Praise be to my god and yours (Orin)

A visit to the park turns into a spiritual learning experience

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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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Praise be to my god and yours (Orin)

Postby Sheaya on September 19th, 2016, 6:24 am


Fall 17 Dusk
Lapis Park



It had been two years now since Sheaya had came to this strange city and it still wasn't getting any easier to grasp in her mind. Winters were cold and not enjoyable, the ground was always hard and the natives here were eyeing her more that usual. While the last note she knew she could attribute to the silver bracelet that still weighed uncomfortably on her arm. It was only a matter of time before she would be used by these people like the livestock she use to raise, but she tried her hardest to push that from her mind. That was a thought and worry for another day which had yet to come.
All the same, it was part of the reason why she left to go out during the early morning hours or in the later evening. The fewer men she had to cross paths with the better, and she knew the odds of her running into a face she knew was all but impossible now. After the first year she had given hope on finding any surviving members of her tent and no amount of roaming the streets was going to increase those odds.

Wrapping her head with her shawl which was customary for her and hugging her blanket, the only real last piece of her life in the desert with her family, she left her home to go pray. The sun was about to go down and by the time she made it to her preferred park she knew it would be nearly set which would give her time and privacy to meditate. Knirin Garden was technically closer for her to go to, but Lapis Park was where she preferred to be when she needed alone time. It was beautiful and it had been her refuge for many days when she felt she had had no where else to go and it felt less crowded to her there.
Keeping her head down she walked down the street, hiding her arms under the folds over her blanket that she held close to her body she kept herself as small as possible as she slipped out into the streets and went on her way.

It was still a little warm out as summer was still fighting the shift in the weather but there was still that underlining chill that liked to creep in the moment the sun went down. The Benshira was personally grateful for the lingering heat and just hoped it wouldn't get too chilly before she returned home. She darted between people she passed, all who were probably closing up their businesses and making their way home for the evening. The small woman seemed to barely register to them as she slipped by, her gait keeping her at a steady, jingling pace. It wasn't until she was safely in the garden that she let out a small sight of relief.

She held her head high and alert as she found her way to a quiet place. There were people strolling and admiring the park but she tried to not pay them much mind. She kept to herself most of the time which was rather lonely existence which she was still unsure how to deal with.
Just as she had done for nearly every day for two years now she laid down her blanket on the grass before she dropped to her knees on it and bowed down with her face to the ground as she started praying out loud.


"Yahal my Holy and most trusted god, I kneel this evening to thank you for this day. Thank you for giving me eyes that can see, for ears that can hear. I thank you for my health and my life on this day, I pray that my devotion to you is enough to give me the strength to go on." That last line was still striking her hard and put a quiver of emotion in her voice as she continued on. "May your light shine upon the path I must tread in this dark world and make me a better servant of yours. I-- I need your guidance more than ever Yahal. I will stand strong in this test and to keep my body and life pure, but I-- I need your strength to keep me going."


She went on for some time, no doubt making the usual spectacle of herself as she repeated her praise unto Yahal until nearly 30 chimes after the bell passed. It was only then that she sat up on her knees and rubbed any tears from her eyes that might have made their way out in her devotion.
She had prayed every day but she didn't feel any closer to her god. She felt alone, abandoned even in this city and yet she only blamed herself for this. To some degree she wondered what she could do to strengthen her connection to Yahal so she could beg for mercy, but there were no priests of Yahal here. Further more there was no sons of Rapa here that might have a better connection to him, nor was there any elder for that matter. It was times like these she felt alone in more ways than one.

Last edited by Sheaya on September 19th, 2016, 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Praise be to my god and yours (Orin)

Postby Orin Fenix on September 19th, 2016, 9:19 pm

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As Orin left the Almond Blossom, he breathed a sigh of relief. It was earlier than he usually got out, but Dolmar had decided to give the human chef the night off. Normally Orin would’ve been worried that his employer didn’t seem to want him around. That would start him on a downward spiral of neurotic thoughts, culminating in him believing that he was bad at his job. This time, though, he managed to catch the first stirrings of unease. He reminded himself firmly that he was a skilled chef, and that Dolmar and Korana were pleased with Orin’s work. Moreover, Orin had been in every single day he was able, and Korana had flat out told Orin that she was worried about him burning out.

Still, although he recognized the vicious cycle that made him depressed for no logical reason and managed to hold it off, Orin didn’t want to go back to his lonely apartment. All that would serve to do is make him upset. He’d be left with nothing but his own thoughts for company, and with no one around, his cheerful façade was prone to breaking, even if it was getting better. When there was no one around, though, he was just reminded of how empty his life was. It had been that way ever since he’d severed his bond with Sylvette, after being abandoned by his companions as he left Syliras. It had been the only option, the best outcome for both him and his former Kelvic, but it had shattered Orin’s psyche. That’s why he worked so hard. Not only did he find joy in the simple act of cooking, it often left him too tired for much introspection. He’d gotten better, over the last season, but he was still picking up the pieces.

So, going home didn’t appeal to Orin. But he wasn’t much for nights out on the town either. His father’s alcoholism had left a healthy fear of drunks in him. He didn’t know how to dance. He had no desire for sex with someone who he didn’t love. And he wasn’t a gambler. Even if he had been looking for such sins, he didn’t know where to find them. The few business Orin knew of would probably be closed at this bell. Taverns and eateries, The Almond Blossom included, tended to be open later than most other places, because people came after their own workdays were finished. All this meant that Orin’s options were limited.

He could go to the Azurite Watchtower and hope that the keepers and guardians there, those who preached of Priskil could teach him more of her ways. However, he felt guilty for taking up so much their time, when they no doubt had important work to do. Besides, he didn’t really seek guidance at this particular moment. Orin knew what he was facing; he just didn’t have the resources available to fight it. Going to the Watchtower would be a waste of everyone’s efforts. There was, however, another option. Orin had been told rumors of a park that was blessed by Priskil, or at least tended to by her devotees.

It was called the Lapis Park, and he’d inquired into its whereabouts. It turned out that it was basically on his way home from The Almond Blossom to The Cora Apartments. That meant if all else failed, he could just go home. Essentially, he had nothing to lose, and while strolling through a park hadn’t even been high on Orin’s to-do lists, maybe that was because he’d never done it for pleasure before. He set off, much more content than he had been since he’d stepped outside The Almond Blossom and realized that he had nowhere to go.

The air had a slight chill to it, a hint that the Fall was slowly taking over from the Summer. It wasn’t quite cold enough to need heavier clothing than he was wearing, but it would probably be smart for him to inquire what Winters in Riverfall were like. If they were freezing, he might need to acquire more suitable clothing. He admired the architecture as he passed. It was a far cry from both his birthplace of Syliras and Mithryn Outpost. While Syliras and Riverfall were both made of stone, Syliras’ hallways had stifled and oppressed, while Riverfall’s walls and buildings were full of life, the rooftops and sightlines dominated by domes and towers. The soft splash of water and the air redolent with spices and night-blooming plants that were braving the cooler air, as well as the people bustling about completed the picture of the vivacious city.

Making a right turn onto the road, Orin could see the bridge in the far distance. He usually crossed it and soon enough was at his lodgings. This time, though, he walked forward for a bit, passing some stables if the sounds of horses inside were accurate. Once past, he turned left, and was soon rewarded by a soft glow ahead of him. It soon resolved itself lights that illuminated the darkness, revealing a beautiful, if harsh looking landscape. The most remarkable part was that there appeared to be gemstones scattered about. They weren’t worked pieces, but instead raw and untouched, and beautiful in their natural state.

A few other people were walking about, but Orin ignored them, wandering where his heart took him. He didn’t have anywhere particular, so he stopped often to admire the beauty. He was engrossed by the sheer artistry of it, even though he knew relatively little of gems and their worth. The terrain was rougher than he’d realized, though, and soon enough his legs had developed a pleasant ache. Having no idea how long he’d walked, and realizing that he should probably rest for a while. He was searching for a place off one of the trails when a voice caught his attention.

Glancing about, he noticed a woman who was kneeling on a blanket, with her face actually pressed to the ground. She was dressed simply enough, and her head was wrapped in a scarf, although a few strands of hair had escaped. Her hair was dark, her skin slightly lighter. She seemed small, although her position made it hard to tell exactly what size she was. The few other people who passed by gave her odd looks and skirted widely around, but she didn’t notice, or if she did, she didn’t respond. Orin couldn’t understand what she was saying, but it had an oddly ritualized feel to it. Although it felt like an intrusion, he watched her, unwilling to interrupt, but also unwilling to leave.

After an indeterminate amount of time, she finally stopped, sitting up and rubbing her eyes. That broke whatever spell had taken ahold of Orin and he felt obligated to speak to her. Making his way to where she could see him clearly, he crouched down to put himself on her level. From here, he noticed that her eyes were a startling shade of green. There was a glint of silver at her wrist, but Orin didn't spare the bracelet more than a glance.

He probably looked awkward, half-kneeling there, and his tone of voice probably didn’t help, but he was trying to put her at ease. “Ah, sorry, ma’am. I didn’t mean to bother you.” Hopefully she spoke at least some Common. If not, this was going to be a very awkwardly one-sided and short conversation. “I’m Orin Fenix, and I just wanted to thank you letting me witness that.” Realizing that she might not have wanted an audience, he quickly added, “I’m sorry if that was private and I don’t mean to intrude.” She probably thought he was rude, even though he was trying his best to be friendly. “I came out here,” he told her, gesturing at their surroundings, “looking for some serenity.” Smiling gently, he concluded, “It looks like you might have found some.” This secluded place did seem oddly peaceful, and she did seem to take some pleasure it whatever he’d just seen.
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Praise be to my god and yours (Orin)

Postby Sheaya on September 20th, 2016, 4:57 pm




As she brushed the tears of her heartfelt prayer from her eyes she felt a sense of relief that she did not wear makeup like that ridiculous kohl she was so use to associating Eypharians with as she had yet to peer upon one’s face and not seen the heavy makeup on them. What little of cosmetics she did know was they apparently ran and stained when exposed to tears which seemed highly ridiculous to her. All makeup seemed to be used for was to draw the eye of men which did not seem wholesome to her in the least bit. She was a daughter of Basalom, but she would not sink as low as to allow herself to be the attention of impure thoughts like that.

She was painfully caught up in her own thoughts, unaware of the people nearby as she played with the idea if she should leave now or if she should linger and try and take some comfort in song. Perhaps it was that deep focus that caused her to jump when a man entered her space, keeling down to speak to her.

Her bright eyes grew wide with shock as she slightly leaned back as she man spoke and it took her a moment to gather her wits. He probably thought she was some simpleton or a foreigner with no grasp of the common tongue given her display, and perhaps for some moment she did forget herself as she had not expected anyone, let alone some man to step forward like this. There wasn’t even a hopeful moment for her that this was a man from her home city as one look into his softly colored eyes and saw that his skin was lacking that distinct sun-kissed color that the sun of the Eyktol desert bestowed on the children born there.

”Falim.” She greeted him back softly as a nervous habit drove her need to make sure her head covering was still in place and brushing some loose hairs behind her ear quickly.
She thought that perhaps she had disturbed him in some way with her devotional, but to quite some surprise she found him thanking her.

’Av-berkave. Yahal, what have you brought to me this day?’ She wondered to herself as she felt herself relax a little. This was seeming less like something negative and more like something some answer to her prayers. Perhaps this was a reason why she had survived when so many of her tent had died, perhaps she was to be a light unto others in need. She felt those overcharged emotions of her trying to well up in the form of tears which she fought back and instead offered him a small smile which she rarely did for strangers any more.

”Hello to you Orin Fenix, I am Sheaya from the tents of Rapa, of the sons of Basalom.” She said to him as if he was one of her own kind. ”I pray for you that you found some comfort in watching me and I am sorry if I disturbed you in any way. I often come to this park as it does not feel as crowded, I try to stay out of the way of others here.”

Serenity the word kept ringing through her mind as it had a strange ring to it, it not being one she was use to hearing in the common tongue and was trying desperately to recall anything on what the word meant or what it’s equivalent would mean in Shiber. After some mulling she pieced it together with the word peace but was unsure if that was entirely accurate or not.
Had she found some peace in her prayer? She had to ask herself that as she shifted her weight to restore some blood flow to her feet, angling her body towards him a little more so she could see him better without turning her neck greatly. To be honest with herself she still felt some questions within herself if her prayers were even reaching Yahal in this city and region so far from home, but she was just going to hope that this man before her was a sign otherwise.

This man before her looked highly uncomfortable how he remained there in that awkward state between standing and sitting, and that old hospitality that she had not tapped into for years in the absence of guests and masha started to come out as she gestured to him that he was welcomed to her little area on her blanket with a small sweep of her hand.

”Are you looking for peace in your heart?” She asked, hoping her common tongue wasn’t a distraction as she still wasn’t speaking it with confidence as she did her home tongue. ”I can not say I am use to people thanking me for my prayer here, nor am I use to seeing others looking for that peace here. Most seem to go to their temples for their god.” She gently folded her hands on her lap, feeling a chill run through her as the air was starting to get colder. By now she was usually wrapping herself up in the old family blanket but for now she was just going to have to push those mortal problems from her mind and keep on a face for her guests here.

Feeling more at ease with him now as he seemed like a calm man she was starting to believe Yahal had guided to her, she started to give him a modest glance over for a better idea of who her guest was. He seemed entirely human, but that was sometimes hard to be entirely certain in a city like this where it felt like many were coming in and out of. For all she knew she could be talking to some Kelvic which the idea of set her a little on edge still, but she was not going to let that spoil this moment which she was hoping would reveal some comfort for her heart.
Orin was easy on the eyes, she wasn’t going to deny that but she was not going to let her thought linger on that too much as it was not decent of her. She had no husband anymore and her body had been touched by that husband many nights, but she still guarded her thoughts and her modesty as if she was still that untouched girl keeping herself pure.

”I am curious, Orin. Why do you seek serenity here and not at the towers built for the gods here? Are they strangers to you as they are to me?” She asked, not holding her tongue back one bit which was often her folly.


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Postby Orin Fenix on September 20th, 2016, 7:40 pm

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The woman was clearly startled by Orin’s unexpected entrance into her life and a surge of guilt shot through the cook. It was a predictable reaction to a stranger trying to invite himself or herself into someone’s life. She spoke a word in a language that Orin was unfamiliar with, further adding to his belief that she’d be incredibly surprised by his presence. Clearly he was speaking Common and if she wasn’t, either she didn’t speak the language or it wasn’t her first choice. She also adjusted her headscarf, pulling it closer around her as if it could defend her from his attention. Holding out his hand in a placating gesture, he hoped that he could diffuse some of the tension he could read in her body language. “My apologies. I had no intention of intruding.” Maybe she’d settle down once she realized he had no intention of harming or insulting her.

Sure enough, his patience paid off. She relaxed, and the skittish look departed with it. While she still seemed a bit shaken, she had whatever emotions had been moving her under control. And it seemed they would be able to communicate perfectly well. Not only did she speak Common, albeit with an accent, she didn’t actually seem to mind that he’d stopped to speak with her. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sheaya.” He extended a hand to her to shake. However, the rest of her introduction confused him. He tilted his head inquisitively and wracked his memory, trying to determine if he’d ever heard of the place or the people she was referencing. “Where is Rapa and who is Basalom?” Belatedly realizing how ignorant and pushy that made him sound, he blushed. “That is, if you don’t mind me asking.”

The idea that she would pray for him made him smile, although it had a melancholy edge to it. No one really cared about him. Sure, his employers would miss his presence, probably, but no one in Riverfall, and, for all he knew, no one in Syliras would even notice if he disappeared. So while it was sweet that she would think of him, it also highlighted how alone he really was. He very carefully kept from thinking too hard about it, not wanting to break down in front of a stranger. “You did not bother me in the slightest. Quite the opposite, I’m afraid.” Indeed, it was odd that she’d apologize when he’d interrupted her.

Looking at their surroundings, Orin tried to draw the stillness in the air into his mind and the light into his heart. “It is a bit off the beaten path, isn’t it? But pretty. Calm.” Returning his attention to her, he continued, “I can see why you might like to come out here. Get away from the bustle of the crowds.” It was true that Orin had never been comfortable large crowds of people. However, that’s mostly because he knew he had a tendency to make a fool of himself in group settings. Hoping that she wouldn’t mind if he indulged his curiosity, Orin decided to ask a few more questions. “So, you come out here often? To do what, exactly?” He’d never seen anyway do what Sheaya had done, but she clearly had to have practiced it many times to make it look as graceful as she did. “How’d you even discover this place?” It was not easy to find any place in Riverfall that was this empty. Realizing that he was focused entirely on what she’d been doing but not on her specifically, he coughed to hid his embarrassment. “Are you, ah, from the city originally.”

She paused for a long time after his words, which was good, as it allowed him to collect his own scattered thoughts. When she finally did respond, he furrowed his eyes, trying to figure out how best to reply. In the meantime, he took her up on her offer and settled onto her blanket, taking care not to disturb it or damage it any way. It seemed important to her and he would respect that. “Peace, calm, sure. I was looking for those.” Still, though, that was only a partial truth. While it might make him seem pathetic in her eyes, he didn’t like lying for a variety of reasons. Mostly because he was bad at it, but also because he felt that lies could destroy lives. “That was a part of it. Another part was that I was…lonely, I guess. I didn’t have anything to go home to.” It hurt, admitting that, but also felt right, and good. Too long he kept his emotions bottled up, until they exploded on him. He was trying to feel out a different approach.

The change of topics was welcome, and Orin settled into the discussion of his faith with relish. He actually laughed at her comments. She had folded her hands in her lap, after taking some time to rub her legs. Despite the growing chill in the air, she appeared unperturbed, balanced somehow. “I’ve noticed that many here pray with their heads and not their hearts. They think that going to the temples and appeasing the priests will grab their chosen god or goddess’ attention.” Orin had come to his beliefs more gradually and more faithfully, and in that way, it felt more real. “I seek out peace wherever I might find it. After all, if the gods are that powerful and knowing, it shouldn’t matter where I pray, right?” Letting one corner of his mouth quirk up, Orin allowed just a bit of dry humor to enter his voice. “Also, my goddess doesn’t have a temple here.”

That, again though, was misleading. Hesitating for just a minute, Orin decided that the full truth was probably what this woman deserved. “Actually, my goddess, Priskil, does have a tower here, the Azurite Watchtower. And she has some of her attendants here.” Indeed, Orin had sought them out before, and probably could have again. “Still, I…I’ve never really gotten a clear answer from one of her worshippers on the best way to honor her.” It was true. There weren’t rituals or rites she demanded. “She represents radiance, vigilance, light, and most importantly, to me at least, hope.” Those were some lofty ideals, ones that had gotten Orin through his darkest days. “And yet, she doesn’t ask for anything in return, as far as I can tell. Just that we, her devotees, uphold her beliefs and try to be charitable to others.” Letting just a growl of the frustration he felt at what he believed was his inability to honor his chosen goddess properly enter his voice, he added, “Of course, that makes actually, you know, worshipping her sort of difficult.
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Praise be to my god and yours (Orin)

Postby Sheaya on September 21st, 2016, 2:22 am




She couldn’t help herself but give a small chuckle at his question as her formal introduction had clearly confused him as it did many who were not Benshira nor knew their ways.

”Rapa was the elder of my tents, my family. Basalom is my blood, my father and kin come from Basalom the beautiful, the son of Biyram.” She lightly explained in hopes to clear up this confusion. ”It’s Mmm--” She paused and drummed her fingers on her lower lip as she tried to think how to explain it quickly. ”It’s a last name, much like your-- Fenix I have learned.” She curbed any more spells of laughter as she didn’t want to make the clearly flustered man feel any worse than he already did.

He seemed young, but perhaps that was just the face he had been given. Not only that but he seemed like a meeker man with how gently he was speaking to her, not as if he was some more forward man just toning himself down for the encounter. To some part she had to wonder if this was normal, or if the fact he had been looking for this serenity to help with some problem of his own that was weighing down his heart.
’Oh Yahal, is this why he was here? A reminder that no matter how heavy your heart is that all hearts can be weighed down just as much if not more?’ She thought to herself as she bit her bottom lip for a moment. Clearly she didn’t know what ever this man’s problems might be if there indeed was any.

”I am happy to know I did not disturb you, but I am still surprised you found it to be-- enjoyable?” She pondered on her word usage to make sure that sounded right before going on. ”I try to make sure I am not coming here a busy times or just pray in my room, but I prefer it out here if I do not cause trouble. I just want my prayers to be heard.” She hoped that made sense to him. She wasn’t sure how many knew how it felt to know what it was like to feel like they were so far physically from that comforter.

She watched him as he glanced around and gave a slow nod to his observation. He would never know the full extent of what kind of sanctuary this place had been for her. It was a place that was beautiful and felt more secluded than the streets which were packed most of the day. Coming from the desert where the only ones you would see were the members of your tent was one thing, but this place had always made her feel so tiny and lost.

”I use to sleep in a place near here.” She explained with a general point to the South as she did not know the exact location of the inn that had been her home for some time. ”I found this place when I was trying to find my bearings and picked this area to be my place of worship as there is no tower for Yahal here. I pray here at least twice a day at sunrise and sunset.”

Her legs started to tingle from the lack of blood flow, causing her to have to shift her weight again. This time she just sat and tucked her feet beside her to keep herself modest, the soft tinkling of bells sounding from under the skirt of her long tunic as she disturbed the anklet she wore before shaking her head.
”No, my home is far from here in Eyktol, but now I fear I will never make it back there. By this time of year I would have been heading back to the walls of Yahebah with my tent before the sandstorms kicked up.” She was holding herself together the best she could but there was still that sadness that entered her eyes as she thought back to home. There was nothing she wished for more these days than to return to Yahebah and try and find her parent’s tent or her brothers so that she might be with family again.

She listened to his words and she found she could not but feel her heart ache for him.
’Yahal, may this man find some peace in his heart, for I know his pain all too well.’ She prayed to herself as she knew this all too well. She knew this paint, she knew this loneliness as that was exactly why she was here. She was still looking for these things herself and her loneliness only grew as she dreamed of her boys sitting on her lap around the fire at night as the family danced and sang while enjoying each others company. Sometimes she would even have those dreams inside of dreams where she actually believed she was waking and finding her husband as her side. She knew what loneliness was, but at least she had Yahal to keep her going.


”I understand what you mean by that. I feel that pain too.” She confessed to him, seeing no reason as to be coy. ”I once wondered why I was still alive here when I have seen so much death. I do not know the answer as to why now as I am now just living for Yahal.” Her eyes flicked down to the band on her arm, repeating that resolve over and over in her head. Surely even this trial had a meaning in her life.

The conversation was heavy, but she was open to the shift as she was genuinely interested in his answers. She had deprived herself of a lot of just general conversations in her day to day life any more and she took joy in religion among a select other topics.
To her she took great interest in his comment about the people praying without their heart into it. She was not one to criticize others in how they worshiped, but it was interesting to hear how he viewed it.

”I’m sorry to hear that.” she spoke politely, feeling goosebumps from the cool air rising on her arms. ”But you are right, they are all powerful and I am sure that even your goddess hears you no matter where you are.” That of course was just a general assumption she had as at the end of the day she was no daughter of Rapa, she was no priestess who knew the will of the gods and goddesses of this world nor did she intend to pretend she actually did.

Much to her confusion he soon changed her tune which she could not understand. Why did he claim that his goddess did not have a temple here and then correct himself on the subject?

”Might I ask what Priskil is like? I am afraid I do not know much about the ones who are worshiped here in this city.” She listened intently to what he had to say, but that only raised more questions. ”Perhaps in acts of charity that is worship? Does she not ask for devotion and prayer?” She asked with genuine curiosity though she wasn’t sure he even he had the answers to her questions.
The night air was starting to become a little much for her, and knowing her body would appreciate the warmth she found it an appropriate moment she slide her shawl off her head and wrapped it around her body so that her face was much easier seen with no cover to cast shadows on it.

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Postby Orin Fenix on September 21st, 2016, 12:48 pm

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She laughed at his ignorance, but Orin got the sense that she wasn’t mocking him. Even if she was, Orin had gone through a lot of pain in his life, and so the laughter of a stranger wasn’t enough to penetrate his walls. Maybe, just maybe, she was laughing at the honest joy that someone seemed interested in her life. More likely, confusion about her introduction was a common occurrence.

Her explanation of the names didn’t make any sense at all to the confused chef. It was only until she said that it was similar to a last name, and that the tents and sons represented some sort of heritage that he got what she was referring to. It still was confusing, and Orin felt that a few clarifying questions were in order. “So, wait, I get it, mostly, I think. But what are these tents you refer to? Is Rapa the founder of your family or is Basalom, or is this Biyram?” Actually, the more he spoke the less clear everything seemed. She was using too many obscure terms and he just couldn’t parse it all. Shrugging slightly, Orin grinned at her. “You don’t have to explain it all to the ignorant savage if you don’t want to. I’ve just never heard of any of this before.”

She seemed doubtful of his intentions still, and so he tried to tell her why, exactly, he’d stopped to talk to her. “Well, enjoyable might not be the right word.” In fact, the more he thought about it, the more sure he was that it wasn’t. But she’d been an ocean of calm in the turmoil of both the city of Riverfall and in Orin’s life. He’d been drawn to her much like a moth was drawn to a flame. “Let me see if this makes any sense to you. So often in this city people are too focused on their lives, to busy to make any sort of connection or even to enjoy the little things in life. So when I saw you, it reminded me how rare it was for someone to take the time and just, well, be, exist, contemplate their lives.” It was all true, if a sad reflection of both Orin and people’s lives. No one in Riverfall wanted to befriend a human who wasn’t even a citizen.

Her next words, though, seemed odd to Orin. He couldn’t imagine that anyone in Riverfall would bother a woman. In fact, the Akalaks in this city were overwhelmingly polite to a woman and did not suffer fools who might insult them in any way. While praying publically might not exactly a common sight in Riverfall, it wasn’t unheard of. “I don’t think it’s any trouble at all. And it’s not just my kind nature speaking out here. I doubt the Akalaks would mind basically anything a woman did.” Orin spoke matter-of-factly. He sometimes got some dark looks from the oddly colored and giant residents of the city, but that was because he was the bottom of their social structure, as far as he could tell, and so they felt he contributed nothing to Riverfall. He was also not sure how to handle her clearly troubled statement about her prayers being heard. “Why would coming out here make your prayers any more likely to be heard?” In Orin’s mind, the physical location shouldn’t and didn’t matter to the deities who governed their lives.

At his inquiry as to how she’d come across this specific location, she gestured vaguely into the distance. He wasn’t nearly familiar enough with the city to be able to pinpoint where she might have stayed. Even if he had known the various housing locations in the city, there was no way to tell if she’d been in an inn, an apartment, or something else entirely. So he just nodded to let her know she could continue her tale. She’d apparently come to find this place in much the same way he had, by stumbling upon it.

He narrowed his eyes when she mentioned yet another name he was unfamiliar with. “Yahal? Is that you god?” From the context, he assumed it must be, but he wanted to be sure. Besides, knowing the name told him nothing of what the god represented. At her admission that she prayed at least twice a day, though, he frowned. “Is that what you were doing before? Praying?” It seemed like an awful lot of work but he didn’t want to alienate her when she seemed friendly enough. “I tend to pray when the mood strikes me, but then again I never really received formal training. If that even exists.” Next time he went to seek out the Priests or Priestesses of Priskil he’d try and find out. Realizing that she may not have completed her prayers, he suddenly panicked. “I ah, I didn’t, well, preventing you from finishing or anything like that, did I?”

She readjusted her position, and as she did Orin noticed his own legs starting to protest. So he moved until he was sitting cross-legged. The sound of bells made him look at her curiously, but he couldn’t see where the sound was originating. It didn’t seem important enough to comment upon so he let it slide. Sheaya started talking about her past and Orin turned his attention back to her. He had a nagging familiarity with the word Eyktol, even if he had no idea what she was talking about with the rest of it. It took him a long time to track it down, and when he did, he felt briefly homesick. “Eyktol. That’s a desert, right? I guess that would explain the sandstorms, although I can’t even begin to imagine what those must be like.” Hopefully she’d enlighten him.

He figured that if she was sharing with him it was only fair to share with her. “I only know that much about that place because someone from my home in Syliras told me about it.” He had to assume that Yahebah was a city of some sort, based on the mention of walls, but he wanted to confirm that. “Yahebah is a city, right? Why don’t your people stay there all the time?” It seemed odd that they’d risk the dangers of the wilderness if they had a city to retreat to. “Where I’m from, going outside the walls of Syliras is a death wish.” Talking about his past was bringing up too many painful memories of the life he’d left behind. Belatedly he realized that it might be doing the same for Sheaya. His fears were confirmed when she got a distant look in her eyes. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to,” he offered. He had no wish to cause her strife.

Now it was his turn to offer her what comfort he was able. He’d apparently found a kindred soul here. As different as they might be, they were both lost in the sea of fate. “Well, I know what Priskil would tell you,” he said gently. “She’d say that where there is life, there’s hope. That it is our duty to never forget that, and to spread joy and knowledge where we may. And that, no matter what, we have a purpose in this world, even if we haven’t found it yet.” He shrugged, awkwardly. “I might not know exactly what Yahal stands for or what Yahal means to you. But I can’t imagine they are that incompatible. And I’ve always found comfort in the idea, in the darkest of times, that tomorrow will be better than today.” Looking at her intently, now, realizing that he’d gotten a bit carried away, he concluded with, “Of course, sometimes we have to be the ones to make it a better day. It doesn’t always just happen on its own.”

She came alive, slightly, as the conversation went on, and it cheered Orin to see it. He worried often if he was a burden on those around him. So he was always happy when he brought a bit of light into someone else’s life. He smiled when she mentioned that Priskil could hear him wherever, although the comment was a bit odd. “I’m sure that Yahal can hear you wherever you might pray for him as well.” It seemed the polite response.

Sheaya began questioning him about the intricacies of Priskil’s domains and what pleased her and he shook his head. “I am not an expert, nor am I a Priest. So I can’t tell you everything.” That being said, he could give her the information as he had it. “I definitely am not an expert on the other gods of Riverfall. And I’ve already told you some of what Priskil believes. But from everything I understand, Priskil doesn’t ask for worship. Whenever someone who follows her has spoken about it, it has always seemed to me that she has sought friendship with likeminded individuals.”

Of course, they couldn’t be true friends, but perhaps the goddess was seeking companions of a sort. “And, yes, charity pleases her, but there aren’t many places in this city that I’ve heard that require charity.” However, Orin hadn’t been searching that hard. Perhaps it was time to change that. “Mostly, she’s kind, and rewards that kindness in others. She rewards optimism. She brings light into the darkest of days.” That wasn’t everything, so Orin added, “And she keeps watch against the darkness and protects those who stay on the path of the light.” As he spoke, he grew in confidence and surety, but at the end he realized how ridiculous and melodramatic he must look, and he chuckled. “Look at me, spouting off about the mysteries of the gods, when I’m a mere mortal.” He grinned in a way that invited Sheaya to join him.
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Orin Fenix
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Praise be to my god and yours (Orin)

Postby Sheaya on September 22nd, 2016, 12:54 am



She had clearly made a bigger mess of trying to explain herself and she was feeling some frustration with herself that her grasp of the common tongue was not making this easy on her.

”A tent is a family. We all live together, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, children-- Many of us all together. When I was wedded I joined my husband’s tent, and when there was too many of us, our tent broke off from his father’s and we traveled with his brothers and cousins.” She explained, hoping that made sense. To be frank she didn’t know how most societies worked outside of her own, but they appeared different from the Chaktawe that she had seen on occasion in Yaheba.
”Rapa was the oldest member of our tent when we broke off, the wisest of us. Biyram I only know of in story, that he was a man of Yahal. Yahal guided him into Eyktol and gave him many sons, and from his sons came the Benshira people. My father’s blood comes from Biyram’s son Basalom. ”
Her mouth formed a tight line as she hoped that made sense. It was hard for her to explain as she was pulling all of her information from a song she had been taught as a girl, but as it was in Shiber she feared it would be lost in translation.
”I don’t think you a savage. It is fine to not know things, as there are many things I still do not know about this place. If you had been in Eyktol and came across my tent, you would have been welcomed with food, dance and company, not turn away for not knowing where my people come from.”

She listened to him quietly and with intense focus as to what he was saying. Enjoyable was apparently not the right word, she had apparently simplified it in the wrong way without meaning to. It was odd to think she had been any sort of example for anything outside of the norm of this city, but that is what she was almost understanding from what he was saying. It was true that the streets were alive and busy through the day, but at least the Akalaks here seemed to take a moment to enjoy the scenery on occasion.

The next part of the conversation made her a little uncomfortable though as he started bringing up the natives. Her body language being something out of her control shifted, her hand playing with the band as she thought of them.

”Perhaps not, they are generous to women when they don’t have to be.”
Her smile all but faded for the moment as she tried to box away those thoughts, knowing that if she lingered on it now she would only grow sad when she was enjoying herself so much. Her guest here was fairly quick to help draw her out as he posed her with a question she had not expected.”
”It’s not that I think he could not hear me if I pray inside, I just-- I hope he can hear me better if I am under the same sky that my home is. For me it is more of a comfort to my heart, if that makes sense to you.”

The longer she sat and talked with this man the more she found herself enjoying herself. It really had been a long time since she had had a good conversation and it was good for her heart to have this.

Her smile finally returned upon hearing her god’s name, and nodded to Orin’s question.

”Yes! I was praying to Yahal that he might give me strength. I have no temple here, no priest or priestess, so there is no way that I might appeal to him in that sense, so I do what I can by giving him praise from my lips. He is a god of light and purity and he has given me hope in dark days.” She explained lightly. She was rather curious about his Priskil he spoke of, this goddess who he had both claimed and denied.
”I suppose if that makes her happy and gives you peace that is all that matters. If it troubles you though, perhaps the ones who tend her temple can give you guidance?” She suggested innocently until his panic caught her off guard. ”No, you are fine. I finished with my prayers, I will sing my songs later when I need the strength.” She assured him, not wanting to scare him off. Of course, even if he had interrupted her she wouldn’t have admitted it and be rude to her guest.

She paused herself for a moment, not wanting him to get lost as she tried to explain.
”Yes, Eyktol is a desert, I do not know if there are more like it in this world nor do I know how to get back there from here. I followed others here and never saw the charting done. She had hoped that had cleared up some questions but that only seemed to feed him more questions and give her questions as well. Wanting to curb any confusion before it grew too late she quickly shook her head as she didn’t want him to get the wrong idea. It was no miracle that they survived there, nor did she want him to believe that it was possible to live out there by yourself.
”The desert is very dangerous, it is not to be taken lightly. Water is precious, food is scarce, and many things will hurt you.” Oddly enough she started picking at her blanket in the dim light, carefully trying to single out a strand of the yarn in it. ”This is me. I am but one thread that lived in the desert, but--” she paused just long enough to smooth the fibers back together, making hard to tell the one thread from the others. ”You are not alone out there. There are many of us that make up a tent. We each had our jobs to do out there, and together we lived. When we lost a strand or two in the weave of our community we could live on and eventually replace those threads. The reason I am here now is because we lost too many threads, the weave unravel.” There was a distinct sadness in her eyes as she recalled the family she had lost that day. She had never truly understood why masha had been called just that until now when everyone was gone. They really were weaving it seemed, it was no wonder to her now why masha was so important to them.
”The city of Yahebah in Eyktol is very nice, but it was not home for us. I have always lived where we have traveled the desert for most of the year. My father’s tent we looked for clay and herbs to sell and trade when we returned to the city in the fall season. My husband’s tent we tended goats and sheep in the desert and came back with new heads to sell as well as the goods we made from the wool and milk.” She smiled weakly at the memory, her heart aching for those times again. She was a child of the desert and she felt like she was withering here. She missed the taste of desert herbs and goat cheese, she missed her days being filled with working with her family and the nights of singing and playing together.
She was silent for a moment in her thoughts before her question came up in her mind again which she had to ask.

”It pains me to remember what I have had and what I have lost, but I am happy to share and hope speaking of them will bring them some rest. I must ask though, what is Syliras? I am not familiar with that name. I am afraid I do not know much of this world beyond Eyktol and these walls.


She found the words he offered to be a small comfort. It wasn’t a blessing from a priest, but heartfelt words were just as powerful. If there is life then there is hope. It was a beautiful thought which did correlate with the idea that perhaps there was some reason why she was still alive, some reason for the trials of life she had been through. Or perhaps that was just her humanity that was searching for that reason in what was really just natural chaos.
”If that is the words your goddess would offer than yes, I suppose her and Yahal do sounds like they have hearts with the same mind.” Or at least she hoped she was under the right mindset, it wasn’t like she was a daughter or Rapa and knew her god that well or this Priskil.
His words went on to comfort her, and she realized that perhaps she should take her own words of advice on the topic of prayer.

”Perhaps he can, and I do practice my faith indoors, but it does feel nice to know my words are reaching the sky.”

What was perhaps the most shocking thing to her was the idea of a goddess not wanting worship. Even stranger still was the idea that this Priskil sought friendship of all things, and with mortals? Was this really true?
”Are mortals like us really capable of such friendships? We live but a drop in what is the pool that is life. What could we possibly offer her with friendship?” She asked with genuine curiosity, even leaning in a little without much thought put into the action. She mulled on that for a moment wondering what friendship with a goddess would be like or if there were others who sought friendship with their followers.
”Well I would call this a act of charity right now. You have spared your time and kind words to speak with me which I am grateful for.” She put out there, ”Charity does not have to be a big thing, I have always thought that even small things like time and words can mean more than coins in the right situation. It is not for us to decide what makes the biggest impact on a person’s life.”

Hearing what this goddess stood for only made her want to know more about her, and she wondered if Yahal would be angry if she did this or not. Oddly enough Orin seemed to be in the same mindset, talking and musing out loud about the things the gods thought and so on. Seeing Orin smile made hers grow, offing up a small laugh of her own.
”I fear I am not innocent on that matter either. I’m every bit as guilty as you are in this.”


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