Completed Okomo On

How to hunt goats… or was it antelopes?

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

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Okomo On

Postby Estrellir Konrath on November 28th, 2016, 8:41 am

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Fall 21-28, 516 AV


With a deep sigh, Estrellir leaned back in her chair behind the desk. Pale sunlight was streaming in through windows in the roof, painting circles on the floor. Reaching up to push back ivory strands, Estrellir was beginning to think… no, to feel. Like the small building with its skyglass dome and intriguing marks on the ceiling could be home. Given enough time, it could become a place to return to. The only thing missing was the soft sounds of paws and throaty feline purring.

And clients.

Just then a knock echoed under the ceiling and the door opened to the prettiest man she’d seen in seasons. Jet black hair cast feathery shadows over pale cheeks, his face seemed almost feminine and he approached with the natural grace of young men oblivious to their own good looks. Suddenly curious, the Konti pushed up to sit straight in her comfy chair. The man stepped up and offered his hand. “Good day… Miss Konrath?”

Swallowing her curiosity, Estrellir shook it. “The one. What can I do for you?”

Following her invitation, he sat. “My name is Midir, I work at Okomo Villa. I know you haven’t been here long, but we have reached the limit of what we can do on our own. My superior has sent me to ask you for help.”

Estrellir licked her lips. She’d advertised her business idea all over town before going ahead with her plans, but had hesitated to mention specifics. When the Cosmos Center had approved her concept, it had felt more accepting than the most welcoming words uttered at the Amaranthine Gates. “Regarding?”

His sky blue eyes twinkled as Midir gathered the words to explain. “One of our animals has gone missing. As you may or may not know, okomos are sacred to us. They roam freely, but usually stay on Sharai Peak. The missing animal is called Moon Shadow, we haven’t seen him in ten days. Okomos are very clever, you know. We’re worried, but we have no idea where he might’ve gone.”

“So your superior has decided to try the new face in town.” Estrellir grinned faintly. He was so careful, his words so precise, that she couldn’t help but think back to her own youth. How correct, how analytic. Yet Midir was working with okomos, which required the warm heart she lacked. For that, for a chance to get to know a side of Lhavit she wasn’t familiar with yet, she would adopt their problem. “I appreciate your trust. What else can you tell me?”

“The head handler, my superior, has sent me to ask for your cooperation and invite you to Okomo Villa. We will show you how our okomos live and what they are like. Then, we hope, you will be able to aid us in our search.” Soft lips twitched and vibrant eyes narrowed.

Estrellir offered a mild nod. “That sounds reasonable. I’m sure all of you are busy, so I’d be happy to adjust my schedule at your convenience.”

The next few chimes were spent negotiating date and time of her visit. Midir left with another handshake, polite until the door closed with a soft click behind him. Leaning back, Estrellir looked towards the illuminated ceiling. How remarkable, she thought idly, what she’d learned about Lhavit and its residents from nothing but preliminary talk.


Last edited by Estrellir Konrath on February 3rd, 2017, 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Okomo On

Postby Estrellir Konrath on February 3rd, 2017, 8:53 pm

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The next day, Estrellir had dusted off her practical black tunic and pants, left her cloak but wrapped the wool scarf tightly around neck and shoulders. Lush green pastures and tiered fields spilled out all around as she walked across Sharai Peak. A spicy fragrance hung in the air, reminding her of the bitter tea she’d taken to drinking daily.

On her way to Okomo Villa, she could already observe several okomo grazing around pastures and lingering by fields. Farmers worked right next to them, their children stroked white and ivory fur with delighted smiles. Midir had spoken true: With no fences or stables in sight, the sacred animals could indeed roam freely, revered and coveted wherever they went. Their majestic crystalline horns caught the light and their pale coats seemed to glow from afar.

After ascending a small hill, she was hailed by a young girl coming out of a long building, one of several scattered across the open space. Okomo Villa surprised her, it didn’t look like the horse stables her family maintained in Kenash. The girl invited her inside and knocked on a half-open door before leaving Estrellir to enter by herself.

The woman going through paperwork was, surprisingly, no dark-haired Lhavitian. Flipping back bright red locks, she regarded the Konti with a measuring glance. “Miss Konrath, yes? Come, sit. My name is Khana Rayastai, I oversee and manage all of this. Moon Shadow has been missing for ten days, I believe, and we’re starting to worry, so I’m glad you could come so soon.”

Estrellir didn’t have much experience with Inarta, but the blunt tone seemed to encourage naked honesty. “It was no problem, although I have to say I was a little surprised. The okomo seem to be built and bred for these mountains, so I can’t imagine why one would go missing in the first place. Also, why would you consult me, an outsider? You must have many workers who know more about okomos and the terrain than I do, like Midir.”

Khana nodded, her vibrant green eyes seemed to bore into Estrellir. “I can tell from your words you will be able to help us. You see, okomos are more intelligent than you might think. They understand everything we say and they see our hearts, often better than we do ourselves. Now, it is possible that Moon Shadow fell to his death, but my instinct tells me otherwise. Like you said, okomos are built for traversing mountains. They never stumble. As for handlers like Midir, they take care of every okomo, but they aren’t goat whisperers. They don’t see their minds and so I sent for you.”

The Konti slipped a hand into her pocket, wishing for a puff of tobacco. Everything Khana said had the ring of reason to it, impenetrable. “I can’t promise you anything yet, but I will investigate.”

Khana considered for a moment before extending her hand. “Very well. Midir will show you around and work with you. If you require anything else, ask him.”
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Okomo On

Postby Estrellir Konrath on February 3rd, 2017, 9:57 pm

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In his work clothes, Midir looked only slightly more rumpled than during their initial meeting, his black hair was just as feathery straight and his eyes as vibrant as always. He gave her the tour with typical oblivious grace and careful words. Estrellir idly wondered if provoking him was worth compromising her standing with Khana, but then again, her first case would cement her reputation for some time to come. That she would and could not mess up.

“And this is the grooming station – their favorite, as you can see.” The building was slightly bigger than the first two that were used for treating the sick and birthing. In fact several okomo were lingering on surrounding pastures and outside the sliding doors. Estrellir could see how they eyed the doors as if eagerly waiting for their turn.

The next building resembled the stables she’d seen before. “We keep saddles and tack for riding here. As you probably know, the Shinya ride okomos on their patrols, but anyone can learn how to ride them or borrow them for the day.”

Peaking inside, Estrellir saw that two okomo were standing patiently in the breezeway. Two men were checking their saddles and tack, stroking down their necks or ears in the process. She turned back to Midir. “If okomos are so intelligent, why do they allow people to ride them? I thought wild animals had to be tamed first.”

Midir shook his head, smiling a little. “Okomos are special. Back when Lhavit was founded, Caiyha gave them to Zintila as a gift. There is skyglass in their horns and their skeletons, Lhavit has always been their home. I guess they’re happy to serve.”

Estrellir gave a thoughtful hum. Those animals were pampered, no doubt, but that didn’t tell her why one of them would simply disappear. As they continued on the narrow dirt road, she decided to try a different approach. “What can you tell me about Moon Shadow? I’m assuming you were assigned to him before he disappeared?”

The smile faded instantly. “Yes, I was. He was supposed to be given to my brother Oisen. He’s a Shinya and hoping to be promoted soon. I thought Moon Shadow and my brother would be a good pair, but then he disappeared. We always say that smart okomos are hard to train, but Moon Shadow was both smart and docile. He loves sweets and can be stubborn if handled poorly, but overall he’d make a good mount.”

More information to file away. After visiting all buildings, Midir took her on a stroll over the closest pasture. Okomo handlers were walking among the animals, checking their physical and mental health. Estrellir petted an okomo and admired elaborately painted horns. According to her guide, males possessed purely white and females slightly darker ivory fur. When they returned to the main building, the shadows were growing long.

Midir turned around and for a split chime, Estrellir was mesmerized by the light and dark on his smooth features. “So, do you have any questions? Anything you require before we start investigating?”

That small word, we, shook her out of distracted musings. So Khana had meant what she’d said earlier… Suddenly Estrellir found herself in need of a quick exit. “No questions, for now. Thank you for the tour though. Since the light is going, I will be back tomorrow morning.”

They parted with polite non-words before Midir headed back towards the stables, obviously his primary workplace, and Estrellir took the long way back to her apartment. Finally she could give her old pipe some attention and satisfy her own cravings. Soon the smoke formed question marks that lingered over her head before blowing away towards the jagged peaks.
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Estrellir Konrath
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Okomo On

Postby Estrellir Konrath on February 3rd, 2017, 10:01 pm

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Apparently Avalis was smiling on her – for the next morning Midir, in the middle of a riding lesson, told her to go ahead and report to him around midday. If possible. Estrellir knew what she’d like and sauntered off humming to herself. As Sharai Peak was situated at the western tip of Lhavit, the mountains were looming over Okomo Villa. Deep canyons, steep slopes with narrow ledges for climbing were abundant. She figured the outskirts were as good a starting point as any and got to work.

By midday, however, she was several scratches, cuts and bruises richer and had gotten sick of her pounding rabbit’s heart. Midir met her in front of the stables, a few wayward blades of hay clung to his hair and his clothing reeked of manure. When his sky blue eyes locked with hers though, Estrellir didn’t mind the smell. Not a lot anyway. “What have you found?”

She shrugged, buying time to formulate a strategic answer. “Not much, nothing that’d help anyway. Truth be told, I have familiarized myself with Lhavit proper, but I don’t know my way around the outer peaks yet. I wouldn’t know where a lone okomo could get lost or stuck on Sharai.”

Midir nodded sagely, reading between the lines excellently. “I can definitely assist you with that. Why don’t we try the northern wall first?”

Biting her lip, Estrellir motioned for him to lead the way. While they walked, she took note of sleek muscle straining his clothing fabric, the bright energy in his gait. Earlier she’d failed because falling to her death would do nobody any good, least of all herself, but it stung all the same. Midir was the partner Khana had forced on her, an arrangement she wanted to oppose (on principle), but even Estrellir had to admit failure once in a while. Wilderness survival didn’t feature in her job description – she had no choice but to rely on Midir to lend the missing skill.

They reached the wall and Midir pointed out tiny ledges and dents in the rocky surface that okomo would use as stepping stones to catapult their agile bodies higher and higher. Estrellir stood and stared in awe (however reluctantly), then he led her to where the wall fell away into nothing but thick mist below. From there they went through all the haunts Midir knew – so quite a lot. As the handler walked ahead, telling stories of their missing animal, all Estrellir had to do was listen, ask the occasional question and keep her eyes open. No matter how closely she looked, however, they didn’t find any hints.

They repeated the spectacle the next day, then the next and the one after that, but found nothing. Nothing at all. When her companion had exhausted his well of places, Estrellir wanted to punch something. Where had the damn goat (or was it an antelope) gone?

When they reached the stable doors that evening, Estrellir held him back. “I’ve been thinking… We’re not one step closer to the solution. If I used Divination, however, if I sat down and looked into the past, I might see something.”

Midir shook his head. “That service isn’t included in what Khana asks of you. She was clear on that.”

Estrellir sighed and let him go. Not exactly a surprise, she had to admit.
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Okomo On

Postby Estrellir Konrath on February 3rd, 2017, 10:26 pm

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The next day brought a fresh mind (if nothing else). Admittedly, Estrellir had spent half the night pacing and mumbling wild imaginings to herself. There might’ve been a cocktail or two. At least the few grey bells of sleep she’d gotten had spared her from a headache and the walk to Sharai Peak did its part. She didn’t dare light her pipe in fear of belated hangover, briefly hating herself for it.

Leaving the road and wandering over to the tea farms was more of an apathetic shrug than any form of lucid decision. She simply felt like breathing fresh air and enjoying the sights a little longer before getting back to fruitless work. Sweet and bitter fragrances hung in the air, emanating in waves from the tiered fields. Something about the arrangement, like giant steps (a stairway for the Gods, perhaps), spoke to the Konti. It even reminded her (however vaguely) of her family’s bamboo fields. During harvest season, everyone was hard at work in both cities. Here, however, the people bending down in fields, tending to crops and soil, chatting and laughing together were free people instead of slaves.

As she wove her way between fields, observing and breathing, Estrellir began to go over the facts again. Everything Midir and Khana had told her about Moon Shadow, everything else she’d learned. She had a distinct feeling of having overlooked something important.

While she was idly watching work on a field close to the farm, a dark-haired girl jumped up and snuck away towards a shed at the far end of the field, leaning back against naked rock. The girl seemed to carry something under her shirt. Vaguely intrigued, Estrellir circled around to inspect the shed. It seemed to be the sort farmers stored their tools in, but as she came closer, it looked abandoned. Faint laughter tickled her ears and something shone through the cracks. Glass? Perhaps the girl was playing with a mirror shard?

Just when Estrellir reached the door, a small boy rounded the other corner and froze at the sight of her. One hand twitched towards his pocket that formed a significant bulge. Just as dark-haired as the girl, he appeared to be no older than eight or nine. Estrellir cocked her head. Two children, sneaking off with secret cargo to visit a shiny plaything...

She motioned for the boy to enter which he did after another suspicious glance. Holding open the door, she followed. And stopped half a step in as a delighted grin tugged at her lips. Finally the missing piece was right in front of her eyes: sweets.
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Okomo On

Postby Estrellir Konrath on February 3rd, 2017, 10:27 pm

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Moon Shadow was sitting in the middle of the dirt floor, horns held high as if the shed was his personal palace. The thin rays of light coming in through cracks in the wood cast beautiful illuminations on his dark ivory coat. The girl who had been sitting at his side looked up timidly and Estrellir saw the remnants of sweet rice cakes she’d fed the animal. Apparently the children had been saving part of their breakfast, delighted to have a beautiful okomo stay on their farm.

Estrellir couldn’t help but grin at the scene. The girl offered a shy smile, the boy ignored her in favor of the okomo. Of course, it was the shimmer of light reflected on skyglass horns that she’d seen earlier. Just like that, the riddle evaporated in thin air.

She told the children (twice) to stay with the animal until she came back. After trudging back to Okomo Villa, she got Midir to come and escort the wayward animal back to the pastures and stables with plenty of food. The children were sad, of course, but their parents had been hesitant about feeding an okomo out of their own pockets (possibly an understatement).

After a brief glimpse at Midir’s Shinya brother Oisen (tall and athletic), Khana called her into the office and offered a thin smile. “I’m glad, Miss Konrath. I had no idea he would be so close… but we often care too much to see what lies before our eyes. Anyway, you’ve done well. I would like to offer you something on top of the salary we agreed on: a free trail ride with an okomo, anytime you wish.”

Estrellir forced her face into an expression of mild interest and appreciation, although she wasn’t sure how well that worked. Truth be told, she’d rather take the money than find herself entrusted to one of those stubborn and strange animals. Despite the trust everyone had put in her, she still didn’t understand them. Never would, perhaps. Her words sounded grateful all the same. “That is very generous of you.”

They shook hands and Estrellir stepped out. While she inspected and lit her pipe, she caught Midir looking over from across the yard. He gave a nod, gratitude written all over his posture, and she replied with a wave. If Midir led that trail ride, she might enjoy it after all. Surely even a questionable offer could be used to her advantage. Sooner or later.
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Estrellir Konrath
She Who Finds What Was Lost
 
Posts: 647
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Okomo On

Postby Wymez on December 9th, 2017, 7:29 am

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ImageEstrellir Konrath
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Skills
● Observation - 5XP
● Negotiation - 2XP
● Socialisation - 1XP
● Land Navigation - 3XP
● Interrogation - 2XP

● Investigation - 3XP
● Intelligence - 1XP
● Logic - 2XP
● Leadership - 1XP
● Acting - 1XP

Lores
● Location: The Rabbit Hole
● Midir: Works at Okomo Villa
● Midir: Nice to look at
● Okomo Villa: First Rabbit Hole client in Lhavit
● Moon Shadow the missing Okomo
● Moon Shadow: Missing for ten days
● Okomo: Clever animals sacred to the people of Lhavit
● Okomo: Free to roam
● Location: Sharai Peak
● Location: Okomo Villa
● Okomo: Characteristics
● Khana Rayastai: Okomo Villa manager
● Okomo: Mounts of Lhavit and the Shinya
● Okomo: Origin story
● Okomo: Native to Lhavit
● Oisen: Shinya and Midir's brother
● Moon Shadow: Loves sweets
● Moon Shadow: Meant to be Oisen's mount
● Moon Shadow, found at last

Penalities
Outdated

Loot
A free trail ride with an okomo (doesn't expire).

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Thanks for the read! I am new at this, however, so do let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding your grade and don't forget to delete/edit your request in the grading queue.
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