Ms0 7

E.MCG SALVAGE CORPORATION HEADQUARTERS, JUST OFF THE DOCKS IN LEVIATHAN.

An old warehouse. The floor is littered with piles upon piles of rusted, broken metal and odd wood shapes. The remains of many a sunken ship and their contents. A few men are inside with wielding torches, cutting the larger parts of metal hull into smaller, more manageable pieces. At the far end of the warehouse is single, small room, with the words "ACCOUNTING OFFICE" written in front of it.
Inside: a single desk, with a mountain of paperwork covering most of it. A mostly empty pot of coffee takes up what's left of it, along with the boots of a driftin woman, who is currently leaning far back in her chair and finishing off the remains of a skewer.
"Alright… that's much better."
Lady Elizabeth picks at her teeth for a few moments with the skewers tip, then tosses it into the empty coffee pot.

"It's rather fortunate that the merchant I went to was having a sale. We got nearly twice the amount with the budget you allotted." Comments Elbereth.

"Wait was I suppose to pay you for lunch too?" Elizabeth blinks.

"I took the liberty of making all of these purchases using your accounting book, my lady."
"Speaking of, a larger chair should be delivered in a few hours."

"When did you get… right, when you decided you were coming along and also the quarter master." Elizabeth lets out a quiet sigh.

Elbereth tilts her head. "Would you prefer me not to serve you refreshments?"
"The rest of the warehouse could certainly use a good cleaning."

"Eh, whatever." Elizabeth waves her hand dismissively.

Elbereth nods before making her way to the door. "If I'm not mistaken, our next applicant should be here by now. Please, come in." She swings open to the door, to… nothing?

"Especially stealthy dwarf? No, an If-ys…?" Guesses Elizabeth.

Kit stops as she's about to rap on the door with her staff as it suddenly opens, then turns around excitedly, the doll at her heel just tilts it's head "If-ys? where?"

"I duno, I'm just guessin'." Elizabeth replies.

Elbereth spins around before doing a quick curtsie to Elizabeth. "Allow me to introduce our next applicants."

Lady Elizabeth slides her boots off the desk, so she can sit upright and actually get a good look in the door's direction.

"Awww" Kit moans, then perks up, turning back around. "Oh, hi, I'm Kit. and uhhh…" she gestures to the fox doll behind her "That's my brother Kat"

"Hmm."
Lady Elizabeth glances between Kit, then Kat. Then Kit, then Elbereth.
"Yup, those sure are some stuffed animals."
"Some kinda magic remotely controllin' 'em…?"

Elbereth makes her way to a nearby cabinet before removing the large model ship. She places it on the floor before smiling at the dolls. "Please board at your convenience so I can transport you to the table."

Kit looks about the office, and tries to hide her grimace when she sees the mess, and instead pulls the brim of her hat down a bit. "Remotel- well, kinda, in my brothers case" the fox nods as the two "board" the model ship, and Kit replies "Thank you kindly ma'am"

"Y'don't look like automatons, least." Elizabeth responds, non pulsed.

Elbereth makes her way over to the table and plunks the ship down on the middle of it between the two sets of dishes. "These two were very interested in your expedition, Lady Mcgunnery. You said you were willing to take anyone, so I upgraded them to the interview process."

"Nope, we're dolls" Another nod from Kat. "But we're also magical constructs, it's really more complicated then that, but it's the simple explanation"

"…Weird!" Elizabeth taps on her chair's armrest in thought. "Wonder what someone's gotta be thinkin' to make a pair of stuffed animals that're combat ready, seem to have personalities, and hankerin' for adventure…?"

"Just make sure to keep them away from the bear. I'd hate for some stuffing to fall out!" Elbereth exclaims.
"If that DOES happen though, I'm more than capable of sewing you back up."

"Oh, and Kat wishes to apologize for not speaking, he's not really in control of his own body" Kit explains. Another nod from the fox as Kit starts looking around, "Bear, where?"

"Uh, duly noted." Is about all Elizabeth has to say to that.

Elbereth turns to Elizabeth, "Lady Mcgunnery, do you mind if I ask a few questions?"

"No, by all means."

Kit sighs in relief at no follow-up question to that news, but still looks around for the bear. She then stops, as though listening to something, and giggles in embarrassment. "I see, no bear"

Elbereth nods before directing her attention to the dolls. "I can't help but notice you are wearing a robe and wizards hat. Are you perhaps versed in sorcery?"

"I am, yes, my brother has rudimentary knowledge, but enough that he can do some magical things, if not real spells… yet. Kat perfers his " sword " anyways though" Kit answers.

Elbereth continues, "And what brings you to the arcolith? I can't imagine a doll such as yourself is in dire need of money."

"Money, not really, curiosity definitely, and plus, we wanna know why the imperials are locking down the other ones, can't really think of a better way then to see what's in one that they haven't gotten their grimly mitts on!"

Elbereth nods before glancing at Elizabeth, seems she asked what she wanted to.

Elizabeth speaks up again at that. "I mean… lost tech of untold power, one would assume. Stuff they don't want people opposed to 'em gettin' their hands on."

"Did either of you want any refreshments? Or perhaps a new outfit?" Elbereth nods to the dolls.

KitnKat: "Yeah, but I dunno, must be some other reason too… Uhh, no thanks, but thank you anyways ma'am"

"…What other possible reason could there be?" Elizabeth gives a dubious look,
"'Cordin' to legend, they already taught us magic…"

Kit speaks up, hesitantly. "Oh, um, is it ok if I may ask a question?"

"Ah. Yeah sure, go for it." Elizabeth nods.

"… You wouldn't happen to have met a lovely lady, that uhh… looks like you, with the ears and tail, though darker skin, also knows magic?"

"Umm…" Elizabeth tilts her head, thinking.

"Driftin are the second most common race here at Leviathan. I'm afraid you may have to be more specific, dear?" Elbereth answers.

"…Probably a few? The cat ears," Elizabeth holds her fingers up to them, before making them wiggle a bit, "Ain't really that uncommon 'round here, nor is a darker tan."
"She been here long?"

"They're called Driftin?… oh, dunno, dunno if she's even here, we got lost from her a while back. Been hoping we might find her here somewhere" Kit looks a bit at a loss.

"Yep. Driftin'."
"Hmm."
"Y'got a name for her?"
Lady Elizabeth makes a 'where the hell are these things even from, not knowing driftin' look in Elbereth's direction.

Elbereth gives a warm smile back at Elizabeth.

"Mist- uh, I mean, Folis, just Folis" Kit responds.

Lady Elizabeth shakes her head. "Not a name I'm familiar with, but we'll keep our ears open, I guess."

Elbereth offers: "Many refugees have moored at Leviathan in the last few weeks. Many more could come. So long as your friend is not a friend of the imperials, no doubt they shall end up here eventually."

Kit smiles. "After what they did, I doubt Mistress Folis would even consider even being friends with an imperial"

After a small pause, Elizabeth adds: "Though y'might wanna be aware of tha fact that at least one'a the bigger ships was sunk on the way here, just in case."

Elbereth nods before checking off 'Not an imperial spy' on the interview notes.

KitnKat stares at Elizabeth… then responds in a slightly deeper voice "… I see" "Kat, don't do that!… No, it's my body… Yes, I know you hate that you can't talk though it, but we agreed, you wouldn't use mine to talk while we're here… Right, thank you…" Kit then looks at both Elizabeth and Elbereth "Sorry 'bout that, he wasn't supposed to do that"

"Uh. Not a problem?" Elizabeth's not really even sure why they're apologizing.

"You need not worry, dear. I offer my services to all that reside in our home, Leviathan. Whether you're Kit or Kat." Elbereth smiles gently.

"Anyway." Elizabeth attempts to get back on track. "Y'sure you're tough enough for acrolith delvin'?"
"I ain't really a magician, but it seems to me like maybe a stuffed animal wasn't the most durable of constructions one could possibly magic up."

"Worry not, Lady Mcgunnery. I have more than enough cotton stuffing on hand to restore any lost innards." Elbereth offers, helpfully.

Lady Elizabeth pauses. "Is… is that how that works…?"

Kit smiles warmly to Elbereth "My thanks once more ma'am" and is already nodding as she looks back to the Captain "that we are, I have a strong repertoire of healing spells, and can support a team in other ways, while Kat is capable of close quarters combat, with, again, rudimentary magics"

Elbereth smiles. "Of course not, but you don't want a torn up zombie doll in the group, do you? We need to keep it presentable~."

"We're also dolls, we can get around without notice pretty well, since, you know, no one plays attention to dolls"
"… except kids"

"Aha." Elizabeth shrugs. "Well, as long as ya think yer up to it, I suppose."

"If the bear were to throw them, they could reach very high places as well." Elberet looks oddly giddy.

Kit looks shocked at the suggestion, Kat just tilts his head, pondering things…

"I… suppose so, yes." Elizabeth doesn't seem nearly as into the idea.

"But, how would we get back down?" Kit asks.

"Ah. My apologies. Allow me to demonstrate."
Elbereth gets out of her seat before smiling. "Please keep all hands in the boat at all times. You will be dismbarking shortly." She takes in a large breath of air as she makes a lifting motion with her hands. The ship slowly starts to float in the air, drifting away from the table and to ground level.
[Rossa Aum]
Elbereth finally exhales as the boat touches the carpet on the floor.

Kit is suddenly attentive of Elbereth, watching her intently, while Kat is peeking over the edge of the model

"In essence, I am capable of making a person or object levitate and move in one direction at a time at a slow pace. This can be used to both get to and from high places."
"Please keep that one to yourself, however. We have one too many people calling me a witch in our company." Elbereth smiles.

"If tha shoe fits…" Elizabeth mumbles in Elbereth's direction.

Kat glances up to Elbereth as Kit is still staring at the elf, Kit then snaps out of her watch. "Oh right… that would work, yeah. Now, how d- Oooooooh, I getcha. Mum's the word!"

Elbereth: "Witches look old, Elizabeth."

"So do you, ya albino." Elizabeth snips back.

"What about the ones that don't?" Kit inquires.

"I am old. There's a difference!" Elbereth shouts in mock indignation.
"I'll have you know I'm in my early twenties on your age scale."

"Y'sure are yowlin' a lot for someone that brought it up in tha first place." Elizabeth responds, lazily.

Elbereth bites down on her lip. "You bring a fair point, my lady."

Both dolls look at Elbereth in disbelief. Then Kit pipes in "No way you're old"

"She's old as fuck, my little plushies." Elizabeth cracks a grin.
"At least a hundred and fifty."
"Probably closer to two hundred."

"Nuh uh, no way"

"Ya way."
"I think we still got a picture of her with gramps, gram-gram, and pops back when he was a kid…"

Elbereth shoots Elizabeth a look before she gets a devilish smile on her face. She moves towards the dolls and gets down on her knees smiling. "Dears, I have a gift for you. To ensure you safe travels in our lovely home, Leviathan."
"You like gifts, do you not?"

"Nope, can't be" Kat's just silently giggling behind Kit
"Oooh, gifts?"

Elbereth nods before pulling something tiny out of her apron. Elizabeth can likely immediately recognize it as a dog whistle. "Should any strays accost you as you wander the streets, you need only blow on this artifact. The ward will keep them at bay."
"Go ahead, give it a blow."

"Wooooow, ok!" Kit takes the whistle, and blows on it

Lady Elizabeth grinds her teeth together, before sliding across the table and yanking the whistle out of Kit's mouth.
"Only emergencies! Otherwise this will get you shot."

Kit looks in dismay at the Captain, then pouts "Fine, didn't seem to do anything anyways, but I guess that's part of the magic"

"S'not magic, it's sonic frequencies."
"Which I GUESS is like a goddamn targeted, wide range sonic attack spell."
Lady Elizabeth drops it back into the familiar's hands.
Lady Elizabeth then slides back into her seat.

"But the nice lady said it was an artifact, how could it not be magic?" Kit seems confused.

"She's gone a bit senile in her old age." Elizabeth explains.

"She's not old!"

"Literally over a century old."

Elbereth sighs wistfully. "And just like that you ruined the magic that comes with childhood, Lady Mcgunnery."

Lady Elizabeth: "They ain't kids, they're toys!"

Kat starts giggling agian, as Kit is taken back "Toys?… we're not toys!… Well, I mean, we are dolls, but we're not toys"

Lady Elizabeth looks exasperated. "Yer stuffed animals. Plushies. With cute lil pretendy weapons, lil cane for a wizard's staff, glorified tooth pick for a sword. Yer definitely magic toys."
"I mean. Not that there's anything wrong with that?"
"But that's like claimin' I ain't got any feline qualities."
Lady Elizabeth flicks her ears back and forth for emphasis.

"Or I lack charm." Elbereth nods.

Kit frowns "… You may have the qualities, but you're not a real cat"

"An' you are apparently capable of engagin' in mortal combat." Elizabeth nods in agreement.

"Same goes for us, we have the qualities of being dolls, but doesn't make us toys" Kit continues.

"I mean, ya introduced yerself as dolls…" Elizabeth shrugs for the umpteenth time this morning.
"But either way."
"…Yer welcome aboard. We're settin' out in about a week."

"We, uh, could help out around here if you would like, we can do menial tasks too" Kit offers.

"Hmm…" Elizabeth considers.

Kit presses: "… Maybe help tidy up in here?"

Elizabeth turns her palms up. "…Maybe; we can discuss that when we get back from the initial excursion."

Elbereth narrows her gaze at Kit. Is this thing trying to take her job?
Elbereth considers for a moment before nodding to herself. She would only have to re-triple her efforts. If she tried harder, then even this picky doll couldn't find something to clean!

"Ok then, guess we'll see you in a week" Kit nods.

"Take care." Elizabeth says, seeing them off.

Elbereth opens the door for the dolls before smiling. "Safe travels in our sweet home, Leviathan."
"I pray for your friends safety."

Kit waves with her staff, and Kat gives a clean salute as they turn and leave. "Thank you, and it's been lovely so far, bye!"


Elbereth quietly shuts the door before bending down to pick up the model boat. She places it back in the display cabinet.

After a moment, Elizabeth nods to herself. "Yup. Those sure were some stuffed animals."

"To go on record, Lady Mcgunnery I frontloaded the applicants. You're going to get some more… ordinary sailors now."

"I don't believe ya for a moment."
"Especially with as hard as ya were trying to ham it up all throughout that."

Elbereth gives a sly smile. "Would you believe me if I said ordinary in comparison, then?"

"I suppose all things're relative…"
Lady Elizabeth pauses, then grins before bolting out of her chair, past Elbereth, and out the door. "Speaking of, I'm gunna go ask mom if she knows where that photograph is!"

Elbereth watches Elizabeth run off before reaching into her apron pocket. She pulls out a rusty locket and pops it open with a remiscient look on her face. "Rather daring of her when she claims I can freeze people in place that are running away. I suppose I'll have to conduct the next interview myself if she doesn't come back on time. A shame, really. This one seemed like they knew a bit about the Arcolith…"

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