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A Clean Introduction (Sunrise, Ellowyn) [Backstory]

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A Clean Introduction (Sunrise, Ellowyn) [Backstory] Hamity10

The Temple of Hamity does offer gender-segregated bathing spaces, as well as private baths for an additional donation, but Sunrise has never bothered with them; in her experience, followers of Hamity tend to behave themselves.

A measure of tension leaves her shoulders as she steps into the antechamber, the warm light and sweet scent of dozens of beeswax candles soothing her senses even before she gets to the water. She drops a few silver into a donation plate and selects her own candle; lighting it, she places it in soft white sand to add its own golden glow to the room before turning herself over to the ministrations of the acolytes.

Subtle magics remove the actual grime and sweat from her body, as well as the smudges of cosmetics that survived tonight's performance. She is stripped naked save for her jewels, a fluffy robe placed over her shoulders; she declines the offer of sandals, the polished wood silk-soft against her feet. A gold coin and the gift of a silver bangle are accepted with a gracious bow, and in return she receives a bottle of perfumed oil. Taking it, she steps into the main bath.

A wave of heat and moisture and scent meet her as soon as she steps in, strong as a blow but infinitely gentler. The main bath is a haven hidden in the heart of the city, golden woods and polished stone surrounding heated effervescent waters, candles highlighting the bright jeweled beauty that adorns the walls.

Sunrise slips out of her robe un-self-consciously, heedless of the mixed company in the main bath. The scent rising from the waters is a riot of various worshipper's favorite perfumes; it ought to be discordant but instead the scents meld and blend with each other to make something complex. Kneeling by the edge of the bath she offers whispered prayers of gratitude and trust to Hamity before pouring in her own oil as a libation, adding its perfume to the mix. Then she steps in.

The heat and bubbles suffuse her, washing away tension and exhaustion. For a long moment she just lets herself sink into the water, her curls floating on the surface to crown her horns. Then she rises, leaning back with a deep satisfied breath, and turns a brilliant smile to the gnome relaxing next to her. "Evening. Hamity's joy to you."

(OOC: I don't plan to make all posts this description-heavy, lol! I just wanted to set the scene.)
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"evening" Ellowyn keeps their eyes closed the pain is still biting at the edge of their consciousness but they manage a nod towards the voice coming from beside them.

As an afterthought a couple a seconds later Ellowyn remembers their manners and says "may hamity cleanse you" something they'd previously heard in response to this greeting.

Ellowyns cane was laid to the side of them and they fiddled with its joints absently as the waves of heat struggle to unknot the permanent knots in their muscles.
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"Sunrise," she says warmly, by way of introduction. "She of Westside." She doesn't carry herself like a Westside girl, and neither her jewelry nor the perfumed oil she offered speak of poverty, but tiefling horns are enough to make her claim to the rough slums believable.

Noticing the cane, she makes a face of unfeigned sympathy. "That yours? Oof, you must be at least as sore as me, then." Her tone is pleasant, conversational. "I had to use something similar when I broke my leg as a kid; nobody ever warns you they're hell on your shoulder, do they?"
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At that last sentence, Ellowyn opens their eyes to see a a beautifully adorned with jewellery teifling who despite her assurances she came from the westside Ellowyn had a a hard time believing.

Ellowyn had 3 long term clients near there and knew from experience that this tiefling was no ordinary denizen of the westside.

Realising they'd been staring for longer than was perhaps polite they quietly leaned back closing their eyes once more.

"Ellowyn, they of the outside" Ellowyn snuck a glance through their eyelashes to gauge sunrises reaction to their statement.

They continued "I don't remember life before much."

Ellowyn glanced down to make sure the opaque oil they bought from the acolytes is still doing an effective job of hiding their twisted body, Ellowyn wasn't ashamed they were just sick of the pity looks and the staring followed by whispers behind hands.

Their hand keeps fidgeting with their cane clicking various latches back and forth smoothly it appears to be soothing them somewhat.
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Sunrise blinks in surprise, then smiles. "Outside, huh? Welcome to the city. New arrival, or are you just visiting?"
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"been here for a while a few months, I move around a lot, never bothered getting my own place I tend to just crash at clients houses. Or wherever I can rest a while really." Still eyes closed laid back nothing but head above the water they vaguely gesture around at the tranquil setting.

"What do you do? I don't mean to pry but those jewels don't conjure images of the westside" Ellowyn smiles tightly and slowly opens their eyes because it's the polite thing to do. Even though all they wanted was to relax and let the water and tinctures work their magic they couldn't help be intrigued.

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Her smile turns mischievous. She glances around the chamber, taking in the dimensions, then opens her mouth and sings a short wordless melody, the notes seeming to wander at random. The echo bounces back from the wooden walls, softened by the steam, and creates brief harmonies.

She smiles, quietly proud. "That." Then, a moment later, coughs rack her and she leans back with a wry smile. "Although I just gave a concert before coming here and stripped my voice something good, so I probably shouldn't sing any more until I get some tea and honey on my throat." Glancing over, she adds, "What about you? You have clients?"
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OOC: hey I've got a dentist appointment tomorrow I'm not sure if I'll be on at all but will respond asap on Saturday if not.
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Ooc: I'm back so quick question before I respond.

I'm imagining this taking place before Ellowyn dies like maybe 2 months or so.
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(OOC: yeah, it's before Sunrise dies too, so this is definitely a good ways back.)
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Chills ripple throughout Ellowyns body taking them by surprise, it feels like theyve been punched in the gut by some celestial being, Glorious and disarming.

They let out low impressed whistle of air from their lungs unaware until the they had been holding their breath.


It was all they could manage for a moment as they stared again at the teifling before them. It was as if the voice had kick-started the tinctures and waters progress against the pain and they were finally able to focus on being present.

Ellowyn immediately was taken aback at pains ability to mess with being able to focus on the important details like the way sunrises golden skin looked in the water almost molten as the water shattered the delicate light penetrated the surface.
The way her hair looks like ink floating in the water suspended, a fluidity that is entrancing.

With the final echoes of the melody finally dying Ellowyn whispers reverently "the gods have seen fit to bless you."

They smile. A small smile that reaches their eyes and lights them with life.
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She blushes, clearly both pleased and embarrassed by the praise, and runs wet fingers through her curls. "It's just a talent. My mother sang too, but she never made a career of it." Clearing her throat, she asks, "What about you? What do you do?"
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"Oh well... I um- I build things put simply, But it's more than that.." Ellowyn takes a deep breath clearly making a decision "I design and create things for those of us who need certain adaptations to help make our lives easier."

They reach out to their cane with the click of 3 points along its length slides into the shape of a quarter staff. Smooth and seemless dark wood so polished it's almost reflective. Another few clicks and it folds back down to it's original shape.

This time Ellowyn twists the bottom portion of the cane of to reveal a small tool carosel filled with foldable tools.
A click and shknk later and the middle portion comes away they hold it in front of your eye with one hand and you can suddenly the details of the wood across the room very closely, you realise the tube must have a lense inside to act as a telescope.

Ellowyn unhinges the final third allowing the handle of the cane spread out into the head of a grappling hook a rope attached that had gone previously unnoticed coils out of the unknowable depths of this mechanical marvel.

You notice the rope is coloured into alternating sections of colours in a regular and measured way.
Ellowyn points and smiles sheepishly and says simply "doubles as a measuring device."

A few seconds later it's all back together as easy as slipping on a comfy boot no sign of the many hidden secrets.
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Her eyes widen, delight growing with each revelation. "So it's a stealth cane. A weapon, a tool kit, a... what was that, climbing gear? All in one, and it helps you walk."

Her brow furrows then and she lowers her voice. "Does it help you walk? Because it occurs to me that a thief or a spy might use something like that to move their equipment around without being noticed, whether they needed it or not." Her eyes dance; Ellowyn may get the impression that she doesn't seriously think this is the case, but is tickled by the idea anyway.
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Ellowyn let's out a musical chuckle.

"I've certainly considered it as a profession. No one would expect a cripple..." Their tone turns slightly bitter at that last word. They shake their head slightly "it wouldn't even take too much to make something fit for those purposes should anyone ever need one" Ellowyn looks at sunrise then purposefully.

Then a second later they look away and continue. "No. I need my cane and several other devices to accommodate my body." They swirl the water around them diluting the cloud of oil surrounding their body.

You notice now what you thought was just bad posture is something else entirely. The right side of their body had several large scars in varying places although through the water it's hard to pin down where each begins and ends. Close to the surface of the water on their torso it's easier to see how it look like there were several sizeable scar on their collarbone. You're not sure but you think their ribs on the right side look strange. Their right breast is missing replaced with a network of scarring.

They are still looking away when they ask "where in the westside do you work?"
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Sunrise takes in the reveal of their body with frank, curious eyes, looking neither disgusted nor sympathetic. At the question she blushes. "Well. I used to perform regularly at the Devil's Own - my mother sang there too occasionally, so sometimes it feels like I grew up there. But these days I perform all over, not just in the district. Even at some of the fancy clubs in the Sun District."

Then she leans over, and in a friendly voice adds, "Also, yikes, those are some impressive scars. No wonder you learned how to make devices to help. Mind if I ask how you got 'em?"
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"A lifetime ago, perhaps more i can't place how old you are my dear, an impetuous young gnome was looking for ways to create a new kind of lifting platform so that their village might have easier trade access with the world outside in their eagerness they suffered a calamity that should have been fatal and had it not been for their youth it might well have been."

Ellowyn smiles wistfully as they take a deep breath.

"But that is a different person and a different life."
They shake themselves and brightly say " I should really pay more attention to the entertainment in this city but I'm still getting used to getting around and only have a few clients so far not enough to justify frivolity yet at least. I've clearly been missing out"

They smile at sunrise genuinely
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She laughs. "Well. If you don't mind being surrounded by tieflings, I do still occasionally sing at the old stomping grounds. I'll be at the Devil's Own in fourteen days, and as long as you buy a drink old Iados doesn't bother with a cover charge. As justifiable frivolity goes, it's pretty inexpensive."

Settling back in the water, she adds, "And you may not keep up on entertainment, but I'm ashamed to admit I don't keep up on technology. A lifting platform?"
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Ellowyn is silent a moment trying to figure out how to explain.

They had never considered that something so mundane might be unknown here.

Besides Marta, Ellowyn hadn't spoke much to anyone about things other than their craft.

"My village is in a sun lit cave mouth far south east of the city" ellwoyn started.(OOC this is subject to change based on ana's input as I'm not sure where geographically is sunny in this world)

"We are a welcoming open people but a cart try as you might can't make it down a set of ladders. Unlike most other races that live underground we aren't strong and don't have magics to shape stone to our will. But what we are rather quiet good at is building solutions to problems. So we invented the lifting platform. Always the same concept a platform that can be lifted usually through a series of ropes and pulleys similar to those used to help load the boats at the docks. Although.."

Ellowyns eyes light up as they describe this next part "I've heard tell of a village further north than mine that uses a waterfall at the mouth of their cave. They channel it in tubes to pull the platform up and then they have a system of heating elements that heat the water sending it back up as steam. Its marvellous!"
The reverence in their tone is palpable

They suddenly realise they've been talking a lot. Their brass cheeks take on an almost copper burnish as they blush.
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Sunrise listens with wide eyes. "Honestly, that sounds amazing. So you were, what, trying to get it to lift more? Go faster?"
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"I was testing a theory that I could improve both the speed and the load bearing capacity with a new type of ballbearing and cables made from an electrum alloy so that they can be enchanted by someone who had the knowledge.... At least I think. I don't know I fell as I was trying to install the ballbearings

Because no one else really understood my theory they couldn't complete my work and had to reinstall the original stuff."

They stare at the water the hands still on their slightly round stomach.

They seem lost in the past.
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She frowns. "So even with you there to explain it, nobody could finish what you started? That sounds incredibly frustrating, especially on top of getting hurt in the first place. I'm sorry."
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"I left..." Forlorn their shoulders heave as their breath hitches slightly. You can see they are trying not to cry
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"Oh. Oh hey." Instinctively she splashes closer to sit next to Ellowyn, wrapping an arm around the gnome. "I'm sorry. I wasn't even thinking. We don't have to talk about it."
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Ellwoyn freezes.

They hold their breath unsure what is happening.

They feel the weight of sunrises arm and it's like an iron on their skin, like pure heat,like electricity.

They shivered letting out their breath in a slow hiss, not with any intent just an exhalation. It rippled throughout their body as their muscles one by one unfroze.

They leaned into sunrise their breathing returning to normal.

"Its been a while since someone held me like this" they whisper.

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