conditionally conditioned
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Scientist

Age: 20 | Height: 5'8 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 18 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 15
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#1
you may say that i'm a dreamer
You're doing an observation today.

Which is kind of not so far from what you do every day. Not particularly exciting, or so it might initially seem. You're sitting on the steps of the Temple, surprisingly unassuming as you watch people come and go. There's a notebook in your hands (I know, what?!) in which you occasionally jot things down in a scrawling, pointy hand only easily legible to you and your twin.

You're wearing brown trousers that are somehow both too big and too small, and a bright blue top, and your bare foot taps a jaunyt pattern upon the warm grey stone. The movement keeps too much plant life from growing on you, which is good: you've noticed it seems to draw a lot of attention, and you're hoping to avoid that. You'd rather not be the center of attention, just for being you.

What makes today different and notable? Well, if we're being completely honest, you don't know yet. But oh, you're sure you will soon find out.
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd
Portal Guardian
Age: 30 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 45 - Endr: 38 - Luck: 42
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
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#2
It was a day like any other, which was to say: filled with far too many plans and not nearly enough time to reach them all in time, but all one could was one's best, and hope it was enough. Jigano had stopped into the Temple to offer a quiet prayer to Ludo and regain a sense of equilibrium with all the changes the world was undergoing (yet again, always) and had stayed longer than he had intended, though the god had not had time to answer today. In truth this suited the bard, for though he was fond of the raggedy deity, communing with it could be intense, and today he had simply wished to renew his sense of purpose and pledge to the gods of memory and soul.

Which was to say that when he stepped out of the soothing dark of the Temple interior he was temporarily blinded by the bright sunshine outside and nearly tripped over the young man perched on the steps. Only a flicker of his bright blue top gave Jigano enough warning to shift his weight to the side, and he barely caught himself as he blinked the sun-dazzle from his eyes and focused on who had appeared there.

Familiar, though not overly so, and as curious as ever it seemed, at least from the notebook filled with incomprehensible scribbles that might be notes. "Ah... hello again, Kai," he greeted in bemusement, a small smile quirking his lips. "How are you today?"
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 7 - Strg: 37 - Dext: 37 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 36
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
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#3
WESSEX

Go
deep throat
a cactus

Though the ex-Queen imagines she’d have heard if Bastien put his painting up, she often likes to check the empty expanse above the altars, picturing the beautiful artwork and the ensuing chaos with the faintest of smiles on her face. The sun is brighter than she’d like it to be, but with the proper protection, she’s successfully avoided self-immolation even on the most dazzling Longheat days (wear your sunscreen, fam!). It helps that she doesn’t feel like she’s overheating.

The Grounds themselves are big enough to avoid others when you want to, and small enough to turn the corner every other day and find someone you’d rather not see. Today is one of those days, minus the corners, because who should come tripping (too bad he didn’t fall flat on his face) out of the Temple but Jigano. And a part of her grins wickedly, because she’s feeling a little confrontational and frisky and she’s nowhere near as easy to steamroll as the rest of her siblings. Part of her is dying for a round two, out in the open, where everyone can see exactly what happens.

That won’t happen unless Wessex is provoked. But if there’s anyone who can push her buttons, it’s that guy.

Purposefully staying on course, the Ascended heads straight for the Temple, for the kid and the man. She blatantly ignores anything Jigano might throw her way, opting to greet her fellow demi with a cool, casual countenance. “Hey Kai. Whatcha doin’?”


Scientist

Age: 20 | Height: 5'8 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 18 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 15
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#4
By the time you are disturbed in your observations you've filled up three pages with scribbles and scratches and scrawling text, little drawings of individuals you found interesting interspersed within. So engrossed are you, in fact, that you do not notice the man who is leaving the temple until he's (literally) nearly upon you. You did not expect someone to trip over you, though perhaps it's a predictable outcome given where you're sitting- but everyone else had managed to avoid you so far. Though if we look back, your limited knowledge of Jigano does suggest a certain lack of spatial awareness and tendency to put his feet where they really shouldn't go.

Despite his nearly crushing you you greet him with a smile, brown eyes bright as they turn up toward him, thick eyebrows raised at his wobbly stance. "Hullo, 'Gano!" you greet in return, wondering how the bard will react to you leaving off the first syllable of his name. "I am healthy an' satisfied with my work. How're you?"

It seems you are going to attract more attention than you intended today, but at least you've managed to get some good observation in before, and you find you don't mind the company. "Hullo, Wessex! I'm observin' people at the temple. What're you doin'? Isn' it uncomfortable to be in this much sun?" Both the individuals are interesting in their own ways, and besides, you'd been hoping to observe some more interpersonal interactions of the human-animals in the Hollowed Grounds. "D'you know each other?" you ask innocently, glancing between the pair of them, your expression warm and bright.
there's no time to be bored
in a world as beautiful as this
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd
Portal Guardian
Age: 30 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 45 - Endr: 38 - Luck: 42
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
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#5
White eyebrows arched in pleased surprise at the nickname, a childhood affectation he hadn't heard in almost twenty years. It brought back memories of a gentler, more pleasant time, and his expression softened for a moment before Kai's oddly endearing manner of speech in answering his query widened his smile. Before he could respond, however, an unexpected daytime appearance by no less than the former Queen (well, one of them. Given Loren's news of Zariah being back in town it was 50/50) darkened the Temple's doorstep.

Anger still lingered, coiling deep and red in the bard's stomach, but he had learned a few interesting things in recent days that helped to cool it to a low boil, and send a curl of self-satisfied amusement flickering into the edges of his sharp-toothed smile as he watched the blond woman approach. "I'm doing well, and on my way to work, as a matter of fact. I look forward to seeing you and your sister there sometime soon, as we discussed before. And yes... yes we do. But for now, may your observations prove illuminating." He smiled again at the young man, offering a slight bow before continuing on his way. If Wessex wished to ignore him, he had no problem returning the favor. Not at the moment, at least, when so many other wheels were beginning to spin into motion.

{Jigano out}
Nathaniel Sterling
Hunter

Age: 31 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 1 - Strg: 14 - Dext: 9 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
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#6
The weakness we left behind
seems to be getting stronger
Time becomes an ouroboros: seasons twisting in an agonal ring. It is Flowerbirth again; it was Flowerbirth yesterday. Nathaniel haunts the shadows within the temple as if finding the place least likely to house him and then willfully inhabiting it will break the cycle. But even if he cannot see the sun, it shines outside. And even if he pretends it is last year, ten years ago, the wheel only turns in one direction.

Anyway — no one — nothing he hoped to find is here. Nathaniel's heavy footfalls are dull but resounding in the cavernous space. Like a distant pulse; he cannot block it out. There are other footsteps, too. The handful of strangers minding their own business. Moving as if they know where they are going, or pausing to speak to each other, or to pray. Nathaniel has not even begun to think of prayer in a long, long time. He is no longer certain which is worse: to be continually ignored by Caido's gods, or to be answered.

He is too much a coward to test his luck, either way.

So he makes his exit as quietly as he made his entrance this morning. He shuffles past people he may recognize, but doesn't know. He doesn't look people in the eye, these days. Not after the Outlanders started turning the Hollowed Grounds inside out. Not since words like queen and king started bouncing around and Nathaniel realized he had little taste for rebellion or for law. He still hopes, in some foolish denialist part of himself, that time will prove it all out and this attempt at civilizing Caido falls apart for good, and he can go back to… whatever he does.

Right now, what he does is skulk in doorways.

There are people out in front of the temple. Not — just people. Not — just in front. But right there in his way. Worse: Nathaniel recognizes some of them. Much worse: he recognizes them as the sort of people who get their fingers in important things and don't let go.

He stalls.

One of them leaves. The others don't. He really ought to go home and pet his dog. Water his plants. Whatever Nathaniel does when he isn't blocking doorways or thinking too much.

Time grinds forward, inward. The serpent devouring its own tail. He has been in this moment before and he will never be in this moment again. He makes his legs move, long strides swallowing the ground, and then he is behind the boy seated on the steps, and he is looking at Wessex, so briefly. Just a glance, really. A nod.

A 'well, you're still alive' and then he is going to move past them and leave, and avoid returning to the sanctuary at all for several weeks.
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 7 - Strg: 37 - Dext: 37 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 36
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
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#7
WESSEX

Go
deep throat
a cactus

Though he may like to think he has the monopoly on anger, let us not forget that he tried to bite her in half, too. The incident may be overshadowed by her Ascension, but don’t think for a minute that she doesn’t have a right to hate him right back for all the low blows he’s sent her way.

There’s a sweet sort of satisfaction in knowing that she may have thwarted an attempt for him to to do some lorehoarding. “I’m here to check on something in the Tempe,” she answers Kai good-naturedly, “It’s not bad. I don’t feel much discomfort and I’m strong enough that the cloak prevents any damage.” Jigano passes by without incident, leaving Wessex alone with her fellow demi-god. “Yeah, we do,” she repeats. “But we don’t like each other.” She takes a seat. “See anything interesting?”

She might have begun to pick the kid’s brain on how he thinks when someone she hasn’t seen in a long time and as he nods at her, she returns the acknowledgment with a curt one of her own, refraining from hailing him or stopping him from going anywhere. They aren’t friends, but it’s good to know he survived LongNight.


Scientist

Age: 20 | Height: 5'8 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 18 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 15
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#8
you may say that i'm a dreamer
There's a lot of passive aggression and weird, pent-up resentment that is totally wasted on you.

Well not totally. You're astute enough to figure out that Jigano and Wessex don't like each other, even without the older woman's confirmation of that fact. You wave to Jigano as he walks away: "'k! We'll come soon!" you agree brightly, before turning to the blonde who has sat beside you.

"I saw a lotta interestin' things. Mostly people - this seems like a central meetin' hub. An' I drew some of 'em. Wanna see?" Holding up your notebook for her, you display the previous pages. They are littered with surprisingly skillful drawings of people's faces, hands, feet, bags, shins- random disembodied body parts and items, whatever caught your attention at the time.

You don't have a chance to explain the method behind your madness, because there's another person who Wessex seems to know, or who seems to know Wessex, or maybe both. Though they don't greet each other verbally, the non-verbal exchange is obvious enough, not unlike the sort of greeting predators may give one another, you think. Leaning toward Wessex, you question curiously (and with no attempt to lower your voice): "Is that someone else that you don't like?"
Nathaniel Sterling
Hunter

Age: 31 | Height: 6'3" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 1 - Strg: 14 - Dext: 9 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
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#9
The weakness we left behind
seems to be getting stronger
Oh, Kai. If only you weren't so observant, so astute, so curious. Or perhaps it's just the combination of those things which hits Nathaniel like a bullet hurled from a rocket ship. His long stride slows dramatically, so dramatically the others surely notice. And this would be embarrassing if Nathaniel wasn't already embarrassed, caught off guard by the question, the implication that Wessex knows him well enough to dislike him. The bristling, sour reminder that he is someone to be disliked.

Something in the marrow of him goes cold all at once, and Nate half turns back, something nameless in his expression. Is it surprise? Or contempt? Or — or that formless unchecked aggression which predominated his features for so many years of his youth? His eyes spark with something suddenly alive, he half opens his mouth, seems to become stuck, settles his lips into something like a snarl — or a frown.

"Is this your kid?" he asks, and the question sounds like an accusation. Kid, though it is probably too young for the boy. Nathaniel would have been happy with the nod. He would have been happy with nothing, but the insult lights him on fire. Something Nathaniel tries to forget but cannot escape: He is only really alive when he's angry.

Were he older, were he wiser, he would still be walking. But poor Nate has never been either thing. So, here he is.
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 7 - Strg: 37 - Dext: 37 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 36
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
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#10
WESSEX

Go
deep throat
a cactus

“Mmmmm, sure. This is the Sanctuary, so you’re bound to see a lot of people together here. More than in the Outskirts.” So saying, she leans forward and does indeed take a look at Kai’s drawings. A brief look of pleasant surprise flits across her face as she looks at the detailed, skilled sketches, but does not question why he draws them, what sparks his fascination.

But he draws her attention back to Nathaniel, and her eyebrows furrow in a bit of confusion. “Him?” A shake of her head. “No.” Which isn’t for the man’s benefit, even as he slows, the question obviously catching his attention (as it would have caught hers, too). “I don’t know him well, but I certainly don’t dislike him.” And if the demi-god were to dig further, he might find it’s only because the man is a Natural like herself, a fellow fringe member of the community. The Wraith knows what it is to be disliked, to want to challenge assumptions and nurture a sense of aggression like a life-giving flame.

At least, until Nathaniel begins to approach, a dark look about him, and The Wraith tenses.

His question elicits a snort from the ex-Queen. Her kid? Who the fuck would want to procreate with her, nevermind the implications of bringing a child into such a fucked-up work like theirs used to be.

“No." she responds almost immediately, to nip that thought in the bud. "Why?”




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