Song for the Sky III

Lani attempts to get more information about the star. (Weekend Challenge)

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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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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:51 am

18th of Fall, 518AV


The next morning was less kind than the last. She had, for no quantifiable reason, cried herself to sleep. Cried and masturbated, because nothing filled the void of loneliness like dutiful, quick, and emotionless orgasms brought on by one’s own hand. It hadn’t been a good night, she wasn’t proud. It had taken hours. She woke up more dehydrated than normal and by the time she did open her eyes to the world, sunlight was filtering through the air shafts in the ceiling and she realized she had woken up late. On mornings like this, she wanted to curl up in bed and continue to cry.

You met him two whole days ago, he owes you nothing. She reminded herself. A thought popped out of the back recesses of her brain, commenting on her own form of self-berating propaganda. Not even respect . Lani sighed. This was why she didn’t stay in bed on her bad days, her thoughts were dangerous. Groaning with the effort the mixed blood rose from her bed in a fluid motion that set her abs tense. She continued on until she was hunched over her knees, tangled locks falling over her face, shielding her from Syna’s invading light. She sat like that for a few ticks before it was too uncomfortable to hold, and then she swung her legs off the bed and stood.

To try and wake herself up, she clacked her ankles together, straightened her legs, then her back, then extended her arms above her head, pulling her spine out in a stretch. Slow and deliberate she let her arms fall outward around her, bending at the waist until they came back to her feet. She was fairly flexible and was able to flatten her hands on top of her feet. She held that position for a few ticks, feeling it pull out her hamstrings. Once that was comfortable, she crawled forward on her hands, walking them forward until she managed to find herself in an even plank. This worked her calves, quads, biceps, triceps, and abs. By this point she had pulled her body out of the grog, but she focused, holding the straight position until she counted of ninety ticks, before she pushed her hips into the ground, letting her legs slowly sink into the floor.

In an equally fluid movement, she pushed her shoulders back, tilting her head until she could feel her long longs brush her hamstrings, she held this position, taking as large a breath as it would allow, before lowering her chest until she as flat on the ground. Following muscle memory now, she spread her arms so her body made a strong ‘T’ on the floor. In the same pace as her previous stretches, she stretched her right leg back, steadying the ankle until she felt her toes tap her left wrist. Every notch along her spine felt like it popped, but she knew there was more. Moving her right leg back down, she repeated the stretch with her left leg to her right hand, until she could feel that every bone in her back had released itself with a loud crack.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on December 12th, 2018, 4:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:51 am

Then Lani tucked her hands by her side, rolled, and spread herself out in a strong ‘T’ again, this time laying on her pack. She repeated the same stretch with a slight difference. Taking her right leg, she raised the knee, diagonally over her chest until it touched her left elbow. She did the same with her left leg and right elbow.

Now that she was on her back, Lani tucked her feet straight down from her knees, while leaving her hips on the floor. Taking a deep breath to steady herself, she lifted her hips until there was a straight line from her knees to her chest, and then she held. She couldn’t to nearly three chimes before her thighs quivered so much she had to let herself down. She allowed herself three deep breathes before she positioned her arms so that she was propped up on her elbows, her legs still in the starting position from the last exercise. This move she had recently added to her morning routine and it took some practice, so Lani did so slowly and calculated. She pushed her weight from her elbows into her hands, steadily raising herself until she was in table position. She allowed herself to suck in a breath and then hoping to attain the same slow and steady pace she lowered herself, shifting the weight from her hands to her elbow. She was able to do this six times, before the last one landed on her elbow a little hard, and she decided that was pushing it for the day, she would have to beat six next time.

Letting herself fall flat on the ground, she took a few more ticks to steady her breathing before she hopped up in a limber, practiced move.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:52 am

She had a soft glean of sweat on her, and thought her out to visit the sanitation baths, but she had some things to focus on first. Narth had visited yesterday, bringing the glaring realization that she had not officially moved into Wind Reach. Perhaps it was her nomadic nature; perhaps it was the fact that she had almost no things. Nearly half of her items had just been bought on the last market day, and all lay strewn across her table, still waiting to be put away.

It took her all of two seconds to separate the items into reasonable categories. She emptied out the baskets, tossed the new clothes and cloths into the clothing pile. She set the new quill, ink bottles, loose parchment, and blank book to the side. She then separated out her weapons to one corner of the table. Her toiletries and beauty items, of which there were few, set down in another corner. Lastly any housing items, her candles, a new hand broom, a couple extra mugs, a tea strainer, were all put together as well.

She had three baskets she had bought while shopping to carry everything, so she easily arranged her toiletries into one. The dented mirror rest next to that basket, and she turned to the counter that held her water pitcher. Underneath were bare shelves with a healthy layer of dust interrupted by marks of this dwelling’s last owner’s things. She grabbed a dirty sock from the laundry, dipped it in the water pitcher, and began swiping down the shelves until all the dust had rolled away or stuck to the cloth. She then placed the toiletry basket on the top shelf, propping the mirror against the wall atop the counter. She grabbed her weapons, stuffed them into a basket with less care then she perhaps should have, and placed that basket on the bottom-most shelf of the counter. She sorted the housing miscellanies items, putting what she was least likely to use on the bottom, and the more used things, like candles on the top. She placed that in the center shelf under the counter.

She was on a track, and without missing a beat, ran the wet sock over the counter to wipe away any crumbs or dirt. She propped a new candle on the candle holder, and set it in the center of the table.

She turned on her bed with vigor, snatching the quilts from the top and tossing them on the floor. She straightened the fitted sheet, fluffed the pillow, then pulled the frame slightly away from the wall. The screech of wood on stone didn’t faze the woman with a mission. With her long wingspan, the mixed blood picked up her preferred bottom blanket and tossed the end up in the air so it fell onto the bed evenly. She did this with all three blankets, watching them settle in the crack that she created between the bed and the wall. Once those were even, she pushed the bed back in, pinching the quilts in place, and tossed the pillow on top. Lani took to her clothes pile, grabbing a burlap sack, and stuffing them into it. She knew there were some clean ones in there, but they would all be cleaned regardless. She turned the clothing right side out, and then emptied the pockets before stuffing them into the bag. When she got to her Katinu, she felt the light but defined weight of the metallic space rock.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:52 am

Memory of the past two days flooded back into her, and Lani felt tears welling up. Why was she crying? She had nothing to petching cry about!

Sighing, she cradled the rock in two hands, and then ever so gently placed it on the foot of her newly made bed, as if the thing would detonate if she jostled it. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she finished putting the clothes away, and dragged the burlap sack by the door so that she could bring it to the sanitation baths to clean. She reached in her toiletry basket and tossed the bar of soap, her clay hair cleaner, and a comb in the basket as well. It was a cleaning day.

With the brief organization of the room done, she turned to face her bed. The shiny space rock sat waiting for her, seemingly expectant. As if this simple rock knew she had meant to keep it for its unnatural properties, and inspect it for what magic it could help her with. Like a cat, it craved her attention and seemed utterly disinterested.

Of course it was not like a cat, it was a petching rock.

Still, there was a hefty respect she had already gifted the thing. She was protective of it, she slightly feared it, and perhaps was even dependent on it. It had been the symbol of her first warm friend in Wind Reach, it had been a symbol for her reconnection with magic, which she knew she should no longer fear. But most of all, it had imbued her with a gift, or a curse, to be like the Kelvic were. Shifting at will (and sometimes not) into her animal form, which had turned out to be a Jackal. This little foreign rock had come into her life, invaded her world, and became the center of everything in only a few days.

Apparently it’s power was not only affecting her, for it had drawn an Endal—and Endal!—to her company, where he seemed to happily be. Until yesterday. After the tense standoff in which she assumed terrible things about the man, he had left, disappointed in her. She had only met him twice, and each time he had left disappointed in her. Would she see him again to fix that? She didn’t know how, he knew where she was, and she had no idea where he was.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:53 am

Brushing the worry form her mind, Lani pulled out a chair, spun it so it faced her, and then sat backwards on it, still facing the rock. She settled the thing with an even gaze, and then let her eyelashes flutter closed to hide her blank eyes. She had now attempted auristics three times, and she was hoping to do it again. Looking into herself, she found that her sense of self was becoming a bit crowded. She could now feel the warm tingling sensation of the Jackal that nested inside her, near her heart. She could sense the pit of Djed that seemed to pool in her lower abdomen, and inside the Djed she found the shielding she had learned as a child, the Auristics she had learned in Zeltiva, and the soft knowledge of her part in working Alchemy.

The realization that she was a magical being, albeit a complete novice, settled in her. Right now, however, was about pulling the correct magic, and focusing it on the rock. Of course finding the correct magic was not hard, they all had distinct tastes in her mouth, and auristics was the sweet caress of a nearly honey flavor, with strong floral scents to drag it away from being recognized as any sense she knew. It was, simply, auristics.

And it required a different access than the shielding or the Kelvic form. For Auristics she had to pull, tug, and guide the djed up to the sense where she wanted to use it. She knew that auristics could enhance any sense, as it was really its own. She could read the aura of the things around her in sound, sight, smell, taste, or feel. Perhaps she could channel it into her sixth Chaktawe sense, but it seemed risky for a beginner. She had only successfully used sight and touch before, so she chose to guide it to her sight. She would then test the auristics in smell and sound, to see if any particular sense helped her read the aura’s better.

This path was easier because she had just attempted it yesterday. With a shaking inner grasp, she scooped the Djed from her stomach, cupping it with her conscious, and then slowly and carefully guiding it up her spine, into her forehead and down into her eye sockets. The slow and steady pace reminded her of the strength training and stretching she had done this morning. Having something to relate it to make the task simpler. She just had to keep the pace. It was a wobbly path, and she worried she could not pull the djed the whole way, stretching it smoothly over her consciousness until it could seep into her senses, but within what felt like a few chimes, she had done it.

Feeling the djed secure in her vision, the half-Chaktawe slowly opened her eyes, blinking into adjustment. She still saw the bland, two dimensional drawing of the world in front of her. Despite how special the rock seemed with her normal sight, it was merely a circle drawn with a shaking hand in this vision. Except it was not, it was alight with intense colors and textures she had not seen before. A color that might be compared to white, but was a strange mix of brown and blue radiated from the rock, with a pickled texture to it. She had no idea what these strange unidentifiable colors meant, although it definitely confirmed her suspicions that this rock was intensely magic or out of this world, or both.

Hoping to compare these colors to something around her, she turned her head, scanning the room. It seemed to settle in a flowing chain of warm colors, which blended with one another. The things she had recently touched, her toiletries, shone a soft red. The things that she had not touched in days, the ceiling, certain corners of the floor, settled in a inviting brown. Everything else was a melodic mix of yellows and oranges. And she could identify what each color meant, in interaction with her. Everything here was inanimate and nonmagical, except the star, and so all their auras relied on her interaction with them.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:54 am

But among the warm reds and yellows, she saw a colder blue. It was buried in her clothing basket, and touching the edges of her shrine. It centered on her bed, but seemed to be gone over with her own red tones of the bed sheets. Lani stood, walking over to the laundry bag to identify what held this color, and why. When she reached in, the color shifted, being covered by new streams of red from her hand, coming in and taking over. Carefully, she plucked the offending article of clothing, and noticed her Vinati. It was the one that Narth had picked up and teased her with.

She then recognized this dull blue as Narth’s energy, marking up her room and interrupting the red. Where the colors mixed, there was an inviting purple that filled the space, but her reds invaded from all around the room, apt to erase signs of his aura. This saddened her, but Lani made a direct thought to move on.

She understood the mundane colors around her room that of her path and Narth’s through the room. Her aura was stronger, simply because she inhabited this place for much longer. But this gave her no insight for the colors that radiated from the star. Lani allowed herself to stare at it more, eyes burning with the strain, before she had to let the Auristics go. She dropped the djed like a plate, feeling it clatter back down her spine into her abdomen. It made her queasy to let it go like this, and immediately Lani realized her mistake. Her jaw filled with the tangy saliva that warned her of stomach readying itself to empty. Running to her water pitcher, Lani let what little was in her stomach spew into the pitcher. With a shaky hand she placed the pitcher on the counter, wiping her mouth with the dry part of her dusting sock that she had left out, and then stuffing that into the laundry back. Lani crumbled on the center of her floor, feeling a little weak.

Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to go so long and so intense on one sense, she was brand new to this art after all. In theory she wanted to attempt the auristic with all her senses to see how things would change, perhaps giving her more information on the metallic space rock and what it meant. But for now, Lani decided to lay there. She wanted water, but she had just tossed up in the only water source she had. She would have to clean the clay pitcher and go get more, which seemed like too much work at the moment.

Within a few ticks of laying still, spread prone on her floor, Lani rolled to the side, looking at the rock on her bed. As if it called to her, she sat up, and crawled forward, snatching it from the foot of her bed before standing on both legs briefly and launching herself into the soft mattress. She should nap.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lani Stranger
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Posts: 608
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Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:54 am

Almost as soon as her eyes fluttered closed, there was a fervent knocking on the door. “Black eyes, black eyes are you okay?” The Nari words ringed her new nick name, and recognition fluttered in her stomach, quickly melting into anxiety. She let her eyes fall open and noticed that the light in the room had changed. The knocking paused for a brief moment, as if someone was listening, and Lani sat up. She felt much better than when she had laid down but she looked around worried. How long had it been? A few hours? Or a few days? It felt like mere ticks.

“Black Eyes? That you?” Her nickname followed by Nari rung out again, and Lani sighed, swinging her legs off the bed, and stomping over to her door. She knew who it was, and she didn’t want to see him. But if he would keep knocking then she would have to answer. He was an Endal after all. Slamming her bolt open, she grabbed the handle to turn it, but it turned first, and she stepped back as he swung the door open.

Within an instant she had two hands cupping her face. One hand moved down to her shoulder, and the other patted her hair. Lani frowned, squinting her nose in distaste. “What?” She barked in Nari. She couldn’t place why she was displeased with him. He had every right to be angry with her, and she had absolutely none to be with him. She had suspected him of fowl intentions, and he had not only read her assumptions and proved her wrong, but was back, and apparently worried about her.

Narth stepped back to look at her, and she looked into his eyes, attempting to keep her face as plain as possible.

“Are you okay?” He asked earnest, bright green eyes darting from her left to her right eye, and she rolled her own orbs, trying to get them stuck in the back of her head.

“I’m fine.” She muttered in common, still unable to place why she was grumpy. He crinkled his nose and stepped back from her.

“Damn, Black Eyes, you stink.” He chuckled in Nari, and she recognized the first word, he said it a lot.

“What does ‘damn’ mean?” She asked, her curiosity threw him off. He paused, tilted his head, and let her go. The cold air rushed in where his hands left her skin, and only intensified the emotion, which was when she found it. Embarrassment. She was embarrassed. It didn’t take her long to find the reason either, she was embarrassed because she had accidentally revealed what the star had done to her yesterday, she had assumed false things about him, and then didn’t attempt to find him today.

“Like uh, the Gods,” He pointed to his face and made an exaggerated frown. “The Gods are not happy with a person.” Then he stepped back, propped a wicked finger out of his fist, and pointed at an imaginary person on the ground as if he was deity. Lani gawked at his charades, and while she wholly didn’t understand, she nodded.

“Ooooohhh,” A note of false understanding fell from her mouth, and the Endal strung one hand through his red locks in a brief embarrassment. This amused Lani, and she grinned, letting out a giggle at his awkwardness. They must be friends now; he was embarrassing himself in front of her. And he was clearly doing so after her shenanigans yesterday, so perhaps he forgave her.

She stepped behind him to close the door, and offer him a chair. He crinkled his nose, looking around the room. “I see you’ve cleaned.” He made a large sweep towards the cleared table, made bed, and laundry sack by the door.

“Yes.” Lani nodded and confirmed. He spotted the mugs on the counter, and grabbed himself one, reaching for the pitcher, making himself at home. Memory surged through her, and Lani sparked forward, placing a hand on his forearm before it could clasp the pitcher. “No water. No water now.” She said simply in Nari, but they both heard the pitcher slosh as she moved it out of his reach. He popped an eyebrow, and pushed is arm past her grasp, picking up the pitcher and peering inside.

“Euch! Lani, what happened?” He exclaimed, setting the pitcher back down immediately, a little more forceful than he probably should have. Lani looked at her feet sheepishly, not sure what he said but recognizing the accusatory tone. She walked towards her bed, picked up the rock. With two fingers she pointed at her eyes and then at the rock. Then she pointed at her eyes with two fingers again, and wiggled them towards the rock, trying to show him aurisics with hand signs.

“Fire vision?” He guessed. Having no idea what he said, she nodded, hoping he had guessed auristics, or even observation. He laughed when she confirmed, which made her thing he had given her a false answer, and she had just confirmed it. Ignoring that, she let the rock bounce onto her bed. Instead it sunk into the mattress where it first hit, not quite what she expected for how light it was, but she supposed that was the nature of the thing; unnatural.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Lani Stranger
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:55 am

The Endal took a sweeping take of her room one more time with his eyes, zeroing in on the laundry, and then glancing at her hair. He stepped over to where she stood by the bed, running a hand through her greasy tangled locks. Something in him made him frown. “You missed meal times. There is still some time before the Chiet can eat supper, you should wash up.” He said, and she recognized a few words. Something about meals and washing. She glanced up at the air vents that let the sunlight it. It was growing dark, and she could assume she missed the earlier eating times for the Chiet. Was it time to eat now? No, they usually ate the last meal after the sun set. He must be asking if she intended to wash up.

“Yes.” She nodded, moving past him, towards her laundry. She noticed that he let his hand linger in her disgusting hair until she was out of his reach, and for some reason this sent goosebumps down her spine. The half-Eypharian slung the laundry over her shoulder and then turned to pick up her pitcher. The Endal swiped it out from under her and then pointed towards the door. She unlocked it for him, and stepped aside so he could go out. Despite their budding friendship, he was Endal and she was Cheit. There was a certain amount of authority and expectations that came with his position.

He glided past her, still holding the pitcher, and her mouth opened slightly in confusion. She stuck her head out the door frame to see him narrowing in on the drinking spring that ran at the end of the hall. Those who lived in this section of the living quarters were able to wash and refill their water pitchers here, although no one was allowed to dump waste. She watched as he poured the contents of her pitcher in the stream, it being engulfed into the volcanic rock and down the natural underground stream immediately. He dunked the pitcher a few times, making sure the running water got everything out, and then one last time to fill it up.

When he turned to saunter back over to her, seeing she was watching him with mouth agape, he grinned wickedly, at her. She harrumphed and stepped back into her doorway to wait for him. She was kicking him out so she could go wash herself; she wasn’t even sure why he was there. When he returned, she had set her laundry down, blocked the door. He stopped quickly, unsure why she wasn’t letting him in. She narrowed her eyes, with a playful set to her lips, and held two hands out to receive the pitcher. He gave it to her, playing her game. She turned to set it on the table, then slid out of the entry way before he could enter, toiletries in hand.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Lani Stranger
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:56 am

He stood his ground and as she closed the door she found herself pressed up against him, trying to lock the handle behind her back. Frustrated she looked at him, and saw he had his own playful grin, turning her game around on her. Once she had it locked, which took an uncomfortable chime. Stuffing her toiletries in her armpit, she looked back at him. Lani slowly brought each hand to rest on his chest. His gaze faltered, and she let her jaw relax, like the pretty girls did to attract men, letting her lips plump naturally and widening her eyes. Slowly, she crawled her fingers up his chest so they were resting just under his collarbone, and she felt him tense beneath her hands. He was her height so she hardly had to do anything to lean a little closer to him, quickly close enough so she could inhale his exhaling breath. At this point his eyes had dropped from hers to her lips, and he was leaning forward slightly too, either instinctual or in anticipation. When she could feel the heat of his face on hers, she bit her lip to try to stop him from seeing the knowing smile, and without warning shoved him back.

It wasn’t gentle but he could take it, and Lani darted out of her doorway, jogging a few steps down the hall before turning around with a giggle to see his reaction to her trickery. He hadn’t quite wiped the dumb look off his face as he righted himself, but once his green eyes met her black ones, he stuck his tongue out, blowing a raspberry. She grinned and winked, and began walking backwards. He didn’t give her a chance to turn around, and darted forward, snagging her by the hips and dragging her a few feet. She shrieked unexpectedly as he lifted her up, and pressed her against the wall.

The playful mood vanished in a tick as she realized he was serious. Her soap, cork of clay, and comb clattered to the ground, and she could feel his bare chest pressed against her torso, lifting her breasts and leaving almost not room for her hips to escape his. He breathed on her neck, and then leaned back to look in her eyes. Shock plastered Lani’s face at the sudden sexual aggression, and she immediately regretted her playful trick. She didn’t expect him to take her seriously.

She watched the realization flash across his face as he took in her own shock, but just as quickly as he assessed her reaction, his face became playful again, and he smirked, stepping back. Her heels hit the ground again and she stepped forward from the wall. He had already stooped to grab her things, and handed them to her with a light bow. “Don’t play games you can’t finish.” He murmured something in Nari, and she slowly took her toiletries, not understanding his words but reading the lie in his tone. She could see he was trying to cover up his pass at her with humor. She frowned, and with a light, quick movement tucked her toiletries under her left arm.

With a smooth movement, she scooped his left arm with her right arm, and began sauntering forward with purpose. She could now confirm that he did see her in a sexual way, but he would at least not attempt anything without her consent. She valued his friendship, so she silently walked with him, letting a fervent grip rest on his forearm in hers. She was so desperate for a friend, she knew she did not return the same lust for this man that he did for her, and she wanted to keep him close anyway.

“To the bath.” She spoke in choppy Nari, and it worked as a reassurance for both of them. They would continue on with their day as if the last chime never happened. As if they never broke that seal, came to realizations, and found each other on different ends of an opinion.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Lani Stranger
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Song for the Sky III

Postby Lani Stranger on October 23rd, 2018, 3:57 am

Once they had left the cover of the common dwellings, Narth had unattached himself from her and took point. She let him because she was still unsure of the way to the sanitation baths, but also because she knew he was doing this now that they were in the public eye. From her time and the explanations given to her, she already knew that it was not uncommon to see members of different castes interacting in all levels of intimacy, but there was still an order to keep, and she had to respect that.

It was also once they left the halls of the common dwellings, that Lani found a familiar weight in her hand, the stone had returned to her. When it had, she tapped Narth on the shoulder and showed him. They both expected this, but he frowned in concern despite it. Lani shrugged, stuffing the thing in her pocket, and continued on. It seemed as if this thing did not like being set down for too long.

By the time they reached the sanitation baths, Lani understood why Narth was even forcing her to go. She felt grimy, she was self-conscious about what odor she might have gathered in the past three days without a bath, and if the people in the caverns around her could smell it.

They were hit with the steam of the bath rooms as soon as they entered. She had been to this room twice, and they still shocked her. The westerner had seen everyone stark naked, even the attendants, and in her nervousness dunked in the coldest, dirtiest pool, and left as quickly as possible. The second time she had come, she had done the same thing because she didn’t know what else to do.

Even now, as they walked into the dressing rooms, Lani averted her gaze to the tiled floor, people of all ages and sizes seemed more than comfortable in their skin, chatting completely bare while folding clothes. Narth seemed to walk farther past her, and only after realizing she was trying not to look at anyone, slowed. She heard his chuckle, and that he was trying to suppress it because she was obviously embarrassed. Lani gripped the stone tighter in her right hand, and looked up at him. An indignant expression nestled between her hot cheeks. She did not blush like the pale folk, but he could see the embarrassment in the crinkle of her eyes.

All memory of the earlier encounter was forgotten, as he led her to a relatively empty isle of shelves. He turned away from her, which felt respectful, and began unlacing his shoes. She wiggled her bare feet on the tile and turned around to give him privacy, only to come face to face with a naked attendant who jabbered at her in Nari.

“Can I assist you with anything?” Lani glanced up immediately, hoping if she avoided this Inarta girl’s face, then she would avoid seeing any raw parts of her. The attendant smiled at her obvious discomfort, and slowly placed a hand on her hip. Lani looked down to see the Inarta slowly drag her western blouse up, looking up earnestly as if asking for permission.

Uncomfortable, Lani grabbed the attendant’s hands in hers and pulled them off of her. “No thank you,” She said in Nari, then switched to common. “I can undress myself.” The attended nodded, gave a shallow bow and walked away. It was clear the girl was just trying to help her with her nerves, seeing as she was a foreigner, but the gesture felt too intimate for Lani. She glanced behind her to see Narth’s bare ass as he removed his Bryda, and then turned around quickly, and realized she better undress quickly unless she wanted him watching her.

Stumbling through, she yanked her shirt off, and then wiggled out of her pants, bundling the clothes up in her hands and placing them in front of her privates before turning back around. Narth had just finished folding his clothes and placing them in a locker before he looked over to check on her. She noticed his eyes did not leave hers, relaxed, but making a point not to look. She was sure the Inarta looked as they pleased, if everyone was so comfortable with it, so she knew this was for her. Following his lead, she placed her bundled clothes on the shelf, and then crossed her arms. She tried not to cross her legs or hide herself, she wasn’t a coward, but she couldn’t help slightly folding in on herself.

He waved her over silently, and she followed him to the pool area. She caught up with him quick, he was not used to bare feet and stepped carefully on the slick tile, but Lani was confident in her bare feet and her strides were longer, so she was by his side quickly. They passed the first pool, the icy muddy one she usually dunked in, he stopped by the second pool, and motioned for her to hop in. She perked an eyebrow, and he tapped her nose briefly before moving past her to the pool next to her. She stepped over to the stairs, dipping a food in the water. It was not as cold as the yucky pool, but she could not see steam. An attendant offered her a sponge, and she took it, whispering a thank you in Nari.

Taking two confident steps in she realized the water was about body temperature, and felt good. She immediately took the sponge to her skin, wiping off any hair, dirt, sweat, or dead skin that was clinging to her over the past few days. She dunked her head a few times and ran her fingers through her hair. It was falling smoothly down her back again, and she felt much much better. After a few chimes, she glanced over to see Narth relaxing on the edge of his pool, three over from hers, head leaning against the floor, eyes closed.

She wondered if this was the Cheit pool, and that was the Endal pool. But then had she been dunking in the Dek pool? Where was the Avora pool? Why were there so many more pools than classes? When she pondered this, her hands not busy washing herself for a tick, she felt a familiar weight in her hand. She did not have to lift it out of the water to tell what it was, instead she gripped the rock with a familiar comfort, running her fingers over the jagged, but not sharp metallic thing.

During her time in the pool, others had joined her, and she watched them as they left, without lingering in the luke warm water. They moved to the next pool, the one that Narth had originally gone in, but was not anymore. They lingered in here for a chime, as if rinsing themselves, but did not rest either. Once they were done rinsing, they left that pool, and selected from the many other steaming pools where Narth was. It was then that the Cheit recognized how the pools worked.
Last edited by Lani Stranger on November 25th, 2018, 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Lani Stranger
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