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RP:Pick Your Poison

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Part of the Magic, Madness, and Mayhem Arc

Part of the Through A Glass, Darkly Arc

Part of the Seven Dwarves All Around Me Arc

Summary: In need of some nightshade to make a poison that would go undetected if ingested by a particular dwarf, Lanara heads to Sage Forest where she knows that Callum has a private greenhouse. Meri is there, and she previously informed Cal that Lana had taken a job from Fox, and would be stopping by. The couple creates a little scavenger hunt for the witch and after finding a safe, she learns to pick a lock, followed by choosing the correct poisonous plant! The evening ends with an offer of employment, the potion brewed, and Lana being one step closer to completing her deadly task.

This is a Rogue's Guild RP.

Lanara makes the short journey from Cenril to Sage Forest, where she hopes to find the humble abode of Meri, Callum, Fleur, and the fur children the couple had adopted from the animal sanctuary. The witch deliberately passes their house twice, and continuously peers over her shoulder to make absolutely certain that she’s not being followed. Witches valued their privacy, as they should, after all that had happened in the lands since Josleen and Macon’s mayhem, along with Cramer’s book hitting the stands. Would things –ever- be the same for those that proudly practiced the craft? Lanara is being especially careful as she’s also intent on completing her half of the mission, courtesy of the Rogue’s Guild, and she required a rare herb that was possibly grown by Callum. However, she’s not just going to barge into their home, unannounced, and asking for an item that would aid her in creating a poison! Lanara is dressed in festive attire and holds a box of snowflake sugar cookies from the Ginger Snapped Bakery in her hand, as well as an invitation to an upcoming Yule party. An oversized backpack rests between her shoulders, and her dark eyes sparkle as the sun is finally setting. She’d finesse her way into asking Cal and Meri for their help, but first she intends on spending a few minutes with her friends. Knocking on the door, she waits for one of them to answer, and they’d be greeted with a warm smile. “Hello! I’m sorry to drop by like this, but I wanted to personally deliver an invitation from Taly and I… She’s hosting a little Yule celebration at her cottage in Frostmaw next week…”

Callum || It’d been an odd week for Cal. Eleanor--or Fox, as she’s known in the seedy parts of Lithrydel--had summoned him to Cenril. There were two things wrong with this: first, he had to go to The Office and the second was that she almost never summoned him somewhere without Meri. Well… he soon found out why. The strange plant/gem hybrid Eleanor had created was something he’d never once seen before… and to be honest, he was kind of pissed that he never thought to do it. Crystals were not his forte, however, so it’s no wonder that he hadn’t. For now, those samples he’d taken were locked away tightly in their basement (read: werewolf holding cell for those times of the month where the whole family went wolfie). He’d shown Meri, of course. Eleanor had fused blue topaz together with a type of flowering ivy. It had made a literal big stink, but one of the sickly sweet sort--and Callum had been tasked with figuring out why. Well, in order to do that, he had to get his hands on books about crystals. One of two people he’d ask for this information was literally knocking on their door just now! There wasn’t a trace of this weird magic plant Eleanor had made as Callum opened the door to find Lanara standing there with a box of cookies and an invitation. The smell of -normal- plants and soil came from within the house, the backdoor open so that Cal could utilize their dinner table as a place to rehome his precious plants from the garden to couldn’t survive the winter into their new pots, which would then be put in the greenhouse behind the a-frame style home. “I’m kind of surprised you even want the two of us there,” he said at length after a few blinks, “Or at the very least, want -me- there.” It was kind of hard to forget what happened on Halloween. Sadly, he did not possess the levels of compartmentalization that Brand does when it came to traumatic events. Callum welcomed her in, of course, and showed her to the living room, while also calling for Meri.

Meri had a feeling that Lanara would be showing up at their doorstep soon enough. The blonde had waffled back and forth on if she should tell Callum about Lanara taking a job from the Fox -- not because she did not trust Callum with this information....Her reasoning is far more selfish: as much as she loves Lanara, she's going to make the witch work for it. And Callum? Well he could be as stubborn as any Catalian, especially when it came to his precious plant babies. In the end though, Meri does not keep Callum in the dark, he has had poison stolen from him before and used for nefarious purposes. That being said, she does advise him that they should have a bit of fun with this and not make it too easy for Lanara. This information is shared with him at the same time that Meri learns of Callum's meeting with Eleanor. Flash forward to present: Lanara is at their doorstep as anticipated. With an invitation? Meri is not surprised by this at all, and Cal earns a light elbowing to his ribs for his response to the invitation, "Oh stop it. Of course you're wanted there. And we're going to solve your ghost problem too."

Lanara steps over the threshold into the home and hands the box of cookies to Callum, “Pfft. Of course we wish to include you both, you’re our close friends! And… Okay, so at the last get together things didn’t go as smoothly as predicted, but there isn’t any sort of communicating with the dead on Yule. It’s mostly eating, saying a prayer over the log, some sort of artsy activity, and the exchange of gifts.” Sensing her fellow witch’s hesitation, Lana grins, “Don’t feel too bad, Cal. We’ve ALL had magical mishaps, even high priests and priestesses make a mistake from time to time.” Hoping he’d find her words reassuring, Lanara glances around the room and realizes it’s the first time she’s been inside of their home. “Your home is lovely, and it’s in quietest part of the forest.” The witch is hoping that enough small talk will be had, so that she wouldn’t feel so awkward transitioning the conversation to ‘borrowing’ some plants. “Meri! How are you? I’m sorry to have stopped by unexpected.” There’s a pause, as their knowing eyes meet, but Lana didn’t know if Callum worked for Fox, or even know of Meri’s secret outings. “It will be up in Frostmaw, as I was telling Cal, and if you want to bring Fleur, she’s welcome, too! Khitti gifted Taly the other tikifhlee kitten, so I’m sure Fleur would love to play with Ella!” There’s a pause as she thinks about the ghost problem, “Yes, my sister and I have been meaning to discuss that, but we think its best that we have a meeting beforehand. Of course we will handle this issue.” Speaking of issues! “So, um, Cal? I remember those beautiful bell-like flowers that you brought to our Samhain dinner? You replanted them from Catal, right? I was wondering if you could maybe show me some of your plants? I’m looking for one in particular…” Lana had done her research, but she’s obviously playing coy. “I even brought along the other ingredients! Maybe I could show you how to brew it?”

Callum just smirked at both of the women and their “well duh, Cal” moment. These women though. “The last “party” was supposed to be mostly just eating too,” he said in response, though it was clear he’d concede to defeat on the whole issue. They were going to go to the Yule party and his lovely little ghost problem was going to be dealt with. It would appear that Lanara’s sheepishness regarding the plants, though was not needed! “It just so happens that I’ve been informed of this herb you need.” He doesn’t name names. It could’ve come from Meri. It could not have. Look, Cal’s got -people- that tell him things. “But… this is something you’re going to have to do yourself.” Everyone joining the guild had to undergo a test, after all… so what’s one more added to Lanara’s list? “As you can see, I’m in the middle of rehoming things and that means they’re not in the order I had them in, in the garden outside.” Callum was doing his best to hide a growing smirk. He might’ve planned for this. He’d been taking his dear sweet time going through the garden, picking out the best candidates to go into the greenhouse for the winter. Not long enough that his babies would die, mind you. “They could literally be anywhere in this house at the moment.” If Lanara took a closer look, there were pots -all frakking over- the house. Even in the bedrooms. Even on the stairs to the second floor! “Or… it could still be outside. If you can manage to find it, I might be nice enough to let you use my alchemical set for it all.” Sorry, Lanara. You get to go on a scavenger hunt! Your sister did not, though. She got the easy route via randomly having tea with Cal one day while she’d been out looking for herbs to restock her supply in Frostmaw! The instructions were left vague enough that Meri could add in her own if she wished. Perhaps she could… -release the hounds-. That might even include their daughter, to be honest.

Meri pins a curious look on Callum when he announces that he knows just what herb Lanara is looking for. Why? Literally for show. She's playing dumb, because maybe Callum got the information from her! Maybe he got it from one of his people. What would Meri's role in this test be? If any at all? So far it seems like the woman is just a harmless spectator in this little scavenger hunt for the right poison to kill a dwarf. It's possible she could do exactly as Cal says and release the hounds, then again...since the hunt was for poison, Meri might play the safe route and keep the hounds away. Cal did not start calling Meri a she-devil for no reason, the woman has tricks. She'll find some way to make this task more challenging than a simple scavenger hunt, surely.

Lanara tries her damnedest to hide her disappointment when she learns that Callum is pleased to help her… So long as she plays their little game and goes on a scavenger hunt. Normally, the witch enjoys mischief and she’s been known to mercilessly prank her little sister, but when the tables are turned she stands there wide eyed. “You’re… Serious?” The man attended the dump supper, was invited to the Yule party, had both sisters offering him lessons in the craft… And he expects Lanara to –work- for some leaves and berries of atropa belladonna?! An exasperated look is offered to Meri, and although Lanara adores the psion, she’s fairly certain she’s in on this little charade. How else would Callum have known to hide a specific plant?! After dishing them both an accusatory sneer, Lana removes her backpack and rests it on the living room floor, eager to begin her search. “Okay… If I remember correctly it’s obviously toxic if ingested, doesn’t have much of a flavor, but the dark berries have a touch of sweetness.” It could literally be half of the plants in Callum’s collection, and it wasn’t like she –fully- researched the plant’s needs. Did it need warmth? Could it survive in the cold? Absorb a ton of sunlight? Fox stated she only needed the poison to be undetected in the ale, so Lana only researched toxic plants and herbs that held little to no taste if ingested. Not that she could wander about biting into the plants! Choosing to begin in the current room, she peers at several plants that are nearby, and then she moves picture frames, looks beneath tables, and even shoves the couch a few inches from the wall to peer behind it. One never knew what this chaotic couple had up their sleeves! “Do I get any hints? Hot or cold signals?”

Callum raised a brow at Lanara’s reaction, doing his best, again, to hide another smirk. “Let’s just say you’ve got the easy route to get into the guild, Lanara. -I- had to help “Fox” and Meri here with some safe that I can’t even remember at this point what was in it--if I even knew at all.” Seriously. He can’t remember and neither can his narrator. “It was in some cave, being guarded by not-very-nice people like us. It’s worse than what I’m making it sound. So,” he said, looking around the room at his babies, “you get to do this thing. Because slipping someone some poison is as easy as taking candy from a baby.” His attention settled on the other witch again, a shrug given, “This is a poison. Much like in the animal world, most things that are poisonous have some sort of indication on them that they are indeed just that. A lot of them have bright colors. If the proper name for a plant doesn’t give you any clues, think about the nicknames. Sometimes the names are literal, stemming from what they look like.”

Meri :: Poor Lanara! Having to work for some herbs. Meri would smirk because she's too busy playing dumb and innocent. When Lanara sneers at the she-devil, Meri just looks utterly astonished! Why do you suddenly hate me, Lanara?! It's a good thing that the list Lanara is running right now is a mental one, for Cal did not start calling Meri she-devil for nothing. Surely Meri would be able to present a case that for every tally that Lanara has on her list, Meri could come up with one of their own. Most recently, they robbed a bank together. Fortunately, the list is mental....Even if this list was not mental, Callum manages to distract Meri. How? He tells a story about this job they did in a cave...and Meri is suddenly reminded of the very cruel, cold, and wet exit Cal forced her into making that day. It really hurt. And by the glare that she is giving Callum, she's still feeling salty about it. So salty that as she walks by him to make her way closer to Lanara, she 'accidentally' steps on his foot. Total. Accident. Love you, hubby to be. A smooth smile graces Meri's red lips shortly after, because she's really on a roll with her acting skills tonight. She's definitely going to pretend she did not just do that to Callum's foot. In her defense, at least it is not a right hook to the jaw like Brand get's from Khitti. "What? And make this task any easier for you than we already have? Come on now, witchy, I am sure you know your herbs. Identifying a plant should be a breeze for you." Except....it won't be. With the appropriate amount of investigating, Lanara would soon learn that this toxic plant she is after is no where indoors.

Lanara is much better at planning events and outings for others, because she’s awful at taking hints, and she loathes following instructions. She’s basically given the reins and not much more, but if Callum’s comment was right about her getting a rather easy task to get into the Guild, then she’d be a good sport and start looking at each of the plants a little closer. “Okay. Um… Red and black are usually colors that would signify danger, perhaps yellow, too…” There are small cards stuck in the soil in some of the plants, and her hues are instantly drawn to them, as she uses her intuition to try and discover which plants she should and should not handle with caution. Being that Fleur could easily reach most of them, she tries to look waist length and taller, as Meri and Cal wouldn’t risk their child or pets eating a poisonous plant. That limits a quarter of the search! Feeling bolder, Lana moves into the hallway, and turns into the kitchen, and surveys the area. “Okay… So, if I recall atropa belladonna is the most deadly and rarest form of… Nightshade! Ooh! Maybe it’s in the bedroom? Or the basement? Behind the curtains? Or the bed? In a dark area?” Meri taunts her with those words, but deep down this is becoming fun for Lanara, because she’s forced to ‘think’ and it’s a mini adventure. Seeking something deadly, a couple of comrades at her side, roaming around foreign territory? Not that she’d let on that she’s beginning to have a good time. Should she just waltz into their master bedroom? Hand on the doorknob, she glances over her shoulder at Cal and Meri, knowing the couple valued their privacy. “Should I search in-“ Wait. It dawns on her that they mentioned to play close attention to the ‘name’ of the plant. Night. Shade. It was outdoors, in a dark area, perhaps even in a shed or structure. Making a beeline for the back door, Lana hopes she’s on the right track.

Callum || Thankfully, the door to the basement was out of sight entirely. It was a necessary thing to have when it was either used as a panic room or a place for the family to go during a full moon. Cal would, you know, snark off a bit more to Lanara except! his foot! was stepped on! by some rude! blonde! woman! There’s a slew of curses in Catalian and Common. Maybe even a bit in Elvish. He’s well-versed in other languages so as to scam people of all races, after all. That doesn’t matter right now though. Because his goddamn foot hurt! That woman of his was given an angry, wide-eyed look and a threatening finger pointed in her direction. “If we did not currently have company, woman…” He hadn’t really meant it in a completely angry way. There was a hint of a smirk at the end. Callum will never hear the end of his exit attempt in that cave and how it had managed to injure Meri. He’d limp his way towards the back door, scowling in quite the Catalian manner at the psion (she knew the look; Brand does it too). “Well, she’s definitely getting closer,” he muttered to the blonde in a whisper as Lanara wandered around outside to continue her hunt there. He wondered how quickly it would dawn on Lanara though that the plant she was looking for wasn’t outside either. Not -entirely- anyway.

Meri has a few responses for Callum! ....she just keeps them to herself though, they had company present and Meri was never the sort to be overly flirtatious in public. It seems the group is making their way out of the back door to the home, Lanara is on a mission and she is definitely getting warmer. Cal tries to scowl at Meri as he limps in that direction and Meri responds with a blown kiss as she follows the group up last. Thus far no hounds have been released, so at least Lanara has that going for her. In ways, searching the yard may prove more challenging than the house. It was a bigger and more open area. They could have some secret garden that is hidden from view, shoved back further into the forest. It would make sense, they would not have Fleur just stumbling into any toxic plants. But no, if they do have some top secret growing space...that is not what Lanara needs to be looking for. The plant is definitely outside...sort of. See, it's more like it is locked within something...that is also being kept outdoors. It's a something that is definitely out of place, but not easy to see. Shoved back between some shrubbery and foliage is a locked safe. No doubt...the psion is not going to work any fancy tricks on this lock like she did back at the bank. Once upon a bank robbery, Meri did tell Lanara she should learn how to do this....

Lanara hears the playful banter between Callum and Meri and she shakes her head, wondering if this was part of their plan. Were they hinting that the plant was ‘underfoot’ or that it was isolated and far from ‘company’ and such? The confused witch pauses here and there, as she’s literally crawling around on the ground, peering beneath rocks and pots, and skirting around trees. Didn’t Cal mention something about a cave? Lana looks to the right and left, clearly not seeing any caverns in the backyard. At this rate the dwarf would die of old age! Covered in grass clippings and debris, the witch circles the area, each circling bringing her further from the center so that she can scour a much larger radius. The witch feels she’s onto –something- since the couple is out here as well, and they both seem to be watching her movements. Was she even on the right track? Only time would tell! It’s at least a good twenty or so minutes before poor Lana trips over the safe and lands amidst the shrubs. She’s kicking and cursing in sylvan, adding along to Cal’s earlier stream of cussing, as she dusts herself off and eyes the locked box. “Am I supposed to search for the key now?” Lanara sits campfire style on the ground and studies the locking mechanism, wishing she had some of Meri’s handy abilities. This was another test! The bank heist proved that Lanara is literally useless regarding picking a lock, so she had to convince the couple to come along and assist. (Meri and Callum literally did everything at the bank, Lana just looked pretty and encouraged a dog to maul his handler!) She’s determined to prove herself now, even if it takes her until dawn. “I read up on it, but I haven’t had much practice…” She’s shy to show how inexperienced she is, so Lana hovers over the box and takes a few deep breaths, before removing the pin from her hair and sticking it in the keyhole. At least another thirty minutes passes, her palms are sweating from anxiety, and her fingertips are sore from all the twiddling, but there’s a click! Inhaling sharply, the witch turns the pin and the lock creaks open! “Did I do it?!” Incredulous, she looks up at Cal and Meri.

Callum || Surprisingly, this playful arguing was not at all hints for Lanara, and yet… it still seemed to work in her favor anyway. No, this was normal Cal and Meri banter, for the two were somewhat like Meri’s sister and her husband in that way. There’s no way to tell if it’s because of the Catalian’s or because Meri and Khitti both were she-devils in their own way. Lanara eventually found the safe and picked it open! Huzzah! “You did. Congrats! Now, you just have to figure out which is which. Or, rather, which one you need out of the three put in there. But, you might want to use those,” he said, motioning to a pair of gloves fixed to the door of the safe. They really didn’t need Lanara accidentally offing herself, after all. Sitting inside the safe were three small clay pots, each one filled with a different poisonous herb and its soil: nightshade, hellebore, and lobelia. Each one had dark shades of red or purple flowers on them, but only one had the berries hidden away beneath the flowers that Lanara sought, along with the rest of the plant itself. “And now that you’ve done this, I’ll tell you the same that I told your sister a month or so ago: you can have free reign of the plants here. Any of them. So long as there’s enough left of the plant to regrow itself or to take clippings and replant them elsewhere.” Despite all the shenanigans, Callum actually seemed proud of the other witch, which is evident by the smirk on his face, “I do have three questions for you though--ones that don’t need to be answered to get the plants, though. One pertains to you, one relates to me, and the last to a favor for Meri and I.”

Meri :: Yes, this was fairly usual banter for Meri and Callum. In time, Lanara would come to learn this is very much the norm. Meri golf claps at Lanara's successful lock picking endeavor, but it seemed the test was not over yet. The mastermind behind this portion of the test was Callum, for even if Meri has committed to learning more about plants so that she can support her plant-geek fiance in his hobbies? ...This is beyond Meri's scope of knowledge. It was currently even a lesson for her! Would Lanara pick the right one? Which one was the right one even? Meri did not know. She's also does not really know what questions Cal might have for Lanara. Well. Okay, she knows what one out of the three are for the favor relates to Fleur. Meri knows that much. Meri also has questions of her own, "What happens if we just grind them all up into one poison?" This question is directed to either Lanara or Callum, whomever has the answer for her.

Lanara is so proud of herself for picking her –first- of hopefully many locks! Sure, it took her way longer than it should have, but practice makes perfect! The three plants are nearly identical in appearance, and as Callum stated, all three are poisonous. Obediently she places the gloves over her hands and selects the first clay pot, her fingers gently touching the leaves. Being an elven witch, she is respectful of nature, and she treats each plant with care; caressing the petals with a tenderness that a mother would show her child. It’s not the first, her intuition is pressing her to move on, and so she proceeds by lifting the second pot. “Hmm…” The third is lifted and inspected, and as she tilts the flower, she spies the black berries and her eyes light up. “This is the nightshade!” She speaks with certainty in her tone, and she swiftly moves to clip six leaves and two berries from the plant, before carefully tucking it back into the safe beside the other two. “I have the other items necessary for the potion in my backpack. If you’ll direct me to your cauldron, or whatever means you use, that would be wonderful!” It was important to crush the plant and use the items as soon as one could, for it would be the most potent. “And Cal… Thank you… That offer is so generous! Taly and I both are in your debt, as it’s so hard to come across most of this stuff, and I know you grow the best quality.” The witch glances at Meri and laughs, “Each poison has its own unique poison… For example, this nightshade? Two sweet berries are enough to kill a child within an hour… The leaves, however, are needed to slow the process and make sure that the victim falls asleep for about thirty minutes, before death strikes. The berries will counteract the bitterness of the leaves, and the brew I’m making will be sure that everything goes undetected and strikes full force. If all –three- were combined? Well… I’m pretty sure that some plants attack the brain, so one may hallucinate to the point where they drove themselves crazy, or off a cliff. Some plants, like poinsettias, are beautiful but lethal. They will dehydrate one, from excessive vomiting and diarrhea. Some plants cause rashes, allergic reactions, all sorts of things. So mixing them is –not- a good idea!” As she rises to her feet, Lana keeps the leaves and berries safely atop her palm, just over the glove. She’d wait until Cal and Meri guided her toward their crafting station, before she turns to the Catalian. “What are your questions, Cal?”

Callum grinned when Lanara figured out just which one was what she needed, her excitement something akin to his own when he successfully crossbred a plant or something of the like. As she went on to explain to Meri what the berries and leaves of the deadly nightshade plant did, Cal nodded in confirmation. This was why he kept the poison up and away from tiny grabby child hands or doofus dogs that did not know any better. “It’s this way.” He led them both to the newly built greenhouse behind their home, headed inside, and went to the back where his alchemy set was set up on a table. All the parts were there, including the mortar and pestle, and a stool to sit on to work there. “No cauldron, I’m afraid. That may be another thing that I might not adjust to well in the witch world. I’m just far too used to using these.” He leaned up against the wall, as he’d not quite gotten all of the shelving in place where he wanted it and there was actually a place to lean for now--as was evident by a few boards laying up against the same wall nearby--and crossed his arms over his chest, “First question is the favor. Meri and I were going to take that getaway vacation soon and you did offer to babysit…” There was a smirk, because he was sure she’d know where that was going. “The next one…” Callum hesitated here, a side glance given to Meri. “I’d like to start on crystals first… if we can. For my training, I mean.” And maybe use that knowledge to help Eleanor before she managed to kill herself doing anymore experiments. “And the last one is… I’m aware that since your trial is done and over with that you don’t really have a home or anything to keep you busy much at the moment? Besides sliding into shady stuff, that is. So, I was wondering if you wanted to work for me. Here. In my greenhouse with me. It doesn’t have to be permanent if you don’t want it to be nor do you even have to work here at all. But, I figured I’d offer before you tried to find anything else. Obviously, there’s not much room here for another person with all of us here, but the pay would be good so you could find an apartment or something elsewhere. Especially if you’d rather keep close to Enchantment or something.” He wasn’t sure if she was planning to continue keeping ties with Lunalesca or anyone else there. “At one point a few years ago, someone else had that job, and I’ve not found a replacement since then,” he said, a slight frown forming. “And, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to make the same mistake she did.” There’s another look to Meri. He was talking about The Red Witch and the time she stole from Callum to make the poison to kill Macon. “Or, rather, I trust you enough to know that you wouldn’t do what she did.”

Meri blinks at Lanara a few times....because what she is explaining....does not sound like a bad thing? Granted it may not be suited for the task at hand, but if someone really wanted someone to die painfully....Honestly mixing all three together sounded BEAUTIFUL. In short, try as Callum and Lanara might to convince Meri that this is not a good thing to do...Meri finds herself quite curious. Hopefully the blonde will be kept busy enough that she does not feel inclined to take this up as a new hobby - creating poisons that is. She does have plenty on her plate, so there is a good chance this will not develop beyond tonight’s 'what if' musings. At this point, Meri's lost in her own thoughts and really only keeping half an ear on the conversation. It's not until Callum starts giving her those side looks that Meri is pulled from her thoughts and back to reality. And even then it takes her a moment to process -- she has to spend a good few seconds wondering why he was looking at her so weird. Meri tacks on as an afterthought, "Though we have already had a few witch-hunting visitors, we still try our best to keep this place private. With that said, we're quite selective with who we actually invite over as guests." While Meri did assume Lanara was already well aware of this, as it had taken the couple ages to warm up to the notion of inviting the witch sister's over, the blonde is clearly taking the 'better safe than sorry' approach.

Lanara follows the pair into the newly built greenhouse and she wondrously looks around the interior, amazed at all of the plants, the alchemy setup, and all the finishing touches that made it the perfect place for plants. “Wow! This place is incredible!” Taking a seat at the table, she studies the equipment, which is far more modern than a cauldron. It would take some getting used to, but she’s fairly sure she can figure out the mechanics. First, she snatches the mortar and pestle and she begins to carefully crush the leaves and berries, until they make a paste. “Of course! I’m always happy to babysit! Since I’m sort of in-between houses right now, I can either watch Fleur here, or I can take her up to Frostmaw! She may be most comfortable at her own home, but I’m sure she’d love to make snow angels and drink hot cocoa, too. Just let me know when and which place you prefer!” As the couple has a moment to deliberate on this, Lanara places the paste into the large bowl atop the burner, and removes her gloves. She heads into the living room to retrieve her backpack, and before she removes the items, she’s hit with the next question. “Gemology is my –favorite- subject! I love using crystals, and they are such helpful tools! I sleep with an amethyst beneath my pillow every night; it wards off nightmares and migraines.” The witch is excitable about this, as it was one of her areas of expertise! She begins to toss the other items into the vault with the nightshade paste, and she announces each item, in case Callum wanted to take any notes. “One pint of dwarven ale, three tongues of toad, 1 pair of dragonfly wings, four mermaids tears, along with the 6 leaves and two berries of deadly nightshade.” The flame is lit on the burner and the items begin to meld together into a potion, as the witch holds her hand over the top, “The moon has awoken, with the sleep of the sun. The light has been broken, the spell has begun. Hidden in an ale cask, seals the dwarf’s fate. All hope is lost, inexistence awaits. Life will end, as death with last. Eternal sleep, the curse is cast!” The energy that radiates off of the alchemy set is palpable to all in the greenhouse, and as it finishes cooking and is left to cool, it’s then that the third and final question is answered. “Re-really? You would give me a job? I mean… I respect nature, I can identify a good deal of herbs, and I’m smarter than the average elf… But… Are you certain, Callum?” Lanara didn’t know what sort of purpose she’d have in life, anymore. Since the trial ended she had been doing a lot of soul searching. She couldn’t return to the orphanage for more than a visit here and there, with the injury to her achilles tendon she couldn’t teach dance, and the animal sanctuary brought back such painful memories. Gold wasn’t a huge issue, as she could live off of Scandal’s horde for a bit, but she needed to do –something- with her life. “I would love to work here!” Meri chimes in and Lana nods, “I wouldn’t bring anyone here, I promise… But, since Taly’s been here already? Would it be alright if she dropped by sometime and I let her in? I wouldn’t show anyone where you live, I respect your privacy.” To the psion, she hesitantly inquires, “Are you truly okay with having me work with your fiancé?” Lanara would –never- make a move on Callum, as he wasn’t her type, and she wouldn’t go after a friend’s man. Plus… She had her eye on another certain Catalian. Still, she wanted them both on board, and if this would create jealousy, she wouldn’t accept the position.

Callum || “You could probably do both, honestly, since we’ll be gone for a couple days. We can give you a key. But, you need to be really careful, if only because of Fleur’s want to shapeshift whenever she frakkin’ feels like it. And so far, her lightning magic only seems to surface when she’s -really- upset, which doesn’t happen too often. I have no idea where she got that from,” Callum coughed innocently. Meri knew -exactly- where Fleur got it from. He was happy that Lanara was excited about instructing him on crystals, but his attention soon was pulled away by her spell. -His- way of doing things when it came to potions, elixirs, and poisons wasn’t at all like that. There was never any sort of spell. It briefly crossed his mind about whether to use such a thing to scam more people out of their money. Okay, it was more than briefly. It was something he was going to have to discuss with Meri later maybe. Definitely not in front of Lanara; he wasn’t sure if she’d get offended by it. By the time he’s moved it elsewhere in his brain, Lanara’s responding to his question of employment and then soon asking Meri if she was fine with Lanara working with him. He just… stared at Lanara with a “did you just actually frakkin’ ask that?” look on his face. “Lanara. There is only one woman in the universe for me, because typically I prefer men.” He just deadpanned that entire statement. Really, woman… you haven’t noticed how hella gay he is? Sheesh. Clearly, he needed to up the fabulousness levels. For a moment, Callum looked to the ceiling--rather, it was actually the heavens. Was he actually asking the gods how to handle this situation better? No. He was just still trying to comprehend what just happened. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he was a tad tired however. Dealing with plants all day was hard! “Talyara is definitely welcome here. Hell, you might need her assistance to babysit Fleur depending on how your luck is. And then there’s the dogs too. But, no one else please. Not until we do our own research on whomever it is.” You know. Very thorough research. Like stalking. Maybe some brutal interrogation. “When you finish up, just leave the set to soak in the sink and I’ll take care of it in the morning,” he said, a hand waved in the direction of the sink next to the alchemical setup. It filled with water, just enough to cover the glass objects, before he offered a faint smile to Lanara, “I need some sleep. Later, Lanara.” And with that, he’d leave the witch to her own devices, whether Meri accompanied him or not.

Meri was in the end going to go after Callum, because bed indeed sounded quite delightful. He would really not get that much of a head start on Meri, who was quite comfortable to leave Lanara to finish up her portion of the poison. "I trust the both of you implicitly, actually," is Meri's contribution to the whole conversation. Needless to say, the blonde is not at all shocked to hear Callum state he preferred men. This was something the two had discussed long ago. It might be more of a surprise to Lanara, for Meri tends to be quite guarded when talking about all things Cal. Out of respect for Cal, she knows he values his privacy. Is it really that much of a surprise though? Meri is a rough and tumble sort of gal, prone to throwing fists, swinging swords, cursing like a sailor...oh and she does have a half naked mermaid tattooed on her arm, so there is that. "Stay as long as you need! Good night!"

Lanara didn’t know that Callum preferred men, not that it mattered, so long as he remained faithful to her best friend. Love is love in her eyes, and she knows these two are meant to be, forever. She had been offered a job, she had secured the poison necessary to complete the guild task, and her friendships were solid. Tonight was the perfect night for the witch, because things were finally falling into place. She was going to be a part of something where she could fully engage in mischief and feed into the darker side of her mind, without the risk of being caught and having to stand another trial. Plus, the rush of adrenaline she felt when being naughty was becoming an addicting that she continually needed to sate.