[Featured thread] The Art of Raising Cravens

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The Art of Raising Cravens

Postby Madeira Craven on February 6th, 2020, 7:50 pm

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"I know, I know, that was mean, I'm sorry", Madeira soothed, relieved to see her son uncoiled from the stiff knot he had been in. "But that doesn't mean it's not true. You're a big strong Okomo, but you're also a little boy. You're still young, even when you're big, and when you're in this form you're still small. And being young means being weak and naïve, at least for a little while. Or for me even after I grew up I was still small and weak!" Pinching her fur cloak she patted away the last of his tears. "But you'll grow up fast, and you'll be smarter and wiser when you do. Until then you need to be safe, okay? I'll get you someone to teach you to fight, as long as you promise me you'll be careful."

Her proud little boy. It was hard to muddle through when he was trying to explain, but with words like duty and protect it was hard to mistake the meaning behind it. And he wasn't prone to tantrums like normal toddlers, so perhaps teaching him to fight wouldn't go as badly as she was imagining it. He'd grow up just fine. But more and more she was realizing he wouldn't grow up to be hers. Amelie was proud to be a Craven, and showed every sign of wanting to follow in her mothers footsteps. But Moritz was proud to be an Okomo. She would train him as she was trained, and try and make a proper spiritist out of him, but she could already see the losing battle it would be. Her wayward child was just that, and she had no idea how she could change his path.

These thoughts were derailed as Moritz, face scrunch and confused, voiced a question he seemed to have been sitting on for a while.

"Your dad is like you and Amelie, he has two... forms. Two bodies", Madeira explained. "That's because he passed on his race to you two, so all three of you are Kelvic. I'm Human, so I just have this one body, and It'll grow much slower than yours. Being Kelvic is very rare and very special."

Lifting Moritz by the arms she struggled to lift him off her lap and stand him in front of her. The boy was thin but gods was he heavy, at least to her. In front of her like this it was easy to see Allister in him. Perhaps it was something in the shape of his eyes or the slant of his jaw. It was hard to say for sure, it was more of a sense of everything fitting together just so. It was much harder for her to see herself in the boy. But it was there, in the cracks between Allister, at the very edges of his features. Just little things that reassured her that he was her son too.

"I'm going to register you and your sister for school", she said as she stood, kissing the boy just below his mess of hood-flattened pastel hair as she did. "You can wait for me here, or play outside if you'd like. Their might still be kids out there. I'll just be a chime, I promise. Then we can talk more if you'd like." As long as it wasn't about how his father gave him his race, she inwardly begged.

The receptionist was ready. Her attention flicked back up as Madeira left Moritz and approached her desk. Within ticks she was brandishing a smile and a sheet of carefully inked legal paperwork. "Here we are! Are you interested in day or night classes?"

"I hadn't given it much thought. Do we have to decide right now?" Madeira reached for a much abused feather quill and half full pot of ink the receptionist supplied her.

"Not at all. The younger classes have a pretty loose structure. Once the children turn sixteen then it becomes necessary to apply for classes with specific instructors."

"What would it cost to enroll two young ones under sixteen?"

"Nothing at all! Early education is free in Lhavit. I'll just need you to register them." She pushed the legal sheet towards the Spiritist. "I'll need your and our new student's full names, addresses, races..." her manicured nail swept over the paperwork, followed closely by the nub of Madeira's borrowed quill.
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The Art of Raising Cravens

Postby Moritz Craven on February 9th, 2020, 4:34 pm

Moritz was unsure what naive was, but he assumed from the context it was not good.

Still, his mother seemed more willing to accept his words, even if still seeming to not admitted she had lied before. But he supposed as she had said she was still learning and had not quite learned how to properly apologize and admit her wrongs.

It was clear she did not fully understand him and his experiences, but to a degree was accepting of that... Sort of. Though she still focused on his other half which he was currently in which was weak and small. But then... That was partly why he wanted to train, to learnt to defend himself and others. You did not see a flaw in something, something needing fixing, and simply shrug to walk away. No you saw something needing fixing, and you addressed it.


"I is Moritz, only be Moritz. But I also have full-o-care. Is always such."

Moritz was not really sure what she meant about some of the stuff, but he always took care, always considered, always was honest and spoke what he meant. What more could she want of him? It seemed silly to him, that anything but such things would be desired.

As she spoke on him and his sister, and his father though, she seemed to differentiate between them and herself. Kelvic. A word he had heard before, but did not quite understand. Now it seemed it meant... Something of his birth. He. His sister Amelie. His father... Were of two forms, could change forms. As was normal, in his understanding.

Some however, his mother included, could not change forms. Were of only one form. His mother was human, had become human, which meant she only had one form. Had someone taken away her other form, making her into a human? Could someone do that to him? It seemed so wrong, to be of one form!

He slipped from one form to another as easily as some seemed to slip from one outfit to another. It was simply natural, a part of him. But to be locked in but one form... The idea was monstrous. And his mother was as such, locked in her one body unable to display her fullness.

So sad. He felt of sorrow and pain that some would be forced into such a state, unable to change their forms from one to their other.

"Is... Is you always human, with one form? Or become like? Did lose other form?"

This seemed rather important a distinction, since should he be at risk of the same he needed to know how it occurred to properly avoid it.

Once they were done talking his mother sent him outside, and Moritz complied with a nod to head outside and consider things. To mull over the new things he had learned. To consider of the wrongness placed upon so many called "humans" to be lacking of another form.

Moritz quietly headed outside, watching the placement of his feet as he would in his Okomo form walking up a ledge. It helped to see where his feet were, and where they were going, to better walk at speed.

He supposed eventually such would not be needed, but for now in his human form he did to keep his footing. Lacking the sureness of his hooves in his other form. And wrapped in the cocoon of clothe that was his winter clothing so newly purchased.

Once outside Moritz examined the snow, finding it looked different from before. He heard a crunch as his feet found fresh spots of the substance, and found that other bits that had been stepped on did not do this. But it also seemed... More packed down there.

Finding a fresh patch of the stuff Moritz carefully pressed down a foot, watching as it scrunched down and closer together and made that now familiar crunching sound. Not breaking, but pressing.

Touching it, this felt different than the singular flakes, harder, more stiff. When he pressed his covered fingers to a fresh patch, he found it was light and moved at his touch like dirt. But when pressed downward it crunched and pressed and moved to compress into a smaller more dense form.

Grabbing up a small handful, Moritz crunched it together, finding it formed a somewhat knobbly compressed form. Not quite a ball, but more so than before.

With some more molding and shaping and patting on small bits, he found a nicely compressed vaguely ball shaped think as the final product. Perhaps the thing the others had been tossing about before?

Checking his surrounding Moritz saw a small mound of the stuff, snow packed in place, and targeted it. With a heave of his arm he tossed it, but found the ball fell short and landed on the ground between where it broke apart into smaller chunks. Not quite so solid then...

Compared to before the grounds were quiet, though he could hear someone moving about and talking outside but out of his sight.

He was not quite sure where, and they did not approach him as he moved about and examined the snow.
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The Art of Raising Cravens

Postby Madeira Craven on February 26th, 2020, 7:14 pm

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Madeira finished up with the paperwork and thanked the secretary kindly. And with that, both of her children were registered to attend a public school. It seemed Moritz and Amelie were going to be the first Craven's to do, and be, a lot of things. But now that the choice was made Madeira felt lighter, and almost hopeful. They were cut off from their entire extended family, so they would make their own way however they could. This wasn't a bad start.

Outside, the voices from beyond the yard Moritz heard were getting clearer. From the gated entrance came a tall woman and two charges, two boys in their early teens. From the flush on their faces to the leather padding they were franticly unbuckling it was clear they were doing some sort of physical training.

"We're late", the woman clapped her hands emphatically. "Go go go. Before you get us all in trouble." The woman's voice was dark and tinted like smoky glass, and was the first hint that she was older than her tall and toned figure would suggest.

"Yes ma'am!" both boys mumbled, half running and half hopping across the yard as they struggled to remove the leather. They both blew by Moritz and crashed through the tall front doors, and could be heard bickering all the way up the entrance hall.

The woman watched them go, hands on her hips, before her eyes fell to Moritz. If she was wondering why he was alone out there and not in class she never said. Her bright grey eyes tracked the trajectory of the snowball he had just thrown, and smiled.

"Not a bad arm on you, boy. What's your name?"

A thick, practical braid of iron grey hair fell across the shoulder of her leather jerkin. Nearly six feet tall and carrying herself with a militaristic grace, she was an imposing presence. Dressed in leather and fur, only her face was visible, and the skin was the tanned and dusty red of the jungle races. Fine lines ran around her eyes and mouth, speaking to a lifetime of laughter. She carried a sword on each hip, one an absurdly delicate thing with a wicked point, the other had a strange edged handle and the tip curled almost completely back at the end. She closed the distance between them, and she was looking at the boy like she saw something interesting beyond the pastel hair that poked from beneath his cap and his strange horizontal eyes.

Madeira, having left the Alluvion Academy with a fragile elation in her chest, felt it immediately puncture when she saw this strange, armed woman approach her child. She came up behind her son and laid a hand possessively across his shoulder.

"Can we help you?" she asked pointedly.
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The Art of Raising Cravens

Postby Moritz Craven on March 3rd, 2020, 2:33 am

As Moritz continued to move about, he found the source of the noise he had heard before to be several people. Some small, and one big. Children and an adult?

The smaller ones seemed to be clothed in an odd manner, which they were removing. Bits of leather outer things. He was not sure what this materials use was, but he supposed it had to have one or else they would not be wearing it.

And then in a rush the two smaller ones were rushing off, making haste to remove their coverings and to get inside the building. Late, a term that was uttered several times. Late. Not on time. Not in a timely manner. Late.

Once her charges were gone, the womans eyes turned to Moritz. She seemed... Complicated. A woman, seemingly old, but clearly fit and strong. She also seemed.... Happy. Not upset. Glad to be graced with a breath and a task and work to pass the time.

Focused. And yet happy enough to slip about from one thing to another.

Mortitz met her eyes in his Okomo-esque gaze, his eyes clearly marking him as non-human. Rather marking him as something else, though Okomo were not the only ones with such eyes. Still he met her gaze unflinchingly, considering and examining her with his eyes even as she considered and examined him.

When she spoke Moritz considered her words for a moment, before as usual answering with honesty.

"I is Moritz. And not throw good, is not hit what throw at. Not far nough. How is good then?"

Whether she would take the question seriously or not Moritz posed it quite seriously, waiting for her answer. A name, and a rebuttal to her comment.

She stood with towering height, even without her size. Imposing, like a mountain. Upright and solid, not weak like a pile of dirt or such smaller mounds.

Where his mother was light as the snow, this woman was dark of tone. And he was... He was not sure what he was, now that he considered it. Certainly not so pale as his mother though.

She carried a weapon on each side, a long length of metal with pointy bits and one with an odd hook. It looked as dangerous with the end you held, as the end you you cut things with. Like a knife he had seen in the kitchen at home, bit bigger and more graceful and different.

Out of his peripheral vision, still quite good even in his human form though not so good as in his kelvic form, he saw his mother approach them. But he did not react, did not pull away or towards or move at all. Not tensing or cringing. Simply considering. Examining. Pondering.

As his mother asked the woman a question, Moritz also considered one and spoke it.

"Is you just one form, or more than one form? And is you always that way, or become?"

His mother had not answered his earlier question, of if she had only ever had one form or if she had once had more like him and had lost it. Or perhaps she had not heard? Or had intended to answer it later? Regardless, this question to this woman seemed a good first step in sorting it out.
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The Art of Raising Cravens

Postby Madeira Craven on March 12th, 2020, 1:02 am

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"I is Moritz. And not throw good, is not hit what throw at. Not far nough. How is good then?"

The woman threw back her head and laughed, the sound proving itself to be just as deep and sonorous as her voice. "Moritz, huh?" she simmered down to a chuckle, a hand braced on the hilt at her hip, the other rubbing thoughtfully over her smile. "Boy, not bad is not the same as good. But I do like your arms. You've got potential." Her smile finally dried up and she matched Moritz's serious energy, if only for a moment. "Keep practicing, you'll hit it soon enough."

Her dark eyes finally flicked up to Madeira, positioned so possessively behind the serious little boy. But before she could placate the fragile little waif who was clearly his mother, Moritz decided he wasn't quite done with the conversation. He had a very serious question.

The two adults shared a look over the boy's head. The older woman's amused confusion meeting Madeira's long suffering sigh. It could have been that this woman just didn't speak toddler, or more likely she didn't speak Moritz' unique brand of broken quasi-common. Thankfully Madeira was practically fluent at this point.

"He wants to know if you're a dual-bodied race, and if you were born that way."

"Kelvic, I'd noticed. And you're human, no doubt."

"He's an Okomo", Madeira nodded, her eyes flicking down to the hand that was still resting atop the handle of the sheathed sword. Taking the hint, the woman pulled her hand away.

"Dangerous times, aren't they?" the woman clicked her tongue on the roof of her mouth. "Don't worry yourself, my dear. Moritz and I were just having a chat. I am Kyra Shallon, I've taken to teaching youngsters since my retirement from the Shinya."

"I'm Madeira Craven, and this is Moritz Craven", Madeira reached a hand over the boy and shook the woman's hand. She could feel her callouses even through the two layers of gloves that separated them. The affiliation ring on her right hand woke with the contact, and in the Spiritist's head flashed the images of the things that tied to this Kyra. Out of the white noise the image that stood out strong and clear was the emblem and white robes of the Shinya. So the woman was telling the truth, and still felt very connected to the organization that policed Lhavit.

Madeira visibly relaxed, letting go to tug her hood over her head. Kyra addressed Moritz once again, now that the adults had been introduced.

"I only have the one body, and its been this way all my life."

"You teach swordplay, then?" Madeira interrupted, nodding to the swords on Kyra's hips.

"I teach all the ways of the Shinya, which includes combat, yes."

What a coincidence. She looked the woman over brazenly. "Are you good?"

Kyra chuckled darkly. "The best. Why, are you interested?"

"Moritz and his sister both need to learn how to defend themselves," Madeira shrugged, her fingers walking thoughtful circles over Moritz' shoulder. "An ex-Shinya seems like a good teacher."

"A lot of people think so, so I have had to be tough in picking my students. But if you're still interested later, bring this little man and his sister to the Okomo Estates", she rattled off her address, which Madeira memorized, ready to impart to someone who could actually read a map. "And we can see if they're a good fit."

Kyra squatted down onto her heels, coming to eye level with the Kelvic boy. She held out her hand to shake, and offered him a smile. "Make sure you come, boy. I'd like to see those arms in action."
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The Art of Raising Cravens

Postby Moritz Craven on March 15th, 2020, 1:53 am

Moritz pondered at the woman's laughter, until finally she spoke. At which point he had to admit... She had a good point. Being not bad, did not mean something was good. It could also mean neutral, neither good nor bad, but not necessarily the opposite by being good. A valid point he had to agree with.

He was serious in many regards, but he had no problem with admitting when he was wrong and when someone else pointed something out.

It was about then Moritz noticed where the womans hand rested. On one of the blades she wore openly. But her hand seemed less like one thing, and more like... Another. As if... She was simply reaching to grab at it as he might lower his head in anger or annoyance. More a... Reflex, yes that was the word, than a active action. Or so he felt from watching her, and watching his mother watch himself and her.

Her name was Kyra, and she was a member of the Shinya, or no she used to be a member and now was not.

However, there was something about her... The woman seemed... Familiar. She reminded him of someone, someone he had met before. But he was having trouble recalling who, or why, for he was fairly certain she looked nothing like anyone else he had met. Maybe then that same habit, or how she carried herself?

Regardless, something about her reminded him of another he had met.

Her response to his question was succinct and clear, answering where his mother had left vagueness before. Born of one body, and always of one body.

For a moment Moritz face was filled with sorrow, not for himself but for her. And his mother. And others like them it seemed... To have been born so lacking, and unable to do anything about it. To be as without a whole personhood, a half person forced into but one shape which was but one half of their whole being. Such seemed sad to him.

Whereas he being a kelvic, whatever that was, was both halves to make a whole.

As he considered this the two adults seemed to become distracted by some side tracked thought, something of weapons and combat and such. But such seemed silly at the moment, when he was learning such momentous things.

Moritz was of two houses, human and Okomo, both and each, all but neither. But these people were not... The why did not seem clear though, assuming this truth of the woman also applied to others.

His sadness swept away as the new woman lowered herself and spoke to him once more. Moritz took the offered limb, returning the odd squeezing and motioning gesture, releasing when the woman began to release and pull away.

"Arms action, is what do. Same is legs."

He considered the woman as she seemed to end their meeting, considering her. She seemed nice enough. Along with being honest. Truthful. Clear. And not so serious at all times, while being serious about the right things. Unlike her mother then, in many regards, who he loved but at some level was starting to understand he could not trust her words.

A day of many new pieces of knowledge.
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The Art of Raising Cravens

Postby Madeira Craven on March 18th, 2020, 12:36 am

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Kyra stood, nodded to Madeira and Moritz with a smile, then turned to leave. Even for someone of her advanced age she stood straight and tall. Madeira watched her step out of the courtyard and into the thickening snow, before she turned a corner and disappeared.

Madeira resolved to see that woman again. She was intimidating, yes, but there was something Madeira liked about her. She considered herself to be a good judge of character, and even in that short interaction she was certain she had found one of those fabled good people. It was that same elusive caliber that Zach Grasswind belonged too. The kind reserved for people with a selfless heart and good intentions.

Taking Moritz by the hand, Madeira tugged her hood further down her face against the falling snow and followed Kyra's path out of the Alluvion Academy courtyard. It was time the two of them went home.

She squeezed his hand lovingly. This was okay. She had done her duty as a mother, providing him with the necessities of winter and finally deciding on the path of his education. But more than that she felt like maybe she could be beginning to understand her wayward son a little better. She was even grateful for his tears earlier, if only so she had the chance to wipe them away. She could do this. She could forge a relationship with the boy, she just had to try a little harder.

They didn't need the rest of the Cravens to be a family. It was just going to be the three of them, forging their own path. They were going to do this all by themselves and be stronger for it.
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