Closed Of Swine and Walks [Tazrae]

A few ciitzens of Syka head to the Swines...

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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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Of Swine and walks[Tazrae]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 26th, 2021, 2:21 pm

Moritz watched as blade in hand Indigo began her work. Her first step seemed to be a few steps of slitting open some spots on the beast. Moritz was unsure what this was for, but after she asked for Moritz to push the beast in a certain way, and lifted and maneuvered it as well, Moritz assumed she was trying to drain its blood.

Some did come out, but without properly draping or hanging it the beast did not fully bleed out quickly. Once she was done with that Indigo moved on to another step, this time dealing with the beasts guts. Opening a slit on its belly she pushed inside and began cutting some more. Moritz tried to follow this, but it did not seem the woman needed his help nor was going to explain what she was doing which left Moritz to watch as best he could.

After a few more moments Indigo began pulling some items out, which Moritz assumed was the earlier mentioned offal the Ixam ate. Indigo quietly set this aside in a pile, but besides pulling a few more items out from the guts of the beast did not seem to be making any other moves to butcher the beast there. Apparently she was planning to bring it back more or less intact, minus the blood and some internal bits she did not plan to keep. To Moritz untrained eye these all looked like bloody and squishy "bits", and so he was unsure what even the hunter was taking out.

As Indigo began cutting something on the head of the beast Moritz noticed some motion out of his peripheral sight, expanded in the horizontal but narrows in the vertical due to his goat like eyes, he saw that Tazrae was nearing. Indigo did not seem surprised by this, and so clearly had noticed her approach before Moritz had.

All the blood oddly enough did not make Moritz think of food, but his mother. The metallic tang of blood in his mouth... The mixing off odd things and chewing as he made soulmist under his mothers watching eye. And the resulting odd glowing thing he created which was not natural to a human but quite natural to a ghost. It was one of the few times he had ever partaken of flesh, and it had in regards to the blood been his own. For a moment Moritz distractedly considered why normal food was needed to then be processed into a substance a ghost could consume, but knew he did not understand magic enough to say. Maybe that "Djed" thing he had heard of before? Something to do with that...

"Moritz, we need to drain it, so help me lift it after you shift."

With a nod Moritz set aside what remained of his things, and then free of coverings shifted into his other form. In some regards it reminded Moritz of stepping through a door and coming out in another form. There was no transition, just a sudden threshold crossed, and then he was still him but a different him. Indigo took out some ropes and set them down, before motioning for Moritz to sit there. Once more in his Okomo form Moritz stretched his body for a moment, before kneeling down and sitting flat next to the boar with his legs tucked up.

Indigo then pushed as much as pulled, tilting the beast over so it landed partially atop his back on the upper end. If Tazrae had arrived by then she might ask her for aid in the pulling and getting it across Moritz. They had left it sitting upright before, Moritz not having realized why at the time, so that she could later tip it over alone onto his back. And then working some ropes which she attached to the ends of the beast, Indigo pulled further and managed to get the beast splayed across his back fully. Once this was done she motioned for Moritz to stand, which with some effort he managed to do. A boar was heavy for a person, but did not weigh much more than the dead weight of a large person. Okomo being mounts, in some regards similar to an Ixam, easily carried people at speed. And so hefting a single boar across his back was not too difficult. No harder at least than carrying a person.

Once it was across his back Indigo made a few more cuts, and after some maneuvering managed to get the beast draining. Though Moritz was unclear how the beast was positioned at that point, just feeling the weight on his back and not really how it was settled.

He tried to meet Tazrae's eyes, an attempt at communication, but not being able to talk properly in his Okomo form he could not really say anything or do more than nod or shake his head. Not overly conducive to a conversation.

Of course often enough talking was his problem, and so perhaps it was better Moritz could not speak.

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Of Swine and walks[Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2021, 4:29 pm

Bree made quick work of the offal Indigo set aside. The riding lizard was uniquely designed to eat raw food – all the bits – and loved the juicy treats, even if it was swine stomach and intestines. The Ixam looked slightly unhappy that no organs were forthcoming, and sprawled out in the sand by the second butchering party in wait… just in case. She watched the whole process up until the kelvic’s change, then got called away to accept her own load of meat. After canvas had been rolled up and the area thoroughly returned back to the wild, Taz headed for Indigo and Moritz. Returning loaded down, Bree jumped into the fray and helped Indigo position the meat on the man now okomo’s back as Tazrae used her actual hands to help Indigo secure the load in place.

“Hunting sure doesn’t bother the pigs much.” Tazrae commented, looking over the beach that had long since resumed its ‘business as usual’ situation. She shouldered her backpack and glanced towards the trail was that lead back to the Cobbled Pathway. “You two ready now?” Taz suggested, patting Bree on the shoulder in thanks for hauling the meat. She was already looking forward to trying her hand at processing the skin and making it into leather. Failure was fine – if she screwed up all she lost was the skin that she could make into fried crisps. She didn’t like to waste, so she knew how much more value the pigskin would have if it was actually rendered and cured into useable leather.

The weather was holding out. The quartet had left for Swine Swells just after the morning rains, which came at a regular schedule one could almost set one’s sand or water clock too. Tazrae inhaled, glad to be free of the smell of blood and butchering. She felt refreshed after her morning wash in the tide, glad to be free of the blood on her. Bree nudged the middle of her back playfully as the two walked alongside the hunter and the okomo.

“How do you think all the pigs came to be there? Its odd isn’t it? I have seen wild hogs in the jungle, but not actual domestic pigs like from a farm. Yet here there’s a whole bunch of them.” She added, looking thoughtful. It didn’t make a lot of sense.

“I am not sure myself.” Indigo spoke up. “I suspect a ship wrecked off the coast and indeed there is wreckage visible if we get extremely load tides … multiple ships have met their ends there.” Indigo continued. “I think they must be washed ashore freight that survived. I mean people trade pigs and livestock all the time, shipping them live rather than risk the meat spoiling even during winter. If even a half dozen pigs survived a wreck and swam for shore, they could have easily reproduced and filled the beach like it is now.” Indigo speculated, causing Tazrae to nod.

She reached out and patted the Okomo’s side as he sidestepped some debris bringing him within hands reach. Taz realized they were excluding him from the conversation due to his current form, so she wanted him to feel included as well. He was a beautiful creature, almost a cross between a goat and a horse, Tazrae thought. She’d never seen anything like him, truth be told.

“They could be remanent populations too.” Bree interrupted. “This Settlement benefits from a lot of things other people have done in the past here. Bananas for one… banana trees don’t grow in groves in the wild and yet here we have them. Isuas too. That’s a farm regardless of what else you say it is.” The lizard added. “And it was here before Syka was.” Her words were almost an accusation.

“I was here before Syka was as well.” Indigo stated, her facial expression stoic. “The Founders have speculated that there’s a lot of evidence the place they picked to settle was inhabited before, perhaps even pre-Valterrian. “We aren’t sure though. We’ve found written records in Reclaimed Knowledge that a center for exploration was here once… someplace called Pavana. It was operated by Marcus Kelvic’s twin sister. Her name was Myrna. Do you know who Marcus was, Moritz?” Indigo asked.

“Because if you don’t, its rather important. Myrna and her entire team of explorers supposably went missing to far off places that were less than hospitable to normal people, so Marcus utilized his mind and created the Kelvic race as a way to help find her. That’s why your people can transform. He took normal humans and made them into shapeshifters so they could more easily adapt to other places where people couldn’t go readily.” Indigo said. “Not many Kelvics understand why they exist… and that rather than created by the Gods as some races have been… they were created by humans to be servants and explorers.” She said thoughtfully. “They weren’t created here though, not in Pavena. They were created someplace called Ironrock, a fortress that was said to be so strongly built it survived Kalea’s pileup and the creation of the Unforgiving north of here. It would certainly be a place to rediscover. I can’t imagine all the knowledge our ancestors held that didn’t survive the Valterrian.” She said wistfully.

It was a lot to take in. Taz kept glancing at Moritz to see what his reaction to Indigo’s words would be. She herself would have been astonished if someone had told her that her entire race was created by humans for a very specific reason. Taz felt a bit jealous in that moment, to be part of some sort of epic legacy and not even know about it.

“Was Myrna ever found?” Taz asked Indigo, looking thoughtfully at her.

Indigo shook her head. “We think the Valterrian caused the abandonment of Pavena. There was no sea here at the time, you see. Climbing stairstep falls, there is an island in a lake above falls that is covered with ruins. We think that might be some of the original buildings of Pavena, only that they were at ground level then. The falls looks like stone that has been pushed up by some sort of massive destruction. Hence the stair-steps. There’s no sign of the usual erosion. Besides, if you ask the plants and animals around here, they remember people before us… they remember the destruction. Especially the native Ashta. If you ask them, they know… they even remember.” Indigo said firmly, as if she believed every word of it.

Taz was stunned into silence, and tried to let it all sink in.

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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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Of Swine and walks[Tazrae]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 28th, 2021, 7:25 pm

Moritz did his best to stand still as the others handled the load on his back. This was particularly difficult when the large Ixam came over and began to assist. He had been fine before when she was nearby, but having he right on top of him set off the flee instinct in his body. He legs probably shook a bit, but other than that he managed to stand firm. His logical part of his brain knowing that Bree was a friend and only trying to help in this case ruling out the instinct bit of his brain that saw a threat and wanted to run or perhaps attack.

Still young his horns were not nearly as long as other elder Okomo, but already he was beginning to get a decent pair. He only wished the others could see them at night and watch the glow they gave off. Though, in hindsight, he was unsure how useful this would be in a jungle. In one way it would make it easier to see due to the glowing bio-luminescent horns, but on the other it would also make them easier to see...

He listened quietly as the others spoke, not having considered it before. But as he did he noticed that the pigs seemed calm already even such a short time after the hunt had been going on. Did they just not care? Or perhaps they knew the hunting was over and that it was safe to go back to normal? This made less sense seeing as they had not run off either as they first approached...

Indigo took Moritz pack which had his remaining items in it, seeing as the Kelvic no longer had a proper back to carry it on and he was otherwise loaded. Perhaps if he had a proper pack he could carry more, but as he was carrying a single tied down load was the limit. Not due to weight perhaps, but due to shape and size. Moritz had considered getting one before but the need to have one did not often come up and so he had never gotten around to it. That and the fact that he was still growing meant he would only need another once he finished his growth stage. He was getting closer to this, but still was not there.

Once the others began to make a move to head back Moritz headed along with them, keeping a slow steady pace to keep up to the the shorter gaits of the smaller two legged beings. Okomo were not really good at straight line speed, more accustomed to the rough terrain and ups and downs of a mountain where they jumped and climbed, and so he did not doubt that on a flat spot Bree could easily outpace him.

For awhile they walked on in silence until Tazrae struck up a conversation, asking about the pigs. Moritz listened closely as she and Indigo discussed this. It was another thing the Kelvic had not thought of as odd, but now that it had been pointed out he did find it strange. How had they gotten there?

Indigo's supposition made sense, likely possible options for them being there. A shipwreck with pigs as the cargo, said cargo having survived and set up a colony of their own nearby to the Syka settlement. Though the odds of them ending up so nearby without another factor... Perhaps, Moritz reasoned, whatever had made it a good place to set up a settlement here where Syka was set also was the reason for the pigs being there? Or perhaps it was simply that good spots were good, and also made it a good place for the pigs to set up.

Moritz let out a low friendly "Aaaah" in response once Tazrae was done brushing or patting his side, not doing so while she was still touching him to avoid making her think he was angry she had touched him. In truth he did not mind and was used to such patting of his fur when in his Okomo form. Okomo fur was after all a common material for clothing in Lhavit, though not needed for its warming properties in the heat of Syka. Even with his pelt cut short it was still a bit too hot for him here.

He felt an odd sensation during the touch due to the bracelet he wore and could not remove, still stuck around one of his Okomo ankles above a hoof, some kind of need or such he was feeling from the woman which was conveyed by the properties of the item. But before he could narrow it down the touch was over and he lost the sensation.

The other option on the pigs, that they were leftover from some prior settlement, and the facts around it were interesting to Moritz. He knew vaguely that there was some kind of gate nearby Syka, one that led off world and was how Morwen had been trapped... Had then that gate been there long before the current settlement. Or perhaps had it been there before the past settlement as well? Enough coincidences together and thinking on it critically, if all of those people had settled here then perhaps it was in part why? Or some other reason so many people had decided to settle in the same spot, if not the gate then something else?

As the word Kelvic arose and the name Marcus Kelvic was heard Moritz puzzled for a moment, listening even more intently. He felt vaguely like he had heard the name before, but he could not place it. Beyond at least the obvious bit of his race being Kelvic, and that person being Kelvic as their surname. Marcus and his twin sister Myrna. Moritz and his own twin sister Amelia... Both Kelvic by race if not by name.

When Indigo went on to explain more Moritz was amazed by this information. A center of exploration... Pavana... All run by the sibling of the person who had created his entire race... And now he was here in that same place. Moritz did not believe in chance, and so he found this amazing that he was now here by a series of events.

At the question of Moritz knowing Marcus Kelvic the Okomo shook his head, letting out a high "Eeeeh!" sound.

The fact that someone, a person rather a God, had created his race... While this was a bit startling to Moritz, he was not totally surprised and quickly recovered from the fact. Someone had to have crafted them, as they clearly in hindsight were not natural. A melding of human and animal. Though how that was done was also of interest.

Another fact though was not lost on Moritz. Moritz was here to look for Morwen, who had gone missing through the magic gate in Syka. She on the other hand was, according to his vision, seeking her lost grandson. Now here was Myrna Kelvic who had also gone missing, possibly here in what was now Syka... Two important people going missing seemed a bit much for coincident. Had something then, perhaps the same thing happened to Myrna? Was there some other common factor at play he did not see? Moritz was not sure, but he felt it likely something else was involved or common among the two disappeared people.

As Indigo continued speaking Moritz nodded along, occasionally letting out a low "Aaah" of understanding and to acknowledge he was listening. Excited as he was he found he had trouble simply walking, and as an Okomo was taken to doing performed some low hops. Due to his need to not lose his load and the loose ground he could not truly leap, however he satisfied himself with a few short bunny hops. The need to tear off at speed, leaping and flying through the air surged through him, but once more he was forced to fight off the feeling and slowly move along with the others.

An entire race of people created for the purpose to find one person, the creators sibling... And now he, one of said race, in that same place where said sibling was at one point known to be at now searching for another missing person. The information was exciting to the Okomo, though he did his best to hide his physical exuberant reaction.

He did not think he had heard the other place before, Ironrock, though was interested to know it was north. North, which meant probably somewhere in Kalea which was where Lhavit was, and where he was from. So close, and yet so far...

Hearing all this information Moritz mind surged with the desire to run off and explore and find such things. But then a more critical part of his mind reminded him of his own limitations, his own lacking skills which would not let him, and he was somewhat saddened. This if nothing else brought his energy back down, and he began walking once more in a more normal fashion.

At the sudden question Moritz turned his head, watching Indigo to see her response. He was saddened to see the answer was in the negative, but at the same time not totally surprised.

All of the places Indigo mentioned ran through his head. A place nearby with surviving information from long ago... A library of sorts perhaps? A stairstep fall with an island on a lake... Ruins... A forgotten settlement in the terror of the Valterrian... Which had now been resettled by new people to make Syka... Moritz wondered where all of these was, but at the moment he was just thankful for Indigo sharing such information. It did mean a lot to the Kelvic, like a missing piece of him that had suddenly partly been filled in... But even still was still missing something.

Indigo done talking and Tazrae having grown silent Moritz gently bumped his nose against Indigo for a moment, before moving his eyes to try and meet the huntress' and letting out a "Aaaaaaaaah". He was unsure if his intent was communicated or not, but he hoped it was. There were many things he wished he could say, and a few questions, but at that moment such was the limitations of his physical capability.

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Of Swine and walks[Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on November 28th, 2021, 10:22 pm

Taz had a question at that point. Well, in fact, she had lots of questions. But up until that point she hadn’t felt a burning need to interrupt. Now she did. Indigo had said something… something that caught Tazrae a little off guard. The animals remembered? What did she mean? The young Innkeeper opened her mouth and asked the question. “The animals remember? How do you know that?” Taz looked puzzled as Indigo turned to study her. The other woman glanced at Moritz too, as if trying to determine whether she trusted them with information or not.

“I have two completely different reasons for knowing, both involve friendships. First, there is a Kelvic in this area that was one of the first creations of Marcus Kelvic. She was born before the Valterrian and before Myrna disappeared. From what she’s told me, she was a gift to Myrna from Marcus… and after she was made they made no more. The only name I know her by is Sawtooth and she’s a saltwater crocodile Kelvic… ancient beyond belief. Yet she doesn’t look a day over twenty. She once told me that aging was a decision Marcus made for the Kelvics after she was created. For creatures that could outlive you were often dangerous to you especially if they were sentient and remembered. I don’t think the Kelvics much liked being the slaves and servants they were created to be. In the early days, the scientists that made up Marcus Kelvics team did a lot of experimenting. Moritz here is the product of all that experimenting, and he’s lovely. But some of their creations were horrific. Some had no control and were deadly. I know many were put down by Marcus’ hand when it was clear they were not stable mentally.” She whispered, keeping her voice low.

“Sawtooth is here?” Tazrae prompted, looking around because she’d never seen crocodiles outside of the river and salt water crocodiles were enormous.

Indigo nodded. “Yes. She guards the river especially in the high water season. She sometimes makes people pay tolls – just in amusement – when they cross the rope bridge. Sawtooth is enormous and old, well able to navigate the ocean and the river. She was bonded to Myrna and I think she stays here hoping someday the girl will reappear. As far as I know, she’s immortal.” Indigo said, looking first at Moritz and then at Tazrae.

It was a lot to take in. Taz knew about Kelvics, of course, but not this history that Indigo was laying out for her. She thought they were just like everyone else… having been created by the gods and having been around for a long time. But that they were created by men, as experiments… as slaves and servants was shocking. The thought made her throat tighten and she looked at Moritz. He’d volunteered to pack back the meat. Why? Was it bred into him to serve others? Was he just being helpful? Did they have the same free-will everyone else did?

Taz wasn’t sure. “I didn’t think Kelvics were reptiles like Bree.” Taz said, glancing suspitously at her quiet mount. The lizard gave her a toothy grin. “Afraid I’m going to turn into a human woman prettier than you?” She asked, flicking her tongue out and practically tasting Tazrae’s curiosity. “Well, rest easy. I won’t.” She replied, looking thoughtful. “Who wants to balance on two legs anyhow? Four is so much better.” The Ixam snapped. “But to be honest, I have seen Sawtooth. I didn’t think much of it, but I mistook her for a giant moss encrusted log floating on the river… until she ate a perfect good crane fishing along the bank as she floated by. That was disturbing.” She said, shivering slightly, causing the meat sacks on her back to bounce uncomfortably.

Taz nodded and Indigo smiled at Bree. “I think you are the only Ixam I’ve ever known to speak. There’s something about you I suspect that has been touched by magic.” Indigo confessed and Bree grinned.

“I remember being much simpler and stupid when I was younger.” Bree said. “Before Tazrae. She did something to me… made me smarter and able to speak.” The Lizard said, looking accusingly at Tazrae.

“And you haven’t shut up since.” The Innkeeper replied sardonically. Then she turned to Indigo, her question not having been fully answered. “You said there were two reasons. If Sawtooth is one, what is the second reason?” Taz asked, still curious.

Indigo nodded. “Brosh is my second reason. He is a Jamoura. They were all born during the Valterrian and do not age or die. He’s a marked of Caiyha, which makes him a witch. He guards Caiyha’s Arbor, among the butterflies. He does not come to the city much because his people are reclusive and value their privacy. People need to go to him to visit and he does welcome guests. But he remembers many things and because of his Phylonura, he is able to listen to animals who also remember many things. He says they remember and he remembers so I believe him.” Indigo said, watching Moritz and Taz’s reactions carefully.

Tazrae hadn’t ever met a Jamoura but she’d seen a few at a distance. And she certainly hadn’t spoken to any. But that lead her to more questions. “So the animals remember people being here? Or is it more specific than that?” Taz quietly mused. She was curious what it all meant. Life could be so cyclic sometimes, with one event leading to another and another with all of them so interwoven one could never hope to untangle the mess. She thought perhaps she’d like to meet a Jamoura face to face and wondered if Indigo would give her directions to Caiyha’s Arbor.

“What is Caiyha’s Arbor? It sounds interesting and one of those places I wouldn’t mind visiting.” Taz said, then amended. “I’d like to meet a Jamoura and talk with them. If they were really born during the Valterrian and have survived since then, they must have seen some amazing things. Tazrae mused, studying Indigo for a hint as to whether this was a good idea or not.

“The way you bake? He’d be more than open to a visit if you brought him a basket of your baked goods, Tazrae. He’s a nice male, very interested in conversation… especially if you want nothing from him save stories. The Jamoura are…. old souls. I don’t know what else to label it as. They have seen so much time pass that it makes them wise beyond their years.” She added, then decided to tell Tazrae what she wanted to know.

“The Arbor is in the center of the Maw. It’s huge ebony tree that everyone calls Caiyha’s Arbor. Although it is indeed a tree, it also acts as a shrine to Caiyha. It lies hidden from all eyes that wish to do the jungle harm or exploit it. Those that feel kinship with the jungle and have made peace with their environment often find it. It is also a safe haven in the wilderness. If you can find the shrine and be within twenty feet of it, then you will have Caiyha’s protection always. No violence, even by her own creatures, can happen within that umbrella of protection. It is a good place to go meditate and commune with Caiyha and her creatures. It is also a haven for butterflies. You can see every size of shape of them. So… as for directions, I can’t give them to you. You just have to look for yourself.” Indigo confessed and then glanced back at Moritz.

“Doing alright with that meat?” She asked.

The prompting made Tazrae glance back at Bree who was sniffing at Moritz, as if the Ixam was wondering if Okomo made good meals. “Bree…. “ Taz said warningly. The lizard gave her a grin and shook her head.

“I don’t eat anything that talks. It’s a good policy.” She added, as if to reassure Tazrae.

Tazrae wasn’t reassured. “He doesn’t talk in his kelvic form. None of them do, but it doesn’t make them not people because they are exactly that: people. They are off limits to you as people… do you understand? We don’t eat people.” Taz affirmed, knowing the Ixam was young and only half joking. The riding lizard would probably eat Moritz in a heartbeat if she was hungry and he was available prey.

Indigo chuckled as she paused to readjust one of the straps holding Moritz’ packs on. Taz paused alongside of her. She was studying the Okomo whom looked like he wanted to ask a few questions. Taz chuckled, wondering how hard it must be to have an animal form and a human form and not be able to communicate effectively in at least one of those forms. Animals must feel the same way. How intelligent were they anyhow? Taz wasn’t certain she knew, but she suspected they were more intelligent than people often gave them credit for. She knew she saw sentience when she looked into the Ashta’s eyes. And just because Bree could talk didn’t mean she was more intelligent than her fellow Ixams. Taz’s gift to her of speech was just something that allowed them to communicate with each other better. The Innkeeper hadn’t thought the rod of sentience made Bree any smarter.

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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
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Tazrae
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Of Swine and walks[Tazrae]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 29th, 2021, 1:09 am

After hearing all that Indigo had said Moritz had quite a few questions. But it was quickly obvious that Tazrae did as well. Her first question though was one that Moritz had not even considered. How did Indigo know what the animals knew? Moritz had just assumed that either Indigo was a witch or had been told by one. The person who gifted Moritz his special eyes had been one, a mountain witch of Kalea. She had been able to talk to animals including her numerous Iraso companions. But she had also been able to "speak" with plants and such, explaining that they were alive as well as animals if not to the same degree.

However when Indigo did answer he was completely dumbfounded by her response, letting out an almost human "Eeeeh!" sound. A ancient kelvic in Syka? Or near it... One made by Kelvic and gifted to his sister... One bonded to said sister... One that did not age. Not immortal, but unaging... Plodding along with the last task she was given, still trying to help in her own way. The logic of that made sense to Moritz, whether due to his way of thinking being in line in general or perhaps simply in part due to his nature as a Kelvic. He was unsure which, but either way he knew why such a person would due such a thing. If he could live hundreds of years, he did not find it hard to imagine himself doing such a thing if the need arose and he was in a similar situation...

Of course, Mortiz reasoned, that might also be in part due to his nature as an Okomo. Keeping on at a task, perhaps with a touch of bullheadedness, day after day without much variance, sounded like something Moritz would do.

Moritz mentally noted to himself where the Kelvic was, hoping to one day seek her out, perhaps to have a discussion, but did not think it was a good idea to go looking just then... Though the idea of the island on a lake atop a mountain... That did get his Okomo blood flowing. He was literally made to climb such a thing, his hooves able to find purchase on the tiniest of spot, far better than any human mountain climber ever could. Walls and cliffs and such on mountains to an Okomo were more of a suggestion, not a limitation.

At Bree's note about two legs versus four legs Moritz let out a noise of agreement, a almost chuckle like "Aaah, Aaaah!". In truth Moritz did not understanding why so many humans preferred two legs over four. He much preferred the choice, but if he had to pick between them he was sure he would pick four. He could not imagine being limited to only two, or one form as humans were. It saddened him a bit long ago when he had learned that not all of the people around him were like him, and he was surprised and sympathetic when his mother told him she was born with only one form. Until then he had just assumed all others were like him, and able to shift between forms but for some reason did not do so. To learn that others did not, after learning it was not due to some failing or loss of ones other form, he had been saddened for their limited life of one body.

He turned his attention however when Indigo noted that other Ixam were not like Bree, not able to speak. And, apparently, not as intelligent either. He had asked a similar question earlier, and Bree had either lied or deflected the question- he was unsure which- but from what Indigo said now it did not seem that was the case. Bree was special.

When Indigo then continued her explanation to the second reason she knew what the animals knew it was the one he had first expected. A witch. Not Indigo herself apparently, but instead a friend of hers. This explanation however left more questions than answers, as Moritz had no idea what a Jamoura was. From what was said it was some kind of long lived race, and this one was a witch but beyond that he did not know much. Moritz nodded along to Indigo's explanation, understanding what she meant from his past experience. But then it was to reason that since Tazrae did not know that then she likely had not met a witch before. Moritz was unsure how common they were. He had only met one, and that one by chance, and had by chance befriended her.

Tazrae seemed as interested as he was in the Arbor and the Jamoura there, and so he was not surprised when the human pushed for answers. He paid attention to the directions, but from what he knew of the locations and them he did not think he would be able to get there alone.

Moritz was silently picturing the surrounding areas and where the maw and therefore the Arbor would be, when he was caught off guard by Indigo's sudden question. Stretching himself he tested the weight, but nodded and responded with a simple "Aaaaah" to confirm. While the weight was not light it was not too bad, and at their slow pace he was certain he could make it back easily enough to the settlement with it. Those who had put it on him had done so well, and the weight was well distributed, which meant it did not unbalance him or turn more one way or the other. That made it much easier to carry, even being a good bit of dead weight.

Though, he had to admit, he was unsure how the other Okomo in Lhavit did such things for so long... Clearly they were in better physical shape than he was, but he was working on that as well and strengthening his abilities and stamina in general.

The exchange about possibly eating Moritz was lost on the youth, not understanding what was meant, having trusted by this point that Bree was a friend and not about to eat him.

Most of the trip after that was relatively silent, until they made it back to the settlement. Once directed by Indigo who had loosened the fasteners Moritz tipped over a bit and let the beast fall off him to the ground with a thud. Free of the weight Moritz stretched for a moment, and then shifted back to his human form. Taking the offered pack Moritz recollected his things, putting back on his shoes and things as he took a moment to speak to Indigo and Tazrae. He had plenty of time to think on the way there, not being able to speak, and so was ready.

The Okomo, finally able to speak, took on his serious outside demeanor. Internally his emotions were roiling, which was not uncommon for the Kelvic. Most of his emotions did not display as other peoples in either form, but he still felt and thought and wept if only on the inside. He just did not show it. His natural reaction and expression did not match what people expected, and so it confused people or made them think he was not feeling anything. But Moritz knew that was not true, even if he could not express it.

"Its interesting to know where Kelvics came from... How we were made. And thank you for telling us all of that. I think I understand myself and my people a bit better. And I am always looking to learn more. But at the end of the day, whatever we were made to be... I am me. Both forms, this one and my Okomo... Are me equally. I couldn't imagine being anything else. I don't always use the right words, and I offend people by saying things, honestly I'm not good at talking to people. But... I like helping people when I can. And if I can, I always try to. Its who I am. Whether I was bred that way or not, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to help if I can. I am who I am. And just because Kelvic were made to be one thing, does not mean we cannot become something else. Or have not already."

Pausing for a moment Moritz inspected Tazrae, Indigo, and Bree, wondering on the latter for a moment as a fellow four legged being. Or at least four legged some of the time in his own case...

"The reason I'm here is to try and find something. Another person who went missing in Syka. It seems like a lot of people in the past have gone missing here... I don't know what all you've heard on that, from when I arrived and explained things, though I imagine most of the settlement has heard it by now. But I still want to find her. I just don't have the ability to do so yet. But I will... Assuming she's still alive by then. And if I cannot do it, I will try and find someone who can."

Smiling for a moment in amusement Moritz thought on something a bit tinged with sadness, but which still amused him all the same..

"I know one thing, not all Kelvic are the same. Each are their own being. My twin sister, wherever she is, could not be more of my opposite. And I don't recall her ever trying to help someone not in her own interest, whatever kelvic are designed to do. And my father... Well I would say of the balance between the two, man and beast side, he tended more towards the beast side. And he only cared about my mother... Though perhaps that was because of their bond. I don't know, i've never felt one so I cannot really understand it well..."

Meeting Brees eyes and then Tazrae's Moritz paused in thought before finally speaking.

"I am sorry for earlier. I did not mean to offend you. But I did. I promise I won't offer help you haven't asked for again, if you don't want it. I am though interested in meeting whatever a Jamoura is, and seeing that Arbor. I've never seen one before, but I have met a witch. One of my masters from Lhavit was one, she was the one who gifted me these eyes. Maybe one day I will be skilled enough to pass on these eyes as well as she did"

"Though I've never met another witch that I know of, and she probably took more interest in me as another piece of her herd than anything else. She had a whole crew of various animal companions with eyes like this. I assumed that was how Indigo knew what she did, though the kelvic... Well that is also interesting. If you two ever plan to go to the Arbor, I would be interested in going along if you would have me. If not, I won't be offended if you would rather go alone."

If Moritz had experienced one thing before it was annoying people. Putting people off was almost a habit of his, and likely today would not be the last time. He did not begrudge people however for how they felt, and while he did not understand he did emphasize.

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Of Swine and walks[Tazrae]

Postby Tazrae on November 30th, 2021, 2:24 am

Bree snorted in her lizard-like manner and turned to grin toothily at Tazrae. “I’m glad I don’t have to trade my four legs for two just to talk to you. That would be so inconvenient.” She said, flicking out her tongue and tasting the air as they moved through the Settlement. It was warm and incredibly humid today, and Taz herself was thankful that they got all the hunting done early. There would still be meat to dress, meals to plan, and fat to render to lard. But beyond that, there was no more travel planned.

When they reached a stopping point where Indigo unharnessed Moritz from his burden, Taz sighed knowing she should have taken the path to the Inn instead of coming this far to the commons. But she’d wanted to be there to lend a hand if Moritz or Indigo needed it. She and Bree could double back, and start processing the food as soon as they got home. That would undoubtedly take up the rest of the day.

Moritz transformed, and once human again, began to speak.

Bree feigned a huge yawn as the Kelvic summarized what Indigo had told them. Meanwhile, Indigo nodded, not having told him any of his race’s history to suggest he be one way or another. She glanced at Tazrae who shrugged slightly, not sure what to do or say as Moritz seemed to work out his thoughts verbally rather than like everyone else did; internally. Truth be told, she didn’t much care for the creature. He was odd to her, vocal, and very judgmental. They were qualities in people she tended to disapprove of though she found herself realizing she too was casting judgment. Taz hadn’t been present when he’d first arrived at the settlement, and for that she was glad.

The second-hand tale of the ashta’s stampeding and accident that could have quickly become something far worse was bad enough. She certainly didn’t see any sign of the imperious attitude that others said he’d displayed. Someone with that sort of attitude wouldn’t be someone that liked to help others, would it? Then why the initial fuss? Taz just shook her head in confusion as Bree raised the scales above her eye ridge in a perfect imitation of a brow raise. The gesture made her grin. Bree was more human than most humans, Taz thought, and reached over to stroke the eye-ridge in question. She loved the Ixam, and didn’t mind showing the strange jungle lizard that she did daily.

“We’ve all heard why you are here,” Indigo said suddenly, shaking her head. “What we don’t understand is why you think you can find Morwen when the other Seasonal Gods have failed. There are Gods here aplenty, lad, walking among us, searching as well. How can you succeed when they continue to fail?” She asked, not unkindly, but rather bluntly.

At Moritz’ words to Tazrae, the Innkeeper nodded. “Apology accepted. You suggested I was a poor hunter. That’s why it offended me.” She explained, gesturing to Bree. “I’m never a bad hunter with an Ixam like Bree beside me.” She said simply, putting all the credit on Bree instead of on herself. The Jungle Ixam had taught her a great deal about hunting and survival just by being a lizard and doing lizard things. Taz was puzzled though, why Moritz apologized to her. He hadn’t seemed remorseful earlier. What did he want?

That question resolved itself soon enough as the Kelvic suggested he would be interested in meeting a Jamoura and seeing Caiyhala’s Arbor. When he mentioned his eyes, Taz studied them more closely and noted the unusual coloring. She hadn’t exactly missed it before, but she’d assumed the odd circles of color around his pupils were a result of his being Kelvic. Tazrae really knew few Kelvics, and was completely and utterly unused to their ways.

Indigo looked intrigued. “Are you sure you can find it, Moritz? Are you sure Tazrae can?” She asked, glancing at the Kelvic from where she was busy sorting the meat.

Tazrae thought about that. She’d embraced the jungle-like she was born to it. The things she’d feared – snakes, being alone, getting lost – she’d turned into loves. She now raised snakes, thrived in solitude, and loved getting lost only to find herself over and over again in the middle of the Maw. It was one of her favorite things to do. And she suspected – or at least hoped - that she could find the Arbor.

She found herself speaking aloud. “We can go… in a day or two… when I have no guests. I can take you deep into the jungle and try and find the center of the Maw. I don’t know if the Arbor will let us find it or if we are … what did she say? Children of the jungle? But I can try.” She added, glancing at Indigo. Tazrae knew Indigo was good at jungle navigation, and really good at surviving. She half hoped Indigo would volunteer to take them.

Instead, the woman shook her head.

“I’ll leave you two to it. It’s a very personal thing, visiting the Arbor and talking with the Jamoura. Tazrae, you once said you loved getting lost just to find yourself. A trip like this is a lot like that.” The older woman stated. “And it’s a big responsibility, taking someone unfamiliar with the jungle with you. That’s especially true of going someplace like Caiyala’s Arbor because it can be found only by those that have accepted the jungle.” She added, making those words really clear.

Then Indigo turned and laid a piercing glare on Moritz. “You’ll need to ask yourself, boy, before you go into the Maw if you have accepted the jungle and how the jungle knows this is true?” She said, then glanced at Tazrae.

“If you go, keep him human. A goat… an Okomo even… is too easy of prey for anything out there looking for a meal. They will give the humans a wider girth because everything with fangs and claws out there knows humans have weapons; at least the humans out in the Maw.” She advised, and turned to nod to Moritz.

“I’ll take my leave now. Good luck if you decide to go.” She added, then with the help of a few people loitering around the Commons, quickly dispersed the meat. The lion’s share of it she was delivering to Stu’s to fill up his icebox.

Taz turned to Bree then and nodded back up the path. “We should get home. We have a lot of meat to process.” Bree nodded and they started off towards The Protea. Glancing back over her shoulder, Taz called out to Moritz. “A few days… when I have no guests. We can go.” With that, the pair headed back towards the Inn and an afternoon of dividing up the quarters into stew meat, steaks, roasts, and of course the sausage-making they’d be doing.

Taz looked forward to it.

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"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn
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Of Swine and walks[Tazrae]

Postby Moritz Craven on November 30th, 2021, 3:37 am

As of late Moritz felt extra uncertain when he spoke. It was generally when he got excited or felt comfortable with a person and tried to speak freely that he ended up saying something rude or offending them. It left him feeling a bit like walking on uncertain ground, and wondering if his foot would fall through... When he spoke to Tazrae he felt that same feeling in his gut, but still tried to speak calmly and clearly as best he could.

He felt a need to explain things sometimes, looking for that mark of understanding in someones eyes he had made himself clear, but he did not often see it. Though, Moritz pondered to himself, perhaps this was for another reason other than failing to communicate. Maybe the things he thought were important, the things he wanted to make clear to others, were not really that important to them... That seemed a possibility, though was a hard thing to wrap his head around.

At Indigo's question Moritz shrugged, answering in as simple a way as he could. Which for Moritz was still likely longer than how most would do, but still short for the long worded kelvic.

"I never said I could. I'm not sure that I can. But just because I'm unsure I can do something, I don't think that means I shouldn't try. And who knows, maybe I'll succeed. Or not. But I'd rather try and fail than not even bother trying."

The mentions of Gods walking among the settlement was a bit odd to the Kelvic, perhaps another sign that he did not really know his new neighbors too well. Still, the idea of divine beings just casually living among humans... As someone who grew up in Zintilas domain the prospect was odd. How many. Which ones? Why? He did not ask, but such questions did occur to him and ran through his head then.

At Tazrae's explanation a bit of understanding flashed on Moritz eyes, realizing he had misunderstood why he had angered her. At least, in part. He had thought it was the offering help, but that was only partially and in a way the problem. The problem then was... That he had questioned her skill as a hunter. It had not fully occurred to him before, likely in part because of his own feelings on such things. But he could emphasize with another person not wanting their skills questioned even if he did not fully understand why or the logic behind it.

In truth he had not meant to question her skill, but looking back at how he had worded his offering for help, he could now see why she would hear it that way. He had meant one thing... Said another... And she had heard yet another thing. And as the communicator he was at fault for not properly communicating.

"I think I fully understand now. Thank you, I will do my best to avoid making that mistake again with you and others."

Looking at it logically, if one person would hear that from what he said, then others would as well... Which, Moritz knew, meant he needed to bear in mind how such would come across going forward. While it might be obvious to most people, the young kelvic's head was full of words and lessons crammed in a short amount of time, not social niceties and ways of speaking and communicating. One person after all could only learn so much so fast.

He considered answering Tazrae, and was thinking on what he might say, when he was surprised by Tazrae answering instead and noting she was willing to go soon. At that the pit in his gut, the feeling his next step might fall through the ground and he lose his footing, fixed itself. It was an odd swelling feeling, but pleasant. Like the inverse of the empty hollow feeling he had been experiencing a moment before.

Thinking on Indigios question, he felt he had accepted the wild, the jungle, but he knew as with all things he could not be sure until he actually went. In some ways he felt he was a part of nature. He did not dislike it. Did not avoid it. He tried to respect it and treat it with an appropriate amount of fear. He did not want to harm it, and tried to understand it... But he was unsure if this was what Indigo meant. Of the two when it came to the wilds he more felt it was likely he was not fitting for such a thing, more than he. And, Moritz knew, she clearly knew the wilds and how to exist in them much better than he did. Otherwise she would not be able to enter and explore them as she did. He did not need to question that or even consider, the evidence was quite clear.

Rather than speaking and ruining things with more words he simply nodded in response to her offering of the trip, glad that she had accepted going along with him. He knew for sure alone he would not make it, as it was certainly one of the ways in which he was lacking in skills.

Nodding in response to Indigo's glare which Mortiz took to be a soulfull stare rather than a glare, the Kelvic considered her words. However for once he was at a loss for words in response. He believed he had accepted the jungle, but did not completely know what she was meaning by that. And so if it was in some philosophical or metaphorical acceptance... Well then he was unsure what exactly she meant. As for how to prove this to the jungle, that he was even less sure. He had never managed to speak to any animal or plant besides other Okomo, and so was unsure how one expressed such a thing to a biome. But as with other things... Just because he might fail it did not mean he would not make the attempt and put in his best effort.

Thinking on Indigo's comment on his staying in human form in the jungle Moritz nodded, remembering something. Under the canopy of the jungle it would likely be darker, even not at night... And when stealth was wanted and avoiding notice, perhaps having an Okomo along would not be the best idea.

"Yeah, also I don't think you all noticed it before, since it was bright out, but my horns are bio... Thingy... The thing where they glow in the dark, whatever that is called. Not the most subtle thing I suppose in a jungle."

Once Indigo made her way off for a moment it was just Moritz, Tazrae and Bree. But soon enough she was heading off as well, noting they would meet in a few days and likely going back to work. Moritz stated back a confirmation, waving at the pair, before heading off himself to drop off some of his things at his residence. And then from there he would head back to work and see what else labor wise was needed of him today.

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