Completed Lost To Oneself And To The Wilds

Tazrae tries to find herself only to discover how painfully lost she has become

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Lost To Oneself And To The Wilds

Postby Tazrae on March 29th, 2022, 2:42 am

Timestamp: 28th of Spring, 522 A.V.


How does one fill hollowness inside? Tazrae didn’t know how someone whose body was filled up with all its organs, blood, breath, and spirit could feel so empty. But that’s how she felt. She was utterly disconnected from everything she’d built her life into. All that was left to her was her djed… that deep well inside of herself that she half hated because it was something bred into her bloodline and made her incredibly vulnerable to fate playing cruel jokes.

As the season progressed, Tazrae found the hollowness inside her more and more consuming. She had no friends. She had no family. She had no place to truly call her own. Taz had even gone so far as to move out of her room at the Inn to provide one more guest a housing situation and had set up her tent out on the land behind the Protea. It was there she spent most of her evenings in front of a small fire.

Alone.

The word had new meaning to her. When she’d learned that everyone had symptoms at the Tenday Gathering, the fact should have made her feel better. It didn’t, though. People were generally in pain, seeing the dead or haunted by things that weren’t real. One person forgot his language, another’s form was rotting off their skeleton. One poor girl was aging rapidly only to find herself an infant again.

It was insane.

Taz didn’t know what to think and she certainly didn’t know how to feel. And because everyone forgot her, the ability for her to help was extremely limited. And she wanted to help. She was desperate to help. But it was nearly impossible. She’d meditated about it. She’d prayed about it. She’d asked the Wilds. And still she had no answers.

Taz would have moved on, roamed, but the Guardian Mark on the bottom of her left wrist - the one Mathias had recognized - kept her here. She'd sworn an duty to the settlement, to the people, and to the Goddess. She couldn't leave them, not fully. So she roamed like a ghost, like a shadow, watching other people interact and watching other people's lives as her own passed her by.

And the truth that had presented itself to her was that each person had to figure out for themselves what was going on. It was then, and only then, that people could fix things.

The afflictions people had been consumed by were deeply personal, and Tazrae’s was no different. To her, it felt exactly like dying. No one… exactly no one, remembered her name. She might as well be dead. She just ghosted through her life invisible. Every day she felt like she felt when she had stepped off The Veronica the first time. She was scared, alone, and unworthy of love, trust, and even friendship.

A part of her was terrified that this curse would last forever. Because that’s what she decided it was… a curse. So, she wandered Syka invisible, people she’d known for years staring right through her like she was a tourist or greeting her with the casualness of someone shopping at a bazaar nodding at passersby.

She’d even gone to The Outpost a few times; hoping beyond hope the curse just affected those in Syka. But the truth was Alric didn’t remember her, neither did anyone she’d carefully built relationships with at The Outpost. So, she had no real reason to head back to the T&T. She loved a man that lived there who would never let himself visualize a future with her anyhow. Was this a sign that she was misguided in even hoping, dreaming, and wishing things were different? If anything, this was a chance to live without everyone… to live wild.

Taz was all about taking chances.

But that didn’t fix the bleeding inside. That didn’t fix the emptiness she felt without her new family, without Alric, and without actually being someone. That was the hardest. When she was like this – forgotten – she was no one to anyone. And the worst of it was that she didn’t know why. Had she… had they done something to deserve it?

Maybe that was the worst part after all... not knowing. No one had jumped out and pointed an ugly finger at her and blamed her for a million horrific things and then told her the reason that's why she was feeling the way she was and forgotten. It would have been infinitely better to be a direct punishment than maybe what it was? An accident? Someone touching an artifact they shouldn't have? Her Danger Intuition hadn't so much as chirped a warning over this one.

There were no physical blows... but it was tearing her soul apart.

Words: 791
Last edited by Tazrae on March 29th, 2022, 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1235
Words: 1796079
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Lost To Oneself. Lost To The Wild. Lost.

Postby Tazrae on March 29th, 2022, 3:45 am

It was painfully obvious the only person in the world that remembered her was her dog.

It was odd too. Creature wasn’t the smartest Imperial Watcher on the planet. In fact, he and Tazrae didn’t exactly see eye to eye on many things. For one, she thought he should be a guard dog. That’s what he was gifted to her for. But he wasn’t much of one of those. The only thing he guarded was the inside of his eyelids for his one of many many long naps in the sun all day long. But he did remember her. And he didn't seem to mind her company even though he didn't exactly like her all that much.

Taz knew that sometimes animals weren't good fits for people and she figured it was because she was far too high strung for Creech and his personality. But like everything in life, the Innkeeper had figured someone would eventually come along that Creature would bond too, and then she'd gift him to them.

And when she filled the bird feeders around The Protea… the birds would come down and sing her name, sometimes calling her Innkeeper and sometimes Wildling. She had a connection with them that was all Caiyha’s doing, and at times they did comfort her. Nura provided them a mutual language, and Taz could get gossip and local flare from the flocks as they came in to eat. She practiced that way - the mutual language of emotion and sensation between them. And they enjoyed her music in a way that humans rarely appriciated.

But Creech or miscellaneous birds were no substitutions for actual real people.

She missed the mothering, the sparkle in the eyes of people that knew her and liked her who greeted her brightly on a daily basis. She missed long late-night talks with Alric and studying together with him. She longed to feel his bare skin under her cheek and feel the heartbeat in his chest that always lulled her to sleep. She had nothing that smelled of him and that was almost a physical wound to her.

She missed intimacy with other humans as well. There were no inside jokes, no hugs that said far more than words, and there were no hands to hold. Tazrae had kept caring for her guests, but the service was no longer personal to them.

Taz had somehow become one of those servants that blended into the background, nameless, faceless and unimportant. People weren’t afraid to talk to her, but they spoke down to or through her often, like she was just a servant or just an expected servant.

It soured her to Innkeeping a bit.

She was learning, quickly, that an Innkeeper had a loftier position than she first realized, not because the guests were rude, but because they depended upon her for their safety. She was a guardian of her charges that had willingly put themselves under her care. And in owning the Inn, that somehow changed how people viewed her, instead of just being a cook or the lady that washed their linens.

And with this curse, that link was broken. That charge of Guardianship over her guests was somehow gone. She wasn’t the person she used to be. She was a walking talking shadow, and she found that more and more she didn’t introduce herself as an Innkeeper. She’d call herself the cook, or the new maid. She’d say she was just visiting to explain who she was to the regulars of the settlement… people she’d known for a couple of years now.

It hurt to watch them laugh and joke, standing around in crowds of friends. When she had first tried to join these groups to get in on what was funny or hear the retellings of stories made just hours or days ago, they grew quiet, unsure of her… uncertain of a stranger.

It wounded her, the awkwardness.

Each fake plastered smile or each false light in their eyes did a little more damage until she started to think and feel unimaginably bad things about herself and her self-worth.

Words: 684
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1235
Words: 1796079
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
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Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Lost To Oneself. Lost To The Wild. Lost.

Postby Tazrae on March 29th, 2022, 4:01 am

Only the animals knew her.

And oddly, the first time she’d shifted into an Ixam in the Settlement, the Ixam the settlements had somehow adopted from her rescue had embraced her as one of their own. She was young, a strikingly-colored female, who knew where good hunting was. A dog or a giant riding lizard was by far better than no companions. Taz wasn’t built for solitude. So, she turned to the Ixam for companionship. And because of her Caiyha’s Mark and the First Tree Seed growing within her, she was accepted.

The first time she thought she’d do anything to be able to sprawl across Alric and get some actual nightmare-free sleep again; she’d sought out the nearest Ixam lounge she could find. She’d found a pile of them in the shade of the palms near The Protea sleeping like puppies. A nose over a rump here, a set of ribs used as a pillow there.

She’d sided up, embarrassed, to the nearest one, and stretched out. She’d tucked her long snout over his scarlet shoulders and he’d spent five blissful chimes licking her face. The tension had bled out of her and she’d drifted to sleep. Sometime during her bath another sunny yellow female Ixam had joined the pile and she became that Ixam’s pillow.

It was… pure bliss.

And she discovered something else. She could talk to them. The Ixam didn’t communicate in words like humans did, but their language was just as expressive. The big scarlet male she’d tucked up against clearly asked her to join them fishing. He’d flicked his tongue and looked at her first with his right eye and then his left eye, and flicking his tongue again Taz had felt as if the water of the Sea was lapping her shoulders and her mouth was full of fish. Blinking, she snorted, which cleared her mouth of the fish smell/taste and the feel of waves against her scales vanished as well.

She’d stared at him in shock, then he’d lapped at the air again and the whole sensation hit her again. Water. Fish taste in her mouth. Her stomach rumbled and she itched from sleeping on the sand. She looked right at him and thought about how fun that sounded. Her tongue flicked out automatically and she saw the scarlet male’s lips curl back in a smile. He turned, hissing at the others, and Taz clearly understood it as ‘let’s go’. As a lounge, the group woke, stretched, and piled into the waves.

It was a new kind of fishing for Tazrae, who’d always used a pole. The Ixam hunted as a pack. The best swimmers would circle out and drive the fish inland towards the waiting jaws of those who didn’t swim as strong. Taz tried both positions but found she loved diving into the waves, paddling out, and driving fish inward.

It helped her lackluster swimming ability tremendously.

She wasn’t a strong swimmer and was soon panting, but she was having fun. The Ixam around her were too. They didn’t care that no one in the settlement knew her name. They knew her now and accepted her. And while they taught her to fish and gave her an equal chance to fill her belly like the other predators waiting in the shallows, she drew them onshore afterward and told them with a few flicks of her tongue and a clear visualization where bananas and mangos grew close to the settlement. With that, the Ixam were off as a group for their desert and Taz with them.

It seemed this group ate meat and fruit, some greens, and forage items. They basically ate what they could find like most foragers. And the whole reason they’d stuck around Syka as they had was they actually liked the Storm Shelter accommodations and the fact that people often brought them meat. They’d taken to hunting some of the more nuisance creatures around the settlement to protect the humans. They liked python and monkey, enjoyed pigs, and had taken wild boar and warthogs.

One clever female had even bragged about a young Tapir she’d taken down and a baby hippo she’d found stuck in the mud and abandoned by its river kin. She’d bragged to Tazrae much like the scarlet male had… in a series of sensations and tastes until Taz knew what the blood of the baby hippo running down her throat tasted like. She wanted more of it because that Ixam part of her loved it. That had been a delicious fatty treat for the other female. And because of the emerald female’s voice – her sharing of flavors smells via the images and what Taz could almost describe as chemical messages… she was able to experience what Taz had.

Taz in turn had shown the group many things. Though not challenging the Scarlet Male for top position, she had indeed started to learn leadership among them.

Words: 823
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1235
Words: 1796079
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Lost To Oneself. Lost To The Wild. Lost.

Postby Tazrae on March 29th, 2022, 4:14 am

It was odd… being sentient in a group of animals that while were intelligent, weren’t exactly considered people. But Taz could tell it was going to save her sanity. She’d been able to share the kindness of humans with them. Taz had taught the wilder Ixams how to approach the humans – and which to approach – with offers of friendship until the Settlers were getting as used to the huge lizards in their midst as the lizards themselves were getting used to the humans.

The new children in the settlement helped.

They loved the Ixam with a fascination, and once Taz had given the first child a ride, and had been rewarded with banana treat the others were eager to do equally as much. The Ixam were lazy by nature… and would much rather be fed than go forage. The only driving force behind their hunting was indeed eating. So, a hungry Ixam could be persuaded to hunt or forage, but it was so much easier to get fed a hand of bananas after giving a child a ride. And the Ixam were slowly learning that these humans were different than the other humans that captured them and made them into mounts.

There were no bindings, no being confined or bound up at night. The Ixam could roam and serve as they willed it. And it was often no problem to be persuaded to serve. Food. Scratches. Play. They loved to play and took to games of football and fetch like fish took to water.

These humans were kind.

If an Ixam got wounded, the new animal healer would tend them if they turned up at her cabana. If the Ixam couldn’t get to her cabana, other Ixam could persuade the healer to come with them if they made enough noise and were persistent enough to not be shooed away without the healer investigating.

In that way, they were smart.

Taz estimated they were as smart as a very intelligent dog or well-trained horse, but again not sentient… all except Bree. So, while it wasn’t much, it was something to do… a place to spend her days where creatures remembered her day to day. And oddly enough it got Creech off the porch and awake from his naps. He often trailed after Tazrae and hung out with the Ixam himself. He even got so bold as to join in some of their hunts as long as they were ground-based.

Aerial hunts just didn’t work for the big dog.

Taz looked less forward to her chores, as time passed, and looked more forward to what the local lounge of Ixam were going to be doing that day. They slowly got used to her schedule too and would often show up at the Protea in mass just after the breakfast crowd, and gather Taz to them for a brief run or some fun in the sea before she had to return to the Inn to do lunch. Once dinner was completely over, she’d leave the Protea completely and run with the wild ones.

And she was able, between the Nura and just being an Ixam herself, to communicate that she somehow controlled the land The Protea sat on and the land between Mathias' Cabana and The Protea itself. Ownership was beyond the Ixam's understanding, but they did get the idea that they were welcome on the six acres and its boundaries. Taz was more than clear in the language of Witches that they'd always be welcome, to live, to sleep, to even lay their eggs on those heavily jungled lands.

Words: 598
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1235
Words: 1796079
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Lost To Oneself. Lost To The Wild. Lost.

Postby Tazrae on March 29th, 2022, 4:24 am

Bree would come sometimes too. The Ixam she considered her best friend didn't know her and treated her like just another female wild Ixam among the masses.

There were times, of course, when she'd spoken out in her human voice to Bree... but the resulting conversation, explanation, and the pain that came from over and over reliving that situation caused Tazrae to just keep her mouth shut when the sentient Ixam was near.

Thus, more often Bree only looked at Tazrae with confusion and lack of recognition to the point it was physically hurtful for Tazrae to remotely try and talk with her. Taz had her voice as an Ixam, but that voice wasn’t always welcome and was often more confusing than anything. And during the whole thing, Taz could feel her humanity slipping away as she could feel the wild ones growing tamer and tamer among the settlement.

There came a point where the large lizards were just… accepted.

They were treated like free-ranging goats or sometimes one would be saddled and ridden off by a local to work for the day. Most of the Ixam had been captured tacked fully up, so there were plenty of saddles and headstalls to go around. The Ixam enjoyed these adventures, starting to like the company of the humans more and more. And what’s more than that, with the spring – mating happened – and Ixam eggs were beginning to get laid at the base of big trees all over the settlement.

As time passed, Taz felt less and less like herself. And she felt more and more like an Ixam. There were days… whole days… she left the Inn to fend for itself, knowing there were enough fixings in the icebox for the guests, and did her own thing. At times, she’d wander far and wide in the jungle looking for new places and discovering new things.

It was on one of those longer wanderings, three of her favorite green Ixam with her, that she stumbled upon The Chenga Ruins and the guardian that lived there. Taz wasn’t expecting the Sister Towers to rise up suddenly out of the jungle nor was she expecting what could only be considered a hybrid between a bat and a man soaring the skies out over the jungle. The creature had obviously spotted them, but he hadn’t reacted in a negative way thinking them a natural part of the environment.

And they, in turn, all stopped and tipped their snouts to the sky to watch the man soar. Taz studied the form, enthralled at the flight, and wondered what it would take to transform her own human body that way. She needed a closer look to know what the creature actually was. Was he native? Normal? Was he a mage trapped in a horrific shift he hadn’t been able to recover from? Morphing could do that, but Morphing could also grow enormous wings. So Taz stared, with three of her wild friends, and watched the man fly.

But in that moment of awe, Taz remembered the Goddess…. and what she’d told Taz to do. Honestly, at that point it was like something that had happened to someone else... that testing and the gaining of the mark. It was harder and harder to relate to her two-legged self.

Caiyha had told the Innkeeper to seek out the guardians around Syka… this one in particular and talk to him. Taz wasn’t sure why but Caiyha had insisted that one guardian needed to meet the other and be aware of all their existences. Taz knew of this one because of Caiyha, but where were the others who looked to other Goddesses and Gods. But under this thing… this curse… Taz didn’t know if stopping to chat with him and make introductions would be worth it.

But she wanted to anyhow, so she paused in her creature watching, stepped back, and asked her body for her human form back. Claws receded, scales sunk into her skin, and slowly bit by bit she transformed back to a human standing before the twin sister towers nude as the creature back winged and landed in front of her.

Words: 694
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1235
Words: 1796079
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Lost To Oneself And To The Wilds

Postby Tazrae on June 20th, 2022, 3:47 am

Grading!


Tazrae –

Philosophy +3, Logic +1, Psychology +3, Animal Husbandry +2, Fishing +1, Swimming +2, Leadership +2

The Curse: Repercussions, Philosophy: Understanding A Situation/Surrounding/Atmosphere, Tazrae: What Makes Her Tick, Tazrae: Her Joys And Pleasures, Tazrae: Her Inherent Needs, Ixam: Joining a Lounge, Ixam: How They Communicate, Fishing: Ixam Lounge Pack Fishing, Swimming: Ixam Paddling, Ixam: Lazy By Nature, Ixam: Easily Trained With Food, Ixam: Enjoyed The Children Of The Settlement, Ixam: Showing Them Where To Get Healing, Chenga Ruins: Location And Appearance
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1235
Words: 1796079
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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