An Arbor Abounds[Or/Taz]

Moritz, Oralie, and Tazrae go on a journey to find a tree in a jungle...

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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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An Arbor Abounds[Or/Taz]

Postby Oralie on March 1st, 2022, 8:53 pm

Oralie wondered how Moritz had managed to come to Syka in one piece. He was somewhat of an enigma to her. On the one hand he seemed keen to learn as much as he could, but on the other it appeared he knew very little, especially about the world. Of course, Oralie would never assume she knew a lot about anything, but she was definitely trying to learn about as many different things as she could. Curiosity and the cat and all. Perhaps Moritz kept his focus razor thin, to just a couple of subjects.

He lamented about time and while she saw his point – for it really would be wonderful to have limitless time where you could learn anything you ever wanted to – she also didn’t see the point in worrying about it too much. She looked over at him and offered a smile.
“I think that things are only as complicated as you make them. Why not look at it from the other end? Time is limited, so enjoy the amount of it you have and fill it with things that you like to do and find interesting. So what if you don’t learn something in great detail? Nobody is excellent at everything.” She hoped her words were somewhat encouraging. Oralie fully believed in the sentiments she had just spoken. The first three years of her life had been spent in servitude, having no choice but to spend her time doing someone else’s bidding. She was determined to use the rest of her time going forward for things of her own choosing.

Whatever meditating was meant to entail, Oralie did not feel that she was good at it. As such she was relieved when Tazrae seemed to be in much the same situation and piped up with a question. However, the Jamoura responded to a different question first, asked by Moritz. Oralie listened with fascination as he spoke on signs for a good couple of chimes.

The Kelvic found herself leaning forward as Brosh continued to speak. “Learn the language of signs.” She whispered his words under her breath. They sounded important, like they were connected to her need to become a bigger and more connected part of Syka. She was nodding sub-consciously as he spoke. Listen to the world, connect with the universe, be receptive. When he stopped speaking Oralie gave a small shake of her head. She had been so focused on what he had been saying that she had glazed over slightly.

Brosh next answered Tazrae’s question with an equally detailed answer. If the two women had not known anything about meditation before coming to the Arbor, they certainly did now. As he went through the various kinds of meditation, Oralie realised that she had in fact done some before. Spiritual meditation had saved her sanity and possibly her life while she had been a servant. It had bought her Lady Priskil to her and put her on the path she currently walked. Her mouth twitched in a smile at the playful jib the Jamoura sent at Tazrae who had been fidgeting next to her. Oralie and Bree on the other hand were both sitting stock still as only predators could do.

Brosh settled himself on the ground before them all again and rested his hands on his legs. “We try again. Any kind meditation but visualization and focus good for beginners. Let us do together.” The Jamoura closed his eyes and went quiet, his breath immediately seeming to deepen. Oralie could hear it moving in and out of his nose.

With a glance to Moritz, who she noticed seemed to be familiar with this particular exercise already, and then over at Tazrae whom she gave a small, amused smile, Oralie too closed her eyes. Like before, her hearing immediately seemed to amp up. She wondered idly if it was normal or just a quirk of being a Kelvic. Her mind wandered aimlessly for a couple of chimes before she remembered that Brosh had suggested she might want to try visualisation.

She made herself focus her hearing on the Jamoura’s breath, letting the steady rhythm of inhale and exhale calm and guide her. Puppies, funnily enough, were not Oralie’s favourite thing to think about, so instead she pictured the place that made her the most happy. In her mind’s eye she bought up the image of a long stretch of sand with sea to one side and dense jungle to the other. Oralie seemed to be viewing it all as if she were flying in the sky like a bird. A few buildings sat somewhat scattered here and there, but the one she focused on the most was Tazrae’s pride and joy, the Protea Inn. That was the place the Kelvic felt the safest and the most cherished. It had become her happy place.

As time passed, Oralie sub-consciously shifted from visualisation to focus meditation, lulled into a deep state of calm by her own heartbeat. Eventually, her attention came back into her mind and the sound of a bird broke her concentration completely. She cracked open an eye, feeling as though she had been asleep for an entire night.

With both eyes open Oralie peered around the clearing. Everyone else was still quiet – it seemed even Bree might have nodded off. Her gaze drifted skywards and she was startled to see the position of Syna. “Taz… Tazrae.” Oralie whispered loudly, trying to get her friends attention. She poked Tazrae’s knee.

“Taz. The sun has passed well overhead.” When she had finally gotten Taz to open her eyes she pointed at the sky. It seemed all of them had managed to find some sort of ultimate calm, perhaps due to the odd nature of the Arbor, and had totally lost track of the time.

She looked over at Brosh to see that the Jamoura was watching them calmly. He nodded. “It good time for leaving now, yes.” Oralie glanced at Moritz to see if he was listening – if not she would nudge him to get his attention. She stretched her arms and stood slowly, rubbing life back into her legs. Even though she could sit like a statue for long periods of time, it did not mean it was comfortable. She turned to Brosh.

“Thank you for teaching us Brosh. And for letting us spend time here. It’s been so lovely.” Oralie touched the crown of flowers that still sat atop her head. The Jamoura stood and observed the group. “You all welcome again. Any time. Learn meditation every day. Learn lessons told here. Most important to learn lessons. Remember bad is coming.”

As goodbyes were being exchanged, Oralie’s mind drifted to the settlement and the Inn she called home. As she had come to expect now, something at the back of her mind told her the exact direction they needed to head in to get back. Brosh exchanged final goodbyes with the group and she then announced her knowledge to the others. “We need to go that way.” She pointed into the trees to visibly indicate where they should go. There was a rustling behind them and she turned to see the clearing was now empty, save for the four of them.

Oralie expected Bree would scout ahead as she had done before, so she waited for the Ixam to move. She settled her backpack onto her shoulders and then retrieved her machete, holding it loosely at her side. She stepped into the jungle once more with her friends, wondering idly how long it might take them to get home.

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An Arbor Abounds[Or/Taz]

Postby Moritz Craven on March 2nd, 2022, 12:43 am

Listening as the other Kelvic spoke, Moritz canted his head in thought. Some of what she said made sense, but he was not sure he understood all of it, common with many things he heard newly. In some ways the words were kind, but in others it also was a reminder of various things his mother had said to him.

"I see what you mean... But honestly, I'd just settle for being excellent at one useful thing though. I suppose I kind of skip around from one thing to another, hoping to find the one I'll have a knack for."

Moritz, if nothing, was an introspective person, though overall he was a positive person always looking to potential futures. In the moment he might be bogged down, but he still kept moving at a steady pace and working day after day.

While Moritz was no master of meditation, he was a bit surprised neither of the others knew what meditation was. He had first learned it from a combat instructor as a holistic part of her training, but had also had it expanded on as he learned and trained magic. Since he had heard Tazrae knew magic he had assumed she would know about it, but apparently not. Clearly then, he reasoned, different teachers had wildly different methods or patterns when training others on things. Even similar things... Or perhaps they knew of it just not by that name or in detail.

Brosh clearly knowing more about it- among many other things- than him Moritz let the Jamoura explain the concept, as he as still new to the subject himself.

The more Brosh spoke on things the more Moritz realized his approach to things was very different than the Jamoura's, as was his method of understanding and explaining things. He tried to take this difference of understanding into account as he listened to his words, but he had to admit much of it was confusing or did not fully make sense.

It was at once literal, while also not. Clear, while confusing. While also making him consider things anew. What was a sign, he reasoned, but an indicator of something. Impending war or doom or evil might be grander, but even small things had signs that they were coming. And if small things had signs and indicators, then why wouldn't bigger ones, that seemed more clear from Brosh's words. A cloud was a sign for rain, for some odd reason that particular example struck Moritz more cleanly than the other words. He somewhat understood the others, but the simplicity of it or something just... Clicked.... With the Kelvic's mind.

"I will try and keep an open mind Brosh, and open senses. I think that is all I can promise. Anything more would be a lie, or lead to one. Changing the way you perceive the world, I don't think that is something a person can do in a day, at least not easily. But I will try to take steps in that direction, and take your advice to heart. Thank you."

From all of the things Moritz had seen and heard today, he had quite a bit to reflect upon. Perhaps something he could meditate and reflect upon at a later time.

As Moritz tried his own meditation he listened to what was being said, not able to close off his ears as he did his eyes. While he knew some of the techniques Brosh listed he did not know all of them, and certainly not by the names he knew them by. It was a wealth of information, and he tried to take it all in while focusing on just that one thing, the sounds he was hearing. The words and explanation. As he did the mental image he had built up faded back, focusing instead back on the words and otherwise keeping his mind clear and open.

And breathing.

Brosh, as he knew, had a distinct view of things, and it was interesting that he considered the lack of something part of the set of that something, a idea he had not considered before but in a way rang true and vaguely reminded him of some things a math teacher had told him. From what was said he felt he had tried mindful meditation before but not much, was perhaps using focused meditation right then. But of them all he felt the one he used the most was visualization, and it had probably been the one he had been using earlier as he built a mental image in his mind, though perhaps in a slightly different way than from the example Brosh had given.

At some point Brosh's explanation had trailed off, and Moritz mind had faded again, and mentally he had begun filling the emptiness with an image of green and brown as before and also yellow for some reason... He pictured the swirling colors among and empty background, the dark of a unlit room, and let his mind fade into the pattern of their motion. Here... There... Over and under... Around, in big swooping tracks.

As people began talking again and someone nudged him however Moritz lost the pattern of the colors trailing on the empty view, and he opened his eyes to see others getting ready to head off.

Letting out a grunt he pushed himself upward and back to his feet, putting his pack back on his back and flexing his body that was a bit stiff from both today's exertions and trials and also sitting for so long. However his body seemed able to move more or less normally, even if a bit pained in doing so, which he supposed meant either the ants bites were wearing off or Brosh's paste was working. Or some combination of the two.

As the others seemed to be saying their goodbyes Moritz nodded along, also greeting Brosh.

"Yes, goodbye Brosh, thank you for your words and advice. I will try to keep them in mind. And once I'm able to travel through the jungle safely, I will make sure to visit again and meditate with you."

With the group beginning to move Moritz nodded along, listening and watching closely to make sure he would know the way back to Syka proper so he could return later. Having passed out at some point his knowledge of were home was had been left... Vague. In fact so vague he'd likely get lost if he had been forced to travel back alone.

Due to that he stayed with the group as they moved out, but let others take the lead so he could follow and watch seeing as he had no idea the direction they were going. Oralie did seem to though, pointing the direction almost right away which perhaps meant the Kelvic was a navigator or such. A skill he had not known about before.

Once they got moving he would also try to keep his eyes open for signs of civilization, a useful thing to know when he saw for later attempts to return to the settlement. Along with that he would focus on his eyes and activate his Iraso sight, scanning the ground occasionally as they moved for any swarms of things coming at them or that they were walking into. While he might not know the ants from earlier's exact djed he was confident he could recognize them on sight by image along with their motion and other such things. And while the entire jungle was alive with djed, each bit was distinct and now that he was aware insects seemed a bit more distinct than before from the surrounding nature.

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