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23rd of Ymiden 716

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Just Another Trial At The Office

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23rd Ymiden, 716
Faith was in the shop on her own. That was not a common occurrence and, in fact, last time she had been a strange woman with an eyepatch and a smelly corpse had come in. However, Jamal was pleased with how she had taken to her new privilege of being allowed out and so, he told her, he was going to trust her with this. That was good, because she wanted to please him and make sure that he was happy with her service. Of course, as far as he was concerned her training was all but finished and she would soon be at the point where he would sell her on. He would never auction her or such, but he was a pateint man; the owner would come to the slave soon enough he had told her and, when that happened, Jamal would get another slave from Athart to train in the way of Famula.

If she was the cynical sort, she'd consider it a rather dismal family business. But Faith was anything but cynical, it must be said. In fact, on most trials she was surprisingly chipper.

And so, this trial where she was in the shop alone, she was sitting cross legged on the floor out the back and crushing some lavender. It let out a beautiful smell, it had natural antiseptic qualities (which was surprisingly useful for working with the dead) and it was useful for perfumes and salves ~ an all around useful herb, Jamal had told her. So, she sat with the mortar and pestle, a bag of lavender on her left and a growing pot of crushed lavender on her right. She had a range of tasks to perform this trial, this was just one of them but Jamal had been clear that, more than anything she had to give priority to the sound of the bell which signified that the door to the shop had opened.

At the very tinkling sound that she had just been thinking about, Faith stood up and moved out into the reception area to see who had arrived. She was wearing the tight and ill fitting black trousers which were old and ragged and a black vest top which was in a similar state of disrepair. Her long black hair was tied back and so both her slave brands were very visible to the naked eye. Silver-grey eyes searched to see who had just entered the shop.
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Life, Death and the In-Between .
Vakhanor
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Just Another Trial At The Office

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Soot covered and tired from a long morning at the forge Vakhanor had taken a break from his work to grab his lunch and pay a quick visit to the undertakers. Death was becoming something of a common occurrence in his life and he had visited the place a few times. His last visit as himself had been for the funeral of his dead mother after she died giving birth to Bjorn, and in more recent times the place he went to buy coffins for the recent executions

Welcomed by the slow creek of rusted hinges, Vakhanor stepped into Kash'deel Funerary Services. Shadows climbed along the black dusty stone and large wooden coffers hung against the wall, elegantly carved with symbols and silver filigree. Very rarely the undertaker would come to Oberyk's to buy handles for the coffins and although Vakhanor was happy to work, but the man that owned the establishment had always made him nervous.

"Hello?" he called out, oblivious to the presence of the young woman sat on the floor at first until he heard the grinding sound of mortar and pestle. Lowering his gaze Vakhanor regarded a woman with long black silk woven hair and piercing murky green eyes. Only having seen her in passing glances, he studied her now. Her youthful features left him under the impression that she was at least half of his age, what was a young beautiful little thing like that doing in such a drab place? Watching her Vakhanor noticed that for the most part, she seemed content with her work.

"Sorry, need help. Adjusting will and all," he said, uncertain how to approach the situation. He wasn't good with people and talking to a shop clerk from the floor was a situation he found mildly awkward, it almost reminded him of when he was back in Sirothelle "Whats it cost?"
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Just Another Trial At The Office

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23rd Ymiden, 716
She stood up and put the mortar and pestle down, brushing her hands clean as she did so. Standing, the girl was about five foot five tall and so she looked up at Vakhanor even after she had stood. She did not recognise the latest visitor to the shop, but she smiled a friendly smile to him, her expression slightly apologetic. "My apologisies, master, I was performing a task set for me. I am Faith, I am afraid that Jamal, the owner, is not here right now" she said. Should the use of the word 'master' not give it away, her twin slave brands were visible - an old one on her shoulder that seemed to be much the same age as her, and a newer one on her neck that was still a little red and had been given to her, undoubtedly, some time this season.

She, however, gave him a friendly smile and seemed quite content with what she was doing. She picked up the mortar and pestle, putting the lavender under the counter and she tilted her head slightly to one side, listening to what he said. "You keep your will here and wish to change it?" she said, to clarify. "I see. I can help you with that, yes. Would you like to sit down?" she asked, gesturing to the door leading into the small meeting room behind the reception. It was comfortable and plush in there and it allowed them to have the privacy required. "May I offer you a drink?" she asked, holding the door open for him and waiting for him to step through. The room itself had three comfortable armchairs, a low table and a few tasteful decorations. Faith would see to his drink, if he wanted it and then move into the room and kneel on the floor opposite him and to the side slightly, far enough away that she wasn't overbearing or rude, certainly. "May I take your details, please, master, that I might find your paperwork? Your name and date of birth should be sufficient" she said with what could only be described as a chipper smile.
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Just Another Trial At The Office

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The way the girl was willing to call a stranger her 'master' unnerved Vakhanor, causing his stomach to churn. Anxious not to show weakness he glared at her "Don't ever call me master again. My name is Vakhanor," he warned as he carefully ducked beneath the doorways of the small stonework establishment. Decorated to create an air of sophistication, he could not help but notice the luxurious comforts that were laid about the room. Clearly the place had been made to cater to more noble privilege, apt given that Andaris was usually crawling with them.

Awkwardly lowering himself into one of the armchairs, Vakhanor grimaced. He could barely remember the last time he'd sat in an armchair. Maybe due to sleeping on the floor most of his life Vakhanor had never been fond of soft comforts, there was something that unnerved him about them and it made him difficult to relax and he often preferred hard surfaces.

"Vakhanor Baeithar, Arc 682, Saun 26 Born in Andaris, Rynmere. Father Vrein Baelithar and Mother Lissyndra Lisbone," the smith related, bored out of his wits. He hated death and all the paperwork that went with it. Unfortunately with the Bjorn's passing, his current will would be null and void.

With no immediate family he cared for other than a half sister that he had never known aside from the occasional hello, Vakhanor had only one friend left. "Have it written that upon my death that should they wish it, my personal will be split between the woman currently known as Elyna Burhan and Niera Baelithar. Should anybody care I would like to be burned and have my ashes placed in a small grave stone thing next to my mother." Not used to this kind of thing Vakh wasn't really sure how this went, so he was short and to the point. He wanted out.
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She blinked slightly and nodded her head "As you command" she said. He wasn't comfortable with her calling him master, which Faith found to be frankly hypocritical since he'd just barked a command at her. "I mean no offence, it is what I have been instructed to call any free man or woman until ordered otherwise" she explained. This strange thing was something that she was learning since being allowed to meet others. People were uncomfortable with her being a slave, although she did not know why, and they did not like being reminded of it. She looked at Vakhanor as he lowered himself with a grimace into the comfortable chair that she was not allowed to sit on. Perhaps, she thought with a flash of irritation, it was all too comfortable for him. Free man problems, she considered with a slight raise of her eyebrow.

She knelt on the floor opposite him, once she had located the documents of his will and she started to make some notes. "Do you have an address or place of employment for either of those people?" she asked, her voice soft. "And can you confirm that they are both above the age of majority and both free people?" she asked, with a slight smile. That was important. She carefully made notes on what he said, her head bowed.

"We do not have your mother's grave listed, could you tell me her name and where it is, please?" she asked, and then there was, of course, a more difficult question. "And I am sorry to ask this but, should these two people have pre deceased you, or died with you, what would your preference be for your estate then?" she asked. People found this one difficult, she knew, and it was often something that Jamal would take pause for, and do very gently, but this man seemed to be very much the straight-talking say-it-how-it-is kind, so she asked him. She wasn't likely to make him less pissed off at being here, she thought.

It was a strange conundrum for the slave girl kneeling there; as an individual, he was just the kind of person (or seemed to be) that annoyed her because she knew that he was just the kind of person that annoyed Jamal. Those who would ignore slavery, find it uncomfortable and distasteful,but who would do nothing more than that. Jamal had taught her his own feelings on this matter and she had a clear idea of what he would say when she told him about this meeting. But it was important, no matter what, that she did this in the best way possible because otherwise Jamal would be far from pleased
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Vakhanor
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Just Another Trial At The Office

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Steadily watching the woman from the discomfort of the chair, he wondered why she spent such a long time glancing at him rather than working. If she were truly a slave then to have free train of thought was rare and her words were curt, almost as curt as the Aukari had been when he entered Sirothelle. "Don't say something if you don't mean it," he said narrowing his gaze at the shallow apology, sorry was such a shitty and overused sentiment.

A plethora of questions followed, there was so much to consider at once that he blinked at the woman across the table, mirroring her irritation "Mother was called Lissyndra Envati. I am unaware of the residents of both parties other than the Burhan household and the Baelithar household in Sirothelle. Why does it matter what age they are?" he asked looking at her blankly. The king himself was left with a Kingdom at an age too young for him, since when did they get particular about that sort of thing?

Not fond of the idea of having to share details and unaware of many of them, he tried to recall if he knew the ages of both of the women he intended to give his things to and drew a blank. "If they both die they can go to a woman called Nivasi, she lives on a boat no idea what her name is. If not that then how about you have an old man's crap? At least you might have some use of it." Agitated the smith rose from the chair, the discomfort of it was making him feel worse than he already did "Go ahead and write your own name in there too if you want to." Not good at hiding his emotions, there was a cold seriousness in Vakhanor's voice "Before you complain I've nobody else to give it to anyway."
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She blinked slightly and nodded her head "I assure you, I mean and meant everything I say" she said, quietly. "I did not mean any offence, it was not my intention to offend you. I called you what I have been ordered to call each free person until they tell me otherwise. My owner would be very angry were I to disobey him" she explained. She did not mean any offence, in truth the very fact that she had obviously caused him offence would be bad for her later, when Jamal asked her to explain the meeting in detail. There would be consequences to his displeasure, undoubtedly. But, as was always the way, this individual would not see anything.

Her questions further annoyed him, of course, and she did her best to keep up with what he had to say, writing down his answers "Just to further ensure that we are giving the estate to the correct person. Name, age, as many of those details as possible mean that we are less likely to make a mistake. That is the only reason" she wrote down the name 'Nivasi' and boat and she would try to ask him more about that later. But then he said that she should put her name down and Faith looked at him in shock and some surprise. Was he being funny, or trying to torment her? It wouldn't be the first time that a visitor to this place had done that, Yana had worked out a number of ways, after all. But she looked at him and she realised that he seemed to be completely serious.

"I am sorry, but I am not allowed to own anything. It would nullify your will if you knowingly put my name in there, because it is against the law for me to own." she said with a slight and rather nervous smile. Oh, Jamal was going to beat her senseless if she irritated this man any further "I could put that it goes to whoever owns me, if you wish it, or .. well, I don't know what else to do, I'm sorry. " she looked up at him as he paced and she was a mixture of scared of what her owner would do, worried that she had offended this man on a personal level and also, there was one more thing that was very evident. "But without a doubt that is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me, or tried to do. Thank you"

But what he would do now, she wondered. He was obviously uncomfortable and annoyed. If she didn't get this done, Jamal would be beyond irritated. All in all, she thought to herself, she was not being a very good slave to-trial. That would certainly have consequences.
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Life, Death and the In-Between .
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Just Another Trial At The Office

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Faith challenged Vakhanor, the notion of relenting to shackles was strange to him. And in the end he gave in, the smith had not come to the undertaker to pick a fight with its workers. The half-blood had no right to judge the frail young thing that sat before him with innocent, piercing grey eyes. He stared at her thoughtfully, she didn't appear to be upset by her current situation as much as she was concerned about their interaction. Despite his irritation and impatience, the girl remained polite and for some reason, that impressed him."It's okay," he uttered with a small smile, pausing as his eyes found comfort on tthe rug "forgive me for judging you."

Pensive, Vakhanor took a moment to gather his thoughts as he tried to think of who else he gave a damn enough for to give what he had too. The whole idea of a will at all was an odd one, a 'death insurance' almost "Add Ayissi in there, I'll give you my own address," he relented in hopes of making this easier. Vakhanor's temper calmed and he slowly settled back into the unnecessarily cushioned chair in an attempt to be polite. He wasn't generally interested in finely decorated rooms, with elegant drapes or ornate cups... but maybe he could try at least to give the place a compliment for her.

"The uhh...coffins are well made," he muttered, flashing faith a defeated look before shifting around in the chair like a restless child and looked to see if he could see any of the long, finely decorated boxes of wood that were designed for people's corpses. Vakhanor had never been good for people and conversation with people was tough for him "...very box like, in a human kinda way."
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He seemed very changeable, this man who was visiting the shop. One minute he was growling at her and accusing her of not meaning what she said the next he was calm and almost friendly. Faith was wary of such as him, because she had seen them before and those who could (and often did) turn their mood on a copper nell were those who would strike out or even sometimes enjoyed hurting others. This man seemed to be very volatile and changeable, both of which were dangerous things to be around when one was a slave.

She noted everything that he said and she nodded her head. There was enough here to go on she was sure and that might mean that she did not need to risk his ire further. She was about to ask him something else when he complimented the construction of the coffins. Faith glanced back at them and considered, without speaking for a moment. Was he being amusing, or was he that awkward? Either way it did not matter, she nodded her head "Most of our clients are human or roughly human shaped and sized, yes. Thank you, I will be sure to pass your comments on to my owner" that his coffins were very human like or at least in a human kinda way. Faith really wasn't sure how Jamal would react to that, but she thought that at least he would find it endearing.

"I think we have everything we need" she said, with a smile "I will get these written up and sent to you, so that you can see them, approve them and sign them. Is that acceptable?" if it was she would look up at him from her kneeling position and ask, in her usual earnest fashion "Will there be anything else?" she didn't ask if he was so impressed with their coffins that he wanted one, she thought that might be taking amused just a touch too far.

When he was clear that there was nothing else, she showed him out politely and got back on with what she was doing.
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Just Another Trial At The Office

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Name: Faith

Knowledge:
Medicine: Lavender has antiseptic properties
Gardening: The herbal properties of lavender
Gardening: How to use mortar and pestle
Etiquette: It is polite to offer guests refreshments
Vakhanor: Impatient
Vakhanor: Volatile
Vakhanor: Full name is Vakhanor Baeithar
Vakhanor: Born on Saun 26, 682
Vakhanor: Born in Andaris, Rynmere
Vakhanor: His will goes to Elyna Burhan and Niera Baelithar
Vakhanor: If Elyna and Niera die, his will goes to Nivasi or Ayissi
Vakhanor: Would like his ashes to be placed near his mother’s grave when he dies
Vakhanor’s Father: Vrein Baelithar
Vakhanor’s Mother: Lissyndra Envati
Nivasi: Lives on a boat
Rynmere Law: Slaves may not own possessions

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Fame: N/A

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5
- - -
Name: Vakhanor

Knowledge:
Location: Kash'deel Funerary Services
Faith: Works at Kash’deel Funerary Services
Faith: Slave
Faith: Patient
Faith: Polite
Jamal: Owns Kash’deel Funerary Services
Jamal: Faith’s Master
Rynmere Law: Slaves may not own possessions
Intimidation: How to intimidate with a glare

Loot: You’ve updated your will! Please deduct -10gn from your ledger.
Injuries: N/A
Fame: N/A

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5
- - -
Comments: Lovely! I think this thread was wrapped up nicely and at the appropriate point, so well done there. It was clear that its purpose was to give Vakh a chance to update his will and reflect on death, while also introducing him to Faith. I always enjoy Vakh's moodiness, as it keeps me on my toes when I'm reading! Faith's reactions to his volatile temper were also well-considered, which I appreciated. Also, I giggled at the comments about human-sized coffins, specifically when Faith said, "Most of our clients are human or roughly human shaped and sized, yes." Haha!

A quick reminder to closely read what your writing partner has written. Vakh, Faith had written her character standing up to greet Vakhanor when he entered, but your reply had her sitting on the floor crushing lavender. And Faith, Vakh had mentioned his mother’s name in an earlier post, but Faith asked for it again later. Double-checking the details will help with consistency going forward.

Overall, nicely done. I hope these two cross paths again in future!

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Thank you!
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word count: 411
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