Completed A Monstrous Education Pt I

Taz seeks more information about more modern monsters.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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A Monstrous Education Pt I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 12:51 am

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38th of Spring, 522 A.V. ~ Evening


Tazrae picked up her mandolin, slung it over her shoulder, and tucked her writing materials, journal, and some extra scones she’d mixed up for the guests in the morning. She was restless, and one of the things Tazrae appreciated was an open invitation to Mathias’ deck any time she had an inclination to have some conversation. In turn, she always brought her mandolin or something like it in order to contribute. They didn’t mind her songbird inclinations over there, and Tazrae had a suspicion that Mathias or those he knew would have some information she was lacking.

The young Innkeeper wrapped a shawl around her waist because she might need it later if the night turned cold, and padded off her deck still barefoot and out into the jungle proper headed towards Garden Beach. She loved that Mathias was her neighbor. It was nice having someone so close. The walk to his place was less than ten chimes, more if the Ixam joined her, and less if they were busy elsewhere.

This time, the jewel-toned Ixam did join her and she had something of an escort through the path that lead through Garden Beach to the Cabana with its huge overwater deck. Taz talked to them, laughed a little, and laid her hand on the shoulders of an emerald green one that skipped up beside her and nibbled on the end of her braid playfully. And when she arrived at Mathias’ home, some of them – the smaller ones – padded up the stairs behind her and walked out onto the deck with her settling into various places while the larger ones splashed into the water, already organizing a hunting party.

Taz smiled, finding Mathias not alone, but Xander with him. She offered a warm smile and took a seat on Mathias’ right leaving the left spot clear for Xander was fishing. “I’m sorry… the Ixam came with me.” She said apologetically, gesturing at the creatures that were now frolicking beneath the beams holding the deck up out of the water and into the warm waters of the bay. They were chasing big groupers that were gathered around the shade of the man-made structure.

“It’s not a problem. I’m Xander.” Xander said, reeling in his line and stowing his pole, then offering Tazrae his hand. “I was just here passing the time. My hands were starting to ache anyhow.” He said, gesturing to his knuckles that were inflamed and swollen. Taz hissed in sympathy.

“That looks incredibly painful.” She added, shaking her head. “Can the healer do nothing?” She asked. “I’m Tazrae. You actually know me, Xander. We’ve played together a lot. But my curse is to be forgotten.” The young bard said with a soft sad smile.

Both Xander and Mathias shook their heads, then nodded both to her question and her revelation. Mathias already knew her though, so he didn’t look surprised at all. “Curse related. He does something and it looks fine for five chimes, then is back stronger than ever.” Mathias said, shaking his head. “Just like no one can remember you, Taz. She’s right, Xander. You know her.” He offered, backing up Tazrae’s words.

Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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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A Monstrous Education Pt I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 12:56 am

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“That’s why I’m here tonight. My hands seems to feel better here… so I came for a break. I brought wine.” He said, rising to uncork a bottle, refresh his own glass and Mathias, and to poured her a new one. He set the wineglass by her chair on a small wooden table and offered her a smile. “You brought your mandolin.” He said, looking thoughtful. “Does that mean you play?” He asked.

Taz nodded.

“I play and sing, always. She’s not leaving my side when there might be an opportunity to play her, especially coming here. Plus I learned a new song I thought I’d sing for you both.” She said, smiling. “I brought scones too…” Taz added, sitting down her mandolin and unpacking the treats from her backpack and laying them all out on a table beside Mathias where everyone could grab if they wanted. A nice linen napkin was tucked under them in leu of a plate. “James was going to get me a violin next trip, but since The Veronica hasn’t left the port, I am suspecting I’m going to have to go shopping at the Outpost to get what I want. I need to pick up a few more instruments and maybe make a drum or two.” She added, knowing she’d have the skins from hunting if she wanted them.

Xander nodded. “If you need any help, young lady, let me know. We can make drums easily enough.” He added. Tazrae nodded. That was something she’d like very much.

“Thank you. I might take you up on that when your hands are better. I have faith they will be better, that all of us will be better.” She added, glancing at Mathias and back at Xander. She imagined, in the state his hands were now, playing would be impossible for him and making something as delicately as a drum would be just as difficult.

“So you came to play and sing today, Tazrae?” Mathias reiterated, not quite believing her with a quirk of his eyebrow. He was already digging into a scone, nibbling the mango-loaded confection eagerly.

“No, I came armed with some questions. I’ve been doing some research at Reclaimed Knowledge on Monsters, but all their information is Pre-Valterrian. I was hoping for some current information on Post-Valterrian monsters or those that cropped up after the world tried to end.” Taz said, open about the why of her trip. I’ll gladly trade a song or some music for it.” She added, glancing between both men.

Mathias nodded. “I know a little. So does Xander, I suspect… being as traveled as he is. Vas and I have talked about the topic quite a bit too. It’s good you are getting brushed up. How is that going?” He asked, concern filling his eyes.

Xander glanced at him, nodded as if agreeing that he knew a little first, then turned to Tazrae too, wondering at her reaction to Mathias’ question.

“It scares me. Everything I have learned terrifies me. I am fairly sure Syka isn’t afflicted with a monster now though, unless this is something that I have missed or something not in the library’s literature.” Taz said thoughtfully. “And even though it scares me, I’d rather know these things than not know them. I feel like some keeper of ancient knowledge now. And the more I know, the more I want to know.” She said softly. “The Insids were the worst. I thought the Landspawns were bad and the Fragments weren’t that much better. And I learned I’m something of a Moldling. But I know there is more.” She added, looking thoughtful. “Will you tell me?” She asked.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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A Monstrous Education Pt I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 12:58 am

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Mathias considered for a moment and nodded. “I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t tell you what I know. You mentioned Landspawns and Moldings and Fragments… I’m going to assume you have a good education from Talia’s hands. But you said you didn’t know any of the modern monsters that have sprung forth from the Valterrian onwards. We call them the Valterrics, Tazrae. They are monsters that were born of the Wild Djed storms that raged for years after the Valterrian. Sometimes even new ones we have no classification for happening in these current times. Valterrics aren’t owned by Gods or Mages, aren’t crafted by individuals with purpose. Instead, they are involuntary monsters born from destruction and made of struggle. They evolve at furious paces, living mere moments after their conception only to die incompatible with our world or they flourish. The Valterrics are the most likely to look like us, maybe because some of them are born from us as their base material. They tend to join local populations and societies, undermining it from within. When Syka was first attacked, and these ‘curses’ manifested, I suspected a Valterric. But all the signs point to Rhysol, not some odd monster that just happened to be passing through.” Mathias said, glancing at Xander. “Have you heard of them?” He asked the bard and Xander nodded.

“Sure. The Wailers are the ones I know about… I know about them because us Bards are about the only thing that can stop them.” He said sincerely.

“Wailers?” Tazrae asked, confused. “I’ve never heard of them.” She added, shaking her head and hurrying to pull out writing supplies from her backpack. She laid her already half-full journal on her lap, set the inkpot open beside her, dipped the quill, adding a new entry. She wrote what Xander and Mathias had said about the Valterrics and then started a new section entry for the Wailers.

“Not many have….” Xander said, shaking his head. “They are shapeshifters that were born of Djed Storms during the Valterrian. Thus gave some of his bards gifts to counter them. They are essentially made of noise given physical form. And they feed upon the voice of living creatures. They can literally devour the entire respiratory tract of their victims. They are very intelligent and move into a community, slowly killing off its residents. They are so good at hiding what they are that they can live in a community for a generation and be married and their spouses – unless they are wailers themselves – would never know.” He said, shaking his head. “There are songs about them. I will sing you a few.” He added. “You can tell a Wailer by their nighttime cries, and regardless of how human they become they still have to kill to survive. They always kill with their wails.” He added then looked thoughtful.

Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Monstrous Education Pt I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 12:59 am

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Mathias piped in then. “I’ve heard they are mostly beggars, thieves, and those that take on temporary work like ship crew or animal herder.” He added, nodding to Xander who agreed with what he said. “They can then move around better, get caught less due to the bodies piling up, and drift from place to place.” He said, studying Tazrae.

She nodded. “What do they look like? I mean you said they were shapeshifters but do they have a true form?” Tazrae asked, curious.

Xander answered that question. “We believe they are born of pure sound… and take form later into bodies that they can’t easily shape shift out of. I know that human looking wailers can give birth to young wailers and they place them in sound proof jars to contain them. There is a black market for them or was at one time. I’ve heard stories of them traded back and forth by mages as weapons. I suspect people places keep them as captive breeders if there is a market for such things. And I do know they’d be easy keepers because Wailers themselves only feed once or twice a season…. six or seven times a year.” He added at Tazrae’s nod.

“What are they like? You both said they mimic normal human life?” She asked, making sure she understood.

Mathias shook his head. “They are parasitic beings. When one moves in, it doesn’t want to upset the community. It just wants to feed off it and live among them undiscovered. They cull the weakest or those that are the loners living on the fringes…. even the drifters coming through. They kill by stunning their victim with a burst of their monstrous voices, the wail… hence their name Wailers. Once a victim is down, it eats the nose, mouth, throat, windpipe, and then consumes the lungs of its victims. When they aren’t hunting and in full wailer mode, you won’t be able to tell them apart from any other human. You’ll think it’s a nice person, good neighbor, great babysitter, and it can talk philosophy politics and religion. They get erudite but don’t understand true emotions.” He added.

Xander continued. “They reproduce screaming at fellow wailers. We don’t even know if they are different sexes, though they take a sex when they take a shape. When Wailers are pregnant, they have more of an appetite and feed more often. Once they are given birth too, they spread out to surrounding communities. We don’t think they nurture their offspring because its thought they are born with all the knowledge of their parents. So the older the wailer, the more advanced, the more intelligent it is. Generations after the parents get smarter.” He added, looking thoughtful.

Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Monstrous Education Pt I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 1:01 am

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“How do you kill one?” Taz asked, curious, not sure why Bards were so dangerous to Wailers. She’d been taking notes the whole time, carefully repeating what both men had said in her neat cursive writing. She left spaces to illustrate, places to make a sketch of padded jar with a swirl of sound in it… and a place to sketch a person screaming with their mouths wide open. It was a lot to take in, hearing about something seemingly so impossible rather than studying about it from a book. But she was making her own legacy, a literature for a future generation, even if it wasn’t one of her family.

Mathias smiled. “Your manipulation of sound, of course.” He said, and grinned, answering her question.

Xander agreed. “We can sing and play at them, bringing order to their noisy core. We can hit them with many of our audible weapons and they are sensitive to it. If they find out you are a bard, they will aggressively attack you, trying to silence you immediately. And they will find your respiratory system especially tasty. You need to act fast and use every weapon at your disposal against a Wailer. They are dangerous, Tazrae.” The older bard said thoughtfully.

“Now…..” Mathias said…. “Before we tell you more, I do believe you owe us a song.” He added, grinning at her. She nodded, pulled out her Mandolin, checked its tuning, and gently started to play.

“It’s nice to know a mandolin could be a weapon. That one instrument can be more than just one tool … but one thing with many purposes.” Tazrae said softly. “It’s also nice to know that bards can be the arch enemies of something monstrous.” She said softly, stroking out the chords of a new song. She glanced at Xander and knew he would join in as soon as he picked up the rhythm of the tune.


“We are built for endurance.
That's how the die was cast.
We will see better days than these.
We are built to outlast.
Let us leave our children a world
made of miracles and chance.
These are the times we were made for.
We are built to outlast,
outlast,
outlast.

Let us be herons out hunting
who float when the rivers rise.
Let us take care of each other.
Let us be calm and wise.
We are makers of magic,
so let the spell be cast:
these are the times we were made for,
and we are built to outlast,
outlast,
outlast, oh!

We will see better days than these;
so let the die be cast.
We were built for endurance.
We are built to outlast.
We are makers of magic,
so let our spells be cast!
These are the times we were made for,
and we are built to outlast.”


Xander nodded his approval and both men smiled. Taz set her Mandolin aside and said…. “Do you have any more examples of Valterrics?” She said, knowing that the numbers might be countless.

Mathias and Xander exchanged looks. “There are a few others that we know of. But the truth is, the Valterrian spawned countless numbers of creatures and most of them are undocumented and strange. They are killed when they are discovered and some of them aren’t well documented because they don’t reproduce and aren’t actually anything like a species. The ones we know of, that have been documented, are the type that reproduce and thus be a constant problem. The singularities are by now hundreds of years old, and if you run into them they can be dangerous, Tazrae. So be on the guard. It’s good that you are educating yourself in this way, but make sure you learn your lessons well so you can recognize these things immediately. They can take your life otherwise… and quickly take your life.” The two men nodded, mostly Mathias talking.

Tazrae finished up her notes and nodded. “By the way, if anything happens to me…. this journal is the body of my research on monsters. Take it and add it to your own if I no longer need it ever.” She said to Mathias, knowing his library was extensive and others could benefit from her research. The Founder nodded, happy to promise such things, though not with the dark circumstances that might lead to such an occurrence.



Words: 2811

Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Monstrous Education Pt I

Postby Tazrae on June 15th, 2022, 2:09 am

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Grading



Tazrae-

Research +5, Interrogation +3, Hostessing +1, Rhetoric +1, Writing +4, Singing +1, Mandolin +1

Xander: Arthritis is his curse, Mathias: Talked To Vas About Insids, Monsters: Valterrics, Valterrics: Monsters born of the Valterrian, Valterrics: Born of Destruction, Made of Struggle, Valterrics: Evolve At Furious Pace, Valterrics: Most Likely Look Human, Valterrics: Can Be Made of Human Material, Valterrics: Join Local Populations/Societies; Undermine It From Within, Syka Curses: From Rhysol – All Signs Say, Valterrics: Wailers, Wailers: Bards Can Stop Them, Writing: Note Taking On Valterrics, Wailers: Shapeshifters Born Of the Valterrian Djed Storms, Wailers: Made of Noise, Wailers: Life Cycle & Reproduction, Wailers: Diet, Wailers: How To Identify One, Wailers: Kill With Their Wails, Wailers: Masquerade as Drifters, Beggers, Thieves, Herders, Guards… To Move Around, Wailers: Parasitic, Wailers: How To Kill One, Valterrian: Spawned Countless Creatures, Most Undocumented/Strange.


Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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