Completed [The Meraki] A Road To Civilization

Kelski uses Reimancy to carve a road through the mountains to Zeltiva.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[The Meraki] A Road To Civilization

Postby Kelski on December 1st, 2019, 3:21 am

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Timestamp: Throughout Fall, 519 A.V. starting Fall 1.

One of the biggest problems The Empyreal Demesne had was its isolation. Kelski liked that it was a stand-alone place, one that had its own identity, but isolation made things hard. Ships sailed by them daily, pulling into the Matthew’s Bay to head for Zeltiva. And upon leaving, they had to pass right by as well. Now that they had a legitimate dock and a beach that was easy for the Svefra to land their Casinor’s upon, the Manor felt less isolated. It helped tremendously that visitors had started dropping by, doing business, trading, feeling out what the Empyreal Demesne was about.

And the ED had trade for these people – fruits and vegetables from their gardening and fresh meat from their hunting – and jewelry from The Painted Sky. Slowly the forge was offering more, Jackson having come in handy in more than one way. But today, Jackson like Dawson who was in charge of the fields had laid down his normal tools and had gathered with Kelski to tackle another problem entirely.

They needed a road to Zeltiva. Kelski hadn’t been alone. Her entire crew had turned out for the work. The farmer and blacksmith were there. Briggs, along with Sona stood at the ready. She had a vested interest in what they were doing today because all the logs they cleared would be headed to her mill, turned into lumber that was yet again something the Empyreal Demesne could trade. Briggs was young – her right-hand man – so it was no surprise that he was there with Sona. What was a surprise was that Nevar had turned out as well? The half-symenestra hunter had been with them since the beginning. Kelski had offered him a job immediately upon meeting him. His expertise and hunting proved invaluable and he’d just fit in. He’d stayed, and projects like this were things he really enjoyed.

Build a road? Through the mountains? Sure. No problem. The mages were here too. Dunstin and his twin Saegus were dressed for the weather and willing to work. Even the Mages of the Manor – Zala a mage with no particular outdoor skill and Zeke who was a shielder and voider, had come to see what could be done. Tessa had come along in case they ran into any bee colonies. She’d been wanting to add wild bees to her hives since she’d started the Meraki operation. Both Zrevan’s were present… both Keesha and Lynneah were there to cut brush, do manual labor, and help out. They were beautiful but no strangers to hard work. Neither was Toni Salavinn. He had turned out to work as well. None of them were going to let Kelski do this alone.

Darcee had also shown up and glued herself to Kelski’s side. The only two not present were Hattie and Mosa. The two old aunties of the Meraki had decided to sit out the road adventure by staying home and cooking for the masses so food would be ready for the hungry crew when they returned. They’d volunteered to watch Caitlyn for Mercy who along with Ember had also shown up. With Ebon in tow, Mercy had actually be the second one to gather when Kelski had made it known she was going to start on the road.
Last edited by Kelski on March 3rd, 2020, 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Meraki] A Road To Civilization

Postby Kelski on March 3rd, 2020, 3:58 am

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That left her with seventeen people – herself making eighteen – to chop trees, clear brush, and make a path. Their horses were harnessed up ready to drag logs out of the way, and the men had axes both for falling timber and smaller hand axes for taking care of brush. The wagon was there as well, full of tools, supplies, and whatever the crew would need.

Kelski and Darcee set off from the west side of the Manor house and skirted the edge of the sea. They kept themselves twelve feet apart and began using paint to mark out the trail which would become a road. Every bush, tree, stone… any obstacle at all in their way… was marked with red paint – an X to be exact – noting it needed moved, cut down, cleared etc. And the crew of nearly twenty knew for a fact that they would have to be chopping trees, hauling brush, burning, clearing boulders, and then once the pathway was clear they’d work on the road’s substrate.

Kelski was less worried about what made up the substrate of the road than actually clearing the road to begin with. She was a mage. They had other mages in the group that could help as well. She could make the road what it needed to be, especially over time… turning forest substrate into solid stone or gravel as was needed. Zeke was important too. As a voider, anything they couldn’t actually physically move he could void, and that included the piles of brush that wasn’t practical for burning. Kelski wanted a clean space, wide enough for wagons to pass or at least two horses comfortably abreast to travel up and down the road.

So Darcee and her started out early – at first light – with a compass and the map of the property firmly in their mind. They pressed westward, staying twelve paces apart, and began their work with the paintbrushes and blood-red paint. The rest of the crew stayed back, stripping the obstacles out of the way between the swathes of painted items, slowly forming the shape of a road as they moved. Kelski liked the work, for they’d often have to pause or she’d have to take to her Kelvic form and scout forward, looking for the easiest path, moving around things like drop-offs or not so easily forged places in streams.

In the first mile, there had been nothing, but as they progressed closer to Zeltiva, the mountains became an issue and there were places Kelski could tell they would have to carve out benches in the mountains – reinforce the benches with Reimancy – just to make the road safe. Darcee hadn’t understood what she’d meant by carving out benches, so the Kelvic had halted, pulled a sketch pad from her book and had made a quick diagram.

She drew a quick slope example with a slash of her charcoal, drawing a line from the top of the left margin to the bottom of the right margin. “This is the slope right?” She said, then carefully drew in how they’d have to bench the road. “That’s how we make a road here that’s safe and won’t be sliding off the hill. The fill comes from where we dig out the ditch and if we compact the soil and rock with Reimancy, it will work… and it will last.” She added. Darcee nodded, understanding.
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Kelski
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[The Meraki] A Road To Civilization

Postby Kelski on March 3rd, 2020, 4:00 am

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“I’ve seen roads like this all my life, but I didn’t know what I’ve been looking at.” She said thoughtfully. Kelski nodded. “It helps having an eagle’s perspective to see how simple they are. The ancients used to build them quite often. And in Lhavit they are common…. due to the mountains.” Kelski said, then tacked the sketch up to a tree right before a stretch that would have to be benched so the rest of the land clearers coming after them would know what she was aiming for as they hiked out across the slope that hugged the bay.

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Kelski kept walking, scouting, marking trees boulders and brush. The land leveled out, slopped again, and finally leveled out as they neared town. She brought the road in close to the shore, past the docks, in unoccupied wildlands and then merged it with the city on its southeastern flank where a main road ended in an unoccupied seagrass field that swept up the hill into the forest. The trees at the end of the field were marked red, but she left the grass alone figuring people could figure out once the land was cleared to this point where the road was going.

It took the team the better part of ten days to clear the road. They ended up hiring extra help to dig the ditches across the benches and haul in extra rock to pack the slopes with to stabilize the benches after they got them smoothed out. The trees they cut down and hauled back to the sawmill, which was gathering quite the stack of logs to process. It was a good thing too, because the need for wood on the manor expansion was a very real thing and since they had the timber to process, it cut their costs tremendously. Everything that could be hauled in a wagon – cut down vine maples, small alder, cedar, etc. was loaded into the wagon so the Empyreal Demesne got a mountainous stack of firewood to see it through the rest of the winter and probably well into the next and perhaps the next beyond that.

All of the work was pure physical labor. The crew would come home at night exhausted; Kelski included. They were swinging axes, dragging brushes, hooking stumps up to horses to be pulled out of the ground. But they were doing a good job, making the road as safe and nice as they could. There was only one place Kelski would have to span it with a bridge of some sort. Toni got to work on it immediately. It was a deep stream crossing with stone banks on either side that didn’t lend themselves to a ford. He used big trees that were already on site to build a simple log span.

Carefully Toni taught the group what he knew. They took two big existing trees, used them as anchors and built a tripod of two large sections of trees. With that tripod in place, they were able to rig a pulley system the team of horses could operate that helped roll Bunker logs into place across the span. Once those were anchored with big metal spokes driven in by sledges, the same system was used to cut/mark and pull bunker logs into place much like log cabins were fit together.


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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
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[The Meraki] A Road To Civilization

Postby Kelski on March 3rd, 2020, 4:01 am

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The bunker logs laid parallel to the stream along the bank. Then, the span logs were notched with something called saddle cuts on the bottom at either end and hauled into place with the horses. They were laid across the bunker logs. Then once they were set, they cut thick planks from larger trees they fell and laid them out across the bridge. Then it was an easy matter to build up the earth on either side of the ‘bridge’ so there was no drastic step up onto the bunker and span logs to cross the stream. Instead, the road gradually built up so the bridge looked seamless against the streambank.

Toni was full of knowledge. Trees grew with slight curves to them, so they put the curves upwards, with the saddle cuts on the bottom so that the trees would flex downward like nature designed holding the weight of a wagon. The downward flex was stronger than the trees being laid curved upwards where they were more prone to crack and break under heavy loads.

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The construction of the bridge, all in all, took three more days. But in the end, it was worth it. The track was laid, the land smooth, and the trip to town would be faster than they’d ever enjoyed before. What was left was Kelski’s job. And when she was ready to get started, she went carefully, not willing to risk overgiving by turning five miles of road into a well-worn cobbled pathway overnight. Instead, she took the whole of the winter – when the land was free of snow – and the rain wasn’t happening.

The work wasn’t hard if taken in small bunches. She made her road work a part of her daily scouting trips. It was also good for her magic, which she didn’t use enough leaning over a workbench cutting gemstones. The road was almost exactly five miles long into Zeltiva. Kelski measured 5,280 feet per mile…. which meant when she did the math that there was a total of 26,400 feet in the length of the road. It was a lot of territories to turn to stone. When she experimented, she found she could transmute via res, approximately three hundred feet of the road into stone cobbles in a single day not taking up too much time. That took into account that the road was twelve feet wide.

Having the road made of stone had the advantage of eliminating slides, potholes, and anything beside fallen trees from compromising its structure. A season was ninety-one days long. Kelski knew that if she worked on the cobbled road every day – which wasn’t feasible – she’d have it done in a season… or give or take a hundred days. But it was fall, snow was coming, and there were other obstacles… trips, projects that pulled her away, that kind of thing. So, she figured within two seasons, if she worked on the stone steadily, she’d have the road all the way cobbled.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
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Posts: 1570
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[The Meraki] A Road To Civilization

Postby Kelski on March 3rd, 2020, 4:03 am

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The process was fairly simple. She paced the three hundred feet out, visually marked it, and then began extruding Res. The Res production took her very little time – it came naturally to her djedline – and she was more than able to influence the soil and craft stone from res that was thick enough to hold up wagons. She didn’t make the road one continuous paved stone though. Instead, she made it a series of smooth interlocking cobbles that would flex and move with the changing soil conditions and the extremes in hot and cold of the weather. Solid stone would have cracked under the Wildlands conditions. Instead, big cobble pavers made it easy for horse’s hooves to traverse be they pulling wagons or trotting down the stone road. She wanted the road to last, years if not more, something that told people something important was off in the wilderness and to make them curious enough to follow it.

But she wanted the road to also say ‘Look what we can do.’ So that those that had nefarious reasons for seeking out the mages would understand that there was dangerous magic here and that walking the stone path was a way to danger and not something easily decided upon unless someone had a legitimate reason to be headed to see the Meraki.

So Kelski came out day to day, worked on the road, honed her Reimancy, and practiced turning soil into stone, air into stone, and even water into stone depending on the weather conditions. She was stubborn about it, toiling away at the road until one day she realized she wasn’t alone. The road was lengthening out on its own, growing in leaps and bounds past where she had left the work. And when it grew like that, she understood inherently that it wouldn’t take her one hundred days. It would take her less, a lot less, because she was having help.

It only took her twenty days to catch the helper. And she shouldn’t have been surprised when she came late to her work – her scouting having ran her longer than usual. What she found was her djedfather standing in the center of a newly completed section of road – concentrating – growing it solidly beneath his feet. She joined him, backwining and then transforming into a human beside him. Gilthas reached out his hand, linked his fingers with hers, and without looking at her smiled.

“You should have told me you were crazy enough to build a cobbled road with magic, Kelski. Do you know people will travel this way long past the time we both live and will ask themselves why this road, how it came to be, and what its story is? Who knows, maybe by then they will know the story of the Kelvic Jeweler Mage and her Manor House on the hill above the sea. I don’t know… but its something I want to be part of. It’s something I want to help you with. Do you mind? I’d like to be able to walk this road and one day remember my daughter.” He added, glancing at her finally, letting his bright blue eyes rest on her silvery gaze.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
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Medals: 11
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[The Meraki] A Road To Civilization

Postby Kelski on March 3rd, 2020, 4:04 am

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“You are immortal.” She said suddenly, abruptly, as if that was a huge factor in what she was about to say.

Gilthas nodded. “All Eth are. It is a gift and a curse, living to see people we love live and die. I’ve never minded so much as I have minded with you.” He said softly, squeezing her hand she held in his.

“I have something to tell you. It’s something I haven’t told anyone… not even Dessarian.” Kelski said softly and stepped closer to Gilthas. “I didn’t know how to talk to you about this. And I know I can’t talk to him about it at all.” She added, knowing it was something she’d carried as a burden for a long time.

“Nysel came to me, Gilthas. I know you are marked by him and I know you can feel my own mark now. He came to me and he marked me. He also gave me immortality. There is a symbol on me now that has halted all my aging. He said I had a task to do… a series of tasks. I’m to search out the lost Dominions, those that have gone wild, study and catalog them for him and all his kind. It is my purpose and because it will take me so long, he said I needed to live longer…. A lot longer. Forever, if possible. I know we are both able to be killed… but if we are lucky and safe and we remain very very vigilant, neither of us will age. We can be a family for a long long time.” She said softly, gently turning him around so they could stare down the expanse of road that stretched out behind them.

Kelski had several miles done by then, increased exponentially in speed by Gilthas’ secret help.

“To have a family forever…. “ He said softly, drawing her closer, hugging her with his free arm that wasn’t holding her hand. “You have no idea what that means to me, daughter. I was expecting to see you grow, raise a family, then watch your family grow and do the same long after you’ve gone. I had no idea that Nysel would indeed give me such a gift as to have you in my life without having to lose you. I hope you still have a family, and that family then have a family… but maybe we can watch them do all this together. I can think of no fiercer guardians than a pair of immortal mages for the K’etir Damazar collective.” He added with a smile.

Kelski laughed, nodded, and nudged him. “You could have a family too, you know. Your mortal seeming at least. I read that much in your own books.” Gilthas nodded. “And I might someday if I meet the right person. But you’ve already met your right person. Its more fun watching you decide to tread that path. Then I can see how you handle it and decide if its something I want for myself.” He added with a grin, giving her a last squeeze and then releasing her.

“Let's do more of this road, maybe double what you’ve been doing today, and call it a job well done. I can’t join you every day, but I will start trying my best to meet you out here so we can combine efforts. I had no idea you had this project going, but it’s a very fine road.” He added with a smile, tapping one of the large cobbles with a booted toe.

Kelski nodded. “Okay. Let’s do it. And I‘ll hold you to your promise.” She added, smiling gently and thankfully. Her Djedfather was an amazing man… a truly amazing one. She was thankful to have him… very thankful.

Word Count: 3336
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
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