Envoy has been rather busy since waking up from her coma. Her dorm room no longer resembles an explosion in a natural history museum; the bug and fungus collections are gone, and the only plants in the room are a few decorative ones near the single window. The slim cot-like bed is no longer being used as a shelf, and the small writing desk has been cleaned as well. The room actually seems brighter now.
The fresh ream of paper that Envoy purchased is all but gone now, and the inkwell is nearly dry. Several worn down quill pens lay in the wastebasket, but luckily Envoy is able to supply her own from her wing-feathers.
Envoy seals and addresses two of the letters she's finished writing. The first one is a note of thanks to Latania the Life Mage, including an apology for any real or imagined inconveniences or slights the Exile may have caused her and liberally dosed with plenty of flattering comments. The second letter, which is destined for the Dean of the Sphere of Mind at the College Esoterica, contains a detailed account of the strange dream-like vision Envoy had when Isstan had his seizure.
The third letter covers almost a hundred double-sided pages, each written in Envoy's meticulous and small printing. It consists of a long list of failed and failing components within the Temple, and will not be send via the regular post. Envoy intends to deliver it by hand to an Acolyte of the Inner Mysteries, to make it sure it gets to its destination unopened.
Envoy wraps and binds the larger bundle of papers and sets it next to the box that her Temple Scout uniform and supplies came in. The remainders of those supplies, including the uniform, are packed neatly inside along with the shekels needed to cover the cost of the cookies. Envoy has decided to quit the Temple Scouts, and returning everything will give her an excuse to enter the Temple to find an Acolyte.
Envoy rubs her fingers to keep them from cramping, and smiles to Chiaroscuro. "Is there enough room now?"
The green and black insectoid warrior which has followed Envoy around for more than a month now, nicknamed 'Bem' for her own obscure reasons, rasps its mandibles to produce a short, brief noise.
In short, Bem clacks.
Chiaroscuro nods to Envoy, smiling. "More than enough. I have few possessions to bring here, and they all ought fit neatly in the spaces." He pauses to think. "Clothes, the few books I have managed not to sell back… some small things. . yes, there should be enough room for me here, now."
Envoy picks up the two letters she intends to send through the mail, and asks, "Should we move it all now while there's light? I don't know when Bem ate last, so he probably needs to do some vermite hunting."
Chiaroscuro's mouth quirks slightly at the mention of Bem, but he nods. "Certainly, if I might have your assistance. It ought not take more than one, perhaps two trips." He stands up, stretching out.
Envoy says, "Let's go then."
Chiaroscuro opens the door and heads out with Envoy… holding her hand in his as they walk along the corridors of the Bard's Guild.
Bem drifts after the two, his wedge-shaped head swiveling back and forth slowly as he scans for potential threats.
Envoy pauses to drop her letters into the mail slot with her free hand.
The Exiles walk along at a fairly quick pace, Pausing only for a few moments in the bazaar at a few booths. A quick haggle, but no purchase, and they continue on to Darkside.
Envoy manages to convince Bem to stay outside of The Monkey's Head where he can watch through a window.
Chiaroscuro hands Envoy the key as they reach the tavern. "Here you are, Envoy… I need to settle things with the landlord financially, if you will wait in the room?" He scoots quickly through a small office door.
Envoy heads up to the second level balcony, and unlocks the door to Chiaroscuro's rented room… really not much more than a closet.
And a fairly empty closet at that. Chiaroscuro's things are seemingly ready to be taken, and in order… except for a small sheaf of papers sticking out from under the bed.
Curious, Envoy extracts the papers to look at while she waits for the mongoose.
The papers are thick with writing, in a language Envoy's never seen. From the formatting, it appears to be a journal or diary. Some words are repeated many times… "Kitellia", "Rik'Tik'Tav" the most, at least from what the first few pages reveal.
Envoy thinks it must be Chipper's journal, and straightens the pages before placing them on top of the bed.
Chiaroscuro comes into the room shortly, after a quick triple knock on the door. "It is all settled, Envoy… " His eyes dart to the papers atop the bed, then back to Envoy somewhat worriedly… he then speaks a bit more quickly than usual. "So, let us get to packing, hmmm?" He wriggles carefully into the room.
Envoy smiles and nods, "What do you want me to do?"
Chiaroscuro says, "Just gather the objects on the small shelf, please."
Envoy looks over the shelf, and starts organizing the contents by weight so they can be stacked properly into a bag.
There are a few books, a scrimshaw trinket, and other odds and ends that even the poorest inhabitants of Rephidim are likely to possess.
Envoy closes up the bag once the articles are securely packed into it.
Chiaroscuro reaches over to the bed and quickly stuffs the stack of papers into a pocket, then begins gathering his garments into a tight bundle. This done, he tucks the clothes under an arm, and looks around the room…
Chiaroscuro ahs! and makes a quick jump up to the small sill above the door, where a brown leather pouch was resting. "I believe that is everything. Are you ready?"
Envoy nods, holding her bundle. "That's an unusual place to keep something, isn't it?"
Chiaroscuro nods… "I would hope so." He opens the bag, pouring out a small quantity of pebbles from the pouch, of varied shapes and colors… letting them catch the light.
Envoy smiles, "Very shiny! Vartans would like those."
Chiaroscuro pours the pebbles back in the pouch, and ties it to his belt. "That they may, but I have no plans to let these leave me." He pats the pouch to make sure it's secure on his belt. "Ten years, I spent gathering those… "
Envoy blinks, "What do they represent?"
Chiaroscuro's voice speaks in a rich, sentimental tone. "They used to represent great power to me. With each one, I could cast a spell… each one suited for its task, each gathered from its own place, all across my homeland." He gazes at nothing in particular, eyes focusing far off. "But now, all they are only memories, memories of the magic, and Kitellia… " He sighs quietly.
Envoy stands silently, unsure of how to respond. Different urges vie for her attention, until finally she chooses one and gives Chiaroscuro a hug.
Chiaroscuro hugs Envoy back for a long moment, finally smiling and saying, "But that is all behind now. I have a new life here, with a new home… " He pats a paw on Envoy's shoulder. "And its own magic." He gestures to the door. "Come, let us return… "
Envoy heads out, and asks, "Do we turn in the key?"
Chiaroscuro nods, as they walk down from the upper level. "To the landlord, over there… the one with only one eyebrow."
Envoy looks around for someone with one eyebrow. "Left or right eyebrow?"
Chiaroscuro says, "Both." and points out a canine with exceptionally shaggy fur, including an eyebrow that stretches completely across his forehead.
Envoy heads over to the landlord and offers the key.
The landlord takes the key with a gruff nod, and turns back to fulfilling his other duties… filling mugs with watered-down ale for the arriving afternoon crowd.
Chiaroscuro heads back outside with Envoy, looking around for the seemingly omnipresent Zelak.
Bem looks over to Envoy and Chiaroscuro from where it has had obscure sigils drawn on its lower legs with chalks. Apparently the local Kavis have decided to 'tag' him.
Envoy blinks, "Bem? What happened to your legs?"
Chiaroscuro stifles a chuckle at the Zelak's bizarre decorations.
"A large number of Kavis entered the area," Bem reports. "Because I had no order to prevent them from doing so and their actions appeared non-hostile, I did nothing. They ensued in what appears to be loud-pitched dialogue, and then pushed forward one of their own number, who then approached this warrior and proceeded to place a mark upon the lower part of my left thigh. Following my lack of response, other individuals joined in."
The Zelak pauses, then tilts its head. "Query, is such marking behavior to be considered hostile in the future?"
Envoy looks closer at the marks. "I don't know. What do you think, Chipper?"
Chiaroscuro tries to think seriously for a moment… "Ah… 'hostile' seems harsh for what appears to be a youthful prank… But were I you, Bem, I would have asked them to stop… or moved to avoid in the first place."
The Zelak rasps its mandibles briefly, then clacks. "Understood. Marking deteriorates warrior efficiency?"
Envoy uses the corner of her tunic to wipe off the marks. "I suppose it might make you seem less… intimidating."
Chiaroscuro nods. "As Envoy says. It certainly lessens your dignity."
Envoy hmms, wondering about dignity. It seems very important, and she begins to wonder if she has any.
Bem nods. "This warrior will prohibit any such behavior in the future." It dips its head in deference to the Scout designated Envoy of Shkarkin Hive.
Envoy picks up her bundle again, and experiences a bit of unease about Bem's little nod. Maybe it means she's hungry?
The Zelak resumes its usual guard position, falling in with Chiaroscuro and Envoy.
Chiaroscuro starts heading back to the Bard's guild, walking by Envoy's side. He glances back towards the Zelak with more sympathy than he usually shows it, then turns to Envoy as he walks, asking her a few questions about the Zelak as they walk.
Envoy seems a bit distracted by the Zelak as well. If a bunch of Kavis had tried to draw on her a few weeks ago, would she have let them? Why does Bem suddenly seem so alien?
If Bem senses any of this, it shows nothing, only following like some sort of golem or robot. Its arm-blades catch the sunlight like mottled malachite and onyx.
Another uneventful trip through the bazaar, and back to the Bard's guild. Chiaroscuro sets his clothing down and begins to place it away carefully in the spaces Envoy has cleared in the room.
Envoy says, "Do you think I have enough clothes, Chipper?"
Envoy gestures to her one hanging gown next to her trenchcoat. She's already wearing the rest of her wardrobe.
Chiaroscuro says, "Well, it is said in the teachings of Rik' that too much finery is a trap that few notice they are in." He peers at Envoy's clothes selection. "But I think you are quite far from that point, Envoy… are you thinking of shopping for some clothes?"
Envoy says, "I don't know. I don't understand fashion, or how my tunic makes me appear to others. Does it make me look… simple?"
Chiaroscuro hmms. "I know little of fashion, but I do think the tunic looks fine on you. Perhaps you might want to consider other outfits, as well. Do you recall how I was costumed and decorated differently for each show during my days at Piti's? That was to keep the crowd interested each time, make a small difference."
Envoy nods. "As a performer, should I be dressed like that?"
Chiaroscuro chuffles, "Not unless you are going to dive off a pyramid of Kavi. But you might want to consider a variety of clothes… " He thinks. "Perhaps your friend Lady Viela might give you advice?"
Envoy smiles, "Yes, Veilanika dresses well. She picked out my collection hat for me." She points to the gaudy purple sombrero hanging with her clothes. "And she had my evening gown made too."
Chiaroscuro nods… "I will have to see how the evening gown looks on you, at some time." He thinks for a moment, eyes closed. "As for my clothes advice, I would think something in black would look nice… or perhaps a orange, not bright orange though."
Envoy hmms… Black might make her seem more mature… or imposing!
Envoy says, "Maybe black with silver trim, like the Elite Temple Guard uniforms."
Chiaroscuro oohs, "Perhaps, indeed. Speaking of the temple, you had mentioned earlier you needed to deliver something there?"
Envoy looks over at her other two packages, "Yes, I should try to get there before the civil servants quit for the day."
Chiaroscuro nods. "I need to finish my unpacking, as well. I will see you when you return.", he says, smiling warmly.
Envoy smiles, "I'll hurry." She puts on her trenchcoat, and picks up the packages before leaving at a quick walk.
Chiaroscuro sets his things around in the room, putting everything in its proper place. He takes Envoy's quill pen, and sits down at the desk… pulling out the paper he placed in his pocket before. Turning to the next blank page, he begins to write,Journal Entry: Today, I moved home…