Solo Salt of the Earth

When there are a lack of supplies, you get resourceful

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Salt of the Earth

Postby Izuyanai on September 25th, 2016, 1:27 am

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11th of Fall, 516AV

Izuyanai fought to keep all her supplies balanced as she walked down to the beach. She had figured it would save time to carry the cooking pot, pack, and firewood all at once. However, now she realised that it might have been too much. The cooking pot was heavy, not to mention bulky. It bashed against her hip each time Izuyanai took a step and the loose firewood in her arms made it difficult to manoeuvre, much less see her feet. To make matters worse, the soft sand of the beach was terrible footing. Just when she needed to steady herself, the ground sank away, leaving her even more unstable than before.

When the firewood stacked in her arms finally started to teeter to the side, Izuyanai resolved to give up and return to pick up the inevitably falling materials. The location she had picked out was’t far, and it was mildly impressive that she had made it this far without dropping any of the carefully balanced objects. It was a pleasant surprise, then, when a stranger’s arm reached out to steady the toppling tower.

“Where are you going with so much luggage? Moving out or something?” Izuyanai saw a friendly face with stunning blue eyes peered at her from around the obstruction.

The woman who had effectively prevented the cascade of fire wood lifted the pile into her arms and allowed Izuyanai to see more of her figure. She was a tall Svefra, with the trade mark eyes and tanned features from long hours in the sun. Her hair was pulled back in a braid that was none too neat. Thin wisps of light brown hair escaped their place and danced lightly in the breeze.

Rolling her shoulders in relief from the strain, Izuyanai quirked her lips into a smile. “Not at all, just heading down to the beach. I wanted to try something,” she added, nodding at the cooking pot still hanging from her arm. “What about yourself? Are you settling here?”

The stranger laughed as if the idea itself were ridiculous. It was a hearty laugh that rolled with the sound of the waves and caused her eyes to narrow in mirth, flashing glints of blue.

“No, no,” she said once she had recovered from her merriment. “Our pod just stopped by. Surprising, how this mash of buildings cropped up on the beach. Our elders say there was no such thing when they last stopped by. We’re camping on the beach for a few, and then, off to the sea again.”

She almost longingly looked out toward the sea as she said this, but quickly turned back with a start.

“Marina Tradewind,” she grinned looking bright and expectantly at Izuyanai.

Izuyanai opened her mouth to return the introduction, but at the last second, something tugged at the back of her thoughts and she instead spoke the first thing that came to mind.

“Alira,” she said, substituting one of her sister’s names.

Izuyanai hadn’t planned her lie carefully, as it was something that occurred rather suddenly. However, Marina had no reason to suspect, and according to her, there was very little chance that they would meet again. Her ‘pod’ or group, Izuyanai supposed, would be out to sea in a matter of a few days.
Last edited by Izuyanai on September 27th, 2016, 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Salt of the Earth

Postby Izuyanai on September 25th, 2016, 1:27 am

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Ready to continue toward her nearby destination, Izuyanai took a few steps before looking back at Marina who readily fell into step beside her. The two of them walked along the beach, Marina chatting away with stories of the sea and Izuyanai listening interestedly with the occasional nod. The Svefra didn’t seem to mind recounting her various tales and went on in an animated fashion until they came along a line of boulders lining the shore.

“…and then, you wouldn’t believe it, there were orcas jumping out of… Oh, is this it?”

Still wondering whatever orcas were, Izuyanai set her pack and cooking pot down where the rock formation provided shelter from the sea breeze. She had come upon this spot earlier, in her exploration along the coast. The sandy beach receded here slightly and the land dipped downwards so that the seawater lapped lazily against the rocks. All of this created a small section of calm and clear seawater.

Izuyanai nodded to Marina and set to work detaching a pail from the pack. “Mhm. What I wanted to try was to get salt. You know how seawater tastes different from normal water, yes? Well, this settlement, or mash of buildings, is always in need of it. Fishermen need to salt their fish if they have a large catch and people like me need it to do just about anything. It doesn’t come freely, either,” she explained, muttering the last bit.

“I understand, I’ve heard of other pods getting the brine out of the water to make do whenever they’ve lost supply barrels to a storm. Makes sense it would work just as well in reverse.”

Marina dropped the firewood onto the sand and plopped herself down against a boulder, beads clinking as they jostled against the billowing, loose fabric of her clothes. She seemed in no hurry to be on her way and so Izuyanai grabbed her pail and hopped up onto the rock, padding down to where the water was. Dipping the container down into the pool resulted in the seawater rushing in and quickly filling it to the brim. As she straightened, the Kelvic got a glimpse of the endless waters and briefly wondered how many times she would have to repeat the process if ever she wanted to make a dent in the amount sloshing about in the giant basin that was the Suvan Sea.

Heaving up the now much heavier pail, Izuyanai made her way back to where Marina was redoing her braids. She carefully set the pail down and dragged pieces of firewood toward her, skilfully arranging them into a flammable pile and striking her flint at the smallest pieces. It took a fair amount of encouraging, but the brittle and dry fuel soon burst into flames. Izuyanai set the cooking pot on the low flames and considered the seawater once more, filtering it into the pot with a clean cloth.
Last edited by Izuyanai on September 27th, 2016, 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Salt of the Earth

Postby Izuyanai on September 25th, 2016, 1:28 am

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Izuyanai dropped down across from Marina and settled down to enjoy the ever tropical weather. It made Kalea’s harsh winters seem almost laughable. A distant fairytale. Something to entertain guests with. Here, the wind didn’t threaten to freeze fingers off and only carried scents from the jungle or sea. As the water gradually started to bubble, Marina spoke up again, this time asking questions.

“So, the settlement. Where are you from? Did you come here with everyone else, or make your own way here?”

“Oh, I wandered over on my own,” Izuyanai said airily. This time she gave herself more time under the pretence of prodding more fuel into the cooking fire. “Floated down from Alvadas, actually.”

It was completely true and yet also false. She had indeed taken a ship from Alvadas, to Riverfall, and eventually Syka. However, Izuyanai herself was ‘from’ none of those places. They were brief but fascinating stops along her travels. To Marina, however, she was a former citizen of Alvadas. This wasn’t lying, exactly. A harmless miscommunication.

“Really?!” The Svefra’s bright eyes shone with recognition at the mention of the coastal city. “We’ve run into a few traders from there.”

“Not, actually been into the city?” Izuyanai asked carelessly, testing to see how much she could get away with.

“No, we’ve never docked there. We do sail in the vicinity, though. Hub of the sea and all.”

“I see, well, there was this…charming teacher. I picked up a few things, heard there was a new settlement and that leaves me sitting on this beach today.”

Reminiscing actual Lhavit even while spouting lies, the raven felt a tinge of nostalgia for the high peaks. Izuyanai barely had time to wonder if she should add more to her story, before Marina launched into an enthusiastic monologue about their pod’s Lia. At first the Kelvic assumed it was a name, however, it gradually became obvious that it was a title. A prestigious one at that, if the respect and admiration in Marina’s eyes were enough to go by.

By now, the salt water in the cooking pot was leaping about in a boil, bubbles swarming up from the bottom and breaking upon reaching the surface. Izuyanai stirred the water with a wooden ladle to keep it controlled as little by little, the steam rose into the air, only to be gusted away as soon as they reached the limit of the boulder’s protection from the wind. It was all very peaceful, with the Svefra chatting away until a yell broke over the bubbling of the pot.

Looking a little guilty, Marina jumped up from her seat, strings of beads swinging every which way. “Uh, I think I’m needed. Good luck with your experiment!”

With that, she bounded away on lanky limbs, quickly disappearing from sight as the beached curved away.
Last edited by Izuyanai on September 27th, 2016, 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Salt of the Earth

Postby Izuyanai on September 25th, 2016, 1:28 am

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Left alone with the boiling pot, Izuyanai edged over to Marina’s previous seat where it was more convenient for her to reach all her materials. Truthfully, she had expected all this to take less time, but the pot was only half empty with the other half still full of seawater. When she looked more closely as she stirred, however, it did seem that the contents had turned murky.

Taking that as at least some development, Izuyanai rummaged around in her pack for something to do. With Marina gone, there was no more interesting story being related to her. Her brief visit had given the raven an idea, though. All her memories from Lhavit were still clear now, but eventually they would fade away. Irrelevant in her daily life, those memories would shift, mingle, or simply disappear. She supposed that was why the goddess Qalaya strove to keep written records. At least that way the information was set in stone, figuratively at most times but literally in some cases.

Izuyanai fetched her quill, ink, and journal before propping the book against her knee to write. Dipping the tip of the quill into pitch black ink, the raven drew a few neat lines, creating words that signified the category of the thoughts she was about to put down. However, she had gotten no further than a few sentences into the first entry when she realised that clear, printed, Common was far too easy to read for anyone who got their hands on her papers. Information was valuable. Leaving the culmination of her experiences lying about so vulnerably was in bad taste. Izuyanai contemplated writing in Nari, as even though it would be slightly more difficult than Common, less would be able to make sense of the words. That still left just about the entire population of Wind Reach and then some with breezy access to all her information.

Pondering her problem and rethinking if she actually should keep records, Izuyanai carefully tore out the first sheet of paper and crumpled it up in her hands, tossing it into the convenient fire before her. For awhile she watched the flames eat up the ruined sheet before coming to a conclusion. Obviously, writing in Nari was better, but not full proof. If she was to write, she would need at least one more barrier to prevent rewarding searching eyes. Language was essentially another arrangement of letters, and symbols, so therefore, a similar method could be employed to confuse any potential readers. Since inventing a language on the spot was a far out of her league, Izuyanai supposed she could make use of what was already available. A personal arrangement to the Inartan language would be the sufficient barrier she needed.

Since it was all a matter of arrangement, she could shift or exchange the letters in her message. She would need a firm rule to go by so as not to confuse herself in the process. A code to shift 3 seemed as good as start as any.

Taking a moment to stir the simmering liquid in the pot, Izuyanai resettled herself and started writing once more.
Last edited by Izuyanai on September 27th, 2016, 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Salt of the Earth

Postby Izuyanai on September 25th, 2016, 1:28 am

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It turned out that she needn’t apply her new method immediately, because after inscribing the title once more, Izuyanai went onto draw a map of Lhavit. At least, it functioned as one. It would be insulting to call her basic outline a full map. She only drew out the relative size and location of the five peaks and added in the smaller details of buildings and shops that she remembered. On a still open corner of the page, she applied her coding method to the basic description and explanation of Lhavit and its citizens.

Exchanging speed for accuracy, Izuyanai painstakingly performed the awkward and unfamiliar act of pausing before writing to shift around the letters mentally. Often times she would have to recount to make sure she had the code right, not to mention the difficulty of writing in a second language. Whenever, she couldn’t come up with a particular word, the raven substituted the Common equivalent, shrugging in her mind, that it would only make things more complicated for eyes that weren’t her own.

Once the culture and customs of Lhavit were noted down, Izuyanai set her work down, allowing the ink to settle in the air. She leaned over to the cooking pot and nudged the ladle, disturbing the pasted now collecting at the bottom. There was only about a scoop of water left, and so the Kelvic patiently waited for the last bit to be heated away. Now, there was only the white material sitting at the bottom, which she quickly removed from the pot before it was burned. Taking a grain from ladle, a quick taste revealed it to be salt. Experiment successful, Izuyanai transferred the product to a bowl to let it completely dry out.

There was only a small amount, compared to the initial water, but now that she had started on a side project, Izuyanai had time to spare. Fetching another batch of seawater, she repeated the process allowing the heated pot to start boiling away the water. After adding a few more sticks to keep the blaze steady, the raven took up her book again and turned to a fresh page in order to note the specifics of the locations she had noted down on the previous map.

Resupplying her black quill with ink, Izuyanai slowly formed the scrambled letters onto the paper. It was still a slow process, but her mind had gotten more used to the concept. She still had to recount the letters just as many times, but the occasions she caught herself about to ink the wrong letters grew less.

Encouraged by this factor, finished up the last touches on each of the locations, making references back to the map and fondly recalling her last workplace, The Scholar’s Demise.
Last edited by Izuyanai on September 27th, 2016, 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Salt of the Earth

Postby Izuyanai on September 25th, 2016, 1:30 am

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The next matter at hand was the people. Talking to Marina had caused memories collecting dust to resurface. Faces and names she had encountered after her arrival from Wind Reach. Some had almost been strangers, other had been friendly, and there were those who were not so amiable. However, Izuyanai had spoken with all of them and knew she had the capability to remember those details slipping by in mundane conversation.

The first tactic was to remember, or rather visualise their appearance. Izuyanai closed her eyes and thought back to their faces and their voices. The next most effect thing she could do was recall the scenario of their encounters. These things helped her to remember their various attributes and affiliations. Coding the information she obtained from the exercise, Izuyanai carefully inked in their scrambled names and abilities.

In theory, these would come into use somewhere down the road. Perhaps they would make suitable contacts or be able to perform certain favours. If they picked up and left, tracking them down might pose an obstacle, but this was still all in theory. It felt like an accomplishment, compiling all the information and securing it in written form.

The final thing was largely for her own pleasure in addition to highly useful. She needed to write down the significant events that took place during her stay. This, she had no trouble remembering and Izuyanai immediately set about encrypting the details of her adventures. These bits of information provided a deeper understanding of the people and places involved. The only problem was that it was hard to slow down enough to code the writing properly. The Kelvic wished she could pen her thoughts as fast as they would materialise, but her hand was restrained with the effort of not ruining the page with an error. When she finally added in the last sentence and inked the last flourish, the page was full of curled letters and symbols. Impossible to read a first glance and only decipherable with the right knowledge and inspiration.

Happy with the results, Izuyanai propped open the page for the shining ink to dry and turned to the cooking pot for the last time. In her distraction, it seemed she had allowed the bottom layer of salt to overheat, causing a horrible charred mess that was quickly spreading to the still wholesome salt. Hastily ladling away what could be saved Izuyanai tossed out the ruined batch onto the sand.

Packing away the end product resulted in two jars of crumbling salt. These would hold out nicely combined with the pouch of salt that was quickly draining of its supply. Izuyanai supposed she would need to remember to watch food on the fire more closely in the future, especially if it was cooking something more valuable. The entries in the journal were a fair exchange, however, and had been well worth the mishap.
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Salt of the Earth

Postby Gossamer on October 2nd, 2016, 7:18 pm



The Fates Have Spoken
Here is your thread grade!


Character: Izuyanai
Experience Awarded: Bodybuilding +1, Subterfuge +1, Socialization +2, Observation +2, Tactcs +2, Writing +2, Cryptography +2, Philtering +1
Lores Awarded: Lore: Marina Tradewind, Lore: Tradewind Pod Visits Syka for a day or two. Philtering: Making Salt from Sea Water, Cooking: Pay attention to cooking projects or they will burn. Cryptography: Creating simple codes.

Notes: First off, you need to ask permission before you make up a random visiting NPC to get information from. That’s considered a no no, but I’ll let you off with a warning this time.  Also, I wanted to give you more xp for things like building a fire on the beach and planning to make salt, but there just wasn’t enough detail to merit XP awards. For example telling a lie isn’t really enough to merit anything more than a low level subterfuge point, but if you had more than say just a handful of points it wouldn’t even earn one. You need to be more detailed about it. I did google how to make sea salt to double check you were doing it okay, and noticed that it was a bit more complicated than you planned out. So for next time, lets remember details okay? I can give more XP the more detailed you get. I gave you Philtering instead of Cooking for making the salt. It fits closer to theme.




As always PM me if you have issues.


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