Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Locales found within the main city centers; primarily Inside, Riverside, and Skyside.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

"Krayger, you're my coworker, right alongside a gorgon, a goblin spymaster, an old-timey robot pirate, a shapeshifting alcoholic cat and until recently, a teenage vampire. My point is, strange stuff happens pretty regularly around here, to the point where you could set your calendar by it." Rose overexplains in a muttered monotone to Krayger, not taking her eyes off Askeladd.
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And they're aaaaall dead.

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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

"Right, then, let's see..." Askeladd strokes his beard in thought. "As I mentioned to Krayger and Rose before, the Dragon-Blooded I speak of are human, but in their veins is the blood of the Elemental Dragons. It gives them power that they have used to build an empire over most of the world. Tearing riches away from their provinces, as empires do. But this story tells of a young, curious Dragon-Blooded lady who ventured out into the world and found passionate love. It takes place in the west, far to the south from where I was born. Waters there are warm and many cities, kingdoms, empires and tribes dwell on multi-colored islands. The vast expanse of the sea prevents the Imperial Legions from waging wars of conquest as easily, but Dynasts still go there on adventures."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Aurora Alchemi »

Tuuli rests into a calm lean on their chair, eyes of emerald with sunlight gold flare following the tales being woven as they are spoken. There is a soft sip every once in a while, but the crafter clearly appreciates the craft of words; In their world, as in most, words have fell weight, and even a story told in entertainment is to be respected. Observed, and not interrupted. Still, as they speak, the crafter does retrieve a small bit of wood from a pocket, and begins to do what looks to be whittling on it.... except closer observation reveals that the lyrun is actually not cutting or carving, but instead pushing the wood grain, melding it like clay and curling the natural form of it softly, slowly. Listening to the story, and kneading that wood in a way most strange.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

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"I believe as most of these stories go, she would have felt curious of the outside world despite her circumstances and left to find new experience?" Krayger asks.
That is how a lot of these stories start.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

Rose decides to keep the obvious comment, that it wouldn't be much of a story if the protagonist decided never to leave home and just stayed there until they were old and grey, to herself. Because it is, again, the obvious comment.

So for now she simply props up her chin on her hands and smiles, listening attentively.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

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Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

"Indeed, though that is not unusual for Dynasts. They are rich and powerful, so they're inclined to treat the world as their playground. But this woman, Peleps Lenshu, was different. Possessed of a curiosity untainted by greed. So she set out with only a small crew." Askeladd pauses to add: "I should mention that Peleps is her family name and Lenshu her personal name. House Peleps is one of the great houses of the Realm. I can't imagine they are happy with their name appearing in such a story. Regardless, Lenshu sailed into the scintillating mosaic of the Western isles and archipelagos, until she heard of a woman named simply 'Shade'. A sorceress, like Lenshu herself, but not Exalted. Needless to say, Lenshu made it her mission to find this woman. Mortals wielding power weren't familiar to her, raised among demigods."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Aurora Alchemi »

The lyrun leans onto their hands, eyes watching the storyteller, a glimmer of that gold in their emerald eyes. As that glimmer moves and shines, the large crafter's fingers continue to move and warp the bit of wood in their hands. The grain stretches and grows, slowly forming one figure, than another, the pair of figures entwined and dancing with each other. There wasn't much form to the figures, of course, but that is the way of the beginning of a good story; the characters must be built up. As the storyteller speaks, it is as if more form is lent to each of the little wooden figures; A darkening of the wood of one dancer when the name shade is mentioned, marks of nobility and class as Peleps is described. There is a art and grace to the motion of the gentle giant's fingers, but still they remain silent, nodding along to the story. It's a moment of meeting between the craft of story and the craft of wood, and the lyrun is merely a conduit for the weave of the dance.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

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”Tell me about the isles for a moment. Are they the cold kind or the tropical kind?”
Set-dressing is very important after all. Krayger knows many people love tropical climes but they frequently are hard on someone with a coat like his. Especially if he goes there with his winter coat still grown in.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

"I'm sure he was getting to that." Rose lightly admonishes, waving her hand dismissively and maintaining eye contact with Askeladd. If the climate of the islands was important to the story, surely it would come up at some point, right? And if it wasn't important, it wouldn't be something to ask about.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

"The Western ocean is vast and covers a range of climates." If Krayger's question interrupted Askeladd, it's hard to tell, the moose-man segueing into this explanation smoothly. "But the isles Lenshu sailed to were warm, resplendent with many-colored trees and animals. On her way, she spoke to people who either regarded her warily for her heritage or didn't pay it much heed. The West is full of gods, beasts and stranger things, even if the long shadow of the Realm's demigod rulers falls upon it. When she finally met Shade, she saw her to be a woman of captivating beauty, her skin pale, her hair black as night, her figure full and abundant, little of it hidden by her bold attire. She was also touched by death, as was evident. The chill of the grave permeated her. Lenshu had heard many rumors as to how it had come to be, but when she saw the woman she wished to know for herself. It was a dangerous idea, heretical perhaps, according to her upbringing. But she desired it even so."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Keeper »

Rose just doesn't understand that audience participation is part of being a storyteller. And that Krayger is obligated to say something every round.
Case in point,

"I assume you mean something other than necromancy by itself. You refer to a more...esoteric touch of death?"
Even so, despite the heat Krayger could imagine worse than being alone on an island with a mysterious magical woman. But he's gotten into trouble with that mindset before...
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

"Yes. She was the child of a ghost and a god of death." Askeladd pauses. "That may strike you as rather implausible. It certainly did when I read it. But so the story goes. And who knows? Strange things happen in Creation, especially beyond the Immaculate Order's reach. Lenshu learned that over time as she spent time with Shade, studied with her and uncovered secrets of life and death. But their growing closeness gave rise of a yearning for something entirely more earthly. This culminated in a passionate night under the full moon, in an ancient graveyard." Askeladd takes a drink. "The book goes into rather heated detail about it, which I will not recount. And, of course, when Lenshu woke up by her lover's side come morning, there was much to face up to, like the opinion of her family."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

"'Hey mom, dad, I just boinked the grim reaper, you guys cool with that?'" Rose offers, holding up her thumb and pinky in an imitation of a phone. "...I mean, if you ignore the understandably sacrilegous aspect of that, and the ick factor of getting it on with... well, you know, Death... that's actually kind of impressive." She pasues and folds her hands. "...Actually, I guess Death probably gets really lonely. Nobody's really happy to see her, right? At most she can expect them to be kind of resigned. Not exactly the friendliest mood you can be in."
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

"Despite her origin, Shade was very human to the touch. The book gets into detail about it." A smile plays under Askeladd's beard. "But you're right. She was lonely, before Lenshu came. She was treated with reverence by the living and the dead alike, but never as a person, or a woman. Until she found it in this strange woman from a faraway land.

That Shade was descended from gods and ghosts might have been the least problem, however. It is the duty of a Dragon-Blooded dynast to marry in a way that benefits their family and produces more heirs who can be Exalted as well. Lenshu no longer wishes for any of it. Not for her was a proper marriage and raising a new generation of rulers.

Of course, an Exalted scion isn't something one of the great houses will let go of lightly. Especially in the current times, with the empire teetering on the bring of civil war. Lenshu's older sister sailed out to retrieve her in person. She was a fierce warrior, wielding an ancestral harpoon wrought from black jade. She took a contingent of House Peleps' fearsome marines and expected to easily bring her recalcitrant sister back home. But she was wrong.

Lenshu and Shade pooled together their knowledge of sorcery to create obstacles even Peleps Ochtan and her marines found hard to penetrate. They called on demons and ghosts. The people of the islands also stood firm, not about to let foreign invaders take their pale lady's beloved. In the end, Ochtan boarded a ship bearing Lenshu and Shade single-handedly, but in doing so fell into their trap. It was only when she found that the trap didn't kill her, even though it could have, that she realized her sister loved her still and didn't want to hurt her. She resolved to return home and tell their parents that Lenshu was dead, so that she could live in peace by her love's side."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Aurora Alchemi »

"There've been stranger thin's happen in the name o' love, certainly. Witkchen saved an' valkyries fallen, the rules o' sky an' dirt rewritten. Such tha' it is, ah fine story sir." The moose lyrun gives a smile and a nod, before sliding the wooden figure down the bar, for the others. There, the pair danced fluid with one another, one a winged reaper, the other a vaunted sorceress... but steps from them, little filigree wooden magics, so artistically rendered that one could almost feel the magic's power radiating through the wood, prevent the assault of a vaunted legion of warriors. An little wooden wonder, synopsis of the story in delicate form, the crafter giving a happy nod to having produced a work adequate to befit the story.

"Actually remin' myself o' a story o' the fox princess an' the jarl o' the nortlands. Tha' be a good tell, how the mistress o' bones daughter and the great murderous wolf did settle peace for the whole o' the land." The moose glances around the group, and rolls their shoulders. "Provided of course Ah can do it justice tellin' it, an' the others wish to hear."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

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Krayger lowers his face to the bar to inspect the work.
"All that in ten minutes? You put my craftsmanship to shame." he says with a whistle. He isn't being self-deprecating really. Tuuli is just that good.

"I would love to hear your story as well."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

"...Well. As far as stories of forbidden love go, I'd say that one turned out fairly well." Rose titters, punctuating the quip with a little hiccup. She looks over at Tuuli's work and gives a little "that's not bad" shrug, seeming to forget for a moment that Tuuli is working more or less with her bare hands and not a matter printer.

"Also, I'm gonna second Krayger here and say I want to hear that one, too."
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

Askeladd gives a bow when his story ends and the audience comments on it. A careful one, of course. Wouldn't do to get his antlers snagged on something.

"That is an amazing sight," he remarks when Tuuli finishes their work. "Every storyteller hopes that their stories inspire someone enough to render them in sculpture or painting. And I'd happily accept a story for a story as well."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Aurora Alchemi »

Tuuli takes a moment to get themselves situated, leaning back once more with a creak of their chair, and taking a long sip from their tankard in order to keep the storymaker's tools lubricated, at least for the moment. There is a soft breath in, and a wistful look of their emerald eyes, less like they are telling the story they heard, and more something they had seen and been a part of. "Well the first bit y' need tah know is about the kitsune and the mistress o' bones. See, Ah seen a few 'kitsune' round these lands, an' a hunnard parcent of them are immeasurably better company than the kitsune of me lands. The kitsune of our lands are more like reapers, a force of near immortal an' essentially undead creatures. The wee lil' fox ears stop bein' so cute when they only die if you cut their head off, they got magic an' weapons of bone, flesh, shadow, and death.... and they all ain't like nothing more than tah sacrifice yer to their eldrich gods."

There is a pause, and the lyrun reaches into their clothing, producing a small scroll of paper which they unroll to show a flesh forest full of kitsune that look like they were born out of sleep paralysis and horror movies rather than cuddles. "Their queen, the mistress o' bones, is the worst o' em by far. Gathered near all of the worlds silver to wage war on the nortlander ulfen wolve people, and could raise great bone siege engines to lay waste to whole countries. Without her, the kitsunes were vultures of occasion and opportunity, only claiming a few souls to the flesh forest each month. With her, well, the whole damn world could fall."

There is a pause and a draw out of a children's toy of a werebeast soldier, half man, half wolf. The moose places it across from the scroll. "Fortunately, the kitsune were at war with the most powerful warriors in our whole realm, headed by the greatest warbeast of them all, a savage terror that could behead even the deathless ones without a second's thought..... So how do ya'll think that big angry git went and got involved with the princess of his primary enemy?"
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Keeper »

Krayger shakes his head.
"Well, it sounds like they're awful nasty. But well. I can't exactly..."
Krayger drifts off, taking a pull of his drink. He's no one to talk about going to bed with someone he probably shouldn't have...
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

"Let me guess. Bedroom diplomacy." Rose shrugs. "...I mean, we knew that going in, right? And you kinda got the whole forbidden fruit nature of literally sleeping with the enemy, so there's that..."

Followed by an entirely too loud burp.

"Okay, gonna just shut up for a few... that one actually hurt..."
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

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Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

A terrifying queen of soul-stealing fox-folk, waging war with great engines of bone... this sounds like the stories told by the Realm about the Lunar Exalted. Askeladd could easily imagine a Lunar queen of fox beastfolk acquiring such a reputation. But it doesn't sound like propaganda in this case.

"If I were to guess, they found themselves having to work together through circumstance. Having to interact with their enemy without being able to slay them awoke a different kind of tension. That's how it often goes in the stories I hear, at least."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Aurora Alchemi »

"Reasonable guesses, Ah'd not be one tah doubt any of them. Fortunately, Ah was at the weddin', and Ah know a little more information than a guess." There is a wink from the moose, the gentle smile remaining on their lips as they take a long drink. Then there is a roll of shoulders, and a motion to the wolf person.

"See, the Ulfen have a little thing... it's like... a bond. They only really ever have it with one person, and it's not even for certain that they'll ever find their true soulmate. But when they do? Ahhh... it's like the weave of their tapestries intertwines. Down to the point that they and this lover can feel each other's pain, joy, comfort... It's as if the Ulfen and the other are one. Indeed, often enough, an ulfen will be happily married, in love with one person.... and then find \that\ true love. In their society, there would be no bad blood... just an understanding that ye' don't control the bond." The big crafter moves a finger to slide the ulfen figurine in close to the tapestry of the foxes, holding their palm up, a bit of frost gathering on the palm as they blow a gentle 'snow' over the figurine.

"Thus we come to the frontline; beasts of fur on one side, beasts of bone and horror on th' other. Lost in the fiercest blizzard in centuries, and injured from fighting, the beast withdraws to a cavern to heal. And there? There lays the princess, tucked away safely by the queen, who never expected the front line to be breached so far by the beast." The soft smile remains.

"Legen's say they started the evening at each other's throats. Other legen's say they spent the night in each other's arms, the princess gifted with rare compassion for her kind, and the pair frigid to the bone. Personally?" The finger tips the figure over on top of the tapestry of the foxes, a sly smile the whole while. "Ah think some of both, an' a little bit of discovering their unique bond happened that evening. And so we come to th' time of peace... or well, we would." There is a shrug and a sigh, hamming up the show of the story. "Cept the princess was stolen and murdered afor' her marriage. But Ahm sure ya'll don't wanna hear how that story ends in peace and marriage.... right?" What a tease.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Keeper »

Krayger frowns. Has he heard of this sort of thing before? Mystical bonds that defy history or precedent and logic are not unheard of. Especially takes of them becoming relevant at the most dramatically appropriate times. This was particularly dramatic timing though.
"Well, that sounds like it's only two-thirds of the story." Krayger replies with a grin.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

"Ka-wuite." Rose concurs, over-enunciating the first syllable for no discernible reason whatsoever. She gives Tuuli a knowing little smirk, internally acknowledging their ability to keep her and the rest of the audience in suspense; she had to be trained to tease that strongly.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

Hmm. A bond, occurring in spite of distances or time. It does remind one of the bonds between Solar and Lunar Exalted. Of course, such bonds may not be romantic. Askeladd hasn't met his Solar mate, if he has one. And of course here is a whole species with such a bond, not a handful of demigods.

"Hmm. Quite the twist. But now I'm even more eager to hear the rest of it." He can recognize and applaud such a way of keeping the audience's attention.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Aurora Alchemi »

The lyrun grins, and then reaches into their pocket, nodding as they produce a red pastel. "Celebrations were in place. People from every land, even meself were carted up to the snowbound lands o' the ulfen. The stage were set, preparations made... an' th' princess vanished on the road into her weddin' eve." The moose draws a single deep red slash through the neck of the fox princess on the picture of the kitsune.

"A group opposed to the mistress of bones's armistice, blinded by their own pride, sought to bring the war back afor' the ashes o' the old one ended. Seein' as they don't go down easy like, they grabbed the princess, slashed 'er throat from ear to ear, then gave 'er a concrete burial. Weird bit was, 'er body and casket wasn't found when they tracked the insurgents down." Then Tuuli moves the red pastel to the figurine of the beast, tracing two lines of bloody tears down the wolf man's face. "Was righ' about then that the great ulfan warrior started screaming and havin' fits o' madness. They happened at random, sometimes every hour, sometimes waitin' days. The princess somehow lived haven' her head severed nearly clean off... an' now he was feelin' her bein' tortured. Broken by her captor."

It was here that a little crystal was produced. There is a holographic image suspended in it... a man with hollow looking eyes and a snarl of a face. Even looking at the image, almost laser etched, was enough to make it clear this man was vile beyond belief. "The princess and her lover, connected by that mystical bond, suffered together for nearly a year. This man did every unspeakable act to the princess, broke her, tested what that bond could last through... And even in the midst of such pain that the princess would no longer ever talk... The bond endured."

There is a flick to the crystal, the image and crystal cracking through, as Tuuli smiles. "And thus, through the worst o' times, the riskiest o' situations, through the greatest o' pains... Eventually it was found that the love tha' could end wars could outlast even the deepest cruelty. It was then tha' peace truly came to those two great nations... Then that the flesh forest stopped spreading, and the capture of the ulfen for sacrifice ceased. After a time, finally th' foxes would settle back into their intended place in tha' world, guiding others to the next worl' when they found their end. A happy ending for all." The great moose claps their hands with a thunderous noise, and chuckles, watching over the little storytelling aides with a twinkle in their little green eyes.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Keeper »

Krayger smiles, finishing off his drink.
"Well, that certainly went better than my involvement with magical foxes."
He shakes his head.
"That was the most wholesome extremely gory story I've heard in a while. Thank you, Tuuli."
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Ironsmith »

"Yeah, th- hang on one second." Rose grins sheepishly as her phone starts in on a percussion-heavy tune. "Gotta take this, one second. Hello?"

Rose goes quiet for a minute, holding the phone between her shoulder and her cheek as she listens about as intently as a drunk lady can. "...Yeah... hm. Did you try that thing I told you about? With the-... oh. Oh, damn. I'm so sorry, that's not at a-..."

Rose gives her comrades an apologetic smile, mouthing "personal crisis" to them before standing up and moving toward the door. "I'll be there in fifteen. Key's still under the welcome mat, right?"
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Bloodsong's Oasis - Jazz Club and Speakeasy

Post by Morty »

Askeladd nods to Rose as she departs. He doesn't speak, since she's in the middle of a conversation... on one of those strange small devices.

"Yes, a fair characterization. It is nice to think that such suffering can lead to something happy in the end, though. That's what stories are for, some say."
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