Closed Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Oralie meets Tazrae at the Protea Inn.

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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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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Oralie on December 12th, 2021, 11:07 pm

The Community Pool fascinated Oralie immensely, for it fit so neatly into the area, yet it was so obviously manmade. Beautiful waterfalls cascaded into stone pools, and she couldn’t even begin to work out how it had been created. She smiled politely at Duncan when Tazrae introduced her, her keen eyes picking up something just a little off with where the man directed his line of sight.

“Oh, I like it a lot. Tazrae has shown me all around, it’s very beautiful.”
She glanced curiously at the Innkeeper when she responded to Duncan’s second question. She had no idea what spider monkeys were, but the man seemed to like them, or at least thought Oralie would. She watched him for a tick as he left them, before turning to follow Tazrae once more.

Her steps faltered when she noticed that Tazrae was leading her directly into the trees. Panic fluttered in her stomach, even as her mind told her not to be silly, that Tazrae was not about to lead her into danger. The Innkeeper had herself warned Oralie about venturing into the jungle unprepared, so why would she take such a risk? She took a tick to look at the path she was heading down. It appeared to be fairly well trodden, and they were close to the settlement. Mathais had told her that wildlife tended to stay away from the main part of the settlement so she steeled herself, her left palm glowing stronger than it normally did, and stepped after Tazrae.

She caught up just in time to hear her talk about the storm she had experienced. Oralie however, found herself concentrating more on her feet that Tazrae’s voice. Roots and small stones were appearing on the path more frequently the further they walked, and the last thing she wanted to do was trip. The foliage too was creeping in closer, narrowing their route. So focused on her steps was Oralie, that she nearly walked right into Tazrae when the Innkeeper stopped to look at her.

She blinked, nodding as she took in the information Tazrae was imparting. Her shoulders in particular were tense, and she shifted the backpack again to settle it more comfortably in order to loosen her joints. She stiffened again for a tick as the Innkeeper reached out to hold on to her. Oralie had rarely been touched by a person who had not wanted to hurt her, but she managed to relax, letting Tazrae show her how she was supposed to move. Oralie bounced once on the balls of her feet before setting off again, trying to keep her knees bendy and her spine loose. She knew she could do it if she tried, she was a cat for Mizahar’s sake. Cats were the bendiest things around. While she definitely immediately found it a little easier to move through the foliage, it was apparent that it would take her a while to master the particular way of walking required.

She was appreciative that Tazrae kept up the conversation as they went, allowing Oralie to keep her mind off of the fact that they were walking right into the jungle. She nodded at her back as she explained more about the Protea and the storm shelter. “He built your Inn? He’s very talented.”

Oralie looked upon the various wildlife Tazrae pointed out with a mixture of awe and fear. Snakes and spiders, while fascinating, looked incredibly deadly to her. She much preferred the snakes back at the Inn, safely inside their enclosures. The parrots caught her attention, her golden eyes tracking a particularly bright scarlet one through the treetops. She wondered just how many creatures were in here that she couldn’t see. She imagined it was a lot, for she could practically feel the place vibrating with life.

When Tazrae stopped again, Oralie came up next to her, blinking curiously at the clearing ahead. There were all sorts of contraptions made of what looked to be metal, many of them being taken over by vines. She turned her head to meet the other woman’s gaze. “To… play?”

Oralie had never gotten to be a child. Play was as foreign to her as flying was to a whale. She followed Tazrae over to one of the structures, watching her climb the ladder attached to the side. Before following, Oralie eased off her backpack, carefully leaning it against the structure in one of the less vine-covered spots. Hesitantly she made her way up the ladder and made it to the top in time to see Tazrae disappear down the shiny metal tube. Her voice floated up to her from below so soon after and Oralie struggled to believe she had travelled so fast.

She sat herself down at the top of the tube, steeling herself for whatever was about to happen. She pushed herself off as she had seen Tazrae do, and soon she was hurtling down the polished metal to be spit out the other end. Oralie sat there for several ticks, her eyes round and not saying a word. Eventually though, she blinked, and the blink was followed by a noise the Kelvic had never made before in her life. A giggle rose unexpectedly in her throat and burst from her mouth, the sound high-pitched and filled with glee. Delighted, she flicked her gaze to Tazrae before leaping up and moving back to the ladder to do it all over again.

Twice more Oralie threw herself down the shiny chute, unbridled joy glittering in her eyes. The fourth time she climbed the ladder, she found someone else sat on top of the tube. A small furry animal was watching her, dark eyes set in a white face. Oralie tilted her head curiously, and the animal imitated her. Was this one of the spider monkeys?

The animal flung itself off of the structure, and down onto a different one. It scampered onto a large frame that had what appeared to be seats hanging from it. It made an excitable sounding noise and dropped onto one of the seats, causing it to move back and forth a little. The monkey called again, tilting its head around to look at Oralie. She cast a glance at Tazrae before heading over slowly. The monkey jumped once on the seat before making it swing again. Oralie reached the frame, and when the monkey didn’t stop what it was doing, she sat herself down on the other seat. Her feet touched the ground, and she used the leverage to swing her seat a little. The monkey trilled and she giggled again.

A second monkey had appeared a little closer to Tazrae, brandishing a small passionfruit at the Innkeeper. Whether or not she took it, this monkey would then move off to jump onto one of the see-saws, chattering excitedly at the prospect of having humans to play with.


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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Tazrae on December 14th, 2021, 4:45 am

It was such a joy to show Oralie around. It was nice running into some of the other denizens as well and introducing her to a few of the regulars. Oralie wasn’t shy and talked to people, which surprised Tazrae because she’d gotten the impression the young woman hadn’t been treated well. Taz watched her closely, noting her hesitation with following her into the jungle. The Innkeeper wouldn’t let anything happen to her new guest – new employee in fact – but she didn’t try to reassure Oralie. The Kelvic would have to work through her fear herself.

It was nice seeing someone view the jungle for the first time.

Tazrae could hardly remember her first experience with the jungle. She did suspect there’d been fear and concern, but since then she’d learned to love it. Watching Oralie, Taz hoped the same for her. The quick lesson on movement was taken to heart, and Oralie took Tazrae’s advice nicely. The girls were soon enough moving nicely down the trail at a much faster rate than they were moments ago. Oralie seemed to pick up things fast and soon enough she was more fluid in her stride.

Taz nodded about the question in regards to Randal. “Yes he did. I’ll introduce you. He gives great jungle lessons too.” Taz added, offering Oralie a smile. “If you need something built, he’s the man to talk too.” The young Innkeeper advised, smiling. Randal was probably one of her closest friends here in Syka. He was a protector and guide, and absolutely an unofficial leader of the Rangers.

The Overgrown Playground seemed to be the best place Taz could think of to take the young Kelvic. She hoped Oralie could enjoy it, and she certainly wasn’t disappointed. “Yes, to play. Try it… it’s a wonderful feeling.” Taz urged, then took a trip down the slide to demonstrate. Then Taz lingered at the bottom to watch Oralie try the slide. Her face lit up at Oralie’s joy and her giggling. Taz waited, having had that reaction the first time she tried the slide, more than once, while the Innkeeper watched.

The masked spider monkeys got involved too. They liked visitors and weren’t aggressive like the baboons’ troupes could be. Oralie tried out the swings, and Taz soon got behind her and began to push. A swing couldn’t truly be enjoyed without someone pushing you higher and higher – gently though – because she didn’t want to scare the kelvic. “Push your legs up, Oralie… like you are reaching for the sky. It feels like flying… and you won’t fall.” Taz said with a laugh. “Don’t be scared… you won’t fall. If you want to stop just put your legs down and let them drag below you to slow you down.” Taz advised, and once the girl was swinging high, she stepped out of the way and headed over to a odd looking metal disk that was parallel to the ground with risers springing up almost like the spokes of a wheel encircling it.

The merry-go-round was one of Tazrae’s favorite things in the playground. She let Oralie swing as she began to spin the merry-go-round. She didn’t join the monkeys on the teeter totter. Instead, the spin of the disk of the merry-go-round lured them all to her and soon enough Taz was running around in a circle, holding onto it, while monkeys crawled all over it screaming in amusement. Her momentum got the merry-go-round spinning at top speed with all the monkeys hanging on for dear life and screaming in joy.

“Jump on, Oralie!” Taz said, herself speeding up and getting ready to jump on. Once she did, she’d ride it out until she either threw up or the spinning disk slowly spun to a stop. She loved the sensation of whirling around rapidly in a tight circle with all the monkeys screaming around her. Taz herself couldn’t help but laugh, and scream… and laugh more until the merry-go-around slowed to a more decent speed then finally stopped.

When the merry-go-round stopped, Taz needed a few moments to recover, capture her breath, and stop her laughter. “Well, what do you think of your first experience in the jungle?” She asked, more than ready to show Oralie some of her foraging sites, unless the girl was tired and wanted to go back. There were other places she could show the young woman too. “Is there anywhere else you want to see?” She said, dodging another fruit tossed gently at her by a second monkey.

Taz stood smiling, ready to go any direction Oralie wanted to go… or ready to gather some fruit before they headed back to the Inn.

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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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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Oralie on December 20th, 2021, 5:19 pm

Oralie spent a few ticks pushing the swing by herself, rocking her feet forward and back to move the seat while she was sat on it. The little monkey next to her had clearly done such a thing many times, for it had a good momentum going, the swing moving a lot more than Oralie’s did. She could no figure out how it had done such a thing, for its feet definitely did not touch the ground to give it any leverage.

Soon Tazrae had come to join them, moving to stand behind Oralie. The Kelvic was unsure what the young Innkeeper was doing until she felt the gentle press of two hands on her back. Her swing moved further, higher with Tazrae’s help and Oralie did as she said, and held her legs out before her so that they would not touch the ground.

Tazrae pushed her higher still, and soon Oralie felt like she was flying. The monkey on the swing beside her was swinging too, shrieking and trilling in delight. Oralie squealed whenever her swing reached its apex, and then giggled at the fluttering sensation in her stomach on the way back down. She held so tightly to the chains that her knuckles were white, but for once it was not out of fear. Eventually too, she got the hang of moving her legs to keep up the momentum that Tazrae had started for her. She pointed her toes to the sky when she went forwards and then tucked them up under the swing when she came back down, her body moving too to keep the balance.

She saw Tazrae move over to a different structure, and stopped swinging her legs, letting the swing slow down a little. The air whooshing in her ears lessened and she dragged her feet in the ground underneath to bring herself to a halt.

Tazrae was spinning a large metal disk round and around, and more monkeys were appearing to pull themselves onto it. It looked both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. The monkey next to her had seemed briefly disappointed that she had stopped swinging, but that appeared forgotten when its fellows started up a racket on the spinner and it dashed over to fling itself on.

Tazrae called out to her before jumping on too, and Oralie sprang up from the swing. She headed over, but paused before jumping. The disk was spinning really quite fast and it was a little daunting. The Innkeeper had taken a running start, so Oralie did the same after pausing for a tick to take a deep breath. She started to run in the same direction as the disk, faster and faster until she was just about matching its speed. Then she counted to three in her head before leaping on with a scream and grabbing hold of the closest hand hold for dear life.

Her hear streamed behind her, and she squinted her eyes to see the monkeys all around her shrieking and jumping and clinging on too. She could hear Tazrae laughing behind her and Oralie joined in, half laughing, half screaming as they whizzed around and around.

When the disk stopped spinning Oralie practically collapsed onto it with a breathy laugh. She lay on her back, looking up through the canopy to the clear blue sky above. The monkeys were still crawling on the bars that sat on the spinner and she flicked her gaze to Tazrae when the young Innkeeper spoke.

“I…” Oralie paused. She had forgotten she was actually inside the jungle. “It doesn’t feel… dangerous.” She pushed herself into a seated position and peered around the cleaning. Some of the monkeys had moved off, climbing on the other structures that littered the place. She took in the vines everywhere, the looming trees at the edges of the park, the sheer amount of life in the place.

“It’s so… so….” She struggled for the right word to convey how she felt. “Big.” She shook her head roughly. “I don’t know, it’s so wonderful here, but I can tell there is a lot more to it than what I can see. I heard so much that told me I should be terrified of it, but you are not…” She unconsciously rubbed at the glow on her left palm with her thumb. It was true that Oralie had enjoyed herself, the simple act of playing taking her mind totally off of her fear. “I don’t know if I can ever be as brave as you are.” She laughed nervously. “But it’s so vibrant in here that I would like to be.”

She picked up one of the fruits that a monkey had thrown over, examining it closely. “This place isn’t new, is it?” It was an understatement, she knew, but she also knew that Tazrae would know what she meant by it.

She shook her head at Tazrae’s question. Oralie was fairly exhausted after her travel and subsequent unloading of the ship, not to mention the exhilaration of playing. “I think it would be good to acquaint myself more with the Inn, if that is okay? You know, so I know what is what for cleaning.”
No matter Tazrae’s response, Oralie headed over to where her backpack was resting against the slide and hefted it onto her back again, shifting it so the weight was evenly distributed. She smiled hesitantly at the Innkeeper. Tazrae was a comforting presence, evident in just how much Oralie had been speaking today. She waited for her to lead the way, rather than plunge headlong herself into the trees again.

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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Tazrae on December 26th, 2021, 5:39 am

Taz listened to Oralie, wanting to make sure the girl understood that Taz did care. She took a deep breath, shook her head, and cleared her throat.

“Oralie, the jungle is dangerous. Even the Settlement is dangerous. When I was newly arrived here, I was tending the garden in Kihala’s Shrine and was bit by a tiny little emerald eyelash viper. I almost died. It sickened me for days and I was lost in my mind, drifting through visions and dreams. When I came back to myself due to some diligence by the resident Akalak Doctor, I started to learn all I can about this land. Then when my birthday came around, James Chavi gave me this….” Taz said, pulling back her sleeve and showing the armband that was etched with the image of a snake.

“The Reptile’s Promise makes me immune to any snake poison or venom regardless of how its delivered. And this…” Taz fingered a necklace she was wearing. It had a swirling gemstone charm on it. “I can breath in all toxic elements, even underwater or in poisonous air.” Taz went on, showing a bracelet that held charms.

She pulled out a snake charm and showed it to Oralie. “This one lets me sense the proximity of snakes and dhani. They are all around us… hundreds. Snakes, that is. No Dhani are near that I know. This charm lets me see ghosts. And this one…” She said, releasing the triangle ghost charm and picking up a small leaf charm. “This lets me find that which is lost. I have to own it to find it, but if I loose it I’ll get it back.” She said… then unshouldered her backpack.

“This backpack holds… far more than it seems yet it feels no heavier than an empty pack. I have survival gear in here, enough for days. I have food, medicine, even shelter. I never come out here without someone knowing where I’ve gone and I don’t go alone usually. I take Bree a great deal. She’s good in the jungle. The jungle is many things, Oralie. It’s beautiful, seductive, full of life, the giver of food and supplies, the giver of shelter… but it will take your life the moment you let your guard down. That’s a truth you need to remember. And though there are fun places like this where we can play and have fun, we still have to remain on our guard.” Taz said, starting the walk back.

She didn’t take a trail this time, instead, Tazrae took a straight path directly to The Protea. They wove among the heavy trees, slipped through thick underbrush, crossed open spots where sun-speckled through the canopy, always walking in a straight line. Taz wanted Oralie to see the difference, the stark contrast to what was wild and what has cleared away and protected by the Rangers. The trail to the Overgrown Playground that they’d originally taken was one of those protected ranger trails. It wasn’t easy walking, that trail, but it was so much clearer than this way.

This way was raw, untouched, with every bit of the land fighting every other bit of it trying to win favor, more space, and outcompete whatever was around it. Once, the Innkeeper paused to pull a small spade from her backpack, digging up a gloriously beautiful sunset orange and pink plant that was flowering. She tucked it into the crook of her arm and continued on.

Along the way Taz pointed out snakes coiled in the underbrush, took the long way around a troupe of baboons that were screaming violently off to their right, and finally came out on the cobbled pathway across from the trail leading to The Protea. Taz kept her strides casual, her head up and alert, and minimized the talking signaling the danger so close to the Settlement and so close to what Oralie had decided would be home.

When the path spilled out onto the front lawn of The Protea, Taz paused, then took the stairs two at a time. “Have a seat…” She invited Oralie when they cut through the body of the Inn and went out onto the back deck. “I’ll be back in a moment. I’m just going to plant this one.” Taz said, clattering down the deck steps and moving out to where the chicken house was. She dug a new spot for the plant she carried carefully in the crook of her arm, and transplanted it among similar rows of flowers before returning to Oralie.

Tazrae joined her on the deck.

“Now, what do you want to know about the Inn…. your questions? What tasks need to be done… that kind of thing?” Taz asked, curious. Wanting to satiate the Kelvic’s curiosity about familiarizing herself with the Inn. “You also should tell me who you are running from so we can warn the founders and they and the Rangers can be on the lookout for strangers that mean no good here.” Taz said softly. “I don’t care about your past. Syka is about the future. But you are no longer alone here, Oralie. And people here can help protect you.” Taz said softly, looking sincerely at the young Kelvic.

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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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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Oralie on December 31st, 2021, 5:20 pm

Oralie trained her large golden eyes on Tazrae as the Innkeeper spoke, her tone serious. She knew that the jungle was dangerous, the settlement too, Mathias had told her as much earlier in the day. Being in the playground with Tazrae and the monkeys, laughing and having actual fun for the first time in her life had pushed all of those thoughts completely out of her head. She would have to do well to remember that she should not ever let her guard completely down.

Eyes wide, she nodded seriously at Tazrae when the young woman spoke of snake bites. It sounded truly awful and terrifying to have been bitten by such a thing. She peered at the armband when it was uncovered, and then at the necklace, trying to understand how they protected Tazrae. She blinked once, momentarily distracted by a name she did not recognise.
“Dhani? What is that?” Clearly it was something other than a snake, otherwise it would not have its own name.

Still Tazrae showed her more. She had several charms and said that each one did something different. It was a lot for Oralie to take in. If these things truly did everything that the Innkeeper said, then Tazrae was walking around carrying so much magic. The Kelvic had no idea that an item could be magic. Of course she knew about magic, she had always assumed she was a creature of magic herself given that she could change into a big cat at will, but that was as far as her knowledge went. And besides that she had a Gnosis mark from her Goddess Priskil which was undeniably magic too.

She stared almost in disbelief at the backpack. Her pack was not exactly light as a feather, but then again it was currently stuffed with all sorts of things she would never need to bring into the jungle with her on a trip. She was about to ask how Tazrae had so many magical items, when the woman continued to speak of danger and safety. She nodded solemnly. “I will remember.”

Oralie hesitated for a tick as Tazrae turned to head back through the dense, uncut jungle. Taking the path had been enough to make her nervous, but walking straight through the bush? She took a deep breath before following, reminding herself that Tazrae would not put either of them in danger. It was much harder going than the cut trail, and Oralie had to concentrate extra hard not to trip over roots and vines. She tried her best to keep up the swaying walk she had learned earlier so that she could weave between plants and trees that would otherwise brush her arms, for even though they had a layer of clothing on them, it was not meant for the jungle and she did not know what might snag at the fabric.

She sighed in relief when the jungle ended and the Protea Inn sprang into view, and followed Tazrae up and out on to the deck at the back. She shrugged the heavy pack off and rolled her shoulders before sinking into the closest chair. She pondered for a moment on just how much she would have to learn to live here – a lot it would seem. Tazrae appeared to be almost one with the place, so comfortable and knowledgeable was the Innkeeper.

Golden eyes trained on Tazrae as she returned and she gave a nod. “Well, yes. Exactly that. What cleaning would you like me to do? I can do a quick once over every day if you like, and then deeper cleaning weekly? And when people check out? I can do some other things too maybe, like helping with your chickens or the garden, things like that? I don’t know a huge amount about either of those things, but I can learn very quickly. As with cooking.” She gave a small smile, the corners of her mouth just twitching upwards. Oralie spoke more eloquently when it was about work.

Her whole body stilled at Tazrae’s next words, eyes rounding in a mixture of surprise and horror. The Innkeepers voice was soft and Oralie blinked slowly as Tazrae told her she was not alone. She recalled the familial feeling she had sensed between various members of the settlement and tears sprang into her eyes. It was all she had ever wanted. She could tell Tazrae’s words were genuine and she trusted the woman, despite the fact they had only just met. She hadn’t judged her once, even when Oralie had turned up looking like a ragged beggar. She took a gasping breath, trying to stop the tears from spilling over and stared hard at her left palm, letting the golden glow calm her down without actually calling on her mark. She did not care if Tazrae saw it or not anymore; it was time she started to be who she wanted to be, starting with answering the question.

“I was slave.”
Hesitantly, she raised her gaze again, meeting the Innkeepers azure eyes. “I am from Syliras, I had a master there. He called me a servant but I was really his slave. My parents… they sold me to him when I was a baby, after the first time I turned. Into a cat, I mean. I don’t really remember any of it.” Only when she dreamed, did Oralie recall things. Never their faces, but their voices, her father’s especially. His had been kind.

“I think they thought he would be nice to me. He was until I got big enough to actually work. If I did something wrong he would beat me. And I had to wear a collar always.”
She raised a hand to brush at her neck, though it didn’t appear that she was aware she did so. “I had one friend… sometimes he would give me extra food. My master kept me weak, did not feed me much. My friend, he got me onto a boat and I went to Riverfall. And then I heard of this place, and it sounded so lovely, and so out of the way that I thought it would be safer here. But I’m still so scared of him.”

Tears slowly started dripping from her eyes as she continued. “Everyone here has been so nice to me, and I don’t want to trouble any of you. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before.” She lowered her gaze, staring at her hands. “You have all worked very hard, I can go back if it would be better.”

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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Tazrae on January 3rd, 2022, 12:16 am

Tazrae had the patience to answer a million questions so she just smiled when Oralie asked what a Dhani was. “There are people that live in the jungle… underground as far as I’ve heard… that share blood with snakes. They are called The Dhani. They can transform like you Kelvics can. They either have a snake form or a person form, but at the same time they have an incredible middle form that’s a human body, snake torso, and scales where skin should be. They are the enemies of the Myrians… a dark skinned race that lives in the jungle in a city called Taloba. The Dhani and Myrians fight a lot over territory and resources. The Founders here in Syka rarely let Myrians and Dhani into the settlement because they don’t get along together well. But it has happened enough I’ve learned about each.” She answered, not sure. “I don’t know much about the Myrians. They are people like us, with golden brown skin, and I think women rule in their society, not the men.” Taz added, shaking her head and lifting her hands as if that was it in terms of her knowledge.

Taz looked thoughtfully at Oralie’s next words about what duties she would be willing to do or had assumed Taz might want her to do. “I’ve done everything here… never have had hired help. It would be a relief to me to have some assistance. I will always pay you for your work, though, and not take it for granted. Because help is invaluable to me.” Taz said, looking thoughtful.

“I clean the rooms and make up the beds once a day when the guests are out. I also do their laundry when they need it done. I change linens once a week for them. And when they move out the rooms get cleaned immediately. The Inn itself often needs cleaning – swept out after big winds and sand is constantly being tracked in from the beach. That’s easy in and of itself. I love cooking, and will be doing most of that. And when I don’t cook, I will have leftovers ready to serve in the icebox in the form of sandwiches and already baked goods.” Taz added. “I’d like your help most in the general cleaning of the Inn and individual rooms, making up the beds and tidying after the guests… and cleaning immediately when the room empties.” Taz added, looking thoughtful. “Laundry isn’t glamorous. I can still keep that up. I wouldn’t ask anyone else to do that.” She added.

“And if you want to cook, I can teach you how… that’s easy enough. I don’t know everything there is to know, but I don’t mind showing you around and showing you a few things about the jungle… things like that.” Taz added, knowing this might be a hard conversation with Oralie. She didn’t want to reply on others, and she’d always been the low woman in the ranking of who worked at any Inn she’d worked at.

It was too bad the conversation couldn’t remain calm, soothing, or even on shop talk. They had harder things to discuss.

But the talk got harder. Taz swallowed at Oralie’s rounded eyes and her sharp inhalation of breath. The truth that came from Oralie’s lips chilled Tazrae’s soul. Part of her wanted to believe that she had been wrong, that Oralie wasn’t on the run or fleeing a bad situation. It came pouring from Oralie’s lips and Tazrae could do nothing but listen. She was a runaway, sold into slavery by her parents, from Syliras. Dear gods… her own parents sold her. Taz blinked back tears and moved forward, grabbing Oralie gently by the shoulder and pulling her into Tazrae’s embrace. “Gods, I’m sorry…. I’m really really sorry.” The Innkeeper whispered, knowing nothing she said could make things easier.

Her next words were harder. He man forced her to wear a collar and would beat her. The man would starve her and whatever else abuse she suffered. A friend got her away. Taz was thankful for that unnamed friend as she hugged Oralie tight.

“You are safe here, Oralie. We need to tell the Founders so they know to be watchful. But they won’t judge you. Everyone here has secrets. Everyone is from somewhere else. Everyone has a past. But here you are free to start over. Food is abundant. You can wear whatever you want, and no one is going to put you in a collar. Ever.” Taz said, shaking her head. “You can stay here with me as long as you’d like… I’ll pay you if you want to work for me… if not, the whole settlement has any kind of job available you could possibly want. You can be independent and rule your own life.” Taz said softly.

“You are better here…. there is no going back. You are wanted here. No one is going to let anyone hurt you. I don’t even think anyone owns slaves here, Oralie.” Taz added, looking thoughtful.

“I would suggest you learn a weapon though… and how to fight. And run with me, on the beach, to strengthen up. If he ever comes here looking for you, the people here will protect you. But it would be even better if you could protect yourself so you never have to fear anyone ever again.” She said softly, stepping back and giving Oralie space. Tazrae studied the other woman, concern mixing with other emotions, ones she didn’t want to share with Oralie… namely anger. She was mad at the

“Its okay you didn’t tell me. It wasn’t my business as an Innkeeper. But we are friends now, right? Friends make problems each other’s business.” Taz said, reaching out to stroke Oralie’s hair. She was a tactile person, one who loved touching, and would only stop trying to comfort the kelvic with her touch if the woman flinched from her. “I need to be able to trust you with my Inn. You need to be able to trust me to live beneath my roof. It begins here. Please… tell me all you remember about the man… his name, what he looks like, who he might have working for him. I need to know so we can watch out for him.” She said softly, continuing to stroke Oralie’s hair.

“Slavery is wrong. You shouldn’t own a child and sell a child. We are living creatures, not objects to own. I firmly believe that Oralie. I really do. I’m sorry your parents didn’t. That’s a rotten deal.” She whispered, trying to restrain her anger least the Kelvic think it was directed at her. It wasn’t. People could be shitty… that was all.

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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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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Oralie on January 21st, 2022, 4:00 pm

Oralie had nodded along as Tazrae had explained the type of duties that happened in the running of an Inn. She wondered how one person had managed to do so much all by themselves, though she did note that Tazrae’s Inn did not seem to be the always busy bustling enterprises the ones in Syliras were.

It seemed like her tasks would mainly focus on cleaning, which she could definitely do. Oralie had mostly been a cleaner and errand girl for her master, and she had to always have her work completed perfectly otherwise there would have been unpleasant consequences. She had no visions of Tazrae treating her anything like that, but she knew that she would hopefully be up to the job looking after the beautiful Inn.

“I can definitely manage that. I am happy to run any small errands for you too. I am sure there are little things that take up your valuable time that I can help with.” She nodded again at the mention of cooking. “I would very much like to learn how to cook.” It seemed like Tazrae did love cooking, and she was good at it too if the simple but delicious breakfast food had been anything to go by. Oralie had no great ambitions to be able to cook for an entire Inn’s worth of people, but if she could learn the basics well enough to help out during busy periods, she would be happy.

Oralie had lowered her gaze once she had started speaking on her old life, and so she did not notice Tazrae reaching for her. She did not flinch away, but she did remain awkwardly stiff. The Kelvic could not remember being held in such a manner before and she was not sure what to do with it. Her words were slightly muffled as she continued to explain things to the Innkeeper, and after a moment Tazrae might have been able to feel her shoulders relax just a smidge as the warmth from Tazrae’s body became more comforting.

When Tazrae responded, telling her seriously that Syka was a place of safety and fresh starts, the hope slowly started to return, blooming once more in Oralie’s chest. Her eyes prickled with tears again at the sincerity in the young woman’s voice. She was offering this raggedy, runaway Kelvic a home, a job… security and freedom. She opened her mouth to respond, but she was fighting so much unexpected emotion that she merely hiccupped. She squeezed her eyes shut to will the tears to stop and nodded gratefully at Tazrae instead.

Tazrae even went as far as suggesting some other things that Oralie could do now that she was here. Learning to defend herself, getting stronger so that she would never have to be subjected to the whims of awful people again. It sounded like a solid plan, one that the Kelvic took to heart immediately. She was scared, every single fibre of her being feared her master still and she hated it.

She watched Tazrae’s hand as it reached towards her again, wondering if she was going to hold her once more. Instead, the Innkeeper ran it over Oralie’s long, tangly blonde hair. She took a breath, willing her voice to appear so that she could answer the request.

“He… his name is Marius Keane. He is shorter than me, um… he has an angry face.” She frowned, trying to think of the right words to describe her master. “A square face, but sharp. Heavy eyebrows and dark eyes. He has dark hair too, very short. He runs a pottery, one of the big ones, but I don’t think it is all he does. He has too much money… even a pottery like his would not make so much money. He wears expensive fabrics all the time and has these big gold rings on his right hand. I know that he trades in something else, but I was never allowed to hear about it. I don’t know who all his connections are, but he used to have dinner parties where I am sure he did business. Sometimes Mr Stalinsa came to them… one of the Knights on the Council. And there were often people from other cities that I never recognised.” She trailed off, not knowing if any of this was at all useful for anyone else to know.

Oralie nodded again at Tazrae’s words, feeling the emotion behind them. “Thank you. I… thank you.” She knew that she would be eternally grateful to Tazrae after today. She slumped in her chair, tired from the travel and the release of emotions. She lifted her golden gaze to look at the Innkeeper once more. “I am glad that I found this place.”


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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Tazrae on January 27th, 2022, 1:57 am

There was something beautiful about the slowly failing light over the ocean from The Protea’s deck. To Taz, it felt like home. She was glad for the company and also glad she was tired. Sleep wouldn’t be elusive tonight as she’d worked hard during the day and had the tour for Oralie’s benefit. “Errands would be great. But I won’t take up all your time. You can have whole days off and we can roam the Settlement looking for things to do as well. There’s all kind of Craftsman here too if you’d like to eventually learn a trade. There’s a blacksmith, a weaver, a potter, and hopefully we will attract more things as the Settlement ages and shows its viability.” Taz said thoughtfully. “You should get to know the other residents too. Mathias, the Founder, always has a welcome matt rolled out for his deck. He can usually be found fishing off it this time of the evening, if you want to visit with someone far older and far far wiser than I am.” Taz said, hoping to encourage the Kelvic to a friendship with at least one of the Founders. They were – all three of them – great people and friends to rely on if things got bad.

“I’ll teach you all I know about cooking… there are always mouths to feed here.” Taz said in agreement. “If its not the guests, the residents drop by for food when they aren’t in the mood to cook. I always put something together for them, no matter what actual meal time it is.” Taz said with a happy smile. She liked feeding people. It was something that made her happy.

She listened without judgement to Oralie’s description of Marius Keane. She noted his vital statistics and even the animated way that Oralie described him as having an angry face. She’d have a quiet word with the Founders about him and Oralie’s situation so they could be on the lookout as well. But if the man was as Oralie described, Tazrae wasn’t sure he’d follow a Kelvic across the sea in the first place. He’d probably just buy another and consider Oralie better gone. The Settlement didn’t need a man like him there. And it certainly didn’t need slavery.

“I’m really glad you are here too Oralie. I could certainly use the help and I will pay you for the work you do. Above that, its nice to make a friend… someone that can help a little around here that’s trustworthy enough to leave the care of my Inn with. I know we are virtual strangers, but I’ve had a lovely day with you spending time in your company. And I see the light in your eyes. You are smart, driven, and I know you will be successful with anything you want to do. Make a soft landing here… get your feet under you, and then decide what it is that will make you happy in your life. Once you’ve decided that, chase it hard. I think you can find happiness here.” Tazrae said, then stifled a yawn.

Still, there were chores to do and things she always did for the guests as the light fell. She excused herself momentarily, and then came back with a large jug of oil and a burning brand from the banked fire in the kitchen. Then, walking the length of the deck, she lit tiki torches made of bamboo that held cups of oil with a thick woven wick that burned brightly even in the ocean breeze. She methodically went to each torch, checked its oil, and filled it if necessary. Once that was done, she lit the torch and soon the entire deck was bathed in the glow of torchlight. Stars twinkled overhead and they could watch the frothy waves roll in as the sun set and the sky painted itself with a riot of bright colors that deepened the further darkness fell. Taz, because Oralie was here, slipped off the deck, lit the torches that lined the path to the dock, and then filled and lit the torches on the dock as well.

When she returned and extinguished the brand, Tazrae stowed the oil container and gazed out over the torchlit beach. “It’s beautiful here. Every night… it just takes my breath away as the sunset fades to deep purple then turns azure… and finally goes black. I hope you love it as much as I do.” Taz said gently, then glanced around.

“Can I get you anything to drink? A night snack or something?” She asked, knowing there was plenty of leftovers from the last meal that could be made up into a tray for Oralie. When Oralie declined, Taz smiled and nodded. “Well, I think I’m going to actually head to bed early. Stay up as late as you want… or all night. It doesn’t matter. The torches will burn for a few hours and then wink out as the oil goes dry. You saw where I stowed the oil and you can feel free to refill some of them around here if you stay up late. There’s books in the bookshelf if you want something to read. And all will be well in the morning. When the sun comes up, I’ll be out of bed. And just let me know when you get hungry… I’ll put some breakfast on. Whatever you’d like.” Taz grinned, then stretched.

“I hope you have a really nice night. You have your room key and if you need anything else, just let me know. You know where I’m sleeping and it takes me a bit to fall asleep.” She said softly, then gave Oralie a brief hug and left her to relax with her thoughts on the big deck alone. Taz was certain she’d be able to sleep better tonight knowing tomorrow she’d have help with the Inn.

Words: 984
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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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 877
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Is There Anybody 'Inn'?

Postby Oralie on March 17th, 2022, 9:39 pm

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grade award!


...
Oralie

Skills
  • Observation: 5
  • Socialisation: 5
  • Wilderness Survival: 1

Lores
  • Tazrae: Appearance & mannerisms
  • Tazrae: Innkeeper at the Protea Inn
  • Bree: A Jungle Ixam
  • Creature: Tazrae’s dog
  • Syka Commons: General layout
  • WS: How to walk in the jungle
  • Syka Location: The Overgrown Playground
  • Lore of the joy of play
  • Spider Monkeys: Appearance & behaviour
  • Self: The courage to speak of her past

...


...
Tazrae

Skills
  • Hostessing: 1
  • Teaching: 2
  • Running: 1
  • Gardening: 1

Lores
  • Oralie: Appearance & mannerisms
  • Oralie: A Kelvic Ocelot
  • Hostessing: Being a tour guide
  • Syka Location: The Overgrown Playground
  • Spider Monkeys: Appearance & behaviour
  • Lore of the joy of play
  • Oralie: Her past as a slave
  • Marius Keane: Appearance of Oralie’s old master

...
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Oralie
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Posts: 194
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