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Interactive Quest  - in the bleak midwinter

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Played by Offline Staff [PM] Posts: 309 — Threads: 165
Signos: 989,640
Official Novus Account
#1


brighter and whiter than snow

Winter has dug her ice-tipped claws well and truly into the land. The clouds refuse to snow, and as such, the frost refuses to break. The young enchantress tugs her black velvet cloak tighter around her shoulders, arranges her flaxen hair prettily about her neck, and deepens her frown.

If only she could call down the snow, like her mother and her grandmother and even her great-grandmother. If only her mother had not married her brute of a father, whose wicked mortality dulled and sapped at the witch blood coursing like ichor through her veins. There are more ‘“if only”s (there are always more) but she knows if she lists them all she will only frown deeper. Frowning draws wrinkles. Her lips curl back into a flat, even line.

Manon. She mutters the name (prettier than her own) to herself with undue bitterness. She does not know the owner of the name. In fact, the enchantress has not a clue what this Manon looks like, only that her magic will stir when her presence is near. The Book had said that the girl would come today. The Book is never wrong — on the day, that is. 

It never predicts the time. The sun is about ready to set, and the enchantress has tended the booth since high noon. Manon has not shown, and the girl’s mood blackens by the hour. If the nobleman had not paid her so handsomely —

A tingle like crawling ants sparks up her spine. The enchantress’ eyes, a translucent sea-foam green, break from the clutches of her scowl to scan the milling crowd eagerly. /She has come! But where is she?/

A girl, with a tumbling silver braid and a crown of twisting thorns, steps out of the shadows of the alley. The tingle grows to a steady hum. The enchantress gasps before drawing her nose out from her furred cloak and whispering shrilly into the frosty air: “Manon!” As an afterthought, she adds: “Miss,” with a sniff.

A slip of paper flits like a butterfly into the air. It flutters across the narrow street to buzz insistent circles above Manon’s head, and without warning, dives into her braid. 

When unfurled, three lines are inscribed upon it in neat, swirling calligraphy.

The crown of thorns you wear upon your brow — hand it to the enchantress, and she will enchant it with a spell I believe you will find most agreeable. 

A gift to commemorate your return.


At the bottom of the note is a tangle of what look to be glyphs. Only to Manon’s eyes will the glyphs be recognized as code

Code she used with a certain nobleman. The glyphs rearrange themselves into a name.

Senna.

“A white falcon delivered it to me last evening, along with a purse of gold. An admirer of yours?” the enchantress asks, her voice like sweet honey. Her smile does not reach her eyes. She wonders: and just who are you, Manon?



Fate it would seem has brought @Manon to the markets, or simply someone who knows her well enough to predict her movements. She’ll be wandering the streets when someone she doesn’t know calls her name - an enchantress, managing an empty booth. She calls Manon over, offering a free enchantment for her crown. Only - she doesn’t specify what kind of enchantment she offers. Still, the note is signed by Senna (or at least Senna’s name). 

Does she trust it?

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This quest was written by the lovely @rallidae.

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Played by Offline Avis [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
Signos: 200
Inactive Character
#2

She had just returned, the first time--

Winter turned itself over in circles in her mane, twirling the dusty cream locks into knots about her neck; it was loose, for once, long and nearly as though a silk shawl had been placed about her shoulders. The would-be snow would have made home within it, but there could be no nesting for something that wouldn't appear. The sky was grey and teased them with gusts that surely should have brought flurries with them, a biting chill made worse as the wind tormented them and wouldn't relieve their wish to be covered in white--that, at least, would have been the better alternative. Maybe then the children would run between the stalls in the streets, as their laughter drowned out their elder's fits of mutters and curses. Maybe then those in love that hid behind cobble walls would roam the market for trinkets and sidle close in intimacy instead of necessity. Maybe then, of all, she would have felt more free to enjoy her freedom out of an open-ended prison cell that she made for herself; caught in the boxing ring between two opposing sides that both wanted her throat slit, she the bearer of bad news for them as instead she slipped from their grasps and chose to disappear. Some time had passed since then, and those involved had long moved on to other worries hanging over their brows, and she was able once more to return to the surface and breathe the air she had been denied--they didn't know it was her, of course, who had sold out one to the other, when she was surprised to find someone had betrayed her and wished to hand her off for some petty prize; the two sides united and threatened to kill her.

But she survived, as she always would, by being the smartest in the room and wittily making her exit.

And so her first order of business would be to find the Scarab, as was customary for a girl who called no place home, and she offered herself a rare moment of wintry peace through the Night Market. Little had she expected there to be such a frigid welcome, and indeed everyone had seemed rather miserable instead of the joyous upturn of lips and laughter that she had imagined there would be. Her mottled body was cutting a path down the cobble street, untouched by the sting of the weather, bare save the silver-chained necklace and twisted twig crown that both carried sparkling gems as they twirled and danced under the sinking sun's wide rays. She was used to things that bit down deep and wouldn't let go, the pain that turned into a strange sense of revel and desire. She had sharp teeth, too, and there were times that she allowed herself to take what she gave.

A woman and her coat, pulled tightly around a nape with hair as light as the red girl's, stuck off to one side behind a booth that didn't entertain Manon's curiosity. With a diamond-marked face held high with a mane now braided (done as she strolled through the stalls of huddled figures) tumbling down nearly to the ground, she would have moved right past with sultry steps had she not been spoken to. Her name--and that was when she stopped dead in her tracks--floated from the woman's mouth, and with eyes trained on her in shock it was possible the white-tipped eared girl would have missed the paper that dug so gently into her hair. The new braid held it until she diverted her attention toward plucking it out and reading the words: Senna, was really the only one that mattered to her, and she paused with a racing heart to fully comprehend what she had read. Before her thoughts could form fully, though, and before she could glance wildly around to see if he was near, the one who spoke her true name gave her the answers she sought. Senna was not there, though the letter was his.

The chill that had been hanging around in the air found way to her bones at the mention of 'admirer'. Oh how she could only smile.

As the instructions had directed, Manon removed her crown and passed it to her companion, silently, and wholeheartedly trusting Senna to direct her. She wouldn't question his requests; he had never led her astray, and somehow he had known that she would return that day.

She had been too lost in musing over him to notice whatever the enchantress had done, likely to the chagrin of the woman who watched her so keenly, but really she didn't care; Senna had left her a gift (and had likely paid her well), and so she flashed a smile and slipped a rose into the black coat, replacing her crown and heading to the Scarab with renewed vigor. Little she would have noticed that her dark red and bright white-splashed body began to fade from view, in its place a soft hazy, blurred version of itself.
Build me up just to bring me down
'Cause you don't want me to take the crown
CREDITS


@ haha finally getting to this :')





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