Knock, Knock (Part 2)

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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Soren Kvistson
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Knock, Knock (Part 2)

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"You are free to choose,"



Cylus 5, 720, following this

Knock, knock.

...

Knock, knock, knock.

.....

Knock, knock, KNOCK

"Shit on a cracker, I'm comin'!"

The thick, dirty wooden door opened inward, as a short, portly man opened the door. He was a despicable sight to see for Soren, who was immediately beginning to change his tactics in his head. The man was terribly bald on top of his head, with greasy, stringy blond hairs dangling down from the side. He was fumbling with something in his hand before he put on a pair of glasses that were sorely in need of a deep scrubbing. Or to be thrown away and burned. He was wearing a shirt that was far too small, revealing much of his large, sweaty, hairy belly. And then he was in his small clothes, with no trousers. They clearly used to be white, maybe slightly off white in color, when they were new. And the color now only indicated that they had been new many, many years ago.

Soren would need to be bathed by goddesses while terribly drunk to get what might happen soon out of his head. Still, he put on his best smile, "Hello there. I am Soren Kvistson, and I understand that you're the landlord of this fine building." He stuck out his hand, praying that the man would not shake it. The man clasped it weakly with his fat, moist sausage fingers, "That I am. The name's Cordwall." Soren gripped back weakly, suspecting that the man preferred to feel like he was in charge, despite Soren thinking that this man couldn't even control his own life.

Smiling, releasing hands, "I would like to talk to you about a business proposition. Perhaps we could go.."

"Oh! Come on in!"

Soren had to fight so hard to contain his groan as the man opened the door, revealing the large, messy apartment. "My thanks." He stepped inside, vowing to burn every bit of clothing he wore to this meeting. But as he did, his eyes glanced into the corner of the room, seeing something stir in the shadows. And instinct told him that it was her. She was watching him, waiting to pounce. Strange how a ghost could seem so... Naer like. He was fairly certain this ghost was a human, but he found himself wondering if Naer became ghosts as well.

This man had had a similar idea as Soren. He had dedicated a large portion of the structure, in his case the basement, to be his home. Soren was not one for sleeping underground, but having a large space for himself was something he could get behind. But he would never allow it to be in the state as this one was. There were clothes.... everywhere. On the floor, on the dinner table, hanging over doors. There were plates of old food laying about as well, just pure and utter disgust. Soren saw a few mice spying on him from various corners of the room. It wasn't that his eyes were particularly sharp, just that the mice were emboldened by the fact that they weren't hunted.

The man didn't even seem embarrassed by presenting this to him. He picked up a few plates off the table, searched around for a chair, and set it down for Soren. The man sat across the table. Soren nodded, sitting down, back straight, eyes on the toad of a man, just as his ghost slid within him. She opened their shared eyes and smile, "Let the negotiations begin."



"But you are not free from the consequences."
word count: 606
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Soren Kvistson
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Re: Knock, Knock (Part 2)

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"You are free to choose,"



Soren was used to this dog and pony show by now, trapped in the food cart of his mind. He hated this cart from his youth, annoyed that his father was content with so little in life. Still, he'd learned many lessons here, and it was always here that Soren found himself facing the ghost when she possessed him. This time though, she wasn't hiding in the cart, but rather, she stood there before him. As the negotiations outside of Soren's began, Soren knew that those words were actually meant for him.

"What is it you want? I can't give back the whiskey, obviously. It was given to me by your father, if you want to be upset at someone, get upset at him. Or yourself for dying so early."

Soren was annoyed at her interrupting his deal making with the gross man. He looked out the front window of the food cart, able to see the man sitting there at the table, able to hear the negotiations that the ghost controlling his body conducted. But the ghost did not answer him, simply staring at him impassively. Maybe she needed to focus more while controlling his body. Or maybe... Soren inwardly groaned.

"Apologies for my rude behavior. My name is Soren Kvistson, what is your name?"

The woman smiled at him, "Hello Soren son of Kvist. I am Lydia Brewer."

Soren gestured to the two chairs in the cart, where he and his father would sit to peel potatoes. He sat first and Lydia followed suit, folding her hands in her lap. "I want to thank you for speaking with me now. I understand that this is all must be terribly confusing for you. It is fairly so for me as well, I am still not used to being a ghost. I do apologize for invading your body like this, but out there... It is much more difficult for me to communicate."

Soren nodded, "I accept your apology, and I will ask that you seek my permission, not my forgiveness, in the future."

Lydia closed her eyes and nodded softly, "Of course. Thank you."

Soren smiled softly at her, "So, what is it that you desire? I'm not sure what I might have to offer you. I am not a young woman like you were, nor am I a brewer like you were."

Lydia's face turned a bit darker at this, "You have much more to offer me than that, Soren son of Kvist, and you know it."

In the distance, the sound of distant drums began to pound. Soren looked out the window in the direction of them, still seeing the negotiations going on. It did not seem that the landlord had heard them, so he suspected the drums to be inside his head. Lydia continued, "I wish for three things of you. I wish for you to protect my bottle, unchanged, better than you protect any of that coin you so desire. If it becomes damaged or destroyed, I fear what may happen to me, but I suspect it will not be good for either of us. Second, I wish for occasional use of your body to do with as I see fit. We can make arrangements so that this use does not interfere with your business interests and the like. Finally, I wish for your help to pass on to the Great Beyond. I was foolish and proud when I declined to pass on before, and I wish to be at peace."

Soren considered this, but still found himself unable to fully grasp all the details of the deal. He simply did not know the inner workings of ghosts well enough. Meanwhile, the sound of drums were joined by wooden flutes and other instruments and sounded to be just outside of the cart. "In return, I seek three things from you. First, I wish to know more about your kind, to test your abilities as a ghost. Second, I wish to utilize these abilities to my own advantage, whatever that may entail. Third, I wish for you to pass everything you learned from your time as a brewer to me."

He interlocked his fingers, watching as she considered the trade deal. The drumming and music grew ever louder, shaking the entire cart around them, "What is that.." But immediately, Lydia struck out her hand, worming into Soren's, and gave it two good shakes, accepting his terms. And just as she did, "I'm sorry. I couldn't control it any longer."

Soren jerked his hand back, "Control wha--- ARGH!" Soren's mind lit up with pain while pounding with the beautiful music he'd been hearing. He writhed in pain, falling from the chair to his knees as he convulsed. But outside of his mind, Lydia kept his body perfectly composed as the negotiations continued with the landlord. Soren was gasping as the pain rattled through him, and he could feel his mind... changing. Something was entering his mind, and was reorganizing everything as it did so. This was much more invasive of a possession than any that Lydia had performed on him.

And then suddenly, it was over.

Soren could still feel the entity inside of him. And somehow, he could feel that it was upon his soul. He'd never even felt his soul before, but he now inherently knew that something had merged with it. Lydia smiled softly and disappeared from his mind, and the door to the cart was opened for the first time since she had begun possessing him. Soren picked himself up from the floor, and walked out of the cart, and found himself back in control of his body.

"--- now I'm not so sure about that Soren Kvistson. I can't just give up ambrosia so easily. I've tried, it's a bitch. And I don't really want to anyways. I ain't got nothin else to make me feel good."

Within Soren's mind, Lydia's voice spoke, "Focus on him. Do not speak just yet. Focus and listen."

Soren looked on at the man, somehow finding pity in this slob. But he listened and focused. He heard nothing. Then his mouth filled with a bitter taste, a skunked beer, one never fit for consumption. Soren struggled to maintain his composure and managed to only look as though he were sucking on a lemon. It tasted of defeat. Lydia spoke once more, "That is his loudest note. A part of him. Use that." Soren didn't know what she meant, but this man was radiating defeat. Soren thought back to the parts of the negotiation he'd heard, to what he'd seen in the apartment, to what he was able to assume.

"What was her name? And who did she choose over you?"

The man was taken aback, then his eyes turned angry, "She has nothing to do with this you arrogant fuck!" He slammed the table with his fist and stood up. Soren followed suit, towering over the man from across the table, thudding the table more loudly, "Sit down! I am here to help us both you selfish prick." The man looked to be considering brawling with the bar owner, before sitting down, mumbling a mostly incoherent apology. Soren sat down as well, as the man spoke more clearly.

"Her name is Catalan. And she was the woman I desired more than anything else in the world. She works as a receptionist for a building company. And she picked her boss over me. He was tall and good looking like yourself, had more money than me. Even had more hair than both of us."

Soren had to refrain from snorting in jest.

"I will help you claim victory in this. It will take time, but you will win her over from her boss. And in agreeing to help you, you will sell me this building, along with the terms we discussed earlier."

The man looked on suspiciously, "Why would you even bother? What's it matter to you if I am with her or not? I don't want you using her for any business scheming."

Soren smiled, feeling back to his old self as he could feel that note of defeat wane just a little bit. He began to taste other things now from the man, but did not wish to spend more time investigating them. "A high tide raises all boats, my friend. Do we have a deal?" Soren stuck out his hand across the table. The short man looked at it as though it might be a snake, before reaching out and grabbing it. Two firm shakes concluded the deal. Soren stood up, "I'll send by the paperwork and money later. In the meantime, clean this place up. And yourself too. It's fucking disgusting. No real man lives like this."

With that, Soren let himself out, planning to discuss with Lydia what had just happened, at length. But for now, he reveled in his victory.



"But you are not free from the consequences."
word count: 1527
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Doran
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Re: Knock, Knock (Part 2)

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Soren:

Knowledge:
Negotiation x5
Attunement x1

Loot:
1 Attunement Spark
1 Attunement Witchmark, the Puzzle Eyes

Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: Yes, for Attunement.
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: Wow … Cordwall really is a gross NPC! Your description of him and his home was quite detailed! That underwear! *shudders*

You did a great job with him though!

I think this is the first magic initiation that I read that didn’t involve a living mentor who told the PC that they were going to initiate them. I enjoyed reading this different kind of initiation!

I wonder if Lydia will eventually tell Soren that he is a mage now. She mentioned Cordwall’s notes, but not Attunement or the spark …

“Shit on a cracker” is a great swear word, by the way. :)

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 137

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Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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