Completed [Challenge] The Length Of A Day VII

As it turns out, a whole year can pass in the span 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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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day VII

Postby Tazrae on November 1st, 2022, 4:54 am

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


The Moon Eagle had been looking for the Ixam woman all day. He’d been keeping a watch on her since he’d arrived in Syka, for there were things about her that needed watching. It wasn’t that she was a dangerous thing, not really. He didn’t think she posed a threat to him or the settlement. But rather it was more of a situation where she needed watching because she needed help. There was something about her that was lost, broken, and restless in a way that was disconcerting in a mage. Eywaat had sent him initially, to oversee the Settlement that looked like it was going to more or less survive, and because of the parrot icon, he’d left there to give the birds something extra.

Jaelis didn’t think anyone expected the settlement to thrive or the Gods to take an interest in it. Humans didn’t generally thrive in Falyndar, nor did they do the things these humans in this place had done. Not only had they tamed part of the jungle and reclaimed it where the ruins of the old city lay, but they’d made it safer and easier for humans to survive within those confines of the reclaimed land. It was quite odd and interesting, in its own way.

And since he’d come here, he’d seen evidence of Kihala, Caiyha, and even Rhysol. The settlement was thick with Gods. Even one of the local priest's homes was decorated with Gasvik indicating Xhyvas was a frequent visitor. He’d seen signs of Rhaus and even Laviku, though that God's presence was more subtle. Nothing good came when the gods were thickly about. The Moon Eagle might be young, but he was nobody’s fool.

Humans worked against the land, altering it, changing it, and trying to make it conform to their needs. These humans seemed to try to understand it and get to the place in their lives where they were altering themselves to fit the jungle rather than demanding the jungle alter to fit them. It was quite a difficulty, and it was a puzzle he was trying to figure out. It was what got him initially captured in the scouting party that was surveying the jungle looking for a different scouting party from the desert that had perished there a year ago. He’d been stupid, coming close, thinking the party of humans he found out in the jungle were the Syka humans, and they weren’t.

They were desert humans trespassing in jungle lands, looking for something and collecting samples of everything. He’d been one of the samples collected. He was just fortunate he’d been released by the mage whom he sought. At first, he’d thought her one of them, then an Ixam turned human in some sort of ancient Kelvic design. Then he’d felt Rhaus’ power from her and thought her a bard. He’d run across bards before in his small migrations. But she was marked by more than that, for he heard her Nura and spoke it himself clearly. It reassured him that it was safe to follow her back to the place she called 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."
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Tazrae
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day VII

Postby Tazrae on November 1st, 2022, 4:57 am

He'd meant to take breakfast at her business this morning, but had found it closed. Instead, all he’d found was a largely abandoned chest on her deck. No one was around and the chest seemed to be locked. He’d paced around it, tapped on it, and even tried to move it. It felt empty, hollow and there was nothing about it but the rank stench of the old magic that he sometimes felt around the jungle in some of the ruins.

There was a lady that stank of the same magic, an Isur, and he’d gone to find her to see if she had anything to do with the chest and his missing Ixam lady. Then he’d had to hunt for his own breakfast, took a long swim at the Communal Pools, and had been lured into the conversation by a man who owned a bar named Stu. Jaelis didn’t like the alcohol they served there. It made men, especially humans, weak.

So he’d taken a few patrol routes in the sky above Syka and wasted away most of the afternoon casually looking for the woman. He’d tried Brom and had checked in with the Mulagun who had decidedly looked worried and was muttering about something different afoot that day. The Mulagun had tried to get Jaelis to stay with him, but Jaelis wanted to find the woman. He had much to talk with her about and he’d been invited to drop by anytime.

Winging back to the Settlement in the late afternoon, he’d decided to take yet another turn by Garden Beach and see if the woman was in her usual afternoon hangout… the palapa outside her pavilion where she liked to steal naps in a pile of Ixam. The Ixam were about, milling and anxious, but there was no sign of Tazrae. His concern was slowly growing. There were only so many places she could be, and he’d checked most of them. Turning, he angled away from the tree line of palms, to head out onto the beach. That’s where he spotted Tazrae, in the full sun, sprawled out as if she had collapsed. She was half curled around something, protectively, but nothing was moving but the thing she had curled around.

Backwinging, Jaelis landed at her feet neatly, shifted, and crouched. He heard the mewing of the infant immediately and mistakenly thought she had a newly hatched Ixam clutched to her as she lay in the sand. But that wasn’t it. It was a human babe. He moved her arm to get a better look and immediately saw what it was. Reaching down, he picked up the infant. It was… unsightly. There was dried blood all over it and something else he didn’t want to contemplate. He would have said visceral fluid, but it wasn’t exactly that. He quickly wrapped it up in the cloth it was loosely bound in and tucked it into his arm.

Then, he turned Tazrae over, fearing she was dead. She was not. The Ixam woman was breathing, but there was a deathly paleness to her and she too was covered with blood, most of it on the cloth of her dressing gown. Dressing gown? Jaelis frowned. The clothing she wore was unfamiliar. She looked unfamiliar. There was makeup smeared across her face as if her eyes had been lined with kohl and sweat had poured down her face streaking it with the cosmetic. Her hair was bound in intricate braids, not its usual loose and unfussy styling. The robe she wore over the dressing gown was threaded with what he was certain was gold.
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."
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Tazrae
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day VII

Postby Tazrae on November 1st, 2022, 4:59 am

Gently setting the infant down in the shade of his form, he reached down and picked Tazrae up in his arms. He shifted her across his shoulder like she was a sack of vegetables. Then he knelt carefully again, picked up the infant, and maneuvered it into the crook of his arm. Then he turned, awkwardly, and began to carry her south. Thankfully, there was virtually no one around. He met no one traversing the Commons and taking the cobbles south towards the Panacea.

It was a long heavy trek, but the Moon Eagle was not about to complain. This was his chance to pay back the life debt he owed Tazrae and be on a clean even slate with her. Once at the Panacea, he tucked her into one of the cots, left the babe in her arms, and went to find a doctor. At first, no one was around, but after some frantic looking, he found a young woman with a striking resemblance to Tazrae.

“Hello?” He said softly. “I have a woman and a tiny baby. They need assistance.” He said quietly.

Kami turned, studied the white-haired man, and looked around. “Where are they?” She asked abruptly. The physician had never seen the man before and that made her uneasy. “And you are?” She asked, almost in the same sentence. Jaelis had turned and started back the way he’d come, leading the woman through the Panacea and into the room with the beds.

“I’m Jaelis. New to the Settlement. I have Tazrae and a small baby here.” He said, moving to the bed, but taking the opposite side.

Kami nodded. “I’m Kami. Let me have a look.” She said and carefully picked up the infant. She carried the child to what appeared to be a small bassinet and unwrapped it, frowning, as she laid it down. “This child was just born… just a short while ago.” The woman’s voice sounded odd, puzzled. Then she moved to the doorway. “Jansen! Kalum! I need help in here!” She shouted. That started the infant crying, which brought Kami back over to the child’s side.

She turned to Jaelis and gestured out the door. “Go… draw water from the well and heat it on the stove. I have a fire already going for tea. This child needs to be cleaned up. We’ll need warm water for that. Monitor it. Make sure it won’t burn its skin. Bring back towels. They are in the linen closet by the door.” She barked, taking charge and scurrying around, grabbing medical supplies and items she needed for the child.

Unwrapping the baby, she found that the infant was a little girl. Carefully, she checked the umbilical, added fresh astringent to the wound, and began cleaning her off the best she could. While she worked, she snuck glances over at the woman on the bed. Kami knew who she was, of course, but they hadn’t had any time to actually get to know each other. To Kami, her sister had always seemed larger than life. She was the woman that inherited the magic Sran’tuka wanted. She was the woman that got spirited away for the safety and future of the Kois, while she had been left, abandoned.

Was this infant another of those?
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
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day VII

Postby Tazrae on November 1st, 2022, 5:01 am

Kami’s anger rose, and she whirled, leaving the infant well-bound in a towel until she could get her a proper bath and fed. Fed? Was there any nursing woman in Syka? Kami thought not. There were no infants as far as she knew. They’d have to take the child to The Outpost and find a wetnurse through the Redynn. That would be the only way.

Turning, sucked in a deep breath, and approached the second patient. She knelt down beside her twin sister just as Jansen came in. Over her shoulder, she gestured. “Newborn. She needs to clean up. Maybe a bell old? No later?” She guessed as she saw Jansen take over about the time Jaelis came in with the towels and hot water. While the two men worked on the infant, Kami took stock of what was wrong with her sister.

She stripped the prone woman, looking for injuries, and saw only her still-extended stomach, signs of pregnancy, and recent birth. Her milk was leaking, and her thighs were just as dirty as the baby itself was. Kami had a hard time wrapping her mind around what she saw. Her sister was the mother of this child… but her sister hadn’t been pregnant. She’d seen Tazrae often enough, mostly at a distance, and there had never been signs of the woman being pregnant.

Shelving her doubts and denials, Kami got to work cleaning her sister up, deciding after a thorough exam that she was just exhausted and most likely traumatized. She noted the lump embedded in Tazrae’s breastbone, tucked behind the Ixam scale, and shook her head. She also noted the gnosis marks and the faint scars all over her sister’s body. She knew Nico had gotten ahold of Tazrae at one point, but staring at the physical evidence of the capture disgusted the physician. She shook her head, tried to be fair, and gave Tazrae the same gentle treatment she’d give anyone else. She ran wet cleaning cloths full of soap all over her and noted the djedline tattoo on the small of her back.

Mage.

That was Kami’s biggest issue. Mages in the Kois were treated differently than non-mages. She was born with djed. All people were. But mages just got a disproportional amount of power from others. To Kami’s mere spark, Tazrae was a bonfire burning bright. It had saved Kami from Tazrae’s fate, but it hadn’t saved Kami from Sran’tuka and his cruelty. This life, here in Syka, was the first peace she’d ever known. She had been abruptly and repeatedly drawn away from the Kois life she knew and thrown into others, on loan, until she was needed and called back home.

She ran through the differences between her and her sister, the advantages and disadvantages. Kami blamed Tazrae for a great deal. But she would not refuse her healing. And she would not refuse her child. Kami would never have any of her own. Sran’tuka had seen to that immediately. Because of Nyle… because of their relationship and the fact that she was a distraction to him. She kept getting sent away over and over. And she kept returning – usually of her own volition – because of the same man’s presence. Kami hated it… hated all of it. And most of all she wanted Florentin’s unwelcome rider to die.
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
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[Challenge] The Length Of A Day VII

Postby Tazrae on November 1st, 2022, 5:03 am

She rolled her sister back over, dressing her in a soft isuas gown, and shifting her to a bed with clean linens. The woman stiffened when she did, and carefully lifted her eyelids. Turquoise eyes met green as the two women sized each other up. Kami started to tell Tazrae not to speak when the Innkeeper spoke anyhow. “Syka? Am I back in Syka? Are my babies here?” She asked, a desperate edge to her voice.

Kami nodded. “Syka… yes you are in Syka… in the Panacea. Your daughter is with you. She is fine… hungry but fine. Can you nurse her?” The green-eyed twin asked, concerned.

Taz nodded, sitting up with a wince, and holding out her arms. She had no idea how to nurse a baby, but she’d try for sure if her daughter needed to eat. “Nyle had Kaysen. Did.. no… no he wouldn’t be here. I left my son…” She said, her voice filled with pain. “I left him….” She said again, lifting her eyes to the other woman’s. “Will Nyle see him safe?” She asked, uncertain. Her mind was in chaos, the events all mixed up. “I… I had an hourglass too. Did it get here?” She asked, as Kami retrieved Khari and set her in Tazrae’s arms. Tazrae awkwardly pushed her nightgown down and adjusted the baby to try and get her to suckle.

A voice spoke from the doorway. “I have your hourglass… though I don’t really want it. That thing is vile. What in the world is it?” Jaelis asked another load of towels in his fussing arms.

“You have Florentin’s Hourglass?” Kami said, her eyes going wide. There was so much emotion, namely hate, in that simple sentence.

Tazrae nodded. “I do. And he has my son. Nothing had better happen to that hourglass. I might need it… or I might need to destroy it.” She said softly, wincing as the baby girl wasn’t the gentlest. But she was drawing milk, drinking, her golden eyes open, and staring up at Tazrae.

Kami saw the child’s eyes and her own widened. She turned and looked at Tazrae. There were a hundred questions in her eyes, and a hundred more emotions playing across her face.

Tazrae whispered softly. “It wasn’t his fault. I don’t think he had a choice.” She said softly. “I think he was holding you or something else over his head that was more precious than his own life. I didn’t have a choice either.” She said, lifting her hand up to touch her throat. The collar was still in place, though so too were all the nullifiers. “It’s a long story… a long long story.” She added, and then, with the two physicians, a secret soul, a Kelvic, and an infant as her audience, she began to tell it, finding no reason to keep anything from Kami lest she decides a truth that wasn’t anything close to what happened. When she was done, Kami nodded. Her gaze was still troubled, but she was less upset than she had been nearly a bell before when Tazrae had started telling her story.

“You should tell no one this child is really yours. Grandfather’s people are everywhere, especially in The Outpost. You are safe here, I suspect, as long as you tell no one about the child outside of the Settlement. You can say that I gave you herbs to bring you milk to nurse her and that you have adopted her from somewhere. She looks more like Nyle than you, though I suspect when her hair comes in it will be a riot of curls. No one is going to believe Arcadius’ granddaughter was captured, got with child, and gave birth all within the span of a day anyhow.” She added, the Akalak and his twin soul pipping in to agree. When she was done speaking, everyone was quiet for quite a long time before Kami spoke again.

“We have to trust Nyle. We have to trust he will get Kaysen to safety… and that safety will probably be here. He’ll come with you son as soon as it's safe. If he does not, he died trying.” She affirmed. “I know my husband well. He won’t fail.. not at this.” She said firmly. Taz caught Kami’s eye then and reached out across her nursing daughter’s form.
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)

[Challenge] The Length Of A Day VII

Postby Tazrae on November 1st, 2022, 5:06 am

Laying her hand on Kami’s shoulder, she shook her head. “I’m sorry.. so sorry. He told me… that if I made it home with the babes I was to tell you the truth.. all of it… and let you share my children. He said you could not have any, and that you are the closest thing they will have to a true Benshira mother without me. I would… be honored for you to be a Godmother and be in Khari’s life… for as long as you want to be. The same for Kaysen If I ever get him back.” Taz said firmly.

Kami nodded. “I want that. And I want to know you better.”

Taz nodded as well. “It’s the same for me. I’m sorry I’ve been such a coward and have not made time to visit.” She said evenly, her voice ripe with the regret she felt. “He said… we were a lot alike. Well, a lot except you were more beautiful and more intelligent.” She said with a slight smile, waving that tidbit like a verbal white flag.

Kami smiled. “Are you done feeding that piglet yet? I want to hold my niece… or should I call her my stepdaughter?” She said, somewhat confused as she took the now-dozing infant from Tazrae.

Taz cracked a smile. “If she’s my daughter, she might as well be yours too. She is your husband’s blood.” It was an uneasy truce. And time would tell if it held firm or fell apart. Kami had fresh feelings that she clearly hadn’t sorted yet… and Taz couldn’t blame her. She was too exhausted for deep thinking.

Jaelis, from the doorway where he leaned, stepped forward. “Tazrae.. do you have things for the infant? Do I need to take a trip to The Outpost and do some quick shopping for you?” He asked, uncertain, but sure she didn’t have a single thing for the babe. Kami, who had turned to look at the Kelvic when he asked his question, sighed softly.

“She’s asleep.. and should be... for bells and bells. I’ll watch the babe. I’ll get you some coin, and a list of what’s needed, and you can go find someone to help you shop at The Outpost. If you're quick you can be there and back before she wakes. The babe will sleep for a while now that her stomach is full and her diaper is clean.” Kami gently pulled the infant from Tazrae’s breast where she was simply nuzzling in her sleep, wrapped her tightly in a blanket, and laid her in the bassinet. Then she went to fetch some coin for the Kelvic, more than enough to get all the supplies… and made him a list. “Come get me when you get back. And I’ll go back with you to help set things up.” She added, turning to watch her exhausted sister sleep.

She ruthlessly cut off the emotions churning in her stomach. Her husband and her sister? She knew Arcadias. She knew Nyle. She knew what the Kois head was capable of. But this… this was almost too cruel. She thought that as she stared at the child in the bassinet, her features softening. So many people were dead in the Kois clan. So many more would die. Kami wasn’t sure how she could hold it against Tazrae and Khari. She also wasn’t sure how she couldn’t.

Words: 3515
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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