Open [Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Orin ventures into the Valkalah Library and quickly realizes he is out of his depth

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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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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on September 9th, 2016, 10:58 pm

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13th of Fall, 516AV


Orin found the whole concept of a public library to be fascinating and liberating. He simply couldn’t get over how incredible this place was. Back in Syliras, knowledge and information were tightly and rigidly regulated, controlled carefully by the Order. As a normal citizen, not a Squire or a Knight, Orin was denied access to the extensive records that the Order no doubt kept. So a public library was a very welcome change for him. All this information and knowledge was at his fingertips, and Orin couldn’t wait to delve into it all.

Orin had first heard about the existence of the library through an idle conversation between his bosses, Dolmar and Korana. The two mostly spoke Tukant, but would try and use Common whenever Orin was around, as a courtesy. So when they’d discussed Korana’s recent trip to the Valkalah Library, his interest had been piqued. Eventually, he’d worked up the courage to ask his landlady, Fiskari Cora, for directions from his apartment.

Shockingly, it wasn’t that far away, only a short way down a major road. As he strolled to the location Fiskari had mentioned, he tried to guess what the library would look like, but failed. He wasn’t quite sure what to expect. His imagination simply wasn’t up to figuring out what a library would be. The most Orin had ever seen was a few books at a time. Obviously the library would have more than that, but he had no sense of scale.

Soon enough, he arrived at what Cora had described as the Valkalah Academy, a school of some sorts. Turning off the road, he made his way to the farthest point of the academy, and came to a set of doors. Pushing through them, Orin took a few ticks to let his eyes adjust to the light.

Once he could see, the sight before his eyes took his breath away. The polished wood of the floors and ceilings, the large windows, and the sturdy but beautiful furniture would all have been breathtaking on their own. By far, though the most exciting part of the room, for Orin at least, were the books. They were everywhere, stretching to the far wall, from floor to ceiling, in rows upon rows of shelves.

“Oh my,” Orin couldn’t help but whisper, his brain simply trying to process the sheer volume of tomes in front of him. It was a treasure trove of information, and while he had never been the scholarly sort, Orin’s hands itched at the idea that he might be able to peruse some of the books stored here. It was like a dream or a reverie, and he simply stood there for several moments, taking it all in.

Standing in the doorway, however, drew notice and soon Orin found an Akalak before him. The Akalak didn’t loom like many other members of his race tended to. His voice, when he spoke to Orin, was kind and encouraging, and his common was accented with the tones that Orin had learned were unique to Riverfall. “Welcome to the Valkalah Library. I am Zandar. How may I help you?”

Orin gulped. Suddenly, he lost quite a bit of the confidence he’d been feeling. Obviously this man was some sort of gatekeeper, guarding the knowledge within and Orin didn’t know if he was actually allowed to be in here. Choosing his words carefully, the cook responded, “I’m just visiting. I’ve never been here before. Am I allowed?” Orin bit his lower lip and ran a hand through his hair, a nervous gesture that he’d been trying, without success, to break himself of.

The Akalak simply smiled. “All seekers of knowledge are welcome. If you’d like to bring anything home with you, please seek me or one of the other librarians out.” The Akalak nodded and stepped aside, continuing to speak. “Unfortunately I have some business to attend to, but if you need assistance of any kind, I or my colleagues would be happy to help.” With that, the Akalak retreated, soon disappearing among the stacks of books.

Orin, for his part, took a few tentative steps into the library, and then stopped, completely unsure where he should begin his search. Not only did he not know what sort of information he was looking for, but also the library’s signs appeared to be in Tukant, which Orin didn’t speak a word of. Short of starting to pull books off the shelves to see what they were, he was at a loss. Stymied, he simply stood there, uncertain what he should do.
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Last edited by Orin Fenix on July 9th, 2017, 6:53 am, edited 5 times in total.
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Kavala on September 10th, 2016, 1:09 am

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There was something to be said about getting out of the compound, heading to the city, and clearing ones mind. For Kavala, the turning of the season from Summer to Fall was like a breath of fresh air. The work was all but done except for the last minute harvesting from the gardens and the preservation that would have to come next. That was in fact the whole point of her trip. She'd come to the city, bringing the pony cart with a warhorse attached ironically to haul her prizes home. Her hope was to buy glass jars, lids, and a few other supplies she'd need to can the garden bounty that was being harvested. They had to eat all winter, after all, and Kavala had made it her goal to make The Sanctuary as self sustaining as she could.

And yet, those that had done the canning before now were no longer on the employee rolls. She'd watched plenty of times and even helped out, but that didn't mean she knew what she was doing. So she'd hitched up Ghost, drove to town, and left him and the cart at the stables while she headed to the library and from there with plans to hit the Bazaar.

The Valkalah Library was just a short walk from the stables and a place she was very familiar with. And while she didn't know exactly what kind of books or scrolls they might have on food preservation, she had hoped to find something. And if that plan failed, she knew that the odds were she could hire someone in town to teach her if she grew desperate enough.

Kavala hated waste. And the gardens were bountiful this season. The fruit trees were also full. She had grand designs of peach pie filling and apple sauce enough to last throughout the cold months. She even hoped to make jelly out of the plums she had growing on a plum tree in one of the gardens. Riverfall was ever so good for fruit production. And the trees thrived because of her bees. So Kavala knew that in this season as well, while all the outside work was done, inside was another story and it was more than past time to expand her knowledge and put the bounty on the shelves where it belonged.

Entering the library, she looked around curiously, trying to ignore the gentleman standing there gawking. Humans were a group in the past she'd tended to avoid. It wasn't as if she felt they were all bad mannered or ill tempered. Its just that her experience with them hadn't been the best. Some of her employees at The Sanctuary were human now, though granted she'd taken them on for reasons other than their humanity such as having a difficult kelvic child or possessing a skill she herself didn't have. A year ago she wouldn't have stopped, gave the man a word or two, or even acknowledged him in any way. Now though, after the small family she entertained at The Sanctuary had worked on her mindset a bit, she paused and considered the stranger.

Bad things had happened to her in the past at the hands of humans. And once she'd even fallen in love with one who had rejected her because she wasn't 'human enough' for his Drykas heart. In a way she still smarted from those wounds, more from the slavers perhaps than any imagined slight by a man who in the end had turned out to be not worth the air he breathed. Walk Away. She told herself firmly, and yet her booted feet halted beside him and she offered him a small smile anyhow. Fool. Talking to them will do you no good. But her lips moved anyhow, first into that traitorous smile and then offering a word of encouragement or two.

"It's a lot to take in that they have collected so many books and scrolls - so many scholarly works - in one place isn't it? And for all that, I've heard Riverfall's collection is small compared to say Zeltiva or Syliras'." Kavala said. Traitor. Idiot. Leave it at that now that you've said something to him. She continued to warm to him though. The hard side of her soul berated her for it, but the truth was how could someone stand there marveling at all the books and not be someone interesting? The humans she despised lived in little worlds that revolved around themselves. And she supposed there were Akalak and Konti who dwelled in such dark places themselves. Prejudiced aside, perhaps he was a scholar and someone as thirsty for knowledge as she was.

"Seeing you standing here like this reminds me of a quote. 'Even Fountains Thirst.' It's true though isn't it? We need this knowledge to survive. It's a unique kind of food, but it is food nonetheless. I'm here looking for some information on Food Preservation. My gardens are full and I have no knowledge how to preserve them. The woman who did it last year is off seeing the world this year. I should have taken more time to learn last year when I was helping, but this year I'm on my own. I'd hoped the library would reveal some sort of guide." She said with a small smile.

"And what would you be looking to find if you don't mind me asking? I might know where it is." She offered, almost wincing at her own statement. Kavala was not a joiner, not social, and didn't often seek to make new friends in new places. What in the world was she doing? She knew, deep in her heart. Summer was a long lonely time. She'd worked herself to the bone and had missed social contact.
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Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on September 10th, 2016, 2:48 am

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Orin was so enraptured with the books that he completely failed to notice the woman who had stopped next to him. Therefore, her voice came as a surprise. While he didn’t quite jump, he did snap his head to the side to regard the person who’d snuck up to him. She was medium height, with pale skin and pale, long hair, with pale blue eyes to match. Her build was muscular, but not overtly so, showing that she was someone who worked hard for a living.

She had several tattoos and her skin seemed to be almost scaled in places, particularly around her hands and neck, where delicate pinks and blues flashed at him. In addition, her hands appeared to be webbed. However, at that point, Orin realized he was staring, and he blushed and looked away. “I’m sorry,” he apologized, clearly embarrassed. “I was just so engrossed that I didn’t notice you there.” Taking a few deep breaths to calm his nerves, he turned his whole body to face her.

“You’re right, it is a lot to take in.” Orin gestured at the sight before them. “Especially for someone who has never seen a library before,” he confessed, slightly ashamed. She seemed to be quite comfortable in the setting and Orin couldn’t imagine anyone coming here who wasn’t highly educated. When she mentioned that other cities, specifically Syliras, had even larger collections, Orin’s eyes widened. “That’s incredible.” Then however, his eyes narrowed and his voice gained a bitter edge. “Of course, all that knowledge does no good if it’s kept behind locked doors.” Realizing that he was letting old hurts get in the way of making a new connection, he pushed his old anger into the deep dark well his negative emotions dwelled in.

As she continued speaking, Orin simply listened, tuning his whole attention to her words. In the past, when he put on more of a front, he would often babble to cover the darkness he carried inside. More recently, although he still didn’t cope well with his depressive tendencies, he’d been making a conscious effort not to fake his way through life anymore. If that meant he had to curb his tongue and his impulse to chatter, then so be it. He was sick and tired of putting on a false front for the sake of others, so they wouldn’t delve too deep into his life or his past.

Still he couldn’t help but respond to some of what she was saying. “’Even fountains thirst,’ he repeated, tasting the words. “I like that. Although I’m not a poet to know what it means it’s a beautiful phrase.” He tilted his head to one side as she continued on. “Food for the mind and soul, you might say,” he interjected, kindly, trying to become a part of the conversation without interrupting her flow of words too badly. Besides Orin knew about that sort of sustenance. He craved, it sometimes, the way a drowning man craved air.

At her mention of food preservation, Orin suddenly felt a surge of kinship. It was a little sad how paltry his skills were in that domain, especially considering how good he was with cooking. However, he never turned down an opportunity to learn more about the culinary arts. He’d never even considered that this library might contain knowledge of that sort. It seemed too mundane, somehow, for a place such as this. Still, if this woman seemed to think it might be in here, he had no reason not to trust her. “I’m sorry to hear about your employee, although I hope she’s enjoying her travels,” he offered. “What exactly do you grow?” he asked, genuinely curious. He was only an amateur gardener, and he mostly grew the herbs that he used in his recipes, but he grew up in a farming community and knew the basics.

She asked him what he was looking for, and although the question caught him off guard, he didn’t fail to notice how uncomfortable she seemed in his presence. So he paused for a moment, trying to gauge her reaction to his next words. “That’s a very kind offer,” he began. “Truth be told, I was so excited by the prospect of books, and so worried that I wouldn’t be able to access them for some reason, that I hadn’t really put much thought into what I would do once I actually got here. It would help if I had any idea what subjects were actually covered, but alas, I don't.” He laughed at his own folly, hoping that she would join him. “Still, I’m a chef, and food preservation seems like the perfect topic for me, especially now that it’s Autumn.” Orin bit his lip as he thought. “Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept all the food related books in one place. Maybe I could tag along?” Remembering her earlier hesitation, and not wanting to impose in any way, he added, “If it’s not too much trouble, of course.”
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Kavala on September 11th, 2016, 12:44 am

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Kavala was a bit surprised that the man started off their conversation with an apology. Humans, in her experience, rarely bothered with such things or minded their actions in a way that reflected how they seemed to others. She liked the cadence of his voice though. It had the quality of a man that was usually buried in thought, like he was speaking a few moments behind his inner dialog. The blush that accompanied the words also startled her. Was he shy? She wondered, taking the time to study him further. She didn’t consider his gaze akin to staring because she was used to the Akalak who almost from a small boy to the oldest man would lock gazes with the targets of their words and study them intently as they spoke. Such behavior was common in Riverfall.

Kavala wasn’t offended that the man was looking his fill. She returned the favor, studying him in turn. He was tall for a human, topping her by almost a full hand. Her lips twitched in a smile as she used the measurement common for judging horse height to judge him taller. He wasn’t uneasy on the eyes, though she found his close cropped black hair slightly disappointing. She was used to the Drykas humans with their long hairs and intricate braids. It told a lot about a man how he wore his hair in braids and what he hung from those strands. Perhaps this man wasn’t from Cyphrus at all because he had more of the look of someone from the north or perhaps even the far south. Her brow furrowed in curiosity as she speculated his origins.

She liked his eyes. They weren’t unlike her own blue ones. And she liked that he interjected responses to her own statements. His voice was soothing, and not at all harsh or judgmental. In fact there was something of sheepish humility in him that’s she’d never seen in a human before. It put her at ease, even though she told herself it could have been a well structured illusion.

She didn’t miss his comment about locked doors. Kavala had never truly visited Syliras or Zeltiva so she didn’t know the libraries were locked. Mura had knowledges that were accessible to all the sisters on the Island as was the Rivarian Library to all the denizens of Riverfall. To his words she simply said… “Sometimes knowledge is power. You can attempt to contain it by keeping it locked away. It’s a sad thing when someone must do so.” She added nodding to him.

Their impromptu conversation continued. They spoke of fountains and poets. She liked how he equated words to be food for the mind and soul. They moved on to food preservation and gardening and even about the steward that moved on from her previous work to travel back to her homeland. Kavala nodded to the man’s question.

“I have some medicinal and food gardens around my home. There’s even a midnight moonlight garden which has mostly decorative flowers that glow under Leths light. But there’s fruit trees and a bushels of vegetables to put away from the gardens before winter. I’ll dry most of the herbs and make them into medicines, but there needs to be some canning of fruit too.” Kavala said, the paused a moment as if something just occurred to her.

“My apologies. My name is Kavala Denusk. I’m an animal healer.”
She said, introducing herself and both explaining the situation as to why she would be growing her own food. “I keep a place outside of town where I own a healing clinic and breed and board horses. We grow a lot of food inside the walls in spaces between the buildings.” She said offering him a smile. Kavala realized an explanation was definitely in order.

“A chef? I see. I always think of chefs as people who cook professionally verses someone like me who just tries to make a meal every day after she does her day job.” Kavala said and then instantly thought how terrible that sounded. He probably took cooking to an art and wouldn’t appreciate the comment. “You are more than welcome to come with me to look into the food sections. I’ve already gotten a few books here. One was called The Art of Cooking and one was called Basic Baking. Nothing too fancy of course, but they helped me along. I already got a food preservation book here but its vanished from my library and I haven’t found it again. I’m hoping they have a copy. I never did get a chance to read it.” She said, gesturing to him to follow her. She knew where the section was.

“There are all kinds of books here. After I borrow what I need… I’ll take it home and copy what I need from it. But we can see if there’s anything else that interests you. I’m not sure what kind of other cooking boots they have. I just got mine as a basic guide. I always helped with food preparation but never did the cooking growing up. So when I was on my own, I really needed help to even put together simple meals.” Kavala said, knowing she was only a basic cook at best. Soup she could do, but more intensive things she tended to pass up on. That’s why she always had a cook on staff at the Sanctuary. “I have a niece that’s a decent cook. We’d probably all starve if it wasn’t for a teenage kelvic.” Kavala said, laughing lightly.

She lead him over two sections and past a few reading couches. They bypassed tables and went down one stairway until they were in a large section labeled ‘food related’. It housed books on gardening, food preservation, botany, and even cooking all in their own sections.

“You can read anything here. Sometimes they will even let you borrow things. If they won’t let you borrow them, you can copy down things from them into your own journals here at the tables.” Kavala explained carefully. Then she stood aside and just let the stranger browse.
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The Sanctuary The Sanctuary Forum Riverfall The Cytali
Reverie Isle Wolf Creek Training Course
Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
User avatar
Kavala
I am more than the sum of my parts.
 
Posts: 3022
Words: 3290117
Joined roleplay: October 25th, 2009, 1:46 am
Location: Riverfall
Race: Konti
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Medals: 19
Featured Thread (1) Trailblazer (2)
Overlored (1) Master Merchant (1)
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One Million Words! (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on September 11th, 2016, 6:33 am

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It was funny how Orin didn’t like to stare at strangers, but didn’t mind people staring at him. It was probably some product of his upbringing, where he tried not to attract attention or engage in a conversation because more often than not that conversation would hurt him. Indeed, if his father ever caught him, he’d have been beaten soundly. Still, the woman’s regard didn’t bother him in the slightest, even if he still didn’t feel comfortable returning her gaze.

The least he could do was look into her eyes as she spoke. It was polite and while it could become uncomfortable after a while, she seemed kind enough. She clearly wasn’t human, or anything Orin had encountered before, but he didn’t want to risk offending her by asking what she was. Korana, his employer was the same race, but even though Orin had been working for her for a season and change, he still hadn’t worked up the courage to ask her about it. He’d been so grateful for the opportunity to work in a real kitchen again, and so wrapped up in his own personal woes that it hadn’t seemed relevant.

Now, though he could kick himself, since he had no idea whether this woman had certain cultural norms and customs he should be aware of. He’d tread carefully in their conversation, even though she hadn’t given any indication that his presence was unwelcome. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone had lured Orin into what seemed to be a harmless chat and then metaphorically sucker punched him down the road. Still, being wary meant guarding his words and watching her reactions, not shutting his mind off from her completely.

He mused for a moment about her declaration that knowledge could be power. “I agree. Knowledge shouldn’t be kept behind locked doors.” Still, he felt that it was an incomplete thought. “But the problem with giving people a little bit of power is that sometimes it goes to their heads.” While the Syliran Order felt they had the best interests of the people at heart by protecting them from every imaginable danger, Orin had always thought their methods were a bit high-handed. They often persecuted their citizens, not necessarily meaning to, and always in the name of the greater good. “I much prefer the open door policy, myself. That way, everyone is just as ignorant as everyone else.” He shook his head, realizing that he’d brought the dialogue to a rather dark place. “Sorry, didn’t mean to get so philosophical there. Basically, I think having a public library is amazing.” Hopefully the woman wouldn’t pry too deeply into his background.

Orin tried to imagine a midnight garden full of night blooming flowers. He couldn’t help but believe that it was anything but incredible. Sure, the place didn’t seem to have much practical usage. But if practicality were all that was important, Orin probably would be out of a job, since no one needed fine dining. “That all sounds lovely. A lot of work to maintain, but lovely.” Sometimes people needed to have a bit of beauty and frivolity in their lives. “Unfortunately I can’t advise you much on the canning. Usually I only have to work with the final products.” It was true; it had been a long time since Orin had been forced to grow anything in order to use it in his dishes. Maybe he’d lost some appreciation for the amount of labor that actually went into such an endeavor.

Barely keeping from smacking his head at his complete lack of manners, Orin managed to get out, “I’m Orin Fenix, and, as I said, chef. I work at the Almond Blossom.” He was proud that only the barest hint of humiliation touched his voice. Of course he’d make a fool of himself in front of his new acquaintance by completely failing to make the proper introductions. As Kavala explained her life’s work, Orin blinked. “You do all of that? On you own?” Realizing how foolish that sounded he quickly rushed to add, “I mean, I’m sure you have lots of help, but it sounds like quite the operation you have.” Rubbing his hands together nervously, he added, rather lamely in his mind, “I mean, it’s impressive, that’s all.” Hopefully she wouldn’t take his prattling in the wrong way.

Taking a moment to calm his nerves, he nodded at her definition of a chef. “That’s me. Throwing things onto a fire and hoping they taste good.” It was a lame joke, but his sense of humor and self-deprecation were a bit rusty. Leaning towards her and dropping his voice to a conspiratorial tone, he whispered, “I’m frankly just amazed that people pay me to do what I love.” It was true. Orin guessed that he was one of the lucky ones in that regard.

Listening to her listing the books she’d discovered here in the library stirred up Orin’s excitement. Even though the titles she mentioned seemed a bit simplistic for him, but hopefully they’d have something a bit more challenging. “I hope you find another copy, or a comparable book,” he responded kindly, trying to keep his growing thrill under wraps. “I’ll help you look.” It was the least he could do to repay her kindness.

Falling into step beside her as she led him deeper into the library, he couldn’t keep all of the excitement out of his voice. “They let you take books out of here? That’s incredible.” He felt like a child again, surrounded by wonders. While copying a book was probably beyond his abilities, he didn’t think it would be too difficult to memorize some of the recipes. As she kept talking, though, Orin felt his shoulders droop. There was a chance that the library didn’t have anything that would be suitable for him. “Let’s see what they have.” He tried not to get his hopes up. If worst came to worst, they’d have books on food preservation, a skill that Orin desperately needed to work on.

At the mention of the Kelvic, though, Orin nearly stumbled. He suddenly flashed back to the moment when he’d severed his bond, and tears suddenly stung his eyes. Blinking rapidly, he tried to formulate a coherent response. “Your, ah, your neice is a Kelvic?” Orin licked his suddenly dry lips, trying frantically to think of anything other than Sylvette. He hadn’t realized that the subject was still so sore for him.

Thankfully, at that point they reached the bottom of the staircase, and the sight that greeted him was thankfully enough to take his mind completely off of his lost bondmate. Stepping forward, he ran his hands over the titles before him. “This is incredible,” he breathed out. This section, while small, contained books by some of the greatest culinary minds Orin had heard of. Pulling one down, he browsed through what appeared to be just one of several personal cookbooks of master chefs. “Do you know what this is?” he asked, turning to Kavala. “This is practically a treasure trove for me! Thank you, oh thank you for showing this to me.” It was perhaps one of the happiest moments of Orin’s life, and his joy shone throughout his whole demeanor.

Realizing that his voice had risen to a slightly inappropriate level, he coughed to clear his throat. Putting the cookbook back on the shelf, he smoothed the front of his shirt down carefully, not meeting Kavala’s eyes. “First things first, though. Let’s find you that tome you were searching for.” It seemed only fair to Orin that he help the lady who’d introduced him to such a cornucopia of knowledge.
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Kavala on July 22nd, 2017, 2:24 pm

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The Konti tilted her head at Orin’s words. Her lips twisted upwards, halfway to a smile, as she noted he gave what she thought was his firm opinion then apologized for doing it. The concept of a human male apologizing for anything, let alone having an opinion, caused her brow to furrow and her to wonder if his blood was somehow leveled out by another race’s influence. But he showed no signs of Isur or anything else that could tame down a human ego.

“I just don’t want things to go to waste. We have more than we can eat now… double or triple, and I want to make sure that stays the same throughout the winter. Going for supplies, even on good days, isn’t always safe or something we have time to do. I have several employees that are more like family that live out at the clinic full time taking care of patients and horses… so we want to be self-contained if at all possible. What do you mean by the final product? Does that mean you use canned things to cook with but you don’t can them yourself?” The question sounded stupid after she asked it, but Kavala just gave herself a little shake. It was a miracle she was talking to a non-drykas human at all let alone walking with one through the long lines of bookshelves the librarian had once referred to as ‘stacks’.

She herded him, at first beckoning him follow, then adjusting their course by body motions as she got them moving through the Library. “Nice to meet you Orin. I’ve never heard a name like that… are you from around here or perhaps one of the Svefra?” Subtly she was asking for his human origin, but not outright being blunt about it.

“I don’t eat outside of The Sanctuary much. I think it comes from a time where there wasn’t much coin to stretch to professional meals. And I just haven’t had much time lately. Spring is a busy season for us and nothing slows down until late summer when all the hay is in. Isn’t that Korana’s place in town that sometimes is hard to get into? The Tea House?” Kavala asked, impressed, but trying not to show it. The owner was someone she knew and respected because they’d met at The Sapphire Star and had spent time there. “Korana and I gravitated towards each other because we are Konti. Sometimes we get together to go swimming. She doesn’t much like animals so she’s never stopped by, but there’s a woman’s club in town that we sometimes meet at. The Sapphire Star.” Kavala offered, thinking it was one of those things that Orin might not have heard of being male. No men were allowed within its boundaries.

The Konti chuckled at his questions. “I used to when it was smaller. Now I have lots of help from staff. I have some family too that all take care of part of the business. I mainly am the healer and decide who breeds to whom, but the real labor around the barns and such are taken care of by others. Isn’t that the same with your kitchen? Important chefs make the menu and do the big dishes, and everyone else does the prep and sides?” The Konti likened her work to that situation a lot. “I jump in and clean stalls when its needed, but these days I’d rather see patients. Everyone always has a milk cow with mastitis or a horse with a blown knee…. all needing tending.” She turned right and ducked down another section.

These shelves looked to be housing carpentry and building. They passed mathematics and a section on the sky and stars. They were deeper in the library now and the books seemed less scholarly and more practical. A lot of it was general knowledge. And oddly enough there were less people here too… especially less Akalaks.

When he leaned in and whispered about getting paid for what he loved, Kavala finally offered him a genuine smile. “I understand. We’d actually do it for free wouldn’t we?” She replied, shaking her head as if the joke was actually on the universe.

The Konti found Orin’s awkwardness slightly enduring. She could tell by just being with him a few chimes that he spent more time in his kitchen than he did around people. She could understand that. Being a loner herself, it wasn’t something foreign to her.

“They’ll let you take them depending on what they are and who you are. Sometimes they have multiple copies and so they are more relaxed about it. Or sometimes they know you and know you will get them back. But more rare books like the stuff on Magic doesn’t leave. Sometimes they won’t even let you read them even if you manage to find the section they are in. Rivarian culture is odd. I was once a Nakivak and am now a Kuvan so most things aren’t off-limits. But I have a feeling that’s more because I’m a respected healer than anything. Have you gotten your Kuvan status yet? It might make a difference for what you can access here.” She added, shaking her head.


“I work with a lot of Kelvics in my business. I can across a pair of twins a few years ago. One was a cat and one was an eagle. Imagine my surprise to find they were the offspring of my brother. They were in a rather bad situation. Slaves. I.. purchased them from The Rattling Chains, a man that operates out on the Sea of Grass. I often treat his property for free just to get them basic medical care, and in exchange I look over what he imports before it gets sold into the city or to the Drykas. I try to liberate most of the kelvics I can. Larik, my nephew was the spitting image of my brother when he was younger. It wasn’t, honestly, until I got them home and learned who their mother was that I put it together that they were my family. They were both a year old when I got them. They’ve been with me since… healing, growing up, learning how to just be free and their own people.”
She added, shaking her head at the way some people behaved. She was wholly against slavery, but there was not much she could do about it.

Finally… the cooking and preserving section. Kavala let out a sigh of relief as the pair arrived and Orin got immediately distracted by names on spines. She watched as he seemed to transform into someone else, someone obsessive and reverent and excited. It was almost more interesting to watch him react to the books than it was to start searching for her preservation replacement. A smile crossed her features, lighting up her eyes as she watched him. And when he finally reined in his enthusiasm to insist they look for her book, she shook her head. “It’s no problem. I’m in no hurry. Look all you like. I’ll find mine in a few minutes.” Kavala added, looking intrigued at the titles Orin had slipped in and out of the shelves in his browsing. She remembered being that way about medical journals when she was younger and just coming into her own.

“Tell me something though, if you don’t mind my pressing. Why cooking? Why does that do it for you? To me food is just filling an empty hole in my stomach. It sounds like it’s a whole lot more to you.” The Konti said, looking thoughtful. She wasn’t insulting his choice in passions, but rather trying to understand it.

When she’d given him a chance to answer, she tilted her head slightly and asked him another question. “What else do you enjoy or are you interested in besides cooking? Do you have hobbies?” She was curious, but hoping he didn’t take her questions as prying. To negate any of that, The Konti offered up something of herself.

“Besides healing, I have a fond affection for geomancy. I love building things with stone. It’s kept me sane through the hard times. I think everyone needs passions, but the more diverse they are the better… because sometimes you fall in life and you need lots of different things to prop you up once you go down.” The Konti added softly, moving towards the preservation section, her eyes casually scanning the book spines until she saw one familiar.

She plucked the book out and smiled at its cover. Then she tucked it under her arm knowing it was what she was there looking for.
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The Sanctuary The Sanctuary Forum Riverfall The Cytali
Reverie Isle Wolf Creek Training Course
Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
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Kavala
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 22nd, 2017, 4:19 pm

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The subject turned to one that Orin in theory should know a lot about but in practice really didn't. Despite his exposure to farming and other related fields, that he should be familiar with, he didn't know a lot about the details of creating a self-sufficient agricultural center. His thoughts turned to a darker path but the chef kept a polite smile on his face. His father had been a farmer at Mithryn and part of Orin’s avoidance of the subjects of farming and food preservation probably stemmed from the ongoing issues that Orin had due to his upbringing. Still at least the chef could discuss the concepts in abstract. “Yes. Waste is definitely something I try to avoid. I've learned to use every part of the ingredients that are sent to me, and you'd be surprised at how much of a plant or an animal you can use!” Orin had cooked some pretty odd dishes in his life.

“And yes, getting those winter stores all prepped and ready takes a lot of hard, but necessary work.” Fall was often one of the busiest seasons back in Mithryn, followed by a basically work free Winter. There wasn't much field work to be done when the ground and air grew too cold. The comment about danger piqued Orin’s interest. “I know what you mean about getting supplies being dangerous,” since Orin had been on several such excursions himself over the years, “but, wait, from what you're saying it sounds like your clinic isn't actually in the city?” It did sound like it would be impossible to run in Riverfall itself, as the space required wouldn't fit within the city walls. At the mention of family, Orin felt his smile turn brittle and sadness touched his eyes but he quickly schooled his features to expressionlessness. That way lay madness, and the cracks in Orin’s psyche were already wide enough. It wouldn't do to break down in front of his new companion so Orin pulled on the cheerful mask he'd learned many years ago to try and stave off the fists of his father and the taunts of his bullies. It wasn't natural seeming but most people didn't know him well enough or were perceptive enough to tell. “That sounds nice though. Actual family or a family you've chosen? Or both, I guess?” Neutral pleasant questions Orin could handle, especially if they were about someone else’s life. When the woman asked a question about good, Orin was grateful for the change in topic. “It depends, to be honest, on the quality of the kitchen I'm working in. I have had to create my own cans and jars before but these days I can mostly have it delivered.” It was a welcome change although the more Orin thought about it the more he was disturbed by his removal from the literal roots of his trade. It had been a while since he'd gardened and he found himself missing the work.

As they moved deeper into the library, the woman named Kavala kept speaking and Orin found himself relaxing at least slightly. It had been a long time since he'd simply talked to someone outside the world of The Almond Blossom and the old rusty conversation skills he'd honed over the years were slowly becoming more familiar. The chef laughed quietly at her question. It was odd that she would mention Svefra. Orin didn't think he looked or acted much like the larger than life Sea folk. His laugh cut off abruptly as he remembered Creat though and he rushed to fill the sudden silence. “Is it that easy to tell? No, no I'm fairly new to Riverfall I suppose.” The city of Akalaks still didn't feel like home to the chef. “I'm actually from Syliras, originally.” The chef carefully kept his tone neutral, as he had surprisingly mixed, but strong feelings about the fortress city. “Are you a native of Riverfall yourself?” She wasn't an Akalak but she might still have been born here. Hopefully asking her about her own past would forestall any inquiries into Orin’s origins.

The Almond Blossom was something Orin would be more than happy to discuss. It somehow didn’t surprise him that Kavala knew Korana as they were both the same race and Orin hadn’t seen that many scaled women around. “That’s the one. And it sounds like you have more than enough on your plate. Metaphorically speaking! You taking the time to come to a fancy restaurant simply to eat an overpriced meal doesn’t seem practical to me.” That was, assuming she did actually live outside the city as Orin guessed. “But if you ever do find yourself near The Almond Blossom feel free to drop my name – or Korana’s, I guess – and say you’re a friend of the cook, and they should find space for you.” That was just a small gesture of Orin’s appreciation for Kavala taking the time out of her apparently quite busy schedule to show the chef around. It actually sounded like Kavala knew Korana relatively well. Orin finally had an answer as to the women’s race. They were something called Konti. “I can’t swim. Like, at all,” Orin admittedly ruefully. He could drown slower than others probably, but putting him in the water was a recipe for disaster. “Are ah, Konti fond of swimming? I’ve never really talked to Korana about anything outside of work.” Hopefully that was a tactful way to explain that he was completely unaware of the race.

As for the mention of the Sapphire Star, Orin couldn’t say that he’d ever heard of it. However, a woman’s club sounded like a nice retreat. “Is it nice there? What do you do?” If it was a place just for women, then obviously Orin wasn’t allowed, but it could be a nice retreat. Especially considering some of the observations he’d made regarding Riverfall culture. Orin hesitated, not knowing Kavala well enough to voice his objections to some of the ways in which the Akalaks treated women. Perhaps he could broach the subject carefully. “It must be a nice retreat from all the men around here.”

Orin considered the situation that Kavala described. Of course Orin didn’t do everything on his own, but it sounded as if Kavala’s business did a lot more than just produce meals. “I mean, yes of course we have help in the kitchen. But it sounds like you do so many different activities that it’s hard to imagine one business or one person running it all.” Still, presumably Kavala had quite a few trusted staffers to do the jobs the Konti couldn’t. “I guess the other difference is that our staff is a lot more transient. Waiters come and go all the time, it seems like, and because we already have Dolmar and myself as head chefs, there’s not a lot of room for advancement. So cooks come to work for us for a bit, learn our methods, then move on to run their own places.” It sounded quite different from the close-knit bunch that Kavala was describing. There was one question that Orin was dying to ask Kavala though. “So wait, apart from healing you’re also a breeder? What do you breed, exactly?” Orin had found that asking people about their work was a great way to get them to talk.

They passed information on various topics and Orin supposed they were getting into more domestic information, so probably they were heading in the right direction. He trailed after Kavala, focused on their conversation. Her response to his comment drew a full-blown grin from the chef, transforming his previously slightly closed off demeanor. “Indeed we would. Mind you, I don’t mind the mizas, either!” It was remarkable that Kavala hadn’t ditched him yet, and Orin felt himself warming to the woman. They seemed to be kindred souls in a lot of ways, and perhaps Orin could finally make an actual friend here in Riverfall.

The Konti then proceeded to throw quite a bit of information at the chef, and his mind reeled at it all. There were quite a few unfamiliar terms that he’d have to ask her about, but most important of all was the knowledge that apparently this library wasn’t opposed to lending out their precious contents. “That’s incredible. I feel like I’d be too afraid to take anything out, even if they’d let me. What if I lost it or worse damaged it somehow?” Presumably they would not only take away his library privileges, they’d also fine or penalize him in some other ways. At the mention of magic, Orin’s eyes widened. “You mean, they just keep information on magic out in the open? On these shelves?” Orin glanced around, as if he could pick it out simply by sight. “They don’t monitor it or restrict it in any way? What kind of magical disciplines does it cover?” Orin realized that he was asking a few too many questions and shut off the flow of words. “Sorry. It’s just…well…back in Syliras that would be unheard of.” Moving on Orin finally worked up the courage to ask more questions about the new and strange words Kavala was using. “Sorry, Navikak. Kuvan?” He sounded them out carefully, tasting how they felt on his tongue. “I don’t think I know what those mean.”

Orin should have known better than to bring up Kevlics. The normally verbose chef fell silent, lost in his own thoughts. He missed his bondmate, more than he could possibly express. Hearing Kavala talk about her own relationships with Kelvics, Orin felt a sharp pain in his chest and a headache start to come on. He suddenly had to blink back tears. Don’t let her see. The chef went stony faced, the only way he knew how to contain his suddenly raging emotions. If he let the wall don’t he wasn’t sure what would happen. “I’m glad you managed to rescue your niece and nephew,” Orin offered, using his entire willpower to keep his voice level. At least Kavala didn’t seem to support the practice of slavery. Orin found it despicable, but as a human there was nothing he could do about it in the city of Akalaks. At least he could release some of his tension by channeling it into his rage about slavers. “That’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. We didn’t keep slaves back in Syliras. The Order freed them.” That was one of the few unequivocally positive actions of the Knighthood. Still Orin didn’t make his opinions widely known, as the practice was quite popular here.

They’d thankfully finally arrived and Orin was lost in a sea of treasures, like a child in a sweets shop. It was just in time too, as the combination of Syliras and Kelvics had almost broken down Orin’s mental defenses. He felt bad that Kavala wasn’t getting much out of this exchange but the woman seemed confident enough that she could find her own books. Orin wanted to take the entire shelf down, but settled instead on grabbing a tome that appeared to be a cookbook of Riverfall delicacies. It seemed a timely and useful book to read. The chef was about to move on to the food preservation section himself, thinking that they could do some research together, when Kavala’s question stopped him in his tracks. “No one’s ever asked me that before,” Orin breathed out, trying to figure out why it felt as if he was being squeezed. As Kavala went on to ask about hobbies and describe her own love of geology, Orin tried to formulate a response that wouldn’t lead to an unpleasant scene in the middle of the books.

Eventually, he’d calmed his breathing enough to feel that he could reply without tears or shouting. He waited until she had selected something for herself before he spoke, though.“I…never really had a ah family, growing up. Or friends. Or anyone really.” Orin gazed off into the distance, his eyes unfocused, not able or willing to look at Kavala. “My father, he, he, he wasn’t a kind man and my mother died giving birth to me.” This story wasn’t an easy one to tell, but it was integral to answering Kavala’s question. Orin found himself getting a little choked up but rallied. “He never got over losing her and I don’t know, blamed me I guess? Anyway. I would sneak around sometimes – nobody really paid any attention to me – and I would look into windows or watch people at festivals. And I noticed something. People might fight, or disagree, or stay away from each other. But…food. Food always seemed to be something everyone could celebrate. It formed bonds between folks. It was the center of almost every celebration.” The chef shrugged, suddenly embarrassed on top of his depression. “It sounds silly now but I thought if I learned how to cook I could find that for myself.”

Orin angrily dashed the back of his hand across his eyes. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything, or came up with a simpler answer. I just….haven’t had anyone to talk to in a long while, it feel like.” That was a lame excuse and Orin fully expected Kavala to ridicule him or leave. No one liked seeing other people’s pain. Fixing his false bright smile on his face Orin thrust his feelings deep within himself, in a dark cavern of his mind that he should’ve known better than to enter. “I’m fine. Really. Happy as a clam. As for hobbies, well, I’m afraid I’m a one trick pony.” Orin felt himself reverting to old habits, of using meaningless chatter as a defense mechanism. “I mean, I train with my daggers and some other fighting disciplines but that seems more like a necessity than a hobby, if you know what I mean?” That much, at least was true. “But no if it isn’t food related I haven’t spent much time on it. I have been looking into trying to work on my philtering and medicine skills, mostly because I think there’s at least some overlap between well, cooking and making potions and putting together cures but it’s more of a very distant side project.” Hopefully the mention of medicines would get Kavala to ignore the chef’s earlier emotions and focus on her own love of healing.
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Orin Fenix
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Kavala on July 23rd, 2017, 6:16 pm

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Kavala thought that was interesting, the fact that he used every part of the ingredients when he got them. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know how he say used the brains or genitals or even some of the more distasteful ingredients. Sausage maybe? “I like Sea Urchin, but much of it isn’t edible. I rarely eat them because there are only small bits inside that are delicious. It’s nice you use all of your animal and plant carcasses that come into The Almond Blossom.” She said, chuckling slightly.

“Riverfall has known lean winters. I think all places have. It just depends on the weather. The Winter of 512 was really hard. We all learned that lesson quickly and now we eat far better because we work hard during the summer and fall to make sure things get put up.” Kavala responded, hating to bring up the Djed Storm of 512, but that’s really what she was saying. A lot of the people in Riverfall suffered. She was sure it was the same year round. She herself had supplemented their Sanctuary stores with bounty from the Sea. But not everyone was able to do that.

“My place is a few miles north of the city. It would be impossible to do what I do within the city. There’s not enough room. But we’re safe enough. We have large walls surrounding the compound and an expansive underground living component. The animals get all the above ground space the clinic doesn’t take. And since we are on the cliffs, I have a large sea cave that can shelter the animals in the event we have another storm… a djed storm.”
Kavala said, knowing that what she grazed out on the Sea of Grass would never make it back in time unless they had ample warning like they had before.

Kavala’s voice softened. “Orin, I wasn’t born on Mura where the rest of the Konti live. I was born to a Drykas Pavilion on the Sea of Grass. Most of my family are gone due to the Djed Storm we had a few years ago… the family that would claim me. Being Konti, even with a human father, isn’t easy among a human culture that values the ability for a woman to provide a man with Sons more than anything else. The family I have left are my niece and nephew, my children, and the rest are all folks that didn’t belong somewhere else that found a home at The Sanctuary. We are none of us related by blood, but we are all related by heart. I have a half dozen brothers and sisters that I work shoulder to shoulder with daily. To me, Friends are Family.” The Konti added, her face going soft and vulnerable for a moment.

Kavala nodded at Orin’s answer to her question. That made sense. Orin must be high enough ranking in his field to not do the preservation work that perhaps his underlings had too. She was pleased to note he was from Syliras too. “I enjoyed my two visits to Syliras. It was a lovely very friendly place. I found the knights very congenial.” The Konti added, chuckling. “I traveled through twice when I was younger in visiting Mura and returning home.” Kavala added, reaching up to tuck a strand of loose hair back into her pony tail that was slowly coming unraveled.

When Orin asked if she was fond of swimming, the Konti laughed. She tilted her neck back, ran her hand up to a spot just behind her ears, and flexed her gills for him to clearly see. “You might say we take to the water as if we were fish. Everyone should learn to swim sometime. If you’d like to learn just let me know. I bet we could trade some lessons or something. I’ve always wanted someone to take a look at The Sanctuary’s Pantry, Icebox, and Kitchen set up and maybe make some improvements to it or maybe make some suggestions for a menu to feed a lot of people at once with easy recipes. That sounds like something you could do easily.” Kavala added, not having the balls to ask him to teach her to cook. She knew a little and was getting better over time. But the Konti was a bit too proud to reveal that she could over boil water into vapor in next to no time because she was never able to actually concentrate with the interruption her children offered when she was at home.

“I’m thinking of buying it actually…” She said, in regards to The Sapphire Star. “The owner wants to sell and its basically just a ladies club were ladies come to meet, intermingle, and talk. Sometimes they will all read the same books and talk about them. OR sometimes they do art classes or hold parties. It’d just be a business investment. They also have male entertainers there that dance or cook or just give the women people to talk too. I believe it’s a lot like what you men would call a brothel, with the roles reversed.” Kavala admitted, knowing that she’d started to paint The Sapphire Star in a way that wasn’t really true to form. He’d find out eventually anyhow.

“Men aren’t the problem in Riverfall. I think we women have more freedoms here than most places, to be honest.” Kavala admitted, eyes darting to another book on the shelf that she plucked down to get a closer look at.

When he described how his staff was transient, Kavala frowned. “I couldn’t trust new grooms all the time. I want my animals cared for in a certain way and I have to have people I know in order to trust them. Especially my horses. That’s what I breed primarily, though we have Imperial Watchers that have a litter or two a year as well. Primarily we are known for our Warhorses. We breed Denusk Warhorses for the Kuvay’Nas Militia. They are the ones that have the shimmering duochrome coats that gleam in metallic colors when the sun hits them. Some are even a shimmery rainbow if their coats are light enough.” Kavala added, her expression wistful, almost thoughtful.

Their chatting continued, and Kavala found Orin easy to talk to. She was enjoying his company more than she’d like to admit. He was still human. But she knew there were exceptions to every race. Maybe he was one of them. Her brother was, and truth be told, Orin reminded her of Vanator. They even had similar mannerisms.

“Yes, Orin, they just keep it out in the open. To them its not as important as other things. I’m not sure they’d loan them to everyone, and the collection is a bit limited, but there are titles. Things like Glyphing, Auristics, and some of the more physical magics that some of the warriors are interested in. Projection, Flux… that kind of thing.” Kavala said, looking thoughtful before she continued. “Other things, like Reimancy, magecrafting, that sort of thing you need private tutors for. They are around, you just need to know where to look for them.” The Konti added.

“You really need to know a few things living here, Orin. Kuvan are non-Akalak that are full citizens of Riverfall. Non-Akakaks can’t even be real citizens unless they get Kuvan Status. They need one discipline like a weapon or unarmbed combat that’s competent and they test for it. It shows they are able to fight for Riverfall if the city needs it. I’m surprised you don’t have some wicked knife skills as a cook or something you could test under. You get a tattoo under your wrist when you get the status.” She twisted her wrist around and showed him her Kuvan Tattoo that indicated she was a full citizen. “You can’t even own a business in Riverfall unless you are a Kuvan.” She amended.

“A Nakivak is something else… it’s more the dark side of Riverfall.” Kavala lowered her voice and stepped closer to Orin, not quite believing he hadn’t heard of them before. “The Akalak are all males. Everyone knows that. They sire themselves on human, Kelvic and Konti women… sometimes others. But women are always in short supply so sometimes they rescue them from slavers or buy them in trade deals. These women go into debt to the Akalak.” The Konti kept her voice low. “They keep records on the debt owed to Riverfall and put a bracelet on the woman’s wrist then offer out a contract on her. Any male can take on a contract. Once he has her contract, she must bear him a child to pay back her debts. Some women who have nothing come here to voluntarily enter into the program. They are treated very well, sometimes like royalty, but its still… a form of … “ Kavala broke it off. “I have three children. Their father’s are dead. Akalak’s tend not to have long lifespans when they are young. I left my Pavilion when I was a young teen to train in medicine on Mura. When I was returning home to the Sea of Grass I was captured by slavers. Akalaks rescued me. That’s how I ended up here. I became a Nakivak and paid my debt to the Akalaks by having two children. My second pregnancy was a duo birth, so I ended up with three. It paid my debt. So… when you were asking about my family. I made my own.” Kavala said, chuckling slightly. “I have two boys and a little girl. And even though they don’t have fathers, I am trying to raise them in their culture as best as I can. My weapons trainer takes the boys often, and will run their rites of passage when the time comes.” Kavala said, shaking her head. “How have you been in Riverfall as long as you have without knowing these things? Nakivaks are all over the place. If one comes into your restaurant, they will seat her immediately. Pay attention to it. You can spot them by the bracelets that are various colors denoting various ranks. They are called Undan. And you won’t see a way they can be removed. They look like manacles. A silver one means that she’s available for a contract and you can have her if you take it on. A gold one means she’s under contract and her body is owned by someone. These women are usually pregnant. They rank above a lot of the general population.” Kavala pointed out.

They talked of Kelvics and Kavala noticed a change in Orin. It was hard to see at first, but there was something there. But she didn’t want to press. He might have known one, sired one, or even tangled with one in the past. HE offered kind words, but his eyes were haunted. She moved on quickly, not wanting to hurt him or bring him distress.

So she changed the subject and asked him something that surprisingly startled him. He gave her the rundown on his history and Kavala listened intently. It wasn’t an easy past, that much she could tell. Orin skimmed over the details, but from his expression and what he did say, she could tell it wasn’t pleasant. “It doesn’t sound silly at all, Orin. We all do what we love. I’m so sorry your father wasn’t a loving man. I run into that a lot with humans. Most humans have me wary of even spending time with them. They tend to be wrapped up in themselves. You don’t seem to be anything like him. If I were you I would be proud of that fact. We don’t have to grow, as children, to be what our parents are.” The Healer was firm on that one. But she grew quiet again as Orin started talking about his hobbies.

“One piece of advice, Orin. It’s a good idea to be good at more than one thing. I love daggers too and would be glad to spar with you any time. IF you ever want to learn to swim, I’d be willing to teach you as well. I mean that. And as for combining cooking with potions, that’s a noble cause. I am twice marked by Rak’keli. If you ever need healing potions to add to your dishes, let me know and I can supply them. I’d want something in return though…” She added, almost flirting with him… almost.

“I’d want at least a meal once in a while at your restaurant. I have very little excuse to get out to the city these days, and anything is a really good reason to take a break. Trust me on that one.” Kavala said, then glanced down at the book she’d drawn from the shelves. It was on saving seeds and planting things that could be sprouted again the next season. The title made her smile and she added it to the other one that was already tucked under her arm.

“Now… we should get you some books… reading is an excellent hobby. Is there any other sections you want me to show you now you know where the cooking and preserving one is?”
She asked curiously, wondering what else he’d want to reveal about himself, even inadvertently.
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The Sanctuary The Sanctuary Forum Riverfall The Cytali
Reverie Isle Wolf Creek Training Course
Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
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Kavala
I am more than the sum of my parts.
 
Posts: 3022
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Joined roleplay: October 25th, 2009, 1:46 am
Location: Riverfall
Race: Konti
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Medals: 19
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 23rd, 2017, 8:42 pm

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Orin had to laugh along with Kavala. “Well of course we can’t use everything. Some parts are simply inedible, no matter how many spices you throw at them. That usually goes into compost buckets that we occasionally send down to the farms. Sort of a comes around goes around deal.” It was true that even the minimal food waste that they sent down to the orchards was helpful.

As Kavala started to talk about the Winter of 512, Orin found himself nodding. “Yes. That was a tough season everywhere. And growing up around farmers teaches you everything you need to know about lean winters.” A lot of people had died in 512 and even the study walls of Syliras had taken damage, although Orin’s memories of the event were vague. He was still recovering from his father’s death, and his haze of grief and the overall terror of the Djed storm didn’t exactly lend itself to coherent thought. Orin was just glad he’d survived that particular ordeal.

“It sounds like a wonderful place. Lots of space is probably great. It’s good that you seem to be well established. I imagine getting all of that set up must’ve taken years” The one aspect that Orin disliked was the idea of living underground. He’d had quite enough of that in his brief time in Syliras. The chef needed to see the sky when he walked out of the door. Orin dreamed of opening his own restaurant one day, but the timing had never seemed to work out. The chef also hadn’t been confident enough in his own skills to pursue it actively. Perhaps he’d have his own place one day though. Riverfall seemed to appreciate cooks of all calibers, so maybe they had room for one more. As Kavala brought up the Djed storm again, Orin focused his attention more closely on her. She seemed particularly affected by the event.

He was about to ask her about it when she answered his question for him. However, her explanation sent him slightly reeling, as she seemed to be assuming he had a knowledge base that he simply didn’t possess. He didn’t want to ask her too much about it, though, as they seemed to be difficult topics of conversation. Not wanting to be considered a simpleton by her, Orin chose his response cautiously. “I’m not familiar with Mura or the Drykas. But I know how stubborn family can be. I can’t understand why the people closest to us are sometimes the ones who seemed to have the hardest time accepting who we are. I’m glad that you’ve seemed to have made your own place in the world, though.” Even the name, Sanctuary, spoke of safety and comfort above all else. “And I’m sorry for your losses. You never really get over losing the people you love, not really.” At least, Orin hadn’t, and he didn’t think he ever would.

As Kavala casually mentioned her travels through Syliras on her way to Mura, Orin’s eyes widened in admiration. “You seem to be very well traveled.” Orin himself had only been to Syliras, Abura, and Riverfall, and his stay in the last two had been very brief. At her comment that she had enjoyed her stay, Orin nodded. “Yes, the Order is very friendly when it comes to outsiders.” After all, they had to present the appearance of benevolence, even if their treatment of the actual citizens could border on oppression. Still, if Kavala liked it there he wasn’t going to disabuse her of the notion.

As the Konti revealed her gills, which apparently all Konti possessed, Orin’s jaw almost dropped, and it was only through sheer force of will that it didn’t. He was sure that the surprise was clear on his face. At her suggestion that they trade lessons, swimming for cooking, Orin almost smiled. It was familiar. Quite a few people enjoyed learning how to cook. “I’ll have to take you up on that, but I warn you, I am hopeless in the water. In the kitchen, however, I can tackle pretty much anything you throw my way. I’d be glad to look over your setup at some point and give you pointers. I can ever write down some simple recipes that feed large groups if I’m not able to come out for lessons often enough.” Orin had spent a surprising amount of time teaching random individuals who always seemed to be stopping by his kitchen.

As Kavala described the Sapphire Star, Orin realized that it seemed to be a high-class entertainment venue solely for women. The way Kavala described it, it seemed to be a mix of tavern, spa, and exotic dance club. Since Orin wouldn't be allowed inside, he didn't really need that specialized a knowledge of the place. At Kavala’s casual mention that she might buy the place Orin couldn't help but throw a sidelong glance her way. Not a lot of people could just casually spend that much money. “Well it seems like a good investment.”

At Kavala’s rather dismissive comment about women in Riverfall, Orin raised his eyebrows. He wasn't going to disagree with her, especially since she was the expert on Riverfall. However, in both Syliras and Abura, from what Orin could tell, women were treated as equals to men, which definitely was not the case in Riverfall. Females were treated well, for sure, but they were also coddled in a lot of ways, presumably because the all male Akalaks needed women to stay safe. Still, given Kavala’s description of the Drykas, who apparently favored sons, maybe the chef shouldn't be surprised at her attitude.

As Kavala went on to describe the exact nature of her breeding program, Orin found himself more and more impressed. He'd seen the horses he described and while he wasn't an expert on horseflesh they certainly seemed to be incredible specimens. “Well. Seems like you've got a lot of work on your hands! I haven't worked much with animals, to be honest.” The chef laughed. “I was on a horse, once. It was fun although a lot of work. I should probably learn how to ride properly though.” Orin had never really had to deal with the livestock in Mithryn.

Imagine the Order’s reaction! Knowledge of all kinds was carefully regulated in the fortress city and so Orin imagined the stuck up Knights would have an apoplectic attack if they ever walked in here. “Well thanks for letting me know. I'll have to keep an eye out on future visits.” It would be rude to ditch Kavala and go off to look for the magic books, after all, even though a part of Orin longed to go. Glyphing and Auristics, were at least worth a glance, although Projection and Flux probably weren't for him if they were physical based magics. Even though he knew the dangers of magic, Orin thought he was cautious and patient enough to learn it without succumbing to its lure. The chef paused, debating whether he should ask Kavala more about it. “Do you have much experience with the arcane arts yourself?” It was shocking to Orin how many people knew a little bit of magic here and there.

Kavala seemed a bit incredulous that Orin didn't know more about the city and its customs so the chef sat quietly as she made her way through explanations of citizenship and the special form of slavery they had here. Orin wondered if the woman was a bit impatient when she thought someone was being a bit slow. Still, knowing about Kuvan status and Navikaks would make his life here easier. “This is all really useful,” Orin finally said when she reached the end of her lesson. “To be honest, I haven't been here all that long, and I...don't get out a lot.” It was more like Orin was terrified of poking around, given his upbringing in Syliras. The chef made a note to ask Kavala about weapons training. More importantly, though, it sounded as if Kavala had her own share of painful memories. “I'm sorry to hear that you were put through all that. And I'm glad that you were rescued.” The thought of this beautiful, kind, and intelligent woman in the hands of slavers and then later being forced into basically being a broodmare made his blood boil but Orin carefully didn't let his temper go. There was nothing much he could do to change Riverfall culture. He decided to change the subject to one that was probably more pleasant for both of them. “How old are your kids?”

Thankfully, the discussion of Kelvics didn't go anywhere. However, Kavala offered her own words of comfort regarding Orin’s past, and for that he was eternally grateful. Given that he much preferred Riverfall to Syliras, maybe there was something to Kavala’s statement about humans being selfish. “Thank you, for saying all that. And thanks for taking a chance on me. I promise to do my best to change your mind about humans.” He didn't respond to her comment about children not having to become their parents. It was his deepest fear, because Orin knew that he had darkness within, barely tethered. It was part of why he worshipped Priskil. He had to be vigilant against evil within and without.

Kavala seemed to have an endless array of talents. “I seem to be a taking to an expert on hobbies. I'd happily spar with you, and swim. And I'd love to see your horses at some point.” The chef hesitated, thinking of something that he'd tried once and enjoyed. “This is really random, but I think I might want to look into acrobatics. Sorry, just thinking aloud.” He probably wasn't acrobat material, unfortunately. “As for teaching, well, you may come to regret that offer.” Orin grinned at Kavala although he wasn't really kidding. At least she didn't seem to find his idea of combining philtering and cooking to be ridiculous. When she revealed that the goddess of healing had twice blessed her, however, Orin had to laugh. “Tell me is there anything you can't do?” It seemed that Kavala had it all, in a lot of ways, although he didn't know her enough to make that judgement. As she commented that she might want something in return, though, Orin felt his mind screech to a halt. Is she...flirting with me? Given what she'd told him, he imagined that she would be incredibly popular with the denizens of Riverfall, so what she saw in him he couldn't begin to guess. Still, it might just be a bit of harmless teasing, which nevertheless made him blush. He should probably respond in kind although it wasn't his forte. “Anything you want. It'd be my pleasure.” He knew he sounded awkward and stilted, but maybe she'd find his efforts endearing.

“Of course! You are always welcome.” Orin smiled, glad they were back on more comfortable topics for him. “And if it's that hard for you to come to The Almond Blossom, I can always bring The Almond Blossom to you.” Regardless of how simple the Sanctuary’s kitchen was, Orin had no doubt he could whip something together that was better than Kavala’s current cook. After everything she'd offered and all the information she'd provided, it was the least he could do.

“Are you sure you don't want any more books for yourself while you're here?” The chef asked mostly to be polite. Orin’s mind raced as he tried to come up with a short list of alternate topics. He could always come back to the library another day, now that he knew it existed. The books weren't going anywhere. There was also only a limited number of books he could carry, so that was a factor. He wanted to read everything but knew that wasn't realistic. Orin also didn't want to impose to much on Kavala; after all, the woman seemed incredibly busy. “Do you think there's a book about herbs around Riverfall? Culinary or medicinal, or both?” That would be incredibly and immediately useful to Orin. Of course, there was one other section he was dying to ask about. “And can you show me where they keep the magical tomes? I doubt I'll ever be brave enough to actually open them but still, I’d like to know.” Orin had known good mages, after all. There was no rule that said he couldn't be one of them.
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Orin Fenix
Almost Iron But Actually Master Chef
 
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Joined roleplay: January 24th, 2015, 12:06 am
Location: Riverfall
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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Kavala on July 23rd, 2017, 10:32 pm

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She didn’t mean to drive the conversation. The Konti held back and let Orin speak a bit, nodding to him when he offered sympathies to her losses and expressed his own sorrow at what had happened the Spring of 512. None of them were strangers to loss. It happened. The world was a rough place and never seemed to grow easier. The Konti watched him closely as he spoke of Syliras and sensed something there wasn’t setting easy with him. But then he was easily distracted by the nature of the Konti as well. Most people knew they were sea dwelling races. It was not a surprise. But knowing he was from Syliras explained a lot. There were very few of her sister’s there, whereas Riverfall was rife with them. As many Akalaks that traveled to Mura there were at least as many Konti that traveled to Riverfall. In a lot of was the two cities were companions even though they were half a world away.

She was grateful he wanted to learn to swim and would look over her stores and setup at The Sanctuary. It would help to have an extra eye on things or even have some recipes tailored to their dinner time. Kavala offered him a grateful smile to his agreeable attitude and was glad when he didn’t react too badly to the Sapphire Star’s explanation. It was often that men understood their own needs, but then seemed shocked that women had similar needs in regards to safety, good conversation, and safe entertainment. She only nodded to his comment about it being a good investment. “We’ll see. I’m still thinking about it. I don’t want to get over my head with businesses.” She added. “I’d need to find someone to run it. I don’t have the time.”

They skimmed over the topic of warhorses, which was fine with Kavala because she liked to talk shop but talking shop to someone who’d never spent much time on a horse wasn’t much fun. It would be like Orin asking her an opinion on a complex recipe when she was but a novice cook.

“I know a few things in the arcane arts. I’m a decent reimancer, know auristics, a little shielding, glyphing, and am hoping to learn some magecrafting from a friend.” The magecrafting was a bit much to explain, but she didn’t mind being forthright with Orin. “I’ve taught before… I’m a decent teacher. A lot of people in Riverfall are mages. It’s just not a big deal here. It’s more a supplemental art. Combat is much more appreciated and acknowledged. You’ll never be in a safer city walking down the streets full of warriors than you would be here. And honestly, they are fairly accepting of all things as long as you know your way around a weapon or some unarmed combat decently enough.” She said, chuckling slightly

“You humans don’t honestly live long enough to stay in Orin. You should get out, experience life, its such a short precious thing. Even to the longer lived races like the Akalak. They often die young.” She added, looking thoughtful. He had one more question for her, a direct one instead of a comment. She tried her best to answer it. “One son is six, the other is four and my daughter is four. They grow so fast. I’ve been free of my obligations to Riverfall for four years since their births.” She added, proud of that fact.

He was back to talking about books and she went with the flow. It seemed like they were already compressing a lot of conversation into a short visit. “I already did… this is it!” She said, indicating the book tucked under her arm that she’d found almost immediately upon their arrival to the stacks they were standing in front of. “No need to help. It’s got an identical title.” She added.

“They should let you take books out. I don’t see why they wouldn’t with you. Books are valuable, but I think they have copies of most things in the basement. IF you fail to return one or damaged it, then your privileges here would be over. I think they are more understanding of accidents, but you ‘d still have to pay damages. Come on… I’ll show you towards the magic books. We can browse through them together.” With that, Kavala lead them off, allowing the conversation to quietly flow between them as they walked. She lead him up another hall, down two turns, and up to a mezzanine of sorts. It was filled with books on philtering, magic, and meditation. There was even a small corner area next to the stacks with pillows for relaxing and meditating. Kavala didn’t hesitate to take a seat and lean up against the wall while Orin browsed. She had an easy way about her as she watched him look his fill.

“I am not good at a lot of things… cooking is one of them. I’m fairly terrible at relationships and people in general. I evidently made a terrible daughter. I pretty horrible at fashion and other things women are supposed to be good at like cosmetics and hair. And I’m pretty sure when they grow up my kids will tell you I’m a terrible mother because I make them work and train even at this age because they are going to need it to survive. I let them play too, but not like some of the other Akalak spoil their children. It’s almost criminal how they coddle them.” Kavala said with a laugh, opening the book in her hand, not the copy she’d come to borrow but the other that had taken her fancy. It was on making scents, perfume…. “I certainly know nothing about scenting one’s things either. Perfumery?” She said holding the book aloft with a wry smile.

“I wouldn’t mind grabbing something to eat after this….” She said, wondering where a chef ate when he wasn’t cooking. “You could join me if you wanted. Though I have no idea where a good chef eats when hes not cooking for himself. My treat, of course…” She added, not wanting coin to be a factor. “Its no trouble going to the Almond Blossom. I just need an excuse to do so. With me, its either dinning with three or alone depending on where the kids are and what they are doing. Today they are with Larik, their cousin who took them hunting… rabbits I think. My oldest, Tasival, was fairly happy to learn. The other two just want to do whatever it is Tasi is doing at the moment. So Larik volunteered to take all three for the day. He does that often. He reminds me so much of my brother. I miss him being around. He is off with a new wife seeing her homeland and might return soon. He didn’t know of the twins or that I have them. It will be quite a surprise when he returns.” She added with a smile. Then she looked up at him from her book and laughed.

“You are easy to talk too. We’ve been all over the board today with conversation. That’s a rare thing for me. Oh… and the herbalism books… you asked about them. They are down below this level almost directly beneath us.” She added, leaning back and kicking her booted feet out. Her pale cream riding leathers were comfortable and acceptable in Riverfall. But they weren’t probably what a lady would wear. She almost regretted not looking nice today for her trip to the library.

And with that she’d leave Orin to pick a topic or find himself a book. She could have told him about herbalism, at least a little, but she felt like he was already feeling a bit overwhelmed with her interests and what she did for a living. That was the problem with most men. They thought her life was too big. Maybe it was. But she enjoyed it and luckily she felt she had enough. She’d always had enough, truth be told, as long as she had her freedom.
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The Sanctuary The Sanctuary Forum Riverfall The Cytali
Reverie Isle Wolf Creek Training Course
Please Note:
  • This pc is maxed out in Animal Husbandry, Medicine, Observation, Rhetoric, and Socialization.
  • Kavala a Master Teacher. Students she is teaching in thread can earn more than the maxium 5 XP per thread.
  • This pc has a Konti Gift of Animal Empathy. She has a superpower from a Riverfall city event that allows animals of all sorts and Kelvics (in kelvic form) to speak clear understandable Common around her.
  • Kavala is a Konti but was raised in the Drykas culture so her accent is entirely Pavi though she can speak Common, Pavi, and Tukant well. She's only conversational in Kontinese.
User avatar
Kavala
I am more than the sum of my parts.
 
Posts: 3022
Words: 3290117
Joined roleplay: October 25th, 2009, 1:46 am
Location: Riverfall
Race: Konti
Character sheet
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Plotnotes
Medals: 19
Featured Thread (1) Trailblazer (2)
Overlored (1) Master Merchant (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

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