Completed Newcomer Barbeques Her Reputation V.1

A housewarming BBQ turns Svefran on Sym

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

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Newcomer Barbeques Her Reputation V.1

Postby Selene Curare on May 5th, 2020, 1:06 am

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Evening, Spring 61rst 520 A.V.


OOC: Ardein and Pinn Oceangem can be found here:

The bungalows were arranged in a stumbling two rows so that each had some unobstructed view of the ocean, but without the carefully measured spacing as she had seen in Lhavit. It was a natural sprawl, created by the allowances of the land and reminded Selene of the similar sprawl of Kalinor whose shape was dictated by the formation of the rocks.

The bungalow, my bungalow, made from the plots shorea trees and still surrounded by those that had not been felled, was heavily shaded compared to its sibling constructions butting directly up against the beach. Set slightly back into the tree-line the home, like all the bungalow, still had a sweeping view of the ocean but felt more like a nook-and-cranny addition. It had been occupied by a settler before Selene that had returned to Riverfall after only a season, but leaving the home with a heavily incensed smell. Fresh wood easily picks up and holds scents, she’d had explained to her when she’d agreed to rent the home. It was why no one else had wanted it, but Selene didn’t mind.

Having spent the day under Syna’s scalding glare her skin had turned red before becoming a single swelling aching blister, and self-preservation had her requesting the most shaded plot available. The intimate structure was tucked onto the end of the bungalow row, with a path running up from the beach to the area cleared in front of the deck. The shorea and undergrowth had been thinned allowing for an obstructed view of the ocean while maintaining a green veil of privacy. Sand had been brought up from the beach and covered a conservatively wide area, at the center of which was a stone circled firepit. A few meters away were several wide shallow steps leading to a deck, built around a single especially large tree. From two of its lowest branches hung one egg-shaped woven swing chair and one wooden bench. Several more steps led an individual from the deck to the main living area. A low railing wrapped around three lengths with thicker support beams in the center of each length. A rod runs each length and from it hangs thick fabric that can be pulled across each length to keep out the rain during the rainy season.

The main living area was occupied by roughly hewn bare necessities, with none of the femininity, softness or colour to which Selene was accustomed. There was a long straight-backed bench with arm rests nearest the deck, facing three other chairs. Each chair was constructed with necessity and not aesthetics in mind. One was a woven wicker armless perch, another a pock marked rocking chair needing re-staining, and the last a wooden chair so heavy and wide a Dhani coul curl its entire serpentine body upon. Across from the living room was a table Selene had taken a fancy to. The circular table was a pale ash grey with spiraling legs set sprawling outwards from the center and was accompanied by, with good fortune, two matching chairs.

Selene, with great effort, was pulling the furniture out of the house and dragging it towards the fire pit to provide more seating for the Sykans she hoped would be gathering for the barbeque soon. She held the sides of the wicker dragging its back legs down the decks stairs as she backed each piece of furniture into place. The last piece was the exceedingly heavy wooden arm chair. Bracing her heel against the railing she rested her back against its and pushed. It didn’t move, didn’t budge, didn’t even creak. Groaning quietly, Selene stared at the chair for several moments, Maybe best to leave some furniture in the bungalow…easier clean up, she rationalized, excusing herself from the labor.

Not familiar with the non-Sym disdain for Symenestran meals Selene had planned to share a family recipe with the Sykan community, having not been allowed in the kitchens on the voyage she hadn’t had the chance to cook for her seafaring friends and was only too glad to share her history. I only wish it had more time to cook… Selene fretted as she gathered the materials on two tables she had brought onto the deck. It always tastes better if the lumps have time to break down, she thought, not a pulp or lump loving Symenestra, it was better when the stew was a single uniform consistency.

The table was a coloured cornucopia of delight, as food was plentiful in Syka and Selene had no trouble purchasing a variety of fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes, Ibika (lettuce), Suyo Long (hairy cucumber – have to scrub the hair off first), Sweet corn, Eggplants, Peppers, Chillies, garlic chives, and some little orange sweet potatoes. Not understanding the Sykan culture of helping oneself to food that would otherwise go to waste Selene hadn’t asked the hunters hacking up a boar to share in the bounty. Perhaps it’s wise on a first introduction to be wary of reminders of my inheritance, she decided, erring cautiously on over-accommodating diplomacy with the potentially resistant populace. Especially given the resistance she had met when attempting to rent the bungalow earlier that day.

She had invited the Svefra that had brought her to Syka to the evening as she had promised several times on the voyage, but more than a thank you it was a chance to spend time with people who were now firm friends. It had also presented itself at The Tidepool Bar as an opportunity to extend a hand to the locals and hope that the Svefran presence would put them at ease.

Squatting over the fireplace, Selene arranged a handful of small and assorted wood. Not knowing what would provide good starter, and with most of the plants heavy with moisture, Selene had resorted to randomly selecting a variety of sample materials to figure out which would catch the easiest. Having lit many fires in the dankness of the caves she wasn’t intimated by the moisture but rather by the unfamiliarity of the materials. She had assembled peeled bark, wood washed up on the beach, a variety of grasses, bamboo and moss. Using what appeared to be the driest material, the beach wood, Selene thwacked the flint and steel together over the material. Nothing happened. She thwacked them together again, screwing her nose up and her brows down. In the dryness of the caves in Kalea it was relatively easy to get a flint and steel sparking, but it appeared she had lost the knack. What the petch…I should at least be getting a spark, she complained, trying a few more times before giving up. Little did she realize that the humidity of the jungle would make a flint and steel fire making technique very difficult.

Flipping the bamboo shafts in her fingers she pondered, I could slip over and see if a neighbor is around and ask for some assistance... but she already resented the idea of needing help making a simple fire. As she flipped the bamboo she heard a vague sloshing noise coming from the inside. Stopping, she peered at the bamboo and flipped it slowly.

Word count: 1,192

Purchases:
Vegetables (assorted) = 5gm
Bowl, 5" / 8 oz x10 = 10cm
Cup, 8 oz x10 = 50cm
Spoons x10 = 10cm
Large cooking pot; 2 gallon = 5sm
“We Aren’t in Riverfall Anymore” Cask = 5gm (?)

Last edited by Selene Curare on May 30th, 2020, 5:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Selene Curare
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Newcomer Barbeques Her Reputation

Postby Selene Curare on May 17th, 2020, 9:20 pm

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Slosh. Water sloshed from inside the bamboo.

Oh…it’s hollow… she grinned with the realization and grabbing her eating knife she placed the tip against the bamboo and began working it in circle, watching slivers of bamboo fall away. As she did, she noticed the waxy outer covering fall away leaving a dry cytoskeleton like substance, just as POP! she felt the knife leap forward into the open center. Shaking and flipping the bamboo she poured most of the water out. And she was victorious! she bellowed proudly in her head as she stuffed the core with moss. Flipping the hole away from her she straddled a large piece of drift wood and began to rub the hole of the bamboo as vigorously against the wood as possible. I feel completely ridiculous sitting here in the dirt riding a tree... she thought as memories of her father lighting the family hearth bullied their way into the forefront of her mind. He was a perfect regal figure, incapable of awkwardness or fault in her childhood memories and she couldn’t help but feel inadequate as she struggled through lighting the fire with only the friction of her heaving body. Pulling the bamboo off the drift wood she held it close to her mouth and blew gently and was relieved to see a few faint wisps of smoke and the faint orange glow of fire’s birth.

It took almost a bell before Selene had a healthy fire puttering away in the pit and was able to heave the large pot of water onto the grated top of the fire pit. Salted and settled to sit until it boiled Selene moved to the matter of cutting the vegetables. Dicing them in all in large blocks and placing them in a large wooden bowl she tossed the whole assortment, with a variety of hot spices, before adding them to the now boiling pot to cook. Assembling wooden bowls, cups, and utensils on the table for the invitees to use, Selene next busied herself with opening a small cask of “We Aren’t in Riverfall Anymore” purchased from The Tidepool Bar.

Sniffing it, she wrinkled her nose and critiqued I don’t see the appeal, but the Svefra always say, “It’s not a party until the boos have arrived!” so here goes to lifting spirits and making friends. She thought bumping the cask with her mug, cheersing the inanimate object. If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to resort to drawing a face on you and having conversations. she mocked herself, rising as the first Svefra began to appear in the clearing.

“Seal!” They cried, waving back jubilantly. Pelly, the wild haired Svefra in the lead with her five month old son strapped to her back, led the pack. Approaching six feet they towered over Selene and made the clearing and deck feel much smaller and crowded. Selene hugged the Svefra each in turn as they entered, several bringing spears skewered with fish.

“I thought I said I was going to cook this time, you’ve brought enough to feed a pod!” She exclaimed, gesturing at the bubbling soup pot.

“Yeehhh…we could smell dah ting from dah beach.” Pinn complained waving his hand before his nose, “T’was thoughtful Seal, but…yah can’t rea-“ He choked on his words when Ardein jabbed him in the ribs.

“Can’t really ‘spect us tah show up empty-handed!” Ardein reasoned, but Selene caught his dubious glance at the frothing substance in the pot.

“Oh, just you wait and see.” Selene reassured confidently as the Svefra dispersed, some already indulging in some early wine. Stirring the pot with the long wooden ladle Pinn came to her side peering with a raised eyebrow. The young man was a stunning seabird of a Svefran specimen; Fair blond locks, a spattering of dark freckles on his tanned skin and the Laviku granted bottomless blue eyes had made him the artifact of many an adoring gaze, not that he seemed to mind.

“I din’t mean tah offend…just...is dah supposed tah ‘ave daht slime?” He poked a finger at the gelatinous cover that was forming. Having used some of the local alternatives to certain ingredients Selene hadn’t anticipated or been cognizant of the different characteristics.

“Uhm…yes, of course, that’s just the vegetables breaking down.” She lied, stirring to hide her uncertainty. By the time she looked up to see if she had convinced him he had already vanished to grab a glass of wine. Selene removed the pot, placing it on the deck beside the table with the cutlery and dishware.

Well, at least the alcohol is going over well. I do hope some locals join us though.

Seemingly at her request another shadow had entered the pathway and Selene look up to watch some settlers cautiously approaching the rowdy Svefran group. As she moved to greet the group a loud CRACK bruised eardrums. Selene jumped away from the firepit as shards of bamboo flew across the clearing and ricocheted off furniture.

A moment of silence followed as Selene stared at the fire in confusion. Do the plants explode here?

“D’well sumone f’got tah drill dah bamboo,” Ardein admonished deadpan, making several of the Svefra chuckle. “Dun worry, I’ happens. Next time, drill a hole in dah bamboo so eh can’t explode.”

Word count: 879

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Selene Curare
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Newcomer Barbeques Her Reputation

Postby Selene Curare on May 22nd, 2020, 12:03 am

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“Oh no! Did I miss the fireworks?” Stu exclaimed, entering the clearing with bottles of alcohol in both hands, behind him streamed a line of other Sykans he’d inspired to attend the party. His long hair was draped over his shoulders and his long beard was held in a clasp from which feathers were dangling. He had applied a sort of glitter to his hair and beard that reflected the light of the flames.

“Ho!” The Svefra cheered.

“HO!” He cheered back louder, and the Skyans behind him poured into the clearing. He carried the party on his back and soon the bungalow was filled with frolicking Sykans and Svefra. Selene nodded gratefully at the bartender and he smiled in return. A blend of blondes and brunettes became a crowd in the small cleared area surrounding the bungalow and Selene moved through them listening into conversations for an appropriate one to integrate herself into.

“-water was beautiful this-“

“-heard. A terrible shame, but she was get-“

“-Puppy?”

“-terrible smell? Does she,” Selene stopped, listening into the conversation without turning to face the speaker, “expect us to eat that? I’m glad the Oceangems brought some fish…I’m not so sure I can stomach whatever that soup is.” Sounds like a bratty child – you come to a dinner party you don’t insult the hostess Selene moved to the next group, glancing over her shoulder to see the speaker but she was blocked by the broad shoulders of an unrecognizable tanned man with braided hair.

People had begun gathering bowls to sample the soup while others only gave it a raised eyebrow before burying the ends of the spears of fish into the sand to hold it over the fire for cooking. Saliva gathered in Selene’s mouth as she held a wooden bowl to her lips and curiously sipped the soup. Ouch! she yelped, almost dropping the bowl from the heat. This time she blowed, casting a glance around the party as she sipped. The soup was fruity and sweet, but relatively bland and flavourless. Well…it’s not all that bad She thought before seeing people setting hardly touched bowls on flat surfaces or attempting to subtly empty their bowls onto the grass.

Fortunately, to distract from the unappetizing meal people had begun to gather around the fire crouching on sand, grass or having brought the furniture closer to the fire and perching themselves on edges of it. No one had introduced themselves to Selene, and Selene hadn’t broached any of them. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and the party but no one wants to get to know me Selene pouted wretchedly. Hovering on the outskirts of the group she listened in.

“Well folks, everyone knows my penchant for terrifying tales but tonight seems an even better night. With no moon to disturb us with its light, what better a night for some shivers and goosebumps?” The man cackled, his long black hair set in tight braids down his back. Everyone seemed to know his identity so he didn’t bother to introduce himself. Selene grumped silently to herself for the blatant rudeness.

“A little boy loitered on the sand, drawing in the wet sand with the end of the stick. His parents were always busy working – there were trees to fell and animals to hunt – and he spent much of his time alone. The boy had begged for a dog for forever. He wanted a friend, a buddy to hold all of his secrets. But his parents wouldn’t give him one, they thought he was too quiet and should be spending time with others his age.” The audience cooed sympathetically in response, some of them reaching out and wrapping an arm around a nearby friend and squeezing.

“But one night, a storm kicked up. A storm that threatened to pull the roof from the house, drown the house in its fury, or flatten it with a fallen tree. He was terrified and hoped his parents would come home soon. Something shuffled and banged at the door, a hairy creatures toe digging at the bottom of the door. The boy screamed and hid under the beds covers. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the door. The creature keened and whined banging louder at the door and the boy pulled the covers over his eyes as the door knob began to wiggle and jerk.” Selene watched a few people gulp and draw closer to the fire and away from the darkness. Selene glanced into the darkness nervously, but her eyes were well adapted to the darkness and what was a mysterious shroud of black was clear shallow water that only slightly blurred the image to Selene.

“The noise stopped and the boy thought that the creature must have left. As he slowly pulled the blanket free of his face a long wet paw reached into the covers grazing his leg. The boy screamed and leapt away, falling in a tangled lump of blankets and flesh. A wet tongue and teeth found his leg and the boy wailed with terror.” Drawn into the story, Selene joined the audience’s gasp.

Word count: 852

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Selene Curare
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Newcomer Barbeques Her Reputation

Postby Selene Curare on May 22nd, 2020, 12:04 am

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“It was a dog. A soaked wet mutt licking his leg.” The tension was broken for everyone but Selene. Dogs didn’t inspire the same obvious harmlessness that they did to the humans, for her they were predators only slightly less terrifying than cats.

“The boys terrified squeals turned into squeals of glee and he got up to close the door that was letting the wind and rain in and fed the dog with the leftovers his parents had cooked for dinner before going out to help secure others homes for the pending storm. Soon the dog was dry, cuddling up in the boys lap before a fire in the heath and both were a snoozing lump. Several bells passed before the boy woke up again.” He went to sleep with a dog? That can’t end well…why was he so happy? The plot of the story was lost on Selene, she used the time to look around her at the audience members. I wonder if I’ll ever fit in here or will every story be lost on me, Selene wondered gazing at the bobbing field of heads.

““Puppy?” He asked sleepily, his arm itched. He scratched at it halfheartedly. Then his side itched, so he scratched that. Then his chest itched and he scratched that. Slowly, the itching drove him from sleep and he couldn’t stop scratching. Waking up, he realized he was no longer cuddled up with the dog. Instead the little mutt was standing against the wall staring at him. The dog barked. He barked again.

The boy looked down and saw a swathe of red and green striped insects covering his body. The Red Biting Beetles had fastened firmly to his whole body. Clawing frantically, the boy ran around the house sobbing and scratching at himself. When he realized that wasn’t working he tried to use the furniture to rub them off. The dog barked frantically, running about his feet and whining. The boy tripped over the dog several times hurting his knees on the floor.

Nothing worked. Nothing. And the itching was unbearable.

The boy had to do something. He couldn’t take the itching and seeing the horrible creatures all over him.

It was a few bells before his parents forced the door open, disrobing their soaked layers, and laughing with relief. It was the mother first, her laughter turned to screams. The parents clung to each other, staring at the hearth.

Perched in front of it, was their son. Sitting in a circle of blood, half his body naked of skin, his masticators, biceps, and stomach muscles all exposed. The skin lay strewn in pieces about the floor and a black mutt chewed on a nose or an ear nearby. Red and green beetles clung to scattered skin and along the skinned parts of the boy.

“Mom…Dad…” The boy whimpered, before slumping dead against the carpet. The dog got up, walked over and started licking the seeping wound that was the entire side of the boys head.

So next time you get a little itch. Next time you reach down to scratch. Can you be sure you won’t find a Red Biting Beetle?” He finished, the fire making his eyes disappear into the shadow ridges of his eyebrows and his nose splitting his face in two.

“And on that note, I think we oughta try for something a little less scary and a little more merry,” A cheeky chestnut of a woman bounced up. Clothed in translucent red drapery she wiggled her hips making several Sykans and Svefrans pick up instruments. Music toppled out, each instrument at a time picking up on the melody of another. Drums boomed, a guitar trilled and a pan flute flickered at the tips of the music. Stu’s voice rumbled in the background, a quiet “Mmm” and “Ohhh”, that slowly became words. As he sang, a quiet rumbling sound smooth as whisky and with as much zest as his Sykan Sunrise, the woman danced.

Word count: 663

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Selene Curare
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Posts: 69
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Joined roleplay: April 30th, 2020, 12:05 am
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