[Featured thread] [Bharani Library] Dancing Stars Around My Head

Mauriel's decided to learn about Lhavit and the night sky.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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[Bharani Library] Dancing Stars Around My Head

Postby Mauriel on August 28th, 2018, 8:23 pm

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44th, Summer, 518AV

It hasn’t taken that long for Mauriel to settle into Lhavit. She’s found a job at a local tavern held by two of her folk – Ethaefal as she had learned – and gotten a place to call home. She didn’t spend much time at all at this home so far, though, as she had found this new body of hers didn’t need sleep at all practically if she was out at night. She spent a good portion of the night indoors for work, tho, so she sometimes slept during the day, but mostly she was out and about trying to learn about the world.

Today was library day. She finally had enough going for her to buy some ink and parchment and was headed straight to Bharani Library. She was curious about so much! First of all, the sky has changed so much! She had some insight into its movements in Leth’s domain, but for some reason a lot of things seemed out of place or odd. Perhaps it was the perspective, or perhaps her old memories from past lives, but a refresher and some updates were in order. Second of all, she intended to ask more about Lhavit itself, its history and perhaps some of the stories surrounding the city.

She flew to Tenten peak, the Library towering over her despite her being in the air. She somehow felt the need to fly lower, as if what she did challenged the structure otherwise. She didn’t know why she felt intimidated by the large building, but there was some sense of respectability about its steep spires and graceful curves, and she couldn’t shake the feeling of something from beyond being contained in the beauty of the building. Whatever beyond was, beyond creatures like her. In the thick fog, the building just seemed vaguely ominous in its grandiosity.

She got to the door and sighed at the prospect of crawling around such a large building. She wondered if flying would be okay. She entered and approached the receptionist with a polite smile.

“Hello,” she said, “I’m new here, in the city in general. I was wondering if I’d be permitted to fly and also anything else I ought to know?”

The receptionist smiled back, greeting her. “Hello, welcome to Lhavit and to Bharani Library.” She was pale with very light hair, matching her clothes. She seemed somehow tired, although Mauriel couldn’t make out whether that was just what she looked like or whether she was actually exhausted from work. “I’m Silvya Toha, a receptionist here. You should know that people in white are Seekers, or at least that all Seekers wear white, so should you need any help you can approach one of them, or me. The Library is free for all, but it’s highly encouraged to approach the scribe who’s on duty, who’ll be seated there,” she pointed subtly, “and share any stories, knowledge, or items that have been through a lot that you might have. It’s a way of giving back to the Library for the services you use. As for flying, there are no hard rules, we’ll definitely look at the context, but I would discourage you from doing so in fear that some shelf may fall over, or at least dusts and sheets of paper might start flying around. At the very least, you may encourage others who would be less careful doing so. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

She didn’t seem very sorry at all, but Mauriel was still happy to be granted access to such a place, however cumbersome it may be. She made a mental note to start visiting when she had nights off or worked day shifts, though, as it was no small bother to browse the shelves like this.

“May I assist you with anything else?” the receptionist asked.

“Yeah, actually, I was looking for some astronomy books. And some brief history of Lhavit as well, something suitable for somebody new to the city to learn the basics.”

“Anything in particular when it comes to astronomy?”

“Uh, let’s see… Perhaps something on different types of celestial bodies, some more recent sky charts, something on contemporary equipment… I’ll save spherical coordinates for when I have a grasp of basic math,”
she chuckled nervously. The woman nodded, and called one of the Seekers, directing him to bring certain books. Mauriel wondered if it was weird that she knew so much about astronomy without really knowing the particulars of it. It’s just that pieces of info scattered through her head were largely unconnected and useless, she had a grasp of what she once knew, but not so much of the particulars of that knowledge.

“I asked him to bring them for you, I figure it’s a bit of trouble with the tail. Feel free to sit, he’ll find you.”

“Oh! Thank you so much!”
She smiled at the receptionist again, more sincerely this time, but was greeted with the same cold polite smile.

Not long after she sat down and pulled out some parchments, ink, and quill from her bag, the Seeker was back with her books. “Please be very careful with the ink around the books!”

“I will, no need to worry,”
she reassured him, but he seemed to keep an eye on her as he went about his business.

And so she dug into the material.
Last edited by Mauriel on September 1st, 2018, 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mauriel
Shining On
 
Posts: 155
Words: 130838
Joined roleplay: July 12th, 2014, 12:45 pm
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Race: Ethaefal
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[Bharani Library] Dancing Stars Around My Head

Postby Mauriel on August 28th, 2018, 8:25 pm

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Mauriel picked up the astronomy book first, carefully turning the pages to an explanation of various types of celestial bodies. There were worlds, planets, and stars.

A world was a large round body orbiting a star. Mizahar was a world, and Mizahar was orbiting around the sun, or Syna, which was the center of their star system. There were also other worlds orbiting the sun and they were the only worlds which are sometimes visible to a naked eye. Every world had its own orbit – which was a path it followed around the sun – but then the book went on to explain some things about orbits which contained a lot of weird signs Mauriel didn’t understand. She could tell that those were some kinds of equations, and the text did provide context of calculating instantaneous direction and speed or something like that. Worlds also had their own tilts, rotations, masses etc. but all of those chapters were sprinkled with more mathematics that was beyond the Ethaefal’s grasp. She decided to just skip ahead for now.

The sun, Syna, was a large celestial body radiating light and warmth at Mizahar. It was controlled and embodied by the Goddess Syna and was a primary source of light and warmth in Mizahar. Although Syna shines her light to all corners of the world, the length of shadow her light produces at noon greatly varies, and with it the intensity of heat her rays produce. Mauriel was vaguely familiar with the things to that point, but she didn’t know that. She drew a small scheme for herself of how to craft a device to measure this, and copied the chart which listed which temperatures were common depending on which lengths. It also said that you can figure out where you are at Mizahar depending on the lengths if you know what time of year it is, so she copied the list of potential places depending on various factors, filling in the entirety of the first parchment she brought along with that. She left it on the side to dry, mindful to warn anyone approaching not to place their books on it.

There was an entry of the moon after that of a similar kind. It was controlled and embodied by the God Leth, it was a source of faint light in the darkness of night, it was a world-like structure, though smaller than Mizahar. Most of the article after that was on Lunar Phases, how to use them to measure time, how they look different from different parts of Mizahar etc.

The last entry was on Zintila’s stars. Apparently, they were in many ways like worlds, but they were also more powerful, allowing them to glow in a similar fashion to Syna, albeit much weaker. Movement of the stars could be calculated in the same complex way movement of worlds could be calculated in. Stars were catalogued and charted regularly, and they were grouped in various clusters and constellations.
Last edited by Mauriel on August 28th, 2018, 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mauriel
Shining On
 
Posts: 155
Words: 130838
Joined roleplay: July 12th, 2014, 12:45 pm
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[Bharani Library] Dancing Stars Around My Head

Postby Mauriel on August 28th, 2018, 8:27 pm

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By the time Mauriel had finished reading that, the parchment she left to dry earlier has dried considerably. She turned it around to write on the other side, and laid it down on another parchment, just in case it wasn’t completely dry.

She decided to try herself at determining where at Mizahar she could be depending on the length of shadows of Syna’s rays at noon. She picked numbers at random and compared them to the tables in the book. After some time practicing, she had some of the table memorized. It was full of places she’s never heard of: Syka, Zeltiva, Ravok, Sunberth… It also had some she did know, like Lhavit and Abura.

She moved the parchments to dry again, and started digging through sky charts. They were full of confusing symbols and names of constellations. She managed to read the legend and somewhat decipher some of the stuff she considered important, but she couldn’t hold all the signs in her head. She checked back with the legend occasionally. Eventually, she just gave up on learning names of stuff. That will come later. For now, she looked at some of the patterns and tried to remember them. They looked vaguely like random objects: dagger, leaf, an animal. She couldn’t really connect those with the ones she remembered from the sky, so she assumed they just picked certain stars to represent every constellation.

Mauriel wasn’t sure what she was doing anymore. She wanted to learn about the night’s sky, as she felt it familiarized her with Leth. It was also a useful skill for navigation, something she might come to need in her travels. If she’s travelling by land, it’s expensive, but plausible, to hire protection for her travels. But unless she boards a ship thus sharing the cost with the other passengers, she was pretty sure she won’t be able to hire a navigator as well. The more she thought about it, the more daunting the task of being prepared for the wilderness was. One needed to know how to hunt, climb, craft simple shelter, cook, orient themselves, tend wounds and infections, fight or intimidate… The list went on, until she repressed such thoughts, delaying any planning to actually be prepared for such a feat. A bit annoyed at herself, she decided to at least buy some sort of simple weapon for personal protection one of these days.

Pulling herself back out of her thoughts, she looked at the books lying before her. She sighed, and picked up the sky chart again. She could at least figure out how to recognize sides of the world based on the sky…
Last edited by Mauriel on August 28th, 2018, 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mauriel
Shining On
 
Posts: 155
Words: 130838
Joined roleplay: July 12th, 2014, 12:45 pm
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[Bharani Library] Dancing Stars Around My Head

Postby Mauriel on August 28th, 2018, 8:28 pm

By the time Mauriel finally gave up on learning more, she has long changed into her Ethaefal form. She couldn’t fail to notice her hands changing complexion and shape while holding the chart she was looking at, but she was too focused at her studies to pay much attention to it. However, once she was done with whatever her mind wouldn’t let go of, she decided to stand up and take a stroll to the nearest Seeker to return all of the astronomy-related items. It was mostly to stretch her legs, but she thanked him politely and bowed slightly in respect, as was apparently customary here.

Returning to her seat, she folded and packed the now completely dry sheet of parchment, leaving the other 4 for convenience. She picked up the brief history of Lhavit, happy to start reading what she considered lighter material.
And lighter material, this book was. It wasn’t dragged with many citations, references, and explanations on why scholars thought this and that. It just stated the stories as that – stories. And while she was curious about a more precise account of events, this will do for now. She couldn’t be a bard in a city without the basic understanding of its culture. Well, not anymore!

Apparently, Lhavit was founded after the Valterrian. The city didn’t exist at all prior to it, and this was certain, because current rulers of the city were there back then when it was built! The Ethaefal shook her head in disbelief reading that the city was ruled by two of her kind, Tanora of Syna, and Ayself of Leth, together with Goddess Zintila of the stars herself. The book mentioned the nature of her rule being somewhat different from Morwen in Avanthal, which made Mauriel think of her past life as a Vantha. Was Morwen ruling Avanthal back then too? Did she ever talk to the Goddess? She couldn’t remember.

However, she soon found out how different the two circumstances were. Zintila was a fallen Goddess, who lost much of her power taking a wound for Semele. That’s why she fell on Mizahar, and that’s why Syna and Leth sent Aysel and Talora, to lead the people to the fallen Goddess. In the post-Valterrian chaos, the idea to build some sort of a settlement which would be a safe haven for the people was strong, and so the works on the steep Misty Peaks started. Many mages who could control the elements died terraforming the mountains to create flat platforms for the city of Lhavit. Zintila, touched by their sacrifice, gave them power to create and control a starry material out of which Lhavit was ultimately made. Caiyha gifted the people Okomo to traverse the mountains, and so the building begun. Generation after generation people added to Lhavit until it became what it is today.

Mauriel gently placed the book back onto the table. What a story! A Goddess losing her power to save another, mortals giving their lives up for each other, Gods and Goddesses alike being moved to take a pity on them and help out… There’s no wonder Lhavit is called the Star of Kalea! It’s not just about the stunning beauty of skyglass, people here have much to be proud of in regards to their heritage and sacrifices and heroism of their ancestors.

The Ethaefal completely disregarded reading the rest of the book, deciding to try and write a poem about this. She has never written a poem before, not that she remembered. And she could bet many greater than her already commemorated these events by far superior writing. But she couldn’t bear not trying to express what she felt. So she wrote.

She immediately knew she’d want to sing this, and the chorus came easily to her.

The sky is dark
Peace foregone
Another spark
From heavens drawn


She identified highly with the fall of her fellow Ethaefal and the great Goddess. But she felt as though she deserved the fall. Not really deserved, but needed. Her soul still wasn’t ready, she was restless, and she still had a goal to pursue here on Mizahar, and she believed Leth must have sensed this and sent her back. Why else would her strongest memories be of business unfinished, and why else fall straight into Lhavit of all places, the center of knowledge and culture for a lot of the world? But the two cast down to help the people of Lhavit were innocent, she imagined probably some of the greatest servants to the two lovers, certainly those they had a lot of trust in. You don’t send a bad apple as an emissary to your potential devotees. And Zintila was certainly a creature of goodness and devotion, sacrificing so much without a second thought. Heavens surely missed her.

However, the rest of the poem didn’t go as easily as Mauriel had hoped. She noticed how many bits and pieces of the story were missing when she started writing, and realized she’d have to get creative around them.

Many hours later she had a first draft of her poem. Some lines were missing, because she couldn’t for the love of Gods figure out good rhymes for them, and there were confusing numbers all over the paper from where she tried to equalize the meter, which she quickly gave up on. She decided she’s had enough for the day, and if she were to continue working on this song, it would undoubtedly be helpful to do so with the sound of her lute following it, so she’d have a better idea of how all of this will tie together. Humming the song now just wasn’t cutting it, and she was getting some weird glances for it.

She picked up a new book off the shelf to pass her time while the new ink dried, before packing up to go home. She had work early in the morning tomorrow, and it would continue throughout the day, as the city was holding a festival for Syna, as Aleah explained. It would do her good to catch some moonlight until then.


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Mauriel
Shining On
 
Posts: 155
Words: 130838
Joined roleplay: July 12th, 2014, 12:45 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Featured Thread (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)

[Bharani Library] Dancing Stars Around My Head

Postby Madeira Craven on September 18th, 2018, 10:53 pm

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Grades Awarded!

Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request!


Mauriel

Skills
  • Observation: 1xp
  • Socialization: 1xp
  • Astronomy: 2xp
  • Mathematics: 2xp
  • Writing: 3xp
  • Anthropology: 2xp
  • History: 3xp
  • Composition: 1xp
  • Philosophy: 1xp

Lores
  • Location: Bharani Library
  • Ethaefal: don't need sleep
  • Silvya Toha: receptionist at Bharani Library
  • Lore of the rules and procedure at Bharani Library
  • Astronomy: the movement of astral bodies
  • Astronomy: the characteristics of Syna
  • Astronomy: how to calculate time with light
  • Astronomy: The characteristics of Leth
  • Astronomy: the characteristics of stars
  • Lore of the history of Lhavit
  • Lhavit: the government system
  • Lore of the history of Skyglass
  • Zintila: fallen goddess

Awards & Retribution


Notes
Congratulations on your first graded thread! It really was a lovely read. I like how Mauriel has such focus and goals and that her character is centered on learning. I wish her luck on her future endeavours!

Let me know if I missed anything, especially lores, or if you have any question. <3
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Madeira Craven
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