[School of Earth & Life Science] Dust and Bones

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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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[School of Earth & Life Science] Dust and Bones

Postby Ayatah on July 28th, 2015, 4:36 pm

8th Summer, 515AV


"Ayatah. I'm glad you're here."

The Myrian glanced up from her papers, startled at the clipped voice that had appeared from the hall. Niko Tamdal stood at the doorway into her office, hands held behind his back in a very proper manner. This visit from the Nuit was an unexpected one, so Ayatah's response was delayed until she eventually gestured to the seat on the other side of her desk. "Good morning, Niko. Can I help you?"

He slid himself onto the chair, briefly glancing around the small room. Ayatah had not yet been employed long enough to personify her own area, which was still rather bland and smelled faintly off who had occupied it before her. "I've got a small collection of samples that I believe might interest you." He said. Samples, when speaking with Niko, always equated to bones. Whilst this was not Ayatah's professional area of expertise, she assumed that it was her clan heritage that had made him think of her. "They're mostly samples that have been handed in to me over the past few years, but I've never put them on display." He paused, and Aya frowned minutely in response to this bizarre tale. Niko was an expert on bone prep and anatomy -- how she possibly help him? He smiled at her obvious confusion and continued smoothly, "they're weapons, Aya. Weapons made out of bone. Some of them look positively Myrian, even."

Now her interest was sparked. Her people often made weapons out of bones - it was one of the stronger materials found in Taloba. She had not heard of any other culture that did the same, but of course it was not impossible. "How fascinating." She murmured, briefly glancing down to the notes she had previously been writing. "When was the last time you had an addition to this... collection?"

"Yesterday, actually. A fellow dropped by with a weapon that he claimed was made from the bone of some jungle animal, and I thought of you." He smiled again, as if this association of jungle creatures and Ayatah was somehow a compliment. "Anyway. I'd appreciate it if you could take a look, even if it turns out that only one or two are Myrian-made. It would be nice to learn something about them, at any rate."

She nodded. There was nothing of great import that Ayatah had planned to do today. She was still finding her footing in this new job, but helping out a colleague was always a positive thing to do. "No problem. I'm free now, in fact."

The Nuit grinned, as if he had expected this answer all along. "Excellent. Let's go, then."

They wandered in relative silence. Niko appeared to be a man of few words, and Ayatah struggled to think of things to discuss other than the samples she was to examine for him. Thankfully, their journey was a short one. In only five chimes, the pair had crossed to the Hall of Bones. Niko led Ayatah into his office, upon which stood a large box filled with several bones and blades. Clearly, the Nuit had anticipated Ayatah to accept his request. "As you can see, I have quite the extensive collection." He chuckled and dragged a pale finger along the rim of the box. "Not all are in good condition, I'm afraid."

The Myrian smiled mildly, leaning forward onto his desk to peer into the box. It was clear that the oldest of these weapons had been in the box for many years, with only the basic of maintenance completed on them to ensure they didn't entirely turn to dust. Still, she gave the Nuit a concerned glance. "Some look very old. I'm afraid they might break."

"Do not worry, Ayatah. If I was so bothered about these bones, I would have jad them looked at earlier. Should you find anything of interest, I might install a new section to the Hall featuring bones as weapons, but that's only a possibility. Investigate and research as much as you want." He grinned before indicating to a small tag that hung off of one bone. "I have labelled them to the best of my ability. This one, for instance, is from a tiger I believe. Others have been chipped, worn and engraved to such a point that they barely look like bones now. But! I digress." Sliding the box into his arms, the Nuit passed it over to Ayatah, "enjoy your investigation, and thank you Ayatah."

Last edited by Ayatah on July 31st, 2015, 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Dust and Bones

Postby Ayatah on July 29th, 2015, 1:21 pm


As soon as Ayatah returned to her office, she dived into the box. The Myrian picked her way carefully through the collection of bones, laying them out on the top her desk. There were eight whole specimens altogether; each had some component made from bone. There were also several other bits of fractured bone that Aya had no chance of ever identifying or matching up together. These she left back in the box.

She could understand why Niko had thought of her, as five of the eight of the weapons did indeed look Myrian in design. The other three specimens, however, did not look at all familiar. One was inscribed with curious symbols - another language? - whereas another featured a stone on the hilt that was so shiny, Aya assumed it had never been used as a weapon before.

But the strangest sample by far was the smallest.

Several small bones, which she guessed to be from the finger, were tied together at either end by fine but strong string. They coiled around into a hollow tube, with one end of the tube blocked off by a flat circle of bone. The other end looked the same, but upon closer inspection Aya noticed how there was a minute piece of broken bone sticking out from the centre of the disc. She prodded it, and a ball of blood subsequently formed on the very tip of her finger.

Ayatah frowned, sucking on her fingertip in deep concentration. How odd. She could not shake the idea that the sharp piece of broken attached to the top side of the bone tube had once been a tiny handle, and the flat piece of circular bone some sort of lid. That would make the bone-made tube a contained of some type. But for what, she had no idea.

So, taking the steps of any great scholar, Ayatah tipped the tube upside down and shook it gently. A tiny, minute, little blade slipped out and clunked onto her open palm. It was barely a blade at all, but made mostly of the same type of bone that formed the outer side of the cylinder. The blade itself was only about half an inch long, and tightly curved around to almost a full circle.

For the life of her, the half-Eypharian could think of no purpose for such a silly little thing. It was surely not Myrian -- her people prided themselves on the general rule that 'bigger was better' when it came to weapons. Perhaps it was purely decorative? But no: it was hardly pretty by anyone's accounts.

Nevertheless, Ayatah made a note of the curious object, as well as her complete lack of understanding as to what it was.

Thankfully, the next item Ayatah looked at was far easier to identify. Though she was positive it was not of Myrian craftsmanship, a dagger was ultimately still a dagger. The stone in the hilt was curious though; it was still in perfect, pristine condition. Ayatah would expect that if the dagger had been used as an actual weapon even once, the stone would be tarnished in some way. But it was still shone perfectly, and as Ayatah held it close to her eyes, she could see the yellows and burnt oranges that flickered around the bulb of the gem. It was, if she were to be truly honest, absolutely gorgeous.

And it was also completely foreign to her. Nothing like this existed in Falyndar - it was too precious for the city of Bones. The Myrian people had little appreciation for shiny things. Which would make Ayatah's job of identifying the place of origin and purpose of the dagger particularly challenging.

Fortunately, she knew someone who would help.

Last edited by Ayatah on July 31st, 2015, 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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[School of Earth & Life Science] Dust and Bones

Postby Ayatah on July 29th, 2015, 5:39 pm


The Hall of Stones was a grand building indeed, rich with luxury and shine and colours. Some would call it beautiful, but to Ayatah the Hall of Bones was far more striking in the all the right ways. Altogether, the gems were too much, with their effervescent glittering and shining, though individually she could not deny their attractiveness. She could understand why fine ladies from cities like Riverfall and Zeltiva decorated their hands and necklines with jewels. They would certainly be... eye-catching.

"Ayatah!" The voice was warm and bubbly. Instinctively, the ghost of a smile pulled on her lips, despite the fact that she did not always appreciate such permanent cheerfulness. Nevertheless, she stepped to face the source of the voice, her dark eyes landing on Liana's patient and grinning face. The Konti indicated to the bejewelled dagger in Aya's hand and let out an airy little chuckle, "I wonder if there are any other places of work here where it is perfectly acceptable for someone to walk around wielding a dagger."

Even Ayatah found her lips quivering into a smirk at the blonde woman's comment. It was impossible to not get infected with Liana's genuine happiness and desire to spread this joy. When Ayatah had first started working the School, Liana had been the first to drop by her office, armed with a great bunch of flowers that had filled Ayatah's room with a heady floral fragrance. Indicating to the dagger clutched in her right hand, the Myrian explained: "There's a gem on this that I surprisingly don't recognise, given my complete lack of knowledge in the area." She snorted with quiet laughter and Liana tsked as if scolding one of her many children.

"Oh, don't be silly, Ayatah." She encouraged with another one of her dazzlingly genuine smiles. The Konti reached out, touching Aya's arm in a gesture intended to console, "may I have a look?"

Ayatah obliged, giving the dagger to Liana, who subsequently inspected it closely. Whether or not she knew anything about gemstones, Ayatah did not want to ask. She presumed that the Konti had acquired some knowledge over the years, though she had hoped that Kordok himself would be the one to investigate the dagger.

Whilst Liana inspected the gem, Ayatah allowed herself to wander about the main entrance of the Hall of Stones. Three separate doorways led to the factions within the Hall, pertaining to an exhibit for stones, gemstones and the more mysterious special exhibit respectively. Ayatah had seen all three parts of the Hall on her first day, when she had been given a tour of the whole School of Earth and Life Sciences by the various members of staff that worked within the school. The tour had started with her being intrigued and excited by the various collections stored within the building, but the sheer number of objects and exhibits had overwhelmed her. Ayatah, a woman previously starved of knowledge, had finally found a place that could overfeed her hunger.

Liana made a small noise that suggested she had come to some conclusion about the dagger. Surprised by the noise - Aya had almost forgotten the other woman was there - the Myrian glanced around back to the Konti. "I think I know what it is, but let's check with my husband, just to make sure."

She led Ayatah through a guarded doorway and into one of the larger offices in the Hall of Stones. They found Kordok Kebred sitting behind a desk, staring down through a rounded bauble of thick glass, which itself he held above a small gem of purple hue. Glancing up to the doorway, he gave his wife and visitor the briefest of smiles before returning his attention back to the gem. "Liana. Ayatah. How pleasant to see you both." His voice, though quiet and stern, did indeed imply a sense of hesitant welcoming. Setting the magnifying glass and gem down, he stretched out in his chair and gave a loud, appreciative grunt.

"You shouldn't spend so long hunched over, dear." Liana scolded gently, hurrying to her husband's side and, having put Ayatah's dagger on the desk, placed her hands on his back and shoulders. As she massaged his aches and pains away, the Konti soothingly explained, "Ayatah had a dagger with a gemstone she wasn't sure about. I've looked at it, though I think it's best you check it out as well."

He picked the dagger up with minimal interest. The fine carving of the bone, or the well-placed attachment of the dagger blade, held no importance for the once miner. His passion existed in the form of gems. And once his dark eyes had caught sight of the flaming stone, his interest perked up. He gave a low "hmm" and examined the stone carefully, recollecting his magnifying glass and holding it over the gem.

Several moments passed, and Ayatah waited patiently for his answer. The Akalak measured the gem, tapped on it with his finger and then a peculiar piece of metal. He held it up to the light, watching as fire-like colours bounced off the gem and hit the ceiling and wall. Eventually, he placed the dagger down on the desk hilt-first to Ayatah. Leaning back in his seat, Kordok glanced to his wife first and then to Aya, "A Fire Agate." He concluded finally.

"Just as I thought!" Liana said happily, clapping her hands together in a miniature celebration. Husband and Wife shared a brief kiss before Kordok continued to explain the gem to Ayatah.

"It's usually found near a volcano, and so for that reason it's commonly used by followers of Ivak - it's also known as Ivak's blood. Otherwise, it's quite a rare find. I'd say it definitely puts the location of where this dagger was made up in the mountains, perhaps within or near Sultros."

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[School of Earth & Life Science] Dust and Bones

Postby Ayatah on July 31st, 2015, 9:34 am


The Isur. Ayatah knew little about the mountain-dwelling race, though she had once met a Myrian-Isur mixed breed, who had possessed an arm that was faintly red. Picking up the dagger, Ayatah once again inspected its pristine condition. "Do you have an idea about how old the item is?"

"Not really. But the fact it's decorated with such a gemstone makes me think it's not really intended as a weapon. A gift, perhaps." The Akalak shrugged, his interest once again waning now that the identification of the gem was over and done with. The green male picked up his magnifying glass and began investigating the purple gem once again. It was a polite, if not obvious, sign that he wished to return to the peacefulness of his own work.

Ayatah bid the couple goodbye and returned to her own office. As she opened the door, she noticed a peculiar parchment-wrapped parcel lying on her desk. The package was tied loosely in the middle with rough-looking string, and a folded note lay on top of it:

Ayatah,

My apologies for not giving you this item when you came to my office earlier - it completely slipped my mind. It was given to me yesterday by a fellow who said he purchased it over a year ago. He believes it is Myrian made, and I'm sure you'll realised why it made me think of you.

Regards, Niko.


The Myrian shrugged, placing the note to one side before turning her attention to this newfound parcel. She unwrapped it carefully, not entirely sure what to expect given the strange shape of the package.

What Ayatah saw had her desperately grappling for her seat, before slowly lowering herself into it. For the item that lay unwrapped on her desk was something she had not seen for many years, though she instantly recognised it. This was some trick of fate, some cruel ploy. She was suddenly breathless, and had the urgent desire to vomit.

Thankfully, this desire was suppressed long enough for Aya to reach out and touch the central hilt of the dagger. It was made from bone -- specifically from the thighbone of Quena, Ayatah's great-great grandmother. The bone had been smoothed and shaped into a narrow hilt by one of the many talented Myrian craftsman in Taloba. At either side of the hilt, there were two wickedly sharp blades, one that curved to the left and the other to the right. And, in the centre of the hilt, was a small engraved A. An A for Ayatah.

Her birth weapon. The weapon that, as part of her clan's traditions, he mother had had made to celebrate the birth of her daughter. Paira of the Scattered Bones had chosen a double-bladed dagger to symbolise the duality of blood that ran in her daughter's veins. It was Ayatah's most prized possession. She had trained with it, killed with it. The weapon and the half-breed had merged together to become one in the way that warriors did with their most trusted weapons.

But then she had given the weapon to her lover, as a symbol of her faith and dedication to their relationship. Their relationship that had, unfortunately, faded into the past like every other memory of her life in Taloba. Except her lover had left the jungle at the same time as she had, and had resided in Riverfall until being thrown out by the Kuva'nyas a while ago. Their paths had never crossed again, and Ayatah had mourned the loss of her birth weapon almost as much as the loss of her love. But now she found herself reunited with it, face-to-face with an object that bought back all those memories -- all that happiness and pain.
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[School of Earth & Life Science] Dust and Bones

Postby Ayatah on July 31st, 2015, 10:45 am


With shaking hands, Ayatah closely inspected the double-bladed dagger. There was no damage to either the blades or the hilt. In fact, it looked like the weapon had barely been used in the years since Aya had last held it. For this, she was grateful. It made her shudder to think that someone could have broken the blades or snapped her ancestor's bone in two. But no; her birth weapon was as whole and undamaged as it ever was in her care.

She set the weapon aside, placing it into a drawer in her desk. She would deal with it at the end day, when she had at least looked at the rest of the collection Niko had given her. A variety of mixed emotions tugged at her gut, and Aya hoped that plunging herself back into work was the best way to clear her head.

There was only one more item in Niko's box that had an origin that Ayatah was unsure of. She picked it up, her thumb tracing the strange engravings on the handle. Unlike the other objects, this was not a weapon, but instead featured a bone hilt that was attached to a large, oval flat piece of metal that about the same size as Ayatah's palm. She twirled the object between her fingers, her frown deepening. Not only did she not know where the strange thing came from, but Aya had no clue what language was inscripted into the handle, either. It certainly was not Myrian, nor Common. She was also sure it wasn't Tukant, as she would have expected to recognise at least some of the lettering if it was. Beyond that, there were a dozen languages that it could be.

Ayatah leaned back in her seat, rubbing her eyes tiredly. Beyond rediscovering her birth weapon and spending the majority of the day hunched over her desk, the Myrian was feeling exhausted and mentally drained. There were still a couple of bells until the end of the workday, which for Ayatah could not come quick enough.

She thought briefly of Eyris, as she often did in those moments where her desire to learn and absorb knowledge became a little too... intense. Ayatah closed her eyes, tilting her head backwards and imagined Eyris sitting opposite her. The two would discuss the items Niko had given them, laughing and gossiping about the lives of the individuals who had once owned each object. To know instantly know the history and life of a thing was a fantastical gift -- and one that, for now at least, Ayatah would only learn about through intense study and time.

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