how ‘bout now?
Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
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#43

”Tea it is,” Vai nodded, turning back to open cupboards and take out ingredients, and to fill the kettle and put it on the already hot stove. A plate of some kind of sweet pastries made it to the middle of the table, Vai not bothering to try and ration them out - she had little doubt Felix would hoover them up regardless. ”Mers...?” she repeated, turning to lean against the counter and watch the exchange.

Then Felix glanced up at her, and she thought she’d take a wild stab at it herself. ”Is that short for merfolk, by chance?” she asked Zeph; those had featured in many a fairytale that spilled from Vai’s lips, so her son would be more than familiar with those. ”I’d heard they were in the waters, but I haven’t seen any yet. Have you met one?” She raised a brow at him, curious now.

As the kettle began to whistle, Vai took it from the stove to brew the tea in their mugs, setting them down on the table and slumping to sit with them. (Zeph would find a pleasant bite to his, like someone had added something alcoholic to it. Maybe).

vervain
I am always on your side
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Zephyr Kawaianu
Smuggler

Age: 35 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
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#44
zephyr

The pastries are too tempting to ignore. You take a healthy bite of one, closing your eyes to savor the taste, an appreciative note slipping from between your lips. "Aye, it is," you answer once you've swallowed, nodding at Vai's clarification. "Met more'n one, though not too many. They're a secretive folk for the most part."

You take the mug between your hands and let it warm your skin, inhaling the scent of it (and oh my, is that liquor? A woman after your own heart indeed- you raise a grateful eyebrow at Vai while taking your first sip.) Setting the mug back on the table, you once again hum in thought.

"They say the mers collect the treasures dropped from shipwrecks, an' thats what their castles are made'a." You glance at Felix, trying to gauge his interest. Does he like stories? Is he too old for that? Or too young? Fuck, it's going to take a bit to wrap your mind around this whole thing. "But that their love'a treasure is what got 'em stuck in the water t'begin."
we were toogether
who cared about the rest?
Felix Calob


Age: 17 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Greatwood
Level: - Strg: 12 - Dext: 7 - Endr: 9 - Luck: 7
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#45
FELIX
He settles, focusing on the sweets in front of him, reaching out for one – and rather than being like Zeph and taking a large bite, Felix stuffs the entire thing into his mouth after his question is aired. He attempts to chew around the amount of food in his mouth as the tea is set on the table and the realization hits that he was talking about Merfolk, which has bright dual toned eyes flickering back to Zeph. “Mmoh?” He manages around his mouthful of food, before remembering Vai had taught him specifically not to talk with his mouth full of food.

Welp, regrets were made. He tries to chew a bit faster, soaking up all of it and trying to imagine it in his mind. He swallows the last bit, voice a bit hoarse from the giant bite he’s just swallowed as he rushes to speak. “How’d that happen?” Bright eyes remain focused and trained on Zeph, ever the picture of a perfect student, ready to learn and listen.
breathing dreams like air
Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
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#46

”Felix.” Vai definitely sounded more amused and exasperated than scolding, and she had to grin and shake her head at the sight of her son trying to inhale pastries at the speed of sound. Still, she’d brought it to his attention at least - and he wasn’t trying to choke himself. Settling back with her mug of tea and taking a careful sip, she raised an eyebrow right back at Zeph, leaving it to guesswork as to whether there was liquor in her drink too.

What he had to say about the merfolk garnered both of their attention, Vai’s blue eyes curious at the story he told; and she had asked him for a story, had she not? Better late than never (though his payment for her sharing of a drink had been made twofold so far). Rather than echoing her son’s question, she merely fell quiet as an attentive listener, gaze flicking occasionally to Felix simply to enjoy his reaction.

vervain
I am always on your side
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Zephyr Kawaianu
Smuggler

Age: 35 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
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#47
zephyr

Okay, well, he seems interested. Chuckling a little as he swallows down that enormous mouthful of food, you glance over to meet Vai's blue eyes with an expression that clearly reads, Boys, am I right?

Your attention returns to your eager audience and his startling two-toned eyes. "Well, it's said that a long time ago mers were people like us, with legs an' everythin', 'cept they could breathe underwater and go on land." You emphasize the excitement of this idea, raising your eyebrows playfully. Your voice has taken on a unique timbre, the storyteller you used to be rising to the fore. A rare side to see these days for sure, but one you slip into like a well worn coat.

"'Cus they could go 'most anywhere, the mers collected all sorts'a treasures. Gold an' jewels an' everythin' else they could get their hands on - the shinier the better. But more'n anythin' else at all, the old mers loved the moon." You pause here, looking between your listeners to see if they're still engaged.
we were toogether
who cared about the rest?
Felix Calob


Age: 17 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Greatwood
Level: - Strg: 12 - Dext: 7 - Endr: 9 - Luck: 7
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#48
FELIX
His mother’s quiet reprimand is met with an apologetic smile, even as his cheeks are stuffed like a squirrel’s with the pastry. But once he’s swallowed it down, taken a sip of the tea to wash it out, he focuses on Zeph and the story he’s all too excited to have. And all the excitement pools in his chest when Zeph begins, the older man meeting Felix’s dual-toned gaze ready to hear it all. It’s surprising for him, shown in the way his eyes widen a bit that the mermaids could walk before, able to breathe under water – wouldn’t that be something?

But then it goes into a bit more of a treacherous tale, of greed and everything that makes Felix enjoy the gritty parts of fairytales and legends. He’s half tempted to interrupt, to ask about the old mers and the moons, but of course he doesn’t – ever the good listener. Instead, his hand sneaks out along the table again in an attempt to sneak away another pastry to nibble on to keep his mouth shut to hear all of it rather than try to get explanations.

He’d learned early on that it ruined the fun of stories if he asked too many questions throughout it all.
breathing dreams like air
Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
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#49

Bouncing her eyebrows back at Zeph in an agreement of you are most definitely right, Vai propped her elbow on the table, resting her chin in her hand to listen. A lover of tales, she was actually surprised to hear the way the dock worker’s voice softened, became the rich sort of tone that suggested magic and mystery, legend and things too strange to be believe.

And indeed, he would find himself a captive audience in the two of them, Vai glancing sidelong at Felix with a crooked grin as she spotted his hand sneaking out for another pastry. She’d been telling him stories since before he could talk, but it was cute to see that his etiquette for hearing them extended to everyone.

”The moon,” she echoed, sipping at her tea. ”Biggest jewel of them all, you might say.”

vervain
I am always on your side
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Upgraded) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)
Zephyr Kawaianu
Smuggler

Age: 35 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 3 - Strg: 17 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 7
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#50
zephyr

There's something about sitting here in a cozy dining room with a mother and son listening enraptured as you spin a story that... well, it does something to you, and later on you'll have to wonder if it's good or bad. It's as though you've stepped through a looking glass to another life, a life that you will never have and that you don't belong in, but fuck if it isn't everything you've always wanted, everything you've lost.

The thought might have been enough to stop you if it wasn't for the two pairs of eyes still watching intently, innocently expecting you to go on. With a sharp inhalation and a shaky smile you run your hand over the teacup, faltering only for a moment before reclaiming the storyteller's thread.

"The biggest an' the brightest," you agree with Vai, glancing at her for a moment before turning back down to your cup. "An' when it isn' in the sky it's guarded by spirits. On the tallest mountain the spirit of a dragon keeps it in her hoard, protectin' it when Safrin' isn' hangin' it in the sky.

"Now, one day a young mer got it inta' his head t'go an' steal the moon. Whether he wanted it for fame, or for glory, or to impress a girl- nobody knows. Maybe he just wanted t'be the greatest treasure hunter there'd ever been. Whatever his reason, he left his home an' made his way to the mountains.

"It took a year an' a day t'climb to the highest peak, but eventually the mer made it. An' there it was, more bright an' beautiful than he could ever dream: the moon itself, its silver light fillin' up his eyes.

"An' wrapped around it- well. Whaddya think he saw?"
we were toogether
who cared about the rest?
Felix Calob


Age: 17 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Greatwood
Level: - Strg: 12 - Dext: 7 - Endr: 9 - Luck: 7
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#51
FELIX
Oh Zeph has Felix on the edge of his seat, listening and soaking up the tale with everything he can muster. He nibbles on the pastry far less intensely than the first one, breaking part of it apart and dipping it into the tea as he focuses on the idea of stealing a moon – a curl of his lip in amusement at just the prospect of trying to steal something so big and beautiful, and something that helped light up the darkness of the Greatwood when he’d stayed out too late to find his way home.

But his attention returns to Zeph as he swallows down his bite, right about the point where Zeph mentions that one of the merfolk had made it to the mountain, had found the moon, and as ever the best pupil he can be, listening to whatever he can and absorbing all the information, a wide grin spreads across his face as he sets the pastry down and rests his forearms on the table when the question hits. “A spirit of a dragon!” He chimes, grinning, certain he’d gotten the answer right.
breathing dreams like air
Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
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#52

The intake of breath, the brief hesitation - Vai would be lying to say she hadn’t noticed it, not quite as enthralled as her son, but she had the good grace not to mention it. Instead she settled back in to listen to the story continue, taking another sip of tea and letting the sound of Zeph’s voice carry her back to the world of the merfolk who walked on land and their covetous love of the moon.

And like all good storytellers, Zeph knew just when to break and re-engage with his audience, Vai grinning and glancing across at Felix as he replied with such gusto. ”Or maybe even Safrin,” she suggested with a wink, ”reaching in to take the moon to hang it from the sky.”

vervain
I am always on your side
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Upgraded) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)
Zephyr Kawaianu
Smuggler

Age: 35 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
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#53
zephyr

They both make guesses, one both of them right. "It was indeed," you reply with a grin, pointing to Felix. "It was th'spirit of a dragon, the very one Safrin tasked with protectin' the moon.

"The young mer shoulda' turned back then. It was incredible enough t'have seen the moon, but his heart was full'a greed and pride. He knew that Safrin would never allow him to leave if he tried to steal her moon.... but only if she caught him at it. He had come this far, after all, so he must be very clever indeed.

"Greedy an' quiet, he crept up to where th' serpent lay asleep. He'd just managed t'slip through the coils of its body an' was reachin' out t'do what nobody had ever done before when somethin' made him freeze an' slowly turn around. An' there behind him was the head'a th'dragon, peering at him with eyes that held knowledge of th' stars an' everythin' past them.

"You think you are clever, but I have been watching you since you reached my mountain, the dragon spoke directly into his mind, her voice as loud as thunder an' as bright as the sky. It was Safrin's voice, and the mer knew he had made a terrible mistake.

"I've seen ya climbin' for a year an' a day, and I've waited for you to reach the top, and I've made no attempt t'stop you. Your bravery deserved t'be rewarded by seein' what no mortal had ever seen.

"But you have gone too far. You have attempted to take what is not yours - that which belongs to the gods. You have climbed to the highest mountain only to fall to the lowest depths.

"From this moment on no Mer will again walk the soils of Caido, nor search for its treasures. Instead of legs you will be made to have tails, and the only prizes you will find are those that sailors drop!


"With that, all the mers'a Caido felt a sudden and terrible thing happening. Their legs changed, coming together to form tails of every different kinda sea creature. One by one they found their way back into the water, until at last none were left on land.

"And that's why all merfolk have tails."
Sitting back, you take a long, thorough pull from your now tolerable tea. After nearly draining it you place it back down with a satisfying clop and add, mischief in your face and voice: "Well, either that or some poor bloke decided he really wanted t'fuck a fish."
we were toogether
who cared about the rest?
Felix Calob


Age: 17 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Greatwood
Level: - Strg: 12 - Dext: 7 - Endr: 9 - Luck: 7
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#54
FELIX
Oh, this is a great story that has Felix’s eyes wide, chewing slowing on the pastry he’d snuck, hardly taking a moment to sip from his tea. When Felix says he was right, he shoots a victorious grin over toward his mother, elated that he’s paid attention to figure out the details in just what awaited at the top. But as Zeph continues, Felix realizes that his mother was right too — that Safrin’s voice bloomed through the dragon, and cursed the Mer for the actions of the one.

A wide grin spans his face, sitting up a bit taller as his eyes remain on Zeph. “Wow.” Felix manages, trying to wrap his mind around it. He does offer a bright and chipper laugh at Zeph’s comment, however, now that he understands what it means and how that might relate. But he sips from his tea again until it’s gone and his eyes grow a bit heavy with exhaustion. “Thanks for the story Zeph… I think I’m gonna go to bed.” He says, stifling a yawn, stories always having that effect. “You’re a really good story teller, I wanna hear more sometime.” He offers half by means of apology for being such a little shit earlier, before he stands and grabs his cup to put in the sink and to give his mother a tight hug before drifting upstairs.
breathing dreams like air
Vervain Calob
Witch

Age: 38 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 4 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 19 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
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#55

The story had as interesting a twist as could be imagined, Vai humouring Zeph with a dramatic sigh at the news that the single mer’s greed had caused a downfall for all of them. How wonderfully terrible, and a fitting ending as well. Well, an even more fitting end when the dock worker punctuated the story with an... alternative, Vai letting out a laugh. ”I can only imagine the fish,” she remarked, glancing up to Felix as he rose to his feet and announced he was going to bed.

Vai was lucky in some ways, she supposed, never having had the interim where she would have to persuade her son to sleep, and she hugged him back with one arm as he said goodnight. ”Sleep well,” she chimed to him, watching him out the door before her attention slid back to Zeph. ”Thank you,” she said softly. ”For walking him home. And for the story. I consider our debt settled.” She winked.

~FIN

vervain
I am always on your side
Air Manipulation (Upgraded) - Base Healing (Upgraded) - Fire Manipulation (Basic)


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