voice carried as much threat as the towers; gentle, but with power.

Nikolai blinked and shrugged at her, unwrapping another taffy. It disappeared under his mustache, and she had to contend with more of the sucking noises. Emelia's jaw tightened.

"We have a problem." she emphasized. "And it's your fault."

Nikolai chuckled at her. "My fault?" he said around a lump of taffy.

"Yes, your fault. Your security system is supposed to be infallible. Any metal within a hundred yards of the city turns a man into a torch. That's what you told me." Emelia dropped her voice. "And yet someone got a knife through your security, past my guards, through the Conductivity Office. This is your slip-up."

Nikolai's mustache wriggled a bit in indignation. "And what exactly happened?" he asked, though he sensed he knew.

"Jormund is dead. Stabbed. Someone put it through his neck, in broad daylight, in the Saltmaiden Inn not a hundred yards from here. My guards refuse to remove the body. They say it's cursed." Emelia hissed. "I need you to find me someone brave or stupid enough to investigate this. They're all refusing. Jormund is who I'd ask, and I know better than to ask you to get off your lazy rear."

Oh, that had stung a bit. A bit of the amused light dissipated from Nikolai's eyes, replaced with a furrowing of his large furry eyebrows that somehow obscured more of his face. "Aren't you the mayor?" he asked pointedly.

"And it's my job to be at this festival playing for tourists and participating with the Benediction to Ilaren. Not dealing with dead bodies and a captain that got himself stabbed. It's your slip-up, you find someone stupid enough to fix it. Preferably not one of my voters."

"A tourist." Nikolai's tone was incredulous.

"An expendible." Emelia corrected. She gave him a disgusted look. "And stop eating candy. Your teeth are going to get as soft as a bad dry-docking."

Nikolai ignored that last little jab as Emelia walked away. As impatient and corrupt a person as she was, he was always impressed by her. The second she'd headed toward the crowd, that withering presence had melted into a happy old lady greeting her citizens. It was like watching a scorpion turn inside out and become a kitten. The old alchemist sighed and rooted around in his taffy bag. Finding it empty, his frown deepened and he scanned the crowd. It was a task simultaneously distasteful and mammoth. Emelia would expect results. Good results, and the longer he waited the fouler the corpse got. He prayed she had at least shut down the inn for a day, and submerged the body in ice-salt slurry to preserve it. The first he could count on; she would never deign to look bad in front of so many tourists. The second....well...that he just had to hope for.
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Leeson Andaris
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[Event] Benediction of Storms

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Leeson leaned down at the sign, squinting slightly, reading out loud quietly.

"Greetings, Ilaren protects and blesses, wrap all metal, proceed at own risk, corpses..." Leeson stood up straight. "Okay! Um..." He turned on his heel, facing Varlum and Auya just behind him. "I'm assuming neither of you are illiterate." He looked between them, finding no indication of response from either for a moment. Hopefully they weren't insulted. "Oh. Uh. Okay, good. I mean just, yknow, if either of you happen to be, don't have any metal on you and... I think we're okay."

Leeson quickly patted himself down, checked his satchel, and finding nothing, walked through the gates. "Sometimes not being able to afford anything pays off huh?" He said as he crossed the border into Volta.

Embarking on this journey, he wasn't much sure what he should expect. In all honesty, he had only attended whatsoever on Varlum's request, and even so he was widely unsure of the Who What When Where How and Why of the whole situation. He figured trust was hard to come by and he should indulge it, and didn't ask any questions.

What he had learned, however, is that Varlum is an excellent travelling companion.

But that was neither here nor there.

Leeson, in his time spent in Rharne, had heard mentions of Volta before. Nothing special. He assumed it would be a farming village like any other, but it wasn't. It really, really wasn't.

Leeson lacked the proper vocabulary to perfectly express the wonderment and disbelief that Leeson's face showed when he walked through the borders of Volta. For lack of a better word, it was absolutely electric.

The colors and the life hit him like a bomb. He felt like a child being introduced to a meadow of new flowers.

"Woah." He said.

He looked back expectantly at Varlum and Auya, as if he were a child they were taking on a nature walk, obviously wanting them to catch up.

He didn't much care about why they had come to Volta, at this point.

He was happy he came.
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Yavanna
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[Event] Benediction of Storms

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Saun 3rd, Arc 718

⌘ Yavanna heard of this Volta place from a native who happen to be in the earth quarter of Rharne. She was rather intrigued to see lightning used to cook food, something she didn't think she'd ever see. When she made the needed preparations she would leave for Volta. It was a long journey especially on foot, but she would make to the city in one piece. Upon reaching the outer limits of the city she saw the welcoming sign, and the warning it entailed. Laughter busted from her lips at the fair warning causing those what were next to her to give her an odd look of concern. She found their blunt honesty amusing, as she sauntered to the closes Conductivity Office to have them locked up for safe keeping, she didnt need them going anywhere thats for sure. Upon breaching the gates if Volta, Yavanna was bombarded by vibrant color. Though a Naer, she was still a woman and could appreciate such beautiful displays. The city was so vibrant with life, part of which made her sick, but on the other hand reminded her of home, during the celebration of Treid's slumber. Its how she was able to meld into most celebrations of other races, equating it to home, and boy did she melt into the festivities. For the first time since coming to Rharne, she felt unburdened by the racism her people were subjected to. It was beautiful, and she was having the time of her life, feeling like a tourist trying everything that was free to try. Coming off the high of her excitement, she found a spot where she could sit and watch the happenings around her. A big smile on her face, she could feel Xerxia pulling at her. ⌘

Someone is having fun I see. He said, a bit of irritation in his tone. Appearing in her shadow, he was radiating an air of disgust at the level of carelessness these mortals were demonstrating. Dont allow your guard to fall just because you like how these people throw a party. When its all said and done you are a Naer to them, and they will never accept you and your people. All you have in this world of hypocrisy is yourself and me. He had to remind her, keep her grounded in their goal to gain power. ⌘

You dont have to remind me Xerx, I'm well aware of that. She hissed back at him, flipping stray locks of hair from her face. She knew better than to allow herself to get caught up in their carelessness. It was all about deceiving those that feared you. What better way to hide among those that hate you than to delve head first into their culture. How else was one to break them from within. In any case she sat and watched, remaining vigilant but approachable. ⌘
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Last edited by Yavanna on Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:48 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 500
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[Event] Benediction of Storms

Auya sat on the back of a wagon, relegated away from the nicer seats because, of course, she was a redhead. But Varlum's presence had at least secured her a seat nonetheless. Back of the bus was fine by her. Beats walking all day. She peered out from under the brim of her straw hat, seeing charred bodies in the distance. It was a most unsettling sight for her, but she felt no pity, nor sympathy, for the victims. They deserved to be burned after everything this damned city had put her through this past season. Good riddance. One less Rharnian was the best Rharnian. Well, except for the few that were nice to her, like Laramy and his family.

She looked back at the pack dragging on a small sled behind their wagon. The driver had warned them of the situation with metal, and she, and others, wrapped up their metal objects in clothing, and stashed them in the bag. She'd only had her dagger, and it was safely in her spare skirt, along with everyone else's belongings from their wagon. It was a simple system. Better than being struck by lightning, that's for sure.

Once Auya's wagon was safely inside the invisible, seemingly magical boundaries, they made their way close to the main square of the village. She was wide eyed at all the colorful cloth that was arranged for what appeared to be some sort of festival. Wonderful, hopefully it was a nice festival, and the people were to busy having a good time so as to not harass her. She could go for some tasty treats too. She looked back toward the invisible wall, partially hoping to see it in action.

Soon, everyone's belongings were returned to them, and Auya was ushered into the Volta Office of Conductivity. She stored her dagger and exchanged her nels, and left the office, looking around for her companions. But she didn't see them immediately, and wasn't about to wait around on them. She could find them later. Or at least Varlum. He stuck out of the crowd. She wove her way through the crowd, and marched her way right up to this confectionery stall, getting in line. She peered around the crowd at the front of the line, seeing floating cupcakes and other treats. She hoped she had enough coin for one of everything, because she most certainly was going to try it all.
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Jonathan Burr
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[Event] Benediction of Storms

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Saun 3rd, Arc 718

The Conductivity Office was a rather strange and bustling place. It was full of races of all sorts and stripes, from all over Idalos. Volta had done a decent job marketing itself, and the lines were long. It was a cramped place; the office obviously hadn't been built to handle this sort of enthusiastic volume. There were only three tellers at the marble counter, safely tucked behind glass. Next to each booth, a hopper was placed. There were complimentary lengths of thick wool next to it, in order to aid those who didn't already have their metal wrapped up and ready. Money was a little stricter, as each teller had to count every coin in front of their visitor, then give him the exchange rate in wood and glass. The rates were explained, and the difference would be subtracted or added to the original nel brought in when the purse was returned. The tellers were dressed in leather, silk and cotton with wooden toggles and buttons. Horn and bone seemed to be popular among the higher class of Voltan residents, and a few of the returning natives had elegantly carved pieces from antlers or horn on their clothing.

The office was a complete madhouse but even still, it was a madhouse with a process. Each visitor would step up and have their metal belongings wrapped and logged on a piece of paper. One copy of this paper was given to the visitor, the other was filed away under a number in a daunting set of filing cabinets lining the walls. Each copy was signed by the teller, confirming the items, so that the visitor couldn't claim items he hadn't dropped off and the tellers couldn't claim they'd 'lost' an item. Then the visitor was given a leather tag with a number matching a similar leather tag on their cloth bundle. Off the visitor went, and the bundle was filed neatly in its numbered place on a shelf behind a locked door.

Auya's dagger was wrapped up carefully in a thick layer of cotton wrapping, and tied with twine. The teller smiled at her, eyeing her red hair. "We don't see many of your kind around here." the old man said cheerfully. "Aukari have a wonderful talent for many things we need in Volta. If you have a skill in blacksmithing, they could use you at Ilaren's Cradle. I think they have a booth at the festivities this year. Here's your tag. Your number is 547. Don't lose it, or your list. We need to match both in order to give you your things back. Remember, if you lose either of them you can come to the Reclamations desk here at the Conductivity Office, or your items are forfeit." He offered her the palm-sized leather tag, and the small scroll listing the items she'd stored. "Have a good day in Volta!"

Professor Ohm was right behind Auya in line for more confectionary. He hoped Julie had thought to bring more of his favourite. Lemon drops had to be prepared in advance, not like the quick yanking of taffy, and with all the business she was getting he prayed there would be a little bit left for him. He'd helped to create the technology she was using, after all. Ohm pushed that thought away, and concerned himself with the problem ahead. He needed to find some people to solve the murder. Their Mayor clearly was attempting to wash her hands of the entire thing and distance herself as much as possible...but the fact remained that a body was getting ripe in one of Volta's major inns, and the guards could only do so much before the stench spoke for itself. The longer they waited the more clues vanished and the more the killer was bound to get away.

He looked up, and caught sight of the red hair in front of him. An aukari? Here? That was certainly odd. He could use an Aukari. They were gifted in metals. Perhaps she could tell him where the metal dagger had come from, or give him some idea of the murder weapon and who would acquire it. He mulled over these thoughts as the line grew shorter.

Auya had a dazzling display in front of her. Spun sugar animals of all shapes, sizes and flavors. Dancing brown sugar bears, butterflies in blueberry, lemon and strawberry, lizards and snakes in lime, and lightning bolts with sugared violets. Cupcakes with lightning bolts stuck into the frosting, sugared buns filled with strawberry compote, and Julie's specialty: taffy. The sticky treat was offered in every flavor a man could think of, and Julie herself was stretching out large armfuls of the stuff on a wooden hook in the stall. Julie smiled at Auya. "Look at that, a metalworker here in Volta! You coming here for the electrics or just some sugar?" she said goodnaturedly. "Everything in the stall is five pine nels, fancier things like the cupcakes there are ten pine nels each, or there's a bag of taffy for seven pine nels. It's a Volta speciality; nowhere else in Idalos has it. The man behind you helped me create it."

Ohm smiled and stepped up next to Auya. "I'll cover hers, if you'll throw in some lemon drops." he told Julie. The bubbly woman chuckled and threw the taffy pulling to an assistant. She dusted her hands down with powdered sugar, and picked up a cloth bag from behind the counter.
"I always keep some for you." she told him, and glanced at Auya. "So what are you having? He likes to encourage everyone's sugar habits."
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Lucas Nardovino
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Re: [Event] Benediction of Storms

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Lucas wasn't sure why he had come all the way out here to Volta, maybe it was the appeal of a new set of taverns in which to feel better about himself. It seemed since his release he had failed to achieve his goal not because of anyone but himself either. Unfortunately the man was struggling to readapt to world outside of a cell and while he still wished to become and knight and serve the people, he just couldn't find the guts to dive into it. Alas he would drown his sorrows at the bottom of a tankard for a while longer.

So as he wandered the streets of Volta getting uncomfortably sober he wondered how he had managed to convince himself this was a good idea. No doubt he had decided it while drunk, that tended to be how it went at the moment. Standing in the bustling crowds he could smell and see all kinds of things, sweets which he would have killed for while in prison but now could simply not afford to spend the money on. Not to mention he didn't feel like standing inline. So instead he continued to walk, he passed a particularly awful smelling establishment which had looked nice from afar but the stench quickly drove him away.

Eventually he found himself on a bench within the crowds. A woman sat beside him, attractive, shapely, gorgeous were all words that could have been used to describe her, there were women in his prison but they tended not to look like this. He smiled at her arguably awkwardly, no doubt he was a man out of practise when it came to the art of flirting. So he simply spoke as he would to anyone. "Hello, how are you Miss?" There was a clear Rharnian accent in his voice, clearly born and bred there was no doubt of his origins.

He looked around as he awaited her response, perhaps he could make his first friend in this real world. Although he doubted it, he was scruffy and still bruised from his last fight. It had only been a couple of night ago and he had been sorely beaten then again it had been one against three, not exactly a fair fight by any standards. Still he didn't make excuses, he had managed to get himself in that predicament after all. Not that the alcohol had helped his judgement.

"My name's Lucas." He added as he scanned the crowd, noticing a somewhat bewildered looking man taking in the sights, smells and sounds. Perhaps it was his intrigue at the place and the look of excitement that made him look young but Lucas knew looks could be deceiving, he looked old for his age after all. He didn't discount the possibility that he was being shocked either, maybe the man was just experiencing electricity running through his veins and was about to explode. The rather grim prospect was strangely amusing and he struggled to stifle a chuckle.
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Yavanna
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Re: [Event] Benediction of Storms

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Saun 3rd, Arc 718

⌘ Current Theme: HUSHH


⌘ Yavanna enjoyed the scenery around her, despite the words of her live in guest. She wasnt going to allow Xerxia to spoil this moment with his negativity. Yavanna didnt have many happy moments, especially with one of her race had to face from majority of Idolas. No she was going to enjoy every moment of this. Admits her delighting in the visuals before her, a presence approach her , and she immediately tensed up, but kept her outward appearance calm and unbothered by the persons approach. Hearing his voice she turned her head, allowing her obsidian locks to cascade over her face and give her facial features a sensual and mysterious allure to her, coupled with a delightful smile of her golden amber eyes peeking from behind the black locks. Looking the man over he was..........actually quite handsome, rugged to an extent, but definitely not bad on the eyes that was for sure. Speaking of eyes, she couldnt help but catch her breath as her golden orbs locked onto his, piercing icy grey eyes. He greeted her, and introduced himself to which the naer smiled. Nice to meet you icy eyes, I'm doing well. A girl like me doesnt get to see something like this to often. She said turning her gaze to the crowd as a big smile painted her face, before looking the man in his face as she continued. People enjoying each others company, free of judgement and condescending words or stares. How about you, how are you doing on such a vibrant day? She inquired, turning her head to the crowd of tourists and natives intermingling with each other. She often wished she was born normal, like the rest of them, but then she would be just like everyone else, and she was rather proud of her uniqueness, and the fear it put in people. ⌘

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Re: [Event] Benediction of Storms

Auya fidgeted impatiently in line, unable to sit still. She hadn't had much in the way of sweets since her arrival in Rharne, and was quite looking forward to this. As the line moved forward, she got her coin purse ready, holding it up before her like an eager child might. She looked down in it at the new coins, seeing her list and tag number tucked away in the bottom of it. It was the only reasonable way to keep track of small bits of paper, in her mind. They'd be lost in a pocket, she had been sure of it.

Finally it was her turn, and she stepped up, smiling brightly, eyes wide as she took in the vast variety of items which to stuff in her face. Her original plan had been to buy one of everything, but now she was concerned she wouldn't be able to carry it all. And even she tried, she'd be covered in sticky sugar. This was about to be one of the most difficult decisions of her life. She was about to start her selection when a man spoke to her, the one who'd been standing behind her in line. She looked over at him and smiled, noting that apparently he was the creator of taffy that the woman had mentioned. A confectioner shopping at the confectionery stand? Odd. Surely he could just go have some for free. But Auya didn't dwell, smiling genuinely at the man and his eager generosity.

Looking toward the woman now, "I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about here. See what might catch my eye. Though clearly my own business would not thrive here," she chuckled lightly at her own joke, "I'll have... hmm.... Sorry I hadn't quite made up my mind yet... It's a shame I can't have one of everything but.... Two bags of taffy, mixed, two cupcakes, surprise me with what kind, one of those sugar bears. Oh! And a bag of the lemon drops, if he likes them, they must be great." Auya did the math in her head and pulled out the fifty-four pine nels needed, handing them to the woman, and waited eagerly on her order to be filled.

In the meantime, she looked to her new companion, smiling. "Thank you so much for treating me, though I apologize if it seems like a lot. I'll probably come back for more later. So you invented the taffy? If it isn't a secret, would you mind telling me how you did it? I'm hopeless in the kitchen, though I can cook up a nice sword from time to time. Oh! And I'm Auyaree Kaiben, though everyone just calls me Auya. And you are..?" She stuck out a hand for a shake, before it had a chance to be filled with sugar.





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Leeson Andaris
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Re: [Event] Benediction of Storms

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"I go by Lee, nice to meet you!" Leeson said, shaking the hand of the taffy-maker before Auya could.

Leeson, immediately after stepping through the gates, somehow lost Varlum. Which is... Odd. Absolutely odd. Considering how Varlum was... Well, how he was... You know. Varlum.

Auya, for some odd reason, was easier to spot. Though it was true she was not 9 feet tall, and it was also fair to say she was not a lizard, she *was* the only individual with red hair anywhere nearby. He was almost certain the only other redhead even remotely close by was Ilaren.

To say she stuck out like a sore thumb would be an understatement.

She stuck out like a thumb that all of Rharne had seemingly stepped on in unison.

"Auya, I've um... Well, we, really, seem to have lost Varlum somewhere in all this crowd, and I don't really feel like getting lost in Volta, so you and I are now travel buddies. I hope that's okay."

In truth, it didn't matter much whether or not Auya agreed. He would follow her around. He couldn't afford to get lost. He had precious cargo.

The most precious cargo.

Kepler.

Leeson rocked back and forth on his heels, attempting to fill the silence he created between himself, Auya, the taffymaker, and an apparent stranger who he had not noticed until just now. "Hi," he said to everyone else. "This is a lovely town!" he said, beaming.

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Jonathan Burr
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Re: [Event] Benediction of Storms

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Saun 3rd, Arc 718

3rd of Saun
The inn containing the unfortunately dead Captain of the Guard was on the main street of the town. It was bristling with guards, and most of the patrons inside had realized their coin was better spent elsewhere for the time being. It had caused something of an internal turmoil in the inn; the innkeeper was furious the guards refused to move the body while the festival was going on. The maids were desperately attempting to control the smell with scented oil lamps. The kitchen had shut down, as the scent of cooking meat mixed with the scents of sweat, stress, and death had not mixed well. They were all waiting with bated breath for Ohm to return. After all, their orders had come directly from the Mayor (whether they liked it or not), and they knew better than to cross her. In their minds the blame for this lay at Ohm's feet, and the brilliant old man was supposed to fix it. They had covered the captain with a sheet and someone had thought to throw open the windows to keep the room fresh, but none of the men stuck inside that chamber liked it.

It was far happier down at street level, where Ohm was counting out coins to hand to the confectioner. Mul smiled at him and gently pushed Auya's coins back at her. She bustled around and busied herself filling Auya's order, giving the pair a little room to talk. Ohm appreciated the gesture, but before he could shake Auya's hand, it was claimed by another. He blinked at Leeson, caught off guard by the sudden self-introduction, but recovered quickly enough and smiled at the pair. "A friend of yours?" he asked Auya. "My name is Nikolai Ohm, young man. It's good to meet you. Auya, is it?" He glanced at the redheaded woman, and seemed to brighten when asked about the candy.

"The taffy is Julie's invention; I can't take credit for it though I did make it possible with my machines. That hook and pull technique she's using is all hers. The method she's using to boil the sugar is mine, though I never intended it for culinary usage. My thoughts rarely run toward the kitchen myself. There is a reason the Library of Volta is open to all those who wish to use it, and Miss Mul is a prime example of how the inventions here can be used for things other than what they were intended for. I'd say everyone quite enjoys the results, including myself." Ohm chuckled, taking his bag of lemon drops when Julie set their order on the counter. Auya's had been neatly boxed in the same white-and-turquoise stripes of Mul's confectionary, The Sugarcane, and tied with a lovely pink ribbon. Julie smiled at the pair, then returned to her own personal little show making her taffy.

"I'm afraid it's not all kindness, I have need of someone with your particular skills. Men in Volta have forgotten the metal arts, I'm afraid, and nothing written in a book compares to the eyes of a blacksmith." Ohm admitted. "It is also a matter of some delicacy, and time sensitivity. Immortals know I'd understand if you declined, but the Mayor herself is ordering me to solve this particular conundrum. You see.." he dropped his tone. "...a metal weapon has been brought into Volta. We haven't seen the likes of one since I set up the net of lightning around the town. It's nearly impossible to get through the gates with one and not be burnt to a crisp. I need to know how it was made, and if so...who might have been able to bring it in."

Ohm looked between the two. "The city of Volta is prepared to reward you for your services, but I'm afraid there's no time to settle in. If there is someone bringing weapons in, he must be stopped. We are a peaceful city. Our crime here is minimal and the guards aren't quite prepared to deal with something of this magnitude. Will you help me? If you identify the weapon and aid me in figuring out how it was brought in, we can apprehend the culprit and plug the hole in Volta's defenses."

word count: 754
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