Fable - Ask Monsters In The Streets

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Harlowe

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Harlowe bared her fangs at the frost giant before swiping the wine back before he could down the whole thing. She would play the bore if it kept Felice alive. Even if they had been made at the same time she felt rather protective of the other monster and had no intention of seeing her being eaten by some swampy mare only a few months into immortality. It would be frightfully dull without her.

"I wonder how many detachments there are over the world," she mused to nobody in particular. "And why are some monsters able to do contracts and not others? I thought it was just demons but Groll told me a goblin signed him."

Nobody seemed to have any information about how it worked and whenever she asked Nazara he just gave her one of those smiles that made her shudder.
 
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Felice

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Wow. Five to six months. That’s how fast you lost your humanity. Or, maybe Matias was always like this. It was hard to tell.

”Spider demon thing?” Briefly, she wondered if she could change her answer from undine to spider-demon-thing. It sounded a lot more sinister, for one, and it raised so many questions. At what point did her body shift from spidery to demony? Felice was so enthralled in this new creature that she hadn’t even noticed the part Harlowe questioned.

The implication of multiple detachments and divisions. She already knew they existed, it was explained and she paid enough attention to at least remember those parts. What wasn’t made clear to her was why? Why any of it? Why divisions stretched across Arethil and for what purpose? Surely if the Regiment wanted gold or land they could just take it.

A thin finger scratched at her chin before she spoke, ”maybe the ones who sign contracts are like officers or something. Or leaders.” It could be a certain kind of club that you had to be strong enough or around long enough to get into. Who knew how they were picked to sign others to contracts. ”How do they know which jobs to pick too? Or if anyone they kill on the job will say yes?”

Her little group’s heist in Oban should’ve been simpler. Whatever they sought out to steal was really valuable, they knew that, but valuable enough that they hired a bunch of monsters? And Felice had been the only one to sign the contract.
 
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Matias

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Matias considered for a moment. "It's the calling."

The Frost Giant answered after a second, taking another sip of his wine and eying a few of the bottles that were still arranged on the shelves behind Harlowe. Lips thinned, and then he turned his gaze towards Felice.

"At least for the jobs." That much Vix had explained to him at least. "It's like a little...song in the back of your head, pointing you to the right direction."

It had taken him a week or two to actually be able to focus enough to find listen to it. Without explanation he would have thought he was going mad, but his mentor had explained the phenomenon quite happily. It was what bound them together.

What made them more than a collection of monstrosities.

As for how they chose those who got to sign the contract? Matias had no fucking idea.

Comically, Matias reached over the bar and over Harlowe. His long arms extending to grab at one of the more ornate bottles displayed on the shelves. "I think...they just pick people who are capable."

The Frost Giant said, offering an unintentional complement to his companions.
 
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Harlowe

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"Or they just make do with whoever is left."

Harlowe's eyes were misted over as she thought about the battles that had preceded her making. It had been carnage. Even amongst the Regiment after she had been made and been able to sit with the others without bolting in fear, they had spoken about the scale of the bloodshed they had witnessed on that field. As far as she knew there had only been three of them who had been alive enough to accept the contract. One was now a Aswang and the other a cerberus.

She shook herself from the memory and downed the rest of the wine before reaching for another bottle. Unlike Matius her manners hadn't vanished and she used one of her sharp nails to yank the cork out.

"How did you get from Cerak to Oban?" her head tilted curiously as she looked to Felice.
 
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Felice

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Pick people who are capable? That couldn’t be right, they picked her. She wasn’t some soldier like Harlowe or Matias. Maybe the calling he talked about just pointed them in the direction of people who’d say ‘yes’ not necessarily people who were special in any sort of way.

Felice’s shoulders shifted at the vampire’s question and she finished her glass of wine before returning to the dark rum she still had. ”Well, uh, nothing’s free in Cerak. Even the people who aren’t slaves have to pay their way, pull their weight.” Rum rushed down her esophagus as she thought of how best to word it. She wasn’t a bad liar, far from it, but in this new life she had discovered that she usually didn’t need to lie. It was a nice change.

”So, my ma was a working woman because she had to watch after herself and later on she had to watch after me too. Thing is, in Cerak, there’s really only one kind of work that’s suitable for most women.” Their imaginations could do the rest and she didn’t feel any need to let them know that her childhood home had been a brothel. That her toys had been rocks or pieces of driftwood or whatever little trinkets some offshore john had left behind as a gift for her ma. Didn’t need to go into the fact she didn’t know her pa.

There was a difference between lying and telling the whole truth.

A tuft of hair flexed unintentionally and her head kicked back to down more of the alcohol. ”I didn’t want to do that kind of work. Growing old in Cerak like that. So, I spoke to some fellas who said they could smuggle me onto a ship. They even knew some mates in Oban who could get me set up.” Her tongue ran along the indentations in her mouth where her second row of sharp teeth were retracted, fumbling with the bottle between both hands. ”Knew my ma would try to stop me but I paid the fellas and left one day.”

Nothing was ever free in Cerak and Felice really didn’t feel the need to explain how she paid that bill. There was a difference between lying and telling the whole truth and if you had to be a whore for a little while to avoid being one for the rest of your life why wouldn’t you?
 
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Matias

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The Frost Giant see back, holding a bottle of distilled shine. He glanced towards Felice as she spoke of her escape from Cerak.

A frown pulled at his lips, Matias more than able to read between the lines.

It was a story he'd heard before. It wasn't uncommon even in Cortos, as much as no one really wanted to admit it. It was a mark of how different their lives were. Matias was a child of privilege. He had never wanted for much of anything and had spent most of his life in complete comfort.

Save for his time in the military of course, but even then...he'd never been forced to make such decisions.

He didn't feel guilty for that. Matias had neither chosen nor made a conscious effort to be born where or what he was. Yet at the same time he wasn't about to rub it in their face either. For once Matias remained quiet, just uncorking the bottle and not offering a clever comment or giving his opinion.

Instead he simply poured some of the shine into his glass, and then raised it to his lips.

Surprisingly, this time he felt the liquor actually burn his throat. A surprised cough echoed from his lips, and he looked down at the bottle in shock. "The fuck is this."

The Frost Giant exclaimed, reading the label. It was a carefully handwritten script, simply reading "ambrosia".

He glanced up at his companions for a moment.

"Maybe try some of this." He offered. It might help with the current mood.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe regretted her question as soon as Felice began to tell them her sad story. Her frozen heart broke for the girl and silently she promised to herself and whatever Gods there were for people like them, that if the opportunity presented itself, she would kill those who had put her new found friend in that situation.

When Matias gave a small started noise she reached behind her for a few shot glasses and then hopped off the bar. She waited patiently for the frost giant to fill their glasses, slid one to Felice and then raised a glass. There was a bemused smile on her face as she toasted.

"To death being just the beginning," she clicked both their glasses then down the whole thing in one.

Mat hadn't been lying. It burned all the way down with a grimace but she was laughing when she slammed the glass back down on the bar. Now it was a party.
 
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Felice

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A flick of red hair came from the realization that there might actually be alcohol here. The kind that worked instead of the kind that monsters just tasted on. It was a good thing too, Felice hadn't realized just how much her little short-share was going to bring down the mood.

"Death's a nice beginning," she said after the clicking of glasses.

Felice probably poured back the concoction a bit too quickly. It burned! It burned so good and the sudden rush of potent liquor actually gave her a shiver. "That's some good shit." Her shotglass clanked onto the wooden bar not long after Harlowe's. She wouldn't have rejected a second pouring.

In the mean time though she did have a curiosity poking around in the back of her mind. "You think they'll pay up? The duke or whatever his name is?"
 
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Matias

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Matias didn't hesitate in pouring a second round.

He had absolutely no idea who this 'Ambrosia' had been created for, but at this point he didn't really care. There was a full bottle and the three of them were in need of some real commiserating.

"Probably." Matias said with a shrug. "From what I understand the Regiment has a bit of...reputation for what happens if you say no."

Lips thinned for a moment as he realized something.

"Shit. Wait...We're supposed to be the what if, aren't we?" He hadn't really thought about that before. What would happen if their payment was actually denied. Was this some sort of test? A way to see if the three of them were up to it?

His head tipped back with the glass to his lips, the burning liquor sliding down his throat.

An odd sort of wooziness came over him as it fell into his stomach. Tingles rupturing over his skin as the tincture began to take effect.
 
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Harlowe

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"Good shit indeed," Harlowe knocked the second shot back and gave the girliest sounding hiccup one could imagine. She put a hand over her mouth in embarrassment before she began to giggle at the look of horror on Matias' face.

"Why'd you think I suggested the graveyard?" she mock scowled and poured another round once Felice had downed her one. "We have to be extra scary," the young vampire flashed her fangs in the smile that followed her words. Not that she really knew how to intimidate anyone. Apart from the glowing red eyes and the pointy teeth, Harlowe looked pretty harmless. As did Felice. She eyeballed Matias.

"Can't you just," she wriggled her fingers. "Freeze them if they get pissy? Or maybe Felice you can turn your hair into those swords again. That was pretty scary."
 
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Felice

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Felice nearly lost her second shot as Harlowe hiccupped. Nearly. She managed to swallow it down just fine but joined in the giggling once the liquid was down her throat. She was already feeling the effects of this particular brand of spirits in her toes and fingers.

"You sound worried," she said to Matias, "Harlowe's right, just meeting some monsters at a graveyard, at midnight, will spook them good enough to hand over whatever it is they owe." Felice liked to believe that now that she was a monster she was truly terrifying. That people had to respect her. It would likely be fair to say that unless you knew she was from the Regiment most would look at her the same way they did when she was still human.

To her vampiric friend's next statement though she cast a look towards the incredibly tall Jotunn. He could freeze people? What did frozen organs taste like? Very interesting. "Hm, swords feel passé now, maybe I'll try to shape them like axes." The redhead chased her shot with some of the inoffensive rum and briefly considered just how drunk she would be right now if she were still human. As it were, well, she was getting there.

Slamming the bottle of rum down in excitement she shouted in realization, "oh, like an executioner's axe! That'd definitely be really scary!"

It really would be.
 
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Matias

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Another round was quickly poured as the second disappeared, Matias not paying attention to the tingle in the back of his head. "Suppose I could."

They were just human after all.

It wasn't the representatives that he was worried about though, it was the rest of the army before them. The Regiment had done most of the work in taking the city, but there were still more than a few thousand soldiers occupying the damned place.

"I'll freeze em to the ground and you chop off a few heads." Matias said as he made a chopping motion with his hand. "We can throw the heads up in front of the cathedral."

It was a rather dark proposal, but probably in line with the message the Regiment would want to send. "Fuck it."

The Frost Giant declared, not realizing how tipsy he was quickly becoming with the third shot thrown down his gullet.

"I bet we could take this fucking city." Matias said as the glass slammed onto the tabletop.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe was giggling as her two friends plotted out their dramatic terrorising of the poor Lords who were due to make their payment. Being frozen to the spot and then seeing an executioners axe made of hair coming towards you certainly sounded pretty damned scary. She would have shit herself had she been human and seen that. But, like Matias, she was a soldier and at the back of her mind she too was thinking of the large army in the city.

Which is why she straight up snorted when the frosty gob claimed the three of them alone could take the city.

Down went the third shot followed by another hiccup.

"There's no way," her northern accent was growing thicker as the alcohol seared her blood. "There's a thousand of them and only three of us. I ain't that fast. Unless you can freeze a whole city? Or Felice here has enough hair to make a large mallet," she made a squashing bug gesture with her palms.
 
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Felice

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A grin formed against her pale face. "Much easier to chop off heads if they can't move."

"Only a thousand? Easy, we can handle that," Felice downed her third shot in junction with the other two although by this point she was really feeling it. Knowing that people loved to tease lightweights was something she had learned from personal experience.

Felice wavered a bit in a sloppy attempt to push her shot glass forward for another round.

Truthfully she was fairly confident that in a pinch she could probably take on ten humans at once? Maybe? A thousand would be a bit of a stretch and she couldn't just grow more hair suddenly. At least, she didn't think she could. She could shape it and cause it to expand or shrink but she had limits. "I can definitely form my hair into a mallet. Watch."

While still seated on the barstool her hair seemed to solidify and then push outwards and towards the open seating area adjacent to the bar. Near the end it clumped together and formed the shape of a large rounded mallet that was certainly big enough to crush one human but quite a bit short of being able to crush one thousand humans in a single go.
 
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Matias

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"I could freeze this fucking place with my eyes closed." The Forst Giant claimed as he pointed at Harlowe.

Matias poured more of the ambrosia into the three glasses, spilling some onto the bar top as he sloppily rejuvenated their drinks.

The Frost Giant didn't really pay much attention to how much they were drinking, nor the effect that it was having on them. He was amazed to be feeling even slightly buzzed, and caught up in the moment he didn't care much how far it carried them.

A whistle escaped his lips as Felice formed her hair into a mallet. "Wow."

There was no sign of sarcasm in his tone.

"Can you like...Form it into anything?" He asked, gazing at her red hair. His hand came up slowly, reaching towards her head as if moving to pet a dangerous dog.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe eyed up the next round suspiciously as if trying to mentally calculate how many had made her feel woozy like this and how many more would leave her unable to complete the mission. Nazara would be so pissed if he found out they hadn't collected the debt. But one more couldn't hurt...

She downed the glass and then slapped Mat around the back of the head before it could touch Felice's hair.

"She's not a dog you idiot," before throwing her friend a look of exasperation that could no doubt be felt by womankind everywhere. "And I don't believe you could freeze more than the town square," she challenged smugly.
 
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Felice

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Felice was pretty sure she should stop drinking. But the other two were kept going and she wasn't about to slow her pace if they weren't. Nazara would understand if they got sidetracked, he seemed like a pretty forgiving guy.

She did, however, recoil slightly as Matias' hand nearing her. Luckily, it was Harlowe that put an end that little bit of antics. Felice's hair uncoiled and went limp as it began to resume its normal shape before twisting itself into an outstretched hand that floated its way towards Matias.

"Yeah, I'm not a dog. We're monsters. We shake hands." A smirk came before she shot back her third or fourth or however many it had been now. "And yes, I can form it into pretty much whatever I wish." Except for very intricate designs or things she didn't have knowledge of. Navaia had tested that by asking her if she could shape her hair into a map of some fabled ruin.
 
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Matias

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Matias didn't recoil from the folical palm that snakes it's way towards him. "Do we?"

The Frost Giant said as he rolled his shoulders and took his...fourth...perhaps fifth shot. A frown touched his lips for a brief moment as he glanced at the bottle, noticing that the level of liquid inside hadn't actually changed at all despite what they'd drunk.

He frowned, then refocused on what he had been saying.

"I thought we like...bit people..." Not all of them of course, but it did seem the majority of monsters in the Regiment ate people in one form or another. Out of the three of them he was the only one that didn't, and that was mostly because he hadn't tried.

Maybe eating people tasted great. Who knew? Well besides Felice, and Harlowe, and Vix, and Nazara, and Phil, and Lynette, and...fucking everyone. Kress.

His head shook as the follicled hand touched his face, still half distracted as Harlowe challenged him. "I could turn this fucking city into a Tundra."

A wobbly hand pointed at Harlowe's nose.
 
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Harlowe

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"I don't think those Lords would take too kindly to us biting them in greeting... or maybe... they would. I don't judge, some people are into that," she held up her hands defensively before either of them accused her of such. Not that they probably would they seemed to be getting as drunk as she was.

When Mat pointed a frosty tip towards her nose she gave another girly hiccup then smirked.

"Prove it then. When we go meet these dudes and they give us all this," Harlowe made a chatty hand gesture. "Turn the whole city into a fucking winter wonderland. I miss the snow anyway," she sighed and sloppily poured more drinks.

"Felice and I will be the scary human-eating monster-muscle, won't we?" She grinned at her friend.
 
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Felice

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Describing the manner she feasted on humans as, 'biting,' was probably an understatement. Although, Harlowe's quip elicited a giggle from Felice's own mouth. There were definitely some interesting things people enjoyed behind closed doors.

"Ha!" She swayed to the left and re-collected her hair, "I should show up looking like this." Her hair re-formed again, this time into spiked horns, and her jaw dislodged itself causing her mouth to grow three sizes before razor-sharp teeth jutted downwards from behind the row of normal human teeth.

With no where near enough care she grabbed the ambrosia and poured two shots before tossing both back into her enlarged mouth. After the liquor was down her throat she let what she thought sounded like a terrifying, "grrrrrr."

She retracted her fangs, shut her mouth, and let her horns fall back into an unaffected shape before a drunken laughing fit overtook her.
 
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Matias

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"Honestly." Matias stared at Felice. "That is terrifying."

The Frost Giant had seen Harlowe eat people before, but that? Goddamn that was impressive. "But in a good way."

He really meant it too.

In his intoxicated state he forgot all about the challenge that Harlowe had issued, staring at Felice in a new sort of light. He had thought the hair thing was the only thing she could do, that she sucked some blood and got on with it.

The fact that she could turn her entire face into a jaw was...well that was just something entirely new. He blinked for a moment, then his thoughts seemed to draw back.

"Oh, right." His finger pointed back at Harlowe. "Why fucking wait! Humans hate cold, I can turn this place icy and we can make them stand in the cold as they beg to give us our tribute!"

It would be glorious. "Let's go!"

Matias said as he took another shot and took a rather shaky step towards the door.
 
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Harlowe

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Even Harlowe was stunned by Felice's appearance, her lips parting in a perfect 'O' of shock. She had seen her friend eat before but it had been out of the corner of her eye or there had been more pressing things going on that meant she hadn't ever really watched her. She suddenly felt like the least monster looking monster there was in the regiment, a thought that tickled her considering how wretched she had felt when she first discovered what she was.

Mat's boast shook her out of her thoughts and she laughed.

"What do you think Felice, ever known a man's boasts to match up to the real performance?" she smirked, grabbing the bottle off the counter before trailing after the stumbling giant. This stuff was coming with them.
 
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Felice

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Cheeks grew rosey from both the ensuing excitement and the rush of alcohol into her bloodstream. Not only did this Matias, a real tough cookie from what she could tell, think she was terrifying but the trio was also going to go and really fuck shit up. It was well past excitement and into the realm of euphoric at this point. A team of monsters acting like legitimate monsters. Felice could barely contain how great of a night this was turning out to be.

Or, maybe her elevated mood was just a result of all of the liquor.

”In my experience, their bark is always worse than their bite, if you know what I mean?” She giggled maniacally at her own joke in agreement with Harlowe. ”Although if it does work, I guess it’s a good thing we’ve been drinking. You can’t get cold if you’re drunk.”

That was one of the few highly academic things she had learned from her street pals. There was this one guy, in Oban, who told her a lot of these useful facts. Apparently it was impossible to feel the cold at all if you were drunk enough. So, Felice couldn’t help but give an approving wink at her vampire friend as she grabbed the bottle of ambrosia on her way out.

They’d definitely need it if Mattie wasn’t just blowing smoke.
 
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Matias

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"The both of you are gonna be standin in frozen knickers." Matias said with another accusing finger point.

For a few seconds he looked around, his head turning to see if anyone was on the street. When he found no one he wandered back towards the square with the Cathedral. It was a good central point, and would make his work a lot easier.

Walking though...walking was hard.

The world wouldn't hold still for very long and as he ambled his way across the cobbles Felice and Harlowe would notice each one of his steps left a patch of ice.

When he finally found the square he looked around again, finding that no one was there. Giving a satisfied smirk he looked at the two women, then raised a hand. "Ready?"

Before either of them could say anything the temperature around him suddenly dropped. A wave of frost erupted on the ground, ice crackling and reaching across the square, over the buildings, and everywhere else. It rushed outward, and true to his word the warmth of La Torren turned into a Tundra.

The only unfrozen spot being where the two women were standing.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe's steps weren't that much better but she was determined not to look as sloppy as Matias walking through the streets and concentrated diligently on putting one foot in front of the other. There was a sway to her hips but it could be mistaken for the way a woman walked when she wanted something.

She looped her arm through Felice's as though they were two gals out for a turn about the town and not two drunk monsters.

"We're going to have to find more of this stuff," she commented and raised the bottle to the moonlight to inspect it. Thankfully it looked full so should last them at least the rest of the night. When they got to the square she bounced onto her toes in excitement, looking up at the sky waiting for the snow. Sure enough with the frost and drop in temperature small flakes began to fall.

Harlowe squealed in delight.
 
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