Solo The Ripple Network

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

The Ripple Network

Postby Ruvya on October 7th, 2018, 8:26 pm

31 FALL 518

Ravok Calendar wrote:31st Day - Early morning, in the Central Plaza, a man dressed in the robes of The Black Sun, is found dead. His name, Hargin, an Acolyte. Such a thing is considered a High Level Crime. Found in the body is part of the murder weapon. Embedded in his side, the broken blade of a dagger baring the etchings of a Sylirian Knight. The Ebonstryfe is investigating.

9 bells at night,
The Spot Tavern

    “ you can't just run 'round like a wild thing; you ain’t in the wilderness anymore! If you want to know what’s going on, you need to use these.”
"Ow—" Ruvya hissed as a sharp sting caught her by surprise—Bedivir had flicked her left ear.
"And this." Bedivir rapped her head.
"Ow!" The drykas clamped a hand to her stinging ear and to her sore temple, giving the ravosalaman a scowling look.
"Especially as an outsider." Bedivir said, eyeing her watchfully over the rim of his beer glass as if he was afraid she would run off right then.
The drykas nineteen-year-old groaned and leant her elbows on the worn wooden table between them, as if to make a point of saying, 'look, I'm not going anywhere'.

    Ruvya sat on a leather-padded bench across from the benshiran ravosalaman in a cozy booth of The Spot tavern. Part-floating-tavern and part-boat, it was one of the favoured rinking spots for Nicolo's ravosalamen after a hard day's work ferrying Ravok citizens in their boats. Mostly because the prices were cheap and the tavern's offerings weren't bad—well, the food was half-decent, the ale on the other hand...

    Ruvya ignored Bedivir. While he tempted fate with the less-than-decent beer, the drykas fetched a small, dark wooden pipe out of her coat pocket, which was rumpled up behind her. Rummaging in the other pocket proffered a small, umber glass snuff box, out of which she took a pinch of the herbal fluff and gently placed it into the pipe. The drykas set the pipe carefully onto the table with a tattooed black hand, while she fetched her flint and steel. Once she had the flint at the right angle, she struck sharply to light her pipe. Bedivir had since returned his azure gaze to watch her, lightly astounded by her habit.

    Ruvya hastily lifted the pipe and settled it between her tongue and teeth and puffed a few times. As the herbal smoke filled her lungs, she tasted the heady floral smoke of the Blue Vision, she sighed with relief. It felt like Caiyha Herself eased her gentle hands into the drykas' aching limbs and rubbed them of their throbing. When the young drykas finally noticed her ravosala partner, she gave him a 'what are you looking at' look. The benshiran shook his head and said nothing.

     It had been a stressful day—which had started out so ordinary for the ravosalamen...

5 Bells
that morning

    " It is a beautiful day!” Bedivir, the benshiran ravosalaman declared in his rolling Shiber accent. His grin was a pearly sheen amid his dark skin. His luminescent blue eyes glowed with pride as he looked on the lake. He looked like a father, beaming on at his favoured son, Ruvya thought, bald head and all.

    The drykas was sitting on the edge of the dock outside Tarsin’s Boarding House where she, along with a rare few visitors, laid her head at night and breakfasted in the mornings. It was a tall building, with some balconies overlooking the canal, which wound right through the floating city to the central plaza. It resided aptly in the Plaza of Dark Delights, where markets and businesses bustled with exotic and oft nefarious trade.

    “Don’t you feel it in the air, Ruvya?” Beamed Bedivir.

    “What?” Ruvya looked around at the buildings, floating on their wide wooden platforms, which had been crafted right out of the thick, luscious trees grown in the wild woods around the lake. They were painted a pristine white. Not in a glaring shade, Ruvya had noticed, but a soft shell white, like the feathers of a prize swan.

Bedivir lifted his arms and drew a healthy breath of the nippy Fall air. He wore a warm long-sleeved wool shirt under a leather sleeveless duster coat and warm pants and boots this day. It wasn't unpleasantly chilly, though the drykas was glad for having donned her warm wool leggings and grey wool coat as well.

    “Rhsol’s blessing, of course!” Bedivir answered, grinning infectiously.
Ruvya couldn’t keep a smile from teasing dimples into her tattooed cheeks. The drykas had to concur with the ravosalaman as Syna inched just a little higher into the heavens and dappled her with warmth.

    "We go.” Bedivir motioned for Ruvya to get into her ravosala, which was docked alongside the impressive fleet of Nicolo's ravosalas. A neat row of elegantly carved boats, with tall curved necks and narrow flat bottoms, where a small bench for passengers took up most of the room, was docked, ready for a day's work.

Ruvya clambered into the ravosala that she earned her living in. A black beauty, it had been freshly painted that Summer with pretty, off-white and pink flower petals along its length.

    Bedivir was up ahead in a ravosala of his own, the long ferryman’s pole used to navigate the boat already in his skilled hands. The drykas climbed unsteadily, almost on hands and knees, onto the stern of her ravosala, where she hefted up her own ferryman’s pole. It was not a light piece, and Ruvya’s arms burned with the weight of it from the day before. Nonetheless, the drykas shrugged off the stiffness in her shoulders and leaned into the dull ache as they pushed off the docks. They glided silently down the canal, like two black swans.

     As Ruvya pulled the ferryman’s pole up and connected the end to the nearest walkway, by anchoring herself against the stern of her ravosala, she strained every sinew she possessed, squeezing in, feeling the burn in her core, joining the chorus in her biceps as she heaved and slid the boat forward. Her arms and back and ribs ached but the every day she was getting stronger.

    It wasn’t long before she was sweating and had to shrug out of her coat, stowing it under the passenger bench. When a deep, baritone melody filled the canal, the drykas smiled knowingly and looked up. Bedivir was singing. He sung a slow, melodic, romantic tune. He lifted his ferryman’s pole and pushed his ravosala at a gentle pace along the canal.

He was being kind so Ruvya could keep up, singing, as he often did, to pass the time. “And to attract passengers. Among all these ravosala, you have to set yourself apart to bring in the coin.” He had told her once. Then he had looked her up and down, marking out the intricate spiral of black ink that climbed its way around her body, stark against her copper skin. “Although you don’t need a good singing voice for that, ey.”

    Ruvya hadn’t held his look or his remarks against him. The drykas had come to see tattoos were not common among ravokians. Hers were so vast, even in Endrykas they marked her out. The drykas gave it no care, she wore the black ink unabashedly, proudly. It was who she was and where she had come from.

    As the morning waned sleepy-eyed citizens poked their bleary faces out through their windows overlooking the canal. Some smiled and waved good morning to Bedivir, who tipped his head in kind, wishing, “Rhysol’s blessing!” on them, before returning to his song as if he hadn’t missed a beat.

it was when they were gliding up to the central plaza that a shadow was cast over the pleasant morning.

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The Ripple Network

Postby Ruvya on October 8th, 2018, 9:49 am

     bedivir's song fell dead on a high note, forgotten, into the lake. Ruvya looked up mid-thrust with the pole and frowned. There was a crowd gathered on the plaza. It was a wide wooden platform, which was anchored to the Temple of the Black Sun by small arching bridges, and the epicentre for all of Ravok. It wasn't strange for the plaza to be busy in the morning with citizens coming and going wherever their work, errands or fancy took them. The central plaza was the best spot to dock a ravosala. As there were no real paths or roads in the lake-city, one needed to take a ravosala to get anywhere in Ravok.

    What was strange was the anxious hush that rippled between the citizens gathered on the plaza. Ruvya felt the thickness of their tension in the air. When she cast a wary look to her companion, even Bedivir's cheerful demeanor was subdued. His azure gaze was flickering between the crowd, trying to discern what was the cause of the gathering. Ruvya didn't feel easier seeing the serious frown that tugged in his dark features.

    The ravosala drivers docked their boats along the plaza. The ravosala didn't need to be tied down, since they would not be leaving their boats. Ruvya was hefting her pole against the plaza to nudge her ravosala into a spot so as to make room for the other ravosalamen that would undoubtedly be joining them soon. Meanwhile, Bedivir leaned against his ferrypole and tugged on the cloak of a citizen. When the portly, kind-faced merchant turned around, he offered the benshiran a meak smile from within his well-kept goaty.

"What's going on?" Bedivir asked.
"An acolyte has been found dead. His name was Hargin, I believe." The merchant crossed Ruvya with his keen green eyes suspiciously. Ruvya peered back.
"Ay, murdered in cold blood, Rhysol save us." A younger, lankier merchant piped into the conversation.

    Ruvya took in the man's angular features watchfully. He looked anxious and angry all at once. Both the merchants did. The drykas tried to peer through the crowd to get a look at the body the onlookers were swarmed around while Bedivir spoke in low, rapid tones with the merchants. When a city guard ushered the citizens to move back, the crowd parted just enough for Ruvya to sight the acolytes black robes and lifeless, cold white hand laying against the boards. The sight made her feel sick, so she looked away.

    Sure the drykas had seen a dead person before—in Endrykas they left their dead out on the open steppe for Caiyha's creatures to scatter the bones and Semele to take back the body so the person's soul may join The Web and re-join the clans through reincarnation as a Strider. Ruvya had never seen the corpse of someone who was murdered, though. The nineteen-year-old turned away and croched down on her ravosala, leaning her shoulder against the ferrypole.

    "This is blasphemy! Blasphemy against all that is good under Rhysol's hand." Ruvya heard the portly, kind-faced merchant mutter angrily before walking away. When she looked up, Bedivir was staring into the lake, a dark frown marking his face with shadow, like clouds gathering for a storm.

     Just then a hush rippled through the gathering like Zulrav’s breath through the grasslands. Ruvya stood and she, and Bedivir, looked on with somber frowns and furrowed brows as a quartet of men in the blackest of robes swept into the plaza. Behind them came the heavily armed city guard and a tall, sturdy man who strode with the kind of presence that commanded respect. He was dressed in fine armour, Ruvya noticed, and thought he must have been a leader, a warrior of great skill at least, to have need of such armour.

    The city guards pressed the crowd back from the corpse, while the robed ones inspected the corpse along with the finely armoured warrior. Everyone watched on with great interest.

    “Bedivir, who are those-?”
Her ravosala companion hissed her quiet.
    Ruvya’s inked brow furrowed deeper still as she tried to get a look at what the robed ones were doing with the murdered acolyte. Something silver and cold glinted in Syna’s light. The gathering gasped all at once in shock. Ruvya saw a robust tavern keeper spit in disgust. Many muttered hasty prayers or curses under their breath.

    The drykas swayed from foot to foot on her tiptoes, trying to see between the swaying, moving crowd but just as she caught a glimpse of the soldier in armour kneeling by the acolyte, someone lifted an arm or turned to whisper to their neighbour, blocking her view. She puffed up her cheeks in frustration. Ruvya glanced cautiously at Bedivir, who was standing tall and still, watching on with a sad, angry, somber look cast about his face. It was now or never. The drykas nineteen-year-old gripped on the ferrypole still planted firmly against the dock and used it to step up onto the plaza.

    “Ruvya, don’t!-” She heard Bedivir's hasty warning, but he was too late. The nimble Nighthoof daughter was already up on the dock and striding between the outliers in the crowd to the throng encircling the corpse and his strange black robed entourage.

    Citizens scowled as they caught sight of her dusky complexion and inked face and parted reluctantly as she strode assertively between them. When suddenly the drykas broke to the edge of the gathering, she stepped out a little too far and halted abruptly when the Dark Sun acolytes and armoured commander looked up at her from where they knelt. The man in armour’s stare caught her heart in her throat. It was a look of command. ‘Go no further,’ it said, blunt, harsh, intolerant of fools.

    The drykas teen gulped and backed up without argument. Not before she caught a glimpse of the shiny steel blade the man was holding on a white cloth in his hands, though. It was a dagger, or more, the hilt of what was a dagger. Ruvya’s dark eyes traced the insignia on the handle curiously. If only for a few ticks, as then a city guard moved towards her, his hand reaching for the pommel of the short sword at his side.

    A rough hand on her right elbow yanked her back into the warm press of the gathering suddenly It was Bedivir come to her rescue from her own foolish self. He tugged her under his arm and didn’t spare her a good chastising as he hauled her butt back to their ravosala. As she was whipped through the crowd, Ruvya kep hearing snippets ofwhispers dancing between the citizens.

"Did you see the weapon? A ghastly blade unlike any they forged here in Ravok, I'm sure."
"There is a betrayer among us!"
"It will not go without justice for long, that is an Ebonstryfe commander."
"Yes, the Ebonstryfe will find who it is. Rhysol will not let this go unpunished."
"Rhysol help us, did you see the insignia?"
"Sss' can't be true. No worshipper of Sylir would dare

    The rumours washed over the drykas, fervent whispers that overwhelmed her senses and confused her thoughts in a tangle of possibilities. What did it all mean? Bedivir's baritone cut through the heresay and grounded her abruptly with reality.

    “ what in Rhysol’s name do you think you were doing! God knows what everyone will think. Acolyte laid dead on the plaza and a- a- an outsider just appearing at the crime scene. Don’t you know better than that?” He spun her round at the edge of the dock and gripped both her arms, peering into her inked face ardently.
    Ruvya felt frustration threaten to bubble.
Nobody tells me anything in this goddamn city! She wanted to hiss. She didn’t, though her grimace and her look said it all the same.
The benshiran sighed and let her go.
“C’mon, we have passengers who need ferried to the slave markets in the Plaza of Dark Delights.”
Ruvya was disappointed and didn’t say anything.

    Bedivir was ferrying two businessmen in fancy black coats with fox fur trim and beaver hide, while Ruvya ferried their assistants. As she hefted the ferrypole and let it pass through her hands as she pressed its end against the dock to shove off, her heart sank a little as the heat of her frustrations ebbed. She hoped Bedivir wasn’t truly angry with her, just that he cared.

Nevertheless, the way he had hissed outsider prickled down her spine. As if it was something nasty, unwelcome.

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The Ripple Network

Postby Ruvya on October 8th, 2018, 6:32 pm

     as they ferried their respective passengers down the canals, Ruvya’s thoughts were subdued as she had to focus on her balance and steering. Her arms were still aching and as she lifted the pole and manoeuvred it hand-over-hand while pushing off walkways and buildings to drive the ravosala. Her palms started to burn too. The drykas cried inwardly. She’d have lovely blisters to tend to this evening—adding to the myriad of half-healed ones she had already.

    The novice driver distracted herself by listening to the idle chatter of her passengers. They discussed the fair weather that had finally settled back over Ravok after the recent flurry of storms and then about their master’s respective hopes to purchase slaves. The drykas found no interest in speaking of weather or in buying slaves. Her attention wandered to Bedivir and his statelier cargo. It was as she was watching her fellow ravosalaman that she noticed an odd kind of tension in his posture that was strange for the ravosalaman.

    Between nudging with the ferrypole here to move a little faster, a nudge there to keep her ravosala straight, Ruvya watched Bedivir. Her dark gaze swallowed his tension and she digested the way he tilted his head just so. After a few chimes, Ruvya realised that the benshiran was listening. Not just casual eavesdropping, as she had been doing, though, but really, intently, truly listening. He was absorbing the conversational details of his passengers with an avid interest that reminded Ruvya of the way hunting cats watch their prey before the deadly pounce. Curious, her resolve to find out what Bedivir meant grew.

    For now, though, the ravosala-driver had pressing things to turn her attention to. As she took a deep breath, she willed her heavy arms to haul the ferrypole up out of the water, sliding it up through her stinging palms, smoothly as she could so as not to splash water all over her first passengers of the day. She brought the pole down slowly on the other side of the ravosala and adjusted her grip and bent her knees, just like she had fist been shown a season ago, in anticipation of bracing against an upcoming building to steer the ravosala into an adjascent canal.

    It was wobbly, but they made it. It took all of her strength not to be yanked off the back of the ravosala, so it was familiar and welcome relief that flooded into the novice driver, as it did every time she had to steer into a corner, or around another boat. The drykas hoped driving manouvres would become as natural to her as singing was to Bedivir—or secrets, she came to discover later.


    "Bedivir, I do not understand, 'this'" Ruvya copied the benshiran by tapping her ear, which the benshiran had flicked, "and 'this'", following by tapping her head where he just had.

The benshiran rolled his lovely blue eyes at her. "You go charging into things like a wild animal, Ruvya. If you want to know more about this city, you have to watch and listen." He smirked coyly.

    His cryptic explanation was met with a furrowed brow and a perplexed from from the drykas, who puffed on the pipe in her right hand and waved grass-sign in her left. 'Cut to the chase.' Bedivir acquiesced suddenly without adieu, to the drykas' surprise. He leaned in close cross the table and Ruvya found herself mirroring him, almond gaze dancing over his impeccably shaven face with adamant curiosity. The ravosolaman spoke in a hushed tone, made husky and enticing by the faint lilt of his shiber accent. "Hargin was killed by a syliran."

    The ravosalaman's suspicions fell in between the ravosola drivers and dulled the clamour of the tavern patrons around them with a thick blanket of tension. Ruvya's mind flickered back to the plaza that morning—the pale, lifeless hand, the black robes, the solemn hush of the citizens, the icy stare of the commander, and the steely glint of the blade shard in his hands. "How do you know?" Ruvya challenged, narrowing her gaze. "You were not near."

    It was true, Bedivir had not left the ravosalas, except to grab Ruvya and haul her outof trouble before she could really have gotten herself into. So how did he know there was an insignia on the blade?

    "I watch, and I listen." He grinned slyly.
Ruvya slunk back in her seat and kept a narrow gaze on him. Suspicious herself that he wasn't just being mysterious to play a joke on her. "There has to be more to it than just listening to rumours. How do you know it is true?"
Bedivir chuckled and admited, teasingly, "There is a little more to it."
Ruvya huffed on her pipe for a few ticks, relishing in the clarity and ease the herb brought to her tired mind and aching muscles, until she caved and begged. "Show me."

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The Ripple Network

Postby Ruvya on October 20th, 2018, 7:54 pm

Observation +3
Driving: Ravosala +3
Investigation +1
Endurance +1
Intelligence +1
Rhetoric +1
Interrogation +1

Bedivir: A dealer in Ravok's secrets
Bedivir: Ravosalaman of benshiran heritage
Driving Ravosala: Being different attracts customers
Driving Ravosala: Docking
Drykas souls reincarnate through The Web as striders
Drykas: Leave their dead in the open for Caiyha and Semele to reclaim
Intelligence: Listen to the rumours of the city
Investigation: Requires more skill than charging in
Ravok: A Black Sun acolyte has been murdered by a Syliran
Ravok: Ravosalas are the way to get around
Ravok: Tarsin's Boarding House
Ravok: Tattoos aren't common
Ravok: Temple of the Black Sun
Ravok: The Central Plaza
Ravok: The Plaza of Dark Delights
Ravok: The Slave Market
Ravok: The Spot Tavern
Rhysol: God of Chaos, Betrayal & Lies
Ruvya: Believes in reincarnation
Ruvya: Carries her tattoos with pride
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