bread true
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
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Posts: 4,062
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#1
They say blood makes you related but
loyalty makes you family
Loren had done as he’d been told, and learned, and listened, and studied. Indeed, although he’d been largely ignorant about everything going on in the Hollowed Grounds—what with his full year mental breakdown—he’d caught up remarkably quickly. Partially, that was due to his own efforts. However, it was mostly due to the kindness and patience of strangers and of those he’d once known. So, armed with more knowledge than most and less than some, he’d come to Amalia’s bakery, Devas. She’d instructed him not to come until he’d figured everything out on his own; while he wasn’t sure if that was the case, he didn’t know what else he could possibly be missing. No doubt she’d fill in any remaining gaps. Their brief reintroduction had indicated that she was tough, both inside and out. However, he’d also come here with a request for more than information. Hopefully, she’d be willing to help him out.

Thankfully, he was feeling a bit better himself these days. While he still looked painfully skinny, he’d filled out a little bit, and there was both color and light in his cheeks and his eyes. Partially, that was a result of his now ever-present companion: while Loren doesn’t know exactly what he did to deserve Astra, she was now the brightest and most consistent part of his life. Indeed, as she looked around at the streets with wide-eyed curiosity and innocence, he can’t help but smile at her.

Soon enough, the pair arrived at the bakery. Entering, Loren is pleased and not at all surprised to find the space comfortable and warm and filled with delicious scents. ”Amalia? It’s Loren. I was hoping to chat for a bit, but I can come back later if now is a bad time.” Still mostly hovering in the entryway, he loosened his brown cloak from where it was wrapped tightly around him, revealing equally brown and practical and boring clothes underneath. Astra, more bold than he at that moment, trotted into the shop, nostrils flaring at all the incredible smells. Thankfully, she didn't try to eat anything on display, just looked at it longingly. While he obviously wasn’t going to take anything from the bakery without paying for it or without permission, Loren did fish an apple out of his belt pouch. Precious though they were in Deepfrost, he’d taken to carrying them around for his beautiful luxere. It wasn’t like he was eating much these days, even after he’d come back, so he could spare a few, and she was definitely worth it. She came over to munch contentedly on it, giving him a friendly headbutt in the process.

Amalia
LOREN
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#2
Amalia
For once, Amalia is not actively working. Oh, she had done some baking this morning, setting out the usual wares, nothing fancy or particularly inspired. A set of wheat loaves; a pile of sourdoughs; the last of the pumpkin made into scones. It is light work, easy work, and it is done before the sun is even approaching the top of the sky, which is a problem for girls with too much time and an ocean of anxiety to fill it.

Wiping flour-drenched hands on her apron, the baker inspects her wares. There is no need to make more, except in that it will give her something to do: a place to direct her anxious energy, a job to clench between her claws. Listlessness is poison, opening her mind to dangerous thoughts; she cannot afford to feed her anxieties, not with Long Night looming, ravenous, ready to gobble her up.

Maybe she ought to work on a cake selection for Rexanna and Bastien's wedding, though neither has asked and she is not even sure an Ascended wedding warrants sweets. Maybe she ought to check on the roses she has already planted, and those done by others. Maybe she ought to seek out Deimos, or Remi, or Adam- anyone to pull her out of her mired thoughts.

So she muses as the front door opens, causing the baker's head to shoot up, black eyes immediately focusing on whoever has come in.  A friend? A customer?

A person with no clearly assigned role?

It doesn't really matter what he is, because Loren has brought a friend with him, and the baker is at once entranced. Her expression softens instantly upon seeing the Luxere, a radiant smile cutting her face as she slips around the counter, extending it a hand as the creature chews on an apple, sugar cubes produced from somewhere in her apron. "Hello, beautiful," the girl coos, her alto voice a reverent whisper. Turning her vibrant expression up to Loren, the girl colors pink a little, suddenly aware of the man who she had treated rather brusquely the last time they spoke. "Hi, Loren. What can I do for you?"
she was like the moon-
part of her was always hidden away
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 4,062
MP:
#3
They say blood makes you related but
loyalty makes you family
Well, this meeting was already going better than their last one. ”Now I know you can’t be talking about me. Hi Amalia.” He gestured at his less than attractive face. It still felt weird to joke, as if Loren had not yet earned the right to do so since his return. But weirdly enough, it was easier for him to be happy these days than it was to be sad. Staying grumpy took work and energy he couldn't spare, and despite everything he was responsible for and all the troubles facing the Hollowed Grounds, the Launceleyn finally felt like he was making some progress. Besides, it was hard not to smile at Amalia’s reaction to Astra, and it only broadened when the baker took out sugar cubes. ”Astra, that’s Amalia. Amalia, Astra.” The luxere, for her part, finished the apple immediately and trotted over to the woman, looking up at the baker happily as the luxere lipped at the sugar cubes. As far as the summoner was concerned, Astra deserved to be spoiled sweet and by sweets. "Astra followed me home the other day, despite the fact that I've repeatedly told her that there was much better company out there." The luxere just flicked her ears at him, clearly not impressed by his argument.

As Amalia blushed, Loren looked away, suddenly shy. Given that he still hadn’t moved from the doorway, he covered his own awkwardness by stamping the snow off his boots, then moving slightly further inside the shop. ”I need some bread, actually. Or, well, biscuits. Anything you can spare that will keep until LongNight” The summoner gave Amalia a chagrined look. ”Wessex very gently reminded me, as did you, as did Remi, as did, well, everyone, that I was a very silly man who was trying to do everything on his own when there were more than enough people out there that I could and should be asking for help. So, sorry about my pigheadness earlier.” Well, the queen’s visit hadn’t exactly been gentle, but it had certainly been a much needed wake up call.

”I can pay.” Given that Loren was now the head of the Launceleyns, he’d inherited everything Zariah and Edy had left behind. While he tried not to think too hard about how he’d come into such wealth—and how his family had acquired it to begin with—at least he could put the funds to good use. ”And if you need some help with something, or, well, anything at all, I've got some time right now.” Fidgeting from one foot to the other, the summoner wondered what else to add.

As he ran through his previous encounter with the baker, Loren remembered something very important. ”Oh! And I can try to store a Spark Bird in your amulet, if you’d like. Or anything else, really.” That had been a very welcome development, though from the way the summoner ran a nervous hand through his hair, it didn’t appear that way. However, he was still uncomfortable with the way people reacted to his abilities: for too long, he’d been scorned and ridiculed for his magic, so the opposite took some getting used to.
LOREN
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#4
Amalia
Glancing up swiftly, Amalia grins a little, mischief sparking in her eyes. "Don't sell yourself so short," she teases gently, her attention returning quickly to the Luxere as the delicate deer prances closer, taking the sugar from her hand much to the Shield's delight. Astra is not the first of her kind to grace the ship, and as she strokes behind her ears she wonders if she can smell Auni, the young buck a frequent visitor here. "We never seem to have a say in who they want to follow," she remarks softly, her dark gaze still on the sable of the deer. "Jyoti was much the same- well, sort of."

As Loren begins to explain his purpose the baker pulls herself from Astra's side, rising up to regard the mage with an eyebrow slightly raised. So she is not the only one to recognize his determination to overextend, and she finds herself laughing a little, a lock of tawny hair escaping her tie to fall over her face as she shakes her head. "Ludo told me something similar, recently," she answers with a shrug, the acceptance of his apology left unsaid.

Leaning back against the counter the baker tilts her head. "I've actually been making stores- I meant to bring you some. To stock up the places people will be staying." Pushing off the edge of the island she slips deeper into the back of the shop, searching for parcels long since set aside. The offer to pay is an amusing one: every now and then an Outlander will make it, producing a bauble or piece of paper which supposedly has value equal the the exchange. "What will you pay with?" she wonders mildly, her voice floating up from the back of the store.

She returns with an armful of carefully wrapped packages, each one holding a selection of biscuits, hearty and hard. "Here's a start. I'll make the loaves closer, so they don't spoil. I have preserves as well." Another job her grandmother used to do, that she has stepped into with surprising ease.

The subject changed to magic, though, and Amalia's eyes light up. "Oh, that would be wonderful. Could you do my shield, too?" It is a lot to ask, and she bites her lip, looking up at him anxiously as she waits for a reply.
she was like the moon-
part of her was always hidden away
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 4,062
MP:
#5
They say blood makes you related but
loyalty makes you family
If Loren had been, well, anyone else, he might’ve interpreted Amalia’s comment as flirtatious. However, as it stood, flirtation was so far from his mind that it never even occurred to him. ”I don’t think stating facts is selling myself short,” he replied, his voice wry. Given his frame and the dark circles under his eyes, no one would ever mistake the summoner for beautiful. ”Well that’s true enough. Guess I’ll just have to prove myself worthy of her then.” He gave Astra a smile then, before giving the baker a confused look. ”Jyoti?” It was probably Amalia’s own companion, but the name was not at all familiar to the Launceleyn.

Her laughter didn’t bother Loren in the slightest: he’d more than earned a bit of good-natured teasing. However, when she mentioned Ludo, the summoner felt his eyes widen. ”Oh. Wow.” Considering the fact that the closest Loren had come to any of the gods had been during the puppet show Amalia had put on, there was an odd mix of awe and a little fear in the summoner’s voice. ”Maybe if I’d heard it from such a trustworthy source it wouldn’t have taken me so long to believe it. Then again, maybe not.” Thankfully, it probably would never happen, given how the gods seemed to have no time for Abandoned in general and Loren specifically.

Apparently, Amalia had already been hard at work; Loren flashed her a quick and grateful smile. ”Thank you. And I’m happy to save you a trip through the snow.” When she called out from the back of the store, asking what he was offering, he frowned, tapping his foot in a nervous gesture. ”What do you need?” It was true that he hadn’t brought anything with him but knowledge—which she also probably had—and his magic, which she probably didn’t need.

Taking the bundles from her, the summoner nodded. ”Thank you, again. I’ll come back closer to LongNight for the rest.” However, it turned out that Loren’s magic might be something valuable after all. ”If the shield works similarly to the amulet, then probably. Though I don't know if I can summon it twice in quick succession.” Frowning, he gave her a considering look. ”Actually, I don’t know exactly how the amulets work either. I know I’m supposed to cast something at them, but...well, summoning a Spark Bird in here seems like a very bad idea.” His frown morphed into an apologetic smile, but the last thing he wanted was to burn her shop down.
LOREN
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,971
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#6
Amalia
He says Jyoti's name as a question, and Amalia misunderstands a moment, too accustomed to the little whale being part of her to realize that some may not know. "She's outside somewhere, enjoying the snow. I'm sure she'll be around soon." Even now she can sense the starwhale somewhere nearby, frolicking in the frigid garden, happy that the days are short and cold.

The baker laughs lightly as Loren calls Ludo 'trustworthy', a wry smile on her expressive face as she shakes her head slowly. "I don't know that many would consider Ludo trustworthy," she murmurs fondly, thinking to the many tales of mischief that circle the playful god. "But I trust it nonetheless." She trusts in all of the Old Gods, has faith and some to spare. Perhaps among the more pious of the population, she is a child of darkness and flickering light, finding guidance in ideals less fallible than men.

At Loren's explanation of the magic Amalia's brow grows thoughtfully furrowed. "When we used them before - in the Spire - they just cast the magic at the item and it... remembered it, almost?" It's a poor explanation, but she doesn't truly understand it any better to explain. Sighing self-consciously the girl shrugs again, wrapping her arms around herself and chewing on her lip. "We can go out to the garden and try it, if you like. I'll just have to grab my things first."

Lightly she makes her way back again, this time swiftly ascending the stairs. When the girl returns she is heavily burdened, a cloak around her shoulders and she shield pulled over her back, though her feet remain conspicuously bare. She holds the amulet in her left hand and the luxere staff in her right, figuring he may want to see it- he seems curious enough about everything else.

As she leads the way to the garden door leopard fur blooms over her exposed skin, warmer than any winter gear, insulating and luxurious. "So tell me, Loren, since the last time we spoke- what new things have you learned?" It's a genuine question, free of any mockery, curiosity in her lilting tone as she steps out into the snow.
she was like the moon-
part of her was always hidden away
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 4,062
MP:
#7
They say blood makes you related but
loyalty makes you family
When Amalia responded that Jyoti was outside, Loren nodded. While he was still curious just what Jyoti was, it could certainly wait until she showed up. ”I’m looking forward to meeting her.” Astra, having finished the sugar cubes, looked up and gave the baker a pleading look that the summoner was becoming quite familiar with. It made him smile to see it turned on someone else.

Ludo apparently was not necessarily trustworthy. Filing away that information for later, the Launceleyn shrugged. ”I guess I should’ve said believable. Or maybe reputable?” Giving her an awkward smile, the summoner wondered whether or not to admit his ignorance regarding the gods. It probably couldn’t hurt. ”I wouldn’t know. I’ve never met it. Never met any of the gods.” It made him sad—and more than a little annoyed—because even though he knew the divine beings were dangerous, it also hurt to think that they had Abandoned him and his kind.

Amalia’s explanation of the amulets and her shield wasn’t entirely clear, but before the Launceleyn could ask for more details she suggested they go to the garden. As Astra came back for a head rub (which he obvious obliged), he nodded, then waited patiently for her to fetch her items and lead the way outside. However, when she asked what he had learned, he gave her a startled look. ”How much time do you have?” He chuckled briefly, before he fell silent and considered what to tell her. Despite his joke, he figured it was probably best just to tell her everything. ”Well, as I said, I learned that I am one man who is vastly ignorant, and can and should rely on others when needed.” That one was obvious. ”I have learned that the gods have a plan to deal with the blight, and we all must do our part, myself included. And I have also learned that the blighted will not make that easy.” The encounter with Ronin at the Spire and the red-headed woman by the luxere had proven that.

There was more, though, so he kept speaking. ”I have learned what the monsters of LongNight are, and what they once were, and how to help keep those in the Hollowed Grounds and beyond safe from them.” He could have kicked himself for that slip of the tongue—Remi and Jigano had probably told him the origins of the monsters in confidence—but it was too late now, and besides, Amalia didn’t seem to be the crazed 'kill all the Ascended without just cause' type.

However, Loren was not done yet, although he knew this next part would be tricky. ”I have learned a little of what you all suffered under Zariah’s rule, though not everything. Still, what I’ve heard is bad enough, and I am fully committed to standing against her if she ever returns.” He gave her a chagrined look. ”But I have also learned that the wounds she inflicted will take time to heal, and I cannot force them to the way my healing magic can do with physical wounds.” It was a hard and bitter pill for him to swallow, but an important one.

Now, he finally fell silent. There was more he’d learned, but it was personal and he didn’t wish to burden Amalia with those details.
LOREN
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,971
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#8
Amalia
She leads the way out as he begins to explain his discoveries, listening intently as they trudge into the snow. The frost is still light enough to be charitably considered pleasant, and she relishes the feeling of it between her half-feline toes, still marveling at the fact that she can wander barefoot through the ice. His playful question makes her grin, tossing her head back to look at him as she deposits her burdens onto the bench, sinking down beside them. "You're the one who's a busy man," the girl shrugs in reply, patting the place next to her in quiet invitation.

Her smile fades as he begins to speak, nodding along with his revelations. That he starts with his ignorance endears him to her, a wry smile curling at her lips, no attempt to deny that fact. He'd wanted to save the world when they met, without understanding what the world was. It was not unlike the version of him she'd met in the library, the one she could not stand, and she is grateful to see the shift in attitude, humility finally appearing to have pierced that stubborn skin.

She knows about the gods- was the one to find out in the first place, told by Vi in whispered dreams, quiet reassurances given to those she trusts most in the world. But who told him? Or is he basing the knowledge off the roses, now free for any to harvest and aid? "Have you planted your roses yet?" she wonders, remembering her own trials at Safrin's shrine with a fresh and terrible pang. "They don't make it easy," the girl agrees, thinking back to those glistening black eyes, the cruelty of her goddess' words, the promise that she made. Sighing heavily, Amalia drops her head. "We have to trust in Vi."

His next statement betrays who he's spoken to, and she smiles distantly at the thought of Jigano, though it too is marred by pain. She knows about the origin of the monsters, too, but not about the plans to keep them contained. Glancing up with a curious frown, the girl tilts her head. "How?" A perimeter of Luxere, as she'd suggested to Delah, or maybe something else? Has he stumbled on some new wisdom after all, or is he going to tell her what her people have known for years?

It could go either way.

And then there is Zariah. Amalia winces as she hears the name, glancing away sharply, her lips pulled into an uncharacteristic snarl. "Your cousin is a madwoman." There is no apology in her voice, no softening the words: they are hard and brittle as they leave her lips, her own wounds still a long way from healing. Resting her elbows in her knees, Amalia places her chin on her palms, kicking at the snow. "She treated this place and its people like we were nothing. As though we were heathen children." Such is the girl's anger: a blazing thing at the bottom of her soul, wrapped in a shroud of pain and fear. She is terrified, not just of Zariah but of others like her, terrified of her home being ripped from her again, of the ignorance and self-importance so many Outlanders seem to feel.

As though summoned by her discontent a song suddenly pierces through the air, low and melodic, the sound of ancient seas. Despite herself Amalia raises her head, a smile slipping onto her face as Jyoti swims into view, starlight glittering in her wake. The little whale is is her element, thriving in the darkening winter, and the baker cannot help but laugh as her soulmate engulfs her in a tightly swam circle before flitting over to inspect Loren, seeking scritches and bestowing calm. "You're a ham, Jyoti," the Shield says fondly, tilting her head on her hands, dark eyes sparkling as she watches the calf.
she was like the moon-
part of her was always hidden away
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 4,062
MP:
#9
They say blood makes you related but
loyalty makes you family
When Amalia said Loren was a busy man, he smiled and shook his head. ”Not so much busy as making up for lost time.” It might be folly to think he could somehow erase his absence during the past year by throwing himself at every crisis he could find. Unfortunately, he also didn’t think he could forgive himself if he didn’t do everything in his very limited to help those in need. Seeing as he already was unable to forgive himself for so much, he didn't want to add to that guilt.

The Roses unsurprisingly caught her attention. Unfortunately, he wished he had better news for her. ”Almost. Or, well, I tried. I went to the Spire and...the Mathair, I think it’s called? The special tree, out in the Greatwood. And I tried to plant one out in the fields.” Pausing he gave her a worried look. ”Ronin found me at the Spire and he was...completely gone. Lost to the blight. And then out in the fields there was a woman with red hair who was the same way.” It was deeply distressing, seeing his former friend acting in such a manner and knowing both that it wasn’t the other man’s fault and that there was almost nothing the Launceleyn could do about it. He ran a nervous hand through his hair. ”I don’t know about trusting Vi, because the gods are still unknown to me. But I will plant my third Rose soon, I promise.” And he would, once he thought of a safe place for it.

At her question about the monsters, Loren hesitated. ”I just meant that I learned that I could summon the Spark Bird and luxere. I didn’t know for sure, before. I’ve also been feeding the herds of real luxere. Strangely enough, they seem fond of me.” Astra perked up at the word feeding and at the mention of her wild cousins, and he gave her a brief smile and rubbed her head, though it didn’t last long. ”And...how much do you know about the monsters?” Again, he didn’t want to reveal secrets that weren’t really his to give. But he’d had a thought that if the monsters were Ascended, of a sort, that maybe, just maybe he could try to heal them. However, he’d only do it if he knew he could test that in a safe manner.

There was another idea that he’d had related to LongNight. ”I also mentioned to Wessex that it might be a good idea for me to demonstrate to the Fae what the Spark Bird is. She didn’t really answer me, but I still think it’s worth it. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can spare me from the Hollowed Grounds during LongNight, but they might have summoners of their own. Or, I guess, worst case we could give them an amulet?” Sighing, he rubbed his temples, reminded once again how little he knew and how out of his depth he was. ”I don’t know the Fae and it sounds like I wouldn’t be welcome in their lands, so I’d need someone to escort me. But I thought it might help ease tensions between us and them.” It seemed like such a small gesture in the grand scheme of things. But sometimes those were the ones that were most important.

He had to keep believing that every little bit would help.

The anger in Amalia’s voice was surprising (or maybe not so much, considering what he'd heard of his cousin's reign), and Loren felt his heart sink as he heard it. It sounded like the baker had some personal experiences with Zariah, same as everyone in the Hollowed Grounds. Yet another person that the summoner would have to somehow win over. ”Yes. And she’s always had a streak of madness in her. All of us Launceleyns do.” Loren included himself in that, despite his ongoing efforts to distance himself from his roots and his heritage. Sadly, he knew for a fact that there were some aspects of it that he’d never be able to escape. ”But she wasn’t always a monster, and it makes me sad to think what power and desperation and a surplus of stubborn pride drove her to. I am sorry, though, that I was not here to oppose her. And I hope that I can show that those few of us that are left are nothing like her.” Again, it was too little too late, but it was all he had to offer.

Then, however, any lingering darkness he might’ve felt from the discussion about Zariah was banished in a wave of calm and wonder when a miniature fish creature that somehow flew through the sky as if it were water arrived. ”Well aren’t you a delight,” he cooed, entranced. As the creature—whom he could only assume was Jyoti—drifted lower, his hands came up to pet her. However, he hesitated, throwing Amalia a chagrined look. ”Uh, is it okay for me to touch Jyoti?” Realizing he should probably ask the fish instead, he turned his attention to Jyoti. ”Is it okay?” His confusion was obvious. Astra, however, had no such compunctions: she stared at the fish with wide eyes, then planted her hooves on Loren to get a little bit of extra height, body and antlers straining to reach Jyoti.
LOREN
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#10
Amalia
I don't know about trusting Vi- and Amalia cannot help the sharpness of her glance, the automatic defenses that rise for her god. "Vi is the god of Life. It is he who gave us the roses. Safrin is his herald." She does not tell him that she tried to save Safrin with one already, or how poorly that went. She has not told anyone yet, and as much as Loren has warmed her to him, their relationship does not extend that far.

But it extends to information, and the Shield is always willing to share the things she knows, especially when it regards her gods. Amalia shrugs off her annoyance, exhaling again, trying to maintain something resembling positivity. "What do you know about the gods?" Anything? Nothing? It's difficult to say. Tilting her head curiously, she regards the slender mage. She could wax poetic on the various attributes of the various gods for as long as he will listen, but does not want to begin the deluge unless he cares to hear.

Besides, there are more things to discuss, more issues to investigate, more questions to ask. The lack of real knowledge for long night protection isn't ideal, and the girl bites her lip. "For a week?" she wonders, but doesn't press more, doesn't voice her misgivings. Instead she lets the topic shift, from summons to monsters, and suddenly she frowns. Why is he pushing this issue so hard? Is it a trap, a ploy? She would not have thought as much before, but then again he is a Launceleyn. "I... know what Jigano does." Cryptic, perhaps, but it will confirm or deny her suspicions. Amalia is not well versed in this particular dance; she loathes the steps, doesn't understand it, and hates that it is something she's had, of late, to learn.

And then there are the fae, another problem with no easy solution. "They have summoners. Strong ones. We could send a message to Delah to meet in neutral grounds... or I can take you to the village." The fae warchief has been angrier with her than usual, for reasons Amalia cannot quite identify and does not have the mental capacity to attempt to parse.

She would rather not think or talk about Zariah, about the threats she made and the chaos she stirred. If there is one thing to be said in favor of the Mad Queen, it is that she awoke in Amalia a new sort of fire, a determination to step from shadow and do her best for her home. Still, she is grateful for Jyoti's arrival, the distraction of the starwhale always welcome, starlight soothing the Shield's rougher edges. "She'll be very offended if you don't," Amalia replies with a laugh as Jyoti willingly submits to Astra's inspection, crooning a deep melody and flitting among her antlers. "Have you met Auni, another luxere? I'm sure he would love some company of his own kind, especially with Kiada ill." The brightness in her eyes fades again as she thinks of her wayward charge. Sighing, the baker's shoulders slump. There is always another disaster to avert, another fight to be waged, another rescue executed.

When will it be enough?
she was like the moon-
part of her was always hidden away
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 4,062
MP:
#11
They say blood makes you related but
loyalty makes you family
At the slightly sharp tone in Amalia’s voice, Astra and Loren both gave her concerned looks. The summoner held up his hand in a placating gesture, realizing he must’ve struck a nerve, somehow. ”I apologize. I meant no offense to any of the gods. I simply meant to say that the closest I’ve ever been to them was at your puppet show, and I, personally, have never interacted with them. Trust was the wrong word, I’m sorry.” His tone was truly contrite, and he watched the baker carefully, hoping she wouldn’t be too upset by his seeming blasphemy. At her next question, he gave her a sheepish grin and ran a hand through his hair. ”Honestly? Basically just their names. As I said, I’ve never encountered them personally, so all I know is bits and pieces I’ve picked up from others. I take it you are more familiar with them?” He made that last sentence into a question and tilted his head, curiosity clearly writ large on his features.

At her pointed question about his abilities, he chuckled and shook his head, chagrined. ”No, no, definitely not. I probably can’t maintain the spell for more than a few hours, and that’s if I’m sitting there doing nothing else. Even if I had the fortitude, I’d need to sleep, and my magic requires active concentration and focus or else my summoned creature disappears.” It’s small, in the grand scheme of what they were facing, but every little bit had to help. ”But there are the amulets, so others can take over when I falter. And...well...there is always the Ascended’s ability to copy the talents of others.” Loren couldn’t help the hint of fear that crept into his voice at the possibility that he’d need to have someone drink his blood, but if that’s what it took to keep people safe, he’d do it. His own discomfort didn’t really matter.

When Amalia revealed that she knew as much as Loren—and Jigano and Remi did—the Launceleyn breathed a sigh of relief. ”Oh. Good. That’s useful. Sorry for being cagey earlier, I just...well. I didn’t know where you stood, given the tensions with the Ascended, and it wasn’t my secret to tell.” But it seemed that the baker was more aware of what was going on than the summoner, which wasn’t surprising, all things considered. So you know that they’re Ascended, sort of, although incomplete. I know this sounds silly but...I had a thought that my healing magic might be able to help them, make them whole again?” It was a stupid and dangerous idea, and he wouldn’t risk himself or others to test it, but they’d been people, once upon a time, and maybe they retained some of that even now.

At the baker’s offer to take Loren to the Fae, he smiled. ”Thanks. I would have taken you up on that, but I already sent Remi a note. If he says no, though, I’ll reach out.” When Amalia—and Jyoti—gave permission to pet the flying fish, Loren grinned and reached up to give Jyoti a good rub. She was surprisingly warm and pleasant to touch for a fish, who were usually cold and clammy. Astra, seeing that the other companion in the room was getting more attention, gave an anxious bleat, and Loren laughed and reached down with one hand to scratch behind the luxere’s ears. ”You’re both adorable, don’t worry.” However, he frowned when Amalia mentioned Auni and Kiada. ”I think I’ve seen them both, but I’ve only officially met Kiada. Is she uh ill or…?” He let his voice trail off, not wanting to voice the possibility of another blighted individual. ”I’ll definitely have to introduce Astra to Auni, though.” It sounded like it would be good for both of them.
LOREN
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,971
MP:
#12
Amalia
The idea that Loren might be able to heal the Long Night monsters is another sign of his hopeless ambition, strangely endearing and aggravating all at once. Do you think we haven't tried that? the baker wants to say, but doesn't, forcing herself to be nice. He is not so unlike his cousin as he may think: convinced that all his solutions are new ones, that they have spent 300 years doing nothing about their circumstances. "You can try," Amalia says simply, shrugging as she leans back, her eyes on the distant sky. "Take luxere antlers, if you go to confront them."

He is going to the Fae with Remi, it seems, and Amalia tries to search her brain for any memory of the alchemist being welcome among the Fae. They had made the trade route together, leading to very little changing in their relations, but otherwise? Well, Remi is charming and friendly, at least, and the girl smiles fondly as she thinks of her friend. Loren, though? Delah will hate him.

"Be polite to them, and don't push," she advises, trusting him to not take it to heart at all. She watches as the summoner plays with Jyoti, stopping to give equal attention to Astra, a strange and soft expression on her face. He seems more comfortable with animals than people, and the starwhale is clearly fond of him, the Luxere doubly so. It is something Amalia can relate to, anxiety having driven most of her life, finding it easier to cut herself off than let others in.

Now, though? Now she is anxious for others, instead of because of them. "Blight," Amalia replies simply, staring down at her hands. Swallowing, the baker shakes her head, suddenly tired, work down by the truth. "Auni often hangs out around the bakery. Moreso now." She bites her lip and looks up at Loren, shaking her head. "I've only seen one thing be cured of it, and that was with the combined power of Arduinna and two unicorns. I have faith in VI, but the idea of them being out among the monsters in Long Night... The Voice must be thrilled, though. All her broken toys in one place."
she was like the moon-
part of her was always hidden away
Loren Launceleyn
Citadel Grand Healer

Age: 22 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 23 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 29
ASTRA - Mythical - Luxere
Played by: Crooked Offline
Change author:
Posts: 4,062
MP:
#13
They say blood makes you related but
loyalty makes you family
Loren didn’t know what Amalia was thinking, which was probably for the best. The only indication that she gave was to tell him it was worth a shot (though her tone didn’t indicate she thought it would be successful) and to advise him to bring protection against the monsters. Nodding, he gave Astra’s head a playful ruffle. ”I think I’ll have those whether I want to or not. But thanks.” Luckily even if Astra wouldn’t accompany him (or he could convince her to stay home for once) he could always summon his own.

Her advice about the Fae, on the other hand, was quite welcome and he nodded his thanks. ”I’ll keep that in mind.” He wouldn’t but they didn’t know anything about what was to come. Frankly, he was too busy giving the fish and the luxere the attention they deserved to worry too much about the Fae. If they didn’t take his warnings to heart, that was on them. At the mention that Kiada was blighted the summoner gave Amalia a sympathetic smile. ”I’m sorry. Were you two close? And I’ll have to bring Astra around again, it seems, assuming that’s okay with you?” Honestly, the Launceleyn wasn’t sure what to think of Amalia: the woman seemed kind enough, but she had more than her fair share of reasons to distrust him, and he knew that he still came on too strong with his opinions. It was one of his many, many flaws, and the one that he was having the most trouble working on. Hubris was the worst sin in many tragedies for a reason.

At the mention of the rest of the blighted and what they needed to do about them, Loren sighed, and ran an anxious hand through his hair, simultaneously releasing the two companions. Astra tried jumping up to Jyoti and he couldn’t help but grin at that, though it faded quickly. ”At least we know that it can be cured. That has to count for something. And, loathe as I am to even think about this, I’ve spoken to Wessex and Deimos about rounding up everyone with the blight and putting them in the prison for LongNight.” There were several issues with that—for one they didn’t know everyone who had it, it seemed, and for another they didn’t know where they were, and finally they didn’t know how to safely contain them or corral them without using force—but it was their best option at the moment.
LOREN
Force and magic can be used against Loren without permission.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,971
MP:
#14
Amalia
"Of course it's okay." She does not answer the question or closeness - were is a word that hurts too acutely, implying that they are not now, that they will not be again. Swallowing the baker teaches out to Astra, aiming to run nimble fingers behind the sweet fawn's ears. "I met a luxere last year with red antlers. I sang to him to keep him calm, and helped him shed them. I wonder if he is well, and if his antlers grew back white this year." It is a distant remark, a memory stirred by the creature before her now. Amalia still cherishes those antlers dearly. Would the Luxere be happy to know how she's used them, that they have healed and protected, illuminating the darkest of caves?

It is not shock or disgust that fills her as Loren admits his idea, but surprise to hear it from someone else. "I said something similar to Ronin, before..." before he went mad. The solution is far away from ideal, but it might be the best option - for the safety of the blighted, as well as everyone else. Biting her lip, she glances back at Loren. "What did they say?" the girl wonders. She will have to speak to Deimos herself, later.

Picking up the shield and amulet from where they sit on the frozen grass, Amalia extends them to Loren, a question in her eyes. "Did you want to try? If it works, maybe Remi and Deimos' can make more. So we can at least have enough to protect the main places people are at, or those who failed to attract a herd."
she was like the moon-
part of her was always hidden away


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