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Sezkero and Ayatah sit down to get to know each other better

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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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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Sezkero on April 14th, 2015, 6:52 pm

43rd of Spring, 515AV
20th Bell at Night
The Almond Blossom

She couldn't help but be nervous. After the last season, Sezkero had earned a bit of bravery, but she was still so nervous. The snake tried to justify her meeting with Ayatah after what the two ladies had gone through the day before, but meeting this woman in a calm and controlled scenario now felt so... odd.

The sun was just setting when the host sat Sezkero on the Balcony, but she had just been able to leave the temple, so this was the agreed time. The snake unwrapped her headscarf, hanging it over the chair so that it was out of her way. The host asked if she was waiting for someone as he seated her at the three-seat table. Sezkero only nodded, waiting for the man to leave with passive impatience. To say she was a little annoyed with the Akalaks at the moment would be an underestimation. She knew it was irrational to blame the whole city for one squad of Kuvay'Nas' actions, but some instinct in her told her to be angery at anyone remotely involved in yesterdays incident.

The snake didn't dare to think she might be developing a motherly nature towards the orphans. You are helping Hirem get started, and you are taking yourself out of the picture. Sezkero commanded herself, picking up the roll of silverware in the silk napkin before setting it back down. She allowed her mind to get distracted as she realized how expensive the tea house she had chosen was. She really couldn't think up many restaurants or Taverns on the spot the day before, but the Almond Blossom, which she passed everyday on the way to work, popped in her mind. Maybe I will just get an appetizer... Sezkero pulled her plain leather pack from the side of the chair to peer into it. Her coin-purse was snug between her notebook, a vial of ink and a quill. Her waterskin also lay in there, empty and uncleaned after work, as well as a pair of tights from work. She hardly carried much with her on a regular day, but she had no idea what this coming conversation would entail.

Ayatah had expressed a lot of interest in Sezkero's and Hirem's half-thought plan for an orphanage. If this lady was truly interested, would she not offer up any ideas that the Iyvess nor the Benshira have thought of yet? Notes might be necessary...

"Here she is," She heard the return of the Akalak host's voice and Sezkero twirled in her seat and immediately stood up to greet the woman and her child.

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Ayatah on April 14th, 2015, 8:41 pm

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Ayatah wondered whether the presence of her son would be help or a hindrance in this meeting. The little boy was naturally quiet, but inquisitive. He liked to think he was part of the adult conversations that went on around him, and Aya couldn't blame Kuame for this trait. Had she not done the exact same as a young girl? But Ayatah's mother hadn't bought Aya along with her on official business -- though as a warrior, perhaps Kinsha had left her eldest daughter at home more for safety rather than professionalism.

Either way, Aya was sure that Kuame would behave well, but any young child was like to get bored during a meeting. Aya feared that he would ask too many questions, or say something that might draw attention to her Myrian blood. Or even worse: he might sit there perfectly silent, as if he were a ghost of a boy haunting their dinner table. What would Sezkero think then - that his former parents had abused Kuame? Or worse: that Aya had threatened him?

The mere thought sent horrid shivers down the Myrian's spine, and she clutched his tiny hand even tighter, as if to reassure herself that he was there, and was happy

And as if he was telepathic, Kuame further assured Ayatah by asking, "Why are we meeting Sekeroo?"

"It'a Sezkero, Kuame." Ayatah corrected patiently, "and so her and I can talk more about what we spoke about yesterday."

The boy weighed this answer up for a tick, frowning as he chewed over what his mother had said. He also remembered what had happened yesterday. There had been lots children, and he had spoken to some of them. Aya and some other adults had spoken quietly, and then suddenly everyone had dispersed, and Aya was tugging on his hand saying come on Kuame, quickly, quickly!

"About the orphanage." It wasn't a question, but a question. Nevertheless Kuame flashed a glance up to Ayatah, seeking her approval and confirmation.

She smiled down at him, "yes, about the orphanage. So I can help other boys and girls. Look, here we are."

The Almond Blossom was a beautiful building, pleasant to all the senses. Instantly quiet conversations and a warming aroma embraced the two - cinnamon, Aya guessed. The various potted plants that were spattered throughout the restaurant fascinated Kuame, who pointed and gasped at each in turn. "Aya, I feel like I'm in the jungle!"

A host led Ayatah and Kuame upstairs to the balcony, and gestured towards Sezkero. Myrian and boy joined the Ivyess at the table. "I hope we didn't keep you long." Ayatah proffered with an apologetic smile.

Kuame waved shyly to his new companion, giving Sezkero a smile that showed off his midding front tooth. "Hello Sekeroo!"

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Sezkero on April 15th, 2015, 1:42 am

"No, not at all!" Kero grinned at the woman and her son, Kuame. The small boy resembled his mother only faintly, the droop in their eyes and the rise of their cheekbones. It almost seemed to be a racial quality than actual family relations, but she new little of the various races so she couldn't be sure. His father must look far different from Ayatah. She grinned at the boy who seemed rather shy, which only eased her own nerves slightly, but did allow her to compose herself.

With a quick flash of recognition, the snake thought she saw a similiarity to an all too familiar face in her mind. It was impossible to say the boy looked like Hirem, but his resemblence to the stranger Benshira, as far as she knew, was more than his own resemblence to his mother. Hirem does have a son... Her heart slipped when she remembered the secret that had slipped from his drunken lips last season. Could he...?

Sezkero immediately kicked herself for thinking too much. Too often did she remove herself from reality and realize she had stared at something to long. Refreshing her smile, she offered a hand to Ayatah to shake before motioning to the chairs around their small table. "Thank you ssso much for coming. I am ssssorry that yessterday wassss... hectic. I can promissse you that Hirem and I don't ussually meet that sssort of... trouble around the children."

As Ayatah and Kuame took their seats, so did Sezkero, smiling at the woman because she knew of nothing else to do. She tried to dim down her grin, afraid it would come across as creepy, she had already stared at the woman's son a few ticks longer than necessary, but she hadn't had the time to take the boy in the day before. "Umm," Was she supposed to start the conversation? Take the lead? You did ask her here. Sezkero reminded herself, glancing down at the dainty polished clay plate again. "Ssssssooo... I just want to thank you, for yesssterday, again. Hirem and I really do appreciate your interessst." How was she supposed to start this? When had she gotten so diplomatic? She wanted to know why this woman was interested, curiosity was killing her for it. It made sense that she would want to know wouldn't it? Sezkero summed up that it wouldn't be a bad place to start. She did want to pick this woman's brains today anyway.

"Not to be rude, but may I asssk why you took interest when you learned? Yessterday was not exxactly a great introduction to a controverssssial orphanage, and I would assssssume your view isss not the ssame asss the city'sss. The Akalakss are not exxactly fond of... charity."

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Ayatah on April 15th, 2015, 7:32 am

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After pushing Kuame's seat closer to the table so his arms could actually rest upon the tabletop, Aya sat beside her son. When had she become such of a... mother? Apart from her money, the bag Aya carried with her held nothing of her own belongings: ripped parchment and a thicker, shorter child's quill, a spare change of clothes for Kuame - the boy had an uncanny talent to find any dirt and transfer it onto his clothing - two books borrowed from the library. She laid out the paper and quill in front of her son and encouraged him to write a story or draw something whilst she and Sezkero talked.

"Oh, don't say sorry," Ayatah said, flapping her hand to dismiss the snake woman's apology, "it isn't your fault. I'm just very surprised about the..." She glanced to Kuame, ensuring that the next words that came out of her lips were quiet enough and worded well enough so the boy wouldn't pick them up and go around repeating them. She did not want her own son to be in trouble with the law for voicing his mother's opinion at school or worse - to the Kuvay'Nas, "...attitude of the populace here towards such an establishment."

Kuame glanced lazily up from his parchment to the two adults, attracted by the long words that spilled out of his mother's mouth. He frowned minutely, trying to attach a meaning to what Aya had said, but he eventually gave up and returned back to his drawing.

Satisfied, Ayatah continued.

"I appreciate the opportunity to work with yourself and Hirem. I volunteered at the orphanage at Zeltiva before we moved here,"

Ah, now Kuame understood what was being said! His dark eyes lit up, his eyes creased with a smile. "That's where I met Aya!" He told Sezkero with great excitement, "she came to make me feel better and she read me stories and then we played and then she gave me a toy axe and then she asked if I wanted to live with her and I said yes and now she's my Aya." His voice cracked at the end of his sentence and the boy gave a great gasp, refilling his lungs with the air that had seeped out of him during his lengthy summary. With a conclusive nod, he dropped back out of the conversation and continued his drawing.

Aya's pink flushed pinkly, but she nevertheless wore a very proud, very maternal smile. "That's basically it." She added between chuckles, "Kuame lived at the orphanage and ever since I met him, I've realised how important such places are. I'm also interested in teaching - I was a professor's assistant at the university in Zeltiva. So I guess that's where I was hoping I could help out with the day-to-day running of the orphanage."

Had she overstepped her mark? After all, Aya had only just introduced herself with the other people involved in the development of the orphanage. And now she was suggesting what role in the orphanage she should have. "But of course, I'm happy to do anything." She added hurriedly.

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Sezkero on April 20th, 2015, 1:47 am

Sezkero could only smile at Ayatah's eagerness, a little at loss for words at the moment. She was unsure whether to be offended that Ayatah had thought so much about this, or grateful. A very thin string of jealousy tugged the corner of her thoughts. She had thought it would just be Hirem and her. And while it was a daunting path, she sort of enjoyed it just being her and him. Yet, which Kyo and Ayatah and even little Tim so adamantly ready to help, she was releived. These strangers seemed to have good intentions, and while the snake was protective of Riverfall's urchins, she beleived they could help the children, and that was what she wanted really. The fact that Ayatah had thought about this enough to outline a way she could help, without any real information, was a good thing. Sezkero knew it was and had to remind herself of the fact.

"Exxccellent. We would definitely be in need of an inssstructor for the children. I can't imagine that the Riverfall sschoolssss are created for humansss and children who wisshh to proccceed in a way that isss not of a warrior." She purred, her dark eyes flowing around the balcony. She almost laughed at how closely she was beginning to mimic Kal, too much time at the temple she guessed. Ker's eyes fell on the sun was just hitting the horizon of buildings now, and streaks of purple were beginning to underline the soft pink cloud, which Sezkero watched in awe for a second before turning her gaze to Kuame. The boy was labeling his drawing now. The concentrated and shaky print of a five year old marked his progression. The words were spelled oddly, however Sezkero knew what they were because they were spelled to be sounded out. Should she attempt to speak them, they would have become apparent. Overall, the snake evaluated him as an intelligent child. If Ayatah was interested in becoming a teacher, did it mean that Kuame was an example, even if he was so young?

"Did you teach dear Kuame here?" She questioned then, her head tilting ever so slightly to the side, and she leisurly extended a finger to the direction of his drawing. "He isss very good." If the boy looked up at her, she would grin at him to assist with her compliment that was meant to be for both him and his mother.

OOCI hope you didn't mind that I assumed Kuame could read. I beleive five is old enough for most, right? :)

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Ayatah on May 4th, 2015, 10:11 am

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Kuame glanced up, startled by the slippery sound of the other woman's speech. There had been a girl in the orphanage, unfortunately named Samantha Sunshine, who'd spoken with a lisp - all her s's sounded like th's. But Sezkero's tongue sounded completely different. His brows knotted together as Kuame toyed with the slices of information Aya had previously shared with him about the other races and their tongues. He was sure there was some factoid lodged in his memory somewhere that would explain the elongated slither of Sezkero's speech...

... But a child's attention span switched his focus back to his drawing, and Kuame merrily continued to label the sketchy pictures he had just drawn.

"I taught Kuame a bit, yes." Ayatah's reply was modest and downplayed her influence on the boy's education. The orphanage had of course tried their best, but with forty or so children of all ages, it had been difficult to give each boy and girl the attention they needed. "And thank you, he is a very bright boy." Her dark eyes slid to the face of her adopted son, who glowed and grinned under her praise.

"But for now-" she continued, turning back to Sezkero and placing her hands upon the table top, "where are we in the development of the orphanage? How can I help?" Aya hoped she was not being too forward, especially in saying we rather than you in regards to the team working to achieve this goal. Her desire to work with them, to house the cities lost children, was desperate.

The Myrian lacked any experience in running a business or service, and she had no idea what opening such an establishment even required. They'd need a building to house the children in, obviously, but having only moved to the city forty or so days ago, Riverfall wasn't familiar enough to Aya for her to know whether or not a large enough empty building even existed. Perhaps it was wiser for her to learn more about the city's homeless children: "How many orphans are there?" It would be near impossible to have truly accurate number, she knew, but any estimation would be helpful. "And what's the age span?"

If she could learn this information, Aya could begin to develop her lesson plans for the children. Preparation and organisation would be key to success, she felt.

oocSo sorry for the delay!

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Sezkero on May 9th, 2015, 5:30 pm

Sezkero was a little taken aback by the sudden rapid-fire questions from the mother before her. "I-I.." Sezkero allowed herself to trail off as two more questions appeared. She wasn't expecting this. Nor, was she expecting the woman to be so interested. The use of 'Us' and 'We' told Ker that Ayatah already assumed that she would be taking part. For the optimistic snake, this was a good thing. She could hardly take offense to it, but it made her wonder about her own hesitation when it was first presented to her as well... "Um no, actually. We've got nothing planned for thissss. It's jusst been Hirem and I, we aren't Kuvan yet... It's not eassssy to get thingss done. It's been all talk, for now. That was why I was curioussss... about your interessst." The snake started to babble, trying to come up with an excuse for having nothing planned about the orphanage, despite how serious she was about it.

And suddenly Sezkero felt very small, peering up at the woman under her lashes. To her rescue, she could see the waiter approaching. Good, Sezkero nearly sighed with relief as the Akalak walked up to them and grinned at her. Now I can hear her opinion a little later. Sezkero glanced down at her menu once to confirm for the lowest priced meal before turning back to the waiter.

"Hello Sir and Ladies," The Akalak was very young for the blue race's age. Likely working a job while going to school, he must be too young to do any weapon-wrk. Maybe he was thirty? She couldn't tell, her estimation of the race's age was not the smoothest. "My name is Rekal, and I will be serving you today, do you want to start off with anything to drink?" He looked as Sezkero first, and she nodded towards Ayatah, wanting the woman to order first.

"Can I jusst have a ssssweet tea?" She requested once Ayatah and Kuame had ordered. The Akalak nodded, not writing down their drinks, since he seemed to remember them well enough. The menu wasn't all that large anyway, she was sure Rekal had a good memory at this point.

"And would you three like to start off with an appetizer, or I can give you a few more minutes to read over the menu?" This time he turned to Ayatah first, getting the hint that Sezkero wanted to keep the woman across from her distracted.

Once he got her order, if she wanted an appetizer, the waiter only received a shake of Sezkero's head. She would hardly be able to eat an entire Akalak's meal, let alone an appetizer as well. "Alright, I'll be back in a few minutes with your drinks and to get your order, if you are ready." He grinned at the two and departed, leaving Sezkero alone again. She would have to deal with Ayatah's reaction to her confession now.

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Ayatah on May 27th, 2015, 8:00 pm


Ayatah gave a solemn nod as she listened to the Dhani speak. She also needed to apply for citizenship status in Riverfall, to secure the best life for her son. But she was nervous: what would happen if her application were rejected? Aya knew what some women turned to in order to secure a livelihood in Riverfall: lending out her womb to an Akalak warrior. Would she be able to do that?

It was understandable that Sezkero and Hirem's progress with the orphanage had been slow. Though the city seemed in dire need of such a place, the fact such an establishment was not... approved of would of course make opening one difficult. "I can imagine there is much to be done but little time or availability to do it." she mused half-absently. There was more on her mind to be said, but the waiter appeared and silenced Aya before she could speak.

The Myrian glanced briefly down to the menu. Alcohol was out of the question: she was likely to get lost on the way back home without dulling her senses. So Ayatah smiled up the waiter and replied, "just two orange juices please." Indicating to herself and the dark-skinned child beside her. "Oh, and no appetizer for either of us, thank you."

After the waiter had left, Ayatah returned her attention back to Sezkero. There was much to be discussed tonight regarding the orphanage, but casual conversation was important as well. After all, the two women were presumably likely to work together in the near future. It wouldn't hurt for either of them to learn more about each other. "May I ask how long you've been in Riverfall for, and what drew you to the city to begin with?" She said mildly, glancing over her son's shoulder to admire his picture.

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Sezkero on August 4th, 2015, 2:30 am

"May I ask how long you've been in Riverfall for, and what drew you to the city to begin with?" Ayatah changed the subject and Sezkero was a little relieved. She didn't like not being prepared, but she supposed there was nothing she could do about it. She had no informtation to give Ayatah on the orphanage, but perhaps Ayatah would help her...

"I follow Makutssi, the Goddessss of Riverss and Rain." Sezkero begun to explain. "In my homeland, The Ssspires, there was a temple for her. I came to Riverfall last summer and it was the only other city that I found people ssso devote to her, sso I sstayed." She sighed simply. "And now... the children keep me here." She offered a small smile to Ayatah, glancing at Kuame. She folded her hands in her lap and then unfolded them. "Can I asssk you the ssame?"

She waited for a response, genuinely listened to Ayatah's and possibly Kuame's answer. After a few ticks of silence. Sezkero would chuckle to herself. "I'm ssorry if my conversssational sskills are... lacking, I jusst don't ussually talk to people ssso directly." She shrugged, glancing down. Ayatah seemed like a good woman, and the snake was beginning to realize how much she wanted her help.

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Shall We Continue? (Ayatah)

Postby Ayatah on August 4th, 2015, 6:03 pm


The Dhani's choice of Goddess to follow had come as a surprise to Ayatah. Her own maternal people worshipped Makutsi and Aya, thanks to her anti-Dhani upbringing, had simply assumed the snake people only worshipped Siku. She tsked quietly, blaming herself for believing the mantra of the Myrian people without question. Was that not why many saw her people as mindless savages? "It's admirable that you follow your faith with such dedication." She said earnestly. At times, Ayatah wondered if she had failed her Goddess-Queen when it came to prayer. Her worship of Myri had changed from an active habit to a quiet belief that Aya kept to herself.

Ayatah briefly glanced to Kuame, who was still delighting himself with colouring and drawing. "We arrived on the 10th this season. After a long and exhausting journey." Her son groaned as the memories of their dry, hot adventure flooded back to him. He had started out so enthusiastic, only for this excitement to wane about ten days of sitting on a merchant's cart. There were only so many times a kid could play I spy before going insane. The Myrian smiled at him, but in truth there had been several occasions during their journey where she had been haunted by a paranoia and doubt. Was she making a horrible mistake? What kind of woman drags a small boy across half a country? She was a terrible mother, one that didn't even deserve a son.

She smiled at Sezkero's self-consciousness. "Don't apologise." She wafted a hand idly in the air, as if batting away the Dhani's apology. Giving Kuame a sideways glance, Aya lent across the table so her voice, now quiet, would be heard by Sezkero and not her son, "this is the first time I've been out with a fellow adult for days! As long as you don't ask me to sing you a lullaby, you're fine."

She sat back up straight just as Kuame looked up to his mother, brow furrowed deeply. "What are you talking about, Aya?"

With a sip of her newly arrived juice, Ayatah turned to the lad and replied with a serious tone: "How young boys who eavesdrop never get pudding." A tiny gasp escaped from Kuame's lips, and he began to once again dedicate himself to his drawing.

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