Completed Do You Hear That? Pt I [Trinket Box Ability]

Getting used to a new routine in her new home, Naadiya notices something strange

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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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Do You Hear That? Pt I [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:07 am

Do You Hear That?
13 of Winter, 521 AV


Naadiya’s room at the Protea Inn was, in fact, the first room she had ever had. She’d lived in tents draped in fabrics with pillows strewn about, camped in the empty city of Wadrass and even lived aboard a ship for a short while but was never stationary for very long. Now she had four walls, the biggest bed she’d ever slept in, and furniture that was certainly not designed for mobility. Her hand ran up the wooden post of her canopy bed. Hard, cool and permanent it felt much more real than anything her life had ever given her. This whole town felt more real than anything she had ever known. Did it feel real, though? Or did it feel right? Was there even a distinction between the two at this point? And what, if anything, did that feeling even mean?

She liked the canopy bed. The hanging fabrics reminded her of home more than anything on the Svefra ship ever had. Picking up a small cloth she’d borrowed from the innkeeper, Naadiya dabbed at the sweat on her neck. She had gone to bed in her clothes, having nothing else, and awoke in the middle of the night feeling as though she’d been in the ocean. Wait. That had been her dream as well.

On the ship’s rail she walked, one foot in front of the other. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. Her arms stretched out to either side of her. One arm felt cool and wet as the waters beneath it. Rain fell but it only seemed to wet the one arm, her finger tips starting to prune. The other limb felt warm, hot even, sometimes even as if it was burning, the tiny hairs on her forearm singeing off and flying in the breeze. She could smell the scent of hair on fire. The same smell she’d smelled that night in Wadrass.

Her younger sister had stumbled while trying to out-do the other kids as they competed on who could jump the furthest. Sandreya had won the competition, but her jump did not land soundly. She had twisted an ankle in the sand and tumbling down, she rolled a few feet in the wrong direction and her headscarf had gotten too close to the campfire. The flames licked up the fabric too fast for Naadiya to stop it and even as she jerked the fabric off, she could smell the new smell. Not the lighter smell of the burning linen, almost clean in comparison. This odor was heavy and bitter, nauseating even. This was the smell of hair aflame.

It filled her nostrils even as she stood in the little room in Syka so many years after the fact. Why was that coming back to her now after staying dormant for so long?

Naadiya pushed her hair back from her face and behind her ears, then wrapped a towel around herself, having stripped herself bare of the oppressive heat of her clothing. She hung her garments over the foot of the bed, not looking forward to donning them back on.

Word Count: 514
Last edited by Naadiya on February 15th, 2022, 8:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Do You Hear That? [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:14 am

Though she’d seen people in town walking around without their tops and even completely nude by the water, Naadiya was not quite ready for that. She would have to get some other clothes as soon as possible, but she had no money as it was. Even this room, as “real” as it may have felt, none of it was really hers and all of it could be taken away if she ever stepped on the wrong toe. She was really only able to stay there by the good grace of the innkeeper, Tazrae, on the understanding that she would pay at the end of the season. By then, Naadiya hoped to have earned enough to keep her word, she did not want to beg.

A job, at least, she had already gotten. She’d be weaving for the local clothier, taking some of the work load off his shoulders and letting him focus on the production of more intricate patterns and larger looms. Naadiya’s father had always worked all his daughters, and even his wife, a little harder than any would have asked for and with less appreciation, or compensation, than any deserved. All things considered, this new employer was a breath of fresh air.

That’s what all of Syka felt like, a deep, long, cool breath of fresh coastal air. And everywhere you went, you were always exposed to said air.

Naadiya was used to the quiet but Syka’s quiet was different, it was never truly quiet. Not the same stillness of the desert, where the sounds of life were mostly those that her people and their animals made. In Syka, a room could be filled with people not saying a word and you would still hear a multitude of voices. The tree frogs and the birds, the lapping of the waves and the wind surfing above them, even the trees sang when the wind ran passed them.

She grabbed a candle and lit it with her flint, making a mental note to buy matches as soon as possible. Better able to see, Naadiya rifled through her bag and pulled out a small wooden box containing all her mother’s skin care, or at least all she had been able to carry with her. Living in such a dry climate, the Benshira women need to take special care of their skin lest they show every sign of age multiplied many times over. If the dryness didn’t get you, the sun exposure would. There had been an old crone in their tribe whose papery thin skin had darkened deeply over time and creased so many times that her face looked like someone tried to carve an apricot out of wet clay with a fork. Her mother once told a very young Naadiya that the woman was the same age as herself. As Naadiya stared at her mother’s near flawless skin, she vowed to herself to never let herself become the crone.

In truth, her mother's complexion really was something to awe at, but, the crone was a good 40-45 years her elder.

Oils, balms, exfoliants and serums of potentially dubious abilities filled the box to the brim. Taking the box, candle and a towel with her, Naadiya went to the tub in the adjoining bathroom.

Placing the shell encased candle on the counter, Naadiya made sure to distance it from her little box. She took the smooth wooden bowl on the table and filled it with water from the bucket on the ground, splashing some on her face and relishing the cool feel on that humid night. Stepping inside the tub she splashed some more water over herself and scrubbed her skin with a small sea sponge. The dirt and grime from dried sweat washed off her body and the scented soap ran over her skin lathering it with moister and suds. She dipped the bowl back inside the bucket and washed the soap off.

Word Count: 654
Last edited by Naadiya on February 1st, 2022, 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Do You Hear That? [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:17 am

There had been a man one time in Wadrass during the holidays. He was a foreigner, with golden yellow hair and pale skin selling exotic nuts and small ingots of metals from far away lands. He had told them stories of his travels around the lands and seas. Stories of mountains so high they pierced clouds and kept going, or trees that did the very same. Stories of buildings made of solid ice or floating on a lake. But Naadiya loved the idea of the hot springs in his stories best of all. Hot bubbling water steaming up to greet her face in a warm cupping of the cheek was one of her pleasure dreams. She always awoke with a warm lingering sensation that left her feeling drunk after those dreams. Tonight she had woken up stubbornly sober. Quickly and absentmindedly her hand ran over the opposite arm, checking if it had burned, she still had the smell in her nose despite the flowery scent of lavender rising from the soapy water.

Lowering herself inside the wooden tub, Naadiya brought her knees in and wrapped her arms around them. The water was barely high enough to reach her calves and a gentle breeze coming in was cooling the exposed wet skin. Goose pimples ran from her shoulders to her elbows but it did'nt bother the girl. How long would it take for her to get used to this new place. She had taken so quickly to the sea but the jungle was an entirely different animal to skin. At sea you suffer much the same problems as in the desert, chief among them being the general lack of clean drinking water and food that won’t go bad on the journey. Unless you had a relevant mage, or else touched by certain deities, you were in for a potentially rough journey should anything unplanned for occur.

Naadiya remembered the teas and juices her mother and aunts used to make while preparing to get back on the move. As a child she loved them. When she got old enough to truly appreciate a drink of cool crisp water in all its purity, however, the overly sweetened and flavored beverages became nauseating sooner than her thirst was quenched.

Whenever they would pass an oasis, everyone refilled their water stores but it only took a few days of it sitting in any container for the water to get stale or worse, remnants of the teas and juices in the containers might taint the purity of the drink. The same problem happened on the boats. But there, people seemed to favor boozy drinks over sugary ones. Ironic as it seemed to her, you could die of thirst surrounded by water. It sounded so much like her grandmothers stories Naadiya could not help but laugh. Then she realized she was likely the only one awake and could not rely entirely on the cicadas chirping and the ocean’s song to cover her own sounds.

She rose and emptied the tub. Then, Naadiya refilled the bowl and returning to the counter, she began spreading out her skin regime. Taking her mirror by the strap at its back, she hung it on one of the wooden columns. It had a bit of branch sticking out that had been polished smooth along with the rest of the trunk and rested somewhat above eye level, as she’d seen other similarly repurposed bits of wood and shells used to highlight the objects function Naadiya even assumed this may have been place there by design. Maybe for hanging towels or may-haps for this very purpose. Looking into the mirror, she wiped it clean with a wash cloth and looked back down at her supplies. This whole routine sometimes felt like a chore. Sometimes it was therapeutic and even ritualistic with the deeply spiritual feeling you get when you know you are preserving yourself in the best way possible, be it a highly nutritious meal or a head clearing exercising of the body, or a hot spring…. One day…

Word Count: 676
Last edited by Naadiya on February 1st, 2022, 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Do You Hear That? [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:19 am

Her hands moved mechanically, already knowing where to go, they had performed these actions many times. First she laid everything out in an almost extreme level of organization, every container in chronological order of usage, including those she knew she wouldn’t be using now. Splashing some water on her face with her hands, she took the first container and with a tiny wooden spoon, scooped some of the gritty powder into her wet palm. Rubbing both hands together she then went to work on her face, focusing on the area around her hair line where, much to her chagrin, she had noticed a few blemishes. In an attempt to get to them before they blossomed into fully fledged acne, Naadiya scrubbed, gently removing any dead skin and revealing a fresh layer beneath. She had never been one to have bad skin once she had passed her adolescent years, but the jungle air was so heavy with moisture, Naadiya was sweating more than she’d ever been used to while living in a desert.

Living in a desert! You would think if anyone had adapted to heat it would be her. But it wasn’t the heat. Not really. Here the wetness was all around her, clinging to her more than coming out from within and there was no escape for even the indoor spaces were not truly enclosed. Her clothes were the main problem and she knew it. But without the money for new ones or the bare faced confidence to go about in the nude Naadiya was willing to endure a few blemishes. Though, she would really need to wash her clothes or people would start not wanting to stand too close to her. She’d ask Tazrae about it as soon as morning arrived. A breeze came in again and her mirror swayed slightly, but it was well placed and showed no signs of that changing.

The sandy powder on her face had began to dissolve with the water and Naadiya rinsed it off. She padded her face dry then gazed again at her now pinker complexion. Applying her first serum, a floral scented dark amber liquid that disappeared on the skin, she used her finger tips to gently spread it evenly across her face. Her mother once purred that the phial held the whispers of Syna. When Naadiya would ask why it was so dark then, and not bright and shining like the sun, her mother answered that it was because Syna wanted to sing, loudly and freely, not whisper and so her words had to condense their splendor which made them darken and drip.

Naadiya’s mother always gave these magical and romantic explanations for everything and her grandmother was prone to saying it had been her own fault for filling all her children’s heads with tales, songs and poetry.

Whether the serum had any magical properties or divine origin was doubtful but to doubt its efficacy was foolish. Naadiya’s mother looked a young maid even on her deathbed, despite having reached her middle years. With that in mind, painful a memory as it was, Naadiya let the serum be absorbed into her skin before raising another phial and tipping a bit of its contents into her cupped palm. With her free hand she uncorked a small bottle filled with a shimmery white powder and carefully tapped her index finger so that a small stream of the powder fell into the liquid in her hand. Mixing it with her finger tips, Naadiya thought of what she would do once her supplies ran out.

While her mother had tried to teach her their preparations, Naadiya didn’t pay enough attention. There was always the thought that she could learn another day. And then there were no more days. Then her mother was gone. She could have asked an aunt or her grandmother or even another woman in the tribe. Surely they all prepared similar concoctions and would pity the girl who could have learned so much womanly wisdom from her mother but wasted her time. In truth, she hadn’t wasted her time, and on some level Naadiya knew that. She had spent much of time with her mother, and those were even some of her best memories. Only, now that she no longer had the option to do any of it again, Naadiya felt every moment she had spent not appreciating the infinite source of love and knowledge she once had was in even in a small way, a waste.

Word Count: 748
Last edited by Naadiya on February 1st, 2022, 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Do You Hear That? [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:21 am

She applied the mixture under her eyes and let it sink in. Eventually, she supposed, her routine would have to change. Naadiya would have to adapt to her new environment and its differences from the old. Already she had opted out of one of her skin oils that proved too heavy for the nights out at sea and she could only image would not suit this jungle air any better. Going instead for a lighter balm, Naadiya took a dollop and spread it out on her whole face and neck. So much of what she was doing was guesswork at this point. She had a trove of products and not more than an inkling on how to use them. Often she'd hear her mother's voice with advice.

Naadiya knew the order of her products and had remembered year after year after year... because she cheated. She'd seen her sisters own set once and couldn't believe it. Hastily scrawled over the smaller neat print with an official name of something, there had been a large red 3. Then she noticed a 5. Then a 2, 4, 1, every bottle, jar, lid and tool had been numbered.

When she had approached her sister to applaud her ingenuity, Naadiya was stopped short.

"I ran out of ointment a few seasons ago and went to borrow some from her and, Naadiya you should see it, she is so neat it would almost be worrisome if it wasn't so useful. She has things numbered in order and color coded by use. She even had little scrolls with reminders of certain products and ingredients. I supposed it is not such a surprise"

Naadiya had agreed at the time and quickly made up to do the same to her own set. But she couldn't remember what things were or what they did or when and why she should use them and eventually the concern melted away when other interests became more important in her mind.

She didn't know when or where but at some point she'd lost all her mothers notes if she'd ever had them to begin with. Naadiya had not seen any little scrolls or notebooks kept near the cosmetics when she had been packing and never got a chance to ask her sister about it. Now. she wished she'd made more of an effort.

With a towel wrapped around her torso, she cleaned up the bathroom and gathered her things. The way to her room was short but the night air felt so reviving, Naadiya took every step at half-pace. She could hear her innkeeper’s large dappled hound’s paws somewhere not far, lazily dragging themselves on the wooden floors. Maybe he too had a bad dream waking him up in the dark of night. The sloshing of water that followed led her to think, Creature, had found a drink. Feeling much the same, she went back into her room where the innkeeper had left her with a jug of fresh crisp filtered rainwater. Somehow, despite constantly breathing the thick, humid air in Syka, Naadiya could not stop drinking water any chance she had.

Glass filled, thirst quenched, neck cracked. Ahhh revived.

Her bag laid in the corner of the room, leaning against the wall in a sad slump. All her possessions were in that one bag. She had taken a considerable amount of gold when she left home, her every finger covered in precious rings and deliberately ornate bangles ran up arms.

All this she had covered in fabric, letting the oblong shapes get lost in the drapes. All this she had already come to sell or trade before she’d even reached Syka. Long lost trinkets, many of her families' own crafting, scattered between here and her tribe. Where were they now, she wondered.

Naadiya was starting to forget the routes from lack of thinking on them. There was so much else to think on, these days, that it was hard to justify trying to remember the sandy patterns she took with her caravan.

Many memories still lingered, stains from her past that refused to be washed off or painted over. Some of those she cherished and made an effort to keep alive in her mind’s eye. Some of them, not so much.

I’ve nothing else to remind myself of them, she thought.

The clothes she’d taken on her journey were chosen for their utility in the desert, they were traveling clothes. She had none of her old dresses, saturated in dye and embroidered with colorful patterns. None of her lovely boots with their tiny mirrored glass embellishments or fringes. Her mantle was not going to work out, it was too heavy to wear in this weather and had no use without the sandstorms that needed shielding, she might sell it or else use as a decorative tapestry.

Walking over to her bag, she unstrapped the bundle of wooden poles and grabbed the rest of the her loom’s components. She then proceeded to set everything down on the ground and look at each piece before her. The towel she’d been wearing, was now hanging up to dry. And deciding she was probably not being spied on, Naadiya then started to assemble her loom in the buff. She had quick practiced hands, that while would not likely be called beautiful, with their dyer’s stains, were certainly efficient.

Word Count: 893
Last edited by Naadiya on February 1st, 2022, 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Do You Hear That? [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:23 am

Her father had bought the best looms he could find while trading in Wadrass and hoped their highly mobile design and easy assemblage would entice his worker bees to pull out the looms sooner once the caravan stopped moving. It didn’t really, of course, but in the end, most of the women were thankful for the top-of-the-line tools they got to work with, despite having been presented them as gifts.

Her younger sister Sandreya her thrown a fit. Naadiya could still see the teen’s face that day, in her mind. The pure joy when they had been told they’d be getting gifts once they arrived in Wadrass. Told their gifts had been specially made for them. “Fit to your exact size” were his words exactly. Her sister was sure they were getting new dresses for the holidays.

Naadiya was more accustomed to her father’s way of choosing words he thought his audience wanted to hear, though. She, being a few years older, and having been already bitten by this particular dog, was not so easily fooled. She also remembered how the look of joy on her sister’s face melted away and was lit ablaze like fat tossed in the fire.

It should be said that neither Naadiya nor her sisters lacked for garments. They lacked for nothing really, lest what every other Benshira would also have on short supply due to circumstance. But they really only wore what they made. And they mostly worked with wool from their father’s own caravan of camels or sheep from other tribes, and sometimes with linen and cotton when he’d been able to buy or trade for them. But Sandreya dreamed of silks so soft you had to take time to consider if you should touch them with bare hands. And once you had, it was no easy feat to will yourself to stop.

Naadiya wondered if Sandreya had ever gotten her silks. Their ‘gifts’, had been their looms. Each one was the largest each individual would be able to carry without complaints, with as few separate pieces to assemble as possible and made of a wood much lighter than it was hard, it seemed, yet that fact too went unnoticed and unappreciated. He had said they were called dobie or tobby looms, but none of the girls cared enough to listen to anything he said once he revealed what the gifts actually were.

When they’d started learning how to use the new looms with their foot pedals, Sandreya rebelled again saying it was too difficult and why should she learn a new one when her old loom worked just fine? Her father would explain that the speed the pedals added were like adding extra arms to work with and at this, Sandreya said she never wanted to be anything like the Eypharians whom she called slavers. For days she would start yelling “SLAVER! SLAVER!” when her father would come to demand she get back to work, causing the elderly people to get riled up and the young folks on alert.

Naadiya ended up loving the loom, and all the better for not having been expecting a silken ballgown in its place.

“What good would a gown do me now?” she said, ignoring the nudity-based joke too easy to voice. Nearly finished assembling the contraption, she noticed a piece was missing and went back to her bag to retrieve it. As her hands searched the bottom of the leather bag, they found a sharp point. Naadiya pulled out the culprit, the new trinket she’d only recently been gifted, an earring. Beautiful but strange, it seemed to come and go of its own accord.

Word Count: 613
Last edited by Naadiya on February 1st, 2022, 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Do You Hear That? [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:25 am

Naadiya held up the earring in front of her where the candle light caught it and admired the craftsmanship. A large teardrop shaped stone hung, swinging, inside a ring of silver with dangling metal chains. She had recognized the Benshira style of it immediately once she had seen it, but the stone was less familiar. At first she thought it was a piece of turquoise, by the dark veins and ran through it like cracks on dry stamped sand, but the color was wrong. A milky silvery white she could not place. It had looked heavy, but when Naadiya secured it to her ear, the jewelry seemed to weigh nothing. She looked into her small mirror again, so long had it been since she’d felt adorned.

Content, Naadiya fished out the missing part and finished assembling her loom. It really was a beautiful piece of machinery, that could not be denied. She didn’t have anything to work with yet, but just having the loom set up made Naadiya feel better, though her room was not so large and it did take up a bit of floor space.

Still, it made her feel more settled.

Leaning out the window was refreshing and she did it often. It would be easy to stand there for hours just trying to separate the different animal calls in the dark.

There had often been colonies of desert rain frogs near the oases back in Eyktol, and Naadiya remembered sitting out at night listening to their calls with her sisters, soft and sweet amphibian trills in the night air, nature’s melody. Here they sang a different song, a different language entirely, but Naadiya still recognized the rhythms with their guttural roots. The bird sounds too were definable, foreign as they sounded. Like instruments in a band, she might not know the exact type of horn that was playing, but by its sound she knew it was a horn and not a woodwind.

Tazrae had let her take whatever she wanted to eat, before going to bed, and Naadiya had taken what first looked to be crushed nuts. She had tried chocolate before, a foreign delicacy in the desert that arrived through sea trade, but never these nibs, little precursors to the much sweeter treat.

Ca ca oh, she said again in her mind reciting her newly learned word until it felt comfortable in her mouth while also rolling a little nib on her tongue.

A rustling in the trees caused Naadiya to freeze. It had not come from inside the cabin, that she could tell. But it was too dark to see into the green even with her shell candle, its light not reaching more than a few feet effectively. Before she knew it a mound of fur threw itself forward, bounding across the deck and effortlessly pulling itself up onto the window’s rail.

By the time it had done so, however, Naadiya had already stepped back several paces with the best weapon she had at the very moment: the bowl. In the process she had sent the nibs flying through the air and scattered them over the floor. Their soft fragrance wafting spicy-sweet as they flew.

Word Count: 532
Last edited by Naadiya on February 1st, 2022, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Do You Hear That? [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Naadiya on January 17th, 2022, 2:26 am

The creature did not seem to mind her, however, and after looking her way once, it made its way over to the cacao nibs that had spilled on the floor, at a leisurely pace.

Naadiya watched it as it took each piece of roasted cacao with its funny little hands. Five fingers like the pet dancing monkeys she’d seen growing up but the index finger was strangely short. She wondered if it was this way by nature or chance but then saw that the finger had a nail like the rest, they were the only parts of its little hands that glinted in the candlelight. Noting that both hands had these shortened fingers, Naadiya assumed it to be more of a species trait than a birth defect. It turned its giant persimmon colored eyes her way as it continued to take little handfuls of the nibs to crunch on.

The candle flickered with the breeze but Naadiya could see its face was nothing like that of the monkeys she’d seen before, who were almost humanlike. This furry creature had disproportionately huge eyes, and a small snout like a rodent almost, or a fennec. With a yawn revealing its tiny little teeth and a long tongue the creature seemed to satisfy itself and started off towards the window again. No tail, Naadiya saw. This was no monkey she had every seen. She’d have to ask about it come sunup, while it did not seem to be interested in eating or even attacking her, in the slightest, Naadiya still had kept her distance. Many adorable things have razor sharp talons, poisoned fangs or both, she new.

Standing there, motionlessly, the hint of paranoia began to rear its ugly little head. These windows had no true closure and this wasn’t like the desert where she might have ample time to notice something coming at her. Naadiya could be standing right next to these green walls of nature and think herself safe. It is often almost a solid wall of foliage, after all. But how very wrong she would be.

Her eyes were adjusting in the dark and she could see many tiny little pairs glimmering back at her. Or were they looking at the flame that flickered in the clamshell sitting atop the nightstand? Did they smell the scent of cacao scattered about the floor?

Naadiya’s muscles relaxed slightly. She was the one drawing attention to herself, calling out in either lure of food or fear of fire. Quickly she swept up the nibs with her hands and filled the bowl, hoping she would remember to rinse them in the morning before finishing the snack.

She sat down on the bed and blew the flame out. Breathing in deeply the cool fresh tropical air was a reminder that it would take time for her to stop feeling surprised by all the newness around. She laid back down to maybe find sleep again, forgetting the earring that still clung to her ear.

Word Count: 498
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Do You Hear That? Pt I [Trinket Box Ability]

Postby Gossamer on February 14th, 2022, 1:32 am

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GRADING

Naadiya –

Cleaning +1, Cosmology +3, Organization +1, Observation +3, Weaving +1

Cleaning: Personal Hygiene, Cosmology: Basic Skin Care, Cosmology: Applying Serum, Organization: Organizing Skin Care Items, Weaving: Assembling a Loom, Observation: Monkey – Appearance and Mannerism,

Notes: Unfortunately, most of this thread was about your PC remembering things. I understand that… it’s part of the process of getting into a PC’s head and learning the PC. But I can’t give any sort of skill awards for remembering things… just doing things. Let me know if I missed anything. Regardless, it was a nice read. I gave you a point of weaving for assembling the loom. Next time you’ll need some details instead of just saying you are doing so.

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