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Trouble in parardise

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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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Postby Marino Oceangem on July 20th, 2020, 11:09 pm

Afternoon of the 24th of Summer, 520 A.V.




The rain had been coming down hard all day, with no signs of letting up in the least. A fact Marino was quickly becoming accustomed. Since the Watchtowers had signaled the start of Summer, it had been coming rather regular, and always it poured like it was today. He didn’t mind it too much, though it made sailing slightly less pleasant. It was almost a relief to the steaming furnace the days had become otherwise.

Only today he was supposed to be training with Buraga, but this rain complicated matters. So there they were, sitting together at a table within the community center. Marino had taken off his boots, stretching out his bare toes under the table. Buraga had done likewise, their shoes having gotten more or less caked with wet sand on the trek over here. His clothing was mostly dry thanks to his canvas slicker that had been treated to keep the rain off of him. Just the bottoms of his breeches clung to him, though that wasn’t enough of an irritation to make him want to take them off. Having his toes free of those soggy boots was relief enough.

Beside him, Buraga finished his bowl of stew and looked up at him. “Don’t think this rain is going to let up any time soon.” He said, pushing the bowl aside to rest his forearms on the table. Marino nodded, leaning back. “Suppose that changes things.” The Svefra had brought his full kit like Uta had advised though it didn’t seem like he was going to need any of that now. Unfortunate, though there was nothing to do for that now. He was more curious now to see what they could do, if anything, within the confines of the community center.

Buraga scratched at the stubble on the side of his cheek for a tick before he responded. “Considerably. I don’t suppose you have fought unarmed before?

Marino shook his head which served to illicit a sigh from Buraga before the man continued. “Nah, I didn’t expect you hand. Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily. Means you won’t have to unlearn any bad habits.

Bad habits?” Marino asked, raising an eyebrow.

Yeah. Sometimes a little knowledge is worse than no knowledge at all. That little bit of knowledge can make some folks stupid thinking they’re a lot better than they are, and they can be throughly stubborn when you are trying to change them. People like that often don’t get a second chance to reconsider.” Buraga let that hang there for a few ticks before he continued. “So don’t get all high on yourself after you have learned a few licks. Confidence is good but you’ve got to earn it the hard way. If you don’t, you’ll get yourself killed out there in jungle, got it?

Marino swallowed and nodded. “Yeah, I get it.” He was no stranger to the costs of bravado out on the sea. Such attitudes usually lived short lives as their antics became dangerous. Marino was determined not to be that kind of person. He admired the calm and self control of Buraga. It was a thing he would strive to emulate.

Well this isn’t the right place for it, but it is something we are going to work on when the rain lets up. Before we get to the rest because it is that important.” Buraga said, drumming his fingers against the table. “You won’t always have the luxury of a weapon and you need to be prepared for that before you venture out into the jungle on your own. Have you been keeping up with your studies with Uta?

Yes, she’s been quite helpful for pointing out the quirks of the jungle.” Marino said, placing his hands flat on the table. He looked at them wondering if he could really defend himself with just these. It seemed ridiculous now, but maybe if he was as muscular as Buraga.. He looked over.

The man snorted at his choice of words and rested his chin on his palm. “Good, keep up with it. Everyday till thinking about it becomes second nature. Because your focus is going to be needed elsewhere out there.” Buraga stood up, and gathered his boots. “I want you to think about those pigs Marino. About how their life is out on the swells and get back to me with your answer tomorrow.

Okay, that is something I can do. I’ll see you around then, yeah?” Marino said, confused by the abrupt departure.

Sunrise, the 25th of Spring


Marino was pleasantly surprised to find that it had actually stopped raining come morning. Which was fortunate as he planned to retrieve the boots he’d left. He probably should have brought them in yesterday but he hadn’t wanted to deal with them at the time. Now that he found himself delaying breakfast to go out to retrieve them, he was starting to regret his earlier decision making. There was nothing to be done about that however, and really he didn’t mind going out to the commons. It was good to get the blood flowing so early in the morning with the sun just rising from behind the island.

Naturally his eyes were pulled to the great tree that was a permanent presence in the commons after the goddess Kihala had left them. Stomach growling, he went over to pick one of the fruits that hung heavy and ripe from its branches before he continued on to the community center. Biting into its sweet flesh, he walked up to the table he’d left his boots by yesterday. Sitting on the edge of the bench, he reached under while he savored the delicious fruit.

He barely had time to register something rustling beneath when something stuck the meat of his hand. Searing pain shot up his arm as he abruptly stood up to stumble away from the table. The fruit fell from his grasp in the commotion as his eyes settled on a rather large snake slithering from underneath towards the opposite side of the table. It was a bushmaster, but he didn’t know enough about snakes to recognize that. All he knew was that the burn was spreading from his hand. As it spread it became more intense. His heart was pounding in his chest as he gingerly touched the bite before he winced.

It was quite tender and he felt suddenly scared. He couldn’t stop staring in the direction the snake had disappeared off to. Couldn’t decide what to do next with this steady pain coursing up his arm. Stepping back, he bumped into a table on the other side of the commons which startled him more than he liked to admit. Abruptly, he looked under it which he then regretted as it made his head spin. Fortunately there was no snake under this one as he knelt for a moment to catch his breath which was hitching every other gasp. The Panacea right? The thought gave him a brief surge of energy to stand up and start running in the direction of the clinic.

Marino was now frantic, not really watching where he was going as he hurried in the direction of the Panacea. So he didn’t see the piece of driftwood he was running towards. His left foot caught on the underside, and he promptly face planted into the sand.
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Postby Ayela on July 23rd, 2020, 7:14 pm

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25th of Summer, 520


Ayela awoke early, ironically woken by silence rather than sound. It'd been raining almost constantly lately and once accustomed to the repetition in the sound, the lack thereof was startling. Not having any real reason to be up so early, the Konti tossed and turned, attempting to will herself back to sleep. After several chimes trying to no avail, Ayela succumbed to the idea that for reasons unbeknownst to her, she was rising with the sun today whether she liked it or not. After getting dressed, she began walking towards the commons, deciding first she would get something to eat and see if anyone else was up at this time. The sun was peeking out from behind the other side of the island, its glow not quite warm yet. The air smelled fresh and clean with a slight tinge of salt from the water nearby.

Up ahead she could see the commons and the distant outline of a figure there. She could tell it was a man but was too far away to see specifically who just yet. As she approached though, that man suddenly burst into motion, startled by something. A moment later, he stumbled back into a different table, something clearly wrong. Ayela's pace quickened in response, now at a brisk walk, almost a jog, to reach him and find out what was wrong. Just after hitting the table, he turned towards Ayela and began running, clearly frantic and afraid. Now fearing something serious happening, Ayela began running as well. Just as she grew close enough to make out the details of the man, Ayela realized it was Marino. Before she could call to him though, he tripped and fell face first into the sand. He didn't move to get up right away, setting a fear ablaze in Ayela. Frantic herself now, she urged her legs to run faster and she bolted to his side.

"Marino!" She screamed, shaking him. When she got no reply, she promptly dug her fingers into the sand beneath him to grip his side and turned him over. He was unconscious but was still alive. Searching his body for signs of what was ailing him, it only took Ayela a moment or two to find the bite mark on his hand. Two holes nestled into the meat there told her it was a snake bite. A quick glance around them showed no signs of it around anymore, freeing Ayela to focus solely on helping her friend. Gently placing his arm in her lap, Ayela deftly held her fingertips to his wrist, feeling the erratic and weakened pulse beneath his skin. Closing her eyes, she focused on his heartbeat, imagining the body stemming out from it. Her Gift was a vessel in her mind, sailing the rivers of blood inside, making its way from the bite on his hand, up through his arm towards the center of his body. Through it, she could tell that the venom from the snake coursed through those rivers as well, destroying the banks and spilling his blood into places inside the body it should not be.

Working quickly, Ayela moved her fingers away from his wrist and now took his hand in both of hers, clasping her fingers together around his hand with the bite in the center between her palms. Closing her eyes once more, Ayela searched within herself for her connection to Rak'Keli, silently speaking to the Goddess from her heart and her mind, drawing from her power in their connection and seeking her guidance in helping Marino. Once tapped into her Mark, Ayela focused first on cleansing the bite, purifying the wound to prevent any further complications. Next she focused her attention to the venom in his system, channeling her Goddess' power to rid the body of the toxin. Her third step focused on repairing the damage the venom had done, stopping the internal bleeding it had caused. Lastly, her focus returned to the bite itself, using her Gnosis to close the puncture marks left behind there. Keeping his hand held in one of hers, Ayela used the other to feel his wrist again for his pulse, breathing a sigh of relief when it returned to a normal steady pace. He would be okay.

Still cradling his hand in hers, Ayela gently wiped the sand from her friend's face and began saying his name, urging him to wake. "Marino. It's Ayela. It's time to wake up now. Can you hear me? Marino?"
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Postby Marino Oceangem on August 3rd, 2020, 11:02 pm

It was hard to describe the moments that flashed through his mind upon hitting the sand. Pale, bloated bodies washing up along the shore. Flowers that smelled like honey when they were picked from a bush. The creak of his casinor under a strong wind. The feel of his heart beat as his suddenly squeezed in his chest. Marino gasped. The poison was like fire was running up the inside of his harm, burning away all it touched.

He was only dimly aware of a person leaning over him now. Rolling him over. Touching his hand. His blood boiled. He felt suddenly hot and cold at the same time. Then the feeling was gone, replaced only by the pain that coursed up the side of his arm. It was spreading faster than he imagined it could. Was he going to die? Marino’s mind went blank.

A warmth course through him, different then the poison. Attacking it even. It was a peculiar sensation. Like something moving within his flesh. Marino shuddered and came awake to see Ayela knelt over him. Blinking several times, he had to adjust to that sight for a chime before he tried pushing himself up onto an elbow.

He winced without even really thinking about it, and turned his palm over to examine it. Dumbfounded, he looked for a bite that wasn’t there. Marino arched an eyebrow before giving the hand a cautious squeeze. It was tender to move so he refrained from straining it too much.

How?” He asked without looking, his eyes glued to his hand. Had it been because of his mark? The one Kihala had granted him for putting her guardians together. The mark was still there above his right wrist, shining with a variety of colors. Ayela. He looked over at her now, remembering some vague notions about her mark. It hadn’t been explained to him in specific detail, but he knew from his conversation with Jensen Alavarth that it had something to do with healing.

Thank you.” Marino said after a long chime, still very much confused by the circumstances he found himself in. An the memories it had dragged up. Nasty things that threaten to drag him to the bottom of the sea. Suffice it to say he was feeling a lot of things right now. Contrary impulses that paralyzed him where he sat on the sand. Where did he go from here?

I ran- the Panacea, but-” Marino shrugged, at a loss to even speak without mumbling inaudibly at times. Stumbling. Stumbling back to that place eight years ago. A pit he’d only narrowly escaped with what now felt like had only been a false bubble of confidence. Though he didn’t realize it, he was starting to breathe faster and faster.

Marino grabbed a handful of sand and squeezed it as hard as he could. It did nothing to sink the feeling welling up inside him. The one that sucked at him like a rip tide, dragging him underneath its weight. “I——. You— thanks. — it— snake” He pointed in a shaky finger towards where he’d last seen it slither off to. Running a tongue across his lower lip, he found it to be dry and cracked. He ripped a sliver of skin off with his teeth, chewing it thoughtfully.
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Postby Ayela on August 4th, 2020, 4:55 pm

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Her friend began to come to, blinking and slowly adjusting to his surroundings. Awareness would take a chime to fully come in, and Ayela sat patiently waiting for his mind to catch up to the events that'd unfolded. Marino tried to lean up onto his elbow but his body was still overcoming the poison and her healing. Everything had happened so fast that his system needed to play catch-up. He next examined his hand, looking for the bite that almost took his life, his features deeply puzzling when he could not locate it.

He inquired as to how he was alright, seeming to then remember their conversation from the day she arrived in Syka, thanking her for her quick thinking. Ayela could tell he was still pretty disoriented, so she refrained from any sudden movements or bombarding him with questions, resigning to stay still and patiently let him work through his thoughts. "You're welcome. I'm glad I was around to save you."

Continuing on his road to coherence, the Svefra made mention of The Panacea, unable to finish his sentence and then visibly starting to have some sort of panic attack. Resting a hand on one of his shoulders and her other hand against the side of Marino's race, Ayela attempted to calm him. "Breathe Marino. Slow breaths. In... Out... You're safe now. The snake is gone." Giving him a moment, Ayela continued. " We need to get you up and to Jansen, just to be safe. You need water too. Can you move? We'll take it slow."

If he agreed, Ayela would help him sit up, then wrapping an arm around his side and the other under his arm to slowly pull him to his feet. There they would wait a chime to stabilize his disorientation before gently taking one small step at a time towards The Panacea. They would take a break every few steps, careful not to overwhelm Marino. They would eventually make it to The Panacea, Ayela helping Marino take a seat inside. She'd call out for Jansen, the healer quickly approaching them. "He was bitten by a snake. I don't know what kind. It was already gone when I saw him collapse and I rushed to him. I healed him, but he needs water and I felt better having you take a look at him too." Ayela would then step back to give them space.
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Postby Marino Oceangem on August 5th, 2020, 11:26 pm

Marino nodded, going along with her assessment. The Panacea. Right. He moved to get to his feet, but something shifted inside his head that made him catch himself on the sand for a moment. The dizzy spell lasted for almost half a chime before Marino felt confident enough to stand the rest of the way. He still wobbled a little on his feet, and had to lean on Ayela as she slowly guided them towards the Panacea.

His head throbbed as he struggled to look straight. He couldn’t tell if it was from the snake bite or the panicked beating of his heart. Maybe from going from bouncing his head off the ground. Had he hit something? Marino brought his hand to feel along his scalp but he didn’t really feel any raised flesh around there. Could Ayela have healed that too?

He had to stop thinking for a moment because it only served to provoke his headache further. Instead, he focused his gaze on just taking small step, after small step. Marino wanted to say something to make the silence less awkward but his mouth was cotton dry. He couldn’t even think of the words to say either. Only replaying that moment over and over again. The keen pain that had raced up his arm. The fear he had felt when he realized what had happened. All of the emotions that had been tied up in that moment. It was emotionally overwhelming and exhausting.

Marino registered Ayela calling out for someone. Jensen. Where did he know Jensen from? Petch he had just been thinking about the man. He really needed to calm down. The snake was gone. “The snake IS gone.” He mumbled quietly to himself as Jensen guided him into the Panacea. The Akalak guided him to one of the beds which Marino gratefully took, laying down to stare above at the thatched ceiling.

Something pressed against his lips. The leather stopper to a waterskin that Marino hastily took a pull from. It was cool, sweet relief down his scratch throat. He hadn’t even realized it felt that way till he got some more of the water down, then Jensen pulled it away. “Not so fast, take it easy.” He said calmly before handing the waterskin back. With them standing more or less over him, he could easily hear them talk as he trickled another stream of water into his mouth.

Did you see the snake that bit him. Where it happened? Which body part?” Jensen asked quickly. Marino tried talking with some water still in the back of his mouth and ended up coughing it up for a few ticks till he managed to get out. “Community Center. Big. Black.” He finished his coughing then allowing Ayela to supply the rest while he tipped the water skin back to take another pull.

After getting the information, Jensen left after saying something to Ayela that Marino didn’t quite catch. With it just being them now, Marino shifted on the cot to try to face in her direction. “Thank you again.” He said, starting to feel marginally better now that he’d gotten some water in him.
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Postby Ayela on August 13th, 2020, 2:11 am

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Tentatively taking a step closer as Marino drank some water, Ayela could already see him looking a little better than when they'd first walked in. She wanted to keep an eye on him as well, but didn't want to be in Jensen's way. This was his domain after all. The healer began asking the usual questions any healer would, Marino coughing on water before answering the best he could. Ayela piped in when he was finished, noting he missed one of Jensen's questions. "Meaty flesh on his right hand, between his thumb and index finger."

Recounting the experience in her mind, Ayela tried to find any details she might have missed the first time around. "I didn't see the snake myself, but he completely flipped out when it happened, knocking into things in panic, and then collapsed. I ran to him and he was already unconscious by the time I turned him over. Whole thing from bite to finding him unconscious only took a chime or two. Is he alright?"

Looking thoughtful, Jensen muttered that he'd be right back and left to another part of the Panacea. Marino shifted on the cot, clearly attempting to face Ayela. She took a few steps closer, making it as easy for him to see her as possible. "No need to thank me cousin. I know it hasn't been very long, but I'd be devastated to lose you. Not sure who was looking out for us today, but I thank them that I was around to save you. Rak'keli definitely made the right choice marking me."

Jensen came back then with a salve, opening the jar and standing to Marino's right, massaging some of it into where the bite had been. "This topical should help with the leftover pain and discomfort. From the description you both gave, it sounds like it may have been a Bushmaster. Mighty lucky Ayela was around. You'll be just fine soon." Glancing over to her, he added. "Good work getting to him so fast and putting that mark to good use." Smiling, Ayela nodded at them both, absentmindedly reaching over to gently trace the mark on her shoulder. "Of course." A silent prayer of thanks then went up to the goddess. Thanks in large part to her, Ayela didn't lose a family member that day.
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