<Ashe> The young mage found himself returning to that little dive bar on more than one occasion in the following days. It wasn’t a matter of really enjoying the atmosphere, but it was a place he knew now and he did hope that he might run into Danny again at some point. The biker had been helpful and seemed to know his way around. Both were good things for Ashe considering that he didn’t know much about New Orleans. The bar was
also situated fairly close to bourbon street and that made for easy exploring. With luck, Ashe could use this as a familiar place to come back to between adventures.
Ashe checked his watch and grinned as he stood from his table and left a couple bills to cover his expenses. If he left now he’d have enough time to catch the next “Strange True Tour of New Orleans” that was purported to be original adult history tour of the french quarter and promised everything from lavascious stories of love gone wrong to the colourful and lively history of the area. With any luck he’d be able to catch one of
the ghost walks afterwards, but for now he’d simply enjoy soaking up the history. Ashe figured that with this rich a culture in the occult there had to be others in the area like him. People who weren’t quite normal. Perhaps a tour aimed at entertaining the mundane masses wasn’t where he’d find those who were kin to him in this weird world, but it might give him an idea of where to start looking and if he saw evidence of the true
occult on his walk, all the better. First things first though, he had to find the Vacherie Coffee Shop…. he knew it was somewhere alonf bourbon street. With his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans he set out into the night whistling softly to himself.
<Ashe> The coffee shop had decent coffee – was the thought that Ashe mused as he sipped the hot beverage and looked about at the gathering crowd. Some of them were obvious tourists, much like himself. Others were likely residents looking to kill an evening, but none struct Ashe as particularly fantastical in nature. That was something that made the young man sigh and rub the bridge of his nose. How in the name of the nine hells
was he supposed to find other people like him? If they were, in fact, akin to him then they likely kept things down key as well. As far as he knew there wasn’t some secret handshake or symbol and he couldn’t exactly introduce himself as someone that could bend reality. He didn’t even know if there was anyone like him out there, but he felt that there had to be. That musing was put on the back burner as the tour guide arrived. She
was a young lady, early 20s, and had the youthful energy of someone that adored their job. At least this wouldn’t be a boring of humdrum tour with excitement like that. The young mage paid his registration fee and well into step behind a pair of tourists from Colorado. He stuck to the edge of the crowd as they all made their way out of the coffee shop and down the street. He was close enough to easily hear the tour guid’s words,
but close enough to the edge of the group that he could pay attention to the general goings ons.
<Ashe> Was enjoying the tour so far and had stopped at a curious little shop that the guide had mentioned in passing. He wanted to mark it down on his map, but by the time he looked up his group had left and he couldn’t see the, “Oh… magical. Just great.” Ashe stuffed the map back in his back pocket and pinched the bridge of his nose. This is what he got for not paying attention to the group. The young Asian looking man let out
a sigh before looking up and peering around the street for a moment. At least the tour hadn’t been expensive. Stuffing his hands deep in his pockets, he shrugged to himself and decided to continue walking. He was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans and a black t-shirt that hugged his lean and muscled frame snuggly. His long black hair was left down tonight, but the wind kept blowing strands into his face which was more than a little
<Ashe> Ashe was beginning to grow a little bit hungry as he wandered along the famous Bourbon Street. There were no signs of his tour group, but he wasn’t too bothered. He knew the way back to the mustering location of the coffee shop and from there he could easily find his car. Even without a guide, this was a good walk and the atmosphere was amazing. His wide grey eyes watched everything with a sense of wonder and he paused
outside what appeared to be a voodoo shop. Seriously, an honest to God shop for voodoo. The young man bit his lip and shifted from foot to foot. What was the harm in going inside? Well… he supposed he -might- end up cursed, but his curiosity was winning out over hunger and common sense. I mean Hell, he came here to explore and meet new people. What could be more interesting than voodoo. Absently he wondered if they’d have real
shrunken heads…. and if those were really a thing.
“Oh what the Hell.” Ashe mumbled and then grinned. This would be fun and maybe he could find something useful or creepy to decorate a sword with. Maybe it would even inspire him to design something that fit with the occult culture of New Orleans. Without another moments hesitation Ashe stepped forward to open push the door aside and amble into the dimly lit shop. It seemed that this shopkeeper felt that ambiance was important or
maybe they sold ingredients that were sensitive to light. The young mage had to pause just inside the doorway to let his eyes adjust. The old thickly paned windows where dusty and only let in thing trickles of streetlight that captured the dancing motes of dust that were stirred up when Ashe entered. For a moment he thought the store was closed and someone had forgotten to lock up, but then he spied the old shrunken man that was
watching him from behind the counter. It was a classically disdainful look reserved for rude tourists, but Ashe shrugged it off with a pleasant grin of his own and moved to peer around the store. There were various dried herbs, vials of things, tinctures, carvings, candles, and everything Ashe could picture as belonging in an occult store. Most of these things were useless to -him- but he paused at the candles to consider them. He
did enjoy lighting candles when he was meditating and these looked to be of the home made variety and unscented – two things he could appreciate.
<Fiona> would be in New Orleans for one night only, out of boredom. Her blonde hair is trailing down to her mid-back, and she’s wearing sunglasses, using a cane or a staff to create the illusion of a blind woman.
<Ashe> Made his way out of the strange little occult shop with a small parcel of candles tucked under his arm as well as some bottle of ‘tonic’ that did God knows what. He certainly wasn’t actually going to try it, but it was a cool looking bottle with one of those old fashioned wire and cork stoppers. He was too occupied looking at the label that he almost walked out straight into a blind woman! The young Asian looking man looked
up just in time to balk and twist himself back with a yelped apology, “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going. Are you alright, Miss?” His voice and face were washed with honest concern, he could very well have bumped her without meaning to or noticing.
<Fiona> stops in her tracks, looking to Ashe. “What do you think?”
<Ashe> Ashe stops and blinks slowly, “Well… I wasn’t sure. That’s why I asked.” He was taken a little aback and lifted a hand to rub at the back of his head in mild embarrassment, “You look alright? But… I thought that I might have bumped into you. I’m really quite sorry”
<Fiona> just seems to stare at him for a moment. “Be more fucking careful next time, okay?”
<Fiona> would have turned her head in his direction, not stared at him.
<Ashe> The young man just sort of looks at the blind woman that he’d nearly collided with. He supposed it was reasonable to be sworn at in this case, but it was not what he was used to. The young man straightened and gave the woman a humble and low bow at the waist, not that she could see it, but it was proper, “My deepest apologies. I will be much more careful in the future, I assure you, Miss.”
<Fiona> continues to look in the direction that Ashe’s voice came from. “Good.”
<Ashe> Slowly rose, cringing at himself for bowing when the woman couldn’t even see it. He was an idiot sometimes. Shifting from foot to foot the young man took a step back, seeing that as the end to the conversation, “Right… Well… have a good night, Miss.” He’d back up a few more paces to keep an eye on her so he didn’t accidentally knock her when she started walking again. Once he was a couple feet away he adjusted his brown
paper parcel and turned to head off down the street at a leisurely pace.
<Fiona> listened to Ashe go, looking in the direction his footsteps came from. “You too, whoever you are.”
<Ashe> Nearly dropped his parcel to smack himself in the face for his discourtesy. He could have at least introduced himself or given his name. He turned back with a vaguely mortified expression on his face, “My apologies… again, Miss. My name is Ashton Blake, or just Ashe – if you prefer. Do you… need any assistance getting to your destination?” It was a little late, but better to be courteous in a tardy fashion than not at
<Fiona> “I’m not going anywhere in particular, but if you want to keep me company, go right ahead.”
~*Ramirez*~ wanders down the street with a Taco Bell plastic large cup that had held just some soda but now held some soda mixed with JD. Ah, living the life, as he strolled about checking some of the outdoor shops and items here or there.
<Fiona> is a blind blonde woman talking to Ashe nearby.
Dan walks down the street as well, just wandering with no particular destination in mind
<Ashe> Well, that wasn’t being told to fuck off which was a step in the right direction, “Ah, well… I’m a little lost, so I am not heading anywhere.” He ran a hand nervously through his long black hair and peered around. She was a little curt, but some company was better than none. He shifted his brown paper parcel to under the arm that was farthest away from Fiona. At least he could maybe ward off clumbsy people like him from
stumbling into her again, “It’s a pretty nice evening for a walk. I just moved to town not long ago and I’m taking in the sights. I found this neet little voodoo shop and a rather scuzzy bar so far. Not a bad showing for myself.” It was just casual conversation as Ashe tried to ease some of the tension.
<Fiona> isn’t telling anyone to fuck off yet, so there are small mercies. “No shit? And I’ll take your word for it.”
<Ashe> The young man cringed again. Ok, small talk about voodoo shops and nice nights was maybe not the best small talk for New Orleans… to a blind woman. It probably wasn’t a good thing to admit being lost to a stranger. This was -not- Ashe’s night. At all. “Ah, well… yeah.” He cleared his throat and looked down at the bottle of ‘tonic’ from the voodoo shop. Maybe death would be a mercy to escape this awkward conversation –
Was the amused thought running through his head. Unfortunately he was too busy looking down at the bottle that he wasn’t really paying attention to where he was walking… again… Hopefully Dan or Ramirez were feeling more observant. Or at least observant enough to dodge the young man who was eyeing his bottle of -potion-
Dan bumps gently into Ashe, pulling up at the last minute. “Whoa, sorry there, guess I was off in my own world”
<Fiona> would keep up with Ashe, listening to his footsteps while he stumbled through conversation. When Dan spoke, she turned her head in the direction of his voice.
Dan looks towards Fiona: “Oh, you’re not even alone. Sorry. Really should be paying more attention”
<Ashe> Made a small startled noise and jerked back from whoever he’d collided with this time as he looked up, “Gah! I am sorry! I wasn’t paying attention again.” He looked a little guiltily at the bottle in his hand and then back to Dan and let out a long sigh. A very long sigh. This was becoming a habit. Ashe looked to be of Asian decent, but his accent placed him somewhere in the Northern California area of the world. Even still
he straightened and gave the other man a low bow in the eastern style, “Please forgive me, I should have been paying attention, Sir.” He’d hold the position until Dan either accepted the apology or gave an indication that he didn’t know the proper ettiquette.
~*Ramirez*~ notices Dan and Fiona and waves to them heading over. Whoever the poor guy was that Dan just bumped into..well he was new but he hadn’t seen Dan in a while so decided to meander over. “Hey you two”, he sadi to Fiona and Dan. He’d nod to Ashe. “Yo.”
<Fiona> just looks to be a standard blonde Caucasian woman, wearing sunglasses and carrying a cane.
Dan looks somewhat alarmed at Ashe “Don’t worry about it man, crowded street.” He then looks over to Ramirez approaching. “Oh hey! Haven’t seen you in ages man! I’ve been out of town, sorry!”
~*Ramirez*~ smirks and nods to Dan. “Yeah, it has been a while. Glad to see you back around.”
<Ashe> Ashe tilted his head just slightly from his position so he could look at the second man approaching and then straightens, “Hey there…” He was apparently in the middle of a group of friends? He gave Dan a slight nod, “I still should have been paying attention. I was too caught up in… whatever counts as magic tonic water.” He eyed the bottle in his hand dubiously and shrugs.
<Dan> Magic tonic water you say? Huh, what properties? Doesn’t look so magical to me.
<Fiona> “It’s probably regular water.”
<Ashe> Ashe looked at the bottle and chuckled, “I’d figure they’d at least carbonate it for $8.99, but I think it looks neat. I can put it on the bookshelf at home.” He turns the bottle in his hand to look at the properties, “Apparently it will help with anything from true love to keeping the undead at bay and curing curses.” He gives the bottle a sceptically impressed look, “Not bad for $8.99… I wonder if they had it in
cherry.” At least he got some candles that he was pretty sure would do as advertised.
Dan looks deeply at the bottle for a few seconds. “Nope, don’t see any magic in there.” He then smiles a goofy smile at Ramirez.
<Dan> pfft, like one potion would do all that. Clearly they need to be specialized. And EVERYONE knows that Cherry is for resistance against malingering spirits.
~*Ramirez*~ “Tonic water that keeps the undead at bay? That’s some pretty interesting water. Where’d you get that?”
<Fiona> “Keeping the undead at bay, eh?”
<Ashe> Ashe looks up and gives Dan a long look, as if he wasn’t sure if Dan was being somewhat serious or not, but eventually shrugs and grins, “The souvenir shop.” He replies to Ramirez and thumbs at the shop he’d left a few minutes ago, “Somehow I think I’ll get more use out of the candles I bought.” Ashe actually laughs softly and shakes his head, “Ok, ok, I get it. I wasted my money. I -know- it’s just water and that there
aren’t spirits or endead monsters. I just wanted a souvenir to show for my adventure.”
<Dan> It’s New Orleans! That’s what you do! You think I believe the voodoo dolls I bought do anything? Though I stab them sometimes, just in case.
<Ashe>Rolled his eyes and laughed more deeply, “Yeah, I guess so. I just don’t want you guys thinking I’m some nut of a tourist that is buying into magic and the like. I’m just a regular nut of a tourist” He taps his chin with a thoughtful look, “I might try the voodoo dolls though. I got this second cousin that it a pain in the ass and a lot of sharp objects for stabbing dolls.”
<Fiona> “Yes, I can see one of those things is true. And have fun with that.
<Dan> New Orleans is a great town for magic, there’s belief in the air, and everyone is just… more willing to believe things here. It’s a great place. Just roll with the vibe. Also, don’t use too sharp an object or you’ll just need to buy a new voodoo doll. The real purpose is that you can stab someone legally. Sometimes you even feel better.
<Dan> Pro tip for next time, get the alcoholic elixirs. They certainly at least accomplish a noble purpose.
<Ashe> Ashe gave a little shrug to the group and smiled at the blind woman, his tone good natured, “Well, I plan to have fun. That’s the reason I came here.” Then he nods at Dan with an amused look, “Right, don’t stab the doll with the swords, only use the pins. I think I can manage that part, but I’m a cheep drunk. I don’t think I can manage whatever shine they use for the alcoholic elixers. I’d end up in a gutter somewhere and
~*Ramirez*~ “You paid $8.99 for a bottle of flavored water..yeah, I’d say you wasted money. Like Dan said though, this place is full of ‘magical’ stuff people can research and there are true believers in voodoo, vodoun, santeria, and other stuff here. There’s a lot of history and people from all over that have come here and bring with them old cultures and
<Dan> It’s New Orleans, nothing wrong with some out of tune gutter singing. It’s a fun town, great food, and as Ramirez says, lots of really cool true believes in various religions and forms of magic. It’s just so different from the rest of the country, I love it. Though my French is awful
~*Ramirez*~ nods. “So is mine.”
<Ashe> Ashe rubbed the back of his head and gave Ramirez an odd look, a little distant and disappointed, “Yeah. I’ve seen that. Lots of believers and interesting stuff to read about… just not what I’m looking for.” Ashe had been hoping for more, but he hadn’t found anything that was -real- yet. The young man shrugs and let’s it go with a soft smirk, “I don’t even know french or spanish…. at all. I was hoping to pick it up.”
<Dan> So what ARE you looking for?
~*Ramirez*~ nods. “Really.. what is it you actually want to find?”
<Danny> He rose as early as he could manage, keeping alarms on the cooking times of his current batch. Once he gets everything in motion to cook some more, he heads out on foot, looking for tonight’s snack. He found someone who’s becoming regular prey for him, an old cougar streetwalker. Bringing her into the alley he makes quick work of taking a trait from her, paying her a $20 for her time. Wiping his mouth, he sparks up
another cig, taking a long way back to his shop.
<Fiona> is standing close to Ramirez, Dan and Ashe, a blonde woman with sunglasses and a cane.
<Ashe> Gave the two men a non-comital shrug and looked down at the fancy glass bottle he was holding, “Not flavoured water in a bottle and toy dolls.” His tone was light and joking, but it held a shred of truth. Ashe wasn’t about to tell a group of strangers that he was looking for -real- magic…. or at least magic as real as Ashe could figure.
<Dan> Well, if it’s flavored water we’re having, may I suggest having some with ethanol in it, at one of the many fine establishments on this very street?
~*Ramirez*~ “At least it’s not coconut water.”
<Fiona> “If you want to, go ahead.”
<Dan> Hey now, plenty of fine drinks are served in coconuts.
~*Ramirez*~ “That’s different than this coconut water craze. At any rate, if you want the real stuff then you need to go to the shops that aren’t just for tourism like this one.”
<Ashe> Ashe lists his eyebrows at Dan and laughs, “I’m afraid I didn’t make any plans for getting home after drinking so I’ll have to pass on the ethanol for tonight. I live a bit out of town, cuts down on the noise complaints. Anyways, I should get going. It’s getting pretty late and I usually get up with the sun.”
(Lifts his eyebrows**)
<Dan> Some other time then. But Lyft is great for getting home after a night here. Ramirez?
~*Ramirez*~ “I’m going to go get some ethanol now. I’m about done with this drink.” He shakes his now nearly empty Taco Bell cup and then finishes off the contents. He’d look at Ashe. “Well, nice to meet you. Didn’t catch your name. I could take you to some cooler places though than this if you want to check out some better stuff where people actually
believe in it.”
<Ashe> Ashe gave Ramirez a curious look, half wondering what the man’s definition of -real- was. After a moment her extended his calloused and scared hand to Ramirez “Ashton Blake, nice to meet you. Could be fun to explore a bit more.” Ultimately he decided that the men must be yanking the tourist’s chain, “Yeah… and would cost me a fortune to take me out of town.” The comment was directed at Dan with an amused look as he waved
a hand and moved off into the night. He might run into those three again, but who knew.
~*Ramirez*~ “I’m Marcos Ramirez. Nice to meet you, Ashton. You gimme your phone number and I’ll give you a call and show you some of the deeper sites in this city.”
<Ashe> will give Ramirez a business card
<Dan> Mind if I grab one of those too?
Dan hands a copy of his own card to Ashe.
~*Ramirez*~ accepts the card. “Thanks.” He looks at it and then inputs the number in his phone. “Have a good day, Ashton. I’m off to go get blitzkrieged.”
<Ashe> the young man nods and hands a second card to Dan, “Have a good time, drink one for me.”
Dan grabs then card and then nods to Ramirez. “I think we should catch up over several bottles”
<Fiona> slips off, tapping her way down the sidewalk.
~*Ramirez*~ “Will do, hombre.” He waves and then would wave bye to Fiona. He’d then nod to Dan. “Let’s go.” He’d then head off with Dan to go wreck the town.
<Danny> He left the bay door cracked open, the fumes from the cook blowing up from a stack, covered in the night avoiding the nasty smells of his cook. There wasn’t much hands on for him to do at the moment, so he took advantage of the downtime to tweak and tune up his bike. He rolls the grates over the car pits at the old lube shop, blocking off view of his lab while he turns on his stereo giving his Harley a tuneup.