Aug 13, 2022 2:14 PM
An unsuspecting box finds itself in the Serpent Isles
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"Oh, I see. It's okay, but I was plotting whether or not to steal you away to a garden for a picnic. I just didn't want to ruin your thing if you were attached to it."

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"I fear the food I ordered for tonight was enchanted to need cutlery, which would probably be awkward to arrange if we go to a garden. But I shall file the idea away for the future."

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"And you're charmed by the idea," she observes, amused.

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"No comment."

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"That's a yes!"

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"Now would be a great time for food to arrive!" Viego calls, and obligingly the ghost pushes the door open to bring them twin trays. Rather than walk around anything he just slides through the table itself - not being solid has many advantages - and places the trays in front of both of them.

    "Bon appetit!" he says, before disappearing off.

The trays contain... a ghostly salad. WIth ghost ham and ghost leaves and a ghost dressing and it is all very ghostly.

...solid, though, and when she tries it she'll find out what happens when dead people spend a thousand years working on perfecting the taste of food without having to worry about nutritional content at all.

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Well, it's very cute and charming, and she beams at it accordingly!

"Thank you!" she calls to the ghost, brightly, and then she sees if she can in fact eat food.

...

"My senses are dulled and this is still the greatest thing I've ever tasted, to the point where I am a little in danger of breaking down crying again," she says, very seriously.

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"Then you should wait to get to the main dish," he says with a smile tugging at the corner of his lips.

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"I'm so doomed," she snorts, and then has several more bites of food in quick succession. She doesn't actually start crying, but. But. It's definitely delicious, and might even be a bit overwhelming if she didn't have her senses dulled right now.

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Viego is probably used to this, as he seems completely unfazed.

The ghost returns with a bottle of something, and pours a ghostly-white liquid that mists at the surface. "His selection of wines is divine and pairs great with whatever he's serving," Viego says, and if a ghost can blush this ghost is blushing, in addition to stammering his thanks.

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"Awww. I'm sure it's delightful. I look forward to when I have carefully weaned myself onto physical sensations and can taste everything properly."

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Viego smiles, a little bit.

...and then has no idea what to say next. Wait, no, he's had classes on how to court people - wait, is he even courting - don't be dumb this is literally a dinner date - well he just met her yesterday - the Zerin voice in his head is telling him to tell the sarcastic self-commentary voice in his head to shut up and just enjoy himself.

Right. That. That thing that he knows how to do. Yes.

"So, at the risk of sounding common," he starts, after only a brief pause of internal conflict, "why don't you tell me a bit more about your story? I understand the broad strokes of your motivation but it is a very shallow understanding."

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"You'd like to hear my tragic backstory?" she teases, a little amused. "Yes, all right. Well, I'm from Ionia. Pallas, specifically. Next, uh... does history remember the Darkin?"

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"I think... I have heard the term before, referring to a type of spirit? But they never, as far as I know, set foot on the Blessed Isles, so I am ignorant."

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"One did! My mother. Though I really doubt she introduced herself as such. As a general rule, they are completely opposed to spirits and humans making friends. While the term was originally referring to a type of spirit from Shurima, in practice it was used specifically for spirits that think humanity is dumb and stupid and needs to be ruled over by their spirit overlords. And any spirit that was against that rhetoric would disavow themselves from the group, and Mother uh. Very vehemently did."

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"...I see. That would make the Isles' erstwhile agreement between mortals and spirits rather antithetical to their outview."

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"Exactly! Which is probably why I was sent to study here, along with the Blessed Isles being great and everything, but that's skipping some parts of the backstory. So megalomaniacal spirits that want to conquer humanity are obviously hard to, uh. Stop. What with how they don't want to stay dead. Making my mother's epic quest of stopping her evil brethren from murder rather complicated, since she was outnumbered."

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"...I see it runs in the family."

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Avedra giggles.

"More than you realize! Mother fell in love with the clever mortal that turned out to be key to solving this problem, and this was how I was made. But I think that's skipping parts of the backstory again."

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"It does seem to be, yes. Carry on."

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"Right, so. Epic quest. Mother comes here to ask for backup, and uh." She winces. "Is turned down. She goes to Ionia to look for help. She eventually finds it, in the form of my mom, and I'm realizing right now that I should break out their names to make this as clear as possible, because the pronoun game sounds like the least fun game. Mother-the-spirit was Sesharea, and my mortal mom was Mizere. Ionia's very big on, mm. Old sleeping spirits. Dormant, but not faded into nothingness like spirits usually go. And mom—uh, Mizere, the mortal one—went 'Well if we can't kill them why don't we trap them,' and proceeded to figure out a way to do that! In objects."

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"...I... see."

So something clearly went wrong, there, because he's assuming the part where she ended up trapped in an object was not part of the plan.

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"They succeeded! Mostly. They mostly succeeded. Lots of megalomaniacal Darkin got trapped in lots of objects, usually their own weapons or something. Tying a spirit to something they treasure is easier than just some random rock you picked up off the street, is I think the logic. But they uh. Missed at least one." She winces again. "Who was obviously upset about the situation. And sought revenge on my immortal spirit mother through the easiest vector of harm. Turns out, squishy human daughter is uh. Way easier than the immortal spirit mother to injure. I think his first idea was to go after mom, but. I was easier to get at than she was, too."

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"...ah. Tell me this man is gone."

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“Trapped in his bow and kept specifically in Pallas to make sure he doesn’t get uppity. My parents couldn’t really… make him be properly gone, you know? I guess I haven’t checked on him to make sure he’s still there.”

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