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


    Time for Tea!

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    Mortis
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:35 pm

    People of all types roamed in cities, the massive, jungles of steel and mortal madness that they were. Even during the simpler time that Korra had come from, the days hardly differed from the ones in Mega City One, and Deadworld prior to its planet-wide purge. In the inhabitants portal Breach as well, the undead superfiend saw behavioral parallels... even in himself, though he at times loathed to admit it.

    But, he supposed that was a symptom of his turning, some mortal aspects inevitably carried over into immortality.

    Ancient, leathery flesh popped and creaked as Mortis nodded slowly in agreement. "It isss a very common trait indeed... And very ssseductive, in certain cituationss." His brothers were a prime example depending on the circumstance. Fire was notoriously brash and short tempered, Death was as impulsive as they came despite his ambitions and achievements. Their leader jumped headfirst into nearly any promising situation without a second thought. And then, there was Fear who could not help but be bombarded with every impulse and feeling that came his way. Mortis knew his brother was strong willed and disciplined, but his emotions surfaced in their own little ways.

    "So...did whoever attacked you own these wolves? Or were they just...big fans of wolves?"

    Mortis shifted slightly in his chair, the wood eliciting a soft creak -as did his bones. "It wasss a number of thingsss... My attacker had thought the wolvesss to be hisss corpsse-makersss, and at the sssame time, decided the entirety of the grassslandsss to be hisss domain," A low sigh escaped the undead's bleached white snout, and he looked past the Avatar, out to where Angemort and Woolie were grazing. "Methinksss he ssimply wass hateful regarding the presssence of an undead- Many are. I am an affront to both the living and the dead, asss isss my brother desspite hisss better reception among the populace."

    Fear always did have better luck regarding making friends, at least in this dimension anyway. But the superfiend decided it was likely for the best that he ended up in the shallows in that department. The last thing he needed was another incident like the one in the dead of last winter. Given the majority of the population were living, a repeat of that sorry event was inevitable, even with a being like Korra who had an elemental spirit inside her human form.

    Though she seemed pleasant enough for a guest, he did not have any plans in mind for regular tea visits. In fact, he fully expected this to be their only meeting.

    "If you insssisst." Mortis replied evenly. Though she may have seen him as worldly, perhaps even wise, the undead superfiend could not bring himself to think the same... Especially after the events of the prior year and maybe part of this one.

    Interestingly enough, Korra decided to join in on the bout of awkward laughter instead of question it. From disgust to bemusement and then cautious amusement, the change in mood was a odd topsy-turvy roller coaster all around. "I, ah, thought of sssomething funny." Mortis covered, dismissing the earlier oddity with a wave of his hand, briefly revealing the rot mark upon the cloth before quickly covering it again. He eagerly jumped back into the topic of magnesium and gardening the moment it offered itself to him.

    "Ah, yesss. The living body isss a machine of sssortsss you sssee, in order for it to function at itsss bessst, it needss certain fuelsss and the like," He elaborated, inwardly hoping his verbose-ness would keep her attention enough to let him bury the prior outburst. "Vitaminsss, mineralsss, proteinsss, ssstarchess and the like... Actual food, not that processsed garbage. Many of thossse ingredientsss are manufactured in a lab, engineered ssspecifically for the sssake of being addictive to drive sssaless. Disssgusssting." He shook his skull lightly, and gestured to the garden with a bony green hand. "There are feedsss that are made ssspecifically for sssheep, but I find thisss to be better. The farmersss tend to raissse sssheep for the sssake of wool or meat, Woolie there isss intended to be nothing more than a companion for the entirety of her lifessspan."

    She was a fluffy friend for him to raise, care for, and spoil to his heart's content. He was going to make her ten to twelve years upon this backwards planet the best he could. It was all the more reason why a stabbing tension snapped through his mind at the mention of another world-ending event. Perhaps he had kept himself busy enough that he no longer considered it, or maybe he simply did not want to think about it, but the undead superfiend found it a topic he preferred to avoid the longer he stayed out here. Outside however, he remained calm as ever. "Perhapssss, Korra. Perhapsss."

    Maybe he would be out fighting, or maybe he would be trying to look out for his own as best as he could.

    With his mood successfully dampened with that thought, the method of Sokka's humor was equally subdued upon reaching him. Though with his face, who could really tell? Puns, that was something Mortis tended to lean towards as well, humor-wise. His brother may have loathed the word-play, but it took some wit to twist a word just so.

    Now it was Korra's turn to have her mood dampened, as her face scrunched and crinkled into all manner of nasty expressions. Obviously literally shocking the psychic abilities out of a person did not suit her tastes. Yet, she did pose a very interesting question... A low hum thrummed in Mortis' chest as he considered the scenario. "It dependsss, I think. Psssychic powersss are powersss of the mind, and ssso with the correct 'therapy' they could be removed. Your bending on the other hand isss different, it doesss not feel like a psssychic talent." Mortis admitted, his skull tilting as he looked over the young woman, "Perhapsss Deadworld'sss methodsss may not have worked."

    It was hard to say without looking further into the matter, but likely Korra would feel more at ease with the knowledge that her powers would remain unhindered regardless of how much electrical torture she went through. Oh, but those citizens, absolutely horrendous the sorts of things that could pass through a single person's mind, let alone billions. Regardless, there was at least some aspect of their laws that they could agree on.

    Quietly Mortis listened as Korra went on about her world's version of the spirit world, which in actuality did not sound so different from the Ether. It existed parallel to the material world, and some could see it and even interact should they have the talent. But the spirits themselves were... strange. The moon and sea took the form of koi fish, and there was an owl spirit with a massive library.

    "Your ssspiritsss are much different than any that I have encountered. But the interactionsss between the ssspirit and mortal world are very sssimilar to how they worked in both Mega City One and on Deadworld. There wass a definite divide, but they were both very close, enough ssso that one could reach into the other sssometimesss." The ghoul elaborated, letting his elbow rest upon the table as he propped his head up with a clawed hand, "The exorcissst judgesss of Mega City One, trained Pssiss who could communicate with and withdraw ssspiritsss from the ether performed a sssimilar role to your avatarsss... But that did not necesssarily need to be the cassse, one sssimply had to be powerful enough to bridge that gap." Anderson, once again, was a prime example that need not be mentioned. The woman could do damn near anything she set her mind to, save for bridging between dimensions.

    ...But who knew, maybe given enough time she could have done that too.

    Though the undead could not help but take a slight pause, evidently his advice made her think of an old mentor she once had. Oh... Oh dear, the last thing he wanted was anyone looking up to him in that respect. He could not deny that he was a genocidal creature at heart, one that thrived in bloodshed and destruction. It would not do for someone like her to look at him like that. Not when there were much better role models on this planet. He made a sound like one clearing their throat, his arm swiveling from where it had rested beneath his jaw to lay on the striped tablecloth. "Yesss, thisss world isss freeing in itsss own waysss, I sssuppossse." Mortis agreed, there was no Death to tell them what to do, there was no Anderson or Dredd to worry about... But all the same there were times the ghoul could not help but feel like he shortsightedly traded his purpose for peace. A stagnant, ceaseless pause that haunted his mind no matter what he did.

    And yet at the same time, he feared what would happen should it end. The question of which prison was more appealing was a profound one that he always found a means of accidentally running into. What would be better? Having kept his purpose, to remain a dark judge and continue an Sisyphean task of purging this world until he was inevitably contained or destroyed... Or to remain like this, in a stagnant limbo, seeking mindless task after mindless task to keep his mind busy. Busy enough to not question the weight of a decision that amounted to nothing; a friend that had disappeared into thin air without a word, a brother that could not decide whether they wanted him around or to stay in the shadows unless it suited him, and a gnawing emptiness that regularly ate at his being regardless of the many distractions around him.

    Somehow, Mortis thought retirement would have been a little... different. But, perhaps this was what he deserved in the end. His brother seemed content with it all, maybe this was how it was supposed to be. After all, so long as he was happy, Mortis was happy too. He had to be.

    "I hope you find more contemplative people to talk to. There ssseemsss to be a ssshortage of them on thisss world." Mortis rasped, refusing to let that morbid train of thought surface where Korra could see. She was a guest, and one he barely knew. Even so, it would be best if she found someone who did not squick her out and make her wonder if their head was going to pop off.

    "It isss perfectly fine, my hossst iss durable." Mortis reassured. Korra's appetite however may not be so enduring after that little trick. He would not be surprised if she hardly ate anything after that, despite the talk of food and drink at the city's inn.

    Inside the house, Mortis made his way to the kitchen, his long limbs shortening the distance with every great stride.  On his way there he could hear the keen whistle of the kettle echoing down the hall, and his already swift pace hastened to reach it. Taking the kettle off the hob, the flames were killed with a flick of the stove top dial, before he set about retrieving the tea tray from the cabinet and preparing it and the tea pot for his guest. Black tea was added to the pot and left to steep while he went about setting up the tray. Next to the breadbox were the lemon squares he had picked up for the occasion- complete with powdered sugar on top- and set them on the tray alongside the biscuits on their platter. The green cups of his set and the equally green tea pot was set on it at last, and the superfiend plucked the array off the counter in his claws to bring outside. The matter of getting through the door with his hands full was remedied with a deft flick of his tail as it wrapped around the handle and pulled it open, and he slipped outside.

    "Here we are," The undead jovially hissed as he brought the tray to rest on the table. "Tea, bissscuitsss, and lemon sssquaresss." With that done, the undead superfiend set about pouring her cuppa, before pouring his own. He placed the teapot back on the tray and reclaimed his tiny seat, happily taking a sip from his cup.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:40 am

    Seductive was...an interesting way of putting it, and yet Korra understood what he meant. It was incredibly tempting to lose oneself in their temper, to just let loose when angry and let the fists fly. Even Tenzin had his moments of losing his temper, and he was a monk! "If it's really that common, then I guess it's true; nobody's perfect." As the Avatar, sometimes it really felt like the citizens of Republic City wanted her to be perfect. Not that she didn't have her flaws, she'd admit that she had some growing to do! But boy...the press could be so unforgiving sometimes. As for Mortis' attacker, he sounded completely strange! Her upper lip curled up in a grimace, finding herself puzzled. "His...corpse-makers? Because of their hunting?" What in the world did this guy do with the corpses?! As for owning this entire plot of land? The Avatar let out a small bark of laughter. "I didn't realize Sokka and I were 'trespassing' anytime we traveled through this land. I guess we owe the guy a bunch of fees for traveling on his property." She snarked, tone facetious. The young woman's gaze followed his, blankly watching the animals graze as the ghoul concluded that his status as an undead must have been the trigger for the attack. The very idea made her frown sternly. "But you weren't hurting anybody! I mean--you did kill those wolves, but they probably would have tried to rip apart your horses! It's self defense!" And protecting those that were on his property.

    Describing him as worldly, the former Judge didn't exactly sound pleased. His tone was like a trip down a tightrope, as if guarded. Korra hummed in acknowledgement of his reply, but otherwise didn't push the issue any further. A soft "Ah," was her response to whatever it was Mortis found funny, not really wanting to push him on that front either. More due to the awkwardness than any sense that he was guarded or cautious, though. She moved instead to the fascinating topic of the living body! Her bright blue eyes twinkled with intrigue, the woman perking in her seat. "Oh, oh! I know what you mean! The body is like a Sato-mobile. They both even need to get tune-ups sometimes, to make sure it's all working right!" The talk of processed foods went over her head a bit, as the food processing in her universe hadn't yet reached that level. Yet, she understood some of what he meant in regards to food she'd found here. Such as a strange can filled with 'cheese'. Or as she dubbed it, 'gross yellow goo'. "Eating something from a lab sounds...weird." The young Avatar admitted. If they were as addictive and unhealthy as Mortis said...how could anyone feed that to people?! On a more bright topic, her head nodded in firm agreement. "I try to feed Naga fresh meat whenever I can. The stores have these weird...kibble things that are supposed to be for dogs, but it doesn't look tasty at all!" It was like cereal, only five times more bland! "I'm intending to keep Naga as a companion for the entirety of her lifespan, too."

    "Mhm." Again, Korra nodded her head in slight acknowledgement, this time with a small grin. A part of her did like the idea of fighting some 'bad guy', to stretch her legs and get the adrenaline pumping. And yet, another part of her reminded the Avatar of the last time she had ever gotten involved in such a thing. Not to mention when Sokka went without her and wound up dead... In hindsight, perhaps more peace was preferable to any disasters after all. Turning pensive, Korra tilted her gaze downward to her own hands, flexing them experimentally. Even though she could 'feel' the earth beneath her feet, the water in the pool, and the flow of chi to create her own fire, the woman understood that it wasn't...'mental' like Mortis' powers or the psychics of his world. It felt like an expansion of her body. Her very soul. "I guess it's more...spiritual." She trailed off for a moment, biting her lower lip before both hands closed into fists. "There was this man, Amon...he wanted to 'cure' benders of their bending, take it away like those people on your world tried to. He somehow...used bloodbending to do it. I think he messed with the chi in the body...blocked it up to...cut us off from the element. He seemed to strike a certain pressure point to take away bending. And even that wasn't permanent. I was able to bend the energy in myself to unblock what he did, and I could do it for others too." Even though Lin had been the only one she'd gotten the chance to help. There had been plans, talk of going back to Republic City to help everybody there but...well, that was when she'd been sucked into a portal.

    The spirits of her world were strange for him, which was to be expected since the spirits of the other worlds she had learned about so far had been just as puzzling. And yet it seems there were similarities to the spirit world Mortis was familiar with! Close and yet so different, liable for some overlap to bleed into each other as well. Korra seemed to mime him, settling an elbow on the table and settling her chin within a palm as she listened. So these judges could communicate with spirits too... "Wow..." Awed for a moment, brows furrowed quizzically as the young woman roamed over the words he'd used. "Withdraw spirits from the ether...? What does that mean? Withdraw them to do what?" Did it have anything to do with the extra title of 'exorcist'?

    Once again, Mortis seemed surprisingly unsettled and uncomfortable. It drew a confused blink from Korra, she thankfully had the sense not to point it out verbally. She did not mime his new gesture of the arm, though her fingers did tense lightly around her own chin. "Yeah." The young Avatar agreed vaguely, more to fill the air than anything else. Something was on his mind, but she wasn't sure if she was in any place to bring it up. She would be polite instead, and give him a light smile as if to let him know he could relax. Chuckling lightly to herself, the brunette grinned. "I bet I will! I just have to find 'em. I need to get out more, I've been a little...stuck in my own routines, you know? Another reason for this journey of mine, it'll shake me out of just doing what I usually do." Nothing like a life changing vacation into the wilderness to make you branch out!

    Inwardly, Korra chided herself. Of course his body was durable. Or else he'd be rendered some sort of...skeleton by now! "Good! I'm glad." Continuing to lean back in her chair, all four legs only returned to the grass once she caught sight of the host once again. She could almost hear Tenzin's chiding, that lounging about in someone else's furniture in such a way was disrespectful. She craned her head as he approached, getting a good look at the tray and the items on it. "Thank you, this looks really good!" Overlooking the green dishware, she waited until Mortis was done pouring the drinks before she reached for her cup. Blowing lightly, she took a sip as well and hummed her approval was the warm drink ran down her throat. "That hits the spot..." Setting the drink down for now, Korra turned her attention to one of the lemon squares. True to the name, it was square, and yellow as a lemon. Aside from the dusting of sugar on top. She reached for one and gave the sugar a curious lick before daring a bite of the actual square. The sweet yet sour flavor of the lemons elicited a noise of surprise, mulling it over before she swallowed. "This tastes...pretty good! It goes nicely with the warm tea!" Taking another bite, she chewed her mouthful before adding, "It kinda reminds me of fudge, or a thick brownie but...with lemons instead of chocolate!" Setting the square down, another sip of tea was taken and the young woman sighed contently. The pairing of tastes were definitely right up her alley!
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    Mortis
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:48 am

    Indeed, nobody is ever perfect. People, mortals, could not help but be driven by their emotions, they were a massive part of their being.

    As for Mortis' attacker, Korra seemed perplexed by the description he gave. "Yesss, methinksss he letsss them hunt, and then takess their killsss to eat for himssself." Mortis idly elaborated.

    At least, that was what he considered the dragon used them for, and that was why he thought them to be so important, despite the numerous other predators that roamed the wilderness. Certainly scaring off a bear or cougar would suffice just as well for the dragon's scavenging. Mortis did not find the idea of having to kow-tow to some self-proclaimed owner of an entire biome all that amusing, however.

    "Having to pay feesss to sssome overgrown lizard wass not part of my plansss when I moved here," The undead's gravelled voice inevitably betrayed his initial efforts of keeping the identity of his attacker somewhat anonymous. "I doubt he would have cared about the welfare of my animalsss, and if he had the ability to, likely he would have followed me back here and razed thisss entire property to asshesss."

    A gnarled talon thumbed towards the locked barn.

    "Without Sssamhain, I do not think I would have been able to return home sssafely." The dragon could fly, he could breathe fire, but he could not traverse the veil between the material and ethereal.

    The topic moved to that of the human body, and the undead nodded at the Avatar's comparison. Although he did not know what a Sato-mobile was, it sounded like a machine of some sort from the given clues. Which was a better bit of luck than Korra was having while trying to figure out processed foods. But given the mental image of canned cheese, she had encountered it before.

    "It iss ssstrange, but no one really thinksss about it that much. You will sssee it often in chipsss, insstant foodsss, thosse little wrapped ssnack cakesss, candy barsss... Thossse lassst two are prime offendersss. It isss amazing what you mortalsss will allow yoursselvesss to eat." The retired lawman rasped, though what he saw in this dimension was nothing compared to what they ate in Mega City One. "Oddly enough, the food for animalsss tendsss to be healthier than food for humansss. But, fresssh meat likely hasss a better flavor to it than kibble." He finished thoughtfully.

    Naga being kept a companion was a pleasant thought, though he was not sure what a big dog like her would be aside from a companion. There were no wars or battles that required the presence of a polar bear-dog cavalry. But, who knew, things were subject to change over time. The thought of a battle seemed appealing to the young woman nevertheless.

    Her powers, though they resembled some method of kinesis, were indeed spiritual in nature. Korra went on, revealing that there was once this man named Amon, who wanted to get rid of bending, much like how Deadworld wanted to get rid of dreamers and in the process psychics. The undead superfiend could see the similarities between this Amon and the doctors at the mental hospital.

    Regardless, this opened up a whole new set of questions.

    "Hisss methodsss are intriguing, not to sssay that I approve of them, but we did not usse philosophiesss like 'chi' and presssure pointss like your world had. I cannot sssay that Deadworld'sss methodsss were temporary, however." He replied with interest, his tail flicking idly against his leg as he considered it all. "Methinksss we jussst fried the brain until the mechanisssm that wass ressponssible for dreamsss expired, ha ha."

    His skull tilted and the undead seemed to stare long at the avatar, the gears in his head turning as he digested the information that she was able to overcome the effects. Eventually he spoke again. "How were you able to overcome Amon'sss blocking, if I may asssk?" he hissed, curious.

    As Mortis had been puzzled by the spiritual laws of Korra's world, she was in awe at the ones of Mega City One. He even heard a small "wow"! Evidently, the ability to communicate with the spirits was something that was exclusive to the Avatar alone. Hearing about a whole division of people, hundreds maybe thousands that were trained and devoted to occult and spiritual matters must have been surprising, if not a shock. However, it was the ability to withdraw them that drew her attention most.

    The ghoul paused for a moment, it had been a short while since he had been in that metropolis after all. "Ghossstsss tend to retreat to the ethereal plane when they are not bothering the living. Sssometimesss certain cassesss required the aid of a ghossst to give their ssstory in order to help sssolve them, other timesss the ghost itssself iss the problem and needsss to be forcibly withdrawn ssso it can be confronted, ussually verbally." Mortis explained. But that was not all they did, "They alssso excorcisssed ssspiritsss and demonsss when they manifessted... Or at leasst tried to, when it came to usss." A small, croaking chuckle escaped him at the memory.

    Granted it was the Sister's doing, but there was nothing so sweet as a group of Exorcist Judges struggling in vain to banish a horde of giant psychically-manifested lizards back to deadworld, and utterly failing as they were ripped limb from limb. They were beyond petty gods and deities. Yet for some reason they were never beyond Anderson.

    The girl seemed to pick up on Mortis' thoughtful state, but she was uncertain if it was her place to say anything. Just as she made no move to bring it up, Mortis made no move to bring up her thoughts either. The both of them were better off letting his thoughts remain simply that. As he remembered, not many were keen on being able to handle his darker moods, and even fewer were able to bring him out of them. Thus, it tended to be best that he simply handled them on his own. Korra smiled, evidently her way of trying to confront the subject without saying anything. He knew what she meant by being stuck in a routine, upon escaping one routine that lasted a few centuries, Mortis managed to fall into another right after. Personally, he preferred the previous routine.

    "Yesss, it isss good to be able to do sssomething new for a change. It helpsss the mind grow, and it might introduce you to sssome new lifessstylesss." Or even new ideas that could be applied to her current lifestyle!

    The tea was to her tastes, as she proclaimed it so. The drink was quietly sipped, and the undead observed as she tried a square. It reminded her of fudge, interestingly enough. Though it of course was more from the texture of the treat instead of the flavor.

    "Yesss, the flavor doess go rather nicely with it." he replied, setting his cuppa down. A clawed hand reached forward and retrieved a biscuit. "There isss a place in the city that sssellss them fresssh, if your Inn doess not already prepare any."

    Admittedly the undead had considered making his own at one point, but between the superfiend lacking any true purpose for baking for himself, and the treats likely being tainted by his cadaverous nature... He found the pursuit was not as worthwhile as he had initially considered it.

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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:07 am

    "Yesss, methinksss he letsss them hunt, and then takess their killsss to eat for himssself."

    Korra's jaw dropped, hanging open with a slack-jawed expression on her face. After a few moments of stunned silence, she shook herself from her stupor and narrowed her bright blue eyes. "For someone that's so concerned about wolves, that's a terrible thing to do to them. No wonder they were so eager to try and eat your horses...they were probably starving!" What happened to honor? And only eating the kills one hunted themselves? With a snort, she rolled her eyes and pursed her lips in a determined pout. Her chin landed squarely within her own palm as she continued to listen. "I don't think many people ever consider something like that." An eyebrow was raised at the description of 'over-grown lizard' though... A very powerful one at that, or at the very least pretty bold! Mortis was convinced that if he were able, this lizard would have tracked the ghoul and his animals down, burnt the place to the ground! It was only with the help of his horse that he'd even managed to escape! A bit of worry began to nag at the back of her mind, the young Avatar staring back at the former Judge and wondering if she should voice her thoughts. Eventually, she decided to take the plunge. "Are you...safe, out here? Are you going to be alright?" Be a hell of a thing, to come back from her spirit journey and find the ghoul and his home a crispy, ashy mess. The threat of such a thing was now suddenly palpable.

    More foods were listed that had unhealthy ingredients, and eventually the list sounded really familiar. Eyes widening, Korra suddenly felt as if her stomach had turned to lead, falling right through her body and weighing her to the seat of her chair firmly. Nerves getting to her, Korra clasped her hands together to keep them from shaking. "Are...are those foods okay in small doses? L-like...only a few times every few months?" Food in a lab, they had been eating snacks made in labs all this time! It never crossed her mind to check the ingredients, maybe she should have! Maybe it wasn't too late, maybe they weren't too addicted to them yet! As she waited for his answer, the Avatar tried to regulate her breathing before she could become too panicked. With deep breathes and remembering Tenzin's (and Mortis') words regarding meditation and concentration, Korra had calmed herself and relieved the sinking, heavy feeling in her pit as well. Though a bit of it lingered still...she was definitely going to have to talk to Sokka about the food they ate. Just to make sure it would be safe. Lucky Naga, only needing to grapple with bland taste!

    A lop-sided grin grew on Korra's face at Mortis' reveal that 'chi' were not used in his world. "Chi is actually a pretty big part of how my world works. Take me for instance! I can use waterbending to tap into the chi of someone's body, and accelerate their healing. Pretty cool, huh?" Nothing like a bit of bragging about one's skills to lift the anxiety of potential food poisoning! How interesting to think that something so vital to how her own world worked, could be regarded as a mere philosophy in another. "Fried them like an egg? Yeesh...I'm glad Amon didn't do anything like that." And here's hoping nobody else ever got the idea to do the same! Quite permanent indeed.

    "How were you able to overcome Amon'sss blocking, if I may asssk?"

    Ah...boy. How to describe this one. This question, above any other, garnered perhaps the most awkward and sheepish reaction from her yet. Korra averted her gaze to the grass and tapped her fingertips together. Humming under her breath, it seemed she was almost at a loss for words, though it wasn't Mortis' fault at all. Well uh...I met my past lives, Aang touched my head and my heart and bam! Energybending! Hooray? The young woman visibly winced at the brief thought, obviously going over possible explanations. I guess I just kinda learned it because...I was really really sad and then Aang showed up and stuff! No, no, that was even worse! Lifting her gaze back to the skull, Korra heaved a very deep sigh. "You're going to have to...bear with me because it's kinda weird. And I know the stuff I've been saying has been pretty weird for you but...this one is weird, even for me!"

    Letting that set in for a moment, Korra inhaled softly, taking in a deep breath before she began. "When Amon used his bloodbending technique on me, it locked me away from every element I could bend at that time. But, I was also able to learn how to airbend, which I had never done before. Losing your tie to the elements...especially three out of four of them...it doesn't feel good, Mortis." Frowning, she continued. "It's like...you know something is supposed to be there, something important. Something...you've had since you were little, almost all of your life! And...it's just out of reach. Even though I could airbend, I was in a really bad place. Nothing seemed to help me fix it. When I got a moment alone, I sat on a cliff and finally broke down. And...that was when I saw Aang for the first time, with my own eyes. He was the Avatar right before I was born. Somehow, my sadness called to him, and I unlocked some...spiritual part of myself so that I could see him and talk to him. And not just him, but all of my past lives! He told me that "when we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change". He put his hands on me, one on my head and one on my heart, I could feel some sort of...energy pass between us, and suddenly that block of Amon's had disappeared. Aang had passed on the ability to energybend to me. From what I know, Aang could use it to take away peoples bending. He gave it to me so I could give the ability to bend to other people." Pausing to catch her breath, her brows furrowed thoughtfully. "While Amon wanted to cleanse all benders, Aang only ever used his powers on the worst criminals. People who would be better off unable to bend so that they couldn't hurt anybody else. As far as I know, he only did that to two people." A very stark contrast to Amon's hundreds.

    Korra found herself almost concerned that she had become too long-winded. But Mortis wanted to know, so she was truthful! As weird as it sounds...that was exactly what happened. As for Mortis' own explanation...it sounded very familiar to dealings with the spirits. They'd withdraw into the spirit world and further negotiations either needed them to be summoned out or for somebody to go in! For Mortis' world, their spirit world was called an ether. An admittedly more creative mind than 'spirit world'. "That definitely sounds like...Avatar spirit stuff. All except for the exorcising part... What does that mean?" It sounded like exercise, but surely people weren't summoning spirits and demons to make them work out. New things made the mind grow, did it? The young Avatar smiled lightly. "I wish I knew the things you do. I could have used that to convince Tenzin and the White Lotus to let me go to Republic City!" The ghoul's words made her choice feel valid. Being raised in an isolated compound wasn't doing anything for her well-being or growth as a person! Only upon sneaking out and making her way to the City did the young woman feel as if she really began to grow as a person.

    Having sampled both the tea and the square, Korra held both of them in each hand and began to balance herself with them. A nibble, then a sip. The cooling lemony taste was nicely coupled with the warm and slightly bitter drink. If it weren't for the sugary snack, she might have added a bit of sugar. And even better, there was a store that sold these fresh! Swallowing, she grinned brightly at the Judge. "If they ever had it, I never noticed enough to try any! What is this place, is it a bakery?" As soon as she had finished speaking, Korra stole another chomp of her lemon square, lips dusted with powdered sugar.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:27 pm

    Evidently the action of stealing a kill from another animal was something absolutely abhorrent, despite how often it tended to happen in the wild. Predators, when given the chance, would happily steal from a weaker specimen instead of wasting energy taking down their own prey. Evidently falling out of the sky like a scaly fire-breathing brick onto something edible took a sizeable amount of energy. Or the dragon was simply lazy. Even so, there was merit to be found in the Avatar's argument.

    "Perhapsss they were ssstarving, and perhapsss they were sseeking to change their hunting range to adapt to hisss pilfering. I would not be sssurprissed if hisss involvement wasss the reasson they intruded on my property in the firssst place." In fact, it would make a fair amount of sense.

    Mortis' head tilted slightly as he noticed a tinge of worry seep into Korra's thoughts. However, there was no need to question it, as she had voiced her concerns soon enough. So she was worried he would not be safe out here? That was something he did not hear everyday, or any day for that matter.

    "You need not fret, Korra. I have not ssseen the beasst for nearly three monthsss now. Likely he hasss forgotten all about me, and even ssso, my home blendsss in with the other farmss in the area." Mortis assured, "If thingsss did indeed get that bad, there isss a place further north that I can move into insstead. I would misss the ssscenery out here, the rolling hillsss and the long grasssess, but my animalsss and I would be sssafe."

    In the end, that was what held the most importance over all. Granted he could just move into the inn and have all the security and comfort of the ISOs, but there were things even they could not see with their strange omniscience. Not to mention, being stuck in an apartment or a tiny back yard would be heartbreaking for the little ewe and his horses. Oh, and his aura; it would only be a matter of time before there was a repeat of the supernatural happenings that occurred in Sylvia Plath block. Despite the risks, he really was better off out here.

    Oh dear, what a look Korra had on her face, it was as if she had just been informed she only had a week left to live!

    Despite the young woman's sickly expression, Mortis could not help but chuckle. The sound was a deep, guttural sound, rough and graveled with decay. "Ha ha, thossse foodsss will not kill you, but they will certainly make you ill if you eat too much of them. I would not worry unlesss you eat thossse asss your only mealsss every day."

    Given Korra looked nothing like a cool-ranch dust encrusted butter ball, and he could hear her heart beating strongly from across the table, there was a very strong chance she fell into the 'no-risk' category. The mention of those lab-foods possibly being addictive was enough to nearly send the girl into a panic attack. Thankfully the topic of chi was enough to distract her from that little scare.

    Evidently it could be used to heal, and the energy in itself was a massive part of her world. It was reminiscent of a few psychic talents that existed in the Mega City, but they tended to draw on psionic power than this 'chi'. Mortis shifted in his chair to listen to the young woman better.

    "It isss intruiging. In Mega City One there were pssychicss who could alssso heal with the power of the mind. My brother posssessess a ssimilar talent, in fact." Mortis commented, nodding in Korra's direction. "It isss interesssting, how sssimilar your chi and our pssychic abilitiesss can behave, but operate on completely different methodsss of energy. One of my brothersss, Judge Fire, wasss proficient in pyrokenessisss. It isss very ssimilar to your fire bending abilitiesss."

    Granted, Fire needed his trident to wield it past anything more than his arm's length, but he still was very effective. He was the most lethal of their little quartet.

    The story of How Korra Got Her Bending Back was something that was obviously a little complicated. The undead superfiend quietly waited as she gathered her thoughts, and managed to overhear a few juicy bits of inner monologue that tumbled around in her brain.

    Well uh...I met my past lives, Aang touched my head and my heart and bam! Energybending! Hooray?
    I guess I just kinda learned it because...I was really really sad and then Aang showed up and stuff!

    Oh boy, this was going to be good. Regardless, Mortis made no mention or gave any hints that he did manage to do a bit of eavesdropping in her noggin. Not that she could be able to read it either way. With that permanent skeletal grin that was fixed to his sheep-skull, who could really deduce what the undead was feeling or even thinking aside from possibly something that made him grin from ear to ear- at all times. Clawed fingers threaded between themselves upon the stripey table cloth.

    "Take your time, sssummer isss when the daysss are longesst." The ghoul eased, patient as he awaited to hear what the young woman would regale him with.

    Her tale was one that was admittedly a bit strange, but it was nothing compared to what the ghoul had witnessed and experienced in Mega City One. Still, he held his rotten tongue. The mention of having lost something that was incredibly important made the undead take pause, his head tilting slightly to the side and an understanding hum rumbling in his throat. He too knew of that feeling, but as for what happened that made him know some empathy for the young Avatar's plight... He decided it best that it remained unsaid.

    Amon had robbed her of her tie to the elements, and in order to get them back, Aang and her past lives had managed to come to her when she had hit her lowest point. Well, he certainly was not wrong, people were usually open to change when they were at their lowest, that was what made their training at Law School when he was younger so effective. Aside from them being dragged there at a tender, spongy age of five, of course.

    Essentially these spirits, these manifestations of the Avatar's past lives had exchanged energy with her and cleared away the blockage and in the process granted her the ability to reverse the damage for others.

    "That wasss indeed very ssstrange, and incredibly lucky for you." The undead replied once he digested the story. "Perhapsss thesse passt livess sssenssed sssomething amisss that interfered with the purpossse of the Avatar ssspirit?"

    It would make sense, given the importance of a entity so powerful in her world. Beings that represented balance or peace tended to have a number of tricks that kept them from being eradicated or removed. Death and the Sisters' experience with Anderson was proof enough of that.

    Evidently Korra had never heard of an exorcism, given her thoughts and words. However, the idea of summoning a ghost or spiritual entity to make them feel the burn was an oddly amusing one. Maybe it was the sheer literalness of the metal image. It certainly would have been a little more simple than explaining what an exorcism was, at least to the undead superfiend. Fear probably could have broken it down into very simple, easy to digest morsels for the Avatar. But all the same, she was not a dumb girl by any means, just a little sheltered.

    "Exorcisssm, Korra, isss when one evictsss a ssspiritual entity from thisss world and back into the ether." Mortis explained, unfolding his hands and letting his talons rest upon the table "Usssually it isss a malevolent ssspirit, and it requiress a certain ritual with certain wordsss and physsical materialsss to drive it away. Certain ssspiritsss require a ssspecific ritual to remove them, sssometimess. Other timesss they can be removed by firmly telling them to leave. It dependsss on the type of ssspiritual entity."

    One hand rose from the table and tilted from one side to the other in a 'kinda-sorta' gesture, before resting back upon the cloth as he said the last part.

    "People who go into thessse linesss of work tend to ssspecialize in ssspiritss that are native to one culture, or ssso I believe." He had yet to hear of an International Exorcist. But who knew, maybe he would meet one here at some point.

    "Likely they were keeping you ssshut away in an effort to keep your mind 'pure', or sssomething sssuch. Prophetic youthsss tend to be heavily guarded out of a ssstrange fear they will turn evil if they sssee the world for what it isss." The retired Dark Judge chuckled and his shoulders loudly rose and fell in a shrug. "I think many underessstimate how sssmart children can be, if given the chance."

    Kids were not ripe fruit that would spoil if they were left out in the sun for too long. They were more like sprouts, little weedy things that flourished with the many different experiences granted to them by life and all it offered like they were rain and winds, and happily basked in the sunlight that was this worldly knowledge, absorbing it for nutrients instead of fermenting. He had enough encounters that proved his view true, and he did not need --nor did he wish for any more to add to what was a thankfully brief list. They were far too akin to weeds for his liking.

    Mortis retrieved a biscuit from the plate of treats, allowing himself to be distracted from the potentially embarrassing subject of children while he contently took a bite. It only took a single bite of the lemon square to get her interested in where she could possibly get more. Or at least that was what he gathered.

    "Yesss, there are bakeriesss in the city that make them fressh. There isss no real difference between how each place makesss their lemon sssquaresss asss they are ssso sssimple, but sssome like to put more ssugar in them than othersss, and sssome refrain from putting powdered sssugar on top." Mortis took another bite of the biscuit, his jaw shifting to either side as he thoughtfully chewed. "I persssonally think they are bessst with the powdered sssugar than without."

    Then again, he was an undead monstrosity, devoid of the ability to taste. What would he know of culinary preferences? He may have just liked the way the sugar looked on the squares instead of the taste.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:50 am

    At least if an animal stole from another animal, that would be fair. Survival of the fittest and all that! Overgrown lizard or not, he must have been able to speak with Mortis which meant he could go to a grocery store and order food if he really wanted to. Or, being an overgrown lizard, make his own kills! Leaning back into her chair, Korra grumbled out a response. "I hope you don't encounter this guy again. He sounds like trouble." Only in this world could such a sentence make sense. The overgrown lizard was trouble for the undead man with his zombie horses because he stole food from wolves. It'd almost be funny if she didn't find the whole thing deplorable and unneeded. It seems her hopes may be reality as Mortis informed her that he hadn't seen this intruder for about three months now. Whether he forgot about the undead man, or merely lost track of it in the long chain of farms, Mortis was at least sure that he would be alright. On the chance he wasn't, there were some backup plans in order.

    Head cocked to the side, the Avatar asked curiously "How far north?" He spoke of missing the scenery around here, so just how far north was he going to go that he'd be lacking such lovely views? However far it was, the young woman seemed to relax. His words had soothed her worries. "Okay...but don't hesitate to ask me for help if you ever need it." As if to further her point, Korra punched one hand into her own palm, cracking her knuckles with a lopsided grin.

    Only the worry that Korra had consumed unhealthy food could knock the young woman off of her cocky hill. A deep, throaty noise huffed out of Mortis and she quickly recognized it as a chuckle. The sort of laugh you could expect from a corpse at least. Only further explanation seemed enough for her to relax, letting out a deep breath as color returned to her face. "Okay..." The Avatar busied her hands with the table cloth, smoothing the fabric between her fingertips. "We only eat that kind of stuff once in a while, as a snack. I'll try to keep my eyes on the stuff we eat though...now that I know some things are full of chemicals." The thought didn't sit right with her, if only because she had been ignorant to the possible effects. It was a strange idea, one she wasn't comfortable with.

    Blinking, all signs of fiddling paused as Korra returned her full attention to the former Judge. Healing with the power of the mind? And a power his brother actually had? "Really? I hadn't even realized he could do that... Why can he do it, but not you?" Did it have something to do with Mortis' more skeletal form? As for their powers, they definitely had some sort of overlap with each other while being completely separate. Fear could heal similar to her own healing, and now this other Judge could firebend! What an appropriate name too, one that made her laugh softly. "If he ever came here, it might be interesting to compare our fire!" Namely, how they both commanded and created their flames. It would be nice to meet somebody with powers similar to her own, such a shame that she had met Zuko when she couldn't firebend at all. Blissfully unaware of Mortis' knowledge of her thought process, the young woman nibbled on her lower lip in thought before glancing back up at him. The reassurance was met with a small nod, and eventually she managed to find her voice to communicate the odd circumstances. She was thankful that the ghoul didn't seem confused or flabbergasted by her words. Surely, the things she said had to sound odd to him, but not odd enough for him to stare blankly at her with no understanding. Little bodily gestures relayed that he understood after all. Perhaps even more than Korra herself.

    "Perhapsss thesse passt livess sssenssed sssomething amisss that interfered with the purpossse of the Avatar ssspirit?"

    Realization seemed to flood her face, eyes widening as she stared back at Mortis. "I never...thought of it that way." Yet it made sense. Korra herself had wondered at the time how she could possibly continue as the Avatar. The point of being Avatar was being able to bend all four elements! To be forever stuck with one...she would have been an incomplete Avatar until she died and was reborn. In that case, it was only natural that her past lives appeared to give her a solution. It was lucky, as Mortis had put it, but now it made more sense to her. Placing her fingertips over her own heart, the young woman smiled faintly. "It's kinda nice to think of them as being helpful like that. Like they've got my back, somehow." Now more than ever she wished she could communicate with her past lives again, to thank them for their help. Sure, it had all been undone the moment she stepped through the portal the this world, but the fact remained; they restored her bending, and one day it would be fully restored in this world too.

    Korra hummed thoughtfully, chewing over Mortis' explanation. Exorcism was an eviction of a spirit out of this world and back to another, whether it be her world's Spirit World or Mortis' ether. A rather forceful method of dealing with spirits, but appropriate since it was used for the malevolent kind. Of course, these exorcisms could not be as easy as forcing someone through a portal. Rituals, words, even certain physical items were needed to properly banish them. A hand reached up for her own scalp, combing through the thick brown hair. Try as she might, Korra's memories were being very unhelpful when it came to how Avatars dealt with Spirits. Certainly, it didn't sound as complicated or intense as these exorcisms did. Of course, how many spirits had been truly malignant and how many had tried to come to the real world in recent memory? "It sounds like a lot of studying goes into this sort of thing." She admitted with a light cringe. Perhaps she should have paid attention to her own studying? Yet she couldn't remember the subject of spirits coming up often... History, politics, maps of the world, bending philosophies, she could remember all of that but in-depth information on the spirits seemed...lacking.

    Sputtering softly, Korra's fingers left the mass of her hair and dropped back down to her lap as she gave the ghoul an amused smile. "You might be more right than you think! I don't know how 'pure' it made me but...I certainly learned a lot about how bad the world could get once I was out living in it." Things such as poverty, political corruption, and Amon's anti-bending movement. "I mean, I didn't really like seeing that kind of ugly stuff in the world but, who would?" She shrugged softly. "Ignoring bad things doesn't get rid of it. If I had decided to stay in the compound, who knows what could have happened with Amon?" Awful things, that was for sure! As for underestimating children, the young woman smiled and gestured to Mortis vaguely with one hand. "You are exactly right! Tenzin's daughters were definitely very smart." Meelo was...a special case. "A lot of the White Lotus members were old, they probably underestimated me too! And thought they were right just because they were crusty and old! Katara was the only one who was on my side from the beginning." Korra's chewing had become a bit more aggressive, the young Avatar practically bristling at the thought of the old White Lotus members. Whether they meant to protect her or not, the Water Tribe woman did not do well feeling caged. And that was exactly what they did, they had caged her like a bird, told her she wasn't ready to fly. Well she showed them, she saved Republic City and now she was in a brand new world! Take that and shove it!

    Popping the last bit of her lemon square into her mouth, Korra paused only to sip from her tea before she cooled her temper enough to actually listen to the ghoul. She had not meant to get so fired up, but the lack of ever getting the chance to prove herself to the White Lotus, or talk to them and make them regret treating her like a child...sometimes it gnawed at her. Lemon squares were a rather common treat, with very little variation in the recipes. A far cry from cookies and how far those could change between stores and bakeries! The only real difference was whether they sprinkled powdered sugar on top, and the young woman found herself nodding in agreement. "I like it better with sugar too." She eyed the plate of squares, fingers twitching before she finally pointed to them. "Is it alright if I have another one?" A useless question, but Korra wanted to make sure rather than dig her hands into what might have been meant solely for himself Or perhaps for his beloved animals.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:59 pm

    Indeed, even if it would have been a number of years before they saw each other again, it still would not be long enough for the superfiend. He gave a small hum in agreement, but otherwise said little else on the matter. Korra summed up both of their thoughts quite nicely.

    ”Jussst below the ice fieldss, I found a place in the woodsss a little under the tundra. It isss very ssseculded, private.” Mortis hissed, the undead seemed to regard the area fondly. ”I sssupposse I could improvisse and clear away sssome sspace if need be.”

    With it being so small and tucked away, it would be a massive undertaking for anyone to try and find him; whether it be on the ground, or in the air. As for asking for help, the undead did not see himself asking for aid from anyone anytime soon, but he politely nodded regardless. Korra was just a worried soul, and completely unaware of the ex-Dark Judge’s power. But even so, maybe there could be something that the Avatar could help him with down the line, only time would tell.

    ”Yesss, I will let you know. It isss very kind of you to offer.” He replied with a small smile in his voice.

    Speaking of worries, he seemed to soothe a few of them in one sentence. The woman’s posture relaxed and her face regained a healthy amount of color. Evidently they only ate junk food as a snack every once in a while,  which tended to be the norm for most mortals. Of course, technically all food had chemicals in them, people were a complete chemical dependent organism. But the undead saw no reason to bring it up. One did not need a lesson in biochemistry to know that the foodstuffs that came out of a vending machine would naturally be less nourishing than fresh food and ingredients from a market. Korra was smart enough to know where to look in an “Orange good, funions bad” sort of way.

    It was a very common, simple way of categorizing things.

    ”Yesss, I trussst you tend to keep an eye on what you eat regardlesss.” He replied with a small, creaky nod.

    With a body that strong and fit, she had to be making sure she fed it properly. If only for proper palm-punching if nothing else.

    ”My brothersss and I have many talentsss, Korra.” Mortis concurred, ”But our talentsss are not alwaysss ssshared. Fear’s talentsss tend to take root in empathy and umbrakenisis, he can do many thingsss asssociated with each. I however am lesss emotionally aligned, and lean more towardsss... Hm, telepathy and decay. Rotting away flesssh and ussing an enemy’ssss mind and will againssst them isss not a very empathic area- I would ssay it isss clossser to logic. We draw from the sssupernatural for our powersss, but their manifesstation differed between the four of uss... It isss a complicated, difficult matter to explain articulately.”

    Their powers was a sort of area that tended to wax philosophical instead of have any real law or order to it. Ironic, given the duties he and Fear had prior to arriving here. Despite that, there was no argument that Judge Fire’s method of purging the sinful was completely, solely pyrokinetic.

    The undead superfiend gave a small laugh, the mental image of Fire wanting to compare flames with any living being amusing. Mainly because he would sooner want to incinerate the young Avatar than have a friendly spar.

    ”Ha ha, yess, compare- that would be a word for it.” Mortis chortled, ”Unfortunately, Judge Fire wass not a sssoul that would be open to humoring you, methinksss. When Fear and I ssstill held our badgesss and we were four inssstead of two, Fire wasss the deadliessst among usss. But in hisss absssence, perhapsss I could regale you with how you differ, sssince it isss on your mind.” He would know, given the centuries he had spent around him.

    There was no reason not to, if that perpetually burning skeleton did not fall out of the sky already, he certainly was not going to sudden manifest out of a portal in the near future, or even the far future for that matter. So far as Mortis was considered, Judge Fire had been lost to whatever had befallen Mega City One, and thus his fiery legacy was mere history. Much like history, it was easily forgotten among the hustle and bustle that life tended to provide; thus there was little risk in saying anything. Korra would hardly remember this conversation by the time she was done running around in the wilds during her quest for enlightenment, much less anything that could be used against a Dark Judge that no longer existed.

    But, the undead would only tell her about his missing brother if she wished to hear it.

    In the meantime, it seemed like the idea that a powerful important entity would possess a few fail safes was entirely new to the young woman. Then again, Korra seemed to be the type that flew by the seat of her pants on the wings of improvisation than a meticulous strategist. From what he could tell of her thoughts, it was very recent that she started to even consider some sort of conscientious, long term thinking regarding her actions. Mortis was hardly surprised. Youth tended to be a time that graciously allowed room for risky decisions after all. It was ample time to get into fights, be passionate and courageous, and make a few regretable decisions- including a few that could never be reversed.

    ”If you had asss many passst livesss asss one would believe, certainly a few of them at leassst would have underssstood that youth tended to give way to ssome unforssseen adventuress, and accidentsss. They may have even expected it.” Mortis hissed, and took another sip of his tea.

    Of course, that did not cover the energy bending, but the superfiend had his fair share of stories where Anderson managed to pull every solution conceivable to any and every problem out of her voluptuous rear. The Psi Judge had been a nigh-omnipotent squeeze tube of psychic prowess. There was a simple, concise name for it; though it escaped the superfiend at the moment- “Oh-something.”

    The ghoul sipped once again and drained his cuppa, before setting the green tea cup down on its saucer.

    ”There can be. But sssome methodsss are fairly sssimple.” Mortis hissed, ”Sssometimesss all you need to do isss tell the ssspirit to leave.”

    Of course saying “Get out of my house, ghost!” was not nearly as intriguing or mystic as lighting an entire department store of candles and burning incense while waving a religious relic around. But, it tended to be a simple, surprisingly effective method- so long as the supernatural entity was not very powerful.

    Bringing up Korra’s childhood seemed to be a sensitive spot, as the young woman went on. The young Avatar went from the things she picked up from the real world, to the daughters of this “Tenzin” person, and from there she went on a small roll about how all the elders except one underestimated her because she was young. Boy, she certainly had a chip on her shoulder about that one especially. He could nearly see the frustration oozing from her.

    ”I take it thisss isss a touchy sssubject.” Mortis hissed, the girl had his sympathy; what little the undead superfiend possessed. ”My brothersss and I faced a sssimilar dilemma during our own training. Inssstead of competence however, oursss wass an isssue of judicial philosssophy. They refusssed to accept a better meansss of eliminating crime, but in the end we made them sssee our way.”

    Of course, Mortis never said how they did it or what exactly was the means, but less crime was always a plus.

    ”You will find that the methodsss which get the job done, are the onesss that tend to ssstick around.” He tilted his head slightly, and considered the teapot for a moment. ”They would have ssseen your worth in time.”

    Gnarled talons reached out and wrapped around the handle of the teapot, lifting it from the tray and pouring some more tea into his cup. The dark liquid steamed as it rose to fill the small vessel, settling near the edge of the rim as Mortis tipped the pot away. The superfiend nodded, yes, the sugar was nice. He looked up as Korra asked about the lemon squares, whether or not she could have another one.

    ”Of courssse, have asss many asss you like.” He replied, adjusting his grip on the green teapot. ”Would you like sssome more tea?”
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:51 pm

    A place in the woods? Mortis' little home definitely sounded like it was icy and cold, yet not too far up North that there was no sign of life. Private, and likely pretty in its own way. As a native to the Southern Water Tribe, Korra could see the wintery landscape as a second home! Smiling softly to herself, her bright eyes eventually found their way to Mortis' pets. Namely the undead horse that didn't stray too far from his sweet little ewe. "It sounds like a good place to live! Will your horses be alright with the chill, though? I'd hate for them to get frostbitten..." As a living creature, Woolie would be quite aware of the temperature and would likely let the ghoul know if she was becoming painfully cold. The horses...were a different matter entirely. As she took in the areas of exposed bone, she winced sympathetically at the thought of those creatures becoming injured further. Just as it'd be a shame for them to be harmed by either wolves or lizards. The young Avatar's gaze snapped back to the host and she gave him a lopsided grin. "Of course! You've given me good advice, so it's only fair to pay that back with a little extra muscle." Tit for tat, quid pro quo, all that other stuff! A good deed begets another.

    She returned his nod, feeling more relaxed now. Indeed, with this extra information Korra could make informed decisions regarding her diet and choice of snacks. She'd have to take a huge nosedive down into horrible eating habits for her food choices to create damage that couldn't be undone. Stiffening in her posture, the young woman leaned her elbows upon the table as she listened to Mortis explain how their powers worked. Each of the brothers had abilities that varied, depending either on their body or personality. Fear, who was spooky with a hidden face, possessed empathy and...umbrakinesis? Unfamiliar with the term, she tilted her head to the side and raised a brow. She didn't voice the confusion however, and moved on briskly. Mortis, who's body was much bonier than his brother, held the power to rot along with his telepathy. And naturally, Fire could control flames. The nature of the Judges was a mysterious one to her still, and the origin of their powers even moreso. The young Avatar found herself quite curious, though the former Judge of decay had given to her all the knowledge he could give. "I think I sort of get it... Especially if all of your powers come together to make you a strong team. It could be all of the supernatural powers that exist are divided among you guys." At least, the powers that existed in their world.

    Displays of fire tossing between Avatar and Dark Judge amused the skeletal ghoul, though he seemed to find it funny for a...darker reason than Korra had expected. Of the Judges, Fire was apparently the deadliest and she could certainly understand why. Control over fire could prove to be very dangerous, the firebending master that taught her had emphasized that control was very important. Being careless could hurt a lot of people. And if you were part of a group who were trying to destroy all of the living...'careless' didn't exactly factor into it. A small bead of sweat rolled down the young woman's forehead at the thought. "Y-yeah, hearing from you would be good!" She was sincerely curious about how somebody else used fire, and she might even consider a fight with Judge Fire to be good sport, but he might not back down until her body was a smoldering mess...and others could get hurt in the process. Yes, this secondhand knowledge from Mortis would suffice nicely.

    ”If you had asss many passst livesss asss one would believe, certainly a few of them at leassst would have underssstood that youth tended to give way to ssome unforssseen adventuress, and accidentsss. They may have even expected it.”

    "You've got a point," How awful would it be to lose an Avatar early in life due to a silly accident? "And I remember reading that Aang had talked with his past lives numerous times. Particularly Roku, the Avatar before him. It's still a little...weird for me I guess. I don't usually talk with them, let along have them guide me along or help me out. Even now, giving me energy bending seems to be the only thing they've done for me. Besides talking with Fear when he possessed me I guess," She mumbled lowly, shrugging her shoulders. "I don't know if that really 'counts'." It wasn't as if Korra personally had memories of the encounter, other than the strange feeling of another, darker soul within her body. As for this exorcising business, studying could be helpful and yet most methods were actually...simple! "Really? That's it? It kinda sounds too good to be true." Nevertheless she filed it in the back of her mind to remind herself just in case...in a world like this, you never know when you'll need to banish an evil spirit from your home.

    Pursing her lips and feeling slightly embarrassed, Korra's cheeks darkened. She really hadn't meant to go on such a tangent... "Yeah...I don't think I realized how touchy it was for me until...now." It wasn't like she had many opportunities to talk about it, let along unload the emotional side of what it was like. Always watched, always given escorts, always told she wasn't ready. It felt as if she were being punished for being the Avatar! Mortis seemed to emphasize with her feelings, relaying that the Dark Judges had their own ideas for eliminating crime that went unheeded. In the end, those that wouldn't listen were made to see what the Judges were talking about. Rather than linger for too long on those methods, she paid attention to what the ghoul said next. Namely, that if something worked, it would stand the test of time and that eventually the White Lotus would have seen her worth. The young woman's gaze lowered, peering into her own cup of tea as she thought over his words. After a few moments, she smiled to herself softly.

    Korra knew that she still had a ways to go, as far as being an Avatar went, but her methods so far had been pretty useful! She'd taken down the Equalists and restored people's bending! Or, er, would have restored everyone's bending if it weren't for the portal. But, the intent was clear! She was committed to helping people, no matter their nation of origin or if they could bend. She was an Avatar for the people and eventually...the White Lotus would have seen how she had grown in the absence of their rules and regulations. The thought warmed her even more than the drink did. "Thank you." She spoke up, lifting her gaze back to him. "That makes me feel better." Her grin got a bit more gleeful when the ghoul confirmed that she was allowed to take another square. Yet, before grabbing another one she held her cup out and nodded in response to his last question. "Yes, please." More tea to go with another square!
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:14 pm

    Frostbite? That was certainly the last thing he would have expected anyone to be worried about.

    Mortis tilted his head at the question, then followed her gaze to where Angemort and Woolie were busy grazing. From her thoughts, Korra was worried the cold would possibly hurt them because of all the exposed areas on their carcasses. A small chortle shook Mortis’ host at the idea.

    ”You need not worry, Korra. Angemort and Sssamhain ssshare a few boonsss that come with undeath. They cannot feel the cold, or the heat, they would not be able to regissster if sssomeone even gave them a pat on the neck.” Mortis rasped, watching the two as they nibbled the lush green grass. ”Changesss in temperature do not affect usss like they would affect you mortalsss. The undead are far more resssilient than we look.”

    His eye sockets returned their sightless gaze to Korra, in time to catch her grin and justification for wanting to help. So this was in repayment for his advice? He gave a small nod, considering it. Admittedly the idea of asking for help had sort of tarnished over time, as the help he had accepted thus far from strangers tended to do more harm than good. One case in point had been letting Shaiamils talk him into accepting his help with some logging. Other times it was easy to see that the help one tried to offer would not be suitable for the task at hand, such as when Lunette had offered to aid in rasing the ewe back in March. There was a stark difference between wanting to raise a young animal, and actually having the know-how to pull it off without any moralities.

    Given what the superfiend had learned regarding the cat-woman’s experience with learning and the issue that was often lacking the commitment to see it through once she grew bored; he was confident in believing that likely the same problems would have arisen when it came to looking after Woolie. Not to mention there was still that lingering folly that was the tavern-owner believing her and Veskur’s magic could spare them from his aura despite past history, but that was beside the point. He made the right choice in turning her- and nearly everyone else down.

    Thus far no problems had reared their ugly heads in the face of his decisions to deal with his matters alone.

    ”I sssee.” The superfiend slowly replied. Even if it was in exchange for his advice, the undead still had his reservations about accepting help. You do not need to feel obligated, Korra, if that isss what thisss isss. Perhapsss you could think of our exchange asss free wissdom. I can do well enough on my own ssself-sufficiency without needing to bother anyone for help.”

    His arm swept to the scene around them; the lush meadow, the vibrant garden, and the happy, healthy ewe that grazed alongside her towering undead companion. As well, aside from perhaps one hiccup regarding a pack of wolves and a dragon... Things moved by fairly slowly in the wilderness. Enough so that the undead had to create his own excitement to pass the time.

    Not that he minded that much, it kept him from letting his thoughts travel down darker paths. Much like this conversation, for instance.
    ”I am uncertain if I would sssay all sssupernatural powerss are divided between uss.” Mortis replied thoughtfully, ”I believe it iss more the cassse that we are multi-talented in sspecific feildsss of psssychic ability. I cannot control flamess any more than Fire could decay a sssinner with his touch. There are other areasss of the sssupernatural that we cannot even hold a candle to, ssupreme powersss and ability ressserved for thosse who are more... hm, apt.”

    By this, Mortis of course meant the Sisters and their wide-reaching potency.

    Speaking of potency, it seemed that Korra was suddenly not so eager to consider matching her flames with Judge Fire. It would not take a genius to figure out why. A bead of sweat rolled down her forehead, and the young woman decided it would be better that Mortis told her what he was like in his absence.

    ”Sss... where to begin...” Mortis rasped, partially to himself. After a moment and a few taps of his forefinger to his chin, he found a good beginning point.

    He shifted in his seat, letting his fingers steeple together. ”Fire’sss ability wasss more ssupernatural than elemental, naturally. I remember hisss flamess could grow to sssuch an intensssity asss to melt nearly anything he set them to. Plassteel, glassseen, flesssh... I remember a time when he had boiled a tub full of sssinnersss alive, and the water had been at a near freezing temperature.” He parted his fingers, tilting his head slightly at the young avatar. ”We had been working our way through a fitnesss center, I sssuppossse it wasss one of thossse ‘ice-bathsss’. Regardlesss, the moment he had dipped hisss trident into the water, it immediately boiled.”

    At that, Mortis leaned back in his seat and had himself a giggle. Those were some good times, at least until it became routine for the lot of them to stay imprisoned in Glasseen while Death kept having the fortune of being accidentally freed during what felt nearly-oh, what was it? Every few years or so? The malignant entity sighed, pushing that little depressing detail aside.

    ”He alsso tended to focusss hisss flamess through that trident asss well, I never sssaw him purge without it.” Mortis continued, ”That wasss part of what made him ssso deadly, ssso long ass he had it, he could direct hisss fire over long disstancesss.” Or so Mortis remembered.

    Moving on with their discussion of power and supernatural, it became clear that while Korra had a fountain of potential wisdom at her disposal , she did not seem to keen on using it. A thoughtful hum rumbled in the undead’s rotted host, digesting this information.

    ”Maybe when you go on your quessst, you could learn how to talk with them more often. Perhapss thossse passst livess might have sssome anssswerss to quessstionsss you would otherwissse find imposssible to ansswer on your own.” Mortis replied, taking a sip of his tea soon after. Setting the cup down, he added one more thing; ”But, in general it ssseemsss wissse to take advantage of a wealth of wisssdom that isss only an inquiry away.”

    The sheep-skull headed undead gave a small nod in affirmation. It was surprisingly simple how easy it was to get rid of a ghostly presence in the house, so long as they were more mischievous than thoroughly evil and stubborn.

    ”In sssome cassess it isss. Demonsss and powerful, dark ssspiritsss take more effort and knowledge to remove. Knowing where exactly they come from, and how the people of that area deal with them tend to be the mossst effective methodsss.” He explained methodically. ”But, there are ssssome evil ssspiritsss here that have no text or knowledge to passs from word of mouth from their home dimensssion ass to how to banissh them. The demon in Lochlann isss a clear example of thisss.”

    The undead’s statement was both a fact and a warning in one to the wayward Avatar. He trusted the young woman to be able to pick up on it readily enough. As for her “tangent”, the undead superfiend shook his head, there was no real reason to grow embarrassed over it.

    ”We all have thingsss that get to usss I sssupposse, buttonsss that can be presssed and the like.” He rasped thoughtfully, picking up a biscuit from the tray and taking a small bite. ”But, if you know your own worth, it isss easssier to ssshrug off aggravating commentsss and opinionsss. After all, what are their wordsss to your experience and ssself knowledge? They are merely hot air, sssound, and otherwissse ignorant yapping.”

    He took another bite, his jaw shifting in a manner familiar to that of any grazing creature before he swallowed and added;

    ”And noissse, after all, isss easssy to tune out. If you ssstay focusssed on your goalss, it becomesss a dull buzzing in the background, like inssectss. Brainlesss, meaninglesss, and otherwisse worthlesss prattle.” He paused a moment, as if considering something, before a low chuckle bounced in his chest. ”But there isss no harm in giving them a righteousss sswatting either.”

    But, Korra seemed content enough in knowing that her worth would have been proven in time, if her smile was anything to go by. He gave a small nod in return to her thanks, though he wondered if maybe being warmed by the thought and the drink would be too much for a sunny July day like this one. Even so, she seemed ready to have some more tea.

    He tipped the brew carefully into her cup, steaming and dark. Once her cuppa was topped off, he righted the pot again and set it back on the tray.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:15 am

    So being undead...really did come with an inability to feel sensations. Korra's brows furrowed at the thought. On one hand, it was like Mortis said; they couldn't feel heat, frost, or pain! There was temptation to be found in being unable to feel pain during a fight, as it usually brought one down or made one feel weaker. Yet, what was it like to not feel at all? No breeze through your hair, or a tender hug with a friend... It seemed a shame. Not so shameful was the resilience that came with being an undead creature. "Good! That's a relief to hear." She admitted with a grin. So no matter how cold it got, at least the ghoul and his horses wouldn't be affected!

    Obligated? The Avatar's head cocked to the side as she frowned thoughtfully. Focusing internally for a moment to ponder her thoughts, Korra eventually shook her head. "I don't feel obligated, Mortis. It just...feels right. You've been kind to me, so I should be kind to you. That's how it goes." That was how she had been taught, at least. "We don't have to 'keep track' of who does what for who, you're right... It's just being nice. So I'll take that free wisdom and...extend my hand. If you ever need free wisdom or help." The young woman insisted, holding her hand out in an almost joking manner. As for the powers of the Judges, it seems they weren't so easily separated or spliced up between the four of them. From the sound of it, different aspects were heightened with specific fields being special. And of course, even the powers of the Judges were a drop when it came to all available powers. Listening attentively, Korra nodded. "I see what you mean now. Specific psychic powers and...there are even more powers out there." Shifting in her chair, Korra regarded the grassy plains. "Citizens here have powers that I never would have encountered back home. Like your telepathy powers. It makes me wonder what all powers there are in the world...you know?" Back home, Korra's identity as the Avatar was supposed to make her incredibly strong. She couldn't help but wonder how she measured up in this world.

    Learning of Fire's abilities proved very interesting to the Water Tribe woman, leaning forward and eyes watching every movement of his bony jaw attentively. Mortis' brother had flames that were...well, supernatural! Like he said! With a burning intensity that shouldn't make logical sense. To dip his trident into a bathtub of ice and immediately heat it to a boil... She cringed visibly at the mental images such an action brought up. Those poor people, what a painful death. Mortis' laughter regarding the subject was concerning, but she reminded herself that the ghoul was once openly genocidal. Maybe with time, it wouldn't be a semi-shocking thing to remember. "Ah...right. My fire is strong but...it would take time for me to melt ice, let alone make it boil after." Pondering on that for a moment, her spine straightened. "You said you guys don't really have chi, right? When I make my fire I have to draw on my own chi to create to flames, and sometimes heat from other sources like the sun. With the chi it is like...drawing out the heat of my own body to fuel the flames. How does Fire create his...fire? Does he just think it and flames spark into existence? Or does that trident somehow...create it?" Rather strange for his weapon to be so crucial for his powers and yet...maybe it was the perfect extension of the body for him?

    Naturally, already she had seen how Aang's knowledge would have been beneficial to dealing with Tarrlok and Amon. Mortis was absolutely right, and maybe her quest could help her connect. The question left for her to answer though...was how? "It just seems so hard...the closest I ever came to it, I had to meditate deeply. And even then, Aang didn't really talk to me that time. He just...gave me some of his memories." She really did want to talk to them more. Tilting her head, Korra stared back at Mortis with an honestly confused expression on her face. "Could it really be that simple? Just...meditating more? Focusing on them and...trying as hard as I can?" It sounded deceptively easy, and yet difficult. She sagged with a slight sigh. "Maybe my journey will help these things come more easily to me." Because right now it was like trying to force knowledge into her brain that just wouldn't stay in.

    Ghosts that were once human were easier to get rid of. Powerful dark spirits needed a lot more to deal with them. Knowing where they came from and their origins worked great for figuring out how to get rid of them. In a perfect world, that would be all she wrote and it could be so easy! Sadly, as Mortis said, some spirits had no record left behind to take advantage of. That demon in Lochlann was apparently one of these such cases, explaining why he had been around for so long. A brief sneer appeared on Korra's face, reminded of such a thing in this world. "I don't like that thing. Is there really no way to defeat it?" It had to be too strong, but she hated thinking that was true. One of those buttons she supposed, like Mortis said. But, he was right. So long as Korra knew she was worthy and she was doing her best, then the opinions of people like the White Lotus elders who wanted to keep her locked up meant nothing! Katara cared about her, her parents and all of her friends did too. They mattered more. "Heh. You're right, they're just full of hot air!" She responded, almost cocky. "It's too bad there aren't headphones to keep out this 'buzzing' but..." The young Avatar shrugged. "Ignoring them is fine, like you said! With an occasional swat or two." She grinned toothily at the thought.

    With her cuppa refilled, Korra pulled it back to herself and inhaled the steam softly before she took a small sip. Mm...it really did go down smooth. Gesturing to Mortis gently with her cup, Korra thanked him for the refill before she took a grateful nibble of her lemon square. This was truly the ultimate pairing of food and drink.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:48 am

    Perhaps the lack of physical sensation seemed disheartening to the Avatar, but after the first few decades, what was there really to miss? Mortis supposed when he initially came here, he and his brother missed the feeling of the sun, the breeze, the ground beneath their feet...

    But as the years ticked by, and his experiences were just one disaster after another, the undead superfiend steadily- and rapidly- lost interest in what he had been missing. Kindness, evidently was one of those things. Korra may have been taught that if one person does something nice, the other person should be nice back, but what was there to do when the other person was not interested in being repaid?

    The young avatar had plenty of strengths, but as Mortis already had his own powers, along with Samhain and Angemort as dependable and ready backup in case anything went awry; Korra’s extended helping hand seemed redundant. Yet, Korra was oddly persistent and his hints did not seem to be getting through. A low hiss eased its ways out of Mortis’ host, and the undead leaned back slightly in his chair at the extended hand, as if trying to maintain their distance.

    ”Ssss... If I need help, I will let you know then.” He replied politely, neither accepting nor denying the avatar’s offer. His own hands made no move to grasp or shake the young woman’s own, and stayed clasped together upon the striped tablecloth.

    It was due to his aura, of course- Korra was not a filthy person by any means.

    He tilted his skull at the mention of what powers could be in this particular world, while her voice seemed curious, her thoughts revealed a desire to measure and compare her own abilities to that of the rest of the populace. Of course, it was to be expected from someone who used to be one of the most powerful beings of her world, and he supposed there was some youthful insecurity that factored into it.

    ”I sssuppossse. But what would you do, if you knew what everyone elssse wasss capable of? If sssomeone isss sstronger, they are ssimply stronger, sssame ass if they are weaker, or posssesss sssome odd freakissh talent. It isss merely a detail to conssider and work with.” The undead thoughtfully inquired, and took a sip of his freshly topped off cuppa. ”If I were to ssspeak frankly, Korra, I would ssay you have great potential regardlesss of what everyone elssse can offer.”

    She had four different elements at her disposal to be used at her very whim if she wanted. If an opponent could not be burned, they could be drowned, crushed, or asphixiated. The girl could literally use the entire environment against anyone who dared to cross her. There were few if not none, who could boast about that.

    It was much like there were very few who could boast to have the same powers that Fire possessed. Though the undead superfiend remembered the perpetually burning skeleton well, his guest seemed a little unnerved by the tales of when they used to be active and functioning Judges of law. It was nearly comedic, how one’s perception of a person could change when the word “retired” was put into play. It was even funnier how some often thought “retired” and “reformed” were interchangeable similies. Mortis’ brother was reformed, Fear was the one who had completely foregone their previous existence as remorseless killers and staunch upholders of their laws to embrace a more mortal way of being. Fear was the one who happily mingled in the Sanctuary and did part-time volunteer work at Kev’s store. Fear baked cupcakes and made soup with an adopted daughter. Fear lounged with his family at the end of the day, surrounded with contentment and a fulfilled feeling. Fear was the one who went native and decided to never come back.

    But Mortis? Well, that little difference had already been covered. All that was left was to rinse, repeat and wonder: What is the point?

    What was the point of changing, when nothing come of it? Perhaps some pretentious fool would turn their nose and sneer that the reward was self-fulfillment, that he would feel good for being good, but who honestly would fall for that? So what if he was “self-fulfilled”, so what if he was “being good”- who cared? The voles, the squirrels, the bear that shits in the woods?

    No one cared if he changed, and no one cared if he stayed the same either. None of it mattered. Such was the nihilistic reality of the undead’s situation, and Mortis naturally could not bring himself to care any less about any of it.

    ...Except for his little patch of ten acres, and what he had on it, of course. Given Korra was on it currently, he supposed that maybe it was best to tone the rosy tint of his nostalgia down a few shades.

    The undead superfiend shrugged lightly at the young woman’s question regarding how Fire made his flames, and his shoulders erupted into another chorus of crunching and crackling. How did it burn? How did he burn? Some answers were simply lost.

    ”I would not know. Sssome thingsss about usss sssimply are.” Mortis replied. The supernatural was not always known for giving clear answers, after all. ”I jussst know that it wasss an important part of hisss methodss.”

    Maybe it was a perfect extension for him, or maybe Fire was just a big fiery poof that liked his flamboyant props. Who knew? Certainly not Mortis, as after one’s mental link with the other was severed, certain memories went along with it. Fire’s memories were no longer open to him, and neither were his methods of purging. But, perhaps that was for the best, as Mortis had essentially said all that had to be said about Fire without repeating himself. He liked to burn things, and he burned things very well. There really was nothing else to add!

    Mortis set his cuppa down and took another bite of his biscuit, chewing thoughtfully over the Avatar’s confusion and the sweet bread- though its flavor was only a memory. Naturally, being presented with the answer of “meditate more” sounded a bit too blunt, and perhaps a tad obtuse. Concentrating until the young woman’s brain started to hemorage and bleed out of her ears, as lovely an image as it was, unfortunately would get her nowhere.

    ”I agree, methinksss your journey may have a key in allowing yourssself to ssspeak with your passt livess.” Mortis opined, and set the biscuit down to take one more deep sip of black tea.

    Now, the Lochlann demon, that was a real riddle to figure out. If there was any key to its defeat, it certainly was not laying out in the open for the average layman to trip over.

    ”Not in the sssensse of sssimply dessstroying it, no. But like everything, it hasss a weaknesss that can be exploited.” Knowing full well that the young woman would want an elaboration, he obliged her further. ”My brother had come in contact with the demon a few yearsss ago, before I arrived. He went into the devil’sss territory in exchange for a favor, and learned a number of thingsss about it. I persssonally would rather leave it be, but if you find yourssself interessted in tesssting it, perhapsss you could do with a visssit to Fear and ssee if he would be willing to humor you.”

    Mortis knew far better than to simply give her the answer and encourage her to run off to that yokel tourist stop of the damned, but he also knew that if she really wanted to stick her nose into it, likely she would stop by and heed whatever his brother had to say. Who knew, maybe Korra’s connection between the living world and the realm of spirits could be a key role in the lake demon’s demise. Or maybe she would come across someone who had the means of thwarting it. The proactive, vigilante hero types tended to have their ways of finding connections.

    But for the undead superfiend sitting across from her, he was content with simply moving to a new area should the beast from 666 fathoms deep decide to go for a stroll. There was always the far north, with its icy wastelands and sea of conifers to swallow him up and keep him secluded from prying eyes.

    He set his cuppa down, the undead’s sheep skull nodding with a few soft pops and crackles. Tuning out the voices of people who otherwise had nothing important to say tended to be the best method of dealing with them. Although Mortis preferred simply ripping them limb from limb, or rotting them into a pile of corpse dust to drift away on the breeze. It was, after all, a very pleasing thought as the Avatar seemed to agree.

    ”You are welcome, Korra. You are free to try the bissscuitss too if you like.” He rasped in reply to her thanks, and invisibly glanced to the lemon squares that sat neatly in their little arrangement.

    Silently, he hoped she would eat them all, so he did not have too much left over.

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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:56 pm

    ”Ssss... If I need help, I will let you know then.”

    Sounded to Korra like this was the best she was going to get! Never one to let any victory go, no matter how small, the young woman grinned as he relented. "Perfect!" No need to force her help on him, but she wanted Mortis to know that she was somebody he could call on. He seemed rather hesitant to accept assistance for some reason. Perhaps bad experiences with it in the past. The extended hand wavered for a moment before it seemed that there would be no handshake to come and Korra withdrew it without a word. Skin contact seemed a bit taboo for him.

    "It's not just about being stronger," Korra insisted, a bright spark in her eyes. "I'm really interested in the other powers people have here! Just look at yourself and your brother! Powers of rot, shadow, telepathy... There are so many interesting things here. I like learning about these new things." Comparing her own prowess to them was like comparing apples and oranges. Maybe knowing how she measured up in terms of whether she was well-matched or slim pickings would be good to know. But otherwise? She really was just interested in learning what variety of powers existed in other worlds. Her knees bounced lightly beneath the table, and the young woman let out a flattered chuckle at Mortis' words. "Thank you, Mortis! That's nice of you to say. I feel like I haven't had many opportunities to use my powers to their full potential but...that's another good thing about going on this journey." Living off the lay of the land, using her fire to keep herself warm and cook food. Water to satisfy her thirst and heal wounds. Earth to provide a shelter. New ways of thinking of the elements at her fingertips and bending them to her will. Reminding herself of what she could do.

    How interesting. The Judges simply were, and so was the nature of their powers. Mortis' hands decayed what they touched, and Fire could conjure up flames from seemingly nothing, directing them with a trident of all things. Some things simply had no explanation, Korra guessed. At least, no explanation besides their very existence in the first place. Appeased by the answers, the young Avatar nodded her head and let out a contemplative hum. Certain subjects had no easy answers, such was life.

    "That's what I'm hoping... I'm not sure how much use they could be in this new world but, it's like a whole part of my identity that I feel...locked out of." Korra admitted with a light frown, gesturing to herself with a hand to her chest. So many sections of herself felt disconnected, whether it was the element of air or her many past lives. "This journey is sounding like something I really need, the more I think about it." Though her journey would steer clear of Lochlann and the demon inside, though she listened with interest as Mortis insisted that the demon still had a weakness to exploit. Like all things that existed, even herself. Fear knew more on the subject than Mortis, and there was a bit of temptation to visit the man and learn what she could. What was the harm in it, right? Yet...she sucked on her lower lip in thought. Demons...she was out of her depth on such a thing. Trying to face off something even with knowledge gleamed from the former Judge felt...dangerous. Like she could actually get herself killed trying to get involved. It wasn't easy to admit, but she huffed out a small sigh. "I'll leave it be. We're lucky it stays there and hasn't come out to kill us or anything..." The possibility of that happening in the future seemed almost certain. Perhaps that was just paranoia.

    Biscuits were offered up to her as well, and the young woman regarded the little crispy snacks that were more familiar to her than the lemon squares were. "Thank you, Mortis." Korra had a feeling that those back in her world might wind up being a bit blander than those here. This place had lots of tasty sweets! Setting her half eaten square down, she picked up a couple of biscuits and balanced them between her fingertips as if they were poker chips. Inspecting them idly, she dipped one into her tea lightly before slipping it into her mouth with a light smile. "Mm...! Crispier than a cookie, definitely. It's like a...full cracker." Delicious as the lemon cakes were, this provided a nice respite from the sweetness. Melting in her mouth only added to the pleased smile that continued to linger on her face.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:35 pm

    A victory over what exactly? Given nothing seemed to bother him insofar since April, the undead doubted there was much around here that required her kind of help. Stubborn as Mortis was, it was odd to come across someone who was equally so persistent in wanting to offer their aid. Maybe it had something to do with that sort of vigilante do-good mentality.

    ”Ssss...” If he still retained his badge, that would be one among a long list of things that would make her eligible for sentencing.

    Instead, he merely watched as her hand slipped back over to her side of the table. Skin contact, as history had shown with his kind of abilities tended to be very taboo indeed. Taboo in the way that if her skin did not rot off, certainly his aura would take hold in some way upon her person. That would not exactly be a fine finisher to their little tea-party now would it?

    A gentle breeze blew and tussled the long stalks of the sun flowers in the garden. As Korra explained herself, the young woman seemed to just be interested in powers for the sake of it, instead of trying to figure out an advantage. With how most mortals tended to compete and poke around for any sense of leverage they could get- in Mortis’ experience at least- he naturally was a little sceptical. But her thoughts otherwise reflected her words.

    ”It isss interesssting that you wisssh to learn about the differencesss in powersss for the sssake of it. I wonder why that isss.” Mortis hissed thoughtfully.

    The only other time anyone seemed genuinely interested was when they were looking for a way to combat him and his brothers, until they ultimately could find a means to destroy them. But he had already told her about that at some point, he was sure. There was no need to bring that up again. As for the compliment, apparently it was flattering enough to draw a chuckle from the young woman. Compared to him, she must have just been starting out with figuring out her potential.

    Mortis already had a few centuries under his bat-winged belt to figure out his potential, and even then he was still learning new ways to apply his powers. His bleached skull nodded in agreement, but there was little else to say on the matter that was not already covered. Her journey would hopefully open up plenty of opportunities for her to expand her abilities, and when she came back maybe she would know a little more than she already did.

    Just like certain things simply were and had no answers. Thankfully Korra was content with Mortis’ explanation that some things just could not be explained with them, and did not seem to try to pry like the numerous scientists and studious minds that poked and prodded the four of them when they had been contained.

    The undead’s skull tilted slightly with a dry creak of withered bone and mummified flesh. It was distressing to her that she could not connect with her past lives, to the point where it felt like she was missing a part of herself. Admittedly Mortis felt a similar way regarding the fact he was missing half of his brothers, but it was not worth brining up.

    There was no need to interrupt the young woman’s own troubles with his own. Even then, it was just something he had to get used to.
    ”You have my sssympathiesss.” Mortis hissed, before taking another sip of his tea.

    Apparently, while confronting the demon was a tempting offer, she did not exactly feel like she wanted to deal with something that was outside of her expertise. She could get killed if she got involved, she reasoned. The undead superfiend could understand that, although if she did face it and fail, it would have been spectacular to witness.

    ”You and the ressst of usss, Korra. I have yet to hear of anyone who hasss actually thought to ssstand up against it after my brother visssited the lake town a few yearsss ago.” The superfiend rasped, tapping his talons on the table for an instant before adding; ”But I would not be ssso quick to dissmisss your feeling asss mere paranoia either.”

    It was just a little food for thought, nothing more.

    The undead took another bite of his biscuit, which ended up being his last as he popped the rest into his skeletal mouth to chew. It was admittedly a little surprising that with all the dimensions that came to meet here, that the types of foods he found in the grocery stores were so... mundane. Half the food he came across at least he found just as readily when he had been purging the malls and store complexes in Mega City One.

    He swallowed and replied, where the biscuit went was anyone’s guess. ”You are welcome, Korra.” he politely hissed. ”Yesss, britisssh bisscuitsss tend to be crunchier than the yank variety. They tend to be comparable to thossse sssnack cookiess I believe. Ginger ssnapss and the like.”

    But that was just his opinion on the matter. He had not known the actual taste of a biscuit in centuries, all of his sense of flavors came from memory.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Korra on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:53 am

    While Korra definitely did have a competitive spirit to her, it was always a rather honorable kind. Unless the world was at stake, she wasn't about to dig up extra information to get one over on somebody else. That sort of technique was saved for dangerous individuals, not idle conversation or simple curiosity. Shrugging lightly, the young woman lightly bobbed the toe of her boot beneath the table. "I don't know. Maybe it's because I've spent a lot of my life studying the elements? I've only known of the same powers for all my life. The same elements, the same subskills. Learning how other powers work and what they are is amazing. It's...new, you know? It feels like a breath of fresh air. Even if some mysteries won't be entirely explained." Just hearing about it all made her brain buzz.

    Deadened flesh was quite vocal, announcing Mortis' movements as his skull cocked to the side. Admitting it aloud was one of those 'first step' things. Korra was unable to converse with her past lives in situations that weren't life-threatening. Something had to be done, and unfortunately, this wasn't the type of thing physical training or a trip to the library could fix. Bowing her head to the host, she replied with a soft "Thank you. I appreciate it." The powers of a Dark Judge sounded far more cerebral than a majority of her own powers were. Maybe he too struggled with such feelings? There was his resistance to touch to consider... Yes, maybe he understood more than she thought he would.

    Augh, the demon... The Avatar frowned to herself lightly. Sounds like everybody else was too intimidated to go and face this thing. Fear aside, nobody else had thought to go into the town supposedly inhabited by demons. Chewing on her lip thoughtfully, Korra's head tilted to the side. "It almost makes you wonder if it's even still around. If nobody has seen it in years...how can we be so sure it is still out there?" Disappearances were not new in this world. A shame that sounded way too easy to be a real option. "Then again, knowing this place...it probably is still out there." Her feelings of apprehension towards the dark being were backed up by Mortis, who insisted that he didn't see her fear as simple paranoia. She nodded her agreement. "I think you're right." Being unable to march up to the demon and kicked it out of this dimension was a rather embarrassing feeling. Alas, that was the way it must be. Fight smart, not hard.

    'British' cookies. Hm! A biscuit was pinched between her fingertips, turning it about before her own eyes. True to Mortis' word, this was crispier than the rather moist cookies she liked to chew on in the Inn's kitchen. Harder than the flaky biscuits that were served for breakfast. "Ooh, ginger snaps! I've had those before. I see what you mean...they're crunchy like these." Hence the snap, Korra assumed. She popped another biscuit into her mouth and followed it up with a sip of tea. The little snack easily crumbled in her mouth due to the liquid and warmth.
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    Re: Time for Tea!

    Post by Mortis on Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:21 pm

    Alas, having someone genuinely curious and interested in idle conversation was something he was still getting used to. Maybe the undead was a little slower to get on the same page as his brother, but given past history, Mortis found it prudent to be cautious about how much he opened up. Though she may not think him dangerous, Mortis thought himself plenty dangerous.

    He knew from experience, both here and elsewhere.

    ”Ah ssso it isss for the sssake of diversssity then. I sssuppossse that when one hass to deal with the sssame thing long enough, they grow enamored with sssuch changesss.” Mortis replied thoughtfully. Otherwise he had little else to say on the matter that Korra did not already cover.

    Well, that and the fact that Mortis had his fill of change to last the rest of his unlife at this point. While the young avatar may crave the new and unknown, the undead superfiend was happy to let things stagnate for a while; maybe a few decades. Mortis was not exactly a fan of breathing or fresh anything.

    Mind breathing and brain buzzing aside, it seemed that Korra might have been catching on to something regarding him and their topic of being locked out of certain aspects of their being. Though while Korra might be able to go on a spirit quest to fix hers, the superfiend could not mend his problems so simply. There were no quests or meditations that could bring back his brothers, and so far as he saw it there was no point in discussing something that could not be remedied or mended. There was nothing productive to gain from it and in the process the conversation would quickly grow annoying for the both of them.

    But as for his resistance to touch? Mortis considered it wise to correct her train of thought regarding it.

    There was a small sigh before he vocalized,”I hear your thoughtsss regarding my apprehenssionss, but no, I do not have any conflict regarding being resssisstant to physsical contact. I merely have isssue with the posssibility of my aura attaching and harming your perssson, which isss primarily through prolonged contact- physsical contact isss one of thesse. My rotting touch however I can control.” It was an odd sort of thing that many seemed to have trouble understanding despite repetitive explanation. Perhaps there was some sort of complexity to it that he did not perceive?

    Moving on to the topic of the lake demon, Korra’s expression reflected her churning thoughts regarding the infernal beast. Although her suggestion was one that he undead had not failed to consider at some points, the notion of disappearances was something that Mortis actively sought to avoid thinking about too deeply as of late. That train of thought tended to wander and weave itself into fresh wounds that had yet to heal. The undead paused a moment, his answer at first merely a thoughtful hum, as his mind did just that, wandering where it otherwise should know better not to.

    He picked up another biscuit from the tray to much upon, the brittle cookie crunching between his grinding teeth. There was still a guest to entertain for a small moment longer, though their topics of conversation were starting to drain to a trickle and the afternoon was just as steadily whittling itself away. Soon both of them would have to move on with their respective lives and unlives. Not to mention he figured within the next few minutes he would have to cut off her exposure to his aura for the day before something began to stick.

    ”I can ssenssse that it isss sstil out there, lingering in itss village. But asss for what it intendsss to do and when, I cannot ssay.” He hissed, and took another sip of his tea. Little by little the cup was steadily draining down Mortis’ rotted throat.

    If it could be out there, likely it was still out there. Devils and dark spirits were not exactly the kind to simply give up on their infernal scheming for good.

    ”Indeed,” Mortis was not exactly humble about affirming Korra’s thoughts, ”Demonsss are a ssscheming, ambitiousss, and incredibly patient bunch. Likely thisss one isss merely biding itsss time.” For what, he did not know, but most likely some sort of opening or opportunity that he could not forsee.

    She had enjoyed ginger snaps before, and Mortis gave a small nod of his skeletal head in agreement. ”Yesss, it tendss to offssset the ssstronger flavor of the tea, and ssweetensss it a little without having to dump any sssugar into the drink itssself.” He added.

      Current date/time is Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:17 pm