Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

The farms and houses of Shim, a single inn known as the Red Chalice, and an old manor on a hill overlooking it all to the north.
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Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:20 pm

Ree continues from here: http://www.tharshaddin.com/rp/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=2777

Thankful the day had ended, Ree finished the paperwork for the day’s patients. Seeing Isyrion had raised several questions in Ree’s mind. The girl did not remember that Ree had helped birth her or had attended her 16th birthday party. Considering Ree was a Descendent, a child of Descendants would not likely forget such things. Ree thought she might still have the thank you note, sent out of courtesy, somewhere in her desk at home. Seeing Isyrion also reminded Ree just how bothered she was by the young elf’s rhetoric. The odd, vitriolic look the girl had shown – as if a mask had dropped – bothered Ree, too.

More than once over the last few weeks, Ree had thought about her own position in Marn society. She had thought she was doing well by offering support as a physician and healer, but perhaps she needed to do more. Ree had considered Cam and his commitment to the Tomes and his duty. Was she really doing her duty as a Descendant?

Ree knew she was afraid. She was afraid of the responsibility, afraid of speaking out, afraid of her past, afraid of being cast in a bad light by people she cared deeply about, afraid of facing the legal system of her home, and afraid her stance would be considered heretical instead of patriotic, but if she didn’t speak - who would? Rumor had it that the Old One knew everything that happened in Shim or Marn. If Ree was to take a more active role in Marn, even if it was just opposing something she thought was not for the best of Marn, she realized she would need more than her heritage and community standing to counter the prejudice. Her stance might be considered heretical or anti-government. Ree knew she was considered an eccentric and negligible in the politics of Marn. She needed strong backing.

Somehow, thoughts turned to action. Before she realized it, Ree had rented a cab and arranged for pickup from her house within the hour. She had received a reply to her request to peruse the books in the Manor Library, with an open invitation – even if the Lord of the Manor was not in, she was welcome to peruse the books. Granted, she didn’t remember actually sending the request and her original intent did not include speaking with the Lord of the Manor, but if she had the opportunity to speak with him about Isyrion she would take it.

At home, Ree packed a small overnight bag. In it, she included copies of the materials Isyrion had published, the invitation to the ‘Ball’, and her notebook. After consideration, she also pulled the package addressed to Belatucadrus and written in her mother’s handwriting. Ree had discovered in the cabinet of drawers. How had she over looked it? Perhaps her mother had intentionally hidden it.

The setting sun tinted the sky in fiery orange and shades of lavender. By the time she reached her destination, dark would fully be upon the region. The nearer Ree got to her final destination, the more Ree worked to calm her nervousness. She recalled again, meeting the Lord of Kaledin Manor, when she was a child. She had been around 8 at the time. Her father had been dead for a year. 87 years had passed since then, but Ree still remembered the near fanatical look on her mother’s face as the elder elf pushed her toward The Old One, as if her mother sought his approval of her somehow. She remembered how Belatucadrus had studied her clinically, taking her face in one hand, turning it this way and that. What had he said, then? Ree didn’t remember.

The conveyance had already passed through the iron gates and slowed to a stop. Ree stilled herself, took a deep breath, and moved to open the door of the carriage. The door opened before she was able to turn the handle. The driver extended a hand. Ree murmured her thanks and paid the chaise driver the fare and a tip. She could stay at the Red Chalice later and return to Marn on foot the next day.

Ree knew that her parents had come to Marn, invited by Belatucadrus, as were a few other hand-picked people. Add to that, her mother considered the Old One a research partner or maybe even a mentor. Sometime before introducing Ree to the man, her mother had spent considerable time in Shim. She had returned noticeably changed in Ree’s eyes. Fithin, though, had been oblivious. He had doted on his younger wife.

Not for the first time, Ree wondered at the relationship between her mother and the Lord of Kaledin. If the rumors about the Old One were true, then he and her mother were very close in age. That was not Ree’s purpose for visiting, though. Whatever the relationship was, it died with her mother.

The manor doors lay open and soft candlelight lit the foyer. Darkly colored marble absorbed any light given off by the candles. A maid, beautiful, but with somewhat vacant eyes, led Ree into the library.

“Please take a seat. The Master will see you when he is available.”

The sense of déjà vu did not hit her until she set foot into the Library.

The library was warm and the air smelled of candles, wood, leather, and expensive spices. Lacquered mahogany complimented furniture and rimmed the doorways that were not stone arches. Between bookshelves, paintings lined the walls; most were painted by the same hand and in the same style. Several were monochromatic pieces in hues of greenish blue. The ones that were not abstract were either depictions of nature; deep woods and moonlit skies. One looked like Shim as could be seen from above the Manor. Weaponry, knick-knacks and artifacts sitting on small display tables made up the rest of the room.

Ree moved to a table, and lay the package upon it. An ornate tablecloth hung over the table and her fingers lightly skimmed the fabric, feeling the texture of the embroidery. That sudden sense of déjà vu hit her again. Ree crouched down, wrapping her arms around her knees and looked at the room from a different angle. She blinked and lifted a hand to her mouth. A cold prickle of shock ran through her. She used to play here as a child! How could she have forgotten?

Ree closed her eyes, letting the feeling wash over her. She had no time to be overwrought by emotion now. She needed to speak to Belatucadrus, share information he probably already knew, and ask for his help. She slowly rose to a standing position and braced her hand on the table. Her world shifted and she felt faint. A headache had begun at the base of her skull. She needed to get control of herself. Now was not the time. Later, she would go back to the chest and look through her mother’s journals more closely to search for clues or answers. Ree inhaled and exhaled a deep breath, stilling herself and allowing herself to just breathe and be. When she opened her eyes, her gaze landed on the large bookshelves.

Books! Isaac had left Marn, but Ree still wanted to learn more about curses and how to remove them. Ree mentally grabbed for the analytics like a drowning man grabs for a rope. Letting her fingers skim across the bindings, she read the titles until one looked interesting - not on curses, but interesting nonetheless. Taking the book down, she propped it on her left hand and began to read, standing beside the bookshelf. There in the soft light, the pose highlighted the strong resemblance to her mother. Slight differences in the shape of the eye, the arch of her brows, and the curve of her jaw showed hints of her father.
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Belatucadrus » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:32 am

"Metarie Sehkhara is here to see you, master."

Suela's gentle voice echoed distantly from somewhere behind a wall of darkness. Dreamless and unconscious, they were the first words Bela heard and they spurred the machinations of his mind to life. He pulled himself out of the darkness of slumber unaware of how much time had passed since he was last awake. He felt the tiredness oozing away from his thoughts like tar, still clinging to him and slowing him down. With indifference he speculated that the day when he would no longer wake up was not far off. A century, perhaps.

He opened his eyes to a room nearly pitch black, save for a single candle that Suela kept muffled beneath a shade. It hurt intensely, but he adjusted quickly. As usual he said nothing to Suela, who could pencil in his thoughts as well as an old lover. When she saw acknowledgement in his eyes, she left his side to hide herself somewhere in the bowels of the Manor.

Minutes later the vampire had pulled himself out of bed and was slowly walking down a long corridor at the back of the manor. He could smell someone in the air, a woman he presumed to be Metarie, and followed the smell until he found her in his library with her nose in one of his books.

"Descendant Metarie Sehkhara. You do take after your mother."

Bela stood at the entrance to the library wearing the same style of dress he always wore. Somehow the extravagant black silk and white lace looked understated on him. Unlike a living man, his weariness, the difficulty he had rejoining the waking world, didn't show in his features. He was difficult to read, but offered the slightest hint of a smile out of politeness and for Metarie's benefit.

"What brings you here?"
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:23 am

Unlike Metarie, who smelled of life, good health, skin, blood, sunlight, and a subtle perfume with hints of clover, no scent or sound preceded Bela’s arrival. Metarie was taken completely unaware when he spoke.

"Descendant Metarie Sehkhara. You do take after your mother." Ree’s breath caught in surprise and she turned to look at Bela, eye’s wide. Her heartbeat skittered. She had the grace to be embarrassed by her reaction and cast her eyes down. A shy smile lit her features and her cheeks flushed. As much as she disliked being compared to her mother, she appreciated the compliment. Ree remembered her mother being cold, beautiful and intelligent. She hoped it was the latter two not the former that caused the comparison.

“Thank you for seeing me, my Lord. “ Closing the book, she replaced it to its home. The motion gave her the opportunity to regain a sense of composure, though the color stayed on her cheeks a moment longer as she lifted her eyes to gaze at the “man.”

Long, black hair framed a pale, aristocratic face. He offered Ree a ghost of a smile as if it were an afterthought. He was stunning, like some beautiful, marble statue. He was sinister looking, too, in his inscrutability. For a moment, the briefest desire to touch him, to study him, to try and understand what type of creature he is filled Ree’s thoughts.

That was until her gaze fell upon his hands. Tight leather gloves covered his hands, disappearing beneath the cuff of his jacket. Long dark claws protruded from his fingertips. They were the claws of a predatory creature and wholly unnatural on the very human build of his body. Ree remembered those hands, those claws gently caressing her face and just pricking her skin. Another sharp pang of pain crawled across her temples. Ree blinked and sought Bela’s gaze. She couldn't read him at all. His question deterred her from following the more formal greeting patterns. Instead, it made things seem more casual - as if they did this often.

“A few reasons bring me here. Some are memories found in a drawer,” with this she smiled without emotion and gestured to the package addressed to him by her mother, “…but some are more current. A situation is happening in Marn and it worries me.” She reached into her bag and pulled out the propaganda materials. Holding the materials in both hands, she moved toward Bela then and offered the materials for him to review.

He was taller than her and taller than Camulous, too. She had to look up to Bela as she neared him. Being nearer to him, did not make her feel any less sure of either of them. He was not human or elf, or any other species she had ever interacted with for that matter. He was an unknown. He killed a large number attacking mercenaries, in one night, alone, with his bare hands. If she was a rabbit, then he was a wolf. But, she could only behave as she knew how to behave: as herself.

“I remember the riots. So many innocent people were killed." Ree shook her head back and forth at the memory.

"This material, and what it stands for, I believe it will take us and the City in that direction once again. And, this elf… She is different somehow. I helped with her birth. I attended her birthday parties, but she acts as if she does not remember me at all. It’s as if she is a completely different person.” Ree realized then how foolish it sounded to be bothered that someone acted as if they didn’t know her, but it wasn’t her ego that was hurt. This was something different.

“As a Descendant, I felt I should do something about this, but I have not been very active in the politics of Marn for some years. I was hoping you might be able to guide me.” Ree glanced at the propaganda materials, and then looked at Bela with earnestness. “It’s wrong. This is wrong. The City is Puradyne, but...” Perhaps, Fithin’s more liberal views had rubbed off on her more than she realized. Ree stopped herself from spouting heresies by glancing down and away from him for second. She returned her gaze to his. “Please, can you help?”
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Belatucadrus » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:15 am

Bela's eyes flitted briefly to the package she'd brought for him, and then to the papers in her hand. He plucked them gingerly between his leathered thumb and index finger, and examined them at arm's length. He spent only a few seconds scanning one page before moving on to the next, and gave no indication of either familiarity with their contents or surprise at what she was bringing him. In his world everything was a game of poker, nobody ought to be privileged enough to see his hand, and while Metarie was likely to be trustworthy, he saw no reason to reveal anything about what he knew.

One thing was clear. The death innocent people was something that troubled Ree alone. To her it was a tragedy; to him, an inconvenience.

"I assume you bring this to me because Camulous and you don't see eye to eye on matters of politics."

He lowered the papers to his side and met her eyes with his. At least one thing was easy to guess from his demeanor; he was nearly always serious.

"Navarre will find plenty of support among the most vocal citizens. This is a natural reaction to protect the city's puradynic strengths at a time when illegal magic use is on the rise. She is using that fear to fuel this campaign, and her power grows because fear is a strong motivator. You're right to worry about riots. This will already lead to violence on a smaller scale."

He continued, "But Navarre has made enemies she is ill equipped to deal with. Marn's roots run too deep, and what she sees as weeds are more than that. Sewing discord against the minorities of the city goes against the tomes. The government will be of split minds about it, but faeries and gnomes are not the sorts of people one likes to have as enemies. Even one such as Camulous would agree that purging the city of legitimate citizens is not the way forward."

He smiled and offered one last piece of advice, "If it were me, I would go after the fact that she's an elf. Curious that elves are not on this list."
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:36 am

At least they agreed on the idea that violence would occur. Ree wanted to avoid it at all costs. At the mention of she and Cam disagreeing, her eyes widened slightly and the blush returned to her cheeks. She shouldn't be surprised that he knew they had gone on several dates, it was in the papers after all AND they had come to Shim AND been part of the Alsyon affair. But, having such a thing called out by him... it seemed like something not worth his time to know.

"We hadn't had time to discuss it yet. My visit was spontaneous."

"Even one such as Camulous would agree that purging the city of legitimate citizens is not the way forward." One such as Camulous? The comment rankled, but she ignored it. This meeting was not about Camulous, but about Navarre.

"If it were me, I would go after the fact that she's an elf. Curious that elves are not on this list."

Ree nodded, crossing her arms to cup her elbows. "Yes, I plan on attending her Gala and calling her out on this."

She had pretty much decided to already, but just talking with him had given her the final amount of courage to do it. After all, if she could make herself come here, then she could certainly stand up as a Descendant and state her support for the citizens of Marn. His tone was serious, but had a certain finality to it. She had asked for his help, albeit in the form of guidance, and gotten it. Ree looked around the room. Her gaze fell on the package. She felt it necessary to continue the conversation.

"It's strange being here. I had forgotten I played here as a child. It hasn't changed at all. Though, I do get a headache. Perhaps its the cemetery that does it..." Even after years of practice in shielding herself, some things seeped through.
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Belatucadrus » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:43 am

A smile that could be mistaken for genuine crept across Bela's chiseled features at the mention of her childhood. Whether he actually remembered events with fondness, or was merely skilled enough at deception to know how and when to look touched, was up to Metarie to guess.

"Time passes so quickly for me, I haven't thought about changing anything since then. Sometimes I see dust on my books, and I realize I haven't touched them in a half century. Even fashion has changed without me so much, I'm sure if I went back to Keltaris now I'd look so out of place they'd arrest me," he mused, and then paused to take on a more patriarchal tone. "But you should trust your instincts and avoid the aura in Shim if it bothers you. That cemetery is no place for a woman like you, especially when Marn suits you so well. It makes me proud to see how you've matured. You can keep your chin high at the... gala."

Whatever passing interest he held in the politics of the gala and Navarre's ambitions were swept aside when he looked to the package on his table again.

"What else have you brought me?"
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:54 pm

The smile caught her by surprise. It was warmer than the first. Metarie had been without her parents for a very, very long time. Her father died when she was seven; her mother, when she was 15. Here, before her, was someone who had known her, or of her, since she was born. That was an odd feeling and for all the 'wrongness' she felt being in Shim, for all the wariness he engendered in her, Belatucadrus also engendered a sense of continuity. It was that sense that made her want to stay and speak with him further. She had few early memories she'd call happy, but the feeling she got from being in the Library gave her pause. Here, at least, she had been happy for a time. So, when he smiled like that, she felt a warm comfort from it and couldn't help smiling back at him.

It was on her tongue to ask him about Keltaris. What was it like? Was he originally from there? But, again he caught her sideways, giving her a compliment. She smiled again, eyes sparkling, and feeling oddly pleased that He was proud of her.

"Ah, yes. I had a patient recently who suffered from a curse. So, I sought information from my mother's research notes to see if I might find a cure. I stumbled across this and thought I might deliver it to you, when I visited." Ree crossed over to the table and took up the package. Returning to Bela, she held it out to him. "It was addressed to you from my mother."
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Belatucadrus » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:39 am

Hearing that Metarie's mother had addressed a package to him gave Bela pause in a way few things could. Ciara's research was among the most important endeavours he had funded during the early years of Marn. A false hope drove him to seek a cure for his condition with unmatched desperation fueled by a desire to see the sun again at all costs. Even Ciara never learned how far his search drove him, how many people he'd killed, or how important she was spearheading his investigations. He'd long since given up the quest, but the desire would be with him forever.

Restraining himself, he strode calmly to the package and lifted it delicately enough to avoid cutting it with his nails. He held it at an angle so he could see it could be seen clearly in the dim light and shadows cast by his silhouette. What could be in it that wasn't delivered to him sooner? What reason would she have for leaving something for him at her home?

"I should like to look over this in private," he said while still looking at the package. He pressed his thumb against the paper where his solitary name was written, distorting the letters. "You should prepare for the Gala."
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:56 am

Ree nodded. "Of course, I understand. If I find anything else as I go through her things, I'll let you know. I'll be at the Red Chalice this evening and heading back to Marn in the morning."

She would have to walk to the Chalice. The driver did not want to wait for her and she wasn't sure how long the visit would take, anyway.

"Thank you for your time." Bela had already dismissed her, so she did not wait for further formalities. Instead she made her toward the door.

The gala was the next evening. Traveling back tomorrow morning allowed her enough time to find proper attire.
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Belatucadrus » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:24 am

"Wait." The vampire finally looked up from the package, although the slightest change in his demeanor was evident at this point. He was eager to find privacy to find out what was in it, an emotion that expressed itself by even more monotony in his expressions and tone, and even less effort to appear human.

"Forgive me, I forget what time it is, and you've come so far." Bela was courteous as a standard social practice. It was a default behavior, delivered with neither enthusiasm nor exasperation. "There is a prepared guest room upstairs. Suela will show you to it and tend to anything you need."

Always within earshot and attentive to the feelings of her master, Suela appeared moments after he said her name. Eyes to the floor, she had her hands clasped neatly in front of herself and waited eagerly to see if she was needed.
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:41 am

"Wait."

A simple word to give one pause.

Ree turned to look back at Belatucadrus. He was more inhuman than he had been at the start of their conversation.

"Yes?"

"Forgive me, I forget what time it is, and you've come so far." Ree started to demur out of politeness, but she did not have the chance. "There is a prepared guest room upstairs. Suela will show you to it and tend to anything you need."

Suela. Ree turned at the sound of the woman's arrival. So that was her name.

"Thank you." Suela led Ree up the grand staircase. The manor was filled with numerous rooms, enough that Ree wondered if the others were "unprepared." She doubted it, but the thought gave her amusement all the same. Ree studied the woman's back. She moved like a somnambulist.

"Suela? Have you been here long?"

"Yes." The shortness of the reply did not lend itself to conversation.

"Ah, I see."

Ree looked around as they walked. The paintings and other art that lined the hallway appeared expensive. She was sure the appearance and reality matched. As they neared Ree's final destination, the strong sense of memories crowded her. Again, she wondered how she could have forgotten.

"In here, Miss Sehkhara."

Suela opened the door for Ree and waited. Ree paused awkwardly as she entered.

"Thank you, Suela."

The woman just gave her vacant smile, nodded, and left. A few minutes later, Suela returned with a pitcher of water, a glass, and some fruit. These were placed on a small table near the fireplace.

In those few minutes, the sensation of memories nearly made the headache in her head explode.

"I remember this room." She whispered softly. Ree ran her hand across the bedding, the bed frame, and turned to look at the wardrobe.

"The wardrobe..." Suela's entrance paused Ree's further investigation. Ree waited until the woman left before opening the wardrobe.
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Belatucadrus » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:06 am

The vampire's crimson eyes stared distantly at the two women until Suela had escorted Metarie out of sight. Even with this degree of anticipation pulling at part of his mind, the vampire was a statue as patient as eternity.

The notes required privacy. Ciara's words were for him alone, and they often placed him in a vulnerable context. His power became a disease; his spirit was troubled, even desperate. In return for keeping such secrets he let Ciara live.

When they were gone, Belatucadrus took the package with him out of the public library and around a corner passage that abruptly became a spiral staircase to his study below. Shrouded in darkness, there were no candles here to show the staircase to anyone who didn't belong there. What might lead to a disused wine cellar became a refuge below his mansion, protected from prying eyes, compartmentalized from the other, more easily accessible catacombs below Kaledin manor by a fake wall.

While he needed no light to get around, some was needed to read. Above the center of the room, a hollow glass sphere throbbed to life and filled the room with a dim green glow. It came a stone he'd been given by an acquaintance from Xiongu who said it was a spiritual charm because of its Jade color. The vampire found he could will it to light by manipulating the darkness around it, and kept it as a reading lamp.

He set the package down on a desk against one wall of the study and split it open with a swipe of his index finger. There were only a few pages of writing and enough room for him to spread them out across the table in order. There was also a small, frosted glass jar with no label, and a few blood samples encased in glass. He placed the pads of his fingers on the table and read Ciara's familiar hand.
Dearest Bela,
In the attached documentation, you will find both failures and successes of my research to provide you relief from the variety of symptoms affecting your ability to endure light. I am pleased to note the epidermal coating grew well and survived direct sunlight for two to four hours. I recommend trying it on one hand and expanding the exposed areas slowly.
The vampire looked at the glass jar for a moment, then opened it and tested its contents between his thumb and index finger. He smelled it and then set it back down. There was a hint of organic matter in it, but too processed for him to recognize it. He continued reading.
"As expected, the secondary research also yielded failures and successes. The premise of this research is to use an homunculi to house you, thus removing the physical transformations. Thank you for providing the various genetic materials I requested. I attempted to infuse your genetic materials with attributes from other races with no success until I stumbled upon a unique trait in both human and elf umbilical cord blood. I found I could extract certain elements from the blood using the magical dissection techniques outlined in the documentation. The merged elements created pieces of the homunculi. You will find the preserved specimens in my laboratory at the Asylum for your review. You may have already examined them."
He hadn't, but a visit to the Asylum was overdue. There were a few guests there who he thought he might visit before they died. Her specimens were likely still there, and also likely expired. This was upsetting, but tolerable. There was nobody left to carry on her work in any case.

The letter continued to describe further research Ciara had done regarding embryos and fetal development. Her tests were promising to a degree he had not suspected, and her research was, in fact, ongoing, despite her death. This was significant enough a finding to make him raise an eyebrow. It might still be possible for him to find a way to see the sun, and, as her last favor to him, Ciara had kept it all a secret from her own daughter.

He'd done well choosing Ciara.
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:46 pm

Ree opened the wardrobe and was hit with the scent of lavender and cedar. The wardrobe was filled with a woman's things. The sense of memories hit Ree again. The clothes belonged to her mother. Ree reached out to lift a sleeve and let it fall back into the wardrobe.
The manor was like a museum, preserved and never changing. The fact that she had a link to the pieces in the museum was an unsettling sensation. Ree stepped back and closed the doors with certainty.

The sensation she was trying to follow, a wisp of a memory did not live inside the wardrobe. Ree stepped back and stared at the piece of furniture. It stood off of the floor on four legs and was a heavy, square thing matching the rest of the furniture in the room. It took her few minutes before she decided to try a different perspective.

Ree sunk to the floor, sat cross legged before the wardrobe, and stared at the thing from her new vantage point. Finally, she ended up laying on the floor. That was when she finally saw it. There was an edge, just along the line of the baseboard. Ree's eye narrowed. Rising to stand, she moved toward the wardrobe. Pulling on the piece, she managed to open a space between it and the wall. And, there, behind the wardrobe was one of those little doors you sometimes find in larger houses.

Ree reached out hand, tentatively, and touched the door. At her touch, it slowly opened. From inside, the air smelled of dust. Ree sneezed as the particles hit her nose. Inserting her whole body between the wardrobe and the little door, Ree crawled in through the door. Wisps of cobwebs brushed against her cheek, making her jump in surprise. She brushed away strands. Ree inhaled a deep breath, coughed, sneezed, and realized she needed more light. But, now that she had pushed into the little room, she didn’t want to go back out just yet. She was too close to remembering moments from her childhood. So, instead, she opened herself up. Here, more than anywhere she had ever been, magic pulsed like a living thing. At first the sensation was nauseating and Ree retched, though nothing came up. But, soon, her world view normalized and she felt as if electricity danced along her skin.

Sitting back on her haunches, Ree lifted her right hand. Even in the dark, she could see the magic limning her skin like gold. It jumped and skittered in small solar flares from her skin. This … this was part of thing she had remembered. The pain in her head had subsided completely. Perhaps the pain was because she was fighting against her nature? She did not get headaches like these in Marn. Why? Was it because magic was stronger in Shim than Marn? Was it because she allowed herself some use of magic when in Marn? But, no, these questions distracted her from the moment.

Turning her palm upwards, she focused on pulling the strands of magic together and imaged the shape of flame in her mind. The magic jumped and pulsed, weaving together until a flame hovered just above her hand. Ree smiled. She hadn’t done that in a very, very long time. The flame cast light throughout the little storage area. Half-melted candles lay listlessly to the side, covered in a thick layer of dust. A small treasure box, left open, displayed its wares of dust, wax pencils, and other little knickknacks a little girl might think of as treasure. Cobwebs hung from the beams like streamers. And, on the walls, scrawled in a childish hand were pictures. Ree’s mouth dropped open a little. When she lifted her left hand to her face, she found streaks of wet – tears. She was crying? How could that be when she felt so numb?

Ree crawled forward, to examine the pictures closer. There, a fanciful dragon, sleeping in a cave. There, flowers. There, a picture of a family. Hers. Another picture. A family picture, but now Belatucadrus was in the picture, too, off to the side and behind her mother. There… Ree drew back. Ree reached out to touch the picture, but hovered her fingers just above it. The picture was of her mother and Belatucadrus… dancing? Ree tilted her head to the side. The dance was an unusual one, to be sure. Belatucadrus – it had to be him, because of the hands – was behind her mother and her mother was leaning to the side. Was Belatucadrus … ? The flame guttered out. Pain, then darkness filled her world.
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

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Belatucadrus
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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:25 am
Name: Belatucadrus
Race: vampire

Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Belatucadrus » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:32 pm

Bela spent the better part of three hours in the dim green light, pouring over notes related to Ciara and her research. Long periods of time had a habit of clouding his memories, and occasionally dreams would infiltrate them such that he would remember things that never happened, or happened differently. Usually his subconscious was on his side, only making up things about other people in useful ways that revealed their hidden motivations to him, but Ciara affected him emotionally both because of her research and because of their relationship.

Aware of his problems, Bela kept journals of varying detail. Anything important about Ciara would be in them. It didn't take him long to skim through it all, along with the more detailed notes he already had about the research. Nothing new came to light, but at least the old memories were intact.

When he was finished he went back upstairs and found Suela, who was wandering the manor looking for things that were out of place or needed cleaning. She knew there was nothing, but she had nowhere to go. With Metarie presumably asleep and her master alone in his study, she knew she should keep herself available.

She smiled when she saw him, eager as a puppy to please.

"Our situation with Metarie has changed." He spoke in a deep, quiet voice. "Fetch the legate. I want someone watching her from now on."

Suela nodded and was away in seconds.
There are no allies, and there are no friends.
There are only tools and liabilities.

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Metarie
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Name: Metarie
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Re: Metarie goes to Kaledin Manor

Post by Metarie » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:41 am

When Metarie awoke, she had no idea how much time had passed. The little storage room was pitch black, except for the sliver of light that framed the door. Her whole body tingled. Every now and again, a little spark of magic drifted across her vision. Given more time, she might get used to the presence, but for now she needed to regain her control.

Rolling over, something squished under the palm of her hand. Ree grimaced as she moved toward the little door. To be expected, she supposed. The door opened into the little chamber, so she had to move around it to get back out into the space she'd left between the door and the wardrobe.

Ree squeezed out of the space and pulled the little door shut. Then, she pushed the wardrobe back into its place. Lifting her hand, she ran it over her hair. Dust and cobwebs, also to be expected. What she wanted and needed was a steady and calm influence, and a bath. Then, she needed to find something to wear to the Gala. Ree supposed she would need to dress the part for this one, but what could she wear?

Ree's eyes fell on the wardrobe and she stepped toward it. There'd been a green dress in there. If it fit, she could wear it... right? It was her mother's after all... right? Should she ask first?

Ree turned toward the door and stepped into the hallway, wondering how to find Suela. She seemed to be the only person in the house she could ask other than Bela. She figured the most sensible place would be to start with the kitchen. Maybe? The house was so big and kept so dark. For once, Ree was thankful of her elven heritage. The low light meant she could still see quite well.

Ree began her trek down the main staircase.
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

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