Completed Birds of Air and Stone

Itt sees a very stoic bird perched on top of a building and decides to investigate

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Itt on February 21st, 2019, 7:34 am

Itt took a few deep breaths through his nose, trying to quiet his brain. It was becoming more apparent that this man didn't mean him any harm. If he had then he likely would have done so already. He also wouldn't be smiling so much, which Itt took as a sign of friendship. People don't usually smile unless you were friends. At least that is what he has observed. People usually frowned at him. Or crinkled their noses, or got red in the face and stomp their feet off. But this was different than his previous encounters.

For the first time, so it would seem, he wasn't being lectured about his lack of communication.

He had only been in the city for a few days now, but most of those days had been filled to the brim with him getting yelled at or physically pulled around by people desperately trying to convey this new language to him that he was only beginning to grasp. But this man, Caspian, Itt quickly tucked into his brain, wasn't doing any of those things.

Sure, he had scared him a bit when he first arrived, but that was more Itt's fault due to his lack of awareness rather than the man himself. When he spoke he was speaking slower than most, he sat down on his level, didn't shake him by the shoulders and asked him to repeat anything, and he was smiling.

It was almost as if Caspian enjoyed his company, which was certainly a rare occurrence so it would seem.

Itt pulled half of his mouth in a smile and nodded, echoing Caspian's echo of Itt's name. He didn't remind repeating himself this time because it wasn't a demand, rather than a conversation that Itt was actually able to be a part of. Trying to maintain that connection, he took to listening to Caspian. Not focusing so much on the words and how they were said and trying to match it with his face as he had usually done. He simply listened. Without as much narrowed focus on the minute details of speech, Itt briefly found it easier to understand. Not the vocabulary per se, but the intentions behind the words.

Yes, Caspian meant him no harm.

The sloth perked up at the word bird, his hairs even standing at attention. "Bird?" Itt, of course, didn't know what the subject of the conversation was in the moment, as he still figured it was about him and possibly what he was doing up here. So he pointed over his shoulder to the dead grey bird still sitting in half shadow and half moonlight. "Bird?"
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Caspian on February 22nd, 2019, 2:06 am

If one throws all manner of stones towards a hoop, at least one is bound to tip through. Caspian hopes that’s not entirely the case, though, when he and Itt appear to converge in their intentions, at least for a moment.

“Yeah,” Caspian replies, smiling wryly. “Actually a bird.” Beak, feathers, talons, and all. And a bad attitude to wield the lot of it – though he supposes that may have less to do with avian inclination and more to do with the unfortunate fact that everyone in his family is a little sordid and insufferable in their own ways.

Wanting to capitalize the best he can on the point on which they’ve managed to meet, Caspian saunters over to the statue and takes a seat beside it. Is it architecture that Itt likes? The texture of stone itself? Symmetry (which would be relative here, because whoever’s hewn this piece had a fair hand at it, but not necessarily the fairest)?

Caspian glances back at Itt, and inclines his head, silently inviting him to join him. This has already departed far from how he had envisioned this night going, because through his usual calculations and a lot of reinforcement, at this point he’d already have found himself neatly planted on a barstool, a perfumed drink in one hand, and an equally perfumed admirer in the other. In about a quarter-bell he and that admirer would be making mutual plans to curl off and away to somewhere darker and warmer, and before the bell was up they’d surely be making good on it. But instead, he’s on a roof, getting chummy with the night breeze, a hunk of rock and someone he’s very sure isn’t as human as he appears.

When one’s sister is a raven, mother a fox, and stepmother a hound… recognizing another sort of comes with the territory. Doesn't bother him, of course - though maybe that's something to be bothered about when it comes to Ravok. It's not exactly the most freewheeling of places for a Kelvic to be, and he wonders again, though from a different perspective, if Itt perhaps has someone combing the canals looking for him.

Feeling notably more relaxed than he has all day, he leans back with a sigh, and reacquaints himself with the satisfaction of doling himself instant gratification through his tobacco and pipe.

Hopefully Itt doesn’t mind.
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Itt on February 23rd, 2019, 1:28 am

Itt wasn't sure how to explain what it was he was doing in regards to the giant dead bird. Not only did he not have the literal words to describe why he had climbed up here in the first place, he also wasn't exactly sure why himself. Aside from the fact he liked birds. Who knows, maybe that was the only reason why he was up here. But Itt should know, shouldn't he? It was his mind, after all, shouldn't he be able to understand why he did something or wanted something? He wasn't sure.

Trying to justify his reasons for being here, Itt thought that he if showed Caspian the dead bird then perhaps he would believe that Itt was here to clean it up. Now that Itt knew the bird was dead he did feel compelled to do something with it. Leaving it there to be presented to the whole city would be a terrible fate.

To carry this idea out to see if Caspian could understand, he finally stood up from the rooftop, smiling brief response to his yeah. He didn't expect Caspian to also stand up, so he let him move first and watched him meander to the bird. The moon was shining behind them, so Itt still only saw the dark side of the being. Having the two of them side by side however did prove that this was a truly big bird.

Caspian's brief gesture of his head sprung Itt out of his inaction and he approached them. But Itt's walk was much less of an amble. Though he knew the bird wouldn't respond to him walking up to it, since it didn't mind Caspian at all, he still wasn't able to prevent himself from nearing it cautiously. No bird, except for that duck from earlier he supposed, has ever not flown away from him.

With a hunch that arched his back and shoulders, the sloth reached out slowly to the bird in shadow his finger tips barely grazing its surface.

My, he didn't imagine birds being this rough. Or hard.

Itt's face translated the confusion clouding his mind and he walked to the light side of the bird, fingers running along it's wings and beak as he did so. The light shone on his mistake.

"Oooooooooh!" His eyes widened and he started laughing. "Dumb as a rock!" He pointed to the revealed statue. It was a rock! Or as people called it," Dumb as a rock." His hand covered his face which brightened to a faint pink, shaking his head. Oh boy, what a joke! He thought a rock was a bird. At least this didn't happen during the day. He could at least fall back on the idea that it was dark.

Itt couldn't rid himself of his embarrassed grin as he glanced at Caspian, now sporting something in his mouth. He had seen similar things before, especially now that he's been around more people, but he didn't know what exactly it did but blow smoke. Not that Itt particularly cared.
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Caspian on February 24th, 2019, 3:43 pm

At Itt’s declaration, Caspian bursts out laughing. Honestly, it’s quite nice, it and also Itt. There’s plenty to like about this - this moment, this absence of any beguilement, a departure from any insidiousness of motive. Caspian has survived this far being an adept enough judge of character, but even someone with fewer faculties could have discerned that Itt simply doesn’t want anything from him, and even if it did occur to him to have a particular want, it likely wouldn’t be anything Caspian would be afraid to give. There’s a value in this, certainly a novelty, because Caspian is used to pushing and pulling and the sundries that fall under the transactional. That’s the way the world works, so he’s been shown by even the most well-intentioned, and it’s a thing he accepts. When he was a child it had appalled him, until it didn’t anymore, and maybe the event to have caused that diversion in moral fiber is something he ought to examine further - but there’s a comfort in it too, participating in modes that have rules, where things are pecuniary and bought and sold.

But here, on this roof, Itt on one side, this statue that’s gleefully arrested the both of their attentions on the other - tonight is a refreshing change of pace, to say the least.

Caspian wishes there was anything towards which he could feel so much wonder. All it had taken was for Itt to sight a stone from afar, through some non-negligible amount luck gain proximity to that stone and then duly interface with it. There’s all manner of things that Caspian can name that still thrill him, but they’re more hard won, or hard bought, or come with detriment to himself or others. This envy for Itt’s disposition comes to him suddenly, naturally, in certain defined terms, and without malice.

What sort of Kelvic is Itt?

Caspian takes a drag from his pipe and absentmindedly exhales the smoke in a series of rings that hover about the statue, surplus companions to their party, and softly excuse themselves in dissipation. There’s nothing particular about Itt’s mannerisms that suggest any animal he’s familiar with. Were there some darting about involved, Caspian would have guessed some sort of rodent, based on his stature. But that doesn’t seem to be quite right. Something feline, maybe? He did hoist himself up to these heights with marked self-assuredness.

At his leisure, Caspian lights his pipe again, inhales with a warm hum, exhales another set of rings –

Those rings punctuated, suddenly, by a shadow swiftly passing through the night air in far-off bullseye.

Caspian narrows his eyes at the sight. From the vector of its soaring, he isn’t so sure he can write it off as having been a bat. Or an owl. It had whizzed across his field of vision with a particular beat of its wings that felt familiar, and the shape of the silhouette alone had been enough to give him pause.

Ravens don’t fly at night – but his sister certainly would go out of her way to, if she decided it was time to put an end to his fun.
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Itt on February 24th, 2019, 8:32 pm

Itt chuckled for the next few fleeting moments until it drowned out to a silent smile. He patted the statue with a tender beat, watching the whispy plumes of smoke spawn from the pipe, circling stars in the sky or even a stray bird— that one for sure was real. He's seen people smoke before, but the smoke just plumed into thinly painted clouds. Never has he need smoke so intricately crafted. At least it appeared intricately crafted. Making air do anything you want proved to be impossible for Itt. Even blowing hair out of his face sometimes was a struggle. The air just did want it wanted, so he admired the control Caspian had in those moments.

Itt thought to ask Caspian how he was able to do it, but his head twitched a bit to the side as he heard something. His gaze didn't get shaken from the smoke rings, but his mind did latch on to the noise. It was like someone whispering, maybe to themselves, but it was similar to a hiss. He didn't know what to think of it. He wasn't particularly good at hearing, so it must have been loud enough for both of them to hear. He glanced at his current companion, but Caspian seemed focused on the bird that was flying by. Maybe he didn't hear it. Or maybe he just didn't care. Even if he did care, he wasn't freaking out about it so it probably was nothing.

"Caspian what?" Itt pointed to the pipe. He figured that neither the bird nor the odd whisper was important. After all, there were others walking around, like the man who threw a rock at the duck from earlier, and other animals too. As long as it wasn't the guard, Itt didn't care. He did care about knowing how Caspian basically formed air into a ring on command.
Last edited by Itt on February 25th, 2019, 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Caspian on February 25th, 2019, 8:36 pm

The hiss is a sharp sizzle that prickles at Caspian’s eardrums, and instinctively he twitches towards it, this thing he cannot see but maybe, chillingly, can see them. The problem is that at this point it can be anything, this floating city full of squelches and slops that still seem strange to him. They don’t keep him up at night, though for a while they had, because like so many who haven’t the mizas to burn, he’s lived on the Docks since he came here, and the foot traffic and surrounding seas are never still. Some last iteration of him might have actively investigated further, or depending on the implications, dropped everything, Itt included, and bolted. But the possibility of Taalviel doing, at this moment, what Taalviel does best - his frustration with her is foremost on his mind now, not that it had ever left him. Then there’s Itt’s sudden avidity for his actions, not unwanted, and the hissing sound is categorized in turn as out of sight, out of mind.

“This?” Caspian says, pointing at his well-worn, well-loved accoutrement. “Mm, it’s-“ For the fun of things - always for the fun - he lights his pipe and inhales enough to produce a sporting flock of rings that swirl and sway between them. “-tobacco. Cyphrian tobacco.” And he leaves it at that for now. One thing at a time seems best.

The embers in the bowl of the pipe are still flickering softly in the dark. In genial politeness, Caspian proffers the lot of it out to his companion - what else hasn’t he experienced that Caspian takes for granted? - and returns to grimly watching the night sky out of the corner of his eye.

When he returns home - if he does - he’ll confront his sister on this immediately. The thought strikes him with an overwhelming sense of righteousness, spurring the scene to set itself, dialogue, costumes, and props readily devised. This is the benefit of his recurring issue with Taalviel - he’s plenty of material to go on, and inventing something sufficiently new to hurl at her will be easy enough.

He just wishes she wouldn’t make doing so this difficult - it’s less than straightforward when one so incessantly claims they’ve only got your best interests at heart.

“...do you have any family?” he asks Itt. Hopefully he can decipher any reply.
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Itt on February 26th, 2019, 10:35 pm

Itt nodded slowly, watching the new marching rings. He stuck his hand in the center of one that drifted towards him, it dissipating before it reached his upper arm. He smiled as if he couldn't remove it from his face, like a freckle, or a birth mark. "Tobacco." He stared at the end of the pipe where orange light turned into white streams, and stared at it harder when Caspian held it out. The opening where the smoke came out was round. But the smoke rings came from Caspian. Maybe the roundness was transferred from the pipe to his mouth?

Caspian continued to hold the pipe out and Itt looked at him. Oh wait— Itt took the pipe, trying to be careful. One hand supported the bell shaped bottom, the other the mouth piece. It was warm, which didn't surprise him but it was welcome. After having been sitting for a while, the body heat he had produced from his adventurous climb was subdued by the night's air so he was beginning to notice the cold. Especially in contrast to the small amount of heat coming from this tobacco. Or was the smoke tobacco? Was the pipe tobacco or the smoke?

Itt ran his fingers over the glossy wood in thought, trying to infer which was which. After coming to the conclusion that the pipe was called tobacco because he had pointed at the pipe, Itt's attention shifted to the question Caspian asked that almost flew over his head like the raven.

You? Family? His family?

"Yes." He nodded, turning to look over his shoulder in the direction he had entered the city. Or at least where he thought he entered the city. The whole entering the city thing was such a blur because he had been so cold but he figured he came from the opposite direction as the sun because when he looked at the city the sun was behind it like a flaming halo. The moon was basically the sun but at night, so he pointed with the full length of his arm in the opposite direction as the moon, pointing west.

His family was over there. Somewhere. He didn't know exactly where they were, but they were in the other city somewhere. Way over there.

He exaggerated the motion of pointing by doing it several times in that direction, hoping that Caspian understood what he meant. He smiled, remembering his home and his tree. He remembered when his parents put him there, taking him outside Syliras for the first time. He tried to remember physical features to link his remembrance of her soft skin soothing voice, but she was a mere shadow, yelling at another, taller shadow with a voice of a large bell in the night. They were fighting over something, which wasn't uncommon. He couldn't remember what they were fighting about, but this one was bigger.

And they just left.

Itt's smile faded through his thoughts as he stared in the direction he had pointed. He hadn't really thought about it before but...

Why did they leave him?
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Caspian on February 27th, 2019, 7:57 pm

Out of his hands and now in Itt’s, the pipe singles itself as out of place, held at a tilt more tangential, almost experimental. Itt seems to care, though, bearing an amount of respect for this inanimate object that to Caspian is reminiscent of his reverence for the stone bird. Feeling a measure of fraternal fondness he’s never really run into before in his life, Caspian mimics holding the pipe himself, cupping one hand over the imaginary bowl to cradle the embers and pretending to inhale. If Itt would rather just marvel at it, though, Caspian can respect it just as well.

Itt begins emphatically pointing, and Caspian glances sharply in that direction - you know, just in case. There’s nothing immediately there, which is a relief. So what lies to the west?

If they’re in the Noble District - well, that would mean, maybe, the Docks, the side where Caspian himself lives. It’s not unreasonable to assume that Itt means he’s got family, by blood or chosen, somewhere off in the vicinity. Maybe he and Itt are neighbors, and for the entirety of his time in Ravok, they’ve only just missed each other until now. But he’s pointing, really pointing, so Caspian looks further west over the the dark canals and hovering orbs of lamplight and tries to recall the grand scheme of the map in his kind. Directly west is Taldera, the furthest west of it being Avanthal - and so Caspian regards him curiously again. Of the Kelvics he’s sure Itt isn’t - well, he hadn’t yet considered that maybe he’s an animal embodiment that’s far closer to home. Proto-home.

Is he ...a stoat, maybe? Do stoats mind a climb?

Let’s say it isn’t Avanthal. The circumstances of Caspian’s ending up in Sunberth from Avanthal were dodgy at best. So, somewhere closer - though he really doesn’t know much about Novallas to say whether the assumption is realistic or not.

This puts him more at ease, though. More than he’d already been. Though he walks these streets as frequently and deftly as if he’s been born on them, the labeling of an outsider is still not something he’s been able to shake. Maybe it’s all in his head, but he’s sure the Ravokians who meet him can tell. The darker skin tones he’s inherited from his effectively Benshiran mother are a bit of a giveaway to being alien.

Itt looks a little... morose now, though.

Caspian supposes the question had been undeniably direct.

“Me too,” he says, pointing at himself and the west too, because it’s true in both cases, the Docks and those snowy hills where his father might still be.
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Itt on February 28th, 2019, 9:33 pm

Itt had noticed the small demonstration Caspian had shown him to teach him how the pipe worked. However, he got fairly distracted by the question about family and his own thoughts that he forgot about it for the time being.

The more he tried to remember about his parents the more he seemed to forget. Or rather, the more he realized he had forgotten. Nothing was really clear at all except the feelings he had when his parents finally took notice of him. Actually took notice, not just talked about him. When she actually took his hands and helped him walk around, and when his dad fed him mushed up greens. They were faceless blobs in his imagination, but the feeling was there. It lingered in a way he hadn't really noticed before.

He missed his parents.

The hushed words of 'Me too' brought Itt back to the present, and he looked at Caspian with a briefly glossy gaze. But it cleared up as he understood. A certain kind of smile returned to his face— one that was more gently lined than his previous grins. He was glad he wasn't alone. Both in being far away from his family as well as up here on this roof. Sitting with a stone bird he previously thought was dead might have been a lonely way to spend a night. But he wasn't alone now. He had Caspian.

He liked Caspian.

Itt looked back at the pipe and quickly recalled his earlier demonstration. He cupped his hand over the glowing embers, still radiating some kind of warmth, and inhaling from the thin end.

Itt immediately started coughing.

His eyes watered and the Kelvic held the pipe out away from him so he wouldn't end up dropping it from his spastic attempts at air. His chest franticly attempted to expel any and all remnants of the foreign smoke, his brain unable to decide whether the substance was wanted or not. While he tried to keep his smile on his face, everything else contorted into ludicrous curves and wrinkles.

As Itt tried not to choke on an alternate version of air, the guard that had been patrolling that section of the Noble district had returned, noticing the coughing noises. Looking up to the roofs, he pointed and called out,"Hey! You up there! What are you two doing? Come down here!"

Itt wasn't a frog, but the way his eyes bulged nearly out of his sockets made him imitate one impeccably for that brief tick. Still wheezing, he scrambled to his feet, searching around for an escape route. He didn't do anything wrong except go back into the distract that he was told not to go, but he still felt like he was going to be chased by dogs and his life depended on him running for his life.
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Birds of Air and Stone

Postby Caspian on March 1st, 2019, 12:28 am

There’s a bit of a learning curve with smoking, one that’s maybe steeper for Itt than for most. It’s a heroic effort, the amount Itt inhales, and when he suddenly expectorates it in huffy bursts, Caspian realizes he hadn’t actually demonstrated the exhale part, and so maybe this is his fault for the oversight.

He takes the pipe back and tries to look appropriately apologetic.
And that’s when the guard begins to shout.

“Oh petch,” Caspian sighs, rolling his eyes and tucking the pipe away. Itt’s much more panicked, though – guess he doesn’t break the law very often?
If they were actually apprehended it might end up being more than a humdrum bother, though. Caspian’s not a citizen and he’s guessing Itt isn’t either, and being Kelvic could lead to him being treated very poorly, even if he did belong to someone. Unless it’s someone fairly important? Doubtful, though, that he’s someone’s slave at all, having meandered this carefreely and at this hour.

“That way,” Caspian urges Itt, pointing northward towards the neighboring roof he’d come from at the beginning of their night. It’s close enough for Itt to jump to, or so he hopes – the distance is only about as wide as Caspian is tall. A little alacrity, though, is sorely needed, because Itt’s already stood still longer than Caspian would have, were he alone.

And he doesn’t know why he does this, but –

He darts off in the opposite direction, his sprint giving him the momentum needed to propel himself onto a different roof, directly adjacent. It’s a split second decision mostly based on his being familiar with the streets below, and to that, an assumptive calculation as to what the distance between this roof and that one must be.

And further to that – he’d picked this one because it’s a bit of running perpendicularly to the guard, rather than where he’d directed Itt, which is simply away.

Something about Itt –

Caspian isn’t like this, not at all, not really. If the proceedings had necessitated him pushing Itt off the roof instead - if it would have meant Caspian’s safety would have been secured, and he’s not entirely sure what would have led to it being an either/or and the only possible course of action -

He’s done that before, surely. In Sunberth he had done any number of things to stay alive but with his adrenaline running he can’t think of them and besides that he’s here now, isn’t he? So did that make it all worth it?

There’ll be time for that later.

He stops, looks back. Mouths the word ”go” at Itt and insistently waves him off.
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