Closed Seeking Shelter [Tazrae]

Naadiya gets room at Protea Inn, and maybe meets some locals

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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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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae]

Postby Naadiya on January 15th, 2022, 4:49 pm

Seeking Shelter
12th Day of Winter 521 AV



She and Captain Chaliva had just left the local clothing shop where he’d talked-up Naadiya to the owner so much, she was almost stunned by: 1- his congeniality, this was clearly a man who made friends more easily than enemies, and 2- the fact that he seemed to actually have listened to what she’d said to him on their short walk. It had been mostly frivolous conversation about the sea she had only now experienced, and small talk about the Svefra, whom she had been living with for what seemed to have been a lifetime, yet could not have been so long. But in truth, she was watching him, looking for reactions when she said certain words. Did he know something? Naadiya knew it would be a long time before she could meet anyone new and not wonder.

Meanwhile, she questioned him as well, after all, who was this man who simply came up to her on the docks to guide her around as if he were a king and this his palace. But he didn’t act like that, not really. She had found out his whole name but only given her first. He didn't ask and Naadiya wondered at that but had little to go on. She now knew he captained the main ship that came and went from Syka, and the ship's name was The Veronica. Naadiya supposed it was named after a former lover, but when he had said its name, the tone of his voice wasn’t just of pride. No, there was something else as well. Was it pain? His demeanor had recovered quickly enough though, taking only a second, maybe two. Then he joked about how Naadiya would certainly get bored in the new town.

“Your people are used to always moving aren’t they? Why did you leave?”

Naadiya did not revert the question back at him, though she was tempted. He knew she was Benshira. Seemed to know as soon as she landed on the docks, but had given no hint of his own background. Naadiya glanced down at herself and then brought her head back up quickly without needing to really look. She had left the desert with clothes that had made sense in the desert. Her billowy pants, drapes of fabric and head scarf marked her as a desert nomad, but his weren’t so obvious. His pants had been cuffed and rolled up above his calves, a thin white shirt clung slightly to his shoulders, its top buttons opened to let the winter breeze cool him. Naadiya decided all she could get from that was: tropical, but not native, which she had already guessed from their conversation. But his eyes. They were clear but not cold, such a blue that Naadiya had not remembered seeing before she had gotten on the Svefra ship and then suddenly every other face displayed that blue like a mark of pride. He more likely than not a Svefra. Oh yes, his question..

“My parents both died, my sisters were all grown and married. I had little keeping me there.”

It wasn’t the full truth, but it wasn’t all false. Why did she feel she needed to conceal anything from him though? Who was he to her?

“Ahhh”, he said. If his tone had been a color, it would have been grey, a warm mid tone grey. It left Naadiya feeling a little uneasy. Not scared or threatened, but rather like she was staring at a scattered puzzle with only one piece in hand. Then he spoke again.

“Well, here we are.”

What? Already? Naadiya looked away from the man’s face to where he’d extended an arm leading her up a few steps from sand to wood. It was a simply built place when she compared to the buildings she’d seen in Wadrass as was much of this new town. But what it lacked in ornamentation it more than made up for in…? How could she describe it? Ambience? The jungle itself seemed to wrap around the place like it grew there by design. Maybe it did, there were planters scattered everywhere with all sorts of different flora.

Naadiya remembered a child’s fairytale her grandmother had once told her by the fire. It was about a woman who had been banished to live in the desert by the sea, forever cursed to look out at the water and never be able to cross the sea to where it was lush, where her unknown love awaited. Sailors would stop by and visit, and every time she’d wonder if he would be the one to take her away from her misery, but she could never go with them, the curse tethering her down to her coast like an umbilical cord, without which she would wither away and die. Then one day a sailor stopped to see her and bought her flowers to win her favor for she was very beautiful. By the time night fell, however, the flowers had already withered, so dry was the air around them. She cried for a day and a night and the sailor left her to her misery. A season passed and the sailor returned. This time he had brought her not flowers but a bag of beads. They were beautiful beads with wondrous colors and patterns and she loved them for they were the colors she saw only in her dreams, waking up every morning to the stark white sands and endless blue sea and nothing else. This time, when the sailor left, she did not cry. She made a necklace of the beads and would stare at them longingly. Days flew by and no one came to her empty stretch of the coast. Filled with bitter anger she destroyed the necklace and threw it on the ground, where she then cried for ten days and ten nights, after which she passed out exhausted, willing death to take. When she had woken up everything around had changed. In the place where the beads had been tossed, now grew huge fruit trees, each distinctly different from the other and around them smaller saplings were already taking root as fruits had fallen and their seeds had spread. Tears of joy now flowed from her eyes and as they dripped on the plants, flowers bloomed and leaves unfurled. So, every night the woman would cry, but now her tears felt different. They weren’t burning drops of despair, anymore, but refreshing relief from the scorching heat of the desert. With her tears she fed her plants every day, until one day her coast was lush with greenery and the woman was out of tears. On that day she realized the purpose and life that had come with the mysterious plants had fulfilled her more than any of the romances she’d had and now she no longer craved to leave her coast. It was no longer a place barren of life. With the plants eventually came birds, then reptiles and soon she had herself a place filled with life and sound.

Had Naadiya found the woman from her grandmother’s campfire tales? Was it she who created this forrest so thick with green and mist?

As they entered the Protea Inn Naadiya stood in the doorway, immediately a fresh floral scent filled Naadiya’s nose. Captain Chaliva'd had to gentle push her forward with a hand on her upper back so he could come inside as well. Then, with his knuckles he knocked lightly on the doorframe.

“Hello? Tazrae? Are you in? I’ve got another one for you!”

Word Count: 1260
Last edited by Naadiya on February 16th, 2022, 12:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Tazrae on January 16th, 2022, 12:04 am

Taz grinned at the sound of James’ voice. “I’m in here!” She called out, causing Creature to wake up and woof a moment before the big dappled Imperial Watcher realized who the visitor was and that there was no danger. The Innkeeper was in the kitchen, one of her usual spots, pulling what looked like giant fluffy baked mango souffles from the oven. “I hope you’re hungry, James!” She said, raising her voice.

The Inn was wide open and always had a welcoming atmosphere for new people and people who were old friends. Taz had been working on a new recipe… one where she used souffle molds to make the mango flavored desserts. The Innkeeper was trying to keep her menu fresh and new, designed around local products that were absolutely mouth watering and unforgettable to people who visited in hopes of luring them back multiple times, especially from close cities like Riverfall where the crossing was short.

Taz had started out by heating her oven, throwing on three heavy sticks of wood into the banked flames, stirred, and added two more blocks. Then while that was leveling out and burning down to even heat, she buttered the souffle molds and sprinkled the sides and bottom of each little dish with sugar… shaking the excess out. She placed the dishes on a high-lipped backing sheet and left them alone to make their filling. Then Taz took fresh ripe mangos, peeled and sliced them, and put the pulp into a mixing bowl. She tossed the pits aside to plant later back in the jungle, and then crushed the mango slices into pulp with her potato masher. Once it was all but puree, Taz whisked in a half cup of sugar and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Then she put it in a saucepan and left it to stew over medium heat until it thickened.

While the mixture thickened, Taz separated four eggs, whisked the egg yokes with a bit of cream of tarter until they were soft strong peaks. Then she added three quarters of a cup of ground powdered sugar. Then she took the mango mixture off the stove, left it to cool by tucking it into her ice chest for a few chimes. When it was cooled off, she gently folded the mango mixture into the stiffened sweetened egg whites and then spooned all the souffle molds with the mixture. She smoothed the top with a spatula and then tucked them into the oven for fifteen chimes to bake. The little timer she’d set had happily chimed just as James had called out to her, so she pulled the souffle out of the baking oven and had rested them on the counter.

When she saw that James wasn’t alone, she smiled a greeting and said… “Come in… come in….” then set three places where she rested the souffle’s on plates, and poured each person a nice chilled glass of rainwater. “You are just in time to test out my mango souffle’s. If they don’t taste right, I apologize. It’s the first time I’m trying to make them out of mangos.” She added, and gestured for both of them to have a seat.

“So, what are you both doing today? I’m Tazrae. And I take it you need a room here for the near future?” She asked the new woman, looking her over carefully. Unless she missed her mark, the woman looked Benshira. That peeked Taz’ curiosity. “You look Benshira.” She said thoughtfully, spelling out what she was thinking for the pair. “We don’t get many folk of the desert in the jungle.” She said thoughtfully.

Taz was cautious for a reason. She’d recently learned her grandfather and mother were Kois and her father was Lisuli. She’d always thought she was a simple human growing up in Riverfall as a humble Innkeeper’s daughter. What she really turned out to be was an exiled Benshira in hiding from her Grandfather. It was quite possible that either tribe could have sent a woman to check up on her, though Taz wasn’t sure how they’d have found out where she was.

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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Naadiya on January 16th, 2022, 2:39 pm

As the two walked further into the Inn, following the voice that called out, Naadiya took in her surroundings. The lack of beadwork on the cushions, and the air scented with mangos, not incense, was an entirely different sense of comfort. But she could get used to it. Her eyes lingered on the hound. Had she not been so close, Naadiya might have even mistaken it for a small horse, but the wagging tail and a long bit of drool hanging from one of its lips made it unmistakable, though it was a breed she had never seen before. So many ‘firsts’, on this new shore. Its eyes were soft and kind as much as its jaw appeared to be strong. It took her no time at all to decide she liked the dog. Dogs had an honesty that was so pure it was as if it shone through their eyes. A dog may lick you or bite you but he will never lie to you. The innkeeper, was yet to be decided on. The fact that she could cook was obvious and the smell let Naadiya assume the fruity dessert would be perfect despite the blonde woman’s apparent concern.

Cooking had never been Naadiya’s strongest skill. She had a habit of leaving the meats a little too long over the fire until they became overly dry. She’d also had a penchant, as a child, for eating vegetables raw. It was never a problem, until it was. She’d find raw beans or certain root vegetables and feed them to her younger siblings until they were all vomiting including herself.

Her uncle started to pay extra attention to his niece at this point, keeping an eye her way, whenever he could. As a curious young Naadiya was about to pop a cactus flower into her mouth, an ashy, knuckled hand covered in dark hair ripped it out her own stubby fingers. After that, he began taking her along with him whenever he could. He’d never had children, his wife having died not long after they married. When he would be asked if remarriage was ever in his future, the gruff man turned dark and walked away wordlessly, not knowing how to describe to someone that any wife, would not replace the love of his life.

After that he got closer to his sister’s family, becoming a fixture that was present more often than not. The young girls loved their uncle in a way they were never able to feel for their father, who was always concerned with the business first and foremost. It was from her uncle that Naadiya learned which plants she could eat raw and which she needed to cook down first.

But the smell of mangoes was filling the room and Naadiya wondered if she would be doing much cooking if any. She could image the polite smile her host might give, ‘thank you for the effort…’ it would say before discreetly lowering her own plate to the floor for the hound to finish. Naadiya looked over at the dog again to disguise her smile, she would not be insulted at all if told her food was best left for the dogs. In fact the only cooking she’d really been tasked to do back home was to gather the scraps for the dogs and help with grazing the camels. Maybe that was where she started eating plants raw, learning from the humpbacked animals.

Refreshments were doled out, just as in the clothier, and Naadiya began to realize that this might be a local habit or custom. Food seemed to not be in any short supplies, even little delicacies as cookies and fresh fruit were used as if they would simply be replenished the following day. Maybe they were, Naadiya thought again of the story of the cursed woman and her magical forest. Maybe all this Tazrae had to do was cry over a seed and a jungle would burst from it, and if she could make whatever baked concoction this was, she could probably master a tea cookie.

“Yes please, I desperately need a room, but I cannot pay you. At least not yet. I have just now secured a job as a weaver for a Dawn Tidewater, so come winter’s end I can pay you what is owed! And if you need help cleaning the place, feeding the dog or the plants I would be more than happy.” She specifically did not offer any help in the kitchen and hoped that would be well understood as being the safest option for all involved.

“And yes,” the girl continued with a small smile, “very Benshira. It was a long journey, not fit for even a great camel. Most find enough reason to stay in the dessert instead, I suspect. Yet still, some find enough reason to leave.”

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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Tazrae on January 17th, 2022, 4:21 am

Taz offered the newcomer a smile and glanced at James curiously. She was glad that James had brought the woman here, but when the woman hadn’t offered her name as an introduction, Taz half expected James to do so for her then. James did, thankfully, thus avoiding Tazrae having to ask the woman for her name outright. “Taz, this is Naadiya.” James said thoughtfully, and while he picked up his mango souffle and began nibbling on it, he did not take a seat. “I can’t stay, but I will leave you two ladies to work out the details of some sort of housing arrangement.” He added, grinning at the dish in his hands as he made short work of it. Taz never made big souffles anyhow. They tended to fall on her especially if she was throwing a fancy gathering.

“Nice to meet you, Naadiya.” Taz said thoughtfully and then nodded at Naadiya’s words. “I’m fine with payment at the end of the season. Meals come with your room, but you must be here to eat them. I prep three times a day and once I’m done, you are on your own with leftovers. I can also provide snacks for offsite lunches. We don’t have many rules… keep it down after dark and don’t harm the wildlife that’s around here, including some of the snakes. I raise a variety of snake called a Mussurana that’s a deep dark black with iridescent rainbow scales. They eat most of the poisonous snake varieties around here and I’ve just let a batch of babies loose from my first year of breeding. We let them roam because they keep us safe. There is also a dog here who is a full-time resident, and a large jungle Ixam which is what we ride around here for horses. You have them in the desert, though I believe the desert Ixam are shorter, stockier, and less agile.” Taz said thoughtfully.

The two rooms on the short side of the L are taken as too is the room next to the kitchen on the long side of the L. But you can take your pick from 4, 5 or 6… which I’d be happy to show you once you finish testing my souffle I can take you on a small tour.” Taz said, taking a seat at the table with Naadiya just as James finished his desert and placed his dirty container and spoon in the sink.

“I’ll be off now. If she needs anything, Taz, point her to Juli, myself, or one of the other Founders.” James said, taking his leave then and departing the Inn. He headed out onto the back deck, called a greeting to someone named Bree, and started down the steps and onto the beach like he planned on walking south towards the Common’s that way.

“How is it?” Taz asked, then dug into her own portion, sampling it for herself. She made some mental notes on what could be improved or fixed for the next attempt, and waited for Naadiya to finish up. “There’s all kinds of activities on the deck at night. And often the guests gather in here or out on the deck and play cards or other games… namely dice and sometimes games of drawing and guessing what’s being drawn… we have sand tables for that.” She said offering a smile. “I also have paddleboards to rent anytime you want to go try one out… or you can pay for a short lesson and get a tour on paddleboards.” She said, smiling. “You might not have those in Eyktol.” The Innkeeper added.

“Do you have any special diet needs or habits we might want to know about? I make dinner nightly but I’m always experimenting with recipes and doing new things. If you have special requests, feel free to ask and I can do my best to accommodate.” Taz responded then dug into the last half of her desert, almost done with her own. She’d stand up and wash up the dishes before leaving with Naadiya because she hated leaving dirty dishes about.

Word: 685
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Naadiya on January 18th, 2022, 1:42 am

She was clammed up too tight. She knew it, but what was worse, people seemed to be noticing. The captain, she was now fairly sure had already summed her up, he seemed too comfortable with how little she’d said of herself to not have made assumptions, be they right or not. She didn’t know how good his sums were, but of late, her own seemed to be lacking. Naadiya nodded as she was introduced, pulling the scarf fully off her head and holding it wrapped around the small of her back, holding it in place with the crooks of the arms.

Her face, while very pretty had darkened circles under each eye and beads of sweat from the humidity. She had yet to really learn what to do with her hair, its density, texture and sheer volume, all seemed to have grown since she’d arrived.

Maybe I should have kept the scarf on, she thought, looking at the other woman’s seemingly well kept curls.

No, better to show my face than hide behind scarves. She hadn’t been sure what had done it, her head being partially covered, her lack of better ready-made examples of her skill or simply the mention of payment but she had the feeling her employer already had her reservations. Naadiya reflected on the woman, wondering what her background was and how much of what she’d said had been true.

Once she had seen and touched the Isua fabric her husband made, Naadiya had been humbled. She wished her father could have seen it, he’d cry himself to sleep. Surely the crop had been one of the major reasons for the success of the store and possibly a contributing reason for Dawn setting down roots.

Naadiya wondered what had been Tazrae’s reasons. She was starting to spread the canvas in her head for her mind to paint a picture and then she heard a trigger word. Snakes. Snakes on the loose. Baby snakes on the loose. AND she wasn’t allowed to stomp them dead. The fabric of her shirt had been clinging to her upper back from the second James had tried to urge her forward, Syna bless him for not complaining of the surely wet hand he must had pulled back.

But now, that handprint was bleeding a thin stream of sweat that began to slither down her back. She could feel it as its path drew more moisture in towards the sweaty serpent. Naadiya wanted to slap it off and slam her foot down on it. Instead, she adjusted the position of her scarf slightly, using the motion to discreetly pat some of the sweat off her skin and onto the inside of her shirt. The next slithering thing might not be so easily removed…

At least, she thought, the snakes are snake-eating snakes? That’s like the best kind of snake… right? The kind that gets rid of other snakes. But then of course the more they thrived the more they reproduced. You still end up with a bunch of snakes in the end, she supposed it was better to have ones that lacked venom.

Naadiya had seen pet snakes before, she just didn’t understand the concept. There had been people back home who even sang and played music to snakes, who then, so entranced by the sounds, danced along with the rhythm. She wondered if these snakes danced. Or if they at least liked music. While Naadiya certainly didn’t have the worst singing voice she’d ever heard, to call her a songstress would be laughable.

What if when her voice cracked the snakes lashed? Mental note: familiarize self with these snakes… and possibly their musical preferences. Mu-su-rah-nah, she thought, wondering how defined the iridescence of this its scales were. Would they catch the moonlight? A black snake at night was too easy to run into unknowingly but at least one that glimmered colorfully might be seen more easily.

Ixam, she didn’t have any concerns about, however. She’d seen them before on a few occasions but never ridden one. Though the simple fact that they were often tamed enough for riding was a fairly concerting detail.

James got up to leave and Naadiya thanked him wholeheartedly for all his help. Even if she still felt he had much more information than he’d let on, the man did help her with no reason to do so. If she was being honest she knew she’d kept a lot back as well. She had her reasons and she was sure he had his, unready as she was to guess at them.

When Tazrae asked about the dessert, Naadiya realized she hadn’t touched it, though her water glass had been emptied almost instantaneously. Smiling, she too, took a bite of the dessert, then another. She was going to finish faster than she’d meant to, even if it the sweetness scraped at the back of her throat. Her mother would have loved it. Her aunts would have sneered, asking if it had been certain that the fruit had not passed its prime. They’d be doing so out of jealousy.

Naadiya had not eaten a fresh mango before, they did not grow in her arid home climate. But what she smelled was not the smell of rotten fruit, not that type of sickening sweetness so closely tied with decomposition. The smell was vibrant, and her personal dislike for most things sweet or sugared was not enough for Naadiya to not appreciate the craft behind the puffy dessert.

The mysteries of cooking had never really revealed themselves to Naadiya. She looked down at the last morsel on her plate contemplating how she had no idea how the mangoes had been prepared or what ingredients went into the recipe. Sugar was a given. She new the main flavor in her mouth under the sugar was the fruit, but had no idea how it had gained its new fluffy texture, like a cake made of clouds… with clouds made of mangoes?

Down the hatch with the last bite, smiling as she chewed the last bit. First and foremost, food was food. Never had there been a seasoning so delectable as the one called hunger.

“I’ve never had anything like this before,” she said truthfully, “thank you so much.”

There really were many things to do, Naadiya was beginning to hope she might once again be the social person she’d been before leaving the desert. It seemed so long ago now.

Naadiya recalled the single-handled, long wooden boards they would often use when having a group meal, covered in cured and dried meats, cheeses and jams both domestically made and, traded for, from far away lands. Those jams had been Naadiya’s main example of mangoes.

Explaining the wooden board to Tazrae, she asked if that was what she meant by ‘paddleboard’.

“I’m sorry my Common has not had as much practice in my whole life as it has the last couple of years. I’m still working on the accent on certain words, and many words escape me entirely.”

Naadiya could think of few things more insulting than telling a cook what to do in her kitchen. She was not about to make requests of her hostess who already was going out on a limb for her.

“I will take what I have tasted this far as a sign of what may come. I have every confidence that whatever you wish to prepare will be well beyond expectations. I do love lemons, though. And all nutty things,” she finished with a smile.

Unsure if she should offer to clean, Naadiya was hesitant. Maybe that would be offensive, it might imply the innkeeper could not manage to keep her establishment in order, after all, the man, James, had eaten and gone, his plate still lingering on the table behind him. Was this a cultural difference, a masculine flaw, or simply the familiarity, even friendship he shared with the inn’s owner. She still needed to get to know the locals, Naadiya did not know how they did things around here. Deciding to take the risk, with gratefulness for her deferred room payment, Naadiya folded up her mantle and placed it and her bag on the ground. She took her own plate and the one James had left behind and insisted she help cleaning up.

“No, please, it will be good for us both. This way I may get more familiarized with where things are. It will be the interactive part of the tour,” Naadiya joked, hoping her gesture was taken as the ‘thank you’ it was, not disrespect.

When they finished cleaning, Naadiya gathered her things again and followed Tazrae to see the rest of the place, looking out for snakes that might sneak from behind furniture or drop down from the ceiling. But that wouldn’t happen…right?

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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Tazrae on January 18th, 2022, 5:52 pm

Taz studied the stranger, wondering if something was wrong. The woman had a tightness to her lips, and a bit of wrinkling between her eyebrows that either indicated heavy thought or nervousness. The woman, no Naadiya, had a lot of hair. Taz thought it was pretty if a little misbehaved in the humidity. That would change over time as the woman got used to the weather here. Hair never tamed down in the jungle, not really, and at the beach there was sun and sand nearly twenty four hours a day.

The Innkeeper automatically went and refilled Naadiya’s water glass, topping it off all the way to the top and leaving the pitcher on the table next to it.

“There’s a lot of fruit in the jungle that was new to me as well when I got here. I’m slowly learning how to cook the things the jungle offers. There are crops everywhere, most of which bloom or fruit year-round, so its not hard to come by food if you learn to like it. There’s fresh meat too because the hunting is pretty profuse. I do a lot of clamming and crabbing too. I also hunt lobster after dark. It’s a lot of fun for me and the guests seem to love it.” Tazrae said carefully, not sure if a Benshira had ever heard of any of those foods. To Tazrae, the desert seemed far off and mysterious, something she’d never experienced.

Taz shook her head. “No, a paddleboard is a long wooden board wider than you are and taller than you are that floats on the ocean. You stand on it and paddle about with an oar. It’s an easy way to see things off the beach that way and go swimming or diving for treasure.” Taz said with a gentle laugh. “It’s something we do here. Randal teaches surfing and hang gliding, neither of which I think I’d be much suited for, but I love paddleboarding.” She said with a smile.

“I’ll remember the lemons and think of some new things you might like with them. I know I use a lot of citruses in cooking pork. We have a lot of pork here because there’s a pretty steady supply of it from Swine Swells… a beach filled with pigs… too many pigs.” Taz added. When Naadiya started to make noises about cleaning up, Taz let her. She didn’t mind the help but made sure Naadiya knew it wasn’t expected.

“Help is nice, but completely not expected. I enjoy cleaning as much as cooking. But please feel free to make use of anything in the kitchen you need. If you’d like a midnight snack or something, just let me know… I often have things in the icebox that I can whip something up fast if you need something.” Taz said, then smiled and moved to the other room where she collected three keys for Naadiya to pick out a room from. “So follow me and I’ll give you the tour.” She added, leading Naadiya from the Kitchen and out into the gathering room … “This is the main room of the Inn. People gather here or on the decks out back. Down the hall are the rooms.” Taz said, leading Naadiya south along the western hallway.

“Each pair of room share a bathroom. No one is in four, five or six. Oralie is in three next to the kitchen. So, if you pick four, you’ll share a bathroom with her. If you pick five or six, you’ll have a bathroom alone until someone moves into the room you didn’t select. On the small side of the ‘L’, back west of the kitchen, there are two more rooms... I’m in number two, and number one is vacant. If we get more guests, I move out onto the beach in a nice tent. One and two share bathrooms. Now… come with me…” Taz said, opening each room, letting Naadiya see each one, plus the restrooms with the bathing goods; soaps, moisturizers, and shampoos all hand made.

Taz would leave Naadiya to select whatever room she wanted and give her the key. Then she’d lead her outside to show her the sites in and around The Protea. Taz pointed out the bird feeders, many of the flowers that she transplanted after gathering from the jungle, and then took Naadiya to where the chicken house was and finally to show her the outdoor shower which was free to use at any time with a hot water cistern on the roof keeping a good supply of hot water at the ready.

She also pointed out the dock, and told Naadiya that there was fishing gear to use if she liked to fish. “You are welcome to use the dock to swim, fish, paddleboard, anything you’d like. And if you catch some fish, I’d gladly cook it for you.” Taz offered, giving Naadiya a smile. “I often go foraging in the jungle for supplies for the Inn. If you ever want a trip to the jungle, you are always welcome to come along.” Taz also offered.

Then the outside tour moved on, and Naadiya got to see more of the surrounding area about The Protea.

The Innkeeper even showed her the paddleboard collection she had in case Naadiya wanted to try any of them, and then she gestured to The Reptile Garden. “Do you want to meet some of the snakes?” Taz asked, pointing to what looked like a tucked-away garden filled with tall enclosed cages that looked a lot like wardrobes. “And if you’d rather not, I can leave you to your devices to move into your room and relax. I’ll have dinner at sundown and to do that I need to go clean out some crab traps. You are welcome to roam anywhere, but there’s no need to clean up. Myself or Oralie will tidy your room once a day and we change sheets once a week. You get fresh towels daily and if you want to take a meal out somewhere, we can pack you a basket.” Taz added, thinking she’d probably showed Naadiya everything the woman might want to see besides the snakes.

Bree, the one other resident of the Inn, had seemingly made herself scarce.

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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Naadiya on January 19th, 2022, 5:44 am

Naadiya had eaten both crab and lobster before, both were often available for trade whenever near the coast. And while on the ship, the Svefra had plenty of most edible sea creatures on hand to introduce her to. Some she had liked, some she’d been forced to accept were beyond her. Eel being high on the latter list. But while Naadiya had eaten the meats of these animals, she had done none of the fishing. Or at least she had assumed it to be fishing, though she was now learning apparently one actually hunted lobsters! That was something she would love to try, though Naadiya could already imagine what kind of hurdles would face her, performing this task in the dark.

She wondered if you had to completely submerge yourself in the water in order to hunt them. But how would she see anything let alone a lobster?

Upon hearing what a ‘paddle board’ truly was and how it was used, Naadiya came to the obvious conclusion that water-based activities were likely to be very prevalent in this town. These people ate from the sea as much as the jungle. She would have to learn to swim.

“Does Randal give swimming lessons as well? I’m afraid I’m not quite at home in the water just yet”

She had little reason to have ever learned while in Eyktol and guessed that the ship’s habitants either assumed she knew how or did not bother themselves with offering to teach, having so many daily tasks to tend to on the ship already.

Once she heard she would be expected to neither cook nor clean, Naadiya did feel the slightest twinge of relief, though her offer had been genuinely meant. She would already have enough of a challenge getting settled in town as it was.

Wild pigs running around the beaches and snakes running wild around the inn. Why couldn’t it have been rainbow-iridescent-black-poison-snake-eating PIGS that were bred locally? Those would be some interesting pigs. Surely they’d even go nicely with a citrus marinade.

Having not yet met the third person currently living in the inn, Naadiya chose the 6th and final room. She saw no point in them sharing a bathroom if there was still the possibility of some privacy. All it took was a particularly odorous bowel movement very early in the morning to ruin the experience of the bathroom’s next occupant. If able, she would avoid that moment for as long as possible.

She followed the innkeeper and took in the different features offered on site. The outdoor shower was something she did want to try once she found out it was, at the moment, an all female house. Naadiya had already noted the town’s attitude towards nudity but she assumed even here, Lookie-lou’s were frowned upon and unfortunately every town was sure to have them.

The chickens would be a great source of eggs and meat for the inn, Naadiya thought Tazrae very prudent for having them but wondered how the chickens interacted with the snakes. As she would be taking care of neither of the animals, Naadiya did not concern herself with this. She did, however, wondered how early the chickens would be waking up as that would certainly affect her in some way.

Did she want to meet the snakes? The slippery, shiny, slithery black things with their little forked tongues that seemed always up to no good.

Oh yes, she did. Right here with their breeder, the person Naadiya assumed would be best equipped to handle a situation gone awry, may be the best way of observing the creatures and even be able to ask a thing or two about them. They were her new neighbors, after all.

“I would love to see the snakes,” she finally mustered, a phrase she never thought would leave her mouth.

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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Tazrae on January 23rd, 2022, 4:57 pm

“Randal for swimming lessons? No no… I wouldn’t pick him as my first choice. You want Duncan to teach you. He’s a good swimmer and a water Reimancer. You can find him at the bathing pools which are close to here. He has a huge swimming pool there along with hot water soaking tubs in tiers for everyone to use to keep clean. I provide baths here, but you can go bathe with the community and swim in our pool there and it’s a lot more fun unless you want privacy. He’ll gladly give you lessons, probably won’t even charge you…” Taz said helpfully. “I’m not the best swimmer either, but I’m getting better being here in Syka.” She added, knowing it had been two busy years since she arrived and in all that time she probably wasn’t better at swimming than a mundane doggy paddle.

Taz happily handed Naadiya the key for Room 6 and told her she’d leave extra towels and soap that night for her. Naadiya would notice the key was not really needed since the room had windows that opened out on the deck which didn’t have glass. There were, however, shutters that could be closed and nice curtains for privacy. But it was obvious that there was a need to keep the sea breeze circulating through the Inn to hold down the temperatures and keep everything comfortable.

The rest of the tour moved on, and Taz nodded, happy to take the woman to see her snakes. Her milk cow, Muncha, was around somewhere too, but Taz wasn’t of the mind to go look for her thinking Naadiya would probably not be so enthusiastic about meeting a simple cow. A cobbled pathway leading past the secluded shower area seemed to sweep those walking along it into a bit of jungle that hadn’t been claimed by the beach or the people. Within that patch of trees, twelve large enclosures lay. They were as tall as wardrobes and fashioned much like one only with mesh enclosing all four sides with only a roof and floor being solid. They were framed out in white boards which the heavy wire mesh attached too, and on the front side were double doors that swung wide. Taz paused at the first ‘wardrobe’ and unlatched the door and swung it wide.

“This is an emerald tree boa. They are constrictors… meaning they grab their prey and encircle it with their coils and squeeze the life out of it. He has pretty sharp teeth, but they aren’t venomous. You’ll see them all over the city most likely.” Taz said, showing the green snake to Naadiya. It was as thick as her arm with brilliant green scales that had a curious white hash patterning on it that ran across its back and down to thin points on each side. It had vibrant green eyes and was coiled around a branch where it seemed to be resting. “I found him in town. He’d swallowed a pair of goggles. I have no idea how he did it, but I got him to spit them out by working it out of his body. I’m just keeping him here a bit to make sure he is eating okay and there’s nothing else I can do for him. I had the healer check as well, and Jansen thought he was doing okay. I should let him go within the season sometime.” Taz said. “He’s a wild snake or I’d let you touch him. Even though he isn’t poisonous, he has a wicked bite.” She added, then moved on to the next enclosure after securing the first.

“You can look around at the rest and open any you want too besides this first one.” Taz said, leaning in and brushing aside some big leafed plants that seemed to be potted in the enclosure. She revealed a huge black snake with rainbow iridescent patterns arching along her side. She seemed to be coiled in the bottom of her enclosure, making a huge mound of snake. “This one is broody… cranky. She’s sitting on about thirty eggs under those coils. I’ll have to take them away from her shortly, and it will be a fight. And meanwhile anyone who gets near her might lose a finger or an eye. So careful of her… the rest are really tame… and she herself is usually tame too when she doesn’t have eggs.” Taz said, letting the plants fall back where they concealed the big female on the egg pile.

She shut that wardrobe up and walked to another one. They seemed to be scattered haphazardly through the jungle, tucked under big trees where they didn’t get too hot or too much sun exposure. The next one she opened, Tazrae reached in and plucked a smaller snake out. He was about four feet long and as big around as Tazrae’s thin arm. “This is a male… his name is Freckles because he has a weird white patterning around his mouth that looks like freckles to me.” Taz added, then cuddled the snake in her arms. “You can touch him or even hold him if you like. Freckles is as tame as they come.” She added, enjoying holding the dark almost liquid rainbow snake in her hands. She turned him first one way then the next so his scales lit up with the iridescent light. If Naadiya showed an interest, Taz would hand her the snake. Otherwise, the woman would get treated to the rest of the snakes, with Tazrae finally showing her a wardrobe full of baby snakes that were from a previous hatching. “These will be released soon. There are just waiting to get some size so they aren’t all eaten by birds and other creatures far bigger than they are. Since I’ve been doing this program, we’ve had no more bites in the city.” Taz said, then decided to back up.

“When I first came here, I was tending the garden in Kihala’s Shrine and an eyelash viper bit me. It almost killed me. And it was about the size of my finger. I never saw it… and it scared me.” She added, shaking her head. “Since then, I discovered these sorts of snakes. They are poisonous to us, but their fangs are in the rear of their mouth, so when they do bite they don’t deliver poison… not unless you are a snake and deep down in his mouth.” She said smiling. “But these are all tame, used to people, and you might find one or two around the Inn keeping the rodents down. They don’t bother the chickens, because they look for smaller prey. They do take an egg or two, but we look the other way.” Taz added, smiling.

“Is there anything else you want to see? I’ll gladly take you to the beach or walk you over to Duncan’s so you can ask him for some swimming lessons.” Taz offered, circling around after she led Naadiya out of the copse of trees that held the Reptile Garden. “Or is there somewhere else you’d like to go?” Taz asked, more than agreeable to keep being tour guide.

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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Naadiya on January 28th, 2022, 9:07 pm

Naadiya heard “hot water soaking tubs”, and went blank in the face. Had she conjured these tubs into being with the strength of her wish for them? Or maybe Syna had the desired, deep soak in her plans all along.

She hadn’t grown up very religious, Naadiya could admit. But since she had left on her journey for answers, Naadiya had called out in scream, and song and whisper to the sun goddess. She pleaded for a hint of where to go or who to talk to. Even just where to turn away from, and who to avoid.

Once, while crossing the desert, Naadiya almost thought she had heard a response, but she waited and waited and only silence followed so she just shrugged it off as a heat bidden hallucination.

Although… who sends the heat if not Syna?

She wondered how many madmen had wandered the desert to their dying day, thinking their delusions were divine intervention.

After she sold her camel and left the desert though, Naadiya went longer stretches without speaking. She lacked the near mute mount to talk at, even if she didn’t get a reply it was still somewhat satisfying just to voice her thoughts and let her words dance in the air. So when conversation began getting scarce upon the ship, she would just speak to Syna instead. She spoke as if the goddess was right there asking questions and not getting answers. But soon she found that the act itself had its own benefits.

She would speak to the goddess in different languages, practicing her Common and Fratava. Getting to hear how words would sound out loud and feel in her mouth before trying to use them was something she found very helpful, not only did it improve her speech but it gave her something to focus on when the ship swam too far from land.

She’d sing songs from her childhood. Songs of the desert and the wind and the sun. Songs of Syna.

Naadiya’s grandmother had not been a big proponent of the sun goddess, often saying that it was because the desert people prayed for her so fervently that her heat beat so hard it burned crops out of the ground and caused rivers to run dry. Naadiya had always thought rather, that the people venerated the sun because it was so present in the desert, after all, who dare insult it.

But since she’d arrived in Syka, Naadiya had started to suspect her grandmother may have been right about many things. The sun still shone, but here, the plants that fed off this sunlight shielded much that stood below, and that protection let things thrive.

Taking the key that was handed to her, Naadiya went to put it in her pocket when a sharp prick bit her finger. Her first thought was of course: SNAKE. But it took less than a second to realize the culprit was much less reptilian.

Her fingers wrapped around the earring and pulled it out of her pocket. She held it in her closed hand while looking around at the room, happily noting there would be enough space for her loom. It may have been the largest room with four solid walls she had ever called hers. Well mostly solid, she mused as the wind blew in, lightly swaying the tied back curtains.

Naadiya thought she still had the trinket in her hand as they walked outside but feeling the breeze hit her palms she was shocked to find the earring was already on her ear. She hadn’t even realized when she’d placed it but now she felt it would seem odd taking it off.

Had Tazrae seen it on, already? Naadiya brought her hand up to adjusted her hair in the guise of scratching her head and hopefully obscured the jewel enough that the innkeeper might just think it had escaped her eyes before, after all why would she put on a single earring while they toured the grounds? Much more likely that she would have had two on and lost one earring somewhere.

The first snake she was introduced to, was larger than most of the snakes she had ever seen. In the desert, speed and agility were their greatest assets aside from their venom. There were few places to hide out in the dunes and girth was not positive trait for most burrowers. But here, there was plenty to eat and places to hide and the wildlife grew large and varied. She wasn’t sure why, but Naadiya felt she was not looking at the largest of its kind.

“How large can these boas grow?” She asked, taking in the hue of the animal’s scales and getting a look at its yellow eyes. So different from the cobras and asps of her homeland. This was a creature of muscle, the fangs were secondary.

When Naadiya heard the story of how the innkeeper had come by the snake, she had almost bitten her own tongue. “I guess I better get used to these boas quickly. Is there any variety you know of large enough to swallow a loom?”

She was quickly realizing that the snake situation was much more extensive than had been expected. But there are snake-eating snakes, she reminded herself. Maybe one day she could get a snake-eating cat. Those might exist somewhere, though every cat she’d ever seen near a snake had treated it with fear or, contempt as cats were prone to doing. But indeed every animal she had seen before seemed to instinctively fear the legless scaled creatures.

“You mentioned they sometimes steal eggs, how do the chickens act near the Mussurana? I’ve seen chickens get aggressive even with their keepers in defense of their eggs? Or any other livestock or pet, do they fear these snakes as they would any other? I suppose even if the snake is not intending on attacking them, the animal may not know that. It was common to hear of camels and horses that tried to stomp a snake to death as soon as they laid eyes on the slithering bodies”, suddenly she found herself pitying the tiny baby snakes.

“This viper that bit you sounds more similar to the snakes back home. I hope it is easier to spot despite its size. How common as they here?” Maybe having a few serpentine counterparts to these vipers wasn’t such a bad thing. Naadiya was starting to look at the black opalescent scales with a whole new light.

When their tour came to an end Naadiya had no doubts about where she wanted to go next before it got too late.

“Oh yes, Duncan, please! But to be honest I’m more interested in the tubs than the lessons right now. You know how some people long to see the ocean for the first time, or mountains the white snow from stories? I have never been able to stop thinking about the idea of hot springs. As soon as I heard you mention that, it was hard to get out of my head.”

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Seeking Shelter [Tazrae + OPEN]

Postby Tazrae on January 31st, 2022, 12:41 am

Tazrae nodded to Naadiya’s question. “Well, boas can be up to maybe thirteen feet long. But we have closely related reticulated pythons that can grow up to sixteen or twenty feet… and green anacondas get thirty feet maybe? They top out at 550 lbs or more. We kill all the big ones that stray close to the settlement, but sometimes we miss them. Obviously, my little snakes couldn’t handle the big ones like that. I have seen green anacondas lounging in the Syka river at least twenty feet or more. They are rather tasty so we never waste a kill.” Taz added, grinning. “It’s usually a bounty on the settlement and when we do take a big one down, we pass out a lot of meat for people in order to use it all up.” She added, looking thoughtful for a moment and smiling.

“None of them would eat your loom… but you? Sure.” Taz added with a laugh. That’s what the shutters that can close over your windows are for… keeping them out at night.” She added.

“Chickens don’t defend their eggs… unless they are broody. I don’t have any chronically broody hens, though I do have one or two that get broody once in a while. I try to get the eggs before the wildlife does… but everything around here steals eggs. I do what I can, but the chickens are chickens and don’t get too excited. They keep themselves safe and that’s that. They will defend the chicks though, once they’ve hatched.” She added, shrugging. Chicken was on the menu and her chickens weren’t actually pets, but a coup full of yet another resource that provided food. “Everything around here will eat the chickens and their eggs… even the snakes. You should see how many I predators I captured when I first built here… snakes and wild things that is. That would have given you nightmares. But at least I know how to trap snakes now. I don’t anymore, because of my Mussurana.” Tazrae glanced at the chicken coup. “I have turkeys on order with James from the next trip he takes to Riverfall. He said he’d bring me back pullets in the spring, which is close to it now. He might be able to find them in the markets… or young adults that will nest. I can keep them in with the chickens.” She smiled, happy to know that her meat menu would be expanding.

“Is there any particular food you like? I’ll try to get it on the menu if I know how to make it.” Taz offered, starting down the trail towards the Community Pool. They headed back to the Cobbled Pathway and in a short moment took another turn a bit north into another bit of jungle that opened up into a lovely rock swimming pool that held a round bubbling tub big enough for most of the community at the far end. Steps led up to the hotter tub which was formed into a perfect stone circle with a bench about halfway beneath the water for lounging. The pool was big enough for laps and had one flat edge that ended in a stone cliff upwards which cascaded water down into it…. the other side was a serpentine edge of stone at undulated as well. The lower pool was considerably cooler, almost refreshing, from the heat of the upper pool. Taz liked lounging in the upper smaller round hot tub in the evenings but preferred the pool during the day. There were sunny spots and shady spots provided by palms drifting overhead. Where the serpentine edge undulated outwards, there were additional benches for more private conversational areas.

“Want to take a swim? Most everyone here isn’t shy about bare skin and just strips down to go in.” Taz gestured. “I don’t see Duncan around but if we start frolicking in the waves he’ll probably be along shortly.” The Innkeeper added, more than willing to strip down and take a lap or two knowing Duncan would join them if he were in the area. “There’s a shallower area too where you can put your feet down if you don’t know how to swim… besides, I won’t let you drown.” Taz said with a grin, hoping the woman would choose to swim. It was a lovely day for it.

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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

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