Closed [The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Crylon meets Kelski too go over the recent cave in

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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on April 26th, 2019, 2:48 am


21 Spring 519


Of late Crylon found himself quite busy. It had been days since he had fallen into the tunnel below the new lot of land. Since he had, in an attempt to test the land and check for weak points or issues, had dug down and ended up falling into the top of a tunnel. Dug right through, and found what he was looking for in a not too soft manner.

Rotten supports, a tunnel which had been haphazardly supported and was in need of repair. A tunnel which Crylon believed would need to be dealt with one way or another before any structure could be put up. Particularly the grand idea of a structure Kelski had described to Crylon.

Who had dug the tunnel, that was something Crylon did not know. If it was new. Old. From centuries past and mining related, or something more recent. His guess was as good as the toss of a Miza, if not less accurate.

With all of the work to do though with preparing the land, Crylon had yet been able to find the time and opportunity to discuss it further with Kelski. If was after all her decision how to address it even if he could help her by advising and giving options. He was busy, and she had her own things and work going on which kept her busy.

Today though he did not believe she had anything planned, and he did not have anything pressing to do. Which meant he could nail down some time to discuss things with her, at least if he could find her.

Heading out from his room still early in the day, Crylon headed about the Gem in search of Kelski.

“Kelski?”

After a few chimes of futile searching, Crylon realize he was not really sure where Kelski went, nor was he overly familiar with many parts of the Gem.

A bit awkwardly, Crylon turned to a wall, then a ceiling, not quite clear where to look when trying to talk to the Gem.

“Is you know where Kelski is? To find? Need show her... Ground hole, is fall in. Need see tunnel, on new land. Need address.”

Crylon waited a few moments, half expecting some reaction, but nothing seemed to be happening. Of course he was also staring at a random bit of wall and ceiling, so if something was happening behind him he would not notice. It would be clear to anyone watching he did not quite get the whole concept of the entire building being alive, or at least how to go about conversing with it with this in mind. But then, it was not something that came up often, so perhaps it was reasonable to not understand how to do so.

“How is Kelski talk to Gem... Not sure how is work, when try do, but seem she can talk to Gem.”

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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Kelski on May 27th, 2019, 3:59 pm

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The Midnight Gem was not inclined to answer Crylon. It neither had the connection nor the appropriate apparatus such as a mouth or set of vocal cords to answer him outright. And since he had no slivers of its essence buried under his skin, there was no direct connection to his mind. It could, however, help him out.

The door connecting the balcony to the main floor gently clicked open, allowing the sea breeze to flood the upper story with fresh air. The Gem made no other move than that, content to give the Isur some hint of where its Mistress resided and nothing more.

Kelski was indeed home. However, her current state was sound asleep, curled on one of the pieces of outdoor furniture that were randomly scattered across the balcony. Even when the nights were chilly, Kelski sometimes picked to sleep outside, under the stars snuggled deep into a fur rug. And since her hours were all over the place trying to get the inventory restocked in the shop, she often would sleep at odd times especially if she'd stayed up all night working.

That's where Crylon would find her, curled and snuggled, sound asleep, looking no older than the six years she wore uneasily. The jeweler had been tired when she'd finally sought her rest. And the truth was her bedroom suite held no pleasure for her nor relaxation. So she'd taken a bath and retreated to the balcony after a fresh rain to curl up and snooze under the watchful eye of the Midnight Gem itself.
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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on May 28th, 2019, 10:03 am


Crylon knew that the Gem was alive. Crylon knew that Kelski had some means of communicaitng with it, and was connected to it. The how though, how it worked or how she was connected, Crylon did not know. It was some type of magic he did not know of, and which the kelvic did not seem inclined to divulge on.

But then, it was magic. Not some copper miza candy to be passed out on the street. Even if not those murderous and mage hating streets of this city.

He respected her more for her caution with such things. But of course, it left him quite in the dark as to how the Gem worked.

Crylon's head turned as he heard the click of a door opening. Not the loud whine of uncared for hinges, but the smooth opening and swinging of a door.

That and the breeze that came in through the new opening was enough to get Crylon's attention. It had not after all been the opening of a poorly made door, but one seeming to open of its own volition. No one present, no one turning the knob. It seemed then, to Crylon's mind, that the house had opened its own door. Could it do that? It had moved the bells before, and so had some ability to move itself... But then, Crylon realized, that also meant if it had moved itself and opened the door it had done so as a response to Crylon's question.

A sign if any was to be had that the Gem understood him and wanted to aid in his finding its master.

Heading outside Crylon found himself on a balcony, the door heading inside the source of the sea air and wind flowing inside. There he was faced with a view out of water. Crylon made a small shake of his head nearing on a shudder, turning away from the deep water to look more closely on land. Dry, blessed dry land. So far from that pit of liquid that he sometimes had to ride across to get from one place to another.

It was there Crylon found Kelski, apparently asleep outside on the balcony of the Gem. Still on the grounds, but out in the open air. Perhaps, Crylon mused, something related to her kelvic nature.

While the kelvic was larger than Crylon by a fair bit, the sight of her curled up for warmth outside made him think of children. Kelvic, in some ways, were like children. Adult, but children in years. Even as humans aged and lived fast but short lives, kelvics were even faster and shorter. Mature, and yet young. Youthful, and yet burdened. All of them but whispers of time to an Isur.

And yet, Crylon knew, no lesser for it. No, if anything they often made more of the time they had rather than stretching things out over decade after decade like an Isur would. In no hurry. In no rush. Learning, growing, working, like a vine working its way up a wall. But humans, kelvics, were not vines in that metaphor.

He considered letting her sleep, but then reasoned that the Gem would not have surely shown him the way if he was to let her sleep? Perhaps she needed to wake.

Unsure, Crylon compromised by quietly stating the kelvics name a few times to rouse her.

“Kelski. Kelski. Kelski.”

If that did not work Crylon would move closer and push at her shoulder gently to try and raise her attention, saying her name more loudly.

Depending on how deeply asleep she was and how hard she fought waking, he would decide on further actions should those gentler ones to wake her fail.
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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Kelski on June 23rd, 2019, 3:35 pm

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Even tired, the Kelvic was a light sleeper. At the sound of Crylon's footsteps on the balcony her awareness was rising to the surface. At the sound of her name on his lips, her eyes were open. By the time he had said her name the third time, she was sitting up with a dagger in her fist.

Kelski didn't remember where she'd gotten the dagger. It had probably been tucked close to her. Sleeping in Sunberth, even in one's home, was never an easy thing. She met Crylon's gentle concerned gaze and then glanced down at the weapon in her hand and made it disappear beneath the fur she wore for warmth. Sitting up, he could see she was fully dressed but barefoot.

The Sea Eagle didn't wake groggy like a human would. She woke alert as if every waking moment might be life or death.

"Is something wrong?" She asked, curious and hopeful, trying to read Crylon's expression as if to get some foreshadowing. The Kelvic rolled into an upright position and faced him as if she might need to fight. Not him, of course, but if there was something important enough for him to wake her up, there was something definitely important going on.
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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on June 23rd, 2019, 6:33 pm


It did not occur to Crylon to defend himself in waking Kelski, or that she might attack in in some knee jerk awakening.

But then, his mind was still very much not in kind with most Sunberthians. He still was filled with hope and ideas and plans for the city, and had not given up or passed on from what he had originally seen.

Kelski, while not giving up on the city as a whole, had her own plans for making it better. More akin, Crylon thought to himself, too someone seeing a decayed building and planning to tear it down and replace it with something better. Much, Crylon thought, as they were doing with the literal building for the new build site.

Crylon however so hope, saw the good bones beneath which could be worked and rebuilt into something better. A foundation to build upon.

It took Crylon several moments, not a trained weapon user or fighter, to register the weapon Kelski had drawn in her awakening. Another few moments for him to consider the possible danger of his waking someone armed if they thought they were threatened.

Perhaps better than he had not needed to tap her to awaken her... Luckily by the time he had worked all this out, the kelvic had put away the blade. Though where or how he was not sure as his eyes had missed it. Some trick known to those more skilled in such weapons perhaps.

Her response was crisp. Clean. Straight to the point. Worried and yet focused on the task at hand. More akin to her having been laying their awake but resting her body than truly sleeping he felt. So was she simply that quick to rise, or had not been sleeping... He was unsure.

Struggling for a few moments in common, Crylon pointed outside in the direction of the work site.

“I... Fell in hole... No, I made hole fell in.... No...”

Taking a slow breath Crylon held up a hand to ward off a response, and to give himself more time to fully form his words in explaining himself. How to say. A bit annoyed at himself for his earlier failure in communicating, Crylon continued.

“I work on site. Prepare land, as talk fore bout. Is dig hole, before put down... Foundation. Like say do. Dig hole, but fell in hole there. Fell in... Tunnel. Under new land. Need show. Need know what do with. Could.... Build over... Fill in. Or build round, keep open. Or... Or other thing, not sure. But first, maybe should show?”

After answering any other immediate questions, and should Kelski agree, Crylon would lead the kelvic back to the work site to see the large hole in the ground, with a rope ladder off to the side ready to be fastened to the side of the hole. Currently though it was pulled up so nothing could easily climb out. Just as he had left it the last time he had been there.
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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Kelski on June 30th, 2019, 1:28 am

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Crylon was an Isur. They were sturdy and steady, not prone to excitement. But there was true concern in Crylon's eyes. Kelski understood immediately there was a problem at his job site. But it took her a moment of reviewing his words to actually understand what he was saying. It seemed the ground just 'caved' in or something... collapsed? She thought about the miles of tunnels herself and Vasin had explored together beneath Sunberth and she wasn't surprised.

Kelski paused thinking. "Vasin and I have explored miles and miles of tunnels beneath Sunberth." She said, as she slipped on boots preparing to follow him. "If you found a tunnel beneath the property, there's probably a lot more of them and its probably not safe to build. That makes me upset beyond belief because we bought the land to put a building on, but if the hole is one of those tunnels that you fell in... you aren't going to find enough material anywhere to fill it in." Kelski said softly, her large silver eyes worried.

She didn't want to voice her fear, but with Crylon building a forge for the Gem, and now this, the building plans for the property next door might just be put on hold. Kelski, for the life of her, couldn't imagine what they could do about a tunnel running directly under the building unless they turned it into an Architectrix and grew it until its awareness could take care of the destabilization. That might work, and gave her a bit of hope, but she still couldn't help wonder how they could get a building up to arch in the mean time if the ground beneath the land parcel was riddled with holes.

Ready to go, Kelski tossed on her cloak and followed Crylon out in the street. She followed him down the street to the next parcel of land, and over to where the site was he'd been clearing for the new building. Looking down in the hole, Kelski shook her head.

Kelski moved over to where the rope ladder was bundled, tossed it in the hole, and climbed neatly down it. She hadn't brought a lantern or a torch, but the light from the hole itself illuminated the area in a circle just around her.

She shook her head. Glancing up at Crylon, she truly looked worried now. "I have no idea what to do. This definitely looks like one of the tunnels beneath the city, and if that's true they are overran with all kinds of vermin, monsters, and homeless. We can't leave any structures here vulnerable to invasion. And being this close to the Gem, it makes the Gem vulnerable too, even though we have the basement all carved out." She said, turning another circle.

"What would you like to do? I'm not sure its safe to put a building up in this location at all." She added, seriously considering canceling the build. She just wasn't sure what she'd do to her plans to add on if that was what she wanted to actually do.

There had been a new plan forming in her head, one she hadn't discussed wiht Crylon yet. But now... now might be a good time.

"If we cancel this build, what are you going to do for work?" She asked curiously, looking at him intently. The Kelvic had something else on her mind and asked it as well when Crylon had answered her first question.

"Gilthas and I had been talking... of moving to Zeltiva where it is safer... and working there, outside the city in the wilderness. Building fresh there... where there is none of this situation and none of this crime. I'm wondering, since we are still in such an early stage of building this guild... if we shouldn't just .... take it as a sign I really do need to move and transfer our building plans to that city. We'd hire you, of course, to help build there... if you woudln't mind traveling to do so. It's an eighteen day boat ride between the two cities." Kelski said, looking around.

She had no idea what he was going to say or do, but she was curious as to what sort of fixes he had in mind. He'd already mentioned building around, keeping the hole open or filling it in... but Kelski didn't think any of that was the right course of action.
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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on June 30th, 2019, 6:37 pm


Crylon nodded at Kelski's words, acknowledging that there were extensive tunnel networks under the city. She had been the one to tell him that. Her reaffirming it now along with the fact that she had spent time exploring them was also was however interesting. He had spent a few chimes looking about where he had landed, but had not gone much further.

She had apparently done so, accompanied by a companion.Hearing it in such details though, exploring miles and miles of random tunnels... It seemed odd to Crylon's mind, who knew from Sultros how well planned and catalogued the tunnels were.

He had figured that he had found one, and that was it. She however, from her own experience, felt that it was likely that if he had found one, there were more. Something he had not fully considered before.

From her own words filling it in would not be a possibility, which if the tunnel was as extensive as she said made sense.

“Not sure, could be more. Only found one. Looked only bit, few chimes. But could be more.”

Once the two were outside Crylon would follow Kelski down into the hole, so as to see what she was seeing as she explained her thoughts.

He was even more surprised to hear her tell of what was in the tunnels. Monsters. Pests. Random people without homes. He was double glad he had thought to pull the ladder up, rather than leaving it down for anyone or anything to use it to climb out.

When she asked on his thoughts, of what could be done, Crylon breathed deeply and considered. How to word what he thought? And foremost, how did he think? Was it a foregone conclusion to give up on the work site? Crylon was not so sure of that... Things could be built, reinforced, supported, and such. It was possible, just more difficult. Or so he felt.

“Well... If way to find out if other place hole, other tunnels, is be good. But if not, well is yes then risk. May do one thing, might work, or do another thing, might work, or maybe not.”

Pointing up at the broken wooden support from where he had broken through, Crylon waved at other ones along the tunnel.

“Is seem not totally unsupported. Someone, at some time, did support. Make supports. Might be old, but still here, in tunnel. Is maybe why broke through, old. Not... Take care of over time... Not... Maintained... But still here.”

He was further considering other options, when Kelski brought up her thought of leaving the city. Of building a whole entirely new place. Of cancelling this place which they had planned upon meeting, and doing something.

A smile crossed his lips as he heard Kelski's concern of what he would do if he lost this job. If the build fell through and did not occur.

“Is just work. Like work for you, if can would, but if not could do other thing. Is person with skills, with good head, good arm, if try will find work. You not to worry, about my work. Work for Isur, is like breathing for human. Is come to, like air from... Air.”

Cringing at his own failed metaphor, Crylon shook his head and then smiled at the Kelvic again. After a few more moments mulling things over Crylon thought he had a half formed idea.

“If say, then is maybe things do. Foundation, you understand how work? Basic principle, is spread out force. If say put four posts on corners, lay building atop, posts sink into ground, not support build if soft ground. But put foundation below, spread out foundation, and then put four posts at corners and build upon posts, then building hold even in weak ground. Is spread out force. Is just... Physical? Physician... No... Physics! Yes, physics. Of weight.”

“If put foundation below tunnel, below where build, is spread out force of building sit atop. Reinforce tunnel swell. Maybe make... Ladder... Stair... Acess thing, to get through foundation, up out of tunnel, so if want could go up or down. Block, good door, good lock. Door, hatch, thing. To keep others use to get in, out. Maybe come out in basement. Is second way in, out. Maybe hide. If want do, is maybe way.”

Pausing for her later question, Crylon considered again before continuing from his answer.

“Is you build. If want build, will do. If not want build, will not build. ”

“Move not matter over much. All is move. Is just visiting, go through human lands, see what can, learn what can. Not do any specific way. If want leave, go do other place, can do. Not big rush, or need stay one place or other.”

“If new place though, probably need new plans. Plans for Sunberth, for spot here. If new land, need new design. I maybe could help, once see what want, and what land like. But not know nuff, say more without see.”

Pondering further, Crylon vaguely knew of Zeltiva. But not being of Syllira, he did not know much of it. He began to ask of Zeltiva, the city, what Kelski knew of it, but then a word Kelski had used drew his attention. What guild was she making?

“Is city, Zeltiva. What is do? What is like? Is have anything of interest? Besides plan, make place. Also, thought make place for... Celebrate... Party? What guild make?”

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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Kelski on November 18th, 2019, 4:25 am

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Crylon had said a lot. Kelski cocked a hip sideways and leaned against one of the old support beams he’d talked about. The wood gave gently under her weight, not quite toppling but giving enough to tell her it was somewhat decayed – if not rotten all the way through. She nodded at his words, following his train of thought even with the less than desirable grasp he had on Common. To him, it was just a job. He could go out and get another doing something else easily enough. To her it was a future. That was a huge difference.

Crylon was very knowledgeable about what he was speaking of. She was impressed with how he knew the tunnels had been shored up but not maintained.

Kelski had a nagging suspicion if she stood still, especially here in Sunberth, the life she’d worked so hard to make would be stolen from her. And that wasn’t, truthfully, a good sensation to have. Quiet now, Kelski studied Crylon, then glanced around, then raised her eyes and met his own. “So, you aren’t here for good anyhow? You will go back to where your people live eventually? Sultros? Duncan told me a bit about it. It seems like a beautiful place. If I had a home like that, I wouldn’t wander. But I can understand your need to be out in the world and see it for yourself.” She said gently then pushed off from the rotten beam to where she had been leaning.

Kelski circled the area, thinking deeply, muttering to herself as she did so. The young Kelvic ran her hand through her hair, stopped to scratch an itchy scalp, then glanced up at him before she started pacing again. He could tell she was thinking deeply.

He was right. Work was just work, and he could do anything. She was confident of it… and of his ability to make his way through this city and come out thriving. He just simply had that sort of personality. Plus, compared to the other humans here, he was physically intimidating with his arm. The Isur were gifted by Izurdin that way, Kelski supposed.

She paced around and shook her head. “No, we need to stop this project. I’ve all but decided that I need to leave this place and anyone wanting to come with me is welcome. I really have. I’m packing up and moving to Zeltiva.” She said, then turned towards him once again.

“You have really good ideas and I don’t doubt your skill at being able to make this work. However, I’m thinking its going to be wasted effort if I’m just going to pack up The Midnight Gem and leave. And there will be building on the other end, but I have no idea what kind or what we will find to set up shop in. I don’t know what I can afford to buy there and where it is going to be. I can definitely give you work once we get settled, but it might be a season or so to do that. If I have a choice and it is in any way possible, we will be in the wildlands and building a new place… one to grow into and centralize a guild out of.” Kelski stated, looking around.

“I’ve never been to Zeltiva, so I can only tell you so much. I only know what I’ve heard and what people I trust have said. Zeltiva is a learning center because it has a huge formal university. People learn there, teach there, and it is a city governed by people. They have a sailing guild there that is powerful and I’ve heard that they build some of the nicest boats anywhere in Mizahar. I have heard it is of stone, beautiful, with walls tucked in a small valley by a bay and that sheer peaks surround it.” Kelski blinked then and turned to Crylon, smiling slightly. “Doesn’t that sound like some of your people’s settlements? In steep mountain valleys tucked near water? At least those not under the ground?” She said, looking thoughtful and smiling. “A jeweler would do well there. And the Svefra I have talked to say there are no jewelry shops that they have heard of.” Kelski added, pleased that she would not move in with competition already in place and established.

“If I go, will you come with me? Or even come later if you still have things to do here? I could really use you to help build actual buildings and not just be a project manager. I’d need a season to get settled… find out where I’m going to buy and what needs to be built… but I want something huge to live in... a Manor House, a large one. Bigger than the Gem is now. The horses need a barn. And my barn wants to be a dock and boathouse so that means we’d need one of those as well. I obviously have to plan for this, earn some coin to make it happen, but once we can do it, I’d love to have you design some of it. The Gem will have the planning of her own form, but I know the boathouse needs a design if we can get something on the water… which is what I want.” Kelski said.

She talked a big talk, but she was confident her plans would work out if she just worked hard enough. As a jeweler, the income was there, for certain and hopefully if she could make what she was making in Sunberth in Zeltiva… she could possibly make more.

“I want the Guild to be for mages… to explore new places, help other people, to reclaim lost knowledge and show that all magic isn’t a thing to be feared but embraced. I want a different kind of guild, not one built for power or prestige, but one built for the preservation of knowledge and the security of the mages that are members.” Kelski said softly, then paused, looking right at Crylon to see what he thought of all of her words.

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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on November 19th, 2019, 1:01 am


Crylon cringed at the sight of Kelski leaning on the worn support, or more to the point the support bending from the slight weight of her form leaning on it. If that was all it took, it was indeed weak and likely rotted. A small wonder he had fallen through in his digging.

“Ah, maybe not... Touch support, while down in tunnel? Yes? Fall into tunnel once fore, is how found, when broke through. Not want tunnel fall on us.”

Looking at the tunnel, the sight spoke to him as a book to a librarian. He could see the guts, the bones, of the structure. The tunnel as an extension into space, built and created. He could see the weak points within its design, its maintenance, with the eye of an Architect. Scabs, open festering wounds, on the side of the building. Rotten supports, a sickness spreading throughout the once healthy structure from neglect and exposure to all manner of the elements.

Without fully considering it, his mind began thinking through how to repair it. Reinforce the support beam here. Then add a new one here. And then one by one, here, then here and there, replace them while the new beams supported the tunnel.

Then go back and replace the others, along with the cross beams till the tunnel took on a healthy pallor. Even if it would not be used, if it was to be abandoned, he would consider what he might do should he need to.

Looking about Crylon considered Kelski's question, of his plans for the future. With a nonchalant shrug Crylon further considered.

“Non-Isur... Time, much faster, seeming to them. To humans. To you yes? Is how old you? I sixty. Left Sultos when young, maybe... Forty or so. Been way from Isur lands time, but not so long. Is not so much rush. May stay in human lands time still. Five. Ten. Nother twentry years. When go home, will have experienced what cannot at home. Will grown strong far from Kingdom. Will have knowledge and skill to bring back home. But time, it not come yet. Not in rush to leave. Will go where can, to experience. Not stay forever, but stay long enough. But while here, am here. Is make sense?”

When Kelski made a firm decision, to stop the project, Crylon simply nodded.
“Kay.”

A tiny portion of him was disapointed in not carrying through with their plan, but another somewhat bigger portion did not mind. The part of him at his core that found more interest in planning and designing than actually seeing the place built.

Knowing he could do it, that it could be done... Taking something through its logical steps, was enjoyable to him. Even if he never got to use it. Like his absentminded plan to repair the tunnel.

The notion though of helping pioneer a new outpost of humanity, or of non-humanity, was intriguing to him. Exciting. Something new. And new experiences, new knowledge, new things, that was what he was in search of.

“Is sound... Interesting. But not much for camping, is not my skill set. So maybe as you say, come season after, once ground broken so to speak. Help then when basics done, and can help more. Been in Sunberth for time, is good enough time to go somewhere else. And plan does seem interesting.”

A new settlement, not too far from Zeltiva. Zeltiva, a city with a major formal learning institution. Learning, and boats, and building boats.

“Is not so far, from Isur outposts, in nature. Is certainly sound closer than most other places I see in human lands.”

Speaking of planning, Crylon once more grew interested in her tale. In hew plans, ideas, and hopes. Not that his face showed much, at least not to a non-Isur who was not used to the more subtle reactions of an Isur.

“Want learn more, magic as well. Know bit of few, but not much of any. Magic I do now use is... Rubbish. But maybe can do more, once learn do better. Is just... Is not good at Magic, I think. As master say, who taught to do. Not find one yet, I can just... Do...”

Back in Sultros Crylon had been initiated into his magics by an elderly Isur of the Pitrius family. Crylon had been seemingly a constant disappointment to his master who seemed to expect much from Crylon only to find no natural talent at the use of Magic.

“But if can help, will help. Just... Not know if can do, with Magic. But maybe other ways, can help.”

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[The Midnight Gem]Of Tunnels and Tallies[Kelski]

Postby Kelski on November 20th, 2019, 2:02 am

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Kelski glanced at the support, where her hip had dented it, and flushed a bit. She nodded to the Isur, having not given it much thought. Her habitual relax mode was normally leaning a hip into something to support her weight while she thought. Evidently, she hadn’t thought about how weight bearing this particular support beam wasn’t.

She glanced up, noted the fragility of the ceiling material, and nodded. “Good idea. I’m sorry. I’m a creature of the sky, not of the earth.” It was a true statement, perhaps one of the truest she’d spoken. Duncan had talked about the Isur and how they lived beneath the mountains. And while Crylon hadn’t spent much time talking about his people – she suspected because his language barrier was far worse – she could appreciate his expertise on such matters.

The Isur looked at the tunnel – accessing it – like a jeweler looked at a raw gem. She recognized the slightly furrowed brow to his gaze as his eyes scanned and his brain worked. She started to say more but he let his thoughts flow outward, including her in his thinking.

Time. He was thinking about time. “I was born in … 512… no 514. I’m five.” She added, as if numbers weren’t his thing. They were. She knew it. He knew measurements like some people knew dance steps and spices for food. She could not imagine sixty years of life…. and him considered still young. Crylon explained why he was here… for the experiences the human world could bring him that Sultros and the Isur world could not. She wondered if he would look back at the time with enjoyment or with displeasure? Would the human world change him or just strengthen him? What did he hope to achieve? Knowledge? He would certainly acquire that. How could he not?

Kelski wondered what Sunberth had taught him?

“It makes complete sense. When you leave here, what will you have hoped to learn from Sunberth? What do you think you’ve learned already?” She asked, curious whether his expectations matched the reality or if they were two vastly different things.

Crylon didn’t seem disappointed or even remotely upset that she decided to stop the project. She wasn’t in over her head on the land. She could sell it for exactly what she paid for it now, adding to the Gem’s overall value when the building and land was sold. If they added to it – even just reinforced it – she might not be so lucky nor would they likely find a buyer quickly… and now that the decision was made, her goal was to get out.

She nodded at his admission he didn’t like to camp. She had once lived in a cave and truthfully felt that The Gem and the standard of living they enjoyed there was far superior. So she could relate to his dislike of ‘roughing it’. That made sense and she nodded. “We’d be glad to have you join us later if you prefer. I don’t know what we are getting into. I don’t know if I can find a place already built or need to build one. Its tough to know not having visited. I’ll probably have to scout and look a long time first – maybe even living in something rented for a time. I just don’t know.” She said, shaking her head. Plans were plans and they were hard to make without all the information necessary.

“Maybe we could learn more magic together. I seem to have an aptitude for it or at least for finding it. I’ve taught others to morph and some auristics. I could share what I know with you too.” She added, knowing that Crylon might be a good one for Architectrix with his passion for buildings.

When he sounded slightly like he was disappointed with himself, Kelski shook her head. “I think from what I’ve learned, some mages don’t fit easily into neat little boxes. And I think sometimes mages that teach other people magic expect to teach everyone the same way regardless of whether its right or wrong. But people don’t fit into neat little boxes. Magic doesn’t either. You are a building designer, a structural… what are those people called that design complex things…. “ Kelski thought a moment. “You are a sort of engineer. I bet there is a magic out there that would help with that. Or I bet you could apply magic that way. Auristics, for example… you could adapt it to use your djed to check the quality of wood or the way a building holds the load on the roof… that sort of thing. Reimancers can build things if they have earth. People think magic is calling lightening from the sky, but it has so much more potential than that.” Kelski said gently.

“And you won’t need to be a mage to help anyhow. If we start something in the wilderness, we will need all the same things any good manor needs… food, a water system, a system for disposing of waste – human and otherwise – hunters, painters, and people to carry out missions for the guild. I suspect we can get a lot of work if we talk to the right people and take the right kinds of jobs. But between those jobs we will need to be living. And living requires all sorts of skills.” Kelski said softly, thoughtfully.

“I also think you could teach the guild members a lot, Crylon. You have mad skills. I don’t think you see it, but I do. You look at something and break it down into parts, steps, form a plan, make a design, and don’t see a whole huge project. You see stages and steps to get you to an end goal. I think it has to do with your long life, though maybe its just your natural inclination because you have said things about your people that make me think you aren’t exactly like them either. That process… that ability… seems invaluable to me. You could teach the how of that to others and help them see the parts instead of the whole. Its like… “ She searched for an example. “There’s a huge forest around us. People just think forest. But you see all the individual trees.” She added, hoping she didn’t offend him by what she was saying.

Kelski turned, glanced up the ladder, and began to climb up it. There didn’t seem to be any point to staying below ground with her decision to cancel the project. “I just wish I could say there would be X, Y, and Z to do in a new place. But I have to see that place to know. I do think if I have my way, I will start someplace fresh and build new.” Kelski added, not wanting to live in a city any longer. Sunberth was full of people and things to do, but it wasn’t what she truly wanted in her life. She wanted wildness, solitude, and privacy… plus a bounty in food and resources around them. Would Zeltiva have such a place? Kelski didn’t know.

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