Personal Quest [se] promise me that you'll leave the light on
lantern making PQ
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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#1

Amalia stands behind the bakery counter with baited breath, waiting.

It feels so strange to do something so small, at least compared to their last set of ventures. The bakery is cozy in the Leafchange evening, lit by candles and the embers of the oven and permeated by the aroma of earlier bakes. On the counter sits a plate of scones and sweet, spiced ginger cookies, as well as a large pot of cinnamon-and-cardamom tea, and on the table in the front of the shop the lantern materials rest.

There are a few options: an old glass frame dusty with age, ready for a wash and perhaps a coat of paint. A length of silk rescued from the attic; some fine tissue paper in a collection of colors beside a small jar of paste. And there is wire and string and thin strips of wood, the basis for a frame upon which to make art. Amalia herself has a small stack of paper on the counter beside her; a pair of already made but undercorated lights in green and silver sit on top.

Nibbling thoughtfully on a scone, she tries to hide her own anxiety while waiting for others to come.



This is an open PQ to make lanterns for the festival of lights! First come, first serve. The'll be 3-4 spots

1.
2.
3.
4.
Amalia
Her eyes, they know too much.
She'll treat you like somebody but you just can't touch.
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#2
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

Lanterns for the dead: a haunting conflagration again and again, especially with the increase in lights for those expired, gone, souls sent away. His mind curled and coiled back to the inevitable wake of LongNight, those like Cera, extinguished without a chance, an opportunity, to set purpose and goals into fruition, and those like Adam, like Peter, mistakes and measures not calculated marring their wake. On a feral sigh, on whims of acceptance, on the notion that they’d be doing this for eternity, he maneuvered along the shop, bringing forth other hues of paint from their home, dropping them amongst the others Amalia had already gathered. He was a present, but quiet, supportive force along the bakery, snagging a few cookies, considering the materials, pondering if anything else would be required, if he’d be able to supply it readily (creation magic unwieldly and uncertain nowadays, as if it was as temperamental as the rest of this forsaken earth).

There and ready, all the same.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Weaver Hale
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 15
Played by: Kyra Offline
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#3
Weaver has never been to the bakery, but the smell that comes from the place is divine. It might be half of what draws her in, if she’s being really honest. That, and she’s always game for new things, new people. Particularly if said new people happen to have the materials to make a lantern. Oh, and cookies.

Weaver enters the bakery, finding it pleasant and cozy on what is a slightly cooler night. Though if you ask her, it’s still hot here. Weaver isn’t the rudest guest possible, and she finds the shopkeeper first, offering a wave and a smile. ”I’m Weaver,” she says, approaching with her hand outstretched to shake should Amalia take it. Then she eyes the plate of baked goods, one hand snaking out to snag a cookie with a little mischievous grin. What? A girl loves some baked goods now and again. Or always. Maybe always.

”Yum,” she says, mouth full of the first bite, and she refrains from grabbing one more before others arrive. ”Thanks for this. Can I offer something in return?” she asks, not actually meaning to steal the cookie but entirely unwilling to ask the question first and delay the cookie. She drifts to the materials sitting out on the table, drawn to the tissue paper which she riffles through.

***
Weaver eats a cookie, because yum, and riffles through the tissue paper that she likes. What a great guest who just wanders in like it’s her own home.

weaver

-- kiss you like a whiskey fire --

Seiji Okura
Musician

Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 2 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 10
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#4
S E I J I
The night is crisp, orange-black. The air smells thin with the promise of cold, and Seiji remembers his first night here. So much like this, only: the shadows bleaker, robbed of color. His thin coat bleeding warmth. Now he moves well-equipped, but with the same preternatural grace. As if he picks his every step with care. As if he is a deer in human skin, lost, wandering in search of its herd. He knows exactly where he is going, though, as he pauses outside the bakery door and breathes in.

There is a promise in the warmth of cinnamon and flame. A promise like golden light, linked hands, stone walls. If Seiji closes his eyes, he can just feel the memory brushing up against the back of his mind, but he can’t quite grasp it. He’s been struggling like this too long, the things in his head like secretive fish, vast and elusive. He breathes out, and moves through the door.

His dark eyes skim over the others. Two, of course, he knows: Amalia and Deimos are fixtures in the Hollowed Grounds. Even if he cannot recall speaking with Deimos, the man is difficult to miss. The third person, though Seiji does not recognize. Nonetheless, his slow smile is the same for each of them.

Seiji moves slowly toward the assembled materials. He should be hungry, but he hardly glances at the food. Instead, he runs the tip of one long finger along the corner of the glass frame. “Lanterns,” he says, softly, and his expression is wistful. Soft, sad somehow. Lonely despite the bakery and the friend he now blinks at with gentle eyes. “It’s time already, isn't it?"
The rain is full
of ghosts tonight
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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#5

The first to arrive is the most expected, a pulse of affection and appreciation sent across the attuned bond as the Sword sets out paint and partakes of snacks, as comfortable a fixture as any other. The lanterns this year will be hard for her, harder than they have for quite some time, and Amalia appreciates the familiarity of him, the bulwark of her lover at her back.

The next to come in is a stranger, but certainly a gregarious one. Taking the dark-haired woman's hand in hers, she squeezes it in greeting before letting go. "Amalia." She hasn't seen this Weaver around before; another Outlander, perhaps? Pleasantly bemused, the baker bobs her head. "No, it's... it's fine. They're for everyone."

The last to arrive is the most surprising, and the one who elicits the warmest smile. "Seiji!" Amalia exhales brightly, relieved to see him here and whole, a fear she hadn't dared to look at easing off her chest. Though her expression dims at his soft question. "Yes. It... yes."

With enough people settled in to begin, the Shield steps out from behind the counter. "I thought it would be nice to... to make lanterns together, this year." To come together in the absence of those who are forever sundered apart. "I have all that we should need... I thought we could do frames first. And the glass lantern, if you wanted to clean it..." This last statement is directed at Seiji, a smile on her face.



No posting order! Time to make the frame for your lantern.
Amalia
Her eyes, they know too much.
She'll treat you like somebody but you just can't touch.
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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#6
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

Other presences wander within; and for half a beat he wondered if they’d ever be able to rekindle those days of ridiculous flour notions, or if those moments were gone, strangled, and suffocated by the way the world worked. They weren’t motions or insinuations for today anyway; lanterns more of a somber affair, the itch of sorrow curling its way through his shoulders, heaving a breath to abolish it from his core. His eyes slid over the others who occupied the bakery, an impish grin briefly unwinding, an arch of his brow following, at Weaver’s appearance and snagging of cookies (a brief narrowing of his eyes too, as if suddenly realizing he had competition for the sweets), a nod granted and given to her. “Weaver,” and no questions following, understanding why she’d be here. He also procured another cookie, just in case.

The other was unfamiliar, but on Amalia’s intonations, Seiji, the name sounded like something Kiada might have prospered or shared eons ago. A nod was given to the other man too, before presiding in his chosen sanction.

Perhaps he should choose to do it traditionally – with his created contortions bizarrely unwieldly. His hands reached for portions of wood, pondering the shape, the start to his father’s, remembering fire and swords, brimstone and embers, bombastic voraciousness, calls to war, manifesting, rooting the fortifications into a strong, stalwart formation.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Weaver Hale
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 15
Played by: Kyra Offline
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Posts: 419
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#7
if it doesn't burn a little
Definitely not an Outlander, just an outsider to the Grounds. Her Caido roots probably show as she offers something in return, born and fed on a diet of bartering. Nothing was given for free in Halo, for all commodities were too precious. Though often, things were excessively cheap. The Halovians gave kindness in the form of unfair bargains, the sort that allow someone to save face while allowing someone else to give freely. Or freely enough that the cost is irrelevant. Still, it is strange to her to be allowed to simply take, and she nods her thanks.

Weaver smiles at Deimos as he greets her in his usual, talkative fashion. She notes how he snags another cookie, though she lets it go, willing to eat the scones as well if the cookies disappeared too quickly. ”I got better,” she says, wiggling her fingers at him, guessing he’ll understand her meaning. Her skills with fire are improving, and as much as she dislikes her teacher, she has to give Zariah some credit. She would not have learned so quickly without the Archmage.

For now though, she turns her attention to Amalia and the instructions she gives, picking up some wood and debating how she would fashion it for her brother this year. It usually ended up about the same, something tall and stoic and simple, as he had been in life. Her fingers work almost reflectively, beginning to build the structure, years of practice having taught them how to do this without much thought. She has had plenty of loss to remember during Leafchange, after all.

-- weaver

then what's the point in playing with fire?
Photo by Allef Vinicius | Quote by Bridgett Devoue
Seiji Okura
Musician

Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 2 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 10
Played by: kae Offline
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Posts: 149
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#8
S E I J I
If he finds the lack of attention unpleasant, Seiji shows no sign of it. Truthfully, the idea of company wearies his usually bright soul. Perhaps because so often, company in Caido ends with meetings like this: survivors, mourning, memories hanging in the air like smoke. Seiji hates the taste of good bye in his mouth. The sorrow mixing with fear.

So he takes no offense if Deimos offers him little more than a nod. If Weaver offers him nothing at all. Amalia's bright greeting is enough - a flash of color in a dull room. Amalia has weathered more years in this place than he, but she - she is resilient - like a sapling. He is… something else. Something light and fallible as wings over cold water.

"Thank you," Seiji murmurs. He doesn't mean the words for her alone. He doesn't mean to be this wispy creature in the corner, but lately his whole being is unusually tired. As if his soul can't bear another Deepfrost. Another Longnight. Perhaps he is simply weak. "Better together," he says, and something of the previous Seiji shines through in his smile.

The smile fades as he blinks down at the glass lantern. Seiji doesn't know why, but he imagines raindrops on the glass panels as he lifts them in his hands. Turns it over. His dark eyes are quiet, his gaze turned inward, as he reaches for a cloth and begins slowly to polish. Inch by inch, corner to corner. Every now and then, Seiji's eyes turn up, flicker toward the others. He thinks, he ought to speak. Some past version of him would have done so effortlessly. But here he is, weary, his fingers working and hardly any feeling in the gesture, at all. He is glad for their company, nonetheless.
The rain is full
of ghosts tonight
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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#9

They set to work in relative silence, each of them lost in thought and memory, quiet in their grief. Amalia takes a seat by Seiji, settling into the quartet quietly as each one chooses their material and begins to craft a frame. For her part the Shield goes for wire, an idea already clear in her mind, the image of what she will create.

As her dexterous fingers weave the metal she attempts to make small talk, the silence growing oppressive in its constancy, like darkness flooding through her shop. "Ah... Weaver, right?" Alto voice soft and curious, the girl surveys this older woman who sits across from her, hoping to have gotten the name right. "Where are you from?" Not here, certainly, but perhaps not an Outlander either; curiosity dances in Amalia's onyx eyes.

When they have managed to shape or clean their frames the baker once again stands up. Weaver's frame is of exceptional quality, Deimos' somewhat shaky from the use of hands instead of magic but still solid. Seiji, too, has managed to get the majority of the grime and rust from the lantern. Only Amalia has struggled with her creation: her skeletal star is bare and hollow, but the shape is there beneath the missteps and her plan is taking form.

"Help yourself to the outside materials," she suggests softly, gesturing to the array of paper and fabric that brightens the shop. For her own part she collects her sheaf of paper: childish drawings of spirals and circles made by a young and inexperienced hand. Aoife's drawings, from a time long before, now to be re-purposed into a very particular gift.



Weaver did an exemplary job of her frame, Deimos and Seiji did pretty well, and Amalia had a bit of a strug.
Choose the outside of your lantern! No order
Amalia
Her eyes, they know too much.
She'll treat you like somebody but you just can't touch.
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,831
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#10
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

For a creature meant for the quieter shades and darkness, for a cretin so habitually aware and vigilant in hushed platitudes, this contortion remained unsettling. Perhaps it was just the nature of it – lanterns in grief, in the paradoxes of loss, and instead of pulsing into its wake as he so often did, he unraveled from it. He caught Weaver’s eye and intonations, a warm, rumbling snort following through as she wiggled her fingers – he lifted one hand, intending to do the same, a flicker of flames pervading from the tips. Then they disappeared, teasing, taunting, before proceeding back to their rituals.

He was a bit disappointed in how shaky the foundation of his lantern was, not an accurate representation of the FireSword. Thereafter, he opted to grab some more twine and string, intertwining it along the framework, intending to instill a fortification along its wooden distinction. He followed through on the same wake with his mother’s, ensuring this one was strong too – like stones, like seas, like moonlit tides, worlds calling and harkening back through memories, through figments.

Amalia’s soft suggestion made his head, his gaze, rise from the fold, following over the materials already gathered. He opted for bright, crimson fabric for his father, and a deep blue for his mother. For a more regal effect, he burnt the edges of the fiery requiem, as if already scorched, already simmered, controlling, contorting, the efforts with silent fortitude.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Seiji Okura
Musician

Age: 25 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 2 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 25 - Endr: 12 - Luck: 10
Played by: kae Offline
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Posts: 149
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#11
S E I J I
Seiji moves slowly today, as if the cold has stolen out some of his inner fire. His dark eyes narrowed, he concentrates on the boxy object in his hands, turning it now and again to inspect its many faceted surfaces, to watch the light glance off edge and corner. He pays little mind to the others, though he knows he should. At the moment, it feels almost like too much — though he is glad for Amalia's presence beside him. He watches the interplay between Deimos and Weaver with a kind of distant confusion, full of the knowledge that he will never understand whatever it is they say without words. There is a lot about Caido he may never understand. He joined the Loreseekers in hopes of remedying that, but he feels now he's made such little headway. The names of gods, of places — what do they matter? They are neither his gods nor his places.

So he does not understand why the lantern-making feels so comfortable to him. He is intent on it, lost to himself, looking not out at them but in toward some hidden depth. A cold and deceptively quiet sea. And his thoughts are birds arcing over it, bright and soft and impossible to catch. He hears Amalia's prompting as if from a distance, and looks up, blinking, like a man asleep just woken from sleep.

Seiji's gaze moves over the creation in Amalia's hands first. It is surprisingly clumsy. It looks like something dreamt up by a much younger version of her, less bright and more uncertain. He glances up at Deimos, red and blue already flowing into the man's powerful hands. Fire flickering along the edges. It means something. Seiji could spend a long time looking, trying to reconcile what he sees with what he is supposed to see, to read the truth tucked carefully away in paper wings and wire skeleton. He glances toward Weaver last, his head just slightly tilted. He does not know her, but the creation in her hands is one of a skilled artisan, and he wonders if she is an artist, maybe. A friend from the Guild he has gone far too long without paying a visit.

Now his gaze drops to his own hands, and his brows furrow ever so slightly. What does he want the clear glass to evoke? He thinks, silent, ignoring the conversation around him, before he just as quietly moves toward the paper and procures a scarlet sheet. His hands are quick now, gently tearing and folding, until several miniature shapes emerge: birds caught in flight. They are no more than silhouettes which he affixes to the panes, small there but meant to cast much larger shadows. Evocative of sparkbirds maybe, or of something else he cannot quite recall. This is the most important part, and the most consuming. When he is finished, Seiji reaches for paint, dark blue or maybe black, he can't tell just looking at it, and his eyes again travel the room, acknowledging each of his quiet companions with curiosity. He would like to hear their stories if he can. He would like to know the pain they put into their works, the memories they will this year give to flame.

"They are beautiful," he says, and his smile is a true one, though small. To his own frame, he adds a delicate coat of dark paint, breathing life anew into something once worn and old. The light will shine from it brilliantly, this memorial to things long lost and maybe just as well to things he hopes will come.
The rain is full
of ghosts tonight
Weaver Hale
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 13 - Endr: 14 - Luck: 15
Played by: Kyra Offline
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#12
if it doesn't burn a little
She is very thankful when Amalia breaks the silence. It was beginning to grate on her, and if someone else hadn’t done it soon she would have. Yes, she knows this is a solemn affair but the people in the room aren’t dead and they can still make some small talk and get to know one another. Though she gathers she is the only one who doesn’t know everyone else here, which isn’t surprising. That seems to be the case regularly in the Grounds, but of course, they’ve been together longer than she has been freed from captivity in Halo.

”Mhm,” she says, agreeing that is indeed her name. Strange name, she knows. ”Halo, born and bred.” Weaver grins slightly, as if stating where she is from explains a lot. And honestly, it probably does explain quite a lot. She was very much made of the place that had created and groomed her, though she had a warmer personality than the tundra. ”How about you?” she asks Amalia, and then turns to include Seiji in the question. ”And you, Seiji?”

She had never actually meant to ignore him when he’d first come in, but she’d been distracted and excited by her new skills and the cookie-thieving Deimos. Besides, Weaver was not the sort that required pleasantries. Even if she did not say a word to him now, she’d greet him as an old friend should they cross paths again. This was simply her way.

The base of her lantern comes out well enough, looking very much like every other year she has made it. At Amalia’s suggestion, Weaver gets up and collects some of the more neutral toned tissue, thinking of her brother’s power over the earth, and grabbing a bit of blue and green to add some detail. Using the brown to cover most of the lantern first, Weaver then adds a strip of green and blue above. Eventually she grabs some paint to add a few basic decorations, though her painting skills have always proven to be subpar.

When Seiji comment, she looks up and smiles slightly, eyeing the creations. ”Yours as well. Though I admit, some years the lantern comes out better than others. I assume my brother will not judge me for the attempt, regardless.” She is always willing to talk of him, to remember him, to ensure that time does not let her forget him. That would be far worse than his death.

-- weaver

then what's the point in playing with fire?
Photo by Allef Vinicius | Quote by Bridgett Devoue
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:
#13

Halo, born and bred. "Oh," she says, glancing at Deimos, their last foray into Halo responsible for some of the lanterns being made today. She shivers just thinking of the unforgiving land, and not only because of the cold. "I'm from here. All my life. This bakery was my grandmother's." And then, because she cannot help it, she adds a burning question that's been itching in her brain: "What was it like, growing up with the Old Gods? Knowing they were with you... out there?"

Perhaps it's her curiosity that keeps her concentration from the lantern; whatever the reason, her star is less not coming together as well as she would like. The papers stick together poorly, the edges curling away at the corners, Aoife's drawings not presenting with the sincerity she hoped for. She frowns, frustrated by her continued failings, and more than a little envious of Weaver's continued success.

Deimos and Seiji don't fare much better because the dice were brutal this round, fam, but together they are able to create lanterns that are high in sentimental value, if not skill. But the most important part is still to come: there are small candles in a pile on the table, waiting to be added to the inside of the lanterns, to cast shadows and light on the ghosts of the missing, illuminate the love they have for the lost.



Weaver's lantern is gorgeous, Seiji and Deimos have solid foundations but their decorations will need to be touched up, Amalia continues to struggle.
Last round! Add your candles!
Amalia
Her eyes, they know too much.
She'll treat you like somebody but you just can't touch.
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 29 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 28
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,831
MP:
#14
We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

His eyes caught Amalia’s; but he had no inclination of derision towards Halo itself. Too mountain-infused and immersed from previous lives to ever think ill of mountains, ice, rime, or summits; just the results of their expedition warring across his skin, his flesh. He placed the responsibility and blame upon themselves and Sunjata; not the land. Not addressed in the quiet, his eyes fell back to the lanterns.

Irritated slightly at how the fabric had played out in his hands, his layered and lacquered his concentration into the prowess, into the precision. His father and mother deserved that much – not this misshapen, haphazard display. In the midst of his silence, he maneuvered deftly, attempting to once more ensure they were more than shambles, the fire blooming, curling in the corners, the watery abyss swallowing the void.

No sighs given in his frustration, just a mere tilt of his head and a tighter clench to his jaw. The candles would hopefully hold up within the lantern’s sanction, grabbing a few to place them within, hands and fingers intended to be steady, striving to withhold some amount of respect for parents long since deceased.

DEIMOS
Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts


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