Concessions

Concessions

Postby Rance » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:28 am

There was one thing that spread more quickly than fire.

Its sparks shot through the town with invisible fervor, more like plague than like flame. This destruction carried itself on tongues and voices, sometimes loud, sometimes in whispers. They had their questions, their curiosities, but most of all, they had their explanations — "It's a farmer's regimen, burning it to help it thrive" — and their explanations — "Widow June-and-Ashers died two days back, and I think today's her burning day" — and explanations, explanations, explanations — "Some contingent had their gaze set on those woods." But all the noise fell away when she saw it herself: the smearing, too-black tattoo of oily smoke stretching across the sky, blotting out sight of the evening's swollen Glass Sun.

She'd been in the Bazaar to think. She'd bought a quarter skewer-broiled rabbit and chewed it in the throes of distraction. Greasy, stringy, unsatisfying. I don't even like the way it tastes. Then she'd browsed the tunics at one of the clothiers. In her nostrils, the chalky stink of smoke. He's lost his way. He defies logic. He's let himself grow dull; that is not your error, Glour'eya. Her eyes settled on a waist-sash of braided burgundy and silverhair. You owe him nothing. But he? He owes you—

"How much will you ask for this," she said, not looking at the woman at the stall.

No response.

"How much, if you please," Gloria asked again.

"Isn't that curious," the woman said, behind a too-tight breath.

Which is when Gloria realized the burning was not the stink of overcharred rabbit, and she followed the woman's upturned gaze.

One tower of smoke bleeding across the sky. In the distance, another. Black, stormy fingers reaching up toward the heavens. Despite the sweltering heat, a chill spiraled down Gloria's spine until the black tarsweat ran like insects behind her ears, poured from her underarms, and licked wetly at the small of her back.

She ran toward the Inquisitory.

Her unusual height, the bounty of her weight, it all forced the crowds of the day to part before her like peeled skin. She chuffed like a bison and barked at gaping boys staring up at the sky like hungry birds. She stank of Sun and dust and sweat by the time she arrived back at the Inquisitory, had lost her rabbit somewhere, somewhere — good riddance — and tugged a key from a skirt-pocket. Found the tumblers with trembling fingers. Twisted. Cursed. Drove a frustrated knee into the doorjamb, then found the catch, that smooth moment when the key kissed the iron teeth inside.

She threw the door open, and said only one word, perhaps louder than she intended:

"Come."
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Re: Concessions

Postby Glenn » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:07 am

There was a table in the room. Glenn Burnie laid upon it. The thoughts were coming too quickly now. There were ways to deal with this. Quill to paper. Quill to paper always worked. There was no quill. There was no paper. He'd not asked for much and, in truth, what he had asked for was to their interest anyway. Whatever he wrote, they could confiscate. Whatever he wrote would be harder to deny later. Barring that, there was the raven. Well, he had tried that, hadn't he? Circumstance had intervened. Gloria was all words and no ears and had been no help at all. It was his own fault, in the grander scheme and in the minute one. There was always something more pressing than Gloria Wynsee and now, obviously, he'd pressed her to her limit. None of them knew what it was like to share one's life with Rhaena Olwak. Gloria would learn, would perhaps even find sympathy before it swallowed her whole, but not yet. He was the only one who could halt that, but also the last one that she'd listen to. Genevieve would listen, naturally, but what grief that would cause for Gloria and for himself. Could he just stand idly by then? Knowing tragedy would come? To save himself grief at the expense of others? Maybe it would not reach that point, even on its own. He barked out a small laugh, a maligned, bitter thing.

Could they not have shown him the simple mercy of ink and paper?

There were other mercies, though, ones he knew nothing about. He was not part of the hunt. He was not hunted himself. He was kept from the woods. He was kept safe from a great many things and a great many things were kept safe from him. In all of Myrkentown, one would be hard pressed to find a room more enclosed than this one. The scent of fire, the sounds of panic? None of it reached him here. So he was left alone, with himself, no mercy at all.

At one point he napped, right there on the table, but for a few scant minutes, unsatisfying minutes. Minutes more dire than he would come to know for days to come. He awoke unpleasantly with the feeling he had lost something but waking thoughts were far more potent than sleeping ones.

By the time the door rocked open, his head was hanging far off the table, meaning that at least one of them would look upside-down to the other. Wasn't that always the case though? "So I don't have to use one of my two magic rings?" This was a mutter, one more to himself than to her, certainly under his breath. He was primed and on edge. The thoughts of Gloria and Genevieve were relatively simple and straightforward. Those of Catch? Of what he had learned, of what he had been so thoroughly blind to for so astoundingly long? Those would consume. And she had not cared to listen.

He had seen her do the most fascinating, the most memorable things in Razasan; he had seen her shown such resiliency and determination in the face of sheer brutality. Here he'd give her a performance as well, leaning back further until his hands were upon the ground and kicking his body back over, feet over head, until he was upon his knees. Had it been a smooth motion, it might have been vaguely impressive, but slow and jerky as it was, it was the acrobatics of an uncle a few years older than he'd like to admit who wanted to recapture the feeling of impressing a nephew who was already beginning to outpace him. Maybe he'd been laying upon that table for too long. A hand went back to rub at the crux of the shoulder and his neck. He'd yet to turn, was looking instead at that iron contraption she had threatened him with only hours before. "Okay," spoken as he rose creakily to his feet. "What's changed?"
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Re: Concessions

Postby Rance » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:16 am

"You are the only one here."

Whether that was answer or not enough for him did not matter, because there was so very little time for the answers that would please him. He wanted words, always wanted words, bent in ways that suited the too-twisted canals inside his ears and brain. She could say more now, but to what end? No, instead, she observed him from a thousand miles away with her mouth drawn so tight that her chin crumpled like old paper. His clumsy acrobatics (He's getting older, and so are you), his insistence to speak (He has no one but himself to listen), they were just flashes of distracting light.

"We—" she said, a gem of black sweat refusing to fall from her nose, "—are not done here."

(What she wanted to do was sleep for a very long time, to squeeze her lone fist around hide and furs and curl into the smallest pinpoint and sink into hay-stuffed ticking and never emerge. The eyes, they blinked at a half-pace; the body, it proved sluggish, unresponsive, hadn't rested in two days, three, or — Nameless! — longer still...)

Outside his room, the world stank of burning wood and wet fire, the kind that boiled away rainwater and stubbornly chewed at the damp evening. Outside the Inquisitory, the world was not exactly a-rush, but it certainly sparked with the static of curiosity, question, and intrigue. And the evening? It had begun to go gray. But a gray that the fingers could touch and swipe through. A gray that would cling to woolen clothes like campfire-stink. In its silence, the Inquisitory seemed all too empty and lonely. Gloria was the only one there. Glenn, too. She ground thumb and forefinger against her eyes, then mopped the sweat of her sprint from her brow.

Simple words. Stay simple.

"Fire," she said to him.

Then, with stillness growing all too maddening, she stepped out of the Inquisitory whether or not he chose to follow.
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Re: Concessions

Postby Glenn » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:45 am

He was raised on tales of heroism. Sharp, stark, sudden heroism. Reactive heroism. When he arrived to Myrken Wood, that was the sort of heroism that kept the place afloat, or at least pulled it back up after it had submerged. Grand gestures to mitigate losses and stick a thumb in the eye of those who wronged you. The stuff to warm the heart and inspire songs that made life feel like it was worth living. An endless cycle with endless opportunities. Worthless. All of it was worthless. The only thing that mattered was planning, preparing, training, executing the plan. Fire had come from within and yes, given the proximity to the Wood, fire could come from without. He had left things in a certain state of readiness, but the key word there was "left." He had no idea the state of them now, and barking orders or suggestions wouldn't matter at this point. Either things had been maintained (and even improved upon for such things were possible) or they had not, and no valiant declaration of wisdom would change that.

An equal temptation was to assault her with wryness, either to bloody her or to show a certain sort of chummy solidarity. The phrases were there at the tip of his tongue, that he was the one person in Myrken who couldn't be blamed for this thanks to her, or alternatively that he had just gotten back and this was already happening. There were a multitude of permutations of either, and some were even witty enough to move her. He was human, only human, but as such he also had the free will to hold back.

Instead, he followed her, eyes darting this way and that, trying to gauge the problem, the response, to take in every bit of stimuli he could. There was little he could do to solve the problem. It would be contained or it would not. If it was not, then the things they had to worry about were lessened by far. Best to prepare for the alternative, then. Simple words from her, and in return, at the very least, short questions from him. "Natural or manufactured? Mundane or arcane?"
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Re: Concessions

Postby Rance » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:32 am

The problem—

A fire in the midday, stretching into the evening, and above the crowns of the buildings, fingers of smoking trying to turn the sky to night as the woods smoldered in patches and parcels, near and far.

The response—

Some gaggles of folk did not break from their rituals, their work, their same-day passages, same-day routines. Others stopped mid-street to shield their eyes and see if their senses proved them right. Others, still, brimmed over with all the excitement and tension and action that a fire ought to bring: trying to organize, dictating possibilities, swarming in the direction as if their hands might somehow bring the perfect solution to the visible problem...

Natural or manufactured?

"I don't know," she said through her teeth.

Mundane or arcane?

"I don't know."

Her feet pounded restlessly on the cobbles, and her patchwork skirts dragged and snapped through puddles and offal. When they came to immovable knots of folks, she nearly swatted them aside with her hand, with her elbow. So many times had her nose been broken and reknitted by time and good fortune that when she breathed in exertion, it came popping out of her mouth in long, loud dashes of air. The hawkish nose offered no aid. At the delta of the next alley, where the streets convened and wended away, she stopped to throw a glance over her shoulder. "But I do know," she gasped, "you care about — about the woods, about..."

But a fit of dry coughs interrupted her, and the thoughts were lost. She wiped her damp mouth off on the inner bend of her elbow, leaving a sooty kiss on the fabric.
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Re: Concessions

Postby Glenn » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:08 am

Simple questions. No answers. She didn't lie to him, though, didn't stretch the truth. She didn't propose anything at all. There was a fine line between that being admirable and it being simply obtuse. They were not words he uttered often, though, out of sympathy if nothing else. "I don't know either." It likely didn't help given that he had just returned, but maybe it helped slightly more than if he had started listing off theories that were, at best, out of date.

His substandard acrobatics notwithstanding, he was in fairly good shape. This came at the end of a journey and he had leisure time in Razasan to stay fit. Plus, he'd spent the last many hours resting upon a table and the time before that (past the one punch, of course) napping. He had never outpaced her though, always trailing behind. "I appreciate you letting me out. Fire moves quickly. If the next hour goes poorly, there's no promising that it doesn't take the Inquisitory and all the locked rooms within."

Between the talk with Catch and dealing with her, brevity was starting to chafe. He had limits after all. She had started to go on about something else, though, and he was one to take any opportunity, including her coughing, to right things. "As for the rest, I care about that, but I care about this more. I meant to find a solution that let me care about both. I've no love for the Wood. You can say I spent a third of my life battling it. People, people less able to handle themselves than she can, live there or make their livelihoods through it. It is connected to the Town and to everyone in it. Everyone here will contain this now. You will figure out what happened. You will figure out how to stop it or something worse from happening again."

He was not rushing to Her, or to Catch, or to anyone else. He stood just behind her, the perfect spot to steady her balance or to stab her in the back. "What do you need me to do right now?"
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Re: Concessions

Postby Rance » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:07 am

And in that, he was right: on the outskirts of the town, people began to better mobilize themselves in response to the curling gouts of smoke. It was the farmers, the outliers, the commoners who dashed off commands and needs at their fellows, and men and women with sooty faces and hands on their hips as they awaited instruction. The Militia came with trough-buckets, came with horses and wooden rods laden with sloshing vessels. But water would only serve a limited purpose. A handful of splashes offered nothing against a raging flame. Nearby, young men shoveled bounties of wet mud into double-wheeled carts, gathered damp compost and old manure, did brown with with brown hands.

Extinguishing it was a dreamer's hope. Keeping it from spreading, however...

"What I need for you to do right now," Gloria said, never turning, because her eyes surveyed the action, tried to punctuate unspoken plans, directed ideas, "is to forget you asked me such a fool's question. Go get your fae. Whether or not your friend is — is capable of her own survival, you go to her." A cold realization began to coalesce at the back of her brain: Did they do this? Did she? "Find her, if you know how. That's the price of being loyal. You — you go to your friends, and no one — no one — keeps you from them, whether or not they think they need you."

Louder than the rolling carts, than the beating hooves or drumming feet, Gloria's lone hand clenched into a fist so viciously against her hip that her four knuckles snapped and cracked in quick succession. Her dark skin faded white.

"If she is facing some kind of danger, then better you find her first than Mister Catch. For his sake, for hers—"

And for ours.

And for the fortune of whatever — whoever — had lit the blaze in the first place.

"Do you want me to come with you?"
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Re: Concessions

Postby Glenn » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:48 am

What did it say about her that she seemed to be crumbling in the face of this and everything else? What did it say about him that he was calm? Were they to be judged, she'd come off the better on that fact alone. He suddenly missed the table. It was hard and unyielding, but predictable, constant. This was anything but. Burnie's eyes shut as he tried to constrain the wild stampede of thoughts that dragged him through rocky terrain. "Gloria." One word and one word alone and then another stretch of silence.

Where to even begin? At the end. "Both of us can't leave." She was, of course, not the only one who could have stark and dire thoughts? This was no ruse but it might have been a consciously staged action to get him to give up Her location. How far gone, how compromised, how mad would Gloria have to be in order to orchestrate such a thing? She was an excellent pugilist and able to mount a pig-nosed discipline, but she no thespian. Madness had made him iron and steel but it would likely make her fire and brimstone. The fire was present but not the brimstone. Ash and soot instead. If this was some plot, it was not hers. If this was some plot, he, at the very least, was woefully unprepared for it. In other circumstances, that would be reason enough to go dashing into the Wood. When you knew so little, it was easy to learn anything of use.

This was not other circumstances. "Myrken comes first." He'd tried to express that to her before and she didn't believe him. It wasn't about proving a point now. It simply was. "I can't talk my way through fire. No one can. You can only plan for it, endure it, and rebuild after its passing. You're stronger than I am. Let's fetch water and do our part."

What did the Governor do, Gloria Wynsee? What did the Head Inquisitor do? What did she think she was doing? The biggest threat. Always the biggest threat. One could not talk down fire, but one could talk down Catch. "Him finding Her might be the best possible course." Or the worst. If she needed saving, Catch might be unveiled in a controlled way. If she did not, she might only stoke his rage. Rage wasn't the issue though. Not anymore. Did she understand? "An angry Catch isn't what we have to worry about, Gloria. It's a dedicated Catch, a committed one."

Could Glenn stop a Catch committed to act? Committed to make changes? Committed to set things right? In the face of reason, maybe, but not in the face of fire. What argument was more compelling than the destructive and undeniable force of the flame? "She's a fairy queen, Gloria. They're just people." His people, whether or not she wanted to accept it.
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Re: Concessions

Postby Rance » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:20 am

"Then go," she barked, with rising impatience. "She is deceitful, poisonous, and regards nothing; I dislike her, and crave an opportunity to one day give your little queen something to remember me by—" spoken, this, with a faint curl of the dry upper lip, "—but if these fires encroach upon her home, and she is the queen you call her, then her stubbornness and pride will win out, and she will either burn on her stupid little throne, or choke on the smoke that rises from it.

"Your hands are not important here, Glenn."

Now, at the end of that alley, she whirled on him, a pivot sharp enough that her skirts slashed across the ankles of his boots. Of sheer height and width, Gloria Wynsee was greater than the unremarkable Glenn Burnie, but she didn't wield it with threat here. Not here. Instead, all she did was raise her single hand and slash it toward the smoldering Woods and their fiery secret. Then she lowered her voice to a bassy murmur, a thing locked away in belly and chest for fear it might become a snarl.

"If people set this fire, then Catch will not restrain himself, and if she tries to bury me alive for — for seeking out her fucking gardens, she'll skewer those who sparked this flame without a moment's hesitation." The lump in her throat danced, hovered, then dropped. So did her voice. "Maybe you haven't yet seen the cruel, destructive, and truly gruesome side of her, Glenn Burnie, but I have, and if these fires awaken that part of her, then Nameless help her, and Nameless help you for standing by and letting an entirely different hellstorm come to fruition."

He could be a fool. He was a fool. Not even the daylight could blind her to it. She began to wind up her skirts in her lone fist, wrapping them around her knuckles enough so that she could stuff them, without ceremony or modesty, into the top of her belt. Freed legs were legs meant for running. She intended to do a great deal of it.

She leaned close to him, almost near enough for a kiss. But the world certainly knew better.

"Don't let me be the smart one right now, Glenn. Even queens possess the regrettable qualities we call feelings. You choose the town over Fionn, you will regret how much it hurts her."
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Re: Concessions

Postby Glenn » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:50 am

What mattered here? What truly mattered in the time that they had? Gloria Wynsee was, of course, not without merit, not without considerable talent and experience. She was a creature of such passion and such repression. He was too, of course, but the balance, not even a dissimilar balance, manifested in so different a manner.

She was close enough now, close enough for a kiss, and he'd lean his head forward against hers, an animal gesture from a man who had so thoroughly defied his own animalistic nature. He'd seen her in Razasan and knew how quickly and thoroughly she could drop them both with a slam forth of her skull but there it was, head pressed against sweaty head. The noise that escaped his lips was more an exhale than a scoff, but it could be confused for either or for something else entirely.

"There isn't time now to separate your correct assumptions from your incorrect ones, to pull out what I do not know as well." He'd withdraw, just a step. As concessions went, that was a meager one. The distance allowed him to shake his head head, allowed him also to speak without worry of such instant retribution. "This isn't her. You were prodding at the wrong shadows, Inquisitor." Yet, there was truth in some of what she had said; some of those assumptions, though they made an ass out of at least one of them (and likely both), were correct. "Understand this, though. She'd choose her people over me and she knows I'd do the same. That is the very common ground from which we began from, Gloria. Without that, we would have had nothing."

He walked past her then, for that was what she wanted, though the mere act of stepping forth and having his back to her would not silence Glenn Burnie. "Help them. Your hands are more important than mine. Live so that we can muddle through the rest of your assumptions and mine together. I'll see what shadows are illuminated by the light of this fire."

Then, he was off, a focused dashed not away from danger but towards it. It was only when he was a good ways a way, right at the edge of that danger, that he'd let out a focused yell, shouting towards the woods and not away from it. "Benedict!" Names had power, but that one had far less than most.
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Re: Concessions

Postby Rance » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:53 am

Against her forehead, his. They stared into one another. Here, so close, it was perfect. She could have broken him. Could have turned her shoulder just enough, staggered him just enough, misguided his balance or disrupted his stance just enough to move into the space he occupied and overtake him. Palm to the chin. Two knuckles to the temple. The hard rock of her hand's knife-edge to his sternum, and then the head — just a snap, a little twitch, just enough, to shatter his nose to powder, dislodge a tooth or two—

(She'd learned that there were little pockets of air in the gums, old as the day of one's birth, ever-moldering below the nasal cavity, packed like secrets behind pink lips. And they could burst like swollen bladders if the nose broke in just the right way, send the two front teeth shooting out like little arrows of bone...)

Gloria leaned her head against his. Watched him.

"When it is done, come find me."

It was the most trust they'd shown each other in years, as fragile as half-bent leafspine.

But it was trust. Or something like it.

"Hand," she said, her mouth daring a subdued smile, before he fled.

It was not done. Not by far. But those paths were not hers to travel tonight. Instead, she palmed sweat from her collar, and threw herself silently into the company of other Myrkeners. Her lone contribution as Inquisitor? To ask for a call of the horn from a member of the Guard, who promptly sounded it and drew swarms of citizens from their homes, from their drinks, from their work, to lend their aid. Otherwise, she put her body to work as they did: marching water and mud to the treeline, or bringing wineskins to those already black-faced by a war they'd already been waging when she arrived. A fire would burn itself out in time. That's what the folks with spades and hoes knew as they cut mighty trenches into the warm earth. What mattered most was that it had no channel, no avenue, to find thatched roofs, or barns, or crops, or Aithne...

Aithne. Where smoke climbed high. Where men and women had already rushed on thundering hooves and rattling carts.

Darkenhold.

No sooner had the chilling thought crossed her mind than a lumbering, black-furred figure parted the darkness of coming evening, as if stepping from the fire and smoke without worry or ceremony. It rustled lazily through the scorched ferns, crushing smoldering leaves beneath cloven hooves. The rheumy, sightless eyes found her, and the creature chuffed at her, sniffed at her, before an ox-like brow, off-kelter with its lone horn, turned to the earth. Shoof, shoof, shoof, nostrils flaring, a phlegm-coated tongue lapping blindly, he lumbered to her. Tongued at her skirt. Drove a horn-nub willfully against her sash-pouch, impatiently seeking out...

"No, my boy," Gloria gasped, burying her cheek against his unkempt neck. "Oh, I've got no apples, I've got none, none at all, I'm afraid."

Caliir's crude snout swung toward Aithne, toward the smoke.

She climbed him. She held fast, lone hand clutching wiry knots of fur as he did what Caliir had not done in years.

He ran.

She cried so hard, so powerfully, the wind filled her mouth and snapped her skirts out like sooty, half-singed war-banners as they rushed toward the distant town. Into his foul fur, she screamed. How much she'd missed him. How beautiful he was.
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Re: Concessions

Postby Niabh » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:21 pm

A hand flagged over the crowd. A voice called his name. Maybe he saw it, maybe he heard, maybe he didn’t.

A tall figure wove its way through the crowd. Maybe it trod on a few too many feet. It was an accident; there was still a little trouble judging distances there. She craned her long neck, focusing so intently on the escaping brown back ahead that she nearly crashed into a stuck cart. The horse, bewildered by smoke, balked and screamed, jostling its wagon and knocking over two casks loaded with water. A crack, a splash, and a general gasp of dismay followed by cursing.

Someone grabbed her arm, either to drag her out of the way or trying to conscript her to help. She shook her forearm free, bared her teeth, and jabbed an elbow at him. It missed by a good six inches, but the fellow got the hint and quit trying. The crowd was like the sea, surging around obstacles and unexpectedly drawing back.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, she found herself bursting free on an outer edge, standing baffled and stupid as she tried to orient herself: a tall woman in a man’s crimson coat and breeches, and boots. Ridiculous, flashy red leather boots with yellow cuffs folded under the knee. A straining black ribbon bound her bright curls in a huge bloom at the back of her head. If not for the chaos, she would have stood out like a gaudy clown. As it was, she was an obstacle, something to be bumped into.

And something off about the face. The eyes too big, too strained. Spooked. Lips slightly agape, aghast, revealed the bottom row of teeth.

She shook herself all over, rattling her head. It felt stiff and awkward, but it worked: sweeping along the edge, she spotted him again and barreled forward: headlong, full speed, arms flapping loose and useless at her sides. “Wanker! Oi, wanker!
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Re: Concessions

Postby Glenn » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:22 am

The three types of Glamoruie (as observed by Glenn Burnie):
1. Glamourie of the self;
2. Glamourie of the environment;
3. Glamourie of the other.


Glenn Burnie, unfortunately, did not react well to glamourie. Calling his mind broken would be understating the litany of traumas and damaging preternatural experiences that he had experienced. Glamourie was a shifting of perceptions and perceptions were the only way to understand the world. While nothing of the glamourie itself affected him (no more than anyone else, that is), the cratering of his brain had an almost allergic reaction to the placed veil. Or, at least, that was how he had come to understand it. As the glamourie prevented or overwrote the part of the mind that allowed one to properly receive sensory stimuli and inputs, it went a step further with Glenn, temporarily obstructing the part of one's mind that allowed for hesitation and careful reasoned inhibition. It was not unlike the effects of alcohol upon certain people, perhaps, though it did little to to inhibit his intellect.

That, as much as anything else, informed his reaction when he had been so sober and restrained with Gloria, just a moment before. He had felt the bottom falling out upon him at a first glance at the woman, but it wasn't until she called him a wanker that he connected the dots. "How was it that her reaction to the woods being on fire was this?" Not a glamourie of the self, not a glamourie of the other, but instead a glamourie of the other that did not completely subsume one's identity and that stretched out to all who saw the raven. Therefore, a glamourie of the environment for what it mattered to the former governor. It was simple when one thought about it, and his mind was churning in every direction at once, thinking of everything at once. "Maybe as a decoy for a bandit horde."

Burnie was fleet of foot, well trained by Ariane Emory. She always started with footwork. Not only was it the necessary foundation for everything to come but by tasking young bravos with it instead of putting a sword in their hands, she could weed out those that would always be useless, or at least spiral them out onto a path of frustration where they might not hurt themselves or anyone else anytime soon. She barreled towards him. Instead of catching her and steadying her, he sidestepped so that she might tumble forward still. There were limits. There were certainly limits. "Why this? Why now? You're more useful in the air." Uninhibited as he was, he asked all sorts of the wrong questions and left the careening creature to fall any which way without assisting, but there was a fire all around them and that inescapable reality kept him from belly laughing at least. Frankly, this wasn't the sort of thing he found amusing.
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Re: Concessions

Postby Niabh » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:51 am

Glenn sidestepped, and she shot past him, stumbling to a halt hunched over, her hands braced on her knees. She was not entirely graceless, only loose-limbed and unsteady, as though she’d started drinking early.

“You think this was the plan?” It was certainly her voice, but the raven gave it a low bubbling in the back of the throat. Likewise the face, which twitched and fluttered, the corner of the mouth ticking into a smile that had nothing to do with humor. She blinked with mechanical rapidness against the smoke, the corners of her eyes gone gummy. “I been chasin’ you for six streets. She was supposed to meet me at the Inquisarium or what-the-fuck-ever. Jail break. She never turned up.”

She straightened, face sweaty and eyes narrowing in suspicion. “Don’t you feckin’ go screwy on me right now or I’ll slap you cross-eyed. Pull your shit together. I’m goin’ for the big guy.”

Then her shoulders buckled, and she pressed her nose to the crook of her elbow and coughed in three sharp barks.
Anything can be magic if you're gullible enough.
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Re: Concessions

Postby Glenn » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:10 am

In the best of circumstances, Burnie was a mere mortal. After getting smacked in the face not by the raven's all too human hands (or at least what people and one avian would perceive to be mortal hands - which included touch - which included smacking), but instead by the glamourie weaved around it, it was not at all the best of anything, most especially circumstances. "Wait, wait. To clarify," the mania manifested not in a rapid succession of words but in their simple existence in a time where Myrken was burning. They were steady and pronounced, each one crafted with care as if they were magical orbs that could somehow slow the passage of time. "your current state is not some desperate but well-meaning attempt to allow you to traverse the crowd in the midst of this panic, but instead was the crux of your fumblebrained queen's daft attempt to free me from the Inquisitory?" He'd raise a hand to halt Benedict (for perception was the thing) in any attempt to actually answer that question, or make any other declaration, or simply run after the 'big guy.' Glenn needed a moment and for once, there was no chance that he might get pecked in the finger by an angry bird's beak so he'd make the very most of both the opportunity and the gesture.

"Alright," he quietly diagnosed the coughing even as he processed every other peculiarity of this particular moment. Smoke inhalation? A simple misunderstanding of how to breathe as a human or the limits of one's ability to run? Some magical decay of the glamourie? Iron powder sprung about the town? "Catch is the second largest issue at play, second only to our lack of information. Once you pull yourself together," said with a small tsk given that the raven had already admonished Glenn, "you can tell me everything that you know is happening. Then we can decide upon the best course. Gloria pulled me out of the way so that she could launch a more comprehensive assault upon our mutual friend. Given the fire, she released me, but if she has any idea what's going on, she was disinclined to tell me it," which made him disinclined to believe she had any idea what was going on. "There's a small chance she intends me to lead her to your lady but she would need an impressively insane amount of obsession for that to be her plot."
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