Completed Tangled

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Tangled

Postby Aladari Coolwater on April 22nd, 2016, 10:06 pm

14th of Spring, 516 AV

It was always said that where there was smoke there was fire. Similarly, Aladari found, where there were nets, there were knots.

The Vantha cursed heavily under her breath as she wrestled with her one and only fishing net. Luckily, the docks of Sunberth were filled to the brim with sailors, gamblers, and other rowdy types, so no one seemed to spare a second glance at the irritated Vantha. However, if anyone had noticed, Aladari might have accepted help then, for she was having an awful time.

She had owned this net for years, and the rope had begun to wear thin. This meant that she had had to tie extra knots to keep the net's strength. Already, the net was somewhat of a hodgepodge. It didn't help that the knots which originally comprised the fishing net were far too easily confused with the more recent knots, and so she had virtually no clue where to begin the untangling that had occurred last time she stuffed it away under her bed.

She poked at what she thought were unnecessary knots with her fingernails, trying to pry the rope apart from itself. This effort granted her three broken nails and only one knot loosened. She struggled on with this task impatiently for no more than ten chimes before she could no longer stand it. Instead, she stood to shake the net out, trying to get it to lay flat in front of her. Once this was accomplished (for the most part), she then went on to try and fold the net over on itself so she could pick it up. It wouldn't matter too much about the knots, she figured, as long as it would function. Picking it up at each of the weighted corners, she looked at it for a moment. She guessed that the net, while still a mess, should still hold fish long enough for her to retrieve them.

So, ever so carefully, Aladari drug the net behind her and waded into the water. She held the thing above her head and waited for a chime, so that the fish in the area would calm down and return after her stomping through their homes. Finally, when she felt adequate time had passed, she tossed it into the water with a grunt. The net spread out as it flew, and landed upon the surface relatively quickly. The weights on the corners sunk the net in ticks- in theory, before the fish could get away.

But when Aladari rushed to retrieve her net, all she found were two small fish, not the size of her palm. And they were stuck in a mess of a net to boot. They would no doubt take several chimes to get out of there, and already her prime time for fishing was slipping away. She let out a long, exasperated groan and splashed her hands about in the water.

Can't I ever catch a break?
Last edited by Aladari Coolwater on June 8th, 2016, 6:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Aladari Coolwater
Rock the boat.
 
Posts: 481
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Joined roleplay: March 8th, 2016, 3:26 am
Location: Syliras
Race: Human, Vantha
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Medals: 4
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Tangled

Postby Aladari Coolwater on May 26th, 2016, 1:42 am

Two fish.

Aladari let the net fall to the ground, watching as it lay in a crumpled heap, hardly moving, despite the fish inside. She stared at it for a tick, shaking her head. But soon enough, she had to get back to work.

She gripped the net tightly in her hands. She was fed up with this- the net, the lack of results, the work in general. Her eyes slowly filled in with a deep black color as the rage grew inside of her. She was done trying to fix it properly. Instead, she placed one hand on one side of a knot, and her other hand on the other side. With all her might, she pulled at the net in both directions. The old material barely held, fraying in a few separate spots. Encouraged for the first time that day, she pulled again, satisfied with the wet ripping sound that came from the net. The gap in the net grew wider and wider as she pulled. Eventually, she could stick her hand inside with ease- and she did so. She grabbed one fish, pulling out the still-wiggling creature and placing him on top of the rest of her tools. Then she repeated the process with the next fish.

In her excitement over retrieving the fish, Aladari had failed to think about what she was doing. So, when she went to gather her net up again, she was almost surprised to find two gaping holes, and multiple extra tight knots from where she had pulled them. She shook her head decisively. No more.

Aladari took her fish knife and with the blade facing out, she took the knife to the net. She cut through the knots. And not just the ones that had been created by accident, but all the knots. It felt so good, to take out her stress after an already too-long morning, and the destructive nature of her therapy made it all the more satisfying. She sawed at the rope for a chimes, continuing until she was left with nothing but a few long, messy pieces of rope. She then sat back, breathing slightly more quickly than when she had begun, her eyes the warm red of pleasure.

Once she had caught her breath, she stood up calmly, placed the fish carefully in her backpack along with the rest of her things, and began her walk back home. The once-net/now-rope hung over her shoulder, trailing along behind her like a bridal train.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Aladari Coolwater
Rock the boat.
 
Posts: 481
Words: 267855
Joined roleplay: March 8th, 2016, 3:26 am
Location: Syliras
Race: Human, Vantha
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Medals: 4
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Tangled

Postby Aladari Coolwater on June 2nd, 2016, 2:47 am

Once home, Aladari felt considerably better. She felt safer, for certain, behind her flimsy wooden door, and her failure in fishing didn't feel so bad. After all, at least she had something. She would be able to sell it during the afternoon in the market, and she would come home with a little change in her pocket. Hai, she thought, Having this empty of a pocket will probably make me less likely to be mugged.

She placed her materials on the floor next to the door and her fish on the counter. In order to sell the fish in a timely manner, she couldn't just rinse them off, she had to prepare them. And that was the hard part.

First, Aladari took her fish in one hand and the fish knife in the other. Moving with slow and gentle motions, so as not to destroy the tender meat, she ran the knife along the outside of the fish. Little by little, the scales began to flake off.

The scales fell to the floor, sprinkling the ground with glittering pieces. It was rather pretty, really. The dog had other ideas. Hearing the sounds of food preparation, Tar shuffled over hopefully, sniffing at the fish flakes. However, he found no interest in the skin. Instead, he snorted indignantly, causing them to scatter about and make a proper mess. Satisfied with his work, Tar took a seat beside Aladari, waiting patiently for his reward.

Aladari scolded the old dog, pushing him gently to the side. He paid no mind to her negativity, returning to her side as soon as she returned to her work. Ignoring the impatient snorts of the dog, Aladari finished removing the scales from both of her fish with little trouble. That was the good thing about working with small fish; they were easy to clean. The scales came off in one clean sweep, and only a few were left stuck to the meat.

Next, she took the same knife and severed the heads from the bodies, breaking through the spine of each with a hearty crack. The heads she tossed to the back of the counter (out of Tar's reach), and the bodies she continued to dress. She removed the fins from the top, bottom, and back of the fish next. That marked the end of the easy preparations.

When preparing a fish, she knew she needed to remove the organs, otherwise the fish would spoil very quickly. While that wasn't entirely her concern, it would be bad for business if word got around that her fish didn't keep. So, after rinsing the knife off in a bucket of salt water, she split open the first belly straight down the middle. Pulling it open with her hands, Aladari reached inside and scooped out the contents of the fish's belly. These slid onto the counter with a delicious slushing sound, all the blood soaking her hands, and the brown liquid pouring from the organs she had accidentally cut. Tar perked his ears hopefully.

"Maybe later, Tar." Aladari apologized, scooping up the organs. "They're not cooked yet. And you know what happened last time they weren't cooked first."

Tar, in fact, did not know, for he had the memory of an aging and easily distracted animal. Nonetheless, he waited.

After carving out the innards of the second fish, Aladari moved both sets of organs into a pile off to the side, to be cooked for Tar later. Lastly, she picked up the empty fish in her bloodied hands, and dunked all of it into the bucket of salt water. While the water dirtied quickly, the fish and her hands came out looking much better, if not almost clean. Proud of her handiwork, she placed the fish onto an old rag and wrapped them tightly. Although they would not stay cold for long, she hoped they would sell relatively quickly anyway, before she had to worry about it. With the fish prepared, it was time to go to market.

"Come on, Tar!"

A solitary bark answered the call as the hound rushed to follow her out the door and onto the streets.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
User avatar
Aladari Coolwater
Rock the boat.
 
Posts: 481
Words: 267855
Joined roleplay: March 8th, 2016, 3:26 am
Location: Syliras
Race: Human, Vantha
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 4
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Tangled

Postby Aladari Coolwater on June 8th, 2016, 5:54 am


Aladari's place at the market was small. She had only one small stand, consisting of a counter and a holey awning above it. Her money was taken home with her each night, so that a lock box was not necessary. She had no guards, technically, for fear that she would not make enough to pay them. Instead, Tar sat by her side, his grizzled appearance and crackling old growl deterring the petty thieves.

And that was all she needed, really. It was obvious from the appearance of her shop that she didn't make enough money to be worth killing or mugging over. It was only the petty thefts that were troublesome- the children trying to cop a copper for a treat, or mothers trying to lift a scrap of food for dinner. These she let go with a firm glare, should they return the stolen items. If it was not returned, she simply had to whistle for Tar, and the goods were generally returned soon thereafter.

Today, though, it did not seem like even the petty thieves were out. It was relatively quiet, with a mere handful of customers within her line of sight. Aladari knew it would be tough to sell today with so few buyers, but she was prepared to work for her money. Placing the dressed fish out on the counter atop her rag, Aladari moved behind her stall. She leaned over the counter and, in her best Fratava, the girl hollered "Fish! Fish! 2 gold!"

These were some of the only words she knew in Fratava, but they were the only ones she really needed. It attracted enough hungry sailors that she didn't need to say much else. Usually, they took one and tossed the gold on the counter without a word, if it was the end of the long work day. Midday or morning, when they still had energy, they sometimes tried to bargain with her. However, this too was doable in Fratava. She only needed to know the words "one", "two", "silver", "copper", and "gold". They wouldn't ask for any more than that if they were bartering, and if they asked for multiple, she would switch to Common, in which she knew all her numbers.

But even as she yelled in her finest Fratava, her words seemed to fall on deafened ears. No one turned their head, let alone stopped to look. And Morwen forbid they buy anything. Sure, She thought to herself, It doesn't look like much, but I swear it's fresh!

Hoping to convey this fact, Aladari switched to Common and tried again. "Fresh fish! Caught in this morning! Two gold!" This time, a few heads turned, but the vast majority of those looks were blank stares. Aladari huffed. What do they want? It's not like they're going to find anything better at the butcher's. I doubt he even sells real animal meat!"

She sat at her stall for perhaps a bell before she bored of waiting. How long could it really take to sell two fish? Especially since the hour for dinner was nearing, and the people would be off work soon, and hungry. Despite the reassuring presence of dinnertime, Aladari couldn't wait any longer. As a last effort, she switched to her least favorite tactic; she was going to talk to people.

She had been told over and over again by everyone in the business that she needed to be personal with her customers. She needed to be friendly. She needed to make them feel welcome. But Aladari had a hard time seeing the logic behind that. No one wanted to be friends with their supplier. Then what happened if you got a bad fish, or counted change wrong? Then they weren't your friends anymore, they felt personally attacked, and spread the word about how terrible your business and personality were. No, she preferred to stay on the other side of the counter where she belonged- apart from the customer. But with the number of folks who swore by it, and the hopeless look of her daily profits, Aladari was willing to give it a shot.

First, she patted Tar on the head to let him know she was moving. The dog made a gruff sound, but didn't follow or protest any further. Next, she moved to the front of her stall where she could see the passersby. From there, she held out her hand, feeling quite like a performer as she ushered people closer.

"You look hungry!" She cried at one man, "You want fish? Two gold only. Good. Fresh." But he shook his head and moved on. "You? Fresh fish for two gold?" She offered another man. He didn't even look at her. This went on for chimes before Aladari finally hung her head in defeat. Her eyes a deep, sorrowful blue, she moved back behind her counter.

What am I going to do? I need money to keep the stall open. If it closes, I'll have nothing. I'll lose my house. I won't be able to feed Tar. I'll never get a boat and I'll be stuck here forever. Her lip quivered at the thought of being forced into Tent City, covered in mud and filth of all kinds.

She slowly began to pack up her things, first pulling the rag from beneath her goods and packing it in the bag. She sniffled as she did so, blinking quickly to stop the tears from falling. Running the back of her hand past her nose, she turned to pack away the fish.

"Excuse me?"

Aladari stopped dead in her tracks, eyes darting up to stare at the woman's face. She looked thin and overworked, but then, that was the Sunberthian style.

"Can I...I've been wandering around here all day and...I know you said two gold, but I only have one gold, and these coppers." She slid the coins onto the counter. "Do you think...if you're going to get rid of them anyway, maybe I could have one?"

It was then that Aladari's single tear finally fell. "Yes." She blubbered. "Here, take the two. As you said, I'll waste them if you don't take them." The woman nodded, trying to hide her wide grin behind her hand. Aladari felt a grin on her own face, too, as she saw the happiness it brought the woman. Even though she knew they both meant it, Aladari thought she ought to say it first.

"Thank you."
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
User avatar
Aladari Coolwater
Rock the boat.
 
Posts: 481
Words: 267855
Joined roleplay: March 8th, 2016, 3:26 am
Location: Syliras
Race: Human, Vantha
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 4
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

Tangled

Postby Anarkhos on July 30th, 2016, 1:04 am

Image
Character

Aladari

Skills

Fishing-2

Animal hunsbandry(dog)-1

Cooking-2

Food Preservation-1

Lore

Fishing with a net full of knots

Preserving Fish

The gift of Charity

A good business woman connects with her customers

This was a sweet thread to read. Aladari is a really nice person. If you have any questions please feel free to pm me.
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Anarkhos
Retired Staff
 
Posts: 81
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Joined roleplay: April 19th, 2016, 11:48 am
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