Closed Something Unexpected (Shiress Please)

Shiress gets a visit from someone unexpected.

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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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Something Unexpected (Shiress Please)

Postby Gossamer on April 23rd, 2022, 6:49 pm

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Ian flung his arms around his mother, hugging her fiercely as the eagles were unloaded and most of them left the immediate beach for the warm sea water or the loose sand higher up down the beach. He held her like it had been years, and to the little boy it felt like it had been. He planted wet kisses on her gaunt cheek and buried his small fist into her shirt, holding her tight. “Never go away again.” He said firmly, clinging to her neck like a lifeline. Then, after another round of fierce hugs, he laid his head on her shoulder for a moment as if all was right in the world. Then, after just a brief pause, he lifted his head and looked thoughtfully at her.

“Down.” He said, firmly wanting out of her arms. If she sat him down, he’d take her hand and tug her along the sand, up the beach, not north, not east, but strangely south. “Show you.” He said firmly, glancing back at her and knowing she was tired but wanting her to follow anyhow. Up past the high waterline, Shade had vanished where he stood. Instead, if Shiress scanned around, she’d find him with some of the other heavy lifters in the settlement carrying crates and boxes of cargo up the beach towards the Syka Events Center to be sorted later. Everyone worked when The Veronica pulled into port or Wind Eagles decided to drop from the skies… everyone.

Alric too had disappeared with Lys walking northward up the beach towards the obvious destination of Mathias’ cabana. She knew what would happen there… peace, a chat, and Mathias would probably give him something to drink or plunk a line in the water. It wasn’t any more or any less than he’d do for anyone else, and Shiress knew his deck was open if she needed to go there to sleep in peace tonight.

But for now, Ian was impatient. “Come on…. mommy… hurry.” He said, tugging her along. They were definitely going south… and at a rapid pace. Truthfully, the more she walked the better Shiress felt after so many days in the saddle riding the flying bird. There was a rhythm to the wingbeats that didn’t quite leave her stride as she followed her son. But oddly she didn’t feel tired… the bone deep exhaustion had left her at his touch and at her feet finally sinking back into Syka’s soil. She should have been hungry, thirsty, and all kinds of things, but she wasn’t. Not at all, in fact. She felt almost refreshed. And the more Ian tugged her hand, the further they walked until what Shiress thought would be a short jaunt turned into almost a bell of walking along the gently lapping water. They had to briefly duck inland and follow a trail that bypassed Estuary Cave until they came out on Komorebi Estuary which was a shaded spot of speckled sunlight and no beach. Instead, the trail cut into young jungle trees that crowded out the sunshine and left the Estuary sheltered.

South of the Estuary Cave on the way to Treasure Point is a location on the Syka Coastline that is truly lovely. The Komorebi Estuary is a deeply shadowed spot, speckled with sunlight that filters through the trees and splashes on the water creating a daily show of color that almost resembles living stained glass. The tropical waters team with life here, shallow and mixed with fresh water. Beneath the waist-deep water lies a plethora of crabs, lobster, and all sorts of bivalves.

There is a multitude of enormous freshwater muscles that can be found scattered across the cobbled estuary floor. They thrive in the brackish water and seem to do just as well with the tide in and salt mixing in as they do at low tide where the water is mostly fresh. The inside of the shells has an amazing coloring that reminds folks of sunlight striking oil and shimmering a rainbow of color.

Among the stone, shrimp scurries and provides a veritable feast for those able to net them with tossed out hand nets. Shorebirds and waders frequent the Estuary, harvesting its bounty for themselves. The hunting here is almost always good and more importantly, it is an incredibly peaceful place to visit.

Equal to the sources of protein, plants, and wild edible foods grow just as plentiful. There are sedges, grasses, and seaweed that are delicious and nutritious. There are also numerous kinds of mushrooms growing in this moist environment. Algae, moss, and other rock growers are numerous here and can provide incredible sources of vitamins and minerals for those who know how to forage for them.

There is a huge rock on the northern end of the estuary that the briny water laps. It is an amazing place to meditate and do some serious thinking. It is also a lovely place to fish from or even simply just soak in the calm of this somewhat holy place.


An ethereally beautiful woman sat on the rock, as if lost in meditation. She had alabaster white skin and long sleek black hair that framed wide dark eyes that looked ageless. She turned her head when the pair came into sight and a slight smile curled her lips. She was sitting, cross legged, on the rock as if she’d been waiting for them the whole time. Ian paused at the edge of the water and a break in the trail that led around the little cove to the big meditative rock itself. He dropped his mother’s hand and pointed. “See?”

He said, gesturing to the woman, as if Shiress would know that’s what they came to see. The little boy then plucked himself down on a child sized rock that made a perfect seat and began tossing out small pebbles into the waters of the estuary to scatterer the brightly colored fish. He looked like he wasn’t about to leave that spot for the life of him.

The woman, meanwhile, rose to her feet. “Shiress….” She said, beckoning the doctor over. “It’s good to see you.”



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Something Unexpected (Shiress Please)

Postby Shiress on April 24th, 2022, 12:42 am

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Shiress would know that squeal anywhere.

Spinning around, she spotted Ian running toward her, his tiny arms outstretched. Behind the toddler, Shade stood as stoic as always, though there was something...then she heard it; her little toddler son was calling his mother a shrew, and Shade had fallen into a coughing fit in an attempt to style his laughing.

Shiress would also know the blue-eyed man's influence anywhere and shot the monk a dark look just as her son reached her.

Shiress caught her son and squeezed, accepting the boy's enthusiastic hello kisses with a wide smile.

"I won't, baby," she said, answering the toddler's plea, "I'm not going anywhere."

Ian laid his head down on her shoulder as if that had been the only answer he had needed to hear, and Shiress squeezed her eyes closed, pressing her lips to her son's soft, honey-colored hair.

Mother and son stayed in that warm, reacquainting embrace a long while until Ian finally wiggled free, wanting down. Once the boy's bare feet landed back in the sand, he wrapped his hand around Shiress's and began pulling her further down the beach, declaring that he had something he needed to show her.

"What baby," she said, glancing around and only then noticing that they were alone by the water. Turning her attention back to her son, Shiress started walking, allowing the little boy to tug her along, "What are you going to show me?"

Ian pressed his little finger across his lips, effectively shushing his mother, and Shiress let out a bark of laughter, shook her head, and was pulled along by her overly Shade influenced toddler.

"Okay, I'm hurrying!"

By the time Shiress and Ian walked for nearly half a bell, Shiress had started thinking the boy just wanted to walk. Which was fine, but anytime Shiress would slow or even so much as look like she might stop, Ian's mission gained purpose, and she was ushered forth by the insistent smaller hand in her's. She hadn't needed to stop either, which was surprising because Shiress had been exhausted when the Wind Eagles landed in Syka.

Maybe it was just being back home, or maybe it was reuniting with her son, but the doctor felt stronger and altogether better. In fact, Shiress hadn't felt as good as she did presently since well before they had come to Syka. Shiress frowned at this thought, readying herself for some serious contemplation, but Ian's incessant pulling had veered off from the beach for a small trail that looked to lead into the treeline. Shiress pulled her son to a sudden stop.

"No, baby, we aren't supposed to go into the trees," she said, her voice soft but firm, "let's head on back now, okay, sweetie?" But Ian was already shaking his head with toddler-sized annoyance.

"No, mommy," he said, pulling free of Shiress's hand, taking off at a run calling over his shoulder, "c'mon! Hurry!"

Shiress started after her son, yelling his name, but the toddler had suddenly developed much better agility at jumping downed limbs and rounding trees. What exactly had Shade and Ian been up to since she had been gone?

Just before true panic -that her son was actually running into the jungle!- could set in, Ian came to an abrupt halt just ahead, body twisting back and forth happily as Shiress caught up to him.

"Ian, don't you ev-"

"See!"

Shiress's words cut off while her eyes followed the trajectory of her boy's pointing finger and gave the figure sitting on the rock a genuine double-take, eyebrows shooting up nearly to her hairline. Shiress's gaze flitted between her son and the stranger, then paused on the woman. Shiress stared at the beautiful, raven-haired woman, unable to form words. It wasn't until the female spoke Shiress's name as she stood that Shiress realized her mouth was hanging open, and she snapped it closed and cleared her throat uneasily.

"I'm sorry, do I know you," she asked, then glanced down at Ian to ensure the boy was staying put before moving closer to the female, with awe, worry, and confusion all warring for dominance in her unsure gaze.

Word Count - 718
Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Something Unexpected (Shiress Please)

Postby Gossamer on April 24th, 2022, 2:54 am

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The woman rose, gracefully, her long straight hair swaying in the wind of the Estuary. “You do know me. You’ve known me your whole life since you helped the first person you ever wanted to help heal.” The woman said softly. She turned gracefully, her skin aglow, and walked towards Shiress. “I am represented at every healings station, in every medical bag, in every wrapped wound. You know me.” She repeated, and approached Shiress.

People worship me when ever they submit to your care, take on a bandage, get stitches, or drink an elixir you’ve mixed up to ease their cough. Most don’t mention me by name, so I understand how thankless your job is. But I am called Rak’keli by many… you may call me friend.” She said sincerely, carefully choosing her wrods.

“You have always scarified for others, the whole of your life. You’ve given so much of yourself and received so little thanks. Even here, in this place, you saw a treatment for an illness… and regardless of whether that illness can be cured or not, you acted. Do you see what you did, by going to Mathias Okavis and pleading your case, arranging travel, and going yourself… you might not be the cure to this place… but you acted as a true healer should. You acquired what you thought the needed treatment was and delivered it. Now it is up to the patient’s body and the medicine itself to interact and see what can be done.” The Goddess of Healing said thoughtfully.

She stopped in front of Shiress, paused, and reached out. She slipped a slim beautiful hand around Shiress’ neck so her palm cupped the back of her neck and there, at the base of her hairline, one of Rak’keli’s marks burst from her skin, uplifting, and embossing itself with a holy light. It glowed brightly momentarily then settled back, a singular snake with two wings stretching across her shoulder blades and a tail gently twisting down her spine. It was not large, but it was not something that could be easily hidden either. When Rak’keli withdrew her touch, Shiress was filled with the power of the gnosis mark and knew without question she could heal with just a touch.

Her first mark wasn’t incredibly powerful, but she could smooth scratched skin, instantly heal cuts so long as they were superficial, and smooth bruising, sunburn, and scrapes away as if they’d never happened. And most importantly, she could sanitize wounds with just a touch to stave off infection. The knowledge of how to do this, channeling the power in the mark, filled her as the Goddess caught her gaze.

“You have long suffered, and in doing so have taken on a lot of other’s pain. You’ve done so mostly without complaint, and have sacrificed a great deal of your life and your own happiness for the safety and security of your son. This has cost you much and will continue to cost you much. But there is something I’d like to do for you as a reward for all your sacrifices, above and beyond marking you as one of my own.” Rak’Keli said softly. Then she shifted her weight, held out her hands, and waited to see if Shiress would take them.

As Shiress reached forward and slid her hands into Rak’keli’s, the Goddess closed her eyes. What she did took concentration and precision. “I cannot take your scars, Shiress… I cannot smooth the record of your abuse and years on Mizahar… but I can change them.” She said softly, and suddenly the doctor’s body was filled with an incredible pain. It was like ten thousand sunburns or a hundred hot pokers all digging into her skin at once. And the scars she wore all over her body became as if they were living things, curling and coiling around Shiress… moving with her skin, circling her body, and reforming.

Where they’d been was smooth flawless skin. She was still too thin, still too pale, starved and cursed, but her skin was now flawless. Instead, in a wave of pain that was utterly indescribable, the scars migrated… came together… and reformed. Instead of cut marks, burns, stab wounds, and miscellaneous obviously stitched wounds, the scar tissue rose up and coiled together to form an almost embroidered pattern of skin up and down her back, up and down her arms, and up and down her legs that uncoiled into raised patterns that looked like the most realistic roses possible. Her scars looked like a stationer had embossed her skin for a wedding announcement in a wild exotic pattern up and down her limbs and across her back. Rak’keli was indeed right. The scars did not fade, but the abused healed flesh reformed and suddenly Shiress’ body was beautiful. The patterning looked like scars, but were flawlessly uniform and flawlessly beautiful in their raised perfection. It was like an artist took a paintbrush and in textured paint hand drew rose vines across her back, down her spine, across her ass, and down her limbs. Her arms and legs were encircled by the scarred vines that looked sacred and yet utterly breathtaking.

Shiress wouldn’t realize the full extent of the change while she was gaunt, starved, and her sleep was completely compromised. But when she was through the current curse, if there was an other side of the curse, and back in good health, she’d be stunning with the embossed scarred roses all over her body. And when Rak’keli released her hands and stepped back, the pain in Shiress’ body vanished.

“You’ll be asked to do more, Shiress. Far more. This is just the beginning. But it’s a road worth walking for your son and all your friends. Make no mistake. You will make friends here. There are people worth knowing and people worth protecting. And they will need you and your skills.” She said softly, her eyes full of the sadness of causing Shiress pain… but also the satisfaction of doing something with perfection.

“Take better care of yourself this time. There won’t be a way to do this a second time.” She said softly, then stepped back another step, giving Shiress more room, and waiting to see if there was anything Shiress wanted to say to her before she departed. Little Ian, having not gone far, walked up and carefully took his mother’s hand. He seemed to be oblivious to her incredible pain of a moment ago. But he would notice any of her usual scars suddenly being gone… and he’d notice even more with Shiress less dressed than she was currently, still wearing her gear for flying.


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Something Unexpected (Shiress Please)

Postby Shiress on April 25th, 2022, 4:40 pm

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Shiress could not find her voice in the wake of Rak’keli's words. Even with the Goddess's etching still tingling across the skin of her upper back, the newly marked healer found the comprehension of being given such a generous gift elusive.

Shiress had always been drawn to those that were sick or injured and had a passion for calming worries and soothing the pain. Being recognized and marked by this beautiful Goddess of Healing for simply doing something the doctor passionately loved to do caused Shiress to somehow feel...unworthy of such a gift. As if she were being compensated for something she would otherwise do freely.

Unbidden, the memory of the drawn, pain-ridden faces of those Shiress hadn't been able to help, those too far gone for her skill to heal, flitted across her mind. She remembered the helpless feeling she had felt watching as their lives ebbed away, consumed by infection, fever, and disease, and suddenly, Shiress understood why Rak’keli would mark those who do her work. She realized that the Goddess wasn't rewarding her for what she had done but strengthening her so that she might do more.

"Thank you, Goddess. I," Shiress said, voice steady, despite the sudden tears welling in her eyes, then hesitated before adding, "at first, I thought myself unworthy of your gift because I do simply what I have always loved, but knowing now with your mark that I might do more," she shook her head, "I don't know what to say...just..thank you so much."

Rak'Keli extended her hands, and Shiress didn't hesitate to lift her own and place them in hers, frowning slightly at the Goddess's words, curious at what she was going-

Shiress's green eyes flew wide the instant before slamming shut on a wave of pain suddenly erupting across the surface of her body. The skin on her feet, legs, arms, chest, and back, even her face, roiled and burned like a fiery snake slithered just below its surface. Body contorting, Shiress's mouth fell open in silent agony, and just as the healer thought she could take no more, Rak'keli's hands fell from hers, and the pain stopped.

Shiress's eyes shot open and fell to her arms, sure she would see burnt and charred flesh. Instead, what she saw was what once had been an etched tapestry of abuse riddling her body was now a beautiful embroidery of roses. Every scar, healed wound, and imperfection that had once marred Shiress's body had coalesced into the imprint of a fully bloomed rose across her skin. Even the discoloration of those scars now gave life to the flower.

Shiress couldn't help but think back to another time, to another Beautiful Goddess, and the little rose bush that, as a child, she had rescued, brought back to life, and even now still bloomed beautifully every Spring in Zeltiva. Bala had seen the love of new life in a little girl's heart, and now Rak'keli had seen it in the woman.

The Goddess's soft voice pulled Shiress's attention from scrutinizing the new formations on her skin back to Rak'Keli and the cautionary note in her voice. Ian's little hand sliding into hers startled Shiress; she hadn't heard the toddler move closer. She frowned down at her son, realizing she hadn't heard a peep out of the three-year-old since first seeing the Goddess. Ian just beamed back up at her.

"You butiful, mommy!" he said, body gently twisting back and forth, "but Shade said your scrawny ass needs to eat."

Shiress coughed and spluttered, not sure to laugh at her son's words or fume at shade. Instead, she smiled down at Ian and squeezed his hand. Looking back to the Goddess, Shiress's face became more serious.

"I would do it all again, and more," she said earnestly, "for Syka, her land, and her people. If I only knew what I could do." she formed the last as more a question than a statement, hopeful that Rak'Keli might offer some guidance, "I'm willing, and freely offer myself to you or to your divine peers."

Shiress's eyes lifted for the first time to fully look into the Goddess's stunning dark eyes, "If there is anything that I am capable of doing for Syka, I will do it."



Word Count - 727
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Last edited by Shiress on May 12th, 2022, 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Shiress
Every path has a few puddles
 
Posts: 973
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Something Unexpected (Shiress Please)

Postby Gossamer on April 27th, 2022, 11:53 pm

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Shiress


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The Komorebi Estuary: Location & Appearence
Rak'Keli: Mannerism & Appearence
Healing Gnosis: What A First Mark Can Do


Additional Notes: 1 Mark of Rak'Keli


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