by the pricking of my thumbs.

Alija, please.

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

by the pricking of my thumbs.

Postby Johanne on January 29th, 2015, 6:56 am

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6th Winter 514AV

The port city was getting overwhelming for poor Johanne. She had grown up next to the sounds and smells of the sea, back in Denval, but it was nothing to the hustle and bustle of Zeltiva--truly, the city was overwhelming, diverse in its peoples and perhaps just a little uncaring. She had known Zeltiva was a large city, bigger than any she had been to before, but maps, no matter how inspiring, always failed to convey a real sense of scale.

Overwhelmed, Johanne hurried through the winter chill, looking for something the least bit familiar, anything that wouldn't make her feel like the insignificant little traveller that she was. Her breath smoked out in front of her, breathing hard in the morning's cold, scurrying over cobbled walkways through the University's campus. Here, she thought, here she would find something she could understand. Clutching her satchel filled with paper and charcoal closer to her, she tried to move quickly, but stumbled.

Catching herself on a wall before she tumbled to the ground, she gasped, taking a moment to collect herself, her cheeks flushing read. Breathing hard from the jolt, she looked up at the building upon which she now leant - and smiled. For above her, proclaimed in bold letters, was the Wright Memorial Library. Still smiling, she quickly ducked into the building, and was hit with the familiar scent of old paper.

Breathing deeply, she nodded to the wizened librarian standing on duty closest to her, and quietly approached. "Excuse me," she whispered, careful not to disturb the students, "but do you have any books on Denval, perchance?" The librarian looked at Johanne oddly, before nodding. "Yes, we do, but not too many. Mainly that which the survivors brought themselves. Here, I will take you to them." Johanne walked with the librarian to the stacks in the back of the room, shyly walking past a statue of Qayala as she did so. "Here," gestured the librarian. Johanne thanked her and turned to the shelf with the books on Denvali culture. The selection was small, but Johanne grabbed a familiar one--"The History of the Denvali"--and took it with her to a table.

She wasn't sure what it was she was looking for, but nevertheless, sitting quietly by herself, she opened the book to the very first page. There was a beautiful print of the Quay, a place she had loved, a place filled with stories and laughter. Smiling, she opened her satchel, pulling out a piece of parchment and a stick of charcoal. Taking a breath, she set to work.

First she tried to sketch the shape of the docks themselves. This was difficult for Johanne - she found that in getting used to drawing on paper rather than flesh, she struggled with getting proportions right. Her first few lines were long, simple, non-committal, but gradually she began to sketch the long boardwalk that crept out to sea, paying attention to the way it became smaller in the distance. Smiling to herself, Johanne practiced.
x
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
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by the pricking of my thumbs.

Postby Alija on January 29th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Goodbye wrote:
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The library was warm, but that wasn't what she loved about it. It was the smell of paper, of the knowledge found hidden behind those covers. It was the rustling of pages as a curious student devoured its contents. It was the sense of belonging and home.

She knew straight where she wanted to go. The book was right in its place, the dark green cover standing out from the browns and blues. Alija carefully extracted it, stroking its spine delicately. An Account of the Circumnavigation of Mizahar , a beautiful tome be Kenabelle Wright. She had picked it up one day out of interest, curiousity getting the better of her, and had fallen in love with it.

Alija started towards the table by which she always sat, but today, it was occupied. A young, although older than herself, woman sat there, tall and lanky. She was leant over paper, doing what seemed like sketching. A little disappointed, she turned, taking the nearest table, accomponied by a small padded chair and a stature of Eyris. Her Godess. She nodded in respect, before sitting down, opening the book to a random page and laying it upon the table.
" The ocean is not hostile; no, it's something much more terrible, much more frightening. It is utterly, wholly, and completely indifferent. It takes absolutely no notice of one vessel or one individual. Away from shore, surrounded by the dark, unreadable water, one realizes how very small one truly is." The passage alwahs fascinated her, filling the woman with curiousity and desire to understand, to witness. Maybe she would, one day.

The half sewn dress sat comfortably on her lap, needle in one hand and thread in the other. She still had one side of the skirt to do, then the hems, if she could manage it. Tying a rather messy knot, she threaded the needle, before leading the thread through the fabric. Up, down, the motion was tiring and endless. Although trying to keep the stitches even, not one was even nearly the same as another. And she was reading the book, perched upright on the table, enjoying every syllable. It wasn't long until a rather loud "Ow!" echoed through the library, Alija having pricked her thumb with her carelessness.
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by the pricking of my thumbs.

Postby Johanne on February 5th, 2015, 3:46 am

Image

Johanne sighed, frustrated. Her attempt at drawing the Docks had just looked rather static, a simple long line going across the paper, rather than becoming smaller in the distance as it should have done. Even her line was shaky, barely straight as it should have been. It simply looked as though she had drawn a line through the width of the parchment. But it was charcoal, and irreversible. She brought up a hand absent-mindedly, looking at what she had before her, scratching her cheekbone. Without noticing the dark smudge she had left on her skin, she brought the charcoal back down to the paper and tried to salvage the image she had begun.

When she had first reported for work at the Equinox, the proprietors had gladly accepted her, after she had shown what she could do with a small tattoo on a drunken sailor’s ankle. The poor client was so out of it that he would have barely noticed what she drew, but to commemorate the city he was born in and Johanne had, by chance almost, stumbled upon, she tattooed a small sail-boat, with billowing sails. However, it was impossible for the fact that she had had to use a reference the whole time to escape her new employers’ notice. So when the sailor had paid and stumbled out, they had officially hired her, glad to have a pretty young girl to help keep the customers in, but they had stressed the need for Johanne to practice drawing, so that she may tattoo her own designs, and tattoo free-hand with a little more confidence. Ever conscientious, Johanne had taken the advice to heart.

The drawing, then, would simply have to be side-on, lacking dimensions. At least she had begun it with dimensions in mind. Slightly parallel to her original line, she sketched another, though the ends of this one started slightly to the right of the furthest end, and continued a little past the end of the other, trailing off past the edge of the parchment. Diagonally she joined up the ends, so that a vaguely dock-shaped quadrangle was on the paper. Here, she diagonally added lines vertically across the shape, signifying the slats of wood making up the sturdiest part of the dock. Sure, the shape was out of proportion and wobbly, but Johanne couldn’t help but smile as she looked down at her work.

Taking a breath, she looked up and around her. She would have to start on the pillars reaching into the sea next, but before she did so, she looked carefully around her. Students sat mulling over books for their classes, and upstairs on the forbidden second level flitted an occasional figure, looking amongst the more secret books. She looked longingly at the tomes she could just see upstairs, shrouded in shadow. What she would give to unlock those secrets—sure, most of them were simply tomes on the magical arts, but Johanne would be willing to bet that there were some real mysteries up there.

Reluctantly looking back at her work, Johanne caught sight—or rather, sound—of another young girl, also with messy hair, also struggling along. She was rather determinedly slaving away at a dress - at least that’s what Johanne assumed it was, for the thing was rather unformed and lopsided - poking the needle and thread through fabric. Johanne smiled watching the girl, and couldn’t help but chuckle a little to herself as a loud cry of pain shook the library, disturbing many of the self-important looking students dotted through the tables. Collecting her things, Johanne stood and moved over to the next table. When the other girl looked up, she would see Johanne standing over her, blushing, with her smudge of charcoal across her cheek, and her hair hastily and messily tied back.

“Excuse me,” she whispered, conscious of the level of her voice, “I couldn’t help but notice you were struggling. I can’t really offer assistance, but as someone else whose artistic ventures aren’t going too well,” and here she held up her wonky sketch, “I thought I might come join you.” Johanne paused, blushing. This was really quite out of character for the girl, usually more content to sit back and observe, but drawing was petching hard and she was grateful for the distraction. Besides, talking to another woman might distract her from the endlessly alluring temptation of the upper levels and their secrets. “You can say no, of course. If I am not welcome.”
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“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
Vincent Van Gogh
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Johanne
These scars are stories.
 
Posts: 212
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by the pricking of my thumbs.

Postby Alija on February 10th, 2015, 5:11 pm

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The girl who sat in her usual place rose, gathering her things. Alija gave her a glance, but ignored her, continuing on her messy work. Pass the needle through both pieces, pull tight, repeat. A whisper broke her concentration again.

"Excuse me. I couldn’t help but notice you were struggling. I can’t really offer assistance, but as someone else whose artistic ventures aren’t going too well, I thought I might come join you," she paused, blushing. The girl looked nothing like the snobby university students, her hair tied in a messy bunch and a smudge of charcoal across her cheek. She reminded Alija of herself, after a long day at work. "You can say no, of course. If I am not welcome."

Alija shook her head, then nodded, then shook again, confusing herself. "What I meant to say," she whispered softly, cheeks red with embarrassment, "Was yes, you can sit with me." There was a moment silent as the other girl placed her sketch down on the table and sat in the other chair, Alija staring uncomfortably at her own work.

"It's nice. Your picture. Where is it? The docks," she asked, before replying to what she had first said when she had come over, "Not artistic, useful. I don't sew if I don't need to. Which might make me worse, since I prefer to buy clothes. I'm no artist." She smoothed out the fabric, spotting a fault in her sewing. Securing the current thread with another uneven knot, she undid that section, trying to make it neater. "Not with sewing," she added, thinking of the blacksmithing she did. That was more like art. Felt more like art anyway.
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by the pricking of my thumbs.

Postby Karyk on June 5th, 2017, 11:39 pm

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Johanne
Grade is being withheld due to Ledger not being up to date with Seasonal Expenses. When you update these, send me a Private Message and I will give you your grade.


 
Notes and Comments
CS Checkmarked: ✓
CS Reviewed by Me: ✓
Previous Season Expenses Paid (Spring 517): ✓


 
Alija
Skills:
Sewing 1
Socialization: 1

Lores:
Kenabelle Wright Found the Ocean Indifferent and Terrifying


 
Notes and Comments
CS Checkmarked: ✓
CS Reviewed by Me: ✓
Previous Season Expenses Paid (Spring 517): X


It's a shame to see a thread go unfinished, but well done.
Follow your heart, and the plot will follow.
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