Completed A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Naadiya arrives in Syka, appeals to local leaders for a job.

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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 Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Naadiya on January 15th, 2022, 1:10 am

A Strange New Beginning
12th Day of Winter 521 AV


To say that she missed the desert would not only be a stretch, it would fall well within the domain of a lie. Yet from the time she boarded the Svefra ship, heading for only gods know where, Naadiya had that feeling when your stomach seems to rise inside you and resettle as high as your throat. First she had attributed it to sea travel. The bobbing, the smells, the lack of any means of escape, except, of course, for the water. The water. What drove a person who could not swim to venture on a boat. The days when Naadiya could not see land from any point on the ship were the worst. Panic always lingered very close to her surface on those days, crawling under her skin and digging into her mind like a parasite. She had never been on any kind of boat before and the idea that a person knew where they were going in that endless blue was not so easy to accept, especially when she could see no land. There could be a giant sea monster, or a raging storm, a fleet of pirates or who knows what else. Every other story she had heard of the sea as a child had involved dramatic deaths shrouded in mystery and while her recent experiences helped bring her imagination closer to reality, the blue horizon was still a source of wonder and fear for Naadiya.

Yet, she crossed it. She went from white sands, to endless blue, to more green than she could even imagine would grow in one place. How was there even enough water in the clouds to rain down and feed all this life?

The boat she had come in was a Svefra ship, which the captain had described as “smaller than average but sturdy and fast”, they way he had looked at her and leaned in made Naadiya feel that his mind lingered elsewhere and taking a few steps away nonchalantly, she took a deep long breath and gestured out to the water.

“Where is our next stop?”, her speech was getting faster now. She’d been practicing both her Common and her Fratava and both had increased while on board, but her accent remained, betraying her for a Benshira with every other word.

When Naadiya had turned back around though, the man had already walked off to start talking to another of his crew, instructing him on which crates to take off the ship for trade in town. This had been the seventh rejection the girl had tossed his way, by his count at least. Each time he gave her space and time, or maybe he was the one who needed the distance. The one who needed to muster the will to approach her again knowing how likely she was to smile politely and pretend she did not understand his words, or feign seasickness, or the need to relieve her bladder. Half of those time she had even managed to fling herself against the taffrail and vomit when he had been sure she was only trying to slip away after rousing him.

As she approached him again, likely with another of her never-ending questions, the captain cut her off raising his good hand sharply.

“Okay girl. Good bye now. Get off the ship.”

Stunned, Naadiya did not know what to say at first. It took her a minute to even decide what language to reply in. What language had he just spoken to her in? Seeing the confusion that washed over her face, his scowl began to soften, his eyebrows coming together in confusion to match hers. “Here you can look for him. It’s the best I can do, you can’t stay aboard forever. Ask around, and show your compass… not too much and not too freely. And should you find someone who has answers for you, you keep my name out your mouth.”

Now, with way more questions than when she’d left home, Naadiya walked down the dock in a daze. Many conflicting thoughts swam through her head at speeds too quick for the seeds to root as her feet carried her forward. But soon her feet stopped. She stood on the dock not knowing where to go, or who to ask, or what to think, or how to feel.

“THERE GIRL! GO THERE!”

Looking over her shoulder back at the ship Naadiya saw the captain pointing, now with his not-so-good hand and its remaining three fingers, somewhere inland. Naadiya had stared at his hand the entire conversation they’d had one day, looking at where the digits had been lopped off, of course, but also, the burn marks that coated each nub, the black tattoos that had continued where once there had been skin and flesh and bone. She had asked him about it once when he’d been drinking more than usual. All he said was how he didn’t dare regret the day he lost his fingers. Then he had grown silent and dark and when Naadiya’s hand brushed his arm as she refilled her own cup, he had growled as he grabbed her wrist roughly, barking “what are you after?!” She hadn’t known what to say at his sudden outburst but his grip on her wrist was hurting more with every second that passed and without thinking Naadiya had taken her cup in her other hand smashed it over his head. It was a brittle clay thing and seemed to wake him up more than hurt him but it had gotten the attention of everyone else close by, inciting a round of drunken, nervous laughter. His shipmates did not seem surprised by their captain but nor did they want to push his boundaries. One of the few women aboard the ship took her by the hand and led her away, no words had been spoken but Naadiya was fairly sure she got the message: Shut up, unless you have suddenly gained the ability to walk on water. It had been days since they spoke again.

Standing on the dock now looking out at his missing fingers, Naadiya supposed she would never find out the story behind them. She followed where he pointed with her eyes and saw a strange site indeed. High upon tree branches stood a platform. At first she had thought it to be a roof of some sort to shield anything beneath from the rain but as she neared it she could see she was far from right. Naadiya’s tree climbing was about as good as her swimming, though, and she could only hope there would be another way to ascent its heights. With her bag slung over her shoulder and her mantle wrapped lonely around her, Naadiya made her way to the lofted common space.

As she neared the end of the dock, however, her eyes landed on a man. Tall and lean with a deeply creased brow as he looked back at her. Not. not at her, through her. His piercing blue eyes narrowing as he recognized the ship. It was a long time ago but a favor owed was a favor owed, and James Chaliva kept his word. So he turned a blind eye again to the unsavory character that docked in his port. It would be for long anyway and then they'd be off again. But just as he tore his eyes away from the Svefra ship, they landed on the girl staring his way.

Having guided many a newcomer to the new settlement, James let a smile find his face and walked towards her, a hand waving up in greeting.

"Hello there, you must be new here. I'm captain Chaliva. Who might you be?"

For a second Naadiya just looked at his handsome sea-beaten face and thanked the gods she had gotten to exchange one captain for another so superior.

"My name is Naadiya. I am knew, yes. I'm in search of employment, I weave, and embroider a bit, or else I can clean." Self consciously, she hide her dye stained hands in the folds of her mantle. " I was told to go there", she gestured to the floating platform.

"Ah yes, the Commons, a good place to go and ask around. People often gather there for a variety of purposes. But you got very lucky and ran into someone who pretty much knows the ins and outs of this place. Come I will walk you where you need to go, you can tell me how you came to be here."

Word Count: 1423
Last edited by Naadiya on February 15th, 2022, 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer]

Postby Gossamer on January 15th, 2022, 8:08 pm

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“It’s not often we get the Svefra just dumping people off here. Is that all your belongings?” Captain James Chaliva asked, concerned. “It’s nice to meet you, Naadiya, but that Svefra isn’t someone you should be traveling with. He’s got a long dark history that would scare children around a campfire at night.” James commented dryly, then shook his head. “I hope he charged you a fair price for the passage.” And with that, he nodded.

“Syka welcomes you.” He added. Then offered to carry her bag if she had one. “Would you like to take a bit of a tour of the Settlement first?” He asked, then turned the young woman towards the Commons. “This is our gathering place. We call it the Commons. We have a lot of communal places here… you can use for free as long as you keep things clean. The Commons up there is a lofted place to catch the sea breezes. We have a gathering there every ten days on the 10th, 20th, etc… its like a big party. Bring something to eat for the potluck and there’ll be music and dancing. It’s a way for the settlers to check up on each other. We have a Communal Forge, Kitchens, a Communal Kiln… and there’s a water storage facility, a storm shelter… and way back in the trees over there is a Dovecot that leads to The Outpost. The beach is called Swing Beach because its covered with swings off palm trees, and there’s a fish cleaning station right on the beach.” James said, giving her a bit of a tour before he stopped by the Mercantile. Leading her up the steps, he smiled.

“I own the local Mercantile but my daughter Juli runs it.” He added, then smiled. “Juli? You around?” He called as he strode through the front door. A young woman was on a ladder at the far end hanging what looked like fishing nets in a display.

“Hey Dad. Hey there. New person?” She asked, leaning on the ladder then climbed down abruptly. “Hey, I’m Juli!” She said, walking over to give the new woman a hug. “You a new resident here? That would be great. Us girls are outnumbered.” She added, then smiled. “I came over here with Dad to run the Mercantile. If you need anything, we’ve got it or can get it… just let us know.” She added as James slipped from behind the counter and pulled out a small chest.

“We found some treasure last season. We divided it out among all the residents. We let everyone pick a piece of it. You can have a piece too.” He said, carrying the small chest around the counter and opening it for her. “Select anything that suits your fancy.” He offered. “Yours to keep free of charge. Everyone got something…. the chest has jewelry, lose stones, pearls, and loose coins.” He added, holding it up for her with the lid open.

When Naadiya had selected something, James put the chest away and Juli made a suggestion. “Father, Dawn Tidewater over at Tropical Fashions is looking for a weaver. She wants someone who knows how to do light comfortable fabrics. That wouldn’t happen to be you, would it Naadiya?” The girl asked, grinning. “Take her over to meet her, Father!”

James nodded. “Good idea. In terms of jobs, I’ll take you over to Tropical Fashions and we’ll see what happens. Dawn’s new to us too so you both might be able to bond of being new. And if you aren’t prepared to camp, I can show you some of the housing options. Syka has bungalows to rent, Overwater Ranchos, and we also have an Inn if you just want to stay someplace safe with a hostess that likes to feed everyone all the time.” He said with a grin.

If Naadiya agreed to follow, James would lead her past the Mercantile and back towards The Commons to a brand-new building. It was an easy leisurely walk just down the beach a bit and into a showroom full of beautiful gossamer fabrics and colorful light beach wear. There was also heavier garments more suitable to the jungle. James paused and tilted his head. “She should be around here somewhere.” He said, glancing at Naadiya.

A blond headed woman popped her head up above a rack of clothing that was freestanding in the middle of the room. “Who should be around here somewhere? Me? I’m right here.” She with a smile. She had a friendly open face, that lines had just started touching though she did indeed look around fifty. “What have you brought me, James? Introduce us!” She said, rising from where she’d been folding shorts into a small shelf and walking around the display to greet the newcomers.

“Dawn Tidewater, this is Naadiya. She’s a weaver who just arrived and is looking for a job.” James added, smiling. “Juli said you were looking to hire on a weaver, so I thought we’d drop by and make introductions.” He added.

Dawn nodded. “Nice to meet you Naadiya. So, you are a weaver? Are you wearing anything you’ve woven right now?” Dawn asked casually. She glanced around, gesturing at the garments and fabric on display. “We sell both premade garments here and fabric. I do custom tailoring too. Crocheting is a bonus since its big around here for swimwear. But can you make fabric like this?” She asked, surveying the room and hoping the woman’s answer would be on par with what she needed in terms of help.

“I’ll get you both some tea while you tell us about yourself and let me know any questions you might have. I do need a weaver and I’m hoping to get one sooner than later.” She added, moving to a small tea service on a side table and fussing around with it, fixing them both a cup of jasmine citrus tea after dropping a small white stone into the almost full room-temperature tea pot. The water boiled almost instantly, and she was pouring tea and offering small tea cookies while she was at it. The shop was pleasant and smelled faintly of vanilla and coconut, which went well with the smell of the jasmin in the tea.



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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer]

Postby Naadiya on January 16th, 2022, 12:05 am

Naadiya confirmed that indeed, the large lumpy bag she had on her back held all her possessions and did not reply to his comment on her boat passage’s price. She’d had to sell her camel and her beautifully carved and painted shortbow just to get on the boat and every time they made port the captain would hound her for more money. After the first time, once he saw that he’d been able to leech more mizas from Naadiya, she knew it was a pattern that would repeat itself until finally she would either be sleeping with the captain or the fishes. As he nodded, Naadiya’s feet stirred back into motion, keeping his pace as he showed her around.

Glancing in each direction as he pointed out the local hot spots, Naadiya took note of where everything was, think of it as if there was length of yarn that started at each location and ran towards the dock in a straight line, all points meeting. The dock would be the hub of her wheel, she decided. A lopsided wheel that would definite have trouble turning, but that could all change the more she got comfortable with the green coast. She was pretty used to the idea of communal facilities and work stations, it was how Wadrass functioned too and no man or woman could travel the desert and not share almost everything in order to get by. At the mention of a fish cleaning station, Naadiya’s mind flew to how fertile this city seemed to be. Of course, if the jungle was so thick with life it only made sense that the sea would also have such bounty. Though she could not fish, Naadiya had studied the nets on the Svefra ship and was sure could craft something approximately close if she had the material for it. Though what she would do once she had the net was still a missing puzzle piece.

James’ daughter definitely caught Naadiya off guard and before she knew it, she was being held in Juli’s arms. And then it was over. It was so simple and genuine and seemingly with no hidden meaning that Naadiya didn’t know what to make of the girl, I supposed I should be thankful she at least had some clothes on. Do people here hug in the nude out in the open? The thought brought a smile to her lips forcing Naadiya to hold back a giggle as she introduced herself to the girl and made a note in her mind that should she need any replacement parts for her loom, Juli would be the one to ask. Most likely, she’d already have nets, if Naadiya could judge by the supplies she had already laid eyes on. And even as she looked around, Naadiya’s eyes found some in a corner. Then, more to her other side. Then a really nice one almost displayed by itself and quickly Naadiya decided that she, who had never once fished nor made a net in her life had very little to contribute to these people in that area. No nets then.

At the mention of treasure Naadiya’s ears perked up, maybe not hungrily, but definitely curiously. Now he was offering her free treasure? The girl he had met only minutes ago.. She’d remember her grandmother’s stories and immediately assumed this must have been a trick. The lid would clam down on her fingers or else the treasure was cursed or coated in poison. Yet, when she looked into the chest Naadiya’s hand moved almost as quickly as her eyes.

Her gaze had seemed to be pulled to (or by) a trinket with a force beyond her understanding. As she picked up the earring, her finger tips felt as if they were touching a familiar object. She swallowed hard, wandering how her throat had managed to get so dry in such moist weather and thanked the man, who just smiled at her putting the chest away as if there hadn't been such a strange moment when she first held the earring. Who was this man? If he was sinister or unscrupulous, his daughter seemed to be entirely in the dark about it, unless she was just was scheming, of course. But that didn’t seem right either.

When Juli mentioned the local weaver Naadiya raised her eyebrows, nodding, “I can definitely say I’m better than the average weaver!”

And before she realized it, they were already at the clothing shop. The Benshira was starting to suspect that despite it seeming such a small quaint place, that there was much hidden and still to be seen. But at least the general proximity between everything she’d seen so far meant she would hardly need to get a camel… or a horse, she supposed a camel might not do well with the wet air of Syka. But would a horse? Naadiya hadn't really seen any since she'd gotten here, but surely if there was farming to feed people there must be pack animals.

She remembered her own camel, or the one she took from her father’s caravan, and hoped the person she’d sold him to before boarding the boat was still riding him and had not butchered it in near starvation as she had almost considered one night. Getting lost in the desert was a terrifying thing. Being lost at sea had been no paradise either, and when she came to think of it, Naadiya strongly suspected getting lost in these jungles would be just as deadly. Yet the people she’d encountered so far had seemed so pleasant and light.

In the desert, those in a group will outlast those alone nine times out of ten. Naadiya knew this place was different in many ways, but she could not imagine a place where that simple idea would not hold true. Besides, her intricately embroidered tent had been another of the payments her former captain had demanded, along with the matching saddle bags she had not sold with the camel.

Naadiya asked James if he wouldn’t mind taking her to the Inn, “but only after I have secured a job somewhere, I want to at least be able to say that while I may not have the money now, I will.”

The next place they came to really did impress Naadiya. Her father had sold fabric his whole life and she herself had been surrounded by different yarns and weaves since the time she could remember. And she was impressed. The fabrics on display were drastically different that anything she had made before but that was just about the fibers being used. Her mom had always told her “a good cook can always cook, even with ingredients she doesn’t know, she must only taste them first. The same applies to weaving.”

James had just made the introductions and Naadiya stood stiffly, waiting for the incoming hug. The hug that never came. With a silent prayer in thanks that her new employer was not an avid embracer, she imagined that could get awkward sooner than later, Naadiya trailed her eyes around the room as the woman, Dawn, looked over her own domain.

Deciding to put her more confident foot forward, Naadiya nodded to the woman, “I believe I have mostly worked with different fabrics, but the weaving principles remain the same, and yes I have made everything I am wearing. Well I made the fabrics, my sister did the sewing, it was her strong suit, I picked up a little from her but my weaving is much better.”

She showed Dawn the light and crisp, but not stiff, quality of her linen top with its delicate tiny stripes, more sheer than the rest of the fabric that got lost in the white, making the fabric at times look a little sheer, and then back to opaque with every movement. The weave was as breathable as she had managed to make it without it letting sand through. It was a garment made for the desert but Syka had wind, heat and sand as well, she supposed. Naadiya's pants were a soft tan and quite billowy, gathering at the top, where it then wrapped around her waist and tied itself off. The cut of the pants was made to be able to comfortable while riding a camel, but the fabric was also specifically made to withstand the constant contact with the saddle and the animals actual hide. It was made from camel wool but was so fine as to not be stifling in the heat and soft against the skin. This also had a very discreet pattern when looking closely; little simple flowers were splashed around in a pattern so scattered, at first it looked to be random, but at the same time too organized to truly be random. The flowers were embroidered with a thread that was half a shade lighter than the fabric making it almost just a textural difference. When looking at the fabric you had to guess whether you were looking at flowers splayed along a field or stars sprayed across the night’s sky, such was the spacing of the motifs.

Naadiya gladly accepted the tea and cookies, sneaking an entire one into her mouth as soon as she felt eyes were no longer on her and chewed it quickly and swallowed even faster, reaching for another cookie and hoping the shop owner would be impressed enough with her simple garments to overlook the fact that she would not be able to really help in regards to sewing whole garments and had never crocheted anything before.

Then, remembering her mantle and its richly colored design she held it out for the woman to look at as well. “This also! I made this, it is a mixture of sheep and camel wool for comfort and stiffness in equal parts.”

The mantle was a continuous gradient from a deep teal, to the pale tone of sand, to white, and then mirror back. As the colors bled into each in, occasionally a row of fringe would come up, in whatever color was closest. Over it all, black and white threads were used to embroider a simple ladder-stitch pattern along the border of each side, before the white of the fringed edge all around.

Not knowing if it was her nerves or old-fashioned hunger, but Naadiya shoved another cookie in her mouth, chewed, and swallowed it in one motion before speaking again, “I’ve been traveling for some time now, but I need to stop, at least for some time. This place is very different than where I am from but I also did not have much choice in where to stop. I don’t mean to make offense! This place seems truly out of a nursery rhyme, I have never seen this much plant life. It’s all very idyllic,” she said, with a seedling of pride at her improved Common, ‘idyllic’ had been one of her favorite newly learned words.

“I do not mean to be blunt, but if you think my skills are enough for your needs, how much would the wages be?” The woman seemed honest enough, but she had lived her life with many a merchant and she knew not all were created with equal levels of honesty in their dealings. If the woman did want to take advantage of someone who would likely accept any job offered, Naadiya could at least make it inconvenient by having someone else in town be witness to the conversation. And this ‘someone else’ seemed to have a bit of sway here, which certainly would not hurt.

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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Gossamer on January 17th, 2022, 3:47 am

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Dawn looked thoughtful. She wasn’t opposed to hiring a new person, but she hadn’t been born yesterday either. There was absolutely no proof that Naadiya had made all the fabric she claimed to have made. And now the woman wanted prices discussed? Well, Syka took in a lot of things on trade and that was how a lot of materials were exchanged. She offered Naadiya a tight smile when the question of money was brought up.

“Well, my husband weaves all the fabrics we have here in the shop. You’ll have to prove to him that you are at least a competent weaver before we will actually get down to the business of discussing price. Tony will be along soon, as he’s out in the field, and will definitely be the one in charge. We also have another weaver, Graclin, that comes by when she needs spare coin and adds to our fabric. We usually leave one of the looms set up for her. I believe it is the back strap loom in the corner. Why don’t you go set up on the frame loom and get something started? There’s all sorts of materials to choose from back in the loom room and hopefully you can have something well underway by the time Tony gets here.” She suggested, glancing at James a moment.

The pair exchanged looks and James nodded. “I will have to take her by The Protea Inn afterwards, but if you guys are going to be a bit with this trial, then I’ll return to collect her in a bell or so if that sounds alright?” James prompted, causing Dawn to smile and nod.

“Of course. I know you are a busy person.” She added, sending James on his way then pacing across the retail space and into the back. The back of the building had a whole new setup, most of it open to the sky – though a tarp could be pulled overhead to bring about shade and keep the weavers and clothiers dry from the rain – which allowed multiple looms to be utilized at the same time. Built into the side of the building were huge cupboards that held skeins and skeins of yarn and delicate threads ready to be woven. There was also a huge map case cupboard that seemed to hold weave patterns on parchment that looked brand new to hundreds of years old.

“Come…. Pick your threads, set up one of the looms, and get something started with it. We’ll see what you can really do and then you and Tony can negotiate price.” Dawn added, walking up to the built-in cabinets and throwing them wide to reveal the textile storage along with the vast majority of yarn and thread all used for weaving. There were a multitude of looms in the rooms, including two tapestry looms one of which the warp was suspended vertically between two rolls. The other had the warp extended horizontally between two rolls. There were two warp-weighted looms, several back-strap looms including one that was a two-bar bamboo backstrap. There was even a foot-treadle floor loom that looked like it had seen multiple generations of use.

Naadiya would be given approximately an hour to set up a loom and do some passes on it to start a swath of fabric before Tony would arrive, nod his greeting to her while his new wife, Dawn, made introductions. “Tony… this is Naadiya. Naadiya, this is Tony… she’s looking for a job and I gave her a chance to start a new weave while we were waiting on you to judge the quality of her work.” Dawn said simply, offering her husband a smile and fetching him a cooling tea now that he was back from his walk to the field checking on the Isuas crop.



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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Naadiya on January 19th, 2022, 5:39 am

As the blonde’s jaw tightened, so did Naadiya’s. Was this a cultural thing? The immediately tight-lipped attitude towards money? How strange for a place that also tossed precious trinkets at newcomers. Or maybe the store owner simply did not trust her. Didn’t like the look of her face or the smell of her clothes. She could hardly blame the woman, having only just come off a ship, her last true bath being further back than she’d prefer.

The Svefra’d had many beautiful things aboard their craft. The ship’s captain had boasted of a solid gold cutlass he wore hanging from his belt. Its scarred and scratched edge showing not nearly as many scratches as it should have, had it truly been solid gold. Hulking, fat and jovial, the ships cook, had a necklace made crab claws dipped in bronze that Naadiya more than once admired for its primal sort of uniqueness. But the thing she’d admired the most had been a scarf worn by one of the women aboard. A wondrous thing she’d been told was actually a weapon, often barbed or lined with sharped blades. But the one she seen the woman wield wasn’t so lethal. She’d witness her, after all, throw it at a child who’d run off too quickly when the ship was docked.

Running after the screaming little rebel, she took no time to untie the green fabric from her waist and with a masterful swing of her arm, the fabric circled over her head and went flying towards the child whose head start and youthful legs did him little good. The flying scarf had reached the boy in the blink of an eye and wrapped itself around him like a snake taking down its prey. With a slump, the youth dropped and was briskly carried off by his mother, who kept him wrapped up in the weighted scarf until back onboard, where accepting defeat, the youth scampered off to do his usual chores.

Naadiya rolled her potential employer’s name over in her head, wandering if she too was Svefra. ‘Swiftwater’ certainly seemed a name she might hear out at sea. ‘Dawn’ too now that she paused to think. Her eyes lingered on the woman for a moment and saw that Dawn lacked the aquatic blue eyes of the sea people. Maybe not Svefra then. Her manner had been ambiguous. Warm as it was towards James, when faced with Naadiya, Dawn seemed not so ready to give in. Maybe it was the acquired traits of their trade coming through, competing fabric merchants posturing to see whose tail feathers are the more impressive.

It was not contest, of course. She lacked the tail feathers to impress even the smallest of birds but was used to talking with the weight of her father’s business behind her. But that, was all across the sea and leagues away. And he, was dead.

Naadiya said her goodbye’s to James, wondering how many more lost souls he had to steer to port safely the way he had for her.

Dawn led and Naadiya followed.

Deciding that having only an hour and still no secure position, Naadiya did not aim for any of the heavier machines but one that was small and simple instead, a bit wider than her shoulders. This was no meant to be a large swath of fabric anyway, only a sample of technique. At the very least, she imagined the shop owner might benefit from help with even just a solid plain weave, those were often the ones that sold most often for they were the most affordable. Plus, the mention of the other additional weaver may have been a warning to the girl, and if so, she hadn’t missed it. ‘You are replaceable, keep your head low and watch where you tread,’ it said.

The frame loom she had chosen was heavy enough to not move by accident, but not so heavy her arms would tire working its parts. She grabbed a shuttle in a shape that felt easy to handle in her hands, a shedding rod that was perfectly smooth on the outside, and a heddle bar in a wood that matched the frame, assuming it was the one originally made for it.

Examining it for a second, however, Naadiya then searched nearby, for these parts were not always used but generally kept close, and found another heddle bar, this one with somewhat wider grooves. But the width wasn’t the reason for her preference. Her original choice was most likely indeed made for the loom she’d readied, but it seemed only lightly used whereas the second choice was exactly the same size, only its grooves had been smoothed not only at its making but from a lot of repeated use. Fewer possible places for the yarn to snag, meant a smoother process beginning to end.

From the yarn supplies, Naadiya took a very tightly spun white yarn, strong and thin, for her warp thread, and a few skeins of somewhat chunkier yarn in a handful of colors for her weft. People often thought these were the most important yarns as they were the ones seen. But her father liked to remind all his daughters that the weft was the paint, but the warp was the canvas and you needed both of equally good quality to make decent art.

Without being able to burn a small piece of the material, she could not give a well rounded guess to its origins but if Naadiya were to try, this was some type of cotton by the weight and hand feel of it. These yarns would never make a woman’s delicate blouse or bathing clothes but she assumed if the yarns were available that Dawn had indeed some use for them.

Hands stained red, black and blue took the stiffer white yarn and started looping it through the grooves in the loom’s beams, once she fastened it on. Naadiya placed the heddle bar there to add speed to her weaving and now she took her warp through those grooves as well until the whole frame was prepped, tying off the end onto the loom itself. She checked the thread’s tension, adjusted accordingly and once satisfied, proceeded to double-warping, this would make for a tighter weave, but with the heddle to speed her progress, Naadiya new it was within her wheelhouse.

The shuttle she had picked had also been very smooth with almost the shape of a giant grain of rice. It was wider and shorter than the ones she had previous used but seemed to be none the worse for it. Naadiya attached her colored yarn and, securing it down, made sure she was ready to start.

Over and under alternating warp yarns, the shuttle swam by in able hands. She had one hand working the heddle and the other held the shuttle. As the shuttle reached the opposite side, her hands would alternate. Her ‘heddle hand’ working the bar to switch which set of warp were raised as it spaced the two sets apart. Through the space, she passed the shuttle and continued the process in a simple quiet peace, every few rows, taking the wooden comb and pushing down her weave to entire it was as neat as possible.

Her initial Benshira instinct was to go simple. She was outside the tribe, now possibly working for an outsider, and something in her blood wanted to keep the intricacies of her people’s crafts a secret. They were a selfish people when it came to their arts. Even her father always tried to sell his most beautiful stock to other desert folk once he could afford it. That had always been a point of contention for Naadiya in regards to her father and those in his trade.

While selling to other Benshira was possible more frequently, it naturally garnered lower prices. It was often materials the buyers could get from another local seller or make themselves if they had the means to do so. But there was a stigma against selling to outsiders that went further back than Naadiya even knew. Trade still flowed. It was a necessity and the leaders of most tribes had no trouble recognizing this. Certain things just could not be found or made in the desert. But even among those traders who did business with the outside, there was the unspoken rule of keeping their best wares out of such exports.

With these thoughts in mind, her weave was simple, letting her focus on making its execution clean and flawless. Alternating horizontal stripes of cream and ivory started very narrow at the base of the loom closest to her, though this would end up being the top part of the weave. As they went further on, the stripes got wides, as Naadiya took longer before switching hues. She went back twice, having missed a warp thread on her weave and knowing Dawn was unlikely to miss such a slip and knowing full well she had no second plan if this job was denied her.

Letting her reticent desert habit slip for what could have only been a few minutes, for it had gone mostly unnoticed by even herself, she started humming a tune and before she’d realized it, there was a row of fringed yarn in her weave, dangling decoratively. Her humming continued under her breath, almost whisking her away from the jungle and dropping her back in the dried sands of Eyktol and she passed the shuttle through a few more times.

Before she knew it, Naadiya could hear Dawn’s voice. Quickly examining her work, which now showed the cream and ivory stripes, each set slightly thicker than the previous, coming to a near halt with a cascade of fringe, she turned her head quickly to see that a man had joined them in the shop’s production area.

“Hello!” She said almost too quickly. Knowing she’d potentially muddled her introduction to the wife, Naadiya hoped she wouldn’t do the same to the husband. “I wasn’t sure what you were after. I only did what came to mind. Your material is very fine, it does most of the work!”

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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Gossamer on January 23rd, 2022, 4:05 pm

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Since Naadiya didn’t respond at all to Dawn’s suggestion nor did she ask any questions, the Shopkeeper looked a little uncomfortable at the woman’s silence. She left her to set up whatever loom she wanted to set up and use though. Naadiya was coming across as almost unfriendly and a bit hostile, truth be told because she wasn’t offering any small talk or friendly chit-chat as she worked. Dawn had shown her the built-in cabinets and all their supplies and still, the woman hadn’t commented. Maybe she was shy? Maybe she was uncomfortable in the test Dawn set before her… but regardless, the seamstress was a bit put out by the whole thing.

And while she needed the help, Dawn wasn’t certain Naadiya would be that pleasant to work around if all she did was scowl and tighten her lips at anything Dawn said. That didn’t make a good work environment for anyone, let alone a woman that was bound and determined to be successful in Syka and make beautiful clothing. Dawn was used to the Red Diamond’s easy atmosphere and pleasant company back in Riverfall where everyone got along and worked side by side in good humor. She’d hoped her own retail shop would be the same way. The woman realized help was limited and there might not be another opportunity to hire a weaver, especially if this one was decent, but the stranger could sure work on her personality a bit. She wasn’t friendly at all. And Dawn would be at the cutting table and sewing table day in and day out so she wanted her work environment to be just as beautiful as the scenery around them.

Was it too much to ask?

Dawn left the woman to her work. She wasn’t prone to loom around someone making them uncomfortable either, so she went back to her workstation and finished cutting out a new dress pattern she was developing for the city. Syka already had a certain flair to its style, but Dawn was really wanting to leave her mark on the city, and that included dying some fabrics she already had on hand and making ombre a sought-after coloring. So once she had the sample dress cut, sewn, and trimmed… she planned on dying it.

A bell passed with both women working in the back room. Dawn gave Naadiya a lot of room, not checking on her or bothering her with small talk since the woman seemed closed to such things. The sound of the shuttle didn’t seem to bother Dawn at all as she took a seat by a giant window that streamed line and began some stitching that would finish off the dress. Dawn’s designs were simple, almost always made to the strengths of the Isuas fabric she used, and durable. They had to be in Syka. The gauzy fabric was fine for the beach, but when people were actually working, they needed stronger things.

Dawn wondered what the woman was thinking, though it didn’t bother her overly much... not at first. After a bell of silence and no questions, the woman was still mostly a mystery to the seamstress and that was annoying. Though she did raise an eyebrow as the woman started to hum. Rising, she knew it was almost time for Tony to get back and she wanted to catch her husband before the woman and he got a chance to meet. She set the half-finished dress aside, disappointed there’d been no customers while she’d worked in the back, Dawn headed to the front. Walking out of the workroom and back into the front of the store, Dawn threw open the doors wide, let the sea breeze play with the fabrics, and fussed with a display of Isuas pants at the front of the store in the section designated for men.

Tony was along right on time and she greeted her husband with a kiss. Then lowering her voice she gestured to the back room. “James brought a Benshira woman around that is new to Syka. She’s a weaver and is looking for a job. I thought we might give her a place because we could use extra help producing fabrics. I still have that big curtain order to fill for Randal’s new home and we have no fabric to fill it with. I’m not sure how good of a weaver she is… weaving isn’t my thing. But I’ve had her in the back working on one of the looms so she can have something to show us… well you, really… since you are the weaver in the family.” Dawn said with a smile.

Tony nodded. “New help would be welcome. What’s the but, Dawn? I see it in your eyes.” He added hastily.

“She doesn’t seem that friendly. I don’t know. She didn’t ask a single question or volunteer any information about herself. She’s all stern business and truth be told feels a little hostile. I’m not sure how well she’d suit here walking around in a dark cloud… so to speak.” Dawn answered readily, keeping her voice very low. “She’s hardly said two words to me… in over a bell.” The woman complained, frowning, and then studied Tony. “She actually looked at me with displeasure, as if I am somehow lacking. I might be imagining the whole thing, but I can’t think she’d be too pleasant to work with day in and day out.” Dawn admitted softly.

“Well, let's go see what she wove… and how she acts around me. If I get the same treatment, it’s a firm no regardless of how much we need the help of a second weaver.” He added, then started for the workroom. Tony wasn’t shy nor was he a stern man. He had an open friendly face that radiated good humor. He didn’t hesitate a moment walking up to the weaver who surprisingly greeted him with a friendly hello. He turned, shooting a look at Dawn that had his eyebrow quirking in question as if to ask ‘what? I don’t see unfriendly here…’ and turned back to the woman.

“I’m Tony Swiftwater. Most of the supply closet is full of things we’ve grown ourselves. Almost all the thread is ours and of course most of the fabrics we weave. We do import some cotton from Riverfall, but that is always already dyed and embroidered fabrics. We aren’t after anything, just a sampling of your skill and to make sure you can use a loom. You can’t be too careful with strangers in new places.” He added, giving Dawn a wink.

“So, this looks good.” He said, bending over the weave and checking the quality. He ran his fingers across it, then double-checked how she had the loom set up. Tony could tell she was above a beginner but barely competent. Her weave had a looseness to it that he knew he could correct over time. “Well, you aren’t perfect. See these passes here and there?” The man gestured. “They could have been tighter. You know what you are doing, but you need more practice.” He said, putting her skill somewhere at advanced beginner and low competence. “I’d pay you four GM a day plus a bonus of two GM for a little above a beginner level. You aren’t the tightest weave I’ve seen, but you’ll do well making non-complex patterns of just fabric. Strips might be all you can handle right now…. I don’t think a chevron from you would be that tight either. At least your weave is loose, not overtight which can warp fabric for cutting when it comes time to make something of the cloth. I’m glad you like the Isuas, because it's about all we weave here. Cotton has to be imported and isn’t as strong.” Tony said, being firm and honest with the girl, knowing if she was indeed arrogant like Dawn hinted at, she might not take the critique well.

“So, tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What is your experience weaving… and what kind of hours are you willing to work for that kind of wage. We need the help and I have no problem helping you tighten up and improve your weaving while you are here so you’d learn a thing or two for sure.” He added, asking the woman to talk and not giving her a chance to give him the silent treatment like she evidently gave his wife for the last bell or so.


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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Naadiya on January 28th, 2022, 8:38 pm

Naadiya was used to having her work evaluated. Her father had often openly judged his daughters’ crafts, the occasional comment dropped strategically to try and pit one against the other. He always thought his workers did their best work when vying to be the best amongst the rest.

“Every weave will differ, even if slightly. You will get better and your weave will get more uniformed, but your hands are but a mortal’s. Even masters of the craft will find their work carries variations that stray from perfection,” he’d say with feet pacing up and down his row of daughters.

“As artisans we must always strive for perfection, but we are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. Your hand may falter, your thread may snag on your loom or tools, the thread itself may even be uneven. All these things will impede you, but also remember, there is nothing you can do to get better other than to continue. Practice may not make perfection, but you will get damned close.”

His words were as clear in her mind now as they ever were.

She nodded as Tony pointed out imperfections, she saw them too. There was no substitute for practice and it had been a while since she’d been on solid land. The sea had proved a tricky place to weave. Her loom had been too big to comfortably set up anywhere and even if she had wanted to invest the effort, there were other hurdles. She’d thought of no way to secure the machine down in order to prevent it from moving as the boat did, and the motion of the water was enough to keep Naadiya from trying. It may take her some time to get back in shape and she told him as much.

“But I do have my own loom, it might help with the quality of the weave, if nothing else, just because I’m quite familiar with my own tools. Yours are wonderful, I mean no offense. Only, it was made for me and I’ve worked on it for some time. Its rather like a boot custom made to fit your foot with the added benefit of enough wear to stretch at just the right spots. I was hoping to get that set up in this place Captain James suggested, the Protea. As long as the there is enough space in the room. I’m prone to insomnia and used to weave at night till sleep found me again.”

Her focus wasn’t drifting per se, but thoughts crowded her mind. Though, now was not the time so she bottled up the unbidden memories and corked them tight.

“It might even mean you’d have more looms open for use. But if you wanted me working in the actual store location every day, I understand.”

Compensation for her work was going to be new to Naadiya. Her father had always told his kids their compensation was the food on their plates, the wood for their fires, the clothes on their backs and every other precious thing they’d ever gotten. She hadn’t had a childhood of strife or famine but it was different to have control of your own money. She tried to do the math in her head to see how much she’d have by the end of the season but quickly lost track of the equation as the conversation continued.

“I will weave whatever you think is best. This Isuas really is quite nice, how does it compare to cotton in trade value?”

If the bulk of the fabric they were producing was this new material, which so easily out performed it’s far-off cousin, surely they must be making much gold in its trade. But from what Naadiya had seen around the island, the wealth was not ostentatious or grandiose. Most people she’d seen were not so gilded or bejeweled. How could these people afford this material? Naadiya wondered again if they were more of a bartering community, considering how it would make some sense and may even explain why James had been so quick to help her. Here favors went far, she concluded. And winning someone’s favor went even further. She could not risk inviting the same reaction from the weaver as from the seamstress.

She smiled slightly, letting it reach her eyes.

“Originally I came from Eyktol, we Benshira roam, never in one place too long so most of the desert has been my home at one point or another. But I have been at sea for a very long time before stopping at Syka.”

“Swiftwater..” she said slowly, “would it be rude for me ask if you and your wife are of a seafaring people?”

Should she show him the compass? His eyes looked kind enough. She did not hear an obvious lie escape his lips, but then what would she know. He, like his wife, did not have the bright blue she had seen in the Svefra, but then, neither did Naadiya. How much outsider blood would be enough to wash the sea out of a newborn’s eyes?

If he seemed at all put off by her question, Naadiya would pour apologies as best she could and with as much tact possible, steer the conversation back.

“I started weaving when I was a teen, my father sold fabric that our family made. But as I mentioned, I have been without practice for quite some time now. I will improve. I’m sure it will be like riding a camel, once you learn you never truly forget.”

When it came to the kind of hours she would be wiling to work, Naadiya had to choose her words carefully. She was not yet sure what he was expecting and did not want to give him an unacceptable answer. But, even with that in mind, she did want to leave herself with as much flexibility as possible.

“I would be open to coming in as needed, just let me know. How busy do you usually get?”

Though she had not seen a customer come in, even to browse, Naadiya did not mention this. She wondered if it had more to do with the barter-culture she was starting to suspect or with a general lack of expendable wealth to spend on the intricate and challenging garments a designer might actually want to make.

“If I get my loom set up, I can make fabrics as wide as this," she gestured with both hands showing a width about twice that of her shoulders, “and I wouldn’t have to take up any space here, though I would need to come by occasionally to replenish yarns and drop off the greige fabric. Do you need any help dyeing as well? I’m not claiming to be any good, but I’d like to get better and am quite used to setting dyed fabric out to dry and rinsing it.” At that, Naadiya brandished her stained hands.

“My father always said my hands took to the dye more than the fabric ever had. We never did find out why it stained us way, but I have tried lemon washes and salt scrubs and soapy lathers. Now I have given in, maybe the gods want my hands dipped in dye. So if you need any help there, I’m willing and you might even say primed.”

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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Gossamer on January 30th, 2022, 10:59 pm

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Tony gave Dawn a knowing look as the girl said nothing to his critique of her work. She only nodded, not agreeing or disagreeing but acknowledging what he said. Tony disagreed with her assessment of her own loom being something she’d be better on. Weavers wove regardless of the tools and their skill was telling from loom to loom. It was their rhythm, pattern, consistency, and eye to detail that mattered… not the tools. A good skilled weaver should go from loom to loom easily having multiple projects going, weaving consistently and outstandingly regardless.

Then Naadiya began to speak about her own loom, her wishes, and it seemed to Tony he could accommodate both his new wife’s concerns and the young woman’s habits. He was happy she finally asked a question and was glad to answer them. “In terms of durable fabric, the Isuas is hands down valuable. It doesn’t wear out like the cotton does. It won’t fade, shrink, and wears incredibly well. We only import cotton that’s already dyed and patterned for things like curtains and cushion covers. But we can export as much Iasus raw, dyed, or even fashioned into garments that James can load on The Veronica. He didn’t mention monetary values or how the trade worked. It was something as a business owner that was between himself, Dawn, and the customer.

Dawn spoke a little about herself, keeping things general and vague. Tony didn’t mind, but Dawn looked on curiously.

“I’m Svefra, yes… half that is. Dawn is from Riverfall and doesn’t sail well. There is a Swiftwater Pod out there and they occasionally visit.” He added, causing Dawn to grin. There was a story there somewhere and the two of them exchanged affectionate looks but didn’t get into the story. Naadiya’s reserve had set the mood for their own reservations, and they were keeping things cordial and not getting personal.

To his surprise, Naadiya offered more about herself, when she started weaving and a little about her family. She didn’t say more than a line or two though, so the Swiftwater’s only nodded at her words, offering smiles but still reserved.

When she mentioned hours, Tony responded promptly. He’d already decided. “You can work from The Protea or if you decide to build yourself your own place once you decide if you’re staying or not. Get supplied from us… we’ll charge you for your supplies, then buy whatever cloth you weave from your supplies at fair market value. That will keep you an independent contractor and you can work at your own pace. That way you don’t have to come in and be underfoot, and you can work on your own loom which seems to be your choice. That will keep our equipment free for hiring more weavers if anyone else presents themselves… and keeping the looms open here for me and Dawn. Dawn doesn’t know much about weaving because she is our seamstress, but I plan on expanding her skillset once we get caught up on the backorders. She rarely needs help with things like dying or sewing so its probably an arrangement that would work well for both of us. I step in when she has big batches, and that’s usually only when she pulls cloth from the sail loom and we dye sales to a Svefra’s requirements. And if we do that kind of work, we can bring you in on a per-job basis for a set of extra hands. Sometimes those big dye lots because of the volume of sails needs more than a couple of set of hands. In fact, we have recruit from the community in the past.” Tony explained, offering Naadiya a smile.

“Will that work for you?” He asked.

He nodded at her rough dimensions of what she could weave. “We can handle restock and Dawn does the spinning and dying all herself. That dimension sounds fine. We’ll seriously take any cloth you choose to make. “ He said, glancing at Dawn and seeing that she was pleased with the solution Tony had seemed to come up with. She really needed another weaver to supply more cloth. The biggest hold-up to the business was the sheer amount of exporting they’d been doing. The retail shop was just a place to locate all the business away from the farm, and they would do well from the profits of local sales and all that James exported to Riverfall. It just took the right fit and everyone working in their comfort zone. Tony didn’t mind a little give or take.

“How’s all of this sound? Hopefully we are in agreement. I think 6 gm a day for all the fabric you can weave wherever else but here you want to weave it makes sense.” Tony offered, and Dawn nodded. Maybe things would change, but as it was now, she really didn’t want the unfriendly woman underfoot. Tony was often away at the farm and couldn’t be a buffer between the two. And Dawn knew she needed a happy light-hearted work environment to thrive in. Naadiya might not be what she seemed to be a first… but only time would tell on how the pair and their working relationship developed.



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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Naadiya on February 4th, 2022, 9:52 pm

So her guess had been right. He was half Svefra like Naadiya herself. She supposed the seafaring people must have left children at many ports, but it seemed Tony actually knew his Svefra side of the family.

There really were quite a few Svefra in Syka, this encouraged Naadiya a bit. Of all the places she could have been, this one seemed like it may actually provide a clue on what she should do to continue her search. Now was not the time, but Naadiya made a mental note to get a better feel for Tony while she was working for him. He might recognize the compass.

Riverfall… so that’s where she’s from.

While Naadiya had never been to the Akalak city, she had heard stories and was frankly a bit surprised to find out that was where her other potential employer was from. Though, in retrospect, she could see Dawn growing up somewhere people claimed honor to be vital. Naadiya wondered if the sense of honesty so prevalent in the Akalak race ever spread to the humans living amongst them.

Naadiya would love to visit the city some day. Built into the side of a cliff and around a waterfall, Riverfall seemed the type of place created for the tales of traveling merchants and bards. She resolved that one day she would go. She wouldn’t even mention her barren status, in order to get the full experience women were said to be given in the male dominant city.

Naadiya speculated on how many of the statuesque blue warriors had vied for the chance at getting a child out of Dawn. She was an attractive woman, despite her personality and Naadiya could only assume there had been quite a few. But Tony had very kind eyes and Naadiya felt he may not have had too much difficulty in winning her over, not in his wives eyes, at least.

She looked back at Tony, “it must be nice to have family that comes visit, even if only occasionally… perhaps, especially occasionally.”

“I’ve always lived surrounded by family my whole life, but now… I very much doubt I will see any of them for a very, very long time. Desert folk can be stubborn and stuck in their ways, I don't think it’s very likely any of them will hop on a ship any time soon and even if they did, I’ve no way of telling them where I am.”

Is it getting warm in here? She thought, feeling a wave of nerves coming up and fighting it back down.

Once terms had been discussed, Naadiya nodded with a closed-mouth smile. “Yes that will work perfectly well for me, thank you! I’ll focus on more basic weaves until you feel the quality is improved. Would you prefer I work exclusively with Isuas?”

James had not arrived yet and Naadiya was trying to decide if she should wait for him out in front or if she should go out to look for him. She was saying giving both her thanks and goodbyes to the shop owners when Naadiya heard footsteps at the entrance.


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A Strange New Beginning [Gossamer][Trinket Box]

Postby Gossamer on February 13th, 2022, 5:26 pm

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Tony smiled. “The Svefra stop over here frequently. The way James and Juli welcome them and give them what they need… easy access to fresh water, fruit, and meat really helps that situation. In exchange, we get a lot of trade from them and news from the outside world.” He added. “You’ll get to know some if you are welcoming to them as well. And if you have fabrics that don’t fit the shop, they might very well take them off your hands too because they often deal in textiles.” The farmer said, gesturing around the shop. “Unsuitable meaning heavy weights and thick warm things. We trade almost all our furs to them as well. They are lightweight furs, but the exotic patterns of the jungle animals actually fetch really high prices.” He further explained. “So being able to tan things you hunt is beneficial. They understand good tanning and poorly tanned hides that won’t hold up.” He added. “We are also able to export things like exotic feathers. Riverfall’s fashion district has exploded in the last year or two since we’ve been here with what they now have access too. We trade heavily with them since they are simply two days across the Suvan if the Wind is with us.” He said, adding that bit of information in as an explanation.

Dawn laughed at Naadiya’s statement. “Tony’s family is so large that we almost always have several of them here. It’s been really nice. I have always wanted a big family, and as mine got smaller and smaller I got welcomed in to one that seemed unlimited. There are always cousins, siblings, step siblings… everywhere. The Svefra like to birth crews it seems.” Dawn said, laying a hand on Tony’s arm. “I don’t mind though. We need a lot of help at the farm and there’s always family around to lend a hand. And now we have a bit of beach to run ships up on and help them with their repairs when they need them.” She added, smiling at Tony.

Dawn then turned to the younger woman. “What about you, Naadiya? Do you have family? Children? We’d welcome visitors and more people immigrating.” She added sweetly. “Young women are what we need here in Syka, especially one’s like you. With you comes the hope of another generation. We have a lot of unattached young men with eyes to settling and starting families.” She said with a wink.

“We do have desert people here. The Innkeeper, I believe, is Benshira. And we have had visitors that have traveled as far as Eyktol as well. Lately there’s been more and more of them.” Tony added, looking thoughtful.

“Maybe the word is getting out that we are here.” Dawn suggested, then laughed. “Though why people would want to come to a rainforest is beyond me. All the rain, the mud, the bugs, snakes. Don’t get me started on the snakes.” The seamstress shuddered slightly. “I’m glad our home is here, on the beach. That negates a lot of that.” She added, glancing out the window.

Then she waved slightly. “Looks like James is back for you. He has good timing!” She said, turning back to Dawn. “It was nice to meet you. When you get your loom set up, come see us to get your weaving supplies. We look forward to seeing what you can contribute.” She added, then stepped back.

James stepped forward. “It was lovely meeting you. I look forward to working with you. And if you ever want a tour of the farm, I’d be glad to show you around.” He said, as James trotted lithely up the steps.

“Am I early? Late?” He asked, glancing at Dawn. “I had a drink with Stu then came back to show Dawn to her next stop.” He said, lifting his arm as if offering it to Dawn…. “If she’s ready to go, that is.”



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Gossamer

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Gossamer
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