Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Orin goes for an early morning walk to see what he might find

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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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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 27th, 2016, 12:21 pm

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Once upon a time, finding someone to guide him through an unfamiliar city would’ve filled him with glee, and he’d probably be jumping up and down with joy. Now, though, he had a much more reserved reaction. Mustering up such positive emotions simply seemed like to much effort, although he did smile. “Semele Park? I haven’t been.” Scuffing one foot against the ground, suddenly shy and filled with an anxiety that Trisa really didn’t want to spend more time with him. “Not to presume, but maybe one day you’d be willing to take me there?” His tone was hesitant, as Orin was fully expecting her to say no. He’d heard no far more often than he’d heard yes in his life, unless he really fought for something, and that had been getting harder and harder to do.

At the talk of money, Orin shrugged. “I remember those days. Don’t worry, though. I’m sure they’ll soon be over.” It took a while for Orin to be financially stable, but now that he was he admitted to himself that it was nice not to be constantly worried about where each and every miza was going. Orin was living a comfortable life. In fact, most people would say that he was well off, but Orin really didn’t see the need for luxury in his life beyond what he already had. He liked what he did. The money was just a nice bonus. At the second part of Trisa’s statement, Orin glanced over at her. “Going to be a tattoo artist as well as a regular artist?” Frankly, seeing as he’d never gotten one, Orin didn’t know what was required to be a tattoo artist. Perhaps she already was one.

At the mention of Orin needing a tattoo, he frowned. He didn’t much like the idea of anyone forcing him to do anything he didn’t want to. At least she had ignored his statement. It hadn’t been flirting, exactly, since he had no intention of becoming romantically involved with anyone for a long while. Of course, he thought with a hint of sadness, he hadn’t chosen to get involved with someone the last time. But he had, and he’d been left broken hearted as always. However, Trisa was indicating the tattoo on her left wrist and Orin shoved away his ruminations, to be considered later. “Why do I need to get a tattoo?” he asked warily. Pointing at her wrist, he added, “And what is that? I’ve seen them on a lot of people around these part but no one has explained them to me.”

Being around strangers wasn’t usually Orin’s problem, though if Trisa’s motion about her racing heart was any indication, she felt uncomfortable around new people. Before he could stop himself, he replied, “Usually it’s the people who are closest to us who can hurt us the most.” Appalled at his slip of the tongue, he banged his head against the wall lightly. “Look at me, being morbid again. I’ll try and stop that.” Not that he thought his statement was untrue. It just wasn’t the sort of comment Orin should make to a new acquaintance. As he felt her elbow him, Orin looked at her. “Not too bad? I can live with that.” He smiled, but he was still recovering from his previous indiscretion, and it lacked some of the vivacity of his earlier smiles.

Listening to her words was almost like meeting a younger version of him. One who wasn’t so weary of the world and who still felt strongly about something, anything. Orin nodded, but still didn’t necessarily agree with her. “See, I’ve always seen someone else’s disappointment as just a drive to improve myself, because they don’t get what I’m trying to do yet.” Shrugging, Orin muttered, “Then again, what do I know about art?” He smiled at her comment that she needed to know someone well to sketch him or her properly. “See, that I can understand.” At her remark about passion, his smile broadened. “I agree with you there. I just know that some people don’t appreciate it. And sometimes not even death stops people from being passionate.” In fact, thinking of one friend in particular, Orin knew that death had just been the beginning. She’d been a troubled soul, but one that he’d tried to help find her way.

Her addendum to his conditions made him laugh. “Trust me, once you get to know me, you’ll understand that getting me to talk isn’t the problem. Getting me to stop talking or trying to get a word in edgewise that is difficult.” It was true. Several of Orin’s companions over the years had resorted to various measures to get him to shut his mouth. So Orin didn’t see that particular addition as a problem. “That works for me. Have we got a deal?” As she still hesitated, he realized that he hadn’t given her much personal information at all. “Ah, right. We’re going to The Almond Blossom, it’s where I work.” Finally, though, she took his hand and he shook it, before setting off, making sure to take the path that put them in the most shadows out of consideration for her. “I have made more than enough seafood recently. I’ll be happy to steer clear of it.”

As they walked, Orin remembered that, again, this woman knew nothing of him. “So, what would you like to know about me?” Running a hand through his hair, he tried to think of the most obvious pieces of information. “Let’s see, I’m twenty years old, I grew up in the Mithryn Outpost, which is just outside Syliras and you know I’m a chef.” Watching her reactions carefully, Orin tried to determine what might be most useful to her. Remembering her unease from earlier, Orin placed a hand over his heart in a pledge. “I’m not dangerous, I promise, Priskil strike me down if I lie.” That, of course, prompted him to remember his faith. “As you might’ve guessed, I believe in Priskil, in what she stands for.” While he didn’t necessarily want to talk about why he’d embraced the Goddess, he’d be more than happy to tall about her in general.

The Almond Blossom wasn’t that far away and soon the building’s beautiful façade appeared in the distance. Orin sped up his pace. On their walk, he’d grown more and more excited at the prospect of having a student again. It had been far too long since the last one, and teaching again felt like a step in the right direction for Orin, who was still in the process of forging his life into a new shape, hopefully a better one.
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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Trisa Miroy on July 27th, 2016, 6:44 pm



The day was creeping up on them, slowly drawing Trisa's bedtime closer and closer. At the latest, she was normally in bed by the 12th bell. Trisa didn't want to be totally drained of energy while touring around with Orin. That wouldn't be fun for anybody, and the safety behind the idea was questionable.
"Another day maybe."

Trisa chuckled. To her, the only difference between a "regular" artist and a tattoo artist was that tattoo artists just had another skill in their repertoires. Although she hadn't officially tried her hand at it yet, tattooing looked easy enough for anyone with the artistic ability to pick up.
"I think they are same thing. Cannot make good tattoos without good art."

At his confusion, Trisa shook her head.
"Sorry, sorry." She had completely forgotten that he wasn't from Riverfall. She wondered if he thought she was threatening him, and, at the thought, she cringed. "Forgot you were new here. Residents get this--" She raised her wrist in case Orin wanted a better look at the tattoo. "When they pass their test and become Kuvan. But Akalak are not Kuvan, they have their own thing." Trisa waved her hand up and down, gesticulating as she searched for the right Common word. "Their own . . . rinks?" She shook her head and furrowed her brow in frustration. That wasn't quite it. "Like classes."

Trisa dropped her gaze. She had never had anyone close to her really hurt her. Instead, she was sure she was the one doing the hurting. Shaking the thoughts away, Trisa let her head snap back up. She smiled widely, loosely pointing at Orin.
"I know that one." She laughed lightly before softening her tone. "Dark, dreary, doom and gloom. And realistic."

As they set out, Trisa rolled her sleeves down as far as they would go. Orin held his end of the bargain and began spewing information. Trisa nodded a few times as she soaked it all in. Of course, she understood next to none of what he had said.
"Okay." She said calmly before unleashing her deluge of questions. "An outpost is what? Syliras is what, city? Where is? What is what Priskil stands for?" She matched his pace as he sped up, suddenly thankful that he wasn't much bigger than she was. She had no idea where The Almond Blossom was, but if it was far away then, at this pace, she'd be dead by the time they got there.

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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 27th, 2016, 7:50 pm

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Orin glanced at the woman. She seemed to be wilting slightly in the sunlight, but he figured that was probably just a side effect of her not wanting the sun to reach her tattoos. “Another day is fine. Another night, or early morning, works for me too.” Frankly, Orin did not go out much at night. He didn’t really have much reason to, since he did not see much need to go party, as so many others in this city did. And although he probably should be socializing himself more, he was still easing back into the life that a city as busy as Riverfall called for.

Orin also kept to a cook’s hours. His prep work for the day started in the morning, and he didn’t have much wiggle room with that. If he stayed out late, then he’d be exhausted the next day. Besides, he enjoyed seeing the sunrise every day. It was a little ritual that made his life more bearable. “Assuming you want to spend more time with me, that is.” Perhaps he should have started with that, but Orin was still getting used to being around other people again.

Looking at Trisa curiously, Orin, for once, didn’t blurt out the first thought that came to his head. He simply formulated what he wanted to say, to make sure he didn’t offend her. “Well, it’s the same, but also different, I’d think.” Scratching his head, Orin continued with, “What I mean is, well, the artistry might be the same, but doesn’t the material or the canvas, as it were, you’re working with affect the final product?” Orin certainly had to adjust his recipes according to the ingredients he was forced to work with, and couldn’t imagine it was any different for a craftsman or artist of any kind.

There was a foreign word in her explanation of the wrist tattoo. “Kuvan? What’s that?” However, if Orin understood correctly, the tattoo was a symbol of some kind to indicate to people that the bearer of the tattoo was a resident of Riverfall. At least, that’s the sense he got from Trisa’s words. Except for Akalaks, apparently, which somehow didn’t surprise him. “Rinks? Classes? Oh, you mean ranks, social status, that sort of thing.” Thinking furiously, Orin slowly said, “So, the tattoo is a symbol of what class you’re in?” They didn’t have anything like that in Syliras, although insignias showed the ranks of Knights, so perhaps that was similar.

Trisa’s smile was infectious, and soon Orin found himself shaken out of his own depressing thoughts. “Very good!” She’d even used the same language he’d used to describe it. “But let’s try and stay away from that from now on, sound good?” Frankly, Orin was tired of thinking dark thoughts, and would take the little light that Trisa was bringing to his life and enjoy it for as long as it lasted.

Trisa rolled down her sleeves to protect her arms from the sun and Orin noted it as a smart move on her part. If he ever got a tattoo, he’d take care to protect it from the sun. Or place it somewhere that only was exposed when he wanted it to be. He felt bad that his revelations about life were so perplexing to her but reasoned that just as he knew nothing of life in Riverfall, really, she had no way of knowing anything of life outside Riverfall if she had been born and bred here.

“Let me slow down a bit then. Mithryn Outpost is the small fort that Syliras established to protect its farms. Farmers live there, mostly.” Watching her out of the corner of his eye, making sure she was following along, Orin proceeded with answering the rest of her clarifying questions. “Syliras is a fortress city, the home of the Syliran Order.” That small tidbit of information was all really Orin had to say on that particular subject. “Finally, Priskil is the Goddess of Radiance, Hope, Vigilance and Light.” Pausing slightly, Orin hoped that those qualities were ones that Trisa could admire. “I do my best to be a faithful servant of hers, spreading her light where I can, when I can.”

He’d hit all the important points, he’d felt, and just in time too, as The Almond Blossom was before them. The building’s outside was the typical Riverfall architecture, if a particularly beautiful example of it, with a courtyard with seating for those who wanted to eat outside. Pushing through the doors, Orin revealed the sumptuous inside to Trisa. The furniture was heavy wooden, liberally draped in fabrics and painted with warm, cozy tones. The air was scented with spices and baking bread, and Orin breathed it in, let it fill his soul. It felt more like coming home than going to his apartment did. Potted plants were scattered here and there and Orin tried to see if any of them were looking particularly in need of attention as he walked to the kitchen. They all looked fine, but Orin wasn’t the most skilled gardener, and he knew he’d have to get up close and personal to really tell if there was a problem that wasn’t completely obvious.

Inside the kitchen, Orin discovered that Dolmar was already there and he froze in the doorway. ’Oh shyke…’ was all he had time for before Dolmar glanced up, taking in both Orin and his companion in a single glance. The Akalak frowned slightly. “I thought I told you to get new clothes.”

Blushing, Orin looked down at his clothes. He waved at Trisa to stay there and not say anything, hoping she understood the hurried gesture. “I know, I ordered the tailor to make alterations. Tomorrow, I promise. I’ll stay out of sight of the patrons I promise.” Biting his lower lip, Orin waited for Dolmar’s response.

Dolmar just grunted, which Orin took to mean he’d better stay in the back room. “Whose that?” the Akalak asked, pointing at Trisa.

Orin gulped, but stood tall. “She’s a friend of mine, Trisa. She’s just here to watch me work. She promises to stay out of the way.” Holding his breath, Orin studied the Akalak carefully.

Luckily, Dolmar seemed in a good mood, and nodded tentatively. “As long as she doesn’t break anything and doesn’t disturb us, she can stay.”

With that, Orin let out a sigh of relief and made his way past Dolmar, towards the back of the kitchen. Once he reached the counter that Dolmar and the proprietor of The Almond Blossom, Korana Livantar had indicated was his to use, he placed his hands there and leaned upon them. Turning, Orin hoped that Trisa had actually followed his instructions and wasn’t preparing to do something foolish.
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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Trisa Miroy on July 29th, 2016, 4:17 am



Trisa noted how accommodating Orin was: they took the shady route to the Almond Blossom, and he had offered to go out when it was darker out. Trisa smiled externally, but frowned internally. She didn't think she'd ever be that flexible. The fact of the matter was that the sun made her uncomfortable, and she simply wasn't strong or selfless enough to put up with that discomfort.

Trisa really did believe that the only difference was the medium. A skilled artist would surely be able to paint, draw, or tattoo the same object well as long as they knew what they were doing. That might have been what Orin was saying, though, so Trisa just nodded and agreed with him.
"That is true."

Trisa frowned. Her explanation didn't seem to be satisfactory.
"You pass a test so that you can live here. Kuvans passed the test and so Kuvans get this." Trisa further explained before letting him think aloud. "Kuvan is the highest . . . renk?" She squinted as she struggled with the pronunciation again. Looking at him quizzically, she slowly picked up where she left off. "Highest renk not-Akalaks can get. Akalak can get on councils and higher renks. I am not really sure what they need to do that. It is never relevant to me."

Though Orin's own explanations helped clear up a few things, they also brought even more questions forward.
"Fortress city? So is the outpost a fort attached to a big fort? Is all of the fort 'Syliran Order'?" Trisa furrowed her brow as she tried to picture who these people were. "Syliran Order is a job? OH!" Trisa clapped loudly, energetically bouncing next to Orin as she drew connections between his city and her own. "They are like Riverfall Kuvay'Nas, no? They protect your forts?" After a few tics of thought, Trisa began to vaguely remember passing through a park related to Priskil somehow. She hadn't invested much time into investigating the park, but she remembered seeing lit stones inside it. "You should go toward Lapis park sometime. There is a Priskil rock there, I think."

Trisa had followed Orin inside The Almond Blossom without a second thought. When she actually looked around the inside, however, she felt a creeping feeling of insignificance. As she stood inside the entrance, Trisa soaked in the extravagance of the restaurant. Though the furniture was wooden like that of her parents' tavern, it was of a much more higher of quality. That, and this place had atmosphere. Things looked coordinated. It didn't smell of drunk, sweaty men but instead of cinnamon. Trisa was in awe. She had never been able to eat at this nice of a place. In fact, she had never really ate at any place other than her own tavern or home.
"You work here?" She whispered, more to herself than to Orin.

Trisa had to jog a few steps--can I even jog in here?--in order to catch up with Orin. By the time she caught up, they were being confronted by a Akalak man in the kitchen. Trisa resisted both the urge to hide behind Orin and to feign sickness. The Akalak were people of honor; Trisa was sure this man wouldn't beat up a sick, faint woman. You aren't a wimp, wimp. As the man pointed to her, she wondered if she should pretend to be deaf, or perhaps a foreigner that didn't speak Common. Before she could stop herself, though, Trisa had muttered a quick "thank you" in Tukant. She skittered to the back of the kitchen, throwing a glare in Orin's direction as she arrived.

"Follow my lead, sure. Follow my lead as we smuggle you into the swankiest place in Riverfall. Great." Her words were quick and angry, but also hushed. She wasn't particularly upset with Orin; she just got cranky when unexpected things happened. Trisa was definitely not one for surprises. "Where am I standing?" Trisa spoke only a smidge louder as she asked for direction. When her mouth shut, she clamped anxiously down on her piercings' posts.

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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on August 1st, 2016, 2:37 am

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Orin nodded. “Good to know that I occasionally have good instincts about things.” Usually, if it was something outside the kitchen, he had horrible insights and tended to jump to conclusions that were completely wrong. It was probably tied into his tendency to speak without thinking. It had certainly caused Orin trouble before and though he’d gotten much better, it was still probably something he’d struggle with for his entire life. Realizing that this probably meant nothing to the woman from Riverfall who he’d only know for a short while, Orin smiled sadly. “I usually don’t have the best ideas in the world.”

Tilting his head as she spoke, Orin tried to put everything she was telling him together in a way that would make sense. “What kind of test are we talking about?” The Akalaks were a very militant race it seemed, but he didn’t think even they would require every single citizen of their city to take a test of arms in order to be considered a full citizen. “I suppose higher ranks wouldn’t be all that important to me either,” he commented, before taking a deep breath. “So, to clarify, Kuvan is a symbol of having passed the test that allows you to live here full time, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails?” Orin thought he had it mostly correct but he just wanted to be sure. Again, depending on the test, this Kuvan system could be a real problem for Orin, especially if it was required and he did end up staying here full time.

Trisa’s inquisitiveness took Orin by surprise, and he had trouble keeping up with all of her questions. For once, he understood what it felt like to be on the other side of a conversational barrage, and while he did feel a bit bad about inflicting this on other people, he also took it good naturedly and in stride. “Not attached, exactly.” Orin ran his hands through his hair as he tried to come up with the appropriate way to describe it. “More like Mithryn is under the protection of Syliras.” Biting his lower lip briefly, Orin thought for a bit before continuing. “Mithryn is about a day’s journey away from Syliras.” He pondered on what else he could say about his former home, but then the image of the city of Syliras being a giant Syliran Knight, complete with scowl, distracted him. The Knights were good, kind-hearted people as a whole, but they weren’t much fun and they didn’t exactly encourage frivolity in others.

Then, however, Trisa’s exclamation brought him back to the conversation. Orin narrowed his eyes as she compared the Order to some group here in Riverfall. “Well,” he drawled, “it certainly sounds like they are similar.” Laughing softly, however, he went on to say, “of course, since I’ve never heard of this Kuvay’Nas,” his tongue stumbling over the foreign word, “I can’t say for absolute certain.” Protection did indeed seem to be the Knighthood’s first priority. Orin, though, held certain unvoiced beliefs that the Order’s idea of protection might be a bit too strict, and that they often acted as if the populace had to be protected from their fellow citizens.

At the mention of a park with a glowing rock in it, Orin perked up. “There’s a garden devoted to Priskil.” Two of his favorite subjects, Priskil and growing plants, contained in a single place, seemed almost too good to be true. “We absolutely must visit some time. Or at least, I must.” Practically giddy, Orin turned so he could see her more fully as he walked. “Y’see, I already discovered the Watchtower here, which was…” and here his words failed him momentarily, since he didn’t quite know how to describe it yet. “Well, it was remarkable.” Orin’s voice held awe and a reverence that he rarely felt, as well as the blossoms of hope. That night, last night, so recently and yet what felt like a lifetime ago, had been the start of Orin pulling himself back together.

Orin was pleased to see that Trisa was, although lagging behind a bit, following him into the building. He caught her whisper, though clearly it wasn’t meant for his ears. “I just started!” he replied with a quiet protest. Sure, the interior was opulent, but Orin only really cared for the food, which was fantastic. He did feel a bit bad because he hadn’t imagined the effect this place might have on the unprepared Trisa. He vowed to make it up to her if he could, since it had never been his intention to make her feel uncomfortable.

Squeezing past Dolmar, Orin risked a quick glance back towards Trisa. She had spoken to Dolmar in that strange language – Tukant, he reminded himself firmly – and now was continuing to mutter in it. While he had no idea what she was saying, her body language spoke volumes. When they finally arrived at his counter, she asked him a question before he had a chance to go over anything that had happened in the last few chimes. “Oh, ah, you can just stand here.” He pointed at the other end of the counter from himself. Placing his hands on the marble countertop, Orin sighed. “Look, I’m sorry. This is the only kitchen I have access to, and I didn’t expect Dolmar to be here already.” Looking down and away, and scuffing one foot against the ground, ashamed, Orin spoke much more shyly now. “Do you, and I hope you do, do you still want me to show you a few things?”
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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Trisa Miroy on August 3rd, 2016, 3:15 am



Trisa furrowed her brow in slight frustration. It was a novel idea to her, someone not understanding her city's culture and customs. She hadn't been around very many foreigners, but it baffled her that other places didn't work the way Riverfall did. To Trisa, Riverfall was amazing and she saw no reason why other places shouldn't be modeled after it.
"It is a fighting test." Trisa answered, looking at him. "You do not have one of these? In..." She stumbled over the pronunciation for a few seconds before she finally settled on something that she sounded half-okay. "Seallarus? And yes, that is it."

Trisa wondered how exactly this outpost could be protected if it was so far away from the actual city. The people must be amazing warriors, then. That, and there must be a lot of them. Why haven't I heard of this city if they are all so...tenacious? If Syliras was able to protect itself and a smaller fort that was so distant, then it would have made sense if they were allies of some sort with the Akalaks. With his mention of not knowing what the Kuvay'Nas was, Trisa simply shrugged. Explaining things was difficult in Tukant, let alone Common. Besides, it sounded like he got the idea anyway.

She nodded and continued to nod while he spoke of Priskil. She didn't have much to add since she had neither been to the park nor heard much about it (or Priskil).
"Which tower?" Riverfall was riddled with watchtowers. There were four that surrounded her condo alone. When it came to remembering which tower was which, or what exactly they all were meant for, Trisa was lacking.

Trisa felt just as unprepared in the kitchen. She had no idea what she was supposed to be doing, or if there were special protocol for being there. She made sure not to touch anything as she moved to her designated spot. As Orin explained himself, Trisa couldn't help but feel irritated with his sheepishness. Though she wasn't one to judge, Trisa hated excuses.
"It is okay. What are we doing? What do I do?" She spoke quickly while nodding. She didn't want to be in this situation for a tick longer than she had to be.

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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on August 9th, 2016, 8:57 pm

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Orin laughed, somehow not surprised that the Akalaks required a test of one’s martial strength to become a citizen of their city. “That sounds about right,” Orin replied, although his voice held a slightly mocking tone to it. He was careful to keep it quiet enough so that only Trisa could hear. Even he wasn’t suicidal enough to try and draw the ire of the Akalaks upon him. Keeping his words soft, he leaned in towards Trisa. “Haven’t you always thought they were, on the whole a bit too serious for their own good?”

Orin didn’t have much of a sense of humor either, so he recognized it in others. He also knew that the proud warrior race needed to relax every now and again. Of course he was basing this off of old knowledge, and hadn’t really gotten to know many of the residents here. Maybe Aren hadn’t been a typical Akalak specimen.

Her pronunciation of Syliras was slightly off, but since Common didn’t seem to be all that natural to her, Orin just nodded. “Close enough.” It was fascinating to him how different, and yet how similar the two cities could be. While they had completely different cultures in terms of how they treated such issues as non-humans and slaves, it seemed that a military force of some kind was present in both cities. Both cities also had requirements for citizenship. Focusing on one specific aspect of her explanation that seemed most relevant to him, Orin asked, “So wait what are these…coo-vay-nus?” That was as close he could get the right word.

Pausing slightly, Orin cast a glance at Trisa. For someone who had lived within the same walls as a Watchtower, it seemed odd to him that Trisa wouldn’t even know what it was. Granted, he himself didn’t know much about them, but that’s because they didn’t have one, to the best of his knowledge, near Syliras. “It’s the tower that lights up, changes color at the season’s change.” That was pretty commonly known. What might not be as well known were their origins. Since Trisa hadn’t acknowledged Priskil, though, Orin decided not to get too in depth on the Watchtowers. “Anyway, Priskil is affiliated with the Watchtowers.” If Trisa was interested, Orin figured she’d inquire further.

Having made it safely past Dolmar, and seeing Trisa look expectantly at Orin, filled him with a strange elation. Here he was, in a kitchen, with a pupil, ready to learn whatever Orin might be willing to teach. It was odd, how long it had been since he’d taught anyone. He’d forgotten exactly how much joy it brought him. Orin loved sharing his passion with others, and it seemed that, whatever else might have changed in the past year, that much remained the same.

In addition, being in a kitchen of any kind always felt like coming home to Orin. Maybe it was a silly comparison, but it felt like pulling on a worn pair of clothes, to him; it was soft, comfortable, and it fit perfectly. This particular time, it was even stronger than usual. He was back, doing what he loved, and while he wasn’t cured of his depression, it finally felt that he was taking the steps he needed to get through it. ’Thank you, Priskil, for your guidance, for reminding me about hope and happiness,’ came the fervent, if silent, prayer.

Still, he had a student, and he turned the full force of his attention to her. A change came over him, subtle, but strong. He was in charge here, and belonged, even if the surrounding were fancier than he was used to and he wasn’t dressed appropriately. “Well, first, we have to figure out what exactly we’re making.” It was best to start at the very beginning if Trisa really didn’t know anything about cooking. “For that, we check Dolmar’s notes.” He gestured for Trisa to follow and went over to a small ledger tucked into the far corner of the room. Paging through it, Orin finally found today’s date, and two sets of writing. One was in Common; the other, now that Orin knew of the language, was presumably Tukant.

Scanning the sheet, Orin mentally compiled the ingredients they’d need. “Looks like we’re making a tomato and chicken toss.” Counting off on his fingers to make sure that Trisa was memorizing along with him, he listed the foodstuffs they would require. “As you can see from the recipe, that calls for white wine vinegar, olive oil, onion chicken and tomato obviously.” Reading further, he continued with, “then for seasoning we’ll need a bit of sugar, some salt and pepper, and then some fresh herbs, specifically basil, chives, parsley and thyme.”

Looking at Trisa, Orin grinned. “We served roast chicken yesterday, so luckily we have leftovers for that. In fact, that’s probably why we’re serving this today.” Nodding sagely Orin repeated the age-old adage of many a cook. “Waste not, want not and all that.” Drumming his fingers on the page, he thought some more. “We should have the rest of all of that in stock. Here, follow me.” With that, Orin set off for the pantry. As they walked over, he asked cautiously, “Do you know what any of those ingredients are?” If not, he figured that he’d have a lot of explaining to do.
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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Trisa Miroy on August 16th, 2016, 3:43 am



Trisa smiled at Orin's laughter. For the young woman, the laughter of other people had always been calming, validating. If someone was laughing, that meant that she had done something right. People could always easily fake a smile, but disingenuous laughter stuck out like a sore thumb. True laughter was one of the only real tests of someone's comfort level, so when someone appeared to be comfortable, Trisa took it as a good sign. As Orin added onto his additional statement, Trisa's own comfort level dropped a bit.
"I am also too serious for my good," The artist shrugged and averted eye contact as she attempted to disagree without actually disagreeing. "So I guess we are a good match." Trisa tacked on a weak smile as she referenced the Akalaks.

The woman firmly believed that people were always as serious as they needed to be. If the Akalak needed to be closed-off or stern to feel comfortable, then that is just what they needed to be. Not all happiness showed in the form of care-free laughter and abundant smiles.

Trisa squinted at the man as she puzzled through his bizarre accent and pronunciation.
"Kuvay'Nas?" After a pause, she repeated the word she figured he was aiming for. "Kuvay'Nas. They are the..." The word danced at the tip of her tongue. After what seemed like bells, she finally caught it and threw it out of her mouth with a harsh, guttural accent. "Militia. They protect Riverfall."

Within the kitchen, Trisa was totally out of her element. Granted, she didn't really have an element, or she constantly felt out of it, regardless of if it were hers or not. She wondered if cooking was like the art she made, if it required a skilled hand and eye but not much else in the way of physicality. If so, then perhaps she'd be in luck. Of course, the individual elements and tools were much different; she'd be crafting something that had more dimensions than her usual craft.

"That would make sense." The pale woman trailed Orin, carefully making sure not to touch anything. A grin stretched across her face as she saw her native tongue written on the page. She couldn't read well--she only knew a few words that she'd seen around--but she figured she wouldn't have to be able to. Orin would guide her through the steps. It was still worth a go, though. The verbs were lost on her, but most of the nouns--words like "tomatoes" and "chicken"--were words she had seen all over her family's work kitchen.

"White wine vinegar, olive oil, onion, chicken, tomato, sugar, salt, pepper, basil, chives, parsley, thyme." Trisa repeated the list to herself, though it was loud enough for Orin to hear as well. She gave a quick smile before straightening out both her lips and her posture. The woman liked that the cooks were idealizing Riverfall's anti-waste ethic. It was probably a simple matter of wasting as little money as possible, but the idea still made her smile.

"I know of them." Trisa shrugged. The ingredients weren't very exotic sounding. She obviously knew what an onion was, but white wine vinegar? She had no idea what that tasted or looked like. "I could not tell you what some of them look like or taste of though." As soon as she finished speaking, she immediately wished she had asked him what a tomato was. It would have been entertaining to see him try to explain it.

"Why do you cook?" Since this appeared to be the easy part, she took the opportunity to hold Orin accountable for his part of the bargain. "To eat, I know. But I mean why are you a cook?"

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Let's Go Down to the Riverfall to Pray (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on September 6th, 2016, 2:07 am

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Orin continued to chuckle. “I am also too serious for my own good,” he confided to Trisa in a conspiratorial whisper. Raising his voice to a more normal level, he commented, “I guess we are a good match.” Looking at her out of the corner of his eye, Orin smiled. “I’d like to make a friend here, in Riverfall.” Biting his lip, he debated whether or not he wanted to say more, but decided that honesty was the best policy. “I’ve been a bit lonely,” he confessed, although it made his stomach churn in knots, “and well…it’d be nice not to feel that way anymore.” He was worried that by admitting his weakness Trisa might think less of him.

At the mention of a militia Orin frowned. He felt that he should’ve noticed these Kuvay’nas before now. “Do they have a uniform or something?” he asked, genuinely curious. One couldn’t go more than two or three steps in Syliras without stumbling over someone with some connection to the Syliran Knighthood. They wouldn’t let you forget it. “Can anyone join?” It seemed unlikely, since the Syliran Order had strenuous guidelines in order to become a full Knight.

Noticing that Trisa seemed to be shrinking even further into herself in their new surroundings, Orin frowned. He didn’t want the woman to be intimidated. Still, there wasn’t much he could do about it now, and so he simply resolved to keep an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t too upset. Still, she seemed engaged enough, actually reading the recipe in the other language, confirming it was Tukant. Unless she spoke yet another language that Orin had no idea about.

Pleased that she had at least some idea of what they’d be working with, Orin arrived at the pantry. “Excellent. Should make my job much easier.” Picking up a basket that was placed near the entry for this very eventuality, Orin walked over to where the tomatoes were stored, and put a sizeable number in the basket. He still couldn’t get over the quality of the ingredients that The Almond Blossom worked with. It was definitely a step up from his previous employment. Next, he took a few red onions, which were located right next to the tomatoes in the pantry. “All right, so that’s the tomatoes and onions we’ll need. Next stop, bottles.”

Making his way to the opposite wall, Orin took down a bottle of white wine vinegar and a bottle of olive oil and placed them in the basket. Pointing at them in turn, he informed Trisa what they were. Pausing for a moment, he shrugged. “Please tell me if I’m being to simplistic or if you know anything already. I’m not the best teacher and I’m working from the assumption that you don’t really know anything, which might not be fair to you.” He held his breath, hoping that she wouldn’t take offense. His only defense was that this was a new job and he didn’t want anyone messing it up.

Leading Trisa out of the pantry, Orin went to one of the windows of the kitchen. On it were quite a few plants, throwing out a riot of leaves. “Here’s where we keep our fresh herbs.” Picking leaves as he went, he explained to Trisa what each one was. “These purple flowers are the chives.” Taking up the knife stored nearby, he sliced a few of them off, making sure to leave a small amount poking out from the soil. “This bright green large feathery looking leaves are parsley,” he mentioned as he cut off the outer leaves. “Make sure to harvest only when they have three sections, like the ones I’m grabbing.” Moving on to the basil plant, he put the knife down. “These large oval ones are basil, and you can just pinch them off from the stem,” Orin instructed, suiting action to word. That was it for the fresh herbs.

He was about to move on to the rest of the remaining ingredients, but Trisa’s question caught him unawares. “Why do I cook?” His first instinct, which he gave into, was a flippant response. “Because everyone has to eat somehow!” However, that was only a very small part of the true answer. The real reason was tied up a lot into Orin’s past, which was always a touchy subject, especially recently, with his depression. He wasn’t sure that opening that can of worms was worth it.

Still, he owed it to Trisa, per his bargain, to be truthful. Regarding her carefully, he tried to formulate the best way for him to reply without either of them getting upset. Finally, he felt that he had something that resembled the truth. “I cook because eating, especially eating with other people, forges a connection, a special bond between two souls.” He sighed, since that sounded so trite and cliché, but it was true. “It’s one of the most primal acts we can share with another.” He wasn’t going to explain the others, since he hoped Trisa was aware of that. “So I guess I cook because it allows me to know that my food is bringing people together.” His voice quavered on that, but he managed to keep tears from his eyes.

He’d started to cook because he didn’t have a home of his own. He’d hoped, somehow, that making the effort to cook for others would make other people appreciate him, and maybe even open up their hearts to him. While that hadn’t happened when he grew up, it didn’t lessen the importance he associated with his work. Sure, it wasn’t as flashy or as noticeable as some professions, but Orin felt that it had a special significance. While he really didn’t want to talk about it further, he was also making a concerted effort to be more open with his emotions, since bottling them up had only led to problems for him down the road. So, while he spoke reluctantly, he managed to get out, “There’s more to the story, if you’d care to listen.”
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