Closed Astride the sea (Ayela)

Marino gets to know his distant cousin.

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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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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 14th, 2020, 10:43 pm

1st of Summer, 520 AV (Evening)




After a good dinner, Marino decided a visit to the Tidepool bar might be a nice place to hear some more stories from his distant cousin. For that purpose they were reclined in the hammocks that draped into the water off from where they radiated from the pier. Naturally, he’d left his clothes bundled on the deck behind him and had his wooden water pipe cradled in one hand. He was currently facing towards the island in the distance, idly staring at the mark of Laviku that swirled down his chest while he took a pull from the pipe. Breathing it in deep, he released a billowing cloud of the fruity vapor through his nose before turning towards where Ayela reclined.

Have you tried your drink yet?” He asked, gesturing towards the two glasses of Blue Whirlpool on the deck behind them, his missing about a quarter of what had been a full drink. “It doesn’t taste very strong, but I’ll take Stu’s word for it.” Marino said with a grin, turning back towards the sea. His next pull on the pipe was a lot shorter than the first and he quickly tamped out the ember in the bowl before setting it on the deck beside his glass.

It felt beyond relaxing to be in the water now after the hot day they had. That combined with the smoke and drink put him in the mood to just lay there for a while, though he did have an inclination to swim later after dinner had some time to digest. He reached behind him without looking and after fumbling for a bit, picked up his glass to take a little sip. Resting it on his chest, he glanced over at Ayela again.

I suppose I could try something like this on the Seasilk. Don’t know how safe that would be, but it might be fun once there was a proper wind going.” He said with a wry smile, imagining that it would be quite thrilling if they’d got to a good speed. Then again, the water might just push them right out off the hammock. Hard to say unless they tried which Marino would be game to do if there was someone to steer his ship. He didn’t think Ayela knew how to do that, but maybe Shoal would be interested in trying the maneuver.

Marino took another drink, and twisted to set his glass back down before adjusting his posture on the hammock. He was propped up on his right elbow now which allowed him to peer down in the water below them. It wasn’t very deep, but it was well into the evening now so the bottom was barely visible. Looking up, he met Ayela’s eyes. “I’ll have to get you in the water sometime when the lights better outside. Perhaps you could point out some of the common names of things down below and I’ll do it in Fratava. Not under the water of course, when we surface.” He laughed, and then got an curious expression on his face. “Can Konti talk underwater? Strange I never thought of that before but then again, I hadn’t known you all could breathe underwater either!

He leaned over towards the opposite side of the hammock and slipped off with a splash into the water. Marino came up standing with the water coming up to his upper chest. “I think I might try swimming off dinner if you’d like to join.
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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on July 15th, 2020, 8:57 pm

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1st of Summer, 520
..
Having finished a hearty dinner, Ayela accompanied Marino to the Tidepool bar for drinks and relaxation. While he got their drinks, Ayela meandered to the hammocks outside, strung to meet the water for the ultimate lounge spot in such a place. Shedding her clothes, well accustomed to nudity from the years spent with the Svefra, Ayela climbed into one of the hammocks and waited for Marino to return. When he did, he handed her a blue drink and then followed suit settling in his own hammock. While he did so, Ayela took a sip of this "Blue Whirpool" drink. It tasted great, with a flurry of flavors Ayela couldn't quite pinpoint, but it didn't taste like alcohol to her either. Too subtle. Too smooth. If Marino brought it to her though, it must be worth it so she'd see how it fared as the night went on.

Taking a few sips and then placing it on the deck, Ayela turned to her newly settled friend. He had gotten comfortable in the hammock beside hers and was puffing away on a wooden pipe. Ayela cocked her head to one side for a moment and then moved on. She'd never tried one of those before. Wasn't positive she wanted to, so she didn't bring it up. Maybe another time she'd inquire after it. Tonight was not that time. Marino questioned how she liked her drink, offering his own opinion on it in the process. "I feel similarly about it. I like the taste but it's not like any drink I've bad before so holding final judgement for later, haha".

Speaking of it, Ayela gingerly reached back to grab her glass and drink some more. After such a blistering day, she could feel the drink slide down her throat and settle into her body. It felt refreshing and soothing and helped Ayela relax even further into her hammock, reveling in the water below her. The Svefra mentioned the idea of being in the hammocks on the side of the Seasilk, and Ayela couldn't help but immediately burst into giggles at the thought. "I doubt it would work without tossing you right out into the sea, haha. But please let me be there to see this when you try it. I could use a good laugh." When her giggling subsided, Ayela took another gulp from her drink. She was about halfway through it now, and didn't really feel much different yet, but she did feel more relaxed. But was that the drink? Or the water? The hammock? The company? Hard to say.

Her companion turned more to face her and mentioned a Fratava lesson in the near future with things under the water. Ayela liked the idea. It gave credit to her abilities and to his better grasp on the Svefran language that she still struggled with. "I like it. It'll be fun!" Marino then threw another odd question at her as he had done all day. Inquiring more about Konti and their underwater abilities. "No we can't talk underwater. Just breathe."

Once that topic was settled, Marino slipped off his resting place and into the water, splashing Ayela in the process. Inviting her for a swim to work off dinner, Marino stood patiently waiting. It wasn't all that deep around the Tidepool. The water reached Marino's chest, and she took another drink before getting in the water herself, it coming up to the base of Ayala's neck since she was a few inches shorter than her companion. Splashing him back, Ayela dipped all the way in, letting the water slick back her hair. "Svefra... no grace at all."
Last edited by Ayela on July 24th, 2020, 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 17th, 2020, 10:05 pm

Marino laughed lightly. “Naturally we favor a strong wind to a subtle breeze.” He said as his eyes glanced over at the drink, and he raised his hands in a ‘what can you do’ gesture. “I suppose that is because most of the time that is all we can get our hands on.” Marino smiled. There was no jealousy in the expression. It was simply an accepted fact that the people they traded with didn’t always give them their best. That was fine. So long as they gave them something, Marino didn’t quite care if they were stingy.

Upon seeing how his joke landed, Marino drew air through his teeth while feigning embarrassment. “I was hoping you would test it.” He said as his face suddenly became serious for all of two ticks. Then he started laughing, and slapped at the water. “Ah, but you’re not too keen on that. I could probably get one of my cousins to try it.” He said, pressing his tongue to the side of his cheek while looking over at her sheepishly. Naturally, he hadn’t expected her to try it. Women were to0 wise for such things in his experience, though his cousin would probably reduce that too ‘less fun’.

This common. It leaves much to be desired, but I am hoping that is because I’m still trying to get a proper grasp of it. Do you feel the same about it?” He asked, playing up his exasperation with an exaggerated roll of his eyes. Running a hand through his short hair, he looked over and shook his head. “I suppose not if common was your first tongue.” It didn’t occur to him that Mura might have its own language. There was still much of this world he had yet to experience even as nomadic as he was.

Now in the water, he could feel the first warm tendrils of the drink worm their way through his chest. A slight buzz was all it was for now. A pleasant feeling to add to one of his favorite activities without overtly hampering him which he didn’t think would be the case for long. Marino stuck a tongue out at Ayela before flashing her a grin. “I’ll take function over form any day unless you can show me a way to do it gracefully that takes half as long.” He chided, stretching out his arms towards the sky before falling backwards into the water with a great splash.

Submerged, he pushed against the water with his arms till his back was flat against the rough bottom of the sea. It was difficult to stay down there, so he found himself constantly paddling to keep himself more or less stationary. Above, the orange light of evening and the Tidepool’s torches mixed together in a ripple of color as a steady stream of bubbles from him broke the surface. Finally, when he couldn’t hold his breath for much longer he broke the surface, shaking his head to clear some of the salt water from his face.

Never gets old.” He said, favoring a look at Ayela while he rubbed at his right eye with the heel of his hand. “Race you till my feet can’t touch the bottom.” Marino lunged, splashing face first into the water while his arms came up to sweep hand over hand across the water. It was one of the strokes he was working on that ran a little different to his usual maneuverer that had him a little more spread out on the water. With this strategy, his body was as straight as an arrow going across with the water.

His feet churned up quite a bit of noise and water as they splashed behind him so he couldn’t keep an eye on Ayela. In fact, he had a hard time keeping an eye on anything as his arms often obscured his view. Marino stopped, spreading out his arms and legs to start treading water as he cautiously felt for the bottom. When he couldn’t immediately find it, he looked around for Ayela to see how she had fared with their game.
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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on July 18th, 2020, 3:21 pm

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Gently relaxing in the shallower water, Ayela listened while Marino spoke of Common. He then mentioned it possibly being her first tongue and she figured a question was probably churning in his head somewhere about Konti and Mura and speech. Deciding to offer up information rather than make him ask for it for once, she smiled at him. "Common was my first tongue simply for the ease with most others if I'd ever left Mura. But we Konti do have our own language. It's called Kontinese. It's understandably only spoken from Konti to Konti though, hence why I was taught Common first even though I grew up on Mura."

As she expected he would, he played off her chide about his lack of grace. Watching him in this more comfortable and playful mood was entertaining. Now that they were settled with each other more after a long day of sightseeing and conversation, they were both free to show their less composed sides of themselves. A slight whoosh could be felt when she moved around now, the beginnings of side effects from the drink. Mild for now, but a lightweight and carefree feeling was creeping into the Konti. Wading over to her drink, she downed a few more gulps before turning back to Marino.

She did so just in time to see him submerge himself backwards, and use his arms to push himself to the sandy bottom below. Ayela watched him, intrigued, as he had to keep pushing himself down. She wondered what could be done to make that process easier. Glancing around at the outside of the Tidepool and the surrounding areas, her eyes landed on some small rocks laying about. Rocks were heavy. This gave Ayela an idea. Before she could bring anything up though, Marino said he wanted to race her and took off swimming towards the deeper water.

Grinning mischievously, Ayela immediately followed him, gracefully using her arms to divide and push away the water in front of her. Cupped hands dove straight ahead of her face and then turned slightly to push the water aside and behind her to propel her forward. Her feet kicked behind her, just below the water's surface, in quick but short distances, like speedy flippers instead of larger kicks that broke the water surface and splashed about. Not needing to turn her head to breathe, Ayela positioned her face down in the water, angled to look slightly ahead of her rather than straight below, the water effortlessly flowing past her body while she swam.

With her face in the water, Ayela couldn't see Marino, but she could hear all the splashing around her and knew he was nearby. Peeking up for a moment, she saw that she was just ahead of him, but he'd kept up with her better than she'd figured he would. Dipping below the surface entirely, she sunk out of sight just as he pulled up and began treading in place, looking for her. Popping up unexpectedly in front of him, she teased him. "Boo! Nice of you to arrive, haha. I kid of course. You were faster than I expected you to be. I only reached here a moment ahead of you. Nice technique sailor." Treading easily beside him, she gazed around at the remainder of the setting sun. The various colors streaked through the sky and illuminated the water surface around them. It was a beautiful sight really without justice by words. Instead, Ayela just enjoyed the view, her loose ponytail sticking to her neck, showcasing the scales that covered her back.
Last edited by Ayela on July 24th, 2020, 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 20th, 2020, 10:32 pm

Kontinese. Interesting name for a language Marino thought, smiling at Ayela appreciatively. This Mura was sounding all the more intriguing now that he knew it had its own language. He didn’t have something in mind for why that was, just a fever for new experiences that dwelt deep inside of him. No matter how strong the tether, he was a man of the sea first and foremost.

While he was at the bottom, he idly wondered what it was like to have a traveling father, and a island bound mother. How their relationship fared when he was gone for long periods of time. It was something he speculated on occasionally when he considered the plight of those who rarely traveled far. They seemed to be happy despite their stationary existence which was somewhat of a curiosity for him. Maybe that was part of his motivation for staying around here after all.

It took him a lot longer to get out to the deeper water than he had expected. An to his chagrin, when he did surface he spotted that Ayela beat. His face twisted into an amused frown before conceding to a small grin. “I supposed I should have expected to lose to a woman who can breath underwater.” He joked, quickly realizing that Konti probably spent all of their time in the water. What lives they must live in that city of theirs he wondered as he swam around Ayela.

She had more of those scales up and down her back, shimmering beautifully from the light off the water. “How do Konti keep to the bottom? Within the underwater parts of your homes I mean.” He asked as came around to meet her eyes, the sunset glinting off the scales around her neck. Marino was immediately curious about just how their lives were spent underwater, remembering that they couldn’t speak. There was just so much he didn’t know about her race that he didn’t know where to start, or what might be too forward of him to ask. He had a hard time with that, asking too much of people too quickly. Generally he was pretty perceptive on a person’s given mood, but some times his own mood got the better of his judgment. His excitement had a way of getting him into trouble.

Hedging his bets, he decided Ayela was different so he posed his question anyways. “What all do you use the half that is underwater for anyways? I’m sorry if thats intrusive. It is just hard not to want to know what a life spent under the water might be like.” Marino asked, treading closer. Closer now, he tried to imagine Ayela in such a place though he couldn’t picture her doing anything else besides swimming. It was then he started paying special attention to her hands as his attention was prone to drift while they talked.

Your hands. Do all Konti have that bit of skin between the fingers?” He wanted to reach out to get a closer look, but he stifled that impulse as he instead consciously met her eyes again while he kept himself afloat casually treading there.
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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on July 24th, 2020, 5:32 pm

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Marino asked her more questions, his mind seemingly an endless pit of them. Ayela didn't really mind though, as she was used to being a commodity. Especially among the curious and bold Svefra. She enjoyed it most of the time, and Marino was family so he definitely got a free pass to prod her all he wanted. Treading in front of him, Ayela thought about her answers before she spoke. "Well... We have underwater gardens, passageways connecting buildings that dip under the water, that kind of thing. I don't mind the questions, mostly, haha."

She smiled at her cousin, feeling very peaceful in the night air and the water surrounding them. He asked about her hands next, Ayela so used to them she'd almost forgotten they weren't typical hands. Giggling she held one out to him to examine if he wanted to. "Yes all Konti have webbing between our fingers. Perk of the partial aquatic nature. Our toes have them too." Leaning back to float a moment, Ayela lifted her legs to showcase her feet where Marino could get a good look at them.

Remembering her previous thought back by the restaurant, Ayela figured now was as good a time as any to bring it back up. "Hey I had a thought when we were by the restaurant and I didn't get the chance to mention it before. I had an idea on staying along the bottom underwater. Rocks. Tie a bag or a net to you with some rocks in it. It would take some trial and error to figure out the right size and amount of rocks to use depending on the depth of the area but I think it would work. Just need to test it some time. What do you think?" Not really waiting for an answer, Ayela began swimming back towards the restaurant, slow and leisurely this time, looking forward to finishing her drink when they got back.
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Postby Marino Oceangem on August 3rd, 2020, 11:03 pm

Marino couldn’t help but to think about what the Svefra would do with such gifts. There would be no corner of the sea they couldn’t reach. They could have camps in underwater caves or sprawling cities like Mura. He didn’t actually know if it would be like that, though he liked to imagine it was so. Like some floating leviathan with its tendrils deep in the outer sea. Such a place seemed unconquerable.

He wondered if that webbing helped her swim, to catch more water as it were and wished he had webbed fingers to try himself. “That sounds like quite the place, this Mura. I shall definitely tell my Lia about it when next we meet.

Mura had much to teach his people, of that he was sure. Not that he knew if his Lia already knew of it or not. She was wise beyond measure so he wouldn’t be surprise if she knew of Ayela’s people already.

Smiling, he considered her next words carefully. It seemed terribly dangerous to him till he remembered that she could breathe underwater. He opened his mouth to respond, but his cousin decided to get a head start on a new race. Or not he realized as he quickly caught up to her. Slowing his pace to gentle strokes, he came up along side her where he continued the thought he’d been having.

I suppose if I could breathe underwater I would want to stay near the bottom too. So many interesting things find their way down there, and sometimes the water is too deep for me to reach them. It would be hard to lug a rock all of that way so it would need to be done on a ship. Not too heavy either because you wouldn’t want to be stuck to the bottom at one spot.” He mused on that point, padding in slow, easy strokes. Marino imagined what he would do if he could walk the bottom without coming up for air. For that he’d want his hands and feet free certainly. It was quite the puzzle, however it was something he enjoyed working at.

Swimming up to the dock, he picked up his glass and took a swig from it. It was a little warmer now but he didn’t mind. He drained it to a quarter in a couple of gulps. “Perfect for a night swim.” Marino said, looking over at Ayela to see what she thought about his suggestion.
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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on August 4th, 2020, 5:44 pm

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Her companion quickly caught up with her leisurely pace, swimming gracefully alongside her as they headed back to their drinks. While they swam, he mused about her idea for seafloor diving, verbalizing his thoughts for her. He agreed with the idea of a way to stay on the bottom, citing the advantages of finding things down there that others couldn't reach. Ayela's head swam with the possibilities of lost trinkets or boat wrecks or a multitude of other things she could find down there.

Interrupting her fantasies, he continued his thought process, mentioning using a ship to take them out to the deeper water and then diving with the rock(s) from there. He brought up an excellent point about not using too heavy of a rock else one would be stuck at the bottom. As he finished his thought, they reached the deck where their drinks sat waiting for them. Marino downed about half of what was left of his, Ayela following with her own. It was warmer now than before, changing the strength of the various flavors from when she'd initially begun drinking it.

"Hmm.... Good points there. I suppose we'd need to have a collection of various size rocks on board to choose from. I think a few medium sized ones would be better for seafloor diving rather than one large one. Easier to gauge and adjust the weight, and to get in and out of the net in the first place. I think we're really coming up with something amazing here."

Pulling herself back up into the hammock she'd lain in earlier, Ayela propped herself up in it in a sitting position, legs folded underneath her to spread her weight out. Her bottom and legs remained suspended in the water, her top half drying off in the occasional night breeze as she thought some more on their ideas.

"We could easily investigate and practice this somewhere safe for a while too, until we get the specifics a little more in hand. Somewhere like the Community Pool or another location besides the sea. Somewhere with enough depth to try out techniques but safe from ocean predators. That's another aspect that we'll have to figure out too with sea floor diving. Predators." Coming out of her haze, Ayela glanced at her companion, trying to read him. "Any thoughts? This is rather exciting!"
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Postby Marino Oceangem on August 5th, 2020, 11:28 pm

Don’t lack for rocks on the shore.” Marino grinned as he pulled himself into the hammock. Laying back with his arms behind his head, he looked towards the silhouette of the island. It felt a good deal more relaxing now that the sun wasn’t burning across his skin, so much so in fact that the humidity didn’t feel like much of an issue. He almost got goosebumps from laying half in the water however the water was warm enough that he didn’t feel chilled.

The pool would be good. Or bay. It is shallow enough now for no predators.” Marino said as he closed his eyes for a moment, imagining what it would be like to sink to the bottom of the sea. To never come up. Slightly morbid, but in this magical place of his mind he could breathe just as easily as Ayela. If only such was possible.

He opened his eyes again, and looked over at Ayela. It was strange to think that they were cousins, though physically they were so different. Her blue eyes were familiar enough to him though, so he focused on them or what he could see of them in the flickering torchlight.

I think I should try practicing holding my breath so I might join you sometime. Though I’d rather do it without weights, don’t want to get stuck at the bottom.” He said, trailing off as he spoke. It was a dark thought, every sailors innermost fear which was probably why they tended to dress so light. That in combination with the temperature. The thought of wearing armor while out to sea seemed like a way to certainly to find a home at the bottom. Even his scarf could become tangled in a way he didn’t intend to down there so that is why it worked out better if you swam with as little on as possible.

Reaching out to grasp his drink, he finished what remained in the glass before setting it aside. He could feel a strong buzz going on now, and one that made his mood easily fluctuate. So when he pictured just what they must look like lounging at the end of the dock, he couldn’t help but to chuckle slightly to himself. A picture of Svefra living right here, with a few of the more obscure bits hidden below the surface. As was proper.

I imagine there is a lot down there that has drifted in with the tides over the years.” Marino mused, coming back suddenly to the topic at hand.
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Astride the sea (Ayela)

Postby Ayela on August 12th, 2020, 6:25 pm

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Marino mused about the abundance of rocks and locations they could practice their ideas at, seemingly reading Ayela's mind. It was pleasant but uncanny the way the pair seemed to be on the same page most of the time. Whether that was from general like-mindedness, being raised at least partly in the same culture, or some combination of the two, she couldn't be sure. She enjoyed it all the same regardless. Marino helped instill confidence in her that coming to Syka was the right choice for her and for that she would be forever grateful.

Snapping back to the present moment, Ayela refocused in time to hear her cousin speaking of practicing holding his breath. "I think practicing without weights is an excellent idea. I can be there to help too if you'd like. Moral support and save you if something goes wrong and you pass out, haha." He then brought up his suspicion on the number of lost items she could end up finding in the deeper water, Ayela's eyes glowing at the thought. "It's funny you bring that up. It's been my favorite thing to daydream about of late. Lost possessions that fell overboard. Boat wrecks and even shipwrecks further out. Ruins lost to sea. The possibilities are almost endless."

Finishing her own drink after Marino, warm and poorly mixed now that it had sat for some time, Ayela wrinkled her face against the stronger flavors, feeling their effects rather quickly upon consumption. Her mood remained largely unchanged, but her body felt the warmth of the alcohol course through her, feeling like a fuzzy blanket beneath her skin. Turning back to her cousin, Ayela inquired as to his next plan. "Have anything else in mind this evening? Or will you be turning in soon?"
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