a spoonful of sugar helps the paranoia go down
for Amalia
Joshua Sheppard
Private Investigator

Age: 35 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 7
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#1
JOSH
Josh usually preferred to stay in wilderness, where it was easier to hide and be alone, to collect his thoughts...but the best investigations always happened in cities, where people and business and information all resided together. The closest thing to a city the Hollowed Ground seemed to have was Sanctuary, so he headed towards the buildings he could see in the distance, until he was within the town.

There was certainly a lot to look into. More finer, larger buildings than expected, more diversity than he had thought possible in such a small place...though he supposed if this were the hotspot for inter-dimensional travellers it seemed to be, that made sense. He walked down the streets with a frown on his features, looking to each shopfront and person with analytic eyes, trying to see how it all fit together.

It was only when he smelt the sweet scent of baking that he realised he was hungry; almost immediately he was aware of a yawning ache in his stomach, and that it had been a long time since he had eaten, and that when he had, it had been some Pot Noodles in his trailer. Hunger was a distracting problem and needed to be rectified, so he quickly turned into the bakery.

He had no money. Usually he wouldn't care, having no moral qualm with stealing if he needed to, but it was best to avoid a terrible reputation this quick in the new place. Looking at the counter, he wondered what currency was used here, if any: he had not seen any money changing hands so far. Hands in his pockets, he stared at the pastries and bread, seemingly waiting for a shop attendant yet also completely involved in his own world.
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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)
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#2
Amalia
the shield of safrin
Without anything concrete to cling to, Amalia has fallen back into the habit of work. It gives her solace, familiarity in the chaos: no matter how much she doesn't know, she knows how to do this. Cooking, baking, is as natural to her as breathing, always bringing forth the same results if you follow the simple steps.

Its midday which means she's finished the morning bake and now the afternoon loaves are rising along the rear of the shop. Flush with sweat from the heat of the ovens, Amalia leans upon her counter and sips cool water from a mug. There is flour on her cheek and on her neck, more beneath her fingernails. Her body aches from pushing it too hard these last few days; she relishes the pain.

The man who walks in is a stranger to her, which is surprising- there are fewer and fewer strange faces, these days. Wearily she rises to a standing position, placing the water down beside her and affixing her best customer service smile (or at least, not frown). "Welcome to Devas Bakery. How can I help you today?"
she is calm in the storm
and anxious in the quiet
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Joshua Sheppard
Private Investigator

Age: 35 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 7
Played by: Lancy Offline
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#3
JOSH
Josh turned at the sound of a voice towards Amalia, whom he glanced at up and down, for an almost uncomfortably long time before he spoke (old habit. Wanted to learn everything about someone before he spoke). While usually it would have just been quick order, he had nothing to pay with and he was still on an investigation.

"What is your currency here? I am new to this plane and don't have any of your money yet--" Just in case it'd work, Josh patted his pocket to see if he had his credit card; he didn't. "--But I could get some, quickly, if needed." He gestured to one of the pastries, something savoury and filling looking.

It wasn't just food he wanted, though. "I'm also looking for information, if you are willing to chat." His rather monotone delivery made 'chat' sound more ominous than he meant it to, so Josh tried to soften it with an obviously unnatural smile.
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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
the shield of safrin
Long stares and strange questions aren't so strange to her; "This plane?" she asks without any real curiosity, having heard much stranger beliefs from Outlanders regarding how they got to Caido. She might have teased him gently once upon a time, have been kind in how she spoke to him, a patient teacher of sorts. But today she's tired, not in the mood to hold someone's hand.

Still, she can be kind.

"We don't have currency, really. Just trade." Steadily she begins to put together a plate, pulling a meat pie down from the cooling wrack and setting it on the counter between them. "Someone gave me the ingredients for this pie, so I could feed someone else who needs it. So that one day they'd repay the debt." Maybe he'll scoff at her for how simple the system is; something in her tone suggests he would be best served not.

As for information, it is a vague request and earns only a shrug, along with a lift of her eyebrow. "What did you want to know about?"
she is calm in the storm
and anxious in the quiet
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Joshua Sheppard
Private Investigator

Age: 35 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 7
Played by: Lancy Offline
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#5
JOSH
"Yes. This dimension, reality...whatever." Josh wiggled his hand about in a dismissive gesture, not having yet done enough research to say exactly what had happened (he was betting on dimensions, though).

That the place ran on a barter system drew a raised eyebrow from him; it had seemed to him comparable to periods on Earth with currency...but trade was likely easier for his purposes anyway. He knew how to find absolute shit and make it sound mysterious enough to be worth something.

He didn't laugh or scoff at her story, but mostly because he hardly had any reaction at all, just a nod to show he'd heard; Josh didn't really care how his food had come to be, just that it was before him and available to eat - he reached for the pie; a different kind of meal from his usual, which often consisted of some microwave noodles and a chocolate bar. "Thanks."

There was so much he wanted to know...but one thing that had begun to really bother him. "So I've already heard of Ascended, Abandoned, Attuned. Is there anything else?"
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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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#6
Amalia
the shield of safrin
He's an odd sort, dismissive of the information she gives, and it rubs her slightly the wrong way. So when he reaches for the pie and something in her snaps a little; with quick reflexes Amalia grabs it back, pulling the pan toward her and out of reach. "You haven't told me what you'll trade for, yet." There's a touch of fang behind her lips, half playful, half dangerous, her expression calm.

"'Anything else?'" Amalia repeats, blinking slowly at the question. In terms of... what? Unique qualities of Caido? Races? Words that start with A? She has no concept of how he wants the question answered, so she stays silent, bemused and annoyed and not in a mood to hold his hand through this information gathering process.
she is calm in the storm
and anxious in the quiet
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Joshua Sheppard
Private Investigator

Age: 35 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 7
Played by: Lancy Offline
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Posts: 113
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#7
JOSH
Amalia's snatching back of the pie made Josh pause, as if he had not been expecting her to do anything about it; fingers still mid-grasp he looked to her, one eyebrow raised. "You're right. Okay. How about this?" Reaching into his pocket, he took something that made a rustling noise as he touched it then held it aloft in a fist as if about to show her something very special indeed; he didn't stop this act as he opened his fingers to reveal a small white square of paper with a black printed logo covering it in a grid.

Yes, it was a candy wrapper. But he hoped she wouldn't know that. "These are very valuable in my world. It's one of my most treasured possessions." Josh fixed her with a purposeful look. "I am willing to give it away, I am so hungry."

That she didn't seemed to understand his question made him doubt whether her answer would be worth listening to, but he entertained it for now. "Races. Any other races?"
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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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#8
Amalia
the shield of safrin
And the thing he offers is... absolutely unclear in value or purpose. "What... is this?" Paper, with an image on it she doesn't recognize. Skeptical but curious, Amalia extends her slender fingers to pluck the object from his hand, hoping to inspect it closer for any level of usefulness. There's none she can divine, but she's known strange items to have surprising value.

That, or he's just trying to mess with her.

"Ah." So it was races he was asking about. Still not sold on the value of the paper, Amalia slices idly into the pie, cutting a neat triangular slice and moving it to a plate. "Well there's the Fae in the Greatwood, and I hear there are mermaids in Torchline." She taps a fork upon the plate thoughtfully. "Those are the humanoid races that I know of. Besides the gods - and the demigods. And then there's the non-humanoids."
she is calm in the storm
and anxious in the quiet
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Joshua Sheppard
Private Investigator

Age: 35 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 7
Played by: Lancy Offline
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Posts: 113
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#9
JOSH
Amalia, expectedly, asked what it was he'd given her. With a voice carrying some fake offence, he replied: "Something very valuable indeed. In my world just a half of one of these sheets can buy a man three houses." It wasn't hard to keep a straight face as he said this; Josh's face rarely tried out many new expressions.

She moved the pie to the plate regardless of whether she was convinced and he watched her tap the fork as she spoke, though his eyes snapped back up to her face at the mention of mermaids. "Where can I find the mermaids?" He asked urgently, clearly interested.

"Non-humanoid? What kind of form, then?" Josh had not expected Amalia to give such an interesting answer and slammed his notepad on the counter to write some things down, so excited by the new information that he didn't think to hide the page from her, which began with the words RACES OF DIMENSIONAL PLANE 2.
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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
the shield of safrin
The strange little piece of paper remains utterly unconvincing as something with value; she hands it back to him with a shrug, and her eyes glittering with what might be wry humor. "I already have two houses," the Shield remarks lightly. "And this bakery. I don't think I could take six more."

Then with all the casualness she can possibly muster and an attempt at a subtle sidelong glance, she adds: "Besides, I doubt the stone golems would find your paper very compelling."

So mermaids are what does it for him, huh? She's surprised by this: half-fish hardly seem like the most interesting things in Caido. "I hear they live in Torchline, though I haven't met any personally."

As for non-humanoids, she hums thoughtfully, raising to fork to tap absently on her nose. "The more sentient ones would be dragons, frost Giants - though they're humanoid I guess - the tulmhainar... that's just what I've encountered. Oh, star whales." She adds this last one in response to an indignant trill from the rafters, Jyoti waking from a nap just in time to assert her sentience.
she is calm in the storm
and anxious in the quiet
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Joshua Sheppard
Private Investigator

Age: 35 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 7
Played by: Lancy Offline
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Posts: 113
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#11
JOSH
Two houses and the bakery? Clearly this woman had to be someone of import, then - he had not seen any outstanding examples of poverty on his walk through the town, but there had clearly been those with scarce supplies living in small places and with large numbers; perhaps Amalia had more influence than he had given her credit for from behind her baker's counter. "You are wealthy woman, then?"

As for stone golems...well, it was interesting, and got written down, but he reminded himself to think of one thing at a time. Torchline, for the mermaids. He'd certainly have to make a trip there soon.

He snorted at 'dragons' but wrote it anyway, not wanting to discount anything. As Amalia mentioned 'star whales', two words he'd never heard put together, he raised his head to ask her what they were; his eyes continued up to the source of the trill and widened. "It's sentient? Is it intelligent? Can it speak?"
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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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#12
Amalia
the shield of safrin
Wealthy? Who's to say, in a world where 'wealth' is valued differently than anything Joshua might have concept of? Amalia shrugs, furrowing her brow. "I'm... fortunate. But there are plenty of empty houses in the Settlement. You could probably have three, if it would make you happy." Though what he'd do with them is beyond her.

Starwhales never fails to get attention, at least in Amalia's experience. She resists the urge to smile as her companion trills again, happy to be acknowledged. From the rafters she descends, swimming curiously to Josh, the questions gaining a series of low sounds in obvious, incomprehensible answer. "She is very intelligent," the Shield of Safrin affirms, "And can speak to me. She's my companion." A concept half the newcomers take in stride, and half are perplexed by. Based on their conversations so far, this one will probably be perplexed.

Tired of holding out, Amalia at last presses the plate toward the stranger, inviting him to eat. "You know, if you really want to learn more... you should go to the Atheneum. And the Loreseeker's Guild. You'll find answers to most of your questions there."
she is calm in the storm
and anxious in the quiet
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Joshua Sheppard
Private Investigator

Age: 35 | Height: 5'8" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 1 - Strg: 12 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 13 - Luck: 7
Played by: Lancy Offline
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Posts: 113
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#13
JOSH
"I'm intending to live on top of the obelisk." Given he wasn't running from the police here (yet) he didn't mind sharing his locations; maybe this way people might come to give him further evidence and clues. "Spire, I heard it be called." He gave his information plainly and monotone, as if living atop the Spire was something bland and normal.

The idea of a 'companion' was a new one to Josh and he wasn't entirely sure what she meant. "A pet?" He asked, looking to her but quickly glancing back to Jyoti, clearly entranced by the floating creature.

"Yeah, I've heard of the Atheneum and the Loreseekers. I'm gonna stop off there eventually, I just wanna see what the townspeople have to say." Gladly he took the plate, already several bites into the pie before he thought to look up and mumble: "Thanks."
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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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#14
Amalia
the shield of safrin
"You want to live... on top... of the Spire?" Amalia repeats the words slowly, staring blankly at the man as though he may have misspoke. Or maybe he's just an idiot? Another idiot outlander with no idea what he's doing, what he's saying, thinking he's inexplicably in charge of the world now. "Do.. are... why?"

It's hard for her to get past the idea of him living on the Spire, but she tires to continue answering questions. "No, not a pet. We share a bond in our souls. It's a little hard to explain." She finishes off a little curtly, lips pursed unhappily.

She watches him eat the pie in silence, still bothered by his earlier sentiment. "What do you know about the Spire? About what happened there? About what it means?" Gripping the edge of the counter, she tries to keep her ire at bay, but she's rather awful at hiding her emotions. "Why would you want to live there?"
she is calm in the storm
and anxious in the quiet
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