Solo Body Talk

[Bharani Library]

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Body Talk

Postby Baiya on February 24th, 2021, 2:52 am

Image
61st of Winter, 520 AV

"Can I help you?"

The woman behind the desk was not exactly what Baiya had thought a librarian would look like. Then again, the entire library did not look how Baiya thought it would. She had been picturing a dark, damp space with mysterious keepers, but this was an elegant building, immaculately kept.

"I'm looking for a book." She began. She drifted off, distracted by a passing white-robed figure disappearing into the shelves. Okay, so maybe the mysterious keepers are real, she amended. The woman behind the counter waited for Baiya to continue, her face blank and unblinking.

"A book on bones?" Baiya asked. It was a question because she had no idea what she was really seeking. Ever since she had met Madeira at the Starglow Spa, she had been thinking about how her spine had curved and how much more Baiya would have been able to help if she had known anything about Human bone structure. But she wasn't sure exactly where her knowledge gap lay. More than that, she wasn't sure what kind of information the library would hold.

Baiya had never been too fascinated by reading, only learning it at the behest of her mother, and her writing was absolutely atrocious. However, she had made a resolution to learn today and had committed herself to it, even going so far as to purchase a blank book and a writing utensil at the market. She waved these at the librarian, as if in explanation.

"I can help you." The librarian reassured her. "Do you have a pass?"

"No." Baiya furrowed her brow. "I didn't know I needed one."

The librarian nodded and waved over one of the other white-robed figures. "Not a problem," She explained, "We'll get you one. All you need to do is share some information with us."

Baiya visibly relaxed. "Oh, sure. Like, my name and workplace, or what?"

The new robed figure shook his head with a soft smile. His voice had a humming quality that told of his age even though his body was largely hidden. "Tell us something we don't know. Anything we can add to our collection."

Baiya sputtered. "I don't know anything!"

LedgerBook, blank - 3 Ki
Ink, vial (1 0z.) - 1 Ki
Quill - 5 jk
Total: - 4 Ki, 5 jk
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Baiya
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Body Talk

Postby Baiya on February 24th, 2021, 6:48 pm

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The man shook his head. "That's not true. Everyone has unique knowledge they bring to us."

"If I had any knowledge you didn't, then I wouldn't be here!"

"It does not have to be purely factual." He pressed gently. "You have experiences. You have talents. Tell us about yourself."

Baiya wracked her brain, frustrated that she might be stopped by something so simple. They were right. She wasn't a child. She had unique experiences. But at the moment, every last one of them escaped her. Was she really just an illiterate rodent? Her parents would go wild to know she thought of herself as such. And just like that, it hit her.

"Do you know anything about sugar gliders?"

The man nodded encouragingly, producing a piece of parchment from his robe.

"I'm a Kelvic. My other form is a sugar glider. We have small flaps of skin we can use to glide from surface to surface, but not quite fly because I can't gain height. I grew up very fast- I'm three now- but I don't know exactly how many years I'll live. I suppose no one does." Baiya shrugged, uncomfortable reporting on herself in such a clinical manner. She went on for another chime with as many facts as she could think of about herself before asking for release. "Is that...enough?"

The librarians nodded at each other, and the man rolled up his parchment and tucked it away in a scroll case. The woman behind the counter reached over and handed Baiya a white pebble. On it was a book stamped in silver. Baiya closed the pebble tightly in her fist.

"If you ever lose that, don't worry. We'll just take another transcription from you. And if you ever need anything else, my name is Silvya. We are all here to help you. I'll have someone lead you to the medical books." She glanced up from her paperwork for confirmation. Baiya nodded readily, excited to get away from the others and get to her work.
---

Eventually, Baiya found herself exactly where she wanted to be. She was seated at a table in the library, a pile of books in front of her that she was ready to tackle. Her clean book lay open beside it, and the wax seal on her inkwell had been broken. With a shaky hand, Baiya picked up the quill and dipped the tip into her ink. On the first page of her book, she carefully drew the only word that she could write from memory.

B-A-I-Y-A

She drew a line underneath her name swiftly, her heart swelling with pride. She blew on the ink gently, hoping to dry it before she turned the page. It may have been overly cautious, but she was intimately aware of the way her heavy hand had pooled ink in the crosses between the lines, and she wanted the first page- just this one- to be beautiful. When she moved to taking notes, that's when she gave herself permission to really mess the book up.
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Body Talk

Postby Baiya on February 25th, 2021, 11:27 pm

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The first book she had chosen was exactly what she was thinking of when she had dreamt of coming to the library. The cover designated it as a medical journal of a local healer. Inside, it described ailments of the bones, the treatments, and even some educated guesses at causation. It was beautifully laid out and Baiya was fascinated by the contents.

It was also useless to her.

Even though she knew it was mostly Common, she felt as if she were reading in another language. While she understood bits and pieces of the treatments- especially those that related to massage or muscles- without knowing the language to describe the problem, she couldn't put them into use.

Splints, atrophy and dystrophy, herniated disks... She shut the book abruptly. It was only making her frustrated to stumble every ten words.

The other book she had picked was slightly more promising. Although it was not medical per say, when she was flipping through options the drawings had caught her eye. Impulsively, she had added it to her table and now she was happy she did.

Upon further inspection, the book was written by an embalmer. The inside contained very little written language beyond labels of parts. Instead, each page featured a sketch of a body. The black and white diagrams were almost eerie to look at, considering that the bodies they represented were, well, dead. Some of them were perfectly preserved, with only a few holes or incisions marked for the embalmers to work from. Others (the most important to Baiya), had the bodies splayed out and the skin pulled away, revealing their inner anatomy. This was what she needed! Once she was able to familiarize herself with the layout of the body and the names of the parts, then she could understand what in the world the healers were talking about.

She flipped to a page that displayed a body with the majority of its back revealed. It appeared to have been mauled to death, judging by the opposite page's sketch of the back skin layer with claw marks through it. Although unfortunate for the person, this gave her a wonderful view of the exposed bones.

Baiya dipped her quill into her ink once more and, propping the book up against the stack so that she could see clearly, began to copy the bones from the drawing. It was more difficult than she had anticipated. She had thought copying would be the easy part, with note-taking and deducing vocabulary more difficult. However she found that the drawing was incredibly detailed, and she was unable to make fine enough strokes to replicate it properly. Ink ran together and made "bones" where there were none, creating a very unhelpful diagram. This was especially problematic when she tried to create arrows pointing to parts to be labeled, as it ended up becoming one large, formless blob.

Okay, so I'm not the artist this guy is. Could've guessed that before we started. She chastised herself. She decided to cut her losses. She folded the page in on itself so it wouldn't sully the next one and started again.
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