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Private In the King's Wild Company

Discussion in 'Pandora Town' started by John Uskglass, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    925
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    November 13th
    @Mr. Wednesday

    Ms. Margaret Blackthorne, Proprietor of the Raven-In-Flight. Ms. Margaret Blackthorne, Proprietor of the Raven-In-Flight. The more she repeated the words in her mind the more Peggy liked the sound of them. Things had started looking up for her in Pandora in the past few months. From working as a waitress in the Riverboat Café, now to running her own establishment just as she had before the black vines had grabbed her and she'd been brought into all of this mess. It was early on in the day yet, and few customers were about. It would get busier as the day went on though, however. For now she would enjoy the peace while it lasted.

    "Her arms were all too feeble,
    though she claimed to love me so,
    the Raven King reached out his hand
    and she sighed and let me go..."


    She sang quietly to herself as she worked, pouring out a glass of whiskey and walking across the room to lay the drink before a distinguished looking older Gentleman seated at one of the tables. And he must have been a Gentleman, he certainly had the presence of one, Peggy felt. She flashed him a smile and bobbed him a cheerful nod of her blonde head, "There y'are, sir" She said pleasantly, before moving off to start cleaning up before the night really began.

    She occupied herself for the next several moments wiping down the empty tables and taking up her song again. In the near-empty pub her soft voice seemed to fill the room.

    "This land is all too shallow
    It is painted on the sky
    And trembles like the wind-shook rain
    When the Raven King goes by..."


    There was a shadowed place, just behind a beam, beneath the window, and as she passed it her song seemed to falter for a moment. Those shadows made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and sent goosebumps rising up her arms, though she couldn't have told you why. It felt...well, it felt as though someone were watching her from there.

    "For always and for always
    I pray remember me
    Upon the moors, beneath the stars --"


    She cut herself off, suddenly glancing up and throwing her rag to the side at the sound of flapping wings. Her face lit up as she saw two ravens perched on the sill. "Well now, isn't that luck then?" she said, and if it was to herself or if the older Gentleman she'd been serving was meant to be included in her conversation it was difficult to tell, "Now how is it that poem goes? 'One for Sorrow, Two for joy...'" In other places it may have been magpies referred to in the poem, but Ms. Peggy Blackthorne was from Newcastle, a Northerner born and bred, and knew that ravens were the King's birds, and therefore by far the most magical birds of all.

    She shook her head and went back to work, humming softly to herself, before suddenly, she stood as though she'd been called. A strange look seemed to come over her, a far-distant look to her eyes as she moved across the pub and back behind the bar. She reached up and pulled down a glass, pouring out a ruby-red wine into it,before moving back to the shadowed corner -- that far-distant look still in her eyes, as though she didn't truely know what she was doing at all -- and laying the glass onto the table placed there.

    She she walked off and found a shining gold coin in her hand, she blinked at it, as though wondering how it had gotten there, before quickly shaking her head.

    ~*~​

    He had been sitting there the whole while, watching Ms. Blackthorne work and waiting to be served as well. He came here upon occasion, and though she was from a time far different from his own -- that much was apparent immediately -- what was also readily apparent about her was that she was one of his own subjects. And so he was drawn to this place and inclined to favor her, for as much familiarity as she offered him. As the woman had approached his table, John Uskglass glanced down, turning his gaze from the pair of Ravens (not his, he'd noticed that immedietly) he had been speaking to and onto her once more. It was really more of a hassle than it was worth, the enchantment he had to place upon Ms. Blackthorne that he might get a drink, but the laws in this box seemed designed to make things all the more frustrating for him.

    So he payed the woman and watched her go, turning back to the ravens and attempting to draw their attention again, using words not in english or french or any other language spoken by human tongues, but rather words that seemed of the sky and the earth itself, like the crackle of a fire or the sound of snapping underbrush and wind through the trees. Words that they should have known, and recognized as the language of nature itself.
     
    #1 John Uskglass, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    Mr. Wednesday likes this.
  2. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Posts:
    77
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Con man
    Race:
    God
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    Betty liked a slow ride. She always had, the pretty ole girl. And now she was slowly gliding down the closest thing Pandora had to a highway. Wednesday was humming tunelessly as he drove. This time the kid wasn’t with him. There were moments in life when a man needed to give his driver a day off, including, but not limited to, the days when he spent his hard-earned money. The trip to Cascade Bay wasn’t long, it woulda taken less than an hour on a real highway, but Pandora’s infrastructure provided him with a long, slow ride. So, he drove through the woods, looking around occasionally and enjoying the silence.

    Almost an hour later, the woods were starting to thin out and Odin knew that he’d almost reached Pandora Town. Unlike New York or Chicago, or any other city, actually, there weren’t too many high-rise buildings or skyscrapers to suggest that you were near the city. He drove for a while, past an old building and a few tiny houses nobody seemed to have lived in for ages. Driving further on, he saw a bunch of kids playing football and almost wanted to join them. The very idea made him laugh out loud. Just imagine him, the powerful Odin, playing with kids like some kinda suburban grandpa. So, he drove on, occasionally shaking his head or laughing.

    As he drove near a group of small houses, Betty was starting to slow down. Wednesday swore, pressing the gas pedal once or twice, to no avail. With nothing else to do, he slowed down and pulled over. His back and legs ached when he got out of the car and a quick glance under Betty’s hood told him there was nothing wrong with her. Maybe the old girl just needed a break and so did he. Looking around, he noticed a pub just across the street. Raven-In-Flight. How appropriate.

    His ravens found their way to him, as they always did, a while later, when he was already seated and his glass of whiskey on its way. The waitress, a perky blonde thing, put his drink on the table with a smile on her face. “Thank you, my dear.” said Wednesday, always a gentleman in the presence of a young, blonde woman. The girl went on, singing, and Wednesday sipped his drink with his eyes closed. She had a nice, pleasant voice. When she the singing suddenly stopped, he opened his eyes, only to see that his birds had followed him there and were now perched on the window. Holding the glass in one hand, he raised it to the waitress, and added “Eight for a wish and nine for a kiss.” Then he returned to his drink and watched the scene before him.

    The guy wasn’t a god, that much he could tell, although he reminded him of an old friend of his who also didn’t like to be seen or remembered. Good thing that he couldn’t fool Odin. And he probably would’ve remained seated there, sipping his whiskey, and finally leaving, but not before leaving a huge tip for the girl... he would’ve been home in less than an hour... had the guy not started talkin’ to his birds. The birds could speak English when they wanted to, but they usually didn’t have to, ‘cause he understood their cawing. It was the first that someone else understood it as well, though. Interesting... he thought. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but gods were immune to its charm, so Odin stood up, holding his drink and walked over to the man hidden in the shadow.

    “I don’t know who you are”, he started, taking a seat across from him, “But I know that you aren’t some fuckin’ ornithologist.”
     
  3. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    925
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    The sound of approaching footsteps caught his attention first. Heavier than those of Margaret Blackthorne, and stopping just before John's table. He caught the vague outline of a man out of the corner of his vision, and then heard him speak. A strain of utter shock strung it's way through John's muscles in that moment and he stilled, falling silent. How did he...?

    That was the only sign The Raven King gave of his surprise however. In the next moment he turned his attention from the birds perched on the windowsill above, over to the man. John's face was a mask of vague curiosity. The older man pulled out the seat across from John and seated himself. To this, the young magician's brows shot up. He remained silent for the next several moments, his eyes seeming to pick apart the newcomer before him. This man who could see through his spells, and had apparently been drawn here through watching John's interactions with the ravens. One of the man's eyes was lighter than the other and had an odd sheen to it, like glass. Interesting... Leaning back in his chair, John cocked his head to just to the side.

    And then, he shrugged.

    Dropping his gaze, he reached for the glass of wine before him and took a long sip, watching the liquid swirl around in it's container before finally answering the man. "I do not know who you are either," He said finally. The young man's accent was an odd layered mixture of several things, a lilt of what might have been one Celtic tongue or another, with shades of a Northumbrian dialect making up the base of it, a manner of pronunciation that leaned somewhat towards the French, but running through it all the same was a strain that rang distinctly of the cold shores that lie across the north sea from Britain. John's gaze flickered back upwards and his gaze fixed upon the eyes of the older man, "But I have a guess."
     
    Mr. Wednesday likes this.
  4. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Posts:
    77
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Con man
    Race:
    God
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    On the second glance, the man looked younger than he'd initially seemed to Odin. Maybe it was just the light or even he, the master of deception, somehow expected that the Raven Whisperer would be at least as old as Shadow. Oh, he'd created a poweful illusion, there was no question about that. Wednesday only had to look at that poor girl's confused face to realize that she'd been under a spell. Still, he woulda left the guy alone and mind his own business, had he not started talking to his ravens. They weren't gonna tell his secrets to anyone, they knew better, but they'd be friendly enough as long as he didn't mention Poe to 'em. You'd never hear Wednesday's ravens quoth 'Nevermore'...

    The guy was good, there was only a second when he seemed surprised to have been seen, but he composed himself so quickly that an untrained eye woulda missed it entirely. Maybe he was a colleague, a fellow conman. Nothing that Odin would mind, as long as he didn't try to steal his wallet. Sure, it was full of stolen money, but he still needed it; how the hell was he gonna pay for the drink and tip the lady? The drink that he just kept on sipping as the younger man spoke. While Wednesday spoke with his usual American accent, the other man’s accent was a strange mixture influences that he couldn’t quite place. Definitely not American. Possibly British.

    “Oh, yeah?” He asked, taking another sip from his glass. “Well, guess away.” he said, leaning back in his chair.
     
  5. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    925
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He spoke in a manner that John had come to identify as 'American,' It was odd, and not at all to the image of the being seated before him that the stories and lessons of his youth had set in his mind. And yet...that was the nature of the beast, was it not? As the man leaned back, encouraging John on to 'guess away, ' the corner of the young man' lips twitched upward.

    Setting his glass down against the table, John leaned forward. "And if I guess correctly?" He asked, tracing out the whorls of the grain of the dark wood beneath his fingers. "To make things more interesting, Let's say that I do, then I win myself a favor from you. And if I am wrong..." Here he stopped, brows raising and his head canting to the side as he looked across at his companion, waiting for him to supply the answer.

    Even leaving things so open ended, It seemed a wager in his favor, as far as John was concerned. A sure bet, an opportunity. If the man was who he thought he was then John had won anyway, and if he hadn't...well, what had he to fear, really?
     
    #5 John Uskglass, Feb 1, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    Mr. Wednesday likes this.
  6. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Posts:
    77
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Con man
    Race:
    God
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    Whaddaya know, maybe he really was a fellow con artist. He sure had the style and arrogance of one. Odin arched an eyebrow, giving the younger man a suspicious look. And then he shrugged, taking another sip of his drink. Now that his glass was empty, he waved to the waitress to bring him another drink. She could see him, judging from the way she nodded her head and disappeared behind the bar. So, the boy could make himself invisible but couldn’t, or didn’t care to, hide anyone else. That reminded Wednesday of an old friend of his. He grinned.

    “And if you’re wrong, then you owe me a favor.” Wednesday finished for him. There were only two possible scenarios; if the guy was wrong, which he most likely was, he’d owe Wednesday a favor. Not a bad thing in this cruel, hostile world. He was probably just bluffing anyway. Now, the other option was that he really knew who Wednesday was. If he guessed correctly, that would tell him that he was smarter than his boy Shadow, which wasn’t the greatest achievement of all time, and even if he owed the guy a favor, there were still ways to turn the tables. After all, one favor was a small price to pay for a pinch of belief.
     
  7. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    925
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    “And if you’re wrong, then you owe me a favor.”

    John nodded in acquiescence. He wondered, briefley, what it would be, what kind of a task, that the man would ask of him, but was hardly unsettled by it. Again, the man would only be at his most dangerous, if John was right, and in that case he would have won.

    "You are..." The Raven King paused for a moment, and then shook his head. Again that odd, little twist to his lips, the quirk of just one corner of them upwards. He shook his head, gaze drawing inwards as he said, "Well. You have many names. The North Wind told me stories, calling you Wanderer and Deceiver, Wand-Bearer and Masked One. If I asked the ravens that haunted the battlefields, they would name you Battle Wolf and Spearshaker -- as well as the Raven God, of course. The Ash remembers you as the Hanged One. In Yorkshire I slept beneath the shadow of a runestone who knew you as Rúnatýr and again by another name. A name that means Madness."

    John's eyes flickered back up again to meet those of the man seated across from him. He reached for his glass, knocking back the last of his wine before leaning back. "You are Woden."
     
  8. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Posts:
    77
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Con man
    Race:
    God
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    The young guy nodded and so did Odin. He seemed pretty confident, the Raven whisperer, but the attitude was often more important than the substance. And Odin was curious. What kinda favor would he ask for, if he got it right? The usual, maybe. The things people usually ask from their gods; money or eternal life. The latter he couldn't grant him, not anymore and not in Pandora. He could make sure Sweeney gave him the money, though. That would be easier. But something, a gut feeling, was telling him that it wasn't gonna be that easy this time. He had no way of knowing what exactly he'd ask for, and until he knew it, there was no way of figuring out how to get out of it.

    But he wasn't a coward and had never been one. So, when the waitress brought his Jack Daniels, he sipped his drink and eyed the young man, his face carefully devoid of expression. And he listened.

    When he was done, Wednesday said nothing. He took another sip and slowly put the glass down. It made an oddly loud clink when it touched the table. "I go by Wednesday nowadays." He said. "What gave me away?" He added. "The birds? The eye?" Then he grinned. Having a dramatic flair was useful in his line of work and the speech was lovely, but Odin knew that trick very well.
     
  9. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    925
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    Wednesday. Something almost like a smirk touched his lips at hearing what was all but an outright confirmation. The young man did not answer the god before him immediately, as he asked how it was he had guessed, instead only lifting his shoulders in a slow shrug. His eyes darted off back to the pub's owner, and he waved Margaret Blackthorne back over to the table to refill his glass.

    "Perhaps, yes." He murmured as he watched the bar-maid turn her gaze over to him from the glasses she was polishing behind the counter. "But not alone." As he turned back to Woden, his eyes raked over the god's form before him silently for a moment. "You saw through my magic. It would take a God or Magician to do so. Or better yet," He said, leaning back into his chair again and spreading his hands to take his companion in, "both."
     
  10. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Posts:
    77
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Con man
    Race:
    God
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    Wednesday. Well, today definitely wasn't his day, whatever the calendar said. The kid had balls, he had to give him that. Peehaps he could help them in some future endeavors, now that was something to consider. It would be nice if they had someone whose powers didn't depend on others believing in him. For a second there, he almost envied the kid.

    Now it was Wednesday's turn to smirk. "What can I possibly say to that. I 'm still immune to certain charms. The others, though..." his eyes darted to the young waitress who'd returned to refill the young man's glass. Odin gave her an appreciative look and his eyes followed her as she moved away. Then he turned his attention back to his new friend. "I have an eye for things that want to stay hidden." He took another sip from his glass. "So, you won the bet, young man." He began, calmly, wondering what he was gonna ask from him.
     
  11. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    925
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He eyed the look that crossed over Woden's face for a moment, that expression of...appreciation that he had seen upon many the face of a Sidhe lord who had caught the sight of a pleasing woman. It was a look that usually preceded news of a new dissapearance spreading across the countryside in his experience. And while usually he would have no issue with whatever thoughts there were going through the minds of those who wore such expressions, there was a certain protectiveness he felt towards this woman. She was one of his after all.

    "Margaret Blackthorne is a good Christian woman." John murmured, his eyes flickering to her unseeing gaze as she filled his glass, then back to Woden, "'Tis only the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost that she has any room in her heart for." Let alone her bed, He did not add, though the words were certainly implied. There was a pause the as he seemed to consider something, before correcting himself. "Well. They and the Raven King."

    He shook his head then, reaching forward and taking a sip from his glass. A certain spark lit his eyes as he was prompted on in whatever it was going to ask of Woden. "I am aware." the young man replied, but he said nothing more, merely smirking around the rim of his glass. No one ever said when he had to cash in that favor.
     
  12. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Posts:
    77
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Con man
    Race:
    God
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    Well, well, that was interesting. Had he accidentally encroached upon another man's territory. Yeah, that tended to happen, but usually he'd be far, far away by the time the guy figured out what he'd done.

    "Yeah, I wonder which son. There's plenty of Jesus to go around." There was a smirk on his face again. He glanced at the woman again. "Good old white Jesus most likely." Then he grunted. "That's the power of marketing for you. Steal some beliefs here, a ritual there and everyone worships you. Rebranding they call it. I call it theft." He shook his head. But yeah, he got the point. The girl, who wasn't his type anyway, was out of bounds. Then he frowned.

    "The Raven King?" He asked. Who or what the fuck was a Raven King? He glanced at his birds perched in the corner, then at the man sitting across from him. Then he did something he's never confess to doing, he made a guess: "Guess I ain't the only one around here with many names, right, Raven King?"

    So, Wednesday still hadn't learned what the kid was gonna ask from him, but there was time. He was only on his third glass of Jack Daniels. It wasn't gonna be something simple nor something people usually asked for, he was sure.
     
  13. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    925
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He quirked an eyebrow at Woden's guess, his head tilting back just slightly, before he placed down his glass upon the table again, and gave the god the same answer he gave to King Henry two years ago, after winning half of his realm from him: "I have no name." None that he would ever reveal freely at least. He'd survived for too long in Faerie, for too long surrounded by magic, to know better than that, and certainly One-Eyed Odin was the last person he would trust enough to share it with.

    "But it is my banner she's painted upon the sign above her door, and I am the man she sings of while she does her work. 'For always and for always, I pray remember me, upon the moors, beneath the stars, in the King's Wild Company.'" He shrugged, " John Uskglass is the name I was christened under."
     
  14. Mr. Wednesday

    Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Posts:
    77
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Con man
    Race:
    God
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    I have no name. said the self-proclaimed Raven King, over his drink, which made Wednesday grin in return. It wasn't a happy grin, nor an amused grin, but an ominous baring of teeth of an old predator. That answer was bullshit and they both knew it. Sure, the kid must a had his reasons for not replying and Odin himself could confirm that he was not someone to be trusted. It was common sense not to trust him, but it took great skill to make people trust him despite it. "Everyone's got a name." Wednesday retorted, eyeing the younger man suspiciously.

    And here we go, Wednesday thought when the young man started reciting a poem. "John Uskglass, eh? That's as good a name as any." He nodded. "But sure, a man's gotta have more than one name, especially in certain lines of work." He grinned again. There were many kinds of magician: those who used actual magic and those who sold smoke and mirrors. Sadly, he'd found himself leaning to the latter category more and more over the years.