[The Keep] Walking to Skye

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Straken
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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“Correct. Fritha Solberg. A bright young woman who has been one of my assistants for a couple years now. She’s closer to Master Flynn’s age, but I’d imagine you two would get along,” Mastrogiacomo answered as she watched Drysi examine her surroundings. “As for the specifics I cannot tell just yet. This particular invention we are considering for wider distribution, so you could even get one of your own down the line.”

The Chief snapped her fingers a couple times. This caused the kitchen utensils to become animated once and begin preparing ingredients of their own accord, and shortly following two cups of deep purple liquid drifted out of the kitchen and into the hands of the two druids; a wine glass for the Chief, and a simple glass cup for Drysi.

“It even has a lazy mode that has the cottage do all the chores, although the quality… needs fine tuning,” Mastrogiacomo mused as she lifted the glass to her lips. Suddenly alert after the sip she quickly moved over to Drysi to take the younger girl’s cup away. “And it gave me the grape juice.”
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Kokuten
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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Drysi brought the cup to her nose and took one sniff.

“Oooh,” she reveled in realizing the true contents of the glass, “this is more like it.”

She had her objections to alcohol: beer was a rowdy pub drink, cider was just pretend wine and liquor may as well be jet fuel for how it smelled. Wine, however, was the elegant mage’s drink; a complicated drink. It was something even the mundane studied. This was classy, thought Drysi, and tilted the glass to have her first taste of alcoho–... and it was gone.

“Ah– I–,” protested the girl, holding her hands up before letting them slump to her sides, “I’m seventeen–, ah what’s the use.”

Looking around at the room, something the Chief said had stuck with her, “Distribution? As in; for purchase? The druids sell things?”
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Straken
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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“I’m saving you. The wine in here is terrible. Get a glass from the dining hall if you want good wine,” Mastrogiacomo spoke methodically as she exchanged the glasses by handing Drysi the grape juice. Almost in demonstration the Chief took a sip from the wine, and Drysi could see the woman’s lips draw to a line and her cheeks tense. “Truly abysmal; transmuted wine. Such is the life of a researcher however; cold and forgotten coffee, and wine that could strip paint after a long day of working.”

Around that time Ruarc had come down the stairs and was admiring, and critiquing, the cottage. Mastrogiacomo strode over, and placed the wine glass in the Irishman’s hands.

“Finish this as you look around. Now come along Miss Maelgwyn, there are other curios to inspect.”

The Chief carried on as though there would be no questioning her directions, and Ruarc for his part looked only momentarily bashful about being given the older woman’s glass; the bashfulness being replaced by a grimace as he sipped at the liquid.

“As for your last question, yes, the Order does end up selling some of our creations and services,” Mastrogiacomo was already proceeding up the stairs as she spoke. “It is a fairly new development, in part from the Ard Rhys’ already prevalent connections and business acumen. His personal business along with the income from sales of various products helps fund our Order. We have access to some of the best supplies, some of the best training, and the best food thanks to this; and our members don’t need to pay dues, which helps keep our numbers.”

Stepping out of the chest Drysi would find the transition only barely noticeable now that she knew what to expect. Once more in the store room, the Chief stood expectantly as she waited for something else to catch Drysi’s eye.
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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A little giggle bubbled out from under Drysi’s hood as she went up the stairs, having often forgotten than her Master was just another druid out here at Carneath. As she ascended, she found the previous room felt like she was merely upstairs to the cottage. Looking back, she could see the small box, realizing that the transition was probably what got most of Fritha’s attention in development.

“That would explain why I never sew any fees in my induction,” said Drysi, “I thought Master Flynn might o’payed them.”

She looked up at Mastrogiacomo and stared at her, and realized the Chief was looking at her, expectantly. Her three eyes blinked, as she began to blank on what the woman might have wanted.

”Try looking at something else,” suggested Gideon, and it became obvious to her at that moment. Recovering, she padded about, looking over the items presented. The weapons were alluring, but weapons were typically good at one thing. Having started with the CottageCrate™, she wanted to see something unexpected.

That’s when she came upon the gloves, and almost reached out to pick them up.

”Hands,” Gideon warned, and Drysi’s reaching hand became a pointing one.

“What’s this?”
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Straken
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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“That pair was crafted by Simon. The boy is quite the handy tailor, and tends to work more with garments. He also made one of those cloaks further down the table, but those gloves are a particularly nice bit of work. They are designed to be worn by our field medics, and help to facilitate the healing of the patient. Whether restorative magic, or even a needle and thread, the gloves can improve the quality of the treatment,” Mastrogiacomo explained as she displayed one of the sets of gloves. The fabric was a delicate silk tailored with skilled needlework; white fingers, a rich blue around the main part of the hand, and a lighter blue around the wrist that bore decorative golden embroidery.

“Likely not for sale, but I believe the Ard Rhys is considering donating a number of future pairs to various institutions,” the Chief followed up as she returned the pair of gloves to the table beside a singular long glove; or rather it looked almost like an archery bracer that extended to cover the index finger and thumb, as well as a decent way up the forearm.
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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“You would think something like this was more common,” commented Drysi, despite not really having considered herself, making special gloves that made keeping people from dying easier. She kept her arms at her side this time, trying to not to elicit any more ire from her familiar in trying to reach for things. Part of her wanted to put the gloves on, but she didn’t know any inherently restorative magic, so it would have been a waste. If anything, it would have been just to feel them, maybe see how they looked on her. White and blue weren’t necessarily her colors.

She had already determined she was the green and earthy type. Maybe with gold. It kept with her theme of being a druid, or at least a druid’s apprentice.

With a hand to her mouth, she looked about the other items, but kept looking back at the lengthy glove that the last item had been set aside. Now, Drysi had been curious about the weapons, but the glove was beginning to call her attention. It occurred to her that the Chief probably wouldn’t entertain her curiosity all day, so there was only so much she could ask about. Drysi couldn’t just keep point at the first things that drew her attention.

Then, she promptly pointed at the long glove, it having been the first thing to draw her attention, “Did he make that one as well?”
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Straken
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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“Actually, that is one of mine.” A careful ear could hear Mastrogiacomo’s voice become eager, similar to when Drysi had inquired about the rune entanglement research. The Chief rolled up her sleeve before her slender hands began to put the bracer on her left hand with a couple of crisscrossed strings securing it in place. Once satisfied with its placement she snapped her fingers, the string began to widen, growing into dyed leather bands, until the bracer truly did look like a decorative arm piece. As the Chief flexed her wrist to test mobility, Drysi would notice what looked like a rudimentary pen on the thumb side of the bracer.

“I’m still working on the name; that’s never been an aspect of invention that I’ve cared about. Rather, watch this.”

The Chief took the pen in her right hand, and began to chant a spell. Once the chant was finished however, there was no spell effect. Instead, the tip of the pen glowed with a slight blue light, which she then touched to a space of plain leather on the bracer. With another quick word of command the glow of the pen drained onto the surface and formed a faintly glowing glyph.

“This bracer allows the wearer to take their knowledge and understanding of a spell, the very nature of the spell, and stores it in a tattoo-like glyph. Seems arbitrary on the surface, but is elevated by the fact that…” Mastrogiacomo suddenly extended a hand and let loose a strong gust of wind; Ruarc had just been coming back up the stairs of the CottageChest, but stumbled back down.

“I don’t need to recast the spell in order to release the glyph.”

Sure enough, the glyph on the leather had vanished.

“It’s a single use glyph, but the bracer can reasonably store four spells without short circuiting. Having a few spells on standby can be quite handy in a number of circumstances.”
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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The billowing gust ruffled Drysi's hood, and she just saw Mr. Flynn come up and then go right back down. His apprentice gasped, bouncing over to the edge of the CottageCrate to look in. So far, he didn't seem to be having a good day, not since the morning started. Drysi fidgeted, but was sure he was fine.

"A way of casting spells without components?" she remarked, looking up from the crate, "That seems almost a bit like cheating. Though, pre-compiling a spell sounds rather genius, especially if the knowledge is packaged with the glyph."

She placed a gloved hand on her chin, "It reminds me of Mr. Flynn's glove what eats runes. This is much more efficient."
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Straken
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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In an instant the Chief’s face shifted; her eyes narrowing and focusing, and her body tensing. With the lithe stride of a mountain lion prowling Mastrogiacomo moved to join Drysi in kneeling by the chest. After a few moments Ruarc once again appeared through the shade that shrouded the chest’s interior. The Irishman was rubbing his head and had been looking at his feet until he became aware of the nearby faces.

“Gah!” was all Ruarc managed to say. Mastrogiacomo was inches from his face, and the look she wore sent a shiver up his spine. He just about stumbled back down the stairs before the Chief stabilized him by grabbing the hem of his robe. Perhaps it was Ruarc being still partially transmuted, or maybe Mastrogiacomo had some surprising strength when she needed, but the slight Italian woman practically hauled the taller Irishman a short way out of the chest.

“Unless my memory fails me, following your report about the EM Incursion, you stated that the relic you utilized simply had runes slotted into it for storage. So what’s this I hear about it eating runes?” The Chief had a cold air about her, but didn’t seem hostile in her questioning; intense, but not mean. Ruarc look to attempt speaking a couple times, but was at a loss as he processed the sudden line of questioning. The Chief’s eyes widened in momentary realization and turned her head to look at Drysi.

“The project proposal from yesterday… The ancient runic gauntlet reproduction?”

The two Safeholme druids could see Mastrogiacomo’s mind working.

“This is, however, tertiary to current matters,” the Chief smiled as she released the Keeper. “I think I’m going to enjoy having your apprentice working for me, Master Flynn, and I will be expecting you to stick around after this tour so I can reexamine your after-action report. Now, Drysi, were there any other prototypes that caught your eye?”
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Re: [The Keep] Walking to Skye

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”Oh Gid, I’ve mucked it up now,” Drysi fingers tangled into a tight knot of flesh and leather as she realized she had managed to toss her master under the proverbial bus again.

”Mr. Flynn will be fine,” assured Gideon cooly, traveling around on her shoulders from one side to the other, ”He will deal with whatever details he concealed, intentional or otherwise. If it was a secret; he should have told you, and if it’s not; it's a chance that he didn’t put much thought into the item.”

The acolyte became even smaller as the queen of nerds in a fortress of hippies bodily lifted her master from the box. He was a man who had been called a god slayer and he had nothing to say to the Chief. Seeing Mr. Flynn cowed also cowed her as well; considering he was a large source of her own confidence. The act only made Mastrogiacomo all the more intimidating, and Drysi couldn’t know then that Ruarc’s one true weakness was being unprepared for a social situation. This was why she only had a similar reaction when her project came up, making attempts at speaking a couple times, only to find herself at a loss.

”Drysi,” Gideon spoke, seeing his druid so caught up in trying to come up with a response, she hadn’t noticed the Chief had moved on, ”Your Chief is speaking to you.”

”Huh?”

”She wants to know if you were interested in any other prototypes,” reiterated the snake.

”Tell her no.”

The tiger keelback snake emerged from Drysi’s hood, and then turned so that he could focus one of his eyes on his druid. She was evidently flustered, and he could tell she was legitimately stuck on trying to figure out an answer to the first implicit question. Drysi was starting to catch his drift, and gently pushed him out of the way.

“You know, I think I got some good ideas from that last demonstration, and was hoping to get’em written down before I lost’em,” explained Drysi, before remembering the question she had been struggling with, “For that ancient gauntlet; the one that eats runes; shoots and amplifies their effects depending on the positions of your fingers and hand; Jet of fire out the finger, fireball out the palm. That sort of thing.”

For once, instead of brushing against Drysi’s jaw to comfort her, she could feel him, gently burying himself under his coils into her shoulder.
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