Rumours on the Breeze

Weekend Challenge. Sophia meets another Svefra and discovers a heritage she didn't want to know about.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Rumours on the Breeze

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 9th, 2019, 12:23 pm

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3rd Summer, 519

"Speech"


The sand was warm beneath Sophia’s feet, and her toes sunk into the grains as she made her way across the beach in the direction of the City Core. She always preferred to walk across the sand where she could, often going so far down that she was stepping through the surf as it lapped at the shore.

Today she was wearing a white wrap skirt and a bright orange and yellow dyed scarf had been tied around her chest. The unexpected and relentless heat of Spring had levelled off somewhat with the changing season, and while Sophia didn’t really need to cover up so much she always liked to be bright. Her hair was loose and sea-waved, and she had tied some small seashells into a few braids. Her finishing touch was a delicate copper necklace that sat at the base of her throat.

The Svefra was on her way to speak with Juli Chaliva at the Mercantile. Summer was the season that Sophia had chosen to finally start up her own business, and she needed to arrange for some of her wares to be exported to bring in some extra profit. As she walked, she ran through a list of all the things she wanted to start creating in her head. Before she had started, Sophia truly had no idea quite how much work was needed to get her new venture running! Now her plant journal had been taken over with scribblings of lists detailing ingredients and all the things she had left to do. There were a lot of those things.

The City Core was busy when she arrived. It looked as though a trading ship had docked not too long before she had turned up. Sophia paid it little attention for now, lest her mind wander off and she loose track of what she was trying to achieve today. She marched up the Mercantile steps and headed inside only to find it empty, Juli not at her usual spot behind the counter. Sophia puffed out a disgruntled breath and spun on her heel before heading back outside. Perhaps Juli was helping with the new ship.

She wandered over to where people were unloading various pieces of cargo. The ship was not the Veronica - it appeared to be a Svefran ship though not one she recognised. She ran her gaze over the workers. A few she recognised from the settlement, the Captain included, and a few she didn’t. There was a mixture of races, and definitely a smattering of Svefra. Sophia could usually tell them from their eyes, or their tattoo’s if she was farther away.

Unfortunately for Sophia, Juli didn’t seem to be among those helping and she wasn’t about to go and interrupt the Captain while he was in the midst of trading. She decided she would hang around the Core for a bit in the hope that Juli might turn up later. Rather than get in the way of the work currently happening, Sophia headed in the direction of the Tidepool as her stomach was starting to growl.

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Sophia Sunshore
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Rumours on the Breeze

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 9th, 2019, 1:23 pm

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"Speech"


The Tidepool Bar was a short walk away, and Sophia headed along the main pier and found herself a seat at the main bar. At this time of day it was fairly quiet with just a few people scattered at various tables grabbing some food, a drink or simply some shade. Stu, the barkeeper and Syka’s resident party planner, spotted her and came over to see what she needed. Sophia asked for a general platter, for while she was hungry, she was mostly just filling time. As Stu turned to leave, she called after him. “Hey, Stu, have you seen Juli about today?” The barkeep thought for a brief moment before shaking his head. “Sorry, not today.”

Sophia drummed her fingers on the bar top in impatience. She was eager to get as many of her plans sorted as she could early in the season to give her time to build up the stock. She had a lot to learn, and not all that much time to learn it in. She stilled her hand as someone else entered the bar and sat near her. It was not a person she recognised, therefore he must be from the trading ship. She tried to glance over at him as surreptitiously as possible her eyes falling on the tattoo on his arm, one that was unmistakeably a Pod tattoo. It was not one she had come across before, but he caught her looking before she could try and examine It in more detail.

Stu chose that moment to appear with Sophia’s food which she gratefully received, thankful to avoid an excuse to have a conversation with the stranger. Usually she would happily natter away to anyone in her vicinity, but today she was not in the mood, her mind too preoccupied with the work she needed to be doing.

The stranger seemed to have other ideas however, and after ordering a drink from Stu, he turned in his seat till he was facing Sophia. She glanced briefly over at him from the corner of her eye and pointedly continued to munch on a piece of mango.

“Wavecrest Pod.”
Sophia paused her chewing and turned her head to look at the man. “I saw you trying to figure out my tattoo. It’s for the Wavecrest Pod.” She flicked her gaze back down to his arm as he turned it for her to see better.
”Huh.” Sophia nodded her head once and turned back to her food, the name not ringing any bells. She knew a lot of the Sevefra Pods that roamed the Northern Suvan, and a couple from the Middle but his was not one of them.

“Can I ask yours?” Sophia sighed inwardly and set the mango down onto her platter before turning back to the stranger. She was ready to give him a non-committal, one word answer but his genuine smile and the glitter in his eyes caused her to pause before she spoke. How hard would it really be just to have a simple conversation? It wasn’t like she was actually doing anything useful at the moment.

She offered the stranger a small smile.
”Sunshore. I’m Sophia.” The man seemed to recognise the name for a tick, but then his expression cleared as he apparently changed his mind. “Well, good to meet you Sophia. I don’t believe our Pod’s have ever crossed paths before! I’m Shoal.” Sophia let herself chuckle, the irritation she had been feeling slowly smoothing itself over. “Well, you’re a few days late for a party, and I’m a Pod short.” She was, of course, referencing their penchant for celebration and Shoal grinned at her in response.

“What is it like living here on land? Do you ever leave?” Sophia shook her head.
“No, I haven’t actually been on the sea once since I got here…” She paused for a tick as she realised she hadn’t missed it even once. “I guess I always was the odd one out!” Shoal smiled and shook his head. “I couldn’t imagine life off the ships. It seems far too quiet here!” At that Sophia did laugh properly. “I do miss the chaos sometimes, but there’s excitement here if you know where to look for it.”

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Rumours on the Breeze

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 9th, 2019, 2:07 pm

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"Speech"


The pair chatted for a while with Shoal telling Sophia various stories and bits of information he had picked up from other Pods over the past couple of seasons. The Wavecrast Pod appeared to be mostly based in the Southern Suvan which was an area the young Svefra had little memory of and she listened to what her kin had to say with an eager interest.
“Do you know where your Pod is now? I am afraid I haven’t heard anything of them recently.”

Sophia pushed herself back in her seat as she thought, hands gripping the bar and her arms outstretched. “I’m not sure, I think they were going to head back up to the North. That was a few seasons ago now though.” She looked back over at Shoal, whose eyes were slightly narrowed and fixed on her inner right arm. “That’s your Pod tattoo?” Sophia glanced down at her bicep and the geometric and symbolic depiction of the seas that had been inked there. “Yes…” Her own eyes narrowed. “Why?”

Something she couldn’t distinguish flickered behind the Svefra’s eyes for a tick before he lifted his gaze and looked at her again. Sophia leaned forward again, her arm returning to her side to effectively hide the tattoo. “I think I do recognise it.” Shoal’s brow was furrowed as he seemed to be trying to recall some old piece of information. “I just didn’t link it with your name before.”

Sophia tilted her head a fraction in curiosity.
“So… you have met my Pod before?” He hesitated before responding. “A very long time ago, I was young at the time, I don’t remember you.” His mood had changed swiftly, and he seemed to be speaking with more caution than before. Sophia nearly sighed. She had been more than happy to relax into a pleasant conversation while she passed the time, but she didn’t particularly fancy delving into other people’s problems today.

She laid her hands flat on the bar top in a motion that indicated she was about to push herself up ready to leave. “What is your father’s name, Sophia?” An eyebrow rose as she stood, turning to face the man.
“Breeze. Look, I should probably be getting on, I need to find someone before the end of the day.” She stepped around the stool she had been perched on and was about to summon up a polite goodbye, when Shoal spoke first.
“Did he ever talk to you about his past?”

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Rumours on the Breeze

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 9th, 2019, 5:40 pm

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Breeze Sunshore had, in fact, flat out refused to ever tell Sophia a single detail about his life before he had met her mother. He had always said his ‘life had started when he met her’, to which Sophia would roll her eyes in jest and drop the line of conversation. Her mother would happily talk to Sophia about her life in Zeltiva and her parents, but she too was also quiet on the subject of Breeze’s past. Perhaps he had never even told Lilian about it?

Sophia narrowed her eyes and spun on her heel to face Shoal again. First this man said he didn’t know her Pod, then he did, and now he decides to start talking cryptically about her father? She was quickly becoming very irritated and not in the mood for guessing games. “Why does that matter to you?”

“Have you ever heard any stories about pirates?” This time Sophia really did roll her eyes.
“I don’t have the time for this.” She waved a hand in frustration and took a few steps towards the exit. “Wait, you need to know something about him.” Sophia didn’t stop walking. “Sophia, before Breeze was a Sunshore, he did some terrible things.” That did make her stop mid-stride, however not for the reason Shoal had intended.

She turned back towards the Svefra and marched over to him.
“My father is the best person I know. How dare you try and tell me otherwise!” Sophia never got angry. She couldn’t recall the last time it had happened. But Breeze had always been her shining light. Every time she had been picked on by another child, every time she had been laughed at for her love of terrestrial flora, any time she had cried over her lack of blessing from the Sea God, he had been the one to comfort her. Breeze always had time for anyone who needed it no matter who they were. She was not about to let a virtual stranger talk badly about him, even if Shoal was a fellow Svefra.

Sophia stared him down with a glare, but the man didn’t flinch. “He should have told you himself.” Her hands bunched into fists at her side, but her glare had slipped.
“Told me what?” Shoal motioned to the chair she had vacated, but Sophia ignored it. “Told me what?” “Sophia, before your father was a Sunshore, he was a pirate.” Sophia opened her mouth to retaliate but he talked over her. “I had heard stories about him when I was a kid. He used to travel with a few others in the Southern Suvan, terrorising and stealing from other boats.”

Again, Shoal refused to let her interrupt. “They didn’t often kill anyone, but they took enough from them that they might as well have done. For some reason, nobody could manage to catch them. They were fast and they were clever.” Sophia had moved to grip the back of the empty chair, though through anger or shock it was hard to tell. Her mouth was set in a thin line which was a startling expression on a face that was usually so soft and open. She was pointedly not looking at Shoal, staring at the empty platter on the bar top instead.

“Breeze was a magic user. He could use reimancy - create the elements from himself.” At this Sophia snorted. Her father was definitely not a magic user. “One day, one of their raids went wrong. Breeze used too much magic at once and he completely destroyed the boat they were looting, killing the entire family on board. Apparently he almost killed himself too, and the others he travelled with left him there and fled so that they wouldn’t get caught. Nobody really knows what happened next, but the pirate disappeared, and your father pops up in a Svefra Pod from out of nowhere.”

“I don’t believe you.” Sophia finally met Shoal’s gaze. “My father can’t use that magic. He’s a good person, he works hard and he helps people. Why do you think I would ever believe your story? What proof do you have?” The man paused, his eyes darting away for a tick. “I mean, I don’t know for sure, but people know.” Sophia raised an eyebrow. “You mean to say you’ve tried to tell me that my father was an awful person based on a rumour?” She shook her head.

“People have asked him and he’s never denied it!” Shoal then had the audacity to look sheepish. “He never confirmed it either, but my Lia knows. She knows it was him. I met him when I was younger, I saw the scars on his hands. I’m sure you’ve seen them too.” Sophia’s eyes narrowed sharply at that. Breeze had a single scar on each palm, two thin, clean lines.
“And?” “Sophia, that is how a person is gifted the elemental magic. Through the palms.”
Shoal paused, and she could tell there was something else that he wanted to say, so she watched him and waited. “When his group had terrorised a boat, some people used to say that the Black Breeze had been through. Don’t you see, everything fits?” Again, Sophia shook her head. She stared at the man for a moment before walking straight past him and through the entrance to the Tidepool, heading for the beach again. This time Shoal didn’t call after her.

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Sophia Sunshore
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Rumours on the Breeze

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 9th, 2019, 5:42 pm

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Sophia had never ‘stomped’ before, but she certainly did now. She headed across the beach, her footfalls landing with such force that they left deep prints in the damp sand behind her. The further she walked, the quicker her anger dissipated, and eventually she flopped down onto the sand to stare out at the sea.

She didn’t believe what Shoal had been saying, did she? Sophia knew her father, her whole Pod had adored him. So he never spoke about his past, so he had stupid scars on his hands. So what? “It’s not true.” So why was there an awful nagging feeling at the back of her mind? “It’s not true.”

Sophia had once asked Breeze how he had hurt his hands. He had told her that he was helping to repair part of a ship after a storm had damaged it and the broken pieces of wood had cut him. She had been young, so she had believed him and had never thought about it again. But the scars were clean and neat. The lines were thin like blade slashes, not tears from jagged wood.

Memories started to come to her, small things that she had forgotten or had never taken notice of before. There were the looks her Lia used to give her father whenever she heard Sophia ask him stories about his past. Lia Pearl would always, without fail, redirect the conversation and set Sophia on one task or another. Other members of the Pod used to joke about how they had fished Breeze out of the ocean and Lia Pearl would quiet them all with a single glance.

And then there was the time she had gone onto the deck to find him one evening. Breeze had had his back to her, and when little Sophia had called to him, water had splashed onto the floor as if he had spilled a cup in surprise. When he had turned to her his hands had been empty. Breeze had scooped her up in a hug and she had never thought about the water again. Until now. How does one spill water when they had nothing to spill it out of?

She recalled meetings with other Pods, remembering the expressions that crossed the faces of the others when they head her fathers name. Had they been scared of him? Sophia closed her eyes and put her head in her hands. And then the worst memory came to her. Her parents had thought she was asleep. Breeze had apparently had a nightmare about something, and her mother was trying to calm him down but he had brushed her off. “Lilian, it’s haunted me for the last five years. It will continue to haunt me for fifty more. All of it.” His voice had become muffled after that, but she remembered hearing the words “innocent people” and “take their lives”.

Sophia’s eyes snapped open and she stared blankly at the waves as they lapped at the shore in front of her.
“Gods…” She pushed herself back onto her feet and practically ran in the direction of the City Core once more.

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Rumours on the Breeze

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 9th, 2019, 5:46 pm

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She was out of breath by the time she arrived, her shoulders rising and falling rapidly with the effort. Shoal wasn’t hard to find for it seemed he had been watching out for her too and made his way over to where she was standing. “Why did you tell me?” He didn’t seem surprised at her sudden acceptance of his story, and simply offered her a one-shouldered shrug. “I just thought you should know. I’d want to know.”

“Why would you think I would want to know that?! I know my father as a good person, is that such a terrible thing? Why would you ruin that for me?” Shoal had no response for her this time, and Sophia’s shoulders slumped in defeat. “I’m sorry.” She shook her head. “I just… I don’t know what to think about him now.” She fixed her gaze on the Svefra. “Do you know what happened, that last time? What he did to the boat?”

Shoal visibly held his breath for a tick at her question. “I have heard a rumour… I don’t think you want to know.” Sophia jabbed a finger at him then.
“No, you do not get to pick and choose what to tell me. You started the story, now you finish it.” The Svefra held his hands up in defeat. “Fine. Like I said, it’s just a rumour.”

“So, Breeze used reimancy to terrorise the ships. I don’t know if the others did too. But he was good at it. On this particular occasion he created a storm with spikes of lightning to intimidate and terrify the family on the boat. Somehow, he lost control of it and the storm got out of hand. The lightning ripped the boat apart and the family either drowned or were burned… Breeze had passed out and somehow not been hit by the lightning and floated on a piece of the ship till he was picked up by a Pod nearby. His buddies had fled by then and left him for dead or to be captured.”

Sophia was gaping at Shoal in horror. She had seen people use reimancy before, for there were a few gifted Svefra about. But only for small things like filling the sails with air so they could travel faster or lighting a torch. But to terrorise people, to hurt and murder? She made a pained noise as she struggled to find something to say. Shoal’s brow furrowed in worry. “It’s just a rumour… there was a storm, but it’s not certain that he made it.”

“But… that’s possible? You can do that if you know reimancy?” The Svefra nodded. “I’ve heard so. I can’t do it myself but… people can do incredible things.” Sophia didn’t think she would call what she had just been told incredible. She wasn’t thinking much of anything at the moment, her mind still trying to comprehend what her father had supposedly done. She mumbled a goodbye to Shoal and turned to head back to her home.

Her father had done an evil, terrible thing. But was he really evil? She couldn’t see him that way. But she also couldn’t deny the things she had been told today. Just like Shoal had said, everything fit. Every single thing. It was clear that Breeze was trying to be a better person but that would never erase what he had done. Her father, that shining beacon of light was not so bright after all.

And that magic? Reimancy. The thought of it terrified Sophia now. She wondered how close the people she had seen use it before had come to loosing control of it. How much more magic was out there? Could all magic be so terrible? She gripped her left forearm in her right hand, running a thumb over the swaying grasses that covered it. No, her magic was not evil. But her magic was a gift from the Goddess. Reimancy was not. Sophia wasn’t sure she wanted to know what else existed.

Her little beachfront home soon came into view, and even though it was the middle of the day, Sophia crawled straight into her bed without a second of hesitation. Her parents had told her that she would always have a home with them. But could she ever see her father again knowing what she did now? Sophia flung herself over, burying her face into the soft pillow beneath her. A memory of him came to her before she fell asleep. Breeze was laughing, swinging a young Sophia round in a circle. Sophia looked into his eyes and the joy turned to hate, lightning flickering behind his irises. No, she didn’t think she would ever be able to face him again.

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Sophia Sunshore
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Rumours on the Breeze

Postby Madeira Craven on September 4th, 2019, 12:05 am

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Sophia Sunshore

Skills
  • Organization: 1xp
  • Planning: 2xp
  • Socialization: 4xp
  • Observation: 2xp
  • Intimidation: 2xp
  • Logic: 2xp
  • Persuasion: 1xp
  • Investigation: 1xp

Lores
  • Lore of the daunting process of starting a business
  • Lore of the Wavecrest Svefra pod
  • People: Shoal Wavecrest
  • Intimidation: forceful voice
  • Breeze Sunshore: a pirate
  • Breeze Sunshore: a reimancer
  • Logic: fitting the facts together
  • Investigation: the follow up
  • Lore of the rumoured unsavoury history of Breeze Sunshore

Awards & Retribution


Notes
I smell impending character development! Will she accept her loving father despite his evil past? Or will her decency as a human make her shun this murderer? Regardless I suspect the decision will tear her apart and I cant wait to see it. <3

As an aside, I notice you make a very common grammar error in your writing. With dialogue every character should get his or her own paragraph. So whenever someone new is talking, smash enter to give them a space all to themselves. It makes it easier for the reader to follow the banter. :thumbsup:
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