Closed The oath to come (Inka)

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

The oath to come (Inka)

Postby Surreal on August 3rd, 2020, 11:42 pm

Nimi listened to her carefully as she picked apart a cinnamon roll. “Nothing wrong with that. I didn’t know quite what to do when I came to Riverfall. I knew a smidge about glassblowing but not how much I would come to truly love it as I do now. Just take your time, and if you decide you want a change of pace, try out something new.” She said with a genuine smile. Of course she’d had those Drykas to watch over her while she was getting assimilated into the city where as Inka was all on her own. Nimi chewed on that for a moment while Inka brought up the next topic.

Quite the delicate topic Nimi thought. “Well, to start they don’t consider you a citizen unless you are competent with a weapon. Meaning if you want them to respect you, and ease your transition after your Nakivak status is over, practicing with a bow might be in the cards for you.” She said, pausing a moment to meet her eyes before continuing. “These Akalak.. They’re can be different at times. While for the most part they will be polite as can be, occasionally that face slips. And when that happens too often they get branded with these elaborate facial tattoos. They call these men Cerulean. I would stay well away from them if I were you.

Nimi breathed out a long sigh, and then put on her best smile. “Not that it is something you should worry about too much. Akalaks pride themselves on their discipline. They are very protective over the women here so it is unlikely any harm will come to you. Some of them can be a little.. Persistent so if you have a male friend it might do you some good to keep them close while you are out in the city. That is at least what I did to manage my first year or so.” She didn’t know if Inka had gotten to know any of the people she had traveled here with, but she certainly hoped so. Otherwise the road ahead of her was going to be a good deal more challenging.

It is no issue, really. I know what it is like. Honestly, it took me a long time to improve my common, and fortunately I have a friend that speaks Nari who was able to help me through that transition. As for Tukant, the local language here. Well I could certainly still work on that.” She laughed, and sat back in her chair, feeling pretty full from breakfast. After a couple of chimes, she eventually stood up, and looked over at Inka.

I’ve got to get back to work, but it was nice meeting you. I’m over at the Artfire Glassworks if you ever want to pay me a visit. We can catch up.” She said, and with that Nimi departed. Inka would have the rest of the day to do with as she wished.

It was not until late morning the next day that a representative from the Oathmaster’s tower came to fetch her. This Akalak stood at about six five and had the sides of his scalp shaved with his black hair forming a neatly plaited mohawk down the middle. His skin was a deep shade of green while his eyes were a pale blue. He wore a style of dress common to most Akalaks. An open leather vest, and black leather breeches that tucked right in to his high leather boots.

The task fell to Mos’Rila to explain what the man was here for as the Akalak did not speak in her presence. Wouldn’t speak for the whole journey in fact, and simply ushered her into the tower when she arrived. There a Konti took over things, also quiet at first though she quickly warmed up to Inka as the physical examination progressed. After it was done, the healer was happy to let Inka know that she had passed her examination and would be meeting with the Oathmaster soon.

That soon turned out to be about fifteen chimes before she was directed towards the third floor where she then entered Tuvos’ office. The first thing Inka would notice was that it was rather sparsely appointed with the furniture in the room barely taking up a quarter of the large room. Tucked into a corner was a bed that rested practically on the floor, and at the center of the room was a massive oak desk with two simple wooden chairs in front of it. In the larger more elaborate one behind it sat Tuvos, busy scribbling away at a piece of parchment on his desk.

Take a seat please.” Tuvos said without looking up for more than a glance as he finished scrawling the last few lines at the end of the page. Then setting his quill aside, he looked up at her with a slight smile. “They have told me your name is Inka, and that you have only recently arrived in our city. Since that is so, allow me to formally welcome you to Riverfall.

Tuvos sat back easily in his chair, resting his elbows on the cushioned arms. “By now you have been informed enough to at least grasp the process, yes? If so I’ll not waste our time by dithering over the basics. Instead I’ll ask you one very important question. Do you care to have a say in which Akalak takes your contract? Because if not, I can assure you that your reward will be very generous and we can afford to be very generous with your living accommodations. If not.. Well. We can offer you a modest credit until your contract has been taken, however should you go over that, there will naturally be penalties incurred.” He asked in a matter of fact tone as he sorted through the parchment on his desk. At last he came to the two pages he was looking for, and pushed them over to her before setting down the quill in front of her as well.

If you’d like to be treated lavishly by the Council, sign the right one. If you think you can make it on your own, sign the left.
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The oath to come (Inka)

Postby Inni on August 6th, 2020, 5:21 pm

The Oath to Come

12 Summer 720

Inka shuffled the tarot cards religiously and glanced out of the window in anxious curiosity. She knew they would becoming to fetch her and she had been obsessing over Nimi and Mos'rilla's advice. Beware the Cerulean. Insist on choice. Don't accept undue favors. It had been a repeating mantra in her head since her Nakivak explanation, and keeping her hands busy had seemed the only way to soothe her racing mind. Inka woke early, tossing and turning as she had laid in bed and then took to dressing in the clothes she had washed after breakfast with the day before. She had intended to use the extra time to study her common, but her mind refused to cooperate on anything that required extensive focus. Inka bounced from one task to another: braiding her hair, brushing her teeth, making her bed, and pacing her room until her legs tired. How was it that the Akalak were supposed to be so disciplined?

The deck in her hand trilled as she bridged them, a green figure approaching the tower with controlled, deliberate steps. Having spotted his arrival from the sitting room, Inka's heart thundered in her chest as she watched Mos'rilla go to answer the door.

She heard her name even before it was spoken.


Being told it was time to go, the young woman nodded with a weak smile and headed down the steps of Godiva's Refuge, giving a small wave over her shoulder as her escort guided them into the city. He wasn't as friendly as Rikarus had been, but he wasn't particular spiteful either. She estimated she must have come up to his shoulders in height, and while he didn't speak nor take her hand to guide her, Inka didn't seem to mind it outside of the occasional challenge in climbing the city's architecture. Her nerves were the most difficult to deal with, begging her to speak but without purpose. Inka wasn't convinced he wouldn't be a helpful soundboard so she allowed her attention to wander, observing every building they passed and trying to recognize the paths and places that had been taught to her the first day within the city.

While she walked, her hands continually played with the cards. Shuffle. Cut. Shuffle. Cut. Recognizing the Oathmaster's Tower, her stomach dropped and she had to stifle the temptation to flee when it felt a dozen heads had turned to watch her approach. This was, after all, her choice.

Inka quickened her pace to keep up with the Akalak's and tapped him with the gentleness of a butterfly after he waved her inside, past the lush green yard and into the towering structure "Thank you for ah...." Damnit, what was the word for escort? "The watch over walk?" She offered an embarrassed smile, hesitating to go inside. Then, with his deep breath, Inka grabbed her resolve by the throat and steeled herself for the next chapter of her stay in Riverfall. With an attempt to remember her manners and put at least one of her lessons to use, Inka gave a quick bow and disappeared into the building with swift steps, her red curls swishing when she bounded through the doorway.

Once inside, her nerves returned and she might have turned on heel if It was cooler there wasn't already a Konti woman was prepared to meet her, "H-hello," she tried to swallow the lump in her throat that had formed, heart racing as she watched the woman prepared her It was straight forward enough, although when it was time for more intimate observation, Inka stumbled into place and stared at the ceiling. Was she supposed to say anything? Make a joke? She certainty didn't know enough common to attempt clever humor! Instead Inka waited and consoled herself with the fact that she was groomed and cleaned, trying consciously to relax as she was poked and prodded and asked quiet questions about her health habits and recent blooding.

And, while she had dreaded it with nearly her entire being, the healer's hands were gentle and it was over quicker than Inka had predicted with bitter sweet results- She could have children!

For all her efforts, it was relieving to know it wouldn't be in vain, but she couldn't help the looming dread of what this meant... And what she would have to do. Inka thanked the woman, and was allowed time to dress and wait for the Oathmaster to be informed. So she waited, shuffling her cards.

At last, she drew one: The Queen of Pentacles.

A woman sat upon a throne, cradling a large golden coin in her lap while rabbits leapt at her feet and flowers bloomed in her garden. The figure watched over the coin lovingly and Inka fell into the painting, imaging herself in the queen's place. In a field of rich blooms, she was the provider, maintaining the material and creating a secure and loving place for her family. The rabbits and blooms - signs of fertility - must have been good omens on a day like today.

And then it was time.

Inka's worn sandals scuffed softly along the steps, calves tiring and a little winded by the time they reached the third floor. Making a mental note to exercise more, she was allowed to enter the office, where a large man sat behind a desk, writing.

"Take a seat please," he spared a glance and then went back to work, Inka quietly doing as she was told. She waited, taking a square of pale silk from her pocket and busied herself with putting away her cards. No more time for toys, as her mother would say.

“They have told me your name is Inka, and that you have only recently arrived in our city. Since that is so, allow me to formally welcome you to Riverfall.” He continued on, and Inka scooted forward and listened.

When he finished and she believed she understood enough, she thought of Mos'rila and Nimi, "Yes... I care," Hazel eyes flashed to the offered papers and she pulled them closer and read them in silence. It was difficult not to feel nervous while he waited, but unlike spoken word, which was often too fast and grasping for context, written script gave her more time to make a confident response.

She glanced up and took the quill, "I sign now."

And sign she did, quill tip hovering before she wrote each character in careful neatness:


Passing the paper back, she smiled. Her name sat on the left line and she hoped that had been what Mos'rilla had meant, "I no need to be spoiled like fruit, just need enough for now, thank you," she reached for her cards, "But I do have question. What does... di...di-the-ring meaning? And, what now?"
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The oath to come (Inka)

Postby Surreal on August 7th, 2020, 2:01 am

Tuvos remained unreadable as she signed the one on the left. He pulled the completed contract towards him with a finger, and quickly undersigned his own name under hers. Then looking up at her, Tuvos examined her carefully before speaking. “We’ll get to that presently.” He said with a genial smile, before standing up behind the desk. “If you follow me, we will get your Undan crafted now.

With a gesture, he leads her to a ladder in the room that had been partially obscured along the wall. Tuvos climbs the later first and is waiting beside what looks to be a small forge built into the side of a pillar. Coming out onto the roof, Inka would find herself on a covered rooftop with low walls around the perimeter. Three other pillars support the metal roof that is shaped like a small pyramid. Beside Tuvos, a small silver ingot and a mold for a bracelet has been laid out. There are also an array of tools attached to hooks on the three pillars.

Already a fire was going in the small forge, which Tuvos pulsed periodically with his foot on a small bellow at the base. “This silver Undan will mark you as a Nakivak open for contract. It will enable us to track you to ensure your saftey and it will be unable to be taken off by anyone except for myself.

Using tongs, he gently places the metal ingot into a thick metal bowl that has been heating up in the center of the forge. “However this silver Undan will be replaced by a gold Undan when an Akalak has taken you contract. As you have indicated, you will be given a say in who takes your contract and a stipend of one hundred gold mizas a season to help offset any costs you might incur while you wait.

The ingot had melted by now into a small red molten pool within the forge. After slotting the mold in, Tuvos gently pours the molten metal into the mold, making sure that it is completely filled before pulling the mold out to cool with two sets of cast iron tongs. With his back to her, he hovered over the mold fussing with it while he spoke to her over his shoulder.

I’m sure Mos’Rila has already informed you, but you will have a meeting with the city council as to your employment with the city. All must contribute to the city, and what you choose has a significant effect on your balance after your contracts terms have been fulfilled. You will be given a season to become adjusted to the city, and complete the appropriate classes. After which, you will need to be prepared to meet with several potential suitors that you will need to choose between. Is that understood?” Tuvos asked, turning around with a thick silver band of metal that looked reminiscent to a manacle. It had a slot large enough at the top to fit her wrist through.

Tuvos submerged the manacle into a small bucket of water which instantly hissed and billowed up a blue cloud of steam that seemed to sparkle for a tick. Setting the manacle down, he tested it with a thick leather glove and then turned to place it on her right wrist. Then with his other hand he produced a thick knob of silvery metal that seemed to be thicker than the rest of the band. He slotted that piece into the space left on the manacle. It connected with a snap and when Tuvos removed his hands the manacle would appear to be seamlessly connected though a little thicker around the middle.

You are doing a great service for this city you know. An naturally we will protect you as best we can. I know the manacle can be uncomfortable, but you get used to it.” Tuvos said kindly, pinching the manacle between his thumb and forefinger for a moment to inspect it before he met her eyes.

You are free to go back to Godiva’s Refuge now if you want. You’ll be back here for classes in the future, but we won’t see each other again till it comes time to work out the details of your contract later.” Tuvos said as he took off a thick leather apron, setting it aside on a stool beside the forge before turning to gesture towards the ladder.

Waiting for Inka when she exited the tower was the same Akalak from before who actually cracked a grin this time when he laid eyes on her silver Undanas. He would lead her back to the refuge before leaving her to the rest of her day.

It would be late afternoon when a different kind of Akalak came for her. This one was dressed in a richly embroidered tunic, bright blue with gold garnishing that complimented his magenta skin. He had pale green eyes that seemed to smile as they met hers. “Pleasure to make your acquaintance Inka.” He said, extending a hand genially. “My name is Rohkos’Taharin. I will be escorting you to your meeting with the city council now if you don’t mind.

Provided there were no objections, Rhokos would lead her up and away from Godiva’s Refuge. Guiding her to the very top of the cliff where a large stone building sat perched near the top of the waterfall. On the path leading up to it, Inka would first notice that the paved stone around the elegantly sculpted structure seemed to sparkle in the sunlight. The greenery here was also well taken care of. There were small trees that had been shaped into intricate shapes, and bushes that flowered bright pink.

Ushered inside, she would find herself in a massive chamber that was a buzz with activity. Rhokos guided her to a wooden bench near the back of the chamber before taking a seat beside her. While they waited their turn, Rhokos leaned over to her. “So, have you put any thought into what you would like to do for work?” He asked with a slight grin, evidently having been through more than a few of these meetings so far. “Best to be direct with them to avoid getting sidetracked, but make sure it is what you want. It could be a long time before you get another meeting with them.

After about thirty chimes of watching other petitioners come forwards with their various cases, their turn finally came. “Inka has volunteered to become a Nakivak and seeks employment. Are we all in agreement to hear her case now?” One Akalak spoke towards the center, and the other eleven murmured their assent. Walking with her, Rhokos guided her towards a podium that was centered with the twelve seats that faced them on a raised platform that ran in a semi circle.

Please confirm your name for us, and state where your interests lie in regards to a profession within our city. Then, we will each weigh in as to the feasibility of your request, and offer what help we may.” Nivar rumbled from his seat towards the middle.
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