Closed [Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on November 6th, 2022, 5:55 pm

Taz watched him take in the little tidbit about her ability to shift shape. Then she reached out and laid a hand on his forearm. “It doesn’t fundamentally change who I am. Just growing scales and going on all fours makes it easier for me to do my job. The Founders didn’t give us a choice about being Rangers. And truth be told I enjoy it. I got something else along with that ability… a seed from the first tree that I swallowed. It gives me a connection to all the trees and animals here. Along with a mark of Caiyha, it makes it fairly easy for me to …. be at home here. I am connected to the wild, and I am not alone in that connection. But other places… cities… even The Outpost… are like alien places and very hard for me to navigate now. I just wanted you to understand. There are others in Syka that are as well. I can feel them. Ialari. Crylon. More of us become connected as time passes.” She added, then moved forward. If Alric treated this knowledge like everything else that he learned, the Nymkarta would take time to think about it. And they could speak of it later if he liked.

Talia answered Alric’s question even though he asked it before she materialized. It was just one more thing Taz suspected but kept to herself. The ghost was never very far away watching, manifesting only when it wanted to interact. “All the Gods come here at times. Sometimes they give me rare books. Other times they take things out of circulation. It’s very rude. But its also very hard to stop them.” She added, irritation flowing through the ghost’s words even when as she politely made introductions and listened to Tazrae’s request for Alric’s access.

The bard wasn’t surprised Talia demanded him to submit knowledge. Taz found the ghost utterly shrewd.

“If you suggest all those things, she’ll demand all those things and you’ll spend all your free time filling journals with the things you know,” Taz advised him, shaking her head with a slight grin. “Not that you’d probably mind….” She added.

When he explained his scholarly type, Talia raised an eyebrow and nodded. “I would say that. In our civilizational high, we called people like you Seekers. There were organized groups of people that investigated the past, and present, and even speculated about the future. They were well respected. Many of them were second or third-born Nymkarta with no hope of inheritance. They often had better lives than their siblings that ruled.” Talia added, looking him over. It was as if the ghost was not so subtly telling him something. Taz took Alric’s glance and ricocheted it back at him…. understanding.

“I always thought ghosts were… stuck in sort of loops or webbed in emotions they couldn’t shake… anger revenge that sort of thing. But now… no… not after Talia. Some are as alive as they were in death.” Taz said, nodding to Talia’s words.

Talia, it seemed, wasn’t done. “Oh? Do you want history? Bloodlines? Even Djedlines?” Talia queried. Then she gestured and a glowing tendril of red mist illuminated into existence, leading off from where they were standing. “That will last until you find what you are looking for. Those sections are housed close… history in the north mezzanine, djedlines, and bloodlines in the west mezzanine. Take your tour then follow the mist marker.” The librarian added, before fading again.

"I have no idea what mainframe means. She has mentioned it before. " Taz admitted with a shrug.

Then Tazrae’s eyes widened. “I’ll give you a tour for sure… but she’s never told me she had books on Djedlines before. I would give a lot to see if they have one on ours.” She said, taking his hand for a moment. She went back the way they’d come, past the giant painting of djedships and the old city of Pavena, and then stopped at the bottom of the stairway leading up. The red mist remained, stretching from Alric to a distant place, moving with him.

The bard-turned Ranger gave Alric a quick review of the library as she knew it. So far, she’d explored only a limited amount of the vast space. Alric would not be surprised at where she knew to look for things. Most of her interests were exposed based on the sections she’d looked at. It turned out she knew where the geography section was, the cooking section, and construction and biology. He noted other sections as they passed them by. Shipwrighting. Mathematics. Literature, both fiction and non-fiction. Taz paused at the poetry section, her cheeks coloring a bit. “I like this section.” She said, gesturing to all the great and small works lining the shelves. “I read to the Ixam hatchlings when they are restless and they seem to really enjoy it.” She said, as if embarrassed she might enjoy it equally as much.

When they got to the Silas Journal section which was a small ornate study – mostly decayed – with a fireplace and the frames of a pair of rotted wing-back chairs, it was disconcerting. When they stepped inside, it didn’t go well. The books all seemed to have eyes in their spines today, and they all opened them at once and glared at the newcomers. “Uh… that’s never happened before.” She added, taking a careful step back and almost running into Alric. One closest to the Nymkarta opened a huge maw on its spine and took a snap at the man’s arm, hissing. “They… don’t seem very happy today.” She added, slipping back around Alric and waiting by the door of the small room. “I’ll wait here while you look around. It might be because I have two of their journals at home…besides my magecrafting one. I borrowed the Herpetology and Psychology one. You’re welcome to look through those any time.” She said, not wanting him to linger either. She’d wait, however, for whatever he wanted to do in that room… just by the door not in with the hostile books.

When he was done in that section, she showed him a few more areas some of which were topics that neither of them recognized either the subject or the reasoning. Things like genetics and bioengineering. When she was done with her limited tour, she then gestured at the red mist trail. “Time to follow it? Let’s see what the sections on the mezzanine look like.” She suggested… and waited for him to lead on. He did so, and they found a small spiral staircase at a far wall that led upwards to what was a triangular mezzanine that seemed to be divided into multiple sections. There were books on family trees, records of djedlines, and a huge history section that took up most of this level that wasn’t visible from the grand stair they’d taken down into the place.

“Gods, I’ve never been up here. I have no idea where to look.” She said, walking along the stacks. “What do you want to find first? I want to find something of our djedline.” She reiterated. Then she reached out, put her hand on the nearest stack, and followed her instinct. It took her away from the history section, luring her to a smaller section tucked in beside it but noticeably separate. The book spines all had names on them, helpfully alphabetized. There was probably no easier research than this, she decided, as she kept touching all the spotless volumes. Yet again, she wondered why none of the books decayed even open to the weather like this…

Half not believing it, Taz glanced up and saw that a glass half-ruined dome rose above them and she sighed. “How beautiful this place must have been in its past. I envy you, Alric… if your Lykata can let you see it how it was before this.” She added, her hand finally halting on a small-sized volume on the very last row near the very last book on the bottom shelf at its end. “Zatani… I found us.” She said, gently taking the book off the shelf and tucking it under her arm.

“Your turn.” She said with a smile, knowing he had so much to look for.

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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
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Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 7th, 2022, 8:40 pm

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He was surprised by Talia’s mention of Seekers and Nymkarta. He wondered whether she somehow knew who he was, or sensed his Djed, but he found it difficult to see how that was possible. Then again, she was from before the Valterrian and no doubt had knowledge and abilities beyond his understanding. He made amental note to have a longer conversation with her at some point, to see if she would be willing to teach him what she knew – at least in part. It was a curious idea though, that he might have been one of those with no inheritance that became one of those Seekers. In truth it was not so different from what he was now, though there were no Seekers – or he hadn’t heard of them. It was an idea to tuck away and ponder upon later, whether they were worth bringing back, at least in spirit. He would have to know more first.

“Yes, well I had never thought of myself as a third removed and terribly non-inheritable Nymkartan Seeker, so I suppose we have both learnt something new today” he said as he scratched his chin thoughtfully, just before she grabbed his hand and started leading them through the interior she had explored.

Upon their tour he fancied that he could pick out Tazrae’s forays into scholarship. Her touch was everywhere, not because she left behind something of her own, but because of what no longer existed from her passing. Dust and dirt were brushed away, for example. Chairs were angled and set in front of tables instead of overturned upon the paved floors. Books were stacked in piles, not slumped together but stacked neatly. If he had been able to look upon them, he was willing to wager that they were probably in alphabetical order too, or at least grouped by type of some kind even within their shelving sections. They didn’t pause though, except for him to raise a curious eyebrow at her apparent embarrassment at liking poetry – a fact he tucked away for later too.

Coming to the Silas Journal sections they were met with quite a hostile reception. His experience with his own Silas book, such as they were, had made his expect such things. Still it was strange there were a whole section of such arrogant and borderline psychotic tomes, though not all of these were magical it seemed. His fingers traced the spines where they weren’t going to be at immediate risk, searching them for the section upon magical disciplines. He found it between the history and philosophy sections. The tomes were in alphabetical orders, by Personal or World disciplines he found, and in the end he found the one he wanted – Reimancy.

“Ah, here we go. The ability to know how to ruin an invading force with ease. Old magic, strong magic, magic not seen in several hun-“ his words were cut off by the fact that he was instead forced to bark in pain as the pages of the book opened, then slammed shut over his fingers, “son of….petching….gods damn-“ several curses slipped from his mouth as his arm waved about and slammed into he table, trying to stun the amend tome into letting go. It worked just enough for him to get the fingers of his other hand into the gap, there for both hands to rip apart and the free himself – the book dropping to floor to be pushed away with the side of his boot.

“I hate those things,” he muttered, forgetting where he was and getting the tomes more agitated, and they wisely retreated back into the outer corridor, “sometimes I think the price of knowledge is take far too literally” he sighed to Taz, tugging his clothing straighter and clearing his throat as red tinged his cheeks in embarrassment. He nodded and stepped back in, leaving the tome that had bitten him alone and instead looking for something else – pulling out a length or cord from his pouch – his eyes roamed the shelves and sections, finding a number of interesting things, but eventually settling upon a tome that appeared to be upon construction and its various methodologies. He grabbed it and tied it up, slipping it into his backpack before it could do him any harm. Then he returned to Tazrae in the corridor once more.

“I have Silas’ Tome on Glyphing. Haven’t managed to convince it to talk yet though. Still…I had an idea, and should it prove to be fruitful…fair trade given all you’ve done for me in terms of magic tomes – you can use it to your heart’s content. Who knows, perhaps we can learn together as we once did” he said, following in her footsteps as they followed Talia’s directions, weaving this way and that, heading up stairs and staircases, until they were finally within the sections he had asked after without much hope of finding at first.

She found her desire quick enough, clearly she was more practised at perusing the library than he was. Still, as she searched for Djedlines he searched another set of shelves for what he had sought for so long – history of the Nymkarta and their workings, their philosophies and politics. He had wanted to know of them in more than just name and legend. It was still a missing piece in his heart, one of the last blockages to him perhaps considering following in their footsteps. He needed to know their minds, to understand them and to have proof that it wasn’t all just about power and advancement for power’s sake. Gods and others had told him otherwise, but given their other machinations he would rather hear it from his ancestor’s own mouths.

After a time, he found two volumes that intrigued him – The Treval Codex: The Complete Collection & Annotations Upon Original Magical Philosophy and Legacy of the Nymkarta: Chronicles of Millenia – and he slipped them into his backpack.

“I wonder if they have Djedlines of the Nymkarta…or the Lysane?” he asked Taz as he returned and found her almost cradling the book upon the Zatani,
He searched and searched, for what seemed like an entire bell, eyes roaming the shelves and then going over them again. Fingers traced spines one by one but found…nothing. In the end his knuckles dug into the table and his head came to rest upon it between them, he had failed to find the records of his own lines outside of the one Tazrae had gifted him. He wasn't sure why it felt like such a loss, but it did. He breathed deeply, closed his eyes and then pushed himself up, composing himself. Perhaps another time they would surface…or perhaps the gods had paid a visit and taken them away for now, not ready to reveal their secrets.

“Nothing on Lysane…or Westfall…a shame,” he sighed, turning to Taz and them looking at the tome she had found, smiling slightly, “but we found the one we both share. That Is enough” he nodded.

“I can’t grant you the Lykata…but….but…interesting…perhaps,” he muttered, closing his eyes and spending some time brushing the fingers over as many items as he could, getting a sense of what the area had looked like so long ago, or at least as close as he could. Even some of the people were shown to him, in rough and not overly detailed form, “and now…Ionu’s gift…at least some of it” he said, sending out the rippling of visual illusion with the wriggling of his hands.

The dome returned to what it had been before, figures stood or sat at shelves and one shelving unit returned to a close approximation of what it had been like without dust and glistening with raw potential for new study. It was only a small section that he could achieve, but it was enough to hopefully show her – at least on the surface – what he was able to see with his Lykata. After a while, his creative energy depleted by the sheer amount he had tried to perform, it flickered and then faded, and he sat down in the closest chair to pinch his brow.

“Perhaps…we could sit a while and you could tell us what that book says of the Zatani?” he suggested gently, tiredness creeping into his tone slightly as he pulled the bottle out of his backpack and took a swig, putting it upon the table in case she wanted some also.


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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on November 9th, 2022, 4:47 am

Taz glanced over at Alric and her cheeks flushed to a deeper coral slightly, understanding immediately that he wondered if Talia knew who he was. “I’ve told her about you.” She explained simply. “There have been many searches around some of your issues here… so she knows you’re a Westfall Nymkarta. She’s never mentioned Seekers before though.” Taz added, offering him not an apologetic look, but more like a slightly defiant one. She took help where she could get it and Talia was more than helpful. “I rarely bring people here… and when I do, I always introduce them. Remember how she demanded your name?” Taz glanced at Talia and smiled. “She wouldn’t mistake you for anyone else. I already described you to her.” Taz said with a grin. Alric was Alric, and not all of his expressions were a mystery. His curiosity was tangible, not unlike her own.

Talia offered a prim smile. “My library my business.” She chanted as if she’d said it a million times.

Then the librarian continued. “Nor should you start thinking of yourself as a third-removed terribly non-inheritable Nymkartan Seeker. We have yet to establish your full bloodline and the Seekers don’t exist anymore. This Syka Ranger here is as close to them as I’ve ever come across. It amuses me that they call themselves Rangers but all they do is look for things and try to understand what they find.” Talia said with a prim snort.

“Besides…” Tazrae interjected. “It's not up to other people to define you. You get to define yourself. That’s an inherent right you should never give up.” She said with a slight upturn of her lips. And with that, the tour was on.

Taz watched Alric as she lead him about, showing him the little she knew of the library. She was completely delighted by the fact she knew he loved the library. He had schooled his features into that stoic Son of Sunberth passive face, but she knew… she knew in how he touched things. She knew how he looked deeper, past the dust and past the age to see what was really on the book covers. She could leave him here, Taz decided, and he’d be perfectly happy and perfectly lost perhaps for days. Bells would never be enough.

She lurked at the door, having no desire to add to her Silas Journal collection. Three of them were bad enough, though she did wince when he tried for a copy of the Reimancy journal. Shaking her head, she decided it was useless trying to tell him it wasn’t necessary. Nothing was worth fighting with one of those seemingly sentient books.

Taz developed a cough the moment Alric reverted to what she considered his Sunberthian monolog of swears and irritation. Discretely, when he wasn’t looking, she carefully retrieved the kicked book – handling it by the edges and avoiding where she’d seen teeth - and deftly reshelved it before Talia found it discarded thusly. She wanted to keep her library privileges.

Meanwhile, he was resorting to Book Bondage. Interesting. Taz covered another laugh with a cough and shook her head. “Is it dusty in here or what?” She asked to absolutely no one in particular, then pretended to dust a shelf of antagonistic tomes with careful application of air reimancy dampened a bit with a tad of moisture. Once the shelf was gleaming, she looked up hoping Alric had himself situated and settled by then. The man had almost looked…. Embarrassed.

She smiled softly, pausing in a stream of sunlight that trickled down from above, speckling her hair and clothes with dust motes and beams of light. “That was some of the best times of my life… studying with you.” She said, nodding. “I’d love to do that again.” She said in a soft voice, her eyes dancing. She was happy – so very happy – that he had suggested it. Snuggled down on that couch in the T&T reading by firelight was one of her memories of happiness, security, and safety. He’d have to smoke his pipe though. It wouldn’t be the same without it.

Taz led them from the Silas Journals and they explored the Mezzanine together. She found her djedline book, slipped it into her backpack, and then turned to see what he was looking for. After a moment, she frowned, then moved past him out of the djedline section and into the history section. She wandered a few moments, getting her bearings. Turning, she moved deeper into the history section where its topics became more blurry – mixed genealogy and land claims - where bigger larger tomes were stored. Almost immediately she found one on the Westfall line… and she pulled it. Thumbing through it briefly, she saw that there was an extensive history included. Tucking it under her arm, she continued until she realized she was in a whole section on the Nymkarta. Taz blinked. Was Alric’s family so big? She pulled one book randomly and found it was genealogy. Opening it up, she found the whole of the Nymkarta lineup until sometime just prior to the Valterrian. This book was heavier, and she tucked it up into her arms and went to find Alric again.

When she rejoined him, he reported on finding little. She nodded. “I didn’t think you’d find them in the djedlines. They probably have a bunch of different djedlines. I think your father probably had one as well… a different Djedline than his last name. I mean, think about it. Ours has nothing to do with the Nymkarta.” She said, then got distracted by what he was trying to say.

Taz took an involuntary step back as Alric said something about Lykata and closed his eyes. Her eyes grew huge as Alric tapped Ionu’s power and reproduced in an illusion what Eyris’ gift revealed to him in truth. Taz gasped, almost dropped the tome in her arms, and spun slowly not wanting to miss a detail. “Gods Alric! Gods!” She said, in a breathless whisper as she slowly twirled. Talia materialized beside Alric, her head tipped back, staring at the now whole building– a translucent tear coursing down her cheek.

The librarian turned to Alric and whispered quietly… “The last time I saw that dome whole, was during a huge earthquake and it fell. It’s never been the same since. Each year… time passes and more of what we are vanishes. I can protect the books, but the library is something I’m slowly losing year after year, decade after decade, century over a century. I had hoped that when the Rangers started showing up… more people would come and with them mages and builders. It would be really nice to have someone… repair us.” She said, her voice full of hope. Then she faded again, leaving the pair alone.

Meanwhile, Taz was standing in the center of the visual illusion, speechless and lost in the beauty of the dome.

Tazrae shook her head. “I think I’m a little jealous of your gifts after that. It’s… so breathtaking. Thank you so much for sharing that with me… it’s Like nothing I’ve ever seen.” Tazrae added, reaching out and handing him the huge book still in her hands. “There’s an entire section on the Nymkarta in the other room. This is their genealogy. And I have a book on the Westfall’s and their history in my backpack for you too.” She said softly, offering him a brief conspiratorial smile. “I can’t get that one through the mouth of my backpack or I’d have tucked it in as well.” Brushing a loose lock of curl out of her face, she smiled.

“Let’s save the Zatani for later. We need to get saddled back up and finish the patrol.” Taz explained as she slowly began to retrace her steps back through the library. She called goodbye to Talia, who did not answer, as they worked back past the big main desk, and finally to the stairway that rose up to ground level. They found their tack just where they left it and the Ixam were waiting.

Taz tacked up Bree, leaving Alric to tack up the scarlet male. “You are going to have to give him a name sooner or later.” The woman said, knowing it was the truth. She didn’t say now, only that it was something that should be done. When it was done, of course, was on Alric’s timeline. When Alric was done tacking up the big male, Taz checked his work and nodded her approval. Taz swung up on Bree, hugged her form, and they were off. “It’s a short hard ride from here… our next stop… which is also our last stop. Ready?” She said, laughing as Bree surged forward and the big scarlet male gave chase. This time they rode on, hard, letting Alric find his seat and deal with the speed and three-dimensional spatial awareness the Ixam seemed to generate as they ran.

The bard-turned-ranger loved it. There was more than once she let out a laugh and a whoop as the pair of jungle lizards leaped into the open air or bridged the gaps between trees that were never designed to be bridged. They ran up trunks, and down other trunks until both lizards skidded to a stop on a ridge that overlooked something that glowed faintly in the moonlight. They got no closer but paused as Taz slipped down and walked forward, Bree at her side. She waited for Alric to join her and gestured.

“See that down there?” She pointed. A pearlescent series of arches rose to the sky, forming a graceful structure that was like a tower without walls and a roof. A spiral staircase ran up one portion, the whole thing gently glowing with its own light. “It’s called a World Gate.” She said, turning to watch him closely. “It’s where the Verusk came from. It’s said the people of Pavena traveled through it. It was also the reason Marcus Kelvic created the Kelvic Race… the only human to do what only the Gods did before him. They were supposed to be travelers through the gate, going to different worlds. Morwen is supposed to be through there too… somewhere on the other side. I do not know how it works and I go no closer than this. The Old Ones warned me it was guarded and that this ridge is the only safe vantage. I wanted to show you Pavena’s greatest secret and its one true treasure. Someday we will know how it works. Someday we will be able to pass through it again.” She said, still not studying the Gate, but watching Alric.

The place was obviously in disrepair. While the World Gate itself showed no signs of damage, the jungle around it was vast. There were no obvious roads approaching it from their vantage nor were there any streams. It looked like thick overgrown green as far as the eye could see. In fact, just the upper levels of the World Gate were clearly visible. Much of the base that could be seen was racked pale sand.

Taz remained quiet for a long time, letting Alric look his fill.

“When it opens… Syka shakes. There is light and fire in the sky… a rainbow of fire… that you can see clear to The Commons and beyond. When that happens….” She said, dropping her voice a few octaves, infusing it with a bit of wonder. “… someone is coming through to this world, or leaving this world for another.” Taz explained her eyes full of what-ifs and wonder. “It’s happened twice now while I’ve been here. And I’ve never seen anyone new or known of anyone disappearing. And when Mathias has a full porch and Vas and some of his other odder friends are there, even they get nervous.” She said softly, reaching up to scratch Bree’s eye ridge.

“This gate… this gate was the whole reason Pavena was here. There’s a huge section on it in the library with entire volumes on other worlds.” Taz whispered to Alric. “I could have shown you while we were there, but now… after seeing this… showing you that will mean so much more.” She said, standing there next to him with Bree on the far side of her. “Honestly, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.” She added, shaking her head gently.

The truth was she didn’t come here often. It made her uncomfortable to do so… because she always felt drawn to the Gate and to everything it meant.

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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."


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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 9th, 2022, 9:30 pm

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“The flow of time has taken much from the world, its sands scouring, or its water eroding,” he said with a sigh, a slight tiredness falling upon him as he blinked up and around himself at what he had created, it was better than some of his other attempts, “if I had the power, I would not just save what there is, but restore what was lost in its entirety. For now, I can only give the illusion. Perhaps in times more” he said, watching her face as the single tear shimmered, and then Talia was gone.

He had to smile at Taz’s enjoyment, it was as infectious as ever and when she was enthralled with things, she had a tendency to almost glow with the aura of it. He didn’t tap into his auristics, he didn’t need it to see the emotions that were flickering across her face as she turned and took in his creations. For the first time since Ionu had gifted him the mark he had used it for more than idle fancies, and seeing what it wrought brought him a measure of satisfaction. It made him wonder what else he was capable of, and just how far he could stretch the gift for reasons other than fun – not that he thought Croix would have an issue with some of that.

“I’m glad my divine bargain was good for something,” he said with a wry tone, but still a faint smile upon his lips, “perhaps I can find more delights to show. And you found an entire section on the Nymkarta? Sounds like I’ll have to spend quite a bit of time here…thank you Taz, for thinking of me. We’ll have plenty of things to study it seems, I have found my own tomes that might interest – construction, a copy of the Treval Codex and a history of the Nymkarta…looks like general but still probably more than is known outside of the more scholarly places. I think you may be right about my father…if there were easy answers no doubt you and Talia would have found them already, given you told her who I was. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be found…just might take a while” he said, sipping the drink once more before putting it away and flicking through the larger book she had passed to him.

She was right, it was a massively weighty tome, which wasn’t a surprise given the vastness of time which the bloodline existed over. He was loathe to leave it behind and so he mused upon how to transport it as he flicked through the pages, fingertips tracing the lines and pausing upon the joining of lines and marriages, noting that there were so many different branches – each given their own section by the indication of the contents page – that it was a labyrinthian task to even begin to unravel where he fit in. No wonder Taz and Talia had yet to figure it out, let alone with his father’s line’s additions. They had both told him to define himself in their own ways, yet he found that to do so you often needed to know where you stood, and where you came from. He managed tog et it to wriggle into his backpack after much trouble, though some f it stuck out of the top, and he pulled his belt off, using it to vertically strap the flap of the pack over the top of it to hold it in place. With that they were off, saying their goodbyes to Talia, to meet Bree and the scarlet male outside.

“I know,” he said in response to Taz as he settled the blanket atop the Ixam and smoothed it into place, “but I’m not sure what the right name would be. It feels right that it should reflect something distinct about him…apart from the colour. Perhaps after a bit more riding I’ll have a name for him, would you like that?” he asked the scarlet male, scratching the back of his neck before patting him firmly upon the shoulder.

It took less time to fully tack the Ixam than the first time, slipping on the saddled and slipping the breastplate into place, making sure the last parts were looped around the base of the tail and it was all cinched into place properly. He swung his feet into the stirrups as he mounted and then within moments they were off once more, racing through the jungle and jumping through the air as before, landing smoothly. Climbing into the canopy and twirling through the smaller gaps in the foliage felt almost like a game now, the Ixam becoming more playful than before, less competitive and more running like a unit. Tazrae’s cheers and whoops were audible, but joyous as they were he was becoming more concentrated on the sense of the ride, how the Ixam felt beneath him and its energy…almost seeming as there was a kind of link, or bond, there between them. He fancied, if he concentrated, he could almost feel an aura, like a bubble that shifted with the Ixam’s movements. It was strange, a mystery to explore with future rides, but it kept pulling his attention every so often.

It was a hard ride as had been promised, but at its ending as they skid to a halt there was the sense that it was worth it. The structure was…immense. There were no other words for it. He had thought the Djedship plinth had been huge but the World Gate…it was something he had not fathomed in his wildest imaginings. He remembered Taz’s story of it, yet seeing it in reality was far grander, even with the fact that large portions of it were hidden behind the dense jungle before them. He listened to her, frowning into the distance slightly as she spoke. She made it sound beautiful, and it was. Yet there was that nagging feeling in the back of his mind that made him see the other side – the potential threat it posed also.

If the Verusk…and others…came through there…well what’s to stop others doing so? Ones who are less friendly? he mused to himself as he absently stroked the Ixam to keep him settled.

“Greatest treasure indeed…it is magnificent. Dangerous…but magnificent. I am not surprised it is well protected. Almost like only the worthy can approach it. That’s good…inbuilt protection. Still…I always like mysteries. Perhaps the knowledge can be teased from the Verusk…or at least the first step upon the path. As for Morwen…Moritz did say something about a vision of her trapped elsewhere, by another god I suppose. One from another world then, I’d imagine. Interesting…I wonder what other gods there are out there?” he mused aloud.

“The torment of knowledge, no? The age old riddle around how much is enough, too much, or if it ever is. But…there will be many evenings to think upon such things together one can hope. For now…we should return back home. It is late, and if you really did want to study together then it seems a good evening for it, what is left of it…and of the drink” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

Perhaps I should call him Isikai…it would seem apt given they way he moves, and what riding him requires from me…as well as from him he mused as he waited for Tazrae to look her fill, his own gaze lingering over the impressive construct with a mixture of awe and concern.


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Alric Lysane
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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on November 11th, 2022, 3:38 am

Staring out across the expanse of jungle, Taz couldn’t help but admire the night beauty of the gleaming glowing World Gate. She was quiet while Alric spoke, though she nodded to his words and took them in as he offered them. She loved the sounds here, the way the jungle was alive. It didn’t quiet for them like it would have if strangers were within it. No, the birds still called and the monkeys chattered, and a thousand flying buzzing things still filled the air with their industriousness. Taz leaned a hip against Bree’s shoulder and draped one arm halfway around her. The Ixam was warm and welcome and for a moment she almost wanted to shed her own skin and run with the pair that were with them. She’d leave that for another night though, tomorrow or the next day when Alric was sleeping, and she was more restless than she was this night.

It _is_ dangerous. I’m glad I am not the only one that sees the World Gate that way. I have a vested interest in it, you know.” Taz added, an odd expression on her face. She turned from looking out over the World Gate valley and met his gaze in low light. “Last spring Ialari went with me to The Outpost and almost lost her mind when she saw it. I didn’t understand until she cut herself and painted a rune on my forehead in her blood. Then I saw it as well. The Outpost wasn’t real. It was scrolling runes of power, built layer upon layer, outlining everything. She said she was showing me the true face of a Dominion but that that one was a thousand times more powerful than a mortal domineer could build. Then she insisted we go straight to the Temple of Xyna and pray to her there. One of her priests talked to us for a bit after we made offerings. I offered a very powerful ring that gave me the ability to foresee danger… a sort of danger intuition. As a result of what Ialari and I offered, we had an exchange of questions and he revealed a few things to each of us. For me, he said I inherited my mother’s magical potential but it was my father who provided a bit of an... unpredictable variable. He said the Lisuli… an ancestor of my father’s line was from elsewhere. And that having his blood gave me a different perspective, the ability to see things in new ways. I think it’s why the Mulgon tells me about magic outside of Mizahar. So, I’ve been combing the library… looking at the other worlds. I’ve been curious about them.” She said, turning to look at the World Gate again.

“I have no desire to go anywhere. It’s just curiosity.” She said, a wry smile crossing her face. “I asked him about the rules of magic… why Mizahar had so many of them. And he wanted to know why I asked him that. I told him that it felt so… wrong somehow. That there were a lot of times that magic to me feels like I’m standing in a room of a certain dimension…. maybe a twelve-by-twelve-foot room? But if you leave that room and go outside… the house dimensions are different… it looks like it could hold a room twice that size. What’s in all the empty space? Are there hidden rooms? I told him that the rules don’t always add up. For every action, there should be an equal and opposite action; a consequence. I wanted him to tell me why healers could heal cuts and bruises and illness like it never happened, yet there was nothing that healed magical damage to a mage.” Taz told him quietly.

“In turn, he told me that these worlds exist with different conditions, different histories, and different fundamental foundations of creation.” She repeated. “And from them, the gods took various bits of inspiration and set out to create a new world. This new world, Mizahar, would be built from a carefully laid out plan. The plan involved countless systems all working together to form a balance. Magic is the manipulation of the various aspects of creation and existence itself. Reimancy allows for the transmutation of the basic elements of those systems. Auristics grants the ability to see the systems as they work. Magecraft provides a means to mix those systems and give new shapes to them. With so many systems coming together to make this world what it is, there is a need for rules and structure. That’s why I could only see the small room inside the far larger structure. It was for our own protection and the protection of the world.” Tazrae said softly. “I’ll never forget him telling me that.”

Then she gestured to the World Gate and laid a hand on Bree’s neck where she still leaned against her. “Seeing this reinforces what Eliah told me at The Outpost. That was the priest, by the way. But he also told me because I can see how things could be done differently, that I would be watched.” Taz shook her head, then she laughed softly.

“In the same conversation he told me my fate was already written and I could never change it. I had just asked him if we had a fate… and a destiny – if those concepts were real things. He said we all have an expiration date and we must abide by that. Our death date will come as it was always laid out to be. And that was our fate. But he said what we did in between our birth and our death… becomes our destiny. And that destiny is all up to us. We have control over our lives and what we do with them. We might be derailed, distracted, or even pulled off course a few times, but ultimately, our life is always our own to live.” She said, then reached out to lay a hand on his shoulder.

“We just have to be strong enough to keep it.” She added and turned to Bree as the emerald and sapphire Ixam nudged her and played with the sleeve of her shirt.

“Alric’s right. You two are tired and I want to go diving for lobster.” Bree said softly, lashing her tail and turning to study the scarlet. He snorted, hissed at her, and glanced at Alric.

Bree rolled her eyes. “He just claimed to be the better hunter of lobster. And added that he’d have every last one eaten by the time we finished spitting out the moss and algae his claws kicked up on the way home.” The Ixam grunted as Tazrae mounted.

“Is that the reptilian equivalent of ‘Eat my dust’?” She asked, with a laugh, as Bree whirled around, getting ready to launch herself from the overlook. Taz glanced at Alric. “I guess we are racing…” She said, leaning forward and grabbing ahold of the grips on the saddle. Both Ixam, when everyone was mounted and holding on, took off like twin arrows. They cut through the jungle and made a straight shot for Garden Beach. It took them far less time to get back than it did going out. And they weren’t more than slightly winded when they all but dumped their riders at Garden Beach. Taz was quick to strip off the tack and set it up to be cleaned. And when both Ixam were bare of trappings, they raced down to the water and dived into the ocean, determined to hunt.

“It’s late… I wouldn’t blame you for getting some sleep.” She said, giving him an opportunity to head to bed or slip away. “I’m going to stay up and clean this gear. You are welcome to stay and chat if you aren’t too tired. But I won’t blame you if you turn in either.” She said, getting out her small cleaning kit. Luckily the Ixam didn’t sweat, but the outsides of the saddles were often filthy and didn’t last long uncleaned in the heat and humidity of Syka.

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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."


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"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 18th, 2022, 5:22 pm

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The fact that her news about her bloodlines didn’t really surprise him was a testament to how odd things had become in his life in general. He was becoming somewhat immune to revelations these days, a fact which had him concerned as it either spoke of a lessening of his natural curiosity, or it could be the calm before another storm he didn’t have the energy for in truth. He found himself simply nodding along, as if discovering she was part from another world, as well as an Ixam shapeshifter and other things, were as natural as breathing. As for the Mulgon she mentioned, he was curious about him but he made a note to ask about it another time – he already had much to absorb and what felt like less time to do so than he would probably like.

“Ialari and this Mulgon sound like people who know much, worth learning from. But I know curiosity, it has a habit of growing to fill the cage you place around it, then beyond. Many tales about curiosity heading to sour places. I trust you and your abilities but...just make sure you don’t get caught in that trap. It would be a sad thing” he said, still frowning at the World Gate and turning its implications over inside his skull.

Her words upon the gods and the creation of Mizahar, with all of its inherent rules and foibles, came next and if anything they amused him as much as they shifted his perspective upon things slightly. It was somewhat comforting to know that even gods could lay careful plans and then royally petch them up themselves with very human thoroughness. He didn’t say anything but he did smile slightly at that, alongside his own experiences with the gods. The more he learned and experienced, the more they felt like flawed and strange beings. From another world perhaps, grown powerful enough by pulling enough celestial energy into specific entities and then forced to walk out into the universe in order to survive, linking and feeding upon mortals in some strange Djed domain bargain. The gods knew fear, that he knew, and that gave him pause to worship.

“I wonder if the gods were just like us once, at times. Very mortal, very...whatever species they were. Another world somewhere giving birth to them. And now they are here, more powerful but still far more mortal than they’d admit. They know fear, you know? They use mortal pawns because they’d rather risk them than themselves. Altogether very...human. Now you’ve told me there are all these other worlds, with other rules, and that this one was specially created...I wonder if they created these rules to try to ensure none of them get challenged by mortals one day. Arcadius said as much – the real Arcadius. He point blank told Xhyvas and Ionu that one day the strongest Djedlines would become more powerful than the divines...it was an interesting conversation. I should have listened more when I had the chance, I think”

“As for these Dominions, destinies and the rest...I don’t know Taz...it feels like their meddling in my life – our lives – has gone too far. All the secrets and schemes and the rest. The tortures and suffering, no matter the reasons. They can call it tests but there’s a fine line between that and a morbid kind of torture. I’m happy that Yshul caused our paths to cross in the Outpost, and for Ionu’s and Eyris’ gifts...but Xhyvas left his mark on me...and they didn’t do any favours for my parents...nor did they rid the world of Sran’tuka...because they were afraid. Destiny just seems to be a trail of pain and broken things to me in many ways. You and Lys are the only light I've really experienced. Powerfully bright amidst the darkness...but I’m not sure it’s about strength, everything has its limits and destiny has proven already that it can destroy everything beyond repair. The Valterrian proved that. But...it would be nice if you were right, it’s a nice perspective to have. Just difficult to see at times, perhaps”

Thankfully the growing mood of brooding was broken by Bree, as sensitive as ever to such shifts in mindset and far more blunt about throwing a stone under the cartwheel to derail it than any human would ever be. He snorted and looked over at her after meeting Taz’s gaze for a while, shaking his head at her. The fact that the scarlet Ixam was already performing his version of challenging talk merely made him fonder of the beast – there was something to be said for talking big when it made things fun. He slide into the saddle with a slight groan from the muscle soreness that had built up, settling in for the race, nodding at their competitors before they were surging through the jungle once more, faster this time and clearly motivated by food and competition. They were well matched and once their riders had slide off their backs, pulling their gear with them, they were clearly arguing over who had won as they made their way towards the lobster hunting.

“Scarlet,” he called to the Ixam, causing him to look back at him and watching him carefully as he pointed at his own chest and said his name, then at the Ixam and gave him the name he had thought of, “Isikai. Means trust, faith, to believe in. Thank you for showing that to me. Go have fun, and beat Bree at the fishing”

With that they were gone, leaving the two riders to deal with the decidedly dirty gear. He had no idea how to do that but he found that watching, and then copying, Taz worked out just fine as the buckles were cleared of dirt first, before taking oiled rags and starting to wipe down the harness leather and the rest.

“I don’t sleep much these days, not since I had a strange experience or two. Don’t need it much. Besides, if I’m going to be his rider than I should probably learn how to do this properly. You said this was all tack, right? How come it needs to be maintained? Wouldn’t it be easier if we found some material that was better suited for standing up to the elements? Or are people just not as interested in it as a concept at the moment? I know Buraga has other...concerns...and ideas. He was quite forceful on his opinion of things, and of me, made me spar him and then knocked me out...grumpy bastard” Alric muttered, rubbing his neck at the memory and silently vowing to best the man one day.

“And what else have you been investigating? I find it hard to believe you’ve told me all in one afternoon, you’re far too restless not to have at least another...I don’t know...half-dozen hobbies? He suggested, with a playful smile to let her know he wasn’t being overly serious as he scrubbed at the dirty tack in his hands.


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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on November 20th, 2022, 1:55 am

Tazrae wasn’t sure if she was hoping Alric would vanish to wherever it was he made off to when he was done being social or if he would stay for a while that evening and talk. She tried not to have too many feelings about it as she piled two sets of tack on the steps leading up to her Pavilion and went to fetch two buckets. “Bree will get more than the scarlet.” She said, loud enough she hoped the scaled lizards playing in the surf would hear. They hadn’t quite gotten around to chasing lobster yet, but Taz still wanted to show some sisterly love to her emerald friend. “I like the name Isikai. It’s unusual.” She added, glancing up at the pair and the few more that had joined them in the waves. The Ixam were good company to Tazrae and she appreciated them being here, especially during the long nights. Sometimes the nights just never ended and the sun seemingly refused to rise.

“Strange experience?” Tazrae asked, lifting an eyebrow, curious. “What kind of strange experiences?” She tried not to ask too many questions, hoping that Alric would talk if he wanted to share. “I can show you, of course…” She nodded, going back to the tack, though willing to listen as she worked if he were willing to talk about anything ‘strange’ as he put it.

She knelt over the buckets, concentrating, and drew from her core to fill her throat with djed. She converted it neatly to Res and leaned over first one bucket and then the next, filling them with the sparkly sunset colors of her magic via simple exhales. The Res swirled from her, dropped down, circled around inside her buckets, and slowly transformed into water that was near steaming. She set one down next to Alric and left the other one in a spot she’d settle in eventually. Moving away again, she grabbed an extra scrub brush from where she kept some cleaning supplies in the corner of one wardrobe and a pile of extra worn towels from the bathing area. She brought the brush back, slipped it into the pale near Alric, and left him half the towels. Then she set the other half near her bucket, pulled the scrub brush from her cleaning kit, and a cake of what looked like soap. The other thing the kit had was a towel and a large jar of oil that looked like it had been rough-pressed from something local.

When she got everything ready, she settled into a spot and pulled Bree’s saddle nearer. “Dunk the brush in the warm water, run it a couple of times over the cake of soap, and scrub it front and back, soaping it up, and then wiping it down with the towels. Get all the dirt off the breast collar and crupper inside and outside leather and make sure all the buckles are free of grime and wiped clean.” She advised, then shrugged.

“Well, these saddles are all I have. I rescued them from the invading parties that were here and captured the wild Ixam. I’m not a saddle maker, though I’ve found with using Bree’s tack regularly if the leather isn’t taken care of it starts to stretch, rot and the harnessing on her will give when I need it to hold me the most.” Taz said, shrugging. “There’s probably better stuff out there, but this is all I have. I want to take care of the sets I managed to salvage and make sure that when people use them they also take care of them.” She replied, answering his questions.

“What did you get into it with Buraga about? He can be temperamental, that’s for sure.” Taz added. “I mean… what are his concerns and ideas?” She asked, not sure what Alric was alluding to. Taz wasn’t too in touch with the Ranger Commander’s wishes or requirements. Just because he’d drafted her and everyone else alongside that was the least little bit qualified, didn’t mean she was aware of what was going on in the organization. “I cut trails for him, maintain paths, find new paths and take people out in the jungle when he asks me to. Otherwise, I’m pretty much out of the loop.” She added, shaking her head.

“Why can’t you sleep?” She asked abruptly, her voice soft and concerned. Alric used to be a good sleeper. She’d spent enough time at The Outpost with him catching up on her own rest to know it. Lately, though, she wandered at night and worked during the day, so her rest came in the afternoons before the dinner crowd started coming around. It took planning to get through her day, as well as a healthy set of crossed fingers that nothing else drastic came along to interrupt whatever normal she had planned. “I’m sorry I’m not around much at night. I do most of my Ranger work then. I don’t mind the jungle in the dark.” She said as a way of explaining. “Some of the people I like to visit are more coherent during the night than they are during the day." She added, referring to the Mulgon primarily. Zethas would speak to her if she came around, but he was far more alert and gave her far more entertaining stories during the evenings and nights than he ever did during the day when he was almost lethargic.

“I’m sorry that was a lot to spring on you. Some of it I probably should have told you before now… it's just, you are busy doing a lot and I’m working at The Protea and there’s never a lot of time to talk. I haven’t seen much of you at all.” Taz explained. She shook her head in denial about a half-dozen other hobbies. Was he making fun of her or teasing her? She wasn’t sure until he saw the smile on his face and relaxed. “I take the paddleboard out sometimes.” She said, thinking about her life. Taz honestly spent a lot of time alone. Even at the Inn, she was busy in the kitchen and serving people, she wasn’t actually out having breakfast or lunch with folks, and although she was friendly and said hi a lot, there wasn’t much else going on.

“Mathias gave me a voril machete that was designed for a bard. Her name is Sweet Refrain. So Gracelin has been training me on it. It’s an interesting weapon. It will store sound waves if you work it right.” She added, glancing up at the weapons rack that now held the blade. “I hardly go anywhere without her these days,” Taz added, then picked up another piece of tack – Bree’s crupper – and began to wash the muck off it. Bree sure picked some unpleasant things to run through, quite happily, it seemed. “I want to learn a few other weapons too. There are times and places magic won’t be enough or appropriate. I need to get better at my bow.” She added, almost with a sigh. There weren’t enough bells in a day, it seemed. “I wonder why the days are so short and the nights are so long?” She asked, almost absently, as she finished the last of the scrubbing and wipe-downs.

Then, showing Alric, she took one more clean rag and opened the jar of oil. She dunked the rag into the oil and then began to apply the oil to the clean leather, rubbing it into the grain in slow meticulous circles. She thoroughly oiled the whole set for Bree and only hung it up on its tack stand by her weapons rack when she was done. She turned Bree’s saddle blanket over, inverting it over the freshly oiled tack so it could dry out and help protect the exposed leather it covered. There was a second stand sitting by the weapons rack where Taz stored tack for the scarlet Ixam. She’d meant it for Alrics things all along, but this was the first time it was getting used.

Then, she took a moment to gather up all the dirty rags and cloths, tossing them into a bin she kept in a cloth laundry bag and putting them in the bottom of her big wardrobe so she could take them back to the Inn to launder in her spare time. She rolled up the leather cleaning kit and put the spare scrub brush away when Alric was done with it, and returned to her seat on the shallow steps. “That job went by quickly with two people doing it.” She commented, glancing around and exhaling Res one more time. It spun happily around the room like little sunset will-o-whisps, lighting the lanterns and candles that were scattered about the pavilion before she let it fade away.

“Beautiful night. We’ll have a nice sunrise.” She said, making a quiet observation as she stared out into the water, wondering which Ixam was winning.

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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
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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 24th, 2022, 3:13 pm

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"Well if they get that competitive with each other over lobster, perhaps I’ll have to change it to something meaning the loss of crustaceans,” he commented with a shake of his head as he continued to scrub away at the tack in his hands, “though I’m not sure I know of something for than in the ancient tongue”

The answering of her question was forestalled by her gathering buckets and cleaning supplies, then by the fact he watched in curiosity as she used her Res to fill them with what was clearly steaming water. It had been some time since he had watched her work her magic, or seen the once familiar colour of her Res, There was comfort to seeing it once more, a reminder of better times and more companionable days. She had been right when she had said those nights when they learned together were some of the best times of her life, they were of his also. This evening would be added to the collection, their Ixam ride through the jungle and exploration of Reclaimed Knowledge would stick with him as a crystal clear memory.

“Strange like having a day repeat over and over gods knows how many times...I lost count...that was the strange thing this season. And then there was the Rhysol priest and Xhyvas giving me a lovely collection of awful memories of being under Krysus’ yoke in spring. The conversation with Arcadius and the fun with Ionu were enjoyable though, looking back on it. Though I wasn’t left with much of a choice really. All in all, I am surprised I am still relatively sane...though I am not sure could be called normal to begin with” he noted, beginning his lathering of the brush she had left him and the scrubbing as he spoke.

He frowned as e made sure the buckles were all clean and clear of dirt and detritus first, assuming that they were liable to get the most caught in them as the Ixam ran. It was a starting point and it was a reasonably quick job to scrub and rinse them, dabbing them dry afterwards as the brush soaked in the bucket. Fishing it out he lathered it up again and started on the harness leathers, going over it methodically as he listened to her explain about the tack. He nodded at her words, admitting he’d have probably done much the same. Leather that was decent quality was still difficult to find – even if you could make your own, as he assumed Syka could, he doubted that it was a quick process.

“I was thinking more for the others, assuming they keep breeding and growing as they are. Means a lot of mounts, a lot of tack needed and so on. Maybe...well maybe when one of the older one’s starts to go you could give it to a leatherworker. They could probably reverse...what is the word...engineer? You know, copy it from the existing one, the pattern of it and so on,” he said thoughtfully, wondering how quickly a dozen or so of them could be made, tested and then out into action, “but honestly I’d probably have done much the same. I had only Bree to go on with Ixam experience before...now I think I see why you spend so much effort on them, even the ones who aren’t your talkative watcher friend...though I still think she could do with taking down a peg every so often. Very human of her in that way, though she’d probably bite my arm if she heard me say that...hopefully not too hard” he snorted, continuing to scrub and wipe away on all sides of the leather harness and saddle.

“No no...he can be grumpy...that is the word I’d use. He wasn’t overly detailed about his plans. I went to go and ask about the Rangers, joining up and so on. I think he just wanted to tell me what he thought of me, and give me the option of backing out. I think he’s mostly focused on settlement defence, which I’m not sure is a bad idea really. Syka is...open wide. Or at least it seems it to me. Could do with some traps, barriers and so on. Then again, I’m a city scrapper really, not a jungle warrior, so what do I know? Well...apart from the fact he could use some lessons in charm” he continued in a more diplomatic tone.

“And I can’t sleep because of nightmares, the ones from the memories Xhyvas gave me” he shrugged, he was used to it these days, though his experience and aftereffects with Cervisi had helped him there, needing less sleep, “but we all have problems I suppose” he said, shrugging it off and not really wanting to taint the evening overly much.

Her words upon learning new things, her time management and the rest were things he expected to hear and in some ways had already been talked about long ago, back in the days of the Outpost. He didn’t think they were bad ideas – the learning of other weapons in particular. The more she learned the safer she would be, which was a good thing considering they spent much time apart’ if not most of their time. He still felt as if he should be able to help watch over her somehow, but it was impossible for the most part. Still, he felt somewhat responsible, it wasn’t her Sran’tuka was after and he had risked Syka in some ways by leaving Sunberth. He watched her begin to dry down her tack and followed suit, finding he had scrubbed all of it as far as he could see. When she showed him the oiling process he copied her, slowly at first but with more speed and confidence as he watched it stain and seep into the leather in his hands.

“Learning is always good, though these days martial training seems like one of the better ideas. We seem to be getting into some trouble of other every season or so. Should at least try to be ready for it, if you can” was all he said, it was all that was needed, and truthfully she was always one to do as she thought was right anyway. Getting in her way, even if he wanted to, seemed a fool's errand. Soon enough they were finished and he was helping to pack away – or dump – what was needed before sitting next to her upon the steps, looking out into the waters and the Leth illuminated horizon.

“Most things usually are easier with two people. Sadly, there has been little time where that has been so. I am betting on Isikai, though mostly because I feel there should be a little bit of loyalty. I think they probably are enjoying the competition more than the actual winning. Once one side has won, the fun is over after all. Perhaps I could teach them to gamble - wagers in the Ixam world might be quite amusing to see play out, depending upon what wagers there would be” he said with a small grin.

“Most nights are beautiful, doubly so when with yourself. But then I am bias. Sya always has goo sunsets and sunrises. It is a different rhythm here, one I am still not fully used to. But the views are certainly much improved from Sunberth, and the company mostly less lethal” he said, pulling out his pipe and lighting it once more, leaning to pull the bottle out of his pack and set it upon the steps between them.

“I still say Riverfall reds ae better, but don’t tell Stu I said that. Might never get served again”


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Alric Lysane
Carry On My Wayward Son
 
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[Garden Beach] Sometimes The Stars Bear Witness [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on November 26th, 2022, 5:02 am

“Maybe you should convince them that gathering firewood is the Ixam ‘in-thing competition-wise to do so we don’t have to gather and chop as much wood as we do.” Taz suggested with a slight grin, dreams of a pile of handy already-gathered firewood outside both The Protea and The Pavilion something she could get behind no matter what time of day. “Does The Ancient Tongue have a word for ‘driftwood’?” She asked, turning to watch the surf. The crowd had thinned out and it was just the scarlet and the green hides flashing in the moonlight. She had no idea who was winning. With those two, who knew?

“Thank you for helping with the tack. That made the clean up so much faster.” She said softly, layering her words with appreciation. She meant it, but she had to slow him down on his thoughts about the Ixam. “You are thinking along the right track, but Bree isn’t even twenty, which is considered an adult. And she’s going to be a young adult for twenty years or more… until she’s fully grown. But they live to be seventy-five or so. I… these hatchlings? They take five years to even grow out of their juvenile states. The juveniles? They don’t reach adulthood until they are twenty. Then … forty years or so they are full adults… old from sixty to seventy-five.” Taz said thoughtfully.

“We have so many hatchlings around because I’ve been protecting eggs. But these hatchlings won’t be ridable for… fifteen or so years and that’s early. Seeing how many we have with my intervention, I’m not going to be gathering eggs any longer. I understand now why they have so many and hatchling mortality is so high. The ones we can count on as mounts in a year or two are the wild young adults we are attracting or the full adults that are coming along to see why our Ixam are so sleek and healthy.” She added.

“You can almost think of them as human children. They have about as slow development as our own human offspring do.” Taz said softly. “So, while all of that is true, what you are thinking of… we are going to be feeding a lot of offspring that won’t be useful for us for years.” The Innkeeper admitted softly. “Meanwhile we have dozens of hungry mouths to feed and that tally will just increase.” She said, worried slightly, knowing she helped cause this problem but not what the solution was.

“If you can recommend a good saddler or leatherworker to me, I’d happily sacrifice a saddle to them… and other tack we captured as well. I haven’t run across anyone working on leather here in Syka so far… but there might be someone you know that I do not. Or there might be someone in The Outpost that might be willing to help.” Tazrae mused, not opposed to the reverse engineering idea at all.

“Buraga with charm? I can’t picture it.” She said with a grin, laughing. “My own Oath wasn’t that pleasurable either. He left me with a handful of orders and a ‘Get Busy’ with it. Everything about me was lacking… including my weapons training and my ability to defend myself from nothing.” She said with another grin. “I’m supposed to learn Unarmed Combat now too…. with all my free time.” She said with a slight petulant eyeroll, delivered with all the angst of a late teen deep in the yoke of parental oppression.

“I think Syka needs lots of things, including fresh eyes to see the vulnerabilities we have that we live with day in and day out that we can’t see because we are too close and too involved,” Taz added, nodding to Alric’s suggestions. He wasn’t wrong. She just had no authority to see any of his suggestions implemented. That was the Founder’s prerogative.

Before the conversation turned to more serious topics, Taz slipped up to her wardrobe to change out of her jungle gear and into a loose cover-up wrap that she slipped on over her underthings. She deposited the jungle gear into the same laundry she put the cleaning cloths. Tomorrow was soon enough to take care of the washing, especially if the sun came out and a breeze was stiff enough to dry things in the humidity. Then she picked up a light throw and a set of wine glasses and draped the former across Alric’s shoulders and the latter she set down on the steps.

She rejoined Alric and studied him quietly as he spoke about a repeating day and the memories that seemed to haunt him. It was the first time he said anything about this to her and it concerned her greatly. “That sounds like a lot, even for someone that’s south of normal already.” She said quietly, shaking her head. “I can’t imagine what that must be like. Do you wonder why they come to you though? Why the Gods have involved you?” She said with concern. “There has to be a reason that it’s you and not anyone else… and I suspect it’s something about you or that only you can do that they can’t.” She added. “The Gods seem to me to be very secretive by nature. They just don’t walk up to someone out of the blue and involve them in all the things they involve you in without any reason.” She said very reasonably. “And from what I’ve heard said about all of this… they’ve tried to deal with … all of this… and haven’t managed it yet.” The woman said softly, her mind drifting across possibilities and not settling on any one idea or result.

“How are you managing to deal with those memories? You used to be such a sound sleeper. Not getting much sleep can make people off-centered. It just breaks you down emotionally.” She said finally, concern filling her voice. It was something of a first-hand experience for her, which is why she started napping in the afternoons early on in her Innkeeping career. If he was actually saying his conversation with Arcadius and Ionu was enjoyable in comparison, then that was telling on how awful those memories must be. Taz had her fair share of worrying, especially spawned from her studies, but it was nothing in comparison to first-hand memories gifted by a God probably.

If he wanted to say more, she’d listen. But she knew first-hand how little comfort there could be in someone’s sympathy without action. After a while, Tazrae spoke again, studying the wine bottle he’d rested down on the steps between them. She pulled the cork, let the wine breathe a moment, and took an enjoyable sniff. “It's lovely.” She added, then poured him half a glass and herself one as well. Recorking the bottle, she rested it once more between them and picked up one of the glasses.

She sniffed it again, rolled it around the glass, then had a taste. “Indeed lovely.” She affirmed, her nose not lying as her tastebuds enjoyed the vintage. “I do like what Stu brews as well. It's nice to never have the same thing twice, especially if it wasn’t that tasteful. Riverfall can always be counted on to be consistent. But then again, I find consistency takes half the fun out of it.” She added, shaking her head. No, they each had their merits.

“Will you tell me more about your nightmares?” She said finally, curiously, not sure he would, but still hopeful.

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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.
 
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