Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Time for Tea!

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    Korra
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    Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:33 am

    Time: Afternoon
    Date: July 13, 0007

    Astride a massive beast with long white fur, Korra was making rather good time for her journey out of the City. Aside from little adventures with Sokka and a few sparring sessions, she'd never made a trip out into the wilderness for a visit before. Especially not for a little tea and a chat with an undead man. The experience was a new one, but the young woman who was seated upon a saddle was hardly afraid. Hand gripping the reins snugly, she was leaning forward, almost standing on Naga as she ran. In her other hand was a paper with very strict directions for Mortis' home. Behind them, they left a small trail of grass that had been stamped and pounded by the polar bear dog's heavy paws. Dark brown hair, long as it had grown back since her haircut, bounced behind her in its usual three ponytails. A tug on the reins and Naga slowed, paws skidding as her long pink tongue lolled out of her mouth. Moist black nose twitching about, the polar bear dog sniffed at the grass. Her tongue flicked out to nibble at the blades, thick tail wagging happily.

    While her steed ate grass, Korra lifted herself up and shielded her eyes from the sun with a hand. Looking around, her eyes narrowed. Glancing between the directions and the landscaping, she nodded to herself as she identified another step. The grasslands were always interesting to walk through, a long and flat plot of land with grass and flowers all over. A couple of trees dotted the area, and a thick treeline surrounded the grasslands from far away like a bushy mountain range. Their destination was near though, as she had spied the road that had been indicated by Mortis. Plopping her behind back down into the saddle, the Avatar tugged upwards on the reins for a moment. "Come on Naga, we're close, I promise!" With a rumbling bark, she took off in a bound and as they approached the road, Korra made sure to keep Naga walking in the grass as they followed it. Without much shade to block the sun, it was probably too hot for her delicate paw pads.

    Now that they were closer, the polar bear dog trotted lightly instead of running as she had before. She was just happy to be out and about, eating grass and enjoying the breeze. Korra on the other hand, couldn't help but think about how weird this was. There had been a time when she disliked the two undead men. Aside from the genocide talk, the two hadn't made great impressions with the Avatar. Insults, taking control of her body...all in all, she hadn't cared for either of them. However, as time went on the two eventually showed a wiser side to Korra. Fear had communicated with her past lives, even given advice for becoming more spiritual. And just the other day, Mortis had given her advice on meditation! The two possessed crusty hard shells, but inside they were actually pretty helpful. Perhaps there was more to them then met the eye...which was exactly why getting together for a bit of tea sounded so great. Maybe she could learn more about them, or learn more from Mortis.

    Following the pavement path, they found a driveway made of gravel that lead to a quaint little house! One made of wood, and with a decently sized deck. Korra's mouth fell open as she looked around, not quite sure what she had been expecting for Mortis' home. There was certainly more nature than she'd think he'd want around! Little trees spouted up from the surrounded grass, which was untrimmed and wild. The driveway path continued to a huge red barn, whereas a cracked pavement path lead to the house! Admiring the light colored wood for a moment, Korra lifted one leg over Naga's side and dislodged herself from the saddle. "Sorry girl, you'll have to wait out here. Be good, okay? And don't hurt any of the animals here!" Either wild or domesticated. Fingers scritched and scratched beneath Naga's muzzle, the polar bear dog rumbling and nuzzling into the affection which Korra returned. Only when both were satisfied did Korra leave Naga by the driveway. Boots scuffed against the pavement lightly as she followed it, the sound eventually replaced by the plodding of her feet on the wooden deck. A fist was raised, and began to knock on the front door.

    Knock knock knock!

    Discreetly, she turned her head to peer down at the directions sitting in her hand, eyes scouring the details. This was the right house, yes...? It still seemed so...domestic and...farm-y to be Mortis'!
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:37 am

    He had been preparing for today since the meeting was agreed. The day after Korra had spoken with him in the sanctuary, the ghoul had realized that he had no outdoor furniture for having tea with a guest. Granted, when Livewire had come to spend the night not too long ago, she had been easy to accommodate. The couch was perfect for napping, and her nutritional needs were not so difficult to meet. Especially since she returned home the following morning with Fear, after being entertained with the animals and the garden. he had never seen anyone so active on only three hours of sleep! Regardless, the visit awakened the ghoul to a particularly poignant detail.

    His home was completely unprepared to receive guests of any kind.

    Granted, he stayed alone with his animals for the most part, and never advertised his residence willy-nilly. Mortis never expected any visitors to come by at all even if he had. After all, at the end of the day he reeked of rotting flesh on a fair day, and god help anyone with a sense of smell should the day be anything other than cool and dry. His body crackled and popped when he walked, and overall his host resembled more of a heathen effigy than a person. The fact anyone wished to even speak with him could be considered a mystery.

    All without even touching on the subject of his supernatural 'gifts'. Although, they were the one reason the ghoul supposed anyone would wish to speak with him in the first place, if his experience with the avian doctor provided any insight. Nothing but questions, very strange questions that Mortis tended to find suspicious despite Shaiamils' insistence that it was mere curiosity. It was there that the ghoul found himself relieved that the young Avatar was not the same way. Did she ask questions? Certainly, but she did not seem to pry so much. No asking about the details of their transformation, no inquiries about the poisons used or what it felt like to turn undead. And especially no incessant wondering about why his brother would ever wish to turn human for a measly seven days. He swore if he heard one more comment from him about how 'weird' or 'strange' it was that Fear wanted to become human for a week, to remember what it was like to breathe, or eat, or even feel the damn sun upon his face, he was going to start ripping out his plumage.

    After all, every single hair Mortis had to rip out of his own head rotted away with the turning of every new host. The doctor naturally, was his secondary choice.

    Regardless, the superfiend was inspired in a way, to make his home a little more accepting of guests. Or more, a guest. Out back behind the house, Mortis had salvaged some spare chairs from the barn and dusted them off. As for an outdoor table, the ghoul decided to pay a visit to the house across the street. With the residents having long since passed and no one came to claim the property as of yet, it made for the perfect place to scrounge up some last-minute supplies. The two who had lived there previously, the Simples, certainly would not miss that old table sitting around in the garage.

    Now, the ghoul had been waiting, the preparations made down to the tea they would be drinking. Admittedly he did not know what was more embarrassing, that he did not think to have any set up for potential guests, or that he failed to ask Korra what time would be best for her to drop by. Inevitably, Mortis decided it would be best to simply wave any doubts and stay home for the entirety of today. After all, he had no occupation that would demand his attention, and all chores that were required around the farmstead were accomplished by the time noon rolled around. Therein, the Avatar's approach effortlessly piqued his senses.

    Her thoughts were the only sentient thought for miles, save for perhaps the Biggs family and their cattle ranch six miles further down the road. Otherworldly senses detected her approach, both new to this part of the world. He could read how she felt this meeting was strange considering how she disliked both him and his brother upon their first meeting, their first impressions curdling her outlook on the both of them. Not that Mortis minded it at first, after all, she was very much alive, and his duty compelled him to want her dead for the sake of the greater good. To be hated or disliked was more of an expectation than a possibility. Though with his retirement, the ghoul lost far more than a mere job. He lost an identity. One that had stayed with him for centuries... Naturally a number things changed while he busied himself with trying to figure out who and what he was, aside from a badge and a cause. Although lately he admittedly was not forming anything all that positive in terms of his personal outlook, but eh tended not to linger upon it as he filled his time with chores and busywork to make the days feel a little shorter. Maybe through her curiosity to learn more about them and him about her, he would learn a little more about himself, he reasoned quietly.

    As she drew nearer, Mortis lead Samhain from the field and into the barn to wait while they had their tea. Unfortunately his favored steed was not favorable of visitors, especially the living. It would be safer if the undead mare was penned until he found a means to make her respect the mortal guests that arrived on the property. Angemort and Woolie were left to meander through the meadows, and though it may not have been able to be seen from where Korra arrived from, three acres had been cleared of the rougher overgrowth and weeded, transformed into proper grazing areas. However, the ghoul had not been blind or deaf to the polar-bear dog's travel either, and decided it best to bring out the kiddie pool that was usually saved for Woolie to frolic in. He may have lacked ice, but the water from the hose was still plenty cold, enough so that he figured a massive, furry dog steed would appreciate it as much as a lamb would. The hose was hanging over the lip of it, clear water gurgling from its spout when he finally heard her knuckles rap upon the front door.

    Evidently she was having a hard time believing this was Mortis' home, the place having too much life for what she thought the undead would enjoy. And, she would be correct, if not for a small, woolly resident that shared the property.

    It did not open for her, but when she next looked up from her directions, she would find a towering figure standing next to her on the porch. "Greetingsss, Korra." He hissed, giving a small wave. His usual overcoat was draped upon his person, and his hat rested upon his skeletal head. He glanced to her fluffy steed that waited at the edge of the property, which looked rather tired from the journey. "The way here wasss not too difficult to follow, I hope? If you wisssh, you may let your dog ressst in the back with usss. There isss a tree that givesss decent sshade clossse to the houssse, ssshe can sssit there while the pool fillsss the ressst of the way." Idly he considered letting the hybrid pooch help herself to some of the meat in the freezer, but that could be discussed later.

    A long, gangly arm gestured to the back of the house, joints creaking and groaning. "Come, I have the table and chairsss ssset. You may have a ssseat while I get the kettle ready, it will take jussst a moment." He offered. After all, while the incense he constantly burned was helpful in warding off negative energy and discouraging the appearance of shades and other psychic anomalies, he was uncertain if it actually did much to keep his aura from accumulating as it usually did.

    Behind the house, the chairs and table were set in the shade of the tree that sat a little ways from the garden, complete with a red and white striped cloth that was spread over the surface of the table.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:12 pm

    While Korra strode over to the door, Naga immediately pressed her black nose down into the grass. Snorting lightly as the blades tickled at her moist nose, the polar bear dog nevertheless sniffed out the smells of those on this property. A deep smell of death and rot seemed to linger on this land, from several sources. Aside from the random scent of passing grassland critters, the strongest scent that came from a living creature belonged to some sort of sheep. Young too. Nose still planted on the ground, Naga continued to trace a path through the grass as lead by her nose, eventually leading her to the fields where the sheep, and a dead horse, were grazing. Sitting back upon her haunches, the white creature stared at the grazing animals, head cocked to the side curiously. Never before had she seen a dead creature like that horse, still lumbering about and everything! Thick tail thumping into the dirt, she barked a hello at the two of them.

    Back with Korra, she glanced up at her directions and found that she was no longer alone on the porch. "Aah-!" The Avatar stepped back, both hands reaching up into the air as if to block her face, which was set in a startled grimace. Wide and panicked blue eyes stared back at Mortis before realizing he was the one she had come to see. "Oh, Mortis!" Her hands dropped back to dangle by her sides, and Korra let out a relieved sigh that melted into an awkward chuckle. "Sorry, I...wasn't expecting to see you there." Giving him a lopsided grin, she sized him up. "Nice coat and hat. It looks snazzy!" Funny, she didn't peg Mortis as...well, having any outfits other than his leather onesie suit. "Oh no, your directions were pretty thorough!" Giving him a curious look, she blinked back at him. "You got a pool for Naga? That was very nice of you." Unexpected as well, though Korra was learning to expect the unexpected from these guys. Whether it was advice, kindness, or even an invitation to visit.

    Following the direction his arm indicated to, Korra followed the path of the porch to walk around the side of Mortis' home. There, she could spy the barn, and not very far from the house was a garden! A proper little garden at that, looking vibrant and lively. Korra made a small noise, content and interested. Wooden constructs seemed to make for an appealing look, very woodsy. "What do you grow there?" A hammock hung between two trees, and beneath another tree was the table and chairs that the ghoul had informed Korra of. Before she could approach the wooden furniture though, Korra stuck two fingers in her mouth and breathed out sharply. A loud whistle rang through the air, and immediately Naga's ears perked. Leaving the other creatures to graze, Naga bounded over to Korra. Long pink tongue lolling from her mouth, the polar bear dog skidded before Korra, who wrapped her arms around her thick neck. "Mortis here made you a pool, Naga! When it's all full of water, you can splash and play it in. But for now, how about you join us beneath that tree, huh?"

    A few well placed scratches beneath the hybrid's chin before Korra released her. As commanded, Naga lumbered over to the shade of the tree and plopped down in the grass, rolling over onto her back and rolling about with pleased rumbles. Chuckling softly, Korra didn't waste any time joining her now. Settling into one of the chairs, she inspected the table, from its interesting shape to the lovely cloth that covered it. The Avatar lifted a corner of the cloth in her hands and pinched it between her fingertips, peeking at the underside. "I wasn't expecting all of this. Then again, I guess it isn't often that I visit with people who don't live in the inn." Flattening the cloth back onto the table, she pressed her back against the chair and crossed her legs leisurely. A gentle wind in the air, the sun shining down around them and lots of nature all around. "You have a beautiful home."
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:05 am

    There is a stranger.

    Woolie looked up from her grazing, the lamb's dark cheeks puffy with rich grass. Her nanny and grazing-mate, Angemort, was already aware of this newcomer to their humble home. A creature that large and lively was noticed the moment it came onto the property. Grass filled her skeletal maw as well, but with every chomp and chew, a few chunks of chewed grass fell out of the sides of her mouth. Empty eye sockets stared back at Naga, one ear flicking towards her, and then towards the barn as she contemplated why Samhain was not coming up to meet them...

    A disgruntled puff from the barn, which was closed up securely, answered her. Right, she had been locked up to keep from doing exactly that.

    Then an ear flicked towards where Mortis was going to meet the second living person, looking towards her master to deduce whether this fluffy thing, this Naga, was welcome on their pasture. Evidently he seemed fine with it, and by proxy, Angemort was fine with the animal coming to join them out in the grass. Woolie, naturally, was staring at the massive polarbear dog, transfixed with curiosity as she had never seen an animal like that out here before. It looked like the animal her uncles had called 'Dog', but huge! She remembered dogs, she had played with them when she visited Uncle Fear and Uncle Kev. Dogs were nice, dogs were fun. Angemort seemed to pick up on this as well, when she noticed the little lamb's tail wiggle and looking at her, then back to the massive visitor. The towering mare was a little more cautious than the lamb, but when the sitting animal gave a greeting bark, she could tell that it was not interested in trying to eat them like the wolves.

    Thus, there was a small pause before...

    "NEEEEIIIIGH!"

    A ghostly, haunting call carried over the meadow to the bear-dog, and possibly further beyond. Woolie hopped, her mouth full of grass as she was caught between enjoying the rest of her grazing and going to meet their newest visitor.

    Back at the house...

    "Aah-!"

    Korra's startled jolt was met with a slight tilt of Mortis' skeletal visage. Alas, after years of purging life from his world and from the Mega City, to be greeted with a yelp of a startled cry was not alien to him. Especially the raising of her hands in a defensive posture and the panic that was clear in her eyes. Unlike the citizens of Mega City One, she did not run away once she realized who came to greet her. "My apologiesss, I had not meant to ssstartle you." He rasped, his hands drawing up close to his chest in a corpse-like manner. "Merely a habit, that. Ha ha." An awkward chuckle for an awkward chuckle. "I wasss in the back filling the pool when you came by."

    He glanced down at his coat as Korra made her observation, evidently surprised that he had other outfits than his black leathers. "Ah, yesss... You have ssseen me in thisss before, actually." he wore it over his leathers all the time, while they were but a meager coat and hat, he felt less naked and conspicuous with them on. If it could work for Death it could work for him! Regardless, his directions were thorough enough for her to find him, he gave a small nod of approval. "Good. It isss technically Woolie'sss pool, but ssshe doesss not mind sssharing." He hissed, a claw raising to scratch at the back of his neck upon being called 'nice'.

    He had not heard anyone other than perhaps Kev or his brother call him that in a long while. However, while ruthless and horrifying were more apt descriptors for the towering superfiend, he did not mind being recognized for acting as a good host.

    As Korra started to walk around to the back, she seemed fairly interested in the garden that Mortis had planted. Though the seeds had been planted in the beginning of June, they were coming up nicely with his devoted attention. It was a nice little project to put his time into, given there was little for him to actually do now that his job was forfeit. "I grow a variety of vegetablesss, they were jussst planted lassst month." He rasped, seeming a tad proud of himself as his skull tilted up to look at the fenced in garden. A gnarled, clawed finger pointed to the trellis that arched over the middle of the garden, and if the avatar's eyes were keen enough, she could spot some green vines crawling up the side. "The blackberriesss are the newesst addition. I think by the next year or two they will have nice berriesss." Granted, they were a wild variety he had taken out of the woods, but given how well Woolie received a few samples on Father's Day, he was certain they would grow fine fruit.

    Korra whistled for her dog, and the ghoul -along with Angemort and Woolie- watched as Naga came bounding over. As in corpse-like fashion, the ghoul stood silently and watched the two, his arms tucked rigidly near his chest. Wait a moment... Splashing? Playing? Mortis's neck crackled as he looked at the dog and over to the pool. With a dog that was only a little smaller than his two undead horses, any playing around seemed unlikely. "Methinksss it isss a little too sssmall for her to play in, but there ssshould be plenty of water for drinking." Came an uncertain rasp. Maybe the fluffy steed could stick her face in the water if she liked, but it would be difficult if not impossible to fit the massive pooch in there. Regardless, the animal was content to run off and rest in the tree's shade when her master commanded it.

    Soon after the Avater went to follow her, with the towering carcass that was their host walking alongside her with even strides. The setup seemed to interest the young lady, as she felt the cloth once settling into one of the chairs. As for the stripey tablecloth, it felt soft in her hands, like a kind of cotton. Underneath the fabric, it's patterning was a little faded compared to the side facing out. "Oh?" He gravelled, not expecting his guest to say, well, that. "What did you expect?" He answered curiously. More importantly, how low were the standards at the inn that she did not think he would have a proper table and chairs set up! Did they all sit around on the floor, pouring their tea out of kettles like savages?

    The ghoul stood awkwardly near the side of the table, not wishing to take his seat just yet until he had the water waiting. "Oh, ah, thank you." He rasped, glancing around at the property. Though she would not rightfully know where he was looking due to the dark shadows in his eye sockets, to her he would look like he was just looking at her. The immense acreage was very nice, though he did not tend to appreciate it as much as he did tending to the garden or raising Woolie. his neck crackled as he looked back towards the house, and then to Korra. "I ssshall get the water ready, I will return in a moment." He hissed, before turning and striding towards the back door. With a soft creak it opened, and the undead slipped inside, shutting it behind him with a click.

    Inside, his stride lengthened as he quickly traversed the house, entering the kitchen and procuring a simple metal kettle from the cabinet and filling it with warm, clear water from the tap. Once he was satisfied with the amount drained in, he brought it to the stove and turned on the electric hob with a swivel of the dial, a red glow slowly flaring and dying to show it was indeed on and heating. With the kettle set, he turned came back the way he came. He was not all too fond of leaving the stove alone while something was cooking on it, but he was aware of how much time it would take for the water to boil and was confident that he would not grow too distracted.

    His emaciated form strode over to the table with long strides, and soon he claimed the remaining seat with a dull creak of his ancient joints. "The water will take a few minutesss to boil." He reported.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:32 pm

    Naga's furry white face stared out at the two creatures, tongue lolling from her mouth and a gleefully curious look in her dark brown eyes. On most occasions, encountering creatures that looked like moving corpses might have been more cause for alarm. Even now, the sight of rotten flesh barely covering bone sent a light shiver down her spine. That and it made her kinda hungry. But such flesh would surely be spoiled by now! Naga focused primarily on the smaller one, fuzzy and black. In all of her travels, the polar bear dog actually hadn't seen many like it! Leaning forward, her nose twitched in their direction while the black creature's tail wiggled. How friendly! Her own tail thumped even harder, excited. The undead one seemed more cautious, which was fine! Naga would probably give her some space anyway. Distance would be kept for now, a greeting bark had been given and so she waited for an answer.

    "NEEEEIIIIGH!"

    Whiiiine...

    Fur bristled, and Naga's great paws dug into the ground anxiously. Such a haunting sound, so...wrong. It was like something from the spirits themselves! The call sent quivers down her spine, body tensing as she became more anxious. Had it been an attack call? Was the horse trying to send her running...? The only cause of her neigh was a small hop from the sheep, who lacked anything that made her seem dangerous. No claws, no horns...no fangs, as the sheep seemed content to munch on grass. Perhaps that was just how she said hello? Taking it as a sign, the polar bear dog came closer to the sheep with large, lumbering steps. Her fluffy tail wagged slowly behind, as she came to a stop before the sheep. Plopping down to sit, Naga's head cocked to the side as she looked the little creature over. Her nose sniffed out the smells of her, leaning her head down to hover before Woolie's face. A few puffs of air huffed in the black sheep's face, though Naga remained smiling and happy. "Arrooo."

    At the house, the neigh drew the attention of Korra. If she hadn't already been startled by Mortis' appearance, surely that would have done the trick. It sounded like a spirit, though Mortis' casual demeanor made her shrug the sound off. Maybe it was just normal? Her awkward chuckle turned more genuine, shifting her weight onto one hip. "It's fine, no harm done! My nerves can take a little surprise or two." Being the Avatar could be havoc on your nerves, after all. Sneak attacks from the Equalists...oy. She preferred for the surprise to just be Mortis showing up to greet her. "Oh...I have?" Her cheeks flushed, embarrassed, as she drew her head back. "S-sorry I...didn't realize." Good job, Korra. The Avatar perked up, giving the man an uneasy grin. "It still...looks nice!" Thankfully he didn't linger on her mistake for too long, and she relaxed, her posture more natural and not so stiff and embarrassed. The flush faded away as well. "How nice of Woolie, I'll have to thank her for sharing." Perhaps with a fresh, crunchy carrot! "I promise, if Naga sheds in the pool I can help clean up. She loves the water." The summertime usually saw her taking the polar bear dog along for several dips in the ocean.

    Mortis' garden had definitely earned her curiosity, grinning lightly as she looked it over. As if anticipating for some ripe fruits and vegetables to pop into existence right before her very eyes! "I can't wait to see it when all of the food has grown. The South Pole didn't really have any gardens and, I don't think there were any in Republic City either." Much like Portal City, it was big, full of buildings without much room for vegetables to be grown. "Air Temple Island had a greenhouse but... I never really got to see too much of it." Everything had been so hectic, with air-bending training, pro-bending and the Equalists, there hadn't been as much time as she would have liked to just...relax. Blackberries in particular grabbed Korra's attention, remembering some food from the supermarket that had blackberries in it. From little pies to the actual berries themselves! "I never realized they took that long to grow." She admitted, turning to her host with a raised eyebrow. "Something so small, you wouldn't think it takes a couple of years..." Mortis had to have immense patience to put all this work into something that would take several years to be fully realized.

    Following Mortis' gaze, Korra and Naga both took in the size of the pool. It was definitely smaller than anticipated, but the Avatar was a great deal more optimistic than her companion. Grinning, she turned to the great hybrid and grabbed her fuzzy cheeks, pushing her jowls together as she smushed her face playfully. "Naga won't mind, will ya girl?~" She cooed, eliciting a happy rumble from the bear dog. Chuckling happily, she brought Naga's face a bit closer to press her nose against the large, moist one before letting the polar bear dog go. Korra's full attention returned to Mortis, giving him a confident smirk. "She's flexible. As long as she can get her face in, splash her paws, or sit in it, she'll be happy!"

    With Naga wriggling back first in the grass, Korra and Mortis made their way to the table. The cloth was quite soft, like a plush shirt, and the underside was faded in comparison with the top. "Hm?" The Avatar glanced up from the cloth and it dropped out of her hands to flop back down to where it was meant to be. She shuffled in her chair and considered how to answer. "Oh, well... I thought we would be in your house instead of out here. And if we would have been out here, I thought maybe it'd be like a picnic. But I like this way better! You've got a table, you don't have to worry about insects, and it feels great out here!" Arms spreading out beyond her head, Korra folded them behind her head comfortably. A deep breath cycled through her nose, chest rising gently as she closed her eyes contently. As intoxicating as the city could be, sometimes it felt great just to let loose and embrace nature for a while. Her legs stretched out beneath the table, crossing her ankles as her toes flexed within the boots. Yes sir, this was living.

    "You're welcome!" Korra's eyes remained closed, rendering the Avatar ignorant to how Mortis had yet to sit down. Only when he spoke up again did she open her eyes, lifting her head up to see him better. "Okay! I'll wait out here and...watch the table!" She rested her elbows upon her knees as her pose became more attentive, looking around the patch of land. Beneath the tree, Naga had apparently had her fill of rubbing her scent into the grass. Shaking herself off to get any extra blades off, the polar bear dog lumbered over to the pool and sat herself down in front of it. Lowering her head to the water, a long pink tongue lapped up cool water. Korra watched her from the table fondly, a light smile on her face before looking over as Mortis returned to the table with several long strides. He joined her at the table, sitting stiffly, and the Avatar's attention returned to him fully. "Sounds good. What kind of tea is it?" She asked, casual yet curious.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:14 am

    Fortunately, for Naga, horses being the overtly social creatures they were tended to be very vocal when they wanted to be. That behavior carried into undeath, as Angemort's ears pricked forward, empty eye sockets observing how the visitor shivered at her call. Evidently this Naga was uncomfortable with her presence, compared to the ever bubbly Woolie, who was content to graze right next to her. At least until something interesting came over to their small farm. The lamb's tail wagged once more, craning her neck to look up at her gargantuan grazing buddy. Oh, could she go and see the big dog? Could she? Angemort gave a shake of her head, an old muscle memory behavior from when flies truly were a problem and not just harmless buzzing in her ear. It did not look like a threat, did not act like a threat...

    I will go see the dog with you too.

    The elder's decree given with little more than a flick of her ear, the lamb looked back to see the big dog come over to meet them instead! She hopped, a tuft of green protruding from her little mouth as she faced the massive dog creature. Oh, this one was bigger than Metus! Angemort took a heavy step forward toward the polar-bear dog as well, her form dwarfing the hybrid animal easily. She was unable to sniff and snuff like Naga could due to her lack of a fleshy face. However, a similar deep huffing sound could be heard as the undead horse investigated her, and a quieter, quicker sniffing sound could be heard from Woolie as she tilted her head up to look at Naga. The lamb was so interested she nearly forgot about the grass that was still in her mouth! Warm breath puffed against her face, and she hopped again, stepping back before approaching Naga again. She had been sniffed at by the dogs at her uncles' home, but never one this big! At the happy howl, Woolie bleated through a mouth full of grass in return with another exuberant shake of her tail. Metus howled too, and sometimes Biddy!

    Angemort however, flicked her ears back briefly, uncertain if she liked that sound, but at the same time... It was a friendly visitor. Her weight shifted, a rear leg bending to dangle lazily as she observed the two. Though once the great beast had been called away, she returned to grazing. Woolie looked back at the dog creature once more as it lumbered off, before she decided to go back to eating her lunch. Maybe after a few more mouthfuls she would go and see the big dog under the tree.

    ---

    No harm seemed to be done to the Avatar from his unintentional startle, and the conversation gladly distracted her from Angemort's loud greeting to her transportation. However, he doubted any of the equalists smelled as strongly of rotting flesh as he did. Mortis' rigid posture began to relax a little as well as the laugh turned more genuine, but he still kept his hands close to himself, his palms clasping together. Alas, it was true she had seen him wear this before, as his skull bobbed in a small nod. "No harm done, I barely pay attention to one'sss clothing from day to day myssself." He assured, there were many other ways to identify a person, after all. Their thoughts, for instance. The youthful Korra, for instance, was currently radiating embarrassment. Though tempting to rib the lass, he abstained as a good host would... As good of a host as he could be, given he had never hosted anything before. "My thanksss, your clothing looksss nice asss well." He returned, fully aware that he was likely seeing what Korra tended to wear every day, but it was polite to return a compliment.

    Although, as for rewarding with fresh, crunchy carrots, the ghoul's tail gave a small wag beneath his overcoat. "Ssshe would appreciate it. Ssss... you need not worry about the pool, you are a guessst. I will take care of the messsesss." He calmly hissed, whatever Naga left behind could not nearly be as stubborn as cleaning up after an undead horse. The swift putrefaction demanded his utmost attention to ensure the pool was at its cleanest for Woolie to drink from. The garden, of course, was quickly a topic of interest.

    "I ssshall have plenty of food come the fall... Perhapsss even a little too much." Mortis unclasped his hands to tap a curved talon to his bony chin, looking from the garden down to the young Avatar. He had made a point to ensure he planted plenty of seeds in case he had made a mistake. Rasa's advice went a long way, most if not all of the plants he was growing were coming up nice and vibrant, and tasty, according to Woolie when she managed to sneak in behind him one morning. "You ssshould explore the grassslandsss more often, Korra. There are plenty of vegetable farmsss further out. Perhapsss after your trip." It was but a polite suggestion, though if the Avatar wished to come by to see the garden again sometime, he would not object.

    "Blackberriesss grow very quickly, actually, but they tassste besst on a mature vine." He rasped, his snout pointing over at the thorny bramble that was steadily making its way up the trellis day by day. "The peppersss by comparrissson ssshould be ready in a few more weeksss. I grow Banana peppersss and Tussscanss. They are sssaid to be mild, not incredibly ssspicy, but asss I grow them for Woolie... The milder flavor would be far kinder to her, I believe." The undead opined, though he failed to mention that the plants managed to yield more than he had expected. Keeping to the Little Daisy employee's instructions had certainly ensured that the peppers would grow abundant and healthy. Perhaps Kev would not mind taking a few off his hands when they were all ripe...

    He certainly was not going to let Woolie eat the whole plant's worth of peppers. Even if they were mild, treats had to come in moderation!

    As for Naga, evidently she did not need to swim in it so much as just be able to stick her face in or her paws. "Ah, yesss... Like a large water disssh, I sssuppossse." Dogs sometimes sat in their water dishes, right? The fluffy steed went to roll in the grass, with Korra sitting and examining the table cloth. Evidently the people at the inn tended to have their meetings inside, and outside meetings were like picnics. Mortis remained standing next to the table, looking from his guest to the house for a small thoughtful moment. [b]"Yesss, I had decided it bessst to have our tea outssside, asss my aura'sss nature doesss like to sstick to dwellingsss. I do my bessst to keep it from permeating into the wallsss and growing obnoxiousss in what waysss I can, but I would rather not risssk you falling ill." He admitted slowly, turning his gaze back to Korra with a soft crackle of withered flesh and ancient joints. "I am glad you are enjoying yourssself." He hissed, happy that his first non-family guest was not completely discontent with Mortis' setup. No insects, fine weather, and a table... Evidently he had effectively passed the Avatar's list of minute expectations in a tea-time visit. She was even content with sitting and waiting for a little bit while he got the water ready to boil.

    At the table, the chairs, while the perfect size for a normal human being like Korra, were a few sizes too small for the undead superfiend. His long legs hung out from them awkwardly, as he was confined to the tiny space like an adult sitting in a child's toy chair. The polar bear-dog was happily lapping up the water, and Korra was curious as to what tea they would be having. "Black tea, I picked up a lovely loossse-leaf blend a week or ssso ago." Mortis replied gladly. Though he lacked the ability to taste or smell, he imagined the tea tasted divine and had a very calming aroma, given the ingredients.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:31 pm

    Moist black nose dipped down to press close to Woolie's mouth, the polar bear dog taking in big sniffs of her lunch. It was grass! Not as tasty as meat, but Naga found grass to be very useful sometimes. Especially when she didn't feel good. She was almost amused by how small the sheep was up close, though the strange horse was actually much bigger than Naga herself. Any intimidation she felt soon melted when she heard the decaying creature sniffing, fur along her back flattening as her tail wagged from side to side. The familiar sensation was a relaxing one, as these two were as curious about her and she was about them! Leaving Angemort to sniff at her leisure, Naga's attention was squarely on the sheep. A particularly big huff caused her to back away as if startled, before returning to Naga once again. The hybrid creature pressed her damp nose against the wool atop Woolie's head. It was soft, though a bit scratchy on her little nose! Snorting, she let out her howl that was answered with a bleat. Large white paws pounded into the dirt excitedly, before the polar bear dog dropped down into a more playful pose.

    Alas, before they could properly play, Naga was called away from them. Giving the two a parting look, the polar bear dog bounded over to the tree to roll around. Once she had her fill, Naga investigated the pool and drank from it lazily. An eye stayed on the sheep and horse however, curious to see if they might join her.

    That was something Korra had in common with Mortis, she didn't typically pay attention to clothing. Especially in the more laid back atmosphere of the Sanctuary or walking around the Inn. One on one visits were when she would actually take in such details, partially because clothes were good for getting to know someone. They spoke louder than words, sometimes! "Thank you." Grasping the end of the pelt wrapped around her waist, Korra waved the fabric up and down to adjust it. "It's a pretty reliable outfit!" Good for fights, travel, casual stuff... Yep, those were her clothes. As for any mess, Mortis insisted that he would take care of it since he was the host. "Are you sure? My waterbending might come in handy for cleaning it up..." It was a light offer, the task was definitely not one that the woman was about to strong arm herself into. It was polite to offer assistance.

    As great as his garden was, it might provide a bit too much food for Mortis. Korra raised an interested brow, but nodded in agreement. With a house of just himself, Woolie, and his horses...? And only Woolie really ate. What to do with the rest of the food, then? "Maybe you could sell the rest of it? I bet there'd be some shops in need of fresh foods." That way, it wouldn't go to waste! Mortis could get some credits too! Sounded like a win-win to her. The Avatar gave him a sidelong look, as the ghoul insisted she come out here more. There were many other farms out here to admire. It would be nice to see if there were any she might recognize from her home. And of course, new dishes to try! "I don't see why not! The trip is probably the only real plan I've got going on... Are there any you'd suggest I visit, in particular?" Her assumption about the blackberries was incorrect, as the little berries actually grew in quickly! The real key was letting them sit on the vine. "Huh...gardening sounds more complicated then I thought it'd be..." Korra always figured it was just...you put the seed in the ground, it pops out, you pick it. But apparently there were certain rules. The rest of his vegetables sounded more simple. "She eats them? Do you cut them up for her or is she able to eat them whole?" It was a shame Naga never seemed to show interest in any fruits or vegetables, or else she could give some of Mortis' to Naga!

    "Exactly, like a large water dish!" Korra agreed with a laugh, smiling at the mental image of Naga attempting to swim in a water bowl. "I think it'll be just the right size for her, especially after our walk." When she wanted to, that polar bear dog could actually put away a lot of water. The mood of their little get together seemed to sober for a moment as Mortis revealed why he decided to take this outside. Korra had always sensed that something was off about Mortis and his brother, a sort of dark energy that made her distrust them and give them a wide berth for the longest time. The Avatar had become more open to speaking with them, though her host's talk of his aura confirmed that she had been feeling that bad sensation for a reason. Her fingertips drummed along the table, taking this in. So getting too close to them might...make her ill? Storing that away as important information, she glanced back up at him. "Oh...well, I'll make sure that if we meet up again it's outside like this." How interesting, though. Before, this man and his brother didn't seem to care all that much if others were hurt. They publicly talked about killing people. Something had changed, hadn't it? "Thank you for...trying to look out for me, I guess." Shoulders squaring to perk up, she nodded. "I'm glad too! I figured a change of scenery would be good."

    The negative implications of Mortis' powers faced away. When he returned, stooping to sit in a chair, Korra's face scrunched up as she tried not to laugh. He just looked so uncomfortable, like a grown man sitting in a baby chair! Hunched over with his legs hanging over the side, the corner of her lips twitched. "Are...you sure that you wanna stay in that chair?" He had to have a bigger one, right? "Oh, black tea, that's good!" One knee crossed over the other as she relaxed into her chair. "I used to have a roommate who really liked melon tea. It was good but...she made it so much, I kinda lost my taste for it." So black tea was a welcome flavor.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:21 pm

    While grass was not as appetizing to the polar bear dog, it was some of the tastiest food around. It was not the first time she was nose-to-nose with a big dog, the lamb's limbs seemingly to brace like thin table legs beneath her while Naga sniffed. First her lunch, then the top of her head, which was covered in a short, smooth hair instead of curly wool. Angemort pulled away once she decided she had 'smelled' the strange dog enough, although her relaxed posture straightened again once the Avatar's furry steed suddenly dropped into a playful pose, its large paws splayed on the ground before it and her tail in the air.

    Woolie, however, was far more familiar with the posture. She hopped once more in the grass, her mouthful of grass flopping with the motion and her ears pricked forward. Yet, there would be no play to follow, as Naga was called away to her master. Her parting look was met with the lamb leaning towards the visitor, giving a few more sniffs and wagging her long tail. In a little bit, the two would go and join her perhaps.

    Or at least Woolie really wanted to go and sit with the dog under the shade, after she grazed a little longer. While Angemort's head seemed to be pointed at the grass and therein focused on her own miming of the same activity... One hollow eye socket seemed to always be pointed ever so subtly in the polar-bear dog's direction.

    ---

    To the sheep-skulled undead, while clothing was indeed a way of gleaning some insight into what sort of person someone may be, Mortis was more nondenominational. He did not discriminate on much of anything when it came to the living. "You are welcome, it looksss quite practical. Desssigned in mind for a cooler climate, correct?" He hissed politely, their earlier discussion in the Sanctuary coming to mind. Though given the thick cloth and the fluffy pelt that consisted of half her attire, one would not need to know where she grew up exactly to discern that perhaps she hailed from a more snowy, cold environment. As for cleaning up however, the retired judge gave a small shake of his skeletal head. "Do not worry Korra, it isss the job of the hossst to look after the guessst." He assured evenly. It was custom for the host to tend to the guest's needs, whether it be food, or drink, or cleaning up. If Korra were to do any of these things, the sheep-skulled undead would certainly be considered a poor host indeed. "All you mussst do isss make yourssself comfortable."

    Sit, enjoy the fresh air, and try not to be downwind of her undead host.

    As for selling the food, the undead superfiend glanced back over at the garden thoughtfully. He certainly could sell the produce he grew, although there was a slight problem going about it. "I fear the marketsss may not be open to taking ssstock from an animated corpssse, my appearance isss not one that inssspiresss trusst or confidence in quality produce." Mortis slowly replied, not all too convinced of Korra's suggestion. Not to mention, his own garden paled in comparison to the places that actually made a business of selling vegetables. had she seen acres upon acres of just carrots before? Or entire fields devoted to strawberries? Nonetheless... "It isss an idea, however. Though perhapsss I could alssso give it to my friendsss." He thoughtfully added.

    All... one of them. So far as he knew, Kev was the only person he knew who actually ate. His brother was undead, Livewire was a space automaton, so naturally they could not be included.

    He returned his gaze to the avatar just in time to see that side-long glance, the idea seeming to stew for a bit in her mind as she considered what she could find on such a trip. As for any places in particular... oddly enough he had trouble uttering a few names, for most the ones he did come up with that were local were, for better or worse, deceased.

    All down this stretch of lonely road there was not a single soul to be found, as his brother and the vehicle had made short work of most of them. Since then, no one had moved in to the abandoned structures, so far as he could tell. Then again, there was one person who might serve to be of interest to the wandering lass. One managed to evade being purged by Fear and KARR, and so was the closest thing to a neighbor that Mortis had. A neighbor that lived six miles away, granted, but a neighbor nonetheless. But, Korra likely would be more interested in acres of produce instead of acres of cows. No that would not do to direct her there. "Sssss... Let me think." The undead hissed slowly, quietly.

    And by think, the undead meant scan. He stepped away from Korra and the table for a moment, coming to stand in the middle of the dirt and gravel path that made up the intersection between the barn and house. At once the air around him began to chill as he focused, and then reached out into the vast expanse that was the grasslands. Though to the young avatar, it looked as if Mortis was merely staring out into space. After a minute or so he turned around to look at the young woman sitting at the table, his earlier trance falling from him. "Further sssouth there are a few ssstrawberry farmsss, to the north more are sssome familiesss that grow corn, pumpkinsss, and an asssortment of cabbagesss and lettuce." He reported as he returned to the table. "The grasslandsss are a prime location for growing many kindsss of foodsstuffsss." If he were still a Judge, it would be all the more reason to raze it from top to bottom and leave miles upon miles of barren soil, but such days were behind him.

    There was a snap and a pop as Mortis shrugged his shoulders, the fabric of his overcoat buckling with the motion. "It dependsss upon the plantsss in quessstion." He looked toward the garden and pointed a gnarled talon at the towering green stalks that loomed in the back, massive buds growing close to opening. "The sssunflowersss, they do well in many kindsss of sssoil and do not need to be watered often, whereasss the pumpkinsss-" That same talon adjusted to the long twisting vines that stretched along the ground a row or two in front of the flowers, "They require plenty of water and fertile sssoil to grow properly. But, many of the plantsss I maintain are sssimple to care for, they thrive in thisss environment, I keep them watered, fed, and maintained. In turn they grow lusssh and vibrant." The sheep-skull headed corpse explained. Though caring for them was just as satisfying as watching them grow, the routine giving him something in place of where his job used to be.

    With another creak and a crackle his hand lowered to rest upon the table, his guest uttering yet another inquiry regarding the lamb under his care. "Sssshe isss old enough to eat the whole vegetable without my aid, but I think I sshall chop up the cucumbersss when they grow ripe, ssso sshe doesss not eat them too quickly. When I had taken her to a talent ssshow lassst month, sshe preferred them to the carrotsss. Methinksss sshe enjoyed how juicy they were... Though I think your polar-bear dog doesss not enjoy fruitsss and vegtabless becaussse sshe iss primarily a carnivore." He replied, failing to let Korra's mental query be left unanswered. Granted, dogs could eat some plant matter, and often dog chow tended to have some vegetables thrown in for nutritious supplement, much like bears tended to forage for berries and sometimes graze, but Korra's steed was neither of these animals. Perhaps it had the traits of both, or maybe it had none of them. Naga did, however, enjoy the cold water that was set out for her.

    Thankfully Korra was confident as well that the kiddie pool made for a perfect water dish, he did not have anything else that would work properly for taking a cool sip. Though as he read from her thoughts that the fluffy steed could guzzle down a lot of water, he decided to rethink removing the hose. If she drank plenty, he may not need to worry about the plastic wading pool overfilling at all.

    Yet, as they talked, the topic, and thus the mood of their little meeting, started to grow more sober. She was right to think there was a reason she had a bad feeling about them, if their earlier impression had not given it away completely. They were malignant spirits inhabiting corpses, formerly tasked with eradicating all life in the name of their law. Tan fingertips drummed softly against the table cloth, already the undead superfiend knew that from now on she would be cautious, perhaps even wary when around him. Alas, it was important she knew, despite the discomfort. Mortis loathed to repeat the sins of past history. "Oh, only here, I mean it isss ssafe we meet outssside. Within my home, my aura ssstickss to the wallsss, and would aggravate what I already exude. I have done my bessst to remove what I can, through regularly burning incenssse intended to remove negative and malignant energy... But I fear it may not be enough. Within the sssanctuary, where it regularly ssshedss the old energy and replenishesss itssself, it isss sssafe." He hissed, his tone dropping to something more weary. Malignant energy was but one facet of their auras, and while the incense kept the wraiths and shades away -and overall made the place feel much more comfortable and peaceful- there were likely plenty other psychic energies and anomalies that were left overlooked.

    Though she was very correct about one thing, something had changed. It took an amount of will to not curl his claws at how aptly she hit the nail on the head with that one thought. Outside, the ghoul looked just as still and corpse-like as ever, giving a small, noisy nod at her thanks. "It isss no trouble." he rasped in return. Compared to what could happen if he did not take precautions, sitting outside for tea was the easiest thing in his entire existence.

    The image of a grown man sitting in a baby chair was not too far off, and the undead retired lawman tilted his skull to the side as he watched her face scrunch up. Evidently she had not seen someone his size try and fit into a seat meant for a normal person. Regardless, he leaned back in it a little, both hands resting upon the table cloth while the water boiled inside. "I am fine sssitting here for now. I feel no dissscomfort." He reassured, "Yesss, black tea. I do not believe I have had melon tea before, Korra. What did it tassste like?" Evidently it was a good flavor, though it was unfortunate that they made it so much she grew to dislike it. Mortis made a clucking sound with his tongue, "That isss unfortunate, but underssstandable. 'Variety issss the ssspice of life', asss the living tend to sssay, correct?" He mused, though was quite glad at how welcome black tea flavor would be after day in and day out of just melon tea.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:47 am

    "Correct!" The Avatar affirmed with a nod, glancing down to her outfit. She supposed it was rather obvious, from the thick pants to the boots suitable for stepping through snow, and of course, the distinctive pelt. It all made for a nice collection of warmth for her body in the blizzards of the Southern Water Tribe. Rolling her shoulders, Korra briefly eyed her arms which...in comparison? Looked far more bare. Her shirt had no sleeves, and only a few armbands would serve as protection. Recognizing that as being a bit odd for an outfit meant for cold weather, she looked back to Mortis with a lopsided grin. "My shirt is a bit more...adaptable. I have a parka back at the inn that's more fitting for the cold." A dark blue, fluffy one at that! Lucky for her that she had come here with it. Mortis' own outfit looked good for cool weather, though she was pretty sure the walking corpse didn't have to worry about frostbite. Instead, he was pretty insistent upon being a proper host, taking care of his guest and showing her a good time. "Alright...getting comfortable can't be that hard. Not out here!" The environment was quaint, the property lovely. Korra would have no trouble getting comfortable at all. "I'll leave you to...do your host things!" Both hands grasped at her waistband, leaning back. She wasn't exactly an expert on this...'host and guest' kind of thing so she'd take Mortis' word for it. No encroaching here!

    Korra's grin became a bit strained, chuckling awkwardly. "Oh...right..." He had a point. Most people were very concerned about the quality of their food products, wanting only the best and cleanest. Fresh fruit markets might have...reservations due to Mortis'...nature. Guiltily, she eyed his decayed hands and skull face in particular. "That's not really fair though, I'm sure you wear gloves and stuff! People can't just judge you based on your appearance." Just as it wasn't fair to assume all nonbenders hated benders, or that all benders wanted to use their power to extort and threaten the innocent! Mortis deemed it better to give the produce to people who wouldn't judge him, in other words, his friends. The Avatar gave a small nod, still pouting lightly to herself over the perceived injustice. "I bet they'd appreciate it."

    Thinking about farms to explore and check out on her journey made the pout disappear, Korra tilting her head to Mortis patiently. "Okay, no rush." She merely combed the blades of grass with the tip of her boot as she waited. Her gaze lifted up from the table cloth as Mortis stood up from the table, an eyebrow raised as he seemed to just...stand there. Standing in his little dirt path and staring at nothing in particular. Korra's eyes narrowed in some thought of her own, wondering for a moment if he was alright. After about a minute, Mortis seemed to come back from wherever he'd disappeared to in his mind. So the primary locations were the South and the North, with the North containing more variety of farms. As lovely as strawberries were, she had to admit to some curiosity for what the North would involve. "I guess this is where a lot of food in the city is grown, right? You know...I never really thought about where the food in the supermarket came from. I guess I sort of...took it for granted that it all just...appeared there." Who knows? Maybe a corn on the cob that she had once dined upon was grown out here! For the young Avatar, it was all very fascinating.

    With a very audible shrug, Mortis began to instruct her on the finer delicacies of plants, especially for planting them in the garden. Following his long talon, Korra looked to the garden and picked out the plants Mortis pointed out. From the looming green stalks to the vines that spread along the ground, her light blue eyes scanned them as the ghoul explained why they were so different. The sunflowers sounded rather adaptable, easy for somebody to take care of if they had a busy life. The pumpkins required a good soil and needed frequent waterings, so treating both plants as the same would yield some very disastrous results. From the way Mortis spoke of his gardening, he seemed to have picked easy plants to care for. "So you don't really have any plants that are difficult for you, since they're so simple?" It almost sounded too good to be true, but of course, what did she know?

    Briefly eyeing his hand, Korra looked back to his skeletal face. So his lamb was actually old enough to nibble vegetables whole, though he preferred to play it safe and cut food up for her. Cucumbers were seemingly her favorite, deduced from a visit to the talent show. Korra's eyes lit up in recognition. "Oh I read about that on the bulletin board! How was it?" By the time she thought to go, the time for the show had come and went. "Cucumbers are pretty refreshing. Carrots seem to need a little something extra, like ranch!" Brows knitting together, Korra's hands settled on the table as the subject suddenly shifted towards something she had actually just been thinking about. The Avatar couldn't help but become a little uncomfortable. This..reading people's thoughts thing was still so new to her, and it took away a certain aspect of privacy that Korra was used to keeping. With a strained smile, she tried to push away her uneasy feelings. "Y-yeah... Naga's much more interested in meat and fish." Only at her hungriest did the polar bear dog see fit to eat whatever was edible, and she usually paid for that in the morning.

    Mortis' aura only seemed to compound the uneasy feelings, letting it dawn upon Korra that she wasn't dealing with a subject she was used to. Not that Mortis should be judged because of what his aura could do, or how he could read thoughts, of course! It was all just...new, to her. And it reminded the headstrong woman that certain precautions needed to be put to action, such as meeting with Mortis outside. Though as the ghoul explained his powers further, the Avatar grew confused. "Wait, so you're saying that your spiritual energy actually interacts with the material world? Enough to...stick to walls?" Any spiritual energy she'd ever heard of seemed to be a counter to the physical world. A spirit couldn't be cornered behind walls, for instance. So how was it that this corrupting energy could only attach itself to a building? Why not the chairs outside? Or the wind on the air? "What is..the origin of your spiritual energy? I mean, if you don't mind sharing that..." It only just hit her as she spoke that Mortis may not want to discuss why he was the way he was. The thought made the Avatar a bit sheepish, shrinking slightly in her chair and hoping she didn't offend her host.

    No trouble indeed, if all it took was going outside. Still, Korra nodded her head to him and offered a grateful smile. Mortis was almost stubborn, insisting upon staying seated inside of his tiny chair. Her scrunched up face turned amused, chuckling while covering her mouth with a hand as if trying to hide it. "If I sat like that in a chair, I'd be feeling a whole lot of discomfort! You're pretty lucky." Alas, she'd had her laugh, and the Avatar soon settled down. Leaning with the point of her elbow digging into the arm of her chair, Korra considered the answer to his question. "Well...it tastes like a melon! You know? It's uh...pretty sweet. Kinda like those cucumbers, I guess. It's got a certain crisp to it, but when you have it too much it all kinda taste like hot leaf water..." Not very fun at all. "I've never heard of that saying, but it sounds right to me! I like having variety in my life." It was why Portal Breach made for an appropriate home for her!
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:26 pm

    Indeed, the shirt was likely more of an adaptable piece of attire. If she came out here in July wearing full winter weather gear... He would begin to wonder if she was feeling well. Or at least if she was overheating under the thick clothing. The image of the fluffy blue parka grew clear in the Avatar's mind, and Mortis nodded in understanding. "I sssee." he hissed, but otherwise let the topic be. Fashion and aesthetics were never his strong point anyway.

    He could appreciate that she likely came from a cold climate due to her attire, and that was about it.

    As for getting comfortable and letting him be a host, the retired Dark Judge quietly hissed in agreement. Indeed, getting comfortable was not hard, neither was letting the host do what a host was wont to do. Though as for the environment being quaint... The undead tilted his sheep-skull slightly, glancing imperceptibly towards the undead mare and the little black lamb grazing side by side further out in the field. He supposed she meant the long grasses and wide open spaces instead of present company and the bestial residents of his small farm. Just as invisibly, his attention returned to the young bender sitting across from him, her grin looking strained.

    It was not often that his rotted appearance was not the first thing a person noticed, but the longer he stayed upon this dimension, the more it was becoming a secondary detail than a primary one. There were many times that he wished it remained a primary detail instead of a secondary one, especially considering it tended to be the reason behind the stink of rotting flesh that clung to him like a heavy blanket. Though as for gloves... Mortis' talons flexed where they rested upon the striped cloth, his hands far bigger than Korra's own, and tended to dwarf many normal-sized objects. "I have not found any that would accommodate my... unusssual circumssstance." Long, sharp talons tapped once against the cloth, each yellowed point easily sticking out several inches from his digits. Even then, if he were to find a pair of gloves that would work with his claws, he likely would forget he was wearing them and rot straight through the fabric the moment he thought to use his decaying touch.

    "...People can't just judge you based on your appearance."

    Oh, but they could.

    "Ssss... It isss not ssso sssimple." He rasped slowly, certainly Korra remembered how they tended to act in the past, correct? "My brother and I have changed our activitiesss sssince we have come to sssettle and retire, but sssome thingsss have not changed. We are ssstill monssstrousss, we reek of the grave, and our very presssence radiatesss malaisse." And that was only scratching the surface. But, Mortis was here to entertain his guest, not spook her into the hills. He removed his hat, setting it upon the table gently. With his skull fully visible and untouched by the shade that the wide brim tended to give, perhaps she could see exactly why a mere set of gloves would not do much. "Glovesss may aid ssslightly in the appearance of how I handle foodsss, but the average perssson would sssooner trussst a more lively face than mine." He hissed in conclusion.

    But who knew, maybe a set of brightly colored floral gloves was all the ghoul needed to fit in at the farmer's market. After all, Death managed to blend in with Mega City One's population by just wearing a hat and trench coat over his uniform.

    When Mortis had come back from his brief trance, he noticed a question upon the young lady's mind, and a quizzical expression upon her face. "Haha, I have my own methodsss of thinking, Korra. Jussst a little psssychic telemetry, nothing to worry about." He assured as he sat down. Though she certainly was not wrong about most of the food being grown out in this expanse of greenery. He gave a small nod in agreement, "It is easssy to take for granted. Perhapsss even easssier when you do not need sssussstenance." Corn, cabbage, strawberries, apples... Mortis had no need for these things, and could not enjoy them like Korra could. Everything tasted like ashes, flavor nonexistent unless he willed the memory of it to mind.

    Ah, bingo! She figured out how Mortis' garden grew so nicely. "Correct. The peppersss and tomatoess are the only onesss with a relatively complicated ritual. The Banana peppersss like magnesssium in their sssoil, and the tomatoesss can be delicate." he replied, his snout tilting towards the garden once more for a small moment. He had been making sure to keep everything as well cared for as he could manage, which was quite easy considering he did not have much else to do out here aside from raise the lamb and take practice shots with his shotgun at what empty liquor bottles he could prop up on the fence. The talent show sparked a glint of recognition within the lass' mind, along with an unspoken notion that she had unfortunately missed it. "It wasss a good ssshow, Kev did a very nice job organizing it all. A number of the actsss were dancing of sssome sssort, but there were a few that ssstood out from them. Kev and Livewire performed a puppet ssshow, two children performed a magic ssshow, a robot performed a ssssong... And the resssident amalgamation hypnotized a few volunteerssss." He replied, though most of his focus during the show was keeping Woolie calm and happy in the face of the louder entries. Alas, keeping the lamb at home for the afternoon simply was not an option when she was so young. Or so he decided. Though Mortis was not one to want to keep Woolie at home or out of his sight for very long periods of time to begin with. That thought was promptly popped like the fragile bubble it was as he noticed the unease in the Avatar's voice.

    Ah, right, there were still a number of people who were still put off by having their thoughts read.

    "My apologiesss, Korra. It isss a force of habit." He hissed, though the ghoul did not seem sheepish or embarrassed by the intrusiveness of his ability. He gave a light chuckle, before continuing. "The thoughtsss of the living tend to be very vocal. I cannot help but hear them, you ssssee." Along with the constant drum of their heartbeats, but the superfiend was of the mind that one should moderate their nightmare fuel when dealing with guests they wanted to keep and not scare off. Although he may have already done that already with how she reacted to the finer details of his aura.

    "Wait, so you're saying that your spiritual energy actually interacts with the material world? Enough to...stick to walls?"
    "What is..the origin of your spiritual energy? I mean, if you don't mind sharing that..."

    Oh dear...

    Inquiry after inquiry rapidly filled the young woman's mind, and the ghoul found himself being reminded of another, more feathery creature that was just as curious. Though at the end of the rapid firing of questions, the young woman seemed to shrink in her chair. Upon realizing that perhaps the ghoul may not wish to talk about it, she grew a tad sheepish.

    However, she somehow was not as invasive as his inqueries, and the undead merely tilted his head.

    "It doesss, unfortunately. When I ssstay sssomeplace long enough, the psssychic energy I exude will ssstart to worm itsss way into it. I have only noticed it do sso in ssstructuresss and containersss, like houssesss, buildingsss, vehiclessss... Outdoorsss I have not noticed any sssignificant effectsss like that I leave in a building, but in time, perhapsss that may change. I will have to sssee." He explained, though sounded uncertain as he mentioned the possible outdoor effects. It would be unfortunate if he managed to leave his mark on the farm so that the entire property was subject to supernatural activity. As for where it came from...

    "Ssss..." The undead pondered this, his talons tapping lightly against the tablecloth as considered how to word it. "There isss no harm in ssspeaking of it. I am uncertain regarding the detailsss, but my brother and I esssentially are ssspiritsss occupying a hossst body. We merely... are. Much like your connection to the elementsss." There was no real rhyme or reason behind being ghostly spooks from another dimension, even the Justice Department in Mega City One and all the tools at their disposal could not figure them out. Likely the answer he gave her was just as unsatisfactory as it had been for the Judges.

    He was just as stubborn to them as he was about remaining in the chair he had chosen. Korra's face scrunched up in a laugh, evidently never having seen anyone so large as himself manage to squeeze themselves into a small seat. Thankfully it was not an outright out of laughter, as she tried to remain polite and covered her mouth. "Hm, lucky, yesss." He rumbled, neither agreeing nor denying it. The conversation thankfully turned back to a more favorable topic, tea! Evidently melon tea was akin to a cucumber in taste, very sweet and crisp. Unfortunately after so many times of having it, his guest deduced it all started to taste like leaf water after a while. "It ssoundsss like a nice flavor, in moderation of courssse." Ah, indeed the Avatar would enjoy variety, she was young, lively, and of course living. "You ssseem the sssort." He rasped, letting his hands fold into each other on the table as he leaned back in his chair. "I am uncertain asss to the practicesss with tea from where you came from. Did you tend to have bisscuitss with your tea, or lemon sssquaresss?" If not she would possibly be pleasantly surprised... Or not depending on what Korra preferred.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:58 pm

    Korra eyed the skeletal hands with her bright blue eyes, an eyebrow arched as she listened. "Riiight..." She imagined there weren't many gloves that came in his size, let alone would allow room for his fingernails. With most gloves, they'd probably just stab right through the fabric! Then the whole point of wearing gloves would be lost. Each tap of his talons seemed to hammer the point into her brain further, reminding her that they were inconvenient for gloves. The Avatar let out a sheepish chuckle. "Sorry, I guess that was...obvious." Though Korra wasn't exactly big on gloves anyway, that was more of a 'Mako' thing. Her own fingers drummed lightly on the table, nails shorter and stubbier than the corpse across the table.

    Alas, no amount of changes in philosophy could erase what Mortis and his brother were, nor how they came across to others. Even Korra, as much as she wanted to give Mortis a chance and get to know him, couldn't help but feel uneasy at times even as she was sitting with him now. Between the telepathy, his aura, and probably her own Avatar Spirit, there were some bad vibes that lingered around the man. And he wasn't doing anything but making tea! No matter his positive intentions, any old person might be suspicious of a living corpse bearing fruit and vegetables. Frowning to herself, Korra propped her head up in her hand, clasping her own cheek and chin and slouching lightly in her seat. She followed his hat as he removed it, before looking back to his face. Indeed, even if gloves did fit his hands...it wouldn't change anything. The gloves and his hands were just a minor part of the issue. The young woman sighed, upset at the situation and even a little bit at herself. "I'm sorry, that must be so...difficult. Frustrating, too. I know I wasn't the nicest person to you or your brother but, as long as you aren't trying to kill everyone I don't have an issue with you." She had already found it hard to be judged as the Avatar, or even a bender! She couldn't imagine how it'd feel to live like him, instantly distrusted because of the less than savory parts of his appearance. Looking a bit repentant, she bowed her head. "I promise to try and...look past those things when we're together. I've never really encountered anything like you and your brother before but...that doesn't mean I should just be ignorant, right?"

    Sensing her concern over his brief lapse into silence, Mortis explained himself. Or at least, tried to. The young Avatar could only blink back at him in light puzzlement, trying to riddle out what psychic telemetry was. Primarily the telemetry. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with a telephone... Perhaps the words weren't important, he had described it as merely his own way of thinking. Still rather clueless, Korra just nodded her head and let it slid. As long as he was healthy! "Yeah...I've taken a lot of things for granted, though I don't mean to." Food and how it was grown was apparently one of them. When it came to growing them, peppers demanded magnesium in their soil while tomatoes were apparently a very delicate food to work with. "How do you get the magnesium? Does it go into the soil like a power, or like water?" Korra asked with a lopsided grin, suddenly interested in these gardening rituals.

    As for the show, it had apparently been a very enjoyable one. Organized by Kev, a name she recognized from the battle with the robots, quite a few people had come to perform their acts. Many involved dancing, Kev and Livewire had performed a puppet show, a magic show had been performed, and a robot sang a song! Some sort of 'amalgamation', as Mortis put it, had hypnotized people! Korra chuckled lightly, pressing her face into her palm lightly as she thought about what such performances would look like in person. "It sounds like a lot of fun! Maybe if there's one next year, Sokka and I can go. He'd be good at telling jokes." Eyebrows furrowing, the Avatar tried to think of what talent she could use. Not much of a singer, or a dancer...and definitely no puppets or magic. "I guess bending is my only talent. Maybe I could put on a show with the different elements?" She shrugged.

    Ducking her head lightly, the young woman grimaced. Now that Mortis had apologized for it, she felt guilty for being so upset about it! It was just a little...mind reading, right? It wasn't like he was squirming in there and putting new thoughts in. Or so the Avatar tried to tell herself, trying to ignore the prickly sensation down her spine at the very idea of mind reading or mind control. At least her host didn't seem upset, merely a bit amused as if he was used to it. She groaned and lolled her head forward like a lurching teenager. "Ugh, my thoughts are probably so loud! I'm sorry, and I'm sorry for getting so...unnerved by it." Korra peeked back up at him with an uneasy smile. "I'm still...getting used to this sort of thing." Mind reading had been pretty much unthinkable in her world, after all!

    Talk of spirits and spiritual energy had definitely caught the woman's attention, question after question rolling out before she could stop it. She had the dignity to look apologetic about it, wondering if she may be overloading him. Mortis didn't seem put off by her sudden curiosity though, answering to the best of his abilities. From his experiences, the former Judge explained that the corrupting aura he released seemed to grab hold of buildings and structures, making itself at home. Outdoors, there seemed to be enough space that whatever influence he had merely dissipated naturally but with constricting walls or barriers, it took root. "Huh...I see." No doubt, a part of the corrupting nature. As if his aura could even corrupt buildings!

    Tingles traveled down her back and spine at Mortis' sufficient explanation for himself and his brother. "Maybe we have more in common then I thought." Adjusting lightly in her seat, Korra leaned herself in closer. "The Avatar is supposed to have some sort of...Avatar Spirit, and I'm the bridge between the Spirit world and the normal world back home. I guess I'm not...'completely human' either." Korra couldn't exactly inquire further into how they came to have spirits occupying their body, which was fair because she couldn't really explain how she came to have the Avatar spirit aside from being born at the same time Avatar Aang had died. As he said, perhaps some things simply just...are. As for tea, it was best in moderation like many things were. As for her enjoying variety, Mortis commented that she seemed like the sort to like variety. The Water Tribe woman chuckled lightly, grinning to herself. "I can't deny that!" She'd be right at home in a buffet line! Still on the subject of tea, the ghoul expressed his interest in what people ate with their tea back in her world, naming biscuits and lemon squares as possibilities. "I've heard of people serving cookies with their tea, but not biscuits or lemon squares." Biscuits had been eaten for breakfast at the inn, flaky bits of dough served best with jam and butter. "Is that what you ate with tea in your world?"
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:56 pm

    Indeed, the point of wearing gloves became null when his claws could rip apart the fabric. However, when one did not have to deal with a physical state like Mortis' daily, such things probably did not cross one's mind. "It isss fine. Mortis rasped, giving a small dismissive wave of his hand. "Thessse thingsss do not commonly crosss the mortal mind. How was it that these things tended to go? When one gets used to certain things; laws, appearances, cultures, they fail to put into consideration that which is unlike them even when it is staring them right in the face.

    Such was the way of people. It was not their fault, even now Korra could no control the uneasiness she felt around the undead superfiend. However, at the comment about it all being frustrating and difficult, the undead shook his skeletal head, a small laugh bubbling from the depths of his ribs. "It isss sssomething we have learned to take in ssstride, Korra. We have been imprissoned, feared, hated for decadesss. A dirty look, perhapsss giving a wide berth when walking passst one of usss on the ssstreet, it meansss little to uss." He hissed lightly, "Otherwissse, it merely enssuress a ssswifter time getting what we need in the ssstore. The employeesss want usss out ssso badly they may jussst work twice asss quickly than they would for a regular cussstomer. However, between me and my brother, I think I wasss the only one who wasss attacked after I retired for merely going about my busssinesss." The undead rasped, shifting in his small seat. Admittedly it was incredibly odd to see someone act repentant towards him. He glanced around as she bowed her head, his tail flicking softly against the leg of his chair.

    "Oh, ah-- There'sss no need to be repentant about it, Korra." He awkwardly rasped, moving a decrepit hand in an easing motion. "I appreciate that you would like to move passst our rocky hissstory and get to know usss better, along with the visssit. It breaksss up the monotony, haha." After all, while it was mostly peaceful and quiet out here in the rolling sea of grassy meadows and weeds, one knew they had a slow unlife when the high point of their day was when one of the vegetable plants bloomed a new flower. Granted it was a bloom that was sprouting on his plants, which he had never grown before, but it was a far cry from purging thousands upon thousands of iniquitous souls.

    Their screams, the thrill of the chase, the way living flesh disintegrated beneath his touch--!

    shrriip!

    Mortis glanced down momentarily, and jolted at the sight that met him. "Oh! Whoopsss." Distracted his thoughts, his talons had dug into the fabric of the tablecloth and accidentally rotted a hole in it. The fabric around his clawtip had stained a marbling of murky brown and black, the hole looking more like the fibers had frayed beneath Mortis' touch instead of a clean tear. Alas, a few hundred years of habit died hard.

    Covering the rancid wound in the striped fabric with the palm of his hand, he quickly tried to divert his attention -and perhaps Korra's if she noticed the rot hole- back to the conversation at hand. Yes, it was easy to not think about where food came from, though it was surely not as complicated as psychic telemetry by any means. As Korra was fine to let that psycho-jargon slide, he gladly focused on answering the avatar's question about magnesium.

    "Magnesssium can be put into the sssoil through epsssom sssaltsss. There iss a gardening ssstore in the city that carriess it." He explained. "I work it into the sssoil with the fertilizer, the peppersss and tomatoess sssseem to benefit from it. The magnessium in the sssalt makess the sssoil more acidic." The stalks and leaves were a vibrant, lush green. Mortis had yet to worry about yellowing leaves since he took Rasa's advice to his maggot-infested heart regarding the veggie garden. Fall could not come soon enough for him, to see how the vegetables would turn out.

    But in the meantime, he kept a close eye on his garden, and recorded any and all changes to the young tender shoots.

    As for the talent show, it seemed that it was enough to get Korra interested in perhaps bringing Sokka along... Whoever he was. With him being the comic relief, the avatar suggested that she would do some bending and put on a show of the different elements she could wield. As nice as that sounded... Mortis still remembered a few of the performances that displayed 'elements' and nearly broke the stage in the process. "Both sssound like good ideasss, although I would sssuggessst that if you do sshow of your elemental abilitiesss that you... don't make too big of a ssshow of it." He suggested with a mild chuckle. Kev's craftsmanship could only go so far. "I do not think I have met Sssokka before, isss he a comedian?" Though just as quickly as she suggested it, the young lady ducked her head down apologetically, evidently feeling bad that she was put off by the mind reading.

    "Not many are accussstomed to having their thoughtss read, in fact I would find it ssstrange if sssomeone wasss completely comfortable with sssomeone being able to read their mindss." The superfiend reassured, if everyone wanted their thoughts read, the sinners in the Mega City would not have been so keen in trying to keep them out! He idly fanned a hand dismissively at the thought of Korra thinking too loudly. "Your thoughtsss are fine, Korra. It isss not asss if I had not ssspent a number of decadesss in a thriving metropolisss before coming here. Oh, the thingsss people ruminated on in that Mega City... Compared to them, you're a peach." A peach that had a very unusual amount of liveliness radiating from it, granted, but a peach all the same.

    With a few small pops and crackles, Mortis tilted his head. They had something in common? The ghoul leaned forward a little in his seat, evidently as the Avatar she was the bridge between the spirit world and living world back where she came from. Now, she simply was a master elemental power, or at least working on getting to that point. "A bridge? Like a medium, perhapsss?" He inquired, the woman may have claimed she may not be completely human, but the ghoul knew better than to let his guard down with that information. Nightmares of fatal mistakes past kept him wary. Though the fact she had spirits occupying her body certainly explained that oddly lively aura of hers. "Hm, I may recall my brother interacting with the numerousss incarnationsss that inhabit your body. But, I ssstill think you to be human enough. You breathe, you think, you require sssusstenance and ressst, and in certain resspectsss, you ssstill are mortal." He rasped thoughtfully. After all, it was the Avatar that reincarnated, not Korra as a person or her predecessor; Aang.

    But, back to tea, and far simpler subject matter.

    "Cookiesss? That mussst be what they are called acrosss the pond." He replied, leaning back in his seat. "The only cookiesss we know of are the large sssoft onesss with chocolate chipsss! Likely you already have had a bisscuit with tea then, they are little hard dissscss and are quite sssweet. A pity you have not had lemon ssquaresss with your tea, I picked up sssome from a bakery if you would like to try them when the tea isss ready. They are thessse little lemon flavored cake passstriess, sssometimesss there isss powdered sssugar on them." He explained, glancing back back at the house.

    Though Korra might find that Mortis' version of glancing behind him to be a little unnerving. Bone crackled and flesh popped as his skeletal head turned all the way around to look behind him, giving the woman a clear view of the back of his head, before turning back around to look at her.

    "The water ssshould be ready sssoon." The undead hissed happily, seeming completely oblivious to the fact he snapped his neck to look back. "We had bissscuitsss with tea ussually, yesss. Sssometimess there were lemon ssquaresss, and if one decided to be fancy, they ssserved it with sandwichesss and cakesss." There were many different ways to serve tea where the Queen lived.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:38 pm

    At least Mortis didn't seem insulted. If anything, it seemed that he was used to...'mortals', as he put it, thinking in such a way. Korra had never known anybody who had hands like Mortis, large ones tipped with long talons. It was only reasonable that the thought would never occur to her. Realizing her thoughtlessness made her feel... well, like a jerk. The ghoul didn't seem to think of her as one, and she tried to hold onto that. To tell herself that she was doing her best with all of this new knowledge. Just as she had in Republic City. Hearing the ways that Mortis and his brother had been treated didn't exactly help. The young woman chewed on her lip anxiously, reminding herself that these guys used to kill people. Some of what was done to them had to be warranted, especially being imprisoned. The same could not be said for whoever had attacked Mortis after he had retired. The young Avatar scowled at the thought, arms crossing over her chest snugly. "You didn't deserve that, that isn't fair." She couldn't help but to focus on that, on whether these Judges were being treated fairly.

    In light of such treatment, Mortis insisted that she need not be repentant. A little bit of cluelessness was nothing compared to being attacked for walking around. Even her uneasiness was a mere nuisance! Learning as much definitely put a damper on her shame, though a healthy amount still lingered. It would serve as a good reminder. Smiling, the young woman laughed softly. "I'm glad I can shake things up! As for trying to get to know you better... I think I owe that to your brother and you. You've both been...very helpful to me. You're very wise." Their wisdom was much easier to consider now that they had retired. Before, the Avatar had been rather saucy due to their murderous nature, viewing them as evil spirits. As she was slowly learning, some things weren't so easy.

    Korra did not immediately notice the damage to the tablecloth, idly watching the horizon and feeling the breeze tickle at her hair. Mortis' land was very calming, so when she did notice how tightly his hands were clenching into the cloth, it draw her attention. Eyes flickered down to see the fabric around his talons had melted away as if burned by acid or fire. Korra's nose crinkled with slight disgust, leaning back in her seat as Mortis realized what he'd done and reacted. His hand clasped on top of the rip and he seemed content to not talk about his slip. Relaxing in her chair, she respectfully kept quiet. It was his tablecloth, after all. No harm no foul! Even though she couldn't help but imagine what those hands could do with something livelier than a cloth...

    "That sounds pretty easy, just sprinkling some of that salt with the fertilizer. With a name like 'Magnesium' it sounds like it might be more...sciencey, at first!" Like something worthy of a chemical lab. It also seemed to do great things for Mortis' garden, making the soil acidic and probably making the peppers and tomatoes acidic too! "You put a lot of thought and research into this." Gardening must have been something he was really passionate about. As for the talent show, Mortis suggested she not get too showy with the elements. Korra chuckled brightly. "Yeah, too much fire could burn the place down. And the audience might not appreciate getting hit by rocks or soaked with water. Sticking with maybe a bucket of water would be good!" A bucket was plenty of water, enough to make cool shapes and stretch it out into smooth tendrils. As for Sokka, the Avatar laughed again. "Not formally, but he's really funny! Sokka's good at making up jokes on the spot. If he ever got to do it on stage, I think he'd do a great job." He had a lot of talent, getting to show it off for once could be nice.

    "Yeah...it's not a power I've ever seen in my world." Korra's head cocked to the side, ponytail dangling beside her chin. "Is it common in your's?" As for her thoughts, Mortis insisted that they were downright peachy compared to the minds he'd read in Mega City. Unable to keep her curiosity to herself, Korra raised an eyebrow and leaned forward slightly. "What kinds of things do they think of? Committing crimes?" With that as Mortis' prior experience, Korra's mind would definitely be different. She didn't intentionally break the law.

    Her fierce blue eyes seemed to widen, as if the ghoul's choice of words had lit a lightbulb in her mind. "Yeah...yeah, that's it exactly. A medium. From what I've read, the Avatar can actually take form in the spirit world through meditation. And Avatars usually helped resolve issues between humans and spirits too." A medium was definitely an appropriate word for it, as she was something of the messenger between humans and spirits. Or so she was supposed to be in her world. As for her status as a human, Mortis insisted that he still thought of her as one. Though she contained the spirits of thousands of Avatars within her body, Korra still had to eat, drink, and sleep like any other person. "That's true. It's just...sort of weird, I guess. I was always taught what the Avatar must do, but not really...what the Avatar was. I think...I'm hoping to learn that on my journey too." It was all a part of self-discovery.

    Large, soft, chocolate chips? "I've seen cookies like that at the Inn! The cookies I had were like you described these...biscuits, though. Smaller, and kinda hard. Good for dipping in tea though." As for the lemon squares, the former Judge described it as a cake pastry, lemon flavored and sometimes topped with sugar! It made her stomach grumble just listening to him. "Mmm...~ That sounds like it would hit the spot, actually! I'd love to try some." Mortis' little glance back to the house drew a startled yelp from the young woman though. "Ah-!" Her jaw dropped, staring at the back of Mortis' skull. When his snout swiveled back into frame, Korra jerked in surprise. Nonchalant, the ghoul spoke as if his head hadn't turned completely around like a cat owl! "That...sounds...nice." She took a deep breath, and eventually the shock wore off. Guess it was just...another 'Mortis' thing! Heart still beating in her chest, Korra tried to ignore the way it echoed in her ears. "It sounds delicious, like...you made an event out of drinking tea. In my world, I think it was just a special drink to eat with food, sometimes." Nothing that really required a sandwich, though it could be eaten with a meal like any other beverage.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:55 am

    Amazing, after under a year of official retirement, people were so keen to forget that little detail. They had been murderers, they had been responsible for the eradication of an entire planet-worth of life and more. To think that being both out of sight and mind for a mere handful of months made a person forget so easily... Perhaps he would be fortunate enough to subject himself to the same flaw, in time. Loss, self-loathing, guilt... for those to become so insignificant as to be nonexistent would be a boon, as there was little else he could to remedy those pains at their root cause. Regardless, Mortis regarded the Avatar’s nervous fidgeting idly, evaluating her thoughts as she sweated in the face of a forgotten truth.

    Even so, she managed to say the exact opposite of what many would have thought to comment.

    ”Fairnesss, when placed in the handsss of the individual, isss ssubjective. There isss little sssuch thing as objectivity in the heartsss of mortalsss, they cannot help but be driven by passsionss. He rasped, the bleached bone of his jaws clicking with each utterance. ”Pain, hatred, fear, anger... They are hardwired into many a mind, very few can find the ssstrength of will to overcome them when they arisse. But you are correct, I had done nothing to insstigate the wrath of my asssailant. All I had sssought to do wasss protect my animalsss by exterminating a few encroaching pesstss. A pack of wolvesss had come and harasssed my horsssess, you sssee. Knowing my home wasss within their territory, and they would inevitably return, I could not leave them be.” Mortis elaborated, a clawed talon raising itself from the tabletop to roll with a series of pops and cracks alongside his dictation. Thankfully the earlier epiphany had not dampened her spirits that much, as shame turned to a smile and a laugh.

    ”Wissse? Ha ha, you are too generousss with your complimentsss, Korra. I would ssay that befitsss my brother inssstead of the both of usss. He hasss made the more thoughtful decisssionsss.” Mortis returned, his host jostling lightly with a coarse chuckle. The sheep-skulled undead had spent most of his time here conducting research for a failed plan, and sending himself into a nigh endless spiral of self-induced suffering. But, she was not wrong, the two superfiends were indeed evil spirits. Not any at the Avatar, or perhaps any denizen of this dimension had come across before, but evil spirits nonetheless despite their lawful nature.

    Powerful evil spirits, if the damage to the tablecloth was any indication. Thankfully other than a crinkly nose and a flare of disgust at the hole that was rotted into the fabric, little harm had been done to his guest’s impression of him. The undead superfiend gave another awkward laugh, hoarse and croaking upon glimpsing at a passing thought in her mind. While she could only imagine, Mortis had witnessed time and time again what his decaying touch could do to a living person... And there were times he found himself reminiscing about the old days, when he was purging alongside his brothers, delivering the iniquitous to a more just state of being. He remembered it and a familiar itch would return, the kind that made the vast miles of untamed, lawless wilderness look inviting, and the urge to saddle up Samhain to meet grew all the more tempting. It needed a guiding hand, a just, lawful presence to whip it into proper shape! The depths of his rotten, maggot-riddled heart pined in those moments of weakness, to go back to what he knew, what he enjoyed most.

    ...But those days were behind him, he had to remind himself. Fear had a family now, Mortis had his little cottage homestead out on the prairie, with a lamb to raise and look after. The world would still be there, and it would remain iniquitous no matter how foolproof he schemed, how thoroughly he planned. It simply was not worth it, as much as he loathed to admit.

    The young lady’s voice thankfully withdrew him from his depressing train of thought. A sprinkling of salt with the fertilizer... Yes, yes, all very simple indeed. There was a hiss of sigh from the ghoul, though it would be hard to determine whether the culprit was his thoughts, or merely shifting the position of his stiff host within the confines of his chair. ”Magnesssium hass many ussess, it isss a very vessatile element, and presssent in many different foodsss. Mossst ssimply are not aware of it, desspite itsss importance.” He rasped, leaning back in his chair. Although his skull was permanently fixed into a morbid grin, a smile wormed its way into his tone.”Without it, life would ceassse to exissst, even. Magnesssium isss esssential in cellular reproduction, and their ability to function. A mere deficiency would cripple you.” Yes, the ghoul seemed absolutely pleased as punch with the notion of something painful and debilitating befalling some poor sinner over a lack of leafy greens in their diet. Oh, but what was this about research? ”Oh, no, the employeesss there are very knowledgeable. A Rasssa ‘Jekqogoai explained their purpossse in gardening. I... Would not have anything growing on thisss land, if not for Woolie’sss pressence to encourage me. I pressumed the lamb would like to have her own persssonal vegetable garden.” He admitted, his skull tilting to look out at the meadow he had cleared for the animal in question.

    She was still contentedly grazing alongside Angemort, every so often looking in the direction of her Ma and wagging her long fluffy rope of a tail. Though the moment she locked eyes, or more eye to socket with her Ma, the lamb exploded with mischievous energy and hopped a few steps to the side, her tail spinning exuberantly behind her like a propellor as she pranced around Angemort before coming to a halt, limbs splayed, behind the patient mare’s pillar-like front legs, looking around them with her nose scrunched to one side as if she smelled something particularly odd.

    Empty sockets rested themselves back upon the Avatar, a light chuckle cutting the sound of an otherwise peaceful breeze. ”Ssshe isss well worth the work, iss sshe not?” He remarked, a smile evident upon his voice, but warmer than the sadistic tone that laced his earlier scientific ramble. Now, what was this about buckets of water and flying rocks? Oh, right, the talent show. ”Haha, I may appreciate witnesssing them being hit by rocksss and water.” He rumbled, amused by the image that cast in his mind, and oblivious to the possibility that his guest would not be so amused by it. Especially since aside from a sparse  handful of people on this particular rock, he held little care for what befell the populace of Gamma X. Unless they were dying, of course. That would be cause for great interest...

    They would need someone to help them along!

    ”I will have to sssee how thisss Sssokka performsss the next time a talent ssshow arissesss. However, my appreciation of comedy isss quite ssselective.” The undead rasped, if his earlier idea of what would be a fine performance of Korra’s talent was any further indication.

    Hopefully not anything worth lingering too much upon, as the ghoul was faced with yet another question. Evidently Korra had never come across a psychic entity like himself until she arrived in this dimension. Oh, what suspense that had to be, faced with a force she had never encountered, much less fought, and taking up his offer on an afternoon spot of tea. Her head cocked to the side, and the undead superfiend leaned forward once more in his seat, hands clasping together thoughtfully, talons intertwining. ”Deadworld? We had cassess of psssychic ability, certainly. But they were a rarity for a couple of reassonss.” Now the ghoul’s head cocked to the side as he uttered that statement, two index fingers pressed together and  tilting towards the Avatar as he went on to explain. ”Our world sssaw it ass an illnesss that demanded treatment, a freakissh abnormality. Naturally anyone who held the ability wasss admitted to a hossspital until they were cured. Likely they would have done the sssame if they had ever witnesssed your abilitiesss.” Yet another odd, dreaming freak show to go with the rest, as it were. Speaking of freaks... ”More than that, Korra. They thought about their basse impulsssess, their deepessst, perversse desssiresss... Cheating upon their sspousssess with ssstrange alien life formsss, for insstance. They ssschemed and plotted, vengeful planss to ssspite one another; violent things, twissted thingsss...” Mortis elaborated, ”All of it wasss criminal to our lawsss, all of it ssinful and iniquitousss.”

    By comparison, remaining out here with the lower life forms was a reprieve compared to the bustle of the Mega City, and even Portal City, despite its smaller size. Interestingly enough, the undead managed to hit the nail on the head regarding what Korra’s ability regarding the supernatural could be. Hm, a medium, a bridge between the physical and spiritual realm. Risky business, that. ”Hasss there ever been a casse where a ssspirit managed to bridge itssself to an Avatar, without them having meditated to arrive in the sspirit world? A connection between the living and the dead can be a two way ssstreet, in our world. Jusst ass eassy ass the living could accesss it, the dead could ussse that bridge to come acrosss... If it remained open unwittingly. Naturally he wondered if the same rule applied, given the usual outcome that arose whenever a psychic, sensitive mind managed to unwittingly become the Sister’s dimensional bridge... Or Death’s, if that fiasco with the monk was anything to go by. However, as he listened to both the young lady’s speech and thoughts, the ghoul held an epiphany; the Avatar was merely a bridge between two worlds, the physical and the spiritual, held within a mortal vessel, with the spirits of the previous Avatars being the possible conduits. For a moment he internally debated whether Korra was lucky that he and his brother were retired, or if he and his brother were lucky that they were retired.

    Perhaps it was both.

    Aside from sitting dead still for a few long minutes, however, the lass would not likely catch on. No need to spill any beans early, after all. That was for the trip of self discovery! ”I think you ssshall, Korra. However, ssself dissscovery isss not sssomething to be found over the courssse of one trip. No, it can take far longer... My brother and I have found it to be an ever continuous experience. Even after having three centuriesss of peace and quiet after the Purgesss had come to their end, we are sstill learning new thingsss about ourssselvess. Perhapsss moresso now than we ever did on Deadworld, or attempting to bring jusstice to Mega City One.” The quest of self discovery was a never ending one, alas. Unless someone simply never changed at all after a certain point, never affected by outside forces, never pushed to contemplate or rethink their philosophies... Essentially, a complete corpse, mentally. ”Even ssso, I think you will find the ansswerss you ssseek on your journey. You ssseem the contemplative type when you wissh to be.” He reassured, maybe not all the answers, but certainly answers.

    Ah! so she did have biscuits before. Although the undead’s face was very static, skeletally even; his host seemed to light up as he loudly sat a little straighter in his seat, head tilted towards the Avatar with its ever fixed toothy grin and empty stare. Oh, good, the concept of a biscuit was not completely lost on the lass. ”Oh yesss, perfect for dipping in tea--!”

    grmblerumble...!

    Oh, it seemed this talk of refreshments was stirring Korra’s appetite. Though it may have been squelched just as quickly with that sharp pang of horror that he picked up on as he looked back towards the house... Along with her expression. The young lady looked as if she had seen a ghost! What could have-? Oh, of course, not many sinners commonly saw one’s head swivel around a clean 180 degrees without any ill effects. ”Oh! aha-ha... ha... My apologiesss, Korra. I had not meant to ssstartle you.” The undead sheepishly hissed. ”When one getss usssed to a ssstate of being sssuch ass ourss, we tend to adopt certain habitss. Or more likely, Mortis tended to adopt weird habits, if Fear had anything to say on the matter. Perhaps the sheep-skulled undead really was cut out to spend his unlife alone after all, with his skull swiveling and obliviousness about said skull swiveling.

    A living-corpse hermit in the making, him. But it was better than what he could be.

    Like the good guest she was, Korra did not seem to linger on that detail for long, as they were back to tea! ”Yesss, tea can be more of a quick midday meal where we come from. But it can alsso be a sssimple drink alongsside brekkie. Like a nice breakfassst tea.” Mortis explained, his pleasantness stemming more from relief that his guest did not run straight for her dog and race off into the hills, and wanting to ensure that she was not made uncomfortable again after that little... slip. Some days it paid to drink with the skeletons and the skeletons only. In the meantime, the ghoul tilted his head back toward the house, careful not to swivel it more than what was considered normal by living standards.

    ”I think I sshall go check on the water. It will only take a moment, excusse me.” He rasped, pushing his seat back and standing up from his chair with a series of loud pops and creaks. Like that, Mortis had managed to wedge himself out of the two-sizes-too-small seat, turning to stride towards the house with long, reaching paces. The ghouls’ hands hung limply at his sides, slowly swaying like the limbs of an emaciated, twisted looking ragdoll as he reached the back door and opened it to disappear inside.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:38 pm

    ”Fairnesss, when placed in the handsss of the individual, isss ssubjective. There isss little sssuch thing as objectivity in the heartsss of mortalsss, they cannot help but be driven by passsionss.

    A small, almost heavy sigh escaped the young woman at those words. "Yeah, I've...had to deal with people like that back in Republic City." Korra admitted with a light shrug. At the heart of the matter, both Amon and Tarrlok wanted to be fair to the citizens. Both were ruled by their respective passions, and couldn't be objective on where the fairness began and ended. Thus, one began to forcefully take power from the innocent, and the other began to imprison and detain the other innocents. The struggle of nonbenders was very real, the Avatar had witnessed extortion of nonbending shopkeepers at the hands of a bending gang with her own eyes! But the solution was not to rip bending away from people, especially law-abiding citizens. And just because Amon had nonbender followers did not mean that all nonbenders should be treated like criminals. Her fingers twiddled with the cloth again, a nervous energy building as she eventually admitted, "It is...very easy to fall into extremes. Sometimes it's hard not to." Korra was a woman of passion, after all. Sometimes she could get ahead of herself. As for Mortis' unfair treatment, the situation was a strange one. Wolves had come by the property and harassed the horses, probably smelling their rotting flesh. Her face crinkled quizzically. "So...did whoever attacked you own these wolves? Or were they just...big fans of wolves?" The young Avatar stole a glance at her furry companion. Friendly as she was, Naga had to be trained. The majority of her kind were feral and dangerous, and hunting them wasn't exactly looked down upon. Hunting was a part of her own culture, and so it was rather puzzling for the ghoul to be attacked.

    More humble than expected, the former Judge insisted that he wasn't wise. Korra's smile quirked, giving a shrug that was all shoulders. "Will you take 'worldly', then?" She suggested, only half joking. "Whatever your decisions are, you gave me some good advice for meditation." In her eyes, they were equally intelligent. Whatever those bad decisions were, she had no knowledge of them. The croaking laugh earned Mortis a wide-eyed stare, and she didn't waste any time joining him in the awkward laugh, her own sounding a bit forced. "Hahaha!" It was clear that Korra didn't completely understand what they were laughing about. Thankfully the awkward moment passed, as the Avatar received a brief lesson about magnesium and just how important it was! Some of the more scientific mentions drew a small blank stare, as Korra hadn't exactly attended any science classes. However, she understood the gist of it. Magnesium was in food and had some good stuff in it that made for a healthy body! "I guess that's why a balanced diet is so important!" As for where he had obtained such information, Mortis admitted to being informed by one of the employees at a store. A...Rasa? And the ghoul's interest in gardening had come about due to his little lamb, and wanting to provide for her. She chuckled softly, smiling. "That's sweet of you. For you to put all this effort and time into making food for your Woolie...I don't think everyone would do that." Not when they could just grab feed from a store.

    Pausing to watch the little lamb at play, she nodded her head in solemn agreement. "Absolutely." Woolie was an adorable little sheep, tail spinning about as she hopped around. It reminded her of when Naga was a cub! Maybe before leaving, Korra could pet her on the top of her head? She had never felt wool on an actual sheep! Looking back to the former Judge, the Avatar stifled a snicker. "Pffft..." As dark as the joke was, she couldn't help but find some humor in just how blunt Mortis was about it. "Maybe if we ever get into one of those world ending fights, you can watch me hit people with some rocks, ice, water and fire." She suggested with a grin. "If you like puns, you'll definitely like Sokka's humor!" Though as Mortis admitted, humor was different for lots of people. Maybe he wouldn't like Sokka's jokes after all.

    On to a very interesting subject, Korra mimicked the fiend and leaned forward in her own seat as she listened with rapt attention. Psychic cases were indeed quite rare, rarer then any power Korra could think of to compare it to. Her face scrunched up in a disgusted scowl as he went on, not very happy to hear how the people of his world viewed such abilities. Especially once he compared it to her own powers. "I'd like to see them try. You can't possibly cure someone of powers like that, right?" And as for the minds of the citizens... Her faced seemed to pale slightly. "I can't really blame you there...if people acted on those thoughts then it'd be unlawful in my world too." So she couldn't exactly be disgusted at Mortis' laws when at least on that tangent, they were the same with those of her world. Infidelity was bad, and so was attempting to murder somebody else.

    Lips pursed, a hand cupped her chin thoughtfully. A spirit bridging itself to an Avatar...? "I don't know about that...but there have been occasions where Spirits had appeared in the physical world, in my world. I'm not really sure how they came over though...or how they got back. Some spirits decided to stay in the physical world, but that could leave them open to attack. The Avatar before me, Aang, had to deal with a firebender who wanted to destroy the Moon Spirit. He took the form of a white koi fish, swimming in tandem with a black koi fish that was the spirit of the ocean. And then he found an owl spirit named Wan Shi Tong, who returned to the Spirit World with his massive library while Aang and his friends were still inside! From the descriptions, the building began to sink into the sand. That's actually why the Avatar was needed, to settle differences when the spirits came to our world. Most of the time they only took form if humans were destroying an important spiritual site, like a forest. I guess, from my understand, the best way I'd describe the spirit and physical world is...two worlds that are parallel to each other, but only specific people can see the holes between each world and go through them into the other. It seems about as rare as your psychics." Something to contemplate on, for sure. So many things about the spirit world were left unanswered or unrevealed to her.

    "Aaw...I might have known." Korra playfully held her chin within her palm as if disappointed. Mortis' advice about the trip reminded her of Tenzin, as he too would remind her that a single trip to the wilderness wouldn't be all she needed to learn about herself. No matter how old one gets, there's always something to learn about oneself. "Me too. For me, I think it's because this place lets me just...be myself. Back in my world, I always had to answer to somebody. Whether it was my teachers, or Tenzin, or Lin, or even the press! Here, there's no expectations on me. People don't look at me when the world gets a bit rocky. I'm not gonna stop helping this world but...not having that pressure feels calming." Perhaps it was similar for the Judges? The addition of 'when you wish to be' drew a little chuckle. "Thank you. I think it helps to talk to contemplative people like you and your brother." Korra could be rather inexperienced in regards to spirituality, and without Tenzin to ask, she needed a guide of some kind. Not the kind of guides she would have predicted for herself, but they got the job done!

    Biscuits were indeed a very good addition to tea, and at the tummy rumbling, the Avatar placed a hand over her stomach as if to quiet it. Then of course, upon seeing his head do its little trick, her hand clenched her middle. Guuh... it looked like his skull was about to pop right off! T-that couldn't happen, right? Right?! Swallowing deeply to calm herself, Korra gave the man a shaky smile. "A-aah, it's okay, Mortis! As long as your neck is alright..." She hadn't heard any sort of...neck snapping that would indicate a broken bone. "Hm... quick, midday meal. That sounds like something that would be good! For breakfast I usually just like some water. During the winter though, I like to get the inn's hot cocoa and drink it for breakfast! Very tasty." The idea of a midday snack with tea was a tempting one, she almost thought to bring it up to Sokka as something they could take part in! Mortis decided suddenly to check on the tea, and Korra nodded her head in understanding. "Okay! I'll go ahead and wait out here." As if she'd go anywhere else, for a moment she felt a little silly to say it like that. Thankfully, Mortis had been able to lift up from his little seat, even though his body was very vocal. Off he shambled, body shifting and lumbering in a way that would be intimidating if she weren't here for tea. Waiting until the man disappeared within his house, the Avatar drummed her fingers along the table and eventually leaned back in her chair enough to lift the front legs off of the grass.

      Current date/time is Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:34 am