Completed One for the Road (Part 2)

Izuyanai on the move

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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One for the Road (Part 2)

Postby Izuyanai on August 26th, 2016, 1:54 am

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20th of Summer, 516AV

A shout in Nari went up and Izuyanai quickly glanced up from the map. The traders with whom she was traveling were currently flying high in the air, and Izuyanai herself was seated on one of the Wind Eages. Looking about revealed the last of Kalea’s mountains thinning behind them and the coast glittering in the distance. She had been hoping to reach Alvadas today, yet the sun was beginning to set and the group descended lower and lower to make camp for the night. Toward the distant ground, Izuyanai could see what looked like a frequented checkpoint, an irregular smudge along the mountainside.

Her Eagle landed with a jarring thump and Izuyanai slid off their feathered back, making sure to take her pack with her. Nodding to the great bird, Izuyanai wandered toward where the traders were busy preparing for rest.

The cleared area in which they had landed was still open to the elements. However, Izuyanai spotted a charred circle surrounded by stones where camp fires must have been built in the past. Not so far in the distance was a ledge where the Eagles themselves could roost. All in all, it would be much easier to stay here for the night than in the untamed wilderness of the Unforgiving.

Walking in a wide circle, Izuyanai stretched her arms toward the heavens and leaned back, trying to get rid of the stiffness that had settled into her muscles. It was a different kind of tiredness than if she had flown herself. This soreness came from the fact that her limbs had been locked into one position for too long. Riding the Eagles involved holding on tightly with her knees to make sure she wasn't lifted off after a sudden gale. Frankly, the raven didn’t know which form of fatigue she preferred. Neither was a pleasant matter. Thinking it might help to move around more, she glanced about the camp for something to occupy herself with.

Not so far off, supplies for the expedition were being carried toward the centre of the camp. Izuyanai spotted someone with cooking supplies and trotted after them. Partly because she thought she could contribute, and partly because she herself was hungry.

Arriving at the fire pit, she saw that some kindling and fuel had been piled next to the place. Someone had taken the liberty of gathering and ripping up dry branches from nearby brush. Taking up some of the smaller shards and bark, Izuyanai made a highly flammable bed for the first sparks and carefully piled heavier fuel on top.

“You should to pile them higher. The fire won’t go properly if it doesn’t get air.”

The raven turned around to see an Inartan trader, their arms straining against a cooking pot filled halfway with water. They seemed to have come back from whatever stream acted as their current water source.

“Oh?” Izuyanai replied in her mediocre Nari. The accent was marred by the incorrect intonation, but it was understandable enough. Living in Wind Reach didn't come without some language benefits.

She dragged the sticks upright and balanced them against each other. “Is this alright?”

“That’s fine.”

They worked together in silence to set up the pot over the pit and once things were in order, the Inartan strode away towards the edge of camp.

Izuyanai supposed she ought to get the fire started and tugged her pack nearer to her side. She should have a flint in there somewhere. Digging around the contents of her pack, Izuyanai eventually produced the fire starter. She picked up smaller pieces of bark and started striking the flint, sending sparks arcing out. For a few moments the amber specks continued to disappear, but eventually, a few caught in the fibres of the fuel and smoke began to furl out. Encouraging the small flame, Izuyanai settled it in among the rest of the kindling.
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One for the Road (Part 2)

Postby Izuyanai on August 26th, 2016, 1:55 am

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Soon a steady fire was going under the cooking pit and the Inarta from earlier returned with several packages.

“Here,” they said, tossing her a package as they themselves worked to tear off the wrapping from the rest in their arms. Izuyanai unwrapped the rectangular object and found herself looking at dry rations. They’d been eating these along with bits of dried fruit and meat all throughout their travels. Nothing about their meals were savoury, and more often than not, rations were dry and crumbled tastelessly in the mouth. Even an omnivorous raven like her would prefer a little variety to their menu.

“Break those up and toss them in the pot,” the Inarta instructed, gesturing.

Izuyanai obliged, breaking the dry rations over the cooking pot and let ting the smaller pieces fall in one after the other. “Is this some sort of soup?” she questioned after a while. In the Demise, there had never been any need to cook soup and so Roric had never taught her.

The Inarta merely let out a scoff, “If you could call it that. Today will be the last day on the road. We might as well start getting rid of all the old rations.”

Once the rations were broken apart and soaking in the pot, Izuyanai was tossed a wooden spoon and left to her own devices along with a smaller packet of dried meat and salt. Dipping the spoon into the pot, the raven stirred idly, gradually getting the morsels broken apart in the simmering water. Steam started rising over the now creamy liquid and Izuyanai gathered some of it onto the for a taste. She cooled the food with a few puffs of air and tentatively brought the spoon to her mouth.

To her credit, Izuyanai managed not to cringe too obviously. The concoction tasted exactly like the dreaded rations they had all been eating but more soggy. At least it was warm food. Thinking anything might make the food taste better, Izuyanai scattered in the dried meat, adding pinches of salt at intervals.

Meanwhile, the traders had finished settling the eagles down and made their way toward the fire. They seated themselves on the ground chattering hopefully, as the trade city was not far away. Someone had gotten more water from the stream and was now distributing refreshing drinks. Izuyanai gratefully accepted a dented cup and took a sip before adding some fuel to the cooking fire.
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One for the Road (Part 2)

Postby Izuyanai on August 26th, 2016, 1:55 am

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Gradually, the consistency of the food became more appetising and even the smell had gotten more character into it than before. Izuyanai continued to stir patiently so as not to burn the contents of the pot and added another pinch of salt for good measure. This time, when she tasted it, it was clear that the food was as ready as it was ever going to be. Considering it was nothing but rations, dried meat, and salt, Izuyanai supposed it was an acceptable dinner. Regardless, the traders could enjoy a proper meal once they got to Alvadas. Then they would head straight back to Wind Reach. For her however, she would go onward. If she was lucky enough to secure a route that was.

Calling out that the food was prepared, Izuyanai made sure several empty bowls were brought to her side by the pot. She ladled out appropriate portions and finally prepared some for herself, grabbing yet another piece of dry ration as she made her way to a suitable spot.

Izuyanai took a satisfying draught of the food and started tearing at the leftover rations to dip into the mixture. Nibbling at the crumbly morsel, Izuyanai listened distractedly to the trader’s lilting voices.

Today, rather tonight would be her last in Kalea. She didn’t know if she would ever return to Lhavit, but she had a funny feeling she wouldn’t be able to until she had found what she was looking for. Not to mention Wind Reach. She would need a bit more time and courage to return to that place. However, perhaps she might not forever part with the lofty peaks of the region. It was a comforting but lonely thought. Now more than ever, it felt real that she was alone. How long until her near hopeless search would ever end?

Setting down her empty bowl, Izuyanai walked away from the firelight toward the edge of the camp. She stopped at the trader’s packs to borrow a map and settled just where there was enough light to examine the paper. Tracing her finger along the various landscapes, Izuyanai soon spotted the distinguishing peaks that surrounded this area. Casting her eyes further east on the map told her that Alvadas was not a day's flight from here. If all went well and the group got an early start, they would all arrive around noon, Izuyanai estimated.

The Kelvic pulled her notebook out of the worn pack and produced an ink bottle carefully wrapped in cloths. Unscrewing the top, Izuyanai proceeded to record their progress along with any interesting landmarks she had witnessed along the way. It would be useful to remember if she ever decided to travel on her own without the guidance of the Wind Eagles. She already knew the quickest and safest route to Lhavit from Wind Reach, and now she had just about completed her journey from Lhavit to Alvadas. It was reassuring to confirm where she was in the world when there was so many things she was unfamiliar with.

The bustle of cleaning up and settling down for the night gradually rose from all around. Though everyone busied themselves, Izuyanai stayed rooted to the spot. She had already prepared the meal and so she felt it was only natural for her to allow others to do the cleaning.

Someone padded to the fire, and added a few more sticks for good measure, sending bright sparks fluttering off into the darkness. It was well into the night now with the last traces of the sun sunk below the mountains. The traders would be eager to fly in the morning and so reluctantly closed her book, Izuyanai stowed it away in the pack along with the rest of her possessions. Finding a suitable elevated nook she changed into a raven and settled in for the night as the last dregs of activity quieted around the camp.
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One for the Road (Part 2)

Postby Izuyanai on August 26th, 2016, 1:56 am

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Izuyanai supposed she could thank her bird instincts for rising so early the next morning. It seemed that the nook had kept her safe and warm to survive another night out in the wilderness. Peeking out from her perch, she realised that the traders were still fast asleep. Though the Inarta were early risers from her experience, it seemed that along with the human traders mixed in among them, it would be some time before any of them stirred.

Leaping down from her hiding place, Izuyanai crept silently along the ground. She was worried that any flapping might awake her companions. It was too peaceful and serene to ruin. The sun had barely risen and was still hidden from view among the numerous peaks, creating a veil of early morning grey. Therefore the raven was left on the ground, not the most ideal mode of transportation.

Sneaking past snoring strangers, Izuyanai inched her way through the camp, eventually arriving at the stream her companions had been utilising earlier. She filled her beak with cool water and spent some time preening at the water’s edge, even snacking on a stray beetle that roamed along the bank, alone. However, with more investigating, the area revealed that these beetles gathered in large numbers. Spotting a few more crawling up the mossy stone, Izuyanai caught a nice breakfast for herself.

After eating her fill, the raven hopped back up the slope, joining the traders who had started on their own morning preparations. The eagles joined the group, landing in their usual spot to allow themselves to be loaded with trading goods.

Making sure that her own pack was secured on one of the eagles, Izuyanai leapt off the ground and flapped onto a high ledge. She looked down at the people running back and forth beneath her while casually stretching her wings in anticipation the journey ahead. It was her wish that she arrive in Alvadas on her own two wings. The distance was not so great that it would be a difficulty. Besides, there was something attractive about finishing a leg of the journey herself, rather than constantly relying on the her larger cousins.

Soon, the camp was packed up and the traders all mounted onto their respective rides. There was a signalling call in trilling Nari, and they were off. Izuyanai watched the group kick off from the ground, passing her spot on the ledge with steady, powerful beats of their wings. They continued on upwards in this fashion until she was looking up at the underside of the Wind Eagles. The sun cleared the jagged horizon to the east as the great flying figures measured out a comfortable pace heading toward the trading city.

Izuyanai leapt off the ledge, swerving upwards and rising by catching an air current. She soared up past the group, following them from a slight distance while observing the scenery below her. Flying alone and relying on one’s own wings was far more entertaining than just catching a ride. In this way, one could discover the movement of the wind for themselves, utilising them to rise or fall. There were obstacles to be aware of, which in Izuyanai’s case was her fellow flyers all around. Weaving among the Wind Eagles and their riders, Izuyanai squinted against the morning breeze, trying to spot a particular pair. Finding the pair transporting her pack, Izuyanai dodged through the small crowd, a black speck among the other giant birds.

Since Wind Eagles were steady flyers, or they had to be because of the trading materials, it was relatively easy to get past them. All Izuyanai had to do was keep her senses out for a nasty gale and swoop over or under the giant birds. It truly was refreshing to be on the move again.

She eventually pulled up alongside the Wind Eagle’s head and peered sideways into its eyes. As Izuyanai had confirmed during one discussion in the taverns, the Eagles were very intelligent creatures. Though none of them had talked to her directly, she had heard snippets of their conversations with other Riders. Like their companions, they were proud and daring.

The larger creature ignored her and continue to flap steadily toward their destination. Not having the other’s blatant disregard, Izuyanai did a little twirl in midair. She gave an extra large beat of her right wing, causing the momentum to send her rolling in the air. Looking back at the Eagle to check their reaction confirmed that they had indeed seen her little stunt. However, the bird continued to stubbornly ignore her. Their eyes were glued more forcefully to the brightening horizon. Eyes twinkling with challenge, Izuyanai increased her speed as she came out of the airborne acrobatic, and curved her flight path upward and forwards, ending up in front of and above the Wind Eagle. She then did a swift dive past their head, pulling up well above the peaks. Izuyanai ascended once more, returning to her spot by the eagle’s side. If she had been human at the time, a brow might have been quirked.

The eagle didn’t seem particularly impressed, but it did seem amused. Its rider chuckled as well and leaned down to speak a small clip in Nari. The wind whistled too loudly between them for Izuyanai to hear, but it sounded vaguely like, “Next time.”
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One for the Road (Part 2)

Postby Izuyanai on August 26th, 2016, 1:57 am

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By noon, the sun arced high in the sky and the shadow of the trading group was thrown directly beneath them. The dark copies sped swiftly across the landscape, moving just as unobstructed as the physical beings flew in the air. The dark forms occasionally dipped and contorted as the rocky surface below created an uneven backdrop for the silhouettes.

It was mesmerising to see them move along on the distant earth. Izuyanai almost felt as though she had a loyal companion who was accompanying her to her destination. Though they could not talk, it was a presence that was welcome.

Izuyanai looked up from the display and gazed toward the east. The ocean was much closer now and lay before them in a wide ribbon of blue. It severed the land as though a divine being had laid a great divider. In a sense, they probably had, though Izuyanai quickly shook herself from that thought and focused on the distant city sprawling at the edge of the region.

Alvadas itself was cradled in a valley right at the edge of the Suvan Sea. It spidered out and seemed very haphazard at first. As they neared, Izuyanai could see distant dots of fellow traders moving along the land toward the city. Her group gradually descended lower and lower, apparently hoping to land right outside the city along the grassy slopes.

Izuyanai herself stayed high in the air until the network of the city was nearly right underneath her. Only when the traders came to smooth landing on the hill did Izuyanai gracefully spiral down to their location, landing atop the various baggage already piled off of the Eagles.

A quick exchange resulted in a few carts being prepared on the path below. The trading goods were then loaded in, and soon they were headed toward the city, leaving the Eagles to rest along the green slopes.

Izuyanai perched herself on the rickety cart and rode into the city proper. Someone set down her pack as soon as they were away from the stream of people entering the city, and Izuyanai croaked appreciatively at them. With that, she and the traders parted. While they moved on to exchange wares, Izuyanai was left alone, trying to figure out which way to go in this strange new city.

It reminded her of the first time she had arrived in Lhavit, but at least then, she knew that the streets would not change on her. From what she had read in that travelling journal, the city of Alvadas was alive and ever-changing. As if the situation was not already difficult enough. Hopping onto her pack protectively, Izuyanai gazed out onto the city, resting from her journey and calculating her next move.
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One for the Road (Part 2)

Postby Ornea on September 12th, 2016, 8:29 pm

Awards

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Izuyanai

XP AWARDS
Acrobatics 2
Cooking 2
Hunting 1
Intelligence 1
Observation 4
Stealth 1

LORE
Travelling lore
Holding on tightly with the knees when riding a wind eagle
How to pile sticks for a fire
Using flint and tinder to getting a fire started
Dried rations are dry and tasteless
Using a map to judge the travelling distance
Beetles make a nice breakfast for a bird
Cooking: Making soup of old dry rations
Cooking: Using salt to spice the food
Hunting: Beetles

LOOT
Useful notes about landmarks on the way from Lhavit to Alvadas

NOTES
Lovely travelling thread and lovely little bird. Hope she finds what she seeks.

Feel free to PM me if there's something you want to discuss.

Please mark your post in the request thread as graded!
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