Needle and Quill

Each is a different flavor of foreign (Oresnya).

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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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Needle and Quill

Postby Lani Stranger on January 1st, 2019, 9:27 pm

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39th of Winter, 518AV
It felt almost annoying to Lani to come back after her two days off. For most of her life she had not worked a job that required much brain power or muscle power, but never had she considered a job that required finesse. It was not mind-numbing work because if she didn’t pay attention to the words before her, especially since Kavisan had ran out of Common text to feed her and had started her on easier Nari documents; she would ruin her only job and have to start over. Wind Reach required work, and while many did not think about the scribes in the Enclave as doing real work, Lani deeply valued the preservation of knowledge, and how it benefited the city that worked so hard to survive. But today, well, today was not her day. Today she had bags under her eyes and a weight to her step as she tried to work up the energy to arrive to the Enclave. So as the sun began to rise and Lani shuffled into the Enclave, her mind managed to blank on what she was expected to do.

”Felicity’s Fabrics.” Kavisan barely looked up to see Lani’s dark figure approaching. He was fairly curt with her, although she suspected she was warming up to him the better she got with his language. The Avora had little tolerance for outsiders, but he was still one of the kinder Inarta she had met, considering the alternative.

”Excuse me?” She asked politely in Nari, and Kavisan looked up with a sharp glare, which made her think she had used the wrong phrase. ”I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” She tried to backtrack, trying to show him she did not mean to offend. Whenever she managed to do that he sent her to the Stables, or worse, the Processing Center to work for the day. She hated it.

”You must go to Felicity’s Fabrics, she needs some help with the bookkeeping. Catalog her materials and wages and do the math so she can project for next season.” Lani merely nodded, surprised that such work was needed so early on in the season, but not questioning the Avora regardless.

”I can take, uh…. Material?”

”Materials, yes you can take some with you. And, remember, when you are asking use the verb first.” Kavisan corrected her, and she noted the plural form of the word that she had forgotten to use as well as the seemingly backward sentence stricter she was not used to. At least he was correcting her now, last season he would have ignored her completely until she came up with the correct pronunciations on her own or just gave up and slunk to the back to dust like a Dek. Lani nodded and headed to the work room to gather the supplies she would need before. She had to cut two pieces of raw parchment and pre-steam one of them to be rolled so that once she was done doing the math she could present the text right there. Lani left the other parchment stiff and plain, opting to simply fold it in half instead. Without one of the fancy counting machines she had seen in Zeltiva, with the beads and the colors, she would have to do the math in her mind which would require scrap paper, no matter how good she was. Which she wasn’t, math was not her favorite form of higher education.

The scribe rolled her favorite glass quill into the stain rag, and tucked that into her satchel, reminding herself she would need to get one commissioned from the glassblowers at the next market day. She had never seen a glass quill before and was so enamored with it that the mixed blood wanted thirty of them. Not that she had use for thirty quills though.

Once Lani had all the things she thought she would need carefully placed into her satchel and headed out the front of the Enclave. ”Goodbye Kavisan!” She waved cheerily as she passed, whistling the departing note in Nari, which elicited his usual unamused grunt in reply. She grinned to herself as she began down the passageways of the city. She was warming on him, weather he admitted it or not. The oppressive fire lit warrens of the city clouded her mood immediately again, and Lani realized why she was dipping into an odd depressive stage. There was no sun. They city had been cowering from Zulrav and Makutsi’s thunderous dance for nearly a whole moon now and the lack of Syna’s kiss was beginning to weigh on the desert creature, she didn’t like it. Still, Lani was headed towards an old embarrassment, and it was not the best time to be a tired mute clump of foreignness. If Felicity recalled last season’s encounter at all, she might be turned away at the door. The flirtatious half-Eypharian had not seen the fiery Inarta since, but anxiety still pestered her stomach at the thought of Felicity bringing it up.

When she reached the wooden door that was pressed into the stone passageway, she took a deep breath, straightening her dark blue Vinati and black Bryda. She did not wear her daggers or her sword, not finding use for them in the city, as she wasn’t skilled enough to use them in a pinch. Nervously she ran a hand through her plain black hair which was not done up in braids like the Inarta typically wore it. She was dressing more like the redhaired humans, but she would never be one of them, that much was obvious. It was slightly lighter than she was anticipating and so it swung faster than she could catch it, banging into the wall. It was not the loudest bang, but among the quieter seamstresses and chitchat of the work room, it was not exactly subtle.

”Oh,” Felicity’s disappointment was audible in her single undefined word. Lani met the soft blue gaze with her overwhelming black eyes and immediately plastered an award-winning grin. She wasn’t going to let any Inarta wear her down.

”Good morning Felicity, I sent by Kavisan to keep book.” She explained, in the best Nari that she could manage. She was at a point now where she was trying to make her own sentences rather than use pre-memorized phrases, and so her words tended to come out a little off, and her grammar structures required context clues to understand.

”Yes, of course. I swear that old man is just messing with me.” Her Nari picked up in speed and she muttered something to the Inarta beside her. ”He hears that I’ve been sent a bloodsucker for a Chiet, and so he sends me the spider-eyed one as well. What an ass.” Lani did not catch was the aside was, as it was too low and fast for her to understand, but she wasn’t going to let it bother her. Felicity chuckled with the Inarta she spoke to and then wound herself around the area she was working at, striding towards Lani with the same smooth swing that had tempted the foreigner in the first place. Lani understood now that Felicity did not remember the last time they had met, or was choosing to ignore it, so the scribe made an effort not to show the embarrassment, or lingering attraction, on her face.

”Well, you can start by cataloging the materials. You will have to go to each of my workers and keep track of what they have and what they’ve used.” Felicity spoke slower so that Lani could understand, but used too big words for her vocabulary to catch up to.

”What does ‘cataloging’ mean?” Lani asked when she thought Felicity had reached a pause, and the Avora shot her a quick glare.

”Count it. I’ve had a change in workers this season, so I have to reconfigure my math, which is what I expect you are smart enough to do?” Again there were words too big for Lani to understand, but she definitely understood the sour note at the end. Used to it from Avora by now, Lani simply beamed at the woman, forcing her eyes to crinkle and the smile to be genuine although it was not anywhere near real. She found cheerily ignorance was far better received than her usually confrontational manners. She had gotten slapped enough in her first season to realize that. Lani had noticed that the Avora’s glare had shifted from herself to a particular figure in the room when she mentioned new workers, so Lani followed her gaze. Immediately her smile faltered as she took in the strange looking woman. It seemed as if someone had leeched all the color from this woman, with strange grey skin that matched her hair. She seemed to be so very pale it was unsettling, but it was not the beautiful iridescent pale of the Konti that Lani had always admired and wanted to imitate, but a fragile looking pale that screamed foreignness, even to her. When Lani saw her eyes, they were a shocking violet color rather than a dull grey as she was expecting, which only made the mixed blood more curious. She had never seen a woman like this before, and while Lani didn’t think she looked very human, this stranger was even less so.

”Thank you, Felicity.” Lani gave a slight bow, deciding to start with the strange looking woman. If there was anything that Lani was, it was reckless, and her earlier dim mood was forgotten in light of uncovering this strange creature’s secrets, or at least figuring out what she was. Lani did not see Felicity wave her away because she was already headed to the workspace where the grey woman sat, curiosity brightening her eyes and a curious lift to her cheeks.

”Hello, I am Lani, I will keep book. You will help me.” She whistled the Nari words quietly so as not to disturb the other seamstresses, but directly so that the strange woman knew what she was saying.
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Lani Stranger
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Needle and Quill

Postby Oresnya Cacao on January 5th, 2019, 10:08 pm

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Keep your head down.

Yora had given Oresnya that advice when recommending a visit to Wind Reach. Plenty of what Oresnya had encountered in her first few weeks in the city had supported that advice as being sound. Felicity, the owner of the shop Oresnya found herself working for most, had made it explicitly clear that Oresnya was not here to apprentice beneath her. Widow, as Felicity found herself inclined to call Oresnya, was a Chiet and was, therefore, only fit for menial tasks. Whenever Oresnya’s head began to rise and her eyes began to wander to a lesson Felicity was giving those Inarta beneath her, a sharp “Widow” spoken by the shop owner was all that was needed to remind her to get back to her task, even if she had none to return to.

Keep your head down.

It was becoming her mantra, a phrase to live life by, a phrase that was doing her no good. Sure, it had kept her from pissing anyone off, irking them to the extreme that she was disinvited to the city, but it also had kept her from making any friends. At the moment, she would have settled for mere contacts. But the slow and steady route she was on would get her the results she was looking for, if she had patience and gave it time to work.

The first thing she needed to do was impress Felicity, and she was far from possessing the finesse to be able to do that. Oresnya’s focus in Kalinor had been on weaving, not in making clothing or repairing it. Her knowledge was close to nonexistent in these matters, and the fact that she had only done a few minor repairs on her own clothing in her life showed. But Oresnya had a student’s heart, and whenever Felicity was willing to show her how to do something, Oresnya partook in the opportunity to its fullest. However, Felicity was still not willing to trust Oresnya with anything other than clothing belonging to a Dek.

Today, it seemed, was not a day for learning, so Oresnya kept her head down. Her nose was currently buried in her work. A Dek had inherited a pair of pants from another Dek far taller than himself and the legs had to be hemmed. While the man was still wearing them, Oresnya had rolled the bottom of each leg up so that it sat at his ankle, then pinned them in place. With as threadbare and patchy as the pants already were, Oresnya wasn’t sure the pants were worth the alterations, but the Dek had used some of his precious little money to have it done. Now, the monotonous task of sewing them so he didn’t step on them began.

First, she selected the appropriate colored thread. Felicity had been adamant about this much. No matter whose clothing they were dealing with, from the most respected Endal to the lowest Dek, their work had to be impeccable. Like any good business owner, she wanted to make certain that whenever anyone spoke about her work or the work of those she oversaw, they had nothing but praise. If it was a Dek, she wanted the Dek to brag to other Deks about how well repaired their clothes were. Finding the color of thread that matched, she selected something with a little more holding power, something less delicate, something that would stand up to the rigorous work the Dek would be put through.

With the thread in hand, she made her way back to the table where the pinned pants lay waiting for her. Unraveling enough thread from the spool for a single leg, she cut it with a pair of nearby shears and threaded it through the eye of a needle, then tied the two loose ends into a thick knot that would serve anchor the thread at its starting point. For this particular task, the sewing motions were simple enough. In one side, out the other, then back the other direction, always taking similar sized lengths of fabric. The trick was to keep the bites of cloth small and even. The result was a much slower sewing job, but one that was more secure and neat. While others here needed a thimble to protect their skin, Oresnya just used her thick nails to push the needle through the fabric, feeling for where it would exit the other side with the soft skin of the fingertips of her other hand.

The work was monotonous, but that didn’t make it bad. What made it unbearable was the silence she had to endure it in. In Kalinor, weaving cloth always seemed to be accompanied by weaving tales. Someone would begin a story to keep the rest entertained, and while often everyone else would remain silent to enjoy the story, it would sometimes devolve into everyone adding in details of their own and the story becoming a group effort. There was no such custom here. Sure, the apprentices made some idle chatter, chirping away like a little flock of song birds, but Oresnya was not welcome in their conversation.

So she kept her head down. And eavesdropped. The rapid fire delivery of Nari was difficult to keep up with, especially when Oresnya knew as little of it as she did. Most of what she caught were simple phrases or single common words. Every once in a while, she would catch the word “widow” spoken followed by brief laughter. As much as she wanted to respond with some biting remark, she didn’t know her words well enough. So she continued to keep her head down.

Until someone let the door swing too wide open and it slammed against the wall. All chatter halted, and every head turned toward the door, Oresnya’s included. She was expecting another Inarta, so when she saw the dark-haired, dark-eyed, tall young woman standing in the doorway, she was surprised. It was not Oresnya’s way to stare as the Symenestra were wont to put on an air propriety, but the stark contrast of the stranger with the Inarta was too much to ignore. The longer she stared, the more aware of the differences Oresnya became. The woman’s eyes weren’t dark. They were black, completely so, lacking any of the whites of the eyes Oresnya was so accustomed to, even in strangers.

Felicity and the woman began a brief conversation, but at the mention of something, Felicity’s eyes jumped in Oresnya’s direction. Immediately, Oresnya cast her gaze back down at her work and managed to stab herself in her finger with the needle.

Keep your eyes down, she scolded herself. She knew better than to get distracted. Felicity herself was distracted enough by the stranger’s arrival that she didn’t reprimand Oresnya for having idle hands, so Oresnya made sure she was busy by the time Felicity would be able to turn her attention Oresnya’s way.

In one side. Out the other. Back the opposite direction. In one side. Out the other. Eyes down. Back the opposite direction.

Oresnya was so caught up in her work that she didn’t see the other woman approach her until she was standing at her side. There was friendliness and curiosity in the woman’s eyes, rather than the usual disdain and dismissal Oresnya was accustomed to, and with her this near, Oresnya could detect an exotic and beautiful scent emanating from the stranger. If she had the time, Oresnya’d have to ask the stranger what bath she had gone to for that. Nari sped from the woman’s mouth, and Oresnya was only able to catch little bits. “Hello. I am Lani.” Something about books followed. “Help me.”

Holding her hand up in a staying gesture, Oresnya responded as well as she could. “Slow, please, ma’am.” Her Nari chirped out slowly like some drunk bird but not the kind whimsical on love in the spring. Rather, it was the slow chirp of a bird that had been blown into the trunk of a tree or, through some folly of his sight, had flown into the glass pane of a window. “We do not sell… books. Here. Only clothes.”

Everything was coming out piecemeal, and Oresnya could only hope that she was saying the right words. She beamed her best smile, forgetting how well it showed off the vicious canines so typical of her people. Reminded for some reason of propriety, Oresnya stood and slid a stool over for the person she assumed was her customer. Pushing her hemming work to one side of the table, she gave the woman her full attention, locking eyes gently in a search for a hint of sclera at the edges of her eyes.

“Now,” she began in Common before slipping back into Nari, “how can I help you?”
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Oresnya Cacao
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Needle and Quill

Postby Lani Stranger on January 9th, 2019, 3:34 am

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The strange pale woman seemed to be directly avoiding her gaze. It dimmed Lani’s friendly smile a slight bit, although not enough to slow her pursuit. Did this stranger not like her as well? Lani would have thought they would have a common ground to speak at least, since both where so obviously not welcome in this volcano. But once the woman spoke, she realized what the avoiding gaze and look was for. She was new to Nari.

”Oh,” Lani said, realizing she was speaking too fast. She was fairly new herself, although with two seasons of constant use and immersion under her belt, the mixed blood was vastly improving her language skills. The woman beamed at her, and when Lani saw the glimmering white teeth that didn’t seem to stand out across her pale skin, the word to describe the woman floated into her brain. Symenestra. She remembered the old lady at the emerald pool that had scared Lani and her new friend at the time, Madeira, nearly to death. The crumpled Symenestra had been terrifying for the eight year old to look at, but the woman before her was graced with youth. Papery-grey skin stretched across her thin bony cheeks still spoke of life, in their odd cave-dwelling ways. It occurred to Lani that the pale woman might feel more at home than herself, in the Volcano. Lani could hardly handle being cut off from the sun, and the moon, but she supposed this foreigner might be more familiar than her. And yet this woman would be more ostracized than her. Where Lani had thought she was the most foreign thing to come to this city, she now looked at the thing which was more foreign than even her black eyes and glimmering skin.

”We shouldn’t speak too much common.” Lani looked over her shoulder to see how distracted Felicity was and speaking low to the woman. The Inarta didn’t like to hear the foreign language, with the exception of Val Imsun of course, and Lani didn’t want to make this Symenestra feel more out of place than she was. ”I don’t need you to help me write books actually, I am taking account of the resources here for Felicity. I work as a scribe in the Enclave, but am supposed to help here today.” Lani explained, although she spoke a little slower than she would have liked, since she got the feeling that even with common being spoke, they Symenestra before her would be a little slower at understanding. It had been so long since the mixed blood spoke her native tongue that she found her mind blanking as she tried to find the words for what she wanted to say.

”What is your name?” She asked in Nari, speaking a little louder so as not to appear to suspicious to the listening Inarta in the room. Lani set her parchment down on the table that the woman had cleared and set the inkwell down as well, uncapping it and then turning back to her back to search for the quill. ”And how long have you worked here?” She switched back to Common, deciding to begin her work, unsure if she would be believed if the simple cataloging of materials took all day.

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Lani Stranger
Wanderer
 
Posts: 471
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Joined roleplay: March 21st, 2014, 11:48 pm
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Overlored (1) 2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Needle and Quill

Postby Oresnya Cacao on January 15th, 2019, 2:15 pm

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Oresnya was grateful for Lani’s use of Common. It was revealing in many ways. Even though the black-eyed woman slowed it down for Oresnya’s sake, the Common still spilled off her tongue faster than the Nari did. It confirmed her as a foreigner, just as much so as the Symenestra, though Lani’s familiarity with Nari said she had been here longer. There was more than that though. Her accent and certain turns of phrase betrayed a little of Lani’s history. There was a small Cyphrus accent buried beneath it all, but the hint of Kalean influence was heavier. Oresnya couldn’t quite narrow it down to a specific city as her stays in each of them had been so brief, but she knew the region well enough to recognize that much. Overall, the accent spoke of someone who was well-traveled, who had seen much of the world. Whether Lani had or not, she’d like to find out. A fellow wanderer like herself would be a welcome addition to this city.

She’d have to be careful not to insult the woman. Her mere existence seemed enough to do that for most here. To that end, she tried not to stare too much, but she couldn’t break her fascination with the woman’s eyes. There was no white to them, no matter how much she looked. Settling for what she felt was comfortable eye contact, Oresnya let Lani go on.

With Lani’s brief explanation, Oresnya realized her mistake with the particular connotation of the word book and agreed with the fellow foreigner that their use of Common should be sparse. Felicity had made it clear that she didn’t want to hear it spoken, at least not by Oresnya. If she was to live here, then she would speak their language. If she was being honest, Oresnya couldn’t fault her for that. Wind Reach was a proud culture, and knowing she was headed here, she should have practiced her Nari a little more.

When Lani asked for her name, Oresnya realized she hadn’t given it. So much for her propriety and manners. “My apologies.” She managed that much in Nari before dropping back into Common. “I should’ve introduced myself.” Introductions were simple enough, so she moved back into her stumbling Nari. “I am Oresnya. Of the Cacao web.” She remembered herself and where she was and added in Common, “Or you could always call me Widow, if you prefer.”

She used the Nari word for her title. Though she knew it was a sign of Inartan distaste for her presence, Oresnya was beginning to adopt it as a term of endearment. Once, Oresnya had caught Felicity saying it as if she actually cared that Oresnya existed. She smiled at that memory, one of the few fond ones she had made since her arrival.

She continued her best in Nari. “I am here less than two-” she couldn’t come up with the word for fortnights, so she tried something different, “less than forty day.” She thought about it a moment. “The sixth, the day I arrived.” Unable to conjure the right words for the next bit, she slipped comfortably back into whispered Common. “How about yourself? Pardon me for saying it, but you don’t sound like a native.”

Oresnya would let Lani answer her if she wanted before getting to the business at hand. Felicity didn’t like her hands being idle. “Where to begin? Many thing here. Fabric? Sewing thing? Loom and raw thread? Table? Something else?”
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Oresnya Cacao
The sanctity of blood. The honesty of venom.
 
Posts: 20
Words: 22403
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2018, 3:38 am
Race: Symenestra
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