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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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Half cocked (Open)

Postby Marino Oceangem on November 3rd, 2020, 12:53 am

9th of Fall, 520 A.V.

It was a warm night all told. The sea was sighing softly, and the moon was full overhead as Marino embarked on his journey. While it was a minor one, he took to it readily as he paced along the beach. Tomorrow would mark another tenday so he wanted to be able to greet it with gifts in hand. That had been Tazrae's idea. An he wanted to surprise her for this one with a little bit of intiative of his own. He did not always have to go with the tides. Fording his own path was in his blood, and he took to those waters readily.

Marino was looking for driftwood in the present moment. Large pieces that might make good benches, or fire, depending on what was deemed appropriate. He started along the beaches nearest to the dock an worked his way up towards the Tidepool bar. The hour was not yet late enough to exclude all foot traffic in that direction and he could make out the lights of the bar from his vantage. They seemed small in the distance, an oh so welcoming.

He stifled the desire there and then before it could bloom into something harder to resist. A certain amount of focus was needed for him to get this job done before this day passed into the morrow, an he was determined to see it through. Part of him argued that he could seek help along his quest in that direction, but another, more selfish side argued that they go it alone. It was a difficult decision. One he did not easily find respite from when he searched his inner self for motives that might not be readily apparent.

Eventually, he decided that he would go on his own for now. At least until he had a proper plan he could come to someone with. It would look foolish for him to go up for help in creating a party without having an idea of the general structure he wanted it to take. He might as well be asking for someone else to throw it and walk away from the matter if that was the case. It was an easy rationalization to make in the dark as he walked alone. The warm air off the sea brushing lightly through his short hair. His eyes wandered to the water from time to time even though he was supposed to be combing the beach. The moonlight looked pretty as it glinted off the dark water.

It didn't take him long to start finding pieces. At first they were small, misshapen things, barely bigger than the span of the hand he gathered them in. The larger ones were far more sporadic, rarely appearing in pairs and rarely larger than his leg. Still, he gathered those too, only stopping when he found one that might be suitable for his purposes. It was a piece that almost looked like a tree that was stripped of all leaves and branches. It was a small tree though, that looked like it could come to his nose if he stood it on its end. When he got down to examine it, he saw that it was about as tick around as his waist, and the skin was drawn tight and warped from its travels across the sea. This would do fine.

Marino troubled to put the pile of sticks further inland, near the guest houses where he thought might be a good location for their little tenday party. He thought that the spartan houses might be a good place for people to recline after drinking and dancing. Then he went back to pick up the log by its end and drag it all the way up to the guest quarters. It was not hard in the way that he had imagined it would be because its lack of rough bark made for an unexpected difficulty. The wood was unwieldy and rendered smooth from its ride which made it hard to grip as it continued to slip from his hands. Several times he found himself stopping to grab it further down the log so that he would be able to hold it for longer before he had to reassert his grip on its weathered surface.

When he finally managed to drag it up to be near the quarters, he was covered in sweat and his hair was in quite a state as it clung to the sides of his head. His breathing was labored, an he had to constantly wipe at his eyes that were stinging from the salt. He decided a test was in order when he finally brought it home, and promptly sat down on it. The log rolled back slightly with his weight, briefly filling him with uncertainty before it came to a stop. Reflexively Marino dug his heels into the sand and gripped where he could on the log on either side of himself.

At last after it felt like it wasn't going to rock anymore, he allowed himself to breath out the air he had been holding in his chest, and sighed in relief. Maybe he would use some of the smaller sticks to support this log to make sure that it didn't roll during the celebration tomorrow. He'd feel something terrible if it ended up causing an accident. Picking up one that was as thick around as his arm, he stood up and walked around the log to test his hypothesis. At the point where the log curved inward, Marino drove in the tip of the stick into the sand and shoved as hard as he could. It sank about a quarter but he wasn't quite satisfied with that so he leaned into it again. Working the tip back and further until it inched in for about a third of the way down along its length.

Going back to the pile he picked up a similar looking stick and did the same for the opposite side of the log till it looked like it was propped up by a wooden V. He repeated the process for the other end of the log before finally testing out another attempt. An he didn't do it half way, and perhaps even overdid it. For as he sat down, he followed a sudden impulse to dig his heels into the sand and push against it with all his might. The sticks in the back resisted valiantly for a moment before giving way slightly and rocking him backwards enough to topple off the back of the log.

He rolled with the momentum and found himself flat on his back staring up at the stars. Craning his neck slightly up, he saw that the log was more or less still in the 'supports' but the back ones were bent, maybe even cracked. Marino sighed and let his head fall down onto the sand, using up a moment to look up at the sky thoughtfully. His stomach rumbled and he thought about fetching some dinner. The kitchen commons were not far from here and he was hopeful that there might be something there for him to snack on.

That turned out not to be quite the case, but there were a few implements laying around an there was the herb garden the Sykans kept to supplement their meals. Marino cast a suspicious eye at the plants while he examined the tools available. Unable to make up his mind, Marino took of his bag and pulled out a pot to set on the counter before going over to the fire pit to see what he could get started. He'd brought over a armful of wood from what he'd gathered by the guest houses, and decided the first thing to do was to dump that onto the pit before he started looking for ways to start the fire. He had tender in his knapsack and remembered the rudiments of what Stuvantis had shown him, but wasn't quite sure he wanted to test his hand on that task just yet.

Instead, Marino sought out a torch in a somewhat futile gesture for there were none present in his immediate vicinity. None he were comfortable taking at least. So lacking a better alternative, he strongly considered just eating cold, dry rations from his pack before finally resolving himself to digging out the little metal tin he kept his tender stored within. Pulling out the oil soaked article, he reached out to set it gently on top of his pile of sticks before going back to his pack for flint and steel. Grasping them firmly between his fingers, he tried striking them at an angle as he worked out in his mind how he was supposed to wield this tool. There was a faint memory of Stuvantis striking them together, but it didn't look right the way he was going about it.

The memory was understandably hazy. It had been prior to another celebration, one that seemed so long ago now with what all had transpired since then. It was a sweet memory, one he longed to explore again once he had the leisure. For now he'd noticed he wasn't throwing off as many sparks as he thought he should. He tried scrapping it along the edge instead and that offered a significant change in results. On every other strike now the sparks poured out in a shower that bathed the pit in a dozen glowing lights. They were almost like fire flies, except so much more brief with their fragile light.

His wrist was starting to ache as the tinder finally caught fire, and glowed with a warm cherry light. Marino smiled and leaned forward, watching it as it glowed brighter, brighter, then gone. His face screwed up in confusion as the tinder suddenly evaporated with the rest of the flame leaving a small pool of ash behind on the top of the stick he had placed it upon. The stick itself showed only a slight charring across the top which was more than a little disappointing.

However he didn't have much time to dwell on that mistake as another caught his eye. A flickering light to his side drew his attention to his backpack, the top of which was glowing with a little flame of its own. A flame that was faring far better than its brother in the pit as it had the residual oil in the tin to feed off of. Marino stood up in a panic and started stepping on it only to withdraw his foot quickly as the hot caress of the small flames licked the underside of his foot. Reflexively, he started kicking sand onto the flame so he could step on it with a little more protection and that sand ended up doing a good deal better than his foot at combating the flame. It withered underneath the spray of sand until it finally sputtered into nothingness. Marino hastily knelt then and brushed away the sand to inspect the damage. It was fairly charred along the top, but thankfully didn't look beyond repair. At least he hoped that would be the case as he fretted over the new hole in the top of his bag and looked around to see if anyone had spied his misfortune.

Then he cast another glance at his poor attempt of a fire before sitting down on his haunches, resigning himself for a moment to just sit there and realize that he needed the help more than he initially suspected. Taking out a piece of dried fish from his bag, he started gnawing on the edge of it as he settled in to accept that reality, and breathed in slowly. Deeply. It was time to enlist someone in this plan of his.

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Marino Oceangem
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