Logs:Seeking the Bones pt. 3

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Seeking the Bones pt. 3

Hokum

Dramatis Personae

Sebastian, Sloan, Makayla

18 December, 2017


Sebastian Returns to Fallcoast and resumes prep for an almost forgotten hunt. Part of Seeking the Bones.

Location

Fallcoast Public Library


The door presses open, a cool chill rushing through the ground floor of the library to herald Sebastian's interest. He appears an older man with hair only a bit too white for his age, wearing a white button up beneath a sweater vest and khaki slack combination. His grimset amber eyes guide him quickly to the world history section, quitely thumbing through a few titles on the shelves.

Makayla shakes her head right back, "I'm afraid I don't," she says. "I've lived in Fallcoast my entire life." She looks down at the slightly disorganized books when the african-american girl holding her coat behind her shifted slightly in response to the cold. Makayla turns to watch the other man enter, raising an eyebrow at the popularity of the library. "I used to come here all the time," she says. "Along with the occult bookstores in town...which I gave a bunch of to the library, mostly because they were hokum." She picks up one of the books Edwin was looking at. "Like this one. Total hokum." She deposited with flair upon the top of the stack, leaning back in the chair and looking more earnestly at Sloan. "What did you do that you need a fresh start?" she asks with a smirk.

Sloan notices the chill from the outside world when the man enters and glances at him though the question brings him back to the conversation at hand. He does not answer right away instead he gives a little laughs, 'No so much what I did but what I say, I was a bouncer at a club in Brighton Beach...." he lets the sentence trail off, figuring if she knows about the area he mentioned she will be able to put it together.

====> Makayla to Here <=======================================================
   Rolled a chance die for a dramatic failure
   < 1 >
==========================================>  Wits + Academics [No Flags] <====
====> Sebastian to Here <=====================================================
   Rolled 3 Successes 
   < 2 4 5 7 7 7 8 10 10 >
==================================>  Intelligence + Academics [No Flags] <====

Books begin to fall from the shelves into Sebastian's arms, piling up into neatly cradled and organized stacks. There's a table available nearby, and soon Sloan and Makayla will hear the heavy thumping thuds of his books being placed on the table. European folklore dominates the theme, with piles being divided focus between Scandinavian, celtic, and Christian folklore. "If you'd learned anything, you'd have learned not to give hints." He doesn't make eye contact with the pair when he injects his thoughts into the conversation, instead licking his fingers and diving into a tome from the Scandinavian pile.

"Something sleazy, no doubt," Makayla says, not breaking eye contact with Sloan. "Dream of any large women I might know?" she teases, hoping her own reference doesn't go over his head.

Sloan glances over at the man and his selection of books than to the ones the Edwin left behind and comments, "Popular topic tonight." He laughs at Makayla's reference and grins, "Well we all have dreams." He tells her.

Makayla looks over at Sabastian more than his pile of books. She stands as her raven hops to her shoulder. Prodding Sloan, she says, "Let's go bug the old dude." She doesn't wait for his response, but walks over to the other table. "'sup," she says, inclining her head a bit in greeting.

Amber eyes lift like miniature sunrises above the brim of his book to wash over Makayla's countenance. He clears his throat a bit before answering. "Good evening." He tells her, giving Sloan a closer look as well, lowering his copy of "Nøkken, Draugen, and other Creatures of the Sea". "Come to browse my hokum? I've plenty."

Makayla scoffs. "You're in a public library," she says. "If there was anything that wasn't hokum here, true seekers would rat it out and take it." She purses her lips and suddenly looks off into space. "Unless it was hidden from sight, but then...how would they shelve it?"

Sloan stays seating as Makayla head over having no reason to bug the old dude but then he follows as he has less of a reason to sit along. He does gather up the books that Edwin left behind and carries them over to the new table. "Well you can sometimes hide things in plain sight." he comments. "Like the normal looking dude everyone thinks is great then they find bodies in his basement."

"True seekers." A smile plays at the corners of his lips while he allows his book to rest on the table. "Your friend is right," he tells the youngsters. "There's no lie told with the intent for men to believe it without a foundation of truth to rest it on. Besides, these tales have value beyond their garish exaggerations. We learn the fears hopes of an ancient people when we study their tales. You shouldn't dismiss it so easily."

"Like Thrawn," Makayla's background companion says to herself, thoughtfully. Makayla furrows her brow and closes her eyes.

"What?" Makayla asks, slightly impatient that the other woman was talking.

"Grand Admiral Thrawn studied the art of a culture to learn their psychology to better defeat them," the black woman says.

Makayla raises her eyebrows, but her expression is slightly exasperated. "Fine," she says, turning back to Sebastian. "What she said."

Sloan nods to the background companion that brought up Thrawn, "The Zahn trilogy was great." he confirms and then looks back to the books on the table. "Still the trick is finding meaning and even harder figuring out what that meaning really is saying."

Sloan and Thrawn are both offered confused looks. "I can't say I'm familiar with that one. I didn't study much in the way of old generals," he admits. "But I don't have difficulty believing that an understanding of the hearts and minds of enemies could be used as a weakness. Defeating a thing is very often simply understanding what it desires to be the outcome of a situation." He presses his finger against one of his books. "Here, for example, we find a prime example that these tales are ones of comfort. The Nøkken's weakness is iron, because that was what the poor could afford. Their search for understanding stems from a desire to feel secure. They say knowledge is power, and here we read the attempts at finding safety from those with little of either. To me, that's fascinating."

Makayla purses her lips again, raising an eyebrow as she says, "You know, I've heard it said that in football, you should root for the team with the ugliest cheerleaders." Her expression normalizes as she continues, "In my studies of history, I've actually found wars are pretty consistently won by the side with the manliest women. Spartan women, for example, had to dress up like men to entice their own husbands to have sex with them. Spartans are considered to be some of history's greatest warriors."

Sloan thinks about that for a moment, "You know that might be related to the line about never fighting anyone uglier than you, they have less to lose." He can't help but smile a bit at that. He shakes his head as he ponders that a bit more.

"Perhaps that's why monsters are depicted as such wretched and horrible looking villains." The apparent scholar muses for a moment. "So are you two studying for a homework assignment for university?" His accent comes out with that last word--so very slightly German.

Makayla smiles at the last word. "I do spend a lot of time in University," she says, "but I'm not really studying anything here. I'm just out and about. Listening to people." Hunting ghosts, she didn't add. "I was hoping there would be a bit more activity here, this evening, but what can I expect after sundown in the winter?"

"Everything," her african descended companion interjects, a quick look of hope and defiance on her face all at once.

Makayla grins, patiently and turns. "Princess," she says, the other woman hanging her head, looking ashamed that she'd spoken. Turning back to the other men, Makayla says, "Tommi thinks very highly of me," she explains.

Sloan grins at the exchange between the two women and he shakes his head, "Nah I was just returning some books, don't really have the brain for college, I work on a farm, but then I saw a friend and said hi and met ...." He gestures to Makayla in lieu of a name since she still hasn't told him one.

Sebastian gives Makayla a nod. "There are places in town you could find company, but not likely company of quality." Sloan gets Sebastian's interest with that. "Do you have any dairy cows on your farm? I'm interested in leasing one," he tells, his tone almost too eager. "It's for a research project I'm involved in. I'd need it only for a night, of course no harm would come to it."

Makayla smirks at Sabastian's interest. "You know, I wouldn't mind watching this experiment, to be honest. Science is my bag, after all." And at that, she wasn't exaggerating or fibbing, just not being entirely forthcoming about the type of science with which she was involved.

Sloan shakes his head, "No at least not yet, right now we are clearing the land and building the house. We hope to have everything ready for the spring planting." he smiles, "Right now the only animal is the Boss' horse and you would likely be able to lease me before it." he laughs at his joke.

The man clicks his tongue. "That's too bad," he tells. "You'd never imagine it would be so difficult to find a cow in Maine." His amber-eyes switch to Makayla's sky-colored gaze. "I'd think you'd find it to be entirely too much hokum for your taste," he tells teasingly.

Makayla scoffs slightly at Sabastian's tone. "Please," she says. "Night science is absolutely my jam. What's your hypothesis?" She does not, meanwhile, let on that her mind is wandering to what this boss' horse is like to be worth more than the giant man at her side.

Sloan lets his own thoughts wander as the two talk about science a topic Sloan knows nothing about. He starts to busy himself with putting away some of the books Edwin left out. Yes that is normally a job done by Librarians but Sloan does not leave a mess behind him often.

Sebastian shakes his head. "Would you believe me if I said I needed it to go monster hunting?" There's mischief in his eyes. "No, of course I'm kidding," he lies. "It's not my hypothesis, but a friend of mine at St. Johns has been reading about an ancient fertility dance a teutonic tribe would perform to encourage cattle to produce more milk. He wants to see if it actually works in any measurable way. To be honest even I think it's a bit of a stretch."

====> Sebastian to Here <=====================================================
   Rolled 4 Successes 
   < 6 6 7 8 8 9 10 >
=========================================>  Wits + Subterfuge [No Flags] <====
====> Sloan to Here <=========================================================
   Rolled 0 Success 
   < 2 3 3 4 >
=========================================>  Wits + Subterfuge [No Flags] <====
====> Makayla to Here <=======================================================
   Rolled 1 Success 
   < 2 4 4 8 >
=========================================>  Wits + Subterfuge [No Flags] <====

Makayla smiles at the old man. "Actually, those both sound interesting," she says, honestly. "I enjoy monster hunting, though obviously it's more playful for many monsters than others. Real monsters tend to be rapists and abusers, and they're not so much fun to hunt as to punt in the balls. Testing ancient or modern hokum is also fun for me. Call me crazy, but I find those kind of escapist pursuits fun."

====> Sebastian to Here <=====================================================
   Rolled 2 Successes 
   < 1 2 4 6 6 7 10 10 >
=========================================>  Wits + Subterfuge [No Flags] <====

Sloan looks over and shrugs, "Might work. I mean plants respond better to certain types of music right? I think I read that once.' He shrugs again, and puts away more books.

"Hmm. I'll ask if he's open to observers, but I wouldn't get your hopes up. He's a bit eccentric," he lies again. To Sloan, he calls out, "My name is Sebastian Jäger. Here," he tells, reaching into a pocket to pull free a business card. It labels him a Folklore Consultant. "If your boss comes into cattle, have her give me a call."

====> Makayla to Here <=======================================================
   Rolled 3 Successes 
   < 1 1 1 3 5 9 9 9 >
=================================>  Wits + Subterfuge + 1 + 3 [No Flags] <====
====> Makayla to Here <=======================================================
   Rolled 1 Success 
   < 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 6 6 7 10 >
=====================================>  Intelligence + Occult [No Flags] <====

Makayla raised an eyebrow. "Right," she says. "Guy. Sorry, just this seems so much like a personal pursuit, I keep forgetting there's this mythical guy you alluded to." She pets the head of her raven perched on her leather bracer through her denim jacket. She lowers her voice a bit as she says, "Okay, so I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess you're monster hunting for trolls, specifically. Is that the right kind of c?"

If Makayla wanted his attention, she's gotten it. The casual smile across his ashen face races away when she makes that observation. "Wrong," he tells her. "Vittra. About 30 miles north of here. Do you know anything that can help me?" His tone is steady and unwavering, far more business-like than the tone he carried before.

The talk of trolls defiantely gets Sloan's attention and the nervous habit of cleaning up after himself stops for a bit. He hears the name and repeats it, "Vittra." He thinks a bit, "thirty miles north... so you want the cow for bait?"

====> Sloan to Here <=========================================================
   Rolled 0 Success 
   < 4 7 7 >
=====================================>  Intelligence + Occult [No Flags] <====
====> Makayla to Here <=======================================================
   Rolled 1 Success 
   < 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 6 7 9 >
=================================>  Intelligence + Occult + 1 [No Flags] <====

Makayla nodded slightly, "I'm more knowledgeable about ghosts," she admits in barely audible tones. "In my research about those, though, I've come across trolls and vittra, though I honestly thought they were the same thing."

Sebastian swallows almost nervously, looking around the empty library a bit. "Why don't you two have a seat?" he invites. When his invitation is accepted he continues in a hushed tone. "Not exactly bait. To say a troll is almost the same as to say dog, and a to say Vittra is to say German Shepherd, if that makes sense. The trouble with Vittra is their slipping in between worlds. Further, when they do enter our world, they arrive invisible. Iron will make them visible, and the presence of a cow forces them to maintain a presence in our world. The cow is more like a chain to prevent escape."

Sloan sits down and listens to the tale and he nods, "I think I get it, so I was wrong about the part of the trap the cow is not bait but the snare." he says, "Sadly I am still of no help in getting a cow."

Makayla nods. "That's good to know," she says. She continues with his metaphor, "Canines are tricky, in general. I've met a few, but no dogs, and certainly no German Shepherds. Not in person, anyway." She tosses her raven gently upward, and it lands on her head with practiced skill, nestling down like her head is its native nest. "I'd be interested in joining you. I don't know how human canines are, but it might help you to have a pretty girl on hand." She was, in a sense, offering to be the bait. "Provided you can get your hands on a snare."

"The bit about it being like a dog was a metaphor. A vittra is a specific type of troll, though many times they take the place of trolls with those from the northern parts of Scandinavia told tales from the south, leading to that bit of common confusion about them being one in the same. It's impressive enough that you'd heard of vittra at all, to be honest." A beat. "Vittra are typically more feminine. The bait will be dumping a bucket of boiling water and urine on the ground. They hate that, it seeps into their homes. Once I do that, I'm expecting it to come out swinging."

====> Makayla to Here <=======================================================
   Rolled 1 Success 
   < 4 4 4 6 8 >
=====================================>  Wits + Subterfuge + 1 [No Flags] <====
====> Sebastian to Here <=====================================================
   Rolled 2 Successes 
   < 1 4 5 6 9 9 >
=========================================>  Wits + Subterfuge [No Flags] <====

Makayla shrugs. "I can pull girls, too," she says, reaching up and back to stroke Tommi's cheek. "But honestly, I have never faced down an angry dog before. I don't know how German Shepherds are, but I do know you'd piss me off if you dumped piss on my home."

Sloan laughs, "Well that is unpleasant but easy enough to get..." He looks for a moment like he will comment further at the topic btu he glances over at Makayla and stops speaking about such matter due to the presence of a lady. He ponders, "Does it have to be a real cow or would a facsimile cow work.

"To be honest, I could use the help. All we need to do to force the vittra into visibility is to touch it with steel, but that's easier said than done when what you wish to touch is invisible. I've purchased a bucket of steel flakes from a local blacksmith. It's my intention to chuck them against the trees, and have the flakes come fluttering down through the air into the area around us like snow, but the more hands I have chucking, the better." Makayla earns herself a bit of a look as she presses the bait angle. "Before I take you anywhere, you'll need to tell me what you really want out of this."

====> Makayla to Here <=======================================================
   Rolled 7 Successes for an exceptional success.
   < 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 7 8 8 8 8 9 9 10 >
===>  Intelligence + Intimidation.Dominate + 1 + Dominate + 1 [No Flags] <====
Game: Sebastian has a 5-point "Indomitable" Merit.
====> Sebastian to Here <=====================================================
   Rolled 1 Success 
   < 2 2 2 2 4 5 5 5 5 6 10 >
===============================================>  Resolve + 5 [No Flags] <====

Makayla smirks at the comment. Her beast wields its favored weapon like a two-handed sword, plunging it between their eyes, at least metaphorically. "Take me without asking my intent," she commands. She pulls a card from the breast pocket of her denim jacket and places it on the table before him. "Text me when you find a snare and are ready to do this." She stands and nods to him and then to Sloan. "Gentlemen, it is late and the library is about to close. I need to get myself something to eat as well, so I bid you farewell." Turning, she takes her black companion's arm in her own and walks with her toward the door.

Sebastian blinks. "Obviously. It's rude to ask too many questions in matters of secrecy like this, this isn't my first rodeo." He tells her, as though her command was so simple that any fool would already know to carry it out. He pockets the card, standing. "I miss my bed. I'll be in touch with you both."