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Private Trying to Get Back Home

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by John Uskglass, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

    Posts:
    103
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    here....there....
    Race:
    human (magician)
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    October 15th, year 109
    @Lift and @Toby Daye

    Midnight.

    Iron. Iron was the earth's petulant child, stubborn and immovable to any will other than it's own. It screeched, the sound near scraping against his ears, against his very soul and being itself, jarring through his bones and tearing though him with every clatter of his chains; every moment the door to the prison they held him in was opened; every time something rapped against the bars; every creak and groan in the night. Even as it was silent, it still was there demanding all attention, all focus. The lines of the bars, the twisting, tangled patterns of his chains and their interlocking links, snaking across the floor to either side of him. It was as though they blazed bright and burning, and all else -- the subtle crack in stone, the elegant curve and twist of shadow and darkness as it danced with the torchlight that filtered through -- they were obscured behind this thing that demanded to be seen but refused to be understood. That could not be understood for it was utter nonsense done to put off the magician in the first place.

    And to attempt to ignore it, to see past it, was only to strain himself.

    His head was pounding. Even the cold touch of the metal was impossible to ignore both at his wrists and sinking down his spine, the chain leashing him to the wall hanging limp and bushing against his neck as he shut his eyes and leaned his head back.

    He could silence it. At any moment he could. The jug of water, the crust of bread they offered him to sustain himself on, sat right there, just within reach. Huh. He might as well blind himself. He'd touched it but once, that first night. Already trapped here, surrounded by Iron, and still yet unfamiliar with all of this world's dangers, what had he fear truely? What more could they have done to him? And yet, not long after that bread had passed his lips, he felt he the burning at his wrist. The mark appeared there and then...

    Nothing, Nothing at all. No that was wrong, it was all there, all the same as it ever had been, he knew, in his mind, that everything was as it ever had been -- with purpose, with will, the world working, and communicating, and doing it's own magic constantly -- but suddenly, he was no longer a part of that. He was separate. It was as though, in an instant, he'd suddenly lost all understanding of the language he'd spent the entirety of his life speaking. The shock was enough to make him forget to breathe.

    He couldn't have said how long it taken for the effects to wear off, for the mark to fade. but he had refused to eat what was given to him since then. The water he drank, though only sparingly. It did not leave the same mark, and though it's effects were similar they did not last nearly as long.

    It was the choice he was given, and he would rather starve than rob himself of what felt like one of his own senses again.

    A long, shaking breath blew past the young man's lips. He had gone without even the water all day. He'd need as good a chance at doing magic as was available to him. A desperate, foolish thing he was about to do, but he was driven to it.

    The dried leaves he held in his hand were warm, and leathery, and they crackled, breaking into sharp shards and dust as he crushed them in his hand. Leaves from an Ash, gathered in secret earlier, as they'd dragged him out yet again to be shown off, like a trophy, like a prize. Oh and the Lord of this realm seemed to take such a joy in doing so! Almost as though it were personal. Come! See! A powerful King of Faerie, held as prisoner! A foolish boy, put back in his place! A pretty pet starling, there for all of the world to look at...

    As the leaves fell to dust, they released a sweet scent. The Raven King murmured a few soft words, and then, allowed himself to sleep...

    It felt like climbing up a precipice, just to do this much. He couldn't hold the image, it flickered and fractured, and all was little more than a grey-ever shifting void about him. He wandered through it, willing himself to find the girl, to bring himself to her. "Lift? Lift!" And then he saw her, just ahead -- for a moment, and just that. Yet even as he ran to her he began to weaken, she began to fade to little more than a faceless blur.

    No! no, not yet! He willed it not to be so, forced the magic to work. His head was pounding, a sick, nauseous heat washing over him, but there , there it was working again! He could see her real, and solid and clear once more. "I cannot say much. I do not have the time. " He spoke, quickly, "I am.." He found himself struggling with the words, even now his own pride making them stick in this throat. The admission that he had been defeated. But already she was fading again, snapping the boy back to the reality of his situation. "I have been...overpowered. Taken. Another King, another Court, I do not know much. They are Sidhe. And, I cannot...I need..." He trailed off, only shaking his head, unable, even now to quite finish the thought.

    He was weakening now. Grey was turning to black, and once more he could barely make out the girl's features. He couldn't work up the strength to continue on,and he slipped back into the void and into sleep once more.
     
    #1 John Uskglass, Sep 7, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
    Lift and Toby Daye like this.
  2. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Lift had been using Stormlight to make herself slide quickly along the roads ever since she'd got out of the portal from Ark City to Pandopolis, and although she crashed into streetlights and walls several times, she picked herself up every time and kept on going, zooming along the streets until she reached the shiny new building Daye Investigations had set up in.

    She hoped this was the right place. She didn't really know if this was going to be any help at all, or if she'd just been wasting time. It had been Wyndle who had told her of the adverts he'd seen and read for this place, of what area Toby Daye specialised in. Lift had been packing up to go and search for John herself after the barely even audible message he'd sent her in her dream, so weak that it could've just been a normal weird dream except that she'd known it wasn't. Lift had planned on going after him herself, but Wyndle had talked her down, reminding her of how weird she'd find everything Sidhe when John had shown her around his court. She could do many things herself, but get John back from another fairy king was probably just a risk not worth taking.

    Lift had argued, insisting that there was no one else, that John had come to her and he must have thought she could help him if he'd actually asked her for assistance. It had been then that Wyndle had pointed out that, according to her ads, Toby Daye just so happened to specialise in fairy stuff. Lift had been uncertain about whether she wanted to go to the woman for help, but she had to admit she'd kind of warmed up to her lately.

    Whether she was actually competent enough for this was another storming matter entirely, but what else could Lift do?

    As soon as she reached the building, she shoved her way through the front doors, only to find someone else already at the reception desk talking about something. Whatever it was, it could wait. "Shift your butt," she said loudly, pushing her way in between the visitor and the desk even though she was rather a lot smaller. Before either the visitor or the receptionist could say anything, she hurried on impatiently and urgently. "I need to see Toby. My friend got taken and she's the only one who can help. Her adverts said so. Storming get her for me!"
     
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  3. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Toby was becoming known for a great number of different types of cases. Violent, magical, faerie. All sorts of different descriptions because Toby Daye was a very useful person with a very useful set of skills. Since she had started kicking Daye Investigations into a true powerhouse of a company, the requests for case work had only increased by a crazy amount. Which was why she had expanded her team. Now she had a half dozen different specialist in a bunch of different fields. She was still the only one who could handle faerie to any real degree, even if she had a habit of pissing off faerie courts by breathing.

    The brunette was in her office, leaning back in her chair as she skimmed through some reports that the local Watch had kicked over about a couple of murders. Depressing things but Toby had to admit that most of her case work landed in the depressing direction. She had chosen this life when she could have gone a different way, because she could make a difference in other people's lives. That mattered to her. It was a core element of who she was and she refused to let herself be knocked from that path because other people made the world a darker place.

    There was suddenly a buzz from her phone and Toby looked down to see several text messages from the front desk, telling her that Lift was here and demanding to see her. Considering that Lift normally just sort of strolled in whenever she felt like it (leaving their fridge nearly bare when she left), Toby's instincts were kicking in hard. If Lift was asking for her help directly, then some sort of shit was going down and that meant that Toby was going to take everything very seriously.

    She stood up in an instant and grabbed her weapons out of the top right drawer of her desk, sliding them into place on her thighs before marching herself straight out of her office. "Lift?" Toby called out even as she moved down the hallway, making her way towards the front desk. She had already sent a text that Lift was allowed in and she was sure that the dark haired teen would be making her way over, but Toby wanted to take this seriously. Whatever was going on, Toby would help as best she could.
     
  4. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    The receptionist had looked on the edge of telling Lift to behave and wait in line, until she mentioned a friend being taken, and then the woman was straight on the phone to - Lift hoped - Toby. She bounced on her feet, impatient, wondering if she ought to have just gone the more direct route and broken into Toby's office through the window. But it was a mark of how worried she was about John - if she broke it, Toby might refuse to help. She couldn't risk that. So she'd come in through the front door like a normal storming person.

    A moment later, Lift was sent on through, and she hurried off along the wide corridor, knowing exactly where Toby's office was. She knew where most things in this place were; probably knew more than Toby realised she knew. Before she even reached the woman's office, Toby was striding out of it at a pace that had Lift hopeful that she was about to get the help that she needed.

    Not that she storming wanted help but for once she knew it didn't matter what she wanted.

    "Toby!" she called back, running up the rest of the corridor so that she was close enough to actually talk without yelling everything along the hallway. "I need your help. You deal with fae crem, right? I got a fae problem. Big problem. A Sigh-- Sid--" She stumbled on the word she needed until Wyndle supplied it, invisible and unheard on the wall behind Toby's head, "A Sidhe King took my friend. He told me in a dream last night. I spent all morning getting here because I heard you were the one to come to for crem like this." She stared up at the woman. "You can help right? If you can't just say so and I'll be on my way."
     
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  5. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Lift looked worried and that was the most foreign expression on the kid's face that Toby had ever seen. The brunette managed to keep herself from saying anything else but Lift launched into talking in another manner that seemed to be wildly different from before. Even calling out to Toby. More alarm bells were going off in Toby's head but there was little to be done about it now. Instead she just listened, taking in Lift's features as best she could while the girl stumbled along the words. Sidhe. Well, that explained why Lift was here.

    Toby nodded and then sent a text to Ela and Lena to clear her schedule for the rest of the day. A rescue was more important than what she had planned because every second could count when someone was abducted. Toby didn't even have to know who it was or what else was going on. If someone had been kidnapped by a Sidhe, then she was the person to go kick down their door to save the person.

    He told me in a dream last night. That wording tickled in the back of Toby's thoughts but she filed it away for later use. Every moment could count. "Let's go." Toby was already as dressed as she needed to be and with her iron blade on her, there was little else that she needed. Well, beyond the iron bullets in her belt, but that was always there.

    She nodded in the direction of the front door. If Lift had spent all morning getting here then it was best if they reversed their steps. "Do you know which court or if it's someone rogue? What's your friend's name?" All sorts of information that Toby would need if she was going to do this even halfway smart. One way or another, Toby would make sure that Lift's friend was alright. Toby moved out into the parking lot and towards her car, ready to get the to a portal to Cascade Bay as quickly as possible.
     
  6. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Lift might have been acting in a way different to normal, but she was worried and she would have done all manner of uncharacteristic things if she needed to. There were two people in her life she would've gone so far as to go on her knees to beg help for, and John was one of them two people. Mostly it was because they were friends.

    Toby had practically strode on right past her, her pace not slowing at all, and Lift hurried to catch up and fall in line with her. "Dunno and dunno," she said quickly in answer to the first questions. "And his name is John." She didn't know if he'd appreciate her giving his name about to people who were gonna have to rescue him, but right then she really didn't care what might make him sulky when they actually got him out. He could grump at her all he liked, she'd just be happy he was okay.

    Plowing on without even giving Toby any time to register the name she'd given, she continued: "He didn't say much. Just said that he'd been overpowered and taken by another court. Another king. He's the king of his own court here, or summat like that." She didn't know or understand much about it even though he'd shown her around a few weeks ago. She liked to ignore him being a king as much as possible, really, considering she was just.... Lift. "I dunno where he is. It seemed like a lot of effort just to tell me what tiny bits he did. He was gone before he could say more."

    They'd already left the building by then, Lift struggling to keep up with the much taller woman's longer strides. She was gonna need more food from somewhere if she wanted to be of any use at all. "We'll be able to find him, right?" She didn't even think before saying we. In her mind there was no way Toby would be going after John on her own. Lift had to be there.
     
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  7. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    And his name is John. Toby faltered then, wondering if it was possible that the John she thought of was the same kid that Lift was talking about. They were... well, Toby hadn't seen John in awhile. To Toby it was kind of ironic how both humans she knew that were dipped in faerie magic seemed to have the same sorts of problems in Pandora. They both vanished and reappeared over and over in Toby's life. Where it was losing part of her support structure with Harry, it was something else entirely with John.

    After all, John was a kid. He was someone who needed help and guidance. That hadn't changed despite the fact that Toby was a little tired of all these repeating faces in Pandora. How many times was something like this going to happen? Toby couldn't assume that Lift's friend was the same John but if faeries were involved then there was a high chance it was. When Toby found him, if it was the same kid, she was going to kick his ass for getting in too deep where he should have been careful.

    Lift continued to explain and the more she spoke, the more certain Toby became. This kid in crisis had to be the same dark haired gothic child that Toby had tried to lecture about turning humans into birds. Or animals in general, but that other blond haired kid had been a swan so birds it was.

    Would Toby be able to help Lift? "Yes. I'll be able to find him." Toby knew she had a number of contacts to lean on in this case. There were a few in the faerie courts that the brunette actually got along with. Other changelings and outliers from the court norms. Even if they weren't in the heart of the gossip in their courts, they still had a decent amount of knowledge. Her contacts could point them in the right direction, along with the fact that this court they were looking for had a King.

    She had caught onto that we though, and Toby wasn't sure how she felt about that. For the moment it was ignored but Toby quickly got into her car and told Lift to buckle up while she drove over to the portal that would lead them to Cascade Bay. "What do you know about John's court." It had been a couple of weeks since Toby had had any straight faerie dealings but maybe that was why she had no clue what was going on. Toby was going to pump Lift for every bit of detail she could along the way.
     
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  8. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Lift didn't like that Toby said I instead of we. It made it sound like she was just planning on using Lift to find the place and then was gonna try and make her stay away where it was safe. Well if the woman tried that, she was gonna find out how storming impossible it was to make Lift do anything. Besides, Toby might need her. What if John was hurt, or worse? Lift doubted Toby could do anything like what she could in that situation.

    There was no question of Lift going with Toby into danger. No question at all, and Toby wasn't gonna stop her.

    When they stopped at Toby's car, Lift initially gave it the most dumbfounded expression until she saw how Toby opened the door on her side. There was a couple seconds of floundering before Lift managed to pull her own door open and clambered in. She was a lot less curious about being inside one of these cars she'd seen roaring about everywhere than she'd normally be. All she gave a storming damn about was John. Sooner they got moving, the better. When Toby told her to buckle up, Lift ignored her, having no idea at all what she meant. Nothing important. Finding John was the only important thing.

    "Uhhh," she said, feeling stupid that she couldn't sit and give as much information as Toby expected, wanted, or needed. "Not much. There's lots of different things there? Not just Sigh-- Si-- Sidhe. There's a river in the hill? I don't storming know." She just felt herself get annoyed, both at herself for never paying attention to stuff and at John for never explaining much. "I remember the way there though." At least, Wyndle did.
     
    #8 Lift, Sep 29, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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  9. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Toby still wasn’t sure what she was going to do with Lift. Obviously Lift wanted to come along and Toby knew that Lift wasn’t what she would call normal. She had survived a gunshot to the head. Had taken the damage but recovered. It was the first part that Toby wasn’t exactly comfortable with. No matter the end result the pain wasn’t something to laugh about and Toby didn’t want a kid going through that sort of thing.

    Besides there were much worse things that could happen to Lift beyond death. A faerie court was not something to be messed with and the type of magic they could run into was not something to underestimate. ”Sidhe.” Toby corrected Lift’s pronunciation while knowing that the kid probably didn’t give a shit. Not in this situation but Toby was already trying to juggle a couple of different ideas in her head about how this could all go down. With Lift, without Lift. If Lift was coming along she would have to listen to Toby and that was where the problem was. This was a tricky situation and Lift was a willful as hell child. Normally that was something that Toby would admire but during a rescue? Probably not the best.

    Lift also didn’t know much about what they were dealing with. Except for the way there. Of course Lift knew it. Toby also already assumed that Lift wasn’t going to tell her. If the kid was smart, and Lift was street smart as hell, then showing Toby the way was all she was going to offer.

    Toby parked her car and then they were moving towards the portal. One quick jump over to Cascade Bay and then Toby was turning to look at Lift. ”Lead the way.” Toby was just going to have to manage everything about this as best she could. Dollars to donuts this was John, faerie business meant he had likely stepped in something he couldn’t handle, and that meant Toby had to be ready to pull out the big guns. Whatever the hell that meant, she’d figure out when they got there.

    For the moment, Toby wouldn’t argue about Lift’s presence. One thing at a time. Her right hand drifted down to grip the hilt of her weapon. This was likely going to get violent. She’d just have to be ready for whatever got thrown her way.
     
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  10. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Although she was independent, stubborn and wilfull, Lift could listen if situations really called for it. They just rarely ever did. But this? Even Lift had to accept that this was where Toby apparently knew what she was doing and she wasn't gonna risk John's life by being dumb and doing her own thing.

    The only thing she would outright ignore would be any attempt at making her stay in the storming car. That was not gonna happen.

    Wyndle positioned himself wound around her neck like a leafy scarf as Toby drove over to the portal. Awkwardly, Lift clambered out of the machine, almost shutting her finger in the door when she slammed it shut before she half-ran to catch up with Toby as they passed through the portal.

    There was a moment of doubt when Toby said to lead the way, like Toby thought that it was gonna be quick and storming simple getting to John's court. Did the woman think it was right outside the storming city or something?

    "It ain't nearby," she said, worry in her voice because if they had to go all the way out to John's court in order to track where he went from there, they were wasting storming time. "Took me hours to get there and I can go way faster than normal." Hours to get there. Hours where John was a prisoner and Stormfather only knew what was happening wherever he was.

    Lift wasn't used to being scared. Last time she'd been scared had been when Darkness had been chasing her through the orphanage during the Everstorm, trying to kill her. Not really since then. But right then she was storming terrified. "Can you get a horse or summat? It'll take all day if you go on foot, unless you can go fast as me." Her stomach rumbled, reminding her how little Stormlight she had left.
     
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  11. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Took Lift hours to get there? Toby huffed a little bit in response as Lift suggested she could go faster than normal. Toby could do that too. ”I’m faster than a horse.” She replied easily but the truth was that Toby really… didn’t know how to ride a horse. She didn’t have any experience in that manner, because the changeling had never ridden one before. She had seen them from a bit of a distance but that was about all of her experience in that department.

    ”I might be faster than you.” Toby flashed Lift something that was an attempt of a reassuring grin as she said it. A bit of a challenge, something to take Lift’s mind off the attempt. ”I’ll give you a piggyback ride if that’s the case. Horse won’t help and we may not be able to bring it back.” She started to walk to where she knew one of the exits were. Out of Cascade Bay was the next step that they needed to take. From there… well, from there things were going to be whatever they needed to be.

    Toby wasn’t willing to wait hours. She wasn’t the sort to hike for hours but her aura would help close the gap in the situation. She wouldn’t have been able to know what amount of time it would take her to get there but Toby wasn’t about to stop until it was done.

    Once they were outside of the city, Toby looked back down at Lift. ”Just start going. I’ll keep up.” Her aura was on and at max. She could cover all sorts of ground quickly and few things would be able to stop her until they got there. But Lift traveling for hours just to get Toby’s help to save her friend? Without meaning to, Toby’s hand found Lift’s shoulder to give her a reassuring squeeze. They’d rescue her friend. Toby wouldn’t stop until she had gotten both kids back to safety. That was just how she rolled.
     
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  12. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Lift coulda huffed too. It was just like John to put his territory in the middle of storming nowhere and end up making it really storming difficult for people to get there to try and track him down when he went storming missing. Why couldn't he have slapped his court somewhere easy to get to?

    She only nodded when the woman said she was faster than a horse. She didn't care how fast Toby was or if she would need to ride one of them beasties, s'long as they could actually get there fast. There was just one problem. "Wait for me," she said, even though she knew even if Toby wanted to take the opportunity to leave her behind, the woman needed her. Then she ducked into the backyard of a corner shop.

    A few minutes later, Lift clambered out of a first-floor window, her bag full to bursting with stolen food, and a sausage roll hanging out of her mouth. She didn't bother explaining herself; Toby knew by now about her needing food to fuel her powers. She stuffed her face all the way through the city, sparing no thought at all for manners and just shoving food into her mouth as fast as she could chew and swallow until she started feeling a bit sick.

    By the time they reached the outskirts of the city, Lift could feel the swirling of the storm inside her, like the way the winds picked up as the highstorm approached. She ignored the reassuring squeeze of her shoulder, not feeling like she even needed it. They would find John, and they would free him. There wasn't no question at all about whether they'd manage it, and she was determined not to worry about what ifs.

    Toby sent her off first, so Lift started to run. At first, it was just a normal run, exactly the speed expected of a short skinny teenager. But then as she summoned her awesomeness and felt the storm inside flare brilliantly to life, bringing the vitality of life and power into her body, she coated her entire body in Slickness and then threw herself forward, sliding along on her feet as though there was sheet ice beneath her feet instead of grass. With her entire body Slick, the air couldn't find purchase against her either, and with no friction to grab her and slow her down she just kept picking up speed until the world was a blur around her and she was a streak of silvery-white vapour. If Toby managed to catch up, she was gonna be pleasantly surprised.
     
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  13. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Wait for me. Toby's eyebrows lifted at the odd request. She stared down at Lift for a little bit in confusion until she nodded slowly to agree. Lift ran off, squirming out of view quickly. Toby couldn't help the way she shifted her weight around or perhaps paced slightly, trying to put everything together while Lift went... well, Toby had no idea where Lift had gone or what she was up to now. All the changeling could do was wait and in these situations waiting always felt like a waste of time.

    Lift didn't take very long. She came out of a window that Toby had been turned towards but hadn't been paying attention to. Which meant Toby jerked ever so slightly as it happened but Lift didn't offer to much of an explaination. Toby figured she'd be asking questions later but there was a certain amount of priority that needed to be given to the task at hand.

    Toby told Lift to lead and that was was Toby's queue to keep the hell up. She followed Lift easily despite the girl's speed and concentrated on where her feet were going. Toby's biggest issue in the woods was always the same. She had no idea how to move among plants, rocks, and the like. She knew how to run on sidewalk and street, parks even, and now roofs, but wilderness? Toby just wasn't as good at it.

    After some time, Lift finally caved to the idea of Toby carrying her and clambered onto Toby's back. They were a little bit slower than they had been before but Lift had said something about conserving energy. Toby wasn't about to second guess it. She already knew that her endurance would be just fine and she followed Lift's directions as best as she could. No arguments, just putting one foot in front of the other.

    She smelled faerie magic long before Lift said they were almost to the court. Traces of it were everywhere, though Toby knew most of it was mundane in faerie world. But they were skidding up to the front of the shallowing that this faerie court was in. Toby put Lift down, not looking too winded or out of breath. "How do we get in?" Normally it wasn't as easy as walking in but that was how things were in Toby's world. She hadn't been to this court before and didn't know how to get in. From here... well, things were likely to get messy.
     
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  14. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    It had been Wyndle who'd worn Lift down to agreeing eventually to go the rest of the way on Toby's back. She didn't wanna and she felt stupid, but Wyndle had made good points, storm him. She needed to keep hold of her awesomeness for getting John back, not run out just getting there. So she just grumbled at Toby never to mention it as she clambered onto the woman's back and then - with Wyndle's help - directed her best she could towards John's court.

    She didn't really like that they were going out of their way to go to John's place when she already knew he wasn't there and had told Toby he'd gone missing. It felt too much like a waste of time, even though she knew it made sense to track him down from there instead of searching the Vales blindly. It made sense but it didn't mean she had to actually like it. She wanted to be on the way to whichever court he'd been taken to, not John's.

    When Toby put her down - she refused to feel too much like a storming infant - Lift poked around looking for the narrow entrance to John's hill. "Here," she said, before frowning at Toby. "Are ya gonna question his people? He kinda keeps what he's doing and where he's going to hisself most of the time, so I dunno how much they're gonna know about who mighta taken him and where. Do ya plan on..." She looked Toby up and down for a moment, trying to figure from the look of her what kinda questioning she might do, "...hurting 'em?"
     
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  15. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Lift was hilariously and fiercely against accepting help on a principal level. Toby was highly amused by it despite the seriousness of the situation. Toby moved along the entrance to the court and stopped when they were just a foot or so from the door. She stopped dead in her tracks with a single breath of magic. Filling her lungs and distinctive, John's magic. In an instant Toby knew everything had suddenly gotten far more complicated.

    She took another breath before looking down at Lift to answer her question. Toby was going to question his people. As for hurting them? "That depends on what answers I get." Her voice was calm but Toby knew that this sort of shit would have had to have some inside rats in order for it to be pulled off. Someone had to bring them into the Shallowing, one way or another. Even if it was someone in disguise. Hadn't Toby fallen for that once upon a time? She had started hallucinating with that poison and Toby had been far more human. Toby hadn't know about how to burn things out of her system.

    "Anytime it's something like this, Lift. It's an inside job. One way or another, one of them will know something." Toby wasn't sure she'd be able to take on the whole court. She didn't know if John's court was even friendly towards him. This must have been a recent development. Where had John been? Did he not remember her? She felt plenty of questions welling up in her mind but only John could answer them. Or rather, only finding John could answer them.

    She strode into his court and got to work. Talking to groups and clumps of faerie. Calmly reacting to their verbal challenges and taunts. Putting a number of them in place with looks or threats of her own. She asked Lift to watch for different expressions or to let her know if people were speaking to each other. Toby had already made it clear that the human child was with her and their Lord, which would make things rather complicated if they decided to put a hand on her. Not a lot of protection, not if someone was planning on taking John's place, but Toby knew that it was still too early for someone to do that. Not without confirmation that John was dead.

    Finally Toby found her answer. There was a man who had seen something odd and had commented on it to one of the servants. That servant apparently was easier to sway than most but Toby was still able to gather that a small group of fae had vanished shortly before John had and then returned afterward. Blending back in with the party crowd. Toby wove her way through the court to find them. Cornering a few was all too easy once Toby had decided that she was more than willing to take this to a physical level. Soon enough she had her answer, some faeries had some broken bones, and the two (three, though Toby didn't know that) made their way back outside.

    This time, Toby knew where she was going. She had a name, an affiliation, and it was time to go kick down some new doors.
     
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  16. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Lift didn't like Toby's answer. It didn't rule out hurting these people to get answers at all. In fact it made it sound like that might be summat she'd need to expect. She didn't like it. She didn't want to be around that kind of questioning. On the spot, right then, Lift made a decision. She didn't know what lengths Toby would go to. If she went too far, Lift would step in the way. Even finding John... Even finding John didn't excuse that kind of interrogation.

    Nothing did.

    She liked what Toby said next even less. "An inside job?" Something ran cold inside her at the idea. "You reckon he was betrayed?" It made sense. Someone like John, no matter how young he was, wasn't really gonna get caught unawares easy, not randomly. He was too strong for that. In order for him to be taken so easy, someone from his own court musta betrayed him. Storming--

    Inside the court, Lift was preparing to try and do some digging of her own, but Toby put her to task watching instead. She was good at that, she s'posed, and she had an extra pair of eyes too. She gave Wyndle the same task and the two of 'em watched way more'n Toby could have alone. Otherwise, she followed the other woman, doing what she was told when she was told. Toby didn't treat her like a child, and finding John was important, so she was fine with obeying orders. She wasn't gonna go off on her own and risk their attempt at finding him.

    Eventually, Toby got what info they needed, and they left John's court. Lift felt her impatience growing. All of that talking had taken way too long. It had been hours now since John had appeared in her dream, and he'd already been so weak by the look of it. What state would he be in by now? "How far?" was all she asked as she clambered onto Toby's back once more.

    Stormfather, let him not be too far...
     
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  17. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye
    Empathy Queen

    Posts:
    3,645
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Private Investigator
    Race:
    Changeling
    Age:
    60
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Toby could have gotten the information sooner if she had been willing to actually hurt people more than she had. The final group were a free for all because they had betrayed John for selfish reasons. Not because they were blackmailed or forced. That made a world of a difference in Toby's eyes. Intent could mean so much to her.

    John still needed to be rescued and Toby didn't have time to fight her way out of court. Leaving people in one piece was a smarter course to take but Toby wasn't about to forget those faces. She would check up on them again in the future. They would live but they had made someone aware of their bullshit and that was something Toby had no problem throwing her weight behind.

    "Too far for my liking." Toby answered Lift easily enough but it would be difficult for her to explain. Lift jumped up onto her back without waiting for much else and Toby moved forward. She couldn't leave Lift at the court. Who knew what kind off trouble could happen to her or she could get into if someone wasn't there to keep an eye on everything? No, with Toby was safest despite the fact that she was going into a bad situation. At least Toby could get her out in a moment with a Lotus flower if things got bad.

    It wasn't until she wove through a couple of hills did Toby realize she knew exactly where they were going. She had once helped a teenager free herself from a faerie prince's magic. She had been forcefully wed against her wishes, though John had gotten Merida out of immediate trouble. Toby had helped her remove the magic ring. This was a different entrance but the location was settling into place in her mind. They had started in another direction and made a large curve around. If they kept on this odd little curve they would have wound up back in Cascade Bay on the other side. Toby finally stopped when she was at the entrance. Letting Lift down and this time Toby wanted to keep herself calm before she walked in. Because this was likely going to get violent and she didn't know how she was going to play it. "Stay close, alright?" Toby toyed with one of the pouches on her belt. Just in case. If fighting broke out then Toby would send Lift back to Pandopolis first. Then she'd have time to take care of everything else before Lift caught up to them, "awesomeness" or no "awesomeness". But Toby headed inside, ready to start trouble.
     
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  18. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

    Posts:
    103
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    here....there....
    Race:
    human (magician)
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He couldn't have been certain his message had even reached her. Couldn't be sure that if it even had she would be able to really do anything. This was his world, these were his enemies and dangers he was used to dealing with. Not her, she knew nothing of them, even as "awesome" as she might have been. It had been an act of desperation and for once in his life, he couldn't have been sure how things would end.

    That was the worst of it. The not knowing. The complete and utter helplessness of that, of not having some clever plan to escape, and being here, after trying every other means, forced to face his last option and wait for someone else.

    So he'd been awake when they'd come for him, to drag him back up to their Lord for him to gloat some more. He was silent as they did so. Staring them in the eye as they unlocked the locks holding him in here, so careful to avoid touching anything.

    The pain was there, obvious to see written across their faces even as they set their jaws and struggled to hide it. Despite all else, The Raven King could not help but find the barest sliver of satisfaction in that. Yet as his chains came clattering down, dropping to the floor, his own breath came in sharp, his jaw clamping down to keep any sound from escaping him as it felt like that sound was rattling through him.

    They pulled him quickly out of there, intent on keeping their own time in there as short as they could manage. Only then did their mocking words start. Oh it was the same as it had been for weeks now. "So you have not managed your masterful escape yet, oh King? And we were told you were so powerful..." and, "Heard he was a son of Oberon, what, did dear old da never teach you anything, boy?"

    He never deigned to rise to any of it. There was no response satisfactory enough, so long as these iron cuffs and the collar around his throat remained. Not one that would not weaken him more than he already was. They grew bored quickly in any case, the rest of the trip, through wide and winding corridors, and up twisting staircases, falling to silence and echoing footsteps.

    When they finally reached the great arching, carven oak doors that had become so familiar to the young man in recent days, he was nearly shoved through. Brought to the center of the solar, and forced onto his knees before the Lord, or Prince or whatever title it was that he'd held. In his current situation, the young man hadn't deemed it all that important of a detail to learn. The room itself spoke only of luxury and opulence : thickly embroidered tapestry and heavy, flowing curtains; walls painted night dark with sharp glints of glimmering light, as though the stars themselves were embedded in the walls; moon pale furniture that gleamed like silver, covered in thick cushions. His highness sat sprawled across a sofa, a cat's grin spreading lazily across his features as he looked down at the young man.

    "Ah! Your Majesty! There you are! You slept well last night, I presume?"

    The Raven King did not answer, only meeting his captor's gaze for a moment, before sighing, shaking his head and simply turning away.

    "What's this?" The Sidhe clicked his tounge against the roof of his mouth, "Are we not feeling well? But that is a--"

    "No." One word, that was all, and as softly spoken as ever. Yet it left his captor staring. Blinking.

    "What?"

    "No. I am fine." The young man paused. Considered what it was he was about to say next, knowing the consequences of angering a being so easily offended. At this point, however he found he cared less and less. He didn't know what would happen. If he did die, though, it would not be submitting to anyone. "Only...it is wearying how much you think you have won. You are trying to reclaim some lost pride? Attempting to prove you are not weak, after being humiliated by me?" Repeatedly too it seemed, though he had not been able to gather much. There had been a girl involved as well, some ex-fiance or something of the like. "But even now, you have not proven anything. I still live."

    Really, it was shocking his captor still survived. In the Raven King's own world such percieved weakness would have been seized upon immediately.

    For a moment, just a flickering, the Sidhe's eyes narrowed at the young man. The bones stood out sharp against the flesh as his hands clenched, knuckles nearly white. But as quickly as it had come, it had passed. The Fae Prince smirked. "For now," he replied airily, brushing aside the young King's taunts as though it were the mere buzzing of a housefly. "I cannot say how much longer you will last, if you keep denying our hospitality. Such a shame to see one so young throwing his life away. Really, you have been such a poor guest..." he trailed off, in that moment catching sight of something.

    His eyes narrowed, and though the Raven King attempted to jerk back, he wasn't fast enough. His captor's hand slipped through his hair. A shard of dry ash leaf held between his fingers.

    "You gave been up to something, haven't you, boy?"

    ~*~
    Not all guards need walk about on two legs, nor carry about spears and swords as weapons. Since the loss of the Prince's bride, first to what was apparently a mere human child, and then again in a contest she herself had chosen, the standing of this court in the community of fairy folk that had surrounded it had dropped considerably. Friends and allies they had lost quickly, until even the loyalty of the very stones and trees that surrounded their brugh could be called into question. It was only a matter of course that new protections be put into place. One could not be allowed to simply walk in after all.

    The corridors twisted and turned, creating new paths beneath both woman and girl's feet. The flagstones themselves alerted the brugh's inhabitants in their own silent manner. A plath's purpose was to lead from one destination to another, but really, to change that destination was nothing at all.

    As they rounded the corner they would come to a corridor where the light and shadows from windows that were not there splashed across the walls and floor, a latticework of crossing silloughettes of Hawthorn in the midst of spring's bloom.

    The branches of the shadow trees, thorny, reaching, grasping things already, wasted no time. They lashed out, grasping for the two intruders, just as, at the other end of the corridor the sounds of footsteps and voices could be heard, and then the flash of bronze swords unsheathing.
     
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  19. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    95
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    They walked along silent corridors for several minutes before Lift decided that something really wasn't right. They had met no resistance, nothing at all to even suggest that anyone had any idea they were there. It shoulda been a good thing, but it just felt ominous to the young Radiant. She could feel herself get itchy.

    "There should be guards or something," she hissed to Toby as they walked. It felt so wrong. "No one's gonna be stupid enough to have a prisoner like John without extra security." Incongruously given the situation, Lift dug silently in her bag and pulled out a sandwich that she started to munch. Just a top up. She had a feeling she was gonna storming need it.

    And she was right, she realised, as they turned a corner and shadowy branches that had been splashed across the walls and floor lashed out, reaching for them. Shadows they mighta been, but Lift already knew not to assume things were as they seemed. Which was why she treated them as physical things, immediately coating herself in Slickness and dodging one shadowy branch just as another failed to get purchase on her. Shadows but somehow still solid. Weird but it worked for her as she dropped to her knees, gliding along as though on sheet ice and using her hands to steer. Better this than trying her feet and just going right into a wall.

    She didn't get any chance to see how Toby was faring, too busy was she in sliding across the floor, weaving and ducking every thorny shadow that reached for her. None got hold of her. If there was one thing she was good at, it was not storming getting caught.

    "Mistress! Guards!"

    Wyndle's voice reached her from where he had splayed himself against the wall, in no danger from anyone or anything but also of no help to her. Not unless he changed and there wasn't any need for that. Not yet. She could see him trembling in fear and anxiety, worried that she would summon him to fight these guards head on.

    She had other things up her sleeves first. Or more accurately, in her pockets.

    Away from the shadow branches, Lift stayed on her knees, shooting like a bullet towards the guards and forcing them to scatter with cries of surprise as they rounded the corner. Zooming through them, she rummaged in her pocket. The guards were sandwiched, Lift on one side and Toby - whatever she was doing - on the other.

    Lift Unslicked herself, skidding painfully to a halt on her knees (she felt the fabric of her pants and her skin tearing) and then pulled a handful of tiny innocent brown seeds out of her pocket. With the most obnoxious grin she could possibly muster, Lift sent a large amount of Stormlight into her hand so it positively glowed white, and then slammed ot palm-down on the stone.

    From beneath her hand, more than a dozen vines burst forth, glowing, growing at a blinding speed as they snaked along the stone towards the guards, tripping feet, tangling in legs, winding up torsos to snatch at swords and generally causing chaos as Lift looked frantically for Toby.
     
    #19 Lift, Oct 13, 2019 at 5:54 PM
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 6:00 PM
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