A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

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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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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Ashka on July 9th, 2017, 11:57 pm


77 Summer 517

Ashka ran her hands over the sides of her canoe, having stowed most of the contents in and around their tent. She found no flaws or problems, so she placed the paddles inside it and called Chaya over. They both leaned in to shove it down the beach and out onto the rising tide. Chaya jumped in first, taking her position in the bow, and then Ashka pulled herself up, over the stern, and grabbed her paddle to propel it out into the blue waters of the bay. She dug the paddle into the clear water and held it there, and thirty feet of canoe pivoted around the paddle and wound up parallel to the beach.

Unfortunately, although showy, that kind of turn wasn't one a more skilled sailor would have chosen, because it also killed all the canoe's forward speed. Ashka heaved with all her might to get it moving again before the tide dumped them back on the sand. It was hard work, paddling alone, and her arms ached by the time the canoe had built up a decent amount of speed again. Chaya squeaked as a fish darted under the canoe, and leaned over to watch it, rocking the boat in the water despite the outriggers. Next, the kid bobbed up to watch the shore, trying to name each of the buildings that they passed. "There's the Mercantile with the boot centipede! And there's..."

Ashka paid only partial attention. The rest of it was focused on keeping the canoe steady, and afloat, pulling outward against the tide, and forward along the beach. The sound of a dog barking its defence against an intruder broke through her focus, as did a particularly loud squeal from Chaya. She looked over at the shore and saw the dome of woven bamboo just visible under the tree line, another canoe pulled up on the beach, and another young woman working near it. Her own canoe drifted shorewards before she thought. "Hello?" she called, as she made the turn steeper and more deliberate, so that it would be easier to launch again later. "We're heading along the coast to see what's there - do you want to come?" A few more strokes and the bow of the canoe would nudge firmly into the beach allowing them to climb off - or another person to climb in.


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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Merevaika on August 4th, 2017, 2:50 pm

Merevaika



One two three. Four. Five six seven. The huntress shifted her arrows around on the sand, wondering if she had counted right. Maybe that one had been counted twice? And that little collection over there – there were more than seven just there, surely. Her hands were heavy as she spread them out again, this time pulling each out of the ordered rows as she numbered them. One two. Three four. Five six seven eight.

Then she reached the next row, and couldn’t tell which ones she had just added to that row by mistake.

Either way, it didn’t matter. Merevaika didn’t need to count the arrows before her to know what she wanted – needed – to know. It was obvious just from the feel of them all in her hand, just from emptiness in her quiver.

She was running out of arrows.

It pained the woman like she was running out of food or water or air. Arrows were an extension of her, part of her as much as the bow was. Without her arrows, she was nothing. She was defenceless. How could a bow hurt anything without its teeth? She couldn’t hunt without her arrows – she wasn’t crazy, she didn’t take a sword into a hunt like some people she could mention. She couldn’t live without them. Because no arrows meant no bow, and no bow meant no hunting, no fighting, no shooting. Then she’d just be a chicken farmer, and she was worth so much more than that.

One of these days, she was going to have to sit down, try and remember how arrows were made. Because from her failed attempts, that lay a short distance off, crafted only bells before, she knew it wasn’t as simple as sharpening a stick. Her sticks had all broken. From the first shot, too.

Perhaps she was just using the wrong sticks?

Beast erupted into a flood of barks and Merevaika looked up immediately. She only every barked that much if there was someone nearby, but who would come over? Merevaika wasn't exactly welcoming to visitors, nor on the path from one place to another to have those random people wander nearby occasionally. Without thinking about it, she snatched her bow from where it lay on the ground. Her arrows were left behind, Merevaika not thinking clearly enough to snatch a few up too, but she doubted she'd need them. After all, just the sight of a weapon was probably good enough to scare most people in this settlement.

For a place so far from civilisation, so close to the wild, most of its citizens lacked the skills she knew they needed. So what if they could weave a little, or make themselves a hut to squat in, or fish? They were defenceless against anything bigger than a squirrel - and there were plenty of things they had to defend themselves against from inside that jungle.

The woman - girl - she caught sight of, approaching in her canoe with a friendly greeting, seemed to be just like that. Young, gawky, going exploring without a weapon of any sorts (a visible one from Merevaika's angle, at the very least). Useless, in other words.

She'd be dead within a moment if she stumbled across something along the coast.

Merevaika knew she had never been this useless when she had been her age. What was she, fifteen, sixteen? When Merevaika had been sixteen, she had lost her entire family, lived alone - hunted on the land, stole where she could, survived. She had been far more capable than this girl was.

Then again, thinking about it... This girl seemed to be alone too. There was no one on Syka Merevaika could place as her parent, both from when she had seen this girl around and from the others she knew. She had that younger girl with her, that was true, but she didn't seem capable enough to fend for her older sister.

Maybe this girl was alone. Then, at least, she deserved some credit for surviving this long.

What had she asked her? Merevaika, standing there examining the girl carefully, had almost forgotten than she had spoken, too busy sizing her up and judging her. It was an invitation, to head down the coast. The Drykas looked across the arrows she had been... she had been wasting her time, distracting herself. She wasn't doing anything at all. Maybe she needed this - at the very least, needed a way to escape it all, once again.

"Okay," she found herself saying, before she had even managed to make her mind up. What was she doing? This decision was a rash one, and although she felt like she had to be doubting it now, she wasn’t quite there yet. "Let me get things." Arrows, weapon, food. "How far we go?"

The hand symbols had slipped out too, Merevaika not ready for them. A lot of things were happening today, that she wasn’t ready for, that she hadn’t intended on happening. Perhaps it was a sign she had been moping around too long. Perhaps it was a sign that she was ready to move on.

Then again, the grassland sign could just as easily be a sign that she wasn’t.

Who would ever be?

The woman gathered up her arrows first, holding them loosely in her other hand, before disappearing into her tent. They went in the quiver, which sat on one shoulder, followed by the stringed bow. Weapons? She went with all of them – better safe than sorry. Her pack was filled with useful things – rope and rations and waterskins. Even a flint and steel, although she knew she didn’t need that, not any more.

When she emerged, half her possessions on her back, she felt good. Not annoyed that she was accompanying this useless little girl on a useless little trip. Not frustrated with her uselessness. But good, that she was finally leaving this tent, even if it was for a short while.

And who knew, maybe they’d find something. Maybe she’d learn something. Maybe... something. There were never any maybes when she sat by her tent wondering how she’d ever survive.

Her eyes flickered to her own canoe. It was nowhere as impressive as what the girl sat in. Her own canoe was small, a simple dugout shape. That other canoe – it was big enough to fit a handful more people, with pontoons either side for storage and stability. And it had, Merevaika hoped, at least one able seaman in it.

Because although she had struggled, Merevaika knew she could barely go anywhere in her own vessel, unable to fight the waves with her lack of strength and skill.

Besides, the girls’ canoe was in the sand, as if she wanted Merevaika to sit in it. There was no point taking two, if this one was here, and big enough, and waiting.

Without a second thought, she snatched up her own paddle and clambered into the thing, dumping her possessions behind her.

Of course, that didn’t work. They were still stuck in the sand. Jumping straight back out again, Merevaika rolled her sleeves and legs up, in a failed attempt to keep them dry. The windmarks on her arm where visible now, only the very top of the horse cut off on her left shoulder. She bent, placing hands on the canoe. Pushed, feet slipping in the sand a little. A smile almost flickered across her face. She pushed harder, feeling the sand give way and the canoe move into water.

It wasn’t long until she was back in the canoe, looking to the younger girl in a hope to copy how she paddled. "Let us go."

Maybe, just maybe, this was going to be fun, too.

"Pavi"
Grassland sign
"Common"

wordcount :
+1301
=12479
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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Ashka on August 6th, 2017, 9:26 pm


The young woman looked Ashka over for a very long moment, and Ashka's heart sank as it stretched on, sure that she was about to be rejected and scorned once more. The acceptance surprised her, and the Pavi accent reminded her so sharply of her father that she had to blink her eyes clear. By the time the woman re-emerged with a turtle-load of goods and weapons on her back, Ashka was back in control of herself. A paddler needed to be able to lean and twist and a pack would make paddling that much harder, but that was the woman's choice.

Ashka had stowed her own gear in the canoe, apart from the dagger tucked into her sash - a little food, although she intended to catch fish to supplement it, the picnic basket, fire-kit, various tools and rope. The woman picked up a paddle and helped push them off, her muscle boosted the backwater Ashka managed with her paddle, then climbed in. Ashka's fingers responded instinctively to the Pavi signs with a clumsily signed thanks. She leaned forward as far as she could, put the paddle in the water on the right hand side of the now heavier canoe and made as long and hard a stroke as she could. It wasn't as flashy, but it did turn the canoe. Once they were parallel to the beach again she went back to shorter strokes, alternating between left and right so that the canoe stayed fairly straight. "Just across the bay, maybe a little past the entrance. It isn't really suited to the open sea."

She realised that the other woman's paddling was hampered by more than the pack, and tried to make her own movements clear and easy to follow. She was glad of the stabilising outriggers. They - probably - would stop them all from capsizing. Chaya, of course, didn't let the silence hold for long. "I'm Chaya," she babbled, "that's my sister Ashka. What's your name? Have you been here long? What's your canoe like?" Then she let out a squeak and pointed down into the water as a huge fish glided past underneath and a shoal of smaller ones got out of its way. "Oooh, look at that..."


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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Merevaika on August 7th, 2017, 5:06 pm

Merevaika


There was a clumsy sign from the girl in front of her. Merevaika took in it like it was normally, first of all, absorbing what she must have meant from the shaky thanks.

It was only when she started to paddle, copying the girl's actions with where she placed the wooden thing in order to try turn the thing, Merevaika realised how strange it was to see the sign. This wasn't Endrykas - this was Syka. Somewhere, the very place she had run to to get away from it all, where she hoped that she'd have nothing to remind her of that place - of him - yet somehow, she had found a Drykas anyway.

Merevaika waited for the feeling of hate, for the girl bringing back memories, creating a link. But strangely, it never came. Neither did those memories, content with being left to one side for now after so long of pushing forward in her mind, so long of demanding to be heard.

But the sign couldn't be forgotten.

"You speak Pavi?" she asked simply, fumbling with her paddle. Once she had adjusted her grip on it so it mirrored sort of what the younger girl had, she pushed it onto the water, finding the tide and waves dragging on it more than she had expected. The woman moved forward with it, hoping that she wasn't rocking the canoe as much as she could feel, and tried to steady herself.

Once she had lifted it out safely, and brought the dripping thing to the other side of her, she tried again, this time taking a good hold of the thing before slicing into the water. As she tried to pull it back, copying the paddling motion from in front, she met too much resistance, only just about able to carve it through the waves.

She glanced up towards the other girl, wondering how she was managing. After all, she looked a lot smaller and a lot less strong, but was gliding through the water as easily as Merevaika could ride a horse.

It turned out that the trick was shorter movements. Shallower strokes. Less forcing the wooden object through the water, and more guiding it. Merevaika gave it a go, careful not to push it in too far.

Her attempt did nothing, skimming along the very surface. So, maybe she did have to put something in the water.

After a few more tries, carefully adjusting each one to get the right balance of submerged underwater and not, Merevaika settled on something that felt helpful, but not too hard, letting her muscles strain a little with each stroke, but no more than that.

Then there came the problem of swapping from one side to the other. Merevaika couldn't get the hang of it. Pulling the paddle out of the water was so awkward, as was changing sides with it, the woman struggling to shift it up high enough and keep her grasp as it was. Every time she tried to switch, it hit against the side, and Merevaika winced at the impact.

How did that girl make it look so effortless?

She slowed her movements down, deciding to make each one count than keep up with her strong, confident strokes. That messed the rhythm up, which would no doubt mess with the canoe's movements, but Merevaika felt more confident like that rather than struggling with everything she did.

All the while, she tried to reply to the other little girl, the younger one, not quite able to force out a smile but her tone was light, much lighter than what most on this settlement had ever heard.

"Merevaika, Merevaika Stormchaser," she introduced, deciding to give her full name, her Drykas name, to someone who might have a chance of understanding it. She doubted they were full-blooded Drykas - if they were, why would they spend their time here, rather than in Endrykas, searching for a Strider - but there was still a chance the pavilion name could mean something to them. More to them than anyone else, at the very least.

"I have been here... Short time - season? Maybe for season time." It was hard to focus, on too unfamiliar tasks at once. Her common was getting better, with all the practice she was being forced to have to communicate with everyone else here, but considering she was focusing hard on her paddling, she couldn't speak it without long pauses of thought. Long pauses waiting for her to have a chance to think, even. "But it feel forever. You? When you come here?"

Then questions about her canoe. Did this girl ever stop talking? "I do not know. I do not know how to canoe. This water - I hate it. All of it." She wanted to share her most common thought while here: seas were for grass, not for water, but even before someone who had Drykas connections, possibly, it would sound stupid. She held herself back, following the younger girl's gaze into the water.

A large fish brushed past, sending a scattering of tiny ones out of the way. Like when a large crane landed sending up smaller bugs and birds. "We catch it?" she asked, wondering if Ashka as she had been introduced would be interested, or would want to wait until they explored a bit further to try fishing. "Do you even know fishing?" It came off harsher than Merevaika liked. After all, she couldn't fish in the slightest. But she wasn't certain how to correct herself, so quietened herself up instead, letting her concentration move sharply to how badly her paddling was going.

The shore was changing, that was true. They had almost crossed the bay now. All Ashka's work. Merevaika wasn't helping, and she knew it.

"Pavi"
Grassland sign
"Common"

wordcount :
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=18385
Pavi Common


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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Ashka on August 13th, 2017, 8:06 pm


"Little bit," Ashka replied in response to Merevaika asking if she spoke Pavi. She added the phrase that had burned into her in the fruitless search for her and Chaya's missing father, then lapsed back into Common. "Patro Drykas. I've been here about half a season." The effort of constantly wrestling the canoe back on track burned in her arms and her shoulders, and left her with only breath and thought enough for short familiar phrases. Instead of the help she had hoped for, she had to work even harder. Part of her winced every time the paddle hit the sides of the canoe. "My mother, my Matro, is Svefra, we were born at sea."

Muscles tightened in her jaw at the other woman's scorn for her sea and her skills, and her hands clamped so tight around the paddle that her knuckles turned white. Even she, lousy Svefra that she was without a mark, could handle a small boat and a fishing line. To say she couldn't was to tell her she was no Svefra at all. She bent her head, fighting the urge to knock the useless Drykas woman into the water and call it a prank. She had had such pranks played on her... She had hated them, but she had coped. No, she would bet the woman couldn't swim either, and then Ashka would have to waste her time rescuing the fool. Who lived by all this water without learning to live in and from it? Only fools. She still paused her paddling and let the canoe drift. Her body was screaming too loudly to go on much further anyway and she needed the rest.

Besides, there were other, better ways to get payback on that sort of scorn. "We can fish," she agreed. "Chaya, the fishing kit is at your end... don't forget the bait." Chaya, true to form, swung back into the middle of the canoe, rocking it as she moved, and scrabbled into the bow locker for the fishing equipment. Chaya found it, passed a line back to Ashka, then offered one to Merevaika with a clueless, cheerful, grin. The bait was fresh, things rotted quickly in the heat and it was simple enough to leave a bit of guts out overnight and harvest maggots from it in the morning. Chaya flipped up the lid of the tin box, picked out a maggot, and stuck it on her hook, then closed the lid and passed it back along the canoe.

Ashka flexed her hands, rubbing life back into aching fingers after paddling for so long. "You take a squirming maggot, the wrigglier the better, and stick your hook through it," she said, her smile as outwardly cheerful as Chaya's but not nearly as clueless. "Like Chaya has, see? And drop the baited hook into the water, and hope something thinks the maggot looks tasty enough to eat..." She had yet to meet a landweller that didn't get squeamish about handling bait. "Oh and hang onto your end of the line. Easy." She fumbled the lid with tired hands, but managed to bait her hook and drop it over. A more expert fisher would have tossed it farther out, away from the boat, and let it drift, but Ashka only knew the basics, and wasn't about to let that show. Not to someone who had just jabbed her where her mother's abandonment had hurt her, anyway.


Word count575 words
Running total: 7907 words


Common, Pavi, Fratava
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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Merevaika on August 17th, 2017, 7:53 pm

Merevaika


Ashka replied in Pavi, words that were clear in their meaning but dripping in a thick accent that betrayed her knowledge of only a few words. Still, the words soothed her, not having heard her language from lips other than hers for what seemed like forever. She let them wash over her, with all their mistakes. Without stopping herself, she corrected the word that the girl used, unsure whether she was trying to use Pavi but deciding to use it anyway. “Matrin. Mother, in Pavi.” She hadn’t said that word in forever. She hadn’t truly believed that she would ever mutter it again.

But she had other things to distract her from the memory of her mothers.

This girl’s father was Drykas. One of Merevaika’s people. This girl was in some aspect, part of her. She had a million questions about that alone. Did she know about striders, about the web? Had she ever lived in Endrykas? And her father – what was he like? Perhaps Merevaika had heard of him? She decided to go with the last question. It was the simplest, and the name of a pavilion could give her some good information about that side of her family. "I might know your father. What is his name?" She hoped that the girl would understand the simple ideas behind the phrases, uncertain just how little she actually knew. It wasn’t a complicated sentence, she didn’t think, with some of the most basic words in it. Ones she had learnt first, when learning common. Then again, it was too soon to assume. Deciding to repeat it in common, albeit more simply, she choked out the words, not liking the abrupt change but going with it. "I know father? Name?"

There were other things that interested her about the girl's story, too. Everything, basically. What she was doing on Syka, for one – she still considered it an odd place for two young girls to go. Even if they were alone – especially if they were alone – surely they would consider a populated place, like Riverfall, safer, where there were people to help them and places to go. Syka was pure wilderness. Dangerous if they didn’t know what they were doing. And also: what part those parents, the Svefra and Drykas that she mentioned, played in her story. Perhaps she had missed the former in the settlement – there were plenty of Svefra. But it wasn’t like she had missed another Drykas, surely. "Why here? Alone? Where father, where mother?"

Merevaika paused a moment to gain some sort of response. Even silence would be enough - she knew too well the pain of losing a father and mothers. A silence would reveal enough about that for Merevaika to understand. Perhaps the two girls had also come to this so called paradise in a hope to forget the past, drown out the sorrows of lost.

Then again, there were a multitude of other reasons out there. Until she got a response, she had no chance of guessing exactly what her background was. For some reason, Merevaika didn’t want to.

What she could guess, however, - marked by the way the girl’s knuckles grew whiter with their grip, and her jaw seemed to tighten - was that her comment about hating the sea hadn't been taken well. No wonder - the girl had claimed to be born at sea, with a sea loving mother. To her, it was an offence to dislike the sea and boats and everything linked to them in anyway. Merevaika could understand that too. If someone claimed to hate horses, and cursed the striders the Drykas rode, she would, almost, have to stop herself from slitting their throats open there and then. It was a sacred topic, and Merevaika decided to avoid the subject again before gaining Ashka’s wrath a second time.

How was this girl so similar to herself?

Her idea to try some fishing was received well. Her question about whether the girl could fish, however, was received a little less. The girl explained everything she did in detail, taking the line that the younger sister had passed to her, as if Merevaika needed an explanation. As if Merevaika was clueless to the art.

Well, maybe she did and maybe she was, but at the same time, she had never suggested that. She wasn’t going to let the girl believe that she was useless at everything.

Time to refute that (albeit true) assumption. "I can fish. No need to explain." Still, a careful eye would spot how she fiddled with the line, trying to bring the hook up to a good position. How she kept Ashka in the corner of her eye to make sure she was doing things right. All the little signs that betrayed how knew she was to this whole thing, how she couldn’t even remember the last time she had held a line and hook like this.

A box of squirming maggots was pushed in her direction by the younger girl, who had a cheerful, clueless expression. Merevaika looked down at them, keeping her expression blank, although she didn’t really need to. If the girls hoped to scare her with the wriggling things, make a fool out of someone who squirmed just like that with the sight, they had to try better.

Merevaika had seen those things far too many times, and not in nice places either. Her fingers tightened around the biggest, feeling how it squirmed in her grip.

An image flashed before her eyes. Two, actually. The first was a much earlier one, obscured by the mists of time. But it was still clear in her mind - her uncle and brother, lying there, maggots squirming through their decomposing bodies. Was that a real image? Had she even seen that? The image was replaced with one far more horrifying, and the maggot slipped out of her fingers into the bottom of the canoe without her realising it. Eryunt. That was his fate. That was what she had left him to. To be eaten by these tiny maggots, stripped to nothing from all his glory as the best Strider that was.

He had been so great. And she had just left him, like she would have left any other dead body. He may have returned to the earth, to Semele and to the Web, but she should have given him more ceremony, more something, instead of just leaving him.

It took her a moment to recover, and all her coolness over handling the maggots was replaced by quick breathing, almost clutching her heart with the now empty hand.

She glanced up to the younger sister, avoiding Ashka's almost certain gaze. "Slipped," she managed to get out to excuse herself, palm scraping where the thing had fell, and she found it quickly and impaled it with the hook with a quick sharp motion, enjoying how it stopped wriggling as much. Keeping herself busy, she threw the line out, and only just caught it before it slipped right out of her shaking fingers.

Her focus left it quickly as she tried to settle herself.

Without knowing why, her heart was pounding was fast as Eryunt's hooves had gone.

"Easy," she found herself repeating the word said from what seemed like long enough ago, but was only a few chimes, while her mind screamed that it wasn't. Forgetting Eryunt was impossible. Moving on was the hardest thing she could do. If only it were easy. But the world was not made for her 'if only's. It was made simply to taunt them.

"Pavi"
Grassland sign
"Common"

wordcount :
+1270
=27719
Last edited by Merevaika on August 25th, 2017, 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pavi Common


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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Ashka on August 20th, 2017, 10:39 pm


The other woman corrected Ashka's bad Pavi, and Ashka muttered the word to herself, trying to get it to stick in her head. Merevaika said something else in Pavi, but Ashka could only grasp the words father and name. Did the woman mean her name? Her father's name? She was grateful when the question was repeated in bad common. "Erlin Hawkheart," she said shortly. Alive, dead, she didn't know. She turned her head away without answering and stared out at the sea. Riverfall was out there somewhere, just out of sight. Riverfall, where people didn't just have clothes of one bright colour or other like the Drykas, but skin as well, and eyes that saw young unattached women as things to use for babies. Perfectly polite, perfectly sure that the rise in rank that mating brought would make up for everything else perfectly creepy. Syka was better.

"Syka is..." She paused, trying to phrase something she understood more by instinct than reason into simple language. Something that others would understand without her needing to bare her heart. "... a place to dock for a while. The founders were looking for a weaver, and I needed the job."

Her line jerked against her hand and she yanked it upwards. Too fast. By the time it reached the surface, both maggot and fish had gone. She grimaced, hooked the bait box towards her with a finger and pulled out a replacement. The other woman made some small excuse to account for dropping a maggot and then also stared into thin air rather than watching either of them. Ashka left her with her thoughts, tossing the line out again. The Pavi accent was home, and not-home, and yet...

Her musing was interrupted when Chaya's line bobbed too, and the canoe rocked as she lurched for it and tried to haul it in. The fish fought at the end of the line, stronger than Chaya's young arms. Out of the corner of her eye, Ashka saw the shore veer away as the fish's antics pulled at the canoe. She couldn't get to Chaya to help, not lurching like this with someone between them! The paddle propped across the canoe slid sideways towards the water and she swore under her breath as she lunged for it. The canoe swung again as she made her first grab, and she missed it. She grabbed a second time and was luckier, then had to lunge back to grab her own line again. "Not so fast," she reminded herself as she began to haul it in, too busy to pay any attention to Merevaika.


Word count435 words
Running total: 8717 words


Common, Pavi, Fratava
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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Merevaika on August 26th, 2017, 2:16 pm

Merevaika


Erlin Hawkheart. She thought for a moment, a flickering though that maybe she knew his pavilion, heard it at the very least. But then her hope faded, realising that she hadn't. At least, the memory was fake, just a random guess at the many people she had seen, the many Drykas there were. Hawkheart. It sounded vaguely Emerald, although perhaps Diamond would work too. Those specialised in birds, or fearsome warriors? If it were the former, no wonder she didn't recognise them. Then again, who knew. The name may no longer go with whichever clan they belonged to.

Which clan was that? Without noticing the way the girl turned her head, staring out at the sea, Merevaika continued, still bursting with the excitement of meeting someone who knew a bit of Pavi, was a bit of Drykas, was a bit of her own. The thought of this link to home flooded her with happiness, and she was planning to ask as much as she could about this mysterious Erlin Hawkheart. "Do you know which clan?" Then, she decided to explain quickly, in case she had used the wrong common word, or in case Ashka wasn't certain what the gemstone names were used for. "Gem name. Like.. Amethyst. Diamond. Emerald." Her own clan - if she was still Drykas - came first, of course, the first that always came to mind. Then the two she guessed the Hawkheart to belong to, in case the words brought any memories to the girl.

It was clear to Merevaika that Syka wasn't a home to Ashka any more than it was for Merevaika. A place to dock. Maybe she didn't understand that phrase, but she didn't really have to. It was the way it was said, working around actual things. And the fact that a job was mentioned. She came to get a job.

Weaver? She wasn't good at job names, apart from perhaps thief, from those who had shouted that at her in common rather than Pavi. For once, though, she decided to not leave it unknown and tilted her head as if she was trying to remember it. A few ticks to try and show that she had simply forgotten it, and it was at the tip of tongue rather than completely unknown. Then she asked, keeping her tone less curious and trying to hint at annoyance at herself.

Even if she was asking what a word meant, it didn't meant that she would admit that she was stupid and didn't know common.

"Weaver? What that? What you do?" she asked, aware that her act, of knowing more common than she did, was broken sharply by the disjointed way she spoke, by the thick accent coating her words. Still, it was too late for anything. This was only a girl. It didn't matter what she thought.

The canoe rocked suddenly, shaking Merevaika back into fishing. She had a line in the water, and maybe it had been pulled too, her focus was not on it in the slightest. It was another line pulling though, the younger girl who fought with it. Was being beaten, too, as the canoe was moving, turning and twisting in the water as the fish struggled. A paddle was being thrown around with the movement, which Ashka busied herself with, causing lurching movements as she tried to grab it.

In a rash movement, Merevaika pulled her line up, twisting it sharply across her palm until she could keep it in place without thinking about it, then dove at Chaya, grabbing the line below where she held it. The girl was struggling because she didn't have the strength to fight the fish. Perhaps together, they would?

Her muscles tensed, feeling the tug of the line, and she began to wonder what could pull that hard. In her mind, fish were small, a normal size, not the strongest of things. Maybe it was just her inexperienced at fishing, but surely this had to be some monster of a fish, if it was pulling along the canoe so easily?

It gave another sharp tug, and she felt her body crash against the side of the canoe, almost falling overboard. She had not been expecting that. Collecting herself quickly, she leaned back with all strength, wondering how strong this line was.

If only she had an arrow or a spear to put through that dark shape under them, make their job so much easier.

Together with the smaller girl, they both pulled sharply.

The fish flapped at the water, splashing them. They were so close -so close!

With it so near the surface, Merevaika found herself reaching down with one hand and submerging it in the water. She gave a slight pull -

-and found the fish in her grasp. Quickly, she wrapped fingers around the slippery thing, hoisting it up as far as she could as it thrashed with its slippery scales in her grip. Dropping the line, which she hoped Chaya could hold, the other hand moved out to grab it too, the woman wriggling in response to the movements in her arms.

Her arms straining, she hoisted up. The fish flew, slipping out of her grip, over her head. Into the canoe.

"Quick!" she yelled, letting the excitement of the fishing take over. It had fallen towards Ashka, now, and she hoped that the girl would act quickly enough. After all, that monster of a thing looked like a great catch - if they could stop it thrashing before it jumped back out into the water.

In all her rush, she had managed to completely forget about the string that was lashed around her palm. Something tugged, and she slipped back, already unsteady in the boat and not ready for such a sudden movement. Her feet met the side of the canoe and she tripped, finding herself toppling over into the water. She plunged, head submerged under the salty waves, but the other hand had reached out in reaction to the fall, snagging the canoe. Thankfully, her movement hadn’t capsized it, but if Ashka hadn’t grabbed the fish in time, it probably would have been thrown out.

Spluttering, the Drykas hoisted her other hand up, feeling the string loosen in the waves and slip somewhere away. At least it wasn’t her own line and hook she was loosing. Once both hands gripped the canoe tightly, she could heave herself up a bit, coughing and spluttering at all the water she had drunk, that had slipped up her nose and stung her eyes. It was horrible, but at least she didn’t have to worry about swimming.

Her legs kicked, moving by instinct rather than actual skill so all they really achieved was a lot of splashing. But she managed to keep her head over water, and stared at Ashka pleadingly, her distaste of the water evident in her eyes. "Help me out?" she asked, pushing up the side more and managing to hook her arm over the edge. She couldn’t get much further, not with the canoe shaking and her inability to use the water."Sorry."

Did she just apologise? What for?

All that swallowed salt water must have made her go crazy.


"Pavi"
Grassland sign
"Common"

wordcount :
+1202
=32933
Pavi Common


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Merevaika
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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Ashka on August 28th, 2017, 8:34 pm


Ashka didn't know the Pavi names for the clans, only that different groups of Drykas wore different colours. "Is green one. Hunter. Not know word." The fish interrupted her before she could explain about weaving. She stretched out her gangly legs and braced a foot against each side of the canoe to balance herself against the lurching, hoping wordlessly that the outriggers would be enough to prevent the fish from capsizing the canoe. Without the outriggers it would already have rolled them into the bay. She hauled at her fish and this time didn't tear the hook from the creature's mouth in her haste. It was a small one, and that gave her a chance to look up and see that Merevaika was helping Chaya haul hers in. Once hers was close, she grabbed the line close to the fish's mouth and flung it into the bottom of the canoe. She tossed her line into a corner under the bench, snatched her dagger out of her sash and brought the pommel down hard on her fish's head. Its thrashing promptly became the aimless flap of dying muscles.

The dagger was still in her hand when Chaya's huge fish flew through the air, bounced off Ashka's head and shoulder and hit the floor of the canoe. It was as long as the canoe was wide, and Ashka hardly needed Merevaika's yell of encouragement to fling herself onto it. It took her two attempts to pin it down enough that she could pound it with the pommel until the life went out of it.

The canoe lurched again, and heeled over as Merevaika tumbled out. Ashka fell hard against the side of the canoe and thrashed out her own limbs in a frantic tangle. One toe jammed itself under a seat. Her free hand grabbed at Chaya's shirt before her sister also fell out. The smaller fish flew over the side, as the two Svefra-raised girls landed in a muddle of arms and legs and hair and big fish. Water splashed over them, and Ashka lifted her head at the sound of splashing beside the canoe. Her cheek and clothes were speckled and smeared with fish scales, and her shoulder and knee hurt where they'd hit the side of the canoe, but her hand still gripped her dagger tight as Merevaika clung coughing and spluttering. "Petching landlubbers!" she growled, swiping her own hair out of her eyes with her free hand. She tucked the dagger back in the sash. "Chaya, go sit in the bow, we need more balance and space," she told her sister. Under her hard gaze, Chaya went without protest, for once. The younger girl had her share of scales and bruises.

Ashka looked down at Merevaika's pleading face, and the apology that she couldn't know the rarity of, and her mouth tightened as she tried to work out how to get this non-swimmer back into her canoe. It was her fault the woman was here - she'd invited her here, and that meant she was responsible for her. She shifted position so that she could brace herself against the sides of the canoe once more, then leaned as far as she dared. She wrapped one hand around Merevaika's arm, and took a fistful of sodden cloth low on the woman's back in the other. "When I say kick," she told her, "you kick hard and pull with the other arm. Understand?"

If Merevaika indicated that she understood, Ashka would count to three, and then take a deep breath, give the order and haul with both hands. If it was enough - please Laviku, let it be enough - the other woman would probably land in the middle of the canoe, on top of the fish. But in had to be better than out and sinking didn't it?


Word count641 words
Running total: 10,202 words


Common, Pavi, Fratava
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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
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A Bay so Blue (Merevaika)

Postby Merevaika on August 29th, 2017, 10:03 am

Merevaika


"Green?" she repeated for a moment, trying to figure out what colour that actually was. "Ah, Emerald." She had guessed that one. It made sense, with the name. Hunters, who dealt with birds. The first Ashka confirmed. The second seemed to be a logical assumption. One that would excuse Merevaika's lack of knowledge about that particular pavilion. The last time she had anything to do with a hunting bird...

She didn't want to think about it. Subconsciously, she moved her hand up to her hair, and felt nothing but knots. Once, she would have found a feather.

Why didn't she still have that feather? Now all that remained was memories.

But thoughts like that were better saved for later. Or never. But whatever it was, especially not for today. After all, she was far too busy focusing on staying out of this water, and getting into that canoe.

The girl looked over at her, growling something in a language she didn't recognise, but guessed was whatever the Svefra thought. Somehow, in that mess of legs and the boat tossing and fish and everything, Ashka had also become a mess, coated in glimmering scales and gripping a knife so tightly it seemed like she was trying to stab someone.

It took her a few moments to put the dagger away and pull the hair out of her eyes, while Merevaika struggled to keep afloat. The waves weren't helping. The buoyancy of the salt water (although she didn't realise it) was the only thing that helped her from sinking completely - that, and the fact she had something to hold onto.

As they moved around the boat, with the younger girl going to sit at one end probably to balance the whole thing. Ashka balanced herself between the sides of the canoe, or so she seemed to be doing, and took her arm. A scruff of cloth from the back of her shirt. Gave the order to kick and pull herself up.

She could do this. Although she knew that after this, practising some pull ups would probably be a smart idea, to avoid this situation again.

Learning how to swim too would also be a good idea. But that was much harder. She wasn't quite ready to enter the water, not yet, not like this. Laviku and her weren't meant to get along.

Merevaika gave a sharp nod to the girl's words, eager to get this over with and get out of the water as soon as she could.

Three, two, one -

There was the tug she was waiting for. It took her a tick to react to the pressure on her arm and shirt, pulling upwards, then she sprung into motion, kicking as hard as she could.

Her legs went everywhere. The thrashing simply threw up more water, almost useless in the whole scheme of things. It didn't help that she didn't trust the kicking to work, and instead put all her focus in her arms, feeling the tug on her muscles as she tried to pull herself up. The strain was clear, but she forced herself into it, feeling sweat rise up if she wasn't quite so wet already.

Slowly, her body shift. Slowly, at first, then all at once, the woman finding herself pushing rather than pulling as her body moved up over the side of the boat. Her body toppled, shocked at the sudden change with where her body was, and she landed face first into the canoe, feeling the wood smash against her cheek. It scraped, scuffing the skin, but didn't cut properly, resembling the knees of a child more than anything else.

There was something under her too. It was slightly squidgy, slimy, and not something she recognised.

The fish! Of course! The one they had caught – Chaya had caught – so Ashka had made sure it didn’t fall out. Good. Merevaika would hate it if all that had gone to waste.

But that meant she was lying on the thing. That couldn’t be good for the fish they wanted to eat. Merevaika darted up in realisation, then slipped with wet feet against wet wood, almost toppling out again. The whole boat shook, but she strapped both hands around the sides of the canoe and kept herself steady, sinking lower to have better balance. It took a few moments for it to settle to still, and she slowly slid into a seated position, just behind the fish. Her legs were crossed, creating a larger base to keep herself steady. One hand remained on the side, gripping tightly on with her nails in some hope that it would stop her from falling out again.

She was covered in scales now too, sparkling as the light hit the tiny scabs that had come off the creature, and she was dripping wet, all over the bottom of the canoe, her hair sticking to her face with sea water and sweat, and her arms shaking from all the effort she had pushed into getting herself out of the water. Her legs throbbed too, from moving in such a weird way for so long, so hard.

It took her a few ticks to get herself steady again, taking deep breaths to get over the shock of everything. A few coughs were needed to, to get that salt water out of her - it stung her throat raw. Her nostrils and eyes felt red too. There was nothing she could do about them.

"Thank you," she finally said, trying to shake it all off. Her voice was softer, though, a lot quieter and less confident than before. She wanted to ask to go back to the shore, but that was admitting she was scared, uncomfortable on the water. Merevaika held her pride over her safety. Especially with something like this. There was no way she was going to admit that she was going to back away from all this from one bad experience.

Not that it was just one bad experience. It was a million, that always came back to her whenever they happened again. The river near Riverfall. The cliffs where she had met Beast. Down in Semele, with the Underwatch and everyone else.

And now, just then. It wasn’t as bad. She had been safer than any of those times. She had Ashka to help her instantly. She had barely been underwater at all.

It was just the sensation that had thrown her. A sensation that was pinned to so many bad memories. It wasn’t easy to just forget.

Instead, she decided to ask about the fish, gesturing to it with one hand. A perfect distraction, lying there, motionless. "It is a big one, right?" she asked, forcing out a smile, "Your sister good at this." Unlike Merevaika. That hung in the air awkwardly before her. Hopefully, Ashka wasn't going to rub it all in her face. Merevaika would have said the girl didn’t seem like the type, but she didn’t know her. Maybe she was just the type who would do that.

"Pavi"
Grassland sign
"Common"

wordcount :
+1176
=35242
Pavi Common


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Merevaika
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Posts: 656
Words: 569652
Joined roleplay: November 8th, 2014, 9:33 pm
Race: Human, Drykas
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Medals: 3
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