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Bandin arrives in Syka.

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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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Postby Bandin Everdance on May 16th, 2021, 11:38 pm

Timestamp: 1st of Spring, 521 A.V.

Bandin marveled partially at the cliffs of Riverfall as they receded almost completely into the distance. The gorgeous ship, the Veronica, skimmed the deepening waters with her long, low profile.

The young man couldn't take his eye's off the boat's massive sails. Crewman scurried across the scaffolding masts. The giant stretches of canvas took to the winds remarkably well, heaving against the fore and top masts to drag the boat through the tides; Bandin had no doubt that this was due to the crew having chosen the day of departure purposely to accommodate good windage.

Whimsy and adventure had caught up his mood. He'd never set sail on the open sea like this before. He couldn't have been paid to place boot down upon a Sunberthian ship; that'd just as quick be a decision to get you stabbed or sunk to the bottom of the bay. Here, though, with these men, there was a certain rugged rightness of adventure about. He'd only briefly spoken to the captain of the ship, with a deeper conversation promised, but Bandin trusted him and his men, or at least felt safe enough with them, already.

He had no idea if Syka's founders would truly decide to work with him. He hadn't planned to try and settle down anywhere upon arriving in Riverfall, before hearing about the new frontier town, it had just been another stop in his wanderings.

Still, there was something about the idea of a new place, unbuilt and unclaimed.

Bandin placed his hands flat down upon the edges of the boat. Salt water sprayed against his content face. Just what would he say to James to convince him? What would James have to say to him to do the same?

The captain was aboard, that much was certain. Would they speak upon landfall or before even then?

The young man crossed his arms and leaned into the siding. Time would tell what it would. Maybe he'd find something worth coming back to?

Bandin smiled.

Maybe just.
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(Gossamer) Welcome to Civilization

Postby Gossamer on May 17th, 2021, 12:01 am

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The Veronica was well out to sea before James had a moment to wander around and visit with all his guests. This trip was light. The trading had been good and Syka's winter season of fruit harvest was welcome in Riverfall where the growing season was considerably shorter and more nuanced. He had more coin than goods, which didn't always bode well for the settlement. He did have fine wine - which he had purchased with some of the coin - and raw metals which hopefully the smithy would put to good use. He had new rolls of light fabric which he purchased cheap from clothiers in what was still somewhat winter in Riverfall. The skins he had shipped sold for more than he expected, enabling him to purchased tanned leather already prepared to take back to Syka for the Merchantile.

He had crates and crates of dry goods aplenty, new orders for Uta's herbs, and a special request for two parrots for the Riverfall winery. He had picked up some special requests from the denizens of Syka... new books, hair combs, the fabric of course, and other things the settlement couldn't easily find or make. He'd even sold a few live snakes to the pet sellers who had buyers interested in Syka's more exotic offerings. A nefarious sort had even placed an order for a viper from the jungle... a colorful one, though James wasn't convinced the man had wanted the snake for display. He was a known poison crafter so James would leave it up to the snake experts to see if they wanted a viper exported.

Once The Veronica was making great wake, her sails full, and the sky's clear... James made it a point to seek out the lone passenger on this voyage. The man was younger than he was, by far, and had that hungry look in his eye as if he wanted to seek adventure in the great unknown. The Captain smiled to himself. Syka would be an adventure, all right, but one hopes the man was ready for.

"Greetings. I'm sorry we didn't have time to talk earlier. I had a delay getting the ship loaded and that always irritates me. I wanted to get back for the first tenday gathering of Spring in Syka. I'm James Chaliva, one of the Founders of the Syka settlement. You headed there as a visitor or wanting to stay longer?" He asked, casual about the meeting, curious but not overly nosey. He'd have a short conversation with the man, see what he was doing heading to Syka, and then finish the checks on his ship before catching some sleep. By Syna, the man knew his own limits, and this trip had been trying. He'd been up all night settling the freight that had been delayed in its delivery.

James offered him a hand to shake if the younger man was so inclined.
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Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 12:36 am

Bandin took the hand and shook it firmly, with a charismatic smile.

"Tenday gathering? You'll have to explain that one," he said; the way the old sailor said it sounded like it was something he looked forward to, even despite his general air of weariness. "Something fun? I'd be glad to walk right into something like that."

Pulling back Bandin leaned his back and propped himself against the side once more, facing James at an angle.

"You've got a beautiful ship," he said and meant it. "I can't imagine working your whole life and having it pay off with an operation like this."

He was being honest. Dreams of wealth and glory--that was something he couldn't help but admire having been accomplished. It wasn't greed or green envy that spurred Bandin to make the compliment, but simply him being genuinely happy for the other, older man. Some people hated the successful; Bandin just wished he'd lived in a world where everyone was glad for everyone else--and where there was more to go around to be glad about.

"I was thinking of staying," Bandin mused. "I figure, anyway. It really depends."

"I've heard talk that you need tradesmen," he continued. "And, I'll be honest, I can swing a hammer and hold down an anvil rightly. Nothing impressive, but the basics I've got solid, thanks to my aunt. Now she was a craftsman."

Bandin gave James a mock look of regret. "Now the awkward part. I can run you a forge, if you need one. But I can't buy that forge outright. I've never been a joiner before now. I just never had need of a stockpile of mizas."

Bandin smiled musingly. "Nor wanted to carry the heft."

He half-pointed, as if bringing James in on the joke.

"Xyna might keep those things light, but a sack of them is still hard enough to fit into a backpack. She could've made them smaller."

He chuckled and released the small bit of sarcasm's tension. "Worse problems I guess."

"Still. I'm about tired of tents. For now. I'd be glad to hear out what you people are trying to do. I'd be a joiner for the right cause."

He glanced to the sea for a moment, thinking and burning the image of open tides into his mind.

"Nothing high and noble like the knights, but that actually keeps everyone stuffed up in a bottle. But something where everyone pulls each other up? Maybe that'd do it."

He looked back. "I've got an inclination to stay is what I'm saying, but I'm really not sure what I'm looking for."

His eyes got serious, but still friendly. "What I'm asking is: what makes you stay? What's the reason, beyond money, for this place, if there is one?"

"Paint me a picture of what you're doing?"
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(Gossamer) Welcome to Civilization

Postby Gossamer on May 18th, 2021, 4:02 am

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James smiled a little at Bandin’s handshake and then quirked an eyebrow when the man hadn’t completed the introduction by offering up his own name. “What do you like to be called?” He asked, having read the man’s full name off the passenger and cargo manifest. That didn’t mean Bandin went by Bandin. His clerk had entered their complete cargo manifest and crew/passenger contingent just last night after a few last-minute changes.

He did, however, hear Bandin’s question.

“Syka is a unique place. We’ve practically carved it out of the jungle. People don’t live in houses on top of each other. Some live in caves, some in ranchos which are houses out on the water built up on stilts. Some even live deep in the jungle. There’s no main street or town hall in Syka. Mathias’ house is about as close as you get to a meeting hall. We’ve made a sort of town square recently, and because everyone is far flung, we decided that every tenth day we will all gather in the evening in the town commons and exchange news, gossip, trade goods, eat a potluck type thing. It brings everyone together and gives folks a chance to check in with each other. And if someone is missing, and no one has seen them, the rest of us will go check on them to make sure there’s no issues. The jungle can be dangerous… Syka is the jungle. There’s eyelash vipers, dangerous predators, and even stranger things.” James confessed, smiling slightly. “We have about nine ten-days gatherings a season. People look forward to them… with the drinking, dancing, and music that often happens.” He added, not sure someone not of Syka would understand the reasoning and the safety involved in a whole community check-in.

“Thank you for the compliments about my ship. She’s named after my youngest daughter who is no longer with us. My oldest daughter, Juli, runs the mercantile in Syka. You’ll meet her when you get to the settlement.” He added, smiling.

“I honestly never saw sailing as work. It’s more to my mind running errands for the Settlement. I’ve a lot of Svefra blood so the sea calling me is natural. I’m restless by nature, and even paradise has its moments of boredom. But with a ship… there’s always somewhere to go and something new to see.” He said thoughtfully.

“You can always stay for a while, see if it suits you. Syka’s life isn’t for everyone. The things we need day to day aren’t always available. We have to build and improvise a lot. But there’s a freedom in Syka I think other cities lack. It’s a feeling…. like a deep breath you take when you didn’t know you needed to take one. There’s also a bit of discovery there…. Syka is like a woman with a lot of secrets. You learn them a little at a time and one answered question leads to ten more unanswered ones.” He admitted, laughing slightly to himself.

“You’ll learn quick, Bandin, that money means next to nothing in Syka. A person is valued for what they can bring to the table… in tradeskills especially. For example, we have wood a plenty … were surrounded by it, but it wasn’t until an enterprising young man imported a sawmill from Riverfall that we actually had access to lumber. Believe it or not I was shipping it all in from Riverfall, which was killing me, since we had perfectly good trees growing everywhere. But now… now I import nails like crazy, because we have a bountiful supply of lumber, but no fasteners… like hinges, nails, etc. Our local blacksmith does alright, but he doesn’t want the work we pile on him. He’s a skilled man, but he lacks the creativity and innovative mind that a blacksmith for Syka would need. We have a lot of unique problems that an engineering mind could solve if they can work metal and craft tools…” He added, looking thoughtfully at Bandin.

“The Founders … that’s myself and my two friends Mathias and Randal… we often float loans to those that need them in return for the promise of a repayment in a specific length of time… that time and payment plan depending on how much you help the community.” He added, smiling slightly.

“We have no restaurants in Syka. But an enterprising soul opened a Tavern that sells snacks. And now that watering hole is the town gathering spot. Another soul came over with a mind to open an Inn, so we have a small six room bed and breakfast. But the best part about that is we also have a morning stop now to get coffee, tea, and baked goods. I started the Mercantile and its very popular. I stock what people want and trade for what they need in Riverfall. This load… for example… has two spinning wheels and a couple of very fancy angora goats on board that are going back for one of the denizens to start learning to spin yarn.” He added.

“So I you have a knack for crafting metal, you’ll get along well so long as you also have a knack for thinking outside the box. Syka doesn’t fit the mold of other cities. She has special needs.” He added, smiling thoughtfully at the young man.

“We have lots of housing options too… if you don’t want to live in a tent.. though that’s a possibility too. You can rent a bungalow or rancho… bungalows are small but nicely outfitted living quarters on the beach. The ranchos are out on the water where its cooler. You can even stay for free on the beach. We have guest accomidations there… you just to make sure you pick up after yourself and don’t leave trash.” He said thoughtfully.

“Syka is paradise. The weather is nice enough half the population goes without clothing half the time. Food is abundant. No one starves when dinner is as close as the nearest tree or dropping a line in the water. There’s the sea… and the jungle… where hunting and fishing are not like they are in some places on the eastern continent. People haven’t spoiled Syka’s lands. Its clean, neighborly, and we all work together. That’s the picture of what we are doing… building a better society that is able to live and work where we know our neighbors, trust them, and rely on each other to get by.” He added, studying Bandin thoughtfully.

“Other than swinging a hammer, what do you like to do? Hobbies? Hidden talents? Are you leaving a family behind or looking for one in Syka?” He asked, curious.



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Postby Bandin Everdance on May 19th, 2021, 1:24 am

Bandin laughed. "I'm sorry, I honestly forgot and was just trying to make conversation. It's Bandin. I can be a bit scatter thought'ed sometimes. It comes in spurts and goes just the same."

"A place without hunger or abandonment by the community?" Bandin paused; his face grew a little serious, as if feeling some relief, if not for himself then for the existence of such a thing. "I didn't grow up hungry, but I watched people that did. My friends sometimes, even... some of them didn't make it, not really from the poverty itself, but the city that caused it. It wasn't all bad; there were ideals in there somewhere, causing the place to be the way it was, I guess, but I still think about it and how it could've been different, if it'd just first been different somewhere back in the start of the thing maybe."

"I'd heard about it. People striking up their own homes and businesses and helping each other to make the whole thing work. It was why I tried to get aboard: to see it. I knew it wouldn't be perfect, people aren't capable of that, but I was hoping it'd be happier than other places I've seen. I'll be honest, I didn't really expect to make a decision before seeing it first and for a while."

"But... I've never really felt needed. Not in a bad way, it was largely my choice; I left home pretty young. That was my choice too. I just never stayed long enough to fit. I took a little bit of this and a little bit of that from life. And, you know, it wasn't tragedy that kept me from making a place for myself in any one place, it was just curiosity. And, well, I guess following that curiosity became a habit that's won out over drifting back to that feeling of home I haven't had since I was living with my aunt in the shop back in Sunberth."

"I've just worked long enough in each new place to get to the next. There's Ruth, the aunt I mentioned, who raised me. Really she's more than that. She's all but been my mother and I love her more than I could say. I miss her and I'll see her again, someday. She knows I will--and so do I. Mostly, and what's kept me from setting roots, is the connections I've made as I've gone about. You can't really travel alone in this world, not if you want to keep traveling for long. You meet people by necessity. Some of them you hate. Most you don't remember. Some you always will. And, you can't help but continuing to forge those bonds when you finally get to wherever you'd been going. That's the worst and best part of being in a new place: when you're totally alone, you have the possibility to meet anyone if you just throw things at the wall until something lands on a target you didn't even know was there--and you don't even have the faintest clue who they might end up being."

"I don't have a family, anywhere, really, is what I'm saying, but I've got more than a few homes, and those are the people that I know will smile when they see me, no matter where they're at, or how far they are from me or each other," Bandin said.

"But..." he trailed. "It'd be nice to build something more permanent, to be somewhere I'd be needed. If you can give me somewhere to work, and maybe see about us setting up somewhere a little more permanent as we go, for me to help you all piece together what you're doing here, well, then I'd like to give it a good enough go. But I want to be clear, James: it's not about the money. I'm trying to see if I can be good for this place and it for me."

"When it comes to hobbies, well. Hmm, I love a good drink, surrounded by people I care about. Just watching everyone cut loose a bit and be happy. That's my sort of happy place for me."

"When I'm alone, I'm not a daydrinker or anything like that sort," Bandin laughed to punctuate that he realized his previous comments could be interrupted in a bad light, if he didn't further explain. "I love a good book, anything about getting to know the past... Even a good fight, but not for petty brawling, anymore. Though, I did have that phase--but I've mostly slain that demon."

"And I've been looking to collect odd weapons here and there. Just a hobby. I feel a sort of connection with certain types of craftsmanship."
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(Gossamer) Welcome to Civilization

Postby Gossamer on May 19th, 2021, 2:53 am

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The Captain of The Veronica leaned casually on the rail and listened intently to the young man. In a way, he was slightly jealous because honestly in his sunset years, it had taken him a long time to convince his two friends to get the enterprise of Syka started. He would have loved to have been Bandin’s age and have a place to go like the one the young man was headed too. He’d walked the streets of Sunberth and found hardship and strife. The worst of humanity was there. He’d walked the castle halls of Syliras and found the best of human ideals unrealized. He’d seen the horrible class divisions in Kenesh between the wealthy land owners and the slaves that did all the work to give the plantations power. He’d seen male dominated societies, and cities built on Illusion. But even now, he was headed to the one place he had found good enough to call home even after all these years.

He hoped Bandin could recognize it for what it was once he experienced the place. Words could only paint so much off a picture, but James knew for certain if all he did was lure older people to the Settlement, the city wouldn’t last. What they needed was young men and women with their whole lives ahead of them that could put down roots and thrive.

“Maybe if things work out, you could send word to this Ruth and invite her to join you. If she doesn’t have many ties, it might be good for another Matriarch to join the settlement, especially if she’s as skilled as you say. As I’ve grown older, things hurt when the cold comes. I think Syka is a remedy for that sort of thing if we ever see Winters again.” He added, nodding thoughtfully.

James didn’t interrupt. But the man was adept as sliding in a word here and there among someone talking about themselves at his request. He handled the conversation like he handled his ship – a nod there, a gesture to get someone to do something there, a slight shake of the head to deny someone who was subtly asking from across the ship if something needed to be done. He did the same thing with Bandin’s words.

“Well, definitely take a look around. If its not to your taste, I make trips between Syka and Riverfall regularly. You can always catch a ride with me back to the Akalaks. The Svefra come and go as they please too and they take passengers where they will any time. So, this is by no means a one way trip if you find yourself at odds with all the sun, sand and jungle.” James added, offering Bandin a smile.

“Sunberth….” James shuddered lightly. “I’ve been there. Somethings odd about that city. It’s not just the slag heap always afire, but whatever is wrong with the place, it hangs over the city like a fog… almost a murk….” James paused there, as if searching for the word. “A pallor… of true evil. I’m usually a level headed person, but five minutes there and I was thinking off kilter and feeling violent.“ The older man admitted. “Never stayed long. I always felt so unclean there. I know that might not make sense.” He added, offering Bandin a crooked smile. “Chalk it up to an old man’s fancy…”

Bandlin went on about how he’d worked some here and there, never staying one place too long and James nodded. “Wanderlust. It’s often the curse of the young.” He added with a grin. And the old too, if he was honest with himself. That might be why he kept making these trips between the two cities, and saying it was needed. If the truth were told, Syka could stand on its own now… though not long ago it couldn’t. He was still needed though, to bring folks over when they wanted too on something more familiar than a Svefra flotilla.

“You probably have more family than you know if you have multiple people that would welcome you back with a smile.” James inserted, commenting on what Bandin had said about having no family.

James nodded at what Bandin said next, about what he could do if given the opportunity. “We’ve got land a plenty, a crew bored enough with their day to day they’d help you put up a smithy or whatever else it is you fancy… and coin to float so long as you pay it back in time and effort at the forge.” He said. “Tell you what. Take a look around. Get to know people. Settle in somewhere… one of the bungalows or at the Inn, and then if you think you might want to make a go of it… write out a plan for me.. and I’ll float you the loan myself. As long as it’s a reasonable sum for the investment, I don’t mind. Another more dedicated blacksmith would do wonders for cutting down my trips back to Riverfall. I’m all for that.” He added.

“But if you pick a place, choose something on the beach. Its really the nicest land we have.” He advised, knowing that more and more the beach areas were getting claimed. That didn’t mean there wasn’t still beach left, but in ten years? There wouldn’t be.

“You don’t play an instrument? That’s too bad. We could use more music in Syka. I play the guitar and sing. One of our guests that seems to have decided to stay plays drums. We have a local bard, who’s just hanging out for the time being. Xander Kaltran is his name. Stu… our local barkeep sings and plays the drums too. In fact, most of us sing. Rainmere also Firedances. That’s lovely to the drums. Artik, the current blacksmith, is a fantastic storyteller. The more he drinks the better his stories get. Gracelin plays the flute. The Innkeeper sings a bit and plays the mandolin.” He added, looking thoughtful, as if he were forgetting something or someone.

“We have Verusk too. They… are hard to describe. A human parent and a Velispar parent… Velispar are ancient creatures… hard to describe. There are ten Verusk in Syka currently that come from very far away. They have a multitude of talents. If you see one, try not to stare. They are scaled humanoids, very distinctive, with traits and talents not all of us understand. They have wisdom their ancient parents passed on to them. We’ve had them since 518 and they are somewhat refugees.” He added, mentioning them because they would be dropping by the ten days or out and about in the jungles. Bandin might even run into one at the Mercantile or Communal Baths. It was always good to forewarn a first-time visitor.

“So you like old things? That’s interesting. While Syka’s climate doesn’t hold much love for books – paper doesn’t survive well in the tropics – we do have a lot of old things. We have a beach that routinely washes ashore treasure after storms. We call the point above it Treasure Point and looking off of it, you can see a multitude of shipwrecks beneath the waves. There’s also a series of waterfalls called the Stairstep Falls that often washes artifacts down from the lake above. The lake above has an old fortress city on an island in its center. In fact, the whole jungle around Syka is filled with ruins of one sort or another. We even recently found what we think is an ancient playground for children. All kinds of weapons have been found, as well as other more magical things.” He added, suddenly growing serious.

“I should warn you too, Bandin. We’ve mages in Syka. Magic isn’t hated there. I don’t know what your feelings on it are, but if you grew up as a child in Sunberth, you might be thinking less than charitable thoughts about those who use magic. Understand there are mages in Syka, a plenty, and they practice openly. We need them, in fact, to purify water, create ice, build things of stone. In fact, some of them saved us by carving out a large cave system we can use as a whole community for a storm shelter whenever something nasty blows in off the Suvan.” He added.

“Syka has a magical history, a background of sorts. We think a city used to be here pre-Valterrian… because the abundance of food shows remnants of crops and orchards. We’ve found unexplained technology and impossible things we can’t craft today that seemed common to our ancestors. You won’t know it immediately walking beneath the palms on Syka’s sand, but if you go out roaming at all and explore what’s around you… you’ll soon start getting a bigger picture and see clearly that all is not as it seems. We’re still asking ourselves what we settled on. Some of the answers are good, some are just flat out unclear.” James added, watching Bandin closely for his reaction.

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Postby Bandin Everdance on May 23rd, 2021, 4:27 pm

A light started to shine in Bandin's eyes, a glow of incorporeal silver of excitement in the green. James was painting a picture of discovery and adventure, all wrapped up in community and home.

"Now I see why you're here," Bandin said. "It's hard to be in one place long, but not if that place is always changing and showing itself to be a slightly different place than you thought. That's part of what's keeping you here, right? A man like you doesn't just get older and give it up."

"And Ruth. I don't know how the journey would go. The roads are so dangerous, when there are roads. I couldn't imagine her getting hurt because of me, because I invited her someplace. But she's getting older... and Sunberth, well, it's just not a place for an old woman alone. With her husband gone and all."

Bandin didn't find himself disagreeing with James' approximation of his home, not really. There was something odd about the city.

"You're not wrong at all. That place is... it just puts a feeling on you and all about you. I was never more reckless than there, never more uncultured, and I didn't even know it, because I wasn't that bad by the city's standards. I'd be half-dead on my worst days, twitching from the ale and I was thinking all along that I was practically tame."

Bandin's generally ever present air of happiness faltered. "I might have to go get her one day. My mother had me young, but Ruth's the older sister."

The comments about having family drifted him back to having a quiet smile. "I have family I'll never see again, too, for sure. But you're right, even if I couldn't begin to tell you where they are, I'll never forget who they were right there in front of me."

His eyes drifted. It was almost like he was trying not to remember someone. A girl, maybe. Multiple perhaps. He hadn't been without love in his young life. Still, he never stayed. He didn't regret that, but he did all the same--and there were a few smiles that he thought about even more often than the others. Possible lives, hopefully lived in some other happy reality, dwelled in those many memories of laughing faces and tear-filled eyes.

Bandin hid it well, but James would've noticed the slight change if he were perceptive and if he'd had any similar experiences.

"Velispar? I've heard whispers, but it's hard to find anything on them. I've asked, but never really gotten a straight answer that lines up with anyone else's. Just a bunch of tale tails."

"As for the magic... I, well, I can learn to see it different. I'm not going to lie, the first couple of years I got pretty uncomfortable around it when I left home. I never hated mages, but I was always told how wrong they were to do what they did, but then..."

A pause. He was making a decision on what to say and how much to tell. Not hiding something out of malice, but instead out of habit. Learned discreetness was a required talent in the city of thieves.

"I don't know how to explain this right, and I was trying to avoid the subject, but I don't want to start this off with a mistruth. I never really gave much thought to magic when I was a kid, until it found me."

Bandin paused, trying to collect an explanation. "I can't summon fire or change into a bear, but... well, it took me some time to even find out what it was that I could do, and I still think there's more to it, but I've managed to learn a little bit about it in my travels."

Bandin had to fight the urge to cross his arms in discomfort over revealing his magic. Some scars died hard.

"I told you I liked to collect old weapons. Well, I'm not much of a warrior, even if I've tried to learn what I could as I've went. That's not why I seek them out. Since I was sixteen, I've been able to, for lack of a better word, hear weapons. I was afraid I was crazy at first, but things started to line up the more I searched for answers. I've met at least one other person who can do it, but they weren't all that interested in teaching some kid from Sunberth with no interest in their cause."

"From what I did get to know, though, it's like a sort of bond certain people feel with blades, and hammers, and bows--all that sort of thing. We can hear and feel what makes a weapon tick and it can feel us. Eventually, I think a weapon can learn to be more human from us. I'm not all the way there with any of mine, yet, but I feel it happening day by day. I'm going to get there too, one day soon."

"I don't think there's anything dangerous about it, but there's the truth of it. I'm by all means a mage, I guess. At least of a kind. I won't lie, either: a part of me is drawn to the arcane. Just knowing hidden knowledge... I can't help it--it's part of why I've traveled these few years, why I've left so much behind every time I've left. It's what makes me feel alive. It's part of what I breathe for."

Bandin tried to lighten the mood a bit. "And I sing--just not all too well. Something I picked up from Ruth. She loved to sing old songs when she worked, eventually we started singing them together. I still do, when I put to use what she taught me. It calms me. It makes the work better. It's, well, home."

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Bandin Everdance
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(Gossamer) Welcome to Civilization

Postby Gossamer on May 23rd, 2021, 4:56 pm

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James was a seaman through and through. And when Bandin talked of roads and the lack thereof, James snorted in judgment. “No one’s fit to travel overland in Mizahar. The sea is where it’s at. We’ve Svefra here that are as good as family. If your Ruth needs a gentle re-location and she’d travel, the Svefra would pluck her from Sunberth in a heartbeat and take her by sea. Sure, it’s a long trip, but she’d be as cared for as a babe in the womb of a nurturing mother. The Svefra sacrifice to Laviku, you know, and the seas welcome them as their own children. Give me a nod about it and I’ll ask them to send for her. She could be here in three seasons or less. Summer is always a good time to sail south out of Sunberth and around the tip of Eyktol. Many Svefra does it. And that old woman would get a trip of a lifetime in her sunset years.” James promised, smiling gently. The Svefra took care of women, especially matriarchs, and if she was as skilled as Bandin said, the woman would pay for herself teaching some of the younger sailors a bit about metal on her way.

“I’d rather chance a sea journey than leave an aging woman in Sunberth to survive. That’s nothing against her toughness, but I’ve heard even the Gods avoid that city.” He added, shuddering slightly.

“Family is important. Believe me, I know. This entire settlement is mine. They’ve taken in my daughter too. I owe a lot to my fellow Founders and the people here. You’ll not find another place like our Syka, that much is for sure.” He added, enjoying talking with the young man. The man, despite being a Berther, wasn’t stomped on, broken, or carrying an air of gloom about his person like a storm cloud. Instead, he seemed good-natured and positive, something James could relate to. He had hand-picked his crew for just such traits. The Veronica didn’t have problems, not really, it had challenges they got to overcome.

“Aye, Velispar. They are great lizards that live longer than even the Gods. Some swim through the sea – and those I’ve seen a time or two in my travels. Others swim through the land. When they are young, they hatch in big clutches and are mindless voracious feeders. They stay like that for years… the stuff of nightmares. They even eat each other, which is why there are so few of them. I’ve heard rumors that with every sentient creature they consume, they grow more intelligent, soaking in that creature’s knowledge and memories as if it were their own. They also grow huge… enormous. The capital, Syliras, is rumored to have a very young one chained in its’ castle’s bowels or at least has had one in the past… consuming condemned prisoners and growing wiser and wiser. The process is supposed to take hundreds of years before they outgrow their nightmare stages and become wise. The old ones know many things and can do many things including all the magic of all the people they’ve ever eaten. Sometimes they take the shape of men and women and go out among the people… that’s where the Verusk come from. You’ll meet them.” He added. “They share their parents’ long lives but not the voracious attitudes,” James added, loving a good yarn spinning session whenever he could get one.

James listened calmly to Bandin’s explanation of his magic and nodded, though he himself had never heard of a mage attuned to weapons. It didn’t sound that strange though, given the fact that mages could control the elements and even shift their shapes. “You’ll fit in then. And don’t be afraid someone won’t understand. They will. And I would caution you not to keep it to yourself. Secrets burden a man’s soul… weigh him down. If you start out here honest and be the man you want to be and want others to accept, you’ll find your path lighter and easier than remembering lies you feel forced to tell them.

“We’ve found old weapons here aplenty. Try Stairstep Falls… it is riddled with them. Mathias once found a cursed dagger there. The thing was bloodthirsty and nipped anyone who held it, drawing blood no matter how careful they were handling it. Other things have been found too. One of the Verusk has a … he calls it a rifle… but it’s a long weapon that when you place a stormgem in it… you can fire bursts of energy for a while until the gem is depleted. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Stormwarden here to recharge stormgems during storms, so I imagine that particular weapon is inactive atm. It comes from further than I care to know about anyhow.” James mused, deciding not to mention the Worldgate and that the energy weapon came from beyond Mizahar’s lands.

“Just because I’ve never heard of your type of magic doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t. I’d ask the other Founders and Duncan… he’s a blind Reimancer that maintains the Communal Baths. He’s likely forgotten more about magic than I’ll ever know.” James added.

“You sing? Good! We can always use another voice. And who knows, maybe you’ll get better at it over time. Practice makes perfect.” James laughed and looked around.

“Now, about housing…. what did you have in mind for immediate living arrangements? Do you want to rent your own place – we have several choices… or stay at an Inn? We also have a place for people to pitch tents on the beach if they are comfortable in the rough. I can take you around and show you the available places if you’d like.” James offered, happy to help. “If you want to stay more permanently, Randal can also build you something…” He added. “A nice forge, I suspect… “ He said with a smile. “Let’s take care of that first… and get you settled.” He added.

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(Gossamer) Welcome to Civilization

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 23rd, 2021, 8:13 pm

Bandin listened intently to James as the man all but scoffed at the prospect of traveling overland. Bandin didn't blame him, even despite being called to a rambling life on the road for some years, the young man always had an air of worry about him whenever he'd left civilization proper. He'd come close to disaster, even been flung into the thick of it, more than once. And he never, under any circumstances, had traveled alone--even then, sometimes he'd ended up arriving at his destination with fewer men and women than he'd set out with.

The thought of Ruth befalling such a fate, being lost to the wilds of the world, and him never knowing just how it had happened, or if she were even truly dead, caused him too much pain to ever put into words--and even brought up echoes of past, similar pains, and worries for those whom he hadn't seen in some time.

It was James' offer to send for Ruth by sea, and his explanation of its status as the vastly superior option, that brought Bandin to look seriously and gratefully upon the outright and sincere old sailor. "You'd do that for me? Even having just met me?"

The smith had been met with more kindness that he'd have expected many times before. Yet, it always struck him how generous and helpful some people, barely more than strangers, could be to each other. It was in large part the source of his optimistic outlook on life.

The goodness he had seen, the kindness, drove him to try and to be kind and good; because, if it existed in some, then he believed he could nurture it too in himself. Nothing seen was an impossibility--it was a truth he'd come to live by, perhaps the central truth of his being. Followed only closely by: nothing believed is definitely incapable of being seen.

He'd never thought he'd see the world, as a child, after all. That had just been a dream. It'd taken the boldness of young adulthood to push him into the wild chaos of life. A jump he'd barely made by chance that had initially led to disaster. His first trip outside Sunberth had been... less than idealistic. He'd only just barely made it that night. Only just barely worked up the courage to go back out into the wilds when he'd finally made it to Zeltiva afterwards; he'd come close to not leaving at all, having lingered and almost built a proper life for himself because of the lingering, before he'd left the city for good. He still had nightmares of that night; the first taste of terror was often the worst and most lingering.

"I'd like to send for her by letter," Bandin said. "If she wanted to come. I'd explain things. Even if I didn't fit here, for some reason, and I'm starting to think that won't happen, or I hope, anyway... I think she would, without a doubt. I've never met a man who didn't at least respect that woman. Even if she were giving him a run for it."

They went on to discuss the Velispar and their legend; Bandin felt as if he were having all the rumors and fairy tales tied together into a neat, sensible, but amazing, little package. James knew what he was talking about--he had even seen it.

"I can't even imagine seeing something like that," he said and glanced down into the skipping waves once again, this time with a healthier look of respect, but a even deeper gaze of interest. "I'm constantly surprised by what's in this world. There's just too much to see. I don't even know how all that there is could be in one place, even as big of a place as Mizahar. It's like someone wrote a hundred stories and set them loose and breathing. And you can still spend so much time seeing nothing, in a world full of everything, if you're not looking. The safer our homes are, the less alive they seem to be. Things can just get so sterile, I guess."

"The kids of these velispar. They sound like people, so I don't want to treat them like things to see and learn about. But I can't help but wonder how're they're different and like us."

He listened to James explain that he hadn't heard of his particular magic and yet still felt very heartened by the old man's advice to be himself. He felt James' philosophy making an impression, writing bits of it into his heart from the old sailor's. Wisdom could come from anywhere on any day and Bandin loved those moments where it came to him and stuck.

The young smith was starting to understand why people followed James.

The mentioning of the rifle and then the dagger, specifically, brought his mind back to the day when his vorilescence had awoken. The sword that had done it for him had seemed alive. Could this vindictive dagger be similar? Still, the sword had been almost enthralling just to be around and had seemed mostly neutral in its 'personality'. He felt a skip of fear at the thought of something like that being malevolent; still, the curiosity was there, nonetheless.

"There's so much to find and learn about here, then," Bandin said. "It's definitely not sounding like other places."

A place with both family and adventure. Not isolated off from Mizahar's wonders, but safer than the wilds themselves and more of a home to be claimed. That was, as James had said, a potential paradise.

"I'll have to ask around. I don't know nearly as much as I should about myself or my magic," he admitted. "It was just a part of me one day, like it always had been and I just hadn't been able to notice it at all."

The mentioning of singing brought a half-embarrassed laugh to Bandin.

"It's not terrible, but not too bad. I'm getting better here and there, I'd hope. There's also the matter of the magic of mine," he seemed to lighten up and glow a bit while he was talking about vorilesence, as if happy to find someone who accepted him and his ways. "A lot of the weapons almost sing, not in words so much--at least not yet, but they have a tune. It's beautiful in its own way and if I could just find a way to synergize and express the same sound... I think I could understand them better than I do now, that I could maybe bridge the gap into the potential that I feel in them."

"As for housing. The inn doesn't sound a bad choice. I've got some coin to last me. If the settlement needs some smithing done, I'd be glad to get to work while I get around and get settled in. I'll put my part in. It'll also help me to see what kind of things I'll need in a workshop. The work shapes the workplace, after all."

"Then we can talk about that forge," Bandin met the smile; a forge of his own would be a dream come true, in a way--one dream, at least.

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Bandin Everdance
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(Gossamer) Welcome to Civilization

Postby Gossamer on May 26th, 2021, 1:36 am

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James smiled. “Yes, I just met you. But sure, I’d do that for you… but more for her and more for Syka than for you. I just need the right pod to drop by and they are overdue so it shouldn’t be wrong. The Maelstrom Pod. We’ve made this place a situation where a stalwart aging person could thrive. And the Maelstrom Pod owes me some favors. I usually never call them in, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. If I were you, I’d write her a letter and give it to me? I’ll introduce you to the Pod when they stop next and see to it they make arrangements to get her here. They are a far-flung pod with relatives in all the seas. I’ll send the letter with them and we’ll see if it is enough to persuade her to come to see you.” He said thoughtfully, then smiled.

The conversation ebbed and flowed, moving on to The Velipsar and their unique lifestyles. “There are a lot of things that we never even think of… let alone dream of. I keep seeing new things… every year something new, something old rediscovered…. “ James got a far-off look and turned quiet for a moment, letting Bandin guide the conversation.

He nodded, met Bandin’s gaze a few times when the man spoke of his magic, then agreed when Bandin said he’d ask around. James knew nothing of the magic Bandin was speaking of, but then again, that didn’t mean much. The man was a sailor, not a mage, though he did appreciate magic and all it brought the Settlement. One of the mages in the Settlement might know more. Mages tended to talk to mages about mage things and that didn’t always include the Founders of the Settlement.

The man turned then, calling an order to a passing sailor. Someone else was at the helm. Syka was a routine port they’d tied up at hundreds of times. The older man was content to lean on the rail and watch his crew work as they crisscrossed the bay with the wind, and ended up laying the ship gently against the dock along its length. The crew had even slowed down the agile Veronica so she executed a smooth turn, cut her speed, and sidled up to the dock coming to a perfect stop without even jarring the passengers.

James smiled with pride.

Lines were thrown and there were people already on the dock waiting to tie off the ship. Word could be seen spreading fast that the ship was here and it was all hands on deck. James turned to Bandin and gestured to the community at large.

“We bring in the goods the Settlement needs. And since Syka has no longshoreman ready and waiting to load and unload ships for the coin the captains pay, the denizens here turn out as a sort of celebration. Everyone helps unload the cargo. Those that don’t haul freight, haul water, help sort, and cook food for those that do. We get unloaded fast this way. And when I’m ready to set off, there’s usually a pile of trade goods on the docks that people have dropped off. I inventory it and it goes into the logs. Whoever is around helps load the ship, and off we go to pick up everyone’s orders from Riverfall.” The Captain explained, gesturing around him until Bandin could see how efficient those who had stopped what they were doing to give The Veronica a hand was. Fires were already being lit in the Commons, and it looked like a party was being planned.

If you give me a half bell, I’ll be available to give you a tour of the settlement. You can look around and check out the living situation, get a feel for the place, and make some decisions. Nothing needs to be permanent. You can move anytime and once you are ready to talk about the forge, I can get Randal involved. He’s our chief builder.” James added.

Then he nodded to Bandin, and excused himself to go start overseeing the unloading of the ship. And while his overseeing involved actually doing some of the heavy liftings, Bandin would be quick to note that a pair of elephants showed up fully harnessed and a crane was quickly assembled to assist some of the unloading using the elephant power.

James would be true to his word and the ship would be unloaded quicker than Bandin would have thought possible. The man was back in almost exactly a half bell, finding Bandin wherever he’d wandered off too. “Everything is well in hand and food will be ready shortly. That gives us enough time to wander around or go grab a bite to eat. Since you are my only passenger this time – we won’t count the three dozen chickens I had in the hold – you can have my undivided attention. Grab your things, or you can safely leave your stuff on the beach at the base of one of the trees. No one should bother it.” He added, not knowing how much luggage the man had or if he had portable stuff or immovable crates.

“Anything in particular you want to see?” He asked, standing casually, seemingly more relaxed now that the trip was over and he was back on Sykan soil.

.
Gossamer

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