Closed Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Taren tries to get Nya help

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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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Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Taren Coballon on August 30th, 2018, 2:27 am

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76th Day of Summer, 518

Taren walked to the mercantile to purchase a few needed supplies for his work and he wanted to get them purchased now before he needed them so he walked up into the store. When he looked around inside the store, Juli appeared busy on something off to the side so he started to look around to find what he needed and set his pack next to the door for the moment.

“Good morning Juli” Taren said politely, not wanting to startle her.

He proceeded to search the store and he simply grabbed items and set them on the counter. Tinder, bedroll, canvas, rope, book, ink, and a tourniquet goes up on the counter quickly. Taren saw some chalk and thought it might be useful so he sets a couple pieces on the counter as well, a few pairs of gloves were sitting on one table so he went over a found a pair that fit the best. The fit was slightly tight but he definitely wanted a pair so they would do. Near them he saw a survival kit and pulled one for himself immediately along with a hammock

“Going into the jungle?” Julie asked, “I just bought a brand new insect repellent if you wanted it and I can get another if you like”.

“You wouldn’t mind, that would save me a stop this morning?” Taren responded gratefully as he didn’t know where to get it yet.

Juli set the bottle on the counter with a smile and started to tally his pile while Taren retrieved his pack from the door when he noticed whetstones which he realized he needed so he picked up two and added them to his pile. He paid Juli and scooped his newly acquired items into his pack rather unceremonious with the rest of his items. He could sort and organize it at a more convenient time.

“Thank you for the help and items” Taren said with a smile and he realized that Juli had just went out of her way help him and she acknowledged him with a polite nod.

He walked towards Nya’s place dressed for the jungle in leather pants and boots, but shirtless for now and his sword and lakan on his hip. His pack was over his shoulder for now with his spear in hand. Being as underprepared as he was for his first meeting with Nya, he wasn’t sure if had made a good impression on her or not but at least this time he would be more prepared with the majority of her list and he hoped to get some more help from her.

As Taren neared Nya’s, he saw her tent, or assumed it was her tent anyway on the beach with the sides swaying slightly in the morning breeze.It was still early morning as he didn’t waste too much time inside shopping and then headed straight here except a short stop to refill his water skins. As he looked around he didn’t see anyone around but did wait for a chime or two as he checked the area.

Taren raised his voice slight and called out “Nya, are you around?” Without homes having doors he wasn’t sure the local customs of homes just yet so he found a nearby tree and leaned up on it while he waited.


ledgerBook 3gm
Gloves 3gm
Hammock 5gm
Insect Repellent 1gm
Rope, Hemp 50ft 1gm
Survival Toolkit 25gm
Bedroll 1sm
Canvas - 3 sq yard 3sm
Chalk x2 2cm
Ink vial 1cm
Tinder 1cm
Tourniquet 2cm
Whetstone x2 4cm
-38 gm 5 sm

Thanks to Gossamer for the boxcode
Last edited by Taren Coballon on September 14th, 2018, 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Taren Coballon
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Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on August 30th, 2018, 5:20 pm



The Talderian Forest Cat lay perfectly camouflaged in the speckled shade at the edge of the beach where the green and brown of the jungle spilled out onto the white sand. She’d been watching the strange tent but so far no one had returned to claim it. All but empty, Nya suspected someone pitched it on the beach in hopes of claiming her already claimed land. And when Taren had wandered into view, the great cat which had been napping cracked up on a green eye that was ringed in purple. She yawned again, flashing white teeth and rose breaking her near perfect cover of being an enormous snoring log. Shaking herself free of sand, her tail snapped back and forth a moment before she padded in his directly.

Nya’s Kelvic form was roughly the size of a warhorse, big and lithe, well able to navigate the jungle but slightly awkward in the loose sand as all creatures seemed to be. She huffed a greeting, forgetful that Taren might not have seen her prints or even seen her lurking about ignored or greeted by the Settlers depending. Then she padded down to where he stood, moving in the slow rolling gait all big cats enjoyed when they were on the prowl but not serious about getting anywhere soon.

When she got halfway to him, the Kelvic shifted in a swirl of colorful lights that dissolved her feline form and remolded it into her human form. Her hair was absolutely the same color as the feline’s brindled form, even streaked through with the green. Her eyes were the same hue too. She wore not a stich of clothing, revealing a lithe well-toned body with a multitude of nasty scars criss-crossing her body.

“I don’t know who’s tent this is. It showed up a day or two ago but there’s no one around and their scent has been washed clean by the rain. It’s not mine. I have a lofted bungalow up the hill. I’ve just been watching the tent hoping whomever it belongs to comes back so I can tell them this beach is part of my claim.” Nya said carefully neutral, having no idea who the tent belonged too or if maybe it was Taren’s. It hadn’t smelled like him, but then again, a lot of settlers brought new things that they’d never used before.

Nya stretched, yawned again, and smiled apologetically. “Sorry I was napping. What brings you to Treasure Point?” She asked hopefully, wondering if he had any plans or needed help with something. Nya was finding the day long and uneventful. Hopefully Taren’s appearance would somehow change that. Perhaps he had something he needed help with or somewhere he wanted to go that he needed company to be safe. She hoped it was a trip somewhere. She’d taken five naps, hunted twice, worked on some leather, and then had made a trip around the settlement looking for stray snakes. That being said, there was nothing else much going on and maybe a jaunt into the jungle or up the coast would be a welcome distraction.



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Nya Winters
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Posts: 754
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Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
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Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Taren Coballon on August 31st, 2018, 4:41 am

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Taren tensed as he caught movement out of the corner of his eye and was surprised when a giant cat picked itself off the ground and shook. Despite being startled, his hand gripped tightly onto his spear and he stood up straighter but made no other move except that he watched as the tiger prowled towards him and watched him closely. The tiger’s slow advance gave Taren plenty of time to decide on what he should do or that was until the tiger shifted into woman’s form and Nya was walking towards him. This was not the greeting he had expected by any means.

Surprised and more than slightly relieved by Nya’s appearance and the disappearance of the tiger so he waited as the lady approached him. This Kelvic was full of surprises but he had no doubts that she wasn’t a capable woman and likely even more so now that he knew this form. Randal’s words about ‘Nya clawed the trees of her claim’ finally made sense now that he saw her change. The quieter ones were always the ones to watch out for, he decided as she walked toward him in true Kelvic fashion. Impressed or maybe horrified would be better term for the sight of the scars on her body, he wondered what had happened to this woman.

“Morning Nya, I can help pack the tent up if you want. That may give them a hint to move it” he offered thinking it would not take them long to do. “Still learning where everything is at and where people live at has proven a little more difficult than it looked.” He said as he set his things down next to the tree as he leaned back up on it and relaxed a bit more again but ready to help if she wanted.

“I also was hoping that I might talk you into going up the river today. I could use your knowledge the company would be nice too” Taren told her politely and then he looked at her, grinned, and devilishly said “Of course only if you aren’t too busy today that is”. The outburst happened so quickly that it even surprised Taren slightly especially since it was on the borderline of actually being nice if not at least friendly.

“I really don’t know how many ruins are out there or how many you have been to but I would not mind furthering my training some today. The river sounds like it might be nice to see but also a great landmark to start with too.” Taren finished “Besides it is looking to be too nice of a day.” Although Syka turns hot especially in the afternoon sun, he found himself enjoying the fresh air and sunshine even more than Riverfall and the Sea of Grass while the sound of the waves gently crashed on the beach always sounded so serene to him.

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Taren Coballon
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Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on September 2nd, 2018, 2:15 am



The woman watched Taren and glanced at the tent thoughtfully at his words. “Yes. We’ll move it… or at least I will… but lets give it some time. It’s been here only a short time, a day or so… and I don’t want…” She glanced skyward as if asking for patience. “… Randal saying I’m being off-putting again just because I packed up someone’s tent and took it to the Commons.” Though she tried not to be, Nya was unsocial in all the ways that counted even though Randal forced her into more social situations than she liked.

“But.. help would be appreciated. Maybe tomorrow if they don’t return?” She said thoughtfully, huffing again as if she was a little uneasy at it being there but unwilling to do anything about it just yet.” She glanced at him, seemed to think things over, then offered him a friendly smile. It actually looked more forced than friendly, as if she suddenly remembered she had to be approachable and polite, when such things weren’t on the forefront of her mind.

“Up the river? I’ve been up the river and there’s nothing there but more river, a lot of wetland, and a lot of mud. If you want to see something more spectacular, or at least more interesting to tourists, how about Stair Step Falls? Its fairly close to here and at the top is a huge lake with ruins in the center of it.” She offered instead, mistaking his meaning on going up the River to the Syka River which was a tamer version of a lowland jungle drainage and farther north past the Commons to where they were.

She blinked at his joke, not expecting it, and humor touched her eyes for a moment. “Its hard work napping in the shade.” The Forest Cat commented dryly, looking at him as if she were serious, when she was anything but. “You’ll get used to the pace here. We work hard, then relax, then work hard again… Its like stupidly pitching a tent on the ground and trying to sleep in all those ants. It’s incentive to build up off the forest floor eh? So you work at it, hard sometimes, just to get to relax.” She said thoughtfully, shaking her head and glancing around.

“I don’t mind training Taren. It breaks up the monotony. Sometimes here, it is too peaceful. I’m used to fighting a lot.” She said quietly then glanced down the beach to the south past Treasure Point where the falls could be found out of sight and in their own little beautiful bay. “I need to get some clothes and my pack. Would you like to see my home? It’s not far and we can take a trail across Treasure Point that will save time beyond it.” The woman said carefully, as if somehow the invitation came with some difficulty to her. “Else you can wait here and I’ll be back in a few minutes. I could go in my fur but I suspect you would like… to… talk as we walked.” She said thoughtfully, knowing humans were social and she was supposed to be as well. The Kelvic thought back. There was a time she’d enjoyed a walk with a person that could potentially be a new friend. Such things had never bothered her.

Now though?

Things were different. Everything bothered her. Randal said getting out among people would be good for her, but she wasn’t certain he knew for sure. He was human and though he could relate to Kelvics well and even understand most of their struggles, he still wasn’t one of them.

“If your coming, come on… if your staying get comfortable. I’ll be back in ten chimes.” She said, starting up the trail to her place. It was tucked back into the jungle where the terrain took a steady rise. It switched back and forth across one of the steepest parts of the Treasure Point Cliff but it wasn’t a narrow dangerous trail. Cat prints heavily marked it and it was big enough for a man to ride a horse up it. Obviously built by the Forest Cat, the trail was her size in her cat form and the humans or those in human form could easily walk up the steep thing side by side.

If he followed, she’d pace beside him and in about seven chimes they were at the top of the bluff overlooking the beach. Nya’s bungalow looked much like Randal’s place except instead of a stairway it had a wrap around ramp. The walls were lofted, higher, accommodating her feline form in all aspects. And instead of true furniture – besides a table and a few chairs or what looked like a leatherworking workshop below it – everything was about lounging pads and pillows. The big cat liked her comfort as much as she liked her privacy.

There were no real rooms, no boundaries between areas, with one place spilling into another. A water catchment system was on the roof and he could see rudimentary plumbing for perhaps a shower with the cistern on the roof heated by the sun. It was minimalistic, tasteful, and Nya would beckon him in.

Then, as he waited, she’d dress, grab her pack, and lace on her tall boots. “Ready?” she asked, hoping he was willing to go to Stair Step instead of slosh up the muddy banks of the Syka River.


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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 754
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Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
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Medals: 5
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2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)

Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Taren Coballon on September 3rd, 2018, 1:01 am

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Taren decided he would have to check on the tent tomorrow, his offer of help wasn’t conditional. Nor did it bother him when Nya had corrected his knowledge on the Falls and Syka River, when he heard the mentions before he had incorrectly assumed that it was one and the same. Perfect proof of the reasons he needed her help right now although he hoped it would be short lived need to impose on her at least as much anyway.

Nya proved to be difficult to read when she wanted to, he thought she was slightly amused but he didn’t know her well enough to be sure. “I am finding the serenity here to be one of the nicest features. It also might be best if I know where you live in case I need to find you, if we are going to be working together.“ He stated but also felt that it was an intrusion on her privacy whether it was just him or everyone he did not know. Today it made sense to follow her in respect to the job but she deserved her privacy as well if that was something she wanted, he could relate easily enough.

When the reached her house, he waited for her on the ground while she went up to dress while he felt he had reason to see where she lived he had no such reason to intrude more on her privacy than that. Although he tried to not pry into her belongings he couldn’t help but notice the leatherworking supplies she owned and found it odd until he thought about it for a moment. Everything around her house, the path, her ramp up to the house were all set up for the ease of her cat so that he wondered how often the Kelvic was actually a woman when alone. The view was amazing off the bluff and down the beach, it was easy to see why she picked it.

“Stair Step Falls sounds like a much better trip for a day like today” he agreed with Nya, who was now dressed as she walked down the oversized ramp from her house. “So yes, I’m ready whenever you are although I was admiring your view here” The view reminded him of some of the views from RIverfall cliff but the didn’t match Syka at all, the warmth and jungle seemed to make everything more enticing.

Taren picked up his pack and walked back up to Nya, “I’ll follow your lead Nya” he said respectfully as he shouldered his pack “whichever way you choose as best”. He looked back at the trail but also was unsure of where they were heading let alone which path they would need to take for it.

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Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on September 7th, 2018, 1:30 am



Nya paused and looked around. She offered Taren a smile and gestured at the bluff and the view of the ocean and beach below. “I am a Stormwarden, one of Zulrav’s favored, so I keep the settlement safe from storms when I can. This is why I picked higher ground. Plus my nature prompts me to get high, above where prey would be.” She said thoughtfully, glancing at him, not sure if she should have explained her choice of placement on her bungalow or if it even merited an explanation. It was her experience that people – non-kelvics – tended to look to their own interests first and rarely cared about the motives or needs of others. She wasn’t judging Taren or anything, not having lumped him in with these people. She was just surprised he openly admired the view.

She beckoned to him and they set off southward, trailing not down Treasure Point but traversing it crossing southwards as if following a ridge buried in the jungle. The trail was wide, easily traversed, and he would see a lot of claw marks in the bigger trees where Nya had marked her territory. There was also a smell of spicy musk sometimes as they passed bigger trees, with more gentle rub marks as if a big cat had marked their scent there. Big predators were no where to be seen, but there was a whole host of jungle life including ants, spiders, monkeys of all sorts, and birds singing from every angle. The jungle here was thick and they traversed it easily, though the trail was not cut with two feet in mind. Sometimes it scrambled up hills side-sloping them and sometimes it went straight off drop offs.

Nya was careful as she walked, quiet, but pointed out landmarks in the form of small clearings, springs of fresh water, and even interesting big trees. When they passed food sources she also pointed them out, so he could see bananas, mangos, money fruit, star fruit, and all sort so edible nuts and pods. When they got closer, he could hear the roar of the falls even though he couldn’t see it through the vegetation.

The STormwarden talked then, filling in more information on the falls. “You can walk up the water, but its difficult. There’s trails up both sides, though the one on the north side is more used and that’s where we will come out at. In the pools along the way we often find artifacts… mostly rusted or rotten, but sometimes good things.” She said, as they came out onto what looked like a balcony type overhang that viewed the falls. Though Nya’s trail set off back behind them to the north, there was also a switchbacked trail going up and down. They were about a quarter of the way up the falls.

“What do you want to do first? Explore them? Go all the way up? Go down and see how it crosses to the sea?” She watched Taren carefully, not sure what he wanted to do. The walk had taken them quite a while, so odds are if they lingered long, they’d be camping over night.


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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 754
Words: 784842
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 5
Trailblazer (1) Never Say Die (1)
Donor (1) 2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)

Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Taren Coballon on September 8th, 2018, 3:34 am

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Taren followed Nya as she beckoned to him, listened to her talk about the forest fruits, nuts, and such as he marvelled at the abundance of it available for anyone wanting to pick it. The pure abundance of it shocked him as he had never seen anything like it before nor the amount of wildlife that surrounded them. While Nya pointed out various fruits and nuts, he collected some of anything that didn’t require him to leave Nya’s side or hold her up. She had them on a steady pace for sure but not dangerous nor did he feel hurried.

As they walked he was amazed by the claw marks in the jungle, she made it absolutely clear that it was her property and a definite musk lingered in many of the areas that they passed. He really doubted that she allowed other predators around her land. The trail was narrow and he often found he had to duck under a branch or limb as he followed her up the trail, the trail was cut with shorter people in mind he figured and not Akalaks, especially tall Akalaks.

As they neared the falls they could hear the water crashing over the falls, that brought back many fond memories for Taren from living so near one his entire life. He remembered long talks and walks with his family that made him miss Riverfall for the first time since he left the Akalak city some time ago as they stood overlooking the falls. Taren reminisced silently for a moment as he enjoyed the serenity of the place, in that moment he was thankful of Nya’s unintrusive company as he looked over and gave her a genuine and thankful smile.

“Sounds like the North trail might be the best for today, easier route anyway?” as he answered her question and started toward the trail she had pointed out, taking the point for a change. The falls had boosted his spirits slightly and he actually felt invigorated. The trail was well marked and cut out of the forest so he had little problem following the path but he also hoped that Nya wouldn’t let him get too far astray. The river teemed with fish while the wildlife hadn’t changed much yet and he saw no evidence of large predators yet.

“Ever been to Riverfall?” He asked of Nya. “These seem quieter but the roar is still similar…” He trailed off and shrugged as they walked but without truly expecting an answer from her.

The pair walked in and out of the jungle as they meandered upwards toward the top, several pools came and gone as they walked. At one of the larger pools, Taren walked up to the water’s edge to peer into the water and a few feet onto either side just to see if he could see anything interesting at all. The water was rather cloudy at this point that caused him to be unable to see very much. “Had to try to find something at least! Wouldn’t of seemed right if I hadn’t” he told her with a grin. “Do you actually find many artifacts around here?”

Before moving on, he stopped and pulled his pack off his back for a drink from his waterskin along with some of the fruit he had picked up earlier to silence his own stomach, which he immediately offered to Nya as well. “Care for either?” He asked Nya, but the words soured as he said them. This tiger probably wanted little to do with fruit, water probably but he immediately doubted she really wanted any fruit. “I still have some rations left if you would prefer that or we could hunt for some fresh meat. I didn’t……” he trailed off. “I’m sorry…”. He refused to justify or excuse his lack of insight especially to himself.

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Taren Coballon
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Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on September 18th, 2018, 2:22 am



She was trying to teach as she walked, not that the Akalak needed the lessons. Perhaps he was well versed in the jungle and was just keeping quiet to give her something to focus on. The Kelvic truthfully was nervous out in the woods alone with a stranger. She kept to herself so much that it was odd being with someone else. Nya knew Randal wanted her to interact more, but the truth was she didn’t know what to say to people. And she certainly didn’t relate to them very well. Nya had been spending more and more time in her fur where people didn’t expect much of her and if truth be told she could do her job so much easier than wearing the form of a human. She was basically humoring Taren knowing Randal would want her too and that was what she had agreed to do – escort Settlers and teach them if they needed it.

But did he need it? He held himself really well in the jungle… even if he did move a bit stiffer than she did. It was almost a relief when he took the lead, giving her a chance to study him without staring behind her and making it hard for her to talk to him with him out in front.

She answered him anyhow. “The ship I came to Syka on stopped in Riverfall. I saw the harbor and the port, but I didn’t get off the ship. There were… a lot of people. A lot of men…” She added, glancing around, looking everywhere but at him directly. It was enough of an answer wasn’t it? If they had all been like Taren, a trip into town at Riverfall wouldn’t have been half bad, but Nya wasn’t one that knew such things.

“People do, yes. One of the Isur found a weapon that was still functional.” She added, then thought back. “A Gageteer that stayed here a few seasons found a dagger that was magecrafted. It was rather interesting. He gave it to Mathias.” She said too, looking thoughtful, as if trying to remember. “We find a lot of broken things too – pottery, sometimes jewelry, just about anything.” She added, not sure what he was looking for. “It’s never a bad idea to look. Things are here to find.” Nya herself followed Taren into the water and had a good look around herself. She found nothing off the bat, which didn’t surprise her, because they had just arrived. It usually wasn’t when they were actively looking that they found things anyhow. It was usually when they were trying to stay alive.

She tilted her head as Taren pulled fruit from his pack and opened his waterskin to drink. He offered her some which she was surprised by and then surprised further as he seemed to regret doing so. As he continued to speak, she suddenly caught on to his hesitation. “Taren, I like fruit. I’d be glad for some, thank you.” She said, holding out her hand for the piece he’d originally offered her. “I just don’t eat meat. I… “ She glanced away, down, then back up at him. “I just eat a lot more of everything than most people might think because of my other form. She burns through food fast, both in changing form and in just being alive. When I first came here… I was… very malnourished. I wasn’t given a varied diet and I was half sick from it. The jungle has been very good for me. I… had spent a year being fed… fed… a very limited cuisine.” Were half starved street children and homeless people even considered cusine? Nya didn’t think so. But she got no more specific than that. Taren wouldn’t understand. No one would. Nya liked eating fruit because you didn’t have to actually kill it. You didn’t have to hear it plead for its life in a situation where it was either your survival or death if you spared the prey. The time in Ravok had messed with her mind. “I’m still learning how to eat better… sometimes to even eat with others.” Nya admitted, taking the fruit from him and beginning to nibble it.

“It’s hard here. Everyone eats together. Someone cooks too much, they take extra to others that might be too busy to work. You go down to The Commons and someone is always cooking and shoving food at you. There’s so much food here… it’s everywhere. Sometimes its hard for me to understand. I snake The Commons, keeping it free from serpents. And when I kill the big anacondas or boas, there’s so much meat I have to pass it out to others. It’s odd, gifting food to people when I’ve lived some places where people take each other’s lives for food. It often doesn’t feel real.” Nya said, watching Taren as she nibbled at the fruit.

“Come, lets climb the falls when your ready to go. The trail looks good today and the water clear. I wouldn’t drink out of the river, but there are seeps all along the falls that are safe to drink.” She said, pointing out several roots and even bare rock that was leaking water in small streams. “The mud and soil acts as a natural filter… so it’s good water… almost everywhere around these falls.” Nya explained as she started up the trail, feeling like she’d said too much to someone who may or may not find any interest in her thoughts or life.

“If you want to hunt, we can hunt up top along the lake. The shore has pigs.” She added, beginning up the series of rocky switchbacks that climbed the steep falls steadily and almost easily. As overgrown as the trail was, it actually looked and was graded more like a road than anything else. There were even stones peeking through the moss and weeds that grew out of the jungle that looked a lot like paved stones.


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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 754
Words: 784842
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Trailblazer (1) Never Say Die (1)
Donor (1) 2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)

Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Taren Coballon on September 21st, 2018, 1:55 pm

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Taren found Nya’s observations of Riverfall amusing and it probably was true but he had never thought of it as mostly men before, it was just Riverfall to him. Maybe she had little idea of Akalaks in general or just didn’t care, regardless none of that mattered at all especially in Syka. Now he listened intently as she listed the relics other people had found although it wasn’t important it did spark his curiosity, let alone it fueled a desire to have a relic himself. Regardless of the worth or lack of worth the piece might have, he just desired a piece for himself more like a child’s fantasy.

As Nya talked, he couldn’t tell if she had more secrets, or was actually a little shy, maybe a little of both. Regardless she sounded like she had a rough time of things for a while in her life. “I agree with you you, most of the people here don’t seem to eat enough or at least nearly often enough. We always ate more meals in Riverfall than we eat here it seems, so I am almost always willing for a snack or a meal. “ he told her with a smile but gave her a friendly laugh as he said “ Don’t worry with etiquette here, the jungle would be the only one to complain here!”

“I could only imagine what that must of been like for you in the past Nya” he said to her sincerely as the conversation turned more ominous. “I am glad you are doing better in Syka though and I doubt you need to worry about that here” Maybe he lived a sheltered life but he couldn’t imagine killing someone over a meal and the thought of it all caused him to hate the thought.

Taren walked over to one of the seeps she pointed out and scooped up a large handful of water that he sniffed to find almost no smell whatever before he took a small drink out of his hands. The water tasted slightly different but not necessarily bad just had a green taste to it. He followed that up with splashing a couple of handful onto his face to cool himself off before he stood up and followed Nya again. As the pair followed the switchbacks up the hill, he had to nearly constant duck under much of the foliage as they walked since the path was clearly visible but also getting fairly overgrown as well which was increasingly difficult for someone of his height.

Although he had enjoyed the conversation with Nya, she switched the conversation back to jungle talk as she pointed out seeps and things. The pair trekked up the hill as the passed a fall here and a pool there and they fought brush the entire way while he still wished he could find Nya’s grace of moving thru so easily. The paved stones appeared to be missing in many locations along the path, sometimes they had to walk single file and on the next turn they may be able to walk side by side in what Taren found as a comfortable silence. “How far into the jungle have you went before?” he asked

By the time they neared the top of the hill the thought of a hunt became more and more appealing to him. Soon they crested the top of the hill and behind the vegetation they could start making out the lake sprawled before them. The top of their path was a short distance from the lake but was headed straight for it which they covered quickly enough as he took in the sight of the lake in front.

He looked at Nya and asked “Are we up for that hunt or are we wanting to continue onward? From your description though, is this the top of the falls?”. He started to take a closer look around the area and the lake in the chance she wanted to return down the falls.

WC665

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Taren Coballon
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Stair Step Falls (Nya)

Postby Nya Winters on September 25th, 2018, 8:05 pm


He was so kind. Nya could see it in his demeanor and in his actions. It made her uncomfortable, not because she didn’t like it, but because she didn’t know how to react to it. People were rarely kind. They normally didn’t have reasons to be. And if they were, there were huge motives behind the kindness that usually hid ugliness that one didn’t necessarily want to show to others. But here, life was lived slower and she should have expected sooner or later to run in to someone who was truly thoughtful when they didn’t need to be.

She steered the conversation to more comfortable things, but knew it was only a matter of time before she’d cave and say things she would probably regret. His next question was opener enough and she stood as if outside of herself and watched slightly horrified as she opened up and told him the truth. “I honestly don’t know. When I first got here, I couldn’t be around people. I didn’t trust myself to be closer in. When I was in prison, my food source was live people… street children mostly. I had to kill and eat them to survive. I didn’t trust myself to be close to the people in Syka because I didn’t know how the cat side of me would react. So, I roamed, mostly in my animal form, and her body is strong and can go long periods of time in a day and travel well in the jungle. I saw a lot of things, smelled a lot of things, but mostly circled around the settlement. Gradually I came closer. Randal helped me a lot. Then I started staying close to The Commons, doing things to help like killing snakes or moving big logs. My animal form is strong and she can dig and push things over and even drag things bigger than this one can. When they got used to me and I got used to them I sort of relaxed. I think I’ve been all the way through the Maw and north along the coastline. Miles… days… the winds always blow me back though.” She said to answer his question. Nya ran a hand through her hair nervously, shifting her feet, and glancing everywhere at him.

“I’m still not good with people. I don’t know what to talk about… or how to make conversation. I want to be better. Randal says it will come with time. I am not… stuck up or standoffish. I just really don’t know what to say most of the time. You seem very kind, like someone I would like to know. But I don’t even know how to let you know that without just telling you.” The Ranger confessed, knowing it best she tell him up front it wasn’t him, but rather her social awkwardness that was making things less than interesting.

Nya glanced into the water, hopeful, but found nothing catching her attention. She didn’t know what the Akalak would do or say to her words. Spotting an artifact now would have covered the awkwardness of what she just said, maybe distracted him into forgetting that she just told him she’d survived on a diet of live people.

By then they truly were standing at the top of the falls where a lake stretched out before them. In the distance to the north they could see an island in the center of the lake with actual ruins visible, partially reclaimed by the island. The sandy beach stretched in either direction east and west and Taren could tell the lake was somewhat backed up by the falls which resembled the spillway to a dam more than anything else.

“I want to go to the lake sometime. It will require a boat though… perhaps a hollowed out canoe. I’d have to build one up here… and lack the know-how. I know of nothing that can be carried up the falls that would work. And building a raft would be precarious.” She said thoughtfully. “I think the ruins there might be something significant. They remind me of a citadel. I grew up in a tower in Sylira much like one of those towers over there… though my home wasn’t in ruins.” She said, looking thoughtfully at Taren before she answered his next question.

“I’m always up for a hunt. Would you like to do the killing? I can range north and flush pigs back your direction. Just the sight of my other form generally gets them bolting the opposite direction. I can’t easily sneak up on them, but if you hold still against the water and since the wind is blowing at us from the eastern side… I can cut inland, long the cliffs… and then cut back towards the beach east and north of here and make a circle coming back.. they should flee this way.” She said, looking thoughtful. “Unless you don’t want pig and want something else. We can hold off and try for something different?” There were snakes, monkeys, birds and all sorts of fish available. Nya hadn’t brought her fishing gear, but she didn’t mind bleeding a little and tossing a few big piranha’s up on the shore to roast. “Fish, birds, monkeys, snakes… we aren’t in a good area for tapir or deer, but there are other things that are good eating here too.” She said, running down a list.

“I don’t even know what weapon you prefer. I’m sorry. Or we can go together if you’d like.” She added, looking intently at the ruins out on the island once more. She’d wanted to explore them someday, but the swim had just seemed too long. Hunting in its shadow was fun, but not nearly as fun as exploring the island would have been. Someday…. someday she’d make that canoe.

This was getting more and more awkward as they went. She should honestly just be quiet.

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Nya Winters
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