A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Kamilla and Alric research the slash mark on the Monolith… competitively

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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 Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Kamilla on November 9th, 2022, 12:24 pm

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According to Alric he was often serious, though she could understand why people, including herself, would mistake him for the opposite, with his seemingly overly laid back nature. If the two of them were going to be competing, she would have to be sure to remember to take him seriously, no matter how much his outward appearance made her consider doing otherwise.

He seemed to consider her proposed terms for a while, she allowed it, purple irises watching him curiously in the warm light of the sunset. At the very least she could see that he wasn’t unintelligent, at least not idiotically so, the very fact that he took time to think about things was a giveaway in her opinion. Kamilla had met many fools in ger days and a common trait had always been a blind eagerness and lack of consideration when it came to negotiations.

His own suggestion of her rule surprised her, brow raising ever so slightly at the thought of meeting every ten days… in all honesty, she hadn’t been intending for their little race to last that long, but it certainly made sense. It gave them each a lot more time to solve the mystery, who knew how much time it would take. The addition of not being allowed to ask the founders was another good suggestion, already her opinion of him had improved, clearly he’d thought their competition through in their brief time apart.

Next came his comment on magic, that, to her, was telling. She doubted anyone without magic would so readily think to include it in their terms and conditions. Especially not someone from Sunberth. A smile played at her features, now she was interested. Was he simply knowledgeable about magic, or was he able to make use of it in its various forms. If so, which? This was turning out to be a lot more stimulating than she’d initially expected. If he truly was a mage from Sunberth, then the two of them were kindred spirits…similar in a way that Kamilla had never thought she’d encounter.

”Every ten days is fine… no founders too… as for the magic… of course, I have no intention of damaging the monolith or causing problems for my fellow settlers…” she paused for a moment, considering her next words, ”I’m curious… if you are also from Sunberth… and a mage… it seems we have something very unlikely in common.” A bit more direct of an approach than usual, but sometimes it didn’t pay to beat around the bush, more efficient to reach straight into it.

”As for other conditions… might I suggest that… to keep it interesting… at each meeting we share any discoveries made during the previous meet. For example, the next time we meet, if we hadn’t already seen the words we’d pulled from the structure, we’d share them… but none of our progress in the ten days that followed… not until the next meet.” Thatvway the pressure would remain throughout. She wondered if he would agree to it or not. Honestly, he could take it or leave it, but in her mind the sharing of information would ultimately increase both their chances of actually solving the mystery, which, despite the competition, was the actual mutual end goal.

Switching the cross of her legs and spreading her arms across the back of the bench, which she was sat dead in the middle of, Kamilla continued to regard the man with curiosity as he lit his pipe and considered her added conditions.

When it finally came to the topic of prizes, her smile returned, though she was sure it more resembled a satisfied smirk than anything. Had he agreed to her previous term of sharing their progress from prior meetings, which she hoped he would, she had two prizes in mind. If not, she’d simply suggest the latter. ”The stakes… let’s say, whoever has contributed the most progress by the end of the season… may ask the other any questions they desire, to be answered with complete honesty.” the thought of having to be so transparent with someone certainly frightened her, but she was curious and it seemed like a fitting reward for the person who’d gotten them closest to solving the monolith’s secret. ”Whether we’ll measure that period of honesty by an amount of questions, time, or something else… I’ll leave up to you.”

”As for whoever actually uncovers the truth in the end… perhaps something as simple as a favor to be cashed in at any time over the following season?” On Sahova she’d had to learn that favours were the most valuable currency. Few things were more useful than being able to call in a service from someone else, especially when that service was something she wasn’t eager to do, or skilled in. ”What do you think? Any suggestions? Changes? Better ideas?” She had nothing more to add herself.

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 11th, 2022, 6:51 pm

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“Believe me, you get used to almost impossible coincidences after a while. This place…collects them I suppose might be the expression,” he said, a wry tone slipping into his voice for a moment as he pondered her response amidst the smoke, “but you may be right. Though mages who want to survive tend to leave Sunberth so perhaps the odds of finding such kindred spirits is just higher. I mean, the world is large but thanks to Ivak’s wrath there are few places to go that are safe” he shrugged at that, it was a never-ending point of contention for him, that the world had ended for foolish reasons and the god’s interventions.

“Seeing as I’ve prodded you enough to bring it out of you, I’ll divulge. Yes, I came from Sunberth. Spent many years there. And I know some magic, though the type…you’ll have to earn that,” he said with a slow, challenging grin, “as to the other conditions…they seem acceptable. The end goal should be for the betterment of the community as a whole. Our competition shouldn’t damage that intent, though it will be fun to see who comes up with the most. Perhaps we should keep a tally of discoveries, just in case true breakthrough isn’t made and we can then still declare me the winner” he said with a snort, eyes watching her.

She seemed more self-assured than their first meeting, more in her element perhaps. She had been caught off guard in their initial interactions, quite literally if he counted the falling into his lap. So she had perhaps retreated into herself a bit, not giving him much beyond small clues and side statements. Now she seemed more open, as if by taking the competition it allowed her to remove the personal and become more...practical, perhaps? She needed to know her competition, and fair was fair so did he. She expected to win, that much was evident, and the bag she had brought seemed like a satchel that would be full of her means of experimentation – tools perhaps? It was strange, he was used to the women of Sunberth using their wiles to win, but Kamilla seemed to want to use her brain, and there was a certain level of respect he had for her in that regard.

Not hat I didn’t respect Ruby’s lot…she’d have hung me up by uncomfortable places had I not had that he mused to himself with a slice of amusement.

He listened to her suggestion of prizes and found her thinking to be much like his own, no need for gold or trinkets. Knowledge and favours were more interesting, and usually more useful in the long run. Given that he now knew she was a mage, if only tacitly admitted, that favour could come in handy should her skills be ones he could use. He suspected that she had likely been training longer than he too, which meant she would know things he did not. That was a prize in and of itself. He nodded slowly, thoughtfully puffing upon his pipe as she laid it all out, not being shy about the fact that the conditions could be flexible – a point to be wary of, he knew.

“Favours seem fine, though I’d say that there are limits there. It has to be within Syka’s…civilised…rules,” he said carefully, leaving enough room for interpretation to make it interesting but leaving an out for anything particularly nefarious, “and as to the questions and answers…seems fine too. Let’s restrict it to an evening at the Tidepool. 6 bells of free questions and answers, truthfulness throughout. After that time…well up to the person whether they keep opening up” he finished, nodding his acceptance of the terms.

“Which brings us to this, the first day. Still time to make some discoveries, and I see you’ve brought things with you,” he gestured with the mouth of his pipe, “I have just brought…myself” he said, leaving her thoughts upon that up to her.

“Care to give it a go at finding some more information before we break for ten days?”


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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Kamilla on November 12th, 2022, 11:22 pm

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“Believe me, you get used to almost impossible coincidences after a while. This place…collects them I suppose might be the expression.”

Purple eyes narrowed slightly at the man’s words… she wondered exactly how long he’d been in Syka. She wondered what else had happened in the settlement during her absence as well… Unfortunately it seemed that the trend of miraculous and inexplicable events had persisted. ”I’m certainly no stranger to Syka and its… occurrences. After all, even the amphibious body she currently inhabited was a result of the strange happenings. Alric’s view on their coincidence in particular was interesting, not because it didn't make sense or anything of the sort… her interest was simply in the way the man’s thoughts seemed to play the role of the opposite side of the scale to her own. Where she thought left, he offered right, creating a little balancing act of considerations. She wondered if it was simply in his nature to counter the points of whoever he spoke to, or if it was specifically directed at her because of their current role as opponents. Regardless, it was far too soon to assume anything solid when it came to him… for all she knew she’d just caught him in a very unusual mood… better to gather more information through observations over the course of their competition.

Catching herself in her own thoughts, Kamilla found it odd that she was paying him so much mind… though it did make sense to try and understand her opponent as much a possible to increase her odds of victory… another lesson from Sahova, though there the competition had been everyone.

Directing her focus back to the present, Kamilla was glad to hear that he agreed with her conditions as well as the confirmation of his origins in Sunberth. ”I agree with the tally.” It only made sense, formally fleshing out the collective terms of their bet even further with the addition of the favours needing to be ’civilised’. A melodic chuckle escaped her lips, ”Worried I might have you burning houses and stealing babies? I assure you, anything that incriminating I’d rather see to myself.” a sly smile remained on her features as she listened to the rest of what he had to say.

”Yes, I still have a few things I’d like to check…” she said as she slipped a small parcel wrapped neatly in a cloth out of her bag, leaving it on the bench as she got to her feet. She reached into her bag again, this time pulling out a small decorated glass globe, opening a small panel on it for a tick before shutting it again as a small flame appeared inside. Syna’s light had all but faded by now, shadows that had been neatly contained to the shade of their surroundings had grown and spread out around them in the dimly lit area.

As she stepped closer to the both Alric and the monolith, the flame in the globe grew larger, the spherical lantern floating upward from Kamilla’s palm to hang in the air just above her head, following her movements as she turned an illuminated glance to her opponent, purple eyes and iridescent scales aglow, ”Don’t worry… I’m sure, ’just yourself’, will be sufficient.” she teased before turning her attention to the stone structure.

Kamilla had a few ideas on where she’d start, with the symbols and writings seemingly requiring a lot more time, tools and effort to decipher, she’d decided to resort to more magical methods of research for the remainder of their current ‘monolith time’. Reaching back into the bag hanging at her hip, this time the Konti pulled out a pair of opaque spectacles, which she knew were capable of revealing magic, though they did nothing for deciphering the type of magic… if any. She placed the them on her face, her surroundings completely disappearing from view, and looked directly in the direction of where she knew the monolith and specifically the claw mark to be.

In an instant, Kamilla’s eyes were struck with a blinding light, even more brilliant than staring directly into Syna when she was at her highest point in the afternoon sky. The Konti let out a surprised scream, raising her hands to block the light as she instinctively lurched backward falling flat on her back in the dirt and frantically trying to pull the spectacles off. When she finally had, she simply sat on the ground breathing heavily. She couldn’t see anything at all, pure white light filled her vision regardless of whether her eyes were open or closed. Tears fell from her eyes without her knowing it, not from any emotional pain, simply her bodies attempt at clearing out whatever was causing the stinging sensation where she knew her eyes to be.

Still huffing and catching her breath as the imprint of the light on her retinas faded excruciatingly slowly, her formally fully white vision clearing from the outer edges inward. ”Well… that was a mistake.” she managed to spit out, hands still gripping the dirt for a sense of stability. She was aware that Alric had just witnessed the embarrassing display, but that didn’t matter to her too much. She only hoped her vision would fully recover.

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Last edited by Kamilla on November 18th, 2022, 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 18th, 2022, 10:30 am

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“Oh good, I’d hate to have such things on my conscience, I have enough other things to worry about” he stated simply, satisfied that she wasn’t going to act in bad faith – in that way at least – despite the more playful tones she had begun to use.

The more time he spent with her, the stranger she seemed to him, a curious set of possible contradictions. She claimed not to want involvement with the divine, yet clearly respected their power and found their acts to be curious things. She was a resident, but not a resident, of Syka. She said she was well aware of incidents of strangeness, yet didn’t seem overly phased by them. She claimed superiority, yet mocked him for his own statements of similar feeling. She was certainly a strange one, and he was beginning to doubt that the only true thing about her that was visible was her curiosity with the monolith itself.

“Thank you for the support, it is wise to acknowledge your betters...flattery might stop me asking some on the line questions. Smart woman” he said with a small smile, keeping the pretence of the friendly rival.

She seemed to respond to it better than other avenues of discussion – though he had learned a few things about her already that he had not expected to. Still, she almost seemed to wear it like a cloak about her, protected perhaps behind the wall of sarcasm and general mockery. He knew the mechanism well enough, he used it often and it was likely one of the few reasons he was still sane, all things considered. Given what he had been through in the last year – largely alone – he had grown used to masking pain and tragedy with either humour or something numbing. Perhaps it was a quality Sunberth gave people, given her own origins revealed.

He shrugged at that and turned his attention back to the monolith – the next thing to help distract his mind whilst it continued to heal. It wasn’t the best solution but it worked, letting him puzzle out a problem and at the same time do something constructive, rather than relive the destructive over and over again. It helped between the meditative sessions of memory processing and gave him reasons to see himself in a better light. He studied the monolith again, pulling out the parchment he had collected the revealed words upon and reading them over once more. Clutching both parchment and charcoal in one hand he approached the monolith and wondered what else might be revealed in different ways. He had tried the mundane – which left the magical, and he had two options.

He pulled upon is Djed, tapping into his well, and began to ‘paint’ his Djed onto the monolith, extruding it and watching it creep across the stone. At first it didn’t seem to achieve anything, but after a while he noticed how his Djed seemed to coalesce and pool in certain places, shimmering with it metallic and magical light, eventually spelling out other words that he started to write onto the parchment with the rest of those already collected. He was fascinated and thrilled by the entire thing – not just the surprising process but the knowledge itself, as if it were a tangible necessity that he needed. He had felt that more strongly of late, his use of his abilities expanding alongside his perspectives, with few barriers to block them that were not internal.

"Each, Over, Side, Will, Side, Is, Piece, Who, You, Occur. Hmm....a lot of similar words. Something to think upon" he said thoughtfully at what was revealed.

His curiosity with the monolith temporarily sated he was able to watch what Kamilla was doing then, bathed in the light of the construct she had pulled out – a floating orb – and making a mental note to ask her about it and where he might obtain one of his own. It was as he was wondering what way would be the best for him to use his Lykata that he watched her put on some spectacles and then immediately scream and flail, crashing to her arse quicker than a glass jaw in the cage fights. He wasn’t sure what had happened, but he reacted quickly once the initial shock had worn off. He paced to her, pulled off what seemed to be the offending spectacles, and looked upon her suddenly white eyes with another flash of shock. Had she been blinded by whatever had happened? No, after a while the white began to recede at the edges and he breathed, helping her up and guiding her to the bench she had so regally occupied before.

“Mistake or not, you okay? Your eyes went...pale white. They are changing back to the intense purple...but slowly. What happened? Did those glasses malfunction or something? What were they supposed to do? I take it blowing up in your face wasn’t supposed to be the end result” he noted, pulling out the waterskin from his belt and offering it to her for a drink should she need.

“Though it was quite the fantastically girly scream I must say, really went for it, I am impressed,” he said, knowing she couldn’t see his smile but his tone wasn’t harsh, clearly trying to make her laugh after something bad had happened, “still want to investigate? Or are you folding and letting me collect already?”

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Kamilla on November 21st, 2022, 4:15 pm

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Still dazed by the blinding flash, Kamilla reluctantly accepted Alric’s help, her body tensing slightly at his touch as he guided her to the bench. Partially because he was a stranger and Kamilla was someone who liked her personal space, but mostly because of how helpless she was in her current state. When her back pressed against the bench and she knew she was safe she began to calm down, taking deep breaths as the white light slowly began to recede from the edges of her vision. It was then that she realised something unusual about her blinded state.

Within the fading whiteness there were specs of gold and if she focused hard enough she could just about begin to make out… words. Her blinded eyes widened in surprise. ”I’m okay thanks… but quick! Write this down…” she said urgently, fearing she wouldn’t have enough time to get through all of the words she was seeing before they faded.

‘words’

She called the words out one by one, recognising a few of them from her previous attempts at reading the monolith. They were still disordered but at least she could see them clearly enough… for the time being. She hoped Alric wouldn’t object, as it would help them both.

Of course it was a competition and it would have been in her best interest to keep the information to herself, but she couldn’t exactly write the words down at the moment and lacking an eidetic memory… Alric was her best option. It certainly helped that their competition was second to discovering the monolith’s secrets… their mutual goal.

It was only after her vision had almost completely returned that the light headness made itself known, as well as the ringing in her ears. ”Thank you…” she said, hesitating only briefly before taking the waterskin and eagerly draining half of its contents. ”Did you get everything?… and no, they were not supposed to do that, they reveal magic… though clearly the Monolith is bursting with it… staring directly at Syna is lesspainful. It was incredible.” she said, a hand going to her chin in thought. The amount of power needed to create something so dazzlingly magical could only be a result of deities… at least that was her what she thought.

”As for the scream… cherish it, if I have it my way, you’ll never hear another one like it again.” she said with her own amused smile. There was no point in being ashamed of her reaction, she could hardly expect herself to be blinded in silence.

Finally able to see again, Kamilla looked around, thankful for her vision as she took in her surroundings. Reaching into her bag she pulled the neatly wrapped package, untying it. ”Pie?” She offered. If Alric had recorded the words, she’d take some time to copy them down onto her own notes.

”After all that… I think I’m ready to retire this session. Temporary blindness seems like a pretty good sign to call it a night… don’t you think?” she said, retrieving her magical glasses carefully, subconsciously avoiding looking directly at them or the monolith as she placed the item back in her bag. ”Honestly, my head feels like it’s been split down the middle.” Suddenly she wished that she could have flown to her home… why had she chosen a plot of lands so far from the main settlement. The answer was of course, obvious, but that didn’t make her any less eager to make the long walk home.

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 23rd, 2022, 9:25 am

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He hadn’t been expecting to write anything down after her lightning flash collapse, so it was with unprepared fingers that he scrabbled for the parchment and charcoals, at the same time trying to help her get to the bench where she could at least be comfortable if she felt the need to scream again. Once she was settling herself he got both out and started to add the words revealed to the others they had already discovered – tough how she had been able to interpret them whilst being blinded was, in itself, an intriguing question. It begged the suggestion that these words they were seeing were perhaps more than just revealed, carved stone.

Perhaps they are...direct messages? Magical in nature, that much is clear...reappearing and disappearing...revealed almost like a game, playful and teasing...a challenge perhaps? A bargain? Knowledge for effort...or perhaps a reward for your own attempt at trickery? Sounds like Ionu...especially the vanishing and reappearing part he mused to himself as he placed the parchment down between them.

“I got your words...I think collectively we have a good number – forty odd by a glance – but they’re all jumbled. No actual message stands out to me at the moment. Given that we don’t know how many there are total...well perhaps it is best to rest for the day...for you at least, I have enough energy for one more try” he said, pushing himself up and taking another piece of parchment and the charcoal with him, toward the monument.

He was forced to grin at her next word as he circled the monolith and put his theory to the test – picking places he knew he had gotten words from before and getting a charcoal rubbing, then picking other places he knew words had not come to him an doing the same, the whole time holding back a snort of laughter at her words about her scream – they seemed somewhat fitting considering their initial back and forth about gods in general. The trick played upon her by the monolith was both vicious and amusing, and the more he thought about things the more he remembered Ionu’s words about walking Syka and the rest – he was involved with it somehow, he felt sure, even if he couldn’t make out his mark upon the stone in dying light of Syna. That kind of joke would appeal to the god he thought.

the, been, altogether, This, Place, As, Gods, Pick

“Well...at least we now know that these words we are seeing are random, not revealed with specific location...at least that’s what it seems like. I got repeated words in other places than where I got them before...and new words in old places...the gods are playful it seems. I know one like that, he was quite fun in many ways. I’d like to talk to him again, he might be able to give me some advice” he said, returning to the bench and taking some time to make two copies of their list of words – one for each of them – on fresh parchment, as was their agreement of shared findings.

“Although I don’t know, I might take that other bet...about not hearing another scream like that. Might be fun to see what I could win, long as it isn’t a terrible retribution,” he noted with some amusement as he took a piece of pie and ate it, only just remembering how hungry he was, he didn’t eat much these days and he was still having difficulty balancing his newfound condition, “thanks for the pie. Here, your copy of what we have revealed so far” he said, folding her piece of parchment and tucking it into her book.

He nodded at her words about retiring for the day, it did seem a dramatic thing to end it on, but then blindness was a good reason to argue an unfair advantage. Besides which he had to admit he was getting the feeling that the puzzle before them wasn’t designed for one person to solve. After all, without some special knowledge he was unaware of, it seemed fantastical that just one person could discover all of the magically revealed words and ten interpret them into a message that made sense in its entirety. With just the words they had revealed this day the combinations would be in the thousands, if not more. There were no codebreakers in Syka, as far as he knew. He wasn’t even sure that Syka was ‘civilised’ enough to need them. Sunberth had had them, but that was a dead end.

“You are probably right. The gods are tricky at times, when they are feeling playful. I remember a story about the Guardians, how a group rebuilt them and then the reward was revealed. I am not so sure this has a reward, but the collective effort seems an apt mirror. And so far, it’s just us. I’ll keep going, trying to reveal what this mystery is...if only to make sure there is no threat here. But it will take time, and you likely need rest. Come on, I’ll help you get home...and eat the rest of the pie on the way” he offered, waiting for her to gather her things before they made their way in the direction she indicated.

When she got close enough they parted ways and he returned to the beach, there to stare into the horizon as all light faded, puzzling to himself upon the conundrum they had set for themselves.

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