Recent Statuses

5 hrs ago
Current @Clever I can't speak for the states but we white people of Canada prefer the term Caucasianadians
1 like
3 days ago
A remade Princess Bride will only be worse. Part of the charm of that movie is the 80's filmmaking!
8 days ago
Please check on your brothers, sons, fathers, male cousins and friends today. You never know what they might be dealing with under the surface.
10 days ago
*aggressive flute*
10 days ago


Current RPs:

A now-less-stressed university student who loves to write. Timezone: Atlantic, GMT-4

My memory sucks! Don't be afraid to ping/repeatedly PM me if I’m holding you up.

A bit about me:
  • Birth year 1998
  • Female, if you care
  • I'm from Canada, specifically Nova Scotia (home of the world's largest non-nuclear explosion, baby!)
  • I'm a university student, and will remain so for the foreseeable future (even longer now since I've decided to shoot for law school)

RP wise:
  • I have weaknesses for gladiators, mythical creatures and status/class differences
  • I don't really have a gender preference for characters and I write a wide range of personality types
  • LOVE character and world building
  • Active in the OOC - I like to know the people I write with! (add me on Discord, Obscene#1925)
  • My scratchpad in the character sheet section is where I put my WIPs and reference content. You’re welcome to lurk, but don’t expect it to make sense.

Most Recent Posts

Despite Varia’s formality, Raphael was not caught off guard. He answered her curtsy with a similarly regal bow, as smoothly as if he’d been doing it his whole life. “And a good evening to you, Miss Crest,” he replied airily, throwing her a charming grin. He gave her a wave with his champagne hand as she left, and before he even turned around, had more guests approaching him to talk.

As the night wore on, more and more guests opted to migrate away from the cocktail party in the foyer. Some went to the sitting and game rooms in the manor, others for a quiet walk in the darkened gardens outside, wandering serenely through the firefly-gilded hedge paths and enjoying the cool night air. Many stopped on benches to admire the stunning display of stars in the clear night sky above them, unobstructed by buildings or light pollution, much to the awe of the many city-dwelling guests.

Those who sought out an attendant to retire to their rooms had their names checked on a list on each attendant’s smartphone, their destinations confirmed and a house number issued to them, from one through five. They were led in groups across the width of the property by two security guards, along a path lit by small solar lights embedded into the ground. Away from the light of the manor, the night sky shone even more brilliantly than before, showing off a breathtaking assembly of thousands of stars. Many guests audibly gasped at the sight, marveling at the band of the milky way stretching across the sky.

The path brightened as they came closer to the guest houses. There were five in total, nestled into the foot of the wooded mountainside, separated from the rest of the property by a shallow river that wound lazily around the edge of the plateau. The houses were large and earthy in design, fitting in nicely with the wilderness surrounding them, though they were still unmistakably high-end. They were two storeys each, with a few chimneys and footpaths leading down to the main path, though their most striking features were the grand, two-storey windows in their centres, stretching up to a peak and streaming warm light from inside.

Guests entered the houses through a door to the left of the feature window, leading into a foyer/mudroom. Beyond that was the living room, decorated in neutral tones with high-end furniture and a tall two-storey ceiling, open to a loft corridor above. The focal point of the interior wall was a large stone fireplace, and opposite it, the grand window overlooking the river and the rest of the property. Beyond the living room was a kitchen with a large island and bar stools, chef-quality appliances and a refrigerator stocked with a variety of healthy snack foods. On the counter was also a menu, announcing the service of a private chef three times a day.

Upstairs, the loft corridor led to a number of identical guest rooms containing a king sized bed, wardrobe, vanity and desk. On each bed rested a letter further welcoming guests to the estate and providing information on connecting to the internet (they could tap their devices to a pad embedded in the wall for effortless connection) as well as outlining the planned events for the week. The most interesting feature of the houses, though, were the touch pads in each room; when activated, they had options to call housekeeping, security, catering and a direct line of contact to the superintendent of the property. Each room had one guest’s luggage inside, but guests were free to switch rooms as they wished.

By midnight, the manor had emptied completely, any remaining stragglers respectfully lead to their rooms and the doors locked for the night. The mansion was dark and quiet, most everything having been wound down for the night and most every staff having gone to their own quarters, relieved of duty for the day. Each room weighed heavily with the calm; it contrasted so starkly with the energy of the evening that the place felt… cold, and tired. Like some great, eternal beast, deep in a long-awaited slumber.

Light still burned low in one room though, deep inside the manor up on the second floor. Isaac reclined in an antiqued leather office chair, a list of every guest gracing The Winds splayed out on a grand walnut desk in front of him. A Russian Blue cat purred in his lap, lulled almost to sleep by his steady stroking as he stared thoughtfully at the names in front of him.

“You look like shit.”

Isaac barely looked up as Raphael strode into the room, instead finally moving from his trance and rolling the tight muscles in his neck. “Long night.”

“Mmhm.” Raphael hummed, shrugging. He cocked a hand on his hip. “Did you see what happened tonight?”

Isaac quirked a brow. “I think the whole foyer saw it. Are you alright?”

Raphael hmphed. “I’m sure my ego will recover,” he commented offhandedly, before leveling a more serious gaze on his brother. “I’m more concerned about what says about us.”

Isaac shrugged and sat back again, running a hand over his face. “It’s to be expected,” he reasoned.

Raphael thought for a moment. “...I suppose.” he looked over the papers on the desk, rolled his eyes, but didn’t comment on them, catching a glare from his brother. “And besides, everything else is going according to plan.”


Raphael studied his brother a moment longer before waving his goodnight and sweeping out of the room, looking pleased with himself. Isaac glanced down at the cat in his lap, blissfully asleep, and sighed.

“And so it begins.”

And that, as they say, is that. X’gihl kept quiet as part of the toned-down mood that had swept over the group of curious individuals with whom he’d shared the Quicksand with not more than an hour ago. Curious, aye, that would be a good word for each of them. X’gihl had taken a seat just at the back of the carriage, his blind side facing the rear, where he could look over the new company with his one good eye.

If they weren’t a motley bunch, he wondered what would meet the requirements to be one. Eight people in total, that he could see. Each face seemed so foreign and so strange to him. There was a kid among the group, for instance, a Gridanian sort. And, of course, people know what one would mean by “Gridanian”, wouldn’t they? The sort of children people met in the Black Shroud, in the city, in highly-respectable positions of one thing or another, and who claimed to be “sensitive” or “open” or some other term used to imply they were in communication with those nebulous “Elementals”. The same Elementals what had turned away refugees fleeing from home and looking for another. Gods knew how they worked or what effect they had on the behorned devils that worked for them.

The boy wasn’t the only curiosity in the carriage, however. Surely, there wasn’t just a single oddity. In this group, X’gihl felt he was in colorful company. “Colorful”, there’s another good word for it. The privateer looked over one of the Lalafellin folks in the carriage. The fellow seemed “blue” in a way that didn’t exactly refer to his hair color. There was a depth about the guy, a “vibe” to him, an aura one might call it, if X’gihl could only see it. Sharing a space with the small person, the privateer felt reminded of the sea in a way that made him slightly homesick for Limsa Lominsa, if homesick was what a displaced Miqo’te from Gyr Abania could call it.

Next X’gihl took note of one of the other Miqo’tes. Adorned in red, loose, flowing clothing, he practically screamed an impression at the privateer. A performer of some sort, surely. Fungi, thought X’gihl with a smirk. Parasitic in nature, fed off others, all too happy and ready to spread its spores, and if you only heard it spoken you might think it’s a “fun guy”. But X’gihl could use a little fun, and one way to do that was to bait someone into a game. The performer seemed like an excellent potential participant.

Now, how to do that without being a complete and utterly noisy nuisance to the audience we’ve got here, my new friend?

J’torha, the fungus in question, had also taken a seat near the rear of the carriage, though he made his choice mostly to be as far away as possible from the stench of the chocobos up front. Well, that and the Ul’dahn-looking Lalafell was giving that odd child some pretty strange looks, and J’torha had no mind to be a part of any of that.

Speaking of strange looks, though, J’torha couldn’t help but feel a pair of eyes on him as he sat back on the carriage bench, tying a string of jingling coins around his tail. Looking up, though, it turned out it was only one eye staring at him, accompanied by a smirk on the face of that Lominsan Seeker from the Quicksand. It was the look of someone looking for a good time, though he was just a touch surprised to see it outside of a performance or an otherwise more… social engagement.

“See something you like?” he questioned with a raised brow, though his own smirk betrayed his amusement. “‘Cause I fear you’ll have to pay a little extra.”

The pair on this guy, X'gihl chuckled quietly. But if the look on the younger man's face was an indication, the privateer may have successfully found someone receptive to a bad influence. Oh the wonders today was going to bring. Dare he already count one of these unusual persons among his short list of fellow friends and conspirators in the everlasting fight against dull silence? No, no. Caution, first. Feel it out. He could be playing the fool moreso than X'gihl himself.

"Pay you? Mate, I'm scared you'll string me up with the rest of yer pyrite riches!" He whispered excitedly, the smirk extending into a somewhat warmer smile. The privateer offered a hand toward the other Miqo'te. "X'gihl Tia, Gill to me friends. Ya look about as bored to tears as I am, if significantly closer to the edge. Now, iffen ya don't mind, stop playing with yerself and help me pass the time, eh?"

A little push, some give and some take. Good opening, in his own opinion. But X'gihl had to admit that this performer had done half the necessary work of establishing communication. Now, to gauge and see what he had to say in return. Does the fun begin? Or shall I nudge another?

J’torha chuckled at the pyrite comment, securing the makeshift jingler to his tail and shaking Gill’s hand. “J’torha Tia, fancy that. Don’t see many of our lot eh?” In fact, Gill was probably the first other tia J’torha had properly met. He couldn’t recall any others, but of course, it wasn’t usually the faces of men that J’torha committed to memory.

In any case, the boredom was certainly mutual. J’torha was quite sure there was nothing as dull and mind-numbing as the inside of a carriage. “I can’t very well refuse that offer,” he replied, “I’m liable to go stir crazy myself. These things might be faster than walking, but at least on foot there’s something to see.”

He leaned back on the bench, twining his fingers behind his head and raising his eyebrow at Gill. “But how exactly does one pass the time in the back of a wooden box?”

Leaning back in his seat, the privateer drew a stoppered bottle from one of his pockets; a last-minute purchase to place on Lyveva’s tab as they’d hurried from the Quicksand earlier. Was nice to have this before delving into the hip flask. He raised the bottle in J’torha’s direction with a coy grin. “Pleasure to be making your acquaintance, my fellow Tia. Fer payment, I can offer naught but a break in the doldrums, a shared drink, and a proper laugh from belly to breath. All ye’d have to do is help us to entertain ourselves. Me, I’m privy to wordplay and song-singin’.” X’gihl drew the bottle back to his person, cupping it in both hands protectively as he eyed J’torha curiously.

“Wouldn’t happen to be much good in that sense, would ya? A song-bird I doubt you be, but a song between us maybe? A line or two from one, followed by the same from the other.” An odd way to propose his idea, but X’gihl had his eccentricities. He’d found that wording things unusually helped to get attention and simultaneously put people off their guard. How better to play the man he was? A fool trying to fill the gaps of activity with more activity, lest his mind wander to deeper depths. Here, however, he had a hunch that J’torha Tia might make for good sport. Perhaps he was a good mate that took the bait and would share the fate of a man what did hate this trip’s slow gait as they wait-

Oh dear, not that again; it seems the drink from earlier was beginning to wear off. Leaving the bottle stoppered and untouched, X’gihl grabbed his hip flask and took a short swig of it before clicking the lid shut again and replacing it at his belt. Better. It wouldn’t have been polite to open the bottle and take the first swig after he’d just offered it to another, even if he’d had need of it for that moment.

The privateer leaned forward again and held the bottle back out to the performer. “What say, Tora?”

’A song bird I doubt you be’ he said. J’torha grinned; he’d only spent, what, nine-tenths of his travels learning every song and dance he could get his tongue and feet around? It could very well be that he’d surprise this Lominsan tia, and J’torha was never one to pass up the opportunity to impress.

He looked between the bottle and the sailor, and held out his hand, shaking his head with a friendly grin. “I’m not one to drink on the road; I find there’s more fun to be had then with your wits still about you,” he laughed. “Besides, it’s no good to be singing talking backwards is it?”

He leaned forward on his knees, tapping his chin for a moment as he searched his mind for an appropriate song. “I think I have one you ought to know instead,” he commented thoughtfully, his trademark grin splitting his face once more as he sat back up straight. “Or, at least, you sound like you’ve been around the Lominsan pubs and docks a time or two.”

He took a look over the rest of the occupants in the carriage - quiet, courteous, peaceful, and aside from a single laugh from a pink-haired Lalafell, entirely boring according to him - before he started tapping his heel against the floor of the carriage, a string of decorative coins (identical to the one he had tied around his tail moments earlier) jingling the beat of some as-of-yet-unknown rhythm like a tambourine.

The sudden noise drew an odd look or two, but J’torha responded only with a wink and a grin; no matter the source, he always loved the attention. He turned his mischievous gaze expectantly back to Gill as he started clapping the beat as well, and finally started his song, his voice undeniably betraying tone and talent despite the roughness typical of a lively Lominsan tune.

“Come get yer duds in order ‘cause we’re bound across the water;
Heave away, me jollies, heave away!
Come get yer duds in order ‘cause we’re bound to leave tomorrow
Heave away, me jolly boys, we’re all bound away!

X'gihl nearly looked astonished at the man's refusal. But what came after had purpose, and he found himself thrilled by it. J'torha appeared to come alive, at least in the privateer's eye, as though something he'd said had lit the wick to a fine firework preparing to go off in the carriage at that moment. Thrilling, yes, that was the appropriate word. A churning feeling in the breast, yet not brought by uncertainty. X'gihl leaned back in the seat, stowing the bottle away for later as his attention changed to the tap of J'torha's heel and the jingling of coins.

It wasn't apparent what the rhythm belonged to, not yet. A clap and a voice came next, and a smile on the privateer's lips followed them. I've misjudged you very clearly. Didn't peg your experience at all, but it seems you've pegged mine. Dear me, I've missed that. X'gihl gave the other Miqo'te a genuine smile as he crossed his arms in his slouched position and joined in happily, head tilting a little with the music the performer provided.

"Sometimes we're bound for Sharlayan, sometimes for Rothlyt Sound;
Heave away, me jollies, heave away!
But now we're bound for Limsa-town where all the girls are dancin';
Heave away, me jolly boys, we're all bound away!"

One thing you couldn't find out in Little Ala Mhigo, or the Coffin and Coffer, or perhaps not even in Ul'dah, was a good song like that. And they were just beginning! It felt like a breath from home. Of fresh air coming off the sea and docking at the harbor to enjoy land for a short while before you were back out there.

Now, if there was anything better than a good lively tune, it was fellow voices to sing it with. J’torha beamed when the sailor across the aisle joined in his song, any protests or glares from the other passengers long forgotten. How hadn’t he thought of this before X’gihl suggested it? Of course there was no better pastime than singing at the top of one’s lungs! There voices might not be perfectly in tune (though J’torha had a mind to pin that on X’gihl) but that was the beauty of drinking songs, they were designed to be sung by a tavern full of drunkards with nothing but a shouting voice and time.

“Farewell to all the pretty ladies, waving from the dock;
Heave away, me jollies, heave away!
And if we do return to you, we’ll make yer cradles rock!
Heave away, me jolly boys, we’re all bound away!”

As they sang, J’torha gave the woman sitting next to him a friendly nudge of the shoulder and a wink to the other ladies on board; more second-nature to him than anything by now. The verse was meant to be responded to with another by the women in the crowd; hopefully at least one of them would know the words.
I haven't heard the term "grimdark" in years, lol. Welcome!
If you're only doing 1x1 then it doesn't matter. As for figuring out what sort of RPer you are, read some interest checks from all 3 sections and see which style of writing suits you the best.

My personal 2 cents tho: quality is all about the group of players you have in your particular RP. The Casual section specifically is a great example. There are Casual Rps that are on the low end (although I wouldn't call them close to Free cause Free is its whole own ball game) and there are Casual RPs that tend toward what you'd consider Advanced. Personally I don't go into the Advanced section much cause even though I have no problem writing at that level, there seems to be a lot of pretentiousness in the Advanced section that you don't get in Casual, even though you can get the same quality. Do with that info what you will, lol.

“Oh now that’s no fair, Momodi took my legs out from under me the last time I tried to jump up on the bar.”

J’torha’s little complaint may have gone largely unappreciated among the other patrons sitting nearby, but he chuckled all the same at the memory. A grave overreaction, he still insisted. She didn’t even know what he’d been doing! Surely she would have been impressed enough to let him stay that night if she’d waited to see him walk across the bar on his hands. Even now she was stealing venomous looks at him just for having his feet up on the table. To his consolation, though, Momodi didn’t look at all pleased with this Lyveva girl either.

Her recruitment speech was… well, rousing wasn’t the right word, but apparently a dark-haired Seeker bloke and a Lalafell with Lominsan accents seemed to think it worthy of a cheer. The girl herself was only a mite more interesting; J’torha preferred his women a little older and a little taller, truth be told. He wasn’t sure if her description of the free company was worth permanently joining over, but she did seem desperate, and, well… he never could say no to a lady in need.

Questions were asked and answered, and while J’torha had to raise an eyebrow at the Northern-sounding Midlander talking like a hero from a bedtime story, the child with the queer horns definitely caught his attention. He couldn’t be an Au Ra, his horns looked too different and there wasn’t another scale to be found on the boy. The only other thing he could think of as a possibility was a beast tribe, but J’torha didn’t know any that looked like him, either.

But there wasn’t much time to puzzle about it before another Miqo’te came thundering into the Quicksand, arms heavy with books of all things and hollering about wanting to join. Before J’torha even had the chance to wonder if she was an envoy from the Arcanist’s Guild or something, she stepped on a discarded flagon and went dramatically tits-up in a shower of books, much to the amusement of a few nearby patrons, and the concern of a few others.

J’torha fell squarely into the former category, not even bothering to hide his chuckle at the display. She was all scratched up and tattered too, for some reason, which only added to the hilarity.

“Rough day, darlin’?” he asked the woman nonchalantly, chuckling some more as he stooped in his seat to pick up one of the books she’d dropped. He squinted at the cover for a moment, but couldn’t make much sense of the title and handed it back with a shrug.

A highlander asked about healers, and J’torha found his memory jogged. “Right, how big of a company are we talking, anyway?” he piped up, though he didn’t rise from his seat. “It’s not just you and this Suki, is it?”

“Good to hear,” Isaac replied to Ashe’s comment on the ride up, grinning. “The scenery is my favourite thing about this place. Up here, it’s as if we’re the only spot of civilization in the world.” He tapped his own translator. “And as for the technology, you have my brother to thank for that. I usually can’t make heads or tails of it myself, but he’s just as eager to invest in the newest toys as he is to flaunt them. You should have seen him when we had the hologram projectors installed,” Isaac chuckled warmly, glancing in his brother’s direction. “He claims he’s not a cat person, but he seemed to be enjoying himself when he had mine going crazy chasing holograms, so I have my doubts.”

He kept his eyes trained on Ashe as they continued, though a slight benevolent smirk settled over his features as their awkwardness became apparent. “We’re doing our best to hold in our pride until later on,” he reasoned, though he looked again at his brother across the room, busy looking pretty impressed with himself. “Or, I am anyway. We’ve had this event in the works for years, you see. I’m reluctant to count my chickens before they hatch, but if things go according to plan then I can honestly say I will have never been happier.”

“But, I can see you’re getting tired,” he added gently, not so much an observation as it was a discreet offer of an out. “I’m sure all that travel took its toll. Luckily, the guest houses should be ready to settle in any minute now.”

“The pleasure is all mine,” Raphael replied, stooping from his towering height to kiss Varia’s hand. “After all, it isn’t every day that we get a visit from nobility.”

As he straightened, he put on a much more familiar smile. “But I can understand if that’s not the role you want to play this week. If you’d prefer, you can leave that all at the base of the mountain and start fresh, just another Fragmented here to take a chance. I’m sure you wouldn’t be the only one shedding their old self for the week, after all.”

He looked a little alarmed when Varia jumped, watching after the woman who touched her with a hint of a frown as she left. He took a moment while Varia was preoccupied to put a finger to his ear and murmur something unintelligible, finishing and putting his smile back on in time for Varia to look back.

“It is a beautiful dog, isn’t it?” Raphael offered. “I think there’s at least one other guest with a dog here, too. My brother wasn’t terribly pleased when he heard, but I’m sure he’ll survive.” He gave Varia a cheeky grin, clearly not too concerned. “So long as they leave his cats alone, anyway.”

As she walked away from Alex, Alicia let her smile remain, looking down to Balder at her side and glancing between him and the black band on her wrist. «Nothing yet,» she signed to him, holding out her wrist as proof, «But we’ll find them, don’t worry.»

For emphasis, she smiled down at the dog, clapping her hands excitedly. Balder picked up on her mood, tail wagging and shifting from foot to foot, much to her delight. Dignified and poised as he always held himself, it was fun to see him get excited.

«We’re gonna have fun,» she assured him, scratching his head when she finished signing and taking a moment to re-adjust his collar, setting his little bowtie just so. Maybe Alex was right; she didn’t have to Reunite tonight. Sure, sooner would be preferable to later, but… what exactly was the rush? What, was she going to just go home as soon as she found her soulmate? Surely it would be a waste of a perfectly good - well, exquisite really - vacation to spend the whole thing tunnel-visioning on her goal. Besides, by the way the security guards were eyeing her… maybe it was wise to take a break.

«Think they have Fireball here, Baldy?» she signed to the dog, giggling at her own antics. She really needed a better ‘signature drink’. Maybe she could get it on the rocks in a nice glass and pretend it was classy. That’d probably work!

With a firm nod to Balder and a tap to her leg to bid him to follow, Alicia had made up her mind, weaving through the crowd - without touching anyone this time - toward a less-occupied bar along the wall. Sliding onto an available stool, she instructed Balder to sit and ordered her very fancy shot of cinnamon whiskey, still practically giddy at the incredible efficacy of the translators they were given. She was very used to her usual method of speaking through a speech-to-text app, sure, but getting to bypass all that and talk to anyone as if everyone knew ASL was incredibly convenient and more exciting than she would have imagined.

There you are Miss, one cinnamon whiskey on the rocks.

«Thank you!» Alicia signed her thanks and pulled the whiskey to her, holding in yet another laugh at how the translator transcribed things for her. These glasses really were something out of a scifi movie, seemingly projecting peoples’ words out beneath them for easy reading. Real-life subtitles! It was definitely too cool to be true, but there it was. Shame it was all in her glasses though, she would have loved to be able to take a picture of it and send it to her family back home.

Swiveling in her seat so she could lean her back against the bartop, Alicia surveyed the party for a moment, taking a sip of her whiskey. The familiar burning sweetness kept her smile on her lips as she watched people wander to and fro, following one guest decked out in a sequined blazer to where he disappeared from view behind a man next to her at the bar. When she saw him, she almost did a double take; he was absolutely stunning, with perfect skin and shiny brown hair, not to mention an adorable little beauty mark under one eye. He was sharply dressed too, definitely a point in his favour, and he was alone. Maybe…

Her hand was reaching out before she even realized what she was doing, a lifetime of being just maybe a little too touchy getting the better of her. She yanked her hand back a little too late, having just brushed his hand before she inwardly scolded herself. Not everyone was her siblings and friends, she had to remind herself, and even at a party where the whole point was to Reunite there were still people who didn’t like to be touched. Especially by strangers. Crap!

«I’m sorry, force of habit,» she apologized, though she did glance down at her wrist when she was done. Nope, nothing. That black band was right where it always had been. She offered the man a sheepish smile, tapping her band before she added, «Worth a shot, though. I’m Alicia, it’s nice to meet you.»

All at once, a clicking noise sounded through every guest’s translator, pausing any translations in progress so a monotone female voice could relay a message.

“Good evening. We the staff of The Winds are pleased to inform you that your guest houses are ready for occupation. When you wish to retire, simply speak to an attendant at any door, corridor, or in the gardens, and you will be guided to the house assigned to you. We invite you to take advantage of any and all amenities provided and welcome you warmly to The Winds. Have a pleasant evening.”

Another click sounded in the ear of every guest and conversations resumed, though a few of the less party-savvy guests did make their ways to the exit. Those who did were led through the gardens surrounding the house toward a gate on the side, leading out into the darkness. Beyond the gate, a path lined with charming little floating orbs of light on either side jutted out, leading directly across the middle of the property before diverting to the right. They weren’t clearly visible from the gate, but the path appeared to lead to five well-sized buildings set at different heights on the opposite side of the mountain, lit up warmly with ground lighting shining up the walls.

Many of those who stayed at the cocktail party a bit longer did linger to chat in the foyer, but a few handfuls had gravitated farther into the mansion as well. Three corridors led out of the foyer; one directly beneath the stair landing, running straight across from the front door and ending in darkness, and one at the foot of each staircase. The corridor beneath the landing and the one leading left at the foot of the stairs were each blocked by security personnel, but the corridor to the right was open; down it, guests would find a few formal sitting rooms of various sizes on the right, all outfitted with luxurious leather furniture and bookcases. On the left was a single door, leading into a larger room outfitted with a few billiard and card tables as well as an impressive collection of games lining shelves along the walls.

Ooh, now that was an expert eye roll. Clytemnestra Starag would have been proud.

“Pardon me, when you left the tattoo parlour I wasn’t expecting you to have picked up a puppy within the hour,” Aaron shot back, matching Max’s tone with surprising ease but otherwise grinning. Eris’ new pet? He had to admit, it did seem to suit him. Aaron was more amused, however, by the mental image of the thing in Max’s arms curling up at the foot of his bed every day. For some reason he imagined Max drop-kicking it out the window or something.

At the stalking comment, Aaron shrugged, not all that fazed by the aggression. Before he could reply though, Lilie cut in.

"We're just tagging along with Salem. I didn't know Eris Samael had a dog."

“Apparently he didn’t until tonight,” Aaron chuckled in reply. From the look of the wicket though (especially with Max and Salem trying to speak to the same clerk for some reason) now probably wasn’t the best time to launch into conversation, so he decided to excuse himself for the moment. “But here, I’ll get out of your way.”

Backing up a touch, Aaron really had to wonder why Max and Salem had both gone to the same clerk. They were all open, after all. But, he wasn’t one to pass up an opportunity. Sure, it might not be wise to get a replacement key, but he did have at least one matter the housing clerks could help him with, and walked up to the farther wicket from the group.

“Excuse me,” he greeted politely, catching the attention of the female clerk behind the counter, “I was hoping you could help me understand something. There was some… hardware removed from the Sinnenodel dorm last night. Do you know when it’ll be replaced?”

"Sinnenodel dorm, right. Hardware? What, did they take away your TV or something?" The woman asked indifferently, fingers flying across the keyboard. Her brow furrowed for a bit and she looked at him with judgement written plain as day across her face. "Count Sinnenodel requested his mage's doors removed because his mage was feeling skittish about being separated from him. So I'm guessing they'll be put back when Count Sinnenodel feels that his mage's attachment issues are resolved."

Aaron’s heart sank as the clerk replied, everything from her curt attitude and the look she gave him to her tone of voice - clearly audible by everyone in the office, or at least it felt that way - only enhancing the flush of embarrassment that struck him at the explanation. So Varis had ordered the doors removed, and apparently indefinitely, on the basis of a blatant lie. Given his apparent contempt for privacy from before dinner, Aaron could only assume the loss of his doors was another one of Varis’ little training methods. Aaron had the urge to correct the clerk and put an end to whatever other rumour that might start about him having “attachment issues”, but… was the real reason (or at least, the conclusion he'd drawn) any better?

“Ah hah…” Aaron hummed in reply, brow furrowed. “...Thank you. Have a good night.”

Turning on his heel, Aaron returned to where Lilie was standing and glanced at his watch, just in time for his 5:45am alarm to sound.

“Oh, shoot,” he murmured, silencing his alarm immediately. He looked apologetically to Lilie for the second time that night. “I’m sorry, I have to go,” he told her, already turning to leave. “Keep me updated on your plans, okay?”

The walk over to the administrative office building was quiet, a comfortable—for Aaron, anyway—silence falling over the trio as they crossed the campus, following the same path Salem and Lilie had taken before. Aaron took note of Lilie’s sudden hush, but from the glassy look in her eye he could only assume she was falling asleep on her feet. Right, he recalled her mentioning that the adjustment to nocturnal life would be difficult for her. She’d probably call it a night shortly after he had to leave for his curfew, he imagined, unless she had some reason to push herself.

As they neared the building, Aaron was surprised to see Max ahead of them on the path. For a second he thought he must have been leaving just as they arrived, but he was definitely heading inside. Must have taken longer than Aaron expected to get back to campus after their conversation. Much more notably, however, he was holding what Aaron could only recognize as a small, peculiar mass of white fur under his arm.

"I didn't know he had such a cute dog!"

Salem’s comment was all but lost to Aaron as he stared at the thing, brow furrowed. He’d been wondering what all that ‘dog’ talk was with Max on the phone, but he’d thought it was some kind of mundane turn-of-phrase he didn't recognize. And surely that couldn’t be a dog. It looked more like a fluffy baseball than an animal of any kind, and surely if it was, Max wouldn’t be holding it.

Briefly distracted by the smell of fresh laundry—presumably the result of whatever Salem was mumbling about—Aaron couldn’t resist a smirk as he watched Max bolt into the building, definitely purposely ignoring the three of them. Funny, Aaron had known the man all of a night and he was already so predictable. He could only shake his head, an amused sigh escaping him, and continued inside with Salem and Lilie, not exactly following Max but definitely going the same way. He caught himself holding his earring to stop the swaying as they walked, and forced himself to use that hand to open the door for the other two instead. He’d have to get used to the sensation eventually, no sense in walking around like a fool with his hand to his ear in the meantime.

Luckily Salem and Lilie knew the way to the housing office, and they found their way without issue. Aaron briefly wondered if he’d be able to get a duplicate key for his own dorm while they were here, but dismissed the thought just as quickly. Even if they would issue him a third key, he had a sneaking suspicion Varis wouldn’t be pleased if he tried to weasel around his little dorm access arrangement and Aaron didn’t need more lines.

Aaron didn’t need anything here, and there wasn’t exactly much he could help Salem with either. So, either out of restlessness or poor judgement, he decided to see if he could talk to Max while Salem took care of his business.

“Don’t tell me that is the thing you were talking about on the phone,” he chuckled, sauntering over to the grump with the fluff ball under his arm. “I thought all that dog talk was a weird figure of speech or something. Where on earth did you get that?”
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet