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Royesland [Full]

Dice System


life's too short, so spread the love!
It broke her heart how quickly her mind slid back into survival mode, where "don't trust first impressions" was a leading principle. Molly glanced at the cat at her feet before awkwardly scooting out from under him. But rather than step closer to Tuesday, she took a big step back from them both.

The cat's apparent vendetta against Tuesday and his habit of showing up during dramatic moments was more than a little uncanny. Molly made eye contact with the cat, who held her gaze with more awareness than she felt like it ought to.

"Okay seriously, what's going on here? What's your problem with this dude?" she asked Tuesday, gesturing at the cat. She directed it at him because up until now he was the one who could answer; although at this point it wouldn't have been beyond belief if the cat started talking, too.

Molly reached back into her satchel. This time she found what she wanted right away, but didn't pull it out of the bag just yet. "Why is he following me? You? Us?" Unexpectedly, and much to her displeasure, the threat of tears started to sting her eyes. She blinked several times and cleared her throat before adding, "please."


probably from space
Tuesday was going to murder Cathal for making Molly cry. Oh. He was going to pay. He was going to suffer.
he put his hands out placatingly, "do you know how sometimes when magic is big enough you can't talk about it? Tell me you do? Its in the stories? But that is not a cat. and to speak its name, and what it really is will release it. I do not think it can do much more than what a cat can do- But I do not like him. and he has done me wrong. Extreme wrong, Molly Sills. This was supposed to be a nice picnic-Because you have treated me with so much kindness- I thought it would be nice. Molly please don't cry. I've known you for an entire day and if you cry I will throw that cat into the pond and then myself. Besides. Its technically a cat. and Cats are terrible but we are much too big for him to hurt us. Not that this fact makes me any fonder of cats, its still true."
He didn't approach her, some part of his mind still working with the bird logic that if he spooked her she would simply fly away. He was a man who had only learned to lie yesterday and his words rang with his earnestness, with the same intentions that wizards used to rearrange the world around them. not real magic. But it left a taste of truth in a place so magical and beautiful.


life's too short, so spread the love!
Oh stars, sun, moon, every heavenly body in the sky, Molly swore internally. She thought she'd bit the tears back but he noticed anyway, he wasn't supposed to notice and each time he said "don't cry" it became harder not to. Eyes why are you betraying me what did I ever do to you-

She pressed her lips firmly together. If she tried to say something now her voice would break and she'd look even more foolish than she already did. What she really needed was a drink of water, but she couldn't open her canteen with one hand and she wasn't quite ready to show her hand just yet.

Especially not if what Tuesday said was true- he seemed to mean it, he sounded genuine- and the cat was someone or something to be wary of. She knew what he was talking about, of course: spells and curses so very intricate and powerful the victim being unable to talk about it or openly ask for help was integral to the design of the casting. What a pain in the ass. This is the WORST.

So instead she nodded, watching the cat carefully. The cat that wasn't a cat. Because that's what kind of week it was turning out to be. What is he really, then? she wondered. A faerie? A man? A fucking dragon, maybe, because why not at this point! And what did he do to Tuesday?

He'd said it could only do what cats could do, but still she looked at it expectantly, as if it would come clean and explain itself.


the once and future twink
Cathal glared at Tuesday, because of course he would tell Molly he was under a curse and not free him from it. Probably he just didn't want to be slam dunked into the pond. And what wrong was he supposed to have done? Certainly he'd been a nuisance to the fairy courts, but no one singular great wrong.

Was it clawing him, yesterday? Perhaps it was mean, but he'd only meant it as a joke!

He turned to look up at Molly Sills and mewed pathetically at her. He wanted to tell her that he was her friend, and whatever Tuesday was on about didn't apply to her, and that Tuesday was a good twice as dangerous as he was at his best, but of course he could not.

Everything was awful.


life's too short, so spread the love!
The cat, despite his size, gave such a sad little meow Molly actually laughed, and just like that the lump in her throat dissolved. "You can't laugh and cry at the same time," her godmother used to tease when she was being petulant. Despite little Molly trying very, very hard not to, Godmother always found a way to make her smile, and then the tears would fade.

She'd been gone for ten years now, but she was still right. Molly sighed. "Okay, here's what we're gonna do."

Her left hand still in the bag, she reached up with her right and fumbled with the necklace tucked under her blouse. After a moment, she drew out a teardrop-shaped stone with a perfectly round hole through the middle. I should've done this yesterday, Molly thought, holding the hole in the rock up to her eye so she was looking through it. Gets a little awkward walking around looking at everyone through a rock, though.

She trained it on the cat first. Looking through the rock was always disorienting for a few moments: it revealed another world layered atop the one visible to the naked eye, which was enough to give one serious vertigo at best (worst was usually passing out or throwing up, but this wasn't Molly's first rodeo). To use the rock in this place, too, this glade, was like slam-dunking her face into an oil painting. She resisted the urge to jerk her hand away and instead blinked rapidly until the excess colors faded.

Now here was something new: the cat really wasn't a cat. He was shaped like a cat, sure; he gave a very passable impression of being a cat. But there was definitely something else underneath, something restless that didn't quite want to fit within the bounds of ginger fur and twitching whiskers. Weird as that was, however, she also didn't sense any malice or ill intent from him. Maybe that didn't mean anything- after all, she couldn't put her finger on what exactly made her think that. It was just a feeling.

Now it was Tuesday's turn. Oh, Tuesday. Her heart raced as she turned the sight upon him. What she got was… confusing.

Everything and everyone looked different through the stone, even plain, everyday humans. The saturation of every color was punched into the stratosphere, and light usually bent around normal people in a way that clued you in to their mood and pulsed gently to their heartbeats. The more magical a being was, then, the bigger and shinier and more erratic the aura became.

Humans who did magic had an aura that glowed a little brighter and emanated a little farther than those who didn't, and they tended more toward different shades of one color that fit their personalities instead of a random one inspired by whatever their general emotions were. Molly had been told hers was a warm, rosy light. Non-humans' auras tended to glimmer and sparkle, they loved to be several colors at once, and often flashed or fluttered as was appropriate for the kind of being it was. She'd seen fae almost blinding for the strobe-like rhythm their aura beat to; ones who simmered like icy fire; and some were glittery enough to make a goblin king jealous.

Tuesday… shone. The light wrapped around him in sapphire blue, soft white, and a deep midnight, like the night sky: not unlike a magpie's feathers, actually. It stayed fairly close to his person, the way minor magic user's auras typically did, and his heart beat rather quickly (whether from nerves or because his heart was formerly that of a bird, she didn't know). But it was bright, so bright, almost too bright to look at. Molly's eyes watered until finally she lowered the stone, and the afternoon sunlight in the glade was dim in comparison.

She'd never seen anything like it, and that did exactly nothing to help her come to a decision.

"All right, fine. Step two." Her hand ached to be rid of its burden. "Tuesday, please close your eyes." She didn't anticipate the cat obeying if she told him to close his, too, so she looked back and forth between them as she pulled a handful of salt and iron shavings from a pouch in her satchel and drew a wide circle around herself with it.

When she was sure the circle was closed, she moved to the centre of it, shaking out her left hand and rubbing it on her pants to get rid of the sharp, grainy sensation. "Okay, you can open them now. Could you come over here please? Like, come stand by me." To the cat, she crouched and made the kind of embarrassing kissy noises people did when they tried to summon a cat. "Here, kitty, kitty! Come here, pretty boy."

She didn't know what she would do if one or both of them couldn't cross the circle. But, as a sorcerer she once met liked to say, they'd burn that bridge as they crossed it.


kawaii in the streets, senpai in the sheets
"I'll consider that for Houdini. And, also? Don't mention it," Lockette says, mouth twitching into a small smile, "Like, genuinely, don't. Not with the townsfolk at least. Spent a long time cultivating my rep to keep the kids off my land. If they think I've gone soft, all that scowling will be for nothing."

"If you need an extra set of hands to fix up that house, I will help," Lockette offers. At the same time, she recalls the state of the house in the woods - to make it even habitable again would be weeks of steady work. She chews on the omelette as she ponders the options available. Although the idea of sharing space is... odd, and rattles a very deep, private part of Lockette into restlessness, she can't stomach the idea of turning Riley out of her house and sending her to the Inn. She would likely have to make herself another bed, the couch far too short to be sustainable as a long term sleeping arrangement, not to placing lamps and candles in the home for Riley...

... She is moving into this very fast. The realization brings a deep, dark flush into her cheeks, all the way to her ears, but she knows that her gut instinct is right to let Riley stay. She clears her throat, rubbing the back of her neck, "... Look. I know you don't know me very well, and if you change your mind about the Inn, that's... That's fine. But, if you are... comfortable with the idea, and wanted somewhere to crash for the time being, you're welcome to stay here." Lockette swallows, partially for eating, partially out of nervousness, "With me."


the once and future twink
Cathal tilted his his head at Molly as she got down and made kissy noises at him, and he sighed. They had just established that he wasn't a cat, why would she think he couldn't understand her?

He meowed at her, scolding, and then trotted over, crossing the salt and iron without issue with this tail up in the air, and then he sat at her feet and frowned up at her.


probably from space
IT was not everyday that some one found the spring but sometimes folks did wander in and the nymph's home. and depending on their mood they showed themselves, kissed travelers or pulled folks to the bottom of the pond. The difference between a nymph and siren after all was only in the matter of frequency that they enjoyed a good drowning. But the nymphs nine of them in total were far and away a fan of kissing more than drowning. they were accustomed to the wizard and his bard visiting their glen and they would spy on them, they hardly even showed themselves because a wizard and a bard were more trouble than the amusement.
But oh. The king of the forest of stars. with mortal blood in his veins. Now. that was something that demanded to be harassed.
the gathered around the surface of the pool like it was a window or a television, staring up at the scene unfolding between Molly and Tuesday and the fat orange tabby.
"Oh the King of Magpies." "Oh he's the king of nothing, that's a man." "That's Tuesday." "How do you know?" I. Have. Kissed. Him." "You have not." "Osipee bls "Liar" "Oh but I did!" "Oh shut up, things are happening, shuush shuush.""Oohhhh hmmmmmmm a test of love?" "A test of faith!" "Oh my!" "How dramatic!" "Can we have a cat?" "No. You ate the last one, Merrimack." "You already have a catfish, don't be greedy." "Boo, you all suck. Piscataqau, move, your in the way" "Don't push me!" "I said shut up- I need to know if he can walk through salt." "No faerie can walk through salt! not in Royseland!" "I mean you can but at what cost!" "Oh will he see it?" "Oh, shut up, have you ever had to see a line of salt to know its there?" "I've never seen one, so I wouldn't know."- And here they devolved into even more bickering.
Tuesday did not need to have his eyes open to feel Molly silently invoke the goddess of pearls with a line of salt. It was a faeries nature to intuit the flow of magic at all times, to understand its demands and consequences and shapes. While a magician let magic seep through them into a world and wizard could bend it to his own rules, a faerie embodied it. lived it. created it. facilitated it. They were made of it. they produced. they stoked the fires of it and in return teh magic inherent int eh rich of the earth nurtured them. And the Faeries of Royesland had taken an Oath.An Oath so big that it had been made long before Tuesday had become smart enough to be considered something greater than a humble Magpie and long before he'd been hatched and long before the Jarl of bears had taken the throne, before port of pearls had been bit. long before the Royse line had taken the throne. Before even the roving ships of Ket had launched to haunt the rocky shores.

The Fae of Royesland had taken an Oath in exchange for Tithe and her laws the Goddess of pearls had given them Music, Language, and the knowledge of changing forms, Medicine, and the understanding of self. The goddess's of pearls had forged them from something monstrous and hungry into something quiet good and clever. And It had come at the cost of the Goddess's Law. Their were other deities, and other clever land spirits, but the Fae of the forest gave fealty only to the Goddess of Pearls.

He could not pass a line.

Would not even if he could.

And as soon as he felt that he would not even if he could he knew that to do so would to never be able to return to himself again, never to have wings, never to slip formless into the forest's flock of magpies. And the realization took his breath.

"Molly," he said as if she had drawn weapon. "I have made no attempt to lie to you, I am what I am. I am the king of magpies and I would not cross a line of the Goddess's salt for money or honor. I'm sorry."

"Oh no" Said Sacco said, "He likes her."
"He doesn't like anyone, not even Truffle."
"No No No, truffle doesn't like him, you have it backwards."
"Merimack, please, we can't have a cat, stop pouting."
"I'm. Not. Pouting."
"sure your not," the other eight said in exasperated unioson only to burst into laughter.


The spring seemed to gurgle and laugh a bit louder and the wind picked up around the glen.


life's too short, so spread the love!
Well, the bridge was definitely burning, and she was very much still crossing it.

Molly saw the look on Tuesday's face and heard the tone of his voice and suddenly she felt as though she had done something very foolish. She'd always done whatever she had to do to protect herself, and never once had it even crossed her mind to think she'd made a mistake by doing so. How could acting in self-defense ever be the wrong course of action?

Her strong sense of self-preservation warred against her emotions. There's nothing wrong with defending yourself, it insisted; don't feel bad, you've barely known this man for 24 hours. Get a grip. Her heart, foolish organ, had spent those hours blinding her to what she'd suspected from the first word he'd said. Molly Sill knew better than to get involved with faeries, so why had she wanted so badly for Tuesday to be something else?

Because you're lonely, a quiet voice said, and he was nice.

...Damn her heart.

After a long pause, too long a pause really, Molly stepped forward and kicked the circle open. "Well… you could've been a little more forthcoming about it! Maybe!" she snapped, knowing this was a stupid point of contention even as she said it.

She got down on her knees and started trying to brush the salt and iron into little piles so she could pick them up and put them back in her bag. She would let herself feel bad about defiling such a beautiful, sacred place as this grove; that felt valid to wallow over. "If you're a faerie king, what are you even doing hanging around the village looking all human for, anyway?"

Molly paused, feeling the sting of oncoming tears again. She glanced up in Tuesday's direction, but didn't meet his eyes. She couldn't look him in the eye right now. "I just- I really- ah, fuck."

Deep breath, try again. "...I was scared. I- I am scared. I've had bad… bad experiences with the fair folk. In the past. So I ignored all the things that pointed to that because I didn't want you to be one. Because I like you." This last part she said very quickly and mostly under her breath. "But that isn't fair. It's not what friends do. So what I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry. You have nothing to apologize for."

I'm not going to cry I'm not going to cry I'm not going to- bloody hell. A hot tear rolled down Molly's cheek and landed in the dust as she readjusted to be sitting instead of kneeling. "But if you don't wanna be friends anymore, that's cool. Like, I get it. I'm clearly kind of a mess, and that's a lot to deal with, and we don't actually know each other that well or like, at all really?" Shut up shut up shutupshut- "I swear I'm not just trying to make you, like, feel bad for me either, y'know? I really want you to do- do what's best for you, um. Yeah."

With a groan Molly flopped over and lay on her back, much like when she'd first met Tuesday. "I HATE HAVING FEELINGS," she grumbled loudly. "THIS IS AWFUL."

A breeze found its way down into the waterfall clearing. The cool air felt good on Molly's flushed, ruddy face.
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probably from space
"That's very kind of you," Riley says carefully. It would be something to do. Something to keep her hands busy to rebuild the house. It hadn't occurred to her as an option, though to be very honest she had not let her mind wander to options or plans yet. And if she staid wtih Lockette she would not have to find work in town- wich her mind had already asumed without thinking too much about it- and she was sure she could make herself useful around the farmstead. There was only one downside of living with Lockette, even for a short time and that would of couse be living with Lockette who is very handsome. "I could help you out around the farm in exchange, if you think that's fair." She says to the stove and the space just over Lockette's shoulder.


probably from space
There was a lot going on inside of Tuesday's head as Molly explained herself and it rippled over his face in stages and waves in way that wasn't readable save that he was processing. He stepped into the circle, now that he was free to do so, and set down the basket so he could spread the blanket they had borrowed from the innkeeper. And then he sat and opened the basket.
"I'm not a fan of human emotions either. here. Have an apple, love," He said. He was a faeries and extreme acts of emotion among his kind were normal as was swiftly moving along past them, and to him her momentary outburst seemed warranted if completely outside his ability to logically follow. Guilt trips were an entirely human construct and the idea of holding her honest given emotions against her as a weapon had not and would not naturally occur to him.
"If you tell me the names of those who hurt you, wich if it is any one in Royesland I apologize, I will see they learn a little justice- when I return to court and If... if it would please you heart."


life's too short, so spread the love!
Molly lay there, squeezing her eyes closed to hold in the tears that suddenly wouldn't cease. She couldn't remember with certainty the last time she'd cried. Must be overdue for it, I guess.

When Tuesday set the picnic basket down near her, Molly actually jumped and looked up in surprise. She'd been bracing herself to hear him walk away, which she wouldn't have been able to watch. Instead he spread the blanket, and sat down, and started into the basket as if nothing had happened. And then he offered her an apple (an actual apple this time), and she couldn't stop a couple of big ugly sobs from escaping.

"Nooooo," she hiccuped weakly, sitting up the rest of the way. She took the apple and held it gently, as if it were something very precious and fragile. He called me 'love'. I am going to die right here, right now. "If you keep being so nice to me I'm just gonna keep crying," she went on, "and it's not pretty when I cry, really it's just- just like, moaning and carrying on and it's so embarrassing, why am I even telling you this- where the heck did my canteen go-"

Setting the apple in her lap and retrieving the canteen from where its strap had slipped off her shoulder, Molly hurriedly unscrewed the lid and took several gulps of water. This, a few deep breaths, and also locating her handkerchief to wipe off her face steadied her heart, and she felt a little better. Trying to meet Tuesday's eyes, however, sent her face as red as the apple, and she looked away again.

Which was for the best, as when he said "if it would please your heart" she flushed so hard she honestly thought she would faint, and took another long drink from the canteen.

When she could feel her face again, Molly sighed. "It's… so, so kind of you to offer, don't get me wrong, but…" She put the canteen aside. Holding the apple in one hand, with the other she absentmindedly continued to sweep the salt & iron into a pile. "It was a long time ago, now. If nothing else, I couldn't ask you to get involved- that would start an even bigger shitshow than we started with. And…"

She thought of her Godmother. Molly was angry, of course, that her only family had been taken from her. But never had she really, genuinely thought about vengeance. What happened was wrong, but to get back at the fae who'd done it didn't feel like justice. Justice would be getting her shit together and having a real life, the only thing Godmother had ever wanted for her.

Molly shook her head. "It's fine. Don't worry about it." She found herself smiling, though. Somehow. "Have I told you that you're wonderful, Tuesday? I'm… Grateful. I wouldn't blame you for walking away, although I promise I'm not usually so hysterical. Today is an exception and shouldn't be counted." Even more unexpected, she laughed. "Getting to see this beautiful place pleases my heart greatly. As does getting to hang out with you. More than I can say."


probably from space
"If that pleases you," He said at her dismissal of his offer. And then with a shrug he went on; "I am not so great Molly Sills, flattery will get you everywhere, but I'm just a Magpie. And From the way the nymps are laughing I aught stop claiming to be king of anything. But I think I am not understanding all of what you are trying to tell me, why would I ever walk away for you being sad? You gave me a test. I answer and then you accepted that answer. I'm not sure where there's room for me to angry with you?" He said "Where I am from people are angry until they are not angry anymore. And people cry until they don't feel like crying anymore. That's just the way it is. Though until yesterday I could not fathom how I could make room for a second emotion, never mind three or four. The Fae folk, at least in Royesland, do not lie and we feel very strongly all at once, until we don't. By your definition we are all very hysterical. I don't understand why you think I would be cross with you for having a strong emotion, you'll have to forgive me if this is rude. I reminded you of people who hurt you, it stands to reason you will feel sad about that until you stop? I have never met anyone to whom niceness has brought on tears. Are you sure you're alright, Molly Sills?"


life's too short, so spread the love!
"The nymphs are laughing? You mean they're here?" Molly paused mid-apple bite to peer beyond Tuesday at the waterfall pond. The surface didn't seem much more disturbed than she'd think it would be normally, but if the nymphs didn't want to be seen she supposed she wouldn't be able to see them- especially in their own home. Though she was embarrassed by the prospect of more witnesses to her outbursts, it sounded as though it might not have meant all the same things to them as it did to her.

She vaguely recalled allusions, in the books she'd read about the fair folk, to what Tuesday described- to only feel one emotion at a time (all books on this topic were written in a slightly flowery prose that could be difficult to parse, so it's fair to have missed it). Molly was about to comment how peculiar it must be, how she couldn't quite imagine it- but then remembered how she'd gone through several intense feelings and hit a pretty significant snag in her worldview in a very short time. "Hysterical" had felt appropriate when chastising herself, but when Tuesday said it, it did sound like a rather unfair judgement.

He asked if she was sure she was all right and she gave a short, sharp laugh that came out a little harsher than she meant it to. "Umm, I don't know. Probably not." She smiled, but it was a very tired smile. "You're right, really. About… all of the above. I didn't... expect you to be upset because of anything you, like, did or said. I guess I worried my so-called test offended or... or hurt you. I have a tendency to anticipate the worst reaction from people." Molly munched on her apple a moment, wondering how deep into it she wanted to get.

"...My parents left me when I was a little girl. Because of my magic, because I've never been able to control it; it was too much for them, and they left. So I guess, no matter how many years ago that was and how much I keep telling myself I'm okay, I'm… not." This, of all things, was the one that didn't bring tears. It had been so long ago, she'd already cried every tear she had for that particular topic. "People just like, generally will sometimes get annoyed or judge others if that person isn't behaving how they think they should. I just have this additional hangup of the more I like someone, the more I feel like I'm gonna screw something up, and they'll leave. I know it's not a rational thing to expect, but…"

Molly shrugged. "Enough about my tragic backstory, though, let's hear yours. Why on earth would you ever become a human, you poor soul?" Not having experienced the ridiculous soup of emotions that was the human experience, then suddenly being dunked in the deep end: that was something she truly couldn't fathom. "After all it does, as we previously mentioned, kind of suck sometimes."

(Speaking of dunks, Molly remembered the previous day's escapades with even more sympathy than she'd felt at the time. Hello, welcome to humanity. Your orientation today is provided by a grouchy giant who can and will manhandle you.)

"Say, what about your court, then, if you aren't there?" she suddenly worried. That initial assessment of him- a recently dethroned prince trying to find his way in the world- seemed not quite so far off after all. It made sense the faeries wouldn't want their king if he'd become human. So why ever would he do it?

...Unless it wasn't a choice, Molly reasoned. She considered the cat-who-wasn't-a-cat. He'd supposedly done Tuesday an "extreme" wrong; could he have done this? If so, that was some powerful fucking magic, to change a faerie into a real-ass actual human person. And perhaps Tuesday- or someone else- had then made him a cat, as revenge? What the hell have I walked into the middle of here?
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the once and future twink
Cathal climbed into Molly's lap, deeply displeased that Tuesday could bamboozle even someone as prepared as she. Probably he wouldn't whisk her away to dance at court for seven years, but he couldn't know that for sure, could he? Fairies weren't people, even caught in people shape. It was like, he'd told Thomas once, the difference between a glass of water and a glass of poitín--they looked the same, sitting there in a glass, but only one would burn if you lit it. It wasn't that one was bad and one was good, or anything so silly. It was just that they were different, and sometimes what a fairy would think was an act of kindness would get you killed, or worse.
But Molly knew that, it sounded like. Cathal purred in her lap, sorry that she had had so many troubles. What kind of family would abandon their daughter for being a bard? Didn't they know music was a gift from the goddess herself?
What a pair of idiots.


kawaii in the streets, senpai in the sheets
There is hesitance - of course there is, Lockette is a stranger and Riley has no reason to trust she has good intentions - but she says yes. Lockette nods, keeping her reaction muted. It will be odd to adjust to having someone within her space with her, and although she's grown to like her solitude, she knows what it means to share space. This will hardly be her worst living arrangement.

"It's not part of the agreement to stay, but a helping hand is appreciated. Hate to admit it, but it's not always easy trying to do some of the work around here without eyes. Kind of a pain in the ass, honestly. So thank you."


Cloud-based Magitek Compendium

Pol heard ebullient laughter from the shop as he approached. He locked the front door. And the other one, just before he left. The outline of the barrel had a faint glow, as though the lights were on. He doubted any other thieves were afoot today. In theory, light and noise would be rather counter to ideal conditions of theft.

Who exactly was in the shop, when he was not? He needed to investigate. To be prepared for this surprise, and whomever might be behind it.

Pol needed to be invisible. Not for long, he hoped, as he truly enjoyed being seen. He was, after all, the fortunate bearer of a face that pleased even the discerning mirrors.

The recovered plate wasn't the most reflective surface, but he could change that with a little rainwater. He slunk near the walls of the buildings closest to the tea shop and tripped a neighbor's windchime lightly with his long fingers. Little pools of water formed on the surface of the plate. He tilted the overgrown saucer with care until the little pools eddied together in the center. He looked upon his reflection, smoothing his face until all the uncertainty was washed away from his features.

In a sussuruss of hushed chanting, he recited one of the few spells his mother taught him before she sent him off to that awful apprenticeship.

"O Sun of songs, bring light to me!
Enchant my eyes that I might see
The world while unseen I be.
Long as shield and shadow obscure not thee."

He raised the plate above his head and tipped it. A few drops of the water dripped onto his forehead and crown. His hair might smell a little like boiled leeks, he realized too late. But there were worse perfumes, so he didn't regret it too much.

"O herald's haze, a shroud for me!
Not in death but a life lived free."

He'd have to change some of the words he remembered due to his location. If he mentioned Bonne-Soleil, he'd just shroud the castle in a gloomy fog. Which was, as he had learned once, only theatrically appropriate After all one's party guests were present. It wasn't necessary to rhyme, but he remembered spells better in verse.

Come I from the sea
Come thee from the sky-

Oh blast and ballast, what was the last line of the spell? It did rhyme, at least. After sifting through memories like so much wet sand, he settled on a useful option:

"Protect me from unwanted eye."

Pol was mostly sure that's how it went. You really couldn't blame him, though. He didn't have these things written down in a spellbook. And even if he did, paper and ink seldom triumphed over the fury of the ocean.


probably from space
Tuesday listened attentively, nodding and hmming at her explanation of human emotions and rationalization of her emotional process based on her traumas with an almost academic attention. Like she was explaining high philosophy not her inner world.

"Rude. Their loss," He said before she managed to change the subject and asked him of his court and his current fate, "Hmm, my tragic backstoy? I hatched here. In port of pearls in a big pine tree. The youngest of three. My brother was eaten by a Fox and my first mate was snatched of the nest by a cat. But that is not so uncommon and was all a very long time ago before I became clever... I would certainly have my current positions other wise if I could. Its all that-" He stopped short on his words and made a frustrated sound in teh back of his throat, "Forgive me. There are some magics that wont let themselves explained Molly Sils... but now that the throne is empty I am sure some one will put their ass in it soon- if they haven't already. But! Truffle will come to fetch me when she can. I'm certain. She is my oldest friend, we grew up here together and it would take much more than this to loose her- I think-" He paused darkly for a moment, unused to feeling hope and doubt at the same moment, "Even if I do not retain the throne. I don't think she would just go on with out me. Some fae are like that. But not Truffle. I've gotten out of every mischief I've ever been in ... So I suspect to get out of this one if I can just survive it first." he smiled a thin rogues smirk. Magpies were lacksadasicle at best and the king of them no less so.


life's too short, so spread the love!
"Oh, kitty cat," Molly chastised as the big orange cat regained his favorite seat in her lap. "My hands are all sticky, come on…"

She grabbed a dish towel from the picnic basket that had been included in place of a napkin. Dipping a corner of it into her canteen, she worked on cleaning the apple juice from her fingers. For lack of a better title, it explained why there was no consensus among the Port's denizens on what to call the cat- his true name being obscured by magic."Tubs? Is that what Lockette calls you?" It occurred to her to wonder if Lockette knew anything about all this, and she thought she ought to track them down when she could.

Tuesday's dismissal of her parents and their actions made her smile. "Their loss"- she'd never phrased it in such terms before. But that's all they deserve, she thought, feeling a tiny flare of relief.

It was one thing to bring up tragedy when it had happened to you, however, and another to learn of someone else's. She'd thrown out the phrase as a joke, a self-depreciation for being so melodramatic about everything in the past little while. She hadn't expected for him to openly admit experiencing such truly horrific things. Suddenly extra-aware of the cat in her lap, Molly reached out but paused, not knowing what to do with her hand. Hoping the sympathy in her voice and gesture were clear, she ended up just touching the blanket near his leg. "Long ago or otherwise… common or not, I'm still truly sorry for your loss."

Afraid of overstepping her bounds, she leaned back and considered the information. In retrospect it was obvious these tricksome magics wouldn't let him answer her questions plainly, and she felt silly for asking. Whatever they may have done to provoke such curses, both Tuesday's and the cat's predicaments clearly were the work of a powerful and probably decently angry spellcaster. Frightening as it was, though, Molly realized she'd never be able to live with herself if she didn't try, to the best of her ability, to do something to help.

That Tuesday still had some connection to his court (beyond the gossipy little birds, anyway) seemed a promising start. "Of course you're going to survive it, you goof, what are you talking about?" She smiled hopefully. "Do you have to wait for Truffle? Where is she, can we go find her? Or get a message to her somehow? I mean-" Her face went pink. "...I realize I've been extraordinarily nosy here, I'm really sorry about that. But I want to… help you, if I can. If you need- if you want me to, that is. Um. Whatever I can do." She scratched behind the cat's ears and murmured, "You too, bud."


probably from space
Tuesday glared at the cat but held his peace. He had not been condoled since receiving the burden of complex emotions and he wasn't sure he liked it. but it had been a long time ago and it had been quite common...So he ate his apple bout it.
"-ah," He siad when Molly brought up going to find truffle, "I was run out of the forest you see, far too many things would gladly try to eat me and take my power in this form so I think its best to stay out of the forest..... That's the rule when you're lost right, just stay put until you are found? You're freindship has been more than enough help, Molly Sils."


life's too short, so spread the love!
"I guess so? My goodness, that's awful." Molly frowned. She didn't actually know from staying put when one was lost. Her nomadic lifestyle meant she'd gotten lost plenty of times, in plenty of unfriendly places. But unlike Tuesday, she hadn't had anyone who would come to her rescue if she waited for them. Nobody who would notice if she disappeared… nobody who would miss her.

Her rational side was well aware that she was almost certainly projecting on this random faerie she'd known for exactly one day. But Molly suddenly felt fiercely protective of Tuesday and the life he'd been forced to flee from. She understood his concern of venturing back into what was now hostile territory for him, but just friendship didn't feel like enough- there had to be something she could do.

What exactly, she wasn't sure yet. More information was needed, probably: she'd try to find out more about the Port of Pearls and its good neighbors as soon as possible. In the meantime, she was beginning to notice that familiar itch of wanting something to do with her hands (besides pet Tubs, that is). Molly reached for her bag where she'd set it on the blanket behind her.

"Well, you're very sweet; I'm glad you consider something so small to be helpful." She pulled a small rectangular case from the bag. "But I also feel really bad that I dragged you out here to have a nice picnic to cheer you up, and here I've gone and opened up all this emotional baggage instead."

Molly opened the case to reveal a gleaming silver harmonica. "This belonged to the partner of my Godmother- that's the woman who raised me- who passed away before she took me in. But it was the last gift she ever gave me." The memory lit up her face in a brilliant smile. "She would tell wonderful stories of their adventures from when they were young. I always wanted to make someone happy with my music the way she said Carey used to make her with this."

She took a drink from her canteen, and then blew a few experimental notes on the harmonica. It sounded so sweet on the gentle breeze that had the flowers around the waterfall bobbing a little dance. "Any requests?"


the once and future twink
Cathal looked up at Molly at the sound of his new name and meowed at her in affirmation. It was a particularly good name for a big ginger tomcat, he thought, even if it wasn't actually his name. He kneaded his paws in Molly's lap gently and purred when she scratched behind his ears. There were worse curses, he reflected, than being a cat.


probably from space
Every word that came out of molly's mouth made him more fond of her. And usually, when it came to mortals quit the oposite happened. "Do you know the one that goes like-" and here Tuesday did his best do-ra-mea style rendition of snufkins spring song. He was pointedly ignoring the cat, since making his distaste known had gotten him scolded, made molly cry and gotten him dunked in the town fountain. As a member of the corvid family it pained him slightly to shut up, if only briefly, about the obvious interloper.


life's too short, so spread the love!
Molly gasped with delight at the suggestion, ignoring the little flutter her heart gave when Tuesday sang a bit of the tune. She picked up where he stopped, trying to remember how it went. "Yes! What a wonderful idea!"

Holding the harmonica up to her mouth again, she paused. "I haven't played this in a long time, so do that little singing along again and correct me if I get it wrong, okay?" She winked over the instrument at him before, flushing, she began the song.


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