Solo Part of That World

It's Gemma's birthday. And she's spending the morning alone.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Part of That World

Postby Gemma Parker on April 5th, 2019, 12:19 am

Spring 20th, 519av, 9 Bells

Gemma was taking the day off. It was her birthday, after all. But rather than being like other girls and going out shopping or baking a cake for her birthday, Gemma was working on a gift for herself. She had been mulling over the idea for a while now, and was now finally taking the time to get it done. All she needed was to combine what she knew of herbalism to make a strong adhesive paste that would bind her mortar to a board, which she would then bind to the heavy grinding stone they used.

The reason for her attempt at ingenuity was the frustration and aggravation of having to tell other people how to make her herbal blends at work. She was tired of it, and she was determined to find a solution. She felt horrible about always asking people for help when she should be able to do something on her own, but with her lungs and shoulder messed up like they were, there was little she could do. That was, unless she could find ways around her handicap.

Of course, even if she was able to successfully cement down her mortar, there would be other problems that she would have to resolve, like how to move water in large batches. But for now, she was focusing on one problem at a time. Sadly, she needed her mortar to grind the components into a paste, and to do that she still had to awkwardly hold the stone bowl with her left arm while it was tied to her side.

Gemma had gone to All Things Wild to buy a few kinds of tree sap that were known to be especially sticky and thick. She had brought the sap home separate, but she was now heating it over low heat. She had then commissioned tar from Tyan at The Starry Chalice, which was normally used for waterproofing, but also happened to be strong and sticky. The tar was distilled from wood, so Gemma reasoned that it would probably mix well with other plant-based adhesives like what she was preparing already.

She added about a quart of tar, which was a little bit less than she had added of the other ingredients, mostly because of the strength. The mixture smelled really bad, but hopefully the open windows would prevent any issues. She stirred the thick mixture together with her one good arm and tried to keep herself from overdoing it.

With all the ingredients now mixed together, Gemma took a plank of wood and set it on the table next to the mortar and grinding stone. She then took the smelly adhesive mixture off the heat, but she didn’t carry it because that would have been hard on her shoulder. So instead, she took the spoon and scooped up a good amount of the goop, watching to make sure it wouldn’t drip, then quickly brought it over with one hand to the board. She spread the mixture on the board slowly, put the spoon back, and with her good hand flipped the board over onto the approximate center of the stone. She pushed it down, hoping it would be enough, and went to get some more mixture, which she brought over once more. She spread it in a circle on the board. She put the spoon back again and pushed the mortar into the goop, pushing it down until she was sure it wasn’t going anywhere. Now she just had to wait.
Last edited by Gemma Parker on April 5th, 2019, 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gemma Parker
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Birthday Tears

Postby Gemma Parker on April 5th, 2019, 12:19 am

The mortar was now firmly in place, and Gemma hoped it would stay for what she needed. But just as she was getting ready to use her setup to make something for her shoulder and chest, there was a knock at the door.

“Who is it?” Gemma called, her hands full of herbs.

“Letter for Gemma Parker!” Came a young voice from outside.

Gemma had never gotten a letter delivered to her house before, so she didn’t know what to expect. Her face scrunched up in confusion before lighting up. Maybe it was a birthday present from Izo! With this in mind, she dropped the herbs on the table and rushed to the door, ripping it open to reveal a smallish boy, shorter than her. He held a folded paper, which he extended to her almost immediately.

“Miss Gemma?” He asked.

“That’s me.” She smiled.

“Here you go, ma’am.” He gave her the letter and waited expectantly. Gemma realized he was expecting a tip.

“Oh! One moment, hang on.” She closed the door most of the way and went to her room to grab her purse. While she was there, she saw a brown package on her bed. It was probably from her dad, but she didn’t have time to check. Still, she smiled. She couldn’t wait to open it.

She didn’t know how much to give the boy, so she took a topaz Kina and brought it out to him with a smile. “Thank you!” She said, closing the door and going back to her letter. There was a note, but already Gemma could tell it was from her mother. Gemma rolled her eyes. They lived in the same house but she sent her a letter. The note had her name on the front, but was written in her mother’s tight script. She frowned. Izo probably didn’t even know it was her birthday.

She opened the letter before reading the note.

’Gemma,

I left a package on your bed.

Sera’


Gemma rolled her eyes again.

“Yeah, mom, I saw it.” But then she realized she would not have seen it if the letter had not come.

She went to the package and opened it up. It looked like a musical instrument of some kind, but Gemma had never paid enough attention to music to know what kind it was or how to use it. There was another letter tucked inside. She opened the letter and read it.

’Gemma,

Happy birthday. This is a flute. Maybe you can take lessons. I’m told this flute is very easy to play, and has a soothing melody. Try playing it for your patients.

Sera’


The flute did look pretty, but Gemma shook her head.

“Mom. I have pneumonia and I have to pray to heal. How am I supposed to use this at work? Or at all right now?” She tried to say it all in an annoyed voice, but she ended up just coughing against her sleeve at the exertion.

“Whatever, I’ll try it some time.” She said under her breath, tossing the flute back on her bed. She couldn’t shake the feeling that her mom had just bought something super random. It was probably cheap. Gemma didn’t even know how to play the flute.

Most random birthday present ever.
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Birthday Tears

Postby Gemma Parker on April 5th, 2019, 12:20 am

Gemma stepped out into the cold and shivered. She wore her poncho, gloves, boots, etc., but still, even though it wasn’t raining at the moment, the cold damp air bit at her and sent a shiver up her spine. But sadly there was nothing else in the house that she could use to keep herself warm short of a blanket, but that would look ridiculous. Then she remembered. She did have that cloak that she had been given at the Catholicon. It was dumb to think something so thin could keep her warm, but she went back inside to get it, figuring it couldn’t hurt.

As soon as she put the cloak on, the shiver vanished. Gemma found herself smiling at the temperature feeling just right, but it was warmer inside than outside. She was sure it wouldn’t do anything against the cold air. But when she stepped outside, she found that she felt perfectly comfortable. She held her hands outside of the cloak and held them before her, but there was no cold feeling. It felt like she was outside on a beautiful sunny spring day. Excited, she went back inside and inspected herself in the mirror. Was this cloak made of some kind of special fabric?

“Too bad it doesn’t come in blue.” Gemma mused. And just then, the cloak changed to blue, causing Gemma to jump and rub her eyes. Could this be… a magical color changing cloak? That was so random, but so cool! And it was deceptively warm… She wondered if she needed her poncho at all, and when she tested it, she found that no matter how little she wore, as long as she was wearing the cloak, she felt great. Of course for decency’s sake, she still wore her normal attire, but now she left her poncho at home. This was going to be awesome.

To combine with her normal outfit, Gemma changed the color to brown to match and headed out. She knew exactly what she was going to try with this.

Now that she basically couldn’t get cold, Gemma wanted to test the limits of this amazing gift. She took the time to go all the way down to the peer after a brief stop to grab a waterproofing philter from the Starry Chalice and stepped up to the shore. She bent down and stuck a finger in the frigid water, expecting it to hurt with cold, but… nothing. Nothing happened. It just felt wet and the perfect temperature.

It was all Gemma could do not to jump with joy. She had received the most amazing gift ever! She could finally swim again without fear of the cold! She almost jumped right in, but she had to restrain herself. She needed to waterproof the cloak and get changed. And that meant going closer to the cave where all her problems had started. But this time she would not go in.

When she was around the bend and out of sight, Gemma stripped down to her bathing suit, keeping the cloak on. When she had taken it off for a moment, she felt the cold come back, so she kept it on. It was actually enough to let her change under, she found. Next time.

She folded her things quickly and put them in her body pack before zipping it up again. She was ready.
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Gemma Parker
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Birthday Tears

Postby Gemma Parker on April 5th, 2019, 12:21 am

Gemma stepped into the water, still wincing at the expected cold, but her cloak kept her warm. She had taken a moment to waterproof her cloak, so hopefully it wouldn’t get wet, just like her pack. She found that it didn’t matter how much of the cloak wrapped around her so long as she was wearing it, so she tucked it under her pack so it hugged her back and fashioned it so it wouldn’t get in her way, then she waded into the water the rest of the way. She felt like she was in a dream, but the water and the pebbles on the beach were real. This was real.

She changed her cloak color to black to match her pack and dove into the water, screaming in ecstasy. She was swimming!

A twinge in her shoulder reminded her that she would have to take it slow and not swim with that arm, but she was such a good swimmer by nature that she didn’t need her arms for a leisurely swim.

Gemma swam along the bottom of the ocean for a little while, just enjoying being underwater again. She had missed it, but hadn’t wanted to admit it.

While she swam, she kept close to the coast. She didn’t want to go too far. She saw a capsized row boat under the water a little ways away from shore and went to investigate, still so happy to be in the water. She saw that the boat was hooked under a rock so that just a little part was accessible, but Gemma’s small frame fit inside easily enough. She had been afraid that she would find a body or something, but instead, she found a little feather charm on a string. It was caught on a splinter on the little boat, tucked into a pocket of air that somehow kept it dry.

It was the only thing in the boat, so she swam carefully over to it and shifted around her body pack so the opening was in the little air pocket. She then pulled the string from the boat and carefully put the trinket in her pack. She could check it out later.

She wasn’t done swimming, though, so she moved back out of the boat and swam back toward the docks. She swam around for a bit, inspecting some seashells or rocks that looked interesting. Ultimately she didn’t take anything, but she kept looking for other little treasures while just enjoying the water.

Then, while she was swimming a little farther out than the boats, she saw something crazy… a skeleton. It scared her for a moment, but she remembered that the last skeleton she had seen had worn a helmet that had protected her from certain head trauma. Sadly she had had to leave that helmet behind to get out of the cave, and she was not planning on going back there.

As she got closer to the skeleton, she saw that it looked strange. It was shorter than expected, and had one arm thicker then the other. Maybe it was a strong child? She got closer and saw that the skeleton was clutching a necklace in its hand. She didn’t really want to touch the bones, but she took her diving knife and used the blunt side to pull the thin chain from the hand. She held it up and looked at it with a smile. It looked like a scale. Not quite like her own scales, but still a scale. She took it and slid it easily over her head until it rested next to her pendent. It didn’t look great, but it was a cool find nonetheless.

Gemma was getting tired, and definitely didn’t want to overdo it. She swam back around the peer, untucked the cloak so that it covered her, and walked out onto the beach. No one was there, and soon her fast drying swimwear was dry. She put her clothes back on and headed back up to the village, a huge smile on her face. She had gone swimming!

Gemma walked up the steep stairs, so relieved not to be shivering in the cold like the dock workers she had seen. The rain still fell and the sun was not out, but Gemma was in high spirits. She had found two little trinkets that she could imagine combining with some various outfits. She couldn’t wait to get home and test out some different combinations for her outfits.

As she was walking, though, there was a place where the path was a little bit slippery, and Gemma wasn’t paying attention. Before she knew it, her feet were flying out from under her and she was wincing and squeaking, expecting to be injured. But then she felt herself slow down and opened her eyes to see a yellow aura surrounding her, then she slowly drifted down to a soft landing on the ground.

The yellow aura faded, but Gemma caught a glimpse of a residual golden glow coming from her hair, almost like a beam of sunlight. But when she tilted her head to look, the glow moved, still fading. Gemma grasped in her hair and removed the feather trinket that she had put there just minutes earlier. The final glimmers of gold faded, leaving the feather like it was before.

“What the…”

“It’s a magical item.” Said the old guide who Gemma was sure had not been there only a moment ago. Maybe he had seen her fall and come to help?

“What do you mean?” Gemma asked, though she was sure she knew.

“It seems that feather kept you from hitting hard when you fell, doesn’t it?” He said. “Be careful to test its limits carefully, though. You wouldn’t want to assume it can do something it cannot.” He said, turning to walk away.

“Thank you!” She called. He didn’t answer. So Gemma picked herself up, dusted herself off, and followed him up the path once more. Now she wondered if the necklace also had some magical effect. But how could she find out?
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Gemma Parker
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Posts: 185
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