[Scalvoris Library] Death in the Library

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Scalvoris Library] Death in the Library

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27th Cylus 717


In the library
Faith loved this place. So filled with books and knowledge and things that she could learn. There was no judgement here, no consideration of could or could not ~ here there was just potential. Plus, the smell here was intoxicating; that unique and wonderful smell that was a library. Yes, here was a place where she was content.

Earlier, she'd been to the Glass Temple, met with Stan the Tunawa and there she had, amongst other things, prayed in the shrine to Vri and the one to Famula. It had reminded her that there was something that she wanted to do, had wanted to do for a while now and she seemed to have the perfect opportunity to do so here.

The Institute of Metaphysics was the other Institute currently open, alongside the Institute of Science where she and Padraig were both studying. The books which had made their way into the Library were for both Institutes and so here, amongst the tomes on mathematics, physics, chemistry and medicine, there was a whole section devoted to the Immortals. Faith was beyond delighted and she knew that she was going to be spending more time, if it were possible, reading.

Having been a slave for so much of her life had led to a number of things which were true for Faith. One of which was her very disciplined and controlled nature around everyone except Padraig. In a real sense, he was the only person who ever saw the real her, the person she actually was. To the casual observer, it might seem like Faith was looking at the books with an intense concentration, but she was actually just exploring them with her eyes, drinking in the sight of them and experiencing delight. She didn't show it, outwardly, but Faith was an individual who felt emotions deeply. Maybe because that had been forbidden to her for so long, or maybe she always had and always would have.

Selecting a book, she pulled it down from the shelves and breathed in. The smell of old books had changed from the subtle and pleasant one she was used to into an almost overwhelming smell of musty with just an undertone of rotten in it. Faith turned and smiled to the man who was suddenly standing next to her. "Hello," she whispered, her voice soft. He was an older man, maybe late fifties and Faith realised that most of the souls she had been in the younger age ranges. Maybe dying early made one more likely to stay, she thought.

He looked at her with undisguised surprise on his face. "You can see me?"
Faith nodded her head, "Yes. I can see you and hear you."
"You're Famula marked?"
"Yes," Faith replied with a smile. He knew his stuff, at the very least. "I can help you."

He shook his head, "I don't want help, child. I'm here because I choose to be."
It wasn't the first time that Faith had met a soul who did not want to cross over, but it was only the second. "Why?"
"I was the librarian," he explained, gesturing around, "I belong here." As though he could see her argument about to start, the soul next to her shook his head. "We get the choice, isn't that what you believe, what you've been taught? We have the choice to go with Vri and, if not him, then Famula gives us a choice. It's my right to say no, otherwise it isn't a choice."
She couldn't argue with his logic, but still. "Aren't you lonely?" Faith asked, cutting to the chase for him as she saw it. He smiled.
"Not right now, child, no."
Evidently, he'd amused himself with that one and Faith could hear his laughter even though he was no longer there.
word count: 668
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Scalvoris Library] Death in the Library

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Clutching the book to her chest, Faith moved and sat on one of the chairs in between the shelves. Low and comfortable, these overstuffed chairs were scattered around the place, for anyone to sit and read. She figured that it was best that she sat there, rather than at one of the study desks as she suspected that the soul she had just seen would be back.

True enough, it wasn't long before he was. In the meantime, she'd been reading about ectoplasm. Sitting, she put the book on the small table next to her and then made careful notes in her journal in order to make notes on it. This theory was that the longer that a soul remained on the physical world, the more of their ectoplasm drained. Living, breathing mortals replenished it and so that, according to the theory here, was why souls eventually became the angry or empty shells she had seen.

According to this tome, which referred to the souls stuck here as 'ghosts', it was possible to banish a ghost from a place or person, possible to lead a ghost but passing them on forcibly was neither possible nor desired. The longer, however, a ghost stayed the more likely they were to suffer from loss of memory. Eventually, although it varied between individuals, the ghosts became monsters of pure emotion. Faith wrote this all carefully, underlining the word ectoplasm and the word memory.

"What are you reading?"
"I'm reading about souls. My name is Faith, by the way, what's yours?"
"I'm Marl. Nice to meet you Faith."
"You too. How long have you been here like this?"
"Dead, you mean?"
Faith smiled at him, lifting her head to look at him. "Yes, Marl. Dead."
He gave a wide smile and shrugged, "I think maybe a few seasons now. Maybe an arc. Rose replaced me, though, so however long she's been here."

It was strange, Faith thought, how she got such a strong sensory experience with certain ghosts; with Marl, there was a scent of old books and it was so much that it was almost overwhelming. Previously, it had been the taste of mint and other times she had felt cold which was impossible for her these trials. So, as the scent dissipated, she knew he'd gone again, even though she did not look up. Over the next few bits she made notes on how ghosts could devour each other. It wasn't destruction, per se because it seemed to be that a soul couldn't be completely destroyed. Rather it was one soul robbing another of ectoplasm and, therefore, emotional force. This added to the ghost's power and left the victim as an echo.

For the ghost who had devoured more ectoplasm, it allowed them to do things like possess, materialise and generally hurt and manipulate the physical world more effectively. What it didn't do was restore their emotions and it meant that they were powerful but just as monstrous. "Cally." Faith whispered and kept writing.

This book and, later, Faith would discover others the same, theorised that ghosts could become echoes in this way by the passage of time, giving in to despair or being devoured. Passion, feelings and emotions kept a ghost full of ectoplasm, but in excess it meant that they were lost. It was an incredibly balanced and difficult task. This was why almost every ghost encountered would be irrational to some degree. Faith could certainly attest to that she thought with a smile.

Something Faith read then caused her to sit up. The blessed of Famula were said to be able to manipulate ectoplasm and could put their own ectoplasm into a ghost. This left the mortal tired and drained of emotion for a few trials. It did, of course, replenish in the mortal but it took time. Not something to be done lightly, but in specific circumstances, Faith could imagine it being useful. Should Famula grant her that ability, she would use it if and when she felt that it was doing Famula's work.

She'd collected quite a few notes by this point and she looked up as the smell again invaded her nose. "Hello again, Marl. How are you?"
"Will you come and speak to me, Faith?"
She smiled and nodded her head. "Every trial, Marl. If you'd like it?"
"I would. I miss reading and I only get to do it over shoulders now."
Faith looked him and smiled. "I'll read to you, if you like?"

Judging by the sudden, swooshing sensation as the ghost passed through her and the whooping sound she heard, Faith thought that meant he would like it, yes. So, she would do it she resolved. It was, after all, Famula's work and it was her duty, pleasure and privilege to serve.
word count: 822
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Scalvoris Library] Death in the Library

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With Marl no longer there, Faith decided it was probably time to get home. She'd handed in her three books when she got here and she chose one on the Immortal Vri, one on the Immortal Famula and one on Sev'ryn neurology. Strange reading, but there it was. Rose, the overdressed librarian smiled at the young human girl who came in every trial; such a serious and studious young thing, Rose thought to herself and Faith looked up and gave a slight smile as she got a face full of perfume.

"Good trial, Rose." Faith said, in her serious yet friendly tone.
"Hello, dear. How are you?" Rose's voice was much, much more stringent than any librarian's voice should be.
"I'm very well, thank you. I wonder, may I ask you a question?"
"Of course, dear."
"Who was the librarian before you?" Faith didn't ask the 'how long have you worked here' question directly. Rose was twwitchy about her age.

However, by luck or judgement, Faith had hit upon the right question and Rose went into a story about the previous librarian, Marl. He'd been a handsome chap, she recalled and Rose had been very taken with him. She'd been his assistant and he'd always had a soft spot for her. They worked very well together and Rose had been devastated when he died. "Oh, that fifteen arcs ago now. So sad, such a nice man. Of course, he lived for his work. We do, those of us tasked with being the best at this holy job."
Faith resisted the urge to question too much, simply nodded her head. "Rose, was he tall?"
"Oh, yes, dear. Tall and very handsome, why do you ask?"
"I thought I saw a tall man standing and watching you. When I blinked, he wasn't there."
"Really? Oh! I say. Well, he was very fond of me."
Somehow, Faith believed it. Even moreso as Marl appeared behind Rose and watched her. "It's none of my business, Rose, but maybe you should leave a book open for him at night. Something for him to read and think about you?"
The librarian considered and she nodded. "You know, dear, I think I will."

Faith smiled at Rose and nodded. "I'm sure, if he can see it, he'll be very pleased. I believe he can you know. See you."
Rose looked rather surprised at those words, but then, considering the nature of the young woman and her choice in reading material, she supposed she shouldn't. "I hope so, dear. I miss him."

Faith picked up her books and smiled as she looked at Marl. "It's the best any of us can hope for, isn't it? To be missed by those who loved us. Goodnight, Rose."

She'd be back tomorrow.
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 485
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Inali
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[Scalvoris Library] Death in the Library

Name: Faith

Knowledge:
Location: Institute of Metaphysics
Wisps: Can choose between Vri and Famula
Wisps: Not always lonely
Writing: Careful notes increase accuracy
Ectoplasm: Drains over time to create angry souls
Ectoplasm: Living mortals automatically replenish it
Marl: Wisp of a deceased Librarian
Marl: Enjoys being read to
Wisps: Can rob other wisps of ectoplasm
Wisps: Losing ectoplasm leaves an echo
Marl: Found of Rose
Rose: Misses Marl
Negotiation: Using memories to ask for favors
Etiquette: Speaking politely about age

Loot: None
Injuries: None
Fame: None
Devotion:
Famula:
Pray to Famula + Vri (+2)
Help a Wisp with their Purpose (+3)
Total: 5

Vri:
Pray to Vri: (+1)
Total: 1

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5 (Solo thread)
Structure: 5/5
Magic: These points cannot be used for magic

Comment: Ahhh! I'll admit, I assumed this was just a training/learning thread regarding Ectoplasm. When I started reading about poor Marl, I felt moderately bad for him. Then when Rose was introduced, I was even more torn up. Poor Marl, poor Rose! Well written and a breezy read. Pm me with any questions
word count: 183
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