Open Digging In The Crystalline Sand

40th - A rare gemstone is discovered on Swing Beach washed up. It turns out to be a huge chunk of a Watchstone. Settlers speculate The Sunken City has a Watchtower.

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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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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Nya Winters on December 16th, 2017, 4:28 am

Timestamp: 40th of Winter, 517 AV


Nya spilled out the Clam Digger's Kit onto the beach and looked at Juli Chaliva like she was crazy. The whole kit included a clam tube, a shovel, a rake, a mesh bag, and an oyster knife for cleaning them. Juli had sold it to her from the Mercantile with a promise of a few hours to show her how to use it. Nya knew she needed to make some sort of carry case of leather for the new kit because it didn't come with one, but until then she needed to figure out how to use the items in the kit first. That's where Juli came in.

"You promised to show me how to use this stuff.... so here we are!" Nya said cheerfully, nudging the clam tube with her toe and looking at Juli expectantly. The shrewd businesswoman in charge of her The Founder's Mercantile nodded. She'd fast-talked Nya into buying the equipment after the Kelvic had whined one too many times about the mercantile not having any fresh clams to trade for her leatherworking. Juli had simply suggested Nya learn to forage for her own clams and sold her the kit in exchange for two sets of her bracers she'd made. Nya thought it was a good deal but had only agreed when the woman had threw in a free set of lessons with the sale.

So the morning had dawned bright and early. The tide was way out and a lot of the sand of the bay was exposed. Juli had agreed to meet her while the weather was still cool, and the two girls plus the gear were out and ready.

"Okay, belt the mesh bag to your waist and grab the tube and the shovel. Follow me!" Juli said cheerfully, leading the Kelvic out toward the sea, up closer to the waterline.

"You have to know where to dig for them. Razor clams require the tube you are carrying while the butter clams require the little shovel and rake. Lets find razor clams first. They are by far the easiest to catch." Juli said, leading Nya out and then she started hunting around, pointing at the ground.

"Look for a slight depression... like a pot mark in the ground. Maybe the size of your thumb. They show up well when you step near them. Here... there's one." The woman said, pointing down at the depression. She gently set her tube down with the open end on the sand over the hole, and gestured at the closed end and handle with the tiny hole bore into it at the other end. She dropped her voice as Nya snuck up and watched.

"Be quiet, but put the tube like this, then shove it down into the damp sand as hard as you can all the way until the handle sits just above the sand line. Then cover this hole with your finger... it causes a suction.... and then heave it up sand and all... once its free of the sand, shake it out and whallah... there's your razor clam!" Juli exclaimed as she shoved the tube down, covered the air hole, then yanked it up out of the ground, swung it to one side, while uncovering the hole and letting the sand including one clam pour out.

Nya pounced, excited, and grabbed the razor clam. She examined it closely and noted there wasn't a mark on it. Then she offered it to Juli who thanked her and slipped it into her own mesh bag belted to her hip. The girls looked at each other and smiled.

Image


"This looks easy!" Nya exclaimed, grabbing her own clam tube and hunting around tapping at the sand gently looking for more depressions. She found one soon enough and was trying for herself. On the first push in she got so excited she forgot to cover the hole and the clam tube came free of the sand without holding the sand suctioned into the tube. Juli laughed and corrected her and they found another depression indicating a clam beneath the surface and tried again. Nya got the hang of it this time and soon had her first razor clam in her mesh bag.

The girls worked side by side, pulling tubes of sand from the ground and gathering the clams. Nya tossed the small ones back into the holes, covering them with the wet sand because she felt sorry for the babies. She kept the big ones, fully intending to fry them later.

She also quickly learned dry sand didn't hold in the tube, it had to be wet, near the surf so that the suction action could work properly. She had to go straight down in the sand because if she was at an angle she'd miss the clam. And finally she learned that clams could dig fast, so she had to be faster shoving the tube in and covering its tiny hole in short order.

If anyone joined them, they too would be treated to some clan tube lessons. Foraging for clams was actually a lot of fun. And they ran into some usual buried stones as well as they dug. Nya already had several colorful agates in her mesh bag along with the clams... at least the ones big enough to be held in the mesh.

When they had gathered quite a few, Juli stopped her and asked... "Are you ready to learn about butter clams? They are harvested a whole different way... and its a lot harder work. And its work we need to do before the tide starts coming in which will be soon." Juli added, urging Nya to set her tube up higher on the sand and take her rake and shovel and come with her.


Cost :
Clamdigger's Kit - 15 GM (traded for two sets of leather bracers)

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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Aladon on December 16th, 2017, 9:34 am

Aladon wasn't in a particular great mood this morning. It wasn't the scenery or the weather because it normally perfect in Syka. Last night, the bug weren't as ravenous as they normally were the night before, so he was able to get a good night sleep. Lately, the Isur was having trouble focusing on his work. For the last couple days, the blacksmith was focusing on nails for the city. Yes, nails pay the bills, but making just nails was a lack luster endeavor for him. If he had his way, he would be working on weapons all the time. With a weapon, work of making a sword or ax head became a art. Even if it was a instrument of death, it still had identity. It had a soul. A part of him went into it. It was something that he could be proud. Nails were just nails. They were needed, and weapons were not needed by Syka. Aladon knew the demand for nails and fasteners for the construction projects around the settlement was growing by the day, and he would hate to use their limited resources to further his own selfish hobby. Slowly getting out of bed, the blacksmith had no intention of making his way to his forge. Instead, he grabbed his sword scabbard and hurried to the flap of his tent. He needed to clear his mind and collect himself, and the only way he knew how to do it was to swing his sword around and enjoy the sea breeze for a bell or two than go back to work.

Still in a defeated mood, Aladon grabs his bastard sword and scabbard and heads to the beach. Walking outside of his tent, he noticed that there was a few wispy clouds in the sky, but it was clear and sunny, so he decided for the sake of not getting sun-burned again today. He would grab his wide brimmed hat and grabbed his full water skin while he trained. By the end of his training, he would have to fill the water skin before he went back home. Putting the hat onto his head, he went to his trail to the beach. Hopefully one day, he will clear the undergrowth and trees blocking his view of the ocean on his land, but for now, he will just settle for the path. Walking down the trail, the blacksmith noticed the jungle was already starting claim back his trail, so he would have to remedy it sooner or later. However, the demand for nails were growing everyday, so he might have do his chore later rather than sooner. Once he made it to his part of the beach, he smiled when he felt the cool breeze touch his skin. The smell of salt air was comforting too. He remembered in Riverfall, the Isur would spend hours just sitting and watching the ocean. For some reason, it was soothing for the industrialist young man.

Walking down the beach, he decided to find a nice secluded part of the beach. He didn't want to disturb anyone if they are just bumming it on the beach this morning. As he walked down the beach, he noticed the beach was wet; however, it being wet made it easier to walk through the sand. However, he noticed the wet sand had more shells than usual. Looking around, he noticed five seagulls picking the meat off a beached fish. Remembering his days in Windreach and their love of birds, Aladon decided not to disturb the birds, and he gave them a wide birth as he walked by the water. Suddenly, he his left foot stepped on something slimy and squishy. He quickly moved his foot away to notice that he stepped in some gelatinous goo. Luckily, he was wearing his sandel otherwise he would have stepped on jelly, but as he looked at the jelly closer. He noticed slimy tentacles jutting out from under it's round body. Backing away from the strange sea creature, Aladon continued down the beach.

Finally he found a prime spot to train. It was hard patch of dirt under a large palm tree. Looking around at the surrounding, he noticed two grown women digging in the dirt. The Isur squinted his eyes to get a better look at them. He couldn't make out much accept one had brunette hair and another women with brown hair. For a moment, he hesitated in deciding if he wanted to approach them. He didn't want to disturb them, but his curiosity was getting the best of him, and he really didn't know anyone in the city yet, so this was a good way to met some people. Eventually, he knew being a loner would kill him in this wild land, so he decided to make a leap of faith.

Walking over to the two women, Aladon mulled over ways to break the ice. He decided to strap the sword onto his waist. He didn't want to alarm them or for them to think that they are in danger. Besides he was a blacksmith not a warrior. Walking over to them, he decided to greet them with welcoming smile and said in the common tongue, “Hello. My name is Aladon Blackforge Sultros. Can I ask you what you two are doing?” Suddenly, he realized that he introduced himself to them like they were clients at his forge, and inwardly he kicked himself for his social clumsiness. Sometimes, he wished that he spent more time socializing with people as less time behind his anvil.
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Nya Winters on December 17th, 2017, 3:38 am



The girls were focused on what they were doing and the approach of the Isur was obviously missed. Nya looked him over warily while Juli broke into a welcoming smile, her best customer service face on. “Oh Hi. My father told me you were here… something about the new blacksmith?!” Juli said, abandoning Nya to walk towards the newcomer. Nya followed, more to protect Juli than anything. “He had hoped you’d be making some stuff for the Settlement so The Veronica can make less runs. Half the stuff we haul right now is metalsmithing things from Riverfall. Once we got the sawmill up and running that cut down our lumber too so if we keep getting more self-sustaining, Father can stay home more!” She said, walking up to Aladon and offering her hand to shake.

“I’m Juli Chaliva. This is Nya Winters. We’re digging clams! Would you like to learn more? We get the clan tubes from Riverfall, but if they are something you can make, we’d be grateful to buy some from you to restock the Mercantile.” The enthusiastic young woman said.

Nya smiled too, hesitantly, more of a flash of white teeth than anything. She watched Juli offer the clam tube to Aladon and explain how it works. When he glanced at her at her introduction, Nya nodded and said a friendly ‘Hello’ as well. Strangers weren’t exactly her forte, but the fact that he wasn’t a human went a long way to not triggering any of her usual wariness.

Juli ran through the same explanation as she had for Nya, showing Aladon how to spot the clam depressions and how to shove the tube in the wet sand and hold his finger over the hole and yank the tube out to free the clam. Then she watched as Nya helped Aladon catch up to where the girls were with a dozen or so of the razor clams in a pile on the high tide line for Aladon’s meal.

“I traded with Juli for clamming lessons, so I hope you don’t mind if I make her keep teaching. I made bracers for the Mercantile out of leather and traded for the clam kit and lessons. If you don’t want to make your own, then maybe she has another and will trade you for something you can make.” Nya said, smiling slightly, feeling like she was opening negotiations for Juli who seemed unwilling to do it for herself. “You should stay and listen…. Maybe offer her a trade of your own so she’s not teaching you for free.” The Kelvic said shrewdly, laughing slightly when Juli wrinkled her nose at Nya. The Kelvic understood the young woman would have preferred to just flirt rather than barter, but Nya had other ideas what was good for her and what wasn’t.

If Aladon wanted to barter, Juli paused to hear him out. Then she moved on with her lesson.

“I’m about to teach her how to use the rake and shovel…. That’s for butterclams not for razor clams. The Razor clams are these long oval ones we grabbed with the tubes. But the butter clams are small delicious pale clams that we can rake out of the gravel near rock outcroppings. We need to move further down the beach where the tide is out further and I’ll show you how to find them.” Juli said, gesturing for both of them to follow.

Nya chuckled slightly, finding the young girl bossy and gave Aladon a look. They had nothing more to do than gather the laid-out equipment and clams. They then turned and followed the girl down the beach to where the sand turned into more gravel where rocks were eroding and thrusting out into the bay.

Juli walked out onto the gravel bar and pulled out her rake. “These clams are in shallow gravel. All you need to do is gently rake away the substrate and look for the pale clams like this….” Juli demonstrated, squatting at the edge of the tide and furiously raking at the soaking wet sand and gravel until one lone butter clam appeared among the other rocks. Juli picked it up triumphantly and showed the pair the little clam. It was smaller than Nya thought they would be.

“That’s pretty small for a meal….” Nya complained, thinking of all the work that would be required to gather enough up to fill her stomach.

“Nya you don’t understand. You eat the Razor clams as the main source of meat in a meal, but butter clams are so flavorful and delicious they become an additive for soup and stews which are mainly filled up with vegetables. They have a lot more flavor than razor clams, but the razor clams are bigger so you can fry them. I’ll definitely share my recipes with both of you so you know how to cook them. Some people will steam up a mess of butter clams because they love them so much…. But it does take a lot of time to gather them so it’s a hard-won meal.” Juli admitted, continuing to rake.

Nya shrugged and took her own rake, following Juli’s lead. She noticed almost immediately that the human girl handed over her own rake to Aladon so he could try the raking out for himself. She even let him keep the clams he was digging up. Nya chuckled to herself, finding that unlike what it looked like, raking the gravel for the clams was really easy work and not that difficult at all. Nya had a few dozen clams in almost no time… filling her mesh bag. She knew she’d need more than this though, for if she was making food, she was now making meals for two. The Kelvic would either need more razor clams or more butter clams unless Juli had something else up her sleeves.

“So where are you from, Aladon?” Nya asked abruptly, curious about the newcomer and wondering why he was in Syka. “I know the Founders have been looking for a blacksmith for a while.” The kelvic said, glad Juli knew who Aladon was before he introduced himself. Aladon was probably the first Isur Nya had seen up close and certainly the first she’d talked too. It would have been fairly easy for Juli to recognize him over a human for certain.

Once Aladon answered, Juli hefted up the clam shovel and then showed both Nya and Aladon. “Ready to dig the third kind of clam we have here? It’s a goeduck. They are huge… bigger than your hand, and you can filet out their necks to grill. Stu at The Tidepool makes clam burgers out of them.” She said enthusiastically, seemingly enjoying teaching the lessons on clamming. It was, after all, foraging for food in the easiest most primitive way…. free food!

Nya highly approved.


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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 748
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Aladon on December 17th, 2017, 8:20 am

Aladon smiled when he was approached by the first woman who already seemed to know him. She introduced herself as Juli Chaliva. The heard of the captain of the Veronica; however, he was bad with names. Was he one of the founders? The Isur listened to the young woman as she explained the situation with the saw mill, and her want for the settlement of Syka to be more self-sufficient. He could only imagination the cost of importing materials from the other cities on the continent. It must cost the Founders a fortune. He continued listening silently as she hinted that she had more selfish reasons for the betterment of Syka. She would get to spend more time with her father. That simple statement soften his heart slightly as she seemed to yearned more for her father's time. He could sympathize with the human women because it been some years since he was eating dinner with his own dad. The other woman behind her seemed much more cautious of him. Juli introduced her as Nya Winters. She didn't say much accept a simple hello. He started to wonder if he intruded on something.

Aladon shook Juli hand and gave it a respectful squeeze and said with smile, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Juli Chaliva. By the good grace of Izurdin, I will do my best to keep your father by your side.”

Releasing Juli's hand, he looked Nya Winters. It seemed like he interrupted a lesson in clam foraging. For a moment, he felt guilty that he interrupted his lesson. Suddenly Juli went into her lesson about gathering razor clams. She explained they were little indentations in the sand. Aladon asked seeing the hole, “Do the clam burrow into the sand? If they do, these must be entrance into it. Am I right or completely wrong?”

Aladon knelt in the wet sand next to her and watched her shove the tube into the sand till the handle was at the sand line. She put her finger on the hole and lifted it out of the sand revealing another razor clam. Juli explained it caused suction that kept the sand in the tube. When she released her finger, she shook out the tube to reveal a elongated clam. Tapping his chin, the Isur stuck out a hand to her and ask, “May I try using the tool?” When she gave it to him, he decided to do a dry run. Aladon ran through the steps out loud for Juli to her, “OK, I shove the tube into the sand till the handle meets to sand line.” The Isur shove the tube into the sand into the sand and continues, “Than I yank it up?” He watched the sand fall back onto the beach as he pulled up the tube, “Wait I am missing a step aren't I...?

He looked mulled over for a moment, and Juli added patiently, “Put your finger over the hole...”

Once again, he shoved the metal tube into the damp sand to the sand line, but this time around, he put his finger over the hole than pulled up on the tube with sand inside it. Releasing his finger from the hole, the Isur smiled to himself, nodded to Juli, and said with a chuckle, “Well it definitely works wonderfully with all the steps. Thank you Juli.” He reaches down and picks up the clam that she found and hands it to her.

Suddenly, Nya explained to him that she bartered some leather bracers that she made as payment for these clam hunting lessons. Nya insisted that he should stay and learn something, and insisted that he should pay Juli for services. Immediately Nya got his respect from the Isur for suggesting it. She was a clever woman to help her friend. The smile turned to a smirk and said to Nya, “You do make a good point, Nya, and I respect your thoughts on compensation for services rendered. Juli should be compensated for her services. If I agree to them.”

The Isur thought for a few ticks, decided on the arrangement, and said to Juli, “I am going to be honest with you. I know very little of the life outside a city, so learning how to gather my own food is a must have skill for my survival. The last thing that I want to do is burden Syka. So if you could teach me the art of clam hunting, I would appreciate it. As for payment.”

Unbuckling his bastard sword and scabbard from his belt and talking off his hat, Aladon stated, “I don't have any money or really anything to barter with you on me, but I willing use these items as collateral till I can get back to my tent and grab some money. I would like to buy my own claming kit. Plus whatever you think is fair compensation for your lessons.”

Aladon looked at the dusty beat up hat and said, “This hat has special memories attached to it. I bought it when I arrived in Riverfall. I used it in the mines and went out into the field studying rocks.” Looking at the sword, Aladon says, “The sword I bought in Sultros, but I spend most of my time behind a forge. I am surprised that I haven't stabbed myself in the foot with it yet.”

Held them out to Juli, but he looked Nya and said jokily with a wink at her, “If I don't pay Juli, Nya can come find me and bring down her street justice on me.”

Aladon wasn't sure if Nya was warrior type, but she seemed to take command of the situation. The last thing he wanted to do go back on his word with other citizens of Syka. He had been really too formal up to this point, but the joke, he hoped, would lighten the mood. He let Juli decide if she accepts his collateral.

When Juli accepted the collateral, Aladon immediately noticed that the woman was all business when she started to teach him how to forage for clams. He noticed Nya give him a look, and he noticed and gave her a friendly smirked back at her. Juli was welcoming woman, and he hoped that Nya was starting to warm up to him. He watched and listen intently as she explained the tools needed for both razor clams and butter clams. She explained that he needed to use the tube for the razor clams and the rake and shovel for the butter clams. He will definitely need her to show him how to use the tube for the razor clam. She told him that the butter clams are normally in the gravel by the rocks. She finished by telling him that they need to go farther down the beach to where the butter clams are located. Aladon decided ask before they go on their next task. Deciding to be playful with the women, the blacksmith grabbed his gear and asked, “Teacher Chaliva. I don't want to hold up the class. I have question about the razor clams? Do you use the tubes, so you don't cut your hand on the shells since they are called razor clams? I know it a dumb question...” He wasn't trying to be a smart arse. He really didn't know. If he ever bought shell fish, it was in a market by the docks in Riverfall already shelled. He already picked one up, but he didn't run his finger along any ridges of the shell.

Aladon decided to walk along side Nya, and he glanced at her. She said that she made some bracers to trade for these lessons, so she must be a tradesman like himself. He said to Nya as he continued to follow Juli, “You mentioned that you traded some leather bracers for these lessons, Nya? How do you like leather-working? Is it like tailoring? Sorry for being nosy, but I enjoy talking to other people about their passion for their art.” He was a devote follower of Izurdin, so he was about to explain that he curious about how his god influenced her trade, but he knew from experience that different people had different belief in the gods. He didn't want her to think that he was a zealot.

When they made it to the gravel bar, he watched as she laid out the the tools for butter clams. Juli used the rake to rake away the top layer of the gravel. She explained that the butter clams were shallow in the gravel. When she finally removed enough gravel, she pulled out a small clam. Immediately, Nya made the comment about it not being enough for a meal. He looked at Nya and said with nod, “I guess if you find enough of them. They could be a meal or a snack..”

Juli explained that the razor clams were the main meal and the butter clams were the tasty side dish. She offered the recipes to preparing them, and Aladon immediately said chuckle, “I would love the recipe for them. I can't cook, so it will either turn out burnt or raw!” The Isur had survival question, “Can you eat clams raw, Juli?”

Immediately, Juli offered him her rake and knelt in the gravel besides her and started to rake back the gravel. Aladon remembered panning for minerals in the river by Riverfall. It was fun messy work just like this, but it brought back fond memories of working in the mines and underground rivers in Sultros panning for precious minerals or gold. The Isur started to rake, and he started to hum a Isur working tune. He wasn't a singer by any means, and it been such a long time that he forgot the words. As he raked back the gravel, he noticed that he wasn't having any luck finding a clam. Suddenly, he heard Nya ask him a question for his reason for coming to Syka. He decided to answer while still looking for his illusive clam, “I come from the mountain city of Sultros in the region of Kalea. It a city much different from Syka or Riverfall, but it as eventually beautiful. My people live mostly underground in the belly of Mt. Izurith...”

Making a face at the gravel ditch, the Isur says to clam, “These little buggers must be quick cause I can't find the anywhere. Wait I think I found one!” Aladon picks up a flat clam like stone, looks at it, and tosses it to the side, “Nope that a stone. Can't eat that...Unless! Do you have a good recipe for rocks Juli?”

Aladon smirked at Nya and said with a small laugh, “Sorry...anyways I am being rude. Didn't come here for the money, Nya if that is what your thinking. I could have stayed in Riverfall perfected my art and became a master weapon-smith. A city of blue warriors would pay a fortune for Isur crafted weapons.”

The Isur started to pick up some of the larger stones by hand and when they were cleared, he continued raking. Stopping for a moment, he gathered his thoughts and continued to answer her question, “No I came here for the opportunity to have a hand in something new. Please don't judge me, but I believe my life was slowly being guided by Izurdin to help shape this city. I know that I sound like a crazy religious nut right now, and I might be delusional in my thinking, but I truly think Skya at this moment is lump of clay that needs some tender guidance from the people living in it to make something truly beautiful...”

Releasing that he sounds like his birth mother, Aladon remembered his mother talking so passionately about her work that he sounded like his mother right now. Finally, he rake away the final layer of stones to reveal a butter clam. Picking it up triumphantly, he present it them and said with chuckle, “You thought you can hide clam! You won't be laughing later when I burn you tonight!”

Realizing that he was being a idiot, Aladon cheek flushed slightly and handed Juli the clam for safe keeping. When she told him about Goeduck clams, the Isur was amazed at the size. Going from a clam the size of your thumb to one the size of your fist was insane. Aladon looked at Nya and asked jokingly, “So I wonder if clams just get bigger in size. Will I have to use my sword to fight them off?”
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Nya Winters on December 18th, 2017, 4:42 am



Juli of course took Aladon up on his offer of using his gear as collateral. Nya rolled her eyes, unimpressed, and muttered under her breath…” It’s not like she isn’t going to know where you are or that you are going to slip away in the night here. Collateral? Seriously?” The Kelvic chuckled. She appreciated the gesture Aladon was making, but even for her it seemed overly dramatic. What happened to people just promising something and holding themselves to that promise? Humans. They made everything so complicated. Favors were returned for Favors in the Kelvic World and no one ever ‘forgot’ a debt. And items with special memories? That just made someone vulnerable, weak, and sentimental. He should not carry such things inside. It weighed a mind down and did far more damage than a physical blow when or if something was harmed, lost, damaged, or stolen.

Humans.

The Kelvic rolled her eyes and trailed along behind the pair of humans like a derelict child. Then, to make matters worse, Aladon asked questions. QUESTIONS! The Kelvic was slightly jealous he’d thought of the question about the razor clams because she’d been wondering about that herself and hadn’t thought to ask Juli. Every class had a standout achiever. Nya liked being that person. It seemed so did Aladon. She almost grumbled to herself but remained silent as Juli thoughtfully answered Aladon’s question.

“I’m not sure, Aladon. But I suspect its because of how fast they dig. I think they cut through sand like a razor cuts through shaving cream on your face. Lighteningly fast.” Juli replied, shrugging slightly and laughing at her own answer.

Nya wanted to laugh too. If they were that fast, why not call them Fast Clams or Lightening Clams? Humans. The Kelvic’s mood was dropping. She wasn’t sure why either. She’d wanted Juli’s time to herself but then again, Nya never minded other company too. It was hard though, admitting that she needed Juli to show her how to forage for these food items. Nya wanted to be a provider. She wanted to be strong and brave and above all smart. Not knowing had bothered her, but she realized too as she studied Aladon and Juli laughing together that it was more than that. She was embarrassed she had to learn at all. The Kelvic grunted, hearing Aladon was eager for Juli’s recipes.

Nya answered the question for Juli. “Of course you can eat clams raw. You can eat anything raw.” She said, thinking of even cow and fish and fowl. “They are delicious.” She added, almost petulant.

Juli gave Nya a look that was unmistakable. The ‘What The Heck Is Wrong With You’ kind that spoke volumes about the fact you were most likely getting on someone’s nerves. Nya offered her a weak smile in return then followed it up with a small shrug.

“Nya, us humans like our food cooked. You should try it once in a while.” Juli said to the kelvic, giving Aladon a conspiratorial wink. “Don’t mind her. Someone forgot to house train her and teach her manners.” The woman said, laughing gently to soften her words. “Anyhow, I wouldn’t eat them raw. You could with the proper pickling or steaming. Except Oysters. Oysters are delicious. I’ll show you how to find them a bit later.” She said, looking happy that they’d get to stretch their day out a bit more than had been planned.

Then, as a group, they all started raking and gathering butter clams. This satisfied Nya more than anything else because she got to gather something, do something, and it kept her paws and thoughts busy as she raked the gravel and revealed the clams. The Kelvic said little as Juli loaned Aladon her tools and let him rake the gravel instead. She didn’t want to like the Isur. He was a stranger and strange. But she found her lips curving upwards in a smile anyhow as the man gathered clams and goofed around, pretending with the clams and then asking outrageous questions about sword fighting the bivales. The Kelvic tried to muster an eyeroll but was too busy trying not to laugh.

“Depends on the size of your sword.” The Kelvic answered, wishing she was quicker of wit than she was.

Juli, on the other hand, was quick to it and laughed outright. “Indeed. Some you may have to. Do you know they can dig down five feet into the sand and stretch their long necks out that far when trying to escape? So when I mean WE NEED TO DIG I really mean it.” Juli added, then took them back out to the softer sand and walked back up to a more drier but slightly rockier strip of beach.

“Here’s a good spot. Now… don’t laugh, but you need to look for the tip of the Goeduck's neck. It sticks out of their shell and can be two or three feet long. At the end its divided in half and slightly rounded so it looks like…. Like…..” Juli blushed deeply and then explained further. “… they look like the end of a man’s… member. His …. “ She gestured down to the area of her crotch. “You know… like the very tip of it sticking out of the sand. It’s how they eat.” Juli instructed, looking a hundred percent serious.

“So you creep along the sand… Nya you do it since you’re the lightest foot of all three of us….” Juli injected, gesturing for the Kelvic to go first. “… and we’ll have our shovels ready.” Juli handed hers to Aladon and took Nya’s from her grip.

“When you see one, sneak up on it quietly… don’t displace the sand.. and reach down and grab it with your hand. Goeduck are strong… very strong, but dig your fingers into the sand and clamp on…. hold it tight…. and you’ll have to keep holding it until the rest of us can dig out around it and find it. They are really strong, Nya, so hold very very tight. I know you can.” Juli encouraged then gestured for Nya to get going.

The Kelvic did, looking skeptical, but followed Juli’s advice and crept along the waterline just beneath where the gravely waves crested – so whatever was there was still under just a bit of water – and watched… she walked slowly, pacing, and it was no more than five minutes before she stopped, stunned, and gestured to what looked exactly like the head of a huge penis barely sticking out of the sand. Nya said a soft prayer to Zulrav and pounced, grabbing it with one hand and pulling, exposing just a tiny bit of the neck which was as big around as her wrist. Once she’d pulled it up just slightly, she grabbed the neck with her other hand, and the fight was on.

Juli shrieked “Dig Dig Dig!!!” And launched herself onto her knees next to Nya with the shovel, digging for all she was worth. “Aladon… DIG!” Their instructor called, all the while Nya was gritting her teeth, cussing, and holding on as the goeduck pulled with all its might.

Somewhere… in the back of her head… Nya knew this was going to make a good story…. a very good story indeed.


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Nya Winters
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Aladon on December 20th, 2017, 7:42 am

Aladon laughed out loud when Nya came up with a clever come back. The Isur smirked and asked Juli with a wink, “You have the sword is it big enough?”

The blacksmith had to admit that he enjoyed the pair. Juli was the pinnacle of a social butterfly, and Nya was a clever, but she was kind of a odd bird too. The Isur couldn't place it, but something she said didn't seem normal. First, she eluded that you can eat anything raw. Aladon knew from horrible past experiences in the privies about eating meat especially pork raw. He thought that he was going to die, and he kind of wish that he could have by the end of the night. The second odd comment was from Juli when she asked her if she was house broken and had manners. The Isur could tell the two were friends, but house broken was something people do to train animals. He knew from the last bell that spent with the two that Nya was definitely human, so he wasn't going to put much stock in the jovial insult between two friends, but to the Isur, he still had to wonder.

Aladon walked besides Juli as she told him about the delicious meal of seafood, and he had to admit that it made his stomach growl. He was hungry, and he suggested to the pair, “If Nya and you are up for it, we could cook these clams up for brunch? I not sure the settlement policy on picking fruit off the trees, so I haven't ever just grabbed one from the tress since I have been here, but maybe we get some fruit than have a nice meal too.”

The Blacksmith knew that he had a quota on nails to get done today too and said, “I'll just have to get back to the forge about one bell past noon, but this is my home now, and I want get to know my neighbors too.”

When the trio got to their next destination, Juli started to explain what geoduck clams have long necks that they stretch to the surface to feed. These clams' necks can stretch up to two to three feet long and the end of the neck looked like the tip of a penis. Aladon tried to stifle a laugh as the young woman seemed to embarrassed to say it outloud, so Aladon gently pat her on the shoulder and said with a smirk, “It ok, Juli. You can say colossal throbbing man sausage. We are all adults here.” The Isur chuckles and teases the poor girl, “I lived in Riverfall for fifteen years, and I can tell you that you should read some of the trashy smut the konti authors write about in their stories about akalak characters. Now I want you to picture your geoduck clam...”

The Isur waits a couple ticks to let the image sink in her brain than he said it straight faced, “..Now picture it blue.”

The Isur was quite satisfied with himself as they got their spot geoduck clamming spot. The blacksmith listened intently when she instructed Nya that she had to sneak up on the clam and not to displace the sand. He wondered if the clam can sense their weight on the sand. When she instructed him that he was going to have to dig as fast as he could. He figure with the rising heat and humidity that he should take off his shirt. He didn't want to suffer any heat related illnesses from over excursion in the sun. When he took off his shirt, it revealed to the women about two Isur traits that differs from humans. His muscular red arm and silver blue veins running through his pale skin. Tossing the shirt in the sand, the Isur wiped the sweat from his hands, got ready to dig, and nodded to the pair that he was ready.

When Nya pounced on the clam and grabbed a hold of it, he was shocked at the struggle on the young woman's face. He knew Nya wasn't joking either because she seemed to be cussing like a miner as she tried to hold onto the clam's neck. When Juli yelled at him to dig, the blacksmith ran into position, slammed the tip of the spade into the sand, and started to dig. However, he looked Nya into her mossy green eyes and said to her with a croaked grin, “Would it help if I grabbed the sword?”
Last edited by Aladon on December 29th, 2017, 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Nya Winters on December 24th, 2017, 3:46 am



Nya had no idea what smut was about and she hadn’t been in Riverfall enough to realize what Aladon was speaking of, so she remained quiet. Juli, however, laughed abruptly as if the smith’s words were some of the funniest she’d heard in a while. And she said as much, turning to Aladon to comment. “I’m glad we finally have people moving here with a sense of humor! I’m so used to Father’s stern countenance and Mathias and Randal forever debating philosophy.” Nya wondered what was wrong with James’ personality. She liked it. And she also liked listening to Mathias and Randal go on about whatever it was they were debating. Juli didn’t seem to appreciate what she had, for sure. Once it was gone, which it would be someday, then she’d understand how lucky she was to still have at least one parent around.

Nya missed hers horribly.

But the thought of perhaps cooking the clams, or at least learning how to, before they all parted ways cheered her up a great deal. Nya could be bought through food easily since her Talderian form required lots and lots of meals which resulted in her pretty much always being hungry. Aladon wouldn’t know but Juli would have experienced Nya’s hunger first hand and had readily agreed to Aladon’s plan. Nya would assume it was because Aladon was charming, rather than the kelvic was probably hungry. She’d even offered up her kitchen at the Mercantile (which she lived next too) in order to get the clams done. She just wanted a half dozen or so geoducks first And, of course, a quick trip by the oyster beds to show them to the pair as well. Juli was proud of the food the sea brought.

The kelvic tried not to think of it as they got back around to the business of catching geoducks. She found one, grabbed at it, and found the thing hard to hold. It was like grabbing a very powerful monster that was trying to pull her under the sand. Alanon tossed aside his shovel and just reached through the sand like it was water with his unique arm and plucked out the enormous clam. Nya’s jaw dropped. She let her grip go on the geoduck as Alanon bagged it and Juli cheered. The young woman’s enthusiasm was contagious. Nya’s shock turned into laughter. One thing a predator admired was another predator doing something effortlessly.

They hunted further, catching Juli’s required half dozen before they moved on. Juli had promised to show them the oyster beds before they headed back to the Mercantile and the kitchen in her bungalow. Luckily they were on the way.

“Now, we have the rakes in the Clam Digging kit right? You can also use them for oysters. Oysters are under the water, you don’t dig them or pick them up like you do other clams. They grow on reefs. But luckily for us they are on shallow reefs. We can wade out in knee high or waist deep water depending on the tide and get them by raking them off the reef. Indigo also told me… she’s the native here… that when you use them you should take their shells and dump them back out on the reef because smaller oysters use them because the shells help build up the reefs and the little oysters… babies will cling to the old shells and grow up big and strong that way.” Juli said, leading them back up the beach to a new location that wasn’t very far from Swing Beach. It was a wide spot on the bay that had a somewhat muddy bottom that could get very gummy. “There are other spots for oysters around here that are better, but you need a boat to go find them because they are further up the coast or out by Solace Island. But anyhow.. there are a few reefs here so you can at least get an idea of how to do it.” Juli said, wading out into the water.

Nya followed… her mesh bag full of clams and geoduck still belted at her side. She left her gear on the beach all but the little rake, and waded out carefully with Juli. “Follow where I go because the mud can suck you under here. Kinda step forward and test the footing by pressing your weight lightly on it. If you sink down go a different way. I’m not sure why its so dangerous here, but you can also swim out if the tide is in and dive a little for the oysters just holding your breath.

She lead them confidently out and before long they were knee high in water with little rock clusters all around. “Now, dip your head under the water and look around. Watch me …..”

Juli knelt down then dunked her head under with the rake. Then she waited until they were both watching and pointed out the little rock outcropping full of oysters. The rock reefs ran in waves between the mud like ripples of stone thrust through the mud. She pointed to the wavy shelled mollusks and used her rake to hook onto them and yank. Then she surfaced with the clump of oysters and began prying them apart, taking the bigger ones and adding them to their mesh bags. The smaller ones she called babies and placed them back on the safety of the stone.

Before long she had them all gathering oysters and filling up the rest of the room in their mesh bags. “As we harvest, please spread out… that way we don’t all take from the same reef and deplete them all in one place. Take a little from each reef, that way you aren’t taking too many. It will be more and more of a problem as more people move here.” Juli encouraged, wanting each of them to be a good steward.

Before long, all three of them were worn out and hungry, ready for a break. Juli herded them up the beach and back towards her bungalow near the Mercantile. Once there, she sat them all down in bamboo chairs and took out the oyster knife.

“This is an oyster knife. Some people call them shucking knives. Its okay to use it on all sorts of clams and muscles, but just remember to keep it really sharp. Now… the first thing you need to do to shuck one is to get a clean bowl/pot/basket to place the meat into and one to place the shell in. Then you need to make sure your clams are alive. If they are open or unresponsive then they are dead and throw them in the shell bucket leaving them unshucked. A living shell will squeeze itself shut tight and try to hide from you when you pick it up.” She said, laughing and pulling out one of the small butter clams from her mesh bag and showing them how it clamped down.

They had all three rinsed their mesh bags before they had returned to the bungalow, but Juli reminded them about it then and there. “Be sure to rinse your clams and get all the sand and guck off them before you clean them. You can scrub them under running water with a stiff brush if you want. I just prefer to rinse. It gets rid of any salt and sand. Then, soak the clams if you have time. We aren’t going to do this today because I’m hungry and want lunch. But put them in a bucket of salt water and let them soak for a while… a half bell or even longer. Then rise them again.” She added, nodding and also letting them know this was the best way to keep them alive.

“This knife is thin.. that’s what you need with a rounded tip. Grasp the clam in your hand, I use a towel to hold it tight, and then make sure the hinge is pointed towards your palm closest to your thumb. You open the part of your clam at the tip of your fingers. This allows you to press on the clam safely without cutting yourself if you need to. Some of these are hard to get open.” She added, picking up a towel, a clam, and demonstrating.

“Just insert the tip of the oyster knife in between the clam shell. Press into the clam and you’ll feel a muscle right near the hinge. If you can feel it… a stiff muscle… cut it… that will release the shell and you’ll feel the clam pop open. Sometimes you can twist the knife sideways and that pry it open too. Then run the knife around the lip, cutting the seal, and popping it neatly open.” Juli demonstrated, suddenly having a wide open clam in her hand with just a simple poke, cut, and twist of her knife.

“Break the top shell open, save the juice – its delicious – and pop the meat out. You’ll have to cut again because its attached to the bottom shell. Pop it in your meat container and toss the shells into the shell bucket. Just repeat. It gets a bit harder with the geoduck, but once they are out of the shell, you can stretch the heck out and cut it and it fillet’s out just like a fish.” The girl added, while Nya and Aladon tried it out.

Then, once she had the geoduck open, she cut into the thick part of the meat, twisted, and showed off where a darkened pouch was. This she cut out. “It’s the stomach. Take it out of the geoduck. Its’ full of sand and other garbage. Don’t worry about it on the smaller clams… but on the geoducks it’s a big old bite of nasty.” She said, laughing and tossing the geoduck stomach into the shell bucket.

Then she left them to it, letting them clean clams before she launched into how to cook them.


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Nya Winters
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Aladon on December 30th, 2017, 1:32 am

Aladon watched Nya anguish has she struggled to hold on the clam's head. Tossing aside the shovel, the blacksmith gave the pretty brown haired women a wink and reached straight into the sand like it was nothing. The Isur felt around the sand for a shell like the other clams until felt something hard. Aladon looked at Nya and said reassuringly, “Hold on just for tick longer, Nya, and I got it!”

When Aladon got a hold of the geoduck shell, he was careful not to crush it as he pulled it out of the sand. The Isur looked at Nya and said with a victory smile, “We are a good team aren't we, Nya? All the geoduck on the beach will fear us when we are done!”

He turned to waved it at Juli and gave the geoduck to the young woman for her to bag it. Juli seemed ecstatic that she didn't have to dig for it. The enthusiasm seemed contagious because even Nya started to laugh after awhile. The Isur seemed confident in himself that they could get some more, and Juli said with a smile, “Alright that was pretty effortless, so lets get five more!”

The Isur waited for Nya to pounce as she walk over the sand. Juli was right Nya was light on her feet as she stalked the sand for another geoduck. Unlike him tend to lumber through the sand like a cow. He wasn't the most agile man in the world and his weight made him struggle at stealth. Nya seemed to have a grace that he had to admire. It was like she was born for being sneaky. When she pounced, he trudged through the sand like it was foot of snow and reached into the sand for the geoduck shell. When he pulled the second shell out, he said to her with a smile, “Another victory for team, Nyaladon...” The blacksmith thought about it for a moment and asked Nya, “Does that name make us sound like a lizard?”

The Isur wanted to make the quiet woman laugh again because she seemed hesitant and almost standoffish when he approached them. When he first met her, her snarky comments made it seem like she didn't want him here. Not to mention that he took away Juli's attention from her for a bell. He kind of felt guilty for it, but when Nya started to laugh at his jokes. He started to feel more welcomed among the two women. As they went to their next geoduck, Aladon decided to compliment the brown haired woman, “Nya, I have to admit. You are quite nimble on your feet. I honestly feel like a large lumbering oaf walking through the sand. You must be a dancer in the way you move?”

The hunt for the geoducks lasted for another half a chime as the repeated the same routine for the last three giant clams. When they were done collecting the geoducks, Juli started to take about collecting oysters. She explained that they used the rakes to rake them off the shallow reef. Aladon was always nervous about going into the water because his thick dense body tended to sink straight towards the bottom like a rock. He listened to Juli talk about wading in the water, but he was quiet during her lesson about oyster foraging. However, it was interesting to learn that you could recycle the oyster shells on the reef after being eaten. The Isur listened intently until the lesson was over when they got to shoreline with the reef. He looked out over the water and saw the water breaking over the top of the reef, and he saw a few seagulls grazing on top of the mound of shells.

Aladon followed behind Nya as Juli explained that the mud had tendency to suck you down slightly if you step to hard into it. Feeling his heart race, the Isur took a deep breath when she explained that the tides and undercurrents can suck a person into deeper water. When they got to the spot, Aladon turned to Nya and said trying hide his nervousness, “Nya, I will let you go first. You know how. I have a tendency to sink in the sand... I think... I will feel more comfortable closer to shore...”

When they walked out into the water, Juli wasn't kidding. The mud seemed to suck him into it. The Isur had to use more effort than he wanted to get his feet out of it. The Isur used his right hand to grip the reef for dear life as they went deeper into the water. When she told them to spread out, he gladly made his way closer to shore. Juli told them to stick their head under water and to look for the shells. When he did, the salt burned his eyes, but he was able to see the oyster shells. He kept his right arm on the reef and used the rake to dislodge the shells from the reef. He started raking gently, but he was definitely having difficult removing them, so he increased his strength on them and one came loose. The Isur was to nervous to have fun, so he just plucked the loose one off and placed it in the bag. The blacksmith continued in quiet as he listened to other two women enjoy the water.

When they were finished oyster harvesting, Aladon the first one to make it to shore. He thought to himself, 'I really need to learn how to swim...'

When they pair made it to shore, Aladon was pleased when Juli suggested they go back to her place to cook up the shell fish. The blacksmith knew that he needed to pay her for the kit. However, she offered to cook them up at her place. He was going to pay her, but she seemed to want to get them cooked up. The pair must be hungry. When she lead them to her bungalow, the Isur made sure take off his boots and wipe off his feet before walking into the young woman's home. When he walked into her home, she offered them a chair, so he sat down. The blacksmith said with nod, “Thank you for letting me into your home. It is quite nice in here, Juli.”

When Juli started the explaining the name of the knife and the uses for it. He listened as he pulled his out of his kit. Juli explained the difference between a living butter clam. He figured the meat in the shell was already decaying, so it was useless. Aladon listened to Juli as she explained that they needed to clean the excess dirt and sand off the clam. They could either soak them or clean them with the brush. Taking the brush out of the kit, he started to clean the clean the outside of the clam under the water to clean off the clam of sand. When the clams and oysters in his bag were sorted and cleaned off of debris and soaking in the salt water. He pulled one out of the pail and held it with the towel.

She explained to insert the oyster knife in-between the two shells. It was easier said than done because the clam was doing it's best to keep the shells closed. The Isur used a little bit more force and the knife went deeper into the shell. The Isur did what she advised to look for the muscle at the base of the shell. He cut into it, but nothing happened at first, so he cut again and the shell popped opened with the twist of the knife. Smiling to himself, he listened to Juli. The Isur looked for the place to cut, but he seemed to be less cutting and more digging at the inside of the clam. The blacksmith realized that he needed to detach the meat from bottom shell first, so he starting cutting the stringy muscle from the bottom shell to dislodged the meat from the shell. Eventually, he pulled out a mangled piece of meat from the shell and placed the meat and shells in their respected buckets.

Looking at his mangled clam meat, he pulled out his geoduck clam and started to clean the sand from surface of the giant clam. Aladon laid the geoduck on the table and started to cut along the edges of the clam until the shell was free of the meat. He repeated on the other side, but he noticed that he kept missing his cuts along the shell and veering off into the muscle of the clam. This caused his incisions along the shell to be uneven, so when he tried to remove the shell. It wouldn't come off cleanly, so he had to go back and cut along the places where the shell was still connected to the meat. When the shell was completely gone, he listened to Juli's instruction on where to gut the giant clam. They were looking for a stomach, and she explained it was the darker shade of color. When he found it, he started to cut it out when Juli tossed her geoduck stomach into the bucket with a chuckle. Aladon smiled at her and started his concentration back on his own work.

When Juli left the pair of clamming novices alone, he suddenly felt the need to say something to brown haired woman while he continued to struggle with the geoduck stomach. Aladon said without looking up from his work, “Nya. I wanted to thank you for allowing me to join you and Juli clamming. I was struggling to with my work, and this was the perfect way to relieve stress and clear my mind. Maybe one day, I could call you friend...” The Isur removed the gross stomach from the belly of the geoduck clam and placed the gutted clam in the meat bucket.
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Nya Winters on January 2nd, 2018, 6:48 pm



Nya watched as Aladon cut out his clam’s stomach and tossed the discarded and unsavory bit into the bucket with the shells. Her sharp ears heard something even as he added the gutted clam to the meat bucket. It was a muffled ting, like something hitting the side of one of the discarded shells with a flesh muffled clang. She didn’t immediately say anything though because his words were ringing around in her head. He’d thanked her… actually thanked her… and that surprised her. So too did his next words. Nya tossed her brindled hair out of her eyes and looked at him intently for a moment before slowly reaching into the shell bucket where the gutted stomach had gone. She fished it out and looked at it, because it had sounded totally different than the soft inflated with gunk thing she’d cut out of her own geoduck. She kept watching him as she did so, touching the stomach with her hands, looking at it with her fingers, as she watched him suspiciously with wide green eyes.

Nya finally broke her gaze off and looked down at the discarded unsavory in her hand. She took her Oyster Knife and stabbed the tip into the fleshy bundle and peeled it back. Instead of answering him, she said instead “There’s something in here.” Her deft twist with the Oyster Knife peeled the flesh away and exposed a glowing blue stone. It was a large chunk… larger than her thumb once the stomach flesh and the gross sandy detritus in the organ was peeled away. Nya stared at it a few moments, knowing it was familiar, but not sure why. Then it dawned on her as she gave it a good sniff and wrinkled her nose at what the geoduck had been eating. “Your geoduck ate a piece of Watchstone.” She said, tossing the remains of the stomach back into the shell bucket and then carefully handing him the stone.

She went back to cleaning her own geoducks like he’d said nothing and like she’d just not found what she’d found in his clam’s innards. The Kelvic made no move to claim it as her own. He’d found the clam and by rights it was his. And between the two of them – the stone and the Isur – she had a lot to think about. A Watchstone fragment here? Why would one be here? The Kelvic frowned and glanced back at the Isur, finishing the geoduck she’d started on after handing him the stone. Her thoughts were still mulling around. She’d come to Syka to heal. And truthfully the only people she trusted here in Syka were Mathias and Randal, whom she’d gotten to know more. She cleaned two more geoducks before she finally answered the Isur.

“Aladon, you are a very interesting person. Your humor surprised me. And I’m glad that coming clamming with us has made your day better. I understand how that goes. Sometimes I work with leather and cannot work my head around my problem with all the leather surrounding me and so I must go run on the beach, or do some playing, or kill and eat something so I can take a long comfortable nap in the sun. Sometimes the voices of the winds drive me crazy and I need to go be with actual people instead of just hearing the chattering of breezes. Its only after those breaks that the leather gets easier. I understand. But I don’t want any friends, especially not with the Humans. I don’t have any here and I don’t need any. I don’t think humans are always good and I’ll never trust them fully again. I don’t know about Isur. But you can never tell until you get close and then its usually too late. I’ve seen far more bad than good. You’d do well not to make friends. Just be. Just be under the sun… or in the water… or in the green of the jungle. Just be.” The Kelvic said firmly, as if she were trying to convince herself as well as him.

Juli returned just in time to save Nya from having to say anything else. She carried a large pot which had several vegetables peeking out of the top – carrots if Nya’s nose was correct – and a crock of cream, a bucket of water, and a long grill looking item. “You two about done?” She asked, peeking into their netting and the shell buckets. “We are saving the shells to dump back into the ocean. Creatures use them and that way they don’t go to waste here unless you want them for crafts. Some people make wind chimes or décor out of them.” Juli added, setting her load down.

“Aladon, please make a fire between those two stones.” Juli pointed to an obvious firepit with two large stones on either side. “My grill fits perfectly across those two stones. We’ll get the geoduck grilling while we get the clam chowder going. Nya you can peel potatoes and cut up onions while I do the carrots and season up the water.” Their teacher added, then handed Nya a knife, dumped out a bunch of potatoes at her feet, and left her with the onions. “You can chop the onions on the rocks before they get hot from Aladon’s fire.” The woman instructed.

Nya nodded, and began carefully peeling the onions and then chopping them up. She made careful work with the knife, not going very quickly but taking time to make even uniform cuts of all three big onions Juli brought. She left the cut up onions on the rock next to Aladon’s firepit and then began to carefully peel the potatoes, cutting them up as well. By that time Juli had filled the pot with water, added a lot of seasonings from a pouch, and then had scooped up Nya’s onions and her potatoes and added them. Together they ended up peeling carrots and chopping them fine then adding celery pieces as well.

“I’m not the best cook.” Juli admitted. “A real cook would have cooked these onions in the bottom of this cauldron before they put everything in… but I don’t really care that much. You guys can cook it however you want as well. Now… we’ll dump all the clams we caught into the chowder… saving the razor and geoduck. I’ll show you how to cook those separately.

Nya followed her instructions and had the cleaned razor clams and geoduck sorted out and all the excess little clams in the pot. Juli then set up a metal tripod over the grill, hung high ,so that the heat would start cooking the soup. Once everything was almost cooked, she’d add the cream and finish off the chowder.

Next Juli turned to Aladon. “I need you to fillet out those big geoducks, open them up, so they look more like a meat patty than a clam. Once we get those done, salt and pepper them and check your fire. I want that grill hot. Then just lay them on the grill and turn them often until they get cooked through and through. That means all of us begins to eat as soon as those get done….” Juli encouraged, still not yet telling them how she was going to prepare the razor clams.


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Nya Winters
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Digging In The Crystalline Sand

Postby Aladon on January 7th, 2018, 1:35 am

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Grabbing butter clam out of the bucket, Aladon watched the green eyed woman as she pulled one of the discarded geoduck stomachs out of the bucket. Watching her out of the corner of his eye, he placed the tip of the knife in between the shell, and he didn't feel the clam press together like Juli said that it should if it was alive, so he discarded the dead clam into the bucket. Out of the geoduck clam stomach, Nya took out a blue stone and said to herself in disbelief, or he thought was disbelief, that it was a shard of a watch stone. Aladon wasn't familiar with history, so the term watch stone wasn't even in the blacksmith's vocabulary let alone the meaning behind it. Regardless, his blues eyes watched the stone with a heightened curiosity. When she handed it to him, Isur took the stone and looked at the blue exterior of the watch stone. He looked at Nya and said softly, “What is a watch stone? When I was in trade school in Sultros, we never learned about these stones. Are they important?” The blacksmith extended the stone back to her, “Since you know about it, do you want the stone back, Nya?”

Aladon continued the cleaning the shell fish in silence. It seemed to him that Nya was neither interested in talking, or she was still thinking about the stone. Regardless, he continued to struggle through the remainder of the clams. He was happy that he was doing something without such a need to think about as working in the forge. He was just happy that he was happy to keep his hands busy. The Isur was kind of disappointed that Nya didn't answer his question about becoming friends. He had to admit that it was rather forward of him to ask her since he just met her a couple bells ago. The brown haired woman wasn't as sociable as Juli either, so she might be hesitant to agree to call him a friend yet. As the chimes passed, the anxiety in the Isur grew, and he started to wonder if it was bad idea that he extended her the offer. He hoped that she didn't think that he was needy.

When Nya finally decided to answer, he wasn't surprised when she said no. She started to relate with him about the times when she was working with her leather-working that she needed to take breaks to clear her mind. She mentioned that she enjoyed killing things, eating them, and taking naps in the sun. The Isur figured that she hunted for sport for less survival and more for pleasure. The naps in the hot sun were a surprise because if he fell asleep in the sun. He would be as red as tomato a bell later. Suddenly, she started to say the breezes talked to her this brought up a eyebrow on the Isur's face. He was pretty sure Nya Winters wasn't crazy, so she probably speaking metaphorically that the winds speak to her. It had to be it answer, right? Suddenly, she said that she didn't want friends especially from humans. He couldn't help it, but his face shown a look a disappointment. He was going to make the argument that he wasn't human, but it would be fleeting since she was probably using humans as a general catch all term. The Isur started to look into her eyes as she continued to talk, and he wondered since she referred to humans like a different race than herself if she was actually human. The information that she gaven him about herself cast doubt that she was a actually a normal human woman.

Aladon watched and listened to her when she started to mention that she didn't think humans could be capable of being good, and she could never fully trust them again. However, she wasn't sure about Isurs, so the blacksmith saw a little hope in a understanding between the two. Suddenly, she gave him a warning not to make friends and just enjoy life alone. He started to wonder what happened to her to loose hope in the world. He frowned slightly to himself that she would distance herself from everyone to fear from being hurt. The Isur knew that he should just be quiet, but he decided not to be quiet, “I will respect your wishes, Nya. You have to do what make you happy, but I want you to remember that you are not alone. If you ever need anyone to talk too, I will be here.” Pulling out a another butter clam, he placed the edge of the knife to the edges and said with a slight chuckle, “Think of me as the large annoying boulder in your garden. I will be here for a long time, and I won't be going anywhere unless someone puts too much of their own effort into trying to move me, so you might as well make me apart of the garden.”

Honestly, Aladon was happy when Juli came back since he wasn't quite sure what else to say to Nya. The blacksmith was a lose for words, and he wondered if she felt the same. When Juli asked him to prepare the fire for cooking, the Isur followed directions and asked her, “Juli do you have flint and steel, tinder, and wood?”

Juli smiled at at him, handed the flint and steel, and pointed towards the right side of the fire pit. The Isur looked at the right side and saw a small pile of wood and tinder. The short man knelt between the two stones and started to make a small pile of tinder. He looked around for some dried grass and leaves when he found some brown palm leaves. He grabbed a few large leaves off the branch and started to shred them into smaller pieces. He went back to his pile of tinder and put some of the dried leaves in the middle of the pile and on top. Picking up the flint and steel, he knelt down over the fire and started to strike the flint close to the dried leaves. It takes about two chimes of striking the flint and steel to start the leaves on fire. He started to blow softly on the small flame till the leaves started to burn and eventually the tinder started on fire. The Isur added a small piece of wood to the small flames.

Aladon watched the fire for a couple of chimes to make sure that the fire wouldn't go out. He added another small log, picked up the cool grill, and placed it on the rocks. He walked back to the women and saw that they were chopping vegetables like onions, potatoes, and carrots. The Isur was curious on where they found those fresh vegetables. When Juli said that she wasn't the best cook, Aladon shook his head and said, “It fine. I am sure everything will taste wonderful, Juli. Where did you find the fresh vegetables?”

Walking back to the fire, Aladon added another log to the growing fire. After he walked back over watched as Juli dump all the ingredients into the soup. The woman added the butter clams last into the creamy soup. She mentioned that the onions should be cooking at the bottom first, and they didn't have time to cook it correctly. He watched as she set up tripod and hung it over the fire pit. When she told him to get the flame nice and hot, he added two more small logs to the fire. He knelt down and started to blow into the flames. He watched the logs envelope the two new logs. When the fire was ready, he laid on the table and took out the fillet knife. Aladon looked at the geoduck and said to himself, “so she wants patties...maybe I should cut them horizontally?”

The Isur turned his knife and started to cut the geoduck horizontally through the meaty body until the metal blade came out the other side. He noticed his cut wasn't straight down the middle, so one half of the geoduck clam was thicker than the other half. The Isur signed to himself and grabbed another geoduck and continued the cutting process until all the geoducks were filleted. None were cut evenly, but he did his best. When he was finished cutting them, Juli instructed to lay them on the grill, so he said to her, “They aren't cut evenly, so I will put the thicker halves closer to the hotter coals.” The blacksmith started to lay down the fillets on the cast iron grill. He put the thicker fillets near the center while the thinner fillets away from the hotter inner coals. Standing up from the fire pit, the Isur could start to smell the soup, and he smiled at Nya, “You starting to get hungry because I am!”
Thank you Gossamer for the posting template!
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Aladon
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