• Solo • Subject Cognito

12th of Cylus 721

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Subject Cognito

12th of Cylus 721

Still rather shaken by the previous night's experiences, Diana nevertheless held herself together as she followed the written instructions left for her by Tovan. He hadn't explained his instructions, nor the significance of them, nor what he aimed to gain from her following the directives. She was only given one caveat. If she refused to go along with his directions, their association would be at an end, such as it was. Diana wasn't exactly fond of the man but had experienced firsthand how he could turn her life upside down with a mere few words whispered into the wrong ears. She didn't want to know the worst he was capable of. And so she as a prisoner of his goodwill.

One of her hands was wrapped in a fresh blanket, having acquired an injury the night of the eleventh, somehow. She merely woke up with it, with no idea how it'd gotten there. At the time, Strifa was on hand to treat the wound, and so she did, doting on Diana as the mother hen she'd become for the woman.

Anyway, the instructions on the card were explicit. She was to acquire departure papers from the government of Viden, post haste. Then, upon acquiring the leave of departure, deposit some of her meager savings into the account of the man that was offering her passage to Rharne. What the 'worst' entailed was yet another mystery injected by Tovan. One that set her ill at ease, yet what could she do? She felt a bit helpless with he holding the strings to her fortune.

So, as she arrived at the receptionist, the girl whined at her, to sit and fill out the forms. As she did so, Diana hesitated, which the girl seemed to notice. Then again, the strange Eidisi girl never really took her eyes off of Diana, which blanketed her in another layer of unease. She hesitated particularly over the place of birth, which she couldn't remember. Was it Desnind? A place outside of Desnind? Yes a Village outside of Desnind. That was her best answer. Definitely not a cavern which she'd woken from a long sleep within...

Name: Diana
Race: Human
Place of Birth: A village to the east of Desnind.
Highest Level of Education: Primary, secondary, and planning to pursue a Letter.
Current Employment (or Most Recent): Devil's Advocate (server)

Then, the woman stamped her papers with a green 'Accepted' stamp, sending a wave of relief over Diana. It was explained to her then the process of departure from VIden. It was all rather orderly and well documented. She supposed more influential and affluent members of society had an easier time of exiting the city. There was a definite palpable air of paranoia in Vdien toward those who stayed only a little while. Perhaps that was to be expected, given the Immortal that held dominion over the fortress.

Once she'd signed and handed over the departure papers,she was given a receipt, which would prove to the ferry that she was indeed due for departure, and cleared to leave. This having been done, Diana took her copy of the form, and placing it in her purse began the long walk toward the harbor of Viden.

She wore a black woolen shawl, with several layers of cheap furs around her shoulders. Layers were the watchword for dress in Viden, and given she was now stepping outside its walls, she had even more reason to ward against the cold winds blowing ceaselessly through the Cylus season. She made her way toward the barge that would ferry her out of the bay and off into the Hollow Sea, where there was a sea lane that would take her straight around the bend, giving a wide berth beyond Rynmere, and then onward to Rharne.

It wasn't a long walk to the harbor, and onto the gangplank which brought her aboard the nameless vessel. On deck, she saw scarcely any Eidisi, which put her at ease. Belne would be easy to spot then if he decided he'd be accompanying her. But she didn't seem him in the next few breaks, and she'd stood by the guardrail, watching for his approach as the crew behind her went about its busywork.

She didn't see him board the boat. Thus, she was set at ease and would be the entire trip. She was about to turn away from the guardrail when she heard a voice calling her name. "Diana!"

"Diana!" It was her friend, Strifa's voice. She ran onto the ship, and right after her the crew pulled the gangplank back aboard. THen the barge got underway, cracking through the shore ice and into the bay proper.

"Did you think you'd get away without saying goodbye?"

Diana quirked a brow at her friend and then craned her neck to look at the plank that had been lifted behind her. "I suppose not. Looks like you'll be coming with me?"

Strifa, giving her a confused look, turned around to see that they'd already disembarked. She ran for the gangplank but was too late to make a jump off to the wharf. It would have been ill-advised to do so. Diana sidled up next to her, as she watched, exasperated as the boat made distance into the bay. Diana turned to Strifa, and shrugged, "Guess you didn't know you were taking a trip today, huh?"

Strifa huffed and grumbled, "Diana, why wouldn't you tell me? I had to find out about it from your tall blue boyfriend."

Diana cursed inwardly. Of course, elne would have a hand in this comedy of errors. She wouldn't be surprised if the creep was hiding in a barrel nearby. As if in answer to this idle suspicion, she looked at a few of the crates and barrels that stood nearby.

"What did he tell you?"

A coy smile spread across Strifa's face, as she seemed to realize she finally had something on her friend. Diana was a somewhat private person, at least when it came to the way she lived out of work. She could be as outgoing as any, but she'd lived a solitary life apart from the odd celebration or person invited over for company.

Diana sighed when it became clear that Strifa wouldn't tell her right now. But eventually, the curiosity of the healer would win out over her sense of conceit, at holding information over Diana.

The winds began blowing strongly as they set off on the boat, toward the opening in the bay, the ice having been busted by the crew's efforts. Then, they were on their way to Rharne.

The night that they sailed from Viden, Diana kept Strifa as well as a few of the younger sailors entertained with stories as they passed from the mouth of the bay, and hit the sea lane that would take them eventually to the Eastern Settlements, and then onward to Rharne if all went well.

In between bawdy tales, Diana took some mulled wine from the sailors, who were kind enough to offer it. The warm drink did well to soothe the aches of being out in the cold so often, and she was glad to have it. Plus, the buzz of the wine helped to keep her alert and sharpened her creative streak with her tales.

She told the story about the young man who'd plunged into the waters to impress one of her friends. Mostly just salacious tales that were the kind that Sailors liked to hear, having so little in the way of the satisfactory company being out to sea.

Plus they were glad to have a pair of attractive women among them, all too willing to let them flirt and bring them drinks and tell them tales of Viden. The men, and the ship, they came to find out, were actually from Rharne, which went toward explaining how they came to make the trip to this frozen pockmark on Idalos.

Pockmark was what they called it, but to Diana, for a year it'd been home. She'd found friends here, or so she thought and enjoyed her time, but it was correct for her to be moving on. She couldn't stay lost in the North forever, and something called her back to the South. Something she couldn't quite place.

Anyway, the sailors let them entertain them, as they exchanged their goodwill with wine. Soon enough, however, Diana told her last story to them, as the group began to mill away to slumber in the below decks. Diana, meanwhile, kept company with Strifa, and fell asleep, their appetites satisfied by fresh stew and wine.
word count: 1475
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Re: Subject Cognito


Detection: Noticing a voice in the windy air.
Detection: Watching for a specific person in a crowd of people.
Socialization: Don't leave without saying goodbye.
Socialization: Don't leave friends without notice of where you're going.
Storytelling: Sailors enjoy bawdy tales.
Storytelling: Story preferences vary from one walk of life to another.

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: I have to admit, I was a bit confused by the beginning of the thread. You mentioned the previous night’s experiences, but not what exactly happened. It would have helped if you had provided a brief summary or linked the previous thread, for example.

Anyway, I found the process of departure from Viden very interesting. I never considered that you might have to fill out some sort of paperwork when you leave. You also conveyed Diana’s confusion regarding her past and her place of birth well in my opinion.

When I reviewed one of Diana’s threads in Rharne, I thought that Strifa had accompanied her voluntarily. What I read here, was amusing. I also feel a bit sorry for Strifa though. It doesn’t sound as if she was able to take anything but her clothes with her!

I also like that you described the actual journey and how Diana entertained people with her stories. The thread was a little shorter than 1.500 words, but it was still a nicely written and complete story!

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 252





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