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 13th, 2020, 10:02 am

14th of Summer, 520 A.V.


The new day that greeted them was just as hot as the last, if not hotter. Marino was not happy that his current plan didn’t involve the sea, but he didn’t know where else to get the information. He’d about exhausted all the spots along the coast he knew of, so coming inland seemed like the only logical option. However, on shore, he felt very out of place without Tazrae or someone familiar to guide him along. It was just so spacious, and slow to cross. He couldn’t see as far. There were a multitude of other excuses he could have dug up, though he avoided the pity party. For now at least.

As the search for the totems stretched on, Marino was trying to become more inventive with coming up for places to search. To be fair, he hadn’t done much exploring away from the coast, so there was probably a lot he wasn’t considering right now. One such place was the Bungalows, somewhere he knew by sight but hadn’t had the chance to properly explore it yet. Even that was only one place though, there still had to be more that he didn’t even know where to start looking. For that reason, he’d come to the commons, dressed in nothing but a loincloth because the day was shaping up to be another scorcher.

He was wearing his backpack though, with an extra set of clothes, and a set of boots. Just in case things ventured a ways into the jungle. Not that he was going to try it on his own, but if he managed to rope one of the more experienced Sykans into his search party, he wasn’t about to say no to the help. For the moment though, instead of seeking said person out, he took a seat at the base of the commons. The sand was coarse, and already hot from the heat of the day. He bared it though for the time it took him to take off his backpack. From it he extracted a cut of dried fish and thoughtfully nibbled at it while he looked around to see if he recognized anyone.

That turned out to be a resounding no as the faces were familiar but not people he’d introduced himself to before. There was only a few here at the moment and a couple seemed intent on pairing off on their own from the way they huddled together. The remainder stood on his own, and looked to be the most approachable of the lot. After mulling it over a chime, Marino stood up and slung the pack over one shoulder before walking over towards the man. As he did, he finished off the rest of his breakfast in three smart bites. He reached behind him to wipe his hand off on the bottom of his pack before he approached the rest of the way, extending his left hand in greeting. Animated waves coursed along his forearm.

Hey, don’t think we’ve had the pleasure. I’m Marino. Are you joining the search?” He asked, his tone chipper.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 14th, 2020, 3:39 am

Robert finished off his small breakfast of grilled fish, and some slices of a fragrant, moist yellow-orange fruit with relish, mentally thanking once again the kind soul who had passed him the very last of their morning meal.

I could do something with this fruit - maybe make it into a cider? It's definitely sweet enough to ferment, but it's a bit more heavy than the apple ciders back in Lhavit. I'll have to ask someone about finding more of this, maybe even pay a few mizas for them to get it for me. I really, really don't want to go inside the jungles. Five minutes in and I'll be lost forever.

It gave him the shivers for a brief moment - all the tales he'd heard about the jungles of Falyndar were either tall tales or completely true, but the one thing they unanimously agreed in was how treacherous it could be. Everything could, and would kill you if they had half a chance.

Before his thoughts could go too far off track, an insistent mew beside him caught his attention, and he smiled, grateful for the distraction.

"Of course, 'Nastya, you'll have your treat."

She purred and rubbed against his side as he divided the last slice of mango into smaller, more manageable sections, placed them on the large green leaf that had held his meal, and placed it on the chair next to him for her to eat at her leisure.

Whilst the tabby eagerly and mercilessly savaged her snacks, he gazed up above and winced at the intensity of the sun. The wood flooring was kind enough to his hardened soles that he could walk barefoot, but once on the sands he'd have to wear his sparkling new jungle boots for fear of burning his legs to stumps. He glanced at the innocuous pair of footwear and winced internally at the thought of how bad the smell'd be after a whole day in them.

Saltwater should do the trick - or at least that's what she said.

He smiled, recalling the pretty lass with a smile as sharp as the dagger she carried, who had swindled him into buying one of the very best pairs of jungle boots they had to offer at the Syka Mercantile. Not that he had any real interest in her right now - he'd have plenty of time for romance after he got his distillery up and running.

Just as Anastasia had fulfilled her massacre quota for the day, a motion in his peripheral vision caught his attention, and he turned to face the brown-haired sailor.

"Good day to you, Marino - Name's Robert, and this is Anastasia,"
Robert took the proffered hand with his own and grasped it firmly, while he gently rubbed her head with a knuckle, as she retreated slightly from the large figure Marino presented to his lap, peering around his chest with apparent curiosity.

"I'm a new arrival - just came here this season with the Deeptrench pod. It's strange - all of you have the same wave tattoos that move. Are you a Svefra sailor too?" He gestured to Marino's forearm, speaking the last part in accented, sightly clipped Fratava.

"I'm definitely joining in the search - I spent the night of the storm on the Lia's old ship, but I managed to make it in time to the Storm Shelter to hear the discussion about those... animal totems. I have no idea what these animals look like except for the tuna - I've eaten plenty of them while on the seas." He grinned at the fond memories of sinking his teeth into fatty, rich flesh.

Notes :
The Deeptrench pod is something of a group of one-time NPCs I'll be using for Robert's introduction proper to Syka and the Founders, which I'll do in another thread. Might work on making them NPCs proper (usable by anyone), if I do want to use them again, but it won't happen for some time.

Ledger:
Jungle boots: -3 SM


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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 14th, 2020, 6:59 am

Nice to meet you Robert, and Anastasia.” Marino said, just now noticing his companion. Where Creature had no compunction about who to walk up to, this one was obviously more wary. He smiled at the cat in a way he hoped was disarming before meeting Robert’s eyes again. “I am indeed. I work around here as a Ferryman of sorts. If I’m not out and about, I’m usually tied up at the dock.” He considered the tattoo comment for a tick, and then touched to mark on his forearm, causing the water to swirl around his finger tip. “A mark from Laviku. It keeps us close to the father of the sea.

As the conversation continued, he found himself taking a step back, he considered Robert’s story with a mix of curiosity and surprise. “Did everyone make it through okay? That storm was something fierce.” He asked more than a little concerned. He’d scarcely made it in with his casinor, and largely felt that was why it had emerged unscathed save for some debris. What that had been like, he couldn’t imagine, but it probably had been far from pleasant. The fact that Robert seemed to have made it through unscathed seemed to point in a positive direction. Once he’d found out the fate of the Deeptrench pod, he felt comfortable to move on to the meet of their conversation, the original reason he had introduced himself. “From what I understand one looks like a little hairy man, another like a colorful bird..” He trailed off, then remembering the Ashta, continued. “Oh and one had big ears with a long nose. The last one I think looks like your cat, but black.

Well, I was thinking we could start the search here if you wouldn’t mind. No doubt plenty have combed over it already, but perhaps we’ll catch something they didn’t. Though I wouldn’t hold me to my hunches on these things.” He laughed. While he had doubts about how successful they’d be searching the commons, he felt like it might be a good way to get to know the man before they set out for other locations. If Robert agreed, Marino would casually glance around before offering to search the opposite end while Robert looked around this one. Marino didn’t like being this high up, so splitting the work seemed like a good way to get this done quickly. He also wanted to avoid looking down over the side wherever possible so he would be keeping his eyes on the deck for the most part.

Walking over, he decided to start with under the tables and chairs first. To his surprise, he did find something, it just wasn't totems. It was leaf litter, and surprisingly a dusting of sand in some places. While he was down on his knees, Marino did what he could to clean out from under the tables when he search but there was only so much he could do about the said. He gathered the pieces of assorted leaves and other debris in his right hand, figuring he'd have a chance to dispose of it soon anyways. Then working out from where he started, he began snooping around the trees that ran through the deck, cleaning those off too. “Find anything?” He called out to Robert as he worked his way towards the end of his side.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 14th, 2020, 10:40 pm

Anastasia simply stared at the Svefra before slinking off to gods-know-where, disappearing behind a conveniently-placed tree bough. Robert grinned at her antics, and explained.

"Don't mind her, she's definitely interested in you - you're new to her, after all,
but she's also a bit shy. 'Nastya'll stay with me, so no worries."


He shifted in his seat, and continued. "I see. Might have a bit of work for you later on, depending on how things go with the Founders. Laviku, the father of the sea - the God of the Svefra? They told me it was a gift from the Ocean King - I'd always assumed that it was some master magician that ruled the waters of the world."

"We fared well in the storm - all the hatches were battened down, sails furled, and we anchored in the bay just before it hit us, which they told me was much safer than being out there in the open. The way they explained it to me, they usually had larger ships compared to most Pods because they were merchants, and helped to patrol the Outer Oceans. Makes me shiver, knowing that you're thousands of leagues away from land and surrounded by beasties."

He shuddered - he'd heard every tall tale the bored Pod members had to offer him about sea monsters through the seasons-long journey 'round the tip of Falyndar.

"I'll take your word for them, then, here's hoping we'll find that black cat statue. Could use a wee bit of that feline luck, eh?" He gave a short bark of laughter, and nodded in agreement with Marino's suggestion.

Robert climbed the few steps up to the deck level, and proceeded to scan the entire floor with a weather eye, noting only clean tables - so clean, you could eat off them! - and a few stray leaves someone had forgotten to sweep off. Not being able to see more than that, he got on his knees and started looking underneath the tables.

I'm guessing they've swept this place clean already - first place anyone'd start looking, and it's the busiest too.

He casually lifted some chairs stacked in a pile and placed them neatly in a row, then groaned within as nothing of interest was found except for a small pile of dust, which the morning breeze blew away shortly after, and a white seabird apparently napping. Anastasia immediately appeared around a corner, and started slowly stalking the unaware seagull.

Robert froze, holding his breath; he watched her slowly make her way towards the avian in utter silence, padding in slow motion on her soft little paws.

A pause, a crouch, and - Damn!

The seagull took off in a fluster, making him wince as it squawked loudly. Anastasia only managed to snag a few stray feathers as she watched it fly off, and she sat there, glaring at it with the intensity of the Sykan sun.

He nodded to a figure relaxing with a pipe and a small pile of parchment with some embarrassment.

"Just looking for the statues, don't mind me!"

The last thing he could think of was to look under the tables in hopes that some mischievous animal had nailed it to the underside. He slumped as he realised how incredulous that idea was.

"No luck here, Marino! We'd best try our fortune somewhere else. I bought a pair of these boots from a small store the Captain recommended, do you think we could find something there?"
Last edited by Robert Glenfeidh on June 16th, 2020, 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 15th, 2020, 11:10 pm

Marino frequented several glances at Anastasia as he worked. The animal was far more graceful than Creature, though that could because the little pup was still growing into his paws. He wasn’t sure how big the dog would end up being, but he guessed rather large given how big he was growing by the day. Looking towards the cat, he wondered if it was still growing. It was hard to tell, he hadn’t much experience with them though watching her hunt, she seemed like she would be a good addition on a ship when the occasional pest came aboard. Might be too dangerous though. For the Avikki at least. Not that he had one currently, but he had been considering it a lot lately. He really wanted to keep in touch with his family after all, and not just wait for them to send him messages.

After having seen the little pounce by Anastasia, Marino wrapped up his search, checking with Robert. Unfortunately it seemed neither of them had found anything, though he was still hopeful. “That sounds like a fine idea to me. I’ve got a few other places in mind we could check after as well.” Together they headed down the stairs and out towards the Mercantile. Syka’s one stop shop for a variety of things. As they walked up to it, he saw there was a sign on the door. ‘Gone Swimming’ Underneath that though was a piece of parchment nailed to the bottom. When he got close enough to read it, he did so aloud. “Not swimming. Joining the search.

Well I don’t suppose she’ll mind if we take a look around. It’s going to be something elaborately carved, so keep an eye out for that.” Marino said, suddenly remembering the totem he found the other day. When he found out it was probably the top of whatever totem it belong to, it surprised him. He had been thinking up until that point that all the feathers were part of an elaborate skirt, though he conceded that it was a pretty head piece. Marino started his search by circling the outside of the building, checking the perimeter section by section. After taking the time to peek behind anything that might hide a piece similar in size to the one he’d found yesterday, he went inside to help check around.

When he found Robert again, he was empty handed, and giving his chin a good scratch. He really needed to shave some of this scruff off soon. “How about we check the forge and the kiln next? I think a fresh pair of eyes might be just what is needed to find something there.

If Robert agreed, Marino would lead the way back across the commons till they were over by the forge. Remembering the way he and Tazrae had searched it previously, he tried looking into any spots they might have missed. It seems they had been pretty thorough when they had, but there was always a chance. After they completed their search of that place, he went with Robert to the Kiln.

There after searching through the storage and poking around the inside of the kiln, he decided to try something he really didn't want to do. Carefully, after making sure his feet were firmly planted on the side of the kiln, he climbed up to get a good look up top. He didn't see anything at first till he checked the rafters that ran alongside the chimney. There, he could make out the shape and color of something that clearly wasn't apart of the structure itself. "Found one!" He shouted before he'd even pried the thing loose.

Promptly hopping down the ledge of the kiln, he went over to share with Robert his discovery. It appeared to depict the chest of a bird, with parts on the top and bottom that looked like they would slot into another part. "I think this is going to be a middle piece. The Parrots? Apparently there are still a lot of pieces floating around, so there might be more of this particular totem nearby. I think we can return this before we finish searching the rest of the Commons. After I think following one of the few paths we’ve seen might be a good idea. I’d know there is one over by the Mercantile, or we could take the one on the opposite side that I’ve been down before. There are probably some good places in either direction to check, so which would you like to check first?
Last edited by Marino Oceangem on June 16th, 2020, 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 16th, 2020, 2:27 am

"Lead on, Marino."

Robert trudged through the sand as he followed Marino, thanking the fates for his boots that protected him from most - if not, all - of the heat emanating from the sands every time they sank into the ground. Finally, they arrived at the small store, and Robert heaved a silent sigh of relief as they entered the shady area. Scarce relief, but relief nonetheless.

"The Founders did tell us to search the settlement, so I'm sure she'll be fine with it. If the worst happens, I'll buy her a drink to make up for it."

Robert gingerly pushed aside a stack of sheathed machetes, and lifted a few rattan baskets to reveal... absolutely nothing at all. He tip-toed his way through a small maze of fabrics, nudging the smaller rolls aside with his feet in hopes that they'd reveal a clue.

The Founders - or was it that girl? - said that animals took the pieces and ran off with them. They're not the cleanest of things, so there's bound to be something left behind. Feathers, prints in the sand or dust, some spoor - ha!

He sniffed at sealed bottles of whale oil, detecting little to no odours emanating from them. Rubbing a few stray drops between his hands, he wondered at the strange, waxy sensation, almost as if he were touching a cold, liquid candle.

"No luck here, my friend, I think we'd best move to another site like you said. If it helps, I've just had a thought - these animals can't have cleaned up all trace of their existence when hiding these totem pieces. Might help if we tried looking for any tell-tale signs that they've been somewhere."

Allowing the Svefra to take the lead, they made it to the Forge in good time, and began the search. Nodding to a few other seekers, Robert first peered into a small hole on the side of a locked shed that apparently contained metal within, trying to discover anything that looked out of place, but the few rays of sunlight that poured inside lent little illumination.

Deciding not to waste his time on the other shed, he moved to the main forge area, where the embers remained cold. Obviously, everyone, including any blacksmiths in Syka, had gone out to look for the statues. He shifted the ashes from side to side with a poker, moving it from side to side in the large opening where the blacksmiths would heat their metal, scattering a few odd pieces of charcoal, but found nothing special.

He sighed - the common areas had probably been scoured on the morning immediately after the storm had broken, and nothing was left that they wouldn't have noticed.

It was as he resigned himself to the futility of the search that his iron implement hit something solid enough that it made the poker ring, and his fingers trembling as the shock travelled up the shaft.

"Petch!" He stuck his head halfway into the hearth, and grinned as he found an intricately-carved wooden... thing. Removing his head from the opening, Robert stuck his hands in and pulled the object out in one go, sneezing violently and cursing under his breath as the ash spilled out onto his boots and pants. He brushed the ash off his prize, and was rewarded with a familiar sight.

"I say, that's the body of a cat! Almost like Anastasia's, just larger and... well, cats don't have muscles like this on their torsos."

Tracing the cunningly-worked patterns with his fingers, he returned in triumph to Marino.

"Aye, it's a totem piece alright. To the kiln then, Marino, we've got our booty."

It was but a short walk there, since it was still within the Commons, and as soon as they arrived, he knocked on the closed door of the events centre. Hearing no response within, he pushed the doors open and found no trace of the master potter who ran her classes here.

He peered under the tables and chairs, sneezing occasionally as the clay dust got into his nose and irritated his nostrils, and peered inside the many pots, large and small, on display along the walls. He idly turned over a few pottery tools, more out of curiosity than any suspicion that a piece of the totems lay under, and raised an expertly-tied bundle of cut-off wires with incredulity.

You can cut ceramic with these things?!

Eventually, after a period of fruitless searching, he threw his hands in the air with frustration and went back outside after hearing a shout from Marino, who showed him the fruits of his search.

"Parrots? Oh, you mean beaked birds." He paused for a moment as he considered his exact wording, remembered what he'd overheard from one of the other seekers, and hurriedly amended his statement.

"That being colourful birds, of course. Looks like we're doing well enough with the torsos. You're right, if we find more we won't be able to carry them all with us and search properly. I did see one or two of the Founders walking by some time ago, so if we meet any of them we can probably ask them to take care of it."

He listened to Marino's outline patiently as he took out his waterskin and took a deep, but measured, sip. It was still near-full, but he felt that it was best to ration it if something came up.

"I have no idea where these paths will lead us to, but if you've already searched that part of the settlement, I ken that we'll probably find something down the other way. By the Mercantile it is, then."
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 17th, 2020, 5:33 am

With two discoveries under their belt, Marino was feeling rather good about the whole endeavor. Maybe he wasn’t wasting everyones time out here with the search. After all, if he could keep finding pieces, then it would be worth the effort in the end. He just hoped that he would find more of them faster. Then they wouldn’t have to brave this stifling heat for so long. A cool refreshing soak in the water was definitely what he needed right about now, but he would hold off on that. Looking at Robert’s dress, he had to wonder if the man could go for the same.

Well, lets go by the Commons to drop these off before we lose them, and then we’ll get started on that little path by the Mercantile.” Marino said, agreeing wholly with Robert’s assessment. While searching for one founders, they passed a building with a sign across that read ‘Community Center’. Pointing to it as they passed, Marino looked over to Robert. “Might be we could stop by there as well. Don’t want to do too much doubling back and forth after all.” They found James a short while later, sitting on the steps leading up to the commons. He was there making quick work a bowl filled with assorted cut up fruit.

We bring gifts, from over by the Kiln and Forge.” Marino said as they approached, raising his parrot torso totem in response. James nodded, and finished chewing before gesturing to the spot beside them. “Leave them here and I’ll go store them by the others. This is good. We hadn’t found a piece of the panther yet.” He said after examining Robert’s totem carefully. “Where do you plan on searching next?” James followed up with after Marino set his totem down. “We were thinking that building over there, and then the pathway beside the Mercantile.” Marino said, gesturing towards the building they had just pasted.

James thought about that for a tick, then looked over in the direction of the Mercantile. “That might be a good route, you’ve got the Community pool on one side, and the Bungalows down the other. No body has found anything there yet, but that doesn’t mean you two won’t catch something they didn’t. Good luck, and come back here if you find anything. Want to make sure these don’t go walking off after they are found.

Dismissed, Marino decided to head in the direction of the building they had passed on the way, and check that first. It seemed like it had potential. With its long rows of benches, and the rafters like the one he’d had luck in earlier, he had a good feeling about this place as they searched it. He went low before he went high, and after they had searched the place over, turning up nothing, he sought out Robert again to regroup. “I suppose it is only fair to expect that we won’t strike it as lucky in every place. The community pool sounds like a good next bet, if only to have a little respite to this heat.” He sighed, a little disappointed but still feeling that excitement from their finds earlier.

Leading the way, he headed for the path to the left of the Mercantile first, following it all the way down until they came across the pool that had a distinct man made touch to it. Kneeling beside it, he dipped his hand in to touch the side. “How do you think they made this, Robert?” He was unabashedly amazed at this sort of construction, and wondered why he hadn’t been here already. Of course, the sea was his home, but he could appreciate aesthetically the pool here. Then remembering himself, he grinned, and got to work searching the pool, which mostly included him submerging himself for a few chimes while he ‘explored’ the bottom. Then when he’d had enough of shirking his duties, he walked around the pool, checking for anything that might scream totem. Given its proximity to water, he wondered if the fish totem would be here, but then it occurred to him a fish would never be able to bring it here. “Find anything?” He called out just as he decided to end his part of the search, his efforts unsuccessful.

When Robert turned up empty handed too, there was nothing to do but just take the loss in stride. “Well, fortunately we have no shortage of locations to check. Lets circle around the Mercantile, and go check out those Bungalows.” Unlike the previous two location, Marino actually had been around the Bungalows and he hoped that would give him the edge there. It took about fifteen chimes for them to walk all the way down there, and when they arrived, Marino immediately started checking around the houses, seeing if anyone was inside before taking a step within. “These are nice.” Marino called out as he searched the first one, and then added. “Where are you staying by the way?” Remembering he said he had only recently arrived, he wondered if he’d tried out any of these buildings before and maybe knew of some places they could find something tucked away. On that count, he could only hope as he moved on to the next one.
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 18th, 2020, 3:35 am

"Will do, I'll be glad to not lug these things around the whole day."

As they walked towards the Community Centre, they found the Captain enjoying a quick meal. Robert subconsciously raised his hand to his head, about to doff his cap before he touched his drenched hair, and immediately dropped it, turning it into a salute of sorts to hide his embarrassment.

"Good day to you, Robert, are you ready to present your proposal?" He shook hands firmly with the Lhavitian, grinning in anticipation.

"Not yet, Cap'n - this search seems to be more important than that for now, I can afford to wait. And I'm sorry about missing our meeting - the Lia was screaming at me to get on board her ship and buckle down with the rest of her Pod. Said she could feeling something brewing on the horizon."

The Captain acknowleged his apology with good grace, slapping him on the shoulder.

"Pshaw, it was nothing. I'm glad you're alive - we need some good drink around here. Stuvantis does excellent work, but who knows? You might create wonders, m'boy. Now off you go!"

Robert grinned, his hopes rising, and waved farewell to the Founder as he moved after Marino. Arriving at their next destination, he proceeded to search the Community Events Centre with the sailor. Noting that Marino was going through the rafters and furniture, Robert poked about in the fire pits, hopeful that he would have a repeat success and find the proverbial phoenix rising from its ashes. Pushing aside the burnt wood and charcoal with his feet, Robert ground his feet into every pile that looked suspiciously large, only to find a grand total of nothing.

"Aye, you speak truth, Marino. Finding one apiece was a stroke of luck already, and I'd honestly be satisfied even if we wasted the entire day. That pool sounds good - we've had summers just as humid as this in Lhavit some years, but I had to work in the fields anyway."

Just embrace the suck, lads. Only nine more hours in the fields!

Eagerly following Marino's lead, it was only a short jaunt down the trail before they arrived at the man-made marvel that had him gaping.

'This... this..."

He knelt down and felt the smooth surface of the paved paths, feeling his palm glide along the surface; every crack was measured and tailored to the creator's specifications, and no sharp edges or chips existed that could hurt anyone wanting to enjoy the waters.

"I'd say a bloody good builder, but it may as well be magic to me for all I know. We've had a lot of that in Lhavit - heck, my grandmother used to sing how Lhavit was built by the three families, but this? This?"

It was a labour of love, a monument to hard work and the undying will of a person striving for perfection. His eyes were alight with admiration for the architect - a kindred spirit, perhaps.

He took off his boots, sighing in relief, and waded into the pool until he was at about knee-deep, and walked about slowly, peering through the clear waters in search for the totem pieces. He strode about for a few chimes, sticking his hands into a few of the waterfalls and groping about, searching for some hidden alcove behind them.

"No luck, Marino, but this place is amazing! I'll have to come back her sometime, this place would go well with a cold drink or two."

He splashed out of the pool, wringing the legs of his pants as best as he could, and followed Marino barefoot, with his boots strapped to his backpack until his feet were dry enough again.

Once they were at the Bungalows, Robert suppressed a groan of frustration - these houses looked much more comfortable than the hammocks he'd been sleeping on for the past few seasons.

I could have been sleeping on a bed for days now!

"Nice indeed, almost wish I'd rented one of them instead of sleeping on a hammock on the Lia's ship. I've just rented a room at the Protea Inn - it's just opened, and Tazrae's the innkeeper, I think."

He knocked on a door, and hearing no response, opened it to reveal an empty room, bereft of anything personal that could have belonged to someone. Treating the furniture with care, he opened each one and looked inside them before closing them, and lifted the linens, searching for any suspicious lumps that might be hiding something of worth.

Having no success so far, Robert moved on to the next bungalow, and opened it to reveal a tidy, but lived-in home. Not wanting to go through someone's personal items - he wouldn't ever want anyone to do the same to his room - he quietly closed the door and walked to the next.

"Nothing's here, Marino. There were a few bungalows that might have had a totem piece, but they belonged to someone, so I figured that their owners might have already found them if they were there. What's next on your list?"
Robert Glenfeidh
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Marino Oceangem on June 18th, 2020, 7:20 pm

You are in good hands then. Tazrae is a kind woman, and great cook. She also helped build the Inn. I spend most of my days, and nights out on my Casinor, so you’ll forgive me if I take a little break.” Marino said with a smile, taking a seat in front of one of the bungalows. Spending the last few days walking around all sorts of places gave him aches swimming never did. Even though he spent most of the day standing on his casinor, it felt different. He supposed it was walking on all the sand, instead of a wooden deck. That, as well as the fact that a deck moved under him while this ground was very stationary. Or it could be just the walking. He didn’t have far to go on his deck after all.

He stood up after a couple of chimes, dusting off the backs of his legs as he did. Then he after doing his part of the search joined up with Robert. “Well, we passed a little trail into the grove on our way over. Why don’t we check that. I’ve been meaning to see where they got the isuas material from.” He grinned, gesturing back down the way they had come. If he agreed, Marino would start down the path. The trail to the grove wasn’t far down the path, and turning down it they’d come into a patch of land that was cultivating row, after row of isuas blooms. Marino’s eyes lit up at the sight before he remembered that they were supposed to search this place.

This is going to be more difficult than the last few locations” He commented as he stepped through the blooms. To search he often had to crouch low, examining the ground between the plants carefully. Then coming across the little water way that ran through them, he leaned down to see if there was anything laying at the bottom. Doing that across the breadth of the field took several chimes an while they searched, an older man walked up that Marino recognized as Tony.

Hey there Tony. We were on our way back from searching the bungalows and decided to stop here. Do you know if anyone has found anything here yet?” Marino asked.

Tony shook his head, smiling kindly at both of them. “No, its just been me tending the plants here. I hope you do find something though. James says it could be good for the settlement. Let me know if you need any help.

Thanks, I will!” Marino called out, before he continued searching. He was nearing the end of the field when he decided to check with Robert. “Hey Robert, how’s it going on your side? I haven’t found anything yet, but their seems to be a break in the jungle here we might find more of the grove behind. What do you think?
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Marino Oceangem
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Getting Acquainted (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 19th, 2020, 5:39 am

"No problem, Marino. I haven't tasted her cooking yet, but it'll be nice to have some home-cooked food for a change - the food here's less spicy than what we have back home in Lhavit, and I haven't stopped missing tea with Okomo milk."

He took a seat beside Marino, and relaxed with a contented sigh.

"What's it like to sail alone out there on the seas with just a Casinor? The Svefra tried to teach me a few tricks of their trade - best I could manage was tying knots and swabbing out the decks. The ways they adjusted their sails, charted a course by the stars, or just turning the helm were just beyond me."

Once they had finished their brief respite, Robert got up, and nodded in agreement to Marino's suggestion, wondering just what on earth an isuas was.

So that's what they are...

He gazed around him, astounded by the neat rows of vines that seemed to stretch on forever. Brushing his hands against the Isuas flowers, Robert walked some distance away from Marino down another path. parting the vines carefully, as it was obvious that the grove had been actively cultivated and taken care of by someone, and he didn't want to damage anything.

I wonder what you could use them for - food? Doesn't look too appetising, but maybe that's because their fruit haven't grown yet.

Anastasia, having decided that being carried in a backpack all day in the sweltering heat was a bad decision, leapt out of her noble perch, and padded alongside Robert with ease, every now and then distracted by some small insects that she batted at with a paw.

After about a dozen chimes, Robert heard Marino talking to an elderly man some distance away - that was, presumably, the owner and caretaker of the Isuas Grove. Distracted from the purpose of his search, he grasped one of the vines near him firmly, testing it and finding it almost unyielding to his hands, no doubt the result of a strong internal structure. He unsheathed his steel knife, and cut a small slit into the vine - not long enough that it was very visible, but deep enough that some of the sap came out.

He sniffed at it, and recoiled at the strange odour.

Definitely not food.

As he resumed his search, squatting every now and then to examine the base of the Isuas, he heard Marino calling out to him.

"I can't find anything either, we may as well do that since we're having no luck here."

Deciding to take the lead for once, Robert removed his axe from the side of his backpack, and hefted it easily in his left hand as he marched down the smaller, more neglected opening Marino had pointed out. As the vegetation grew thicker, Robert would find it more and more difficult to go through as the grasses and plants grew unhindered.

Clambering over a large root, Robert brought his axe down on a mass of vines and branches in their way, slicing through a few vines and using the considerable force he'd placed behind that swing to move the mass slightly to one side. A few more swings, and he successfully forced it out of their way, leaving the way open... to a small grove of bamboo, thick enough that they'd have difficulty making their way through.

He grimaced, grasping a thick, strong stem with some disappointment and trying to shake it to determine its flexibility. No luck there - the bamboo stood firm against his efforts. Shaking his head, he motioned for Marino to stand back as he cut a small notch into it, and took a few practice swings, aiming to make the notch deeper, and swung again.

His axe sliced through the bamboo, making an odd sound before leaving a clean cut in the stem. He moved closer to examine it, and his suspicions were confirmed - it was hollow within, but with a thick, sturdy exoskeleton. His frown deepened, and he settled the axe on his shoulder, speaking.

"We can't get through this - if we had some of those long knives from that shop back in the Commons, we might, but my axe is useless here. At this rate we'll never be able to cut our way through to any place where the animals might have hidden a totem piece. Walking around it might do the trick, but we've wasted enough time as it is. We may as well retrace our steps back to the Commons and see where we can search next."

He pointed back to the direction whence they had come, the signs of their passage, bashing through the jungle, clearly visible.
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