Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Diaries, logs, and personal notes.
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Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

(( This is being ported over from another site, thus the series of multiple posts in a row ))

New journals are appealing in their stark white. I have filed the last in the usual place.

I woke up early again this morning. Technically it was morning. A few minutes after midnight. The witching hour. The dead times. I at least made something worthwhile out of the wasted night of sleep. Thoughts of whether the flesh of one sentient being can be transformed into the flesh of another have occupied my brain most thoroughly of late. I suppose that is what brought this latest experiment into play.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hypothesis:
The spirit that infuses the flesh determines its shape.

Materials:
Fresh (<2 days) Male Hand of Adult Iksar
Fresh (<2 days) Male Hand of Adult Human
2 units male human-infused soul dust,
2% Saline Solution - 12mL
Spell A4 - Revivification
Type 2 Syringe

Procedure:
I. Measure each hand
II. Inject 6mL of saline solution with Type 2 syringe into each hand as revivification aid
III. Measure again to determine change due to saline
IV. Place each hand on separate, matching, sanitized marble pillar (for non-conductivity of spell)
V. Sprinkle one unit of soul dust on each hand
VI. Stand 3 meters from each pillar, central
VII. Cast Revivification over each hand
VIII. Inspect hand for changes in size and shape

Observations:
Each hand grew by less than 1% due to the injection of the saline solution. After revivification both hands writhed as usual with their spirits within, but the Iksar hand still remained decidedly Iksar shape. As expected, the revivification spell faded within 10 minutes due to the nature of the vessel. This experimenter carefully watched both hands in their antics and determined that the Iksar hand never changed; nor did the control hand.

Conclusion:
Human-infused soul dust has no bearing on iksar hand shape post-revivification. Several possibilities exist as to failures in the nature of the experiment:
I. The soul dust may not have been properly infused
II. Human spirit may not be strong enough to overcome Iksar form
III. The revivification spell was not strong enough
IV. The limbs did not survive long enough post-casting to allow the spirit to take over

Future experiments should take these possible failures into consideration. Perhaps entire bodies will be the medium going forward.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wish that I could speak to Val about these musings, as I find that were she to get past the superficial subject matter she might find the philosophical debate quite interesting. However, I have long since discovered that she is, shall we say, squeamish about anything to do with my experiments.

There is something that strikes me very deeply that my own flesh and blood, myself mirrored, finds my acts disgusting. I find her blind devotion to a goddess that has done her no good disgusting in my own way, but I do not censure her for it. Would that we were closer, I might perhaps have someone to join me in the lab.

It always strikes me the hardest at these dead times, when most civilized society is asleep and these thoughts keep me awake. These journals have been my only friend for too many decades now.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

After the events of this evening I had a strong desire to go and see Val. She was, of course, not home. I believe she may be out on a mission of sorts. At least, so I hope. She has been gone for much longer than I am comfortable with, but I do feel through our bond that she is not in danger.

Or perhaps that is just what I want to believe.

I have been driven of late to organize my notes and work on scribing them into new notebooks. They have been scattered over my desk, lab, bedroom, and house for far too long. Luckily the company has an adequate supply of enchanted inks and bookbinding supplies. After spending all day at that, there was some sort of gathering in the bar.

It's such a blur. The alcohol didn't help. I remember arguing with some vulgar illusionist whom I happened to be seated next to, the sort who thinks it is fun to toy with people's minds. Vulgar. And as he got up and walked away, the young pup, the child in a man's body. He lashed out about something that had happened and the next thing I knew the heavy stone table was flying.

It pinned the poor elf to my right. Shattered a few of his bones. I'm uncertain what happened to the manboy after that, but the druid there healed the elf as best he could.

What sticks with me most is the conversation I had with the elf's mate. For confidence's sake, I'll not repeat it here. Suffice to say, that it did lead me to Vallencia's door last night hoping to reassure myself that the one person for whom I care in this world was still safe.

Only to find her gone, and I was, again, quite alone in the early hours. As always. As will always be.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

It took some doing, but I finally found this journal again in the debris of my lab. This is the second morning I've spent trying to clean up the mess there. Luckily, a good deal was salvageable. Not too many of my components are fragile enough to be vulnerable to falling ceilings. I am, but Lab Assistant 27 was conveniently available for me to absorb; it gave me the strength to drag myself out of that mess. I will create Lab Assistant 28 when I have a new lab.

I no longer understand what is happening to me, to my life. I desperately wish Val were around to talk to, or anyone that I could just sort out this chaos with. I cannot even throw myself into work to avoid thinking about it, as I no longer even have a workspace.

I spent the first night after the explosion on the aerakyn's island. That was comforting, but every step I take in my friendship with her feels as though I am crawling across thin ice. The second night was spent in the barracks. I woke up with the largest hangover in existence and.. let's just say I ached all over. Nurse Ratched was "kind" enough to let me take a healing potion from medical, and it numbed the pain.

Ladies' Night. I drank enough that I should have blacked it out, but I didn't. Not one detail. I wish I could at least selectively black out some of it, at least the parts with things in my face. I wish I could look back and say "That wasn't me," but it most certainly was. I am not so foolish as to blame a drug and alcohol for my lowered inhibitions. They do not change you, they merely lower the walls. Now I have two things to reconstruct; my lab, and my self-defenses.

I hope both are back, fast.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

I've hired an architect to design my new lab space, this time with larger living quarters and a small sales area. It is time that I expand my operations; I need a location where I can work but also be available to entertain possible customers. She is a strange sort, seeming as shy as I must come across. I note that she tends to speak in a singsong when discussing her ideas, and I've read in some books that those who stutter tend to do that to avoid their stutter.

Her fees are steep, but I have enough money saved away from my sales to afford this. I just hope she works as fast as promised. As safe as I feel in the barracks, I am keenly aware that there is always ~someone~ around, just behind a corner or pillar. My sleep has therefore been a series of stolen naps rather than something solid through the night. I have been also informed that my nightmares have awoken the others around me a few times now; another reason to look forward to having my own place again.

I have in my possession a gem inhabited by a spirit named Domaeryn. I found her prowling around outside of the guild hall, attempting to get access and find Xannis. She was weak for some reason, and rather easily hooked and drawn into my gem. I will need to speak with Xannis about her. The interesting thing is that when I met the architect Iosabella, the gem was in my possession. It ~sang~ when she and I shook hands. The spirit has some sort of absolute obsession with this woman. All the more reason to keep it trapped for the moment. I want my lab finished. Only then I might consider listening to what it has to say and letting it out. Or I may destroy it for the dust. I'm not yet decided on either path. It will remain a mystery until I can speak to Xannis about it.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

I still am without a lab. It is difficult finding things to do with myself in these times that do not involve merely sitting by Ailvue and asking for yet another bottle of wine. Or breathing down the neck of my designer as she oversees work in my new home.

I have spent some time with Liah and Khell, with Khell pressuring me to stay in what he calls his 'Penthouse' as he does not use it. I appreciate the sentiment, but the place is too pretty. Khell is a dear friend, but I find his lifestyle as baffling as I do him as a person. Why would one own a home that one never uses? It seems a dreadful waste of resources.

The other day I assisted Saradathia with a problem in her inherited manner. She has a couple of guardian spirits on premises, and they were apparently disturbing poor Silva. It turns out the young lady has a bit of a treasure room through a hidden passage, and these spirits were simply trying to guide her to it. She insisted on paying me, but instead I took the gold bar she gave me and handed it over to Rok for safekeeping for her. One never knows when something like that would come in handy, and I do not relish the thought of taking money she was guided toward. I am comfortable enough at the moment that I do not need be overpaid for simply having a conversation with a ghost for five minutes. Especially one who is of the so-called family.

It is strange to consider the idea of having a family. My own true family consists of one member that is off somewhere in the world. My letters go unanswered and my visits to her home turn up empty handed. She has been this way ever since seeing my laboratory and watching me work for a mere five minutes before running out, gagging. It is.. heart wrenching to know that my own twin sister cannot understand what motivates me.

A scribbled out section remains, with only a few words regarding a personal experiment showing through

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

I once again find myself bleak and morose. There was a Black Market run by the family the other day, and I attended. Your general run of the mill stuff - open area tents and the like. I do think this would be a good opportunity for me, so I sent a message about opening my own tent. It is only a once-a-month commitment, I do believe I can handle being social that frequently.

I wandered the tents, even watched a ratonga attempt theft and shake-downs on people until Mirhion sent her away with a toss. It was at least interesting to watch.

But..

Mirhion is apparently a seer. Runs a little fortune telling booth, even, replete with crystal ball and heady incense. I took a seat and dropped some plat, desperately hoping to get some information about Valencia. It is not my place to believe fortune tellers; but usually they ask for some information or something to give them a hint as to what they should pretend. Not Mirhion.

Would that she had been fake. She seemed to zero right in on my problems with Valencia, and hinted that I shall ever be separated from my sister. I should have known. I would turn back the sands of time and prevent myself from ever having shared my experiments, my lab, and my true heart to her. I care not what the world thinks of me but the knowledge that my own blood rejects me makes me ill inside.

It is as though the last embers of warmth that remained within my soul have been doused. If my own sister cannot accept me, who possibly can? Nobody, that's who. Nobody would have the reason she does, and without that boost..

So it shall be. Mirhion offered forth friendship, but I do not expect that will lead anywhere. Friends in name only, I am surrounded by those. People I cannot trust, cannot share everything with. It is ironic that while I am surrounded by an adoptive sort of family, I am more alone than I ever have been. If Khellendrose or Draliah understood what drives me, they would never speak with me again. And Thanatus.. I do not even know what to think of him other than I am likely a specimen to him just as my bodies are to me.

I wish..

I wish..

I wish I were back as property to those damned Erudites. At least then I was able to stay alone, apart; without REALIZING that I was. That would be bliss.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

Construction of the lab is coming along perfectly. I hired an acquaintance to spring an enchanter from the Freeport dungeons. Mass murderer, set for death in three days. Letting him believe he would earn his freedom after working some spells on my cold storage room to ensure it remains freezing, I waited for him to finish his work. It was simple after that. I now have a newly inhabited soul gem and some sturdy bones that would have gone to waste in the pit.

It was, in fact, that spirit that warned me of someone watching me in Freeport tonight. I was purchasing a large number of urns for use after I replenish my dust and ash supplies, and I felt watched. Just as that feeling struck, I received an urgent vibration from his particular gem.

He's still a bit confused and rather mindless after his predicament, so I do forgive that he was unable to warn me more than, "Someone Watches" and "Outside the Door". By the time I looked, there was noone, but I am under no delusions that I have quick reflexes.

Miri has instructed me that I am to let her know the next time such happens. I shall try to remember. However, being followed in Freeport is less interesting to me than the fact that this newly acquired spirit felt the need to warn me. I pulled him out for a while to converse, and it seems the daft fool appreciates his death at my hand. Something about it having been much less painful and anticipated than the execution pit. I suppose I don't blame him, he was feeling the exhilaration of freedom after a job well done, and certainly did not feel his death.

Still. A trapped spirit that appreciates it. Wonders shall never cease.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

Someone was stalking me again, today in Freeport. I attempted to inform Mirhion, but Sirus told me that she was off network. Further, it is apparently common for her to disappear now and then. I.. find that disturbing, but understandable. If I could vanish from time to time, I would. I do hope she returns soon, though.

This morning I had some errands to run in Freeport. The city gives me the chills even in my freedom, and so I opted this time not to go alone. I had my best approximation of a living servant following me; as it happens the one that I made out of Mistre.. NO. Saariomalirasin. Stop calling her Mistress, Farriene. She is long dead.

I turned a corner with the shambling corpse of Saariomalirasin in tow. I had to check on some urns that I had ordered that are for some reason being delayed. Just as she began to gurgle the word "Mistress" at me in warning, the spirit of that murderer sang to me once again. Crystalline and complete in his warning. I whirled around, quite gracefully I must say, and saw a froglok staring at me before he simply vanished into thin air.

I hate those creatures. I shall make one of their corpses my next servant just for the indignity of having had one staring at me and hunting me. That is exactly what I felt though; hunted. Trapped for a moment, even. Why one would hunt me is rather unknown to me at this time.

Perhaps my sister sent him? That would make some amount of sense, but she does not need to hunt me. She knows where I live, she knows where I work. If an assassin were to show up at my door tonight and say they were from her, I would guide their blade into my heart for them. It is already destroyed by her actions.

After the incident I decided I did not want to be alone in the construction zone that is my laboratory and home. I made my way to the commerce area to transact some business and perhaps sit by the specimens as they played some poker. Saradathia approached me, as eventually did Mairah. There was.. hugging involved.

Scribbling covers a few sentences here

Perhaps that is for the best. As I sat doing my best magician impression, attempting to make the whiskey bottle disappear, Sara reappeared. She had a burlap sack.

"Hey, Farr, I brought you something."

That darling girl had apparently gone out for a snack with Silva, and she *tear drops stain page*

*More teardrops wrinkling the parchment of the journal*

She brought me bones. Deer bones, with flesh attached. I have no immediate use for deer bones.

But she brought me bones.

Nobody has ever given me a gift before. I had assumed my first gift would be something awkward, something I did not understand and did not desire. I had actually not looked forward to this apparent tradition of friendship.

But she brought me bones. I shall have to research how one responds to gifts. Do I send her a thank you note? Do I find something to give her in return? What does one give a person who refers to their friends as pack mates. Am I supposed to let her sniff my behind? I mean, I would. It is not my thing, but she is animal-like enough that perhaps that is a thing? Who do I ask about this... what books do I find?

I am so confused, but at the same time I feel this strange glow inside. I was given a gift. I was given bones.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

Ah. Here it is. I had tucked this journal away so that prying eyes could not find it, and then Saariomalirasin managed to 'clean' and put it away into a chest I had no reason to touch. I found it today when I went to store some large intestines that I had cleaned out and preserved.

It is hardly the most incriminating of documents, but as with most things I prefer my private affairs kept under my control.

So much is happening, and yet so much of me remains the same. For the first time in my life I have people that I can call 'friends', and I have no idea how to deal with that information. From the strange huntress who brings me deer bones, to a beautiful exotic dancer who makes me feel so very insecure about myself, another sort of huntress who seems to actually understand me, an ancient man that attempts to make me feel welcome, and his lady who is nothing but gentle and kind.

Then there are the others who use me for sexual proclivities and seem uninterested in actual friendship. I understand that about as much as I understand the ones who want me for friendship. Meaning, I don't. But, that is their business, and not mine. I certainly do not mind the attention, rare though it is.

Despite all of this, (now more than ever) I feel achingly, burningly alone. Part of that comes from the nightmares. I wake up at night after having horrid, endless dreams of having been put back into captivity and left alone for decades again. It is not the return to slavery that gets me. It is the solitude. After knowing what it is to have others around, to have thoughts projected at me at all hours, nothing scares me more than the idea of returning to the basements and having my only contact be the mute, mindless slave that would deliver my month's worth of food at the first of each.

Seeing how easily Vallencia left my side, I am overwhelmed with the fear that these others will do the same. At the same time, their contact and company overwhelms me. I do not understand so many of these social norms, these little games of propriety.

I do my best, and even that results in me being insulted by random bartenders at some crappy lounge. They see into me, they know that I am imperfect and they judge me.

I shall have to try harder. I thought I met someone who in a strange way reminds me of me - unable to comprehend social norms and just playing along with them. But, in the way of things, I will never see him again. That is what happens, apart from these few friends I have made: I meet someone I find interesting, and they vanish. I met someone who knows him, and actually warned me off of him. So there is that as well.

Perhaps I just need to rip off the bandages, so to speak. Return to a life of solitude just to prove to myself that it is not so scary, that it is not worth waking up screaming every night.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

Tonight we open the Black Market, and with it I open my booth, Torture and Titillation. I have second thoughts. Not just second. Third, fourth, fifth.. on down the line. I believe everything is in place. I once more employed the moronic carpenter girl to build my booth and some of the items to go in it. Despite her naivete, I do have to admit she is quite talented in what she does. She custom designed a chair just to the specifications I gave her, for the Erudite lass from the work agency to sit upon.

The Erudite lass does not approve, but she shall be compensated for her time. I warned her to bring a cushion. I will not be providing one, and if she is stupid enough to sit upon spikes for an hour or two that is not my concern.

Although all is ready, still I fret. I shall have to be amiable and friendly to those interested in my wares. After this week, I do not know if I am up for that. This glut of emotions is disturbing to me. All those years, I felt very little. No loneliness, no anger, no frustration. I kept it all calm as I worked out my time in the basements. Now it is all I can do to hold it in, and I despise it.

I need to return to my earlier ways. Coldness. Calm. I feel more and more that the only way to do this is to go back to the basements. I had purchased the old manor when I was released. Currently it sits in silent disarray, gathering dust and mold and all manner of delightful things.

I would need to find a way to silence the amulet, or at least muffle the constant barrage of thoughts. I will not remove it, I would not go so far. Perhaps I shall just gather up the month's worth of food I had long grown accustomed to, and slip into the cellars and force myself to grow comfortable again in the silence and solitude.

I feel that only then will the nightmares end. If I can prove to myself that another month alone is not the horror that I thought it would be.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

The last couple of nights brought new experiences for me. Nothing sordid or untoward, simply different. I have been given two tasks for the Seekers, first from the new Seeker Leader, and second from her second. I hope that I can fulfill each of these tasks in such a manner that does not disappoint.

For the first, I am taking over research into some drugs for the Cartel from a rude teir'dal. The man insulted me at first, implying that I am too stupid to understand his notes and that he must dumb them down for me, so to speak. He has yet to have transferred them into my hands, along with the notes required for the second task. Supposedly his slaves will be handing them over to me.

I was inadvertantly rude to him, and although he insulted me to my face with no consequence, I was leapt upon for my perceived rudeness. I apologized, and even that was not enough to satisfy my nominal supervisor. I do not think I am long for the Seekers; she is likely to dismiss me due to her unhappiness with me. That makes me uncomfortable, but I am not sure what I can do to rectify the situation. Hopefully I can, before she has me whipped before a crowd just as that koada woman was whipped. Although, her crime was much different - daring to try to leave the Family.

Perhaps putting my nose down and avoiding social situations which I might mess up is the correct answer. Just complete the jobs I have been assigned and hope for the best.

The second has put me in charge of researching the shards of Echo that were left behind. They were transferred into my possession the other day, and now reside in a warded box on a table in my gem lab. In a surprising turn, I shall be working with that vulgar illusionist, as he is apparently a talented mathematician and jeweler - both of which are needed for this task. The first night we spoke, I apologized to him and learned more about his skills. He gave me a small sphere that he said would help me determine what it is I want out of life. I am leery of illusory magic, and have kept it in my pocket rather than using it yet.

Last night was a venue for those with meaty tastes. Most of their menu was unpalatable to me; meat from sentient beings. But they did have one of my favorite dishes from my imprisonment: pickled eyeballs. I used to make my own as a snack to have on hand, and had fallen away from the practice when coming into my own. It reminded me of those times, for better or worse. I spoke some with Xilotzen at the restaurant, but he left quickly after growing bored with my conversation. I then witnessed a friend indulging some curiosity and tasting the flesh of my kin. She seemed to enjoy it, an observation proved true when she spoke with Miri and myself today regarding those urges.

After the restaurant, I found myself in the hall talking to a trio of companions. Mostly about division choices, although the topic did drift once again to thoughts on one's desires for the future and other concerns. I worry for the second, he seems so very lost and trying so hard to be 'professional' in the wake of having lost what he had with the old division head. The illusionist again urged me to attempt to use the sphere, and still I am wary.

I am uncertain what it might show me. Uncertain is the wrong word. Scared. There, I said it. I am scared. Knowing what is in one's deepest thoughts is not all it is cracked up to be. So for now, the sphere remains in my pocket. Perhaps one day I will be brave enough to use it. Now is not that time.

I must begin with my preliminary measurements on the shards. The things fascinate me, and I swear I can feel a faint draw toward them even as I sit a room away.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/03/15

The shards seemed to call to me, and I answered their call. It was measurements, just measurements. I found my notes on the measurements, after I came to again.

I present my notes as I found them, disturbing though some of them may be.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shards of Echo
Measurements detailing the three shards of Echo that were removed from Cartel members following a battle.

Shard One:
MEASURES
6.604 cm in diameter at widest
12.065 cm in height at longest
COLORATION
ruby, 42% translucence
CONDUCTIVITY
10,200 µS/cm

Shard Two:
MEASURES
7.211 cm in diameter at widest
11.874 cm in height at longest
COLORATION
carmine, 57% translucence
CONDUCTIVITY
10,500 µS/cm

Shard Three:
MEASURES
6.243 cm in diameter at widest
18.198 cm in height at longest
COLORATION
scarlet, 76% translucence
No, not scarlet
Prismatic
Such a beautiful prism, so many colors, but all of them red

The handwriting changes here, from prissy and proper to wild and scribbled. The ink changes from black to a suspicious deep red color that is turning brown

Scenes of murder
Rampage
Sweet violence
Blood red
Blood
So much blood
Rivers running with the blood of my enemies
The blood of everyone
Anger
Rage
Building inside of me. Rage. HATRED.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I'll speak to the second about this tonight, if I catch him.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 12/21/15

Much has happened. Too much. What little trust was placed in me is shattered, both my own and others'. Echo retrieved his shards. That is all I wish to say about that. And since, I am anathema for my failure in keeping them safe. As is the best, I suppose.

It seems I have found a partner where I least expected it. Juranden, with whom I argued so spitefully on our first meeting, has come to spend more and more time with me. Both on what could be called dates, and what were called dates, as well as just joint journeys around Norrath. In many ways, he is my partner, but I remain so very isolated and alone at the same time. I do not understand this juxtaposition, how I can feel alone while having someone sleep at my side. I suppose, at least, it is fitting. I did screw up, and I do deserve the solitude. More than ever.

I saw Xannis shortly after Echo attacked me, and the mere sight of him terrified me until I convinced myself that he was not the other one. But that one time was enough to convince me to stay away, and keep to myself. Nobody needs me around, as a reminder that I have failed.

Mairah is convinced that I should continue with the research I took over from Kraylen. I tried to point out that she is mistaken, but she will not hear it. So in between my time with Juranden, I have been spending nearly all of my waking hours in the lab, trying to synthesize and recreate some samples I obtained. Or, in some cases, create entirely new mixtures from scratch. It is a process, but seems to be proceeding well.

At least, until I fail again. And then it will all come crashing around me.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 01/14/16

Well.

I should write in this thing more, clearly. I can't even cover all that has happened since my last entry. I am no longer with the Cartel. I believe I parted on good terms with them, as I was pardoned after a long talk with Ruthgar.

I just did not feel the same there as I did in the beginning. Too much changed, too little of it in a manner that benefited or made me comfortable. To be completely honest, I am relieved to have gotten away without being beaten or killed. It seemed like any minor infraction earned one a whipping there, and I do not do so well with being humiliated in public.

I am missing my Juranden. He is off, doing his own things and living his own life, though he does show up a few nights now and then. I do not begrudge him that; I too would find it hard to spend much time with me. But I do miss his comforting presence more than just at night. I hope he returns, soon.

Things were going well and uncomplicated for me, as I delved back into my truest hobbies. It was admittedly a joy to clear my desk of the research I had taken over from Kraylen. I have little interest in the manufacture of drugs, and even less interest in using them to control others. It was after a week of working on my old experiments when something spoke to me.

Following it led me to Xannis once more, and through him the Phoenix spoke to me. I truly feel she cleansed me of many things, for after the flames came a brief but abiding sense of peace. It has left me, of course, but in its place is a singular longing to become who I am meant to be. Or, at least, who I can be, who I have the potential to be.

I may be considered old by some, but I am not dead, and that which is not dead has the ability to change. I will change. I am changing. I have changed. The question remains - into what?

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 02/04/16

Juranden has vanished completely. It has been over a month since I've seen him at this point. This only reinforces my desire to remain alone. As I told Lord Reysh today: People are not to be trusted, ever, at any time. I suppose Xannis is the exception to that rule. But he's not exactly a person, is he? That is a metaphysical ponderance to be taken up at another time.

It appears that change is still surrounding me, in many ways. As mentioned, Juranden left me. I cried. Just a little, but I did. And then I accepted it and moved on. Should he cross my path again, I will likely jerk his soul around a little before continuing my life as if he does not exist. Killing him is not worth it, he did what anyone would do which is not have anything to do with me. If only he had not bothered to hurt me in the time it took him to decide that.

I attended Ladies' Night at the Rusty Nail last night. Talk about memories, I was surrounded by them. It was a highly unpleasant sensation and one I do not wish to revisit. So much was similar, down to Ruthgar's manhood swinging right in my face. At least this time I did not drug myself and go home with Lakiian. I saw him there, but managed to avoid him just as he avoids me since that night. I can fully imagine that sobering up and realizing you spent an evening with someone like me is a hard pill to swallow. I do not blame him. I just add him to the list of people to avoid.

Xannis sang, in his lovely voice. I am glad he did not focus on me, that would have been rough to handle. Some others danced, including what appeared to be a boy. Someone barely into adulthood. That was certainly uncomfortable, so I focused instead on my thoughts in that time. Drazith's display was enough for me to understand what female iksar might see in their mates.

I went home, alone, to my lab. I have been working almost around the clock to try to find a solution to the problem faced by both Xannis and Iosabella. It was, after all, my own folly that has put them in their situation. The spirit I had captured, Domaeryn, I freed her in my battle with Echo. My hope was that she would recognize Xannis' face and do some harm. I think she did manage a little before being driven away. But now, the problem is, that she hunts both Xannis and Iosabella. I care little for the latter, but the former is enough of a friend that I will solve this problem. Xannis either does not realize his own danger, or thinks he is above it. That is what will bring him more harm, that he does not take her seriously.

The trick there is setting two crystals that they will act as mousetraps, so to speak. Keyed only to that specific spirit, and able to act passively without me being there to initiate the spell. It is a trouble that I have spent literal days of study on it, nearing weeks.. and still it eludes me. I'll figure it out. It is vital to one of my only friends that I figure this out.

Others who have called me friends have vanished into the winds, as expected. I have not seen Saradathia since she exhorted me to give up my necromancy studies and switch instead to studying the elements. I was kind to her, but I fear that not accepting her request has driven her away from me. I saw Mirhion in passing once, and attempted to visit her at the Black Market but she was too busy with her new circle to take any time away for me. Understandable. Always understandable when the option is doing Anything, or talking to me. I, too, would choose the Anything.

Mairah was at the Nail. She looks healthy, but is so busy. She had a hug, and words in passing, before returning to her paramour. I am happy for her, she deserves this happiness.

Today I met with Lord Reysh at the insistence of Xannis. He is one of our new allies. I went to their museum in progress, and for some reason he managed to get me to agree to leave him with an empty soul crystal, and one that is occupied. He is seeking an answer to a problem in logistics. I sincerely hope he finds it, if only so that my days are not further interrupted to go lend assistance.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 02/07/16

I am near completion on my crystals. I have read somewhere that time moves fast when one is having fun; it is certainly true of the opposite. Time has crawled for me lately, slower than it even did in my years in the basement labs of the erudites.

I grow weary, my journal. Far more weary than during those years, far more heartsick than ever.

I was wrong when I called Xannis a friend. He considers me nothing more than a pain in the ass, he has said so himself. Along with many other descriptions in a vile diatribe that is still ongoing over my ring. I am too tired to even remove it. He is right, after all. I -am- the pain he states, I do not understand people, I do not understand how to interact. I Tried. Since my release 5 years ago, I have tried. I have joined organizations, I have attempted to talk to people, I have attempted friendships.

All I get for it are bruises, physical and emotional. I am too tired to continue. It is over, it is done.

When the protective crystals are delivered, I intend to return to the basements. I shall send my ring with them. It is after all my only choice.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 02/11/16

Xannis and Hllan found me in my lab. There was an.. let us call it an incident, with some of the crystals with which I was working. They believe it an accident. I admit I do not remember what even happened, and hope they are correct. I am not entirely sure, however, upon rereading my entry and knowing my state of mind at the time. I was most certainly acting reckless, perhaps intentionally.

We will never know for certain.

I was summoned by Lord Reysh to assist him with his problem again. He returned my crystals intact, and revealed something about himself that was quite shocking to learn. It did, however, make tracking down his missing 'friends' much more easy.

Unfortunately, as always happens when I employ that particular magic, I lost my eyesight. It is something to do with using another sight to seek. I should find a way to prevent that, when I have the mental energy to devote to such an affair. I called upon the Phoenix to teleport me home, where I curled up on the rug in the entrance hall.

Not home. How silly of me. The Agents' hall. Why did I..? Oh well.

Xannis retrieved me from the floor and carried me into the barracks. We talked some, and I do believe I drooled all over his shoulder when I fell asleep. At least he alluded to such when we spoke again a day or so later.

It is late evening now. All is quiet, even chef is no longer tinkering in the kitchen. If I look over the balcony into the hall below from the library, I see no movement. Not even the wyrm above the bank liaison moves. I enjoy these times of evening, or more technically morning. The purest thoughts come at this time.

It does not hurt that I am still feeling some minor after effects from having added some Serenity to my gin at Maelgrym's place. The cheeky bastard pinched my ass and tried to blame it on Xannis, but I know there is no way -that- would happen. I've met Maelgrym enough times to know, though, that he is all talk with nothing to back up his flirtatious behaviour. At least, not in my direction, which is more than fine with me. He's not quite.. my type. He even made mocking mention of my 'shapely' thighs, when anyone with a single eye in their head would see that I am as skinny as a skeleton with no such 'shape'. I should be vexed at him, but I would mock me too, I suppose.

Do I even have a type? I suppose I do. I've yet to figure out what it is, though.

I finally cleaned up the dead petals and leaves from the arrangement Juranden had given me for Frostfell. Swept them away, and burned the card once attached. It felt quite good to do that, like I was sweeping him out of my memory as well.

Testing has begun on the two crystals I created for Xannis and Iosabella. So far they are quite promising indeed. I have had to venture out into Norrath to track down some of the materials to use in the spells. I triggered the crystals to engage on one of my trapped spirits, and then released the spirit. It worked quite well, with just a glitch or two that I need to work out.

The bed in the barracks calls me. I find it more comforting to sleep here than at my home. I am sure there is a reason, though it does not come to mind now.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 02/19/16

It was just after dawn when I stumbled home from my second excursion of the evening.

I suppose actually it was the third excursion. I find that so hard to take in. Me. Farriene. I have been.. busy lately. Social, even. Socially busy.

Hmm. I may still have some of that drug and drink in my system. Or I am simply drugged by the events of my evening.

I should back up a couple of days. The other morning I was making my way through Qeynos, on my way to the Temple of Life. I had some business to conduct there, and my path took me through the Claymore Plaza just outside the doorway from the portal leading to the Agents' hall. On the way I was accosted by the most irritating fellow; standing in front of the Claymore holding a little black book. He spoke in the strangest manner, trying to allude to all sorts of things with twisted phrasing and leers.

He would not leave me alone. Not until a man moved between us; a koada'dal with the longest red hair I've ever seen. The second man implied that he was my lover; and even that did not make the first man back off. Now, I'd never seen the second one before in my life, but I agree that the ruse should have worked.

Instead, it ended with the first man having illusory fire set on his clothing, and him running off toward the moat to put himself out. The second man, I shall call him Headmaster, for that is his title, escorted me then to the Temple of Life.

Business there did not make me happy. The Temple is changing their guidelines for the bodies they purchase from me. It is nothing insurmountable, but it adds time to my process and therefore lowers my profit margins. This irritates me, to say the least. Upon leaving the Temple I was surprised to see that the Headmaster still waited for me, under a tree with a tome in his hand.

The dinner we shared is not really noteworthy. The conversation is what lingers with me. I've had people question my methods before, and question my choices, but never in such a way. Never with the offer of assistance and guidance.

Others have been able to tell me that what I do is 'evil', but never that the source of my magics itself is tainted. That the things I do, at least the untainted things, the good I try to do for others, can be done using other fields of magic. He did that, and promised to show me something that might help change my mind which is so set against what I call boulder hugging elementalism.

It was certainly food for thought. I ran into him again at the Maiden's Fancy. He was a disgusting, drunken mess that pushed me away from him when I was trying to help. He did end up leading me to the volcanic isle, unsteady though the trip was.

At the last minute though, he changed. I cannot explain more, as I feel that even writing it into this diary would be betraying his trust in me. But he was not himself as we stood in the middle of a fiery doom, seemingly on midair. And there I was, standing, looking over what I assumed to be an edge but could not even see it - when someone purred in my ear.

Mind mages. Fucking mind mages. I nearly tumbled over, only to be caught by him. He did not release my arm then, gleaning from some words that I was quite close to jumping.

I am tired of being me. So very tired.

By the time the Headmaster walked me to the hall, the source of the purr was in my mind again. Seeking me out, drawing me out, trying to convince me that I, quote, rock. I do not even know what that means, but the sentiment was appealing.

I still am not really sure how it happened, but one moment I was standing in my home, and the next I was standing not in my home but next to a hottub with a very naked, very appealing, man in it. Fucking mind mages and their tricks.

It is morning now. I am home. I am bruised and sore and I lost my dress somewhere. I came home in a gigantic robe that smells of rum and smoke. I think I'll keep it, though. It makes me smile.

I had been certain I might consider the training and rid myself of my dark magics. And then I just had an entire night worth of affirmation shoved at me and for some reason it is sticking. Now, I just do not know. If I do take the training, I do not think I will lose completely the rest of my magic. I may.. use it less. I may use only the sparest amounts of void magic. Or I may not.

I go, I think, with a much clearer mind toward the idea of training. The Headmaster's.. messenger, said that the Headmaster would come by the hall this morning if he is sober. I am not certain he will. If he does, though, he will meet a Farriene far more confident than the one his messenger left behind. At least, so I hope it will last.

I guess I have a mind mage to thank for that. I am grateful.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 03/06/16

Reading through my last entry, I laugh at the naivete of it. Of course the man never came back. Why would he? He is just as worthless as most others I meet, and that is that.

I have been *the ink is dropped on the paper here as if from multiple taps in thought* . . . busy. Very busy. I am not quite certain what to thank, or blame, but I have been struck by an almost insane inspiration. I barely even know what it is I research anymore, but I am driven to spend days at a time locked in my lab.

Creating.

I am creating.

Sometimes, in the dead times, I look up and see the shadow of someone slipping away from the door of the lab. I feel watched when I least expect it. That woman. The strange-eyed shaman that the Phoenix brought into our group. She watches me so, expressionless. Whenever I look up, she's there. I do not know what to make of her, or her doings. Xannis has assured me that she is vetted and safe; but I have not shared with him her obsession with me. He has enough to worry about.

I spend much time with the beautiful blonde peacock lately. At least, when I can peel away from the lab and he can peel away from his pregnant soon-to-be wife. Our relationship is strange, but I am content with it, I think. Though there is part of me.. part of me that I do not understand. One that wishes me to latch onto him and drain. I am ashamed to even write it. I am no vampire. I do not even know what I would drain but the urge is there. Last night while I slept tangled around him, I awoke from a nightmare and found my fingers wrapping around his neck.

No harm had been done, but I quickly disengaged myself and left. Home to the lab. Where we are now. We wait. I am not sure what for, but we wait. It is coming. It is becoming.

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Re: Labwork in the Dead Times {Farriene's Journal}

Post by Farriene » 03/28/16

I thought I had lost this. It was buried among the coffins in my cold storage. I would suspect Saariomalirasin to be complicit in this, but she hasn't had a thought of her own for over a century now, not since life still rested in her brain.

But yet, who would hide my own words from me? Was it me, lost in the grips of that ~thing~ that possessed me?

I refuse to even call it by its name. It was a thing. A horrible malevolence. A malignancy in my mind, casting me into depths from which I am lucky to escape. But, escape I did, with the help of Xannis, Hllan, Wishimay, Physallis, and apparently Ay'shen herself.

That last part startles me. For the phoenix to take such a personal interest in anything is exciting and fascinating, and I am only sorry that I was mostly unconscious at the time. I remember very little of the darkest depths. I was at one moment sitting on Khell's lap, talking to Xannis and Hllan in the garden. Then the next I was on the floor of Xannis' office, feeling the very life being yanked out of my throat as Xannis struggled to grip onto an inky darkness that was yawning out of me.

I later actually got a hug out of Xannis when I told him he was my dearest friend. I'm sure that was a scene for the ages.

Apparently there were some days between those events, days in which I vanished and eventually stopped responding to Khell's voice in my mind. He finally grew frantic and learned that I was in my hall, healing from the pseudo-exorcism.

Picture it: there I was, resting under the care of Doc. Xannis' orders had barred me from leaving the hall, and everything I had for communications was muted and silent. All I heard was the distant sound of Chef cooking, and Doc snoring softly around the corner behind my closed curtain. Then I heard the sweetest sound ever: my beloved calling my name in a panic as he raced into the hall to find me in the medical quarters. I swear he was near tears with relief, and I will admit that I was as well, simply to have his arms around me again.

I suppose it is no surprise that my things were rather quickly moved into his place after that incident. He is loathe to let me slip through his fingers and into danger again. Well, some of my things. My stores of books remain behind, as do both labs and my cold storage. But I have a couple of small trunks of items stowed in his home, and we split our time between there and Liah's hunting grounds. I do occasionally find my way back to my own place, just to pick up a book, perform a few experiments, or otherwise do things I cannot do elsewhere.

Our relationship has blossomed. I never expected this, and yet I find it so natural. He takes care of me, more than anyone ever has; more than my parents did and more than even I do for myself. The things we share are things I could never tell another soul. All the while, he still has his number one, his Draliah. And I am content with that. His nature is such that I could never be a true and complete match; Liah can do many things for and with him that I cannot. Bearing his children, given his bloodline, is one such thing. It is bittersweet, but it is. Anyone who tries to tell you that there is pure happiness in this world without any drawbacks is lying - either to themselves or to you.

And as if things could not get more strange: I performed. On a stage. I performed on a stage with my peacock. We worked out this rather adorable pirate routine, full of sword-fighting, singing, spanking and stripping. It seemed to be well received, and it was all I could do to keep his hands off of me backstage lest the next performer walk off to a sight. The next performer was, of course, Hllan.

Khell's dreams of Hllan at first bothered me. But I am so secure in his love now that they no longer do. It is his nature. I should worry when he stops dreaming of other women. Let him have his dreams. I have my own. And sometimes, with his illusion talents, he makes them come true.

If Valencia knew that, oh how she would fall apart. I almost wish she could learn, just so that I can torment her as her actions have tormented me for so long.

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