4/23 The Ghost of Ithaca Blackwater

JWaldman Apr 24th, 2019 124 Never
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  1. Artaghh asks, "Are ye' doin' the ominous stare into the distance thing Ohtli?"
  2.  The Drakan is, indeed, ominously staring into the distance. Or maybe it's more wistful. Her hands are clasped behind her back.
  4. "You know me well...How are you, Artaghh?"
  5. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  6. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  8.  Ser Artaghh would nod lightly as he approached the rocky overhang, gazing off into the distant coast before plopping down on the grass with a crunch and clank of his mithril greaves against the green as he swung them over the side. He'd beckon the Drakan to take a seat and a load off as will, his one eye focused on the horizon with a degree of melancholic wanderlust.
  10. "Oh, ye' know be'er than anyone. Fightin' recently's reminded me somethin' I'd sorta figured fer a long time. I've toughed it out for years now, bu' my wounds are catchin' up to me. Half the time I wake up coughin' up occultic bile from the implants keepin' me held toge'er, an' my lungs wheeze tryin'ta hold as much air as they used to. Age ain' helpin' my condition, an' I've felt sick since the day I was poisoned by the Swuisarme King. So, feelin' jus' the usual Ohtli! How abou' ye?"
  11. (Artaghh)
  12. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  14. At first she is reluctant, but the stubborn Drakan Elder relents and sits alongside the paladin at the cliff.
  16. "Thoughtful. I'm thoughtful. When you go on that journey, you should be using the White Oil for yourself at the end. Not me. You have more about you that needs fixing than I do."
  17. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  18. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19.  Loretta exclaims, "Ser Artaghh!"
  20.  Artaghh exclaims, "Hey Loretta!"
  21.  Artaghh says, "Ye' can come sit o'er here wit' Ohtli an' I."
  22.  Loretta holds up ten lengths of quality leather! She seems to have taken a bath in Stinnox venom. And stinnox cuts.
  23. (Loretta)
  24. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  26.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "..."
  27.  Ohtli squints at Loretta.
  28. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  29. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  31.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "...Were you just in the caverns?"
  32.  Loretta says, "That's correct."
  33.  Loretta exclaims, "I had that tall one's permission over there!"
  34.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Which tall one?"
  35.  Loretta points towards Tezoxochel.
  36. (Loretta)
  37. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  39.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Ah..."
  40.  Loretta says, "Gathering decent leather from the Chitinous plates of Stinnox is actually hard."
  41.  Loretta says, "I've been down there for HOURS."
  42.  Ser Artaghh would place a firm hand on Ohtli's shoulder with a shake of his head, a warm, foolish smile on his scarred visage in spite of the duress he tolerated on a day to day basis. He would shake his head, lightly chuckling at the thought as he briefly turned his one eyed gaze to the Drakan's own.
  44. "Yer older, wiser, an' yer injuries plague yer sleep Ohtli. Long 'fore I was the marshal, long 'fore I was a paladin, I was a knight. An' a true knight's virtues woul' nae as much let me take tha' oil as much as they'd nae allow me to nae journey for it!" A bit of whimsical youth seems to flood the bald swordsman's expression as the tension in his face lightly alleviates, his eye staring off once more into the horizon. "A true knight is strong, sure, bu' in power an' character both. They're noble in bearin', gracious in victory, humble in defeat, fearless an' brave in their pursuits of personal justice, an' above all serve as a bulwark to all those ye' are sworn to protect. We'll quest fer tha' oil, aye, an' all the payment I'll need is seein' tha' ye' are healthy once more Ohtli. All the glory tha's required."
  45. (Artaghh)
  46. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  48.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "They're not nearly so bad. Kairi got rid of the worst of it with some runes, really...You should be considering it using it on yourself. "
  49.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Hello, Ohtli."
  51. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  53.  "You're younger than me, Artaghh. And have a great deal of people relying on you, I imagine. It'd likely be a waste on me."
  55. Back and forth the Drakan and the Knight have gone, this occasion is no exception. She reaches into one of her many coat pockets, fiddles with something, and turns to face Ithaca.
  57. "Ithaca. It is good to see you again, even if looking at you keeps reminding me how old I'm getting," she says with a little scoff.
  58. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  59. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  60.  Artaghh says, "Bah, yer a stubborn old bird Ohtli, bu' I'm stubborner. If it brings ye' peace of mind, it's nae a waste."
  61.  Ithaca is gently steaming blue. There's a few odd patches of light on her body that suggest she's barely holding it together. She says simply, "I don't think I'm going to be around much longer. But I passed on my spear, so. Thank you again for giving me a second chance to make a difference in the world."
  63. She nods to Artaghh too and says, "I was a knight, a long time ago. Or rather, I called myself a valkyrie. Don't lose that spirit."
  64. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  65. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  67. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  69.  Loretta slowly approaches the duo- Now Trio, with her spoils gathered from having gone to a trip within the caves. Slowly, she hovers nearby Ser Artaghh to hear him... reminiscing about the past? Two people well in their age, remembering the good old days? It's actually very much endearing to see! To think of the now Marshal of the Legion as some young and honorable stallion, seeking to fulfill a long made promise. Like something out of the knight tales!
  71. With the not so subtle smell of Stinnox venom and Chitin clinging to them in contrast to the lavender perfume, the little one listens in to Artaghh's words and Ohtli's statements. Also, the fact that there's a ghost nearby is something to wonder upon. The ghost can also return? How quaint!
  73. "That's so chilalrous of you, Ser Artaghh! Is this lady okay? Do they require medical assistance?"
  75. And even though they seemed far too unsightly for normal, the little floating lady did not hesitate to produce from their satchel a remarkably unblemished trauma kit, with a prosthetics kit to boot. Loretta came prepared everywhere she went and she wasn't afraid to show it!
  76. (Loretta)
  77. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  79.  Ser Artaghh would turn his gaze to the ghostly vampire hunter with a steady blink of his remaining eye. Or was it a wink? He only had the one, such a gesture was difficult to discern. What was certain is that the bald, burnt swordsman's attention was definitely shifted to the spectral slayer of darkness. He'd briefly cease his fond bickering with Ohtli, mouth dropping a bit in a sense of awe.
  81. "So yer Ithaca!? I heard abou' ye'!. Some ol' warriorlady wit' nae many equals, vampire hunter from the days when Dawnsfolk were hunted freely. A badass of strong repute, wha's the craziest thing ye've e'er put down monster wise? Did ye' e'er use a crossbow? Did ye' have fancy vampire huntin' hats!?" It seemed the marshal was a fan.
  83. Artaghh would blink as he heard Loretta's words, jostled out of his questioning frenzy. "Ohtli was hurt by the ghoul king, which makes her injuries my responsibility as much as Dawn's. Real men make good on debts, an' I intend'ta ensure she returns to full health."
  84. (Artaghh)
  85. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  86.  The Drakan feels along her left upper arm and frowns, nodding.
  88. "Yes...been about five years. Give or take. Gehenna got their peace and another monster was put to rest. I have you to thank for that. There is a chance I could maybe extend the contract. Another effort of will, more blood, but I recall you weren't for that.
  90. "All the same, you did what I wasn't able to. For that? I'm grateful."
  92. Her head dips. What little Gehannan tradition is still ingrained in her still refuses the notion of bowing- it's a gesture of deep respect all the same.
  94. "He's been enjoying the quiet life, prefers to stay at home these days...but Windy sends his best."
  95. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  96. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  98. Ithaca shakes her head at Ohtli. "I'm still of the opinion that the dead shouldn't mettle too much in the affairs of the living. And you shouldn't bleed for me any more than you already have. But, summoning me to fight vampires and help defend your home? That I can handle."
  100. She laughs a little, "And five years already, huh? I guess that would make me... oh. Seventy years old. What a fine number to end on. And give Windsor my regards, too. Make sure to let him know he's a lucky man to have ended up with someone like you."
  102. She bows to Artaghh too, sandwiching Ohtli between foreign and uncomfortable gestures.
  104. "And I am. In my day I went by The Azure Valkyrie, and I hunted many foul things. I wouldn't say I was strong though, or a... err. Bad... that. I simply acted where few others would. And no, no crossbow or hats. But I did have a spear and a dress... sort of the same thing. Kind of. And the craziest thing was definitely Coraline Invidia. She was insane even by vampire standards."
  106. Her blue eyes study Ohtli again to comment, "You're injured? Even more reason not to go gashing yourself for my sake. As I was telling Iosefka, I think my spirit is going to rest much easier this time around."
  107. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  108. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  110.  Loretta says, "Ser Artaghh... that is the most knightly thing I've ever heard you say."
  111.  Loretta says, "And I now feel obligated to help in whatever shape, way or form that I can."
  112.  Artaghh says, "I have a bad habit of doin' tha', an' people wantin'ta help me."
  113.  Esso closes his mouth, opting to remain silent. He does really want to find out why Iosefka pushed him to talk to the spectral woman, but he can't bring himself to interrupt their conversation.
  114. (Esso Naam)
  115. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  117.  Loretta exclaims, "That's a good thing though!"
  118. Loretta exclaims, "I am also an expert on anatomy and medicine, so if I can help? I shall!"
  119.  Ohtli shoots Artaghh a glare before shifting focus back to Ithaca.
  121. "A parting gift from one of the Ghoul King's minions. It's been mostly cleared up with some runework. Bleeding is what I do these days- I'm not exactly a stellar fighter. Not that I ever was."
  123. Then back to Artaghh goes her line of sight in a game of conversational ping-pong.
  125. "Even dead she's modest. Ithaca is one of the strongest warriors I've had the pleasure to know. We didn't always see eye-to-eye on everything, but it's true; she's had the stones to face many things few others haven't. On a continent where people are all too often complacent about wickedness...I don't think she's ever tolerated it."
  126. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  127. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  129.  Ser Artaghh would nod steadily, making a mental note to mark down dresses and spears as valid alternatives for vampire hunters in any future imaginary scenarios he played out in his head. Ithaca was the real deal after all, so it must work! Running a finger down the length of his bandaged arms and tracing the burn scarred flesh, he'd grimace lightly as he heard Loretta's words. Getting himself violently injured for the sake of good deeds was one thing, but he didn't want others to get hurt if he could help it.
  131. "Oh, the original Coraline then? I know the secon' one go' her head lopped off recently, wha' was this one like? An' ye' need not worry abou' leavin' Ohtli behind, I'm oathsworn'ta keep her alive'ta the age'a two hundred an' twenty two so she can knit my great grand kids mittens. Dawn is a chilly city, cannae have'm catchin' a cold."
  133. The marshal would turn his head to Loretta with a light nod, though he maintained a serious expression. "It'll be dangerous Loretta, likely deadly. I mean, tha's my element, bu' I'd rather ye' stay intact! Leave the life riskin' to me, ye' can help by puttin' me back toge'er every time I come home."
  134. (Artaghh)
  135. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  137.  Ithaca adds helpfully, "The spear is a good weapon for fighting them. It keeps them a little outside their optimal range, and the leverage helps give you some extra reach to counter their inhuman strength. You don't beat a vampire by overpowering it, you play to their inability to adapt easily to- err. Actually, I have a book out. If you're interested, I'd recommend finding a copy. It's more in-depth than some fading spirit."
  139. "And Coraline was... manic. She was an entity of pure malevolent hyperactive energy. Like... some kind of demonic candy. She's change her haircolor to suit her mood, and delighted in trying to tease a reaction from me."
  141. Judging by the stoic expression on the spirit's face, that wasn't so easy. But even then, she manages to crack a smile. "Oh? Well. You have my blessing then, Sir Knight. Keep her safe for me. she's all out of justice dogs to pull from beyond, so she'll have to make due with her living friends."
  142. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  143. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  145.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "That is assuming I will be at this sort of thing for much longer..."
  146.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Ugh...and don't remind me of Coraline. I can still hear that damned laugh."
  147.  Netero approached the blue winged drakanite. Hoping he wasn't interrupting anything important. He wasn't really use to just walking into conversation so when he introduced himself his voice was a bit louder than need be.
  149. "Ah hello Ms. Ohtli! I had more lumber to sell ya if ya wanted!"
  150. (Netero)
  151. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  153.  "What about her un-living friends?"
  155. And that is when Loretta slowly and casually approaches the spectral entity of Ithaca. Huh. So that's what that frozen thing was that she saw in the mountains...
  157. "Also, while written down knowledge is good, nothing will ever beat the source of the literature. If you really did write such a thing down, then nothing will ever trump actually asking you how you were so effective at doing it. After all. Your experience is what makes you so knowledgeable in the subject, not your hand me downs."
  159. Their approach (and their speech) makes it quite evident that they miiiight just know far beyond that of a little girl. WAY too much at that. At this distance, it becomes quite clear that Loretta just might not be so little after all.
  161. "Also, Ser Artaghh is the most Honorable Knight I've yet to see. He should get the Imperial Honors from home, really..."
  162. (Loretta)
  163. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  165.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "A moment, Netero. I've actually been in need of building supplies."
  166.  Ser Artaghh would scratch his chin as he mulled over the ghost woman vampire hunter's words, chewing on his lip idly as he thought about it. Yes, a spear, he didn't have a spear! He had an axe, a longsword, soon a greatsword, but no spear! He should get a spear, that would be badass, and speary, and extra pokey too! "Aye, always liked spears myself! My brother in arms an' fellow enlistee William "Bill" Billson, the knight'a roosters, took up a spear as his weapon when we came off'ta fields to enlist in Dawn's legion. Tha' was.....twenty years ago now. Someone mocked his helmet once, said it looked like a chicken's fluff, so he had a smith hammer it int'a a rooster's visage an' took up the mantle wit' pride. He pecks like an ornery rooster wit' tha' thing, pokes 'tween armor platin' an' smacks a helmet ringin' if ye' ge' too close."
  168. The marshal would nod steadily as he crossed his arm over his chest, bowing his head to Ithaca with a warm smile of shared, brave service. "Ye' have my word, Ohtli will nae join ye' on the other side for a long, long time."
  169. (Artaghh)
  170. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  172.  Something strange happens as the small girl addresses Ithaca directly. She turns to face her, and her eyes burst into brilliant blue light. For a few seconds, it's very clear she's studying the girl in a way that transcends a simple stare. That blue light envelopes her body, though she shows no sign of any real hostility. Instead she simply says,
  174. "This is the realm of the living. You, nor I, truly belong here." She offers a hand, sighing softly. "I doubt you'll say yes, and I'm not terribly inclined to press the issue, fading as I am. But if you'd like to rest -- I would take you back with me. It's not so bad if you don't leave behind any real regrets."
  176. Those fierce blue eyes turn to Artaghh and judge the man in the same way. After a moment she says, "...You don't seem like the sort to make false promises. It's nothing but a small token of my favor, but. As I said, don't lose that spirit. A true knight is a rare thing in this world."
  178. Between her fingers she summons a little ice-cast snowflake medallion and flicks it over to Artaghh. While coin-sized object doesn't seem to do anything, perhaps he'd find some encouragement in the gesture. Or maybe drop it in a drink to keep it cold, that thing doesn't seem like it'll melt.
  179. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  180. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  182. "That they are," the Drakan echoes mournfully, sporting a brief frown. She dispels it if for nothing else than the sake of the occasion. Ohtli can mourn the state of the world later.
  184. "I will go when I am well and ready, Artaghh. I don't imagine that will be now, but...I won't live forever. I'm not even sure I'll be -here- forever."
  186. The Elder starts to turn in place as her spectral ally speaks to the little girl. She hadn't noticed it at first, but once up close and focusing, she can tell; Ithaca's words are just as much of a tip off too.
  188. "A woman from Dawn balking at the idea of an undead. I think I've seen everything now."
  189. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  190. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  192.  "Eh?"
  194. The sudden ignition of light actually spooked them. For a moment? Loretta assumed that Ithaca would start blasting beams of light from her eyes and turn into some sort of massive banshee like the stories dictate, trying to take someone back into the realm of the dead. Nevertheless, the girl was visibly spooked and while they were holding their trauma kit in hand? They did their best not to be buckled by the dead!
  196. They were failing though. They were failing pretty bad on account of the fact she moved backwards in a visible sign of fear.
  198. "I mean... that's true, but... I can't just go like that. I have a sister to keep protected. I'm not ready to leave just yet."
  200. BUT! Ithaca was honest. That was a good thing! Now the little one was curious about this woman's life (and death).
  202. "I've never seen a spirit in person though. Any chance I could speak to you at length some other time? You know, before you..."
  204. Now Loretta makes spooky sound effects and wooshing hand motions with her arms. They may definitely be undead, but they're also a child at heart. How do they keep themselves so well tended though? It's almost impossible to tell that they're dead at a glance...
  205. (Loretta)
  206. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  208.  Ser Artaghh would, boldly, shush Ohtli. That's right, he SHUSHED HER. This marshal had no fear when it came to making statements towards the Drakan woman he'd reverse adopted as his mom, especially now with Astaria dead and no longer around to do mom things. "Nonsense. Ye' will outlive me three times o'er if I can manage it Ohtli, tha's a sworn oath. An' ye' know me, I make good on oaths, even if I go'ta go to the spirit realm an' kick yer feathered tuckus back'ta the livin' realm fer family dinner."
  210. Blinking idly as he received the icy pendant in his burn seared palm, the chill emanating from it seemed to bring a bit of peace to the marshal's aching burns. It did not banish them, of course, but the contrast still drew a smile to the bald swordsman's face. Bending his knee, he would bow his head to the spirit with respect, clasping the pendant tightlybefore fastening it safely around his neck. The idle chill was pleasant against the burns and metal plating beneath his armor.
  212. "Then I swear here to carry on the torch of the ideals of true knighthood from ye', Ithaca Blackwater. May yer token remin' me in my darkest hours the importance of such things. I'm honored to receive it."
  213. (Artaghh)
  214. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  216. Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "..."
  217.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "After I saw my farewells, we are going to the fields over this. Mark my words."
  218.  Melancholy is a good look for Ithaca. Mostly because she's a ghost. But it's with that expression she nods to Loretta. "I understand. But, keep in mind. And don't tarry in this world longer than you have to. It's not mine anymore, and it's not yours either. We're guests, and all guests wear out their welcome eventually."
  220. That sad expression persists despite the smile that makes its way across her lips. The blue light fades out of her eyes and she says, "Ah, I'd be happy to speak with you. But I'm not sure I can do anything at length right now. I'd wager I've got only a few hours left before I fade away for good, and there's... one last thing I need to do. I just came by to greet Ohtli one last time. You're welcome to ask now, though."
  222. More of the sadness departs her expression at the knight's response. And she says, "I believe in you, Sir Knight. Just pass those ideals on. The world always needs more of it. And err, don't let me keep you. I'm not one for long goodbyes, anyways."
  223. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  224. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  226.  Artaghh says, "Oh righ', introductions! Funny tha' I wait til yer almos' gone fer tha'."
  227.  Esso purses his lips at Ithaca's words. Whatever reason Iosefka had for sending him to speak to her probably isn't worth her giving up her final hours to do. He turns, slipping away to head back to the prison.
  228. (Esso Naam)
  229. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  231.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "What is it you need to do before you go? Anything I can assist with?..."
  232.  Loretta says, "Oh..."
  233.  Loretta says, "... well... I shouldn't bother you during your last moments then."
  234.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "No, but thank you. Just one last hunt."
  235.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I wouldn't dream of depriving you of that."
  236.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And it's no bother. I made a pledge to try and help with whatever knowledge I could while I was here."
  237.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Do you need a sword to take with you?"
  238.  Loretta says, "It is if you've so little time left."
  239.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "No sword. I'm going to see if he'll come quietly with me. I think he might."
  241.  Ser Artaghh would rise from his kneeling position with a bark of laughter, bowing forward with a dramatic flourish of his bandaged right arm over his chest as a wide smile cracked over his face. "I am Ser Artaghh, Knight o'ta Green Hill, Slayer of the Swuisarme King, Mithril Paladin an' Marshal of Dawn. I'm the man tha' heads it now, an' I'll make sure e'ery young soldier, knight, an' paladin I train will carry on those ideals of yours Ithaca. Ye' have my word. I'm plannin'ta visit the spirit realm on dangerous adventures fer fun eventually, maybe I'll see y'e aroun'!"
  242. (Artaghh)
  243. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  244.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "...You don't you?"
  245.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Hah. I'll be waiting, then. And well met. I wish there were men like you around when I grew up in Dawn -- maybe I would have stayed."
  246.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And yeah. That guy. "
  247.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...I wish he'd leave. I have my doubts."
  248.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I wish they'd all leave."
  249.  Loretta asks, "...???"
  250.  Eztli appeared, for a moment he looked stressed. Then he looked confused. Then iit was somewhere between confused and concerned.
  251. (Eztli)
  252. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  254.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I think asking an old friend to leave with me is going to be easier than making a vampire die with me"
  255.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "But, we'll see."
  256.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I'm hardly weak, at any rate."
  257.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "An old friend...are we thinking of the same person?"
  258.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "If 'person' can be used anymore."
  259.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Well either way. Girl, if you had any questions, now's the time."
  260.  Loretta says, "... you've been beyond the veil."
  261.  Loretta says, "That cold place."
  262.  Loretta says, "... and you came back."
  263.  Loretta asks, "Why don't you want to stay here?"
  264.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I left a lot of things unfinished. Ohtli gave me a chance to correct that."
  265.  Chroma Zanders says, "Yo."
  266.  Artaghh says, "Oh Ithaca. If ye' see Astaria on the o'er side....tell 'er I miss her, an' tha' everythin's alrigh'."
  267.  Loretta says, "That doesn't answer my question."
  268.  Loretta says, "Also... what Ser Artaghh said..."
  269.  Chroma Zanders asks, "---Hmn, is....that a summon perhaps?"
  270.  Loretta says, "I miss Mother Astaria."
  271.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Of a sort."
  272.  Eztli gave a small wave! But didn't speak up. Whatever this was it seemed pretty important. Now was probably a bad time to butt in.
  273. (Eztli)
  274. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  276.  Chroma Zanders says, "How curious...."
  277.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "A shame everyone's coming around for introductions as you're leaving...You're sure you don't want more time?..."
  278.  Ohtli starts rolling up her sleeve.
  279. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  280. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  281.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Well... I did what I need to. And as I said, this isn't my world anymore. My business is done, so I don't mind leaving."
  282.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And I'm sure, Ohtli. It's tempting, but that's why I should turn it down, too."
  283.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Of course. I couldn't make you, even if I wanted to."
  284. Loretta says, "But... the world is beautiful."
  285.  Loretta asks, "Why not stay when you can still help keep it that way?"
  286.  Chroma Zanders says, "Ah? a spirit then. I don't know you ma'am. But, I do hope you made your peace."
  287.  Chroma Zanders asks, "I can't speak for how, or why you passed, but perhaps this time was a bit brighter, mnh?"
  288.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I have, thanks to Ohtli here. And nothing beautiful lasts forever. Flowers in spring or frost on a window, the fleeting nature of it is what makes it a wonder to behold."
  289.  Loretta asks, "And?"
  290.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "It's the same for life. "
  291.  Loretta says, "It doesn't mean that we can't come up with a means of preserving it..."
  292.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "If we preserved it, then it wouldn't be as beautiful."
  293.  Chroma Zanders says, "I won't debate philosophy so late in the night, it's bad for the soul."
  294. [23:03] Ithaca Blackwater says, "To preserve it is to deny its nature. The beauty of it comes from all of it's parts, the flaws and the wonder. "
  295. Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "We wouldn't appreciate it nearly as greatly as we do. Or should."
  296.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Keep going. I think I can feel Cho rolling around in her coffin...Or whatever else she sleeps in."
  297. Artaghh says, "Ya know."
  298.  Artaghh says, "I don' think Cho actually sleeps."
  299.  Artaghh says, "She jus' stands in the square wit' Dylerun in perpetuity. Sorta like a statue."
  300. Chroma Zanders says, "She just curls up in the town square...but I swear her eyes are open."
  301. Ithaca Blackwater says, "I can't believe that old hag outlived me. Can't run a prom to save her life."
  302. Ithaca Blackwater asks, "Right, Ohtli?"
  303.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...Spirits, that was a -terrible- night."
  304.  Artaghh says, "..."
  305.  Artaghh asks, "Prom?"
  306.  Artaghh says, "Wha'."
  307.  Chroma Zanders asks, "Prom?"
  308.  Chroma Zanders says, "Cho? Pfffft."
  309.  Eztli asks, "... What's a prom..?"
  310.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Someone got murdered, a slew of us got cursed by Belial..."
  311.  Eztli squints.
  312. (Eztli)
  313. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  315. Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "I don't have to bring up the vodka incident. Do I?"
  316. Chroma Zanders asks, ". . . .Oh?"
  317.  Artaghh asks, "Is a prom some kinda arena?"
  318. Ithaca Blackwater says, "I got cursed... and you- no, please don't."
  319.  Ohtli sloooowly squints over at Ithaca.
  320. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  321. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  323.  Eztli says, ". . ."
  324.  Ithaca Blackwater exclaims, "It was an accident!"
  325.  Eztli says, "Uh..."
  326.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I still have my doubts about that."
  327.  Chroma Zanders says, "It's usually a formal dance between people that aren't peasants, Artie boy."
  328.  Eztli asks, "Miss Ohtli? Do I wanna know?"
  329.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I tried to warn you..."
  330.  Loretta says, "I am... now concerned..."
  331.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl exclaims, "You HANDED me the bottle!"
  332.  Artaghh exclaims, "Oooh, a murder dance?!"
  333.  Loretta says, "... and am very grateful I learned back in Nostvale..."
  334.  Artaghh exclaims, "Tha' sounds fun!"
  335.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "But then I realized what might have happened after the fact."
  336.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "'Here, Ohtli. It's been a rough night. Have a drink!'"
  337.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Blame Yue, he's the one who drugged them."
  338.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Then I'm suddenly flat as a board."
  339.  Artaghh says, "If ye' killed someone a' the dance Ithaca, ye'd have made a great date. Tha's how I met my wife."
  340.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "No. She drugged me instead."
  341.  Eztli says, "... Oh. That's what she meant."
  342.  Chroma Zanders says, "Yikes."
  343.  Eztli says, "... So that's how it happened."
  344.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I didn't on purpose... and she made a cute guy, for the record."
  345.  Ithaca Blackwater exclaims, "So it's not like it was all bad!"
  346.  Chroma Zanders says, "Oh.....It's one of -those- parties."
  347.  Ohtli grumbles, scratching at her cheek with a sole talon. "I -did- make a handsome man. I didn't appreciate it at the time."
  348. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  349. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  351.  Kenshin says, "Wake up chap."
  352.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "...Ugh."
  353.  Artaghh asks, "Wai', so was the turnin' Ohtli int'a a man nae on purpose, or the killin'?"
  354.  Artaghh says, "I'm confused."
  355.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "It wasn't on purpose...Maybe."
  356.  Loretta says, "... I don't know if I should ask more, for I am intimidated."
  357.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "The murder was on purpose, but I didn't do it. And changing her was an accident."
  358.  Ithaca Blackwater asks, "Err, yes. Anyways. Did you have any more questions?"
  359.  Artaghh says, "Gotcha, tha' makes sense."
  360.  Loretta says, "... I wanted to ask about the other side."
  361.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I had the greatest abs for a very short time..."
  362.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Like a washboard..."
  363.  Loretta says, "I was there for a short time and honestly, it terrified me."
  364.  Artaghh says, "Shame ye' have'ta leave Ithaca. Ye' seem like lotsa fun to hang out wit'."
  365.  Chroma Zanders says, "Weren't you there de--ah."
  366.  Loretta says, "It was really, really cold."
  367.  Netero exclaims, "I'm up! I'm just waitin for Miss Ohtli!"
  368.  Eztli resisted the urge to ask if he could punch the ghost.
  369. (Eztli)
  370. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  372.  Loretta says, "It was horrifying."
  373.  Kenshin says, "Lets go to the libary."
  374.  Kenshin says, "Shes busy."
  375.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Ah... thank you Ohtli, for giving me something good to leave on. And I suppose I'm used to the cold. "
  376.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "It's comforting, and I was able to follow the song of my star."
  377.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "You're giving me too much credit. You're welcome all the same for what I could manage."
  378.  Loretta says, "As you can probably tell, I didn't leave on a good note."
  379.  Karuka says, "Oki"
  380.  Loretta says, "But I do appreciate the offer."
  381.  Loretta says, "I truly, truly do."
  382.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I was stabbed in the back by my mortal enemy, so I wouldn't say I had it great either."
  383.  Loretta says, "I drowned on the vessel ship that was coming here."
  384.  Loretta says, "I won't get to experience a lot of things in life now. But I'm trying to make up for it."
  385.  Loretta says, "That's why I can't leave just yet."
  386.  Loretta says, "... honestly... it really would be preferable if you stayed."
  388. Artaghh says, "Loretta is one'a the brightes' minds in Dawn, she'll make it a be'er place in the Research an' Development department."
  389. Loretta exclaims, "I'm already in line to become Head Researcher!"
  390. Ithaca Blackwater says, "As winter gives way to spring, so must I give way to the next generation of heroes. Having a dead woman hog the role isn't good for anyone."
  391.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'd come back to swing my swords until my arms flew off...Could just go till I'm bones maybe."
  392.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And, congratulations. I hope you make good things."
  393.  Loretta says, "I mean... you don't have to hog the role."
  394.  Loretta says, "You can always just guide the next generation with your experience."
  395.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I don't. But people would look to me to act, rather than acting themselves."
  396.  Artaghh says, "It's nae hoggin' if yer a badass Ithaca! Jus' guidin' us in the righ' direction."
  397.  Loretta says, "You can certainly change that."
  398.  Artaghh exclaims, "Plus then we could have a new prom wit' ghosts an' skeletons!"
  399.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And that's what I've done the past five years. I've taught, and those I've taught I've trusted the future to."
  400.  Chroma Zanders says, "I won't try to sway you. As a warrior, I respect your decision."
  401.  Loretta asks, "... why not stay another five?"
  402.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Let's hope they're reasonable..."
  403.  Loretta says, "I didn't even know you were here..."
  404.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Who did you end up teaching anyhow?"
  405.  Chroma Zanders says, "Forcing your beliefs onto others will have the opposite effect, nearly guranteed."
  406.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Too easily five more could be ten more, then twenty... I missed out on a lot while I was alive. It'd be too easy to justify."
  407.  Kenshin says, "Haha of we go."
  408.  Chroma Zanders asks, "How--tangible, are you?"
  409.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And if it's all the same to you, I'd rather not have that discussion right now. About 'forcing beliefs'. I've had it enough while I was alive."
  410.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And uh, tangible enough..."
  411.  Ithaca Blackwater asks, "Why?"
  412.  Chroma Zanders says, "Well."
  413.  Chroma Zanders says, "As a Spirit, I'd raise Helheim."
  414.  Chroma Zanders says, "Especially if I had a time limit."
  415.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I mostly kept to myself in life. Suppose it's not my nature."
  416.  Loretta says, "Snnnrk. You already do, Ser Chrome Dome."
  417.  Chroma Zanders says, "Behehe--of course. Though, at the end of th day, it's always up to you."
  418.  Artaghh says, "Well, if I didn' ge' a chance'ta meet ye' in yer life, I'm happy I go'ta meet ye' in mine Ithaca. Ye' seem like a class act."
  419.  Artaghh says, "If ye'd been around in Dawn when I was an initiate, I'd have had a crush no doubt."
  420.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "And you too, Sir Artaghh. Shame I wasn't thirty years younger."
  421.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I don't think there were many who -didn't- have a crush on her in those days."
  422.  Ithaca Blackwater asks, "Err- really?"
  423.  Chroma Zanders says, "She is cute....How interesting."
  424.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Ithaca, please. You were the top of the class and had a will of iron. Don't sell yourself short- you're already dead."
  425.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I haven't had a kiss in fifty-six years. Wouldn't have killed them to have brought it to my attention."
  426.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Guh... nevermind."
  427.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "You had a will of iron. Most of Dawn's men at that time were spineless."
  428.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "We both know this."
  429.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I'm not going to comment on that, some of them are still around. I'd offend your friends."
  430.  Artaghh says, "I'd kiss a ghost, technically nae cheatin'."
  431.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'd offer as a send off-but, then I'd be joining you. Despite my wife giving up fighting, she's still a demon when riled."
  432.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl asks, "Again. What are they going to do, kill you?"
  433.  Ohtli snickersnorts.
  434. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  435. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  437.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "No, but I wouldn't wish to sour the mood. I'd rather leave happy."
  438.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Fine. I'll just ruffle feathers when you're gone then."
  439.  Loretta asks, "How would you be able to kiss a Ghost, Ser Artaghh...?"
  440.  Artaghh says, "Good question."
  441.  Chroma offers a chuckle and then taps his chin.
  442. (Chroma Zanders)
  443. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  445.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "With his lips, I'd sure hope."
  446.  Loretta exclaims, "Try it!"
  447.  Artaghh says, "Bet. Tha's on Ithaca though."
  448.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "I might actually die from embarassment. "
  449.  Eztli says, "..."
  450.  Artaghh asks, "I mean, yer already dead righ'?"
  451.  Loretta says, "Snnnrk."
  452.  Ithaca Blackwater exclaims, "Well- you know what I mean. I'm... not good with that stuff!"
  453.  Loretta asks, "So?"
  454.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'm sure as a Mystician he could figure it out."
  455.  Loretta exclaims, "Better late than never!!"
  456.  Chroma Zanders says, "But he will most likely follow her out too."
  457.  Chroma Zanders says, "Amelie's.."
  458.  Chroma Zanders says, "..................."
  459.  Artaghh says, "As a novice of the mystic arts, I think I'm certified to kiss a ghost."
  460.  Ithaca Blackwater says, "Err, screw it. I'm a seventy year old dead woman and I haven't kissed anyone since I was sixteen. I might as well send myself off right..."
  461.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Well, well..."
  462.  Ithaca waves Artaghh over.
  463. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  464. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  466.  Loretta exclaims, "Success!!"
  467. Loretta gives Artaghh a thumbs up.
  468. (Loretta)
  469. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  471.  Chroma will remember this....
  472. (Chroma Zanders)
  473. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  475.  Ohtli folds her arms, turning to watch probably one of the strangest spirit send-offs in her long and storied career. Good job, guys.
  476. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  477. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  479. Eztli averted his gaze. This felt like one of those things you shouldn't watch.
  480. (Eztli)
  481. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  483.  Ser Artaghh would pace over to Ithaca with a respectful nod, fearlessly embracing his fate as he stood before the ethereal vampire hunter. His one eye trailed over their illusory form before he blinked idly, thinking for a moment. "So wai', are ye' like see through an' solid, or.....will I jus' fall through ye' if I try? Eh, fuck it." The marshal would shut his remaining eye, moving in for the ghost smooch without fear.
  484. (Artaghh)
  485. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  487. [23:30] Can spirits blush? It turns out the answer is a resounding 'yes' a manner of speaking. Her cheeks glow a little brighter. And in contrast to her reputation, she even seems a little shy about it. But she's not one to back down, either.
  489. To prove she's mostly solid she puts a hand on Artaghh's cheek, guiding him into the kiss with her eyes also closed. It's just a little kiss that barely lasts a second or two, before she leans back grinning.
  491. "...I expect that will be quite the story, hmm? A kiss from the Azure Valkyrie. And certainly the first man in Dawn worth it in many years." Then turns to Ohtli. She embraces the woman (which, like her touch on Artaghh seems more or less solid) and gives her a peck on the cheek, too.
  493. "I think this is a good point for me to depart, but. Thank you again, Ohtli. The memories we made are something that transcends whatever I am and whatever I was. They're partof my soul, and perhaps we'll meet again in another life."
  494. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  495. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  497.  Ser Artaghh was lead into the ghostly kiss without resistance, shocked to find that, yes, ghosts were quite solid. He'd be more shaken by the fact that his mental imagery of ghosts had been shattered entirely by this revelation, but he was just a bit too distracted by the kiss in question. It was a good one, no doubt.
  499. Taking a respectful step back as a light blush definitely didn't trail over the bald swordsman's scarred visage, he'd scratch the back of his neck sheepishly with a smile. "If e'er there was a ghost lady to make out wit', I know who'ta spiritmance. No doub'."
  500. (Artaghh)
  501. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  502.  A single salute as Chroma viewed yet another lecherous act from a taken man in the last few years, he'd feel like he might be alone in his solidarity to a single lass.
  504. Regardless though, he thought it was mildly sweet that she seemed to have some connection to Ohtli before making her way. A lengthy sigh would leave his person though as he dwelled on how he'd deal with his own mortality so to speak.
  506. As an undead Paladin, or a spirit in his own right, the man wasn't yet keen, though it didn't really matter now to him. He was alive, and things seemed to be going on with or without his input so, like usual, he'd be going with the flow.
  508. "Fair thee well, I'll attempt to stop his wife from having you spirit minced to stab you again...behaha! travels."
  509. (Chroma Zanders)
  510. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  512.  Loretta could only do one thing and one thing only and that was float behind Ser Artaghh while watching every little detail that just took place. Hell. She even took notes! After all, it was her egging that got Artaghh a nice and pretty kiss to begin with. With a childish smile and a look left and right? The girl began to jot down these details that were EVIDENTLY the makings of a fine knightly story. Artaghh now had to become famous, one way or the other.
  514. "I need to write down ALL of this in a book somewhere. If this isn't children's book material, nothing is!"
  515. (Loretta)
  516. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  517.  Despite the happenings of the continent, all the betrayals, the murders, the death and despair, there's a little slice of reprieve here in this moment. A small oasis of peace that she takes the time to relish.
  519. Ohtli hugs the spirit back fiercely, arms and wings both, and returns the gesture of a peck to the specter's own cheek. Artaghh's definitely coming out ahead with his full-on smooch. That's one for the history books.
  521. "And thank you for agreeing to return. It was a blessing to see you again, and another to have your help. I've no doubt in another place, another life, we'll meet again."
  523. In lieu of a bow or another deep nod, she steps back and gives the warrior on final salute; her fist taps over her heart thrice in steady, measured beats.
  525. "Until then. Rest easy, my friend. You've more than earned that right."
  526. (Ohtli Tezcacoatl)
  527. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  529. Well...
  531. This was a thing.
  533. He wasn't involved, but something about this was just, well. Awkward to be around.
  535. Like Artaghh and Ithaca he had a blush on his face, a hand at the back of his own head. It was pretty sweet, in a weird kinda way. At least the Ghost went out in an interesting way.
  537. Some part of him wanted to say something on the subject, the rest of him was still fighting the urge to ask to punch the Ghost.
  538. (Eztli)
  539. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  541. Ithaca's eyes scan the group before her one more time, though this time without any piercing gaze. It's simply a woman taking in one of her last sights before she's gone. Her eyes turn back to Ohtli and she says, "Rest will come easy this time. I've got no regrets."
  543. She nods, turns on her heel, and walks off with a simple wave. A cold breeze blows, and then she's simply gone.
  544. (Ithaca Blackwater)
  545. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  547.  Eztli says, "... Uhm..."
  548. Artaghh says, "Well, tha' was somethin'."
  549.  Chroma Zanders says, "10 years."
  550.  Kairi says, "...I'm glad I got to say goodbye to her."
  551.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...Agreed."
  552.  Artaghh says, "Ne'er kissed a ghost 'fore..."
  553.  Chroma Zanders says, "That's a long time to kiss the same person."
  554.  Chroma Zanders says, "I'm surprised I'm not dead."
  555.  Loretta says, "... you know, it probably would've been nice to go with her."
  556.  Artaghh says, "Sure we'll see'er again some day."
  557.  Loretta says, "Also, you're welcome Ser Artaghh."
  558.  Eztli says, "... At leas' she's happy."
  559.  Artaghh says, "Aye Loretta, tha' was impressive ghost wingmannin'."
  560.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "That's the goal, Eztli..."
  561.  Kairi says, "Thank you for letting me meet Miss Ithaca, Miss Ohtli."
  562.  Kairi does a short curtsy- if a bit awkwardly. She hasn't done one since Alvi died.
  563. (Kairi)
  564. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  565.  Eztli says, "..."
  566.  Loretta holds up a hand to Artaghh for a high five.
  567. (Loretta)
  568. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  570.  Loretta exclaims, "Success!"
  571.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "I only had so much to do with it. But for what I did, you're welcome."
  572.  Eztli asks, "Did she ever fix the autograph she gave Tototl?"
  573.  Chroma Zanders says, "Don't....encourage that, Loretta. You goon."
  574.  Loretta says, "Hee hee hee hee..."
  575.  Kairi asks, "-was something wrong with the autograph Mister Tototl got?"
  576.  Loretta proceeds to giggle like the schoolgirl she is.
  577. (Loretta)
  578. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  580.  Ser Artaghh would deliver Loretta a firm high five, nodding steadily as he touched two fingers to the ethereal chill on his lips. Huh, that was neat.
  581. (Artaghh)
  582. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  584. Loretta now sloooowly pans out towards Chroma with an innocent, child like smile in place.
  585. (Loretta)
  586. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  588.  Loretta asks, "What's wrong with being Ser Artaghh's wingwoman?"
  589.  Chroma Zanders says, "He's taken. You dingus."
  590.  Loretta asks, "Pffft! SO!?"
  591.  Chroma Zanders says, "Lechery of taken people GETS PEOPLE KILLED."
  592.  Kairi says, "You do a lot that you don't get thanked for, Miss Ohtli. So-"
  593.  Loretta asks, "Also, why am I dingus!?"
  594.  Kairi says, "Thank you for everything else, too."
  595.  Chroma Zanders says, "Bah..."
  596.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "...You're welcome, Kairi. I do what I can."
  597.  Kairi says, "Also-"
  598.  Kairi asks, "How are you feeling?"
  599.  Loretta exclaims, "That was emotionally uplifting to watch. And fun too!"
  600.  Loretta says, "I should fly back to Dawn though."
  601.  Eztli slowly stood up, glancing back just to make sure the coast was clear. Weird thing, considering he literally saw her walk off.
  603. But that was beside the point, he offered a nod towards Kairi. "... Yeah. You two seemed pretty close... Y'alright..?"
  604. (Eztli)
  605. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  607.  Chroma Zanders says, "Yeah yeah."
  608.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "My sleep's been better. Thank you for that."
  609.  Kairi says, "Good, good good. I'll- leave you alone now. Be well, Miss Ohtli."
  610.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "You too. I suppose I should check on that Dryad boy."
  611.  Kairi says, "-I was about to do that."
  612.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Come with me, if you'd like then."
  613.  Eztli says, "..."
  614.  Kairi nods once.
  615. (Kairi)
  616. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  618.  Loretta asks, "Ser Chroma. Ser Artaghh. I'll be seeing you both later, okay?"
  619.  Artaghh says, "I'm goin'ta..."
  620.  Artaghh says, "Jus' meditate here."
  621.  Artaghh says, "See ye' Loretta."
  622.  Loretta says, "I need a bath. Badly."
  623.  Kairi says, "Travel safe, Loretta."
  624.  Loretta says, "I smell of Stinnox poison..."
  625.  Chroma Zanders says, "Aye darling."
  626.  Eztli says, "I'll tag along. In case thiings go sour."
  627.  Loretta says, "Alright. Thank you Ezt."
  628.  Loretta says, "You don't have to worry though~."
  629.  Loretta says, "I've got good eyes and am plenty fast."
  630.  Ohtli Tezcacoatl says, "Right...Should be getting back to work. It was good seeing you all."
  631.  Eztli says, "... Uh... Seeyah guys."
  632.  Eztli says, "..."
  633.  Kairi exclaims, "Bye Ser Artaghh and Chroma and Loretta!"
  634.  Chroma Zanders says, "Seeya."
  635.  Loretta exclaims, "Bye bye Kairi!"
  636.  Loretta exclaims, "Let me know when the wedding's happening!"
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