Closed Market Forces (Tazrae)

Tazrae and Willjan discover The Dovecote

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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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Market Forces (Tazrae)

Postby Willjan on August 5th, 2020, 12:08 am

Market Forces

14, Summer 520


Des crouched over the hearth of their rented bungalow, attempting to make coffee in the early morning. Mounted to the side wall was a hook which held a single, black kettle in which she cooked everything for Willjan and her. To her left was a long counter covered in sliced mangoes, oranges, and pineapple - each laid out carefully with a note below to mark the number of days they had been drying out in the sun.

Willjan bent over the pineapples and scrunched his nose at the sweet, sickly smell about a third of them gave off. He move to the oranges and mangoes. They were better, but many were still moist in the middle, and maybe a fifth of them held foreboding brown spots in their center.

When the soft pitter-patter of rain begin to tinkle over their tin roof, he stifled a groan. He waited, listening as the tinkling turned to drumming, and then he threw his hands up in exasperation when he could see sheets of heavy rain falling outside.

"How in the world are we supposed to sun dry anything if it rains every three days!" he cried, gathering up every spoiled fruit he could find and stuffing it into his pack.

Des stood frowning from her place by the hearth. "Thinner slices maybe?" she said, "Bring some of those mangos and oranges to lay by the fire here... I think those pineapples are a lost cause."

Willjan considered her suggestion a moment before writing Thinner slices, on one of the scraps of parchment by the fruit. He underlined it twice, and then helped Des pick the good pieces to place by the fire.

"We need to look into alternative methods as well. The meat coming over from Riverfall was packed in salt... We need to look into methods that don't rely so much on sunshine and dry weather," he said, "I'm going to dump these rotted ones out in the latrine," he said before another thought came to him, "...You think we could make some side-miza's selling compost?"

"Let's figure out how to stop things from rotting before we start doing it intentionally."

"Waste not, Des"

"I thought waste was exactly what you were making!"

Willjan snorted before donning his waxed coat and stepped out of the bungalow to dump the spoiled fruit into the outhouse pit. His jacket helped some, but everything not covered by it was soaked instantly. Still, he enjoyed the fresh, cool smell that rain brought. It wasn't so bad being out and about in the wet during the summer season- so long as one had access to a warm hearth to sit by at night and dry linens to sleep in. Willjan reflected on what it had been like travelling from Kenash to Riverfall, and the period of time he had spent living in his tent. He was grateful for the bungalow.

The wind picked up as Willjan trekked back from the latrine. With it came voices, laughter... music maybe? He glanced through the gaps in the trees in which the sounds came, but saw nothing. He moved towards the beach, coming to the edge of its bend and looking west in the direction of the wind. Just at the edge of the beach, through sideways sheets of rain, he could see the glow of The Protea Inn.

. . .


"I'm off to visit the inn," Willjan said to Des when he was back in the Bungalow.

"In this weather?" Des responded.

"It's not that bad out," he said, "Plus I want to see how they're running that place. Is there really much of a demand for an inn in Syka? And most importantly - how are they sourcing any meals they provide?"

Des handed him a cup of the coffee she made. He chugged it before donning his hat and pack, and stepping out onto Syka's beach once again. The wind and rain had died down to a light drizzle, and the walk over was an uneventful one.

The Protea Inn was longer than it was wide, an upside down L with the wider portion reaching into the edge of the jungle. Surprisingly, its storm shutters were open, and he could see shapes silhouetted against candlelight on the inside. As he got closer, he could hear chattering and laughter again, but no music this time. He climbed the front porch and entered.
Last edited by Willjan on August 31st, 2020, 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Market Forces (Tazrae)

Postby Tazrae on August 9th, 2020, 8:53 pm

Tazrae had added a milk cow to her list for Captain James to find for her. At first he’d raised an eyebrow, but Tazrae had insisted that it would be a difficult thing to run an Inn without fresh milk every day. And truthfully it wasn’t the first cow in the colony. They didn’t have grazing horses required, but there was definitely enough beach grass and they imported grains that gave Tazrae’s small young first year mother fodder for her milk. She would have to be bred in the spring, and at this point Tazrae had no idea how to pull this off unless someone imported a bull. It was a worry, for sure, but in the mean time it was a worry she could set aside.

The cow, Lolly, was kept in the yard and indeed had helped out with vegetation control more than Tazrae would have suspected. She was penned off the short side of the L in a small corral and kept in groceries when she was released to graze in the afternoons. Tazrae milked her every morning and every evening because frankly she needed the milk. The Inn provided food for the local area and that meant making cheese, yogurt and baking up a storm. That was one of the reasons Creech was about. The dog was definitely helpful in protecting the cow and in acting as an early warning system against predators.

She had three guests in the morning. And as her menu declared, she rotated those guests through a breakfast menu with each day bringing a new sort of food. The following morning was yogurt with granola, and a ton of fresh fruit. Tazrae always made the yogurt the evening before from a portion of her fresh milk that did not get used for baking or cheese. Because Lolly was like clockwork, Tazrae was building up quite the pantry. And her icebox? Well, it was usually fully supplied. Syka was abundant with food, and for that Tazrae was thankful.

Hauling in the fresh bucket of milk, Tazrae, normally put it through the separator, cranking the handle and dividing the contents of the fresh bucket into light skim milk and cream. When it was time to make yogurt though, she skipped the separator – she had plenty of butter after all – and instead simply went to the task. The whole frothy milk went into a heavy pan that then went onto her stove. She stoked the fire and mentally tabulated how much she had in the pot.

The recipe was four cups of milk to one teaspoon of yogurt that had already been made previously…. Yogurt was like sourdough and needed a starter to get it good and fermenting. She figured there were at least twelve cups in the pot, so she figured she needed three heaping teaspoons of a previous batch of yogurt. She put the starter yogurt in a clean bowl that was big enough to hold all the milk as well, and then turned her attention to the milk on the stove. She carefully brought it to a boil.

She stirred it just enough to not let cream form at the top or the milk on the bottom to bet scorched. Once it had reached a boil, she took it off the stove and let it cool for a few bells. Once it was still warmer than room temperature but not hot enough to kill the starter, Tazrae poured the starter into the slowly-cooling milk. She stirred it well, covered it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it sit in a bright sunny spot on one of the counters.

She carefully checked the yogurt already in the icebox. Tazrae was careful with her starter, feeding it when needed and swapping it out when it had turned sour.

Yogurt starter had been hard for her to obtain since there was no one around she could borrow a teaspoon or two from when she’d started The Protea. She’d discovered that green chili stalks could act as starter if boiled in the milk… and it had taken her only two subsequent batches to get her yogurt to stop tasting like chili. She’d also experimented and tried curdled milk solids as a starter. That had worked well too, but she’d had to add lemon juice to curdle the milk. It took a quarter of a cup of curdled milk to a quarter cup of milk… so it was a one for one ratio and not worth the investment to get the yogurt started.

She’d also discovered a few other things thanks to Uta. Her Protea loved sour yogurt poured on them. For some reason, the flowers planted all around the Inn thrived on the stuff. They bloomed more, larger, and kept greener longer. And if the yogurt was freshly turned sour, she could put it on her face as a mask to help with the jungle wear and tear or add it to her hair to lighten it slightly and condition her curly locks. In fact, she was always eager to have left-over batches that were at risk. There were endless possibilities in reusing and recycling foods that weren’t optimal to eat anymore.

When she had the yogurt situation worked out, she decided it was time for the granola. Most people loved the crunchy sweet healthy stuff topped on their morning yogurt. So Tazrae got down her recipe book and flipped to the granola recipe.

• 1/2 cup coconut or olive oil
• 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 cups oats (rolled)
• 1 cup sliced almonds
• 1 cup dried, chopped fruit


Tazrae had honey on hand, and she had to roll her own oats, but otherwise she was good to go for the recipe. Her oat roller was already clamped to a far counter and she checked to make sure it was good and clean. Then she pulled a small bag of oats from the pantry and began feeding them through the oat roller, watching the catch-basin and its level until she was sure she had the required cups. She dumped them in a mixing bowl and began to carefully measure out the rest of the ingredients.

In a separate bowl, she placed the oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt then whisked them together to combine. She blended the almonds into the rolled oats, then traded her whisk for a wooden spoon and poured the oats and almonds into the honey and oil mixture. When she was done, she had a slightly sticky mess that she turned out on a cookie sheet she greased and then spread it out to a thin layer. The granola she’d bake in the oven until the honey hardened and held the cinnamon, salt, almonds, and fruit altogether. It would come out a crunchy delicious mess in about twenty to thirty bells. Then, she’d seal it in jars when it was done. It would be absolutely delicious.

Time passed. Syna crept over the sea, and with the granola done and cinnamon rolls made up and baked, Tazrae started seeing guests wandering into the great room. She offered all of the orange juice or coffee and placed a large bowl of yogurt and granola with sliced bananas and mangos on the side. If they turned down the yogurt they could have cinnamon rolls. Most of them took the food and wandered out to the deck, leaving Taz with just Creech to keep her company as she started cutting and peeling more fruit.

When Willjan walked in, Tazrae smiled and automatically offered him a drink. “Coffee, Tea or Juice?” she asked then gestured to the counter. “We have yogurt with granola and fresh fruit this morning… or fresh cinnamon rolls right out of the oven. Pick your breakfast. You can even have both.” She offered, knowing he wasn’t one of her checked-in guests. But he could have been new to Syka. She watched Creech, but the half-grown Imperial watcher made no move to growl so she decided Willjan was friendly.

“I’m Tazrae. Welcome to The Protea. Did you need a room?” She questioned, willing to feed him but more than willing to feed him if he needed a place to stay.

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Postby Willjan on August 24th, 2020, 1:58 am


When raining, there's a certain olfactory wall that falling water creates as droplets filter the air around themselves. And so when Willjan entered the inn, he was greeted not only by a young, athletic looking woman with strawberry blond hair and her dog, but also the rich sense of freshly-baked goods and the smell of caramelized cinnamon and honey. The woman offered him a drink, and he robotically accepted small glass of fresh juice. As he did so, a citrusy smell joined in on his aromatic greeting. It was a lot to take in.

The woman's name was Tazrae. So this is her inn, he thought, glancing around in warm glow of glimmering candlelight. An unexpected impression of assuagement enveloped him. One that he had to fight hard to shake off.

He took a sip of his juice before moving to inspect the yogurt, "Thank you Tazrae; this is all quite hospitable," he said, returning her smile and wondering how much this was all going to cost him, "I'm Willjan. Nice to meet you," he said, holding out his hand, "I'm actually staying in one of the Bungalows just east of here," he said holding onto his small smile, "I just wanted to come visit my neighbor."

He took a spoonful of the yogurt and granola, noting its creamy consistency before putting a dollop into his mouth. He couldn't help raising his eyebrows at its taste. It was quite cool.

"I have to say, I'm surprised to be eating yogurt out here," he remarked, smacking his lips a little, "How do you keep it so chilled?"

He took another bite of yogurt before squatting low and extending his hand so the young woman's dog could inspect him if he so desired.

"Truly, the impression I had gotten from James and Mathais was that Syka is still up-and-coming- but you're out here serving folks yogurt and fresh-squeezed-juice! Do you get much through traffic here?" he asked before turning to look out through one of the openings in the inn. He hadn't noticed before in the rain, but there were bird feeders lining the grounds as well. It was barely drizzling now, and imperial doves had come, chirping and hopping to feed.

"Looks like you even provide breakfast for the doves here," he said, pointing out the birds.
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Postby Tazrae on August 25th, 2020, 9:04 pm

Tazrae leaned on the counter, a kitchen towel in her hand that she used to absently wipe the already clean surface. She studied his form and watched his expression as she fed him. Taz loved feeding new people and she didn’t ask him for coin for the food either. First, she wanted to know his situation… a situation he soon revealed. A neighbor! Nice… more company, more introductions. She hadn’t yet met everyone at the settlement and almost none of the Verusk, but she was still curious about everyone else. “Well, if you’re a neighbor, I feel all that much better feeding you some breakfast.” She said, grinning. “Customers are good, but neighbors are more permanent, you know?” She said, carefully folding the towel and nodding.

“The Bungalows are nice. Are you planning on building something here later down the line?” She asked, folding her hands as if she wasn’t used to just standing and visiting. She leaned a hip against the table and looked thoughtful. “I make the yogurt fresh daily… or usually the night before so it has time to get good and cold. I have an Icebox actually.” She added, gesturing back towards the kitchen. “It’s an insulated metal box with a huge block of ice in it. We have a local Reimancer that has a passion for cinnamon rolls. He tends to drop by to have dinner or grab some breakfast and in return he renews my block of ice. It keeps a lot of things cold and has a pipe in the bottom of it that drains off the melt water into the flower beds.” She added. “You’re welcome to look at it if you are curious.” She offered, smiling slightly and gesturing vaguely behind her at her kitchen.

The dog was more of an oversized Imperial Watcher pup. It had enormous paws that it hadn’t quite grown into which gave its gait a rather bumbling quality. Mostly white with black patterning splashed all over it, the puppy had wide curious blue eyes that took in a great deal without being overly intimidating. It did nothing more than sniff at Willjan then settled itself down near the newcomer as if giving himself a chance to study the newest addition to the Inn.

“Oh it very much is still getting off the ground. I was just lucky enough to chance upon it when I needed to get out of my previous situation and do something I love doing. I’m still learning, and to be honest, even with six rooms, I am rarely full. My best customers are locals that drop by and trade a meal for a something I covet – like new strains of flowers from the jungle… something like that. I usually have one or two rooms full. A busy streak is four full. I’ve never had all six occupied as of yet. We can grow though if its needed. Most of my business cycles with the runs James makes to Riverfall bringing people back and forth.” She admitted honestly, not at all concerned she was rarely full. It was one of those things.

She leaned closer and smiled. “One thing you will learn fast here is that coin means almost nothing. What means more is what you can do… with your hands…. or the knowledge of what you know.” She said tapping her forehead gently. “I love to cook. And because of that, some people think of me when they are out hiking freely in the jungle and grow hungry. They will actively look for flowers for my garden – roots and all – in exchange for lunch when they get back to civilization. That’s a win win and keeps me out of the jungle where I’m decidedly not experienced.” She added, then nodded to the bird feeders.

“Visitors like seeing the exotic birds of the jungle. And truth be told, so do I. I simply cut the grass heads on some of the salt grass aroud the Inn and lay them out with fruit rines and other things that the birds like. They come to gather. It also gives people things to talk about. A lot of things scattered about this Inn …. “ Tazrae gestured at the wide array of shells, flotsam, and even a couple of sets of jaws of small boned sharks. “Are designed to spark interest and converstation among strangers, easing their experience here.” She added, offering him a smile.

“My turn. What do you plan on doing in Syka? No one comes here to live to just relax. That’s for the visitors and the curious drifter. You don’t seem like either. You have too sharp of an eye, observing things that others might not miss or see as out of the ordinary.” Tazrae pointed out, this time pushing off the counter she was leaning on and walking over to settle at the table a few seats away from him.

“So where are you from?” She asked in a friendly chatty manner. “I came from Riverfall myself. I didn’t enjoy the opportunities there and James was a friend of my father who had stayed with us when he was in Riverfall a time or two. He invited me to come open an Inn here. It sounded challenging. Having to build from scratch sounded like a dream too. Something that was all mine, you know what I mean? How about you? Farmer? Blacksmith? Something else?” She asked, knowing he had to be some sort of adventuresome entrepreneur.

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Postby Willjan on August 29th, 2020, 2:47 am


Customers are good, but neighbors are more permanent... Willjan nodded along with Tazrae, trying to mirror her good-natured graciousness. Her words reminded him of what Des had said back on The Veronica about how small Syka was. He'd have to make it a point to come back and pay for this breakfast in another way. Preserves maybe? He focused back on Tazrae.

"Oh yes - I'll build something here," Willjan said, nodding respectfully along with Tazrae's yogurt-making process... until she got to the point about an ice chest. An ice chest! Now that could be a game-changer!

After the pup sniffed his hand, accepted him, and settled himself contentedly, Willjan brushed passed Tazrae to inspect the ice chest. He knocked sharply on the sides, and the chest echoed back in muffled tones. It was well insulated, like she had said. He wondered where she'd sourced it. He glanced at the pipe she mentioned, tapping his lips with his forefinger.

Tazrae continued to explain where she got the ice for the box. She pays a local reimancer with cinnamon rolls, huh? How quaint, he thought before suddenly becoming self-aware of his position- bent over this new acquaintance's belongings. He stood up quickly. "Marvelous engineering," he said in a forced laugh, "I love that it waters your flowers for you."

He couldn't tell if she minded, but either way she continued explaining. He'd have to stash away this ice-chest idea for another time.

When she leaned in, he did so too - acting the confidant. He had to contain a scowl when he heard her words, though. Coin means almost nothing? Ridiculous. But he remembered her words, Neighbors are more permanent, and forced himself to bury his outrage in another spoon of yogurt. It was quite good.

He followed her gesture across the inn, his eyes landing on each item in turn- the flotsam, the shells, the sharks, and back to the birds. Two of them were fighting over a mango rind now. One abruptly let go, causing the other to topple backwards over itself. Willjan chuckled. He was gaining a certain amount of respect for this innkeeper. All the details were well thought out, effective without being intrusive to her guests. When she moved to sit by the table, Willjan joined her.

"Des and I actually came from Riverfall as well," he said, "though we were only there for a few years. We grew up in Kenash." He took a sip from his cup, "Des is my little sister. She's going to love you and everything you've done here," he said waving his hand in an arc, "We're terrible cooks."

"I admire what you've done here already. And I share your dream in making something my own," he said; though in reality, he thought a six bedroom inn was a piddly amount. Still, it was more than he had...

"When I spoke to Mathais a while back, it seemed like Syka had a need for someone to take on the local food preservation effort - so Des and I have stepped up to fill that need. Funny you mention it - blacksmithing was actually another thing on that list that seemed to be of import. I bet that ice chest of yours was hard to find at first. Unfortunately we've never had the opportunity to get any sort of high-skilled apprenticeship like that. We have some experience preserving our own food out of the necessity of our travels, and of the winters in Riverfall, so food preservation seemed like the best fit for us. I have some thoughts on how to scale our methods so that everyone in Syka will be able to enjoy our dried mangos and meats. Who knows - maybe we could add some variety to your rotation here at the inn too!"

Willjan was on a roll now, passion leaking from his elocution, but another visitor in the entryway of the inn cut off his rant. At the door stood another young woman with dark brown-blond hair. She was dressed in a worn leather coat and matching pants. Her knees were scuffed with soil, as were her boots.

She came bearing a stout looking plant with waxy-looking leaves and brilliant red, yellow and white flowers in bloom. She greeted Tazrae warmly, making a show of the flowers she brought before setting them down on the table in front of the innkeeper. Then her eyes fell upon Willjan.

"Ah, an unfamiliar face!" she said, "a guest?"

"A neighbor," he said, holding out his hand, "Willjan. Tazrae here had just been talking about how she procures such a well-stocked garden for her grounds."

"Uta," she said, shaking his hand and beaming at the recognition, "Yes, I may have had a small part in that. Taz here is the most amazing baker, though."

And with that, she picked up a cinnamon roll and took a bite larger than Willjan would have thought possible for any normal human.

Maybe there was something to this whole barter system, he thought, looking at the large plant delivered to Tazrae's doorstep.

The two doves had found a way to pin down their mango rind with their talons by now. Each had one talon on the middle section while they pecked at their own respective end. They seemed to share it contentedly.
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Postby Tazrae on September 6th, 2020, 11:26 pm

Syka wasn’t a payback culture. Tazrae could see Willjan trying to decide what he owed her for the meal and almost smiled. Syka was a pay it forward culture. Everyone helped everyone else because someday they themselves might need help. She wasn’t putting Willjan into her debt. She was setting herself up to get assistance when she needed it by assisting others when they needed it. And besides, food was food. Feeding new people was absolute pleasure for her.

The fact that he said he was building something here pleased her tremendously. More people, more residents, made everyone safer and brought more creature comforts depending upon the business and skillset of the builder. Maybe he’d get himself an icebox too. She had to laugh at his deep delight in examining hers. They were clever things, and easy to maintain. Had they lived anywhere but in the tropics where ice never formed there’d be big business in ice house work in Syka. Though from what she’d seen in Riverfall, cutting and storing ice was hard backbreaking work. She was glad there was a Reimancer handy.

“I was taught magic was something to be afraid of. But there, that’s not quite true. I want to learn more.” Tazrae confessed. “I want to be able to maintain my own icebox. I want to be able to control the elements like others can.” She said softly. “Can you imagine how much more than an icebox would be possible?” She added, then watched as he inspected the rest of the set up and commented on how the melt off watered her flowers.

And she didn’t mind him snooping. She was openly sharing information. It was one of the ways people in Syka survived. Tazrae didn’t miss his reaction to her words on coins meaning nothing. She didn’t react though. He would soon understand how so much more had power than just a simple Miza. A hand outstretched, a helper for a day, extra meat distributed before it could spoil… all things that had far more intrinsic value than a coin.

She liked Willjan though, Tazrae decided. For all he was drinking in her setup with his eyes and learning as much as he could, she could feel equal measures of greed and genuine nice in him. He was a curious mixture and she thought perhaps he hadn’t settled on who he was going to be. Maybe coming to Syka would do that for him. She liked that he noticed the birds. Heck, he noticed a lot of things many people overlooked. It would be a valuable survival skill here in the jungle.

Talking to him was easy too. She didn’t have to think of topics. Instead, the conversation flowed back and forth between them. They had Riverfall in common, and both loved attention to details. When Tazrae discovered he had a little sister, she beamed and urged him to send her over.

“Have her come by. Maybe she’ll turn out to be able to cook something if I show her a thing or two. And if she still can’t, no harm no foul.” Taz said with a grin. It would be nice to know another lady as well, especially someone’s little sister. Those were the kind of connections she wanted to make in the world. She wanted friends with family attached, family she could share in since she had none.

“Thank you.” She said to his polite words about her Inn. She knew it was nothing special, small and simply designed, but it was all hers and would give her enough income to live comfortably in this far off corner of the world. “I know its not as fancy as the places in Riverfall, but it’s mine. That’s what I feel is important. And it will allow me to live comfortably. I bet your business will be the same for you too. Food goes so bad so quickly here. If I could have a big pantry full of canned goods… rows and rows of jars of meat and fruit and prepared sauces and the like.. I’d be happy…. So happy. I think others feel the same way. You are smart to think of such a thing here. It’s a needed niche.” She said, offering him a grin.

“Most of what Syka produces foodwise can’t be sold over in Riverfall because its too delicate … the fruit and kind… for the trip. It will spoil a day or two within being boxed and shipped. But if you could preserve it, there’s so many exotic flavors here that would sell very well in cities.” She suggested, looking at him thoughtfully. “You could make so much coin doing that… or trade goods. It would be a fantastic export. You could cut out the best hearts of pineapple and can them.. they’d fit in a nice mason jar… and take them to Riverfall and sell as exotic fruit. It would work so well.” Tazrae said, her eyes glowing with excitement for Willjan who seemed to be on the precipice of a new life.

“I’m so happy you came to live here, and even to visit me… that’s a brilliant idea with using your skills to preserve things.” She added, smiling and standing up to top his juice back off. Taz fussed a bit, wiping down the table and clearing plates, running them back into the kitchen area. Her gathering room, the table, and her kitchen were one big open area that flowed naturally from one to another.

She honestly couldn’t wait to meet Des either. She hoped the girl was her age. “Is your sister around my age? I’m 22.” She added, curious, and wondering if the other woman wanted a friend. “I could really use more friends. My customers are fleeting, rarely repeat business, and I only know a few people in the city… only one or two well. Both of you would be welcome ones….” She said softly, and smiled at him just before Uta appeared at the doorway.

Taz caught sight of what the woman had in her hands and gave a little sound of delight. She was at the woman’s side in a moment taking the plant gingerly from her hands. “It’s lovely!” She said, turning it this way and that, examining the flowers then the foliage. “I’ll be right back. This needs planting, immediately. And it’s the perfect size for the planters I just made. They are already full of soil.” She said happily, then disappeared out of the open doorway and onto the deck where there was indeed a seat that housed a built in planter off to one side. Tazrae immediately planted the flower, removing it from its leaf wrappings and tucking it gently into the soil making sure it had a shady spot since it was obviously a jungle flower.

She then returned to fill a pitcher of water and watered it liberally to help the roots nest well into the soil. She hurried, but left the two folks to their own devices until the chore was done, then she came in and gave Uta a huge hug.

“Thank you so much! I love it.” She added.

Uta was already munching a sweet when Taz returned. The Innkeeper would have fed her whether she was bearing a gift or not. It was what Tazrae did. She nurtured. Then she coaxed the woman into the conversation they were having. “What’s on your agenda today? Making any cool herbal remedies or bug balms or something?” Tazrae asked, curious.

Uta laughed. “No, I did that for the last three days. I’m taking a lot of sun soother balm and sunscreen balm over to The Outpost to sell. The sun burns hot there, like it’s the desert, and such things sell well. I’ve been picking up exotic plants and herbs both dried and living from The Open Sky Bazaar ever since the Dovecote appeared. I could use a hand if either of you are interested. If you haven’t seen The Outpost yet, you really should.” She added, knowing she indeed had enough trade goods for all three of them to carry over.

“The Outpost?” Tazrae said with a frown, her brow wrinkled in confusion. “What’s that?” She asked Uta, glancing at Willjan. “I certainly can help… my afternoon is free so long as I get home in time to prepare my guests some dinner.” She added, specifying how long she could volunteer.

She glanced at Willjan to see what he thought of all of it while Uta was answering her question.
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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