In Irons (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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In Irons (Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 19th, 2020, 5:38 am

Marino had the presence of mind to look slightly embarrassed at Onaona’s comment, but he shrugged it off. He really didn’t care for this Indigo’s demeanor. “I would prefer it that way, though I must say, Lars is a little partial to me keeping my clothes on.” Marino chuckled, though his levity quickly disappeared when he looked at Indigo. She was too serious for him he decided as he jogged off towards the Seasilk. It didn’t sit right with him leaving Onaona with the strange woman, and he wondered if he should have asked her to come with him. While he didn’t exactly fear for the otani, he worried nonetheless about other less threatening things. Like would they get along, or would Indigo understand what she was. He chased away that doubt by redoubling his efforts to make all speed for the Sawmill.

When he got to the path, he thought the worst when Onaona came darting past towards the sea. Chewing his lip, he decided he was going to ask the Otani about that later. The search at the Sawmill turned out to be a resounding success, he found what looked to be a stone base to a totem amongst the Ashta’s troughs, and promptly stuffed it into his backpack. He decided to keep it back for now, an reveal it to the otani when they had a quiet moment together. Not they had much of a chance for one, as Indigo pushed on hastily for the next spot. At least this one seemed to be a place that Onaona would be comfortable with. It had given him a bit of a heart ache to see the normally so effusive otani sitting thoughtful in the shade of his ship. He wondered if something had happened between them in his absence. After seeing the way Indigo looked at Onaona, it wasn’t hard to suspect such a thing.

Fortunately, Onaona seemed to cheer up when it came time to search the river. For his part, he searched amongst the thick foliage that grew along the banks and got lucky when they were a good ways down the side of the river. He almost missed it, as the black paws were great camouflage nestled amongst the greenery. Then he reached out to touch something solid, digging it free. It looked to be a set of large cat legs and holding it up he confirmed that there had indeed been something in this area. For all that Indigo still didn’t crack a smile, but that was alright with him. Onaona’s praise had him beaming.

He was about to try thinking of some witty wordplay when Indigo spoke and stole his wind. Deflated, he ground his molars together for a moment before giving Indigo a long look. “I’m starting to think that you think of smiles like I think of clothing.” Indigo stared at him right back, her face not twitching a muscle. Marino was the first to flinch, laughing nervously as he looked to Onaona. Then Indigo turned and started walking along the river. Torn, Marino faced the otani. Taking off his pack he quickly dug out the stone base and went down to hold it out for her. “I was going to show you later, but I found another piece at the mill. I don’t have room for them both in my pack so I’d like you to take it.” He was smiling brightly at the otani as he held both of the pieces in his hands. “I think it will be safer in your hands anyways, I don’t know where I’m going and I might drop it.” Then, after he decided whether he was leaving one of the pieces with the otani or not, he started jogging down to bank towards Indigo who for all of her coldness, hadn’t made it very far.
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In Irons (Onaona)

Postby Onaona on June 23rd, 2020, 11:28 pm

Image
Onaona zeroed in on Marino and the totem in his hands. He was leaning out over the river to reach her perch on the lodged driftwood, and she reach towards the shore to meet him halfway. She had never up to that point even seen what they were supposed to be looking for. Her entire body shivered with curiosity.

"It'll keep it safe for you", she promised, sounding as grave as if he had unwisely given his child up to her care.

The thought of taking the totem for herself flashed briefly through her mind, but the image was shaken off like an irksome fly. The rewards of such a theft wouldn't compare to the rewards of returning it. Maybe Marino would smile for her when she pressed it back into his hands. Maybe he would pet her head like Creature's, maybe he would let her shake his hand.

Once it was in her hands she turned it in her hands, studying it. It was some kind of heavy black stone that sunk deep into her palms. It depicted the lower half of some great pawed jungle creature. Such a bizarre thing, to be causing such a bizarre fuss.

Indigo was already walking away. Ona didn't watch her go. She only had eyes for the Svefra as she lifted her head and her lips split into a wide grin. She tucked the totem under her arm and slithered back into the water. Then with little skill but much enthusiasm she surfaced to sing an old Fratava song:

"A life on the ocean wave
A-home on the rolling deep

Where the scattered waters rave
And the winds their revels keep

Like an eagle caged I pine
On this dull, unchanging shore

Oh give me the flashing brine
The spray and the tempest's roar!"

The song continued, the words getting hazier and more muffled as the thick jungle air and lush forest wicked away the sound. The Otani continued to sing as she returned to the sea, the pawed totem held tight to her breast.
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In Irons (Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 24th, 2020, 3:26 pm

It warmed him to see Onaona’s reaction to the totem. If only to see that look on her face, he knew he’d been right to trust her with it. There was a moment when it looked like it might be too heavy for her but she was stronger than he gave her credit for. Suppose he should have expected that, given the power behind her very nature. He parted from Onaona with a wave, and a promise to see her again soon before he rejoined Indigo up the river.

The journey was much less lively from there as they ventured deep into the jungle. While they searched the banks for any further totems, Indigo was sure to point out any rough spots he should avoid. He tried to be diligent as well with stepping where she did but it was hard to balance that with searching at the same time.

When they found nothing else up the river for thirty chimes, Marino suggested they go back, and Indigo didn’t argue. Perhaps she was as eager to get rid of him as he was of her. Their moods were at odds to each other it seemed, and that made it hard for him to come up with any conversation to pass the time with. The result was a rather slog of a journey back down the river in an uneasy balance of conversation. Mostly her continuing to point out where to step while he nodded silently along.

It was late in the afternoon when they finally made it back to his ship. To his surprise she joined him aboard. When he gave her a curious look, she just shrugged. “I’ve got another place I’d like to search, and you’re a ferry man right?” Marino nodded slowly. “Suppose I am. Back the way we came?” Indigo nodded.

Quietly, Marino got them back out on the water and headed back to the dock. With the sun going down, he made sure to keep well from the shore as he steered them around the Swells and Sharktooth point. The rest of the way was more or less a straight shot that allowed him to work the sails as much as he wanted to. Which was good because the wind was fickle at the moment, and constantly had him either tightening the foot of his sails, or loosening it to catch the occasional moderate breeze across the water. It was good though. The work. It allowed him to take his mind off of things and simply focus on the roll of the water beneath them. Indigo spent much of her time lurking around the bow of the ship so he didn’t pay her much mind until they started getting near the dock.

Take us by the Tidepool bar” Indigo spoke, interrupting the stillness in the air. Marino nodded, and after a subtle shift of the steering wheel. It was only a few chimes more to drift down that way anyways and then he hopped down to pull them astride the beach.

To the bar then?” Marino asked as he pulled the casinor with Indigo the rest of the way. “For a start” She said as she started walking towards to location. With a sigh, Marino joined her. He started his search at the where it extended from the beach while Indigo went on ahead to speak with Stu and the few patrons currently at the bar. Now that the sun had properly set, their were lanterns glowing from hangers offering an enchanting view of the sea below. Marino waded into the water a little and began his search.

When he didn’t find anything after a while, Indigo returned, also empty handed save for a small wooden mug. She extended it out to him, and cautiously he peered inside before downing a drink. It was distinctly fruity, though there was definitely still some bite to it. Marino drained the concoction and handed it back to her. “Thanks” He said after a tick. “Perks of searching a bar. Come on, I’ve got another few places we can search.” She said setting the cup on the wooden piling walking down the beach towards the cobbled pathway.

Marino dutifully followed after waving at Stu. As they came upon the pathway, Indigo began to search about. He was at first confused by this, then it occurred to him that he’d never thought to check it for himself. While she combed one side, he did the other trying to look for anything out of place when they came to a branch in the path, and Indigo stopped.

Our next destination” She said, pointing towards the sign with a fish painted across it. Marino followed her down the branching trail without complaint. After all, he’d followed her this far, and they did find those two totems not so long ago. “Have you been to the Estuary yet?” Indigo asked after a few chimes of walking. Marino looked up at her. “No, haven’t had the pleasure.” She looked thoughtful for a moment, and then nodded to herself about something. “I’m surprised, definitely seems like your kind of place.” He threw her a confused glance. “What’s that mean?” “You’ll see” She said simply before increasing her stride to take the lead.
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In Irons (Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 26th, 2020, 10:12 pm

Indigo lead them down into a cave that glowed a faint light blue from below. Marino’s mouth dropped open as he saw the shapes moving beneath the water. Slowly he realized what they were. A variety of fish swam in the depths of this pool. “The algae is what gives it a glow at night.” Indigo said after he’d been staring into the pool for a chime, and Marino looked up at the reflection of the glow upon the ceiling of the cave. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many fish in one place outside of a reef.” Marino mused, walking slowly along the bank. “Its beautiful.” He noticed the stone fire pit and figured that apparently this spot had been used frequently. It made sense, it was a rather nice view at night. He wouldn’t have minded spending some idle time here if his company had been different than Indigo.

The woman was kneeling now at the pool’s edge. “Here a freshwater stream meets the sea. Fish from both worlds come here feed and raise their young.” Marino nodded at that, probing along the outer wall. He hadn’t forgotten their purpose here, and was keen to finish the search as the night stretched on. This place though was something he would remember to show Tazrae sometime. As he looked along the wall he caught something glinting in the pool out of the corner of his eye. Going to the edge to investigate he thought he was staring at a very still fish when he realized it had no head or tail. Slowly he reached into the water and pulled the object out. It was heavy, covered in an array of realistic scales. The slots at the top and bottom confirmed it to be another totem piece. He held up the totem to Indigo. “Found another one.

Let’s head back then and take it to the commons.” She said after getting a good look at the totem. “Looks like another piece of this fish.” Indigo added before leaving the cave. Marino nodded, and followed her. Collectively they had found so many pieces that he was inclined to think that they might actually finish these totems. Which was rather exciting when he considered the possibilities. For the few chimes it took them to reach the cobblestone path again they walked in silence. Then they came across the sign to the Tar pits and Marino had an idea. “Would you mind taking this back for me while I continue the search. I’ve got a couple of places I’d like to check while I’m down this way.

Indigo stared at him for a moment before she slowly nodded, taking the fish torso from him. “Careful not to stray too close to the pool. You might get sucked in.” Then she started taking the path back while Marino went down the trail to the tar pits. He didn’t know what to make of her warning, though he decided she wasn’t the type to run a joke. He’d never seen a tar pit before so he was surprised when he saw that it looked like a regular pool under the moonlight. Against the black backdrop of the rock face behind it, the pool looked almost inviting if it wasn’t for the name and Indigo’s warning. Marino heeded her advice though, probing slowly along the edge of the pool to see if anything had been hidden in the vicinity. When a particularly large bubble broke the surface of the pool, Marino supposed the warning was correct and starting searching farther from the pool just to be safe.

When he was done with the search there he retraced his steps to find the main trail from before. Indigo was waiting there for him, which to be fair at this point, hadn’t really surprised him. “I think Uta’s place has had some luck. Perhaps we will as well.” She said without any mention of why she’d come back, or was continuing to stick with him so far. Marino just shrugged and followed her as she lead a familiar way down the trail that he had passed before. Perhaps the strange woman thought him to be an expert with these totems having found a decent amount of them so far. That was the only reasoning that made sense to him because it seemed obvious to him that there was a clash where their personalities were concerned.

Marino wasn’t going to fight it, whatever the motivation was, but after this he would have to insist on taking an extended break from the search. His feet were numb, and he was feeling very tired after the long search today. Right now he was inclined to get a good meal in him before heading to bed, though since they were going to Uta’s he expected that would be more than a bell off from now. Oh well, maybe they would find something that would make the journey worthwhile. He kept telling himself that as they made their way down the long meandering path that took them to Uta’s place. When they arrived he didn’t see Uta though that wasn’t so expected. The night was still young so likely she was using the briefest respite from the summer heat to get some stuff done. Indigo went on further down while Marino started he search on the edge of the structure, looking down at the stream below occasionally.
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In Irons (Onaona)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 27th, 2020, 3:34 pm

After several chimes, they decided they weren’t going to find anything here that hadn’t been found already. Marino was throughly tired from the days journey, and Indigo seemed ready to turn it in as well. They spent the rest of their journey in silence. Which wasn’t as comfortable as it had been for him initially. It was almost companionable as they had found three totems together. It felt like a day well spent and reaching the end of the path, he turned to her. “Good night, Indigo.

Goodnight” She said as she studied him for a moment before she turned to start walking towards the commons. Marino however was bound for the Seasilk and the bed that waited for him within. He could feel his eyes already starting to drift close as he plodded his way across the beach. Perhaps he really shouldn’t be this tired from walking, though in this heat, could he really blame himself. Maybe he should try running along the beach some so all this walking wasn’t so taxing. There would be plenty of walking to do when next he ventured into the jungle with Uta, so it might be good to prepare somewhat.

Those thoughts could wait however he considered as he climbed aboard the Seasilk and went down below deck. He sat on the edge of his bed for the chime it took him to strip off his clothes before stretching out across it. The relief was immediate as his muscles along his legs and lower back got the chance to relax. Rolling over onto his side he stared sideways at the wall of his casinor. Tomorrow would be another day of searching. With any luck his body wouldn’t be so sore come the morning. Gradually, he closed his eyes and drifted to sleep.
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