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Royesland [Full]

Dice System
Custom

TrashRabbit

probably from space


  • A magical slice of life game set in a pastoral ocean side village focused on crafting and creating.

    Dice Mechanics by TrashRabbit:
    Royseland
    Progress Clocks

 
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TrashRabbit

probably from space
Riley Donovan​

The sea was rough but the sky was clear and the wind whistled up and down the fjord and rustled the tops of the deep forest and played along the surf. The brightly colored fishing boats bobbed and popped along the rolling waves of the sound and the great shrine to the goddess of pearls carved into the nearby island and the mountains of the peninsula and islands beyond loomed above the port of pearls, where it lay tucked gently at the mouth of the Golden Serpent river. It was a small hamlet with a hand full of stone buildings, a market full of fish mostly, a tea shoppe, a conclave of talented atilliators, and the single tavern called the silver prawn. Farmsteads dot the windswept plains on the northern slope of the fjord and a large forest crouches in the leeward slope of the southern side of the fjord.

It was a blustery early spring day and Riley was staring out to sea, and she felt half a cliché but resonated deeply with the pale gray sea. Her pale gold hair was braided and wore a warm knitted gray shawl and worn boots. What folks usually remember though was the scar passing across her thin lips and up the side of her cheek and across her chin. It pinched when she smiled or frowned and was the thin ropey white of that particular kind of old childhood scar tissue.

She had walked out of the forest and returned to her fathers cottage recently and had found it empty like the inside of her own head. It had been dusty, and in ill repair, and it seemed she had not been staying there long. The townsfolk remembered her, the wood cutter's daughter, the one with the mother who liked to spend too much time in the forest. She could remember her parents, and some of the townsfolk and Port of pearl but not much else. When the wind got through her shawl and bit into her bones she headed down from the fjord top and into town, let her feet bring her into the tavern.

She ordered a cup of hot cider and let the inkkeepers son talk her ear off.

“It's good to have you back,” The innkeepers son told her, “Not much changed since you've been gone- except you know the new sheriff and the Atilliators moving in. Oh the new tea shoppe, the proprietor is a trip, opened up about two years back. He's got this fop living with him now.”

“Like a rich person?”

“Mm, yeah,” He says, “think they kicked him our or something. His name is Apples something or others.”

“I don't think his name is apples, if he's a noble.”

“I didn't pay clear enough attention, I'll be honest. Fancies himself some sort of wizard scholar gentleman type- Oh! The wizard! You should know! He up and left, you remember him right, you got on with him.”

“I got on with-” She struggled to remember the wizard and his students name, “His apprentice.”

“Right. Right; Old Wizard Arune had an accident- never could get Tomas to say whether he was dead or not. But yeah, not that matters he left! We thought for sure we were going to have a nice summer wedding for him and that cute red head. Shame. Real shame. When he ran off the wizard just went a little on the rampage bout it. He was one of those bards who could receipt all the old epics- Good news there's another bard visiting, she's better I think. Plays that guitar like breathing.”

Riley sipped her cider and nodded. She supposed she was living her now and that she should know these things. But the sat in her mind like groceries in a new apartment without furniture.

“well now you can tell everyone the weird woodcutters girl is back.”

“Oh, honey, that's my friend your talking about- your not nearly as weird as Lockette. I think I've seen her twice at market ever, can't miss her tallest person there. Doris says shes blind, but you couldn't tell it watching her stomp around. Doesn't talk to anyone. You, Riles, always have something clever to say when you decide to speak. You,” He said pointing one meaty finger at her appreciatively, “have charm.”

Riley did her best to laugh. She still couldn't remember his name though as she spoke with him she recognized him in the important ways.

“She sounds like my type.”

The innkeepers son nearly did a spit take, “You leave for the big castles for five years and you come back wildlin. Didn't you send me a letter saying you was married and all that.”

Riley blinked and then panicked, “Things- change,” She said awkwardly. Internally she juggled a barrage of mixed feelings and surprise and came up with zero more words.

“Oh, Riles I'm sorry. Listen. You come by for dinner any time,” He was seated next to her at the bar and he reach one big arm to give her a side squeeze.

“Thank you,” She said sheepishly, which he took for other emotions.

She stood to leave, not sure she could keep up appearances if the conversation continued.

“and Riles,” He said as she went for the door, “Be careful sheriff said some nudist is running about the south lands down near the finigan's place.”

“What?”

the inkeeper's boy shrugged, “I only know what folk tell me.”

She shook her head and left quickly and walked swiftly into the market. It was bustling even with the cold wind. The wooden stalls were full of fish and turnips and leather workings, and in port of pearl tradition strings of paper pearls were hung over head between stalls. This was the last place she wanted to be. She elbowed her way through the crowd in front of the most popular fish mongers stall and sat at the edge of the fountain, in its center was a statue of the goddess of pearls, resplendent and burbling water out of her mouth.




Nasiya Quill​

She shook her head and left quickly and walked swiftly into the market. It was bustling even with the cold wind. The wooden stalls were full of fish and turnips and leather workings, and in port of pearl tradition strings of paper pearls were hung over head between stalls. This was the last place she wanted to be. She elbowed her way through the crowd infront of the most popular fish mongers stall and sat at the edge of the fountain, in its center was a statue of the goddess of pearls, resplendence and burbling water out of her mouth.

Stepping inside Quill's Tea Shoppe felt sometimes more like an apothecary- which the town didn't have, or a book shoppe, which the town also did not have. It had taken up business inside the old barrel makers shop with the large front windows, now crammed with plants and displaying his tea set collection. There were low tables in the Qin fashion, herbs hanging from the ceiling, books lining the back wall and a apothecary cabinet set behind the counter. It was the only establishment in Port of Pearl with a lever operated locking register that cha-chucked and dinged when it was opened and for some that was enough reason to visit. Above the shop were a set of apartments with two bedrooms and a shared space with fireplace, a chaise lounge, more books, a great wardrobe and changing screen decorated with water flowers. Quills own room was locked.

He was an oddity from afar that most of town had not managed to puzzle out yet. They had blustered into town one day on horse back and a donkey pulling a cart, dressed as one might expect a southern mercenary- and promptly bought the empty barrel makers shop. He had been the focus of the towns gossip at first, he must be rich or on the run they had said, and that might still be true. But they were pleasant and smiled, and never seemed too committed to any opinions and kept their nose out of local doings. Until they became a landmark.

Of course Port of Pearl had an eccentric albanistic tea master with a hoard of books. Of course. No stranger than any other strange thing in Royseland, as the saying went.

Quill was a dignified androgynous sort with their hair pulled back into a sensible pony tail, brushed their eyelashes with gold and lined their pink and blue eyes with kohl. They had a sharp face with a strong beveled nose and callused hands- calluses the atilliators recognized from fetching. Today they were wearing a cream and lavender hanfu style dress that only seemed flashy out of its context and was lounging with a book.

He had recently agreed to house a young gentleman, and he had yet to come to regret it.

“Pol, darling,” He called in Qin, “I need a favor from you.”

He did not look up from his book.



Tuesday
Tuesday, king of magpies, was not currently a magpie and this was a problem. This had been a problem for nearly a week and bugs did not taste nearly as good when he was a featherless biped. He had taken to roaming the farmsteads outside of town, pinching carrots out of gardens and swiping chickens eggs- which also did not taste as good raw as they should. And he thought he was doing alright for a featherless biped, until an evil man pulled him out of the Finnegan's hay barn by the scruff of the neck.

“I wont be having this sort of trouble,” Said the sheriff.

“I don't see how sleeping! Is trouble!” He cried, his words were punctuated by yelps. The sheriff dragged him to his feet and out of the barn.

“Now put this on,” Donovan demanded and stuffed an amount of clothing into arms. He was naked as a jaybird ( which to be fair, he was a jay bird.) and he had no idea how to put pants on. The Sheriff watched him struggle, and finally deciding he wasn't drunk or completely mad said, “You put one foot through the hole at a time”

Tuesday managed the feat and discovered he hated pants. The worst torture he had ever endured since being turned into a man.

“Terrible,” He said at the same time The sheriff said, “That's a lick better.”

Tuesday looked at him in despair as he continued, “And since you didn't bother to ask the finegins nicely if you could be sleeping in their barn or eating their garden things, I'm gon ask ya to cafry on your way.”

“Carry on my way?”

“Yes.”

the spent a moment looking at one another and failing to find understanding.

“You can't stay here.”

“Oh.”

“You seem the type that might need a wizard-”

“I would rather not thankyou.”

“Suite yourself, not like we have on in town no more anyhow. So you'll have to go somewhere else to help you with-” The sheriff gestured at all of him. While he didn't fathom that Teusday was not supposed to be a manshapped human person, he did know woods strangeness when he saw it- he wasn't sheriff of Port of Pearls for nothing after all. He thought the curse or affliction was cognitive in nature and was willing to be patient.

“Oh.”

They stood in silence for a long while until the sheriff made a small shooing motion. Tuesday hopped back, being well versed in the shooing motions of humans. He skipped backwards a couple more steps and then fled.

And he had no idea where he was going. Which as a type of fairy prince (which he was) suited him fine. He felt very clever for finding out that there was a wizard, if in the past tense. He could certainly do with a wizard. It wasn't as if he had lacked the ability to turn into a man before the witch had cursed him, it was just that the shape of a man and becoming a mortal man were far and wide two very separate things. For one, when he took the shape of a man he always had a very lovely patch work coat and mask he could take on and off as he liked. And when he was shaped like a man he could still feel the fullness of his feathers and the sharpness of his claws and the goodlyness of his wings, even if he was keeping them some where else wise for little while. His man shape wasn't unhandsome, as he was a most handsome bird. He was of average height and his hair and eyes were dark and his nose was sharp- most folks might mistake him for hawk like (wich he was not because he was a magpie.) At least the witch had cursed him into the familiar man shape and not a different man shape.

He stuck his hands in his pockets petulantly, learning that 1. pants pockets existed and 2. they were the only thing pants were good for. And he walked like that feeling sorry for himself for some time, as he struggled to have more than one emotion at a time as most fairies, (which he was one of) usually do.

When a magpie wanted things it simply took them. And so he thought to himself what do humans do when they want things.

He stopped abruptly and smack his fist into his hand, having the eureka moment that had eluded him these past few days.

“People. Go to markets.” He said with a surety that would surely alarm anyone who had over heard him.

So he made his way to the market.
 
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CelticSol

kawaii in the streets, senpai in the sheets
Lockette Kenway

All her mint, all her lavender, most of her parsley. The bits she had ground up for teas, what she had hanging to dry out, what she had growing on the window sill, so their scents could waft through the house when there was a breeze. Gone. Every bit of it gone or mangled beyond use. What she could even possibly use is contaminated enough that even she wouldn't feed it to any paying person looking for a tea or a remedy.

She scowls at the feathery little culprit in her hands. Or perhaps she scowls at the air above it.

"Houdini."

The hen says nothing, because she is the Devil.

"Houdini. What the fuck, man?"

She trills, pleased to have fed her desire to ruin Lockette's day.

Lockette sighs, tucking the naughty, fattened, gluttonous chicken under her arm. Until she can replant them, or forage for more, Lockette knows a trip in town is due to acquire the herbs for the orders she has pending, and grabs her coat and a dagger she straps under her arm on the way out to the chicken coop. She drops Houdini into the coop, who flaps her wings and waddles away, no doubt in pursuit of more crimes to commit. She steps over the wire fence to checks their water, the chickens gathering and pecking at her feet as if Lockette had never once, in her life, fed them, when she has religiously fed them every morning and evening of their fat little lives.

She checks the cows next, then the sheep, feeling along the fence of her property for any breaks until she reaches the far end of the pasture for the water trough, finding everything acceptably filled, although she makes sure to top it up before she returns to the barn and lets the cows loose for grazing before she crosses the bridge into town.

She can tell she hit the marketplace by the volume, then the small downshift of speaking; spirited conversations become whispers that Lockette knows are about her. The town loves it's gossip, and Lockette is an enigma she's knows they've been trying to crack since she arrived here years ago. Too tall, too strong, too frightening, too ugly. The whispers itch across Lockette's skin, and she forces herself to count down from ten as she feels the surface of the door to Quill's apothecary to keep herself from snapping.

Lockette and Quill have an unspoken understanding between each other. They'll spot each other in a pinch for herbs - with payment, of course - so Lockette's trips here are often blessedly short. There is, unfortunately, someone already there. She doesn't recognize their voice - a traveller? A newcomer? - but it's enough to put Lockette on edge and on guard. The build of a mercenary and the staggering height of the woman is enough to make anyone nervous, but Lockette's short blonde hair did very little to disguise her gruesome facial scars, and often shocked and horrified those unused to Lockette's appearance. A scar carves the left side of her head from collar bone to her temple, and a scar through her lip has dragged the right corner of her mouth down into a permanent scowl. Aged burn scars pattern across and around Lockette's eyes, and though touches of very skilled magical healing soften the tightness of the skin and kept the injury from melting the structure of Lockette's face, they portray a particular violence from days of war most were eager to forget.

"Excuse me," Lockette murmurs, passing by the stranger, then speaks to Quill, her voice rough and accented by the rumbling tones of a language spoken in the far North, "Quill. Houdini ate my fucking herbs again."
 

TrashRabbit

probably from space
Quill​

Quill shut their book and looked up as the door chime jingled. The leaves at the bottom of his tea cup, which still sat on the table, had promised that today would be full of potential, and they were not exactly sure what that meant or if they liked it. The unexpected sight of Lockette sent a little bite of emotion from him. He had seen many terrible wounds in his life and despite knowing that strong emotions would turn him to so much sentient mist he could not quell the initiate bite of empathy every time he saw her.

"Lockette," They said in that calm even way they seemed to have about everything , "Who the fuck is Houdini?"
 

wickedlittlecritta

let's go fill moomin valley with crime!
Bathtub
It had been eight months and six days since Tom had left Port of Pearls, and Cathal was definitely counting. He would have counted down to the hour if he could, but he didn't know it, because he hadn't been there when Tom had left. And he had tried to follow, but Tom was faster, and he had eventually given up after a pack of coydogs tried to see how cat tasted, and he had come back to Port of Pearls.

Being a cat wasn't the worst fate, but it was hard to enjoy anything, knowing Tom was out there looking for him. But it also felt very silly to brood about it when he had snuck into the Silver Prawn and was very cozy by the fire, and also a very large ginger cat. Especially a very large cat that had wound up named Bathtub.

He was trying to brood regardless when the innkeeper's son and a stranger started having a conversation about him, and he couldn't even defend himself. He had not run off, as evidenced by the fact that he was right here, and he was a perfectly good bard, and it wasn't his fault Herbert didn't like pipes.

But the stranger used to know Tom. If he came back, perhaps he would go to visit her, and if Cathal was there, he would recognize him, surely?

So when Riley left, Cathal followed, though he did make sure to knock a glass down off a table just to spite Herbert on his way out. And then he trotted after Riley through the wind and the market, tail up and feeling very clever and pleased with himself. And when she stopped and sat at the fountain, looking rather pensive, he jumped up beside her and forced his way into her lap, purring aggressively.
 
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TrashRabbit

probably from space
Riley Donovan​

Riley was reminding herself to breath and trying not to think that some one where maybe some one was missing her. It made her chest tighten with a lot of emotions with no context and just as she began to cry the largest long haired cat she'd ever seen in her life pushed its way into her laugh. She let out a baffled and near breaking laugh as she buried her fingers into his fluffy bulk.

"Oh," She said, "A gentleman?"

She accepted the affections of the over large cat with grace and after a few moments felt less thin and hollow about her lot. She sniffed and whipped her face on her sleeve. Cats were so good she thought to herself, she thought maybe she had had one once? Maybe?

"Oh Bathtub," She said softly, "You fat baby, what do you know about being upset, nothing, cause your a cat, do you know your a cat?" She babble at him in her most embarrassing cat voice. "Just a big lad, a soft feisty gentleman, with so many beans. Yes. You got the beans. A big lad with beans."
 

CelticSol

kawaii in the streets, senpai in the sheets
Lockette Kenway

Something always seems to shift in the air when Quill first lays eyes on Lockette. She has heard that he was a knight once, so the slight, sharp inhale she hears may be empathetic rather than pitying. She steps forward, gripping the counter to ground herself in the room, making small clicks her mouth to get a feel for the layout of the shop; Quill could be... eccentric, and if they had shifted the furniture, Lockette would undoubtedly slam her shin into something and break it.

Leaning forward, elbows on the counter, Lockette sighs deeply, “Houdini is my fucking chicken. She got out of the coop and ate all my herbs because she’s probably half goose. She lives to make me suffer. If you’ve got some to spare, I would appreciate any lavender, mint, and parsely. Got orders that need to be done before I’d be able to forage it myself.”
 

wickedlittlecritta

let's go fill moomin valley with crime!
Bathtub​

Cathal made a face when Riley told him he didn't know anything about being upset, and asked if he knew he was a cat, but she didn't see it. I do know, and it is a problem, he would have told her if he could, but of course he could not. So he said, "mrow," instead and submitted his paws for bean inspection.
 

theunearthlyfool

where the wild gingers are
Molly Sill

“Day three. Deep breaths: you can do this. Everything is going to be fine.”

Molly fidgeted in a corner of the marketplace, psyching herself up for the day’s performance. It wasn’t playing itself that made her nervous- it was what happened when she played. But she’d busked in the Port of Pearls twice already and nothing bad had happened. As a matter of fact, in the past two days she’d been given a very warm welcome, good tips, and a lovely bouquet of flowers. Though she didn’t dare get her hopes up too much, she couldn’t help but think, maybe this place would finally work out...

Her fingers twitched over the guitar strings, itching to tune it again. “No, no.. you’ve already tuned it twice. Enough. Stop stalling,” she murmured to herself. “Play.”

With another deep breath, she let the anxiety in her fingers instead become the strumming of an instrumental piece that was pretty as well as a good warm-up. Just take it slow, she thought firmly.

Once she had a good feel for the tune, Molly allowed herself to glance up and look around the market. It was such a beautiful village. She’d been all over Royseland and even a little further beyond, playing for her supper- but the Port might have been the nicest place she’d ever stayed. Despite the chill breeze, she let the warm happy feeling it gave her fill her heart.

Watching a big orange cat jump into the lap of someone sitting at the fountain, Molly smiled and let her warmup segue into a different song. She began to sing, quietly at first but grew louder as she grew more comfortable. This is what she was best at, after all.

https://youtu.be/bUKfDZS4rpc
 

TrashRabbit

probably from space
Nasiya Quill

They watch her navigate the room and makes a point to move to the counter and be where she expects him to be, and they does so with a sort of gliding grace, coming to rest on the other side of the counter, sleeves akimbo.​

"I have terrible news," they say, "I didn't know what parsley was to I came to Port of Pearl, so I don't use it."

They pull out the step stool and use it to reach a high apothecary draw and draw out a jar of dried lavender, and then the jar of dried mint from a lower easier to reach cupboard.

"The rest I have dried," they asked going through the motions of finding a scoop, a bag wax lined parchment and making sure the scales were calibrated. They began filing and weighing the packets knowing that Lockette as usual was going to take what she could get. "And are you very certain houdini is a chicken-goose? I've never heard of that, I know Royseland has its strange creatures but that one I have not yet met."
 

Nimbus

Cloud-based Magitek Compendium
Apollonius Etienne Telesphore Hermes Enguerrand Rossaluna spent most of his waking hours today braiding herbs into green-gold wreathes and ruminating upon his circumstances. His terrible fortune of shipwreck left him without coin or coffer in the most rustic and backwards of hamlets he'd ever chanced to pass by. One could easily commission a crossbow, fill the local tavern with the sonorous tinkling of concertina, string a necklace with riverpearls the size of a grown man's fist, or sup upon an entire golden sturgeon. Yet in this odd assemblage of crafts, cocklemongers and commerce, there were no banking houses or moneylenders, no law scribes to notarize noble writs, no charter ships that would ferry any person - of note or otherwise - past the shrine he heard the locals held absurd superstitious beliefs over.

Not even a proper doctor, to his chagrin. Those first few rough weeks he slept on a barstool at the Silver Prawn had to have been the cause of the irritating needling feeling in his lower back whenever he sat for more than a turn of the hourglass. He could read all the books on anatomy he liked, it wouldn't change the fact that he couldn't find the harmonious, pain-free posture he held before the waves stranded him in Port of Pearls.

Apollo was, at least, certain he enjoyed the town apothecary's company more than any doctoring type from the Universities in and around Royes. They carried themselves with the grace and levity befitting a courtier of Qin, which tugged at the heartstrings of Apollo's nostalgia. But more importantly, Quill has cracking great wit and no qualms to use it on anyone, in any language they know. This made for a great deal of entertainment one day while Apollo wandered through the market stalls, tracking prices and feeling impoverished.

Since then, the two displaced nobles had been thick as thieves. To this day, Apollo wasn't quite sure if Quill adopted him, hired him as an assistant, or simply folded him into the herbaceous coterie of their existence. He felt the least homesick in this shop of teas and garden medicines. Apollo could, thanks to sleeping under Quill's roof, ruminate sober, which felt more productive and less debt-inducing than long nights tottering in and around the Silver Prawn. Pol owed his newest (alright, presently only) friend a great debt for that alone. And he would repay them tenfold, as soon as he figured out how he could amass such largesse in Port of Pearls.

When Quill's silvery request echoed up to where Apollo nested, the latter did not sigh or groan, but slipped wreaths complete around either arm and bustled down to the storefront proper.

"And your request would be, my moon-?"

Perhaps his reply might have been too sweet, but something about the way Quill said darling in their native tongue sent a shivery thrill from head to toe. And besides, moonlight and starlight was such stuff sailors navigated by at night. And wasn't Quill helping to guide Pol through the strange sea that was Port of Pearls?

To speak of strange...the woman who entered the shop today he hadn't seen before. Pol made it a point to be excellent with faces when inebriated and even better with names when sober. And he would, he realized with a start, remember a face like hers. Healing magic wasn't his forte, but even he could tell layers of skin-knitting had restored the semblance of her features. What was done to need the magic...Pol suddenly grew angry at whomever or whatever dared touch that stranger's face, dared rope the skin that should shine, roughen the cheeks that should be smooth, mar the creases about the oceanic eyes, rob the smile of its natural freedom. He couldn't fathom why he felt this way.

So, of course, his body decides the appropriate reaction is to stand stock still in the middle of the shop until the stranger woman shoulders him. Her voice is a distant storm. Pol blinks once at the storm voiced woman in awe and perhaps a little fear before he sidesteps and politely excuses himself, settling into the nearest pile of cushions.

Apparently, Quill knows the storm woman -Lockette, they called her - well enough to engage in light banter. At least the herb thief was a chicken...goose? Pol couldn't remember if such a bird roamed the earth. To be sure, he never dined on chicken-goose, but giving voice to that thought might be rude.

"I could probably fetch parsley - or something like it," Pol offered from where he reclined, "if you're not terribly picky on components."
 
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TrashRabbit

probably from space
Riley Donovan​

"Beans. Little Bean man," She cooed as she inspected his toes. She meowed back as his plaintive mrow and then smooched his paws. the song floating through the market caught her attention and she found the eyes of the waifish auburn haired bard on her. She breathed in sharply and looked away, wow, looking at girls and being seen by girls was AWFUL. She looked at her shoes and listened to the song and let it roll through her. She'd been upset, about a life she couldn't remember, to afraid to ask anyone about it and here she had a cat and a good song, and honestly it made her feel better. She watched a small crowd formed to listen and the market folk clapped. The guitarist began another song and raised her clear high voice to a song about dancing and folks took her up on it, a pair in the crowd began to spin each other around- it was infectious. She watched one by one as folk stuck their heads out from stalls, and windows and shop doors.
Riley laughed, 'Oh Mister Bathtub, would you care to dance?" She asked as she swept the cat up into her arms and took him to dance across the market which had become a sea of dancers. A veritable dancing plague- and even after Molly realized her nightmare was coming true her fingers kept themselves set to the task, like the compulsion to play was as strong as that of the dancer. And as the market folk were joined by the town folk in doors and the dancers spun each other and bobbed pleasantly to the tune, they dropped the contents of their pockets-gold Royseland coins, pocket knives, handkerchiefs and combs into her bowl as they passed. Or left whatever they happened to be carrying- baskets of soft mushrooms and asparagus, a few stray beets and bunches of fennel. It all piled up around Molly as she continued to play, the spell was cast and she was trapped to finish it out.


Tuesday​

The king of magpies was not in the market long enough to cause troubles of his own before tasting the sugar sweet note of a spell. A big one. A great big wonderful one. It wrapped itself up inside of him and carried him in, and the market was a place he could almost say resembled home. one the only good reasons to wear a manshape was to dance, to attend a ball- a masked ball if he had any say in it. He let himself fall into the rhythm of it, but as a fairy thing (which he was) he still had the power to cease when he chose. And when he grew tiered of dancing with the beautiful boys, he dances with the beautiful girls and when he grew tiered of that he came and sat just near Molly's feet to listen. He helped himself to some of the shinier objects and attempted to taste tested one of the beets like an apple and made a face.

Quill​

"That's very thoughtful of you Pol, dear," they said, "I was just about to ask you to run out to the market as it was."
And that, was just about when he heard the music.
 
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theunearthlyfool

where the wild gingers are
Molly Sill


Molly wouldn't describe the kind of music she played as 'danceable'. But when some of the market-goers paused their tasks to dance along to her music, she just laughed and kept playing. It was sweet, and she appreciated that people enjoyed her songs enough to stop and dance.

The problem was, of course, that Molly loved performing so much that many times she enchanted herself along with her audience, and didn't notice how much of an impact she was making until it was too late. She played several songs that morning, her voice carrying high and clear over the stalls, until her joy had spread faster than a bad cold.

What first brought her back to earth was how thirsty she was getting. Usually she would stop every few songs for a breath and a drink from her canteen. Molly wasn't sure how long she'd been playing, since she hadn't needed to take a break yet. Now that she was starting to get a bit tired, though, it seemed like it had been some time…
 

wickedlittlecritta

let's go fill moomin valley with crime!
Bathtub​

Though he was peeved at Herbert, Cathal couldn't and wouldn't argue that Molly was very, very good at what she did. And when Riley scooped him up to waltz him around the square he wished he could have laughed from the joy of it all, of the bright guitar chords and the light feeling of being whirled through the air, and for a song or two it was nothing but fun.

And then the music kept going, and so did the dancing, and even as he could feel himself being swept along with it, he could feel the magic in the melodies, quivering up his whiskers like a storm front.

Oh no, he thought, but there was absolutely nothing he could do, except to continue to be danced through the crowd.
 
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CelticSol

kawaii in the streets, senpai in the sheets
Lockette Kenway

Lockette groans, hanging her head to hear the devastating news, "That's what I thought you'd say, you fucking knight." Lockette sighs, resigned to the fact she's going to have to forage her own and possible have to deal with the fae. "Thanks anyway. I didn't think there was such thing a chicken-goose either, but Houdini is a chicken with all the evil of a goose. I have to concede to fact."

Another voice enters the fray, and Lockette tilts her head pensively, considering the cadence of the new person. Definitely educated and definitely rich, by the crispness in which they speak, but maybe not educated enough in herbalism. She clicks, hearing the reverb back to where they sit, and drawls, "The components are worth being picky about; there's a plant that grows here that is almost identical to parsley, but it'll kill you. I don't need somebody that doesn't know what hell they're looking for to give me plants I have no use for." She pauses, then adds, "No offence."

As she takes the mint and lavender from Quill, music wafts in through the shop from outside. Lockette shifts her head to better hear the tune, so sweet and clear, and she feels her fingers tapping along the counter surface to the song. She halts for a second, fingers stilling but twitching on the counter. It was a bizarre effect. She willed herself to remain still, but could feel something eat at the edges of her will. She felt the urge to sway along, her mind fogging with a particular joy that she knew, for a fact, did not belong to herself.

"Hmph. Fuck," She raises her hand, flexing it and relaxing it a few times, "This is fucking weird. Haven't encountered a magic bard in a while."

She does her best to remain stock still, but her legs will her to the door, opening it and leaving it open for Quill and the rich boy she is sure will follow. She leans back against the wall of the store, listening to the tune of the song and forcing herself to remain there, although she can't help the way her fingers tap the rhythm of the song against her own arm.
 

Nimbus

Cloud-based Magitek Compendium
Apollo


"Naturally, I am full of thoughts," Pol replied, concluding with a wisp of a sigh that implied today he did not feel full with much else.

He was certainly not full of knowledge on local plantlife, as Lockette pointed out. Despite a little I-beg-your-pardon noise, he tried his very best not to look shocked at the revelation of a deadly parsley impostor. He made a mental note to absolutely never buy so much as a stem of parsley from a merchant if they did not first agree to sample the product in front of him.

A strumming, carried on the coastal breeze, soothed whatever little prickles found their way around the young noble's uneasy mind. Apollo felt his own heartstrings vibrate with the chords so like hopscotch over the tiles in the dining room after breakfast.

Pol crept towards the windows, but he couldn't remember exactly why his feet were moving him in that direction. It was only a moment later that he felt tangled up in the magic's presence. Like summer afternoons rolling in the grass. Like leaning over the bowsprit and letting the sea spray wash over you, cool, crisp and wet.

Even though he ought to be at least envious of the outside presence, he didn't mind one bit. No, the village could use a change. And Quill could certainly use a break from the hard work that is small-scale entrepreneurship.

Wouldn't it be grand to spend the day out in the sun, floating free as dandelion fluff?

"Today, the market does feel...lively."

Pol stretched and dipped and swayed his way over to the door, slipping a beribboned market basket over the arm less encumbered by herb-wreaths.

He looked to Quill and smiled. They looked at him and grabbed his wrist, leading him out of the shop, wreaths and all.

"Why thank you kindly, Lockette!"

Pol shined a beatific smile in the storm-woman's direction and bobbed a grandiloquent bow in her direction before leaving the shop.

Everyone in the streets danced, becoming a human river flowing towards the center of town. This wasn't the quadrille he was used to, but that made him all the more enticed to join.

And join he did, drunk on the strumming and, the soft, warbling voice of the alluring bard. Apollo clasped hands with Quill and brought his hips to theirs. Connected just so, they danced in a wheeling waltz, turning and moving in harmony without stopping. They wove and twirled, passing around couples, small groups and the occasional unconventional soloist until the pattern of the cobblestone changed to something less familiar to Apollo's feet.

Those slippered feet only stopped to twirl Quill out and bring them back in. The silks they wore fluttered elegantly with the turn, then smoothed themselves back into place over Quill's light form. Oh to be that fabric, defying gravity for a brief moment!

When Apollo drew Quill back in, he slid his hand to the small of his dance partner's back. Mostly, to steady himself, since the shroud of magic began to make him feel that giddy dizziness like after one too many cordials. Or maybe it wasn't the magic, but the light pressure from Quill's arm wrapping around the small of his back.

A pleasant heat crept into Pol's cheeks. He leaned to whisper a tiny confession to Quill.

"I knew you would be a splendid partner, my moon-and-stars."
 

TrashRabbit

probably from space
Nasiya Quill​

Wonderful music, it was just the sort of thing they avoided. And as Apollo takes their hand to dance they find the conversation they had just been in the midst of waning until its gone, until they're not sure why they are so certain they must refuse. Because they want to. Because Apollo has a smile like his name sake and lead them through the steps like he is moving through water, even though Quill has only seen this kind of partnered dancing once he laughs once as he steps on Apollo's toes, who doesn't seem to mind at all. He has not laughed, her feels, in such a long time. Because he is so very careful to avoid fun.

It does not strike him as odd the whole market it is out in force, a surge of good will and laughter. He smiles at Riley as he watches her sway by with the large orange tabby that lives in the pub. He spies even Lockette tapping her fingers to the rhythm where she lurks near the wall of his shoppe. He should join her. Soon. Quick. Now.

But the song's magic was in him and it bubbled up inside a lightness that he desperately wanted to keep, Pol spun them about like they where silk their dress was made from, made them feel the way letting an arrow fly looked.

"I knew you would be a splendid partner, my moon-and-stars."

And they thought perhaps, they would not come to regret letting Pol stay with him, not in the least. And they laughed, Quill laughed and it was like a clear fine bell- and then Promptly exploded into a shroud of fine cool mist, their silk dress floating in the air for a moment in their wake then fluttering to the ground.


Tuesday​

The song came to the end and only Tuesday clapped, sitting adoringly near her feet, a half eaten apple in his mouth. The rest of the townsfolk looked around in confusion and some more sheepishly than others. Some came to collect the goods they had set down besides her in offering, but not many. But none seemed to comment on the spell itself, not having enough magical prowess to sense such things, as if that was some factor of the spell even.
"That was lovely," Tuesday said, "Play another, Little Lark, Encore."
 
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theunearthlyfool

where the wild gingers are
Molly Sill


I’ll stop after this song, Molly thought over and over, with increasing desperation. And yet she kept playing, kept singing: songs she’d played a hundred times, songs she’d half-written and thrown away, songs she’d only heard once over a decade ago. The strings of her guitar thrummed with power under her fingers. It was happening again, and just like always, there was nothing she could do to stop herself.

Once she’d woken up, as it were, her terror spiralled like the dancers spinning around her. This was Molly’s power, more than just making music: making music everyone will listen to, whether they want to or not. For as long as she could remember, she’d been enchanting people- no, bewitching them- into liking her, liking her songs, and feeling ways they never would have if she hadn’t forced them to. And if this manipulation wasn’t enough, they always gave her gifts she didn’t deserve. She eyed the goods piling up around her with a growing unease.

The Port of Pearls was such a beautiful village. This was where she was going to make it, to figure things out. Now, overwhelmed with shame and embarrassment, she couldn’t imagine trying to face any of these people again.

When it felt as though the tears welling up were going to spill over, something caught the corner of her eye. Molly was surprised to see a handsome, shirtless man sitting at her feet, looking up at her in some kind of way as he picked through some of the baskets stacked around them. Just like that, the song ended and she could finally breathe.

Faintly she registered him clapping, but continued to just stare at him in a daze until the crowd began to disperse. After a beat she followed her first instinct, which was to gently set her guitar on the ground before laying down next to it. Molly stared up at the sky, and though she still didn’t think she could handle the rest of this day (or the next, or the one after that), she felt some of her fear leave her along with the magic.

Maybe, just maybe, things would turn out after all.
 

Nimbus

Cloud-based Magitek Compendium
Apollo​

Quill laughed and all Apollo could hear was that beautiful resonant sound. Everything got brighter for a moment, like the sunlight converged on the square. Pol was about to join in the laughter when all of a sudden his roommate and dance partner turned into mist. Pol recalled a story where a mermaid turned into seafoam because she couldn't make the human she saved fall in love with her.

This was not supposed to be at all like that story from his mother's mother's childhood. Solid humans did not turn to mist while dancing and merrily carrying on. And if they knew they were going to mist out, Quill certainly would not laugh before it happened, right?

Maybe, Pol considered as he scanned the crowd, Quill used some sort of teleporting magic to relocate himself. Pol did sometimes sense a vague magical quality about Quil's shop he couldn't identify. Maybe that came fro. Quill themselves. Perhaps they noticed a friend or helpful item and...and wanted to bring it over to Pol. Or, they were so very touched by that tiny confession, they had to return to the shop. To...to make a confession of their own? Ah! Pol could swoon at the mere thought of such a gesture extended, not even a whole season since circumstances led them to meet.

Something cool and slippery and decidedly more solid than mist brushed Pol's ankle. Quill's dress.

Oh no! Whatever spell they cast, they must have hurried and botched it! They could be stark naked in the middle of the Fairy Forest - or worse, a crowd of near-strangers!

Pol bundled up the dress, stuffed it in the market basket and jogged about the market, shouting, "Quill! Quill! Where ever did you go?"
 

TrashRabbit

probably from space
Tuesday​

Tuesday watched her lay and that seemed as reasonable to him as any other thing, because he was not a creature who regulated his whims and had yet to come to expect the trait in others. "If only I still had a court for you play in. Wouldn't that be lovely. Just the thing. Would you care for an apple, Larklet?" He asked. He leaned over and offered her a large red onion. "You've earned it. Nothing wrong with a little bit of a magic song, as a treat."
 

theunearthlyfool

where the wild gingers are
Molly Sill

Molly looked from the onion being offered her to the person holding it and back a few times, unable to tell if he was serious. Ultimately, she decided, it didn't matter, because what she didn't want to do right now was linger on the past few hours. This was a more than welcome distraction.

Still laying down, she accepted the onion with a tired smile. "You're very kind, friend." Tossing the onion in the air and catching it a few times, she sighed. "I've been offered a court before. It wouldn't work out though, I can promise you that."

She studied him briefly before blushing and looking away again. There was something… familiar about him. Not as if she'd met him before, but more like she recognized something in him. His accent, perhaps.

Needing something to busy herself with, Molly blew a raspberry and sat up, searching for her canteen. This of course reminded her of the still sizeable collection of goods they were surrounded by. She dropped the onion into her lap and hid her face in her hands, guilt flooding back. "Oh, now what am I going to do with all this?"
 

Nimbus

Cloud-based Magitek Compendium
Apollo​

The future Count of Bonne-Soleil did not have very much luck finding Quill. He looked all around the market square, asking anyone if they had seen Quill today. Those who knew of the tea shoppe proprietor didn't recall seeing them today. A few braver souls asked if Apollo was very certain Quill wasn't back at his shop, since that was usually where they spent the afternoons.

"Really quite sure. I just came from there," he blustered, a little more annoyed each time.

Exasperated, Pol decided that if he couldn't find his friend, he could at least make sure his tea shop was as solid and safe as it had been when they left it.

When he crossed the Fountain for the seventh time in his investigation, however, Pol noticed a small pile of assorted goods - produce, mostly. Two youngish people, a lean, dark-haired lad bare of shirt and a redheaded, redder-coated woman whose flower-bedecked dress gently flared around her like a blanket. Near the woman, a guitar lay on its back as if sunbathing, too.

He hadn't asked them about Quill, so he may as well give it one last go before heading home. A vague tingling sensation and an echo of his earlier dizzy glee resurfaced as he started towards the loungers. There wasn't anything particular about the guitar. Yet, the closer he got, the stronger the echo felt.

One of them must be a bard. Hopefully, a bard who paid attention to the crowd they drew.

"You there!"

Pol lengthened the last few strides he took. He probably didn't get there much faster, but it might seem like it, from their angle.

He tried to whisk away the panic from his voice by getting it all out in one breath.

"You don't look like locals, but perhaps you can help me anyway. I seem to have lost track of my Quill. Oh, not a feather quill, mind you, but my, ah, friend, named Quill. I can draw them for you, if that helps?"
 

theunearthlyfool

where the wild gingers are
Just hearing “you there!” set off Molly’s instinct to flee. She searched the crowd in alarm, certain the sheriff was coming to arrest her for the musical spell. The regally-dressed man who was making a beeline over looked too fancy to be a sheriff anywhere, much less in this tiny port. Nevertheless she grabbed her guitar, scooting obviously and gracelessly behind the shirtless man and stacks of goods. She was small enough if it weren’t for the bright coloring of her clothes, it may actually have almost hidden her.

Her heart went out, however, hearing the stranger’s plea and seeing the desperation on his face. “No, I’m not from around here,” she agreed, and looked at the other man with an expression that asked if he wasn’t a local, either.

“I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost your friend, though!” Molly stood up, leaning her guitar against a basket of pears. Dusting off her skirt, she tried to remember if anyone she’d seen in the market today had stood out to her. “A drawing might be very helpful! I’ve been here for most of the day, although I wasn’t quite… all there for some of it.” She wrung her hands anxiously.
 

TrashRabbit

probably from space
Tuesday​

"Oh we can think of something," He told Molly in regards to all the goods. He was familiar with receiving tithes and presents but with out a court and no place to store it all the question momentarily stumped him. squinted at the fine featured young man. Having watched him turn his dancing partner into mist had been unexpected but not out of the question, so he tipped his head bird like with curiosity as he made request. He glanced at Molly, who had called him a friend (thrilling honestly) and answered Apollo honestly.
"First of all, I've lived her my whole life," He said as a statement of scandalized fact. "Secondly do you mean the friend you turned into mist. While you were dancing?"

Riley
She felt utterly ridiculous for dancing with a cat when the music stopped and shuffled around not making eye contact with anyone. She paused. Everyone had been dancing. That wasn't regular and she was suddenly deeply offended. Some one was already confronting the player, though she seemed to be trying to hide behind her companion.
"Good," She said to Bathtub, "She deserves to be scolded. Its a bit rude to dance people about. not that you aren't wonderful at dancing."
She took a deep breath and smooched the top of bathtubs head then plopped the cat to the pavers by opening her arms and letting him fall. She sure that he would glad to be free after the indignity of being danced around.
 
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wickedlittlecritta

let's go fill moomin valley with crime!
Bathtub​

Cathal craned his head over Riley's shoulder to watch Molly shuffle around a stranger as Quill's new friend approached, feeling both a little sorry for her (she was very sweet, after all), and wondering if maybe she could break his curse, when suddenly he realized he was falling.

Riley had dropped him.

He was too startled to do anything about that, even though he knew he could have landed gracefully if he'd been prepared. He wasn't, and so he landed with all the grace of a sack of potatoes on the pavers. He glared up at Riley.

"You dropped me!" he said indignantly, only because he was a cat it came out as an offended meow instead.
 

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