Closed An Unexpected Introduction

This is not the first impression Alona expected. (Gossamer)

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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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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Alona Halloran on January 31st, 2018, 4:13 am

Winter 50th 517

It was strange to remember how few memories at sea Alona had before she began this journey. Most of her life in Zeltiva she had kept firmly on the dock, never quite venturing beyond it. It had been over a full season since she had last seen the shores of her home, her time mostly spent here, in this casinor, ever since she reached the Suvan sea.

Her cheek pressed into the wood of the railing as she stared forward at the sight of distant shores, pushed away by a long road of blue. Her body had since adapted to the constant motion of sea life, at least enough to keep her stomach calm, anyway. Stumbling had become a simple fact for her now, something the Svefra crewing the ship seemed to find amusement in. But in the past month, she was learning to handle the issue with some small amount of grace. Sometimes, it was actually fun to follow the sways of the deck below her, like a dance. A dance that only sometimes ended with her elbow smashing a barrel.

Now, her energy was running thin. It had been a long trip, having started in the middle of summer, but it felt even longer. Despite her curiosity, she found herself drifting off more often than not. This afternoon was not an exception, her body clinging to the wood of the ship as she held her cloak tightly against the growing winds.

That is until she heard a shout from the sailor, her back straightening with a surge of panic. "What, what is it??" She started, watching him point outwards towards the coast. Brow furrowed, she looked forward and felt her jaw fall.

The trees were... white. Not actually pale, but heaped with... no, certainly not, right? Alona craned her head as she watched the coastline now, eyes narrowed. Yet no matter how much she stared at it, the scene wouldn't change. It was snow, it had to be. But that was wrong, it had to be. This was a tropical region, wasn't it? It barely snowed back in Zeltiva, yet it covers the palm trees here. This was impossible, frankly.

The tail end of the trip was silent, spent in quiet awe as they slowly reached the sight of the colony. The cold was more obvious now, leaving her thankful for both her cloak (as thin as the linen was) and her boots. She sighed as she felt the boat heave slightly as it reached the shallows.

She stumbled, wincing, once she touched land, her heavy pack keeping her just slightly off balance. After thanking the man and seeing him off, she pulled a note from her belongings and followed its directions towards a lofted bungalow. The girl looked around briefly before going towards the door and knocking. "Excuse me? Is this Randal Zor's residence? I'm here to speak about opening a business." She called, unsure if there was even another person behind the door. Still, the letter said this was where to find him.

OOC: The calendar didn't specify how much it snowed on the 50th, so I tried to keep it a little vague.
Last edited by Alona Halloran on February 3rd, 2018, 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Gossamer on February 1st, 2018, 4:42 am



Snow was unusual in Syka. It was so unusual that it actually made finding places harder because it obscured the little trails through the jungle and the pathways of sand or cobble to follow twists and turns on maps. Eventually though Alona would find Randal's place.

Randal's bungalow was lofted. It stood amidst the trees were it could look out over the beach and the jungle with an almost 360 degree view since it had a deck that wrapped around it. A broad stair curved up into the tree house. It's had rails were carved with lizards and snakes, a simple yet elegant touch to the long vines that had been cut to form the hand rails. At the top a modest sized bungalow with three main rooms dominated the platform.

The door Alona was looking for to knock on wouldn't be easily found. Most of the population of Syka didn't have doors for that matter. It got too hot. Randal was no exception. He had a carved wooden doorway that marked the entrance to his bungalow. This entrance was carved not with lizards and snakes but with birds of all sorts. It revealed a nice but simple interior that was well kept and neat. She'd have to knock on the frame rather than any door itself. The sound would carry... just like the sound of someone shoveling snow off a deck carried through the glass-less windows to another arched doorway across the way.

The man himself usually wasn't at home because he was often away building. Today though, as soon as it had started to snow, he'd returned and was easily found working on the snow piling up on his deck. Worried about the weight, Randal had instantly began shoveling the heavy wet stuff off his deck. As cold as he was, he'd had to stop for jungle boots to protect his normally bare feet before resuming his clearing activities.

A head and large torso popped into view through the bungalow as the denizen revealed himself being on the far side of the 360 degree deck. He made a beckoning motion and shouted "Come on through... I'm Randal. We can talk as I shovel... can you believe it? Snow in Syka?" He said, before vanishing on the other side of the bungalow.

Alona could see it was a quick trip through the Bungalow proper or she could walk around the edge of the vast deck if she wanted too. Either way, Randal was on the other side and more than willing to talk once she joined him. He was using a spade - completely inappropriate but all he had - to scrape the snow off the wide rough hewn planks of the deck and cast it over the edge. It was thankless cold work, but the motion kept him warm as he shook his head seeing her.

"Nice to meet you! I'm always glad to see a new face in Syka. You wanted to talk business? Well lets here it... what do you like to be called and what do you want to open in regards to a business?" He asked, making another sweep of the deck with the shovel, driving up a pile of snow in front of it before heaving it off the edge.

"We always need more residents and definitely more businesses.... sorry about this snow. It's crazy. I half wished we'd have a Konti move here to have some sort of seer in residence to predict these kinds of crazy things. I don't think its ever snowed in Syka before." He added with a grin, treating her as he would someone he'd known a long time and not someone who was brand new to the settlement.



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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Alona Halloran on February 3rd, 2018, 6:23 pm

The sheer amount of detail put into the home floored Alona, to be quite frank. After knocking, she reached out with the tip of her finger to gently brush at the head of one of the birds built into the wood, dusting the snow out of its crevices. It was amazing, she thought, to see so much detail put into a place that other homes wouldn't even bother to decorate. If not for the task at hand, she would have lost her attention entirely as she examined the carvings.

As Randal appeared in the corner of her vision, she quickly straightened her shoulders as she brought her thoughts back to the present. She gave a grateful sigh. "I was worried that I had been blown off-course when I step foot here." She admitted with a short shrug. "I've never been more relieved to be proven wrong." With that, she walked around the edge, her vision occasionally catching on the railings.

Once she reached Randal, she smiled, overwhelmed by the unexpected amount of conversion, but no less flattered. "Alright well, my name is Alona and I came here from Zeltiva to open a carpentry business." She began, unconsciously adjusting her posture in an attempt to look as professional as possible, despite her heart racing as she quickly went through phrases she had practiced while staring out at the water for days at a time. "I was an apprentice for five years to a joiner, and was told that Syka was in need of those who could work wood." Her eyes trailed to the snow at her boots, then outwards to the white, tropical landscape near them. "...and, to be entirely honest. This seemed like an amazing opportunity." She said with awe filling her voice.

She paused for a moment to take a long-needed breath, her eyes drifting down to the snow between them and found herself frowning. "You know," She began as she knelt down to put her heavy backpack and case aside, "if you have a spare shovel, I could help. I-If you'd like."
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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Gossamer on February 11th, 2018, 8:47 pm



Randal took an instant interest when the woman introduced herself as Alona and stated she was here to open a carpentry business. His grin reached epic proportions then he laughed and tilted his head to the sky. “The Gods have answered my prayers!” He said happily, laughing as he handed her a broom. “I don’t have another shovel, but how about a broom? It’s light enough snow you could sweep off the steps for me.” He said happily, still shoveling snow off the deck. “Joiner experience? That’s fantastic. I’ve been building every single darn thing around here myself for a year and I’m fantastically tired. I was honestly happy about today being snowy just so I could do something different. Don’t get me wrong, I love wood and I love building, but I need a break once in a while. Some sort of help, any sort of help, would be a great thing.” He said enthusiastically. She could tell he was being genuine as well. His whole face was lit with good humor.

“It is a good deal for a someone coming here willing to work hard. Mathias and James decided to grant everyone who decides to open a business, a whole five acres of land without cost. You just have to be contributing to the settlement to settle here or else we give you the boot. I’m even helping to build more permanent housing. Bungalows and Ranchos mostly, like this one, though customized to each person and what they want or need. How you do so – contribute that is - matters not. You can build housing, make furniture, even carve cutlery. It doesn’t matter. We need help in all departments.” He added, smiling brightly and all the while continuing to shovel. If it was an average day in Syka, he’d already be shirtless and barefoot, but the snow was drastically changing the dichotomy of the settlement at least for the time being.

Even the monkeys were upset. Randal had been keeping an eye on them. While he and Alona talked, a host of them had been gathering in the branches that touched Randal’s home. He kept silent about them, not thinking them a threat, and instead asked Alona a question.

“So what kind of carpentry do you want to do here? Full scale construction or something more specialty? I’d love to get you started. I could put a workshop together for you after I finish this current bungalow which just needs the roof thatched and that’s it.” He offered, studying her intently. His eyes were twinkling and he was genuinely excited to have another carpenter around. Garland was lending a hand, but the squire was often busy with his family. Six kids were a lot to handle.

"We also provide small loans for people that have the skills but no startup fiances for businesses. Mathias handles that, but I could arrange something for you if you had something in mind. I'm open to a bunch of ideas." He said thoughtfully, offering her another grin.

“Tell me more about yourself, Alona. What do you like to do in your spare time? Maybe I can introduce you around and point you out to some people that might have common interests.” He added, trying to be helpful. He kept shoveling as she swept, and got slightly distracted over her sweeping at the snow… snow in Syka… who’d have ever thought….

And all of the sudden, out of nowhere, came a hurled piece of half-rotten mango. It hit Alona on the shoulder while a monkey high in the tree started peeling with primate laughter.


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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Alona Halloran on February 14th, 2018, 12:26 am

The sudden fanfare was not expected, for lack of a better word, and left Alona's mouth agape at first. The lack of woodworkers was something she had known ahead of time, but she couldn't help but wonder how dire the need must be if a journeyman was so coveted. Yet, Alona decided to not look this gift horse in the mouth, and instead nod and smile as she took the broom and listened. The thought of contributing did not concern her much. While being in charge of such an important task as helping a community begin did intimidate her, it wasn't a shock. She chose to come here for that exact reason, all she could do now was her best.

By now, the cold had begun to seep into her clothes somewhat, but she wouldn't complain. Moving would help her keep warm, and it wasn't yet as bad as say, a windy day on the coast of home. Brushing away the snow was also simpler than expected. Just as Randal said, the snow was still fluffy and moved easily with each sweep. In fact, it was so easy, it left plenty of time for her to continue to puzzle over the mystery of snow blanketing the tropical landscape. The likelihood of her ever finding the answer was slim, but it chased at her thoughts nonetheless.

However, the worry was hard to come by at the moment, thanks mostly due to Randal's good nature. Perhaps her time at sea with the stoic Svefra had given her a bias, but all the same, he was a welcome introduction to the region, it seemed. "Five acres to everyone? That sounds like a lot, doesn't?" She asked, her body freezing in place for a moment. Was it, though? Her lower lip tucked in between her teeth as she considered it, but she hadn't really considered that scale of size before. It took a moment for her to remember to sweep again, her mind stowing it away for another time. "I shouldn't need much. Just a workshop and a place to sleep, really. Aside from lumber and such, I shouldn't need much else."

Thanks to her focus on her broom work, Alona had not bothered to look up. Thanks to that, she wasn't even aware of the monkeys until she felt a squishy mass hit her back, sticking to the linen and chilling her skin enough to shiver. She froze, expecting the worse until a sickly sweet scent hit her, and she saw the bruised lump of pulp on the floor. "What an introduction to make." She murmured, then scanned around in search of the culprit, but it seemed they were too high up to notice. Unfortunately, the damp spot his weapon left was just out of reach of her hands, so she could only ignore it, for now.

As she went back to work, she looked over her shoulder at Randal and forced a smile. "I hope that means they like me." 'Or at least, She thought, 'They're done throwing things at me' then shook her head.

"Anyway, I don't have a lot of hobbies beyond my craft. I know a bit of hunting, but not much beyond rabbits and the like. To be honest, I just like making things. It was just luck that I ran into my master when I was young... N-Not to say that I don't like joinin', I mean." She glanced at her belongings lying back inside the bungalow. A modest backpack with a rolled tent, a short bow, and a roll of arrows attached. Next to it was a plain wooden case, where her fiddle lay inside. "I'm a musician... generously speaking, anyway. I don't know much of 'proper' songs, but the sailors around the docks back in Zeltiva taught me a few shanties. I'm not so good at the singin' part, though." She ended with a short shrug. "I don't suppose that there's anyone around here that would be willing to give music lessons?"
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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Gossamer on February 22nd, 2018, 10:22 pm



Randal noticed how cold it was getting and momentarily slipped inside his open-aired bungalow. He returned with what looked like a long-sleeve shirt. Surprisingly though, he didn’t offer it to Alona. Instead, he shrugged out of the even warmer wool shirt he was wearing and offered that one to her. He had a light cotton tank top underneath. Then he slipped on the other shirt, knowing she’d be warmer in the shirt that already carried his body heat.

If Alona shrugged into his shirt for warmth, she’d be instantly surrounded by warmth that smelled distinctly of the spice of a clean strong male. Randal just winked at her, and nodded. “Yes, five acres. It’s not that much land if you give it some thought. But it will give you enough room for a dwelling, perhaps an orchard and garden of your choice, and some jungle to do whatever you want with. If you pick well, you can have a pot that will provide you with a variety of woods for a long time to come.” He suggested, looking thoughtful.

The monkey that threw the fruit scolded the pair from its higher perch. Randal smiled once he saw Alona wasn’t hurt and shook his head. “They are angry you are visiting. The fauna here is sensitive of strangers until you become familiar to them. Then they’d be down here getting all into our business and seeing what kind of food we have we might like to trade for what they have. Monkeys are curious about everything. I’ve had to teach them to stay out of the bungalow, though, because they will be into everything and they are crazy messy.” He said, otherwise ignoring their other sorts of distractions to see what would drive the newcomer off.

More fruit was pelted as well, but nothing with the accuracy of the first thrown object. But Randal warned her anyhow… “Careful about retaliation. Don’t even think about throwing something back at them or paying them any attention. If you do, the war will be on and you will lose. They spend their days from childhood on hunting with rocks and learning how to hit things out of trees to kill them so they can climb down and claim the corpses. We just aren’t as good as they are at the game… so we don’t play it, don’t invite it, and certainly don’t challenge them.” He said seriously, though there was a twinkle of good humor in his eyes.

As Alona spoke further, Randal got one serious impression of her. She was a humble little thing, beautiful, and probably talented, but unaware of her gifts beyond knowing that she liked doing what she did. He could tell she had a good work ethic in the way she’d volunteered to pitch in and had taken to the broom without complaint. She was, in essence, the exact type of person Syka needed and the kind of person that would provide the fledgling settlement with an ethical backbone that would make hard work a pleasure and not really a chore.

“Hunting is good. You are welcome to come out with the rest of us on hunts any time. We do them quite frequently and share the kills. Namely its because meat spoils fast in the tropics here and often what we hunt is too big for just one family. So if we go together, we can split what we find and everyone eats well. Plus its an easy way to get to know your fellow settlers.” He added, looking thoughtful and continuing on with vocalizing those thoughts.

“Music will be more than welcome. Hopefully you don’t mind playing. What instrument is it?” He said, glancing at the shape of the instrument case that was resting alongside her other pack. When she’d answered and asked if anyone would give lessons, Randal shook his head. “I haven’t heard a fiddle in a long time so I suspect no one here plays. But I think if you play more, there’s plenty of people that can teach you more songs and maybe help you advance. And we have new folks all the time joining the settlement so don’t loose hope that more will join that can teach.” He said gently, looking thoughtful again.

Alona seemed to get him to thinking, which was a good thing in Randal’s mind. He liked a challenge, and he actually liked the seemingly shy young human. “I really hope you feel welcome here, Alona. Can I ask though… why you are traveling alone and why you came so far? I can see a male doing so, but its so unusual for women to take the intuitive and come here. I’m happy to see so many new faces, especially ladies, but I was surprised to be honest. I thought Syka would be dominated by males escaping the confines of society. Instead, I’m finding that more of your lovely sisters are flocking here. And they aren’t as they seem. Every one of them, yourself included, look as fragil as orchids, but are turning out to be made of Isurian Steel. Do you know, that long before the Valterrian, this place used to be the home of someone famous? A woman? Some people have heard of Marcus Kelvic… he was the man who created the Kelvic Race… you might have met some. They shapeshift from human to animal? Well he had a sister, a twin in fact, named Myrna. And she was a great explorer and adventurer. Some say she roamed so far that Mizahar couldn’t even contain her spirit. So she researched places, other worlds, and made Syka here her home base. So it is that I am curious…. what drew you here? Alone… in a world that is less than kind to people that decide to do things on their own.” He added, meaning it, but also sincerely wanting to know.

After she answered him, he’d make another comment, just one more to steer her back to what he actually wanted to know. “So will you let us help you? Will you let us set you up with five acres and a loan to start a business in exchange for agreeing to stay here as a permanent resident?” He asked, curious, and strangely openly hopeful. Alona, in his mind, represented all that was great about Syka and all that Syka could become… a craftswoman who knew what she liked and wasn’t afraid to talk about it and try and master it.


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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Alona Halloran on February 28th, 2018, 3:25 pm

Alona took the shirt gladly, the skin of her cheeks now hurting from more than just the cold. She mumbled a word of thanks that tripped on the way out of her mouth before she all but slapped herself to bring her mind back to the matter at hand. She was young, yes, but she didn't come to Syka to be some lovesick youngling, now did she?

"It's certainly not enough for a mansion." She chuckled, then shook her head. "I just want a home to come to, really. As long as I can sleep and do my work there, it's enough. I don't want to ask for too much, not right now. If it was something like this," Her hand moved around in the direction of the bungalow's interior. "I think I'd be more than content. This, really... It looks amazing." She chewed on her lip as she thought, a wistful look in her eye. She had only planned for her business when coming here, anything more than that seemed like a flight of fancy. Still, plans and dreams of a home for herself drifted in and out of her mind as she thought. More and more, her decision to come to Syka had seemed to be a fortunate one.

The new volleys of putrid fruit flesh brought her attention back to present, however. Instinctually, she jerked away from the railing, but the worst it seemed to do was make the mush of snow around them just a bit harder to sweep away. She looked back at him with a flash of worry that quickly subsided. "Taunting animals isn't exactly a hobby of mine, thankfully." She said, a particularly sticky lump of yellow slime away.

She lowered her head as the topic of hunting and music began, her eyes on her work as she nodded along, showing her attention to his words with occasional glances. The snow was almost gone, for the time being, but the thin layer of fruit innards made for an awkward surface to brush. Not only that, but her feet were beginning to stick...

The personal question made her pause. The young Zeltivan straightened her back, meeting eyes with him once more as he told his story. The idea of Syka being anything more than untamed landscape wasn't something Alona had considered until now, but the story was fascinating all the same. "I... didn't know that." She said slowly, commanding her jaw to not fall open. Questions poured into her mind, but she held them back for the most part, though she made note of them for another time. "I've met Kelvic back home, yes, but I've never heard of this. How did you learn about her?"

Alona held back the urge to press for more, but the man did ask her a question, and she'd be rude to ignore it. Her grip on the broom tightened as her gaze became unfocused. It wasn't so much that she did not have an answer, but rather that she did not yet take the time to articulate it. "I... wanted to learn." She said, after a moment's silence. Once her voice returned, the pace of her speaking increased, gaining momentum. "I mean, I could have gone to the university and never touched another port if I wanted to just learn, but I heard the call for tradesmen and I thought it could be a chance to test myself, and Syka sounded beautiful and amazing and-" The girl gulped, closing her eyes. Her words were running together. So, she took a breath and tried again. "I thought coming here would be an unmissable opportunity, to give a short answer."

She smiled, anxiety still clawing at her chest and cheeks, but she nodded all the same. "I will." She paused after that, glancing back out into the wilds around them, lush beyond their unnatural white layers. "I'm not sure where to begin planning a homestead... My business won't require much beyond a workshop and lumber, thankfully. They wouldn't be the same building, would they? No, 'course not. And a garden..." She murmured, more to herself than anything else, then shook her head with a smile.

"Sorry, I lost myself for a second there. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure where to begin. I'd ask if we could plan for my plot now, but... I'd imagine this isn't the best weather for it. As for my experience..." Embarrassment tickled at her cheeks as she brought herself back on track. "My master mostly taught me through projects like furniture and carts, so I only know very little of house-making. I can always learn more, of course, but my knowledge is currently rather... small scale." She hesitated. "That's not a problem, is it?"
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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Gossamer on March 12th, 2018, 2:01 am



Randal liked Alona. She was the kind of woman people would like because she was frank about her strengths and weaknesses and she knew her mind, even if she wasn’t sure presenting it all out in the open was a good thing. “My Bungalow is a bit bigger than most, but a modest one will run you 850 GM. If you want it lofted, I’ll do it for 900. One exactly like mine would be a thousand. The furniture is all included, but how long it takes to get it made is dependent. Now if you want to make me a deal, I can cut your price if you want to make your own furniture. Say… 700 for a standard Bungalow… 900 for mine, lofted with the extra square footage. A ground level workshop for you, with everything you’d need… tools included would run you 600 gold. So depending on what you want… bare bones no furniture I can loan you 1500 and you can get the full package. The land we grant. You can put in your own garden. And you have plenty of time to pay us back as long as you make regular payments.” He said, gesturing around the area.

“I have a waiting list so it would be towards the end of the season before I can get on your buildings. But if you want to assist me, I can give you free training and we can get your place up faster with more hands.” He added, getting the business out of the way.

“I know what you mean on the hands on learning. I wasn’t one for books, not much at all, so I learn everything by doing not reading. That’s where Mathias and James have been great. They have taught me a great deal about creating a settlement and organizing things. Mathias is the one that knew about this place and Myrna Kelvic. He is very close to his God, a priest in fact, and I believe they speak often.” Randal said, offering Alona a smile.

“You can begin by making some very basic decisions, and then hiking around until you find your spot… I would suggest someplace close to the saw mill since you are working with wood and we have no pack animals here yet.” He added, trying to reassure her the process would be easy. “If you’d like, after the snow business ceases to be an issue, I can definitely show you around.” Randal said, putting away his shovel and collecting Alona’s broom. There really wasn’t much else to clean up, everything having been shoveled or swept clean.

“If I were you, I’d enjoy the snow while you can. Ice here is a premium.” He added, almost with a smile.

“Is there anything else you want to know or any questions? Training, don’t worry about. I can teach you all the carpentry you’d want to learn. And don’t be afraid to try larger projects. Often small scale can be scaled up to work on bigger things. As long as you have good habits, I’m happy to encourage and oversee things until you feel confident tackling things on your own.” He added.

Randal would have liked to ask her more questions, but he was feeling like he was pushing his limits asking what personal questions he already had. He in no way shape or form wanted to make Alona uncomfortable. In fact, just the opposite. He’d rather she felt at home immediately.


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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Alona Halloran on March 15th, 2018, 3:23 am

Alona found herself nodding along as the elder craftsman spoke. Having a home without furnishings was hardly a dealbreaker in her eyes. Her bedroll would be enough for the time being. (Besides, building her own belongings would be a fun project! ...is what she told herself, anyway.) Mathematics was hardly her strong point, but she had already talked through some of the numbers with her master before she left, mostly of the 'how much a starting workspace costs' variety. "That's a lot of Mizas..." She murmured to herself.

Still, speaking about so many Mizas in such a relaxed manner was something she was still adjusting to. Before leaving home, her usual budget was a handful of Nilos and whatever her cousins had earned from their trips, which could vary wildly. And look at her now, she was plotting out a homestead! The idea of it was dizzying, but she'd have to get over it eventually. The fact that it was strange wasn't going to change the fact that she was here, after all.

"A lofted one would be best. It'd be faster to build than a home and a workshop, no?" She finally said with a nod, her hands now free to smooth a wrinkle out of her skirt. Besides, keeping both spaces as separate buildings would likely be more expensive, and cost more time than it would be worth for such a small difference. Or maybe it wouldn't cost more. Math is hard. "All I need is shelter and tools, really. I have some of the later here with me, but it's not much." The girl bent down to open her backpack, checking it more out of an effort to keep her hands busy than any real reason. She pulled a sturdy box out, opening it to reveal what tools she brought with her, which amounted to a simple array of chisels and blades for her carving work. "Is there a person I speak to about ordering off of the island, for my hammers and such?" She asked, tying her bag closed before standing.

The idea of spending the rest of Winter in her tent wasn't exactly exciting, especially not with the current weather, but it could be worse, she supposed. "Does that mean I can help build the other bungalows? That'd be one way to learn." She mused, eager to help despite her apprehension at the idea of working on something so... large, frankly. She had skill in her craft, yes, but wouldn't building need a notable amount of strength? She looked over her arm, feeling it through the sweater. She was a bit scrawny for her age, but that could always change. Building wasn't all about heavy lifting, either. "I'll admit that I'm a little nervous about it, but it shouldn't be that hard, yeah?"

The nervousness was still there in her belly, but Alona was finding herself growing more at ease as she spoke to Randall. Her journey had seemed insurmountable at first, a fool's errand even. To be entirely honest, she hadn't expected to find her skills in such a need. The idea of being self-sufficient was new to her, and a bit daunting, if she said so herself. But now that she had spoken to someone, especially someone as helpful as Randall, she found her plans more easily digestible than before.

"He sounds like an interesting man. I'd like to speak to him if I get the chance. Especially about Myrna, that's quite a curious topic... " She found herself smiling in return. Speaking to him would definitely be something to put on her list... behind 'having a good place to sleep' and whatnot. "And to be so close to his God, it sounds rather nice, doesn't it? I've never met someone with that sort of relationship before." She paused, puckering her lips for a moment in thought. "Not anyone that I know of, I mean. Who knows what strange friends others can have."

Alona nodded eagerly to his offer to show her the area. Finding a proper plot would be difficult, to say the least, given the current climate. Trekking through the slush in a skirt aside, it was hard to see much of the landscape with all the snow about. She found herself leaning on the railing, looking down at the white-covered landscape with a frown. "True, I suppose worrying over it won't do much good... though, I can't help but wonder why, of all the places to snow...?" Her lips stretched into a straight, tense line. "...Sleeping in a tent will not be fun tonight, either."

She sighed, shaking her head. Hopefully, this was a temporary measure. Besides, while she wasn't the most experienced outdoorswoman, she was confident enough in herself to know how to keep herself from dying of cold, at least for one night. If she could survive a few seasons at sea, this shouldn't be difficult.

"Ah, yes actually. First, you mentioned a sawmill, where exactly is it? I'm not sure if I can see it from here..." Or perhaps it was right in front of her, for all she knew. This damned snow made it difficult to be certain. "Oh, right!" She cried, remembering something suddenly enough to make her eyes go wide for a moment as she turned towards him. "What about a blacksmith, is there one in Syka yet? I imagine it'd be easier to get tools and the like from one than to ask the next boat to fetch it for me." She added with a chuckle, then shrugged. "Oh, and err... where would you recommend making a tent for the night? At least until I can claim my plot, of course." The thought of asking about an inn was tempting, of course, but unlikely.

I... think that's all I needed to ask. I don't want to take too much of your time, of course." She found herself glancing back into the snowy jungle, the smell of rotting mango flesh still fresh in her nose. She didn't hear any of the creatures now, but... that could always change, quickly.

In truth, Alona found herself itching with curiosity. Not just about the man she was speaking to, but about, well... everything. Still, she didn't want to force the man to stand around and chatter on for the next hour. There was always a chance to speak later, especially considering their similar disciplines would give them plenty of time to work together. "And... thank you, by the way." She added, a little hurried, guilty even for waiting until now to say it. "Talking to you has been a great help, sir."
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An Unexpected Introduction

Postby Gossamer on March 15th, 2018, 9:50 pm



“Please, call me Randal.” The Founder said quietly, smiling at Alona and companionably walking along beside her. He was still leading the younger woman back towards the settlement, but in doing so he’d started pointing out sites between his Bungalow and the main settlement. There were a few claims here and there, even the starts of some buildings or places that looked like camps, however they were stretched out and not encroaching on each other. The jungle was thin here, not its lush self but open so that the sea could be glimpsed easily from the main pathway through the settlement. The breeze was nice and it was warming up fast, stealing away the snow and leaving what was left steaming.

Humidity had gained a new level with the weather this day. Randal felt it too, wondering if he could talk Alona into swinging by the Tidepool for a cool drink and fresh salt air. The bar stood on pilings over the sea. “We can do lofted for your bungalow. No worries on that, Alona. In fact, I think with your experience, you’ll learn to build these homes fairly quickly. The only issue I see is that because you have a smaller statue than most builders I know, you’ll have to figure work-arounds on the work that takes height. That might mean a longer ladder or even a sturdy stool. I can teach you how to move heavy timber using leverage and pullies so you stay safe and don’t hurt your back or strain anything else. We do need some pack animals to haul heavy loads, but that will come. Indigo, another of our residents, is working on getting some small elephants for the settlement. That will help tremendously in hauling timber from the saw mill. I’ll show you where it is…. I’ll show you were most things are I can think of and a few groves of fruit we regularly harvest for the settlement.” He said, taking her off the trail once or twice to show her paths that branched off leading to important places like a banana grove and a bunch of olive trees gone completely wild.

Then he paused and half turned towards her, his eyes sparkling. “You did note I said ‘we’. I’d love to have your help on my building projects, Alona. In fact I NEED the help. Once we get Syka’s residents housed, I can help you start your furniture business. You don’t have to commit either. I’d understand if you just wanted to work with me a bit until you got a feel for it and then struck out on your own. But I don’t mind helping and teaching at all. Truth is, I didn’t come here to be a builder. Sometimes the roles just fall to who can do them best and I’ve been getting better and better at it due to necessity rather than desire. You probably didn’t expect to get asked to do this either.” He said with a slight laugh, knowing exactly what she was feeling. “My main deal is animals. I train them and care for them. But…. I’m enjoying this and as long as people keep moving here, it keeps my business going.” He said, nodding all around. They’d actually passed a few buildings he’d built.


“The first project I want to work on is a Craftsman Row for the Settlement. Maybe Crafts Row? I don’t want to be calling everything masculine. I want to put in a communal forge, some kilns, a smelter, and maybe a kitchen or some generic workshops we can hold lessons in and events. Then I’d like to build a larger wooden pavilion to have parties in… maybe weddings and birthdays or anniversaries like the Valterrian… know what I mean?” He asked, thinking for a moment. “I think that would be a great project for you and I to start on. We’d probably have lots of help from the community too. I think… and maybe this is just me… but if you helped me frame out The Row we could start on your lofted bungalow, and frame it out. That would get your tent off the ground which is usually better here, believe it or not because its cooler and there are far less critters in the trees on the coast than there are on the ground… then as you pick up more construction, we can or even you can finish it yourself… then I can come back and help with things like the roof or maybe just the safety aspects. I’d build your stairs first…. I don’t want any new carpenter not having access that’s absolutely safe.” He added, watching her expression to see what she thought.

He got around to her other questions then. “James will take a wish list for your needs and pick up what you want on his next trip to Riverfall. You just have to leave a list with Juli at the Mercantile.” Randal added, nodding at her words. He didn’t respond about Mathias because he’d really explained Mathias as much as he could until Alona actually met him. Mathias was a singular force in Randal’s mind that really helped drive him to come here, pick up the pieces of his life, and succeed at something finally.

He continued the tour.

He paused, gesturing to the Communal Bathing Pools, and their steaming waters. The purpose might have been obvious because there were several people there doing laundry in the lower portion and one person swimming in the upper portion. “We’ll see the saw mill later… its way out closest to the jungle and where the noise won’t bother the settlement.” He said, knowing he was answering her questions out of order, but still answering them.

“I would recommend pitching your tent beneath the commons, right off Swing Beach. We let the new folk stay there until they decide where to claim and how they are going to contribute. If its not private enough, I wouldn’t mind you pitching it beneath my bungalow. I’ve let others stay there too until they get settled. I’m gone most of the day but I’ll be home at night.” He said, smiling in a friendly manner, knowing she might feel more comfortable with someone she ‘knew’ nearby.

“If you stay by the commons…. There’s just one thing. James lost a child several years ago… and people keep seeing a ghostly child, a little girl with golden hair that looks almost real. We think its Veronica, James’ son and Juli’s little sister. James hasn’t seen her yet, but if something odd happens, don’t worry too much. She’s friendly, just slightly unsettling. James’ ship is named The Veronica after Veronica… and when it departs for Riverfall, so does the ghost.” Randal added, looking like he expected Alona not to believe him. It really didn’t matter if she didn’t. If she picked the Commons and saw the ghost, it would go better since she’d been forewarned.

“Speaking of strange….” He started out, continuing his tour. This time he was showing her the healer’s place called the Panacea and detouring towards Uta’s so she could see the Banana Grove.
“There’s been strange things going on lately… lights in the sky, and now the snow. We think it might be connected to Morwen’s disappearance.” Randal said carefully. He glanced at Alona and then back at the trail, leading her through the settlement past the commons, over to where the bungalows were so she could see some examples. “Mathias discovered something he calls a World Gate in the jungle. It’s very old and its surrounded by what looks like the ruins of a city. He thinks its connected to Marcus Kelvic.. the man that created the Kelvic Race. Marcus was Morwen’s grandson… and he says… Marcus’ twin sister used to live here… that the ruins were of her research facility that existed before the Valterrian. This might be all related to the snow. The Goddess has been missing… and with the lights, and strange noises… he thinks the gate might be active now.” Randal said plainly, watching Alona carefully to judge her reaction. He didn’t know what Alona would think, but he wanted to be honest with her.

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