Closed No hope for the willing (Willjan)

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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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No hope for the willing (Willjan)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 22nd, 2020, 12:26 am

3rd of Summer, 520 A.V.




Marino began his day as he did each one. Wearing nothing but a pair of green breeches, he prepped the Seasilk for another day of service. To start, he scrubbed at the deck with an old shirt, soaked in seawater with a little soap thrown in for good measure. Then after he had wet the deck, he moved on to inspect the sails for tears in the fabric, and the ropes for any signs of fraying. He had some thread to fix any small nicks, though looking over the sail reminded him that he still needed to get his hands on some sail cloth. Without his pod around, he didn’t have the same resources he was used to. Something that he was finding it rather difficult to grow accustomed to.

Next he moved on to preparing his day pack down in his cabin. With his hatchet and machete firmly strapped to it, he set it beside the door just in case the opportunity arose today to disembark. Which more typically than not happened by his own designs, as he was prone to wander when he had the free time. There were plenty of fine sights to see around Syka after all.

With all of that out of the way, he grabbed his fishing net on his way up to the deck. From there he positioned himself near the prow of the Casinor where it was tethered to the dock, offering him a good view of anyone who might walk up it. While he waited for business to pick up, he decided to do some casual fishing. Maybe he would catch some breakfast while he waited, though he had some dried stock in his bunk just in case that fell through.

Standing near the edge, he loosened the bunched up cords of net so the bottom draped evenly before him. Then pinching the side, he through a handful over his right shoulder before he grabbed another smaller pinch of the net. He was ready. With a firm flick of his left wrist, he sent the net spinning out onto the water which spread out into a circle before it touched the water. Water which was shallower now than it had been in the Spring, but he didn’t explore that thought any further. Instead he was thinking about how he had neglected to bait the water.

A bit exasperated with himself, he hastily drew in the net then disappeared off to his bunk to grab a handful of bait to toss over the side. When he thought about it, he wasn’t exactly sure if it was worth doing right now with his sails potentially needed soon, but then a few smaller fish appeared from the shade under the dock to nibble at his bait. Marino froze where he stood on the prow, waiting there, ripe with anticipation for something bigger to come along.

As slowly as he could manage, he readied his net drawing it out carefully before him like he had done before. Some of the smaller fish darted away, and Marino tossed. The net spreading out to capture whatever had went for the bait. Patiently he waited for the net to sink for a while before he started drawing it back up, the net coming out of the water closed now like a coin purse. Inside the folds of cord he happily made out the body of a redfish. It was rather small, hardly a breakfast but it was a catch none the less. Perhaps he could make some bait out of it later he mused as he hauled the net onto the deck.

Digging through the cordage, he wrapped his fingers around the body of the fish, hooking his small finger under his pinky as he held it up victorious. A small win was still a win. Grinning, he went down below to retrieve his iron pot and then filled it with sea water before stowing it back below. There he could keep the small fish till he decided what to do with it. He was still holding out hope that he would catch some breakfast after all.

When he came back onto the deck, he took up the net again. After sparing a casual glance down the dock he eyed the water expectantly. Catching a modest shadow coming from under the dock, he flicked the net out again.
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No hope for the willing (Willjan)

Postby Willjan on July 29th, 2020, 10:25 pm



When Des woke on the 3rd of Summer, she came out to the living room area of their bungalow to see Willjan thumbing through her mother's old reference book: an incredibly dry textbook covering basic accounting methods and popular Kenash business practices. Her mother had annotated the book herself and every few pages one could see little inky stars or underlined sections. In the margins one was just as likely to see a little nugget of wisdom as one were to see a shopping list from 14 years ago.

"What're you looking through that old thing for?", she asked, "You've read it a thousand times. There's nothing in there you don't already know."

"This book holds where we came from," he said, not looking up from the journal, "We've come farther in the past five years than some do in a lifetime, Des. It reminds me of Faye."

Faye had been Des's mother, the madame of the brothel in which the two of them grew up. It had been she who stoked Willjan's spirit, and it was this book that had reinforced it. As a kid, it became his reason to learn to read, to write, or even teach himself basic arithmetic. All these so that he could audit the brothel's ledgers, and confirm his suspicion that their bouncer had been taking bribes and misreporting the number of patrons the girls took.

"Well you know what reminds me of home?" Des asked as she attempted to cut through a loaf of stale bread, "A fresh-cooked breakfast."

Willjan was reading a line regarding the best booth location in an open market when he snapped his book shut.

"I need to go to the mercantile," he said, packing his journal into his backpack and donning his hat. He also packed his waterskin, compass, and hatchet. "I'll be out for the day, most likely."

"Where are you going?" Des asked.

"I'm going to map out the biggest landmarks of Syka, and make some notes regarding where the most through-traffic is on the peninsula," he said, "If you can, I need you to take a look around and find out where there are any consistent sources of fruit on the island. I'll see you tonight."

. . .


At the Mercantile, Willjan bought a stick of charcoal and a small hourglass usually used in baking. He took off his pack and carefully tied two slip knots to the right strap of his pack, measuring the distance between the two with the length of the glass. Then he slid it between the two loops, and fastened the middle of the glass down to the strap with a tautline hitch.

He stood, testing his makeshift timing system, and was pleased to see the fine grains inside the hourglass falling smoothly... as long as he stood up straight. He popped off the outer loops on the glass, turned it over, and tightened the slip knots back on again. The hitch complained a bit at the twisting, but all-in-all it was good enough. A hands-free timer.

Willjan glanced over at the Syka commons and saw that it was already bustling in the mid-morning. Many were eating fruit or weaving. One man in the corner looked to be busy staking a broad cut of leather. Willjan took out his journal and made a quick note of that. He then drew a small oval to represent the commons, and a star as the mercantile. He flipped the hourglass over and began pacing his way to one of the few other places he'd been in Syka - the dock.

About one hourglass flip later, he got there. He made another note in his journal and drew a small rectangle as Syka's dock. Motion caught is eye, then, and he looked up to see a man cast-net fishing off the side of the dock. The sun reflected off the water behind him so that when he wound up and gave a toss, it would eject a myriad of glimmering droplets in a centrifugal, clockwise fashion- all landing in succession on the ocean surface with a series of melodic plops. Very satisfying.

As he approached the man, he recognized the long, personal ship was a casinor. A Sevra alone? he thought, Wonder where his pod is. On closer inspection, the man was fairly tall, handsome with short-cropped brown hair and pearly white teeth that contrasted nicely against his Laviku-blue eyes. It's a good thing Des isn't here, he thought, She'd go gaga. He caught the man glance down the dock before tossing the net out again.

"Good morning!" he said in common, coming up beside the man and watching him work. Then in halting Fratava, "Fish active this time of day?"
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No hope for the willing (Willjan)

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 30th, 2020, 10:35 pm

Not particularly.Marino said back in Fratava, glancing over at Willjan while he drew the net in.Too hot, and too shallow I fear.Reinforcing his point, he pulled out an empty net that he tossed onto the deck beside him. His eyes flicked back over to Willjan, and lingered this time as he looked the man over. “You don’t look Svefra.” He said, switching to common as he extended a hand out towards him. “My name is Marino. Do you need me to take you somewhere?

His gaze hesitated around the man’s eyes. He’d been hoping for another Svefra when he’d heard that familiar tongue from his lips, but the eyes confirmed it. Drops of amber instead of the pure blue gaze of his people. A trader then, or at least someone whom had dealt with Svefra plenty in the past. That set him at ease as he turned to wrap up the net while continuing the conversation with Willjan.

He had an interesting way of speaking this man, an accent he couldn’t quite place which further added to the layers of intrigue surrounding the stranger. Marino folded up the last little bit, tucked it under his arm. Waving for Willjan to follow him, Marino lead him into the cabin where he took the opportunity to steer the conversation along once more. “I’m sort of a ferryman around here. Known these shores for the past season.” He stowed the net under his bed, and retrieved some insect repellent from his pack.

If we are going out, put this on.” He said tossing the tin to Willjan, before miming a couple of pinches along his forearm. “They like to bite. More so in this weather.” Marino made a noise like an exaggerated string of zzz’s as he further accentuated his point, before his face broke out into a broad grin. “Petching itches almost immediately.

Marino felt like he was going to enjoy Willjan’s company. Of course, he always enjoyed meeting new people. One of the reasons he had taken this job in the first place, but Willjan seemed particularly interesting. There was always a story to tell when a man took the time to pick up Fratava. Might have been a selfish excuse to want to get to know someone but Marino was emotionally starved to hear more of his language.

After their conversation wrapped up below, Marino would lead them back onto the deck where he would start preparing the Seasilk to launch while he heard out any opinions Willjan had in regards to their trip today. Naturally, he would be partial for wherever. He had been up and down this coastline frequently over the past couple tendays so there wasn’t much he hadn’t sailed past. That didn’t mean however that he didn’t enjoy his chances to get a closer look at those places when the need arose or his fancy demanded it.

Drawing up the sails with the Outhaul line, he favored Willjan with another of his grins. “Have you sailed before? Or just passenger?” He looked back up as the head of the sails came to a stop at the top of the mast, and looped the Outhaul line around the cleat. Then he stood back for a moment to watch the wind as it billowed the sail cloth ever so gently. Taking note of that, he went to untie them from the dock.
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No hope for the willing (Willjan)

Postby Willjan on August 4th, 2020, 11:54 pm



Willjan watched the Sevra man's pause, grinning at the attention. He had wondered what the Sevra man would make of hearing his mother tongue; though, this place seemed uniquely Sevra-friendly. That must be Captain Chaliva's doing, he thought.

"No... not quite so blessed," he said, tapping the temple next to his eyes in response to Marino's first statement. The man's question had almost seemed rhetorical since he immediately gestured for Willjan to follow him into the casinor's cabin, stuffing his cast-net below his bed and bringing out some sort of container and tossing it to Willjan. He caught it, and opened the lid to a sour, but not unpleasant, sort of salve.

"Mosquitoes!" he chuckled at Marino's imitation of the insect before opening the container and taking out a small, finger-sized scoop of the oily substance, "Thank you. I haven't had the need for mosquito repellent since growing up in the swamps of Kenash. I'm Willjan," he said, tossing the container back, "You can call me Will for short if you like, though."

"I will take you up on that trip- if you're offering," Willjan said before showing the man his journal, "I was planning to map out what I could of the penninsula this morning," he said, tapping the sheet with his crude markings, "I was going to pace across the beach, mark the most important landmarks, and get a rough estimate of the time it takes to get from spot to spot using this." Willjan tapped the hourglass he had tied to the strap of his pack.

"It's all mostly an excuse to explore and see what the coast has to offer. I told Mattais that I'd help with the local food-preservation effort, so I want to see what resources are around and reasonably accessable," he said, "Sailing would be much faster though. And if you can tell me about how fast we're going on average, I can still mark some rough distances on the map... Do you know the area well?"

Marino lead them up onto the deck and started hoisting the sails with a line. He asked him if Willjan had sailed before, to which Willjan said,
"Nah, never had the opportunity to learn. Just a passenger. Don't hesitate to put me to work, though!"

The wind caught the mainsail then, and Willjan appreciated the flittering sound it made. A sound of anticipated movement. Possiblity.

"You know Syka best," he said, "What do you think? Where should we map first?"
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No hope for the willing (Willjan)

Postby Marino Oceangem on August 5th, 2020, 11:30 pm

Mo-squi-toes” Marino said, sounding it out slowly before nodding at Will and stowing the insect repellent. “Lucky Will. Itch terrible.” He chuckled slightly as he considered Willjan’s purpose for coming here today. While he didn’t understand the exact intent of what Will was after, he understood the markings well enough. Or at least he thought he did as he looked from Will to the beach beyond. “You want to draw this place?” Marino said, considering remarking on what figures the man had scrawled so far before thinking better of it. He couldn’t draw himself so who was he to say anything about them. Instead he focused on the part he could contribute too.

Yes, I know Syka well. I can take you where you need to go.” He said confidently as he prepared the sails. It had been more or less expected that he didn’t have much in the way of sailing experience but it never hurt to ask. You never knew with these non-blue eyes after all. For their journey he got them pointed north along the coast, then tilted east while he puzzled over while he thought about where to take them. Somewhere for pretty drawings he figured.

I know a good spot. I go there often.” Marino said looking over at Willjan with a slight grin as he drew the foot of the sail out all of the way so it billowed taut with the breeze. The casinor started to smoothly glide forward then, angled towards where the bay let out into the greater part of the sea. As the tide was out, and the water was a good deal lower than normally, he kept their course going through the middle where a patch of deeper water would keep them from being grounded on a sand bar or something else rising from the depths. One thing about the sea was that the water could be quite tricky, hiding things that lurked mere inches under the surface.

So, Marino kept their progress slow and when they could see the Overwater Rancheros to their left, he gestured at them from his spot behind the wheel. “Those are Overwater Rancheros, good house if you don’t have, or have you place already?” Marino asked wondering just now how long Willjan had been here so far. They didn’t have a large community here at Syka so new people were a novelty. Petch, Marino was still a relatively knew commodity here at Syka as were most of the people he consorted with. It was something he decidedly liked about this place that it always was seeming to draw in people from all kinds of backgrounds. Including this man with his strange desire to draw the coast.

After they had discussed the Rancheros, Marino would guide them slowly up the coast till they began to near the point. There he would casually change course, angling to stay from the reef that would damage the bottom of his Casinor. “Sharktooth point. I don’t see shark today.” He said, pointing out the large rocks along the shore that helped to mark the feature that lurked just beneath the water. “You fish?” He asked, searching for a topic with some common ground between them.
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No hope for the willing (Willjan)

Postby Willjan on August 7th, 2020, 1:24 am


The casinor lurched and they were off, Marino grinning and looking far more at home now than he did on the dock. Willjan flipped his little hourglass. This personal ship was less than a fourth of the size of the clipper that Willjan and Des had sailed over to Syka in. He noticed how distinct the boat's movement felt. If he stopped and focused on only that- their movement, he thought he could almost feel the water gurgling through the hull. Very intimate. He wondered what Sevra must feel about those living on land after spending their whole lives with this sense of motion. It must feel quite stagnant in comparison.

He watched Marino pull on a rope and adjust their course for deeper waters, threading the ship between an island to their right and Mathais's home. He glanced at the hourglass. The pool of sand was about halfway through, and so Willjan made a small mark along with a note of three and half chimes. He looked over the railing, watching the speed of their wake and frowned. He had no idea how fast they were going.

They passed another building that Willjan recognized as The Protea Inn. He hadn't been there yet, but knew it since it was right next to the series of bungalows that Captain Chaliva told him they could rent out temporarily. He made two more crude sketches in his journal, marked the chimes passed so far, and flipped the hourglass again. Finally, Marino brought them into new territory.

A series of octagonal dwellings appeared on the beach. Much like the bungalows, each was a sibling to the other. All had thatch roofs with some sort of rainwater catch that seemed to be connected to a tank and a basic plumbing system. They were staked right in the water with heavy posts supporting broad decks. Marino mentioned that these were 'The Overwater Ranchos,' and that he could stay there if he liked.

"I'm currently staying in one of the Bungalows instead. Just moved in yesterday actually," Willjan said as they glided passed the ranchos, "Captain Chaliva didn't mention these as an option to stay... Probably for good reason. They look outside of Des and I's budget."

He marked the ranchos and noted the hourglass again as they passed the last rancho. Syka was apparently pretty well established, he realized. Capable of hosting quite a few more settlers... at least in terms of housing. Was that why they needed someone to take charge of food preservation so badly? Was that the bottleneck?

"Those ranchos look perfect for an amphibious Sevra, though," he said, "could have the best of both worlds, mooring this casinor by one of those small piers- is that where you stay?"

Willjan watched for the man's response, wondering if being called 'amphibious,' would be insulting to a Sevra. This man seemed different than most of the kind Willjan was used to. He wondered again where the man's pod was.

. . .


After a time they came to a point in the peninsula with a series of stones jutting out from the tip. The stones seemed to protect a diverse coral reef system, and since it was low tide, Willjan had a clear view of its unique beauty even from the railing. Marino asked if he fished.

"I've tried it once or twice, but have not much skill in it," he responded flatly. He was irked at having to admit so many deficiencies. Marino adjusted their heading so that they avoided going directly over the reef. Apparently the casinor's hull dropped too deep for the shallow water.

"Do you fish much here? Is this place where Syka does most of its fishing?" he asked before remembering the first thing the man had said, "Wait. What's this about sharks?"
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Postby Marino Oceangem on August 8th, 2020, 1:11 am

I stay here.” He said patting the wheel of the ship as he concentrated on navigating up the coast. It was almost amusing to consider him staying in one of those houses by the water. They were nice to be sure, but they weren’t home. Not for him at least. He needed a home that could move with the sea, not sit in defiance. He’d only slept on land a handful of times in his life and those had been generally out of necessity. Hard times all of them that left a sour taste in his mouth.

That said, he wasn’t blind to the benefits of a home that didn’t move. There was no need to secure everything for travel, or worry about losing something to a strong wind, though such things seldom ever bothered him. It was simply the way of things. Like borrowing something when you needed it. So long as it was not in use, what was the bother?

As they drifted around the reef, Marino took the time look at the water for a moment. He wouldn’t have to fuss with the sails much, so he could take his time here to enjoy the view. It was hard not to love the sea when you saw such diverse locations such as these. It was why Marino tried to bring so many people here in hopes that they would fall for the sea if they hadn’t already.

Here is good spot. Other good spots too. A lot to pick.” Marino smiled at Willjan as he forced himself to look away at the reef. He had sails to manage as the breeze was running against him now. Loosening the foot, he let the sails billow in the wind while they cut across the water out towards the sea. Then running behind the wheel, he cut back towards the shore before righting them towards the sea as they started drifting towards the other side of the point.

After repeating this maneuver several more times, he finally got them enough around the point that they started catching the wind crosswise. Slowly they started to pick up speed again, and Marino promptly went over to tighten the foot. The sails snapped full of wind as it pulled them rapidly along the coast.

Soon.” Marino muttered to himself as he sailed them towards the Swineswells that appeared to their left. Then looking over at Willjan, he said louder. “You like to eat?” Marino asked, gesturing excitedly over to the pigs that milled about at the surf. “Good hunting.” He didn’t linger long by the Swells as he didn’t intend to draw out any predators that lurked nearby. They might look like tempting targets exposed along the deck of his casinor.

Instead he focused on running them up the coast until they neared where he knew the Sawmill to be. He steered them to shore there, and slowly beached his Seasilk onto the beach before setting about stowing the sails properly. “Near where we cut wood.” Marino nodded to Will as he worked. “You want to see?
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Postby Willjan on August 24th, 2020, 1:43 am


Marino didn't seem insulted at all by the amphibious suggestion, but his answer had still been curt: he stayed on the boat. Willjan supposed it was a law of nature to him, like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, or the migration of certain kinds of birds. They too were transitory.

He also confirmed that the reef was a good fishing spot, but didn't make another remark regarding sharks. There was a silence then as they drifted around the reef. Marino seemed to be enjoying the coral, prompting Willjan to glance over at the tide pools as well.

Creamy white foam sloshed and jiggled amongst the reef - leavings from a whipped up frenzy that the waves brought during high tide. Now while the water was placid living things thrived, fought and fed between the carbonate skeletons. In one tide-pool Willjan saw a medium-sized blue crab ripping the arms off an exposed hermit crab, caught midway between two homes. Adjacent, he saw an intelligent goat-eye of an octopus blink before disappearing before him into the form of a rock. Inky black eels poked their heads out of black voids in the deep and seemed to tilt their heads in amusement.

Marino focused on his craft again and brought them around the point of the peninsula. Again Willjan marked both his map and the time before stretching his neck out in excitement to see what was around the corner. Swineswells, apparently, and Willjan could hear the chorus of guttural 'Oinks' even over the flapping of their sails.

"Who doesn't?" he said, answering Marino's question with a grin, and marking his map appropriately.

Finally Marino brought them to shore, mentioning that Syka had a lumber yard here, and bringing the casinor to a grinding halt over the white sand.
"Yeah, absolutely," Willjan said in confirmation to his question, "Let's check it out."

With that, Willjan heaved himself over the railing to land with a thud onto the beach. He could see a gap in the jungle where he presumed a path would take them towards the yard. Marino was just stowing away the sails now, and when he was finished, Willjan would help him bring the casinor further up the shore so that it could rest securely. When that was done, he expected Marino would be the one to lead the way.

And so they continued into the forest. The air was thick here and seemed to weigh heavily on their shoulders in a way that contrasted with the open sea-breeze. Despite the shade Willjan felt sweat break out upon his brow. The path was mostly clear, but he still deferred to Marino's guidance. He turned his hourglass again. 5 chimes had passed.

"So what brings you to Syka, Marino?" he asked, side-eyeing the man, "I honestly haven't seen many Sevra out and about without others in their pod. Do they dock here in Syka as well?"
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Postby Marino Oceangem on September 21st, 2020, 7:55 am

Marino turned to Will, and favored a slight smile. “A little of everything. Adventure, curiosity,hope,friendship. All and one.” He said, needing only the barest of moments to think it over. It was something he had asked himself a lot over the past couple of seasons so he wasn’t a stranger to thinking along those lines.

All sorts of Svefra frequent these waters, especially now with this place. So long as I am by the sea, I am never far away from my pod.” His tone was lighter now, a bit more jovial as they made their way up the lumber mill, careful to stay on the path that had been laid out for them. Will would know they had arrived at the same time as Marino as they layout of the lumber mill was unmistakable.

An as they drew closer, they could see a couple of the Ashta milling around nearby. As ever, Marino never failed to marvel at the sight of the creatures which where so strange and large than anything else he could reference them by. “Have you ever seen anything like them?” He asked now, turning to Willjan slightly with his body, but his eyes never left the creatures ahead of them.

Continuing forward, he found a spot to kneel by a lumber pile, resting his forearms on the top of his knees. “I help bring wood from here around Syka among other things.” Marino supplied unasked as he studied his companion. “I enjoy my work. I see a lot during my time.

What did you do before coming here?” He asked, suddenly slightly curious about what had brought Willjan to these shores but not feeling comfortable enough to pose his same question back at him. So in a round about way, he was seeking for clues on how to proceed with the man who seemed as varied as Robert in mannerism. Though whereas Robert’s personality was closer in line to Marino’s, Willjan’s seemed quite the opposite, or at least different enough in flavor that Marino had a hard time recognizing it.

Unfortunately, he didn’t see Larz around otherwise he would have introduced Willjan to him but if he asked about who ran this place, he would readily enough supply that name. Given Will’s interests so far, he suspected he might have a good deal of interest in this place though about the specifics, Marino hadn’t a clue. Marino was a simple hauler, and he preferred to get to know the people before he got to know their occupation.

After they had spent some time at the Sawmill, and Marino had answered any questions he might have, he headed back to the Sea Silk. “This being on the edge of the settlement, we’ve got little choice but to retrace our steps back to the settlement along the other route, though I suppose it will give you a chance to get a better look at the coast we have passed so far.” Marino offered with a helpless shrug as they continued along the beach to the Casinor and pushed it out onto the water with Willjan’s help.

The journey back went smoothly, with Marino familiar with the winds they had been working with down the coast to here. It was a bit slower because of that as well, but that couldn’t be helped with the wind against them. It would give them plenty of time to watch the shore and discuss anything that came to mind for Will in the interim.

As they came along the coast to the spot they had been before, Marino turned to Will. “How do you feel about trying out sailing for a tick or two?” He asked with a grin.
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