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"Kiri and Tezz" is a November 20, 2014 Season 2 thread.

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Toshioka Kiri: She’s lain in bed for too long.  She’s not the frail child she once was.

Kiri pulls herself up, ignoring whatever pain comes from her wounds.  They’re healing anyway.  As long as she doesn’t overexert herself, she should be all right to move a bit.  She might as well see what’s been happening in the camp since Pitch’s attack and her subsequent trip through the water.  Clearly, nothing horrible.

She thinks briefly about warning the king about the witches, but decides against it.  She doesn’t know how many would believe her.  They didn’t back home.

But Tezz… he was there… he’s the one who slayed the witch… by all rights, this grief seed should be his… but I don’t think he knows the gravity of what a grief seed is and what it does.  He might be one to talk to about this.

"Come on Dagger," she murmurs.  "Wanna’ go for a walk?  I could use a better sight than this room."  She hops up on the Nadder, and the dragon totters forward, gently carrying her rider out the door and into the camp proper.

Tezzeret Verdile: Stonegit is a good man, I’m glad for his understanding.. and… trust..

Tezz was on his way back from the prison cells when he noticed…

Kiri? She’s awake finally. I suppose now would be a good time to find out what happened.

"Kiri! Hey!" Tezzeret jogs slightly to catch up. "Are you feeling any better?"

Toshioka Kiri: Kiri brightens as she sees Tezz.  “Hi!  Yes, I’m feeling much better!  A little tired of being bedridden, to be honest,” she laughs.  “What’ve I missed since… you know,” she shrugs awkwardly.

Tezzeret Verdile: "Not much camp side, just day to day life mostly. The only thing you may not remember is we found a child in the village. Her name’s Melira, and she’s quite young. She’s been staying with Clover and I…" He trailed off on that part, unsure if he should finish that thought.

Toshioka Kiri: Kiri smiles and nods.  “I remember her.  So she’s staying with you and Clover… that’s good.”  She thinks back to the witch and inwardly shudders at what horrors that child must have seen.  Possessed victims and familiars doing terrible deeds.  “Take good care of her.  She’ll need all she can get after…”

She pauses.  Memories of those moments are rising now.  Tezz is the only one who saw the witch up close, besides possibly Melira.  But Tezz…

She leans down and speaks in a low voice. “Can I talk to you?  Privately, like in an empty room?  It’s about the witch.”

Tezz eret Verdile: "Of course, I’m curious about the whole event anyway." Tezzeret follows Kiri to one of the empty rooms around the fortress. "First question though, how did you get there, inside that glyph? I vaguely remember seeing you in the great hall when I first arrived here…. and… I guess… I guess you should just start from the beginning." 

Toshioka Kiri: Kiri sighs.  She slips off of Dagger, stumbling slightly as she hits the ground.  She grimaces and ends up plopping herself on the floor with the dragon as support.

"It started when Pitch attacked," she replies.  "I was just taking note of our inventory and planning to go with Clover to the village… I ended up trying to intervene between Pitch and the King."  She makes a face.  "I kicked the King’s bad leg.  I hope he’s not angry at me for that.

"Anyway, I tried to disable Pitch… and instead, he managed to push me through a puddle of water.  It’s not the most pleasant experience, and I’d heard about how it was a portal to Hel and all… but somehow it transported me to the village.  I guess, the exact same village that we were planning to go to…

"And then the witch found me."

She shudders in remembrance.  It wasn’t the first time she’d stumbled into a labyrinth like that, but all the other times she’d had Lillith with her.

"My question is, how’d you get in?" she asks.  "Normal people can’t see the portal to a labyrinth.  Usually the witch sort of just… ensnares people into it.  Unless she directly attacked or trapped you?"

Tezzeret Verdile: "I don’t really know…" Tezzeret thought about it. "I know Kierra and Clover couldn’t see the glyph that let me enter, but…" It was starting to click… He could see it, through Tezz’s eyes. 

Kiri doesn’t need to know about you… not yet… not unless she asks directly.

"…I’m still not exactly sure." He finally finished after an extended pause. "All I know is that I saw it, I walked towards it, and then I was in that crazy place you called a labyrinth fighting for our lives…" 

Toshioka Kiri: Kiri cringes.  “Yes, it… does that if you walk towards it.”

She thinks for a moment, then gazes evenly at him.

"The only reason I can see it is because I’ve dealt with them before," she says, choosing her words carefully.  "I was with someone who’d made… the contract.  So regardless of whether or not I want to, I can still see the labyrinth openings… and those responsible.  The only other type of person I can think of who would be able to see it is… either someone with extensive magical ability, or someone who’s made the contract.  And judging from how you killed that witch, it could be either.  So… do you mind me asking the source of your magical power?"

She quickly shakes her head.  “It’s not to be prying.  It’s something that I need to know so I can figure out what I need to tell you.”

Tezzeret Verdile: "Magic, huh? Well… I wouldn’t exactly call him magic… but he’s probably the reason for it…" Tezzeret took in a deep brethate before continuing. "I… I was put into a school when I was much younger… Through this schooling they were able to… put someone else inside my head. I didn’t kill the witch… he did… with my guidance. I can guide him and control him now, but, I used to not have that power. He’s the reason for my power."

Toshioka Kiri: Kiri stares at him for a long moment.  Many thoughts whir inside her head.

So not a contract… but something… similar?  A second personality? 

"I see," she says simply.  She doesn’t know what else to say.

So she slides by it.

"Well, we have him to thank for our survival, don’t we!" she replies cheerfully.  "It answers my question at least.  You haven’t made a contract with a Kiyu.  Which means that you’re safe from what happens if you do…"

She removes the grief seed from her pouch.  She holds it up so that Tezz can see it.

"This seed was once the soul of a person," she states.  "When a person makes the contract, their soul is extracted… placed into a gem… but they gain great magical power.  But when their soul is corrupted… and not cleansed… eventually it transforms.  It takes the form of this seed.  And the person’s body is left behind as their spirit becomes a witch."

She takes a deep breath.

"That witch we fought was once a person who made the contract.  Judging from what was in her labyrinth, I’d say she was a little girl.  I don’t know how long she was like that.  But it’s entirely possible that she’s not the only one."

Tezzeret Verdile: "You said you made one of these contracts… how is your soul not being corrupted? Or is this a different contract? And from what you’re telling me… there’s possibly more of these… witches around?" Tezz was trying to hold back his words from spilling out. The slight bit of panic emanating from him was almost palpable.

Toshioka Kiri: Kiri quickly shakes her head.  “Oh no, I haven’t made a contract.  My best friend did.  That’s how…” she breathes as her heart stops in her chest.  She hasn’t talked about Lillith with anyone for years.

"… that’s how I found out," she manages to choke out.  "About what witches are."

The thought of making the contract brushes through her.  Amazing magical power, unlimited blessings for those who had chosen to fight curses… and witches.  She used to toy with it, but Lillith had always been adamant about her not doing so.  Not until the last few days before the transformation, at least.  But Kiri would be lying to herself if she said the temptation never caught her.

She takes another deep breath, trying to steel herself and calm her voice.  It’s gripping her, that last memory of Lillith. 

"I caught a Kiyu lurking around this camp the night of the feast.  They trick and manipulate people into making the contract, never telling them of what lies at the end.  They’re still around.  I’m certain there are more witches."

Tezzeret Verdile: "Odin above.." Tezzeret puts his hand on his forehead and leans against the wall. "Whenever you’re ready to tell Stonegit about this, I can help. He already knows about my… condition… and I know I’m not strong enough to face many more of those things, we’ll need more help…" 

Toshioka Kiri: Kiri nods, looking at her hand.  Injured, like the rest of her.

"We’ll need other mages… perhaps dragons… I’m pretty much useless against the actual witch," she gives a rueful laugh.  Unless I… no, no I will not.  "This is of course, if Stonegit or anyone else believes me.  A danger very few can see, that manifests itself as natural disasters or insane murderers or suicides to those unable to see?"

She closes her hand into a fist.  “Thank you for your help… and for saving me back in the labyrinth.  I’ll… I’ll need you there.  In case another witch attacks… or if no one else believes the truth.”

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