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Meredith Oaks

Ordinary and proper; a lass of no immediate consequence.

0 · 196 views · located in Incongruent Neighbourhood

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by tachyglossus

Description

This profile is a work in progress. Content is subject to change.

Physical Description:

Standing a head taller than the average human female, Meredith's sloped and narrow shoulders do little to take advantage of this height, making her seem insignificant despite the advantage of inches over other girls. Her golden brown hair is usually done up and out of her face, leaving the rounded, gentle features and high brow in open display, framed by fringed bangs. Her blue-gray eyes often appear dark except in the most direct and full lighting, and her lips are often turned into a natural but subtle smile.

She wears her clothes modestly, often wearing a fashion of dress and shawl, jacket, or shrug. Patterns tend to plain and materials tend to be of lighter colours, with the odd bold contrast.

Image


Summary

Living between social worlds, Meredith was brought up by her wealthier Aunt and Uncle in a world where only those with titles may practice or have use of magic. Her own parents being in a lower caste, she lived amidst luxury, but was kept in her place and forbidden to learn magic herself. After a lengthy engagement to her youngest cousin, it was severed by him being a casualty of a war. No longer desired to stay with her Aunt and Uncle, Meredith Oaks returned to her hometown to nurse her terminal mother and help nurse injured soldiers. When the magic used in the war became too great, rifts were created, and whole neighbourhoods were swallowed up. Among these was Meredith's dwelling. Now, with many others still staggered and crippled by war, Meredith was displaced into the ever expansive conglomerate of worlds.

Extended History

Meredith is a human who comes from a society where magic is only taught among those of a privileged class, as the materials and endowments have a steep price. She herself has not any training or talent, but is aware of the existence of magic. In fact, she has been painfully aware of it, and how it benefits those of higher class, since she has lived with her Aunt, who married into an uplifted family.

How this all came about was that her mother, who married a humble joiner, had more children than she and her husband could afford. Although they did their best to make ends meet, it was difficult, and all of them suffered for it. After the perishing of the twins, each only a year old and the youngest of the family, dark times were upon them. The mother took sick as well, and all was looking grim. After some urging from third parties, most of the children, four of them in total, leaving only the eldest at home to help nurse their mother, were divided up among family. Most went to relations on the father's side, but it was Meredith who was given the advantage of being sent to her comfortably settled Aunt Elford.

The Elfords, while not in the royal circle or court, did have title and land. Lord Elford's estate was handsome and well kept, but strayed from excessive frivolity. He had one daughter and three sons. Meredith was intimidated to be living with people so above her own station in life, and though her idle Aunt was kind enough, it was a kindness out of omission. She did nothing really thinking for her niece, but rather just defaulted to politeness and good behaviour. It was truly her lack of viciousness that made her seem gentle than an actual compassionate spirit or nurturing soul. Lord Elford was proper, proud, and stern, but not unfair or malicious. He was cold and indifferent to her, other than making sure she was well behaved and well taken care of. Naturally, her needs were met after the needs of his own children, who were not so fair or so accepting.

Meredith was given an education, but was always reminded of her lot in life, her place in society, and her inferiority to her cousins. The head servant, Anna, made every exertion to make sure Meredith did not put herself forward, and often gave Meredith plenty of occupation and projects of service. No luxuries, such as coal for a fire, were to be wasted on her. And certainly, though taught propriety, she was never to learn magic like her cousins.

To her cousins, Meredith was plain and stupid, and suffered her share of teasing from them each, and each of them in their own way. The eldest, James, was not malicious, but just thoughtless. He tormented her sensitive being with pranks and jokes he thought were good fun, but often brought more anxiety than amusement to the timid Meredith. Katherine was of a petty and self-superior disposition, and liked to flaunt her advantages in front of her cousin and ridiculed her fiercely. Byron was foolhardy and contentious, often taking out his own embarrassment at his blunders, or reprimands he received from parents and caretakers, out on Meredith. Lastly, Edgar often sought to be helpful to Meredith's, but often lost patience or withdrew under the pressure of his older siblings. He meant well, but was too concerned with appearances to stand by her.

Since the age of eight these was her life - surrounded by a world of magic, luxury, and society, and yet having only a small portion of it. She never went out into society, and often was quiet and easily overlooked when in the presence of company. After all, none of the visitors were there for her merit, but she sometimes enjoyed being on the outside, looking in, observing the witty exchanges or news from town. She could sit comfortable and embroider, screen, draw, mend, or any other little task that kept her hands busy but her attention available.

The duration of her stay as only to be until she were old enough to be of help to her mother or father, perhaps make a small monetary contribution by taking up a job as a governess, for her education offered by the Elfords would be sufficient for that. However, feeling for her sister, Lady Elford thought she might do something more for her sister. Giving money was unheard of, even among family, where there was such a difference in class, despite them having come from the same roots. However, a daughter taking in her mother and other family, should she be comfortably settled, was quite proper. And thus, after entreating her husband, it was agreed that Meredith, just arriving at sixteen, would marry their youngest, Edgar. A third son seldom was of much consequence, when there were two older to carry on the line, and a daughter to barter off to another rich and well connected family.

This caused unrest in several corners. The head housekeep, Anna, felt it an insult, and hated to see Meredith given so easily a comfortable living she did not deserve. Edgar felt he would not be able to live down the ridicule of his older siblings and some of their intimate friends, and thus was embarrassed by his future nuptials. Katherine was annoyed that her cousin would have her future secured before she had even an offer or any serious courtships. James was one of the few in favour, although he considered it a good joke. Byron was indifferent, glad it wasn't him being given such an unfortunate fate. As for Meredith, she had her reservations about it, but honestly felt the gratitude for the kindness intended by her Aunt and Uncle in this decision. She was just concerned that perhaps Edgar wasn't being treated fairly by this decision - truly, it was unusual for a man to be pushed into matrimony quite in this way, but then, circumstances her entire life were fairly unusual. Although Edgar was never affectionate towards her, he had good character and would do right by her, at least in her mind, and he at least was someone familiar. Meredith understood happiness in marriage was rare; after all, she had spent much time observing others. Whilst it was nothing for her to be thrown into raptures over, she was content with the ease of the matter. She was determined to make the best of it and never forget the good intentions of her relations in this arrangement.

They were due to be wed in the Autumn of Meredith's 17th birthday. However, this was delayed when a war broke out, and all of Elford's sons enlisted. This caused extreme uncertainty and anxiety in Meredith, and a wave of relief, which shocked and shamed her, also came over her. Edgar saw little action before he succumbed to disease and died. There was deep mourning of the household, and more guilt came over Meredith for having the slightest hope that this war might end the engagement she had before decided was just right for her. However, she also realized how much she had loved Edgar, although more as family than as a lover. With wretched feelings over the matter, and a general oppression of spirits by the heavy cloud that hung over the household, Meredith's constitution declined. Once the hardest of the grieving had swept past them, it was decided that Meredith ought to go back to her own family. It was where she really belonged, after all, and with her eldest sister married, it was better that Meredith return home to take care of her mother, who had, due to the war, recently become a widow.

Meredith was overjoyed with the idea of seeing her mother again, but also realized with a pang that they would be strangers to one another. Her departure was delayed due to her ill health and inclement weather. Finally when she was more or less restored to passable health, she began the long journey to the small abode she had been born in many years ago.

It was as Meredith feared, and somewhat worse. Her mother's manners were rough, and her house slovenly. Meredith had been brought higher than her own family, yet kept beneath all advantage, leaving her in limbo between worlds. Although this caused a great deal of stress, Meredith also knew that despite anything, she could not but love her mother, and with patience and a heart full of compassion and obligation took care of her mother's house and health. Meredith lived this way for one year until her mother passed away. Meredith had made herself useful by helping with convalescence and nursing injured soldiers. With no ties to her home any more, she became more transient in her efforts to bring relief tot hose who suffered - for magic was reserved only for the privileged, but war hit soldiers of all castes.

The amount of magic used in this war had began to misshape their world, spinning it out of balance. Soon, piece by piece, their once small and self contained reality, was set adrift and scattered into the much larger conglomeration of the multiverse, bringing with it new challenges, cultures, and a ceasefire until this breach could be repaired.

For those, whose neighbourhoods had been consumed into the rift, there was no plan of retrieval. Meredith's current dwelling was one of those which had been misplaced. Efforts to adapt were made by many, as they still stood together as a neighbourhood, but there is no telling how well they would prevail, or if they should perish in the often chaotic collective.

So begins...

Meredith Oaks's Story

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Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Just south of the magnificent Vien, there is only a momentary disturbance. Nothing more than a bit of blurring, like a mirage on a hot day, and slight shimmering occurs. This small, seven second warning is all that is offered until an abrupt change occurs. What was there once was replaced by a small settlement. There is a complete change in landscape and a cross of cobblestreets dappled with houses that are narrow yet tall, built primarily of wood and stone brick. The houses look fairly nice nonnetheless, but far from opulant and one can gather that this is not a neighbourhood of the wealthy. To go with these buildings are people who seemed to be milling about their business as though nothing had happened. This lasts for only a few moments until those in the center hear the cries of surprise at the sight of one house, which was cut mostly in half, showing a sharp and clean cross section of inhabitants therein, who are also highly distressed.
Panic and pandemonium follow. The modestly dressed individuals all react in a variety of ways. Some go into hysterics, some are silenced in shock and awe, while others faint. There are those who show their surprise with anger, and those with agitation. And then there are those who take a moment to really feel or think anything. One such person is a woman named Meredith.
Meredith had been gathering some flowers from a public shrubbery, two thirds of which were no longer there. She stood, a shade paler than she had been, staring at the abrupt change of terrain where a small pond and shady willows has been. Displaced and zipping about, the glowing inhabitants of that area were dancing in a frenzy, angry and distressed by the loss of their home amidst the leaves. The orbs of light came close to Meredith, causing her to finally react. She dropped the basket of flowers she had on the ground and slowly began backing away. There whisps were a mischievous lot at times, but displaying the agitation they were currently, Meredith knew it would be trouble to atract their notice. As she very slowly backed away, watching them intently, she became aware of the excitement of others from her neighbourhood and the hubbub that resulted. Chancing a glance behind, she saw the damage was further spread than she had imagined. A city she had never seen before had appeared to the north! all around, in fact, things were changing. Her attention was brought back to the whisps, who burst from their location in all directions, burning electric blue and fizzling with arcing magic. It wasn't long before they had gone past the boundaries of the small Neighbourhood that had once been part of the town of Bluebell.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Several lights could be seen in the horizon, coming from the direction of the glamorous city of Vien, growing as they neared the small incongruent neighborhood.

These lights were the energy being expended by hoverbikes. They were not the usual hoverbikes, no. There did not seem to be wires or any such intricate machinery about the vehicles. They simply seemed to be floating pieces of metal revolving around a central sphere of blazing light, all masterfully attached to carved seats and simple devices that harnessed the energy.

The lights were silver. Only the Queen of Vien was allowed to have silver Cores.

As these hoverbikes flew around the neighborhood, one landed at its edge. A woman, with stunning white hair braided over her shoulders, slipped from one of the bikes onto the ground. Following were two young, scrawny men, and after them, a much larger, monstrous man who towered above them all.

The woman with white hair tried to find someone among the confusion that wasn't screaming or running around. She raised her voice, and a hand. "Halt! Please, everyone calm down! What's going on here?"

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Up in the air, circling above the hover bikes, are the whisps - generally harmless fae composed of light, but with a dazzling penchant for confusion. at least, when its not them who are confused.
Down below very few people had even noticed the silver lights as they were assessing their own damage. Some were trying to calm others down, while some were attending to those who had more physiological responses to the vent, such as slipping out of consciousness or elevated heart rates.
Howeer, having watched the Whisps burst away, Meredith saw the other lights coming closer and closer, squinting at them, and feeling a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She had all but decided to turn and seek shelter in a nearby house when she realized it wasn't some strange, new kind of wisp, nor was in any sort of spell she'd seen before. In fact, there were people riding on strange devices Meredith could not recognize, and it was something she also could not have imagined. When a woman stepped forward with an enterage and spoke, Meredith swallowed a lump that was forming in her throat, trying to breathe as deeply and slowly as possible to slow her beating heart.

"If you please, Ma'am..." the woman spoke tentatively, doing a small curtsy and her face not hiding the fear she was feeling well at all. "...I haven't the foggiest." Meredith only dared glance briefly at the people, not taking in very much of their appearances. With her head bowed, she dared not take another chance at taking their likeness to mind.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Tien came forward to lay a hand on Meredith's shoulder. "Please, everything is going to be alright. I'm not quite sure what's going on, either, however...I am going to help you all. Do you understand?" she asked her, looking right into her eyes. "My name is Tien. I need you to help me gather these people up so I may speak to them. Do you think you will be able to do that? I promise none of you are in danger."

Nikodemus, the black-haired lad, started to walk about town, stopping people where he could to point to the white-haired woman, telling them to calm down and gather. The blonde-haired Paladin in armor, Lucian, began to do the same.

Bao, however, only stood still as a statue behind the queen.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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There was just a slight shift of weight from one foot to the other, but otherwise, Meredith did her best to remain still. HOwever, the effort was not quite enough, for there is a noticeable flinch when the woman puts a hand on Meredith's soulder. she draws her gaze o the side, glancing at the hand for a moment, before carefully lifting her eyes to address the woman and show herself an intent listener. When asked if she understood, Meredith nodded her head in the affirmative. Meredith glanced to where the people were beginning to come to some sense, but still obviously shaken and disorganized. She then looked back at Tien with wide, owlish eyes.

"Oh n-no I could never -- it would be impossible-- I'm not --" she cut herself off, finding her own stuttering and stumbling over words unseemly. She draws in a deep breath to try and steady herself. "I will do my best. I haven't lived here -- there -- I'm not well known to the community. But I shall afford my best efforts, that is, if you, I mean, since you are here to help." Meredith glanced back at the confusion, reflecting her own anxious feelings and sense of loss. She watches as the other strangers have gone into the fray trying to collect the attention of those therein.

Some people bark out questions and don't listen much to the direction of Nikodemus or Lucian. Others turned and stared at the silver-haired woman, which wasn't common in one who otherwise looked in her prime. Some seemed threatened and suspicious, remaining tight-lipped and uncooperative. Children cried into their mother's skirts, where a mother was present, while others edged closer to the strangers with wide-eyed curiousity, not realizing the gravity of the situation.

Questions to the effect of, but with a variety of diction, were: "Who are you?"; "What is happening?"; "Did you do this?"; or "Who do you think you are?".

Meredith drew in another deep breath and, looking to Tien for a cue, walked over to the nearest street, and tried to speak. However, her small voice was lost in the hubbub as she was not accustomed to raising her own.Spying some of those she had formed an acquaintenceship with, she wove her way over to them.

"Please, please be calm, they are here to help. But let us please find some order so we can all hear once what is happening." after several repetitions of phrases of the like, the few who recognized her began to listen both to her, and to the two men trying to corral and collect the attention of the people.

With this small group, influence spread like a ripple, and people became more quiet, although not all were quite so trusting. But nothing could be gained without at least listening to what was to be said.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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"Thank goodness these people speak the Common language..." muttered Tien.

As Lucian, Nikodemus, and Meredith rounded up many of the panicking people in the displaced pack of buildings and streets, the young woman with the silver hair then spoke up.

"I do not know what has happened to you all and this place. From the air it looks as if it was a part of a larger town, but none that I can recognize. We spotted you from my city, showing up out of thin air. We've done nothing to have part in any of this. My name is Tien, and I am the Silver Queen of Vien. I want you all to be calm. The environment around this place is hostile, and we are bringing in the best mages and technicians we have to help put a shield to protect you. Do not venture outside of here if you can help is. Are there anymore questions?"

Her voice carried far, and carried an authoritative tone to it. She certainly seemed to be a Queen, though she wasn't dressed like one at all.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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A wave of whispers, murmurs and mutters were the immediate response to Tien. There was an overall sounds of displeasure in their tones at the mention of mages, but no one dared speak up above the crowd.

Meredith herself stood with her hands out in front, one resting atop another, and listened attentively, but did not dare hold her head too high out of respect, or so what she learned of respectful posture. It was a lot to take in, and she could scarcely help but allow her gaze to shift, without moving her head, to the outlying areas she could see, where lush lawns and shrubbery met rolling savannah. The word 'hostile' did not sit well with her, but the promise of relief was very reassuring.

It wasn't enough to reassure some of the folk. One old man, wearing an apron, finally stepped froward and cleared his throat, before speaking in a clear voice.

"Your Highness..." and this was said with a heavy amount of doubt as to her royal claim, "...are you saying that my home, that their homes, have somehow been moved to your kingdom? How do you intend to help us get back? Clearly it was magic that brought us here, so it must be magic that sets things right!"

There were a few comments of support and agreement with this statement. Another man with a notable limp stepped away from a woman whom he had been holding protectively.

"Are your mages coming to protect us, or trap us? You all look like none of mine, how are we to know you aren't the enemy? Have our homelands been breached by this war at last!?"

This roused the rest of the people to disquiet, as the realization that the war may have reached their otherwise untouched, peaceful town.

As for Meredith, she nearly fainted straight away at the accusations, feeling grief and embarrassment over this lack of civility the people she had come to call her neighbours were exhibiting. She glanced in the direction of Tien with a look of apprehension and mortification, before glancing back at the crowd who were starting to get themselves worked up again.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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The Silver Queen only sighed, but kept her ground. "Somehow. I don't know how, perhaps, yes, by magic. We have a few magic users in Vien that may be able to help. Until then, I ask you to bare with me. We have never witnessed anything like this in the past. My mages are coming to protect you. It's the time of the year that the Gargantuan are in high abundance, and when they are the most irritable." She let a small silence pass.

"Now, don't panic. The Gargantuan are large monsters, but my people have been battling them for years. We will be able to help you. We are not from any place you are speaking of. As far as I know, you are from another world entirely."

Her eyes found Meredith, and she soon met her horrified expression with a reassuring smile.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Catching that reassuring smile, Meredith looked back over to the people to see their reactions with anticipation and a great deal of concern.

The aforementioned people listened, with only occasional small interruptions or comments to one another as the woman spoke. The comment of being in an entirely different world was something that they all had to process their own ways. Some called out that it was preposterous. Others quietly questions to themselves if it was possible. And some could neither say nor think anything right away, feeling an odd sense of surrealism, as thought they were merely dreaming. Meredith was one of those who had fancied this might all be a dream, but it was certainly not like anything she had dreamed before.

A small group of people, mostly women, talked among each other, and then urged one of the few men among them forward. After a moment of hesitation, and looking back at the group from whence he came for reassurance, he took off his hat, holding it out in front of him, one thumb idly fiddling with the brim.

"M-miss, I mean, your Highness, we... we appreciate your help. Maybe not all realize it, but we do... but we need time to discuss among ourselves about all of this, and-and ask that you would create some distance in the meantime while we sort each other out." He was fairly young looked, although tall and lanky, and he glanced over his shoulder at the women who had been urging him, seeing their nods of approbation. "No disrespect meant, ma'am... er... your Highness."

Seeing everyone gathered, one may realize there weren't nearly as many men as there were women, and those who were there were either youths, old men, or somehow crippled, sickly, or deformed.

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Character Portrait: Tien the Young Character Portrait: Lucian Segal Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Nikodemus Van Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Tien gave them a slight bow of her head, closing her eyes briefly. "I understand. We will be on the outskirts of this...little zone." She turned around, along with the rest of her company, and lead the hoverbikes further out of the neighborhood, until they were right outside. The Queen sighed. "I wonder what in the world caused this commotion to happen..."

"Who knows! They were talking about a war, right? Perhaps some evil sorcerer took it up on himself to...remove that slice of town!" said Nikodemus, folding his arms. By all means, the young man looked like a woman. Almost as pretty as Tien. The only thing that saved him was his open shirt, which brushed away all suspicion.

"But why that place? No one there looked like they could hurt a fly, much less another person. There are only four of us, and if they were trained even a bit, they might have had a chance to take us down. No one even tried." said Lucian, the lean, blonde-headed paladin in armor.

"They're scared. They're confused. I do not think anyone in Vien would just up and start to kill strangers if something like this happened." Tien countered.

"You think so well of your people." responded Lucian.

"I must. For my own sanity."

She turned back to look at the townspeople down the road. "I hope they will be alright for the night. I'm having guards posted around just to make sure. Understand, Bao?"

Bao nodded his head in silent agreement.

"Good. And Lucian, I don't want you getting too close to that poor girl."

"What!?"

"I saw you eyeing her, though no one else did. Subtle, you are. Not enough, though. Let's go for now. The people in Vien need to get wind of what's happening."

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Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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With the security of no longer being overseen by this mysterious Queen, who was far from resembling their own beloved monarchy, the people began to gather and murmur amongst themselves, all with contributions of their woes and worries, and very few, at first, with solutions. There were several smaller exchanges until people began to form coherent plans or theories and brought them forward to the larger public.

Meredith remained on the outskirts at first, unsure as to what to do. She'd been picking flowers to bring to a convalescent that was staying in this part of the town, and was separated from the hospice she volunteered at. This also meant Dr. Monk, her mentor, the one who gave her direction and kept her occupied, was not among those stranded in this bizarre world. She felt uneasy having no one to occupy her and unsure how to go about helping without just being underfoot. She was not the sort to put herself forward by offering ideas, just agreeing with the ones that she found reasonable.

After some time people bantered their way to the revelation that they had only the one shop in the neighbourhood, and its resources would soon run dry. If it was truly dangerous as the White-Haired Queen had said, they feared trying to find their own. It became obvious that they would need the assistance of others, at the very least, in introducing themselves to a new economy. Their top priority was medicinal supplies, as there were a few recovering soldiers amongst them, and the local store did not carry much more than fabric that could be torn into bandages, and a small selection of dubious elixirs.

Thus, came the call for volunteers to make contact and try to barter some supplies from the natives. Yes. They had to admit that they were the foreigners here, as ludicrous as the thought came to most who'd never strayed from from their neighbourhood for generations. When the call for volunteers was sounded, Meredith brightened up at the prospect. She was too uneasy to put herself forward right away, but as there were few brave enough to venture forth, she slowly made her way within the line of sight of those who sought them. It wasn't until one such person made eye contact with her, that she quietly and reluctantly requested to be accepted as a volunteer, in that shy, modest way she had.

Thus, it was then, that Meredith, a stout farmer, the apothecary's niece, and a soldier sporting an eye-patch grouped together. Some, like Meredith, carried empty sacks, and others carted a few valuables that were volunteered and some goods from the shop in a large wheelbarrow. It was this small group that approached the tall and silent Bao.

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Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Bao had been staked out the entire night, never moving more than a few steps. He had seen many Gargantua in the distance, but none that had come close enough to the neighborhood. He was wary, but with his poleaxe strapped to his back, none of them would get past. Not him.

Bao turned to meet the group when he heard their racket, his giant arms crossed over his chest. He stared down at them with critical, but not uncaring, eyes. He looked at each one of them, landing last at Meredith.

"What is this?" he asked, perking a brow. "Attempting to try and put a bag over my head, wheel me back on that contraption and hold me hostage?"

His tone was purely humorous.

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Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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There is a pause from the response as the individuals look to one another. Meredith, whom humour could sometimes be lost on when feeling already overwhelmed, looked mortified by the suggestion alone, her mouth shaping an 'O' about to protest, when the farmer that accompanied them let out an uncertain guffaw.

"Dun think we could reach," the paunch man replied, letting down the wheelbarrow to rest. Running a hand through his salt-and-peppered hair, he glanced at the others. The one-eyed soldier glanced at the poleaxe and then at Bao.

"We be needin' supplies, but we're willing to trade what we have."

"Mostly medical supplies for now," chimed in a plain, red-faced girl wearing an apron with a large pocket in front.

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Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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Meredith glanced at everyone, clutching the empty sacks she was holding a little tighter, he dainty lady gloves hiding how white her knuckles were turning. "That is, I mean, we hope it won't be a problem," Meredith quietly added, worrying that the brusque nature of the others might offend.

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There was a small chuckle from the giant man. "Very well. The walk is too great to the city, but I shall call in some transport. Do not be afraid. They might be a little intimidating."

Bao clipped a device from his belt and held it up to his lips, speaking into it, asking for a hovercar. He waited for confirmation before it placed it back onto his belt and crossed his arms. "They shall not be twenty minutes. You should all be able to make your way into Vien and the marketplace soon."

He did not seem the least bit offended by their words, and in fact seemed amused. For such a large and intimidating man, he didn't seem horrible at all.

Eventually, the hovercar came, but it wasn't what one would expect, normally. Like the hoverbikes from the day before, it had plates of metal revolving around a source of silver light. It did not look that different from a large carriage. Just hovering. And not made out of cloth and wood. The pilot was doused in silver plating, at the top of the device.

"Now come. The ride is not long." said Bao, climbing onto the hovercar. He gestured to them.

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Character Portrait: Bao Quyen Character Portrait: Meredith Oaks
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"We are most gratified by you-"

"Thank ye kindly," Meredith had barely able to say her more long-winded thanks when the farmer did the job in a much more laconic fashion, talking over her as though she were not there. She pursed her lips for a moment, giving herself self reproach and took a small step back, as if to try and fade into the background.

During the wait the Apothecary's niece, Jella, struck up a small conversation with Meredith, and in hushes tones they talked about the new use for a cooking herb as a medicinal one that had recently been a bit of a fad. Meredith's comments were short and proper, while Jella prattled on in raptures about how every day something new is discovered out of something old. Meredith did agree with this sentiment, and her smile was not at all forced, but rather serene and thankful for something a little more normal to pass her time. The Soldier and the farmer meanwhile exchanged a few meaningful glances and made a few short remarks that indicated there was some sort of inside joke at play.

When the hover transport arrived, the party of four stared at it. Jella looked awe-stricken, the soldier looked grim, the farmer flabbergasted, and Meredith, well, Meredith's expression was somewhat hard to read, but she could not help but wonder how safe something like that could truly be.

"That there's some strange sorter carriage," the farmer remarked, gripping the handle bars to the wheelbarrow.

"It's amazing!"

"Stop gawking and let's get this done so we can return home," the one-eyed soldier snapped. Meredith and Jella quickly approached it, but Meredith then paused, a bit uncertain about the contraption. She glanced, somewhat unconsciously, at Bao.

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Bao held out a giant hand to her, and sent the lady a reassuring smile. "Don't you worry," he said to her. "It's not going to crash. The Silver Queen's soldiers are the best drivers in Vien. We'll get you there and back safely. If any monsters attack, I'll take care of them, too." His voice, though husky and gravely, had a soft tone to it. A gentlemanly tone.

The driver shuffled in his seat somewhat impatiently, but was quick to sit up and still his movements.

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With reassurances, the four townfolk loaded themselves onto the transport. Meredith, once seated, kept her eyes on her lap, while the others looked either about the craft, or at each other.

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