• Closed • Self fullfilling prophecy

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Faith Augustin Champion
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There was something wrong with her, she had decided. Twenty arcs, or maybe less she wasn't sure, as a slave had broken her. She had no ability to do this and she was so frustrated with herself she thought she might cry. She knew what she had come shopping for, what she wanted to buy, but she had not yet found it. Of course, what she was coming to realise was that this was because nowhere sold it. Faith wanted to find her style of clothing. Not what Jamal dressed her in, or Tristan dressed her in. Not even what she made because it was all that she knew ~ she wanted to find things that were hers, which she could draw inspiration from and make and look beautiful in.

She had told Padraig that she wanted to do some shopping that trial, for clothes and he had hidden his relief not at all when she'd given him an out and said that didn't really want him to be involved in the choosing, so much as the appreciating. Frankly, she could have told him almost anything and as long as it started with 'you don't need to come because,' he'd have been happy. More than happy.

Leaving their shared room at the Order of the Adunih that morning, Faith had felt excited. She was going to go and buy make up, clothes, underwear and nightwear that were just hers. She was ready, she had been free long enough and she was able now to make those decisions.

Five shops later and all she was ready to do was go back to the order, don a sack and never leave there again.

She did this for a living, for Famula's sake. Women came into the seamstress' where she worked and she listened to them, looked at them and she helped them look in the mirror and feel beautiful. So why could she not do it for herself? She had thought about what she liked and didn't like, and she tried it on. It made her look short and dumpy or, at its worst, roughly resembling twin toddlers fighting in a pillowcase. She looked awful.

Faith had come to the conclusion that, whilst she could do this for others, she could not do it for herself and she had exited the last shop with a look of pure frustration on her face. She stepped out and there, right in front of her was a woman that she recognised. For all that the frown of frustration had marred her face mere trills before, Faith's immediate response upon seeing Kura was to smile a broad smile.

"Kura! It is nice to see you again. How are you?" She nodded to Cally and smiled, not wanting to appear like a lunatic in the streets, Famula knew she'd just done it in that shop, but not wanting to ignore the girl either. "Are you shopping?" Faith was not a talkative woman, normally and she was very private. But there this simple truth with Kura and that was that she was one of the few people who knew Faith as Jamal's property. Who knew what Faith had been and who understood that it was only a half-arc before. The young ex-slave was completely overwhelmed and it showed.

"How do you know what looks good?" Faith asked, with a sigh. "I have been here three breaks now, I think, and I have bought nothing. I look a mess in everything I try and everything they suggest makes me look like a harlot. Then there is make up and I have no idea... yet I do this for other people all the time. I don't know how to dress like a free woman and not one of them will tell me."

And oh yes.... she'd asked.

It had gone downhill from there. So she looked at Kura and sighed, shaking her head. "I am sorry. I am frustrated with myself. How are you?"
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 688
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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Cally was driving Kura to absolute distraction. It wasn't that the ghost of her former servant was doing anything in particular, but the fact that she was there, even if Kura couldn't see her, wasn't something Kura could shake from her mind. She even found that she had slipped back into her old habit of constantly glancing over her left shoulder where Cally was. After a while, she had decided to take the day off, as she didn't have any jobs at this time anyway, and spend it shopping.

She had donned the fur-lined black dress she hadn't yet had the chance to wear in Rharne, plus the gloves and cloak of the same material, before she slipped on her shoes and went out into Rharne. Phelan and Speck had opted against Kura's daylight excursion and now slept peacefully on her bed, meaning that it wasn't likely that anyone who didn't know her personally would recognize her as a mercenary.

As luck would have it, Kura did run into someone who recognized her. Clad in a white that was a perfect counter to Kura's shadowy ensemble, Faith greeted Kura and Cally both. Cally, for her part, smiled warmly at Kura before she returned to her now habitual pastime of watching the people around her. "I'm doing fairly well. Work's been down, which is both a blessing and a curse for a mercenary." she said, laughing slightly before she nodded at Faith's second question.

When Faith broke out into a flow of words, Kura listened in silence before she smiled at Faith. "Come on, lass. Follow me and I'll take you to the shop I was headin' too." she said, motioning for Faith to join her as they headed further up the mountain. "Your problem is that you don't have much experience choosin' for yourself yet, lass. You're accustomed to lookin' how others want you to look, yeah? On top of that, most people what own slaves aren't usually inclined to spend much money on them." she said, her tone angry during her last sentence. Cally laughed and turned away from the others in the street to address Faith.

"I was the same way as you when she took me in. Worse, really. I didn't understand the function of clothes. Took her forever to make me understand that I could choose what I liked, within reason. Helps that she views owning a slave as something that has as many responsibilities as privileges. She'd have made sure we had food first before she fed herself if it came to that. Fortunately, it never would have. Not with her being who, and what, she is. Broken soul and all." she said, her tone wistful before she went back to her people-watching.

Kura had taken a moment to get herself back under control before she spoke again. "So, it seems to me that it'll help a bit if we go lookin' in places that are a bit more...elegant than what you would have experienced before." she said cheerfuly as they kept moving farther up the mountain. "And there's this lovely place in the Glass Quarter called Sarah's Silks, I popped in a few trials before we met. A very helpful bunch in there, and I'm thinkin' they may be just the sort to help you with your fashion conundrum, lass."
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Faith Augustin Champion
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Faith was genuinely pleased to see Kura, all shopping trips aside, and Cally too. She had been utterly amazed to discover that the woman she had dreamed about was an actual person and, more than that, she was an actual person that Faith actually liked and got on with. Straight talking, genuinely concerned and a good person but with a sense of humour, too. So, she was even more embarrassed at what she perceived as her own outburst.

She knew that Kura was correct, her issue was that she didn't have experience at choosing things for herself. The smile she wore was ironic in the extreme. "Back home, one of my two jobs is seamstress. I make things for people to help them look beautiful and, if I do say it, I'm not bad at it." Faith shrugged slightly and nodded. "Jamal... well you saw how he dressed me. Tristan was different though. To him, buying a slave was a.. well, it was something that he showed off and so he dressed me in the latest fashions. Which was.... well, Padraig finds it as offensive as what Jamal made me wear. He and I got lost in the woods, once, when we were out collecting herbs. I nearly froze and the high heel shoes did not help." Faith shrugged slightly, looking at Kura with a slightly conflicted look. "Tristan was kinder to me than anyone who ever owned me. Padraig would tell you that he kept me like a prize hound and used me for his own desires and wishes without concern for mine, but he's probably a bit biased." She didn't like disagreeing with Padraig, but she had her own opinion and that was no bad thing at all. Besides, there were many good qualities about Tristan which Padraig simply did not, could not or would not see. Faith understood it, as she understood Tristan's attitude to Padraig but really, she was quite glad that there was a lot of water separating the two of them.

She smiled at Cally and nodded her head. "I bet she would." Faith had no doubts there, that Kura would feed others before herself, she seemed that sort. But Sarah's Silks? Faith grinned and nodded. "I've been there, I should have thought to go there today. Padraig and I went there when we were investigating the Strangler. There was a man there who flirted with me and a stunning red dress. I think he did the flirting because he wanted me to buy the dress. That is a very good idea. Would you help me?" Faith didn't like to ask but she knew that she needed it and she knew that, unlike all the people in the shops so far, Kura understood what the actual problem was.
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 479
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When Faith said she a seamstress, Kura looked over at her and grinned slightly. "You ever hear about the cobbler's children, lass? Could be your job is actually part of your problem." she said, her tone a little amused before Faith went on to describe the differences between Jamal and Tristan. "I didn't know Tristan, but he doesn't sound like a bad sort, exactly. If I had to guess, he probably didn't mean anythin' wrong towards you. As for Padraig, it can be difficult for people from one mindset to understand those from another. And in some cases, they might not be willin' too." she said, her tone calm.

She didn't react as Faith spoke to Cally, as she was only hearing half of that conversation. Cally, meanwhile grinned, but didn't say anything. When Faith mentioned the Strangler, however, stopped in surprise, then turned to face Faith a stunned look. "You went after the Strangler, lass? You and Padraig were the ones what caught that blackguard then?" she said, before she grinned widely and laughed. "I'm glad the two of you weren't hurt. I was after that one myself, but I couldn't lay eyes or nose on his trail, but I suppose his victims were able to help you track that one down?" she said cheerfully as they started walking.

By this point, they were in the Glass Quarter and Kura led the way to Sarah's Silks. "Aye, I'll help you get yourself some clothes you like. Though one day, I might be asking you to make me some garments as well." she said, her tone happy before she opened the door. Dafari greeted them pretty much immediately upon their arrival and Kura reached up to pat Faith on the shoulder. "This gentle lass has just recently found herself in a situation where her available fashion choices have increased exponentially, but wouldn't you know, she hasn't got a clue as to what she likes wearin'. We were thinkin' you all could give us a hand on setting her on the right path." she said, grinning widely as she spoke.
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"I don't know the cobbler, I'm afraid, let alone whether they had children." Faith could be quite literal and, of course, there was the simple fact that she knew no stories or fables, no bed time tales or nursery rhymes. "He isn't. He did the best he could by me, he did. He just didn't understand that his desires weren't mine. If I said I wanted something he gave me it, but he didn't understand that saying I want something.. well, it's still hard now, it was nearly impossible then. I only told him I would like to learn because he told me he didn't want a stupid slave." Faith smiled and nodded when Kura gave her assessment of how things were for Padraig. Kura had it bang on the money, in fairness. "He sees me as a person, the woman he loves. He thinks what Tristan did was abuse, but he doesn't accept that he owned all of me. I was his to do with as he wished." It was tricky, there was no doubting it.

Kura, though, looked surprised as Faith mentioned the Strangler and Faith blushed and smiled at the same time. "We got him, yes. But no, actually, none of the victims were held over, so there were none to talk to. It was why we visited Sarah's Silks. We went to the Guard House and looked at the scarves he was using. They were sewn by a very skilled left handed person. Padraig took samples from the clothes of the victims and, as circumstance went, the fourth victim came in whilst we were there. I work as a medic in the Order of the Adunih so I got to work on the body. There was a perfume, the oils were from someone who worked with leather. We did the legwork." Faith shrugged and smiled, they'd traipsed around the city three times over, up and down, going to all the tailors and dress shops, all the perfume shops too. "But it was worth it. Makes the place safer and allows us to give back to the city a little."

To make Kura clothes, though? Faith smiled in delight. "It would be my pleasure! I like to make things for friends. I have very few, but then those who can befriend a slave are the ones worth the most, I'd say." Faith glanced at Cally and smiled.

Kura just took absolute charge in the shop and the difference was unbelievable. They had things for her to try on, some of which she discarded, others she showed Kura expecting the mortalborn woman to say no, but she said yes, give it a try and vice versa. After a short while, Faith realised something and she looked at Kura in delight as she did. "I'm enjoying shopping for myself. Gosh." When, however, he started pulling out nightware and various flimsy things, Faith looked like she wanted the ground to swallow her whole and she turned to Kura with a very genuine expression of horror on her face at the impropriety of it all. "I am so sorry," she said, genuinely and she shook her head at the man serving them. "I um.... just the dresses and things."
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 558
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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The shop proved to be every bit as helpful as Kura had hoped, and they soon had Faith trying on all manner of dresses. The ex-slave brought a few of them to Kura for advice, and the Mortalborn found herself steering Faith firmly away from a pale yellow sundress that would have given Faith an appearance more appropriate to a medical ward patient. She did, however, convince Faith to try on a backless pink dress that turned out to suit her remarkably well. She did smile when Faith said she was enjoying herself though, as she was glad to see her newfound friend so thoroughly enjoying her freedom.

When Faith blushed furiously and apologized for the nightwear, Kura was genuinely thrown for a moment before she remembered that Faith knew she was Mortalborn, and the fact that she was freeborn might have thrown the ex-slave as well. Kura stopped the man as he was getting ready to lead Faith to check-out. "We'll be along in a moment, lad. You just leave us be a bit." she said, her tone calm. The boy nodded and made his way back towards the front of the store while Kura turned back to Faith.

She paused for a moment, then gave Faith a slow, sly smile. "You know, lass, if it's that you're worried I'd be repulsed by seein' you in such, you don't have to worry about that at all." she said, her voice slower than usual as she reached out to Faith. However, the touch, which could have been anything, wound up being a boop to Faith's nose. " But more to the point, you don't have worry about offendin' me by askin' for help with such things, lass. Just because I'm Mortalborn doesn't make me more or less than anyone else." she said, her tone gentle and reassuring.

Cally, however, gave a disappointed sigh. "And here I thought things might be getting interestin'." she said, before sitting down against a shelf with a pout. "You know, even settin' aside how I feel about her, I can't imagine a better person to have to live vicariously through. She enjoys life in a way not many people seem to do. Possibly because of her age." she said, her tone thoughtful as she appeared to turn back to her silent contemplation of things.

Kura, meanwhile, had once again adopted a slightly teasing expression. "And besides, I'm sure that husband of yours would find them a welcome sight as well." she said, her tone as teasing as her expression.
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Faith would never have considered the dusky pink dress, but she had to admit it looked beautiful and so she tried it on. There was no doubt in that moment, she was buying it. She loved how it made her feel when it moved and swished. She grinned up at Kura and thanked her, most genuinely, for the opportunity to shop and enjoy it. It was made so much better, so much easier by being with someone who understood the impact having been a slave all her life had on Faith. Choices, options, understanding the very idea of being allowed, encouraged and expected to have opinions of her own ~ these were all new events for Faith and she was making progress, but small steps.

But when there were all those flimsy things and in front of Kura, too, Faith thought she might die of shame and she wanted to just stutter her apology to the mortalborn. Of all things, though, Kura reached out and just... booped her nose. Faith stopped her apology-in-the-making and she smiled. What a strange but endearing thing to do! Kura spoke and her words were just kind and concerned and Faith felt a very genuine wave of gratitude. "Thank you. I'm... I'm not good at this sort of thing with dresses and clothes that everyone will see but..well, I'm really not good with those." It was complex and mixed around, in truth.

Faith looked at Cally as she spoke and suddenly, it occurred to the ex slave that Cally had been with Kura for thirty arcs, wasn't it? That was probably a lot of vicarious living Cally had seen. Had Kura realised that, Faith wondered and would she care if she had? Faith clamped down on that whole train of thought and just decided to distract herself somehow from the incessant wondering about things which just constantly went on in her head. Sometimes, being someone who questioned everything was a bad thing.

As luck had it, however, Kura provided the perfect distraction with a simple word. "Husband? Oh, gosh, no no. No, not husband. Not married, nope. I um.... well, I don't think... that is..." She was practically spluttering at that word. Careful what you wish for, Faith, she considered with an inward wince, distractions aren't all they're cracked up to be. "The thing is, Tristan told me what he expected and wanted in that situation, so I could have done this shopping easily, keeping in the forefront of my mind what he wanted from m." Faith waved towards where the pile of clothes were. "Padraig is ... less forthcoming about that. He loves me, is the difference I suppose and he wants me for me. Sometimes, I'm just not sure who that is" Faith sighed and glanced at Kura with a twinkle of mischief in her own eyes, now that the shock of the word 'husband' had abated. "I know that he likes me in red. I'll start there. I'm sorry, it's all very strange and new this whole thing. It's very complicated, sometimes, this freedom business. I don't know how people manage it. After so long, you must get very tired."
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 550
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Kura smiled as Faith said she really wasn't good picking out nightclothes. "Don't worry lass, neither was I the first time I went to buy some." she said, grinning slightly. However, when Faith blushed and furiously denied that she and Padraig were married, Kura just raised an eyebrow. "Lass, I haven't seen two people look at each other like that since my da was alive. You and Padraig looked exactly like my parents." she said, grinning slightly.

Cally saw Faith's flustered state, however, and spoke up again. "You were born a slave, weren't you?" she asked. After a moment, she nodded to herself before speaking again. "Tell her that you have the same family issue that I had." she said, her tone gentle before she fell silent again.

Kura, meanwhile, had listened to Faith explain her issues with freedom and what she was used too, though at the end Kura gave a melancholic sigh. "People do get tired of it sometimes. We have slaves in the Eternal Empire, some of them are people who willingly gave themselves over because they couldn't handle being free any more. They couldn't get their life under control and wanted someone, anyone, to do it for them." she said, her tone saddened by that notion, before she shook her head and looked thoughtfully at her friend for a moment. Something seemed off, she was more nervous than usual about the clothes. After a moment, she triggered Unshakeable Tracker. Sure enough, Faith read as multiple people, something that had thrown her off in the past. She deactivated the ability, then gathered a long red robe that was made out of soft velvet. "Try this on, lass. For most of this sort of clothes, we'll be wantin' to wait until your wee one joins us." she said, her tone cheerful as she spoke.
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"I love him doesn't begin to do it justice. I was born as a slave and I tell you honestly by choice and my own free will, I am his. He is mine. We make something much more than the sum of our parts." Faith looked at Kura and smiled, but Kura's sharp eyes picked up on the sadness, the worry, the downright worry from the young woman. "Cally says I have the same family issue she had" She smiled at Cally and her expression was grateful.

She smiled at Kura though and assured her that she was not growing tired of freedom but that it was, sometimes, a little overwhelming. But, as she said "I am very lucky. I have good people around me and that is the majority of the battle, I think." She placed her hand, briefly, on Kura's arm and then turned back to the red velvet dress. "Oh, it's beautiful! Oh but yes, after.... what?"

Every drop of colour drained from Faith's face and she looked at Kura in shock. How did she know!? How did she know? For the briefest of trills, Faith looked like a cornered animal and then, of all things, a single tear escaped and ran down her cheek, followed by it's twin from the other. Turning her head away from where others might see her, although she didn't count Kura amongst those numbers, Faith got herself under control. She did so quickly, but the tears had already fallen and she looked at Kura with real regret in her eyes. "I'm sorry, you took me by surprise is all. It isn't... please don't tell anyone. It's not... I didn't want to, please believe me, but it isn't his. It's complicated." Faith looked utterly miserable and another tear escaped. "It's...Kura I don't know what to do, I really don't. But he loves me and he's standing with me he's been clear. I just hate how much it hurts him. I'm sorry. I am. Maybe not the red dress, all things considered. Maybe... maybe one with ties that can be loosened?" She did her best to get it together, to deflect and not answer, but she'd managed that about as well as she'd manage to fit in at a gathering of blond-haired nobles. Faith wiped her face, quickly and looked around for a distraction.
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 422
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Kura smiled as Faith said she loved Padraig, but she frowned briefly when Faith said that she had the same family issues that Cally had. "But certainly not to the same extent, I hope. Otherwise, your parents and I will have to have words." she said, and the emphasis her accent put on the last sentence gave the otherwise mundane pronouncement an air reminiscent of an executioner sharpening his axe.

At the compliment that she was good people, Kura smiled slightly, then blinked in surprise at Faith's reaction to her commet about the child. As Faith let out her outburst, Kura guided her to a stool so she could sit down and listened quietly. When she tried to steer the conversation back to clothes, however, the Mortalborn smiled. "We can try one on in a bit, lass. There's more important things at hand." she said, her tone gentle as she patted Faith's shoulder.

"So the child isn't Padraigs. To be honest, that doesn't surprise me. However, that bit of information only matters if you and him choose to let it matter, lass." she said, before letting out a sigh. "Let's backtrack a bit. You have the same family issues Cally had, she says. Lass, Cally didn't know her mother. She'd been in the slave pits literally since she was born. If that's the same for you, you don't have a solid grasp on family, or what that little could mean to you, is what she means. Is that true, lass?" she asked, her tone gentle.
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