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Backslide and New Associates

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6 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:29 am

"Not quite," I respond sharply, the mask finally situated as I stand up properly to face him.

"I can assume our mutual acquaintance is Richard, then?" I ask, looking the tall man over for the first time.

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7 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:36 am

"You would be correct," I respond, my gaze never straying from her as I look her over. It's always interesting to meet a new witch - particularly in this city... and particularly when they've been indentured into Richard's service. I find myself wondering how she became one of the Deadmen.

"Pallhagian..?" I ask questioningly as I narrow my eyes slightly. She doesn't sound Pallhagian, but her appearance... her mannerisms, markings, dress... it all has a Pallhagian feel to it.

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8 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:46 am

My eyes narrow slightly as I nod, my head cocking slightly as his accent lingers. 

"Good eye," I remark, "You're not from the city, either... So, what..? Ichorgue... Perifell? No," I shake my head at my own guess, "Alyrian."

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9 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:58 am

I smirk slightly as I nod my approval before digging a small piece of muslin cloth from one of my pockets. I'm careful not to touch the contents as I unwrap it, exposing one end of a tightly wrapped bundle of rich and fragrant herbs, their colors still bright despite their dried state. Keeping the muslin between my own hand and the smudge stick, I offer it to her with a nod for her to take it.

"Mohou nepřátelé mých nepřátel být můj kamarád," I offer with a small bow, the traditional greeting one that I have not had to use in many, many years. Not since Richard had surprised me with it on our first encounter.

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10 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:03 am

My gaze falls to the brilliantly hued smudge stick, my internal alarms going off as I look back up at him warily. I won't offer any response to his greeting - the vox unit would butcher anything I said even if I wanted to. Instead, I raise a hand in polite refusal and bow my head slightly. 

"I don't practice any longer." I say softly, glancing up at him to gauge his reaction. "Not beyond baubles for a street cart."

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11 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:11 am

I raise an eyebrow at that before glancing around her room curiously. The size is the first thing that I notice - the best she could afford, if I had to guess. Despite the clutter packed into the small space, I also notice how very hollow it feels. The lingering magic is more like a haunting than a living, breathing presence. I can't help the sad frown that flickers across my lips before I look back at her.

"Add it to your street cart, then," I offer as I reach over to drop the gift onto her alter, still taking care not to contaminate it with my touch. "It fetches some good coin in the right crowd."

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12 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:19 am

The first thought that flickers to mind is one of derision and pride, but I swallow it as I offer a weak smile. 

"I don't have anything to offer you, as the custom calls for-" I say as I look around the small apartment before shrugging, "but your gift is appreciated. 

"I don't believe I've caught your name, though?"

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13 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:24 am

"Lavellan," I offer, my hand failing to stretch out to offer her my fingertips in the customary touch that is so often employed by witches. Instead, I simply glance at hers, noting the markings there with interest before I return my gaze to her face.

"And you..?" I ask despite already knowing the answer.

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14 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:37 am

"My vox can't pronounce it," I smirk slightly, "Nomad tech - albeit amazing, is still lacking.

"Lou works, though." I say more firmly, my weight shifting. My gaze never leaves Lavellan as I shift, my hands tucking behind my back as I notice his gaze roaming towards them. I don't like the curious way he seems to inspect me, or the familiarity in his greeting. Though, whether it's simply a bad taste in my mouth from home or Lavellan himself, I can't pinpoint. 

"So should we go..? I can't imagine Richard enjoys being kept waiting."

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15 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:39 am

"Mmm, yes, I suppose," I nod as I step back toward the door, my hand never coming in contact with anything she might touch as I wave a hand to open it with my magic instead. "After you," I offer, gesturing toward the open door.

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16 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:58 am

I pull my gaze from him momentarily so I can gather shoes and a proper coat, my attention never leaving him, though. I gather my things quickly, stopping at my altar to adjust some of the items absently before palming a slender obsidian athame. I make no show of hiding it, the blade sticking plainly from my hand as I head for the door. 

"So, did Richard send you to show off, or something?" I ask absently once we're in the hall, "Was I not properly impressed with him on his last visit?"

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17 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:11 am

"No, he actually sent his personal assistant," I respond with an amused smirk as I follow her into the hall, not remotely bothered by her arming herself. Still, I gesture ahead, keeping her either at my side or ahead of me, never at my back. "A tedious woman named Anthea who never looks up from her phone. She was busy, though, and passed the job along to me."

I raise an eyebrow as I glance over at her with a crooked smile. "So I'm 'impressive', am I? Or is that the Pahgish for unnerving?"

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18 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:19 am

"You?" I respond, cocking an eyebrow up at him as I shake my head. "You are unnerving, honestly, but no, I meant impressed... You know, with Richard, and all of his pull."

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19 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:27 am

"Ah," I nod as she clarifies her meaning further. "Apologies, I'm still learning the subtleties of this language."

When we get to the door leading outside, I step ahead of her, turning as though to face her so I can speak as I use my back to push the door open without touching the handle. "Were you impressed, though?" I ask with interest. "Does he need to show off? More than he already is, I should say... sending Anthea to fetch you."

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20 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:32 am

"He's just another person in this city to me," I say simply, not yet walking through the door as I look up at Lavellan. "One who I owe a debt to..."

Sighing, I lean closer, speaking more quietly. "Should I be impressed?"

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21 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:40 am

"He's a clever manipulator," I respond, shrugging one shoulder thoughtfully as I linger inside the doorway. "And, at times, a vicious and imaginative sadist... if that's the sort of thing that impresses you, then I would say the praise is well earned.

"But perhaps you should come to know him for yourself," I add as I step further out the door, my elbow catching the handle to keep it from closing as I wait for her to follow. "Ignoring all of his ridiculous peacocking, I believe you'll find your own reasons to respect him."

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22 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:45 am

"I suppose we'll see, won't we." I sigh, finally making my way out the door as I fall into step beside him again. 

"So are you one of his..." I ask, trailing off as my hand waves in circles out in front of me, "What does he call them...? Deadmen?"

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23 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:52 am

"I am a Deadman," I respond a little coolly as I tuck my hands safely back into my pockets. "I work with him, not for him. But he's certainly tried to find ways of claiming ownership over me.

"He's very persistent in his efforts," I warn her as I stop at the car, carefully pulling a pair of gloves from my pocket to put them on without touching the outside of them before I open her door for her. "If you accept his gifts - which I see he's already forced some of them on you - make a point to do something significant for him in her return. It will frustrate him, but you mustn't give him anything to hold over you if you can help it. I'd even try to tip the scales in your favor, if you're able."

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24 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:57 am

Lingering at the edge of the car, I look up at Lavellan earnestly, a touch of anxiety pooling in my gut as I force a lopsided smile. 

"I feel like it might be a bit more complicated than that." I say, looking into the car absently as I work the athame in my hand nervously. "But thank you for the advice, nonetheless." I add, sinking into the passenger seat as the door is shut behind me.

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25 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:06 am

I'm quiet for a moment as I go around to the other side of the car to climb in. The silence lingers for a few minutes as I turn the car on and get us out onto the road, my hand wandering over to the radio to turn it on so it plays quietly in the background.

"If you've become one of us, a Deadman," I start slowly, my eyes never leaving the road as I think carefully on my words. "Then I feel it's safe to assume that there's a certain... pragmatism in your nature.

"Richard will be good to you," I say with absolute certainty in my voice. "If you're amicable to his wishes - which he rarely asks anything of you that you wouldn't be amicable to. But, if you do find yourself in his debt, and someday those requests start to toe the line... it might not hurt to prepare yourself to do what you must to rectify whatever power he may find over you."

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26 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:14 am

"I think there are more moving parts in this machine than you're aware of," I response sharply, looking pointedly out the window as I drag my nails over the athame in my lap. "I'm not sitting so pretty that I have an ace up my sleeve, but... I've got a good hand. 

"In the grand scheme, anyway."

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27 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:19 am

"You'll find one to keep up there in time, I'm sure," I respond as I make the turn to take us out toward the very edge of the city. "I'll be interested to observe your progress within the guild in the meantime. We've lost several of our witches in recent months, and now we're outnumbered by the techs and the craftless."

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28 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:21 am

"I think you're going to get bored watching me." I respond, "I won't be involved in the way you're thinking, I'm almost certain."

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29 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:25 am

"I will be tremendously disappointed if that turns out to be the case," I say seriously as I glance over at her. "But, if you'll forgive my presumptuousness, I don't think even you yet know what plans are in store for you. Richard does not employ witches to peddle useless baubles in the street. That's the job he gives to the craftless and the children - neither of which you are."

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30 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:27 pm

"Well, wish as he might," I frown, "I can't do whatever it is he'd want. My own voice is so garbled and ruined, I couldn't manage the most basic of charms, and there's no magic in this voice."

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