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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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Naked and Afraid (Ines)

Postby Puk on September 1st, 2020, 8:43 pm



Timestamp: Fall 1, 520

Puk's heavy eyelids shot open as he heard a loud screeching directly overhead. A monkey. He was still tired, and tried to close his eyes again. Thunk. A nut of some sort bounced off his large skull. Puk turned his head, looking up toward the canopy with a single, large brown eye, but couldn't see the culprit. He shook his head, his large ears flapping, as he brought himself to standing. The Tskanna stood quite tall, the ground sinking beneath his massive weight.

At this height, he could see the culprit now, a pair of tiny monkeys, even by Puk's human form's standard. One bared its teeth at him and he flinched away from it, turning away from the mean creature. He looked around him, looking for the woman whose name he hadn't learned and her Tskanna. Neither had spoken to him since they led him to this place. He didn't understand why they wouldn't speak to him. So he had stayed silent. It was not his place to speak to women first.

But now they were gone, and he could feel that fear creeping in. He had never been alone before, not since... not since the other night, when he killed Grau. A wave of guilt and nausea washed over him. Why had he done that? She'd cared for him. Raised him.

He was a murderer.

That's what he was called by the other members of the clan. By the people he had been taught to treat as revered members of the family he'd been allowed into. Well, almost allowed into. Apparently he hadn't earned his way in and because of that, was sent away. And here he was, alone and lost.

His stomach grumbled loudly. He needed to eat. He looked around him, not seeing any fruits right around him. There was a large gap to the north of him that he could move through. So he began walking that way. Under foot, small plants were crushed under his weight, mud squished and flattened out. Trees were nudged to the side by his shoulders. If branches were too low and blocking him, he used his tusks and trunk to bend or break them so he could pass.

Soon the ground grew wetter and swampier as Puk entered the southern most edges of an area known as the Sea of Palms, not that he knew that it was a named place. It was becoming more difficult, though not impossible, to traverse through the mud. As he squeezed between trees, the palms just fell right over, leaving an easy to spot trail in his wake.

One tree Puk knocked over into the water was laden with coconuts. He gave a happy toot of his trunk as he splashed over toward it, using his trunk to pick up the first coconut. He looked around, seeing a flat rock in the shallows. He walked over to it, setting to coconut down gently. He then stomped on the nut, cracking it open, the milk spilling into the water. He picked up a shattered piece and stuck it into his mouth, grinding it between his big, flat teeth, loving the juicy flesh and woody fibers. He repeated this entire process on a large swath of coconut trees until he was full and near bursting.

It was still sweltering hot, had been all summer, even this early in the morning, so Puk laid down in the shallows, rolling about in the mud to keep the bugs off him. He lazily drank some of the water, and was enjoying the cooling nature of the water. However, something happened that he hadn't noticed. The small, wooden amulet, given to him by the woman who had delivered him to the outskirts of Syka, had been hanging around one of his smaller, lower tusks, slipped off, and began to gently flow with the soft current of the mangrove, completely unbeknownst to Puk.
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Naked and Afraid (Ines)

Postby Ines on September 4th, 2020, 12:22 pm

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"You see where Ivas go to?"

Ines was in the Commons. Ivas had wandered out at least this far without having been caught or wrangled by anyone. To be fair to Sykans, Ashta could be scary creatures who were much larger than anyone who lived in the settlement, and only Lars and Ines tended to really be able to control them. They were friendly, of course, but no one was going to stop a curious elephant in his tracks. Rainmere, the target of her question, was sitting on a bench in the shade, a box of sewing supplies next to her and a shirt in her lap.

"The Ashta? It was walking down the beach, near the treeline, about a bell ago. I didn't see how far it went." Ines nodded and jogged down the stairs. If he'd been here an hour ago, who knew how far he'd wandered. Ivas was definitely one of Ines's favorites, but he adored getting into trouble, and half the time Ines spent working was spent chasing him down. Since he was a juvenile, he wasn't used for hauling lumber like the adults were. That gave him plenty of time to sneak off while Lars didn't have him in his full attention. Whenever Ines wasn't there to keep an eye on him, he liked to go on adventures. He reminded the little bat of herself, except in her case, Adeliz was the one that had to track her down and keep her in check. When she listened.

She walked down the beach, keeping to the shade. It was still blistering hot, and the sand had even managed to heat up enough that Ines was wearing a pair of boots along with her usual red bandana and oversized shirt. The Kelvic walked, and walked, and walked. She couldn't hear the boy, which was unusual. He'd never gone this far before. Maybe something had caught his attention, something that she'd not noticed...?

The answer came when Ines approached the Sea of Palms. Something among the fronds, something not too far from where the bat stood on the beach nearby was making quite a racket. Ines could feel the trees that had been knocked down. The witch had a hunch that something was there that wasn't supposed to be, but she also had a hunch that whatever was in there was what drew Ivas so far from the Mill. Ines started traversing the paths she could see between the palms.

It was there, stuck on some debris that had wrapped itself around the base of a palm, that Ines saw it. The amulet was of a design that she had seen before, but it had been a long, long time. At least a year and a half since she'd seen something of Ivory Tusk make, other than her own machete. The kelvic waded into the water and retrieved the necklace. Her suspicion became even more clear, but she was confused. Ivory Tusks made their clan home near Taloba, and while the Tskanna were allowed to roam wherever they wished in the jungles, she had yet to see one in Syka.

Ines saw the trail of destroyed palms first, and then she saw the Tskanna. She knew instantly it was a Kelvic. She'd heard of a Kelvic Tskanna who had been born twenty years after her own mother. Even to see one of the giant, beautiful beasts made her eyes water. The little bat had no idea how much she missed seeing them. Knowing that the Tskanna was Kelvic also made her feel significantly safer. A regular Tskanna could step on her and barely notice it, but she could speak to a Kelvic.

"Hey! Over here! Are you lost?" Called Ines in Myrian. Just as she did, she heard the familiar trumpeting of Ivas, and the Ashta came running down in the water, playfully spraying it over his head. He stopped just before the Tskanna and sprayed it, too. Now the tiny bat had two elephants to wrangle.

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Naked and Afraid (Ines)

Postby Puk on September 5th, 2020, 8:48 pm


Puk looked up, hearing a woman's voice speaking Myrian. He thought it might be the woman who had brought him to Syka, coming back for him. But instead, it was a small woman, dark of hair, wearing a red cloth and strange dress like thing. It wasn't the garb of a Myrian for sure. She had asked if he was lost. But in that same moment, Puk could feel the ground shaking, another beast was coming this way, and quickly.

As soon as Puk determined the direction the sound was coming from, he stood up rapidly, putting himself between the sound and the woman. An Ashta was coming his way. Puk wasn't scared for himself, he was much larger than an Ashta, but he was going to protect this woman from the wild animal. His body language was bristled, defensive, irritated. His ears were flapping, his foot stomping, his shoulders just a bit hunched in preparation for a charge, just as the other Ashta sprayed water on him.

No matter what the other Ashta attempted to do, Puk kept himself between it and the woman. Puk trumpeted a loud challenge at the young male, a warning. If the male didn't stop endangering the woman, Puk would have to fight it. Puk reared back a bit, lifting his front legs out of the water as he trumpeted a second and final warning before slamming his legs back down. This sent a loud rumble through the ground around them, a huge splash spraying out.

It had been such a good day, but this Ashta needed to stop, or Puk would stop him.

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Naked and Afraid (Ines)

Postby Ines on September 6th, 2020, 3:25 am

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Ines realized that, even as a Kelvic, this was an unfamiliar creature that just came up. A Tskanna could eat a young, lone Ashta for breakfast, and she couldn't have anything happen to Ivas. She wouldn't know how to handle herself if he got hurt. The vampire bat tried to catch the attention of the Tskanna kelvic - if she didn't, the effects could be disastrous.

"It's okay! He's mine!" She yelled. It wasn't totally true - he was Lars's working animal - but it was true enough. Ivas wouldn't hurt her even if she wasn't Caiyha marked. She wasn't stupid enough to put herself between an upset Tskanna, even if it could think like a person, but she kept calling up to him. "Don't hurt him!"

Ines ran into the water to stand next to Ivas and try to calm him down. She could tell he was starting to get a bit fearful and agitated by the elephant over twice his size. The witch sent calm feelings through her fingertips as she pet his side. She'd tried to avoid getting into the water, but now her legs were soaked and water had gotten into her boots. Ines was always so much smaller than a Tskanna. She was about a quarter of their height and she was smaller than just one of their legs. The bat thought she was probably the size of their trunk, even.

The bat held up the amulet she had found. "Is this yours?" She said, still speaking Myrian. "I'm an Ivory Tusk. My name is Ines." The arm she held out the amulet with proudly featured her Caiyha gnosis. She had doubts that the Kelvic would recognize the gnosis in person, but it also displayed a pair of Tskannas in the jungle. She hoped that they would at least notice that. "Are you lost? Can you shift and talk to me?" She asked. It would be a lot easier to get a handle on why a random Tskanna Kelvic had found itself in Syka - one that had ties to the Ivory Tusks, no less - if they were in their other form.
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Naked and Afraid (Ines)

Postby Puk on September 6th, 2020, 11:11 pm



Puk heard the woman's words as she yelled them over the sounds of the impending battle. And the moment she commanded him to not harm the smaller Ashta, Puk stood down. She gave the order, he obeyed. Puk stopped all aggression, including in his body language, becoming instantly docile to the woman's presence as she now stood next to the young Ashta. He still looked at the young elephant, but he trusted this woman to know what she was talking.

He saw that she was holding his amulet; he hadn't even realized that he lost it. And his trust in her grew leaps and bounds. She may not have been the Myrian that brought him here, but she was just as good. Puk leaned down, to see the finer details of the mark upon her arm. He didn't know what it meant, but he did see Tskana there. And he was further comforted.

She asked if he could shift back, and he cast one more look at the younger elephant. He could see the youngling was fearful, agitated. But he was not aggressive, and he could see that the young one was leaning in such a way as to try and somehow, impossibly so, hide behind the tiny woman. There was no threat from him now. With that, Puk instantly shifted back to his human form.

He stood there in the water that came up to his waist, towering, large in shoulder, head, and chest, his curled hair mopped on top going every which way. His gaze was cast down toward the woman, though markedly not at her face. He chose to stare at her markings of the Tskana, away from her eyes. And then he spoke, a low, soft rumble, nothing like his loud trumpeting from earlier.

"Yes, it is mine."

He made no move to reach for the necklace, nor showed any desire of expectation for it to be given. "My name is Puk. I have no clan." This was said without any pride, without any shame, though an undercurrent of sadness was noticeable. He knew of the Ivory Tusk clan, for of course he did. It was the clan he was intentionally kept isolated from, above all others. He never understood why, but the desire to meet them was always there. And now this was the second woman from the clan he'd met in the same amount of days, and the first who had spoken to him.

He thought about what to say to her final questions, "I am not lost. I have nowhere to go. But I do not know where I am." He glanced over at the Ashta. Even though it was a male, it wasn't a person, so therefore not evil, according to Grau. "I am sorry for scaring you, young one." He didn't know if the Ashta would understand him, but it was obvious in Puk's body language.

Puk looked back toward the woman, back at her tattoo. An Ivory Tusk. And she spoke. He could feel excitement welling up within him, though there was no outward showing of it on him. He yearned to ask her so many things, to learn so many things from her. And even though he knew Grau was gone, he still couldn't bring himself to be so bold and forward. An Ivory Tusk! He wondered if there were other Tskana here!

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Naked and Afraid (Ines)

Postby Ines on September 15th, 2020, 5:32 pm

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"I am barely an Ivory Tusk anymore. I have been gone for a year, now." Ines held out the amulet a bit more insistently, confused why he wouldn't just take it. "This is yours? Hold onto it." She finally said. His Myrian seemed a bit rustier than hers, which she found odd considering he was an even newer arrival than she was. The witch carressed Ivas, giving him one feeling - home - and trudged out of the shallow part of the water she had stood and back onto the dry land. Her boots were soaking wet, inside and out, and the hem of her shirt wasn't spared from the splashing.

"You're in Syka. You have to talk to one of the founders to stay here," she continued in Myrian. She had started the encounter in Myrian once she found the amulet and the Kelvic and put two-and-two together, and it was so much more comfortable for her to speak than Common. Ines started walking out of the sea of palms with Ivas. "Come with me, we'll find them." Ines started down the path, worn from those who came to the sea of palms to collect the coconuts that it grew. After all the excitement, her heart was calming down and she was trying to figure out what to do with this wayward man.

"What are you good at, Puk?" She asked. Having a sentient Tskanna would certainly be useful to someone, maybe even Lars, but the Ashta were easier to harness and did their job wonderfully. But he must be strong, too. "You have to contribute something to stay. That's what they told me, anyway. We have Ashta that I watch. They sometimes get into trouble," She pat Ivas, the creature walking besides her in the water, "But they help out with the mill. They finally reached the beach, and the bat turned north and started walking up the shore. The sun was hot and the air was humid, but there was a breeze off of the sea that cooled down the walk considerably. Ines wondered if the salty air was as new to Puk as it was to her when she'd first arrived.

The walk they had before them was long to find where the founders might have been, and even further still was the saw mill. She had already made up her mind that she would introduce Puk to Lars. If anyone could put him to work, it was him. [b]"How did you end up lost in the jungle with no clan, no idea where you were, and no one else around? Do you have anything but the amulet?"
Ines was already adding the mercantile to the to-do list. It wasn't odd to wander around the beaches naked or lightly dressed, but she figured he'd want something - clothes, a tent, a waterskin. Now that the thought crossed her mind, she grabbed her own waterskin that she kept slung on a strap across her shoulder and offered it to him. She didn't have any food on her, but a stop by the Tidepool Bar would fix that, too. "Are you thirsty?"

THey were just now passing a waterfall. Stairstep falls, though Ines had rarely ventured down here and she didn't know the name. Coming up soon enough would be the beginning of the cobbled road. It wasn't large enough for an entire Tskanna to pass through, but it was perfect for the Ashta. Ines would take them down the cobbled pathway - it was a bit faster than going around the curves of the beach itself.
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Naked and Afraid (Ines)

Postby Puk on September 22nd, 2020, 11:47 pm



Puk took back his necklace, nodding in thanks to Ines.

"Syka," he said, pronouncing the name he'd heard for the first time now. And then the woman commanded him to come with her. So he did, but only because she said so. He always obeyed the commands of women, after all. Puk hung the necklace around his neck, and took his slow, plodding steps to follow the woman. He stayed close, but not so close as to make her uncomfortable. And as he walked, his eyes were open and paying attention to the trees around them, looking for any and all signs of threat to the woman. If any appeared, he was prepared to jump between her and it, the same as he'd done with the little Ashta.

And then she asked him a question, one that was easy to answer for him. "I am strong. I am good at pull things. I am good at lift things." She seemed to be done speaking for the moment, telling him the Ashta work at something called a mill. Something he didn't know. "What mean 'mill'?" The air did smell different to Puk. He'd never been to the coast before. It was... strange. But in a good way. The jungle was full of strange scents, heavy dampness, heat. It was beginning to lighten up, and to Puk, this was a good thing. He began taking deep wafts through his large nose, savoring each and every sniff.

More questions came as the pair walked. Puk liked walking, better than running. "I... not allowed in Taloba no more. Made me leave. I not Myrian, so I not earn place in clan. I.. woman from Ivory Tusk lead me here. I waked up this morning, she gone. I alone. She gived me amulet. I have no things else," he said in their shared Myrian.

She offered him water, which he took happily. He wasn't especially thirsty, having eaten so many coconuts, but he had learned from Grau to never pass up a chance to eat, drink, or sleep. So he took a long swig of water from the skin, but made sure to save plenty for Ines. He didn't want her to get angry at him, after all. They passed a waterfall, and Puk paused momentarily to appreciate it. He always liked waterfalls. They were loud and powerful, and when he bathed in one, it made him feel small, quiet. As if he disappeared.

But he didn't linger long, following Ines further. "Do I pull stuff for you now? I keep you safe, I carry stuff for you. I..." he tried out the word he was a bit unsure about, "contribute." He watched the Ashta, seeing that the younger male kept watching him curiously. He didn't seem to be bothered by the fact that Puk was in his human form, though perhaps a bit confused. And if Puk wasn't mistaken, a bit excited. Perhaps the Ashta was young enough to think he could turn human too. The thought made Puk smile momentarily, before tamping it down, knowing women hated when men smiled.

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