Changeling - Season's Greeting

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Idran1701
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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby Idran1701 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:53 am

As frightening as he is, O'Lantern's words truly did calm Sorter some. Knowing that he had no wishes to send them back where they came, it means he couldn't be all bad, could he? He's just...strange, that's all.

Stumbling the ground at Harry's slap, Sorter scrambles back to his feet. "Um...yes. That...that sounds good..." Following in his wake, he looks about the room, his attention taken by the shadows. Perhaps strangely, of all the fearful things he's been presented with since his arrival, those lurking where they can't be seen don't even twinge Sorter. After taking a bit of sweetbread and some fruit, he finds himself drifting towards the corners, moving to where things feel most comforting to him.

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ElComodoro
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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby ElComodoro » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:23 am

The rooted tree spoke, and Max listened with terrified attention, cataloging every detail his mind could grasp. His hands twitched slightly, aching fora quill and paper on which to write. Instead, he shuffled the contents of his mind with a quick head shake, rearranging the data to make room for this new addition to the collection. The tree O'lantern blustered and ranted in a peculiar way that Max recognized, but couldn't place.

Naturally, Max understood little of what he was now told- but that was the way of things. The vast majority of fey information was incoherent. Droplets of true value hid amongst the sea of glittering prose. Send them back? Back where? Max's mind struggled to connect the dots. He felt like he should know. Had he left somewhere? He tried to think back over the last while- but some fog prevented him. How long had they been here? He remembered his companions- but not how they met. He remembered fear, but not what he feared. Most maddeningly, however, was an image of a small shed which floated in his mind's eye. Where was that shed, and what did it mean?

His companions drifted off to the tables, but Max stood still, trying to sort the information. He needed answers. A voice in his head had returned with the shed, and although it was just a whisper, it bothered Max. He needed a library. Perhaps he could find one here?

Max unrooted his feet and followed after the others. Moments later his concern evaporated, swallowed by the fog engulfing what was left of him.

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ChristianC
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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby ChristianC » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:47 am

((Entirely my bad, I've been moping about my thesis-work and haven't been productive at all. My apologies dear players, I hope it shan't happen again))

Ellie found, to her delight, that the steaming something was in fact a wine made from apples and cinnamon, heated but far from boiling. It was served in the finest china with silvery patterns of winter along the sides. Snowflakes, trees barren of leaves and other works of beauty.

The orchestra itself was a modest group of enthusiasts, talented but not on the level of mastery she had once seen as a human... or even the vague memories of her time in... in that place. While the conductor was slender and bushy, the people player were a wonderful mix of shapes. One woman of particular ample proportions was playing the harp with fingers as delicate as the claws of a dormouse whilst an impossibly brawny man, not a little similar to Harry, was playing a xylophon with soft, delicate movements you wouldn't think him capable of. A shorter fellow, looking as old as the instrument he was playing, was steadily growing more and more red as he blew hard into something that looked like an overgrown tuba with about five times the usual amount of buttons. Lastly, a young girl, surprisingly normal compared to her bandmates, was playing the clarinette. Despite the odd collection of instruments, the music flowed freely and wonderful, but there was something missing...

And there it was. A piano, covered in a cloth of white silk, looking forgotten and misplaced close to the orchestra...

---

"It comes to us, it does." Spoke one of the shades as Sorter moved closer, peering out from the darkness. There was a very prominent hiss in its tone, like as if it was spoken by a snake.

"Wot? Who does?" spoke another in a much more plain tone and Sorter could see the one who'd spoken; a short, fellow in a trenchcoat that was much too big for him, sleeves rolled up and a leather belt wrapped around it to keep warm, most likely.

"It you idiot, undeserving of the title Layer to Rest. Go ask what it wants." The hisser lost the hiss, but still sounded like a door creaking silently. While the short man was clearly visible, this one did a much better show of staying in the shadows, the only thing noticeable being a pair of yellow eyes and a crooked nose.

"Why do I have to? He's here anyway." The shorter one pointed to Sorter and a third voice spoke up, female, and sounding somewhat uninterested.

"Sorter, is it? Peculiar name, I suppose it's your profession? Come join your fellow shades in the dark, or are you curious why Bofanne is making such a big deal out of it?"

"I do not! There is a certain touch you need apply, Meredeth, one I would not expect you nor your brother to understand."

"He's here now. Do you want me to speak to him?"

---

Harry hadn't let Sorters disappearance bother him, or if he had present events served to disrupt. Another man, an ogre to be exact, was giving him the evil eye. This thing hardly looked like the rough and tough street-thug that Harry was (and loved being), but rather looked like some backwater hillbilly that was just born large.

"You took the last one..." he grumbled, pointing accusingly at an empty plate. Harry could recall there being some kind of pie there, it had been a cheese pie. "I was saving that one, I was." there was a bit of a threat in the tone of the man and he turned one lazy eye to Harry, his lips curled in a snarl. "I was saving that one and you took it."

---

Max, luckily, found himself not the center of anyone's attention at the moment, 'though he was potentially a little bit too close to Harry and the other ogre for his own good. Sorter had snuck away, as he was prone too, and looked like he was being accosted (or was that conversing?) with some rather peculiar people hiding in the shades of the room. Or were they making that part dark? It didn't make any sense that there would be one spot of the room that was much much darker than the rest.

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darkknight61189
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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby darkknight61189 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:28 am

Ellie saw the piano, and her fingers began twitching. When she noticed it, she realized that her fingers were moving in time to the music, playing an imaginary piano that only she could hear, filling in the gaps in the music. She slowly moved over to the piano, pulling the cloth away and lifting the cover open to reveal the strings inside. She moved around to the bench, sturdy despite its old age, and this gave Ellie even more confidence. She slid the key cover away, revealing white ivory, not the plastic she'd known in her previous life. She touched the keys, and a jolt of energy ran up her arm, filling her chest.

She hesitantly brought her finger down, playing one resonant note right where there needed to be one. She slowly began, caressing the keys ever so gently as her fingers moved, slender and agile, across the keys. White, white, black, white, black, she knew the keys and it felt as if she was meeting an old friend. She felt the cobwebs melt away. Her playing became more and more confident, her fingers coming down like thin hammers on ivory, producing the most lovely sounds. She was in her element.

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby Idran1701 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:44 am

Sorter's shocked into silence at first, not expecting to have so much attention so fast. Conflicted, his first instinct is to pull into the shadows...but they're in the shadows. Instead, he freezes in place until the woman's voice - Meredeth? - speaks straight to him.

"...Just curious...," he stammers out, looking across what he can see of the others here. "...'fellow shades'? Is that what you...what...we are? Shades?"

He quiets a bit, thinking. After a time, he nods quickly. "It's what he called me...I think...it was a long time ago, but...it's what I did for ever for him...what he told me to do..." His hands twitch a bit as he thinks back on it, and he falls silent again.

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby Jak Snide » Sun May 01, 2011 7:37 pm

"Yous sure didn't looks like yous was saving it." Harry said, taking a moment to lick the remains of whatever he'd last eaten from his fingers. He wasn't sure what it was, but right now everything tasted great to the famished man. "Go find some roadkill to suck on, Cletus." He didn't spare the other ogre more than a glance and continued to stuff his face.

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ChristianC
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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby ChristianC » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:36 am

Ellie's playing hadn't disrupted the band's at all, in fact they all simply nodded to her as she joined them, as if she'd been expected. When her music joined theirs, the whole piece seemed to just... lift itself up, the conductor smiling teethily at her.

One by one, heads turned to look at the band, then eyes closed so that ears could better take it in. And the energy that flowed through Ellie was unlike anything she'd felt before... in a way, it reminded her of the times she'd been propped up as a gallery-piece, made to play for uninterested guests of her master... but this was different. They were all enjoying it, listening to her and the band... they were taking in the music. Even stranger, the instrument she was playing seemed to spring to life with every press of ivory or ebony, as if it was a slumbering beast that had finally woken up to life, bleary-eyed but content.

The song finally had to fade out, she knew that, she knew the song even though she'd never heard it before. But the other band members looked at her expectantly, wondering if she would stay around for another, or leave. The composer, on the other hand, merely smiled warmly and gave her a friendly nod.

--

"Sorter," the one called Bofanne spat with a dry chuckle, "Sorting things I suppose then? It must have had a dreadfully boring life."

"There is no need to be rude, Bofanne," Meredeth chastised calmly and a woman of mid-thirties suddenly appeared out of the shades, not a hint of her physical presence before given. "Little Sorter has finally found his way out in the real world, we needn't give him ill feelings about it... we were all there once."

"I wosn't." The third, short fellow spoke up, looking between Meredeth and Sorter.

"Only because burying the dead is no different here than there, nitwit."

"Don't take tha' tone wif me, Boff," the stout man muttered, speaking back for the first time, "it's a serious matte' an' there's tons of different things to conside'."

"Boys." Meredeth's tone was as icy cold as before, and the two stopped their arguing. "We have another Shade to join our fellowship, and you bicker like you were a pair of middleaged satyrs. Excuse my companions, Sorter, what is it that makes you curious? I am certain we can help, we always can."

"Fo' a price."

"Shut up, nitwit."

---

"Don't matter, I was saving it." The big ogre actually looked upset, pausing only to scratch at a small spot of moss growing on his bald head. "I was saving it and you took it. Compensation!" The last word was punctuated with a shove against Harry, hardly enough to make him tumble, but the ogre was surprisingly strong.

"Compensation!" he yelled again, and the crowd seemed to just... part for them. One of the servants actually hurried over to the nearby table, waved for one more to come over, and carried it off hastily. Harry might've found the whole thing hilarious, but the other ogre looked dead-set on 'getting even'

((Let the angels sing, let the children cry, oh me oh my, I've GMed. *hides under a rock*))

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby Idran1701 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:11 pm

Still feeling especially awkward under all the attention, Sorter fidgets, doing his best to shrink into himself. "Just...about you...I...you were seen, and..." His voice can't help but quaver as his words trail off into quiet.

When he speaks up again, it's much quieter, and he still can't keep his nervousness out of his voice. Glancing between them, he seems almost expectant for one of them to snap out. "...who are you? What...what is it, 'shade'? You're..." Glancing back out to the floor, he barely even notices the music, instead edging back into the dark almost subconsciously.

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby Jak Snide » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:00 am

Harry glared at the ogre. A goddamn cheese pie and this redneck retard wanted a punch up. First decent meal he'd had in forever and it was getting ruined by this-

Something on the table caught his eye. The glare turned into a grin as he reached for it.

"Compensation!" he yelled, swinging the mackeral at the enraged hillbilly.

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darkknight61189
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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby darkknight61189 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:22 pm

Ellie didn't know what to do with herself. She'd played what had come to her, and now it seemed like the conductor was expecting her to continue. Was it presumptuous of her to have just sat down and begun playing? Would that anger their host? Or, now that she'd started, would it anger him for her to stop? All of these questions, however, were swept under the rug when she heard the commotion and looked over to see her large friend about ready to start a fight. She jumped up, bowing to the conductor in one smooth motion that didn't slow her down, and ran off towards Harry.

Ellie put herself between the two looming bodies, holding out her hands to Harry to get him to take a few steps back. "Harry," she said, "This isn't the right place to do this. We're guests here, and we can't afford to anger the host. Just cool off, and things'll sort themselves out."

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby ElComodoro » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:11 am

It had gotten much much too loud in here. The walls ached from the onslaught of spiced conversation. Max lifted his hands to his ears- attempting to drown out the sickly sweet laughter. The feast of activity nearby prevented any such attempt. The tone was seasoned with barley contained threat. Max wanted no part of the meal.

He glanced to his companions, standing white-hot before his opponent. The heat was building in the scene, tension rolling off the pair like heat waves against the eyes. They were much too loud- far too spicy for this gathering. His companion, Harry, lashed out in a searing slash of motion, as another companion, Ellie, attempted to interject her self in between the pair with a cool fluid motion. All in all, the event was a confusing mass of tangled sensations. It ricocheted of Max's senses- leaving him offended and angry. With his own pinching motion, he stepped out from behind Harry and flavored the conversation (and all its participants) with a strong, minty "SHHHHHHH!"

Satisfied with his work, and knowing that standing there any longer would risk a backhand to the face, Max glanced about for a safe refuge. The chilling darkness of the corner where sorter stood seemed cool and soothing, a welcome relief from the blaze Max found himself in. With a measured calm, make brushed past Harry to the table of food, gathering up a few notes of food to strum merrily in his stomach, then began to make his way to the cold shadows.

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby ChristianC » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:37 am

"Oooh, 'e wants to know wot a shade is 'e does."

There was a bemused silence from the two others before Meredeth strode forward, a whispy, spidery hand placed on Sorter's shoulder. Sorter hadn't noticed before now, but as he took in more of her she wasn't just slender, she was downright skeletal, large shades under her sunken eyes and skin stretched taut over bones and joints. There was some beauty in her, but it was overshadowed by her sickly look.

"It is what we, and you, are, dear Sorter." Her voice was almost a purr as one bony finger snuck up to stroke his cheek, "the shadow of a disused chair, the darkness around the candlelight..."

"Soft mull of a newly-dug grave..."

"...the unread pages in the book you're holding..."

"And the whispers you'd rather you didn't hear."

"Don't tell me your patron never told you..." Bofanne said with a condescending smirk. "I suppose we weren't all that useful and important..."

"Shoosh, Bofanne, I seem to recall and wet and terrified young man hiding in the library..." Meredeth mused before she turned her catlike eyes on Sorter again, "Sorter, my dear... to make matters less mythical and incomprehensible... we are the unseen servants of our lords and ladies. We are the cogs in the machinery that works best when unnoticed. Tell me, Sorter... was that truly all you did?"

---

The conductor didn't seem displeased with Ellie leaving, instead merely nodded and turned his attention back to the rest of the band. A few questioning glances from the rest of them, but they didn't say or do anything. Once she was gone, they picked up their instruments and continued playing, despite the commotion of two ogres clashing heads.

Unfortunately for Ellie, putting herself between the two ogres wasn't really enough to make Harry's mackarel-swing suddenly stop in its tracks. Instead, the fish slapped against her arm, literally exploded and covered the three of them in tiny bits of fish.

Luckily, this turned out to be hilarious enough that the other ogre began to guffaw loudly, slapping his knees and roaring with laughter.

---

The SHHHHH from Max got him a little too much attention and as he made his way over to the shades he could feel the eyes of several party attendants follow him. A woman dressed in a white gown with frilly, fluffy details gave out a loud honk in laughter, the way her arms shuddered with her laughter reminded him of a goose setting into flight.

"Ah... it looks like another seeks our council, Sorter why didn't you tell us about your friend?" Meredeth spoke out with the ghost of a smile on her lips. "Come, come, I fear we may need a separate room entirely soon for our little gathering."

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby Idran1701 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:54 pm

Sorter starts at the hand rested on his shoulder, turning back to the others again, but he seems a bit too nervous to pull away. He nods to her question, still holding a tremor in his voice. "There were books forever, he closed me in the room and told me to sort them...no light, just dark, and things crawling everywhere, all over, and...and it was forever before the door opened, and escaping. He never showed up again after he closed the door. No thinking, no seeing, no remembering...there wasn't even a me, just...just sorting forever..."

He doesn't notice Max's approach until Meredeth speaks up again, spinning towards him. Squeezing the ball of twine in his pocket, he's seemingly watching Max - though as always, with no face it's hard to tell. "Max...he;s nice. He's been helping with learning, he knows a lot about things...there's more understanding now because of him."

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby darkknight61189 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:39 am

At first, Ellie was so shocked she didn't know what happened. After a couple seconds of processing what happened, her lips slowly curled up into a smile. She started laughing, harder than she had ever laughed in a long time. She started coughing, her lungs not used to such seizures, and she bent over, trying to get control of herself. It felt so good, though, to let go and laugh.

Ellie stood up and looked between the two ogres. "Are we done with this?" she asked, mostly looking at Harry, "Or do I need to keep catching fish with my arm?"

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby Jak Snide » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:32 am

Harry stood there grinning like a fool, occasionally popping a chunk of exploded fish into his mouth as he watched the two people in front of him crack up. He hadn't felt this good in a long, long time. It was enough to disarm him, the threat of violence now entirely forgotten. It was even enough to stop him from backhanding Max for trying to tell him to shut up.

"I'm good." He said, licking the juices of his latest meal from one hand as the other tossed what remained of fish aside. "Though yous might wanna get cleaned up."

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Re: Changeling - Season's Greeting

Unread postby ElComodoro » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:15 am

Max approached the darkness with his head held high. If he was aware of any laughter from the other guests it didn't show in his stride. For him, the darkness in this corner was inviting- to him it was home. Without warning, the shadows spoke. Max stopped short, surprise scrawled across his alien face. The surprise easily melted into curiosity. There seemed to be more than one voice. Certainly, such things were not unheard of- but Max hadn't expected it here of all places. And most certainly hadn't expected it to be so.... obvious. Max considered the corner. There were several possible options, depending on if something was meant to be hidden, or unseen. First, Max needed to figure out why the dark clung to the corner like cobwebs. It could be a contract, Max mused, or even a pledge. Of course, it need not be that serious. It could be as simple as a ban.

Max stepped to the side, considering from another angle. No, no, no. It is something else. Max pulled at the threads of memory, shifting through the various possibilities. Talking shadows appeared in a wide range of stories, formula's and poems, serving a variety of functions. Max doubted that there was anything here that needed to be hidden. The voices continued- one even spoke his name. Other rooms were mentioned. Max shook his head. His curiosity was getting the better of him. No one directed shadows to be placed without a task. More importantly- they were never placed to be seen. Why here? Why now? If only he could ask- why couldn't he? They may not know. Max never did- he was always just given a task.

"Hello," he said.

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