• Closed • Sickly Sweet

Tirta wakes up in the hospital after Paplo brings in to safety.

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Tirta
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Criminal? Spy?! The Etzori clearly had problems if they thought travels were that vindictive. At this very moment, she claimed no allegiance to any faction, individual, or Immortal. She was out for herself and had been since she left Ne'haer. She couldn't recall Etzos being this vile in her first visit, arcs ago. Had things changed in Idalos that much, or had she just been oblivious the first time around? Having him make note of the Sweet Tooth was concerning. The last thing she needed was the government boarding her ship and sniffing around her few belongings. Already they had taken her clothes, necklace, and cutlass, normally the only items she carried on her person. Having them root through the belongings she didn't carry on a daily basis made her feel violated.

"...my lover? Gross. Far from it." Tirta was dragged back from her concerns about her ship. That brute of a teacher in the corner, who was currently letting her get mentally assaulted by these asshats? She wouldn't even think about bedding him this trial. Besides, as a virgin, he seemed a bit old to her. "Yes, he was at the docks hitting on me. I think he made a pathetic kissy face or something. I don't believe he was attacking me, as I only recall three faces before I blacked out. He told me he wasn't there, and I don't recall him being there. That is why he wasn't hurt." Tirta grumbled, starting to lose her grip on her confidence. Why wasn't he helping her right now? Had he lied about being there or did he just want to see her thrown into a cell? She could really use the help right about now! Tirta squired, shying away from the guards against the hospital bed as much as possible, protecting her vulnerable restrained side.

Her confidence had been found again when she had made the previous comments about the arcane. The cup was balanced on the palm of her hand, a smirk firm across her face. What she hadn't expected was the response that Tweedle Dee gave to her. The cup was snatched from her outstretched hand before she could even consider what demonstration she would give. She took the projectile with wide eyes, the watered down juice impacting her face with a splash.

Discredited. That was exactly how she felt right now. Not only had she not been able to give a remarkable demonstration of her power, but she had been slapped in the face by the very element that she had come to hold dear. The liquid dripped from her face onto her clothed breast, dampening the hospital cloth. A majority of the water fell away, but some droplets seemed to defy gravity. The clung to her face in decorative circles, creating tribal markings across her brown and beneath her cheeks. Had she been able to look in the mirror, she would have recognized it as her brand, the mark of a Defier. Other mages might recognize the peculiar behavior of the liquid, while many mortals would have dismissed it as strange. During the assault, Tirta had reached for her Ether, in effort to force the water to stop in mid air. Her Ether collided with a wall just as the water had collided with her face.

Had Hare been right? Had her element forsaken her? Rage dug deep within her and she pulled at the wrist cuff violently, screeching at the guard who had disgraced her and reminded her of her misuse of the trust the element had given her. It was then that a hooded figured joined them. Tirta was pulling at her cuffs, pushing at them with her free hand and foot. "Let me go! I don't want to be here!"

"You seem to be having some difficulty accessing your element."

The statement alone caused her to cease her attempts at freedom. Her shoulder collapsed forward and she covered her face with her free hand. This could not be happening to her. There had been so much power three days ago. Tirta looked into herself towards her spark. She pushed her Ether, seeking to have it react to any element. Nothing responded, and she was met again with the wall. Desperation made her continue to throw her Ether at this wall, even if she made little physical movement. Within her, the fluid mana was confined. Breathing deep, she closed her eyes, searching for a reason that this was happening. No, her element would forgive her with time. This didn't feel right. Again she threw the Ether at the wall, only to have it spun back into her. Wait, what is that? It was a taste, but it was there. Ether beyond the wall, extra untapped power. All she needed was just to grasp it to win her freedom.

"There is no use in lying, if you already know the situations," Tirta mumbled from behind her hand. "I killed that man. I drowned him. He deserved it. Maybe my element is mad at me. I've never felt this before. I feel so alone..." Tirta's voice died off into a pitiful whimper. In this new city, chained to a bed with no friends to claim, water had been her secret ally.

Now even that was gone.
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Paplo had remained quiet during the entire interrogation. There wasn’t any real need for him to intervene, for he preferred to listen. Standing tall, shoulders back, head up and arms back allowed him to be as confident and dominant in his tiny bubble as he could, neutral eyes flying between the guards and the female. The guards had managed to turn her against him in no time, and then humiliated her until the Captain became similar to a crying little girl. Whether he was impressed by the guards’ effectives tactics, or disappointed by the female’s lack of discipline Paplo did not know. Having witnessed to the whole events, his insight would’ve been far more helpful than the females’, yet nobody was really looking for the truth. They were looking to sulk her, and then offer her an exit. Sharing the truth or trying to defend her would only serve to discredit his own word and earn the female’s contempt.

There was another reason why Paplo refused to intervene. There was a shadow on the other side of the door – a sinner. Vuda was a flayer, just like himself, and considering his power within the city, and the multiple times that he had used Paplo like a pawn, the Mortalborn was warry and intimidated. Now, he mentally fought his own Ether Lure, trying to plug the leak as much as he could, never quite managing to achieve it. Two mages were around him, and both could easily lay eyes on him if he was not careful. Were it not for his attempts to portray a moderately normal male, Kovic would’ve attempted to jump the robed man and choke the life out of him for what he did to him. This wild thought returned to him once it was only the three of them in the Ward.

Vuda had been poorly attempted to portray the gleam of hope the female wanted to cling to. His brash confessions of the deeds carried out by the guards discredited his good nature, and he antagonized himself in the eyes of the female. As such, Paplo could be that hope, and the female’s trust and loyalty could prove useful, whilst also doing a service to Vuda and perhaps earning himself the freedom from his own manipulative digits. It was morbidly amusing how the two sinners subtly pulled the strings of a chained girl for their selfish needs.

Paplo’s opportunity to speak came once the female’s words faded into nothingness. Considering the female was confused as to what had happened and deemed herself ‘abandoned’ by her ‘element’, and Vuda claimed his knowledge was limited in this subject, Paplo saw the opportunity to spin a tale nobody could discredit. Tossing horseshit on a subject as apparently freeform as magic had proved to have worked in the past. Noth came to mind as a good example.
“Rifts and quarrels can be fixed, Captain,” said Paplo, as he slowly approached the other side of her bed, trapping her between himself and Vuda. “It can take time and sacrifice, but you can bond with the waters once again. You can find companionship in the waves again, but…”

Dramatic pause. Paplo loved dramatic pauses. He took a moment to ponder on the subjects of elements. Why would somebody choose water? If there were smarter, they would've chosen clouds as their elements. They could ride them and fly far away without problem, and whenever danger came, they could summon lightning and end their enemies. Mages were so incompetent in their choices.

"You’ve killed, Captain. Whether you’ve shattered the bond with the waves matters not, for you’ve shattered the bond with the law. Multiple manslaughter at the Bay, attempting to batter the Officers that interrogated you… This city is at war. Foster’s Bay is restless enough already with the threats from the south, or with recent tales of ravenous creatures stalking the night.” Another dramatic pause.
“Two of those men had families. Those families weren’t there to see whatever those males attempted against you. They only know their fathers, husbands or brothers are dead.” They didn’t really have families, at least not that Paplo knew. He hadn’t really looked into it, either, but the petty lie served to enhance his argument.
“Etzos is a landlocked city, Captain. The roar of the tides cannot be heard from its walls. It is doubtful one could seek the forgiveness of the waves from afar, and unless a different solution is found, I fear the only waves that await you are those of chains and fabrics. Hopefully, it won't have to come to that, and I'll do anything in my hand to avoid such an outcome. Nonetheless, it is time to take responsibility for one’s actions.”

Paplo glanced towards Vuda. He had made sure to not even acknowledge him, nor include words like ‘we’ or ‘us’ in his speech, for he did not want to be related to the robed man in any way. Nonetheless, he had paved the way for his proposition to come forth.
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Chief Adviser Vuda made a supreme effort not to fall into a rage.

What did this buffoon, Ynush, think he was doing stepping in like that? He was not a negotiator! He was a tool! His purpose was to be a threat and a horror, whose presence was to give Vuda a position of strength from which TO negotiate.

In the long run however, he was glad that he had not snapped at the afflicted man. He did not know if this minion had any idea of what Vuda intended, but his words fit well into the scheme. He even found himself nodding in agreement as his goon finished up his spiel.

He did however, at that moment, wave him subtly to silence. Later, he would take him aside and let him know that he'd gotten lucky with his words this time, but never to risk his master's plots again with his unsolicited input.

At the core of his annoyance was the fact that he now had to speak in support of his man. It seemed inevitable that this would seem to Mr. Ynush like permission to trot out more of his drivel before Vuda could secure his ends. He could only hope the girl was as desperate as she seemed.

He pasted his most compassionate and benevolent smile across his hooded face, adding a touch of sympathetic grief to his voice, tempering it with what he hoped was just the right blend of optimism. He reached into his pocket, finding the ring he'd placed there when he first heard of the young woman being brought in. He knew he could resort to threats of her ship's impounding or outright destruction, on top of possible sentencing for murder.

But that would gain him nothing. He'd have to work the system to prevent exile from being the sentence. That was not the concern it used to be though. With Marshall Parhn's decision to populate the wilds with new walled towns, exile was no longer any real punishment. Even if word was sent to these partially constructed villages that she was not to be succored, there would always be someone that clung to compassion in favor of loyalty. They would adapt some false identity for the "poor girl" and hide her quite effectively from discovery.

He shucked these concerns into a remote corner of his mind as he gently patted the girl's shoulder. "My dear. I wish I could tell you that what Mr. Ynush here says is false; at least where the law is concerned. I'm afraid there will truly be little focus on your version of events. With three dead, you will be greatly outnumbered as far as depositions are concerned. And I think we can assume that the families of the slain will be sure that their accounts are as innocent as they are consistent. There is one thing I can do though."

He pulled out the ring, letting it slip around in his hands to be noticed while seeming to be in no hurry to reveal it. "Rather than trying to prove you innocent of what they will present as a case of murder, we can make you into someone else, and the accusation can be placed upon one of the criminals we have imprisoned below, already awaiting execution."

He did not wait to see if the girl looked interested in his words yet. He knew that the inexplicable loss of her contact with her element was her chief concern, not the charges. Chances were, if she thought she would never again touch water, she would not care if she died. He knew that HE would feel that way if such a thing were to happen to him.

Again he turned his most kindly look to her. "Understand child, we are not talking about 'framing' an 'innocent' person. The one I'm talking about is a vicious killer, who is already slated for execution. He truly IS a murderer, not an innocent caught up in a trumped-up rap, by relatives blinded to the character flaws of their blood kin." he let his voice carry just a bit of anger at the injustice of such a thing, then returned to his understanding tone.

"He has nothing to lose, and I will get his accord easily enough with a promise of a compensatory stipend to his family. This is nothing new, believe me." he turned a shrewd look to what he assumed would be a question written on Tirta's face. "Now you are undoubtedly noticing I refer to 'him' and 'he', and clearly you are not a man." It took a surprising effort not to let his glance flow over the woman's enticing features. "But there is a solution to this, and I am not speaking of any illusions. They can not be trusted when a family member might come right up to the accused for a close examination. I am speaking of a Becomer. This man will actually alter the structure of his body to take on your characteristics. And, yes I mean that even a full, frontal, nude, body cavity examination will reveal your exact body. it truly IS your body, its very pattern of structure taken directly from the source...you!"

Now he got a somewhat pained expression. "There is a drawback however, I must admit. The man will need what's called a 'token'...no...wait...oh yes, a 'totem'! And this means he needs a sample of blood, bone and hair from you." he let that sink in, for a moment. "Fortunately, skin will work as the hair element. But still what this means is that we will need to...remove...a finger, even just a knuckle's worth. I assume your little finger would be the one you'd be most willing to part with. Please my dear, I know this sounds rather dreadful, but trust me, a life in prison is much, much worse. And we have pain potions to make the operation easy."

Then, seemingly as an afterthough, he added, "Oh and by the way..." he casually opened his hand to reveal the ring, "I have this ring that should restore your contact with your element. But...well...obviously, I'm not going to orient it with a woman who is going to spend her life in jail, an hundred miles from the nearest water. I'm afraid it's both or nothing."

Naturally, he did not mention that there was one additional affect the ring had imbued into it: an enchantment of obedience that would create a great impulse to do his bidding without question. It was of the same type that he'd schemed for arcs to have placed into High Marshall Parhn's armor.
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She kept her face buried in her free hand as Paplo suggested salvaging her bond with water. Could it really be done? Could she be forgiven for manipulating the waves in such an aggressive, vengeful way? The flicker of hope was quickly dashed when he started speaking again. So what if she had killed? Pirate killed all the time and got away with it without the law ever knowing. Her heart sunk with that statement. The thing was, she had been caught. There was no denying her crimes - she had already confessed to them after all. At least, she had confessed to one death. Tirta could not even begin to recall how she killed the other two men.

Family. These men had had families. If Tirta had been sick to her stomach before, she might have vomited at the thought. Children were left fatherless, wives without someone to warm their bed. All because she had murdered them with magic. Tirta gulped, tears forming behind her now clenched eyelids. A tingling grew from behind her nose, threatening to push past her eyelids in the form of salty tears. There was no way that she would be able to repair her bond with the water if she was trapped behind stone and iron bars. Without the water, she felt like she would go crazy. She would hang herself if that happened.

There was enough silence for the tears to well up and through her clenched eyelids. The one hand only covered her face enough to prevent them from seeing one eye. Her face was bright red, unable to choke back the sob. How had this all happened? Last season, she had been walking the streets of Scalvoris with a gentle mercenary alongside her. They had shared many stories on the ocean. Now, she was chained to a hospital bed with no hope of salvation.

There is one thing I can do though.

Curiosity pulled her up and she lifted her distressed face to look at Vuda. Paplo had not offered to help her yet, but Vuda was about to make her an offer she would not be able to refuse. He explained, in a painfully slow fashion, his plan. She grew weary half way through. How would she be able to pin her crimes on a man. Becoming. As a mage, she had only heard of it as another domain to the arcane. The ability to manipulate ones form with ether; however, she never knew it required a totem. Gullible and naive, she stared down at her pinky finger. It sounded painful, but freedom without purpose was not even worth that. There would not be a life in prison. There would be freedom with access to her element or no life at all. That much, she had already decided.

He captured her attention at the end, holding the ring towards her. Naturally she reached for it, already to enthralled at the possibility that she would be forgiven by her element by putting it on. It was out of reach, even if she tried to reach for it and strain against her restraints. As if realizing just how desperate she looked, Tirta pulled her hand back against her chest, chewing on her lip.

“Allow me to summarize what has been offered. You want to pin my crimes on a mage sentenced to death. This mage practices Becoming, and will transform into me and take on my sins with my face. To do that, he needs one of my fingers so that he has flesh and bone to create this ‘totem’. Once he is me, he is executed and I am set free with that ring so that I might be favored once more by the water element. Do I understand correctly?”

A smart girl, unblinded by personal gain and fear of having all that she knew ripped out from under her might have asked what was to be given in return. What did Vuda want from her in exchange for this ring and her freedom? How on earth was he to explain the crimes that the man was slated to repent for with his death when he didn’t show up for his execution? If she was ‘executed,’ how would she be allowed to walk the streets as herself? She did not know Becoming and did not know someone interested in initiating her. Tirta would not be able to walk freely through the streets without being labeled as a murderer. A smart woman would have thought about all of these and questioned Vuda’s motives; however, Tirta was not a smart woman at the moment.

Her focus was fixated on the ring. It was precious to her now. She not only needed it to survive, she wanted it. Blood shot eyes glittered at the thought of connecting with water again. She flitted her gaze from the ring to Vuda to Paplo and back again. The men were clearly trying to help her, even if Vuda was doing all the heavy lifting while Paplo simply stated the facts.

“I suppose I’ll need somewhere to stay while I am hiding," A side glance was given to Paplo. He was a potential friend, or as close as she was going to get to one right now. "If everything can be arranged so that I have my freedom and my elemental connection back, I will give you my finger. Sentence this man to take my place, I care not,” Tirta hissed, holding out her hand expectantly to Vuda. “I’ll do it. Please, just give me the ring.”
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As imagined, Vuda followed after Paplo’s gist. The possibilities of being humiliated before the female was growing dimmer, instead the situation driving her closer to him. It seemed the pressure laid on her had been topped by an impending voluntary amputation, which clearly spoke of how distressed the female must feel by now. Unaware of ‘Becoming’, Paplo made sure to remember every detail about it. Furthermore, he noted how unfit the arcane minds were for life without their discipline, plans and ploys being crafted within his mind to utilize his Ether Lure for his own benefit.

Paplo remained near the female, not being so bold as to offer any compassionate physical contact, yet nonetheless offering a small kind smile towards the female, trying to comfort her with as little as he could offer.

“If you desire, and if this situation is resolved, I would gladly offer my humble accommodations for as long as you require.” Pause. Paplo glanced towards Vuda. “I would also offer citizenship education to better adapt to the Etzori lifestyle. I can’t say the Outer Perimeter is the best place to educate oneself, but considering I’m not allowed to take residence within the walls, I suppose it can work.”

Another glance towards Vuda. Paplo hoped he too had benefits for bringing the female in, other than being released from Vuda’s service. There wasn’t much more to say, for the decision had already been made, at least within the mind. The female was desperate to accept anything, and Vuda would make sure she was well in debt towards him. The situation had unfolded in Paplo’s favor, of course, for his full involvement remained a hidden fact, and so his rewards were greater than the risk taken. Hopefully, he could further increase them.

“However,” spoke Paplo at last, trying to finish what Vuda had not. Taking the words from him would be amusing, especially now that his mouth had be kept shut. “The ring and the absolution from your crimes have a price, Captain. Benevolence and kindness may be free, yet time, resources and wealth spent in your favor must be repaid. This ploy we now dwell in does not come without a price, even if your wellbeing is an utmost priority. Service must be lent in return.”

Another glance towards Vuda. Was he going to interrupt him, or should Paplo play the villain in this negotiation?

“You see, Etzos is at war. The drums of battle loom closer every day, for the pestilence of Rhakros is slowly spreading across Etzori soil. Personally, I fear what could happen if we were to turn a blind eye towards the south. However, the powers you wield, Captain, can be rather useful for the defense and safekeeping of our populace, don’t you think? Your bond with the waters could be given a noble purpose, not only that of the defense of our borders, but also personal gain by developing said bond between user and element.”

“As I’ve said, I represent no other party than myself. However, as an objective witnesses to the incoming resolution of our legal situation, I would suggest you volunteer your abilities for the greater good, be it in terms of military service, social labor, or, at the very least, the donation of relevant information about your arcane discipline whilst you restore and strengthen the bond with the waters. I am certain someone, somewhere, could use someone as skilled and kind-hearted as yourself.”

Kind-hearted was not an appropriate word, a detail Paplo realized too late. Considering this woman was currently blamed for a triple homicide, Paplo’s remark could be interpreted either as ill-delivered jest, sarcasm, or, worst of all, an unvoiced antagonistic behavior towards the female.

“Whatever it is you choose, I will support you, Captain. Fortune has not been kind to you these last few trials.”

Would Vuda press, or would he desist? Whatever the robed man chose to do, Paplo would certainly enjoy having a small talk with him afterwards, in which he planned on discussing the various rewards he expected in return. Grandiose meals, obedient servants, and a luxurious residence free of charge is what he would demand.
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It was unbelievable! This nobody, this oddball, this underling, this minion would not shut up! It was like children he'd seen that somehow got it into their heads that adults wanted to hear them prattle on endlessly about some favorite...toy!

Vuda took a deep breath every time the idiot stopped, ready to once again bring the topic back to the positive side of what they were offering her, when the fool would start up again, suggesting dangers and obligations, of both financial and military aspect. And he had to curb his anger to be sure he did not put the young woman off with some display of rage at someone she had undoubtedly assumed to be an aide or something. If he was seen to be harsh to his servants, she would certainly have cause to assume he would be abusive to someone of lesser status....like herself.

He turned his face away from the woman to glare at Paplo. His anger flared along with an odd rush of ether access. He did not yet make the connection that, thus far, he'd only experienced it in the presence of Mr. Ynush. It took restraint not to indulge in what seemed like an excess of ether, as Vuda settled for simply replicating and condensing the air in a band that wrapped suddenly around Paplo's face, in a vertical fashion, to clench the peculiar man's jaw shut.

His glare altered to take on an angry questioning look, which he directed to Paplo to inquire if he understood that he was to remain quiet for the remainder of this interaction. His stomach growled as if in empathy with his mood, and he realized he was suddenly quite hungry.

But that could wait. Finding himself feeling quite satisfied with his handling of Mr. Ynush, he offered the girl the ring, reveling in how easily she had accepted the death of a stranger to restore her spark connection. It suggested that she would not have an excess of hesitance to take orders that might cause those with a inconvenient focus on honor to refuse those orders from time to time. That would be a useful trait for an underling. 'As long as she is not as insufferably gabby as this Ynush character.' he thought ungraciously.

As the Captain slid the ring over her knuckles, Vuda released the hold on her ether flow, allowing her access to her element again. He honestly did not know if her element actually HAD rejected her, but he doubted it. The one thing he DID know was that he'd not gone to the extra expense of having the empathy weave concealed, once it was triggered. He did so now with a flow of his ether, and an immediate vulnerability to his mental influence would immediately be detected by the woman. The girl would now realize the nature of the bargain she'd entered into.

Vuda stood back, smiling knowingly, allowing her to have the one angry outburst he would grant her, if she chose to indulge herself. When she finished, he assured her he would provide her accommodations in town, or allow her residence back on her vessel at Foster's Landing, if she preferred. "I am fully capable of sending you messages there quite quickly when I need to. There's no need for you to..."shack up" with Mr. Ynush here. But don't try to leave the Landing without my approval, Captain. Don't go trying to sail away."

He suddenly had an inspiration, "On second thought, feel free to try." His voice took on a strange timbre and a cruel smile hardened his face, his eyes sparkling coldly. "I give you permission to make the effort, but NOT permission to leave. I'll send Mr. Ynush with you, so he can see the level of power arrayed against him. Perhaps he will learn to shut his mouth, when I have not asked for his input!"

With that, he released the replicative hold on the air concentrated around Paplo's head and unlocked Tirta's manacles. Now his voice was all business. "I am not intent on treating you, either of you, as slaves! Do not insult me with such notions. You are employees, nothing more, nothing less. At this time, Captain, the only job I have for you is to make this honest effort to leave my little sphere of influence. There is no hurry, but I suppose you feel like jumping on the opportunity at first light. Do as you wish, but I forbid you to actually leave, and in fact I will want you back once you are convinced. There is work to be done and there needs to be no doubt in your mind where you stand."

Now his features softened and he paced briefly, "Understand Captain, my alliance is beneficial when handled graciously. But I have had enough experience with the treacheries of men to feel compelled to hedge mine with such elements as that ring. I admit, it is difficult to believe in loyalty when your cooperation has to be forced. But there will come a time when I take that ring off. You, however, I forbid to do so. You may notice that Mr. Ynush does not wear anything similar. All that means to you is that my hold over him is of a different type."
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Well, at least she had a home with Paplo if necessary. The education was a nice little addition, especially since she knew very little about the city. She kept her hand extended as Paplo continued. He had been thinking about the things she should have been thinking about. Service. So she had just become a mercenary instead of a pirate. If it meant having her magic back, then it was worth every bead of sweat she would drop in repaying this debt. Paplo didn't understand. He wasn't a mage. Having everything taken from him left one broken and void. Tirta would do whatever was needed to get it back. His suggestion to repay her service to the government was a good one, but now was not the time. Once she got the ring and was free of these bonds, she could go back to being herself. Which meant, being a pirate.

Tirta rotated her hand as Vuda moved to put it on her finger. Although she was not marrying him, she couldn't help but relate the situation to the occasion. She had always wanted to wed someone nice. The further she got into the arcane, the harder it was for her to lead a normal life. Now she had a criminal record that included three homicides. Well, it could have been worse. Could have been four homicides.

Once the ring was securely on her finger, she pulled it back to look at it. It was a silver ring designed as if they were chain links. The gemstones set within them were the color of the ocean. Fascinated, she felt the wall lift as she focused on the ring. Clearly, it seemed to be working. While she focused on it, she felt something creep up towards her mind from the ring. It felt like a shadow hand wrapping itself around her shoulder like it would steer her in the appropriate direction. “There is risk with everything, isn't there Vuda?” Tirta hissed, narrowing her eyes upon the man. It seems that he was just as much of a sly dog as she was.

Part of her wanted throw something at him, but at this point, the deal had been made. Besides, it had to have a range right? Once she was far enough away from him, it would have no control over her. That seemed a reasonable speculation. She let out a heated breath, rolling her shoulders. His reference to her attempting to leave was unneeded. She did not need permission to try and escape, that much was certain. His aggression towards Mr. Ynush was a little more unnexpected. Weren't they friends? Tirta looked between the two of them as her manacles were released. Maybe her interpretation of the situation was incorrect. She rubbed her ankles first as Vuda finished his spiel. Both her previously bound limbs would have bruises at that location from the strain she had put on them trying to get away.

"I will get away sir. That much is certain. This ring may make suggestions to me, but my magic is far more powerful than a little suggestion. If, and only if, I find that you have more power than me after my attempts at escape, I will come before you as a humble employee. You'll have your hands plenty full at that time."

Tirta hopped off the bed, stretching her back and her legs in the hospital gown. The next mission was to find her clothes and get out of this forsaken place. All she had to do was get back to her boat and get away. Once she had established herself as a standing, free woman, she moved around the bed to Paplo's side. Quietly she shoved an arm into the crook of his elbow and began to pull him towards the door. "Come on. We have a test to ace. But first, I need to find my clothes."
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Paplo’s eyes no longer attempted to make psychological suggestions to neither man nor woman. Danger for his cover was null, and his social position with those around him was certain. The act was unnecessary, and so his efforts were limited to witnessing the conversation. There were many ways in which he could intervene, to gain the favor of one or the other, to leverage positions or negotiate terms, yet it was unnecessary. Instead, of all those options, Paplo had taken the less subtle one, which involved staring towards Vuda with complete apathy to the situation.

The Mortalborn did not mind being muzzled. Vuda could fondle him with his cane for all he cared, and he wouldn’t say a word. What he did mind was the little past being built between Vuda and him; cages, chains, leashes and knowledge, all around the monster within, were issues Paplo had to repair sooner rather than later. The notion of buying his silence or managing to slip away in good graces was completely discarded now, for the male’s puny pride and desires of domination not only escaped his actions but also his words. He had already killed to prove a point, used the lives of others for his own benefit, and forced his way into a position of leverage.

Now, he was indeed trying to distance the Mortalborn from himself before the female’s eyes. Unwise, but appreciated nonetheless, for Paplo’s eyes were slowly peeling their way into the psyche - at least, in a very abstract way for the time being. There was a lot of information he could sniff being exchanged between man and woman, yet he couldn’t quite bite into it. Ring? Influence? The woman would provide answers whenever they were alone. One notion was certain, however; Vuda craved control and domination. Perhaps the teacher could slip into his bed and deal with him then. It would certainly be so much easier.

Paplo remained quiet. Much like a soldier, he had no intention of speaking least he was spoken to. The sudden change to a socially submissive stance was greatly appreciated, for his mind was freed quite neatly. Quiet, aloof, and obedient was so much easier. It requried less effort, more opportunity of learning, and less opportunity of provoking Vuda. Perhaps the most violent detail of it all was that Vuda was desperately craving to make an enemy out of the Mortalborn. Paplo hated enemies, for they made him feel unsafe, and thus what little lived inside him sulked in negativity.

It seemed as if the conversation was coming to an end, and soon the female’s early and unjust imprisonment came to an end. Paplo had gained nothing physical, except some brief pieces of knowledge needed to weave the next step.
“Your clothes should be in the storage room,” said Paplo at last, once the female attempted to drag him away. “To the left, three rooms down the hall. I’ll show you…” Paplo looked over his shoulder. “Am I dismissed, employer?”

Paplo would temporary slip away from the female’s grasp if he was needed. Otherwise, he’d quietly accompany her, listen to her and comfort her any way she craved in order to win her friendship.
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Vuda let them both go without a word. She dragged her companion out of the room, the scant gown she had been given barely covered her backside as she hurried them out. Her bare feet slapped the cold floor. Tirta desperately needed her clothes and get out of there. She followed Paplo's directions, stepping into the room. Of course, she prevented him from joining her. "Stay there. I'm going to get changed. Then we will head for my boat."

She practically slammed the door shut behind her, leaving Paplo on the outside. Exhausted, she slipped down the door into a sitting position. This day had been full of twists and turns. She idly fingered the ring, the chain shaped ring reminding her of the ordeal she had just gone for. She moved to take it off, but her fingers only managed to levitate over the metal. Tirta could not bring herself to do anything more. With a sigh, she gave up.

A noise startled her to look up. Two men stood before her. One leaned against the wall, watching the other man that was dressed as a doctor. The doctor smiled, offering her a hand. "Vuda predicted you would come here after you made the deal. Please, miss. I believe you have some thing to give to me as part of the deal you made with our employer."

"What?" Tirta questioned, her voice weak as she paled. She rejected his hand, standing up on her own. Paplo was just behind the door. She could attempt to run, but for some reason, she had no strength for that.

"Come here. It will be quick. I just have to disarticulate your pinky. It will hurt, but you will be free afterwards. We'll get you a bandage and send you on your way. Come now."

"But," Tirta began. Before she could finish, the other man grabbed the wrist of her left hand, pulling her towards the table. He extended it over the table so that she was bent and stretched over the table. Tirta squeaked, but she was still too weak to do much else. Even with the ring, she could tell there was no water nearby to help her. The man grunted, as if giving the surgeon permission.

"Hold still. Like I said, this is going to hurt."

Her screams were the only thing that anyone heard marking the completion of the deal.
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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


TIRTA:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +5
  • Structure: +5

These points can NOT be used for magic

Knowledges:

  • Acting: Pretending Not to Remember Events
  • Deception: Accusing the Accusers
  • Defiance: Attack Should Not Have Caused Overstepping
  • Defiance: Overstepping Will Affect Dreams
  • Detection: You Can't Take The Ring Off
  • Detection: Vuda's Will is Empowered by The Ring
  • Etiquette: Make Friends for Legal Support
  • Interrogation: The "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Routine
  • Interrogation: Rapid-Fire Questions
  • Interrogation: Your Own Element Used Against You
  • Intimidation: Threatening With Magic
  • Karnos Vuda: Does Not Disclose The Nature of His Power
  • Karnos Vuda: Claimed to Restore Your Elemental Power
  • Karnos Vuda: Saved You From Prosecution
  • Logistics: What it Will Take to Stay Hidden in Etzos
  • Meditation: Inwardly Listing Your Excuses to be Distrustful
  • NPC: Karnos Vuda: A Power in Etzos
  • Paplo Ynush: Brought You to Etzos' Hospital
  • Paplo Ynush: Hiding Something
  • Paplo Ynush: Jokes at Your Expense
  • Paplo Ynush: Strangely Upbeat When Insulted
  • Politics: Magic Not Publicly Allowed in Etzos
  • Politics: Showing Tolerance for Magic = An Agenda
  • Politics: Showing Tolerance for Insults = An Agenda
  • Psychology: Acknowledging Distrustful Tendencies

Loot:

Ring that gives Vuda much control over you


Loss:

A large measure of your free will


Injuries:

Nothing to speak of


Fame: -9

Though this deal took place privately, you were still indicted for three murders.


Devotion:

Piss on the gods!


Comments:

I love this whole chain of threads.
It has great attention to detail, even when it is all done beforehand with PMs :lol:
I am absolutely delighted to have players that truly allow me to mess with them!
PM me with any comments or concerns :)

___________________________________________________________

KOVIC:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +5
  • Structure: +5

These points can NOT be used for magic

Knowledges:

  • Acting: A Ready Acceptance of a Manipulated Apology
  • Acting: Heaping on the Sympathy to Seem Friendly
  • Acting: Playing the Lawyer
  • Acting: Playing the Thankless Hero
  • Deception: Claiming to Have no Boss or Agenda
  • Deception: Distorting the Version of Events
  • Detection: The Sanitarium Never Sleeps
  • Ether Lure: Difficult to Shut Down Completely
  • Etiquette: Charm the Staff Members
  • Interrogation: Laying the Guilt on Tirta
  • Interrogation: The "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Routine
  • Interrogation: Rapid-Fire Questions
  • Leadership: Stepping in on Vuda's Routine
  • Meditation: Arithmetic is Confusing
  • Politics: Mage Patients Get a Room to Themselves
  • Psychology: Maintaining Exceptional "Good Cheer"
  • Research: Studying Mages' Attitudes and Mannerisms
  • Tirta: A Water Defiant
  • Tirta: Loves Her Ship
  • Vuda: Craves Control
  • Vuda: Does Not Appreciate Others' Input
  • Vuda: A Mage of Some Kind

Loot:

Prizes and more prizes


Loss:

Nothing to speak of


Injuries:

Nothing to speak of


Fame: -5

I'm simply going on the fact that the guards realize that you were allowed to remain when Vuda made them leave.
This would get around.


Devotion:

Lisirra is your mother, but I don't hear any particular pride in that fact. :lol:


Comments:

Pretty much everything I said in Tirta's comments. You guys are great, I love you both!
Occasional word slips from you both, but nothing disruptive to the flow of this most excellent series of threads. :D
PM me with any comments or concerns :)
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