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The Gilded Cage - Slaves in need

The Gilded Cage - Slaves in need

The land of Amesha has been changing for many years and the arrival of new faith has changed it for the better. Save for the house of Raven Home, wherein a strong tradition still holds true after all these generations.

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Topics: fantasy, modern, original, slaves, story, and training (Add Tags »)
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Introduction

~Welcome to the Land of Amesha~


-Amesha-

The land of Amesha has been slow and calm to grow for the past six centuries, only changing its government once in the very beginning of its new age. Replacing its once royal family with the altruistic and guided hand of a conclave, formed from the most powerful families who can call to act on any notion they see fit. The age of industry has been slow to grip the whole country, but Amesha has taken to such a change well and is more equipped with sea faring vessels then any other on the eastern shore. Amesha itself sits near the edge of a peninsula, sharing the edge of each of its three provinces with a formation known historically as The Kings Blade. A massive natural stone formation that shunts out into the side of the sea.
Each province that sits within Amesha's borders are Halden, Far Crown and Dire Ridge. Each boasting several small towns and in the case of Far Crown a large city that surrounds the shore lined fort upon which it was built. Far Crown is the lowest sitting of the provinces within Amesha and is by far the most wealthy, being the seat of its government and focus of its entire trade organization.

Magics end-
Though magic still exist within the world and has since recorded history. It has begun to meet opposition from the populace at large. From either those that see it as a past form or trickery, or those that have secretly been wishing for its removal over the generations. No matter the reason, its practice has begun to dwindle and there are those that believe this age of industry is the final note in age of magics long song.

-Raven Home-

The home and center point of our current story, Raven Home is the main attraction of the Kings blade. A grand building of stone and metal that sits on the very tip of the blade itself, looking out into the sea. Though above the ground only nine floors can be seen, from there on down the structure descends another seventy floors, going past even the oceans water level. Not many people know what the whole structure looks like, or even how it was built, because it was present even during the time of the first kings and has always done business with the surrounding countries.

The structure itself is ancient and even though its decor changes from age to age, there is not denying that it has sat for centuries. Its walls filled with momentary and permanent tenants alike. All working within the laws of the Raven Homes astute ringmaster Kenner, a man who has not been seen outside its walls for the whole recorded memory of the houses dealings and a man who commands extreme respect from those within and without. It is his influence that keeps Raven Home alive against the current change in Amesha's political power and were that to fail, his walls are guarded by a vast force of personal militia. Ever present and stern against the coming influences of the outside world. Kenner himself does not run the entire body of the house and has placed several individuals in command of certain aspects of the day to day living. Though it is his word that the new intakes hear and it his by his command that they are allowed to be trained within the walls of such a powerful house.


-The Political Arena-

For generations Amesha has been a strange and daunting land, many of the wealthiest people within its boarders have enjoyed a life of opulence and hedonism beyond the reproach of most. Its people were free to practice whatever beliefs they held dear and many were able to pursue whatever lifestyle they sought. As long as the seeking of this life did not directly destroy or interfere with the civil liberties of another citizen, one would never be sought for any kind of retribution.

Though the land had many dealings and vast exports, one was wanted far more throughout the country more so then any other and that was their slaves. The land of Amesha was one of the last to keep its power to control slave trade and even though it is illegal to purchase in many other places, the right to own one is not. Though the years the local government has destroyed the trade of slavery and the training of such servants, however the political power of Raven Home has kept them relatively untouched by outside influences in this generation. People of all creeds and bonds come from leagues around to purchase a slave of their own and now that the government has destroyed all other sources of such treats in the land, Raven Home is that last remaining bastion they all seek.




-Things of Note-

*All slaves will be given a introduction of their own by the GM, not long after their character sheet has been approved of.

*The slaves can be of any gender, race and origin that the player creating wishes to choose. Though a warning is to be placed, extremely exotic races can possibly entail special treatment and accommodations. Lamia's for instance require a large amount of food to keep themselves active and are cold blooded, so they must have heated aspects in their accommodations. This is not to dissuade a player from choosing such a race, but just to make sure you know what kind of reaction the slave will receive when it comes to Raven Home.

*There are multiple NPC's within Raven Home, many of which that will not be met or heard of until the story get fully underway. Their inclusions may be short at one moment, or extremely taxing at the other, but you will all come to know them well.

*Upon entering Raven Home, slaves will be inspected and sent on their way by Kenner. This will double as their introduction and as the time their fate will be chosen. Their fate will be normally up to the player creating them, who has the choice of listing the desired color of the slaves ribbon. This color determines their training and the kind of role they will be given within the halls of Raven Home.

Ribbon Guide

The Ribbons worn by all slaves within Raven Home are for two reasons. First it is a reminder to the slave themselves that they are bound and cannot fight against this bond. The Ribbon is applied by Kenner himself and lightly bonds with the flesh of the slave, even allowing him to restrain them if need be. Secondly it is used to identify what they wearer is meant to be doing, making sure that those inside Raven Home give them the training they require.

-Blue- Slaves bearing this ribbon are not meant for the harshest of lives, they are to be trained in the fashion of etiquette and court structure. Many such slaves are bought by dignitaries and ambassadors, even going so far as to fill such functions themselves. Those that acquire this ribbon must be of good breeding and possess a social nature, as well as having some skill or knowledge of higher society.

-Green- Green is given to the slaves who are trained for physical revival, those that heal and treat their masters ill wounds, or to simply ease their troubles. This is the second most personal path of a slave and though like all others, they could still be called upon to relieve other physical needs. They can become some of the best personal physicians and caretakers possible. Many begin with some knowledge of the body and are one of the most emphatic of many other slaves.

-White- White is the most common among many slave that are trained in the service of a house more so then a single master. These usually are donned the term of maid or caretaker and are trained in all manners needed to serve their master dutifully. Many that take this ribbon were maids before being sold or captured into the trade and are best suited for returning there. Raven Home itself contains several hundred such individuals and they all work in unison to ensure everything is in its place.

-Orange- Orange is the mark of an Artist and creator, those that bare this ribbon are the most inventive and inspired in any group. Being trained across the whole to either master the brush or instrument in an effort to fill that singular need for entertainment in their masters lives. Those that take this ribbon are highly attentive and can notice slight details in all things. However this also translates into a fervor for their own emotions as many artist thrive off of such burning needs within themselves.

-Pink- In the past, Pink was the most common form of slave especially among all houses. They are trained with the most essential means of "tending" to their masters needs. These are the most personal form of slave that someone can possibly own and the training with witch they are given is nothing short of conditioned. Though because of such a personal nature that their lives take in the hands of a master, many of these slaves are given rigorous mental conditioning, making them wholly dependent on their master and loyal to a fault.

-Red- One of the hardest to control and contain, those bearing a red ribbon are ones found with an intense inner fire and some of the most unwilling to be controlled. It is these who are sent into a life of pain and destruction, as many masters have found that prize fighting certain slaves is a rather lucrative method to making money. There are those places in Amesha were such arenas can be found, however Raven Home possesses its own coliseum to host such events. Though this path is most looked down upon by many of the houses inhabitants, even by Kenner himself. Though even the most powerful must bend to the will and demands of their own clientele.

-Black- Even before the shrinking of the slave industry, there were many who would not deal in such trades. Those of the most exotic breeds and powerful monsters are known to exist within this classification of slave. They tend to be physically powerful, or highly intelligent and destructive. Coming from lands far from mortal eyes or even coming from other planes of existence. There is talk that the head Warden within Raven Home, Kenner's second, is actually one such creature and in fact was once his own slave.

Characters are encouraged to interact with one another and even attempt to explore Raven Home in its entirety.

Rules

-No god Mod, or meta gaming. I.e Using information at your disposal that your character would otherwise not know.
-Two characters max per player and they can be of any race, gender, orientation that you desire. However the more exotic races will be met with some drawbacks, just a fair warning.
-Anything starts to happen that breaks RPGs rules, we will fade to black, or take it to PMs.
-Any arguments get started, they should be handled swiftly in the OOC or in PM. We all come here for fun, so there is no reason to stir the pot.

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Be warned little ones, because this world is full of things to satisfy desires both, divine and gross.
Character Portrait: Babble
Babble played by Zalgo
"Silence is golden."
Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft The non player characters of Raven Home.
Character Portrait: Nadiya Darzi "How may I help you?"
Character Portrait: Akhira
Akhira played by BlueWind_22
"A dragon is not a slave."

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Setting

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Selakir
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A hand laid on her shoulder. Selakir sat very still. Her master gave his permission to eat though his phrasing was strange. It was not cruel to keep a slave from a meal. It was about the master's desires.

"Thank you master." Her voice was soft. She gave a slight bow of her head to him in thanks to accompany her words before delicate picking at her food.

It was incredibly tasty but her body was so empty that even the small bites felt heavy. Selakir was slow to eat, pausing often to allow her body to adjust once more to the solid and nutritious food. It was different than she was used to. Her previous master was very much a lover of fatty, roasted meats and heavy drink. The juicy pieces of fruit were so perfect that Selakir closed her eyes to focus on just the feeling of the sweet juice dancing over her tongue as she chewed and swallowed.

She opened her eyes once more as her master spoke of a room for her. She watched the woman, Peach as she began to gesture emotionally. Selakir found herself realizing that perhaps the woman could not speak.

"Whatever master feels is best." The question of her opinion puzzled her. Why he was concerned with that confused Selakir. She did her best to make it clear that she in no way would be a troublesome slave. She had seen them, the new arrivals who would fight and push against master's desires. It never ended well and Selakir could not understand why they did that.

Setting

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Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Akhira Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires
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The smells of ink, blood and magic were written in the very stones where she presumed Purna to spend her time, with other tattoo artists. And somewhere near, she was sure she smelled paint. This really was the hall of artists, wasn't it?

Akhira tried really hard not to smile. Humans had never really fascinated her but the humans and beings here in the castle were really something else. She had to applaud Kenner for the caliber of his collection.

Although, in the end, they were still humans.

From the moment she heard the music ring loud enough for Alexander to notice, she saw him change. The sound of his breath and heart quickened and his pupils looked like they had widened. His poor excuse senses were trying their best to catch everything while hers weren't even trying. Ah, so the music is his Love.

And it was this change in him that she knew for certain. He saw nothing else but his Music.

She let out a sigh, ignoring the way Purna spruced her up. As if a dragon needed to be spruced up just for the meeting of lower beings. She was already beautiful enough. "The teachers are somewhat particular about anyone new they meet and to be honest, they can be a bit harsh. Also, don't let their appearance fool you, as the bother is far more agreeable than the sister."

"Is my harp in there? Did they bring it here or to my room? I would like to see her."

Akhira wanted to laugh, but she contained herself and something dark twisted her insides. Her reptilian eyes sharpened, humans really are all the same. She tapped Purna on the arm gently, and with a look that suggested she was taking her leave from them, looked down the hallway and began to walk away.

Maybe there were others to bother. Maybe she could go back to the library and speak with Peach or... There wasn't any maybe, she was going to go back to the balcony area Kenner had showed her earlier. Yes, where she could feel the wind and air. Flight was her Love.

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: Babble Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Selakir
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Babble

Philippe looked over Babble as he stared back at her. It wasn't entirely possibly that she could supply something for him to eat and when an idea hit her, she pulled a small pad, scribbling quickly. Babble could see that she was murmuring the words as she wrote them, letting the information flow as easily as one would breath.

She looked over the top of her notes and asked him as she continued to write. "We are going to try a few things, hopefully one of them will work for you. Several of them will be up in about an hour.." She quickly tears the page out and hands it off to the nurse across his bed, who barely glances at the page and trots off down the hall, while she returned to examining Babble.

She lifted his right arm and began to inspect where the bandaging began, asking him questions as she scanned across his forearm. "Can you still feel anything here, or..." Babble saw her eyes stop where his armed ended and even though bandaging had been applied, it was apparent that she was staring at something. She leaned over his body and examined his other arm in the exact same way. Her eyes focusing on the very end where his wound was and it was obvious that she was drawing a conclusion, even with how strange her face appeared to him.

Her touch was strange to him as well, like her fingers were damp and each point of contact reminded him of the days where pain was applied through magical means. Not the pain, not the sensation, but the contact itself was still there. Like a strange phantom that he was vaguely aware of as it traced over his flesh. She looked over one last time before placing his arm down and drew back up to stand. "Who took your hands Babble?" She asked bluntly.



Selakir

Kenner smiled over and nodded across the room in regards to Peach's anticipation. The maid practically bounced with happiness as she leapt from the room, hurrying down the hall towards her destination. Kenner and Alia both shared a softly toned chuckle between one another. He pulled another chair from the side of the table closer towards Selakir and took a seat beside her. "Another few days of this and maybe she will have all of this excitement out of her system." He added with a slight sigh.

"Not very likely..." Was what Alia responded with as Kenner fished a strawberry from the plate in front of Selakir and kept his eye cast towards her as she ate. He with the edge of the fruit sitting firmly in his teeth as he looked her over. He lifted up his other hand on the table and revealed an item that was in his grasp. It was a silken, pink ribbon. Twirling the two ends of it together with his fingers as he leaned against the edge of the table and looked onto Selakir, as she enjoyed her meal.

He looked on and as her eyes caught his out of the edge of her vision, she could see that he was content to just sit there and watch her do exactly as she was doing. Though the silence did not last long in general, Kenner decided to ask a rather straightforward question of her.

"Besides serving your master, what is it that makes you happy Selakir? He sat down the last of the strawberry in his hand and began to hold the ribbon more predominately in front of her. "Because this family can offer as such." Alia leans forward and adds "You can go far in this house, even at your age you are still young and very beautiful. You can go places and do things that not many of us really had a chance to ever do..." She went quiet for a moment after that. Her head fixed as she looked down onto her hand in silence. Aside from a dejected sigh, there was nothing else that could catch Selakir's hearing when it concerned this woman across from her.

Kenner reached across and placed his hand on hers, visually puller her back from whatever place her mind was currently in.

"Everyone has a place here Selakir, so long as you wish to take it."

Setting

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Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Akhira Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires
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Akhira & Alexander

Purna was finishing, picking a few stray stands of hair off of Alexander's shoulder. She looked over to Akhira as she received a tap on the shoulder. "If you're going to leave, than I suggest you refrain from whatever you did before." She returned her eyes back to Alexander as she pulled off the last hair she could see. Giving him a wink as she did "Your instrument will be fine, as we do so much appreciate the arts here and treating it poorly would only reflect upon us as a whole." She reached down and took his hand, stopping the rapping that his fingers were going through in that instant. Somewhat interrupting his line of thought in that instant.

She began to tug as she gave a nod to Akhira. "If you really want to leave, then I suggest..."
The room went cold, fast and even the words lightly froze in the air as she began to speak them. Though her expression did not change, in fact. It was apparent that she was well used to such a sensation and it was then that the group felt it.

An oppressive shadow cast over them, quickly passing from one side of the hall and ebbing behind them as it moved. Causing the lamps on the walls to flicker and wane on their mounts. Purna slowly closed her eyes and lightly adjusted her stance and the oppressive feeling passed behind them after the shadow had gone.

Akhira could feel her scales tilting up on their end, a defense mechanism that she had been born with and one that had served her very well in the past. Almost like her body was screaming of immanent danger. The flesh between her knuckles tingled, her hair began to follow suit to her scales and even her body was now tugging at the bonding of her ribbon. As small patches of ice began to form along the surface of the fabric.

Purna looked over Alexander's shoulder and smiled a calm smile as she spoke. "Masha, I thought class was already going." Alexander and Akhira could both see a slight pang of panic in eyes and Akhira herself could make out the telltale skip in her pulse. As they turned, the only thing there to greet them was the figure of a young boy. Barely up to Akhira in height and even then his nose only reached to the nape of her neck. The formal wear of his vest and slacks, mixed with the short cut hair that sprayed out in several directions were off putting, more so was it's pale blond coloration. Almost like that of Kenner's yet more dull and flat in appearance. His features were soft for a young boys, full cheeks and soft round eyes with just a hint of an androgynous trappings.

His eyes on the other hand cut, almost to the bone with how strong the stare he was giving the small group. They were deep and dark, a look that Akhira off the start could tell was giving away his age to not be that of a child. Almost like the look she would receive from the older dragons she ran across. A deep ocean filled by the experience of a vast lifetime and it was obvious now that he, like kenner himself. Was something else entirely.

A smile bridged across his face as he looked back at Purna and glanced between the other two. "I was hoping to see this new student that was scheduled to arrive. After seeing such a finely cared for piece enter my music hall, I was interested in meeting someone who could care for it so delicately." Like his eyes, his voice was betraying the appearance he wore.

It was calm and assured, with eloquent connotations as he spoke, much like that of a noble addressing a small court. Yet he spoke just as softly as his small stature might suggest.

"Alexander, I presume." He gave a sharp nod with that statement. Not even stopping to question the target of his attention. Greeting Alexander as he did and then sliding his eyes over to Akhira, his smile returning. "I thought you would still be asleep in your little scholastic mound of books.. Akhira, I take it?

Chlorra wasn't too forthcoming with your name earlier."
He added with a soft chuckle.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Selakir
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Selakir paused in her eating to watch as the woman bounded from the room. She could not understand why the woman, Peach was so happy and excited but it was pleasant enough to witness. Her attention returned to her master. In his hand was now a pink ribbon.

His question confused her. Selakir stared at him a moment. "I do not understand. Was I not brought here to serve you? Do I displease you?"

Perhaps it was a test of her loyalty and devotion to him. She sat, hands in her lap now and bowed her head. "I wish for nothing but to serve my master. Nothing makes me happier and if my master is happy than I have all I could need. My place is as his servant."

Her voice was soft but firm. If this was a test she wanted to show that although this place and people were new and strange she would do what was expected of her. She would serve and cater to his every whim, every desire. It was who she was and what she was raised to do. Selakir knew she could be and do anything he wanted if he would just give her the chance. She stifled the panic that wanted to build.

If he rejected her she did not know what would become of her.

Selakir lifted her head. Her eyes did not meet his, to do so would be to challenge his position as master. It was something she would not do.

"I wish to serve you. I wish to remain here and to show you that I can be a good servant. Allow me to serve you, master, in all things."

Setting

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Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Akhira Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires
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Alexander frowned heavily as Purna took his hand, interrupting his music. He pulled his hand from hers, his annoyance clear in the somewhat abrupt manner of the action. He didn't like to be touched when he was composing. He didn't like when people told him how to act or forced him to behave in certain ways.

The change in temperature and flickering of the lights shifted the conversation and feel of the hallway. At first Alexander wasn't entirely sure who Purna was talking to as she looked over his shoulder but he turned slowly. He didn't catch the panic in Purna's eyes. Alexander was often oblivious to that sort of deep social reaction.

A young man, no a boy stood there. He was dressed formally. Alexander didn't really think much other than the idea that another person had joined them in the hall. His immediate thought was 'is this person a musician too?' then he turned his mind back to music. A dark, almost scary composition came to mind as took in the moment.

Again, Alexander was not fully paying attention but he heard his name and pulled himself from his thoughts to look at the boy in front of him. "Yes, I am Alexander. I came here to compose, to practice...I am told Master Kenner is a lover of the arts."

The formalities done, the boy's attention now on Akhira, Alexander looked to Purna. "May we go and see my instrument? Will there be time to practice soon?"

He had priorities, unwritten songs trapped in his head and he felt the need to get them all down on paper. Akhira's song, the dark song the hallway brought to him...it felt like they might burst from him if he did not get the chance to write them down soon. Alexander hated that feeling. He would not sleep until it was all down and he had the chance to play them.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires Character Portrait: Selakir
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Selakir & Alexander

Kenner smirked back at what she said, the expression playing across his face that he was evidently enjoying the conversation. As he reached down and took hold of her right arm with a gentle touch, his other hand brought the ribbon up to meet it and laid the band across the top of her upper arm. "In time Selakir, you may understand my question more so than you do now, but that doesn't matter for the time being. For now I want you to get used to your new home and become more acquainted with those you'll be living with from now on." He released the ribbon at that point and the fabric moved with new life. Pulling itself along the side of her skin and tugging tight as it completely wrapped around her arm in one full band. Even as it finished wrapping around she could see no seam it is fabric, having now turned into one singular piece that alone encircled her arm.

Alia game a soft clapping from her gloved hands across the table, espousing a small wave of glee as she spoke.
"Welcome to the family Selakir." Kenner released her arm as she could feel the ribbon begin to grow warm on her skin, thumping with a low heat as if resonating with the beat of her heart and then nothing.. it had lost its warmth and the feeling of such a pulse. Just as quickly as she had noticed it starting to begin. "This ribbon will signify what place among the house you represent. From now on this is your claim into our home and will easily let you recognize those others among the house that share your place."




Purna nodded to Alexander before looking back passed him towards Masha. His question still hung there in the air as the boy looked back at her and gave his own nod of approval in response.

She pulled on the edge of his sleeve as she coaxed him in, leading him around the edge of the room.
Through the open door Alexander could see that the room was much larger once through the door. There were chairs placed around the room in the form of a circle with only a few of the seats being filled. Most of the people there were tuning their instruments, or talking among one another. Several of which were some that he had never seen before, or only read about at one time. Even some of the people in attendance weren't normal to his eyes. As they both passed by he could see strange skin tones and oddly colored eyes. Some giving the two of them a distant wave, or some other form of greeting as they moved through. It was obvious that this was more of a response for Purna than it was for him, but it was a nice happenstance all the same.

As they rounded a corner and moved down a short hallway, passed several private rooms and through one last door, they arrived in a large room. Three windows through which he could see the outside world, their view extending over the edge of the peninsula and encapsulating most of the wilderness prior to it. He could see that many instruments were kept here in their own little space along with his harp. Which had been set not far from the window, yet remained in a small shaded spot thanks to several pulled blinds. There were two other maids in the room, cleaning and moving instruments around as they worked. Alexander could see that their attire was not too far detached from that of the other maids in the house, but they did possess several articles that differed from the rest. Jacked tails instead of a long hemmed skirt and long sleeves with cuffs, as well as small embellishments.

Aside from his harp, there sat a small stool nearby with a pack of some sort sitting on it and an envelope with his name sat next to it.

Purna nudged him on the shoulder as she pointed. "Well, there she is.. go ahead and get reacquainted." She added with a smirk.

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Character Portrait: Babble Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft
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Babble

Ooo. Oh Dear. Oh dear indeed.

Each touch brought a shiver. The tool of bone, sinew, blood and more drew up his flesh. Her touch was strange, magic no doubt. He was never comfortable with being touched. He never expected to be comfortable. It was an easy expectation to meet.

Then she created the question. The which formed the patterns that could be interpreted as a inquiry. She wanted to know who took his arm. No, that was not information to be parted with. It was taken and that should be left alone. It was safer that way.

"He- Him- It- We cannot say who. The old master made us swear. He was clear, no doubt about it.
Actions spoke louder, louder, loudest."

It was the voice of an old man that spoke, the cords withered and dry. Not his own, never his own. Babble the voice spoke, Babble the fool simply thought. His face spoke greater volumes than his voice did right now anyhow. He was clearly terrified. Not much scared ole' Babble but the very figure that was responsible for everything until now definitely put a great deal of fear in him.

At least as he was learning from his time in the new manor there were still new ways to suffer. Punishment was surely less terrifying the more experienced he grew with such things.

It's easy to be fearless when you have nothing to lose. Sadly for Babble there are still a few things left to rob him of. It. Them.

Setting

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Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Akhira Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires
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Akhira shivered slightly in anticipation of what, she didn't know. "I thought you would still be asleep in your little scholastic mound of books.. Akhira, I take it?

Chlorra wasn't too forthcoming with your name earlier." He added with a soft chuckle.


Akhira narrowed her eyes in irritation of having her name game ruined. But.... she looked Alexander over. Hmmm? Maybe he hadn't noticed her true name being spoken since he was distracted with finding his instrument. What a distracted little bird. It would be so easy to crush him.

Ah, he didn't noticed at all.

Akhira looked to Masha and nodded, "Please refer to me as Light today and it was nice to meet you." Her blue eyes were suddenly drawn to the leaving Purna and Alexander. She choked down the urge to follow and see what was around the corner, instead she looked back to Masha. "I'll take my leave here.

Akhira turned around, walking back in the direction they had come from earlier. Curiously though, she found herself back at the door that smelt of ink and blood. Had it been opened earlier or had it been closed?

Either way, it was closed now.

And she still had time, right? The guards were probably still on her tail. Oh well, now that Alexander had lost her interest, she need something to occupy her mind before she was captured. Funny how she was a captive running from the guards of her.... What? What would she call Kenner? He was her.... her what? He certainly wasn't her master. But it would be annoying having nothing to label him as beside his name. It was yet another annoying thing for her to think about later.

Right now, she was pushing open the door, trying to peek inside and see what or who was behind it.

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Character Portrait: Babble Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Akhira
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Babble

As he spoke in this voice the girl began to scribble notes down on a small pad that she kept in one of the many small pockets that seemed to adorn her outfit. She kept and eye on him and kept writing away with whatever information she could put down, obviously not just writing down what it was he sounded like this time, nor how he spoke.

"So no real help there.. unless we can find someone who knew your old master and is willing to share." She places the pad and pen back into her pocket before leaning back down from her stool. "We will be able to heal your hands in the long run, there is no doubt of that. If not my fathers doing then by someone else's, because I doubt purchasing you in such a condition was intended." She added, rummaging through another pocket as she did.

"Is there anything that I can do to help you while we wait?" Where it not for him laying down in this position, the act of her looking down on him might not feel as it does. Though there was no denying it, that this was somehow reminiscent of his former days of confinement.



Akhira

The small boy looked back at Akhira as she started to walk away and smiled. "Too bad, I was hoping to get to know you a little better... come back when you have the time. My doors are always open.." He let his smile gleam across her back. A sensation she could feel that was mounting on the back of her neck the longer her back was to him. Then it was gone and as a cursory glance revealed, he had left the hall just as quickly as he had arrived.

The door before her cracked open once again as two house members left, swinging wide and revealing two women. They seemed to be in the middle of a long conversation, though the tongue in which they conversed was making it hard to understand. Though from their body language it was easy to see that they were having what amounted to a friendly debate. As they went passed and paying very little attention to the young dragon, she was left to look freely into the next room.

The room was expansive, even compared to the prior class that she had seen. There were chairs and stools strown about with all manor of art supplies sat in much the same variation. Though the layout was haphazard and not very well organized by any measure of the word. The people had managed to arrange several of the chairs and supplies into their own concentric circles. Though Akhira could also see that this had made several of the small groups somewhat segregated. It was easy to see that those of the more human persuasion were cloistered together, while those that didn't share the same definitions were left to their own groups all the same.

The doorway itself was like a portal, separating such an unruly section of the house from such an organized world. It was almost like the two of these worlds shouldn't be able to exist within such close proximity to one another.

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Selakir
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She did not move as he took her arm. Her head tilted slightly, inquisitively as the band was laid on her skin. Selakir's eyes met Kenner's just briefly. She was trying to understand his question. She thought she had answered well but perhaps she had not. She wanted to do nothing more than serve him. He seemed to imply she should want to do more.

What more could there be? What else could he possibly mean?

Selakir mulled the questions in her head over as the ribbon moved on its own accord. It tightened and formed a complete circle around her arm. She briefly inspected it. She had seen many wondrous things in her life. This was simply another. It was a pleasing colour on her pale skin.

Her eyes were soft as she looked up. A brief nod of thanks was given to both Kenner and Alia. "It pleases me to have a home and master once more."

Her gaze fell once more to the ribbon as it warmed. A marker. a sign of station. Selakir felt a sense of ease fall about her. She understood roles, stations within a house and now she understood.

"Are there rules I need to know? Places I should not venture? Does master have any particular desires? I wish to settle into my role."

Her voice was soft but there was a quiet confidence there. This was what she knew. Serve. To yield to the master's desires and to know her place. This was now no longer strange. The place was but the tasks were the same. A servant served their master no matter what the walls around them looked like or the other company kept.

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Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires
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Alexander let Purna lead him. It didn't matter where she was taking him as long as his harp waited.

The sound of music, in tuning, in practice filled his ears and it made his heart hum. He felt settled in that moment surrounded by others like him. Well, not exactly like him. All manner of people and instruments filled the room but Alexander didn't care. He was someplace comfortable. He was in his element and soon...

His hands flexed as if anticipating the feel of the wood and gut strings in them.

Alexander didn't have to be told twice. He rushed forward, knocking the stool slightly as he grabbed another seat to pull up to the harp. He ignored the pack, the note and the rest of the room. His eyes closed as he leaned against the wood and murmured to the instrument. His fingers lightly grazed the strings. With his eyes still closed, Alexander began to feel along every inch of the harp. He needed to know she was whole, that she was sound.

Only once he was sure the wood was as it should be did he tentatively pluck at the strings. The sea air would have caused it to come out of tune as would moving it. With practiced precision and trained ear Alexander plucked a string and with a tool that seemed to appear from some hidden pocket, began to tune the instrument.

Once that was done he sighed almost erotically. Now he began to play. A warm up of a light song, one that spoke it seemed of travel that then changed into something a bit more intricate, like the start of a dance. From there it flowed seamlessly into a song that sounded like the sensuous call of a siren to sailors.

The whole time Alexander was focused on the music and not the room. He did not care where he was or who was there now that it was once more in his hands and the music could be unleashed.

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Babble

Words of healing, words of purchase. Words, words, words! She certainly spoke a few many.

He highly doubted she would find anyone with knowledge of that variety. His old master worked in secret and left a scarce few alive to speak of such matters. If he had any friends they certainly weren't on this side of the veil.

She asked if there was anything she could do to help him? A soft chorus of chuckles were sprinkled throughout the air around her.

"Help him? Oh I think he's just a little bit beyond help. We are Babble after all." A disconnected voice answered to her right. All the while the Babble wrought of flesh and bone simply laid there, listening but otherwise inactive. While being tied down to a table was nothing new for him he certainly was never afforded anything like bedding or even a mattress for that matter. The slab was all the comfort a wretch like him could ever warrant.

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: Babble Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires Character Portrait: Selakir
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Selakir
Kenner smiled back at her as she asked this small bevy of questions. He released her arm and stood back up before he began to explain on what she asked. "The rules are rather straight forward, no harming another house member, outside of certain situations at least. No stealing from another house member and when asked to help by a guard, you are to comply to the best of your ability." He grabs a small chocolate roll from the plate in front of his and slightly bites on the edge of it, giving a slight murmur of approval as he did.

"Relationships are fine so long as they do not interfere with your daily activities."
"You are also permitted to move about the upper floors, though if you wish to go above this floor you will need a guard to escort you. The same goes for all the floors below ground level, though the guards escort is for more your own protection. Many of the rules that apply up here are not wholly held true down below."
Alia leans forward with a slight chuckle. "Yes, in case you like to visit the arena, then I suggest you just stay up here with the rest of us."

"Formal functions are much of the same. Tend to any duties that you are given, which can be anything from entertaining the guest, or even just serving them drinks and keeping them fed. Everyone chips in to help when such events come around, so it's really nothing new." Alia chimes in again as he finishes. "A note will be on the inside of your door every morning, that will detail your duties for the day, as in where you shall go and who you shall meet. Other than that, you are free to do as you like and to go see whomever you wish."

Alexander
The sound of the harp echoed out through the room as he played. Alexander could tell that these rooms were built with the idea of harmonizing sound in mind and that despite being full of unused instruments. This room might at one time have double as a small auditorium of sorts. Purna had already left by the time he managed to play the tenth note. Keeping a small smirk on her face all the while as she walked. There was a body there now however, after finding a seat. This person had began to watch him play, each pluck of the strings and each time he shifted the grip of his body against the instrument.

He could not see them in his view, but he could smell them. A pungent odor, like that of a wild yam wafting in from over his right shoulder. They watched as he continued, not wanting to disturb him as he did so.

Babble
As the girl looked down at Babble and continued to write, she kept her mind about her. Babble could tell that she was used to even strange guest and his actions did not bother in the least. Though she didn't know if he was doing so for any kind of purchase or not, only asking as such in her notes.

As she finished writing a nurse came walking through the far door and towards them. In her hands was a trey, more akin to silver platter, but on it sat three small jars. That she lightly sat on the side of the bed while Philippe thanked her and then ushered her off. Even laying there Babble could hear a small noise, almost like a solemn song coming from the direction of the jars. As they sat on the corner of the bed he could look down and see that the small jars contained a myriad of what appeared to be fluids. One being a dark and viscos ichor like substance, sloshing lightly as the tray was sat down. The second being sapphire colored gel that sat at the bottom of the container. Despite sitting still, the gel roiled in place, like a small storm bubbled under its depths. The last one, being the same that Babble could hear emitting the lite singing tone. Had a clear liquid with several small stones sitting at the bottom.

It sounded like the ocean, or what he could only guess was the ocean. Like two sea bound entities singing back to one another in a slight chorus.

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Akhira was amazed with the disorder in this world of colorful messes that somehow drew her eye.

Painters of the human variety sat cloistered together while it looked their non-human counterparts were in their own area. Of course, the non-human ones drew her attention more so than the bland humans. Though she didn't stop to talk to them, she moved continuously from group to group. Noticing how the painters differed from the sculptors, and so on and so on. She took in all the details, all the smells. It truly was a new world for her, having been deprived of such passionate artistry.

She was wondering where those who wrote ink onto skin were when she heard it faintly.

If she weren't a dragon with her heightened senses, she certainly wouldn't have heard it. But she being a dragon, and having forgotten to have closed the doors behind her, she heard it.

She closed her eyes and focused on her hearing. In her mind, she imagined it to be the twinkling and plucking of stars reflected in water. It was more like a mirage, strangely enough. And she was sure, like a mirage, whatever these sounds were, they could not be captured.

She opened her eyes, and continued her search for the tattoo artists.

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Selakir
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Selakir listened intently but admittedly she didn't fully understand. How were those the only rules? Admittedly it was nice to know those were the basic rules, a house of harmony but what about for her, for her role? What was expected? What duties?

It all seemed so vague and it made the woman uneasy. She didn't like the unknown. She liked boundaries, guidelines and a firm hand to those who crossed them.

Selakir nodded, indicating that she understood about her daily tasks and would, of course comply.

The idea of a list was nice but strange. Was she not to serve her master? Was that not why she was brought here? Was it to serve other masters? Perhaps it was a slightly different role here than she was used to. It made Selakir nervous but not outside the realms of her talents. After all she was trained to mold and become whatever her master desired in the moment.

"I understand. Would I be able to rest now?"

Her large eyes glanced between the pair. "Unless there is a task which you would have me perform now. I am ready if master wishes it."

An unease settled in as she felt there was too much freedom here and she honestly didn't know where to begin. Was rest out of the question? Selakir felt that perhaps she had already asked for too much.

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Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires
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The world was gone to him. All there was was his harp, his music and himself. Alexander was oblivious. To the room, to the fact that Purna had left or that another had come to watch him.

Even the odor, while noticeable did not make him stop. No. Alexander had a days worth of pent up music in his head, in his fingers.

His warm up over Alexander pulled paper from his bag and began to scribble notes. Then he would play the small part, write more, play, write, play...repeat. Once a section was done he would play it beginning to end. This was song that he heard the moment he met Light. The song radiated an intensity, a vibrancy he heard when their little group collided. There was an energy to her and he did not want to lose that.

And so he worked.

Notes were written, then played, scratched out, changed and played again until finally he had a short but strong piece. A quick look around found Alexander frowning and he stopped to gather the paper that lay about him. A common occurrence but a habit he was trying to break. It would not do to lose a piece of the music once it was finished. Yes, he would have to find time to write it out without the scribbles and notations but what he had now was precious.

As he scooped them up, arranging the papers neatly while humming to himself it was now that the smell really hit him. With a frown the musician looked around wondering just what caused it and his eyes fell on the shape seated, listening.

"I did not know anyone was listening. I apologize as watching me work isn't terribly interesting I am afraid. When a piece is done, that is the true performance."

It made Alexander a little uncomfortable to know someone had been sitting there. He liked to be alone when he worked. In truth his just liked to be alone but especially when working.

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Character Portrait: Master Kenner Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft Character Portrait: Akhira Character Portrait: Alexander Demaires Character Portrait: Selakir
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Selakir

Kenner looked down at the young elf and smiled at her request. giving her a small nod in response. "You may go to your room and rest if you'd like. Seeing as you've only just arrived, it would be unkind of me to just put you to work in such an unwarranted way." He rubbed her shoulder as he told her this and began to motion towards the door, as if to call someone over. An action that revealed to her a singular guard, one that had been standing at the main door the whole time she had been present. Though they had no time to act as Alia reached up and placed a hand on his "I'll take her, besides I think Peach may be strained for waiting at this point." she said as she began to stand. Kenner gave her proposition his own nod of agreement before releasing her hand. "Alright, I have a few more things to put in order for the time being. So I leave her in your hands for now." He added as he began to step back towards the table.

Alia steps up to Selakir and reaches out to take her hand, a motion that Kenner gives the young elf an assuring look over, enforcing the notion that such was fine with him. Even ash she was stuck looking at him, her hand was seized by Alia' gloved fingers and lightly tucked under her arm. Like she was going to lead her along the way. At full height she still slightly taller than Selakir, though the strange make of her garments did mask just how she actually looked. Selakir could tell just from her grip alone that this woman was much more thinner than even herself. However her grip betrayed a kind of strength that someone her size might actually possess.

She pulled lightly on Selakir' arm. "We're just going down the hall and then a small ride down the lift. Peach probably has your room all ready by now, seeing as how excited she was that you showed up. I'm somewhat surprised that she didn't come back up all giddy like she was before." She added, patting the back of Selakir' hand all along as they exited the room.

Alexander

The figure being Alexander stood and approached. It was one of the maids that he had seen before, one that was working in the room as he entered. Though to call her a maid was somewhat lacking, as her clothing indicated that she must belong to this section of the house and he could see that the leather pouches hanging from her waste, contained more than a few items meant for tuning and cleaning the various instruments strewn through-out the room. Her arms were covered in long sleeves and the skirt was more akin to a formal coat tale then that of a maids hem. Even the usual veil that many of the others wore, was replaced with some sort of dark blue fabric, matching the rest of her uniform. It also seemed thicker than the rest, an aspect he could imagine was protective. The memory of a rouge string snapping across the face, or neck was an ever present hazard with larger instruments.

Her stance was betrayer her nature, showing that she was nervous about saying something in response. She fidgeted with her hands, both clasped at her stomach as she stood there, one foot nudging into the side of the other, as if she were a child, caught doing something that she might be punished for. Her nerve shortly redoubled as she approached closer "You play beautifully... I, I was hoping to see who such an impressive instrument belonged to." There was a telltale stammer in her voice, an obvious indication of why she was occupying such a position.

"Not many here are interested in the harp, or even capable of playing one.. save for the twins.. and I don't think there even is an instrument that they can't play." She motions up towards the bow of the harp, allowing Alexander to make out the marks and stains of various oils and fraying cuts on her white, silken gloves.

Akhira

After some searching, Akhira found that the classroom actually consisted of three cloistered, individual rooms. The unique smells of inks and paints kept playing havoc with her senses however, it was almost like an assault on the senses as she continued to press through the first room. Had it not been for a singular person passing, a young man with the entirety of his right arm covered in intricate markings. She would have been somewhat lost for wander in this case.

Following his trail through the far back of the class, she caught sight of the same raven haired women from before. Purna, who had recently removed her dress and was now only wearing the only other article of clothing she was wearing on her upper body. A corset of some sort that tied in the front was perched on the edge of a seat wit another women sitting in front of her. She was in the middle of applying some sort of ink through a sheet of paper, almost like a stencil on one side of the girls bare back.

She was deep in though about her own work, as she didn't even see Akhira enter the room.

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Character Portrait: Babble Character Portrait: NPC - Raven Loft
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Babble

Such a song, these strange stones caught in a liquid trap. The sound was like the ocean, a great body of water indeed. He was well familiar with such things given his trip to this household was upon a ship.

Fluids often evoked an oftentimes disconcerting feeling for him. The sounds of caught fluids weren't unlike the sounds within a living creature's body. Beast of fluid, wrought of blood. Organs twisting, pulsating, churning. Blood, he could hear it sloshing always. Within himself, within others. Only in true silence would he know reprieve from the orchestral constant that was the living form.

Latching onto the song of the sea-bound stones his sound mirrored the sound, playing it back but louder so it was quite audible to all who were near.

Even as bound as he was, like a coffin bound in chains, lowered into molten steel which is allowed to cool and harden into a solid state, lifted from it's mold and dropped miles into earth before being buried underneath so much stone that naught could ever unearth the slab of metal within which his body laid, he still resonated with sound.

He was but a torch compared to the forest fire his former self was and even his former self was little more than a candle flame compared to what he could of been. Between his old master and his new ones he was taken apart and put back together so many times there was no hope of that now. Had all his wounds remained he'd be more stitches than skin. Were all his wounds strictly physical there wouldn't even be any skin remaining. All he'd had left would be scabs loosely held together with silly string. Needless to say he was sound of neither body or mind.

So, like the smoldering ember of a once mighty flame, his power softly hummed to the tune of singing pebbles.

He momentarily wondered why so many flame allegories had sprung to mind.

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Akhira saw Purna and not minding the woman's mostly naked body, approached from behind and mused aloud, "So you can paint on her skin with that?"

Akihira, in her small body, danced on the tip of her toes to catch a closer glimpse of what was being created. "Human skin has always been so... tender." She stopped her tippy toe dance and looked around until she saw a spare chair, which she grabbed. It was no surprise that she placed it right next to Purna and promptly sat on it. Not at all caring that the person getting the tattoo might not like being watched by a stranger.

While watching Purna, a thought she had practically dedicated part of her brain to, popped back up. I wonder when those guards will track me down. It was a thought that brought a mix of foreboding feelings as well as a sense of glee of not having been caught yet. Maybe I should just get it over with and try and go find my room. No... I'd get lost again. All I can do is just run and have fun while doing it.

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Babble
As Philippe looked on towards Babble, scribbling away in her little note book as he laid there. Barely moving under the blanket that covered him stomach to feet. She observed how his face shifted with thought, though over his side the same imposing nurse still stood. Her head not shifting from it's pointed attention at his current spot.

The small girl looked up at the nurse and back towards Babble as she slowly began to stop writing. A queer look passing over her face as she did so. "I'm going to go fetch my father, why don't you make yourself comfortable for the time being." She added as she began to place the pad and pen back into her apron pocket. Fiddling with the other contents before pulling her hand free. "If you need anything, just ask Gia and she will help you with it.. within reason mind you." She gives this small adage with a wry smirk at the edge of her lips. While motioning to the large nurse at his shoulder.

The imposing woman looks down on Babble as if to be more mindful of his position in all of this. While Philippe just moves the tray lightly, in order to make more room for his legs now. "I won't be long, promise." She adds before pulling away and out the same door that the last nurse used to arrive.
Leaving the two of them alone for the time being.

Akhira

Purna looked partially over her shoulder as she was done applying the paper to the other woman's back. "Actaully it's a stencil and I use this to get the foundation of the piece done." Reaching down towards her left side, a new items is produced. It looked like a very thin pipe with a flattened end, that looked almost like a finely crafted bit of reed at the tip, several other small notches were used to hold the took as it was was lined up with the sitting woman's back and Purna slowly began.

The teeth of the instrument were used to dig into the woman's skin, revealing to Akhira that it's tip was also covered in some kind of dark blue ink.

Purna began to work, the stencil she placed down didn't move at all and she was more than capable of keeping her movements flawless as she worked. The instruments teeth dug in and pulled back, leaving behind a well lined frame of ink as she worked. This frame of short moments gave Akhira enough time to examine the whole ordeal more closely.
Purna' partner was not fully resistant to the treatment she was receiving, but the multitude of other work she had done was impressive to say the least. It all had one singular theme of flowers, as the whole of her back was actually starting to look more like a cornucopia of plants, the more Akhira looked at it. Though the more she looked the more other aspects of the women drew her attention, like the fact that her shoulders drew up into a more scaled type of flesh the higher on her arm Akhira' site traveled and that after thinking her head was shaven clean. It turned out that she was actually bald, with several small lines of scales framing her scalp.

"Still hiding from the guards I guess?" She asked bluntly.
Refraining from turning her head towards Akhira, possible because of the work that currently demanded her attention.

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Selakir fought back tears as he agreed to let her go and rest. The tears weren't sadness. They weren't anything really except her being overwhelmed and admittedly a little frightened. She was being allowed to leave. Did he not like her? Was he disappointed in his new slave? Was he being patient and would call for her later?

Selakir hated feeling so unsure. She was used to knowing her place and having a confidence in that. Now, this place and her master sent her world upside down.

She was, however, grateful for the hand on her shoulder. It was comforting and gave her a small hope that he was just that kind. She wasn't sure what to make of that but at least it was something.

Selakir glanced at Kenner as Alia reached for her hand. Physical contact from one who was not her master still scared her. It was Kenner's look that assured Selakir that he was giving permission for the contact. Alia led her, hand in the woman's, arm tucked to hers, out of the room.

"Lift" Selakir nodded just slightly, once in acknowledgment.

The woman patted her hand and Selakir wondered if this was what a mother might do. It felt like something a mother figure might do based on stories Selakir had heard. She had never experienced that but it felt...nice. It helped to calm her, ease her fear.

"What does the master like in his slaves? I wish to be a good slave for him but I know nothing about what pleases him. Does he favour a crop or his hand for punishment for instance?" She looked at Alia, eyes pleading for answers.

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Alexander really didn't pay the woman any mind. He had little care for class or roles though he was told often that he needed to be aware, know his place and who to cater to. He hated the idea of political games but he understood that he was here because of such things.

She had a nervous energy and Alexander could feel it, it made him a bit nervous and reminded him of fast notes. Fast and high. For a moment he was lost in what her song would be but she was talking as she got closer. He forced himself to focus on her.

"Thank you." He smiled as his hand lovingly caressed the harp. "She is beautiful. She is perfect."

Alexander shrugged. "The instrument speaks through the musician. We cannot pick what we play. We just play what calls to us and she called to me when I was young. I have never had another that spoke to me as she does." A soft sigh escaped his lips.

"Twins? I believe I met one. I think, maybe I did..." He frowned and shuffled the papers in his hands once more. "I am not sure. I am not very good with names or faces and I have no memory for people at all. They start to blur together. Their songs are different of course but they, themselves...no, it is a weakness of mine."

A shrug as he placed the papers on the music stand. "This place is full of so many songs. I feel them pushing at my brain, wanting to be played. I should be very happy here with so much inspiration. There are other musicians here. Perhaps I will compose something for a few...an ensemble with the harp..."

He was, of course, musing out loud mostly to himself. She had started the conversation but in true Alexander form he was back in his own head. He needed someone to lead a conversation if it had any hope of continuing. Like the captain had done.

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"Actaully it's a stencil and I use this to get the foundation of the piece done."

Akhira mused about aloud, "Would it work on dragon magic? Or scales?" As if already thinking about it, she ran her right hand down to the inside of her left arm. Her finger suddenly hardened into a point, more like the whole finger itself had actually been a glass claw in hiding the whole time. She pushed it into what looked like flesh. Instead of tearing, and spilling blood, the inside of her arm hardened into a smooth surface, and under the pressure, it cracked like glass. Where the wound should have been bleeding blood, it shined out light.

Would there be an instrument that could pierce her flesh and leave a trail of color inks like what is on the naked woman before her? Probably not. She bled Light in this form, and she doubted they could paint Light.

"Still hiding from the guards I guess?"

Akhira pulled her hand away from her arm, and the light btv vanished within a sealing vacuum of hard flesh that immediately grew back together.

She tried not to smile.

"I'm just playing along with their game of hide and seek is all. I don't mean to run, but the game calls for it you know." Akhira raised her hand to the wispy black ribbon on her upper arm. Her fingers went right through it.

Strangely enough, she found it funny how it was there on her arm, but she couldn't get a grasp on it.

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Babble

"I'm going to go fetch my father, why don't you make yourself comfortable for the time being. If you need anything, just ask Gia and she will help you with it.. within reason mind you."

My goodness, Comfort? Reason? Might as well start a checklist of things Babble lacks with that. He figured. The tall nurse was indeed tall, especially towards people laying down.

And like that the other nurse left. He'd of been curious as to where she was going but once out of the room the walls certainly kept noise from traveling too far afield. So it was he was alone. Well alright he wasn't strictly alone but if the tall silent nurse counted as company then coat hangers counted as valid choices for prom dates as far as he was concerned. From all appearances her only roll was to keep him from straying from his bed, a task he figured a suitably heavy pencil could handle.

As such he didn't really have anyone left to talk to. Then again, when did that stop him?

"The traveler did venture over yonder
Across hills and through forests he'd wander
Such a question that he'd never ponder
Were it better to stay or to roam free.

Many folk saw his trek a squander
For him no other life was fonder
When all was seen he'd go beyond'er
So he set his sails for the red sea."

The crusty voice of a sailor who served upon his slave vessel repeated this often passed around sea poem, the voice speaking from where once Phillide stood. He listened along, his strange smile ever stranger as he conjured the words back to him. It struck him as funny that such a soul who'd write such poems was himself bound by service to the ship, not by love but by need for funds. Were they not needful of necessities would they still be ferrying half-dead psychopaths across stormy waters?

An amusing thought to dwell on it certainly was.

The Gilded Cage - Slaves in need: Out Of Character (OOC)

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