Solo [Unstable Stables] Insolubility

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Considered one of the most mysterious cities in Mizahar, Alvadas is called The City of Illusions. It is the home of Ionu and the notorious Inverted. This city sits on one of the main crossroads through The Region of Kalea.

[Unstable Stables] Insolubility

Postby Dovey on August 21st, 2017, 2:03 am

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14 Summer, 517 AV
"Speech"
"Others"


The Stables were humdrum for now, but Dovey couldn't shake the sense that at any moment something ridiculous was going to happen.

This city had it out for her, she was convinced, though perhaps it was simply the audacity of everyday events around here which made her suspect Alvadas of targeting her specifically. This morning, hopeful she would arrive at work before the heat of the day, she had set out from the Cubacious Inn only slightly after sunup; when she had walked for what felt like more than a bell and passed the same tea house three times, she finally lost her temper and told the city off, loudly and acerbically. Of course it hadn't helped. She passed the tea house twice more and the Cubacious once before she finally spotted the sweeping arches of the Stables, just visible at the end of a street littered with blindingly green toads.

She was relieved to be here at last, anyhow, where the halls were subject to some kind of order and the arena did not wander to the far side of town on a whim. Working at a stable inevitably required fetching supplies from all over, and she wouldn't have enjoyed it had the tack room attempted to play hide-and-go-seek. The relief lasted as the day progressed, and she found herself considering the stable a sort of safe haven from the madness she'd faced on the streets - but illusions still cropped up at odd times, and as she picked her way through a dusty supply closet for the shovel so unhelpfully lodged in the back corner, she kept half an eye out for anything sudden.

Retrieving the shovel, she set off down the hall, back to the stall she had been mucking. This one had missed a cleaning or two, she was sure - either that or the layer of muck which caked the floor, even after she had piled the soggy sawdust bedding into her wheelbarrow, was only another capricious illusion.

All she knew was it stank like the real thing.

She scraped the stuff from the floor of the stall in strips, pushing until her shovel was full and heavy with thick brown mud, then dumping each load into the rapidly filling wheelbarrow. When the floor was bare but for a few spare scraps of escaped filth, she laid the shovel in the wheelbarrow atop the burden it had helped collect and trundled her way down the hall.

A few illusions snagged her attention as she made her way out of the stables to dump her load of muck. A lizard scampered away from its sunning spot at her approach, and its tail flicked sparks behind it as it ran. A stallion looked a challenge at her out of one brilliantly violet eye. But nothing she saw was more than merely jarring, and again she savored the relative calm of the stables. Windmount in Syliras had been quiet too, a respite from the bustling city, but she had never needed a respite in Syliras so sorely as she did here.

She pushed her wheelbarrow out into the sunlight and set out for the manure pile, tucked away in an unobtrusive corner.

Boxcode credit: Karin Ironyach
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Dovey
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[Unstable Stables] Insolubility

Postby Dovey on November 17th, 2017, 1:21 am

Image
14 Summer, 517 AV
"Speech"
"Others"


Dovey found herself thinking of the streets of Syliras, almost longingly, as she walked. That was odd; Alvadas was more like her home in Kenash than Syliras was, at least on the surface, and she had longed for Kenash almost every day while living in the Knights' stone city. But Syliras had been secure, protective around her as she went about her day, and as much as she loved the spontaneity of Kenash she could not get used to the sheer chaos which was Alvadas. Here the streets melted away, forming sudden wells and geysers where before had been only stone - and the illusory water was somehow still real enough to soak you or to drown you. She didn't understand it, and she didn't understand how to live in its midst.

Although - she supposed - she hadn't been doing too poorly, all things considered. (Having reached the manure pile, she tilted the wheelbarrow forward and began to scrape away at the heavy filth with her shovel.) Here she was, holding down a job, and her wages let her pay for a room to stay in. Hopefully she could save up enough to move again, perhaps even back to Kenash - her heart leapt a little at that prospect -but while she had to remain here she could probably keep herself living. That wasn't much of a goal, but it was enough for now.

The wheelbarrow empty, she dropped the shovel inside it with a clang and began wheeling it back to the row of stalls she'd come from. She would finish mucking that section of hallway, and then she would find some other way to make herself useful and earn her wage.

Before those stalls were within sight, however, her plans were interrupted by a yelling from down the hall. "Dovey!" A gangly young man, a fellow stablehand, loped toward her. "I need your help."

She wanted to scold him for shouting and running in a stable - didn't he know he could scare the horses? - but these were Alvadas horses, more used to surprise than she herself was, and they didn't so much as whinny. "What do you need?" she replied, swallowing her annoyance.

"Come with me - " he said, out of breath - "Maytree's giving birth!"

"Petch, all right." It was a late birth, for horses; the summer heat was dangerous. "Just let me leave this wheelbarrow somewhere."

The other stablehand waited while she found an empty stall and shoved the wheelbarrow through the door, shovel handle clanging against the doorframe. It wasn't tidy, but this was urgent; if anybody needed the stall they could deal with the wheelbarrow themselves, and otherwise she'd come back and move the thing later. She turned to her companion, who set off immediately down the hall at a lope once more. Dovey cursed under her breath but chased after him after only a few ticks of hesitation. She couldn't lose him or she'd never find Maytree, not knowing where the mare was stabled in this big place.



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Dovey
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[Unstable Stables] Insolubility

Postby Dovey on November 24th, 2017, 8:32 pm

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14 Summer, 517 AV
"Speech"
"Others"


Her coworker led her through the halls, which twisted and turned as the inside of a stables ought not to do - as Dovey could not recall their having done before. Perhaps it was only her own nerves causing the perception of a change, making the walls seem to curve and bulge at the edge of her vision, the corners to retreat into shadow - but this was Alvadas, and one could never be entirely sure. She shivered once, convulsively, and hurried to match the pace of the other stablehand.

This was what made her miss Syliras, ugly heap of stone that it was. At least there, things remained themselves; walls did not shift when you weren't quite looking at them, horses had placid black eyes without a hint of flame, your home and your workplace stayed where you had left them...

Dovey sighed. She wouldn't have thought, last season, that she could ever find a city with too much excitement for her taste - yet here she was, smack in the middle of one. Well, really it wasn't the amount of excitement but the type. Kenash got well and truly chaotic at times, only even the chaos had to fall in line with nature. Here in Alvadas she couldn't so much as tell what was impossible - and without that grounding, it bewildered her that anyone could master this city.

The other stablehand was slowing down. Dovey imitated him, dropping immediately and with no small relief from their injudicious run to a brisk walk. "Are we here?" she asked, and her voice startled her after their long silence. She didn't see Maytree.

"Round here," her companion replied, turning one last corner. Dovey followed, and there before her was the object of their run, a pretty palomino mare lying on her side in the straw of a big, open box stall. The horse looked exhausted; her head lay limply on the floor and her rounded flank heaved with hard breathing as she fought to push forth her foal. A third stablehand, an older woman Dovey didn't recognize, stood by her side and pulled at her haltered head. The mare hardly responded to the tugs, only lifting her head a few inches before flopping it down again at the earliest opportunity.

"Oh, thank gods," the woman said vehemently upon spying Dovey and her companion. "I thought you'd never come. One of you, quick help me get her on her feet."

Dovey's companion went, tapping and pushing gently at the mare's hindquarters while the woman pulled at her halter with renewed energy. Maytree tensed as though she would stand, then flopped back into her sprawled position. "Come on, come on," Dovey murmured almost unconsciously, her small frame tense as she watched the two stablehands. She had forgotten the "poor practice" of running in the stables; this was clearly a bad birth. She only hoped they'd get the foal out alive.

The mare tensed and flopped again - then a third time. Dovey started forward, waiting for a nod from the older woman before she hurried to Maytree's far side, nudging at her hindquarters in tandem with the other stablehand.


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Dovey
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Joined roleplay: December 31st, 2016, 10:42 am
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[Unstable Stables] Insolubility

Postby Dovey on December 2nd, 2017, 10:03 pm

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14 Summer, 517 AV
"Speech"
"Others"


At last, tapped at and encouraged from all sides, the tired mare made up her mind to stand. Shifting her weight, she made an undignified sort of scramble and after a tense couple ticks she gained her feet. Dovey breathed a quick sigh of relief she scarcely had time for; almost instantly the older stablehand was handing Maytree's lead rope over to the lad who'd run Dovey here. "Take her, take her, quick," she was saying, and, flustered, he complied.

"Keep her up - keep her up!" Clearly this woman was used to giving orders. Dovey leaned forward against Maytree's hindquarters as the mare's body bowed to the side, and with that and the lad's ministrations, the horse refrained from sinking back down to the straw. Satisfied, the woman hurried round from Maytree's head to join Dovey at the mare's hind end. "Go and wash your hands," she said to the younger girl, brusquely. "Bucket by the side of the door. Hurry!"

Dovey turned, rushing out to find a bucket filled with soapy water standing just outside the stall. She hadn't even noticed it earlier, she'd been so focused on hurrying to help the mare. She dipped her hands into it now, wincing at the unexpected heat, then wiped them off on each other and on her clothes until the suds were gone. She went back in to find the woman staring hard at her, as though she were considering punishing Dovey for tardiness.

"The foal's backward," she said. "I need calving chains, go for them."

"Where - "

"One hall down, little closet, go!" the woman barked. Startled, Dovey took off, a faint, stern "Run!" floating behind her.

Poor Maytree must be even more agitated now than birthing had made her, Dovey thought as she darted down the hall; the people around the mare were all positively dripping with tension and fear. Well, they were going to get that foal out of her all right if Dovey had anything to say about it. Spying the closet, she skidded to a halt, ignoring the startled whinny of a horse in its stall behind her, and yanked open the battered door.

The closet was dingy and filled with shadows. Dovey started forward, reaching for the calving chains which hung on the far wall, only to leap back again with a hiss of breath sucked between her teeth. Hers was not the only hiss she fancied she heard, as the chains glittered in the darkness and their ends twisted in her sight to face her.

Heart hammering, she flung an arm across her eyes as she retreated into the light of the stable - as if to block the sight was to block the reality, and perhaps it was after all, for who knew how illusions functioned? But this simply wasn't fair. Maytree and her foal needed those chains. She didn't question any longer that this city hated her - homesickness and nerves had forced that conclusion past her reason by now - but that was no call for it to harm the horses, simply to spite Dovey.

The horses and the stablehands were waiting. She had to fetch the chains, whatever they were, whatever game Alvadas was playing. She lowered her arm to her side, took a steadying breath before glancing up, and -

they hung inanimate and docile on the wall, beside cobwebby brooms and bags of sawdust.


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"Common" "Fratava" "Pavi"
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Dovey
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Posts: 143
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[Unstable Stables] Insolubility

Postby Dovey on December 4th, 2017, 5:42 pm

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14 Summer, 517 AV
"Speech"
"Others"


Breathing a long, rattling sigh, Dovey stepped forward to unhook the chains from the wall. They jingled slightly, clutched in her hand, but otherwise were as quietly obedient as any proper object ought to be. The closet was quiet too; nothing gave the slightest hint of any of the malice she'd felt on the air a moment before.

Dovey passed a hand across her eyes. Am I going mad? Had that been real - well, as real as any illusion - or had it been a product of her own, possibly fevered imagination? She didn't understand Alvadas well enough to know. If it was an illusion, then why had it vanished so quickly? And why did the city seem to be targeting her at absolutely every moment? Surely she wasn't that important, even if she did dislike Alvadas in turn. Maybe she was only overreacting to an ordinary rate of illusion, but this especially seemed malicious. Yet, again - if she was being punished for her aversion to illusions, then why was this one gone?

But if it had only been her imagination creating those twisting snakes - gods, what is this city doing to me?

The slender chains clinked softly against each other where they dangled from her hand, and the sound jolted her from her reverie. Maytree! she thought, and bolted back the way she had come.

She found the woman who'd sent her out pulling at the foal while Maytree strained. "Where have you been?" she cried as soon as Dovey came into view, then, "Never mind, give them here," and she released the foal's fetlocks to snatch at the chains in the younger woman's hands.

Dovey relinquished them mutely, standing with her shoulders hunched forward while the woman wrapped the chains around the foal's legs with practiced fingers. Oh, by Nysel, why did even this feel like a dream? She took one of the chains when she was asked, pulled at the foal alongside the older woman when she was asked, bracing her feet against the straw-strewn floor. But nothing seemed quite real, not the coolness of the chain beneath her fingers nor even the blood and fluid beginning to spatter her hands. Maytree swayed, and Dovey thought with vague sympathy that they were likely causing her added pain. But the foal was coming forth, and coming forth and coming forth, slipping backwards and limp to the floor, and Dovey stepped back and tried to soften the landing while the woman guided the head at last from Maytree's birth canal.

The foal's flank was wet and horribly still. Dovey moved to support Maytree alongside the male stablehand, lending the mare what bit of balance her slight frame could offer, resting a palm against her shuddering flank. In the corner of her eye she saw the older woman kneeling over the foal, her hands about its face and her mouth against its nostril. They passed several chimes where they were; then the woman straightened.

"It's no good, the foal's gone, suffocated," she said, and did not blame Dovey's long absence. Not out loud.


Boxcode credit: Karin Ironyach
Image
"Common" "Fratava" "Pavi"
User avatar
Dovey
Searching for home
 
Posts: 143
Words: 113146
Joined roleplay: December 31st, 2016, 10:42 am
Location: Alvadas
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)


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