An Artful Discussion

Summary:
November 15, 2014: Sho gets called on to consult on a cursed Japanese painting and dragged Nyx along.

Corporate Apartment, NYC

Upon entering the first floor, the room has been set up like at traditional Japanese decor. There is a kotatsu sitting in the middle with a teapot and several cuts.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kca5E3xk8II]


The signature, doesnt make any sense. It's not even a name, it's an instruction and judging by the silk screen it's been painted upon it's from the early feudal Era. Painters religiously used their names, it was unheard of for any to even use an assumed name for any of their work. The providence is, even more mysterious. Theres a reference to the signature in 1903, but then the painting just falls off the face of the earth again. Then theres the actual text of that signature, strict Chinese in a distinctly Japanese dialect. "Seek the end". The last part of that though, the Japanese word is "Owari" and well it doesn't translate to English terribly well but you could summarize it as "The end of all things.".

The work was ten by ten, much larger than was common for this era too. A matted mess of reds, blacks and greys with a subtle almost texture as if it'd been painted with the heavy oil of a European painter. It's last owner, hadn't known what to make of it either. That is until his suicide last week, a prominent collector of unusual Japanese art. Poor guy had apparently lost his mind, there were rumors of a murder suicide. What mattered though, was the painting had been saved from a likely police impound on "cultural" grounds. Still, this is easily the strangest most unexplainable work of art to ever be imported from Japan. The sort of thing that clearly has a story, all you need is to find the right guy.

Locally there was a Shinto priest, well he used to be a Shinto Priest anyway. Now he lived in a small apartment and wrote terribly drab poetry, he didn't know much about art himself. However the Priest knew of a former Priestess, who knew a priestess back in Tokyo who knew a man in New York. No she didn't feel comfortable giving out the phone number, but Morien could expect this man at his home the following evening. No she didn't need an address, do have a lovely evening and so fourth before she hangs up.

That brings us to the following night, where we find Sho looking ever so dapper in a lovely three piece suit. "C'mon Nyx, and do me a favor and behave yourself alright?"He'd taken his protoge, because well who the hell knows -what- this mess was about. Irate Priestesses calling him in the middle of a night, talking about random American men calling them up about mystical paintings. Anywho he pauses outside the address the priestess provided, nudging the car door shut before heading in with a pleasant smile. Who knows whats to follow. "Stay close now, and keep your ears open. This could be nothing, or it could be something."

Nyx looks, very much the contrast to Sho. She is dressed way down next to his three piece suit, torn jeans, sarcastic shirt, piercings, dyed hair. She nods to Sho "I'll try not to break anything or snark to much. What is it exactly you are worried I will end up doing anyhow, loot and pillage the place?" well there is a small chance so it isn't an entirely unfounded worry really. "Anyhow.. eyes open ears perked…" following Sho's lead now.

This is not Morien's home, but a corporate apartment that is scheduled to be renovate, but right now it serves as the meeting place for this clandestine meeting. Upon entering the first floor, the room has been set up like at traditional Japanese decor. There is a kotatsu sitting in the middle with a teapot and several cuts.

Morien is sitting behind the kotatsu, but immediately stands up when the duo enters the place. He smiles, "Thank you for coming, I am Morien Washington and I hope you like mysterious and tea."

"This is, as you would say. "Hero stuff", Sam. Now, mind your manners."Sho stops short of entering, before offering a polite bow."Yes, I heard you had come by a strange painting. My name is Sho Mori, and this is my assistant Sam. How good of you to greet us so warmly, thank you for your hospitality.." Pausing to eye Morien's feet, and well if Morien is shoeless Sho will quickly accomodate.

Sam looks around curious at the Japanese decor and then at Morien and then around the room once more. "Neat." she notes then to Morien she waves hello, which may be for the best she would probably mess up the bow anyhow right.

"Please, leave your shoes along with any worries you may have by the door." Morien raises his eyebrow slightly after Sam waves hello. Morien returns an awkward wave back to Sam while looking at Sho. "Well, yes, I have come by a strange painting. He puts out a remote control and points it at the wall. A panel in the wall opens up to reveal the painting. "Please, take a look and tell me what you think?"
He begins to pour out cups of tea as he watches the duo. "I was told you were be able to help me to understand more about the painting."

"Work twenty seven, of fifty five."Sho rattles off immediately. "This one is known as, the rotted young. It was painted with a brush constructed from an amputated child's finger, and her hair and painted in her blood."Pausing to produce a pair of false spectacles, and slip them on. "The texture you see, is a mixture of human skin and congealed blood. There are actually ninety of works by the waking corpse, but only fifty five of these were painted after the artist's suicide."Glancing back towards Morien. "You have heard what happened to Albert Kochs, yes? The owner as of, well three years ago now? His wife left for a business meeting, he returned home to find this inside the house. Thinking it was a gift he hung it. Pricked his finger whilst making dinner, and activated the curse."

Sam hops a bit and manages to take her shoes off as instructed, she figures that is what you do when invited to like this. Man this is like being in one of those movies. She starts to wander over towards the tea, but pauses at what Sho says. She just stares at that painting her mouth open in alarm "Guh… that is horrifying. Are you saying this guy painted it.. while dead.. after he killed himself.. using a kid.. and its cursed… is it going to blow up.. or unleash zombie hordes…??"

"So what exactly is the curse? The suicide?" Morien peers up at Sam as a grin appears on his face, "Dear, please take a seat. The tea loses its flavor if it sits too long." Morien rises from his place, taking his tea with him as he approaches the painting, "Interesting, I assume you have encountered the other works before..Morien takes a sip from his tea. "How were they painted after the artist's suicide? Who painted them?" Morien tilts his head towards his left shoulder as he tries to appear as naive as possible about the occult.

"The waking corpse, Oh he used some very dark arts to remove his soul from his person. He stored it in a funeral jar which he burried in the ground, where death would never find it. Then he took poison, believing it would forever preserve his body at that age. Unfortunately, things don't exactly work like that so he began to rot. In he gaping wound caused by the removal of his soul, something foul festered and took root. His corpse ran on essentially autopilot, mostly mindless as it rotted away until eventually it was bound in sacred chains to a holy rock and cast into a sacred river. They set it on fire first I believe, which likely helped. His works whilst he was alive, were all actually very pedestrian. As for the curse, oh it drives you mad."Sho dosn't seem terribly bothered mind you. "Albert Kochs ripped his jaw off with his bare hands, cut open his stomach and tried to strangle his daughter to death with his entrails. He was highly resistant to death, when the police arrived some hours later. The curse, is a little different with each painting. I have however encountered four others however, and other strange things. I would suggest, sir that you destroy this painting."

Sam settles by the strange japanese table, sitting on the floor like the host had been, though indian style and not entirely proper mind you. She picks up the tea and sniffs it before sipping it now. She makes a little choking noise at someting Sho said, hard to really tell which bit got to her. Probably the guy trying to kill his own kid with his own entrails. "that.. is remarkably horrifying" she mutters mostly to herself.
"People trying to live forever. That is almost too absurd to be believed. Morien takes a long sip from his tea as he looks over Sho. I would accuse you of trying to run a con on me, but you do come highly recommend. I trust you can see that this painting is destroyed. I would do it myself, but if something happened to wrong. Morien walks back to his seat. "I would hate for my company to suffer from such a mistake. I will pay you for your discretion and for the destruction of the property.

Sho finally settles by the table, before calmly slipping out of his jacket. "Your money, is not necessary."Slowly undoing his cuffs, and setting those fancy diamond cufflinks on the table. Then he begins to turn up the sleeves, exposing that vivid ink below. A magnificently colorful Koi sort of wrapped up his right forearm, and a mess of kanji along his left. Tattoos of protection, of warding, of service and calm. "Such things are something of a religious observance, good deeds need not be met with wordly rewards. As for immortality, it is more common than many would believe. There is a Witch in Tokyo, who claims to be close to eight hundred years old. A hero, I believe they call her "The Reckoning". Many believe she speaks the truth."

Sam sips her tea and eyes the painting again. "Being immortal has to be a bit trippy. How can someone even remember everything from that much .. experiences… I mean I have trouble remembering stuff and I'm…" pause "barely old enough to drink" liar "I bet they forget a lot of stuff.. unless they have memory enhancements or something." siiip of the tea.

"Really, 800 years old that seems hard to believe?" Morien takes another sip of his tea as he recalled when he was just 800 years old. He smiles softly at Sam, "I would assume that there would be either forget like everyone else that is old, or have some ability that would allow them to remember their entire life." Morien reaches under the table and hands Sam a business card, "If you need any help or a favor, please do not hesitate to call. The card is for the both of you.

Sho Sips his tea quietly for a moment, before offering a faint smile. "Rememberance is overrated in my opinion, we lead very sour lives. It seems that which has come before, is often times best forgotten. Time may be a human construct, but it has become our cage I fear. It has become a means of control, of order and we are not a species for whom Order has much intrinsic value."

Right then, Sam totally gives her boss the, you are being very wierd now, look and sets her cup of tea down to take the card offered by Morien "Thanks." she glances at the card curious "CEO of Umoja.. I think I've heard of that.." she tucks the card away, never know when you might need to call someone for a favor after all. "What does your company do again and where did you get the painting?"

"I think that Albert Kochs would have appreciated knowing the past of the painting, before he acquired it. The lessons of the past can be quite valuable. I am sure you find yourself in fascinating situations from your knowledge of the past." Morien pours himself some more tea and says. "I know I find myself meeting all sorts of interesting people every time I go looking for different antiques."

"We do a lot of things. We have holdings in transportation, farming, medicine equipment, private security, and computer parts. Those are our major holdings, but we do have some minor holdings in technology and the digital music industries."

Morien looks around the room and frowns slightly, "Surprisingly, we have never developed in Asian markets. A mercenary that has done work for my company when my brother was in charged wanted to cash in a favor about the painting. I did not seem any harm in finding out information about the painting for him. I am afraid I did not ask him where he acquired it."

Sho sips quietly "The past is a cage, not a step in a staircase. This painting, like the story surrounding it should have died in the past. Yet the plans of evil men have conspired, and so it has endured until it became yours. Even after the gruesome method of it's creation, one must wonder how many died along it's life so the artist could maintain his dream of posterity? He was a man for whom the future held less importance than the past, and so this is the result. A perversion."

Sam finishes off the last of her tea and then returns the empty cup. "It is a pretty awful painting that should have been destroyed.. I am not sure why anyone would even be that evil." she shakes her head "What about not learning from the mistakes of the past and repeating them." she tosses the old proverb to her boss.

"It seems that you believe in the old saying that you should let the past flow like a river downstream." Morien sips on his tea as well, "Allow me to agree with your friend and add my own opinion, "The past is always a part of us. You cannot ignore it or deny it. It is secretly guiding every step you take. You used all the knowledge of your experiences to decide what path you take every moment, even if you are not aware of it. Now, you may say that someone may shed their past, but even by shedding their past they have been controlled by it." Morien lets out a soft laugh, "I am sounding like my high-school philosophy teacher. I am sure noone wishes to hear the ramblings of some yuppie, perhaps I should be trying to pass on a good stock tip instead.

"You confuse my longing, with my understanding of reality as we know it."Sho sips at his tea softly. "What is awful, is that we must destroy a painting. Evil yes, but still art. In terms of Karma, this is almost certainly a negative action despite intentions. As for stock options, no thank you."Glancing towards Sam. "She may benefit from such things however, she is something of a protoge and still trying to determine what she wants to be in this world. I have a spiritual calling, but her book is yet unwritten. Unfortunately, the modern American education system has failed her so it up to me it seems."

Sam sighs lightly at that, sure she knows she is a bit of a failure in the education system but he didnt have to toss her under the bus verbally. Probably thought he was being nice too. "Not sure what I'd do with a stock tip." she really doesn't look like she would have the first clue on how to buy stock, or afford it even if she did. "Im pretty sure preventing people from being cursed and going mad and killing their kids is a plus on the kharma front, even if it is a painting boss…"

"I guess I will defer to you about the understanding of our reality. You knew so much about the painting, and it seems your spiritual calling has granted you wisdom beyond your years." Morien sips on his tea to hide the smirk that was beginning to form on his face as he thinks to himself that he can't be expected to every occult tale on Earth, maybe in another 3,000 years.

Morien peers over at Sam, "Having someone to mentor you is a great way to learn, but I do recommend everyone going to school or reading as much as they can. Knowledge is truly one of the sweetest fruits that life has to offer. Morien shakes his head and says, "Again, I am sounding like a high-school philosophy teacher.

Sho waves a hand dismissively "Sam, no need to sigh. You were not appropriately taught, there is no shame in this and you are not stupid."Sipping quietly at his tea. "I will see about sending her to college as a paralegal, if she desires it. It is not my place to dictate the way, merely to illuminate all the paths open."Offering Morien a pleasant little smile. "And you sir, are far too kind."

Sam breaths in even deeper and sighs even deeper at Sho's next statement. He really doesn't know how to talk about a teenage girl or her school problems. "Sho.. this is not the time.. or the place.. and there still isn't any chance of me being accepted into a college unless we fake my highschool transcript and my SATs… so.. moving on moving on." she gives him a bit of teenage death look. Then smiles to Morien "Right, do you have any other mysterious evil artifacts that are likely cursed?"

"I do not considered it being kind." Morien rises from the seat, "As I told this English woman once when I was drunk in a bar, I consider myself merely a traveler." A slight smirk appears on his lip as he looks at the duo, "I am afraid that I am all out of mysterious artifacts, but if that mercenary every visits me again about such things I am just going to send him directly to you. No offense, but I try to limit the weirdness in my life. It is good for one's health." Morien smiles pleasantly, "IF you are in the legal business, I wouldn't mind your card. You never know when you might need a non corporate lawyer to handle a legal matter for you."

Sho just offers Sam a smile "And this too, shall pass. Worry not."Sho finally offers a -snap- flick of the wrist, producing a business card from seemingly thin air before rising to offer it over with both hands. Rather formal, isn't he? "I am a contract lawyer by trade, specializing in bi-lingual contracts. If you ever have need of me, certainly do call."

Sam eyes the painting while Sho does all the formal business, and then steps to remove it from the wall and haul it out, since well they are supposed to be disposing of it. Unless Sho stops her and all.

Morien peers down at the card and nods, "Will do." Morien pulls out his smartphone and quickly scans the card to the phone. "Have a pleasant night."


Back to: RP Logs

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License