Completed The Long Way Home

Faradae returns from Syliras.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

The Long Way Home

Postby Faradae on February 28th, 2016, 12:27 pm

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Winter 42nd, 515 AV

The night after meeting Alexander Faircroft was a night well-spent, comfortably tucked underneath a mighty pile of blankets and with a belly full of warm food, all the more delicious for the money she had not spent on it, she dreamt of sunlit meadows and apple trees, completely unfazed by the troubles that lay ahead.

When she awoke the following day, she strode out of bed, over to the main room, payed her bills, took a humble breakfast and left before the sun had fully risen. She directed her steps down towards the marketplace, where the first eager vendors were beginning to build up their stands and display their wares. Some merchants were already scanning the tables for good deals, as was the city-guard, lazy-eyed for their lack of sleep. There was no turmoil to be expected on a 5th-bell-market. Still, the nights looked so much more dignified than their apprentices, armour polished and shining, perfect swords dangling at their hips, sheathed in dentless scabbards. Alexander’s rugged version, as well-kept as it may have been, could simply not compete. Faradae half-heartedly scanned the assembled for Vivienne’s fragile figure, but failed to spot the young squire. With a shrug, she redirected her attention towards the growing mass of stalls. She had spent the first of her money earnt on her track on one particular work of leather, the proud result of a leatherworker’s creativity and fine fingertips. To make sure that absolutely nothing would happen to her next delivery, she purchased a tiny pouch from one stand, oiled to be waterproof, designed to contain coins or rare materials. Elsewhere, she bought provisions, a few slices of bread, along with seeds and nuts from a shopkeeper who sold pet-supplies. She tried not to shoot him any offended glares, at least not before they’d agreed on a price.

She returned to ground level and ventured down Winthrop Alley, where she sought out the aforementioned tanner. She still tried to keep the circle of people who knew her true nature relatively small, but sometimes she had no choice but to reveal it. It’s hard to purchase a customized leather harness with a multitude of tiny clasps and latches without bringing the bird to fit it to. Or to don it, for that matter. After she had told him what she was, the man had started to laugh. Once he was done laughing, the crafter’s eyes had widened into small saucers when an actual buzzard had stared accusingly across his counter. Finally, he had agreed to take her special request, for a small price surcharge, of course. They had agreed on five golden mizas for the object of Faradae’s desire, customization and help on departure day included.

When she entered his tidy little workshop that morning, the man looked up from early work and smiled. Apparently he’d given her harness a final polishing. She nodded at him in greeting and strode over to the counter, where she dropped her few purchases. The man put his tools aside and joined her, carefully tucking her money in one pocket, the food into another one. For a moment, he seemed confused at the mass of seeds and nuts, but realization visibly dawned on him when he remembered who his client was.
“Shall we begin?”, he asked, and Faradae nodded again, ducking behind the table to shed her clothes, and re-emerging birdified, hopping closer. The man carefully lopped leather strings around her fragile from, fitting the pieces together, adjusting the latches one last time and checking the buckles over. The process took a couple of chimes in which both were completely silent, the tanner working, the bird sitting as still as possible. When it was finished, the man stepped back, and Faradae flexed her body a few times, extended her wings, pulled them back and tried to get used to the strange extra weight, the second skin attached to her body. When she found everything to her contentment, she cooed thanks at the craftsman, who smiled and opened the door for her. The smallest customer he’d ever had spread her wings and started into the morning air above Stormhold Castle.
Last edited by Faradae on July 9th, 2017, 10:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The Long Way Home

Postby Faradae on March 11th, 2016, 4:11 pm

The eagle rose into a young sky, gowned in the greyed clouds of its predecessors. The air was crisp and chill like the ice crystals it could not wait to taste. There was hoarfrost on each scarce blade of faded grass, waiting to crack under people’s steps, but the bird soon rose too far up to distinguish them. Instead, she directed her gaze towards the horizon, where the rolling hills of the Syliran region communicated a flair that was not hostile at all – from far above, and with a pause from the snowfalls, it was a true winter wonderland. And as Faradae let her eyes wander over the frozen landscape, her sense for freedom and adventure returned.

She had liked Syliras for all its hustle and buzz, for all the people swarming about like ants, for the many districts upon districts, hidden alleyways, backyards and unique apartments, all stowed away in one large citadel. She had loved the underground bazaar with all its colours, the smells of the craftsmen’s district, the half-familiar air of the harbour, so reminiscent of Nyka. And in the few days she had spent exploring, she had hardly noticed that something was missing. Now that she had it back, she knew exactly what it was – spreading her wings, flying as far as her eyes could see, without having to justify who she was or paying careful attention not to stray from social patterns.

The first bells of her journey back were eventless, scenery silently beautiful, the wind ever so slight in her feathers, and her flight was steady. Only the cold bit her, but she had been through worse and it did not bother her enough to justify a break. She knew from all too recent experience that breaks in the wilds turned out to be more trouble than just flying on and skipping rest, oftentimes. So she continued, even after the sun passed its culmination and began its descent in the west. When her wings began to grow weary in their repetitive action, she let the air take her higher and spread them wide to glide over the land. A land, it seemed, that stretched on forever, without ever changing. She knew that eventually, the gentle waves below would turn into water and swamp, a territory she would share with yukmen and worse creatures, an honour she would gladly have missed out on, this time. The knowledge alone that she might not be as safe and alone as she thought would be enough to keep her at a sleep minimum for the next days.

Around evening, the weather condition changed. The clouds covering the wintery sky thickened into an inscrutable coat of dull-grey substance and a wet, uncomfortable haze engulfed the land, hinting at the displeasure that was bound to weigh down a traveller’s body and soul. Faradae decided her day had been long enough, and settled down in a low tree before the landscape had a chance to change along with the weather and give her even more of a headache. She wrapped her wings around her body, hardly noticing the harness anymore, tucked her beak underneath, and managed to catch a few hours of sleep.

The first droplet of rain woke her the next morning, for it toppled from an overhanging branch right onto her head. Faradae shot up, eyes large and alarmed, and fluffed up her plumage when she realized that it had not been a creature of her nightmares that woke her, but harmless nature.

Harmless? It took her five days to realize that nothing was as efficient as nature when it came to exhaustion.
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The Long Way Home

Postby Faradae on January 14th, 2017, 6:29 pm

The rain increased over the next couple of hours and a slow drizzle grew into an enormous storm, much like the one she had faced on her way to Syliras, only wetter. It was whipping her face with the strength of a skilled torturer and hit her fragile wings, slowing her down. Worse than the decrease in speed was the fact that the rain had driven all small animals into their respective burrows, from which they would not re-emerge until the rain subsided. But on Faradae’s grey horizon, the storm’s end was far from revealing itself. She flapped on miserably, well aware that taking a break before noon would simply not do. Her harness chafed slightly against her right flank, and she cursed her own parsimony upon purchasing it. Certainly, her tanner had done his finest, but she could have found one who knew his craft even better. Her safety out here depended on what little equipment she brought, after all, and that was worth her every last coin. Maybe it would yield once she wore it longer, and in drier environment.
The sun had well passed its highest point when the aguja finally succumbed to its exhaustion. Faradae could tell she had not gotten as far as she wished she had, and she didn’t like it one bit. But there was little she could do, so she settled down in the next best overhanging tree and tucked her beak under her feathers.

When she awoke, she could not tell what time it was. The sky’s grey had shifted into a darkness that swallowed the surrounding landscape.
There was a rustle in the bushes beneath her sleeping spot, but she did not care to check what had caused the sound. The memory of yukmen in the moor lurked at the back of her head, an experience that did not call for repetition, not in her current state. Her sleep had brought little relief, she was cold, soaked and hungry. And so she sat, with stiff, unmoving limbs, and waited for sunrise.
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The Long Way Home

Postby Faradae on January 28th, 2017, 5:35 pm

The sun appeared and vanished four more times before something changed, and each time the light seemed a little dimmer, a bit more diffuse. With each passing morn, the cold settled a little deeper into Faradae’s bones, and between little meals of worms, vermin and a scrawny mouse that did not hide in time, her mind had time to loop through a series of worries while her wings flapped uselessly against the wind.

What if she couldn’t make it? What if she had lost the right direction in the storm? It was hard to tell east from west when the sunlight seemed to emanate from glowing clouds all over. When did she have to correct her course northwards? She was slower than she had been on her way to Syliras, naturally, with the weather working against her like this. Moreover, the wind may have carried her closer to the Talderan border than she liked, without her ever noticing. She felt hopeless, and it was not the first time that she wondered just how much longer she could go on like this, if she would ever arrive back at Nyka and whether maybe she would have been better off staying at home in the first place. Travel seemed golden and glorious when viewed in the light of blissful ignorance, but stories did not do the hardships much justice. Nobody talked about those who had gone missing. Those who had set out never to come back. Faradae did not want to be one of these travellers. She wanted to make it back, rest at Nyka for a while and prepare better before setting out again. She had learnt a lesson or two on this journey. All she needed was a chance to make use of the knowledge she had gained. And how shameful would it be to not even finish her first job as a courier? She had thought about officialising this job, maybe drop off a few intra-city deliveries while staying in cities. It would be a way to explore the corners, meet people, and earn some safe mizas along the way and she could take letters and small parcels from one city to another while travelling, like she had done for Imass, and combine passion and work. Delivery by bird was faster than delivery by caravan. People would be interested.

The idea gave her a boost and for the first time in days, but it was not until the mist lifted that she could truly breath freely again. It was cold, still, and her wings damp from the rain, but the storm had dwindled and given way to a clean white sky. She could see for miles. There was a black point in the sky to her left, but far off. It was likely a large bird of prey that she was better off avoiding.

The storm had cost her two days, but it had not driven her far off. She was grateful, what small navigation skill she possessed would hardly have been enough to put her back on track, especially with the stars mostly clouded at night, but she started recognizing rock formations below soon after, some were remarkable enough that she remembered them from her track to Syliras. One, for example, looked like a dog’s head from above, with pines for eyes and a hollow where the nose would have been. She chose this place to rest for the night, sleeping in one of the landmark pines after filling her belly with a mouse her sharp eyes had spotted as she circled.

Five more days passed before Nyka appeared at the horizon, but she had learned to avoid yukmen and the animals that survived in the wild, and stayed away from the ground. She was relieved to see the city she’d grown up in. Perhaps she’d rest here for the remainder of the season.
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The Long Way Home

Postby Rufio on March 23rd, 2017, 10:52 am

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G R A D E



xp

Observation +2
Navigation +2
Logic +1
Planning +1
Endurance +1
Wilderness Survival +1


lores

Faradae: Likes the hustle & buzz of Syliras
No joys found in any city compare to flying
Flying: Gliding on higher air currents
Wilderness Survival: Quality equipment is vital in the wild
Wilderness Survival: Hunting along the way
Navigation: By the sun & stars
Delivery by bird is faster than by caravan
Planning: A niche in the courier profession to fill
Navigation: Picking out landmarks as a guide


penalties

- 5SM for dried goods (nuts & seeds)
- 3CM for few slices of bread


rewards

+ 1lb Dried goods (nuts & seeds)
+ Few slices of bread


  
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