A Happy Serpent II?

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Title A Happy Serpent? (Part the Second)
GM Fritz
Characters Kalixi, Tade, Noelani
Date of Log March 22 2021
Log Poster Kalixi
Summary The extremely elaborate prank is presented to Noelani of Liminal, who is, as to be expected, suspicious.

Fletcher Lane Ellischester 08:14 PM 22 March 1489 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fletcher Lane stretches southwards on a slope towards the beach, putting the market to the north on higher ground and allowing all of the lane down to the boardwalk to be visible from above. A busy street, Fletcher supports most of the traffic to and from the docks, and it's upper half is a popular place to live for it's proximity to the markets, the hub of life in Ellischester. The houses and shops on it's upper half are in much better repair than those closer to the boardwalk, though by no means are they pristine, the clay-plastered walls cracked with patches missing the outer layer. Bay Avenue stretches east and west across Fletcher, just before the market square.


It is a distressingly familiar sight, some might say, that Tade's wandering down the street. Perhaps enough of an event in and of itself, depending on who you asked, when paired with the strangely beatific and yet similarly untrustworthy smile on his face. Were that not enough, he's taken to not simply walking, but prancing with the occasional pirouette and cape twirl, his staff kept (beneath the cape of course, for we cannot impede the swirl) steady horizontally across his back by his two arms hooked behind it. Whether jester or fool, bard or bon vivant, Tade certainly made it a habit to stand out while being simultaneously and irritatingly close lipped.

Noelani is walking from Paradise Crossing onto Fletcher Lane. She sees Tade only to ask, "Did you lose a hat? I am not sure where I am supposed to toss a coin for this."

It is after dinner, and if it is after dinner, most nights anyways, it is just about time for Kalixi to open the front door of the Harbour of Refuge and start raking out the old hay and rush floor covering. It is, some wags might say, the ugliest cuckoo clock one might imagine, but there she is, edging the door open with her fuzzy hind end and working the rake with her forelimbs. She piles the old dry plant matter, mixed with occasional bits of trash and/or crumbs, in the alley beside the Harbour, to be promptly squabbled over by sea birds looking for nesting and snacks. Tade goes a-twirling by. The old otter sighs at the albeit expected shenanigans. "Arh," she rasps to Noelani, "If yer engages him, he's just bound ter want more attention."

It's too late! The metaphorical dice had been rolled and tonight's fate had been decided, and Tade's ruby, serpentine eyes were now set on Noelani first, but Kalixi's own moment would come too, no doubt. With a quick turn of heel the self-proclaimed 'greatest wizard in the world' whirls around to face Noelani, smoothly - a bit too smoothly - sliding in to curve around the Liminal operator and end up at her right shoulder, leaning over a bit just about a half a sliver away from smooshing his cheek against hers in some curious display of quick and fleeting affection. One arm unhooks from the staff, but the entire thing vanishes before the imbalance can cause the end to clatter to the ground, "Oh, I just left my hat at the inn!" He chirps, pleasant yet grating. A merry little noise escapes his throat as ruby eyes shift towards Kalixi, "Hiiiii Kali, you didn't think I'd miss you, do you? Did you get those things yet?"

"You're lucky I didn't disappear on you," Noelani says to Tade as he comes close to her. "But what kind of person would I be if I simply disappeared without a point to it." She then looks over at Kalixi, "Many competent people have their quirks, some are more of a handful than others."

"It be a lotta things ter get, plus the ship boys ain't been seen," Kalixi rasps. "I've got everythin' hauled in that we can spare salted or dried fer the shellfish, and the yarrow's been harvested as it blooms. Meadowsweet be a bit thin this season but me an' me littlun' are gonna head fer a clearin' we knows about, once me boy gets back ter watch the Refuge. Coupla hunters've gone out to see about yer live beastie, an all the kids been scrappin' branch and driftwood fer yer great bonfire," Kalixi ticks off each item on her little claws. "Candles get bought every time the price gets low, annn may have to journey for the grapefruits." She blinks at Noelani, puzzlement cocking her brow ridges. "Handful," she says, in her rusty little voice. "Sure."

There! The cheek rubbies. Brief and fleeting, Tade is soon flittering over to Kalixi to reach for her cheeks to squish them up if he can even get hold of them in the first place. One way or another, he would carry on heedless, "Wooooow. How rude of those ship boys to hang you up to dry!" He chuckles to himself, for surely was that not the most clever nautical joke one has ever heard? Surely he thought so, and cared not about the looks he might get to display any number of emotions. No matter, he pulls up and half turns to look back up and across to Noelani, his smile widening just that few upticks more, "Are you going to cooooome? We're going to summon a serpent! Probably!"

"Are you sure you should be meddling with magic you don't understand? It's dangerous to your wellbeing," Noelani says. "Especially when if you want to do strange things with magic there are far more established things." It's a tone which sounds like a mix between admonishing a child and admonishing a subordinate.

Surprising no one, most likely not even Tade, his attempts at squidging Kalixi's cheeks are met with her open, fangy maw. She's not exactly aiming to bite but instead just present a less willing target. It's not like Tade's capering does any harm, but there's a reputation to be upheld, and well one mustn't encourage such behaviors, even if discouraging them makes about as much impact as a fart in a hurricane. "He's gonna try whether ye likes it or no, so any advisement as to how ter meddle less would be most appreciated," the ottermom says, followed by a dry, resigned chuckle that sounds like a handful of rusty fittings being dropped into a bucket of rocks.

A finger lofts, and following it is the characteristic wiggle of admonishment and a few tsk tsk's for good measure, "I know what I'm doing." Despite the admonishing indications, he remained as enigmatically cheerful as ever. A nod began, and it only became more self-assured over time, "It's just a matter of whether he'll listen or not! Don't you want to try and make him feel better so he won't batter you with storms all the time?" Hm? Hm? Good plan right? RIGHT?

"If you must do such a thing, do it outside of the city and tell me in advance. We wouldn't want anyone to get hurt from carelessness," Noelani answers.

"Yarh, I had ter pull 'im off the beachfront already," Kalixi rasps, going back to her raking whilst keeping an eye out for random incoming cheek pinches. "Probably go on up the cliff - an' well if he don't come, there be a shellfish boil ter eat." She shrugs a thick furred shoulder, like the rise and fall of an overstuffed pillow. "Better ter try an' do somethin proper than just, yer know, by the seat of yer arse." She doesn't bother being diplomatic; not only is she -well- known for being sharp tongued and toothed, but the trickster godling has heard well enough her varied and unflattering opinions of his demeanor, behavior, and wardrobe. A terrible sort, the crabby mother in law. "As fer -when-, well, we still needs a lot more shellfish, grapefruits, the rest of the meadowsweet, a live herdbeastie, an' probably at least one more practicer of magics. Three be a better number an' two fer suchlike."

Tade's assured nod continues on as he turns his head to direct it at Kali, just adding to his confidence by agreeing with her, "Yeah! He just won't hear us if he's too enraged, Noelani!" As if the Liminal's proprietress was somehow supposed to just intuit the connect, Tade points at himself, "I'm the *best* person to deal with him!" That finger, once waggling and now pointing, goes ahead and juts towards Kalixi now, "Kalixi understood!" Woe betide Kalixi, for now she's become proof that Tade should be trusted in all things, unquestioningly.

"But if he becomes angry, what will your uncle think of your actions? It would be bad for him if it came out his nephew caused a mess in Atria," Noelani simply smiles a little, her demeanor one of mild detachment but courteous.

Kalixi just looks at Tade and sighs. This happens a lot. Scritch, scritch, goes the rake on the sandy cobbles. "What I understands," she corrects, rustily, "Be that if anybody bothers ter try this, they had BEST be tryin' it properly an' not just caperin' about like a thunderstruck crab on the sand." Chuff. "Ye ruddy knows that, oh ye oldest of youngins I ever met."

How does s(he) look this good? He's not telling. Much like he wasn't telling about a whole bunch of other things. The wide smile is turned back on Noelani, his eyes scrunching up like a cat that's simply pleased as punch for getting the bird, "He's already angry, Noelani. It's a bit of a moot point, but if he doesn't hear us, because his mind is muddled with such uncontrollable rage, then there isn't a problem in the first place. You can't summon him if you can't even establish communion in the first plaaace."

At first Noelani opens her mouth to speak, but instead shuts it without saying anything, her expression lost temporarily. Several seconds later she opens her mouth again, "I see," is all she manages.

"Told yer so," Kalixi says, chortling away like gravel rolling down a rusty pipe. "A wheel within a wheel within some tacky bordello draperies an' a sideshow worth o' snakes, although the snakes be better behaved. So at the best, the little godlin' gets ter talk to the great serpent. At the worst, we go unheard an' feed everybody a dinner of shellfish, venison, an grapefruit. It be either that or let 'im try it on his oneses, aye?"

Tade has gotten back on his nodding game, his smile creeping up further as if he couldn't be more overjoyed that, obviously, Noelani must be on board and totally understand now, "Grapefruits! I bet most of you haven't even had a grapefruit before." With a slight lean towards Kalixi, he implores of the raspy but barrel-like otter, "Maybe we should get a couple of beasties. You know. In case there's not enough to eat."

"One should test their abilities on lesser threats before onerous ones," Noelani adds, but falls silent afterwards.

"Aye, one should," Kalixi agrees readily with Noelani, leaning away from Tade even as the trickster leans closer, without changing her expression. "An' yet here we be, miss. He be doin' what he be wantin' to do, an' may the luck of the sea and skies be with ye if ye wants to convince him different." She turns to Tade, baring her teeth in a most sarcastic of grins. "Arh, yer says 'we' like yer be retrievin' any of these things. I should send yer uncle a parcel of griffin shit ter thank him from sendin' yer down this way."

"He didn't send me anywhere, silly girl." A hint of teeth shines through in Tade's smile, but his head inclines towards Noelani, "I've tested my abilities on things you couldn't even imagine." A fantastical claim, from a fantastical man, with no way to prove anything hither nor tither. Especially with his on display habit of speaking vaguely, "How do you think I know how to summon a great beast?"

"Just because one can read an old tome doesn't mean one has the required wisdom," Noelani answers simply.

Kalixi looks at her rake for a long, long moment. "Ehn," she finally rasps, "Yer'd probably just wink outter existence if I took a haul at yer anyways." She tucks it under her arm, and turns to Noelani. "All right, then, if yer talks sense inter him, yer can have a whole tumbler of the actual drink from behind me bar. If no, well, we've got some home stilled that'll do fer a consolation. Sea an' skies go with yer." Pause. She squints at Tade. "I'd tell yer to behave yerself but yer listens like a cliffside."

A titter escapes the wizard, and a heaving shrug of his shoulders jostles cape and hair alike. He did listen like a cliffside, but as much was obvious he was convinced he knew best even if he wasn't inclined to share with the class. Tade offers the same laissaiz-faire gesture towards Noelani, but the Liminal lass gets the dubious benefit of a blown kiss before the man himself does that vanishing trick Kalixi mentioned. Dinner time!

"We shall see what I will be drinking, then," Noelani says with a smile as Tade vanishes, she doesn't seem particularly bothered by it.

For her part, Kalixi is also not particularly bothered, more resigned, like a gardener who's just decided to leave some of their garden to the rabbits rather than fight a constant war to a stalemate. She just shrugs, waves a calloused little paw, and moves to disappear back into the Refuge.