[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Faith » Mon May 07, 2018 11:56 am

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35th Ashan, 718

Faith loved it here, in the Scholars' Nook. Surrounded by books, by people she liked and respected and a good selection of tea. All in all, Faith felt very at home here. She'd just met with one of her students and the young woman had left a few moments before. It was a common occurrence, meeting with students and Faith very much felt for this one. She was bright, able and keen, but her personal life was up the creek and it was impacting her marks. They'd worked out what she needed to do and a plan for how she might do it. As she'd left, Faith had sent a prayer to Famula, Vri and Moseke and the young girl managed it, because being a medic was in her very soul. Still, there was only so much that she could do in terms of that, only so much help that she could give and she had given as much as possible without doing the work for her.

Having finished the meeting, she was sitting and drinking her her tea. Although both her hands were free, wrapped snugly around her were straps of cloth in a criss-cross. On each side was cradled a small baby, not yet three months of age and both of them fast asleep. While she sipped tea and paid some attention to a book open in front of her, by far and away the majority of her focus was on the babies. Though they were asleep, she fussed over their blankets, clothes, them.

The young woman was a professor, a healer, a medic and council member. Yet, when she looked at these two small beings, there was no doubting that, more than anything, she was a mother. Her expression was one of pure adoration as she looked at her children. Yet, she had work to do and she should be reading, so she turned back to the book. As she did, she caught sight of a familiar face. Faith looked at Rynata as the young woman she'd met in the Order during a particularly tricky shift and she had proven herself to be an inordinately useful and level headed individual. "Hello!" Faith said, smiling at the delivery person-turned-medic walked towards her table. "How are you? Would you like to join me? I'm just about to get another cup. And maybe some cake." Cake, she thought. She could do cake. If Rynata wished to join her, that was. "Unless you're meeting someone or would rather sit alone? Both of which are fine." Faith wasn't precious about such things, so she was happy one way or another.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Rynata » Tue May 08, 2018 11:23 am

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Rynata was by no means an academic. Still, she had been enticed by the atmospheric presence of the Scholar’s Nook. Passing by the windows, she had spotted a stylish bar and shelves lined with a vast collection of tomes. Even if she didn’t have an interest in complicated reading, perhaps she could rescue some adventure novel from the shelves. Also, while she was in there she might as well look for anything on navigation or charting. Wondering if the establishment dealt in that sort of subject matter, Rynata crossed the threshold. Regardless, of her findings, at least she would be guaranteed a refreshing drink.

Stepping through the interior, Rynata glanced around in silent appreciation. Occasionally, a shuffle would indicate a page turning, and in the distance, there was the soothing puttering of clinking cutlery. Since she was focused on her new surroundings and wasn’t expecting a greeting, she started when Faith called out to her.

“Oh, hello!” she echoed, locating the cloaked woman from the clinic. Faith, if she remembered correctly. “I’m alright. Just paddling around in new waters,” she said, vaguely waving a hand at the Nook in general. Rynata grinned and nodded at Faith’s invitation. “No, I’m not expecting anyone, so if you’ll have me, cake sounds amazing.”

Before she reached for a chair, the sailor peered curiously at the small bundles at the woman’s side. Eyes alighting on the two little ones, she let out a gasp that was somewhere between awe and comprehension.

“Your babies? Twins?” She guessed cautiously. All of a sudden she leaned back and let out a soft chuckle. “My brothers are also twins. If they’re anything like them, you’re in for a ride.” For now though, one could hardly expect the babies to get up to any mischief. Not when they were secured so close to their mother’s side.

Lowering herself into an empty chair, Rynata inclined her head in Faith’s direction.

“I wish you and your family well. You must be busy. You seem to be everywhere at once."
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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Faith » Sun May 13, 2018 5:00 pm

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Paddling around in new waters? That reminded Faith of Pash and how he spoke and she wondered how the bard was. He and Kali had gone off on their travels and that seemed like the right thing for them to do, but she had to admit that she missed them. They had shared a lot together, but there it was what it was. "I have found, after a lot of very serious study," Faith said with a smile and a twinkle of mirth in her silver eyes. "that cake is always better when the experience is shared."

Rynata looked at the twins and Faith beamed in absolute, unashamed delight. She was a very serious woman most of the time, but when she grinned then, she looked her age. Not yet twenty, the young mother was overwhelmed with love for her babies. "Yes, my children. This is Noah," she said, with a stroke to the cheek of one twin, "and this is Madison." Faith nodded, "I'm a twin, as was my mother and her mother, apparently. Although, I don't know my sister, we were raised separately." Only Faith, really, would describe her childhood in such a calm and casual way, but there it was and she was far too busy fussing adoringly.

Everywhere at once? Faith's smile turned rather rueful. "You sound like my husband. I think ... no, I know, he would like it if I slowed down some." The young man, Flea, co owner of the Nook came over and Faith glanced up. "Do you have cake? Chocolate cake would be good for me?" They did indeed have chocolate cake and Flea took both orders and then gave a friendly smile and sauntered off. Faith watched him go and then turned back to Rynata.

"What about you, Rynata? Have you lived on Scalvoris long?" Faith suddenly realised something and added, "and thank you. You donated your time and your sloop to the relief effort. Both were invaluable. Thank you." It would be a total lie to say that Faith was happy with how things had turned out in terms of the relief effort, but she had done her best and as much as she knew that, without their efforts, the death count would be higher, still it was too high for her liking. However, it was because of people like Rynata that they had made the difference they had and she was truly grateful.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Rynata » Mon May 14, 2018 6:39 am

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Tilting her head while listening to Faith's brief explanation about her family, Rynata nodded thoughtfully. "You might have Biqaj blood somewhere in your family," she said, half jokingly. "I hear we tend to come in sets." More often than not, that was the case for Biqaj. Triplets were quite common as well.

Someone, presumably a staff member of the Nook, stepped close to their table and Faith made her order. Strange eyes glittering greedily at the mention of chocolate cake, Rynata turned to the man and listed off her own requests. "I'd also like chocolate cake. And lemon tea as well, if you have that." The new mother was right. It was already nice to slow down and enjoy a small treat with a companion.

Realizing that the conversation was turning towards her, Rynata ceased her food related daydreams and shook her head. "Long? No, not long, I suppose," she said. "It'll be what... about a season since I came to Almund, so. Before that, it was just short stops to the island with my family. They're fishermen, you see. Never far from the waves, and all that. That's still the case for me as well, really. Though eventually I hope to be a bigger presence on the waters."

She was a little surprised to hear that Faith knew of her volunteered time, but it was to be expected that the relief effort registry sheet had made its way to more than a few people. Especially if those people had been more involved in the project. The woman really was everywhere at once. Rynata smiled in acknowledgement but waved a hand. "I happened to be close by. And it seemed a worthy cause." She then gave a wry grin and said, "Don't tell me you were coordinating that as well. I mean, I suppose I should have expected it...but. What else have you managed to fit into your schedule?" Rynata quickly glanced around the shelves, eyes picking out a random title from the spine of an insanely over sized book. "Prehistoric archaeology?"

The man from before returned to their table. This time he was laden with the requested cakes and cup of tea. Visibly pleased, Rynata accepted her order with thanks and arranged them in front of her.
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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Faith » Thu May 17, 2018 6:44 pm

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Every biqaj she had ever met had a love of chocolate, Faith considered and it seemed that Rynata was no different in that regard. With a smile Faith nodded to Flea and he wandered off, then turned her full attention to Rynata, subconsciously moving her hands to stroke Noah's back as she listened to the woman speak. "I've never really travelled much by water. I understand from a friend, also biqaj," she said, by way of explanation of how the friend knew and what sort of right they had for telling such, "that it can be quite the lifestyle. I can't imagine. The only long boat journeys I've had were to and from Rynmere. Both times it was a hired vessel and the quarters were cramped." She smiled slightly, considering that she was more or less the queen of understatement there.

"I suppose owning your own boat is a different thing?" It must be an enormous difference she supposed. When Rynata asked about the relief effort, though, Faith nodded. "I was, yes," coordinating it, that was. What else did she fit into her schedule? Faith smiled slightly and glanced down at the babies. "Mostly, these two. But it's all part of the group I belong to. Isonomia. It's a group with the aim of abolishing poverty, ending slavery. We work with Cally's, the restaurant I own that funds the soup kitchen and the orphanage. Beacon, too, the village for the .." Realising that she was doing it, Faith stopped and then smiled slightly, apologetically.

"I get very passionate, my apologies. It seems most obvious to me that the world would be a better place if we all treated each other well, is all." She looked rather sheepish and then turned to Flea with delight in her eyes. "Thank you, this looks delicious!" Flea grinned at them both and, after making sure that they were both happy and needed nothing else, he left them to it.

"So, tell me about the biqaj?" Faith asked, interest very genuine on her face. "I understand that you were made by U'frek, yes?" She was fascinated by creation stories and how races came to be and so she was quite prepared to listen, avidly. Whilst enjoying a slice of cake.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
Ashan 718: Relief Effort!
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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Rynata » Sat May 19, 2018 5:42 am

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"From Rynmere to Scalvoris," Rynata said thoughtfully. Trying to remember her mother's old maps, she ran a finger along the surface of the table, tracing out an imaginary line along the continents. If she was correct, then that must have been quite the journey. "That's a long way," she concluded. "I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't in the best of conditions. But, yes, I suppose being able to chart your own course gives you that extra freedom and cabin space." The corner of her mouth curled up. Rynata looked thoughtfully towards where she instinctively knew the sea was before saying, "Still, I don't think it's just the owning. A ship becomes your legs, your home, and the backbone of your business. So, it might be more of what you chose to make it." Glancing at Faith with twinkling eyes, she waved a hand indicating some undetermined point in the future. "If you ever need to cross the waters, perhaps I could take you. The Gilded Siren's clean and there should be space, as it's just me at the moment. We'll change your mind about boat travel yet."

Rynata raised a brow as Faith detailed all her projects and mentioned her group, Isonomia. However, it wasn't that she was skeptical. On the contrary, she was rather intrigued. She had heard word about the generous faction during her time in Scalvoris but never really expected to run in with them directly. According to what Faith said, the group's high reputation was well deserved. Abolishing slavery and poverty seemed like noble goals indeed. Taking a sip from her cup, Rynata shook her head, meaning to put to rest any worries Faith might have had about saying too much. Though she was content to answer her companion's queries about the Biqaj, the renowned faction still fluttered in the back of her mind.

"Well, there's a lot to tell but not much to say," Rynata chuckled. "Yes, U'frek is our patron. That's how all the stories go, though I've never met him myself. My father tells me he is a very tolerant Immortal. The Biqaj are free to live as they choose, and I think that's how U'frek intended it." Rynata paused for a moment. "Let's see. What else? Most of us live over in Ne'haer but as you've probably seen, there's quite a number of Biqaj in Scalvoris as well. Myself included. We're sailors, merchants, fishermen, shipwrights, and anything in between. Oh, but watch your coin around the wily ones. It's them and the pirates you have to watch out for. Otherwise we're an agreeable people, I think. If you want something done fairly and with no mess, find a Biqaj." It was strange to be talking so much about herself and her people. To an attentive and curious audience, no less. It was different from the companionship that came with family but making new friends was pleasant in its own right.

"But tell me more about this Isonomia," Rynata said, testing the unfamiliar word. "You've certainly put together a lot and it does sound like something important to you. You have your babies and everything else you're doing, though. If I can be of assistance, just let me know how I can help."

It was nice to be reminded that there were indeed people like Faith who cared. Sometimes Rynata felt alone in that regard with everyday life the way it was. However, Isonomia seemed to be doing its part in an endless struggle. If Rynata was also someone others could count on, even in passing, that would be a great happiness for her.

That and this delicious cake. The Nook could look forward to a new regular customer.
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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Faith » Sun May 20, 2018 11:05 am

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Legs, home and backbone? Faith smiled and nodded her head - Rynata spoke the words, but she could almost hear Pash's voice too, his deep baritone mixing with Rynata's and saying the same thing. She smiled and nodded to the young woman. "If we have need of travel, you have a deal. I come as quite a package, though. My husband, these two, the in-laws." She shot a grin to Rynata and shrugged slightly. "I suppose I've never seen it as anything other than a necessity. But I am more than willing to learn differently." It made sense too - people talked about life on the open seas in such a way that meant there must be more to it than she knew or had experienced. If she were the kind of person to share such details of her life, she would admit that there was a bias there born of the nature of her boat journey.

She drank in the information about U'frek and the biqaj. She nodded as she listened, then explained, "I tell them stories. I want them to grow up," she motioned to the babies nestled in the sling and held tightly against her chest, "and understand that each and every person is different and unique; biqaj and human and sev'ryn - yet all connected by our mortality, by the Immortals and this earth we walk on." With an adoring gaze down at the twins, she gently stroked Noah's cheek. As she did, Madison lifted her tiny hand and touched the spot on her own face which Faith had just caressed on her brother. "As well as, it seems, the waters we sail on and swim in. Thank you." It was important to Faith that her babies understood that, the notion that people were different and that they judged people not by the race they were or the circumstances they were in; but by their actions within those circumstances.

But Rynata seemed genuinely interested in Isonomia. "We're a group of people. Umm. Well, Cally's restaurant funds the soup kitchen and the orphanage. Beacon is also funded by us, the people who live there were Scalvoris' most poor and we offer them help to get themselves out of that situation. So, we give them training in a skill," There were lots of skills, Faith explained. From working in any one of the businesses, to the farms and vineyard associated with Cally's, or in the village itself. "While they are learning, we expect them to work and provide them with food to eat, a home to live in and good medical care. Then, when they have learned enough that they can go out into the community and get a job, then they leave and someone else comes in." Looking down at her hands, Faith considered if she'd say any more. It all seemed impossible to the former slave, in truth, but it was nonetheless what it was and so she continued. "I am the Council Member for Welfare on Scalvoris Council and I have most of a proposal to put forward which starts the process of first treating slaves as mortals, not cattle." As she spoke there was a subtle shift in Faith. Her shoulders tensed slightly and her forehead creased just a little as she sat, back totally straight. "One trial, there will be no slaves, no hungry children or adults who chose to go without a meal to feed their children. I have to believe that."

Aware that she was, indeed, a fanatic, she smiled at Rynata. "And that's what we work for. We gave ten thousand gold to the relief effort in order to get the Council to match funds with us, which allowed me to do what I do. I just... " she gestured around. "It's big. And new members? They are always welcome!"
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
Ashan 718: Relief Effort!
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[Scholars' Nook] Old Acquaintances, New Friends?

Postby Rynata » Sun May 20, 2018 11:55 pm

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As Faith spoke of her babies, Rynata gave them a soft, wistful smile. Unbeknownst to her, some warmer colors seeped into her eyes, making them reflect a shade of sunset before fading back to more or less normal. It was also her wish that the little ones grew into people who understood those things. More than anything, Rynata wanted them to be kind beings. Everything else she believed, would fall into place as long as they had gentle hearts. Too often though, this was not an easy thing. However, that did not stop her in hoping that the world would be better for them.

Rynata kept quiet as Faith detailed her work. Frankly, she was overpowered by the woman’s vision. Yet she was also very touched by the sort of ambition it would take to dream of such a day without the negativities that were listed. Rynata usually helped where she could, seemingly at random. That had been her style up till now. However, when Faith revealed the inner workings of her organization, she had to admit that organized work sounded more effective and was likely to have better longterm benefits.

Still, she wondered if that model was going to be enough. The world wasn’t solely a ball of goodwill and self sacrifice as Faith was. There would be plenty of obstacles. Not to mention things that actually tried to undermine Isonomia. Yet in the end, that was all the more reason for Rynata to lend a hand.

“A new member?” she said. “I’d be honored if you considered me one. Is there anything specific you’d like me to do? Otherwise, I’ll be around. Send word and I’ll come flying,” she grinned. “Will you be at Cally’s then?”

Rynata took a long draw from her cup. It appeared as though things would be even busier this season.
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