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Vermillion Gekko

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:: The Secret To Laughter ::

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Eftemie Solo


It was late but she could not sleep for some reason. The green around the Pantheon was increasing day by day. Much was changing, but she almost longed for the days before. Almost.

With a sigh, she walked out onto the balcony. The stars were still gone but she imagined that she could still see them. A twinkle to the left as the sun dipped lower and lower in the sky. The rosy pinks and reds gave way to deep violets as it vanished entirely. A sparkle to the right and then the center gleamed and glimmered.

Pinpoints tiny yet daring to shine through as everything else was dark around them. Three. Four. Ten more. They appeared as she imagined what she had once seen and held dear. Some brighter than others shimmered, looking larger and almost close enough to reach out and grasp.

The moon rose, barely shining at first, casting a faint cool sheen to everything. Moments passed and then more and more stars flickered into view, sparkling, and putting on the show as they did each night. She sighed, arms wrapped around her as she continued to concentrate on what she saw.

Soon the image was entirely filled as stars dusted the darkness of space and moonlight ravenously revealed all that lay beneath its caress. Like a dark canvas splattered with dots of paint, she could see it all. Secrets lay revealed yet hidden withing the twinkling depths. A part of her always wanted to explore what was so carefully protected there.

Taj had gone to space and she wondered which of those lights twinkling in her mind's eye he had been to. A faint breeze crossed her skin and she could almost feel teh warm sweet breath of the sky as it whispered to her. Her lips twitched.

A laugh slipped free, escaping as it echoed into the darkness as she held the memory close. This instant was all she had. She had not known the god who knew the universe like the back of his own hand. And he was gone, but remembered by many. Some for the lack of his presence and others like Eftemie for his very heart and soul which showed each moment spent beneath the canopy of his domain.

"A perfect moment..." she murmurred as the thought of her host slipped down over her. This instant was one of the things they shared. A secret that few would understand was the twining of both their lives.

Lisana knew that was what she was seeing, revealed to her even as she imagined it. A perfect moment that had been pulled from the memories of both of them. Something she would enjoy and watch in all over and over again. The secrets hidden there still silently waited in the darkness she now stood under. They merely needed pulled forth from where they lay dormant. Sleeping and waiting to waken for all again.

Lisana held it close for another long moment, laughing agains as she saw a sky that was not truly there, except in her memories. Then she let it go, still feeling the wonder of it again for a time. But then she saw reality and the darkness that held no stars or moon. The void that lay oppressively over them all.

But even in the dark, a myriad of secrets still waited. And with that in mind, she knew that clues to what had been, what was, and what was still to come would find their way forwards when they needed them most.

For now though, all she could do was imagine and guard the secrets within her soul closely. One day she would have need of them. She supposed that was what Harmodius had intended when he had brought them back this way and to require a host of some sort. To give them more than they had before. To make sure they did not fail again.

With a slight chuckle she turned away, back to her bed with a yawn. It occurred to her that perhaps Harmodius had his secrets too and knew all theirs as well. That was only as it should be.
Eftemie's avatar

Vermillion Gekko

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::On Bended Knee::

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Joint with Ivynian


((This is a private rp for Eftemie and Ivynian. Please do not post unless given permission to do so.))

Taj strode into the Pantheon, glancing around him as he did so. Many people were still here, going about the things they felt necessary. It was not they who concerned him and it was with a cursory gaze he appraised them. The crowd had thinned though he was quite sure there were those who were demanding attention from Creation, now that He was back. He hoped they would let the god rest also. One could not work all the time and He had just returned.

He watched from a distance for a long moment, just absorbing the fact that He was back. Jaster and Taj were both relieved. Harmodius was not the same god in appearance, but that mattered little to either of them. He felt the same when they watched Him. Harmodius and Destruction were the same no matter what anyone thought. Their paths and duties were simply different. At least that's how Taj thought of it. The Twin Crown could not be defined any other way, but that was only their point of view. Others would as always see it differently. Perhaps even the Twin Crown Himself understood something vastly different.

But even more important was the continuation of what needed to be done. They had gathered all the pieces of Aristogeiton. The rest was out of their hands. Taj had no doubts that b***h Samyaza would return and they needed to prepare for it. But how became the question. And the few people and creatures that were left would need protected. If they were unsafe outside, then they would have to be brought within the Pantheon entirely. A god was only as strong as those that followed and believed. Harmodius drew his strength from not only them, but also all the gods, and that meant they would all have to shelter beneath the protection the Pantheon offered to keep Him strong until this was over. Taj would need rooms as would Karaskis. And Laughter since the goddess was outside the building as well.

At the moment though all Taj could see was that his Lord had returned. Even Jaster felt the same and was enjoying the wondrous feeling that they had Him back. Kneeling down after approaching the foot of the stairs, Taj bowed his head reverently waiting on acknowledgment. It was not his way to interrupt whatever his Lord was doing, so he waited. This apology for their rudeness upon first meeting could only be given in silence and kneeling but neither he nor what was left of his host had any doubts they would be heard as they had been all along. And when he had been, then Taj would ask his questions so that he knew what was to be done to help.

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“A mind is not alone that has mysteries to wonder at. “ Creation was not, in fact, beset by supplicants or petitioners. The survivors, divine and otherwise, seemed all of like mind to Tajnevaki: shy, wary so as not to disturb others that certainly must have higher business. Approaches came peppered between pauses and long considerations at the edges of the room. This one was new to him, if not the other, written plainly with images of innocent dark that Destruction seemed to have some fond preference for appearing as.
“I welcome your purposes, whatever they be, Enigma. Be at ease, and speak your part.”

He smiled faintly, nodding as he got to his feet. With pad and pen in hand, he neatly wrote, <An apology, Lord.> But he did not say whether it was for his silence or if that were the cause of it. Nor whether it was he or his host who still lingered behind his eyes from time to time.

<Purpose presents itself, I follow and hope to find
You well. And You, Lord, hold all the mysteries. I merely observe. A trick of the hand at best. > His lips twitched in amusement that it was really all he could do. Dive in to understand compelled by who he was and then hide that he even knew. But then he thought of those under his care and became a bit more serious.
<Those outside this place are still under protection? Little remains. What needs done for what lives in light and remains hidden in dark? She will return.>

Holding the tablet out, he watched Creation's face, simply glad He was back. Even with the count of people that had returned from Baadris with Laughter, the numbers were small. With the worlds he had visited, those left behind would be fewer still in comparison to what once was. Samyaza was somewhere out of sight plotting still. But inspite of that, he was truly happy that Harmodius was returned.

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Creation did not move to accept the tablet, but script flowed onto it regardless. The letters were thin formed, embellished with loop or curling flourishes from invisible pen.

The gods must gather what they can of the remaining peoples, succor them. There are not many of you. Tired will be the labours, and often outside your native elements. But power of divinity is in each, and proof of that alone will come with the sudden stability of what places you walk. The gods are the body of what IS. It is in keeping with the protection the presence of the divine could offer during the reign of Destruction.

But to scatter wholly…that would be folly. The strategy of the Grigori is not so ignorant as to ignore so new, mortal-touched gods with no Knowing to go unchecked if they are alone.

Arms and armour should be gathered and then prepared. This will take time during which the hands of the gods should seek to aid the BoneKind. Be among them. Charity is a divine source , but discover the High Bloods and Ageless that survive who can draw on My body and encourage their mysticism to bring forth wonders of shelter and food as well. Mages and Priests of many kinds learned long ago some smaller forms of the symbols to work transmutation, or draw Form from ‘thin air’.

The Divine are the Feet that move and the Hands that help craft, the Hands that nurture.

User ImageTaj read the words as they were scripted, a slight frown in his eyes. It was as he had suspected. To truly be protected, they needed to be brought in close and kept so. All those Laughter had with her and those that he and Fire had collected. They needed to prepare. He would have to think on that more. His guns might help but they were scarce. And it was not intelligent to grapple with the grigori or even to get close to them. He had understood such in that first glimpse of what happened to others. But perhaps there was something they could do to ready and even surprise the grigori by being prepared.

None of his could afford to remain outside the Pantheon now. Additions could be made and fortified to shelter them but that could take more time than they had. He thought of the number of people with him. It would perhaps be tight but all his could remain in his room. The house they were in would soon crumble and it was only being held together with what tape and string they could find. A paper house did little good in rain or war.

He nodded, writing again. <Mine will shelter here then. I will find a room for us? I would not intrude upon Lord Water once more. We will not fail You again, Lord. The rare oil of the lotus will protect? At least resist? >

There was something there but he was unsure as he contemplated its nature. A sword could be soaked in it as could armour, but if it were a waste, then time would be better spent in other ways to prepare.

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"It is the direct essence of the Unvoid...the creative forces that are descended from this half of the duality, that combat best the thing We once were. I stepped forth, a beginning to order and form from utter chaos and formlessness, and begot from me further that spark of...Being. What can further Create. Things direct of my power and being, of Kishara, of Byrne....things of this nature...blood, tears, flesh, our direct hallowing to bless an thing by lending of power, " He shook his head, "Such things would be necessary for protection if it is the Grigori and the Void that you would keep at bay. The flowers are a symbol, but my direct power is not in them. They are mortal flowers, reminder images and little more. "

"For shelter look above...take the common stairs and in the hall you will find a door that feels right to you. The resonance will forge the imagery of it to be symbol of you to others who may search. "

"Us.....for us..."
These words were spoken aloud as letters on the tablet ceased. Harmodius looked up at Mystery, eyes searching not his face or form, but deeper. "Lisana as well, and any others you would bring. A door for her and a third will lead to plain apartments for no gods but mortals. Such people may have want of space....families...the survivors hence come from Baadris and other reaches. If it pleases them, they may house there. The rooms will be plain, fitted to communities of five bedrooms about common circles that connect by halls. Simple furnished...but it should be enough for now. It will improve. "

User ImageHe nodded thoughtfully after reading and listening to what Harmodius was saying. If they forged weapons and brought them to Him or one of the others, a blessing could do more. That was the answer he was looking for- a chance to keep harm from those he would protect.

A smile crossed his face as he wrote. < You had the answers to the mysteries I found. I will safeguard them. Thank you, My Lord.>

Bowing deeply, he felt the need to add one last thing to his tablet, based on the things he and Jaster had learned about Harmodius, Destruction, and even more in their travels and their own soul searching. <We are very glad You are here with us once more. We missed You and You will not be alone again.>

User ImageLisana glanced around the room noting Taj standing in front of their Lord. She smiled walking forwards to wait her turn. A human child moved closer, hesitant at first, but then reached out to pop one or two of the bubbles floating around. Giggling, she reached out again as Lisana turned to watch her. Teeth tugged her lower lip as she drew her hand back.

Winking the goddess laughed, and popped a sphere herself as Taj moved to the side bowing, having what he needed. Glancing at her, he nodded and then decided he would wait for her outside. The child laughed again as she gazed upwards watching the bubbles spiral away and then pop on their own. Moving forwards, Lisana nodded to Taj and then bowed to Harmodius.

"I hope this day finds you well,
Lord." she stated, then smiled widely. "I wanted you to know your jester is here should you need me. Not quite as I was, but still a bad pun is always a bad pun and those I can still do. Sometimes." Her lips twitched upwards in even more amusement.

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“What winds the body feels do not always pass the windows to the Heart. Not all waters find the paths of the Labyrinth to the center pool. The catalyst of wonder is often strongest in these chances. “

They are all Afraid. One act, one return, certainly not all saw the creature, but the name has become the closet bogey and shadow stalker of all their nightmares. Citizens of the past come to tear apart the future walls and leave them all bare. It is on all their lips. Made real, made near.

Gentle opalescence had come forward in the flickering light.
“I believe right now a mountain of wealth would be willingly traded for smiles and jokes, rhyming and punning. Mirth is short-handed in the face of relief, but it must follow soon or the spirits lifted-“


Harmodius lifted his palm and blow over it as one might magic dust, but bubbles flowed out along the breath in a small storm and filled the fore of the hall, each bearing fish-eye pictures of castles or towns. Small, transient world images that floated along like fairy-tales painted on castle walls.

User ImageTaj stopped at the entrance, mulling over the things he had been told of. Crafting of weapons was the one foremost in his thoughts. It simply made sense to him that if Gaia's arm contained a portal, that it would be used against them in some way. Otherwise it would not have been taken nor escaped with. Perhaps others would know more of that than himself. Saljin was older than Jaster had been and perhaps he knew something of weapons and how to make them or even what was needed.

As for conjuring, that would require something more than physical. Perhaps there were those within his own grouping that would be able to do something. The fairies and elves that resided beneath his protection would know something even if they were limited in use. He would simply have to check with Lisana and now was as good a time as any. He sat down to wait outside.

User ImageA smile twitched upwards again as she watched Him closely for a moment. As the bubbles cascaded outwards, she laughed in delight, but then pretended to pout, eyes sparkling in amusement. "My Lord, I protest. I'm supposed to be entertaining You. Although... I doubt they will be bursting Your bubbles as mine quite often are."

A giggle slipped free as she glanced around the room. Some had stopped to watch the bubbles in amazement, glimpsing scenes perhaps familiar to them. Memories of what they remembered might help them all. " And 'tis not wealth that matters to me. My host made me understand that with the treasures she kept aside and then gave me, Lord. Amusement is freely given to all."

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“Then you shall be looked for in the moonlight, by the startlight, by the day, Sought in every corner, every stair and each hallway. Laughter, play and love must sprinkle springs and sources-seeds about. All will seek you by the minute til the ash is gotten out.“

This sing-song tones took on a children's cadence that seemed strange from the fuller, deeper reverberations of Creation's throat, however soft spoken he always was. The throne hall was made for acoustics and mean pageantry.

User Image "I imagine I shall get little privacy if that is the case." Amused she watched Him for a long moment. Daring to reach out to touch His hand briefly, Lisana spoke again, her voice a bit more serious. "But do not forget to laugh, my Lord. You should not work all the time just as I cannot laugh happily all the time either. Sad laughs have their place and time also."

Then her lips twitched whimsy once more in her eyes. "All work and no play makes my Lord a dull boy. And You should always be the life of every party."

She smiled but then suddenly laughed at herself for getting distracted by the bubbles he had created. "In truth that was my purpose, though I seem to have gotten to my goal in a most roundabout way. I guess the straight path might be the shortest, but the least fun. Please put Yourself first occasionally, my Lord."
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“In charity there is no excess, and love from my being must be the work of my hands. For a little while must the great strive that abideth in me, so all woe may be for even small whiles put aside and mirth remembered. “

'How else are these virtues to be remembered, or this divine strength, that measures not by duration but in alms of hope? That things of wondering fairness should come again to all places. Then...when this is done, then I can rest. Then I can laugh long and true to whatever colours my moods. Then closer to balance may be steps of tired feet. "

"No parent puts themselves above their child. Neither should they not look out for their own preservation, "
he lifted his hand in acquiescence. " This I know. I will keep care. "
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:: Pathless : Rebuilding ::

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Eftemie Solo


The sky was still gone even now- weeks later. Their prayers even now remained unanswered. No god returned to save them. They still tried to protect themselves though no demons or anything else appeared. They still tried to find food as it became almost non-existant. A rescue was still not forthcoming and they knew they had to survive as best they could until the gods returned and no longer turned a deaf ear to their pleas.

But a decision had to be made concerning the way they had once lived. Their glass spires had fallen, broken, and now were scattered beneath the sands where even they lived now. A door or two remained open, but it was constantly in danger of being buried by the shifting sands which would bury them all if they allowed it to close entirely. But it was then they found another opening, a door sheltered behind one of the statues that still loomed over the decayed city. The wind and sands were partially blocked and the door remained free of obstruction. Soon it became their only way in or out to the world around them. The once glorious garden of the sultan was gone, but the gods remained vigilant in the statues that guarded their very existence.

The few lotuses they had managed to garner in the beginning, had been placed in a small corner in the pool of water that remained the same day after day. They rebuilt and furnished the dungeon as best they could, reinforcing the walls with hardened mud bricks. It changed from what it had been to a home protected, and sheltered from what would kill them all, and provided respite for those tired, injured, and elderly. The implements of torture vanished, remade into something more useful- pots, plates, knives.

All the while the remaining few tried to rebuild beneath a vanished sky as they continued to pray trying to make their voices heard. Some were sure they would never be noticed. Others believed and counseled to remain devout and strong in their faith. Some scoffed. Others cried. Only the children laughed.

Would they be heard? They doubted. They prayed nontheless. Would they be scolded for their faithlessness? Many wished they would for it meant they had been heard and the gods were returned to them. Even as a parent catches a wayward child in the act of defiance was better than the silence they had now.

But with continued days and no reply, their future looked bleak, dark until a gleam burst open much the way the first star appears in the night sky lighting up the darkness or a light is left in the window at night to lead one home. And it blossomed. Only time would tell if it would remain.
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::A Horse Of A Different Color::

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Eftemie Solo


Lisana had requested a wardrobe to put those dresses in that Mian had made for her. Unlike her other clothing, the silk garments needed to be hung and a bit more care. It had taken some time but eventually Hasheem and his men found a nicely carved oak piece. It was nearly two miles away and they would have to find a way to take it back.

The captain opened it, the doors working properly. It had a few odd pieces of clothing that crumbled as he touched them turning to rags. They were tossed aside, and left where they lay. But the basket in the bottom he noted to be in good shape almost as if protected there. It was a violet hue and he smiled returning it to the furniture after a quick inspection. The goddess would like it simply for the color it was.

"Let's take this one back to her. I think she will definitely like it."
the man stated decisively. "Let's get it loaded on the cart. It's a long way back."

The men moved immediately, tilting it over and carrying it outside the building and to the makeshift cart they had. Other things were piled on it as well and after some adjustment, they found just enough space for the closet. It took nearly two hours to get it back to the inn and then upstairs to her room. But once it was situated, they smiled. It would surprise her and they left Arlecchino and Jhyett to putting away the things in it. The basket lay forgotten in the bottom as the aoide continued their work and then left the room.

It was several days later when Lisana was sitting in her room, relaxing with a cup of tea as Arlecchino sorted papers and worked on a few lists of things they needed. They talked quietly discussing what should be done. A faint sound was heard, unnoticed at first as it was such a light movement.

A foot suddenly kicking forwards burst through the side of the basket in the bottom of the closet. A faint squeal of confusion slipped out as a second hoof went through the side causing the basket to begin falling apart. His head suddenly plopped out, wearing the lid which then toppled to the side. A second hoof went through the side causing the basket to begin falling apart. His eyes widened, frightened, and starin in confusion at the darkness around him.

He tried to get his legs beneath him by pushing upwards. His head tangled in the fabrics around him, and he not understanding what was happening began to thrash more causing them to grab ever increasingly at him. Panicked, he lashed out trying to get some space, but his feet hit the side of something solid. A scared neigh slipped out echoing and muffled at the same time.

Lisana and Arle both jumped at the sudden banging inside the closet. When it increased, the aoidei jumped to her feet, moving farther away, eyes wide as she watched suspiciously.

"Umm... my Lady... Shall I call the guards?"
she asked softly, still backing away.

Lisana watched the closet door move slightly, the latch holding it tightly shut. "No. I don't think we need them, Arle." She moved closer to the closet and even though not the bravest person there was, she still went. "Whatever it is, it simply wants out I think. So we let it out."

"But... what if it's a demon or something? Something worse...?"
Her voice was hesitant and there was no way she was going to open that door as the banging caused her to flinch again.

"Open the door and hide behind it."
Lisana replied in amusement. She stood directly in front of the wardrobe, a faint smile on her face.


"No buts. Do it. Now."

Arle sighed, but reached around slowly towards the latch. The door moved again, banging loudly and she jumped pulling her hand away. At the expression on Lisana's face, she reached out again. Her fingers grasped it, pulling as she jumped backwards and to the side.

He neighed again, kicking out only to have the obstacle move out of his way. Leaping forwards, he became tangled, sprawling on the floor. His legs went out in all four directions as he tried to get the dress off him.

Lisana blinked, bursting into laughter as she watched him. In front of her was a very violet colt complete with a black mane and tail. White covered his feet leading upwards into a pale lavendar before becoming the same mottled violet that covered him. He was beautiful even standing comically before her. One of her dresses had trapped him by falling over his head and it looked as if he were trying to wear it. A snicker slipped free as she moved towards him.

"What were you trying to do? Wear my dress? And how did you get in there? Hmm.....?"
Gently she pulled the dress off him, tossing it to Arle who had finally peeked around the side.

He blinked, focusing on her as he tried to get his feet beneath him. When he did, he sprawled again on the slick floor. With a giggle, Lisana moved to help him stand, leading him over to the rug where his footing would be better.

"So what shall I call you, little one? Arle, he's going to need something to eat. See what you can find. At least until he can eat the grass outside."

"Very well, Lady Lisana. I'll see what I can find. And he can't stay here in your room forever... I mean..."
she frowned slightly. The thought of cleaning up horse manure did not thrill her at all and her nose wrinkled up at the prospect.

"For a day or two he can. Until his feet are beneath him well. Then we must find someone to watch over him."
She studied him a moment. "Aridai. Yes. I think that suits you." She laughed wrapping her arms around his neck. The name suited him perfectly though she had absolutely no idea why.
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:: Black Lily ::

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Eftemie Solo


Sinestra still carried the other necklace with her, hidden within a pocket noone knew of inside her undergarments. For months she had been watching for someone else to give the chain to, not that she needed it yet. But as she watched and listened a plan began to shape. The idea formed in her mind as she constantly was faced with the situation she and many others were in.

Having no home had never really bothered her. When one did as she did, one did not mind not having a place that was permanent because such made it easier to get caught. The last thing she wanted was to be caught. So she remained silently calculating just what she could get by with.

At first she had thought to take Rejali, but then realized that the girl really did not suit her and with a husband and family so close by, there would be complications. She looked over Treshali but would have been saddled with a husband and children as well as an elderly mother. That too she pushed aside as she noted one woman playing with her son. They had been two of those Lisana had helped that day in Baadris.

But she soon shoved the thoughts of her aside as she wandered around the Pantheon. The plan was slow in shaping but as she saw the respect, deference, and loyalty given to the gods, it did begin to take shape. Perhaps what she needed was not yet another mortal body. Perhaps what she needed was that of a goddess. It could be of benefit to her and perhaps she would never need the necklace again. Perhaps.

The spell laced into it was strong but was it capable of conquering a target with so much more than anything she had ever preyed upon before. Heading back to her room, she smiled. It was time to go over the entire spell again and see if there was anything that might give her a clue.

Sitting down on her bed, she frowned slightly. Pulling both necklaces out, she held them where she could see them together. The spell was only revealed when they were together otherwise, it looked like a simply design, a benign pattern that was interesting. The magic glowed faintly, luminously casting itself into the air at her demand. The violet markings shifted and changed as she touched them, becoming something much more legible.

Reading the words, she frowned slightly. It really did not say which was the reason she had once taken over a very primitive humanoid, but it had not lasted long. Would it work on a goddess? She was unsure, and frowned as she held them in her hands. Putting the second one back, she frowned thoughtfully. Maybe there was no real way to figure out if it would work or not except to try it. And hopefully it would not reveal what she was. But it was a chance she would have to take if she truly wanted to have a place to call her own.
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Vermillion Gekko

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:: Talking To Taj ::

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Eftemie Solo


Taj walked back slowly to the house, his pace slower than his thoughts. He noted the places where green was peeking through to reveal itself. Stopping with a faint smile, he bent down to touch the plants with a bit of awe. Creation was definitely back and life was slowly returning. Now to keep it that way.

He stared at the building they now lived in. It would not last much longer. Each day it became harder and harder to repair. It needed so much but it was little worth the effort they spent on it.

Standing in the doorway, Taj listened to those around him. Delphine and Triq were in the kitchen, chattering about the food. Saljin was sitting with a book nearby, but Rasmus and Mirshu were dusting things off and actually trying not to drop parts of themselves instead. Tempest and the two felines were moving towards him from the farther part of the hallway.

Tempest stopped in front of him with a frown. Something appeared to be bothering the god and the man scowled. It could not be good. "What is it, Taj?"

Motioning Saljin, Rasmus, and Mirshu forwards to listen, he took pen in hand. <Ready all to move. The Pantheon awaits.>

All standing there read it and then stared at him in surprise. Saljin asked, "Moving back? Water's rooms?"

<Mine and more.> Taj glanced at their faces and then continued.<Safer there.> A warning was laced in even so few words.

Tempest and Saljin glanced at each other and then nodded immediately. "We will get things ready."

Taj turned but stopped. <I go to Laughter.> then he was out the door and down the street before either could do more than stare after him.

He stopped at the door when he saw Hasheem, the man obviously the one in charge as he was giving orders. Taj simply waited trying to form the words he would need to explain to Lisana that she and hers needed to move from the inn they now lived in.

Hasheem glanced over at him, bowing quickly. "My Lord, how may I help you?" He was not the one to usually greet visitors but as none of the others were around, he could do so.

<Lady Laughter?& he wrote.

The Captain watched him a moment, then nodded, indicating he follow him into the building. Lisana was having tea and talking to Arabel about the lotuses and how best to help Rem. She glanced upwards, a sudden smile on her face at the intrusion.

"Taj! You came to visit!" she laughed, getting to her feet and hugging him quickly. "Have some tea with us?"

He shrugged but as Hasheem started to move away, he stopped him. Shaking his head negatively, he indicated the guard sit with them.

An immediate frown on the Captain's face appeared as he did as he was bid. He watched Taj write for a moment.

<It is not safe outside the Pantheon. Your rooms await you. Preparations must bring you there now.>

Hasheem's scowl intensified. "You mean it is not safe outside at all? For gods or mortals?"

"We have a common enemy.> His face was entirely serious as Lisana, Arabel, and Hasheem paid close attention to what he wrote. The girl thought of the lotuses and moving them again. It would require much.

"Are you sure, Taj?" Lisana asked softly.

"It gets harder and harder to repair this place, Lady. If you have rooms there, then it could help." Hasheem contemplated what orders would need to be given.

<There are rooms for all of those with you also. Plain but waiting. It is not only the gods who need protection. Yours will find room as will mine there.>

Lisana nodded as she got to her feet, pacing for a moment in thought. Turning, she said softly, "Alright, Taj. We will move into the Pantheon. How will I know which room is mine? And theirs?"

<You will find your door. I will search out the rooms for all ours.> He knew what Harmodius had indicated as a description of the rooms for the mortals. And he would find them.

"Hasheem, get everything started. We can make a list of what we need to do. Will there be room for the lotuses?" she suddenly asked as she glanced at Arabel.

Taj nodded, but shrugged. Lisana stared in surprise then laughed. She would have to figure this out herself it seemed. Getting to his feet, he turned towards Hasheem. <When there look for myself or Saljin.> Then he was gone out the door. His warning had been left and he had other things to think of.

Taj moved back to the house where Saljin and the others were already packing what little they had. Some of the furniture and other things would be left behind, but their clothing, food, and more would be taken with them. He thought of the staff in his closet. Pretzel was still there and should not be left behind.

Turning to Triq, he sent her to collect it. Once he had it in hand, he turned to Saljin. <I go to see the rooms. Laughter's guard will look for us to find theirs.> Before Saljin could stop him with questions, Mystery was once more out the door and down the street. His stride said he had things to do and little time to do so and his pace quickened as he climbed the stairs to the second floor. Now to find his room.

Lisana sighed as she called for Rem, Sayd, Fashad, Arlecchino, and Jhyett. They needed to know so that everyone worked together. Hasheem was writing down the list of things to do as they figured them out. She would explain to the others and then give each a portion of the list they were responsible for with Hasheem overseeing them all to ensure it was done as needed. A few moments later, she moved towards the exit. Her room awaited.
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:: Laughter Within The Walls::

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Eftemie Solo


Lisana's Door



I hope this finds you well. I have been busy trying to keep things moving and have not had a chance to see you recently. I hope we can find time to have some tea and talk at some point. I had such fun in Baadris with you and I'm sure we will have more.

Lord Mystery- Tajnevaki- and I spoke yesterday, such that it was as he is entirely silent, but we managed with pen and paper. He informed me of some things he learned from Lord Harmodius as to the state of things and more. First, we are moving into the Pantheon itself. The new building looks wonderful thanks to our Lord, and he has provided rooms for not only myself, but an area for the mortals under our care. There is a door that leads into groups of five bedrooms with a common room connected by hallways. I have not seen them yet, but Taj has said that he will find them for me and ensure that mine find their way there.

He also seemed to want to say more but said that it was not safe outside and that we all have a common enemy. I believe he means the one who did such to Lord Harmodius and Gaia. We have begun packing and should be moving in this afternoon. I can't imagine what my rooms or even door looks like, but he said it would... "resonate" to me? Whatever that means. I would be giggling but he was quite serious so I set my amusement aside. I simply did not want to leave Isra and the others behind.

On another note, I believe he has more to tell us, but this is first.

Your sister in amusement,


She smiled nodding to herself. This would do. Maybe a trip to visit Cosine later when she had her rooms and people in order within the Pantheon. It could be fun.

This was the morning everyone would be moving back into the Pantheon. For Taj's group, it was the previous day, but for hers and with so many more people, she knew it was going to take a bit more to get everyone ready, but she was still trying to get a note sent to Cosine about the other people from Baadris. The note was finished and she called Jhyett to her.

The aoidei appeared, wearing a short skirt and top, which she pulled at uncomfortably. Lisana had insisted she wear a bit of clothing with so many men around. She still did not understand why but it needed to be done.

"Jhyett, stop what you are doing. I want you to take this note to Cosine. She will need to get her people inside also. You will most likely find her in the Pantheon somewhere."
She held out a piece of paper, folded over a few times for the other goddess.

"Yes, my Lady."
she replied, taking the paper and then hurrying out the door. She wasn't much liking packing anyhow.

Lisana thought back over what she had explained in the note. Hopefully she had stated everything as it needed to be and remembered all of what she had wanted to tell the goddess. It was important that noone remain where they were now. The expression on Taj's face insisted such.

Walking towards the door, she decided it was time to look for her rooms. She hesitated in the doorway, staring out over the area in the direction of the Pantheon. It was becoming more green each and every day. The changes he wrought were indescribable. At least other than to say she was grateful. Gone was the black that Destruction had given them. She laughed in delight as she moved towards the building a short distance away.

Finding the staircase she moved upwards to the second floor. There would be time later to look around downstairs. Enough people were milling about although she was tempted to try to make Harmodius laugh as any good jester would. She had been a jester for him before, hadn't she? She was unsure and shook her head to clear the thought away. Maybe later she would be able to see what she remembered.

Lisana tried to remember what her rooms were like before the fading. Byrne's door she knew from Eftemie's memories. Her memories. She sighed in some exasperation. They were hers now and would always be now. For a moment she traced the phoenix on the door.

"Come back soon, Byrne."
she whispered before moving away.

The next door she knew, she smiled upon seeing. Even Eftemie had a fondness for the water god. She would have to let him know that she had her own rooms here now.

A door suddenly caught her attention and she frowned slightly, but then her lips curled upwards.

"Of course. It would be bubbles!"
she giggled delightedly as she traced one circle with her finger. The glass was smooth and yet rather bubbly at the same time. "Perfect!" She laughed again, taking in the crystal, blue, and violet shades embedded there. A silver plate with a jester like doorknocker seemed to be the handle.

Mr. Harry Whodunit

She touched the doorknob, trying to pull it forwards. A frown crossed her face as she pursed her lips in some frustration.

"Ouch! Hey, don't pull!"

A small "eep" slipped free as she dropped the doorknocker and jumped back. She blinked in surprise as his eye turned towards her as he watched silently.

"Hmmm.... not exactly what I expected, my Lady. Mr. Harry Whodunit at your service."

Lisana blinked in surprise again as he spoke to her, then asked, "What did you expect? And why is there only half of you?"

He still watched, then grinned, "I expected bells and whistles and all the hoops that come with the Goddess of Laughter. Drums even."

His reply caused her lips to twitch upwards and then she broke into laughter. "Well, I'll be sure to do that next time. Those come later anyhow for most people. When I know what I'm doing." She opened her mouth to continue, but stopped as a tirade begain.

"Why does everyone ask that? Maybe there was only one part of me when I was made? Or maybe I don't need more than one half? Or even....."

She yawned, placing her hand over his nose and yanking. "Just open the door or tell me how to."

he grumped. "I can't very well keep you out of your own room. Or demand you tell me a riddle."

The door swung inwards, wide enough for her to walk through. He sighed deeply as if it were a great chore for him to have done so.

"And make sure you speak to the other half when you want to leave."
He stated, then fell silent.

"Thank you, Harry. So... Where is your other half? On the backside of the door?"
She smirked entering the room and pushing the door shut.

Sir Jerry Whatsisname

She heard a muffled sound on the back of the door and turned, closing it. Her lips twitched upwards into a grin as she stared at the other half of the doorknob. It looked nearly the same except it was a different color, but obviously the other half.

"And you would be?"
she asked as she watched it a moment.

"Sir Jerry Whatsisname, my Lady Laughter. Has my unruly brother been annoying you?"
He asked rolling his eye to watch her closely.

"No more than I think he annoys everyone."
she giggled, glancing around her. "Oh my! What am I supposed to do with this?"

It was almost like the space behind did not exist. Or was empty. Was this what Taj meant when he said it would become hers? But what was she supposed to do with it?

The space simply felt odd. Empty. Yet waiting for her. She was still frowning several moments later as the space continued to call to her. What did she want here? What was needed?

"Make it your own, my Lady Laughter. These are YOUR rooms." he smirked faintly that she did not seem to know what was to be done. "And then have a party, of course."

"It could use the sound of laughter I suppose."
she sighed as she answered her own question, shutting the door behind her. "Or lots of windchimes. I wonder if I can get a playful breeze here too. Make it my own... Hmm...."

So much was needed here. Her aoide would need space here also. A small place to prepare food. A bedroom, bath, closet for herself. And those same things for them. Closing her eyes she sat down trying to imagine what it was she wanted and liked. For nearly two hours she remained trying to figure out what it was her room looked like. Just as Kaelin's room reflected him, Lisana wanted hers to be uniquely her.

White marble with silver, blue, and violet striations scattered through, would be the pathways and main flooring and columns. The walls would definitely be white. Light and airy just the way bubbles drifted and were transparent. Plants would grow in the large and small flowerpots that would be scattered everywhere. She wanted life here.

A large step up dais to the left of the entry was surrounded by a short wall on two sides. The surface between the three marble pillars was wide enough to use as a table to those sitting on the plush violet and blue seats or the large violet and blue floor pillows scattered about. Several plants were scattered on the ledge filled with not only greenery but daisies and violet wildflowers. It was a very interesting place for either formal or informal meetings.

The top step, crafted of a darker violet shade of marble, was large and wide enough that it could also serve as a place for entertainment by clowns, jesters, or even musicians with the waterfall fountain that poured down into a small pond just below. One small portion of the fountain spewed bubbles into the air rather than water cascading downwards with a mix of the darker and lighter shades of the same marble used as the fountain bases themselves. Lisana glanced over it happily as she wondered what sort of fish she should have in there. The thought that Kaelin or the girls would know filled her with excitement at the thought of asking them.

To the top right, a large oak dining set was placed for dinner parties. It would seat sixteen at a time with enough space to enjoy themselves and easily accessed by the kitchen nearby. Linens in white, blue, and violet remained on the table at all times with glass bowls and plates of the same colors alternating throughout.

The bottom right was an informal visiting area for Lisana or the aoide or any guest she had staying with her. It was a plush area with couches and chairs upholstered in fine silks of blue and violet. A large coffee table was centered made of light oak with a blue and violet staining and carved with an intricate carving of parades of people. A large glass top covered the top allowing the design to be seen but not disturbed.

Four rooms to the right were sectioned off with long white curtains. The top one contained a bathroom for others to use complete with the same white marble sink, tub, and vanity trimmed in blues, violets, and a bit of silver.

The second room was a wide open kitchen complete with light oak cabinets, white marble countertop, and a smaller dining set for informality. A large pantry was at the back, though there was nothing but empty shelves within for the moment. The water ran freely when she turned the handle causing her to look beneath the sink and wonder where the plumbing was downstairs. A giggle slipped out then as the image of Harmodius as a plumber installing all this for her, complete with low slung pants and a revealed crack. For a moment she laughed even harder.

Shaking her head to clear it of the image, Lisana sighed. "As if He would do something like that. I somehow do not see it at all. I guess not all the memories Eftemie left behind are useful."

The final two rooms were bedrooms, complete with two beds, two closets, a desk, and bookshelves for the aoide or guests. Each one was covered with silk blankets, but one was blue and one was violet. Two large carved closets in each room would hold whatever clothing was needed and the carved oak desk and chair were sufficient for whatever was needed. A variety of books were already on the shelves and she ran a finger over the tomes as she inspected them, wondering briefly if she had left them here before.

At the very back of the large area was a section of long white curtains containing what was Lisana's bedroom, private alcove, and bathroom. The bed itself was a large oak four poster with the same white curtains drapped around all four sides of the bed for privacy at night. The posts were carved with elegant swirls from the top to the floor. Covered in white silk blankets with a violet and blue throw at the foot, the bed was the first thing seen upon entering the room. Various patterned pillows in white, blue, and violet were scattered at the top for comfort, some tassled and some with lace. Two large violet and white rugs, one eliptical, the other circular, covered the floor around the bed, each one lush and exotically made.

In the lower left corner of the room, a carved wooden table and chairs allowed for meals of a more intimate quality. Two carved bookshelves in the upper left corner were only partially filled with tomes and a small arrangement of statues. In the lower right corner a carved wooden desk and chair were placed upon a blue, white, and violet rug for convenience. The upper right contained a large carved closet, strange symbols instead of the parade of people scattered everywhere else.

From the right, a large white curtain sectioned off the bathroom with the same light oak cabinets, marble vanity and sink. The shower however was entirely open, cascading downwards as a natural waterfall would. The tiered floor of the shower slightly angled downwards to become a deeper tub for soaking. It was made of the darker blue and violet shades entirely causing it to stand out against the lightness of everything else.

To the left side of the bedroom was a second set of curtains that opened into an area that looked like a garden alcove complete with marble stone paths that led to an oversized white hammock strewn with various blue and violet patterned pillows. The center contained four comfortable violet and white striped chairs with the images of lush flowers woven into the silk fabrics. Small oak tables were strategically placed nearby.

The lower portion of the alcove contained a swing for two beneath a vine covered A-frame. A wall of lush plants and exotic blossoms created privacy almost as if it were a secret place.

Upon hearing the fountain, Lisana smiled, drawing her breath in as she glanced around the area. It was nearly perfect but as she walked into her bedroom, she frowned slightly. Something more was needed and with a smile she laughed, focusing to cause the side of the room to vanish. Long white curtains appeared covering the sides between the pillars. If there had been a sky, there would have been more to be seen, but for now, she wanted it open even with the sky missing. It was a reminder how close it had been this time. A faint breeze wandered in, playfully stirring her hair a ghost of a smile twitched as she glanced out over the green area in front of her. One day there would be sunshine and stars to see when the sky returned fully. Windchimes were scattered in midair along the entire opening already beginning to play musically for her.

Lisana shoved the hair from her eyes as she looked around. This was exactly what she wanted. Somehow it all seemed familiar. A laugh slipped free as she remembered another room that looked much like this. It was long ago, but suited her equally as well. Perhaps it was the same one and she broke into even more laughter, entirely amused.

"I guess the easiest things to do are the ones you've done before."
She laughed moving towards the door. Now she just needed to find out where the rooms Taj was looking for were so that her people were taken care of.
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::Moving In::

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Eftemie Solo


Jhyett and Arlecchino carried Lisana's things carefully into the room. The dresses were hung in the closet, the few things that she had that had been Eftemie's were placed in the proper places. The jewelry went into the basket on the dresser. The mikimoo shells went into another basket nearby. Alfestus fluttered around the room as did Spazz and some of the other fluffballs that Eftemie had called pets.

Aridai was grazing in the grasses nearby. He would have to be brought in later. The equine seldom strayed far from Lisana's room even though he could not get into it from the outside. Still just a youngling, he wanted the safety of being near what he knew would protect him. But he grazed near Rorie or Jaspar all the time.

Rorie, the stallion, looked after him though he himself remained outside all the time. He was happy with that. Jaspar, the ageless reindeer, did as he liked. He had shown up as she had left the inn.

She laughed remembering. Hasheem and some of the others wanted to eat him thinking he was food. But when she called his name and was so happy to see him, they understood quickly that he was a pet. Or her ride as she put it.

As she glanced around her, she saw that everything was in place. Glancing over at the aoidei, Lisana said, "Go help Mian and the others now. See if they need some help getting settled. I'll be there later to check on them." She settled back to drink her cup of tea as both turned to her.

"As you say, Lady Lisana. We will see what we can do to help."

With that said, one bounced and the other pounced out the door, leaving Jerry muttering in irritation. Once more they had not waited on him to open the door. A few moments later they were down the hallway and into the community rooms.

Mian was trying to move a box of silks into her room for safekeeping. The aoidei both moved quickly to help her, shooing the older woman to the side.

"We will get that for you, mrow...." Jhyett purred as she took hold of the box.

"Well, thank you, girls." she laughed as she pointed where she wanted it placed.

"Lady Lisana sent us to help, Mian." Arle replied, her bells jingling happily from her collar.

"I see. I will have to thank her later then. There are three more boxes out there to bring inside. Then you can go see if Rejali needs any help." She sat down on the bed tiredly. Once this was done, she could relax. Perhaps a nap was in order. For the first time in a very long time, she felt completely safe.

Nearly two hours later, Lisana finally got to her feet. She'd gotten distracted watching Aridai and Rorie and laughing at the two as they played nearby. Passing through the areas that were Taj's people, she smiled and spoke to a few nearby before moving on to where Mian and the others were.

She smiled to see them so happily fussing about. Most of the adults were putting things away in the various rooms while the elderly sat nearby simply relaxing. The children ran laughing as they played tag in the hallways or tossed cloth balls around. Everyone seemed to be happier than she'd seen them in some time.

Lisana smiled as she watched them. The few they had saved were finally finding life again. Perhaps everything was looking up. Finally.
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:: Dat Returns::

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Eftemie Solo


A laugh slipped free as Lisana watched Aridai chase Rorie and Jaspar. He constantly teased both nipping at them until they would play with him. The violet equine had quite a mischievious streak.

Earlier and for no reason, he had slowly sneaked up on the older horse, grabbing Rorie's tail between his teeth and tugging before he ran. Rorie had whirled around in surprise after bolting forwards a few feet. Now he was doing the same thing.

Lisana laughed again as the colt dodged around Jaspar. Rorie skidded to a halt nearly sliding into the deer. Gathering himself, Rorie moved slowly away, eyes narrowed at Aridai who stood watching in amusement.

The violet colt nickered his amusement. His ears perked forwards as Rorie moved. He was prepared to attack again when he had a chance. And he did. Black mane flying behind him, he moved up behind, grabbed the tail and ran again.

Once more the older horse gave chase. He could have easily caught him if he really wanted to. But he liked playing with the younger horse and without really paying attention, he followed. The next moment his feet slid out from under him in the muddy water the colt had led him through. Several snorts of amusement slipped into the air as Rorie began to gingerly step out of the muddy water.

Staring as surprise danced down on her, Lisana began to laugh. As she continued to watch both equines, she held her side as an intense pain slid down her ribs. A snort followed the giggles but she could not stop herself.

Aridai had a well-pleased smirk upon his face, tail in the air as he tossed his head and strutted away. Rorie stood stiffly on the dryer ground watching the colt. Suddenly shaking himself off, the older equine knew that it would land on the younger horse. Mud flew in all directions but ironically the largest glop of the gooey mess sailed directly at Aridai spalttering his nose. The colt was so stunned he stumbled backwards landing with a plop. It was the older horse's turn to snort in amusement then.

Lisana broke into even more laughter as the ache in her side intensified. Suddenly she was choking and gasping for air and began to cough as tears of amusement slipped down her cheeks.

Arlecchino ran forwards unsure what to do, but flinched. Choking? What did one do for choking? Suddenly she reached out, hitting Lisana hard on the back. It was all she could think to do.

A harsh cough followed by a sudden gasp of air. Lisana whispered, "Thank you, Arle." she managed the words even though she was still wincing in pain. But as she glanced upwards wiping the tears from her eyes, she noticed a faint shimmer in the air.

Laughter echoed through the room as a figure took shape in front of her. Lisana stared at the form of wings and bright hair. Then she knew. She was familiar.

"Dat!" she suddenly exclaimed rushing forwards. "Dat, you are back!"

Dat glanced around her slowly tossing her hair back as her wings fluttered a bit. A faint smile appeared as she was swept into Lisana's arms. "My Lady? You are different. And I have always been here." A faint smirk slipped across her face as she folded her arms. Where else would she be but close to her goddess?

"Of course you have." Lisana laughed, still hugging the aoide tightly thoguh carefully not to crush her winds.

Arlecchino blinked in surprise, staring at both. "My Lady, where did she come from?"

"From a laugh, Arle. Dat has always been dat." she smirked causing Dat to giggle excitedly. "Yeti will be happy to see you again."

"Old droolface is here then?" she sighed. "Well, I guess there's nothing can be done about that. What about Monkieboy?"

"I don't think so. Maybe someday."

"Well, I'm off to see Yeti and surprise him."

"Wait, Dat. Alot has changed. We need to talk first." Lisana frowned slightly. "It's important. Arlecchino, bring us some more tea please. Dat and I need to talk."

"As you say, my Lady."

Lisana glanced over at the aoide fondly remembering all the trouble she, Yeti, and Monkieboy had gotten into. Maybe one day they would all be together again. "I really missed you, Dat. We are going to have fun."
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:: Pathless: A Light Gleams::

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Amidst the belief and disbelief, a light appeared. Not in the sky as one might think. No sky existed and few knew the reason. Everything remained gray and surreal as if there were no color in the universe.

Laughing, the children played in the stone hallways where prisoners once walked or were dragged to their days of torture or even death that awaited them. Slightly older than the rest, Tai and Zahra, a pair of 11 year old boy girl twins, tried to keep the younger ones happily playing to avoid their empty stomachs. It was a distraction dragging them to play tag or hide and seek in the dark hallways, but they knew they were safe where they were. At least than before.

"I'm hungry, Zahreee..." Milani complained, sitting down on the cold stone. Her arms wrapped around her knees and she pouted. "I'm soooo hungry."

Sitting down beside the little girl, Zahra brushed the hair from her eyes. "What would you eat if you had anything you wanted, Mili?"

"Don't, Zah! Don't talk about it! It's only going to make her worse." Tai growled shaking his head angrily at his sister. What did she think she was doing? "It will only make us all worse."

"I'm tired of it too, Tai, but I want to think about it." His sister replied. "I'm hungry but maybe if we think about it, it will go away for a bit. Nothing else we've tried has helped."

"Fine." he muttered, shoving his dark hair from his face. "I still think it's a bad idea."

She sighed, turning her atttention to Mili and the other children who sat down around them. "If you had your choice of what to eat, what would it be? Really think hard about it. Think about what it tastes like, looks like, and feels like. Does it make your mouth water? Was it your favorite? Think about eating it and how full you are afterwards."

"is this a new game, Zah?" Mili asked uncertainly.

"Yes. It's a new game. Pretend that you can see it in front of you." she said trying to make them understand. It would pass the time and tehy would all be full before long. At least in their minds.

"Okay. I'll try." she replied, still pouting as she closed her eyes. Her face scrunched up as she was deep in thought. It was not an easy thing to pretend you saw food when you were so hungry that anything looked good. Besides teacups and saucers would make it much easier to have pretend tea.

The rest of the children closed their eyes and began to think. With several overloud sighs, they tried as hard as they could to envision all the lovely things they had to eat long ago.

Tai and Zahra both began to focus hard on their own ideas as they listened to what the other children said. The more the twins heard, the stronger the impression became in their minds that maybe this might work. Belief is a strange thing and when least expected it can make an impact.

"Fresh milk and cookies." one murmurred quietly, a smile on her face. "I just love the smell of mommy's cookies baking in the oven everyday."

Another giggled, "Apple pie. Baking it smells even better. I want to gobble up the entire pie sometimes."

"I want chocolate cake," the third stated. "Was my birthday cake last year." He could almost taste it.

"Strawberries." Tai said softly. "Ripe juicy off the vine strawberries. I can just see them."

"Apples. Bright red shiny apples. Juicy and sweet. Lots of them." Her hand reached out to touch her brother's hand. She could almost taste them.

Tai squeezed back with a grin. Oddly they had both selected red fruit. Each nearly laughed as they each continued to hold their own image of what they desired.

"Apples and strawberries." the other children echoed. "Yummmmmmmie..."

"Bright red and shiny. Both of them." Zahra pointed out.

Milani giggled opening her eyes to peek at Zahra. But as she did, she gasped in delight. Hanging in the air in front of her were apples and strawberries. Lots of them. She grabbed for an apple, sure it was not there. But suddenly she found one in her hand. A squeal of delight caused the rest of the children to open their eyes. "Look! Everybody, look! Apples and strawberries!"

Biting into the one in her hand, she laughed as the juice burst outwards and down her chin. "Big and juicy too. Just like you said."

The twins stared, their eyes wide open. Suddenly the fruit dropped to the ground in the center of them. They let go of each other's hand and grabbed for the pile in front of them.

"Real!" Tai exclaimed. "How?"

She suddenly stopped staring at Tai as he stared back at her. It had been exactly what she and he had asked for. Why? How? And why only them? Then it suddenly did not matter. It would fill their bellies and as the other children began to eat, neither said another word.

Perhaps the gods were finally answering their prayers. Feeding the children to keep them alive. The gods sure knew that their parents repented, didn't they?

"It was a miracle, right, Zahra?" Tai finally asked, his stomach full for the first time in ages.

"I.. guess. It must be, Tai." she replied, shoving dark hair from her eyes. "I.. we should have saved some for the others. But I was so hungry. There's only two apples left." Glancing down she felt almost guilty. One she handed to Mili and the the other to Obyn, both the smallest children there. "We can't tell anyone. They will be angry at us. Promise? If it happens again, then we will take some to the others. Promise me."

The children glanced around at each other, each one nodding. "We promise. Mili and Obyn both tucked the apples into pockets where noone would know.

"Can we do this again tomorrow?" she asked.

Zahra glanced at Tai. She nodded, "Yes. We will again." Getting to her feet, she blinked suddenly not feeling well. A tiredness slipped down over her and she glanced over at Tai. He appeared to feel the same way. "I'm tired, Tai. Let's all go back. Remember, don't say anything to anyone yet."

Something was odd. But what?

Anyhow she was glad, they had been able to eat. For the first time in a long time, her stomach had actually stopped hurting and was full. It was a strange feeling.
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:: An Accounting ::

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Eftemie Solo


With Dat's return, Lisana felt much better. Without realizing it, she truly had been missing the aoide. There were other aoidei, but Dat was special and the one she used to spend time with. The faint memories were there of Dat, Yeti, and Monkieboy.

Who exactly was with her now? She had been in Baadris when they had to leave the loft. Over the days since she had returned, Lisana had been so busy that she had not truly thought of those with her and those not with her. She needed to do so. Didn't she? She had simply accepted their presence or absence for what it was.

Now she noticed. Now she needed more. Were they in trouble? Already gone? Or nearby and simply confused or lost?

Sitting down, she thought about those under her care. Dat, Jhyett, and Arlecchino. Troublesome aoidei but amusing and there with her. Had there been others? Lisana was unsure as she tried to remember. Unable to remember, she continued.

Sinestra, Hasheem, Fashad, Rejali, and her parents all now resided in the Hall of Mortals or so she had begun calling it. The dressmaker, Tian, and her daughter, Treshali as well as the girl's family and other seamstresses all lived there too.

Meroe who phased thru walls always losing his head had finally found her when she returned. He entertained the children for their parents keeping them busy and out of the way. Arabel, who had a gift for growing things, came to mind as she thought of Rem and Sayd, the gardener and guard who kept the lotuses safe.

To this mix, she added Alfestus, the mikimoo elder and Spaz who were once Eftemie's. They were now safe but preferred to remain in her rooms. For now that was best.

Abdul and Yafir, the two men who had seen her stop a demon that day, were living with their families having followed Mian when she left. There were other Baadrites as she had been calling them. Most she had not gotten to know yet.

She counted perhaps 60 beings under her immediate care. Added to that were her stardust and other critters. There were more than expected, but she was glad that there were so many. Maybe more would find their way to her and the other gods. Soon hopefully.

Glancing out the opening, she watched Aridai and Rorie play with Jaspar. Some of the other creatures frequently slipped outside and then back in, most nestling close to sleep for protection.

"So many...." she sighed. "When we are sure it is safe again, it will be time to go home. The loft and glade and cove all need to live again. But this time a little differently."

Her thoughts shifted to plan for those she had nearby. She could almost see the rooms and gardens there thriving once again. "Someday..." she whispered. "But for now these are safe. It is enough, isn't it?"

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:: Moonshadow ::

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Eftemie Solo


He had been skulking around Lisana's door for awhile. It was Eftemie that he wanted to see, but he knew she was gone. Still there was some resemblance there. Moon watched her closely from time to time, but the actions were not her although reminiscent at times. A hesitation, a laugh, an instant that made him see her for a moment, but nothing more than that.

It was not her. It merely confused him.

Despite his first thoughts on the matter, he still stalked towards her door. Touching it with his nose, he shivered at the coolness of the glass and metal.

"Don't be smudging the door." a voice barked at him.

Moonshadow leaped backwards in surprise, his tail tucked between his legs. Glancing around, he glanced back warily at the door. Noone was about. Moving towards the door again, he had barely gotten within a foot of it before he heard the same gruff voice again.

"Just don't do it. Don't be hoisting your leg either."

The Aiko cringed, then the words spoken sank in. *I'm not a dog.* he muttered. His tail twitched rapidly the way most feline's do when they are preparing to pounce. It was the doorknocker talking to him he now understood.

"Well, well... you can speak." Harry stated in amusement.

*Hmpft.. so can you. Big deal.* Moon replied in annoyance. His eyes glanced over the door and Harry. It would be something she would do. *My name is Moonshadow.*

"Harry Whodunit at your service. What do you want here?"

Moon frowned slightly. *I'm not sure. I mean.. well, I was looking for someone, but...*

"Laughter resides here."

*I know that. It's her... well, sort of. I mean...* Sitting down, Moon nearly sighed. *It's hard to explain.*

" I'm going nowhere fast." Harry stated amused at the confusion in the feline.

*Well, the girl she too... host I think they call them. Eftemie, she was my...* he hesitated. Master? Friend? Guardian? All the words came to mind as they fit her. But the one he chose was *Friend. I miss her.*

"I see. And you and the goddess?"

*It's not the same. I just wondered...* Getting to his feet, Moon began to move away.

"Perhaps you should see her.* Harry suggested, though it really made no difference to him. He was a doorknocker afterall.

Moonshadow hesitated, one paw in the air. *I don't know. I would be intruding most likely. I'd... rather not.*

"What can it hurt?"

*She might not like the intrusion. the reminder of Eftemie. And I left to go with Tempest. She might not forgive or even understand why I had to. I just missed Efte. Tempest needs me.* Shaking himself off the feline fell silent for a moment. *Perhaps later.*

Harry did not hesitate. The door opened even without a riddle. It would be tempting to the feline, but perhaps it was necessary for both he and the goddess. She was clinging to the other creatures and by listening he knew they had been her host's.

A growl rumbled low in Moon's throat as his eyes narrowed at Harry. The thought of going in crossed his mind, but he tried to shove it aside. Then his feet moved under their own volition, or so it seemed to him, and the aiko found himself inside. The door closed behind him and his tail tucked between his legs as if he were caught red-handed in something he should not be doing.

A the sound of his footsteps, he moved quickly to hide behind the furniture. Arlecchino walked past him, bells jingling from her collar. Humming a tune as she walked past, she went about her duties as she needed to.

Panic slid through him and he was suddenly certain he was intruding and needed to get out quick. The wall was open at the back and though he could barely see it, he was sure it would give him the escape he needed. Moving towards it, he hid behind the furniture as he went, furtively checking around him.

As he moved to the balcony, planning to jump if necessary or do whatever he could to get down, Moon suddenly stopped.

"Moonshadow?" a voice asked softly.

He cringed but turned, tail between his legs, bracelets and earrings jingling. It was her. He should never have entered, but remaining silent, the feline simply watched her.

Her cup was on the table, rocking slightly from her movement. Lisana never noticed the tears that appeared in her eyes as she wrapped her arms around him tightly.

"I missed you, Moon." Blinking hard, she wiped them away but hugged him again tightly. "I was so worried that.." she stopped, her eyes gleaming. Teeth suddenly tugged her lower lip as she moved back. "I... " With a faint sigh she sat back a bit. "It's hard. Her memories are now mine."

She explained, wiping the wetness aside with her fingertips. A faint laugh escaped her lips but it was sad and echoed slightly. "We.. she agreed when I needed her most." There was nothing else to say.

*I see.* he finally said. Watching her, he suddenly saw that it had been hard on her too. *She would have. To help.*

Lisana nodded, a hand brushing hair from her face. "All I could think though when I saw you was that you had finally come home. Silly, huh?" She laughed again, still not moving to her feet.

His nose nudged her hand. *No. I just... your door... I was not sure I would be welcome.*

Lisana watched him closely, a frown on her face. "You will always be welcome here. You were hers and I promised... but that's not the only reason. I would welcome you here if that is what you wanted. Some of the others are still here. And some are new. Some I see skulking around. Lost. Ataxis... He's around, but different now. His nature is more difficult and he's far less accepting."

*He was close to her because of his treatment before and how she wanted him when others did not seem to. Perhaps.. Taj... I will check.* His nose suddenly nudged her cheek. *I miss her still.*

Lisana blinked hard, shoving back the brightness. "I know. You are welcome. Whenever." Her hand stroked the fur on top of his head, scratching just behind the ear. A gesture that had been Eftemie's way with him. Then she slipped her arms around him. "Not just for her."

Moonshadow sat down, basking in her attention. Eftemie had treated him in such a way. Soon with brush in hand, Lisana was laughing as she began removing the tangles from his fur. Perhaps there was more of her than he had first thought. Perhaps he'd stay awhile.
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Vermillion Gekko

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:: Banshee Screams ::

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Eftemie Solo


A scream ripped through the air causing the aoidei and their goddess to bolt upright in their beds. Arlecchino quivered pulling the blankets closer to her.

"Mrow! What was that?" Jhyett asked. They shared a room by choice at the moment.

Arle glanced at her. "I don't know but I think you should get off the desk."

The feline gazed about her and then laughed. "Well, it scared me." Gingerly she stepped down to the floor. "You go see."

Arlecchino's eyes went wide. "I'm not going. You go."

"Not me."
she said but then as her tail twitched she shook her head. "Someone has to go see if Lady Lisana is alright. She might need us."

"Fine, but we both go." Arlecchino growled as she got from her bed. She really did not want to, but some worry did slide through her for the goddess.

Dat bolted upright, her sleep disturbed as she wondered if she had really heard such a howl. Trembling, she sat still silently listening as her wings quivered slightly. Finally she got to her feet, the marble of the floor cool upon her feet. Peeking around the curtain, she glanced down the hallway. Noone seemed to be about. Perhaps it was only a dream.

Lisana sat up in her bed, staring around her in the semi-darkness. A scream had waken her, but whose? Her feet slipped into the slippers at the side of her bed. Then she grabbed the robe from the chair nearby as she made her way to the curtained opening of her room.

Slipping out the side into the garden portion, she made her way through the plants and to the hallway on the other side. There seemed to be no disturbances on that side and a frown slid across her expression. No sounds at all but then she saw Dat peeking out of her room as if frightened. Had it waken the aoide also?

Moving down the hallway, she stepped up beside Dat, touching her shoulder. The aoide jumped, shivering at the sensation.

"My Lady! Don't do that! Did you hear it too?" she asked fearfully, her wings twitching nervously.

"A scream? Yes. It woke me up. Come along and we will see what is happening. It might have been just a bad dream or something that Jhyett or Arle had." She moved down the hallway leaving Dat staring at her.

"But... what if it was something else? I mean..."

Lisana turned around to stare at her, folding her arms. "We still need to know. Let's go, Dat."

The aoide stared at her but nodded and moved to her. When had the goddess gotten so brave? She had changed and somehow Dat was unsure it was for the better. They could get into trouble and her feet were cold.

"Have you seen any of the others yet?" Lisana asked softly as they moved slowly. She did not want to miss anything.

"No, my Lady. Only you."

Were they under attack? Had the grigori sneaked into someone's room and begun killing those in their beds? Shivering, the goddess glanced around warily.

"I don't know about the others, my Lady. You are the only one I've seen." she repeated nervously. Her wings fluttered a bit before she made them remain still. Not an easy task to do for one so hyper naturally.

A scream split the air again causing Lisana and Dat to jump back. Both glanced around looking for something to use as a weapon. Each found a small vase before looking back at one another and giggling. Not that it would do much to help them, but it was better than nothing. They had little other protection and knew it. Lisana's power was not fully hers yet.

Arle and Jhyett bumped into each other as they suddenly stopped at the sound nearby. Limbs tangled and both tumbled to the floor.

"Mrooooow! Get off me!" the feline snarled, claws suddenly out which only made her grip on the slick marble flooring worse.

"You get your tail out of my face!" Arlecchino snapped in return. Batting it away in irritation, she tried to get free of the other aoide.

Both struggled to their feet, pushing at each other as well as glaring and growling under their breaths. But then they noted the faint glow towards the front door. What was that?

An eery violet and pale blue luminescence lit up the area just in front of the door to the outer hallway. It moved from side to side as if something were pacing back and forth. They glanced at one another moving closer to get a look at whatever was there.

Lisana and Dat, each holding their vases, noted the faint glow. Slipping around the side of the fountain, and the plants there, both cautiously approached to get a better look. The open area just beyond was glowing brightly by the time they could see. Everything sparkled with the faint violet and bluish hue cast about. The goddess laughed in delight. It was her favorite colors afterall.

Her gaze glanced over at the movement on the other side. Jhyett and Arlecchino were creeping forwards also. Poking Dat, she pointed towards the other two aoidei. Thankfully they were safe enough.

Nodding, Dat moved closer to the plants in front of her. Curiosity was getting the better of her now and she wanted to see what was happening.

Lisana sighed, shaking her head suddenly. This was her room. She was not hiding. Walking out into the open, she moved directly towards the moving glow.

All three aoidei blinked in surprise. Dat moved forwards as if to stop Lisana.

"My Lady! Stop! You shouldn't!" she called but the goddess continued walking.

Moving around the plants to the door, Lisana stepped up to the glowing mass. Was Meroe playing a prank again? A ghostly head turned to stare at her. Features outlined by the light she cast off, it simply stared at the goddess. Briefly Lisana wondered how Meroe had distorted himself in such a way this time.

"Meroe, is that you?" she asked, putting the vase down. Her hands went to her hips as she stared.

A scream split the air again causing Dat, Arle, and Jhyett to nearly jump out of their skins. The vase dropped from Dat's fingers crashing to the floor. Pieces scattered, sliding into various nooks and crannies to hide. Lisana turned to stare.

"Um.. ooops... sorry, my Lady." Dat replied, gazing contritely at the goddess.

Shaking her head, she turned back to the creature before her. "Meroe, stop this wailing. We are trying to sleep. What is wrong with you?"

The banshee continued to stare at Lisana. Eyes blinked in surprise as she asked in her wailing high-pitched voice. "Merooooooooe? Who is?"

Lisana frowned slightly as she moved even closer. Her expression shifted into some confusion. But as she watched, she began to understand that this was not Meroe playing a prank on them. It was something else. The thought of what this creature might be slipped down over her. There was nothing in her own memories, but those that Eftemie had spoke of a tale of a creature known as a banshee that wailed in such a way. The glowing and fluctuating of the blue and violet was incredibly beautiful to watch.

Jhyett moved forwards slowly, silently prowling forwards as she tried not to draw attention to herself. Her tail twitched back and forth rapidly as the way with all predatory felines stalking their victims. The feline stumbled slightly as something covered her foot.

"Mrooooow! Something's got me!" she yelled, and then hissed as she tried to untangle her claws from whatever it was.

Arlecchino blinked, moving back as the feline sprawled on the floor before pulling whatever it was off and tossing it to the floor in front of Lisana.

The goddess broke into laughter as she picked up the bag. "It's only a bag, Jhyett. I think.." Hesitating, she stared at the colors in it as well as the key that was attached to it. She knew this item. The bag Eftemie had gotten at her birthday carnival, but the key she had found hanging as a windchime somewhere. The colorings and markings were much the same as the head drifting in front of her.

Comparing the two, Lisana stared at the banshee a moment. She had the exact marking of the key on her. Well, within her.

"I see." she whispered. "You came from this. Interesting. I was unsure what it was. Who are you?"

"Don't you mean what is she?"
Arlecchino piped in.

"No. I know what she is. I think. Efte had memories of creatures called banshees that were similar to her. She came from the bag I believe. Perhaps locked in there for reasons we may never know." Lisana still watched the banshee closely. Was she intelligent enough to understand?

For a long moment the banshee simply gazed at Lisana. "Calypsoooooo..." she finally replied as if it had taken her a long moment to even remember who she was.

"Calypso." Lisana repeated happily, a bit of delight slipping through her. The banshee was strange but no stranger than any of the those around her. And certainly not stranger than Yeti. "You are welcome here, Calypso. But would you please stop with the wails. We do need to sleep at night even if you do not."

Calypso tilted her head, her wild hair making her look even more weird than she was. She nodded rather than reply causing Lisana to giggle.

"Shouldn't she have a job to do like the rest of us?" Arlecchino asked, hoping to lessen her duties.

Lisana's lips twitched upwards. "I suppose she should. I know. She can be our nightlight."

Dat stared at Calypso, eyes gazing over the oddness of the banshee. "A nightlight." she said and began to giggle. "Suits her."

Jhyett stared for a moment, then began to snicker. "A nightlight and a watchdog... Think how surprised everyone would be."

Giggling, Lisana moved towards her bedroom. "Goodnight all. Goodnight, Calypso." She wondered what Meroe would think of her. Perhaps he'd be tossing the banshee's head too. Maybe she would introduce them. Maybe. Either way it would be fun to see what happened.

As the rest went back to their beds, Calypso drifted through the area, learning it as she moved. Thoughts slowly came to her about what she was seeing and those who were here. None were afraid of her. Then it occurred to her that she did not know if they should be. It was a very strange place she had woken to and she did not entirely understand it or why she was there.

Did it matter?

Perhaps not. They wanted her and it was a warm feeling for one such as she.
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Vermillion Gekko

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:: Riddles & Puns ::

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Joint with Xanil


Taj moved down the hallway, Saljin walking beside him. He had no clue what Laughter's door would look like, but he suspected it would be something fun. Something that would make them laugh. Or not. But she would.

The shifter glanced at all the doors as they began walking around the second floor. "Shall we knock on them all, Taj?" He sighed, wondering how much that would annoy others. They did not want that to happen.

Mystery shrugged, a bit of amusement in his expression. That was one way of dealing with it. He noted Water's door, hesitating a moment. The way it looked reflected the god within. He was certain that Laughter's door would be much the same so he continued walking down the hallway.

Lisana's Door

When he saw it, Taj grinned widely. He snapped his fingers to get Saljin's attention, The shifter was looking at doors further back. A smile slipped over Saljin's face when he saw and then he began to laugh.

"We should have known. Bubbles." Shaking his head, he studied the doorknob for a moment. 0"Creepy little doorknocker though. I wonder why it's only half there."

Taj raised an eyebrow folding his arms. He'd already noted some movement in the knocker as a faint glow appeared around it. The eye moved upwards to stare at them both.

"Because doors need both a way in and a way out."

Saljin blinked glancing over at Taj and then around behind them. "Who....?"

Taj snorted then indicated the door. The doorknob itself had spoken.

Eddard came up the stairs to the apartment level of the Pantheon. Looking down the hall it was easy to find Tajnevaki and Saljin as they both stood together before a door. Waving, he walked up to both, each having a perplexed upon their faces. He took note but said nothing in regards to their expression.

Noticing the odd door and its half knocker, Eddard found the ends of his mouth curling a little. Though he had not seen a door such as this before, it seemed to be akin to something torn right out of the Dreaming or the Kingdom of Concordia, Court of the Seelie fey. Eddard was suddenly rushed with a swarm of memories from his late teens and early twenties. Memories of the Pooka, Trevisan, his mentor, Barlo, and even High King David filled his head, almost drawing him into his past. Eddard's goal oriented nature kicked in quickly, honed by years of knightly service. Now was not the time to reminisce for they had a goal to attain, one of possible importance if luck was on their side.

"I take it this is Lisana's door. Have you knocked already?" he asked.


Taj glanced over at Eid, a huge grin on his face as Saljin simply stared at it. The shifter wondered if he had heard right.

"We were attempting to, but..."
Saljin began.

"Knocking will NOT get you inside."
the creature smirked again, the knob twitching on his nose. Or rather it was his nose. "Only a riddle will. I am Mr. Harry Whodunit and I take the riddles. If worthy enough, you will find the door open. If not, then you will have to try harder. Three of you. Three riddles."

Taj glanced at Eddard and Saljin. He shrugged indicating that they try.

Eddard thought back to his earlier days. The Kithain, especially Pooka, had always been fond of games, especially riddles. So too had the Fey. He had heard, even solved many in his time, but today none came to mind .

What is easily given, yet you must keep. If you do not, my fury you will reap, Eid sent Eddard inwardly. It has been one of my oldest proverbs and my pact with all who would enter into an oath. Perhaps it will suffice in this situation.

We will see, Eddard responded, a bit dismayed by Eid's darker side.

"What is easily given, yet you must keep. If you do not, my fury you will reap," he offered the door as his riddle.

"Hmmm.... I suppose it will do, Lord Oath." Harry replied cantankerously. His eye rolled around to stare at Saljin and his knocker nose tapped slightly as if he were tapping his foot impatiently.

"I guess it's my turn." He thought back to the riddles he knew and asked, "For some I go fast, for others I am slow. To most, I am an obsession." Saljin stated then added, "If you can't answer that one..."

Harry immediately interrupted moodily. "I never said I was answering the riddles. Only asking for them. Hmpft... It works." Dismissing the shifter, he turned to stare at Taj who was simply grinning widely.

His lips twitched upwards as he wrote<Me? > Holding it up, Taj waited, extremely amused.

Harry's nose began tapping again. "Get that thing out of my face. I can't read. State it clearly. What fool trick is this?"

Taj blinked in surprise turning to stare at his companions a moment. Turning back to Harry, he drew a finger to his throat indicating he had no voice.

"Well, that's your problem, isn't it? I'm still needing a riddle."
Harry smirked as he waited. "I've not got all day here."

Taj's eyes narrowed in a bit of annoyance as he continued to stare at the creature. Then he simply pointed at himself. Afterall, he was the Cardinal Conundrum and a riddle to himself as well as others.

A wicked laugh slipped into the air. "You may enter, Lord Mystery." Then the doorknob grunted as if pushing something heavy and the door opened.

"So.. where is your other half?"
Saljin asked as he watched Harry a moment more.

A growl slipped outwards. "Why does everyone always ask me that? I might be all there was when I was created..." Harry continued to mumble and growl about being asked such questions constantly.

Saljin shook his head, quickly stepping inside. Taj grinned even wider as he walked past as the shifter mumbled. "Remind me never to ask questions like that again."

Eddard followed the two in, nodding a silent thanks to Harry. Harry would just have to learn that most mortals, ever influenced by the mundane and logic, would likely always ask such a question no matter how magical they were. That things were not as straight forward for them as they were for constructs and other enchanted inanimate objects. Eddard learned that from the Gifted Loriss, a living chimerical staff that brought other inanimate objects to life, giving them the ability to communicate freely at least while in the radius of the staff's power.

Looking around the room, Eddard tried to identify Laughter. He had yet to meet her and knew little of the host and god both. If the resident was anything like the exterior of the door, he was indeed in for a treat.

User ImageThe white marble of the floor and walls glittered as the silver, turquoisey blue, and violet gleamed in places. The cascade of white curtains instead of doors made it all look clean and light. Airy like the gentle laughter that resided within. A visiting area to the right just inside the door was comfortably arranged with blue and violet striped chairs, a light oak and violet table, with various plants scattered around at various angles. The soft sound of a waterfall echoed from one corner as bubbles of rose from the center of a fountain. But for all the various areas that seemed to be within, it was obvious that this was really one large room that had been partitioned off with the long white draperies.

Jhyett glanced upwards as the door opened, jumping to her feet as she pulled uncomfortably at the dress Lisana now insisted she wear. "Mrow! We have visitors! Lady Lisana!" she said, moving towards the largest area of fabric. Movement was heard behind it as were the sound of low voices.

A moment later Lisana walked from between the curtains, a smile on her face as the bubbles cascaded around her. "Jhyett, bring us some tea please. Lord Mystery, it is good to see you again. And who is this you've brought to see me? Please have a seat." She indicated the visitors area where Jhyett had been sitting.

"Yes, my Lady."
the feline aoidei replied moving towards the small area to the right of them. It contained a small makeshift kitchen that was suitable for light meals and tea.

User Image Lisana listened carefully after a slight giggle at the kiss to her hand. A faint frown suddenly appeared on her face. "You speak of metal weaponry, but that is not exactly what they used. I mean... wait a moment. I'll get Hasheem for you."

Getting to her feet, Lisana glanced out into the hallway. The man was standing outside talking to Fashad. She smiled, calling out to him thankful that she did not have to track him down, "Hasheem, would you come in here please?" Without waiting for a reply, she returned to them with the man a few steps behind.

Bowing to all, he asked, "My Lady?"

"May they see your weapon?"
she asked, then introduced. "This is Hasheem. He's the captain of my personal guards."

He glanced at them in surprise but then pulled his weapon free of its sheath. The glass blade glowed shimmered in the light, but glowed faintly for other reasons. "Our blades are glass and enchanted. This particular one was hammered out while the spells were laced upon it to give it strength to prevent breaking."

User ImageTaj frowned for a moment. Enchantments? So there were magic users amongst them. That could solve some of the problem of conjuring. Making a mental note to ask, he wrote, <Process? >

The Captain frowned a moment. It took him some time to remember what he had seen as his own sword was made. "A smelter of some sort to liquify the sand. An iron rod to pick up a bundle of the glass while still red hot. An anvil to shape it on, but also a blast oven to keep it hot as the enchantments are laced into it. At least that is how the best blades were made. Cheaper versions had the glass poured into molds, and then the enchantment was laced over it. They were not nearly as strong as this one is."

Saljin nodded. "It sounds similar to the way metal blades are made except for the blast oven. So who else knows this and would be of use to us?"

Eddard nodded, interested. Sand would be infinitely easier to gather, but to what end was glass better than steel? Assuming that at the very least the laced enchantment made the glass as durable as steel, the only true advantage over steel would be that it could likely be made sharper and that its edge would likely never dull. It was probably lighter to boot, but it was common knowledge that the heavier the weapon, the more readily its momentum carried through multiple opponents. Additionally, the moral implications were there. Eddard's knightly training taught him that a sword needed to be heavy so that one was constantly reminded of the weight their actions held, particularly the taking of another person's life, and that additionally the maintenance of one's sword would also be a similar reminder. An extremely light sword that seldom, if ever, dulled would not have that attached meaning, though he knew this perspective was not shared across most cultures and wouldn't dream of verbally making that suggestion for fear of offending the people of Baadris.

Another thing popped into his mind. How many enchantments could one place on said blade? If the magic incantations or spells were only limited to one enchantment per blade, then hypothetically they could make both glass and steel blades. Glass ones would be made in the normal fashion and could be wielded more readily by the untrained, the weak, or merely by preference as is likely the case with the people of Baadris. The steel on the other hand, if its sharpness could be some how made more keen, then heavier arms like great axe, claymore, and lance would be all the more devastating, especially against people who wear full armor whether it be made of steel or some other material. All he could assume is that eventually other people would be showing up as more mortals rally to the pantheon and that they needed to be prepared for them as well.

"I'm sure we will be able to make both glass and steel arms in the same facility, that does not concern me. Your method of enchantment has particularly peaked my interest. As Saljin inquired, is there any among you who can help in this enchantment process? I have many questions to ask them."

User ImageLisana thought back carefully over those within her care. "Uncle Joe might be able to help with building. He is my host's uncle and owned his own construction business before everything changed. He might have knowledge you need."

Hasheem frowned thoughtfully as he thought of those he knew. "Those within Lady Lisana's care that could help would be Fashad, the guards I command but only need three or four of them since I would like to have the others to patrol still, Adbul and Yafir. They could all easily help with the forging and keeping the smelter going. But for enchanting... my father perhaps. I'm not certain what strength his spells would have now. He has not used them for many years because his power was waning, but he might still be able to help with the spells if another can cast them."

User ImageTaj held out his tablet with a list of names written there. <Anji, Hagenti, Li`ena, Mi'schala, Aly`strya, Puck, and Tempest.>

Saljin read over the list. "They would be able to enchant I think. Tempest? Are you sure, Taj?"

Mystery simply grinned in reply. It was not something that Tempest understood yet, but he had more magic than he knew and would be able to conjure also. He just had to understand yet.

Hasheem continued, "If we can find others who know the enchantments necessary, then it is possible we could use them to strengthen the blades and keep them sharper. Lady Cosine has some people from Baadris with her also. A priestess who could possibly know what we need. Metal was scarce for us and most expensive. The glass blades served as well though after a time they would be replaced with the old ones being remelted and reshaped."

Eddard nodded at Lisana's suggestion of her host's uncle, Joe, "Perhaps he can be our foreman. If you could talk to him for us, all we really need is a shelter with out walls which shouldn't be difficult for a man of his skill level if I'm understanding you correctly."

He then turned to hear what the others had to say. "Hasheem, could you have Fashad, Abdul, and Yafir gather up able bodied volunteers? We probably need to start salvaging and gathering materials, for the shelter at the very least, especially if this Joe agrees to help us. I will help with that too and hope we can start that process in the morning, tomorrow. Also, if you could follow up with your father and discern his capabilities, that would help move the process along. In the meantime, we probably need to pay a visit to Lady Cosine and also check on this list of names Tajnevaki has provided of possible enchanters."

He addressed Saljin and Tajnevaki, "Does that sound alright with you two? I assume the list of enchanters are of people who aren't currently in the care of Lisana. Just a guess though, I could be wrong." He turned to look about the area, noting the people and trying to keep a mental count of possible working assets.

Lisana nodded, turning to Jhyett as she placed the tray of tea on the table. "Would you ask Joe to come see me when he gets a chance?"

"Of course, my Lady. the feline purred and pounced out the door. Jerry muttered behind her. She'd not even waited for him to open the door at all. Such actions were going to make him obsolete and he planned to talk to her when she returned.

The Captain nodded as Lisana poured a cup for each one there. "Of course, my Lord. I will send them out to look for volunteers for the forge and a second group for the gathering. Have you thought about where to put the things once we have them? And as for my father," His voice got soft trying to think of the best way to get his father to agree. "I will speak to him when we are finished here."

Saljin glanced over at Taj. He had never met Cosine. It could take some time to find her.

Mystery listened quietly as he drank the tea offered to him. <The list is of mine. First they. Then Numbers.>

The shifter nodded explaining further. "Anji and Hagenti are oni that we protected during the demon attacks. They serve Taj now. Tempest is human and we will have to find a way to pull his magic out since Taj says he has it. As for the other four on the list, they are fairies. Puck served Oberon, but he and others have been trapped here. There are some elves with him that may possibly have some skill in that area. We can make a list of the types of magic each has and see what they can do on trying to enchant the blades we make whether glass or metal."

Hasheem nodded, adding, "We could prepare and then regroup, but Lady Cosine is known to us. She is now moving her people to the Pantheon. At least attempting to find a place here for them." Hasheem frowned as he calculated what needed done.

Saljin glanced at Taj. "Then she will be looking for you to find the rooms the mortals were given."

Mystery nodded, glancing over at Eddard. <Lord Creation allowed a plain door for their protection. Nearby to my own.>

Eddard nodded. It seemed everything was coming together nicely, so long as they remained organized and were also able to meet up with Cosine. He turned to Hasheem to answer the first inquiry, "Ideally, I would like it to be outside of the Pantheon, but relatively close. Your people can't stay cooped up in here forever and will eventually need to move out of necessity. Though the smithy might not be the most publicly used of places, it is still going to be equipped to make the weapons of your culture, maintaining what I believe to be one of your traditions. That being said, it is a step towards independent living. Once the smithy is made, who knows what the next building will be, but most assuredly it should establish a trend, whether among your people or any other surving peoples that might rally to the Pantheon. Therefore, I would like it to be close enough to defend, but a comfortable distance away in an area free from the ruins of the preexisting city. They are a skeleton of what was and in this time, it is important to focus on what will be. Naturally, once we determine where the smithy will be built we will want to gather the materials in that location as to avoid having to move them around twice."

Eddard then turned to Saljin, responding to his suggestion. "It is a good idea, but may not need to be done right away since it is likely that their numerous methods of enchantment vary from that of the Baadrites," he quirked a brow towards Hasheem, hoping the adjective used for his people wasn't offensive. "Since we are planning on going out of our way a small bit to craft weapons of glass in their fashion, let us focus more on trying to preserve the full method and finding someone that Hasheem's father can pass his knowledge to. In the event that that fails and we can't find anyone else from Baadris here or among Cosine's lot or we find ourselves with more refugees of other cultures then we will most definitely need to pull all of our resources."

Turning back to Hasheem he continued, "It looks like things could get very full here at the Pantheon, all the more reason for us to get this project underway. The faster we can complete the smithy, the faster we can begin to focus on other aspects, gradually forming a township." He wasn't sure if the people from Baadris wanted to move out of the Pantheon, but Eddard felt that leaving them in here for a prolonged period of time would breed negativity such as depression for the people wouldn't have anything to work for making their lives stagnant as they sat and waited. Surely this project to whatever degree it is executed would boost morale and allow them to make a home for themselves that they could eventually move into as opposed to being protected guests and stuck withing the confines of the Pantheon.

Eddard regarded Lisana for a moment, curious to see how she would react to the somewhat lofty proposals. Surely she wanted what was best for her wards, but all the same, she was the protector of them and had the final say.

User ImageJhyett bounced down the hallway to find Joe. She tugged at the collar of the dress she was wearing. It was uncomfortable, but she pushed aside her feelings when she saw him talking to Fashad.

"Joe, Lisana wants to see you." she interrupted with a smile.

He glanced over at her nodding. "Fashad, I'll talk to you later. What does she want?" he asked turning his attention to the feline girl.

"Someone needs something built."
she giggled, walking back with him. "I don't know but it sounded important."

"I see. I could build something I suppose."
His reply was laced with amusement, his blue eyes sparkling. Letting her enter first, Joe followed her over to those with Lisana. Two were gods. He was quite certain. They bore the signs of such, one with wings even.

"Lisana, you asked for me?"
he said, bowing to the grouping.

"Joe, this is Tajnevaki, god of Mystery, Eddard host to Eid or Oath, and Saljin. They need some help from you."

"If I can be of service. What is it that you need?"
he replied immediately.

User ImageTaj studied the man a moment. His black hair was grayed around the temples, but the blue eyes were vibrant still. He could see that Lisana liked him and that he cared for her from their expressions. He nodded to Eddard to explain since they would be building it together.

"Lady, I'm going to go speak to Fashad and get them started searching for some of the things we need. Then I will go speak to my father about the enchanting."

"Go. I'll see about getting more from Cosine. I'm sure she has those who will want to help with this. Perhaps even those who can enchant what we need."
the goddess replied. She would have to go see Cosine in the next day or so.

Excusing himself, Hasheem moved quickly down the hallway towards Fashad. He would have to find Abdul and Yafir afterwards. They were nowhere to be seen, but he knew they had other duties.

Eddard nodded to Joe and shook his hand, always glad to meet a man familiar with the fruits of manual labor. "As Lisana said, I am Eddard. It is good to meet you, Joe. We have the mind to arm the Baadrites so that they might be able to protect themselves from the grigori, any minions they might throw our way, and any other possible foes that might threaten their well being. In order to do this, we need a suitable structure." Eddard continued, his enthusiasm for the project growing, especially in the presence of an able builder, as he and Joe bounced possible parameters off of each other that would make the shelter most suitable for its function.

When they were done discussing the structure's details, the conversation turned toward location. "We'll be gathering materials over the next couple of days so we ought to find a suitable location to build so that we can marshal them close to the site. Unless Lisana and Cosine would like to keep them particularly close I would like the smithy to be a fair distance from the Pantheon. That way its close enough to defend yet not so close to be dragged into any sort of confrontation the Pantheon might have to endure. I also imagine that constructing one building might start a trend and that other buildings might spring up around it so the area needs to be suitable should it take off into a broodling township. How much time do you think you'll need to write up plans or are you able orchestrate this with out them? The structure isn't terribly complex after all. I will help you in any way that you see fit, I am at your disposal."

User ImageJoe pursed his lips for a moment. "It should not take more than a couple days to get the floor plan laid out. That will give them time to get the ground leveled and building supplies there. A strong roof and stable beams are really all we need. The higher the roof, the better actually since it will let the heat move on and keep as much off those working there as possible."

A moment of hesitation before he continued. "I have some tools if they are still there. I brought my toolbox into Efte's loft when I moved there. Also about 6 large iron bars. They are about 3 or 4 inches in diameter. But it might be enough to get a few other things started or even an anvil made. When the demons attacked, we were a bit unprepared. It was a warehouse once if anything is left of it."

"I think so long as they are within a distance that lets them get to the Pantheon for safety, it would not hurt to go to the forge."
Lisana added. "And I'm sure that they can get the tools if they are still there, Joe. Add the tools and bars to the list with directions so that Abdul and Yafir know where they are going. There may be other things there we can use. The only problem I see is the kiln. A dome shaped kiln will work the best but I'm not sure we will be able to find something that will work for it."

User ImageTaj nodded writing on his pad. < Conjuring and enchantments call me though Life creates the strongest to battle. > He grinned widely bowing to the grouping. Tempest needed his attention as did the oni. He hoped that Eid understood that the best and most protective weapons would need to be blessed by those such as Harmodius, Gaia, and Byrne, each with a power of life.

Saljin raised an eyebrow. "I will look for you once you have found a spot for the forge and see that those things we find make it there."

Eddard stroked his chin, liking how things were coming together. "I'm certain that your tools have survived any damage wreaked by the demon onslaught. I imagine your tool box was large and substantial, capable of taking a beating. If in the event that it is not salvageable I have some iron in my apartment and can forge some replacements, at least for the simple tools if you need me too, at my private forge. Most assuredly, I can definitely make us some nails and spikes if we are unable to find any."

"As far as the kiln is concerned," he said, addressing Lisana, "If a solution for it does not present itself from salvaging the wreckage, then we will just have to build one. I'm not too familiar with glass blowing or other methods of crafting glass items, but I've seen other do it in both dome shaped kilns and also in large iron boxes similar to a furnace. If we cannot recreate the implements used in the exact process of creating these weapons naturally we will recreate the process to the implements that we will have. Such is the nature of our dilemma."

At Salnjin's statement, he turned to the group, "Unless there is other things that we need to plan on, shall we adjourn and instigate our current plans and then reconvene when we are ready for the next phase of our goals?" He wasn't sure if the meeting was quite done but they already had much on their plate and he wanted to get to work as soon as possible. Still, it would be best to make sure they had addressed everything, especially any of Lisana's concerns for the Baadrites.

"I will have Hasheem look for them then. It will save us some time making a new set. I'll get some men started on leveling the spot as soon as I find one not too far away. I was thinking that perhaps the walls of a building might serve as protection on one side, just in case they need to run for cover for some reason." Joe nodded, making a mental list until he could find pen and pad. He bowed moving towards the door to look for the Captain. They needed to talk.

Lisana thought for a long moment. "Perhaps if most are not out more than a certain number of hours. A regular schedule, it will limit the chance that something will happen. At least until we know what is going to happen. We don't want to put all our eggs into one basket." she giggled lightly. "And I'm sure you will figure something out for the kiln and forge. I certainly have no knowledge of such. The most I can do is throw a celebration when it is finished." She definitely had no head for such things. All she remembered was Joe and her father working together while she watched. Not her father. Eftemie's father.

Taj nodded. They were started which was what he had wanted to get done. He wrote quickly, < I go to look for magic now. > He bowed to Lisana and Eddard knowing that this was perhaps best left in other more capable hands. He would, of course, watch and learn, but there were other things for him to do.

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