Closed A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Moritz and Madeira head to meet a possible combat instructor for the twins...

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Madeira Craven on May 29th, 2020, 4:04 am

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There was not a drop of perspiration on Kyra's brow when she opened the door to see Madeira on the stoop, hand already posed to ring the bell impatiently again.

"Welcome back", the old woman's smile was a satisfied glow. Madeira's shoulders dropped as the tension she had been carrying for a bell dissipated.

"Things went well I take it." The Spiritist nodded in greeting and removed her own flat shoes, which she left beside Moritz' at the door. Kyra invited her further inside with a wave of her hand.

"The boy takes instruction well, seems determined to learn and is tough, getting right back up after he's hit. Yes, I'd say it went well."

Through a door at the other end of her small, utilitarian cottage a wide space suddenly opened up. A training room of some sort, with padded floors and weapon racks on the wall. Years of sweat and breath had soaked into the walls far beyond the hope of any household cleaning solution, leaving it to smell forever of rough fights and talc. And in the middle of it was Moritz, bare foot and looking no worse for wear.

Madeira smiled for the boy. She desperately wanted to go to him, but she feared embarrassing the boy in front of his teacher. So she stayed back, hovering by the wall. This place had a feeling similar to that of the temples that dotted Lhavit, like this is where fitness and sweat was worshipped and soft-handed little creatures like her were not meant to be there. "How was your first fight lesson?" she asked.

"It'll be the first of many I hope." Kyra slipped in behind Madeira, her bound feet making no sound of the cushioned floor. "How would you like to be my permanent student?" she turned to Moritz and folded her corded arms, her grin a pale sickle slice across her dark face.

Madeira blinked, surprised. Whatever happened while she was gone, it seemed to have convinced the ex Shinya of his potential.

Kyra rubbed her chin as she looked the boy up and down, like she was looking at more than just his body. Like spirit and determination was something that could be measured with the eye. "Have you ever thought of joining the Shinya when you grow up, boy?"
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Moritz Craven on May 30th, 2020, 1:55 am

By the end of the workout, Moritz was exhausted. His body ached in multiple spots, he was sweating quite a lot, and he was having trouble fully catching his breath. He was not injured in any manner, but otherwise he was ruined.

By comparison, Kyra seemed little the worse for wear. Clearly his endurance was lacking compared to hers. Or perhaps she simply knew how to do the things correctly, and so did not waste the effort as Moritz did.

No, Moritz reasoned, she was simply stronger and more honed in terms of her body than he.

It took him a few moments of standing and catching his breath and hearing talking to realize his mother had returned. Which made sense, since Kyra was not talking to him but someone else. And, he supposed, if she had been talking to him and he had not been paying attention she would have been annoyed at him.

Moritz mind rolled about with such thoughts for a bit, before he realized Kyra and his mother had stopped talking and were looking at him. Clearly one or both had asked him something, but his mind was lagging such that the small distraction of his own thoughts sluggishly creeping in his head was enough to deafen him to their words.

What had they said?

Taking a moment to turn to the two, using the time to catch his breath, Moritz replied simply enough with "What?"

Kyra paused for a moment while examining him again, perhaps understanding his state and therefore state of mind, and repeated her words without further question or condemnation.

"I.... Hugh... I yes, like be student. Learn... Fight, protect, be better."

At her second question, Moritz found himself having to think harder. Which at the moment was not easy. He tended to think and speak and question constantly. But at the moment, though having caught his breath, did not feel much like talking or thinking. He felt more like curling up in a corner and sleeping for a day.

Moritz mind wandered for a moment to the day he lost his mother and sister, the pair running around with him chasing after a Okomo that had been startled and ran off with his sister. And the nice man who had shown him the way back to them after the Okomo was stopped. He recalled the word, Shinya, in connection to that man and at other times. He did live in Lhavit after all. But in truth, his knowledge of them was limited.

"Truth? Not sure. I met afore, nice man on mountain who gave direction to other when lost. But... Not know much of. What is do? Shinya? What is need know how do? Not know nuff, want or not want."
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Madeira Craven on May 31st, 2020, 2:51 am

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Madeira shot a loaded glance at the back of Kyra's head as her innocuous question was uttered, but the woman didn't notice. Her brow was furrowed as she tried to piece together what the boy was saying, not being as used to the one-year-olds broken common like Madeira was.

The Spiritist cut in before Kyra could answer.

"The Shinya work as protectors of this city, it's their job to unhold the law. It is a very noble profession", she nodded respectfully to Kyra. "But you're on a different path, Moritz. You'll grow up to be a great Spiritist, like all Cravens do."

She still held that stubborn expectation for the boy. Both of her children would be spiritists, like her father, and his father before him. It didn't matter that they were the first Kelvics in the family, or the first to be born outside Alvadas and out of the reach of their extended relations, It didn't even matter that Moritz showed no curiosity in the craft like his sister. They were Craven, a name synonymous with powerful Spiritist, and the circumstances of their birth changed nothing.

"A little early to be deciding the boy's fate, don't you think?" Kyra was half turned towards Madeira, her expression suddenly cool as she looked down on the smaller woman.

"Early? That fate was decided centuries ago. It's in his blood."

"I wasn't aware magic was a hereditary disease."

Madeira laughed, completely unconcerned with the woman's disapproval. Some people just didn't understand. "Call it what you like. He has centuries worth of ancestors who look to him to carry on their work and strengthen the family craft. It's a blessing and a curse. And he better start early if he hopes to surpass me some day, won't you?" Her attention switched from the incredulous Kyra to her son. She didn't think Moritz was prone to fantasizing, but he had a stubbornness he inherited from her. She didn't want him considering a life in the Shinya less that bullheadedness takes root there.

Kyra looked like she was about to argue further, but seemed to think better of it. She shrugged her powerful shoulders and changed track. "Lets talk about making this permanent."

The two women took a moment to negotiate time and price, and settled reasonably in the middle. Moritz would receive a class a week for as long as Madeira would pay, or until the ex Shinya had nothing left to teach him. She had all the necessary training equipment for Moritz to borrow, and it would cost Madeira twenty five kina a season. They shook on it, Kyra's callused hands feeling hard and rough even through Madeira's gloves.

"Alright, that's settled." Madeira turned to her son. "Are you ready to go?"
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Moritz Craven on May 31st, 2020, 1:24 pm

Having caught his breath, Moritz slowly returned to his more talkable way of being, though he was still tired. Drained. Exhausted. It had been but a bell or so, but it had been hard work for his small untrained body. Working muscles in ways he had not before.

Next time, he supposed, he would be that bit stronger. But this time, the first time, he was particularly drained.

And so he fell back on his constant. His go to response. He listened. He thought. He considered. And then, only then, did he respond.

He knew from past experience his mother did not always tell the truth. Had caught her in lies. And in other cases had caught her in what she thought to be the truth, but which he knew to be not the truth. Not then a lie, but a deception on her own part to herself. Or for herself. He knew there was a distinction between the two, purposely lying and lying to and of oneself, but he did not quite grasp what that difference was.

He supposed it had something to do with the intent. One was willful, the other by absence of knowledge and understanding. He felt there was more to it than that, but such was the limited understanding of their distinctions he currently held.

With that understanding, he considered his mothers words in the light that it could also be one of those. When the instructor Kyra did not directly disagree, it seemed more likely her words were truth in both senses though did not confirm it.

Kyra so far that he knew had not lied, and so he had in truth more faith in her words than his own mothers at that moment.

Protectors of the city. Holding up the law. That did seem to agree with what he had seen and heard before in all their vagueness.

However then his mother turned from the topic he had asked, to another. A statement, perhaps of opinion, as fact. You will do this. This is how it will be. The sky is of water, you can breath the sea. No facts, no clarification, just a statement of fact as she saw. This perhaps was a third category of lies, or perhaps a subset of the second?

But no, a third, since it was a bit of both the first and second, a knowing lie and a lie to oneself, while being outward in being stated as a fact to another. This was rather confusing, as Moritz tried to make an addendum to his understanding of lies while also considering what she had said.

Though he was tired Moritz raised his head, an instinctive gesture showing his throat and angling his forehead upward towards them. To a human used to human gestures this meant little. Kyra however seemed to see the motion and showed ecognition in her eyes at it. Perhaps she understood, having been an Okomo rider and seen numerous Okomo angered and ready to charge. But beyond that her fact did not seem to show any sign of response, so perhaps Moritz simply saw that because he expected to see it.

A statement of fact. It did not matter what the Shinya were, as he would not join them. Yes they were good, but you would not be one. You will be a spiritist. Contention as fact.

When Kyra and his mother finished speaking about him as if he were not present, his mother finally asked him a question. Moritz considered all that had been said. Paused for a moment. And then spoke in answer to the implied question from before she had asked without asking. His face was placid and flat as he spoke, other than the upward tilt of his head which to one used to Okomo was a clear sign of intent. Confrontation,

"Why? Why I be spirit-cist?"

"Ghost nice, but why I spend all time on? What if choose do other thing? You do ghost. Sisser do ghost? Why also? How many ghost people need by ghost?"

"You tell ghost what do. So why care if ghost people relate to tell be spirit-cist? Seem silly, tell some what do, and others tell you do cause older or fam-lee."

Moritz did not quite understand what an ancestor was, something to do with dead people you were related to, family but dead, but got most of it from the context of the words. And he did not see why these dead people would tell him what to do, or have any impact on what that would be.

Still his mothers words seemed a bit confusing, and he was not quite understanding what she meant. So if everyone in the family was a spiritist... And he had to be a spiritist... Then what if he did not become one? What did that mean... By that train of logic it meant...

"I not know what want do yet. But what if not choose spirit-cist? Or what if no good at? Or what if choose Shinya? What then? I not fam-lee?"

This train of logic seemed quite straightforward in following his mothers words, a clear line being drawn between each to reach the end conclusion.

If all Okomo climbed mountains, and he did not climb mountains, he was not an Okomo. If all Craven were spiritists, and he was not a spiritist then....
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Madeira Craven on June 3rd, 2020, 12:59 am

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Naturally, Moritz had a lot to say.

He was quiet for a long time. Too long, Madeira thought. She could see the nest of lines building between his brows that meant he was thinking really hard about something. She knew that look, and feared that look. It meant that once he finally did speak, it was going to require A Talk.

A Talk was fast becoming one of the things she dreaded most about being a parent. They were messy, and never went the way she planned. Perhaps it was her own borderline abusive experiences of Talks with her father that made her feel so unequipped to handle them. Because for all her mastery of arguing and persuading and all those subtle social arts, her son didn't seem to respond to any of it.

"Why? Why I be spirit-cist?"

Ah, there it was.

Madeira could feel Kyra looking at her, almost hear the smug little turn of her lip, but she ignored her. Instead she waited patiently for the boy, standing with his chin lifted defiantly in the middle of the room, to get everything off his chest. She was going to have to have a talk with him about privacy, too.

"Shallon, can we have a chime?"

It was very uncouth to ask a near-stranger for space in their own home, but Madeira had a prickling suspicion from the tilt of Moritz' head that if she were to try and order him out of this house before answering his questions it would just create more problems.

The Ex-Shinya shrugged. "Sure, seems like you have... a lot to talk about. I'll be in the front room." She turned and left, shutting the training room door behind her. The padded surfaces seemed to soak up all the sound as Madeira crossed the room and met Moritz in the middle.

"You're asking why all three of us need to be spiritists?" she clarified his first question as she knelt down in front of him. "Ghosts are not nice, they're a bigger problem than you think. There is an entire school here just for teaching its students how to handle them. In Alvadas it's an entire extended family. There are many, many places that need good Spiritists, and that's why Craven's are so important."

Here she paused, really considering what she was going to say.

"And it's not that the ghosts care that we're related, or even that we're just doing it for traditions sake. That's silly, like you said. Instead it's kind of like... Well, Imagine a family of bakers", she encouraged. "The first baker in that family makes a recipe for bread that he prefects throughout his life. Then he teaches that recipe to his son. Now that son take everything he learns and improves upon it, making even better bread. He teaches it to his son, and him to his son... Now imagine after five hundred years, how amazing that line of bakers must be. A baker that learns on his own through a single lifetime could never compare to one who is building on centuries of experience. It's the same thing with us, but with our magic craft. I, and every Craven of my generation, is the collective effort of five hundred years of perfecting Spiritism. We are given better and better ways to handle the undead, passed down from those before. And now its my job to teach everything I know to you, so that you can take it even further, and teach your own children. Do you understand?"

"And if I don't fulfill that duty, all the efforts of our ancestors will be for nothing. And Moritz..." here she stopped, waiting for him to look her directly in the eye. This was important. "Moritz, you will always be my son. That will never change. But if you break that cycle, you're right, you will no longer be considered a Craven like your sister, or like me. Your tie to your family, your true home, our history and all our knowledge will be forever out of your reach, do you understand?"

That wouldn't mean much for a child his age, she knew. But as she was now she couldn't imagine being so completely untethered like that. She thought she had been, once, on her journey to Lhavit. The experience nearly broke her, until she realized that while she was cut off from the family's support, that history and knowledge travelled with her. Now even as she was trying to climb the ladder and improve her own small family's place in Lhavit, in the back of her mind she knew part of her was doing it to solidify the Craven name here, too.

"I know it's hard, seeing your life all mapped out like this. It was hard for me too at first. But I'll tell you a secret", here she leaned forward a bit to stage-whisper in his ear. "They don't tell you this, but you can still be whatever you want to be, as long as you are a Spiritist as well." She smiled crookedly as leaned back on her heels again, trying to inject some levity into the serious talk. "Look at me, I'm a teacher and a spiritist. Or you have an uncle back home, Paris Craven, who is a clothes designer and a spiritist. Or your great-uncle, who is a scribe and a spiritist. There are many, many different ways to serve your family. It won't be as a Shinya, but it could be as a kind of spiritual guard, if you took that rout. A more combat-oriented spiritist, protecting people from all kinds of undead. My point is, not everything is as black and white as it seems. You can have both, in your own way."

It was a hollow sort of consolation. If he followed her path as she wanted him to, spiritism would seep into every facet of his life regardless of how he tried to bend it. It was the very identity of their family, and to join them was to embrace it. And he will be a proper Craven. She didn't present it as an option, because in her mind it wasn't one. He would not be seduced away from her by some fantasy of a different life. He was a Craven, and his place was right there with her.
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Moritz Craven on June 3rd, 2020, 2:39 am

Moritz considered his mothers words as she spoke, silently watching. Listening. Considering. Some of what she said made sense. Other bits seemed more like statements of truth that were not truth, or lies, or the other sort of things that were not lies but not truth.

She seemed to answer some of his questions, but not all. Pointedly, some of the most important ones. But then, he had asked quite a few questions. And he knew from past experience, or was beginning to realize, such was her common way. To answer some things, usually the easier ones, and not others.

"If ghosts not nice, why ghosts live at house? Why you have friend, be ghosts?"

Her story of the baker was more interesting, though weird. He understood she was making a point, but when he heard the tale he got something different from it. Perhaps it was how he listened, but her intent to direct him to the end result of the story did not agree with the logic of where his mind took him via the story.

"What if baker son, not good at bake? If make do, just cuss father did, then not get good bread. Not get better bread, if people good at bake, learn from man teach bake, stead son learn but not good at? Not better way? If only portant thing, get be good bread, why not teach other who good at? If son bad bake bread, even if good teach, make bad bread. Then not want, and stop making brread. Cuss want only son do."

"You not Okomo. We fam-lee, but you not Okomo. If someone say, you go be Okomo, do Okomo thing, you not be good at. Not better, if you go do not Okomo thing you good at, stead try do thing like be Okomo not good at? I never be Spirit-cist, so might not be good at. Like you not good be Okomo, but fam-lee. I never do Spirit-cist thing, so not know. You say cuss fam-lee be good, but how know? Is think, or know? Not same."

The point Moritz was trying to get across was somewhat complicated, but also not quite well delivered due to the boys lacking vocabulary. In some respects he was left to denote one thing from another by adding a not or not not or such, to show opposing things, which in truth did not help clear things up too much.

The concept of family and children was also confusing. He would be her son, but not her family... But was not family being related, which he was by being her son. He frowned at this, not quite understanding.

"But why is portant, be Craven? What is do? If someone else learn, why is matter be Craven?"

As his mother leaned in, her words on secrets were also confusing. Being a spiritist, but not a spiritist. Or no, being a spiritist, while also being another thing. Was being a spiritist a skill, or a trade? I tradition, or something inherent?

"What is be Spirit-cist? Is job? Or is thing know how do? And what is do when is Spirit-cist?"

"And if can be Spirit-cist, and also other thing, why not be and also Shinya? Why not that?"

He felt like his mother was explaining things, but only halfway. Not giving all the facts. Or did she not know them? Or was she not explaining on purpose?

Clearly being a Shinya was not just about protecting people, but being a guard from spirits was also not being a Shinya as it was about protecting from ghosts? But counted as being a Spiritist?

Then something occurred to Moritz. Something she had said. It was all about the past. Past Craven. Who could only do this, or that, or another thing. But not both, and not That! But then that was the point. It was all about he past. Unchanging. Not like him. Not like Moritz. Not who he was, and not taking in his abilites.

"Mommy! You is say, can only do, or not do, cuss fam-lee did. But Craven afore, be also Okomo? Or not? How is know what can do, or not do, if never been Craven like Moritz afore? I do things, Craven not do, cuss not be Okomo. How you know what can do, if never seen afore? Is new thing, yes, be Moritz?"
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Madeira Craven on June 4th, 2020, 10:33 pm

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Madeira squinted at her son as he talked, as if narrowing her focus would somehow make him easier to understand. This was testing even her honed ability to understand his broken speech to the breaking point. Her mouth moved silently as he finally sputtered to a stop, going over what he had said a few times before she was confident she had gleaned what he was trying to convey.

She pinched the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger and sighed through her nostrils. The first question was simple, and the answer to it wasn't complicated by any means. But there was not an ounce of forgiveness in Moritz. He didn't just accept things. She could see the potential of unleashing a barrage of more questions from the one year old, who never seemed to miss an opportunity to deconstruct to figure out 'why'. And that was not what this conversation was about.

"Friend isn't the word I would use for the ghost's, Moritz. And they live with us because they are useful but unpredictable and I need to put them somewhere I can keep an eye on them", she concluded, her tone clipping at the end as she shut that conversation down.

"Sweetheart, you're frustrating me. I wouldn't be a good Okomo because an Okomo is an animal, not a skill. I can't learn to be taller, or learn to grow hooves. But you will be a good Spiritist because I will teach you to be. Not having 'natural talent' is an excuse for the lazy and the timid."

She got up off her knees, brushing leftover talc from off her skirt and bending back her heel to stretch out her calves. She could feel her patience, which she had always considered herself excelling in, starting to wear thin. This was the shoe talk, and the fighting talk, all over again. She wanted to rattle him, tell him that that some things were just the way they are. That there were unwritten rules in this world that you had to at least pretend to follow to get anything accomplished. That standing like a rock in the flow would just wear him away.

"I, as a teacher, am also teaching spiritism to an entire class of dedicated, hard working people who want to learn the craft. People who do not have a single drop of Craven blood between them. And when I'm done they will go on and do their own thing. They are not family. It is important to be a Craven because a Craven is a family, and we are building something together. It's a matter of pride. We want our children, and grandchildren to be better than us, to grow the family in new, amazing ways."

There were many weapons on the wall. Some she recognized, some she didn't. Some were wooden replicas and some she was surprised to see were real bladed weapons, all be it with their edges sanded down to be toothless. Still they didn't look safe. She crossed the room and lifted some strange hooked sword from its perch, testing its weight. It felt solid and real under her hands. It wouldn't take much for something like that to break her fragile bones. She put it back down and lifted a rubber-tipped fencing sword from what looked like an umbrella stand crammed with similar slightly dented weapons.

"As for what spiritism means...Spiritism in a magic. A Spiritist is someone who specializes in that magic", she clarified as she took up a stance she remembered from Dex and poked at the air. "When you are a Spiritist you know how to interact with the dead in many different ways... And you can make a career of that, if you want to get paid for it."

The sword made satisfying swishing noises as she jabbed artlessly, her body turned completely to the side as Chiona had taught her to use her cane sword. She had thought addressing the less loaded question would cool her blood a bit, but she could feel that frustration building. That boy, always digging his heels in. Making her work for every inch of ground. Why Craven? Why Spiritism? Why can't he run around without his shoes? Why should he care what people think? Why, why why? She felt like she was one bad decision away from the boy deciding he was an Okomo, kelvic be damned.

She just wanted to be a good mother, and a good Craven. Why was doing both together so hard!

"But you will never be a Shinya, because a Shinya serves Lhavit!" she finally snapped, her patience breaking with her voice that echoed like the crack of a whip in the empty room. "Stop this. This city is not your home, and Zintila is not your god. We will serve our family, as is our duty, and be proud of it. Then, one day I will take you back to where we belong, to Alvadas, and..."

The point of the sword lowered and she sucked in a deep, cleansing breath.

"I'm sorry, Moritz", the was regret in her voice as she dropped the blade where it was and came back to him, her palms open and out in an unconscious act of contrition. "I didn't mean to get angry, you're just asking questions..." She knelt on the mat with her back straight and proper, her legs folded neatly beneath her. Proper and contained and bottled once again. "Yes, you're unique. Very, very unique. You will do unique things that nobody has ever done before. There will be many paths open to you as a member of this family." She opened her arms, inviting him in to a rare hug. "We'll figure it out, okay?"
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Moritz Craven on June 5th, 2020, 11:01 am

As his mother spoke, Moritz noted a fact. The more he talked, the more he asked questions, the more emotional his mother seemed to get. At least, as best he could tell. He was not always so good with faces and things, much better with body motions and expressions. Anger seemed a bit more clear, and so was easier to detect.

It was also the one he felt the most from her before she snapped. Like last time when she began to yell and he retracted within himself in response at the school. But in that case his response had been different because the situation was different.

Then she was attacking him with words, and he could not attack back. Now she was attacking his words with her words, and as he knew fighting was not the same as hurting. As with his lesson in combat today.

It was interesting though to know the ghosts he had heard his mother call friends she did not think of as friends. So then she had been lying to the ghosts? Or something like that...

His mother seemed to argue some point about the Craven, but it did not in Moritz mind address his earlier question. If anyone could learn something, would that not give the chance to find someone even better to teach? If one limited oneself to just family, that seemed to be quite self limiting in ones choices. If one wanted breakfast, would they limit themselves to only plants grown and harvested on their own land? Or would they eat whatever was best from wherever it came from?

He did not think his mother was ready for this argument though. But he did not agree with her statement of why family was important. It did not address his core question. Just like a farmer only eating their own lands food.

And then she said the word. Pride. He vaguely knew what that was. But he did not seem to agree with the importance she placed on it. But then, he realized, perhaps that was because she was a non-form changer like him. Okomo lived in a herd of sorts, a family beyond blood. They worked together for the common end. Whereas these... People... Worked for their own spawn and their good. A key difference in importance there. One Moritz did not understand, but which his mother seemed to live by.

Rather than pressing on this, he raised a different question which seemed more likely to be answered in the moment. "Be Spirit-cist, magic. What magic?"

As his mother broke again, Moritz pondered her words. She did not want him to be a Shinya, not for other reasons, but because... It meant serving the city. Lhavit. Not the family. This, perhaps, was the truth at last. She was focused on him, and not the herd. Did not care what happened to the herd, only her own little bit of it. Her family. But he was not going to react like last time, even as his mother began to awkwardly hug him and he hugged in response by turning to face her and letting his arms hand awkwardly at his sides as he pressed against her. She seemed to want or need the contact, and so he gave it without understanding.

"What Valdas? And why only serve city, or fam-lee. Why not both? What is way, not do both?"

At her comment on Okomos Moritz simply smiled, turning his face up to her. "Mommy... Moritz always Okomo. Like this..." Here Moritz motioned with his hands at himself, "Still Okomo. Be Okomo, not body. Be Okomo, is being... Be. Not change. Okomo know Okomo, not matter body. Is not only thing, when doing things of that thing. Is who is. Yes Okomo climb, and things, but be Okomo is not body. Is who be. Always."

This was something Moritz understood, even if his mother did not. It was how he knew how to communicate to a degree even in his limited non-Okomo form with other Okomo. It guided how he acted and spoke in this form. And it was why the other Okomo saw and knew him even in this form and knew him to be one of them. Being an Okomo was not about horns and hooves, it was a state of being, a way of being, his persona and existence. Something as small as being smaller and without hooves would not change that.
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Moritz Craven
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Madeira Craven on June 9th, 2020, 9:36 pm

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Madeira let the boy go and sat back on her heels with a sigh.

"What is magic? Well... there is this power, this very pure energy, called djed. It exists in everything, but it exists in its very strongest form as a person's soul. Magic is what you call the many different ways a person can use the incredible power of their djed, or the djed around them, to effect changes to the world around them."

She spoke without inflection, and without the energy she usually had for the very wild concept of magic. She felt drained after her outburst, like she was the one who had spent a bell swinging fists.

"Alvadas is the city I was born in, the one where the Craven line started. It's a beautiful place. I'll take you there, someday. It's ruled by a god, like Lhavit is, but its god is called Ionu, and they are much more powerful. They are the god of illusion and trickery, and the city is... Well, after being raised there, every place I have lived after feels lifeless by comparison", she admitted with a pained smile. "It is possible to serve your family and your city at the same time, but only to a point. Sometimes a situation will come up where you have to choose what is best for your family, or what is best for your city. That's where you will have to figure out which one you are most loyal to."

Then the boy smiled, and Madeira was immediately taken aback. Moritz' face was always scrunched up in a serious little frown. To see that little turn of his lips struck something deep in her.

Why couldn't you be human? The guilty question that had haunted her since she first saw him open his eyes clawed its way forward as he spoke happily about how he was an Okomo. She knew a kelvic was an animal who could be human, rather than an human who could be animal. She learned that from every bestial kelvic she had ever met: from Phira the stalking jungle cat, to Jomi the aggressive badger, to his own father, who was mad and wild with not a shred of human in his soul. She had given birth to an Okomo, not a human child. Yet she had always hoped, with gentle pressure and persistence, she could somehow sift through his wildness and be left with what she wanted him to be, rather than what he was. Like she could rewrite the accident of his birth.

But that would never happen. He was an Okomo, as he was so fond of reminding everyone. She was raising beasts, and she would be cursed to go through life never understanding her own children, and them never understanding her. She met his smile with a sad one of her own.

"I know, baby. And I love you."
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Madeira Craven
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A Walk to War[Madeira Craven]

Postby Moritz Craven on June 9th, 2020, 10:55 pm

When it came to knowledge, Mortiz was insatiable. One question led to another, and another and onward. Partly because so few answers felt complete, and partly because... Well he just wanted to know and understand things.

He had heard of magic in passing, but did not quite understand what it was. And so any new information was useful to that end.

A power, a pure... Energy... Like when he got tired, or hungry, but the opposite. Energy. And she called it dead. Like a ghost? A ghost was dead. And it was in everything, but stronger in... A sole?

"Dead strong in... Shoes? Why magic in bottom boot? And why only magic in dead. Like ghosts? Thought die, mean not have nergy. Dead in..."

Once more Moritz puzzled, feeling he was missing or not understanding something from her explanation. Then an odd sense. Suddenly horrified Moritz stared down at the shoes his mother wore.

"You make ghost into shoe! You make me wear ghost for mmm-gic!"

His mother was killing ghosts, and turning them into magic shoes, which let her use... Different powers? She had said the power, energy, was strong in shoes, or their soles at least. So that was why she wanted him to wear shoes! Magic shoes that let her change things, or the dead, about her. She was using her own shoes, and others... Or to affect her shoes and other things... The more Moritz tried to understand, the less it made sense.

Clearly this was quite distressing. But then, she had said the ghosts were not really her friends...

Alvadas was like Lhavit, a city, but not like Lhaviit. Another place, outside of this place.

Not ruled over by Zintila, but by another... Ionu. Illusion and trickery... A trick was a lie, of a sort, though a playful one. So this was a... Playful liar god?

Here his mothers focus on her own family was clear. Even if it was to the detriment of the city, if it was good for the family... But then, was it not better to make things better for both, and to then help both? Why would his family be opposed to the city, and therefore helping one would be to hurt the other?
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