A grey morning

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Ketziana Dimere
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:47 pm
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Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:30 pm

Ketziana's pottery store10 Achtus 2718
It was a grey morning, even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun shone brightly through the curtains. It was a grey day because Ketziana felt grey, as if she hid behind a veil that would never lift.

Ketzi woke up to her black cat Beatrix headbutting her, demanding food. "Dammit, Beatrix, go away," she murmured. Her brain moved sluggishly and the idea of getting out of bed seemed to take too much energy. She hid for an hour, before accepting that she had to get up. Her shop -- her shop? Imaan, that still sounded ridiculous -- needed to be open so she could maybe earn a few pennies towards the debt that she had found the luck to inherit. It was doubly important to open today, since she hadn't had the energy to open the shop until afternoon the day before, only crawling out of bed long enough to feed the damned cat. She had known she needed to open the store, but no matter how much she tried to find the energy to go downstairs and open the store, she just couldn't find it.

She tried not to beat herself up too badly for the lost day but, as always, that was a losing battle. As always after a day where Ketzi didn't have the energy to open the shop at a proper time, she wondered if she should take the quick way out and just give up. She knew she couldn't, though. If she thought she was cursed now, killing herself would just make things so much worse in her next life. Suicide was a great offense to the Circle and, as much as Ketzi sometimes wanted to die, she knew she would have to carry on until her time was up.

Ketzi slid out of bed, her every motion slow, as if she was fighting against invisible weights dangling from her limbs. She went through the motions of her morning routine numbly -- feeding the cat, starting water for tea, brushing her hair, picking up clothes from the floor to wear for the day. She made her usual breakfast -- a piece of toast and some cheese -- and ate it woodenly. She never had much of an appetite when she was depressed. She was darkly amused at the situation sometimes. At least she was saving in food costs.

Ketzi avoided looking in the hammered copper mirror hung on the wall as she rinsed her face and brushed her teeth. She knew what she would see -- dead turquoise eyes hidden in grey circles of exhaustion. Hair that was torn and split and desperately needed to be trimmed. Cracked, swollen lips that desperately needed some lip balm. Her siblings used to tease her that she looked like a corpse when she fell into cycles like this. Ketzi knew they were right. She just didn't care, unless she was forced to notice how she looked.

She made her way downstairs, Beatrix weaving around her feet as she did so, and opened her store. It was only a couple hours after she should have been open, so she counted it as a success. She went to her workspace at the back of the store and started working. First, she checked the pottery she had been cooling in the kiln for the past two days and gave the tiniest of smiles. She had been working on a series of ceramic dining sets for this firing, playing with glazes and designs that Gauthier had left behind when he died. The main theme had been nature, with small mountains and trees carved into the edges of the dinnerware and accentuated with glazes. But one set in particular had been experimental, with snowdrifts carved into the blue-glazed pottery and painted white. The smile was for that set. It had turned out gorgeously, the deep night-sky blue contrasting with the white of the snowdrifts.

Ketzi carefully moved the new dining sets out to the sales shelves, placing them by the door so that they could be seen through the window. She checked the drying shelves at the back of the store and decided which pieces of pottery would be ready to go into the kiln today, carefully moving them to the shelves within the kiln. The kiln wasn't a large kiln, just big enough for an average-sized Anaxi galdori to stand in it. Ketzi had to watch her head when she was in there, but it was more than enough space for her needs. Since she didn't have the energy to actually open the kiln and move her goods to the sales floor the day before, she had a few days' worth of plain pottery to put into it. Dinnerware, simple jugs, vases, and pots with their respective lids all found a space in the kiln.

Once Ketzi was done putting the pottery in the kiln, she sealed it and threw some coal into the fire chamber to start heating it up. Getting the kiln up to temperature would take a house and a half, and then she'd have to work on keeping it at temperature for two houses. After that, it could cool naturally. Once she was done stoking the fire, she threw some red clay on the potter's wheel and started spinning, shaping it carefully with her hands and turning the lump of clay into a wide-brimmed bowl. The dead look in her eyes lifted some as she started carving a design into the edge of the bowl. The plain edge turned into a group of rabbits, captured as if they were dancing in joy.

As the day went on, she continued to work on the set of pottery in silence, making 4 bowls, cups, plates, and a water jug. Beatrix would occasionally come down and rub against her, her purring breaking the silence and almost feeling like encouragement to Ketzi. She got up occasionally to throw more coal on the fire, but outside of that, every moment was spent working on the set of dinnerware. She bit her lip in concentration as she tried, mostly successfully, to keep the carvings on the dining set looking precisely the same. She moved each piece to the drying shelves as it was done. Every time she got up, she checked the kiln and, when it was up to temperature, she relaxed a bit. She flipped the sign to "close" long enough to go upstairs to grab another piece of toast and cheese, make some tea, and give the cat more food.

Once she came back downstairs, she decided to work on something different. She took a block of grey clay and started carving it with her tools. She got lost in her work and barely noticed the bell ring as the door opened.
Last edited by Ketziana Dimere on Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1174

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Kit
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:03 pm
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Race: Galdor
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:09 pm

Achtus 10, 2718
Kit's apartment/ Ketziana's pottery store | Early afternoon



Kit opened his eyes reluctantly, a pounding headache refusing to let him remain in bed. It eased a little as he sat up against the headboard, grinding the heels of his hands into bleary eyes almost in an attempt to scour away the pain.

A small noise of distress issued from the sheets beside him as the blanket shifted with him, and he looked down to see pale, freckled limbs tangled with the coverlet, and even more tangled amber curls scattered over the screwed up features of...

...Delyth?

He poked her in the ribs with a long finger and she wailed, curling up and turning away from him, pulling the sheets with her as she did so.

Delyth.

"You can have them," the galdor grumbled, shoving the remainder of the covers over his friend, before swinging his legs over the side of the high bed and hopping off.

"ShitbollocksbloodyclockingFUCK"

"What the-"

The pretty witch started up as Kit rocked back on the bed clutching his foot, hissing through his teeth. Blood welled up as he yanked a long shard of pottery from the ball of his foot, and shoved a handful of sheet against it.

He felt Delyth shift behind him to lean over his shoulder as he looked down at the floor, her corkscrew curls tickling his skin.

There was a trail of broken crockery that seemed to have scattered through the open door that led out to the room that served him for cooking, eating and less carnal forms of entertainment, and he finally remembered.

"We overturned the dresser."

Laughing, he turned his head to bite playfully at his companion's ear, growling softly.

"We actually overturned the clocking dresser. It's been a while since we came in quite that guttered..."


She chuckled.

"Oh dear. Looks like you'll be forced to get some plates that actually match..."


He reached up to catch her chin in one slender hand, resting his forehead on hers.

"You did it on purpose, didn't you?"


She bit her lip, looking away, but there was a cheeky gleam in her eye and she fell backwards with a shriek as he turned and pounced...before falling back with a moan, clutching his foot.

__________________________________

This was the place. She was right, of course, it wasn't like he was scraping by day-to-day any more, there was no need for the things in his little haven to be ugly and mismatched.


Kit opened the shop door carefully, very aware of his sore foot- he'd slammed it into kerbs twice on the way here- and smiled as he saw the wares on sale.

...she'll definitely approve of anything from here...

His eye was caught by a dining set by the window, mountains etched into grey-glazed stoneware, and he reached out to pick up a bowl and examine it more closely. Turning to hold it to the light, he finally noticed the shop's proprietor, the slanting afternoon light making her pale hair glow.

Gioran...and passive?


There was a definite absence of field, and he raised an eyebrow, intrigued.

...pretty little thing though...

The musician carefully set down the bowl he was holding, and meandered over, hands in his pockets.

"Is this all your work?"


There was praise implied in his tone as he smiled down at the girl, carefully not so close that he would startle her at her work.
word count: 583
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Ketziana Dimere
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:47 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Passive
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Writer: jadeowl
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:39 pm

Ketziana's store10 Achtus, 2718: Afternoon
Ketziana didn't look up as she heard the bell by the door tinkle. "Be right with you," she said, her voice a velvety thing even as she raised it so that the customer could hear her. Her accent was barely softened by the few scant months she had spent in Old Rose, though it had an unusual drawl to it, as if it wasn't used often and the effort of speaking was like pulling yarn from a cat's claw. "Just let me finish this wing," she said as she intently focused on revealing the wingtip of the bird she had settled on during her earlier random carvings. It was just a vague shape at the moment but, once it was done, it would be a bird in flight.

"Ha, got it," she said with a small, satisfied nod as a long curl of clay came away from the whole. She threw the scrap into the water-filled slip bucket and set the tool she had been using aside, then grabbed a nearby rag from her wash bucket and wiped her hands off. She dried them off on her work pants as she carefully stood up from her chair and stretched, wincing as her back gave an audible crack. "Bloody hell," she said after hissing in pain.

She turned to Kit and gave him a tired half-smile. It wasn't an unfriendly smile or the fake, smarmy smile that Gauthier had often used with customers, whether they were galdori, human, or wick. It was the smile of someone who was genuinely happy to see a customer, but who didn't have the energy for a smile that went deeper than the first winter ice on a Gioran lake.

It was also a smile that could crack just as easily as that first layer of ice.

"Been doin' this for over half my life. You'd think I'd know not to hunch by now," Ketzi said with a soft, husky laugh that sounded even less used than her voice. She grabbed her hand salve and put some on, letting out a small sigh at the tiny cracks forming on her skin and the sting that she felt as the salve slipped into them. Ketz, you can't let your hands dry out, she admonished herself. A potter with cracked hands was a potter who was out of work until their hands healed. The last thing Ketziana could afford right now was to be idle.

Ketzi made her way to the counter, jotting down a note in Gioran, a reminder to get a small alarm clock so she could put her salve on regularly while she worked. Her motions were slow, but graceful. She looked up at Kit at his question, her smile becoming a bit more... real, solid... alive as she heard and registered the approval in Kit's voice. It touched her eyes for a split moment, brightening her whole face. "That it is. The previous owner left behind a decent amount of stock behind, but it went surprisingly fast once word got out that he died. As you can see," she said with a bit of a nod to the 2 or 3 empty shelves, "I'm still getting up to speed, but I should have full stock after a couple more kiln cycles. I'm Ketziana. How can I help you?" she said, holding her salve-softened hand out in case Kit wanted to shake it.

She was still getting used to Anaxi social mores and could never remember if shaking hands was the proper thing to do when a free passive greeted a galdori. She was too mentally exhausted to dig around in her sluggish brain to recall the answer, so she just figured that, if she offended Kit and he stalked out, it was Imaan's will. Yes, too many galdori had stalked out. One of the things that had been weighing heavily on her and feeding her depression was that a lot of the galdori took her passivity and her youthful appearance and tried to treat her as if she were their slave. But, as much as it made her uncomfortable to live in a city full of humans and wicks, it meant that the far majority of her customers respected her as an equal, even if they were skeptical about her ability to run a business.

But, to be quite honest, Ketzi was skeptical about that, herself.
word count: 778
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