New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

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This shining population center is considered the jewel of The Sylira Region. Home of the vast majority of Mizahar's population, Syliras is nestled in a quiet, sprawling valley on the shores of the Suvan Sea. [Lore]

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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Liriel on October 28th, 2009, 1:47 am

Liriel smiled, fully engaged in the story. Every good story had a structure, and the patterns this one followed were very familiar. Three days and nights with no food and water, long periods of waiting followed by sudden epiphanies, magical elements wound subtly together with more physical ones—it had the feel of a very old tale, a tale of beginnings. And it was a tale of beginnings, but also a tale of endings, and this was a clever and unexpected turn.

Almost automatically, Liriel began to imagine the story as if it were being preformed. She saw it unfold in her mind: the young, simply clothed heroine, the faint outline of a bird on the ground, a brightly dressed, mystical character who flitted quickly in and out. Perhaps the heroine would speak aloud to herself, all alone and half delirious, so the audience would know her thoughts. Or perhaps a narrator would stand out of sight, speaking the words that Nya now spoke. Either way, the play should be performed in dim light, in the early morning or late evening. A time that suggested mystery and the unknown. The picture in Liriel’s mind was as clear as though she saw it herself, only waiting for the next words to dictate how it would change.
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Nya Winters on October 28th, 2009, 7:07 pm

Nya tilted her head, her story almost done. In a way she loved telling stories, but not for the attention they brought her. It made her almost uncomfortable to have both sets of eyes in the room focused on her. The truth was she loved hearing new stories, and hoped in telling one of her own the others would share one they knew too. It didn't always work that way, but sometimes it did... and that was a worthwhile chance.

"The Nyavani didn't put all their things together - all their treasures. They knew that the world would be destroyed and everything wouldn't survive. But there vision wasn't so clear that they knew where... or even how. They only knew when. So they took the chance, divided up their things, and made twenty caches. So the chance of something of theirs remaining was better all split up." Nya paused, her tongue flicking out to rub across the back of her hand and she scrubbed at one cheek for a moment with the wet spot on her skin, as if something dirty or irritating was there. "My mother found the cache the children of the Nyavani created. They made pictures, and put their favorite things in the vault. There were toys... so many my mother had never seen anything like it. There were fabric dolls and balls and some things she couldn't tell what they were because they were so fragile when she picked them up they crumbled. There were things of clay, baked hard, so they survived. And everything was brightly colored, though the paint and pigments had faded with the hundreds of years that had passed. She learned why a hummingbird from chidlren's pictures. The hummingbird is sacred to them, and they believed that hummingbirds conveyed messages to the Gods and they in turn watched over the Nyavani via hummingbirds. The grapes... the grapes are for the children. Potential unrecognized. I am not sure what that means, but she said that grapes can be turned into many many things, just like children can become many many things. Within the childrens vault were clues to other vaults, carvings, and my mother has been studying them. She wants to find the other vaults. Books, weapons, glass... the Nyavani loved their glass. She looks for them, still today... though the odds of more of the great pictoglyphs surviving are slim, and even the magic that makes the pictoglyphs work might not exist anymore. But she looks..."

Nya said softly, bringing her story to a close. She waited silently then, watching them both, not sure what else to say.
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Abashai on October 29th, 2009, 12:46 pm

There was a moment of silence that followed Nya's last words, 'But she looks...' If the tale had seemed fantasy before, the softly spoken close convinced him of its reality. This was the kelvic girl's mother who, at this moment, could be seeking more of these pictoglyphs, maybe even standing in one.

"The story of the Nyavani is both beautiful and tragic. It would be a shame that the treasures and clues to their culture may be lost. I hope Zilvia can find more vaults."
Abashai offered, returning the great cat's gaze. He gave Nya a warm smile and wondered if telling her mother's tale made her feel good or saddened her. He wasn't sure when the last time was that she had heard news of her family. In the summer, Abashai had helped Nya write a letter to her mother, which she sent with a trader that visited the family's tower a few times a year. Now she had to wait until the season when the trader returned to learn of any reply.

The benshiran turned to Liriel. The woman's smooth brown face appeared a bit less weary. He had seen how the story of the Nyavani captured her interest, brought a gleam to her deep, dark eyes. "Liriel, I know it is late, but would you be willing to share one of your stories with us?"
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Liriel on October 29th, 2009, 2:51 pm

Liriel’s eyes practically shone as the story drew to a close, so pleased was she with the ending. Conclusive, in a way, but still open. And there was a meaning to it, a lesson almost, but again not one that was perfectly clear. It was the kind of story that you thought about for a while after you hear it. And what she would give to see those vaults…

She wondered if, someday, Nya might allow her to do a performance of this story. For the moment, though, she kept the idea to herself. Turning to Nya, she smiled and nodded her head in appreciation of the story.

“Thank you, that was a wonderful story. I, too, would hope to see the other vaults uncovered, though if they were that would mean there was nothing left to search for.”

At Abashi’s question Liriel cocked her head to one side, thinking. A story…but what story? “I would be honored to tell a tale of my people,” she said. “As you know little of the Chaktawe, and we are already speaking of the Valterrian, I think it would be appropriate to give you the story of their rebirth. I will tell you the story of Namiche, the one who led the Chaktawe out of the destruction the Valterrian brought.”

She paused, gathering her thoughts.

“You know, of course, how terrible the Valterrian was for all peoples, no matter who or where they were. For the Chaktawe, though, it was particularly devastating. They had always been a simple people, not simple of heart or of mind but simple of life and ways. They had just begun to build their civilization, but the Valterrian tore their efforts apart. They were discouraged and afraid, and their leader, Namiche, was young and inexperienced.”
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Nya Winters on October 29th, 2009, 6:34 pm

Nya smiled in response to her bondmates smile, having gotten her wish after all. She drew up her legs to her chest, wrapped her arms around them childlike, and rested her chin on the top of one knee. Moss green eyes slipped from her proud bondmates form and focused on Liriel, liking the sound of her voice and the way she paused before starting her story. Though Nya was no great storyteller, she could tell when Liriel paused, thought it through, then launched into her tale, there was something about the girl that spoke of showmanship in a quiet beautiful way. Her eyes seemed to loose a little focus and Nya could tell Liriel was remembering the story as if she lived it herself, submerging her words into the whole of the truth behind it.

Nya liked stories of the Valterrian. Though she hadn't lived through it, nor in the dark times afterwards, she thought it was a testimony to how good people could be. If folks hadn't helped each other, no one would have truly survived. They couldn't have. Half the cities were gone, some flooded, some burned away, some so far beneath the sea that only legends remained.

The kelvic forest cat often wondered what Abashai's people thought about the Valterrian, and how they'd survived in the deserts during the hard times. But he spoke little of his people to her, and she was hesitant to pry though sometimes her curiosity overwhelmed her. Nya's eyes moved from Liriel to Abashai, studying the lines of his face as he watched Liriel intently. He didn't miss much, though he commented on so little.

Nya returned her gaze to Liriel, knowing she was about to get drawn into the story. She wanted to know about the Chaktawe, and hearing from one first hand how they had survived was about the best way Nya could imagine getting some insight on a strange exotic seemingly far away people.
Last edited by Nya Winters on October 30th, 2009, 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Abashai on October 30th, 2009, 1:07 pm

Abashai settled into his chair as Liriel gathered her composure and began her tale. The desert girl's composure subtly shifted, taking on the air of a more mature woman as her midnight eyes peered at some distant point beyond the walls and her accented words drew the listeners closer. With Nya's story, the atmosphere had become very much like an evening by the fire. The exotic Chaktawe storyteller now completed the illusion.

The tales shared by the two women had seemed to hit on a thread common to all people of Mizahar, the Valterrian. Though the conversation of the earlier hours had flared with their differences, the theme of tonight's stories illuminated one thing that bound every diverse race of being on the world's surface into an epic brotherhood. The destruction of their world. Every species struggles with the same goal, to rebuild. Yes, the level and type of civilizations are different and oftentimes contrary to one another. But it was a truth, every race was affected, or created, by the Valterrian.

With the scent of spiced tea, the subtle purr of his friend and the flickering of firelight, Abashai smiled and allowed himself to be taken back in time...
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Liriel on October 30th, 2009, 6:29 pm

Liriel surveyed her small audience, saw that they looked interested and receptive. That was good—sometimes half the battle was getting the audience interested in the story in the first place. But Nya’s story had already prepared the necessary atmosphere, now all she had to do was build on it. Slipping into her “story voice,” Liriel began the story proper.

“Namiche had never expected to become the Wayhali, the leader of the Chaktawe. He was the son of the husband of the sister of the last Wayhali, who himself had three sons and two brothers. But nearly all of Namiche’s family was wiped out in the Valterrian, all save himself, his mother, and his youngest sister. The loss, especially of his father, was devastating, but he could not allow himself to grieve. He was barely a man, but he now bore the responsibility for his entire people. He knew he had to put their needs first.

“And their needs were great. The rivers had dried up and the land had turned to dust. His people could not grow food, and though they could go long periods of time without water there was still not enough to sustain them. Many despaired, gave up hope and believed their race was doomed. Others argued that the Chaktawe must leave their lands and find a new home, one where the land was still fertile. And still others said no, they could not leave the lands of their ancestors. If they remained and were faithful, the gods would send aid.”

As she spoke, Liriel varied the pace of her words, gradually speeding up to match the confusion and chaos of the scene.

“Namiche listened to these voices, and the confusion within him grew. In his heart he believed they should not leave their lands, that the gods had not deserted them. But his mind told him they might die, waiting forever for help that would never come. He hoped for a sign, an omen, but every day heard nothing but the clamoring, frightful voices of his people.

“So, one day, Namiche gathered his people together. He told them he must leave them for a time, to undertake a Searching. His people were confused, and many spoke scornfully. Namiche was not a child, he was a man. He had completed his Searching a few years before, had received the name of his spirit guide.” Liriel let some of the emotion through in her voice, the doubt and betrayal. “No one went on a second Searching. The gods would only laugh at him, or grow angry at his forwardness and send them even more hardship. Some even whispered that Namiche meant to abandon them, to run away to other lands to save himself.

Now her voice grew stronger, more confident, and she sat up straighter. “Namiche ignored their words, said only that he must do what he could for his people. The gods and spirits had withdrawn, and he must seek them out lest the Chaktawe perish. When he left, only his small sister came to see him off. The sight of her, tiny and hungry and trusting absolutely in her elder brother, gave him the courage he needed to walk away from his people and into the unfamiliar desert.”

Liriel smiled to herself at this last bit, picturing herself as a child. More than once, she had played the part of Namiche’s small sister. It had been a minor but vital role, and she retained a fondness for the character and the way she existed as an embodiment of the hopes of her people.
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Nya Winters on November 2nd, 2009, 4:20 am

Nya listened completely enthralled. Liriel didn't speak quickly, nor did she use a normal monotone speaking voice. Instead, she painted with words and as a result Nya felt like she was drawn backwards, in time, to stand with the man in his time of trial. But still, Nya struggled to completely understand the undertones she sensed, but didn't quite put together.

There were lots of factors in the story she didn't understand, namely why a man would walk away from his people to help them. But the kelvic glanced at her bondmate and thought on that a moment, wondering if in a way that was what Abashai was doing. Patience not being her forte, Nya leaned closer to Liriel, wanting to demand for her to tell the story faster, because she wanted to know what happened... and why the image of the little girl was so powerful to Namiche. Children had a power over humans. Nya simply saw them as easy prey.

The kelvic squirmed, impatient, and turned her piercing eyes on Liriel, eager for the rest of the story. Even her toes curled. Why was the man leaving his people?
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Abashai on November 2nd, 2009, 1:23 pm

The small volume of tea remaining in Abashai's tea cup had grown cold, but he was too intrigued by Liriel to refresh it. Such was the skill of the storyteller, that Abashai felt in his gut the desperation of the Chaktawe, the turmoil of their new leader. He appreciated young Namiche's struggle between his spirit and his mind. The conflict of faith versus logic was not unfamiliar to the benshiran, who was relieved to learn Namiche had chosen to follow his faith. He could not help but compare his own journey, one that too led him away from his people. But there the similarities between this simple man and the father of the Chaktawe race ceased. While Namiche sought guidance to save his people from a natural catastrophe, Abashai had left to seek salvation from disasters he had wrought upon himself.

The man glanced down at Nya, the girl quite captivated by the tale. How would the forest cat judge the story behind his journey? These self-centered thoughts occupied only a few moments of his attention, then he tucked them away again to be dealt with at a better time. Liriel's story demanded his attention, and Abashai gave it to her.
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Re: New Beginnings [Liriel/Abashai]

Postby Liriel on November 2nd, 2009, 1:48 pm

Liriel could see that both new her friends were enjoying the story, though Nya looked confused for some reason or another. There were a lot of things the kelvic didn’t understand about humans, it seemed. Liriel would just have to let the story speak for itself for now.

“For several days Namiche wandered among the sands, across the land he had once known but was now irrevocably changed. Soon he exhausted his small supply of food, and grew nearly delirious with hunger and heat. He thought he would die, and yet he kept walking, to where he did not know. He only knew he must not stop, for if he did he might never resume. If it were just his life at stake, he might not have had the strength he needed, but he felt as though he carried the hopes of all his people with him."

Liriel lowered her voice, imagining the silence of the endless sands. “Still, one morning as the sun began to rise, he could go no further. Namiche lay down atop the warm sand and closed his eyes. He saw all the people who had died in the Valterrian. He saw his father, lost forever. He saw his people, lost and afraid and slowly fading away. He saw his small sister, and the doom that hung over her. She, and all the Chaktawe, must either die or leave their homelands. Most of them would rather die. Namiche saw these things, and he wept. Despite his thirst, his desperate need for moisture, tears fell from his eyes and wet the sand beneath his headAll his grief and fear poured from him, all the grief and fear of his people.”

“Then Namiche lifted his head, and he saw the crow. At first he thought it was a vision, a product of his delirium. But the bird ambled closer, pecking at the dry sand, and Namiche could see it was real. And then he heard a voice, the voice of the god Eywaat, as though it spoke right in his ear." .

Liriel lowered her voice, speaking as though she were far away. You have suffered much, my child. You and all your people have suffered, have endured great pain. You have come to understand that pain, to embrace it and accept it. Now, you must move beyond it. More hardship awaits you, but you have been tempered in the flames of disaster. You will survive. Your faith, your courage, and above all your understanding will allow you to survive."

Lifting her head in imitation of her character, Liriel let her voice return to normal. “Namiche raised his head further, but he saw nothing but the crow. The voice was gone. Its words had not said what he wanted, did not comfort him. Yet, for some reason he did not fully understand, they gave him hope. He knew that the worst was now over. There was another option for his people. What that option was was not yet clear, but it would come in time. Namiche gave thanks to the gods and to his spirit guide, then he killed the crow. Its flesh gave him the strength he needed to rise, and to slowly make his way back to his people.”
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