Getting Acquainted (Robert)

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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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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 20th, 2020, 4:52 am

Marino cocked his head, frowning slightly. “Okomo milk? Please tell me that’s not some type of cat.” He shuddered, wondering what strange people were these mountain folk that they put milk in tea. Almost as if to wash the imaginary taste from his mouth, he took a pull from his waterskin. When the conversation changed to something he was familiar with, he put back on his easy grin.

Its amazing to have nothing but the sea all around you, with only the stars to guide you. To tangle with the rouge waves, and leap down into water that is flush with life. There is nothing else like it to live on the sea.” He said wistfully, and then looking at Robert, he decided to make a suggestion. “If you want, I can take you out swimming some time. It truly is a treat, especially in this heat.” He discussed that with Robert for a time, before he decided the respite was over.

Oh how he wished it wasn’t though as the isuas grove was far from pleasant to search in his current state of dress. It made him itchy when any part of the plant rubbed against his bare skin. He supposed it could all be in his head, but it felt like a bug crawling up his flesh. It wasn’t long into their search before he decided it was time to make a hasty conclusion. Unfortunately, his conclusion wound up being an impasse when they ran into a knot of bamboo that blocked their way. It was then that he had time to think about how he certainly should have brought his equipment with him, though there was no use fretting about it now. “Yeah, I’m not quite dressed for traipsing through the jungle anyways.” Marino said slowly backing out the way they had come.

It didn’t take long to follow the path back to the commons, and as they neared, Marino got an idea. “Would you mind starting the search without me, I’ll just be a few chimes. I think over there by those water barrels will be a good start.” Marino would say, gesturing towards the community water storage were Syka kept its potable water supplies. Then, if Robert agreed, Marino would jog off towards the Seasilk. Well it was less of a jog and more of a fast walk, but Marino was still getting used to moving his body quickly on land. Once aboard his Casinor, he went down below to where he kept his equipment and started getting dressed for the next stage of their trip. If they were going to go up the other path, which is what it looked like, he wanted to be dressed the part. Uta lived down that way, and she’d probably scowl at him for forgetting his kit. Well, not scowl, but she certainly wouldn’t be happy.

As quickly as he could manage, he threw on a pair of white breeches and a white long sleeved shirt. Then on his feet he strapped on his black boots with the copper clasp. On came the belt after that with its little pouch, and then it came time for him to put on his packs. First came the backpack, with a hand axe strapped to outside of it. Thankfully its insides were already neatly arranged to Uta’s specifications and he could feel confident in the supplies he carried. Next came on the rucksack, and a waterskin was looped over one shoulder. Finally, he grabbed his bowie knife, and strapped that to the pack as well. With all that done, he was as ready as he’d get, and he started heading to the spot he pointed out to Robert.

Of course he felt a little overdressed for the occasion, they were just searching after all, but he distinctly remembered, Uta drilling into the importance of always having your pack on hand. Even outside the jungle, and after that storm, he really couldn’t disagree. The clothes were a bit irritating though as it was quite hot. Considering that, he rolled up his sleeves, exposing the gnosis that had started to climb down to the back of his hand.

Find anything?” He asked Robert as he came upon the man searching the barrels. “I was thinking we might go by the Panacea now, and follow the path on down like we discussed earlier. After that it might be time to call it a day. I feel like we’ve walked the breathe of Syka, even though I know it wasn’t even half.” He laughed, and would lead the way if Robert agreed to his proposal. At the Panacea he didn’t quite know where to start as he didn’t want to disturb the order of the place. All of the stuff here was meant to take care of the residents of Syka and he certainly didn’t want to disrupt that so he tried looking for anything that might have been moved out of place. Of course, he didn’t know how to go about that so he did the next best thing. He got down on the floor and started looking under everything to see if a totem had been stowed away. Of course, given the size of the totem’s they had found so far this seemed rather foolish in retrospect but still, he felt it necessary not to disturb the order of the place.

Well I’m not convinced we will find anything here, how about you Robert?” He thought on to where the path led ahead and decided they could go down a ways to feel things out. “Lets hit up the where we clean the fish which shouldn’t take longer than a chime, and then head on down to the path to see where it leads.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 21st, 2020, 4:28 am

Robert burst out in laughter at Marino's statement, startling Anastasia badly, even as she slinked into view after exploring one of the rooms.

"No, no! An Okomo's a bit like a mountain goat, but their coats are beautiful and colorful, and they have these long horns of skyglass that glow in dim light. We don't eat their meat; they're sacred to us Lhavitians, and we only drink their milk or shear their wool. My sister has an Okomo wool mantle as a wedding present from one of our richer regulars, and let me tell you, it's softer than a cloud and warmer than a mug of mulled wine on a cold winter's night."

He considered Marino's invitation, and grinned.

"That's a braw idea Marino, I'd be a fool to say no to that. The Svefra tried teaching me to swim, but all I know is how to keep afloat - by kicking and splashing rather violently, I'm afraid. It'd be nice to spend a bit of time on the waters."

-~-~-

Robert acquiesced to Marino's request, walking towards the area that marked Syka's primary water storage facility as the sailor left for his casinor. He nodded in approval at the well-constructed barrels, feeling no give in the solid wood staves, and no wetness in between them, implying that it was about as watertight as a stone basin.

I'd like to hire the man who did this - this barrel'll last for years, the waxing of the seams is damn-near perfect as far as I can tell.

As the barrels were slightly too troublesome to lift or shift from their positions - even with his years of experience as a child with barrel riding - and Robert didn't want to seem like he was messing with such an important resource for the colony. Under the watchful eyes of a Syka ranger, to whom he had explained his purpose to, Robert settled for looking through the gaps in the barrels, peering into empty barrels and carefully opening any closed barrels that weren't visibly corked or sealed, hoping that an animal hadn't had the intelligence to prise open a barrel, hide a totem piece inside, and seal the damn thing up again.

Thankfully, Ovek was evidently smiling on him that day, and in a nondescript corner of the storage depot, he found a hefty wooden sculpture that was unmistakenly that of an animal's massive feet.

What kind of animal has that kind of feet?!

With much difficulty, and the aid of the Syka ranger who'd responded for his shout for help, they lifted the thick totem base and carefully walked out into the clearing in the middle of the Commons, meeting the returning Oceangem as they moved towards where the duo had found the Founder before.

"Found another!" Robert shouted, attracting Marino's attention, and that of a few passers-by. "That sounds good, Marino - we'll have other days to search for them anyway. Just give me a chime or two, we'll get this to the Captain and we can head to the Panacea."

Once Robert had surprised the Founder by presenting him with yet another totem piece, the Lhavitian returned to Marino, and the pair set off for Syka's healing clinic.

-~-~-

"Gods, I can't believe this. Look at this place."

It wasn't as impressive as the Catholicon - now that was a proper hospital, overlooking the Tranquil Port, even if it was a tad difficult to get to. But the Panacea exuded a feeling of peace and calm, telling all who came to its doorstep for healing: rest now, you're safe.

The sea air was crisp and fresh, and the open-air structure provided enough ventilation that it would never be stifling, even in the summer heat that they were currently experiencing. Robert felt ill at ease having to disturb the serenity of the location as he searched, but the Founders had said that the totems, once constructed, would benefit Syka greatly, and as a newcomer, he felt the need to prove himself - that even though he couldn't do what he was best at, he could still be useful to the budding settlement.

Seeing that Marino had the interior taken care of, he walked down the steps at the entryway and strolled around the exterior. Anastasia elected to explore the treatment centre with the Svefra, sniffing the beds with some bemusement and batting at one of the veils hanging from the ceiling, purring with amusement as it moved with her whims.

Sure enough, he won the metaphorical coin flip, and discovered another totem piece apparently thrown into some bushes. Brushing away a few vines that draped over it, he grinned in triumph as he finally recognised the animal it was based on.

A fish tail! Finally, not some strangle jungle creature of Falyndar - a good, honest, delicious fish.

"Hoy! Marino! I've found us the wee beastie here - looks like the base of the fish totem."

Handing it to Marino for him to inspect, Robert listened to Marino's outline of the last few places they'd search, and made an affirmative noise.

"The path goes on and on for a bit, by the looks of it - like you said, we'd best make it our final stop for the day."

-~-~-

Glancing around at the fish cleaning station, Robert felt rather confident that they wouldn't find much, if anything, at this location. Small and compact, the unassuming facility was empty of any fish or game meats - even the buckets that were supposed to hold all the unwanted organs and bones were clean, having been cleared early in the day.

I guess not much fishing's been going on these few days - everyone's excited for the search, and I suppose the storm chased all the fish out to sea.

He bent over to look at the underside of the preperation counter, finding nothing of interest except a friendly little spider weaving its web. Anastasia apparently found the ever-present fishy smell to be intriguing, and so padded around the station, searching for the source of that elusive odour.

Robert and Marino were done in less than five chimes, and they had found nothing at all.

"Looks like we're fresh out of luck, Marino. Let's move on to that path of yours."
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 21st, 2020, 5:37 am

Once Marino had finished everything else he'd planned to do at the Fish Cleaning Station, they departed the Commons for the long trail that went past the Panacea. Slowly, Robert began to recognise bits and pieces of the footpath they were walking down.

This looks like the way Tazrae and I took the other day on our search. Didn't go all the way down though, that's for sure.

He glanced at their surroundings, watching the sunlight glimmer through the trees, their leaves and branches providing much-needed shade over the path. The forest was alive - a constant cacophony of sounds had replaced the crashing of waves and cries of seagulls, and the moist, earthy aroma of leaf litter had taken over from the salt in the air.

Having passed the small junction that led to the Tar Pits, the silence between the two grew slightly awkward, and Robert spoke up.

"By the way, Marino, where are you from? Most of the Pod told me that they were born on the seas, so is it the same for you? Have you been all over the Suvan Sea, or even the Outer Oceans? Were there any cities you enjoyed visiting?"

As the two continued their conversation, Robert noticed that the path was slowly becoming more and more rough the further they walked away from the Commons. Though it was still a cobbled pathway, the stones were now partially covered with dirt and leaves, contrasting itself with the tidy, cleanswept cobblestone near the main location of the settlement.

Before the path grew too unkempt, Robert squatted down and examined Anastasia. Her youth and accompanying reserves of energy had done her a power of good, allowing her to keep up with the duo, but her nostrils were flaring and her mouth was slightly open. Placing his hand near her mouth, he felt Anastasia breath out warm air at a rate that was noticeably faster than normal.

"Keep walking, Marino, I'll catch up in a bit. Anastasia needs to rest for a while, and I'll give her some water."

Turning back to his cat, he sat down on one of the cleaner cobbles and removed his backpack with no small amount of relief. Pulling straps to open it, Robert removed the waterskin from his back, and a small bowl, into which he poured enough water to fill it almost to the brim.

Anastasia drank the water greedily, dabbing the tip of her tongue into and out of the surface rapidly. Once she had finished, she laid down, tucking her paws underneath her, and seemed to fall into a light slumber almost immediately.

"A few chimes, 'Nastya, and we'll set off again," he spoke quietly, rubbing her head gently, "You can nap all y'want in my backpack."

Once her breathing had evened out, he held open his backpack, allowing her to fit inside with practised ease. After she had settled down, Robert lifted the backpack onto his back, leaving the opening wide open so that she wouldn't be stifled within, and set off at a steady stride towards Marino.

As the twain approached a small clearing, where the pathway ran over a small bridge that forded a stream going from the interior of the jungle towards the shore, he raised a hand in greeting to Marino, and then spotted a man with dark blond hair walking along the stream, who greeted the Svefra in a deep rumble.

"Afternoon, Marino! 'Tis odd to see you here far from the shores. Have you tried for the pigs again lately?"

As Marino exchanged pleasantries with the rugged figure, Robert caught up with them, and Buraga cordially greeted the Lhavitian.

"Good afternoon, stranger! You must be new here - I've caught a glimpse of you here and there, walking around Syka. I've heard that you've already found one or two of those totem fragments - well done, lad!" Grasping Robert's hand in a robust grip, he shook it firmly and continued.

"I go by Buraga Shamzen. I'm just a guard for the settlement here - I might be old, but I'm certainly hale and hearty enough to run patrols through the night."

Robert returned the handshake, almost matching Buraga's grip with his own.

"Robert Glenfeidh, just arrived with the Deeptrench pod this season all the way fra' Lhavit. I'm hoping to set up and run a distillery here."

Buraga's eyes gleamed, and he chuckled. "Hah! You'll shake Stu for a good bit then, a bit of competition is just what he needed to liven things up. Lhavit, eh? I've heard good things about that city." He shifted his attention, and enquired of the pair. "So, what's brought you two here near Uta's place?"
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 21st, 2020, 2:18 pm

Their search of the fish cleaning station went quick as there wasn’t a whole lot of extraneous stuff for them to search around. Marino did dig into the sand for good measure, but when that turned up nothing, they decided to double back the way they had come. His legs were already aching from walking with this pack on. Looking down the cobbled way, he sensed he wasn’t even close to done with walking today, something he just had to grind his teeth at as he looped his thumbs around the straps of his backpack.

At least they got out of the sun embarking down the long, winding trail. The jungle seemed to steam around them, and his fresh shirt quickly started to stick to his skin of his lower back. The socks he wore were likely already soaked through, though he couldn’t hardly feel it from how numb his feet felt. Robert spoke and it took a tick to register what he said. “Oh we’ve been around, mostly hanging about the center of the Southern Suvan, though we did visit Lhavit a little over a season past. Syka’s by far the most to my liking so far though.” Marino said with a slight smile.

Slowly, the path got rougher, and Marino was glad for the boots he now wore. Even if they weighed heavy on his feet, he felt more comfortable knowing he had protection from any creatures coming from the jungle. Robert abruptly knelt, and Marino continued on a few paces before he stopped, turning towards the man sideways on the path. He noticed the cat and held his tongue while Robert cared for her. Marino hadn’t even thought what all of this walking must have been for the cat. She had four feet to contend with, and their strides were so much longer. Poor thing. Robert seemed to be taking good care of her though.

When Robert had finished he was standing there waiting for him to catch up before he started walking down the overgrown path again. From there things went by mostly uneventful until the crossed a familiar face. Familiar for Marino anyways. “Hello Buraga. I’m afraid I didn’t find any totems at the Swells but I did have some luck further on down the coast.” Buraga grunted at this, and addressed Robert. Marino let his mind wander as he was tired, and simply enjoying the brief respite before what looked to be a long ways ahead. When Buraga addressed them in general, Marino’s eyes focused on the burly older man. “We figured we’d continue the search down this trail, see if it lead anywhere interesting.” Buraga seemed to grunt his approval of this, and asked in so many words if they wanted to search together. Apparently it was quite a hike down this trail, and Marino conceeded they could definitely use his expertise patrolling Syka.

Fine by me, more eyes will make it easier to spot.” Marino grinned, and the continued their way down the overgrown trail.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 22nd, 2020, 3:05 am

"Ah, I was already in the Outer Oceans, on my way to Syka. If you'd visited us a few years back we'd have met sooner - when my family distillery was still running, we made it a point to bring our whiskey to the Tranquil Port whenever we got wind of a ship docking there. Made more than a few mizas down there from sailors hankering for a taste of fine Lhavit drink at a reasonable price, and the occasional merchant who'd buy up most of our stock. I wouldn't have gotten here without all those connections."

Buraga led the way down the trail, stepping lightly with practised ease among the leaf debris and occasional root that was already invading the cobbled path. Every now and then, he would point out some curiosity that he'd previously spotted, and even a glimpse of a furry, feline-like creature that slinked off as soon it saw that it had caught their attention.

As they forded another small stream that flowed from within the Maw, the seasoned warrior explained its incongruous presence, sensing a teaching point for the dynamic duo about the jungle wilds.

"Uta tells me that these are called ephemeral streams - they only exist after heavy rainfall, which we get a lot of in the other seasons. It's dry enough in summer, but the storm a few days back caused some flooding in the low-lying areas in the Maw. If you're ever lost out there, following a river or a stream will often bring you closer to the coast, but be careful if it rains; flash floods have and will occur, and the Syka river is large enough that you'll drown in them, to say nothing of the creatures that live on its banks."

He nudged a rock submerged in yet another small stream, this one having pooled in a slight depression next to the path, which some distance ahead split into a strange, elongated four-way junction - two of which led towards the shores of Syka.

"If you're thirsty, don't ever drink from any water that isn't flowing. Stagnant water is poison to us, even if you see animals drinking from it. It's best to avoid any groundwater at all, unless you can boil it. Rainwater is what we usually drink in Syka, and there's a few plants out there that contain safe water - Uta and Tony would know much better than myself, but I've always found bamboo to be a safe bet. The bamboo stalks are hollow, so they'll make a different sound if you tap the parts with water. There's a few ways to get at it, and you can figure that out by yourselves with trial and error. As long as it doesn't stink, you'll be fine drinking it."

The bells wore on, and Syna moved through the heavens, sparing them from the worst of her heat as the sunlight shone at a more oblique angle. Eventually the trio broke through the jungle, and were greeted by white sands and palm trees. Feeling a milder breeze from the sea, Robert smiled in relief - the intense heat and humidity had done him no favours, and the seabreeze felt cool on his sweat-drenched body.

Buraga pointed to their right, southwest of their current location.

"Over yonder flows the Clearwater River, and at its mouth the Stair Step Falls. You might find something there; we've had people find artifacts of all sorts at the waterfalls, and even a few gold nuggets. I'll walk on ahead - I have to do my rounds, so you two can start searching the falls."

His part done, Buraga strode forwards down the beach, as steady as he had been bells ago when they had first met him.

"I wouldn't like to get on his bad side." Robert remarked to Marino, before they set off for the nearby location.

Once at the falls, Robert took a moment to admire its scenic beauty before wading into the plunge pool. It was deeper than usual - a fact easily discerned from the way its waters covered its own boundary, eroded from the sands and rocks under the falls.

There!

Plunging his hands into the waters, Robert's back and arm muscles strained for a few seconds, before he slowly lifted a totem piece. Lifting it up high in triumph, he sploshed through to dry ground, and examined it closely.

"Looks like the head of some animal wearing fruit for a hat. It's almost human, but just look at the size of its mouth." He ran his fingers over the large round bump that marked its muzzle.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 22nd, 2020, 9:48 pm

Following Buraga down the trail, Marino realized not for the first time just how out of his depth he was out here in the jungle. Everything out here was so strange, and more than a little hostile if half the stories were to be believed. He didn’t feel it so much when he was following a seasoned Sykan like Buraga, but he did wonder what it was going to be like if he was ever on his own out here. There was still much he needed to learn.

Listening to Buraga, he wondered if he knew about the Svefran knack for finding the coast. Even now, deep into the trail he could feel its pull. He couldn’t imagine going without it, or any of Laviku’s gifts really. They were all intrinsic to who he was as a person. Based on their previous interaction, he decided to just keep quiet about this. If Buraga was feeling like sharing, he wasn’t going to interrupt.

When he expressed the part about the water was rather helpful considering he wouldn’t have the sea to rely on in the jungle. That had been a question that had come up with Uta whom was helping him and Tazrae get acquainted with surviving in the jungle. So far they had learned a little about everything. He was looking forward to their next lesson.

The trail wound up carrying a lot further than he expected as the bells wore on and he could feel sores forming across the sole of his foot. Marino would need to change his socks soon, probably after they got to wherever they were going. What even was at the end of this? He wanted to ask, but opted to just wait as he’d see when they got there. Then they finally came out of the jungle into the full view of the sea. Marino let his shoulders relax upon seeing the view, and dropped his packs at his feet. With that weight off his shoulders he took a seat, hastily changing his socks while he looked in the direction Buraga pointed out.

Once he’d left, Marino shouldered his packs. “Agreed, you should see him with his bow.” He agreed while they both headed down to the falls. There he was quick to disrobe, and dipped into the plunge pool beside Robert. While he was busy getting a good soak, Robert apparently found something causing Marino to turn in surprise. “That’s quite the piece. Strange items these totems, though I’m keen to see what they look like when we put them together.” Marino said warmly before diving once more and getting out of the pool. “Well we found some totems. I’m fine with calling it a day when we get back if you are. My feet are killing me, and I could use a good meal before turning in for the night.” While he and Robert conversed, he would get dressed again, steeling himself for the long hike back. “If you ever want to check this place again, maybe for some of those other treasures Buraga spoke of, we should take my casinor. It will be much quicker.” He laughed.

After they had got done relaxing a bit, Marino would start heading back the way they came. He held out hope that the communal kitchen might have some food for them when they arrived, and was inclined to make good time.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 25th, 2020, 3:53 am

'That'll do then. It's close to sundown, and I doubt we'll be safer after dark."

Robert looked around again, watching the sunlight dance on the waterfall steps, wondering just what he could find if he somehow made his way up the cliffs, to the top of the falls and the river that must lay beyond.

"This is a good place, Marino. I'll take you up on your offer someday, it would be nice to have a tour of Syka's coast and see what else we can find."


FIN.
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