Making the Climb

Lani's Entrance Thread

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Making the Climb

Postby Lani Stranger on October 8th, 2018, 10:24 pm

8th of Fall, 518AV


The pass leading up to the mountain seemed unusually busy. Their caravan had hit the furthest out waystation two nights before, camped, and then headed out. They passed the harvesting fields, which was where it became “busy”. There seemed to be workings running to and from the fields and the mountain, scaling a small staircase that rippled down from the mountain, clinging to the bare rocks between the sparse trees. It was harvest.

“Hey chak-tay-ya.”

“Chock-taw-way.” She muttered the correct pronunciation to the Human who rode up beside her. Lani didn’t even bother to correct him that she wasn’t entirely Chaktawe, but the eyes were her most remarkable trait. She was crouched in the back of the wagon, her riding skills were perfectly shitty, a thing the caravan had discovered when she paid to join them. It saved her the cost of renting a horse for the travel, but it did keep an ever-present cloud of shame hovering over her, especially with the more experienced travelers.

“Yeah, whatever, this is your stop.”

“I kinda figured that, it isn’t like the cities are close together.” She ignored the man, squinting up past the sun to look at Mt. Skynarta. What a name.

“Well, unless you can pay us to make it to Anvathal, when I say this is your stop, I mean it’s time to get off.”

“What right now? Aren’t ya’ll getting on a boat?”

“Yes, we are. But if you want to make it to the city today, there is no point in following us around the mountain and then going up the sea pass.”

“Oh, yeah, yeah that makes sense.” She muttered, turning to her pack which was sitting on a crate beside her. There wasn’t much room, and she didn’t have much stuff, so she slipped it onto her back, standing on the edge of the wagon, to stretch her legs and time her jump. The horses were walking at their usual slow pace, and she had made this jump a billion times on the route. Lani stepped off the wagon, letting her legs roll into the ground, absorbing the impact and landed in a crouch. The traveler stopped his horse beside her, and she checked her pack to make sure her ritual bowl was okay.

“Good luck, Chaktawe.” He said solemnly, actually getting the name right, and she got the feeling he was messing with her for the last thousand miles. Lani snorted at him, adjusting her pack and looking towards the trail that led to the extreme stairs she saw earlier. She could already see four or five people starting the climb not too far from her. She turned to wave at the caravan, and the man had already turned his horse around and was catching up. So much for comradery.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 12th, 2018, 4:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Lani Stranger
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Making the Climb

Postby Lani Stranger on October 8th, 2018, 10:24 pm

The mixed girl scratched her head, hooked her thumb in her pack straps, and then headed up the stairs. Gods, she couldn’t wait for a bath. A bath was her priority, but she had to do something first. She had visited Windreach briefly as a child, as a layover to the Spires, so she recalled some key information. The city was run with some caste system, and the red-haired people were fairly racist. As a mixed blood she was used to a fair amount of prejudice, hate, and all the lovely reactions people had to things they didn’t understand. However the Inarta were even racist against other humans who didn’t look like them, so she couldn’t imagine how they would act toward her. Last time she visited this city, she never even climbed the entrance.

She was only about twenty chimes into the hike, perhaps half way there, when she had to slow. She was breathing heavier, her thighs felt like something had clamped onto them, and although she lifted them at a rhythmic rate, she had definitely slowed. In contrast, she could hear someone on their weigh to overtake her, so she moved to the right.

“Watch yourself, Cuckoo.” Lani understood the Nari, and glanced up to see the red haired woman pass, not sparing her a glance.

“I understand you.” She growled in common as a reply, but the woman didn’t look at her, perhaps not understanding her. Lani sighed, looking at the surrounding rock and trees for a momentary escape from the exercise. She was likely extra cranky because she was tired, she was gross and she was tired. Ahead of her there was bare grey rock, strangely porous and lightly sprinkled with dirt. Where they could, trees clung to the sides of the contorted stone, digging thin scraggly roots into the dirt where it was most solid. This offered a little shade against the early autumn sun, but there was little horizontal land to take off on. She couldn’t exactly stop on the stair case, for all she knew she would get pushed off for being a nuisance.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 4th, 2018, 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lani Stranger
Wanderer
 
Posts: 563
Words: 606261
Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Mixed blood
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Wind Reach Seasonal  Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Making the Climb

Postby Lani Stranger on October 8th, 2018, 10:25 pm

Within a few more chimes, the stairs seemed to be getting smaller. She would take two at a time, she was more than tall enough to, but her thighs screamed in protest. It was not the pain of injury, but it definitely was the soreness of pushing her limits. Thankfully, Lani noticed a small clearing just to the left of the stair case. Two small trees shielded half of the little clearing, and as Lani reached the step that lead to it, she realized she would have to crouch. The half-Eypharian ducked under the trees, feeling the kisses of their branches pulling her hair back. Once a few steps off the stairs, she collapsed, stuffing her pack off of one shoulder so it rested in the dirt, and then laying on her back beside it.

For a few minutes she took deep breathes, trying to quell the sweet and calm her heart. She was grateful that it even though it was the beginning of fall, the air was a little chilly. Perhaps this was the elevation, and perhaps that was why she was having more trouble breathing. But within a few chimes she was relaxed further. The mixed girl sat up, unclasping the cap of her waterskin and taking a long chug, stopping to catch her breath, and then gulping some more. She made sure to leave half of it, because she knew she was only half way up, and would want it all again.

Capping the waterskin again, she slung it back around her shoulder, and extended her left leg forward, and tucking her right leg into her thigh. She leaned into the stretch, feeling the pull in her hamstrings. It hurt, but it felt better and she knew it would help with the rest of the climb and whatever soreness she felt tomorrow. Lani did the same with the other leg, making sure to take it slow and really stretch the muscles properly. Then, keeping her right leg extended, she slowly twisted her hips so her left leg now was behind her, and she pulled her calf into her. She was used to this stretch and already very flexible, so she ended up pulling the calf past her hips, almost able to point her toes forward. This pulled the muscle in her quads and hips, extending everything in her legs that the first stretch could not.
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Lani Stranger
Wanderer
 
Posts: 563
Words: 606261
Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Mixed blood
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
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Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Wind Reach Seasonal  Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Making the Climb

Postby Lani Stranger on October 8th, 2018, 10:26 pm

After stretching the other leg as well she took one more sip of water, and then scrambled so that she was sitting crossed legged. She then pulled her pack to her, opening it up. Out of it she pulled her prayer bowl, the red ink, and the quill. She was nearly out of the red ink, and the quill was a stump of the tip, enough for writing in an emergency, but not the best. Lani was already falling into a comfortable mindset. Perhaps it was the refreshment of the exercise, but Lani contributed it to feeling the heavy weight of her God in the atmosphere. This was his time, after all.

She set the bowl carefully in the dirt beside her, and the ink and what was left of the quill next to it. Next she turned to her bag and pulled out a small leather pouch, holding her trinkets. One thing from the place she left, and one thing from the journey. She had the glowing shells from Alvadas, whose light was dim in comparison to how they had appeared in the city. On the travel she had picked up a shard of some shell, a sparking thing that she had found just off the trail while travelling. She still wasn’t sure what it was, but it was a significant marker of her journey, and therefore valuable. Lani then pulled out a stump of a candle and some lamp oil.

With calm hands, she placed the bowl immediately to her left, the shell and the shimmering shard beside it. She then propped the candle up in the dirt on her right, and pulled a scrap burning cloth from her bag. She clacked the flint and steel together a few times, waiting for the sparks to catch on the cloth. When it did she blew on it, waiting for the threads to begin to glow. Once an edge got to burning, she folding the cloth to make a point, and lit the wick with it. Once the wick caught, she stamped out the cloth in the dirt and put it in the bag with the flint and steel once again. This time she pushed the bag behind her, and let the candle warm up.

She searched her immediate surroundings for a stick, which was not hard to find. Picking it up, she placed it perpendicular across her lap, and closed her eyes. Lani felt the brush of wind pour into her lungs, and then out again. Once, twice more. She relished in the serenity and calmness of meditation right before a prayer. It was as if she was opening her mind and soul to her deity, so that he may better hear her prayer. Within a few more moments, she had her mind nearly completely clear, opening her senses to the world around her.

She could hear the branches against one another, gossiping above her. The dirt muffled many sounds, but did not stop her from hearing the chirp of the sparrows, flitting about the edge of her circle. Soon she was forgetting about the world around her. The chilly wind caressed her shoulders, and surely rose goosebumps, but the mixed blood did not respond to the cold.
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Lani Stranger
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Posts: 563
Words: 606261
Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Mixed blood
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Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
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2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Making the Climb

Postby Lani Stranger on October 8th, 2018, 10:26 pm

She could no longer hear the birds, she did not feel her behind resting on the ground, nor did she hear the occasional poetic trudging of feet up the stony steps behind her. For now, she was only open to Aquiras. She was focusing on him as best she could, letting her emotions flow through whatever path may reach the slumbering God. And as her thoughts floating to the fate of her deity, she began to meditate on the things she was offering him. The shells, which looked terribly regular outside of the City of Illusion, would appear as nothing to someone who had not seen them glow in the domain of the Trickster. And the other shard of something. It was perhaps peculiar to anyone who sees it. One side faintly shimmered in the sunlight, a strange metallic off-white color. The other was a smooth and pearly egg-shell white, which had some thin film clinging to one side, torn in places… quite like an egg.

An egg. It was a shard of an egg.

The realization snapped Lani out of her meditation. And in her distracted state, she almost picked the egg shell back up and put it back in her back. But she knew that would defeat the point of this ritual. She needed to show Aquiras that her travel had brought her something significant, and while previously, the mystery of it had been significant, it was now a heavier token to give to the God. Beginning her task, she took the stick from her lap, and drew a smooth circle in the sand. In the center of that she drew seven mostly even spokes, coming out from the center. It was there that she placed the bowl.

“Thank you for my safe travels, father of the road.” She said, twisting the base of the bowl into the ground slightly so that it stayed. She then dropped the no-longer-glowing shells into the bowl. “From the City of Illusions…” She picked up the candle, dropping a few dots of wax onto the shells, a symbolic way of cementing them into the bowl. Then she dropped the shard of the now-known eggshell on top of the shells. “To the City of the Eagles.” Lani then dropped a few dots of wax onto the shard.

She picked up the red ink and dipped the scraggly quill into it, wiping the tip on the edge, so that the ink would not drop and mess up her writing.
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Lani Stranger
Wanderer
 
Posts: 563
Words: 606261
Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Mixed blood
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Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
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2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Making the Climb

Postby Lani Stranger on October 8th, 2018, 10:27 pm

Carefully, with a practiced hand, Lani identified the last line on the interior of the bowl. The date that she left Alvadas, and a note saying so. Next to it she drew a fine arrow, and wrote the name of Windreach, and the date next to it. Followed by a square to note that this is where she stayed. Now, with the markings done and the contents offered, Lani dropped some twigs into the bowl and some tinder. She picked up the candle once more, and leaned it into the bowl, letting the wax drip, and the flame ignite the tinder. Once it caught she blew and covered it from the chilly wind to let it grow. Once the items of the bowl were burning well, she sat back on her haunches, and watched.

“I think good will come of this journey. Because your realm requires skill that I do not have, or coin which I can’t give, my travel took me here to Wind Reach. Is it a sign of something? Ivak had mingled with mortals in my lifetime, which I remember. But does the release of his imprisonment have anything to do with waking you from your slumber?” She paused after asking the question, as if for whatever reason he may answer.

“I’m working on it.” She muttered to herself, as if answering herself.

“Anyway, I have high hopes for Wind Reach, although I know that is Priskil’s domain. I will pray to her, I always do. I just wanted to make sure I talked to you before the mayhem of entering a new city distracted me. This isn’t Alvadas or Lhavit which I know so well, but a city that does not welcome my kind. Not simply by my hair, but by both of my heritages. The last time I brushed paths with the Inarta, I was treated poorly, and I didn’t even enter their city. Does that mean I will be taken down? No of course not. This is a stop on a greater journey. You led me here for a reason, and I will find it. Thank you.” She realized she was babbling. She had faith in the God of Travel. Wherever Aquiras was leading her, it was for a reason, and she would find it. She would do right by him, she always did.

For the rest of the time, while the fire burned its way out, she sat in silence, trying not to worry too much about the oncoming events when she entered the city. Whatever was to happen was within her control. She wasn’t going to find trouble; she would do what she came for… whatever that was. Still, there would be adjusting, she hadn’t planned to come to this city after all, she knew little about the people and the culture, but she would figure it out.

Within a few chimes, the tinder was nothing but ash. It wasn’t made to burn long, and it wasn’t made to burn the shells beneath, so long as the ash got on the bowl. After it was done, she picked the bowl out of the circle. Using her already crusted nails, she dug a shallow hole in the center, and dumped the contents of the bowl in and then filling it back in with dirt.

Once she was done and cleaned up, Lani scooting out of the small enclave, back to the stairs. She glanced up the other twenty chimes she knew she would have to do, and sighed. She felt lighter. She was looking forward to the city with a little more vigor. Aquiras had a way of helping her with that, and she looked forward to telling his lover, Priskil, about her hopes for the city once she found a place to sleep.
User avatar
Lani Stranger
Wanderer
 
Posts: 563
Words: 606261
Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Mixed blood
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Wind Reach Seasonal  Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Making the Climb

Postby Solstice on October 23rd, 2018, 9:24 pm

Grades are here!

Lani Stranger

XP Award:
  • +1 Socialization
  • +3 Endurance
  • +3 Praying
  • +2 Meditation
  • +5 Observation

Lore:
  • Location: Mt. Skyinarta
  • The Road to Wind Reach is an Intense Hike
  • Higher Elevation Makes it Harder to Breathe
  • Endurance: Resting to Catch Your Breath
  • Endurance: Stretching to Loosen Muscles
  • Wind Reach: The City of Eagles
  • Praying: Offering Tokens as Sacrifice

Rewards and Penalties:
  • - Seashells

Note: Great thread. I had fun reading about Lani’s religion. Let me know if I missed anything.
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