A human woman idles near the entrance to the Undertaker's cavern in Terralai who calls herself Evvy. She is known to be his companion, assisting him everywhere, and knows more about him and his stories than anyone else. She addresses you as you leave.
You look like someone who still has questions--?
(Edited 2020-11-03 02:59:18)
Loch pauses on his way out, turning his head to watch the woman.
Who doesn't, with everything that's happened?
He hesitates, shifting stiffly from one foot to the other. A cloudy breath billows up towards the sky as he huffs.
D'you know what he means? About, uh, the ones she loved most.
(Edited 2020-11-01 22:32:13)
There is quite the contrast between the two-- Loch in his jacket, and Evvy in her sheer clothes. She doesn't seem bothered by the cold at all, though.
Reminiscin' bout the Age of Preiyer, m'pretty sure. There were a lot more different kinds of us, 'n I think he was hoping some of them could come back. Yanno, with Ynoch making children, again. He thought there were going to be more after the four-eyes, so... he's mourning the loss of them, too, I guess.
(Edited 2020-11-03 02:59:29)
Honestly, Loch's a little colder just looking at her. He might've offered her his jacket, if she seemed at all affected by the chill.
He looks over his shoulder, back towards the Undertaker and the crowd surrounding him. He picks out the chimia between the corvigere's ears.
You mean Vala? Is she one of them?
(Edited 2020-11-02 14:34:28)
Yeah, she's a strange one in't she?
Evvy grins. Clearly, this is a compliment.
Really makes ya wonder how the Fysa affects the flora. Makes me wonder, anyway. Cus all of us were caught off guard when Vala grew. Nobody was really worshipping Ynoch enough to warrant a whole new child. We thought she was pretty asleep.
Loch's gaze returns to Evvy. He watches her silently for a moment. Is she suggesting that Vala might be a mutant, or something?
Do you think there was something special about Ynoch's tree this year, then?
From what I understand from the Undertaker and Archivist's conversations... maybe she'd been storing power for something? I think she was trying to make a decision, gearing up for some sort of action, but... dunno, they're also a couple of anxious fellows, those two.
(Edited 2020-11-04 05:30:08)
Anxious, huh? Loch supposes that makes sense, with how long they've been alive. Still, the idea of Ynoch having been preparing for something sets him on edge.
D'you think it might've had something to do with the burnings? We never figured out who was doing it. I saw what happens when the lamp roots into you -- it didn't really strike me as the type.
He leans closer and lowers his voice.
I spoke to some of the Aegis, when it was all goin' on. They think it was an inside job. Could Ynoch have felt it coming, or something?
Evvy glances around quickly, but the area seems clear.
Intrigue is a dangerous spot to stand in, bud.
Evvy crosses her arms and shakes her head.
Dunno if she was wise to it-- literal distance tends to keep you outta the loop-- but I wouldn't be surprised if it was meant to play out this way. Whoever it was, if this is what they wanted, they'll be profiting from it somehow. You keep an eye on that 'n you'll find your motives.
She spits to the side.
Hate politics. Don't miss it a single whit.
Loch's eyes narrow for just a moment, thoughtful and wary. He remembers his crewmate's half-burned body, the charred remains of the others, the horror on the faces of the people in the square. Who could stand to profit off of this? What is there to gain?
He straightens, casting another look at the Undertaker inside. What must it be like, to be so far removed from society and yet intrinsic to its function? Loch envies them.
Thanks for the advice.
He watches the human once more.
How are you holding up? With... everything that's happened.
(Edited 2020-11-05 12:18:57)
[Talk sprite coming soon!]
Otto gathers enough courage eventually to step forward and approach Evvy.
"Uh... Excuse me. I was wondering- Well, I don't mean to bother or pry, but is the Undertaker alright? He seems rather distraught by this all. I don't blame him, of course, we all are. But it seems like a great responsibility to try and offer comfort in times like these."
Otto's shyness seems to make Evvy more outgoing. Perhaps an attempt to put them at ease?
Aw yer e'scused. Your worries are appreciated- don't worry for us. The Undertaker's a professional mourner. He's seen the deaths of soo many others. He's seen the death of entire species, of the entire world!
Evvy seems to realize she's being a bit too cheery about something that's supposed to be solemn and serious, and clears her throat.
It's, uh, honestly a relief. Ynoch deserved rest-- she's back with Fys now. So you take care of yourselves now, yea?
Otto grins nervously.
I will, thank you. I remembered what I'd like to speak with the Undertaker about, so if you don't mind I believe I will attempt to get an audience with him now. Ah- I don't mean any offense, of course! I'm glad you both are doing alright.
Otto steps politely back, seeking an audience with the Undertaker.
[OOC: I'd like to switch to a conversation with the Undertaker- this is just Otto ending this conversation. No reply is needed!]
Iphae touches down outside the cavern, his wings stirring up some of the freshly fallen snow. He takes note of the woman standing by the entrance as he casts a somewhat nervous glance inside. Iphae had his own quarrels with The Undertaker, quarrels that The Undertaker was most likely unaware of. He wasn't sure if he was quite ready to speak with the corvigere face to face.
Iphae decides to talk to Evvy while he gathers his confidence.
You live here?
A simple question just to get the conversation rolling. Iphae walks over to stand next to Evvy under the maw of the cavern, tired of the snow falling and melting on his feathers.
(Edited 2020-11-07 16:12:31)
Anyone who asked that obviously didn't. Evvy flashes Iphae a smile, though it's crooked-- the approaching Leyr is intimidating for sure, and she compensates with jests.
Gee, I sure hope so. Welcome to Terralai.
Evvy gives Iphae some sort of bow, one foot sweeping around her in a circle as she ducks her head and gestures outwards with her arms, eyes closed. Then she cracks one eye open and flashes him a toothy grin, breaking the seriousness of the respectful gesture.
The Undertaker is inside, if you're here to see 'im. Or I can meet your needs out here-- the audience chamber has quite a queue, lemme warn ya.
(Edited 2020-11-04 05:29:50)
It's evident that Iphae is unamused by Evvy's response judging by the expression on his face alone. The bow saves her from a nasty comment but only for now.
The large leyr folds his arms across his chest as he gets settled. It's cold as hell but Iphae's feathers act as a fairly good insulator. He'd have to remember to wear warmer clothes if he ever flew this way again. Iphae tucks his wings in close, preserving what warmth he had.
Everyone's sad about the tree, huh? She died before, guess she's just officially dead now.
He knew how much Ynoch meant to the people of Orrison. He was just choosing to be an ignorant asshole.
(Edited 2020-11-07 16:12:44)
Aloof displays of uncaring can be a form of coping, sometimes. Evvy doesn't hold that against him.
You're right, it's much more of a loss to those who relied on her than for her herself. She's sleeping with Fys, now. Some could call that an ascension.
She cocks her head.
If you're not mourning, what are you here for?
Iphae snorted in amusement.
Ascension, sure. I'd rather be alive and kicking than sleeping with some old God.
He turned his head and stared into the cavern, deep in thought. Now was as good of a time as ever. He didn't come all this way to turn around at the last moment and leave.
I'm here for some answers.
Iphae then left Evvy at the entrance, proceeding down into the cavern to seek out The Undertaker himself.
(Edited 2020-11-07 16:13:14)
Khada watches the Undertaker's conversings at a distance, for a time. He scoffs out a breathy laugh to himself at the corvigere's... deep... weighty... pauses, pivoting on his wheels to find the human companion-- a much quicker answer to his queries, if the assistant is near well as versed in lore past.
I do, stress on the plural too. That... artifact that lead to dear Ynoch's passing.
His eyes light up, pointedly keen without remorse.
Are we learned on its origins? Its age? The identity of its creator, and was its very first possessor one and the same?
Evvy gives Khada an up-and-down glance, eyes lingering on the halo around his neck. If he's going to be remorselessly clear about his interest, she'll waste no time using her manners in turn. Still, she smiles crookedly, indicating her willingness to be pleasant regardless.
Oh, yea. The Undertaker knows some 'bout the Soul Lantern. We dunno when it was made or how, but it was meant to cheat death- no matter the cost. The creator was also its first inhabitant, and through it could possess the bodies of others. They would kill to fuel it, much like how it works still now. But they didn't know it was possible to be displaced-- a flaw in the artifact. Spirits would get replaced by other keen and equally greedy individuals who sought the lantern out. It would appear and disappear throughout history in various places, each time with a new slew of murders.
A pause for breath-- Evvy's words become more nuanced and pronounced as she falls into lecturing, using words more like those the Undertaker would use.
I'm sure kind people inhabited it here 'n there, but they were almost always replaced, and very quick.
Myrrh stalls, unsure of if he should let himself approach the Undertaker or not. Deciding that he didn't want to intrude, he turns his attention instead to the human. He waits for her to be free before approaching, dipping his head in an attempt at being respectful. He spoke in a low voice.
How well is the Undertaker taking things? I'm unsure of how close he and Ynoch truly were, but...
He trails off, frowning deeper. Perhaps he should've convinced himself to come at a different, happier time.
He normally doesn't have the spoons for company, but I think in this case s'been comforting havin so many folks carin'.
Evvy crosses her arms, tilting her head at Myrrh.
I can't say he isn't sad, or tired, or scared. But feeling all those things is part of the process. He knows how to handle it. How are you handling it?
Myrrh thinks back to the swamp, to the events of the previous month. It both feels like it just happened and that it was a lifetime ago. Myrrh feels very old and very wary, suddenly. He sighs.
I was in the swamp when it happened, even if I wasn't there with Ynoch. I'm unsure of my feelings and if I even really should feel anything large. I believe I'm sad, even though I didn't worship her.
He looks a little embarrassed to have stated the obvious. He clears his throat and crosses his arms.
I wish that I had done something, I suppose. I was close enough to the artifact that I could've....
He trails off.
(Edited 2020-11-04 17:57:00)
Could've what? Put yourself in there instead?
She shakes her head.
You didn't fail to save her, I'm sorry. Pah, leave it to a rrex to-- no. She saved you. You thank her, and you appreciate the gift. Unfortunate for you buddy, you now have the responsibility of makin' it worth it. 'N that means lookin forwards, not lookin back.
(Edited 2020-11-05 06:10:15)
Myrrh frowns deeper, his expression hard. A part of his brain wants to complain about not wanting to be saved, about how he couldn’t look to the future when he had his eyes so firmly to the past. He says none of that, his tail swishing behind him for a moment.
Understood. I apologize.
He’s quiet for a moment as he forces the tension to leave his face. He watches the ground to the side of them, too embarrassed to make eye contact.
How do you make a sacrifice like that worth it? I have plenty of experience handling death but this just seems... different.
Gull walks up towards the mountainous maw of caves and jagged rocks. Their gaze laid on The Undertaker’s companion. Clearly Gull didn’t know their name but they were a fellow human. They bring the jacket close to their body to keep warm; a small huff of cold air exits his lips before speaking, trying not to seem awkward with all of these folks around...
Heard about all of the hub-bub about Ynoch’s passing...
he’d paused trying to think what else to say on such a heavy topic. He’d probably think a lot of others here asked how the Undertaker is and such...so...what else to say really?
(Edited 2020-11-04 13:15:24)
And decided to take a peek?
Evvy raises an eyebrow, but there's no malice in her voice-- just teasing, actually.
Sorry. I have a bad case of grave humor. Thank you for coming all this way, really.
Gull lets out a nervous laugh out of Evvy’s first comment
I suppose so. And that’s quite alright, some folk try to cope with such humor yeah? But I’ve overheard some other folk talking about the this subspecies of Chimia? Uhhh....what were they again...
They roll their wrist looking up a tad to get their gears in his head working. Hearing the other people talk of Ynoch and her many children. While others spoke of stories they wanted to hear by the Undertaker before emerging their den. That’s when the Human’s head perks up
“Oh! Uhh Chimoraa was it? They had this...magic I believe.”
Well we all have magic, but I know whatcha mean-- you searching for soothsayers or something? They're a divine lot-- godfavored, or something.
Whipstitch left the Undertaker after sitting with him for a while, other patrons came in so they took their leave. Their quills twitched at the thought of having to pass Evvy again. They had already rushed past to avoid letting the woman see them flush and bumble about. There was no dying that she was exceptionally beautiful and while Whipstitch was no stranger to being sought after they didn't know how to actually handle being truly attracted to someone. They had always felt a small disconnect about returning affections and it was rare for someone to actually make them want their attention. They wished talking was easier before taking a deep calming breath and approached Evvy.
They held a small bundle, inside was secured clumps of Clover. To many this was just your average plant but it was Whipstitch's favorite.
Bees love it, books mention its a symbol of...Ease. Comfort.
They tried to smile, it was not natural for them but they were also trying to mange their quills and trying to keep their shade down. They would absolutely die from embarrassment if Evvy could notice how vibrant their colors turned just from speaking a few words to her. This is why they hated crushes, they felt like an open book.
The grin freezes on Evvy's face as she looks in surprise at the gift. She's used to taking offerings for the Undertaker-- but for her? She reaches out for the bundle, then holds the clover up to her face for inspection. The smell of it is fresh and she seems to appreciate that.
I've never received clover before.
Evvy tries switching to Tolkan, to see if that might help the conversation move a little easier. The round sounds of the language are a little flat on her tongue, but she speaks it fluidly at least.
[Do you speak Tolkan? What's your name? I'm Evvy.]
She looks curious, more than anything.
Whipstitch can't control the spike of excitement that went through them, their quills making it just more obvious. They were honestly amazed that someone would accommodate like this for them, they always got nasty looks about their language and it was just refreshing!
[I do. My caregiver made sure to teach me, I'm impressed with how good you sound. Have you had a lot of practice?]
They jolt as if forgetting something.
[Clover is very important to my bees. It can be hard to start, so I had to really hunt for it. However, once you have some their friends are sure to follow. I am Whipstitch, but you may call me Stio if you'd like.]
There is a playful flick of their antenna that anyone who has been around Tolka closely would interpret as a wink. Whipstitch seemed to be looser now that they were speaking in a familiar language they felt confident with.
[Are you doing alright out here? I have extra heating gel if you're cold.]
Syd bounds up to Evvy and hops up on a rock beside her. They sit down, cross legged.
Hey, Ev! Dad's been pretty busy lately, huh?
They nod back towards the cave, where the Undertaker ('dad') is still conversing with various visitors.
I didn't want to bug him. So I'm here to bug you! Hah! How're you holding up out here? Need anything?
Sounding pretty helpful for a bother, Syd--!
Evvy mock-scolds the other, wagging a finger, but is grinning all the while.
Nah, but the breather's nice. S'weird when people expect ya to act a certain way and then you're not that. It's not like we're archivists or anything, we just dig holes 'n things, but eh.