Solo Broken Threads

Shortly after arriving, Oresnya starts to make herself useful at Felicity's Fabrics

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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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Broken Threads

Postby Oresnya Cacao on January 4th, 2019, 10:52 pm


Broken Threads
Winter the 6th, 518 AV

If Oresnya had had any doubts about whether or not she was welcome in Wind Reach, her reception at the Gates and her interrogation at the Valintar had put them to rest. She didn’t have to wonder whether or not the Inarta despised her. She knew they did.

But something had possessed them to let her in through their gates and make her a part of their city. Kaden had given her the title of Chiet. From her many discussions with her sister, Oresnya remembered that the caste was low but not the lowest. She had made it in, and that had been her only goal for the day.

She was still miserably soaked.

They had let her in, but that didn’t mean they trusted her. The burly redheaded man following her was evidence enough of that. The man rippled with muscle and made no effort to hide what he was doing. He was watching her, waiting for her to become dangerous, if his hand toying with the pommel of the talon sword at his side was any indication. Annoyance was written sharp and undisguised in his eyes. He didn’t want to be here, as much as she didn’t want him to be here. Every time she caught his eyes, the look he gave her said he thought this task was beneath him.

That was the one advantage to these people. Back home in Kalinor, everyone was so good at hiding their true purpose. It was a necessity of their survival. Deceit was the Symenestra’s to command. Trickery and lies were second nature to them and usually their only way of bringing the surrogates they so needed. So the unhidden emotion of the Inarta was a relief. With their forwardness, Oresnya didn’t have to read into their actions, search for their secondary intent.

But everything about this new city was wearing her down, and she had only been here a bell or two. The hostility, the lack of trust, the judgmental stares from every Inarta she passed. It weighed on her. There was no comfort, but this was the reception she had come to expect as a Symenestra. Still, her nerves, though calmed some by her permitted entry, were raw, ready for something terrible to happen. She was a fly waiting for the swatter to fall. Despite the brave face she had put on, her stability was a frayed thread, waiting for the last bit of pressure before it snapped and unraveled.

What she needed was a way to anchor herself. It came to her, not in a grand epiphany but in the sluggish churning of her thought. Threads. They were the one thing she knew well. Not well but well enough to establish herself as a useful member of society.

Turning to her shadow, Oresnya smiled. If he was going to follow her all day long, she’d be certain she made some use of him. His eyes narrowed at the sight of her elongated canines. She began to speak to him in Common. “Where do I find-?”

“Nari only,” the Inarta guard cut her off.

Her fragile mind froze for a moment before it began spitting out the limited vocabulary stored within. “How-? Where-? I need…” Stopping before she could make a bigger fool of herself, Oresnya steadied her mind, pulled the pressure off the fraying thread, and dug slowly through the words she knew before attempting to communicate again. In the end, she had only one. Gesturing to her soaked raiments, she shrugged and chirped the word. “Clothes?”

First, the big man glared. Then, he sighed. If he thought guard duty was beneath him, tour guide was certainly not on the list of things he had ever considered doing, but he knew his way around the city and motioned her once to follow him.

On the winding route through the tunnels of Mt. Skyinarta, Oresnya tried to memorize her path, but there were too many lefts and rights for her to keep them all in order. She was thoroughly lost by the time the guard stopped in front of a door, knocked, and pushed it open. There was no pretense of niceties or chivalry, and Oresnya had to slip in through the door before it could swing back and hit her in the face.

Inside was the closest thing to home that she could imagine finding within this city. Colorful bolts of fabric of every kind lined the walls creating a kaleidoscope of beauty. Oresnya could pick out most of the cloth just by its appearance. Cotton and linen was there in excess. Oresnya even noticed some silk, though it was a bit sparser. In the center were the work stations, some with spinning wheels for creating the thread, some with looms for weaving it, and some with needles and thread and every manner of equipment necessary for the creation and maintenance of clothing.

Several of the stations had Inarta working at them with one, shorter than the rest, bouncing between them and overseeing all their work. When the woman saw Oresnya step through the door still dripping, she held up her hand and chattered quick phrases in rapid Nari that Oresnya could only catch a few words of. “Stop. You can’t… You… wet.”

Oresnya knew the first word well enough and heeded the woman’s command. The last thing she needed to do was to make herself a bigger inconvenience to the people she hoped she could work for. If she was going to last any length of time here and make any headway in her search for those who knew Yora, she was going to have to make herself liked. And the only way she knew to do that amongst these people was to make herself useful.

She watched as the man spoke to woman, and a brief and unwhispered conversation was shared between them. Wishing she understood the language better, she caught what few words she could.

“She is… Kalinor… new… Chiet… watch her.”

“Why is she here?”

“She asked… clothes.”

The woman smiled at that. “I have those.” She crossed the room to Oresnya, flashing her a smile as she came. “What can I do for you?”

The language was coming through fragmented, but Oresnya was able to piece together the broken threads to get the gist of what the woman had asked.
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Oresnya Cacao
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Broken Threads

Postby Oresnya Cacao on February 4th, 2019, 4:39 pm


Oresnya nodded to the woman as she approached. “Hello. I’ve just arrived.”

The Common seemed to throw the woman off. Oresnya was beginning to sense more and more that it was an unwelcome language here, though from what she could gather about these people and what Yora had told her, any language but Nari was unwelcome. The woman’s eyes narrowed a bit as she took in Oresnya’s appearance. The Symenestra knew she didn’t belong and could feel the Inarta’s eyes evaluating every bit of her that said so. First was her cobweb-colored hair, then her unnaturally pale skin that made the Inartan’s seem like it was tanned, then her overly long arms tipped by thick, black nails that were so claw-like they gave her a more feral appearance, and finally her attire that didn’t accent the same things the Inarta wear did. Nothing about Oresnya fit, and she knew it. Still, the woman did her best to put on a welcoming air for the newcomer.

She was pleasantly surprise when the woman answered her in Common but figured the woman was using it because she saw a potential customer. “I’m Felicity, and this is my shop. Are you looking for new clothes? The ones you have seem to not be doing you much good.”

Taking one look at herself, Oresnya laughed and shook her hands, as if doing so would dry them off any more quickly. It was wasted effort. As soon as the drops sprayed off her fingertips, more dripped down on to her hands from her soaked arms which were continually being wetted down by her drenched top. “I am, but it’s not my primary purpose for being here.”

When Felicity shot her a quizzical look, Oresnya explained. “I’m new to Wind Reach, and from what I understand, everyone contributes. I was looking for work.”

Any hint of congeniality left the woman’s eyes and a flurry of Nari sped out of her mouth. Oresnya couldn’t catch any of it, but she could tell by the tone that most of them were curses. Deciding it was best to let the woman’s fury calm before continuing on, Oresnya let the woman rage. Only bits and pieces of the Nari were familiar enough to Oresnya for her to catch them. What she heard didn’t bring her any comfort though. “Outsider. I’m not… petching wet dog. She is not…”

One last fervent expletive left her mouth before she finished, glaring first at Oresnya, then at the man who had brought her.

Thinking the majority of the anger had been assuaged with that outburst, Oresnya went on, her tone soft but confident. That was something her father had taught her. Most people didn’t appreciate the overly unassertive, but they also didn’t enjoy those who were boisterous. Confidence was to be tempered with a gentle edge. “I won’t be in your way. I can be useful. In fact, I think you’ll find me a boon to your-”

Felicity’s sharp eyes returned to Oresnya and the Common that flew off her tongue was more harsh and biting than the Nari had been. “I am only saying this once, and I am only saying it in Common so you will understand my full meaning. You are not welcome here, but you need a place, so I will tolerate you. You are Chiet. That means you are beneath me. You will do what work I tell you to do. You are not here for instruction. Am I clear?”

Rage boiled up inside Oresnya, but it was her people’s way to gain trust and connive their way into societies. Though she had no ulterior motive, she did want to become a part of the city, so she could discover those who knew her sister. Smothering that anger like an unwanted bed partner, she nodded and began to respond in Common. “I underst-”

“You will use Nari when you speak to me. Is that clear?”

Oresnya froze a moment as she couldn’t think of the word for understand in Nari. Unable to come up with it, she kept her answer concise but polite. “Yes, ma’am.”

The glare never left Felicity’s eyes, but her mood seemed considerably abated. She continued in Common, though only for ease of communication and not for any benefit of Oresnya’s. “Good. What can you do?”

Oresnya’s mind was struggling even with the limited vocabulary she did know. It took her a few ticks to piece together a sentence. “I am good-” She cut herself off. That wasn’t right. She could hardly say she was good when she compared herself to the weavers of Kalinor, and she didn’t want to set any unrealistic expectations. “I am decent weaver. I can sew. Not well. But I can.”

“Good.” Felicity nodded, then grabbed one of Oresnya’s hands, inspecting her long fingers and thick nails. “Are you sure these fingers don’t get in the way?”

“Best weavers in world are symenestra. From Kalinor.”

Oresnya had let her pride get the better of her, and as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she knew they had not been the wisest thing to say. Felicity’s eyes narrowed. “We’ll see about that. You will sew and repair whatever I tell you to.”

“I am better weaving.”

“And I told you, you will sew.”

Oresnya nodded. “Yes, ma’am. My name is Oresnya.”

“You are a widow. And that is what you’ll be called.”

The word widow came out in Nari, but Oresnya recognized it, knew its connotations and its intent. For a moment, she forgot herself, forgot to keep her emotions in check, and a brief glare slipped out before she could stop it.

Felicity saw it, and a victorious smile showed itself. “Now. Let’s get you out of that clothing, so you don’t make a mess of my shop.”

The man who had escorted her here perked up at that. Suddenly, he was very interested in what was going on and was glad he’d been assigned this menial task. Oresnya saw his eagerness, but she wasn’t the only one. Felicity’s sharp eyes had spotted it as well. For a moment, Oresnya thought Felicity was going to allow the man to stay as another way to humiliate her and make her learn her place, especially when the Inarta handed Oresnya a towel. Those concerns were put to rest though when Felicity walked over to the door, opened it, and gestured for the man to leave.

Immediately, his brain began scrambling for an excuse to stay. Oresnya was amazed at what the proper motivation could do for the speed of ingenuity. “The Valintar instructed me to watch her and to make sure she didn’t cause trouble.”

“And you’ve done that perfectly. You have left her in more capable hands.”

She was giving him the easy out, but he wasn’t taking it. “I won’t disrespect the Valintar’s command.”

Felicity lost her patience with the game. Rage filled her eyes, and she pointed demandingly out the door, calling him out on his intentions. “I will not have my business turned into a peep show. Out. Now.”

The man was obviously a Chiet, because he didn’t bother pushing the point. After he exited the room, Felicity directed Oresnya to a corner where her soaked attire could do no damage to the many fabrics throughout the room.

In the somewhat private solitude of the room, Oresnya prepared to undress herself, setting aside her soaked backpack. There were still plenty of eyes on her. Felicity’s apprentices were all watching her, both curious and detesting. Though the crowd was few and feminine, Oresnya still felt she was on a world stage. She turned away from them and tried to undo the bow at her back, but the wet only made the fabric want to stick to itself, making the bow difficult to untie.

She was about to try to use her nails to catch the different parts of the knot, something she was loathe to do as her nails could easily damage the silk, when she felt someone at her back making quick work of the bow. Felicity’s hands were deft and gentle, and soon, Oresnya felt the knot come undone and the fabric begin to fall away from her body. Even if Felicity hated Oresnya and her presence, she wasn’t about to waste time doing so.

As beautiful and rapid as the birdsong it mimicked, Nari flew from Felicity’s mouth. “Get dried off. There is work to do.”

It was a very rough translation. Oresnya had caught the words “dry” emphasized by the towel being pushed at her again and “work” and what she thought was “to do” though not in the order she was used to in Symenos.

As she began to unwind the silk strip from around her body, she looked over her shoulder. “I am need new clothes. I am pay for new clothes.”

“I will,” Felicity corrected the poor Nari that stumbled out of Oresnya’s mouth like a drunk man from a tavern at last call. “And of course, you will pay for them. This is not a charity.”

All Oresnya managed to catch of that was the correction, you will pay, and not charity, but put together, it all made sense. Felicity put a fresh pair of clothing on a seat near Oresnya, and though they weren’t her typical garb, the Symenestra was happy to have anything warm and dry.

“Yes, ma’am. I will pay. Happily.”

As her leggings hit the floor, the door to the business opened, and thinking it was the man from earlier hoping to catch a glimpse of anything, Oresnya quickly wrapped the towel around her torso and looked over her shoulder. The person standing there was not who she had expected. Instead of a hulking man, there was a small woman in threadbare garments, one hand holding her vinati at her neckline. By the state of her clothing, Oresnya could pretty well assume she was a Dek. Safe from prying eyes, Oresnya returned to drying herself as best as she could while Felicity saw to the customer.
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Oresnya Cacao
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Broken Threads

Postby Oresnya Cacao on March 1st, 2019, 3:59 am


It didn’t take long for Oresnya to get herself relatively dried off and changed into the new clothes. She was as rapid as she could be about it, because most of the apprentice’s eyes were still on her, watching, judging, searching for weaknesses. Oresnya got the sense they wanted her here even less than Felicity did.

“Leave your old clothing there,” Felicity called over to her. “I don’t want you dragging it all over my shop and ruining my things.”

When she was finally clothed, she almost felt as if she wasn’t. Inartan attire exposed the wrong things and hid all the rest. The top she had been given left her midriff bare. Vinati. The word came to her from her discussions with Yora. The bottoms, bryda if she remembered right, were so loose she was pretty sure she could lose her own legs in them. They were loose enough that movement should have felt free and unrestricted, but she was so used to her tight leggings that the effect seemed the opposite.

Her attention returned to the Dek who had come into the shop. Felicity was speaking short, bursting sentences to the woman who responded with sharp, simple gestures mostly directed at her own clothing. The Dek’s mouth never opened, but whatever her gestures were, they seemed to say enough. Curious, she stepped closer in enough time to see Felicity write a number down on a piece of scrap paper. The Dek smiled and nodded, and Oresnya almost missed the fact a transaction had just taken place.

Felicity turned to see Oresnya standing nearby and quickly motioned her over with a brief hand gesture. Eager to please, Oresnya stepped forward. “Yes, ma’am?”

“This is Eshryd. Someone… buttons… her vinati.” The words came out too quickly for Oresnya to form them into a coherent sentence, and the look she gave Felicity must have said so. Her new employer rolled her eyes and spoke more slowly using a single word at a time. “Buttons. Broken. You. Sew. Fix.”

Understanding now, Oresnya smiled and nodded, but seeing who would be doing the repairs to her clothing, the Dek shook her head and began to turn away. Talon-like, Felicity’s hand shot out and caught Eshryd’s wrist, her eyes piercing into the back of Eshryd’s skull with something close to hate. Oresnya couldn’t quite identify it. Derision. Scorn. Disdain. Something close to that. Eshryd froze, and her gaze shot straight to the ground. Felicity’s grip tightened, and though Oresnya could tell it hurt, Eshyrd didn’t dare try to pull her hand away.

Felicity leaned in close to Eshryd and hissed. “You do not walk away from me, Dek. If you come to me for help, then you accept what I give.”

There was no question, but Eshryd nodded that she understood. It wasn’t until then that Oresnya truly understood the disparity in power and how much power the higher castes held over those beneath them. As an Avora, Felicity could demand anything she liked from Eshryd, and Eshryd would have to give it. If Felicity wanted to, she could demand Eshryd’s vinati from her and leave her with nothing.

The grip around Eshryd’s wrist relaxed some as Felicity went on. “This is Widow.” Oresnya could hear the disdain dripping off Felicity’s tongue as she said Oresnya’s name. “She is Chiet. She is your better. You will respect her as such.”

Eshryd made a few short motions with her free hand. The meaning was lost to Oresnya, but Felicity seemed to understand.

The seamstress laughed. “I don’t have to respect her. She is beneath me, just as you are. Don’t forget that. Since she is mine though, I expect only the very best from her.”

Once again, Eshryd’s head bobbed confirmation to an unasked question. Felicity nodded once herself to acknowledge the conversation was closed and released Eshryd’s hand. Crossing out the previous amount she had written down, Felicity wrote a new number. Oresnya noted with a slight wound to her pride that the number was nearly half of what it was before, but Felicity had no reason to put any confidence in her. The woman had only met her a few chimes before.

“Does that seem more reasonable?” the Avora asked.

Looking at the number, Eshryd smiled and nodded.

Felicity tossed her writing utensil on the table and began to wander off to see what her apprentices were doing, calling to Oresnya over her shoulder, “See to our customer, Widow.”

With a nod of her head, Oresnya invited the Dek to join her. “What can I do for you?”

The Dek shook her head and pointed at her throat, a gesture that only served to confuse Oresnya.

Oresnya was about to ask the Dek what that meant when Felicity interjected. “She is a…”

The last word was one Oresnya didn’t recognize. “A what?”

Felicity repeated the word again and pointed to her throat, imitating the Dek’s gesture. “She can’t speak.”

“A mute,” Oresnya muttered in Symenos, then repeated the word in Nari to try to get it to stick in the foggy cobwebs in the corners of her mind. Her mind tried to mix two separate questions together in a mad cacophony of Nari. “Where which table I work?”

“Which table do you work at?” Felicity clarified. At Oresnya’s nod, the seamstress pointed to a table far away from everyone else in a seemingly forgotten corner of the room, half tucked behind several large bolts of cloth. It was meant to keep her out of the way, unnoticeable. Oresnya was fine with that for the time being. She’d had her fill of hostility for the day.

“Thank you, ma’am.”

Her new boss shooed her away with a dismissive wave. Felicity was none too happy about this interruption to the usual passing of her day, but the Inarta was not about to let it be a hindrance. She had already moved on to instructing one of her apprentices.

With a smile, Oresnya invited the Dek to follow her. Eshryd looked at the secluded area and back to the other Inarta hesitantly. Oresnya could tell by the look that she was given that Eshryd didn’t want to be alone with Oresnya out of the sight of others. Sighing, Oresnya made her way to the table and hoped Eshryd was following, unsure of what stories were told to the Inarta about the Symenestra. They didn’t just eat people. No, the death that befell women who died at Symenestra hands was much slower, an agony that few could truly understand if they had never been through it. But perhaps, here, her people had been painted as bloodthirsty monsters. When she reached the table, she turned back and sighed again, this time in relief, to find Eshryd a few strides behind.

Oresnya stumbled through her Nari but managed to make her intentions known. “What fix? Show me.”

When Eshryd hesitated this time, the hesitation was different from what she had shown before. It carried more the taste of shame than that of fear.

Oresnya set a gentle hand on the Dek’s arm, a reassuring gesture that was sure to go unnoticed due to the odd foreigner it came from. Her voice was soft and gentle as she made her request again, and Oresnya made sure to put the full lulling force of her Symenos accent into the words. “Show me. Please.”

It worked, to an extent. Eshryd didn’t trust her, but she did comply. The hand at her neck line let go of the vinati, and the garment fell open. Quickly, Oresnya’s hands caught the edges of the top and closed them back over the Dek’s exposed chest. It took her eyes a moment to see the buttonholes on the one side to realize that there were buttons missing on the other. When she peered more closely at the side with missing buttons, she saw the remnants of the threads that used to secure the buttons to the cloth. Someone had ripped it open.

Rage boiled up inside of Oresnya, and it showed on her face, evidenced by the Dek trying to shrink away from her. The amethyst eyes of the Symenestra met the vivid green eyes of the Inarta. Her voice dripped venom more corrosive than their infamous fangs’. “Who did this?”

Eshryd just shook her head. That’s when Oresnya remembered where she was and that it didn’t matter who had done this. Anyone could do anything they wanted to Eshryd. She was a Dek and, as such, was lesser than a person. The horror of that finally set in. There were fewer people over Oresnya than were over Eshryd, but any Avora or Endal could demand anything from Oresnya, and she would have to give it. Grabbing Eshryd’s hand, Oresnya had the woman hold her own shirt closed again.

She called over to Felicity. “Felicity, can I get vinati for Eshryd?”

The Avora didn’t look up from the work she was doing. “She can’t afford one.”

“I can.”

This caught Felicity’s attention. She looked up, eyes narrowed suspiciously at her new worker. “Careful, Widow. If you try to cloth all the Dek, you’ll end up with nothing, and they’ll be no better off in the long run. Are you sure you want to do this?”

Oresnya only caught so much, but she understood the warning for what it was and comprehended the final question completely. She nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

Felicity shrugged, went to where stacks of clothing had already been made, and lifted several of them up, eyes darting over to Eshryd now and again to evaluate the woman’s build. Soon, she found something satisfactory and handed it to Oresnya. “That will come out of your wages, Widow.”

Oresnya accepted the vinati with the best smile she could manage, though she continued to shiver and feel unwelcome. “Thank you, ma’am.”
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Oresnya Cacao
The sanctity of blood. The honesty of venom.
Posts: 52
Words: 59352
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2018, 3:38 am
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