Closed Something New In The Tropical Heat

Taz and Ismahel meet.

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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 New In The Tropical Heat

Postby Tazrae on August 14th, 2022, 11:02 pm

Timestamp: 10th of Summer, 522 A.V.

Tazrae carried the heavy tray balanced on one hip. She hadn’t had to carry it far. The Communal Kitchens were up at running, and she had made a dozen passes through the crowd passing out mugs of Stu’s newest brewing experiment… a brandy made from jungle fruit. It was smooth and slightly flavored with exotic fruit that packed a significant punch with very little warning. The brandy was aged in whiskey barrels Stu had purchased from Riverfall.

Taz liked it, actually, and had baked up dozens and dozens of dough rolls, spread with butter, cinnamon, and sugar on the inside. They backed up in swirls of dense rich bread tinged with the exotic flavors of Syka. The glaze on the outside was made up of sugar and the same boiled-down dragonfruit and mango that went into the brandy. Taz had an enormous pitcher on her tray, a few more empty mugs, and a pile of the rolls.

She visited her way through the lofty commons, passing out the empty mugs, filling them from the pitcher, and adding the swirled rolls to small squares of cloth people used as napkins around the area. A crowd was gathering for the tenday celebration where Sykan’s exchanged news, played, ate together, and often danced. Taz would be singing later, perhaps playing her mandolin that she always brought, once the food was passed out and everyone relaxed. She was almost empty of products and had turned to start back when she noticed a striking stranger sitting by himself.

Syka was small. Of course, she’d heard his name pandered about. Ismahel. They didn’t get many new folks. He’d rented a bungalow and thus hadn’t come through her doors or sheltered in her Inn. That didn’t matter to her though. He’d decided to stay here, which automatically made him one of theirs. Taz liked knowing everyone. As a Ranger, it was one of her jobs. And the man was a stranger. No one in Syka was a stranger. That made him interesting.

She upturned a mug, filled it from the pitcher, and placed a square of cloth on the table by him. She added one of the swirled rolls to the square of cloth. In Riverfall, that would be barbaric. But Syka didn’t have a lot of spare plates. Once that was done, Taz set herself up a place across from the man, laying her now empty tray down on the table at an empty spot.

“Hello.” She said with a smile. “That’s a fruit brandy. It will sneak up on you quickly but its delicious.” She added, looking at it fondly. Drink wasn’t her thing. Taz could cook anything masterfully, but the fine art of brewing eluded her. “Stu, over at the Tidewater made it. It’s almost a miracle.” She said, brushing stray curls out of her eyes and tucking the wayward strands back into her makeshift braid.

Taz wasn’t good with hair. Her caramel-colored locks were unruly and mostly untamable. She had sparkling turquoise eyes and went barefooted despite the risk of snakes. She was slim and her arms were well defined – muscled even – as if she worked hard labor for a living. The rest of her was unremarkable, a loose brightly colored skirt that seemed dipped in dye rather than floral or embroidered and a cream-colored isuas blouse knotted at her waist leaving her midriff bare revealing muscles even there.

“I’m Tazrae… the local Innkeeper. You’re Ismahel. New here, right?” She asked, lifting a brow and smiling. She didn’t have a speck of cosmetics on, and her nose was lightly dusted with freckles. Her skin was a coppery color like she spent a great deal of time in the sun. “I’d know you if you were staying at the Inn, but I think you rented a bungalow instead right? You can drop by for breakfast or dinner any time you’d like though. No one in the Settlement is a stranger. Not really, not after being here five bells. We are painfully small. And the first meal is always on me.” Taz spoke with a slight lilt that resembled most of the people in Riverfall, though she didn’t look exactly like the humans there. Instead, she more resembled the Benshira of Eyktol in her facial features.

“You know what the purpose of a Tenday is, don’t you? This is the first one this season. I don’t know if anyone explained it to you… but we’re scattered as a community. People like to get together and celebrate life. We eat, drink, everyone helps out, and we use the event to basically just check up on everyone. The food and music is always free, and there are shows later when it gets dark. I will play… maybe do some firedancing. If you play an instrument or sing… or even dance, you are welcome to join in. We hold these on the tenth, twentieth, thirtieth… and so on… just keeping tabs on each other. It’s also a good time to exchange news and set dates to do things. Sometimes the builders discuss business or the Rangers share what new trails they have opened up that are safe to travel.” Taz added.

“We sometimes even reveal discoveries.” She added, offering him another smile.

Tazrae stretched back into her seat and broke into one remaining piece of pastry on her tray like the one she’d left next to him. She also poured herself a mug of the brandy and leaned back, relaxing finally. “I’d make another trip, but I’ve been around to everyone, most twice, now. “ She explained. “I should have asked you if you mind if I joined you. Do you?” She asked, forthright but friendly. She said it in such a way that let him know if he didn’t welcome the company, she’d be on her way. Otherwise, she was going to be friendly and sit a spell, getting to know the newcomer. “I’d hoped you’d tell me a bit about yourself. Or that you’d liked to be escorted somewhere. I’m a Ranger and can take new folk out into the jungle, either on foot or mounted.” She supplied, looking thoughtful.

With just a slight pause to chew the cinnamon and sugary confection she'd popped into her mouth, Taz glanced around. "It sure is hot today. How do you like the Summer here? It wouldn't be too bad without the humidity. But there are a dozen ways to cool down." She offered, in a tone that told him she'd gladly point a few out if he wanted to know.

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