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Shopping for supplies leads to a strange encounters of the eccentric kind

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Lead Weights(Calla Davin)

Postby Wa'Djinnabi on August 1st, 2019, 10:50 am

62nd of Summer

Had Djinn been asked, he would have claimed that he would arrive in Zeltiva through the port and not the landward gates. And yet, here he was, arriving alone with his pack on his shoulders and the guards eyeing him suspiciously. He waved with a cheerful smile as he entered the ancient and patently overcrowded city. It was quite the sight. The port city sloped down to the sea, pressed in on both sides by steep mountains. There was something pleasing about the aggregate sloping nature to the shingled roofs as they made their way down to the sea and hugged the bay. Salt and a stiff breeze filtered up the streets and brought the pungent scents of city life to the desert dwelling man. Ah, city life. He wrinkled his nose and made his way into the city proper, in the search for a man about an apron.

Leaving the Demense was no great challenge, nor was the trip between there and the city. What was a great challenge was Djinn waking up early enough to get to Zeltiva at a reasonable time. And it was because of this that it was already noon by the time he walked through the gates. He supposed he would have to take a night or two in an inn. Goodness was the city bustling. He could barely move in the press. Venders hawked their wares at the side of the streets and children ran between the legs of the adults and around wagons and their surly riders.

With a grin Djinn wandered over to a flatbread seller, the stout woman was making arutapas, or river snacks. It smelled of home and the promises of spices that will warm the belly. That and the sizzle of beef on thick flatbread made his stomach. However the price for one was outrageous, no matter that the food was an obvious imported recipe. An entire silver rimmed miza? It was robbery of the lowest sort. And yet, for a taste of home, he supposed he would not complain... to much.

His hands full of food he asked the vender for a reputable tailor and a smith. The woman eyed him shrewdly and waved him to two likely places, and added the location of a likely inn for a newcomer like himself. He turned to go and jostled into someone among the crowd. He shifted two of his three Arutapas and peered down at the person that he hoped he had not knocked down. His height made him stand out in the crowd, towering over a sea of heads. While under most circumstances this was an advantage, toppling someone over accidentally was certainly not one of them.

-3 SM for food
Last edited by Wa'Djinnabi on November 7th, 2019, 10:05 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Lead Weights(Calla Davin)

Postby Calla Davin on August 1st, 2019, 7:38 pm

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284. That's how many steps Calla had counted in Priskil's Spire. 20 chimes up, 15 down...on a good day. And today wasn't that.

Calla wheezed as she scaled the tower. The last time she had been able to exercise outside of work was before the massive heat wave of the season, and it showed. She felt it in her knees, which cracked and popped as she neared the top. Her eyes went foggy as she pulled reserve energy from unnecessary functions. Only fifteen more steps, then she could stop for the day. Knee up, foot down. Other knee, other foot. Repeat. Calla had to coach herself through every step, right up until the last one.

Farren was tending to the doves at the top. There was a fresh batch of baby doves that were finally able to start training, so the old dovekeeper was surrounded by balls of fluff as Calla buckled. He turned his small frame towards her, tilting his head inquisitively. He opened his mouth--probably to ask why Calla was here on her day off--but quickly shut it as the courier waved him away.

"Fine--I'm--fine." Calla put her back against the wall. Three circuits of the tower had her feeling like death.

"You look it." Farren smirked before giving a tender kiss to the top of a chick. The courier gave a single, short snort of amusement.

"Was that sarcasm, Farren? I'm proud." She snagged her waterskin off the floor and took a giant swig. "Alright, I'm out of here. Good luck with the chicks." Calla began the very slow descent down the tower, gulping down water the whole way. She let the water spill onto her face and slip down her throat. Presentation wasn't something she was ever particularly concerned about, but especially not right now. Her hair looked like a rat's nest: jumbled, scraggly, and barely held together in a low bun. Her shoes were off and sitting at the bottom of the stairs. She preferred to run without them so that her feet could build callouses. Her father always told her a person without callouses was a person without character, and she would be sure that her character showed.

Her feet were swollen, so she simply picked up her boots as she reached the main floor. When she was less tired, she'd put them back on. Maybe. But for now, she dropped them in her bag as she slung it over her shoulder. She waved to the scribe at the desk before entering the streets of the University Quarter.

It was packed. People clearly missed being out and about and annoying. She almost missed the sweltering heat. It kept all of these other shykes off the street and out of her way. Now, it was back to the pushing.

And, almost as if on a cue, a man bumped into her as she rounded onto a new street. Well, "man" was a loose term. "Giant" was more fitting. This man towered over the petite courier, knocking her over as he backed into the crowd. Calla would liked to say that she had enough strength to hold herself up, but the truth was that she didn't have enough energy to try. Her body hit the ground, and she stayed there. In all honesty, it felt good. The heat from the pavement seeped into her body, soothing her sore muscles.

The crowd parted around them, muttering profanities as they did so. "No, no. We're fine. Nobody help because that would be awful." Calla groaned as she propped herself up. She directed her gaze up at the man in front of her. "All that arm power, and you use it for evil. Nice."

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Lead Weights(Calla Davin)

Postby Wa'Djinnabi on August 6th, 2019, 11:09 am

Djinn frowned down at the woman with brief, bird like curiosity, looking at her with one eye, tilting his head and turning it to peer at her with the other. She was clearly a woman, but she was... small, though the way she seemed to puff herself up with her mere presence made him think of fierce desert hawks that were, while small, very proud creatures. He squatted down and offered a free hand to her. Amusement creeped into his eyes and his eyebrows drew apart and he spoke in his thickly accented common, "Evil indeed. Then perhaps I can provide... balance?" He quirked an eyebrow at the insinuation that she merely lacked balance, "I could always provide a good deed to balance out my evil." Making the gestures that added special meaning to his words was difficult to suppress, even then all his arms twitched slightly as if to go and provide addition context.

The vendors on their side of the street watched with amusement, this little interplay likely more common then one would think. Perhaps it was a wealthy merchant who cruelly knocked a boy over and stepped on their hands, crippling them forever. Or perhaps it was a chance meeting between two starcrossed youths who would someday find themselves in a marriage long devoid of that flame that was sparked on that day. Yet still, it could have been merely two strangers politely, or impolitely helping the other up after knocking them over. Such things need not always have a deeper meaning.

The summer heat was relentless, warming the flagstones and cobbles below his victim which was only stifled by the press. The scents of city life were not helped with this, the smell of unwashed bodies mixed with the inevitable garbage generated by the people. Djinn could never quite say he enjoyed visiting cities, though already he seemed to inadvertently made this visit more interesting.

The crowd that opened up a pocket for them start to close in around the two and soon there would be fingers and toes stepped on as the Zeltivians had places to go and things to do. He kept his eyes on hers while they talked, using his bulk to shield the younger woman from the flow of people like a rock in currents, the people swirling beyond in quickly moving patterns. "Or maybe you would be open to a trade?" He offered one of the snacks in 3 of his arms along with his other arm to help her up, "Something to eat for directions? You might not have noticed, but I am not from here." His eyes twinkled with humor.
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Lead Weights (Calla Davin)

Postby Calla Davin on August 8th, 2019, 5:16 am

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Calla watched one of man's arms unfurl and offer her a hand. His arms looked like they were cut by the same people who made the University buildings. She wondered how people like this even existed. The muscles made sense--she had muscles. Petch, her mother had muscles. But this man had no bones threatening to burst through the skin. He had no missing hair, no skin lesions.

So, he clearly wasn't from around here. Calla evaluated the extra arms, eyeing them with more curiosity than contempt. How does he get all of them to be...even? Does he use them all all of the time? Calla thought it cruel that this man be presented to her in all of his extra-armed, non-starved beauty.

"You think 'providing balance' is a good deed?" Calla chuckled. "Cause it feels pretty neutral." Where she came from, righting a wrong wasn't a good deed. It was paying a debt.

Among the smell of sweat and dirt, the smell of beef suddenly surrounded Calla. The man offered her a handful of food. Calla's jaw dropped slightly as her mouth immediately began to salivate. It had been years since she ate beef, or wheat, for that matter. She couldn't even remember what it tasted like. Her body yearned for the juicy meat floating in front of her. Initially, she looked around for the Wave Guard. She didn't want to lose her tongue.

Calla placed her hands on the ground and stood up on her own. "Do we know each other?" The courier tentatively looked around. Nobody simply gave their food to somebody else in Zeltiva. Frequent famines normalized not only hunger but food hoarding. Friends gave each other food. And these two weren't friends.

"Just directions?" Calla eyed the food in the man's hand with great anxiety. She was sure she looked the same way a hungry animal looks before finally taking the treat you offer it. She didn't trust this, not even in the least. She wouldn't follow some person claiming to be lost for food. It sounded like an easy way to get herself killed. "To where, exactly?"

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Lead Weights(Calla Davin)

Postby Wa'Djinnabi on September 5th, 2019, 9:45 am

Wa'djinnabi smirked at the younger woman's initial response, he liked her fire. "You misrepresent what I said" He said with an amused chuckle, "But I will agree with you. The good deed is meant to-" and he stressed the word, "Balance my great evil towards you." He straightened up as she managed to find her own feet, the man towering over her as she looked up at him defiantly. However, her demeanor changed as he asked his second question. She was getting nervous and he could sense the flight action to bubble up within her, any wrong word and Djinn was sure she would bolt.

A few zeltivians were eyeing the pair with hungry looks and the stall he bought food from seemed to have a guard nearby that the eypharian hadn't noticed causally watching the crowd, as if expecting a mob of people to swarm the cart. Maybe it was just the location? He thought they were in a more affluent location by the architecture and the way the people dressed. There was something wrong in Zeltiva, something that he had never encountered in all his travels but he hadn't quite understood what it was yet. But the gears were turning and his expression turned thoughtful. Perhaps he could calm her and they could start moving.

Magic filled his voice as his soul was fueled to give the sense of calmness. "Just directions." he affirmed with a smile. Compared to other hypnotists it was like a bludgeon to other's scalpels. But even with the bluntness the touch was light, and without malice. He truly meant no one in this city harm. In a bubble around them he could see his fellow marketspeople's tensions ease, anxieties and worries ebbed though just as many were unaffected and one had the opposite effect, growing agitated even after he left his radius of influence. Perhaps... that display was too much for a simple reassurance. A clever or observant person would see an obvious delineation of effect. Either way he let the power gradually disappear as he replied. "I was hoping to find a blacksmith and a tailor. If you are too busy, however, I will not keep you. Go on, take this whatever you choose." He used a pair of hands to risk a touch on her person by lightly gripping his inadvertent victim's hands and used a third to nestle the expensive snack into her hand.

Sometimes Djinn did things without truly understanding his own motives. Did he pity this young woman? No, not really and he had the sense that she would not accept his pity even if he had tried to help. Perhaps his soul yearned to share some kindness when his life was so often filled with backbiting cruelty. Or perhaps, he liked to feed frighten animals and show some sort of twisted dominance over others. Whatever the case, the offer to share or trade his food was genuine and it showed on his face.


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Lead Weights(Calla Davin)

Postby Calla Davin on September 6th, 2019, 1:50 am

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Calla did not trust this man. He used too many words and too many arms. She looked around for guidance from the surrounding crowd. Some steered clear, some kept their course, but all seemed to take notice of the interaction. A nearby wave guard watched them, but no more than he watched the rest of the crowd. He stood unmoving at the food cart.

"Just directions." The Many Man spoke again, tacking on a smile. Calla squinted her eyes in suspicion. She didn't quite buy it yet, considering the man could ask a wave guard for directions without bribing them with food. As the courier watched the multitude of arms orbit around this man, she slowly realized that maybe his foreignness was to blame for their misunderstanding. According to the customs wherever he was from, Many Man could simply be following standard conversation procedures. I'd like to be wherever that is. Calla thought, eyeing both the muscular arms and the free food again. A small splash of calm washed over her, but it was brief. When he spoke again, Many Man was still solidly in the "Do Not Trust" column.

After requesting her help once more, Many Man forced the food into her hands. Calla yanked her hands away and hissed at the man: "No touching." In between her now free hands sat the food. Calla looked down at the treat then scanned the crowd. She didn't see anyone watching them anymore than the courier deemed normal people-watching. Still, she wasn't taking any chances. All the plants her mother talked about day in and day out...surely one of them could produce a stunning effect when ingested. The woman quickly unlatched her leather shoulder bag, preparing to place the treat inside. If she were to be drugged, she would prefer it be in the semi-safety of her own home.

Now open, her bag revealed something she had totally forgotten about: her shoes! Calla looked down to her bare feet and wiggled the toes. You never learn, do you? The woman shifted the food into her right and fished out the shoes with her left. She the short boots drop to the ground one at a time before gingerly placing the food face-up into her bag. Then, she shimmied into her shoes.

"Fine." Calla grunted. "Over here." The woman shoved her tiny body into the crowd. The large stranger had been acting like a boulder in a stream; the crowd split around him so that Calla didn't have to work against the crowd to stand still. Now, however, she had to forge her own path. Being a small-framed, two-armed lady, it was quite difficult. Finally, after enough elbow-throwing, Calla made it to the side of the street. A set of stairs led into a doorway, offering a respite. She stepped up to the second-highest of the four steps and plopped her arse down in the doorway. Once settled, Calla fished her map out of her bag.

"So, do you care about quality or do you just want some clothes on your back?" Calla talked while she flattened out the map. She hadn't looked to see if Many Man had made his way over yet; instead, she just spoke at her own leisure. If he had missed what she had said, then he had missed it.

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Lead Weights(Calla Davin)

Postby Wa'Djinnabi on November 7th, 2019, 10:31 am

OOC: Since Calla Davin has left I will continue on as a solo.

The press of people was so great. It was honestly a bit overwhelming; the heat from the sun bearing down on them, the press of sweaty and unwashed bodies, the noise of people talking, arguing and simply living. His new companion slipped from his presence like a snowflake into the sea. She was simply gone. Oh, Djinn looked too. But between the people and the noise there was simply nothing he could do. It was unfortunate, he had thought he had a guide, but he already technically had directions. It just would have been nice to have had someone to tell him more about the city. Oh well.

It took him time to come to the conclusion. He spent maybe a half bell or so. At least, that was his guess. Interestingly he did in fact hear a bell toll in the disntance... somewhere. With a mental and then a real shrug he went on his way. He figured that he would find lodgings then discuss his situation with the craftsmen. It made sense to him, they would ask after where he was staying if the tasks he ended up commissioning them. And so, he began his journey.

Djinn started by joining one of the streams of people that were going down the street in the direction he wanted. There is something to be said in following the flow of people. Like the swimming of school of fish, or the swarming of insects, so many individual people started to move as single unit. Many, but one. And this was the feeling that he got from wandering down the streets of Zeltiva. He was floatsom, a tall curiosity being carried aloft. And it was for this reason that he nearly missed the landmarks and the sign for the World's End Grotto. As the vendor had mentioned, he manged to make his way into West Street, where everything he need was. Apparently.

Checking in at the World's End Grotto was a simple affair. It took him a moment for his eyes to change from the bright sunny afternoon to the comfortably dim interior of the inn. The place had a peculiar scent, heavy tones of wood and beeswax, with the sharp scent of alcohol and salt. To Wa'Djinnabi, it was a relief from the unrelenting scent of city life. The tavern, particularly the dining and bar area was likely just ending its lunch rush as wealthy patrons sauntered past him and out into the city. An older woman looked up from wiping down the bar area and gave him a squinted look, her eyes drawn no doubt to his arms. Figuring her profession, the Eypharian wandered over, looking at the furniture and decorations as he went. "How can I help you sir?" And... they were off. In under 15 chimes he was settled into his room and his purse was 4 golden rimmed mizas lighter. That would give him 8 days, with the option for paying for more should he choose to. Serra, the owner of the shop was a friendly sort and had Eypharian customers before apparently, she even knew the odd word of his mother tongue, though he knew she could not speak his language even poorly.

With his lodgings taken care of, he was off to get his errands done and then perhaps do some more exploring. Serra had mentioned there was a library somewhere, which was an intriguing prospect.

However, taking a closer look at his funds he realized that he didn't have much more to spare. Instead, he would simply enjoy the city, maybe visit the library but his original purpose did not seem feasible at this point. He would have to go see the tailor and the blacksmith at a different time. It was a disappointment but he would not have had run into the problem if he had simply checked his finances. If he had just checked his money pouch.

-4 GM for 8 days lodging at the worlds end grotto.


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Finding forgiveness among the weeds
 
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