• PM To Join • First Bloom of Spring

1st of Ashan Tradition (Amaris)

Previously the stronghold of the Pirate Lords, Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers. Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap!

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• PM To Join • First Bloom of Spring

Postby Rynata » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:27 am

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Arc 718, 1st of Ashan

The still icy wind of early Ashan brushed through the branches of Almund's famed Glass Tree. The myriad of tiny crystal decorations sometimes clinked together, producing a comforting sound like wind chimes. In the gloom underneath the clouds, the ribbons and trinkets waving in the breeze seemed just a little eerie, though mostly awe inspiring. Rynata crunched around on the snowy ground, head low and eyes scanning this way and that. Today was the first trial of Ashan. Her favorite season had come round once more. Give it a little more time and soon all sorts of light and life would be bursting forward. It would be a welcome relief after the frigid trials of Cylus. As it was right now though, she was having trouble finding her gift for the customary 1st of Ashan celebration. It was still too cold for most flowers and on top of that, the generous layer of snow didn't help matters.

Wandering closer to the tree, Rynata spotted a burst of bright yellow peeking out between its gnarled old roots. Her first thought was that some ribbon had slipped from the branches onto the ground, but upon closer inspection, the spot of color was from the petals of a group of flowers poking out of the snow. Kneeling on the ground beside it, Rynata brushed away the snow to get a better look at the neat, cup-shaped bloom. Its cheery yellow was stark even in the dusky light. Looking up at the tree's branches, she could see that there were indeed some flower offerings. Perhaps some of the older offerings had left seeds behind around the Glass Tree. Carefully breaking off a suitable bloom, she brushed her knees free of snow and set off in a random direction.

Not having a set destination was rather exciting, Rynata mused as she drifted through the streets at random. Usually she was so busy that every step she took was either back to her ship, some shop, or some other contractor. It was refreshing to go back to an explorer's mindset, moving in accordance to slight unconscious nudges. The tradition was that she would give a gift to a stranger and in return they would present her with a candle. A nice symbolic gesture, she thought, and it seemed easy enough as long as the other entertained the same feeling of celebration. Feet stopping in front of a particular building, Rynata blinked up at a small apartment. It seemed a well kept place and hopefully the owner matched the welcoming exterior of the house. Gathering herself in preparation, she raised a hand and rapped lightly on the door three times.
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Rynata
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Amaris » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:42 pm

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- common / murnasian

Amaris froze at the sound of a knock. They hadn’t been expecting anyone, and usually that meant unwelcome visitors. They could think of only one such visitor they wouldn’t want to have again, eyes widening. But, the first time Volker had come had been through a window and they’d been sure to keep those locked indefinitely. Didn’t mean he wouldn’t knock; aside from being terrifying, he’d seemed like a fairly sensible person.

Getting up from their chair, they approach the door with caution. They really ought to move. It would be much better than staying where the man knew they lived. Pen in hand and bared as though it were a weapon, they placed a hand on the knob. Turning it took only a few trills but felt like an eternity before the door swung open. It was not Volker that greeted them, but another familiar face.

“Oh, Rynata,” they stated, letting out a sigh of relief. They relaxed visibly, shoulders dropping and a smile coming to their lips. “What a pleasant surprise; what can I do for you?” The question had left their lips before their gaze had fallen to the yellow flower in the biqaj’s hand. Was it that time already? They’d surely missed out on a good number of festivities, but they couldn’t quite bring themselves to regret staying indoors. There were other things out there than happy people finding flowers and passing them on.
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Amaris
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Rynata » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:24 am

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A few beats passed after the sound of the last knock faded away. Of course. They could be out. The thought popped into her head retroactively as she stood waiting at the door. However, when she tilted her head and listened for it, she could hear soft movement approaching behind the barrier. Next moment, the door was slowly opened.

Rynata had to crane upwards to see the face of the person who had greeted her at the entrance. Surprisingly, it was Amaris’ familiar face, though for a brief moment, her features were clouded with anxiety. It was unexpected to run into her companion again so soon, but then again, that was part of the fun in these festivals. Still, the fearful way her friend was brandishing a writing pen made it clear that something was a little off. Rynata hesitated at the door, her Biqaj eyes flickering back and forth between Amaris' expression and the makeshift weapon.

“Nice to see you again, Amaris!” she greeted, gently adding, “Are you alright? I hope I didn’t barge in at a bad time.”

Hopefully some light socializing and spring celebration would take Amaris' mind of some of her worries. Already she was more relaxed and that initial expression seemed more and more like Rynata's imagination. Holding up the yellow bloom, she proffered it to Amaris.

“I just wanted to wish someone happy first of Ashan,” she smiled. "I didn't know you lived here, so this is somewhat of a pleasant surprise for me as well. I think they call this a crocus, by the way,” she said, nodding at the flower. "I could name you the different parts of a ship, but all the flowers, not so much. Still, they are nice, aren't they. Especially after Cylus. Maybe you could make those, what do you call them, pressed flowers?"
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Amaris » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:55 pm

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- common / murnasian

Amaris watched as the woman’s gaze appraised their response. Quickly placing their pen-wielding hand behind them, they smiled a tad bit wider, though this felt more forced than before. “I’m just fine; thank you for asking!” It wasn’t so much that they didn’t like Rynata. On the contrary, they had thought the biqaj kind while they had been together to help the children the season prior. It was more a matter of them not wanting to trouble the woman, especially not on what was meant to be a happy day.

They accepted the offered flower with their free hand. They were supposed to give a candle, but they didn’t think they had one of those. Maybe they should have focused more on the festivities, looked forward to them. “Unfortunately, I don’t think I have a candle around to give you, but I will try the flower press.” They waited a beat, not sure if they should send the biqaj off or not. The woman hadn’t planned to come here to their home exactly, and it didn’t mean they could be rude to just make her go.

“I can check again, if you don’t mind waiting out here? It’s a bit of a mess inside.” Their smile turned sheepish, using one foot to push back a cat that had attempted to venture past them outside. Several other furry heads popped up behind it, peering up curiously at the visitor at the door.
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Rynata » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:14 am

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Passing off the gift to Amaris, Rynata waved a dismissive hand, “Oh, it’s fine. The candle is a symbolic gesture, anyway. But if you’re sure it’s no trouble, I can wait.”

As Amaris turned to go back into the house, however, Rynata followed the slight movement of her foot and locked eyes with a cat who’d just gently been pushed back from the entrance. What was more, behind that pair of eyes were several others, gazing with some interest at the intruder. Graceful tails waved this way and that as they wove through the room, disappearing and then reappearing in the line of sight from the entrance.

“Oh! Cats?” Rynata perked up, craning her neck a little to try and get a better look. “How many do you have in there? From what I can see, it looks like a small hoard. At least you must not have any rat problems.”

Cats were a fairly common sight near the docks which Rynata frequented. The creatures especially seemed to enjoy milling around fishing boats, hoping for scraps or a chance to nab a meal. However, without any food offering, they were skittish, and she hadn’t had the chance to get close.
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Amaris » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:53 pm

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- common / murnasian

They answered without hesitation, already quite used to the reaction of how many they had. “Twenty-three,” they replied, smiling a touch wider. “I certainly don’t have a rat problem, but instead I can never find a place to sit and they’ve terrible manners.” As if to protest this, there was a chorus of mewls as more joined to stare at the visitor. They were obedient only in that they seemed to not go beyond the mixed blood’s outstretched leg.

It occurred to them that on this trial of kind gestures, perhaps they could do better than a small candle. “Have you been looking into getting one?” They remained partly turned at the door, looking back to Rynata as curiously as the little ones by the door. Amaris certainly had enough to give, and while they would miss one of them should they go missing, they were sure that the biqaj would provide them with a good home. Probably better than a constantly panicked Amaris could. “They aren’t a lot of maintenance; they mostly watch themselves. The most you’d need to do is feed them and make sure they don’t wander off too far.”

They shrugged, glancing back down at the apparent ringleader of the curious troop staring up at both the mixed blood and biqaj now. “You can have one of mine, as thanks for the flower.”
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Rynata » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:11 am

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“Twenty-three!” Rynata laughed in surprise. “How in the world did you come by so many?”

As Amaris made her suggestion, Rynata’s eyes widened. She had never actively considered an animal companion before. She liked friendly creatures better than most, but she’d never had the opportunity. That, and she had been busy, settling into her routine of work. Still, she could find no reason to refuse. In fact, having a friend by her side seemed more and more attractive. They would sail on the Siren together, and perhaps she could unrust her fishing skills to catch meals for the both of them, and maybe the cat would hog the hammock.... Eyes far away, but still very much enthusiastic, Rynata nodded to Amaris.

“If it’s alright with you, then I’d love to take one home,” she said, slowly kneeling to be at level with the cats. Looking up she added, “I live on a ship, by the way. I hope that won’t be a problem with the cat. Oh, and they do eat fish, yes?”

Extending a hand toward the troop of felines gathered at the door, she smiled encouragingly, trying to test out their reaction. They were such adorable creatures! Their delicate noses and soft silhouette was enough to soften Rynata’s eyes even more, causing them to briefly pool into a warm golden hue.
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Amaris » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:34 am

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- common / murnasian

They were quite used to such a reaction. The number of felines in their home was not a complete secret to their neighbors, who had a similar, if not varied, set of reactions to the small horde of cats. A soft thud sounded somewhere behind them and they wondered if something might have been knocked over. Another unsurprising thing, considering the curiosity of their pets and their need to take up as much space as possible. Looking back to the biqaj, they noticed the apparent excitement as the woman considered their offer.

“Oh, I insist,” they started, moving their leg so that Rynata might get a better look at the cluster of cats standing by the door. “I’ve never taken them on a ship, but I’m sure whichever you choose would acclimate well to the environment.” A few of them did seem to like water a lot more than others. They had not had the exact pleasure of watching them bob around in a pond, but a puddle had been sufficient for them to play in when they were kittens. The mixed blood regard a few of them for a moment. “Fish should be acceptable, but they’ll let you know what they like and don’t like.”

One of the older cats strolled by, pausing only to spare a glance at the growing meeting ground of cats before continuing on. A few nosed at Rynata’s hand, giving it a thorough sniff inspection before either turning away disinterested or butting up against her fingers. A few seemed particularly keen on coming closer, nibbling at the tips of her fingers as if to instruct her to curl them around their small faces.

“Looks like you have a good number to choose from.” They chuckled, a lot more comfortable than they were before. This was what interaction had been like, before Volker had instilled a crippling fear in them. They found that they missed it, really.
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First Bloom of Spring

Postby Rynata » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:12 pm

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Rynata chuckled as her hand was butted against by furry faces. Curiosity satisfied, a few of the cats slipped away from the group, back to whatever important business they had to attend to. However, there was one particularly insistent fellow who chased after her attention and boldly approached her. It was a silky black cat with wide, feminine, sea green eyes. It had a bright patch of white fur on its chest which stood out like a star on the dark body.

“Hello, little one!” Rynata crooned. “What do you say, partner? Would you like to sail the Hollow Seas and beyond?” Looking to Amaris, she asked, “What’s her name? Oh, I assumed it was a “she”.” That was the impression she had gotten, perhaps from the eyes. However, it was hard to tell with these creatures.

Teasing the black cat with fluttering fingers, Rynata watched it play about for awhile. Graceful feet and attentive, knowing eyes. Settling on stroking its fur, she nodded more to herself than anything.

“I think I’d like to take this one,” she said. “If you don’t mind parting with it that is.”
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