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The trials and tribulations of leadership.

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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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An Early Resignation

Postby Eosi on February 26th, 2016, 7:26 pm

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90th day of Winter, 515 AV


"I know."

The Akalak held his face in one hand, rubbing circles into his temples. Kara hovered at the back of the room. Deven was nowhere to be seen, though this wasn't entirely unusual. Still, the city was afire with the news that one of the expeditions has been wiped out almost entirely, save for those Eosi managed to bring back. He most certainly knew she'd be there sooner or later.

"Look, we realize that this is hard for you. It's hard on all of us." Maltar said. His eyes were screwed shut. The loss of life had taken its toll on the entire society. Both men had lost cousins in the outing. If Deven hadn't pulled out at the last moment, he might've died too.

"Just... please reconsider." He looked at her gravely. "You have a few weeks, at least."

The residual pain from her injury surged through her body. She winced. Truthfully, she shouldn't even be out of bed. But Eosi was one of the few remaining who could help catalog the items they brought back.

Light filtered in through the high windows. It danced along the inside of the domed ceiling and along the whitewashed walls.

"I will if it makes you happy. But I think it's time, Maltar. Remember, we talked about this".

Which was true. After meeting with Kavala, it'd become clear to Eosi that she would be making a transition. The bottom line was that she was not her Mother. Eosi was a woman of faith and fire. She had no real passion for looking toward the past.

Maltar nodded. He looked older somehow. Kara frowned deeply. Her brow was creased with worry. Eosi offered her a small smile, but the expression didn't touch her eyes.

He rose from his chair and left her office, leaving the two women alone. Kara moved to take his place. She'd delivered her baby with only a few complications and spent the past year or so pregnancy free, though it was only a matter of time between her two patrons.

"How are you feeling?" She asked sympathetically. With anybody else, Eosi wouldn't even bother to respond. Kara was a special exception. It wasn't difficult to see why the two Akalak loved her.

"Like shit." Eosi said. She winced as another wave of pain washed over her. It would be hard to use her arm, so she had asked for Kara's assistance.

"I heard you had no choice. That's what they said. Them that lived, anyway." Kara still kept the little affectation of speech that Eosi found so endearing.

"I had a choice. There's always a choice." Eosi said, but didn't elaborate further. Her mouth was turned down, in a grimace.

"Is it true.... That you rode up to the gates on the back of a giant bear?" Kara asked, the smallest hint of a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.

Eosi chuckled.

"Yeah, it's true. Anyway, let's grab some paper and get started. The artifacts should be over there."

Most of the horses had run away, but those they'd recovered had a few pieces from the ruins left in the saddlebags. Many of those pieces had been broken. But there were a few essentials that needed to be seen to.

Eosi knew she'd feel better if she were able to do something. She wasn't in the best position to go walking around town, so it'd be a few days until she could pay her condolences. The healers that'd seen to her did a fine job of patching up her injuries. Now all she had to do was stay still long enough for them to heal.

The staying still part of it all seemed the most challenging.
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An Early Resignation

Postby Eosi on September 26th, 2016, 8:52 pm

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Site Name & Number: Iysan Ruins, R20.

Relic Number: 332

Type of Site: Dwelling, Undetermined.

Type of Relic: Yellowware Bowl, Food Prep/Consumption

General Location: Located miles east of Riverfall, along the Bluevein River. Survey began late Winter, ended days later. No nearby landmarks. Soil type is old alluvial.

Present Condition: Poor condition. During an unexpected flight from local predators, the relic was damaged. There is currently a crack down the middle and several elements along the edges of the bowl were lost.

Method of Collection: Shovel test pits; sampling.

Analysis & Recommendations: This yellowware bowl is only slightly larger than its contemporary cousins, about seven inches in diameter. It shows signs of wear inside, presumably from use and has flecks of meal stuck to the bottom. Possibly used for food preperation rather than eating. It is recommended for archiving, to be referenced later if further study is needed.

References: Archaeology in 500 AV by Avala Welch, The Riverfall Antiquities Guide to Data Collection by Malthar and Earthenware & You: A History by Ertuk the Golden

Date Recorded: 90th Day of Winter, 515 AV

Eosi buried her head in her hands; she was instantly repaid with pure agony. The burning in her forearm set her eyes to watering. With her good hand, she cast the quill against the desk, letting out a stream of expletives so foul, they almost turned the paper brown. It was easy to forget the extent of her injuries, because her arm defaulted to a dull throb whenever she wasn't using it.

Kara helped to tag the artifacts, cite the sources the needed and take them to their rightful place, but classifying them was Eosi's gig. Which required her to write. But when your alternate hand is badly injured, every little movement can be agony. Especially but not limited to gestures of exasperation.

"Are you okay?" Kara asked, reflexively.

"No, gods damn it." Eosi grumbled, before she finally managed to get a hold of her temper. She inhaled deeply a few times, counting backwards from ten with every breath. Her nostrils flared as her chest rose and fell. The pain was searing, but it could be endured.

"I'm sorry," she said finally. Kara looked at her with sympathy in her eyes.

"Are you really leaving?" The secretary asked. It was precisely the question she'd been hoping to avoid. Eosi wasn't in the habit of explaining her motivations.

There was a thick veil of silence between them. Then finally, she answered.

"Yes, I am." She said. "But not because of this. It's been...." Her woodland eyes traced the lines in the desk.

"It's been coming for awhile," she finished lamely. Eosi's eyes darted up to meet hers, filled with sadness and regret. So many things were changing. Her job was the last to be left behind.

"But you'll still come up drinking sometimes, right?" Kara suggested, hopefully.

A breathy little chuckle escaped Eosi's lips unbidden. As ever, Kara knew how to make her laugh.

"Yeah," she offered. "Wouldn't miss it."

The work continued between them. They cataloged another relic and then another. Out of the hundreds of bits and pieces they'd managed to dig up, only twenty or thirty remained and even then, most of them had been dashed to pieces. The whole thing made Eosi sick.

Site Name & Number: Iysan Ruins, R20.

Relic Number: 333

Type of Site: Dwelling, Undetermined.

Type of Relic: Container (Aqua Glass), Grooming/Health

General Location: Located miles east of Riverfall, along the Bluevein River. Survey began late Winter, ended days later. No nearby landmarks. Soil type is old alluvial.

Present Condition: Condition is near unsalvageable. During an unexpected flight from local predators, the relic was shattered beyond recognition. The bottle is in nine different shards and is still incomplete. We have thus far been able to reconstruct what we can, but the extent of the damage is irreversible.

Method of Collection: Geophysical survey; ground penetration via auristics.

Analysis & Recommendations: This presumably glass druggist bottle is unfathomable in purpose, destroyed as it is. Only Lykata has revealed the previous owners to be human in origin. The bottom resembles previous artifacts we've found, hence the inference, but we are unable to conclude anything at this time. The materials are recommended to be archived for later reference, in case cross referencing is needed.

References: Archaeology in 500 AV by Avala Welch, The Riverfall Antiquities Guide to Data Collection by Malthar and Pre-Valterrian Pharmaceuticals, a Speculative Report by Thomas Taltu

Date Recorded: 90th Day of Winter, 515 AV


Eosi peered at the shards of the glass bottle that lay on the desk. They'd managed to piece what little they could together, but ultimately it was another casuality, just of a different kind.

It'd been a good find, too. The first wave of the expedition were surface surveys, then STPs, where they'd dig a series of pits in promising looking areas. In-between the two phases, they'd have aurists and the like come in to do non-invasive searches called 'geophysical surveys,' to see if they could detect any differences in the ambient energies of a given test site.

This bottle had been the first thing they found during that phase. Eosi remembered the excitement they'd all felt when they'd found it. If they'd managed to bring it back in tact, they might have even learned more from it. But even with auristics, the impressions were now distorted. All the associated memories more closely resembled the flight and inevitable death of the expedition than its previous purpose, or its owners.

Only through the use of Lykata did they manage to divine anything at all. As far as they could tell, it was just a regular druggist bottle. But Eosi still saw it as a symbol of the dead dreams of those who weren't with them any longer. They'd died with the hope that it meant something. Because of her, they weren't there to make the discovery that really, it was just a bottle. They wouldn't live to research another day.

Eosi sighed. This is why she had to leave. This place was haunted now.
Last edited by Eosi on October 6th, 2016, 2:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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An Early Resignation

Postby Eosi on September 27th, 2016, 12:06 pm

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It took them around two hours to complete what once would've been two or three days work. Eosi did her best not to ruminate. After the all years of ruminating about Leo, she'd finally developed better ways to cope. Most of them involved prayer.

'Ivak, King of Flame. Please grant me a heart that endures,' she mouthed, finishing up the label for the last artifact. It helped her to sidestep the broken image of Palo as it tried to take hold of her mind.

R-350
Structural/Hardware
Ferrous Cut Nail


Once they attached the label to the misshapen piece of metal, all that remained was the task of indexing what they'd found. This would be one of the final things she did at the society. There would be no planning the next expedition, enduring the countless requisition requests or moving items in and out of the gallery. The only things left for her were paying her respects to the families of the fallen, updating the museum and cleaning out her desk.

Kara seemed to share this sense of finality. There was a sad look about her eyes.

SUMMARY OF ARTIFACTS BY GROUP, WINTER 90 515 AV

DescriptionTotalMNIPercentage of MNI
Activites 16 5 10.7
Domestic 38 17 51.8
Indefinite Use 22 2 10.7
Personal 19 8 12.5
Structural 5 3 14.3


FINAL COUNT
TotalMNIPercentage of MNI
100 35 100.0


That was it then. They counted every little piece for their totals, then delineated each one that contributed to a single item for the MNI, then added up the percentages and finally they were done. Days of work, countless lives and all for thirty five measley artifacts. All for a bunch of "broken chamberpots," as Leo once said. Some good this fixation with the past had wrought them.

Eosi sighed. A few tendrils of her copper hair had come loose from their bun and now clung to the sweat dewing at her forehead. Her eyes were tired from hours spent focusing on tiny print. As if to emphasize this point, Kara yawned.

"Well, looks like we're done here." She slid her chair back and as she did, grimaced from the renewed pain. Having sat still for so long also gave her an added stiffness. Kara moved to help her, but Eosi raised a hand to caution her away.

"I'm fine. I'll be making my way back shortly," she said.

"Would you like me to come with you?" Kara volunteered.

"No, no." Eosi said. "That's alright."

With no preamble whatsoever, the door burst open. Both women turned to see Deven make his appearance at last. He swaggered unsteadily into the room, smelling like a still. His eyes appeared haunted, his gaze sharper than a obsidian blade.

"So that's it then?" He said, taking a step forward. "You're gonna lead half the damn place to the slaughter, then leave?"

Oh, no. It wasn't Deven. It appeared they were dealing with his dark brother, Blantri. It made sense; the loss of his cousin was difficult to bear. Blantri would be better equipped to handle it, if only just.

Eosi gripped the edge of the desk to keep from stumbling backward. Now was not a good time. Her head still throbbed from a day spent out of bed. She prayed to Ivak for strength, with the hope that she might harness her some inner fire if she happened to need it.

Kara looked nervous. She stood between the two. Deven was her patron but Eosi was her friend. Her earthen colored eyes were narrowed, brows raised in alarm.

"Blantri. I'm sorry for your losses. I'm sorry I couldn't save them," Eosi said, throat thick with supressed emotion. Everyone grieved in their own way.

He spat against the pristine wall. Yep, definitely drunk. Kara wrinkled her nose in disgust.

"Yeah right," he drawled. "Should've been a Navikak," he said. "That's about all you're good for. At least then the only person you'd kill is yourself."

Eosi did not allow him to hurt her. Most of what he said wasn't meant. Even if it were, it could not penetrate the thick coat of armor that she kept to guard her heart. She peered back at him then with an expression made of stone. Kara seemed appalled.

"I can't bring them back," she said. There was a crackle of feeling in her voice. "I tried to save them, but I failed. Denying me your forgiveness won't heal you and it won't bring them back."

Blantri didn't seem phased. For a few moments he peered at her, scornfully. But after a minute or two he shook he head, as if unable to think of anything else to add.

"You're lucky you're a woman, Barlowe. I'd knock your fucking teeth in, if I could."

Eosi sighed.

"I hope you change your mind, Blantri. I've enjoyed the years we've spent together." She offered, quietly.

He laughed, nearing hysteria.

"Yeah, fuck you too." He wiped his mouth on the back of his sleeve. It appeared his need to confront her had been satisfied. "C'mon Bloomsheart. Let's go."

He turned on his heel and left.

Kara spared her a sympathetic glance before leavingt. More than likely, he needed someone to see him home. If Kara had stayed, it would only have served to complicate things. Eosi nodded her direction and gave a small wave of goodbye.

To think, this kind of scorn was only the beginning. She swallowed down a stab of anxiety and walked out the door.
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An Early Resignation

Postby Faradae on May 14th, 2017, 11:34 am

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Grades withheld: You've been inactive since fall. Please send me a message if you return so I can grade this thread for you.

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