Closed Inspiration (Ashka)

Pulren meets an industrious girl.

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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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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Pulren Marsh on November 14th, 2017, 11:28 pm

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Twenty seventh of Fall, 517 AV

Pulren had spent some time settling in and exploring, but not nearly enough. Every day was filled with new wonders and new acquaintances. This day brought him to ponder the community pool. All he could do was stand there, absentmindedly scratching at his chin and staring. Fortunately, there were no nude people in the pool for him to stare at. He just didn't understand the concept. The only thing that made any sense was pleasure, relaxation and diversion. As if in response to his internal queries, a particularly large wave crashed behind him. "I know, Father! You are right there!" He didn't turn back to look, more like someone said something behind him.

"I just don't get it. I hope this isn't another seaside community where no one can swim." The surf rolled away behind him, another small crash murmuring. "True, more for me. You are the whole of all oceans, though. Is there not enough for all to share?" He just shrugged it off and wandered away from both Laviku and the pool, his hands in his pockets as he looked at the stray grasses and sand beneath his boots as the beach gave way to the jungle grasses. Looking up to his right, he noticed the mercantile, the shop run by the captain of the Veronica. He did have mizas to burn, but he wasn't there yet. He knew he had yet to stake a claim. His bungalow was more than enough until he found the best spot for himself.

A stack of wood distracted him. Snapping away from his thoughts, he looked up and noticed he had wandered into someone's area. Looking around, there was an outrigger canoe set up to be a part of a tent. An impressive bit of home construction was in progress as well. Pulren felt that looking was no harm, he would just take care not to disturb anything. Crouching at the frame of the floor, his fingers traced over the fibrous materials used to craft it. Someone had skill. Looking up at the looming canopy behind, it was apparent that there were many ways to live here in Syka. His was the most comfortable, but maybe he was robbing himself of the satisfaction of crafting his own home.

He could hear footsteps behind him. He chose not to jump and react. This wasn't the world for that. In fact, the giggle of a young girl could be heard, something about as alien to Pulren as any monster's cry. He stood slowly, taking care to take his hands from his pockets, showing he was unarmed. hard to say what kind of person it was. A protective mother or father? Concerned for their children and home? He kept looking around without taking a peek, his eyes on a strange pit with some kind of fibrous mass and water in it. He instead moved slowly away from the home in construction and crouched again at that pit. He knew they were there, bit did they know he knew that? His razor stayed in his boot. His demanor remained calm and his posture relaxed. "What is that, in the pit?", he asked to the open air and the owners of these acres.
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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Ashka on November 18th, 2017, 11:57 pm


Ashka hauled in the third fish - it was only a small one - as it thrashed and splashed sea water all over her trousers. She tossed it up the beach towards Chaya, who bounced over and smacked the fish with a rock. The thrashing continued aimlessly for a couple of chimes, then stopped as the fish's muscles caught on to the fact that it was dead. She surveyed the small pile of fish and decided that that would feed them tonight and maybe leave some for breakfast tomorrow. She could fry them and flake it into some rice with a little salt. She nodded to herself and waded out of the surf. She might as well clean them here rather than have the guts lying around her camp.

She retrieved her knife from her belt, sliced the fish along its belly from anus to gills, then stabbed upward through the lower jaw. She set the knife aside, hooked her fingers through the hole she had made in the jaw and yanked. The innards came out in a single messy tangle attached to the ripped out jaw, and she tossed them away and moved on to the next fish. When she was done, she strung them together and slung them over her shoulder. Chaya carried the pole and bait and they started for home.

There was someone already there, a stranger. A man crouched right by the half built house, inspecting it, as if he had the right to judge their work. Chaya moved closer to Ashka and a giggle escaped her. Chaya whispered, "He looks like a giant frog from here, crouched like that - do you think he knows?"

As if the man heard, he stood slowly, pulled his hands from his pockets and moved over to the soaking pit. He didn't turn to look at them, or call a greeting, the way everyone else here had... Ashka dropped her hand to the hilt of her knife in wary defense. She didn't know this man, and although his hands were human, not akalak blue, Riverfall had left her wary. She knew she wasn't exactly threatening - too young, too gawky, barefoot, damp, with wisps of dark hair straggling from under her scarf - but she could buy time for Chaya, if she had to.

He wanted to know what was in the pit. Ashka gritted her teeth for a moment. "It's coconut husk," she said shortly and flatly. "Being cleaned. And you are...?" She left the phrase hanging in the air for him to complete.


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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Pulren Marsh on November 23rd, 2017, 4:25 am

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Coconut husk. Another example of the surrounding vegetation being used in the architect's favor. Would it be woven into floors or clothes? Maybe he would find out. Looking up at the trees, he turned his vision to a pair of young girls. One smaller, clearly the owner of the giggling, the older was her protector, hand on a knife. It made sense. He smiled warmly. "Of course. I am Pulren Marsh of Zeltiva. I'm sorry that I barged into your home here. I was just impressed by all of the work going on. Definitely out of my comfort level. But it doesn't mean that I couldn't learn." He walked closer, though in more of a slow flanking way, so that the protector could see that he was making way for them, still no weapon in sight.

"You don't need to worry about me, ladies. I mean you no harm." He lifted his shirt out of his trousers to show no knives or weapons. "No blades or hammers here. I just came to Syka and intend on making a home here. " He looked back at the house in construction, laughing a little. "I mean, there's no way I could live out in the elements like this, but that's only because my lifestyle has softened me. I admit that. I am staying in the bungalows down the beach. They are sparse, but now I feel they are a palace." He didn't mean any harm, but he did feel bad for these girls. He already knew that the older one was in danger mode, so getting to know you would probably have to wait. The younger angel had no sense of danger, which only made the other girl more aware. Good girl.

Taking a seat on a rock at the edge of the property from them, he smiled and looked at the pole and the fish. "Now fishing is something I know well. I come from a city of fishermen and I am a son of Laviku. See? We have something in common." Leaning back and relaxing, closing his eyes and letting Syna stroke his cheek, he looked back at the girls again. "Now that I have made introductions, who might I be speaking to? If we are going to play the name game."
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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Ashka on November 26th, 2017, 6:07 pm


He turned, introduced himself and made a sort of apology. He was Pulren Marsh, of Zeltiva - not a city she knew much about. Chaya bounced on the spot, and Ashka had to step back to avoid the jerking tip and swinging hook of the fishing pole Chaya still carried. Watching him watch them, Ashka had the feeling that he didn't miss much, but she still couldn't stop a spike of fear from quickening her heart and her breath when he moved towards them pulling his shirt out of his trousers.

Then he was past them, heading for a rock, and the heart pounding loudly in Ashka's ears quietened enough that she might actually begin to believe his statements that he didn't mean them harm. "We had help with the house - Randal, one of the Founders here." That seemed a safe enough subject. At the same moment Chaya piped, "Hello, I'm Chaya! That's my sister Ashka! What's Zeltiva like?"

Ashka sighed, and paced across the sand without quite turning her back on the stranger until she reached the house and could free her hands by hanging the fish on one of the corner poles. "You get used to the elements living aboard ship. The coconut husk is actually good for fishing lines and nets. It doesn't get damaged by salt water, unlike most fibres." She was about to try and smile at his remark about having fishing in common. If he was going to be living here, they needed to get on. Syka was too small a crew to make problems in, but then he added that he had Laviku's mark. Intermingled pain and envy flared across her face before she could control it. Why? Why did he have to have the mark that she had wanted all her life, been denied all her life, and he wasn't even Svefra? He said himself he was from a city, not from the sea...

She jerked her hand away from the knife before she hurt either him or herself by turning the pain he'd caused her into a real, bleeding wound. It wasn't as if he made the decision to mark or not mark, that was Laviku's choice, and they had to live with it even here, thrown from the pod and left high and dry on land. Chaya was gravitating towards him, as full of questions as usual, and Ashka hurried to catch her up before her little sister bothered him too much.


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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Pulren Marsh on December 2nd, 2017, 4:39 am

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The little one being aloof and full of wonder, like a child should. The older sister was so incredibly protective of the sister and herself and the land that it occurred to Pulren that there were probably not any parents coming along behind them. The realization both saddened and inspired him. They were very brave to come to a place such as Syka, very lucky to be in a place with so many friendly souls. They were hardly out of danger, though. He immediately felt a need to protect them, whether or not he would let them in on that decision.

Pulren smiled and nodded in comprehension. "Yes, everyone is very kind and helpful here, as far as I have seen. Something new to me, but very welcome nonetheless." Suddenly the smaller one chirped like a happy little bird, telling him their names. The clear irritation this caused to Ashka made it even more clear they were alone. "Nice to meet you, Chaya. Ashka, I don't blame you a bit for being paranoid or protective. The fact that you have done all of this by yourselves and showed so much caution explains why you have done so well for yourself." He scooted back on the rock a little so he could stretch his legs and cross his boots.

Just when it seemed that they were all starting to get along, the mere mention of his mark caused a scowl to cross Ashka's face. It literally looked as if the mark had somehow reached out and slapped her across the face. This concerned Pulren even more than the pair being alone. His thoughts became voice, unable to restrain his fervor. "The Sea Father loves us all, Ashka. Why do you recoil when you see His presence? You said yourself you lived on a ship. Your very presence here was made to be by Lord Laviku. As His servant, I would ask that you tell me why it vexes you so."

Mercenary and ladies' man, Pulren was. Fisherman and scholar, too. but before all other things, he was a child of Laviku. It was his duty and honor to spread the word of the Sea Father and when he saw anyone who wasn't cursed by Him in pain at the sight of Him, it caused Pulren pain also. He stood from the rock and quickly went to his knees, his hands in a gesture of pleading. His voice became a low whisper of genuine concern.

"I will never harm you girls. It is the farthest thing from my mind or heart. In fact, I will do what I am able to protect you. Know that Laviku watches us all from the Suvan and my pain is His pain. Please, Ashka, tell me your troubles. We can find a solution together."
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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Ashka on December 2nd, 2017, 10:13 pm


He reacted like her pain had reached out and slapped him across the face. Ashka swallowed it down, and reached over to take the fishing rod from Chaya before anyone got caught on the hook or poked with the pole. "Nothing to fix," she told him, her voice flat again, even as he went down on his knees and pleaded to help. That was a new one for her. Did he mean it, or was it just another trick to play on the unmarked? Ashka glanced over her shoulder, saw her canoe pulled up on the sand and retreated there. She perched on the bow of the canoe and picked at the knots with shaking fingers. "You want the short version? We're here because the Sea Father doesn't consider us worth marking." The line came loose from the pole. She coiled it slowly and carefully to avoid tangles later, and then started on the knot that held the hook on the line. It was tight, swollen hard with sea water, and gave her something to focus on that wasn't his face.

Chaya came to join her, leaning against Ashka's side as she worked, and Ashka risked a glance up at Pulren. "We're Svefra, or partly. His children and chosen, with the ocean in our eyes, we're told. Everyone else in our pod was marked, and - we aren't. You know what that means - we can't go where you and they go or live on what you and they can. We hold them back, cost extra resources. Mother said maybe we'd be better off on land."

The wretched hook wouldn't loosen. She pressed too hard and caught a finger on the edge, cutting it slightly. She studied the cut, jaw clamped closed, then stuck her finger in her mouth to suck it clean. It tasted of salt and fish with blood as the undercurrent. She was not going to cry in front of this intruder, this man who thought he had a right to poke and probe into anything he saw. "We have each other. That's enough."


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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Pulren Marsh on December 10th, 2017, 12:28 am

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Still on his knees, Pulren watched as Ashka held her emotion in. She was a strong girl, having brought all of this around him about, taking care of her little sister and surviving. He felt a kinship with her, for sure. He watched as she worked at knots on the bow of her outrigger, her eyes fixed on the work as she explained her plight further. Pulren only sank back further on his knees and listened.

As he listened to her story, he did not interrupt, rather he listened fully and deeply. he knew that he could find a common ground between the two of them. She put him with the Svefra and said what they all could do. It wasn't a true statement but how could someone know that, especially an abandoned child? Pulren's initial shock melted into understanding. He slowly rose to one knee and then to his feet as he winced in empathy when she cut her finger. He walked in a flanking direction, moving toward her front without closing the distance between them.

"Listen, I understand more than you know. My only guardian died when I was young and I raised myself. If you weren't born with the mark of Laviku, that certainly doesn't mean that you can't be. Do I look like Svefra? Is Marsh a pod name? No. I wasn't born with the mark and I am very honored to have it, but I didn't need it to know my love for the Sea Father. He is bigger than any pod or people. He is the Sea and He is our father." Pulren smiled at Chaya who was listening to him with her mouth hanging open.

Kneeling in front of her, trying to find her pained eyes, Pulren hoped to catch them as he continued to speak to her. "I was always a part of the sea. I didn't need the Father to recognize this. Look at your own life, you are strong and able to survive from what He provides. You are already living the life of a child of Laviku. All that is missing is that connection of love between Father and Child." He stood again backing up a few steps to show them both that he was still no danger at all.

"I hope that as the seasons pass and change, you will give me a chance to be your friend. Both of you. I hope even more so that together we can find that missing link of love between you and Laviku. If you give me a chance, I assure you we will."
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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Ashka on December 10th, 2017, 11:51 pm


He didn't interrupt, thankfully. He just knelt there, looking shocked that anyone could be hurt by reaching out over and over, trying to earn regard from someone over and over and being spurned every. single. time. The sea was home, and yet it wasn't entirely. It was also grief, as salty as falling tears and as undrinkable - by her at least.

He told her he understood, that he'd had to bring himself up too, and that he admired all the work she'd put in to live life from Laviku. That told her that he didn't or couldn't grasp the real hurt beneath it all. It wasn't, ultimately, about losing a parent or a guardian. It was being rejected by them. It was knowing that the person you deeply, fiercely, desperately, wanted approval from was out there, and didn't care even the slightest bit about you. And still wanting that approval despite everything.

He offered the fact that she could still be marked as an adult like a gift that would heal all her hurts, and the sheer irony brought a wryly crooked smile to her face. If Laviku showed up right here and now, she wasn't entirely sure that she wouldn't turn the mark down in favour of ripping a verbal strip - several verbal strips, even - off him by giving him a piece of her mind. "Well," she said out loud, pulling her finger from her mouth. "We'll just have to see, I guess. In the meantime, life goes on, and we must sail with the wind rather than against it." She set the hook aside to deal with later, and put an arm around Chaya, who leaned into it.

"Oh, I'm sure we'll see each other often," she told him, hiding her emotions away under the old mask of politeness. "Syka's like being a ship's crew. Everyone tries to get along because everyone's always bumping into each other in passing. You'll have many chances." She turned her head away and looked out to sea as an ache of longing escaped the mask to wash across her face. The canoe anchored her. It was of the sea too.


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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Pulren Marsh on December 18th, 2017, 4:34 am

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It was becoming clearer and clearer to Pulren that he was in that strange place where good intentions could easily lead to painful outcomes. He had spoken his peace and would just wait and see. Like a good fisherman, sometimes it was better to get a nibble and the bait spit out then to see nothing. He winced at her injury and the blood that it had caused but didn't offer to help. This girl would only seek help when she really needed it. Never before.

"Well, I didn't mean you or your sister any harm." He clapped his hands together as if to wipe a slate that would not be clean. "I'm sorry for intruding on your land and more so into your pain. I hope you will forgive me." Pulren started to back away, feeling even more of asting by the eyes of little Chaya, who was clearly as protective and concerned for her bleeding sister, waiting for the interloper to leave. As he started to walk through the land she had, he stopped on its edge and turned on his heel.

"One thing, though. The people of Syka need to work together and we need to , at the very least, be friends. Family is a long step for many of us, since we all seem to be escaping something across the sea. I just want you to know that my home is open to you or your sister if you need shelter or protection. I'll do my best to stop preaching to you, for now." He bowed to the pair and turned again on his heel, looking out to the open sea and his Father. He prayed for the safety of the girls and prayed harder for Laviku to recognize the heart of the one that got away.
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Inspiration (Ashka)

Postby Gossamer on January 12th, 2018, 5:38 am

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Pulren – Quit the Site. If he returns I can regrade.

Ashka –

Experience: Fishing 1, Childcare 2, Planning 1, Socialization +4, Observation +4

Fishing:
Cleaning Fish, Pulren: From Zeltiva, Pulren: Lives in the Bungalows, Pulren: Laviku’s Mark, Pulren: Religious, Laviku: So much anger towards him, Not much faith or religious belief

Note: Small wound from a fishhook.
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