Here We Go [Solstice]

Lani is offered language lessons by Val Imsun, and get assigned a caste by the Valintar.

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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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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Lani Stranger on October 22nd, 2018, 3:27 pm

8th of Fall, 518AV


When Lani reached the gates, she did not expect these to be the gates to Wind Reach. She had briefly visited the docks of the city before, and they were full of the western artistic nature of this clan of humans, and for some reason the mixed blood imagined that the gates would be built with glorious splendor to showcase this community’s luxury. But they were not.

Had the path not ended here, with no other place to turn, she might have walked past and dismissed this weirdly dull entryway as a ruin or a worker’s entrance. But as she focused on the gate in the center, she noticed a neat little glass handle on the iron gate. Never having just been able to walk into city gates without a guard checking her first, Lani was hesitant to pull the handle, knocking on the thick metal instead. She saw no sign of people, but noticed the small glass handle with a chain, perhaps a locking mechanism, attached to it.

Logically, for any other city, this would be moronic. If just anyone could walk in, what would stop a troupe of thieves, or barbarian Zith prancing through these dull, unguarded gates. The climb. She answered herself, thinking about the forty minute trek she just took up the side of a fortress of a mountain. This place was hard to access, sending a force of any size up the Sanikas Pass would immediately be detected by these bird-worshipping people. So Lani turned the handle, confident that she was the opposite of a threat, and has not been plucked from the ground by a giant Wind Eagle.

Instead of the door giving way though, she heard a soft melodic tune of metal and glass dancing with one another behind the door. The mixed blood laughed. This wasn’t a handle, of course! It was an alert system itself, just waiting for a stranger to want to walk in, which would ring the tune for someone to come. Respectfully, Lani stepped back, hitching a thumb in her pack strap, and resting the other hand on her boomerang, more casually than threateningly. Even if she was trying to intimidate, it would be a bluff, she had yet to be able to throw the thing well enough that it returned to her, as it was supposed to.

And old man seemed to appear out of nowhere, and she could hear the grinding of the metal gate on the stone, and within ticks the door was wide open to reveal an old white-haired man. She could see wisps of yellow and red invading his hair, which spoke of his Inarta blood. She was a little disappointed the first thing she saw was not a mass of fiery red hair, but she supposed it made sense that the famed hair of the Inarta would grey, whiten, and even balden, like the rest of the humans.

He took her in before saying anything. She had the height of both of her heritage races, but the shimmering tanned skin of the Eypharian. She normally was confident in her glossy straight hair, but after a season of travel it had acquired a regular grease, she had ran out of her cleaner moons ago, and although she untangled it and strapped it up when she could, there was an added anxiety about the color now. It was distinctly black, it contrasted her skin in a way that most people found favorable, but not here.

Matched with her Eypharian features, her Chaktawe traits stood out more. She stood barefoot before him, thick callouses on her feet rendering shoes nearly unnecessary. Still, she had a pair of boots strapped to her bag for when she absolutely needed them. Since that occasion was rare, they were old with age, but relatively unused, not even boasting of lines that memorized the shape of their wearer. The elder man took in her eyes, which were pitch black, and focused on him. In theory he could not know if she was staring him down or letting them wander, but she found in close quarters, most people could tell.
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Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 12th, 2018, 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Lani Stranger on October 22nd, 2018, 3:28 pm

“Bless the day, what is your name?” He jabbered quickly in a foreign language to her, but Lani did not mark it as Nari, she didn’t understand a single word of it. She raised an eyebrow in confusion, and did not answer, even though it sounded like a question.

“Oh, you must not speak Tawna.” He said in clear and concise common. Lani shook her head, not recognizing the name of the language.

“What is Tawna?” She couldn’t help but ask, a curiosity flavoring her voice.

“Why, the language of your people! I don’t know it well enough, never really had a need to, not much Chaktawe come this way. But! You’re here now, and must tell me more about your culture.” He ushered her in, and she stepped forward tentatively, still very confused. She was not completely Chaktawe, and she had never been to her homeland, or met her parents. She clearly did not know the language even existed, and she wasn’t even entirely Chaktawe. Although the Eypharian did not show as readily in her if one did not recognize it, it was there.

“I don’t have people, I’m not Chaktawe.” She tried to clarify, ducking into the door, and turning as he closed it behind her. Her eyes adjusted to the dark quickly, and she noticed the long hallway with the light of the city glowing through the end, and a small enclave to her left, where she could smell the strong scent of tea.

“Of course, of course, you must not have been raised by the Chaktawe, but their blood is in you, that I am sure of. Have you ever seen a mirror?”

“Of course I have.” She snorted, she had been poor, she had been so poor she had debated eating the lice in her hair, because it was at least something, but she had not lived her whole life poor, and so she had experienced the luxury living of a commoner, which included mirrors. “I know that I have the blood in me, I also have Eypharian blood. I belong to neither. I am more Konti than anything else.” Her voice petered off into a mutter at the end, but he motioned toward his enclave where she could hear the water boiling on the fire.
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Lani Stranger on October 22nd, 2018, 3:29 pm

“Would you like to tell me about it now, or are you eager to see our city?” He offered her the choice, and she didn’t very much want to tell this stranger all about her past or how she doesn’t belong to any race, let alone culture, nor even a city. She didn’t want to explain why she could hardly speak any languages or take care of herself despite her travels, or how she was so emotionally removed that her dependency on others became a parasitical relationship because she could offer nothing in return.

“Are you not worried about me bringing weapons?” She asked, remembering when the Lhavitian monks checked all of her and her mother’s weapons upon entrance, cataloging the food they brought with them, and then directing them on a specific place to go to be registered with the city.

“Oh darling, you are not a threat, we can see that. We don’t get visitors here often, but we do enjoy them. I do at least. There are always more things to learn and talk about, and so long as you want to work to better our community, our community will better you. That is why you are here right?”

“I’m here because I can no longer pay for passage to The Spires.” She admitted.

“The Spires! Have you been before or were you invited?”

“I wasn’t invited, but I have family there, I think they will remember me.”

“Of course, darling! A Chaktawe who identifies with the Konti and has Jamoura family… how interesting… Jamoura remember everything, and yet we are but a blip on their radar! Well it sounds like you want to earn your keep, the Valintar would look kindly upon that sentiment. You must know we are not like the other cities in how we function.” He said, and began walking with her towards the end of the long hall.

“I used to come to the port often with my mother, so I know a little about the culture.” She nodded, and then remembered that she had been taught some Nari. “I speak a little.” She voiced in the strange whistling language. She was very rusty and knowledgeable that it was not a complete sentence, but she was hoping to show the man that she wanted to try.

“Very good start.” He said something that sounded confirming in Nari, then switched to common. “But that may not get you by here. I am one of the few who understands, let alone speaks common. You’ll find more in the enclave, although you will still have to put effort into learning our language. You see, we like visitors, especially ones who come to work, but we are a close culture, we don’t get visitors often.”

“Given the location, yeah, that makes sense.” Lani chuckled. He smiled.

“Which also means that the common tongue is not as… common here. I know you are weary from travel and would like to acquire lodging and food as quickly as possible, so I will not keep you, but I will teach you a few things before you speak to the Valintar.”

“… Okay? Does he not speak common?”

“He does, but not as well as me. Your caste will likely not speak common, almost no one will, might as well start on Nari now?”

“I suppose that makes sense.”

“Now, how much have you learned?”

“I know the alphabet, and numbers up to one hundred. I can ask for food and drink, say hello and good by, apologize, offer and ask for names, ask to speak common, and ask how to say things?”She racked her memory, although the list she rattled off seemed small, she wasn’t even sure if she could do all that with ease.

“Mhmm, well since you are very very new, you’ll simply have to memorize the phrases for now. Repeat after me.”

“Okay.”

“’I would like to work here.’” He whistled out the Nari slowly, and she followed his lips with her eyes.

“I… would like… to… work here.” She said slowly, carefully to make sure she pronounced all the foreign words correctly. She knew the word for ‘I’ and it seemed out of order, but she did not question the grammar of the foreign language.

“One more time: ‘I would like to work here.’”

“I would like to… work here.”

“Good for now. Next: ‘I’m staying until I earn enough pinions to travel.’” Lani gawked at the sentence, it was a little long, and she recognized only ‘I’ again.

“Umm… I staying until earn I enough pinions to travel.” She rushed through, perhaps not pronouncing it right.
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Lani Stranger on October 22nd, 2018, 3:30 pm

“I know, it is intimidating if you don’t know how the language works, you just have to memorize these two phrases. One more time, slowly: ‘I’m staying until I earn enough pinions to travel.’ Go again, slowly.” He seemed patient with her, so she mouth his words silently before bringing the confidence to speak it out loud again.

“I’m… staying until… I… earn enough pinions to travel.” She spoke slowly, focusing on pronunciation and word order.

“I’m staying until I earn enough pinions to travel.” He repeated, nodding to her.

“I’m staying until I earn enough pinions to travel.” She repeated as well, more confidently.

“And the first phrase was?”

“I would like to… work here.”

“Good, do you know what that means?” Lani shook her head, not even attempting to decode it. “I means that you are asking to work. Start with that. Then he will ask how long you plan on staying and you say…”

“I staying until I earn enough pinion to travel.”

“Close, but yeah. He will probably explain to you in common, but do try and use the Nari.” Lani nodded, silence revealing her zapped confidence. She felt so stupid in this language.

“Thank you, I am called Lani by the way.”

“Lani. And what is your surname?”

“Stranger. Lani Stranger.” The old Inarta grinned, getting the joke on her self-appointed name, and she felt a little bit of warmth at the friendliness as he grasped her hand, shaking it gently in both of his. “My name is Valtrrrik Imsun. It is wonderful to meet you.” He said to her, and she grinned.

“It is great to meet you, Mr. Imsun.” She skipped his first name, already sure she could not roll the ‘r’ to pronounce it right, and didn’t want to offend him. “Would you be okay if I came back up every once in a while to learn Nari formally? I will pay, once I get a job.”

“Of course! And I do not want pay, we are all taken care of well here, but tell me about your history, your travels, and why you identify with the Konti, and I think that should be a fair trade.” He nodded to her, letting her hands go and closing the last few steps to the stairs that lead down into the city. She glanced at this door way, it showed the craftsmanship of the Inarta in its stone frame, but was still not the most glorious gate she had seen. Still she could feel the oncoming weight of passing through an official threshold into this new city.

“Deal.” She said in common and then switched to Nari. “Thank you.”

“Best of luck to you, Lani Stranger. Now, head down the Valintar’s office, the very round glass structure at the bottom of the stairs.” The old man chuckled to himself, and then turned around, hobbling back towards his enclave. Lani turned to look down at the city below, feeling the nerves of seeing a new city on her own. She did not have her mother by her side, she had never been to this place before, but here she was.
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Lani Stranger on October 22nd, 2018, 3:30 pm

Before even passing the threshold, the religious mixed blood placed a hand on the door frame, feeling the carved stone with her hands, and trying to memorize it’s pattern. Aquiras, Bless this opportunity, this new beginning, and this stage in my journey. She thought the quick prayer, bringing her fingers to her lips and kissing them before pushing them into the door frame. She expected this threshold would have an impact on her in the coming seasons. If it was not the doorway she traversed regularly in her pursuit of a new language, then it was at least the entrance to the city which she could either thrive or survive in. She refused to be beat down by these foreign people and their foreign ways, like any good traveler she would integrate as best she could, and this doorway was her entrance to do so.

After praying at the door, she heard the old man speak up.

“You worship the sleeping God?” He asked, and she glanced back to see him halfway down the hall, and she merely nodded. She understood the judgement she got for devoting herself to a deity who could not reply or acknowledge it, but no one understood how much Aquiras meant to her. Simply because he had his divinity stolen by another, did not mean he did not still own his realm. He would return, she was sure of it. “Hopefully I will hear about this too.” The old man spoke with a longing in his voice. A glutton for knowledge, he was, and the mixed blood grinned. She was okay with that, he didn’t seem the type to look down on her for what others saw as ‘wasted’ prayers.

Turning back to the doorway, she actually walked through it now, and looked down at the city below. She slowed on her descent, taking it in now that she had the chance. It was not put together like any other city she had seen. There were buildings carved into the walls of the volcano, and a large lake in the middle with what looked like a forest growing between. The city got enough light via ventilation holes carved into the top, or naturally occurring, she couldn’t tell. There was a ‘ground’ level which was a loose name for the collection of glass and stone buildings that erupted from the base, but the ‘level’ was uneven, spreading across the massive cavern in a disorganized shape, that had an artistic fluidity to it. It was not the chaotic structure of Alvadas, always changing, or the cramped buildings of Lhavit trying to balance on each peak. Wind Reach seemed to nestle comfortable in the base of this volcano, and she got the feeling that what she saw on the surface was merely the tip of what this city could show her.

She could see the building that Valtrrrik had told her about. The stairs down to the ground level was not anywhere near as long as the hike up the mountain, which only confirmed that there must be tunnels here.

“I would like to work here. I staying until I earn enough pinion to travel. I would like to work here. I staying until I earn enough pinion to travel. I would like to work here…” She whispered the phrases back to herself as she headed for the building, determined to use them correctly when she had the chance. Her heart was beating to the rhythm of her words, a fast paced anxious beat. And when she found the door to the office, she found it also without guards. What a trusting city.

Trusting… or capable. The thought occurred to her that Wind Reach did not crawl with security because they felt secure by themselves. For some reason that thought both thrilled and terrified her. She could see the figure of a man sitting at a desk inside, and took a deep breath before raising her hand to knock on the door. Here we go.
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Solstice on October 23rd, 2018, 9:20 pm


Lani may not have noticed it, but from the moment she stepped past the massive gates and into to the warrens of the city, all manner of eyes were on her. Those glances displayed curiosity, bewilderment, and distrust as according to the nature of the personalities behind them. To the red haired and sky color eyed people of the mountain, the woman who now walked among them was different, dark haired and dark eyed as she was. Their glances were not outright hostile; after all she was, as far as they could tell at a glance, human. But in this bustling city of no more than two thousand individuals, no stranger as odd as this could possibly go unnoticed. If boiling tempers and distrust threatened to burst into harassment, they were cooled at the woman’s straightforward approach to the Valintar’s office, and Lani was deliberately ignored, even if her passing was echoed by chirping whispers.

When Lani’s knock rang against the stained glass panels embellished in the door, the resonance sang. From within the reception a voice called out in common. “Come in.”

Kaden was almost always working, but the challenges presented this season were especially daunting. The possibility of Morwen not returning for yet another year made the Valintar worried. On the outside, it might appear to be a boon. There was an overabundance of food, and the weather was remarkably calm. However, Kaden knew also that without the snowfall that normally cooled the volcano each year, temperatures would be continually rising. In addition, water shortages were also a problem, and the animals around the city were beginning to act exceedingly strange. These were the trials that had been on the Valintar’s mind lately, but they did not distract him from the appearance of the young stranger. A new arrival to Wind Raech perhaps? For all the Inartas’ xenophobia, Kaden had a practical approach to new arrivals. What skills might a new person be able to bring to his city? Even one person could tip Wind Reach in a favorable direction if their talents merited it.

Lani would not be invited into Kaden’s office, as magnificent as it was, for generally only Eagle Riders and Avora were welcomed there. However, at the knock Kaden had raised his eyes from his work at his desk and moved out of his stained glass office and into the reception area.

Light refracted off of the illuminated stained glass lining the walls, spilling bright red, golds and greens across the floor and the comfortable sunken couches lining the walls of the room. Once Lani entered, she would find Kaden waiting patiently for her in the center of the room.

“Hello, welcome,” Kaden spoke, still in common.
Kaden was not an overly handsome man, but he had a sort of ease about him. The red haired man’s calm gaze exuded a calm that could ease the most frayed of nerves. His eyes were kind, but discerning. From the moment his eyes had fallen on Lani, Kaden’s well practiced power of observation was churning out evaluations on the woman before him.

“My name is Kaden Avin,” the man introduced himself, still in common. “I assume that you speak Common at least? Val wouldn't have sent you here without a translator if you didn’t. And my guess is that you don't know much Nari. Although I’d be happy if you proved me wrong.” He chuckled slightly at the end of his statement, and gestured at one of the couches. “Please make yourself comfortable.”

Once Lani was seated, Kaden would sit beside her and smile faintly. “I am the Valintar,” Kaden explained. “My role here in Wind Reach is to see that all citizens of this city are taken care of and that everyone is fed. Part of that is assigning roles to all the citizens of the city. So with that in mind, could you tell me a bit about what your purpose is here in Wind Reach? If you’re staying here for an extended period of time, you’ll need to be assigned a caste. To help me understand what caste to assign you to, I’ll need to know about your skills and your abilities.”
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Lani Stranger on October 25th, 2018, 8:19 pm

Lani followed Kaden’s request when he welcomed her in. She was so stuck on being able to memorize the Nari phrases Val had taught her that she hardly recognized that this Inarta had just spoken common to her. She watched him, nerves on fire as he judged her. She supposed it was his job, but she wanted to run away from his gaze. She wanted to prove herself, she just didn’t want to confront discomfort.

Upon the request to prove him wrong, Lani spoke up. “I speak… a little.” She whistled in Nari, her voice coming out in a squeak, and she paused in weird places, but the phrase was plenty understandable. She let her words descend into nothing plopping down next to the Valintar. She wasn’t looking around the reception, and was focusing on him. As he explained, quickly, his role within the city, she tried to read his expressions. He didn’t seem hostile, but wasn’t overly friendly either. She supposed it was good to know that the people in charge, or at least who seemed to have a significant amount of influence on the people, were not hostile. From what she had learned of the city, it was mildly xenophobic. They did not oppress outsiders like Kenash or Ravok, but they looked down upon those who were different. Boy was Lani different.

Still, Kaden looked Lani directly in her pitch black eyes and didn’t flinch, which gave the mixed blood some hope and confidence on the matter. Once he told her what he needed to know, she decided now was the time to use the phrases. She still wasn’t entirely sure what they meant, but she had practiced them for something.

“I would like work here.” She said as calmly as she could, glad her voice was no longer squeaking with anxiety. “I staying until I earn enough pinion to travel.” She said, thinking it came out a little short, and worried she might have missed a word or pronounced something incorrectly.

“I want to work, I’m just stranded.” She quickly explained in common, trying to distract him from any mistakes in Nari she might have made. Now was time to try and make her less than exciting life, which had given her few skills to boast of, sound like it would be useful to this city. She had tried many things, but she held little significant skills. “I can work with animals, I know some things about medicine and herbalism. I can write… and I can learn to do so in Nari. I’m more physically capable than anything, it makes me adaptable, and I pick things up quickly if I am taught.” She jabbered. It wasn’t as if she had any proof of skill to show him. She wasn’t good enough in medicine to carry any vials that he could get assessed by his doctors. She was not crawling with animal she could care for or ride, and she had no tools of trade with her that would otherwise show him her capability. She had spent her life focusing on magic and then stopped, fearing it when she witnessed the drastic effects of overgiving. She could not even gloat of wizardry skills, for all she had was base knowledge, but no practice. She was nifty, that was about it.

But the mixed blood didn’t let that weigh her shoulders in shame. She kept her chin raised, looking at the man straight in the face and not crossing her legs. She knew that if she had nothing tangible to show him, she would at least be confident in her words so that he saw the potential. She didn’t know this city well enough to see if they looked kindly upon magic. If she could gain more practice and confidence in her skills, surely Alchemy and shielding would be useful. But the foreigner did not dare offer the skills in her list, not after Alvadas. Not after R’yse.

“I am adaptable.” She repeated. “I’ve made it this far.” She motioned towards nothing in particular, it was a laughable statement, but it was true. Few people made it to this age with this many cities under her belt if she wasn’t good at something. It so happened that something was swindling others into providing for her, but that was nowhere near what this man wanted to hear. Especially now that she didn’t want to do it anymore. Watching and saying the right words to appeal to others only took her so far, and now she had goals to achieve and missions to accomplish.
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Solstice on October 31st, 2018, 8:35 pm


Kaden listened patiently and intently as Lani spoke to him. The Valintar could all but feel the nerves radiating off of the woman, like flames from a forge. A smile flitted across his face at the young woman’s half-broken Nari, for though it was poor the intent to fit in was there, and she would need it if she hoped to spend any amount of time here and not be shattered by the experience. One had to find some way of belonging here, even if a difference in appearance and language made it difficult. At the very least she was trying.

“You can stay here as long as you need and earn money so long as you are doing work to help benefit the city,” Kaden explained. “You will be given accommodations and food as well as payment simply by merit of living and working here. A portion of your payment will be taken as taxes, but the rest will be yours to do with as you will. Should you acquire enough money to move on, you can exchange your pinions for Mizas if you wish. However, if you are living in Wind Reach, you must work and you must obey our laws. Behave yourself, respect those who are of a higher caste than you, and you must also not harm any birds in or outside of the city.”

As Kaden listed the laws to Lani, his voice grew very stern, but it soon smoothed back into a gentle expression. “Follow our rules and you’ll do fine here.”

He found himself nodding at her skills. Nothing earth shaking, certainly. But all things that could be used.

“Animals, medicine, herbalism, scribing.” The Valintar tallied off the list of all the skills that Lani had stated. “You’re skills would be best suited the Chiet caste. You may be put to work in the stables, the clinic, or perhaps the Enclave doing scribing or copying. Your specialties have been noted, but you will be put to work doing other labor as well as is needed. You are not the lowest caste, but you will be expected to show respect to your betters, the Avora and Endal.”

The Valintar stood up, and looked at Lani. “Might I have your name? I will add your name to the Caste registry. You will then need to go report to Eva. She’s the head of the Darniva Common Rooms. She will get you situated. Don't worry about not speaking Nari well, she is used to dealing with people who are not Inarta.”
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Lani Stranger on October 31st, 2018, 9:45 pm

Caste, caste, caste. If she was Chiet, but not the lowest, then what class was lower? Avora and Endal were higher, but what was the difference? How would one get into those classes? Why did they pay her an amount if they were just going to take most of it away? Why not just give her What was left to make it less complicated? These weren't questions to ask at least, there was sure to be some long economics answer that she didn't understand. The illusion of a free market in a communal city. What was the pinion to miza ratio? The bird law made sense at least, the Inarta were weird, she expected it. Lani had many questions now, and the hesitancy of not knowing what she was allowed to ask. She had experienced uncomfortable racism in Lhavit, but the officials had kept it hidden at least. Perhaps that was the case here. She sure had not missed the whispers in her short walk in, but the Valintar seemed to want to reassure her. He was kind at least.

"Oh yes, Um. Lani Stranger. L-A-N-I Stranger." She told him, looking at what he wrote down, but unable to read a lick of the Nari. She glanced around the room, trying not to feel like she was prying where she shouldn't. Instead she glanced around the room again. Finding nothing new, she tried to formulate her questions by priority, he seemed to be done with her. "Um, quick question. What are the castes? You explained what the Chiet do, but what are Avora? What are Endal? What caste is lower than mine?"
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Here We Go [Solstice]

Postby Solstice on November 7th, 2018, 8:54 pm


Kaden took down Lani's name in the scratchy, Nari script which looked a bit like the scratching of bird talons against parchment. Kaden's script was clean and clear, and as soon as he had written the note down he rolled it up and set it in his off hand. Kaden would add the name to his extensive notes in his office later; all that was required now was a brief note of the newcomers name, caste, and skills.

He noted the nervous look in the woman's eye, the way she glanced around the room as if to keep her eyes busy. The Valintar was only slightly surprised by Lani's question. It was common for newcomers to ask extensive questions about Inarta culture, but seeing as Lani already spoke a bit of Nari, Wind Reach's leader had assumed that she already knew the other details of Wind Reach's society.

“Yes, of course,” the Valintar said, eyes softening slightly at the question. Although Kaden was the Valintar, he spent a lot more time interacting with people outside of the Inarta than his usual bretheren did. As such, he tended to be more open-minded and understanding of newcomers to the city, particularly when they looked to be earnest in their wishes of getting along well here.

“There are four castes within the city,” Kaden told the dark eyed woman. “Castes are the social structure here within Wind Reach. They are a class you are assigned to based on your abilities. The higher the caste, the better treatment you receive and the more money you make. At the very top are the Endal. They are the Eagle Riders. Wind Reach relies on them and their Wind Eagles to feed the city, so they are given the best food and the best accommodations. The next highest caste are the Avora. They are the artisans. Glass blowers, blacksmiths, hunters, and gardeners are all some of the people who fall under this caste. The third highest is Chiet; that is your caste. They are the unskilled workers, or those who do work that isn't valued as highly as the Avora. The final caste is the Dek at the very bottom. They are people who are incapable of doing work with any kind of skill, so they are reduced to doing the hardest and grittiest physical labor. They have no worth, so even a Chiet like you can order them to do whatever you'd like from them.” Kaden spoke that last sentence with an air of utter unconcern, almost as if speaking about the Dek was beneath him.

“Regardless,” Kaden said. “Navigating the caste system is simple. You merely do whatever the caste above you tells you to. If you feel that you've earned enough skill to become an Avora, you'll need to find someone who can speak for your skills and be willing to take you as an apprentice, then you can come see me and I will assign your rank.” Kaden didn't add that the chances of such a thing was very unlikely, especially for an outsider. Hope was a powerful motivator, and if Lani found herself overwhelmed, the chance of raising in rank might be enough to keep her going.

“Did you have any more questions?” Kaden added the last question mostly as a formality. He had many things to do, and he might tolerate only a question or two more before he dismissed the young lady to get her room assignment.
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Solstice
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