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First names were most often used by childhood or school friends. If the friendship was made after school age, first names would only really be used by women. Men were far more likely to refer to their friends by their surnames, a mark of familiarity. — Documentation


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Complete threads set in ten different forum locations. Threads must have at least ten posts, and three must be your own. Character accounts cannot be combined.

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Lost on Familiar Ground
#1
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June 4th, 1888 - Salem Square as this happens

While much of Nimiane Bellchant's life had been spent rather on her own and she had grown accustom to the solitude that came with such circumstances, there were times when she felt the desire to speak to individuals not of her own staff. Not that she didn't adore her companions, but she could feel their thoughts pressing in on her when she was in the cottage. Not so much Marli, but the others....when you grew up with them there were just things you picked up on. Sighs perceived as disappointment and dissatisfaction, idle stares of disapproval at her actions, it was enough to drive Nimiane on the occasion out the door of her cottage into the center of Irvingly: Salem Square. Such had been the occasion this Monday morning.

The walk had started out pleasant enough, a gray blue sky that barely hinted of rain but perhaps of gathering clouds. A breeze had lightened the heat of the summer day making it almost enjoyable as Nimiane and Marli walked the path to the village. First they had stopped in the Village Shoppe for new quills for Nimiane. She could always use quills, inks, and parchment, it was a never ending parade of supplies for her. Their purchases completed Nimiane had proposed stopping at Chance d'Amour for a cup of tea before returning to the cottage. "Perhaps we shall even see your handsome fellow along the way." Nimiane quietly teased her friend as they exited the store, looking over her shoulder at her friend. That was until she couldn't see Marli in the doorway. In fact she couldn't even see the door way!

Nimiane looked around almost panicked as she realized she had delved into a cloud of fog. Fog that certainly hadn't been there when they arrived at the store earlier. Nimiane spun around realizing it smelled like a dusty old room that had been closed up for several years. She could only be a step or two outside of the store but she could barely see the outline of anything, taking a step forward she called "Marli?" But other murmurs were going up in the square and she didn't rightly know where she was or where her friend was. Nimiane spun again, hoping that if she headed a few steps in another direction she might be able to retrace her steps. Resolving that this was the best course of action she stepped forward - right into another individual.
#2
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Errington had been going about his business as usual. He'd had a meeting at the casino with a gentleman regarding exporting his wine to Italy. He was confident that he could drive the price up, so had left the meeting without a final response. Feeling rather chipper — or as chipper as the reserved Errington was able — he had begun crossing the square just as a fog had begun to form. It was an odd occurrence as Irvingly didn't often experience fog... especially in June. The scent of dust filled his nostrils and he quickened his pace, an eerie feeling tickling up his spine. Something was off. He wanted to get home as soon as possible.

The fog had fallen so quickly and had grown in thickness in mere minutes. He bumped solidly into someone else. He vaguely recognized her as the squib resident of Irvingly. He hadn't known her personally, but her reputation preceded her. "Pardon me, madam, I didn't see you. This fog..." His brow creased with his concern, "There's something strange about it."


[Image: errisig.jpg]
#3
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Oh! I am so sorry.” Nimiane replied automatically at the same time as the gentleman. She could just make out his features in front of her, recognizing him as the owner of Irvingly’s winery. It was a small enough town that even if one didn’t know the other persay, chances were the face was at least familiar, if not the name or position they held. People did like to talk after all, not always to Nimiane, but she picked up things between slips of conversations and her staff.

She nodded in agreement. “Yes. It seemed to come right out of nowhere. And it smells….musty.” Her melodic voice held a hint of concern in it as she looked at the dense fog around them. “I can hardly see through it.” She admitted, she couldn’t be that far from her destination, though, could she? “I was just leaving the Shoppe, you wouldn’t happen to know how to get back would you? My maid is still there.” At least she hoped Marli was still in the shoppe and hadn't stepped into this. Worry now coated her tone, more for Marli’s sake than her own.
#4
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Erri nodded in agreement. It did smell musty. That wasn't normal for fog, that much he was certain. This had to be magic. His atmospheric charm couldn't have gone sideways could it? No, he'd have foreseen that. He also had employees that would have found a way to get a message to him that something had gone wrong far before it spread to the center of Irvingly. The winery was a hefty walk from here.

"The Shoppe?" He repeated thoughtfully as he peered in the direction from whence he'd come. Or he thought that he'd come. He couldn't recall which direction he'd originally faced before they'd bumped into each other, or if he was still facing the same way. "I'm afraid not, but I'll assist as best I can. Perhaps if we call out to her she could direct us?"


[Image: errisig.jpg]
#5
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Squinting through the fog Nimiane hoped he might be able to help her, but disappointment coursed through her at his admission that he didn’t. There was still a way, however, “Yes, that might work. Thank you for your assistance.” She turned slightly hoping that she was in the right direction, “Marli? Can you hear me?
#6
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Marli did quite enjoy her little outings with Miss Nimmie. She wasn't all that sure it was something all lady's maids got to do but, well, Miss Nimmie wasn't a right typical lady. Marli was well aware of the differences in her mistress but she didn't really care. As strange as it may have been, they'd become fast friends in the years they'd spent together. She wasn't silly enough to think that they could be considered true friends in the eyes of society but their little outings often felt as close to a friendship as Marli had ever really come. So when Miss Nimmie had poked fun at her about her handsome gentleman, her cheeks had taken on a rosy hue. Not that her mistress would even see that.

It all happened so fast it felt and before Marli knew it, Miss Nimmie was gone. But not just that, Marli couldn't see anything much further beyond that of her own nose. She was quite certain that the day had been bright when they'd gone into the shop. And the smell.. Marli crinkled her nose at the smell of it though she found she was very much rooted to the spot.

Reaching out behind her, she was able to feel the window of what would likely be the shoppe window. "Miss Nimmie?" she called out, though perhaps too quietly thanks to her startled state. But then she thought she heard her name being called out so she returned the call a bit louder this time, "Miss Nimmie!"
#7
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Faintly, he could hear a feminine voice. He looked over at his surprise!companion and raised a brow, "Did you hear that, Miss Bellchant? Was that your maid?" Erri wasn't certain what could be done once they found her. He didn't feel comfortable leaving the pair of women alone in a place such as this. Perhaps they ought to all go inside the shoppe and wait it out - assuming that the maid was still near enough to the shop that her voice could lead them there.


[Image: errisig.jpg]
#8
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It sounded like someone was calling her name. The gentleman appeared to hear it as well. Then it came again, yes, that was definitely Marli, although she didn’t seem all that close to them. “Yes, yes I think it was.” Relief was clear in Nimiane’s tone. Although to be entirely honest she still had no idea where Marli was, let alone where she was. “Stay there Marli! We’re going to try and find our way to you!” Nimiane called out. No point in getting them all lost after all.
#9
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Marli was slowly beginning to give up hope, her fingertips gripping the ledge of the window and likely causing her knuckles to go white as she waited for a response. After a few brief moments, she heard her mistress once again. A smile spread over her features as she let out a sigh of relief. "I'm by the shop still!" she called out, not daring to let go of her hold on the ledge, "I'm not sure if you can see it though. It's quite hard to see through this fog!"
#10
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Thankfully, the voice was confirmed as the maid - who was also near the shop. They'd been thrown a bone, at least!

"She sounds like she's this way," He told her, stepping in the direction that he believed the voice to have come from, "Stick close, Miss Bellchant - perhaps you can continue to call out to her so that we don't go astray?"


[Image: errisig.jpg]
#11
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Thank Merlin that Marli had remained by the shop. A sigh of relief escaped Nimiane’s lips as she heard her maid through the fog. With a nod, Nimiane followed behind the gentleman, taking care that she matched him step for step, easy as it appeared they were about the same height. “Of course.” She nodded, then added volume to her voice, something rare for her, “We are going to follow your voice Marli! Can you keep talking?” She could hear others around the square making similar comments at similar volumes and almost wondered if they’d get lost just by that. But surely between the three of them they could get Nimiane and Marli back where they belonged, right?
#12
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Keep talking? What was Marli supposed to talk about? She wasn't usually one of the most talkative sorts so it threw her a bit out of her element. She imagined the situation would put anyone out of their element though. Biting on her bottom lip, she continued to remain where she was before figuring out what to say. "Not exactly what we expected for today's outing, huh?" she called out, a bit of mirth to her voice as she laughed lightly, "Perhaps next time we should see if there's any indication of foul weather."
#13
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At least things were going well? Neither of the women seemed harmed by the fog - nor was he - so playing a bit of 'marco polo' wasn't as bad as it could be. "It's odd," He replied loud enough for even the maid to hear, though he suspected he hadn't been the one who was being addressed, "It's like the fog came out of nowhere. It's nonseasonal, especially. I wonder if something has happened."


[Image: errisig.jpg]
#14
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Despite the situation Nimiane found herself lightly chuckling at her maid’s attempt to keep things normal - and to keep talking. She was aware it was an odd request, but was incredibly grateful that Marli was attempting to do so, and that the gentleman was as well.

I’m not sure we could have predicted this Marli.” Nimiane replied, trying to keep her normally quiet voice at a volume that might be heard. She hoped they were getting closer, although she really couldn’t quite tell. “It does seem as if something has happened.” She agreed, although if it had to do with magic she wouldn’t be any help even at speculation of just what it was that had happened.


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