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#14225828 Oct 11, 2019 at 06:42 AM
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Vahn lowered his journal, staring up at the building, then down at the sign. "Madam Centipede," he read aloud. "Is... this our destination?"
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#14225834 Oct 11, 2019 at 06:58 AM
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817 Posts
Korra pulled out her map again, looked at it and nodded. Then looked back at the sign. “I’m sure she’s a normal person and not a real centipede.” She said seriously and stepped forward to knock on the door.

“IT’S OPEN” A woman’s voice screamed loudly from inside. Korra looked at Wanderer, properly horrified before she pushed the door open.

“Ahem- Hello?” She called.

The inside of the house was decorated with a multitude of bright red and orange fabrics one would normally expect in a Firran tent and a thick carpet. As Korra opened the door further a cloying scent of burning incense wafted towards them. The smell made her stomach turn.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14225854 Oct 11, 2019 at 07:30 AM
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1197 Posts
Visibly startled, Vahn staggered back at the shout from inside the building, his hand raising to shield his face, briefly glowing blue. He was near to casting a spell, but when he calmed, he abandoned it half-way through. He took a moment to gather his courage and follow Korra, not bothered at all by the incense, rather accustomed to it himself, though he was quite fascinated by the decorations within. Without touching anything, he sought out sigils and symbols, familiar or otherwise.
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#14225865 Oct 11, 2019 at 07:41 AM
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817 Posts
When they had both entered Madame Centipede made her own dramatic entrance from the next room. A rather heavy set Harani woman, middle aged, with heavy makeup weighing down her skin. She was dressed in some form of esoteric drapes that wouldn’t look out of place in a cheap whorehouse.

“Welcome!” She shouted, much too loudly. She bustled up to Korra and without a pause hugged her to her bosom as if greeting a returning prodigal child. Korra froze, eyes wide and made several attempts to get away but couldn’t until the woman finally released her. Korra took several fast breaths, trying not to choke on the combination of the incense, Madame Centipede’s perfume, and her own abject horror.

“I know why you’re here!” The woman continued, unfazed by Korra’s expression or attempts to escape. She reached out to pull Wanderer into a similar hug while continuing to babble. “A fertility potion! Ah young love- I have just the thing- some snake oil combined with essence of Haver, it will do just fine!”
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14225889 Oct 11, 2019 at 08:25 AM · Edited over 2 years ago
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1197 Posts
Perplexed, Vahn at first calmly watched the exchange between Korra and Madam Centipede. When the plump old woman turned her attention to him, he took a half-step backwards, bumping into the edge of the door frame, then quickly found himself enveloped in a hug. He looked a little more panicked than his pink-haired colleague, not at all accustomed to hugs. He looked like he was expecting it to hurt, but calmed slightly when it didn't.

He stammered a weak protest to the woman after her words finally processed, beyond the slight panic attack. "Ah, um- Miss Korra is actually here for-" he fumbled, then suddenly stopped his babbling mid-sentence, the rest of what the woman said now just hitting him. "Wait, no, snake oil wouldn't have any effect in a fertility potion. A fertility brew should be made with a modest, small dose of dried and finely ground ginkgo biloba, with a pinch of red ginseng, and saffron, steeped in a mostly neutral base to tame the spice and... and the bitterness. L-like a low-tannin tea... maybe with a little milk."
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#14225894 Oct 11, 2019 at 08:37 AM
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As Wanderer started to speak Korra nodded along fervently until he continued on to describe another method of fertility potions. She slowly turned to look at him, eyes narrowed and a fierce scowl on her face. She balled one of her fists but then lowered it, taking a deep breath and almost choking on the pervasive scent in the air.

“Madame Centipede,” Korra said clearly, despite her watering eyes. “We are actually here to have my Dragonfruit fortune read. We’re leaving on a lo-”

As soon as the word Dragonfruit was spoken the older Harani woman’s expression of absolute joy melted as snow in Arcum Iris.

Madame Centipede sighed and rolled her eyes. “Oh, you’re one of those.” She turned up her nose at them as if they were two uninvited cockroaches scuttling along her bright red decorations.

“You’re looking for that old fart Maru on the third floor.” She waved at them dismissively and left back through the doorway to the other room. “AND CLOSE THE DOOR ON YOUR WAY OUT!” She screamed harshly.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14225922 Oct 11, 2019 at 09:31 AM
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1197 Posts
Startled by the woman's anger, and the volume that naturally accompanied it, the Wanderer stuck very, very close to Korra, lightly clinging to the sleeve of her shirt. At a loss for what was expected of them, he simply allowed Korra to continue to lead the way, closing the door behind them as instructed, off to the third floor to meet this Maru character.
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#14225924 Oct 11, 2019 at 09:37 AM
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817 Posts
When the door closed behind them Korra relaxed a little, very relieved to be out of that weird house with the weird woman. She looked down at Wanderer’s hand clinging to her sleeve but didn’t say anything.

“Let’s- let’s never mention that again.” She nodded, agreeing with herself. She patted Wanderer on the shoulder gently and then went to Kameraad, taking her precious dragonfruit from the saddlebag. She held it carefully to her chest and then pointed at a few rickety stairs leading upward.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14225930 Oct 11, 2019 at 09:42 AM
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1197 Posts
After releasing Korra's sleeve, still a touch shaken, Vahn didn't say anything. He merely nodded and waited for Korra to lead the way up the stairs, then fell in step behind her. He seemed to be somewhat on edge now, nervous and frazzled, like he was about to have a little panic attack if he was allowed to stew for too long. Being among people other than just his grandfather was still incredibly new to him, and adjusting to those people was hard. At least, he seemed somewhat comfortable with Korra.
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#14225937 Oct 11, 2019 at 09:59 AM
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817 Posts
The house on the third floor looked just like all others, but then so had Madame Centipede’s. There was no signage or any other identifying marks. Standing on the landing in front of the door Korra frowned and hesitated. Before she could knock the door opened slightly. Through the gap she could see an older Harani man with short black hair, greying at the temples.

“Hello,” He said, smiling slightly. “I heard the commotion downstairs- are you perhaps on the precipice of a journey?”

“Y- yes?” Korra said, still unsure. She held up her dragonfruit.

“You’re at the right address then. Come on in, take of your boots please.” He stepped back and opened the door further. The interior of his house was the complete opposite of his neighbors, it screamed utilitarian but there was a nice flush carpet on the floor and on a small table stood a tea service.

A row of dragonfruit lay on a shelf under one of the windows, the sun allowing the fruit to ripen.

Carefully holding her dragonfruit under her arm Korra bent down to take off her leather boots before she continued into the house.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14226241 Oct 11, 2019 at 11:24 PM
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1197 Posts
Vahn slipped off his shoes at the door, bending and placing them neatly to the side. He turned and dipped his head to Maru politely, venturing further into the threshold of the entryway. In far better light, his expression looked a little more captivated and wondrous, the light catching the blue of his eyes unlike Madame Centipede's had done.

"Sorry to intrude," he said politely. "Ah... We're headed to the Perinoor Ruins. Miss Korra has a Dragonfruit she selected already, if that's alright?"
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#14226312 Oct 12, 2019 at 02:42 AM
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"Yes, of course. Please," Maru said, he had a soft-spoken raspy voice, waving at some cushions on the floor around a large, slightly curved metal plate. "Sit. Would you like some tea?"

The older man sat and began to pour the tea without waiting for a reply.

Korra hesitantly sat across from him, with the plate in-between them. It looked well used, with some discoloration in the middle from dragonfruit juice. She held out the Dragonfruit and lowered it to the plate with a questioning look. At Maru's nod she put it down just in time to receive a cup of green tea.

Maru then held out a cup to Wanderer with a polite smile.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14226326 Oct 12, 2019 at 03:08 AM
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1197 Posts
The Wanderer took the invitation and knelt properly on one of the cushions offered. He bowed his head deferentially when the man offered him tea, waiting patiently with his hands on his knees, a little rigid. Despite his own casual treatment of getting his tea ready this morning, he seemed to treat this more formally, like an actual albeit not terribly formal tea ceremony. That would have taken ages.

"Thank you very much," he said, taking the cup with another proper little bow. He brought the cup to his lips and sipped quietly at the tea, glancing at Korra, then her Dragonfruit, curious as to what was going to happen.
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#14226352 Oct 12, 2019 at 03:57 AM
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Korra glanced at Wanderer's posture and unconsciously straightened at little as she sipped her tea carefully.

"Thank you for the tea." She said politely.

"You're welcome." Maru replied, while drinking his own. He didn't say anything further, looking from Korra to Wanderer with a pleasant smile. Korra seemed at a loss for what to say herself. So she looked at her cup and studied the green liquid inside awkwardly.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14226354 Oct 12, 2019 at 04:01 AM
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"So," Vahn groped, not wanting to let the silence linger overlong. "This tradition is pretty old, isn't it? Why Dragonfruit, in particular?" he asked. "Would other fruits be less effective, or... is it inappropriate to do tea-leaf readings for new journeys specifically?"
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#14226366 Oct 12, 2019 at 04:28 AM
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"Yes, it is an old tradition." Maru agreed, nodding solemnly at the young Harani. He smiled as he rubbed a hand through the stubble on his chin.

"The Dragonfruit has been used for fortune telling since our ancestors settled in the arid lands to the South. One of the first pioneers came upon the fruits in Arcum Iris, unused to the heat of the sun and the dryness of the desert, she was near death when she came upon the fruit that gave her the juice and nutrients she needed to survive and found the first settlement there."

He reached out slowly, running his hands over the Dragonfruit laying between them. Korra's was smaller than average, and bruised in some places from the journey.

"It is said," he continued his story as he took a short knife and expertly cut into the Dragonfruit before pulling it apart neatly into two nearly equal pieces. Some of the juice stained his hands. "That the seeds of that Dragonfruit wrote out a message from the gods and all others since."

He dropped both halves onto the plate. To Korra it looked like an assorted mess of juice, seeds, and fruit but Maru looked at it intently as if reading a message.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14226371 Oct 12, 2019 at 04:35 AM
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Vahn leaned forward a bit, watching with interest. He tried to identify exactly what patterns the man was looking for, and how someone might actually read or interpret them. For the green-haired East Ishvaran, it was hard to reconcile. He understood things that were testable, and observable. He understood science, math, and even the often puzzling riddles of history, but this was well beyond him. He understood things about the arcane, and the powers granted to him through studying the practices of the gods and heroes, but he didn't understand divination. Still, he understood enough to know that Erenor was threaded by fate, and to take very little for granted.

He waited with bated breath for Korra's fortune, hoping it was a positive one.
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#14226379 Oct 12, 2019 at 04:49 AM
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Korra waited with bated breath as Maru poured over the Dragonfruit, her fists clenched impatiently at her sides.

The older Harani took a few long minutes before he sat back with a sigh and took a sip of his tea. He smiled at Korra and Wanderer languidly.

"According to these," He began slowly, pointing at a few seeds who lay in the centre of the plate before he looked at Korra steadily. "The objective of your journey to Perinnoor will not be met." He paused as he observed Korra whose expression fell visibly, her disappointment clear. "However," he pointed at some of the seeds still on the fruit "It will be the beginning of a greater journey, possibly a perilous one."

Korra crossed her arms and pursed her lips. She asked hesitantly. "What about my objective then?"

He shrugged, "That is not clear, yet. The future is not set in stone." He leaned forward again, looking over the seeds and fruit. "I would suggest to make haste and not linger. Caution can work against you." He smiled slightly "That is your fortune."

Korra nodded and looked away as Maru began to clean up the dragonfruit, not sure what to feel about it.
Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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#14226385 Oct 12, 2019 at 05:08 AM
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Vahn blinked a few slow blinks, taking in that reading, and turning it over in his head. It was oddly vague, yet terribly specific at the same time. He looked to Korra, feeling badly that her fortune wasn't full of promises. After a moment of silence, he looked to Maru again.

"S-sir... You said it might be perilous. Will she be safe?" he asked.
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#14226398 Oct 12, 2019 at 05:28 AM
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Korra glanced at Wanderer with a frown. "The world is full of peril." She said grumpily. "I'll be fine." She sighed and rearranged her limbs into a more comfortable position, not used to sitting on the floor.

"I can only read the Dragonfruit, young man." Maru said, looking away from Korra. "I'm afraid I cannot guarantee anyone's safety." then he smiled and pointed at the shelf of Dragonfruit ripening under the glare of the sun. "Would you also like to see what the Dragonfruit says about your future? Perhaps one is calling for you?"

Korra looked from the fruit to her companion and shrugged, as if to say he was free to pick one if he wanted to.

Kora - Harani from Windscour Savannah looking into the mysterious disappearances of Excavation crews.

Guild Leader of <Out of Character>
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