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UStuck RP: The Dark Arts and Crafts

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by Luke_Ferrous, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    "What?!" Lorcan stood, chair scraping against the floor. That didn't make sense. Tea and Charmalade's protections should stand up to a single ghost, even one nearing the big 1-0-0. They should have had some warning, at least--unless someone invited it inside? But why would they do that?

    His eyes darted to the front pocket of his backpack, the one where he kept the nastier curses. Regrettable, but his usual time magic wasn't particularly suited to offense in the best of circumstances. Against a ghost that got stronger with age, it was an active hindrance. Lorcan didn't really have a lot of options here.
     
  2. RainbowCatAngelStickerz

    RainbowCatAngelStickerz Dolls are terrifying

    Greg spun around as well, looking around for the abomination while reaching for stickers. What could he use? Not the "here there be dragons" sticker, that would be bad inside Tea and Charmalade. He couldn't think of anything off the top of his head. He'd need to raid Kitty's sticker supply soon. Err, restock. He'd need to restock. Hopefully his mother had bought more useful stickers this week.

    Greg couldn't see any devastation or panicked people. Or the doll for that matter. Maybe it was invisible? Ghosts could turn invisible. Maybe old ghosts could turn the things they were haunting invisible? That would suck. Hopefully Aki would be able to point to it.

    "Where?"
     
  3. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    Lorcan looked around. "I don't..." A tap on his shoulder. He whirled--and saw his mother, plates in hand and eyebrow raised.

    "Now, what are you two making a fuss about?" she asked.

    He blinked. "Ghost," he said, quiet enough so as not to start a panic. "It's doing something."

    "Not near my kitchen, it's not. We have wards, Lorcan, remember? You helped put them up." Farina set a bowl of curry on the table nearest Aki's glitter vortex.

    That was what Lorcan thought, but what if--

    Vulk, oblivious as usual, was still trying to whip the chair. Farina caught the lamp's cord in one hand, somehow not disturbing the large tray she had balanced on the other. "What did I say about damaging my restaurant?" she asked Vulk.

    "Sorry, grandma," he mumbled. Under his breath: "But I was so close that time."

    Farina turned to Lorcan "Now, if there was a ghost here, Vulk would have sensed it. But he hasn't. Right, dear?"

    "Right!"

    "But then what--" Lorcan asked.

    "You can figure it out over dinner," his mother suggested. "You know I hate seeing you live off of takeout." She pushed a plate towards him. Lorcan was about to argue, but then he recognized the meal she'd made him.

    His mother's crafting came from her cooking. Her bourguignon could drive a grown adult to tears, and that was entirely literal. She didn't magic the food her restaurant served, of course. That would be bad taste. But Lorcan had lived with the woman for eighteen years. He had developed a few Pavlovian reactions.

    The meal before him was a why-don't-you-call food. A stop-by-more-often food. We-miss-you food. An orange-cranberry sauce drizzled over a slice of juicy turkey. The cranberry was classic nostalgia, bringing to mind family dinners and warm laughs. Sprigs of rosemary, for remembrance. And orange, which made bitter things just a little more sweet. Guilt trip on a plate. But damn if it didn't smell good.

    "Thanks, mom," he whispered, not wanting the others to overhear.

    "Anytime," she whispered back. "Now," louder, "you three should think on this more while you eat. I promise you the ghost can't get in here, so you've got plenty of time. And in my experience, it's always easier to fight ghosts on a full stomach." With that, she headed back to the kitchen.

    His mother had a point, Lorcan supposed. Vulk was lazy, but never that careless. But Aki had said--"Aki?" he asked. "Where exactly did you scry the ghost?"
     
  4. GlitterWizard

    GlitterWizard The Akinator

    "Right here." Aki pointed. "In that tin. Are you sure you guys really needed my help with this one?"
     
  5. RainbowCatAngelStickerz

    RainbowCatAngelStickerz Dolls are terrifying

    Greg blinked, looking at his tin of stickers. His open tin of stickers. The tin of stickers that definitely couldn't fit a doll. Although maybe it fit a ghost. What size were ghosts anyway? Peaking inside yielded the same conclusion. The abomination was not in the tin. Just his stickers.

    "Are you sure it's working? The abomination wouldn't fit in here. Well, it also isn't in here. Just my stickers," Greg said, pulling a few out to demonstrate the contents. He made sure to not grab the 'here there be dragons' one. That was an outdoor sticker.
     
  6. GlitterWizard

    GlitterWizard The Akinator

    As Greg pulled out the stickers, Aki marveled at the variety. It seemed like a particularly good set, considering how straight-laced Greg seemed to be. There were even--

    "Greg. What was the first thing I asked you about this job?"
     
  7. RainbowCatAngelStickerz

    RainbowCatAngelStickerz Dolls are terrifying

    Greg cast his mind back. What had Aki said? Glitter scrying was like looking through a bug's eye view, each glitter particle was a screen, she hadn't answered the question about whether some glitter didn't stick to everything. She had mentioned that fascinating dispersion principle, and hadn't answered the question about whether the glitter was a hive mind after it touched multiple glitters. But that wasn't a question. Well, she had asked if they had glitter, which they did because glitter gets everywhere, but he had given her glitter. He was about to say as much, when he looked at where she was looking.

    It was the crying emoji sticker. The glittery crying emoji sticker. Glitter from not the doll.

    "That scrying was better if you used glitter from the thing to be found?"
     
  8. GlitterWizard

    GlitterWizard The Akinator

    "Greg. I asked you if you'd touched any glitter besides the doll. Greg."

    Aki did not facepalm. Barely.

    "Well, since this glitter is pretty obviously from that sticker of yours, which, speaking of, do you have any more like that?"

    She started reaching for the sticker tin only to receive a mental slap on the wrist from Seth. Aki. Focus.

    "Ah, I mean. That is to say, the glitter you is going to be a lot harder to work with, now that they've been mixing on you for a while. Maybe Lorcan...?"

    Recalling their earlier interaction, Aki leaned over and started combing through individual strands on his scalp.
     
  9. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    "The fuck?!" Lorcan asked, jerking back.

    "Language, Lorcan," his mother chided. From halfway across the restaurant. Okay, what the fuck, Lorcan knew for a fact his voice hadn't been louder than a hiss there. He knew if he asked, she'd say that all magical parents had innate parent-powers that let them know when their children were misbehaving, but he was starting to think she'd talked Aislin into laying a few whisper-spells on the place. It would certainly explain a lot.

    He tried again. "What. The. Eff. Aki. Unless you've got some hairstyling magic you're not sharing with us, you're going to need to keep your hands out of my hair."

    Privately, he wondered what was even the point. Between the streaks and the rain, his hair was a lost cause anyways. Still. Couldn't he at least keep some dignity?
     
  10. GlitterWizard

    GlitterWizard The Akinator

    "No, no, hold still."

    Fortunately, Aki had a firm grip on Lorcan's arm, rendering his plan to wriggle to freedom fruitless. There! She triumphantly held up a few flakes of glitter from the crown of his head.
     
  11. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    Well, Lorcan thought, looking at the sparkles on Aki's finger. Why, oh, why did magic always seem to gravitate towards his hair?
     
  12. GlitterWizard

    GlitterWizard The Akinator

    Aki cast a critical eye over her array from earlier. Fortunately, most of it could be reused, so it was only the work of a few minutes to set up for the second try.

    "Before we start, Lorcan, are you sure you haven't come into contact with any more glitter?
     
  13. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    "Let's see...I'm a shut-in, most of my workings for the past month have been on wood products, the presence of transient materials like glitter is an active hindrance to my magic I try to avoid, and with one notable exception I've maintained a solid foot of distance between the two of us since I met you. I'm fairly certain."

    That seemed enough for Aki to start the new scrying. Lorcan took a moment to admire the swirling column of glitter before asking Greg, "So. Are there any stickers in there that can help us catch this thing once we find it?"
     
  14. RainbowCatAngelStickerz

    RainbowCatAngelStickerz Dolls are terrifying

    "Depends? I mean, there are stickers that I can use, but they're situational. Wouldn't want to put a no exit sticker on its only way out of a place if it's our only way out too. But, like at your apartment building, putting a no exit sticker on a door after we go through so that it can't follow if that's the only way out would work," Greg said, shrugging. He was generally good at figuring out things to do with the stickers he had, but, as much as he hated it, he had to see the situation before he could actually start sticking stickers everywhere. All the preplaning in the world wouldn't help if he didn't have all the variables. Well, he did know how stickers could work together, and had ideas of what to do, but better to not get Lorcan's hopes up.

    Better the dragon sticker came as a welcome surprise to everyone, instead of right now when people could yell at him.
    Hopefully whatever dragons it summoned would listen to him. He'd definitely be grounded forever for setting dragons on the entire city.
     
  15. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    So what Greg was saying was if the ghost was anywhere outdoors, they were screwed. Good to know.

    Though Lorcan supposed it wasn't the worst news he'd heard all day. And if they could get it somewhere small and confined, Greg was saying his stickers could keep it from physically leaving. If that bought the time to watch a few tutorials, Lorcan might be able to add some oomph to make sure the ghost couldn't do anything else to spirit itself away before...

    Come to think of it. "Hey, Vulk? Were you able to find us an exorcist before we left?"

    "Uh-huh!" his familiar said, a note of pride in his voice. "I even found one who only does haunted dolls and everything. I emailed her just before we left saying to meet us here pronto!"

    "Good hustle." He meant it, too. Vulk was rarely this proactive, or this thorough. Normally, he'd have forgotten to specify a meeting place, or gotten distracted talking about TV, or he'd have used the wrong email--"Wait. Did you email her as you or as me?"

    "Me. I think."

    "You sure?"

    "Pretty sure."

    "..."

    "Yup, it was definitely probably me."

    Lorcan had a bad feeling about this.
     
  16. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    (Earlier that day...)

    To: shepherd.bri.kennedy@*******.com
    From: radiocarbonglaze@*******.com


    Subject: mondo haunted doll omg
    Importance: High


    hey, groovy gal!!

    saw your ad--have we got a boss gig for you! a sticker dude slipped us some bread to grunge up this psychedelic doll. it had a ghost squatting and turns out it's got beef--whoops!!! this scene's a little gnarly for us to deal solo but i hear haunted dolls are your bag. if we bring you the piece, can you work your choice magic?

    thanks!! today's been a mondo bummer. i just wanted to watch the tube....



    uh oh ghost just splti if u could get here major quik that be groovy i don’t wnat this to go all ghostbusters clasic ya dig? were at t & charmdslade kthxbai!!1



    Sincerely,
    Lorcan Verdigris
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  17. Bri Kennedy

    Bri Kennedy shepherd, haunted doll exorcist

    Bri was halfway through her third sandwich when her little niece, Tina, tugged on her sleeve.

    “Aunt Bri? Toasty’s acting weird.”

    Bri twisted around to catch sight of her dog. “What’s he doing?”

    “He just. Stopped.” And sure enough, he was standing stock-still right where Tina had been playing with him, rope toy forgotten at his feet, ears pricked forward towards the woods. “Do you think it’s a coyote?”

    “I… dunno. Let me take a look. You go hang out by your mom.”

    Bri glanced around the field as she uncurled from her spot at the picnic blanket. None of the other animals were on alert. The sheep and lambs grazed, old Lola slept in the shade of the gargantuan old oak tree, and Sputnik sat begging Reg for hotdogs. Toasty barely flicked an ear when she stopped at his side.

    “What is it, boy?” she asked, crouching and stroking his ruff. He just kept staring. Bri looked hard into the woods. Nothing. Could be a coyote or a fox hidden back there but… she’d expect barking over predators. “...Is it a spirit?”

    His long face jerked towards her, ears somehow finding room to prick up even more. “Okay. Okay, I’ll grab my stuff and we’ll go search.” Bri turned away, and Toasty whined softly after her. He looked back and forth between the woods and his mistress before making up his mind to follow.

    Halfway to the farmhouse, Bri’s phone buzzed. Subject: mondo haunted doll omg Huh, maybe it was related? She opened the email and…

    It took Toasty not just turning on his loudest whine but also poking her, hard, in the hip. “Toast, I wish you could read. Because what the hell?”

    “Everything all right?” called Mel, half distracted trying to stop Tina from flipping Sputnik’s ears back and forth.

    “Yeah, it’s just, uh. You know, a thing.” Bri’s sister, Mel, knew about her spirit work, but Mel’s husband Reg didn’t. Neither did Tina, or anyone else for that matter. Bri’s family were a sensible lot, generations of farmers and more recently mechanics and shopkeepers and engineers, and while Mel and she had grown up with Grandma Anne’s stories of pixies and ghosts, Bri wasn’t sure anyone else would be receptive. Besides, someone had to stay behind to keep an eye on the lambing (which was why Mel had come out to visit in the first place, Bri’s sheep did pretty well on their own, but it was still a lot for one person).

    “Need any help?”

    “Uh.” She glanced back down at the message. Someone rubbed grubby bread on a doll and something happened with a ghost? That wanted a roast beef sandwich? Or had one? “Nah, I got it….”

    (What is a “sticker dude”?)

    “You sure? What’s going on?” Reg had already thrown off his apron and marched towards her.

    “I just need to run and help out a friend, it’s fine, Reg. Really.”

    Reg stopped, forward momentum redirected inward, like he was about to burst. Bri turned back to her house when-

    “Bri, we love you.”

    “Uh.” That did not seem relevant.

    (Seriously, how do you haunt a doll with a sandwich? Or was the sandwich haunted? Bri only exorcised dolls. She made that very clear on her Craig’s List and Etsy pages, and it only annoyed her more the more times people ignored that. Normally, she'd email back for clarification first, but the last bit, incoherent though it was, sounded pretty urgent.)

    “I love you, too?”

    “Look, you have every right to your privacy, believe me, I get that and I respect it. But I just have to say something. All this sneaking around, these secret ‘friends’-”

    Aw crap, Bri did not have the energy for this. She had a haunting to deal with, and it was already the middle of the lambing.

    “-the point is, you do what you feel you have to, but not a single person in this whole family is gonna give a good goddamn that you’re a lesbian! Just introduce your girlfriend, she doesn’t have to be some kinda dirty little secret!”

    Reg hesitated one last moment, then closed the distance and pulled Bri into a huge bear hug. Bri tried to make eye contact with her sister, but Mel’s face was buried in her hands.

    “I’m. Not a lesbian. But thanks?” She pulled away.

    “Oh. Oh! Bi! Are you bi? Or, er, paaaa- pansexual? Is that the other one?” He looked to Mel for help, but to no more avail than Bri had. “Sorry, I was researching this last week, I don’t fully remember all the terms yet.”

    Ah, fuck it. “...You know what, let’s do have a talk. But not right now.” She pointed at her phone. “Thing.”

    “Oh, of course! Yeah! Sorry, I just. I’ve been worried, you know?”

    “Okay.” Bri had no script for this situation. Bri had no idea whatsoever what to say in this situation. Or what her face should look like.

    She patted Reg’s forearm.

    Toasty scratched her leg.

    “Right. Bye.”

    As Bri walked away and brought up Google to try to figure out where (and what) “t & charmdslade” referred to, she heard Reg say, “Ah, stupid! Maybe her partner is non-binary! I forgot about that one.”

    Bri smiled. Yeah, okay, that was gonna be a weird conversation, but they’d work it out.

    (...Seriously, what is a sticker dude?)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  18. GlitterWizard

    GlitterWizard The Akinator

    "Hey Seth," Aki whispered. "Is Lowe Street the one that has that weird oak on the corner?"

    No, Aki, I think that's Clark.

    "Huh. Well, it's in some store on Clark then. There was a lot of metal and wood? What's on Clark Street anyway?"

    The answer hit both of them at once, and they turned to each other in mutual horror. "SHIT. It's in the hardware store."
     
  19. Bri Kennedy

    Bri Kennedy shepherd, haunted doll exorcist

    Thank all the gods and guardian spirits Google had its “did you mean [blah]?” function, or else Bri would never have reached Tea & Charmalade. She didn’t go into town much and had simply never heard of the place, though the online menu did look pretty good.

    “Woo.”

    “We’re going, Toasty, we’re going.” Bri reached across the car to pet him. He sat obediently in the front passenger seat, belted in, and drooling fit to drown the upholstery.

    Woo.”

    “I’m not going over the speed limit.”

    “HmmheeeeEEEeen.”

    ---

    All in all, it wasn’t a bad drive there, even as it started to storm, not too far but long enough to give Bri some thinking room. She had given up on puzzling out the particulars of the haunting from that email; she’d just have to talk to the client about what the hell he meant. She fretted some over “go Ghostbuster classic” - she knew the movie (of course), but she wasn’t sure which part of it he’d been trying to reference. Was someone possessed by a Gatekeeper-type entity? Was the beef sandwich, or piece of beef, or doll, or whatever, going to turn into a huge hulking danger a la the Stay Puft Man?

    She hoped she’d packed enough yarn.

    She also hoped this was something she could take care of quickly, and with just Toasty’s help. She had no desire to spend any more time than strictly necessary with anyone who thought it appropriate to address a total stranger, in a business letter no less, “groovy gal.”

    “Hrmph.”

    Toasty angry-sneezed in solidarity.

    “Thank you.”

    ---

    The door to Tea & Charmalade jangled as Bri entered, wiping her boots on the welcome mat and shaking out her umbrella just outside. Toasty squeezed past her legs and shook himself off inside. “Hey, get back there, you know you aren’t allowed in!”

    Toasty made sad puppy dog eyes which, as usual, accomplished nothing. Bri had had many dogs, and twice as many puppy dog eyes, in her thirty-odd years. She whistled a command, and Toasty reluctantly and with much theatrical drooping and looking back are you sure oozed back outside.

    “Sorry about that,” said Bri, though not to anyone in particular. Just, if anyone had seen who might be offended. A careful sweep around the room revealed no one obviously in danger or distress, although-

    Whoa, was that a glitter fountain? How was she -he? they?- doing that?

    ...And why did no one else seem particularly surprised?

    Oh. Right. The website had said, in small, enchanted text that only those who’ve touched magic can see, that it was an establishment for (in large part, though of course not exclusively) enchanters and the like.

    “Excuse me, can I help you?” asked a waitress. Bri didn’t quite make it to the woman’s eyes, but she did catch her name tag - Paola.

    “Uh, I’m looking for a Mr. Lorcan Verdigris? I, uh, I’m supposed to meet him, I don’t know if he mentioned…?”

    “Mm, not that I’ve heard, but I can check. What’s your name?”

    “Oh! Right, sorry. Bri Kennedy?” Stupid, why did she say her own name like a question.

    “No problem, feel free to grab a table until we can get you connected and- oh, is that your familiar?” Paola had caught sight of Toasty outside.

    “Uh. Yeah, essentially.”

    “Oh, familiars are allowed in! Especially in this thunderstorm.”

    Before Bri could call him back in, the waterlogged collie had bum-rushed the door and pressed himself gratefully into Paola’s legs, tail going a mile a minute. Paola's expression turned from sympathetic to pained.

    “Ack, sorry! He normally has better manners than this. Toasty, down. Toasty! That’ll do.”

    “Ah, thanks,” She swiped fruitlessly at her wet shins. “Could I grab you a towel?” Paola eyed the muddy pawprints.

    “Yes! That would be grand, thank you. Was just about to ask-” Bri trailed off as Paola replied with some bland response that, even to Bri’s dull ear didn’t quite cover her annoyance. Bri stood staring awkwardly at her own boots until a man approached her.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  20. Radiocarbon Glaze

    Radiocarbon Glaze Not actually a necromancer

    Ffffffffffuuuuuuuu--

    Okay. Okay, this was officially about as bad as it could get. A ninety-ish year old ghost was nothing to sneeze at on its own merits. That was getting into full-on poltergeist territory there. But even a ghost like that would be limited by its environment. Much as Lorcan didn't want to throw down in Tea and Charmalade, the spiritual protections on the place would have given them a hell of a home field advantage. The hardware store--well, assuming Aki was thinking of the same one as Lorcan, but for local crafters there was really only the hardware store--was the exact opposite.

    The Ace Hardware on Clark was frequented by crafters and run by norms, the very worst of both worlds. A lot of magic happened in its walls, from children running through the aisles touching everything their magic could get its hands on to adults who thought they were being sneaky when they tested their spells on the sample swatches. Lorcan had even seen a few outright wizards' duels start when an item ran out of stock. Somehow, the people in charge managed to ignore all that, even though any idiot knew that letting a site of magic go uncleansed was a really hecking bad idea. Seriously, did these people just think it was normal for cash registers to suddenly sprout legs and make a break for the door?! Lorcan would never understand non-wizards.

    Point was, the hardware store was so full of magic it was practically a ley line by now, and that would make it really easy for a malevolent spirit to become more powerful. Plus, you know, nails and power saws and other pointy-slicey-crushy things. The ghost would certainly not want for weapons, that was for sure.

    Lorcan hoped the exorcist got here soon. He could really use some good news.

    That was probably why he noticed when a woman at the door asked for a "Mr. Lorcan Verdigris". That had to be her, right? Or another surprise friend from Mom, but she was a little older than most crafters his mother tried to network him with. Also more...rustic? She was wearing a set of very, uh, functional boots that seemed way muddier than even this rain could explain. And Mom knew better than to try to push Lorcan into a long-distance friendship. Short-distance friendships were difficult enough, really.

    Whatever, he probably needed to just ask instead of speculating. That way he could at least know if the situation was utterly hopeless or just probably hopeless. He got up and walked over to the woman, warily eyeing her familiar. He'd assumed it was just some clever imitation, but it looked like a real dog up close. Weird.

    "Are you..." Fuck. He should have asked Vulk for her name. "The exorcist?" he finished, holding out a hand to shake. She looked like the kind of woman to appreciate professionalism. "I'm Lorcan Verdigris. Nice to meet you."
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
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