• Closed • Friends & Teachers

Pepper meets Vega & Arlo for dreamwalking lessons

Settled on the mountain next to Lake Lovalus, this city was founded by the Immortal Ilaren. The locals in this trading port are a happy, friendly bunch who deeply enjoy life, and the city buzzes with a near-constant atmosphere of celebration. Rharne is also home to the Lightning Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchants Guild.

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• Closed • Friends & Teachers

Postby Pepper » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:19 am

Morning, 87 of Ashan, 718
Rharne


It was the 10th break of the trial, and the sunlight was too bright after all the rains that had begun 10 trials or so ago. Pepper stood across the road from the Tio's Tea House, shifting from foot to foot in nervous indecision. This wasn't like her at all, and she was annoyed at herself as a result. She hadn't been this nervous when she'd gone looking for work the first time! Miret rode on her shoulder, she'd a basket on one arm, and her backpack was heavier than usual as well. When she'd told her aunt that she was meeting some friends at Tio's, she'd received a big smile and a fairly heavy picnic basket. Tio's, Saryu had explained, provided the most delicious variety of teas, but it was unfortunately short on the solid stuff.. And growing kids got hungry so quickly.. Her aunt had sounded so delighted at Pepper making new friends that Pepper found it easier to simply let her assume they were her agemates.

Had Vega and Arlo already arrived? They were to meet on the 87th right? Maybe she should have told them where she lived to be on the safe side.. What if they didn't come? She certainly didn't know how to find them in Emea..

Pepper took a deep breath and started towards the entrance, giving herself a mental smack on the head. She wasn't sure where all this anxiety and indecision and unsurity were coming from, and she didn't like it one bit. Agreed, she was pretty ignorant when it came to the whole dreamwalking business, but she was trying to learn wasn't she? And she always got better at things that really mattered to her, whether that took ten trials or ten seasons. Confidence substantially restored, she entered the gate.

The stone paved path curved through gardens in their full Ashan glory, and led to a building set a fair distance back from the street. An artificial pool had been dug to one side of the building, and small stands of trees could be seen in the distance. Pepper entered the building first, reasoning that if she didn't see the couple there, she could ask whoever was in charge about them, and if she was early, she could tell him to let the couple know she'd be out near the pool, at the picnic area under the trees.
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Postby Vega » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:26 pm

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"It's perculiar, is what it is," Vega said and quite meant, to the person who was serving them. "I mean, nothin' but tea? No food at all?" For the third time the waiter, a very calm chap by all accounts, explained that yes, just tea. No, no food. "But it's stupid," Vega said with her usual tact and diplomacy. "I mean, bake some cakes an' sell 'em, man. Yer missin' a trick." The waiter sighed, just ever so slightly. "It is a tea house, miss." Vega looked up at him from where they were sitting and she quirked an eyebrow. "I know it is. What's yer point?" He looked at her and his smile was rather forced by this point. "It is not a tea and cake house"

Vega looked at him and shook her head. "There's no helpin' you people. You know what? You go to a clothes shop, an' they sell make up an' hair accessories, an' combs an' all sorts of flimsy things that I still can't quite work out. You know why? Cos women are in there buyin' dresses. An' you know what goes with dresses? Make up an' flimsy things. They go with dresses. And cake goes with tea. But it's your profit loss. I'll 'ave a pot of seaweed tea an' you can thank me later." He looked utterly incredulous and then, with monumental effort, turned to Arlo for his order.

When he'd gone Vega maintained her air of disapproval. "It makes sound business sense to me, you know. Any'ow, it's nice here." They'd got here a little while ago, chosen seats by the pool in the garden, both of them preferring being outside, always, rather than indoors, and sat themselves down. The chap had come to take their order, and here they were. "I wonder 'ow the tea is," she grinned at him. "I reckon I could run a shop you know. An' if I ran this place, we'd sell cake. Did you bring food for yerself?" Vega looked at him and smiled wickedly, "I bet ya, if you'd married Mixiebelle McKnockers, she'd 'ave been a good cook. An' less argumentative. Oh, Arlo!" Vega fluttered her eyelashes at him in a dreadful over exaggeration as she gasped the last two words and then grinned. "If you didn't bring food, I can pop out an' get you somethin' if you want?"

Looking down at the pool, though, she was entranced by the fish, the mass of swirling colours in there. "It's right beautiful here." Was Pepper going to actually turn up, Vega wondered. She thought she would, the young woman had been earnest and very keen to meet up when she'd fallen into Vega's dreams two nights ago. Vega leaned back and looked at Arlo with a contented expression. "So, this winery place? Apparently, they've got a tasting evenin' comin' up an' they do a sort of package thing with the spa an' stayin' there. Apparently, a lot of Rharne folks get married there," her nose wrinkled like she'd smelled something bad. "But you know, it might be fun. It's my turn to pay, though, you paid for Cally's."

Catching sight of Pepper, Vega grinned and waved. "There she is," she added, probably rather unnecessarily. As the young woman approached, Vega considered that she really was young. Probably thirteen arcs at the youngest, but still. That was young. "Hey, Pepper, how're you this mornin'?" Vega smiled, obviously genuinely pleased to see the young woman. "It's right nice to meet you in the flesh. Pull up a chair." She looked between the two of them and then wondered. "So, Pepper. What do you think about this place and it's evident need to sell cake?"

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Postby Arlo Creede » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:30 pm

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While Vega argued with the waiter and came as close as could be to actually berating him, Arlo had sat back and observed without comment. But with a great deal of amusement nonetheless. He'd known her feelings on the lack of more solid sustenance, here at the tea house. And as it happened, he felt similarly inclined. To the extent that he'd come prepared. He hadn't told Vega that of course. It was too much fun watching her school the waiter on how to run a proper business. But seaweed tea? That sounded revolting, he decided. He had pretty adventurous taste buds and in fact there were a few culinary uses for seaweed that he'd tried already. But tea? It was going to far into the realm of new age and that sort of nonsense. "Green tea," he said when the long suffering waiter looked his way.

"That's telling him," he teased her once the man was gone, and then grinning, he reached into his sack. "I came prepared. Pie," Arlo added and stacked a handful of hand sized pies on the table that he'd baked in the fire, using the lids from his jars. Strawberry pies, and blueberry pies, either of them, she had her pick. There was a couple sitting nearby and what must have been a young husband with his wife noticed the pies but didn't know where they'd come from. The man grabbed the waiter's sleeve on his way past and said, "We'll have two of those pies please." Arlo snorted. If they were to do what she was suggesting, they'd have had a line of customers already.

But if she was going to channel Mixiebelle back in Scalvoris, he scolded her with an apparently serious expression, as if offended, then she'd need to throw in a 'my hero' or two along the way. But "What do they do at a spa?" he asked when Vega mentioned the winery, and after the returning waiter had eyed the pies on the table.. "And are you asking me on a date?" If she was, he was accepting. Then of course Vega waved, and he noticed that Pepper was there. Smiling, he waved the younger woman over. A woman, just, judging by the look of her. Not much different than he'd been, well, just an arc or so ago, but time had done a trick on him and it was hard to know for sure.

"Hello," he said and smiled when she joined him, and even raised a little out of his chair, just as his mother had taught him to do while she sat down with them. It's good to see you again. Pie?"[/b] he added with a grin, gesturing to the ones he'd pulled out of his sack.
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Postby Pepper » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:02 am

87 of Ashan, 718
Rharne


She didn't see the couple in the building inside, so she asked a waiter if he'd seen a tall couple among their guests. The woman was a red head and quite vivacious, she'd just gotten to here when the waiter interrupted her. "You with them folks?" He all but gave a sigh. "Well they are at the pool, that side," he pointed towards a side door, then continued, "I'll be by in a bit for your order and we do not have cakes." Eyeing her basket balefully he stalked away.

Huh. What was that about? Pepper wondered. Then moved towards the pool area as indicated. She soon spied Vega and Arlo sitting under the shade, right by one of the rock pools. The two looked much the same as they had in the dream, though Miret had told her that need not be true.

"Hello, " She smiled at them both, feeling just a bit shy. Depositing her basket on one corner of the fairly sized table, she stashed her backpack on another chair near her. When Vega asked her opinions on cake, "Oh so that's why the waiter was snippy!" she blurted out, then sat. Smiling at the stack of pies Arlo had gestured towards, she indicated her basket in turn. "Well my aunt certainly believes growing kids need food!" She grinned in sudden mischief, "I didn't tell her you both done all our growing already.. " Leaning towards them over the table, she continued in a whisper, "I think only old folks who no longer feel hungry come here, or those that don't plan on staying beyond a break or so?"

When the waiter came by for her order, she asked for apple skin tea for herself. Then motioning for Arlo and Vega to look as well, she mumbled "Let's see what all is there," and uncovered the basket. There were some thin plates and spoons tucked to one side. The largest cloth wrapped package turned out to be bread pockets, stuffed with a spicy meat and vegetable filling. There was a small box of her aunt's signature spicy chocolate brownies and another of ginger honey cookies. A string bag of apples and a bottle of blackcurrant cordial that she knew to water down finished up the generous picnic lunch. "Aunt probably thinks we'd not be done till evening.." She said after a bemused pause at the bounty.

Leaving the decision of what to do with the food to the couple, she took out her dreamwalking journal and a pen from her bag, and kept them to one side. "I'm very glad we met up in the flesh" She took one of the blueberry pies from Arlo's stack and took a bite. "These are gooood! I didn't know you could bake things in a camp as well!" She smiled at both of them, "There's a lot I don't know about. That's why I moved to the city. Living at home, you keep doing most of the same things over and over again I feel. And then the parents don't really allow you to try new things either, if they think there's any danger..."
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Postby Vega » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:01 pm

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"I dunno, really," she'd replied to what they actually did at a spa. "But they've got a couples package for it. I think we get pampered. An' drink wine with posh folk," she said, with a grin she couldn't hide. And she very much was asking him on a date, she replied. The two of them deserved it, didn't they? "Besides, I think we should go on a date every place we go to. It sounds well nice. Cally's in Scalvoris, that chocolate shop in Viden. However will I beat those two?" Vega's eyes were lit with amusement as she added, "my hero." In fairness, she liked the idea of a date in each place - it would force them to see more of each place where they stayed, and it didn't have to be expensive or formal. "It's jus' another paragraph in the story, innit? Even naughty granitees go on dates."

But there was Pepper, and Vega invited her to pull up a chair, then queried the whole lack of cake. When Pepper, who Vega would have to assume was doing fine this morning, replied to her greeting with the comment about the waiter, though, Vega's eyes shifted in colour as she raised an eyebrow. Watching the young girl, she wondered at all the stuff she'd brought. A basket and a backpack, obviously she had a lot of stuff to carry. Arlo had brought pies, Pepper had brought a picnic. Was she supposed to have known and brought something, she wondered. That might be a thing, she supposed, a social norm or custom that she just didn't know about. But if that was the case, Arlo would have told her so. Still, she didn't quite like being the only person who hadn't contributed something to the feast being brought out in front of them - in her society you didn't turn up to a party empty handed and then drink the ale. There was a clear response that was appropriate to that, though, she just didn't eat any of it. When Pepper wondered about old people, though, or people who were only staying a break, she considered that Pepper had obviously not met Arlo in the flesh. A break was a meal and two snacks for him, these trials more than ever before.

Vega sipped her tea and closed her eyes in pleasure. It was a flavour which brought about a strong feeling of reminiscence in her, though she didn't share that she just watched as Pepper emptied the items from her basket. There was the food, a journal of some kind and a pen. Keeping her hands wrapped around her cup and enjoying the aroma of the tea, Vega explained the simple truth of things in her mind. "There's not much Arlo can't cook in a camp," she said with a slight smile. He was an astonishing chef and she was very proud of that. Along with everything else about him, in fairness. Sitting back, she listened as Pepper spoke about how she'd moved to the city and why. Her parents were protective, it seemed, wanting to keep their daughter out of danger. The daughter didn't want to be protected and so had moved to live with her aunt.

If there was one thing Vega understood it was that family were complicated; everyone's situation was different, though she imagined that Arlo could empathise more than she could, having grown up outside of the city of Rharne in one of the farms near here; and was probably about Pepper's age when he left, come to think of it. There was no doubt, though, that Pepper had questions and she was sure that she'd get to asking them. "Is that your dream journal?" Vega wondered. Arlo kept one, had done almost all his life.

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Postby Arlo Creede » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:51 pm

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"Hello. It's good to see you again," Arlo said with a smile when Pepper arrived with her basket. And just like his mother had taught him, when a lady of any age or station arrives at the table, he lifted out of his seat briefly until she'd planted herself in hers. That was quite the basket she'd brought with her, he thought when she sat it down. Not realizing yet that there was food in it. Then he'd have said she'd come equipped to feed an army. Or a follower of Cassion at the least. At any rate, her appearance didn't surprise him. Many dreamwalkers when they first started, didn't realize they could appear as almost anything they wanted in dreams. Those that did, often weren't very good at it in the beginning. As for him, he'd been at it awhile and still preferred his own face and form.

"That and more," he said vaguely when he picked up his cup of tea and took a sip of the pale green stuff. Done all their growing, that was, but he didn't think it was worth mentioning that he'd done a great deal of his, unintentionally that was, in the space of time required to swallow a shot of some strange colored brew. At least a pair of arcs in a flash, if not three. "Well you'll have to thank your aunt for us." It looked good, he added as he watched Pepper empty the basket. He hadn't really planned on eating while they were there. But being marked by Cassion? Well, who was he kidding? He probably would.

He thanked her for her compliments over the pies, and considered the rest. To be honest, he wasn't terribly familiar with parents not letting a kid do what they wanted. Jonas and his mother had never seemed to mind, as long as he didn't stir up more trouble than they could sort out. Sure, his mother scolded him. But Arlo tended to think that was scolding on principle mostly, rather than on practice. She'd hardly locked him up or tied him down.

This of course was not in any way a date. But what Vega had suggested before Pepper arrived? Of course just for teasing' sake, he'd scoffed at the idea of just tasting expensive wines and rubbing elbows with posh folk. But she knew him well and Arlo liked the idea of a date, the two of them. Even better in each place they went together. "I do think I've set a pretty high bar with that sweet shop visit. You're going to have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat that," he'd teased. But no question about it. It was a date.

As for the food and the lifting of Vega's brow, he wasn't sure of the source. Woman's mind, and all that. "I do alright," he said with a grin when Vega complimented his camp cooking abilities. When Vega asked if Pepper's book was her dream journal, Arlo put down his cup and nodded. "It's a good idea to keep one, if it is. It's not so much a matter of taking notes or remembering. It's more that, over time, you'll begin to notice a pattern to dreams. Even between people who've never met before. It's a good way to identify the connections and think about why that might be."
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Postby Pepper » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:26 pm

87 of Ashan, 718
Rharne


When Arlo had stood as Pepper approached the table, she hadn't thought much about it, but she realised a few bits later that he was treating her as.. a lady. Her heart gave a strange little swoop as a new feeling, equal parts surprise and appreciation, quietly made itself felt. She wasn't aware of it but the smile of greeting she directed at Arlo was just a tad brighter, and lasted just a trill longer than the one she offered Vega. An instinct, dormant till now, allowed her to outwardly go on as if nothing had changed, but it had, even if she didn't realise it yet.

And that was how she totally missed Vega asking how she was. She heard about the place needing to sell cake, and she said something in response, but then she was all there again. She explained about her aunt sending along the food, and even ended up telling the couple about how her parents tended to still treat her like the accident prone toddler she'd been.

She kept finding herself sneaking trill long glances at Arlo though. What is this about.. I don't sneak glances.. I'm not trying to sneak out past my mum here.. When Arlo talked to Vega, her heart gave another tiny swoop, this time aiming at the ground. It was strange how she hadn't ever realised what the perfect length for hair on a man was..

Pepper gave a sharp shake of her head and resolutely turned to Vega as she mentioned her dream journal. Maybe I need some coffee.. And then Arlo started talking again. Pepper closed her eyes for a trill before she turned her attention back to him, making extra sure her gaze didn't skitter away this time. This is getting ridiculous. As soon as we are done here, I'm going to have a talk with you. she mentally scolded this new part of herself who was making things strange and awkward for her at least.

Thankfully the seeker part of her woke up when Arlo began to talk about dreamwalking and she was able to pay good attention. Patterns in dreaming? Do you mean like how I so often begin my own dreams in the same handful of locations? She repeated the rest of the talk again in her head, but couldn't understand much of it. So.. If I dream of someone new.. even in my own dream.. they might be connected to each other too? Is everyone connected then?

Pepper felt very stupid indeed.. It was like one of those dreams where hearing was muffled, you could see someone talking, but not make out what they were saying. Still, she opened her journal to the last page, where she had tucked a few sheets of rough paper. I'm sorry.. I don't really understand. Taking one out and spreading it on the table, she looked away in the distance, then began to speak as she drew with light strokes on the paper. I think I should first tell you what I've understood and what I've not.. And then you both can tell me what I've got wrong and what I'm missing..For example I'm usually able to at least identify when I am in my own dream and when not.. She drew a handful of small stars near the centre. This, she pointed at the centre, is me. And let's say the next nearest ones are my family or the folks I meet often in waking. She drew lines among the stars, some dotted, some solid. and then drew a handful of small suns towards the edge of the paper. I know none of the suns. So if i see a sun in my dream, and I'm lucid, I tend to assume it's their dream not mine.. And i've stumbled there somehow. I can understand dreaming about people I know and vice versa.. but why would we dream of strangers? Are you saying they aren't really strangers?

Her eyes were an odd mixture of intent focus and abstracted thought, and it was clear she wasn't truly addressing the couple any more. I don't really understand how I can stumble into another's dream either.. I think maybe Emea is like sparkling lemonade.. She mused, tapping the pen on paper. The dreams are the bubbles, when they collide the dreamers can end up in the wrong bubble.. Then the issue becomes.. how to not just randomly collide into other dreams, but be able to seek out specific ones..

She came to herself and immediately apologised I'm sorry.. I feel like there's this whole huge world to explore, and I'm still stuck trying to reliably walk.. I don't even know the right questions to ask.. For example I know startling a dreamer is bad.. but why? Wouldn't they just wake up in the worst case? She turned to Vega, You mentioned there that it'd give you a headache.. why? Can you maybe give me one in my dream? Maybe then I'd understand..

She offered more paper and the pen to Arlo and Vega. Please.. Just assume I don't know anything beyond knowing how to be lucid most of the time, and being able to identify my own dreams..
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Postby Vega » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:19 pm

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Nella Creede, Arlo's mother, had raised him to be polite and respectful, there was no doubting it and his manners were always good. She, too, had been raised to respect people who were older than her and she struggled to call Arlo's stepfather anything except Mr Creede. Things like that were strangely important to the pair of them. Vega was not at all surprised, therefore, when he stood up as Pepper came and sat with them; she'd have been surprised if he had not. No, it wasn't Arlo's reaction which surprised her at all.

Although, on reflection, nor should Pepper's. It had been like this in the dream, hadn't it? Staring at him, her eyes all over him and when Arlo turned and spoke to her, Vega saw Pepper's expression and in that moment she knew. Of course, it made perfect sense, Arlo was without a doubt a handsome, well put together specimen of the male kind. More times than she could count, she'd seen women and men looking at him in a very specific way. And it made her feel proud that he'd chosen her, out of all the possible women in his life. That was very much true, it made her proud.

It also made her want to stop the people who were looking at her boyfriend and beat them to death.

Vega knew that she was not a reasonable example of mortality but the fact that the latest woman to fall foul of the brown eyes she adored was barely old enough to be out without a chaperone didn't really matter. Because she was also old enough to be married. Still, she was a fellow Jesine marked and whilst to Vega that just meant that her mark would glow as she pounded her stupid face in, it would be important to Arlo, she reasoned. Yet, Vega was conflicted. The kid seemed like a nice kid, no doubting it. Unfortunate name, called after a condiment, but there you go those were the breaks. But if she was a kid then what was she doing sniffing around her Arlo? And if she was old enough to be sniffing, then she wasn't a kid. Vega had experienced a very different kind of fourteen arcs old than most did, after all, she'd been raised on the oceans. So, what this was she was seeing, Vega really wasn't sure.

Breathing in, she recognised that she was more vulnerable at the moment, more insecure than she would normally be following everything they'd been through just lately. So, if the kid had a crush on Arlo, what was the bother, it was fine. It was fine. Just fine. Which of course meant that it wasn't, not at all. But Vega could play nicely, for Arlo's sake if nothing else. So, she asked if it was her dream journal, tried to show an interest and pretend that she hadn't ignored her, that she wasn't seeing her making googly-eyes at her fella, who seemed almost entirely oblivious.

And then, Pepper ignored her question. Again. For the second time and it took all of the self control Vega had not to slap her, there and then.

With Pepper focusing entirely on Arlo's words, those were what she responded to. Not a question asked directly to her, no. She just spoke words; lots of words, and started to produce a diagram. Vega's eyes swirled in silver, red and turquoise and a frown accompanied the movement of pouring herself another cup of tea. She may as well not be here, she figured and she tried to work out a way of getting out of here without making a fuss. Pepper was marked by Jesine and that meant it was important to Arlo, she reminded herself. Very, very calmly and with very careful movements, Vega put the pot down and she kept reminding herself of that. It was important to Arlo. It might be expected of him to teach people. Even people who were rude and he would find that hard, because manners were important to him; he especially wouldn't like someone being rude to her, she knew.

In the dream, the girl had been foolish and reckless and almost exclusively focused on Arlo. That was fine, she'd been the dreamer and Pepper was new as a walker, especially excited to see Arlo as another Jesine marked. However, that was in the dreaming. Now, in the waking, this? Yet. This is important to him. Vega reminded herself. He'd gone through hell and back for her just lately and this was important to him. Pepper might be young, it was true, but she was closer to Arlo's real age than she might think and he would never, never behave that way. It must be important, or he wouldn't be putting up with it any more than she would and he especially wouldn't put up with it in relation to her. So, she concentrated on pouring her tea and she seethed.

When, as part of what she was talking to Arlo about, Pepper turned to Vega and spoke, asked her why getting kicked awake in her dream gave her a headache, Vega breathed in and spoke, although she didn't look up. "I don't know why," she said and Arlo knew her tone of voice, he'd heard it often enough. As for Vega kicking Pepper awake so she could experience it? "An' no, I'm not doin' that."

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Postby Arlo Creede » Wed May 02, 2018 10:08 am

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A fair amount of the time, Arlo could be accused, rightfully maybe, of being oblivious to certain things. It had probably been the case much more often before he'd met Vega, more importantly after before they'd become a genuine thing. Still, there were some cues and some behaviors that he'd have needed to be blind not to notice. And stupid too. He was neither of those. And if he noticed the frequent glances, the batting of eyelashes, the nervous behavior, then certainly Vega would as well. He was immediately uncomfortable. Lyova though? The little blue diri was as aware as anyone. Maybe more so, given the nature of Arlo's little friend and protector.

The diri had been reclined in the brim of Arlo's hat, bordering on bored by the time the tea had arrived. But after Pepper arrived and had sat down, bringing her own diri with her, now more interested, Lyova had perked up and was now peering over the edge of the hat's brim. And her extra large eyes had become extra narrowed, darting between all the flesh and blood participants, and the other diri besides. As for patterns in dreaming, Arlo struggled to bypass a vague discomfort in an attempt to explain. "Sort of," he said, regarding connections. "There's a thought that all two legged mortals are separated by only six degrees. Who's related to who, who knows who, circles of familiarity that overlap at the edges. Six degrees in the physical world. It may be a pattern that picks up in Emea and probably is where dreamers are concerned. You'll begin after awhile to recognize that familiar faces and places reappear in the dreams of apparent strangers."

But some people in dreams were genuine, flesh and blood strangers, he said, then explained. "A lucid dreamer will know the difference but can also invent imaginary people. In the dreams of a non lucid dreamer, the subjects may be faces that they're familiar with either intimately or in passing, or they may be a complete fabrication." Really, there were some things that were impossible to explain that she would only come to understand through time and experience.

The discomfort continued and looking at Vega, Arlo smiled and reached out beneath the surface of the table for her hand to take in his. He saw, and if she was uncomfortable, so was he. "Here at the start, you should probably be focusing on the mechanics of dream walking. Most of what you're asking requires a lot of deep thinking. Theory. It's interesting, all of it, but it's a distraction. Dreams in bubbles is a fairly good analogy, and Emea holds more secrets than any of the three of us will ever uncover." Dreams were personal, but sometimes collided, overlapped, bounced off each other...or who knew? She'd learn in time, he added, and all on her own how to control which dreams she entered, which she did not, and when it was time to move on.

"For Vega to do what you're asking," he said with a deep frown, referring to the passing on of a headache, "would be reckless and damaging, Jesine blessed or not. Telling a dreamer that they are in fact dreaming when they're not lucid is an experience that can follow them when they wake, create confusion and even fear. It's not done," he said bluntly. But as for writing things down in her book, he smiled dryly and shook his head. "Knowing too much from the start, without the experience of actually having done, can do more harm than good. It's what your diri is for in part. To help guide you. To lead sometimes, and to protect you from mistakes that could otherwise be catastrophic for a beginner. Let her do her job."

Lyova however, had focused on all the glances being thrown round, and had tuned into the discomfort of not just Arlo, but Vega. Finally? Well she was a chatterbox with a big personality. Adventurous, mischievous, but also fiercely protective of her charge. And because her charge was tied so close in heart, body and mind with Vega, that protectiveness without a doubt extended to her. The only one at the table who could see or hear her besides Arlo here in the waking world, was the other diri. It wasn't going to still her tongue though. "Look here," she said in a singsong voice that sounded a little like small crystal bells tinkling in the wind.

"Look here," she said pointedly to the other diri. "Jesine matches a diri with her blessed to protect, instruct, guide and protect them. Not just physically either, but all of it. You keep them from making mistakes in Emea that is beyond their ability to correct while they're still learning. And you stop them going to places without thinking, that they shouldn't." It was a matter of pride, after all, for a diri to rise to the job of, as good as raising up a good dreamwalker. "It includes sometimes watching over the ones that mean the most to them. Like their family, their companions. Like Vega," Lyova added with a fond glance at the redhead seated next to Arlo, who turned to whisper in Vega's ear. "It's Lyova. Somebody's getting an earful," he teased. "She's been making eyes the whole time. She's young and it's not so different than some trespasses in dreaming. Tell 'er to knock it off and mind her manners."
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Postby Pepper » Tue May 08, 2018 9:04 am

87 of Ashan, 718
Rharne


Pepper listened carefully as Arlo explained about the hypothetical six connections that separated all individuals in the physical world, nodding to show she was following along. On the face of it, it sounded preposterous, but she supposed it could be true, especially if one included everyone they were acquainted with, however distantly. It seemed it would be useful to start keeping track of the new people she dreamed about too? She didn't like to exclusively rely on her memory for such things, but she wondered if this wasn't a case of taking on work without even knowing if it'd be useful..

It seemed like she'd just have to trust she and Miret would know about things as needed, at least as regards dreamwalking. She nodded once Arlo finished his explanations, All right. and tried not to let her disappointment show. She supposed it was illogical, but she had had such high hopes that Arlo and Vega, and especially Arlo, would be able to help her with the whole dreaming business. I just find it easier to understand things if I have a framework to think about things I guess. I'll have to trust Jesine and Miret, and myself to some extent I suppose, that I won't end up doing something terrible through ignorance. We'll concentrate on practising the mechanics like you suggest. Pausing for a trill, she essayed a small smile at Vega. Miret tells me I often run without knowing if there is ground ahead. I'm sorry I asked you to do something that's taboo.

Her awkward and strange fascination with Arlo had receded to the background while her focus had been on the dreamwalking stuff, but now it started making itself felt again. Pepper felt nervous for no reason, and rather graceless. She fumbled with her writing supplies and even dropped her pen once as she put the journal and pen away in her pack again. She also, very late, noticed that both Vega and Arlo looked uncomfortable and tense about something. Vega, in fact, looked like she was angry.

Starting to feel a bit sick now, she mentally called Miret?



Miret had moved to perch on the back of the spare chair once Pepper put down her basket and pack. She had been in favour of this meeting, and Arlo and Vega had made a good impression on the diri. They were clearly much more experienced and had been pretty tactful about Pepper's mistakes. Miret hoped that the perspective of other mortal dreamwalkers would help Pepper get a grasp on some things she'd been struggling with.

It wasn't her place to question Jesine, but she had always thought Pepper had been marked too young. The girl was almost foolishly optimistic about things and only learnt better when the headlong rush resulted in an injury. It wasn't age as much as experience and caution that the girl lacked. So she'd recommended partially sealing the girl's dreamscape till she grew up some more. Only lately had Miret begun to completely unseal Pepper's dreamscape for a handful of trials at a time, judging and hoping that the girl was ready to start learning the more strange and dangerous parts of Emea. It would have been wrong to have delayed this any further. She truly had come to love the girl, and in addition to the guidance and protection she was honour bound to provide, she had vowed to do her best to make sure that Pepper retained that brightness as long as possible.

Swinging her feet from her perch, she'd idly listened to the talk, but she very quickly detected something off about Pepper's responses. She was sharing just a bit more about personal details than she was wont to. Once she began paying closer attention to the three mortals, it didn't take her long to identify the matter.

Honestly, Miret was more amused than worried at first. This was the first real instance that Pepper had noticed a boy (even if said boy was her age, and half again), and it was abundantly clear to Miret that Pepper herself had no clue why she was feeling.. unsettled. If Miret had been asked her preference for the kind of man she'd pick for Pepper to have her first crush on, Arlo would have almost perfectly fit the bill. He was much older than Pepper, was in a clearly stable romantic relationship with a capable and beautiful woman, was tactful and wasn't going to be around for arcs and arcs. Pepper had zero chance here and what wouldn't kill her would make her stronger.

Miret settled in to watch, if Pepper didn't wise up on her own, she'd clue her charge in private later. In the meantime though, Pepper's confusion and nervousness, and inability to shield both, were adorably funny, but also somewhat cringe-worthy. Maybe she should drop Pepper a hint... She looked at Arlo and Vega to see how they were dealing with this, expecting to see them fighting amusement, what she got instead was signs of temper and discomfort. Miret's amusement cooled fast. She was frowning at the two, wondering how they could be taking any of this seriously, when the other diri piped up.

Miret's personality was pretty calm, even though her form was fire. She was more the warmth of a fireplace with the blizzard outside and the comfort of a campfire in a dark night rather than the fury of a volcano or the destruction of a forest fire. By the time Lyova finished, she knew she would be making an exception in this instance.

Miret? Pepper's sending broke through to her, and she quickly sent a short sending to Lyova saying she'd talk to her in a bit. Yes love. I know. she tried to soothe her charge as best as she could. Things have become a bit stressed, and I know you don't know why.. Miret thought for a trill, trying to figure out a way that would still give Pepper and the couple a chance to be friends, she knew how much Pepper needed good people around her. Remember when Sylvie met Max? You are being her, only not as bad. And you've been ignoring Vega a bit..



Oh. Pepper felt winded. Sylvie and her family had moved to the village last Saun, and she'd gone through a brief but intense phase of infatuation with Pepper's eldest brother, Max. Pepper hadn't been around a lot when Sylvie had called at the house, but she remembered a few occasions when Sylvie had proceeded to ignore everyone in the room except Max. Her mum had laughed later saying it wasn't a big deal, but Pepper could very well recall the feeling of being invisible. She swiftly went red, then white. This was horrible. How do I fix this. She wanted to ask Miret, but that, she felt would be a childish thing to do.

Pepper knew she got too wrapped up in herself and wasn't very good at reading people, but she knew that Vega deserved an apology at the very least. She had been nothing but welcoming to Pepper and didn't deserve rudeness. It wasn't going to be pretty, but Pepper wasn't one to not own up to her mistakes either.

Taking a deep breath, and with her hands tightly clasping each other beneath the table, she looked up at the couple sitting in front of her. Her voice was low and shaky with nerves and embarrassment. Miret just told me I've been very rude.. It was hard to meet their gaze, especially Arlo's. What was her brain thinking, Vega and Arlo were clearly a couple, hadn't she been feeling good about seeing that in the dream! I.. I've been ignoring you and mostly been paying attention to you.. She forced herself to meet Vega's and then Arlo's gaze. Her throat clogged up with embarrassed tears, and she gazed fixedly at the food in the middle of the table.I'm sorry.. I didn't mean to do that.. I don't know why.. This was beyond hard and she was barely audible now. Should I just leave now? She managed to finish. She'd have a good cry later once she was home.



Miret turned to Lyova with eyes glittering with anger, You missy, are beyond rude, and certainly ought not to be talking about manners. Miret was trying her best to stay civilised, but her sending was choppy and sharp with rebuke. Do not presume to tell me my job! Pepper's a good child. And you should know that the approach a diri needs to take depends on the individuals personality and their maturity level. What do you know about her, or me for that matter? Miret paused, trying to keep her outrage in check and failing. And she's been making eyes has she? She didn't feking know she was attracted to him. She's a *child* and Arlo is her first crush. What's your excuse for acting all holy? You don't even have enough politeness to send directly to me and not let your mortal hear you trying to scold me. Lyova's anger finally ran cold, as she indicated Arlo and Vega with a nod I liked your folks honestly, and I trust Jesine to not mark anyone bad. Vega's been good about not letting her upset spill out in words too. But they and you have some growing up to do as well if you can't notice that Pepper has done nothing worse than been somewhat distracted. Also I know my girl, she's already steeling herself to apologise. You on the other hand, I'm not very impressed with. Doesn't your definition of guidance include showing them when they are being needlessly suspicious? If you or yours hurt Pepper... Miret's focus immediately shifted to Pepper as she began to speak.

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