Open Wild Women (Merevaika)

In which Karin builds a canoe for a stranger.

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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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Wild Women (Merevaika)

Postby Karin on July 31st, 2017, 4:33 pm

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1st Summer 517 AV

It was a strange set of circumstances that pulled the two women together on that first day of the season of Summer. The day had gone normally on Karin's part, following the usual routine of foraging for food, maintaining her abode and the usual, menial tasks that kept her occupied. She had gone for a swim, like she always did, and had emerged with dripping hair, completely naked apart from plain underwear covering her lower half now that it was getting warmer and warmer. She dried herself off in the hot sunshine until a squall of sudden rain got her wet again, so she simply decided to walk along the humid border between tropical forest and the salty beach.

She was dressed incredibly simply, haven grown so accustomed to being alone so often. Even when she had lived in a city, she had never been one for fanciful cloth or decoration, and so the bare, hard pads of her feet trod carefully across the twig-littered ground, and brown, lace-up trousers clad her legs and a white shirt billowed freely over her thin, lithe form. She stood out against the dark backdrop of the jungle, but was small in comparison to the trees that towered above and into the canopy.

The Svefra had walked and walked for a while, until Syna's rays hit their zenith and began to fade down the sky again. It was peaceful to let her feet tread the earth without caring where she ended up. Some nights, she kipped on the beach if it looked like it would be a fair night. The settlement was so quiet that she figured it would be doubtful anyone would steal anything from her poorly built hut. So she often felt comfortable to leave it. Although in many ways, she was proud of the small abode, because it was a physical representation of her struggle to find a foothold in this distant, far-removed from civilisation settlement.

Even so, the day had been interspersed with bursts of short, sharp rains, and so she didn't quite trust that the weather would stay clement enough for her to sleep comfortably that night. Instead, she began to head back. It was as she was walking back that she found herself looking deeper into the jungle. It was a mysterious place, filled with more wildlife and greenery than you could shake a stick at. Some of that greenery was more bizarre than others. She had seen huge ferns, snaking vines, and peculiarly coloured leaves... but the curved, yellow fruits hanging from one tree drew her eye in particular.

For a start, she had never seen such a colour. It was an absurd-looking thing too, curved like a smile or a scimitar or a rainbow. Karin had to see if they were edible, but the fruit wasn't exactly easy to get to. She stood beneath the tree, looking up with doubt laden across her features. Could she do it? Would it even be worth it? A few moment's hesitation, and then she suddenly decided.

A few moments later and the young woman was looking for places to scale the tree to reach the fruit. She was lucky in that although the tree did not have any low-lying branches, there were neighbouring stalwarts that stood nearby to provide the initial ascent. She rolled up her sleeves, and began to haul herself into the tree. It was tough-going as she used her muscles in a different way to what she was used to, but she made slow progress. Further up, although the canopy was still some way above her, the atmosphere was very different. She could see the world in miniature, the tiny beetles using a nook as a home, the flickering birds pecking nectar from blooming, lilac flowers scented like soap.

And the yellow fruits were so close now, positioned tantalisingly near at the end of a long bough from the tree she was scaling. She began to edge herself along, shuffling her torso vertically as she clung tightly with her legs and pulled herself forwards with her hands. The branch swayed alarmingly as she progressed, and she almost slipped. Then, as she was almost at the end... the branch creaked, and she let out a short yell of alarm as she started to tip sideways, only just catching hold of the branch with both hands as she now swung underneath.

"HELP!"

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10/7/17- All my threads are marked [open] and as such are open to all. :)
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Wild Women (Merevaika)

Postby Merevaika on August 1st, 2017, 9:08 pm

"HELP!"

Merevaika's eyes snapped up. One hand brushed against the gathering of sticks she had been trying to make a fire with, and they toppled down like dominoes. Flint and steel were abandoned beside her attempts for fire as the woman picked herself up from the hunched position against the sand. Did she hear what she thought she heard? A yell, distant enough to almost ignore, but loud enough to just about distinguish. The faint, yet familiar, cry for help.

It had to be. Syka was a tiny settlement, despite the fact she was still adjusting to that. A tiny settlement meant it was very hard to mistake general chatter for a shout like that.

Which left her a far more important thing to think about. To answer, or not to answer. That was the question.

Normally, the woman would have gone her own way, let someone else do the hard work. She was her own independent person - and part of that independence meant she wasn't going to go around helping others, at least in her eyes. There were plenty of other people who would, however, sacrifice their time and effort to go bother themselves with whoever had cried out.

That was back in Endrykas. Here, there were very few people to help, at all. And with the way they were spread out, hunting or fishing or simply moving along the beach, would they hear that shout? Not likely.

And there was that extra factor to consider. Being in debt to one another. The smaller a settlement got, the more important gestures were to one another. You saw each other more. Saw each other's gains and successes more. Repaying any favours you owed suddenly became more important, and if Merevaika was involved, more pressurised. Whatever this situation was- life or death or something minor - Merevaika could make sure the person on the receiving end owed her something.

Taking deep, long strides, she decided against rushing completely, but knew if she did dawdle too long, she'd miss her opportunity to help. Everything was left behind in a scattered mess, Merevaika certain that no one would take anything, and if they did, it would be easy to track them down. Perhaps it would have been wiser to bring one or two things with her, to help her help whoever it was shouting, but this woman wasn't the wisest.

The shout seemed to have originated from the edge of the forest, which made Merevaika even more sorry that she hadn't planned ahead. Possibilities for the reason of the cry rolled through her head - a fallen branch, a wild animal, several wild animals. All possibilities where the woman, armed with only the clothing on her back, would be very little use. Venturing carefully, she ducked behind ferns and bushes, keeping an eye out for the source of the noise. If there was something she wanted to avoid, she'd be able to, keeping her back clear and her position masked with the foliage.

At last, she caught sight of her. A blonde, the one with the marking on her left shoulder, similar to Merevaika's own windmarks. The woman had images of her woodworking - she must have seen her on the beach at some point, doing that.

That could be useful.

As she pushed forward, out from where the leaves hid her in shadow, she realised the problem. The blonde was hanging from a branch, unable to get down.

Without helping it, a laugh escaped her lips, enjoying how badly she had messed up climbing a tree. At least Merevaika hadn't been stupid enough to try.

Moving over to stand roughly under her, in a hope to get a better vantage point of exactly where everything was in relationship to the woman, she pointed towards a branch that look sort of near enough. "Can move legs there? Try." It was going to be a bit of a stretch. If the woman didn't have enough fate in herself, she wouldn't be able to make it. But if she did...

What was Merevaika kidding? Then she'd just be stuck on another branch!

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Wild Women (Merevaika)

Postby Karin on August 7th, 2017, 12:12 pm

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Karin swung on the branch in the residual movement of her slip down onto said branch as dark-haired stranger began to approach. She opened her mouth to reply, but got no further as she was stopped by the amused burst of laughter that left the woman's lips. Karin would have cast dagger-eyes at her, but she was too red-faced from the exertion of clinging on for dear life to have any real kind of anger to express to the stranger. Besides, she had deigned to come and help her- it would be churlish (and stupid) to cast away her help, even if it was tinged with mirth at her own expense.

So she cast about with her feet and struggled to look down past her body to see the branch that had been indicated. Karin was virtually growling to herself at her own stupidity now, although she didn't care much for appearances she knew it was a ridiculous situation to get herself into. Yet she knew she still wanted to see what the yellow fruits were like. By now, she'd got into too much trouble to simply let it go and ignore it. Her legs kicked around again, and the very tip of her toe touched the rough bark of the indicated branch.

She grunted with exertion as she swung herself, her hands red from pressure and burns, until finally she got both her feet on the branch. Now or never! She pushed herself with the energy she had left, feeling her muscles tensing and cramping as she let go of her grip where she had been hanging, and fell in freefall towards the other that her feet were connected with. It was over in less than a chime, ending with Karin gripping on with all her might, like a monkey, to the branch that the stranger had helpfully pointed out to her.

But the conclusion the stranger had come to, standing down below, was almost true. Karin was indeed stuck on the next branch, and was now even further away from lure of the yellow fruits. Still...

Despite the leaves and twigs that were now plentiful and abundant in her hair and across her shoulders and in the folds of her clothes, the Svefra felt the challenge was now on her.

"Hey! Can you see any other branches close to those fruits? Hang on..." Karin didn't notice, or didn't care to notice, the irony of her word choice, and began to climb again. This time, she kept as close as she could to the trunk of the tree. There were thick limbs here, that were bulky but surrounded by meshes of smaller branches and vines that acted as good handholds. It would only be once she got to the overhanging branch that lead to the mysterious, curved fruits that she would have to be careful, and rely on the help of the figure down on the ground.

So she continued, her arms scratched now, her face catching some of the nicks and scuffs too, giving her the look of a ragged scoundrel child from Sunberth. She let out a muffled, short cry of discomfort as she tore her hair from a rough tangle of vines, but then she emerged into a clearer patch of the tree, and absorbed a deep, cleansing breath of the moist air. And there... on the branch, almost at the very end, lay a bunch of those odd-looking fruits. It was a beacon at the end of the tunnel. She didn't dare glance down and see if her little helper was still there, but simply yelled down, hoping, hoping...

"Can you see anything that'd help?"

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10/7/17- All my threads are marked [open] and as such are open to all. :)
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Karin
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Wild Women (Merevaika)

Postby Merevaika on August 8th, 2017, 8:36 am

Like a monkey, the woman seemed to manage to swing down, first catching the branch with her legs, then flying to grab it with her hands. Merevaika pulled a face, both impressed at the acrobatic skills that had been demonstrated and a little jealous of how well she could manage, even when she looked like she was stuck.

There was a cry from her, and Merevaika struggled a little to figure out what she was saying, repeating the key words to herself a few times in an attempt to remember their meaning. Branches - those were the things that came of trees, that she held on. Close - that was the same as near. And fruit? Merevaika glanced around, trying to spot the edible sweet thing, looking back up towards where she had been hanging before. Was there anything there, anything that wasn't green and leaf shaped, that this woman could be referring to?

There was something that could have been fruit, she finally settled on, but it didn't look like any fruit she knew. Fruit was usually a ball, perhaps slightly shaped but you could call it that without being wrong. This was long and thin and curved, like her scimitar blade. The colour - that bright yellow, leaning on green on a few of them - was odd too, but it was the shape that confused her the most.

So it was fruit? Hopefully, she'd get a chance to try it right here.

Deciding that it was the only "fruit" in sight, Merevaika glanced back across the greenery above her, trying to make out dots - or curves - of that strange yellow thing called fruit. There - at the very end of the branch that the now scuffed and scratched woman sat at. Somehow, Merevaika had managed to miss her struggle and her cries, and now stared at someone who was suddenly a lot worse for wear than she had been only moments before.

"Can you see anything that'd help?"

Help? Merevaika looked around, as if she knew what she was looking for in this mess. There were plenty of things - grasses, bushes, thorns, vines, old wood, new wood, with the list trailing on forever. But would they come in useful? She wouldn't be able to say. Surely the woman above could crawl along the branch, reach the strange fruit, and get it over with.

Then again, that was probably what had happened last time, and she couldn't exactly be mad if she didn't feel like doing that again.

So what did she want? Something to reach it with?

"Maybe if cut branch?" she suggested, calling out over the chatter of monkeys in the distance, wondering if it would even be possible. She wasn't up there - and front down where she stood, sheltered by other branches and leaves, she couldn't quite see the branch properly. Maybe it was too thick and strong; she was hoping for something fairly thin and old, that was just waiting to snap.

If she did manage to get the branch down, it would crash down with the strange fruit, putting it at a level where it was a lot easier to reach. Of course, Merevaika would have to dodge out of the way to avoid all the falling things, but that wasn’t too hard. And then they’d have the strange curved fruit really in reach, without having to worry about falling of branches that couldn’t quite hold their weight. But Merevaika wasn't certain if that was even possible. She couldn't remember seeing anything in the woman's hands that would aid her with this lumberjack project, not even a tiny knife. True, she hadn't been looking for one, but just because she hadn't focused on finding it, didn't mean she should assume that she carried one with her everywhere - and everywhere included tree climbing.
No, there had to be a Plan B. Especially when Plan A was so unlikely. Just because she preferred one of them didn’t mean it would be the plan to work. In fact, it probably meant it wouldn’t work. That was how things always went, wasn’t it?

Without waiting to hear a response, she ducked down, picking out a slightly rotting branch from the ground and hoisting it up into the air. The woman up in the trees could use this as a longer arm, maybe to poke the strange fruit down, if they decided to budge. The branch itself was soft at the end she held it, the wood weaken by the moist air. Moss coated most of it, and insects erupted from a hole near the centre, betraying more of its lack of strength. This plan was even worse, for a million reasons and Merevaika couldn’t even name them all, and she didn't want to rely on it, but as another thing to try, she tried to manoeuvre with it in the air, pushing it in blonde woman's direction.

It fell short, and Merevaika began to hope even more that the woman wouldn't need this branch to try knock the curved fruit from where she balanced. Because if she was to get it to her, she'd have to try some tree climbing.

Even without a huge branch waving about in the air, taking up one hand, the ex-Drykas didn't fancy trying it out. She knew just how badly it would go for her.

Still, she moved closer, reaching out towards a nearby branch with her other hand. With a bit of a jump, she held it, then awkwardly manoeuvring to get the rotten branch between her and the branch she held onto. With it somewhat steady, her other hand could grasp the branch, and heave everything up: herself and the long stick, that was.

She wasn't going to get any closer. If the woman wanted it, she'd have to climb back down a bit to be able to reach it. Or hang of the branch, but she wasn't quite certain how well this other woman would react to that.

Instead, she hoped that the woman in the trees was managing in cutting the branch down. Or had come up with a plan of her own.

Merevaika would love it if she had managed to think of a plan of her own. Mainly, because that plan would work a lot better than what the Drykas had thought of.
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