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Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise)

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1 Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:51 pm

The summons said the 7th of Eleint, but didn't say where to show up for admission. This is problematic, as the Feytower is a sprawling castle construct: half-university, half-home for most of the city's magical population and (in some cases) their families and children as well.

Sunrise finds the front door locked and unattended, which is annoying; she's not late, just not early. She rocks back on her heels and considers her options. She can either stand out here and hope someone will come to collect her, or she can find another means of entrance.

The sides of the castle building are dotted with doors, but she doesn't want to find a random spot to enter; she'd end up more lost than before. No, what she needs is a guide. Someone who knows their way around and can help her find Laerdya Siannodel. Snapping her fingers, she smiles at herself. She'll use the servant entrance.

Very few wizards are interested in cleaning their own chamberpots, and tiefling tend to be hired for these menial posts. Sunrise has friends in the Westside district who work for the wizards, and she knows roughly where the entrance to the main kitchen is. She follows her memory and the scent of woodsmoke and breakfast, and is delighted to see a pretty tiefling girl in a kitchen smock emptying scraps from a smaller bin into a larger one outside.

The servant girl is more than willing to take her back inside into the kitchens, but it is there that Sunrise's luck runs out: standing in the middle of the kitchens and supervising with a cold eye is Luther Rivvers, the powerful Commissioner of Feytower. His gaze falls on her in a second, and she knows with a sinking heart that he recognizes her.

"You. You're Veshti's girl," he observes coolly. "Why are you-- You're here to see Laerdya. Come with me. Now."

Without the slightest hint of politeness, he takes the girl in an iron grip by the wrist and walks her out while the kitchen staff stare helplessly on. She's not being harmed as long as she walks with him and doesn't struggle, and Veshti has warned her to submit to Luther unless he actively tries to hurt her. So though this vexes her, she recognizes that to defy him would have painful, and possibly lethal, consequences.

[Reaction to Sunrise.]
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2 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:14 pm

Head held high and her free hand keeping her skirts away from the grime of the kitchen, Sunrise walks with him, matching her step to his brisk one so that he has no excuse to yank on her arm.

"Ow," she says in a mild tone once they're out of earshot of the servants. "I am here to see Laerdya, and will gladly walk with you. I assure you the physical restraint is unnecessary."
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3 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:34 pm

Luther ignores this, pressing his lips together. "Just walk," he orders in a low tone. "We have business before you go see the white lady." She's not heard this appellation before, but there's a faint mockery to his tone, not the way one would speak with respect.

He herds her through a door which looks like every other door in the hallway they pass through, and it takes her eyes several heartbeats to adjust to the dim light. She hears the bubble of something thick and oozy over a fire, and the dripping of something liquid nearby. This must be some sort of magical laboratory, though what they do here is lost on someone like her. A bearded man putters about with a mortar and pestle, mixing and stirring; he looks up with surprise and mild alarm when Luther enters with the girl.

"Sir? You told me I'd have another candlemark."

"I was wrong. Get moving."

The man jumps to measure out something gray and dusty into the bubbling mix in the center of the table, then digs out a clean glass bowl and a sharp knife. "Sir, I--"

"Just do it," Luther orders with a snap. He holds out his hand and the man pricks his finger just deeply enough to take a single drop into the glass bowl. Dipping the knife in a clear liquid nearby, the man tentatively moves for Sunrise's hand next while Luther holds her right hand in a vise grip.
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4 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:59 pm

Sunrise withdraws her fingers into a fist - possibly a futile gesture, but one that sends a clear message nonetheless - and meets the man's eyes. "No." Her voice is cool and clear, both her extensive vocal training and her considerable personal charisma lending it a note of dignity and authority. "Commissioner Rivvers, I may be young and inexperienced, but I am not a child and I am certainly not your child. I came here in good faith to meet with Laerdya Siannodel, not to be manhandled. I have not consented to be cut with a knife, and I will not do so without considerably more information." Throughout this her voice remains calm and level, displaying neither fear nor belligerence, but her wording - she has not consented - indicates that any attempt to force her will be considered an attack.
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5 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:03 pm

Luther thins his lips and looks exasperated but the mage at least halts his movement with the knife; he is clearly uncomfortable at the prospect of forcing this young woman to do anything.

"Girl," Luther says, his voice slow and patient as though he were talking to a child. "I need a drop of your blood. You will be healed immediately after. Now open your fingers."
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6 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:10 pm

Her tone does not change. "I repeat, Commissioner: I am not a child. There is no need to speak to me as if I were. Why do you need a drop of my blood?"
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7 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:21 pm

Luther sucks a breath through his teeth. "Because you are about to go on a dangerous assignment--assuming you don't completely miss your appointment over a stupid and unnecessary argument with me--and I want you to stay alive. Well, not you specifically, but you will do. The spell Benjamin has put together at my request will help with that, but he needs your blood to seal the targets."

The mage nods his head helpfully, giving her an apologetic grimace. "He's not wrong, miss. I'm not- I don't hurt people. This is only going to help you, swear to Boccob."
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8 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:36 pm

She nods gravely to Benjamin, ignoring Rivvers's gibes, and unclenches her fingers, offering them freely. "Thank you. May I ask what the spell does?"
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9 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:56 pm

Benjamin takes her finger with a gentle touch, angling the knife to prick her slightly and drop her blood into the bowl with Luther's. This done, Luther releases her wrist.

"Well, it's... it's probably easier to just show you, miss," the mage says, carefully angling the blood into a bubbling mixture. "I- Oh crap, stand back--!"

The mixture smokes and bubbles as the blood hits it, popping and fizzling and spitting hot drops of liquid all over the table. Luther steps back, unworried but not wishing to ruin his nice clothes, while the mage actively takes cover behind a nearby curtain. There is a whooshing sound like wind rushing through an open doorway, then the contents of the pot explode inwards and vanish.

In place of the mixture, a little... thing sits. It looks like a bat, if bats were brown and hairless and had little gargoyle arms and legs. No, not quite brown; its hairless skin is streaked with pale-gold undertones which perfectly match Sunrise's coloring. It looks up with wide eyes, perking comically big ears, and throws itself at Luther.

He catches it easily, turning it over in his hands in examination while it coos to itself. "Well. Congratulations. It's an abomination, but I imagine your people are used to hearing that when you pop out whelps. Here's another one for your dinner table." He tosses the creature at Sunrise, where it clambers up her shoulder to nuzzle her neck lovingly.

Disorientingly for Sunrise, she can feel its thoughts. It wants her and Luther to love it. It is hungry and would like a meal. It can see and smell everything perfectly well in this dim room, and that information is fed to her over the same telepathic link. She knows, too, that it can understand her thoughts--whatever she sends to the creature, it will understand her and obey out of perfect, unwavering love.

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10 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:31 pm

The thing nuzzling her neck receives a flood of complicated emotions from her; the strongest notes are affection tinged with sorrow for the creature itself and a deep and multi-layered anger towards Luther. She lets very little of this show on her face, however. Raising a hand, she strokes behind the oversized ears and allows her expression to soften. "Hello there. What's your name? What do you eat, pretty?" Then, glancing at Benjamin she repeats it: "What does he eat? Or she, or they?"
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11 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:38 pm

Benjamin peeks out from behind his curtain, looking surprised and pleased. "Oh! Good, it worked. Looks like it imprinted properly, too. Oh, uhhh. I don't think they have a gender? Whatever you want to give it, name or pronoun-wise, should be fine. And he'll eat whatever you eat, in terms of food. Uh, sir? There's a chicken leg behind you, if you want--"

Luther turns to pick up a half-eaten chicken leg with ginger fingers and offer it to the creature. Squealing in quiet delight, it snatches the item and chews happily to itself from its perch on Sunrise's shoulder.
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12 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:59 pm

"We'll work on the name," she tells the little creature, then looks at Luther. "Well. Shall we proceed to Ms. Siannodel?"
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13 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:37 pm

Luther offers his arm as he would to a queen. "My Lady?" he asks dryly.
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14 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:40 pm

She rests her fingers lightly on the offered arm, cool as ice. "Lead the way."
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15 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:16 pm

Luther leads her back out into the hallway, taking a path without hesitation which looks, to Sunrise, like every other path.

"You're angry with me," he observes in a low voice. "And you found my crack about tiefling babies unamusing. I suppose I should apologize. I've been under a great deal of stress lately and I forget my personality isn't for everyone."
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16 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:35 pm

"I did wonder," she says mildly. "I assumed you must know that prejudice against tieflings is widespread; calling us abominations and insulting our children is hardly novel or particularly clever, and unlikely to charm someone who has been on the receiving end of similar bigotry her entire life." She gives him a sidelong look. "One might almost think you wanted to provoke me into an angry outburst."
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17 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:38 pm

He inclines his head at her last statement, but does not verbally agree or elaborate on his motives.

"I am taking you to see Laerdya because Laerdya is important to this city," he says, his voice strained as he appears to change the subject. "So important, in fact, that if something bothers her enough to prevent her from being a useful researcher, that 'something' must be dealt with if I don't want the city to suffer and die. Do you understand me?"
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18 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:44 pm

She inclines her head, consciously or subconsciously mirroring his motions. "This is a personal issue, then," she guesses calmly. "Not directly related to her efforts to stop the plague, but something that could hinder those efforts if not addressed."
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19 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:51 pm

Luther snorts, sounding deeply frustrated. "With Laerdya, everything is personal. Including this plague. But yes." He runs his free hand through his hair. "I don't need to tell you how hellish it is to run a place where everyone in the vicinity can bend the laws of nature into a street-vendor pretzel if they get a hurt to their little feelings. So it is my hope that you can help Laerdya get back onto her actual job. And this construct will help you."

"I would prefer," he adds dryly, "that you not kill it. It was not cheap to conjure."
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20 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:33 pm

She strokes the little creature again. "I would never harm it," she says, possibly a little gentler than she intends. "Does it have any abilities I should know about? Other than the obvious, that is?"
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21 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:56 pm

"Though it doesn't speak, it can understand any language you do. It can communicate what it senses telepathically to you from anywhere on this plane; range is meaningless to your bond with the creature. So whatever it hears, sees, smells, touches, or reads, you can know instantly through your telepathic bond. It can also see in the dark and fly." He rattles this all off easily.

"Because my blood was also used in its creation, it has the ability to send any message to me which you want to send. Like a distress call, should you be in distress." He gives her a dry look. "Actual distress, I mean. Not 'oh no, someone needs to pay our restaurant bill'."

"It does have teeth and can attack when you are in danger, but it's not a powerhouse; I would keep it away from combat, if possible. It cannot, however, be poisoned or charmed. If you become charmed, it will attempt to break the charm as best it can. Or so Benjamin tells me; he doesn't get the chance to make many of these."
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22 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:23 pm

<We'll have to play around with that on our own, won't we?> she thinks, "projecting" affection to the little creature again. To Luther she simply nods and falls into silence. <Would you please ask him how much further it is to Laerdya?>
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23 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:36 pm

Luther thins his lips, looking grudgingly amused--or possibly impressed.

<Second door to the right just up these stairs, and no, I don't plan to go in with you.> is shot back in short order from the little creature, in perfect recitation of Luther's voice and accent. <Laerdya dislikes me, and you'll have an easier time with her if she believes I dislike you. Do feel perfectly free to complain about your barbarous treatment at my hands, won't you? Take care, Sunrise of House Selmer.>
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24 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:20 pm

She turns her head to give him an unreadable look - then nods, disengages from his arm, and heads up the stairs to the indicated door.
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25 Re: Feytower - Servant's Entrance (Sunrise) on Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:00 pm

[OOC: End scene. Now we must wait for a bit, sorry!]
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