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    Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:13 am

    Tourmaline stood. "I'd love to, yes! I'm particularly interested in your books. What knowledge they must have!" She was surprised to hear that most of the people here were sealed or atoned, but Tourmaline supposed that it shouldn't be too weird; after all, it's nearly impossible to get across any border as an Atoned Walpurgi, much less a still-using one.

    As they walked, Tourmaline began her story. "I actually come from a long line of Cartic Mages. As soon as it was discovered that I was... You know, not going to be able to do that... I was sent off. Fortunately for me, my uncle was a Cantic Mage as well. In the process of making a deal with an Incantus, actually. He was more a father to me than my real father ever was." Tourmaline tried to keep the bitterness out of her voice, but wasn't quite sure she succeeded.

    "At any rate, he trained me. I was an elementalist, quite good at what I did, I feel. I was also put through school, with notes excusing me from the Cartic classes. I made a few friends, you know, but most thought I was kinda weird for not taking those classes. I, in my youth, didn't think to tone down my enthusiasm for magic. That lead to questions, obviously."

    "Nothing ever came of that, thankfully. Although perhaps, that may have been because of what happened a few years ago. But I get ahead of myself. I took an interest to the maths and sciences, so I started REALLY studying them, and Greg-- my uncle, sorry-- noticed. He had plans to put me through a finishing school, really get my name out there, you know?"

    Tourmaline felt a few tears welling up, and tried to choke them back. "The... The loan my uncle was getting suddenly fell through. The money was already gone, though, and so we had to make a choice. We could live on the streets, or..." Tourmaline had to stop for a moment.

    "Sorry. Or, we had to give up our magic. There was a fraudulent witch hunter; he would find Cantic Mages in desperate need of money, turn them in, and split the reward with them. My uncle and I decided to give up our magic."

    Remembering the horrible night, Tourmaline shivered. "The Incantus he was dealing with heard about it. He... He tore our house apart. He tore my uncle apart. He almost got me, but I escaped. Still, I needed money. I went through with the deal."

    Wiping her eyes discreetly, she continued, "And so I started travelling. I came here because of the advanced tech and such, and started learning Cartic Magic. I don't usually regret leaving Saoirse. I didn't have really any friends, except one person, and she's better off without me anyway..."




    Violet decided to cut the crap. "Look, monsieur. I've got a powerful tracking spell in use right now, and I can see that Tourmaline went straight through that door in the back. If there's something shady going on back there, just bring her out here, I don't care, I'll wait. Tell her Violet's here, she'll come out. S'il vous plait."


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:13 am

    Frau Hoffstadher listened quietly, her expression intent and serious. When Tourmaline finally stopped, the woman offered her a handkerchief.

    "You're leaking, dear," she said plainly.

    The two of them passed people bustling back and forth. Some carrying bread, others books, and others clothes. Frau Hoffstadher didn't say anything else right away but when she did, she sighed.

    "Quite often, it's cases like yours that I sympathize with," she said. "Most Walpurgis here find themselves in a situation wherein they can no longer hide or have the means to. Ironic how so many of them felt so alone and yet so many of them share the same problem. I'm sorry to hear about your uncle, but just know you're safe here. If ever you find yourself cornered, you can always retreat here and if you need something, we can definitely provide it for you."

    The old woman then gazed at Tourmaline a little more gravely.

    "However, we require you keep this place utmost secret," she said. "And that you proceed with caution whenever you come here. You never know who's following you--even the smallest flower might be a listener."

    The woman looked away from her and then straight ahead. She pointed to one of the larger, grayish houses.

    "That over there is where we keep, for lack of better term, our 'offices'," she said. "We keep records of our visitors there. Sometimes, when the Expiate decides to do its usual raids, we provide forged papers to keep their race hidden. We also provide papers for others to travel freely if ever they need to flee the country. That is also where we file things such as those who volunteer for us, similar to what you intend to do, those who stay with us, and those who...well unfortunately are not allowed to return."

    Frau Hoffstadher seemed a little hesitant mentioning this last part and she did not elaborate on it further.

    The old woman then jerked her head to the square where several stalls were set up.

    "That's our bazaar. In order to support ourselves here, we sell and trade with other witches, Cartic or Cantic. Mediums, clothes, weapons, armory. We're not very big, but we get by just fine."

    The two would turn left and the old woman pointed at a smaller white house with a green roof. It branched into an 'L' shape and the part that jutted out horizontally had a dainty windows with white curtains that remained drawn. The words Infirmary were written on a door near it.

    "This is the house of another benefactor," she said. "She's not currently here, but when she is, this is usually where she stays. She turned one part of her house into a place for the injured. It also acts as a midwifery for the unfortunate woman who expect children but cannot go to hospitals. We'll go in and say hello to the nurse before we move onto the Arcaneum. Do you have any questions so far?"

    ***

    The young man with yellow feathers for hair scowled. Tensely, he took a step forward and crossed his arms.

    "Listen, fraulein, I apologize, but we're but a humble store," he said. "If you continue harassing me, I will call upon the authorities. No Tourmaline Cardona here, so beat---"

    The man's eyes widened realizing he made a slip. His face turned red and then he balled up his fists.

    "Wh-who are you anyways!? This is no place for people who aren't customers!"


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:14 am

    Tourmaline nodded, accepting the handkerchief and dabbing at her eyes. "Yes, of course, I'd never dream of telling anyone. And I'll be as cautious as anything. Hopefully they'll just assume I'm a raging alcoholic." She laughed.

    Tourmaline caught the hesitation in her voice when the woman mentioned not allowing some folks back in. She understood. Tourmaline wasn't sure how easy it could be to kick people out of your haven when you so obviously wanted to help people. Tourmaline didn't ask further about it, though.

    When she asked for questions, Tourmaline said, "So do you guys sell anything of particular interest in the bazaar?" She was curious about what kind of goods they made, and received-- especially if they were magical.




    Violet sighed. "Look. I don't want to get in a fight or anything. I'm Violet Fletcher-- that's my real name, yes. I'm a friend of Tourmaline Cardona's. Tourmaline..." Unsure of how much to reveal, Violet said, "Tourmaline has a powerful enemy, and she doesn't know it. The same one that killed her uncle. And he's coming after her, so she needs to be warned."

    Even so, Violet prepared to use magic if she needed to. Her battle magic wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad either. Plus, she had a couple of prepared potions, so she wasn't completely defenseless.


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:14 am

    "Ah, yes, I think they'd be to your liking," Frau Hoffstadher said. "We have a few selections on enchantments and wards. Granted, you may already know some, but there may be a few older tomes. As I've mentioned earlier, we have mediums, and you'll find we've gathered some very nice fabrics potent for enchanting."

    The two were walking up the brick path towards the infirmary now. A woman wearing a cream-colored dress with a white apron stood by a few flowers. Her white hair had been kept in a low ponytail while her eyes were a vibrant red. Seeing the two, she smiled.

    "Ah, guten tag, mistress," she said. "Showing someone new around Himmel?"

    Frau Hoffstadher smiled.

    "Ah, Elaine, just who we wanted to see," she said. "This is Miss Tourmaline Cardona. She's here in hopes of volunteering. Tourmaline, this is Elaine. She's an assistant to the head nurse. By the way, Elaine, is Rosetta around?"

    The white-haired woman shook her head.

    "She's gather some salves in the district up above," she said. "The previous incident destroyed some of our alchemy gardens, so she has to get new ones on the surface. However, I can show Miss Cardona around if she'd like."

    ***

    The man flinched a bit more at Violet's persistence. He didn't know what to make of the situation.

    "Listen, I can't tell you anything unless you have the papers," he said. "This shop is very confidential about it's services and even if it wasn't, I don't have the means to contact whatsherface."

    "Is something the matter?" a soft voice would say from behind.

    The door had opened once again and a violet-haired young woman in blue cloak and dress stood there. Her blue eyes turned to the young man.

    "Hansi, what's the matter?" she said. "Is this customer giving you trouble?"

    Seeing the young woman, the man flushed and gave a prompt salute.

    "F-Fraulein Dormise!" he said. "I--she---she's asking things! She keeps on insisting on that blasted Cardona woman!"

    Liseran would turn to Violet and lower her hood.

    "You're looking for Tourmaline?" she asked.

    "She said something about a stupid enemy, but it could all be lies, you know!"

    Liseran frowned.

    "Hansi, you're such a good lad for trying to keep the place secured," she said in a sweet tone and a small smile.

    "Hansi" flushed and ducked his head. Liseran then turned to Violet and her sweet expression vanished, her blue eyes turning steely and her lips a tight line.

    "I may or may not know something about Fraulein Cardona. However, explain yourself wrong, and I'll turn you inside out," she said in a lower, harsher tone.


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:15 am

    Tourmaline nodded in greeting to the new woman, allowing herself to be introduced. When her guide mentioned to Elaine that Tourmaline was volunteering, she spoke up: "Yes, hello. I'm a Cartic Mage with a lot of experience in healing magic, and I'd love to help in any way I can."

    Upon hearing the offer for Elaine to give her a tour, Tourmaline glanced at the first woman and said, "Oh, uh, I think I was supposed to go to the Arcaneum first? I'd love to have a tour after that, though."



    Violet sighed with relief; finally, someone in charge. It made no difference if she was threatening to make her innards her outards; Violet was confident that, upon being heard out, she would be allowed to see Tourmaline.

    "Enchante, Mademoiselle. I'm Violet Fletcher, from Tourmaline's hometown. Judging by the amount of suspicion being aimed at me, and Tourmaline's nature, you're probably a Haven. No governmental branch would hire her, on account of her being Atoned. Perhaps a drug ring, but that doesn't really scream 'Tourmaline Cardona' to me."

    "Either way, I know you're doing something that's at least somewhat illegal. I can't tell you Tourmaline's history without her permission, but she's in a large amount of danger from a powerful magic user." Violet shrugged. "I can't prove my sincerity beyond that. If you even just tell Tourmaline that Violet Fletcher is here, she'll let you know I'm trustworthy."


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:15 am

    "Ah, right," Elaine said. "Well, I shall continue tending to these ramblebuds then."

    Frau Hoffstadher nodded and steered Tourmaline to the last large place which wedged into the curve of the cave's wall. It was, unlike most buildings, made of brick rather than wood, and was the size of a three-storey house.

    "Alright, this is the Arcaneum," Frau Hoffstadher said. "Here, you'll find all the volumes you'll need. Our head mage also resides here and does her research. There's an enchantment room and an alchemy lab. So, if you ever need to develop your skills, you are free to do so here. Would you like to head inside and see some of the volumes?"

    ****

    Liseran narrowed her eyes and stared hard at Violet. She didn't seem to be lying. She relaxed her shoulders and breathed out.

    "Well, I cannot let a threat like that go ignored, even if it were false," she said. "Hansi, now be a sweetheart and tell me, has Miss Cardona arrived yet?"

    The blonde boy flushed.

    "Yes," he murmured. "Not too long ago. Chartreuse was leading her to Frau Hoffstadher. She should still be there."

    Liseran smiled sweetly. "Thank you, Hansi," she said. She turned to Violet and gestured for her to draw closer. "Come. If we hurry, we won't miss her. And if you're lying, you'll never be able to leave anyway."

    The wall opened up a second time and the flight of stairs waited ahead. She'd wait for Violet to step across the partition and as they headed down, she would ask, "So, how do you know Miss Cardona?"


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:16 am

    "Ah, right," Elaine said. "Well, I shall continue tending to these ramblebuds then."

    Frau Hoffstadher nodded and steered Tourmaline to the last large place which wedged into the curve of the cave's wall. It was, unlike most buildings, made of brick rather than wood, and was the size of a three-storey house.

    "Alright, this is the Arcaneum," Frau Hoffstadher said. "Here, you'll find all the volumes you'll need. Our head mage also resides here and does her research. There's an enchantment room and an alchemy lab. So, if you ever need to develop your skills, you are free to do so here. Would you like to head inside and see some of the volumes?"

    ****

    Liseran narrowed her eyes and stared hard at Violet. She didn't seem to be lying. She relaxed her shoulders and breathed out.

    "Well, I cannot let a threat like that go ignored, even if it were false," she said. "Hansi, now be a sweetheart and tell me, has Miss Cardona arrived yet?"

    The blonde boy flushed.

    "Yes," he murmured. "Not too long ago. Chartreuse was leading her to Frau Hoffstadher. She should still be there."

    Liseran smiled sweetly. "Thank you, Hansi," she said. She turned to Violet and gestured for her to draw closer. "Come. If we hurry, we won't miss her. And if you're lying, you'll never be able to leave anyway."

    The wall opened up a second time and the flight of stairs waited ahead. She'd wait for Violet to step across the partition and as they headed down, she would ask, "So, how do you know Miss Cardona?"


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:16 am

    Tourmaline was very excited to see the Arcaneum. "Oh my goodness, yes, please. I've been wanting to study the more... Well, forbidden magics for a while now. Plus I imagine that, working in tandem with Cantic Mages, you've probably accumulated a lot more knowledge than regular magic libraries, right?" She was also itching to check out the labs, but that could wait. She'd rather see what kind of volumes they had.



    Violet followed this woman, Mademoiselle Dormise, through the entrance, ignoring her threats. "I imagine Tourmaline's accent isn't too strong, but we're both from Saoirse, a small-ish city. We went to the same school. I was curious why she didn't go to Cartic classes, so I started talking to her. We became good friends after that. I found out what she was, and in return, I told her that I had practiced my own version of illegal magic." This was pretty obviously a Haven, so Violet was comfortable at least hinting at Tourmaline's nature.

    Violet sighed. "The night Greg-- her uncle, did I say that?-- died, she fled before we'd even gotten news of it. It came out that... Well, that the person who'd killed Greg was a powerful magician. We thought it was over and done, but then someone had gone around asking questions about Tourmaline's whereabouts. At first, I wasn't worried, because I didn't even know where she was, and I flatter myself to have been closest to her."

    "They caught on to her somehow, though. I spent a few years researching, then training, then hunting. Then I invented my own spell. Are you an alchemist, Mademoiselle?"


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:16 am

    Frau Hoffstadher couldn't help but smile at the girl's enthusiasm.

    "Well, so long as you're not hurting yourself or anyone else, I'm sure you can expand the depths of your abilities," she said. "I'll guide you through and show you around."

    The two would walk up the steps and the doors would open automatically. Inside were tall mahogany walls, carpeted floors and polished doors that led to various rooms. A spiral stairwell would be where Frau Hoffstadher led her next and Tourmaline would be guided to a wide corridor with open rooms. Each one filled with books and desks. A larger door laid at the very end.

    "These here are a few of our study areas," she said. "You're free to use one so long as you have it reserved in advanced. Not that many venture here too much, so you won't have that much of a problem. As for working in tandem with Cantic Mages, that's hard to say. There are few Walpurgis here who have Cantus still. And I'm sad to say we have to keep constant monitoring on those who do have Cantus."

    Frau Hoffstadher's face turned grim.

    "I think you overheard the conversation Elaine and I were having earlier, am I correct?" she said. "That was the work of a Stray. It is, in the terms of the normal people, a Walpurgis who is neither sealed or atoned. Most people are born with seals when they are assumed a possible threat and the others, when discovered atoned. There are, however, some who manage to be lucky to use their Cantus, but without guidance it's rather dangerous.

    "The one that destroyed our alchemy garden was going under hysteria due to corruption. I'm sad to say I didn't exhibit the proper protocol. She came here so beaten and broken I had to take her in. I ignored the fact that her Cantus might have been out of control and it was. Granted, I'm sure she wasn't originally of that state of mind, but the trauma Expiates or other oppressors must have done something to her to make her snap."


    Frau Hoffstadher's usual calm blue eyes turned into worried ones.

    "I am of course all for freeing Walpurgis from oppression, but even I cannot ignore the caution that needs to be taken meanwhile. That is why I am forced for some to leave: for their own good. Sometimes, I'm lucky if I can turn them to La Magie to try and alleviate their corruption. Other times...it is best they flee before they can do harm."

    Frau Hoffstadher stopped walking as they reached the end of the corridor.

    "Have you ever felt it?" she asked hesitantly. "Did you know what it was like to feel your Cantus corrupting?"

    ***

    Liseran quietly nodded as she heard Violet's account.

    "I see," she merely murmured. Upon hearing about alchemy, she frowned a bit. "No...I'm afraid alchemy is not my specialty. It's something my friend does. My skills are focused on something...rather different."

    She lowered her head and mumbled.

    "So you're not a Walpurgis and yet you're helping your friend. It's very rare for that to happen."


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    Re: Trouble Brewing [Violet's Intro Thread - Open]

    Post by Lilac on Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:16 am

    Tourmaline was shocked to hear that, even here, Walpurgis corrupted themselves. Corruption being the fault of the Expiate was one she hadn't heard, though-- she'd only heard of corruption from official sources and her uncle, and he usually didn't talk about the cause, just how to avoid it. "I... I'm so sorry, I didn't know."

    When asked about her own corruption, Tourmaline shrugged. "It's been so long. I don't know if this is a unique experience for myself, but when I was Atoned, it kind of felt like all my Cantus use was a dream. I guess... The corruption of the Anima..."

    She thought about it for a moment. "It's like, it invites you to cast more? And it tells you, in casting more, you'll find like, a deeper experience, a more passionate experience." Shrugging again, she said, "That's what I remember it feeling like, at least. My uncle was smart enough to monitor me almost every time I used magic. Every other time, I had my friend there."



    Violet laughed mirthlessly at Dormise's mumbled comment. "You're not kidding." Rolling up her sleeve, Violet displayed a long, thick scar on her upper arm. "That's from the first time I told someone that we should treat Walpurgis as human beings."

    Violet rolled her sleeve back down. "I was a lot like Tourmaline, when we were younger. She's a good soul, and all. Definitely one of the purest Animas I've ever--" Violet fell silent. "I mean to say, Tourmaline's a very nonviolent sort. I learned how to fight, out of necessity."

    After a moment of silence, Violet said: "How do you people feel about Life Alchemy?"


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