Completed Catch A Falling Star & Put It In Your Pocket II

Tazrae stays up all night on her birthday.

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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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Catch A Falling Star & Put It In Your Pocket II

Postby Tazrae on January 2nd, 2021, 5:42 am

Timestamp: 21st of Winter, 520 A.V.

Continued From: Catch A Falling Star & Put It In Your Pocket I


“My mother is dead.” She whispered quietly. Lifting her eyes, she turned her gaze to Duncan’s face. She didn’t see him though, not really. Instead, she stared blindly at him, lost in her own thoughts for a moment.

Duncan’s face, when she did focus on it, was full of questions. “What did the letter say?” He asked carefully; cautiously. He might have been a man that couldn’t see expressions, but he could feel the pain about Tazrae. It was the same pain he’d asked her about once, during her initiation. She’d never replied to him then. He actually hadn’t expected her to answer him now either. But to his surprise she blinked, glanced down at the letter in her hands, and started to read it aloud.

Tazrae-

It is with great sorrow we write to you of Esta’s death. She gifted us with a fine strong son last year. The pregnancy was difficult and she struggled when our Nicoli and Desmi put in their appearance. Her labor was long and took its toll on her. However, at her insistence, she wanted a second contract and we agreed upon its terms. She took full payment and began her duties. However, a second pregnancy proved difficult if not impossible and the physicians in Riverfall gave us the news that she would not be able to conceive again. My Dear Estra was distraught and took this news hard. She was afraid we would set her aside as our wife and find a replacement more capable than she was.

We did not have plans for such a thing. We cared deeply for your mother and wanted her there for the raising of our son. Her mental state, however, took a blow from the news and her postpartum depression caused her grievous unhappiness and dare we say delusions.

As is custom for my people when our wives prove barren, we acquired a new Nakivak to fulfill our desire to have a large family. Estra did not take this well in her continued sadness even though the woman we had contracted was not someone we had an emotional attachment too. Despite that and despite the constant reassurance that she was not going to be replaced, Estra took her own life. I believe, in the end, her mental state was just too fragile to confront the things she was facing in raising an only son, having other women provide me with children, and your departure.

She took her own life on the 7th of Fall, 520 A.V. It was quick and she did not suffer.

Enclosed is a letter she wrote to you the same day she took her life. In the end, she stated she had things to explain to you that she didn’t want going to her grave. The coin enclosed was her inheritance from her grandmother passing. It should go to you since she did not need it nor get around to using it while she was with me. I hope you can find use for it where she did not.

- Takiv & Sutin Nevamar


Tazrae carefully separated out the letter from Takiv and Sutin, then tossed it into the fire before them – the one she’d been reading by. She rifled through the next letter as Duncan shifted closer to her and wrapped an arm around her. He drew her closer to him and they both leaned back on Bree.

The Ixam watched the pair without comment, her eyes wide in reptilian concern though. Duncan was concerned too. He did not speak, asked her no questions, and just sat there, letting her read the second letter which she did aloud and without a read-through first.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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Catch A Falling Star & Put It In Your Pocket II

Postby Tazrae on January 2nd, 2021, 5:45 am

The paper was stiff – older – Tazrae thought, and unfolded it carefully, noting there were multiple pages. Her voice was trembling when she started to read.

Dearest Tazrae –

I do not start this letter with the words ‘Dearest Daughter’ for that would be a lie. I raised you as my own, but you were not of my flesh and blood. Only your father shared that bond with you. He was married before me, to a lovely young woman with a fiery personality and deep dark desert blood. Blood will always tell with time and she left him with a child to return to the Burning Lands where she said her heart was. Marketh advertised for a companion and wet nurse. Since I had recently given birth to a still-born child and was destitute in Riverfall due to my husband’s death, I thought it would be a reasonable fit. It was a miserable one at best.

You never looked at me the way I thought a child should. And I would not have blamed you for your scorn had you not turned that love on Marketh and been the spark of shine in his eyes. It was difficult for me to live under a roof with a man who loved his own daughter above everything and only spared the occasional smile for me. It was impossible to continue on with that same situation when your own child in all but blood looks upon your indifferent husband with love and only looks coldly at you. You two deserved each other.

And it is with great pleasure I tell you I invited that Shroud to come stay with us just long enough for my dearest husband and your lovely father to sicken and die. In your ignorance, even reading this, you probably don’t understand. Good. I want you to know I did it, but I want you to understand how stupid you are not to recognize how. It was as if I had wielded a knife and sliced his throat myself… and it was very satisfying. I was desperately hoping you’d take a contract life as a Nakivak so I could watch you die a slow confined death or have one of their overly large welp rip themselves from your womb and ruin you for any more breeding. But no. You left for the wilds and never looked back. There is too much of your mother’s blood in you. Her name was Matari Kois. She was from a djedline that burns as hot as the sands they live in. Mages are filthy godless creatures every one of them. What your blood mother did to your father was criminal. She all but left him to go back to her magic. An Innkeeper’s life is not exciting, you know… you are just a drudge for society. I heard that was what you were doing in Syka these days. That would be your father’s weak blood in you. Always a servant, never one to be served.

And anyway, the point of this letter is for one reason and one reason only. I renounce you. I renounce any claim I might have had on you and any emotional attachment that might have lingered in raising you. You were a worthless child and its my only regret that I didn’t press a pillow to your mouth and nose when you were small enough that such things could unnoted because infants die all the time. I hope you live a short and miserable life.

Estra.


Tazrae read the whole thing through. Halfway into the note she almost tossed it into the fire, practically feeling the vitriol ooze off the pages. Once she was finished, she realized she should have. She wadded the message up anyhow, and tossed it onto the biggest burning log still ablaze in front of them. It curled upon itself, lighting up and blackening all at once in the most satisfying way ever.

“So Estra isn’t my mother and … I’m a Benshira?” Taz whispered, thinking it explained so much. She never sunburned in Syka. Her skin had only turned a deep golden brown, the color of freshly made caramel.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Catch A Falling Star & Put It In Your Pocket II

Postby Tazrae on January 2nd, 2021, 5:50 am

“Kois? I know that name. One of the seven tribes of Benshira that go by Kois. They are incredible riders for they breed some of the most beautiful and swift horses anyone has ever seen. But above that they are known for their musicians… singers most of them. The songs they sing riding into battle fill the stories that come from the desert.” He said thoughtfully. Duncan would know. He’d heard a hundred stories and even a few of the battle songs themselves.

Tazrae just watched him as he spoke, quietly digesting the contents of the letter and letting her brain wrap around what her ‘mother’ had revealed.

“Before my accident, when I was still sighted and could sail, we used to trade a great deal with Eyktol folks. I met quite a few Benshira there. I probably still know a few Kois. Though I’ve never heard of a Matari Kois” He added, as if to explain how he knew what he knew.

Tazrae didn’t comment, she only nodded.

“And it sounds like your mother killed your father. Do you know what a Shroud is, Tazrae?” Duncan asked.

All the woman could manage was a slow shake of her head.

“They look like everyone else. But beneath their clothing they will bear a mark of Vayt. It is a black diamond shaped thing that gives them the ability to augment sickness that is naturally already present in a person. Say you have a small cough… someone with Vayt’s mark hanging about will cause you to often get very sick of that cough for it will get worse and worse and worse until you can’t breathe and drown in your own lungs. Small non-important growths can become tumors. A small scratch might develop a deep and dangerous infection overnight. The marked followers of Vayt are very dangerous. And let me tell you, Tazrae, they have an appeal to them. They draw people with their beauty and friendly demeanor. Did someone stay with you at your Inn like that before your father died?” He asked, knowing how Tazrae’s father died. She’d talked to him about her father and mother and why she’d come to Syka rather than staying in Riverfall.

Tazrae’s reply was quiet… and her voice trembled. “Yes… for almost a whole season.” She whispered, blinking back tears. It was one thing if her father died abruptly from an accident. But that hadn’t happened. He’d gotten sick, bedridden, and gone downhill fast when growths started appearing in his body. They so weakened him that he was nothing but skin and bones when he had finally passed. Tazrae had nursed him the whole time.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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Catch A Falling Star & Put It In Your Pocket II

Postby Tazrae on January 2nd, 2021, 5:54 am

Duncan nodded slowly. Tazrae glanced at him as a thoughtful expression crossed his face.

“Taz… I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. But you were young. You couldn’t have known. You wouldn’t have known even now had this very ugly woman not told you the truth. And she did it for one last stab, to tear any happiness away that you’ve found here and replace it with guilt. It’s a shit thing to do.” He said quietly, but not without a bit of venom of his own.

“That would be like her.” Tazrae replied, watching the last of the letters burn away on top of the log. There was a stillness infused within her that had crept over her like jungle ground fog.

To Duncan, it felt like a cold front had rolled in. He silently cursed himself for bringing her this news and her having it from his hand. He would have much preferred that James deliver the packet of letters himself. Though, of course, James probably had no idea what the letters contained and had just assumed it was family correspondence which was usually happy. Given thought to it, he decided it was probably information the young Innkeeper could have done without. From what he could see, Tazrae was happy here, well adjusted, and thriving in Syka’s corner of the wilds.

And with all those thoughts in his head, he said the one thing that was clear in the whole mess. “This is the last blow she could deal you. Though I suspect it is the last of a long line of them given the history between you two. Her story is over, Tazrae. Don’t make her story more than just a passing notation in yours.” He said softly, taking her hand and bringing it to his lips where he could taste her skin.

Tazrae studied him, her fingers giving his hand a squeeze, then releasing a grip on him. She’d turned her attention to the southern sky which was starting to lighten. All the stars were slowly winking out, all save one. One was burning brighter than all the rest. She tensed because Tazrae had never seen anything like this before, certainly nothing this beautiful. Bree, picking up on the tension in her rider, lifted her head and looked around to see what was bothering Tazrae.

“I see it too.” The Ixam said softly.

“See what?” Duncan said, feeling both the females with him tense. He looked around as if his eyes were still actually functional, but nothing came across. Not for the first time since meeting Tazrae had he cursed his accident and what it had done to his eyesight.

“There’s a star in the sky, Duncan… an incredibly bright star. On the horizon… one I’ve never seen before.” She said breathless, starting to rise.

He rose with her, pulling her back into his chest and wrapped his arms around her. Bree rose as well, shook off the sand, and sat down on her haunches. The three of them stood quietly together. Tazrae spoke quietly, slowly describing the scene for Duncan. Her voice was full of the wonder of what she was seeing. Bree trilled her agreement, though the lizard saw things differently than humans did.

Duncan sucked in a breath. “Vastimi.” He said softly. “Tonight was the Winter Solstice, Tazrae. It wasn’t just your birthday. Vastimi always appears in the dawning of the sky in the morning after The Solstice. It’s considered a blessing on the new year to come if you see it.” He said quietly. All Svefra knew this who spent any time on the sea. There was no better place to view it than a flat calm morning sea with a sky filled with glittering stars slowly winking out.

As they got dimmer, Vastimi would get brighter. “There are so many stories about it.” He whispered, though oddly none of them came to him at that moment. He was too caught up in Tazrae and Bree’s reaction to it. They were caught, both of them, transfixed by the sight.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Catch A Falling Star & Put It In Your Pocket II

Postby Tazrae on January 2nd, 2021, 5:56 am

The star truly was glowing brightly. It filled the early morning sky with light and seemed to sparkle. The sparkles threw out into the sky going all different directions. “It’s throwing off sparks?” Tazrae said uncertainly… “Like a blacksmith hitting an anvil will sometimes do.” She said, a mixture of curiosity and fear in her voice.

“I see them too,” Bree said, her wedge-shaped head swiveling first this way and that, following the streaks of light as they fell. “One’s close to us… do you see it coming in Taz? It’s not going to land on the sea is it?” The Ixam said, her eye ridges furrowing not unlike a human’s eyebrows would when in deep concentration.

“I see it… no… it's not landing in the sea. I think the beach. Maybe Sharktooth Point?” She added starting to tense up. “Should we go find it? I want to see what it is!” She said, excitement in her voice. Tazrae wasn’t sure they’d be the only ones looking. Where the spark had fallen, she could see a glow in the distance. Anyone up or out walking at this rate could find the spark first.

“Go you two. You can get there quickly on Bree.” Duncan said, urging them. He’d wait by the fire, for there was no point in him racing down the beach blindly holding the two females back. “I’ll wait here for you and know to come looking if you don’t turn up again rather quickly.” He said with a smile. His smile covered the twinge of pain. He should be going with them. He was in good shape and could run along with the Ixam … if only he could see. It wasn’t the first time he had regretted his blindness, but it was the first time he thought there might be something he could do about it. With the Outpost cropping up, he’d heard talk of a renowned healer working out of the care facility there. Duncan decided, sometime soon, he’d go talk to her about his sight.

Tazrae needed no further encouragement. Neither did Bree. Taz vaulted onto the Ixam’s back and together the pair raced down the beach to see if they could indeed retrieve the spark.



Word Count 2798
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User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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