Solo Fire or Bust

Rhiva settles into her camp and attempts her first beach fire

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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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Fire or Bust

Postby Rhiva on May 27th, 2021, 12:36 am

Spring, day 86, Year 521

She hesitated at the wooden steps that led up, up, and up the side of the stilted mercantile, the palm leaves layered on the roof whispering with the ever-present breeze that punctuated the heat. Grimacing at the novelty of trembling cowardice, she rolled the sleeves up to the crease of her elbows and placed her boot on the first step. It was just a matter of cooking supplies, after all. It wasn't like she was running willfully unto death by glassbeak. Mind washing around, she tugged hard on the list she'd mentally prepared, only needing the bare necessities at the moment.

The panels creaked as she moved, her gaze wandering around the open space that had no door, let alone a lock and key. She was comforted, then, living in the tent as she was. At least as far the human denizens went. Animals were a different story. And insects. She shivered, scratching at her arm as though something had been crawling towards the marks hidden beneath her sleeve, its little, disgusting legs touching her skin. Thankfully, the store seemed well stocked for the small population. She was relieved by it.

"Good afternoon," a pleasant voice said to her right, and she turned to take in the clerk ambling towards her. Slight, though not much younger than she, Juli seemed to radiate an ease of self that she coveted. The islander offered a hand, her brows rising in confusion when Rhiva didn't immediately respond.

She lifted her own and grasped the gift of welcome only to shake once, releasing far too quickly, then dumped a lame, "Hello," as she fidgeted.

"You're the new girl," Juli said, sucking in her cheeks as though she was trying not to laugh, "Rhiva, right?"

She hesitated, then, "I am. You're Juli?" She could have jumped over the banister and landed on her fat head for all the dignity and fortitude she was exuding. She knew that she oozed discomfort, unconfident as she'd never felt before. She stood a little taller, as if it would change the bleak introduction. She was sure every person on the settlement had already heard of her hard crossing, and she'd yet to even step toe to water for how ill she'd been.

Juli nodded with a quirked smile, probably reminded of Rhiva's arrival as well. However, instead of reminiscing, she crossed her arms and leaned back onto her heels, seemingly reining in her desire of asking what she really wanted to know, "How can I help you today?"

Rhiva could have thanked her, keeping her shoulders from sagging by sheer force of will as she adjusted the nearly empty pack that laid over her shoulders, "I was hoping you'd have a few things in stock. Nothing more than staples, really."

"As a matter of fact," she said, turning abruptly and waving for Rhiva to follow, "I do. What, exactly, are you looking for?"

She hesitated to follow, but did so, her heavy boots clunking across the wooden floor, "A small cook pot, not too big, if you have one. Flour, salt, and yeast."

A black, 2-quart pot was plopped onto the counter that Rhiva approached, then a packet of what looked to be 2 ounces of salt. Her head craned to look around. Everything was neat, tidy linens folded, shiny boots ordered by size, barrels of this or that with not a speck of dust despite the lack of walls. Her eyes caught on a machete that gleamed wickedly from its stand. She smiled despite herself, laughing silently at the idea of ever wielding something such as that. She couldn't hold a conversation let along trudge into the jungle, less forbidding than it had been when she'd first arrived. She still slept with her tent closed tight, no matter the ease she was beginning to feel in her new surroundings. It may have only kept the shadows at bay, but it certainly helped her to sleep a bit more.

"Wheat or Barley?"

"What?" She asked, pulled from her inspection.

Juli turned, concern etching her features as she spoke, her voice slow and careful, "Wheat flour, or Barley?"

"Oh," She said, stupidly, then, "Wheat. Three pounds, if you've got it."

She was indulged with another gentle smile, the price tallied and given. She handed over ten gold mizas, feeling for all the world a fool, wondering with self-loathing if the town was looking for a particular someone to fill the position of village idiot. She was certainly becoming a wonderful sort of entertainment. First it was puking the entire three days it took to arrive, now it was choking over the smallest of conversations. What was next? She'd stumble into the fire? Knock down a stilted building? Get dragged off into the jungle by some indeterminate beast?

Rather than embarrass herself further, she bowed her head gently in silent thanks, and packed her new belongings. The bag was heavy, the weight proving a bit of comfort as she slung it back over her shoulder.

Juli, decent person that she was, said, "See you soon!" to which Rhiva nodded, her cheeks pink as she descended the stairs.

WC: 862
Last edited by Rhiva on May 27th, 2021, 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Rhiva
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Fire or Bust

Postby Rhiva on May 27th, 2021, 2:13 pm

Trudging through the sand and breathing hard for the extra weight, she supposed she made decent time back to her lonely spot on the beach. Untouched as she had expected, her tent had been left alone for the mere thirty minutes that she'd abandoned it. She pulled on the cord at the front flap and pushed it aside as she slipped in. Of course, she thought, she couldn't really pretend to be alone, for turning either left or right provided the sight of roughhewn buildings owned by the other inhabitants. It was certainly more privacy than she'd ever had in the past, and for that she was utterly thankful.

Carefully setting her bag onto the ground so as to not disturb its contents, she discarded her boots to the other side of the small space. The rough wool of her pants didn't stretch well, but she made do, rolling it up until they were settled above her calf muscle. It cut off some of her circulation, but she wouldn't worry too much. Her next task was simply carrying on down the shore to find driftwood. The tides were slowly pacing back, the white foam whorls receding from the sands. She marked were her tent sat as she considered a good place for a fire. As humid as it was, she wasn't certain she should worry about causing a rapid burn in the jungle behind her, but it still gnawed in the back of her mind.

Shuffling away, her gaze trawled along the beach in search of dry wood. She ignored the plentiful shells, though one or two did catch her eye, gleaming pearlescent in the sun. She did, however, gather a little red rock and placed it into her pocket with a smile. It wasn't particularly shiny, nor would it fetch any sum if she were to sell it, but it was round and smooth and fit well into her hand. She tightened her grip on it, her hand stuffed into the low pocket of her pants as she ran her thumb across a line so straight it could have been carved.

Finding the driftwood where it had settled nearer to the forest hadn't been difficult, but she was careful to stray closer to the water as she strolled. She'd also managed to snag a bit of foliage, crisp and dried from falling beneath the sun, and had tucked it into her pocket beside the stone. When her arms were laden with branches of ranging size, she meandered back the way she had come.

Now began the challenge. Her experience in crafting cooking fires were limited to the plains. There, it was a matter of clearing the debris and dragging dirt until it had been raised a few inches from the even ground beneath. Dried branches weren't all that difficult to store, though you'd have to search pretty far and pretty wide if you wanted to source it from the land. She dropped the load of wood beside her tent her hands on her hips as she assessed her little area. If she didn't need it for warmth, she'd at least need it to keep fed. She wouldn't rely on mizas to fully provide for herself. Otherwise, what would have been the point? She needed bread to make her offer to the Gods present. No matter her feelings, they were real and were to be respected. This land was a gift, and so she wouldn't spurn them.

Kneeling about five feet away from the fabric that protected her at night, she did what she could do flatten the sand where she would place her sticks. It was dry enough, she supposed as she pushed the sand around, her hand coasting over the top to smooth it out. Another ten feet or so away she could see the five-inch drop where the grains had been shoved into a particular line by the water, salt shining in little droplets from the bright sun that coasted towards the horizon. It had only been a few days since her arrival and subsequent change in living situation, but she'd not once seen the water pass that line. She doubted, changing the word to hope for the sake of Laviku, that it wouldn't snuff out her belongings.

Rising to her feet and dusting herself off, she turned to collect her beach treasure.

WC: 726
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Rhiva
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Posts: 13
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Joined roleplay: May 20th, 2021, 10:36 am
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