Don't Mind the Smell

(Faith)

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Yanahalqah
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Don't Mind the Smell

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Faith had continued her work, taking out some sort of oil, staring to smear it on specific places of the corpse. At the same time, the slave had started to mutter in whispers again, presumably some sort of prayer to one of the Immortals. To the one governing death, most likely. While Yana could not hear them, she could some sort of serenity, a reverence in her body language, which told her a great deal. It wasn't too strange a thing for an undertaker to revere the Immortal of death, and this slave definitely was an undertaker's apprentice or aide, if not a full-fletched undertaker herself. It wasn't that that surprised Yana, nor was it the fact that someone worshiped an Immortal in Rynmere -not every person in the country was a Rynlist- but the silent passion she seemed to radiate as she focused on her job.

Questioning wasn't the best course of action for gathering information, Yana knew that, but it did prove effective from time to time, given that one asked the right questions. But it was limited in that one could only ask about things that were specific. A question needed a subject, but simple observation did not. Observation was by far the superior method, the Yludih found, and once again it had been proven right. Just by letting a humanoid, animal or monster do their thing without the researcher interfering in any way, one could gather a wealth of knowledge about the subject. What were their habits? Were they organized? How did they go about solving a particular problem? How did they interact with various things? All were questions that could be answered without the need to ask them. Subtle, simple and yet effective. And as such, the deserter had gathered a new piece of information about the slave, one she would write down later, as Faith had begun answering the multiple queries Yana had fired her way.

Unfortunately, as she should perhaps have expected, it ended up being a disappointment. Faith knew nothing of the Iron Hand, revealing she hadn't been allowed outside before the first of the season. Yana frowned slightly, tapping her pencil against her chin. Bah. She'd been a little too excited and hasty in trying to get info on the organization that had drawn her to Rynmere. Her own passion always made her a little too eager for knowledge about it. Though it didn't always manifest in hastiness and hurried questions. Usually she was able to control herself very well. Perhaps it was because she'd had to wait on a boat for thirty-two days, and now she was finally here, where she'd get her answers. Either way, if Faith had paid attention during the rapidfire of questions, she might have seen the glint return to Yana's eye. The same hungry and fierce spark from before. Intense compared to the rest of the Yludih's demeanor. Though it shone only briefly, dying out once again when Faith couldn't answer her inquiries.

But, as the slave girl added she'd met a man, a captain, Yana was provided with a morsel of something like intelligence at last. It wasn't much, but it would do. It was a lead, the first brick with which she'd build her research. She scribbled the chain of command in her notes, adding some question marks to indicate she wasn't certain of it. Was it the organization of which she'd spoken? Was it the Iron Hand? Perhaps. It was likely. “Possibly,” she replied, not entirely sure herself. It seemed that was all Faith knew, and Yana had little choice but to accept it. She did, and went back to the section she'd made on the girl, adding the bits of information the girl had revealed herself, both in her answers and actions.

In the meantime, said slave had already began working on dressing the body, using a pair of scissors to make it easier to get the corpse inside its clothes. Yana wasn't familiar with all the steps that came with preparing a corpse for a funeral, but she did believe that clothing it was the final stretch. Or at least among the final steps. “Does this mean you're almost done?” she wanted to know, gesturing at the clothes. She did hope it did, there wasn't much interesting to be seen or done in a morgue.
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"Speaking" - Thinking - "Others speaking"
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Don't Mind the Smell

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Yana's observation was absolutely correct - whilst working on the body, Faith was as close to serene as the young woman ever got. She was comfortable and confident as she worked with the corpse, it was where she was most at home. If she considered it to be a strange thing, then she never spoke such. In reality, she really didn't consider it strange; as a servant of Famula, death was her work and her very real privilege to be around. It was a thing of beauty to her, to be able to serve those in death.

After the barrage of questions, Yana wrote down a number of things, although Faith did not know what that could be. How Yana had stuff to write down, Faith could not really comprehend - what did 'she knows nothing about it' constitute rather than just that. Still, she could do nothing more than say that she knew nothing and she had to admit to wondering about what Yana was writing, but she could not see and so she put it out of her mind. However, Yana did not speak any more questions, which surprised Faith more than a little; she assumed that there were many other questions that Yana would have. But there were not, so Faith did not speak again - she had been instructed, after all, to speak only when spoken to.

"I am about half way through, mistress. I will dress him and then he must have makeup put on his face to ensure that his colour is maintained. I think it will take maybe another break and then I will be done" she replied. And indeed, she set about putting the clothes on, which she then sewed up the back so that they stayed on, carefully and meticulously stitching them with a small running seam, pinning the bottom and top to make sure that they were even and looked the best the could when she was done. She then got out a series of small pots and bottles, brushes and so on and she went about applying the make up to his face that made him appear (or so she attempted) to be alive and merely sleeping so that those who viewed him might not be horrified at the sight of their loved one in a state of decay.

If Yana had no more questions, Faith simply continued to work until such time as she was done. When she was, she would lift her head and move to stand next to the body, waiting permission to speak before telling Yana "I am finished, mistress" and waiting to see if she wanted to inspect the body. Jamal would deal with the coffin for this one, he had told her, so she waited to see what Yana's instructions were.
word count: 468
Life, Death and the In-Between .
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Yanahalqah
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She was halfway done, so the slave had told her, and Yana nodded, preparing herself for yet another trail spent in the basement. However, Faith added she believed the next couple tasks would take only a break or so, which was far less than anticipated. That was quite excellent actually, if it had been spoken during the daylight breaks. Now, in the middle of the night, that wasn't really helpful. Even if Faith would be done in only a break, Yana's clients would already be asleep, not waiting to be disturbed. Sending someone with the message that the body was ready after midnight was a good way to get an angry client. Angry clients meant a bad reputation, and that, in turn, meant less money made. It was better to let the rich and noble families have their night's rest. Yana would arrange for a messenger to be sent at dawn.

“Take your time,” she spoke, to avoid Faith working faster than she should just because it of Yana's question about the duration of the preparations. “Don't hurry yourself. Don't want to have you mess up.” Because that would not only incur the anger of the Yludih's clients -which would probably cut Yana's paycheck in half or so- but it would also thick off Jamal. And that was probably not the thing Faith was wanting to experience after her hard work. Though the slave would probably be grateful for it and the punishment that would follow, as it would put her back in her place, and it would be a learning experience for her, or something like that. With the information in Yana's notes, the emotional response could be predicted with relative ease. It was like tossing a hungry wolf a slab of meat and trying to figure out what it would do. With the knowledge that hungry animals wanted to eat and that wolves ate meat, it was simple to make an estimated guess and predict the beast was going to wolf down the food. Same could be applied to just about anyone, though people were usually rather complex. Faith however, had been trained since birth, her mind conditioned. Her responses made predictable. She had been taught a certain way of thinking and had been made to think that way. It was who she was now.

While the bits passed, Faith worked on while Yana observed her so she still had something to do. It wasn't hard to notice that the slave's motions were controlled and practiced, both in the dressing of the corpse as in applying some make up. As to be expected from someone who was an undertaker's slave and assistant. More than that there was not to be noticed though, and Yana soon resorted to the pag in her notebook with the gambling outcomes, staring at it for the rest of the time, lost in thought.

Until she saw from a coner of her eye that Faith was standing next to the body much like a soldier waiting for her commander to allow her to relax. Yana looked up from her scribblings and gestured the slave to speak up. Apparently, she had finished her work with time to spare. Dawn was still a break or three away. “You work fast,” she stated, closing her book and uncrossing her legs. A storm of pins and needles assaulted her nerves; she'd been sitting too long in that position. “You are relieved of your duties,” she continued after a moment, and she nodded towards the untouched bowl of food and the poor excuse for a blanket. “Go eat, sleep. In the morning, deliver a message for the Denvor family at their mansion. Just tell them the body is ready.” Her gaze slid back towards her notebook, which she promptly placed back into one of the pockets of her cloak. “With your master's permission, of course.”

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"Speaking" - Thinking - "Others speaking"
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Don't Mind the Smell

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"As you instruct, mistress" she spoke quietly when Yana told her not to rush or hurry. It did not need to be told to her, Faith would no more hurry this work than she would ever knowingly do something wrong or against orders. Yana was right in her assessment of the slave's obedience, but she would not welcome punishment; it was something which in fact Faith hated. Lessons being taught, punishment given to teach her was welcomed by the young woman, but in response to a wrong doing on her part was horrifying to her. Because it meant that she had not done something she should or she had done something she should not. The young woman despised such an idea.

When she was finished, Yana allowed her to speak and then responded. Faith bowed her head "Yes, mistress" she said in response. The body was ready, and Faith ran back through the requirements in her mind; confident that she had met them all she bowed and spoke quietly "Thank you, mistress. I will do that, mistress" she moved towards the corner where the leftover food was. Kneeling next to it, she lifted the bowl to her mouth and lowered her face to the bowl, rather than using her hands to eat. It was the way that Jamal instructed her to behave, and so she did, apparently without concern. Then she moved to clean up the dishes (of course, being searched first) and she lay on the floor pulling the blanket over her.

She didn't ask what Yana was going to do, it was not her place to do so. And in the morning, she would indeed make sure that she did what Yana had instructed her.
word count: 289
Life, Death and the In-Between .
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Griffin
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Don't Mind the Smell

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Yanahalqah

Story 5/5
Collaboration 5/5
Structure 5/5
Fame N/A
Basic Knowledge
Location: Undertakers
Hired by Denvor family
Arthur Denvor: Killed for coin
Arthur Denvor: Stabbed in the gut
Arthur Denvor: Heavy corpse
Denvor Family: Wealthy
Faith: Twice branded slave
Faith: Owned by Jamal
Faith: Competent undertakers assistant
Faith: Literate slave
Faith: Born and trained in Athart
Captain: Commands 10 men
Jamal: Demands obedience from his slaves
Jamal: Business-like
Jamal: Generous with his property
Jamal: Undertaker
Strength: Try to distribute weight
Death: Lavender and Eucalyptus to combat the smell
Position One: Kneeling upright
Position Two: Prone bow, arms locked
Funereal Care: Prayers must be made to Famula
Undertakers: Use make-up to hide decay

Specialized Knowledge
Arthur Denvor: Heavy corpse
Deception: False name Rayna Ramsey
Faith: Obedient
Faith: A question to be answered
Faith: Expensive slave
Faith: Has met a Captain of the Iron Hand
Faith: Believes in the Immortals
Funereal Care: Prayers must be made to Famula
Undertakers: Use make-up to hide decay

Faith

Story 5/5
Collaboration 5/5
Structure 5/5
Fame N/A
Basic Knowledge
Location: Undertakers
Rayna: Hired by Denvor family
Rayna: Strong
Rayna: To be present at all times during preparation
Rayna: Services for sale
Denvor Family: Exacting requirements for preparation
Death: Lavender and Eucalyptus to combat the smell
Jamal: Gave Rayna control over you
Jamal: Invested in you specifically
Position One: Kneeling upright
Position Two: Prone bow, arms locked

Specialized Knowledge
Rayna: Curt
Rayna: Curious
Rayna: Contemptuous of slaves
Rayna: Only wants the answers she expects
Rayna: Image-conscious
Rayna: Enjoys power over others
Rayna: Thorough in the execution of her duty
Jamal: Sadist
Undertaking: Close the body quickly
Undertaking: Prayers must be made to Famula
Undertaking: Washing a body
Undertaking: Anointing a body
Undertaking: Cut clothes to make dressing death easier
Undertaking: Use make-up to hide decay
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