Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

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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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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Okara on June 14th, 2018, 12:06 am


Summer 3, 518


Above the gentle slap of water against the side of the boat, the cawing of birds and the occasional hoot of a monkey could be discerned. Okara kneeled near the rail of the casinor, digging through her backpack and woven basket to ensure all her belongings were safely stored in preparation for her to disembark. Her journey from Konti Isle had been long though the time had seemed to travel by quickly among the Svefra who were quick to laugh and easily drew forth her own laughter. The trouble had not begun for Okara until they had drawn closer to their destination and the Svefra began to count down the days until they expected to reach the small settlement on the edge of Falyndar. Uncertainty and doubt had begun to fill Okara’s heart and she found every reason she could to look anywhere but at the jungle coast passing them by as the pod’s arrival at Syka drew nearer. She looked at the boat, it’s rigging, the water around her, the mischievous dolphins that followed the pod, anything to avoid the coast that could soon be her home.

No longer able to fiddle with her belongings any longer, Okara stood and wrapped slender fingers around the rail of the boat as her green eyes lifted and studied the settlement they drew near and the jungle beyond it. Her home, Mura, had been beautiful but it was a carefully ordered beauty of elegant white stone buildings surrounded by delicately arranged gardens and pools of water. The settlement she viewed now was rough and seemed almost chaotically ordered to her eyes. The city, however, only held her gaze for a moment before she was drawn to stare at the jungle beyond. A riot of vibrant colors assailed her vision and made her eyes smart, tears welling at the corners from the richness. The trees crowded in close on one another and no tree seemed to be the same as its neighbor or the neighbor beyond. Okara had not realized so many shades of green could exist in the world.

A tap on the shoulder let her know it was time, the casinor had pulled in close enough for her to leave the ship and seek her own fortunes as she may. She settled her backpack on her shoulders, a woven picnic basket in one hand. She reflexively ran her other hand down her white-blonde hair, checking that it was securely braided. The casinor slowly edged near the dock and a Svefra sailor quickly used ropes to secure the boat safely. A hand was offered to Okara to step onto the docks as a crate of her heavier belongings, mostly her cooking gear, was set beside her. She had to steady herself a moment, she had become accustomed to the shifting of the boat and her head felt dizzy now that she was on land.

“Thank you.” Okara said to the sailor who had helped her onto the dock, she gave him a smile and he nodded in return before turning to his own business. Okara walked a few steps and set her basket down on the planks of the dock, her backpack slipping from her shoulders. She nudged them where they would not be in the way and turned to inspect the settlement again. Buildings made with varying levels of expertise dotted the beachside. She suddenly realized she had no idea what to do with herself. She did know she couldn’t just stand there uselessly.

Leaving her things at the dock she stepped forward one foot after another until the feeling of rough wood was replaced by hot, grainy sand. She walked along the beach and examined each structure she passed for its likelihood to be helpful in providing her with some kind of direction. Eventually she came upon a structure with walls open to the breezes and elements, that design was not particularly unusual from what she had seen but she noticed several cots inside as well as few rolls of bandages and freshly cut splints stacked that identified it as the local place of healing. She turned her steps toward it. A tall, blue skinned man stood outside near an open firepit watching a pot bubble. The man noticed her approach and turned to look at the visitor.

“Hello, there. You must be new, I’ve never seen you before.” The man said as Okara drew near. She nodded with a smile as his eyes traveled rather obviously from her pale hair to the scales on her cheekbones to finally rest on the rather prominent rakanivas twining from the back of her hand up her forearm. “And if I’ve never heard of you before you clearly haven’t spoken to the founders yet. They help everyone get settled here. That would Mathias, James, and Randal. You know I actually just saw Randal going up the beach, you should be able to catch him easily. Dark haired man, you won’t miss him. I’m Jansen by the way, I’m sure we will meet again.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that a lot.” Okara said with a relieved smile, glad to have some sense of direction and something to pursue. She waved to Jansen and strolled way with steps of renewed vigor. She had a man to track down.
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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on June 14th, 2018, 6:22 pm

OOC :
ooc: I’m assuming that Okara follows the footprints here. If there's an issue with that, please let me know


Okara would find a winding white beach alongside crystal blue waters along the path she followed.The weather was balmy and hot, but then again, it was always balmly here, rain or shine. A cool ocean breeze wafted from across the water, cooling sweat soaked skin and making the heat perhaps not quite so unpleasant.

Along the beach, a trail of barefooted prints led down the coast, eventually heading into the green underbrush of the jungle towards a trampled and well used path. Following the path, Okara would eventually find a lofted bungalow, nestled among the greenery of the jungle, more of an organic addition to the jungle than a subversion of it. It stood amidst the trees where 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. Its handrails 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.

On the deck, a barefooted man leaned against the railing and glanced down at Okara with a kindly grin. “Hi there,” he called out to her. “You must be new to the settlement.”

He headed down the curved stairs, taking two at a time until he was standing in front of her. “Nice to meet you,” the man said cheerfully. “I’m Randal. I’m one of the Founders of Syka.” He shook Okara’s hand, then stepped back to get a good look at her.

“We don’t see many Konti here. Are you planning on staying?” The man’s voice took on a wistful tone. A Konti would undoubtedly be an exceptionally useful addition to the settlement.
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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Okara on June 14th, 2018, 11:29 pm


Footprints shaped in the sand drew Okara’s attention. As they had yet to diminished by either wind or water she knew them to be freshly made. She may not have much of an understanding of the jungle around her but growing up on an island certainly gave her an understanding of the properties of sand. If Jansen had said Randal was a recent passer by then she felt it was pretty safe to bet these footprints belonged to him.

She stepped alongside the footprints, careful not to smudge the hints of the treasure trail she followed. A small surge of heat glowed in her belly and she felt subtle lightning run down her limbs. A sense of destiny, perhaps? Her full lips curled up at the edges with an inward chuckle at her own silliness. Anxiety and nervousness were more likely culprits of the physical sensations. She was a Konti marked by Rak’keli, not Avalis, and she analyzed her physical feelings with a more practical mind then some of her insightful sisters might.

Okara slowed her steps to a stop and took a deep breath in. She held it to a count of five before slowly letting it out. Her gaze travelled down to her feet were her toes wriggled gleefully through the hot sand, the scales on the back of her feet shining soft blues and greens in Syna’s hot brilliance. The moment she had taken to collect herself soothed her nervousness and her steps resumed as a sense of calm surrounded her. She told herself that nervousness was foolishness, the only path was the one before her so there was no point in doing anything but facing it with conviction and grace.

The slender Konti followed the footsteps right to the distinct line where the beach became jungle. She hesitated a moment as she inspected the thick vegetation before her. Myriad species of trees rose above her with vast canopies leaving only dappled light for the astonishing variety of plants and flowers that dotted her visual field. Okara spotted a well-used path and figured it was the most likely place to continue as distinct foot steps were harder to make out then they had been on the sandy beach. A few steps into the jungle and the cool ocean breeze that had cooled her skin seemed to melt away and wet heat pressed in on her. In moments her loose, white shirt clung to her moist skin and the breathes she drew seemed heavier.

Okara spotted a lofted dwelling within the jungle that each stepped brought her closer toward. She visually examined the well-made structure that seemed so at peace among the tree trunks. The main portion of the building seemed sturdy and as she drew nearer she smiled as she noticed the animals carved into the rail. A dark-haired man called out and Okara waved to return his greeting. She stopped a few feet from the base of the stairs and waited patiently as he made his way down to the jungle floor to stand level with her.

“It’s nice to meet you as well, Randal. I’m Okara and I certainly am new here.” Okara returned his handshake firmly, noticing the rough callous on his palms that gave her the impression that perhaps this dwelling and the animal carvings came about by his hard work. As Randal stepped back to appraise her she swept her own gaze over him quickly, wanting to avoid the impression of insolence. She noticed his skin was tanned from the sun and his body was well muscled. The signs of a man not frightened of difficult labor.

“Yes, I was planning on staying. Or rather, hoping to. I was told you might be able to help me get established? Or at least point me in the right direction? I don’t mean to assume anything. I can certainly make myself useful and I’m a quick learner when it comes down to it.” Okara said, forcing herself to stop speaking as she noticed that she had begun to babble nervously. She smiled gently and lifted her hand slightly so the rakanivas of her gnosis was clear to see in demonstration of exactly what kind of useful she meant.

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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on June 18th, 2018, 10:44 pm


Randal’s eyes sparked with delight when Okara revealed the twisting snake sigil swirling around her hand and forearm. “A Healer! Wonderful.” The bronze-skinned man put his chin in his hand as he looked at her. Randal could see that the woman was nervous, so he attempted a disarming smile.

“I’m certainly one of the people you’d talk to in order to get started here. We’re a small settlement, so it’s very important that everyone is able to contribute here. Since you’re a Healer, would you want to work with our resident Healers here in Syka? They’re a pair of twin soul Akalaks, Jansen and Kalum. They run the local clinic here in Syka. They’re always happy to take apprentices, so if that’s what you’d like to do then I would speak with them.”

Randal leaned back against the railing of the stairway leading into his home. “Other than healing, it’d be good to know what else you’re skilled at,” Randal added. “Every bit of talent helps here. It’s easy living for the most part; there’s food growing on just about every tree within a good square acre, all you have to do is take it. But the jungle can be dangerous, so it’s important to be able to defend yourself. And this area is so unsettled, it really is important to know how to survive in the jungle.”

He added a reassuring smile to his words. “But once you learn to live here, there really isn’t any other place like it. The community here is close, and relaxed. There really isn’t enough people for us to be very strict. If you contribute, and learn the skills to survive here then you can have a very good life.”
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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Okara on June 19th, 2018, 12:19 am


Okara’s smile widened toothily in response to Randal’s own grin. She felt relief flow through her limbs as she realized he was pleased with her usefulness. When she had left the tightly-knit Mura community she had worried most about not finding a place to be welcomed and create her own link in a chain.

”I would love that! I’m still learning as a healer, so I would be grateful to work under an experienced doctor who is familiar with the health of the settlement. In fact, I think I might have met him earlier. I came across a place I’m pretty sure was a clinic and there was a tall, blue-skinned man who actually told me where to find you. I’m not sure if it was Jansen or Kalum though, I only met the one man. But I would be extremely honored to work there.” Okara mused thoughtfully, thinking back to the person she had met. She was ignorant of what Randal meant by twin-souled and assumed he meant two people of extreme closeness.

”Well….” Okara considered a moment, what was she skilled at? It was her nature to be humble and modest in regard to herself but she wanted Randal to see her as useful and not a burden, so she knew it would be unwise to downplay what she was capable of. She had to sell herself and make the man grateful of her arrival! ”I’m quite a good cook. I’m not familiar with what the preferred cuisine is around here but if food is as plentiful as you say then I’m sure I will be able to start experimenting on dishes. I’m very familiar with cooking what comes out of the ocean though, whether it be a thing that swims or grows.”

”I have some modest skills with suvai. My defensive abilities aren’t quite the graceful dance my sisters are capable of but I’m learning. And, well, I must admit I’ve never had to survive in a jungle before so that will be a new skill. However, if you ever need the skills of someone capable of surviving in the ocean for a while, I’m your girl!” Okara said, hands on hips with a bit of pride. The last part was a bit of a stretch, she couldn’t survive in the ocean depths for more then a few days, particularly if she ran across any large predators, but she could work on that.

”I’m glad to hear that everyone is close. I’m used to living in communities like that. I certainly want to contribute as well, I don’t want anyone to think I’m not pulling my fair share. Do you contribute?” Okara asked. Her mouth curved into a ‘O’ and her eyes widened as she realized what she had said.”Of course you contribute! Oh my goodness, that’s not what I meant to say. I meant to ask in what way you contribute, but I’m sure you contribute lots and lots in super great ways! I bet you are the best contributor.”
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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on June 19th, 2018, 12:49 am


Randal smiled slightly at Okara’s clear misunderstanding of Akalak nature. He found himself reluctant to explain the situation if she had no knowledge of it already. It was a very personal thing after all. But if she was going to be working with the pair, she should know. Randal finally settled on a middle ground.

“You should ask them what twin souls are when you meet with them again,” Randal suggested. That would put the pair in a good place to explain things to her. “That said, I think that’s the place to put you. I’ll have a word with them while you’re getting settled.”

He listened as the woman spoke her skills and was soon nodding in agreement. “Cooking! Wonderful. I’m a bit of a cook myself. The people in the settlement are always happy to have a good meal. I’d wager you could even barter with a home cooked meal. It’s also good that you have some weapon and survival skills. Learning to survive in the jungle is only a small step away from knowing how to survive in the ocean. Keep at it and you’ll learn soon enough. There’s plenty of people around who might teach you too. Nya is the head of our Rangers. She’s a kelvic Talderian Forest Cat. If you ask her, I’m sure she’ll help you out.”

Okara’s question about his contribution, followed swiftly by a retraction, made Randal burst into laughter. He was positively tickled by her reaction.

“I build almost everything here in Syka. Speaking of which, since you’re joining us here you get your own five acres of land. If you bring me plans for what you’d like to have built, I can put it next on my list. We Founders also offer loans to new arrivals if you don’t have the cash to afford it.”
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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Okara on June 19th, 2018, 7:13 pm


”Okay, I will ask about that. I would appreciate you speaking with them that would be very helpful.” Okara said with gratitude. Her curiosity was piqued, the way he had suggested she speak to them made her think that there was something beneath the surface of his request. She considered that she might have stumbled into a faux paus but she wasn’t exactly sure what it could be. Perhaps it was a conversation to have after she had developed some trust with her future boss.

”I’m always pleased to find someone else who enjoys cooking and doesn’t see it as an annoying chore! We will have to swap recipes sometime. I make one mean calamari and seaweed salad! I would be interested to see what I can barter for that. I will be curious to learn what kind of cuisine everyone typically eats.” Okara chuckled a little to herself, she wasn’t sure what her new community might think of her usual fare. She was confident she would learn what they liked soon enough though. Her gift of learning people’s favorite dish upon touch certainly helped though she would probably not admit that. Not that she saw it as a special secret, it wasn’t a terribly controversial gift compared to what some of her Konti sisters could do, but she loved to surprise someone with suddenly presenting them their favorite meal. Or at least her interpretation of it.

”I’m grateful that there are people willing to teach survival skills, I don’t imagine running into the thick of the jungle by oneself would be the best way to learn. Does the jungle claim individuals frequently or does the community keep itself pretty safe?” Okara said with a small shiver at the thought. The beach she felt comfortable enough with but the thick vegetation and myriad animal sounds around them were foreign to her and made her feel a little uneasy. She didn’t doubt in the slightest that there were plenty of creatures out there happy to have a blonde snack. Creatures she probably couldn’t even imagine.

”What kind of land is available? And exactly what kind of costs are we talking? Is there a separate price for having you build the whole homestead compared to just getting giving some help or pointers?” Okara tried to speak calmly and professionally to cover the embarrassment of her foot in mouth statements but she couldn’t hide the red blush on her cheeks. She was grateful the man had at least laughed rather than taken offense. She didn’t know Randal well but she was starting to realize he had an easy going nature which she appreciated.

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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on June 22nd, 2018, 3:33 pm

“Seafood is very popular here, as I’m sure you can imagine,” Randal replied with a quirky grin. “Syka has all manner of unusual food here, so many of our citizens have developed styles of cooking to suit it. Fish, fruit, meat from the animals that can be hunted here. I’m sure your recipes will be appreciated, and you'll find no shortage of ingredients here. That’s one of the things about Syka: you’ll always find food close at hand.”

As Okara moved the conversation over to the dangers of the jungle, Randal gave a quick shake of his head. “Our community really is very small Okara. It’s only been running for a couple of years. There isn’t much more than twenty people living and working here, not counting the sailors who trade with us. We haven’t had any deaths yet. Plenty of people arriving and leaving, but no deaths.” The man’s face turned serious after he spoke those words. “I don’t want you to underestimate the dangers of the jungle though. Our community does a good job protecting the people here, but there are still dangers, especially if you stray from the beach areas. The sooner you can learn to defend yourself, the better. You can rely on the people here, but it’d be best if you can rely on yourself.”

A smile slipped back on Randal’s face as the conversation turned again, this time towards the land. “You can claim five square acres of any land in Syka that hasn’t already been claimed. There are plenty of options available. If I were you, I’d walk around and see if any places catch your eye. Beachfront property is very popular for people who don’t have a lot of wilderness survival skills, so you might want to start there. It’s safer and easier to live there. Plus it’ll give you easy access to the ocean.”

Randal adjusted his position from where he leaned against the railing, switching so he was leaning against his other arm. “The costs are dependent on what you decide to build. You can submit a design to me after you get settled if you want me to build it for you and we can work out a price. If you want to build it yourself, you just have to pay the price of materials. Pointers are free.” He smiled and winked. “If you want me to build it for you… hmm. I think I could probably get things done by the 45th.”
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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Okara on June 24th, 2018, 11:54 pm


Okara’s mind raced with a kaleidoscope of recipes as she considered what she could cook. Add the addition of new ingredients she had never utilized before and she knew she would never lack for things to do or experiment with. She had to consciously halt that train of that. She had been a cook on Mura, and while she would always have a passion for food, she had come to Syka to find something new and deeper within herself. To see what she could truly be capable of.

”I take safety very seriously. I won’t underestimate the threat of the jungle, though I am glad to hear there haven’t been tragedies. I don’t want to be the weak link in the chain, I will learn how to take care of myself or find someone to teach me.” Okara said and gave the man a smile that was braver than she really felt. The tropical forest around them was foreign and intimidating, it was an entirely different world than she was used to. There would be so much learn, but that was what she had come for after all. Familiarity bred complacency, if she wanted to learn something new about herself she would have to be challenged. She did not doubt she would find plenty of challenge in this place. There would be no shortage of it, she was certain of that. She only hoped she was up to the task and wouldn’t make for the sad end of a short life.

”Well, it sounds like I will need to hunt for a piece of land that fits me. I certainly want access to the ocean, I’m glad you mentioned that.” Okara’s smile widened into a more genuine grin. Thinking about having her own piece of land that touched the ocean was immensely pleasurable. The ocean called to her deep in her blood and bones. She couldn’t bear the thought of living too disconnected from the waves, it made the webbing between her fingers feel itchy at just the thought. ”I’m not certain yet if I want it built for me, I’m going to have to think about it. I would love to try building a home of my own but I’m worried with my ignorance I might build something that falls in on me while I sleep. I definitely need to consider it.”

Okara’s thought already started to jump several steps ahead to the endless list of tasks to accomplish. Find land, build a home, start a career, carve out a name for herself in this community…. She realized she had been silent for a few seconds while staring at Randal. She was almost certain the man must think the settlement had just been burdened with the most awkward and slow Konti in existence. At least with so few people around she was bound to run into him again and she would have the opportunity to change his mind. She had been journeying to Syka for some time but it felt like so much had changed so suddenly that her head was spinning and she could hardly put her words together intelligently.

”Well, I don’t mean to keep you so long. I suppose my last question is if there are places for me to stay until I’ve found a new home for myself?” Okara asked. She had about a million questions for Randal but she knew it was unwise to pester a man who was a leader in the community.

OOCIt seems like we are moving towards a natural end point, so if you would like to wrap up the thread with your post that is fine with me. Thank you for doing my founder thread!
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Fresh Off the Boat (Solstice)

Postby Solstice on June 25th, 2018, 7:23 pm

“A lot of people simply camp out on the beach,“ Randal replied. “But if you don’t have the equipment for that, then there are bungalows you can rent temporarily, or Guest Quarters that are free to use.”

Randal cheerfully gave Okara directions to both places, than shook her hand. “Welcome to Syka. I hope you enjoy living here. It will be a delight having you.” Once had had confirmed that Okara was off, the Founder gave her one last wave, then headed back into his Bungalow.
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