< A Little Robber | Red Ice Logs | A Strange Little Song >

It takes some time of stamping around the various jewelers in Great Forks and eventually a recommendation by Jasmine Nights, met while attempting to prevent Shiro and Jasmine from removing one of Anstice's hands for causing a small riot in their club after his attempt at practicing dark charms went a bit…wrong, before Jaom is able to find a jewel that silences the longings of Esmerelda. The young woman holding the diamond in a silk-covered hand smiles happily at finally having a customer wealthy enough to purchase this bauble. Purest crystal that cuts the sunlight with its edge, the diamond is exactly the size and shape of a human eye.

  • Jaom marvels at the diamond in more ways than one; she herself isn't one for too much jewelry, even considering where she came from. Even then, it's a damned fine jewel, and the fire captivates her a bit. The nagging feeling in the back of her mind turns into something close to exuberant anticipation, making for an interesting mix of emotions. "... perfect."

Merilla: "Mistress wishes to purchase the Open Eye, then?"

Merilla: "It was cut for the diadem of the Empress herself, but what with her disappearance...it has become more widely available."

Jaom: "... do I ever. You really do not know how badly I've been looking for something like this."

  • Merilla allows a bit of greed to escape into her eyes, noting the immaculate armor, the amazing hairstyle, the Realm accent and the blood of Fire in Jaom's features..

Merilla: "I am honored to please, Mistress."

  • Anstice somehow has a rather astounding Juche drawl now as he speaks. "I would also imagine Mistress wishes to keep her screwing in the bedroom. Allow me to be so crass as to ensure the price is fair."
  • Merilla blinks in alarm at such harsh remarks. "Lord, surely I would seek only the fairest prices to ensure that I continue to please those that come to my door."

Anstice: "Is it not permissible that one ensures that both our definitions of fair match up? I'm sure such is only standard for one so well versed in avoiding misunderstandings."

  • Jaom looks over her shoulder, chuckling a little. "I'm certain the young lady will be more than able to remain fair and just. After all, the reputation of her shop depends on the word of her customers, yes?"
  • Merilla smiles graciously, despite the horrid insult to her honor. "I would never be anything but fair with my customers."
  • Glory enters after the two, still dressed in her black long coat and matching undergarments, with a blood-red headband covering her castemark. She glances at Merilla imperiously. "What is the delay?"
  • Merilla blinks once more. "Ah. We were negotiating the proper price for the Open Eye. It is a delicate matter."
  • Iron Horse is idly looking at the rest of the jewelry, glancing back at the others from time to time, and shaking his head a bit at Anstice's words.

Anstice: "We seem to be differing on the objective nature of the word fair at the moment. Perhaps by morning, we'll have gotten around to numbers."

Jaom: "Most delicate, indeed. Now then... what is your opening offer, fair miss? I'm sure we can come to middle ground quickly and without any trouble."

  • Glory rolls her eyes, adjusting the headband. "We don't have that long."

Merilla: "By fair, my Lord, I mean simply a fee of 100. Such trouble with security involved in both procuring and protecting a treasure like the Open Eye...and of course the historical value of the jewel, the last ever gemstone comissioned by the Empress."

  • Iron Horse winces, and moves towards Glory. "It's better to let them finish, really."
  • Glory opens her mouth, sighs, and takes a step back. "Alright."

Jaom: "Mmmmm."

  • Jaom rubs her chin thoughtfully. "Understandable... for the sake of future reference, did the diamond come with any sort of official writ? Should I ever want to display it, that would come quite in handy."
  • Merilla shakes her head. "No, the order for cutting was lost some transfers of ownership ago."

Jaom: "I see, I see. Well, then. I have to admit, I am on a somewhat tight schedule, so I'd like to see about coming to a fair price for such a lovely jewel."

  • Merilla nods. "As I said, 100 jade is a most reasonable price for all the trouble of keeping the Open Eye."
  • Jaom rubs her chin again, doing a good job of hiding her mild surprise at the suggested price. "That could easily purchase me a townhome, with young and unbroken servants. While it's truly a grand stone, and I believe its origins, I think it's a bit too small to use to cover my head when it rains. Hm... 85 jade, perhaps?" She says this in a totally non-demanding manner, hoping to not come off as too aggressive.

Merilla: "If I accepted only 95 I would be hung up by my suppliers and guards for shorting them when their pay week arrives."

Jaom: "Well. You operate with most... unforgiving associates, I see. Although..."

Merilla: "In this buisness their lives are on the line. They must be properly compensated."

Anstice: "For a fair price, I'm sure Glory would be happy to assist you in keeping them and their lives in line. Perhaps the difference in the two offers?"

  • Jaom taps her lip again. "I'd love nothing more than to make sure you make a profit on this, but that would require me having an idea of just what you parted from to acquire the Eye. Even if it's as you say... surely, five jade is the cost of the life of one who runs such a reputable shop?"
  • Merilla blinks. "Lord?"
  • Merilla looks confused.
  • Glory glances over at Anstice.

Jaom: "... eh? An, dear, what're you planning?"

Anstice: "Jaom saves an appropriate amount of jade to cover the cost of Glory's assistance at dealing with those most unforgiving associates, if they are such a a worry."

Merilla: "Ahh...um. Well the offer is most generous, sir, but they are valued associates despite their..erm. Vehemence. And..it would be simpler to reach an agreement on price.."

Jaom: "It might... I really am in a bit of a hurry. Decisions, decisions..."

  • Anstice shrugs. "Pay the woman her 95. Just remember that you're going to have to give up on that wine collection you were eyeing for another month."
  • Glory frowns, hands in her pockets. "It seems excessive."

Jaom: "Some things... are worth the cost, they say."

  • Jaom proceeds to dig out the coin Kin gave her, as well as her own, from its storage place (stupid thieving kids) between cleavage and armor.
  • Merilla graciously accepts the currency, counting it quickly through the bag with practiced fingers. Once it is secured in an impressive looking safebox, the young woman smiles.

Merilla: "How would you like the Open Eye packed, mistress?"

Jaom: "Might I hold it in my hand? I should not need much, although a silk cloth would be nice."

  • Merilla hands the stone over carefully, silk cloth included at no additonal charge.
  • Jaom seems almost a bit twitchy as she takes it, looking over the stone. Once it's in hand, she simply looks at it, perhaps in wonder. "At last..."

Merilla: Once the stone is in Jaom's hands her fingers glide over its surface and a smile takes form on her lips. One hand takes the gem and raises it to her forehead, where it feels cool against her skin. There is a tingle as the armor readjusts into a coronet that accepts the stone into itself and holds it firmly in place.

Merilla: Everyone but Jaom watches as the diamond slowly changes from clear to milky white, then a darkness appears in the center. In a few moments, a third eye stares out from Jaom's forehead, wrapped in the shape of a fine crystal. Unlike Jaom's other two eyes, this one is a dazzling electric blue.

Iron Horse: "... Whoa."

In melodious Old Realm, a voice issues from Jaom's mouth. "At long last! I, Esmerelda Val Siminova de Luthe am given to the world once again! A thousand thanks to all who have assisted in my return!"

Anstice: "Pretty. It'd better be, for 95 jade."

  • Glory coughs into her hand, replying in the same tongue. "Your thanks are appreciated, but we should take this somewhere a bit more.. private."
  • Merilla stares...and faints.
  • Jaom is, for lack of a better term, totally out of control at the moment.
  • Glory climbs up onto the counter, looking down at the unconscious gem dealer. "..Should I?"

Iron Horse feels a wave of uncontrollable love as the voice rolls over him, a crashing wave of intoxicating sonic beauty. It shakes him to his very core with its power.

Anstice: "Should you what?"

Glory: "Exercise my problem-solving skills on her."

Anstice: "No. We've had enough trouble with the authorities already."

Jaom: "... well, this is just... the hell. The... hell. And yeah, you should. What did the diamond do?"

  • Glory glances between them. "..Mm, alright." She hops off the counter, walking back to the group.

Anstice: "Essentially, your first age friend happens to be back, so to speak, affecting the world and running your body through the diamond."

Esmerelda: "If one of you has skill as a crafter of wonders, I and that person may be able to arrive at a solution which would transfer my soul permanently into a suitable vessel. Until such time, I offer my everlasting thanks to the woman who bears this armor and my spirit. Might I know the name of my benefactress and all those who have helped her? I shall honor you greatly!"

  • Iron Horse just... -stares- at Jaom/Esmerelda, seeming to gone quite a bit slack jawed, and... steps towards her, an odd spring on his step. "Her name is Jaom, and I am Iron Horse, at your service, milady."

Esmerelda: "Never, young man. I, Esmerelda Val Siminova de Luthe, have sworn never to use my overwhelming power to control another soul! I simply borrow this body when the young woman within is not currently using parts of it."

  • Jaom blinks a bit, reaching up to fell the coronet. "Jaom, house Cathak. A pleasure to meet you." She hasn't quite noticed Iron Horse's approach yet.
  • Esmerelda bows, with Jaom's body and far more grace then ever Jaom coaxed from it. "I thank you Iron Horse and Cathak Jaom. It is my honor to meet you both."

Jaom: "... well, that explains the reshaping, at least."

Anstice: "I said affect world and run body, not control soul. Vastly different. Anstice Cyzarine. And define crafter of wonders. The last artifact I had cause to handle was a giant mechanical spider."

  • Glory curtseys with the hem of her coat. "Glory."

Esmerelda: "My pleasure beyond pleasures to meet the two of you as well. You are a crafter of wonders if the metals sing your praises and your tools fly to your grip and begin their work as the thoughts form in your mind. All others are mere toilers in dross."

  • Jaom chuckles a little. "I think I like you, madam. You're direct."

Anstice: "Massively magic-assisted crafting then. Why would one need such an array of wonders at their command?"

Esmerelda: "Young man, if the body is bound by the will of the inanimate then nothing of true wonder may be made. Only when the mind soars free and bends the world to its whims can fantasy be unleashed."

Glory: "Expedient removal of your enemies."

Anstice: "There are dreams, and there are nightmares. Which do you need made flesh and steel?"

Esmerelda: "I wish only the purest of the material world to clothe my spirit."

  • Jaom frowns, just a bit. "An, she just... well, woke up. You're going to have to be a bit less... ah, nevermind. We will see what we can do."
  • Glory detaches from the overly-flowery conversation, standing alert by the door.

Anstice: "I know someone who can help. Unfortunately, he was trying to cut my hand off hours ago. Beyond your eminently good name, what can you offer him?"

  • Esmerelda narrows her single Eye. "Are my rescuers those of ill-repute?"

Iron Horse: "Please forgive Anstice, milady. He often doesn't think well when he speaks, and that often angers people."

Esmerelda: "I understand. Such faults are common among the young and hot-headed."

  • Glory waves her hand airily. "As you can probably tell."
  • Iron Horse would appear to be standing much too close to Esmerelda/Jaom and in too much attention, for somebody that is usually so casual.

Esmerelda: "If there is one who might help, take me to him or simply tell him that his services will be repaid with gifts of the skill and knowledge of the legendary Esmerelda Val Siminova de Luthe.

  • Anstice chuckles. "Sure, laugh it up. Anstice got in a fight with a ghost-hunter who misunderstood a boast or two. Oh, that silly Anstice. Just don't complain when I make a comment or two of my own later. Is that with three es and an a, or two es and two as?"

Esmerelda: "Until then, I must retire. The delivery of the Eye has tired me. If I am needed, I will return, never fear. In the future, I will offer my words in written form whenever possible, for the greater comfort of young Lady Jaom."

Jaom: "We are all still young, and learning, in this day and age, madam.... hm. I think it's high time we returned. There's much to be done, so if we're going to see Shiro, we should do so quickly. Although... I might have to do so alone, as to prevent more hand-removal attempts."

  • Esmerelda politely spells out all five words of her name for Anstice.

Iron Horse: "I could accompany you!"

  • Jaom looks Anstice's way, then chuckles.

Glory: "Oh, like I'd let you go to the hand-severing man alone."

  • Anstice nods. "I'm sure Shiro is over it by now. All a big misunderstanding. It's not like I hit on his wife or anything."

The Eye closes and the presence of Esmerelda retreats in Jaom's mind.

Jaom: "You might as well have, the way he reacted."

  • Jaom touches the coronet once more, then sighs. "More oddness... at least that's taken care of."

Anstice: "No, he was actually fairly nice about it. I imagine if I'd hit on her, and it wasn't well received, there'd be less me joking and more wondering where I can replace the half of the body he tore off with his bare hands."

  • Glory stands up, opening the door. "He sounds like my kind of person. Now, let's get back before something weirder happens."

Iron Horse: "... so, should we get going?"

Anstice: "Yes. Hopefully the knock on the head makes her forget about Esmerelda."

Glory: "Also, Anstice, I can remove the impetus for some of your less-thought out social endeavors if you need me to."

Jaom: "Would that involve a well-placed klaivetip to the scrotum?"

  • Jaom grins, already on the way out.
  • Glory spreads her hands. "Of course."
  • Iron Horse follows after Jaom like a puppy.

Anstice: "Fortunately enough, my dangly bits are already spoken for. And it was merely bad luck, that's all."

Anstice: "I'm sure any of you would have had roughly the same result."

  • Glory steps outside. "Except for a few notable events, my entire relationship with you Synods could best be described as 'bad luck'."

Anstice: "I'd offer to fix that, but I do not appear to be in the ascendant today."

  • Jaom snickers, just a bit... although she does notice how Iron Horse is action. She... shrugs, and keeps going.

< A Little Robber | Red Ice Logs | A Strange Little Song >