Solo A Job Is A Job

If nothing else, do it for the mizas.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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A Job Is A Job

Postby Meriann on January 14th, 2018, 10:36 pm

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2nd Winter 517 AV


Their ships were moored at the docks, and it was precisely for that reason that she fretted. Sunberth, being what it was, worried her. Not because she feared for her life, no. She wasn't much of a fighter, but if it came to it she would easily and happily defend herself from robbers or murderers. Instead, she feared for her casinor, the Sunrise. Soon she would be back at the ship and she would be sailing in the bay, but for now she trudged the 'colourful' streets of the lawless city and anxiously hoped her younger brother was keeping a good eye on the ships. She knew many people who would seize the opportunity to get a beautiful casinor such as hers, even with the threat of the Svefra hunting you down.

She frowned, stopped in the street, and sighed loudly. It wouldn't do to worry about something she couldn't stop or change. She trusted Murray, didn't she? Nothing would happen to her beloved boat. Meriann ran a tanned hand through her hair and walked onwards. After all, she needed to get herself a job. There were some benefits to living in a city, even if it was just for the cold seasons. For one, there was the sheer difference of it all. She loved the sea, of course she did. But she also loved watching all these strangers walking past, those ordinary yet amazingly extraordinary people that offered her a small glimpse into their lives as she traversed the street.

Then there was the chance to make some money. Mizas meant you could buy things from people... Which, admittedly, was a given. When you lived most of your day to day life amongst the same people and with the same things though, it really meant something when you could exchange those sparkly, shiny mizas for something real and tangible and new. Meriann fancied buying a new sword, or maybe lots of very good food and pipeweed, although excellent food was bound to be difficult to find in Sunberth. Besides, she couldn't dream yet, as she still hadn't found the building she was looking for. Sunberth's streets seemed to weasel her into the tiniest of spaces and spin her perspective until she no longer knew her head from her feet.

Frustrated, and a half bell later, Meriann found herself throwing her hands up in the air and muttering a grouchy, "Petch it!" in fluent Fratava. She would have to ask someone if they could point her in the right direction. The street she was on was mostly quiet. A man was walking past, a woman beside him. She stopped them in mid-conversation and completely missed the disgruntled look cross their faces as she asked benignly, "Aight, could y'tell me the direction to the bakeshop? I've been wandering for an age already." Her voice, to the two strangers, sounded distinctly Svefra. Her accent, disregarding the actual words spoken, was clearly of the sea folk. The man exchanged a glance with his partner, then jerked his thumb over his shoulder.

"You're going the wrong way. It's that way. Look for the Temple of the Unknown, you're bound not to miss that motherpetcher, then keep going up from there. It's right on the corner before the big street. Honestly don't know how you missed it, saila." Meriann followed his words carefully, narrowing her eyes slightly at the dismissive tone he tacked on the end. She couldn't hold back the sarcasm in her reply, "Well, thank you." She walked off in the direction he'd pointed her in, and cursed softly. Now she looked like an idiot.

But, sure enough, as she kept walking and looking around at the buildings of all shapes and sizes, she soon found the rotting corpse of what surely must have once been a great building that could only be the Temple of the Unknown. She stopped to stare at it for a good, long while, marvelling at the stonework and the sheer energy and manpower that must have gone into making it. It was even more strange to her that most people that passed it by never even looked up at it, didn't see how huge it was and how impressive it was. Yet she had to continue.

They had stopped off at the tavern on the day of their arrival, and naturally had asked around to see if there were any jobs available. Baker's Butchery and Bakeshop was dropped into the conversation before it turned to discussions on the good winds recently, and Meriann had decided that it would be a good job for her. She could provide fish, maybe even good fish if she worked hard, and that was bound to bring her a decent enough wage. Sure, she could sell her own stock but she wasn't a natural saleswoman. It made much more sense for her to work for another... as long as they were honest. She would soon find out. Meriann had arrived at the Bakeshop.
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Meriann
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A Job Is A Job

Postby Meriann on January 14th, 2018, 10:59 pm

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It was a good-sized shop, but decidedly unimpressive. At least, compared to the cathedral she'd just seen, and in terms of size at any rate. It was cheery though, with what looked like recently washed windows- a luxury in itself. Meriann wasted no time in waiting at the door, and instead barrelled into the butchery and bakeshop. She looked around curiously. It was a bit of a mess inside, a combination of bread on display (which admittedly made her stomach grumble, as she was partial to freshly baked bread) and hanks of meat out in the window for display. There were several customers, so she waited her turn impatiently. The owner of the store was a brown-haired man that looked careworn. He cracked a laugh with a tiny old lady, and to her surprise she cackled back with gusto.

"Alright Tina, I will catch you later, take you up on that pint!" The man laughed again, once, and then asked, "Right, what can I get for you? Some bread perhaps, or some finest meat? I've got this lovely cut, brought in fresh today, just lovely with..-"

Meriann smiled but interrupted as politely as she could. "Actually, I come because I heard you pay for goods. I am a fisherwoman, offering to catch fish for you in return for mizas. Interested?" Perhaps she had been a bit too blunt, as the man regarded her without speaking for what felt like a chime. Then he folded his arms, and her heart sunk. "Look, lady, I'm sure you mean well. How can I know you can do what you say you can? I can't see any of your fish, so for all I know you're just out to prank me or scam me. Until I see the goods, I can't say you're going to get anything from me."

She threw up her hands in protest. Why on earth would she lie? After all, it was obvious that she wasn't expecting mizas right there and then for phantom fish that she might not deliver, wasn't it? Meriann picked her words, and tried to keep the irritation from her tone. It was tricky, because from her perspective the man was telling her something she already knew. "My name is Meriann. I will bring you fish, you can test, then we agree pay, aye? I do not expect mizas right now, idiot", she said, hoping to Hai and back that he didn't know any Fratava. "What can I call you other than mister?" This was not going as well as she'd hoped.

He levelled a gaze at her, and she winced. Maybe he did know some of her language. Aah... All she could do was play it off as a misunderstood word, and she moved on as quickly as she could. He answered her with a somewhat chilly tone, "I am Kane. Kane Butcher. If you bring me anything of worth Meriann, I will decide then if it's worth paying you for the trouble. If there's nothing else, then please see yourself out, I've got customers waiting." It was true- she looked over her shoulder and saw a wide-eyed girl staring up at her, unkempt hair caught up in an outrageous bird's nest on top of her head. The girl grunted peculiarly, "Ey, whatcha lookin' at?"

Gods, Sunberth was a shykehole sometimes. Meriann ignored the little petch and stomped out the door and into the street. Right. Now all she had to do was find her way back to the ship and begin trying to find the best place to fish in all of Sunberth so that she could show Kane she knew what she was doing. She would do the best damn fishing in all the city, if she had to.
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Meriann
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A Job Is A Job

Postby Meriann on February 9th, 2018, 3:14 pm

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"Speech"


All she had to do now was follow the route she had originally taken and she would get back to the docks with just about enough time to go out on the waves and figure out the good fishing spots. Meriann was too preoccupied with thoughts of sailing and fishery to notice the soft footsteps treading behind her in her long strides. The girl with the peculiar grin and the birdsnest hair had slipped out from the shop as Meriann had left and was now following her. She ducked from the shadows of one building to another. It helped that the Svefra woman was choosing some of the oddest, quietest routes, but she walked too fast for the little girl to catch up to her fully.

In a world of her own, Meriann was humming a soft tune and enjoying the weak light of the sun as it gracefully dipped over the roofs of the street she'd joined. The scent of the briny sea was washing over her now, and that never failed to put her in good spirits. The ocean was hers, and although it had any manner of other sea-faring vessels upon it, and although it was shared by the Svefra and other races alike, she knew she had a perspective of the thrumming ocean that no-one else had. That a certain part of it was hers and hers alone made her feel warm and privileged... Even if it was not quite true, and in all her distractedness she was not paying attention to the city, not ocean, that surrounded her. The dock was not yet visible. The land sloped ever so gently down towards the coast, but the way was growing busier and louder as street hawkers haggled and people trod in myriad directions along the filthy footway.

To the left, away across a tiny plaza that housed naught but a pile of mud-drenched, torn clothes, was a dim darkness of houses. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a glint of light that was so out of place that she stopped in her tracks and walked closer, curiosity fuelling her, the same curiosity that could one day be the bane of her. She peered at the minute alley where the light had come from, but saw nothing. What the petch? Without hesitation, although perhaps she should have paused a moment longer to investigate further, to look around and see the flash of skirt that belonged to the little stalker who was now hiding behind a cart, she walked a few footsteps into the narrow space to look around properly. A flashing light was unusual, unusual enough for her to wonder what was going on down this dark passageway. The light of Syna was blocked out by the nearest building that had, in the past, slumped over until its walls were slouched against its neighbours in an unwanted embrace. The effect was that of a dingy tunnel panelled with age-ruined wood and paved with the stink of the few households that miserably called this little patch of Sunberth 'home'.

It was clear that there was nothing here. Meriann, who had still not yet come to appreciate exactly what Sunberth was, suddenly felt faintly ill. The soothing, familiar air of the sea had disappeared, to be replaced with the lingering, overpowering smell of many humans living in close proximity with one another. The houses were facsimiles, acting as a place of habitation but not of living. The windows were glassless and led to dark rooms without sight nor sound of humanity. To a woman used to the openness of the sea and of the freedom of her own boat, the narrowness and confines of this bowel of the city felt... Odd. Not yet prison-like, nor particularly evil, just so far from her own world that it felt alien. She turned on her heel as soon as she'd seen her fill, ready to dash to the dock and enjoy the comfort and satisfaction of the Sunrise...

But standing in the entrance was a slight figure, with a nest of wiry, filthy hair piled on her young head. It was the girl from the bakeshop. Meriann recognised her instantly, and was plunged into a peculiar feeling of dread as the young girl smiled a sharp-toothed smile that held no warmth or innocence. She was only young, but her face looked old and worn. Like she'd seen much in her short years, and it hadn't left her with much in the way of kindness by the cruel smile playing across her sharp features. The Svefra paced forwards, hoping she would move, but of course, she didn't.
"Move out t'way! I've got things t'do." She stood stoutly in front of the young girl, but she wasn't moving, nor saying a word, only gazing up at the older woman with a look of insolence. The two stood, not saying a word, until Meriann could stand it no longer and muttered,
"Oh, petch you then!"She moved to shove her aside, child or not, but before she could do a thing a door creaked open behind her and as she turned with a fluttering fear rising to her breast and began to withdraw the dagger strapped to her waist, a strong arm looped around her neck and she was choking.

She'd barely been able to catch a glimpse of her attacker, seeing only dark hair and a scraggly beard protruding from underneath a weary cloak. Tears sprang to her eyes as a rough fist knocked powerfully into her stomach just underneath her ribcage, and then she was trying to draw in breath at the same time as she was coughing manically. She couldn't breathe, she wanted to double over and cradle herself, her lungs were curling up and her stomach was trying to eject the food she'd eaten as she dry-retched. The sound was grim in the confined space. The little girl was moving forwards now, closing the space between her and the glowing gateway to freedom that was the main street. Still, instinctively she fought. She wriggled as best she could and with a free hand she tried to reach down to grab the dagger that still lay tantalisingly in her belt.
"Ohh no you don't, missy." Her grasping, struggling hand found the dagger to delirious excitement, but her assailant was faster, and forcefully knocked it out of her hand.

PETCH! She swore, so loudly and so violently in her head, but she could do naught but splutter and struggle like a pathetic animal as the man's hand curved down her side and reached the small coinsack that was tied there.
"Oy, Lusha, help untie this." The girl, Lusha, darted forwards and with nimble, rough fingers began untying the simple knot that kept the mizas in place. The man's breath tickled her ear as he leant in, and her blood ran cold as she felt his presence leaning heavily against her.
"You'll be glad, young little miss, that I've already had me fair share of a woman today. Beside, don't think my daughter would appreciate seeing your ugly body much."

Meriann shuddered, mentally and physically, but finally her voice was returning.
"Petch.. Petch off, get off, get OFF!" Now she was desperate, bewildered, and terrified. He was too strong! The Svefra had thought she was capable and able of anything. She was a confident woman, a woman who felt she knew what she was doing. But now?

Weakly she kicked Lusha, who only avoided her flailing limbs and spoke to her father with a grim little voice.
"I got it, da."
Meriann felt the arm lift and then a hand pushed her down onto the filthy floor. She sprawled hard, chin hitting the ground and tried to push herself up but slipped on something slimy by her hand. She groaned and gathered breath, then pushed herself up to her feet and grabbed the dagger that had clattered to the floor. But the man and his wretched daughter had gone, along with her coinpurse.
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Meriann
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A Job Is A Job

Postby Meriann on February 10th, 2018, 9:41 pm

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"Speech"


The dagger flew from her hand in a fit of miserable rage and clattered to land a few footsteps from where she was standing. They were gone, along with all the money she had been carrying. About thirty mizas, just under half of all the money she had in the world. But it wasn't the loss of the gold-rimmed gems that pained her, but the new light she saw herself in. She was so unbelievably weak. That made her feel physically ill. She was a proud and confident woman who had always thought she could carry herself in a fight. In the cold, clarifying, uncaring light of Sunberth, she glimpsed the child within her still. She was a girl who had always wanted to be better than her siblings and fought with cocky assuredness for her right to be the best. But she had never quite measured up to anyone else. Meriann had grown up and taken her own path, but underneath the swagger and straight-set shoulders, the girl that gritted her teeth with shame at her own inferiority still lingered and knew that she was far from the mightiest and far from the best.

Meriann wiped her face with the hem of her top and swiped her nose on the back of her hand. The furious tears had gone as fast as they'd arrived. She didn't have any injuries except that her stomach felt bruised and she could still feel the ghost of the man's creeping hand on her body. With a curse, she stooped to pick up the knife that lay in the dirt and wiped that too on her shirt before sticking it back in her belt. There was no way she'd be able to find the father-daughter team that had robbed her. She would just... Just have to be more careful from now on.

The street outside of the stinking hole she'd just exited was brighter than she remembered it after the matted darkness she had grown accustomed to. It wasn't far to reach the dock after all, but Meri no longer dreamed or dallied. Instead she loped with a hurried pace along the street, ignoring begging hands and weaving in and out of clumps of people with grey faces. The Svefra longed for the water and to escape. An escape from the blank faces of strangers and of the gross invasion of her person that rankled her and grew ever more irritating as time ticked on.

She followed her sense that lead her in the direction of the water. Laviku's blessing was a magnetic tug on her person. It felt as if there were ten thousand individual strands of seaweed tied to every muscle in her body, and although they were not insistent they gently guided her in the direction of the sea, letting her know if she strayed off course with a pulse that she felt across her whole body. She'd had it all her life- most Svefra did. Meriann couldn't think of anyone she knew that had been skipped over in her precious god's blessing. It was probably that those without it were elsewhere, not important, lesser. It wasn't a hateful thing, simply unthinkable for a Svefra to be rejected from Laviku's familiar embrace. She shuddered at the thought as she finally spotted the Sunrise.

The boat was tied fore and aft as she'd left her. The vague worry that she held whenever she left her subdued to nothing and she breathed a little easier, despite the dull pain she could still feel from the punches to her torso. She gripped the edge of the deck and pulled herself up, wincing a little but relaxing once she had both feet firmly on deck. A lone seabird wheeled overhead, crying in a lonely, independent sort of way. The pier was quiet, with most of the sailors either already out on the ocean or conducting business in the city itself. Meriann's family were elsewhere too, and Murray who she'd asked to look after the Sunrise was nowhere to be seen. Meriann wondered if perhaps he had never done as she'd said, and a sharp spike of frustration lanced through her, but her brother was a good soul and that feeling subsided.

Meriann drifted into autopilot as she prepared to leave the dock. Her mind alighted on nothing as she busied herself with the menial tasks of departure, but gradually she began singing a shanty song under her breath as she worked as the events of a half bell ago grew less pressing. The mizas could never be recovered, that was okay. She would just have to fish as well as she could and collect the money from Kane liked she hoped he'd give her for the catch she felt sure she'd be able to net. After all, Meri had been fishing ever since she was a girl. She had many fond memories of her father and restful days spent dangling their feet over the edge of the ship with line and rod in one hand and pipe in the other. The Svefra woman ducked down into the cabin and picked up the pipe and weed that was stored beside her bed. After a few misjudged strikes of the flint, she sparked a light in the fragrant pinch of weed she'd stuffed in her father's pipe, and with some careful blowing she had it smouldering nicely. The smoked soothed her further, and like a balm, Zulrav's own breath swept across the deck to rustle the rigging.

"Praise to you, Laviku, praise to you Zulrav. Bless these sails and your faithful Svefra." Meriann leant over the edge of the boat and gazed down into the murky depths. Sunberth's detritus floated and littered the water with scum, and she couldn't bear to see it. So instead of throwing something to the lapping waves, she leant precariously and scooped up the first bit of drift she could get her hands on and threw it unceremoniously onto the pier.
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Meriann
Busy being free
 
Posts: 59
Words: 50092
Joined roleplay: July 30th, 2017, 5:22 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human, Svefra
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