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 October 30th, 2022, 12:51 am

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40th of Fall, 522

The annoying thing about being severely motivated to do something but having no idea on how to proceed, was that it didn’t suddenly make all that pent up motivational energy conveniently disperse. In fact, Kamilla was currently experiencing that it functioned in the complete opposite way… the pressure was building without release and manifesting itself in several undesirable ways. Her theory, constant hypothesising being another one of the undesirable manifestations of her frustration, that… once her mind and body had been told it would be researching something, accomplishing a very specific kind of task, it would simply continue to anticipate the activity until it felt that it had spent it appropriately.

The big problem here was that the anticipation had built for two years toward something that, even now, she had zero leads or ideas on. It was odd to feel motivated yet demoralised simultaneously. The mage had not made any progress on the vanishing curse that had afflicted her and the desire to do so had all of her being anxious to do some good old research work, for the sweet nectar of a well earned discovery, something she enjoyed even when it wasn’t so vital to her continued well being… and geographical stability.

Alas, the Konti was currently in search of this Monolith she’d heard about from Ken who’d been inadvertently catching her up on some of the recent happenings that she’d missed, having been vanishing to random locations all over the continent every season for the past two years… and all… And all being an incalculable amount of struggling to survive.

According to the chicken kelvic, between the usual flirtatious attempts that he was so well known for… the Monolith had appeared overnight, it was covered in strange markings of all sorts and resembled a mini watchtower. She was pretty sure Ken couldn’t read so ‘strange markings’ left a lot to be desired as far as descriptions went. Regardless, Kamilla found herself currently in search of this mysterious landmark. She was vanishing, it had allegedly appeared out of thin air, the two were phenomenally similar enough that her curiosity had latched onto it. Besides, Ken had also mentioned something about it being ‘filled with gods’ and at this point, Kamilla was even willing to give prayer a chance if it would solve her problem… which she doubted.

Arriving at the spot, Kamilla had no doubt she’d found the landmark in question… the familiar shine of a watchtower easily seen, even from a distance. Drawing nearer, she had two thoughts, she’d thought it would be bigger and Ken hadn’t mentioned that it was also covered in gemstone eyes.

”Interesting…” she said, glad that she was alone in the vicinity as she slowly circled the structure trying to decipher the markings. She hoped that her understanding of Nader-Canoch would be of help.

The Konti was so focused on the inscriptions starting from top to bottom that she was caught off guard when her foot was met with some resistance sending her falling awkwardly toward the ground, a slightly webbed hand instinctively grabbing at the monolith to save herself, but it was all in vain.

The impact with the ground was surprisingly painless, purple irises quickly finding that she hadn’t tripped or landed on the ground at all. Instead, she’d landed right in some unseen fool’s lap and she’d tripped over his knee. What was worse was that it seemed that the fool in question was a complete stranger.

Kamilla had yet to form words but her annoyance expressed itself in the form of a small cat-like hiss. One of the aforementioned ‘undesirable manifestations’ of her pent up frustrations being the resurgence of the deceased mage, Felius’, cat like habits. His psyche had been smashed into hers because of a maledicted skull(his) years ago and it seemed it would never be completely surpressed.

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 1st, 2022, 3:46 pm

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Alric had been aware of the monument but had not taken the chance to investigate it since its sudden appearance – a fact which he regretted upon finally approaching it an inspecting it. He had seen it from afar, its glow in the evenings illuminating the immediate surroundings, and the large gem that seemed to almost float about the monolith itself glowing with the changing seasons. It reminded him of Sunberth, the Lighthouse, and with such associations had come pangs of homesickness. That was a surprised given the fact that Sunberth was a terrible place in comparison to Syka, yet it was difficult not to remember it with rose tinted eyes when he had spent most of his life there.

Strange how absence can make even the roughest of things seem smoother he mused to himself as he let his fingers trace across the smoothed stone, feeling it out as if he wanted to know every detail, every flaw and imperfection that it might contain.

His interest was far from merely academic, he had his own reasons for wanting to know its secrets, whatever they might be. So far, his life had been one long slog of violence followed by a short span of divine interference and somewhat dramatic life changes. Suddenly drawn from place to place he had not made much time for exploring what that meant, and what that said about himself. He had never been a particularly religious person. Upon reflection he supposed that might be a possible reason why Eyris and Ionu had taken an interest – they didn’t feel to him like the traditional worship sort. One had given hi riddles and the other a bargain – he liked that better than asking for bowed head reverence.

“What do you mean to me?” he muttered to himself as he circled the monolith, his tactile desires satisfied for now and instead taking it in visually.

He took some time to study the carvings – mirroring the jungle quite neatly from what little experience he had of it. Some of the symbols he recognised – he had seen them before on Tazrae – but others were less familiar. As for the animals, he had to trust that they were as accurate representations as you could get on a ten foot tall block of stone. It was excellent craftmanship though, from what he saw and understood. The way the lines blended together and the three dimensional forms seemed to pop out of the surface here and there…none could doubt it was an inspired piece of artwork.

It felt like it was meant to instil a sense of wonder, of that magical spark of the divine. And perhaps that was what it was, a promise from the gods to watch over the settlement – much like the Guardians that he had been told of perhaps. After a while had had stopped circling the monolith and had instead taken to staring at one image in particular – the three claw together, clearly a singular item but wholly unfamiliar. They were intriguing to him as they almost seemed as if they had been added in after the rest of it – a feeling that he had no proof of but still felt strongly enough about for it to stick with him.

Everything else blends together, or at least that’s how it feels…but these claw marks…they feel as if they stand apart…interesting…I wonder what they represent. Certainly they seem more feral than the rest…dangerous perhaps? he scratched his chin in thought as he continued to peer at the mark, eventually nodding to himself as he felt the tingling upon the back of his neck and itching on the back of his hand. A mystery was there to be discovered he thought.

He placed his back to the monolith and crossed his legs, taking up an almost meditative position that afforded him a view of the horizon. Instead, he closed his eyes and set about recalling the monoliths details as best he could in his mind’s eye, letting his mind free itself a little to see if it could form its own conclusions without him trying to get in the way. It was as he felt his mind start to loosen itself and begin to think more deeply upon matters that he was jolted out of the state by something falling into him. It took some of the breath from his lungs given there was little place to go with his back to stone. For his troubles he got a hiss of frustration and a half-dazed series of blinking stars out of his eyes before he was able to take it all in. He took a few moments to look her up and down, realising she wasn’t someone he knew, before inhaling in more air and sighing slightly – the moment had been broken.

“I come here for answers from the divine and a strange Konti woman falls into my lap. Either the gods are being more direct than usual or my luck with chance meetings holds true to form. You alright? Haven’t hit your head or anything?” he asked, a slightly more brusque tone than meant being used due to the surprise.


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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Kamilla on November 2nd, 2022, 6:33 pm

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Having had a tick or two to regain her composure Kamilla opened her mouth to speak but was beaten to it by the stranger’s own words. Surprisingly he didn’t seem to be too… surprised, nor was he apologetic about his unfortunate choice of napping location… or at least that’s what she’d assumed he’d been doing. Regardless, Kamilla had decided that she’d outstayed her welcome in his lap, pushing herself back up onto her feet with the use of his shoulder and twisting around to face him in a whirl of white hair and iridescent scales. She checked to make sure the black scar wrapped around her chest was still secure, along with her short purple skirt, thankfully they were.

”Unfortunately, I doubt the gods had any involvement in this encounter…” she was cursed after all, ”… So I’d guess the latter, though perhaps the gods would offer you their answers if you didn’t use their ‘holy’ structures as makeshift furniture… and I’m okay.” she replied matter of factly. The Konti had considered the fact that she should probably have been embarrassed about landing in the strangers lap, but embarrassment was something that she’d had to relinquish over the past two years of showing up in random places naked and afraid. It no longer served a purpose in her mind.

Now that she’d put some distance between herself and the badly positioned stranger, Kamilla allowed herself to properly take in his features. Long dark hair, blue eyes, a pointy nose… along with the muted palette of his clothing and the fact that they looked like he’d been sleeping in them, which she needed no convincing of, he didn’t seem too remarkable at first glance. She wondered why she had no memories of him in the settlement, perhaps he’d simply arrived in her absence.

”Well, would you mind seeking your answers from one of the benches, you’re currently obstructing my own search for answers, relating specifically to the monolith.” she wondered if he had any interesting thoughts on it, but at the same time, judging by the looks of him, she doubted it. Still, she saw no harm in asking. ”I’ve recently returned to the settlement, do you know of any particularly interesting or popular theories on it OR… this claw mark in particular.” she asked, not paying him much attention as most of her attention had already returned to attempting to decipher the markings on it. Purple irises noting every detail of the monolith from left to right and top to bottom, hopefully she’d be able to see the spot the stranger had been blocking, if he’d choose to move.

After scanning every inch, or almost every inch, the Konti was disappointed to find that whatever the symbols on it were, they weren’t Nader-canoch. Though interestingly there were some words in common. Which she read and noted.

”War, once, side, tools, utilized, is, piece…” Kamilla read out loud, being the few words she could make out just by eyeballing it. Not helpful.

She wondered if the stranger was literate… in her hometown of Sunberth not many people were. Perhaps it was similar wherever he came from? Either way it was best not to assume.

As for the claw mark, it was quite large… of course the jungle was home to many predators, the first that came to mind were the large lizards she‘d seen roaming the settlement or large cats. But she was no expert in wildlife so she may have needed a professional opinion. Though to be strong enough to leave a mark on whatever kind of stone the monolith was made of had to narrow the possibilities down somewhat.

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 2nd, 2022, 8:35 pm

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“Oh, I don’t know, they’ve not been above putting people’s paths together before. Still…I suppose you could be right, when they’ve done it once they probably get bored, move on to the next person. Or at least that’s what I had hoped once” he snorted, watching her carefully as she pushed herself up and set about ensuring everything she was wearing was in order.

She was a strange one to be sure, though that could have been because she was Konti, and only the second one that he had seen up close. Long blonde hair, long enough to be a garment in and of itself, flowed with her movements as Syna’s rays reflected off of the scales dotted here and there across her face and what could be seen of her body. Her eyes were a light purple in hue and seemed overly large and colourful alongside her pale skin. She was pretty in her own way, exotic perhaps, though she seemed to move with more self-assuredness than most, which suggested that she thought highly of herself.

Her mannerisms are quite…forceful though. And she gives suggestions as orders…interesting. Is she used to people doing what she says, or does she just think bluntness equals politeness? Or simply doesn’t care he mused to himself, his gaze fixed upon her as he watched to see if anything else would be revealed.

“Do I mind? No. Will I…not yet. I was meditating upon this place and its reason for appearing. As to the claw mark, I have no idea, though I wouldn’t mind finding out as it seems…interesting. You’ve only just returned? That explain why I missed seeing one such as yourself the past season or so. What brings you back to Syka, the monolith? Or did you just get homesick?” he asked, wondering if he might draw out some information about her, either through indignant response or flippant dismissal.

He let her decide whether she wanted to answer him and closed his eyes once more, trying to seek the calm he was close to attaining previously but suspecting that it would not happen again after their impromptu meeting. He was correct in his assumption, he found, his mind not returning to the sinking reflection it had found before, but that didn’t mean his luck had run out. His eyes flicked open, and his head tilted as he listened to her recite words. They were random and made no sense together, as if she were mumbling something to herself and leaving out entire chunks of what she were mumbling.

“Are you trying to think up poetry?” he asked, curious as to what it was she was doing. It felt somewhat underhanded to keep her at a distance and probe her reactions, yet given how his life had been of late he thought it best not to reveal everything about himself to a complete stranger – for all he knew she worked for Sran’tuka and her reason for returning to Syka was something dark, and probably painful.

Giving up on meditation, at least for now, he pushed himself up and leaned against the monolith with a shoulder as he thumbed some tobacco into his pipe and used a nearby candle to light it, puffing away as he eyed the woman for a while. She was looking at the monolith…had she read something on it? His eyes transferred back to the carved stone as smoke curled around his face and he almost cursed himself for missing them at first, his attention too taken with the carved flora and fauna. His fingertips reached out, tracing the ones that he saw on his side of the monolith as she walked around and vanished onto the other side. It felt strange, as if they were there but…not entirely there and in order, like they shifted somehow. He tugged at his pouch and pulled out some parchment he had been using for writing his thoughts the previous evening, his fingers also taking out the charcoal he had been using and he placed them both over the words that seemed to reveal themselves to him.

Utilized, will, in, reactivated, occur, impact, game, powerful, this, once

“Interesting” he muttered to himself, writing in the words the Konti had said around the ones had discovered from his tracing and rubbing discoveries to form…nothing inherently coherent at first glance still. However, it was a start, and one he hadn’t expected when he had first arrived and had his curiosity piqued.

“I think the consensus is generally that the Gods put this thing here. As to the symbols, some are familiar…others not so much. The question I have is why you are interested in it”


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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Kamilla on November 4th, 2022, 11:42 am

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The strange man’s comment about the god’s not being above making people’s paths cross strook her as odd, from the way he spoke, it sounded as if he’d had that exact experience before. She wondered how literal he meant this ‘divine intervention’, the gods were very real even though Kamilla herself had never interacted with one. Perhaps this man had? Or perhaps… he was simply one of those highly superstitious fanatics that chalked every coincidence up to the divine. Given his appearance, the latter seemed more likely.

”Well, if you happen to bump into another one, let them know I’ve got some gripes…” she began, quickly amending it, ”On second thought, forget that.” superstitious or not, Kamilla wasn’t willing to risk drawing the attention of a being who’s power dwarfed her own, she had enough problems as is.

Although slightly annoyed by his refusal to move, Kamilla hadn’t been too annoyed as there was still plenty of monolith to investigate without the tiny piece he was blocking, she’d get to it eventually. Slightly more annoying was his subtle interrogation of her motives, the secretive mage had always been reluctant to share personal information but his current line of questions seemed harmless enough.

”Yes? I’ve been gone for two years, but Syka is still my home… so homesick might be the best way to describe it.” Her statements were true, Kamilla had indeed been homesick, for the entirety of her two year stint all around the continent. It had been her very powerful desire to return to Syka that had kept her going.

”Are you trying to think up poetry?”

Kamilla did not respond to the almost insulting question, continuing her slow circling of the monolith until she’d looped completely around, coming face to face with the stranger who was now on his feet and leaning against the stone structure that she was trying to investigate, the powerful stench of his pipe greeting her senses long before she’d seen it. She said nothing, crossing her arms and watching as he used parchment to make rubbings of the words, mostly the ones she hadn’t seen. Internally, she scolded herself for not having thought of that, though she did help herself to the words he ended up writing down, noticing that he’d included her own discoverings as well. Still, collectively the words were gibberish.

He was talking again and she was listening, though as with most of their exchange she didn’t bother to look at him, even when she responded. Instead, she spoke while her fingers gently traced the lines of the claw marks.

”I’m not particularly interested, just curious, after all… how often does a structure resembling a watchtower appear overnight?” she answered dismissively. Realising that he was asking a lot of questions about her intentions and presence, Kamilla turned to face him, crossing her arms over her chest. ”Why are you interested?” she asked suspiciously.

Already the mage had a few ideas for gauging more information from the monolith, however, unfortunately she had none of the required tools with her at the moment. She’d figured that she would simply have to return more prepared a bit later, hopefully the stranger would no longer be there to disrupt her research too.

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 4th, 2022, 9:56 pm

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Alric chuckled at her words about what to say if he met another god, his heart not fully in it given how his other meetings had gone. They weren’t all bad, decent chunks of them had been good, but he had the feeling that should another cross his path then it would likely be amidst another ‘situation’ or other. Still, the idea that she asked him to not mention her words, a retraction really, in front of a monument dedicated to the gods – who might well be listening for all he knew – amused him. She seemed a cold one, this new Konti, though there were glimmers of something beneath the surface. Still, should she not desire to show such things then he wasn’t about to press for them.

“Gods and Goddesses, may you forgive this woman her…gripes…it was my fault really, for making her mention them,” he said, leaning into the monument as if having a companionable exchange, chuckling afterwards between puffs of smoke, “homesickness is a strong thing. I feel much the same, and my city was an anarchic mess. Compared to this place it would no doubt be called a nightmare…yet I miss it still. It wasn’t all bad. Nothing ever is, really” he commented thoughtfully.

As she continued her circling, and he found himself some more clue words, his eyes took in the claw marking, his fingers reaching out to trace them. The shining mark upon the back of his hand called to him, to use it, but something told him that now wasn’t the time. This curious new addition to Syka was too distracting, and likely wouldn’t let him gain the necessary focus to achieve anything meaningful anyway – at least not whilst she was prickling slightly, for that was what she was doing as far as he could sense. He supposed he couldn’t blame her, he hadn’t exactly treated her to drinks and food…or even a name.

“Anomalies interest me, they have a curious draw. They also tend to attract strange things…or people. I never claimed to be normal. Still, most of all I like to know that the place where I live is safe…and something smells fishy. Monuments like Watchtowers don’t appear overnight without reason, much less ones with symbols on them no one seems to know what it means…or at least…sot hey say” he said, a slow grin spreading across his face at the mini-dramatics he was invoking.

Then he shrugged slightly, scratching his chin and wondering if she even deserved some of the other reasons that he had for his little exploration. He never claimed to be normal, but at the same time he did care about the people here. Once he had come across the world to try to help it. He had failed, yet the intention had been there. He wasn’t about to let it fall into chaos again. Gods had a funny way of bringing upheaval in their wake, some more than others. The priest of Rhysol had escaped, his magic broken but still dangerous. Then the monument appeared. Things hadn’t gone wrong yet as far as he could see, but you didn’t stay alive in Sunberth by being relaxed about random happenings.

“As for other reasons,” he said after a while of simply watching her carefully, her body language and the way she stared at him, subtle shifting of stance and posture that gave away things inevitably, to be considered later, “well Syka has had some strange times…dangerous times. So, let’s just say it’s put me more at ease if the mystery of this could be put to bed” he continued smoothly, puffing away and then extending his hand out to her in a shaking gesture.

“Alric,” he offered his name, “and you are? Or is that another mystery to unravel? You speak like someone who’s had more than a street learning…scholar maybe?” he asked, eyes meeting hers.


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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Kamilla on November 5th, 2022, 7:14 pm

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Casting a side glance at the man as he joked about her… gripes, Kamilla couldn’t help but crack the subtlest sliver of a smile. For someone who seemed a lot more involved with the gods, he certainly didn’t seem to take them, or perhaps himself, too seriously. It struck her as an odd collection of opposing traits, but then she’d only assumed he had the first to begin with… he was after all, still very much a stranger to her. A few words hadn’t changed that.

Anarchic. A mess. A nightmare in comparison… she had no idea which city he was referring to, but to her, he was perfectly describing Sunberth. ”Mine was much the same… but I certainly don’t miss it. I suppose the bad is subjective. For me, it was.” she said with a shrug. Despite being where she’d spent her first two decades of life, the only value the chaotic city held for her were the memories of time spent with her mom and gran. ”It wasn’t exactly encouraging of my… talents.” The extra bit of information had not been shared willingly, perhaps just a result of half her focus being on the examination of the monolith, hindering her restraint.

He seemed to at least share her own interest in solving, or at least understanding the causes of the many unusual happenings in Syka… almost seasonally it seemed. He even claimed to want to keep the settlement safe… an eyebrow raised as she leaned further into her hip, wondering whether he was trying to insinuate she might be to blame in some capacity. She supposed it was a fair assumption, considering they hadn’t met and she could quite easily have had the same suspicion of him, but she hadn’t given him that much thought at all until now. ”Oh, I’m well aware of the numerous unusual happenings here… though I suppose I could be better informed of the ones that happened in my absence. I’ll be sure to ask someone.” she added.

”Well it seems we have similar goals then… I wonder which of us will put this mystery to bed first…” she said with a sly smile, She hadn’t meant it to sound so adversarial, instead having simply been thinking out loud. But it didn’t matter now. ”Kamilla.” she responded plainly. ”And I’m not sure I fall properly into either of those categories, nor have I ever truly considered it… you’ll have to let me know if you come to a conclusion.” she said, a playful tone hiding in her voice.

”Unfortunately, that’s all the time I have for you and the monolith for the time being… Try to nap in less obstructive locations from now on… you do have an entire beach.” she taunted, taking a few steps backwards before twisting around in a swirl of iridescent scales and silver hair. ”Till next time, Alric.”

She needed to make a trip home to fetch some things, perhaps she’d return later that day to resume her investigation of the monolith. Hopefully Alric wouldn’t be there to prod and poke at her history and motives. Honestly, even after their little exchange, she still had no idea what to make of the strange man. That frustrated her, that he himself was another mystery to be solved, having not given her anything concrete to attribute to him except the distinct lack of concrete intel. Perhaps that had been her own fault, she’d been more concerned with the monolith and fending off his questions to ask many of her own. She made a nectar note to put more effort into interrogating him if they ever crossed paths again.

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 6th, 2022, 8:58 am

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He scratched his chin through his short beard at her comments about her home being much the same. Turning them over in his mind he fancied that there couldn’t be that many places like Sunberth, at least not from his experiences and what others had told him. He had seen a number of places in the Wind Eagle travel, none of them he would describe the same way as Sunberth. If she fancied her home much the same then that suggested that perhaps they had both had the same original home, and had escaped. Her comments upon her talents were cryptic, yet seemed to have slipped out from her tone and the way she sealed her lips to it afterwards. A small smile crept across his lips – he did like discovering things.

[i]Knowledge…not just from books and stones…people are the greatest stores of knowledge. Small things perhaps, perception and experience more than anything else, but since his time loops with Cervisi he had grown to appreciate those things more.

“You know Sunberth then?” he asked, taking a chance just in case it proved an interesting coincidence, “and as for talents…well we all have our abilities. Everyone can be interesting, if you just dig a little. Knowledge is everywhere” he commented amiably, as smoke continued to curl around his face before being caught by the sea breeze and whipped away.

When she came to stand in front of him it seemed clear to him that she was tolerating his company, either that or her people skills were lacking for some reason. Upon reflection, though, he supposed he had been asking a lot of questions and perhaps she wanted to keep to herself. He could understand that, he had been through much himself and had spent a good chunk of the summer simply being alone and reflecting upon such happenings – and even that he had needed help with. Still, as she suggested competing yet aligned goals she seemed to perk up, a sense of playful slyness he could relate to entering her voice and countenance. She had a way of moving that seemed purposeful, yet she leaned into her hip or crossed her arms as if not thinking about it, speaking without speaking – she was a strange one, a curious anomaly in Syka despite her protestations of this being her home.

As she left she had a suggestion of improvement for him that gave him pause, and then he grinned slowly as he considered whether to respond silently by turning her temporarily invisible or something similar. He fancied that that would be quite amusing, but instead he wondered whether she might be more amenable to him if she saw him as an equal. He was dressed quite shabbily at the moments if he were honest with himself, having chosen his duller garb in some strange mental preparation for investigating their joint mystery. He had always had a decent mind doing so in Sunberth, so he had chosen his old Sunberthian garb, as if drab greys and dulled toned would lend a monochromatic boost to his investigative powers. He supposed he should probably put more thought into his appearance, but he had just never set much stock in such things – they were often deceiving anyway on the streets.

“So Kamilla…not a street woman…not a scholar…so let’s go with mystery for now,” he said to her retreating back, tilting his head to the side slightly as he watched her walk away, a not unpleasant sight all things considered, “are you a competitive woman, perhaps?” he said, his tone a slightly playful challenge in tone.

“Seems to me that we are investigating the same thing, and if I know curious types you were looking at what was revealed to me…so we start from the same place considering I was listening to you. So…first to the solving then? Or are you not up to the task? If so, there is no shame in it…but if you are game…perhaps we should set stakes, and rules, no?” he suggested in an altogether far too jovial a tone for the prodding he was doing with his words.


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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Kamilla on November 7th, 2022, 11:07 am

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Kamilla had decided to purposefully avoid his question about Sunberth, it belonged to a piece of her past that she wasn’t proud of and in the decade since her emergency departure she had never once looked back. She did note however, that if Alric was from the city of anarchy, she may have to keep her wits about her, especially since she knew how people from the city viewed magic. Of course, the part of her that feared being discovered as a mage had long since been dealt with, now she only noted his origins so she wouldn’t be caught by surprise when he likely had an unpleasant reaction. Of course, he couldn’t very well lynch her in Syka, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t react badly.

She wondered if he had any knowledge of the other three newcomers to the settlement, Mitt, Raymin and Grom… all from Sunberth too. If Alric had any relation with the latter two, she would have to keep that in mind as well. But, at least from his own words, it seemed he’d been in Syka for at least a season or two already… and he didn’t much seem like the type that affiliated with the Daggerhand, or any of the other Sunberth gangs. Still, it always payed to be prepared.

According to Alric, currently he was classifying her as a mystery, which was by design for the time being, better to learn more about someone before revealing more about yourself, though she was well aware that getting people to share information was usually a give and take. On Sahova it had been the most literal sense of tit for tat, favor for favor… equal exchange. Nothing on the undead isle had ever come for free and it had been a valuable lesson in life.

While she had been the one to unintentionally insinuate a competition between the two, now Alric was blatantly challenging her, going so far as to bait her… there was certainly some shame in backing away from a potentially magical research challenge against the unkempt looking man. At least to her. More than that, it had been a while since Kamilla had just allowed herself to have fun… a little competition could be exactly that, with the added benefit of taking her mind off her real problems. She saw no good reason not to.

Not bothering to look back, Kamilla called out over her shoulder, a smile on her hidden face… ”Very well… I’ll be back near sun down to discuss the details…” she waved a hand as she left.

From there Kamilla had followed the Cobbled Pathway all the way past Treasure Point until she reached the entrance to her self-made cave home. Her animated wagon, Wally, carrying her bag and sewing supplies for her. The golem had proven to be useful time and time again.

”Oh, look who’s home early. Nice to see you haven’t vanished again.” came Roo’s voice as soon as she’d reached the top of the stairs. The talking flower had insisted on reminding her, in an attempt to make her feel guilty, about her disappearance, every chance it got.

”I told you Roo… I won’t be vanishing again… at least till next season.” she said, waving a hand and causing a small cloud of res to drizzle over Roo’s pot. It always got cranky when thirsty.

Glancing out over the ocean she could see that she had just under two bells before sunset… Surprisingly, she was excited for her little competition with the strange man… or perhaps she was just curious to learn more about the peculiar stranger.

In the time spent, Kamilla had some pie from the magic cosy… some sort of nut flavour. She’d cuddled a bit with Yennefer, her gray yowlwing and finally, packed her bag with some paper and writing utensils, her Scrying Orb, Opaque Spectacles, Explorer’s Globe and Moonstone Ring. All potentially useful items in uncovering the Monolith’s secrets. In addition, she packed some slices of pie, she slipped her Ethereal Armband on her right arm and hooked her Raven Feather War Fan to her belt… just in case.

”Alright, I’ll see you two later.” she said, leaving a note for Jehu to tell him she’d be home later in the evening.

Half a bell later, Kamilla was sitting on one of the benches around the Monolith, she considered taking another close look at the structure before Alric arrived, but decided that it probably wouldn’t be fair to start until they were both present and had discussed the details.

Whenever he did arrive she’d simply crack a smile, ”So you were serious… I wasn’t sure if you’d fail to show up or not. Nice to see you have. As for these conditions…” she said, crossing her legs, ”What did you have in mind?” she’d pause to see if he had anything to say before continuing. ”On my end, I think it’s only fair if we limit our time around the monolith so that neither has spent more than the other… though I suppose you already have a bit of an edge in that regard since it seems to be your favourite nap spot. I’m willing to ignore that though.” she prodded playfully.

Kamilla was very curious as to what rules Alric had come up with for their competition, even more so when it came to the stakes. She hadn’t yet thought of any of her own, knowing almost nothing of the man. She did however hope it wasn’t something as trivial as money… though in her current predicament, some money wouldn’t be the worst thing.

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A Claw To Pick… [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 8th, 2022, 8:09 pm

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There was a sense of some satisfaction when she accepted the challenge rather than ran from it, which made him think that his read on her was closer than it was far off. Still there was much of her to learn about and he still hadn’t completely assumed she was no danger to Syka. He doubted she was a lair, the story she had told was too dangerous if false. Still…a Priest of Rhysol had come to Syka on a boat. Nothing said new dangers with old faces couldn’t turn up too. He felt no evil in her though, not the kind that was truly dark. He had no magical proof but he suspected she was simply an aloof person with some secrets.

But secrets I like…and the fun is in the finding he thought to himself as he simply nodded, not calling his acceptance out to her and instead turning to get one last gaze upon the monolith before setting off to find himself some food, shade and water – in that order.

“I’m serious quite a lot of the time, yet people always seem so surprised” he said with tilted head and half-grin, though his eyes were watching her, assessing her somewhat in a curious way.

He had felt sure she would return and had waited, not too far away from the Monolith, yet there was still room for surprise. He had noted too that she had not really even indicated noticing his last questions for her, which had made him curious. He doubted she was deaf just yet given her age, though perhaps selectively deaf to things she felt were beneath her might be possible given her initial aloofness. Still, now she seemed a little warmer, relaxed even, which told him she probably didn’t see much in him – she was smarter, more capable and certainly unable to say no to a challenge from one such as he.

Interesting…perhaps that competitiveness of the natural order – man made or jungle – never truly dies out. Assuming my intuition isn’t leading me down wrong paths of course he mused to himself as he didn’t take a seat, yet neither using the monolith for a prop stand this time.

“Many have tried to ignore me…few have succeeded. Still…what can I say, the heat makes one sleepy after a day of catching fish for food,” he said after a few moments of listening and thinking upon her words, he saw nothing in them that would disadvantage him, he didn’t really need much more than himself for the initial investigations, “limiting time seems fair. Though how that is monitored…she we say that we have today, what is left of it…and every tenth day for the next score of days. That’s three visits total. With one final meeting on the last day of Fall…assuming one of us hasn’t solved it by then. Seem fair?”

“As for other conditions…no questioning the Founders. Answers too easily given are worthless and the Founder know much and, at times, may be too generous with such things. Other people…I suppose they’re okay to ask, though have fun interrogating everyone. Magic…magic is permitted so long as it won’t endanger the monolith itself. I don’t fancy turning our friendly chase into something…damaging” he said, meeting her gaze and watching to see if there was a reaction there. It was a fun demand – either way he’d get an answer if he wanted the competition.

“Any others you’d like to pose…or discuss?” he asked, giving fair time for her to suggest some or query his reasoning, should she wish to, for his own.

It amused him, that somehow what had started as a desire to protect Syka had morphed into a convoluted attempt at discovering the heart of another mystery – in this case a person. If he had to do it again though he’d make no changes, even if he ultimately lost. The journey would reveal enough anyway, and he had found that when it came to danger in Syka it was the people that mattered. The mystery of the monolith would be revealed one way or another, by his hand quite literally if he had his way, but two mysteries were better than one, and knowledge was something he valued deeply – more deeply than before he had started his fated journeys. As he listened and thought he thumbed some more tobacco into his black pearl pipe and lit it from a candle again.

He simply waited to go over what her terms were, smoke curling around him as the Blue Vision tobacco that he had chosen began to relax his muscles and ease his mind, which was the effect he was after for what he had in mind.

“I suppose you have ideas on what prize you would like too…so you go first. What stakes would you like to set Kamilla the Konti?”



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