Completed What Is Home?

A supplimental story from "The Length Of A Day."

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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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What Is Home?

Postby Tazrae on October 30th, 2022, 4:02 pm

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TImestamp: 45th of Fall, 522 A.V.



Tazrae found it in the last place she’d ever thought to look. The small magical token had slipped down between the headboard and the mattress and was resting on the wooden slats that supported her feather mattress. Taz would have never thought to look there save for the fact that she dropped something else on the bed – a hairpin – and in fishing, for that, she’d discovered the coin. She’d forgotten about the Homefinder and what it could do. She remembered, with clarity, that it had been the only thing in her pocket when the chest at The Protea had swallowed her whole.

The Homefinder Token was her ticket to freedom.

She carefully lifted it up so it caught the light. Tarnished, and worn, it looked like a whole lot of nothing. But Tazrae remembered Talia’s words about how powerful the tokens could be, especially if charged. And she’d had the sharpness of mind to ask the librarian what that exactly meant. Meditation, Talia had answered. Taz had to meditate on what she considered home and lock that into the token’s awareness to charge it to a place of security she could go to. It could have been anywhere in the world that she had personally visited. And while Tazrae hadn’t visited a lot of places, there was only one place she could safely consider ‘home’.

Garden Beach. It should have been The Protea or even Syka itself. But Taz didn’t resonate with other places as she resonated with Garden Beach. Her little palapa was her sanctuary and her pavilion with its enormous bed and the green wing-backed chair embroidered with living things was hers and hers alone. Her clothing was there. Her weapons were there. Everything she physically owned in the world was there.

She started small, deciding that there was nothing to be lost charging the item. Now, it was done so that it couldn’t be taken away from her and all her last hopes for freedom as well. She took the token between her finger and thumb and began to quiet her mind. She sank deeply into herself. She pulled her djed around her like a warm blanket, not tapping it, just existing within the pool inside her. Then, with the token clutched securely in her hand, Tazrae thought of home.

Garden Beach was a safe haven and a comfortable place Tazrae could find peace within. It was an area of comfort that she shared with her family. It was the place where all her dreams had started. It was where she started to build memories and a future worth living. Truth be told, Garden Beach was something she valued above all else because there she could be herself. It was where her ideas and attitudes were governed by her wants and desires, and the world was molded to fit her needs.

Surprisingly, Tazrae’s home was no fortress. It held no protection from the environment other than a roof and walls that could be raised or lowered depending on the weather. She needed a lack of walls, a lack of boundaries, and the illusion of infinite space. Her floor was solid hardwood planks of enormous size that reminded her of walking through time. Lars had told her that each ring of a tree represented a year of growth. The trees recorded their lives in their very flesh. She recorded her life by the scars on her body and the lines on her face. They were no huge differences between them, Tazrae had decided early on. She could actually feel the sun-warmed wood under her toes as she padded barefoot across its glossy surface. There were rugs, but they were centered under her bed and under her enormous wing-backed chair.

Last edited by Tazrae on November 4th, 2022, 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

What Is Home?

Postby Tazrae on October 30th, 2022, 4:03 pm

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Speaking of that chair… Tazrae loved how it made her feel like a child in its enormity. She loved curling up in it with the brazier roaring. She’d often pull her blanket of stars across her lap and partially up her body. She’d stay wrapped all night sleeping in the shelter of those glowing stars. The hand-embroidered flowers and animals on the chair were a comfort under her cheek which often took on the patterning for a bit in the morning after she awoke. Its matching footstool often secured her feet, also wrapped in the same stars. The warmth was unbelievable. The comfort was hard to beat. And there was often a book left open in her lap, its weight a familiar burden. She borrowed a lot from Reclaimed Knowledge these days, leaning heavily on Talia’s expertise by asking the woman about what direction she should go in her ongoing education.

Her entire pavilion was usually scattered with books, notebooks of notes, and collections of ideas. Tazrae had the heart of a scholar, the voice of a bard, and the djed of a pre-Valterrian mage. She was a lot of things with a hundred different roads to travel if she chose. But the road that actually ended up taking had delivered her to Falyndar and to Syka itself. It had taught her that there was nothing better than the feel of warm crystalline sand between her toes. There was no more lulling sound than the waves lapping at the ocean, delivering a lover’s kiss every few heartbeats, sometimes retreating and sometimes lingering. And when the two combined, it was magical.

Home was the taste of fresh green on the wind. Syka was an explosion of life. Tazrae could always smell the salt of the sea, but that was a background note lost in the heady scent of blooming flowers and the pungent aromatics of the trees themselves. Each variety of giant and tiny dwarfed miniature smelled differently. And they came together in a heady spicy musky flora scent that was indescribable. Taz could also smell the rich earth. That particular scent always grounded her and kept her in the present in a way that nothing else could. The cool mud squishing between her toes, oozing up with brown water that smelled rich and nurturing was something she didn’t have to visualize. The actual feel and scent came to her with just a simple thought.

Taz went without shoes as much as possible at home. She liked the textures beneath her feet. She liked the connection to Falyndar it gave her. Someone important had once told her that Falyndar had claimed her and accepted her as one of her own. And while Taz wasn’t sure exactly what that meant… were the regions Gods and Goddesses like the Gods and Goddesses were? She did find that flattering in a way that a stranger – a total outsider – was welcomed into a fold that she had no idea she’d been missing her whole life. And that was just the beginning…. that was before Caiyha, the seed, transforming into a Wildling, and the scale… that all bound her tighter and tighter to her home.

The wildling seed gave her a connection to The One Tree which in turn gave her a connection to all trees. And with that connection, Taz had found what all the Ixam knew inherently. The trees were pathways in the sky. One could run forever from tree to tree in the deep jungle on super highways hidden from sight lofted high in the branches. And once that seed was firmly lodged in her breastbone with its tendrils reaching out to the other life in the region, she found a connection. That connection was everything. With Nura on her tongue and the seed above her heart, she found peace and found a sense of belonging that she simply wasn’t equipped to find before.



Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
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Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

What Is Home?

Postby Tazrae on October 30th, 2022, 4:05 pm

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So home… home was a jungle on the edge of the sea, tangled with life and interconnected in ways she couldn’t even begin to describe. It wasn’t just the little palapa erected before a Drykas Pavilion that was pitched a thousand miles from where it was woven. It wasn’t the Inn perched next to the sea that acted like a gateway to the wilderness by offering a soft landing in the form of a comfortable bed and good food. Home wasn’t a cobbled pathway that lead north to south that connected so many different lives to each other.

Home wasn’t even a word. It wasn’t a singular thing. Home was something she’d been robbed of for most of the last three seasons – feelings. Home was full of feelings, as it was full of other senses. Happiness, sadness, caution, concern, excitement, contentment, achievement, safety, danger, discovery… all of it. Home was the intense pain of a deadly snakebite that nearly stole her life and lead her to a world where the snakes were her friends. Home was a series of questions that lead to more questions that lead to even more questions.

Some of those questions were ones of discovery. Could she do something? Could it really work? So home became the investigation of that question and the finding of its answer. Home was asking a question and answering it in the same breath by action and thought. Home was challenging the normal and stretching boundaries to include new and different things.

Home was also people. Taz used to think home was the beating heart of a man she held close to and loved. It was one form of home, for sure, but it wasn’t truly home for her until the give-and-take equalized. She used to think home was the back of a green and blue scaled Ixam, the warm form clamped between her thighs and the miles being eaten up beneath them with every stride. But she could run for herself, and she needed too. Just like she needed her own heartbeat for comfort. She wasn’t home for others, not yet at least. Her hand drifted lower to the swell of her stomach. Would her children be a form of home? Would she be home to them?

Tazrae sure hoped so.

The faces of Syka flashed before her eyes, starting with the trio of incredible men that made up the Founders. And from there the images cascaded outwards in her mind most of them she knew with love and affection. They had their values, their places, and the niches that they filled. She had friends, true friends, and people that would stand shoulder-to shoulder with her to defend that home. As a Ranger, it was also her job to protect the place. Tazrae knew that inherently and was proud of that fact. Those faces that flashed before her inner mind made her really think about all roles and masks each and every one of them had to assume to get through a day.

It was a heavy burden carried lightly. That was home.

Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

What Is Home?

Postby Tazrae on October 30th, 2022, 4:07 pm

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What else was home? Music. Music was home. Utterly and completely. In her hand, the token was already beginning to glow. It was slowly absorbing Tazrae’s images, her thoughts and feelings and locking in on her home. The power redoubled that it absorbed as she slowly began to sing, locked more of the concept of what home meant to her.

“A fire's gotta burn
The world is gonna turn
Rain has gotta fall
Fate is gonna call
But I just keep on breathing
Long as my heart is beating
Someone's gotta hate
It's never gonna change
Gets harder everyday
It's a hell of a place
To keep your heart from freezing
To keep yourself believing
But I won't run
I'm not afraid
I'll look em in the eye
Gonna hear me say….”


Her voice got stronger. It was initially warbly due to disuse. But there was no rule about singing, nothing that said she couldn’t incorporate that into her meditation. And the song that came to her mind was one that rammed home what she was trying to do. She was trying to manifest home in an almost physical manifestation. Music could do that. Song was a powerful weapon. So she sang to the coin as part of her charging. And that in turn caused home to more than solidify in Tazrae’s mind.

“It's
My life
My love
My sex
My drug
My lust
My Gods, it ain't no sin
Can I get it
Can I get an Amen?”


She took a breath, but the song kept coming, angrier now, full of her frustration and power.

“My grace
My church
My pain
My tears
My hurt
My Gods, I'll say it again
Can I get it
Can I get an Amen?”


Tazrae bared her teeth like a wild thing, her voice sultry and powerful, driving lyrics home that no one else would ever hear.

“Can I get it
Can I get an Amen
Can I get it
Can I get an Amen?”





Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

What Is Home?

Postby Tazrae on October 30th, 2022, 4:09 pm

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Her free hand dropped down to her swollen form, laying a hand over the twin heartbeats growing inside her. Tears slipped out of her eyes, anger infusing her voice. The world would know her wrath if anything happened to her children. The world would burn, starting with Sran’tuka. She swore it as she sang, to herself, to the world, and to anyone he had victimized. He just wasn’t her first priority… not anymore. But he definitely made her list of top ten. Home was a place…. a safe place to plot revenge.

“Life has gotta kill
Faith is gonna blind
Hope is gonna fade
The truth is gonna lie
Sometimes there's no reason
To justify the meaning
But I won't run
I'm not ashamed
It's gonna take more than this for me to break”



She rocked quietly, not opening her eyes. Her voice had more resonance now, though she did not tap her gnosis. She just sang with everything she had. She meant the words she sang and she would keep meaning them for years and years after this. She was going to survive. If she had to do it to spite everyone and everything that thought she wasn’t strong enough – she would. But mostly, she would survive for herself… so she could go home.


“My life
My love
My sex
My drug
My lust
My Gods, it ain't no sin
Can I get it?
Can I get an Amen?”


Her water broke then, suddenly, as the coin flared brightly, absorbing the last of what it needed. Tazrae opened her eyes and saw stain of water and blood spreading across the rich coverlet she was sitting awkwardly on meditating. She wasn’t going to stop though, not now… not until the song was done. So she sang on, finishing it as her body clamped tightly.


“My grace
My church
My pain
My tears
My hurt
My Gods, I'll say it again
Can I get it?
Can I get an Amen?
Can I get it
Can I get an Amen
Can I get it
Can I get an Amen?”


Her voice was barely a trickle now, just a whispered gasp of pain as she finished. The song spun off in a whispered gasp as a full-fledged contraction hit her. She swore softly and tucked the coin in her mouth against the side of her cheek, not knowing where else to hide it. She had no pockets and they’d see it immediately in her hand. Tazrae was out of time… out of time utterly. Gods…. She took a deep breath, and decided the time needed to be now. But before Tazrae could move to activate the Homefinder, not sure if she could survive the magic item’s use in labor.

It was then the door crashed open, interrupting her.

Sran’tuka strutted in like he owned the place. Taz was already on her feet, pacing, getting ready to run. She turned her back on him so she could school her emotions. She had ten dampeners in place now and the collar wasn’t dampening her emotions at all now. And this was what the trainer had warned about. There was a role she needed to play a careful role in… a role she needed to get two healthy babies delivered into her arms. Schooling her face into an utter lack of emotion, she turned towards him, lifted her lids, and met his eyes with her own cold gaze.

“The babies are coming.” She said simply.

Words: 2701

Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

What Is Home?

Postby Tazrae on November 4th, 2022, 6:58 am

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Grading!


Tazrae-

Meditation +5, Philosophy +3, Tactics +1, Psychology +4, Arcanology +2, Singing +2

Meditation: What Is Home?, Tactics: Planning An Escape, Psychology: Understanding One's Own Mindset, Psychology: What Makes One Feel Safe, Arcanology: Charging A Homefinder Artifact, Psychology: Walls don’t = security For Tazrae, Philosophy: Record of her life = Scars on her body, Psychology: Lack of Walls = Lack Of Boundaries, Psychology: Taz has the heart of a scholar, Meditation: Involves All Senses, Psychology: The Connection Of A Wildling to all things Wild, Philosophy: People meant home
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
Words: 1808031
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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