A Home for All

Riverfall's most miserable find their path.

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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]

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A Home for All

Postby Hirem on April 11th, 2015, 5:45 am

42nd of Spring, 515 A.V.

One year ago, Hirem had been travelling across the Sea of Grass in the company of his kinsmen Benshira, curious as to what lay at the end of their road. What is this city of the Akalak that we venture to? He asked his fellow travellers, and at this they smiled and laughed. Riverfall is, they would begin, always the same way, a sanctuary in the world. The rest of the Sea is so dangerous, to take even a single foot off the path is to summon trouble... but once within the walls of Riverfall, you feel a kind of safety unmatched even in Yahebah. At first Hirem had been unwilling to believe such a claim, thinking that only Yahal's grace could allow for peace in the fragmented world. Yet time had worked against him, and very soon Hirem had come to believe the very thing he had initially been so doubtful of; Riverfall was a paradise, a city without equal in all the wide world. Yahebah had better walls, but the Akalak provided better soldiers, they were better workers, and this place's beauty eclipsed Hirem's most beloved Eyktol nights. It was here that he would finally get a chance to set down his weary head and make a plan for the future. For that, Hirem loved Riverfall more than he had ever loved another land.

With every love, there came a time of revelation. There came a time when the truth, hidden for so long underneath a mask of rosy affection, finally made itself clear, and it would become impossible to continue the romance without accepting the faults. That time had come when Hirem first saw his own son on the city streets, alone and without a friend in the world, threatened with expulsion from the city that had saved Hirem's life. The situation only grew worse when he recalled Rosela's tearful face as she admit that, yes, in order to pay for her medical treatment, she was willing to forgive the man that had raped her while she lingered between life and death. Hirem could not pretend that his beloved city was without great crime any longer.

Riverfall was capable of unparalleled beauty, but within the city there dwelt a dark, cruel shadow, that preyed on the weak. If Hirem was going to eke out a new life for himself here, he would first have to fight to make it a home for other misbegotten souls.

"Hey", came the young voice to his right, disrupting the Benshira's thoughts. Tarik, bright eyes never blinking, nodded gently and shuffled closer to the man's leg. "Are you gonna finish that?"

Frowning, Hirem glanced down at the peach that lay forgotten on his lap, then gave a quiet shrug. "Sure," he said, but the peach was already snatched by Tarik's greedy fingers, the little boy stepping back and holding his prize covetously. The other children, four in all, gave him jealous looks and whimpered in protest, but Hirem silenced them with a dismissive wave of his hand. "There'll be more later, I promise you. Just... just be patient, alright?"

Ignoring the grumbles that came back to him as a response, he sat up straighter in his seat and glanced down the alleyway in either direction. Sezkero should have come by now... and where is Wayland? And Tim? We can't afford any delays. Far over his head towered the stone cliff upon which the city of Riverfall perched, and he imagined the glowering look that it would have given him if the cliff had a face. Hopefully we've not made these meetings too regular, or else the Kuvay'Nas might have grown suspicious... Hirem had done his part to shield his activities from the watchful eyes of the guards; he met the children at a different location every time, scheduled the meetings irregularly, always found a secluded alley or quiet street to conduct the business. He had given the Kuvay'Nas no reason to think there was anything off about the solemn foreigner carousing about the dock late at night... but even so, Hirem knew that he was walking a difficult road. One wrong move, and he might be expelled from the city. And then everything will fall into ash.

This meeting was the most important step in Hirem's eventual plan. Until now, he had worked to gain the ear of Riverfall's paranoid orphans, had done his best to work into their good graces and become the authority they could rely upon... now, he had to convince them that he was trustworthy. That they could place their lives in his hands. A visit to the Council would be needed if Hirem was ever going to make this 'orphanage' a reality, but before he could do that, he had to be certain that the children were going to work with him. So he had entrusted his friends - Sezkero and Timothy - to work with the little ones as best as they could, disarming their doubts and enticing them to join this fateful meeting. Sezkero had proven to be an excellent partner in this whole matter, for she was just as enthusiastic as him that these children get the home they deserved - as for Tim, he seemed strangely overjoyed by the idea of being a part of this project, which was a far cry from the Tim that Hirem had gotten to know during the Winter. At least he takes to this easier than he takes to our training, Hirem thought, shuddering at the thought of trying to work with his son.

No. Do not think too long on that, you fool. If you do, you will fall apart.

The last few chimes of daylight were slowly fading from the sky as Hirem gave a low cough, drawing the small group of children closer towards him. Staring at their dirty, mistrustful faces made his heart curl in despair, but he resolved not to show them one moment of weakness. "My friends, I have brought you here to ask a question, and it's a question that I want you to really think about. Tarik, do you hear me?" The boy, who had previously been cleaning his ears, gave a guilty look and nodded his head. "Good," Hirem huffed, folding his arms. "Because I want to ask you something that you probably haven't considered in a very, very long time. How would you feel... about having a home again?"

The children didn't seem to respond to the question, so Hirem gave a slow nod and weak smile. Don't lose them, damn it, do not lose them. "If I told you that within the season you could be sleeping on real beds again and not have to fear the shadows of the guards, what would you say? What would you do?"

Again, nothing.

Hirem sighed and brushed a hand through his hair. "I see we're going to have to work on this," he murmured, unhappy with the prospect.

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A Home for All

Postby Ssezzkero on April 11th, 2015, 2:35 pm

"I see we're going to have to work on this." Hirem's deep grumble reached her ears, even before she rounded the corner to their designated meeting place. A pang of worry brought her eyebrows down. Should she be able to hear them from so far away? The group had not chosen a spot out in the open, but they were not particularly hidden either. She tried to push that away as the children came into view, Hirem sitting in front of them as she was so used to seeing him do. Even sitting, he was only a few inches shorter than her standing, but she had grown used to the giant Benshira by now. "Get used to what?"

Before seeing the faces of the kids in the clearing, she had been practically skipping. Now, her smile faltered as she took in the wary faces before her. Her generosity from the last two seasons was completely unheard of from Sezkero before the personality switch. It was almost an instinctive trait, whereas usually she shied away from giving to others, even to herself. But once she had returned to her familiar emotions and habits, she realized it was not so bad. The children had already grown on her, and Hirem too, so that she looked forward to contributing. She was even excited about it, which she never would have thought to be before. So the basket of fruits in her hands suddenly felt off. She wanted to bring the children a treat, for no particular reason. But it was odd to see that even with a basket of fruit presented to them, the children still had a heavy mask of worry fallen across their face.

"Hirem? What is going on?" She prodded more after receiving no reply, switching the basket to her left arm and placing her right hand on the man's shoulder. But Codin had shifted forward, Meya in his tow. Her face was twisted into a grimace, as if repelling whatever made the other's unwary, yet Sezkero knew the child would likely not voice her thoughts on whatever had confused these children. Her brother, on the other hand, looked as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He seemed the only child willing to move towards the fruit, reaching a hand in to snatch two oranges off the top of the pile.

"Please?" He still held the oranges out, suddenly remembering how to speak in time to use the manners he was taught. Sezkero only nodded, turning to set the basket on the ground now.

"They are for you all," She nodded again.

"Hirem wants us to leave." The small, shrill voice of Meya confused her. Sezkero knew that was the exactly opposite of what Hirem and her had been planning, but she couldn't help the flash of shock on her face. Had he already told the children of their plans? Quickly she worked to compose herself as she realized what Hirem had actually told them. She guessed the Benshira would not have bluntly said they were creating an orphanage. But he may had worked up to it diplomatically, easing it into the children's minds, which he was good at. She would have thought, with Hirem's leadership, this would go easier with the children, but she realized it was a heavy thing to consider, even at a young age. Previously she would have thought that all children wanted a place to sleep and food in their bellies, but as she got to know the street urchins, she realized this was not always true. Many, if not all, distrusted authority and few less didn't want any part of this city, but were also too scared to leave. Very few, usually the older children, like Codin, agreed with the idea of finding a home again. But all were wary.

"No! That's not true!" Arin whined, seemingly snapped out of his own shock. As soon as his voice broke out, she only expected Jacke's to follow, ready for an argument and nearly inseparable from his brother. Although only six children stood before them, merely a fraction of those she knew to be hiding within the city, the babble of argument that followed seemed far too loud.

"Hey, hey! Calm down, we can explain this!" Sezkero rushed to calm the children, her previous worry about the noise level returning. The children didn't listen to her, they hardly did. She did exude the same leadership as Hirem, whom they all looked up to and respected so readily. She sent a pleading look to Hirem. Her soft accented voice could not match his bellowing grumble when gathering attention, especially with children.

Receipt :
There was no pricing for the oranges, so I just went with 5 gm, and I already own the basket. :)

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Last edited by Ssezzkero on April 11th, 2015, 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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A Home for All

Postby Ayatah on April 11th, 2015, 6:56 pm

The fact that Riverfall did not have orphanage still shocked Ayatah. Upon her arrival in the city, she made the necessary inquiries, hoping to volunteer. But she hadn't been able to, because there wasn't an orphanage to volunteer at. And this astonished the half-breed: any parentless children in the city would have nowhere to go. She was even more shocked to hear that such children were usually removed from the city by the law enforcers of Riverfall, the Kuvay'Nas.

In truth, she found it disgusting. But Aya knew better than to voice her honest opinion to the citizens of Riverfall. If she was ever going to make a decent life for her and Kuame, she needed to keep quiet and blend in amongst the Akalaks and other denizens of the city. Citizenship to the city would not be given to a Myrian who preached something contradictory to the Riverfall zeitgeist.

Instinctively, she glanced to the young boy on her left. He was nearly six years old now, and had changed dramatically in the two seasons since their first meeting. Kuame had been a timid boy, lost amongst the other needful children who lived in the orphanage of Zeltiva. Though he had suffered no neglect at the place, he had been all too familiar with simply being invisible. When Ayatah had given him a toy to play with, he'd been fearful that it would be taken away from him despite her promises that it wouldn't happen.

It had killed Ayatah to see a boy so young act in such a nervous manner, to be so untrusting. And earning the orphan's trust had been no easy task. As a boy whose mother had left him shortly after his birth, Kuame had simply grown up without having a guardian who wanted to love and protect only him. He had no mother or father, but not through their tragic death: because they had chosen not to love him. When Aya had vowed to protect him, he hadn't believed her. Even now he sometimes woke her in the middle of the night to ask: "Are you still mine, Aya?"

And she would reply, "Of course, always."

So far, their time in Riverfall had been easy. But Aya was still paranoid: she was convinced that she and Kuame would be dragged out of the city due to her maternal race. And for Kuame's paternal race, she added silently. She was still convinced that her son's heritage was also partly Myrian, but unfortunately there would be no way to ever confirm this.

His lineage did not matter, really. Nor was it worthy of being at the forefront of Ayatah's mind now. Now, she was chasing something - more specifically, a rumour. Since her discovery that Riverfall had no orphanage, any sign of such homeless children easily distracted Aya’s attention. A flash of tattered clothing, a pair of particularly large and hungry eyes. And through this biased attention, she'd heard something. A meeting, to take place amongst the orphaned children a collection of adults who helped them. It sounded enough like an orphanage to spike Aya's interest, and she'd carefully listened to the young voices as they whispered the location and date of this secret meeting.

The part of the city she found herself in now was quiet, and Ayatah found herself hoping she was in the right place purely to ensure someone would be able to guide her back to the centre. After turning yet another corner, Kuame held on her hip, Aya saw evidence of the secretive meeting. Down one specific alleyway, a gathering of six children surrounded two adults, one of whom appeared to offering the children a basket of oranges.

Trust me to show up a meeting of homeless children without any food.

She approached cautiously, so as not to scare the children. But Kuame had other ideas. Upon seeing the boys and girls, he gleefully called out: "Look, Aya! Other children! Can I play with them?"

His mother was left confident. After allowing the boy to squirm his way down her side and onto the ground, Ayatah raised a hand and offered out a stammering apology: "I'm sorry, I-. Sorry, I didn't mean to intrude, I just--" Kuame tugged her forward so the rest of her statement poured out rapidly, "I'd like to help."

oocI hope this is okay as an entry for Ayatah. Please let me know if I need to tweak anything :)

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A Home for All

Postby Kyo on April 11th, 2015, 10:59 pm


It was not difficult to find the small boy that the coyote had played with earlier on the beach, and at other times at other places throughout the city. All he had to do was follow his nose.

The coyote ghosted through the streets of the darkening city. In his time in this place, the canine had come to think of scents as a slow-moving river, surrounding him on all sides. All around him were drops of scent, from things or places or best of all, people. If he just found the right one --and he had, this one had been easy, he'd just picked it up at the steps leading up from the beach-- he would be able to follow its course through the city, like a tiny current of smell that would lead him to the boy...

...and to a group of other people?

The coyote's eyes glinted in the fading light of the day as he padded near to the group. He didn't approach as a wild animal might, for a wild animal wouldn't approach at all. Instead, he clicked his way up to the gathering.

It was a small group, and it was easy to spot the boy he had come looking for. Eager now, he skirted around the others, tail wagging, and stepped up to greet his friend. The boy's face did not look very happy, not as it had when they'd splashed in the surf that morning, but a small hand ruffled through the fur on his back in greeting, and the coyote paused to bump his side against the boy's leg. Then he ducked his head and ran back off into the night.

It was a simple thing to slip into a nearby side-street and shift, the transformation a glimmer of light that lit the walls like a reflection from water. Now in human-form, Kyo spat the dry-tasting piece of cloth out of his mouth that he'd been carrying, and wiggled quickly into it: a pair of long shorts, thin and ragged but warm enough for this cooling night. He made sure the clothing was on correctly since human-forms demanded their bodies to be covered, then jogged back out and towards the small group, holding up his hands slightly as he came.

He didn't know what they were doing, he just knew that he'd wanted to check up on the boy before the blackness of night fell, since the child had twisted his ankle earlier when they'd been playing, fishing around for crabs and minnows to eat at the edge of the sea. Now Kyo rejoined them with his hands up and said, "Friend," before turning back towards the boy. The child looked up at him and the coyote-man sensed his wariness... but when the young man bent and took a seat on the street with his back against the nearest building, not too far away, the boy shifted slightly closer, and one of his hands brushed Kyo's bare shoulder.

Kyo smiled, then sniffed, taking in the scents of those around him as best as he could with his limited human-form nose. Most strongly he caught the smell of fruit, and each of their individual smells --a mixture that he'd have to sort out to figure which one belonged to who-- though masking everything was a scent he had come to know as worry, echoed by the general tenseness of the group. The coyote-man's brow creased at this, and again the boy touched his shoulder, leaning slightly against him though his eyes looked to the others, especially to the woman who had the food.

OOCHopefully this entrance was okay! Currently Kyo has no idea about the orphanage --he likely doesn't even know what one is-- but he's willing to do anything to help children, and so as long as he's around he'll want to be involved.

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A Home for All

Postby Konrad Venger on March 14th, 2016, 12:42 am


Nice job! Your work has pleased The Sloth!


Leadership - 1

Leadership: As Much about Reassurance

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Ayatah, Hirem, Kyo, as soon as you've got your Winter Expenses paid, lemme know and you'll get awesome grades, too!

Not much else to say... shame this didn't go anywhere, and hoping you come back soon, Hirem!

Oh, and please make sure you go back and edit your post in the Request Thread to reflect the fact this one is now done and dusted. PM me with any questions and later 'tater!

||Common||Thoughts||Pavi||Fratava||Myrian||Other's Speaking||
Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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