• Open • Tea for Two [Raelia] (Graded)

The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.
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Tea for Two [Raelia] (Graded)

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75th of Vhalar, 719

The smell assaulted her first.

It was not as if her windows or door were open, that would be the height of stupidity aside from living in the frigid city itself, but it managed to seep in through the cracks. It even smelled warm. It was akin to being wrapped in her mothers arms and weathering the cool seasons within them. A form of nostalgia so strong she found herself outside and headed in the direction of it before she had truly decided to. But before she could change her mind and leave she spotted him.

An Outlander if she ever saw one, and probably a traveler judging by his caravan. A traveler was not so strange but one this late in the season was, unless he was staying for the next, which was something the Yludih pitied him for if he did. What with his horns and blue skin, he would certainly not able to hide yet there was something almost menacing about his appearance even if he smiled as she approached like a skittish animal. Standing in front of him he was not too much taller than her truest form but she still found herself tilting her neck to stare at him, the tightness around her eyes only loosening when another waft of the the beverage wafted towards her. Zih felt as if she could have sat and chatted with him, or sat and curled like a cat napping by a fire. It was strange because inside her nerve endings were on fire. Why was she even outside? It was cold. She'd ruined her library adventures. There was no one she wished to speak with or be around that didn't make her erupt into gooseflesh and want to crawl into the nearest shadow and never leave it, and yet...

"Wh--" Her voice cracked harshly on the beginnings of the word. "What are you se--selling?"

As if weighted down by his voice, and like he was speaking to a child he spoke slow and clear. At ease compared to her tense posture as she eyed his wares with something like distrust. But she still wanted to try it, wondering if it would soothe her more if she drank it and not only smelled it.

"Dream tea, it makes you're dreams clearer."

Her brow wrinkled as she sniffed the offered powder, "D-does it help you fal--go--sleep, does it help y-you sleep?"

"It's tea, of course it can!" He said with a laugh as another customer came up to eye the wares, gaze harsh on the obvious lack of Embla though their posture was relaxed. But Zih had taken note of the words, unsure if she wanted to buy some or throw it and leave. But with him speaking to the other shoppers that came from nowhere, there was little she could do but stand uncomfortably with the sample and wait.

For this event.
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Victor Amielle
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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

Victor wrapped his coat more tightly around his body and bent his head as he walked through the streets of Melrath. It was freezing, and his most recent mutations made the cold even harder to bear. For a moment, he considered just going back to his house, but then his stomach started to grumble again, and he decided to walk on, towards Greta’s bakery where his hunger would be stilled. A few streets from his destination, he noticed a most peculiar smell in the air. He stopped for a moment and sniffed, furrowing his brow as he did so.

It smelled like … he couldn’t tell what exactly it smelled like, but it was absolutely delicious. There was something about it that made his mouth water. It reminded of home, of a simpler, happier time, of the sunset over Lysoria. His feet stared to move of their own volition. Before he had really realized what was happening, the mage was walking towards the source of the smell – only to stop dead in his tracks and stare as the wagon came into view.

He had always considered his own mutations to be a bit on the extreme side, but he could at least hide them under his clothes. That man …. That man couldn’t hide anymore. In order to hide his mutations, he would have to put a potato sack over his head which would probably make people stare just as hard, if not harder. He had never met a mage that had grown horns! Which domain did he practice? Was it an Overstepping mutation?

His eyes wide with a mixture of curiosity and pity, he approached the merchant that he considered to be a victim of a magic that was completely out of control. Up close, the strange smell was even stronger. He eyed the other customers for a moment, noticing at least one person that was an Outlander, like him, among them before he addressed the man.

“If it helps you sleep, I’d like to give it a try”, he decided, his voice momentarily filled with something akin to yearning. Since his Aberrant lover had been executed a few seasons earlier, he had trouble sleeping, and his dreams were filled with bizarre and frightening creatures more often than not. “I’d like to have enough powder for a few trials – and a cup of tea if you have one. I wouldn’t mind giving it a taste now.”

While the merchant prepared the tea, Victor turned to face the woman that had spoken before – Zih. He had noticed that she seemed to be tense and somewhat suspicious of the horned man and his wares and decided to intervene. A part of him considered the merchant to be a deformed freak – his mutations were so much less appealing than his own - but another part felt for him because he was even more of an outsider than he was and was probably treated with suspicion and ridiculed on a daily basis.

“I don’t think that the powder is dangerous”, he remarked. “I doubt that the authorities would let him sell something that poses a health risk, and his appearance is probably due to a magic mutation. He can’t help it, just like you can’t help the colour of your skin.”

He paused for a moment as the horned man handed him a cup, inclined his head in a sign of gratitude and raised the cup.

A moment later, he furrowed his brow.

“Can you feel that as well?” he wanted to know, slightly confused and stifled a yawn. He was tired all of a sudden, even though he had been full of energy just a few moments earlier …

Last edited by Victor Amielle on Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 630

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Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

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Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

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Zih jumped a good foot in the air.

Like a startled cat her stare was almost accusing when she directed it to the newcomer but she immediately looked away, not wanting to actually have to talk with any of the people the horned man communed with jovially. It was the most energetic she'd felt since she'd come over to the tea but she still moved away from the man. The Yludih had no doubt he had been talking to her but she didn't know him, and thankfully he seemed not to know her. Zih was beginning to grow wary of every person in this city recognizing her, maybe not her stolen face, but her.

"He's right. It's completely harmless." A customer who tried a sample smiled at Zih though they frowned in the direction of the man. "It is, tastes great too! It's too bad he's an Outlander."

This was said without ire but obvious that they had no intention of actually buying after the sample, and even strode away with a little shake of their head. The Yludih didn't move, panicked that she had started something and backed up another step, unsure but still holding the sample. Her eyes darted to the man again, wishing he would just leave her alone. Whatever good intentions he had she would rather he kept them to himself. Unknowingly she stepped closer to the horned man, at least he seemed uncaring of what she thought and only spoke to her when she asked a question. Whether the thoughts reflected in her face or not the new man spoke again, this too seemingly directed at her.

As a rule she tried to be polite but a part of her want to just throw the tea and them and run back the way she came. But that was almost more exhausting than the waves of sleep that hit her like cold snaps. Her mouth opened to whisper out something but instead all that came out was a yawn, and a muffled reply. And in her silence the blue man spoke instead, making her flinch once more.

"Cold weather will do that. Saps the life right out you you, the tea can warm you right up!"

Whether it was pity or not he took the dry sample, replacing it with a cup of steaming tea, another held out to the man. Naturally Zih took it, sniffing it to try as if she had a dogs ability to scent out each ingredient. To stop herself from saying anything, and hoping the man wouldn't ask her more she drank sipped it slowly, staring at the ground now.
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Victor Amielle
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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

For a moment, Victor wondered what would happen if he pointed out that he was an Outlander as well, and a mage at that, but then he decided that not being on the receiving end of that particular brand of xenophobia for a change was quite nice. He would petition for citizenship and get one of those Emblas at the end of the cycle, he decided. He had no real future in Lysoria anyway. His older brother was the lord, and he would only rule if Stefan and all of his children died which was unlikely to ever happen.

As the other customers walked away, without actually buying something, he shook his head slightly. It didn’t make any sense to him that they claimed to have enjoyed the taste only to leave. Were Outlanders really so unpopular in Melrath that some of the locals just refused to do business with them – or did those people take more of an issue with the merchant’s rather unique appearance than they let on?

His gaze went back to the horned man as he held the cup in his gloved hands, enjoying its warmth, wondering if he should drink it all or just take a sip to make sure that he would indeed tolerate it. The horned man was rather cheerful and jovial, he observed. He wasn’t sure if he’d be like that if he were that badly mutated. He’d probably become a recluse – or ask someone to rip his spark right out because no magic was worth being such a freak.

“I don’t think it’s just the cold”, he murmured. Being outside in winter had never made him tired before, but he found himself yearning for his bed now, in spite of what would likely happen again the moment that he fell asleep. In fact, his bed was becoming more appealing than Greta’s baked goods that he had been craving just a few bits earlier.

“Well, let’s see if it helps”, he remarked a few trills later, because he was momentarily feeling adventurous and he still wanted to get rid of the nightmares. He flashed Zih a brief smile, and then he started to drink, slowly so that he wouldn’t burn his tongue, furrowing his brow slightly as he did so. “It is quite good”, he decided, sounding slightly surprised, as if a part of him had not expected the tea to live up to the man’s promise.

“Tell me”, he asked the horned man. “What did you put into it? I don’t think I recognize the taste …”

word count: 445

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Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

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Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

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If anything the warmth made her sleepier than she had been before, relief making her shoulders sag when the man seemed to continue to talk but not directly to her. But his question did make her wonder...she sniffed the tea again then mumbled under her breath.

"C-cold can." She flicked her gaze over to the Outlander. "Early hyp-frost-it can."

There was firmness even if she couldn't spit out what she meant but her gaze met the blue mans who stared her as if trying to coax her into continuing. The words suddenly seemed to have vanished again. She stepped down like it was something of a challenge, bringing the tea back to her lips to stop herself from attempting to try and talk again. Once more the tea peddler spoke instead.

"Can't go giving away my recipes. But it sounds like the little miss here knows a thing or two about sleeping herbs."

"N-no-I mean-yes b-but..."
Flinching the tea spilled over her, the blue man catching the cup deftly then giving her a cloth to clean up. She wasn't a connoisseur of food or drink, there was no way she knew what was in the tea. But he hadn't asked her that exact thing. The owner of the tea was already talking to new customers but Zih did glance at the man who had questioned it. He looked like an average human though there were bags under his eyes, and he looked like he did not like the cold. Typical of the Outlanders, smarter than the natives in the Yludihs opinion whenever she considered the fact that they chose to live there. Her desire to maybe help him if he was tired with the desire to be gone from the situation warring until habit training won over. "You-I-if you're tired, I-I can help, um, more th-than t-tea?"

Abruptly she realized what she said, freezing noticeably even as another yawn punctuated the sentence but the tea peddler seemed to not notice and the she relaxed ever so slightly, the not quite an offer hanging in the air strangely. She wasn't trying to offend but if he needed medical attention she could abandon him at the hall, and be done with the whole situation, she was far more exhausted than usual and the entire mini ordeal was wearing on her rapidly.
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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

Drinking the hot tea helped to some extent, but a part of Victor still felt cold, so very cold, and the fatigue seemed to creep into every fibre of his body. As the young woman spoke, he momentarily raised an eyebrow and wondered, “Hypothermia? Is that what you wanted to say?” He’d heard the term once, from a doctor back in his native Lysoria. He knew that it had something to do with prolonged exposure to the cold, but he wasn’t familiar with all of the symptoms that came with it.

Had something about his mutations not only messed up his senses so that he was constantly feeling things that nobody should be able to feel, but really also lowered his body temperature so that he felt cold earlier than most?

Or had he just grown soft and was not used to being outside in winter anymore?

As the horned man insisted that he couldn’t give away his recipes, the look on the mage’s face darkened momentarily before he inclined his head sharply, having decided that there would be no point in prying. Instead, he turned to face the little miss once more, smiling briefly at the offer of help. “I would appreciate something, something more than just tea”, he admitted. “I haven’t been able to sleep properly in seasons.”

“Are you a healer?”
he asked somewhat hopefully. Up until that point, he had not considered asking for help, perhaps in a subconscious attempt to punish himself for his part in his lover’s death. He could have tried to stop it, could have tried to find a way to sever the Aberrant’s connection to the Harvester, could have tried to find a way to keep the creature from getting out of control – he could have fought back when his brother had ordered the Aberrant’s punishment, rather than obeying and not doing anything.

He had been a weakling, a coward and a fool.

word count: 338

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Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

Items

Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

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She had almost forgotten she had spoken to him but he responded, patiently for her stuttering and she blinked several times before trying to formulate an answer. To wake herself up, she shifted from foot to foot then nodded before abruptly shaking her head.

"Y-yes but-if-not only that. Um...th-there's other things-"

"Now, now, don't go stealing my customers."


Zih jerked back, the cup almost slipping from her fingers then hastily pulled out coin like it was a weapon to ward off offense, refusing to make eye contact as her face flushed. New package in hand then turned to the other man once more, unsure if she should let the question stay unanswered or actually help. The Yludih was not obligated to finish what she started but the man looked surprisingly hopeful. Trust was a funny thing like that, and she felt a stab of something in her heart before she shifted her gaze away. The tiniest of sighs left her before she nodded once more. With a an obvious twitch of her head she stepped away from the both the horned person and the man, indicating he should follow her away from the actual customers once he was done as well. And even from the bag the strong scent of the tea hit her, soothing her a little because at least she had something to warm her in the coming evening since she was clearly more tired than she thought.

"Y-yes. I a-am a healer." She mulled over his earlier words sluggishly, though she felt the cold winds forcing her into alertness she hadn't felt near the peddler. "L-lack of sleep ca-wi-is bad. It-it makes you w-weak."

There was likely a better way to phrase her thoughts but the Yludih was having a hard time shaking off her tiredness, stomping her feet once more to try and wake herself up more before she pointed in the direction of the Hall. If nothing else she could take him there. But when she looked closer at his face, a brief inspection to ensure he understand her directions, she recalled he was an Outlander. Zih winced a bit, most healers would likely help but not all. This man was not her problem. If she helped him it could cause her problems later. He had already caused her problems now by attempting conversation she had sleepily, stupidly continued. Was the right course to let him go and fend for himself or would he get sicker from his lack of sleep? If she helped him he may look favorably on her later, even forgive what she was but she wouldn't need forgiveness if he never knew. But she couldn't garner anyone's favor if she never actually helped. The thoughts went round and round, eating the words up to make room for new words until she only stood there, wide eyed and unsure, fairly certain she resembled an ice sculpture for all the reaction she could get out. The panic trying to force words out until an awkward squeak came out but still no more words.
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Victor Amielle
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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

“She’s not stealing any of your customers”, Victor pointed out to the horned man, in quite a polite tone of voice. Even though the man was horribly mutated, he saw no reason to be rude to him. “She’s a healer. She doesn’t sell tea. Thank you, by the way”, he added in a gentler tone of voice, referring to the tea. He drank the rest of it, enjoying the way that the liquid filled his body with warmth, for a few moments at least before he returned the cup.

Having done that, he turned to face Zih again and looked at her questioningly for a moment before he followed her. She seemed to be willing to help, and at that point he wanted and needed it. Like the disguised Yludih, he could still smell the tea from further away. There were other things as well – he could smell the cold of the snow beneath his feet now and taste the light that was a little less bright in winter – a peculiarity of his magic that he still had not gotten entirely used to.

“I know. It’s harder for me to function sometimes”, he admitted with a small sigh. “I should never have let it get that far. Where are we going?” he asked softly. Unlike most, the mage had no problem with her stuttering. He just waited patiently for her to finish. Whatever speech impediment she had was hardly her fault after all.

When Zih looked closer at the human’s face, she would not only notice the lack of an Embla which marked him as an Outlander, but also that there was something strange about his eyes. They were filled with flecks of silver which was not an eye colour that humans normally had, but it was unlikely that she would be able to correctly identify that as a magic mutation.

“Thank you”, Victor told her after a moment, having realized that she didn’t have to help an Outlander, and one who was in somewhat bad shape due to his own stupidity at that.

word count: 358

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Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

Items

Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

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Zih wanted to correct him slightly but she couldn't. She didn't sell tea but healers usually made much more potent teas to combat illness or help with ailments, better than most teas and healing costed money. The blue man was no entirely wrong but she hadn't done it intentionally and was not planning on selling teas either, the confusion of it made her simply look away while she struggled to find more words that made sense. If she took him to the halls she might be recognized again. If she did nothing he could die...maybe. The Yludih knew the common sense of lack of sleep, and had felt some effects herself back when she had been trying to care for her damaged father. At the very least his face told her he needed help...and he was kind. She wasn't sure if he would be so kind if he knew her truly but he was patient, didn't speak much, and look entirely exhausted. She honestly wondered how he hadn't been stolen away during the mobs, a shiver running through her at the thought of them before she shook her head. If she didn't help there was no point to the knowledge she kept, no point in anything she was trying to do. At least that's what she told herself as she gestured away from the hall and to her own hovel.

"Um...I-you-my house. W-we-I have herbs." It was a lame finished, and the hall had herbs but she remembered the cheery librarian and tensed at the thought. It was not an option. Stiffly she lead him back the way she came, regretting it with every step but if she fled right in front of him he'd likely just follow in confusion. And to send him away now would be suspicious. With the barest of sighs, her tea clutched in her hands, she opened the door and gestured for him to go in.

It was relatively clean. The sparse furniture placed here and there, the fire still going from when she left casting warm light. More of a large room than a true house, her bed, dresser, table, and three chairs-one of which was broken-sat in little clumps around the room. It was bare of anything else, the fire the only true means of knowing someone lived there, the few banged up pots sitting by the hearth. Zih never had guests and aside from shutting the door behind them had no clue what the proper etiquette was nor did she try for it. Instead she left him to his own devices as she rummaged into her things to grab her herbs and journal then carry them to the table, she sat herself quietly and sifted through her meager notes before briefly glancing up at the, undoubtedly unwanted and unintended, guest.

"I-I-I need you to-to tell m-me about it." She flutter her hands nervously, aware she'd placed herself closer to the door should she need to run, and hyper aware there was another person not of her own in her house. The Yludih struggled to remember her parents rules and though none came to mind she could not recall ever once having company over. Swallowing uncomfortably she continued. "About wh-how-why you can't s-sleep."
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Re: Tea for Two [Raelia]

As she told him that there were going to her house, Victor’s eyes widened slightly, and he looked at her for a moment. He had thought that she would take him to a hospital or something like that, but not to the place where she lived. She was … different, he decided. Most Melrathi wouldn’t take a stranger home with them. He wouldn’t take a stranger home with him. He didn’t trust people as easily as he once had, considering the fact that the last time he’d let someone he’d just met into the fortress in Lysoria had ended in a tragedy.

“I’m Victor”, he said because it didn’t seem right to join the kind healer in her home without introducing himself. That was all that he said while he walked with her. She didn’t seem very talkative; and besides, he was frankly not a great conversationalist at the moment. He was frustrated, depressed and cold, and he seemed to get a little more tired with every passing trill.

When they’d finally reached their destination, and she opened the door, he inclined her head and thanked her before he walked in, taking a look around as he did so. The relative warmth made him feel a bit better. He was just frustrated, depressed and tired instead of frustrated, depressed, tired and cold now, and he sighed softly as he took his thick winter coat off.

It was of fine quality, just like the rest of his clothes.

The house was plain and sparsely furnished, quite unlike the place where he had grown up. It reminded him of the house that Lyngheid, the young Witch of the Syns, had found for him. He’d never bothered buying more than the basics, and as a consequence his house looked as if he’d just moved in, even after more than seventy trials.

He didn’t mind being left to his own devices. Instead, he took a look around and finally sat down at the table, draping his coat across the backrest as he did so. He made sure that his arms were still covered by his sleeves; she might be less kind if she realized that the man she’d invited into her home was not only an Outlander, but an Immortal marked Outlander mage.

“I …” he began. He was stammering as well now, for a different reason. He couldn’t tell her the real reason for his nightmares, at least not all of it even though a part of him wanted to share what had happened with someone. Even the kindest, most tolerant people would have a hard time being understanding when it came to a story that involved Aberration. So, he decided to stick to the very basics.

“Someone was killed … someone close to me. I didn’t witness the actual murder, but I saw his body. I can’t forget what it looked like. During the trial, I manage, but at night the images keep haunting me. Do you have anything that helps with that, healer?”

word count: 524

Appearance

Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

Items

Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

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