Closed Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

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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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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 5th, 2020, 4:09 am

5th of Summer, 520 A.V.


Marino stood on the deck of his casinor, the Seasilk, looking out over Swing beach. Still undressed from his swim, he simply reveled in the breeze and sunshine for a tick while he got his head right. It had been four days since he’d last seen Twist. That coupled with the fact that most of his pod had moved back to the open sea troubled him greatly. He found himself worry about them a lot, even though they promised to keep in touch with the Avikki. So until his tavan showed up again, or he received word from his family, he tried keeping as busy as he could. Which wasn’t hard.

Syka had plenty of work to go around for those willing to find it, and Marino still had so much to learn. When he wasn’t transporting people around Syka, he could usually be caught trying to make himself more self sufficient than he was. Today that amounted to swimming around and splashing his net around in the water. He’d learned last season how to properly throw the thing, but that had yet to amount to him catching anything.

Leaning against the railing, Marino sighed. He supposed it was time for him to get dressed and see if anyone needed a ride. Still, he wasn’t quite dry yet so he could go without a little long while he brought the Seasilk up onto the dock. That brought a fresh grin on and after pulling up the anchor, he went about setting the sails. Not planning on going very far, he worked only with one sail. He didn’t bother with keeping it taut or drawing the foot all the way out. Instead, he let what little wind there was catch the half furled sail, and gently bring him in towards the dock. Then, as he neared he put down the sail, drifting in the rest of the way before he dumped his anchor. Hopping off the side of the Seasilk, he tied it off before boarding again.

With that done, he quickly went below deck to throw on a pair of white isuas breeches and a white isuas shirt. Then, second guessing the arrangement, exchanged the shirt for a crimson scarf with little copper bells sewn throughout. Now that he was properly attired, he went out on to his deck to wait for a passenger, or barring that, something fun to get into. He wasn’t very enthused with the idea of just sitting around waiting so he took his half spear onto the deck with him. It felt awkward in his grasp as he held it gingerly in his left hand. A number of people had recommended that he got acquainted with a weapon, but staring at it now, he wasn’t sure if that was a today thing. After briefly trying to grip it like an eating knife, he promptly dropped it, then sheepishly picked it up and put it away. That could wait till he found someone to show him at least some of the basics.

Picking up his fishing net that he’d left port side of the bow, he decided to give it a toss while casually looking up the dock to see if anyone was coming.
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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Onaona on June 7th, 2020, 5:18 am

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There was something special about Syka, Onaona had decided. She had been prowling the edges of the new settlement for only a few days, but she could feel something strange in the waters that caressed its shore. It was a feeling right on the edge of divine. Young reef and strange old half-buried stone mingling in calm blue, a vibrant beach scene half a kilometer away from some mysterious, dark shape in the deep waters, the heavy, pregnant summer. She liked it here. She liked the dichotomy, the energy, the industry. As an Otani, Ona was controlled by a will outside of her own; but if she could choose, she would choose Syka.

Onaona had spent her morning picking her way down the Sykan shore, skimming over the sandy bottom of her new home, familiarizing herself. She was lugging her small sack of treasures carefully in her skinny arms, having yet to find a safe place to store them. The shore was scattered with a handful of people, all of wildly different races, going about their business in that slow way that seemed unique to the jungle climates. She supposed she must be close to the center of this new city she was sent to watch. She passed a thatch of trees overhanging the water, their smooth branches hung with long ropes that led to wicker baskets or simple planks of wood. Swings, she remembered they were called.

She was considering climbing them, just to see if she could, when a familiar sensation prickled at her senses.

She broke the surface, turned towards the source of that feeling and craning to get a better look. Her legs beneath the waves fused together until they could beat the water as a thick tail-like appendage that could lift her chest from the water. In the distance she could see a sleek casinor skimming the waves, one sail unfurled as it pulled into the wooden dock she had met Chaliva on.

But that wasn't the important part. The important part was throwing a small anchor overboard and hopping naked onto the dock. From this distance she couldn't see it, but she could feel the Oceanus brewing on his skin. Human, she supposed. Tanned and bleached and windswept. Pretty. Male. Her Father's son.

Swings forgotten, she turned towards the dock.

The man threw a net over the side of the ship as she approached. He had dressed himself while she swam, and his bottom half and his neck now obscured. Little bells tinkled prettily when he shifted his shoulders. He had his back to her, facing towards the dock like he was waiting for someone. Ona swam around his net and kicked hard for the surface, seizing the rail of his ship in one hand. With the other she managed to push her sack over the top. The bag hit the scrubbed deck with a metallic jangle as she hauled herself up to rest her elbows on the rail, the rest of her body draped over the side of the ship.

"A sailor?" she laughed by way of greeting. She spoke in Fratava, her pupil less eyes wide with staged wonder. "No, a Svefra. Do you know the difference?" Her accent was completely Svefran in that tongue, down to the long vowels and unique inflection. But there was something just a little bit off about it as well. It was the accent of the Svefra from several hundred years ago, the ones who first taught her the language. "One lives for the sea. The other loves it. Do you know the difference between an Otani and a drop of water?"

She looked up at him, her head cocked and face clear and open, completely expecting this stranger to join her game.
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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Tazrae on June 7th, 2020, 4:33 pm

The Previous Evening


Tazrae carried the four traps with somewhat of a difficulty. They weren't heavy, being woven of wood and wire, but they were bulky and awkward. Two were vaguely rectangular with dome-shaped tops, and two were large circles. She carried them over her back, causing her to stoop forward slightly. She had her backpack of survival gear with her. Uta had told her not to travel without it, and she was armed with a hatchet and machete. A mesh sack held what looked like the remains of fish heads and fish bodies - their spines and fins - as if someone had eaten the fish or filleted them out and this was the discards.

An awkward dog with huge feet bounced at her side. It sniffed everywhere, padding back and forth first in front of her than behind her. Even though it was incredibly young and bumbling, it was still protective and watchful. It kept a nose on the ground and yet its eyes on her. White with a riot of black splashes and marks across it, the little male wagged its tail and seemed to be enjoying the trip as much as the young woman was.

The pair headed out towards the end of the dock, leaving the cobbled pathway, cutting through the swing beach, and moving until her booted feet struck wooden planks instead of sand. Then, way out at the end of the dock, she stopped... put down her smelly burden and unslung the traps. The puppy immediately investigated, while the young Innkeeper laughed. She scolded him only once when he tried to chew at one of the hoops that made up the lobster trap.

Tazrae carefully baited them, dividing the fish heads and body remains between each trap, and then slung them over the side of the dock. Having already been scolded to leave the fish remains alone, the awkward dog had no interest in them. Instead, he ranged up and down the dock, smelling at each cleat and barking at a few gulls that sailed out over the water. Both types of traps had long ropes attached to them which she held onto then anchored to some of the cleats that were added to the end of the dock just for that purpose.

Tazrae settled at the end of the dock and the huge pup came to lean against her. She quietly lifted her voice in song... as if to honor Laviku.

"The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.

The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.

The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves."


When her song was finished, Tazrae stood up. Pulling something else from her pocket, a baked scone loaded with papaya, she held up the scone and smiled out across the sea. "Thank you, Laviku, for allowing your bounty to be shared by those who dwell by you as well as those that dwell within your realm. If you see fit, may my traps be full when I return." She said thoughtfully then wound back her arm and pitched the scone out into the water. She hoped the God liked scones. Or at least she hoped whatever sea creature got ahold of it appreciated it. They were her favorite. And while flour and sugar weren't exactly scarce, they easily could be any moment since they depended upon The Veronica to get brought from Riverfall.

Once the traps were set, she turned and headed back the way she had come in... confident no one would mess with them until the morning when she had a chance to check them.


The Current Morning


The next morning - though not too early as it had been a late night and Tazrae wanted the traps to soak - she returned to the main dock. She wasn't surprised to see The Seasilk tied up. The Veronica was missing, which meant James was off to Riverfall or some other location on one of his supply runs. The girl was wearing a loose skirt of iasus with her usual bikini beneath it. Her hair was a wild riot of curls that she hadn't bothered to try to tame that morning. The pup was with her, having needed the walk to burn off some of his young energy. She had her backpack with her today again, though it was far lighter than it had been. And instead of boots, she wore sandals. She noticed Marino and the stranger immediately... and did a double take. The stranger looked like no one she'd ever seen.. And she paused before heading out onto the dock.

Creature had no such misgivings. The Imperial Watcher pup bounded up to the pair, yipped happily, and circled them a moment before he lapped at the strange woman's vaguely human legs with his broad tongue as if helping himself to a drink of water. He sat down then - their energy never lasted long - and waited for Tazrae to join them.

"Good Morning." She managed, as she walked up and offered the pair a smile. The young Innkeeper tried not to stare, but she'd never seen anything like the woman standing with Marino, so she quietly gave herself extra credit on politeness that her eyes ended up somewhere in the vacinity of her sandal laces which suddenly bloomed an interest of hers. She knelt and retied them as if it were the most important thing at that moment, giving herself extra time to adjust.

"I just came to check the traps I put out last night. I don't mean to interrupt." She said, nodding vaguely as she rose, her chin tipping towards the cleats at the end of the dock that had ropes tied off to them but no ships. "I'm Tazrae." She said, introducing herself, then glanced down at the dog and back up at the pair. "That's Creature. I'm sorry he licked you. He licks everything." She admitted, thinking dogs were hard creatures to understand at the best of times.

"It's a beautiful morning, but I suspect its going to get very hot very fast today." She added, again awarding herself an odd extra point in her mind for making small talk to a woman that didn't look human... at all. Marino didn't seem phased, so she took her clues from him and tried to remain calm and not ask a million questions that were on the tip of her tongue.

Who was she? What was she? Was any of this real? Tazrae looked back and forth between the Svefra and Otani and waited quietly. In the mean time, Creature had lost interest in the new humans - none of them had sticks after all - and was already heading off towards the end of the docks to sniff at the cleats that held Tazrae's ropes.

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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 7th, 2020, 10:57 pm

Marino turned, hearing the clink behind him and promptly dropped his net back into the water as he suddenly noticed the Otani. With his now empty hands he touched the mark that was flowing down the left side of his chest. The waves pulsed around his fingers as they slowly continued their way down, seeking the least covered parts of his body. His heart quickened its pace as he felt a brief twinge of excitement.

When she spoke, he smiled and his features shifted from stunned to intrigued. “For the sailor, it is a lifestyle. For the Svefra, there is nothing else.” He moved closer and rested against the railing on his forearms. Considering her choice of words, he decided to try and see if the two related. “A drop of water is a part of the sea, and an Otani is the sea?” Marino said, still grinning as he picked his way around the words, while his gestured at the expanse of sea at their doorstep.

This must be a very fortunate day for me having met you so early in it. My name is Marino of the Oceangems. By what name would you like to be called?” Marino said, focused on her when suddenly a puppy bounded over. He leaned towards the pup and tried giving at a little scratch when he heard a familiar voice. A slight blush bloomed on his tanned features as he stood up and went to greet Tazrae.

Good morning to you as well” He said cheerily while he waited for her to finish with her shoes, glancing from her to the Otani. As far as days went, this one was off to a fine start in his book. “I was wondering what those ropes were for. I hope you have had better luck than I’ve had with my net.” He chuckled as he went to give Tazrae a hug. Then as he studied her face more, and she introduced herself, he glanced back towards Creature.

I see you’ve brought a friend too. He is beautiful.” Watching the creature strut about was rather amusing as the Otani introduced herself to Tazrae. Something about the way Tazrae was speaking finally clicked with him and it occurred to him that his guest might be a contributing factor. “Have you ever met an Otani before?” Marino ventured looking from Tazrae back to Onaona. “I haven’t known her for long, but she has been quite a pleasant guest so far.
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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Onaona on June 9th, 2020, 12:58 am

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The Otani hummed delightedly at the Svefra's answer to her riddle. She didn't speak, or even smile, but never the less the sound expressed itself as a kind of wordless show of approval. And just like that she decided she liked this Svefra. They would be good friends.

"Marino of the Oceangems", she parroted back to him as he introduced himself, copying his inflection. "Oceangems. The Ocean's gems. Precious. Unique. My precious Gem", she laughed. "I am Onaona!"

The dog that suddenly appeared was a surprise. No, not a dog. Baby dog. Puppy? She yelped as the little beast leaned over the water and licked her from where she hung off the side of the ship. She tried to wriggle out of reach as the little beast cavorted around them. All the while Marino, obviously charmed, rose from where he was leaning on the ships railing with her and stooped over to give the puppy a scratch on top of its big square head.

"Good Morning."

Ona's eyes snapped up to the source of the delicate, feminine voice. A woman was walking down the dock towards them who seemed to need to be keenly aware of what her feet were doing as she did. Her eyes roamed from her laces to the sky to the ropes tied at the end of the dock as she spoke. Meanwhile Ona was staring at her with unblinking focus and in unnerving silence, even as Marino rose to greet her. Though she did not miss the way the boy's body changed colour as he did.

Tazrae. Taz-rae. The Otani took her in from the top of her head to her sandaled feet. And she took a special interest in her wild mop of curly hair, her hand reaching up to pet her own head as if to compare the two. The woman had ocean eyes and her skin was a colour she recognized but couldn't name; somewhere between the sands on an Eyktol beach and the round coins one could find at the bottom of the Suvan. Her body held itself in a completely different way than Marino's, though she couldn't quite articulate how.

"Sorry he licked you. He licks everything."

Ona perked up, startled. Should she try that? Tazrae's tentative attempt at small talk fell completely flat as the monster grappled with that intriguing idea instead.

Marino was looking back and forth between the two woman before something seemed to click in his mind. “Have you ever met an Otani before?”, he ventured to Tazrae. Ona's attention slid back into the conversation at that. How could he tell? The woman didn't say so aloud. Pulling up her legs, she swung around and fumbled to plant her feet on the dock before she was able to stand.

"They call us monsters and mouldings", she explained rather succinctly and in flawless common as she straightened and approached the two humans. Here her accent was on a walking tour of while might have been the whole of Mizahar. "We are Laviku's. His eyes and ears and his most loyal servants. I am Onaona, an Otani."

Taking her cue from Marino on how to interact with this woman, her entire body bloomed into the dark, dusty pink of his blush. And once she was within arm's reach of the two, she immediately opened her arms, wrapped them around the woman and squeezed. She had never tried to hug someone before, and she was surprised to find the new sensation to be delightful. Tazrae was warm and solid, and her body made wonderful sounds she wouldn't have been able to hear without being crushed against her. There was a drumbeat in the hollow of her chest and a rush of wind in her throat. She could even hear a low, almost tectonic grinding of her bones rubbing together.

Ona's body, on the other hand, was cold and slick and boneless. When she pulled away Tazrae's entire front was completely drenched.

"Do you love your Sea Father?" she asked jubilantly as she finally let Tazrae go. Her colour had changed during the hug, the rosiness fading into the pale golden hue of Tazrae's skin. It was clear in the surety of her voice and the expectant look on her face that there was definitely a right answer to this question.

"Come! I am taking Oceangem to explore this Syka", she announced, whirling away. "I am old and these waters are new. There is so much to see! Our Father has sent me to watch Syka, but I cannot watch if I cant see. Come! I will find pretty shells and bones for you, and tell you where the water in our ocean came from", her voice dropped to a seductive purr as she tried to entice her.

"Marino!", now she turned on the Svefra, eyes alight as she worked herself up to excitement. "Come! We will find which way the life blood of this land flows. And discover all the ways Laviku has blessed this shore!"

The puppy was at the end of the dock, sniffing curiously at the ends of the rope that were tied to the cleats. Ona suddenly slowed her frantic pace and stopped to bend as Marino had, attempting to rub the top of Creature's head. "He has been quite a pleasant guest", she quipped pleasantly, smiling down at him.
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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Tazrae on June 13th, 2020, 4:45 pm

Tazrae stared at both of them, mouth agape a bit before she remembered herself and smiled. She nodded to Marino’s words but actually missed what he said exactly. She was too busy trying really hard not to stare at the glistening watery woman. Marino’s hug snapped her out of her stupor and she remembered to breath and came back to herself. His warm scent filled her nose for a moment as his heat warmed her even more before he stepped back. She returned his hug in kind, glad he always smelled of the sea and that somewhat exotic smoke he often partook of.

“Thank you. James brought him for me from a breeder in Riverfall. I’ve been calling him Creature, but I’m open to a better name. I think he might get huge judging from the size of him now.” She added, then while everyone’s attention was on the puppy took a few moments to get a really good and close look at the strange creature with them. She was lovely, in an almost crystalline aquatic way, though her nature didn’t seem to hinder her ability to move about or make facial expressions. “No…. No I haven’t. Is that what you are? I thought Otani were… legends.” She said thoughtfully. “There are a few songs about your people in Riverfall.” She was polite enough to not speak outright that Otani were often depicted as tricksters and creatures that played pranks on sailors. She knew they were often blamed for misfortunes at sea as well.

Tazrae was fascinated by Ona’s seemingly inexhaustible attention to detail. The Otani’s attention ricocheted around the scene in a manner that told the Innkeeper the creature missed very little and was somehow very intelligent. Where was her brain though? Tazrae could see through the clear creature’s head and certainly there was nothing in it. Was this magic then? She’d heard of magic, but had never seen any for herself.

Mouldlings! Ahhh… creatures of magic then. “It is very nice to meet you… Onaona. That is a pretty name. It rolls off the tongue very pleasantly.” Tazrae said without thought. Since moving to Syka, she’d rarely prescreened her words like she had in Riverfall before her mother and her new stepfather. “We had a pycon stay with us once. He was a very small man made of clay. He called himself a mouldling to. Your crystaline form is much more beautiful than his clay one was. Are there other mouldings of other things?” She asked, wondering if a man or woman of leaves would someday appear. And there’d always been stories of giants… men made of stone that were simply asleep and not the mountains everyone saw them as.

The Otani colorchanged and it was that color change that lead her to notice Marino’s own blush. This garnered a caramel eyebrow lift from Tazrae as she decided not to comment on the whole thing.

Tazrae tilted her head in thought and gasped as the mouldling came in for a hug as well. She returned it automagically, her eyes wide with surprise and her face laced with delight. “You feel like the sea!” She said enthusiastically… “And smell like the salt water and wild things that live there.” She added somewhat sheepishly, as if this should not be any surprise.

“I didn’t know Laviku well before I cam here. But how can one not love The Sea after all it gives us here. And its whisper at night? The waves caressing the shore? It soothes me to sleep like nothing I’ve ever experienced. You are lucky in who your father is.” Tazrae told Ona as she gently reached forward and touched her shoulder in a friendly squeeze. “Mine was a good man too. “ She added, offering the mouldling a smile.

Ona announced she was taking Marino to explore Syka and was promptly invited to join them. “I’d love too.. and if you tell stories, I’ll tell a few myself in exchange.” She added, glancing at the cleats that held her traps. “I set out crab and lobster traps last night. Will they be okay soaking all day if I pick them up when we return?” She asked no one in particular. She was not very good at hunting or fishing, but Juli who had sold her the traps said that a baited trap minded itself and no hunting was needed. “If they are full when we get back, perhaps you’ll let me make you both something to eat.” She added, wondering if Onaona actually ate things? Or did her magical nature just suck up magic wherever she went.

Tazrae had a million questions, but withheld all of them but the suggestion. If Marino and Ona nodded in response to her making sure her traps would be fine soaking all day, she would definitely be game to go. She did take a moment to ring out the wet skirt from Ona’s embrace, but only smiled because she truly didn’t mind it being wet. The bikini top would dry on its own, and truth be told it was something she hadn’t needed to wear at all except her own modesty required it. Her abundant wild curls fell down her shoulders and concealed anything that might have been inappropriate in another city anyhow. She was lacking her hat, but that hardly mattered now that Syka’s sun had darkened her skin to an antique well-patinaed gold. The tan had only made her eyes bluer, brighter, and today they were alight with curiosity and the newly found sense of adventure.

“Do you think we could go north? I’ve never been to the Swine Swells… is that what they call it? The beach with the pigs? And I’ve seen nothing from the Commons to the north. And there’s a playground somewhere… with swings like this beach has… and other things from another time. There’s so much in Syka I haven’t seen yet. Where did you guys want to go?” She asked, shouldering her backpack that was never far away and falling into step with them.

Creature flopped down at Ona’s feet when the woman bent to pet him. Tazrae laughed. “He wants you to rub his belly.” She explained, and wondered if she shouldn’t put the pup on a leash. The dog twisted to the right, hung out his tongue, then twisted to the left, as if to lure the Ona in for a belly scratch… all upside down on his back. Tazrae could do nothing but laugh as she followed Marino off the dock towards the beach commons.

“What are your favorite parts of the Settlement so far?” She asked them both, whistling to Creature to come follow them after Ona either did or didn’t scratch his belly and get his whole underside wet. She moved out easily, her stride long and sure. Tazrae felt that every day her confidence in herself grew here, where there was no one but herself to look after herself. She liked that about Syka. Here she wasn’t a caged bird, but one that could fly free and go off with two new friends to explore the world around them.

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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 13th, 2020, 11:06 pm

Marino had a brief moment to look stunned at the way the otani changed her speech before bursting with laughter. “I like that Onaona.” He said, wiping away some moisture from the corner of his eyes. His laughter became deeper, and louder as Onaona attempted to avoid the little creature’s attentions.

The moment brightened even more with the arrival of Tazrae. It felt good to hold her again, even if only briefly before they parted. Her graceful form had a pleasant firmness to it that he suspected was due to her work on the Inn. Searching her eyes, he took a step back from her warm embrace and listened to what she had to say about Creature.

Grinning at the name, he turned his attention towards the playful pup. “I think that is a cute name for now. In time, who knows what kind of name he’ll stumble into.” He said as he thought about going to it where it loitered at the end of the docks, but the conversation at hand was far too interesting. Marino had never heard an otani explain their relationship to Laviku before.

His eyes flicked between them as their conversation continued. Then Onaona changed the color of her whole body, and Marino cocked his head, giving Tazrae a perplexed glance. It clicked a few ticks later when she shifted colors again, and he remembered his flush of excitement. That knowledge brought a deeper shade of crimson to his cheeks as it dawned on him, though he did not dwell on it. He took joy instead in the fact that Tazrae and Onaona were getting along well.

Of course!” He said after Onaona, his voice light and happy. Then he turned to Tazrae, considering her question for a tick. “I think they will be fine, I haven’t seen anything today that might try to get into them.” He imagined they were probably hard to crack into for a predator anyways, and that wasn’t much of a worry with the tide as it was. “I can help you prepare whatever you catch. Or at least try.” He laughed as he added that last part. Cleaning food wasn’t something he’d ever done before, but he fancied himself to be a fast learner. Maybe over eager was a better word for it, though he’d never let that get in the way of learning something.

At the suggestion of going north, Marino nodded and stepped off onto the dock. “I’m fine with going north. I’d like to see more of the innards of Syka.” He said as they joined Onaona on the end of the dock. The pup seemed on par with the energy level of the Otani, and was playfully coaxing pets. Not for the last time that day, he wondered if he should seek out a pet of his own. Preferably something that would get along well with the tavan though would remain with him when Twist went to visit his family.

There are so many lovely spots off the coast, but if I had to choose it would be where your Inn is. You picked out a great place for it.” Marino said as they walked off the dock, heading roughly north where he knew their were some bungalows. He’d been off just off the coast of the inn a number of times now, enjoying the water and watching the tides. There also seemed to be plenty of fish around which was nice when he felt so inclined. “Have you been to the bungalows yet? I think we can start there if you are so inclined.” He asked, glancing at both of them.
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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Onaona on June 18th, 2020, 11:11 pm

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Onaona contemplated the Creature at her feet before leaning down to pet it as Tazrae had explained it wanted. She rubbed its belly awkwardly with the palm of her hand, only to laugh as this simple action sent the puppy into paroxysm of wiggly delight.

"Creature is a good name", she said out of the blue, calling up a comment from Tazrae that the flow of conversation had definitely left behind. She was often called creature too, though the term was somewhat less affectionate. "Nenabase would also be a good name. It means fresh start or new beginnings", she cocked her head. "At least it did."

Ona only remembered around fifty words of the ancient tongue, and even those she had incredible trouble stringing together anymore. The mages and scholars she used to talk to had died out decades ago. She didn't know anyone else who spoke the language.

Once the puppy was done with his soggy belly scratch both he and Ona perked up at Tazrae's whistle. Creature rolled immediately to his feet and dashed after his master, and Onaona followed at a slower pace. Both Tazrae and Marino were heading down to the beach with the intention to go north. This suited the Otani just fine. She caught up to the group as they walked up the beach.

"My favorite parts don't have names", the Otani answered Tazrae's question as she came padding up behind. "Or maybe they do", she corrected as she reconsidered. "Tazrae is my favorite part. Marino is my favorite part. Pretty, blue-eyed James played his guitar on the docks, and that was my favorite part too." She skipped ahead and snagged a bleached white branch from the sand, admiring the way the ocean had carved it before looking back at Tazrae. "You have an Inn? What's it like to live there?"

The divided attention was a mistake. Creature saw her pick up the stick and had suddenly decided he would rather have it instead. A brief but furious struggle ensued, puppy at one end, Otani on the other, until Creature wrenched it away and took off down the beach. Ona chased after him, showing off her impressive vocabulary by gleefully cussing him out in Fratava.

"Oi, quite the mouth on that one! Who taught you those words, pest?" a laugh could be heard further down the beach as the trio came to the jutting point at the northern end of the protected cove. Two figures were sitting side by side in the sands, a fishing line in each of their hands. One was a brightly smiling Svefra barely into his thirties, the other was a mixed breed human who could have been ten, twenty or thirty years older, lined and dignified and waving welcomingly.

Pleased that the younger blonde had noticed, Ona turned her attention to him. "Piss up a rope! Your cock is as limp and your sails." Both men had a linger of the divine about them, and in wildly different intensities, but the Svefra had the only kind she cared about. She watched his Oceanus mark move slowly across his sternum.

Sticking their poles upright in the sands, both figures rose. The younger man was laughing so hard he seemed to be having trouble straightening up. The older man, exasperated but faintly amused, was the first to speak, addressing the two human's behind the Otani.

"Tazrae, Marino, hello again. Forgive my friend, he's a good fishing companion if you can get past his uniquely terrible sense of humour. Have you met? This is Shoal Wavecrest, he does ship repairs."

The older man was Mathias Okavis, and it was his camp they had stumbled upon, though the Otani recognized neither him nor his plot of land. Ona breezed by him, showing clear preference for the Laviku-marked of the two.

"Do you love your sea father?" she asked brightly, putting a hand boldly on his chest and appreciating the burn of his sun-warmed skin beneath his gnosis.

"More than anything", Shoal assured her, grinning. He reached past her to offer his calloused hand to the two humans. "Do you two make a habit of going around teaching monsters how to swear?"
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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Tazrae on June 24th, 2020, 4:02 am

She was a lovely creature. Onaona was just flat out beautiful and talented. Tazrae didn’t even mind that she wasn’t human. She liked the differences and to her it kept things interesting. She could shapeshift, color change, and she was a good ventriloquist evidently. Almost without thinking, Tazrae muttered… “I bet you are an amazing storyteller with your talents.” Then she smiled at the new girl, gave Marino a grin, and took a moment to give Creature a good scratch. The dog was indeed wet.

The Innkeeper smiled at the term Nenabase. “What a great idea for a name. If I hadn’t picked a name after a flower, I might be tempted to name my Inn that.” Tazrae said, liking the way the term sounded, though she felt it was somewhat feminine – perhaps too feminine for the dog.

“Great. I’ll let the traps soak longer then. I was hoping for lobster and crab.” She said, glancing at the end of the dock and the cleats the traps were tied off on. With that decision made, she set off with the others, her new pup at her heels. Tazrae was pretty sure after just a few short chimes, maybe even a bell, she’d end up packing the dog because while he was huge, he was incredibly lazy and his strength came and went in fits and starts.

“Thank you. It was Randal’s suggestion. I’m glad he showed me the vacant land. There is so much open space here… anyone can build just about anything and there’d still be jungle and wide-open beach.” She added, then glanced at Ona.

“I’ve walked through the Bungalows, but I’ve never seen inside of one. Have you, Onaona?” Tazrae asked curiously. “Nor have I seen the Overwater Ranchos. I think if I had to pick, I’d live over the sea. How soothing is that? And the breezes you get to take advantage of…” She rumbled on, not sure if any of what she said was really all that important.

Taz had no idea what favorite parts the Otani was talking about. She waited for her to elaborate then smiled when Ona started naming people. “I see what you mean… and I can’t disagree. The people are great. I’ve heard James play. He can melt your heart with his guitar.” Taz added, smiling gently. The Captain had played almost nightly on the sea crossing from Riverfall. It was something she’d not forget for a long time.

“My Inn is the same, day in and day out, but different people occupy it. That’s the part that changes. I like the strange dichotomy to it…. the sameness and the difference all at the same time.” Tazrae added then looked thoughtful. “I bet Marino has a similar experience. But opposite. The Svefra move so much… the bones are always different but the people tend to be the same.” Funny, Tazrae thought…. How much that completely was opposite of her experience.

Taz had a good laugh over the tug-o-war and then ceased completely understanding Onaona when she switched to Fratava. The Innkeeper broke into a trot and tried to keep the Otani in sight, calling to her puppy when he got too far ahead.

Then ran into Mathias and Shoal, of which Tazrae had met Mathias but not Shoal before. She was about to wish them a good day when Onaona spouted off vulgarity that turned Tazrae bright red. She tried to cover her embarrassment by bending down and calling the dog to her… she spent a few moments petting him while the Otani talked to the two men. She straightened only when she’d recovered from her shock over Ona’s mouth.

Otani seemed fascinated by Shoal and started talking to him about Laviku. So it was to Mathias that Tazrae smiled and greeted. “Sorry to interrupt your fishing. I just met Onaona. We were just taking a walk up the beach.” Sure, the walk would take her right by the new Inn, which she was counting on, so she could drop Creature off. The dog was already showing signs of an imminent nap. He’d yawned, twice, and Tazrae could imagine him dropping down at one of their feet and beginning to snore immediately. The dog acted like it had an on-off switch. If you fed him, he played and played then suddenly dropped off to sleep.

Tazrae stooped down, picked up the pup, and balanced him on her shoulder like an infant. She patted the pup that was already yawning. Then she took Shoal’s hand and offered him a smile in return. “I don’t even know some of the words she seems too.” She added in her own defense, then smiled at Onaona.

“I don’t think she needs much teaching. She looks like she already knows a great deal.” Taz said. “I’m Tazrae. I own the Inn just up the beach from here. We were all just taking a walk to go explore Syka more. Any suggestions for things to see? I’ve got to drop this little one off at my place before we actually get to serious exploring. He’s tired out from his earlier walk.” The Innkeeper said, then glanced at the Otani.

“Is she really a monster? She seems really nice… and she can twist her shape around in all kinds of interesting ways. Her hugs are definitely wet though.” Taz said, laughing slightly.

“What were you guys catching? Anything good?” She asked, glancing at Marino to see what he thought of it all. “I have some lobster and crab traps soaking off the end of the dock. I’m hoping for enough to make a big bisque for dinner tonight.” She added with a grin, glancing at Ona. She wondered suddenly what the Otani ate.

“Ona, do you do meals like lunch and dinner?” The Innkeeper asked, curious at the diet the pretty monster enjoyed. “I was thinking of making a bisque… a type of soup… for dinner.” She explained, nodding her chin back in the direction of the docks. “Hence the traps” Taz said then politely waited for Marino and Onaona to have their conversations with Mathias and Shoal. She hoped Onana wouldn’t share any more of her colorful vocabulary with the group.

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Freedom under the sun (Tazrae, Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 24th, 2020, 10:40 pm

Nenabase. It was a pretty name. Like his Seasilk. He could imagine a vessel bearing that name from ages past. Perhaps crewed by some ancient Svefra that talked the way Onaona spoke Fratava. He wondered if the word came from them, or if it was something different. Looking at Creature, he wondered what the pup thought about all this talk of names. If he recognized his own yet. Twist had taken forever to come around to his name, and then for the first few days after that, the dolphin couldn’t get enough of hearing it. Oh how silly that tavan could be.

I hope your traps prove bountiful then. I haven’t given traps myself a try, but there are many things on the sea floor I like to get a close look at.” Marino said before starting their mini journey. The pup, for his efforts seemed to be enjoying all of the attention as it loped along. “I do like how open everything is. I enjoy taking the Seasilk around like I was out to see, though you are right about Svefra Tazrae. All kinds of places the world over, but you run into the same sorts of people. Except for sometimes the people are different in a good way.” Marino replied looking over at her with a smile as Onaona came alongside them. He enjoyed the brief banter between them before the epic struggle for the stick. He laughed and went briefly red at the string of words from the Otani’s mouth. Looking at Tazrae, he was slightly thankful she didn’t speak the trade language.

Watching the pup run off with the stick though was nothing short of hilarious as Onaona ran after it. The dog was obviously enjoying the stick a lot more with her chasing him and didn’t look the least inclined to give it up. It was an all around interesting interaction to view. Then up ahead, something seemed to turn her attention away from the stick in the form of two men stand along the shore.

Marino walked a little fast to keep her in sight and ran into the familiar faces of Mathias and Shoal, whom Marino greeted with a differential nod. “Don’t look at me, her Fratava is older than I am.” He said, holding his hands up in mock supplication. Marino held that pose for a tick before he looked at Onaona and laughed.

A bisque of lobster sound nice” Marino said when a chance for him to speak came in, and then he turned to Shoal to speak in Fratava. “Haven’t dropped any rocks into the water lately.” He said with a grin, and Shoal chuckled. “Good, now you can stop embarrassing me with that net of yours.” To be fair, he hadn’t been practicing with the fishing net as much as he would have liked, but at least he wasn’t just dropping it into the water thanks to Shoal. “Perhaps tonight, I might broach some business with you while showing you that I can catch a few fish.” Then Marino settled into listening carefully to the rest of the conversation looking sidelong at Creature before they moved on towards the Bungalows. It was an interesting meeting of words all of them here together.
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