Appeal to the Hunger

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Appeal to the Hunger

Postby Ixzo on November 11th, 2018, 1:30 am

54th of Fall, 518AV


It was approximately an hour after sunrise when Ixzo settled into a corner of the sunset quarters. She was having trouble learning the neighborhoods, but this particular area of the city seemed to be the “safest” as far as safety in Sunberth was possible. By safety, there was little to no gang activity and a lot of living spaces. Which meant she was unlikely to be attacked for what she was going to do. Ixzo set the large pot she was carrying with her down, and her string of rabbits beside it. Inside there were some hardy vegetables from the market, some logs, kindling, a ladle, and her flint and steel.

The corner she stopped at didn’t seem too busy, however she could see the busy street at the end of her lane, which meant she was less likely to be ambushed, but would also attract who she was intending to attract. Looking around herself, she could already see a few curious eyes watching what she might be doing. Smiling to herself, the Kelvic swished her dress behind her, and kept her eyes to the ground. To her back was a rundown building, which someone lived in, but one of the rooms had given in to the weather and recently been re-bricked, leaving the old worn bricks piled beside it. Picking up three of those, she set them out in a small circle, leaving gaps between them. Picking up her pot she sized it to the bricks, adjusting them slightly until she would be able to balance the pot on them. Then she picked up three more bricks, stacking them on top. Pulling the wood from the pot, she set two of the logs in the middle of the brick circle, and set the tinder to the side of it. Hitting her flint and steel against each other a few times, she aimed the sparks towards the tinder as best she could, and in a few hits, the tinder caught. The Kelvic leaned down to blow into the tinder a few times, coaxing it to life. Once it was beginning to burn, she picked it up, quickly putting it on top of the wood, and setting some kindling on top of it to encourage the growth of the flame.

Once she got the fire going, Ixzo pulled the items out of her large pot, leaving it empty, with two extra logs for when she needed it. Then she sat back on her haunches, organizing the vegetables and rabbits beside the fire. Two children, looking to be siblings, hovered just out of her reach. She made eye contact with the soft brown eyes of the girl, and the child did not drop her feline gaze. Bringing one finger up, she curled it towards herself twice, beckoning the girl. While Ixzo watched, the girl shook her brothers shoulder, but neither spoke a word. Instead, the little boy approached.

Ixzo waited until the boy was in speaking range, and then she cleared her throat. “Hungry?” She spoke the simple word, and saw a clear sense of distrust in the boys eye. They both knew he was hungry, every child in Sunberth was hungry. But he didn’t trust her, and she didn’t care. “Water.” She said simply, almost a direction, motioning towards the pot. The boy seemed confused, and Ixzo turned her gaze back to the girl, who held back, watching. Again, she curled a finger towards her, welcoming the girl to her fire. Still, the girl hesitated.

“Need both,” She said, knowing that the boy would not be able to carry the pot back from the well. The boy squinted at her, and then turned back to look at his sister. She nodded to him. With a sharp move, the boy grabbed the metal pot, walking quickly back to his sister. Once he reached her, she grabbed one side, and together they walked away.

Ixzo frowned at the silent compliance. It was very possible these children just stole her pot. Shrugging, the night lion turned back to her cooking. She pulled her knife from her frog, flipping the base of the knife with her pinky and allowing it to twirl in her hand before she caught it, and inspected the blade. She got it off of a boy who was not that good of a hunter, but the knife was not too bad. It would do for general use but she would have to get herself something better if she wanted to use it in any real capacity. Ixzo pick up a potato from her small pile of vegetables, beginning to pry the eyes out with the tip of her knife. She would wait a few minutes to see if they were going to bring her pot back, otherwise she would have to simply roast the meat and vegetables, instead of stew it. Every few ticks the woman would glance up in the direction the children had gone, as if expecting something.

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Appeal to the Hunger

Postby Kailani on November 11th, 2018, 3:41 am

Kailani slowly pulled The Sunset Tide alongside the pier closest to the Sunset Quarters, throwing a line out over the nearest piling and dragging herself in. She’d learned through trial and error where some of the best places to pick up fares had turned out to be, and the slums of the city provided her with a surprisingly good stream of income. Many of its denizens needed a ride to work in the morning, and she could often pick up multiple passengers at once.

This morning was no different, a few of her regular customers already waiting on the pier. They knew by now when to expect her and preferred the speed of her casinor over the rowboats and rafts that were their other options. “Good morning!” the Svefra called as she worked her line into a quick knot. Blue eyes merry, she stepped off the ship onto the pier to greet her prospective passengers. All smiles, she clapped the nearest woman on the back, ushering her aboard. “It’s good to see you again, Aleida! Heading for the Market again?”

While Kailani was busy welcoming her fares for the morning, it seemed her dog, Kona, had other ideas in mind. His head lifted to the air, nostrils flaring as some nearby scent took hold of his attention. Too quick for her to react or stop him, the Akinva Deerstalker was off, running down the pier toward the housing and barking all the while. “Son of a… Kona, get your ass back on the boat!” The canine continued on as if he hadn’t even heard her, lightning fast as he disappeared around the corner.

A colorful stream of profanity left the Svefra’s mouth as she grabbed his leash and started running after him. “Sorry! I’ll be back, I swear!” she called over her shoulder, dust flying up with every footfall as she ran on the heels of her dog. “Get back here, you rotten little vagik!” Those she’d left behind glanced at each other in confusion, unsure if they should still get on the ship or not.

The chase continued on for another chime or two before Kona finally came to an abrupt stop in front of an unfamiliar dark-skinned woman, muscled body rigid while he stared down his target. His tongue lolled from his mouth, panting heavily as brown eyes fixated in a wide-pupiled stare at the rabbits on the ground. Drool started to drip from his maw, licking his chops a few times. He began to creep in closer, intent on stealing the delectable tidbits of meat right from under the woman’s nose.

When Kailani at last caught up to her troublesome canine, she threw up her arms in vexation. “That’s what you came running after?! Rabbits?!” she shouted at him. Caught in the act, Kona looked back up at her with a yip, his tail wagging back and forth. “Acting like you don’t eat better than I do!” Clipping the leash to his collar, she shook her head and rolled her eyes. “I ought to tan your hide, fool dog.” While she was clearly annoyed, there was no real malice in her voice. How could she ever stay mad at that face?

Deep turquoise eyes took in the woman on the ground who Kona had been so determined to burglarize, her expression apologetic. “I’m sorry about him,” she said, lightly nudging the brindle dog with her foot. “He doesn’t always listen very well.” She looked down at the various foodstuffs spread along the ground, a growl in her stomach reminding her that she hadn’t yet broken her fast. Her mouth watered, but she ignored it. Now wasn’t the time. Tearing her attention away from the enticing rabbits, she looked back at the woman’s face. “I hope he didn’t scare you.”

As if truly noticing the other woman for the first time, Kona started to growl, the hackles rising on the back of his neck. He’d been so distracted by the rabbits before, he’d failed to take in the alien nature of her scent. It was one he’d never smelled before, but instinctually knew to fear. It was the smell of a predator.

Kailani frowned down at her dog, tugging lightly at the leash. “Hey, that’s enough,” she reprimanded him, brows drawing together. “You’re the one that wanted to steal her breakfast. She ought to be growling at you!” Her words had no effect, however, Kona lifting his lip at the stranger while the rumble deepened in his chest.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what comes over him sometimes,” she apologized again, attempting to pull the dog behind her. “I don’t think he had a very good upbringing.” After several moments of pulling and cajoling, Kona at last conceded and sat down behind her legs, albeit reluctantly. He still kept a wary eye on the other, but he at least stopped baring his teeth.

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Appeal to the Hunger

Postby Ixzo on November 11th, 2018, 4:41 am

The hound came leaping for her, and watched it. They tended to pass by her, since they could smell that she was a much larger predator. But this one skidded to a stop in front of her. Ixzo leveled her stare on the dog, letting out a deep guttural snarl to warn him away from her food. He responded to it, the dog took a step back, and within an instant whoever owned the thing appeared, jabbering at her in common. Ixzo set her potato down, looking up at the blue eyed woman, slightly irritated.

Her ears picked up on the growl of the woman’s stomach over her apologetic tone, and Ixzo stood up, brushing her hands on her skirt. She looked at the woman. Worry not She signed out of habit, offering her hand to the woman, still slightly weary of the dog. It was then that the thing came to its senses and began growling at her. Instead of taking her hand, the strange pale woman leashed the dog, and Ixzo earned a small bit of satisfaction, but the leash did not seem to stop it. The lion let out one more guttural whine from the base of her throat. She wasn’t going to attack it, she was in control, but would it do the same to her?

She stood her ground in front of her food, dragging her eyes back to the woman in an attempt to smile. Just then Ixzo heard the heavy clump of two pairs of small feet holding something heavier than themselves. She turned to the side, and to her pleasant surprise, the twins were there, pot full of water carried between them. She smiled for real now, and moved to help the children set the pot on the fire. Immediately the girl held out a hand as if waiting for something. Ixzo looked at it, and feigned puzzlement. She knew they wanted coin, but she would give them a whole bowl of soup. Unsure of how to communicate this to the child, leaned over to take the child’s hand and then opened her other palm for the other one. Confused the girl obliged, placing her open palm inside of Ixzo’s. Ixzo flipped it, and then set the girl’s hands beside one another gently curling her fingers to form a bowl shape. Realization smoothed the girl’s eyebrows.

“Bowl?” She asked, and Ixzo nodded.

“Bowl.” Ixzo confirmed. “Get bowl.” The girl grinned, jabbered something in another language to her brother and then they scampered off. The whole exchange was only a few ticks, and Ixzo turned back to her visitor, a light smile still gracing her face from the small connection with the children.

“Soup.” She chirped, trying not to bring her tone that she held with the dog to the woman, although she was irritated that the woman held such low company, she was here for a reason, and that reason was to feed those who could not feed themselves. She was curious about this woman’s eyes. She was clearly a pale skinned one, but had been thoroughly tanned and freckled by the sun, her hair windlocked and salt kissed. Was she a sailor? “Do you… sail?” She asked the question in Common, but not knowing the word for ‘sail’ she opted for the Myrian version, and put one hand up, fingers cupped against the wind. The other hand she cupped underneath it, creating a charade of a sailboat, as best she could. Water Carriage. She then signed in Pavi, uncertain if this woman would understand any of the other languages she spoke.

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Appeal to the Hunger

Postby Kailani on November 11th, 2018, 7:06 am

The sailor looked on in interest as the darker woman made hand gestures at her, gestures that seemed to be calming or reassuring. What was that she was doing? Kailani’s interest only compounded at the strange whine that came from her companion’s throat, an animalistic noise that didn’t sound like it should come from any human. For the first time, she noticed the woman’s silver eyes, looking between her and the still nervous Kona with sudden understanding. Perhaps not human, then.

When two children trotted over carrying a large pot, she cocked her head to the side and took a step back to make room. Kailani watched the woman’s interaction with the twins, blue eyes alight with curiosity. The Svefra soon discovered why she had declined to respond to any of her apologies and why she’d made those gestures before—she didn’t speak Common, or at least not well. She still made her meanings known with the little ones, however, the pair happily heading off after learning they had earned themselves some food.

“That was very kind,” the seafarer told her, speaking slowly and enunciating carefully, but unsure how much the woman understood. “Not many here are so nice.” If she didn’t speak Common, she doubted the woman was from Sunberth, and therefore would explain said kindness. Food was a highly sought after commodity here, and not one usually given so freely. For her own sake and for the sake of those around her, she hoped this woman was able to maintain that kindness. Gods knew the city could use some of it.

Her stomach emitted another growl as the stranger mentioned soup, looking wistfully at the ingredients she had laid out. Idly, she wondered what she would have to do to earn herself a bowl of soup like the children… Kailani’s wonderings were interrupted by the woman’s broken question. Do you—a word she didn’t understand, though her hand gestures made it clear enough. “Do I sail?” she repeated, guessing at her meaning. Smiling, she nodded emphatically, the bits of seashell in her braids clicking together with the motion. Laying her hand against her chest, she explained, “I’m a Svefra. I live on the sea.” She made a few hand gestures of her own, undulating fingers mimicking waves. Attempting to copy the hand gesture her companion had made before, she then pointed back the way she came. “My boat is back there.”

A turquoise gaze roamed curiously over the stranger’s markings and tattoos before lingering back on her eyes. Some of the markings looked like Drykas tattoos, but this woman didn’t look like a Drykas. Then again, she’d only had limited contact with members of that particular race. It wasn’t like she knew what they all looked like. But those eyes, and the way Kona had reacted… No, she wasn’t human. But if not, then what was she?

Placing her hand against her chest again, the Svefra introduced herself, “My name is Kailani.” Leaning forward, she gently tapped the other woman’s chest, hoping to make her meaning clear. “What is your name?”

Throughout the entire interaction, Kona kept his wary gaze on the other, visibly tense as he pressed himself against his mistress’s legs. The canine obviously didn’t care to linger in the presence of such a predator, but neither would he leave Kailani behind. Swallowing hard, he kept his guarded stance, never letting his eyes wander.

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Appeal to the Hunger

Postby Ixzo on November 13th, 2018, 4:20 am

She was both incredibly uncomfortable and suddenly incredibly longing towards the touch. It did not seem intimate, or in any way connective, merely a necessity for which the language barrier required. She understood that she was supposed to give her name to this girl who called herself Kailani, but the Kelvic had not been touched in so long, the brief fingers on her scarred chest seemed to knock the breath out of her. Of course she had been touched and touched. The still healing gash on her neck was proof of that, but fighting other humans didn’t give the Kelvic that connective touch that she craved. It didn’t count. If that counted, then she had cuddle parties every time she wrestled her prey to death. And the Kelvic took more than a moment to remember that she was supposed to give her name as well. Slowly, she brought one hand to her chest, more meaning to capture what was left of the touch than to motion towards herself, but that would have been what she should be doing.

“Ixzo.” She breathed, composing herself. Saying her names seemed to draw her back to reality, and she remembered the common words that Kailani had used to describe herself.

“Sail. Svefra.” Ixzo repeated the Common Tongue trying to commit them to memory. It seemed that as she did so, she recalled the sea warrior who had attacked her people a while back. She was sure Kailani hadn’t been one of them, they had killed them all. But were those pirates one of Svefra, or were they different sea people? With a suspicious set to her brow, she stepped back from the dog, sitting back where she was, and picking up the potatoes she had taken the eyes out of. Pressing the potato against her thumb, she let the knife slide through, slowing it as it neared her skin, and cutting the potato in half. She took one of the halves and then cut that in half until there were small cubes. Before moving onto the next potato, she looked back up at the Svefra.

All those years ago, the sea people had attacked because they were starving. This woman did not seem so, at least not more than any other Sunberthian, but Ixzo tried to clear the stigma from her mind. This land connected to a completely different sea, it was a slim chance that she was one of them. So Ixzo made an effort. Motioning towards her pot with her knife. “No dog, you get soup.” She said simply, in short choppy Common, the sea girl might not have been able to place the thick Myrian accent, but her words were somewhat understandable. Ixzo let the chunks of the first potato fall into the pot, and then picked up the second potato, beginning to dig at the eyes as well.

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Appeal to the Hunger

Postby Kailani on Yesterday, 5:00 am

The woman’s reaction to her touch was not lost on Kailani, noting the subtle lean toward her hand, the breathiness of her voice when she gave her name. The Svefra had done naught but tap her, but it was as if she had brushed her in a much more intimate way. It both intrigued and confounded her, withdrawing her hand and letting it hang by her side. Judging from the scars and gashes that marred her flesh, Ixzo had not known many kind hands. Was it simply that? Or something deeper?

“Ixzo,” Kailani repeated, turning the unusual syllables over on her tongue. “It’s a lovely name,” she decided, offering her companion a sweet smile.

The seafarer noted the sudden change in the woman’s demeanor as Kailani explained who she was, sandy brows drawing together in the hint of a frown. What had caused her sudden suspicion? All she had done was state her name and that she was a Svefra. Then again, there were those who did not look so kindly upon Laviku’s chosen, calling them thieves and pirates. They weren’t strictly mistaken, but the oceans belonged to the Svefra, and they would take what was upon their waters. Violently, if necessary. Admittedly, it didn’t always earn them the kindest reputation.

No dog, you get soup. Kailani weighed that statement for a long moment, looking between Kona and Ixzo with a speculative blue eye. On the one hand, the Sunset Quarters were “safe” enough—if the dog went back to the ship, she should do well enough on her own. On the other hand, Kona’s reaction to Ixzo was alarming in itself. She’d never seen the Deerstalker show such overt fear of another creature before, making her wonder just what exactly it was about the woman that made him so uneasy. If she told him to go back, would she be leaving herself open to danger? Or would she be able to learn more about this mysterious stranger when his presence was lifted? Plus, food…

Her teeth dug briefly into her lip, seafoam gaze thoughtful as she considered, but ultimately the growl of her stomach made the choice for her. “Go on back to the ship, Kona,” she told her dog with a scratch to his rump. “Keep close guard.”

The brindled canine looked up at Kailani with a whine, glancing between her and Ixzo. The worry was clear on his face, but the Svefra could sense no real malicious intent coming from the other. Suspicion, aye, and a bit of apprehension, but she didn’t think Ixzo intended to hurt her. Why fill her belly if she aimed to ram a knife through it? Kai might come to regret that decision, but she’d deal with that if it came to it. Besides, it wasn’t like she was totally helpless.

“Go on, now,” she urged when Kona hesitated, unclipping the leash and pointing back toward the casinor. “Back to the ship.” The dog spared one last growl for Ixzo before begrudgingly obeying, his posture stiff as he trotted back to the pier. Kailani could hear a few cries of dismay as he scattered the small crowd awaiting her services, grinning before turning her attention back to her scarred companion.

“Why is he afraid of you?” Kailani asked as she took a seat on the ground across from Ixzo, pointing in the direction he’d gone, pantomiming fear, then pointing back at her. “Is it because of your eyes?” With a questioning gesture, she pointed at Ixzo, then tapped below her own eye. “I’ve never seen him act that way.” Granted, she’d only had him a month or so, but she figured that was long enough to pick up on his behavior patterns. To say his meeting with Ixzo was erratic would be putting it lightly.

NaNo WC: 633


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