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Kiva goes to the library and learns a thing or two about war.

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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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Postby Kiva on December 22nd, 2015, 5:57 pm

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41st of Winter, 515 A.V
The Valkalah Library

Books and tomes lined the walls in perfect rows all the way to the ceiling. Kiva moved silently, glancing around at the few Akalak sitting in the building with their focus on the words they held. She had read very few books in her life, although she knew how. It was something her mother saw as frivolous. There were always things to do - chores or training, for example. They took priority, so much of her life she dedicated to other things. But having stumbled across such a place... Kiva felt it deemed some investigating. What secrets... what knowledge was there she did not know? What things were so important these blue men felt the need to write down?

As she wondered that, she heard the scratching of a quill, and looked over to find someone copying a text meticulously. Kiva wandered over to the table, blatantly staring at the worker. It took only a tick or two for them to pause in their work, looking up at the woman before them. A hand protectively covered their work, a fact that did not escape Kiva.

"What are you writing?" she asked, leaning forward with a flat expression. The man did not seem intimidated and cleared his throat.

"I am copying these texts. They are old and worn..." he sounded suspicious, carefully eyeing her body language. Kiva leaned back, and he continued, "When the books are nearing the end of their life, we replicate them so they can be read in the future. Have you never been to a library?" He sounded snide.

Kiva narrowed her eyes and the two had a brief staring contest, before she finally admitted, "No. I have had no need."

Her answer seemed to surprise him and his expression softened for a moment, his hand moving slightly. Kiva tried to peek at the words but couldn't make out the common in time. She was rusty.

"Is there something you need?"

Kiva thought very carefully of her next question, "What knowledge is in this place?"

"...Stay here," the copyist set down his quill, standing and slid from his chair. He glanced between the Myrian and his work, but reluctantly turned around and headed off. His footsteps faded on the wooden floors of the library. Kiva used it as an opportunity to move around the desk and read what she could.

The first detail that caught her eyes was the faded lettering. The original copy was indeed worn, the binding in good condition, but the pages looked delicate, as if they would crumble under to much pressure. The second thing was the lovely, and clean handwriting of the copied work. Kiva leaned close, struggling with the first word, "Sp... spirit...spiritism?"

Instantly the memory of ghosts from Black Rock flashed in her head, and she continued her investigation, "Sp... Spiritism is an..." She continued to have trouble, and sighed, "... ancient magic that deals with ghosts, and to the... ex...experi...experienced... the undead."

'Magic?' She started on the next sentence, "Alahean wizards..." Kiva had no idea what an Alahean wizard was, but it didn't deter her, "cre..ated the magic as a way to fight, un...understand, and enslave these... en..enti..entities."

'What is an entity?'
Kiva reread the information again, this time stumbling less, 'A spirit? A being?' Using the logic of the context clues, Kiva decided that was what it meant, and was about to continue reading when she heard footsteps growing louder in the otherwise quiet building.

She straightened up and stepped away from the desk, smiling brightly when the scribe returned with another Akalak in tow. She was being watched and she knew it. She cleared her throat, as the two stopped in front of her.

"Hello," the new man said, extending a large hand, "I am Zandar, the head librarian of this place. Kendalis says you had some questions?"

"Yes," Kiva nodded, looking at his hand in confusion. She tentatively offered hers in return, which he grabbed and shook lightly, "These books... What is in them?"

What a broad question, and yet Kiva didn't know the folly of it. The head librarian motioned around the room, dismissing the scribe, "Perhaps a tour, then?"

Kiva stepped away from the table and nodded, "Very well."
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Postby Eldrid on December 24th, 2015, 9:26 pm

The faint rustling of the pages, the smell the old tomes carried and the gentle peacefulness of the library. All small nuances that usually went unnoticed, Eldrid found them to be some of the greatest comforts in the continent of Mizahar. Granted she had had an unpleasant experience with reading earlier in winter, but over time she had figured out how to live with the abnormality. The grey-winged akvatari hovered through the corridors formed by the large bookshelves in quiet contemplation. She had in her arms, a few books regarding festivals and holidays, as well as a smaller red book about the festival of love specifically and now she roamed the shelves looking for any books the library may have had regarding art and artists. It was as she was reaching for a book with no markings on its spine that she heard the voice. It was a rougher voice than she had become used to in her time at the library. It overwhelmed the usual hushed whispers and low voices quite easily. It wasn't loud per se, it was simply above the normal library tones, and Eldrid's proximity to the main desk assisted her hearing further. The interruption almost tore into Eldrid's usual calm atmosphere through its unusualness. However, as she listened to the voice the reason behind its volume and nature were clear.
"No. I have had no need."
A newcomer, to libraries in general it seemed. At that Eldrid could only marvel, how anyone would ever survive without libraries was beyond her.

Mere moments later she emerged from the bookshelves to ask for assistance. She had certainly had some peculiar conversation with Zandar when she had discovered her ability to read things out of books, he very likely still thought she was crazy, but he still assisted her in locating books when she needed it. Eldrid almost envied his seemingly flawless knowledge of the library and its occupants. He knew every book on every shelf, and exactly what it contained as well. His skill with finding a required book had been described as uncanny by many before Eldrid, and she had to agree. Although that was not quite as strange as the newcomer Eldrid saw as she approached the main desk. A myrian woman, tall and lean with flowing black locks which cascaded from her scalp. Eldrid's first expression was confusion, myrians, in her experience, were not the kind for library visits, not if her encounter with 2 of them a few dozen days prior was anything to judge by. This confusion was soon followed by a small amount of sheepishness. The Akvatari knew this would likely be another conglomeration of staring and curiosity regarding her peculiar physiology. Working at the art gallery had shown her just how few people were actually aware of her kind. Despite this, Eldrid settled upon a somewhat guarded cheerfulness as her final expression.
"Ah . . . Good day miss, good day Zandar. Off on a tour of the library I hear?"
She began, hoping the myrian's presence in the library at least showed some form of culture above what her one myrian sister had demonstrated to Eldrid already.
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Postby Kiva on December 24th, 2015, 10:50 pm

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Kiva allowed herself to be lead by the librarian, keeping close and directing her attention to where he pointed, "This is the non-fiction section. You can find a number of sub categories here. They will be listed clearly on the side of the shelves. Is there a particular subject you would like to research?"

Kiva thought over his question, unsure what to say. She wanted to learn a lot of things, and seeing the vast number of books that seemed to stretch on and on made her feel overwhelmed.

Zandar saw her hesitation and continued, "Books on Akalak culture can be found here, art and sciences are those shelves over there. And the books on war and tactics, has one of the larger sections available. The Akalak are a warrior race. We take both defensive matters and offensive matters seriously. This peaked Kiva's interest and she found herself making a mental note of the layout of the library as they continued their tour.

'They allow this information to be given to their enemies, freely?'
Although not hostile, Kiva was sure Myri wanted to move past Falyndar once the Dhani were eradicated and Zinrah taken. The Charoda would be next, but that would be easy in comparison, as the race was rather docile. Ending the war in Falyndar would likely never happen in her lifetime, but it was in interesting thought.

A cheerful voice tore her from her thoughts, "Ah . . . Good day miss, good day Zandar. Off on a tour of the library I hear?"

Kiva searched for the owner of the voice, going rigid when she laid her dark eyes on the... woman? It was a woman, right? Kiva immediately looked to Zandar to see his expression, who seemed neither disturbed or concerned at the sight. Kiva cleared her throat and nodded, suddenly happy she did not have her kris, least she do something rash and stupid.

Zandar greeted the Akvatari, "Hello, Eldrid. You heard correct. I was showing..." He paused, holding out a hand to the Myrian.

It took her a second to realize he was waiting on an introduction, "Kiva." she muttered, completely forgetting to say her clan name. She took a step away from the Akalak, her eyes locked on the new race.

"Yes, I was showing Kiva the books. What do you have today?" Zandar surely knew the answer, but a smile tugged at his lips as he waited for the Akvatari's response.

Kiva on the other hand, blurted out her own question, "Where are you from?"
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Postby Eldrid on December 25th, 2015, 7:01 pm

At the first question Eldrid smiled to Zandar and began lifting a book off her pile of future reading.
"Well . . . I've got-"
"Where are you from?"
Eldrid stopped as the question cut across her own reply. She looked to the Myrian with a small sheepish smile,
"Oh um . . . I am from Abura on the Akvatar Isle. . . . And you?" Eldrid asked, speaking the question as an unintended reflex of courtesy. She cleared her throat softly and turned towards Zandar again after the Myrian had replied, if she had,
"Well, you know, just a few more books on Riverian festivals." She said as she held out the books one at a time.
"Outsider's guide to Riverfall's festivals. . . Riverfall, a Citizen's view . . . " She continued, a blush forming as she said the title of the third, small, red book.
"Perfume and Seduction: The day of the Festival of love . . ." She murmured quietly as her blush grew stronger before she tucked it between her other books.
"Work reading . . . Festival exhibition and whatnot." Eldrid said dismissively as she held her books closer to her chest.
"And what information are you looking for miss Kiva?"
She asked with a small smile.
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Postby Kiva on December 30th, 2015, 7:56 pm

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The fact that there was an animal and person fused together and that it spoke common tongue was fascinating. This... thing was from Abura, wherever that was. Kiva looked around her, suddenly overwhelmed with all the knowledge around her. She had expected it, but... perhaps it hadn't sunk in. Were there books on creatures like this one?

It addressed her, asking about her own home city. Kiva answered honestly, "Taloba," The Myrian didn't elaborate on what part of Mizahar it was in. How could anyone not know where the sacred city, home of the goddess queen, was? Her dark eyes still calculated the animal.

The creature conversed with the librarian and Kiva openly smiled. How funny that this thing could be interested in things like love and festivals. Could it dance? ...How? Kiva imagined and Akvatari trying to move gracefully and stifled a laugh. When it addressed her, Kiva began to circle her in an unabashed fashion, "Tactical war books," Such a Myrian response, "Books on plants, and the gods," she paused when she saw what looked like delicate wings. Could these things hold such a thing up? She opened her mouth, about to ask a blunt, and potentially rude question regarding the Akvatari's culture, but Zandar cleared his throat.

"Perhaps the two of you would study well together. There are many books that still need to be sorted back to the shelves, and copyists to oversee. Eldrid, would you mind showing Kiva?"

Kiva's eyes snapped to the Akalak, raising a thin brow. An interesting idea, and being alone would allow her to watch Eldrid. She certainly felt no threat from her. Could the land seal even catch her? She looked so very helpless.

A brief image of the Akvatari trying to move across land made her grin, and like a cat looks at a canary, Kiva looked at Eldrid, "Yes," she agreed.

This was going to be interesting.
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Postby Eldrid on December 30th, 2015, 9:26 pm

Eldrid had expected the Myrian's reply to her rather redundant question. Either Taloba or somewhere around Falyndar. What she had not quite expected was the degree of . . . What Eldrid hoped was curiosity the strange, orange-yellow skinned woman demonstrated in the young Akvatari. Ever since Eldrid had bid farewell to her mother back in Abura, she had found plenty of people who seemed taken aback by her appearance. Many were merely surprised, while the more extreme saw her as an affront to their world. What she hated about all of these moments was the singular feeling of helplessness which welled up inside her. Whenever she fell under scrutiny she longed to hide under her toga, which she left at home these days after its modifications. To Eldrid, the prolonged scrutiny always reminded her of the bizarre manner her kind came to be. Simply as they were, and nobody understood where they had appeared from or what had created them. Even now, as the Myrian circled her, giving her typical Myrian responses to her questions, Eldrid felt a burning urge to yell at the Myrian, as she felt often. She had not chosen her complicated and strange form, and neither did any god which walked this plane. In this immense, beautiful riddle of life, where creatures existed in mutual dependence, Eldrid felt there was no place for her kind within the intricate verse and wordplay of the world's enigma. Not when her kind looked like something created by a blind mage using morphing.

Eldrid could not describe the frustration which filled her when others brought her into this situation. There was nobody to hold responsible for the way she was, and although she had long since come to terms with the difficulty of land based travel, she wished others would come to terms with her kind. They knew Dhani, strange shapeshifting snake people, yet nobody treated a Dhani like some strange new insect. The akalak themselves were far from whatever normal could be judged as during these post valterran times. And yet, here was this . . . Cannibal, scrutinizeing her. Eldrid felt a small flickering flame of anger, the culmination of all her frustrations, before a torrent of melancholia crashed down upon the singular spark. For while other races where indeed peculiar, it was not as if any of them struggled to move across a dry patch of dirt. Every other race had a form, a definite humanoid form they could take on, Kelvic and Dhani slightly more temporarily than others, but nevertheless they had it. Eldrid on the other hand had nothing like that, she had an upper body, a freakish tail, wings, an inability to do anything anyone actually considered useful, and no god who actually wished to call the Akvatari their own.

Eldrid felt too crushed in that moment to disagree with what Zandar said about them studying together. She did however notice the hungry look in Kiva's eyes and would not have been surprised if the Myrian coughed up a feather or two right then. Despite this she merely released a tired sigh and nodded,
"Fair enough, I suppose I can show you around. . . "
She said in a tone of forced neutrality, she would have to keep the bundle of emotion she had just worked up out of sight, at least until she got back to her apartment. There she would be able to write or paint or draw. Maybe she'd enter something for the festival this time. Eldrid's intricately patterned wings fluttered as they lifted their charge into the air. Off the ground Eldrid was in one of her elements, gliding gracefully between the wider corridors and looking for the specific shelves they needed. While another might have seen the redeeming side to an Akvatari's flight, Eldrid was oblivious to this side of the coin. It was simply another feature for the world to stare at.
"So, is there any particular reason you seek books containing tactical knowledge? Or might it be best I don't ask that question?"
Eldrid asked, her voice carrying a slightly sulky tone to it as she ducked down one of the bookshelf corridors, her own research books still held within her arms. The way an entire race like the Myrians could have an almost racial obsession with war was indicative to Eldrid of the world she resided in. A world where violent factions fought against each other for scraps of a long burnt out world like a pack of Dire Wolves competing for a rotting, maggot covered carcass. She sighed once more as they reached the section she had been aiming for. It was quite a ways away from Riverian customs and festivals, but the military reading was not far from the history section. Her time searching for stories to inspire her own art helped her recall that much.
"Here are the books on war, war tactics, weapons, general strategies, etcetera . . . Things you know well I'm sure. I think there are some books on some past Riverfall battles in the history section . . . "
Eldrid said as she gestured to the shelf and landed, shuffling backwards slightly to give Kiva better access to the shelves. She stayed silent for a while, contemplating the need for all these books about slaying. Quietly and unbidden, a small curiosity snuck into her mind as she gazed at the Myrian. Eldrid's left arm was wrapped around her waist while her other was used to rest her chin upon her hand. She had not had much chance to learn about Myrians, or their habits, but she did not believe anyone could devote their life to war. Certainly there were cold-hearted people out there, and probably within Riverfall too, but even these stoney beings only committed war for selfish reasons, and often had desires and needs outside of battle.
". . . Do you . . . Ever get tired of war? Fighting in general I mean. Do you ever take time off from being . . . Violent? Perhaps pursue something like art, or music . . . I'd say reading, but if that were the case you would spend more time in libraries." Eldrid asked, feeling a small thrill from the candidness of her question, but for the most part, she felt imminent satisfaction of hungry curiosity.
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Postby Kiva on December 31st, 2015, 5:37 pm

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oocReally loved your post. :) Kiva's going to have to go on a little rant.

There was an apprehensiveness to Eldrid's response; she was weary of the Myrian - of the meeting. Something bothered her, Kiva could tell, but she wasn't sure of what. Was it her behavior, of the reputation of her kind? Kiva watched as Zandar's back retreated down the silent hallway, and turned to look at the Akvatari beginning to open brilliantly delicate wings.

Kiva had seen many like them, albeit on a smaller scale; colorful butterflies and exotic moths were common in Falyndar's jungle. It was very cool to see life sized versions of them, and when Eldrid rose to the skies, Kiva knew that must have been where her grace came in. She seemed to fit there better, even with the cumbersome lower end. Eldrid seemed almost irritated to be given Kiva to guide around, so when she weaved in and out of the bookshelves with the tan woman in tow, the tone of her question did not surprise her. Kiva grinned.

Best not to ask? Did she think she was going to snap her neck for a simple question? That reading these books had such a secretive meaning that she would hide her motives? Kiva's smile remained and her eyes trailed along the spines of the books as they walked. She decided to answer the question with one of her own, "What do you know of my world, Eldrid?"

There were many reasons. To learn about the enemy, to survive. War was everywhere, in every corner of Mizahar, someone was fighting something. Fighting for something. Even the gods battled against one another. So what answer did she want first?

When they arrived in the books, Kiva learned close, noting the subjects as Eldrid listed them. She nodded, and reached out to grab one. Kiva read the title, running a hand over the cover tenderly, "Basic War & Tactics: Defeating The Enemy". It seemed like a perfect start, so she took a few steps away, seeking somewhere to sit.

Kiva nearly forgot about Eldrid as she turned to the first page, but the candidness of the hybrid surprised her. Did she get tired of war? Of being violent? What a dangerous question to ask. In all right, Kiva should have been offended. Was this... thing, which was so ill adapted for most environments, criticizing her?

Gracefully, Kiva lowered her book and gave a long, steady stare at the Akvatari, "No." The rush of battle, of living to see another day, she would never tire of that, "You tread dangerous ground, deyhan, and you know little."

Kiva shut her book with a sharp snap, and moved closer to the woman, "Let me tell you a story. A girl is outside playing when she hears cries for help. She runs to see what is wrong and finds a childhood friend dying in the dirt. Do you know what he looked like?" Kiva smirked bitterly at the memory, "A deflated water skin. A Dhani murdered him. His body had been crushed, and his insides were falling out. Do you want to know the best part?"

Kiva moved even closer so that she was inches from the Akvatari, "He was still alive, making terrible noises when his mother came to find him. So, no, Eldrid," she emphasized the name, eyes narrowing, "I do not tire of fighting, of defending my land, my family, and my people. If I am violent, so be it, I will fight till Myri calls me home, and Dira guides me."

Kiva pulled away, "Would you ask the same question to the Akalak? Are they not warriors too? Look around you. Is this not their library, with their books? They train for battle... But we are the monsters to you? The savages?" The tall woman shook her head, darkly amused, "I have danced, and played music."

To prove her point, Kiva reached into the bag that hung from her shoulder, rummaging for a moment before pulling out a journal and flipping to a page with some rough sketches of foreign flowers on the pages, "I have drawn, and sculpted. I have practiced magic. The men of Taloba are wonderful craftsmen, but what do you know of that? I am followed in the streets by blue guards, and not because I have broken any of these foolish laws. They are looking for an excuse to enslave me. They say the Akalak save slaves and free them, but why do they frame young women into crimes and raise their debts? So that they can bid on them, rape them, and if their unlucky, kill them. Some volunteer, but very few. The Akalak put a pretty name on it. Nakivak."

"Now," Kiva tossed her journal on a nearby table and went to slide into a chair. She reopened the book on tactics and started skimming the pages, "Do you have any more questions, Eldrid of Abura or would you like to start reading?"
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Postby Eldrid on January 1st, 2016, 8:40 pm

Eldrid gave Kiva a small, curt reply to the latter's questioning answer.
"I know about as much about your world as you know of mine in the chaotic steeples of Abura."
She replied softly, letting the line of questioning die as they approached the shelves intended. After her own blatant questioning provoked a rather upset reply from the Myrian Eldrid felt a small surge of some strange emotion, a revelation or a desire to discuss an idea possibly. Either way, she also felt many other things during Kiva's speech.

To the delicately built Akvatari, everything Kiva mentioned had two-sides. While the young boy Kiva mentioned had died a terrible death, and the death had caused grief to many close ones, there was no guarantee the Kiva's own violence did not provoke the same grief from her victim's relatives. She said nothing though, not until Kiva had finished speaking, for her, this was not an argument. As much as Kiva may have seen herself as wronged or offended, Eldrid saw it as learning, with more emotional attachment than most topics. The art though, surprised Eldrid and grabbed her curiosity firmly by the scruff of its neck before dragging it out into the open. First though, Eldrid had points of her own to convey.

"I would ask the same questions of anyone who would take a creature such as myself seriously. Your race has a fearsome reputation yes, and yet it is not you who sends out your young ones to go hunt creatures simply because they hunt you from time to time. You say I know little, and while I do not know what this word, Deyhan, means, I know far more than you think. My knowledge is merely different."
Eldrid stated in her softened voice while she watched Kiva browsing the books.
"Entertain a tale of my own if you will.
Many, many years ago, there lived a small group of creatures in a forest. A lion, proud and strong, a horse, skilled and dependable, an eagle, free as the sky, a snake, cunning and deceptive, a wolf, fearsome and awe-inspiring and a badger, quiet and docile. Between these creatures there was balance, fighting did not consume all they did, but it was not absent in their lives. All, even the snake and the wolf, worked to create a sanctuary for the creatures. A space where they would be safe from outsiders who did not believe in their balance, and while the snake was never fully trusted, she always came through when it mattered. Life continued like this for many seasons. . . "
Eldrid paused as she released a small sigh.
"Until sanctuary fell apart. A fire, from careless men, tore through the forest. Destroying the safety the creatures had built. The creatures survived in body, but all had been changed by the catastrophe. None more so than Badger. The fire had burnt deep into his burrow, blinding him and scarring him with deep agony. The once quiet, docile beast raged uncontrollably. Lion sought to protect his own, using whatever he could to keep Badger away from his young. Snake grew greedy, and murderous, for she had access to all the burrows of the creatures of the glade. All but Badger's. With sleek silence she infiltrated these burrows and took what she liked, and whatever life made things inconvenient. Eagle took to the skies and attempted to remain aloft forever, away from the chaos below as wolf began looking for ways to grow the territory of his pack. Horse remained perhaps most as he was before, although now he feared snake, badger and wolf far more, for the proud mane of Lion had survived the fire, and made false promises of strength and friendship.

A single fire had torn apart everything these animals had worked for, and thrown them at each other's throats. What nobody had expected, was the small butterfly, released from her cocoon soon after the fire had scorched the land. She flitted around the glade, heartbroken at the chaos and pain which surrounded all. And yet, no matter where she brought her beautiful wings to rest, all dismissed her as too small to help. They admitted she was a pretty thing to look at from the right angle, but none wished for her to join them. So while Wolf fought, Lion acted brave, Badger raged, Snake lied, Eagle flew and Horse remained where he was safe, Butterfly drifted, flowing pointlessly where ever the wind deigned to take her, for everywhere was the same. Scorched ground and fighting."

Eldrid finally drew her story to a close, gazing at Kiva quietly before she spoke again,
"Fearsome wolves have nothing to prove to little butterflies. But little butterflies are always grateful for any flower they can find in a burnt world."
She said and gestured towards where Kiva had stowed her diary. To Eldrid, the drifting she underwent had a reason, albeit one she had given it for her own sanity's sake. Kiva had just shown her one part of that reason on those journal pages.
"You are no more monster than any midnight skinned man. More intimidating if you choose to be, definitely. But . . . "
Eldrid paused as she looked down towards her books sullenly as she opened one and caressed the page,
"In a world of violence, it does not make one a monster to indulge in violence. It merely makes others weary, even if they too entertain violence. It is rarer, and surprisingly more monstrous, to forget violence. If an Akalak attempted to forcefully enslave you, he might as well draw a blade across his own throat. But what of those who are inept at combat? Who cannot even prove themselves to be worthy of being seen as an equal?"
Eldrid's voice carried a dark edge to it. She showed no fear, nor did she show teary eyed sadness. Instead, her words were edged with a thick obsidian clarity. Of a truth others may not wish to see. She knew the world would never accept her kind as they did others. Akvatari were always a sideshow of sorts, pleasantly diverting, but ultimately useless.

Eldrid inhaled sharply and approached the shelf, pulling a few books off about Environmental Attrition, Battlefield Movement and Military Traditions.
"Yes, let us get to reading then. I believe you've heard more than your fair share of Akvatari thoughtfulness. I'm told others find it . . . Unsettling."
She said quieter than before and carried the books to a small lecturn-like table which was illuminated by candles.
"Now, where would you like to start Kiva?"
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Postby Kiva on January 20th, 2016, 11:42 pm

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There was no point in arguing with fools, or at least no point in arguing those who knew not what they spoke of. Listening to Eldrid's story, Kiva knew that this over-sized butterfly with a tail, would never understand her way of life - not until she suffered loss, struggled to survive, and watched those she loved be ripped away from her. Eldrid believed this to be a burnt world where butterflies were thankful for flowers, an expression the Myrian took literally. Did she not know of the jungle where nature ruled? Where flowers and butterflies thrived? Beauty and lush resources... these were not the things they were destroying, but those that threatened to take it away. If the butterfly could fight for its flower... wouldn't it?

"I find it irritating," Kiva said bluntly and in her native tongue. Her dark eyes washed over the information before her, flipping a page or two, spotting a carefully drawn illustration, crafted from thin ink lines. After a moment, Kiva decided to answer Eldrid's question, "I will start here. Those books you have... what is so special about Akalak festivals? Or do you want to fall in love?"

As she listened for the Akvatari's response, Kiva continued towards her own goals. On the paper before her, boxes and arrows pointed this way and that. The Myrian carefully read the title of the sub section :
"Tactical Maneuver - Flanking".
    Advantages:
  • Possibility of consuming an opposing army's reserves.
  • Offers less risk of disaster.

    Disadvantages:
  • Risk of counter stroke against a weakened center, and other flank.

The Myrian reread many of the words, sounding them out in her head, and then dipped the quill in ink, wiping off the excess and copying the information to her journal as a way to remember it. Her handwriting was all over the places, but she spent her efforts on making sure she had all the details, and that everything was labelled. She even started drawing ugly faces on the parts meant to show the Dhani army, having a momentary flashback to when she was a child being taught by instructors and letting her mind wander.

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Tactical Advantage

Postby Eldrid on January 25th, 2016, 4:15 pm

The Myrian had muttered something unintelligible. Although muttered was not quite the correct word. The Myrian had spoken irritably. What she had said was completely lost on Eldrid thanks to the Myrian mother tongue. The tone however salvaged some of the meaning, and Eldrid could tell what the Myrian thought of her story. A soft sigh escaped from the Akvatari's lips as her worldviews came down around her once more. Immense, cynical walls created to keep the more fragile feelings from being harmed. For what else had she expected? Who would care about something as trivial as a painting or a drawing? What did pretty words matter when compromising material was worth so much more? As Eldrid's mood sank once more she gave a wry chuckle in reply to the question. Love was something the Akvatari had always struggled to find merit for. It was just a mutual waste of time between two creatures driven by their base desires and a stubborn belief that they were better than mere Zith.
"If anything, 'love' is a fictitious belief this city encourages . . . In a way. But no, I am not looking to fall into anything. Especially not love. I have employment at the art gallery, and I am supposed to set up exhibitions themed towards the festival. As for what is special about these strange festivals, not much really." Eldrid said quietly and dismissively as she placed her books down. She attempted to sneak a peek at the Myrian's notes, unsurprised to find what she would describe as a scrawl. She folded her arms and rolled her eyes, "The beautyfest and the festival of love are nothing more than an excuse for men to bed a drunken or desperate female. The festival of hope is merely a way to celebrate that said fornication went as expected and the festival of wine is a reason to drink wine. . ." She muttered moodily. The depressing reality which hid behind Riverfall's glittering exterior pressing down on her.

And yet I spend a good span of my day studying this . . . False happiness. . . Why do I do this? Eldrid thought as she patiently awaited a reaction from the Myrian. What occured to the grey winged akvatari was that the only reason she had taken a job at the art gallery was because it was the most bearable place she could have gone to avoid being asked to leave the city . . . Or being cuffed for not paying her rent. The art she purveyed, was not her own. Well, not unless she actually made something for one of the festivals, but she could not pretend someone would buy one of her pieces. They were novice works. Paintings and drawings created by a beginners hand. She had a soft spot for her own poetry, but that didn't mean she could sell any of it. It was poetry, not paintings. People did not pay to read the mental musings of a floating freak.
"The artists find beautiful ways to portray these holidays though. And we have the festival of love exhibition coming up. Hence the bright read book about love. You should visit the gallery some time. It might be interesting to see the work of some other sketchers." She said to the Myrian with a nonchalant shrugged, attempting to break out of the downspiral she had found herself in once more. Eldrid pulled a random book out of the shelf and turned it over in her hands. Without reading the cover she spoke once more to the Myrian,
"And what do you do with your days of being escorted around like a hardened criminal? Any hobbies other than drawing?" She asked as she slowly paged through the book. The paragraphs were war tactic related, and made very little sense to the artist. Whatever it was that a vanguard had to do with a hammer an anvil execution did not sound like it would make for pleasant painting.
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