Books and Bells

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Books and Bells

Post by Calista on Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:37 pm

The young mother had seen to the business that took her away from home and into downtown Defiance. It wasn't a long way from home but she still felt neglectful to those in Cleveland that she'd left. Today was supposed to be the day that she and Jessica spent time together. The young girl was very understanding about the change in routine but Calista still felt bad.

While she was walking downtown she happened to walk by a shop that caught her interest. The name was the first eye catching thing about it and it caused her to investigate more. From the little that she could see from the storefront windows Calista was absolutely certain that she could find something for Jessica here to make everything up to her. The young woman adjusted the child that was held comfortably in a sling over her shoulder and entered the shop.

Calista looked to be in her late teens. The youthful exuberance didn't quite match the child, the clothing, or the somewhat hardened look in her eyes. She was dressed in conservative looking clothing. A long tan skirt that was well complimented by comfortable looking brown boots and a polkadot tank top that had ruffles along it. Her long dark hair was pulled back into a french braid. The infant that she carried was small. The sling that she was wrapped in was purple in the soft way that all children's things are.

Upon entering the store, the girl started to browse the shelves. She paused on one that claimed to be about the supernatural. Curious she picked it up and made her way to a chair. She opened the book and leafed through to see what it had to say about werewolves.
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Emma Quinn on Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:54 pm

The book was one of general folklore, and while folklore tended to hit correctly in places here or there, the volume definitely wasn't an accurate description of Garou. 

Within moments, the girl undoubtedly got the feeling of being watched. From atop one of the shelves, she might notice a black cat with luminous yellow eyes staring sulkily at her. The cat, supremely skeptical of the Garou, remained in his place, scowling as only offended felines can. 

Shortly after that, a slender woman came padding down from the second floor loft. She wore a long blue skirt, certainly hand-made, and a simple white tank top. A vast assortment of bracelets adorned her wrists, varying types of colored stones. Around her neck hung a simple jade pendant, nothing more than a rectangular chip in a rich shade of green, and a silver-colored necklace whose pendant was three concentric teardrops. The woman wore simple brown gladiator-style sandals. She smiled when she saw Calista, her attention going to the infant that the girl carried. The Dreamspeaker's expression softened at the sight of a child.

"Hi," Emma greeted pleasantly, if quietly. The cat on the shelves leaped down onto the woman's shoulders. Surprised, she laughed and steadied herself, draping the glowering creature like a stole. "Are you finding everything alright?"
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Calista on Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:27 pm

Calista smirked at some of the points that differed from reality. She'd never put much stock in these books as a kid but she had to admit that there were things that were eerily true. Silver for instance. Her nose wrinkled and she looked up, matching eyes with the animal that was staring at her. The young Garou had as little rage in her as she could possibly have and still be one of Gaia's chosen. Oblivious to the feline's offense she lifted one hand and waved happily.

Her attention turned to Emma as the owner made her way downstairs. Calista's pleasant smile was turned to the woman. She laughed as the cat managed to end up on Emma's shoulders. "Hello. I am, thank you. You have seem to have picked up an adorable scarf there. What's his name?"
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Emma Quinn on Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:40 pm

"This is William," she answered, lifting a hand to give the cat's ears an affectionate rub. "He's a terrible old cuss that I think I inherited with the shop." Smiling, the woman turned and brushed her nose against the cat's. For a moment and only a moment, the sound of purring rumbled from the addition to her shoulders. Then, seeming to remember that there was a stranger in the shop, the cat twitched his ears and glowered once again at Calista. Emma grinned in a good-natured way and rolled her eyes. "Impossible, I tell you..." Laughing softly, she looked to the book that Calista had taken down from the shelf and nodded once she'd glanced briefly over the visible passage.

"Interested in shape-changers? I have several books down the row you might like, if that's the case. Let me show you," the kind shopkeeper offered. As she moved past Calista, she looked down at the infant and got a mildly besotted look on her face that some women tended to get when looking at babies. "What a little beauty," she cooed softly. Smiling at the young girl, seeming entirely nonjudgmental about the girl's youth, Emma wandered down the rows. As she walked, she pulled seemingly random books out a few inches by their spine for Calista to browse at her leisure. One was a book about the origins of werewolves, one was a book on French folklore, and one was a collection of essays regarding medical or psychological conditions that may have given rise to the "myth" of the werewolf. Lastly, she tugged out a book on South American shape-changers, a more anthropological and archaeological perspective. Reaching the end of the row, she smiled, touched William's head, and left the young Fianna to peruse.
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Calista on Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:06 pm

"Why hello William." The glare of the cat didn't seem to do a thing to discourage her. Calista grinned at his indignant look and when Emma suggested that she had other things to show her, she gracefully stood to follow. A proud smile filled her features as Emma paid attention to the little one. "Thank you. Her name is Mary Rose." The name was said with a motherly love. The little girl stretched and yawned, twisting just a bit in the woman's arms before falling back asleep. 

Calista walked gently behind Emma and started to pull out book after book. She became engrossed, not quite realizing that she'd been left alone to peruse. The books were scanned for knowledge that could be considered veil breaking. She didn't really have an idea of what to do with it if she found something like that but curiosity drove her. By the time she reached the end of the row she had decided that all four of the books had to come home with her. She grabbed them under her free arm and brought them up to the counter to put them down. Assuming she could find Emma again, she'd approach.
"Do you sell jewelry of any sort? One of my oldest is interested in gems and what they can do. I can never keep it all straight but if you have any sort of pendant for protection I'd be eternally grateful." The disconnect between her apparent age and the age of a child who would be old enough to be interested in such things didn't seem to register. Calista happily referred to her adopted kids as her own without seeming to care what others might think or assume.
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Emma Quinn on Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:24 pm

((OOC: Warning. Laura-post.))

Emma repeated the baby's name warmly, but she was polite (or reserved) enough not to reach out to touch the infant as though she had some license to do so. Instead, she just smiled, tugged out a few books, and wandered back toward the front counter. By the time Calista sought her out again, the Dreamspeaker had a ledger of purchase orders out in front of her and was jotting entries in an elegant, old-fashioned script in the margin. William remained on her shoulders like royalty, and his tail began to flick and curl as the girl approached. His change in demeanor was what caused Emma to look up. The sight of a stack of books under the girl's arm made her grin; she was always glad to see someone, especially a youth, take such an interest in books.

She removed the ledger from the front counter as she straightened up, listening to the request for jewelry. Hearing the phrase "one of my oldest" made her decide that the girl was either talking about students she had or siblings; it simply wasn't possible for someone with a face that young to have multiple children old enough to be even passingly interested in things more complex than teddy bears or mudpies. She took it all in stride with a smile that suggested both a patient heart and a deep familiarity with the subject of the mystical elements of gemstones. "Of course I sell jewelry," she answered warmly. "All made myself. Why don't you follow me upstairs?" Emma slipped out from behind the counter and headed for the way up to the loft. On the way, she stopped almost absently and grabbed another book off the shelves. She handed to Calista a text discussing the mystical properties of stones and crystals, then ascended the steps.

Once on the second floor, William vaulted off Emma's shoulders onto the railing and up on top of a cabinet of essential oils. He draped himself regally on the edge and watched. The Dreamspeaker led the No-Moon over to a large sectioned box with a galaxy of rocks in it. Exhaling to collect her thoughts, she bit her lips together and began to survey the collection. "Protection, you said," the woman mused. Her head tipped back and forth, and she half-swayed to a beat only she could hear before reaching out and snagging a handful of gems. Turning, she spread them out on a purple cloth to explain them to Calista.

"This is agate. The stone was given its name by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and naturalist, who discovered it along the shoreline of the river Achates some time between the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. It was one of the most common materials used in hardstone carving, and it's been recovered at a number of ancient sites that reinforce its widespread use in the ancient world. It was found at Knossos on Crete, if that gives you any idea about the prominence of this stone in times as distant as the Bronze Age. In a... less dusty and historical sense," she continued with a self-deprecating grin, "agate is a protective stone that attracts strength. It wards against bad dreams, and it protects from stress and energy drains. If you have an agate that has banded colors like this one here does, it will give you rich and varied dreams. They can also be used to harden gums and to soothe upset stomachs. An agate doesn't do anything to change emotion, but it helps with the acceptance of an emotion. If you're struggling, it helps to remind you that sadness or strife will pass." She set the stone back down on the cloth a little farther away from the rest to differentiate it, then picked up another stone.

"This is red jasper. Green jasper was used to make bow drills, which are ancient tools that were used for starting fires as well as for primitive wood-working and even dentistry, which is really pretty horrifying when you think about it. I've got a book on Neolithic archaeology somewhere downstairs..." The woman's focus appeared to drift as she searched her mental inventory of her shop trying to figure out where the aforementioned volume might be. Shaking herself, she returned her attention back to Calista with a smile. "Anyway! Green jasper was used to make bow drills in a place called Mehrgarh, in modern-day Pakistan, between the 4th and 5th millenium BC. It was a favorite gem in the ancient world, and its name can be traced back in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Assyrian, Greek and Latin. Jasper seals were found, once again, in the palace at Knossos dating back to about 1800 B.C. Nowadays, the term 'jasper' is restricted to opaque quartz, but in ancient times, iaspis (the Greek name for the stone) was a very translucent stone. It was often distinctly green, like emeralds. This color of jasper is a strong protection gemstone. It wards against hazards of the night. It's very stable, and it fends off things that aren't good for you. Red Jasper eases emotional stresses, and it can give you the courage to speak out and develop personal independence. It balances the energies in the body, both physical and emotional. This sounds like it would be a really good fit for what you're looking for." Emma set the stone down away from the rest and picked up a third. 

"This is tiger's eye. This is a stone more for the mind rather than the body. It grants insight and brings luck and protection. When used to focus the mind, it will bring feelings of oneness and a more directness in thoughts. It'll help you be aware of your own needs in relation to the needs of others." Another one of those charming, self-deprecating smiles. "I've worn this stone often, and it's a good little touchstone, a reminder not to forget myself. But, like I said, this is a stone for the mind and not the body, and I'm not certain that's what you're looking for. It's good all the same." She set the tiger's eye down.

"This," she continued, "is amber. You probably know that it's fossilized tree resin. Amber has been used in jewelry since the Neolithic period, and it's highly-regarded as a healing tool, and our buddy Theophrastus wrote about it in the 4th Century B.C. possibly the first historical mention of the stuff. The Greek name for amber was 'elektron,' meaning 'formed by the sun,' and it had a special connection to the sun god Helios, one of whose titles was 'Elector', or 'Awakener.' According to the myth, when Helios's son Phaeton was killed, his mourning brothers and sisters turned themselves into poplars, and their tears became the origins of the elektron, the amber." She grinned a little sheepishly and lowered her eyes, toying with the piece of fossilized resin. "Clearly, I could go on about the history of it. It's an ancient substance much studied and much storied and much revered, and it could take me all night to get to the mystical properties of amber, so I'll just tell you there's probably a book on it downstairs and skip ahead. In ancient times, amber was carried by travelers for protection, and for early Christians, it signified the presence of their Lord. Some Asian cultures regard amber as the 'soul of the tiger,' a symbol of courage. Egyptians placed amber in the casket of a loved one to ensure that the body would forever remain whole. Amber is good for promoting a sunny disposition, for promoting luck and success, and it dissolves opposition. Healers will use it for stomach, spleen and kidney problems, joint problems, and even for teething pain in babies." She set the amber down on the cloth and wrapped her arms around herself, smiling.

"Information overload... I can show you jewelry made from all of those stones, once you figure out which one you'd like."
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Calista on Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:55 am

"Perfect," Calista exclaimed and followed Emma up the stairs. The Ragabash looked first at the front and then at the back of the book that had been handed to her. She started to flip through it to read a few of the descriptions but when Emma started to give her a much more in depth lesson about the stones set out in front of them, Calista lowered the book and listened.

The last thing that Emma said in regards to the agate caught Calista's attention. If the shopkeeper was willing she'd pick up the piece and turn it over in her hand. Her face seemed to show polite attention as Emma described the other stones but she was lost in thinking about sadness and strife and how one could be strong in the face of them.

The only thing that broke her out of those thoughts was the word Helios. Calista smiled fondly and looked more closely at the amber. The fact that Emma had quite a wealth of knowledge about the stones was impressive and she didn't seem at all bored by the ongoing stories. "I think you might have just talked me into buying two pieces." Calista grinned as if that wasn't a problem in the slightest. "I have a friend who holds Helios near and dear. So maybe a necklace made from amber and one made from agate for my daughter?"
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Emma Quinn on Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:24 am

Emma certainly had no objections to the young woman handling the stones. In fact, the Dreamspeaker seemed curiously attentive (though not obtrusively so) while the hands-on observation occurred. Sometimes certain pieces just called to someone. When the new mother expressed an interest in two pieces, Emma laughed softly and nodded, pleased. "Far be it from me to object to that. Here..." She led her customer over to a more proper jewelry display, pulling out a small assortment of pendants of amber and of agate. "If you see a stone you like better than anything that's already made, I can make that into a finished piece easily enough. It's more important that you find a stone that feels right and resonates with you than to try to settle for something that's not what you want. They won't work as well as they're intended if they don't feel right to you. As far as amber pendants go, I've got one or two here with some clearer quartz. I've found that pairing amber and a very clear stone tends to have really lovely results. Nothing catches the light quite like it, and I think that has to be the simplest way to honor the Sun."
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Calista on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:56 pm

Calista smiled and followed Emma over to the jewelry proper. Her hands slid through the chains and examined the pendants carefully, picking out the ones that she seemed to like the most. "These are all beautiful. You really have a talent." She smiled at the woman briefly before going back to make her choice. She eventually picked up one of the mentioned amber and quartz pendants. Holding it up to the light she grinned at the way that it dazzled the eyes. "This one is perfect."

The agate was a bit harder to pick out but eventually she decided on one that had a heavy amount of blue in it. "This one, I think. She should like it very much. Where did you learn to craft things like this?"
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Re: Books and Bells

Post by Emma Quinn on Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:56 pm

The shopkeeper smiled demurely at Calista's compliments, drifting toward the upstairs register for a place to lean behind the counter. The girl's choices met with approving nods from the Dreamspeaker. "I picked up a lot of different hobbies in school," she answered. "I went to a school that had a really heavy emphasis on the arts and on interpersonal communication and being a thoughtful part of society, so I learned a lot of crafty things, and I learned some other skills, too, but none that have been quite so easily-integrated into my business."
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