Flashback The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

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A village cut off from the rest of Mizahar by the Valterrian, slowly reestablishing contact with the outside world.

The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

Postby Eosi on December 29th, 2012, 5:34 pm

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There was a hard, wintry sun glaring down at Denval on that day. It held no mercy in its touch, for where its rays danced there was no warmth to be found. The air held the crisp scent of coming snow and that alone had its inhabitants fleeing toward the mercy of home. For the young Inarta however, there was no clemency to be had there. The wasted form of her Mother would sit by the window, her empty gaze a phantom of what it used to be. Everyone in the settlement pitied the young girl though none would say. Instead they blessed her with business. Night and day she’d work at the family weaponsmithy, her deft fingers carving and crafting with single-minded efficiency. It was one such day that they sent her off. Her uncle had eyed her with a patriarchal expression. By the set of his jaw, Eosi knew he’d soon be dismissing her.

“Eosi…” He began, looking down at her station. ”Okay, I’ll go.” Her tone was very near to insubordinate. Her elders routinely insisted she act her age, which was a monumental irritation. Her sharp stare and sharper tongue alienated her peers. Those remaining were unnerved by her looming silence. Idle talk was grating. If there was nothing of substance to speak of, why speak at all? There were really only a few classmates she could stand. Her mouth was a grim line as she packed her things and strode off into the bleak expanse, her onyx cape fluttering out behind her. When her boots hit the street, Eosi realized the snowfall had begun. The virgin ice glistened up at her. With a disconsolate sigh she trudged through it, unthinking but determined not to go home.

There was another smithy on the other side of town. It was a smaller one to be sure, but quaint. Without even realizing, Eosi's aerial eye set its sights on the small building. The Invalti on her top vertebrae tingled fiercely as it activated. She watched idly as a ginger-haired girl went to and fro. It was difficult to say what she was doing – fetching wood or other such materials, perhaps. From the top she recognized her as being in the same age group, having seen the person in classes and about town. They’d never spoken much. Her feet carried her toward a newfound goal. If they wanted her to act her age, then she would. With curt steps she made her way to the little shop.

With her long strides, the walk was relatively short. White powder descended from the pastel sky with grace, slightly obscuring the light. That made her a tad uncomfortable. She surveyed the building critically before entering, the creaking door announcing her presence. When greeted, she’d be unsure how to begin. There really was no overarching scheme to it. Eosi just sought company of a similar mind. Another smith, another shop. Perhaps there was a kinship to be found in their shared craft. It was a hopeful pursuit. But regardless of the outcome, anything was better than going home. Anything.

"Hello," she called.


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The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

Postby Fia Eaven on December 30th, 2012, 8:01 am


The girl did not miss a moment, but immediately flung out her own goodwill from a corner of the room.
"Good afternoon!"
She smiled, her teeth looking whiter in contrast with the coal dust on her cheek. Her sleeves were rolled and her skirt hitched between her legs with its hem girded at her waist. A hammer swung from a loop in her belt and a set of tongs was in her right hand. From the distance she had looked more orderly, but this new inspection showed her to be a bit sooty.
"Are you looking for me Da? Or is there something I can fashion for you?" Her smile encroached eagerness, "I'm about to begin a good hook for hanging things."
Proving her words, Fia plucked up an iron rod with her tongs and balanced it across the top of the forge's coals. Working with wrought iron meant she didn't submerge the rod in the coals, as it was imperative she see the metal's color. Orange was too cool to hammer, and if the rod blazed white, it was already burning. The metal was workable when ranging from red to yellow, "like the hairs on Fia's head", her Da would say. The resemblance between her hair and properly heated wrought iron were tenuous, but it was an easy way to remember the lesson.
Out of habit more than necessity, Fia turned the crank to make the bellows feed the coals fresh air.
"I've got a wee bit of time afore I have to worry about that changing." The tongs were returned to their proper place of reverence and Fia walked to meet Eosi properly.
"I'm Fia. Me Da calls me Fee," and Eosi was wordlessly invited to do the same if the second syllable proved onerous. As if she could smell Eosi's inclination to be sociable, Fia began the undertaking with enough ease for the both of them. "I've seen you about. Denval born like the most, yes? I weren't born here," she admitted, quickly sharing a confidence, "But me father and me grandmother were. Me father passed me off to me Da when I was a babe, though, so I like to fancy it's near enough." In a matter of moments, the young girl had splayed out the rather disjointed circumstances of her origins. Perhaps it was her way of showing she was at peace with whatever Eosi might have heard in town gossip. Proud secrets and improper ideas of shame were ugly things to be done away with at the first moment possible. Fia felt too buoyant to let anything like that root her to dull earth.

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The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

Postby Eosi on December 30th, 2012, 2:02 pm

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"Good afternoon!"

Eosi jumped a quarter-inch out of her skin. The lack of sunlight inhibited her sight – one that she relied on altogether too heavily. She stared at the offender, whose ivory cheek was decorated with a blackened smudge. The bright-eyed young girl wielded a pair of tongs with cheerful abandon, seeming eager to please. The half-Inarta’s look was level. The girl seemed a comic mix of extremes; she’d never seen anyone smith in a skirt before, yet her hands were capable in their handling.

"Are you looking for me Da? Or is there something I can fashion for you?" That was the first hurdle to leap. It would have provided more an opportunity to speak had she some official business for being there. "I'm about to begin a good hook for hanging things." After a beat, her countenance began to ease out of its previous severity. There was no reason to dislike the girl. The chattiness seemed to bubble out of an excess of productivity, as the fiery young smith went about the shop. Eosi’s bowed lips tugged up at one side.

”Uncle always said never to smith and run,” the young woman began, surveying the iron rod glowing atop the coals. ”If that’s was really true however, we’d all be forging one sword at a time.” She gave a light chuckle, allowing the ice to be broken. Despite the lack of sunlight, it was comfortable in the tiny shop. Her vice was hovering too close to the open forge. Eosi loved fire as well as light though neither could be called interchangeable. Her golden pendant sat lightly encircling her neck, embellished with a tiny flame.

"I've got a wee bit of time afore I have to worry about that changing." That was true enough, given the color of the metal. "I'm Fia. Me Da calls me Fee," she offered with a smile. Rather than verbally assent, her nod was emphatic – she’d rather listen to the animated smith than speak over her. "I've seen you about. Denval born like the most, yes? I weren't born here," which the town had established long ago. The small settlement had a penchant for gossip she didn’t share. It was all a bunch of pettiness and voyeurism from a group of small-minded bigots.

"But me father and me grandmother were. Me father passed me off to me Da when I was a babe, though, so I like to fancy it's near enough." Eosi considered her words with pursed lips before responding. ”Everyone belongs where it is they call home.” That brought up a painful topic. ”You’re Denvali as sure as I, though you must know by blood it’s only half.” To that, she grinned. ”I’m Eosi Barlowe, daughter to Layla and Laes and prodigy of Captain Astrid. Nice to meet you, Fee.”

The airy regard of her newfound friend surprised and yet pleased her. Her flitting about the smith was fascinating to see. ”Laes is an Inarta,” she clarified, unflapped by her own irreverence.


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The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

Postby Fia Eaven on January 3rd, 2013, 7:11 am


Fia's eyes were warmer than her age gave them right to be, more like a mother's than a girl's. She listened to Eosi's brief biography, hearing the subtle meanings in the way she ordered words.
"Well that makes a pair of us then," she wrapped the words in a hushed dearness. "A bit mixed, but no worse for it." Her smile was a trace sly as she went on, "I find alloys are some of the prettiest and sternest stuff, don't you?" Gliding back toward the hearth, Fia checked her iron again. She spoke as she moved, giving the words a rolling cadence. Had she been alone, she would have been humming. "Never met an Inarta, or a portion o' one. I'm growing more cultured by the day!"
Fia waved the girl over to where she stood. They could watch the iron together. A part of Fia wondered if Eosi could be playfully recruited as her striker for the small craft. No sledge though, a small hammer would do. The role would be unnecessary for such a slight object, but the idea of another young woman who could navigate a forge delighted Fia. Eosi had hinted at some understanding of the songs of hearth and iron.
As a girl, Fia had proven a novelty in her family. Her Da had inducted her into the family profession to make sure she always had an honest means of living, but her Uncles assumed it was more out of convenience. Put the little hands to work so they didn't meddle in other things. When Fia continued to be a presence in the forge, they scratched their heads and swore their father had gotten peculiar in his old age. They never had any sisters to compare the girl to, so the married ones looked to their wives for explanation. Fia's Aunts were Denvali through and through, so they didn't question self sufficiency and honest work, but they did make a project of the girl. Let her smith, they said, but let her smith in a dress with combed hair.

Fia shook the silence again. "So, a prodigy to the Cap'n? Sounds dreadful important. How grand!" Fia had been granted a gift in her ability to experience pleasure vicariously. Eosi's good fortune was absorbed without the sieve of envy. The half-Inarta's accomplishment was warmed and polished in Fia's hands and released a brighter thing. "Are you here on some prodigying business?" she asked, realizing she had swung the girl into her confidences without finding out what even brought her to the Eaven Forge. It certainly couldn't have been Fia's learned conversation.

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The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

Postby Eosi on January 8th, 2013, 7:30 pm

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The sound of Fia’s voice was a maternal sort of whispering, laced with girlish excitement. She could not form any cohesive judgment about the exuberant young woman; Fia was very simplistic and yet by contrast, subtle and precise. Eosi watched her process that new connection, her steely gaze keen as tempered steel. "Well that makes a pair of us then," she replied sweetly. "A bit mixed, but no worse for it." Perhaps better, even. Fia continued, somewhat conspiratorially. "I find alloys are some of the prettiest and sternest stuff, don't you?" The metaphor elicited a true smile. The Fletcher and the Smith. Perhaps it had been a mistake to be so cloistered. Fia’s easy speech seemed preferable to dismal silence.

"Never met an Inarta, or a portion o' one. I'm growing more cultured by the day!" The smith thought aloud, gesturing Eosi toward the coals. Upon her approach, she admired the simple lines of Fia’s countenance. Faces spoke of the soul, if you allowed them to. Beauty was irrelevant. The idea was to read each feature as it stood alone - the way the muscles bloomed in smiles and wilted in frowns, or the way the brow creased as a person toiled. The fletcher was no artist at it, unlike her Mother. Still, she could see the simple joy in the crinkling of Fee’s eyes and the languid steps of her feet. Even her flesh was smooth and free of worry, a supple canvas on which her heart could paint.

"So, a prodigy to the Cap'n? Sounds dreadful important. How grand!" The vicarious joy she exuded was entirely too good to be true. Suspending her natural skepticism, she continued to listen intently and without bias. "Are you here on some prodigying business?" Eosi let loose a small laugh. ”Oh no. I merely sought out the company of a like mind.” It was difficult to suspect Fee of falseness. The critical eye she’d developed for combat had become the downfall of her social life. It saw shadows where they were none. But only time could reveal the truth of that.

”Where’s your Da?” She asked conversationally. It was nice to just speak without direction or purpose. Everything had its place in moderation, after all. With each word, she realized a delicate rasp in the base of her throat that only prolonged silence could bring. ”I don’t know why we’ve never spoken before,” she spoke somewhat rhetorically. ”Perhaps I’m too willful for my own good. I tend to dislike compulsively.” That of course, was a given for anyone who knew her. Still, it was a very direct thing to say. But when you got her talking, she was a very direct being. Being honest could potentially help the world perceive her in a different light, but it was more likely that fact would be used to her detriment.

”Being a prodigy is used loosely. I don’t see much of Astrid’s front end. She’s far too important for that. I just work hard.” She shot Fia a satirical look. ”I can see you do much the same.”


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The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

Postby Fia Eaven on January 19th, 2013, 9:52 am

"Me Da?" Fia cast her eyes to the forge's door, as if expecting his long shadow to fill it. "Delivering hinges last I heard. Should be back soon enough. If'n he comes in I can abandon me post and get food."
The rest of Eosi's answers were gathered up in the sweeping arm of Fia's easy nature.
"I like the work most days. Keeps me occupied. I was none too good with Academy studies, so they were glad to shoo me into practical things. Probably why you haven't see much of me."
Hoisting herself atop a workbench, Fia kept a view of the hearth. Her feet swung beneath her, erasing any years she had accrued by handling a grown up's tools. A smith's instruments had a daunting crudeness. They were meant to combat fire and bludgeon iron, strange companions for a freckled thing stubbornly bent towards cheer.
"I'm inclined to like everyone I meet. I don't think that's a wise thing either. Between the two of us, there's a proper balance," Fia grinned, acknowledging Eosi's supposed misanthropy, "Until I figure it, I best not stray far from home."
Fia tilted her head, looking like a cardinal. "Do you ever want to leave Denval? I like the tales me friends read to me, about things I haven't seen or some of the sailor's yarns. Just few days ago I met one who said there's a fruit tastes like sunlight. Could you imagine? He had a piece but it was dry and wrinkled and said it wasn't nothing like the true thing." The little smith was falling into the stories she loved so well, pulling out scenes that meant something to her. "I hear about islands with seers, cities of glass, people who sleep on their horses and beautiful creatures that fall from the sky to the sea... I'm sore tempted to see it all. But will I be any happier than I am here?" Here she was loved, what better thing could a wide world offer her? "What about you, Eosi? Is there anything you want to find out there?"
Her chin pointed toward the rocky shore, where reefs raised knives to keep larger boats away. The treacherous bay was the nearest Denval came to a point of escape.
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The Prevailing Cold [Fia]

Postby Skerry on December 2nd, 2013, 3:51 pm

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Grades

Eosi

Skill XP
Observation 5XP
Socialization 4XP


LORES :
  • Location: Eaven smithy (Denval)
  • Uncle's saying: Never Smith and Run
  • Fia(Basic)
  • Fee: Nickname for Fia
  • Fia's origins
  • Alloys as a metaphor for mixed blood
  • Fia: Likes everybody


Notes:
A very enjoyable thread and such a shame that it was cut short. There weren't too many skills that I could give XP in but I gave you quite a few lores.

REMEMBER to put a time stamp on threads please.

Fia: If you come back then PM me and I'll add your grade.

Remember if you have any questions about or problems with your grade then feel free to PM me.


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