Solo A New Life

Oralie 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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A New Life

Postby Oralie on December 2nd, 2021, 7:10 pm

2nd Winter, 521av

Oralie’s hair whipped around her face, the salty wind adding more tangles and curls into her already wavy locks. She leaned her elbow on the railing next to her, arms wrapped around herself holding her tatty cloak tightly closed against the breeze. Ahead of her, on the horizon, her keen eyes could see a shape growing larger. Land.

Nerves overtook her mind and the young woman clenched her fists, bunching up the fabric of her cloak. This was it – her future. It was approaching at a rapid pace now and she had no idea what it looked like, or even what she wanted it to look like. She knew little to nothing about the sandy shore she could just make out ahead over the sparkling seas. That had been part of the appeal, right?

She lifted a hand to her neck, sub-consciously feeling for the band of silver that rested there. Only her neck was bare, her fingers pressing into the skin instead. Oralie let out a shaky breath. She was a free person now, no collar to bind her anymore.

She cupped her left hand palm up in her right. A soft golden glow emanated from it, barely visible in the sun to anyone not standing directly next to her. She ran her thumb over the vortex patterned there, before closing her fingers to form a fist and bringing it up to her chest. Oralie closed her eyes for a moment, and anyone watching her would have noticed the light coming from her hand.

“I am so scared… I’ve never had a future before.” Her voice was barely a whisper, and as the light continued to glow steadily, the girl’s shoulders visibly relaxed. “I am sure I will be needing your guiding light many times in the coming days.” Oralie opened her eyes, the golden irises reflecting the light from her palm as it dimmed again.

The land ahead had grown much larger in the short time her eyes had been closed. Nobody had noticed what she had done, for they were now focusing on readying the ship – The Veronica – for docking.

The island looked beautiful, like nothing she had ever seen before. Golden sand stretched in both directions and reached back to meld into a dense canopy of vibrant green. Scattered buildings dotted the land, with a cluster near the dock they were pulling into and then spreading out sparsely down the length of the island. A few even sat out over the water and Oralie marvelled at that simple vision.

She had been too busy drinking in the sight of the island that she nearly leapt out of her skin when someone pushed a crate into her hands. The crew were starting to unload the ship, and it appeared many of the people who lived on the island had come out to help too. Oralie shifted the crate into a more comfortable grip and then made her way off the ship to deposit it at the designated spot.

She quietly carried more and more crates and sacks off the ship, uttering not a single word to anyone. Sweat glistened on her brow, but she did not remove her cloak, gaining a her a few amused glances from the locals. It took a while for everything to be unloaded, and the entire time Oralie had worried about her own belongings sat in the small cabin she had occupied on the short journey over.

A sailor nudged her as she was depositing yet another sack onto the sand, and pointed to where he had neatly laid her single bag a little way off from the main cargo. She mumbled a thank you and moved over to check it, noting her shortbow was still tied securely underneath it.


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A New Life

Postby Oralie on December 2nd, 2021, 7:12 pm

It appeared the last of the cargo has been unloaded, and that Oralie was the only unfamiliar person now standing on the shore. It was not long before someone approached her. The man had an air of leadership about him, but his smile was kind and the young woman tried her best to be confident, but her response to his greeting was, much to her chagrin, a stammered hello.

The man’s smile grew, crinkling his eyes. “Welcome to Syka. I’m Mathias Okavis, one of the founders of this settlement. Are you going to be staying with us?”
Oralie nodded. “Yes.” Her voice barely sounded and so she tried again. “Yes. I was hoping that I might be allowed to stay here.” She hesitated, and Mathias nodded encouragingly. “I needed to find a new place to live and… the people in Riverfall said that I might like it here.” While not quite the exact truth, it was truth enough without having to explain her entire short life story. “I’m Oralie…”

“Would you like me to show you around, Oralie?” She nodded at the man, and he waited for her to collect her bag before turning and gesturing for her to follow. He headed up the beach to the cluster of buildings, informing her that it was the Core of the settlement.
“All of your expected necessities are here. We have a gathering place up there…” He gestured above to a decked area, “…our shop, the kitchens, medical clinic… Randal and James have places here too, they are the other two founders. Oh, and just on the beach there is the Tidepool Bar.” Mathias pointed back down the way they had come.

She followed him into what he had pointed out as the kitchen, noting a lot of the people who had helped unload the boat seemed to be gathered inside. Mathias handed something to Oralie that she had never seen before. It was a yellow fruit of some sort, sliced into a wedge with a tough rind still on one edge. She held it gingerly, her nose twitching as she sniffed it. Mathias chuckled.
“It’s a slice of melon, try it.”

Oralie blinked at him, filing the name of the fruit away for future reference, and then bit into the melon piece. It was cold and refreshing, and wonderfully sweet. She had never had anything like it before in her life. She snapped her gaze back up to meet Mathias’s eyes, delighted surprise twinkling in her own. He grinned at her as she finished the slice as quickly as she could and then handed her another one.

As she munched on her second wedge of melon, Mathias led her back out of the kitchens and onto a pathway made of cobbles. He told her it would lead her to anywhere in the settlement that she might want to get to, and if she stuck to it, it was highly unlikely that she would get lost. They walked past the dock again and rounded the bay where he pointed out his own home to her.

Next they passed an inn and a collection of dwellings sitting just in front of the oppressive forest. “These are the Bungalows, built for anyone to stay in short or long term...” Mathias noticed Oralie’s gaze lingering on the trees behind them. “The jungle. You’d be wise to stay out of it unless you have one of us with you. It’s a dangerous place, even for those who know it and are prepared well enough to enter.”

Oralie swallowed the last of her mango and nervously wiped her hands on her cloak. She had declined several times to remove it despite the heat. It was one of her few possessions, as threadbare as it was, and she worried that it would be lost if she left it somewhere. The young woman had never had anything of her own before and she was oddly protective over everything she now had.


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A New Life

Postby Oralie on December 2nd, 2021, 7:16 pm

The pair moved on, Oralie shooting glances at the treeline every now and again. Mathias noticed her and smiled. “You needn’t worry out here. The settlement is significant enough now that it is rare for anything to leave the jungle. Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful, but you don’t need to fear being leapt on at every second.”

“These are the Ranchos.” Mathias was now indicating some more dwellings, this time set over the water. Oralie figured they were the ones she had seen from the boat. “Again, they are for residents or visitors to live in if they wish to. Further on, around the point, you will find the swells where the pigs live, and the sawmill. The pathway ends there, so there’s no need for us to go all the way over now.”

Oralie nodded and Mathias turned to her with a smile. “What are you thinking then, would you like to stay here?”
“Yes, I think I would.” It was small, but beautiful, and the people who lived here clearly cared about each other and their home. The man gestured to the Ranchos. “You can stay in one of these if you like, or one of the Bungalows.”

Oralie’s grip on the handle of her bag suddenly became white-knuckled. “By… by myself?” Her voice was almost a squeak of alarm. She had never been alone for even a day in her entire life. Granted that was what she had desired for nearly all of her life, but to have the option suddenly thrust upon her was terrifying. To be alone, in a whole building above the water… her stomach twisted with nerves.

“Would you… like somewhere that has other people?” Too worried she might be sick if she said anything, Oralie nodded. “The Protea Inn, perhaps might work for you then? I don’t think there are any other long-term guests at the moment, but Tazrae, the innkeeper lives there.” Another nod from Oralie, her posture relaxing a little. She noticed that Mathias was watching her hand carefully, and realised she could feel a serene sense of peace smoothing her jangling nerves.

Looking down, even in the bright sunshine, Oralie could see that she had instinctively called upon her mark. She quickly let go of her bag strap and let her hand fall to her side, behind her cloak. Mathias simply smiled at her and began to walk again, back in the direction of the core.
“We have many here who bear God marks. You’ve nothing to worry about.”

Oralie opened and closed her fist a couple of times. “I… I have a connection with Priskil.” She saw the man’s eyes crinkle with another smile. “I thought it may have been hers. I will keep the knowledge to myself if you want, but you have nothing to fear from anybody here. We all look out for each other all of the time.”

Mathias seemed to have a good read on her already, and she was thankful that he didn’t pry or ask her any questions about what had happened to her before she had arrived. It wasn’t long before the Protea Inn came back into view, and they stopped a little way off from it.

“If you go on down I imagine you will find Tazrae inside. You have nothing to worry about, she is very lovely.” Mathias paused, taking a moment to look over Oralie. She was keenly aware that she looked dishevelled and not at all like someone who could afford to stay somewhere as nice as the Inn behind her.

“While we often trade with each other for things here, you should be aware that not everything is free.” Oralie nodded.
“I have money.” She stopped herself from reaching up to touch her neck again. She had found someone in Riverfall who had been able to remove the silver collar and then purchase it off her, planning to melt it down to use himself in various jewellery items.

“But… I can also make things. Pottery, I mean.” Mathias nodded and offered her a wide smile. “Excellent. When you feel ready, you should seek out a woman named Nesra at the Commons. She is a potter too, and I am sure she would love some help.”

Their gazes met and she could sense that there was something else Mathias wanted to ask of her. “Is there anything else I should know, Oralie?”
She fiddled for a moment with the strap of her bag before taking a deep breath. “I um… I’m a Kelvic. An ocelot.” The man nodded, completely unfazed. “I thought there was something else about you. Never seen eyes like yours before. You’ll fit in here, don’t you worry. In both your forms. I had best be getting back, do you need anything else?”

Oralie shook her head, so Mathias bid her farewell and headed back up the beach. She pondered for a moment on what his last comment might mean, for it sounded as though he knew what an ocelot was. She turned again to look at the Protea Inn. The large deck was bathed in sunlight and it looked ever so welcoming. She swung her arms at her sides a couple of times, working up the courage to head inside and find the innkeeper. This was it, she had really done it. A new life, all of her own.



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A New Life

Postby Gossamer on February 13th, 2022, 9:59 pm

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GRADING
Oralie,

Observation +5, Endurance +2, Body building +2, Socialization +5, Interrogation +1

Lore: Body Building: Unloading A Cargo Ship, Syka: Port And View From The Sea, Mathias: Appearance And Mannerisms, Mathias: Founder of Syka, Syka: The Commons - Layout And Location, Food: Melons – Taste And Appearance, Syka: The Bungalows – Appearance And Location, Foods: Mango – Taste And Appearance, Syka: The Ranchos – The Ranchos - Layout And Location, The Protea Inn – Layout And Location, Priskil – Accepted In Syka, Syka – Runs On Barter System, Nesra – Potter At The Commons

Lovely first thread. Let me know if I missed anything.

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