Solo Putting Down Roots Pt. I

Naadiya's home starts being built. She meets with Sorian and Talivindra to finalize designs.

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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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Putting Down Roots Pt. I

Postby Naadiya on April 28th, 2022, 10:25 pm

Putting Down Roots Pt. I
52 of Spring 522 AV
-Morning-


The construction site had already started being cleared and Naadiya got excited every time she thought of it. Her scribbled sketches were slowly going to come into fruition and that was something worth being thrilled over, despite everything else that was going on, or maybe because of that. With so few things to look forward to when the very definition of ‘normal’ was not guaranteed, small moments when the positive somehow pushed its way to the forefront of one’s mind were to be appreciated.

The very spot where her house would be built had been bared down to the grass. At the last moment, Naadiya had decided she would rather keep the tree that grew there and asked Randal if he could build the house to work with the tree. As the tree grew, the house would benefit from its shade and shelter but not get in its way.

Small sticks had been placed on the ground and yellow string connected the sticks to show the planned positions of the stilts.

Randal had taken no time to send out a few men to start the early stages of construction, but when Naadiya asked, the men claimed it had been Sorian who had sent them. She assumed the former had spoken to the latter, but made a mental note to go visit Sorian and meet him in person as well.

Before she did that though, Naadiya wanted to tour the whole site. The afore mentioned tree, stood a few feet away from where the rectangular shape had been laid out with string. Lines had been roughly scratched in the ground to indicate when the stairs would be placed. She walked around the whole space. It did not feel very large but Naadiya reminded herself there would be vertical height above all else. Two stilted stories and the attic and ground level storage areas. It would be enough space, she hoped.

Having had expanded her plans to include a separate workroom area, Naadiya walked over to where that building would be erected as well. That area hadn’t yet been cleared but she would close her eyes and imagine it. She had envisioned another elevated space, where she could weave or dye fabrics and below it, a small garden.

It was still well before noon but Syna must have had her gaze pointed at the settlement because the sun felt hotter than was comfortable. Naadiya was glad she did not have to labor under the sun all day and pitied the construction crew. She was leaving the area, heading for the Builder’s Emporium, when she crossed paths with Sorian and another man carrying long pieces of wood towards the site.

“Naadiya, hi, I’m, Sorian,” he introduced himself not slowing his pace. She pivoted on her heel and followed behind him not wanting to get in the way.

“Sorry I haven’t had a chance to sit down with you yet,” he continued, “there are a few building projects around the settlement popping up and I’m restricting myself from being at any worksite after dark. The risks with the fires are too high so I have to squeeze every last second of daylight that I can manage.”

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Last edited by Naadiya on April 29th, 2022, 5:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Putting Down Roots

Postby Naadiya on April 28th, 2022, 10:27 pm

If anyone understood the feeling of not having enough workable hours in a day, she did.

“You have nothing to apologize for. Thank you for already getting people on this job! I wasn’t expecting construction to begin so soon.”

Sorian did not pause nor slow his steps. “Was there anything you needed from me, or were you just checking out the site?”

“Well both, but in retrospect, I’m not so sure when would be the best time to ask you. I don’t want to impede your workflow but I would need some light to take notes”

“Meet me at the Commons just before sunset, by that time we will have lost most of the usable light in the site and still have a little leftover to work with.”

She thanked him and left him to continue the building with his handful of carpenters and laborers, heading for the clothing store.

At first, Dawn had refused to get a new wardrobe. She had resorted to wearing borrowed clothes and though she had not told anyone, she had also been hiding a roll of imported cotton in her home. Slowly, her closet began to gain a few new cotton pieces and then Tony surprised her with a silk dress to lift her spirits. Dawn wore the silk now, looking happier than she had in a long while.

When Naadiya saw the smile on her boss’s face, she immediately decided not to mention the spots where sweat had already reached the precious ivory fabric. They greeted each other pleasantly and Naadiya went to the back to set her things down when she noticed Dawn had moved all the isuas garments to the outskirts of the store, with the majority of the floor space being taken up by leather, linen and novelties that were usually set aside.

Can’t say I wouldn’t do the same. At least she can walk around without accidentally brushing up on the allergic material.

Normally, Naadiya did not actually man the store. She came and went as she pleased with sacks of fabric in exchange for yarn and gold but eventually it became clear that Dawn would not be able to manage the store herself if she couldn’t touch the merchandise.

Naadiya had been the natural choice, having already been comfortable with the store and its products. But this was a patchwork solution. She couldn’t handle the weaving and working at the shop, not without giving up other parts of her life and Naadiya was just not ready to devote all of her time to work. At the same time, the idea of her house being built, only drove her to seek out the security of money even more, having just spent such a chunk. Even having the loan from the founders, Naadiya had to make sure she would be able to make those payments and in a timely manner.

I suppose she could always dye it another color if the fabric does start to yellow, and it really is a lovely dress. She tried not to think about money.

“The dress fits you like a glove,” she said to the blonde who turned to Naadiya with a beaming smile.

“Doesn’t it though!? And I didn’t even have to take it in or let it out anywhere! He did good,” Dawn replied, referring to Tony.

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Last edited by Naadiya on April 28th, 2022, 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Putting Down Roots

Postby Naadiya on April 28th, 2022, 10:30 pm

Naadiya wanted to ask about Tony, but she couldn’t afford to open up that can of worms. Dawn could sometimes get talkative when she liked the topic and Naadiya didn’t have the time to sit and listen today. Since she had started coming to the shop to help Dawn, Naadiya had found that she made many more mistakes in her weaving than when she was alone. Every once in a while she would be interrupted and taken away from one of the looms stationed in the back, to tend to one of the customers. It made her lose track of where she was and some times lengths of fabric that she could have once executed flawlessly started to lose their uniformity. A pattern would skip a row, looking slightly more stunted than those that came before. Stripes would start to vary their widths as she lost patiences trying to keep count. Gradients gradually lost their smoothness. But locals also seemed to lose any persnicketiness with the current state of the community.

No one had complained so far. Well… that wasn’t entirely true. Dawn tried to once. At the peak of her mental break, not long after she had found out the depths of the the curse’s effect on her, Dawn lost it.

Naadiya had been in the workroom, lacking sleep but still sending that abominable shuttle back and forth on the loom and counting.

One of the first things she had been told after being hired was that at that early stage, she should likely not attempt a chevron pattern. She had since then, sharpened her skills well beyond mastering the zigzagging lines and once she had shown them to Dawn and Tony, a silent boast, they couldn’t stop requesting it.

For a while it was fine. But she was stressed. The inn was no longer the quiet place it once was, and her room as no longer the neat and organized escape she once had. Yes, it continued to be cleaned by someone who must have worked there, but the dwindling walkable floorspace made the place uncomfortable during the day. She’d had also had certain tensions come up between herself and Artik and was thinking about just that when Dawn came through yelling.

Her eyes were opened wide, almost lidless and she looked to not have slept very well either. Grasped in her fist and shaking in the raised grip was one of the last few yards Naadiya had given her. Her arms were red up to the elbow and she had splotches visible on her cheek and neck that matched.

“Oh! Did you think that because I shouldn’t be sifting through the fabrics that you could be telling me one and selling me another?! What is this?!”

The fabric had a wavy irregular print in red, and Naadiya eyed it with annoyance but any negative reaction she might have had was multiplied twice over when Dawn approached her in such a craze.

Deciding that trying to defuse the situation was well beyond her current capabilities, Naadiya dropped what she was doing. She lost count and if she did go back to the loom again that day, Dawn would've h ad get ready for another wavy chevron.

Wooden tools clacked as they fell from her hands and her stool was thrown back as she stood up to meet the other woman eye-to-eye.

“HAVE YOU ABSOLUTELY LOST IT?!” She burst out, not caring that it was her boss to whom she spoke. Dawn had not expected the sudden outburst and hesitated for half a second but it was all Naadiya needed. She yanked the fabric out of Dawn’s grip, threw it aside and grabbed Dawns wrists, pulling them up to the the woman’s gaze.

“Look at yourself! Why are you doing this?!” She let go of the woman’s arms and gestured to herself, “Look at me! I am not well! We are not well! And I am not trying to cheat you! If you really don’t want to pay for that, fine, I will give you back your money! Who do you think you are talking to?!”

Swallowing hard, while also scratching her forearms, Dawn took in the site before her. The general lack of sleep was evident in both faces. Both wore the thin film of stress that had now covered everyone like morning dew. But where Dawn’s face bore red irritated patches of rash, Naadiya’s had similarly red spots, paired with knicks from shaving delicate skin and occasional patches where she had missed the hairs.

Dawn’s face cracked. The anger she had been holding onto drained away but Naadiya was already on her way out.

Tony had been coming in from the back and caught the tail end of the discourse. After checking on his wife, he ran after Naadiya, who by then had already exited the shop and put a several heatedly rushed steps between herself and the scene of the crime. His calm demeanor radiated like an aura but it was dampened by so much of late.

Eventually he succeeded at calming her down but Naadiya still took the rest of the day off. She returned to the inn and very happily did zero weaving of any kind.

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Putting Down Roots

Postby Naadiya on April 29th, 2022, 4:50 pm

It had been a while since that incident and since then Dawn had been walking on egg shells around Naadiya, who, despite everything, had continued to come in and help around the store when needed.

Occasionally Naadiya would find small treats near her work station. If Dawn had brought in pork stuffed buns, there would be one wrapped in a banana leaf next to the loom. If she had those tiny cakes with the creamy topping, Naadiya had one as well.

It wasn’t that Naadiya was not appreciative, she certainly was. Keeping their relationship copacetic maintained the atmosphere in the shop palpable for not only themselves but for costumers too. And she didn’t want to be at odds with her boss, but this had not been the first point of conflict she’d had with Dawn, and if Naadiya knew anything about patterns, it was that they repeated themselves. Not always identically, sometimes imperfectly, but they repeated. Naadiya would enjoy the calm ocean until another storm set in, but for now she waded.

The hours passed by and she was not interrupted even once. Of course, not being interrupted meant that they’d had no customers, but Naadiya couldn’t bring herself to care about that. She’d been thinking about the house all day and quickly said her goodbyes to Dawn as soon as the sky started to lose its light.

Naadiya had been sitting in the Commons waiting and tapping her fingernails on the rail when she spotted Sorian heading over. Having gotten there well before him, Naadiya had requested everyone close by refrain from lighting any torches or candles while he was there. No one wanted any fires spreading in town and she heard no arguments.

When Sorian reached her, Naadiya had cleared an area for them and had taken out her notebook and a thin stick of charcoal. He sat down across from her and stuck his hand out.

“Nice to actually meet you. How can I help you?”

They shook hands and Naadiya showed him her sketches and pointed to the windows.

“I’m not sure how much of these types of details you already have planned before starting construction, I’ve never been involved in building things. Do you already have specific dimensions figured out for the windows?”

From the bag at his back, Sorian pulled out a length of bamboo about the size of his arm. Removing a large cork from one end, he tilted the hollowed out bamboo until a scroll of paper slid out. Laying it out on the table, he spread out the scroll and anchored each end. One had an unlit candle stick, the other was held by Naadiya notebook and the others by one hand each.

She had not seen the official plan for the place yet. Sorian’s lines were so straight and careful she almost laughed at her own attempts.

“I just got it done,” he said, as if hearing her thoughts, “now would be a great time to make any changes if you want. I also asked someone to come meet us.”

He looked around and then up at the sinking sun but turned back to with a small frown, “looks like she may have been held up.”


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Putting Down Roots

Postby Naadiya on April 29th, 2022, 5:03 pm

A tall, slender woman covered in scales like those of a python but crimson in color smiled as she moved towards the two and held a finger to her lips as soon as Naadiya’s eyes met hers. She had slipped onto the raised platform without either Naadiya or Sorian noticing her approach and Naadiya was sure she wouldn’t have seen the woman if not for the angle of her seat, for she barely even heard her come close.

Elongated mahogany toned fingers wove themselves over Sorian’s eyes from behind and a slippery voice sang, “Guessss who?”

“We don’t have time for this Talivindra,” Sorian said curtly.

The Verusk woman gave him a flick on the shoulder but sat down by his side, “you are no fffun anymore.”

“This is Naadiya,” Sorian introduced the two, “Naadiya, this is Talivindra. Sometimes she consults with the designs… she has an eye for it.”

“I have two eyesss for it, actually,” the woman correct, smiling with heavily painted lips. Naadiya noticed the woman’s eye makeup and thought she must have a very steady hand to have done both eyes and gotten such symmetrical results. “Ssso, I was trying to convince Ssorian that you really wanted more. I ssaw the plansss and ssketchess, and I thought ‘cute’, but you could have ‘amazzzing!’”

Sorian looked as though he had already heard this all before and rolled his eyes. He was more than happy giving a client exactly what they asked for, no more no less. But Talivindra ached every time a purely functional building went up in the settlement. Things had to function of course, but why shouldn’t they also be beautiful at the same time?

Out of her own bag, Talivindra produced wooden dowels about the length of Naadiya’s hand. Each one was a different type of wood and had a different design carved into it. A yellow toned one had organic swirls, watery in their inspiration. A rich red-brown wood bore floral designs with butterflies and a the one in a redder hue had been carved to look like several narrower dowels had been bundled together. There was a dark brown one that had been etched to be covered in an animal print, and blonde wood with a chevron pattern.

The idea of having chevron in her house after all that it had put her through almost made Naadiya want to throw up, she immediately pointed to the the dark brown wood, disregarding any others.

Talivindra smiled, nodding with slightly narrowed eyes. “Huh, interesst.”

She rummaged through her bag, saying nothing else but leaving Naadiya to wonder what had been so interesting.

With a satisfied sighed, the Verusk pulled out a small wooden box. It was the same wood as the dowel Naadiya had chosen and covered in the same etched leopard print pattern. She placed it on the table and gestured for Naadiya to open it.

“Is that you?” Talivindra asked, the second Naadiya opened the box.

The first thing that struck her was the scent. Lemon with cardamom and a rich smokey wooden aroma mingled together. Inside the box there were lemon rinds, no longer bright but dulled, dried. There were a few sage leaves velvety and silvery green, scattered on one side. Tumbled pieces of turquoise rolled around and a vanilla bean dark, nearly black stuck out from under the sage. A tiny bowl, maybe made for holding rings or ashes, sat with a tiny velvet bag that rattled when she picked it up. Opening the bag she poured its contents into the tiny bowl and saw seeds mixed with smooth river stones and what looked to either be the occasion claw or tooth. The bowl itself had been carved from a purple stone and had a tiny but intricate pattern going around both the rim and the base.

At first she had thought the woman’s box was going to produce some picture or mirror. It felt very odd that looking at the scattered bits of nothing, she did, in fact, see herself.

Nodding, Naadiya handed the box back to the woman but Talivindra shook her head.

“No you keep that, that’s going to be your new home. I have copious notes.”

Naadiya glanced over at Sorian, trying to discern if he was as confused as she was but the man seemed unperturbed. This may have been the way the scaled woman worked her artistic juices. But even so, Naadiya hadn’t been aware she needed someone’s artistic juices dripping all over her home.

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Putting Down Roots

Postby Naadiya on April 29th, 2022, 5:09 pm

“I’m sorry, I’m still a little confused…” she spoke mainly to Sorian, “I thought we’d be meeting for me to find out the sizes of the windows… I just wanted to start making the curtains… Not that I don’t appreciate your box and the carved sticks, Talivindra, but I’m a little unsure of what to make of all this…”

Talivindra was about to speak up when Sorian interjected, she did not look happy to have been cut off but chose to let him speak. Sorian would hear about this later and he could bet on it.

“Tal sometimes likes to take on pet projects. She sometimes lends her design expertise when she thinks it could be used… and when we looked over the…drawings you have shown Randal…. She took an interest…”

The way he hesitated on the word ‘drawings’ was less than flattering but Naadiya let it go. She looked at the woman again, taking her in with a new appraising eye.

Naadiya had heard precious little about the Verusk who lived close to the settlement, this would have been her first interaction with one. The snake-like patterning did the woman no favors in Naadiya’s eyes, but the Benshira tried to remain without prejudice.

The vibrancy of the make up on both her lips and eyes, hinted at a bold personality. And the detail she had gotten while handling the make-up brush, seemed to be much as fine as that she had been able to show with a whittling knife. If she had carved all those things herself, and Naadiya guessed she had. She certainly did not seem the type of person to present someone else’s handiwork as if it were their own, if appearances were anything to go by.

To deny the Verusk had an eye for design would have been too easily debunked. Yet Naadiya was still unsure she even wanted the type of help she was being offered. Naadiya had an idea of what her house would look like in her mind. She had worked on simple layouts to ease the flow of movement through the space, no corners to turn or hidden rooms. Simplicity had been key. All the decorative elements would come with loudly patterned fabrics, blooming flowers and baubles. Naadiya couldn’t wait to start collecting all sorts of knickknacks.

Talivindra did not strike her as someone who liked simplicity or knickknacks. Looking at the almost hungry smile in the Verusk’s lips, Naadiya didn’t shy away though. She returned the smile, curling her lips in an almost feline attitude.

“Thank you Talivindra… but I think I may stick to the simple, clean look that I was going for with my minimalist sketches… But thank you so much for the..” She gestured toward the Verusk’s artistically eclectic boxes and dowels unsure of what to refer to them as, “efforts.”

Naadiya did not need to turn to Sorian to see his eyes widening. The man, dared a glance at Talivindra but the woman had her gaze locked on Naadiya now. She was not used to being told ‘no’ and flashed back and forth trying to decide if she would take this as an insult or a challenge and ultimately decided on the latter. There had been no previous bad blood between the two women and Talivindra knew her own nature better than most.

Though the Verusk had run a million thoughts through her mind, separating the pros from the cons of either dropping the project or insisting she be kept on, it only took maybe a full minute of silence. Sorian had frozen in place, no wanting to potentially be the one to turn what could be a smooth experience into friction. Naadiya had given Talivindra a soft smile after thanking her and turned to the drawing on the scroll as she was stared at by the scale-lined eyes, twice she made comments to Sorian that went unanswered.

Painted lips smiled even wider as the red-scaled woman put away her things and stood back up. “Then, I will leave you two to discuss. It was my pleasure Naadiya.”

Naadiya smiled at the woman as she left but it was a hollow smile. She had misjudged the woman. Had the roles been switched Naadiya would have tried harder to sell her idea, or even just reassure the client that their desired aesthetic would be the priority and not her own artistic license.

Maybe that was it, she just did not want to budge on her design being the only good design… Well then I suppose I dodged an arrow now just. Best not to linger on it.

The look Naadiya gave Sorian had no hints of discomfort or even disappointment. She only smiled and asked, “So I really wanted to know the sizes of the windows so I could start making curtains.”

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Putting Down Roots Pt. I

Postby Cleon on May 31st, 2022, 10:10 pm

Image





Grade Award!

Naadiya:

Skills:

Observation: 3
Socialization: 2


Lores:

Sorian: Appearance & Mannerisms
Dawn Swiftwater: Appearance & Mannerisms
Syka: The curses are putting everyone on edge
Talivandra: Appearance & Mannerisms
Talivandra: A keen eye for design

Feel free to pm me with questions or concerns about your grade, and don’t forget to edit your grade request! :)
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