An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Toshi
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An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Toshi Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:32 pm

Val pulled the chair out from under the table in a smooth motion, the wood stained a dark cherry red. He was neatly dressed, wearing a sweater and evening jacket, an expensive men's watch clasped at his wrist. A spritz of vetiver based cologne gave him a clean, dark scent whenever Astoria shied close to his neck.

He held the chair for Astoria.

The restaurant was in Capria, bathed in warm, low lighting. Great windows opened up to a view of the bay, the ocean a living reflection of the dying daylight.

"It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to spend some time with you," Val said, "I'm delighted you've taken an interest in my work."

Although they had exchanged letters, they had not met formally. Val had gotten Astoria's information from a donor's list of one of the more obscure and liturgical societies he was a part of, a hidden group committed to the worship and study of older (darker) magics. He had sent Astoria no small number of inked illustrations. Anatomy, sigils, the discussion but not depiction of cursed images, and chiefly his theories on the mind and housing of the soul.

In his last few letters, the subjects had wandered off-target, lapsing first into poems (his own) and finally an invitation here, to meet in person. Val's coat was not different from his letters, all paper and ink. His origins were humble, his magic not greater than any other creature, and he would not admit to himself that in spite of usually being in control, he found himself nervous.

He had not invited Astoria to discuss his work, although those subjects might be touched, but to enjoy his company.
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Baneful
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Baneful Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:45 pm

Astoria was a very elusive individual. Most of his affairs were arranged through his underlings and any direct contact went through the the splicers who handled the majority of his more intimate appointments and concerns. He preferred it this way as the majority of his time was spent in his lavish mansion, buried in whatever strange works held his attention that particular day, hopping without warning from project to project, led by voices unheard by anyone but him and invisible figures who whispered ideas into his ears. It took a great deal of effort to coax him out into the open and even more to draw him into any sort of social interaction. However, Val had been successful in this particular endeavour, his correspondence piquing his interest to the point that when an invitation was forthcoming he didn't feel like dismissing it.

Val seized his curiosity and he wanted to see if he was as fascinating in the flesh as he was in writing.

Astoria dressed exactly the way someone from a very old family should probably have been expected to dress. His clothing was well tailored and made of rich expensive fabric, but worn in a way which suggested that he wasn't out to impress anyone. There was a certain carefully scrubbed and neat quality often found in white collar workers or upward climbers that was completely absent in the way he wore the black velvet and crushed black silk. His hair was not the usual aether but instead was hair, much like that of a bagbean or fornlee. He had nothing about his shoulders either, a large set of sex elegant wings folded behind him.

On first glance it was possible to overlook what he was with an untrained eye, but as he curled his long tail around the legs of the table it was quickly apparent it was no normal substance, the shards of gleaming steely crystal matching the long elegant horn which marked his rank. Crystal perfaunt tended to almost radiate magical potential and he was no different, looking over his new acquaintance with eyes wide, black and shiny, centred with two pinprick stars which followed his movements.

"You are interesting." he said. "I like your drawings."

There was a gathering of strange babbling creatures at the table next to them, but no table settings were placed, so he assumed they were visitors for him alone.

"They remind me of dreams I have had."
Toshi
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Toshi Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:19 am

Val knew at once, of course. It wasn't polite to draw attention, but it was impossible to not be struck by the evidence born by that single black horn. Here was a powerful creature, but nothing about him was gaudy, his markings as warm and dark as the inside of a womb. Astoria's hair flowed comfortably about his shoulders, making silky promises that Val kept to himself.

Once assured Astoria was seated, he took his own place at the table, rescuing a small, lambskin book from the folds of his jacket.

"Dreams are our strongest conduit," he said, "a bridge between our sleeping and waking worlds. Are they good dreams, or bad dreams?"
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Baneful
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Baneful Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:11 am

Astoria had been warned before leaving by Fred that he should be cautious around this particular individual, but when it came to caution, he tended to do whatever he wanted. He was rarely afraid, desensitised to all manner of things simply by his visions.

“That would depend entirely on the perspective of the one viewing the vision. Punishment is something creatures unconsciously seek out. The dreams are complex, to me, they are home, the gentle maternal caress of a place I’ve always known, a gift beyond what was given to me by the queen.” He smirked a little distantly. “And to others they would be nothing but terrors. But to a very specific sort of individual I think that they would be lurid and terrible nightmares, but nightmares of a sort they can’t possibly tear their eyes off of. They’d say the dreams were undeniably bad but in their very hearts, well.” And he was leaning one set of his arms on the table now the other gesticulating emphatically. “In their hearts they’d find them good, they would want more, want to get close to those nightmares, to understand them, to become /ensnared/ in them. Let us hope my dreams never cross the bridge.”

“Every time I meet someone new I find myself wondering which sort of person they are.”

His gaze flickered over Val. “I wonder what sort you are?”
Toshi
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Toshi Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:30 am

"Ah, yes," Val said, leaning forward excitedly, "I agree. Good and bad are such narrow terms. It is more useful to be specific: if they cause you pleasure, or bring you pain? At the very heights of experience, I don't find them to be exclusive. I would define myself as a curious individual. A searcher. I think there are so many warnings against curiosity because it's a well that can never be filled."

Val slid a menu over.

"Like hunger. Speaking of. I'm feeling carnivorous."
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Baneful
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Baneful Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:11 pm

Astoria listened intently to Val's comments, his ears perked curiously. He wanted to truly understand the other perfaunt and see what made him tick, to understand if he was the material avid cultists were made of or if he was a potential danger to be avoided or disposed of. Things were certainly looking like the former over the latter though, especially when it came to his comments on the spectrum of morality and pain.

"We seem to be two of one mind." he said with a smile that showed off sharp teeth. "In all things."

He was always hungry, notoriously so, capable of devouring giant piles of junk food with surprising lack of effort. "I think I'll have one of every sort of meat starter." he said, "And whatever the most expensive main course is. Likely a steak of some description" because ultimately it was the price that mattered, meat was meat and he wasn't a picky eater.

"I doubt they stock my beverage of choice. I should have had my splicers bring some." he didn't clarify what this was.

"Do you have any servants?" he asked.
Toshi
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Toshi Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:29 pm

"Experiments," Val said, "all willing, of course. Some are more committed to seeing it through. I have one who is full-time, and helps out with this and that around my home."

He looked intrigued. "Splicers, you said? I've heard rumors. They're difficult to find, how did you manage two?"

Astoria had a large appetite. He wondered if such abundant magical power required more fuel.

"I think I'll only need a small cut, from something young," Val said.
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Baneful
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Baneful Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:20 pm

Astoria's eyes lit up as much as it was possible for the black pools to light up at all at the mention of experiments. "That sounds wonderful." His own staff were more practical than indulgent, there to facilitate his freedom to do whatever he wanted and to exist in a way which was practical.

"I suppose I got lucky." he said. "Siblings."

Val's order raised a brow and his smile was sneaky. "A good choice." He waved over a waiter to make their orders, waiting until he departed to speak again. "I do not normally dine out." he said. "You've been given a rare gift."
Toshi
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Re: An Interest Meeting (Astoria + Xithval)

Postby Toshi Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:43 pm

"A rare phenomenon with our kind," Val said. "We're all echoes of the dead. I'd love to talk with them, sometime. Familial bonds are more than a matter of perception, there's a psychic residue with genetic resonance that is still not well-understood."

He wrote something in his book, and tucked it away.

"I've been fortunate in my own way. I hope you don't mind if I take my time with unwrapping your gift."

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