Logs:A Chance Meeting
|A Chance Meeting|
You suspect me of planning to steal? From a _library_?
|Dramatis Personae|| |
12 June, 2016
Cerise comes to the uni library for a bit of free reading, and finds another of the Balefire.
The dog days of Summer are long, but things have been fairly pleasant as of late. Combine it with students still being out for the summer, and you're left with an empty, albeit peaceful library. The lone soul inside is behind the counter, idly reading a book whilst a small, greymalking thing resting between his arms does the same. White dress shirt with the top button left open, khaki slacks, and tennis shoes are the man's dress, and a bit too odd for what should be a casual Saturday. Ah, summer. Summer means empty libraries, and empty libraries are libraries that need to be haunted. Lurked in. Without all those pesky students. Though not one herself, the doors of the Chelsea Dunlin Library are nonetheless pushed open far enough to allow a small, long-haired figure to slide inside. Extremely long-haired, in point of fact, that hair falls to her knees, dark as ink save for the silver streak, newly acquired. With.. flowers in it.
She, herself, is dressed for the heat, but still in black. A skirt of two layers of lace, asymmetrical in its length, and a halter top of black velvet. Once inside, she begins to move along slowly, looking around, until Tilo is spotted. Then? Then, she freezes and begins to stare.
The Fairest doesn't notice Cerise immediately. Whatever he's reading must be too good. However, the cat does, and immediately hops down from the counter. What catches Tilo's attention is an all too familiar scent that gives him pause before looking up to take a glance at Cerise. She's not given a small once over, but a few seconds of scrutiny that would've lasted a bit too long until he asks, "Is there anything I can do for you, miss?" in his raspy baritone.
The smoke is certainly familiar. The manifestation of this witch's Mantle seems almost eerily similar to his own. Of course, that scent underlays another one. Jasmine, or something very, very close to jasmine. The flowers don't look -quite- right, but then they also look somehow unfinished. But all in all, she does smell damned good.
In the dimness, for she's paused in a somewhat shadowed spot, the lock of her hair almost seems to glow. Perhaps, if her connection to the Wyrd were stronger, it would be, but it's easy to tell that it remains weak. This is a fairly new escapee, or else one who's never sought power, and what witch doesn't seek power?
Eventually, after more intent staring, she drifts forward, though stops short and crouches down to regard the cat steadily, before looking up. "Possibly," she replies, her voice a low, compelling thing.
Those red eyes stay focused in on the stranger, unblinking. The sigils and signs upon his flesh shift ever so slightly until they end in a curious, maddening pattern. Tilo pauses then, sets a pen in the center of his book, and closes it shut whilst keeping Cerise in the corners of his vision as best he can. "What might possibly be, miss? If you're looking to steal a few things I'm afraid that you may have to look elsewhere."
Slowly, slowly, Cerise stands, and her expression darkens. It's not an instant flash of anger, but it -is- a growing sense of it. "Steal things?" she replies. She's just a wee little thing, her, so far the signs of anger are not precisely what one would call frightening, mantle or no mantle.
"You suspect me of planning to steal? From a _library_?" There is something to the way she says that. It's like another, somewhat more normal person might talk about eating babies.
"That depends. I've no clue of your intentions, and you are a stranger." He pauses a beat, and then moves from behind the counter with alien grace. When around to be seen fully the hedge beast comes with him, and hides behind him his legs. It pokes its head around to get a peek of Cerise, but remains perpetually silent while there. "Well then, miss, what is it I can do for you here?" he asks with a slight quirk of his brow.
His slight quirk is met with her own slight quirk. Matching brow movements just sometimes happen, like matching yawns. "Do you suspect every person who walks into this public library of planning thievery?" She spreads her arms and turns a slow circle. "Where would I even put books?" Which is true, she does not appear to have pockets.
Finally, she stops, drops her arms, and continues to simply stare. "...and just who -are- you? I do not know your face, and I thought I knew most of the.. ah. Group.. I am Cerise Abernathy. As for what I was seeking.. knowledge, of course. Always that. And to simply spend time with the books. It would be nice to deal with ones that are not still ripening."
"I've the faintest of clues as to where or how you may hide something, Miss Abernathy. However unfounded my suspiscions may be, I am fully aware that our kind can possess abilities above and beyond the imagination." He pauses briefly after that, and cants his head slightly. Once lifted he announces himself as, "Tilo Abantubomlambo, Elementalist of the Balefire and Ashen Courtier." A brief pauses follows, and he clears his throat. "I prefer Tilo, however, and would prefer not to be addressed with titles and honorifics if at all possible. As for the knowledge you are seeking? This building is ripe with what you seek, although I will say that much of it is mundane in bearing if such a thing may offend you."
Cerise dips her head slightly, hen he mentions his affiliation to that particular legacy, and for a moment, the anger fades into sadness, but that is a brief thing, and fades itself into more of a neutral state. "I was bound to one of you before I was taken, she murmurs. "Had he not had to leave, I would probably already be his apprentice."
She has moved in closer as she said that, for even if her voice is naturally at a low pitch, and even if the library does -look- to be deserted... one never knows. "As for what I sought? Today, I was looking to read on the local witch trials. Though I suspect I already have all of the pertinant information on it at the Abernathy library... one never knows." Then, she does an odd thing. Or an odder thing. She picks up the lock of vibrant silver hair and examines the argent tress, as though to assure herself that it was there. Given the length of her hair, it's not an easy motion to miss.
Tilo tilts his head in birdlike fashion, and remains silent for a moment even when Cerise finishes speaking. The Enchanter finally breaks the silence with a question. "You've met another of my kind?" he asks with an added emphasis on my kind. He straightens up then, and moves to get a better look at the shorter woman. He stares at her, and has returned to his former silent scrutiny for few long seconds. Cerise is still given her space, either for his protection or paranoia. Either way, he clears his throat, and turns his gaze on the collected hair."Exactly how long have you been free from your Keeper's thrall?"
His stare is met with one of her own, intent and intense enough that some might find it unnerving, though perhaps not one of their shared court. "Met?" she queries, and her lips turn up into the faintest of smiles. "More than met. I was his ensorcelled witch, until I was taken." She doesn't try to draw any closer, either, but her gaze is unwavering, even as she pauses as though to count time. Finally, she says, "A little less than two months. Though I was not, obviously, new to this.. world."
Tilo might've been content to understand her business with the hair, but the mention of the W word gives him pause. His gaze snaps back up to meet hers, and it doesn't appear he heard that last part just yet. "Witch, eh? I would have never thought mortals of one stripe or another could practice true magic." The admittance comes with a frown, and a slight shake of his head. To the next point he asks, "And what of this Warlock? As his Ward did he teach you of us? Our ways and practices?"
There is a faint little chuckle. "Oh. You would be so very surprised, then. Believe me when I use that word, it is not chosen lightly, and does not mean that I ran about hugging trees and dancing in a circle of hobbyist wiccans. I was a witch. I am still a witch, though my Keeper strove to turn me into something I was not with these thrice damned flowers. But at least I've taken steps to become more... what I am." She lifts a hand, and touches that witchmarked lock of hair once more. "...as for your people.. yes. He did. It is where I belong. I believe your people know this, they were involved in my regaining my freedom."
"Is that so?" he asks with a note of suspsicion. He pauses briefly, and sets his hands behind his back. "Very well, Miss Abernathy. As you've knowledge of the Balefire, I am wondering something. What does it mean to you? What is magic? Not just the definition, but what is it to you in all its meaning?"
Her head tilts to one side, her gaze steady on him, but thoughtful, now, and introspective. She turns away, finally removing her intent gaze to look around. "Magic," she finally says, musingly, "is a key. A key to many, many locks. Power, yes, but not only that. It unlocks knowledge. Freedom. Beauty. Some of its doors are dark, some are light. Most are in between those two, in gradiants of shadow. It is the key to desires of the heart. To dreams fulfilled, and to nightmares made real."
Cerise's head tilt is mirrored for a brief moment as she answers. He remains silent throught her answer, gaze stern as he waits. Once the Fairest opposite him finishes something pulls at the edges of his lips. "A surprising answer, Miss Abernathy. Very surprising indeed." He nods to that, and begins to move once more.
He still gives her space, but begins to slowly circle around her whilst his gaze remains upon her. "Unfortunately a lot of our kind see such things in black and white. That magic itself is not inherintly evil, nor good. As you eloquently put it, a key. It's use and the user decide whatever it is they may do when using such a tool."
Passing around behind her bares her back.. sort of. Te halter she wears is of modest coverage at the front, but only a tie at the neck and under her shoulderblades is present behind. Her hair, though, is so long and so thick that this normally doesn't leave skin visible, save that a movement of her head sets the locks to swaying, and for an instant the twin vertical scars slashing down to either side of her back become visible, then vanish again.
"That is because most people don't understand. They also think the darkness is evil. It isn't. I served Erebus for far too long not to understand that. Before. My ties there were broken when I was taken. Why is it -so- surprising, though? I did say I was a witch."
Tilo pauses briefly when his eyes fall to those scars. However, his distraction is temporary, and he begins moving once more. "A witch you may have been, but I wholly doubt such things were akin to the Clauses you will know as of now." He's almost back to the front as he asks, "Tell me, Miss Abernathy, of what Clauses do you know at present?"
"They... were. And they were not. What I could do was.. different than what we do now, but correctly applied, it could be more powerful than you would believe. If one was... simply.. smart. I used to be able to tug on the threads of fate itself. In subtle ways, of course, but."
There is a sigh, and then she considers him. "I seem to have a certain capacity with plants. Talking to them, though I do not remember how -that- happened. The ability to hide myself through clauses of smoke. And... night terrors." She shrugs, unapologetically, and adds, "But then again, I am not a Fairest. I -should- be, but.. I am not." She really should be. She's got the loveliness, and her two now entwined Kiths are of that Seeming. And yet.. she is a Darkling. "Ah. And I talk to the dead. But I could do that before, sometimes I forget that it is through different means."
Her mention of a difference seeming elicits a faint frown from the circling Tilo, but nothing is said on that matter. "I see. I've no effort nor issue with the undead, although I do find them rather repugnant. You appear to have talent, both magical and otherwise. Your story is interesting, to say the least, and a new tale to me."
He then ends his pacing around her whilst standing before her. The glyphs upon his head have shifted until only the third eye remains, and he points all his attention on her while the hedgebeast bounds up behind him once more. "Do you have interest of the Epochs beyond your former guardian, Miss Abernathy?""
Cerise stands still. In fact.. she stands perfectly, utterly still. Most people move a little, shift their weight slightly, twitch a shoulder, make some vague gesture. Cerise doesn't. She doesn't even visibly breathe, though she must -be- breathing.
Until he comes around to face her again, that is the stance she takes, waiting. Then, he is speaking, and she is back to staring. "Of course. That is the place I belong. I was... waiting for Reagan. But I do not know if he is coming back."
"Where you belong, hmm?" He leans down then, and considers her whilst staring into her eyes. "You most certainly deserve a chance to belong, but, as I am well sure you know, not everything is guaranteed. If you would wish to join our eldritch order then I am enclined to both offer you sponsership, and require one question answered."
She doesn't flinch away from eye contact. Really, the contrary is closer to the truth. She's a staring sort of person, this fey, fairy-like witch. What she most resembles, with that witchlock in her hair and the flowers, is the kind of fairy a questing knight might meet in a dark wood. The sort fairy tales speak of, that seeks to test, and is apt to severe, enchanted punishments should that knight fail to meet her expectations.
"Not everyone manages to attain the place they belong. That doesn't mean they didn't belong there, it just means they weren't good enough to live up to proper expectations. What is your question?"
Tilo's brow quirks during his inquisitive staredown with Cerise, and for another moment it looks like he might smile. It doesnt' come to pass, and the madman simply nods. "Very well, then. Of the Clauses you know or hope to know, what will you master? What will you make a part of your being? What will be the thread of fate, as it were, that binds you to the Balefire, Miss Abernathy?"
"Wind," she replies, without hesitation. He asks, and she answers immediately, then smiles ruefully, if still faintly. Her shoulders lift and drop ever so slightly in a minimalistic kind of shrug. "...I have, as you might guess, already spent much time in pondering it. It is one I have not yet even begun to learn, but that is rather the point. My journey -should- begin with something I have nothing in. It seems more... more fitting, that way. To dedicate one thing from its very start to this."
"Wind?" he asks with a tone of surprise in his deep voice. "You are truly full of suprises, Miss Abernathy. Truly you are." It may be the Fairest in him, but it sounds more akin to teasing than anything serious. "Alright, Miss Abernathy. Then your time as my apprentice will begin tomorrow." A beat passes, and the smile that graces his lips is a vile, mischievous thing, "At 4 AM in the morning."
Cerise rolls her eyes. "... of course it does," she murmurs. "...though in truth, you should know that I will have far less trouble being up at that time than you expect. The -difficult- part will be in my staying awake after the sun has risen." She moves a hand and plucks at one of her flowers, none too gently. "Night blooming, you see." Of course, it's daylight right now, so obviously she -can-. And just where am I to be at four in the morning, o my mentor?" Is she teasing back? Just possibly. She does seem rather pleased that she has been found so surprising, really.
"Nonsense," he responds with a scoff. "Running a few miles will keep the the laziest of souls awake." The smile soon fades after what has to be a jest, and he straightens back up. "We will be running, but nothing to be afraid of. There is something of import to me out there. However, I'm not one to send others to do my work. At least not alone, and without precaution."
A vague look of horror starts to cross Cerise's face. Some people might look like that when told they had to go amidst a nest of spiders. For Cerise, it's... running. "...running?" she echoes, faintly. She does -not- have a runner's build. Oh, her waist is slim enough, but her hips aren't. Of course, she might surprise him again at her ability to run, but ability doesn't always translate to desire. "You are joking about that right? Running to deal with things is one thing, that would be okay. But if out there is the other side of the thorns, I can fly. You can run."
"Yes, but of course." He pauses, and looks her over to see how painful this may or may not be. "Running, and, no, not among the thorn and bristle. I mean this world: the waking world. I've been clued in to a hidden cache, and would prefer to get it before this supposed loyalist does." He then nods, steps back, and props his fists on his hips. "So, running. While the cover of night would be nice my contact's noted it is the time of activity."
It's hard to say, looking at her. Because she looks like a creature who belongs somewhere out in the woods. Or haunting the shadows of a library. One or the other. She doesn't look like a runner, and she certainly doesn't look enthusiastic about it. She is, in fact, just staring at him. But it is said that nothing worth having comes easy, and she sighs. "Fine. I'll.. go buy some damned running shoes." The combat boots shes wearing? Probably not good running gear.
"Running shoes?" he asks with a slight tilt of his head. Then there's that judging glance one can expect of an Enchanter and Fairest, and a faint shake of his head. "Are your feet in too poor condition to do without, Miss Abernathy? I would hope the forest floor would be well enough; especially with such fine weather."
Now, see. She perks up. Running in forests isn't an easy thing. Running on nice, smooth roads? Technically easier, but Cerise seems to look somewhat relieved, when he tells her that. "Oh. Not quite what I was picturing. In that case, I don't need any shoes at all. Or, well. I probably do, but I won't." She never did learn that Fairest trick. On the other hands, plants tend to like her. "Tell me where to be, then. It's not like getting to the forest is hard, I merely open my door."
"On the souther entrance to Crow Hollow not too far from the docks." He then stops, and turns away from her for once. In that brief moment he squats down, and picks up the little creature hiding behind him. It protets with a quiet meow, but doesn't attempt to jump away when held by him. He turns back to Cerise, and the creature takes a single glance at her, and ducks its head into his arms. "This is Nuru. She is my familiar. You should perhaps begin looking for one of your own. A hedge beast you wish to bond with, and one willing to do the same with you. Nuru aids me in my study, and is quite the bookworm. However, she is not too fond of strangers that belong to our kind." The emotion that bleeds from the Hedge Beast is rather obvious to Cerise, and comes in waves familiar to any Ashen Courtier.
Oh, she is familiar with it. She regards the little familiar, and.. it's odd, perhaps. She's done everything with her expression on a small scale. Even the anger displayed was faint. But her smile, as she regards that little creature, is warm, almost gentle, though she makes no move to try to come closer. Then, she looks up. "I like her better than Reagan's. His owl was an asshole. Very well, then. I will see you... soon." The little Darkling-who-should-be-a-Fairest turns, in a swirl of unreasonably long hair, and starts to walk off. Research into witch trials seems forgotten, for now.
"I've never been much for birds, and Nuru has been with me for far too long to ever abandon her on the next bit of evolution in my life." A proud nod follows that, and Tilo pets it once. "However, she has given more than I could ever ask for as of late, and she remains at my side ever still."
Cerise pauses at the door, his words reaching her, catching her attention enough to look back. The kitten is given a brief, curious look, and then Tilo himself the same. "Birds must have their place. But. Mm. It is time for bed." It is.. mid afternoon. But time for bed, evidently. She is gone, then. slipping back out to campus.