2018-06-23: What Other People See

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  • Log: What Other People See
  • Cast: Lydia Seren, Talia
  • Where: Meribia - Merchant's Row
  • Date: 6/23/2018
  • Summary: Talia and Lydia talk about the latter's plan for a guild.

=========================<* Meribia - Merchant's Row *>=========================

Meribia was once both the largest city and port on the continent from which it draws its name; both honours have since been ceded to the Holy City of Pentagulia. It is nevertheless a major commercial centre for the entire Meribus continent, and all manner of goods are found here.

Merchant's Row is the name given to the merchant district of Meribia, which runs from the landside entrance through to the centre of the city. Everything from weapons and armour to more mundane household goods can be found here, and the atmosphere is highly competitive, with barkers screaming from both sides of the Row.

The largest shop in the city belong to the legendary Ramus family, an ancient line of merchants that has been operating since the time of the Dragonmasters. While Blue Master Lunn speaks formally for the city, Ramus is an influential figure.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3jru8_hq_s
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia has been bouncing around between towns a lot lately. It's hard to actually just pin her down so it may be more likely to run into her by accident. Right now, Lydia is actually pulling her cart along herself, still, but she does look a little different from before. The arm is still there (it's hard to check on the other spreading of the strange metal) but there seems to be little beads below her right and left eye as well. Small metallic splotches. Maybe at this rate, someone will assume it's just a beastman quirk. That's what Lydia is hoping for. The arm, at least, can look like a prosthetic or a strange gauntlet but it's getting harder not easier for Lydia to simply 'fit in'.

Luckily, Lydia's plan isn't exactly to fit in in the first place. Her cart contains various supplies. Rations, including jugs of water and the like, but also some gunsmoke arms and at least one strange 'raygun' that Talia might remember though it's coloring is different, indicating it's not the same one.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia, conversely, has spent a lot of time in Glenwood. The movements of the war needed her attention -- and thus, the black-haired woman has needed to spend more time than she might like in Lastonbell and behind Hyland's still advancing arms. She still visits Meribia, though, and she walks along at a pleasant pace. She whistles, as she does -- and slows, as she catches sight of a cart.

And a familiar beastwoman, if one who looks different than she last saw: little beads of quicksilver, evoking some sort of change. Her head tilts -- and then the sly, playful smile comes back.

She appears, abruptly, standing in front of Lydia's cart. "Already back at it?" she asks, cheerful and carefree as always.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"I don't stop at it." Lydia says. "Space programs take a lot of revenue but in this particular case I'm actually raisin' funds for something else entirely-like." She then reaises her head as if just suddenly realizing who she's talking to. Lydia operates very deeply in her own headspace, but she does brighten upon actually looking up and seeing Talia. "How 'bout that. Fancy meetin' you here. Figured you'd still be in Glenwood."

She sets down her cart and adds, "If'n you need supplies, you get the 'friendperson' deal of course, but I still gotta charge." She rubs at her neck, not commenting on the spread of the quicksilver in the slightest. "I've got a pretty good feelin' about it and it's a little reckless, which if it wasn't it wouldn't really be my style, so it kinda works out, you know?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Hmm. I don't know much about space programs, I think," Talia says, with a little smile. She tilts her head to the side -- and then she shakes her head once at the implicit question. "I've been there a lot, but sometimes I like to go some place where I am not on the clock, no? And, besides, there's... a couple of people I know here."

The girl who lives in a magical house, who made a cloak for her and her brother. She wants to visit her again. To say nothing of Lydia.

"I wouldn't ask you to," she says. "Business is business, no matter what. What sort of things are you raising funds for now?" She tilts her head. "A new project?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Well, if you ever want to be an astronaut...how hard could it be? Besides, if the ship you were in started to explode you could throw your shadow thing back to the planet and teleport back. Yeah that does sound pretty easy..." Surely there's no range limitation on those right Talia??

Nevertheless, Lydia hasn't actually met the magical house owning tailor but, to be real, would probably dig that. She doesn't bring it up because...she doesn't know there's a magical house. Instead she says, "That makes sense, that makes sense..."

She glances around as if she expects someone to be listening in. Nobody is listening in. obody seems particularly interested in listening in either. But this doesn't stop Lydia. She gradually leans in and adds, "Yeah I've got a pretty good plan. Even Jay OKed it, and she's kinda stuffy, AS YOU KNOW."

She looks around again and then adds, in a lower voice once more, "You wanna know about it?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"An astro...what?"

Talia's head tilts and she looks confused. The word seems lost on her, though she does blink -- and shake her head. "Er, well--no, Mirage doesn't quite work that way. I mean... there's an upper limit on it. I think. I don't really want to hurl it and lose it, and then end up stuck somewhere. Plus, er, I can't buy a new one."

She sighs, scratching at the back of her head. And then she looks ahead. She leans forward to Lydia, and nods. "Jay did seem kind of stuffy. Nice enough!" She nods. "So if she did, it must be good. What is it?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Astronaut. It's what you call someone that goes to space." Lydia says. "I invented the term. Just kidding." She smiles a bit. "...Yeah, Jay's great. Ethius too, really, but Kaguya beat him up 'fore we came up here, and now I don't even know where Ethius is." She sighs a bit before adding, "...Well, Ethius is also a moron in the head and does stupid shit all the time." She closes her eyes, and she sighs. "...But I guess Jay knows what's up so I can kinda relax about it. I guess it wasn't that big of a deal."

She raises her head. "Anyway, I'm gonna start buyin' up guildhalls and the like, then i'm gonna convert 'em into a guildhall chain. I've got lots of merc contacts lately so I figure maybe some mercs would rather not be disposable troops. Keep it down though, yeah?" She gestures up and down with one hand. "S'secret and such."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Ohhhhhh."

Talia says it like she understands. She does not.

"That's sad to hear. You're all a group, then? The Caravan Kinship, right? I gathered that Jay must be the leader of it." She sighs, her eyebrows knitting -- and a frown crosses her face, at the mention that Kaguya attacked this friend of hers. Talia, slowly, nods her head.

"A guildhall chain...?" Her eyes widen. "Like, you mean to support a mercenary guild? The idea does have merit. There isn't much organization like that, as I'm sure you've noticed."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Yeah, Caravain Kinship. Kaguya used to be a member. Shortly after I joined she split." She looks away for a moment. "...Guess Tilde will probably split soon too." Lydia doesn't sound particularly happy about this, but she does sound resigned to it, as if there's little she can do to change an outcome that she expects will happen regardless of her hopes or actions.

But she shrugs it off later. Lydia doesn't like to dwell on that. "Jay's pretty hands off but she does have to kind of have to put her foot down a lot more than you'd think, 'specially cause of Ethius who is kinda messed up--but Ethius is a good guy--he's just, like, got these weird priorities he doesn't explain coherently or anything and sometimes it's like he just looks past pretty obvious shit because of how important those priorities are to him? I dunno. I mean. I feel like I get him, but not...entirely."

Maybe she just really needs to talk about Ethius. She scratches a little at one of those quicksilver beads.

"Yeah, though we might not use the term 'mercenary' neccessarily because if you use a word besides 'mercenary' then people become suddenly cool with it. Not sure what we'd call it all, honestlike."

Naming can come later though. Lydia adds, "But like...yeah. We've got a bunch of merc groups working for different sides in a war and it doesn't make much sense cause you see, I've been visitin' villages and let me tell you, shit is WRECKED. Runnin' into nearly as many dead or soon-to-be-dead towns as we do back home and considerin' that Filgaia's a dyin' world and this one...ain't. That says a lot about the management." Hell, we even had to go deliver supplies to a town near Zulan just 'cause of its location. I figure--if mercs wanna fight in wars, nobody's stoppin' it, but back home there's gotta be folks looking out for these places. And it sounds like mercenary work is a growin' field. Once it gets goin', I figure I don't have to fret too much about it, but right now I'm movin' all over the place just so I can get the capital to make it happen."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I noticed they're... close. If Kaguya made an enemy of most of them, it must create some tension between them," Talia ventures, carefully. The idea warrants some caution from her -- after all, her actions might make an enemy of some of these people. She shrugs her shoulders. She glances down at the ground for a moment. Her eyebrows knit. "Is that so? I've never met him. But he sounds... hrn. Intense, no?"

She tries to imagine it in her head. She doesn't quite; she can't compare him so easily to Ivan, or Sasha. But, maybe, the people that Lydia is close to aren't like the people she cared for.
Maybe they're functional.

She banishes that dark thought, though, and she looks up. Her red eyes light up. "Hmm. It does make sense," she says. "I didn't realize things on Filgaia were in such a bad way. I heard some of the sermons, that the Blue Star was devastated and unfit for life, but..." She shakes her head. "I think it could take off. And make you filthy rich."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Nah," Lydia says. "If Kaguya wanted to come back and maybe be a little less murdery we'd probably take her back. I mean, I tried to beat 'em all up too. Though I guess I wasn't exactly in control of m'body at the time but I did challenge them to an aggressive game of soccer on my own. So there's that." She looks over to Talia. "Heck I don't think she was actually uh kicked out for beating us up she just figured it'd be better to leave after that. I think Jay is more upset about th'stuff she's doin' up here. She apparently talked to Matilda and said I shouldn't uh..."

She looks away for a moment, frowning. "...Jay said I shouldn't be getting involved in their merc business anymore. 'pparently Tilde agreed, but I guess they don't feel 'nuff about it to actually stop it, I guess."

She looks back to Talia, wiping at her eyes briefly with her hand. "Anyway, I guess I'm too intense or whatev." She pauses. "Oh, uh, well... Personally I live in what's basically a desert that came about from our second or third apocalypse."

She is quiet for a moment. "Um, history isn't my best subject or nothing but I'm pretty sure it's at least the second one. So I guess the sermons aren't wrong, exactly, but they might be overstating it a little bit since it's not ALL desert and like, obviously we lived there--but that opinion certainly came from something that's, well, true."

She grins, though. "Yeah, well, it's thanks to Lunar I figured I could...do something like this. On Filgaia, beastfolk like me--they ain't treated too kindly, but Lunar...Lunar's leagues beyond Filgaia in how they treat us."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia frowns for a moment, at that. Her opinion of Kaguya is kept to herself; something that, like many things, she buries deeply. She nods her head. "...I did wonder, a little, if I should involve you in that," she admits. "It's a nasty business, no? But... people should make their own decisions. That's what I think." She looks to the side, her eyes shifting to look around the area, and not at Lydia.

Her shoulders shrug, though.

"I guess Jay is probably not so wild about me, either," she says. The smile comes back -- sly as ever, but there's something less playful about it, now.

But, her expression becomes slightly less hesitant. She raises an eyebrow. "I remember you said that, once... well, I'm glad it worked out, no? And that Filgaia isn't some sort of waste-filled hell. I really... well. It's hard to believe people are actually from there, still."

But the evidence is right before her.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia sometimes wonders. She always had a hard time as seeing 'malevolence' as bad but now that she's been to Lunar, it's pretty obvious how gross it can be. Besides that, though, is it a bad place? She doubts even the war would be as bad as it is were it not for the literal spirit poison clouds everywhere. It is a hell of a 'but'. A HELLION OF A BUT you might say.

Speaking of buts, Lydia laughs awkwardly. "Well, she just doesn't know your circumstances and worries." Notably, Lydia also doesn't know Talia's circumstances really which might raise some questions. Lydia is not very empathic but even she can sense hte shift in Talia's demeanor.

"It's nasty," Lydia says. "But it's not like you're nasty. Where she's from, they can afford to be perfect. Or at least they could afford t'be perfect before the war hit them and I think some of the folks from there still think like they can treat everythin' like it was back home before it changed." She pauses. "But from where I'm from, Kislev and Aveh's been warrin' forever. That's like the business of the region and I do mean like 'before I was born' level warring there. Life's...not always great enough for remainin' innocent." She shakes her head. "Doesn't mean we can't make things better though, and I think Jay's right about that. She supports the guild hall shit so I don't have to sneak about it anymore at least."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia looks up, one eyebrow raising. "My circumstances... there isn't much to them, no? It's the life I'm in, thanks to how I grew up. It's the same as most people." It is also a terribly vague answer -- because one thing that Talia does not do is tell people why she does what she does. She shifts, sitting up a little straighter, and then she looks at Lydia. "I don't think it's wrong to be cautious of me, no? But... I appreciate sticking with me, anyways."

Even if, really, she doesn't get it.

"It sounds... rough. A different sort of rough than here," she says. "We don't--we've got places like that, no? Places where people have to do everything they can, just to survive. Where they have to hurt people. But... we hide them. Under a layer of a loving Goddess, a wide-reaching church, rich nobles who boast about how kind they are, and knights in shining armor."

She doesn't smile, as she looks down at the ground. "...It makes it easier, to ignore the people who have it harder. Who grow up in the shadows, left alone... or used and hurt, when they're not. We keep our nastiness secreted away."

She looks up. "So I like the idea of the guild halls. Stick it to the noble bastards, where they deserve it."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Hey you don't gotta tell me." Lydia says to Talia. "And I don't just mean that in the way of you literally don't gotta tell me. I get it." She gestures forward with one hand. "Shit happens. If it were rare, it wouldn't be a thing t'begin with." Lydia might have her ideas about Talia's situation but while they are probably wrong, she can tell there is a situation.

There's always a situation. "Heh, well, least I can do." She's glad that Talia seems to understand.

Lydia listens to Talia describe Lunar. In some ways, this is probably the most telling description of Lunar she's gotten since coming here. Maybe folks assumed some of this was obvious and didn't need to say it, but sometimes if you don't say it just because it's obvious it doesn't get said at taltl and that just makes it all the easier to sweep things under the rug.

"Heh, well, nobles that talk themselves up ain't only a Lunar problem. Least some things we don't have to culture shock about."

But it seems Talia understands the key reason why Lydia is doing this in the first place. "Yeah..." She says after a quiet moment. "Let 'em kill people themselves if they like it so much."

Lydia does not like killing people. She really doesn't. It's not because of any ethical reasoning and Lydia fully groks that sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. If she didn't understand this, she wouldn't be funding this venture by selling guns. This venture wouldn't be possible to begin with. Not at this speed. As laborious as it seems, it's far faster than it would have been otherwise.

She thinks about what Talia says. It's hard for her to not presume some--if not all of this--applies to Talia herself. Growing up in the shadows. She literally uses a shadow sword. That teleports her. There's IMPLICATIONS for what such a weapon is ideal for.

But she says, "Hey," quietly. "If it works out. And I mean I guess that's a pretty big if I'll be fair about that...you want me to save you a seat?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia glances sideways at Lydia, a slight smile on her face -- and then she nods, once. "I'm not too surprised about that," she says. "Your idea sounds nice. I hope it... works out, all right." She doesn't say more, precisely--because if she knows one thing, she knows a lot happened with her.

She isn't the sort of person that would be any help.

Her expression is distant for a moment. She opens her mouth, ready to say no -- ready to say the truth that comes to mind. But, speaking that truth about her makes it so. It gives it weight and power; it means someone else might know what she sees, when she looks into the mirror.

So, instead, she smiles her playful, sly smile, like she knows a secret.

"Sure," she hears herself say, in that cheerful tone of voice that she always uses. "It might be fun."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia doesn't care for mirrors either. It may be for less metaphorical reasons, however. Hard to say! Especially when it isn't being said. Still, Lydia is not a mirror and any reflection in her eyes is going to be very different.

Lydia is an impatient girl but she swings her foot behind her as if trying to tell it to behave. It was tapping a moment before with the power of anxiety.

When Talia gives her answer, Lydia lets out a breath she didn't know she was holding. "Sweet!" She says and throws a 10 dc evade grapple check in Talia's direction though in layman's terms it's a hug.

"You won't regret this!" Lydia cheers. "I'll keep ya updated too, don'tcha worry! If it goes bad I'll make sure it don't hitcha!"

She hops up and down a bit as if she wasn't a tall but rather a smoll.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia is, suffice to say, surprised when Lydia throws her into a hug. She laughs, though; it isn't even entirely feigned, as she bounces back from that darker feeling, and returns it one-armed. "Sure. Let me know, all right?" she says. "I'll be interested."

She has her doubts whether she can avoid it hitting her.

"I should, uh, probably get a move on," she says, after a moment. "I have a couple of things to check on, while I'm here. You take care, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Sure thing! You too!"

She should get to her own deliveries after all. If she remains optimistic, she can keep pretending that the fire she's playing with isn't there and so long as she pretends, she'll have the courage to try this scheme of hers.