Minding Missives and Madness

Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Tolleson » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:56 pm

A fist was lifted, ready to knock. Long fingers with ink stains fading, curled tight, and left hovering over the wood of the door whose good locks she couldn’t pick, thick hinges she couldn’t lift, and sturdy build she couldn’t break. Though it was no small part of her that wanted to do all of those things. Having crossed leagues to be at this door it seemed ridiculous that she hesitated. All she need do was knock, and yet in this moment, that was somehow more daunting than the whole of the journey that came before.

She pulled her hand away and turned to the street, looking down as she unfolded the small parchment with what must have been an address. As if to check again, for the fourth or fifth time, that she was where Glenn Burnie resided, in Razasan.

The paper was folded neatly along it’s existing creases and slid back into a nearly invisible pocket. After it was safely concealed she pressed her skirts, dusting them though she had already changed into fresh clothes and whatever means she had of getting from Myrken was absent. She breathed deeply the strange smell of a different place, unfamiliar scents and sweet aromas, even the sour stench that comes from too many people in close quarters.

In the mid-day sun the towering structures of the capital glittered, scattering light into the street. As lovely as it was, it was also anxiety inducing to feel so small in the grandeur of the structures, amongst nobles dripping with ornaments of their wealth, and being judged by the various forms of society that permeated the city. Far too tall and hair too red, with clothes past their season and lacking finery, Genny was just a plain, unfashionable woman. And yet, for none of these reasons was she uncomfortable or hesitating here.

Her heart beat, a bell distant or imagined chimed and she turned releasing a solid rap upon the door.

“Glenn?”

She leaned closer as if she might hear what movement, if any, there was inside.

“Sir Burnie, it’s Genevieve.”
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:14 am

He dreamed now. This might be that. His dreams lately did not involve knocking Genevieves. On the other hand, hadn't he read from a letter (hers or Gloria's, hard to say currently) that she'd been meddling with such. This might be a dream. A bleary eye, attached to an unkempt head, attached, cheek to wood, to his writing desk, scanned around his room. It was not an empty white space. This was not a dream.

More words then. It's Genevieve. He wasn't completely dense. Genny. That's what they called her. Genny Darden? No, that was Jinni. Jinni Darden. Probably consumed by now. Probably gave some giant beast indigestion. It's amazing how these things just came to you. Genny Tolleson. That must be why he called her Genevieve and not Genny, to create separation between her and Jinni. He hadn't been conscious of that before. How many blind spots could any man have? You couldn't examine every decision. It'd drive you mad.

Somewhere in there, he blurted out a sharp laugh.

Alright then; not a dream. Maybe a hallucination? The laugh had been through closed lips but he moved his jaw now, trying to unstick it to the table. Had he been asleep? (He was not currently asleep, because he had decided he was not dreaming, yet he was still alert). The letter, the first glamoured letter, from his fae correspondent, was beside him. It was not hard not to look down at it, despite what she might think, what Benedict probably thought as well, what Gloria would have thought if she knew any of this. Lips turned to a slight scowl as he tried to recenter himself, to slowly sit up the rest of the way. Where was he?

A hallucination. (Lay out the facts, then.) Genevieve had given no indication in her last letter that she was coming. He gave her no invitation. In this weather, the travel to Razasan would have been difficult. (Do the math, though). Given her ingenuity and talents and some meager enough means, she could have made the trip in the time since her last letter. Since his last letter? Just. She's also been in correspondence with Gloria. Who knows what she heard there? Was she impulsive, Genevieve Tolleson? Somewhat. She'd been so, learned better, and grown back into it. Myrken. Probably his fault. So this was at least possible.

Was it likely? More or less likely than a hallucination. (The other facts, man). He had seen flashes of what Finn had showed him in the aftermath of looking at the letter, each and every time. It lasted for various lengths of time, but he was absolutely sure one of two things was happening. Either it was happening for slightly less time every day or he was experiencing it even when not encountering the stimulus of the letter. So, either it was getting better gradually or it was getting far, far worse. There were other factors, most primarily what the Bard had done to him, which was exactly why he had to resolve this as quickly as possible. One could only handle one affliction at a time and that was, despite evidence, a far more severe one. (What else?) He had a certain level of anxiety towards Genevieve given what he'd learned about her. His protections, holding back that moment, and other associated feelings, were now shattered, perhaps pushing it to the forefront? Her being a hallucination was possible, and would likely indicate that things were getting far worse. (The verdict then?)

It was equally likely that she was actually there as it was that she was a hallucination. Further pondering would not achieve an answer.

That had been about ten seconds in the addled mind of Glenn Burnie, including both pulling his face off the table and starting to sit up. "Genevieve," his voice was slightly hoarse. When had he last spoken to someone? When had the last letter arrived? Just how many days had he been at this? When had he last looked at the letter? He knew the range of his own coherence. It wasn't about tracking the effect of the glamourie but the aftereffect, of gauging how it felt at various times after. An hour? Perhaps about an hour, with the newest levels given what he was attempting and the idea that it might be succeeding. He needed another quarter hour at least to be himself again, all other mitigating factors (of which there were many) notwithstanding.

In short, none of this was good. Either she was a hallucination and he'd damaged himself further or she was real and ... well, best to just go with it then, thought the person who was currently quite (but perhaps not completely) uninhibited.

"Genevieve," He repeated, loudly enough to be heard from across the room, even through the door. "On the assumption that you're actually here and that this isn't some sort of hallucination or trick," (tricks? What sort. Not another gambit by Sarayn: she wouldn't be alert enough to even know who Genevieve was; the ghast within his mind would, of course, but that would put them back to hallucination; perhaps if one of his letters had been captured, an enemy raven might be mimicking the voice? That felt unlikely as well), "I think we ought to set up some ground rules before I open the door. Does that seem amenable?"
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Tolleson » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:57 pm

The sun warmed Genny’s back, leaving her pensive face in shadow as she awaited a reply. That same sunlight struck her crown of braided hair, igniting a vibrant halo of wispy flames, contrasting the silver and gold reflections that speckled the city behind. The curious, listening lilt of her head aside, she stood straight, exuding formality. Even though her arrival would be unexpected, or perhaps, especially because her call was unannounced it was better to err on the side of manners.

Writing to share her plan would have been appropriate and polite. It also seemed entirely unnecessary; at best it was a note that arrived a day ahead or not until she was already within the city herself resulting in little benefit. At worst, well, it wouldn't be the first time missives were intercepted and the danger here was yet assessed. Where Glenn might had read impulsiveness from her action, she saw decisiveness. She had hesitated before, hoarded information, and worked in slow measured movements. And to what end? Good people were hurt, lost, and dead. There was a time for careful study, for measured words and actions. But she would not make the same mistake, even if it meant a measure of recklessness.

There was a sound, something sudden and small, a laugh? Uncertainty skewed the shadowed, auburn brow but the sound hadn’t been so startling that she pulled away. On the contrary, she leaned closer, pressing her ear against the door that she might better hear while unconsciously her left hand set gently to the hilt of a thin blade, whose scabbard was almost entirely concealed in the fold of her skirt.

She thought she heard her name, now she was so near that her ear brushed the door, and there, her name again. The voice was raspy and a bit unlike the man she recalled, she might even guess that he’d been sleeping, or perhaps that he’d been recovering from an illness.

She wouldn’t question the matter of tricks. Not yet. For all she knew of Glenn’s past now, a healthy suspicion was understandable. Still, it was curious and left her silent a long moment.

“It does...”

“I assure you I am here and myself. I have no intention of trespass, if your worry lies there.”

About to add a statement of confidence, assuring him that she would find whatever rules he set to be acceptable, she stopped. After all, it was never wise to blindly agree, even if the proposal was from a trusted source.
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:56 am

Genevieve spoke, and for a long moment there was silence in return. There was no response, not even any sign of movement. Finally, without the latter, she would receive the former, his voice steady enough, controlled enough. It was only in its substance that there was any sign of lines being overdrawn. "As a thought experiment, let us say that you were a creature pretending to be you. Now, I don't think you are; this is just a thought experiment. One way that you could prove yourself to be yourself would be to break in, to enter without receiving permission to. Have you ever thought about that particular rule?" Ah, movement. He was starting move towards the door, or someone was. The steps were hardly light. Perhaps he wanted her to know he was encroaching; perhaps he just didn't want to keep her from knowing. "How does it work? So often times, we confuse the actual act for the meaning behind it. Is it about the crossing of the threshold itself or is it about the consent to cross the threshold. Is it about the permission? Do you think they even know? If they did know, would it disrupt the magic?"

He was there, then, pressed up against the door, and, despite himself, let out a small laugh, all of that control giving way to emotion, if only for a minute. "Why does no one write about these things? You find them interesting, don't you? I know I do. Is it just us? Gloria doesn't. Ariane did, but only in her own way. She wasn't about to read a treatise on it." Neither was Rhaena for that matter. Who would? Genevieve might have been more unique than she thought. It wasn't as if he wasn't aware.

This had gotten him to the door at least. In his current state, that was something. "Genevieve. Ground rules. No mentalism. No asking me about Rhaena for another hour. I'm inoculating myself and the side effects will be active for another hour, less if the process is working and I think it is. There's no real physical risk but I lack, let us say, verbal inhibition. Do not let me leave for that same hour as well. If Benedict, that's the raven, flies in, let me do the talking. Do not read whatever letter he might bring. I'm not expecting him today though." That seemed to sum it up well enough. Then, to bring it back to the beginning of the talk, there was a click, door being unlatched. "I've unlocked the door." That would be all the permission she would receive. That was half the point after all.
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Tolleson » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:24 pm

Out of line, over a line, following a line of argument - how many could Glenn Burnie cross in a single conversation? Concern was merited if not by the content of his words here, though it most certainly was, then by them on the page that had all but summoned her. Not that she needed vindication for having knocked on his door. In neither the timbre or substance of her reply did she indicate any judgement, answering as plainly as she could manage. As if the entire matter were hypothetical and they talked about it over tea and a friendly fire. “Your argument seems flawed. If I am to enter without permission, I am myself. But in telling me that this action proves my person genuine, you have revealed the measure that I must take, whether I am your Genevieve or another in disguise. Therefore, of the options presented there are none that prove me to be one and not the other without your assumption.”

“Permission, as a rule,” she began as she heard heavy steps, her mind racing as it referenced all the books and notes and missives with any mention where such a restriction were relevant, especially as it pertained to creatures. “For you and I, perhaps the problem is not that we confuse the act with the meaning, it is that we hope there is intention. We overlook the misaligned deeds that there might be a greater benefit accomplished despite the cost.”

It was a poor answer for the quandary, especially as small snippets from his letters and references to half-remembered, dusty tomes synapsed together and she began to form a hypothesis regarding his meaning. But perhaps the answer, in it’s own abstract way, would provide some evidence of her authenticity.

The sound of a touch, a laugh, and she knew he must have come, a mirror of her on the other side of the door. “Perhaps no one has written a book on such topics because those that have the knowledge lack the capacity,” it was a dark thought. But warnings of danger couldn’t be penned without survivors. “I would read such a book. And who is to say one does not exist; have you read all the books in the world?”

She stayed still, with her ear pressed against the wood. She breathed slowly, quietly, listening then to the long list of of specific rules. Despite the oddity of each and the questions that each new item generated. After all was said, with none of them seemingly contrary to her purpose, she spoke again, her voice somewhat softer now that she thought him closer. “In this instance, I believe you do not mean permission as a statement granting or denying entry, but my own capacity to act without it. I assure you, that while I will do as I please with or without your consent, I agree to your terms.”

After all, it was neither her mentalism nor his wife that had brought her here. His unlatching the door was a cacophony that caused her head to pull away and her eyes land upon the lock. If she could be a trap, then he might be as well. The fingers of her left hand stayed still and ready at her blade while her right rose to the handle. She assumed he was still close and it was in part why the door opened slowly. “Clear the doorway,” she commanded gently, announcing her intention without announcing her specific action. If he was to be injured over some easily avoidable folly she’d prefer it wasn’t her fault, again.
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:09 am

How often had actually she heard him laugh? Even so, when had she heard him laugh like this? It wasn't bitter. It wasn't spiteful. It was neither ironic nor dismissive. It was genuine. It was delight. It wasn't large, wasn't all encompassing, but it began as she started to press the door open and continued as he turned about to clear space. He did not halt either, ambling casually all the way to the meager, functional chair at his writing desk. He spun on one heel with that unexpected fencer's grace, before dropping down, his gaze not upon her but upon his ceiling as if this was somehow the Dagger and some mischief was lurking in its rafters.

He seemed quite at ease with her presence, so much so that he allowed his eyes to shut. "Tell me, Genevieve, would life be more interesting or less if every door you encountered had a riddle instead of a lock?" Though he had later apologized (unsatisfactorily like all his apologies), he had not sought her out during his last trip to Myrken; quite the opposite. This meant that she had not seen him in years. Five years? Perhaps a bit less. Was it telling, then, that he did not immediately take her in, examine changes? She could with him; she'd find very few. He had not shaved in a day or two, rare even during his period of mourning. He wore earth-tones, casual but expensive clothes, well-made if not at the height of any fashion. He did not look much older, not in the least, and he likely looked fit though the casual clothes made it hard to tell for certain, perhaps by design. He was somewhat pale, as if the sun had not spotted him in a few days. The room was much as she might expect: too many papers, not enough pleasantries, functional.

"One misconception many have of me is that I want magic and monsters stomped out. That's not at all the case." There was an energy to his voice, an enthusiasm, but not quite a madness. He was well aware of what he said, even if he said a smidge more of it aloud than she might have come to expect. "I want us on even footing, that's all. I want us to be able to understand, to cope, to adapt, to not be overwhelmed by it all, and by it all, I mean everything from pestilence, to drought, to dragons. I don't want us to be helpless. I don't want us to be blind. I don't want us to be pawns or victims or prey. That doesn't mean I think that a less diverse, less interesting world is a better one. We just have to rise to meet it and maybe help to civilize those that might prey upon us to find other ways. That does not mean that we must become magical or hard of hearts to match. It just means we have to accentuate our own strengths to meet the challenge that face us. We can do more than simply breed liberally to survive, Genevieve. Our very mortality can be our strength, an alacrity, a desperate ingenuity, the brilliance of necessity, something that so many of those Others lack."

Finally, he would look at her, with clear eyes, piercing eyes, bloodshot and exhausted eyes. "You've struck something head on. Intention. Even conscious awareness. I struggle with the problem of nature with them. How much of it is defined by their physiology? How much of it is their magic, the cost of it, side effects, how it affects their perception and how they communicate? How much of it is their society, thus shaped by the first two and even shaping the first two over time? If there are books, I've not found them, Genevieve, and I have looked. What I've found is surface level at best."

He sat back in his chair once again, putting two fingers of each hand to the respective nook where his eyes met the very bridge of his nose, thumbs falling in under his ears to support the effort. He did not rub so much as press. Then, finally, now and only now willing to come to grips with the reality of the situation for the very first time. "Why have you come all this way?"
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Tolleson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:57 pm

In truth, she wasn’t sure she’d ever heard him laugh at all. The simple delight it contained was practically infectious, at the sound alone she felt compelled to smile. And yet her lips couldn’t quite form the shape because the noise seemed to betray the man Genny remembered. Perhaps there was a memory of him within, a version from someone else’s mind, with whom the person before her could be reconciled. Before she even entered, and perhaps because he had planted the idea that a person could easily be faked, her mind raced considering various recollections and perceptions, trying to determine whether this was actually Glenn or an imposter.

Hesitantly she entered. The chuckle did nothing to assuage her suspicion or caution. Stepping inside, her eyes adjusted slowly to the somewhat darker room that was not unlike her own in terms of it’s papers and books. Though there may have been a passing thought that her stacks were more orderly. But as her eyes followed and resolved the image of the retreating man, casual and graceful, her breath caught. Her hand fell away from the door as she sucked a silent gasp and tore her eyes away to the ceiling, as if he was impossible to look at. Perhaps it could be read that she simply followed his gaze. Had it been naive to think seeing him again after so long wouldn’t be a punch to the gut? For as much control as she had gained in all the years between, and wore the thorns on the memory of him down, in the span of a single breath they grew anew. A bramble that pricked and stung and stained the perception of the man before her.

The door closed gently behind her, the soft sound of it landing was startling enough that though she stood, nearly motionless, her eyes fell back to his face. His eyes closed and in nearly five years it seemed very little had changed and yet so much. He may not have taken her in, or perhaps was in a state that he simply could not, but she did. She stared. Her brow furrowed, wrestling with various memories and his uncharacteristic nonchalance. She could barely think to speak and at the same time, it was all she could do.

“I lack an aptitude for cracking either. Therefore, I imagine life would be about the same.”

Her answer was plain, but it was something.

“Perhaps thieves would be more intelligent?” The words were an empty sort of clever, but they were easy, and like a friendly wind at her sail, it was just enough to move her. A small step closer and she looked at his clothes, and another his hair, and another until she stood a couple of paces away.

He launched into a tirade, no, a thesis. A verbal treatise on topics undefined regarding everything from evolution and the nature of man to detailed questions regarding creatures unknown. At least this was familiar and as the words poured out of him the tension that she had been holding in shallow breaths began to fall away. He continued even as he opened his eyes; what, if anything, would he see? Her hair was just as red and her look just as plain. Though her clothes were obviously tailored, and well given her unseemly height, she had neglected all but the basics of fashion’s social currency. A smart cloak covered a blue dress of fine, unadorned fabric, cut in a sleek style that only emphasized her stature. The sword was new, thin and barely able to hide in the subtle folds. And she was older. She wore time in freckles and worry in the small lines that would only grow longer and deeper with each passing year. She carried it in her eyes, tired but restless. It was not an unattractive quality, overall the change had been subtle, at least to those who she saw often.


Even as he sat back, asking the only question she actually had an answer for and holding his face, she stood still and relatively quiet. It had been so long. In the years that separated them, she had only the memory to imagine his voice narrating the rants of a handful of letters. And now he asked, as if she sat in the uncomfortable chair in the office, as if they were home. “Immature selfishness,” she offered somewhat dumbly.

It was a stolen phrase. A question he had written it in his last letter, a philosophical pondering about the futility of intention. And it had been the only thing she could think to say with his sudden shift and inquiry. Her hand lifted from the hilt, because if ever there was evidence that Glenn was himself, it had been his performance over the last few moments. From a well-concealed pocket she withdrew folded parchment, sealed with wax, though she didn’t offer it to him. “To deliver my reply.”

With a small sigh, that was trying to unburden more than the lingering tension from their curious exchange, she spoke plainly. “To see that you are well. To learn more with questions I have agreed to not yet ask,” she had something more that did not push past her lips and in its absence a pause. Instead, what followed was an offer.

“To help you find answers, should you need it.”
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:04 pm

Everything was more vivid due to the afterburn of the glamour, due to the weakness in his own mind that he was so aggressively working to eliminate. Guilt was as well. Talks of aptitude and thieves made him think, briefly, of Tennant. He'd never heard back from the man. There could have been many reasons for that. He likely would have heard if anything terrible had happened. Likely. What he had now was not necessarily restraint or hesitation, but instead an internal weighing of wants; he rushed to what he wanted the most in this moment, and alleviating potential guilt that may or may not have been warranted was quite low on that list.

Instead...

"Did I not tell you that I have a raven friend who might help with that. If there was an need for expedience, you should have let me known," It was not just nonchalance; there was a hint of playfulness in his tone as well. The impossibility of his statement (which was more striking in truth than the improbability of the raven) must have taken at least a small moment to sink in. He had meant it that way. Or he was mad. Or both. It was a shame she had proclaimed that lack of aptitude.

His eyes darted, for a brief second, around the room, landing on the ceiling once again before slowly, slowly falling upon her. "I have to be careful about this, and I am not going to be careful for another half an hour or so, lest I wouldn't have let you in until I was actually careful," he tapped at his temple but once, as if to show her the sort of contradictions which they were currently dealing with. "There are many things to take care with. I've promised, you above all, not to face things alone, but every instinct is to shield you in particular from this. Yet, of course, you're the only one who might suit." Yet, there were a dozen yets that he could state; he barely managed to stop himself. "I'd shield you from the past and the present for your own sake, not just because we'll need you for the future. Whatever I am more this than I am that. Now, at least. You can resent me for either." That brought forth a smile but only the smallest of ones.

"Oh, Genevieve. Genny," his voice had softened yet his gaze was steady. "You've come in at the middle of the story, yet still before your chapter's set to begin. What will we do with this?"
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Tolleson » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:13 am

Unlike her afflicted friend, at the moment Genny's mind was more or less intact. At least insomuch as it had ever been. Perhaps the offhanded mention of thieves was intentional, but their conversation had lead elsewhere. And there was really nothing, or at least very few things, she disliked more than discussing her degenerate brother.

Proclaiming to be a thing and actually being are entirely different matters. People might say they are terrible liars only to be quite good, having said as much as an attempt to fool their company. Or, as a result of being humble, deny a skill they have been practicing merely because they know someone who is more accomplished. It may also be an honest admission due only to a very small sample, where the skills are present but the person lacks the confidence to be successful in a given task, because they have rarely, if ever, attempted a similar feat. While all were possible reasons for the answer, whether or not Genny was equipped really came down to the nature of the riddle itself. And as she saw it, the riddle to be solved here was not word play or locks, but what had happened to Glenn Burnie.

Using the raven to let him know that she needed use of the raven. A fine suggestion. Her brow raised and her head tilted, with concern certainly, but not without mild amusement.

Perhaps it was saint-like patience that had her standing still and quiet for several long moments as rhetorical questions were asked and arbitrary rules recited. Though Glenn, if he had been in his right mind would know, perhaps better than anyone else, that her silence was not a stayed hand but a study. Observing the not at all subtle nuance in his tone, darting gaze, and averted eyes; she couldn’t overlook a dozen contradictions and yets, and circles in his arguments. Even if at the core of it was Glenn, the raw and fevered display was evidence of something amiss. Perhaps the affliction itself was still a mystery but the glamor-fueled hangover seemed to pull apart the structure of things and tangle his logic.

The bombardment of questions left her with several dozen of her own. Careful with what? What many things must we take care with? Shielding from what or from whom? Why might she be best suited? And for what future?

“You did promise. And yet,” her brow knit. Something of anger flared in her nostrils and twitched on her lips. The conditions of her entry were a fine set of constraints, ones he ought to have considered more carefully as he hadn’t forbade all questions. She was his friend, but not a saint. The advantage of his inhibition gave her pause. “What do you think of me? Do you regard me as fragile or incapable? That I would not, or could not help you?” He was right about some manner of resentment, though the reason might be wrong. A heavy, forceful sigh escaped as somewhere in the back of her head she held back a fury she’d stolen from Gloria. This was restraint.

He called her name, lobbed his gaze to her and she caught it willingly, her own face softening as she held it. How was she to answer the question that made no sense, the riddle that wasn’t a riddle. “Perhaps there is more than one story. What is this one about?”
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:04 am

"There is a difference between a venture openly entered into and one thrust upon you without consent." The words came quick in response to her glare. In this moment, he was not one for hesitation. There seemed to be no gatekeeper between his churning brain and his spouting mouth. Whatever they did now, and whatever they might do later, this was not diplomacy. It was impulse from a man she had never seen such a thing in. There was a purity to it but it was not an edifice that could carry their weight. It was a bridge of crystal and light. Did she really want to fall mid-way?

It was not that he refused to meet her gaze. It was that he could only meet it for so long. After a few seconds his own eyes shut. "The intent was to get there. I was near figuring out where there was. Geographically, it was Myrken. Chronologically, it was soon, to begin at least, perhaps after I had built up proper tolerance, to avoid such situations as this?" Eyes remained shut but lips went wry. "Topically? Diplomacy," which forced its way into the conversation despite his current inability to practice it. "Trade actually. I ever try to find the path forward for our adopted home, Genevieve," her full name returned, that familiar tone of before more a put-upon lapse than anything else. "In this task, we need gain whatever advantage we can, so long as the cost is not too high. Some of that, even, I have paid in advance," though these words were not said with any sort of regret, ominous or otherwise. "I think, with this, it will not be. Moreover, fortune favors us here. By mere fault of my birth (of fashion and not of blood), I cannot be the one to lead the negotiations. There will be no Governor or Councilor Burnie in this. It will take a good heart and a logical mind," which, of course was when he opened his eyes to look at her. Seven words, but an innate contradiction. Who else but her?

All that, so much, too much, preceded a laugh that was neither manic nor bitter. "Do you have any idea how much easier this would be for both of us if you simply came back in a few hours? I'll be well myself again. An hour even, if my calculations are accurate. I've been keeping track, after all. Then you wouldn't have to promise to anything at all." Yet it somehow seemed unlikely. He had opened the door in the first place, hadn't he?
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Tolleson » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:43 pm

The concern was not so much ventures that were entered as a necessity or even those entered willingly, though to have done so might have explained a great deal about the apparent state of his sanity. It was always the cost, and moreso that he took it upon himself to pay alone. In advance. “I think you wager more than you have or borrow from unsavory lenders, quick to ask for things more precious than we have the foresight to appraise,” where his words had been plain, a small measure of regret tinged hers.

On and on he went, in great loops, replying with questions and answering far too few. It was remarkable and might almost be impressive if it were not also frustrating. Here was a man who she had seen craft subtle, multi-threaded conversations, wound so neatly and strung through a needle’s head to lead the conversation and stick a point precisely. But then it was hardly ever the end of it, he was always more inclined to write an entire tapestry’s worth making the image all the more clear. Now the needle stuck but the thread tangled in a great formless mass.

“Your birth precludes you, but lends me the better choice?”

Logic and heart. The statement was an implication at best, but at least he had answered a question.

It was a frustrating puzzle, the fragments he offered seemed ill-fitting and small. Therefore, the rules of their engagement were the better place to build. Given his current lack of inhibition, the topic of his late wife was obvious. It might even explain the inclusion of Mentalism, but everyone wants privacy. Perhaps an ailment that might be best contained by staying indoors? But then why invite her in? A drug perhaps, but administered by whom; the Raven? Then there was the matter of delivered letters with presumably dangerous content. That he'd be himself within an hour and kept track; a temporary enchantment then? Either that or one too many stiff drinks, which would likely leave him asleep in an hour. Her weight shifted and her brow furrowed.

“Your edicts do not state that I must remain. Would my absence be preferable to you?” The question was offered offhandedly, as she seemed to have no intention of actually leaving. After all, how was she to keep him from leaving if she was no longer there.

Her shoulders did soften as her eyes drifted over the many stacks and she began to amble to the most promising pieces of parchment for clues. Perhaps a desk or side table by which some recent ink sat, her fingers to drift over a page. Glenn Burnie was a fool, but not an idiot. He studied, relentlessly. He studied pages in this very room. None of the letters here had been brought by the Raven, at least, to her knowledge.
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:19 am

Her words were a match for his own, a weaving, twisting path, with meaning driving one ever forward. He was a mapmaker by hobby and trade, and wasn't there wisdom in that, to choose a trade with so high a bar of entry that there would be no competition, even from an amateur. It seemed so long ago now. It was so long ago, in truth. Still, he could find his way through her words. At the end, or maybe back at the very beginning, was his laugh. It was quick and pleased. "I did. In fact, that has been a shield. There is a certain invulnerability in giving everything. You see it in many religions. There is a monastic element to it. It does not bring you closer to your gods, I think, but it makes them less apt to strike you down. It would diminish them to do it. The challenge becomes elsewhere. You can joust with them on a different level. You..."

He was without inhibition perhaps, but he was not without perspective. He knew how he sounded. "There's a freedom in it, so long as you go in with your eyes open and know well the risk. What you see here is my own weakness, is me paying for risks taken ten years ago. What can we do about the past except for endure it?" One could learn from it, perhaps, but that did not mean you escaped from it, only that you safeguarded a potential future that might or might not be.

There were letters, and an order to them. The one closest to him was the one that she had the least ability to read. She would have to severely enter his space for that, and in his current state, there would be no subtle way to do that. His eyes were on hers now and he looked at her aware. "If you will stay, ask direct questions. If you come back later, you won't have that luxury. Of course, if you stay, you know I'll give you answers that I might not wish to give you. That's something you would have to live with on your own conscience." In this case, she was the god he had no ability to battle. He was showing her his neck. Would she strike or would she retreat?
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Tolleson » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:25 am

“So you did. Quite right,” she replied to his correction, absently waving her hand as if to dispel a scent on the air, a gesture that implied she had simply forgotten. Even if he didn’t sound it, the conclusion was that he was at least somewhat lucid. Her eyes continued to drift, her back turning to him as she put distance between, more as if to fetch something from the other side of the room than to leave. But what if she did? How had he come up with such a concise list of rules and knowledge of the duration; it lead her to believe it wasn’t the first time he’d experienced whatever had left him in this state.

“Risks,” she repeated idly before she looked back and found his eyes watching her own. “You endure the consequence of a line that was crossed.” It wasn’t a question. Her fingers fell away from the stacks and she returned to facing him squarely.

“Two years ago you wrote to me, laid bare all the truth I ever sought and more. Filled in pieces that made whole many of the half memories I possess,” his perspective was a balancing counterpart to her own recollections and several of those she had stolen from the woman she couldn’t mention. “You have always been more complex than a tyrant or a complicit fool.”

Frustration from the rules, the conversation itself, and most assuredly the fine line he now asked her to walk built to a head and she sighed, “I trust you.” Though she certainly had enough evidence that she shouldn’t. Even as she said it she shook her head free of his gaze, as if frustrated with herself for saying it. “I agreed to abide your rules and will. However, you know better than most, that wishes and wants mean little in the face of necessity.”

She grabbed a handful of papers to clear it from the seat of a nearby chair, pulled the chair closer to him, and then sat. Silent for a long minute after, it might have seemed that she did retreat, content to simply wait out the side effects of his ‘inoculation’. But there was one question, a small prick in the scheme of things, that would determine for her whether or not an incision was warranted...

“It has been a long while. Too long, even for a weariness of what we are," with earnestness her eyes returned to him. "Especially because of it, I thought it best to see for myself how you fair. I even have the mind to bring you back,” home was the better word, more precise to her meaning, but her using it seemed somehow inappropriate. “Your last letter was ample philosophical fodder, we might have exchanged a dozen more from those seeds. Wherein I suggest we be idealists in imagination and at ‘heart’, but pragmatic in our actions. Yet always seek knowledge and compromise, lest we fall prey to thinking there is any one, correct way to see the world. And you, undoubtedly countering any optimism with tempered realism.”

Following the fabricated exchange she slouched a little and gave a soft sort of chuckle, just a puff of breath from her nose as her lips pulled into a small smile. The papers she still held, absentmindedly, crinkled just a bit as she moved. They were, or would be, amusing conversations to pass the time in-person; but over long distances, with an unknown catalyst, and a proclamation that none of what he had even come here for had been accomplished the arguments were concerning at best.

... “Are you in any danger?”
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:20 am

He listened. One might think that in this state, whatever the state may be, he would fidget and fumble. There was a ring somewhere in this room, not that she knew of it. For the first week he possessed it, he played with it between fingers, no matter what state he was in. He had ample material to work with if he was to do this. Instead, she spoke and he listened, as if she was the only thing in the world and he did not even possess a body, only a presence that might hear her.

It wasn't that he was capable of this; it was that in this moment, he was capable of nothing else. To say he watched her as well would be untruthful. He heard her. That was enough.

When it was time to speak, it was as if ice had thawed. He took steps towards her. She had fallen into a seat but he was back to his feet, advancing. Within his voice was purpose though not focus. Within his gait was alacrity but hardly menace. She was Genny and he Glenn. That was how they had reached this point. "Backwards or not at all," he prefaced knowing the context would fall in behind it. "Risk," quite the word really. "Yes. There are unsavory elements here who I have provided some information and distraction too, but that will give me quite a bit of trouble over the next few months if I stay. There's also a possibility of fairie intrigue and rogue ravens and I'm not entirely sure what that means. So that's physical risk. Everything else is more complicated." He couldn't answer what he didn't know; of course, being Glenn Burnie, he also couldn't admit to not knowing, inhibitions or no. "Right now, I'm mainly trying to stop the bleeding, I suppose. Again, the damage's already been done so that side of the risk has passed. It's quite a bit of bleeding, I'm afraid to say."

That would not assuage worry, though his next words, now that he'd almost reached her, close enough to look down and not just look forward, might. "I am about to head back to Myrken. That's part of why your timing is unfortunate. You can come back with me but it's been something of a wasted trip for you, I'm afraid. You'll have scant time to explore Razasan and if you had just waited, I would have come to you."

If they were, in fact, going backwards, that only left them one place to visit. "I told you everything, Genevieve, but in the letters we've traded since, you've given me no sense of what it all meant to you. Did it provide succor or sorrow?"
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Re: Minding Missives and Madness

Postby Glenn » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:20 am

He listened. One might think that in this state, whatever the state may be, he would fidget and fumble. There was a ring somewhere in this room, not that she knew of it. For the first week he possessed it, he played with it between fingers, no matter what state he was in. He had ample material to work with if he was to do this. Instead, she spoke and he listened, as if she was the only thing in the world and he did not even possess a body, only a presence that might hear her.

It wasn't that he was capable of this; it was that in this moment, he was capable of nothing else. To say he watched her as well would be untruthful. He heard her. That was enough.

When it was time to speak, it was as if ice had thawed. He took steps towards her. She had fallen into a seat but he was back to his feet, advancing. Within his voice was purpose though not focus. Within his gait was alacrity but hardly menace. She was Genny and he Glenn. That was how they had reached this point. "Backwards or not at all," he prefaced knowing the context would fall in behind it. "Risk," quite the word really. "Yes. There are unsavory elements here who I have provided some information and distraction too, but that will give me quite a bit of trouble over the next few months if I stay. There's also a possibility of fairie intrigue and rogue ravens and I'm not entirely sure what that means. So that's physical risk. Everything else is more complicated." He couldn't answer what he didn't know; of course, being Glenn Burnie, he also couldn't admit to not knowing, inhibitions or no. "Right now, I'm mainly trying to stop the bleeding, I suppose. Again, the damage's already been done so that side of the risk has passed. It's quite a bit of bleeding, I'm afraid to say."

That would not assuage worry, though his next words, now that he'd almost reached her, close enough to look down and not just look forward, might. "I am about to head back to Myrken. That's part of why your timing is unfortunate. You can come back with me but it's been something of a wasted trip for you, I'm afraid. You'll have scant time to explore Razasan and if you had just waited, I would have come to you."

If they were, in fact, going backwards, that only left them one place to visit. "I told you everything, Genevieve, but in the letters we've traded since, you've given me no sense of what it all meant to you. Did it provide succor or sorrow?"
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