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The Catalog

Postby Indigo » 10/14/2015 1:40 AM

The library seems to have been built overnight. It's not very large, a little brick building tucked behind a house and covered by a curtain of ivy, and the only indication that it even is a library is the sign, which is also quite small. Perhaps it was here before, and you simply overlooked it until now, although you have a strange feeling that this is not the case.

It's probably not safe to go into mysteriously appearing buildings, but you do anyway. It's only a library. What could it do to you?

Inside, the library is cool and dark; what windows there are have ivy growing over them. There seems to be only one large room, lined with shelves and with a few chairs gathered awkwardly in the corner. There's one lamp, on the circulation desk, and it's turned off. Behind the desk is a large newspaper, which after a few seconds is lowered to reveal a Yonyuu wearing what must be the tiniest glasses in the world.


Image

He meets your eyes for the briefest of moments before looking back down at the paper spread before him. "Is there something I can help you with? A magical artifact you wanted me to identify, or...I am rather busy, you understand."

He certainly doesn't look very busy to you.

"Mm, wait. I know why you're here." He reaches under the desk and presses something that clicks loudly, then pulls out a drawer and sets it on the desk. Inside is a line of little plastic cards, separated by plastic dividers. As you watch another card pops into existence.

"The catalog," he says, and the corner of his mouth twitches. "People who know people who know other people. One of the stranger devices I've been given. Eventually I imagine it won't fit in the drawer anymore, though that day is a ways off." He pushes the drawer toward you. "Go on. Everyone comes here to look at it, and almost everyone finds who they're looking for. Someone they know, someone they ought to know, someone who can solve a problem they've been worrying about or one they didn't even know they had. It's some sort of powerful magic. We've never been able to determine what kind."

You take the drawer with you to the table in the corner, and begin flicking through the cards. Somehow you wouldn't have expected magic to work in plastic. Most of the cards don't have contact information on them, but there are a few; people the catalog thinks you need to contact, maybe. If you believe what the Yonyuu says. It would be perfectly reasonable not to.
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Contents

Postby Indigo » 10/14/2015 1:46 AM

There are a number of dividers between the cards, each with a label in the same neat type as the cards themselves. Some are people's names, or so it seems, though in a few cases those people don't have cards of their own. Others must be organizations, some with very odd names. One even refers to the library you are in. None of them mention you, which is probably for the best.
--

There's an extra divider in the front with four symbols printed on it which you've seen in a few places before. What they have to do with the catalog, you can't imagine.
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The Library

Postby Indigo » 06/08/2017 4:44 PM

Alphonse Lemaire
Male Alliance Yonyuu
Age: 40
Size: Medium
Diet: Carnivore
Forms: Yonyuu
Based In: Various

He sits behind the desk and glares at you though dark glasses. He speaks to you as he would a child. He helps, but there is something insincere in it, a veneer of manners over superiority and resentment, and perhaps something more.

Alphonse became the custodian of the library at a young age, without ever intending to do so. Out of curiosity he stepped through a door that appeared overnight, and found himself in an enormous vaulted room, all dark wood and dim lights and comfortable chairs under bookshelves. It doesn't look like that anymore, of course—he rearranged things for the sake of his eyes—but the impression has stuck with him ever since, the library's true self.
He was as knowledgeable about magical artifacts as a nineteen-year-old can be when he arrived, and in the years since has become a veritable encyclopedia of the things. There are still things in the library he doesn't understand, but not for lack of trying; the curiosity that brought him to this life guides him through it to this day. He is part of the library now, an essential piece, and it cannot move without him. If he's outside when the location changes he'll be whisked away with it, and these days he doesn't leave much at all, to avoid such mishaps. Solo teleportation is very unpleasant when you're not expecting it.
The library treats him well and provides him with all the knowledge he could ever want, and he is haughty and demanding because, he says, this places him above those the library has not chosen. He believes it, some of the time, though he'll make exceptions where he can—Roderick was chosen by Alphonse, and that's basically the same as the library doing it—and rationalize them away so they don't interfere. And he watches the library's visitors leave, and return to their lives and the world outside, and there is something of envy in his gaze. But never expect him to acknowledge it.
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The Library

Postby Indigo » 06/21/2017 4:31 PM

Roderick Hodges
Male Biolune Rollaby
Age: 24
Size: Small
Diet: Saccharovore
Forms: Rollaby
Based In: Various

He is always there when you need him with a helping hand and a genuine smile, appearing behind you with exactly the book you wanted without having to be asked. He overflows with jokes and kind words, and his grin is infectious, when you can coax it out.

Roderick may well be the first person ever to choose the library, instead of the other way around. He'd always had an interest in singular magical objects, had in fact devoted his academic career to learning about them, and though the library appeared to him the way it does to anyone he was fully informed when he decided to walk in. The library does not provide for him, though he sleeps on its floor and moves when it does; he has wages and groceries and something like a normal life.
His studies, though cut short by his change in career, have given him a thorough understanding of the objects he works with, and that understanding has only been improved by his time with the library. But anyone with the right books can at least come close; the real service he provides is of the customer variety. He is chatty and upbeat and knows how to read people, and has prevented the occasional errant patron from being entrapped by magical lures by careful words alone. He earns his keep. The library doesn't teleport him should it move while he's outside, because he's not truly part of it, and it only takes him with it when he's in it by its will. Should he disappoint it, he'd lose it forever.
Though quite popular both among patrons and the people he knows in his mundane life, he has a certain sense of inadequacy, showing itself in occasional pauses and swallowed sentences and quiet laughs. After all, he wasn't good enough to be chosen, not really; he's only managed to stay through force of will. It wears on him when he thinks about it, and so he does his best not to.
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The Free Associates of International Renown

Postby Indigo » 09/20/2017 9:17 PM

Kailar Montmoor
Female Shinzaroo
Age: 26
Size: Medium
Diet: Herbivore
Forms: Shinzo, Human
Based In: Sutterford

She looks at you with affection, though you have never met before, as she rattles off the list of benefits her company offers. Her hands are always busy, tapping the table in a stuttering rhythm when there is nothing for them to do. She doesn't ask you a single question.

Once upon a time there was a new recruit in an old army, filling people with arrows for wars she wasn't supposed to question. That was fine and dandy for a while, one must pay the bills and she didn't stand out enough to draw attention good or bad, but time flowed on and the wars got worse and she found she couldn't do what she was asked anymore. She was not allowed to leave, and so she died and, some weeks later, one Kailar Montmoor popped up in a small rural village and took a job as a stablehand.
Technically Kailar is on the run—she was in a hurry and her death was not incredibly convincing—but it has not prevented her from founding and managing a small, informal adventuring company. She keeps a record of people coming and going, jobs, pay; she even compensates people for tasks that went so badly wrong no one got paid. Despite all this she insists she is not in charge and refuses to take a leadership role even in FAIR's core group, which has been the same for a few years now, because they're not that kind of organization and she would never presume to give an order.
She is terribly empathetic and cares immensely about other people, but she's never felt the need to save everyone; she's a good shot but her real skills are administrative and there's not many problems to be solved by that. She won't hesitate to reject a job if it's not in her or her companions' best interest, though she'd never dream of telling any member of FAIR what kind of work they should be doing. She also tries not to take work that will bring her into the path of her old lord: that war she deserted from shows no sign of letting up any time soon, and the punishment for desertion grows worse every day.
Last edited by Indigo on 09/20/2017 10:18 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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The Free Associates of International Renown

Postby Indigo » 09/20/2017 9:55 PM

Gustav Braun
Male Observe Sabbit
Age: 26
Size: Small
Diet: Affectivore
Forms: Sabbit, Human
Based In: Sutterford

He never tells anything you can recognize as a joke, but he's quick to smile and quicker to laugh at others'. He often plays with an ornate throwing knife you've never known him to use. He says he doesn't gamble unless his life is on the line.

Many years ago Gustav had the beginning of a military career, pressed on him by his preternaturally patriotic family, which lasted roughly three days before he stole a general's horse and hightailed it out of there. In the interest of avoiding any familial repercussions—the legal ones didn't occur to him until much later—he turned his growing skill with magic toward stealth and subterfuge, and deeply unsettling powers of observation. Several years on he is an accomplished thief and occasional information broker, without any troublesome notoriety. Gustav is almost certainly an assumed name, but it's truer than anything his parents ever gave him, and so no one worth anything asks.
He met up with Kailar quite a bit later, shortly after her own slightly less dramatic desertion, and though he was initially skeptical of FAIR he quickly became an important part of its structure. Kailar may not be in charge, but Gustav is absolutely second in command, taking in and seeking out jobs and tailoring them to members' skills, and he certainly has no qualms about ordering people around. The one time someone was formally booted from the organization, it was his doing.
Gustav has a strong moral code, if one a bit to the left of most people's, and he has been known to insist on taking jobs everyone else considers unwise for this reason. Usually they've worked out, and when they haven't he's usually accepted the blame. He doesn't have much in the way of combat skills, preferring to avoid doing any violence himself, but he uses his magic creatively and his deduction skills are top-notch, which is enough to argue his presence to any doubters. These days he prefers to work with the core group, though, and will only go along on another member's job if one of his friends is also there. In theory he and Kailar aren't supposed to be gone at the same time, in case of administrative emergency, but they work too well together to honor that as much as they should.
Last edited by Indigo on 09/20/2017 10:51 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Indigo » 09/20/2017 10:28 PM

Aspen Wexler
Female Kindling Kuhna
Age: 34
Size: Small
Diet: Piscivore/Carnivore
Forms: Kuhna, Human
Based In: Sutterford

Her stance is relaxed, but there's something calculated about it, as if at any moment she could spring into action. She has a stern face and a habit of running a hand through her short hair. She leans on objects you can't see, and swears with wild abandon.

Aspen has what some might call an unorthodox relationship with religion. When she was barely a teenager she swore herself into the service of the local god Loilinar, generally associated with valor and heroism, and received a number of magical abilities and some rudimentary sword training in exchange for carrying out their will. This lasted about three months, and then she began to have ideological disagreements with Loilinar, not to mention grow somewhat annoyed by the frequency with which they asked her to risk her life. She had wanted to be dashing, not reckless, and she had many arguments with Loilinar about this fact. After a while they agreed to a compromise.
These days Aspen is more mature and a much better fighter, experience being what it is, and her relationship with her god is more that of a former student and teacher become friends than anything else. They don't exactly chat casually, but when Loilinar makes requests that's all they are, and she sometimes makes requests in return; they tend to have a fair bit of discussion about it in most cases, though far less than they used to, as both have changed over the years and they more often agree. Loilinar was strongly opposed to Aspen's involvement with FAIR, thinking it would demean her, but she doesn't hold with that sort of thing and did not consider it up for debate.
Her contract with Loilinar allows her to summon armor at her will, and this has given her the perhaps unfortunate habit of traveling everywhere in only leggings and a tank top; sometimes she doesn't even wear shoes. It makes people a little uncomfortable, especially in formal settings, but then so does having loud arguments with your god in public. She doesn't care much anymore what other people think of her. She has her own strong morals and occasionally clashes with Gustav over them, but for the most part they align, to their shared surprise. She takes whatever work the rest of the core group agrees on. For once she's found people she can really understand.

Lineage: Armel x Arden
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Postby Indigo » 09/20/2017 10:54 PM

Quinlan Henderson
Male Neowockee
Age: 24
Size: Medium
Diet: Sonusphagous
Forms: Wockee, Human
Based In: Sutterford

He always has one finger hanging out of his mouth, teeth sliding across it in a nervous frenzy. Sometimes when he speaks the voice is not quite his own and no one seems surprised. He is very careful to keep his hair combed over his ears.

Henderson had always intended to be a traveling musician, and had taught himself to play the guitar in preparation for this career. To this day he's very good at it and plays often, especially when he needs to relax, but it became more of a hobby once he discovered a more marketable skill, if it can be called one. By concentrating in a way he can never seem to describe, he can retain a sound in such a way that he can repeat it back flawlessly, even if it should be unrepeatable by mouth.
Originally he used this to perform, but some of the sounds he was given made him deeply uncomfortable, and he became more and more reluctant to take audience suggestions. It was during his last show that he discovered, entirely by accident, a heretofore unknown ability to weave his emotions into appropriate repeated sounds, causing the listener to feel them. He made the audience miserable, but at last he had options beyond this, and he came to Sutterford and signed up with FAIR in the hope he could occasionally be of use to somebody.
His talents are useful, but also extremely stressful; sounds he retains this way stick around in his head forever, and can surface at the worst times. Sometimes he even picks new ones up by accident. He is prone to anxiety but very, very good at hiding it, and even the rest of the core group sometimes fails to pick up on it until he has a breakdown, though these are becoming rarer as he learns to manage his emotions. After all, he is still very young. Henderson was something of a latecomer to the group and would not have been close to the rest of them at all had he not been catapulted into Gustav's affections by an impromptu guitar performance he put on to calm his nerves for the signup process. Their relationship took a while to get off the ground, given Henderson's slight desperation to make a good impression, but it seems to be here to stay.
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