Completed The Seeker

News told, rumours heard, truth implied, facts buried.

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Home of the Konti people, this ivory city is built of native konti stone half in and half out of the sea. Its borders touch the Silverwood, and stretch upwards towards Silver Lake, home of the infamous konti vision water. [Lore]

The Seeker

Postby Ianthe on August 10th, 2014, 7:25 pm

The Seeker

Timestamp: 88th Day of Summer, 514 AV
Location: Bountiful Sea

"Come along, darling. Don't drag your feet."

"But why do I have to get new shoes? I don't even like shoes. If I could make every shoe in the whole world go away, I would! Pleaaaase can I just go play?"

The girlish whine, voiced by Ianthe's five-year-old daughter, cut through the quiet morning air. Cleodora kicked her foot at a stray cobblestone, holding back an exaggerated gasp as her mother hushed her. "Ouch!" she whispered theatrically, wide violet eyes gazing up at Ianthe for sympathy.

But Ianthe's attention was elsewhere. The normal hustle and bustle of the Bountiful Sea further up the road seemed hushed. She could usually hear the cheerful shouts of merchants and the negotiations of patrons within a few short chimes of the main street. This morning, however, the cries seemed subdued. Though she couldn't place the cause of it, a feeling of unease wound up her spine, chilling her skin in spite of the warm morning sun. She reached down to grasp Cleodora's hand, guiding her back to her side. "Stay close, Ducky," Ianthe murmured, offering her daughter a ghost of a smile.

Oh, Eudore... where are you?

Ianthe's twin had promised to meet the two konti at the bazaar, but she was not known for her timeliness - particularly after a late night of Shielding. The crease between Ianthe's brow deepened as she contemplated her sister's evening activities. Eudore had always assured her that Shielding was safe, if draining, but a small part of Ianthe still didn't trust it. Magic. Her elders had always warned her of its dangers. It wasn't a gift from the gods, like Divination or Healing. It took, rather than gave.

She felt a sharp tug on her arm and was pulled out of her thoughts by her daughter's attempts to run toward the crowd. "I said stay close, darling, not sprint to the other side of the bazaar."

"I will, I will stay close! But I see Lilian'a and I really want to play with her and please can I go?"

"Shoes first. Then we can go see Lilian'a."

"But-"

"Shoes. First."
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Ianthe
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The Seeker

Postby Ianthe on August 11th, 2014, 3:32 am

As mother and daughter wandered east on the main street, sidestepping the occasional over-enthusiastic tourist, Ianthe tried to work out the reason behind her feelings of unease. It wasn't that the bazaar wasn't busy; a potpourri of unique wares was spread neatly atop many colourful blankets and sturdy wooden tables, and the Bountiful Sea was bubbling over with activity.

No, quantity wasn't the problem here.

Ianthe chewed her lower lip as she scanned the crowd. The foreigners were nearly as diverse as the wares, ranging from the sun-darkened humans of the northern land and sea to the four-armed people of the desert. It still awed her to think that, just twenty years ago, Mura was a quiet island filled primarily with konti people. After Mura's "discovery," as the humans liked to call it, the city's immigration and tourism industries had boomed, though she frequently found herself torn between missing the old days and welcoming the new economic prosperity.

A light summer breeze rustled her dress as she passed a cluster of konti women. With the wind came an unexpected word: "near-death". Ianthe tilted her head curiously and glanced sideways at the gathering, trying to catch additional snatches of their conversation.

"...konti found... "

Cleodora, who was now more determined than ever to get the shoe horror over with as quickly as possible, dragged Ianthe forward before she could hear more. Mere ticks later, however, they passed another group of konti whispering hurriedly to one another.

"...Crystal Cavern... some sort of fever..."

Her blue eyes widened, realizing what she'd missed. Today's bazaar wasn't different because of the travellers; in fact, the travellers were the most normal thing about the Bountiful Sea. No, today was different because of the konti themselves. Every few meters there was a different huddle of women murmuring to one another in concerned voices. Ianthe frowned, not wanting to jump to conclusions but feeling a pit form in her stomach nonetheless. If they were saying what she thought they were saying...

Well, let's just pray they're wrong.
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Ianthe
Empty yourself and let the universe in.
 
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The Seeker

Postby Ianthe on August 12th, 2014, 4:42 am

"Why, you look positively dour! Sweetheart, it's just clothing. Nothing to get into a state about."

Ianthe blinked in confusion as a perky konti merchant materialized in front of her and grabbed at her free hand. It took Ianthe a reflective moment and a quick glance at Cleodora to realize that the woman was speaking to her, not to her daughter. Unshaken, the elder N'asira promptly rearranged her expression into a smile. "Ki'ala! Just the woman we came to see. You of course know my daughter, Cleodor-"

"Yes, yes," Ki'ala interrupted excitedly. "Lovely to see you again, little duck. Now, both of you, come, come, come. I've made some new children's footwear that Cleodora will just love."

"Wanna bet?" Cleo mumbled, crossing her eyes and sticking her tongue out defiantly at the older woman as she herded the pair over to her clothing booth.

"Now, you're a bit early for fall-" Ki'ala rummaged through a cloth bag as she spoke, "-but I managed to create a few designs especially for you." She pulled out three pairs of tiny leather boots and looked up at Ianthe expectantly, as if she were waiting to receive a medal and a round of applause for her ingenuity and thoughtfulness.

"Oh, we just need one pair-," Ianthe began, only to find herself once more cut off by the green-eyed tradeswoman.

"One pair, three pairs, what's the difference? Do you see this masterful stitching? I guarantee you won't find boots like this anywhere else on the isle - and definitely not on those ridiculous trading vessels."

"Oh yes, beautiful craftsmanship as always, Ki'ala." Ianthe smiled indulgently at the merchant, while her considerably less patient daughter began to pull on her skirts. "Now, how much for... that one there?" She pointed to a pair of simple brown, low-cut boots that looked to be Cleodora's size.

"These? I'll give them to you for two gold mizas."

Ianthe's eyebrows shot up. "Two gold mizas?! Ki'ala, really... How long have we known each other? Isn't that a little much?"

"For this quality? Never!" The konti woman huffed as if insulted at the mere thought of lowering her prices, though a twinkle remained ever-present in her eyes. "But I'll tell you what. I'll throw in this second pair - the laced ones - for a total of just three gold mizas."

Ianthe paused and considered her options. Two pairs of children's boots for three gold mizas - it bordered on robbery. Plus, she couldn't imagine trying to convince Cleo to lace up her boots every morning (the five-year-old sometimes threw fits if she had to wear a cloak). My girl certainly has a flair for the dramatic, she thought ruefully.

On the other hand, she might be able to negotiate Ki'ala down to one gold miza for the pair...

"One gold miza for the pair?! Larceny! Theft! Are you trying to ruin me? Think of the quality, Ianthe, the quality."

Or perhaps not.
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Ianthe
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The Seeker

Postby Ianthe on August 12th, 2014, 11:08 pm

Ianthe nodded her head apologetically at the smaller konti, recognizing that it was more important to keep a good relationship with her local craftswomen then to make a fuss about their rates. It was a small island, all things considered, and word spread quicker than a hummingbird's wings. Besides, Ki'ala made a good point about the quality of her wares. Cleo had recently discovered climbing and, subsequently, a curious love for heights (an oddity for Ianthe, who found solace in deep water). She desperately needed shoes that could withstand tree bark, rocky hills, and long treks in the woods.

Still, two gold mizas was far too much for a pair of children's boots.

"You're right. Of course you're right," Ianthe replied, attempting to take different tact than her previous proposal. "You always make create such beautiful pieces. I mean, look at the stitching!"

"Right? That's what I'm trying to tell you!"

Ianthe could feel Ki'ala warming and dove a bit deeper. "And the leatherwork! I mean, if I had half the skill you had then I'd be a lucky woman indeed."

Too much. The merchant rolled her green eyes skyward and giggled. "Oh, please. Don't lay it on too thick, sweetie. Like you said - how long have we known each other?"

Ianthe's cheeks flushed, and she let out a laugh of her own. "I'm sorry, Ki'ala. I don't what came over me! Can we talk prices?"

The craftswoman nodded and straightened into what Ianthe was beginning to recognize as her bargaining pose. Broadened shoulders, hands on hips, high chin, thoughtful green eyes. Feminine and powerful. Ianthe made a mental note to work on her own posture (though perhaps not with a child in tow - with Cleo constantly pulling on her dress, she sometimes felt as if she was perpetually falling over).

"I think I'll just take the one," Ianthe began, pointing once more at the laceless boots. "Will you take eight silver mizas for them?"

"If you add a gold miza to that number, then we absolutely have a deal." Ki'ala's voice was soft, yet firm, making the conflict-avoidant konti hesitate before continuing on.

That's still too high. Try again. "One gold miza... and two silver mizas?" Ianthe cursed her poor bargaining skills as she listened helplessly to her voice pitch higher, changing her offer from statement to question.

Ki'ala raised her eyebrows sympathetically upon hearing her customer's hesitation. While she wasn't about to simply give away her creations, she was a compassionate woman who preferred to balance profit with service whenever possible. "One gold miza and five silver mizas," she relented. "And you may want to seriously consider that offer - I think your daughter's about to pass out from boredom!"
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Ianthe
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The Seeker

Postby Ianthe on August 13th, 2014, 12:38 am

Indeed, Cleodora's head was drooping and her legs were weakening from the weight of crushing monotony. She couldn't dream of a more asinine conversation to be listening to, and the glazed look in her eyes showed it.

Ianthe laughed and scooped the young girl up, resting Cleo's light frame carefully on her hip. "Fine, fine. You've got me there. One gold miza and five silver..." She trailed off as the sight of another konti gathering caught her eye. What was it that they were discussing with such anxiety? Ianthe's thoughts whirred, and she turned back to the merchant with a new aim. After all, if there was one thing Ki'ala was better at than driving a hard bargain, it was keeping up with the city gossip.

"I can agree to one gold miza and five silver mizas if you wouldn't mind setting a rumour to rest for me."

Ki'ala's eyes brightened and her lips widened into a grin. "Deal! What do you want to know? I can tell you with complete certainty that the handsome dark-haired svefran - the one who comes by once a year with all of those shiny stones? - is almost definitely the father of Jacinthe's daughter. And Nala's daughter. And Ria's dau-"

"No, not that rumour," Ianthe interrupted, certain that the svefran's family line could be expanded on for the remainder of the morning. "I'm actually wondering about the news of the Crystal Caverns. Do you know what happened?"

If she had hoped for any reaction, it would have been the opposite of Ki'ala's. The craftswoman's face darkened and the smile fell away. "You mean you haven't heard?" she said, her voice lowering so much so that Ianthe had to lean in to hear her. "Some healers found a konti woman in the Caverns... I don't know how it happened, but she was so sick..."

Ianthe held in a gasp, covering her mouth with her free hand.

Ki'ala nodded solemnly. "I know. There's a rumour going around that she's already dead, but I think the healers got to her before that. Still, they're saying it's a bad omen, that Avalis is angry with us. And after the child last season? Goddess help us all."

"What child?" Ianthe asked sharply, shifting Cleodora higher on her hip.

"You didn't hear? Oh dear, you really ought to pay more attention to the grapevine, sweetie." The merchant shook her head sadly and began to wrap the boots in cloth. "A girl - a konti girl - went missing in the Crystal Caverns. One moment she was there, and the next..." Ki'ala snapped her fingers as if to symbolize the child's disappearance. "I tell you, we'll all be praying to the Mother Goddess tonight."

Ianthe dug into her coin purse and dropped several mizas on the table. "Thanks, Ki'ala. I'll be sure to make an offering this evening." She settled Cleodora on her feet and took the parcel from the other konti.

Where in Mizahar was Eudore?
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Ianthe
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The Seeker

Postby Ianthe on August 13th, 2014, 3:18 am

"Ianthe!"

Not so elusive, after all. Ianthe turned to greet her mirror image. Elegant nose, high cheekbones, ocean blue eyes. It all matched, with only two exceptions: Eudore had been blessed with Rak'keli's sigil, rather than Avalis' lily, on the back of her left hand, and her hair was long and loose - much like Ianthe's had been five years prior.

"Dorey!" Cleodora raced toward her aunt in greeting and clung happily to her legs. "Dorey, mummy made me get new shoes. Pleaaaase tell her I don't need them?"

Eudore knelt to hug her little niece. "Hello, Ducky. I know it's hard to believe, but one day you might actually find that you need shoes. Then I promise you'll be glad your mother dragged you all the way out here."

The smallest konti looked quizzically at her aunt and shook her head in disbelief. "Nuh uh..." she muttered, half of her wanting to argue further and the other half trying to figure out a scenario where shoes would be useful.

Ianthe stepped across the cobblestone to embrace her twin. "I'm so glad you're here."

Eudore squeezed Ianthe's hand in return. "Did you hear the news?" Her expression changed from pleasure at seeing her family to a look of distress that rivalled Ianthe's own innermost thoughts.

"The Crystal Caverns? Yes, I just heard-"

"Not the Caverns. What happened in the Caver-? Never mind, tell me later. No, I'm talking about Black Rock."

"Black rocks?" Ianthe began to follow her sister down the road, keeping a close eye on Cleodora as she ran ahead.

"Rock, singular."

"Black Rock? Isn't that the made-up city from konti legends? The one filled with dead people?"

"That's the one."

"What about it?"

Eudore paused, choosing her words carefully. "The healers say they received a request for help." Her left hand clenched into a fist, nails tight to her skin.

"A request... from Black Rock?"

"Yup."

"...The ghost city?"

"Yup."

"I assume they know Rak'keli can't resurrect the dead...?"

Eudore shrugged and clasped pale hands to her chest.

Ianthe felt chills move up her spine for the second time that morning. "Goddess..."

"I know."

They walked on in silence, each consumed by their own thoughts and questions. What could this mean? Why would a ghost city - a city they'd thought to be imaginary - request help from Mura's healers? Why now? And why was Avalis allowing konti to fall ill or, goddess forbid, disappear in the most sacred of Mura's spaces?

Ianthe glanced up at the cloudless blue sky. There was much to consider. Too much. She sought answers, but all she could find were dark thoughts that did not belong in a summer morning as beautiful as this.

"We live in strange times," Eudore murmured, and Ianthe could not help but agree.
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Ianthe
Empty yourself and let the universe in.
 
Posts: 66
Words: 51961
Joined roleplay: February 8th, 2013, 3:53 am
Location: Syliras
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
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The Seeker

Postby Traverse on September 18th, 2014, 7:48 pm

Image

Ianthe

Experience:

  • Bartering 3
  • Leadership 2
  • Observation 4
  • Persuasion 2
  • Socialization 3

Lore:

  • Cleodora: A Dramatic Child
  • Ki'ala: Over the top Storeowner
  • A Feeling of Foreboding About a Day
  • Rumor Confirmed: A Female Konti Sick in the Crystal Caverns
  • Eudore: A Tardy Twin
  • Rumor Confirmed: Healers Sent to Black Rock for Unknown Reasons

Inventory:

-1 GM, 5 SM

+1 Quality Pair of Leather Children's Boots

Additional Notes :
For a pretty basic shopping thread this was a delightful thread to read. We get a bit about Ianthe's personality, her daughter and even some local flavor, I loved it! Let me know if there was anything you felt I missed :). Oh and the leadership was for dealing with Cleo, as I wasn't quite sure of a good other XP for parenting haha
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