Closed Underestimated Value (Asterope)

More than knowledge can be found at the Library.

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

Underestimated Value (Asterope)

Postby Kynier on November 16th, 2018, 3:13 am

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72nd of Fall, 518 A.V. 11th Bell


For some time, it had been nagging at him. The strange words that he could not understand yet was able to recognize. Had it only occurred once he would have been able to let it pass as a curiosity that never got answered. However, it had occurred a few times this Fall. Discovering books so old that they had been written in the ancient language. Kynier’s understanding of the language was only a single step above the average laymen. The teachings that he had received from Glyphing gave him a little insight but not enough to formulate or decipher Nader-canoch in its written form.

The mage was walking through Baroque Bay; dressed in a dark sapphire cotton shirt with his dark green vest overtop. The hood of his black Mohair wool cloak was pulled over his head to keep the drizzling rain out of his eyes. Concealed beneath the cloak were his two cold iron short swords, each possessing their own magical effects. At his back was a dagger strapped to his belt, as well as an assassin’s dagger tucked into the side of his dark high boot. He was walking with a purpose through the puddle laden streets towards the Library in Stumble Alley. Eye fixated on the path before him.

As he approached the border between Baroque Bay and Stumble Alley, two men stepped into the street to stand in front of the mage. Kynier stopped and flicked his eyes between the two of them. Neither were familiar faces, nor did they look friendly. Beneath his cloak, he rested his hands on the hilts of his weapons. For the two men had blocked his path very deliberately. When they procured their daggers in a menacing manner, Kynier was not surprised in the least. In fact, he was amused. It had been some time since random thugs had attempted to rob him at knife-point.

“Hand over your silver and gold, and everyone gets to walk away.” One of them said with a gruff voice. Kynier started to chuckle slightly. “What’s so funny?” one of the thugs demanded. After a moment, Kynier’s mirth faded enough to speak.

“Do I really look like ‘gold on legs’ to you fellas?” He allowed the question to linger in the mist filled air. “If so, I apologize for being so misleading,” Kynier’s voice took on a hard edge as he finished speaking. He drew both of his cold iron blades at once. One foot stepped forward and the same arm held out the short sword, while the other hovered in front of his chest to let the other blade tilt over the bicep of the forward arm as a guard. “Walk away now,” he growled, “and everyone will get to walk away.”

The two men exchanged a glance. Both their eyes were wide as the realization of their mistake became apparent. Kynier walked alone but was not as helpless as he sometimes appeared to be. The two men turned and started to run. The mage shook his head as he watched the two of them flee. After returning the weapons back to their sheaths, he started on his way again. Kynier hoped that would be the last occurrence of that for a long while. He looked himself over once, curious if his attire indicated that he may be worth the trouble of stealing from. None of his clothes were opulent, nor were they made from very fine material, except for the cloak of course.

Perhaps the two men were simply desperate and chose the first individual they saw. And that they hoped that being outnumbered would have scared him into submitting his gold. Unfortunately, most of the fights he had been in where when he was outnumbered, or simply faced a more capable adversary. The mage was thankful that for once, the fight had been avoided. Unlike before, there were things that he sought to get done and found himself with less and less time to try and accomplish them. It led him to pick his battles more carefully, because recovering from one had become more of an inconvenience than anything else.

Weaving through the labyrinth of streets and alleys, Kynier found himself at the Library, just across the street from the not easy to notice entrance to his employer’s “shop”. Kynier stepped inside and lowered the hood of his cloak. As always, it was very quiet at the Library. Most of Sunberth underestimated the value of an education and focused more on the ability to fight each other. The mage did not frequent the Library often because it was smaller than those he had seen in other cities. The books were of limited selection. But despite that, it was the only place he was likely to find what it was that he was looking for.

Kynier started wandering round the Library and examining the spines of the books on the shelves. While he was still not entirely familiar with the building’s organization of their books, it felt easier than roaming around trying to find Remmy. There were times that he never saw her at all in the library after spending what must have been bells looking for her. As easy as it would have been to just shout her name throughout the quiet structure, it would have been inappropriate and unwelcomed. There was a peace and stillness in the Library that the mage had not really found anywhere else in the city. And that was something he did not want to disturb. So, he quietly roamed around, searching for something to help him understand the ancient tongue better.



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Underestimated Value (Asterope)

Postby Asterope on December 1st, 2018, 3:20 am

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Finding the library had been a fluke. Allowed some free time to familiarize herself with the city, Aster had simply taken to walking the streets, trying her best not to look lost despite the fact that she had no idea where she was; Alard seemed intent on having her prove that she could survive without his presence, which was fair enough, really. She'd been trying to avoid alleys and side-streets to the best of her ability, knowing she was more vulnerable there, away from the gazes of most people.

However, something had possessed her to duck into the slightly wider mouth of the alley that appeared on her right as she walked away from the river. While the buildings were still run-down, most of them appeared to be in use. She could see the silhouette of two men near the end of the alley, talking in hushed but still audible voices. Warning bells went off in her head, and before they could notice her, Aster glanced around and slipped through the nearest door.

She was stunned to find herself in a library; it was run-down and dirty, and rather sparse, but still a library. Aster hadn't considered that a city such as Sunberth would even have a library; from what she'd seen so far, she didn't imagine most of the population valued books very much.

A woman was standing by a bookcase near the door, and looked up when Aster entered. "Can I help you?" She asked, arching a brow.

"Oh, no. I'm just looking, thank you," Aster smiled hesitantly; the woman must have been the librarian, then.

"Well, feel free. Copying anything will cost you." The woman said, turning back to the bookcase, muttering something under her breath as she squinted at the spines of the books before hurrying off to disappear among maze of bookcases.

"No worries there," Aster murmured, with a quiet sigh, before walking further into the library. She browsed through the various books, pleasantly surprised to find a semblance of organization; it didn't take her too long to find the few books in what seemed to be the 'medical' section.

Pulling one of them off the shelf at random, Aster sat down at a rickety table and began to leaf through the book, which was entitled 'Plants Around Sunberth'. It was written in scrawling, looped handwriting in point form, a simple list of herbs.

Well, she supposed it could be good to know what was in the area; with that in mind, Asterope began reading through the list. There didn't seem to be any order to it in particular.

'Hommos: Shrub-like with tall blue flowers. Used to make a tea, can help with stomach pains. Used in a hot bath, can help with body aches.'

As she was reading, Aster heard the door to the library open again. Peering up, she tilted her head, listening to footsteps walk over the creaking floorboards before a man came into view. Blinking in surprise, Aster quickly dropped her head back to her book, not wanting to be caught staring; but she was curious about who was bothering with the library. Was it one of the thugs from the end of the alley? Had they noticed her after all?

Nervousness spiked through Aster as she realized she was very much alone within the library, as the man perused a bookshelf nearby. Aster let out a sigh of frustration as she continued searching the book she was reading; she would have preferred something with sketches, something easier to remember since she couldn't copy down any of the information.

Tightening her lips into a thin line, Aster shut the book and stood, returning to the small selection of medicine and herbal books; it wasn't far from the stranger, so Aster peered at him out of the corner of her eyes as she returned the book and browsed through some of the other options.

He was taller than her, with dark hair and eyes and an intense expression. Still wary of being caught staring, Aster averted her gaze again, instead trying to catch a look at the books he was perusing, but it was difficult to see the titles. Pulling another book at random, Aster flipped it open, thumbing through the pages; this one seemed to be a diary of sorts detailing the patients that the author had treated.

That was interesting; reaching up idly to tug at the collar around her neck, Aster skimmed the pages, trying to determine if it was reading the book more in-depth, tuning out the man beside her as she bent her head, golden gaze focused on the pages. A few stray strands of auburn hair fell loose from where they were secured atop her head, catching on her golden horns and framing her face.

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Underestimated Value (Asterope)

Postby Kynier on December 7th, 2018, 12:28 am

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The book he was glancing over indicated he was in the wrong part of the library to conduct his search. If there was any sort of organization at all to the collection surrounding him, Kynier did not suspect to find anything language related next to the medicinal section. Yet, before he moved on, he glanced to the side. The sense of paranoia was alerting him that he was being watched. There was a woman close by with her eyes fixated on an open book. For a moment his eye lingered on her, caught by the golden horns that curled away from her temples.

An Ethaefel?

It was a race that he had heard about but never had encountered. The only reason he was able to remember them was because they were an immortal race, or so he had heard. Other significant details of the Ethaefel were escaping his mind. Some significance was applied to their horns, but what that was he just could not remember. His eyes did wander and noted the Sun’s Birth brand on her hand. The scarred flesh had not paled, nor was it a fresh pink burn. Kynier turned his eyes away and pretended to browse the shelves before him.

The woman was thin and not dressed like a Dragoon. Did she have an association or alliance with the gang then? After a moment he felt as though he was being stared at again and returned his gaze back to the woman. She reached up and adjusted the collar that was bound around her neck. The woman wasn’t a Dragoon, an associate, and certainly wouldn’t consider the Sun’s Birth an ally. She was a slave. Pity and anger rumbled around his chest in equal proportions. His brow furrowed together as he stepped around to the other side of the bookshelf, setting it between him and the auburn haired Ethaefel.

Slavery in general was something that he despised. The concept of placing monetary value on another sentient’s life. But seeing the woman with the Sun’s Birth brand, made it seem all the worse. Something about Sunberth and the Sun’s Birth had a way of making slavery even more despicable. Kynier glanced around the library as he took a few steps. There was no one else that he could see or hear. So, she was probably out on her own. Typical Sun’s Birth. While many people took a slave to have them work incredibly hard for durations people generally would not work, the thugs of Sun’s Birth seemed to prefer to take slaves as trophies. The more exotic, the more status their ownership seemed to implicate.

Kynier set a hand on a shelf. His fingers strummed against the wood in an excruciatingly slow rhythm as he thought about it. Words that his wife had told him echoed in his mind. So many times, he had grown distracted from what he had originally come to Sunberth to do. For a few years, nothing was done because he felt he didn’t know enough about the political landscape and had to struggle to make do on his own. Now, he was situated, had a fair understanding of how things operated between the gangs. The grand scale was what he wanted to affect. Though it was hard to say how one could accomplish that. Perhaps the answer was to start with something small.

To help just one person.

After his chime or two of consideration, he stepped around the bookshelf again to approach the Ethaefel. Kynier kept his distance to greater than arm’s length. “Hello,” he said quietly to announce his presence to her. His eyes feel on the book she had in her hands. From his viewpoint, Kynier could not distinguish what it was that she was reading. Anxiety began to gnaw at his nerves. He didn’t know what it was he could say to a complete stranger to indicate his intention to help them. If he were to say it outright, they might consider him mad. What was he to do then? Start small… make conversation. Learn about her. “Are you looking for anything specific?”
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Underestimated Value (Asterope)

Postby Asterope on February 6th, 2019, 8:54 am

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Aster, at first only half paying attention to the book she held, soon found her interest dragged into it fully as her gaze skimmed over the words, the man momentarily forgotten. 'Patient is a young female with moderate burn wounds along hands from dropping a candle.'

Phantom pain echoed in sympathy along Aster's back, from blisters long-since healed; the scars were no longer visible on her current form, but she could recall the pain. 'Wounds were washed and cleansed. Rhinedale ash paste was applied before wounds were bandaged to help soothe.' Rhinedale ash? Aster couldn't recall ever hearing about the plant, and wondered if it was a flower of some sort. Perhaps a wood, if its ash was used for a paste.

Her musings were cut off abruptly when the man addressed her; the sudden sound of his voice, even quiet as it was, startled her. The Eth made a sound embarassingly similar to a squeak, jerking her head up with wide eyes and nearly dropping the book she held. Her cheeks flushed, and she clutched the book closer to her chest, eyeing him warily, nerves sparking.

Had he seen her looking at him? Had she been too obvious? What if he was a member of one of the other gangs Alard had mentioned offhand? The thoughts raced around Asterope's head as the moment of silence stretched out, until finally the man asked a simple, entirely innocent question. It caught her off-guard, but after another painfully long pause, Aster lowered the book from where it was held tightly against her chest.

"Hello," she returned, hesitantly. Paranoia that wasn't entirely hers pulsed through her; what if this was some sort of strange test? Aster inhaled deeply, forcing her shoulders down into a straight posture, trying to calm herself. While she was still wary, the man had given her no reason to be suspicious of him.

"I...sort of stumbled in here on accident. I was just taking a look around to see if there was anything useful on medicine or herbs." Aster motioned her chin down towards the book she held, though there wasn't a title on it. "Do you...work here?" The Eth arched a brow at the man, curious; perhaps that's why he'd approached her and asked what she was looking for.

Although, he had been browsing the books just a few moments before, and his clothing indicated he'd just recently come inside, his cloak still damp from the light drizzle outside. Realizing she was staring again, Aster cleared her throat slightly, hesitating before deciding to be polite; the man was standing at arm's length, a respectful and perhaps very deliberate choice.

Nothing about him said threatening so far, so until he acted otherwise, it wouldn't hurt to be courteous, if still wary. "My name is Asterope," The Eth introduced herself, inclining her head slightly, but not offering her hand. "And you?"

Aster had taken to introducing herself by her full name in the lawless city rather than by her nickname; the change had started even back in Ravok. She couldn't pinpoint why she had started doing it, but it felt...better. It made her feel more confident. More like herself, as if she was reminding herself of her own identity, so that she wouldn't lose it in the chaos, in being owned by another as if she was nothing but property.

OOC :
Sorry for the wait!!
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Underestimated Value (Asterope)

Postby Kynier on February 24th, 2019, 11:35 pm

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It was clear that his presence somehow made the woman uncomfortable. Although there wasn’t much that he could really do to make himself appear less threatening. Except for generating more space between him and the woman. So, Kynier took a step away from the woman and held up a hand in the passive gesture to indicate that he meant no harm. In truth, he didn’t know what he was really doing. If it was something that would genuinely provide some sort of benefit to the stranger, or simply ease his own conscience for a lack of past actions. Either way, he had started and needed to commit to it.

“My apologies,” he said quickly when realizing that she had become engrossed in the book she was holding. The woman’s gaze as she looked at him was that of fearful assessment. Suddenly, the idea of approaching her seemed stupid. Afterall, what could he really do? But when she returned the greeting, as hesitant as it was, she also spoke further. Whether it was the result of her nerves trying to fill the silence or not, he couldn’t be sure.

“No, I don’t work here. I’ve just been in enough to have a general understanding of this place’s organization.” He cast a quick glance over the shelves on either side of them. “Stumbled upon…” he said quietly to himself, amused by the unintended jest of her words. “The library is not well-known. Most people aren’t literate. So, a lot of this probably sits around collecting dust.” An eye caught sight of the brand on her hand again and lingered for the span of a few ticks. When he broke his gaze away from it, it was to meet hers.

“It’s nice to meet you, Asterope. My name is Kynier,” he said with a slight bow. “There is a woman here by the name of Remmy that… I’m not sure if she owns the place or just works here. It’s possible she would be able to direct you to the most informative books.” Kynier was taking in everything he could about the Asterope. From the little shifts of her weight, to how she held herself while speaking. While there was caution, perhaps even fear, in her eyes, she was holding herself with some confidence. She may not have been a slave for very long or had a stronger will than most people.

“I came here hoping to find something to give me more insight to a strange language I saw earlier this season. The selection is unfortunately limited, but perhaps the Ovek is feeling a bit generous.” While there were other avenues he could take for his investigation, checking the library was the only one he could thing of that didn’t inconvenience other people. So, it was worth exploring first. Kynier’s eyes lowered to the book she clutched against her chest. “Medicines and herbs. Are you seeking to hone your skills as a healer or a doctor then?”
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Underestimated Value (Asterope)

Postby Asterope on March 26th, 2019, 3:30 am

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The way he backed up and held out a placating hand calmed Aster somewhat; clearly he didn't want to be intimidating, which was reassuring.

She nodded at his words. It was somehow unsurprising that the majority of the city was illiterate and didn't value books. "I see. That seems accurate," the Eth said, her voice dry. She held her hand closer to herself when she noticed the man's gaze linger on her brand. He introduced himself as Kynier, and mentioned that a woman named Remmy might own the library.

"I believe I may have run into her when I first came in, but she wandered off fairly quickly." The library wasn't that large, but Aster hadn't heard or seen the woman at all since she entered; it was a bit strange, come to think of it. "I don't want to bother her. I'm just browsing more than anything, really."

A strange language? Asterope tilted her head curiously; she didn't recognize the name he spoke. "Ovek?" She could only assume it had something to do with luck, judging by how he wished to find something unusual in such a small selection of books.

"And a strange language? Do you know any words in it? I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means, but I know some pieces of languages other than Common. I don't suppose it's likely, but maybe I could help." The chances that the language was either Nari or Pavi were slim, but Aster figured it couldn't hurt to offer; one never knew, after all.

She hesitated before taking a step back towards the table she'd been at, and motioned for the man to join her, extending a peace offering of sorts; it was her way of letting Kynier know she was no longer quite so wary of him. Sitting again, Aster lay the book flat open on the table. She smiled slightly at his question, smoothing her fingers over the rough parchment of the book.

"I suppose you could say that. I'm no doctor by far, but I know my fair share of things when it comes to medicine. Where I used to live, in a city called Alvadas...I worked as an herbalist. It was good work. I miss it," she said, simply, idly flipping through the pages.

"I still try to learn what I can. It's useful, and one day I hope to get back to that work." Almost abruptly realizing how much she'd talked, Asterope cleared her throat, her cheeks turning pink, the rosy shade not quite obvious on her tanned skin, but still visible.

"You say you're looking for information on a language," the Eth changed the topic, perhaps not as subtly as she thought she was doing. "Are you a linguist, then? Or just curious?" The general population of Sunberth could barely read; she was surprised to find someone interested not only in the library, but in a strange language, of all things. "Do you mind telling me a bit more about this strange language?"

Whether or not she had any knowledge of it, Asterope was curious. Most people in Sunberth seemed to speak Common, unless they were of another race; where had this man stumbled upon something otherwise? Perhaps he wasn't native to Sunberth. But then why was he here? The more Aster learned about him and tried to put pieces together, the more mysterious he seemed and the more curious she became.
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If there's a light at the end, it's just the sun in your eyes
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Asterope
But I flicker from time to time
 
Posts: 327
Words: 289776
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Ethaefal
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