Fields of Wilting Roses (1g,PSys,CL)

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Unread postby Taiar » Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:51 pm

A soft laugh came from the throat of the Mazoku, watching the exchange between the towering lizardman and the one who had introduced himself as Mikhail. During his journies, Taiar has had to listen to quieter individuals and harsher voices than Kivet, albeit never both at once; it still wasn't so difficult to hear the reptile of impressive standing though. As for understanding his common... well...

Hang around his family enough and listen to their common, one learns to fill in the blanks when the speaker can't.

Speaking of the family... Taiar didn't like the coincidence of the situation. Just as they all return from Argosy, a new disease runs rampant in the city? Aolong and her sisters aren't exactly famous for their ability to leave people be if they get their hands on a new toy or cook up a new something in the compound.

"Well...I'm just here to make sure that no one I know is involved."

That was true enough; someone can be involved on either side afterall...

"By the by...This is Doma. Although you seem to be in the right place if you're looking to explore diseases."

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Unread postby Mechanisto » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:08 pm

Kivet turned to the Mazoku and nodded in greeting, though the gesture seemed a bit rehearsed. "Doma seems like the best place for almost anything. For the disease, though, I am lost; no ordinary disease would threaten my people so. I seek to know if this new plage is normal, or something else. I am sure I would be of use here; my resistance to plagues may well help investigate this threat."

He shrugged his shoulders a bit as he continued. "Either I will resist the plague, and be of use in ending it... or I will become sick, and know this plague is worth investingating."

He offered an oddly cheerful smile, despite the prospect of being blighted. "Either way, I am at least a little sucessfull."

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Unread postby Taiar » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:25 am

This being's natural defenses against sickness; A white mage who, undoubtedly like her kin, is the bane against disease; A Mazoku that, with the right supply of sorrow, can purge himself of plague; Tai reflected to himself that the group that's arrived to help could almost be no more fit to do the job.

Not to exclude anyone, Brinala's training as an archmage surely did not make her an easy prey to a malady and Mikhail... certainly looked as if he had survived worse.

The Mazoku turned to meet the Lizardman's gaze as he finished his story about his origins. Although the demon himself wasn't so given to telling where he came from, he didn't mind hearing where other's did and this Reptilian fellow had noble intentions of the highest level; someone to get along with for sure.

He extended his black-gloved-hand to his intimidating but knightly companion in a return greeting.

"I'm Taiar."

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Unread postby Christian » Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:22 am

Mikhail nodded once or twice as the great lizard-man talked, giving off odd little "humm"s and "hooh"s at fairly regular intervals. He didn't respond to Kivet immediatly, but instead observed the continuous conversation between the towering reptilian and the man who introduced himself as... Taiar. Interesting.

Turning his head suddenly towards Taiar, he readjusted his goggles fervolently, his hair suddenly springing up into the copulating hedgehog-stance like a trap sprung upon unsuspecting catburglars, the mechanic underneath it oblivious to the wasted effort he'd done.

"It is admirable to keep a tight leash on friends and family; I myself have a great-uncle who's simply dadders for the crayfish found in the Argovian Region, cost our family a fortune to keep him happy, but what won't you do for family, eh?" While walking he slowly seemed to slide a little closer to Taiar, "If we don't, who knows what kind of ruckus they could cause?" A shadow, or a glimpse of a shadow... or perhaps just a very small cloud's shadow, passed over his face for an instance, but then he simply fell back to Katherine.

"So, would it be correct of me to assume you were not sent out by your order to provide aid for these tortured souls? I may be the first to admit I know little to nothing about the many creeds that permeats the fragile structure of our societies, but sending out but one of their charges when such dire circumstances of integumental maladies are running rampant seems to me an ill-devised strategy... if you excuse my boldness."

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:08 pm

Katherine is so engrossed in the conversation, she finds herself surprised at the sudden question. Her cheeks flush somewhat pink, as she struggles to compose herself.

"W...well, um... truth be told... I, um... came across this problem by chance. Though, seeing all us together for the same purpose, I can't help but wonder if the Goddess is playing a role in our meeting."

She looks around to everyone present, smiling cheerfully. However, when her gaze passes by Taiar, her smile falters ever so briefly.

"...I...um, that is, I feel that for all of us to meet like this, it cannot simply be coincidence. And that is why I wish to stay and help all of you. From what I've heard, we may all have something important to contribute."

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Unread postby Nekogami » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:13 pm

The group's walk to the Ivory Horn is uneventful. The banter of the Doman folk is not all about doom and gloom, most of it mundane. Soldiers, though more numerous that previous days, walk with unhurried or unguided steps.

As they step into the Ivory Horn,

<center>Image</center>

A large tree is the first thing that they see. Justin, standing gloriously in the center of the establishment, his branches stretching up towards the skylight. Golden rays of sunshine streak through the glass and bring a great deal of illumination to the floor below. It's still a bit early so the floor isn't as full but their are still quite a few patrons enjoying an early lunch.

A woman at the bar smiles at them as she wipes down the bone bartop.

"Welcome to the I'ry 'Orn. Sit yeselves if ya like. Iffin ye lookin' f'Mac 'e's off the day." She nods and continues to scrub.

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Unread postby Seethe » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:32 am

Brinala found herself staring up at the tree as she entered. She had seen it before, but it never failed to impress her. The woman behind the bar spoke, and Brinala's attention turned to her.

"Actually, we're trying to find someone here. Urgent business she needs to hear. Her name's... uh..."

She stuttered, trying to think. Should've memorized the name a little better.

"Nas... sara... Nasana Flitover... lakes. Nasana Flitoverlakes. Yeah..."

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Unread postby Nekogami » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:56 am

"Missus Nasana, eh? She's been in on the noon. Expensive tastes but she's a right regal thing. She sat it upstairs. Lookin' a worse for wear."

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Unread postby Mechanisto » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:38 am

The lizardman seemed somewhat enthralled at the sight before them all; he gazed up at the tree for a long moment, and then turned his attention to the patrons. For a moment, it looked as if he was about to approach one of the nearby tables, simply to examine a plate of appetizers more closely than average table manners would permit. Instead, he seemed to regain his composure, and returned his attention to the group.

He leaned over slightly towards Taiar, attempting to whisper. "I've seen houses in trees before, but..."

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Unread postby Dragon Sage007 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:53 pm

There was another sight in the bar, though he wasn't nearly so noticeable as the others. In fact, it was pretty easy to overlook him entirely-he only stood two feet tall, after all. Kumo was there, eating a sandwich and looking thoughtful, his fur still a powdery blue from an odd bit of Moogle genetics and wearing the robes of a respectable white mage.

He was also listening intently to the group as it came in, though he was trying hard to not show it.

What's Tai doing with a White Mage? I thought he couldn't stand holy energy in any way, shape, or form...

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Unread postby Taiar » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:02 pm

Oblivious to the moogle watching him from his seat, Taiar used his eyes to trace a line up the great tree standing in the middle of the tavern, his ears only half-hearing what the tender had to say about their important guest. In all his time here in the city of Doma, he was somewhat disappointed with himself that he didn't visit the Ivory Horn more often. It made sense though, since he didn't really imbibe in any alcohol, the mainstay of any Doman Food Structure plus...

Tai glanced to Kivet as he spoke. "It really is something eh? Although I'm kinda loyal to the Jade Dragon... even if they don't serve their namesake."

The mazoku chuckled to himself a bit, even if Aya or Dia wasn't here to listen to him, and headed for the stairs to the 2nd floor.

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Unread postby Christian » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:12 pm

Mikhail hummed slightly as Katherine talked, she had a nice, melodic voice; bad as his ears may have been he appreciated the company of the nervous priestess. If anything, it drew his attention away from troubling thoughts regarding some of the other travelling companions in their fellowship of the fleeting moment.

"Much agreed, although fate prefers to stay out of my business, as I do out of hers, some times she goes against her better knowing and poke at my..." he grew silent as they entered the building, the majestic tree suddenly visible in all its glory, majesty, beauty. ...oh my..."

Suddenly the conversations with the bartender, the surprised tone of the human-like lizard, even the bustle of the crowd around them... ceased. As he saw Justin before him, a surprisingly pleasant wave went over his being as he literally stormed up to the tree, almost violently pulling off the oil-stained and burnt glove on his left hand, revealing a gnarled, spider-like thing that looked like it would break if one but looked at it for too long.

For just a few seconds, he held out his hand, trembling, then he placed it, his palm making a little slap, on the trunk. Slowly, almost like how you caress a loved one, he felt the bark, the splinters, the very fiber of the majestic, yet to the Engineers surprise, young tree.

"I've..." his mind raced for the right words, they felt alien, yet... I've never seen such magnificent firewood! the oak, sturdy, takes a long time to burn. Young yet comparably dry... that wonderful amount of splinters that denies you the use of it in your latest construction..." He remained standing, gawking, fondling the silent tree for some time, thinking up what he'd make with the enormous fire he'd get started with Justin. The wood could power the engines of two... no... four airships, support the flames of an entire industry of smooth, mechanical nuts and bolts, cogwheels and pistons...

"...Magnificent..." was the only word that escaped his lips.







--[[OOC - Just so there's no funny and hilarious misunderstandings, italized's thinking. :) ]]

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Katherine can't help smiling at Mikhail's reaction to the tree. She recalled feeling that way herself, the first time she visited the Ivory Horn. To see such a large aspect of nature co-existing with civilization is truly inspiring. She often finds it a source of comfort, when thinking about her own life.

...but such thoughts are brief, ending when she spies the small fuzzy man at the bar.

"...oh, how adorable!" she thinks for a moment. Then she notices the robes of a healer, and quickly curses at herself. That is no way to think of a fellow practitioner of the healing arts. He deserved to be treated more respectfully. Along that line of thinking, her thoughts go back to the task at hand. It occurs to Katherine, that this small man may not be aware of the situation. A situation that has the potential to get out of hand, and potential put both of them at risk.

"...excuse me a moment, everyone, I'll be right back." Katherine tells the others, heading over to the small man. Once she's by his side, she lightly taps him on the shoulder.

"...pardon me, sir? I'm sorry to interrupt your meal, but could I speak with you for a moment?" Katherine asks the man.

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Unread postby Dragon Sage007 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:02 am

Kumo almost laughed-almost. Instead, he kept his bearing as he replied, "Of course, ma'am. Anything for a fellow healer-especially if you can tell me how you met Tai. I'm Kumo, healer entertainer."

And Katherine might notice that his voice hadn't even grown as much as most Moogles-this fuzzy man was...well, a kid.

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:00 am

A few things are running through the priestess' mind at the moment.

She didn't expect the small moogle to sound so... well, little. Katherine desperately avoids the urge to go 'awwww' or squeal at the adorable little voice.

She also didn't expect him to know the man with the demonic aura, especially with such a casual attitude. If a fellow healer was able to smile so, while recalling Taiar, perhaps her fears and suspicion are unfounded. Whatever this small moogle sees in him, is likely why he's making the extra effort to help now.

But that's a lot of conclusions to jump to. She figures it's a good idea to find out more from the small moogle.

"...well, today is really the first time I've met the gentleman... I'm assuming you two know each other, then?" Katherine asks. Then she blushes just a bit, recalling that she hasn't introduced herself yet. "Oh! Um, I'm Katherine, by the way. Ishtarian Priestess."

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Unread postby Seethe » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:03 pm

Of course, Brinala already knew that Nasana would be on the second floor. But at least she was sure that the woman was actually there now. Good to know that she hadn't changed up her routine to throw off any busybodies who came to bother her while she was eating. Now they would just have to look for all the women who looked stressed and harass them for their name until they found the right one.

"I see. Thank you," Brinala immediately said with a nod to the barkeep, then started for the stairs.

Then she stopped for a moment at the base of the stairs to wait for the rest of the group. She probably couldn't handle the challenge of talking to Nasana by herself, as the woman wasn't going to just be another guard with more important things to do, so she stopped as well and waited for them to conclude their business. Once Taiar started up the stairs, though, she decided that was probably enough backup. A demon and a necromancer were the perfect representatives when dealing with a healer over a matter than nobody in the group was supposed to know about.

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Unread postby Dragon Sage007 » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:25 pm

Kumo nodded, smiling a bit. "Always nice to meet a woman of the cloth. And you're lucky-as far as I know, Tai doesn't like white magic types much. Well, aside from me, but I'm a special case-I've got more than enough energy for him to feed off of. Or has he told you about that yet?"

Poor, poor Kumo. He was about to be a talkative little Moogle, and this woman was going to bear the brunt of it.

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:08 am

Katherine smiled as the moogle talked, again resisting the urge to 'awww' at his small voice.

...at least, she smiled until he got to the part about 'feeding'.

Then her face falters a bit, looking like a strange cross between horrified and confused.

"...f...feed? What do you mean?" Katherine asks, unable to help a nervous glance over at Taiar.

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Unread postby Christian » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:03 pm

"Feed!?" Springing up as if from nowhere, Katherine the priestess found herself suddenly with an inquisitive and very hungry Engineer behind her. "A most excellent idea, Katherine, Ishtarian Priestess." he paused for a second to look at the moogle person, his huge nose giving a little snort of sudden surprise and mild interest. Then he looked down on Katherine again, apparantly having either not heard the conversation leading up to the mention of food, or simply chosing to place his priorites differently.

"I applaud your decisiveness in having us dine before we set out for any greater confrontations... although I must confer upon you a most shameful confession." his tone of voice didn't really seem that shameful or hushed about it however, "Because of certain monetary difficulties I've encountered upon leaving behind my home, my friends..." now, however, his tone became slightly more hushed, "and lynch mobs, I have found myself without the human necessity of food for... I would believe... perhaps two... say, three days. Of course, would it be that the meeting we have planned for would be of more importance than sating a hunger that I've been nurturing for these days, I will humbly await the appropriate time."

The tall and lanky engineer straightened up and gave a little cough, obviously somewhat disturbed by the sheer amount of... well... information he'd revealed of himself.

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Unread postby Dragon Sage007 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:25 pm

Kumo quirked an eyebrow at the engineer-who was easily three times his height, by the by-and then turned back to Katherine. "Tell you what. I'll pay for the lunch, and once you two tell me what you're all doing here, I'll explain about the feeding. Both of you have a seat. And you didn't introduce yourself, mister...?"

Kumo even smiled as he handed Mikhail the menu he'd used a minute before. This could be...interesting.

Might have to put off on my studies for a bit. Taiar always seems to do the most interesting things, after all.

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Unread postby Christian » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:42 am

Mikhail spared no seconds after hearing the invite and with one swift shrug of his shoulders slid out of the heavy trenchcoat, the mass of stained, stiff and unwashed cloth being caught with the swing of his left arm whilst his right fiddled out of the thick worker's glove it wore, clasping it in the pit of his arm before setting to work with the other one.

The whole thing seemed mildly disturbing, as if witnessing a snake shedding its outer skin for the first time. Underneath the trenchcoat the Engineer wore an overall that could perhaps, a long time ago, had been colored orange... these days it was more of a rotting-peach. Albeit only a tad bit less stained and worn than his trenchcoat, the baronian seemed to consider it at least clean [i]enough[/b] and he hung his coat on the stool at the table, pushing down his gloves into some of the countless pockets on the smock. Hanging around his hip in a rather loose and flamboyant matter that screamed "I have tools but I'm cool enough not to care about keeping them secured" was a thick worker's belt with monkeywrenches, hammers and all other kind of tools you'd imagine a man with a mission would need... if that mission was to build or maintain airship machinery. Strapped rather unceremoniously to his side as well was perhaps the only thing clean on the tall man; a handgun polished to a sheen and with the appearance that foretold the death of many a wrists should it be fired in but a single degree of the wrong angle.

For a moment it didn't seem as if he'd take off his muffler; something that perhaps was for the best of everyone; yet then he began to unwrap it, almost ceremoniously, and as it came off he looked a tad bit thinner than before.

The face of Mikhail suited his body perfectly; if he was as thin and scrawny as the baggy overall seemed to suggest. He had a very sharp and bony-looking chin with several days of stubble criss-crossing it behind small burn scars that seemed only a slightly more sickly-grey hue than his skin. His nose, however, did lose some of its majesty when it was given a lower face to compete with, but it made due. The slightly twitching smile on his thin and pursed lips completing the image of a man who perhaps didn't really rely on his appearance to get through the world.

"I am Mikhail Veldrin," his voice seemed awfully clean and well-articulated and it carried surprisingly well, most likely he'd gotten used to speaking loudly behind that muffler of his. "it's a pleasure to have made your acquaintance, mr...?" he reached out a thin and delicate-looking hand, looking almost as well kept as the pistol strapped to his belt.

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Unread postby Taiar » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:14 pm

Not usually given to talking about himself, Taiar would probably be no less glad to have someone else talking on his behalf. It wasn't that he didn't want people to know...but it was entirely possible that some people would take being fed on by a demon the wrong way, even if he was just feeding on the stuff you didn't much like anyways.

It was a symbiotic relationship, really: You feel horrible despair, a mazoku enjoys that for lunch and can kick more ass because of it when the time is right. We should be glad to have a couple more Mazoku around even, right?

Right?

Oblvious to Kumo's feeling-talkative however, Taiar followed up on Brinala, closing the gap between the two of them with a quick few steps. His Bi-colored eyes scanned the 2nd floor of the Ivory Horn quickly, hoping perhaps that Nasana would be wearing a nametag or something about her would jump out at him. The group probably should have asked more about her appearance... Do what you can with what you have, he supposed.

"So are we just gonna pick on the woman who looks most like a stuck-up Princess or do you have an idea?"

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:25 pm

It took all of her willpower not to scream out in surprise at Mikhail. Her attention quickly shifts elsehwere, however, as he speaks with the small moogle. She watches as Taiar follows Brinala up to the second floor, her thoughts going back to Kumo's words.

Feeding...

That word fills the priestess with a terrible sense of dread. Nearly every time she hears that term, it means someone has been seriously hurt. Or worse yet, it means that person is no longer among the living. There is the slim possibility this 'feeding' is something Katherine hasn't seen before. Something not quite as dangerous as it sounds at the moment.

Still, the situation fills her head with doubts. Why would a healer associate with someone who 'feeds' on others? Is he doing so willingly, or does this 'Taiar' have some kind of hold over him?

Or is there more going on here than she realizes?

Whatever the case, there's only one way to find some kind of answers. She needs to learn more about this small man named Kumo. And what better way than over a meal?

"I wouldn't mind something to eat. I was actually hoping to speak with you a little about our reason for coming here anyway."

Katherine sits, taking a seat between Mikhail and Kumo.

"Just out of curiousity, have you heard anything about an unusual illness in the city, lately?"

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Unread postby Dragon Sage007 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:03 pm

Kumo nodded as he went ahead and paid their bills, looking over to Mikhael and shortly replying, "Just call me Kumo." before his attention was absorbed by Katherine.

"Unusual? No more than usual. Mrs. Whitterly on fourth street had this odd cough that made her occasionally hack up a diamond, though. Took some work to get rid of that-it was slicing her throat from here and back. Nasty stuff. But that was from a wizard, not natural at all."

Kumo shook his head, smiling gently at Katherine. "Does Taiar worry you that much? You wear your thoughts on your face, miss Katherine. He's not a bad fellow at heart...I understand he was a big help during the war on Doma, too."

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Unread postby Seethe » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:51 pm

Brinala glanced around at the patrons eating on the second floor. Like Taiar, she also hoped something about the woman they were looking for would stand out.

"The one that looks the most like a princess might be a good start," she replied. "And by her name, 'Flitoverlakes,' she might be fey, perhaps. But I would say the most important thing to look for would be how stressed-out she seems. The barkeep said she was looking a little worn-down lately. A noblewoman who looks worn-down shouldn't be too common of a sight."

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:31 am

Much like the rest of her emotions thus far, Katherine does a poor job of hiding her feeling of embarrassment. She just stares down uncomfortably at her hands for a minute, her expression shifting to one of shame.

"...I'm sorry, I just..."

In that moment, Katherine is forced to confront an uncomfortable truth. She is judging a total stranger, before knowing anything about him. Yet as a priestess of Ishtar, it is her duty to protect 'all' life of this world, demon or not. She looks up from her hands, staring Kumo in the eyes.

"...I know, deep down, I should not be judging your friend. But, with all that has happened to Doma, it seems part of me cannot let go of fear. I look at your friend, and I fear a return to that horrible time of occupation years ago."

She looks away again, down to her hands once more.

"...but it is still an excuse for inexcusable behavior, and I apologize."

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Unread postby Dragon Sage007 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:00 pm

Kumo nodded solemnly, sighing. "We wouldn't be mortal if we didn't judge, and we wouldn't be sane if we weren't afraid of the unknown. The truth is, Taiar feeds on emotion. Negative emotion. And...well, let's just say I've got a lot of it for him to feed on." Kumo nodded again, satisfied with that much explanation.

"But he's been in the city for years, and he's definitely a good guy. So, why were you wanting to know about odd diseases?"

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:25 am

Katherine manages a brief smile and nod at the moogle for his kind words. But just as quickly, her expression is serious once more. She leans over to Kumo, speaking in a hushed tone.

"...this morning, a notice was posted about quarantine areas in the city. While the notice itself is not specific, the general populace believe it is related to some kind of skin rash going around. Many are currently unconcerned about this 'simple' skin condition. What we found troubling, and the reason we've banded together... was a pair of healers discussing bodies. That is why we are here, to try and get more information about this problem. In fact, I think your friend Taiar and another from our group are seeking that information out right now."

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Unread postby Christian » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:05 pm

Mikhail shuffled his chair a little to the side to make room for Katherine; but this so only with the most sparcity of attention, as his own was concerned with the menu the small moogle had handed him. During the brief, but oh-so-filled-with-juicy-tidbits-y conversation his eyes purveyed the writings on the leaflet-like menu. He held it in his left hand which, if one were to look, trembled only ever so slightly. His right hand, however, held onto the table as if his life depending on it, the nails chalk-white and his fingers almost the same color, a light tremble travelling through the woodwork.

"So, this Taiar is a friend of yours?" his words came just after Katherine finished her fishing for information about the horrible skin-condition plagueing Doma. The question implied nothing really, just a casual attempt, somewhat clumsy admittedly, at making conversation. He then waved a hand casually at a passing maid of presumably female persuasion, pointing eagerly at several passages in the menu. The mumbled conversation was hard to pick up, but a "Oh, and this one as well..." and the odd smattering of "And some of these..." penetrated the low murmur of the dining crowd.

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Unread postby Nekogami » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:12 pm

As Taiar and Brinala ascend the steps they can see an elven woman down the aisle standing next to a timid girl. The elven woman smiles broadly and motions for them to come nearer. The young lass tucks herself behind the elf made but keeps her keen brown eyes on the pair.

<center>[Art will go here.]</center>

As they approach, Lady Nasana grins at them as if they were old friends come to call on her. She spreads her hands open wide and says, "I knew you were coming and I can bet I know for what reason you have come."

She gently clasps her hands in front of her. Lady Nasana has a kind and warm appearance. Her black hair and pale skin giver a dollish looks but she carries herself with a distinct maturity and confidence. It's easy to see why people with even the most painful of diseases could find solace in her care.

The girl behind her can be no more than 13 or 14. Her golden brown his messily pinned up and loose strands are in constant peril of falling in her face only to be tamed with another bobby pin. Her appearance like that of a timid mouse or an unsure doe. Her relation to Nasana is unknown but she seems attached to her lady's hip.

Nasana motions to a table against the wall with four seats. The tabletop has a few books with loose papers tucked inside of them. The books do not have titles on the covers or spines. Perhaps she has been waiting for them. "Shall we sit for now? I think you have some questions for me, is that right?"

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Unread postby Dragon Sage007 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:06 pm

Kumo could almost feel his wallet screaming in agony, but he hid that with genuine concern for his fellow healer.

"Really now...um, in that case, let's wait here for Tai. He has a way of getting information from people, and I'm sure he'll want me around to feed off of if this is caused from anyone in particular."

Kumo said the last in an offhand way-rather like he -wanted- someone to blame for it. But he did wince when a waitress came by and whispered to him, "You're still tipping fifteen percent for that man, right?"

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Unread postby Seethe » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:30 pm

As Brinala scanned the area, she noticed an elven woman looking at her and Tiar intently, as if she had been expecting them. If that was Nasana, then it looked like the work of finding her would be out of the way.

Approaching the woman, Brinala bowed and introduced herself.

"Good day, Lady Nasana Flitoverlakes I presume," she said. "Archmage Brinala Aldring at your service. We do indeed have a few questions to ask of you."

Moving to one of the indicated chairs, she sat herself down in it, then looked again to Nasana.

"I assume you are aware that we have come to suspect a more dangerous nature behind the recently-quarantined outbreak," she said, speaking quietly. "We would like to help in the efforts to end this contagion before it gets out of hand, and hope that you might grant us guidance in this."

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Unread postby FF Fanatic 80 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:19 pm

The priestess notes the moogle's discomfort. However, she is unsure of the reason for it. Had Mikhail or herself done something?

"...is... everything alright?" Katherine asks.

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Unread postby Nekogami » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:11 pm

Nasana smiled at Brinala as she calmly listened to the Archmage's request. A slight movement with her eyes and the girl dashed down the stairs, skirting around Taiar like he was a giant spider.

The elf healer seated herself across from Brinala and glanced up at Tai, attempting to welcome him to the free see beside his friend. She turned once more to the half-cat girl.

"I'm sure I know where you heard of the outbreak. Really, I'd be surprised if you hadn't by this time, but I'm not sure where you could have gotten the idea that this disease is dangerous or an outbreak." She paused, propping her elbows on the table and placing one slender hand of the other, but before Brinala could reply she started up again. "There have been a few isolated cases. Less than a handful, actually. Yes, it's contagious. No, it is not an outbreak."

Downstairs, the young girl that has dashed from down the stair, runs up to the bar and murmurs something to the barkeep. It's nothing as conspiratory as passing on a secret as the girl seems to be intensely soft-spoken and shy, a quality that is more apparent in the way she nervously clasps her hands together under her chin and looks plaintively at the barkeep to hurry up and get the order done, presumably, so she can hide behind her lady's power and grace.

The barkeep meanwhile disappears into kitchen to place the order with the cooks.

<center>(More art will go here)</center>

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Unread postby Taiar » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:01 am

Taiar eyed the unnamed young girl as she took the farthest possible route from him on her way to the downstairs; it was not an eye of malcontent or anger, not even annoyance, it was an eye purely of wonder. Taiar wondered...'Will my Niece turn out like that if she doesn't make some more friends?'

Pushing away unimportant thoughts for the moment however, the mazoku circled around the table and took the seat on the other end of the table from Brinala, pulling one of the titleless but not unmarked books towards him curiously. Black Gloved hands began to thumb one of the pages branded by the loose paper...

"Maybe someone should be counting their lucky kirins that it isn't an outbreak yet then; We're still offering our services to keep it that way. However, it seems we can agree that it is highly contagious now, where we got the idea that it is dangerous isn't important quite yet. What is important is: Is it?"

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Unread postby Nekogami » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:23 am

The book Tai began to thumb had the title page in the corner, "Curious Afflictions of the Tropics". The page marked illustrated an emaciated man, almost mummified appearing but there was not a title on the illustration that Tai could see. However, Nasana maintained her poise as she gently grabbed the book from Taiar's hands. She made little show of re-stacking the books in one pile and placing her hand on them in a way to illustrate her stance on how she felt about them looking at the books she tried to subtly make private.

She looked at Tai as if listening to him speak even after he had finished. Finally she looked away towards Justin, her serenity never wavering. It looked as though she had forgotten they were sitting there and was admiring the gentle golden light illuminating the great oak's boughs.

"If you had come but a few days earlier, I would have quickly turned you away. There would have been nothing that you could have done. There would have been no money or thrill in it and we would have both parted disappointed and frustrated."

The rattling of plates could be heard coming up the stairs, interrupting their converstation. The tea that Nasana had sent the girl to fetch could be seen even before her on a wooden tray that wobbled in the girl's hands. Her tongue stuck out of her mouth at the corner as she concentrated so intently on keeping everything straight and stable. It was a small wonder that she made it this far up the steps with the way things continued to hop around under her nervous grip.

On level ground, the girl wasn't nearly as unstable and scooted quickly to the table and began to dispense with the tea with an urgency that was a little alarming. It was clear that the girl was in a hurry to do her duty and sit down so she could resume her supposed invisibility. Though rushed, her service was neat and tidy and she quickly sat down and looked at the grain of the wood in the table, her hands clasped tightly in her lap.

Lady Nasana took a sip of the tea, ignoring her assistant's discomfort, and continued on. "However, I may have something for you to do. It will involve some travel into the badlands of the Forbidden Plains, however. Is that a deterrent?"

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Unread postby Seethe » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:52 pm

Brinala couldn't help but feel a hint of suspicion when Nasana grabbed the book from Taiar. Of course, it made sense not to let random strangers look through sensitive documents, but Nasana seemed to be showing a pattern of secretiveness. On top of that, she didn't actually answere Taiar's last question either, though Brinala was sure she already knew the answer.

But the woman then proceeded to mention a way the group could help. Perhaps she was simply intent on making them earn her trust before opening up. That would be reasonable enough, anyway.

"Deterrent?" the nekojin asked. "No. Not a deterrent. I'll go."

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Unread postby Christian » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:19 pm

"Ah, excellent, this will quite do." Mikhail said with a cheery tone as one of the barmaids carried in the first trays of the six course meal he had ordered, clearly ignoring the rude way, the rude... rude way in which the moogle-person had ignored his polite question about Taiar. Very well, given enough time, dirt would be found. It was like digging after gold... except quite the opposite, as you were actually fetching quite a nice price for the dirty around the gold, and actually ignoring the shining metal for the more common soil around it and...

"Absolutely, this feeding must be terrible indeed, if our newfound friend can feel the influence of Taiar even from this distance between us." he grasped for a knife to cut off several slices of a plump and juicy looking roast beef, stuffing his mouth with it while sipping exquisite wine, apparantly completely oblivious to the hundreds of social blunder-textbooks he was marching his way through.

Indeed, it took some time before he could speak again, and he did so with a regrettable tone, as if the time spent breathing and talking could have instead been used for the purpose of feeding.

"I must admit it is regrettable we had not the chance to meet this... lady... who is... responsible for the order of the people who are helping the people..." he seemed momentarily lost for words, but before any hope of interjection reared its head, he made a tremendous comeback of simply ignoring the subject of her name and carrying on stalwardly, "yet I am certain our friends will attain the necessary information and," a little piece of meat, barely noticeable but for the arc-motion it made across the table before landing some short distance from the plate of Kumo, "present us with it. Certainly, it is all but impossible that she shan't see the necessity and importance of being on the receiving end of our Services. No doubt she will find that such deeds would be invaluable, and therefore provide us with ample reimbursements in the forms of coinage of whatever nation she sees fit, I am not picky."

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Unread postby Taiar » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:03 am

The Forbidden Plains...

At this point, Taiar could be almost certain that the ladies of the compound weren't at the center of this fiasco in any shape or form; for that, a slight exhale of relief. However, the opportunity to involve himself ankle-deep in another interesting situation and the chance to see an interesting place has opened up to the Mazoku and something inside him probably wouldn't be able to let it go. It looks like the Wolf, the Tiger and the Panda can get along for a little while longer.

Tai peered at the Archmage from the corner of his eye as she pledged her assistance to Nasana. He would probably end up doing the same, assuming nothing interesting comes to light...

"There are a number of us here for the same reason; it seems the others got held up downstairs. Could you possibly send your young lady friend to find them? A tall walking Lizard; an eccentric man in something that may as well be a disaster zone than a coat; a white mage who is probably accompanying them... I don't want to speak on their behalf."

Shifting slightly in his chair to avoid sitting uncomfortably on the tail of his own coat, the demon in black leaned back and crossed his arms, propping one boot up on his opposite knee. With any luck, they'll be in for a long run of explanation...

"Regardless, tell us more about what we're dealing with?"

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Unread postby Nekogami » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:18 am

At mention of her, the girl's head snapped up as if Tai had requested he have her head on a platter with a side of pudding. Her eyes were wide and frightful as she cast furtive looks between Tai an Nasana.

"I thought there was more of you." She turned again to the railing but Justin's girth hid much from this position and craning her neck was a bit rude so she simply looked at the girl. "Lillian, please fetch this man's friends. I think a lizardman would be an easy head to spot."

Lillian nodded but that action was in clear opposition to what she was feeling. The nod obviously came from heavy conditioning to fight her instincts to flee whenever someone so much as said "Excuse me, Miss but-". She got up suddenly and scampered to the stairs. She gave one look back at the table.

Perhaps there would be mercy? Nasana didn't even watch her; she was already beginning to speak to Taiar and Brinala. Lillian was on her own. She raced down the stairs and straightaway knew to whom she must speak. She saw them the first time she ran down. They were wierd.

She ran to Katherine, who was speaking to the fluffy dog, and was therefore the least frightening. She gaped at her for a second, trying to find her voice. "Lady Nasana would like an audience with you! Your Black Bedecked friend has requested your presence." She did it. She told them... Could she leave? No, proper etiquette was to wait for a response.

The poor girl looked on the border of a heart attack but she kept herself standing and living.

"As you know," Nasana began, "This disease that we are dealing with has us a bit puzzled and we are taking every precaution to keep it contained. We are not sure of the origin of this malady but we suspect that the original carrier was someone from the slums. But that's just speculation from patients and worriers. While the condition in the poor quarters of Doma are textbook for disease, we all know that illness can spring from any port." She pulls a slightly thin, red bound book from the pile and flips to a page. It's a notebook of some kind and written in a foreign language by it could be assumed Lady Nasana. The left page contained text with words crossed out and some circled. On the right page was an illustration of a plant.

<center>Image</center>

"This plant grows in the wilds of the Forbidden Plains. It will be far from the well traveled roads due to the conditions that it prefers to grow in are harsher than the conditions that merchants and travelers like to travel in.

"I may need not tell you this but I'd rather be thorough than to send you all to a situation you cannot handle. The beasts in the Forbidden Plains are wicked tough and fierce. Whatever ill magics or wretched circumstances that transformed that place have not been kind to the flora and fauna of it. I have heard the tales and healed the wounds of many soldiers sent on errand to that place much closer to the roads than I am sending you.

"If you feel as if you cannot do it. Even just a bit, do not go and I will not fault you for it. Again, I ask... have you been deterred?"

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