Completed Hope On The Horizon

Kamilla’s vanishing act lands her in the middle of the Suvan…

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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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Hope On The Horizon

Postby Kamilla on October 20th, 2022, 4:46 pm

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Falling. Breathlessness. The sound of rushing air. Darkness…

Disorientating as it was, Kamilla was unsurprised, the phenomenon had become commonplace over the past two years. This would be the tenth time it happened. Ten seasons in a row…

The Konti landed with a dull thud, gasping for air as she took in her surroundings, somewhere familiar… The Sea of Grass. She held her breath as the gut sensation spread across her body and she was falling blind again, on to her next, seemingly random, destination. It always happened this way, with at least one location she wouldn’t remain in, no matter how hard she tried.

Splash!

Light returned, Leth’s, the familiar sensation of water surrounded her too… she was in a body of water, though even with Leth’s light she couldn’t yet determine which… not that she was particularly familiar with oceans to begin with. She knew it was an ocean at least, she could tell that much by the taste of salt in her mouth as she accidentally gasped for air, once again eternally grateful to have been gifted gills. She was only about a meter or so below the ocean surface and bridged the gap easily with her hydrodynamic form, white blonde hair emerging among the calm sway of the waves. She took a chime to take deep calming breaths, centering herself in her new ‘reality’… running through a mental checklist she’d developed over the past ten seasons…

Tingling sensation in her gut? Gone. Djed levels? About half… Location? Some uknown ocean.

In the time she’d taken to calm down and slowly survey her surroundings, Kamilla became distinctly aware of two things. That there didn’t seem to be any visible structures on the horizon… and that she’d have to wait until Syna’s rise… which she estimated to be in roughly two bell’s time, judging by Leth’s position.

She took a glance beneath the surface… a notably bad idea in the ocean. She’d heard people talking about not looking down when they were at great heights… in Kamilla’s personal opinion, that went double for the ocean. Even having experienced it before and with her aquatic Konti form… gazing into the infinite abyss beneath her made her stomach churn.

”Petch!”

Many emotions boiled beneath Kamilla’s smooth irdescent scaled surface… her least favourite of all was the abhorrent feeling of helplessness, closely followed by ignorance. Why was it that she vanished to an entirely new part of Mizahar? Ten seasons later she was still just as baffled and without a decent clue. All she had this far was that… with effort, she could resist the tingling sensation in her gut, the precursor to her vanishing act… she could also embrace it, choosing to willingly vanishing sooner rather than later. However, it was impossible to resist it beyond the changing of the watchtowers, despite her best attempts…or embrace it. Once a season without fail, she only got to decide the when… and the fact that it effectively halved her djed supply told her that her own djed was being consumed to relocate her. Those were all the clues she had.

Sighing as she gazed up at the stars, floating gently among the waves as she looked to the heavens, Kamilla wondered who, or what could have placed this curse upon her. One of the gods? She’d never been religious, she couldn’t see why they would.

If it weren’t for her current circumstances she might even have been able to enjoy the view, the calming silence of the open ocean and the stars and Leth hovering above in clear view… but she couldn’t. All she could do was her best to stay awake and afloat until Syna’s light made it easier to see… Hoping desperately that there would be hospitable land nearby.

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Last edited by Kamilla on October 23rd, 2022, 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hope On The Horizon

Postby Kamilla on October 20th, 2022, 5:39 pm

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An estimated three bells had passed of Kamilla floating among the waves, eyes fixed on the sky ahead, following Syna’s path from emergence to where she sat comfortably in the sky. If only Kamilla could see what she saw, gain her vantage point, because from where she floated now… there was nothing, no notable forms protruding on the horizon in any direction, no land… no hope.

Kamilla was exhausted, fearing that she might miss an opportunity for survival if she fell asleep, or that she’d sink deeper than her Konti form could handle, or that something would rise from the depths to claim her. And she was hungry… besides having been scrambling for whatever scraps of sustenance she could find in the previous season, the vanishing act also consumed a lot of her energy… and energy needed food to be replaced. She sometimes wished she were like Roo, her sentient talking flower, he could simply devour Syna’s rays… or like Yen, her yowlwing… she could easily take to the skies in search of better horizons…
Or any for that matter. Gods she missed them, her chosen family… and then there was Jehu…

The beautiful, strong, intriguing desert man… the two of them had been through some interesting times in the brief two seasons they spent together in Syka. They’d explored and survived sunken ruins, been turned into entirely different races and yet, through all of it, they continued to seek each other out for company. She’d allowed him closer than any man had ever been… and just as they’d shared their first delicious kiss, a promise of greater things to come… in that instant she’d vanished. Quite literally leaving him high and dry, while she, also quite literally was left cold and wet… having appeared somewhere off the western coast of Mizahar, deep beneath the ocean. She doubted he’d have waited for her, her only hope was that he’d taken to looking after Yennefer and Roo. Or that anyone in Syka had.

Unfortunately, those were all things entirely out of her reach, such distant concerns were a luxury she could no longer afford. Instead, for the past ten seasons, all her concerns and focus were solely placed upon her immediate survival… the very basics such as food, shelter and safety. That had been her life for the past two years… and it had worn away at the formerly sultry and reserved mage.

She was thirsty… one need of hers that was never unfulfilled as lavender mist rose from her mouth forming into a ball which slowly poured itself down her throat in the form of clean reimantic water. Kamilla had only one thought at that moment, either she should pick a direction and start swimming or she should continue to wait… the former seemed more proactive but there was always the chance that she’d be moving further from salvation… inaction on the other hand changed nothing. Swimming it was then.


Slowly but surely, Kamilla began to gently paddle her feet in the direction which she figured was west, given that Syna had risen from the complete opposite end of the sky. She was not a religious woman, but she hoped Syna’s path would lead her… somewhere. Even if it just meant to a part of the ocean where she could reach the bottom without delving into pure darkness. She was willing to try her hand at aquatic surival.

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Hope On The Horizon

Postby Kamilla on October 20th, 2022, 7:18 pm

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Another two bells later and still no sign of… well, anything… she was certain that there must have been some sealife around her, hopefully avoiding her, though she could stand to eat… but she was too exhausted to do anything strenuous, which fishing by hand would surely be.

At this point Kamilla had decided to give in to her exhaustion, perhaps a nap would do her good, give her the energy to continue. She was running dangerously low and if she couldn’t eat, gods damnit, she would sleep. To that end, she’d created a slab of ice, no larger or thicker than a wooden door, covered it in a very thin sheet of stone to protect herself from the cold and finally padded it with a layer of dark brown sand. Currently her gaze was fixed on the sky as she drifted in and out of sleep, the ice platform wouldn’t last long, this ocean felt fairly warm, in comparison to the previous ones she’d experienced… she only hoped she’d gain at least a bell or two of sleep.

She did not.

Kamilla had no idea how long she’d been in a dazed trance, initially assuming she must have been dreaming when she heard the nagging sound of… birds? Yes… seagulls. They skirted around the edges of her mind, preventing her from falling deeper into slumber. ”I’m so hungry even a seagull would do.” she mumbled in her dazed state, eyes shooting open as the possibility that she wasn’t imagining the noises snagged onto her conscious thoughts.

To her relief, they were indeed real, she could see two of them circling above, though a quick glance around revealed no source of land. ”Petch.” she muttered, not having moved from her spot. The ice platform had certainly melted, only half remained. Looking above, Kamilla licked her lips, wherever they’d come from, it was clear that the seagulls thought her soon dead, a meal… little did they know, it was quite the opposite.

Two dying squawks echoed across the open sky as their bodies drifted slowly toward the singular platform, one of the birds already limp, while the other was still struggling against the icy spike impaling it, struggling against the icicle’s unnatural movement toward where Kamilla sat patiently on her tiny island.

Killing them had been easy work, she’d simply waited until they were close enough to almost guarantee a decent strike, she’d sent two slivers of her remaining res out beneath the surface… both aimed and flung out of the water, arcing in the air to strike the surprised birds form behind… and now, almost euphorically, Kamilla began to pluck her prey. She was not delicate about it either, grabbing fistfulls of feathers and yanking them. Tossing them to the waves.

The instant she’d revealed enough bare flesh, the Konti sank her teeth into it, not so much as a tick of hesitation as the birds flesh and blood filled her mouth. She consumed the first bird indiscriminately, caring not for which organs she consumed. Picking every last piece clean. After two seasons of scraping by, any qualms with where she recieved sustenance and the flavours involved had been discarded in favour of survival. This was what she was now. A survivor.

Not quite filled by the first bird, it seemed the kind of hunger she endured would never truly cease, Kamilla still knew well enough to save the second for as long as possible, though she would need to keep it out of the water. She’d already used some of her minuscule regained energy to reform the outer edges of her island.

It was then, while making her routine check of her surroundings that Kamilla spotted the would be source of her lunch. Her heart soared like the bird she’d just devoured at the sight of a ship in the distance. Hope! Though as it currently stood the ship’s trajectory would carry it right past her if she wasn’t spotted. She definitely lacked the energy to swim for it, especially considering the speed it was sailing at.

She needed a signal.

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Hope On The Horizon

Postby Kamilla on October 20th, 2022, 10:20 pm

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Her window of opportunity was closing, rapidly. It could be days or weeks before she crossed paths with another ship… if ever. Following its path could also take weeks to arrive at a destination. No. There were no alternatives, she needed to catch this ship… Now!

Glistening lavender res had already begun pouring out of her, two large floating orbs gathering above her hands.

Water wouldn’t be very noticeable, they were in the middle of an ocean after all. Air, even less so. Ice… consumed a bit more of her djed than the non para elements and it was essentially just more water. It was times like this, that despite her dislike of it, Kamila wished she had mastered fire. Earth wouldn’t work either. Who would notice a few rocks in the distance.

Eventually Kamilla settled on a combination of water and air, not that she had much djed to spare, but she figured that all she really needed to do was gain someone on the ships attention and hopefully they’d spot her.

Sending her res upwards, Kamillla willed the two balls that were at least twice the size of her head to shift into gaseous form, forming a large cloud of two distinct(only to her) collections of gas. Of course they looked exactly the same, but as extensions of her own dwindling life force, Kamilla could easily tell them and their functions apart.

With a wave of her hands, the gas began to spin, surrounding her in a large vortex of purple mist. It was not enough. Quickly she began to attract both water and air toward her res, the surrounding waters immediately stirring and following, white mist began to gather in a cylindrical shape rising higher and higher. It wasn’t big enough, the vortex of mist only reached about three meters above the water’s surface, and given the distance and waves, that was easily missable. She needed more.


Not discontinuing the vortex, Kamilla began to pour even more of her djed into the spell, already feeling light headed as her body began to grow numb, beginning at the tips of her toes and slowly making its way up toward her torso. Despite this sensation and the encroaching risk of over giving she continued to feel the spell forcing the vortex to grow higher and higher, a pleasant sensation filling her the more it did. An absence of pain, hunger and fatigue, an encouraging push.

You can do more… show them your true power.

A whisper in the back of her mind, a vote of confidence. A message from beyond… and so she continued…

By now the funnel type vortex had reached impressively high, lacking any destructive power it was still a sight to see. Winds in the immediate vicinity would be distrupted, the ocean surface surrounding it was clearly disturbed and yet she continued… already convulsing and coughing when she realised she was already going too far.

Panicked Kamilla attempted to stop herself but it was as if she’d cut herself open and the res just kept pouring out. She was laughing between coughs, euphoric… panicked… manic laughs, her eyes wide with both fear and awe as she imagined the funnel shape surrounding her as the inside of an enormous serpent… and her res made it so, the vortex of mist and foam forming a head at the top.

In the back of her mind, or perhaps from her very gut Kamilla heard the voice of her grandmother, scolding her…

”Remember Kamilla. Above all else, avoid overgiving. Know your limits. Maintain control. Swear to me!”

The old memory was surprisingly bivid, and ironic, considering her gran had looked quite similar the night she’d died… the night Kamilla had fled Sunberth. She could still see her grandmother’s demented smile as she waved her hands in the air, flames twisting magnificently around her, the same flames she’d been holding at bay to protect their house only moments before.

The thought of that snapped Kamilla back to reality as she felt herself grow weaker and weaker acutely aware of the open tap that was her djed leaving her. The spell was draining her, consuming her to feed its own prolonged life. She needed to stop.

Mustering every last ounce of restraint with a valiant yet audibly pathetic battle cry, Kamilla grabbed the skeletal remains of her meal and jabbed one of the bones into her thigh with a pathetic squeak.

It was the pain that suddenly shocked her system enough to regain control… disrupting her djed flow and halting the production of res. Ticks later she passed out, a bloodied Konti dry heaving on a small island of dirt and ice with a bird bone stuck in her leg.

The magnificent display of power, the enormous misty serpent, came crashing down around her as if consuming itself and then… it was as if it had never existed at all.

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Hope On The Horizon

Postby Kamilla on October 21st, 2022, 1:08 pm

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As she began to draw nearer to consciousness, though not quite yet there… Kamilla’s senses began to awaken one by one, despite the inky darkness she found herself in… first came the sensation of motion, back and forth, the unmistakable movement of the sea… had she failed? Was she still on her little makeshift island? It seemed most likely. Next came sound, her ears picking up on the familiar creaking of wood under strain… that was promising. Next came warmth, she certainly felt warm, more than she’d been in the ocean. Though there was always the chance that she’d been burning up after over exerting herself with that wayward spell. Finally, sight and smell seemed to walk in, hand in hand, as the scent of dust and wood and the sea reached her nose, just in time for her to find her way back to consciousness, her eyes opening slowly.

Light poured in through a porthole as well as a few spaces between the wood making up whatever cabin she was in… clearly a ship, she’d been rescued, though only from the ocean, she had no idea who her saviours were and what intentions they held for her. At least she didn’t seem to be restrained or caged.

Kamilla had spent, the past however long, trapped in an endless nightmare… one where she was being chased by the giant watery serpent of her own creation as it tried again and again to consume her. She supposed it was just a result of her overgiving… she cursed herself for allowing it to get that far out of hand… but it seemed she was still paying the price.

All at once she finally noticed the discomfort throughout her body. Her throat was dry, head was throbbing… her entire body ached with a dull pain, distinctly different to the sharper searing pain in her thigh… she looked down, throwing off the blanket placed over her to see that her leg had already been bandaged. So whoever it was that had saved her had at least had the decency to stop her from bleeding out. A positive.

Pushing herself up onto into a sitting position on the, admittedly comfortable, bed she’d been placed in, Kamilla realised that whoever’s cabin she was in, was fairly decent… there was a desk, several books, a nice bed… and…

”Oh, you’re finally awake!” came a voice so familiar and soothing that it seemed to slip between her headache to make itself known… much unlike the cacophony of sounds coming from outside the door, vaguely identifiable as several voices, footsteps and materials, all of them unpleasant and wince-worthy.

Shielding her eyes from the light shining in through the doorway, Kamilla was immeasurably relieved to see Captain James Chaliva of Syka’s own Veronica looking down at her.

”James…” she managed to croak out, the wise captain grabbing a pitcher of water and offering her a cup full, which she happily gulped down.

”Gods… what happened to you Kamilla? We haven’t seen you in Syka in years and we suddenly find ya in the heart of a giant snake, floating on a tiny island, covered in blood from the mouth down and with a bone sticking out of ya! Not to mention the fact that we’re in the middle of the Suvan!”

The captains voice was inhumanly perfect, no hitches or roughness… he spoke almost as if he were singing… it was mesmerising.

Having finished the cup and offered it to the captain for another, ”It’s a very long story and I’m not quite in the mood to share it right now.” she said bluntly, ”Thank you for picking me up.” She did not have the energy to offer a smile.

”Fine, but yer lucky we did. After that water stunt you pulled the entire crew and passengers wanted me to turn the ship in the other direction… luckily for you… I heard yer cry for help before that magic signal if yers… which was admittedly impressive.”

The corner of her lips quirked upwards, ”You should see what I can do at full power.” she managed, weakly. It was true, that was the result of an exhausted, weak and extremely low on djed, Kamilla, one who’d been fuelling her own floating island for bells at that point. She noted but did not have the energy to address the fact that James claimed to have heard her from what was surely close to a mile away.

The captain chuckled, ”Well I’m glad to see ye still have some fight in ya… now listen, ya been out for two days and there’s still two more before we reach Syka…” Kamilla’s heart soared at the thought of home, ”But I’m gonna need fer ya to stay in the cabin til’ then. Like I said, the crew weren’t happy about me picking up a bloody Konti… most sailors have heard the tales of beautiful woman that drown sailors or devour them. Also… we’ve got a few rough types form Sunberth on board… them two were the most against it, wanted to gut ya as soon as you got on board. So for the sake of keepin the peace, stay here… eat, rest, recover… and thank Laviku for leading the Veronica to ya.”

Kamilla could only listen in silence and nod to confirm her understanding. Unbeknownst to most, she was from Sunberth herself, she was well aware of how they reacted to anything bizarre… that being violently. Besides, she had no desire for conflict, or anything other than rest at this point.

James offered her a plate of food and more water before leaving to attend to whatever it was captains did on a ship, while she devoured every last morsel of her food and drink before passing out.

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Hope On The Horizon

Postby Kamilla on October 23rd, 2022, 11:30 am

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The entirety of the next day was spent in the captain’s cabin, both because of his request and simply because she hadn’t the energy nor the desire to venture outside. After all the unwilling ‘travelling’ she’d done over the past two years, Kamilla had had more of the outdoors than she could stomach… sometimes in a very literal sense. She recalled with a distinct lack of fondness, several assortments of berries and mushrooms that she’d eaten in desperation and had ended up having the absolute opposite effect of filling her… even now her stomach churned at the thought and her mouth dried in response, her body making its disdain for the experience known.

So, instead of venturing… she’d eaten, drank and slept… James himself coming in now and then to retrieve from something or bring her food or, once, change the bandage around her thigh… most of these encounters had gone by almost wordlessly.

On the next and final day of their trip, Kamilla was noticibly more lively, in comparison at least. It seemed the captain had noticed it too as he took a seat near his desk, putting his legs up with a drink in hand, he’d offered her one too but she’d opted for water instead.

”So, you’ve had an entire day to recover… we’re just a few hours away from home…” a brief spark appeared in her eyes, ”… I gotta ask, Kamilla… what happened to you…”

Kamilla sighed, she’d known it was coming and considering that he’d not only rescued her from the ocean but also provided her with food, treated her wound and given up his private quarters… she felt she owed it to him.

”Well… it’s a long story… the gist of it is… I inexplicably vanished from Syka in the winter of 519, appeared deep in the ocean, if not for whatever magic had blessed me with this Konti form, I’d be long gone.” There was no notable emotion in her voice, of course there had been plenty at the time and every subsequent vanishing time after that, but now she was simply recounting her experience, rather matter of factly. ”Since then… I’ve vanished and reappeared somewhere completely different once every season since then… I have no idea why, if you have any knowledge of something like that, please let me know.”

James said nothing for several ticks, simply looking at her, seemingly deep in thought. ”I’ve never even heard of anything like this… unfortunately.” he sighed, ”So you don’t know why it’s happening or where you’re going. Perhaps you should ask the gods?…”

Kamilla had considered it, but which one would she ask? Was there a god of vanishing? Unfortunately, she wasn’t in a position to turn down suggestions. [b]”Maybe I should… but for now I just can’t wait to go home to my cave and eat, sleep, repeat.”
she’d spent seasons uncomfortably scraping by, it would be wonderful to experience some comfort again, even her brief stint in the ship’s cabin had been leagues better than her experience in the wilderness. Even now she was dreaming about the cool(or warm on demand) cave home she’d carved out on her own…

”So… about that…”

Kamilla stopped, shooting him a wild look. ”What?” she asked bluntly.

”Ya know the conditions of the land claim were that ya stick around and contribute to the settlement, but in yer absence… well yer land was reclaimed… and yes I know now that it wasn’t intentional, but that’s just how things work, Syka is only kept going by the contributions of its citizens, we can’t afford to be handing land away for free…”

”How much?” she cut him off. The cave had been built with her own djed and sweat, it held all her belongings and the monoliths(or tombstones) she’d created for her mother and grandmother, it housed Yen and Roo(whom she hoped were alive and well) and most of all… she needed a home. Over the past two years, the most powerful force behind her survival was the desire to eventually return home.

”Nine hundred…” A very large sum, but you couldn’t put a price on a home, Kamilla deeply understood that now.

”And if I can’t afford it?”

”Well we could give ya a loan… but ya would have to pay it back consistently, season by season… which doesn’t seem possible with yer uh… affliction.”

”I’ll make it work James, thank you. I’ll resume my job as a seamstress too… I’ll come see you about the loan soon if I need it.”

James stood up, ”Very well Kamilla, I’m surprised how well you took that.” he confessed.

”In comparison to what I’ve been through, this is like finding a swing on a beach.”

He chuckled, seemingly amused by her reference, or perhaps her attitude in general. ”Like I said the other day… I’m glad yer still got some fight in ya… As all Sykans should.”

The two of them shared a brief exchange, a smile on both their faces, though Kamilla’s was barely visible on her pale gaunt features. She wondered in the back of her mind if this was a hint of what having a father would feel like, regardless, she’d decided she quite liked the Captain.

Standing up, James made for the door, stopping in the doorway, ”We’ll dock in about three bells… drag yerself to the Panacea and let em have a look at ya.” Then he stepped out, shutting the door behind him.

Kamilla, however, did not wait for the Veronica to dock before she disembarked. She was too excited as she saw the familiar sands and vast jungles of Syka approaching through the porthole, sneaking out of the cabin and into the ocean, swimming directly for her home near Treasure Point instead. She was careful not to push herself too hard while she swam, ever since her little water serpent signal ordeal, she’d been struck with unexpected bouts of light headedness from time to time… so much so that had she spent the much of the past two days standing instead of in bed, she had no doubt she’d have fallen over several times. It was both unpleasant and inconvenient… but she understood it to be the price of her over giving.

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Kamilla
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