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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

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A Tale of Two Druvin [Evarista]

Postby Nomi on April 11th, 2017, 9:31 pm

The Nitrozian Plaza
Spring 41, 517 AV

The water lapped softly against the edges of the canal, flecking in a delicate rhythm over the enormous, wooden pontoons composing Ravok's foundations. It was an idle sort of dance, glimmering and glinting in the late afternoon sun, and Nomi sat and watched it from her perch on the water's edge as she let her legs dangle over the side of the walkway. It was warm enough to be pleasant, cool enough to be refreshing, and Nomi could see the truth in her father's warm recollections of his childhood in the city. Now that she had her papers, she could actually let herself relax a little bit and soak in the atmosphere... and what better way to experience Ravok than by boat? One would be by eventually, and when a Ravosalaman turned the corner, his boat set against a backdrop of tall, darkened buildings and the falling sun beyond, Nomi stood and hailed him over.

The water sloshed as he pulled up to the edge of the canal, navigating the boat into a general sort of stasis so Nomi could hop in. It rocked as she made contact with the wood, a gentle bobbing shake that didn't seem to trouble the sun-browned Ravosalaman who didn't even bother to look at her as he set them adrift once more with a guided push of his pole. "Where're you going, little missy?"

"Well, actually..." Nomi pressed her hands flat against the seat, leaning back so her tidal wave of pale hair - practically luminescent, with the full light of the sun striking it - spilled freely down. "I just want to see the city, so I don't much mind where we go. How about we let the next customer decide the destination?"

The Ravosalaman spared her an inquisitive glance, his expression shifting as he saw the flush of glinting white scales trailing up the underside of her chin. It wasn't necessarily... hostile, but it certainly was suspicious, with his great, bushy eyebrows slanted down into a furrow. "You've got coin?"

The konti woman met his demanding look, her mouth quirked into a slight smirk. "I certainly do." As if to punctuate her statement, Nomi slipped a hand underneath the edge of her leather tunic and shook the small purse attached to her pants. It jangled in a way that indicated some amount of wealth.

"Is that your only concern? If you're going to kick me off, I do ask that you do it a little closer to the street. I don't much feel like swimming today."

The Ravosalaman, seemed satisfied, and he looked away from her with a sigh. "Can't be too careful, y'know? Not meanin' to offend you, miss, but there are plenty who'd cheat an honest man out of his work."

Nomi's smile glinted in the sunlight. "Oh, of course. Not to worry, I'll be a most agreeable passenger. Why..." She gestured to the space beside her and the empty bench in front of her, indicating them with a flick of her leather-clad fingers. "I don't even take up much room! I'd say I embody... oh, what's the word."

She thought this over, tapping her mouth with a single digit. "Generosity? Graciousness? No - geniality. I am the very spirit of geniality. I'll be no trouble."

The wrinkles on the older man's face crinkled as he barked out a soft laugh. "Ferrying people about, you meet some right-peculiar sorts, but I've never had anyone as small as you cause me much grief. You'll be fine."

"Good, good." With that, Nomi turned her attention to the surrounding cityscape. She had a map, which she'd been dutifully studying after work, but that really didn't hold a candle to learning the paths of the city first-hand. For example, a piece of paper didn't give one practical, visual knowledge, and as the scenery floated by, Nomi drank in the appearance of the buildings around her. To her, aesthetic appreciation was always underscored by a devoted work ethic, and there was no distinction between admiring the beauty of the world and picking it apart for information.

Eventually, though, the man pushing the ravosala along began to stir up some conversation. "I'm gonna guess, with you wantin' a tour and all, that you ain't been in town too long?"

Nomi shifted her studious, green gaze to him. Her elbows were draped casually on the edge of the boat, and she seemed totally at ease in the vessel. "Not particularly. I am a citizen, though. Made my vow and everything."

"Sensible head on your shoulders, then, this place ain't too appreciative of outsiders. We're all here by Rhysol's grace, after all..." the water around the boat slurped slightly as he pushed the ravosala along. "And those who ain' willing to swear themselves to the city don't rightly deserve his blessings, do they?"

"If there's one thing I'm not, it's a mooch." She tapped her boot lightly on the boat's wooden bottom. "You, though... Have you lived in the city your whole life?"

"Sure have. Seen its ups, seen its downs, and I've always been takin' people where they need to go. You're lucky, though." He looked back at Nomi, giving her an upturned smile. "Things have been going smoother since Gru'tral came back a few seasons ago. Heard he offed SIlvas for doin' such a shyke job of keeping things running while he was gone."

Both of Nomi's eyebrows went up, and she entirely ignored her surroundings now, instead focusing the brunt of her curious gaze on the boat driver. "I'm afraid those names aren't familiar. Gru'tral?"

"Aye!" Speaking with the voice of a proud man, the ravosalaman made a swirling motion with the tip of his pole. "Gru'tral's onna them Druvin - you know who they are?"

Nomi shook her head.

"Druvin, them's Rhysol's blessed, they is. Got his mark an' his eyes, and I heard that their love for Rhysol is so strong, it can bring 'em back to life. Amazing, huh?" He grinned, showing off a smile that had a few noticeable gaps. "He's the commander of the Ebonstryfe - I hope you know who they are, at least."

Nomi nodded, and bid him to continue.

"He's old, I hear, and a beast of a man. So big he could crush you with his little pinky, missy."

"And Silvas? He was bad at his job?"

"Mmn." He turned his shoulders, giving a squint down to the water. "City has had some turmoil, past few years. That Rising Dawn business. Gru'tral came back, cleaned 'em all up... but someone's gotta pay for letting it get that bad. Bet it'd be mighty interestin' to be a fly on the wall in the Vitrax right now, though - " Another bark of a laugh, "That'd run the risk of gettin' smashed by Gru'tral, wouldn't it? No, I'm happy where I am."

Tap, tap, tap. Nomi drummed a single finger on the curved edge of the ravosala and was about to open her mouth to make another inquiry when she saw someone by the shore looking onto the water. Her mouth quirked up, and she dipped her head in the woman's direction. "Ah, look there. I think we might have ourselves a companion."

As if in agreement, the ravosala began to drift up to the street.
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A Tale of Two Druvin [Evarista]

Postby Evarista on April 13th, 2017, 5:37 am

Evarista woke unusually early that day. It wasn’t even lunch yet. Rolling around in bed for another while to avoid disrupting her already formless sleep schedule, the young aristocrat finally got up when the sun was just past zenith. Feeling all her joints crackle from lack of exercise, the girl cast an unfocused glance outside of the window. As always, the city greeted her with its midday business, clearly noticeable yet comfortably distant from the top floor of the estate where she was. This window was an excellent vantage point, and so was the mansion roof, where she had climbed up countless times at night. The spyglass she had bought on a whim in autumn made her recent observations more juicy and intimate than ever. Still, the location had its limits. While she could view the southern half of the city very well, the northern half was mostly obscured by the tall government buildings, so her knowledge of it was not nearly as good. It felt like there were things she was missing every single watching night. Very irritating.

Idly consuming the smoked salmon breakfast that Hwyn had dutifully brought her, Evarista mentally sorted through the options she had. The most obvious way to get a better look at the northern side of the city was the bell tower. While not necessarily taller than the more pompous buildings at the City Center, it stood at an angle that should allow a much better view of the north than the estate roof did. She’s actually been planning to try it out ever since she bought the spyglass, but it was merely one point on an extremely long list of things that were likely doomed to never happen. Most things that got on that list did so because they required some sort of effort, which in this case involved a rather merciless climb to the top of the bell tower. Another question was whether the tower keeper would allow her inside, but she imagined that her cultured appearance and intentions would give him no reason to turn her away.

Just thinking about casting a bird’s glance over yet unexplored parts of the city made Evarista eager for action, which in her case was an exceptionally rare mood. Without thinking too long, she decided to ride the sudden wave of enthusiasm while it lasted. After getting some help from the blonde boy with making her still-disheveled self visually presentable to the public, the prospective urban explorer stepped outside, spyglass in hand. The tower was a fairly short walk away… but the irresistible urge to procrastinate struck again, and she waved over a passing ravosalaman to take a bit of a detour, which she told herself to be not totally irrelevant to today’s objective. She was about to step into the ravosala when she noticed there was already someone else in it. A quizzical glance at the pilot was met with a partially toothless grin.

“Oh, do go on. I’m free.” He put an ambiguous emphasis on the last word, as if the white-haired woman that already occupied one of the benches wasn’t there at all. He made a welcoming gesture towards the free bench across from her.

Evarista didn’t understand the innuendo, but saw no reason to argue.

“Vitrax,” she mumbled, tossing a single gold-rimmed coin at the man. He caught it deftly and leaned on the steering pole in the same motion. The glint of curiosity in his eye was unmistakable, clearly in reaction to her unusual request. Very few civilians ever had any reason to go there, and if they did, it was generally not by their free will, and definitely not by public transportation. The pilot set the vessel into motion again, not looking away from his new customer. By the nature of his trade, he knew a respectable portion of Ravok by face, and those he succeeded in chatting up, also by name. Evarista was not an unfamiliar customer. While he didn’t know exactly who she was because she never responded to his attempts at conversation, he could surmise what sort of person she was accurately enough, judging by the way she dressed and where he picked her up.

“Vitrax, eh? You ain’t in trouble, are ya?” The pilot made a standard attempt at chit-chat, but was utterly ignored. His silk-clad passenger remained silent, assuming her usual slightly hunched posture, resting the exotic optical tube on her lap and swaying gently in step with the vessel. He was not surprised by this, following up his unanswered question with a sardonic snicker. The Nitrozian siblings were notorious for being rude to ravosalamen, and Evarista was no exception, thought her lack of courtesy stemmed more from indifference than from any sort of contempt.

Instead, Evarista’s attention was focused on the odd woman sitting across. Her cloudy stare traveled along the stranger’s figure, examining the inhuman features with idle wonder. Evarista tried to recall where she has seen this race before, and only cages at the slave market came to mind. The woman wasn’t a slave; the tranquil and assured look on her face gave that away immediately. How unusual to see such a coveted ware walk around freely. Someone must’ve missed a fine business opportunity.

The ravosalaman, clearly not appreciating the silence, addressed the more talk-active of the two passengers. Since she was facing him, he made eye contact with her without Evarista noticing, and rolled his eyes dramatically, as if he was upset by the cold treatment he just got. He was already brewing up another comment to potentially spark a conversation with, even if it was slightly more provocative than ravosalaman etiquette usually allowed. After some deliberation, he decided to risk it. Glancing at the konti, he tilted his head towards the other woman, who was sitting with her back to him and thus couldn’t see the gesture.

“Say… looks like we aren’t the only ones wonderin’ what’s going on there in the Vitrax.”

Evarista’s shoulders tensed visibly, but she still didn’t say anything. Were these two conspiring against her or something? Her foggy and unblinking eyes were directed at the one of the pair whom she could see - the white-haired woman. There was no hostility in her stare, but there was the sort of prying intensity that made it seem like she was undressing her fellow passenger with her eyes.

Which she was, in a sense. The silent traveler was not as much looking at the konti as she was looking at her aura. Many self-contained loops of color spun rapidly in a constellation around her form, spread across an even emotional background. Not being used to examine sapient auras, Evarista had trouble picking apart the contents, the slippery loops of thought evading her gaze seemingly on purpose. After several long moments of invasive staring, the thin-lipped aristocrat finally turned her eyes away, not able to bear the slimy and uncomfortable feeling she got from looking at humanoid auras. Still, she discovered enough. It was obvious that the stranger's calm and friendly face concealed turbulent mental activity. She was the sort that thought much more than she spoke. Without even turning around to look, Evarista could draw the conclusion that the man behind her was the opposite. What a pair. I would be great to get out of this unusually awkward ride soon. However, she'd already made up her mind. She'd find the scaly-faced enigma again, in the context of her nightly roof-walks, and take a much closer look at her. If not tonight, then another time. It's been a while since she felt like she found someone whose affairs were actually worth prying into. The plotting aristocrat couldn't help but curl the corners of her thin lips into a smirk.

The ravosala rounded a corner, and the massive façade of the building in question appeared a short distance away. They were almost there.
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