Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Tazrae combines forces with a new guest to look for lost totem pieces.

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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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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Tazrae on June 14th, 2020, 3:34 am

Timestamp: 13th of Summer, 520 A.V.


The Storm the night of the 11th had been scary, without a doubt. Tazrae had made sure her guests had departed for the storm shelter and then had sheltered there herself after she had battened down the Inn to withstand the blow. Luckily, Randal had built The Protea for something like this to happen, so nothing got blown away other than there was sand on her deck and all the palms outside had seemingly lost their dead fronds. The fact the fronds were down meant Tazrae didn't have to climb them and hack them off with her machete as part of her gardening and landscaping like she'd planned. So she left out an offering to Zulrav and Laviku for sparing her damage and making her workload lighter.

The denizens of the shelter had all went off to look for pieces of the totem that morning, though Tazrae had stayed back to return to her Inn, take stock, and make sure things were cleaned up for when her guests returned. Creature, her Imperial Watcher pup, had accompanied her. And they spent the better part of the morning removing sand from the deck, sweeping out the open parts of the Inn, and then removing debris from the yard. Most of the material was burnable and went into her burn pile. They could perhaps have a beach bonfire later that day or the next to get rid of the excess burnables.

Two days passed and finally on the 13th after she'd spent most of those two days helping clean up the mess around The Commons, Tazrae was back at The Protea doing a bit of cleaning in the guest rooms while the guests were out on the continued search for more totem sections. Tazrae had spent some time on the 12th hunting with Marino, though the majority of her time that day had been spent in the evening cleaning up and on into the 13th doing more work around the settlement. She didn't feel right about looking for magical totems when there was so much storm damage. It took the settlement two days... two whole days.... to actually look normal again. And in that time she'd teamed up with Duncan, a blind reimancer, to assist him being borrowed eyes to use air reimancy to blow the cobbled pathway clear of sand to re-expose the cobbles.

It had been a tedious task, where she urged the man to pull back his wind or increase it... directing his actions with her voice... seeing for him. And in that time they'd done a lot of talking and getting to know each other. She'd carried a broom, sweeping when the wind just wouldn't uncover the cobbles... and singing a bit - trading stories with Duncan - which was fasinating since he was the only blind sailor she knew of.

After a long morning, Tazrae was escorted home by the mage. She took time to clean up - she was filthy after the work - and was sitting on the main deck watching the sun travel across the sky thinking how lovely the day had been so far... and how much they'd gotten done even though she hadn't actively got to search for the totem pieces.

She sipped sun tea and nibbled a banana, having no guests requiring a proper lunch fixed today. Tazrae was content enough to just relax and think about where she might search next.


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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 14th, 2020, 7:27 am

"Right, Anastasia, let's forget that little incident, shall we? Crabs aren't good for eating, and looking at the size of that crab that just climbed all the way up that tree, you'd be eaten alive."

She hissed anyway at the rapidly-retreating crustacean, before retreating back to Robert, who was seated on the grass just beside a small trail, rubbing against him as if seeking his forgiveness.

He smiled, and leaned slightly towards her to brush off the last of the sand from Anastasia's paws before opening his backpack, adjusting the bundle that was the shirt he'd taken off after five minutes of walking. After she made herself comfortable on her makeshift pillow, he hefted it and stood up, grasping a low-hanging bough for support, and lifting the bundle of fur and linen in his arms.

A moment of fiddling in his pockets, and Robert took out and squinted at the half-crumpled piece of paper containing his directions.

"Right, the Captain said to head past the docks and..."

He trailed off, having spotted a wooden structure in the distance.

"Well, that was surprisingly closer than I'd expected. Palm trees, white sand, even some white boulders - that's definitely the Protea Inn."

He adjusted the straps on his back, and set off on a steady pace. As he neared the establishment, the path changed from tamped-down earth and sand to cobblestone, and he smiled faintly - the way his feet stepped firmly on the unyielding footpath, and the slight, almost geometrical unevenness reminded him of the paved streets of Lhavit, where there was no uncertainty of the shifting sands that sought to suck him down into their depths.

Robert nodded with approval at the way it stood strong against the elements - or at least the unrelenting sunlight. Apparently, the storm wasn't enough to bring it down. An excellent portent for the distillery he was hoping to create in this strange, new land. He stood some distance away from the inn, admiring the wood used in its exterior.

"Marvellous work they do here, eh, 'Nastya? That might be even good enough for a few barrels. The wood here's completely different from what we got back home. Aye, it even smells different here - salt and water, soil and plants. I'd make a pretty drink ageing it with all this air."

He turned to face the front deck, and barely managed to hide his surprise as he saw a young lady, not a few yards away from him, with the messiest mop of amber curls he'd ever had the chance to witness, sipping from a cup and enjoying an odd yellow crescent that Captain Chaliva had told him was called a banana.

Hiding his embarrassment at missing such an obvious thing, he held his hand up high and hailed the lass while walking towards her.

"'Hoy there! Is this the Protea Inn? Would you happen to be Tazrae, by any chance? My name's Robert. Captain Chaliva told me that I'd find a good berth here."

The tabby poked her head out from behind him, staring at the banana with razor-sharp focus.
Last edited by Robert Glenfeidh on June 14th, 2020, 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Tazrae on June 14th, 2020, 2:11 pm

She watched the newcomer stride up the path and onto the deck with interest. A smile played across her face and she reached up to brush stray curls out of her eyes. The wind still came in little gusts – nothing like the night before – but it was enough to remind someone that the God of Winds was about somewhere tossing gales around.

“It is indeed… “ She gestured at the line of protea planted all around the decks lending the Inn a very fragrant scent as the flowers tended to bloom year-round. She’d taken many trips along the beach and slightly into the jungle with Uta to find enough fully mature plants to landscape with. Each one was different… some red, some blue, a few vibrant yellows, and one particularly gorgeous coral. “James sent you to the right place. I am indeed Tazrae.” She said, rising and offering the man her hand while avoiding his cat.

Her dog, one of the enormous Imperial Watcher breeds, was lounging under the table asleep. He was only a season old, still a gangly puppy, but the cat would be of great interest to him if he were awake to witness it.

“You have a cat!” She said in delight and leaned over to peer at the furry thing somehow bundled up in Marino’s arms. “Is she friendly?” Tazrae asked, glancing up at Robert and offering him a smile. “Please, sit down you two. Hungry? I have fruit here but I can go get your cat some sliced pig if she’s also hungry….” Tazrae added, gesturing to a bowl of fruit sitting on the table. “There’s also sun tea and I have scones in the kitchen if you want something more substantial.” The Innkeeper replied, then beckoned.

“I only have two guests at the moment, so there are four rooms to rent. One on the far side… and three on the long side. The inside short room is taken and so too are the inside and furthest outside doors on the long wing of the building. You can have any of those. I serve three meals a day and your rent depends on how long you are staying. It’s a higher rate if you are just using us as an Inn but if you are staying while something is built, for example, we have a drastically cut rate.” She added. “A hundred twenty gold for the whole season with three meals a day or as many as you care to take if you are just a breakfast or dinner eater. By the day its 2 gold all meals. We can pro-rate the seasonal price too if your project gets done and you don’t stay the full season.” She added happily.

“Eat, drink, then see a room or see a room then have a snack?” She asked, obviously looking like she wanted him to be happy but in a way that suggested she’d been eating rapidly to go do something. She bounced a leg a moment, as if debating, then got to the heart of it. “There’s a search out for some missing totem pieces that washed ashore during the storm the night before. Not many have been found yet and the Founders have asked everyone that can to help. I was just having a light snack then preparing to go out and look.” She added…

“Maybe you could see a room, eat, settle your cat in and we can go look? I’m not taking Creature… there are too many unhappy snakes about after storms to chance him trudging into one or deciding he wants to play with a pit viper.” She added, finishing off the last of her banana.

With that, Tazrae waited for the man to mull over what she’d said. If he wanted too, she’d show him any of the available rooms or gently toe a chair out for him to have a seat and have something to eat first.

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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 14th, 2020, 11:19 pm

Robert shook Tazrae's hand firmly as the feline yawned and stretched, as if it just had a good night's rest, then settled back in his arms, shifting a bit to get into the most comfortable position.

"She is, indeed, a cat." He grinned, and continued. "This is Anastasia, Princess of all the Lands. She's a bit shy when it comes to meeting people, but she always curious about one thing or another. Don't worry, just be around her enough and she might, i]just[/i] might deign to let you touch her with your pinkie."

He nodded at the sleeping puppy underneath. "She'll do fine with yer hound yonder, as long as he doesn't sniff her too much. I've just eaten, but a banana wouldn't go amiss - 'Nastya'll love a nibble or two."

He moved the fruit around for a bit, ruminating on the offered choices before selecting one with relatively unmarked skin that looked particularly fresh, and started to peel it, nodding here and there in acknowledgement of Tazrae's explanation of the services offered as a slight grin hovered around his face.

"I don't see any issues with that, that sounds perfect. I'm planning on staying here until I get a place of my own, but that would all depend on how my discussions with the Founders go." He rubbed his chin for a bit, thinking on the choice of rooms.

"Any room would do, as long as it's clean and comfortable, but I'd prefer one away from the main entrance. Not that there'd be a crowd visiting any time soon, but it's nice to have a bit of privacy. It's the thirteenth of Summer today, I reckon, so that'd be... ?" Robert counted out the moneys from his miza pouch, ready to pay the innkeeper.

"I made it just in time to the Storm Shelter for the Founders to make their announcement. I'm all for it - I'd love to find even just a single piece of that totem that looks like a cat. Anastasia's been up all night chasing after rats on the Lia's ship, so I'd say she'll be glad to have a lie-down. Where should we go first?"

As soon as Robert deposited the majority of his belongings in his assigned room, he'd be ready to set off.

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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Tazrae on June 15th, 2020, 1:35 am

Tazrae smiled. “How does ‘brand new first guest’ sound in terms of clean?” She said, letting him nibble his banana and then beckoning him to follow her. She lead him down the deck to the sixth room, a room that was furthest from the entrance. She unlocked it on the deck side, opened the door, and stepped back to let him in. “Put your things inside. I’ll go fetch a couple of bowls from the kitchen so you can put down water for your cat and any food she might need. She’s lovely… by the way.” Tazrae didn’t try to pet the cat. She wasn’t one to force her attention on animals uninvited. But if the cat ever offered, she’d be delighted in stroking her lovely fur.

The Innkeeper left Robert and Anastasia to settle into their room and did as she said she would, fetching the cat a pair of matching bowls to lay out food and water. Robert would find the room clean, spacious with a large bed, two side tables, a spacious wardrobe, and a small desk and chair opposite of the bed. The room had no place to wash up, but he’d find that for every pair of rooms, a shared wash space with a full bathroom was available. The double sinks in the bathroom each had storage below and above them and were marked with which room they belonged to so he could have somewhat of a private sink.

One door from his room lead to a spacious hallway that was almost open air with the outside. There was just a series of storm shutters could be closed off to seal it in against weather. The hallway lead to the main gathering area and a kitchen. His other door lead to a spacious deck that had tables, chairs, and a fireplace outside that matched the fireplace inside. Everything was squeaky clean and looked to be brand new.

The bed was laid out with fresh linens and the bathroom was stocked with towels and soap. There was a basket of baked goods on the little desk – a few scones and cookies – and a water pitcher that Tazrae brought in filled with cool well water. She filled up a bowl for the cat from the pitcher and left the bowl resting on the floor then nodded to Robert. “I hope you find it suitable.” She said, glancing around. “If there is anything you need, just let me know.” She added, smiling her best ‘hostess’ smile.

“I’m going to go change into some more suitable jungle gear… and grab some supplies.. then lets start at the tar pits? I’m not sure anyone has searched there or the outlying areas yet.” She added. The Innkeeper was dressed in what basically passed for a crocheted bikini, a wrapped skirt, and a loose shirt. She’d switch over to linen pants, leather boots, a long-sleeved shirt and braid her out-of-control curls into a semblance of tamed plait. Then she’d be back in ten minutes, a backpack on her shoulder and a machete and hatchet strapped to her side.

“Ready?” She asked. If Robert was, Taz would lead him onward. All they had to do was head out to the Cobbled Pathway, aim south, and look for the little western turnoff to the Tar Pits. It was a long walk, but Tazrae took advantage of it to get to know her companion a bit.

“So, where you from?” She asked casually, her eyes scanning the Cobbled Pathway, keeping an eye out for the totem parts as she walked. Wouldn’t it be neat to stumble across one on the way to another location? Regardless, making small talk with a stranger wasn’t all that difficult. Tazrae loved people, liked being among them, and could carry a conversation if the participant was even halfway willing.

The cobbled pathway went on for miles. They walked at least a quarter of one towards their destination.

“I grew up in Riverfall. My parents were Innkeepers. I came to Syka when I heard there was a new settlement here, one that needed an Innkeeper. It sounded like a lovely place to lay down my own roots separate from my family. What about you? Do you have plans for living here?” She asked, turning to study the newcomer as she walked. She was curious about him. But then again, it wasn’t surprising that a young man would come to Syka for any reason… either visiting or looking to settle. There were lots of opportunities around.

She waited for his answer and as she did so, a glint off something caught her eye on the edge of the cobbles. Concealed by jungle growth that flowed around palms which lined the path, an odd shaped rock stood out. Tazrae held up her hand a minute, pointed, and went to investigate. Sure enough, lying concealed in the brush, was what looked like a fancy top portion to a totem. It was odd shaped, as if it were something that fitted on an animals head, not something that fit on a human head. Tazrae pounced on it, eager, and tore it out of the underbrush where it had been partially concealed.

“Look! Is this what I think it is?” She asked Robert, holding out the headdress to him. “It looks like the very top of one of the totems… there’s an indention on the underside where it fits into something, but nothing on the top so its not a middle piece… unless it’s a base I’m holding the wrong way.” She said, excitement coursing through her. “Should we take it to the commons immediately or should we keep looking?” She asked, waiting to hear what he thought so they could decide together.

Tazrae had planned on searching the Tar Pits too… and they were just about at the little sign that marked the trail to the pits where it split off the main cobbled pathway. “We’re at the Tar Pit trail now….walking this far…. Do you want to maybe check it really fast before we head back?” She suggested, excitement coursing through her. They’d found one! Nesra’s story was real… very very real.

The Innkeeper waited for her new guest to way in before she either headed back to The Commons or took the little trail west to the Tar Pits.

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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 15th, 2020, 4:20 am

Ledger :
A new home! -120 GM


"Splendid!" Robert rubbed his hands together in satisfaction, and followed Tazrae eagerly to his room, trusting that Anastasia would follow. She did, of course, after the obligatory turning-up of her nose at the sleeping pup.

Once Tazrae had returned with the bowls, he withdrew a bundle of leaves wrapped in twine and opened it to reveal a small pasty mixture of whole grains and plain jerky, dropping it into the empty receptacle. Meanwhile, Anastasia made herself comfortable at the foot of the bed, and soon drifted off to a light sleep, her eyes half-open and facing the window.

"That sounds good, Tazrae, I'll leave you to it and meet you at the front."

Once she had left, he removed part of his belongings from his backpack, laying them out on the tables and frowning as he considered what to bring.

Too hot for a shirt. Axe might be helpful if we need to clear any dead wood. It isn't too large or heavy anyway, and it always helps to have something to hit any unfriendly creatures with. I'll have to wear the long pants - there's bound to be something nasty hiding in the undergrowth.

His imagination grew and expounded on that discomfiting thought before he forced himself out of the brief reverie, wiping a bit of cold sweat off his forehead. To distract himself, he poured himself some water from the pitcher and drank deeply, smacking his lips once he was done.

Not bad, Syka, not bad. Soft, no aftertaste...

He raised the glass to the light, and dipped his hands into the pitcher, rubbing his fingers.

Clear as the sky and no soapy texture like the cave water those sneaks tried to sell us back in Lhavit. I'll make something of you yet, water.

He placed the pitcher down, and set about his last few preparations. Jungle boots on, long pants, axe strapped to his backpack, and a full water-skin, and he was off, joining Tazrae as they walked together down the pathway.

"Where I'm from?" He rubbed his chin.

"I'm last from Lhavit - I managed to barter a ride with a Svefra Pod that was heading this way. Heard that Syka needed a brewer, and, well, I didn't really have anything left to do back home."

He nodded in response to Tazrae's story.

"I'm in a similar situation as you are. My mother's gone to her well-deserved rest, Gods bless her soul, and my father's doing well - he's joint partners with my sister's husband in their winery and orchard, and currently spoiling my baby niece so badly she'll never have to lift a finger to do anything."

He grinned, reminiscing fondly as he recalled the simple festivities organized by part of Lhavit's farming community to welcome and celebrate a new life.

"I've never been to Riverfall, though I hear that the fields and plantations there are vast and grow an amazing amount of crops. Back home in the Sharai Peaks we do have fields and terraces, but nothing too large. We were a small family distillery, only about three generations, before we had to close down. After I made sure my family had everything they needed, I came here to start anew, experiment with everything Syka has to offer, and hopefully make something of myself."

His eyes moved from side to side, running over the cobbles and vegetation by the side, drawn by the sheer novelty of plants he'd never seen before.

"I'm hoping to set up the new Glenfeidh distillery as soon as I can finish negotiating with the Founders - I have a letter of recommendation from the Lia, and two barrels of the last and best of our family whiskey, so that should do the trick."

He stopped in his tracks when Tazrae raised her hand, and watched with mild curiosity as she went off the path, only to give a start as she held out the wooden piece with undisguised eagerness.

Of all the - that's some luck, that is, just chancing on the very thing we're looking for lying on the side of a random road!

He chuckled, and spoke in a tone that suggested his incredulity.

"That... was incredibly lucky. I'm guessing that's one of them - it does look totem-y."

He ran his fingers over the smooth wooden surface, marvelling at the design.

"It's small enough that we can carry it with us - I doubt we'll find too many to carry in our arms. We're not that far from the Commons, by my reckoning, so away we go!"

His spirits buoyed by the swift find, he stepped onto the small dirt path and waited for Tazrae to follow suit before they both headed deeper into the vegetation, away from the shore.

Several minutes later, Robert cursed vigorously as another vine smacked into his face, swinging his axe with one hand and letting the vine catch on its sharp edge for a few moments before it sliced cleanly through.

"I swear, those petching things can burn for all I care."

He continued muttering under his breath for a few moments until he noticed the clear blue lake some yards away from them.

'I'm guessing that's the Tar Pit?" He asked Tazrae for confirmation, before moving closer to inspect the innocuous body of water.

"Looks perfectly clear and drinkable to me, it's the complete opposite of black and viscuous - what!"

He took a step back as bubbles oozed from the bottom of the pool and burst at the surface, releasing an unpleasant, pungent odour that had him wrinkling his nose. At the same time, the water took on a distinctly oily sheen, refracting the sunlight shining through the canopy into its kaleidoscopic components, and attracted his attention to a particular boulder a few inches away from the edge of the pit.

He grinned widely, and chuckled, moving slowly towards the boulder; even the squishy mud under his feet failed to dampen his spirits. Finally, he squatted down near the edge of the lake, careful not to touch or step on any spot that seemed remotely water-logged, and snatched a wooden object from its perch.

"What are the odds, Tazrae?" He waved it in his hands, standing up and slowly making his way back to her, unable to contain his excitement through the squishing sounds his boots made.

"Two pieces in about as many chimes!"

Once he was back on the path, he examined it more closely.

"Looks like... the head of an animal with a long thick nose and two massive ears. I'm no wildlife expert, but I'm damn sure it's one of the pieces."

He wasn't sure where they'd go next, so he waited for her response.
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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Tazrae on June 21st, 2020, 3:10 pm

Tazrae was enjoying Roberts company. He was easy to talk to and friendly in a way that wasn’t forced or sly as if he had other motives. Normally, in any other city she’d have a real issue setting off to explore a city with a complete stranger, but this was Syka. It wasn’t that big nor was it that dangerous in regards to the people inhabiting it. They all had to work together like this to get things done because unlike other cities, their surroundings were deadly. He seemed pleased at the room, even though it was simple and not probably as fancy as city people were used too. She also noticed that he paid attention. It was a trait that was easily recognizable in him. He was detail orientated, something she herself could appreciate.

And he didn’t balk from the causal conversation, speaking openly about his life and how he came to be in Syka. She minded the tale carefully and then smiled brightly when she found out his plans. “A brewery! That’s an amazing idea, Robert. We have so many raw materials year-round here that would make delightful liquors and brandies. Even wine, I think, though I’m not well versed on how its made.” She admitted. “Have you tried mangos? If you haven’t, you must, because I think their flavor is amazing and would make something truly spectacular in regards to a drink if a talented vinter got ahold of them. I’m from Riverfall, and the wines we enjoyed were stellar. I’m a bit spoiled because we had fruit and seasonal wines aplenty. I miss that here. There’s nothing better than a long cold hard drink at the end of the day or with a good meal.” She added, smiling brightly at him. She truly seemed very happy he was here.

And he was already fitting into Syka well, opting out of a shirt but also dressing his lower body carefully against snakes.

She nodded sympathetically when he spoke about his departed mother. She smiled at the thought of a baby niece getting spoiled, but added thoughtfully…. “You didn’t stay there because you wouldn’t have ever gotten out of their shadow, would you? Here you can do truly unique things instead of just being one member of a great vinter family.” She said thoughtfully, not knowing if it was true or not, but suspecting nonetheless.

“I don’t know much about Lhavit. People talk of it here but just in bits and pieces. More people are from Riverfall across the Suvan than Lhavit on the same piece of ground. It’s funny how that geography works. Riverfall is a whole region away, but to get to Lhavit you have to circumnavigate Falyndar.” She mused, remembering her geography and how things were put together in the mental map of her mind. “We do have a lot in common.” She added, thinking things through. Would he be another friend? She certainly hoped so.

“What is the difference between a distillery and a winery? Will you be making wines at all? Wine is expensive at the mercantile now because it all has to be brought in.” She commented, heading out with him to start their search now.

It didn’t take them long to find something. Tazrae didn’t consider it ‘her find’ but theirs as she gathered up the elephant headdress and carried it along. It was heavy enough Tazrae decided she’d drop it off at the commons and see if anyone else got them. “We should drop this off on our way by so we aren’t carrying these bulky pieces everywhere.” She added, moving behind Robert as he swung his axe and cleared part of the trail for them. It seemed the cobbled pathway was overgrown in more than one place… after seemingly just a day or two. Vegetation around Syka grew quickly, that much was for sure.

They took the path to the Tar Pits on their way by and their trouble wasn’t unrewarded. She smiled when Robert noticed the odor, and what looked like another piece of the totem set. “Good Odds!” she smiled, grinning at him. “You are bringing us luck, Robert.” She declared, then helped him haul the elephant head from the muck. “Ugh.. I’m glad this wasn’t in the tar.” She added with a laugh, thinking they dodged a huge ‘cleaning arrow’ with that one. “This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.” She added, then headed onward.

“It’s an elephant. We have them here… ashta… very small ones but elephants none the less.” She said, then looked thoughtful. “We should do some real trekking before we head back to The Commons. Lets check the Estuary Cave, search through Utas, and then hit treasure point. It’s a long walk to the point, but you look like you are in good shape… we could jog back to the Commons from there. The cobbled path goes all the way to the base of the point.” She added, knowing the run back would give them the much-needed exercise the Innkeeper liked to do daily. She was a runner, one that liked to keep fit to counteract all the baking she’d did… baking she always ate herself.

“So the cave’s down here…” She said, taking him back to the main cobbled pathway and then turning them onto the trail that lead to the Estuary Cave. It was an enormous sea cavern that was full of fish of all types. Syka’s collective hole thought of the place as a source of food in good weather and bad, plus the cavern was large enough to house all sorts of creatures and to stash any sort of treasure.

And treasure was what Robert found. They didn’t find any sign of a totem piece there, but when the man was traversing the edge of the cave, he found something even better. Tazrae smiled in delight at what he touched, seemingly woke up, and took with them when they left. She didn’t quite know what the small statue of the winged serpent was, but she certainly knew something that spoke wasn’t exactly common.

Uta’s place was next on the agenda, the herbalist living just off the Cobbled Pathway to the west. Tazrae took almost no time combing among the woman’s things in the clearing before she found what looked to be a fish’s headdress. It was tucked under some huge medicinal plants right beside the entrance to the herbalists place. She laughed, strapped it to the backpack she carried, and nodded to Robert. “We got one here too. Lets see what treasure point has in store.” She added.

From there, they headed back down the trail to the cobbled pathway and south towards Treasure point. Tazrae was carefully to look in the jungle, move aside vegetation, peek behind trees…. anywhere and everywhere… as they moved through the jungle. Treasure point was devoid of statue pieces, but she wasn’t surprised. It was from here the animals had carried them off. Undeterred by their search, Tazrae turned them both back towards The Commons and broke into a light jog. She loved running… even with a now-bulky pack. She could carry on a light conversation too.

“I’ve never seen that serpent statue’s like.” She said, as they ran together up the path, trying to get back to the commons without taking all day. They weren’t the only one on the walkway though and often they had to dodge heavy wheelbarrows and other people with pieces of the totems they’d found themselves.

“It looks like the whole settlement has turned out to look.” She added, eager. She had a long leggy stride that ate up the lengths letting her move easily and breath deeply as she concentrated on where she put her feet.

“When we return these to The Commons, do you want to go search anywhere else specific? There’s a Grove of Isuas we could look through… maybe more things down that direction. But I’m open to anywhere you wan to explore!” She added, feeling awkward because she didn’t know what had been searched yet and what hadn’t bee.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Robert Glenfeidh on June 24th, 2020, 5:19 am

"Aye, that's part of the reason I chose to come here instead of, say, Syliras. Falyndar's a mystery to me, but they say the jungle holds countless treasures and riches. Mangoes, you say? I'll have to try them - as long as it's sweet, I can make something out of it." He nodded in agreement with Tazrae's opinion on digestifs, before thinking a bit on her next words.

"I won't deny that I do have a desire to be my own man, to stand on my own two feet. But no," and here he chuckled, "we aren't a great vinter family by any means, we've just lasted long enough that some Lhavitians might recognise our name. I did try a bit of this and a bit of that, things that were wholly unrelated to distilling, but it's the trade I know best, and I'll do a good job with it."

"Looks like we do, Tazrae. Wineries make wine - that's simple enough. Distilleries, on the other hand, go through a slightly different process. I don't know much about making wine, but we generally do the same thing - processing and fermenting, just with different ingredients. But wineries leave their wine as is and age the fermented stuff in barrels - we have large stills to distil it. I had to take a few classes at the Alluvion Academy to learn enough philtering, but the gist of it is that our liquors go through an additional process to increase their alcohol content. Whiskey's our main product, but we do produce other liquors like gin - we even distilled some brandy for a friend's winery once."

He considered Tazrae's question as they left the Protea Inn, scratching his chin, and replied.

"I... might do it, but there's going to be a lot of trial and error. I'd have to find wild grapes in the jungle, and probably visit a winery in Riverfall to get an idea of the process before I can actually do anything. But the wines I make will be different from your Rivarian wines - there's no winter here to influence the grapes, and I'll have to age them in the whiskey barrels I brought here, which will mean that there'll be toasty and caramel notes, at the very least."

-~-~-

"Ha! It'd be impossible to clean off - we'd need to tie it up and drag it in the sea with a ship for a day just to loosen it." As Tazrae described the animal whose wooden head he was holding, Robert examined the totem piece carefully.

"A bit of trekking sounds good. I've been on a ship for so long that I've gained my sea legs and lost my land legs." As they entered the Estuary cave, Robert marvelled at the sight within. The slow-moving stream fed the pool within, both bodies of water containing fish almost as massive as the ones he'd seen at sea, swimming lazily here and there even as they fed on aquatic plants and small insects.

While Tazrae started her search, Robert knelt down by the side of the pond, and dipped a finger into the water, tasting it.

A bit salty, but not too much that you'd call it seawater. A bit of mud or earth too.

Taking off his boots, Robert rolled up his pants to high above his knees, securing them by tucking the legs into themselves, and waded into the shallows, feeling the soft mud beneath his feet in hopes of chancing on one of the totem pieces. Making his way slowly 'round the perimeter, he took each step carefully even as he kept an eye out for anything in the estuary around him, not wanting to muddy the waters too much.

As he neared a corner of the cave, he trod on an oddly-shaped object that felt cool to the touch, even cooler than the water it was submerged in. It didn't feel like it was large enough to be a totem piece, but Robert wasn't going to leave it be, seeing as it might some small trinket that would make the long hike here worthwhile.

Leaning over and digging into the soil, Robert closed his hand around the serpentine stone, and shook it loosely in his hands, washing the last of the mud from it before lifting it and examining it.

Had he been a veteran geologist, he would have been able to identity its mineral components of dark green nephrite, colourless moissanite, and serpentinite. As Robert was only a farm boy, it was a colourful, if unpolished, rock carved into the shape of a winged snake with extraordinary detail.

Running his hands over the textured surface, he turned it over and stared at an opal sigil on its head, a stylised, abstract representation of the whole object. As he rubbed at it, it glowed faintly, and with a stifled cry, he let go.

Instead of splashing down, it hovered in the air and wound around itself briefly, before seemingly slithering through the air and stopping in front of Robert's face, all eight inches of it languidly undulating except for its head, which stared steadily at Robert. Even as it animated, it subsumed itself, becoming more real, a seeming of true flesh and blood.

Being a Lhavitian, Robert was slightly more used to magic or anything that seemed unnatural compared to, say, a Sunberthan, but he still tried to put some distance between him and the unidentified flying object that embraced a contradiction of flesh and stone. Unfortunately, he had been standing in the same spot for a bit too long, and the mud sucked at his feet, preventing any hasty movement.

It opened its mouth, and an oddly cultured voice, with the faintest hint of a hiss, came out.

"I was sent by Rak'keli, sir. I was given to understand you required a personal advisor?"

Robert gaped at it, only managing a strangled, unintelligible sound.

"A- a-"

'Very good, sir."

It did an aerial somersault before slithering through the air, winding itself around Robert's legs gently before returning to its original position in front of him. As it touched him, he felt all the aches and the mild muscle soreness his trek had given him fade away into nothingness. Robert burst out in amazement.

"I say!" He rubbed his calves, noting that they were as refreshed as they would have been after a nice, long soak in warm water. Any tiredness in his head had cleared, and he was thinking

"I say! You're engaged."

'Thank you, sir. My name is Æschathr, and I am an Idol of Rak'keli, the Goddess of Healing and Health, who shaped me into the form of her Rakanivas, and whose mark I bear on my head. She has granted me to you to act as an adviser, and a healer in times of need. I may heal small ailments and cleanse wounds by Her power; all she asks is that you utter a small prayer, or offer a libation in Her name."

Robert pondered Æschathr's words for a moment, before speaking, already adjusting to the strange set of circumstances he had landed in.

"I reckon that's as fair a deal as I'll get. Name's Robert. If you get tired of floating in the air, feel free to rest on my shoulders. Do be careful though; Anastasia may or may not take a fancy to you, so try to stay away from her."

The serpent assented, and floated around Robert's person even as he got out of the pool, examining it in minute detail, squeezing into pockets and even a few backpack compartments.

-~-~-

As Tazrae went into Uta's Place to search, Robert decided to explore the stream beneath, walking up and down its banks while scanning the waters and the thick grass. Æschathr had stayed within a few metres of him the entire time, still oddly interested in its new owner's body, avoiding the distiller's cat's playful swipes on its occasional dives towards Robert.

Having found nothing of interest, he walked to Tazrae, who was grinning happily.

"Nicely done, Tazrae. That's another off our list."

As the twain walked all over Treasure Point, Robert took a moment to glance around. It held no trace of what presumably gave it its name, and he wondered at just why people would call it so. It looked just like any stretch of beach, albeit located on an extremity, and there weren't any shipwrecks offshore.

Having found no treasure, Robert accompanied Tazrae on her jog back towards the Commons, settling into an easy lope that jostled Anastasia only slightly, managing to keep up with Tazrae's pace with his height and longer legs.

"Me neither, not even back in Lhavit. This... Æschathr is a gift from Rak'keli, or so it says, and divine magic must be beyond what humans can do. I'll see if I can't find someone who worships her - there has to be some clinic or healing station in Syka, so that'll be a good starting point when I start to ask around."

'The Grove sounds interesting - we may as well drop by. There's definitely a few that have been found already," he pointed to the individuals carrying wooden objects that they jogged past, "and no telling where they've been. Who knows? We might even find something we've missed."

As they slowed down closer to the Isuas Grove, Æschathr, who had kept up easily with the duo on their unhurried run, finally decided that it had finished its inspection of its new master, and hovered over to Tazrae, examining her curiously before asking.

"If I may be so bold to ask, who are you?"

OOC note :
I originally planned to let Taz interact with it for a bit when Robert found it at the cave, so have at it if you want to! I had a lot of trouble deciding what its personality is going to be, but anything vaguely resembling a gentleman's gentleman or valet amuses me greatly, so it should do for now.
Robert Glenfeidh
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Seeking That Which Is Lost (Robert)

Postby Tazrae on Yesterday, 3:34 am

The conversation flowed easily between them and Tazrae was slowly getting a feel for who the stranger with her was. Robert wouldn’t be a stranger long though. If he got his way, he’d be a neighbor and fellow businessman in Syka. And what he talked about doing was exciting to her… anything that added to the culture of the settlement was. If Robert got his distillery up and running, that would just be another unique facet of Syka the Settlement would have to enjoy. If he started a family, and then generations of distillers ran his business, they could have something on the world market and to Tazrae that was exciting. Watching anything start from the ground up was exciting.

She liked telling him about elephants. It was going to be fun when he actually met an Ashta. The Cave itself was beautiful and she immediately split from Robert to take the opposite side of the pool searching away from where he was looking. She kept scanning everywhere until she heard him speaking to something and something speaking back.

Tazrae bit her lip and quietly approached Robert and his acquisition, listening thoughtfully to the interaction. She said nothing though, having no idea what the small talking statue was all about. He explained itself clearly… a snake… a winged snake… calling itself Rak’keli’s Rakanivas. Tazrae filed the information away, curious, and happy for the man at once. The girl was a huge collector of stories and she remained silent the whole time because she wanted to memorize the scene. Someday she’d be able to tell a story about how Robert met Æschathr.

She only smiled at him when the left the cave, eyeing the creature on his shoulder and nodding thoughtfully. “I would leave Rak’keli an offering, Robert. A thank you for the companion. I’ve only met one God in my life, but I do know they are like people in the way that if they send gifts, they will want thank you’s.” She cautioned lightly.

They walked on…. darting down the path to Uta’s Place from Estuary Cave. Tazrae let the new companions interact as she scouted ahead and almost tripped over what appeared to be a Fish Headdress. She hefted it up, showed it to Robert, and stowed it in her backpack that was slung over her shoulder.

“I feel like we are really helping. This search sure has been useful to you.” She commented, nodding towards the little stone snake. She wasn’t even feeling tired as she left Uta’s Place with Robert and followed the trail on down to Treasure Point. There was nothing on the beach. Tazrae assumed it was because others had been here before them.

“I suspect this has been picked over. If I were looking for something, I’d start here for certain.” She said thoughtfully, then glanced around. They wandered back towards the Commons to drop off the headdress.

“So what kinds of brews have you thought of making?” She asked thoughtfully, curious to know more about his business. “We’ve not had anything like a Distillery here. In fact, wine is pricy since its all imported. I think the Tidepool is making some of its own spirits, but you’d have to talk to Stu about its setup. I think I taste a lot of hard juices over there. Good stuff, actually, but I think his batches are all small scale stuff.” Tazrae added.

“I grew up in Riverfall where we had orchards and vineyards. The wines were excellent. And we have access to them here because of the Veronica’s runs. But it would be nice to have our own things and not rely on trade.” She added, trying to make conversation with the new Sykian.

When Robert brought up the gift from Rak’keli, Tazrae nodded. “There’s a healing place called The Panacea. An Akalak runs it. I haven’t met him yet, but he seems rather nice. You should introduce yourself. He might know more about Rak’keli than someone who isn’t a healer does.” Tazrae offered.

They swung by The Commons, dropped off the piece, and headed for the Isuas Grove. “I know where it is because its across from my place… or at least the trail to it. It’s tucked back into the jungle. I guess the plants there were already growing when the Settlement happened here. The guy that runs is… I forget his name… just cleaned it up and did some experimentation on the fluff the plants create. It’s a lot like cotton, from what I understand, but stronger, lighter, and just flat out sturdier than cotton.

She smiled at the winged snake when it spoke to her. “I’m Tazrae. Nice to meet you.” She added to the statue. “I am sorry… I didn’t mean to be rude. I just didn’t want to interrupt by introducing myself earlier.” She said thoughtfully, then smiled at the creature. “I’m glad you joined us on our hunt.” She added.

Taz looked around and waded into the grove to start looking along the rows of growing plants. “Did Robert tell you what we are doing?” She said curiously. “One of our Settlers saw statues wash ashore… Totems of some sort. They broke into five pieces and animals came out of the jungle and scattered them around. We are retrieving all the parts. Do you know anything about them?” Tazrae asked the little odd magical creature before turning back to her scanning. Once they searched the Isuas Grove… she looked around and wondered where they should go next.

“Do you want to call it a day or would you rather head to say the Swine Swells and maybe look around the Sawmill? I could show you a real Ashta… a small sort of elephant if you’d like.” Tazrae offered, not sure what was the better plan. On the last pass through of The Commons, they’d noticed that quite a few pieces had been retrieved.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
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