PM to join [The Protea Inn] Taking Out The Trash [Ialari/Alric]

The first annual meeting of the Sykan Bomb Squad goes off without a hitch... or so they hope.

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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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[The Protea Inn] Taking Out The Trash [Ialari/Alric]

Postby Tazrae on November 12th, 2022, 9:57 pm

Timestamp: 50th of Fall, 522 A.V.


Tazrae got her guests up, fed, and sent off to do their tourism thing as quickly as she could. Out of practice, the Innkeeper wasn’t even sure she could go through the motions of doing the things she normally did since her arrival to Syka. Looking at her, no one would know she’d been gone a full year. Most of the residents of Syka had no idea anything was amiss about Tazrae. The only clue was the infant she carried with her and the new baby items placed around the kitchen and living area of The Protea. Truthfully, she’d told no one but Kamrae, Gracelin, and Shiress. They wouldn’t be spilling her secrets any time soon either. Unless someone outright asked, Taz wasn’t volunteering. The work around the Inn had to go on as normal. Meals had to be planned and cooked, hunting had to be carried out, and foraging had to be performed. If such things weren’t done, the guests weren’t going to eat. So, Tazrae carried on like normal. What else was there for her to do? Taz sang to her daughter as she cooked breakfast that morning, making faces and entertaining the little one who had spent most of her night up and crying with colic. They’d taken a quick trip to the Protea where a worried aunt had mixed up a colic remedy and gotten the baby through the painful condition.

Taz hadn’t slept a wink, and her appearance was starting to reflect this sleeplessness. Her blue eyes were shot through with red, there were hollow dark splotches under her eyes. She had a tiredness about her that was almost tangible. Before Khari, Taz hadn’t been much of a sleeper anyhow, but with the baby here, there was no opportunity for her to even catch afternoon naps. Her rest came when her eyes drifted closed as she was stirring a soup or stew… or when she ‘sat down for a chime’ after clearing the dishes, before she started washing them. Often that was when she was standing or leaning on one of her coutners. And it wouldn’t have mattered if she had time for sleep anyhow… she wouldn’t have gotten any. The twice-cursed chest still had to be dealt with.

It stood on the deck of The Protea wrapped in chains. The Innkeeper thought it was representative how she felt for the last year, bound up and confined. Tazrae herself had rocked the thing first up on one side and then up on the other, retrofitting it with the chains she had picked up at the mercantile. She’d wrapped it multiple times, making sure its lid could not be raised. A big old unwieldy padlock secured the chains around it. Taz was loathe to touch the thing, but she was also unwilling to leave it sit there where it could potentially hurt others or spit out something completely unsavory onto the deck.

Something needed to be done with it. As it was, sitting on the deck looking completely innocuous, the chest was actually bleeding her dry emotionally. It made itself known, in Tazrae’s mind, as being there, like a tangible threat that could erupt at any moment of any given day. With it there… nothing was fully over. With it gone, maybe she could sleep again. Taz wasn’t sure. But she wanted to try and get it disposed of. There was only one person she’d trust to know what to do with it… and another person she’d trust to run backup to that first person.

So, she sat down carefully and wrote out notes to each, then bribed a pair of white cockatoos with a carefully concocted treat, to go find both Ialari and Alric and deliver the message. She described Ialari as the woman with the special arm and snakes. She described Alric to them as the man with the broadsword and tall invisible creature with him. She hoped Ialari had at least one of her snakes about and that Alric did indeed have one of the invisible creatures near.

Ialari –

If you have free time this afternoon, can you meet me on the deck of The Protea? I have a small problem I am hoping you can help me with.

Tazrae.


Alric –

If you have free time this afternoon, can you meet me on the deck of The Protea? I have a small problem I am hoping you can help me with.

Tazrae.


And if she could get the chest disposed of, she could indeed maybe even hire some cleaning help at the Inn to free up more of her time so she could get some rest. She really needed to do that and there were several children that were fairly interested in joining her in and around The Inn. Sighing, and hopeful they’d both get the message, Tazrae went about her chores, starting in the kitchen where the stone tiles needed a good scrubbing on her hands and knees. She kept Khari close, in her little bassinet, where she could sing to her and keep it rocking as she was down on her hands and knees scrubbing the tile.

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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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[The Protea Inn] Taking Out The Trash [Ialari/Alric]

Postby Ialari Pythone on November 15th, 2022, 12:05 am

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It was the middle of the morning and Ialari was taking an opportunity to find a bit of relaxation. So much of the season thus far had been more than eventful and being able to take a moment to forget it all was a blessing. This particular season of Fall in Syka had, a long with so many other oddities, left Ialari feeling more conflicted than usual. She couldn't place a cause for it but the Seed of the First Tree, a gift from Caiyha, had been causing her some increased difficulties. The Seed had transformed her, creating a fragile balance between her conscious, sentient mind and the wild instincts of the beast. Ever present was the yearning to let go and embrace those instincts. Doing so would unleash the Avatar of Nature, the personification of the nature's balance; a serpentine beast blending the qualities of a humanoid with those of a constrictor snake in a hulking display of power.

While she often wanted nothing more than to unleash the Avatar, she was afraid of what it might mean for the relationships she'd forged with others in Syka. Would they understand? Would they be irrationally frightened? What if she lost control? These were thoughts that always filled her head when she considered letting go. With the Avatar closer to the surface as of late, Ialari looked for ways to calm it. For starters, laying out in the morning sun, absorbing the heat from Syna, seemed to help. As with all snakes, they needed outside sources of heat to keep them warm. She also made the decision to bring her "children", Arith and Reth from her Dominion so that they could experience the physical world. Arith and Reth were snakes born of her own blood; blood that quite some time ago, acquired the ability to transform inanimate objects into fully living creatures bonded to her in a way not unlike what happened when she employed her divine marks from Izurdin. She could sense their presence and instinctively feel their thoughts and needs. They were unique in their appearance; solid black with silver veined patterns covering their bodies. Reth was larger, six-feet long and bigger around than Ialari's arm. Arith was smaller, roughly foor-feet long and slightly smaller around than her arm.

Thus the mid-morning found Ialari laying out, naked, on the deck of her rancho with Arith and Reth basking next to her. The companionship of the snakes seemed to also help calm the Avatar.

As she stretched out and let her thoughts wander without any real focus, her relaxation was quickly interrupted by a rather shrill voice. Opening her eyes, Ialari brought her hand up to shield them from the brightness of Syna's light.

"Excuse me! You are the girl with the snakes! Message! Message!" The piercing tone of the words grating on her almost relaxed nerves.

Sitting up, Ialari looked for the source of the voice only to be filled with instant annoyance at what she saw. I hate these damned birds...so much... She thought to herself. She often wondered who or what granted them the ability to speak and fantasized about what she would do to that person as a result. As her frustration was awakened, so was the hunger of the Avatar within her. She swallowed a bit of air and forced the hunger back as she looked up to see a small white bird, she didn't know what kind it was, perched on the nearby railing. It was talking out of the side of its beak which also held a small, rolled up piece of parchment.

Rubbing the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger, she asked hesitantly, "A message? This better be important."

The small white bird hopped down from the railing and stood on a small table next to Ialari. It's attention was firmly on the two snakes laying next to her.

Reaching over to the bird, Ialari took the rolled piece of parchment from the bird's beak. Unrolling, she read the message.

"Tazrae..." She said softly. The two shared much in common and when Tazrae was in need of something, Ialari was always willing to help. In fact, Tazrae was one of the few humans who didn't provide Ialari with some amount of annoyance. They shared a bond both with Caiyha and with the First Tree. For Ialari, Tazrae was the closest thing to a sister that Ialari could feel with a human.

The bird spoke again, its voice further irritating her. "Reward! Reward!"

Ialari narrowed her eyes at the bird and looked down at Reth, the larger of the snakes. In return, the large snake raised its head; its tongue flicking out and tasting the air.

"Thank you for the message but I think that your reward will be that you fly away right now before my friend here decides its time to eat." Ialari offered a soft, sympathetic smile to the bird.

With a cry that sounded very much like a foul insult, the bird took off.

Her relaxation time ruined by the bird, Ialari went back inside for a bit of food. A couple of bells later, she got ready to visit Tazrae and see exactly what the problem was her friend needed help with. Even though it was well into Fall, the heat of the day was still strong. Despite this, she donned her robe. With all that had happened as of late, she'd begun wearing her robe outside of her rancho. It's enchantments granted her a heightened awareness of her surroundings as well as other people. Strapping on her pouch containing her journal, she also slid her dagger into the loop on her belt before making the short journey to the Protea Inn.

The trip to the inn did not take long; her rancho was not far away. As she approached and walked up onto the deck, the chest wrapped in chains was quite obvious. Without giving it much focus at first, Ialari could still feel there was something rather...off...about that chest. First thing was first though; she knocked on the front door of the inn and waited.

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[The Protea Inn] Taking Out The Trash [Ialari/Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on November 18th, 2022, 2:31 pm

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If he had been wanting a calm, thoughtful season then he had been sorely surprised and thrown yet another series of events that he still wasn’t sure how to feel about. On the one hand he was no longer the equivalent of an automaton, merely going through the motions and trying not to rip apart at the mental seams by numbing himself and side-stepping the sources of various problems. He had started to begin to heal, accepted what had happened and even acknowledged that he was somewhat lost in a world that he simply didn’t feel built for. He had even begun to use some of the more novel powers of the charms he had collected to begin to undo what Kalas had done to him – retrieving memories, slowly but surely, and feeling parts of him return that he hadn’t even realised had been gone.

He wasn’t sure what it was he was doing, but Stu had obviously seen things wrong with him that he either hadn’t told Alric about or had simply seen as lesser problems compared to the more pressing concerns surrounding the damage done by the Krysus memories. He knew that he would likely have to have another talk with Stu – or rather the first one as far as the other man was concerned – as he was a priest and likely had insight that a simple street rat did not. Still, he had decided to leave that until later in the season, his hands full already, grappling with earlier and more recent revelations. Not least of which being that Sran’tuka’s reach was longer than hoped, and more brutal in its gripping than known.

He wasn’t even sure what the point of anything was anymore – it didn’t seem to matter what he did, thing just seemed to get worse. What had started as a revelation about his family line and an ancient monster had turned into a living nightmare where those he cared about most were the ones who apaid the costs for his survival. Not for the first time was he beginning to think people would be better off if he just walked into Sran’tuka’s Dominion – whatever that was – and just blow himself up, hopefully along with the monster himself. It was all very depressing and dramatic, though that seemed to be the theme of his life in large parts, he mused as he scratched his chin and watched Lexi and Lys spar with each other.

“It wasn’t your fault” Jade said after a while of silence.

“How insightful. Now tell me how that makes anything much better”

“It doesn’t. You can take solace in being stronger than most though, many have buckled at just one of these events,” Jade said after a while of silence, earning a bark of scornful laughter from Alric as he watched the young women actually listen to him for once, “you realise that you are allowed to be human. To take time to realise you aren’t responsible for everything that goes wrong”

“Things aren’t as simple as that Jade. It’ not about just that. I just...I thought things would be different here. There was hope, even with the curses. Now...I don’t know, the light got lost along te way”

“Syna has never been lost”

“Metaphor Jade...metaphor”

“The point is that you have your health...mostly. You have the little ones. You have more friends than you think, especially among those you have been helping with no thought to ask for anything in return. I see things, hear things. Lys is worried about you, so is Lexi. They annoy you to try to provoke a reaction. They’ve been happier since you started getting annoyed again...they think it means you are more you again. And as for the innkeeper”

“Just...don’t Jade. Not today, not here”

It was then, with a shriek, that Lys tripped Lexi to the sand to win the round and a little bird brought him his message for a meeting at the Protea, Jade staring at him impassively in what Alric thought was a smug way. Alric sighed and nodded at the bird, taking out a tiny piece of dried fish and tossing it into the air to be caught with a dive. He eyed Jade, pushed himself up and didn’t continue the conversation further, instead returning to showing the two teenagers another series of unarmed moves they could use if they were in a tight spot, control moves more than attacks. After a bell or so of practise he called an end to their session and they all made their way towards the Protea, Lys’ smaller Gasvik zooming around her head before settling across the girl’s shoulders.

“Must be important” Lys commented after a while.

“It usually is these days, I’ve almost forgotten what a normal day feels like”

“You were never normal”

“You are too kind Lys”

“She’s right Alric,” Lexi chipped in, “you’re not meant to be normal. Would be a waste. Besides abnormal is more fun”

“Fun wouldn’t be the first word I’d use to describe my life”

“Why not? Like the stories. I’d love to be like that”

“No...you wouldn’t. Now, be quiet and stop trying to bait me”

At that the pair of them almost giggled and Jade nodded knowingly, avoiding Alric’s gaze at his being proven right with a definite air of smugness that time. It was a quiet trip the rest of the way, or at least they ll let him be for it, and when they ascended the deck and he saw Taz scrubbing the floor with the baby in tow he shook his head and felt a pang of guilt. He tapped the shoulders of the two girls and told them to go and take over, resting his hip on the railing of the decking and looking at Ialari for a few moments.

“Ialari, nice to see you again. Beena while. You get an invite too?” he asked, his eyes straying and spotting the wooden box that he assumed was the one Taz ad spoken of. He glared at it as if he could send a bolt of death through it and into Sran’tuka.


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[The Protea Inn] Taking Out The Trash [Ialari/Alric]

Postby Tazrae on November 19th, 2022, 11:26 pm

Bree kept Tazrae company while the Innkeeper made herself useful. The Ixam stretched out on the deck in front of the chest, almost guarding it, as she watched Tazrae scrub out the kitchen. “That floor really doesn’t need that.” She commented dryly, stretching and flicking her tail. “You sure you don’t want to go for a swim or come back to Garden Beach for a nap?” The reptile asked, reaching up with a clawed forepaw to pick at one of her razor-sharp teeth. She delicately clawed something out of it… a bit of shell from the last crab feast she’d had with her lounge. She blinked at Taz with her sapphire gaze and then absently licked at her eye a moment before waiting Tazrae’s response.

“Ridiculous. It was filthy.” Taz replied, lifting a caramel eyebrow at the Ixam.

“What’s ridiculous is you staying so busy like it will change the fact that thing is still sitting here.” Bree replied.

Taz snorted. “I’m not afraid of it.” She said, glancing at the chest. That was ridiculous too. She was terrified of it. Bree knew it. Taz knew it. Everyone that actually knew about it knew it. But Bree graciously played along. Her friend wasn’t a liar by nature, she just had some peculiar quirks these days in the realm of deniability when it came to that chest.

“Of course, you aren’t afraid. It’s secured, or as secure as it can be. It’s a good idea you are asking for help in this. I don’t think you should be handling it yourself anymore.” Bree said, bobbing her head and arching her neck to nibble at a scaled forepaw.

“That’s why I invited them. If anyone knows, its one of them. At the very least they will help me get rid of it.” She insisted. Bree only nodded. And with that, Taz went back to her scrubbing. She liked to keep busy, even if it meant doing something that didn’t actually need doing.

Tazrae had the kitchen tiles thoroughly cleaned and gleaming by the time the two invited individuals showed up. She was just finishing off the small area in front of her back door, singing some sort of love song to Khari’s sleeping form, while getting the remaining grout clean. Finished, she stood up, stretched, and tossed her scrub brush in the pail with the dirty water. She took a clean towel, wiped her hands, and then took the towel she was using to wipe the tiles down and wiped the last bit off sudsy water off the tiles, smiling a little at the gleam and the scent of lemons that was rising from the floor. She liked keeping the Inn gleaming and the floor now matched her expectations of it. Khari was asleep in her bassinet, off visiting Nysel’s realm, which was resting on one of the counters where Taz could keep a good eye on her.

She smiled when Ialari knocked and gestured her to come in. “Come on in. You don’t have to knock… the doors are never closed here unless its storming.” Taz added, knowing Ialari had only visited a few times.

Alric showed up next, the two girls in tow. He seemed to always be with them these days and Taz was glad he wasn’t truly alone.

Taz waved the girls help away with a thanks, as she took the bucket and emptied it off the end of the deck and setting it there to run it down to the shower to rinse out when she had more time later. “Thanks girls… but I’m done. You aren’t slave labor.” She said with a kind smile of thanks, and a nod to Alric for his thoughtfulness. Taz steered wide of the chest as she moved back into the Inn’s kitchen where she gestured for the pair of adults to join her. The kids were welcome as well, but what she had to talk about was serious and it was the pair of adults she wanted to ask the help from. She checked on Khari quickly, then turned to face them.

Leaning back against the counter, hands on the beautiful wood butcher block, Taz slowly arched her back against the counter to crack it. She smiled with relief when the tension left the small of her back and shoulders by her action. Straightening, she turned to Ialari and Alric. She’d parked herself in front of Khari’s bassinet, as if she wanted to somehow shield her daughter from what she was about to say.

“The chest on the deck is…. a danger to us all. I wrapped chains and put a lock on it to prevent anyone from opening it. But as far as I know, its still a way straight into Sran’tuka’s Dominion. And I suspect if anyone opens it, then the chest will suck them into that place like it did me before.” Taz spoke softly, glancing at the girls, not really wanting them to know what had happened to her there. She didn’t bring up the details, but she did turn to the two adults and take a deep breath.

“I called you here in hopes that you would have some idea what we should do with it. I’ve contemplated burning it, tossing it in the ocean with the hopes that somehow it would open up and flood Sran’tuka’s Dominion. I’ve also thought of leaving it chained and rotting somewhere secure like perhaps the back of the Storm Shelter or another more secret location. I’ve also wondered, Ialari, if you could put it somewhere safe… though I don’t know if a dominion entrance can be put in a dominion without the worlds as we know them imploding. I was just hoping… that the two of you would have some ideas about what we should actually do with the thing.” Taz said, lifting a hand up and running it through her hair to push the wayward curls out of her eyes.

“I don’t think I can use clear unbiased judgement on how to dispose of this… and I thought maybe this meeting would help decide the chest’s fate without my biased being involved. I don’t know if it should be destroyed at all. Do we keep it in case we need to invade Sran’tuka’s realm? I don’t know… and that’s why I’m asking you two before anything is done with the chest.” She added, glancing back behind her and down at her daughter, then turning back to meet Bree’s gaze outside the kitchen. Bree was still sprawled on the deck before the chest, almost like a giant guard dog.

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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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